5 Things

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I am headed off to the Haven blog conference in Atlanta today. I have been busy preparing for a session at which I will be speaking and have gotten a little behind in getting a post photographed for today.  Instead of posting a project on the blog while I am away, I thought it would be fun for you to get to know me a bit better.  I am sharing 5 things that you may not know about me.  Just little things you would know if you knew me in person.


While I am at it, if you have any questions you wanted to know about me but were afraid to ask, go ahead and ask it in the comments. I will try to get them answered when I log onto my computer when I get back to my hotel room every night.

Here it goes…


Photo: Design Elements

1. I am seriously claustrophobic.   As I have gotten older, it has gotten worse. I can’t be in my basement for long periods of time or any room without windows. When I stay in hotels, I always sleep in the bed by the window with the drapes open even at night.   I take the stairs instead of elevators unless my destination is a very high floor, then I just focus, grin, and bare it.   I can’t even put my head under water in the pool anymore.  This is one of the reasons why I like minimal window treatments and my windows wide open.  My dream house would have walls that were windows and doors like the one in the photo above.

Identical Twins

2. I am an identical twin.  Sorry I don’t have a recent photo of us together. Next time I am with her I will get one. My twin sister’s name is Carol. Last week we turned 55.  YIKES!!!!  She was born 5 minutes before me, so she is actually older than me.  :-)    We are used to being stopped and asked all kinds of questions like:  What’s it like to be a twin?  Did you ever switch classes in school, or switch boyfriends?  Who is smarter, skinnier, fatter, etc?  Our friends can tell us apart easily, but when you first meet us when we are together – you will think we look exactly alike.  She is a Nurse Practitioner who heads a nursing school.

We still have the same baby tooth that has never fallen out. We got our first “period” on the same day 12 hours apart when we were young teens. It amazed our parents that our biological clocks were precisely the same.   We know that in the womb, I was on the left side and she was on the right since we feel off when walking , sitting, or standing next to each other if we are reversed. We dressed alike until the 6th grade, but do have very similar tastes in clothes even now. We do share a sixth sense that has come in handy a few times in our lives.  To answer the question...What’s it like to be a twin?  It is all I have ever known. It had many perks growing up – like being popular just because… we were twins.


3. I am addicted to sugar and trying to break the addiction. Being addicted to anything is not fun, but when you say you are addicted to sugar, others will laugh and say, “ha ha…me, too.” Addiction and  a “sweet tooth ” are two different things.   A sweet tooth is when you want something sweet after dinner. Addiction is having to have it all day long – a fix that you have to keep giving into that takes over your life.   I have never been able to go for a few days without chocolate or something sweet in my entire life, except when I was in the hospital with appendicitis.

Over the past year, my addiction to sugar had gotten so out of control that I had to find something to help or I was going to become diabetic or worse. I found something after lots of research and plan to write a whole post on the topic since I am truly amazed!   It is simple and inexpensive. No doctors or drugs, only a little bottle of…  Dill Oil!   You read that right, dill oil.   I have been into essential oils for a few years and over the past year have been reading everything I could about how to use different oils besides diffusing them so my house smells good. I bought a book on Amazon called the Reference Guide for Essential Oils and looked up “sugar addiction”  Sure enough it was listed and the first item under the heading was to rub dill oil mixed with some carrier oil ( almond, olive, grapeseed) on your wrists.  “Say what?” … I had to read it a few times until it sunk in.  It can’t be that easy. All these years of struggling with the addiction and never winning… I figured I had nothing to lose and bought a bottle of dill oil.  You can buy it anywhere they sell essential oils.  I started putting it on my wrists the day after Mother’s Day.  8 weeks. Life changing!  I want to get on my hands and knees and say thank you God for putting the book on my radar.  Once I pass another month or two, I will post all about it in more detail. So far – a TOTAL success.

Lancome and Dr Denese Skincare Products

4. I am also addicted to skincare products. This is a fun, but expensive addiction to have.    I can’t pass a Sephora or a department store cosmetic counter without testing the potions and lotions that promise perfect skin.  Sometimes the obsession wanes and I only have 2 serums, 3 day creams and two night creams in my bathroom cabinet.  Right now is not one of those times. The nice ladies at the Lancome counter yesterday gave me lots of travel sizes freebies to take on my trip to Atlanta.  They know that I will be back to buy the full size of one of them soon.  I have seen good results using a variety of products, but my skin responds best to Lancome and Dr. Denese products.  I mix the day cream with the sunscreen I mentioned in this post.


5. And last but not least…I can’t get enough of Beachfront Bargain Hunt! Have you seen the show? If one of your dreams in life is to have a house on the water then you will love this show.  The premise of the show is that you can get a waterfront home for under $350,000.  I hope I can find one!  It is on Sunday nights – I  DVR all the episodes.

I will be back on Monday with a teeny peek at what I am doing in my bedroom.

If you have any questions you would like to know about me, the blog, or anything – ask away.  XO



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  1. I loved reading about you and your sister. I have a twin sister too. We are not identical but people either insist we are “identical” or think we don’t look alike at all (haha). We get all the same questions about fooling people etc. We too have the same style and often turn up at a family event wearing pretty much the same thing. At age 65 looking alike is a little weird. We try not to wear the same thing when we go out together.
    I just recently discovered your blog and look forward to reading back posts.
    All the best!

  2. Hi, Is the Dill still working? I have the same problem and just finished off a very nice Hershey’s almond chocolate bar. I had to make a special trip to the store. I can’t go without sugar and start off my day with it in my coffee. It’s really terrible.

    1. Hi Bonnie – YES – a big yes! The Dill is still working for me. I am totally truly amazed. My husband is too since he has seen first hand just how well it is working. I don’t use it every day now, but apply it every other or even every third day. I can’t even believe I went through the summer without any sugar cravings. It is a miracle for me.

      I know how bad the need for sugar can get and those special trips to the store for a fix. I hope the Dill works for you. It feels so good to have gotten a handle on the addiction.

  3. I’m 63 and retired and trying to develop my DIY and “craft” abilities. I’m not into blogs but decided to follow yours when I saw your creation for BHG. Something about your blog makes you seem like an old friend and I thoroughly enjoy reading it and becoming inspired. Thanks for sharing some interesting personal info as well!

  4. Have a great time! Thank you so much for the dill oil advice. What you wrote about craving sweets all day sounds just like me. I will try the oil.

    1. Hi Debbie- I am truly amazed, I can’t even believe it myself since it is so simple. I feel like a new person without the sugar demon in my head always wanting a fix. I have even lost 8 lbs. :-)

  5. Love to hear more about the dill oil, since I am diabetic and allergic to artificial sweeteners. My DH is very claustrophobic, and has a hard time as a passenger on commercial airlines even though he’s a pilot and does fine in the cockpit. He had to be tranquilized and use a special oversized machine to get an MRI! My granddaughters are identical twins and were briefly on TV (anyone remember Close to Home? They were the baby daughter for the second season.) When I turned 50 I still had two teenagers at home! Grown kids are so much better company! Your daughter takes after her lovely mother. Have fun in Atlanta.

    1. Hi Sandi – I will post soon more about the dill oil later this week I think since I have gotten quite a lot of emails and comments about it. I have had MRI’s but need to go into the open type or wear a mask over my eyes when it was the closed type. Not fun! That is so cool that your granddaughters were on a TV show. That is a fun fact they can put on their bio. :-)

  6. I, too, love your blog – I am 62. I love dill weed in my food, I am wondering if using dill oil on your skin – do you then smell like dill? (and/or pickles – haha) Looking forward to your blog about it in a few months. Meanwhile, thanks for sharing all of your decorating, etc. knowledge with us.

    1. Hi Penny – Yes you do smell like dill for about 15 minutes since the essential oil is so concentrated. I try to put it on right after my shower and by the time I eat my breakfast, the scent is gone. Even if I smelled all day of dill, I would still use it since it has truly stopped my urge to have to have sweets every waking minute. :-)

  7. Can’t wait to hear about the dill oil in further detail. So interesting about you and your twin!

  8. Hi Diane!
    I check your blog every few days, I always enjoy your posts! Have to let you know we have something in common! I have an identical twin sister ( who I adore) and her name is Carol, just like your sister! We also recently turned 55—- how did that happen?! The comments and questions about being twins made me smile, we’ve heard them all too! Have fun at the Haven conference, looking forward to your next post!

  9. Have fun at the Haven conference. I’m sure you’ll be the belle of the ball there and totally in your element. You always seem to face all of life’s many challenges and opportunities with gusto and verve; I’m very certain that Haven will not be different. Thanks for sharing the personal little tidbits.

    1. Hi Deb – Thanks for the nice note XO I had a great time at the Haven conference. It is always fun to meet up and hang out with others and learn about new products, but it is always nice to come home. Now I an trying to get caught back up so I am not so far behind schedule.

  10. Dear Diane,
    Hope you have the best time ever in Hotlanta! I read about the dill oil in amazement. I’m off to search the internet for more information. I love everything you do and read all your posts. I meant to mention how pretty your daughter is when I commented on the post with the picture of you two. She is adorable! Vikki in VA

  11. Love your blog Diane. I have had to unsubscribe to several blogs recently due to a busy work schedule however yours is one that I always look forward to and save up to read when I have time. Such great information. I absolutely love Beachfront Bargain Hunt, I’m determined to one day be living at the beach. Welcome to Atlanta, it’s home for me until I make it to the beach. BTW, I will be 55 in 9 years :)

  12. So . . . I am seeing you on the right as I look at the photo . . . because you would have to be on the left?
    Am I right?
    Word confusion . . . I am sure!
    Identical twins . . . repeating the “identical” in life and living seems uncanny, yet so true!

  13. This is such a fun post! My sister is expecting identical twins in November, and we’ve been reading everything we can about twins. How funny to see the subject pop up on your blog!

  14. Hi, Diane…I think you had a great idea for today’s post, since everybody is enjoying it! Hope you plan to share your presentation at Haven with us. I am only slightly claustrophobic, thank goodness, so most of the time I don’t notice it. Although I’m not addicted to sugar, I sometimes crave something sweet, especially before bedtime, and that is NOT a good thing, so I might have to try the Dill oil and see if it helps. And, just as a total aside, on October 10th of this year, it will be 15 years ago that I turned 55! LOL
    Love your blog…learn so much from it!

  15. Because you wrote about a sugar addiction I wanted to tell you about the best book I ever read about any kind of food addiction. It is Hungry: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin by Allen Zadoff. My son who has had trouble with weight always (I’m 84) said it was THE book that helped him to get over his food addictions. It was the only “diet” book I’ve read in all my years that was really worthwhile. It was so honest and not about what to eat or not eat but an understanding of food addictions .

  16. Thanks for this fun and informative post. I will be 52 this month, and I am struggling with sugar cravings too. Can’t wait to read more about the dill oil.

  17. I can’t wait to read your post about dill oil. I will be 50 in a few months and I have been struggling with cutting sugar out of my diet, for a while. I have been using YL oils for a few months and really rely on that reference book. I have the one you mentioned as well as the blue one and they are my go to books for everything! I know you are a design blogger, but I would also love to read posts about how you use your oils. I love to learn how other people use their oils (what works and doesn’t work for them). I always look forward to reading your blog. Have a great time at Haven.

  18. I enjoy your blog. Want to get up the courage to use chalk paint on a countertop.

  19. Would like to know which Lancome products you have found to work. I have awful crows feet around the eyes and smile lines (not a bad thing I guess) around my mouth. Would love a method of decreasing the depth of these “creases” in my face! Please tell more.

    Also, I know nothing about essential oils but I’m off to the library to look it up!
    Thanks for being so open. Have a great time in Atlanta….wish I was a fly on the wall.

  20. This was really interesting to read…and fun! I have a sweet addiction too…and am looking forward to finding out more about the dill oil! And…I was 55…once! ;)

  21. I always thought it would be so cool to have a twin. Enjoyed this post and hope you have a great time at Haven. Can’t wait to read all about it.

  22. Thanks for your openness. That my phobia lol. All kidding aside I’m really intrigued by the dill oil and sugar connection. I also want to hear about chalky paint so go get ’em in Atlanta in your presentation and hurry home to the rest of us waiting to live vicariously thru your adventure when you post again.

  23. Thanks so much for sharing these 5 things about yourself. I too am also interested in the dill oil and how it relates to sugar addiction. Can’t wait for that post. It is amazing how so many foods can turn into sugar and we are not aware. Thanks again for all of your great post.

  24. Have fun at the Haven conference. How exciting to be sharing what you love to do with like-minded individuals. You always have inspiring posts.

  25. Really enjoyed this post. I also have a sugar addiction and can’t wait to hear all about the dill oil. Also love Beachfront Bargain Hunt. I recently turned the big 50. Based on all the responses it seems like we are all around the same age. I am a nanny for boy girl twins. The bond between twins is fascinating. Have a wonderful time at the conference.

  26. I’ve never posted any comments about your blog before but I wanted to post at least once. Your blog is my favorite! You are so down to earth and I always look forward to your next post! It was very interesting to read about you and your twin sister. I feel connected to several people in my life but not like that! Thanks for posting all your great ideas, also! I am working on a house flipping project, working full time (when I can) and taking care of my very ill son. Some day I hope to be able to use some of your wonderful ideas in my own home when my life slows down and I have time. Have a great trip to Haven!

  27. I just wanted to say I enjoy your blog. I’m 52 and I have twins, boy and girl, and I love when people ask me if they’re identical! Have a great time at the Haven conference in Atlanta.

    1. I too have boy and girl twins, and people always ask if they are identical! I used to dress my boy in blue and my girl in pink when they were babies, and people would ask, who is the girl and who is the boy? I love having twins – they are a true study into the nature / nurture debate. I know they were different from the day they were born – no nature or nurture was in play at the time. Their temperaments are as different as night and day and always have been.

  28. I really enjoyed reading this post and learning more about you. I hope you have a fun time on your trip. Thanks for sharing your great ideas with us.

  29. Diane, I have been away from the blogging world for a bit while juggling my kiddos and design school. I’ve just started a new chapter and am slowly rejoining the blogosphere. So this post, to me, was like a big welcome and a reminder of what a unique and lovely community of like minded souls it really is. Thanks for sharing a bit of you with us. Enjoy Haven! Oh and I too am addicted to Beach House Bargain. I’ve seen a couple in areas I’ve vacationed, so I’m always holding out hope!

    Have fun and good luck with your speech.

  30. I am going to have to try the dill oil! I struggle with the same addiction–chocolate. Any sweets, really. I have gained and lost the same 15 pounds about 3 times in the past 7 years; I’m 53. Ugh. Anyway, your blog is still my absolute favorite. Thanks for all of the hard work you put into it: it shows!

  31. Please explain this Dill EO for sugar addiction! Very interesting…
    Have fun in Atlanta

  32. I enjoy your blog, I too am 55 and just wanted to mention, since you use essential oils, that I’ve read a combination of Lavender and Vanilla EO is very helpful for claustrophobia. Worth looking into…

    1. Hi Maureen – Thanks for the tip. I use lavender for a few things and will look into it for claustrophobia. It is the best thing I have ever used for burns!

  33. Great blog – and one I keep reading unlike so many others. I am 56, so the older woman in the group, also claustrophobic on the high side of moderate, have had panic attacks in tight spaces or crowds where I can’t see an easy way out, but I can fly or be in basements without windows. I am thanking God right now for your mention of dill oil. I use essential oils but have never known about dill and sugar! I too have been extremely concerned because I don’t want anything to eat unless it’s sweet. Have to force myself to eat anything else. I would be interested in hearing more about the oils you use. How else do you use the oils other than fragrance? Which brand do you prefer, if any? Now heading to Amazon to order Reference Guide for Essential Oils. Have fun in Atlanta!

  34. I am extremely claustrophobic as well which keeps me off airplanes. How do u do it? As an airplane has to be one of the worst situations for a claustrophobic and I’d like to fly again. Please share your solution. Thank you.

    1. Hi Susan –

      I don’t have a solid solution, but as long as the window shades are open and I have a window seat so that I can see outside, I am OK. Even when the sun comes shining in and everyone starts to close them, I leave mine open. Earlier this year when I walked into a plane all the shades were closed since that is what the cleaning crews do. I had a hard time walking down that aisle. I was one of the first people on the plane and once I got to my seat, I went to all the seats around me and opened all the shades. :-) I also try to sleep as long as I can to make the flight go faster.

  35. I turned 55 last week too! Alas, I am not a twin, but that would gave been really fun. Love your Blog!

  36. It’s me again. Forgot to mention that my latest BH&G magazine has the photo of you with your winning table. I’m sure you knew about it. It’s a very cute pic. Congrats!

  37. Diane-This is a blog question, so not too personal. How do you create your graphics and type vignettes using your photos? Like the one in the side bar that says “Paint Colors In My Own Style”. I love how you do that. You must use a design software of some type.

    1. Hi Beth – Thanks for the congrats about the BHG mention. XO I create the photos with the graphics on them using the program Photoshop Elements. It is not the expensive full blown Photoshop, but a paired down version. It costs around $89. Adobe makes it.

      If you want to try your hand at creating the images for free. Go to PicMonkey.com. Upload a photo and then you will be able to choose a font from their font library in the size and color you want. You can even change the lighting and color of the photo, too. Save it and then you can use it wherever you like. If you click around the site – along the bottom you will see a link for tutorials on how to use the program. If you like it, I would highly recommend getting Photoshop Elements. I have version 11, but I think it is up to Version 12 now. It does a whole lot more than PicMonkey, but PicMonkey is a great place to start.
      You can buy the software anywhere they sell computers and at the Adobe.com website. I would check out the tutorials on You Tube ,too. Just type in Photoshop Elements. I found them very helpful.

  38. First, since you just told us your age, I will tell you that I will turn 55 in August so we are essentially the same age. Secondly, I have enjoyed your various posts about different methods for making homemade chalk paint. I am wondering if you have tried the new “Chalky Paint” by Home Depot? They even make the wax for it which is particularly appealing to me b/c I bought a solvent-based paste wax at Lowe’s that was hard as a brick and almost made me unable to breathe, and I just did not get good results with it. You know so much about chalk paint, and you are heading to Atlanta where Home Depot is based, so maybe the Haven conference will give y’all some samples of Home Depot’s chalk paint if you haven’t already tried it. I don’t have a HD in my town, but I bought the paint and wax yesterday while taking a roadtrip but, of course, haven’t had a chance to use it yet. I am very curious about how you compare the new HD chalky paint and wax to the ASPC version and also to your homemade chalk paints!!!!

    1. Have a great time at the #Haven conference! Really wanted to go this time, especially knowing that you will be presenting. But summer vacation is calling…
      PS: MK- I have been using the chalky paint from Home Depot for about a month now, and I love it!