The Goodreads Challenge |Top 20 Books For 2020!

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Howdy!

If you are a lover of Goodreads, you probably vote for your favorites of the year in December and when January comes along you make up an estimate of how many books you would like to read that year. I don’t participate in the yearly votes but I do try to create the reading challenge at the beginning of the year; now I usually pick a very low number because I have never had a large selection of books that I actually wanted to read during the course of the year. This year, I feel a change taking place within me. I want to read more, I really do. So, that’s why I am taking the plunge and updating my original goal of 5 books to 20!

I have to say before we continue on with this post, I was inspired to write this after spending a couple of days on Twitter checking out other blogs. Anna from The Bursting Bookshelf does the weekly Top Ten Tuesday challenge and she shared the newest prompt of the week which was “Top Ten Books Added To Your Bookshelf” or something like that. I thought this could be an awesome way to share the rest of the books I bought with that Amazon card in December. So, after reading this post, please go take a look at her blog too!

So, as of right now I have only completed one book and I think this looks promising! I haven’t figured out all of the books I’ll be reading this year, but I can give you the top 15 books for now and maybe I will update you later! I tend to check out the free books a lot during the week so it could grow into a bigger list in the next couple of months, but we’ll see what happens!

  1.  After You by JoJo Moyes | click here to read my review now!
  2.  Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott* | the book review will be up on Friday!
  3.  Ride Me Dirty by Vanessa Vale
  4. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han* | I am back on the Lara Jean/Peter love train!
  5.  Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning
  6. Wonder by R.J. Palacio*
  7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  8. Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  9. The Husband Hunters by Anne de Courcy
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  11. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen*
  12. Head Over High Heels by Lila Monroe
  13. Down The Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
  14. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn*
  15. A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

As you can see, I have a lot of books that I can read in 2020 already! The books with the [*] at the end mean I want to watch the film after finishing it.

I have already completed After You, the second in the Me Before You series. The next five books listed are almost finished, everybody is over 50% of the way done so I’m hoping to get through before I get to Wonder. I would also like to mention that all but one is on my Kindle. I have the physical copy of the second book in the Jenny Han series stuffed into my bookshelf for when I am ready for it!

I don’t know what made me purchase Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice and Little Woman. I feel like it was a mixture of curiosity and wanting to explore the classics a little bit too. There are a couple of other books on this list that were bought by my mom a few years ago, and I’m glad I can read them now! She read both Down The Rabbit Hole and Gone Girl. They were the only ones that I felt were interesting to me! I’m trying to convince her to get Sally Fields memoir so we can buddy read, but so far no good!

If you want to check out on my progress throughout the year or want to see the other books I’ve read in the past, you can add me as a friend on Goodreads! Click the “G” symbol on the sidebar on the right with the rest of my links.

What are you currently reading now? Are you taking part in the Goodreads 2020 challenge? If you are, how many books do you want to read this year?

snowflake

Blogmas | The Christmas Day Tag!

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Howdy!

I think every Blogmas I’ve done, I always have some kind of Christmas tag in the lineup. I’ve never planned on any of them, by the time the season rolls around, they just appear at the right time, so I just end up doing them anyways!

I found this one while on Twitter. A fellow blogger Nina posted her link through the many retweet accounts and it came up on my newsfeed. When I first read it, I quickly realized that I hadn’t done it before and that it was all about what goes on Christmas day. I thought it would be fun to kind of guess what’ll happen that day a few weeks in advance, and maybe I’ll find out everything I said in my answers was right. Sometimes I like placing bets on myself, keeps things entertaining on those boring gloomy days!

It is a tag, but I am opening it up to anyone who wants to do it. If you end up answering the questions below, I would like to read your posts! So, please link it back to me at the end, okay? Have fun!

What time do you wake up?

It varies with every year honestly, but it is always very early! I’m not saying we get up at like three or four in the morning–when I was little, my sister and I tried to make this happen on more than one occasion; it actually happened once, we were proud of ourselves!–but we tend to get up around sevenish. When my grandparents lived in town, this was our usual schedule: wake up at 7am, play for 10 minutes and then rush to get ready to go to nana and papaw’s by 8am. This might be the way, Blondie and Brandon do it this year, but I could be wrong.

Where will you be spending the day?

So, since we no longer go to my grandparent’s house, it’ll just be my immediate family gathering at our new house! I am actually really excited to celebrate it here, we were jipped last year but we want to make up for it.

What will you be wearing?

I have a really cute pajama set, they are white with little Cardinals sitting on tiny branches and red leaves. It is made of velvet, so they are comfy and warm – perfect for Christmas I think!

What games will you be playing?

We don’t really play any games, at least not with my parents. Nolan will probably play with his cars for the “short” time before we unwrap presents. I don’t think my parents, mainly my dad, to have my little nephew wait even five minutes to dig into the gifts under the tree! He’s always been awful about that, but he has turned into a big softie when it comes to him.

What will you be eating and drinking?

So, during Thanksgiving, my mom is the one that tends to do the bulk of the cooking but dad is in charge of the turkey and gravy. However, when it comes to Christmas, this is where he tends to shine the most. He loves making big Christmas breakfasts.

We usually have any way you take your eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, sausage and cinnamon rolls. Sometimes he makes me breakfast burritos or quesadilla, but if he doesn’t, my go-to is the potatoes with ketchup, plus two or three cinnamon rolls for good measure!

As far as beverages go, we never have anything fancy. Nolan will probably drink apple juice and the rest of us will have milk, which seems like the perfect breakfast to me.

What will you be watching?

Okay, since dad gets up pretty early to cook everything, he usually takes over the remote and turns it to TBS for the 24 hour broadcast of “A Christmas Story”. Here’s the funny thing about that, I haven’t watched it all the way through since I was in middle school!

Now, after all of the festivities die down a bit, I have a full afternoon of NBA basketball games. I like to think it’s a Christmas gift to myself because it’s usually all of the teams I normally watch during the season playing on that day. Last year, I only missed one game, because I was so exhausted and because the Lakers were having an awful bout of games, I figured I wasn’t going to miss much and I think I was right too. I might end up recording them all and watch at my own time, but who knows!

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What do you hope to find under the tree on Christmas Day?

You’re allowed to laugh at this answer, but I haven’t really asked for much this year. My mom said she has gotten me something that will be signed “From Santa Claus” on Christmas day, but the only thing I really hope to see is a giant pillow.

I sleep with three pillows at the moment! I have my childhood pillow down at the bottom because I can’t get rid of it for the life of me, plus two extra ones I’ve had to include because of my neck. So, I am hoping for one, hard, giant pillow to solve all of my problems.

Who will you be spending day with?

I am spending the day with my parents, Blondie, Brandon, Nolan and our dog ChiChi (and yes, she has a stocking and is getting her own gifts!). I feel like it could be chaotic because of the excitement in general, but since Nolan is walking now, we can’t just place him in his high chair and have him unwrap his presents there. I have a feeling, he’ll be attempting to help everyone with their gifts!

When will you be opening your presents?

It’ll depend on whether or not we eat breakfast first, but like I said, I don’t think it’ll take my nephew long to convince papaw that we need to do this first, but you never know – although when it comes to these two, I’m hardly ever wrong!

snowflake

Blogmas | Why I Went Non-Traditional This Christmas

Howdy!

I am a couple of days early, but I already had this in my daily planner that it’ll work the best. Let’s be honest, there’s a 50/50 chance that you put your tree and decorations in and around your house way before yesterday, so I wouldn’t be judging me so quickly! 😉 In my defense though, I only got the tree itself done. It’s just a little naked at the moment.


Last Christmas, I published a blog post about decor ideas that I was thinking about for this year.The main reason why I wrote that post is because we didn’t put up our family tree because of the mess after our new house arriving but having to wait to actually move into it until after new years. It was Nolan’s first Christmas but as much as we all loved watching him tear into his gifts, it did feel a little off not to have that tradition continuing even if it was our final family holiday together.

I like that little piece of tradition, putting up our 29 year old Christmas tree with both Blondie and Brandon. We usually make it a big thing, but now with Nolan being a year older, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not he actually helps with decorating it! With that being said, I was perfectly okay with switching things up when it came to decorating my room for Christmas–even if that meant getting a black tree!

Yes, you read that right. I said, I have a black Christmas tree!

In that post that I put up, I actually mentioned something about the trend of these black trees, but I didn’t even plan on getting or much less wanting one originally. I even put a poll up on my Twitter with four colors: green red, purple, and black; the only ones that people voted were purple with 80%, and lastly black had 20%!

At first, my plan was going about a regular green tree, but as I started thinking about more, I ended up really wanting a royal purple tree instead. My Charlie Brown tree I had in the old house was purple, so I figured I would keep this tradition going too. The only reason why I suddenly changed my mind was one night my mom was looking up trees on various websites and she found a 3″ tree in different colors. She almost convinced me to get a white one, but once she said there was a black tree, I just lost it! I knew it was for me, so we bought it for $16.95!

Now before it arrived, I expected it to be fairly large and full of little branches. What I got instead was a tree that is the same height of my push wheelchair! The only thing I got right were the branches, however my mom and I were concerned that it wasn’t going to be as grand as the larger trees, I still think it’s cute! I have fixed several of the branches since taking these photos, but nothing much has really changed.

As far as ornaments and topper, I am also breaking up from using my favorites ones in our family tote, but I am enjoying creating my own path though! I would like to keep a part of my original color scheme: royal purple and white.Apparently, it’s a lot easier to find white lights and ornaments, but anything in a darker shade of purple, is becoming a bit more difficult to do! My latest idea was if there was any room left that I would add some quirky ones throughout it too. At the rate I’m going though, it might become my alternative if we can’t find the right colored bulbs anywhere! For the top of the tree, I want a star instead of an angel, because I’ve always liked them a lot better!

I have only one window in my room, and it’s great because I am lucky to get both the moon at night and morning sun, which is something I wasn’t able to enjoy back in my old room! After learning the layout of my new room, and I decided which furniture would go where, I knew having a tree right in between and the middle of my window would be perfect! We don’t know if this will be okay for the lights, but I am prepared on getting battery powered ones if nothing else will reach over to the plugins. There is one final tradition I am not doing and that is, I am not using those stand wraps. I think my sunflower rug will be do just fine

When I finally have everything ready and go to actually decorate my Christmas tree, I will definitely be taking pictures of the whole process for you! Hopefully, it won’t take us the whole month to find any good ones, but you never know!

Do you have a tree in your bedroom that’s completely different than the traditional tree in your living room or at your parent’s house? If you don’t, is that something you are striving for in the future? What kind of version do you see for it?

The Book Boyfriend Tag

Howdy!

I’ve been wanting to do this tag for a few months now, but I’ve needed time to think about my answers a bit. You’d think I would have all of my favorite book boyfriends straight but I don’t. I wish I had maybe then this post would have been a lot easier for me!

I found this tag on Jayati’s blog, so you’ll have to go visit it afterwards. She’s done a few others in the past that I have thought about doing too, but one step at a time here! Let’s start this post shall we?

RULES
Mention the creator of / blog you found the tag.
Nominate some fellow book bloggers to take the tag!
Be creative and have fun with your answers!

Most Romantic Boyfriend

I feel like Augustus Waters or Gus from John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is probably the most romantic dude that still haunts my mind but in a good way! He was so charming and he really pulled me into the story. I still think Ansel Egort was the perfect Gus because he had that cute baby face that I pictured for Gus everytime I would continue on. The end of his story about killed me but I still love him!

Dark & Moody Bad Boy With A Good Side

I think I have to say, Will Traynor of Me Before You. He is the only one–besides Damon Salvatore–that goes well with this question. .

Will was a troubled man after he become paralyzed, one of the things that he let himself do was become very bitter with his new life. He hated being the way he was and even though I understand where he is coming from, I also feel like he just gave up on everything. However, he was still charming and full of humor which is how he and Lou got so close because they basically matched with their personalities.

Paranormal Boyfriend

The only one that came to my mind was Stefan Salvatore. I have always loved Stefan! He was the one that initially got me interested in The Vampire Dairies. I don’t think any of my family actually believes that since I love Ian Somerhalder so much but I have always loved Stefan’s story compared to Damon’s .He had a good heart, thanks to Lexi of course, and I really wish I had completed the Stefan’s Dairies now!

Boy You’d Be Friends With Benefits With

Oh boy! This is actually really difficult because I have a couple as sad as it is. My answer at the moment is Sedric Lionheart from the Sinners Of Tour series by Olivia Cunning. Between him and Eric Sticks, they’re both members of the casual sex team. I still prefer Sed over Eric, even though I love drummers more than lead singers,. I mean, I am my mother’s daughter after all!

Your Soul Mate

I think I will forever have a weakness for the cool, slightly gorgeous high school boys and I definitely love Josh from To All The Boys I’ve Loved by Jenny Han. I did the same thing as Lara Jean and tried to stay far away from my sister’s exes. You can continue to be friends with them, but you can never date them, I’m in my late 20’s and that’s still a rule that I go by!

Boyfriend You’d Venture Anywhere With

The first person I thought of was Ron Weasley, mostly because I would want to explore the magical world outside of London and Scotland, which is a little shocking for me to say because I love England’s history in general but I just want to see what other places in the world through his eyes I guess!

Boyfriend You’ Want To Be Stranded On A Desert Island With

Hmmmm… I am torn between Ash from Roxy Sloane’s book The Invitation and Trey from the band “Sinners” in Olivia Cunning’s series that I’ve mentioned many times in this post already! Trey is my favorite out of everybody, while Jace is probably second in line.

What is clever about this though is that if I could get both of them on the island, it would work out pretty well for Trey anyways because he’s bisexual. I don’t know if Ash would object on it, but I would be a happy camper if it worked out to my advantage!

Most Badass Boyfriend

The only one I thought worked with this, was Marc of the Kaylpso Masters’s series Rescue Me Saga since he rescued Angelina from her crazy and abusive ex-boyfriend. Technically, all of the guys featured in the series are badasses, but I think Marc is my favorite of the bunch!

Well I think I am done. If you enjoy doing easy blog tags, then you should definitely try this one out on your blog. If you actually decide to do it, please link it back to mine so I can take a look at your answers! I felt like a teacher saying that, but I would like to check out the books you’ve read too!

Do you have any book boyfriends? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? If you have any suggestions that you think I should check out, let me know!

My Name In Blog Tag

Hello!

Every once in a blue moon, I’ll check out my Reader and read some new blog posts. I found a new tag that seemed really fun to do, plus I had done something similar with my Twitter username that same week! I have grown to love these different blog tags now; they’re usually easy to come up with and you’re able to schedule them way ahead in time, so really they’re like the perfect post when you’re really lazy!

Ally Writes Things is the one that shared it on her blog. She does a LOT of really cool tags that are just not about books, because that’s one reason why I never liked them before the end of 2018. I have been tempted to do quite a few of the tags she’s done in the past, especially the movie based ones!

The Rules For This Tag:

  • Spell your name with other blog names
  • If you have a long blog name, feel free to shorten it/only use part of it!
  • Write a bit about each blog you mention to tell the world how much you love them.
  • Pingback to the creator of this tag
  • Pingback all the blogs you mentioned so they can see why you love them.

Here are the blogs and mini shout out to the people behind them!

G – Geeky Tourist | Emma has a wonderful blog on her hands! She talks about books, movies, TV shows and even some science too! The blog post that made me love her was the Harry Potter locations in London (she also has one based in Edinburgh too!) and considering I am a BIG fan of the Harry Potter films this was right up my Diagon alley! Get it?

O – Sorry, unfortunately I don’t follow any “O” blogs!

T – The Little Blog Of Vegan | Holly Jade runs a vegan blog (duh!) but it’s not just about vegan food she talks about, it’s everything that makes up the vegan lifestyle! So, she has posts about why she wanted to go that route, plus discusses other cruelty free products like make up, clothes, etc. Everybody can learn a lot by her blog and you can definitely find yourself scrolling through the many recipes she has created late at night, trust me I’ve done this once or twice in the past couple of years!

M – Moving Picture Review | Shona has a great movie blog! She loves various of genres, and has inspired me to talk about movies again on here too. Since 2017, I have been open to discussing my individual favorites and what kind of genres I like to stick to, but I’ve even started to explore others that I might have lost interest in over the years or maybe have been too afraid to watch before, so she’s done a lot for me in that aspect!

E – Ella Was Here | Ella is a gentle soul. She really makes me happy, her posts always help me feel calmer and her entire blog is like my inner aesthetic I think, it’s just beautiful! How I want mine to be one day! It seems strange to describe it like that, but once you check it out you’ll (hopefully) know what I’m trying to say!

G – Gin & Biscuits | Kristina is a beauty, lifestyle and travel blogger. Her blog is gorgeous! Really easy to read, which is one thing that I search for in blogs because there are some with itty-bitty font and you have to squint your eyes to read each word. It’s super annoying! Anyways, I like to mostly read her lifestyle and travel posts. They’re always so bucket list worthy!

H – The Howling Wolfheart | I found Kitten’s blog by chance and from the moment I went on it, I fell deeply in love with it! I am a sucker for nerdy blogs. I like being able to find similar interests with people, especially bloggers, and if they are proud to talk about their superheroes, action films, etc I will forever follow them!

A – Absolutely Lucy | I love Lucy’s blog a lot! She makes you want to travel to places that maybe you have never considered before! She’s been one of my mentors in the blogging world, I’ve learned a lot from her and she is always honest and sweet to me!

N – Nourish ME | Steph is a very fun blogger, she talks about various topics from mental health, baking, make-up, books, the list goes on. I like to see what the bloggers really enjoy and I think she has the perfect mix of things that I think everybody would like as well!

So, what did you think of this? Truth be told, this was actually a lot more difficult than I originally thought it would be! I’m also very glad that I talked myself out of including the “Blog” at the end or I would never get this up for you! Despite this though, it was pretty fun to talk about some of my friends again. I hope you go and check out these blogs and enjoy yourself!

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? 

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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.

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