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.

Blogmas : The Christmas Song Tag

Hello!

So, I’ve had this post in my drafts for basically a year and when I saw it I thought I had won the jackpot until I opened it and there was absolutely nothing written in it besides the title… A part of me felt like a fool but then again I thought I could use it to my advantage. I looked through other blogs that include holiday tags and I ended up finding the actual link that I was going to use in the original post so I get to do what I should have done last year or whatever.

There weren’t any rules to the actual tag, other than add some friends and letting them know about it, but let’s face it, nobody does that anymore. If you do, you’re a godsend! Anyways, I’m tagging anybody but if you want to do this on your blog or Facebook (because that would be cool and different!) save the questions for safekeeping and title it so hopefully you’ll remember better than I! I am leaving the original link that will send you to Hailey in Bookland’s YouTube channel.


“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”
Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

My first thought was Constantine from The Bratva’s Heir by Jen Henry and Sophie Lark, because I was really iffy about him in the beginning and honestly the scene in the sex club still has me bothered to say the least. However, there was Kage from Ruthless Creatures by J.T. Geissinger and between these two dudes, I was honestly more fearful of Kage. These mafia boys can be really intense and draw out all kinds of emotions and hotness… but that’s not what you’re asking though!

“All I Want for Christmas is You”
Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

Oh god…. now this is a question because I hope there quite a bit of books under our Christmas tree but if we’re talking about my own tree, I would say, the Celtic Blood series by Melanie Karsak. This was the second series I’ve ever finished and I really hope Santa can get the four books so I can stack them up on my bookshelf next to my bed as a reminder of the accomplishment like I did with Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. I also hope I can talk my sister into bringing back my print copy of the first book too.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Speaking of the Celtic Blood series, Cerridwen overcomes a LOT especially from the beginning of Highland Blood and really doesn’t end when the books stop–although I do want to point out that she is allowed to relish in many, many things through the entire series, but nothing really affects her badly until the start of book two and she becomes somebody different, and I’m not talking about the raven either! She grows from the young girl to a stronger person after what she’s been through in a quick ascend.

The second character has to be Dahlia in What Passes As Love by Trisha R Thomas. She is the daughter of a slave owner but lives in his house with her paternal grandmother and half sisters, they all treat her like a slave but is very loved amongst the family. However, it’s the fact that she’s forced to balance both affects of herself, things take one heck of a day out, where she meets the Ross brothers and everything takes a turn for the worst.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty/Nice list?

As I’ve said above with the first question, with all of the mafia books I’ve read in the last few months, I think it’s fair to say they might be pretty high on Santa’s naughty list but that’s just my opinion. I can’t choose just one for the top spot though!

For the nice list, we have Lady Madelaine of the Celtic Blood series as she has a very sad story in Highland Raven and she’s such a fragile character throughout but whenever she’s around Cerridwen, Tavish and the ladies of the coven, she flourishes into this friendly person and you hope something good comes her way.

“Frosty the Snowman”
Which book just melts your heart.

The first book that came to me was Kennedy Fox’s This Is War about Viola and Travis. I really fell in love with the enemies to lovers type of story. It was cute and very sexy, but I wouldn’t say it “melted” my heart.

I have to say that belongs to Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar. This may seem strange for anyone on here, because I didn’t share the actual review on my blog, but I did post it on my Facebook and Instagram. Anyways, it’s a story about a woman who’s life goes upside down when she, her husband and their children are sent to Auschwitz II in 1943. The book is heartbreaking but it does show how the Nazis treated the gypsy families in and around Germany. They were prosecuted just as much as the Jewish communities. You don’t hear much (or I didn’t at least!) about the Romani camps, and one thing I thought was even more interesting was, the youngest child Adelia is said to be around three years old and I thought this was somewhat strange as the Nazis would send the elderly and babies into the gas chambers if they thought they wouldn’t be able to do any work, so how is it she survived the selection process?

“Feliz Navidad”
Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

All of the five books I read written by Melanie Karsak takes place in and around Scotland. The Celtic Blood series is centered in Scotland hence the “highland” part of each title but as much as I adored Cerridwen in the CB series, Boudica felt so much different for me. I never knew anything about the real ladies that lead to the inspiration of these books–Cerridwen is actually Lady Gruoch of Scotland and she married to Gillacoemgain of Moray, which produced a son Lulach, and after the death of her husband, she ended up marrying Macbeth and later became his Queen.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

I actually haven’t read any holiday themed books as of yet. I do have two on my Kindle though; they are: Finding Love At The Christmas Market by Jo Thomas and Christmas In The Scottish Highlands by Donna Ashcroft. These are both contemporary fiction whereas the book I am currently waiting on is Riding His Sleigh by Cameron Hart and I am pretty sure this is just straight up erotica, at least I hope it is! I found it on Instagram as a preview and by the time this post goes up, I should be able to finally get my toes on it.

“Sleigh Ride”
Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

The first character that popped out at me was Boudica’s sister Princess Brenna as it is mentioned in the book, Queen Of Oak that she loves Yule (which is the pagan equivalent to Christmas!) and I found that whole chapter very interesting. Honestly, I thought all of their big holidays like Beltane, Litha, Lughasadh, and Samhain were all fascinating! It was another element in the CB series that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about too. I love learning more about how different cultures both past and present celebrate the changing of the seasons!

“Baby it’s Cold Outside”
Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Honestly I think that’s a little harsh!

I only had two books (so far) that I have absolutely hated and they are: Highland Queen by Melanie Karsak and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I know, I’m still shocked by both of these books since I adore their series, but they each had elements that never sat well with me. For example, Highland Queen never quite ended, for the last of the series, it seemed like a bad cliffhanger, but sadly there were more things like the meeting with the goddess Scotia in the beginning was never resolved and the conversation between Sidhe and Cerridwen about the reason about given the Seelie gloves was left out entirely too.

Now with Glass Sword, I think the main reason why I did not enjoy it was because the events of collecting other reds just dragged on with each page/ The middle of it was massive and so boring! It also had the opposite effect to Highland Queen as the end of it was very exciting and thrilling, but I also feared how I would think about Winter’s Cage later on too.

This is a late addition, because I literally forgot all about it! I had a chance to listen to the audible version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland a couple of months ago and I just couldn’t enjoy it as much as I tried to, and it still drives me crazy! I hope this doesn’t happen to every classic I decide to read later on in the future.

Do you hear what I hear”
Which book do you think everyone should read?

I will be doing a Top 7 of the books I read this year towards the end of December, but I think this book should be on every royalist bookshelf or e-reader in the future.

For anyone who has thoughts about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s choice to step away of being senior members of the royal house and be a “normal” family, should look into Before Wallis: Edward VIII’s Other Women by Rachel Trethewey. It will give you an insight into the mind of a royal, despite the different times, as they find their spouse and what they will do for love. The former king was an enigma of sorts, and it was so interesting to see how dealt with life as a senior royal in the 20th Century.


All right, well I think that is everything! I actually had a lot of fun coming up with my answers for this tag, and I apologize if you were hoping I would talk about other books than the ones I read this year. I tend to do it this way every time and it helps me make the decision of what I truly loved the most or hated in some cases. I hope you enjoyed what I had to say in this post.

Photo Diary | Feeling Like Spring

Hello!

For the past few weeks, I have felt like I’m in a daze. I don’t want to do absolutely anything, and it has been very annoying! However, nothing really compares to the trouble we’ve had with out internet services. I think a big chunk of why I feel so out of it is because our WiFi will stay on for like a minimum 10 minutes each time someone goes to turn it back on; on the good days, it will be really good but those days are very rare anymore.

Thankfully, I have some things to help distract myself from it, like getting into a new TV show. I am happy to share that I am finally done with Rizzoli & Isles! As I was watching the finale though, I cried like a baby! It was like watching the episode “500 Years of Solitude” of The Vampire Diaries, where all of our favorite characters who had died came back, I was a fucking mess! On the good note though, I have been getting into the show Bones now. It has the same dynamic duo but with David Boreanaz as the officer and Emily Deschanel (plus her band of assistants) as Maura Isles! So, the teamwork and crazy banter is still there and at the moment, I am enjoying it!

What surprised me though, that while I am in this fog, I was able to do something I hadn’t done since the start of winter. I was allowed to go outside.

Despite the fact that I love the changing landscape and seeing all of the birds fight for food on my bird feeder, I really miss being outside.

I hate being away from my cats, and it doesn’t really help now that like four of them are not living at my sister’s house! Bear-Bear and Oscar have officially moved on and it really sucks because they are my social kitties, they tend to want to spend time with me the most and since they would rather stay on the block, I’ve been somewhat sad, but I have Grumpy and I think he is perfectly fine with this change because now he doesn’t have to wait in line to be the center of attention to us. We still have Stormy, Nelson, Midge, and Felix too, so it’s not too terrible, although my dad kind of wishes they would all move out but I think he would be sad for me because that’s my connection to the outdoors for now.

We were able to experience some early spring in March. It isn’t too uncommon to have a few good weather days around this time, but it is important to remind yourself that we could still have another big snow coming until the middle of April. So, when we had three days of beautiful weather, my mom put me in my wheelchair and I sat out on the deck for a little while.

For the first two days, I would bring my camera out with me, but I wouldn’t turn it on. It wasn’t because of the lack of cats coming to see me, I just wanted to enjoy being in the moment with them. I needed a change of scenery and being among the cats, trees and noisy birds was a big comfort to me in those early days. The temperature would seesaw between a good 64 degrees to a chilly 57 degrees and I would only allow myself to stay out for like twenty minutes because I felt like my toes were going to fall off because it was so damn cold!

Even though this is a photo diary, I like being able to just unleash whatever I have in my mind. I tried my best to lie and be all cheery but this is what I’m been dealing with, and I know it can stem from the fact it is five years since my papaw’s passing and I could have suppressed feelings about it. So, I feel somewhat better now that I have unleashed my thoughts before allowing you to see the pictures I took on my third day outside. If you are still reading this, thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the beautiful photos of our cats.

Do you have any advice for me when it comes to being in a haze? What are your favorite things to do when the weather starts to warm up a bit?

January Playlist

Hello!

Despite the fact January rarely releases bangers that will echo until the middle of the summer, I have found lots of interesting tunes! The day I don’t find anything that makes me happy, you should worry about me; just as a heads up, okay?

I am always pulled into this nostalgia vibe towards the end of December, and once January comes around, I am fully dedicated to keep it going until the early days of spring. I have never understood why I get like this, and it literally happens like clockwork so it doesn’t matter whatever genre I have been listening to the most, my brain will use it to make me want to go back to certain playlists or iPod, which has been REALLY a lifesaver lately! If you didn’t know, I haven’t updated my iPod in about three to four years, so I want to say the cut off year is possibly 2014. For my brain, this is the most recent but fits that box I need to be in during the colder months that I don’t really have a problem with it.

Here is the top songs for January. If you want to look into the rest of the Spotify playlist, click here.

Save Me From Myself by Vertical Horizon
Vita Nova by Halocene
Someone Like You by Adele
Bitter by Evie Irie
Every Time You Leave by I Prevail featuring Delaney Jane
Another Life by Any Given Sin
Take Me Away by Ayron Jones
Adrenaline by Zero 9:36
All My Life by Attack Attack
Intercorrupted by Ra

Decode by Cole Rolland featuring Lauren Babic
IDOL by Lauren Babic
DONE. by The Band Perry
It’s Not U It’s Me by Bea Miller featuring 6LACK
Ready Set by Vo Williams
Scars [En Espanol] by Papa Roach
Numb by Nick Jonas featuring Angel Haze
Golden by Harry Styles
Therefore I Am by Billie Eilish
The Devil’s Own by Five Finger Death Punch

Before I go, I would love to know what you were listening to this month so here are some of my questions for you. Am I the only one who is basically forced into the memory dumb but weirdly enough, enjoy it just the same? If you are a Spotify user like me, what are your Top 5 playlists that Spotify created for you? If you don’t like Spotify, what other music streaming apps do you use instead? Does anybody out there still use their iPods?

Hope you have enjoyed this post and the questions too. I can’t wait to find out what I become obsessed with in February!

Blogmas | 2020 Christmas Tree

Hello!

I decided to write this post on the day, we finally get my little tree out from the depths of my closet. It’s been in there for around six months or so, we never packed up back in January because I originally wanted to get a tote like we have for our family tree to neatly store everything, but as time went on, my hope for that to happen disappeared so I finally had my mom store it up on the rack above my clothes so it wouldn’t get too damaged.

As my mom and I were removing the silver ornaments, we quickly realized that it might’ve been a bad idea to just stuff them onto the edge of the limbs, because the tops will break off pretty easily! However, we had extra hooks for our other ornaments, and my mom left me to put them through the holes myself, which still surprises me, but this gave me more time to listen to traditional Christmas music, which I knew she wouldn’t like to hear while doing the tree together. I also stabbed myself only a handful of times so that was cool!

If you remember, my tree is black – it’s definitely not the traditional tree like our big one in the living room, but that was the point. I saw the black trees the year before and I was like, “I need one!” because I thought I could find some Halloween-y type of ornaments to put on there and lucky for me, they were selling them really cheap at Menards so I really didn’t have to beg to my mom, because she thought they were kind of neat too! It’s like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it’s not too high or too small for me to reach around the sides or the very top to arrange something later on. I think it’s the perfect tree for me at this stage of my life.

While we were opening up the totes for the family tree, we found something slightly weird and it was a blanket, that we all thought was at my sister’s place. It is a white fuzzy throw with dressed up penguins! Last Christmas, our old sheet that was with us for decades, finally gave away and we finally had to throw it out; and that is why we started using a blanket as “snow” underneath the tree. Once we finished decorating it, my mom wrapped the blanket around the cracking stand and from there, I thought I wanted to do something similar under my tree. We have a few Christmassy blankets in our house and I have one that my nana gave me, and I think it looks fancy so I thought if we fold the blanket in half to fit that section where I decorated for fall. We moved all of the autumnal stuff out of the way and even removed the sunflower rug so that the tree was only sitting on top of the blanket and it was seriously the best decision, because it made that whole space look bigger.

Besides keeping the black beauty, there was another thing I thought belonged on this tree from the very beginning, and it was the gold glitter king’s crown. My mom managed to find at our local Dollar Store last year. It was a lot bigger than what I imagined it to be, but I loved it so much that I knew there was no way in hell I was going to get rid of it. What we ended doing with it since it clearly doesn’t fit on the branches, we use it like your angel or star at the top of your tree, and I just thought it made sense to put it there every year! My nephew’s face when he asked why it was like that, was priceless! Thankfully, he and his parents put up their tree that same afternoon and we didn’t know about the other, so I thought it was a little cool. Oh, and he told me that their pets, one dog named Chipper and four cats: Samuel, Toni, Otis and Tavis helped too!

Out of the 16 bulbs that came in the pack, I choose to use the glittery and matte bulbs but there was one glitter ball that was definitely effected by what I explained above but the cute thing about it was my nephew went into my room and snatched it off my table and my dad was suppose to fix it that evening, and so when Nolan came back into the living room with it, papaw told him to put it on the big tree since he was redecorating it all of a sudden. It’s still there on the tree I think! Anyways, I did have to use a couple of the shine-y bulbs too, but thankfully the overall design doesn’t look too chaotic and I’m happy with that!

I had decided on before I started hooking away on my silver balls, I wanted to keep things very minimalist, and I have to say, I am not about that lifestyle because mainly I’m too sentimental to do that. I barely got through packing all of my stuff to move into this house a couple of years ago. Since I am probably going to have this tree out passed New Year’s Day, I just want that area to look clean and welcoming and I think the way I decorated that space in the fall showed me that I should think about it.

As I continued my search for new decorative pieces for my room, I found a set of ornaments in mini, and as soon as I saw that you could buy a pack of them and still be dirt cheap was the best thing for this low maintenance girl. My silver bulbs are in face mini, and I am always looking for others like them. What I didn’t expect was finding these mini farm animal ornaments. Oh my gosh! They were so cute online, but once they arrived to the house, I wasn’t prepared for how adorable they would be in real life! So, I was only able to find a pack of six in the likeness of a cow, pig, and sheep! What I really love about them is that instead of using hooks, it has a little string attached to their backs and I am forever grateful for that.

I have literally told everyone that have come to the house that all I need now are chickens, roosters, and ducks! However, I started to think about it some more later in the evening and honestly, I need a horse and goats in there too. Maybe I’ll get lucky next year and find others like them!

There was a sincere meaning for me to get these ornaments though. My mom is obsessed with cows. She has a section on her way to work and back home that have a fairly medium sized amount of black cows; and she has this thing that if there are any cows in a pond or even a good size puddle, it means her day will be good! And before anybody asks, she makes us very worried whenever she is driving and trying to find her cows at the same time! Now my nana is a lover of pigs. She told me once that she use to have a piglet as a pet when she lived in Arizona on a farm. I can’t remember the actual name of it, but ever since I keep sending her pictures of pigs on Facebook. Thankfully, she’s like her daughter and adores animals just as much. As far as I know, nobody in my family loves sheep but this was the animal that came in the pack.

The final additions to that corner are my finished “bird” project. I have been working on this statue of a cardinal for years! At one time, it belonged to my nana and papaw, but once the house had to go on sale, we got the second one. A few years ago, my dad sprayed the whole thing with gray paint and I just wanted to restore it to its former glory and repaint it in red with orange legs and make the stand into a moss-y look. I recently just finished the whole thing and I’m pretty proud of myself to finally have it look like a cardinal again. The next one is a beloved dancing Santa Claus that my papaw loved to play for all of us. He had a wide range of singing and dancing kid toys and for a couple of years in a row, he would end up receiving a different one for Christmas. Unfortunately, the one I have closest to my TV, doesn’t have batteries in it and I’m taking that as a positive because then we might lose it to Nolan too.

So, that is it with my Christmas tree d├ęcor. I hope you have enjoyed hearing of this holiday tale. Now you get to see what everything looks like as I took quite a bit of pictures afterwards.

What do you think of my Christmas tree this year? Are you the type of person to plaster every ornament you have on your tree or do you like a little clean looking with the minimalist outlook?

snowflake