Your Host

Your host, Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz), is a Northern California writer, soap crafter, jam maker, scout leader, dancer, hiker, reader, gardener, retro enthusiast, community activist, Slow proponent, cheese hound, wife and mom. She is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which was named a 2012 Top 10 Parenting Trend in TIME magazine. Suz’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Motherlode blog, the Christian Science Monitor‘s Modern Parenthood blog, the National Wildlife Federation‘s Be Out There blog, CLIF Bar‘s Come out to Play blog, and numerous other outlets. For four years, she served as the Social Media Director for the Children & Nature Network, which encourages and supports people and organizations working around the world to reconnect children with nature. More recently, Suz has consulted with National Park Trust, working to promote their annual Kids to Parks Day.

Suz’s column, Bay Area Moms, ran on and other web sites for five years, helping families find fun activities in nature and at home. She is often at work numerous other projects, which have taken over most of the flat surfaces in her home. Because Suz adores history, her projects and recipes tend to be served with a dollop of lore.

Please take a moment, have a seat on the porch, gather some ideas, and add your thoughts to the mix!

Please visit the Fed Up with Frenzy Book page for more information about Suz’s book and the Slow Parenting Talks page for more information about having Suz speak to your group.



Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman & Michael Lipman

32 responses to “Your Host

  1. What a cool web site…. Yes I agree with how you felt in high school. Gosh in some ways we have come a long way with some tv but reality tv
    yikes :-)
    As far as cheese i am so in love with goats cheese and when I was In Arcata CA i went to visit where they make Humbolt Fog and others
    yummmy… and I also love the Spanish Basque shepards cheese they have at Trader Joes.
    I sure would love to have a wine and cheese party with you Suz!!!!

  2. Thanks, Cyndi! It’s great to see you here. I share your love of honest TV (vs. “reality” TV) and also of Humboldt fog and other CA goat cheeses. Yes to that wine and cheese party. I’d love to have one right now.

  3. Hi Suz,

    It’s Jessica from the MV Chamber. I love your blog! I had no idea we were so like-minded about nature, the environment, using one’s feet for pleasure (and, I think the now political statement of simply being outside)! We are both on the breakdown committee (you’ll find out more soon) at the MV Wine & Gourmet. Please be sure to say hi.


  4. Hi Jessica! Great to see you here. And wonderful to know you are another kindred spirit. I’m looking forward to spending time with you Sunday.

  5. Hi Suz,
    Is this your house? It is so gorgeous! Do you really live in a forest on the edge of this beautiful meadow? If so, believe me, you shouldn’t envy my garden.

  6. I saw a lake here too. Do you live on the edge of a lake? It gets better every minute!

  7. Hi Aura. We do live in a forested area with bays, redwoods and oaks, though not the one in these pictures. (These lovely pictures were taken in Lake Tahoe and on an island in Maine. The sunset is in Vancouver.) I’ve been posting about the deer on our property — they are very plentiful this year — and you can see some of our little forest in those pictures.

    I do live in an area where we can easily get to mountain trails, a beach, a city, or any number of little towns, so I feel extremely fortunate.

    Your garden is pretty astounding!

  8. The photos above just made.. me… sigh.

  9. Wonderful work, Suz. Thank you for putting something out there that encourages us to come back down to earth! I am sure it’s a labor of love but it’s well-appreciated. xoxo

  10. Hi Susan! Thank you so much for coming by, and for your lovely comments. I love your writing and photography on your ReadingWritingLiving blog. You’ve been busy! I hope you’ll keep us posted from time to time on your art and life — and about your girl and her first apartment. (!!)

  11. Jenny! It’s so great to see you. I’m honored that you stopped by and know we share a lot of thoughts about quieting down, making things, and being with beauty and with one’s thoughts. When I was at your house in New Hampshire, all I could do was envision sitting at the kitchen table doing crafts during a quieter winter than we tend to get in California. (I know you may have gotten your fill of kitchen-table crafting over some long winters ..)

    Are you still making your beautiful jewelry? I always love to wear the piece I bought from you and get many compliments on it. I hope you’re well. Thanks again for the nice note.

  12. So happy I discovered your site. I love your beautiful house – must be a great view from the porch! I’ll be back frequently! Cheers, Sandy

  13. Hi Sandy! Welcome. I’m so glad you came by. I love your blog. The photos are beautiful and wonderfully laid out, and the recipes all sound so good. I want to make everything!

    I do have a great view from both porch and deck, into northern California’s giant redwoods. We just built my daughter a treehouse in one of them and I’m going to be posting some pictures.

    The photos on this page were taken on an island in Maine and in Lake Tahoe, CA; I have inspiring, expansive woods views instead of these lovely, peaceful water views. We’re home to families of frolicking deer, and a pair of Northern Spotted Owls, both of which I posted about.

    I hope you’ll visit often. Likewise I look forward to checking in with to see what you’re up to!

  14. Hi Suz,

    I have read your stuff in other places and had not yet discovered your website! I’m so glad we found each other on Twitter!

    Your website is so full of great info and I just love your photos. Awesome job. I look forward to many more “slow” visits here.


  15. Hi Theresa! It’s so great to see you here. I’m also glad to have discovered you and your Living Homegrown Fresh blog. It’s so full of wonderful information about and love of canning and gardening. I subscribed and also added you to my blogroll. I look forward to many more inspiring visits, especially as we get into serious growing and preserving season.

  16. I seen your last article had link to a blog. Pretty impressive homework posted here. I’ll have to save this spot or “Notify”.

    I think you’ll enjoy my latest article ” “Yellowbottom & Kids Play”

  17. I have been enjoying your articles, Dave! Thank you. I especially like your recent Earth Day reflections and all the great ideas you have for things to do outside in OR! Terrific.

  18. Hi Suz,

    What a wonderful website! I love your mantra about trading frenzy for fun. Spending time together and slowing down.

    I look forward to reading more from you.


  19. Hi Amy! Welcome. I love your blog and am glad to be introduced to it. I found every one of your posts inspiring, refreshing and practical. I added you to my blogroll, and basically followed you all over the ‘net. (Facebook, Twitter ..) I look forward to lots more correspondence and sharing ideas. I’m really glad you stopped in and said hi!

  20. Hi Suz, I love this site. There is so much here that I instinctively agree with and I used to have time to do! This is the irony — as my kids have gotten older, living a slow family life is so much more difficult. We don’t want frenzy, yet we do want our sons to pursue their passions. They are athletes, musicians, and fabulous students. Consequently, they have concerts, competitions and homework.

    I am sure there are other parents who feel as I do that dinnertime and Sundays, at a minimum, should remain family time. But in our frenzied world those that make the schedules often can find no other time available but dinnertime and Sundays. We try to buck the trend, but it is hard to say “no” all the time.

    We are skiers and one of the great benefits of skiing together is that when we travel to ski, the boys are in the car with us, talking, sharing and sometimes just daydreaming out the window. Friends ask us how we can spend so much time skiing — but really it is time together that no one else interrupts. Sure we meet friends and family on the slope, but there is no electronic interference, so conflicting schedules, no demands we feel we must respond to NOW.

    Your blog has given me new inspiration. Just the little I’ve read so far, and I’m ready to recommit to being a slow family again….at least until I have to drive the lacrosse carpool after school.

    Thank you for doing this.

    • Hi Kristen! I’m so glad we connected here and on the Children & Nature Network forum. You and your family are quite an inspiration, in the way you spend so much active, outdoor time, having adventures and doing things you love together. My family’s experience echoes yours, in that we were quite the slow trend-buckers for years, and then Anna got really busy in high school with sports and activities that she loves. We still do find time for meals (including breakfast) and conversations at different times (like the carpool, after the others have been dropped off :) ) We also enjoy family game nights, bike rides and walks when we can, even if they’re short.

      I’m really happy that we laid the groundwork of being slow when Anna was younger. Our bonds are quite strong, even though we are running in more directions and have less family meals together than we used to. That seems the natural course of things to me, as kids get older and explore other activities and friends to learn about themselves. It wouldn’t have seemed natural when Anna was younger to be this busy. I think smaller children need calm and stability. It’s different when they’re older and can regulate their own schedules a bit. I’m sure some older kids thrive with more calm and quiet, as well.

      It’s key, as you say, to continue to spend fun time together, being in the moment, and as many meals/gatherings as you can. I think that’s the best you can do! Thanks again for writing. Let’s stay in touch.

  21. HI Suz,
    After seeing your recent posts on FB I became more intrigued and finally checked your site/blog here-So many goodies! Especially interested in the bee project as I used to keep a hive until the flight path just got too freaky through the yard-Anyway, my parents , down on Sycamore have a a big hive of wild bees under their backyard shack and on warm days everything vibrates with beebuzz.
    One more thing-don’t know if you’ve posted this, or what you are growing, but on Saturday mornings at various places in Marin, you can bring excess harvest and trade with other households. Veggie-swap!
    Bee well-J

  22. Hi Julia! I have been enjoying the veggie swap. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and talk about gardens and all else, in addition to sharing and coming home with harvest and seed goodies. I’m so glad to know about your interest in and your family’s history with bees, as well as get a little local “over the fence” feeling from your comment. Thanks so much for saying hi!

  23. Pingback: FAW News « Fremont Area Writers

  24. Hi Suz,

    Saw your great blog and hoped you might be able to help me since I am a beginner at blogs/marketing/social media.

    I just happened to write a children’s book… never meant to be an author. I got a rescue dog who sleeps all the time and my niece had a baby who never sleeps. Wrote The Snicky Guide To Falling Asleep, read it at my friend’s daycare center and THE PRESCHOOLERS LOVED IT!

    Would you like to take a look at it? If so, I will send you a free promo coupon for the iBookstore and you can view it on your iPad. Or you can see a preview at


    Pam Will

  25. suz, have a request: July of 2103 we traveled from Arcata to Orick or just north of there. A roadside shop on the way features all items make of wood. he also has a wood shop and offers classes. it was an older house converted to this retail shop.
    I bought a bird for the yard with rotating wings. It is wonderful and I love it, but the wings fell apart with the weather. i was wondering if this retailer seems familiar to you and can you help me with the name or number.
    I have failed to find and found your site, can you help/

    • Hi Karen, I don’t recall that specific shop. If I do, I’ll let you know. What a great trip! I hope you enjoyed that part of the world.

    • Hi Karen,
      I just noticed your post here and I thought of Paul Reck on Evergreen – not sure the house number… maybe 121? Next door to 119 anyway. He makes yard things with parts that move out of wood. He works in his garage most of the day. Why not stop by and say hello to him and ask if he can repair your bird. I bet he’d be happy to oblige.

  26. Hi Suz,

    I’m from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and I was wondering if you could post something about our St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk. on November 22nd.

    St. Jude supporters in the San Francisco community and in more than 65 cities nationwide will participate in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In a single day we will come together to help St. Jude change the way the world treats childhood cancer. People can register at


    Melody Au

  27. Suz, I love your mission: To get kids off their screens and out into the forests, oceans and back yards. I’ve had the pleasure to work with you now a few times. Not only is your book, Fed Up with Frenzy, chocked full of great ideas parents/grandparents can use immediately, you are a terrific speaker.

    People, consider Suz seriously to keynote your next event. I like that your insights are evidence-based and built on years as an executive at Children & Nature Network and an associate with the Center for Childhood Creativity. Heck, the NY Times, Time and Christian Science Monitor quotes you, which is good enough for me. I think your blog is so popular –not just for your many actionable ideas, but also because your caring authenticity shines through.

  28. My name is Sarah and I work for a non-profit website that provides free resources to the parents of children with learning and attention issues called, Understood. I was hoping to talk to you about an event we are co-sponsoring with PEN called, EdRev.

    We would like to offer 10 free tickets to your followers. Please take a look at the details below and let me know if you are interested.

    On Saturday, April 16th 2016 families from across the bay area will convene at AT&T Park for the annual EdRev event.

    EdRev (Education Revolution) is a unique day of information, resources, celebration and community for students who learn differently and the families and professionals who support them.

    Attend and experience information from renowned speakers, a diverse range of resources and a community of likeminded parents educators and teachers.

    Check out the site to learn more about EdRev: We will be giving out 10 free tickets for each organization. Please let me know if you are interested in this!

    Thank you!


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