Amber Strocel

I am a writer, dreamer, green mom, maker of things and shoddy housekeeper. I live in the Vancouver area with my husband Jon, the kids and our incorrigible cat Dorothy.

I’m looking for personal balance. I sing loudly in the shower. I knit and sew and work in my garden. I dance with my kids in the kitchen. I eat local when I can. And I sneak chocolate when no one’s looking.

Let Go of That Breastfeeding Guilt and Get Angry!

I recently attended a breastfeeding education day featuring Dr. Katherine Dettwyler. She’s an anthropology professor, lecturer, author and breastfeeding advocate. She discussed a variety of fascinating topics, including breastfeeding and the media, her research on what the natural age of weaning would be in modern humans if we set aside our cultural beliefs, caring for children and why babies cry. The topic that really caught my eye, however, was addressing guilt around breastfeeding (or, more specifically, not breastfeeding)....more
Ohhhhh that stuff would've made me angry, too! I had a healthy 36-weeker who had a few initial ...more

How Green is Your iPad Mini?

I got a new iPad Mini as a Christmas gift, and I just can't seem to shut up about it. Clearly, I am totally taken with this technology. Thanks to my tablet I'm reading more. I'm catching up on blogs and checking out magazine articles and finishing actual books. I feel like I'm a hungry person, and I've just finished a restrictive diet. I'm re-immersing myself in words. It's wonderful, particularly as someone who writes for a living. ...more
@Virginia DeBolt I have seen the story of stuff, and I am appalled.   At the same time, there is ...more

Why Maternity Leave is Important

This post, in slightly different form, originally appeared at Strocel.com on January 12. Here in Canada, we are fortunate to have generous government-sponsored maternity benefits.  Canadian mothers are eligible for 15 weeks of maternity pay and 35 weeks of parental leave.  The parental leave may be shared, in whole or part, with your co-parent.  While the pay is fairly low, on the whole our system offers new families a great start together. ...more

Washing my Face With Honey

I have always had sensitive skin.  I am very pale, and so my face tends towards blotchy and irritable.  Even as an adult I get frequent breakouts. I've tried various products, some were better than others, but none was what I would call great. ...more

Going TV Free

One Wednesday afternoon in mid-November my 3-year-old daughter was watching a DVD and I was working on dinner.   She told me that the TV was broken, and I assumed the DVD was acting up.  Wrong.  The TV was toast.  As in, it wouldn't turn on anymore.  As in, it was suddenly nothing but an impractically large paper weight taking up a whole corner of the living room. ...more

The Final Phase of Toilet Training

I think most parents have an unhealthy interest in their child's bathroom habits.  I can't count the number of times someone's eyes have glazed over as I talked about potty issues.  And yet I persist in talking about it. Why? Because, you know, it's sort of a big deal in my life.  Also, as a mom to two young children it's not like I've seen any good movies lately.  I'm sort of out of better topics. <!--break--> ...more

Canadian mommy and family blogger

I've been blogging for 5 years, and I've finally found BlogHer.  What can I say - sometimes I'm slow on the uptake!  I'm glad to be here, and I look forward to learning the ropes. :-) ~Amber www.strocel.com ...more

Hi TexasRose,

Thanks for the welcome.  I can relate to the difficulties finding a ...more