Fun

How To Tell Identical Twins Apart

Twins. Two of the same person, right? Wrong! Two individuals who are non-synthetic monozygotic replicas of each other (did I lose you? Haha) who share similar features but are never truly 100% identical. Take it from me, an identical twin, God didn’t just hit copy and paste with us. Sure we have identical DNA, when most siblings share anywhere between 25-75% of the same DNA, but even identical twins have different fingerprints. Seeing as how we’re not all experts on CSI and possess the technology to scan fingerprints, here are a few fool-proof ways to tell identical twins apart!

1) Mirror Image Twins – Ever heard of this? Mirror image twins are twins who face each other in the womb, instead of sitting side by side. Therefore, what’s exposed to one twin on one side will be exposed to the other twin on the opposite side. This gives the twins opposite hairlines, opposite teeth patterns, and one will be left-handed and the other right-handed. Mirror image twins are 99.99% identical, but opposite in most ways. My twin and I are mirror image, and even our immune systems tend to be opposite, where when one twin gets sick, the other is immune to it. I have no idea how this happens, but it’s pretty neat!

2) Birthmarks – Twins tend to have the same birthmarks and moles, but usually in different areas. With me and my twin, ours are about 6-8″ apart from each other. My sister has a birthmark on her lower back, while mine is on my mid-back. She has a mole on her face and mine is on my neck on the same side.

3) Personality – Despite the fact that identical twins look the same, they have different personality types because well, they’re two different people! When you have a conversation with them, look for differences in how they talk, listen, act, and respond to what you say. You will notice that one twin might speak faster, or one twin may have a shorter attention span. People notice that my twin sister is edgier than me, and many people say I’m funnier than her (but be aware that it can change at any point)!

4) Where they stand – Because of how twins are formed together, you might notice that one twin usually stands on the right of the other twin, vice versa. No matter what age, my theory is that our muscles tend to retain memory, even back to certain womb positions!

5) Face Shape – If you look closely, you’ll notice that twins have different face shapes, especially as they get older. One may have a wider face, while the other twin may have a more narrow face. With me and my twin sister, our chins point down on opposite sides when we smile, and my sister has a more defined face than I do. Can you see the difference in these twins?

6) Ask their parents (when all else fails) – If the twins are young, their parents may be the only ones who can tell them apart. They know their twins more than anyone else, and are familiar with every nook and cranny of their children, so don’t hesitate to ask. No guarantee they’ll give away their secrets though!

And here are some fun ways you can attempt to recognize but it can vary each time you see a set of twins:

  • Eyebrow shapes
  • Hair color
  • Voices
  • Mean twin vs nice twin “look”
  • Mean twin vs nice twin “personality”
  • Hair length
  • Scars on skin
  • Taller vs wider smiles

Hope this helps! Do you have twins in your family or circle of friends? What are some ways you can tell twins apart?

How to Make Your Home Look Expensive On A Budget

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Have you ever made a move, had a significant life event, or did you just wake up one day feeling like SOMETHING needed to change?

A friend in Mesa, Arizona contacted me with just such a situation. A family life change meant that she had less furniture than before and after some introspection, she felt like some fresh style could help.

She used her cell phone to take some simple pictures of the spaces that she felt could use the most help. Some words she used to describe her spaces were “dark,” “bare,” “plain,” and “no sense of style.” When I asked about her artwork, though, she said that it was the one thing she loved.

I used the artwork and a quick peek at joyful pictures from her FB page to get a sense for her “subconscious” style.

I used Adobe Photoshop to place the items into her spaces, and, although they aren’t perfect 3D renderings, the sizes and perspectives are accurate enough to give a great sense of what some small changes can do.

Let’s start with her Family Room. The total cost for this makeover is about $500! Art, a buffet cabinet, and a storage coffee table with a lift-up desktop for just $160 create a huge impact for very little money! Artificial plants are a low-maintenance way to add color and class to a room. 4-foot tall potted plants frame the fireplace. Dollar Tree has vases and artificial flowers that can make a great impact. I chose the fill a glass vase ($1) with seashells ($3) and a variety of flowers ($6). See the room from a different angle below.

Original Family RoomRedesigned Family Room

Here is the view of the Family Room from a different angle.
Original Family Room View 2 Redesigned Family Room View 2
The exercise room/office includes a “bamboo look” exercise puzzle mat that will reduce joint fatigue and protect her floors for just $70! Inspirational Vinyl Wall Art is $40 on etsy, but only $27 on Amazon! and Canvas Inspirational Messages will help draw her into this sanctuary for loving on her body. Cling film on the french doors will let light in, and add high style beauty and privacy when she has guests. The bright paint subconsciously reduces stress and increases energy for just $40. Including new exercise accessories, this makeover costs less than $250!
Redesigned Exercise Room

Every parent knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home. This space was one that she just didn’t know what to do with. A 52″ wide kitchen island was $330 on Amazon, but was on sale on Wayfair yesterday for $265! An armoire to hold extra kitchen wares is only $260 at Ikea. Adding some artificial potted trees, seating, and side tables make a great spot for her kids to relax and work on homework while she cooks dinner. The modern blue rug adds high-class look, anchoring the space and tying it into the dining room next door. Amazon is a great way to turn your memories into wall art! A 24″x36″ mounted canvas of one of your pictures is only $40 (if you want editing or want a picture rendered to look like a painting, I do that for $20/image).

Original Kitchen Redesigned Kitchen

Last, but not least, the dining room. This beautiful room is flanked with wall-to-wall windows, yet still felt “dark.” When I asked her about the paint color, she said that it looked good on the card in the store. She hated the rug, though and felt like the colors belonged outdoors more than in a dining room. Drawing inspiration from her decorations, I found a modern rug at Amazon or Walmart for under $200. Painting just 2 walls a lighter blue color actually helps her artwork stand out more and makes the area look larger. Sheer curtains that match the accent walls open up the area. Again, small and simple touches renew this room for under $250!

Original Dining Room Redesigned Dining Room

Original Dining Room View 2 Redesigned Dining Room View 2

Do you like what you see?

Become a member, Request a design for your own space, and follow Dime Design!

Before You Shop Online, Here Are 62 Items You Can Buy For A Buck

So, being a HUGE discount queen, (hey it’s more fancier than calling myself cheap haha) I’m always on the lookout for great deals. While shopping online at Walmart.com and Amazon is convenient, I realize that there are so many things you can just buy at Dollar Tree! Why waste your hard-earned money buying these exact same items at any drugstore or online for more money? Can you believe all this stuff’s a BUCK?? Continue reading below!

  1. Coupon books – These are pre-labeled books where you can organize your coupons into the little slots! Love these! Great investment for a buck!
  2. Cotton swabs – A box of 170 Q-tips at CVS is $2.79. The same amount at the dollar store is… well, a dollar. It’s not the Q-tips brand, but I see little difference.
  3. Kitchen utensils – If you need a baster, a soup pouring spoon, a spatula, knives, etc. Dollar Tree has it!
  4. Medicines – Ibuprofen is like, $4-5 dollars for a 20 pack at Walmart?? Get it at Dollar Tree, same medication, just without the brand name!
  5. Double-sided tape – You can get 130 inches of this tape at the dollar store. This is a shorter tape than the 450-inch roll for $4.79 at Staples, but it is still 1/5 cent cheaper per inch.
  6. Cleaning supplies – you can find TONS of cleaning supplies here from laundry detergent to glass cleaners and even dish-soap!
  7. Paper clips – A pack of 100 vinyl-coated colored paper clips for a dollar versus 60 of the same for $2.49 at Office Depot.
  8. Wax paper, Parchment Paper & Tin Foil – These are hard to compare price-wise because the square footage is different in the boxes at the dollar stores than the boxes in the regular grocery stores. However, there are still cheaper per inch. Plus, I don’t use these items that much, so I don’t want giant rolls taking up my limited drawer space in the kitchen. I also really like the pre-cut pop-up foil sheets that are huge frustration savers.
  9. Holiday decorations – Every month there is an aisle full of new holiday decorations. These are cheap and fun gifts for the kids or a little seasonal pick-me-up for the house or office. Can’t beat the price.
  10. Envelopes – WITH the pre-licked (just kidding, I mean self-adhesive) tops!
  11. Baby wash and oil – My friends use the baby wash as a bath wash and the baby oil lotion is strictly a lotion but goes on smooth, sinks right in and is absolutely not oily. So don’t buy expensive, overly perfumed lotions and bath washes, you will no be disappointed with these two products.
  12. Tupperware containers – plastic containers to store your leftovers in. I’ve found sets of 2-4 containers at our local Dollar Tree, as well as a large cake-sized container.
  13. No Damage Hair Elastics – A package is $2.39 at CVS. No brainer!
  14. Candy – If you take your own candy into the movie theater, then getting your candy at the dollar store is the way to go as you can save up to $4 per box of junior mints or M&Ms. You’ll see a lot of off-brand candy, but don’t be turned off. There is plenty of brand name candy as well, like Snickers, Butterfinger, and Tootsie Rolls.
  15. Picnic supplies and utensils – Awesome for parties! And YAY for fewer dishes to wash!
  16. Socks – From exercise socks to holiday socks to warm fuzzy cozy snuggle socks! Can’t go wrong here!
  17. Batteries – I’ve seen AA, AAA and watch batteries.
  18. Undergarments –  Good cotton underwear, socks.
  19. School and home office supplies – I seriously get all my papers, pens, notebooks, tape, staplers and colored pencils here. Good deal.
  20. Calculator – AWESOME deal! Put 2 and 2 together on this one. Haha, get it?
  21. Locking plastic baggies and garbage bags – You can pretty much get any off-brand Ziploc bags there, and they sell Hefty brand bags too!
  22. Books – for all you bookworms out there.. the genres are limitless!
  23. Greeting cards – YES!!! Two for a $ at Dollar Tree…. how can you go wrong??
  24. Groceries – A number of my friends and family members RAVE about the groceries and foods they have eaten from dollar stores. While quality varies, the list included organic soymilk, flax seeds, various bags of beans, veggie/fruit “green” bags, dry onion soup mix, canned soups.
  25. Shampoo and conditioner – I’ve seen Suave brand, V05, etc. Pretty good deals!!
  26. “Silk” flowers and fake leaves/ fruits – put these in a basket they sell and viola~ A fruit basket!!
  27. Gift bags and wrapping paper – the whole back wall is full of wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbons!
  28. Hydrogen peroxide and alcohol – Perfect for starting a first-aid kit!
  29. Puzzles, board books, and coloring books – great for keeping the little ones busy!
  30. Mops, Brooms, Dustpans – clean house happy family!
  31. Washcloths, kitchen towels – these are pretty good quality, I dunno why I paid $3-6 for each one at Walmart!
  32. Trays and containers – Sterno trays and other aluminum containers. I love using these as serving dishes for meals!
  33. Baking trays and cookie sheets! – I also found disposable casserole dishes
  34. Cheap eyeglasses – one of my friends swears by these, she loves them!
  35. Balloons – they can blow up any for you and you can also buy packs of different colored balloons.
  36. Cell phone car chargers – I’ve seen them at Dollar Tree before.. who woulda known?
  37. Cell phone covers – I found some at Dollar Tree for the iPhone 4 and 5.
  38. Chips – many different kinds. I’ve seen Pringles, potato chips, pretzels, Lays, etc.
  39. Small flashlights – perfect for your emergency kit!
  40. Small puzzles (usually Disney) – what a cute idea for a kid’s birthday gift! And the Disney brand! Awesome!!
  41. Scotch tape as well as packing tape – stick to these and you’ll never go wrong! Ha!
  42. Small Christmas presents and stocking stuffers – during Christmas time there are TONS of Christmas gifts and fun toys you can wrap or add to loved ones’ stockings!
  43. Tableware – Dollar Tree has a good selection of tableware from bowls, plates, glass and mugs to utensils!! All the same brand, different styles, and all $1 per piece.
  44. Nail polishes – they have TONS of different colors there any as far as I’ve tried them, I don’t see a difference in their quality versus drugstore bought nail polish!
  45. Makeup – the Dollar Tree by me sells pretty good quality makeup. I’ve seen Maybelline, ELF and some L.A. Colors brands!
  46. Hazelnut Wafer Twists – yummm those delicious chocolate-filled wafer sticks that everyone loves… and the same flavor as Nutella. Yum again.
  47. Tissues – Kleenex, Puff’s, paper towels, and toilet paper!
  48. Noxzema razors – Apparently they give you a good shave and do not nick like cheap Bics.
  49. Wipes – antibacterial cleaning wipes as well as moist towelettes and baby wipes!! I keep them in the glove compartment of my car and use them to clean up spills, wipe down my desk, wash my hands when I’m on the go, I’ve even used them to remove make-up in a pinch.
  50. Rubber gloves – Save a couple of bucks by buying these at a Dollar Store!!
  51. Cotton balls and cotton swabs – They normally cost between $2 – $4 at drug stores.
  52. Baby powder – perfect for moms who don’t care to spend so much on the same product at a drug store.
  53. Hand sanitizer – little bottles, big bottles, you’ll find them at a dollar store near you!
  54. Pregnancy tests – Dollar tree has them for $1 while the name brand ones anywhere else can be $10-$15! And if you’re wondering, they’re 99.99% accurate and so much cheaper at $1.00!
  55. Animal toys – I’ve bought dog chew toys, cat collars, and toys, catnip here, etc. They have a HUGE selection, and in case you have an animal prone to demolishing toys, you can always go back and get another, they’re only a dollar!
  56. Bleach – goes along with cleaning supplies
  57. Little plastic tube squeezers for toothpaste and ointments – they also have empty spray bottles for those of you who make homemade cleaning supplies!
  58. Juice Boxes – It’s hard to find 100% juice at most supermarkets, and when you find it, it’s pricey. The local Dollar Tree sells four-packs of 100% juice boxes, some of them organic. They’re smaller than standard size but perfect for little ones.
  59. Toothpaste and floss – pretty good deal!
  60. Toothbrushes – how could I forget?
  61. Hand soaps – I’ve seen Soft Soap brands here, normally for $2-3 at Walmart and drugstores. They even have cute bathroom containers you can put hand soaps and lotions in!
  62. Makeup remover cloths – my siblings swear by these, and they don’t leave your face too dry or oily!

 

Soooooooo I’ve told you all the REALLY GOOD DEALS you’re getting by shopping at a Dollar store FIRST, but I’m about to let you in on a little secret that’s gonna SAVE YOU EVEN MORE $$$ and absolutely blow your mind. Ready for it?

 

MOST DOLLAR STORES ACCEPT COUPONS!!!!!!!!!!

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So next time you build that long grocery list, be sure to swing by your local dollar store and find the best deals there FIRST! And by all means, use coupons! Then, feel free to carry on with life!

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*Special thanks to Bobbi at bargainbabe.com for sharing some of your ideas! :D