10 Best Indoor Trees – Best Indoor Trees You Can Buy

KatarzynaBialasiewiczGetty Images

Bigger isn’t always better, but when it comes to indoor trees, the lush foliage and thick leaves can’t be beat. Adding one of these statement makers changes the whole look and feel of a room instantly. Really — recent research has linked caring for houseplants with reduced psychological and physiological stress, and one famous NASA study found that many popular species can help purify air.

When you’re picking your tree, consider where you want your new addition to live (a sunny, humid bathroom or a north-facing entryway?) and what fits your own gardening style. (Neglectful waterers, meet yucca. Overeager gardeners, try a money tree.) Out of these 10 popular species beloved by botanists and decorators alike, at least one will fit the bill.


Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)


This uber-trendy plant keeps popping up in design magazines and chicly styled Instagram shots, thanks to its wide, textured leaves. Young plants feature dense foliage, but that spreads out as they age and grow more “tree-like.” Give it bright, indirect light — an east-facing window is perfect. Water once the top inch of soil is dry, drench until water comes out the bottom of

Read More

Etsy Reveals Top Home Decor and Decorating Trends for 2020


Etsy is a go-to source for unique handmade finds, especially when it comes to home decor. Now, the retailer is reminding us of its influence in the design world with the release of its annual home decor trend guide. The new report reveals the trends that Etsy shoppers can’t get enough of right now — think artwork featuring sunsets, hanging planters, bee motifs, and seashell-shaped decor accents.

“This year’s decor trends are all about adding personality and comfort into your home,” says Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy’s trend expert. “From burl wood furniture to resin accents, these trends celebrate the beauty of individuality and allow shoppers to infuse their own character and values into their decor.”

If you want to weave Etsy’s top 2020 home decor trends into your own space, scroll down for the site’s top picks and shop our favorite items for each trend.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below


Redefined Resin

Agate Coasters



From tabletop items to works of art, Etsy sellers are showcasing resin’s versatility. “Human use of plant resins stretches back to  ancient Greece and ancient Rome,” says Isom Johnson. “Resin as a design material can be incorporated in so many

Read More

Mexico City: Bosque de Chapultepec botanical garden and more

April 05, 2020

One morning during our stay in Mexico City we explored the city’s “lungs”, the Bosque de Chapultepec, or Chapultepec Forest. At 1,695 acres, it’s one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere. Chapultepec means “grasshopper hill” in the Aztec language, and in fact the park does contain a tall hill — a rare sight in flat Mexico City, which is built upon a drained lakebed.

Tucked into Chapultepec park is a small botanical garden, only 13 acres, but an interesting one. A recent article by Wildflower editor Amy McCullough about the jardín botánico had piqued my interest, and we soon found it. Happily, admission is free.

Cinderblock succulents

We strolled in, and I smiled to see this: a long border of cinderblock-planted succulents — much like my own (much smaller) cinderblock wall planter!

Hundreds of cinderblocks laid end-to-end and stacked into miniature modernist towers hold echeverias galore.

The creative display makes for a fun moment as you arrive.

Echeveria is native to Mexico, making it a perfect plant to greet visitors.

Pallet fort

Next we came across a fort-like structure made of wooden pallets. Stacked about 8 feet high, they invite climbers

Read More

Mexico City: Folk art skeletons, devils, and more at Museo de Arte Popular

April 03, 2020

Skeletons may be macabre to American eyes, but they’re a popular motif in Mexican folk art, as we saw at the Museo de Arte Popular (Museum of Folk Art) in Mexico City. Housed in an Art Deco building in the historic center, the museum is perfectly sized to see everything in a couple of hours, and it also operates a very nice gift shop of regional handicrafts.

Día de Muertos art

Here in Austin, we’ve adopted Mexico’s joyful Day of the Dead celebration. So folk-art skeletons enjoying everyday activities aren’t unfamiliar to me. This well-attended skeleton bullfight (above) was a surprise though.

Check out the feast table for this convivial group of skeletons.

And how can you not love this guy’s exuberance? Does he remind you of Coco?

These skeleton miners are hard at work…

…mining for skulls.

These clay skeleton women are beautiful if a little creepy. Check out the “hand”lesticks!

There’s a lot going on here, but it looks like a party.

Animal masks

When your inner leopard comes out.


They say the devil is in the details.

One whole room of horned devils offers an up-close look at the details.



Read More

Does Witch Hazel Disinfect? Experts Explain Why It Can’t Kill Germs

  • Witch hazel is often sourced for skincare solutions and topical treatments for pain.
  • While it may be used in sanitizing products or hand sanitizers, witch hazel is not meant to be used as a disinfectant.
  • Experts say that astringents like witch hazel aren’t the same as other household cleaners you can use right now.

    Witch hazel can feel like a domestic solution for everything — after all, there’s a good chance that this plant-derived liquid has always been in your medicine cabinet. It’s often distilled into an ointment or a concentrated extract that can be used in many different ways. It’s often a prime ingredient in skincare products that are designed to relieve itchy skin and can be used topically for issues like mosquito bites, and it may even be found in products designed to alleviate body pain. But it’s not a magical elixir, unfortunately, and it cannot be used to properly disinfect a surface to kill germs, including viral bacteria.

    As deep-cleaning surfaces around the home have become a top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been wondering if they can use non-chemical cleaners to sanitize and disinfect surfaces, including witch hazel, which is often included

    Read More

    Are Natural Disinfectants Effective? How to Know If a Cleaner Really Kills Germs

    While we all want our household surfaces to sparkle and shine, it’s not just their overall look that matters: All frequently-touched surfaces need to be disinfected regularly, too. Sure, some of the items in your pantry or refrigerator (think: vinegar and lemon juice) may effectively clean your countertops, sinks, and other high-traffic spots, but they aren’t packed with the right ingredients to properly disinfect your space. That doesn’t mean that you have to turn to traditional all-purpose cleaners to get the job done, though.

    When used properly, natural disinfectants made with plant-based ingredients can be just as effective as chemical cleaners. But not all natural cleaners are created equally: To make sure that you’re buying cleaners approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, look for products with ingredients like thymol, including Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes and Cleaners. No matter if it’s a spray or wipe, these natural disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces, but they work more slowly than chemical disinfectants. To disinfect properly, clean the surface with soap and water before using your disinfectant of choice, and let sit for at least 10 minutes, depending on the product instructions, to kill 99.999% of

    Read More