Mexico City: Jacaranda purple haze, Centro Histórico, and native plants

March 27, 2020

A romantic, violet veil brightens Mexico City each spring, when jacaranda trees unfurl a profusion of purple flowers on bare, sinuous trunks lining parkways, park paths, and residential streets.

Jacaranda trees

I caught sight of the purple haze from the airplane as we descended over the smoggy city in early March. At ground level, in placid Alameda Central park in Centro Histórico, the historic city center, the view is even better.

These otherworldly, head-turning trees came from South America. According to online sources, a Japanese immigrant to Mexico (via Brazil) imported the jacaranda in place of cherry trees, which fared poorly in Mexico’s dry climate. The jacaranda thrives in Mexico City’s mild, dry, high elevation (7,300 feet!).

I’ve seen jacarandas in the U.S. in frost-free (or nearly so) locations like Phoenix and Southern California. But the profusion in Mexico City dazzled me.

I was forever stopping my family for “one more photo.” The airy trees are hard to photograph against a hazy sky, but the purple flowers pop against the greenery of other trees.

Lilac loveliness everywhere.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Aside from jacarandas, Centro offers plenty of other attractions, like the amber-domed Palacio de Bellas Artes,

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How to Clean and Disinfect Toys

Let’s face it: Your child’s toys are their most prized possessions, often by his or her side 24/7. That means they get played with, tossed around, slept with, chewed on and who knows what else? Before long, that beautiful, pristine teddy bear looks like a gnarly mess. Besides the visible dirt and grime, toys can harbor germs, allergens or worse, mold.

Different toys require different cleaning methods not only to get them clean, but to keep them looking and working their best. Below, our Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab recommends how — and how often — to clean and kill germs on toys to help keep your children safe.

How often should I clean toys?

How frequently toys need cleaning depends on how loved they are (a.k.a how much they get played with). These are general guidelines for when your child is healthy. It’s always important to clean and sanitize toys more frequently when your child is ill or has the flu and to do it all again once they’ve recovered.

  • Hard plastic and bath toys are the easiest to maintain and should be cleaned and sanitized weekly if they are played with daily.
  • Plush toys are often machine washable and
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What Are Granny Pods? – How Much do Pre-Fab Pods Cost?

Few family responsibilities in life are greater than making sure our parents are comfortable in their golden years — but the options can be daunting. Finding a quality nursing home can feel overwhelming, as can the price tag attached. You might be in the position to share your home with your parent as a solution — or that option might be a nonstarter due to space limitations or other obstacles.

Especially if you’re a member of the sandwich generation, you might recognize yourself in this scenario, and you may be searching for an alternative setup — and a granny pod might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

What is a granny pod?

So-called granny pods are essentially just guest houses on a residence’s property — only with a special design to accommodate an elderly occupant’s needs. The Washington Post notes that some of these extras might include a lift to help the resident move between the bed and the bathroom; a video camera system for monitoring the space (it might be placed at floor level to provide privacy but also an added measure of security); and smart devices such as a toilet equipped to measure temperature, weight, and

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Good Housekeeping Is Hosting Free Craft Classes for Kids on Facebook

Crafting is our forte, so let the talented team behind Good Housekeeping’s best covers, home stories, and DIY ideas teach you and your kids how to make some Pinterest-worthy crafts. Join our stylists, designers, and expert DIY-ers every Wednesday and Friday at 3 p.m. EST on Good Housekeeping’s Facebook page as we walk you through one fun idea after the next. All of our crafts will include items you already have at home or can easily grab. Think: clothespins, nail polish, rubber bands, and toilet paper rolls. And don’t worry if you can’t join us in real time, our videos will be saved to our timeline and in our videos section, so you can craft along with us when you’re ready.

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Friday, 3/27: DIY Block Printing

Make anything a stamp! Use found items to create printed artwork, linens, or wrapping paper with visual stylis director Elisabeth Engelhart.

What you’ll need:

* Cardboard, paper, or fabric to print on

* Corks, sponges, jar lids, paper towel tubes, bubble wrap, bottle caps, buttons, rubber bands, etc. to turn into a stamp

* Paint or ink pad

* Optional: craft glue or hot glue

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Wednesday,

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How to Clean Silver – Best DIY Ways to Polish Silver & Remove Tarnish

Yulia ReznikovGetty Images

No matter how well you care for your silver jewelry, dishes, and cutlery, they will naturally tarnish over time. But since no one wants to host a dinner party with dingy place settings, it’s important to learn how to clean silver quickly and efficiently a.k.a. before your guests show up at the door. While you can’t necessarily prevent tarnish from air and light exposure, follow this silver cleaning guide from Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab to restore its original gleam. Good news: It doesn’t take much effort to make your silver sparkle again, and you can follow the same methods for all objects, no matter how luxe.

How to Clean Silver

Sure, wiping your object with a microfiber cloth removes dust, but it fails to bring back the silver’s shine. To get rid of tarnish and prevent it from coming back, use a targeted silver polish like Good Housekeeping Seal Star Weiman Silver Polish. If you’re unsure of how to properly polish your silver, follow this step-by-step:

  1. Put a small amount of silver polish on a clean cloth, dampened if necessary.
  2. Rub the polish on your item in an
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Havenly Interior Design Site Review

It’s never easy deciding how to design a room in your home. There’s so much to consider, from settling on a budget to designating enough time in your already packed schedule to tackle the project from start to finish. While hiring an interior designer to handle the job in person is a luxury many are able to enjoy, others might find it more practical and cost-effective to rely on an online interior design service. One of the most popular (and budget-friendly) sites out there is Havenly. But before you sign up, here’s everything you need to know:

How Havenly works:

Havenly, which launched in 2013, is an online interior design service that was founded by Denver-based entrepreneur Lee Mayer. It’s known for adhering to a straightforward design process, which helps users feel less overwhelmed.

To get started, you simply choose the room you’d like to design (you’ll be invited to share photos or video) and then answer a series of questions about your personal style. Based on your responses, Havenly will pair you with a professional designer, who will arrange a phone call to learn more about your vision for the space. This is the time to share what’s

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