Blogmas: Festive and Winter-y Baby Names!

Hello!

Last year I did a HUGE thing and made up over 100 name combinations for my second Instagram account. It was kind of hectic but really fun and I was pretty proud of myself afterwards. The page itself is centered around my love of names. I’ve never been interested on how the name(s) mean or sound really, I just share what I think looks cute and different and it allows me to learn more about other cultures too! I am a big learner and obsessed with various holidays and nationalities, and I’ve figured out I can multitask when it comes to creating these posts on my profile.

I had plans to do something similar during the month of October, because I also love fall and Halloween-eques type of names but I wasn’t motivated to do anything, and I was only able to release three girl pairings out of the entire thing. I was so bummed about it, but then I thought about creating a whole post about the names that I feel are perfect for Christmas.

This is one of the largest lists I’ve ever made, and I apologize for its size, but the original list was actually much bigger–I had the hardest time figuring out what to add. (This statement shouldn’t surprise you too much!) What I will do to make this somewhat easier for you is, I will talk about four names from each sex and discuss why I picked them out of the rest in their group, plus give you a fun middle name so it gives you some ideas later on.

Ambrose Gray

One thing you will notice in the list is that I chose some classic names like Ambrose, Benedict, and Emmanuel mainly because they are “warm” names to me. I feel like they are perfect names for boys (or girls) born in the colder months. They are snuggle-y and sophisticated. And despite using the middle as “Gray” I can see a lot of reds, navy blues, and beige colors that could illuminate the essence of the name. Yes, in a way your child will have a grandfather type of name but as they get older, you could adopt a nickname that could work with their full name!

Douglas Wolf

I have seen Douglas making a slow comeback and I seriously am here for it!

If you are interested in boho or nature, I think Douglas is an underdog to both of these styles. I love trees but I always forget to add them in my ultimate list. Douglas firs (or Evergreen trees) are unbelievably gorgeous! Once you see them out in their habitat, you instantly feel Christmas-y and want to do a full-on Griswold move and watch it explode in your living room with its huge limbs. Oddily enough, newborn babies can have a similar effect, but maybe not break any windows with their incredible wails though, but who knows, maybe they can…

Fairbanks Roland

Back in January, I actually began to collect names that were out of the Scandinavian range as that was one country, I talked about in the previous Christmas name posts on my Instagram. I also adore the Frozen franchise, so it wasn’t really a surprise when I just unleashed every week of different ones. However, I decided to change it up a bit and started searching for interesting names based around Alaska, which is how I found Fairbanks.

Why I thought Fairbanks could be a hit is because of two reasons: 1) it is both a city and word name, and these are really in nowadays! So, if you are tired of hearing about Aspen, Boston, and Denver, this could be your ticket! 2) as far as I can tell, Fairbanks is fairly low on the popularity charts. Technically, this combination is pretty low on their significant lists so you could be safe to having you child use an unique type of name that could rise later on.

Lysander Matthew

Personally, I have always had an uneasy relationship with Lysander. I like it, I think it’s interesting and could work around Halloween and winter, so in a way it’s like Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, where it works around both of their celebrations.

I am very impressed with the amount of regal looking the boy names are in the banner. I tend to enjoy hearing bold and masculine names around this time anyways. As I said about “Ambrose” there is something about these classic names that seem to radiant a sense of warmth and wholesome in the next few months. This being said though, I tend to go on a different route with the girls. I like shorter but Christmas like type of styles, thus the many vibes of the festive season.

I paired it with a very beloved name of mine and that’s “Matthew” as I feel like it adds a subtle sweet flair to how sharp Lysander looks and sounds. I don’t usually add other names that could work as possibly sibling sets in these types of posts, but I think Leander and Lior would be cool as they each have a mysterious and regal appeal to them.


Faith Sydney

As with Lysander above, Faith is another one that hasn’t had an easy time with me. I normally to go back and forth with it, but since so many faiths are celebrated during this month, I thought it could stand to make a comeback amongst the charts again. There is another reason to list it here is because Faith is one syllable. People are really enjoying naming their children with one to three syllables and this was the reason why I included Sydney as the middle as it is kind of easygoing and plays well overall.

Honor Madeleine

Since 2008, I have been a huge fan of Honor, thanks in part to actress Jessica Alba and her husband Cash Warren’s first daughter being named Honor Marie. It was during that year that my actual love of collecting names officially started; I’d been storing a lot of them throughout my life, but this was the first time where I saw so many good names at once and my mom and I were just having a field day of sharing our thoughts on each one that was announced. This was the same year that Nicole Ritchie and her husband Joel Madden had their daughter Harlow Winter Kate, which is another beloved favorite of mine too! Honor and Harlow could be a great set as well!

Josepha Claire

This one is for those who would like to get out of using Josephine, now there’s nothing wrong with that variation, I’m actually a really big fan of that style, but I thought Josepha or maybe Josephe could be an interesting royal switch up.

Lately I’ve been doing royal family trees in my spear time, and I just finished doing Marie Antoinette’s maternal family line and Josepha is a HUGE name among her family. The majority of her mother, aunts, sisters, and nieces had it in their fairly large names, so if you are a fan of Marie Antoinette in any way, you could use Josepha as a nice way to represent her or the old Asturian-Hungarian royal family.

Neve Alexandra

One name that I just enjoyed last winter was Neve. I had heard about it prior to using it in my theme, but I never knew it meant “snow” in Italian. As much as I like the word “snow” having it as a name for a human, always makes me cringe a little, so whenever I can find names that mean it, I will definitely go with the alternative immediately. I also really enjoyed putting Alexandra with it as the middle since that’s another way I enjoy creating combinations too, starting small and continue with a longer and strong type of name can make it look almost regal.

Okay, well, that is it for this post. I really hope you enjoyed my selection of names, and the few I gave you with some ideas for middle candidates too. Now I would really like for you to comment below with your favorites from the banner or what you like to see throughout the season.

Book Review: “Bad Girls Throughout History” by Ann Shen

Hello!

So… I had hoped that I would have a completely different blog post for you today but I was up late one night and like I mostly do in the daytime, I scrolled through the “newer” books on Kindle Unlimited. I have figured a small system, and one thing I have noticed helps me out sometimes is clicking the “Last 30 Days” of when the books come out on KU. I have found quite a few books through this route but this was one of my most exciting discoveries to date, it was also the quickest reads in a really, really long time!


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Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World delivers a empowering book for women and girls of all ages, featuring 100 women who made history and made their mark on the world, it’s a best-selling book you can be proud to display in your home.

The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. Explored in this history book, include:

• Aphra Behn, first female professional writer.
• Sojourner Truth, women’s rights activist and abolitionist.
• Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer.
• Marie Curie, first woman to win the Nobel Prize.
• Joan Jett, godmother of punk.

From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, women in science, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women who dared to push boundaries vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change. Featuring bold watercolor portraits and illuminating essays by Ann Shen, Bad Girls Throughout History is a distinctive, gift-worthy tribute to rebel girls everywhere.

A lovely gift for teen girls, stories to share with a young girl at bedtime, or a book to display on a coffee table, everyone will enjoy learning about and celebrating the accomplishments of these phenomenal women.

taken from Amazon.

One of my favorite things is learn more about women, their histories, hobbies, relationships, sexuality, etc, just to gain another sort of boost of inspiration for my own life. I started my love of books, while reading fictional tales of famous women like Queen Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette while I was in high school, and as I continue to grow, I am pushing for more stories like them. I will generally read a book in a female point of view but would rather write in a male’s point of view instead. Good luck explaining that one to me later!

I was very surprised by the fact that this book popped on my screen, and it wasn’t until I was done that I figured out how I found it at all. The author of “The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles,” Lauren Lee Mattingly was actually Ann’s editor for this book. After seeing this, I was like, “okay, that could be the reason why it literally appeared out of nowhere!” and made a note to make sure I included that piece of information for you guys. Honestly, even if I hadn’t known about it, I already had the actual book on my to-be-read list, so all in all, it was a nice easy book.

To be a bad girl is to break any socially accepted rule. For some women, it’s the way they dress. For other girls, it’s the act of going to school.

Unfortunately, I accidently read one or two reviews while trying to add it to my overwhelming “currently reading” stack of books on Goodreads, and someone had mentioned that although it was a great list of women, it wasn’t very diverse. I really try not to let another person’s comments reflect my own thoughts, but they were right. Out of 100 women mentioned in the book, there were only a handful I did not know about, and that really drove me crazy because as much as I adored reading about Grace O’Malley, Mata Hari, Rosa Parks and Nora Ephron, I expected lesser known bad girls included and the ones who were in the lineup, had like the smallest section. I was a little bummed out about this but again, it was a great book anyways!

Have you read “Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed The World” by Ann Shen? If you have, what were your thoughts on it overall?

Favorite Biopics!

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Hello!

I’ve got another movie list for you today! This one kind of rivals the post I wrote about musicals a few months ago. I like a LOT of biographical films and it’s something that I’m always looking for if my documentaries are getting a little low. I have run out of both genres at the same time, it was a very sad day when that happened! I don’t recommend doing that!

I tried taking out all of the biopics I saw as miniseries on different networks like History and Lifetime because I figured that they’d take over this list and as I was busy searching for my favorites I did realize that I was right, I’ve seen quite a bit! So this is a list of big films that there were released from 2001 to 2016. Don’t freak out too much on me please, I’ll only discuss ten films but I will say there a lot of others that I’ve seen that also deserve to be on here too, but I only wanted to talk ten so I apologize.

Bride Of The Wind – 2001 starring Sarah Wynter, Jonathan Pryce, and Vincent Perez

This was one of the most recent biopic films I’ve watched, I think I saw it back in early September – from July to October I was in a big movie mood where I even broke one of my own rules and watched movies beyond 1999 and I rarely do that!

Anyways, this is film about the woman and composer Alma Mahler, as she marries three times. She was first married to the older Jewish composer and conductor Gustav Mahler, when their youngest died at the age of two and she went away because she had a break down and met her second husband Walter Gropius, there she had an affair with a painter by the name of Oskar Kokoschka who painted her as his muse and one of those paintings was used as the title of the film itself, The Bride Of The Wind. Her third husband was the writer Franz Werfel.

The story is very interesting, although it does portray Alma as this spoiled and selfish woman throughout the film. It was basically the only thing I honestly hated about it, although it could have been very true. Gustav makes her give up composing while they’re married and I would be bored with myself if I had nannies taking care of my children. Other than that, I thought it was a good film. I’ll never be able to see the High Sparrow the same, but you know!

Ray – 2004 starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington

Ray will always be a favorite of mine. I actually saw this while I was in school and of course, we had to skip the drug using scenes but I always found it absolutely heartbreaking whenever Ray’s mother forces her young son to try to find her on his own after he becomes blind. And the fact that he blames himself for the death of his younger brother too. I have to prepare myself for those scenes because I know I will start bawling my eyes if I’m not too careful.

The first time I watched this, I wasn’t paying too much attention of great castings until I saw Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles. I thought it was the best decision ever! You literally thought this was the son of Ray Charles or something because he just mirrored him. This was also my second film I ever watched with Kerry Washington in it, before she was made Olivia Pope in Scandal. I thought she also did a great job of bringing Ray’s first wife to life too.

Marie Antoinette – 2006 starring Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, and Rose Bryne

This was my first ever historical biopic I ever watched and I was fairly early in my teens when I watched it too. I never saw it in school, this was a film I watched on TV but don’t ask me whether or not it had commercials included with it because I don’t remember. I do know was after I saw it, I was obsessed with the fashion of the time of the real Dauphine and then Queen of France, Marie Antoinette; later on I became obsessed with French pastries after seeing Marie’s 21st birthday scene.

You get a real sense of Marie’s troubles of conceiving a child with her husband when her mother and ambassadors talk about it in practically every other scene. All that stress doesn’t work well with trying to having a baby, nor does it help if Louis, the Dauphin of France wasn’t interested either. Of course, when it came to producing an heir to the throne, it’s always the wives fault. Never the men!

Public Enemies – 2009 starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard

Yes, I’m talking about Public Enemies again! I told you, at the time I was obsessed with it before and after it came out.

I’ve always wondered why in the world I wanted to watch this movie so much, because beforehand I wasn’t really interested in the 1920-30’s crime wave, but then once I got into John Dillinger’s story, I somehow got into Bonnie and Clyde afterwards so I’ve been trying to rack my brain for the answer in the last several years! I do have a theory though, maybe it was because John Dillinger was a Hoosier native, because once I found out that piece of information I just searched for anything I could find, so in other words I screwed myself of how the movie would end in a way.

Side note: I totally forgot Christian Bale was in it! I was doing the list and he popped up on the credits and I was like, yeah that makes sense! Oops!

The Runaways – 2011 starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning

I do remember how I got into this movie. When they were doing promo for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Jimmy Kimmel had invited the entire cast to be on the show and he had mentioned that both Kristen and Dakota were doing this film together about the 70’s all female rock band The Runaways.

Once it finally came out, I actually had mom rent it for me and I’ve been obsessed with her ever since! I think Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett was a very good choice as she’s a little naturally awkwardly shy but passionate too and you get that right away. I’m not too familiar with the real story of the ladies of the band and their rise to fame, but I thought it was interesting all the way around.

The Theory of Everything – 2014 starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, and David Twelis

If you are a long time reader, you already know of my thoughts and opinions about this movie, but for those of you who don’t. It is one of my favorite biopics ever! I think everybody who was involved in making this story come alive was amazing!

I have to say  what I said in my What’s The Point Of Acting post, that Eddie Redmayne is only a good choice because they needed to show the progress of Stephan’s condition from the start to the present. At the start of it, you get little hints of it showing up in the way he picks up things and definitely in the dance scene, where his hand is awkwardly shaped in her hand.

As the story goes on, you also start to see the dynamic change of narrative of the characters. The movie is about Stephan and his first wife Jane’s relationship and how she respected his wishes to continue living and proving his theories in the scientific world. So I have to give Felicity Jones as much credit as I do with Eddie in her role of Jane Hawking too.

Straight Outta Compton – 2014 starring Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

I always have a soft spot for musical biopics, and apparently I still have a thing for 80’s rap music. That’s what happens when your mother was a teenager in that time, as a child it was a custom to fall in love with that kind of music as it wasn’t until I was about seven or eight when I started listening to music and my tastes flourished. She had a LOT of great rap music at one point, just don’t ask me what she listens to now because it’s definitely not this.

It took me a bit to finally watch the movie. I felt like I had to wait a whole year because there was so much hype behind it. When it landed on HBO I was very happy, but I still can’t believe it came out in 2014, I thought it was like last year! I can’t keep anything straight anymore! I also thought the actor who played Ice Cube was a random guy that looked like Ice Cube. Don’t worry, my mom set me straight after I finished with the film that he was his son and it totally makes so much sense now!

The Danish Girl – 2015 starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander

Yes, I have two movies that star Eddie Redmayne on this list. This was another I had to wait a bit to see as well because from all of the hype for it.

I had fun trying to figure out information for this one, because it’s loosely based off the real Danish girl: Lili Elbe, the first person to have sex reassessment surgery in 1930. The film was about her as a male coming to terms with her women-ly side as Lili, it was also about her relationship with her wife Gerda Gottlieb throughout the process of transitioning. I thought it was a beautiful movie!

I Saw The Light – 2015 starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen

I’m still shocked I decided to watch this as I’m not into country music. I do have my tendencies every once in a while, but like I said with talking about Straight Outta Compton, I have a weakness for music biopics. I mean, I do have three of them on this list alone!

I had some issues with Tom Hiddleston playing Hank Williams, mostly because Tom is a British actor but I thought overall he did pretty good. This is another artist that I don’t know much about, but I do know the story of how he died though, so I kind of went into willing and came out with a new respect for this person. You know the crazy part is, I actually recognized quite a few of these songs and I’m pretty sure dad’s only watched it once! He’s the old country music fan compared to my sister who mostly goes for the younger ones (plus Tim McGraw but he never ages!).

Jackie – 2016 starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard

This is the most recent movie I’ve seen, I actually watched it back in September or early October.

I still watch reruns of anything about the Kennady’s on TV. I find that entire family so interesting! I’ve always thought of Jackie Kennady as a strong woman before I saw this film, like how was judged for the fact on how much money she spent on clothes as she loved French designers. The woman lost two of her children, three as John Kennady Jr. died in 1999 as caused by a plane crash with his wife Carolyn. Anyways, I thought Natalie Portman did a fantastic job in bringing this strong women to live again for the younger generations. Although, the story of Jackie is different than you’d expect as it’s about the after how Jackie acted after the assassination of her husband in Dallas, Texas in 1963.

What are your favorite biographical movies? Have you seen any of the films listed above?

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Book Review: The Secret Diary Of a Princess: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Melanie Clegg

marieI finally finished this book! It was such a good book too! I’ve got to say though, there were a lot of words I definitely needed to probably write out and look up. because I still don’t know what half of them mean. There were a lot of different people introduced into the book, a lot of French names and it got confusing at times. Something else I kept doing through the ending of the book was compare it to the film that was released in 2006. Certain things weren’t the same as the movie and that drove me a little crazy at times.  Everytime I would go to read it, I would picture Kirsten Dunst saying each word. I didn’t have other voices for the characters. Especially for her family members and so I read it as she was talking to me in a regular conversation.

When I fist started reading this, I was impressed with how much the author Melanie talked about everything from the fashions of that time to the bedchambers. If you have seen pictures of the fashions of the 1700’s then you can wrap your head around having to wear a dress that weighs more than probably all of the normal prom dresses of today. How much detail the designers put on these dresses is interesting. Marie Antoinette had five sisters, so they each had different dresses as far as colors and jewels embroidered onto them, but the actual dress itself as the same as the others. Can you imagine wearing these dresses in the summer without air conditioning? I would die, I seriously would.

I don’t know how I would feel if my mother made me marry a stranger. I know some cultures still do that, but the way Marie’s mother betrothed her daughters to marry different suitors that they’ve never met kind of sounded weird. It was like she was pimping them out in those days. Carolina and Marie were very young still to be married off. I definitely felt bad for Marie’s sister Amalia for not being able to marry her lover, but yet Christina was allowed to marry whoever she wanted just because she was her mother’s favorite. After reading the whole book, I remember thinking I didn’t want it to end. Honestly I thought it was going to go on forever and talk about her time at Versailles, her marriage, and pregnancies. I would have loved to read about them. I don’t like how it ended, because I wanted it to keep going, but in a way the way that it did end was good too.