About Helen

I'm Helen, a mama, writer, weaver and jewelry designer. I am an Australian living in Massachusetts with my older man + three much younger men.

LAKE DREAMS

By | July 6th, 2015|BLOG|

My mother's idea of heaven is an apartment overlooking Central Park. She loves the city. She loves the movement, the hustle and bustle. Not me. When I'm all grown up and the boys are out there making the world a better place, I want to live in a cozy house on a lake. I love the [...]

BOOK SHELVES FOR FINN’S ROOM

By | July 5th, 2015|BLOG|

So that trip to IKEA a couple of weeks ago produced something positive. Yeah! I'm happy with the RIBBA picture ledges I bought to use as bookshelves. The books add color to the room displayed like this and the shelves seem quite sturdy (nobody has tried to pull them down yet). Here's how they [...]

HAPPY FOURTH

By | July 4th, 2015|BLOG|

Finn woke up at 1am this morning. As I tucked him back in I promised we would get a croissant and a hot chocolate for breakfast. So it stands to reason that this morning Finn needs a croissant and hot chocolate. It's July 4th, and that means a whole lot more to the people around [...]

THE LAST OF THE PEONIES

By | June 30th, 2015|BLOG|

When we lived on the Cape these gorgeous light pink peonies were growing along the side of the house. I was obsessed with them. We moved into our new house just as spring arrived on the South Shore. Robbie had been joking that this house was designed for me from the five jets in the [...]

LE GAZETTIN 6•28•15

By | June 28th, 2015|BLOG|

Happy weekend! We are having a rainy Sunday here, taking care of kids and house tidying and unpacking. My mama goes back to Australia tomorrow. The end of her stay just kind of snuck up on us. We're going to miss her. A LOT. I seriously love the Danes and the way they do everything.  [...]

MAMA’S SKIN

By | June 24th, 2015|GAZETTE|

I'm not much of a product girl. I have started using a Clarisonic two to three times a week, but apart from that I don't do a lot. But lately my skin looks tired. It needs something more than I am giving it. For me, the prospect of buying cosmetics is so overwhelming that I [...]

WHAT’S IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG? INTERVIEW WITH KIMBERLY FISHER HORAN

By | June 24th, 2015|KFH|

What’s in your makeup bag? This month has been a big one for makeup changes!  As I’ve recently moved to Manila my favorite Dior Capture Totale Foundation was just too moisturizing. So that will be kept for cooler weather trips. After much testing of foundation (8 at last count), the new winner is Guerlain Lingerie [...]

IKEA STILL SUCKS

By | June 19th, 2015|BLOG|

Project New House is in full swing. Speaking from experience, this nesting bug will last about another two to three weeks. After the buzz wears off, the house will stay looking pretty much the same from that day until we move again.  I'm pretty sure most of my family will be thrilled when I actually [...]

PAINTER’S HANDS

By | June 14th, 2015|BLOG|

When my dad immigrated to Australia from Croatia in the late fifties, he made a living as a painter. He didn't speak English very well and he had no money to go to school, so he met some people and started working with them painting houses all over Sydney. People call painting houses 'honest work'. [...]

THIS ISN’T RIGHT

By | June 12th, 2015|BLOG|

I painted the office yesterday. It took all day. I used Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray (exhibit A) and what I got was this blue room (exhibit B) So what happens now is I experience low level stress every time I am near the part of the house closest to the office until I get annoyed [...]

LES COULEURS

By | June 11th, 2015|BLOG|

At last count I have 12 gallons of paint on the floor of my (not even nearly finished) living room. Mostly they are finish variations. I have flat, eggshell, semi gloss and pearl. These are the colors we have:   The master bedroom, the dining room and the sitting room are going to be Benjamin [...]

SHOWING UP

By | June 8th, 2015|BLOG|

When we enrolled Finn in a Montessori school, we loved that community participation was important and that parents were encouraged to be involved. The school sends out a weekly newsletter that I usually skim over, but lately I haven't had the energy to read a label let alone a 15 page newsletter. However, sometimes they [...]

OUR SUNDAY

By | May 31st, 2015|BLOG|

Yesterday, surrounded by boxes of shoes and paints and toys and kitchen utensils, I propped Bennett up in Finn's highchair for five minutes while I made coffee. My third for the day, because I'm tired and I still have about one thousand boxes to unpack. I opened our new and nearly empty fridge to find [...]

SMOKED BLUEFISH PÂTÉ

By | May 25th, 2015|GAZETTE|

New England residents are spoiled by an abundance of fresh seafood, so it's no surprise that some of the best seafood restaurants are located here. The Straight Wharf Restaurant on Nantucket is one such restaurant. Their Smoked Bluefish Pâté served with Melba toast and pickled vegetables is a Straight Wharf signature dish worth traveling to [...]

A YEAR ON THE FARM

By | May 22nd, 2015|BLOG|

We've lived in this house for almost a year. We're moving into our new house in a little over a week (massive smile while I write that) and I'm starting to take stock again. Moving brings up a lot of emotions, especially now that we have little ones. We'll have done this three times since I [...]

LET THEM TAKE PHOTOS

By | May 17th, 2015|BLOG|

When these photos were taken I was not feeling terribly attractive. Not unusual for someone who is 8.5 months pregnant, but I'm going to say I don't think I ever went through that gorgeous, 'glowy' pregnancy stage that we are supposed to go through as mothers-to-be. If I did, I missed it - my hair [...]

LE GAZETTIN 5•13•15

By | May 13th, 2015|BLOG|

NPR is talking about it, my friends are talking about it, we should all be talking about it. This. A few years back I attended a truly gorgeous Jewish lesbian wedding at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester County, New York. It was breathtaking in every way. So I think this is pretty cool. [...]

WAITING FOR SPRING

By | May 8th, 2015|BLOG|

I'm a little concerned that it's May and we're still having cold days. I know I'm from Sydney via San Diego, but this year doesn't seem to be accepting spring as a legitimate season. And autumn and spring are by far my favorite (let's hear it for the moderate seasons!) But at least I can finally [...]

HIPSTER CHILDREN

By | May 5th, 2015|BLOG|

Sometimes I like to dress Finn in a pair of high-tops, an early eighties rock band t-shirt and/or a pair of ray-bans. I know this will label him a hipster child, and for some people it will label him 'bratty'. Finn's wardrobe was pretty much rad like this 24-7 until some ladies at his daycare [...]

DIY BluePrint CLEANSE

By | May 2nd, 2015|GAZETTE|

So I did a DIY BluePrint Cleanse. When it comes to rapid weight loss programs, I’ll try anything once. I’ve done the cabbage soup diet, the South Beach Diet, the Master Cleanse; and the very controversial Atkins diet (back in the day when all you could eat was lard). I've had the BluePrint Cleanse in [...]

BOYS’ COLORS

By | April 29th, 2015|GAZETTE|

Last night I had a middle of the night, Oprah Aha! moment about decorating the boys' bedrooms. Once I thought of it, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought it all along. The revelation? They need color. I've been thinking monotone for the rest of the house and the boys rooms just kind of came along [...]

DECORATE LIKE A GROWNUP

By | April 24th, 2015|GAZETTE|

Moving house five times in three years has had some dangerous side effects. One is that every time we move, I become obsessed with interior decorating. I collect paint swatches and create a million Pinterest boards and I actually read catalogs (before I report them to PaperKarma, who un-friends them on my behalf). We are [...]

MY GRUFFALO CHILD

By | April 21st, 2015|BLOG|

Finn's favorite books at the moment are Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. We watch the movies at night and then he insists on reading the books too.  When I saw a new Donaldson and Scheffler collaboration, The Gruffalo's Wean on Amazon and it was only $6, I was all, [...]

TOCOTÓ VINTAGE LOVE

By | April 16th, 2015|GAZETTE|

Tucked away in a drawer at my house, is one gorgeous pink Origami tutu and one Janie and Jack pink swim cap, both in sizes 6 to 9 months. I have two boys and will probably never have a daughter. It's just that baby girls' clothing is so darn cute. The peeps over at Tocotó [...]

WHAT LITTLE BOYS ARE MADE OF

By | April 4th, 2015|BLOG|

Robbie seemed to know how to be a daddy before this boy was even born. He knew things about how to raise boys that took me a little longer to figure out. My favorite lesson learned this year is to let things be messy. Because I am the happiest when he is the happiest. And [...]

ETSY LOVE – BIG STUFFED

By | April 1st, 2015|GAZETTE|

The over-sized soft and fluffy sea animals from Etsy store Big Stuffed. Shop owner Dana Muskat lives in Paris, France and she custom makes octopuses (octopie?), albino humpback whales, starfish, sting rays, a huge crab, this gorgeous sardine... Big Stuffed has been in my Etsy favorites folder forever. Every now and then I take a [...]

ETSIES THAT I LOVE – ANNAPAVLOVNA

By | March 21st, 2015|GAZETTE|

Meet Tisha. This little bear is from annapavlovna's Valentine's Day collection. He is my very own hand made bear and there is no other bear exactly like him. I have had my eye on him for months now and writing this post prompted me to sneak him into my Etsy shopping basket... He arrived [...]

BLUE APRON, HELLO FRESH, PLATED… IN THAT ORDER

By | March 9th, 2015|GAZETTE|

Blue Apron Tilapia Meunière with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils & Rainbow Chard Life with toddlers is pretty crazy at the best of times. My wing-man is down with a back injury, so things have been especially hectic around here. I decided to try a meal delivery service to take some of the pressure off. No shopping for [...]

CRAZY EXCITED ABOUT FORMULA

By | February 26th, 2015|GAZETTE|

I’m no longer breastfeeding and I can’t wait to stop using formula. I hate the smell, I hate the taste (yes, I have) and even though Bennett drinks it I can tell he doesn’t really love it. We tried Earth’s Best and a couple of other brands but he just doesn’t seem to like the [...]

HEY SISTER

By | February 25th, 2015|BLOG|

I'm tired. My wing-man has been down for almost three months with a back injury and my three year old has cabin fever in this endless indoor winter. My six month old is the easiest, most soulful person in our family but he still needs 100% of my attention and I can only give him [...]

SANTA BABY

By | December 18th, 2014|BLOG|

  HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE THOMPSONS  XOXO (and extra candy canes for this guy for being the only one who would cooperate for a photo) Save Save

FIRST SNOW

By | November 10th, 2014|BLOG|

So here it is. Cold, fluffy, magical, slightly too early, snow. Finn is in heaven. Robbie is ready to move back to California. But I didn't move to New England to listen to boys talk in that gorgeous Boston accent. I moved here for the Maine lobster, the east coast attitude and the changing [...]

SPIDEY GREETINGS

By | November 3rd, 2014|BLOG|

Last year in San Diego, Halloween was kinda awesome for us. Finn was almost 2 years old and it was his first time trick or treating. He learned how to do it faster than pretty much anything else he has ever tried. He would run up the driveway and knock on the door, and then [...]

WEAVING WITH MARYANNE MOODIE

By | October 23rd, 2014|BLOG|

My blog post San Francisco Guide for Guilty Mamas tried to justify my decision to abandon my husband and children for 48 hours of debauchery with a bunch of girls from Cali. That post kind of highlighted the negatives. It’s true, I did develop a plugged milk duct (as well as a hole in my [...]

SAN FRANCISCO GUIDE FOR GUILTY MAMAS

By | October 20th, 2014|BLOG|

When one of my Cali girlfriends sent out an invite to a girls weekend in San Fransisco, I was pumped. My life for the last three months had been diapers, spit up and sore nipples. For nine months before that I was pregnant. So it had been a year between martinis and I was ready [...]

I TRIED CITRUS LANE

By | September 19th, 2014|GAZETTE|

I signed up for Citrus Lane while they were having a promotion so I paid half price for my box. The way it works is that you pay a monthly subscription fee ($24 per month for 6 months or $29 for 1 month) and receive a box of age appropriate toys and products each month. [...]

APPLE PICKING SEASON

By | September 10th, 2014|BLOG|

Reason 27501 to love New England: Apple Picking Season. This morning this little family of four(!!) went apple picking at our local u-pick farm. Finn ran into the first apple row we came to and picked the biggest apple he could see. Then he sat down and started to eat it. He almost ate the [...]

ALL THE LITTLE FIRSTS

By | September 4th, 2014|BLOG|

Finn started preschool today.  I was running late (not unusual), but I just had to take a few first day photos before I dropped him off.  And here's where I'm going to be completely predictable - because these feelings I'm having are completely predictable... He's growing up too fast and I'm not ready. There I [...]

WHEN YOU’VE GOT STUFF TO DO

By | August 25th, 2014|BLOG|

These are the adorable faces Bennett makes when he's working something out. That something is almost always poop. At this age, poop is the most challenging part of Bennett's day and really, the only responsibility he has. Because, eating? Easy. Sleeping? Born to do it. Getting dressed? Not his problem. He has no idea how [...]

THAT TIME A TREE FELL ON OUR HOUSE

By | August 1st, 2014|BLOG|

A few days ago it was raining outside and we were snuggling in bed with our beautiful week old babe. Finn was downstairs with Nonna who is in town for a few weeks. Everything was peaceful and right in the world. A loud cracking sound shattered our peaceful bliss and the whole house shook. Everything [...]

DINNER AT THE NEW HOUSE

By | July 2nd, 2014|BLOG|

After moving our entire lives from California to Cape Cod in December last year, moving again was easy. We're getting pretty good at this.  We've lived in 5 different houses in the past 5 years and each time we do it we get better at the logistics. We are renting a 1930s house in Needham [...]

PREGNANT IN NEW YORK

By | June 20th, 2014|BLOG|

I'm back from a long weekend in New York. I went with my favorite travel pal, my mum. I'm heavily pregnant so we didn't do what we would usually do (which is to stay up all night drinking Japanese slippers and dancing on the bar) but we still had fun. We ate and walked and [...]

AT BATH TIME

By | June 5th, 2014|BLOG|

By about 7 o'clock every night, Robbie and I start getting our second wind. We've made it through the day and we know that in a couple of hours, when this little boy has been tucked in and he's too tired to make another call back for just a little sip of milk or to [...]

THIS PLACE

By | May 19th, 2014|BLOG|

Lately every photo I take looks like something out of Yankee magazine. It's not us. It's this place. The days are warmer now and every afternoon we've been walking down to the jetty to look for horseshoe crabs and driftwood and other treasures from the sea. Last week we found a National Woman's Christian Temperance [...]

WHEN YOU JUST CAN’T DO IT…

By | May 15th, 2014|BLOG|

Finn said he didn't want to go to school today. He just couldn't do it. I felt the same way. So we played hooky for a half day and went for frozen yogurt and hot chocolate. It was the best half day ever.

EATEN IN SAVANNAH

By | April 29th, 2014|BLOG|

We are back from our trip to Savannah. This post is about what we ate. For my original post on what I did in Savannah (apart from eating), go here. B. Matthew’s Eatery for Breakfast 325 E Bay St | Savannah, GA B. Matthew’s Eatery is in a great historic downtown location, a couple of [...]

CEMETERIES, ANTIQUING + FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

By | April 29th, 2014|BLOG|

We are back from our trip to South Carolina and Savannah. This post is about what to do in Savannah. Spanish moss and southern charm - I’m into it in a way I’d never thought I’d be. We visited Bonaventure and Wormsloe, shopped boutiques and antiques and made a point of eating as much southern [...]