2020 RECAP | Top 5 Books!

Hello!

I have been so excited to write this post since August when I completed my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge! I still can’t believe I read 20+ books, and I absolutely loved it! I think my inner seven year old self was in disbelief the whole time. She would have definitely been hiding in a corner, shielding herself like it’s something poisonous or something.

After I finished with the first 20 books, I thought I had a clear-cut top five lineup but as more time went on, I was still analyzing everything that went on with two separate books and just couldn’t get them out of my head, so I took this as a sign that they should have the top spot together. This also meant I needed another book for the last bit of the countdown and thankfully, I kind of knew which one I wanted to put into the group and so, now I have SIX books in this post instead of the normal five but I’m okay with that and I have a feeling you are perfectly fine about this too!

1. Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone & The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham

This book was almost knocked off the top spot because I was really tempted to give it to another book, but Jane still has a strong hold over me, and it’s been 11 months since I finished it and I am still recommending it to random people on Twitter! Everytime I see anyone asking for books, it is the first thing to pop in my head and I certainly don’t regret it.

I think the main reason why this is my favorite book of the year is because it’s not something that I would normally read in the first place. I have never been interested in suspense thrillers, but in 2018, I watched the film What Lies Beneath for the first time and I just fell in love with it and I just wanted more of that genre and somehow it managed to spill over into what kind of books I read and from the moment I saw it on Prime Reading, I started dancing in my seat because it has been on my TBR list for little over a year and I just got this vibe that I would enjoy it, and I thoroughly happy with myself for taking the chance on it and it’s just an amazing book!

The only thing that really sucked was later in the year, I had a chance to read the sequel to it called, “Problem Child” and even though everything that I loved about Jane was still there, I just didn’t connect with it as much as the first so this really messed with me for a while, but it happens though! If Victoria is writing a third book in the series, I definitely want to read it and see if it is the same or has a completely different vibe going on, so we’ll just have to see what happens in the new year or maybe early 2022.

The German Midwife was the last book I read to finish out my reading challenge and it was the best thing I could have done, but also made me want anything–and I’m not kidding!–about World War II and the Holocaust. I have a bad weakness to women’s stories; I’m not picky whether it is fiction or nonfiction as we’ve seen with all of the books I read this year! I still think about this story, I was very upset about these women who were pregnant while being in the concertation camps, and knowing how little food they were given on a daily basis, and then if you are a history nut like I am, you could say it was like mediaeval times and childbirth was just as deadly in the late 1930’s into the 40’s.

While Jane was about seeking revenge and basically seeing how her mind worked in every scene, Anke was full of compassion and love, and she knew what was happening to these Jewish babies after she helped their mother give birth to them but still helped every pregnant woman in her care anyways. These are two different women and I just fell in love with both of them.

3. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

One thing that I didn’t expect to happen in general was I actually finished a book series this year!

I thought it would happen to another series I’ve read but I lost interest in it just before I started the challenge and I still find it sort of odd that it was this series because I celebrated 10 years of being a high school graduate in 2020 and while I was reading these books, I felt like I was being transported back to my high school days and dealing with my crushes. I wasn’t as lucky as Lara Jean but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

I loved this book for many reasons, the one that comes to mind is Lara Jean’s friendship with Stormy. She learned and grew a lot by hanging out with Stormy. I have my nana and we have a great relationship, but I wouldn’t compare her to Stormy because she’s not as rowdy and loves her cocktails like Stormy, but she loves to chat about her past and we can get into trouble sometimes. I feel after Lara Jean’s sister Margot went overseas, having someone like Stormy became her lifeline and she was allowed to flourish into this beautiful young woman. I think back at it now, this book was more about her as an individual–away from her family and the boys, she grew a lot and I certainly did too, because I started to realize that I have changed a lot since I’d been in school and I didn’t even know about it until several weeks ago!

3. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippinscott

This was the most anticipated stories on my list at the beginning of the year, and for good reason too, because it was so lovely! On that list, I had three books that I knew would talk about disability in some form and I figured it would be smarter on my part to get through those first before heading into the others. I knew they would make me cry so I just wanted to save myself part of the misery that comes with reading these types of books!

What I still find kind of eerie in a way is that I read and watched the film version two months before COVID came around, so I remember learning the importance of each of the main characters standing six feet apart from each other at all times, but it didn’t necessarily hit me how much I would hear this statement until the guidelines were plastered everywhere! I will say, I understand why Stella was so on it with her medicine and wanting to create an app to help other people with Cystic Fibrosis. And I also understood the bitterness Will carried as well, so their stories kind of carried over into what 2020 became and as strange as that sounds, this was a really good book!

4. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

By the time I had found this book listed on Kindle Unlimited, I had almost given up hope for it.

I mentioned in the review that I was a big fan of the film that came out in 2013, but at that time I never wanted to really read the book because I figured I would do what I did trying to read the Harry Potter books, and compare every little scene but once I saw it online, I just couldn’t take it anymore and read the whole thing in like two weeks I think .I have seen how thick these books are on YouTube, so I was a little imitated by the sheer size of it but I was so proud that I read it after I have been waiting like four years to actually get my toes on it. I was very happy that I didn’t compare the two a lot but in my defense though, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched the film so I knew it wouldn’t be too bad.

One of my favorite things about it was how detailed the author made every scene, and I guess I never paid attention to the amount of material an author goes to making every scene stand out, and I’m glad I was able to read not just one fantasy novel this year but two others that I still think brought out everything for the readers, and it was deeply appreciated too!

5. After You by JoJo Moyes

I find it kind of odd that I have both the first and last books of the challenge included in this list. There are some similarities between Lou and Anke, such as how they treat everyone around them. They both want the best out of their situations and second guess everything and neither one has the power to do things differently that could maybe better their outcomes.

When I read the first book, I was only doing it so I wouldn’t be wondering what happens in the book, so I just made it easier on myself and it was the best decision I made because I was introduced to this lovely person: Louisa. She had no experience at caring for someone with a serve physical disability and had to figure out how to cope with his wish to die. When I got this book, I was thinking we were going to see her in Paris and having the time of her year, but we didn’t. We were introduced to Lou as she was losing all of her confidence and hope for the future. However, an opportunity popped up out of the blue and directed her back to who she was after meeting and falling in love with Will.

Honestly every book I read this year was amazing in their own way. I know I probably sound like figuring out the best books was easy but it really wasn’t. It’s hard to pick out each one because they were all different and I had a personal journey with all of them. For the most part, all but maybe one or two books actually received five or four stars on Goodreads because I thought they really deserved that type of rating.

I ended out the year reading 25 books, which was more than I ever expected to and it makes so damn proud because not only did I complete my original goal but I finished a whole series too! I think this is utterly amazing and I know I have a lot of family members and school teachers who have told me that they’re proud of my accomplishments, but I have felt like my heart could burst with excitement over this feat. I still remember my childhood days of hating to read both out loud and in general. I never found it to be fun until I was practically forced into it my freshman year of high school!

By the end of January when I come back to blogging after having a couple weeks off, I will be telling more about my next books and of course, announcing what I decided on how many I choose to read in 2021. Hope you to see again for that post.

Were you able to read any books this year? Did you give yourself a goal? If so, how many did you want to complete? After reading this post, do you want to set a reading goal for the new year too?

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Top 40 Halloween Baby Names!

Howdy!

It is finally October, so it is perfectly fine for me to talk about this subject out loud, but let’s be honest, I’ve been talking about fall since the beginning of summer! When it comes to this post in general, I’ve had to keep it hidden so people wouldn’t think I was that kook-y, but my family members knew its appearance was coming soon.

This will be in the same format as my post about the possible names of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could name their little one. Unfortunately, I was somewhat wrong with my picks but I did get one part right, their baby boy is named after Prince Harry, just not with a name that I expected at the time, but now I really like it and everything fits well, as it’s both American and British worthy! Anyways, I will talk about eight different names from both sexes and explain why I believe each one could work for all seasons!

I think I might have went a little overzealous with this picture, but in my defense, I had a lot more names that I could have included but I decided that would be too much for me. A lot of these names are full-on Halloween themed, whereas some are not, and they are very subtle to the point where you can hide the meaning behind it. I wanted to respect everybody’s point of view with the ones I’ve selected.

Now, as I’ve successfully put this banner on here, and considering how careful I was on how everybody was straight from top to bottom, I have already found a mistake. If I hadn’t put four fairly large sections I would actually attempt to fix it, but there’s nothing I can do so if you spot it, please have a little laugh on me!

Here are the 16 names that I thought deserved a little loving, and maybe they’ll be an inspiration to you and your partner to give to your newly witch or goblin.

Abigail Rose – I think the name “Abigail” is a beautiful name. It is a very timeless, but if you are familiar with the account of the Salem Witch Trails in the 1600’s, then you might remember that one of the first people to accuse a person for being a witch was a young girl by the name of Abigail Williams. Whether or not you believe in witchcraft or if she was making it up, the name is a beautiful example of having a spooky disguise as it is still classy and elegant but there’s this little hint of history within it too.

Daphne Grace – You might not think of this as a Halloween-ish type of name, but I do. I grew up watching the Scooby-doo cartoons and out of all of the names featured on the show, this was my only favorite. I have never liked the nickname Freddie for Frederick so that is why I didn’t include it on the boys side either. Since the show was created in the late 1960’s, it still has that hippie flare that some people might enjoy.

Ingrid Alexandra – This one was inspired the character Ingrid from Witches Of East End and yes, that was one of the reasons why I also put Freya on there too, but there was a character on The Originals with that same name, but they were all witches on their shows. The other reason why I chose to use it here was because everytime I think or hear of the name Ingrid, I immediately think of the color green. I would love to read up on auras and what they mean, especially if they can appear on words or baby names, because this happens a lot and I’m always at a loss to explain the reasoning for it.

Marnie Olivia – I actually worked on the banner above back in spring, but I had switch it out purely because I forgot to put “Marnie” on the list! I think it is an important name to this post because nobody would know it was a Halloween inspired name unless they have all of the Halloweentown films growing up! I have added “Agatha” to the girl’s side too, but I think this is a quirky name to give a little girl for the witch-y vibes!

Nercissa Louise – It was so difficult not to include a whole bunch of Harry Potter characters into this post, so I was very proud with the amount that ended up making it! I really love the name Nercissa, but I’m not really sure why though. A part of me thinks it’s because it feels like a classic but has this dark flare about it too.

Prudence Alice – Now when I went to include this one to my list, I figured people would think I put it on there because of my obsession with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but it’s not. I generally loved it as “Prue” on the original Charmed series. I always envied her power on the show too! This is another really old name too, it actually dates back to the 1600’s, around of the time of the Salem Witch Trails!

Selene Brooke – I’ve known about this name for a long time because before my dad brought home Oliver, we had a cat named Selene. She was originally my Aunt Laurie’s but somehow she gave her to us. Selene was mostly an outside cat. She was very shy and very pretty! I remember being bitten a couple of times after trying to get close to her. After a few months, we think she took off because we never saw her again. I think my mom tried to hold off a few days before making that announcement because she really loved her!

It would be a long time before I hear the name again, but for different circumstances; this time it came from the Underworld films! I still love the name as it sounds really dark and mysterious 

Wilhelmina Amalia – Now, you might not associate this one with fall or Halloween at first, but I found out late in 2018 that the name Wilhelmina was one of the characters in a little animation show on Boomerang called “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz”. She is the Wicked Witch Of The East’s niece that basically wants to finish what her aunt started. The TV show is cute, but I think I loved the name better!

Now that we have the girl side done, we can move on to talk about the boy names that I have picked out for you. I had a lot more word names for this part because I just haven’t been inspired to use them for the girls yet. They all just sound masculine to me, but you could still use them for girls too, so don’t go with what I tell you because these are my opinions too.

Alchemy Paul – The boys were pretty easy as I have always loved adding a more spooky flare to their names compared to the girls. I wasn’t too keen on this one at first, but I think once I figured out it is apart of both the historical and science worlds, it makes me love it a lot more. It even reminds me of my papaw too!

Byron William – If you love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and John William Polidori’s The Vampyre,you really need to take a closer look on what inspired both of these works. The story goes that Lord Byron brought a big group of novelists to stay in a villa and share stories. He even challenged to create the scariest story they could write and this is the beginning of history. So, if you enjoy the English name Byron but want to give it some spooky flare, here you go!

Harvest Roy – A lot of people are loving this name lately! However, the only way I’ve seen it used as a girl name. I have never loved it for a girl, everything about it makes me think of a guy! It might have something to do with football, tagliatelle parties, beer always coming into my head when I say it out, but I just love it this way. I would also only use it with smaller middle names too! 

Jasper Augustus – Out of all the Twilight names that I had in my original list, this was my ultimate favorite of the bunch! Jasper and Carlyle were my favorites on the movies, but I think Jasper is both classic and cool at the same time! 

Marius Bernhardt – When I went about creating this list, I wanted to make sure I represented all of the Halloween-y movies as I could so that I had a wide array of names to pull from, so thankfully I’ve been trying to watch the ones of Anne Rice’s books. There were plenty to use in this post, but one that I really liked the most was Marius. It is such a mysterious name but you could easily use “Mars” for a nickname though!

Poe Lafayette – There is no chance in hell am I leaving out the King of Halloween literature: Edgar Allen Poe. I thought his first and middle names were too common to be on here, but Poe is a great way to honor him. I would definitely use it as a first name, but I think it could work anywhere you want to put it. 

Wolf Travis – A part of me wanted to use “Wolfgang” for the list, but I thought it would be too much. Personally, I love that way but using “Wolf” as a nickname. I love older names compared some of the popular trends. Whatever way you prefer, I think it is a strong name for this time of the year. 

Viktor Campbell – I wasn’t going to use multiple names for the same book or movie, but the more I started picking out ones I wanted to talk about on this section, I quickly became aware that I wasn’t going to get by with it. This name is featured on the Underworld series with this spelling, but I like it with the original “Victor” for the creator of the monster on Frankenstein. It is a very serious name but I like it that way!

We are finally done with this post. This is my final baby names post for the year, or at least we’ll see! I might find another tag or talk about my favorite names of the year, but we’ll see what happens in the meantime!

How did you like all of the names above? If you were able to use any of them for a baby or maybe a pet, which one(s) would you use?

Baby Name Tag – Round 2!

Howdy!

Today I am doing another baby names tag! I found out that Gabriella had uploaded a second name tag video back in late November, and I started thinking about doing something special. The first part of this are her questions she put in the video, but I’ve also added on my own questions too. I’ve only written out five more at the bottom for your enjoyment!

I also decided how cool it would be, if I did three separate baby name posts to coincide with another tag I’d publish on my blog’s Facebook page from the months April to October. Somehow I came up with it in literally two days! I was somewhat impressed and terrified of myself at the same time! I’ve already published the first post back in late March, just before The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were due to have their first child. If you haven’t seen that post, you can go here. By this time, I will be at the letter “M’ or “O” on the ABC Baby Names Tag on Facebook.  If you want to go back through and check out the names I picked out for the previous letters, you are more than welcome to do that too! The link for that is right here. First though, let’s start this tag while I’ve still got your attention! The final post will be going up either at the end of September or October, so you’ll have to look out for that too!

What is your favorite name from the FRIENDS cast?

I have always loved Phoebe and Rachel. I’m surprised that I’ve never cared for any of the guys’s names, even Joey!

If you had Triplets and you had to choose 3 winter themed names, what would they be?

I really like Winter a lot, it’s one of my favorite girl names. Since I am a big fan of trees, I think Pine would be a really interesting name to give a little girl. Lastly, I have to say I really like Noel too, but only for a boy. It’s different but gives you that cheery feeling just saying it!

If you had triplets and you had to choose 3 summer themed names, what would they be?

I really adore the name Summer, but I would rather use it for a boy than a girl. I have a really good combination that is neutral and its Summer Brighton. I also love the name Ocean, but honestly the variation: Oceane is better for me. I know it’s not pronounced the same as the original, but I’d rather have this spelling for a girl. And my final (weird) name is Palm, and again, we’re playing into the tree element. I like my trees damn it! I think it could work for both sexes.

What is your favorite typically English baby name?

There are honestly a lot of really pretty names out there, but I have always been interested in both Edgar and Nigel. I don’t really know if they are English at all but I’ve always seen them feature in British films in the past, so that’s how I’ve associated them, please correct me if I’m wrong!

What are some non-negotiable names that you love?

I think I’ve finally decided on three names that I will use on some level, whether it’s my future children or as a character in one of my stories, but they are David, Mason, and Ruth. Both David and Ruth are family names that mean a lot to me and I’ve always said to myself that I would use them as middle names. Mason is a name that I have loved since probably 2005!

If you had to choose names from your favorite movie, what would they be?

I grew up on the Back To The Future franchise so I have a love for the name “Emmett”. I think the main reason why I enjoy it so much is because it reminds me of my sister, since her name is Emily, I feel like it is as close to that as humanly possible. I’ve searched for others that start with “Em” but this is the only one I’ve liked and the fact that it was used in one of my favorites movies, is just an added bonus too!

Another name that I like, is fairly new to me, because I’ve only ever heard it on this movie series. I love the Hotel Transylvania films and from the first time I heard the name “Mavis” I was hooked! Since in those movies, Mavis is the daughter of the character Dracula, I do associate it as a semi-dark and mysteries name, but I also think it’s really playful too. And the fact that it’s a “M” name that makes things better, as I would like to continue the letter for my first born daughter.

If you had to use a name from your phone contacts, what would it be?

The only ones that I really like (name wise) are Christopher, Samantha, and Russell.

I’ve always loved the name Christopher, and whenever I talk about my cousin, I actually call him that rather than Chris like the rest of my family. Speaking of family, our close family friend, who is like my uncle has the name Russell. I like it for it’s 60’s and 70’s vibe. I’m not calling you old by the way if you’re reading this! Kate Hudson has a son with the name Ryder Russell and I’ve always loved those two names together so if I could I would definitively use this combination!

Now with the name Samantha, back in the 90’s it was a very common name for girls. I have known a large amount of girls with it growing up, but I still love it! I don’t know if I found this or came up with it myself, but I really like it with Claire; I think it works as a first and middle name, but my favorite way is Claire Samantha. What do you think?

What double-barreled name would you consider?

Since I found this tag, I’ve actually created a large amount of double-barreled names. The two that are like at the top of my favorites list are Avril-Hayden Morgan and Felix-Henry William.

The first one has been on my list for both b/g since probably 2006. I found inspiration for it by my love of both singer Avril Lavigne and actress Hayden Pentitiare. As for the middle, it was my great-grandmother’s maiden name but it was also used for my papaw’s middle name as well. That’s why I think it could work out both ways! Felix-Henry is fairly recent for me, ever since we named one of our cats Felix I have grown to love it more and you know, with my love for history, I am always looking for create ways to use the name Henry and William, so I decided to put it here.

I thought it would be nice if I shared a couple of ones for girls, so I have made up Daisy-Kate Elizabeth and Sadie-Jordyn Elizabeth. As you can see, I really love my middle name a LOT!  What do you also think of these pairings?

What Disney themed names would you pick for a boy/girl?

Disney names are SO difficult for me! However, I love the name “Ariel” but only for a boy. Apparently it’s an angel based in both Jewish and Christianity traditions. The way that I came across it was because a character in the symphonic metal band Kamelot’s album (that I cannot remember at this moment), the character itself was portrayed as a male so that’s how I ended up loving it.

The other one that I really like is “Elsa.” I am a lover of Scandinavian names here recently, but the reason why I love it the most is because I have a great-great-great aunt that used it as part of her name, her full name was Elsaleah. Unfortunately, Elsa has never be used in the future generations, probably because it is has grown really popular after the success of the movie Frozen, but Leah has shown up with a couple of family members. I would like to use both Elsa or Elsaleah because I think they’re so pretty!

What would you name a brunette, blonde and red haired child?

BRUNETTE: Sienna June. BLONDE: India Catherine. RED-HAIRED: Rowena Carrie.

BRUNETTE: Harvest Roy. BLONDE: Bjorn William. REDHAIRED: Hamish Michael.

What are your favorite country/city themed names?

I REALLY enjoy city/country names, at times probably a little too much, but that keeps me interesting!

My favorite girl names are Georgia, Israel, Vienna, India, Petra, Adelaide, Victoria, Brisbane, Manhattan, London, Jersey, Alberta, Italia, Savannah, Marseilles, Brittany, Sahara, Essex, & Arizona. Apparently I like a lot of places ending with “ia” and I didn’t even know it!

Boys are always more difficult for me for some reason, but I love Austin, Columbus, Diego, Boston, Bronx, Camden, Charleston, Houston, Orlando, Paris, Richmond, Manchester, Nevada, Rio, Trenton, York.

And just for fun here are some unisex names too! I really love Berlin, Brooklyn, Dallas, Denver, Hamilton, Ireland, Dakota, Jordan, Memphis, Paris, and Kingston.

If you had to pick a Harry Potter themed baby name, which would you pick?

This is a hard one! The first one that comes to my mind is Luna. Luna Lovegood is one of my favorite female characters, but I also love both Minerva and Narcissa. As far as the boy names, Remus was my favorite adult/teacher, but Neville and Seamus are really cute too!  

If you had to use one of your friends’ names, which would it be?

There are only two that I can think of right now, and they are Samantha and Desiree. I kind of explained Samantha above, but I like it for its 70’s vibe and the Southern charm it brings out. However, I think I only love Desiree as it has this French flare to it. 

What are your favorite space themed names for a boy/girl?

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with space themed names, but there is Luna, which means “Moon” in Italian. I  don’t have a favorite boy name at the moment.

Choose a boy and girl name based on Greek Mythology

I think Greek mythology is a little easier compared to other mythologies, than maybe Egyptian mythology but that might be because I have always been obsessed with Ancient Egypt since I was little! Anyways, I love Athena for a girl, it’s one of my favorites ever! Now for boys, it’s a little bit difficult but I’m always pulled to Ares or Jason than any other name. 

What is your favorite name that was popular in a different era?

I have three favorite eras: Tudor, Roaring 20’s, and 1970’s. So I’ll give you 6 names from each time.

Let’s start with Tudor times, we have Henry (of course!), Edmund, Richard, Anne, Bridget, and Lettice on my list. Lettice is pronounced like “lettuce” but I actually prefer “lat-tis” like when you’re making a lattice for a pie. I think that way sounds more feminine compared to the other way. For the Roaring 20’s, there is Bernard, Norman, Sidney, Ada, Gloria, and Olive. And my final six favorites coming out of the 1970’s are Michael, Brian, Scott, Jennifer, Stephanie, and Sarah.

If you had to choose a famous brand to name your child, what would you pick?

Honestly, I think Forbes is really cute. Since it was used as a last name on The Vampire Dairies for the character Caroline, I thought it just flowed so nicely together, but if I actually used it I would put it with a boy name instead. The other one that I really love is Dior. I love this, but I’d also use it in a boy name. I fell in love with Nevada Dior a long time ago, I still think it was my first outlandish name I ever came up with before! 

What is a name that you’d normally pick for your dog or cat, that you’d use for your own child?

The majority of our pets have had people names, so that has been both a blessing and curse at the same time! Especially when my sister was pregnant with my nephew, she really wanted to use Oliver, but my mom threatened to call him “mew-mew” like we did with our family cat Oliver, so that’s the reason why they switched to Nolan.

I don’t know if you agree with this or not, but I think cats should have a regal sort of name. They carry themselves higher than any other animal, so I think they deserve a sophisticated type of name. Unfortunately, only a handful of our cats have ever had smart names in the past and even the present too! We have had names like Selene, Oliver, Oscar, Otis, Felix, Tavis, and Nelson. 

What is your favorite royalty name(s)?

You can tell I created this question! I think I’ll just give you a great collection of names because what I originally wanted to give you all would make this post super long, so I hope you’ll like this instead.

My favorite royal names are: Elizabeth, George, Henry, Charles, Alexander, Anne, Margaret, Carl, Augusta, Victoria, Alexandra, Louise, Catherine, Antoinette, Xaveria, Claude, Philip, Alice, Mary, Estelle, Gabriel, Henrik, James, Irene, Isabella, Leonore, Nicholas, Oscar, Edmund, Richard Alix, Albert, Irene, Therese, Wilhelmina, Charlotte, Helena, Ernest., Theodora, Marie-Chantal, Arabella, Josephine, Louis, Paul, Maud, Jane, Frederick, Augustus, Mathilde, Maxima, Henrietta, Leopold, Arthur, Michael, Harald, Joan, Thyra, Dagmar, Anastasia, Olga, Blanche, Madeleine, Birgitta, Hedvig, Catharina, Magnus and Friederike.  

What are your Top 10 names that you love but probably will never use?

Alexandrine | Siobhan | Nicah | Salima Honor | Nevada | Leopold | Thaddeus | Calix | Atlas 

All right I am finally finished with this tag! This actually took me longer to do then I figured it would, it made part of me wish I had worked on it earlier on like I wanted to, but yeah it was really fun like always. If you are interested in baby names, I definitely recommend doing it too! If you do, please let me know I would love to see your answers! 

 

Album Review: “Sign Of The Dragonhead” by Leaves’ Eyes

23131766_10156007791623901_1988138923982422649_nYou guys know how much I love symphonic metal music, right? Leaves’ Eyes is one of the numerous bands cranking out amazing music to its fans! The five piece band consists of Joris Njenhuis on drums, Pete Streit plays guitar while Thorstein Bauer does bass and to round it out the band has two vocalists: Alexander Krull and the newest member Elina Sirala. “Sign Of The Dragonhead” is Elina’s first record with the band. The album was released on January 12th, and as you can see from the artwork on the side that it involves the Vikings and their mythology!

We start the album with the title track, and I will say I hadn’t heard of Elina’s voice before I decided to review the album, so everything is completely new to me. I actually like her voice, it’s deep and not overwhelming as some singers I’ve heard in the past. It has a soft and sweet undertone to it, which works out great with Alexander’s harsh vocals. As far as the song as a whole, I’m not really a fan of it. I feel like it was rushed, however I did like the introduction. It gave you the scene that you were about to be transported out of there. I also liked the pipes as well. It added a nice gentle Celtic tone to it. Second is “Across The Sea” and you instantly hear this playful sound, that always reminds me of voyagers on a boat, the heavy guitars give you that other added element to it, but it’s all good and keeps the listener upbeat to hear the story.

Next we have “Like A Mountain” and I really liked the soft beginning, just hearing only a piano with Elina’s voice was beautiful, but of course we can’t stay in that direction. It doesn’t change into a jam-packed harsh song. It actually stays pretty neutral in sound, so it has a good melody to follow, and shows the beauty in Elina’s voice too! Leaves’ Eyes has had a history of using all kinds of languages in their lyrics: English, Irish and of course a form of the Viking language too! So the song “Jomsborg” is no surprise to me. I looked up the title to see what kind of information it could give me and according to Google, it was a legendary Viking stronghold on the coast of the Baltic sea. You have the same vibe that you get while listening to the second track, but I always find it cooler to see bands be inspired by real things, if it’s people or structures, it doesn’t matter. I love it!

And then we continue with the same inspiration, with the song “Völva” that tells you about a pagan Norse shaman. She would be considered a seer or prophet to the Vikings and their religion. If you want a better description: think of Gambit from the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit books and films! I think it has a very playful sound, but it also has an exotic vibe going on too! It’s a very pretty song! This next one though, as soon as I heard it, I didn’t know what to exactly think of it. I mean, it’s not bad, kind of unique because it sounds like a jam session happened and they recorded it as it was. The song is called “Rides Of The Wind” and I do like the addition of the choir during the choruses but this one has me all confused! No wonder people who don’t normally listen to symphonic metal have a huge opinion or chip on their shoulders about the changes of their beloved genre, this is a weird one,

We’re heading to the end, the last five tracks of the standard edition. We have “Fairer Than The Sun” and after the previous one, my expectation was a little low because I was surprised once, it could certainly happen again! I’m happy to say that it definitely a little quieter compared to the others. I’d consider it a ballad in a way because it has a dreamy quality to it. Nice change! The eigth song is “Shadows Of The Night” and we’re out of our dreams now, back to the nightmares! I think the song is good, but I feel like there’s nothing giving it a special element to it, which sucks because it sounded like it had potential. And now have “Rulers Of The Wind And Waves” and you definitely get the true sailing viking tone in this song. I’m also happy to say that it’s an instrumental! There’s really nothing that makes me happy more than that honestly! It’s also a nice break too.

Now we have the last two songs, starting with “Fires In The North” and it has a bit of the vibe of the track before it. I like it. The more I listened to it, the more I started to really pay attention to the lyrics. That’s one thing that is difficult to do in this genre, because of the fact that there’s many elements, between Elina’s operatic vocals and Alexander’s darker growls along with the sound of the song together can be choatic at times! Lastly, there’s “Waves Of Euphoria” and it was nice to hear a true epic symphonic metal at the ending of the album. You recognize the horn in the beginning, keeping with the viking mythology there and after the long intro, the guitars come alive and it’s actually really good. It sounds like a normal Leaves’ Eyes.

The real question is whether or not I liked the album as a whole? Honestly, I don’t think any of their newer material will be able to top Symphonies Of The Night that was released in 2013. I did like it though, it just wasn’t at that level as this album.

Have you heard “Sign Of The Dragonhead” yet? Do you have a favorite on it yet? Let me know!

snowflake

I’m An Onomastic!

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Hi 🙂

There is something you can catch me doing on Sundays. No, I don’t lounge around, well maybe sometimes, but most of the time I’m asking for our local newspaper looking at the birth and obituaries sections. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those creepy people who look at who’s died looking for a date. I look up and down the two rows at the beautiful names of children who were born in the last two weeks or so. I can’t quite explain why I do it or how it got started, I’ve just been addicted to asking for the paper on that specific day. I’m not interested in the news articles, just this part.

I wish I could say it was my only outlet but it’s not.

When I started Pinterest back in 2012, I was searching other boards and one day I found a board full of names! I found so many good ones that I didn’t just want to “like” each one so I ended making them a board. And then a couple of years later I made up another (secret) board of names for characters that were stuck in the depths of my mind. Luckily for me, there is actually a big difference between these two boards. One has more modern and classic baby names whereas the second has forgotten and out of the box names.

Here are some examples:

Baby Name Board:

Hazel | Paige | Abigail | Otto | Leon | Lachlan

Character Name Board:

Oryn | Zachari | Leopold | Tarina | Isadora | Annika

After watching so many episodes of Jeopardy, I actually started to see more and more contestants say they’re also obsessed with names as well, but there is actually a name for it. It is onomastics.

I am into is where the names originated, like my name: “Meghan” is actually Greek, which shouldn’t had surprised me as much as it did but I thought it was pretty neat though! I tend to love names from different countries like Denmark, France, Ireland, Italian, and Sweden. I also love names that were made up from stories like Shakespeare (despite the fact I can’t read his stories for the life of me!). I had always heard that Mr. Shakespeare is the one who came up with “Jessica” I still don’t know if this is true, and then of course you have mythology! I love the Celtic, Egyptian, and Norse mythology names! I have contemplated about using the names “Seti” and “Ra” in my children’s names!

When I first started looking into the large branches of the British monarchy, I realized they had very long names. One time I saw where they had seven middle names–not counting their first and last names! This person was actually Mary of Teck or later known as Queen Mary who married King George V in the early 1900s. “Mary” is actually her first middle name while her first was “Victoria” but her family called her “May.” As I’ve found the middle names are usually driven from previous family names. Mary would have been a young girl when Queen Victoria was still queen, but I have no idea about the rest.

Where is it in time frame where they start adding onto the names? I haven’t exactly figured this out yet as I’ve just figured out of the century of the War Of The Roses! I’m also curious on how open were they to give their children different names too? I’ve just recently found the name “Susan” while researching a former duchess on Facebook. It was the first one I had seen dating back to the 1500’s.

Now when you look back further their the history books, around the time when you have the Plantagenet and Tudor families where they only had one name. For explain King Henry VIII’s first daughter Princess Mary, is just simply Mary Tudor. Same goes for Queen Elizabeth I, she was just referred to Elizabeth Tudor. If she hadn’t became queen, I think some people would have gotten confused while researching the Tudor dynasty as King Henry VIII also had a younger sisters by the name of Princess Mary and Elizabeth.

For this next part I thought I’d share some of my favorite names and explain that some belong in other categorize too! So maybe if you’re expecting or love names just as much as I do, they will become some of your favorites too!

Classic:  Isabella, Victoria, Eleanor, Anne, Theodora, Cecily, Naomi, Albert, Edgar, George, Louis, Michael, Nicholas, Philip, Richard, Samuel, and Vincent.

French Names: Blanche, Celeste, Camille, Agnes, Alexandrine, Augustine, Bastien, Claude, Emeric, and Ernest.

Irish Names:  Aoife, Bridget, Fiona, Eabha, Moira, Oona, Siobhan Ronan, Declan, Donal, Liam, Mahon, Owen.

Out Of The Box: Piera, Olympia, Wilhelmina, Evanna, Reverie, Atlas, Thompson, Calix, Hugo, Audric, Henrik, and Micah, 

Are you interested in names? What are some of your favorites? I really want to know, so please tell me some in the comments!

snowflake

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