Life | A Bit Of Greenery

Hello everyone!

For today’s post, I will be taking you on a little journey on how and why we are increasing our greenery around the house. It is a very interesting tale honestly, because it involves one person in my family that definitely doesn’t look the average person who loves to garden. I will also share why I am starting to embrace this hobby a bit too.

We are going to start on the “bigger” plants first, because they hold the bulk of the story.

This one is called Fritz or Fritz-y, as my mom has grown to name it. The funny thing is that, I thought she named it that for one of her favorite shows, The Closer. Brenda Leigh’s husband is affectionally known as Fritz-y, but last year I was told that it is actually named by my dad as an alternative to his great-uncle. I want to say about five to six years ago, my parents went to my dad’s Uncle Freddie’s funeral, and somehow came back home with this plant that was at a medium size overall that has continued to grow these beautiful green vines that my poor dad has had to build a stick structure within the pot so the strands don’t hang down and outside the pot so not be damaged by a pair of snow boots or muddy tires of a wheelchair.

Speaking of names, we have another bigger plant in our living room called, Sally. My mom was given this lily plant as a gift after the family of a resident wanted to reward the nurses for taking such a great care to their mother, and in usual circumstances, they don’t accept gifts at all, but my mom kind of fell in love with it that she knew that it belonged in our new house. Sally is little over three years old now and my nephew has grown to love her because besides the foliage that surrounds the entire thing, we do get one or two lilies that grow really tall and erect so Nolan likes to point at it and say that it’s “pretty” so maybe he’ll have a sort of green thumb too!

We also have a collection of other plants prospering in our kitchen, around our patio doors that lead to nothing but a well-loved cat house! Anyways, originally it was just four separate plants, but my mom recently came home with a tree that was named Groot by my dad! It stands next to Fritz as there is no more room on the right side. It is just a straight line of plants opposite the morning sun. For the most part, all belong to my parents, except for one: Chuckie.

We think this one is called a spider plant, because it is quite bigger and messy like Chuckie’s hair on Rugrats! This was stored in my room when we first moved into the house three years ago, but my dad thought it wasn’t getting enough sunlight and ended up putting it in the kitchen. Honestly, at the time I loved and thought it was really cute but when you can’t take care of your plants on your own, you kind of give up easily. I had the same issue with taking care of fish too!

Money Tree // Pachira aquatica

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So, this is my first baby. It’s name is Yuri Mariko. One thing you will find out as you read these next sections, is that I obviously had too much fun figuring out the perfect name for each one! I came up with its name kind of innocently, Yuri was a secondary character featured in A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St, Clair, but what sold me was the many meanings it has, the most important to me is “profit” and Mariko is Japanese for “village”.

The plant origins are in Japan, and flourishes in tropical places, but on the various sites we’ve looked at, say it is perfect for indoors. The only thing it doesn’t like is being moved a lot; in the beginning it was on top of newly cleaned bookshelf by my bed, but my dad didn’t think it was getting a lot of sun so he would change it everytime he entered my room. At the moment, it sits on top of my organ desk next to the window. It gets sunlight but it’s cold over there, so unfortunately I still hear my dad complain about that! He now believes it belongs in Nolan’s playroom because that’s on the south side of the house.

This picture looks adorable but if you look at it long enough you might start to see things in a different perspective.

My mom went to the store this morning and brought back a little plant to sit on top of my bookshelf. We don’t really know what it is, but kind of looks like a tree to us. I think it’s perfect for me and I will definitely enjoy watching it grow as this new year takes hold.

In the background, you can see a small stack of books. They represent something very important and rewarding that happened to me this year. I CAN finish a whole book series on my own! I even accomplished my original goal of reading 20 books, which is something I have never done before in my life! What is even better is that I read five more to finish off this wacky year.

2020 has been something different to various people around the world. There are tons of words that can be used to describe how this year has been for you and if you fall into saying ‘it was the worst year of your life,’ I am terribly sorry for you and really hope 2021 is better for you.

My mom got it for me on New Year’s Eve, and I was inspired to write something about it that also reflects my thoughts on 2020, so I thought I would share it for you too, even though it was pinned on my blog’s Facebook for the majority of January. I literally only removed it because I figured I would have written this post out earlier but I didn’t.

Sansevieria // Sansevieria trifasciata

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The next plant I got is probably the most interesting out of all of them, because it just reminds me of a batch of erect green beans! I know that’s not the best description ever, but everytime I see it, that’s what pops up in my mind. 

When my mom first brought it home, it was taped together at the ends and at first, it looked like a verdant strand of DNA! There is still two leaves that weave into each other but for the most part, it is starting to fall to the sides and honestly, it’s still one of the coolest plants we’ve ever owned before!

The Sansevieria is also rooted in Africa and everywhere I’ve read about them, they always say how easy it is to take care of while indoors. The fact that it is basically classified as one that likes to be neglected actually made me really happy! As odd as that sounds, it’s true! They thrive better without being in direct sunlight and doesn’t take a whole lot of water either. However, this does nothing to stop my dad for driving me absolutely crazy about its placement on my table. It sits on there all day long and thankfully, it’s not fussy like the Bonsai with moving a lot, so I can still use the desk throughout the day and not have to worry about it afterwards.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had a steady name for it. After learning about where it’s based, I focused on looking at African and Madagascar names and I thought I was settled on Andry (An-duh-ree) which means “warrior” and I thought this was awesome considering the information I just shared above, but I also wanted a cool middle name for it, but I wasn’t able to stick to anything. However, I was watching one of my cooking shows, very early in the morning and heard the name Lilliekoi. It is the Hawaiian name for a passionfruit. It was on the opposite side of the world but I couldn’t stray away from it, so it’s full name is Lilliekoi Andry.

Ponytall Palm // Beaucarnea recurvata

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For the final plant that calls my room its home, it is like Chuckie in a way, as they are both palms, but this one definitely really look like you pulled a little girl’s hair into a ponytail. It is so light and soft, it makes you think you’re growing a small patch of grass but it looks so delicate on top of my table that I just feel like one good shove and it will fall and break into a million pieces.

The Ponytail Palm is from Mexico as part of the Agave family. Apparently it is neither a tree or a palm for that matter! It likes the sunshine but is fairly cool with being left alone with no water for a bit, and I am definitely loving those types of plants these days. but don’t worry, we keep a close eye on it and my mom waters it when it becomes too dry inside the pot itself.

Since this one is such a sweet plant, I knew I wanted to give it a nice name that would echo its heritage and overall look. I already knew quite of a bit of Spanish names but I was on a fairly difficult quest because I wanted it to fit perfectly and so I made up a list of girl names that I have always loved and two that stood out to me the most were Paulina and Sylvia. By putting these darling names together they literally translate to “little forest” and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was fate!

For the past few years, I’ve been around various plants and seeing a little bit of greenery in the house and it’s been nice to have a piece of nature in our personal spaces. There are people who believe herbs and even some flowers have medicinal purposes and I have recently noticed my outlook on my mental health has changed for the better. If you have been a long time reader of this blog, you might know I’ve been on an anti-depressant for two years now and I do owe a lot of the progress I’ve done in that timespan but I am yearning to be more connected to nature and release who I am on this earth. What does Mother Nature have that I can bring into my life? And I guess she answered it without me even knowing it.

Do you have any indoor plants in your bedroom, home or maybe an office space? If you do, what kind are they? What is the story behind them exactly? Have you gotten to a point that you’ve named them like mine?

Blogmas | How Do I Read? w/ TILISMA

Hello!

I had meant for this post to go out a lot sooner than this, but I never felt it was right to publish until Christmas was around the corner, so, this is a two-in-one kind of blog post as I answer a question you’ve probably had on your mind since the start of the year, how do I read? The other is going to be about a brilliant company that makes these cute and smart gift ideas for readers and students!


Back in August, I published a new installment of “Photo Diary” based around on how life was going and of course, I included lots of pictures of our nine cats. I mentioned that I was loving to read outside with them, but most importantly it gave you an insight of how I actually read where the book is propped on top of something, for me to use comfortably. The interesting part is, this is just one way, I actually have a total of four different positions to read in my spare time. Besides the use of the bench I take outside, I find myself using any flat surface to help me do things mainly because its easier to control when everything is at an even ground.

I’ve been known to surprise many people when they come around while I am enjoying a book, because of the distance between the pages and my eyes, it has never been an issue for me because honestly I’ve learned to make it work; like with everything else, I adapt to my surroundings! However, the thing that is harder to master is keeping the pages open easily. It wasn’t until July that I might’ve found a solution to this insecurity.

I follow and love a great deal of BookTubers (people on YouTube who mostly discuss bookish things.) and I was on Chelsea Palmer’s channel, watching yet another haul but she started off the video with introducing her audience to these neat products, by the name of TILISMA and the only description worth explaining on how they look is imagine Batman’s bat knifes he throws at crooks on the run and the sharp edges would pin the person up against the wall. If you have no idea of what I am talking about, this is what they generally look like.

Chelsea was gifted with all of their products, and in the video she showed everyone how to use them. The objective was simple: the holders would be placed in one hand and one hand only. They were designed this way, so that the reader inserts their thumb inside a hole that is measured to the average size and while your thumb is there, you could hold down the pages with as much pressure as you want to keep them separate while the rest of your hand on the other side basically holds the book to your desired advantage point.

I thought these were super cool! I do struggle with holding a book open on my own, and apparently it doesn’t matter what kind of idea I attempt to help conquer this, I haven’t been able to find the perfect way to enjoy a book without worrying I am going to lose my spot or worse tear a page because I can’t move fast enough! The thing that stood out in my mind was that I didn’t just think an average person could benefit from this kind of product, but I thought people with disabilities could enjoy them as well!

I ended up spending a greater part of my summer trying to get in touch with the company to explain how much this would help others with physical disabilities, who have limited movement in their hands (or in my case, feet), but we continue to depend on somebody else or find heavy but small objects to keep the pages open. So, after explaining my thoughts about their revolutionary products (or “hooks” as I like to call them) to the TILISMA team, I was asked to have a member of my family measure out the size of my toe to see if they could figure something out for me.

Unfortunately, it took forever to them to come in, thanks to the drama about the mailing system! It wasn’t until early September that I received three medium sized packages; I had array of holders in their individual packages at my disposal and they were even cuter up close and personal as they did in Chelsea’s video three months earlier!


So, I was gifted with the standard Hazelnut holder that has little curves that make a slight “S” shape and it is gorgeous! Every item is unique in their own ways, but mine has both a darker brown color but it also has this thick stripe of beige like when you cut into a piece of wood and you see the white flesh of the inside, the difference here is that the product is completely smooth. You can’t tell that it was homemade or real for that matter either!

Recently, my cousin gave me all seven books of the Harry Potter series and at the time I wrote this post, I was using this hook to help me keep the pages open. The one thing I had an issue was not necessarily the hook because I had grown to enjoy the width of the actual hook-like wings on the sides, for they made the opening more stable for me. I didn’t feel like I was giving it too much pressure, but since the books had belonged to someone else, the spine’s collapsing on itself and you really have to be careful with how you handle each one, so I’m glad I had something like this to keep reading easy on me. 

The next one is again a standard holder, but could be work easier with heavy, thick books as the design itself is without dips unlike the one above. For me, I think of it like an eye, the circular shape of a cat’s eye is actually the perfect way to describe it because where the hole is would be where the iris sits. I like the fact that it is this deep and rich brown, almost like a brownie hue, and it is pretty sturdy as well. I don’t feel like it could snap whenever I apply a strong act of pressure in the spine of the book.

One of their cuter items is this heard shaped holder. This was my mom’s favorite because it was a nice surprise to the whole thing! By the way, my mom was the only one I had shown what their products looked like, in order to gain advice on my idea several months ago, but I left this one out of the talk, because I wasn’t sure if I would receive one or not.

It is basically an outline of a heart in the wood with a hole in the middle to insert your finger through to keep your place. As much as I loved the design of this, I cannot use it myself because for me it’s too bulky, which I found to be odd, but so far I haven’t found a book where I can sit it comfortably so that part sucks; for now though, it is part of my decoration on my bookshelf.

Do you remember when I said in the beginning about how I had to have someone measure my toe? Well, there was a smaller version of the first standard hook stuffed inside a little box – but the big difference to the others is that it fits over my toe!!

I must have a really small toe considering how big the hole they carved out takes up a lot space of the design. I am still shocked on two things: the first is being the material being strong enough to withstand the large gap in the middle, and next, is it was as soft as the others and slides off so nicely! I love it so much that I tend to forget to put it away after I’ve stopped reading, and I literally just wear it around my family. Don’t worry, I try to hide it from my nephew because we don’t want him damaging it nor getting his fingers stuck either!


I wanted to say something special for the team of TILISMA before I go. Thank you so much for creating these little things. They are clever and so easy to use! I know you probably never thought someone such as myself would message you out of the blue like I did, but thank you for not only being patient but also working with me to (hopefully) reach a even bigger audience for you in the future!

If you would like to purchase any of the products featured above, click here to be redirected to their Amazon page. The reason why I did not link each one with the holder is because you might need a different size so I figured it would be much easier for you, to search through the various hooks and find the size you need on your own.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I think if you are buying these for someone else, they will feel very appreciated that you thought of them. Here are some of my other photos I (and my dad too!) took of them so you can have a better idea of what they look like in real life.

If you decide to try out any of their products, please let me know because I would love to hear your thoughts about them as well. And if you have used any of the products, what were some of your first impression of them? Do you believe others that stuffer with limitations in their hands/fingers, could use them with ease? Why or why not?

snowflake

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello!

After doing the little free write story I did last month, I was really itching to do something different with my blog schedule for July. Thankfully, I saw this all over YouTube and I thought this was perfect for me!

If this is your first time on here and don’t know the reading challenge I am doing this year. I had made the decision at the beginning of the year to read 20 books for 2020! This was a big decision for me to make after only reading three times in 2019, none in 2018, and five books in 2017! I love to read but I have never had enough time in the day to pick up a book and read for more than an hour. However, while I made up my mind on the year challenge, I also made the decision to only blog two weeks each month so I could have a break of blogging but also have more than enough time to read all the books I wanted to! Spoiler alert: I’ll be back next week for a special occasion!

By the time this post is go up, I should be nearing the end of the challenge.

I have thought about upping the amount once I pass it but I’m stuck in between going to 40 as my dad suggested to me or the 50 that I have been thinking about making since the end of March. What do you think?

Anyways, let’s get into the tag now!


Even though everyone on BookTube has been doing this tag, I watched one of my favorites: Catriona of Little Owl Book and I just basically copied the questions she had listed in the description box below. She had included the two people who came up with the tag, and they are Chami and Ely, so please go check out their channels after finishing with this.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

The best book I’ve read this year was Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone. In second and third are: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han and Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

There are two reasons why it’s the best in my opinion. The first is, I don’t normally like reading suspense/thriller books, but I am wanting anything that will not scare the living daylights out of me! Ever since mom told me I should watch the film, What Lies Beneath, it has changed me for the better I think. The other reason is because I enjoyed seeing the main character Jane’s mind work. I just love it! Everytime I have had a chance to recommend books to someone, including family members, this is the first book I mention to them.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

I’ve read four sequels so far and that in general is crazy, but my favorite has been After You by JoJo Moyes. This was the first book to start up the challenge in January, and I still think about it every night.

As someone with a physical disability, I am still enjoying the series! Lou is such a great character and I love reading about her. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really need to look into the series sometime. You’ll feel so many emotions, but I think end up loving it in the end too!

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

I rarely keep track of new book releases, especially since COVID-19 made its appearance earlier this year, but I have seen a few here and there. I would love to check out Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. The cover looks absolutely beautiful but I really think I’d love to get to know Noemi and the rest of characters in the story!

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Again, this is another one that I was a bit unsure on how to answer, but I have one book that I’ve seen all over the internet so I’ve been very curious about it, and it is Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. According to some people it is “a combination of Moulin Rouge and The Phantom Of The Opera” and that was all I had to hear and I was sold to the concept.

Biggest disappointment

Honestly, I haven’t given any of the books I’ve read a “bad” rating or review, but there is one book that I was loving up until the last chapter and that was Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I basically became furious of the situation, but mostly felt it was just predictable and this really drove me crazy!

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Biggest surprise

The biggest surprise of the challenge has been the fact that I actually hitting two goals this year. I have never finished a book series before in my life. As I’ve gotten older, I have always wanted to cross it off my bucket list but I have never really had a chance to do it.

I always thought the series I would finish first would be The Sinners On Tour series by Olivia Cunning. I started reading the first book Backstage Pass after I finished Fifty Shades Of Grey by E.L. James in 2012. I never loved Christian Grey so I gave up on the rest of the series. Fast forward, I am still on the “final” book by Olivia, but I haven’t read it since probably February.

Since 2014, I have always wanted to read Jenny Han’s series To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before but I never expected to enjoy it as much as I have and continue my journey to finish the books. I will probably be done with Always and Forever, Lara Jean and have scheduled the review to go up next week, but I think I will really be sad once I am finished reading Lara Jean’s story. However, I will feel really good for myself too, because I really didn’t think I’d even get here!

Favorite new author (Debut or new for you)

I started a lot of series this year. but there has been one that I found all on my own. Helen Susan Swift wrote a book about Women Of Scotland: A Journey Through History and the main reason why I decided to check it out is because we finally got the DNA results of my dad’s ancestry–we knew about the Welsh/Scottish but we didn’t know how much we were–and I thought this book would help me feel better about being descended through these incredible strong women!

By the way, if anyone knows of a similar book about Wales, let me know because that is also on my list!

Newest fictional crush

The two books that seem to flash at me are: Chaol from Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Prince Maxon of Kiera Cass royal series The Selection. These characters are complete opposites but I have fallen in love with them for a reason. They both show in the later chapters that they care and are obviously protective of the main characters.

As much as I am still mad at myself for seeing King Joffrey from Game Of Thrones in my head for Chaol, I really enjoyed seeing the friendship between him and Celaena blossom as the story goes on. I actually approved of these two characters getting together instead of the prince and Celaena.

Newest favorite character

While I was reading P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, I became really obsessed with Stormy. Everything about the character made me think of my own nana and I’s relationship. The only difference is that my nana doesn’t drink and has a thing for Adam Lambert…

Book that made you cry

I had five books that made me cry, but for most I knew it was going to happen! I made a point to read my disability related books at the start of the year so I could get the tears out of the way, but I didn’t plan the other two books to make me cry in the process!

Book that made you happy

The two books that made me really happy were I Am Malala by Malala Youszafai and Patricia McCormick and The Broken Circle by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller. They are nonfiction and I really enjoyed getting to know these strong women.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year

While I was writing out the questions, the first and honestly answer that belongs here is Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott. It’s odd that since the outbreak of COVID-19 and hearing everyone has to stand five feet apart at all times makes me instantly of the book and movie too! This is truly a beautiful book and yes, it works out for the two previous questions but it fits here better.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Well, it all depends on whether or not I continue doing a reading challenge once I finish the 20 books. I doubt I’ll gave myself a reading break because I do have other books on my tablet and in my bookshelf. I might get the chance to read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott but I really don’t know yet.

If you decide to do this tag on your blog or YouTube channel, please tag me so I can see your answers! Oh, and if you are not following me on Goodreads, you should come check out the other books I’ve read this year too. Click here to become a friend of mine on there.

What have you been reading this year? 

snowflake

Springtime Inspired Baby Names!

Happy May!

I have really embraced spring this year!! Despite the fact that this Coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is mainly called on the news, has basically taken away every part of big springtime celebrations, I am still enjoying the season for what it is: a renewal of life! And people becoming parents for the first, sixth or tenth time is a huge change to life and lately I have been trying step up my game on look to the positive side of things like a baby being born into this crisis, and instead of seeing worry and eventual death, I see the color yellow and hear laughter!

For today, I am going to talk about my favorite springtime inspired baby names for boys, girls and even adding some unisex names to the post. This could be a long one, so I apologize if there are parts were I just start rambling silly things!


So, first we are going to discuss my favorite girl names because spring automatically makes me think of little girls with their Easter dresses in pastel shades! Every women loves when there is a break in the cold weather to wear their favorite dresses, whether they are long or short, it doesn’t matter they want to rock something different than thick sweaters and jeans with faux fur boots!

I also have to give a shout out to a friend of mine who allowed me to help send out some suggestions for their little girl. I tried my best but after sending so many bohemian (boho) names, I suddenly started falling in love with a bunch of them and everything about it gave rise to the idea of getting this post together!

Greta –  I have always loved “Greta” but I know how strong of a name it looks and sounds, so it is not always one that I talk about a lot. However, I do think the boldness is a good thing, because it gives an edgy sense to the little girl who gets to use it for the rest of her life. I think it is a pretty for a baby, toddler and for an elderly woman, but once she gets to her teens she might be bored or embarrassed about it, so might opt out for a nickname and I found that “Etta” which is becoming increasingly popular as a standalone, could be cool!

Poppy – Poppy is one of those absolutely adorable names for both a female human and animal, although I’d never call a cat ‘Poppy’ as I tend to chose regal names for them, but dogs and rabbits could be cute.

I know it is very popular over in England, but something about it doesn’t stop new families from wanting to use it for their daughters! I do wish it could increase on the national list of names used in the United States one day.  I find this such a sweet name but figuring our what kind of nickname to go with it has become a bit difficult for me.

Harlow – I don’t think Harlow will ever leave my favorite list. I have loved this name since it was announced that Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden named their daughter Harlow Winter Kate in 2006. Honestly her whole name is still a combination I rave about to people. I went to school with a girl, who’s youngest daughter is named Harlow Claire. I also think this is a great pairing, it’s really sophisticated compared to the uniqueness of the Madden’s picks.

Indigo  – When I was fixing a list for my friend, this was one of two names that I really never liked, especially ‘Indigo’ mostly because I always saw it as a boy name, but I don’t really understand how it ended up on my lists and not hers!

I think a reason why it entered my space is that it is a word for the color purple. I don’t care for Mauve, Violet or Lilac, but I do enjoy Lavender a lot! I am very picky when it comes to purple in general. I am more into lighter shades like lilac, but I am more of a fan of royal purple; the darker the better!

Isabeau – Now I know this one might seem strange, but one of the smaller objectives of this post is to add various names. Greta and Isabeau may not be names that remind you of this time of the year, but they do for me! I think it is a great alternative to Isabel/Isabella. Since everyone loves those versions, I thought this could be cute but strong against other names out there!

Ophelia – Since I was never a fan of William Shakespeare’s plays–they were honestly the least favorite things to read in high school! I wasn’t really introduced to Ophelia until about six years ago! I had just made my first baby name board on Pinterest and it popped up on my feed and that’s it! It does come and go of my lists but whenever I see it online, I find it to be a cheery name for a little girl. It is one of those rare names that work for any age!

Jane – Jane is such a simple name, but I find that so attractive! Everything about is lovely, but recently I found out it also adds an interesting quality that I think people tend to forget; it can be used as a way to give originality without even trying! A combination I have found precious honors my sister Emily, but also gives the child a way to become her own person. Emilia Jane is the whole name. I find the colors pink and yellow come about whenever I tell people of it online. I also see a child bearing these names being original but passionate over the significance over the special meaning too.

Athena – Ever since I found out my name derives from Greece, I have been obsessed with other Greek names! I also love the mythology, so I am a lover of the Goddess Athena. She is a Goddess of wisdom, courage, the arts and justice. She was one that was very beloved in Ancient Greece.

Since I am a lover of royalty, I find it odd that it has never been a popular name in females throughout time. There is only one I know for sure that might have roots in Greece and that is the Danish princess Athena, daughter of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Her great-aunt is married into the Royal Greek family, Queen Anne-Marie, younger sister to Athena’s grandmother Queen Margrethe II.

Dove – This is another recent find, and I mean really recent, I would say around 10 months ago I found out about it as I was watching the Disney Channel film Descendants 3, one of the main actresses has the name Dove and I find she is exactly what I’d picture a young woman with that name. She’s very pale but has gorgeous blue eyes and blonde hair! I find it hilarious that once I find and put it on my list, everybody is using it like crazy!

Hazel – For a while, I didn’t like Hazel. A part of me thought it was too old of a name for a daughter of this generation, but then one of my cousins used it with her second as a middle name and then I started putting together different combinations and using them on name games on Facebook and Instagram!

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For most people, when they think of springtime they might be into pretty girl names. Oddly enough, I had the opposite thing to happen! I feel it might have something to do with St. Patrick’s Day being in March that makes me think of Irish names for little boys! And I do love more boy names that come from both Ireland and Scotland, but when I was going through my big list of names I knew I would have to shake things up and give you others that you may not assume to be perfect names for spring!

Leif – There is always one name that you absolutely love and have a special meaning behind it, that you literally leave out of every “favorite” list you make, or at least I do!

My love of the name ‘Leif’ comes after reading a book in high school, it was called The Last Leaf by O. Henry. It was about a story of two women artists who were living in New York. They were both healthy until came down with a really bad illness and was on death’s door. She told her friend and roommate that once every leaf falls off the tree outside the window of her hospital room, she will die.

I found the story very different, I saw it through a reader’s point of view and as the artist too, because at this time I was taking an art class, and I had the same thinking as the sick woman in a way. After I finished the final project, I was going to be done with it for a very long time. I basically killed it off, but I kept the special quality of the story and fell in love with the name Leif in a way to honor my love of the art and story.

Rhodes – This one has a similar backstory as well, as I love photographs of roads fading off into the background, and whatever journey a person can take going forward, made me see this name in a different light.

There are times where I enjoy it more as a girl name, but then I’m back to only having it as a boy name. I also don’t really use it as a first, I like having it as a middle and it adds a quirky but adorable way to name a little baby.

Thoreau – As the previous two have a long history with me, this is relativity new to the list. Everytime I see it, a spring green appears in my mind, but I also has a nice city vibe too!

Another part of it that I really like is that it is rarely used still. I look through our local newspaper and I never find it listed to both boys and girls. So, if you are looking for something a little different or if you like the nickname, “Thor” or “Thora” this is a great way to have a strong name but also calling your child after a Marvel character!

Forest – I love Forest so much! Now I’ll be honest, I wasn’t much of a lover of it when I was younger because of the film Forrest Gump, but I did grow up knowing one kid in school with the name! I often wonder what he thinks about the sudden surge in popularity it has been getting in the last five years?

I think Forest with one “r” is really sweet, but I have issues whether or not it sounds awesome for an elderly man. Hmmm…

Camden – When 2014 rolled around, suddenly the name “Camden” became a big standout and I was such a fan of it the moment it came out! Nick and Vanessa Lachey named their oldest son Camden Jack and then less of a week later Kristin Cavalleri and her husband Jay Cutler named their son Camden John. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of either combination but it never stopped me from loving the name so I thought of this as a big win!

Oliver – Here is a fun fact for you! While my sister was pregnant with my nephew, there was a chance that he would have been called Oliver. The only reason why they let it go was that my mom threatened to give him the same nickname we gave our childhood cat Oliver which was “Mem-mem”. So they decided on Nolan as his first name.

I still love the name, but I don’t necessarily understand the big deal of naming your child after your beloved pet. I mean, if they meant a lot to you then I think it’s really sweet to give it to your baby too. Audrina Partridge named her daughter Kirra Max, after her dog she had for a long time and passed away while she was pregnant with her baby girl. For some names, it is totally a cool trend, but nobody would be able to use “ChiChi” as a nickname in our family for obvious reasons!

Cillian – As I said above, when I think of spring names, I instantly think of St. Patrick’s Day and I love Irish boy names. Oliver and Cillian both have Irish meanings but I think Cillian is the cutest of the two because it works with all ages. I am also into having a “C” instead of the “K” that everyone mostly uses, because it looks more like a Gaelic name and of course, it looks more manly or strong.

Holland – I have recently fell back in love with it as a name for a child. Originally, I only liked it for a girl but I have never cared for the name “Holly”. I think the fact that it’ll be used constantly during the month of December, thanks to the many, many Christmas carols! Also, I just think it looks and sounds dated and tacky, and I love different era names!

Noble – I found this one several years back, as I heard it on an episode of Blue Bloods and I immediately had to quickly put it on my list! I have to say, I was really watching that show on a limited basis, but I guess something good did come out of it, it brought this handsome name to my attention.

It’s been really nice to find out that couples are finding and enjoying it as much as I did when it came on my radar. I think it’s a clever alternative to my nephew’s name ‘Nolan’ but I do have to say that both are rising on various popularity lists around the country. What I like about it is, it’s a masculine type of name but it is also an interesting quirk about it too!

Cove – So, this name hasn’t always had an easy time with me. Honestly, when Cove and Lennon first started gaining momentum on the charts, I couldn’t understand the love for it. I just hated both of them, and what is even more odd is that both transitions were fast! Like when Aspyn and Parker Onard revealed their daughter’s name was Cove, I instantly hated it but within four months later, I was fine with it. I saw it with another beloved favorite of mine and changed my mind on what I felt for it!

So, now that we have the boys section done, we can move on to talk about some of my favorite unisex or neutral names. Honestly, I think the only reason why I decided on doing this part was so that I could add more onto the post! What is even worse is that I changed my first setup of listing five of them at a time, but as I continued to go through my jumbo list for the banner, I realized I had too many good ones to leave it altogether, so here we go for the last time!

Callahan – Everyone can develop a special feeling towards a name, like we discussed with naming your child after a favorite pet. Whether you are inspired by your pet, famous celebrity, athlete, etc that it is your choice and I will forever say “go for it” but I feel like the reason for why I love this name will make a lot of people laugh–including my mother!

In 2002, right before we left to go to the hospital for my back surgeries, one of my aunts and cousins gave me a present and it was the VCR tape of Legally Blonde. It was one of three movies that I watched all of the time. Whether it was 12 hours before surgery day or 5 hours afterwards, it didn’t matter I wanted to watch it and it’s literally no wonder why I (and my mom!) know EVERY word in it.

Now let’s go back to this post. Our main character Elle has a professor named Callahan, and he is a shady ass dude! If you haven’t seen it, you must be living underneath a rock or something! Anyways, everytime I hear it on the movie or online, I feel like it could be a great name for both sexes. The first five letters “Calla” is a flower so if you are like me, and want to mask the real reason why you used it, you have that in your corner, but really what I enjoy about it is that Callahan is versatile in every way.

Boston – Boston is such a cute and surprisingly unique name–one that I feel should have been used a lot more during the American Revolutionary War and afterwards, because Philadelphia was used on girls for quite a bit in the late 1780’s to early 1800’s, but I never see anything about Boston! It is getting a great following now, sort of like what happened to Alabama a few years ago (but I hated that one with a passion!).

In the beginning, I was only loving it for girls too, but then I saw a pairing with a boy middle name and I thought it was really cute! There is a BookTuber with the name Boston and she looks like a Boston, and I’ve seen some very adorable boys with it lately! I’ve never been more confused on which is my favorite side!

Hunter – When I was in school, I knew a few Hunters, and always liked it on them, because instead of getting a full on hunter vibe with camo and deer heads up against a wall like a giant trophy, I always thought it was a nice jock type of name. Since the two boys I knew actually played football, it made sense to like it this way!
After watching the film Thirteen and learning about Holly Hunter in 2008 I think, I suddenly had an obsession with it being for a girl. For a while, I changed the spelling to “Hynter” which everybody hated it, but I generally like putting an “e” or “y” for other letters! After some time I have found new love for it but I went back to the original way and I still prefer it for both sexes–even though boys will always be my favorite!

Bodhi – I was going to talk another name but I rarely use it now, so I exchanged it with another favorite of mine. Bodhi is like Camden because of how popular it became among the celebrities a couple of years back. Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green named their second son Bodhi Ransom (another great name too!) and Teresa Palmer and her husband Mark Webber welcomed their first child Bodhi Rain back in 2016. Oddly enough both of them were born within days of each other! And now Ian Somerholder and Nikki Reed have a daughter with the name Bodhi Soleil.

I have kept Bodhi on my list for YEARS! I think I’ve known about it since 2008, because there was a radio DJ on one of my favorite stations who had it and I thought it was interesting–but again I was obsessed with it mostly with boy names and I have tried to make it work with some of my family names and I finally figured out two names that I think sound great with it but it’s been recently that I have liked it with girl names. I saw Bodhi Charlotte on my Instagram feed and have been going crazy with this pairing ever since! It’s a little classic but edger for a little girl.

River – River is one that has been on my lists for a very long time. I’d say the year was 2006, which is around the time I started really loving names and eventually collecting them in my cell phone. In my first phone, I had quite a bit of combinations and River was one that was constantly popping up in my head. I never kept it in a single category either, I liked the subtle quirky but woodland theme it gave to both sexes, but I did try to make it more into a middle rather a first name.

By the time it had reached its peak in 2017, I was like yes! because I thought it was such a cute name back then, I felt it needed its time in the spotlight! I really adore Kelly Clarkson’s daughter River Rose. I feel like it has a cutesy vibe but also brings out this rocker palette too! So far, she is the only girl that I have seen and enjoyed the whole pairing! However, if you have a River or collect name combos too, I would like to see what you have with it too!

Halston – Halston is very, very new to the party! I actually watched the film that had an actress by the name of Halston Sage, which I have to say is just gorgeous! I think it’s a great example for this part of the post because the combination is perfect for both sexes.

For the most part, I have been enjoying it mostly on boys but in the last few months (see, I told you it was new!) when I was helping my friend figuring out girl boho names, I kept seeing it in my mind and for about five days, I had nothing but Halston in my head for a girl. My friend didn’t really say anything about it to me and I didn’t mention my new love for it either..

Moon – I have always had a special relationship with the moon as a planet, but accepting my love for it as a name for my future children has always been difficult. I don’t really know why, but it’s only since I have been open about my favorites online among other name lovers that I have been wanting to experiment with it. The majority of the time, I have used it for boys but I think it’s great for girls too, it’s just I don’t think I can use it.

Ziggy – This one has been popping up all over Instagram in the last two months. It may very well be the third favorite of the year! I believe it works better for girls, but I have seen a few boys with it although for them they usually use it as a nickname rather than a full name. However, it’s the total opposite for the girls; namers like to pick an a sweet, but strong middle that starts with an “A” but I think if it fits these themes, it’ll give a little girl an unique way to describe herself!

Laurel – Laurel is a perfect alternative to “Lauren/Loren”. Personally, I still love the name “Lauren” and haven’t seen very many kids nowadays use it as a first in the last few years. I think Laurel is a great way to keep spring in a child’s name, but I would love it to become popular with its longer version – if you are expecting twins and you still want to use this way for one, I think it could be great on a boy!

Eden – I think everyone would agree with me when I say, I have always thought of Eden as a nice short girl name, but again like Ziggy above it has been getting increasingly becoming a favorite among people who would a different genderfluid type of name. I would also like to mention that if you adore calling a little boy “Eddie” this could be an interesting way to make it happen! Since it is so small, I think you could go long as far as middle names, like Alexander, Benjamin, Christopher, etc. I do think keeping a masculine middle would be beneficial to him as he grows up. As much as I like unisex names, it is a good thing to keep an mind pairing each name with a traditional, family or gentle middles.

One last thing I have to say, you have nine months (or so) until the child is born, so I’d hope every one is really thinking hard on the subject of naming. I’m not talking about where your name lands on the Top 10 annual lists or how unique it is, but I’m saying for at least 18 years, this child will have to bear the name(s) you have chosen for them. Again, this is my personal take on naming a child so whether you agree with me or not is perfectly fine with me, I’m just trying to give you some guidance on interesting ways to brighten up the times!

Do you like any of the names I’ve mentioned in the post or banner? What are your favorite spring time names for girls, boys and neutral babies?

snowflake

Coronavirus | When Does The Cycle End?

I wasn’t going to talk about this. I didn’t want to be another echo in a steady line of chatter, but I have realized two things about this Coronavirus madness. If this panedemic has taught us anything, it is that we truly are as human beings are only concerned about ourselves and the cliche phrase “history repeats itself” rings true to our new reality.

Before I get too far, I should mention that I hardly watch the news. Honestly, I don’t have to, social media is doing its best that it is plastered in every newsfeed, tweet, and vlog. I understand the panic and worry over your financials; I may be a disabled, but I’m not an idiot! I feel for every person who is sick in the hospital forced away from their families and the ones who are upset about the fact that everything is being cancelled.

For the past two days, I have been going through our DVR watching documentaries that I had piled up for a number of weeks. The two I want to talk to you were broadcast on PBS and a part of it’s American Experience program.

The first was about the outbreak of Influenza in 1918-19. I knew from the time it started it was an older episode because of the quality of color on the screen. It was talking to people who were infected or had members of their own family and possibly friends that were diagnosed with it and died.

It featured a lot of elderly people talk about their childhoods before and after the sickness creped into their cities and towns. What really pulled me in was when the narrator explained that it didn’t start with children and their weak immune systems. Instead it was the soldiers in the army camps that were being taken out first. You have to remember that at the time, World War I was going on and the need for young and healthy men were desperately needed to help fight the cause overseas.

Unfortunately, the war wasn’t the only killing machine out there. When Influenza appeared in the spring of 1918, there is a possibility that 500 million people worldwide came down with the deadly virus. Once the war was over, the men who came home were “healthy” to the naked eye but the disease lingered in their bodies to spread into their families and friends who were happy as clams to have their loved one back. All of a sudden the happiness was shattered when more and more people were being knocked down by the symptoms of the virus. The world was put on pause, and businesses and whole families were put on lockdown.

At this time, radio was the only way people could have contact with the outside. There was no TV for young children who were either bored or sick in their beds. They got by with doing chores, schoolwork, and played with their siblings in their rooms. To me, it is a surprise the stock market didn’t crash when the virus showed up because nobody would go anywhere. They were too afraid to!

Even though mainstream medicine was popular in the homes of American people, some could be superstitious and say that God was punishing them for their sins. Satan was there to claim every single person affected with the influenza. However, like with most sicknesses, as quickly as it came in, it disappeared! It had ended just in time as World War I was over and soldiers stationed in Europe were allowed to return to their homes again. Everyone was back to their old selves like nothing ever happened.

coronavirus news on screen
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

The next morning I woke up, had breakfast and started watching my second documentary, this time it was about polio. Since this epidemic happened in the 1950’s, the talk about it was discussed a little bit more compared to the influenza outbreak. I heard it through both sides of my grandparents when I was younger. I never heard much talk about it while I was a teen and honestly neither one were discussed in school. You would hear someone talk about a fraction of what happened and that was pretty much it.

So, when I saw American Experience was going to re-air the episode about polio or infantile paralysis I knew it would keep me entertained for the lack of a better word.

Where the influenza had been affecting anyone from the ages to 20 to under 50, polio began to infect children the most. Adults were also struck with it too, such as future President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt or FDR for short. He was the one that everyone talked about in my family. I think it was to possibly show me that at one time we had a disabled President.

Anyways, the program was focused more on the relationship with FDR and his friend Basil O’Connor. He was put in charge of running the President’s fund and resort for more research done on polio. As influenza came and went fairly quickly, polio dragged on and on, infecting as many people as it could at various ages. Polio was known for headaches, dizziness, and eventually the loss of movement, which explains the technical term ‘infantile paralysis’.

If you have ever watched the episode of The Waltons, where their mother becomes diagnosed with polio. In the beginning you see this strong young woman become affected by a dark shadow one day. She could no longer control her arms or legs. She could no longer go outside by herself because it made her unable to walk or do anything by herself. This was common to everyone who had it. They could be permanent paralyzed and at the mercy of their families for support. Although for Mrs. Walton regained the usage of her body at the end of the show.

After Basil O’Connor met Jonas Salk, he began to look into the science behind this nasty curse. In 1953, it was announced that Dr. Salk had discovered the source of the problem and gave treatment on a number of people to test it. A year later it was said that the vaccine had worked and they moved to have it be given to everyone in America. Forty-four years later, it was said that polio had became extinct

Yet here we are again, in our own crisis, dealing with a brand new illness with really no end in sight.

History will continue to repeat itself over and over, to show us what we need to see again. When each sickness rolled into town, people seemed to be kind and stayed at home. They followed quarantine rules and religiously practiced social distancing, so to not affect anybody else with the virus. So, as we keep modern day Americans, Italians, English, etc keep gathering together for fun, we are only making everything worse.

I know you’re bored. I live at home, and rarely get to go out when the air is clear. It’s been over two weeks since I have seen my sister, brother-in-law and little nephew. Yes, I have seen and talked to them on FaceTime, but I love being face-to-face with people. So I ask you to please do everything you can to help eradicate this new virus, so we can go back to our normal lives and forget about it just like our ancestors did before us.

Thank you!

snowflake