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Have you ever wanted to learn the art of Bonsai?

I never really took much interest in the art form till I saw the cutest little Bonsai Maple tree last summer at our county fair. It was in one of the booths (all dedicated to Bonsai trees!) and if my memory serves me right it was 20 or 25 years old. I wanted this beauty so bad, but had already set aside money for a trip I was going on.

The next day I started googling bonsai trees and came across the most fascinating website of Michael Hagedorn: - who has written two books about Bonsai and also has a Bonsai podcast, this guy is hardcore. I love it.

He lives in Oregon and teaches classes incase you were wondering. Something that has been added to my future wishlist of activities I would love to do with my husband and our son, when he's older of course.

But what caught my attention on Michael's website was this Mountain Hemlock Bonsai!

Enchanting and magical are words that come to my mind when I look at this pic. When I clicked on the image I wasn't expecting what I saw. I thought it was maybe 2 feet tall...


So you get some sort of the same reveal as I did, i'm going share Michaels two books first and below those will be more picks of this amazing Bonzai.

I never thought i'd be interested in reading books about Bonsai but these two actually sound pretty entertaining! If they are anything like his website commentary then i'm sure they'd be a hit.

Okay, back to the Mountain Hemlock!!

I still can't get over this size of this conifer! Imagine having something like this in your home just casually resting in your living room or if you're fortunate to have a room just for books... sitting on a beautiful round table with books encircling it. I would never want to leave.

A couple years ago I made this illustration in gouache to match the quote by Thomas Edison. I had been inspired by Ruth Goodman's British historical reality tv shows. The self-taught domestic historian takes you back to Victorian Farm, Edwardian & Wartime farm periods for example, to show viewers what it was really like living under such harsh conditions.

Goodman's extensive knowledge on textiles, fashion, food preparation, recipes, laundry, baking, decorating just to name a few are mind blowing. This woman has a zest for life and learning and it seeps out from the screen into your heart. That is, if you appreciate historical accuracy given to you by someone who is the antithesis of Hollywood. Ruth Goodman is a quite beauty and one of the most underrated female influencers of the 21st century! There, I said it! HA.

But aside from learning so much from Ruth when it comes to historical facts, one of the main reasons why I love watching her is because she is always wearing a smile or at the very least an attitude of content and a deep willingness to learn something new.

Whether she is scrubbing floors, spending an entire day trying to cook a meal, making rush mats to sleep on, learning to spin yarn, or learning how to make homemade ale...she is always all in. It is inspiring to watch! Granted, it is a reality show and I understand I probably sound like i'm glorifying her... but there are some people who seem like the real deal, and my money is on Goodman.

If you haven't already watched one of her shows, I highly recommend them. However, be warned....if you're someone who loves watching shows like The Bachelor, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and all The Real Housewives, then chances are you'll be bored.

The only drama you'll find is with Ruth's two costars and whether or not they are able to get the fields plowed in time before a thunderstorm rolls in.

Last fall I visited New York City for a few days with a friend and even though it's been 15 years since I moved from NYC to Salt Lake City, Utah and have been back to visit at least 1-2 times a year, I had actually not been back since 2019.

Whenever I visit the city it always feels like i'm going home. I believe this is because I moved there right before turning 19, all on my own, not knowing anyone and I lived there for 9 years (from 2000 -2009) supporting myself ( I was a nanny for 8 years) without any financial help from my parents AND I put myself through college. I was a full time student at Parsons School of Design, while working and living in NYC in my 20's and ohh how I wish it rivaled Felicity's NYC life (remember that show?! but it didn't. However, some of my best memories and experiences that shaped who i've become all happened while living there and any chance I get to go back I will jump up...especially because a small part of me feels like i'm being transported back to my twenty something self when i'm there... I love that feeling.

NYC is full of so much wonder where ever you go. There are always new shops and restaurants popping up monthly. If you love treasure hunting for old or new items or just gathering inspiration... you will never be disappointed.

One of the shops we visited was new to me: Big Night in the West Village. Have you been? It's all things dinner & party essentials that will make your dinner party with family or friends sparkle.

I knew I would love this shop from the moment I saw the bright red doors! I think you will too!

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