August 2016 - xoxo Rebecca

What's In A Name?

I always love hearing people tell me the story of how they came up with their children's names. Sometimes, the names are based off a dearly loved family member, or sometimes it's a family tradition to pass down a name from one generation to the next. Or it could be that the name was from a character in a book, or a childhood friend had a sister with that name and you liked it....

What I love is that we can gather inspiration from so many places when it comes to baby names. And yes, as fun as it sounds writing down every name you like, it's also a super stressful thing. Trying to decide on a name that you and your spouse like is not easy. I think maybe for 3% of people it is and the rest of the time, it's like pulling teeth. You can't agree.

Why is it so hard? Really? Why is coming up with a name just so freakin' hard? It doesn't seem like it is until you actually start. It's hard because that little person is now going to have to live with that name forever. And the fact you have to make sure you both can agree on it. It's not easy dealing with a name you aren't happy with. I know, I was one of those.... but we will get to that in a minute.

Now as you have all experienced too, I have heard my share of pretty awesome names and some pretty, well, terrible names, to say the least. Sometimes I wonder what are these people thinking! Like for real....creativity is awesome, but sometimes, not cute when it comes to baby names.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE unique names. I think it's awesome to have something different. But not so unique that no one can ever pronounce it, spell it, or give you a normal look when you say it. I went to school with a boy named Pendelflex and a girl named Precious Midget... both in my seventh-grade classes. I wish I could make this stuff up, but it's true. Precious Midget however never let anyone make fun of her. She became the most popular girl in our class and was a beauty queen. I wonder what ever happened to her and if she still goes by her birth name or not.

I'm sure you are all wondering if I'm going on this little rant, where did the names for my kid's come from. Now, I really never decided on my children's names until I saw them. I had names in my head. In fact, I had a notebook filled with pages of names I adored throughout the years since I was young. Always keeping notes on names I liked when I heard them. But never fully picked until after their births.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had several names I loved. Names that I had picked out forever ago. I knew I wanted to name my child something that wasn't common. No Amy, or Claire, or Sarah.... not that I have anything against these names. I have a common name and I hated being the fourth Rebecca in my class every year. I just thought something less known would be great but still a name that wasn't too crazy.

When my first daughter was born, my husband really didn't care about the name choices I asked about. All he cared about was that he could pronounce it and that he could spell it. I'm thinking, "Wow! This is too easy! I didn't realize how much of a breeze this was going to be." And so we decided on a name for her. Her name ended being Natalya after the Nintendo 64 game "Goldeneye". Yes, we named our daughter after a video game character. And why not? I used to be obsessed with that game when it hit the stores when I was a sophomore in high school. I played it non-stop with my brother. I couldn't stop playing it. It was just that good. Anyone that used to play knows exactly what I'm talking about, right?

Well, where does Natalya come into all this? Natalya was James Bond sidekick in the game. I fell in love with it. I loved the name and the husband did too. So, Natalya it was! Our little girl was going to be a video game baby.

Funny thing was, the only time I had ever heard that name was in that game. I never again heard it. But then after she was born, everywhere I turned, everyone...everywhere was named Natalya. It was insane!!! The nurse at the doctor's office, the cashier at Walmart, the teacher at her daycare....everyone. I would be in a store and hear her name called only to turn around and it would be for someone else. Natalya, I soon found out, has been an extremely popular name. Why hadn't I ever heard it before? I guess it's just one of those things.

When I found out I was pregnant with our son, we didn't know the gender or want to know actually. So I started thinking about boys and girls names. Since I always wanted to stick with the theme of Russian names for my children, I was only thinking about those possibilities. My husband, on the other hand, was not. In fact, he was against it. Every name I brought up to him he hated. He said that this baby, he knew in his heart, was going to be a boy and it would be named after him.

Oh hold way. I was not going to name my child after his father. No way, no how. I wasn't going to. I am not a fan at all of "Jrs"...I'm just not. And I got seriously stressed out over this. So much in fact, I would cry when I would start trying to talk him out of it. But he kept saying he wasn't budging on the name. I got to name the first, so he gets to name the second.

Bad deal on my end LOL....I should have let him choose the first name. But anyway, I was hoping so bad it would be another girl just so that we wouldn't have to argue about this anymore and we wouldn't have to have a "Jr" ......well, three weeks before I gave birth, we decided to just have a gender reveal party because my parents wanted to be able to be a part of all this and they couldn't for my first pregnancy. So at 36 weeks, we found out what the baby was going to be. And it was indeed.......a BOY!

So now, I really had to try and force myself to get him to change the name choice. He got even more mad. So I eventually let it go. When I finally had my baby, I never even told the hospital his name. So they just called him "Baby Boy Hope" on everything. But things went downhill right after his birth and at two days old, he had to have emergency surgery to save his life.

During the days of his recovery, I finally told the doctors and nurses his name and I ended it with, "But I just hate it so much." And I did.... for two years I hated his name. I could not call him by it. I just don't like the name at all. So, I gave him his own name for myself. I called him "Boopers".... and that'ss what he went by. I called him that so much that when I said his real name, he wouldn't respond. It was quite funny. But now, I'm finally to the point where i don't hate his name anymore and I'm ok with saying it.

And I'm sure you are all wondering what his name is............well, it's Reggie Jr. But I call him Reg for short. Granted since if I say "Reggie", my husband always thinks I'm talking to him and not our son. So Reg is better...I still call him Boopers, though a lot. But he got his name from his daddy.

And then there is our youngest. Little Miss Larissa. She's a sassy little one. She's the most handful child out of the bunch. She will have your head spinning. When I was pregnant with her, we didn't want to find out the gender at all. We had no desire to know and I really wanted the surprise at birth.

So even though I had my list of names, I never really thought much about names during this pregnancy. I mentioned a few here and there for both a boy and a girl, but we didn't argue about it, we didn't stress over was just nice not to really think about it. I figured I would wait to see what gender the baby would be when born to figure it out. I thought maybe looking at the baby would make it easier to choose a name.

When they announced she was a girl, I was so happy. I wanted another little girl and with all the things we had just gone through with our son, I was scared to have another boy because I thought maybe something terrible would happen again like it did. For two days, the nurses would ask me, "what's her name?" and I would reply I just don't know quite yet.

I didn't want to rush into a name and I had one nurse get very upset and pushy with me about it because she said she wanted to get paperwork finished and the baby couldn't go home without a name. I had one in mind but was thinking maybe something else will come up that's even better. But the more I looked at her, the more I kept coming back to this particular name.

I decided to name her Larissa. The name came from the actress, Larisa Oleynik. I also loved her name and her roles in movies and Tv shows. And I just kept coming back to that name. And my little Larissa was named after the infamous, Alex Mack, herself! If you don't know who Alex Mack is, Larisa played the character on a popular Nickoledon show back in the 90's called The Secret World Of Alex Mack....among a few awesome movies like The Babysitters Club and 10 Things I Hate About You.

And there you have it! That is where the names of my children came from. Like I said, I'm always so interested to hear where everyone gets the inspiration for their children's names. What makes them choose that particular name and where did it come from. Was it made up or has it been passed down through the family? It's so very interesting.

So tell me, how did you come up with your children's names? Let me know below! I would ove to hear.


Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 10pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, please fill out this form

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Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 10pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, please fill out this form

That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
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US Angels Dress Review

Having a little girl is amazing. I'm even luckier that I have two little girls. I remember when my oldest was the only child and she was little. I had the hardest time finding a dress for her to be the flower girl in my wedding. Every dress we tried on was out of stock or no longer carried from the company in her size. 

It was a mess and stress for me to say the least. With the wedding fast approaching, I could never find the perfect dress. After countless bridal stores and online websites, I finally found the perfect dress. But it was such a long and stressful journey. I really wish I had known about Us Angels. I just recently was introduced to them and I fell in love with the site. Why couldn't this have been around when I needed a flower girl dress?

But now, we have found their site to be perfect for other occasions. With my daughter very involved in violin, she has lots of recitals. As everyone knows, recitals come with formal wear. And sometimes it's still hard finding a gorgeous recital dress for her. And now we finally did. 

When she looked through the Us Angels website with me, she instantly fell in love with two dresses right off the bat. I couldn't wait to get them in the mail for her to try them on. Shopping on their website was really easy. There is a great variety of choices and most dresses come in several colors. They have a great collection of flower girl, Communion, and semi-casual dresses, as well as accessories to choose from. Their dresses come in a wide range of sizes from infant sizes to girls plus size. Not every dress is offered in every size and I highly recommend using their size chart to make sure you are getting the perfect fit.

Once I placed my order, it did not take very long at all to arrive. We were out of state when my package came but I was excited to receive it when I got back. The two dresses my daughter chose was the Aztec Double Knit dress and the Peony Flower Girl dress. Both so very gorgeous on the website and even more amazing in person.

The dresses fit true to size. I measured my daughter before placing the order just to make sure but it fit and measured the same size she normally wears. I was really happy about that. Both dresses are made with high-quality material. You can tell in the weight of the Peony dress that this one feels like a mini wedding dress. I was highly impressed.

The Aztec dress was made with lighter and more breathable material but still very high quality. My daughter loves both these dresses so much. They are going to be perfect for her recitals and more dressy occasions. She was able to move around comfortably in them which I was really happy to hear.

If you have a special occasion coming up and need a beautiful dress for your little girl, check out Us Angels and see all the wonderful dresses and accessories they have to offer. These are perfect for the special occasions in your little girl's life.


Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 10pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, please fill out this form

That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
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10 Tools for Olympic - Sized Learning

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The 2016 Summer Olympics are Here!

As a child, I used to love watching the Olympics on tv. There was something so spectacular about the entire thing. From the opening ceremony to the competitiveness. I just loved it all. It felt so patriotic to sit and watch these amazingly talented people competing to be the best of the best in everything you could think of sports wise.

My daughter likes watching the Olympics going on right now in Rio. She's excited that the USA women's Gymnastics team won the gold medal. She loves gymnastics and would one day love to see herself possible complete amongst some of the best. We shall see!

Now until August 21st the whole world will be abuzz with Summer Olympics, and there is so much opportunity for learning and getting active! Here are (a perfect) 10 tools to foster Olympic-worthy learning and help you host your own Olympics at home! Tip: Use code GETREADY at Educents for free shipping on any order.

Learn About the Olympics

1. Summer Olympics Fun Pack - Printable!

SO fun pack 
This pack has crosswords, medal tally sheets, coloring pages, and my favorite - a Venn diagram comparing modern and ancient Olympics! A lot of punch in one downloadable package, making it a great start to learning fun with Olympics. Suitable for Pre-K - 5th grade levels. $4.75.

2. 2016 Summer Olympics Lapbook with Study Guide - Printable!

study guide 

Get the details on all of the summer games, the history of the Olympics, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Created by one of my favorite resources, Knowledge Box Central. Tip: You can print as many of these lapbooks for your family and friends to build knowledge and community while you watch the games. $5.

3. Sporting Events Interactive Foldable Booklet- Printable!

foldable booklet 

For the avid sports - watching kiddos, this foldable game tracker allows them to track scores in each game for the summer 2016 Olympics. Use this as an opportunity to practice math based on their skill level - whose in first, second and third place? What percent is 4.8 out of 10? I love this handheld, interactive, printable tool! Just $1.

4. 2016 Summer Olympics Interactive Bundle - Printable!


There's a little something in this bundle for everyone, from writing prompts, to coloring - great for the littles who need an activity while the group watches swimming. Suitable for 6-10 year olds. $4.99, down from $7.99.

5. Summer Olympics Bingo!

Whether you're planning a viewing party with other families, or you have a class full of excited viewers, this is a fun group activity for all ages. Bone up on Olympic vocabulary with this classic game with a timely theme. Speaking of which, let the games begin! $2.

6. Olympics Online Unit Studies

online unit 

For homeschoolers looking to mix things up this summer, this online course by 5-star reviewed Online Course features self-directed research projects, unit studies, and a deeper dive into the history and global meaning of the Olympic games. Great for elementary and middles school level kiddos comfortable with the internet. $15.  

Host your Own Olympics at Home!

7. Scoop and Toss Game

scoop game 

Scoop and Toss Game features 2-15" scoops and a softball-sized plastic ball can be used for a number of outdoor games including baseball, jai alai or catch. This would be a great game for field day!

8. Playground Balls

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.17.36 PM
These classic rubber playground balls come in a set of three assorted designs. Inflate with standard pump and needle.

9. Play Ring Set

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These fun play ring sets can be used in the yard, park, in the pool or at the beach! The big foam-ring paddles have a stretchy nylon center that make toss and catch games tons of fun.

10. Resistance Tunnel

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.18.42 PM

Many children love the feel of climbing through the tunnel. Some of the benefits that can be realized are deep pressure input/touch, increased sense of body awareness, motor skills, balance, coordination, prone extension, and self-regulation.

May the best Olympians win!  

The Homeschool Planner That Is Finally Right For Me

Courtesy of

August is here and that usually means it's Back-To-School time. Am I right? Everyone is rushing around to get that last little bit of summer vacation in and heading to buy school supplies and getting prepared for another school year. It's almost like that in our house. Except, as most of you know, we homeschool. So things are just slightly different. 

  • We are able to grab our school supplies when they go on sale after public school has started.
  • We can choose whatever we want and need. No worries about grabbing specific colors and brand names.
  • We probably already have it from last year and therefore, can save money and not have to buy it again.
  • We don't have to go grade specific and can work at our own pace. This one I love! Because my daughter needs a higher grade level for her spelling while a lower grade level for her math so she can do just that while staying on point.
  • We can take off the days we need without any worry of missing any work or trying to catch up. 

These are just a few things, but there are many more that I could keep on adding to this list. But one thing about homeschooling is that you have to keep up with your state laws on what is needed to homeschool. I live in a state where it is more relaxed. But that doesn't mean I am a lazy homeschooling mom or take it lightly. In fact, my daughter sometimes gets mad that I'm more strict with her than when she was in public school. But I don't see it as a bad thing.

One thing though my state does require is a log of hours. We must keep and record all of our hours and have a total of 1000 hours by the end of the school year. 600 of those hours must be core hours {Science, Math, Language Arts, Social Studies} and the other 400 can be non-core or other core hours.

But I was having a hard time finding a planner that would record our hours and keep them neatly with our lessons. Our first year homeschooling, I made a simple sheet that had the date, subject, lesson, and the number of minutes we did. I then added those up each month. Our second year, I went the digital route and used an online planner. I really liked this because it was the only online planner I could find that allowed you to input hours. But it did not calculate them and sometimes, it got a bit much to keep clicking on every single subject and trying to figure out the minutes to write down and add up.

So this year, I decided I needed to just create my own planner. One that would work with us. I first attempted to look at several planners but there were so many pages in them that I wouldn't use or I liked, but wish were slightly different. I wanted something secular, which was a bit hard to find as well.

So I had no choice but to create one to my needs. And that is what I did. I jumped on the computer and decided it was time to put my designing notions in gear and create one from scratch. And now, I loved it so much, I'm making it available to all of you.

So here it is! The debut of my own personal homeschool planner that allows you to easily keep track of hours and assignments and other plans. However, if you don't need to track hours, you can choose not to use that portion and just use the planner as is.

It is a basic and simple planner. It doesn't have a bunch of home planning and meal planning and organizational things which I know most homeschool planners do and that is awesome. But I wanted to keep mine simple and to just school. You can see more of a preview and purchase the digital files on TeachersPayTeachers.

I was so excited that I ran to Staples and the UPS store and had it printed off and bound there. Now I have a hard copy to start filling in for our school year approaching fast. I can't tell you how excited I am to use my planner. I thin this will really help me stay on track, while being able to record everything I need to a bit easier.

How Remedial Massage Can Help With Pain In Your Body

If you are suffering from certain types of pain in your body you may be able to get some relief from remedial massage therapy. This type of therapy is aimed at treating the whole body and at identifying the root cause of any pain you are experiencing. The idea is that it’s very important to get treatment for the cause as well as help with the symptoms.

If you decide to undergo remedial massage treatment you should always ensure you are treated by a professional who has received the appropriate training from providers such as Upskilled. This is important as you want to make sure you get the most possible benefit from the massage treatment.

We are going to take a look at some of the painful conditions that remedial massage can help with. If you suffer with any of these issues you may want to speak to your physician to see if massage could be of any help to you. It could even be combined with treatment you are already having in order to improve your condition further.

What type of health conditions can remedial massage help with?
There is a long list of health conditions that remedial massage can help with. We are going to look at some of them but you should always seek advice if you believe that any discomfort you are experiencing could be helped by undergoing this type of therapy. You should definitely consider seeking help from an expert in remedial message if you suffer from any of the following:
  • Chronic or occasional pain in your back or neck.
  • Headaches brought on by tension.
  • Pain from a frozen shoulder.
  • Pain related to arthritis.
  • Issues caused by stress.
  • Problems with muscle cramps. 

Undergoing a remedial massage can help with pain in various parts of your body. This is because the treatment aids several systems in the body.

Which systems of the body does remedial massage assist?
One of the most important systems in the human body is the circulatory system. This needs to be working well in order to ensure the efficient flow of blood to the tissues and organs which need it. The circulatory system and lymphatic system work in close harmony and both are stimulated during remedial massage. This enables the reduction of pain and swelling in the body. Another important system in the body is the muscular system.

Obviously, your muscular system is vital in maintaining ease of movement. If you start to have problems with this system you can experience pain and muscle cramps. Undergoing remedial massage therapy helps with stretching your muscles and releasing the tension in them. This in turn helps to reduce cramps and any associated pain.

As you can see, remedial massage is useful in the treatment of several different causes of pain, throughout the human body. If you are experiencing any type of chronic pain it’s certainly worth finding out if remedial massage could be any help for you.