TAKE CARE OF YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH is a remedy for increasing your physical health as well as your mental health. How much do you have in credit card debt? How much savings do you have? If the first question’s answer is higher than the second question, you are suffering from financial woe syndrome. I am not a financial wizard but together with my husband’s cooperation, we figured out some ways to overcome the symptoms of over spending, impulsive spending, and living above our means. As a diabetic that gets excited when my numbers normalize because of smart choices, it feels the same excitement to first see the debt go down and then be eliminated.

I am posting this blog not to brag as it is a difficult and challenging task but I can personally tell you the joy of watching balances go down and then disappear is wor6fdce-hesitate1th every sacrifice. I would like to share our story, not the personal details but the “How” we worked toward this goal. Maybe you can clear out the financial overload cabinet and feel the freedom from shelling out money for high interest  and find ways to invest that same money instead of needless payments.

Did it happen overnight? No, absolutely not. I see the advertisements of how people got out of credit card debt in a short time and I think they couldn’t have owed what we did. It took me over 4 years to make it happen but it did. Looking back over the time it took, maybe you might ask, “That’s a long time. Would you do it again?” I would answer, “What I would do differently is I wouldn’t allow us to get sick in credit card debt.” That may be too late for several of you and you may be in the same ward of debt as we were. Here is how I worked at getting healthier in our financial world.race

Tips on how to treat your credit card sickness:

  1. Decide you are fighting an illness. Buying things when you have to depend on credit should only be used when the purchase is an emergency need and not a whim purchase. 
  2. As any illness, make up your mind to fight it and do what is necessary the same way you begin to exercise more, eat healthier, avoid the pitfalls of binge eating. In other words, begin to exercise purchase restraint, buy healthier purchases, and avoid the binge or compulsive spending.
  3. List out all balances on all cards or other loan payments other than your mortgage (that debt can be paid off quicker after you have taken care of those high interest cards or store accounts. 
  4. Prioritize the highest interest accounts as these are the cards you place in a drawer and NEVER use them again. You heard me right! That was the first thing we did was to stop using those cards and eliminate those balances first. 
  5. Forget minimum payments! Stop reading this blog if that is what you do and if you want to continue this practice, I can tell you that you will remain in debt forever. 
  6. Make a budget on your have to pay bills like utility bills, cell phone, internet, mortgage or rent, regular medications, estimate on food costs, etc. That goes on the left side of the page with a total at the bottom. On the right side, count all net income (do not use your gross as that is not applicable to this plan).
  7. Once you have the totals, find the difference in accessible revenue. This is your IV for improving your health. Once you have usable money, you can distribute this money by payments to those ugly, nasty credit cards paying more to the highest interest cards and lesser to the others. 
  8. In other words, don’t try to pay all of the cards off at one time. It is my way of saying Chip Away at the biggest weight holding you down. An example would be if you have $200 to pay the cards and you have three cards pay $100 to the highest interest and either $50 to each of the others or even $75 to the next highest one and $25 to the lower interest card. When you see the next step this will become clearer.
  9. If you are not hurting by the payments, you are not getting anywhere. I bled while I made those payments and there were times when it seemed very difficult but we were determined to accomplish a credit card freedom.
  10. Once you pay the highest card off, and this is the secret and the key to making it work……take that same amount that you paid to the first card, and choose the second highest interest card and pay that “extra” to that card. Remember the example, you paid $100 to the highest card and $75 to the second one…..now pay $175 to the second one and continue paying $25 to the next in line. Guess what, that second card will get paid a lot sooner and then what happens, you begin to pay $200 on that last one and it happens sooner. 
  11. As balances go down and no purchases unless emergency needs, you will find it tempting to stop paying the extra to those other cards…..DO NOT BE TEMPTED! This plan only works if you are determined. We know from dieting, if we are not determined, we fall off the diet wagon easily.
  12. Here is the most important tip I can give you. When the credit card debt is gone, and it will happen if you follow this plan and not purchase needlessly, do not go back in the trap of credit card debt. You will begin the next phase…Saving Money for rainy day purchases.0bafc-coins
  13. Our goal has been initiated that since we have been paying that amount out to credit cards, why not put that same amount into savings? Let’s go back to the example and for a lot of us, I am minimizing the amount but it is an example: The $200 you paid out for credit card debts can go into a savings account. This part of your savings will become your emergency purchase account. No, you can’t start spending more, LOL. Using this method, in 5 months, there would be $1000 for an emergency. If you can save $400 a month, you then have $2000 emergency purchase funds. Can you see what begins to happen? In 5 short months, you would not have to go to a card. You take care of the emergency and begin to rebuild that emergency fund without paying that awful interest.5f28a-change2
  14. When you have accomplished this part of the plan, a reward is wonderful, but I made a hitch in the reward. We have to build up whatever amount we are going to use for our reward and it can’t go on a card. I found ways to put money aside for us to have a reward trip (not an expensive cruise, or flight) but a nice long weekend getaway. 
  15. Once you get in the mood of financial health, you go on a maintenance plan using the logic I have laid out. Look at other spending and cut out unnecessary spending. It will amaze you as it did me at the wasteful spending we all do on a regular basis. This spending elimination will give you more money for your rewards and/or the savings element.b036f-grocerylist_w200

The above list are my ideas and not anyone else’s financial plan and are based on our personal goals and achievements. This year on my husband’s birthday and for Mother’s Day our gift to each other were printouts of zero balances. Best celebration we can remember.

I am not a financial expert or advisor. I found a way to take stress out of our “financial bliss” and we both feel a splurge of freedom from worry. I can’t guarantee you this will work for everyone and it is the concept not details that may be helpful. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by adjusting your priorities to make it happier!

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if known, is sourced to original location for credit references



This morning, Memorial Day 2018, I woke early and prayed a prayer for all of the brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I thought of how little people pay attention to the true meaning of Memorial Day and many don’t realize the difference between Memorial and Veteran’s Day. Both are respectful holidays paying tributes on Memorial Day for those who died fighting and Veteran’s Day for all who have patriotically served in the military and don’t forget Armed Services Day for those actively serving, but whether or not it is for the right reason, I believe in respecting those in our Military, past and present. I posted the TOY SOLDIERS in 2013 and I come back to it as my best post focused on Memorial Day.

TODAY THE WORDS are TOY SOLDIERS. In honor of Memorial Day, I am reposting a Memorial Day tribute posted in 2013.  How many times have you picked up a toy soldier and really gave any thought as to what it actually represents? Probably, like me, not many times have any of us visualized the representation right in our hands. A toy soldier is not very big, no more than 3 inches or less and they come in bright colors or a muted green and come with a lot of them in a bag. Boys and some girls have played with them and knocked them down “killing” them. The kids would then pick them up at the end of the battle and either start a new war or put them in the bag for a future battle. A game of pretend enemies with usually the best of friends taking sides and a lot of “bang, you are dead” was heard. Children are innocent and learn from others and many people don’t see any harm in playing war or even violent video games but now for the deeper thought…..War is real and deadly……Soldiers can’t be stood up again in the real war games and lives are taken or forever changed by injuries. 

As Memorial Day is here, my mind went to the toy soldier and it felt sad as if I had a soldier in my hands and wondered if he was alive or dead. Do we as humans try as hard as we should to avoid war? Are we so wrapped up in proving a point that we do the same as precious, innocent children do when they play toy soldiers and kill without thought and reality that some one’s son; some one’s husband; some one’s daughter; some one’s wife; and some one’s brother or sister can or will be killed. 

Soldiers face death on a daily basis if sent to a military zone. I can remember my brother Joe, who served two terms in Vietnam, and who retired after 21 years in the Army, when he said to me in reference to how the soldiers got booed at the airport by Americans, “Sis, a soldier doesn’t ask why, they are told where!” In other words a soldier obeys commands from a superior officer and is not in a defining position; he is in an obedient position. That tells me in order to protect us a soldier responds to an order. We should respect this demeanor and honor their willingness to serve. If there are opposing positions to a certain engagement, it should be brought to higher officials. Tomorrow, and every day, thank a soldier for our freedom which we value. Thank God for the highest protection of our life as God gives us every breath we take.

Excerpt from the following article on Memorial Day History (click on title for complete article)


The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear.

In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.

After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs. 

Now for the deeper thought…In a perfect world, there would be no soldiers; there would be no wars; there would be no hate. We live in a world where evil does exist and in a world where there will be wars and rumors of war. We, as humans, should put more value on human life, animal life, and our earth which are all blessings and are our treasures here on earth and are to be valued and protected. May I bow my head and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

How many Americans have died in U.S. wars?


Nearly 500,000 military personnel died during the U.S. Civil War. That’s almost half of all Americans who have ever died during wartime, and more than a hundred times more than died during the American Revolution, according to the latest estimates from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. This Memorial day, we decided to take a close look at the number of American servicemembers who lost their lives during wartime in an effort to put their sacrifices into a broader perspective.


This excerpt was from the linked article in 2015 and the current number would be higher. May we honor our fallen and pray this number doesn’t have to rise.

Matthew 24:6-7     
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to the original location, if known, for credit reference.


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DO WE NEED TO CLEAN OUR HEARTS? I thought about this thought as I am beginning my master bedroom closet clean out and organization today. I am going to combine these tasks for a great life lesson. You may learn some tricks on organizing closet space as well as some of us may learn some important cleaning tasks for our hearts. Let’s dive in.

I would like to make some suggestions on closet cleaning and then we will see if they apply to the harder task of cleaning our hearts from harmful and hurtful thoughts.

Sunday morning addition to post: Our closet cleaned out and organized. I thought I would share that it can happen.

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Preparing for the Big Clean-out of a closet:

  • Trash bags are necessary for both trash and for donations. Large but tote-able bags.
  • Freezer tape or other tape that a sharpie can label the tape on bags for trash, charity names, or individual names. Label and keep separate piles of items to be placed in the bags or you can load as you go.
  • For the trash bags, I punch a hole large enough to hang on door handle for easy disposal of trash.
  • Move out all boxes, bags, storage tubs out of closet. I place all of these “gets in my way” bulky items in my bedroom the night before. This keeps me from procrastination and maintains the goal in front of me.
  • Dress comfortable for this task as it requires bending, reaching, moving, and not a fashion show. Hair should be out of the way too.
  • Scissors, cutting knife, tape, and any other tools to pack up or open to see what has been hidden, and a sharpie or other marking tool should be laid out on an accessible table.
  • Keep some drinkable water handy so dehydration will not be an issue while this task is being undertaken.
  • Schedule yourself and keep on point without distractions. Unless you want this to be a multiple day undertaking, allow yourself an amount of time to empty, arrange, dispose, and clean.
  • Take a picture before and after for you to appreciate your hard work and efforts.
  • With everything ready, BEGIN NOW.

    Step 1: Assess Your Big Obstacles

    Are your shoes overtaking the space? Try a hanging-shoe rack or over-the-door organizer. Do your clothes overcrowd? Thinner hangers create space so you can find things easier. Feeling rushed each morning?  Dividing shirts, dresses, jeans, etc. bring a sense of order and saves time. Solving your biggest problem will motivate you to create the closet of your dreams.

    Step 2: Make it a Family Effort

    Getting your hubby and kids involved in organizing can make a difference in your family’s day-to-day life. Everyone should be in charge of his or her own clothes, accessories, and toys. This will cut your cleaning time in half and ensure nothing important is thrown away by mistake.

    Step 3: Take An Hour

    Scheduling just 60 minutes a week can really make a dent in your overstuffed, cluttered closet. Can’t spare that much? Try two half-hour sessions. If you’re constantly being interrupted by “Hey Mom!” — ask your spouse to take the kids out for the afternoon. Remember to return the favor when it’s his turn to hit the closets.

    Step 4: Start from Scratch

    Take everything (yes, everything) out of your closet. If you don’t remove it all, chances are the same unworn clothes will be moved around the closet. Now it’s time to sort. Throw out old and damaged clothing. Donate what you don’t need or don’t wear.

    Step 5: Out with the Odd

    Remove items that have no business in your closet. Bank statements, insurance information, or tax documents don’t belong next to your shoes, scarves, and sweaters. Create a Life.doc to organize and store all of your important documents in one accessible place. File the remaining papers in an office cabinet or milk crate.

    Step 6: Organize in Sections

    Designate a place for everything in your closet. Shoes in one place, sweaters in another, and so on. This will help you keep order and save you time each morning. Make smart use of the space. Installing shelves will double your storage and help sweaters and t-shirts keep their shape better.

    Step 7: Apply the 80/20 Rule

    You may not want to admit it, but the majority of clothes you have probably go unworn. It’s said that the average American only wears 10 to 20 percent of their clothes. To cut down on the fluff, remove items you haven’t worn in a year. Drop off the excess at Goodwill or arrange a clotheswap with friends.

    Step 8: Put One In; Take One Out

    For each new item you buy to put in your closet, donate one item (or pitch it if it’s past its prime). This will keep you from returning to your pack-rat ways.

    Step 9: Keep It Going

    Dedicate 15 minutes a week to straightening your closet after the “big clean”. Spending this small amount of time will ensure you never have to go through a major de-clutter again.

    Step 10: Reward Yourself

    Recognize and celebrate what you’ve done. Treat yourself to some new hangers or buy that silk blouse you’ve been eyeing. Now, you actually have room for it!
    Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore are the co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stretched and stressed people get themselves organized. They are also co-authors of Everything (almost) In Its Place.

This article 10 STEPS TO A DECLUTTERED CLOSET can be read by clicking on this link.



Now, we have our closet(s) clean and let’s move on to how we can apply some of these tips to cleaning our hearts. I love the first tip from the article

Assess Your Big Obstacles is a wise way to assess our heart’s status.  Do we have obstacles and/or issues that stand in our way to feel love and kindness toward others? Do we hold grudges or have jealousy that need to go in the trash bags I mentioned we should have on hand in prep to cleaning our hearts.

Make it a family effort will give you support. Let your family know you want to clean your heart or in other words, purify your thoughts for displaying your beautiful heart. Ask for advice from those who display a kind heart and seem to be calm and loving.

Out with the Odd  could eliminate some unnecessary people and things from our lives. Are others influencing your heart and mind? Do you listen to negative and cold people? Do you surround yourself with positive and good hearted friends? Do you cloud your thinking and feelings from media, groups, clubs, and regretfully sometimes churches? Choose places and people that enlighten your life and your faith.

Keep it going is one of the best ways to keep your heart clean in the same way you maintain your closets, drawers, garage, and home but decisions not to re-clutter. Maintaining is as important as cleaning and this applies to our hearts.

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(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced when known for credit references.



Today, I dedicate this blog to the dedicated gardener and my friend Linda Christian who was celebrating her birthday when this was first posted.
THE GARDENER’S GLOVE was a popular message and I love the lessons behind it. We have a beautiful growing container garden this year. I have mentioned our garden before but in watching our “crop” grow, I am amazed at how the rain, the pruning, and the feedings affect the amount of growth. It led me back to how proper care of ourselves can affect our growth and especially our health. Stay tuned and when we begin the harvesting, I will share some recipes and photos.

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TODAY THE WORDS are THE GARDENER’S GLOVE  This topic may seem a little strange coming from a lady whose husband does all of our landscaping and who considers herself blessed to not have to pull weeds (but he doesn’t do a lot of that with his routine weed control). I have several FB friends who grow beautiful gardens (Linda Christian whose birthday is today and she can make us envious of her gardening skills and beautiful spirit of sharing with others) , some who are in their rose gardens and flower beds, and there are my friends who do not like the outdoor gardening at all. I love flowers and there is nothing better to eat than fresh home grown vegetables but I think my resistance stems from my childhood.
Let’s return to my childhood to give you my thoughts. In order to make some money, my Mother grew turnip and mustard greens in our back garden. Before school, and sometimes in the bitter cold, we would go to the garden, gather the greens which were ready, clean them off and bundle with string. Off to the grocery store they would go and off to school we would go. It wasn’t the work as I had too much energy; we didn’t use gloves. In those days, you used your hands (maybe others had enough money to buy gloves; not us). It was the smell of the greens on my hands and mind you, I washed my hands several times and they were as clean as they were going to be. I see my husband prepare, by putting on gloves, before he goes out to do yard work, gardening, and/or pruning. He is very particular about how the gloves have to fit as a proper fit will not slow him down. He jokes with other guys that his wife does yard work. He says “She tells me where to put everything and walks back in the house.” He smiles when he says it but I know he loves being in the yard and in control of its beauty. I am usually the one who is in charge of the interior of our home and I love doing it.
Now for the deeper thought….as important as gloves are to a gardener or landscaper…..gloves of life are as important to our being. Gloves are a protective covering to avoid scratches, cuts and sometimes bites from insects. They wrap around the hand and fingers securely and when properly fitted, are an extension of our very bodies. They become a second skin in other words. Our “character” is a pair of gloves of life. We start, at an early age, to develop (or put on) our character which comprises of several things: our personality; our integrity; our work ethics and our moral ethics (may be the same or sometimes not); our nurturing persona; and our spirituality. With the proper gloves of life, we can garden our souls and protect ourselves from the scratches, bites, and burns which the garden of life brings. I am not discounting God’s influence in our gardens, but we as His Children, need to put on our gloves and protect ourselves too. Good gardening, my friends, and don’t forget your gloves. 
Genesis 2:9                 
And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if known, is sourced to the original location for reference.


SOCIAL MEDIA, FRIEND OR FOE? Over the years, I have tossed this issue in my mind several times. Even though I communicate through most of the social media limbs such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked In, and my blog utilizing Word Press. I have experienced some success in reaching more people in more countries and this is very satisfactory. I have regained contact with lost friends and classmates through Facebook. It seems on the surface as friendly sources of communication but we should look at all the pros and cons of putting your “stuff” out on public or friendly display. This is the purpose of this blog. Let’s look at social media and then you can weigh in on whether our world is better off with this entanglement or if we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

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I found an interesting article which displays both the Pros and Cons of Social Media (for the article’s location link click on underlined title) and I thought I would kick off the blog message with this article for us to review:

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20 Pros and Cons of Social Media Use

December 6, 2017

My generation grew up in an era not known for leaps in technological advances. The lack of fun, lithium-ion powered iThings forced us to engage in antiquated traditions like going outside, socializing or reading. On the upside, living offline allowed us to keep screw-ups to limited audiences. We also experienced less bullying, anxiety and depression than later peers.

Related: Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Self-Esteem—and How to Stop It

Today, we often perceive anyone who shuns social media as old or out of touch. However, they might be the most mentally fit among us. In reality, most people have little awareness of the frequency with which they check their phones. In a 2015 study, participants checked their phones an average of 85 times each day and spent 5.05 hours per day using their smartphone. This is concerning because several studies and researchers have associated social media with several psychiatric disorders, including depressive symptoms, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Consider these 10 notable pro and con stances regarding social media use.


  1. Messaging on social media sites can lead to face-to-face interactions when plans are made via the sites.
  2. Social media increases voter participation and facilitates political change.
  3. Social media helps reduce loneliness of senior citizens who are socially isolated.
  4. Social media allows for quick diffusion of public health and safety information during crisis events.
  5. The U.S. military and the Department of Veterans Affairs use social media to help prevent suicide.
  6. Social media can help disarm social stigmas like anxiety or depression.
  7. Crowdsourcing on social media allows people to attain a goal, empowering users to achieve positive change.
  8. Social media provides academic research to a wider audience, allowing people access to previously inaccessible educational resources.
  9. Social media sites can help improve overall well-being by providing users with a large social group creating a “contagion” effect.
  10. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn greatly assist companies to find personnel and job seekers to find work.


  1. Social media posts cannot be entirely deleted.
  2. Social media can endanger our military, journalists and activists.
  3. Social media use is associated with personality and brain disorders.
  4. Students who are heavy social media users tend to have lower grades.
  5. Social media can exacerbate feelings of disconnect and put children at higher risk for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders and even suicide.
  6. Criminals can use social media to commit and promote crimes.
  7. Social media can be a drain on time and use up hours that you can’t get back.
  8. Advertising practices of social media sites may create an invasion of privacy.
  9. Social media facilitates sexting, which can lead to revenge porn, criminal charges and a proliferation of personal images.
  10. Social media use can cause personality and brain disorders, ADHD and self-centered personalities—particularly in youth.

Clinical psychologist and author of The Teen Girl’s Survival Guide, Dr. Lucie Hemmen writes that, “Most people experience huge benefits from taking a social media break. There is a way in which cultivating and maintaining your online identity can replace an authentic connection to your true self. The more grounded you are in your authentic value as a human being, the less likely you are to be a heavy user of social media and also to be negatively affected by it.”

For example, if you know that your value is deeper and more complex than what you post and how many likes and comments you receive, then you are probably social media resilient.


The more grounded you are in your authentic value as a human being, the less likely you are to be a heavy user of social media and also to be negatively affected by it.


On the flipside, Dr. Hemmen adds that, “If you struggle with feelings of insecurity and find yourself putting a lot of time and effort into portraying yourself a particular way on social media, then you are more vulnerable and would benefit profoundly from regular breaks. You will have the space needed to move toward your true self.”

Start by temporarily limiting your access. Challenge yourself to abstain from social media for a full week by removing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms from your phone for a duration of time. Once the initial withdrawal anxiety subsides, take notice if you feel better or worse. Being offline might just be a vacation for you.

Related:Why You’ve Got to Put Your Phone Down—Seriously


I am not advocating to stop using social media as I am a frequent user of getting my thoughts and writing on the blog, my novels, and my poetry/quotes through many sources. I have met so many good, new social media friends by reaching out and hopefully touching them in a positive light…..Arline Miller, blogger and author.

Final Thought by Blogger: My thoughts are self control in the use of social media as any other facet of lifestyle. If you are wondering or even worrying you spend too much time on Social Media….you probably are. If you find yourself taking the comments and/or how many or little likes……. you could take a social media break. One more final thought (not going to worry how you perceived this one LOL): If you looked forward to reading this blog on social media…..you may want to make your own list of the pros and cons of social media. I mentioned this topic on Facebook and I received more pros than cons of using Facebook. I found it nice to hear people talking about the good things of social media and how they reconnected. I am a recipient of this pleasure too but have wondered what has been wrong with my phone and legs? Why haven’t I tried to find these beautiful friends before Facebook? I ask that we all think about this thought a little and maybe revamp some of our socializing habits. Maybe look up an old friend and go for coffee, lunch, or a walk in the park. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by surrounding yourself with positive actions.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced with links to original location if known for credit reference.




My beautiful daughter, Missy Smith Haas  has produced over 100 pastels depicting the soul of the butterfly. This is one of the recent ones she drew for her Dad.


I am a writer, working on my third novel but it is so easy to be distracted by “noisy noise”. Media, whether it be social media, the news media, or just chit chat. This brought me to this photo which was on Twitter. I found myself calming while gazing at the beauty. I found a source of focus and wanted to share a tip which if chosen can be applied to all of us.

the center of interest or activity.
“this generation has made the environment a focus of attention”
synonyms: center, focal point, central point, center of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, cornerstone, linchpin, cynosure
“schools are a focus of community life”
an act of concentrating interest or activity on something.
“our focus on the customer’s requirements”
synonyms: emphasis, accent, priority, attention, concentration More
the point of origin of an earthquake.MEDICINE
the principal site of an infection or other disease.
the part of a sentence given prominence, usually for emphasis or contrast, e.g., Bob in it was Bob who came, not Bill.
the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.”his face is rather out of focus”
synonyms: focal point, point of convergence More
another term for focal point.
the point at which an object must be situated with respect to a lens or mirror for an image of it to be well defined.
a device on a lens that can be adjusted to produce a clear image.
one of the fixed points from which the distances to any point of a given curve, such as an ellipse or parabola, are connected by a linear relation.verbverb: focus; 3rd person present: focuses; past tense: focused; past participle: focused; gerund or present participle: focusing; 3rd person present: focusses; past tense: focussed; past participle: focussed; gerund or present participle: focussing
(of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.”try to focus on a stationary object”
cause (one’s eyes) to focus.
“trying to focus his bleary eyes on Corbett”
adjust the focus of (a telescope, camera, or other instrument).
“they were focusing a telescope on a star”
synonyms: bring into focus; More
(of rays or waves) meet at a single point.
(of a lens) make (rays or waves) meet at a single point.
(of light, radio waves, or other energy) become concentrated into a sharp beam of light or energy.
(of a lens) concentrate (light, radio waves, or energy) into a sharp beam.
pay particular attention to.”the study will focus on a number of areas in Wales”

FOCUS is one of the best ingredients for the formula for success. Let me say it this way, “How many times have you sat and pondered (or in essence, focused) on one simple word, photo, poem, etc. until you had an idea of your own. It simply came to you. The possible reason for the result? FOCUS. You were able to eliminate the white noise of this world and tune into your inner self.




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My husband Greg Miller finds focus in a camera lens and creates beauty from nature. I love to watch him grab his camera and go out the door. I am assured the world of nature will appear in his photos.

TUNE OUT; TUNE IN! Focus on something like this photo or an object in nature itself. Look intently at the object, animal, photo or image until you don’t hear the outside, distracting noise and I feel you will be enlightened to new thoughts or ideas.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third part material sourced to original location for credit reference.


 MISERY LOVES COMPANY II comes from an original post which received a lot of views. No one wants to be miserable, do they? Sometimes it seems like they do. 
TODAY THE WORD is MISERY. Isn’t this a switcheroo? Miss Positive herself, is writing about misery. I was driving yesterday for several hours and this word came to mind about how people encourage misery in their lives. Why, you may ask, would anyone encourage misery since no one desires to be miserable. I don’t know if any of you watched the movie, Misery, with James Caan, Kathy Bates, that was filmed in 1990. It is a grueling story of how one fan became so obsessed with an author she kept him captive and made him write the next book. She subjected him to so much misery and pain. I see people who subjectively put themselves in misery and pain by the choices they make.
Life throws people enough curves on its own without us making it simpler for life to cheat us out of the blessings that are meant to come our way. How is this possible for one to encourage misery as it seems more natural for us to want happiness, peace and contentment? For some reason, and it may be subconsciously hidden, I think people who have low self esteem crave attention and that opens some doors that should remain shut. Any attention is better than none; and therefore the problem manifests itself. The victim status comes into play. No one likes me; I am not pretty enough; I can’t find a job; my spouse doesn’t treat me right; I am too fat or I am too skinny; and on and on until the person starts believing they are a victim. I am a compassionate person but I say do not encourage “playing victimitis” when you hear someone make the comments seeking attention. True hardships as I was speaking earlier warrant our compassion while at the same time, compassion given to the attention deprived victim is harmful. In place of the compassion, give encouragement in the good things about the person to build the self esteem is my philosophy.

1. Stop letting others determine your priorities.

Look — you know what’s important to you.

(Stop shaking your head — deep down, you know what’s important.)

But what’s important to you is not important to everyone else.

This is fine and normal, except that some people will try to downplay your priorities.

They will try to make you put their priorities in front of your own.

They will try to make you a spectator in your own life.

They will try to make you second-class.

And if you don’t do this — watch out.

They will try and play on your sense of obligation so you’ll keep serving them.

They might even say they neeeeeeeeeed you.


Or at least walk away from people who have dramatically different priorities than you.

Priorities so radically different that they can’t coexist without one eating the other alive.

Get clear on what matters to you.

Protect where your energy goes and protect your focus.

Take everything inside of you that used to blindly go out into the world trying to please others and reverse it.

But when you do this — be ready for backlash.

Be ready for others to fight you.

Others will feel irritated and threatened when you no longer serve them.

When you set boundaries and say “No”, they will get offended.

Don’t let this backlash stop you.

Stand strong.

Be firm.

Cut off anyone who refuses to let you put your own priorities first.

Stop surrounding yourself with people who refuse to support what’s important to you.

Instead, start spending time with like-minded people who will support you, your priorities, and your goals.

Structure your life so you’re protecting your time and energy in the places that matter most to YOU.

And let others do the same.

Why add misery to misery by agreeing with a trivial whine? Could we try when someone says something negative, to say something positive? Misery loves company, so help that person out of their “misery status” to a more productive status. “I can’t find a job” may be an opening to “Where have you been looking” or “Have you tried there?” instead of “I know, you won’t be able to find a job in this town”. Happy people have bad days too: they just deal with them better. Don’t invite Misery in for dinner; it may never leave!

Proverbs 15:15-16

15 A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song. 16 A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material Sourced if known for reference credit.


TODAY THE WORD is MOTHERHOOD.  Today, once a year, we celebrate Mothers Day. Flowers and gifts are sent with beautiful cards full of wonderful words for the fantastic Mothers to cry over, laugh and enjoy. There are lunches and dinners with children coming home or having their Mothers coming to their home. Pampering is at its finest on this special day. For those of us who have lost our Mothers, we reminisce over the wonderful memories of times past. With so much tenderness, do we spend pouring over old photos, running our fingers over those photos as if we are reaching out and touching our loving Mothers, and smile and cry sometimes at the same time.


Why do Mothers mean so much to us? I think it goes back to our birth having already formed a bond of warmth when associated with the Mother carrying the baby for nine months. The bond is molded more when the first years of closeness of nurturing, training, feeding, caring for the child. When a child has a boo boo, they usually seek out Mom and want it kissed and made better. As the child grows up, it is usually a need for approval from her to make all of the accomplishments worth the effort. Even in sports, the child looks first to the Dad for pride, but also looks to Mom for the loving seal of approval. What is more “Mother-like” needs? It is the need for comfort when the child loses a game, or doesn’t make the needed hit for the winning run, or doesn’t make the team. God blessed Moms to understand this need and blessed them to open their arms, rub those heads, and say the right words to make it okay. When a pet dies, it is usually Mom who wipes the tears away and assures the child it will be all right. When the son or the daughter gets their heart broken for the first time and sometimes more times than expected, Mom assures them, the one that is special enough will come along and they will be better off.

last day 7Now for the deeper thought……God made Mothers to give us a physical being to comfort us on earth while He comforts our spirits. God gave us Fathers to build our strength and character and God gave us both parents to give us all we would need from physical parents. God will furnish our spiritual needs and our salvation accomplishments. As God sees us move into His light, God glows with pride as our earthly fathers glow; God loves His Children even more than our earthly mothers love us. Today, if you are blessed to have your Mother here on earth, hug her tight, tell her over and over how much you love her. Say a prayer, like I have prayed a prayer of thanks for my precious Mother and how, while she lived; she loved her children with a passion unmatched by any other love. Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers reading this blog! You are special in your children’s’ eyes.

As a tribute to Motherhood, I found an article where Moms describe what it means to be a Mother. You can read the entire article by clicking on the link.

18 Moms Describe What It Means to Be a Mother

What is motherhood? What does it mean to be a mother? These questions are as challenging to answer as they are simple. Yes, to give birth; yes, to adopt children; yes, to have a family. But being a mother is also about much more than that, isn’t it? There’s some large, overwhelming, and beautiful piece at the center of motherhood that is so hard to put words to. It’s a feeling, not an explanation. Maybe that piece is best called love. If so, it is truly a unique love reserved for the mother/child relationship. And when you’ve felt it, you know it.

Since we’re just a few days away from Mother’s Day, we put this question to 18 moms: “What does it mean to be a mother?” The responses we heard were lovely, inspirational, and downright funny! Read them all below.


“For me, motherhood is seeing the profound value in learning about who your children are, and then encouraging and teaching them to be the best versions of themselves. It is my greatest hope that this acceptance and unconditional love will empower and strengthen my children as well as foster self-confidence and kindness!”

—Courtney Westlake
blogger, Blessed By Brenna
Blog | Instagram | Facebook


“Motherhood is truly a remarkable gift and a privilege that I hold very close to my heart. To me, being a mother means to be fearless4, to be a positive role model, to be a continuous cheerleader for every milestone my children will experience, to demonstrate the abundance of unconditional love that has no end and to cherish the countless memories that is truly priceless.”

—Eluka Moore
Co-Founder & Author, Kitchen Club Kids
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“To me, being a mother is the greatest job in the world. Helping my girls through all the things life throws them, while also lifting them up so they can reach for the stars and grab one! That’s what being a mom is all about—always being there—the shoulder to cry on, the cheerleader to never give up, the one that gives the standing ovation, the familiar hand to hold.”

—Bobbie Rhoads
Founder & President, FunBites LLC
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“Being a mother means being completely and totally overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by love, joy, responsibility, and selflessness. Motherhood means sleepless nights, big belly laughs, caterpillars on the coffee table, finger-painting in the kitchen, stubbed toes, and gapped toothed grins. Motherhood has made life more colorful than I ever knew it could be. Being a mom means I have two little people who walk around with my heart and soul in the palms of their sweet, smudgy hands.”1

—Lauren Casper
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“To me, being a mother means getting to see all the possibility in the world through your children’s eyes, and also wanting to be the kindest and most generous version of yourself, so that your children can look up to you. On a day to day level, being a mother means being tired, sometimes grumpy and never left alone, and then, in one funny, loving or meaningful moment with your kids, realizing that it’s all completely worth it. Times one million.”

—Cara McDonough
Blog | Twitter | Instagram


“Being a mother means being an emotional blankie for your children. They snuggle with you at night, run to you when they’re hurt, and stand behind you in scary situations. There’s nothing more warm and fuzzy.”

—Maia Haag
Co-Founder & President, I See Me! LLC.
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“For me, being a mother means it is MY responsibility to give my children the tools they need to live a happy and meaningful life. In the case of my daughters, Lily and Melanie, I wanted to empower them with a skill set that would allow them to create independent careers and avoid the glass ceiling…they are on their way with confidence and the sky is the limit.”

—Renee Sandler
Founder & CEO, BLAMtastic®
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“Being a mother means, knowing when to talk and knowing when to listen…understanding that there is no learning curve. Every day is an adventure (especially when you are raising three boys…Boy oh Boy oh Boy). I would not trade my best day before my kids were born for the worst day after. Motherhood is: a life time adventure, the hardest non-paying 24 hour job you will ever do, and my greatest achievement!”1

—Amy Fazackerley
Founder, Lay-n-Go
Website | Facebook | Twitter


Being a mom means that “sacrificing my body, my time, my finances, my sleep, and my mental health to raise my kids will be worth it in the end, because life isn’t about me anymore.  I just hope my kids survive my weaknesses, and realize I love them more than anything.”

—Heather Bowcutt
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“Parenting is raising a child to be the best they can be. Being a mother is different: it means providing that indescribable feeling of comfort, no matter the age of the child. It’s being that person you call on that makes you feel better and doesn’t even need to say anything.”

—Wendy Hunter, MD
Pediatrician & Founder of BabyScience.info
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“Being a mother means learning, listening, leading, laughing, loving, and living in the moment . . . all while executing the myriad details of life with aplomb.”

—Rana DiOrio
Founder/CEO of Little Pickle Presss
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“Motherhood is to sleep with one eye open and always worry. To constantly feel guilty about SOMETHING. To have your heart so filled with love you think it might explode and then have it broken all in the space of less that 60 seconds. To be a guide, coach, cheerleader, policewoman, superhero, ‘kissy monster,’ friend and confidant, even when you have the flu and all you want to do is hide under the covers. To do your best and remember in the hardest of times that the tantrums will pass, teenagers grow out of it, nothing ends a bad parenting moment like a big hug, and most importantly that it’s okay not to be perfect.”

—Tova Leigh
Blog | Facebook


“Being a mother means having my heart permanently stitched to my sleeve, out there and vulnerable and afraid, yet somehow finding such fulfillment and hope that I’m able to appreciate the extraordinary journey. Though it is maddening, terrifying at times, it is also glorious and beautiful; and the most absurd part is that I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
 —Stephanie Jankowski
“What it means to be a mother is to put your own problems and issues aside and guide your children through life’s adventures with a happy and positive attitude. Most importantly, a mother must engage her children in topics of interest to them (even if they are not interesting to her) and show them how to explore those topics in a meaningful way. Childhood is full of magic, and a mom has to allow that to last as long as she can. Moms have to be creative to keep the magic alive while teaching important skills and values. Of course this is a tall order, and moms are not perfect, so it is equally important to say ‘sorry’ when we need to.”
—Margaret Maciulla
Owner of Grouchy Dog, LLC
Website | Facebook | Twitter
“There are so many responsibilities that come with being a mother. From the time when they’re babies in your arms to teenagers becoming more independent, you always want to help. With something like the environmental crisis, that’s a burden that our generation might leave for our kids, and I want to do everything I can to help. That’s where my profession ties into my passion as a mother: I aim to use digital games to highlight the beauty of the nature world.”
—Jane Ji
Owner of Springbay Studio, Ltd.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

“Being a mother means getting your toddler into his car seat as fast as possible (and without any tantrums) when all he wants is to ‘drive’ the car himself. It means leaving the house earlier so you have a few extra minutes to let him sit in the front seat in the driveway and ‘drive’ before going anywhere. Being a mother means trying to make the best of every situation, choosing your battles, and planning ahead!”

—Adi Kochalsky
ZIPIT Website | Facebook | Twitter

A mother never says to her child, ‘You owe me.’ This is why1 her love is boundless, endless, seamless, selfless—unconditional. This is why her love multiplies and divides to embrace her own children and then theirs. There is a Mother Theresa in every mother and she should be celebrated (on Mother’s Day and) every day.”

—Roma Khetarpal
Author of The Perfect Parent
Website | Facebook | Twitter


“Being a mother, with its challenges and rewards, has shaped me into the person I never imagined I could become. Protecting and advocating for our children is something all mothers strive for, and for me this is especially true for my child with autism who needs me as an advocate and a voice. It’s been the best assertiveness training!”

—Lori DeMonia
Author of Leah’s Voice and Love for Logan
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Isaiah 66:13          

As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced, if known, to original location for credit reference.






My Mahi Mahi with Tomato Mango Salsa on HEALTHY BITES
Quick Lunch Idea on HEALTHY BITES

TODAY THE WORDS are WHY DEPRIVE; CUT PORTIONS AND THRIVE. I have been doing a lot of re-thinking my eating program. I hate to use the word program as it depicts some sort of the forbidden word “diet” but it is important we think not worry. Today I would like to share some of my thoughts about WHY DEPRIVE; CUT PORTIONS AND THRIVE. In order to do this, I want to shake up some of the ideas we have been supplied over the past few decades. From all of the great “resolves” most of us have ended up with more weight on our bodies from all of the deprivation.
Yesterday when I covered my decision to use the Tablespoon of the No-No foods during the holidays and shared it with some other friends; I realized from the follow up discussions with the ones who exercised this technique (by the way, nothing to buy or special products) they didn’t gain during the holidays and now are excited about becoming very serious to get in control of their health. In other words; they didn’t feel deprived. Neither did I.  I am not advocating eating the No-Nos every day but when we can feel we had the pleasure of tasting some of the No-Nos but not overindulging; it is a good day.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember how school lunches USED to be created. They were selections from the food groups. We had protein, starch or good carbs as veggies, fruit, bread, and even dessert. Think about how few kids were overweight; yes that is right. It was very unusual for a child to be chubby. We were active and not sitting idle. Hmmm??? Maybe that is a different topic for another day. Here is the focus of what I am thinking…..Portions! We were given a certain amount of each food group and not allowed 4 portions of starches or bread or even dessert. It was proportionately divided to insure we ate from all of the food groups. May I ask a question? Why did we change the way we used to eat when life was grand and all of the fish were jumping?
Commercialism is the culprit. Along came the microwave and the fast food (which I believe is the fast track to our demise). We grabbed on that destructive train with a vengeance and became lazy. This didn’t help us in the activity area either. I can remember going to the garden and picking the foods for our dinner or at least preparing for the freezer for later.
Here is an article I found that help us cut portions and whatever weight management style you choose cutting portions is a way to enhance the results.

The best portion control tips for easy and fast weight loss.


May 13, 2015
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Start with a glass of H2O

Drink 16 ounces (a big glass) of water before you eat, suggests Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet. Filling your belly with water will naturally make you less likely to overeat, she says. Plus, some symptoms of dehydration may actually be what’s causing your rumbling belly, so sipping some water before you eat may eliminate your “hunger” altogether.


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Wear form-fitting clothes

We’re not suggesting you squeeze into pants that are too tight. However, wearing an outfit with a waistband or perhaps a jacket with buttons can serve as a tool to prompt you to slow down and assess how you feel during your meal, says Young. As your clothing begins to feel a little snugger, it may keep you from going back for seconds.
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Add veggie fillers

Bulking up your meals with veggies is one easy way to cut calories while filling you up fast. Spinach, for example, can be used as a sandwich-topper or can add fiber and nutrients to pasta and stir-fries, says Blatner. Other ideas to eat more veggies: swap in mushrooms for half the ground meat in most recipes, make oatmeal more filling with diced apples, and use a whole-wheat pita in place of bread so you can stuff it with more veggies.
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Dine on dinnerware that helps you lose

The color of your plate may influence how much you eat, according to a 2012 Cornell University study. The researchers discovered that when a plate and the food on it had a low color-contrast (like pasta with Alfredo sauce on a white plate), people at a buffet served themselves 22% more than when there was a higher color-contrast (like pasta with red sauce on a white plate or pasta with Alfredo sauce on a red plate). The study conclusions suggest that if you want to eat less, select plates that have a color-contrast to the food you’re eating for dinner. Or if you want to eat more healthy foods, like a bigger salad, eat greens from a large green plate or bowl!
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Make carbs the topper instead of the base

Rethink the way you use grains and starches. Take a breakfast parfait, for instance: instead of starting with a granola base, fill your cup with yogurt and then sprinkle just a tiny amount of granola on top for the crunch you crave. Making a stir-fry? Load up your plate with veggies and a serving of lean protein, then add a quarter cup of brown rice.
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Set the scene for slower eating

Dim lights and listen to relaxing music to set the tone for a more leisurely meal, suggests Blatner. “Taking your time while eating increases enjoyment and decreases portions,” she says. Remember to chew slowly, put down your fork between bites, and sip water to make your meal last longer.
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Work for your food

Here’s another way to slow down your eating: munch on foods that require shelling, peeling, or individual unwrapping, suggests Blatner. Oranges, edamame, and pistachios in their shells are healthy options.
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Don’t eat from the bag or box

When you sit down with a bag of chips, do you really know how many you’re eating? Researchers from Cornell University sought to answer this question in a study and found that people ate 50% more chips when they were given no visual cues as to how large a portion should be. So if you buy a bag of pretzels or tin of nuts that contains 10 servings, divide the contents of the container into 10 smaller baggies ahead of time.
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Slurp your appetizer

Before you dive into your entrée, have some soup. Though it may seem counterintuitive to add more to your meal, research shows that starting a meal with soup may help you reduce your overall calorie intake. In a 2007 study, people who ate soup before their lunch entrée reduced their total calorie intake by 20%. Your best bet: a broth-based soup, preferably with veggies to help you feel full from the natural fiber, says Young. Here are a few healthy soup recipes to get you started.
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Take a lap before serving yourself

In a Cornell University study published in PLoS One, researchers observed people at two separate breakfast buffet lines that featured the same seven items: cheesy eggs, potatoes, bacon, cinnamon rolls, low-fat granola, low-fat yogurt, and fruit. One line presented the foods from healthiest to least-healthy, while the other line had the order reversed. Regardless of which line they passed through, more than 75% of diners put the first food they saw on their plates; the first three foods they encountered in the buffet made up two-thirds of all the foods they added to their plate. So take a stroll around the buffet or dinner table before you serve yourself, suggests Young.
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Drink from a tall glass

It’s okay to have a cocktail with your meal if that’s what you really want, but keep it to one glass and enjoy it slowly, suggests Young. To trick yourself into believing you’re having more, pour your drink into a tall, thin glass. A 2005 study published in the journal BMJ revealed that practiced bartenders who poured what they thought was a shot of alcohol (1.5 ounces) into a short, wide glass poured 20% more than when the glass was tall and thin. Add extra ice to your drink to make it look like even more!
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Limit mealtime distractions

Turn off the TV and put your smartphone away while you eat. A recent review of studies found that people who watched television during meals tended to consume more than those who ate without any distractions. And for you office dwellers? Consider taking your lunch break away from your desk—in an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, people who played computer solitaire while having lunch felt less full at the end, and went on to eat more food later in the day than those who didn’t play the game.
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Use smaller serveware and dishes

Turns out that even food experts aren’t so savvy about eyeballing portion sizes. In a Cornell University study, 85 nutrition experts gathered for an ice cream social to celebrate the success of a colleague. They were randomly given either a small or large bowl, or a small serving scoop or large serving scoop. Then, the nutritionists were asked to complete a brief survey while the study researchers secretly weighed their bowls. Those given the larger bowls served themselves 31% more without realizing it, while those who used the larger scoop unknowingly served themselves 14.5% more. Moral of the story? Dish up your own food with a small utensil onto a small bowl or plate, and chances are you’ll eat less.
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End your meal with a new kind of sweet treat

Many people have trained themselves to expect a sweet treat at the end of a meal, says Blatner. Swap in a new, healthier ritual after meals to signal that you’re done eating. She recommends brewing a flavorful decaf tea like peppermint, cinnamon, chocolate, or one of your favorite fruity varieties for low-or-no-calorie sweet-tooth satisfier.

14 Portion Control Tips

Here is my thought on what has caused more obesity than having a cookie once in a while, a piece of bread with butter on it occasionally, or even a serving of lasagne or spaghetti……it is the ability to grab any quantity of fried chicken, pizza, burgers and fries super sized, or buffets where the philosophy is to eat as much as your body can hold because you are paying one price for whatever. You may not agree with my thinking but at least think about what you are eating and remember portions. You can or cannot count calories (that kind of stuff messes with my ADD) but a portion is the way to go in my mind. One piece of meat, one or two vegetables, one moderate size carb, one toasted or dark bread, and occasionally something sweet but try to stay away from gooey or a portion of fruit will go a long way in your system working right. At least consider changing from the idea of I can’t have to How much of any of the food group should I have.
May you find your way on the eating trail of life. I am not a health expert but I have found that the so called diets do not work for me and I don’t want to deprive; I want to cut portions and thrive.
HEALTHY BITES has been created to offer healthy recipes and you can click on this page for them. Also if you follow me on Pinterest, or even if you don’t, you can find great healthy recipes on many boards. Until we read or eat again…….Arline Miller, author and fellow eater!
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with rights and permissions reserved. Third party material is sourced if known to original location for credit references.


I have chosen to repost this lovely blog message from 2016. With Mother’s Day approaching, many of you will relate to the pearl necklaces. Recently Former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away and so many references to her “pearl” identity which was always a symbol for her. Please enjoy this one and I love my pearls both on my neck and in my heart.

TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS.  In anticipation of reaching an important goal for the blog of 150,000 page views, I went back to my log of posts and found this one. I thought we might enjoy some pearly whites this morning.

For most of you who know me, you already know how I love pearls. I have worn pearls and they have always given me such a warm feeling when I have them on. I will notice in photos of anyone that has a pearl necklace, earrings or brooch (for any youngsters that is a pin). What I would like to share is the thought behind pearls. A dear friend of mine has told me many times, “there’s your pearl” when something good happened. He would also say when he was giving me great advice, “here is a little pearl”. One day, when I was about to put one of my strands, I took a long look at it, realizing the importance of message it was portraying.
I thought I would enhance this personal message with the following link and excerpt about the history of Pearl Jewelry.


Pearls are unique among gemstones because they don’t arise from the depths of the earth but from the sea. They require no special cutting or polishing to maximize their lustrous beauty, which has been treasured since ancient times and ensures that pearl jewelry is always in style.


Pearls were used in jewelry at least as far back as ancient Greece, and until the 20th century pearls were one of the most valued gems, if not the most valuable, in many cultures. The rules of the Byzantine empire dictated that only the emperor was allowed to wear pearls, and other societies had rules about who could and could not wear these little treasures. The sixteenth century in England was known as the Pearl Age, reflecting the prestige carried by pearls at that time.

Pearls became more accessible in the early 1900s once people in Asia discovered how to create cultured pearls. By carefully placing a small nucleus into a living oyster, a pearl forms around the nucleus, allowing pearls to be created in oyster farms.


In many ancient societies pearls symbolized the moon and were imbued with magical properties. Ancient Chinese civilizations believed that wearing pearls protected a person from fire and dragons, and other cultures have associated them with chastity and modesty. In Victorian England small seed pearls were often used in mourning jewelry to symbolize tears.



Pearls have long been exchanged as gifts. When 13th century explorer Marco Polo visited Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan he reportedly presented him with the stunning Arco Valley Pearl, which weighs in at 575 carats and is more than three inches long (the pearl was auctioned off in Abu Dhabi in 2007 and its whereabouts are unknown). A famously beautiful pearl called La Peregrina was given by Prince Phillip II of Spain to his bride Mary during the 16th century. La Peregrina, a white, pear-shaped saltwater pearl, had a series of royal owners until the 1960s, when actor Richard Burton gave it to his jewelry-obsessed wife Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor had a necklace of pearls and rubies designed to showcase La Peregina.

Although famous for singing that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” one of Marilyn Monroe’s most treasured pieces of jewelry was a simple sixteen-inch string of pearls given to her by Joe DiMaggio during their honeymoon in Japan. Pearls were always a favorite accessory of 20th century style icon Grace Kelly, both during her screen star days and once she became Princess Grace of Monaco. Her husband Prince Rainier gave her a luxurious pearl-and-diamond jewelry set that she wore frequently.

Let me share this with you. Pearls are grown in a hard shell (and really few of us look at an oyster shell as pretty like we look at other shells). It may take up to 20 or more years to bring a pearl to full size so a lot of time goes into the process. Pearls in their natural state aren’t the finished pearl we see in the strands as they are polished and by this process, it brings out their true luster. If you take the time and look closely, pearls are still unique and usually no two are exactly the same. As beautiful as pearls are, they can be beautiful with others or beautiful on their own. Pearls are usually a gift given by someone who loves them dearly.
Now for the deeper thought……have you thought about the clasp? As beautiful as the strand of pearls are, without the clasp to hold it all together, the pearls would fall to the ground It is the most important part of the necklace and here is how I see pearls. Pearls are our different stages of our life. When we are young, we are the pearls being nurtured in our shell surrounded by a hard protective cover (our parents). After a while, we are plucked into our adult lives. We can be successful on our own or part of a collection (company). We have strength and luster; but are fragile if not connected by a strong clasp (God). We can add other pearls (spouses, children, friends, and grandchildren) to our strand and people like to enjoy our pearls. God will hold our lives together and the clasp needs to be checked to make sure it closed securely (our faith). Next time you see a strand of pearls, take a deep look at it. God gives us the freedom to build a beautiful strand of pearls of life with all of its beauty and luster but He wants us to keep our pearls safe, protected and loved.



Matthew 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls

(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

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