15 Feel Good New Year Resolutions

Many people will make New Year resolutions to ring in 2020, but we seldom keep our promises for very long. Reevaluating your life is hard stuff! Here’s a list of New Year resolutions that will make you feel better, physically and mentally. These suggestions aren’t that difficult and are sure to make you feel happier about who you are.   

  1. Practice anonymous random acts of kindness.
  2. Make at least one person smile each day.
  3. Read at least one book each month. (Don’t forget to review it. The author will SMILE! See resolution #2.)
  4. Go someplace you’ve never been.
  5. Be kinder to yourself.
  6. Be kinder to others.
  7. Be quick to listen, slow to speak.
  8. Take the stairs. It’s good for you.
  9. Let go of old hurts and grudges.
  10. Forgive.
  11. Try a new hobby.
  12. Donate all clothing you haven’t worn in a year.
  13. Start and end each day consciously feeling happy and grateful.
  14. Buy less plastic. It’s bad for our planet.
  15. Stay in touch with the people who matter.

What New Year resolutions would you add to the list?

Jan 99¢ Sale!

TWO HEARTS IN WINTER is book 2 of The Ocean City Boardwalk Series. The book is available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes iBooks.

15 Feel Good New Year Resolutions


New Year Black-eyed Peas @JoanReeves #mgtab

New Year's 2017 Graphic ImageNew Year’s Day is on the horizon. In the South, the first day of the New Year calls for Black-eyed Peas.

Some home cooks think cooking these beloved little legumes requires too much time and energy so they opt for the canned variety.

So I thought I’d share this really easy slow-cooker method. You just do a little prep work, throw them in your slow cooker or Crock Pot, and in about 6 hours you’ll have the most delicious black-eyed peas you’ve ever eaten. So if you want to serve black-eyed peas at midnight on New Year’s Eve, put them on at 6pm.

Black-eyed Peas the Slow Cook Way

1. Pour a 1-pound bag of dried black-eyed peas into a colander and wash them. Then place them in a cooking pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the colander and rinse.

2. Place the rinsed peas in the slow cooker.

3. Add 3 cups of water to the slow cooker.

4. Add your choice of a pork meat product: 1/4 pound of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled OR 1/2 pound smoked ham, cubed OR 1 ham hock.

5. Add 2 medium-size onions, chopped

6. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt. I give this range because some bacon and ham can be very salty. So start with a little salt and add more if needed when they’re almost ready to serve.

7. Add 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground or cracked fresh ground black pepper.

8. Optional: 1-2 cloves of minced garlic if you like garlic. I use a little garlic because I don’t want to overwhelm the flavor of the peas.

9. Kick it up another notch with a few drops of Tabasco if you like this Creole flavoring. I always add 4-6 drops of Tabasco.

10. Final option: add a can of diced tomatoes to the mixture in the slow cooker.

Once everything is in the slow cooker, stir to mix well. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. The aroma as they cook is mouth-watering.

I always serve these with cornbread and rice. Like most legumes, black-eyed peas are an incomplete protein so if you want to serve them as a complete protein main dish, serve them with steamed rice.

I hope you’ll try these. They’re really delicious and so easy to make that you may find yourself making them even when it’s not New Year’s.

Of course, remember the bottle of chilled bubbly.

My New Year Wishes For You

May you and your family have good health, good relationships, vocations and avocations you love, prosperity, the ability to endure and persist when life throws curve balls your way, and peace within.

Joan Reeves writes sexy Contemporary Romance Novels–available at most ebook sellers. Check out my Amazon Author Page for a list of books.  (Audio editions available at Audible, and iTunes.) All of Joan’s books have the same underlying premise: “It’s never too late to live Happily Ever After.” Joan lives her Happily Ever After with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Readers, sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL and receive a free ebook. Connect with Joan Online: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * YouTube.

Maxine Here


Holly, berry and ribbon Christmas garland

Chocolatier, Caterer and owner of Au Chocolate. Heroine of the Death By Chocolate Series

Maxine. Chocolatier, Caterer and owner of Au Chocolate. Heroine of the Death By Chocolate Series

Do I know what it’s like to have a zillion things to do and no time? I definitely do. Between being a chocolatier and caterer, as well as having all kinds of family and friends, Christmas is one busy time of year for me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve already bought and made most of my presents.

There’s always last minute ones though. I recommend whipping up a quick batch of chocolate truffles. Because really who doesn’t like chocolate? Christmas chocolate bark is also quick and easy.

For a special dinner, maybe with Detective Shannon, I’ll whip up a chocolate mousse or make some chocolate covered strawberries. I’m including the chocolate truffle recipe here. The others are included in the booklet Chocolate Recipes From Maxine. I’ll send you a copy automatically when you sign up for my newsletter.

Chocolate Truffles

  • ½ cup heavy creamchocolate
  • ½ cup dark, semi-sweet, milk or white chocolate
  • Flavoring to taste
  • Truffle shells if available

Melt chocolate and whisk in heavy cream (whipping cream). It should be a pudding consistency when finished.

I currently am finding the truffle shells I get from my local chocolate supplies shop are unusable because part of the shell is paper thin and can’t be removed from packaging without breaking but there’s no question that if you can get them it’s the easiest way of doing truffles. Just put the truffle mixture in a frosting sleeve with a plain tip and fill the truffles. The truffle mixture should be cool to almost luke warm when you do so.

Then melt some chocolate and cool to luke-warm. Using a chocolate loop gently roll filled truffles in chocolate covering then put on foil lined plate and refrigerate.

If this is not an option cool truffle mixture until solid. Roll into balls and roll truffle ball in cocoa mix or coconuts, crushed nuts or whatever your heart desires.

It may take a little work but I’ve never met a person who doesn’t like truffles. I’m wishing you all Happy Holidays and the very best of New Years. And if you’ve got a few minutes why not check out our Book Bites 3 and 4? They’re filled with first chapters of your Author’s Billboard authors, myself included. I myself, picked up copies to give a friend along with her new kindle. A perfect present if I do say so myself.

If you’ve got a few hours to curl up with a good book you may want to check out my Death By Chocolate series. You won’t believe some of the adventures I’ve had while catering.