The Garden Tour | Side-Yard + Pickle

Hello, and welcome back to the next part of our garden tour!

For today, this post will be about the side yard mini garden, so technically, last month’s post was mainly about the landscaping the front end of our house, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, click here. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which post you read first but if you want to hear my thoughts about these changes, plus the reason why I am even writing these blog posts, you can read them later.


Last fall, we had a miracle happen in our backyard. A single sunflower sprouted up from the ground. The only way it could have flourished was around mid-summer, my mom found me some sunflowers at the store and once they become very droopy and sad, my parents toss them out the back door. Unfortunately, we don’t own a compost contain, so any food leftovers and scarps end up in the back and the cats tend to enjoy most of the food we throw it, however, they don’t eat the dying flowers (thank God!) and it decided to upcycle itself and leave us with a nice present one day!

Everyone seems to know that I am obsessed with sunflowers, and my dad has always wanted to grow a big bunch of them in and around the location of my bedroom window, but I’m very short, even if I am sitting in bed or my wheelchair, so this past spring, we made the decision that we were going to have a wall of sunflowers up against Rumer’s fence. If we didn’t have either of them, I still believe my parents would have planted them in the front anyways. It’s the area where they would have full access to the sun as there are no trees in that whole section, so they have a huge section to grow and spread some joy to the neighborhood.

We actually planted two different kinds of sunflowers, we had the regular yellow and my folks kind of fell in love with the chocolate ones. I was a little hesitant about them because I didn’t exactly know how they would turn out, but they are so beautiful!

In the beginning, we put about five seeds if I remember correctly into five separate pots. They in various sizes but they all seemed to take off around the same time and it was neat to watch them come out of the dirt, and grow little green leaves and stems. Since these were like my babies, everytime I went outside to visit with our cats, I would roll over there to check on their progress. My mom and I were looking at them almost on a daily basis, and since I am a huge namer, I decided to give each pot a name because to name each flower would be too much, especially with the amount we have now.

I became very inspired by the fact that Ukraine’s national flower was actually a sunflower, I thought the pots needed to be named after names used there in a way to honor the people and state. So, with that being said, the first big pot had the largest collection of flowers in it, so I named that one Boris. I don’t know why, but I felt like I needed to use this name. It may not be a well-used name, but I took that as a sign and went with it. The meaning behind Boris is fighter, so I thought it was perfect as the Ukrainians are real fighters, it doesn’t matter whether they are on the front lines or left their homes, schools, life, etc. They are survivors.

The middle pots are similar in size and my mind went, “well they’re fraternal triplets!” so they were all named with my favorite girl names, Oksana (means: welcoming, hospitality), Olesya (means: protector, forest), and Olena (means: torch, shining light). Olena is for the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska! And finally, the last pot was the smaller and I was drawn toward the name Lev, which means lion, so it’s smally but mighty at the same time.

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By June, all of the sprouts were ready to be replanted along the fence line and my parents sent like a whole day and a half getting these guys into place, once there they were given a little bit of water and they began to grow.

Since this was our first time with sunflowers in general, we were a bit puzzled when my mom snapped this picture. We were sort of concerned because it looked like we had planted some very weird Venus Flytraps! We did make a note of the inside of the plant had a small hole in the middle and we realized this was where the seeds were, and the little dark green spikes would become the petals. We were thrilled when they transformed but it was cool to see a part that we never knew happened in their way of becoming regular sunflowers.

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Once they began to climb up the fence, they started to change again–this time it was size! Several of the sunflowers were a little too top heavy and so my dad stuck some dowls into the ground next to them to help give them some stability, and they seemed to relish in the support because they are huge, and I mean, they are so big in the middle part they still have issues lifting up towards the sky. So, these flowers really hide among their leaves and other flowers. They are still pretty but you instantly feel bad for them too.

It’s sort of funny if you really think about it; although we only bought (and planted) two packages of sunflowers, we ended up with three different flowers. We expected all of them being in the same size as the chocolates, but then we have a small section with these bad boys! We are sort of dumbfounded at the mystery, but they’ve been fun to watch as the season changes, and we know going into this we would have a bunch of bees come around to collect pollen, and we were right with that assumption, but we’ve also seen some hummingbirds and yellow birds make their way to them in the last month.

Back in late July, I finally got to go around to see them up close and they were somewhat intimidating as they just towered over my mom, sister, nephew and I. It was sweet to see a couple of the newbies (because we have even more flowers traveling up to the others!) and I’m happy to say, it makes really happy to see cars come around our neighborhood to see them. We had an older man bring his wife around to see them the other day and I thought it was so sweet because I love going to other sunflower gardens too! We also have a lot of bees visiting too. Bees are very important to our ecosystem and even though I am terrified of them, I don’t want them to disappear forever because they are probably the reason why we have baby sunflowers below the veterans.

While I was outside, we made a trip to see the other garden along the left side of the house. Nolan managed to find a baby cucumber and pulled it off its stem. He really loves visiting the gardens and picking the vegetables with Mimi and Papaw. He was very proud of his discovery too! A few days later, my mom went by the same section and found the biggest cucumber we’ve seen so far! We don’t know how we managed to pull these things in the same time span, but it happened.

In this garden, we also have some green pepper plants. As a family, we like to snack of chopped up peppers with dip, use them in stuffed peppers (or stuffed mangos as my dad grew up calling them!) and finally salsa!

As the title says, I’ll be discussing our pickling process as well, but we have also made one batch of marinara sauce, and two large batches of salsa. Now, I will not be going into too much detail about the steps to make each one, but I did have my mom take photos of the packages they used to create them though! I’m hoping that’ll be enough, but I also wanted to leave you with their links as well at the end of the post!

On July 16th, we got our first harvest, and the cucumber was really big. I often wonder why my folks don’t pick them while they are somewhat smaller, but it may have something to do with ripeness like most vegetables. I don’t really know. I was never a fan of cucumbers, unless they transformed into pickles… so I’m not an expert on them. Honestly, I can’t physically grab any of our vegetables out of the gardens, which is why my knowledge is lacking in certain areas.

Anyways, the first time my parents decided to start creating our own pickles, they went all in with it and made four different kinds: bread-and-butter, kosher, garlic kosher and non-kosher dill. I have tried one of the dills and it was WAYYY too strong for any of us! Last month, I finally got to try a bread-and-butter and they were much better, very mild and even though they were sitting on the kitchen table, they were not cold, and it didn’t matter because I got to savor the flavors a lot better compared to them coming out of the fridge and my teeth screaming at me because of the coldness!

My nephew was even part of the pickling process, he really loves to help out, and a way to use this to our advantage was getting him involved with stuffing the wedges inside each mason jar and he really enjoyed being able to do this. What was cute though was my dad had this smaller jar that is like a fraction of the others, and he cut cucumber wedges smaller so Nolan could have his own jar! He seemed to love having his own stash in the fridge but since he went home before the jar itself cooled down, we ended up holding onto it for a couple of weeks!

A couple of weeks after my folks completed their first attempt at the pickles, my mom really wanted to make her own marinara sauce, we eat a lot of pizza and spaghetti in our house! Unfortunately, when my mom tried it, she wasn’t that impressed with it, and hasn’t tried to redeem herself yet. The third venture was salsa, and again we love restaurant style salsa so it wasn’t that big of a surprise they would try it out, but I don’t think they expected us to go through seven jars in a matter of two or three months! One of my dad’s ingredients was adding our baby green peppers into the mix and I can’t taste it in there, but I love the flavor of the whole thing! One day, my dad literally made salsa and the only container he could put it in was our lemonade/tea pitcher!

As we continue to harvest our goods, the room on our kitchen table keeps getting smaller and smaller, so much so that the side I eat on was very chaotic and full of empty jars and rows of cucumbers would feel overwhelming! In order to solve this problem, especially with storing the jars that haven’t been used yet, we have this old pie storage, it has to be extremely old and completely made up of wood, but it is large enough to hold three or four levels of our stuff to last a few in the colder months, but we might want to control our intake of salsa if we truly want to do this though!


Next month I will have the final post of the garden tour and will talk more about the whole setup, because it has been a massive undertaking for my dad, but I think in a secret way, he really enjoys fixing it up! It will include the original plans, more vegetables, and how we were keeping the cats and other animals out of it.

I hope you are enjoying these posts; I’ve been surprising myself on how much fun it is to write them for you. I used to do these types of posts when my sister was in her first year of college, but thankfully, the photos are in a lot better quality! Anyways, be sure to be on the lookout for that sometime at the end of October.

How you ever pickled anything before? Do you know of any other recipes we should try to make with our vegetables? Please leave everything in the comments below.

snowflake

Becoming An Aunt…. Again!

Hello there!

I did not think I would ever write that sentence “becoming an aunt” because my sister was adamant about how she wasn’t going to have any more children after the birth of my nephew four years ago. It’s definitely been a long time since those days, and we need to discuss some things before we get too involved into this post.

Sadly, my sister and brother-in-law separated and eventually divorced in 2020, they just grew apart as some couples do and we wish nothing but the best for them. We still love Brandon and see him from time to time, the most recent was when Nolan was playing T-Ball back in mid-May, as he helped coach his team a little bit, I always felt bad for when he was out on the field with Nolan and his little teammate directing their next movements.

My sister had started dating last fall, and we got to meet her boyfriend Zach (who is now her husband!) on Christmas. They didn’t have the kids that day, so it was a bit awkward to see them hanging outside in like 75 degree weather! I say “kids” because Zach also has a four-year-old son, named Isaiah, and he is literally the splitting image of his daddy. It’s still weird that I have also gained a second nephew through this part. I am happy to say Nolan and Isaiah are the best of friends, Nolan considers him his “brother” which he proclaimed one afternoon sitting at the table with us, and we almost started crying because it was so adorable to say something like that!

SURPRISE!

And then, January came around, and everyone was thrown for a loop when my sister announced to us, she was pregnant. Since her pregnancy with Nolan and everything that happened afterwards went a little topsy-turvey, we just assumed she couldn’t get or even wanted to become pregnant again, so this was a surprise for some of us. I wasn’t too shocked by the news honestly, although I didn’t expect it at all! I had respected her thoughts on not adding a sibling for Nolan in the future. Although this is a totally different pregnancy, it hasn’t been an easy one either. She’s been having contractions since late February I think, which is what happened last time. She’s been put on bed rest, monitoring her heart rate, blood sugar, etc. all throughout the ordeal.

BOY OR GIRL?

Towards the start of spring, we were very anxious to learn the sex of the baby. Despite the similarities between each pregnancy, there has been some odd things happen with this one. She has a better appetite in the beginning, but she’s also had a lot of heartburn too. This was sign number one that we could expect a girl, and it didn’t really settle until she began hearing the heartbeat early on and it was very fast, which is another telling point for when mothers are expecting a little girl, so we all called it around 16 weeks it would be a girl and we were right. They will be welcoming a baby girl in the fall.

Now, let’s discuss what her name will be, but first we have to go back to February and March, because at this time we still didn’t know the gender so there were many name combinations passed back and forth between the early months. I think I might save her actual name until she is finally here and do a whole post about the labor, delivery, and bonding with the boys. However, I will tell you the boy names that were in the running though, because I seriously doubt they will ever be used with them; never say never though!

THE NAMING PROCESS

Anyways, they had a fairly large group of names in the beginning.

After the second or third doctor’s appointment, they started to think of certain names, and they had a boy combination from the start and it didn’t really change that much, the first name never really went away, they still enjoyed the full name but thought using part of it as a good nickname. They were very attached to Jaxon Emery, and honestly, I was thoroughly impressed with this. I mean, I’m the namer in the family and yet I wasn’t asked for assistance!

We were kind of surprised that my sister wouldn’t want to use our papaw’s name: David. She explained they weren’t going to honor anyone because both Nolan and Isaiah have their fathers’ middle names. I understood this but yet it was a bit of a bummer to leave him out of this child’s name. Well, obviously, I wasn’t the only one who agreed with me on this and within a few weeks later they switched everything to Jax Morgan. We actually approved of this! The name Morgan was our papaw’s middle and his mother’s maiden name, it was on the list while she was pregnant with Nolan too, but for a little girl instead.

Speaking of girl names, this was another pairing they had picked out in the early days. They had watched the show Euporia when the second season had begun back in late January, and they were thinking of using Rue, but they had only switched it when they decided it was too close to our dog name’s which is Rumer. Later on, they were talking about Remy Mae, and I was not a huge fan of it. I mainly thought of Remy’s popularity in general, and that’s why I enjoyed Nolan so much because it hadn’t exploded in the naming charts, of course it did surge a bit after he was born, but I hardly ever see it now! For a solid four months they were set with it and I just hated it. I was fine with “Mae” as that is one of my sister’s middle names and another name that is huge on both sides of our families too, so it just seemed likely to come up than any other name, and it’s the only one that had stuck throughout this pregnancy and it does fit well with her first, so I can’t wait to see how much she manages it in the future.

NOW WE WAIT…

As I said in the beginning of the post, Blondie has had contractions all throughout this pregnancy, but we are hoping for little miss sweet pea will keep inside the womb a bit longer. Once my sister makes it to around 32-36 weeks, her doctor will just let her go on with the early labor like she did with Nolan. I was also an early bird, but I was born three months in advance. We still don’t know why I wanted to break out so eagerly–hell, even I don’t know the answer to that question! We just hope she will be content, just a tad bit longer..

I do really want to meet this little babe and teach her the same things I taught her big brother, but I know the longer she keeps in the den the stronger she will be out here. Since she will have a pair of brothers going into preschool this year, she’s going to need all of the good fortune around her and mommy too. The boys are very excited to meet her, Nolan has been really curious of her while in Blondie’s belly. He’s already said he won’t change any dirty diapers though! Apparently, Zach will be in charge of that department! It’s going to be interesting to see how they react when she gets her first poopy diaper too…

I think I will wait until she is finally here to give you another update and tell you her name as well once she’s born and we’ve adjusted to the chaos of having a baby around again. Now if you’re on my Instagram, you might get a little treat as I may announce her welcome to the world on there. If you can, please send my sister and the baby some positive thoughts and prayers starting in early September to help ease the labor and delivery process for everyone involved.

Do you have any guesses as to what her name will be? Also, if you know, please don’t ruin the surprise of others commenting on this post.

snowflake

DIY: The Dotted Sea Turtle

Hello!

Since we are only (as far as I know!) going once to visit with family, I managed to kill two birds with one stone. and I created some DIY birthday projects. You’ve already seen my nana’s present, so it is officially time to unleash the dotted sea turtle I did for my aunt and uncle!

This is how the sea turtle came in the packaging; I mentioned in my last post that I was thoroughly surprised that both canvases came together as I don’t believe they were made by the same brand or company. On the left of the photo, there is a peek of this wooden square that they were laying on while in the thin box. We thought it was a strange addition, but we believe it was brought in to make sure the cutouts weren’t damaged in the mail. I will probably use it as a safeguard for my future projects.


What you will need:

  • Canvas – You can search for various types of turtles, but my aunt specifically adores sea turtles, and this was the only one I enjoyed on my hunt.
  • Acrylic paint – I used DecoArt bottles of gold, navy blue, green, and purple.
  • Dotting tools – You can use various household appliances that have a flat surface, but if you’d like to get your own “professional” tools, they are available at Wal-Mart, Amazon and Etsy.
  • Pencil with a good eraser
  • Ruler
  • Damp towels or baby wipes

LINKS:

Sea Turtle Wooden Cutout Style 3 | Dotting tools | Paints: Spun Gold, Navy Blue, Leaf Green, and Regal Purple


Originally, I wanted the sea turtle to be somewhat similar to the pig canvas, so that it wouldn’t be such a difficult process to paint, but I couldn’t find any cutouts of medium sized turtles to fit my vision, so I had my mom help me find another and we agreed on this one. Honestly, the perk of this design was the ridges on the sides, they allowed me to have a better understanding of how big the shell itself would be to the turtle’s face and fins.

I wanted for the turtle to be lifelike but with a mystic flair to him. I actually had two ways I saw this guy in my mind; the first was the turtle mentioned on the film Finding Nemo. I wanted to create him with bits of yellow and brown to make him look the part, but I also wanted to add some shimmer like in “The Rainbow Fish” books without taking it too far. My mother won’t allow me to have any glitter inside the house–much less my room–because of the weird impulse to create a mess! It’s a fair trade as long as I can continue to do more projects in my room! Anyways, I decided to add both green and purple to draw out a bit of color to him to make him unique to other turtles out there.

To start, I needed to map out the shell, and I used both a regular pencil and a standard sized ruler to make sure everything was even on all sides, and I made the lines across the edges of where the shell would cover on each fin and made an even longer line so I could have enough space on his head. Once I was sure of each section, I moved on to figure out how I wanted to design the shell. I was really torn with how I wanted this dude to look, so I needed to see if I wanted to include separate areas like normal turtles have on their shells. They tend to have individual spots all around the outer edges and have a larger section in the middle and this can be on the top and bottom of their shell. So, I made three tiny circles with the ruler going horizontally and by the end, I even had my dad impressed with my little hack!

After I got everything planned out, I began to add the first stage of the dots.

I decided to go with the “bottom” layer first with my medium sized tool in the color blue and instead of using my light-yellow shade like I was going to use; I went with my new gold paint. Something you should consider while purchasing some acrylic paints, they tend to dry lighter than their original hue, so, even though the gold looks nice and shiny when it’s wet, the sheen kind of faded as it dried on the surface, so you might want to consider looking into a metallic gold just in case you end up hating the final result. Personally, I loved the color and I thought it worked really well with the surface of the wood. I only went around the outer part once – I debated whether or not I wanted to continue to the circle I created in the middle of the shell, and I ended up using a smaller dotting tool to cover the middle of the shell in gold.

After I finished the gold part of the shell, I decided to move on with the navy blue. A part of me wanted to add a small group of dots along the face and fins but I didn’t know how it would turn out with the dullness of the gold, I did put some gold in certain areas but for the most part kept it only for the shell itself. Anyways, when I started adding more colors, my initial thought process went right out of the window, and I began to experiment with the larger tools, they are thicker in width, I have some difficulty gripping them, so I tend to back away from them, but for this I wanted to have some fun and gave the turtle fairly obnoxious spots all over his back and even went so far as added them to the rest of him….

When you’re doing these types of projects, accept your impulses because they’re going to win at some point.

If I had any space left over, I just covered it with the green so that it looked like he had algae on him as real sea turtles can have a mixture of algae and barnacles all over their bodies! I didn’t intend for the purple to reflect the barnacles; it was actually a personally choice. My aunt and uncle love the color purple and it stands as an important hue for them so that’s actually my reason for using it but hey, if they want to include that little bit of knowledge to their guests, they can!

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When I was finally done with it, I began to think of names for him. It was to come up with nana’s pig because I couldn’t get it out of my mind–my mom was pretty sold on “Hattie” it was the middle name that we couldn’t agree on! However, I decided to play a little game on my aunt and uncle, since they sort of knew about nana’s gift, I sent a message to them on Facebook, basically explaining I was working on another story, and I needed a name for my main character. This actually worked out better for me because they did not realize what they were doing until we brought it out for them.

I was inspired by a lot of pop culture like Pokémon and The Big Bang Theory with Squirtle and Sheldon, but I also remembered about the Galapagos tortoises, which made me think of Alex Trebeck and his love of the Galapagos Islands, so I made sure to pick out some names that were given to some different types of turtles that are (and were) located on the vast islands, like Rothschild, Duncan, and Fernand. They ultimately went with Nitro, as it is the name of one of their cars!

Well, that’s it!

I know this post wasn’t a proper “How-To” but it wasn’t that kind of project. If it had came in the same design like the pig, it would have been, because there were a lot of lines involved with it. For this, I was able to do whatever I wanted to do with it, and I think that’s the reason why I wasn’t so hard on myself for creating those huge dots on the shell, I was able to free-foot it, get it? If you ever get a canvas like this, I think you should look at it as your sign to be even more creative with everything.

What did you think of my DIY project of “Nitro”? What other designs and/or shapes do you think I should consider doing next?

snowflake

Monthly Favorites | Baby Names

Hello!

This is my final post of the week and In my act to bring something different to my blog this month, I thought about putting together a collection of my favorite baby names since the start of 2022.

If you have been on here a while, you might know I have a HUGE obsession with names; I’ve done a lot of things in the past, but my favorite thing is discussing what could be the next royal baby’s names. I’ve been wrong on Prince Louis of Cambridge, his cousin Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and Prince Gabriel of Sweden, but I somewhat right for both Princess Eugenie’s son August Brooksbank and Prince Gabriel’s little brother Prince Julian of Sweden!

I love doing those types of posts, but I mainly create them to have fun, so with that, I thought I could come up with something that you as a reader might enjoy, but I would love to look back on to see what has changed in the future.

In 2019, I made up a Pinterest board that would help me keep track of all the names I came across each month, and I attempt to list my ultimate favorites on my name accounts on Facebook and Instagram at the end of the year. I have surprised myself quite a bit, but that’s kind of the point though. For this post, I will be including ALL of the names I’ve been into from January to March, as I say this, I could forget a few just before I publish the post in general. but everybody should be ready and updated for you today.


January

Girls: Anne, Agnes, Arden, Amaryllis, Audra, Betty, Caroline, Cecilia, Chantal, Frances, Freya, Hannelore, Hedy, Henrietta, Hermione, Honor, Iris, Juniper, Lavinia, Leta, Lynlie, Maud, Monaco, Rue, Skylynn, Sophie, Taryn, Victoria, Wilhelmina, Winifred, Wren, Yuna, Zita

Boys: Adolphus, Athelstan, Barclays, Bridgemont, Dempsey, Ford, Isaiah, Joachim, Jon, Kade, Khair, Kohl, Lancaster, Ludo, Odin, Santos, Sherwood, Somerset, Ralph, Winston

Unisex: Asa, Denali, Shiloh, Joss, Lennox

February

Girls: Abigail, Adelaide, Amy, Andie, Ashlyn, Atlas, Arizona, Brielle, Brookline, Brynn, Bubbles, Carlyn, Colbie, Claudia, Daphne, Deirdre, Eleonore, Ethel, Fiona, Freya, Gertrude, Halla, Hannelore, Honor, Imogen, Isla, Ira, Ivy, Jane, Jessamine, Jo, Julissa, Kendall, Kiernan, Kira, Kyla, Laney, Leni, Letha, Liselle, Lovelyn, Mako, Mary, Mayim, Moira, Nercissa, Ocea, Oceanne, Orna, Ottilie, Remy, Riverlyn, Roseline, Runa, Salome, Sierra, Sophia, Soraya, Story, Suki, Verena, Yuna,

Boys: Aiden, Alfred, Alonso, Asher, Braylin, Brexson, Byron, Cameron, Caspian, Gregory, Hayden, Hunter, Falcon, Jaxon, Ledger, Leonidas, Mark, Maverick, Mosaic, Nevada, Neville, Nikos, Orlando, Ptolemy, Ryan, Spade, Spencer, Taurien

Unisex: Albany, Ashton, Eiffel, Emerson, Linwood, Noel, Sayre, Vesper

March

Girls: Adelaide, Alessia, Aoife, Astra, Avril, Beatrice, Catherine, Catriona, Cecilia, Clover, Davina, Dorothy, Edda, Edie, Eliza, Eloise, Ethel, Eydis, Freyja, Gwyneth, Hervor, Ida, Imogen, Ingrid, Kassandra, Katya, Ksenia, Libby, Lilian, Lilias, Lille, Loralei, Lotte, Lydia, Madeleine, Maeve, Magdalene, Mailin, Matilda, Millicent, Mimi, Moira, Noelle, Odessa, Oona, Parisa, Philippa, Posie, Primrose, Savannah, Soleil, Sophia, Sybil, Sybilla, Thea, Violet, Wylla, Yrsa

Boys: Archibald, Aldrich, Alastair, Atlas, Bruno, Calder, Cord, Elias, Ewen, Ezra, Fox, Finn, Gilbert, Hudson, James Jameson, Jasper, Leif, Levi, Loki, Mikey, Nolan, Pluto, Reginald, Rhys, Ryker, Riley, Rory, Silas, Sullivan, Thaddeus, Tobias, Willoughby

Unisex: Daisuke, Namir, Raleigh, Ronan


As you might’ve noticed as you read each name, a lot were inspired by my recent reads. I’ve always loved the various styles authors will name their own characters. A lot are inspired the different eras in history, such as Vikings and their Norse mythology. I’ve finished two books that discuss many parts of their religion, so you have popular names like Odin, Freya/Freyja, Loki but then you have the main characters and even though you are writing about a fictional person, you still want them to have a name that readers can recognize as part of that group, and you get a mismatch of names you might know about and the rest are basically made up, like Halla, Taurein, Rollo, Revna, Runa, Hervor, Eydis, Asta, Calder, and Leif.

There is another group you should have noticed, and they are my Irish/Gaelic/Scottish style of names. I usually keep a nice array of names in the back of my mind of these types, but since March is about spring and of course, St. Patrick’s Day, my usual bag is suddenly larger as we continue on to the next month.

I love the traditional Gaelic names that can be difficult to pronounce for most people. I’ve been interested in everything Irish since 2014, so I’m happy to say I can say several names with ease now. I do have some trouble with others, but it is a slow process and I work on it every day Some of my favorite names of that language are Aoife, (Eva) Ewen, Imogen, Maeve, (Mae-vv) Moira, Oona, (On-na) Ronan, Willoughby (Will-o-be).

I hope you have enjoyed this post. I would like to do this again, keeping with the three months, so you can see how everything changes with the others. I also keep record of all of the name combinations I make from various name games on social media, so if you would like to see what I create with each month, let me know and I can update this post with the names of January through March.

Are you obsessed with names too? If you are, what styles are you most drawn to on a daily basis? Do you keep a list of favorites in a notebook or in your phone throughout the year(s)?

snowflake

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.