Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Currently...linking up vol.9

Counting.....  down the days until our shop closes.  I'm sure I'll write a post of my mixed bag of emotions about being a small business owner closing our store and tackling new adventures in the future.

Feeling..... the Christmas spirit a little more this year.  I think it's a combination of knowing that I won't be working Christmas Eve for the first time in years and having friends coming to visit from Texas.  It's got me all the more excited this year.

Doubting..... that my tree is going to make it this year.  It's not even December and branches are bent with ornaments falling off.  "Why?" you may ask.  Because out of our 3 cats, one considers himself an expert tree-climber...or he wants to be one of the decorations.

Planning.....  fun stuff for my friend that is visiting.  She and her 11 year old son will be here Christmas through New Year's.  Their excitement for this trip is contagious.  We're going to the beach, to the zoo, camping surrounded by Australian wildlife and more!

Appreciating.....  how sweet my stepkid can be.  We've been talking a lot about my friend and her son visiting and the fun things we have planned.  He asked me "what are you the most excited for?", and my reply was "all of it!"  I asked him the same, and his reply was "I'm just excited to meet them."  How sweet is that?

Applauding..... my husband.  While buying a coffee this week, he witnessed this lunatic of a woman spewing racial rants to people.  She had a Chinese girl in tears.  She told an Indian man to "go back where (he) came from" and that he stinks.  She told the Chinese coffee shop he also "should go back" where he came from.  When my husband confronted her, she called him a "nazi" and to mind his own business.  The coffee shop owner and my husband both called security, so as she was leaving and throwing out more racist vomit, my husband followed her until security caught up with her.  Oh, and by the way, this ain't her first visit into the land of being a disgusting racist and menace to society.  She's even on youtube for it.

Wondering..... what is wrong with people??

Moving..... to a happier topic:  How is it that I've never heard about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?  An organization supported by one of my favorite people (DOLLY!) giving books to children?!?  What's not to love?  Jana mentions it (or has a link to it) in this post.  Oh, and by the way, if you haven't read Jana's post, you should.  The initiative "delivers a quality, age-appropriate book once a month direct to children at home from birth to 5 years old in targeted communities. Our vision is that all children start school ready to read and learn so that they can succeed in life."  There are programs in Canada, the UK, Australia, and the US.  Take all my money.

Promoting..... my book challenge: Book Challenge by Erin - you can check out our facebook group where most of the activity goes down or this page on my blog.  Categories are announced December 1st, as in tomorrow (if you're in my part of the world).  That's why this post is going live today.  What a great way to kick off 2017 - reading books!  Won't you join us?

Reading.....  Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein...just started it last night.  I'm pretty sure I'll like it based on those that have recommended it to me.

Listening..... to my personal mix of Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, and Butch Walker.  I dumped all other songs from my ipod shuffle at the moment and have just been listening to these faves for the last week while I'm commuting. 

Learning..... where bears live in North America.  Why?  Because Steph mentioned seeing bear poop, and I know Steph lives in Pennsylvania, and I had no idea bears lived there.  Then, I found this map and learned there are even bears in Florida?  And Louisiana?  Am I the only one that didn't know these things?  Yep, I'm feeling pretty dumb right about now.  See how educational blogging can be?

Linking..... with Kristen and Gretchen:
What's New With You

Linking..... with  Kristin:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.100

This happens often...I start out the day with cute shoes, but I end up in flip flops soon enough. 

Friday beer day to watch football and celebrate Thanksgiving...

...which turned into 11 hours of drinking and this picture I don't remember taking. I'm too old for that nonsense. Ha!

Saturday night included dinner at my fave - I was so preoccupied with the good food that I took no pictures except this one when I was leaving. 

After chasing Ricky out of the tree...

...and chasing him away from the ornaments...

...I got our tree up!

Hope you had a fab holiday weekend!  Are you getting ready for Christmas?

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I realize that I'm often a lame blogger as I have admitted in my "Confessions of a lame blogger" post.  In all my lameness, I realized I had no Thanksgiving post ready today.  So, here's a list of things I'm thankful for I sit here...and try to type this post in between customer interruptions and job responsibilities.

I'm thankful for the Thai massage last night.  I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy a masseuse digging into my back, shoulders, and neck with their elbows, knees, fingers, and toes.  Yes, I said toes.  I love it.  And, the stretching at the end is sheer bliss. 

I'm thankful for technology.  Sometimes, social media drives us all insane.  But, I'm thankful for all the ways to keep connected to friends and family.  This week - I used viber to text my mom in Texas and one of my bestest gal pals in Italy; I used skype to chat with my dad and stepmom; I received a picture of my nephew at his first varsity basketball game via email; I shared that pic with a couple of close friends via facebook messenger; and I look at all the Instagram pics of yummy Thanksgiving food and families.

I'm thankful for Ellen DeGeneres.  What Barack Obama had to say when Ellen received her Presidential Medal of Freedom had me in tears.  I was thinking of an aunt who came out to her parents (my grandparents) in the '70s.  There was no one like Ellen in the public eye.  Her positivity is infectious.  A friend of mine shared this on facebook:  Ellen shows "how normal we are. She didn't hide her sexuality or her life, she just talked about Life. and for years she sat on Daytime television just being herself. Being Funny, talking about the trials and tribulations of marriage. She got political, but never preachy. She epitomizes so much in how we can change hearts and minds not through yelling or anger, but through kindness and humor."

I'm thankful for this guy who has been dubbed the "Aussiest.  Interview.  Ever."  Seriously, if you like to watch video clips for a laugh, please watch this one.  Plus, he shares sound advice: "If you do good for your mates, they do good for you."  Or something like that.  I was crying with laughter, and I love the feeling of finding something so joyful and funny that you're crying and laughing at the same time.

I'm thankful for public libraries - free entertainment!  I'm thankful for book challenges (of course, the participants in my own Book Challenge by Erin hold a special place in my heart).  I'm thankful for Jana and  Steph hosting the "Show Us Your Books" link-up and all the book-lovin' bloggers that I get to book chat with each month.  I feel like the last few years, my love of reading has been rejuvenated, and the library, book challenges, and the link-up have all been full for that fire.

I'm thankful for my fur babies.  The unconditional love that they show with cuddles from the kitties and slobbery kisses from the doggies. 

I'm thankful for gift-giving.  Look, I ain't gonna lie, I enjoy receiving gifts too, but I really, really do like giving gifts.  I like shopping for them.  I like wrapping them.  I like giving them.  And, this time of year over any others, I get to give lots of gifts.

I'm thankful for these guys that I talked about in a 2014 Thanksgiving post.  I'm thankful to feel so much love from a family that it causes me to miss them so much, especially during holidays like this.

I'm thankful for my Australian family.  I feel loved.  I feel valued.  I feel challenged.  I feel appreciated.  I feel like I'm in an equal partnership with my husband.  Those are all feelings that I'm thankful for. 

And, thank you for spending some time with me in this little corner of my world.  I appreciate the interactions, the laughs, the lessons, and the stories that we share in the wacky world of blogland. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Decades Playlist by Jana and Erin: the 1970s

A lot happened in the 70s. Some of it good, some of it bad, some of it in the middle. However, most notable is the fact that this is the decade in which Erin and I were both born! Yay for 70s babies! Granted I have approximately zero memories and I don't think Erin's are that clear but still. WE WERE THERE.


You know what else was there? Great music. The dawn of punk, the dawn of rap, the abomination of disco, the big sounds of arena rock and so much more. In fact, this was the most difficult playlist we've put together because we seriously didn't know where to stop. This is actually our biggest playlist at 39 songs (and that's with leaving off a lot) and we've linked to the whole list at the bottom, with our favorites highlighted below.  Enjoy!

"Closer to the Heart"--Rush. As you all know, this is Jana's favorite band. Picking one song was a challenge but this one was selected specifically because of the poignancy and significance and relevance to the current state of politics in the US. (ex., "And the men who hold high places must be the ones who start. To mold a new reality. Closer to the heart.")

"Dream On"--Aerosmith. There are A LOT of 70s Aerosmith songs that I (Erin) love, but the quintessential song that still gives me goosebumps that still has a powerful message "Dream until your dreams come true" is this one.

"Prelude/Angry Young Man"--Billy Joel. Like Rush and Aerosmith, HOW DO YOU PICK JUST ONE?! Well, you pick one with his incredible piano playing that's also fun to sing along to and one you never, ever tire of hearing.

"Dance the Night Away"--Van Halen. Again, A LOT, because I'm (Erin) a DLR fan over Van Hager fan and this one started my love of "rock music that you can dance to".

"Who Are You?"--The Who. So, it's one of my parents' favorite stories to tell about me (Jana) and how I used to walk around at the age of 3 or 4 singing this song. Specifically, the "who? who?" part, like a fucking owl. Also fun to know is that they say "who the fuck are you" in the song so it's pretty evident where my love of that particular word comes from.

"Crazy on You"--Heart. Heart Those fucking Wilson sisters broke so many glass ceilings proving that women rock just as hard as men (we actually have a whole badass women playlist. The Wilson sisters are on it. Obviously). 

"Bat Out of Hell"--Meatloaf. I (Jana) probably should have picked Paradise by the Dashboard Light because it's one of my all time favorite songs but this one is like the opening line from The Martian. It's unforgettable and makes a statement you never forget. 

"Strutter"--KISS. So many Kiss songs are more well known, but I love this little gem of a song. Fun fact: my Paul Stanley doll was my (Erin) favorite doll as a kid for a while.

"Bohemian Rhapsody"--Queen. Arguably one of the greatest songs ever written. It is still original and unique 40+ years later. Fun fact: It's the only song that was a duplicate from both of our lists. Another fun fact: I (Jana) think of Wayne's World when I hear it. Every. Single. Time.

"Already Gone"--Eagles. I've (Erin) explained the significance before, but I'll say it again - after living in a turbulent relationship, getting married at 19 (with no business doing so), I packed up my white Honda Civic at the age of almost-21 and left that asshole.  When I pulled out of the drive-way, I opened the sunroof, and this song started.  Tears streamed down my face as I sang it at the top of my lungs.  It is "my victory song".

"Horse with No Name"--America. My (Jana) victory song is not from the 70s but here's another embarrassing story about me instead. I called this the camel song for years. No real clue why. Just did. 

"Hot Child in the City"--Nick Gilder. You know how some random memories from childhood are still so vivid?  I (Erin) have a vivid memory of standing on my swing on our backyard swing set singing the song aloud for all the neighbors to hear. (Jana's note: glad to know I wasn't the only weird ass child).

"Good Hearted Woman"--Willie Nelson. He IS Texas to me (Erin)

Okay, so now that you have the highlights, here's the whole list. Let us know what songs from the 70s
you enjoy and we should add!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Zoo Parent

I have a "50 Before 50" list.  #10 on that list says "Adopt an animal at Taronga Zoo".  I love zoos, but I will admit that the animal lover in me can get a little sad worrying about the life and treatment of animals in a cage for human beings' enjoyment.  What I LOVE and admire at Taronga Zoo is they are hugely supportive and actively involved in animal health, conservation, education, breeding, and research.

I took this while standing on the ferry dock at Taronga Zoo

It takes less time adopting an animal that it does ordering a pizza online.  Why haven't I done this before? 

Before visiting the "Adopt-an-Animal page" on Taronga's website, I read about Taronga's breeding programs.  I chose to adopt the Tasmanian Devil after reading that these guys and gals are "disappearing at an alarming rate" and knowing they are a unique animal native to Australia.  After reading about the "Devil Facial Tumor Disease" that has infected approximately 60% of this animal's total population, I wanted to support Taronga's breeding program to combat the decline of this animal as it hit "endangered species" status.

photo source

I received this in an email conservation: 
Thank you for supporting Taronga by adopting an animal through the Zoo Parent program. Funds raised by Zoo Parent help to support Taronga's work in conservation, education and research projects here in Australia and overseas. Most importantly, they help us to help provide the best possible care for all the animals here at Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos. Welcome to the Zoo Parent family.
Animal: Tasmanian Devils

Again, why haven't I done this before?

I urge you to research your local zoo (if you have one where you live).  Or any animal rescue, animal hospital, wildlife care center.  Take a look to see if they have something in place that is this easy to contribute to the health and care of our furry (or scaly or feathered) friends. 

A "50 Before 50" activity:

Do you like zoos?  Do you have a favorite to visit?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Blogger Love vol.9

I really should do these on a regular basis, but oh well, I don't, yet I'm still going to share the "blogger love".

In case you missed it.  THIS.  I shared it before.  If you read no other link but this one, please read this one.  From Kaity...  He Grabbed Me By The Pussy: My Sexual Assault Story

People are Diverse. Books Should Be Too.  With a title like that, how can Rose's post go wrong?  It doesn't.  It is wonderful.

From Alyssa's prompt "What You Hope Others Receive from You", Megan shared this lovely post.

Speaking of Alyssa, her "Back to Blogging" ended and she wraps it up with this post:  Well, That Was Fun - when you have some spare time, I highly suggest digging into her link-up and posts.  There's some great stuff there.

Jana gives you permission.  Mic drop.

This couldn't have come at a better time:  Tanya's Tired of all the Toxicity? I've Got the Cure: Cute Animal Pictures, Funny Memes, and More!

There have been a lot, and I mean A LOT of posts during and after this Presidential election, but this one gets a standing ovation from me:  Ericka's Dear Mr. Trump

From my personal archives, my feelings expressed in this post from 5 years ago are the same today about Thanksgiving

Have any blog love that you want to share with me?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.99

Monday, I took my required documents and headed to the RTA (American equivalent = DMV) to get my driver's license. I dreaded this task thinking it was going to be tedious and take eons to wait. 

To my surprise, the RTA was efficient and painless. I now have my New South Wales license!

Things you do when you're a jeweller's wife: crawl around on your hands and knees in a workshop searching for gemstones that your husband flicks, misplaces, and can't locate. Luckily, I found this little sapphire beauty. 

Saturday night, we went to celebrate a friend's birthday. I enjoyed myself an adult cocktail. Or 8. 

My guy

Can you tell who were the drinkers and who were the designated drivers?

Sunday involved cats, a book, a nap, a Skype session with one set of the parentals, and a movie.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Stuff and Things vol.7

Let's jump right into this, shall we?
I've been busy.  We all get busy.  Question for you: if you get busy and you feel that you aren't reading blogs or answering comments in the timeframe that you want, do you stop posting?  Or do you continue posting and just catch up when you can?  I know there isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer to this question...I'm just interested in how others handle this. 

The election.  So much to say.  So many things have been said.  One friend of mine from high school has been teaching internationally for the last ten years.  She is currently in South America.  She has also lived in the Ukraine, Asia, and (if I remember correctly) Portugal.  She has been vocal on facebook.  One person asked: "Why do you care?  You haven't lived in the U.S. for years?"  Many others handled this question appropriately.  I responded to just count me into that category of "American citizen living in another country who still cares."  But, I really just wanted to post this gif:

I am inspired by this friend of mine.  She later posted that twice a year she scores essays for an international college and has done so for years.  She is going to use the money earned from that task and donate to two causes that she believes in - Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.  I love this.  It could be any causes or worthy organizations.  But, I love the examination of what she, as an individual, can give and supporting groups that she feels are deserving.

We had a woman drop of her watch for a battery one day.  She picked it up the next day.  When doing so, she received a document listing her item that she left, the work that will be done to it, and the amount owed.  We have MASSIVE, bright "Closing Down" signs in our window.  When she came back to pick up her watch, she said "oh, well, you're closing down...I don't think I should have to pay anything since you can't offer me a warranty."  For an $18 service.  Maybe she shouldn't have left it in the first place.  Am I getting overly annoyed with the general public as closing draws nearer?  Maybe.  I just need all idiots to stay away.

I signed up for a 10k walk (walk, not run) that's happening March 2017.  I'm in the worst shape I've ever been.  I gotta start somewhere, and I have a super duper friend who motivated me to do this walk together.  Plus, it supports the Starlight Children's Foundation which is a great cause.  Double plus, it's called "A Walk with a Finish for Foodies".  That's right.  At the end, there will be "Picnic Market stalls for gourmet treasures including cheese, cured meats, artisan breads, crafty beer and boutique wines." 
We've all seen little sayings/memes like the one above, right?  I guess that I am a dog.  I am motivated by food.  I'm not ashamed.  I rather like dogs. 

When we close the shop, I'll be changing library that I frequent.  I've gotten carried away by this fact.  It seems like I'm trying to get all the books before I change, and a lot of my reserves are coming in.  Currently, I have 10 things checked out, and I've received notice for 4 more things to pick up.

During a major "Spring Clean" about a month or so ago, I found some leftover Christmas cards that I planned to use this year.  Do you think I remember what I did with them?  Nope.

Making my Christmas list...why is it every year that I get to those important men in my life (my husband, my dad, my brother), and I can never figure out what to get them? They are also the ones that are no help...they tell me that they don't need anything and to not buy them a present. 

What do you buy those "hard to buy for" men in your life??

Linking up with  Kristin:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Swappin' Countries with Kristen: Fall vs Spring

For anyone new around these parts, Erin is an American who lives in Australia, and Kristen is an Australian who lives in America.  The two of us regularly talk about our experiences and lives swapping countries.  One of the most bizarre things to get used to when moving to a continent located on the other side of the planet in a different hemisphere is the opposite seasons. 

Basic facts:
American fall (Australia doesn't call it "fall"; it's called autumn) = September, October, November = Australian spring
Things that Erin typically associates with "fall" = football, MLB post season, fall leaves, Halloween, Thanksgiving, boots & sweaters
Things that Kristen typically associates with "spring" = Melbourne cup and racing season (spring carnival), just the fact that it's getting warmer and the end of the year is nearing so I always felt the need to get my life together and spring clean all the things.
Erin:  I live in a country that doesn't care much about American football (aka "gridiron").  We have ESPN.  It's an Australia/New Zealand programming version of ESPN.  We get football games.  But, you get one choice.  Whatever the programming director of ESPNAuNZ chooses and is able to show due to contractual obligations with American channels of ESPN, ABC, CBS, Fox Sports.  That's the game you get to see.  Sometimes it is live, and other times it's shown on a delay.  Oh, we have Fox Sports too, but they don't show American football.  They are showing things more interesting to Australian viewers.  So, any of my football viewing is occurring during Spring now.
Football "viewing" through online updates can be stressful

Kristen: In Australia, both football seasons - the NRL (National Rugby League) and the AFL (Australian Football League) - go from March to October, but regardless of which country I am in, I have never been a fan of football. KC is though, so it's always on during the American football season. I never pay attention, I'd rather read and can tune his shouts out easily. However, I have been to a couple of games and I enjoy it way more in person, and the atmosphere is insane compared to a game back home.

Erin:  ESPNAuNZ does show post season baseball games.  I'd care about them a whole lot more if my Astros were contenders.  Instead, I watch this Astro play ball a lot more often than I watch MLB games on tv.

Kristen: At home, spring always meant the spring carnival or 'racing season'. When I was 18-19, I worked at the racecourse, but at about 20-21 I started attending the races instead of working them. We definitely take our races seriously at home and it's just the thing to do. It's not the classiest of events (unless you pay lots of money) but it's always a good time. I'm very lucky I moved to Kentucky and I still get to attend the races often in American spring.

Erin:  Fall leaves.  Not happening right now for me.  Let's be honest, Texas isn't really known all that much for the changing fall leaves anyway.  Instead, now, I get Jacaranda trees in bloom. 

photo source
Kristen: Spring is beautiful no matter where you are, and you can see above how gorgeous Sydney is in the spring. However, at home the leaves don't really fall off trees in autumn quite like the spectacular way they do in Kentucky. I mean, science is science and the leaves do still fall off, but there is something about the way the America I know does fall.

photo source
Erin:  Halloween is growing here in the 8 years since I've moved.  C'mon, we know that America is great with marketing, advertising, and commercializing things.  So, yes, Halloween is a big deal in America.  It was my favorite holiday.  I have never dressed up in costume for Halloween since I moved here, and I used to do it all the time in America.  Last year was my first time to hand out candy...oops..."lollies" to trick-or-treaters, and I ran out!  I was better prepared this year. 

Kristen: As Erin mentioned, Halloween is picking up in Australia, but it was non existent when I was a child. I never dressed up, I never went trick or treating. I never had kids come to my house either - mum said she got her first trick or treater the year I left, and she had no candy for him. I did dress up for Halloween once as an adult - 21 or 22? Megan and I did a ghost tour I think and we dressed up as a 'sailor' and a cheerleader. We were the only people in costumes that we saw all night. We didn't care, because we were like 22, so whatever. I wish I had photos! I have dressed up for a few Halloweens since I moved here though, this past Halloween was the first that I didn't.

Erin:  Thanksgiving, oh, Thanksgiving.  This is the holiday that I get the most homesick because Australia doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving.  And, I know all my loved ones are getting together stuffing their faces with yummy goodness and watching football games together.  My guy has done a pretty great job at learning recipes (he's a much better cook than I am) and presenting a Thanksgiving meal for me.  Last year, some of our loved ones got together for it.  I still get overly emotional every Thanksgiving, missing my family and all, but the outpouring of love and support from my close circle here is nothing to sneeze at.

2015 Thanksgiving Australia

Kristen: I like Halloween, I like Christmas.. I have no strong feelings about Thanksgiving. Like Erin said, we don't have anything like it. It's very important to my mother in law though, and she takes it super seriously, so I obviously attend. I'm not a huge fan of the food - though I still eat it because, you know, food. I really like all the sales that happen online around this time.

Erin:  Wardrobes change with the seasons.  I ain't gonna lie.  I love putting on some boots and wearing hoodies.  But, I love flip flops, sandals, and cute dresses even more. 

Kristen: I think I fail my blogger certification because I am not as in love with fall fashion as others seem to be. I like sweaters and stuff, and I feel more comfortable in more clothes vs shorts and a tank, but the only plaid I own is a scarf. I have tried to buy things before based on how they look on pinterest, but I end up wearing them once and feeling like an idiot and getting rid of them. Like the below, I was so excited to look all 'fall-y' that I wore what I wanted regardless of the weather, and you can see my friend in flip flops, so.. yeah.

Erin:  I've always said that spring is my favorite season.  Yes, it's still bizarre for me to think of "spring" as September, October, and November, but accepting differences is imperative to embracing life as an expat.

Kristen: Basically what Erin said. You can complain and compare all day, constantly thinking of home or how it 'should' be, but that will only make your life as an expat harder. Instead, just eat some candy and be grateful that you have the opportunity to experience two very different countries and all their differences.

We will continue to share some joint posts based on questions from you, some of our blogger buddies (thanks to those who contributed).  Keep an eye out for those.  Who knows when they'll happen.  This ain't an assignment, and we aren't on a specific timeframe. 

Do you prefer fall or spring?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Challenge by Erin 5.0 Wrap Up

I know.  I know.  You are sick of hearing me talk about book challenges so much...but the one that is nearest and dearest to me is the one that I host ~ Book Challenge by Erin (yes, I know, those creative juices were really flowing when I came up with that name.)

Most of the challenge's activity occurs on the facebook group.  Selfishly, it allows me to interact with book lovers from every era of my life ~ family, high school friends, college friends, co-workers, adult friends, blogger buddies, friends of friends and more!  It is an open group.  I try to be a stress-free, no-pressure host.  I encourage as much (or as little) participation as a reader wants to give. 

This challenge is a selfish task, if I'm being honest.  I probably get greater pleasure out of it than any of the challenge participants.  How did we do for the fifth challenge installment?  Take a look...

Book Challenge by Erin 5.0 is complete! For all who participated this challenge:
  • The most books ever read for one of our challenges - 566! (compared to 497 in the previous challenge)
  • The most to finish all 10 books - 30!
  • The readers that finished BOTH rounds (20 books total) - 5 (including me!; the first time I ever did this)
  • To be honest, I was pretty awful with keeping up with who lives where this time, so I'll just report from last challenge we had 22 US states represented & 6 countries.
I appreciate each and every one that gives to this group. I read every book list, review, comment, and I am grateful for all of the support and encouragement shown for the love of books!  It is a happy place for me.

Winners!  I gave *small* prizes to four participants: the first person to finish BOTH rounds; the first person to finish the first round, the second person to finish the first round, and a "wild card" draw between all the ones who finished the challenge.  We had one of our blogger buddies to win a prize - congrats to Megan from can I decide another day?  What does a book lover need who bought a new house this year?  A classic Christmas book turned into a Christmas ornament!  I got her a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas ornament to be put on her very first tree in her new home.
Let me brag a little about more of our blogger friends...the following completed the challenge by reading 10 (or more) books:

Ashley at The Wandering Weekenders

Sanch at Living My Imperfect Life

Megan at Can I Decide Another Day?

Heather at Heather's Hurrah

Karen at Run Wright

Kaity at (Bee)autiful Blessings

Emma at Ever Emma

Tanya at A Mindful Migration

Bev at Confuzzledom

Jenn at Optimization, Actually

Ericka at A Quiet Girl's Musings of a World that Talks Too Much

Jamie at Whatever I Think Of!

Honorable mentions...because I know both of these lovely ladies did the best in a book challenge ever after participating in several...and for me, it's not all about finishing; it's about reading books!; and if this little challenge of mine can encourage that, then I'm thrilled.

Well done to:  Jenn at Quirky Pickings and Audrey at Life as Louise

Thinking about joining us for the next challenge??  Join the facebook group.  If you have any facebook friends that you think would enjoy the challenge, recommend them to join the group.  Some of the most enthusiastic readers in the group are friends of friends...and I love that!  Again, this challenge is open to more than just bloggers.  We have a lot of non-blogger participants.  If you know anyone who may want to dabble into the world of book challenges, share this page with them:  Book Challenge by Erin.

Or don't.  Some bloggers don't do facebook, and I'm cool with that too.  Of course, I announce stuff here on my blog too.

DECEMBER 1st - category announcement for Book Challenge by Erin 6.0

JANUARY 1st - APRIL 30th - BOOK CHALLENGE by ERIN 6.0 - tell your friends! Invite them to the group.  The more book lovers, the better!

Hooray for books!!!!!!!!!!!