Saturday Share Recipe: Perfect for New Year Breakfast

Today's Saturday Share Recipe is something you might want to make and have ready for the morning of New Year's Day.

That is, unless you plan on going to bed early on New Year's Eve so you won't feel like death warmed over on the first day of the New Year.

Breakfast Granola Crumble Cake is a favorite with all those I personally know with whom I've shared the recipe. It's easy to make and can be served for breakfast or for snacks. Just rumble it in a bowl and pour milk over it or eat it like a granola bar.

You can even freeze portions in zipper storage bags and heat in the microwave before serving.

I posted it on Smart Girls Read Romance blog and thought I'd post it here so you could whip up a batch to have a no-brainer breakfast on New Year's Day.

Breakfast Granola Crumble Cake


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup APC flour (or use 2 cups APC flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Wheat Germ (order from Amazon or find at your local store)
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries or other dried fruit of your choice (I actually put in 1/2 cup each of dried apples and raisins)
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (your choice, I use pecans)


1. Prepare a 13" x 9" x 2" rectangular baking dish with baking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (177 degrees Celsius)
2. Cream butter until fluffy then beat in molasses and sugar.
3. Beat in the eggs and mix into the butter mixture.
4. Stir flours, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl and add a litt at a time, mixing well after each.
5. Add the wheat germ, oats, dried fruit, and nuts, mixing well after each addition.
6. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake 20 to 30 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and cool in the pan.
8. When cool, cut into 2-inch squares, split, and butter. Serve as a granola square or crumble into a bowl and serve with milk.

Takeaway Truth

Are you doing the 24 for 24? If you haven't heard of it, it's simply making a list of 24 things you want to do in 2024. I'll be blogging about that on New Year's Day so stop by and see what I plan to do. Also, enter my January 2024 Giveaway for a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. Details given in the January 1, 2024, post.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to help websites earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click links in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

Get Joan's FREE Newsletter, I LOVE READING.

Retailer for AlphaSmart

I don't think I followed up on my post about my quest for a replacement AlphaSmart 3000.

I blogged about finding an AlphaSmart 3000 on Amazon in August 2022. I ended up returning that device to Amazon for a refund.

(TIP: Never buy anything from Amazon that doesn't have a free refund policy.)

This past summer, I found another AlphaSmart 3000  on a website called Porter Electronics for $99.00. 

(This is not a sponsored post for Porter Electronics. I bought an AlphaSmart 3000 from them and am happy to tell others about it.)

You may think $99.00 is a bit high for a refurbished device that doesn't even surf the web, but, in my opinion, the AlphaSmart is a writer's best friend.

Why Buy an AlphaSmart?

If you want to know why I wanted to replace a 20-year old device that died, read my August post.

When I received the AlphaSmart I'd purchased, I didn't get around to using it until a couple of months ago. (Long boring story. I was sick—blah, blah, blah.) I was surprised that it looked new and performed like new which is why I thought I'd do a followup post today.

Unlike laptops or notebooks, this baby is easy to fit into a purse or tote bag without worrying you might bang it around and damage it. It's rugged and saves what you input without having to click Save, runs almost forever on AA batteries, and most importantly, isn't dependent on WiFi/internet or the Cloud. It connects via a USB cable to my computer so I can easily download what I've written.

I find it's so much easier to use than a notebook or tablet when riding in the passenger seat as we travel. I can pound out a chapter in the time it takes us to get from our house in Houston to our house in the country.

If you're looking for an AlphaSmart 3000 or similar, haunt the Porter Electronics website. Today, there are 3 AlphaSmarts on there: 1 AlphaSmart 3000, 1 AlphaSmart Neo, and 1 AlphaSmart Neo2.

Takeaway Truth

When you want something, it pays to be patient and persistent and to pass the information on when you find something that's good.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to help websites earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click links in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

Get Joan's FREE Newsletter, I LOVE READING.

A Christmas Card for the World

This year raced through my life like a comet flashing across a night sky. Before I knew it, Christmas Eve was here. 

The year held many challenges including nearly mourning the loss of my dear sister-in-law and three months this summer of sickness for me. I'm still trying to catch up on, well, just about everything. I think my year is best characterized by the phrase, "Better late than never.”

In the Holiday Letter I send with Christmas cards—completed yesterday—I enclosed this bit of advice that I want to share with you.

Be brave. Be bold. Love deeply. Laugh often. Think optimistically.
Accept the past, but do not let it limit your future.
You are a child of God and have the right to be happy, healthy, and successful.
Love yourself because you are lovable and worthy of being loved.
 If you ever feel down and discouraged, tell yourself these magic words,
“I am worthy. I love myself and others love me. I love my life.”
Make those words your mantra by saying them often.
Like the pastor at our church always says in benediction,
“Go in Peace. Love God. Serve His Children.”

Takeaway Truth

Thank you for reading SlingWords, buying my books, and reviewing them. I'm truly grateful for your support. Merry Christmas—and Happy Holidays to those who celebrate differently.

Bookworm's Guide to Organizing and Showcasing Book Collections

Woman organizing and showcasing book collections in a large home library.
Today's post is by Emily Watson, a bibliophile and organizational enthusiast, who shares her expertise in curating and presenting book collections.

Drawing from her love for literature and interior design, she offers practical advice and creative ideas to help fellow book lovers beautifully organize and display their cherished reads.

Enjoy transforming your space into a reader's haven!


For every passionate bookworm, their collection is not just an assembly of books but a cherished treasure trove of knowledge, adventures, and memories. Each book, whether a dog-eared paperback or a leather-bound classic, holds a special place.

However, the challenge for many book lovers isn't just accumulating books; it's about presenting them in a way that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing. To truly honor your collection, you need to follow certain guidelines. This guide will delve into eight valuable tips for organizing and showcasing book collections in your home, ensuring your personal library is both a reflection of your love for reading and a practical space for enjoyment.

1. Categorize with Care

Organizing your books starts with categorizing them thoughtfully. Think of your bookshelves as a mini-library where finding a book should be intuitive and simple. Group your books by genre, author, or even color, depending on your preference.

Small book collection displayed on an open shelf on a white wall
No matter the size of your collection,
careful categorization makes navigating
and enjoying each book effortless.
For a visually appealing shelf, mix different book sizes and orientations.

You can place larger, heavier books on the bottom shelves for stability and smaller, lighter ones at the top.

This not only makes your collection easy to navigate but also transforms it into a visually captivating display.

2. Maximize Space Creatively

Limited space shouldn't limit your book collection. Utilize vertical space by installing shelves up to the ceiling, and consider wall-mounted shelves to free up floor space. 

Corner shelves can turn an unused nook into a cozy reading spot. If you're a fan of eBooks, dedicating a digital tablet or e-reader solely for reading can save physical space for those special print editions you treasure.

3. Incorporate Personal Touches

Your book collection is a reflection of your personality. So don't be afraid to scatter personal items like photos, souvenirs, or art pieces among the books. This not only breaks the monotony of rows of books but also gives your visitors a glimpse into your world. A shelf with a mix of books and personal items becomes more than just storage – it's a story in itself.

4. Lighting Matters

Good lighting enhances the appeal of your book collection. Use a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Strategically placed lamps can highlight specific sections of your library, while softer, ambient light provides a comfortable environment for reading.

5. Create a Reading Nook

Every book lover dreams of a perfect reading spot. Choose a comfortable chair, add a plush throw, and ensure there's ample light. Place a small table nearby to hold a cup of tea or coffee. This dedicated space will not only showcase your love for books but also invite you to spend more time reading.

Cozy reading nook on a window sill.
A cozy reading nook, an essential part of organizing
and showcasing book collections, invites
immersion into literary worlds.

6. Seasonal Themes and Sounds

One creative way of organizing and showcasing book collections is to embrace seasonal themes in your display.

As the seasons change, rotate your books to reflect the time of year, like showcasing bright, airy novels in the summer or cozy, atmospheric reads during winter.

This is also the perfect time to organize your collection while listening to timeless summer hits, adding a fun and relaxing backdrop to the task. It's a delightful way to engage with your collection regularly, keeping your love for books alive and ever-evolving.

7. Maintenance is Key

Regularly dust and care for your books to keep them in good condition. Avoid placing books in direct sunlight to prevent fading. If you love lending books, consider creating a simple check-out system to keep track of them. A well-maintained collection is not just about aesthetics; it's about preserving your books for future generations.

8. Prepare for the Future

As your collection grows, it's wise to think about how to prepare your home library for relocation or reorganization. Knowing how to pack books for a move is crucial. Use sturdy boxes and pack books tightly to prevent damage. Label each box with the content and room destination for easy unpacking.

Brown wooden shelf filled with different books.
Maintaining your books in prime condition is vital,
ensuring they remain vibrant and inviting for years to come.

Your Personal Library: A Lasting Impression

 Creating an inviting and well-organized book collection is a rewarding endeavor. It's not just about storage; it's about crafting a space that inspires and delights.

Whether it's a book that makes you sit and write a glowing online review or a rare find at a second-hand bookstore, each book in your collection has a story. 

By organizing and showcasing book collections with care, you're not just arranging pages and covers; you're creating an environment that celebrates the joy of reading. Remember, your library is a testament to your journey through the world of literature – make it uniquely yours.

Photographs Used and Provided by Post Author

Takeaway Truth

Thanks to Emily Watson for today's post. I love content that's clear and concise, don't you? Be sure and leave a comment if you reorganize your home library following Emily's tips.

Make Me, New Release by Bonnie Edwards

One of my favorite authors, Bonnie Edwards, has a new book that published this week. (Links to Amazon in other countries can be found at the end of this post.) 

Make Me, a Last Chance Beach Romance, is based on the single parent trope, or theme. One reason it attracts readers is because the parents in the story are usually older than early 20s.

Why Readers Love Single Parent Romance

If you think readers who want to be parents are the target audience, you're only partly correct. Readers who are already parents love these romances because they like seeing parents get a happily ever after.


The worst thing that could happen to a man who doesn’t want children is to inherit two little boys. The next worst thing would be to have a nanny with a child of her own.

Archie Jones, a wealthy playboy who’s never stayed more than two weeks in any one place finds himself saddled with an old friend’s four- and six-year-old boys.

When his brother suggests desperate Archie hire his wife’s sister, Archie can’t say no.

Equally desperate Beth Matthews is appalled that a man who can’t remember her name, or show up for family events, is now responsible for the lives of two adorable orphans. When he proposes she join him in a co-parenting partnership, she’s torn between her dislike of the man and the obvious needs of the children. Not to mention she’s a broke single mom with an explosive secret.

In this forced proximity, enemies-to-lovers romance set in the charming beach town of Last Chance Beach Archie and Beth must find a way to compromise, live together, and always put the needs of their children first.

Archie soon learns he’s underestimated mousy Beth while she finds new appreciation for the footloose man who does all he can to build a loving family despite his many failings.

But when Archie suddenly abandons them, will Beth have faith in the changes she’s seen in him or will she believe he’s returned to his wandering ways?

In Last Chance Beach love always finds a way.


Bonnie Edwards has been writing all her life, starting with a poem about Santa suffering with gout. She was seven, Santa was a thousand years old.

Delighted with writing, she went on to write family sagas, humorous contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic paranormal ghost romances and more.

Published by Kensington Books, Harlequin Books, Carina Press, and Robinson (UK) Bonnie’s stories stretch from short stories to novellas and novels. Now, she’s happy to be publishing her work herself.

With 40+ titles to her credit, she has been translated into several languages and sold books worldwide.

Learn about more exciting releases and get a free romance by subscribing to her newsletter, Bonnie’s Newsy Bits

Cheers and happy reading!

Follow Bonnie Online






I've got my copy of Make Me loaded in my Kindle. I'll be posting a review in a few days. The weekend is here so do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Bonnie's new book today.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to help websites earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click links in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

Get Joan's FREE Newsletter, I LOVE READING.

Saturday Share Recipe - Beverage Gift Mixes in Jars

Some people started shopping back in the summer with the first Amazon Prime Day specials.

Some love to hit the stores to shop for holiday presents.

Then there are those who really like to give something from their home and heart—sharing a recipe with a gift in a jar, or in fancy holiday containers that can be purchased just about anywhere.

Gifts like this are delightful because you don't have to worry if the recipient has one like it already, and the recipient doesn't end up with something they don't want or need but feel as if they have to keep it. 

Today, I'm offering 2 beverage mixe recipes that are easy to make and delicious. You'll need glass jars with well-fitting lids, plastic containers, bags, or boxes.

It's also nice to use holiday fabric, ribbon, and cards and/or envelopes for ingredient lists and instructions which you'll handwrite or print on cardstock or paper and tuck into a small envelope tied to the gift.

Christmas Cappuccino Mix


8 ounces of instant coffee granules (Choose Starbucks Premium Instant Coffee or the low-cost alternative Great Value Classic Roast Instant Coffee from WalMart which was rated by Tasting Table as 1 of the 13 best instant coffees.)

16 ounces of Laird Superfood Vanilla Creamer (On Amazon, this non-GMO, vegan choice is $14.24 each. You can select a much less expensive vanilla nondairy creamer of your choice.)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt


(1) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spoon into a clean 1 quart jar and cover tightly with a lid. Cut a circle of holiday fabric with pinking sheers and tie onto the neck of the jar. Attach a card with the ingredients on one side and instructions for making a cup of the cappuccino on the other side.

Instructions: Cup of Cinnamon Vanilla  Cappuccino

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mix into a mug. Add 6 to 8 ounces of boiling water. Stir. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish if you wish. Enjoy! 

Mistletoe Mocha Mix


2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup chocolate nondairy creamer (Nestle Chocolate Creme Coffeemate)

1/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa Powder

1/4 ccup instant coffee granules


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spoon into a clean 1 quart jar. Cover tightly with a lid. Cut a circle of holiday fabric with pinking sheers and tie onto the neck of the jar. Attach a card with the ingredients on one side and instructions for making a cup of the cappuccino on the other side.

Instructions: Cup of Mistletoe Mocha

Place 1/3 cup of the mix into a mug. Add 6 to 8 ounces of boiling water. Stir well, sip, enjoy!

Takeaway Truth

In families where kids and grandkids have everything they need, a gift like this is a welcome surprise because it shows you took time, the most precious commodity of all, to create something just for them.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to help websites earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click links in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.
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Friday Facts About December

On the first day of December, I'm serving up some fun facts about this month.

1. December is the 12th month in our modern Gregorian calendar, and it was also the last month in the former Julian calendar, but it's name derives from Latin for 10, not 12.

That's because in the Roman calendar which preceded the Julian, there were only 10 months with December being the last month hence it's Latin name for 10th.

2. Another fun fact, the winter months actually didn't have names because there was little military, agricultural, or civilian activity then. Calendars were set up to mark events in those areas as well as in civilian time for military, agriculture, or civil life.

3. Weather folklore about December says if there's frost on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, that the winter will be a hard one.

4. On December 13, if the sky is clear, go outside that night and look up. You might be able to see the Geminid meteor shower.

5. Anglo-Saxons of old called December Winter Monath or Yule Monath. Obviously, Monath meant month. When they all converted to Christianity, they renamed the month Heligh Monath, meaning Holy Month.

Takeaway Truth

Everyone is always super busy in December. Try to take time each day to appreciate the quiet moments in life. Enjoy each and every day and look forward rather than backward.