The Baby Name Tag – Extended

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Howdy!

If you’re a frequent visitor to YouTube, there’s a big chance you’ve seen a lot of videos talking about baby names! It’s a tag open for anyone that either have their future children’s names picked out like me! I have decided to include two separate tags into one post, the first batch of questions comes from SJ Strum as she’s the one who created the tag in the first place. While, the second part comes from browsing my WordPress Reader and finding another large collection on Lucy Niblock’s blog. 

Since finding both of these tags, I’ve changed some of the questions below because for repeats and other little things, but for the most part, everything is still the same from the original layouts. When some of the questions ask for both genders, I’ve also decided to share what I’d use for the middle name(s) as well. I am a big fan of adding more than one name after the first, but don’t worry I don’t get too carried away with my choices though!

If you had a baby tomorrow, what would you call them? Boy & Girl

When I first read this question, the girl name popped out at me immediately! Sophie Rivers. I really love the name Sophie a lot, but I thought it was strange for me to choose “Rivers” as a middle name. Now for a boy, it was more difficult, but I did think of Luxor and the only reason why I’d pick it is because I love everything about Egypt!

What would you rename yourself keeping your same first initial?

When I was in middle school, I tried to make everyone call me “Monique” because nobody ever spelled it right and I just got tired of it all, and for some odd reason I thought this was a perfect fit! I actually remembering signing my name that way on a friend’s end-of-the-year-tye-dye-t-shirt. I really hope she no longer has that top because that’s just embarrassing!

What would you have been/wish you had been called if you were the opposite gender?

I’ve actually never known what my parents would have named me if I was a boy, so I had to ask her about this one. She told me, I would have been “Derek” and honestly, that’s not too bad compared to “Salem Rachelle” (my original name) and it is one of my favorite, casual boy name too!

Favorite Vintage baby name for boy and girl?

This is like the second worst question, because I love vintage baby names! For a girl, I have: Cecily Anne Victoria and the boy would be: Arthur Hugo Michael.

Favorite Nature baby name for boy and girl?

Apparently I like nature names a lot more than I thought I did! We had a cat named Wren years ago, and I still love that name so I’d probably go with Daisy Wren. I think thought be a really cute, girly name! For boys, I really enjoy the name Forest, but I feel it’s becoming popular again so my second favorite is Leif.

Favorite YouTuber’s name and/or baby name?

I love Jonathan and Anna SacconeJoly’s oldest daughter’s name: Emilia. It’s like the Italian version of my sister’s name! I also think Emilia Jane sounds so feminine too!

Recently I found Tania Licciardo-Toivola also known as the “mom of 10” the other day and I’ve been learning her children’s names and I’m actually loving them. I’m still missing at least two of them, but so far the names are Leonardo, Jerusalem, Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Nefertiti, Aphrodite, King James, and Omega. So, they’re really out there, but I actually really like them! I’ve always wanted to use Nefertiti in some way because she’s one of my favorite Queens ever, so I tend to put it as a middle name, but I really love that it’s front and center for her daughter.

Favorite Literary name?

I grew up in the early 90’s so the name “Jessica” was very popular in school, and even though I had to mesmerize about 8 different ones, I never lost my love of the name itself.

Favorite “O” name that isn’t Oliver or Olivia?

This is really difficult because I really love both Oliver and Olivia a lot, but the first boy name that popped into my head was Otto, and apparently it was pretty popular with several other people who took this tag too! It doesn’t hurt that it reminds you of Rocket Power, right? The girl “O” name I really like is Oona, which is Irish. I am really obsessed with Irish names! If that didn’t work, I’d exchange it with Olympia, which is Greek. I fall in love with this one long ago, so I see myself using it more than Oona unfortunately!

What did you wish you were called when you were younger?

I really like my name “Meghan” but I have never enjoyed having the letter “h” right in the smack dab in the middle. So, honestly, I would have kept it but maybe have it spelled just “Megan” to make things easier on everybody!

What name would you immediately VETO?

When I originally began working on this post, I bravely put that I didn’t have too many names I would veto, but after a few days and I searched for other names, my veto list actually grew so I managed to really surprise myself! The names I had mentioned for this question were: Nova and Sailor, but after thinking about it, I felt that I needed to add both Fergus and Tillie. It just reminds of an old lady in her 90’s! I don’t like Fergus because I just want to automatically change it to Ferguson!

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What is your favorite boy and girl name from the Top UK names list?

I think for a boy my favorite is Jack and for a girl, I really love Nora.

What is your least favorite boy and girl names from the Top US names list?

I’ve never liked Asher or Grayson for boys, maybe because they are so common nowadays. As for girls, this was a lot harder because generally I love girl names, so to find one or two girl names that I hate isn’t very ideal, but I don’t like Addison, which is strange because at one point I loved it!

If you had twins, what would you call them?

If they were both boys, they would be Mason David and Michael Brandon. Now if it was a girl and a boy, I would do Saint Isabella and Amerik Morgan. If I had two girls, then it would Emily Catherine and Leah Reverie.

You have four children, any gender, their names have to start with the same letter. What names would you choose?

Madeleine, Mason, Micah, and Magnus.

What’s your favorite celebrity’s baby name?

Since I love Celtic Woman a lot, and we’ve already established my love of Irish/Gaelic names. I really love both Mairead and Eabha a lot! Mairead means “pearl” and it’s pronounced as “MYarade” while Eabha means “life” now the pronunciation is different as it’s “AY-va” like the name Ava.

What’s your favorite animals inspired name?

Besides Wren for a girl, I don’t like too many girly animal names, except for one other name. Sparrow! I’ve never cared for it as a boy name, but for girls it always makes me smile! However, I really love both Hawk and Robin for a boy. I am obsessed with hawks and robins and cardinals we see and use to remember my papaw. So, apparently I love birds!

What’s your favorite color inspired name?

Honestly I love the name Lavender, whether or not I’d actually use it for my future children or characters one day is still a mystery, but it’s really cute! I love Scarlett as well, but it has been used a lot lately. And then for a boy (or a girl) there’s Navy! I like that Jason Aldean and his wife Brittany, are naming their second child, a girl Navy Rome. I think it’s a beautiful, unisex combination!

What are your top 3 favorite boy names?

This has always been a VERY difficult answer, but my favorite three names are: Milo, Hudson, and Sebastian.

What are your top 3 favorite girl names?

I thought I’d have a better idea for my three favorite girl names but unfortunately I don’t, so I wouldn’t surprise me if I change my mind later on! Anyways, the names I love right now are: Harlow, Francesca, and Siobhan.

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure name?

Ooh! My ultimate guilty pleasure name! Honestly, I think it’s Charlotte or Elizabeth. I really enjoy old-timey names for babies, but when it comes to boys I like the outlandish ones like Aspen or Ever.

Choose a baby based on a food/drink

This was REALLY difficult, but I actually don’t like using food or drink inspired names but I do have an exception to one and that is Clementine and what’s interesting, is that when it comes to herbs and some spices I have a lot. I really love: Ginger, Anise, Basil, Caraway, Lavender, Saffron, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.

Choose a baby name based on a month

I’ve always wanted to use August in some way. I’ve had Levi August picked out since I was in middle school. I do love May but I would have to use it like Mae because of the way it’s used in my family, but those are the only two that I really liked.

Choose a baby name from a movie

Here we go again, another hard one to answer because I like to watch a lot of movies! For a girl it would be Mavis from Hotel Transylvania and then my boy name would probably be Benjamin after The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button!

Choose a name that’s already in your family

Oh boy! Since I know more about my mom’s side, I’ve realized that we tend to like the letters: E, L, and M a lot! I’d love to have as many family names as I can in some shape or form, but I’m not allowed to use the name Mary because my mom (who is one of the inspirations for using it in the first place) thinks it’s too old fashion for this generation. So I’ve had to find other names that were similar to it, like “Margaret” and as much as I love it, I’d still like to have “Mary” instead.

My three times great-aunts all had very unique names. The oldest was Regina and she didn’t pronounce it like everybody else would of course. It was “Ra-kee-na” and I have a combination that I’ve created recently that I really like, it’s Ava Regina Elizabeth. We have had a few Marys’ and so she’s the second reason for my inspiration there. I’d like to use it for Mary Louise. Third was Elsaleah, and her name is probably my favorite of the bunch. I’ve picked out to use it in Maud Elsaleah. And then finally we have Lula. She was given the middle name Thomas, and this was before unisex names were a thing! The only way I’d have it as Lula Rose.

Hope you have enjoyed this tag! If you decide to do it too, please send me a link of it after it’s published, okay? 

snowflake

What It’s Like To Be A (Disabled) Blogger

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Howdy!

Last Friday, I celebrated another milestone, nine years of blogging! I know some of you are probably wondering why I didn’t just skip celebrating it when it’ll be the big one zero next fall, but I think it’s important every single thing, big or little, that happens in your life. There’s also the possibility I may not continue blogging next year too, although that is not going to happen anytime soon, but a lot can happen between now and then honestly.

For this post, I wanted to give you an insight on what goes on as a blogger, from my point of view as a disabled person. I think it’s important to show you (someone on the outside) what I do on a monthly basis. Honestly a lot of the time I’m in a panic because I haven’t gotten one day of the week finished yet and my mind has already moved on to the next two weeks! It can get really crazy but I have made it a point to not push myself as a writer. I go at my own pace, sometimes it’s a little fast, but it’s a steady pace!

 

A Day In The Life

Where normal people have their laptops either placed on a table or on their laps, I don’t have that luxury. Mine is always at the foot of the bed so I can get to everything easily. I started going about it this way, because it is getting increasingly harder for my parents to pick me off the floor. I did try it on the floor a few times in the beginning, but it was very uncomfortable as far as how I sat on my butt and my back instantly hurt everytime I went to type on the keys. This other way became my only way to continue my blog.

One more interesting part to this set up is the fact that the laptop is not flat on the floor, unfortunately that is too low for the way my feet are arranged, so it sits on a mobile seat cushion that a person would normally use during sports events and even graduations! I’ve used two or three of these things in the last six years, and the one I have now is a beloved, family cushion of Indiana University and yes, I feel horrible that it is literally breaking at the seams!

You might see pictures of other people with their computers, they look absolutely gorgeous as they’re clean and polished. Well, mine is not that way at all! It has a lot of hairs and dust on the screen and keyboard. Hell, I’m even missing the letter “D” but like I tell everybody that takes a look at it, “it still works!” I do try to wipe it off the best I can, but nothing really works. Let’s be really honest, have you tried your best to clean your screen on your phones and/or reading tablet?

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You are probably freaking out that I actually shared a picture of it, but if I want to be brutally honest about my layout. This is part of it too. You have to remember, I use my toes to type on this, so they can collect different particles, sorry to the ones who are terrified of feet! If you had to use your feet to do everything for yourself. you’d be surprised what could happen! I mean, despite that, think about the ones who have to use pencils to prick the keys or maybe their tongue to work it, that’s a lot of different flecks from various places that get stuck in between those small areas.

Besides the laptop setup, I have two other things that I use to help me out on a weekly basis. My nana gave me a small bookshelf a couple of years, and I actually have a lot of fun organizing it, as I continue to get things to help stack papers together and make more room for other things too. This was a picture I used in the original blog post, it has now changed, but I’m thinking of switching it back to this, because it looks less chaotic! Anyways, I have everything from my pens to numerous notebooks placed in the two shelves, all ready for me to grab and figure out what I need to do next.

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I have a Styrofoam box that my nana used to get her meals delivered in a couple of years ago. We had one stashed underneath the kitchen table at my grandparents house, and she let me take another one home so I could have a makeshift table to write on right by my bed. I actually use for various things; like writing out ideas in my notepads or looking at my daily planner. I can even use to do simple things like read a book or place my remote on it in the middle of the night so I don’t have to worry about kicking it off the bed!

Despite all of this, blogging is still a lonely thing to do. What gets me is that the only time we allow others to join in is when we want guest posts, other than that we are the ones that do everything for our blogs because it could be we’d rather do everything ourselves. We update our social media accounts and network our asses off! We usually get whatever ideas come to us in different times of the day (or night) and they’ll drive you nuts until you have to get out your phone or in my case To Do List and write out a collection of prompts to keep in mind for future open spots.

Overall though, blogging is fun! You get to “meet” wonderful people that are usually trying to do the same thing you are and because of them, you can express your worries and celebrate every good thing that comes your way. Unfortunately, not everyone will congratulate you on your accomplishments, but there is always someone that will send you a “good job” comment or tweet that will make you feel loved, and I think that’s part of the reason why we continue to do it, because thanks to them, we’re being appreciated for our hard work and it makes everything worthwhile!

snowflake

 

How Do I Stay Organized?

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Howdy!

Originally I wanted this post to go before both my seven year blogging milestone and how to become a music blogger posts, but I could not figure out how I wanted everything arranged so I’m going a bit backwards, but I hope you’ll enjoy it just the same!

This post will go over everything I use to keep my thoughts about future blog posts and information for other articles, such as for my pieces for History Of Royal Women in line!

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Electrical or manual daily planner?

As a blogger, there are many ways on how to keep things neat and organized, funnily enough I’m just now finding out how good it is to do this. When I was in school, we were given little daily planners (we had bigger ones while in middle school!) and I never used them for myself, my aide(s) mostly wrote in them. So I was never really taught how to follow up on a planner like everybody else, but this also goes for taking notes in classes too, because since I was so slow at writing and typing, my aide or the teachers would provide the notes for me!

I know a lot of people will use planner apps on their phones or Google’s spreadsheets to keep everything on track, which is perfectly fine, but I have become the type of person who needs something right in front of them to organize posts on a monthly calendar. Personally, I figured I’d prefer a larger print calendar, that you can fit multiple things inside the boxes, but then I realized how much space it would take up around my bookshelf, so my mom bought me one in 2015. I was actually really excited to use it, because honestly I needed one, I’d always forget when I’d schedule my blog posts during the week or a few weeks in advance, so I knew I’d eventually have to break down and get one.

It’s a medium sized book, it has enough room to write out multiple things on each day, and at the start of a new month, it gave a two page mini calendar of that month, and then the next page starts it off. I figured I’d use it a lot more, but honestly I think I used the “notes” sections in it than I did anything else! One of the main issues I had been the fact that it was so bulky! Since it had a lot of pages in it, plus the first six months of 2016, it just wasn’t very practical for me, and of course, I felt horrible about it.

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By February of 2017, my mom went to our favorite meat place and she saw that they were giving away free daily planners. I don’t know why a place like this would be giving out planners, but okay. She came back with one for me and again, I was excited but also a little worried, I didn’t really use the last one, I thought what would be different about this one? Well, for one, it’s lightweight and had nothing but an actual calendar of the whole month, no individual spots for each day, just a medium sized box that you could fill up.

Unfortunately, again I didn’t really use it all that much in the beginning. It wasn’t until September, when my WordPress calendar went away and I wasn’t allowed to see what all was taken already and that really bugged me, so I remembered the green planner and that’s when I started using the crap out of it! It was really handy and I didn’t dread getting it out all the time either. So, when I went to my mom’s work in October and I was given another one for 2018, I knew that I was set! It had the same layout as the other one, except this is definitely more sharper looking and it has a little bit of a larger print compared to the other one! I also don’t feel like it’s going to tire and/or break on me either!

My trustee black notebook

This is extremely important to me, because I’ve realized that I do get some of my great ideas late at night. It’s not the best of times for it to happen, but if I am wide awake around midnight or three in the morning and a thought comes to me, I’ll write out.

I have a number of notebooks on my mini bookshelf, but nothing compares to my black notebook though. I kind of made a vow to myself that I needed to at least try to finish a notebook in my lifetime. Even when I was in school, I never filled in a whole booklet, and I always felt as though I wasted it! So when I found this perfectly unused notebook, I knew this would become my trustee sidekick!

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In the beginning, it was purely just for blogging but once I started thinking and looking up information for my story, it kind of switched to having sections of notes in the middle. Honestly, the whole thing has a lot of stuff stored inside of it, and I’ve only just started to write out my ideas for my future blog posts in like a bullet point format, it’s actually helpful branching everything out like that. Unfortunately, as you can see, it is really beat up! I’d say I have about 30-40 pages left in it, but the wiring is coming undone and papers are starting to slide out-of-place, so I will have to invest in a sturdier notebook soon!

Other things that are handy to have nearby

Whenever I don’t want to shuffle through my bottom shelf for my notebook in the middle of the night, I have a stack of different notepads to use that are very easily to get to in the dark!

My mom got me this red, white and gold love-y notepad for Christmas and every two months, I have to switch out the sheets because I literally have no more room to write on the front. I don’t write out my plans in a bullet point, because of the limited space so I usually try to write the thoughts and ideas, because I don’t look at my phone enough in the day and I know I’m liable to forget about it after a while, so that’s when I started using that hardcore! It’s become very handy for me.

How do you keep yourself organized? Have any tricks up your sleeve?

snowflake

Why You Should Blog Now?

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Howdy!

I may be getting ahead of myself a bit, but on Sunday, I’ll be celebrating seven years of blogging on here! SEVEN! It still shocks me that next year I’ll be blogging as a whole for 10 years! Blogging wasn’t supposed to mean anything to me, other then another outlet to do school assignments in one of my English classes, and yet here I am completing another milestone!

I’ve been trying to rack my brain on what all I could talk about today. I could have ignored the meaning of the day and publish a simple favorite movie post, and in my defense I’m actually having fun coming up with those, so if I annoy you with all of the different types, sorry not sorry!

So the only thing that I thought would be a response post to a swirl of blog posts I’ve been seeing online.

Apparently blogging in general is losing its shine on people. They’d rather watch videos on YouTube then read a bunch of articles on a blog, and in a way I understand because I roughly read four posts a week. I may follow over a ton of sites, but it’s true I don’t read as many of the blogs I used to. I will say this, it’s not smart to read a restaurant review at eight or nine o’clock in the morning without having breakfast first!

What is the point of having a blog, if nobody is going to read it? 

If you created a blog for the sole purpose to share it with strangers on the internet, even maybe make a little money on the side, then yes, this is a question that you’re faced with every single day. For me though, since my views are somewhat low anyways–we’re keeping it real today–I don’t really care. I’m not focused on my stats anymore. I’ve literally switched that section to the bottom of my dashboard, I do enjoy the comments I get from fellow bloggers and some of my readers, it makes everything worthwhile, but when that fades away, would I still blog?

My answer will always be yes and this goes back to the first blog. Despite the fact we made them in school, that didn’t mean that they were all set on private, they were very public, but we got our laptops so late in the semester (it was a one semester class!) that our teacher couldn’t give us the low down of the settings of the site. I actually didn’t know where the stats section was until probably four months prior to creating this one. I hardly ever received a comment on the various things I would talk about there, so I didn’t really care or knew anyone who read my stuff, I  just wondered how that person came across my post in the first place!

If you do decide to create your first blog, here are some most frequently asked questions I’ve been asked in the past. If there is anything else, please ask below and I’ll try to answer it.

How many times should you blog on a daily basis? 

This is your decision. I don’t recommend on blogging 365 days. I actually did that once and even though I only missed four days out of the whole year, I absolutely hated it. You shouldn’t force yourself to talk about something, you won’t produce genuine posts!

I think it is important to come up with some kind of routine. I don’t have a daily routine of when I write my posts, but I usually start in the early mornings when it’s really quiet or past noon, after I’ve eaten lunch. It just depends on how much free time you have, if you’re an early riser or have an afternoon/night to yourself, then I’d use it to your best ability.

Now as far as figuring out a daily schedule. If you want to work on pieces and publish them at a later date, that’s not exactly a bad thing and I don’t know why more bloggers don’t do it. I actually post on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at roughly the same time each day, around seven o’clock in the morning. Whenever I publish my posts on Facebook, they actually have an exact time schedule and that is 8am. Every day has a different topic, such as Monday’s are usually more personal, whereas I leave both Tuesday and Thursday as my entertainment days, this is why you see my movie posts on Tuesdays and music reviews on Thursday!

Should you establish a niche for your blog?

For me, I always knew I was a lifestyle blogger. I wanted to discuss things that went on in my life as a person with a disability. Even while I was still on my first blog, I knew what kind of content I wanted to create on a weekly basis, but I didn’t know there was an actual category until about five years later and found the motherload of fellow bloggers like myself.

To answer the question for you though, no, I don’t think you should. I think it’s fine to play around with different topics at first, but if you are an amateur expert at a certain niche, then go ahead and give it a go! I just don’t think you should close off on other things though. I’ve seen plenty of bloggers who, for years, have only talked about one or two very specific things and literally feel like they’re repeating themselves or notice other people talking about similar things and they want to change things up, but are too afraid that they’ll lose followers in the switch.

Should you buy a domain, professional layout, and/or accept sponsored posts right off the bat?

This one is a difficult one to answer, because you have three different things wrapped into one question, but they all do go together because they all involve money. Now this is purely my opinion, but you shouldn’t buy a domain or template until you’ve at least blogged for a year, for example, say you only use your blog for six months and don’t go back to it until a year later. By that time, you’re going to be kicking yourself because you could’ve used that money for something else.

Now about the sponsored posts part, I’m not the best person to answer that section. I wouldn’t know how to get started on it or do it in general. If you know some bloggers already that have a widget for monthly sponsors or pieces that say that they were sponsored by a certain brand, then you could ask them how they got started with it. However, I will say this as a fair warning, not everybody is as friendly about it as you’d think, especially the ones who work with bigger brands!

When is it time to branch out of your blog though?

When is it time to branch out and do other stuff? Honestly, if I was asked to writing articles for Disability Horizons in either 2012-14, my editor would have hated me, for the fact that I had such horrible writing!

I think being asked in 2016 was the perfect timing because I was starting to really care what I was talking about, and I edited my posts that desperately needed to be taken care of before I officially scheduled it to be published. I don’t think you’re never ready to do something out of your comfort zone. Blogging has become my security blanket, I’ve grown into it, and with that being said, I believe I can grow into writing for other sites too! That’s why I’m building a relationship with the creator of the History Of Royal Women, because as passionate as I am talking about disability issues, I am also a fan of history and the royals!

It’s like what I said before about being open about discussing other topics on your blog, you shouldn’t close your mind from something else you enjoy and have some type of knowledge for it because it doesn’t go with your original blogging plan. It does get boring every once in a while and when I decided to write about my love for Anne Boleyn last year, I literally had the same freeing experience I had whenever I started blogging about music full time. Don’t worry, that post goes up soon!

If you’re asked to work with a site or another blogger that either is similar to what you write about on your blog, go for it! There’s nothing wrong with it, because if you decide one is enough, then at least you can say you were published somewhere!

How to deal with the misconceptions of blogging

Thanks to a recent lifestyle blogger chat on Twitter (hosted by a favorite of mine Amie!) I’ve decided to add a section of it to this post.

Back in January, I was asked by an old friend from school, who was thinking about creating her own blog. She had looked up the different platforms and asked me array of questions about blogging. I actually think she’d do good as a blogger, because she already knows how to promote and I thought she could bring something new to the blogoshere, but ultimately she decided not to go for it. She’s recently had a baby, so she doesn’t have a lot of free time on her hands.

Blogging isn’t for everyone, and I think it’s fair to keep that in mind. I mean, it isn’t easy by any means. People who don’t do it just assume that you are sent things from brands for free all the time but whenever a blogger is being sent things, the blogger has post multiple times on their blog, social media accounts, etc to help promote the brand itself. They may not always get a commission from the brand itself, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it that people just don’t understand!

Should people continue to create blogs if the trend itself is dying?

Again, this is a yes for me!

If you’ve learned anything about this world, nothing really fades away. I mean, just look at MySpace, it’s still holding on with all its might! So who knows, blogging could catch its second wind, but I think I’ll be here anyways.

I know I’ve already said this, but if you have any more questions, send them my way!

snowflake

Guest Post | Top 5 Favorite Rap Songs by Rachel of Where The Wild Things Grow

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Today I have a special guest post for you!

Back in early February, I was on Twitter and Rachel from Where The Wild Things Grow, had posted a tweet about how old school doesn’t even compare to the newer stuff that the younger generations are listening to nowadays. We literally had a whole conversation about it, because I completely agree! The message was different, you could understand them, and they used some gnarly beats behind their lyrics! The day after our little chat, I asked her if she’d like to do a guest post about some of her favorite rap songs that came out of the late 80’s and the early 90’s.


When discussing the topic of music with others, I always say that my favorite genre is rap and typically, I’ll receive a response such as, “You don’t seem like the kind of person who would like rap music.” I’m still not entirely sure what that means, but I always assure them that listening to rap music has brought a lot of joy into my life in more recent years. It’s been the one genre of music that never fails to put me in a better mood and provide your girl with a little confidence booster. But allow me to make what may be quite a shocking confession, today’s rap music just doesn’t do it for me. I mean, I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to come up with more than three artists that are still currently making music that I actually listen to, and unfortunately, I can’t.

Thanks to the internet, I’ve been lucky enough to come across some of the most amazing, old school rap and hip hop artists to ever exist, some that make me envious of those who happened to be young adults in the mid-80’s or early 90’s! It’s safe to say, I’m forever hooked on the men and women who paved the way for the young rappers we know today. And with that being said, I have a list of my top five, absolute favorite rap songs ranging from those time periods! Friendly reminder, these are just my personal favorites and are not necessarily the most popular songs ever made in the genre. If I’ve left out one of your favorites, please leave a comment and let me know!

Disclaimer: The songs featured on this list may not be suitable for all ages due to some language and themes, please be aware and if you’re under the age of 18, have permission if needed before listening or watching the included videos. Thank you!

5. Let Me Clear My Throat – DJ Kool (1996)

This song was literally released the year I came into this world, but somehow it still manages to hold up today! I discovered this song a few years back when Apple was still offering their iTunes radio for free, which was ultimately how I discovered most of the artists on this list. My reason for enjoying this song as much as I do, is that it’s completely carefree and most importantly, fun! It’s the kind of song you could play toward the end of your wedding reception, when you’ve got all of the formalities out of the way and everyone is anxious to bust a move!

4. None Of Your Business – Salt N’ Pepa (1993)

I’ve been listening to Salt N’ Pepa for a little over a year now, but it wasn’t until just a few months back, that I was able to dig deep and find this little gem, that would quickly become my favorite from the all female hip hop trio! The song dives in heavily covering the of judgement. Discussing what it’s like when those surrounding you, attempt to pressure you into living life the way they believe you should be, when you’d just like to be left alone to do your own thing. Which I definitely think is something we all have experienced to some degree.

3. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice (1990)

Confession time again, I absolutely love Vanilla Ice! His music was what had originally pulled me into exploring more of the older generations that rap music has to offer and I’m almost positive I’m not alone in saying that “Ice Ice Baby” was one of the very first songs I’d ever heard in the genre. I mean, love him or hate him, this song is a total classic, and the odds are, you probably know all of the words and wouldn’t be able to resist rapping along. It can’t just be me, right?

2. It’s Tricky – RUN DMC (1986)

RUN DMC is the kind of group that you can be familiar with even if you’re not that huge fan of rap or hip hop, arguably their biggest hit, “It’s Tricky” can still be found featured in several trailers, promos, and commercials throughout television! Released in 1986, RUN DMC practically ruled the world of rap music at the time and helped elevate the genre to new heights. Plus it wins the award for being one of the songs I blast the most in the my car! I’m sure they’re quite proud of such an accomplishment.

1. Hold It Now, Hit It – Beastie Boys (1986)

I couldn’t complete this list without a song from my all time favorite rap/hip hop group, Beastie Boys. Fresh off of their first album “Licensed To Ill”, I picked “Hold It Now, Hit It” not only for the song itself but for the video that goes with it. Filmed with their fisheye lens effect that went on to be featured in several other classics such as “Intergalactic” and “Triple Trouble” the video perfectly captures the Beasties for what at they actually were, three talented but rowdy teenagers from New York who happened to become accidentally famous.

In conclusion, I’ve always been the kind of person who views music as ageless. Of course, every genre of music has most definitely changed and evolved throughout the years in some way, shape or form. But at the end of the day, when the music was made isn’t nearly as important when you find yourself thoroughly enjoying what you’ve been listening to. In fact, the year something was released, could be the last thing we find out about that new favorite song we’ve been blasting on repeat! Moral of the story, don’t be afraid to educate yourself on different genres of music, both old and new. Because if you limit yourself to the music within your time now, you could be missing out on something great!


Rachel McRad is a lifestyle and self-improvement blogger who covers topics such as mental health and adulthood. She decided to create her blog “When The Wild Things Grow” in order to help provide advice and encouragement to young adults during more difficult times in life. When away from her computer and blog, some of her favorite hobbies include practicing photography, creative journaling and living the life of a proud dog mom.

You can follow her on these social media outlets! 

 Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin

Guest Post | How To Prepare For A Child by Ashley Taylor from DisabledParents

Back in December I was sent a very lovely email by Ashley Taylor from the website Disabled Parents. She asked if I was interested in allowing her to write a guest post on my blog about what takes to be a parent with a disability. However, I feel like able-bodied couples could also learn something from her words too! I will certainly send this to my sister and brother-in-law later today! 


Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer. photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children. 


Preparing for a child takes a lot of planning, but for those who are living with a disability, it may feel a bit overwhelming at first. It’s common for new parents to feel unsure of their abilities, but being as prepared as possible for your new little one will help boost your confidence and allow you to find joy even in the hardest of times.

Finding support during this time is important, whether it’s from friends or family; knowing you have someone to talk to and get advice from is incredibly helpful with a major life change. It’s also a good idea to get organized and think about the easiest ways to maintain your mobility as well as your physical and mental health after the baby comes; many parents have detailed plans for their child but forget to take care of themselves.

Fortunately, there are simple ways you can prepare for a child no matter what your abilities are. Here are just a few.

THINK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL ASPECT
No one likes to think about money, especially as it pertains to a new baby, but it’s important to plan for–and understand–the financial side of having a baby. Not only will you need to figure out the costs associated with labor and delivery, you’ll also want to plan for postnatal care and think about how much time you and your partner will need to take off work. If you have savings, they might come in handy around this time. If not, think about starting a savings account, or open one up for your child that you can add to over the years. For more tips on preparing financially for a new child, read on here.

CREATE A BIRTH PLAN
Every birth is different, and every couple can choose from a variety of ways to bring their little one into the world. Whether you want to go with a local hospital or a midwife-assisted at-home birth, a traditional delivery or a C-section, you and your partner should be on the same page well before the baby comes. Talk about what you want the birth to be like and do some research on the best ways to make it happen.

LEARN COPING METHODS
Living with a disability can be stressful, and adding parenting on top of that can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. Learning different coping methods will help you deal with stress and anxiety as they come, and it will allow you to tend to your mental health so you’re the best possible version of you. A great way to do this is to practice self care; that is, do something that relaxes you and makes you feel good in a healthy way. You might take up a hobby, create art or music, bake, or relax with a good movie. Whatever it is, use it to boost your mood and stay positive. These types of coping methods are great for keeping stress at bay and avoiding unhealthy habits, such as substance abuse. For more information on how to cope, check out this article.

GET YOUR HOME READY
It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing your home for the new baby. Whether you want to start nesting and getting the nursery ready or making safety preparations, taking the time to get things clean and organized for the entire family now will allow you to enjoy parenthood that much more once the baby comes. You might also think about preparing a few meals to freeze so you’ll have easy things to grab and heat up when you get home.

Preparing your home–and yourself–for a new baby is not a small task, so ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support, and keep communication open with your partner and loved ones to make things easier on everyone involved.

If you have a disability and about to become a mommy/daddy-to-be, it would not hurt to check out the ‘disabledparents’ website! 

Blogmas | Unisex Baby Wishlist

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Hello!

Don’t worry, I don’t plan on talking about Blondie’s pregnancy or the baby this much, but apparently I suck at planning ahead whenever I was busy doing NaNo at the same time!

Since you guys know that I will be entering the role of the “cool aunt” Megz next summer, I figured this was appropriate! Now my views of neutral prints, patterns and colors may not fit what you think as “neutral” so we’re going to be respectful of each other on this post, especially to me because I’m really new to this and I’m just going to share what I liked, okay?

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To me, I think most unisex colors are like gray and black. However, I like to think there are certain pastel shades that can work well for this too, there’s a very light yellow, mint, baby blue, and even lavender. I feel like the bolder colors just automatically puts the child into a box for whatever gender they are, so in the way I went about this, I searched for grays, mint and whites apparently. Let’s just say, I will be a happy camper once we figure out what it’ll that way I get a better idea of which side to look for because this was honestly harder than I pictured it to be!

So I think we’re going to talk about the things I found on Walmart.

4 Pack Swaddle Blanket Set – Although it is not pictured above, I really liked it. I think all four blankets were cute and very unisex, as both genders can be interested in owls and stars. Personally, I liked the baby blue one with the clouds. When I was younger, I wanted to be a meteorologist. and I still enjoy looking up at the sky and the clouds, but let’s be honest here I’m really looking for aliens!

Disney Mickey Mouse Fleece Blanket – Again, I think both genders can be into Mickey Mouse or any other classic Disney character. I know if they have a boy Blondie will still try to incorporate Disney in there somewhere, and Mickey Mouse is perfect. And let’s be honest every person (or in this case: child) needs a good fleece blanket.

Going on Walmart’s website and trying to find anything for the baby was more difficult than I thought it would. It was all confusing whereas going on Target was simpler; easier to read and figure out where everything was on the page. This is the reason why I have a larger batch of things that I liked from there.

Now about the things about Target and one other item that I found on another website!

3 Pack Elephant Bibs – I thought these were really cute! I think I fell in love with these for the mint and elephant print. Some people could think that these two would be considered “boy” items but I think girls can rock a good mint every once in a while too! So I think it works too!

4 Pack Burping Cloths – Keeping with the gray and mint theme I guess, I also found this burping cloth set, they don’t match the bibs perfectly as the pattern for this are arrows instead, but I still think they’re pretty adorable too! I hadn’t heard of these before, but I do think they are handy, especially if you don’t want to keep using up dish rags all the time.

Gray Arrow Blanket = This was another one that I fell in love with, this is a gray blanket. I think it’s just a regular blanket, not fleece or anything. I think it would be better since the baby will be born in the summertime, but also Blondie tends to turn the temperature down throughout the day and night, so it might be handy to keep around.

Giraffe Sleep ‘n’ Play Suit – When I first saw this, I swore the animal on it was ducks, but it’s a giraffe. Somebody needs to tell the designers that giraffes are orange, not yellow! Anyways, I think I just gravitated towards this because of the little feet booties! Any animal faces at the feet are so cute on babies! I mean, I have cool feet myself but I can’t pull off a cute onesie for the life of me!

100% Wired Graphic Jumpsuit – I loved, loved, loved this! I have a real weakness to graphic tees myself, so finding baby versions was too cute to pass up! I thought this was cuter though because I feel like with Blondie and Brandon having one dog and four cats, this kid will be the non-fur animal in this family! Especially in the first couple of months!

2 Pack Mint and Stripes Pants – These were so sweet! They are still in the mint and gray theme I’ve got going on. I really liked this one because of the black and white striped pants.

2 Pack Gray and Stripes Pants – I did find another set of pants in gray, they’re not from the same brand or type, but I thought they were cute too! I liked the cuffs, I’ve always loved that detail. It seals out the cold from the outside, so yes, they’re a personal favorite too.

Baby’s First Halloween Bib – This was actually the first thing that popped up on the screen, plus all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas ones too! I think babies should have seasonal clothes too, as it would be nice to dress them up in but I also know that they’d probably ruin them too within the hour is up, so I thought these bibs were a better option but as I was told, the baby may not be old enough to eat solids by Halloween or even Thanksgiving, so they just need up being a cute decoration for the squirt!

Butler Bulldogs Onesie – This is my only non-Target and Walmart item. I think this baby deserves some Butler Bulldog apparel and I’d be happy to share the Butler love forward with this baby. I honestly wanted to get the baby a Butler pacifier, but they weren’t on the website when I looked but I did find both bibs and onesies instead. And weirdly enough, I picked the gray one automatically, but I think gray would look better for this post as I’ve done nothing but talk about gray on here.

I think Blondie said we might found out what the gender is sometime in February, probably around Valentine’s Day as she wants a party that surrounds a holiday, and honestly that would be easier to plan if she wants to incorporate hearts into the theme, but yes, they have an idea of when they’re going to find out and how they want to share it with everyone!

What are some colors and patterns that you think can be counted as gender neutral? What do you think of my little wishlist? Have I lost my mind already?! You can be honest there.

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