Thursday, March 6, 2014

Outside Magazine Online - 7 Questions with Mountaineer Mom Sophie Helenek

7 Questions with Mountaineer Mom Sophie Helenek
"Raising our baby girl is our new Everest."

You can call Sophie Helenek many things: a recovering investment banker, the youngest French woman to climb Mount Everest, and—as of 2013—a mother. But having her daughter wasn't going to terminate Helenek's six-year love affair with climbing. We caught up with Helenek via email to talk about staying active during pregnancy, exploring with babies, and her book series written for infants.
  -  How did you make the decision to start a family?
  -  How did you stay active and fit during your pregnancy?
  -  Has it been difficult to get back into shape since having the baby?
  -  Describe the process of writing your books.
  -  How do you incorporate books into parenting?
  -  As an adult, what books do you enjoy?
  -  Do you encourage your daughter to lead an active, adventurous life?


Thursday, February 6, 2014

New mom in 2013 I also embarked on the new journey of writing a baby book series


Imagine the wonder as a mother’s face becomes clear to a baby who has only heard her voice before? At birth, a newborn’s vision is between 20/200 and 20/400; by eight months their acuity improves to 20/30.  Therefore, infants reflexively prefer to look at high-contrast edges and patterns. So, imagine their ongoing propensity to learn as their senses develop each day. 

New to bookshelves, the My First Book series, by Sophie Helenek, includes four delightful board books, specially dedicated to infant’s developmental growth milestones.  Each of the four books, FRUITS, SKY WONDERS, SHAPES and MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS include high contrast, black and white and bold color illustrations which promote visual and speech stimulation. Each picture is accompanied by a simple word that your bundle of joy will love repeating and which will help their speech development. They are not just picture books or bedtime stories but rather activity books conceived to stimulate a baby’s senses. 
“These books are not for parents, they are for their beautiful babies—to learn and to grow,” says Helenek.  “I wanted to provide parents a way to captivate, interact and bond with their baby that also aids in the child’s developmental growth.”

Learn more, visit

Monday, February 3, 2014

A novel look at how stories may change the brain

Reading a novel can make real, physical changes to your brain, according to research from Emory University. For two weeks, study participants read sections of a novel in the evenings, then had their brains scanned in the morning to track structural changes. Researchers found increased connectivity in areas of the brain associated with receptivity to language, as well as motor areas — which may explain why it can feel like you’re transported into the body of a character.

“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” Berns says. “We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”

Researchers believe that the increased connectivity is lasting, like a muscle memory, since these effects were still seen days after the novel was finished. Is there a novel that’s made a big impact on your brain?

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READ the full article:
A novel look at how stories may change the brain
By Carol Clark | Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Emory University Research news

Friday, January 31, 2014

Want To Be More Productive? Buy Some Desk Plants

Adding a plant to your workspace could boost your cognition and help you be more productive. Two recent studies found that participants performed better at attention tasks while seated at a desk surrounded by plants and flowers than while seated at an empty desk. These findings add to past research showing the benefits nature can have on cognition. Researchers believe that because nature engages our minds in an effortless way, it offers our brains a micro-restorative break from tasks — like working — that require us to pay direct attention. Do you have plants near your work station, or do you have a view of nature from your desk?

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READ the full article: Fast Company’s Co.Design | Eric Jaffe | November 19, 2013

*** Post dedicated to my sister. A gifted artist and brilliant florist

Monday, January 27, 2014

BABY developmental milestones, a Neurodevelopmental Approach

One would expect for a newborn are certainly different than a 2, 6 or 12-month-old infant: check out the Pediatric NeuroLogic Examination Videos and Descriptions... a Neurodevelopmental Approach
Learn more:


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Your Social Circle Decoded ?

No matter how many friends you have on Facebook, the number of truly close friends you can maintain throughout your life may be hardwired. Researchers logged the phone calls of teenagers transitioning out of high school and into either the workforce or college for 18 months. Even as the teens made new friends, the structure of their social circles remained the same: if they had four close friends at the beginning of the study, they had four at the end of the study as well -- though not always the same four friends. Each of us appears to have an individual “social signature” that determines how much time and emotional capital we have to expend on our friends. Has the number of close friends you have remained constant over time?
Share this post with friends and let us know in the comments. 
READ the full article: The Atlantic | Emily Badger Jan 07, 2014

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sophie summit Mount Everest 5 YEARS ago

5 Year Anniversary
Sophie summit Mount Everest
on May, 21st 2008
"Everything is Possible"
Enjoy my Expedition pictures



Dernières étapes pour le toit du monde
J'ai dédié ma victoire à mon Grand-père

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Our little one nursery

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New year !!!!!

Sophie having a blast snowshoeing on New Year's Eve !
* 40 weeks pregnant *

Monday, December 31, 2012

snowshoeing on New Year's eve

While John was cross country skiing,

 I enjoyed snowshoeing.
I had a blast. I'm 9 month pregnant, the meadow is flat so no impact, perfect aerobic exercise while enjoying views and the cool air. It was great ! 

Friday, December 28, 2012


Yesterday it snowed about 10".
So I've decided to do a snowman, which I haven't done for a long long time. 
I let my inspiration flow, and I end up doing a snowman which looks like more than stupa than anything else ;-)

My snowman
Stupa in the Kumbu - Nepal

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012


Our Christmas tree is really nice.
Thanks to John's Christmas ornaments. They are so cute.
They represent various sports that we do and love
(e.g. a rock climbing shoe, a backpack, a snowshoe, a kayak .... )




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Connecticut Foliage - a BLISS .... !

Breathtaking view from our house

Gillette Castle Park 
Where I do my pregnancy hike : Flat and easy terrrain, perfect to enjoy a safe walk and take our dog out

The forest seems on fire

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kayaking along the Connecticut River - End of September

John and I had a blast kayaking on the Connecticut River

We able to enjoy it couple time in September

It was very beautiful!