UPDATE: I am humbled to know that over 1000 likes/comments have been made favorably on my post about my cake/cake cover/punchbowl excitement. Out of those, only one person stated they had the same one. The cake is a total winner and I will make it again. We froze some pieces for some special family members so it will taste fresh when they receive their slices. I cannot contain my excitement. Maybe some of those in the groups I shared this post will become blog followers in the future. For now, I want to thank all of you reading this update. You are the icing on my cake!! Arline Miller, blogger and author.

As most of you have seen me posting all of my baking and cooking antics, it is probably obvious I love trying new recipes and new ways to reinvent dishes. Over the years, I have chosen gifts that help me cook and bake easier and more efficient. My husband has been such a trooper to listen to me and before I know it, that special pan or appliance appears. His logic is he benefits from all the good food that comes from those gifts of love. This leads me to my latest gift, a pre-Valentine treasure.

In baking, there are hours that go into the prep and the actual baking of cakes. The eggs and butter have to be room temperature as well as other ingredients have to be chopped, measured, and mixed. It is in that time, I am in my element and I have so many friends who feel the same. It is the creation, the smells of a cake baking, and the joy when others see and taste the finished product. One thing that I had an issue with is my cake cover. I don’t know how many of you have a cover that keeps the cake fresher but once you place the creation you made, it is hidden from you. Call it ego or pride, but it bothered me that it was hidden.

I had seen several glass cake covers but for whatever reason, I chose not to buy them and kept looking. I somehow pushed the thought of finding the perfect one and time passed. Until this past week…..I found it and yes, it is perfect for me. I am posting the pictures of it with the first cake I baked. I can’t explain the thrill of seeing the cake displayed. I even shared the photos and story on a group that I belong, White Lily Baking Community, and over 400 members have said a lot of positive comments. By the way, the cake is delicious and since it is my Valentines Day gift, I decorated it whimsical with heart gummies.

This beautiful cut glass cake plate/punch bowl with cups has its first Arline baked Mile High Pound Cake decorated for Valentines Day.

Here is the story of how I found “my gift” cake cover/convertible to punch bowl. From time to time, we have found some great antique chairs that we incorporated into our home’s decor. I find myself checking it and the other day, I spotted this beautiful cake server and almost yelled when I saw it. I couldn’t believe the excitement as it was like finding hidden treasure in the shape of a domed cover and to have it have the ability to use as a punch bowl, I was like a kid in a candy shop. I jumped online and asked the owner if it was still available and yes, it was. I asked some questions as to the condition, owner’s location, and told her I wanted it. My next task was to ask my husband if he could take a short break and pick it up. I knew it would go fast, but the lady seemed to understand, it was sold and sold to me. I assured Greg that it could be my Valentine’s Day present because I could not think of a better gift than the very thing I had waited for years to have. This piece has a significant meaning and it wasn’t sold because the owners didn’t love it but they retired, sold the Bed and Breakfast which this gorgeous cake plate had lived, and didn’t have room for it any more. It was waiting for a new place to show off its beauty and now it is home with us. That brings me to the focus of why I am telling you, my readers about this adventure.

My Whimsical Cake

My deeper thought: In life, we are going to be exposed to things or even relationships we find desirable and honestly we want. I thought I would compare this desire with my want of a glass cake cover. In the same way that I saw many cake covers during my wait, they were not my image of what I was looking for. I chose not to be impulsive and waited. In life, we meet and even date people who spark our interest, but in our hearts, they are not exactly what we want for the rest of our lives. Do we wait or do we jump into a relationship thinking we can change the other person? I have found no one changes anyone; if anything we change to adapt. Sometimes, this is a good thing but if we change to accept unacceptable behavior that the other person refuses to see they are not adding but taking away the good parts of life; we change ourselves for the worse. Now, that said, back to the cake cover saga, if I had gone ahead and settled for the cake covers that didn’t make me deliriously happy, I would have not known how happy I could be. Yes, I could have lived with less and in life, we find ourselves settling and if we are happy, so be it. But maybe, if you are out there alone in life, it may be best to wait until that person that comes into your life fits your needs exactly. Some of you may be thinking, no one is perfect and you are right; my cake cover is extremely heavy but I know that I can deal with the weight of it reminding myself, it was made to last. Just some thoughts to ponder. Live Life; Love Life; and Live and Love Life to the Fullest by making good life choices.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and ReInvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location/author for credit reference.


Today, while it is chilly or rather colder than I like it to be, I am staying inside and while I am hibernating, I thought I would share some of my tips and even some I have learned from others with my readers. I love reinventing dishes from leftovers and I have some awesome spaghetti sauce that needs to be eaten but you know as well as me, that making the same spaghetti dish gets mundane. While looking this morning, I found an easy way to make personal pizzas in the air fryer using English Muffins. Look at this easy way to use that spaghetti sauce:

Recipe by Gilat Split the English Muffin in half Place the English Muffins split side up in the air fryer for 3 minutes at 400 degrees.Remove from air fryer and top each with pizza sauce and cheese (optional: mini pepperoni, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.Place back into the air fryer for 4 minutes at 400 degrees.

These are ideas that can be used to add ingredients you have on hand and make it your own.

Don’t you find that you always have more salad that you can eat when you order from a restaurant that have awesome salads, especially Caesar Salads with the delicious super greens? Next time, you could use one of my tips by removing some of the greens into a storage container for later. Make sure that you keep the greens with no dressing to stay fresh and crisp. Yesterday I shared this tip on FB when I made homemade tuna salad that I used one of the dressing containers of Caesar Dressing in the tuna mixture which was an awesome taste.

I have learned to save the extras from take out, store immediately, and use. Do you save the condiments like soy sauce, ketchup, duck sauce, Arby’s sauces (the horseradish sauce is great for making your own tartar sauce). Waste not, want not is Reinvention Queen’s motto.

Another great tip for saving extra rice from Chinese take out as you know they give you too much to eat at the time you get it home: Place extra rice with a paper towel in a zip loc bag or container. You can make a quick soup by using the rice along with a tomato condensed soup, a vegetable can of soup, or a cream of whatever soup with a little broth added to the leftover rice. Wallah, instant soup and usage of food. Never waste, make something new instead. BTW, add some leftover cooked veggies to whatever soup you make.

How about making your own seasonings? This is a handy reference and we all know we have so many bottles of spices in our pantry. Why buy the blends? Make some from what you have on hand.

What to do if you find your favorite bread on sale and know that you would love to stock up but worried about keeping it fresh? See this tip:

Photo tip by Thehomesteadsurvival.com

One of my dear friends cooks with fresh veggies and fruits to keep her immune system cranked up and here is a great tip from Debra Brown:

This is where I use creativity by looking at what I have in the refrigerator and adding it to some pantry items. Deb and I think alike.

Note from Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen: I have posted several dishes made from an original dish on my blog and if you search on my home page on the right side and type in Reinvention Queen, it will bring up several posts focused on making the most of what you have. When I bake, broil, fry, meats, I do more quantity in the first round to save energy (both mine and the stove’s).

Jon Taylor provides a great tip for making Nature’s Flu Shot and my thoughts are make this up by using excess lemons, pineapple juice, and garlic that you may have in your fridge.

Let’s get our minds to working to use up the pricey items we are buying so that we don’t waste and conserve our money. Inflation hurts but we can beat the odds by using what we have in oh so many ways….Until we cook/bake again…..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.

(C) Copyright, 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, for credit references.


Do you love to use your imagination in baking and/or cooking? I do and I like to use the things in my pantry to see if they will work in an existing recipe like the one below. I know if you make this recipe the exact way it was created, it would be delicious and I am not knocking on this recipe. Quite the opposite, if I choose a recipe to base a creation on, it means I think it is a winner. I am posting the original recipe to give credit to the source.

This Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Mary Younkin’s new cookbook, The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook, is a recipe you’ll make again and again. With a super moist cake and two layers of cinnamon streusel, this morning treat is hard to resist. It is THE perfect accompaniment to your weekend morning coffee! This recipe was found on 365 Days of Baking & More.

Photo courtesy of 365 Days of Baking & More https://www.365daysofbakingandmore.com/cinnamon-sour-cream-coffee-cake/?fbclid=IwAR17QMToxXhxo9c_TTv9Ihyuj1dDlxJ1sHArU-UXzOG4_ZCEtOQ_OSao_0k

Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake will be love at first bite! With a super moist cake and delicious cinnamon streusel layers, it’s the perfect treat with your morning coffee!4.62 from 31 votesCourse: Breakfast, DessertCuisine: AmericanKeyword: Coffee Cake, Sour Cream Coffee Cake Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 40 minutesTotal Time: 1 hour Servings: 12 people Calories: 408kcal Author: Lynne Feifer


Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter melted


  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Cinnamon Streusel

  • Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a medium bowl. Mix together with a fork until clumps are formed.


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. and grease a 9 X 9-inch pan with butter.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the flour mixture.
  • Add the sour cream and mix until well combined. 
  • Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan and with an offset spatula, spread to cover the bottom. 
  • Sprinkle half of the cinnamon streusel evenly over the cake batter.
  • Cover with remaining batter and then sprinkle again with the remaining streusel. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely before slicing.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 695IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1.4mgHave you made this recipe?Please share on Instagram @365daysofbaking or tag #365daysofbaking!

Note from Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen: My changes which allowed me to put this tasty coffee cake together quickly. It didn’t change the recipe taste but with the use of a Moist Yellow Cake Mix, I assembled the coffee cake easily. I made the streusel the same but added a cup of chopped pecans for added flavor.

I used this cake mix instead of the cake portion in the original recipe. I also added the 1/2 cup sour cream in the cake batter as well as 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Since I used sour cream, I reduced the 1 cup water to 1/2 cup to equalize the liquid. I baked my cake for 50 minutes to make sure middle was completely cooked. Toothpick tested.
My version of this recipe image. Ooh lala, it is so moist and full of good spice but not overpowering.
You can see it has a great streusel layer inside the cake and top. Toss on some whipped topping and you have a hit. This is wonderful with a good cup of coffee or a glass of milk. Your choice.

My thoughts after trying it is for the baker to make the choice of which way you like it. I am pleased with using the cake mix. I would like to say to all of my readers and followers, learn to reinvent recipes to make them your own or make them exactly like they were planned. It is entirely up to you……. Until we cook or bake again……..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location/author, if known, for credit reference.


Yesterday morning, with cold temperatures all around us, it provided a thought early, and as I do, I posted a message on my Facebook page. As the day progressed, that same thought kept coming back to me. I had some more inspiration follow that initial post so I thought I would share the post as well as my focus on fire to keep us warm and how we keep our souls blazing too.

Cold Morning Thought: I thought this morning how do we stay warm? For our bodies, we have heat, sweaters, coats, and hats. We keep ourselves wrapped up in blankets and warm ourselves by the fires. Then I thought, how about our souls? How do we keep them warm? Do we wrap our souls in God’s word? Do we keep our fires stoked by prayers and meditation? Do we share our fires in our souls by sharing our testimonies with others so they may feel the warmth of God’s Saving Grace? Do we make sure that others can feel the warmth and fire in our souls? Our bodies respond to a good warm fire and our souls will feel the same fire, even more intense, if we constantly feed the fire of God’s Love.Just a thought on a cold morning with a strong fire stirring deep in our souls.

Photo courtesy of Google Search

The following is an excerpt from an article 3 Ways to Maintain Good Spiritual Health and is quoted only to be suggestions, and not mandatory for everyone. You can view the entire article by clicking on the following link:


1Reflect on your beliefs. Rather than being a passive believer, maintain your spiritual health by questioning, affirming, and revising the principles of your faith.[1]

  • Write down the things you hold to be true, and write a little bit about them.
  • If something is troubling you, don’t hide it from yourself. Share it with someone you trust, and discuss your concerns together.

2Meditate and pray. Prayer and meditation are activities you can engage in daily, or many times a day. By incorporating it into your daily routine, you can maintain your spiritual health in the same way that you maintain your physical health. Pray or meditate by yourself or with a group.

  • Join a prayer group at your place of worship.
  • Gather with a yoga and meditation group in parks and other natural places.

3Take monthly or yearly excursions to reconnect to your spirituality. It’s important to have a daily routine, but you don’t want to just go through the motions. To break your habits and get a new perspective, go to a new place and spend a longer time working at your spiritual practices.

  • Go on a silent meditation retreat.
  • Take a trip with a church group.
  • Make a pilgrimage to a holy place.
My husband captured this beautiful photo yesterday and it reflects how God touches the earth. Photo courtesy of Greg Miller 2022

I get asked frequently “What keeps you so positive?” or “How do you stay uplifted?” and I would love to say, I am always positive or uplifted, but I am normal and have feelings of worry, stress, and even negative thoughts. Those are the times I practice going deep into the fire of my soul, basing my focus on how God has always come to my rescue in times of need, answered my prayers, and given me the comfort when I don’t understand what is happening around me. I practice praying for others as well as myself on a regular basis and that keeps me focused on others’ needs and minimizes what I may be going through. I look for blessings in everything, good or bad and you may say, “What did you just say?”. God gives us strength through difficult times…that strength is a blessing. God shows us we are never alone even at our lowest point….that companionship is a blessing. God grants us forgiveness….that forgiveness allows us to forgive others and we are released from any anger or fear which is a blessing. Find this contentment by allowing God to bless you with hope and love as well as charity and compassion in your soul. That flame will start a blaze that no force of evil will be able to extinguish and you will feel the warmth of God’s love.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Live Life; Love Life; Live and Love Life to the Fullest by Building a Fire Within Your Soul for Our Heavenly Father. Life is worth living Because He Lives!

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known. to original location/author for credit reference.


What do you do when you have leftovers in the refrigerator and don’t want to waste food? You can do what I did by thinking what dish would these leftovers were combined with a few extra goodies added? I thought I should help “stir” your imagination on how you can make a great “new” dish from foods you have handy.


Here is how it looked when I mixed it together
Finished Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie. Would you ever believe it was made with leftovers?

Here was what I had in the fridge:

Leftover Chicken Thighs I had cooked in the InstaPot this week (6 thighs)

Leftover Sweet Carrots and Zucchini with Onions from a local restaurant

Leftover Rice from a local Chinese Restaurant which they always give too much rice.

Chicken Broth in box leftover from other meals which I didn’t want to waste.

Butter (always have butter handy)

1 can each Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom (pantry always has these on my shelves for helping a reinvention recipe have instant flavor)

Seasoning (I keep seasonings handy at all times to spark up flavors to reinvent leftovers as the Poultry Seasoning in this dish)

Chives this time but I would as easily have used parsley, thyme, rosemary, or basil. Fresh chives don’t last long in the refrigerator so they needed to be used.

Mix the pulled chicken pieces with the other ingredients and add the soups and broth in large saute’ pan and once ingredients are blended, place on low heat and simmer until you are ready. Remember everything is already cooked so it is only for flavor blending. Enjoy and think you can substitute other items as long as you remember an important key factor in reinventing a dish. Think of your plate of food and would you serve all ingredients together as separate dishes? Such as the carrots would always go with chicken, what soups taste good with what meats/veggies, and seasonings should be compatible with the main ingredient………..Until we cook/bake again…..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party material is sourced, if known, to original location/author for credit references.


I will say that I have cooked and baked my fair share of food especially since we both work from home. I can prep before I go back to my office and not have to worry about lunch and even dinner. This past week, I made country short ribs in the InstaPot. Once I pulled the ribs out to broil in the oven for 5 minutes, I looked at the broth. I had a package of frozen chicken thighs and wondered why not? I will confess my husband was a little hesitant when he heard me say I was going to cook the thighs in that broth, but later he admitted he was skeptical but the thighs were delicious and tasted the chicken. I thought I would share some recipes for both processes. Some of you may only have one of these time savers but would like the recipes.

InstaPot Country Ribs and/or Chicken Thighs (notes in bold are my changes) Original recipe is courtesy of saltymarshmallow.com


Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs – These Instant Pot Country Style Ribs are so tender and flavorful!  They start with a simple dry rub, are smothered in bbq sauce, and cooked up in your Instant Pot pressure cooker for a delicious and easy meal!CourseMain CourseCuisineAmericanPrep Time5 minutesCook Time45 minutesTotal Time50 minutesServings4Calories273kcalAuthorNichole


  • 3 Pounds Country Style Pork Ribs (can used chicken thighs)


  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (1/3 cup used)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Pepper, Cumin. (I used a Sweet Preachers dry rub in place of all the separate seasonings except Salt and Pepper)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, Optional
  • 3/4 Cup Beef Broth, Water can be substituted (used chicken broth)
  • 1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce, Plus more for serving
  • 3 splashes Liquid Smoke
  • 1 large red onion sliced and placed on rack in bottom of InstaPot


  • In a small bowl mix together the dry rub ingredients until well combined.  Spread the dry rub evenly on both sides of the ribs and massage into the meat.
  • Pour the beef broth into the bottom of your Instant Pot.  Add the ribs to the Instant Pot and pour over the BBQ sauce.
  • Lock the lid on the pressure cooker.  Cook on manual, high pressure, for 45 minutes. After cooking is finished, use the natural release method.  This will take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove ribs and serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce as desired!


Calories: 273kcal

This was mine with microwave green beans (drain liquids and place beans in microwavable dish with splashes of onion powder, garlic powder, several pats of butter, and 1/2 vegetable bouillon crushed. Microwave beans for 5 minutes and stir….So quick and easy while tasting delicious)


Pinterest is Source of many great Air Fryer Recipes. Check out other recipes.
Recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes in Air Fryer

I find a lot of recipes for the InstaPot and the Air Fryer. My next venture is Pork Tenderloin so I do what good cooks do is I will research both methods and seasonings and then what I love DO MY OWN THING! I will post as I move through more testing on my Power XL AirFryer Grill Oven 7 in 1 that so far I love it. Easy to use, to clean up, and I can broil, bake, air fry, grill, sear, and toast. It’s ideal to reheat and when you can make pizza too, it is a GO! Feel free to click on the ads on here to go to the original site for more information.

(C) Copyright, 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location/author for credit reference.


While Cupid is getting its quiver filled with romance arrows, it made me pause and wonder what kind of accuracy does Cupid have? Have you ever thought how many arrows made their mark in the lovers’ hearts? Do the lovers know how they were targeted to be together? While many are wondering if Cupid even knows their location and how long is it going to take for him to load his bow of love and for him to take aim in their direction. Today, this blogger who feels she was shot by Cupid’s arrow not in February but on a hot August day back in 1999.

Wikipedia describes Cupid in the following way:

Cupid is winged, allegedly because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds, and boyish because love is irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, “because love wounds and inflames the heart.” These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville (d. 636 AD) in his Etymologiae.[16] Cupid is also sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary. As described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1590s):[17]Cupid sculpture by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled

Photo from Wikipedia

I thought I would share a personal story of my own when Cupid (disguised as a dear friend of mine) brought me right in the path of love’s arrows. My friend who I will call Cupid worked with the man who was destined to be my love for the rest of my life. She, knowing I had experienced the let down of love and romance, kept saying to me on the phone that every time Greg said something, she thought of me.

Over a span of almost 3 months, she tried every trick in the book and kept shooting arrows but I dodged them. I kept throwing the arrows back with every possible objection but she wouldn’t give up. Finally, in an effort to get her off my back, I agreed to meeting him on a visit to see her. I thought, I go, I meet, and then I could say I wasn’t interested or even better, he wouldn’t be interested in me. So the next Tuesday, I had to go through the town they worked in and arranged a lunch date with her with plans of quickly meeting him. Oh yeah, I thought I was so smart and cunning. Her plan was destined to fail. In all fairness, Greg was thinking the same thing. He was ready to get her to stop talking about this Arline. I find it so ironic that she was working us both and we both had the same mindset…..Don’t need romance…..Don’t want the hassle of another relationship…..And we were ready to shut up “cupid”.

The actual story of how it worked out is hilarious and I will save it for another day because there are many facets of that fated day with both Greg and I not getting a look at each other, thinking that the other was not interested, and that this was going to be easier to resolve than we thought. All miscommunication until we met. I couldn’t imagine all the lovers that have been hit by Cupid’s arrow, but I will tell you that once Greg walked out the door of his office and we took one look at each other, that lil Cupid shot those arrows into our hearts…we have been in love with each other since that time. Cupid sat in a corner watching us as we talked as if we had known each other all of our lives.

22 years later, we are together, as husband and wife of soon to be 21 years, and if ever two people were meant to be together, we are. We blended our families and what matters most, is we have a marriage of God’s inclusion. We may kid about how we met, but we know God played a part in sending love via our friend. Nuff said!

Here are Cupid’s “happy wedded victims of love” in April 2001.
Here we are in 2021, still snared by the arrows of love.

For the entire article 7 Ways Your Love Can Last Forever go to this link:


1. Honor Your Differences

Respect is the cornerstones of our relationship. We may not always see things the same way, but we respect the ability to have different thoughts and ideas. We never put each other down to others or to each other. There is no faster way to erode a relationship.

2. Keep an Open Door Policy

Allowing your partner to share how they view and experience an event, and how they are feeling without judgment creates an environment of trust. As important as it is to share, it is just as important to listen and to really hear what the other is saying. This creates a healthy dialogue and a strong foundation.

Shared laughter can bond an  experience and create great memories.
Let us continue on!

3. Don’t Lose Yourself in the Relationship

You are your own person with your own feelings and thoughts. You had your own friends before you met. If you give them all up for your spouse or romantic partner, you are snuffing out part of who you are and you may feel resentment later. My husband goes bowling with his friends weekly. It’s his time to be away from “us” and hang out with his buddies. I enjoy time with my friends too and then we then look forward to being together as a couple even more.

4. Remember Who You Fell in Love With

Don’t try to change your partner to a version of them you think they should be. It is a lose/lose proposition. Not only is it not really possible, it causes resentment. Remember the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Honor that person. If someone has to bend over backward to make you happy, or you have to do it for them, your relationship has lost its authenticity.

5. Tickle Your Funny Bones

Laughter is a stress reducer and an energy infuser. Shared laughter can bond an experience and create great memories. My husband and I always look for little ways to make each other laugh. Humor in a relationship makes being together more enjoyable. When you are not together, thinking about a time when you were laughing and having fun will make you smile and feel closer to your partner.

6. Put Love on the Calendar

Date nights are important to keep a relationship fresh. It keeps a couple from stagnating with the same boring routine. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a special night together. It can be as simple as dinner and a movie at home, or going out, and can be elaborate as well if it fits your budget. What matters is scheduling it so you both have something to look forward to. We like to record our favorite shows during the week and watch them together. One night a week we plan dinner out. Phones and computers are put away! Keep the date on the calendar, get a sitter if you have kids, and bring on the romance and fun that is part of dating, no matter how long you have been together.

7. A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way!

Expressing gratitude to each other every day will keep you close. We share with each other at mealtime, telling each other something about our day that was special that we are grateful for. And we always try to notice the efforts the other made for us, even if it’s just doing the dishes, taking out the trash or washing the car. Showing appreciation for the little things that seem routine makes us look for ways to help each other out even more. Gratitude has a way of opening up your heart. Many of the things that may have annoyed us in the past aren’t even noticed anymore. That’s something to be grateful for!

Note from me, Arline Miller: Love can be instantly projected but true love lasts when the initial fantasy becomes reality and the heart accepts the truth of love is acceptance, growth, being a constant in life, and even more, a forgiving heart. May Cupid find your heart’s forever love but may God sustain your love is my Valentines Wish for You!

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location and author for credit references.

Cupid’s Calling All Chocoholics

Each year, as Valentines Day creeps closer, that urge to have chocolate increases. It’s not like we haven’t indulged during the holidays, but it pulls at our minds and tummies even more when it is associated with love and passion. I find myself saying it’s okay because it’s Valentines. I have been able to cut down on chocolates while on my mission to find better health. However….it will be Valentines Day soon! Here is my post from a few years ago for all Chocoholics.

FOR THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY 2021, I found a great post about the big event so I thought I would repost it on the first of February to whet our appetite.

Calling all Chocoholics (Chocolate Lovers who might need intervention)! Valentines Day is coming soon so excuses are not needed as it is the reason for the season but WHY? Let us consider the pros and cons of downing the chocolate, milk, white, dark, or mixed with nuts, fillings, or whatever form we can get it. Is there a link to Love? Is it a feel good reason we have to have it. Today, we enter the river of flowing chocolate and get our mouths drooling. Here is an enlightening article I found giving us the psychological reasons and we already know the real reason is “we can’t live without it.”

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

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Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

The psychology behind why we love chocolate

Posted Feb 11, 2014

Source:Why do we crave chocolate so much? I consulted a professor of psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Amy Jo Stavnezer, to help us understand why we desire chocolate so much (just in time for Valentine’s Day!).

Dr. Albers: On a biological level, why do we crave chocolate?

Professor Stavnezer: We crave chocolate because it is good! It tastes good. It smells good. It feels good when it melts on our tongue. And all of those ‘feelings’ are the result of our brain releasing chemicals in response to each chocolate experience. The experience of eating chocolate results in feel good neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine) being released in particular brain regions (frontal lobe, hippocampus and hypothalamus—definitions a bit later).

Dopamine is released when you experience anything that you enjoy—sexlaughing, or watching your favorite Olympian claim the gold. This reward circuit is partially hard-wired by genetics, but it learns, changes and responds to your specific preferences based on your life experiences. This malleability of the brain is what makes each of us unique. In fact, there are supposedly people in the world who do not like chocolate.

By simply using one neurotransmitter system to associate rewards with actions, an efficient and powerful brain network evolved so that a positive outcome would be repeated. The dopamine signal sent through the reward circuit brings about positive feelings and assessments of the situation in the frontal lobe (just behind your eyes), creates a memory of the experience including where, who, what and why and links that to the positive experiences via the hippocampus (about an inch inside of each ear), and when food is involved, the hypothalamus (a few inches above the roof of your mouth) gathers information about the caloric and nutrient content for future hunger and satiety signals.

It was originally thought that chocolate contained compounds that could activate this dopamine system directly (like cigarettes and cocaine do). Chocolate does contain theobromine that can increase heart rate and bring about feelings of arousal, caffeine which can make us feel awake and increase our ability to work and focus, and fat and sugar which are preferred food sources for humans because they are calorie dense. However, elegant experiments in which the components of chocolate were separated out indicated that just ingesting the chemicals in chocolate without the mouth-feel and taste does not decrease craving.

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Photo courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com

Maybe this is why we eat chocolate?

I found an excerpt from an article on the history of how chocolate became the ruler of Valentines Day. It is from National Geographic and is titled Why We Want Chocolate for Valentines Day


Why We Want Chocolate for Valentine’s Day


So how did chocolate become the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat?

The origins of the historic combination are far from clear. Chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac since the time of the Aztecs, and was once only available to the wealthy. Spanish conquistadors brought it back to Europe, and according to The Oxford Companion to Food, Italian chefs were shaving blocks over their risottos in the late 17th century. The French made pastilles in the 18th century, a favorite of the marquis de Sade. But it wasn’t until the cocoa butter extracted from the beans was processed into the rough form of a candy bar in England in 1847, according to Cadbury, and later rounded out with milk, that its appeal began to grow. Once candy became cheaper to produce, more people got to taste it. And once they tasted it, well, you know the rest.

Meanwhile, the origins of Valentine’s Day are even more complex. They can be traced to Roman times and Lupercalia, a Pagan festival that involved fertility and feasting in mid-February. The Romans “were drunk. They were naked,” Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told NPR in 2011. Young women lined up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They thought would make them fertile.

Not too romantic, was it? It gets crazier. The early Catholic Church martyred a rebel priest named Valentine and tried to take the nakedness out of the Lupercalia festival by declaring Feb. 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. Chaucer combined the essence of the pagan rituals with courtly ideas of love in one famous Valentine’s poem about bird sex: “And, Lord, the blisse and joye that they make! For ech of hem gan other in wynges take.” And then Shakespeare took the notion of romantic love even further in the sonnets.

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Hopefully, this will get your Valentine craving for chocolate flowing and from this Sipping Cup of Inspiration blogger, Happy Valentines Day and now it is official, you have a natural reason for loving chocolate. My deeper thought is to LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by digesting all that life has to offer as long as you add to other’s lives and not make their lives unhappy. Eat chocolate or don’t, but love always.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if known, is sourced to original location for credit reference


As a mother, a wife, a sister, a nana, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, and then comes the other titles in life….writer, blogger, project manager, cook, baker, decorator, former finance manager, business owner, and whatever comes along in my surroundings. I value my family and I always have thought the closeness developed my people skills and my learning curiosity gave credence to the writing. My love of food but also creativity plays a large part in my culinary abilities. Today, I was reminded how important our friendships are in cultivating healthy relationships. I have friends that I truly admire for so many reasons as their talents, sweet spirits, leadership skills, communication abilities, charitable/service oriented minds, and for a lot of my friends who possess high degrees of spirituality. Let’s examine why we treasure friendships:

The 13 Essential Friendship Traits

How much do you agree with each statement?

  1. I am trustworthy.
  2. I am honest with others.
  3. I am generally very dependable.
  4. I am loyal to the people I care about.
  5. I am easily able to trust others.
  6. I experience and express empathy for others.
  7. I am able to be non-judgmental.
  8. I am a good listener.
  9. I am supportive of others in their good times.
  10. I am supportive of others in their bad times.
  11. I am self-confident.
  12. I am usually able to see the humor in life.
  13. I am fun to be around.

These traits fall into three general categories, each representing an essential aspect of relational behavior. If you find that you disagree with many of the statements, you may struggle to develop meaningful, lasting friendships.


  • Essential friendship traits fall into three general categories, each representing a critical aspect of relational behavior.
  • Everyone brings a different level of the 13 essential traits to their relationships.
  • Trustworthiness is often the “make or break” element in any interpersonal relationship.

For the complete article, click on Essential above and it will take you to the original article.

Image from Google Search for Characteristics of a good friend.

My Personal Thought on What It Means To Be a Good Friend:

First, be one! My thoughts go to something I love. Old vintage jewelry which I have several pieces. I wear them on special occasions and I take pride when someone notices them. I take good care of them, I appreciate them for their unique qualities and individualism. I don’t callously lay them aside but place them where they will be protected and safe. If I treat my friends the same way as I take care of my vintage jewelry, it will be a lifetime of great memories of good times and love. (Arline Miller, blogger and friend)

Senior Garden photo of my classmates and it is amazing how many I are still close friends.
My husband and my daughter are my dearest friends proving family members should be our closest friends.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location/author for credit references.


As we begin a new year, have we learned how to eat healthier without feeling a need to place a chain on the refrigerator? I am posting this popular blog message from several years ago and I am happy to report I have come over to the healthier side, sometimes kicking and screaming in the beginning, but making headway. My regular readers will remember I am a good ole Southern cook and baker. We have it in our genes to indulge food not only for ourselves but spoil our family, friends, and any guests we have. I am living proof we can adapt and change. Do I still cook and bake? You betcha but I find us sharing more with others, sealing meals and freezing them for later time instead of eating it all up. My daughter and I discuss healthier ways to cook and if you read the blog, you have seen my switching over to the air fryer as a means to eliminate some of the frying I love to do. Let’s see what I had to say about this topic:

HAPPY NEW YEAR OR IS IT? Here we are again, the beginning of a new year and with it comes the ongoing, well meaning, resolutions one more time. This year is going to be different but is it? I am reposting a message that is a reality check for us. Watch for the hint/tip at the end. This has helped me avoid so many snacks and desserts….not all of them but some! Remember this quote from A L Williams, promoter of term insurance…All you can do is all you can do but all you can do is enough!

GIVING UP, GIVING IN, AND GIVING TO FOOD. We are in a new year with new goals and new intentions. Let’s make resolutions and promises but let’s get real…..Are you really going to Never Eat a Donut the rest of your life? On this blog, I want to recognize our human side of our thinking on the subject of eating. The answer to my question is probably not, even though on this first few days of the New Year; you may have answered Yes! Let us look at a few reasons why this normally doesn’t work.One of the reasons we eat is Emotional or Comfort Eating and I am referencing to an article on WebMD on this subject. (Link is included for entire article)Emotional Eating: What Helps By Joy Manning, Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 28, 2014 on webmd.com      Does stress, anger, or sadness drive you to eat? Do you turn to food for comfort, or when you’re bored? Many people do. If you often eat for emotional reasons instead of because you’re physically hungry, that can be a problem.       Obeying the urge to eat more than you need is a sure-fire way to gain weight. It’s an even bigger problem if you already have health conditions like diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure. You can get back in control of your emotional eating. The surprising part is, it’s not really about food at all. You might not even realize you’re doing it. One of the biggest clues: “Eating until you are uncomfortable and stuffed is a sure sign something is going on,” psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD, says. Another clue: You’re gaining weight and you don’t know why. Don’t assume that it’s just that you’re getting older or slacking on the treadmill. Consider how you’re doing emotionally, and whether that might be affecting your eating.   Another reason for eating is Habitual or I Can’t Stop Eating.Even though this is a form of emotional eating, it should have its own category. We form habits as eating a certain food during a specific time during the day. Some people want something sweet at night or at least a bowl of cereal, a few cookies and milk, a sandwich, chips, etc. Think about it; is there a certain time of the day only a certain food will satisfy you? If you find yourself eating at this certain time, my tip for today is change what you do at that particular time. Even a big glass of lemon water or a cup of hot tea, or hummus on a celery stick, can alter what can happen. Taking a shower or a little activity can break this chain of habitual eating. If eating at 10 pm is the witching hour, try to schedule other activity instead of sneaking into the kitchen. If cereal or cookies are the demonic foods (which I say can tempt anyone) get them out of the house. You might be surprised how the urge will leave you if they are not handy. Keep other healthy items easily accessible. You most likely will not eat them at this time, but you are breaking a habit. Another tip is remember it takes up to 30 days to break a habit.

This is me, Arline Miller age 69 with diabetes type II and managed with diet and small amount of meds.
Now at 72 happy years old, I have lowered my A1C and have lost a total of almost 50 pounds. My husband is now losing and has lost over 20 pounds, and you can see one of our most inspiring sources, my daughter Missy who maintains a fantastic weight and looks wonderful.

Ask yourself this question: Can I make it 30 days without my usual habit food? At least give it a shot. Even if you make it two weeks, pat yourself on the back. If you give in; start the countdown again.

HEALTHY BITES has been created to include a good variety of healthy foods to eat and I suggest you check it out for recipe ideas. If you follow me on Pinterest, one of my boards Healthy Bites, is also directed to some of the recipes I have found not only healthy but tasty. There are so many great sources to eat healthy and know how to develop good habits and a healthy life.

2022 Note from Blogger: Not only have I lost and maintained a lot of unwanted pounds, my husband has now gotten on the eating healthier and has lost in a short while over 20 pounds and is excited about his future. It is not impossible to gain control and when you do, your self confidence and sense of accomplishment increases. I find we smile more, we find humor in the smallest things, and we encourage each other in a positive light.

2019 Note from Blogger: I pulled up this post message from 2016 for a reason. Most of us eat emotionally. Only a few actually eat only when we are hungry and not dehydrated. If we would make one change, it would help dramatically. Drink water first! Even if you feel you are going to eat that donut, chip, cookie, whatever, do yourself a big favor…..Drink a big glass of water. Place the goodie by the water glass and only eat when the glass is empty. This one change will slow the brain’s urge to splurge and can make a huge difference in the amount of junk you will consume. You may find that this small hedge will diminish the urge and actually prevent a snack accident!

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are credited to original source if known for credit references.

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