Baby names we like but won’t use

I recently started watching YouTube videos on birth, cloth diapering, and baby product reviews which has actually been really helpful in deciding on what we really need to spend money on.  I came across several Youtube moms who tagged their videos “baby names we like but won’t use” and watched a few, and I thought it would be fun to post a blog on this topic.  I love reading baby names and contemplating their origins and meanings so this has become kind of a hobby for me these last few months.

I’ll start with girl names I had listed before we found out our baby’s gender: (I used and for some of these meanings)

Anabelle:  We wanted to somehow use a family name, Ann, and this is so pretty.  It was our first pick.

Marley: From a surname which was taken from a place name meaning “pleasant wood” in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the Jamaican musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).

Olive: From the English word for the type of tree, ultimately derived from Latin oliva.

Alexa/Alexandra:  In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera, and an alternate name of Cassandra. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia.

Aurora(I’d call her Rory for short): Means “dawn” in Latin. Aurora was the Roman goddess of the morning. Plus it’s the princess’ name in Sleeping beauty which I love.

Maisey: This is just so cute.  Maisie, a hundred-year-old favorite. Spelled Maisy in a popular children’s book series, Maisie is rising in tandem with cousin Daisy. While Maisie might be short for Margaret, Mary, or even a name like Melissa or Marissa, it stands perfectly well on its own. In literature, Maisie is the name of the precocious young title character in the Henry James novel What Maisie Knew(also a movie I watched on Netflix), and is also the main female character in Rudyard Kipling’s The Light That Failed. And to bring things up to date, Maisie is a half-blood character in the Harry Potter series.

Avery: For years I loved the name Ava for a girl but with its  huge popularity now I got sorta sick of it and Avery sounded like a cute version.

Eloise: From the Old French name Héloïse, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis, composed of the elements heil “hale, healthy” andwid “wide”.

Jemma: “precious stone” in Italian, pretty cute.

Marlo: a modern invented name that’s super sweet sounding.

Here’s a list of boy names we couldn’t agree on, so therefore they’re a No:

Felix: the cat? The name of four popes and sixty-seven saints, Felix has long been fashionable in upscale London. The name was first adopted by the ancient Roman Sulla, who believed that he was especially blessed with luck by the gods. In the Bible, Felix is a Roman procurator of Judea.

Finnian: This lilting Irish saint’s name shone in neon lights on Broadway for the classical 1947 musical “Finian’s Rainbow,” later made into a film starring FredAstaire as Finian McLonergan, and there was also a character on “General Hospital” named Finian O’Toole.

Jacob:  the Number 1 boys’ name for more than a decade now–given a huge boost by the Twilight phenomenon. The downside is that Jacob is at this point way overused. In the Old Testament, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs of the tribes of Israel.

Jackson:  so popular that it now ranks higher on the Social Security list than either John, which is Number 28, or Jack, at 46, perhaps because parents see it as more modern than John and a fuller name than Jack.

August: August has been heating up in Hollywood. The French version is Auguste (ow-GOOST), as in Edgar Allan Poe’s clever detective Auguste Dupin and famed sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Easton: a stylish Ivy League-ish place and surname name, more modern than Weston, on its way up for both sexes as part of the new direction baby names are taking, as in North and West.

Rhys: There’s Rhys and there’s Reese (now more popular for girls) and there’s Reece, which has been climbing since it entered the list in 2004, possibly influenced by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, of The Tudors and Dracula (we love), and Welsh-born actor Rhys Ifans. Always widespread in Wales, where it has deep historic roots, Rhys is also a Top 70 name in England, Ireland and Scotland. Former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre named his son Rhys Edward in 2009.

Other names we can’t use for whatever reason, like it ends in the same letter, R, that our last name begins with:

Asher:  means “fortunate” in Hebrew. Asher was one of Jacob’s twelve sons who gave their names to the tribes of Israel. A cute nickname is Ash.

Hudson: literally means ‘son of Hudd’, which was a nickname for both Hugh and Richard in the Middle Ages. Streamlined spelling Hud was the name of the macho title character of an iconic Paul Newman film; John Mellencamp has a son named Hud.

Ryder:  one of the current favorite er-ending boys’ names, has been in the spotlight since Kate Hudson  chose it for her son in 2004; it has jumped nearly seven hundred places in the past decade, now at a high Number 100.

Kai: a strong, evocative, exotic multi-cultural name — meaning “sea” in Hawaiian, “forgiveness” in Japanese, “willow tree” in Navajo, and “earth” in Scandinavian.

Orion: one of the brightest constellations in the night sky. Sounds so much like “Ryan”, but we like it.

So there it is, not a comprehensive list since there are many more on our Maybe list that I don’t want to give away yet.  Naming our baby has to be one of the most fun and also hardest tasks to do.  We most likely will wait until he is born to name him.

I love hearing other people’s baby naming stories, so feel free to share! xoxjess


A Birth conference

I discovered a blog called Birth Without Fear when I was about 6 weeks pregnant and learned they were sponsoring a conference in N. Texas within a few weeks, so I signed up.  I already had an idea that I wanted a midwife and a natural, (meaning medication and hospital free) birth but I wasn’t really sure what it all meant.  I knew the conference would have a lot of information that I would use so I was super excited.


And, I loved it; it was for 2 days and I was able to attend all the lectures and get the swag bag and becco baby carrier (it’s awesome guys, can’t wait to use it right away with baby R!).  I didn’t sign up for the ultimate package which included a massage or other mommy-love treatment, yoga class, and mother circle time because I didn’t stay at the hotel and wouldn’t have made those times.  If I had had a friend with me or had to travel really far I totally would have done the whole thing because it sounded great from what I heard.


Here’s what I learned about: Your perfect birth space, cloth diapering, Essential oils, chiropractic care, menstrual care, Transitions of motherhood, choices in childbirth, post partum depression, mothering the mother, breastfeeding, massage and maya abdominal therapy, birth and the subconscious, Birth affirmations, Healthy postpartum care and support…doulas, birth centers, baby carrying…it was so great.


One statement I really liked during the last talk about postpartum care was that in asking others for help, its a sign of being strong!  I don’t think we are taught that enough, we think it’s better to be independent and figure it out on our own-it’s your journey and such and such, but I think we need people and we need to ask people for what we need.


(look at all the baby wearers! so neat) It was so amazing to be around all these mothers and babies and to be so inspired by the talks.  It was pretty emotional at the very end and everyone was in tears.  I’m so glad that I’ve come to the realization that even though this is my first baby, I feel it’s about time we give thinking about birth a positive spin and stop being afraid of what is so very human and natural.  I’m so grateful I was able to attend this conference before having this baby so I could really engage on this journey of having the birth I want.  If you are interested in any of these topics I would recommend the Birth without fear blog and look into the upcoming conferences they have, it could change your life. xoxojessIMG_9169 IMG_9166 IMG_9164 IMG_9167 IMG_9171

Nursery decor I’m pinning

//Volcano wood stacking toy//Mountain pillow//Hi blanket//Canvas storage bin//Black and white art print

//Pom pom curtains//Geometric leather mobile//poms

//Sandra Diekman print//Fox toys//Felt cloud mobile//

*click on images to link to original; please let me know if it is not linked properly.  I’m probably spending way too much time on Pinterest and project Nursery but…how can I help it with all this cuteness?  xoxoJess

My nursery ideas

I did a ton of looking on interest and Project nursery once I found out we were pregnant for nursery ideas.  I would describe my taste as funky, bright, colorful, vintage, modern and eclectic.  The extra room we are using for him is pretty small, about 12×12 but it’s got a bright window and it’s a blank slate, down to the builder’s beige-white walls I haven’t touched in the 5 years we’ve lived here.

I love a bright white room with the white crib and the added color in accessories and toys.. 

Love this color combo..

like this mint and orange, black/grey and white room..

I adore this cloud wall..what if I painted them in gold or black  on a neutral wall?

as well as this polka dot wall..I could paint them in minty aqua or clementine orange..

I also luv the light aqua stripes here..maybe in gray on one wall..

So far we have the crib, Jenny lind in white as in the above pic, change table, and white painted hutch, and crib sheets/bumper/skirt in white/grey chevron and polka dots, super cute, and a closet storage cube.  My dad saved the wooden rocking chair from my childhood and plans to bring it down.  The room will probably have a vintage/modern feel and I love that mix.  I’m trying to use/reuse what’s already in our home and DIY what I can.  I have about 16 more weeks and I’d love to have the room done well in advance of baby R’s arrival so I’ll try to keep this updated as an ongoing (fun!) project for now.

Warning: Bragging rights

I don’t know if I’ve talked about my husband’s sweet gig with ya’ll so I’m going to now. Warning insert here: squishy mushy braggy stuff coming up.   I’m super proud and excited for him for releasing his second App since he started his own game development company, Big Cave Games,  a couple years ago.  He works so hard on his games and I know this because he works at home and I see it every day.  It’s not easy developing an entire game and being the creative, business, and development aspects all in one from start to finish.  I just admire his drive and commitment and creativity so much it makes me feel so inspired and so lucky to be married to him.

His first App,” ORC Vengeance“, was released July of 2012, a couple weeks after we got married.  It was his baby and turned out to be a well-recieved game on Apple’s  iPhone store.  It’s an action RPG with stunning graphics and awesome gameplay.  They were even picked to be Editor’s choice, which is a great accomplishment!  You can still get it on the iPhone store for $2.99!
My hubby’s second App (they, a shout out to Andrew-the one other member of Big Cave, worked with a co-developer Scopely) onSkee ball Arcade” and it came out yesterday on the App store and is available on iPhone and android devices for FREE!  (Shameless promotion here:) What I luh-ove about it is that you play against your family and friends in tournaments so it’s much more interactive than just playing a round by yourself.  They also have different Skee ball machines (like a candy one, a basketball one, ect. ect.) that vary in gameplay so each one is totally different in style and how you aim your shots.

Check it out here guys, we will totally appreciate it! (Oh, and as of this writing, it’s at Number 1 top Free apps!!! Sweetness) I can totally see my family playing it all Thanksgiving day and trying to beat my brothers, cousins and our dads!

You can follow me on Facebook for updates, I usually don’t write too much on there but I do “shamelessly” promote my husbands games as well as a random cat or dog picture!’

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving! I’m leaving for a bit to visit family next week and my little sis, I can’t believe it, is getting married, so, when I get back I plan to try much harder to get my blog on again!

Cheers, Jessica

One year blog anniversary

This month marks the one year anniversary of my blog (woo hoo) and I’ve actually run out of space, thus the infrequent posts here lately.  I’ll be working on getting more file space soon so I can keep posting about stuff I’m lovin’.  Thanks to you guys who read and check in with my little blog; it really does keep me going!  Here are some of my favorite posts from this last year:

DSC_0306tilecoastersasian pear martiniface vaseNOLA anythingdipIMG_6652butterdishbwDSC_0090gltrplteDSC_0006chair redoDSC_0016DSC_0004DSC_0355DSC_0028Let me know If I’ve forgotten any of your favorite posts!  I’m super excited about this next year.  My goals are to really learn to use my camera and improve my photography skills, learn editing in photoshop, find more things that really inspire me, and as far as crafts/diy goes, I want to make more art and keep improving my sewing skills. I just think it’s such an incredibly useful skill to have.  Cheers to whatever comes next! JessicaDSC_0261 _Snapseed


Scrapbooking: Birth-college

Hey guys! I decided to do some posts about scrapbooking so this will be a little series.  I’ve always loved scrapbooking and taking photos.  I used to sit and look through family albums for hours!  My mom kept tons of photos and made several albums, the first of which is my baby book which I just found in a box in my dad’s garage (he was sweet enough to drive these boxes all the way from Wisconsin).  My mom kept detailed records of baby showers, my hospital bracelet and announcement of birth, my first movie ticket stub, letters from family, and even my first tooth so it’s really special looking back at all this.

My very first scrapbook that I made myself was a collection of all my stickers (Lisa Frank, hello!)  I made a few more in college then one for graduation and my first trip to Colorado with my friend after graduation.  I just love having all these memories stored.  Scrapbooks are such good reminders of the moments, big and small, that make your life what it is.  How about you, do you keep scrapbooks? xoxo JessicaDSC_0067 DSC_0001Me and my mom coming home from the hospital
DSC_0002 My first toothDSC_0007 DSC_0004 Special letters and cardsDSC_0008 DSC_0009 DSC_0010 DSC_0005 Graduation from college 6.05DSC_0026 DSC_0027 DSC_0028 Girlfriend trip to Colorado summer 2005DSC_0029 DSC_0031 DSC_0032