About

headshot

Hello friends, my name is Madeleine and I am incredibly lazy glamorous.

Ever since I was a sullen child of 8, I’ve adored writing in all its incarnations – dramatic, exclamation-filled diary entries, pseudo-journalistic endeavours for small town weeklies, and the bastard child of the above: blogging.

I have a BA Sociology, with a concentration in Criminology, Deviance and Social Control.

I  have a rare chronic kidney condition called Gitelman Syndrome and am currently campaigning to become its spokeslady. You can read more about the condition here.

In 2012 I had my daughter, a sweet, funny little girl named Olive. I wanted a hippie home birth but after developing full placenta previa she was born via c-section. Weekly posts about my pregnancy and my c-section are found here. I will also be blogging about some of my experiences as a mother, so if you object to hearing about potty training or sleep cycles you best run now.

My marriage ended in late 2014, and I will be touching on the subjects of divorce and single parenting occasionally. Writing is cathartic for me, and I draw strength from the possibility that my words and experiences might be able to help someone else going through a similar situation.

I like to ramble about a variety of subjects, and sometimes I do this rambling in book form. My very first book was published April 2014, and I am so proud of it. Titled All You Need Is Less: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity, it’s a fantastic little book of Eco-friendly ideas served up in a lighthearted and humorous tone. You can buy it here, order a copy from your local bookstore or be earth-conscious and take a copy out from your library or download it in ebook form.

Feel free to email me with questions, comments, or to offer unsolicited advice on how to run my life. I don’t reply to every email, but I do read and appreciate each and every one.

(Please note – I am no longer writing the All You Need Is Less column for The Guardian and do not accept submissions for guest posts at SweetMadeleine.ca, or pitches for product spotlights. Thank you!) 

Contact: info(at)SweetMadeleine(dot)ca

40 Comments

  • Reply Le Clown June 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Madeleine,
    Ashley speaks very highly of you… No pressure.
    Le Clown

  • Reply Amanda Sherrill November 19, 2013 at 5:36 AM

    Madeleine,

    What did you do with your degree in Sociology? I did my BA in Sociology and I am currently working on my Master’s but I am having a hard time finding a job in the field. Most non-profits are looking for degrees in human services, and although I work for a college now, I am having a difficult time breaking out into the teaching world. So, I am curious with your outcome because I have not found many people who have similar degrees.

    Thanks!

    Amanda

    • Reply sweetmadeleine November 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      Hi Amanda! After university I got a job at a youth drop-in centre, working with at risk teens. I did that for five years, now after coming back after maternity leave I have a position in community outreach and development. Sociology is fantastic because it can be generalized to suit almost any field, but it can be overwhelming, too, because it’s not like you graduate with a teaching degree and know exactly when you’ll be doing.

      If you are interested in social services it can be a great place to start because typically they are understaffed and you can use your Soci. degree to get in the door and then specialize your training from there.

      I hope that helped! Madeleine

      >

      • Reply Amanda Sherrill November 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        Wow, that does help quite a bit! Thank you so much! I have done my BA and MA online because I have a 6 year old boy myself, so I do not get the same kind of teacher interaction as a traditional student would. I will certianly look into those avenues, and I love your blog.

        Thanks!

    • Reply Penny from Oz February 19, 2015 at 3:42 PM

      Hi Amanda (and apologies Madeleine for hijacking a first reply), different country and sociology as part of an Arts degree (with language). I work in stats. After my undergraduate studies I eventually stumbled into a analysis/research/writing role with our national organisation (Australian Bureau of Stats). There are quite a number of people working in social or population stats with backgrounds in sociology or psychology (the economics people tend to hang out in their own field). I’m currently on maternity leave with bub no. 2, but now work for the Parliamentary Library (national) as a senior researcher in stats. My focus is the labour market, which many people assume is all about economics, but actually it has a good focus on people and many interesting social aspects (disadvantage, gender, youth, as well as geography, earnings, etc). My post grad studies were in the community and health development field, so I’ve also worked with a range of social stats, including mental health, domestic violence and Indigenous experience. Not sure if this info will help, but Stats Canada produce some great social stats material and I wanted to give you a few other ideas for work from someone else who loved the studies but took a little while to find her niche. Apologies this reply didn’t find you sooner, I’ve only just discovered Madeleine’s blog (Btw, I’m a nurse to sleep mum, stuff what anyone thinks is right or wrong, it works for us). Good luck, Penny

      • Reply sweetmadeleine February 19, 2015 at 3:45 PM

        Thank you so much, Penny! That’s fantastic info, and helpful for me, too!
        Xo

  • Reply Rosie November 19, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    Im not completely sure on whether you read your comments on often—or if your life has become such a whirl wind of ‘Mama hood’ that this comment will get lost on the sea of blogging—BUT–I HAD to write something. I stumbled upon your blog on an online Mama group that i’m part of—It’s actually become most of my entertainment this past year of maternity leave—because mums be crazayyy!!!

    Anyways. I saw the link to your ‘infant sleep’ entry–read it….and my mouth just kept opening wider and wider…because well….I felt like I was reading my very own thoughts and conclusions. —You are inspirational and just such a breath of fresh air…for not only me i’m sure…

    Our daughter was born pretty much EXACTLY a month after sweet Olive. Her name is Saege. (Nov.7 is her birthday) SHE TOO was also a c-section birth because of a full placenta previa…which I had known about a month prior to her arrival…blah blah blah.

    There are a ton more of these serendipitous similarities…..with our fams! so other than the fact that your blog is BANG ON….the similarities are going to keep me coming back, following your gem of a family…and reading on!

    Thank you 🙂

    Rosie.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine November 19, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      What a gorgeous name! Is it pronounced “Sage”? So strange that we have such similar stories, too!

      Thanks so much for the kind words, and for reading. 🙂

      • Reply Rosie November 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        Thank you SO much, we love her name too (obviously!!) ha. –It is pronounced ‘Sage’—but we felt as though spelling it S-a-g-e seemed masculine…and also a bit too plain…and for a baby with 2 moms. nothing will ever be plain…

        You’re very welcome—I absolutely adore this blog.

        Rosie

  • Reply Katy Saunders November 19, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Loving ur blog ! I nurse my baby girl to sleep and now i don’t feel so bad about enjoying it 🙂 xxx

    • Reply sweetmadeleine November 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      Thank you so much, Katy. I’m glad you like it!

  • Reply Lorna December 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Just discovered your blog and loving it! My little Tessa was born on 15 October 2012, so close to your Olive. She is desperately funny and sweet and enchanting. And your post about infant sleep was sent to me at such a good time for my husband and me, so thanks!
    Lorna

    • Reply sweetmadeleine December 3, 2013 at 1:22 AM

      Tessa is a beautiful name, and she sounds just wonderful. Thanks for passing on such sweet words 🙂

  • Reply tuesday ten | little miss black bean March 18, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    […] I always look forward to reading Madeleine‘s posts, and this one is no […]

  • Reply CB April 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Hi, I follow your blog and would love to read your book. Is it available in the UK?

    • Reply sweetmadeleine April 22, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      It sure is! On amazon UK here:

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/s/ref=is_box_?k=all+you+need+is+less

      Or try your local bookstore and see if the can get a copy in for you! Thank you so much, I hope you like it!

      • Reply CB April 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        Brilliant! I will try our local bookshop. Your tales of lovely Olive have really struck a chord with me. My son is almost exactly a year younger so I often refer to your blog archives to find out what I can expect next from parenthood!

  • Reply Hanna September 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Hey Madeleine,
    So I came across your blog basically out of doing some research on Gitelman’s Syndrome, which I also have. I was told by my doctors that it is extremely rare and it affects 1 in 40,000 people in the world. So i am sure we share similar “annoyances” (…to put it kindly) with this syndrome. I have never herd of any one else who has this and am intrigued on how you deal with it, i know i am frusterated with having to take stupid potassium and all the other stuff as you stated in your blog you wished you had a body that just worked normally, i often think the same thing and feel guilty that my body doesnt work right or the medical bills are too high from doctors appointments and yes i often think way too much in my own head it sucks. Oh my name is Hanna and I am 24 and still in college. I am glad to just know i am not alone.
    -Hanna

  • Reply sweetmadeleine September 18, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Hi Hanna! I am so sorry you have Gitelmans, but so glad that you found me! I would love to commiserate about our stupid kidneys, and share some tips I’ve found along the way that make living with it easier. Feel free to email me at MadeleineSix(at)gmail(dot)com
    (Typed out that funny way to foil spammers 🙂

  • Reply Anke November 26, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    Hi Madelaine!
    I stumbled over your blog because of a friend’s facebook post of your thoughts about infant sleep: so good to read your blog entry because I feel/felt and experience(d) a lot of the same – especially people judging, and that is not only my daughter Elinor’s sleep pattern (And she is still not sleeping through the night? You really do nurse her to sleep? Let her cry a bit, you are spoiling her when you always console her…).
    I also “discovered” your blog as a whole and am thoroughly enjoying it. You even got me thinking about some navy blue on one of the walls in our new house.
    Alles Liebe from Germany
    Anke

  • Reply meganlongman November 30, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Hi Madeleine! I like that you startled yourself when your blog got popular and were unashamedly delighted by this (I stumbled across your sleep post first). I like how your writing is real and honest and funny. I like your eco friendly stuff and I like that your first baby girl shares a birthday with my first baby girl. I shall have fun following your blog!

  • Reply AlisonB December 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Found you via your sleep post and have actually stalk/read your blog since I found you whilst researching (googling) “why will my kid not sleep + breastfeeding” I think you’re super funny, love your self deprecating nature, and your large family:) Finally felt comfortable leaving a message AND following you in my email (big for me:) I have a 16 mo old and love having a mommy/lifestyle blog to keep it real…

    • Reply sweetmadeleine December 8, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      Hi Alison! It’s refreshing to see the search terms that brought you here- sometimes they’re not quite so innocuous! I’m so glad you’re here 🙂

      >

  • Reply Penny from Oz February 19, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Wow, quick reply, we must have our time zones aligned! You may see a surge in activity on your blog in the next few days, as a member of Canberra Mums has just posted a link to your infant sleep piece. Great read and entirely agree with the sentiment. I also love commas (often receive writing back minus a few!).

    • Reply sweetmadeleine February 19, 2015 at 4:54 PM

      I was wondering where all you Aussies were coming from! Hello! And welcome!

  • Reply Krista Jane March 26, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    I love love love the way you write so authentically. XX

  • Reply Shana Matthews March 30, 2015 at 3:18 AM

    I have read your book, front to back, and busted out in riotous laughter at your stories. I truly enjoy your sense of humor and authentic writing style. Now I have started following your blog- and want to offer you encouragement as you move forward as a single parent. You will continue to do great, because you are great…that is plain to see in your posts and in your book.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 30, 2015 at 3:04 PM

      It makes me feel so great hearing things like this – thank you, Shana! And thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate them 🙂

  • Reply Kathy Collier May 5, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Hello Madeleine,
    I recently discovered you through a quote of yours (and I’ve since learned is also the title of your book) that was posted on the Tiny House Newsletter….”All you need is less.” That led me to your site, so here I am. I haven’t read too many of your posts yet, but what I have read, I’ve been entertained, informed and very appreciative of your willingness to be what seems to be “real”.
    Just a few minutes ago, I typed your quote, printed it out and have it right in front of my face as I am typing this. Then I thought, that would be a great bumper sticker. Now, I’m not a bumper sticker kind of girl, but I’d damn sure have that one on my car. It very simply and effectively is a little thump right between the eyes…like a big “duh”. It’s just so true. At least for me and where I am in my life.
    So, should you have bumper stickers with that quote, I’d happily purchase one. I have visions of someone sitting behind me, frustrated with the weight of “things” they deal with every day and imagine that they too will feel that “thump”, something will shift for them and they’ll live lighter.

    One little line, so much truth. Thank you for that.
    Kathy

    • Reply sweetmadeleine May 14, 2015 at 8:31 AM

      Hi Kathy! I’m so glad you found me 🙂 I don’t have any bumper stickers, unfortunately! I think it’s great that you printed it out – I find those visual reminders so helpful 🙂
      xoxo and thank you so much for taking the time to come and leave such kind words.

  • Reply Veronica P. January 5, 2016 at 6:42 AM

    Hi Madelaine. I just started listening to your book on Audible and was wondering if you have a link with the recipes you reference in your book. Hard to write things down while driving. Thanks!

  • Reply Molly Patterson January 29, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    Madeline. I just finished your book and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. You are so funny and down to earth – I’m really inspired to live greener. I hope you write another book, you know, in all your free time 🙂

    • Reply sweetmadeleine January 30, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      Hi, Molly!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and leave such a sweet comment. I’m so glad you liked the book, and I hope to write another one, too! Crossing my fingers 😉

  • Reply psychologyleiden March 9, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Hi Madeleine,
    I just read a couple of articles on The Guardian written by you and I wanted to ask you, because I liked your approach to things and your tips, if you have any advice about home made shampoos. I’m all for making our own products when that is possible and being eco friendly 🙂
    Thank you for your time.
    All the best,
    Lea

  • Reply Greg Labbe April 12, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    I read the UK’s Guardian from Toronto every day and I was so pleased to discover that you’re a fellow Canuck! Nice blog, thanks for sharing.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/12/how-to-grow-your-own-vegetables-herbs-apartment-flat

  • Reply Jennifer June 3, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Just finished your book, which I found inexpensively on Kindle, and had to find your blog. I’ve never laughed so hard I’ve honestly cried, but Olive’s poop story? Priceless.

    Sorry to hear 2014 was a life-altering year for you. I’m a single mom of four (now 17, 16, 13, and almost…and have been a single mom since 2007, it can be tough.)

    I’m in online classes for a BS in Sociology, so I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to reference your comment about gender-equality (pertaining to the fact that not wanting to dress boys in girl colors/clothes really DOES point out a darker undercurrent.) I literally just posted a news article about Storm (baby being raised gender-neutral) before running across the paragraph in your book. Such a fabulous point.

    You definitely have a gift for writing. Keep on keeping on… I look forward to following 🙂

    Jenn

  • Reply Ben Hooke October 10, 2016 at 5:10 AM

    Just read your book ‘all you need is less’: it provides a very good reminder of what is really important in life to all of us green consumers, as well as being a good read. My big question is how to get the message, what I would call real ethical consumerism, to the majority of people much quicker than is happening at the moment; very good of you Madeleine to get the message out that we should try to avoid negative feelings of guilt etc. and for putting it into practice.
    For anyone in the UK, I would strongly recommend the cooperative Ethical Consumer,
    http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/
    I know that it is mainly about which are the most ethical companies to buy(!) things(!) from, but it is very informative (as much or as little info as you want), while also sometimes including advice about what is the most ethical thing to do other than just buying, e.g repairing computers… while also helping other organisations investigate, bring about awareness of and prevent social and environmental harm. There website is also incredibly well designed such that with one click you can see the most ethical companies for particular products, communicate your reasons for buying, or not buying from, companies, again with just a couple of clicks. A pity more countries don’t have a similar organisation to promote ethical consumerism, or people are not aware of them, while also hopefully making one think whether it wouldn’t be better to buy it second hand, find it, repair it, make it yourself or just use one’s time more fruitfully as your book so well explains.
    I will lend the book, ‘all you need is less’, to my sister, & hopefully keep passing it on.
    Ben
    PS Sure you will appreciate this, if you haven’t already seen it: The High price of Materialism; Center for a New American Dream.

  • Leave a Reply