Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time Flying By

Have you ever found yourself looking at life and just wondering? Wondering where 39, 45, 67 or 78 years have gone (depending on your current age). Does it feel like time is slipping through your fingers like sand from the beach?

I had a day like that today. I found myself looking at life, thus far, marvelling at my three amazing children, my marriage, my aging parents and the world around me. I think all of this started to hit me last night as my hubby and I were driving home. We had popped out to have a quick dinner; just the two of us. On our way home, we sat quietly in the car, listening to our local radio station. During one of the ad breaks there was a mention of something medical, requesting those 50 and over to make sure they got themselves checked out.

After the ad was finished, I turned my head to look at my (very) handsome 41-year-old husband and said, "Hmmm, isn't that funny, it feels like it was only yesterday when I wouldn't have even had a second listen to an ad like that. Today, I've just realised that you are only 9 years away from that time and those tests, and I only 11 years. Where does time go and how does it slip through our fingers?"

Tonight, I sat listening to my eldest daughter rehearse her oral presentation for class tomorrow. I found myself astounded by her vocabulary, her poise and her confidence. It was in that moment that I realised where the time had gone. The time hasn't been like the sand from the beach and slipped through my fingers at all. I have lost nothing, rather I have gained the world because that time has been spent and deposited well within my children.

Yes, there are new lines on my face and grey can be found hidden and at times peeking out; indeed my numbers are increasing. However I ask myself, "Is time flying by?" My response, "Absolutely, it's going at rocket speed. However, today I am thankful that my moments, hours, weeks, months and years are being used well by three amazing lives, who in this moment depend on me being the best me I can be."

Susan J Sohn

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Teaching Our Children

Children never cease to amaze me. Whether it be with their words, actions or tender hearts. They truly have a way of touching the inner-most parts of our being.

Last night, as I was putting my son to bed, we began talking about school and focusing on the week ahead. We talked about the importance of listening to his teacher and what good work looks like. I expressed my concern at his rushing through his work and making careless mistakes, all in an effort to finish as quickly as possible. As we talked, he began to tell me he was making mistakes because he couldn't remember what she was saying. He said that maybe, just maybe, he was a little like Dory in Finding Nemo. Tears filled his little eyes as he was telling me this and I could see and hear that something was bothering him.

I gracefully turned the conversation to dinosaurs and asked him what the name of the one with the long neck was. He answered and began to explain all the extraordinary things about this particular dinosaur. I then asked about the ones with the fin-like things on their backs. He paused, scratched his chin and responded with excitement. He again filled me in on all the important details. I asked him which dinosaur flies and he quickly told me. With all that information, I lay on his bed, his head cradled comfortably in my arm, and began to tell him how wise he was and how amazed I was at how much was stored in his mind.

I turned to sharks, knowing this was another keen interest of his. I asked about the hammerhead, the nurse and of course the great white. He was full of details including weight, length, eating habits, rituals, etc. He knew everything there was to know about sharks. Again, I lay marvelling at the mind of a young boy and the level of excitement as he shared his knowledge.

We lay quietly for a while and eventually he turned his little head in my direction and said, "I know what you've just done mum. You've showed me that I can remember, that I'm not like Dory, that if I get as interested in what my teacher is telling me as I am about dinosaurs and sharks, I'll get all the answers right." To this I simply responded with a hug and whispered gently in his ear, "My darling son, you are a wise, wise boy and you know so many things. I can't wait to see what you will do this week and how you will learn and remember. I think you're an amazing person and I love you."

As parents we need to LISTEN to our children and by that I mean truly listen. We need to take time to slow down, stop the noise and allow our children to be vulnerable with us. In these moments we need to allow creativity, kindness and gentleness to ooze out of us. Creativity because we need to discover ways to communicate so that they will understand. Kindness and gentleness because they are essential ingredients to great parenting.

Susan J Sohn xo

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Well friends today we did it. We interviewed an amazing guest on our show. Dr. Henry Hess, author of The Perfect Menopause - 7 Steps to the Best Time of our Lives. It was a great show and I STONGLY encourage you, whether you are peri menopausal, in the thick of it or just feeling slightly 'different' and can't put your finger on it.....listen to the show and get his book! 

One of my first questions was, "How can this be the Best Time of our Lives?' To hear his response listen ON DEMAND to Coffee with Susan and Friends on BLOGTALKRADIO. We had amazing callers, great conversation and more and it was all stuff we need to know.

Dr. Hess has confirmed a date for a follow on conversation where we will delve even further in to this conversation. I am so looking forward to that show and chatting with him again. May 28, 2009 9:30-10:30am is a date and time you WILL want to mark in your calendar.

Message me back after you've listened to the show. I can't wait to read your responses.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Wind in My Hair

Yesterday afternoon I found myself with time on my own (a rare thing for a mum of three). I had no one calling my name, no books to be found, no keys to look for, no drink to get, no bum to wipe....... it was bliss!

My thoughts were drawn to curling up on the couch with a good book and a warm cup of Earl Grey, or continuing my work on thefamilyroom and my social media endeavors. Neither really captivated my thoughts on how to spend this precious time. Lurking in the back of my mind, however was the continual reminder of my determination to keep my body strong. As pondered this I decided to capture the moment and spend it on my physical self.

Before the motivation drifted I quickly changed into my exercise gear, laced up my shoes and headed for the garage. I pulled my bike out of the stand, jumped on and was on my way. I quickly realised one thing..... I had forgotten my helmet and in this day and age we are all required or it is strongly suggested that we wear a helmet ~ something that I find a little frustrating, especially on a good hair day! However in saying that, in an effort to teach my children I put the sucker on every ride.

Keep in mind, for this ride I was ALL ALONE. So friends, I threw caution to the wind and away I went without a helmet!!! I rode and rode and rode. Wind in my hair, twisting, turning and rolling along. I felt like a child again. I could even be seen riding with no hands and in my head I was calling out, 'LOOK MUM, NO HANDS!'

My ride was so much fun and I had a smile from ear to ear. My bum was aching from the seat, my legs were burning and I could feel sweat dripping down my back. I had truly exerted myself physically and that combined with the wind through my hair I was fully and completely satisfied.

I returned home to a big glass of water, changed back into my jeans, grabbed an apple from the fridge and headed off to pick my children up from school.

A good decision indeed. I encourage everyone, everywhere to dust off your wheels and go for a ride. There truly is nothing like the wind in your hair and the sun on your face.

Susan J Sohn

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Story of Stuff

In preparation for tomorrow's radio show 'Tightwad Tuesday' I want to encourage you to watch a short film clip that I was recently introduced to.

I love things that make me think and things that challenge me to not just accept the status quo. This short film does exactly that. The film is about STUFF, STUFF, STUFF. We all have it, we all deal with it and we all get bothered by it. 

One of my favorite parts of this film is the explanation of 'planned and perceived obsolescence'. If one thing drives me nuts it's when your washing machine, computer or even your car konks out 2 days after the warranty runs out..... this situation then forces us to purchase yet another machine to replace the one that could have, should have just been simply repaired. Oh the pain of STUFF!

Another point she makes is that happiness (in the US) was at an all time high in the 50's. Sadly now we have more stuff but less time and we are less happy in almost every area of life! I think we all know there is truth in that and as far as the 50's go, talk to your parents or your grandparents and they will tell you what life was like.

We live in such a 'disposable' world and it's not nice. Not only do we freely dispose of our STUFF but this trend (if you can call it that) seems to have filtered through to our relationships ~ families are breaking down, friendships are tossed to the side and the list goes on.

Like me, many of you (at some time or another) have probably complained about the STUFF your parents have tucked away in their homes, garages and sheds. I'm beginning to think our criticism should be directed back at ourselves and perhaps we should begin to learn from some of their frugality and resourcefulness in an effort to save our world.

We have a responsibility to our children and our children's children and to ourselves to keep our world and planet safe in all respects. This cycle and what is represented in this film is just one part of the equation, there are so many other angles we need to address as well.

Enjoy the short film and ask yourself ~ What can I do today that will make a difference? Every effort counts. Remember, it takes many drops to fill an ocean. Please join us tomorrow morning 9:30am mst for 'Tightwad Tuesday'. We want to hear your clever ideas on being resourceful, how to save, stretch and walk through this stage of the economic story.

Susan J Sohn

PS - don't forget to enter our familyroom COMPETITION - Soul Food. We want your family favorite recipe. We are daring to make a difference and endeavouring to gather people across the globe to their dining tables. Together we CAN make a difference in this world.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Words to Live By

I was inspired to post the lyrics from the song 'If I Can Help Somebody' by Composer Alma Bazel Androzzo. Having been challenged by Susan Boyle's performance on Britian's Got Talent I thought these words should be shared and they are words that we should all live by:

If I Can Help Somebody
If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody he is traveling wrong then my living shall not be in vain.

If I can do my duty as a good man ought, if I can bring back beauty to a world up wrought, if I can spread loves message that the master taught, then my living shall not be in vain.
Alma Bazel Androzzo

I hope these words inspire you to live different and cause you to be the biggest CHEERLEADER in your family and amongst your friends. Go for it and together let's make the world a better place.

Susan J Sohn

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go Susan Boyle

I encourage all of you to watch this video. I LOVE people and I LOVE the stories of life. Susan Boyle, a 47 year old British woman, truly awed the audience and the judges of this competition.

What a voice, what a woman and what courage. She fulfilled a dream to sing in front of many and to become a 'professional singer'. I love what the female judge said, "Everybody was against you. I honestly think we were all being very cynical and I think it's the BIGGEST wake up call ever. It was a complete priviledge to listen to you."

Friends, let's begin to cheer one another on, rather than poking fun, laughing and putting people in boxes. Let's be people who encourage one another to be the best we can be. Imagine if this voice was kept in the secret for another 47 years!!!!

What are you dreaming about? What are you hoping for? Allow a little of Susan Boyle's strength and courage to challenge you to dare to believe for the unbelievable. LIVE THE DREAM friends!

Susan J Sohn xoxo

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

COMPETITION TIME - Soul Food of Your Home

Okay friends welcome to our first EVER familyroom COMPETITION. We always talk about getting family and friends around the table, so today we want to hear from YOU! We want you to submit (to us) your favorite recipes. We want those that have been passed down through the generations, the ones that your family and friends crave, the soul food of your home.

Our hope is that we will gather recipes from around the globe. We want to share them and see families together around the dining table. Once submitted we will publish all the recipes and pick a competition winner. The WINNER will receive a special familyroom gift (these gifts are truly amazing and you WILL want to win) plus we will interview you and feature your story (because everyone has an amazing story) on our blog!!!!!

So friends start typing and sending or cutting and pasting and give us your family favorite. Together we will help thousands around the planet come to the table.

Email you submissions to We can't wait to start receiving your entries. This is exciting!

Susan & friends xo

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Human trafficking - a tragedy of our times

Ask anyone for their opinion on the slave trade and most will tell you that it was abolished nearly 200 years ago. That, thanks to the heroic efforts of campaigners like William Wilberforce, today’s society lives free of this evil scourge and people are largely masters of their own destinies.

It might surprise you, therefore, to learn that across the world today more than 27 million people are living in slavery, and human trafficking, or people smuggling, has become one of the most profitable forms of organised crime, up there with arms and drugs dealing.

And I know you're now thinking I must be talking about impoverished
people groups and war-torn or under-developed nations. Well, those sectors of society are certainly extremely vulnerable, but the truth is that, according to the United Nations, every single country on the planet is affected in some way by human trafficking.

Some nations are targeted as a source for slaves, some are destinations, others serve as a crossroads, which victims transit through. Some countries figure in all three roles.

The networks controlling this modern-day slavery are vast and menacing. They operate in the shadows and every year they smuggle hundreds of thousands of victims across international borders and into a life of cruelty and bondage.

Forget those old images of shackles and chains, modern-day slavery takes many forms. It includes women and children being kidnapped and forced into prostitution, it encompasses forced labour in sweatshops and factories, it involves the tragedy of child soldiers made to fight an adult war and it extends to domestic helpers living in the unpaid service of ruthless and violent households. It may shock you to know that Europe and North America are major trafficking destinations.

Such is the reach of this crime, that the United Nations this year produced a global report examining every country's efforts in tackling it. Some are doing better than others. Many have developed special government and police task forces to focus on the problem and have welcomed the help of charities and independent organisations in rescuing and supporting victims.

Others treat the victims as criminals, labelling them illegal immigrants and charging them with crimes like prostitution. Often, the public imagine these victims have chosen their own path in life, we enjoy such freedom that it’s hard for us to believe and accept that slavery exists. But would a 10 or 12-year-old girl really choose a life in the sex trade? Would a mother really cut off ties with her family to toil in a sweatshop earning a pittance – wages which are often taken straight back by her employer as payment towards some imaginary debt?

But there is some good news in all this. The United Nations considers that
raising public awareness about human trafficking is its number one weapon in fighting this escalating crime. And that's why we're telling you about it today.

Don’t be fooled, this does happen in our own backyards, but by increasing our knowledge about it, we can be the key which sets these prisoners free.

The information we've shared here today only scratches the surface. If you want to know more, there are stacks of websites you can visit. Some of the leading ones are:

The scale of this problem can feel overwhelming, but don’t be discouraged. If our heightened awareness ultimately keeps just one vulnerable person safe, it will have been worth it.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Hop, Hop, Hop

Just a quick update on Easter Monday to say.......we're off! We're having a break today and will be back tomorrow with something new and exciting.

I hope you have all had an amazing weekend. Like me, I'm sure many of you will need to 'Detox' after the crazy amounts of chocolate we've all enjoyed.

Take care and we'll see ya tomoz!

Susan and friends xo

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Easter feast

Growing up in England, Easter always heralded the onset of spring with its watery blue skies, crowds of golden daffodils and vibrant green grass emerging from a winter prison of frost and snow.

In celebration of the season, Easter Sunday lunch was always a grand affair. Family and friends gathered for the traditional roast which, without exception, was a mouth-watering leg of lamb accompanied by mint sauce and all the trimmings.

These days, I live in the southern hemisphere, where Easter brings a welcome chill to the air after a sweltering summer, and Sydney’s spectacular blue skies provide a beautiful backdrop to the browns, reds and golds of autumn.

Australian chef Bill Granger’s slow-cooked Greek lamb is a favourite in our family and a perfect celebration dish whatever the season. Its long, slow cooking time fills the house with delightful aromas and the meat is so tender it virtually melts in your mouth.

It does take a very long time to cook, but the end result is worth the wait. We usually leave out the olives and serve the dish with a crisp Greek salad or extra roasted veggies, depending on the weather.


2kg leg of lamb on the bone, trimmed
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Small handful fresh oregano leaves
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon, quartered
3 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large potatoes (such as desiree), peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup large green olives

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the lamb in a large roasting tin and season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the oregano and pour over the lemon juice and wine. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 20 minutes, or until the lamb is browned.

Add 125 ml (½ cup) of water to the roasting tin and cover the tin with foil. Reduce the oven to 160°C and roast the lamb for another 1½ hours. Arrange the potato and lemon quarters around the lamb and return to the oven for another 2 hours, turning the potatoes at least once during this time and basting the lamb with the pan juices. The lamb should be very tender.

Remove the lamb from the tin and set aside to rest before slicing. Increase the oven to 220°C. Add the olives to the tin with the potatoes and return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden. Serve with the lamb, with some pan juices spooned over the top.

Monday, April 06, 2009

How to Pack Smart

Well friends, here I am in the middle of packing (to go and meet the Dell's ... woot, woot!) and I have decided that I need a break and I need to tell you something ~ what a multi-tasker or is that procrastinator? Hmmmmm, think I'll go with multi-tasker considering I'm almost finished. Just need to organise the liquids and make sure anything over 100mls is neatly packed in the checked luggage and everything else has a home.

As I was packing, I was trying to come up with a solution to avoid the inevitable mix-up of clothing (I'm only using one suitcase for the kids and myself, Philip gets his own plus shoes ... I'm sure he'll be happy) and the 'clothes hanging off of everything in the hotel room' look. I think I have come up with a marvelous solution ... PILLOW CASES!

That's right. I grabbed four pillow cases and have neatly folded and placed everyone's clothes in a separate pillow case. This will give everyone not only the ability to keep their 'stuff' together and separate, but also one or two of them will serve as much-needed laundry bags on the way home.

So, as I excitedly prepare for a getaway with some of our nearest and dearest friends, I find myself creating new ideas (or maybe not so new) to be efficient and to keep our family rolling. I can't wait to share the stories and pictures of our adventure together. Seeing these friends will be a good dose of medicine for the soul. I can't wait! 20 hours and counting.

Take care and please remember to jump on and listen to our radio show this week we have GREAT stuff lined up for you. Lastly, don't forget 'to the world you may only be someone, but to someone you may be the world'.

Say hello to your family for me.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Easy Chicken Surprise

As promised I am providing my TWITTER friends with the quick and easy dinner recipe I made last night. I was celebrating because my oven was finally fixed (after 1 month of waiting for a part to arrive........urgh!). Repair man left and I was ready, apron on pan in one hand and chicken in the other.....WHAT NOW? What was I going to make?

I decided to come up with something original or should I say, semi-original. I had seen a picture on the back of a Campbell's Soup can and thought it look tasty so decided to make it my own. I'm not usually one to use processed food at all but today I thought why not ~ give it a go. It turned out really well and something we can all pull together super quick and it's yummo!

Here's what I did:

Easy Chicken Surprise (my made up name)

5 Chicken Breasts
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper 
1 Can Campbell's Mushroom Soup
Stove Top Stuffing
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Zucchini

Brown Chicken in Olive Oil (approx 10 mins)
Remove Chicken and place in small glass baking pan. Scrape bottom of pan and include with chicken.
Make Stove top stuffing as per box instructions. When finished add mushroom soup to stuffing and mix. 
Cover chicken with stuffing mixture.
Slice Zucchini and place slices on top of Chicken and Stuffing covering the entire dish.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Serve with peas, crunchy salad, your favorite dressing and you have a yummy meal!!!!


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Teen Suicide - A Very Real Issue

Hey everyone as you know I've been doing shows focussing on keeping our kids safe! Today we did another show along that very line and talked about Teen Suicide. Katherine Gagne of Junior Achievement and Shine Women's Conference was our guest and shared candidly about a suicide situation that has found it's way into her life. 

As a coach of a junior girls Volleyball team Katherine is now walking her own girls (mother of 3) plus her team members through the sudden loss of one of their own players. Sadly, she was lost to Teen Suicide. I encourage you to listen ON DEMAND to our conversation and continue to keep yourself aware of the danger that is lurking in the lives of our children (

I promised I would post some of the stats and information I shared on the show. This information is limited however it is a starting point for you to do some more investigating on your own.

Teen Suicide Statistics:
  • 24.1% of teens have thought seriously about attempting suicide.
  • 17.1% have made specific plans about suicide.
  • 8.7% of students have attempted suicide.
  • 2.8% have made an attempt that resulted in medical attention.
  • *Suicide claims more lives in North America than homicide*
  • Teen Suicide is the 6th leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 5-14
  • Teen Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 15-24

Fast Facts on Teen Suicide:
  • Teens having the highest risk include perfectionists or overachievers
  • Teens who have been through a life altering event, such as divorce, pregnancy, loss of limbs or sight, or loss of a loved one are also very high risk.
  • Teenagers with a conduct disorder, or who have a mental disorder, such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, or eating disorders have a high risk.
  • Another high risk group are teens who are victims of bullying or domestic abuse.
Warning Signs:
  • Depression
  • Self-mutilation
  • Drug/Alcohol use
  • No sense of humour
  • Changes in social interactions
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits
  • Loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed
  • Drastic weight loss or gain commonly attributed to specific eating disorders
  • Complete or near-complete withdrawal altogether from peers and social contact
  • Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
  • Mood changes (especially if the teenager acts increasingly angry about life in general)
  • Quietness, especially if the teenager used to confide in the parent and suddenly no longer does
Helpful Sites and Resources:
National Alliance on Mentall Illness
Contact your GP and talk

I hope this has been helpful and that we all continue to use our voice and do what we can to keep our kids safe. Please, keep lines of communication open in your homes, make sure your children know they have a soft place to land when times are tough and they feel like there's no tomorrow or 'no light at the end of the tunnel'. 


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thai Green Curry for family and friends

Well friends, for those of you who listened to my radio show this morning ( I promised my simple and very yummy Thai green curry recipe. This recipe is easy, very cost effective and great to serve either as a nice family dinner or for guests.

To jazz up your table, you could light a couple of candles and decorate with green and red chillies, either in decorative bowls or just scattered down the middle of the table. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could buy a few banana leaves from the florist and serve your meal on them rather than plates. Something fun and just a little different.

I have used prawns in this version, however if prawns aren't your thing then substitute with chicken or fish. I have added a number of vegetables to the following recipe as options, but you can keep it simple and serve with just the sauce and rice if that works better for you. I like to use brown rice with this dish ~ it adds that lovely nutty flavour plus gives that great boost of fibre we can all use.

I hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious treat.

Prawns – at least 8-10 per person
1 can baby corn (optional)
½ cup thinly sliced red capsicum (optional)
Handful of green beans (optional – leave the ends on for look)
Green curry paste (you can buy this in the supermarket and it usually has very few additives which is GREAT!)
1 can coconut milk (I use lite)
A dash of fish sauce (if you have it) for taste. If you don't have it, a sprinkle of salt will do

Heat the coconut milk and add the green curry paste. Bring to a rolling boil
Add the baby corn, beans and prawns
Boil gently, the sauce will thicken on its own
Add the red capsicum, serve and enjoy

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