Thursday, January 31, 2013


I love mermaids. I want to share some pretty pictures with you:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Popular vs. Unique Names

I want to preface that I love language and etymology. Always have. (And I'm NOT pregnant!)
  • etymology |ˌetəˈmäləjē|
  • noun ( pl. etymologies )
  • the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.
  • the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning. 

It's no wonder that my major in college was Linguistics. One of my favorite classes was semantics where we had a whole section on names and their meanings. My professor introduced me to the Social Security website. They track the popularity of names in the United States. It's very neat to compare today's trends to ones as far back as the 1800s.

I thought it would be fun to create a list of comparable names of the top 100 for both boys and girls. (Yes, I consider this a fun activity! Go ahead and call me a nerd.) 

The list I created includes names that are totally usable, more unique, and less popular than the ones on the top 100 list. I love a lot of the names on top 100 list, so it was hard trying to come up with comparable names that have/give the same feeling.

I used the website to look up new names. They've got some awesome blogs about names if you want to check them out!

(The names in black are the U.S. popular names and the names in red are their alternatives.)

Popular Names in 2011/Unique Alternatives

RankMale nameFemale name
1Jacob Jacoby Sophia Cassia
2Mason MilesIsabella Isadora
3William WilderEmma Gemma
4Jayden HoldenOlivia Odelia
5Noah Noll Ava Ada
6Michael MicahEmily Esme
7Ethan EmmettAbigail Ariel
8Alexander XanderMadison Matilda
9Aiden Oden  Mia Mina
10Daniel DashiellChloe Clio
11Anthony AntonElizabeth Eliza
12Matthew MattiasElla Etta
13Elijah UriahAddison Adelaide
14Joshua JasperNatalie Noelia
15Liam LucianLily Iris
16Andrew AtticusGrace Greta
17James JudeSamantha Seraphina
18David DaughtryAvery Ivy
19Benjamin BrightonSofia  Saskia
20Logan Lawson Aubrey Selby
21Christopher CrosbyBrooklyn  Bryony
22Joseph JetLillian Lilianna
23Jackson JamesonVictoria Viviana
24Gabriel  GardnerEvelyn Lennon 
25Ryan RoyceHannah Harlow
26Samuel SamsonAlexis Allegra
27John VaughnCharlotte Margaret 
28Nathan Breccan Zoey Suzy
29Lucas Silas Leah Lola 
30Christian BishopAmelia Aurelia
31Jonathan JensenZoe Zara
32Caleb Callen Hailey Hadley
33Dylan DeclanLayla Leila
34Landon DentonGabriella Genevieve
35Isaac Ike Nevaeh Nova
36Gavin GriffinKaylee Maylee
37Brayden BodenAlyssa Amalia
38Tyler TrevorAnna Annabel
39Luke Duke Sarah Cora
40Evan EverettAllison Ellison
41Carter PorterSavannah Delilah
42Nicholas NicoAshley Ashton
43Isaiah AsaAudrey Audra
44Owen RowanTaylor Sloane
45Jack JedBrianna Bianca
46Jordan GordonAaliyah Alora
47Brandon BramRiley Rory
48Wyatt WadeCamila Cecilia
49Julian HarlanKhloe Cleo
50Aaron AldenClaire Clara
51Jeremiah GarrisonSophie Josie
52Angel RiverArianna Aurora
53Cameron CamdenPeyton Portia
54Connor DexterHarper Briar
55Hunter GunnarAlexa Adia
56Adrian Hadrian Makayla Myla
57Henry HenrikJulia Jane
58Eli ArloKylie Kalina
59Justin TraceKayla Katia
60Austin WestonBella Della 
61Robert RonanKatherine Keelin
62Charles CalvinLauren Lorelei
63Thomas TheoGianna Georgiana
64Zachary RigbyMaya Raina
65Jose Che Sydney Sadie
66Levi Levon Serenity Circe 
67Kevin KellanKimberly Waverley
68Sebastian ShephardMackenzie Kensington
69Chase DashAutumn Anona 
70Ayden OdinJocelyn Gisele
71Jason JaceFaith Faye
72Ian EwanLucy Ruby
73Blake BlairStella Flora
74Colton TrentonJasmine Juniper  
75Bentley BradleyMorgan Margo
76Dominic DonovanAlexandra Veronica
77Xavier KieferTrinity Elodie
78Oliver OttoMolly Polly
79Parker PierceMadelyn Miranda
80Josiah SorenScarlett Sabrina
81Adam GrahamAndrea Aviva 
82Cooper GrangerGenesis Isis 
83Brody BroganEva Isla
84Nathaniel  Bartholomew Ariana Amara
85Carson BurkeMadeline Emmaline
86Jaxon JoveBrooke Blythe
87Tristan KeltonCaroline Coraline
88Luis Lash  Bailey Bellamy
89Juan Joaquin Melanie Maxine
90Hayden TiernanKennedy Kenley
91Carlos Hugo
Destiny Story
92Jesus Moses Maria Marigold
93Nolan QuinnNaomi Neely
94Cole CadeLondon Teagan
95Alex CalixPayton Perry
96Max DexLydia Libby 
97Grayson Grant Ellie Ellery
98Bryson GideonMariah Maura 
99Diego Milo
Aubree Rosalie
100Jaden ShaneKaitlyn Kelby
Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Yummy Flavorful Week-Day Dinner

Panko-covered Wild Sole Tacos with a Spicy Cilantro Cabbage Slaw


Chile & Lime Roasted Cauliflower 

Panko-covered Wild Sole Tacos


  • 1/2 pound of wild Denver Sole, cut into strips
  • 2 cups of Panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup of corn starch
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tsp of chile flakes
  • 1/2 tsp of lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • Olive oil, 4 circles around the frying pan


Prepare the Panko crumbs by putting them on a plate with the flour, lemon pepper, garlic powder, chile pepper and mix together throughly. Put the corn starch on another plate and begin coating the fish in the corn starch mixture. Then dip the fish into the milk. Coat the fish in the Panko crumbs. Circle 4 times around your frying pan with olive oil. Cook for 15 minutes. Heat the corn torillas on another frying pan. Smear Spicy Ranchero sauce on the torilla. Add the fish and Spicy Cilantro Cabbage Slaw.
Serve tacos with: Taco Bell's Spicy Rachero Sauce.

Spicy Cilantro Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 package of shredded cabbage
  • 1 package of shredded broccoli and carrots, (I get mine at the 99 cent Store!)
  • 3/4 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp of sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 Lime
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro, (I love cilantro!)
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 dashes of Tapatio
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Ground Pepper, to taste


Prepare the coleslaw dressing by whisking together the greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, sugar, the zest and juice of 1 lime, serrano pepper, cilantro, paprika, cayenne pepper, Tapatio. Toss the dressing with the cabbage mixture and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Chile & Lime Roasted Cauliflower 

  • 1 package of cauliflower florets
  • Olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • half the juice of a lime

Coat the cauliflower with olive oil, Cayenne Pepper, and lime juice. Put on a foil covered baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. (It should get a little crispy.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Football Man-Dip

I would like to start by saying I am by no means a "Football Fanatic," but I do enjoy making food that they can enjoy during the game! With that being said, yesterday I went over to a friend's house to "watch the game." I was told to please bring an appetizer and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make some "Football Man-Dip." (Plus, I already had everything in my pantry/fridge.)

This is what you will need:

(I actually used 2 packages of cream cheese, because there was a lot of meat.)


Cook the sausage

Add your diced tomatoes with green chiles and diced tomatoes with spicy red pepper, let them cook for a couple minutes.

Drain the excess juices.

Add both packages of cream cheese and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.

Congratulations! You're done! See how easy that was?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Dream Kitchen

How AMAZING is this kitchen?! I love everything about this and would not change a thing. It's neutral but not boring. The counter tops are not white, but an off-white/cream. The dark hardwood floors are a perfect contrast to the white cabinetry. 

I can see amazing gatherings in this kitchen. You could have people sitting on the window seat or one of the three islands. Yes I said three islands! I WANT IT! I WANT IT! I WANT IT!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


There is something so calming about watching jellyfish move. I could stare at them forever, but instead I'm going to share some of the prettiest pictures I've found. Please enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Easiest Dinner

You may or may not be familiar with the Budget Savvy Diva, but after this post you will be a fan. Trust me! She posts all types of budget friendly meals and best part is that she posts a new recipe everyday! I stumbled upon her blog through Pinterest. (FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST HERE!) 

I decided to try one of her yummy recipes; The Crescent Burgers, (honestly, I only had the ingredients for this recipe). 

TIME:  If your ground beef is already defrosted this recipe will only take you 20 minutes! Ten minutes to cook the meat and ten minutes in the oven. Super easy!

MY COMMENTS:  She says they taste just like White Castle Burgers, but I've never tasted those before. My boyfriend and I both thought they tasted simular to the cheeseburgers at In N Out. (Our California comparison!) 

SUGGESTIONS:  For a healthier version, I'll use ground turkey instead of ground beef. 

**Also, I made a quick dipping sauce which consisted of: ketchup, mustard, a garlic & herb mayonaise, (regular mayonaise is fine, just add a dash of garlic powder and dried parsley).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas 2012

Here is my 2nd annual peppermint Christmas tree! My boyfriend and I decided to save some money this year and for go the real Christmas tree. We decorated our 6 foot artificial tree instead. It was definitely harder to decorate with the big empty spaces between the branches. My solution was to add more peppermints!

I decided not to post a picture of my decorated bookcases, (the ones that were in my last post.) I was not happy with my decorations so I didn't even bother taking a picture. ::sigh:: I'm sure it was just me being too critical, but I actually had a hard time spreading the Christmas cheer this year.