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Reinvention Queen Gets “Corny” with Cornbread into Dressing

As most of you are learning from reading my reinvention series posts that I don’t waste food and enjoy the challenge of making something delicious out of leftovers. I baked a huge pan of cornbread with plans of us eating it in that format, but I went into a different direction and saw the large amount of cornbread in the refrigerator. So, being me, I knew what I could make out of the cornbread that was delicious. Chicken dressing is one of my husband’s favorite so I took on the challenge of quickly assembled ingredients for a dressing that is normally reserved for holidays.

I want to walk you through the process without a specific recipe as I don’t normally make my dressing by a recipe. I took pictures to show you the process and it will give you an idea of the ratio quantities.

This is the inspiration behind the Cornbread Dressing I made by reinventing the purpose of the cornbread. The first step is to crumble the cornbread into fine pieces. I add about 4 slices of bread I have moistened with a little water and squeezed the excess out.
Four (4) skin on Chicken Thighs are placed in Chicken Stock (1 box), 1/2 stick butter, 1 vegetable bullion, 1/2 chopped sweet onion, Everyday seasoning to taste, Salt and Pepper. I placed 4 eggs in the liquid to boil at the same time, set timer for 20 minutes. I removed eggs and into a cold water bath, peeled and chipped the eggs and placed into cornbread mixture. Continue to cook until chicken is tender. Allow chicken to cool and cut into medium bite size pieces.
Before I added the chopped boiled eggs, I sautéd celery and onion in small amount of butter, added to cornbread mixture with a half sleeve of crushed saltines.
Onions and celery sautéing in butter and then mixed in with cornbread mixture.
This is when the chopped eggs are placed on top of the mixture and then it is gently mixed evenly. Once this is completed, seasonings of onion and garlic powder, everyday seasoning, salt and pepper, and a small amount of cayenne pepper. Next comes the pan fill.
The mixture is placed in pan and then the chicken broth from the stock pot is poured over to moisten the dressing. Pat small pieces of butter to help brown the top. Place in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes but watch carefully the last 10 minutes to not over brown or dry dressing out.

While I bake the dressing, I placed the darker meat that is next to the bone of the thigh in a small saut’e pan with butter, some of the chipped boiled egg, and some of the stock broth. 2 Tbs. of flour and whipping cream in a jar and shake it up well. When the stock is bubbling, add the flour/cream mixture to the pan and stir until it combines with the stock. Also, I had added a big amount of black pepper for the enhanced flavor. I turned the temperature to low and allowed this to simmer for 30 minutes.

My husband said this gravy was as good or better than my giblet gravy on the holidays. I will remember to use the thigh meat as it is easier to acquire at the holidays than giblets.
This is the end product with the gravy on top of the dressing. It doesn’t get better than this in our neck of the woods or in reality our subdivision.

Take the cornbread out of the bag and bring dressing in at times other than holidays. This way was so much easier than what I have done in the past for the holidays and nothing was lost in taste but a lot of time was gained. I hope you enjoy it. Always remember, seasonings are up to you. More if you like it spicy or herbier, but keep it moist inside the toasty brown crust. Don’t forget to think ahead of what you can make from the dressing. I am thinking of fritters. Hmmm?

Until we cook again, Reinvention Queen keeps the food ideas alive even while I am making the original dish. How can I reinvent this one? What else can I make from this dish? That’s me and I will be back with another dish soon…Arline Miller.

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

Reinvention Queen Is Reinventing How We Cook

Today, instead of showing several reinventions of meals, I thought I would give my readers an insight on how I think in my kitchen. I never think of only one meal when I cook, but how I can reuse the ingredients or even the whole dish in a new way that it takes away the sting of eating “leftovers” but a new dish with different and/or additional ingredients. I am going to list out my reinvention thoughts when I begin to prepare a meal. The list will be broken down into food categories and it may give more insight than showing recipes after recipes. I will continue showing you reinvented meals but let’s start with how it helps from the get go. Here’s the list:

MEATS

  • Seafood
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork

Each category offers flexibility in multiple uses and we will review how to choose, prepare, and store. I use shrimp a lot in reinvented meals but salmon makes an excellent source for my reinvented dishes.

Seafood such as shrimp or salmon can be cooked in larger quantities than the first dish and stored until it is reinvented. I usually begin with grilled, sautéd, baked and I will prepare the seafood to have at least three meals from the initially cooked meat. I am aware you are thinking why not prepare as you need it. Most certainly, you can do this. Maybe, I am hesitant about the multiple preps and cooking time. It makes sense if I am grilling, grill three times the amount in one grilling event, rather than prep three times and grill three times. When we are really “lazy” we buy the freshly steamed shrimp from our supermarket and work from the larger amount we buy. Salmon is prepped the same way, more quantity is bought, prepped, and grilled either on the grill, the air fryer oven grill, or sometimes in a pan, but always more is prepped and cooked than our initial meal.

The first meal was steamed shrimp topped with my homemade cocktail sauce.
One of the three follow up meals was this delicious Shrimp ala Arline Pasta. The shrimp were added after the cooking and blending and placed on top and covered to allow the shrimp to come to the same temperature as the other ingredients without recooking.

Beef is a common reinvention meat that several dishes are made from the initial prep and cooking. I will make meatloaf and work from that initial dish and reinvent another dish using rice or noodles. I have used my leftover meatloaf to make the best burgers or have used the meat in the base for spaghetti or soup. Beef roast becomes the main ingredient for a sandwich with other ingredients. Maybe the thought behind my reinvention queen mentality is what else can I make from the meatloaf or roast. Build from the first meat dish and I will remove and/or replace some ingredients in the next dish such as potatoes and carrots from a roast and make a pot pie from those ingredients with a different meat, such as leftover baked or stewed chicken. Use your refrigerator as a cold pantry instead of only thinking how many times will my family keep eating leftover meatloaf or roast.

Chicken is one of my favorite reinvention meats. I grill, I bake, I stew, and then I store the extra. If any of you have learned to reinvent, I will say you probably use chicken more in the recreated meals than other meats. I have stewed a pot of chicken breasts or thighs, or even both. I will store what I am not making the first day but don’t put it past me to recreate a new meal from the first dish too. Let’s say I make chicken and noodles the first day. Let’s put our Reinvention Hats on and think what could I make from that initial chicken and noodles? What if I add a crust which can be a store bought crust and use leftover potatoes and carrots from a roast I spoke about in the beef section. Throw in a can of sweet garden peas, even a can of whole kernel corn, some chopped or sautéd onions, and make a chicken pot pie. I would process the noodles slightly to encourage a thickened filling. Add herbs and seasonings to make the pie the preferred taste. How simple can that be? What about taking the breasts and/or thighs and either make a bbq sauce or use a bottled one and wallah, you have bbq chicken in a few minutes. Or what if you chop the cooked chicken and make a great chicken salad, adding celery, mayo, grapes, nuts, and seasonings. The ideas go on and on. The key is in the beginning. Don’t cook a small amount, think of the quantity of three meals/dishes would require. Cook the meat at the same time and a good tip is to invest in quality sealing containers. Never leave the extra meat out, but store immediately as this will give you a freshly cooked meat.

Pork is another great reinvention meat. Ham, oh sweet ham can be a great reinvention queen ingredient. I bake or Greg smokes the ham and I don’t do anything in the beginning as we want the presentation for the first meal. Greg will take the ham pieces off the bone leaving enough meat for a great bean or greens cooking. I make a base from cooking the bone until the flavorful broth is formed. Sometimes, and this is where I think about what can come next. I store some of this ham broth for multiple flavorful dishes. Never use the broth for one reinvented meal, think three if possible. I then will use the ham for breakfast meals with eggs or omelets. Some of the ham pieces can be used for a ham pot pie, or flavoring a soup, sandwiches, and even use in dips, or like deviled ham salad. I think you see what I am plotting and planning when I prep that ham in the beginning. Pork chops are a gift from heaven as they can be grilled, baked, and/or fried. After they are cooked, they can be eaten of course, but if you make enough, you can store the extra, chop and use in Pork and Rice, sau’te some of the chopped pieces with a mustard base with sautéd onions and peppers or a great sandwich and/or even a salad. I can go on and on many other ideas, but now is the time for you to get creative yourselves.

I reinvented the blue cornmeal muffins into my Cornbread Layered Salad and used a lot of the veggies and sauces I refer as my pantry staples. Reinvent, and recreate is my motto!

As a true Reinvention Queen, I found stocking my pantry and refrigerator with what I call filler foods. Mushrooms fresh and canned, onions, garlic, herbs, peppers, cheeses, cream and buttermilk, seasoning bastes, vinegars, balsamic vinegars, seasoning salts, and dried herbs, honey, sugar, cream of whatever soups, broths vegetable and meat, vegetable bouillon as well as better than bouillon, bread crumbs and crackers to make crumbs, flour (I use White Lily) WL corn meal, and specialty mixes for quick breads, and BUTTER as well as EVOO, and even shortening. That is a short list but it helps to have it on hand instead of trying to make a list every time for each meal.

For some of my reinvention meals, Search on my home page search for Reinvention Queen and several blog posts should come up for you to go one on one with me in my world of reinvention. Use What You Have and a philosophy I believe is WASTE NOT, WANT NOT! Have fun, try new things. Mix it up and create your own dish. Until we reinvent again………..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen 2022.

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

Memorial Memories of Honoring The Fallen 2022

Today is Memorial Day 2022 and my heart is filled with love and gratitude for the fallen who sacrificed the ultimate gift to our freedom. I have included the poem and post in 2020 as it touches my heart even though it was my writing. Please join me in a salute and tribute to all of the fallen with respect for those who have served and for those serving now. We respect this day as the one chosen to honor the fallen.

Greg Miller of American Legion Post 21 with two of our grandsons who helped give out the flags to the big group of volunteers in preparation for Memorial Day. Thanks guys!

I was inspired to write a poem and I cried when I read the words I had written.

I don’t express this as an attempt for attention but I felt this one in my soul.

A Soldier’s Last Night

As I woke from a restful sleep, I began to wonder

How a lonely soldier felt about his chosen plight.

In the trenches, so far away from home, so somber.

Did he know the ultimate price he would pay tonight?

As he lay in the muddy hole which would be his last

His heart, did it pound or was he unusually calm?

Did he stay alert, did he pray, and that tear fall fast?

His silent cry, his grip tightened, only thoughts of harm.

Did he think about the protests and why he was here?

Or did he only try to overcome any temptation to run?

Did he find the urge to do his best and to hide any fear?

He may not have known his job on earth was done.

Did those hours before his end seem like a million years?

Was it true that one’s life does indeed flash before the eyes?

We may never know, only a brave soldier’s mind would veer.

We come to pay homage at the cold grave where he lies.

A small flag stands as a symbol of his ultimate sacrifice.

A cross may stand to remind us of his absence of life.

To you, the soldier who stood tall and paid the price

For Our Freedom, let us honor and recognize your strife.

Written by Arline Miller with homage and respect for all of

The Fallen and Gone but Never Forgotten.

Happy Memorial Day, May 25, 2020

This last Friday and Saturday were filled with my husband, Greg Miller, participating in the flag placement activity. He made me so proud of him for posting, calling, asking neighbors and businesses to donate flags to be placed on the graves at Oakridge Cemetery in advance for today’s celebration. Our neighbors, Lowes, and many other organizations, including American Legion, civic leaders and citizens donated and placed about 1400 flags. One of our neighbors, Ike Branch, was active in the placement event right along with Greg and about 40 dedicated participants.

How patriotic and gratitude filled event in Tifton.
Greg Miller, American Legion Member and Ike Branch, local clergyman and neighbor at the flag placement event.

An additional tribute and such a life lesson taught by Greg for and with our oldest grandsons, Abram, Jonas, and Nolan Miller on how to properly respect and depose of the existing flags taken from the cemetery. They readily filled the need to ready the flags for the retiring ceremony to be completed by local scout group. Respect is taught at an early age and continues throughout life.

Abram, Jonas, and Nolan Miller making sure the flags are properly dismantled and taken for the flag retirement ceremony by the Boy Scouts.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, including photos, are sourced to origination, if known, for credit reference.

RAMBLIN’ THOUGHTS, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Sometimes, I find my thoughts rambling from either news events, personal occurrences, or then sometimes it is just plain rambling. I don’t make a lot of serious decisions during these times, but once in a while, what comes to my mind will linger and I will retrieve them while I can use them. I heard the term used in a negative meaning, “I think I am overthinking this.” Come with me this morning into Arline’s way of under-thinking.

Why does everything have to be life shattering these days?

What happened to funny times with friends and family?

Why is everything politicized?

Why did people quit fishing like we used to do?

What happened to family reunions and Sunday visits?

When did we stop seeing gray instead of all black and white?

When did almost naked women and men become the center of commercials?

Why does anything not matter any more or nothing matter so much?

source for photo (click on link)

If we don’t ask why, we can never understand anyone’s reasoning. If we don’t understand anyone’s reasoning for thinking a certain way, we can never have a reasonable conversation with the other person. (ALM 2022)

I am not sure why I love diving into a problem, see it from both sides or almost see everything from both sides as there are a few things and/or beliefs I don’t get, but after considering why the other person sees or feels the way they do, I may not agree with their thinking but I can understand how they came to their beliefs.

Life is sometimes a cesspool of thoughts, but if we remember the clean feeling that comes after a good shower or bath when we have gotten so muddy, we actually feel the mud has become a part of us. It is sticky and clings to every crevice we have.

I am not writing to give any credit to my way of thinking as it is only my way of thought processes. As I get older, I have learned to go deeper but with less stubbornness. I have learned to listen, even feel empathy, amazing I can feel sympathy easier. I have learned that listening is just that. Even listening to persuasive people, very intelligent people, professional people, savvy and interesting people, we have one thing in common…..Guess what that is? All of us have ears and can listen. Does it mean we have to agree with each one or all of them? Absolutely not, and if they feel we are required to agree or think like them, walk away. I feel I have grown wiser listening more and learning why I want to think for myself, but only after considering all sides, accepting that all others are not going to agree with my beliefs and thoughts. Whether their thinking is good or bad, the end product is it’s my choice, my mind, my life and I have no one to blame how it turns out but ME.

In closing on this subject, I want to say to each of you reading this blog. It is never my way or the highway. I love sharing thoughts, but they are only my thoughts and not meant to do anything else but open your thought process. I used to go 100 mph in both action and thoughts. I felt if you didn’t want to know how I felt about a subject, don’t ask. Times have changed, I find that less people want to talk with someone but rather, everyone seems to talk at each other and not listening. I heard that expression if God had wanted us to do more talking than listening, He would have given us two mouths instead of two ears. Right?

Today, I choose to find adventure whether it be in cooking something new, read something interesting, have a good conversation, stop and look at our tomatoes growing, check out our flowers/plants blooming, and yes, I will thank God for forgiving this ole stubborn gal for all those times I wasted on idle conversations talking at folks instead of really getting to know them by listening instead of gabbing. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LISTENING TO THE SOUNDS OF GOD MORE THAN THE CHATTER OF FOOLISH MEN AND WOMEN.

A-Z QUOTES, image courtesy of Neale Donald Walsch

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.

THE FALLEN SOLDIER, I WILL REMEMBER YOU

My Husband, Greg Miller proudly participates in his local American Legion to honor the fallen on Memorial Day. Ike Branch, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene lended his support.

TODAY THE WORDS are I SHALL REMEMBER YOU. This holiday especially, even though some of us still work on this day while others get to relax and enjoy celebration, is one for all of us, no matter where or what we do on this day, to take more than a few seconds and whisper to all fallen soldiers worldwide, not just America “I shall remember you”.

Photo courtesy of Google. Sacrifices have been made by so many.


I would like to step outside the USA boundaries and give us something to ponder on this Memorial Day. A soldier is a soldier! A soldier is also a son or daughter of parents and when they came into this world, the entire world lit up in the same parents eyes.

God sees beyond nationality, ethnicity, social circles, wealth or poverty, and God tells us to love all people. With this in mind, God doesn’t agree with mistreating others and does not agree with evil in any form, shape, or religion. This may cause confusion to many. When a soldier gets an order it is an order and he will fight, he will save lives, he will rescue and/or destroy. He is not carrying out his personal feelings sometimes but is being a true soldier. So many times, in the heat of the battle, opposing soldiers have found themselves in a predicament and did a valorous deed and actually assisted his “enemy”. What is hard for all of us to understand is that war is the enemy, not the actual soldier. What is harder to understand; the soldier has to and will respond to enemy fire or combat without seeing the soldier as a human being. War, in any form, is a tragedy for so many and cannot be taken lightly. If, we as God’s people, can figure out a way to avoid war and share love for all mankind; we can say, “I shall remember” and remember how we were able to lie down like that lamb and the lion together (technically not the way it is actually stated as you will see below) in God’s love.

Happy Memorial Day to all members of the military, family and friends of those who have sacrificed and paid the highest price so that we can look around today and enjoy God’s beauty and freedom to breathe a sigh of relief and peace.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Isaiah 11:6 King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

(C) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material including photos are sourced to original location if known for credit references.

ACCEPTING YOURSELF TO ACCEPT OTHERS (2020 Post)

I have given this post a lot of thought. It seems we are struggling to accept others and this struggle has brought a lot of discord among all people. Politics have taken the place of parenting as we are persuaded to think this way or another. As children, our source of influence was simpler. We had parents who wanted us to behave in a certain way, respect or even disrespect according to how they felt, and our faith had a lot more to do with how they believed than a personal relationship with a Higher Power. Today, I look at the pros and cons of thinking on our own and finding ways of accepting ourselves in order for a better assessment of how we feel about others.

Let us begin with the quote from Lucille Ball:

Love Yourself First And Everything Else Falls İnto Line. You Really Have To Love Yourself To Get Anything Done İn This World.

How can we expect to love others with their imperfections if we do not accept our imperfections? How can we accept love from others when we are incapable of accepting self love?

I looked at this perception of love and I know this is the key to a more peaceful transition. This quote from John Spence is reflective of my thoughts:

Maybe if we get alone with ourselves, accept the good qualities we possess, as well as the imperfections which may be inherent or here’s a thought…We can work on ourselves first to improve our ability to co-exist with others if we obtain a peaceful environment about ourselves. I have assembled some questions to begin the contemplation of whether we truly love ourselves as a person:

Here are some thought provoking questions:

1- If I met someone exactly like myself, would I like them or would I find fault?

2-Could I carry on a conversation with me and find it interesting, boring, or antagonizing?

3-When I am alone, am I content or do I try to find alternate ways to avoid myself by eliminating alone time?

4-When looking in a mirror, do I look at myself realistically or do I imagine a different person staring back at me such as a younger, leaner, athletic, or a more contented person?

5-Do I value my thoughts and write down my thoughts or do I depend only on others written words?

6-Do I share my thoughts or creative ideas on how to do something with others or offer to teach things I know how to do well?

7- Do I always find myself in contradiction to surroundings, events, news, books, movies, etc.?

8-Can I compliment myself when I exhibit good qualities or do I shy away from personal achievement or recognition?

9-Do I see my life as a success, even with occasional set backs or do I feel like a failure?

10-Can I express love for myself to do the following instructions as expressed by Dr. Steve Maraboli?

This self evaluation is necessary for us to be fair in how we accept others. It would be impossible to accept others if we cannot accept ourselves. We, as well as others, will never be perfect. Imperfection is a part of love, self and expressing love to and for others. In life, the average looking girl can be happier than a homecoming queen sometimes. The reasoning is the bar was never pushed so high for the average girl but so high for the homecoming queen that maintaining happiness is not sustainable as time and wrinkles come. Live in reality, love the uniqueness of each individual by initially accepting yourself.

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

GUEST BLOGGER/GEENIUS MARKETING

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Moving to a House for Your Home-Based Business

Image via Rawpixel

These days, many companies operate out of the owners’ houses. Long gone is the era where you have to rent space in a suburban business park or retail store downtown. Now, you can reach your entrepreneurial goals without stepping foot from your front door! (If you’re in the launching phase of your business, Google “ZenBusiness starting a new business” to learn what it takes to get up and running.)

But what happens when your operation outgrows your house, or you know that your current home will not accommodate your startup? If you want to move forward with your home-based business, you must find a home that will meet the needs of yourself, your family, and your company. Below, Geenius Marketing has shared some practical tips for getting started!

Prepare Financially             

Organizing your finances is a great place to start. Go over your budget to get a picture of where you stand so that you can plan your next steps. Then, research the local housing market to see what homes are available and the prices they are going for. If you’re considering purchasing a home “as is” to save a bit of money upfront on the mortgage, understand that there is some risk involved. What you save going into it may be lost, at least partially, if any major repairs crop up after moving in; because the property is being sold  as is, the seller won’t be on the hook for such expenses.

If there are home repairs that should be addressed before moving into your new home, you’ll need to budget that in as well. For example, if you have issues with concrete in your home’s structure, you’ll want to have that fixed ASAP so you don’t encounter any foundational issues or leaks. Finding reputable cement contractors is relatively easy; simply do an online search and read up on customer reviews. Be sure to get a quote in writing, and establish a timeline for the project.

If you are worried that you don’t have enough money to get your business moving, explore the various grants that can provide you free money to cover operations and expenses. Grants range from the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) to funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Just make sure you have a detailed business plan in place, know how to complete a stellar application, and tailor your search to grants specific to your industry.

Consider All Your Needs   

Perhaps the trickiest part of finding your next home will be that you have a lot of needs and preferences to consider. You must find a property that accommodates your business and your family while facilitating your recovery.

Consider your work needs. Discover suggests considering whether you need a dedicated office space separate from your primary living areas. Do you need to account for inventory and large equipment? If you primarily work from a computer, choosing a property that allows for a smaller home office should be relatively straightforward. But if you will need more space, you might consider a property with a garage (attached or detached), basement, or sizable attic.

How many children do you have? Do you have any pets? Answering these types of questions will help you determine the right size and layout of your next home.

Organize the Relocation

Once you find a property that will allow you and your family to live comfortably and help your business grow as you envision, start organizing your relocation. If you can budget for professional moving services, that’s the best way to go. Find a reputable moving company, and schedule your move well in advance. Moreover, be sure to follow up with them as moving day approaches, and communicate with them throughout the entire process.

Set Up Your Workspace     

You will want to begin setting up your home office as soon as possible after arriving at your new home. Ensure you have any essential equipment necessary to work productively, such as an ergonomic chair, desk, and all of your devices and accessories.

Also, New Day Office says to try to maximize the natural light in your workspace by setting your desk up near a window. For additional lighting, find high-quality floor and desk lamps. Then, you can start planning the interior design elements (e.g., painting, storage, decor, etc.).

If it is time for your family to enter the next chapter of your lives and build your company, be sure to prepare your finances before taking any other steps. Factor in the needs of yourself, your business, and your family when searching for the ideal property. Organize your relocation with the movers, and establish your home office soon after arrival. Following these steps will help you smoothly transition into a brighter future!

Note from Arline Miller, author and blogger of Sipping Cups of Inspiration is happy to present Guest Blogger Geenius Marketing. I found this article to be informative and a possible new tool to use. Sipping Cups welcomes bloggers/writers to submit for review any useful articles. Thanks Geenius Marketing.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location, if known, for credit references. Sipping Cups of Inspiration does not own third party material and/or has any rights other than given.

STAGING A HOME REVISITED

Note from Arline Miller on why I am reposting this blog message now: This is a time when home prices are soaring but for how long. If you are looking to sell your home, you may want to read how important staging a home can affect the price you are offered. Lately, my husband wanted to get a better view from his desk in his office/retreat so I took a look and it was amazing with a few small changes/rearrangement of furniture, his office looks at least twice as big.

This a post I wrote before we moved to Tifton, but yesterday I was reminded how staging a home especially before posting or listing is so important, I decided to repost this helpful blog. It is important in every day living, less is more.

STAGING A HOME IS LIKE STAGING LIFE. My husband and I are in the process of transitioning to his hometown and for any of you that follow the blog realize that is where our hearts are….Grandchildren and of course two of our children. It is even a great idea for my daughter who lives in California as her Dad’s home and ours will be closer for her to go in between. In preparation, I always stage our home prior to showing it and I feel that this process with my tips I have learned may be helpful to others. Of course, I will tie this experience to a life lesson at the end so watch for it.

Arline’s tips for staging a home:

  1. Get rid of clutter. Too much of a good thing is too much. A possible buyer is not interested in your belongings, groceries, trash, etc. Eliminate the extras by packing, throwing away the trash, has beens, junk, etc.
  2. Do not display personal photos if possible. The future homeowner wants and needs to envision themselves in their “new home” and not be reminded this is “your domain”.
  3. Extra furniture, even though it may be an essential piece in your home may prevent the buyer from seeing how spacious your rooms are and how easy they can fit their furniture in. This is a time that less is more.
  4. Clean, clean, clean! There is nothing more distracting or unattractive for the prospective buyer than to see anything but sparkle. Dust, scrub, touch up places, and replace those items that are old and need removal.
  5. Smell your home before people arrive at showings. I bake cookies and offer them to visitors. I keep baking sheets I have prepared so it is fresh home baked aroma throughout the showing. It reminds them of the fun they will have in the kitchen. Do not use heavy disinfecting spray right before the showing. It will give the impression of trying to mask odors.
  6. Pay attention to drawers, cabinets, shelving so that all is neat and organized. I recently viewed a home and was really impressed the towels in the linen closet were neatly rolled. I opened the matching linen closet and it was a totally different look and was disarranged. People notice those little things so don’t overlook them.
  7. Taking photos of the home staged is vital. Do not wait until the last minute and take photos from different views. A person decides from the web site whether this is a good fit for them. I am going to show some photos from different realty websites without disclosing where these homes are listed for a Do and Don’t Do Comparison. I will use the ones I have staged in our home and possibly you will see what I am referring to in what to do and what not to do.
  8. Make sure windows and blinds are sparkling clean.  A good view to beautiful scenery and/or a great front or back lawn makes the buyer feel at home. Nothing is as distracting as film on windows or dust on window blinds/sills.
  9. Kitchen sink under-cabinet staging. Display organic, non-chemical cleaners and no roach or rat preventive items. Keep items to a minimum and have clean sponges, brushes, pads, etc. As a home owner, it is easier to show the home without having to have discussions about pest control. Tip: Maintain your home at all times to be pest free so this is not even a concern.
  10. Pet Staging. Many of us love pets, dogs or cats and even some other varieties of animals. Carpets should be cleaned often if pets are present and vacuumed frequently. Bathe your pets regularly and use the natural fragrances to keep them smelling good. Litter boxes have to be religiously emptied and cleaned and open windows frequently to allow fresh air in your home. Any pet that is not house broken should be crated until you can trust them to be out. Carpets and area rugs should be cleaned and deodorized to prevent the paw tracking from pets going in and out.
  11. Window blinds/curtains should be opened for better lighting if possible. Some of my friends prefer a darker ambiance but most people love to see lighter rooms. If a window cannot be visible, make sure lights are on. Dark corners do not reflect bright, cheery atmosphere so keep it in mind even if you are Dracula’s descendants and love the dark.
  12. Staging is important but your attitude is what counts as well. If you have an agent representing and showing your home, please do an attitude check on how they feel about your home.

Helpful tip from me on Staging A Home Photos: Before you list or post photos, do yourself a money making favor. Even if you put the items back on the counters, sinks, furniture, or even clutter on floors. Before you take the photo remove all personal or even a mountain of figurines, dishes, vases, etc or children’s toys……A little less is always best and they can see your home above the rest! When I had Interiors by Arline, light touches were highlights and not distractions in trade shows. I see so many beautiful homes that if de-cluttered for the presentation it would mean a higher price! When we sold both of our homes, you better believe I staged the poster pictures. No one cares about your collections or personal shampoos, etc. but they want to see walls, counter space, and living spaces. Clean and neat can’t be beat! Just sayin’ to help!1 Co

I posted this tip with these Before and After photos to make a visual point of comparison.

Here are some photos I wanted to share for the DO’s and DONT’S for staging a home:

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DO: Minimal items on counters; clean and wiped cabinets, sinks, and appliances allow buyer to see backsplash and space in kitchen.

Don't kitchen

DON’T: The busyness of this kitchen takes away from the counter tops and size.

IMG_0349

DO: Simple accessorizing helps to accent a feature like the fireplace. Greenery can be used but dust free if used. I used this photo for a reason. I left the cabinet open to show the TV but this is an option and it looks nicer closed for showings. I am posting another Do for a Living Room and this one is from a realtor website. Good job.

Do Living Room

DO: See how minimal accessories allow you to see the walls, fireplace and just how much furniture is possible. Nothing personal.

IMG_0377
IMG_0376
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DO’s: These bedrooms are staged with clean appeal, accessories, made up beds, and clean carpet.

don't bedroom

DON’Ts: Toys, boxes, “junk” have to go or be displayed in an attractive way on shelves.

In finalizing this thought of staging, I thought about less is more when preparing a house for someone else to like what they see enough to spend time and maybe make it a home place.  I thought about the same when we go to choose a mate for life. Look away from the material things and look at what I call the “bones” of a home. If we choose to spend our life with someone, it should be because it has an attractiveness, a cleanliness of body and spirit, room to grow both emotionally and wisely. In other words, maybe we look to see if our future mate has the ability to shine and sparkle without overdressing and speaking. Allow the person to win you over like a good, solid home does by being themselves and standing out from the crowd.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location when known for credit reference.

THE TIME IN BETWEEN. FROM THE CROSS TO THE RESURRECTION

As a blogger and writer, there are times in between events and I occupy myself. Always at this time, this post comes to my mind about the time in between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. It seems worthy of reposting this year. Happy Easter to all of us who celebrate this holy holiday and may each of us have a beautiful reason to know why we celebrate it.

This is a repost from 2014 but I found it to be appropriate as we move into Good Friday. TODAY THE WORDS are THE TIME IN BETWEEN. We have obligations, appointments, meetings, scheduled events, etc. which have specific times set aside throughout our days, weeks, and months. We write them down and plan to be on time and sometimes we schedule several places to be on the same day to make the most of our time. While doing this, we have some unavoidable down time or some time in between. We find ourselves with a half hour, an hour or sometimes two with nothing to do. What do we do with our time in between two events? Some of us bring our iPads, books, puzzles, etc. and fill our time either wisely or just idling with very little productivity. This made me have a deeper thought about this Easter holiday. When the events occurred on Good Friday and with the promise from Jesus to His followers He would rise on the third day; how did they fill the time in between? Did they sit around and mourn Jesus’s death as we do today when one of our loved ones die? The tomb was sealed so they could only visit the outside. Did they stay watchful or did they have the confidence to wait the days out? How did the conversation go between all of the disciples? Did they fear their safety knowing others had seen the Lord’s strength during his torturous death? Did they reminisce about His miracles Jesus had performed? How did they fill the time in between?

Easter cross
All of us may know what happened on Easter Sunday with all of the celebration and miraculous resurrection; but my mind has been directed to the time in between and here is what I feel. Our lives are actually time in between. We are born into this world and then we die. All of our life is this time between birth and death and what we do is important to prepare for our resurrection into Eternity. How do we fill our time in between or in other words, what do we do with our lives? Do we fill our time with productivity and good works or do we idly fill our time with nonsense and useless activities? Do we learn, earn, live, and love? Do we reach out to help others find their way? We are taught about Good Friday and Easter, but I think we need to spend some of our time understanding how important the time in between was. Life is here for us and while we show reverence and love for Jesus’s sacrifice for us; let us use our time in between wisely. Happy Easter to all and a Happy In Between Time to fill with goodness.


For positive affirmation with “the power of positive thinking” I am including a short article for you to read: The Power of Positive Thinking

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Did you know that some of the world’s most successful people – including professional athletes, actors, business-people, artists, and spiritual leaders, attribute their success to one thing, above all else?

Its called “the power of positive thinking,” and more and more regular people are harnessing this incredible force to achieve happiness, personal success and abundance in their lives.

If you want to successfully change your attitude, it is important to know that, just like a magnet, your thoughts, expectations, and beliefs attract everyone and everything that enters into your life, both positive and negative.

How To Be Happy
Does anger, worry, fear, anxiety, and/or depression lead your emotional state and thought patterns?

If so, then experiences validating these thoughts are exactly what you will attract into your life. Good thing for you, there is a very effective solution.

What is the secret to making the power of positive thinking work for me?

Meditation. In order to manifest positive experiences into your life, you must change your thoughts, which must be done from the root: the subconscious layers of your mind.

Once meditation melts all of the layers of worry, anxiety, depression, and fear clogging up your thought processes, your new-found mind-mastery, with crystal clear thinking, and positive mental attitude allows you easy manifestation of anything you want, whether it be love, good health, wealth, more friends, or success.

Easter hope
Scripture Excerpt from The Bible:

John 20:16-18 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
positive thoughts

(c) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material/photos are sourced when known to original location for credit reference.

RED POLKA DOTS II

I usually don’t think about the posts that I have written years ago until something springs into focus but this morning, my post and memory from years ago came forth without provocation. I thought I would share this post but end with a reflection of a thought resulting from this memory.

This photo came from googling dotted swiss on Google.

Here is the original thought and post from 2014.

TODAY THE WORDS are RED POLKA DOTS. It seems I wake up one morning with serious topics on my mind and the next morning, I wake up with a humorous thought. So the story of Red Polka Dots is the theme for today. Several times during the course of writing this blog, I have shared the fact I didn’t come from wealth; as a matter of fact, we were not even among the “current” middle class. Our family did the best we could but we didn’t have extra money, so hand me down clothes were a good thing. Our aunts would give us clothes from their older children and then we would go through the process ourselves. My sister’s clothes were handed down to me and I always joke when someone kidded us about me being taller and having a larger frame than my sister. Look, I said we were close to being poor; I didn’t say I wasn’t smart. I just grew faster to avoid having to wear hand me downs. Back to the red polka dot story…..Mom saved some money and found some pretty polka dot material and made BOTH of us an Easter dress. Oh yes, I was walking in high cotton and probably strutted in MY new dress. Mine, it was mine and it was new and oh, how I loved my dress. It was white background with red polka dots and did I say it was mine? I wore it with pride and as often as I could. It wasn’t long before I grew out of it and then it happened……I had to wear the one Mom had made for my sister. What? Hand me down on the dress I loved so much, how could that be? It was not even funny to me at the time, but as the years go by, it has become hilarious. The difference is how I would handle the same situation today. I would continue to “strut” as no one would notice, if I had kept my mouth shut. It was me who let the cat out of the bag and I should have appreciated the fact I could keep wearing a pretty red polka dot dress. How we learn in life to make the most of an awkward situation! Life can be an emotional roller coaster or we can decide to enjoy the ride. We can laugh; we can overcome our fears; we can shout with joy; and we can cry from the sad times. What became important to me is that it isn’t what we are dealing with today; it is the privilege of living life to the fullest. God gives us polka dots to see the colors of the rainbows He makes.

2022 Note from Arline Miller, blogger: As time goes by and we get older, our priorities change and our positions of the focus of life are repositioned. We care about different things such as family, security, homes, communities, and such nuances as fashion diminish in ranking. I had an elderly man who I worked with make a statement when an acquaintance of mine visited to make an observation which I took offense when he said, “Those sensible shoes make her look older.” He was speaking from a man’s view of how women’s legs looked in high heels not from the comfort and safety of wearing practical shoes. Today, I laugh as I have many beautiful high heel shoes packed away for what reason I don’t have a clue since I am happy to be in the “sensible shoes” era. Dotted Swiss is pretty and it is a happy memory just like sensible shoes.

Those were the days (photo blurry but no sensible shoes in those days 70’s)

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

James 1:17 ESV 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

(c) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original source/location, if known, for credit reference.

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