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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents in 2018 do not need to be told, as they did in 1988, to move beyond Jennifer and Jason (as we urged in the title of our first book). Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names to use in 2018.

A-C 

  1. Ada—Ava with gravitas.
  2. Adelia—If you love Adeline and Adele, this vintage name is more distinctive.
  3. Alba—A Top 10 name in Spain, this last hit the US popularity list a century ago.
  4. Alessia—A Latinate spin freshens up Alexa and sisters.
  5. Alma—This soulful choice is the name of the simple-but-strong heroine of Phantom Thread.
  6. Amalia—Why choose the lovely-but-overused Emma, Emily, or Amelia when you could choose this Dutch royal name?
  7. Amaris—This unusual name meaning love is a 21st century update on Amy.
  8. Angelica—This most angelic of names has transcended Rugrats fame.
  9. Ansel—Photographer name finding a new image via young actor Ansel Elgort.
  10. Antonina—Dainty feminization of Anthony feels at once vintage and unexpected.
  11. Arden—A name with a unisex feel used mostly for girls that benefits from sounding like ardent.
  12. Ari—The i ending modernizes this Hebrew nickname-name.
  13. Artemis—Greek goddess of the hunt whose moon-related name has a strong unisex feel.
  14. Arthur—A princely classic with an artsy short form.
  15. Asa—A cross-cultural name with roots in the Bible as well as several African and Asian cultures that can work for either sex.
  16. Aurelius—Golden choice with Roman roots.
  17. Azariah—A new Old Testament name used equally for girls and boys.
  18. Bear—Once-unlikely animal name both cuddly and strong, gaining real traction.
  19. Bram—Sleek short form of Abraham popular in The Netherlands.
  20. Cassia—Feminine form of the newly-trendy Cassius and Cassian, with a spicy meaning.
  21. Cora—Classic name with literary pedigree headed for the Top 10.

D-G

  1. Darcy—Jane Austen fans are making this popular for girls.
  2. Eira—Welsh name that means snow.
  3. Elva—In Ireland it might be spelled Ailbhe, but the Anglicized form has more possibilities in the US.
  4. Emil—This male spin on Emily is finally seeing new light.
  5. Faye—Simple and pixieish and newly back in the Top 1000 after a 40-year break.
  6. Fia—Mia update popular in Ireland.
  7. Fleur—The ultimate flower name, with a French accent.
  8. Gracia—A Spanish name with plenty of gratitude.

H-K

  1. Henley—The ley ending adds instant trendiness to any name. including this place-name of a British river town.
  2. Horatio—Ancient name with new possibilities.
  3. Ione—This name of a sea nymph squeezes three syllables out of its four letters.
  4. Ivo—A woodsy name most popular in The Netherlands.
  5. Jacinta—A Spanish name that hides its botanical origins: it means hyacinth.
  6. Jericho—Biblical place-name that works for either sex.
  7. Jessamy—If you've always loved Jessica, you might consider this flowery spin, meaning jasmine.
  8. Juliette—A romantic Shakespearean favorite that's new popular; this is the French spelling.
  9. Keir—Strong, simple name that relates to the popular female Keira.
  10. Kit—Game of Thrones' Kit Harington has made this short name newly attractive for boys.
  11. Koa—This Hawaiian name meaning warrior benefits from its resemblance to Number 1 Noah.

L-M

  1. Leopold—One of the old-fashioned boys' names that has shed its long gray beard and feels baby-ready again.
  2. Lev—The leonine Lev is a sleeker, fresher spin on Levi.
  3. Lilia—Makes Lily more formal and more distinctive.
  4. Linus—The ancient god of music has finally lost his grip on his blankie.
  5. Logan
  6. Lorcan—An historic Irish name ready for its turn in the spotlight, following brothers Aiden, Declan, and Finn.
  7. Lucinda—Formalizes and freshens up Lucy.
  8. Magnus—Name popular in Scandinavia, with a great meaning.
  9. Maia—Newer spelling of Maya.
  10. Malachy—The Irish form of the Biblical name takes a long ee sound at the end.
  11. Marisol—Traditional Spanish religious name that also relates to the sun and the sea.
  12. Marlow—Surname name that's become a celebrity favorite.
  13. Massimo—Max, in Italian.
  14. Milana—Part Mila, part Melania.
  15. Millicent—Proper old-fashioned name that can get you to the cute Millie.

N-Q

  1. Niamh—Now that Saoirse is getting more popular, other names with Irish spellings may be poised for wider usage, including this name of the heroine of Christina Baker Kline's huge popular novel Orphan Train.
  2. Nola—One of those names that might be a short form — for Finola or Magnolia — but stands well on its own.
  3. November—Underused month name that can work for girls or boys.
  4. Olympia—August name brought to new attention by Serena Williams.
  5. Ottoline—Ottolie might feel too much like oddly, but Ottoline solves that problem.
  6. Petra—Feminized version of Peter rising again after a hundred-year nap.
  7. Quincy—Works for either gender but getting especially popular for girls.

R-T

  1. Rafferty—Raffish Irish surname-name first used for his son by Jude Law.
  2. Ramona—Romantic classic that feels distinctive.
  3. Ren—Japanese unisex name made more popular for boys by the stylishness of homonym bird name Wren for girls.
  4. Renata—Operatic name that literally means rebirth.
  5. Reverie—Dreamy word name.
  6. Romilly—Rome-related name first used for boys but now more popular for girls.
  7. Romy—Luscious nickname-name that now often stands on its own.
  8. Roscoe—Quirky Norse name last popular in the 1880s.
  9. Rowan—One of the most popular unisex names is also used most equally for girls and boys.
  10. Rowena—Classic literary name little-used today.
  11. Sabine—An ancient girls' name never in the Top 1000.
  12. Sasha—Russian short form of Alexander or Alexandra used more for girls but rising for boys.
  13. Saul—TV's Better Call Saul has shone a new spotlight on this biblical name.
  14. Sera—This short form of Seraphina can be used on its own.
  15. Serafina—The f is the Spanish spelling.
  16. Seth—Gentle name never as well used as his Biblical brothers.
  17. Tansy—A playful flower name with a serious meaning: immortality.
  18. Teddy—Short form newly in the spotlight via the growing popularity of Theodore for boys and its use for her baby girl by Nicky Hilton.
  19. Tempest—Stormy word name that's never been more appropriate.
  20. Teo—Exotic form of the stylish Theo.
  21. Thelonious—Jazzy classic that suddenly seems possible.
  22. Thorin—The soft way to Thor.
  23. True—Virtue name not just for the middle.

U-Z

  1. Urban—Ancient pope name that's right for modern city babies.
  2. Verity—The new Hope. Faith, and Charity.
  3. Veronica—Ancient saint's name with contemporary glamour.
  4. Vida—A new choice that means life.
  5. Virgil—Ancient literary name.
  6. Viviana—Enlivens Vivian.
  7. Wilfred—British hottie that updates William.
  8. Winslow—Artistic name with a winning nickname.
  9. Wynn—Uplifting choice for either gender.
  10. Xen—Zenlike name for either gender.
  11. Zahra—Sarah, with zest.
  12. Zephyr—Greek god of the west wind makes an evocative namesake.
  13. Ziggy—Adorable short form that lightens up Zigmund or stands on its own.
  14. Zion—Biblical place name with optimistic meaning.
  15. Zora—Simple-yet-unusual tribute name to a literary heroine.

Originally posted on Nameberry.

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It's time to go shopping for your little ones mama. Not long ago we shared the super sale on Hunter boots for us moms, and now the super colorful and water proof boots are on sale for kids! Perfect timing as Spring is approaching and there will be a lot of puddle jumping in our futures.

The sale is up to 50% off in select styles, but in all the colors of the rainbow! We don't know how long the sale will last so act fast because some sizes are already on low stock!


Here are our favorite styles to shop from the sale:

The original grab handle boot in light blue

Original Kids First Classic Grab Handle

Originally $55, the original Grab Handle boot is 50% off right now.

$28

The classic gloss boot in blue

Original Kids First Classic Gloss Rain

Originally $55, the original Classic Gloss boot is 40% off right now.

$33

Chelsea boot in yellow 

Original Big Kids' Gloss Chelsea Boots

Originally $75, the Chelsea boot is 40% off right now.

$45

The original grab handle boot in pink

Original Kids First Classic Grab Handle

Originally $55, the original Grab Handle boot is 40% off right now.

$33

The classic gloss boot in yellow

Originally $55, the original Classic Gloss boot is 40% off right now.

$33

The camo boots

Original Little Kids Storm Camo Rain Boots

Originally $75, the camo boot is 50% off right now.

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We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Jessica Simpson's life seems perfect. She has three beautiful kids, a wildly successful career, a seemingly solid marriage...she has it all, at least as far as we can see. But recent revelations prove that no one really knows what anyone else is secretly dealing with—and Jessica, by her own admission, has been struggling with alcohol issues.

The singer-turned-business-woman recently sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb, and it will air on NBC's TODAY Wednesday morning.

"I had started a spiral and I couldn't catch up with myself…and that was with alcohol," Jessica explained. "I would say it openly to everyone. 'I know. I know, I'll stop soon. I'll cut back'," Jessica continued when asked if she realized things were getting out of control. "For me to cut back, like I'm an all or nothing girl, and so I didn't know it was a problem until it was...I completely didn't recognize myself…I always had a glitter cup. It was always filled to the rim with alcohol."

FEATURED VIDEO

She's hardly alone. The rise of #winemom phenomenon is well documented and many parents struggle with substance abuse problems. But Simpson's story proves there is a way to get your life back.

Simpson quit drinking in 2017 after she found herself unable to get her kids ready for a Halloween party. She says she'd started drinking before 7:30 in the morning, before accompanying her husband, Eric Johnson, to a school assembly for their oldest daughter. Later that night she was unable to get her kids dressed in their Halloween costumes. The next morning she was so ashamed. Feeling like she had failed her kids she slept until they left the house, then got up and drank some more.

That episode was her tipping point. She quit drinking (as did her husband, Eric Johnson, who supports her in her sobriety.)



As parents, we know how overwhelming the demands can be...and how easy it is to sink into habits that don't ultimately serve us well. For Jessica, the way to heal was to sever her relationship with alcohol.

"I had to give [drinking] up," Jessica said. "I'm not going to miss another day. I'm not going to miss another Halloween. I'm not going to miss another Christmas. I'm going to be present."

News

Babies come with a lot of stuff. And when you're out and about, a roomy, comfy diaper bag is the place for everything you need to be prepared for whatever the day throws your way. But is a cute, trendy diaper bag that doesn't scream, well... DIAPER BAG, too much to ask? It's not, mamas.

We've rounded up our favorite diaper bags that don't actually look like diaper bags, but instead like the cute, super stylish bags you might have carried before the days of finding crushed up puffs at the bottom of your purse.

These bags prove you can get the job done, mama—and look darn good while doing it.

Freshly Picked City Pack

Freshly Picked City Pack

This simple, modern backpack can easily take you from a day at work to dinner with the kiddos. We love the hardware details, the lightweight design, and the hidden back pocket.

$150

Vogshow Waterproof Bag

Vogshow Waterproof Diaper Bag

A sleek look, plus a padded laptop compartment, anti-theft and insulated pockets and magnetic buttons instead of zippers. 🙌

$34.99

Skip Hop Travel Bag

Skip Hop Travel Bag

With a large zippered main compartment, there's plenty of room to keep all of the things. We love the adjustable straps—you can wear as a backpack, cross-body, messenger bag, or attach to the stroller.

$99.99

Companion Quilted Backpack

companion quilted backpack diaper bag

Are you off to sit on the beach for a few hours, or taking your toddlers to the zoo? No one will be the wiser, mamas. We love the quilted look, padded straps, and roomy interior.

$178

Mommore Diaper Backpack

Mommore Diaper Backpack

With a water resistant exterior, wet clothes pocket and a main compartment that completely opens up, you'll love having this to tote around.

$34.99

JJ Cole Brookmont

JJ Cole Cognac Diaper Bag

As stunning as it is functional. It has 15 pockets and a removable liner on the inside so you can easily clean up messes in no time.

$99.99

Little Unicorn Boardwalk Tote

If you're looking to keep things simple + stylish, mamas, this is the bag for you. It's versatile, functional, and will get tons of use well past the diaper days.

$69.95

Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

This stunning tote would make the perfect on-the-go bag. It comes with a changing page and a couple pockets on the inside to keep everything organized. Don't forget to personalize it!

$99

Ticent Tote

Ticent Diaper Bag

With nearly 500 reviews, this one has incredible ratings. It offers multiple pockets, including an insulated one for snacks or bottles. The waterproof cotton material is ideal for those inevitable spills.

$30.99

Fawn Design Original

Stylish and versatile, this bag can be worn as a cross body or as a backpack. It's roomy without being bulky, and has a total of 10 pockets for awesome storage.

$159.99

Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack

No one would ever know this bag is packed full of baby's items. 😉

$69.99

Rosie Pope Highbury Hill

Highbury Hill Diaper Backpack

If you're looking to up your style, this chic backpack will help you get there. Lots of inner pockets and zippered compartments make it simple to organize your stuff, and the top flap and wide opening make for quick + easy accessibility.

$159.99

Babymel Robyn

Babymel Robyn Diaper Backpack

We love everything about this effortlessly stylish faux leather backpack. It's easy to wipe down, converts to a cross body bag, and even comes with a changing pad and drawstring bottle holder.

$90

Petunia Pickle Bottom Pathway

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Tote

This two-tone canvas bag could not be prettier. We love that it easily stands upright when set down, and that it's super functional as a diaper bag yet super stylish as an everyday purse.

$159

Skip Hop Duo

Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag

The timeless stripes on this 11-pocket bag means it will never go out of style, and the durable cotton canvas means it will stand up to years of use.

$70

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Frustrations and emotions were at an all time high for both us. I was worried that my lack of patience would get the best of me, leaving her feeling let down and frustrated with me on her new journey of becoming a “big girl." And selfishly, I was tired of washing wet underwear. For her part, my daughter was tired of being asked for the hundredth time if she needed to use the potty.

We both were feeling a little defeated in this new adventure.

I have found too often as a mother that I expect my child to respond new things, like to potty training, as fast and as close to the last blog post, book or opinion I heard or read. What I have learned is that no two children are alike and the moment I release my expectations for where mine should or should not be, we are both brought back to peace and patience.

FEATURED VIDEO

So maybe a break was all we needed to start fresh the next day. We headed to our favorite spot by the lake and had a picnic. My daughter munched on popcorn and chatted away about the weather and pinecones, and listened for the sounds of helicopters—which you hear quite often living on an aviation military base.

Sometimes in the daily struggles of motherhood I have noticed that I can forget who I am and the strength we possess as mothers. It may not come easily at first, but I grow with each new day. Even potty training—this mundane human activity that is emotional and (quite literally) messy, teaches me much about the meaning and purpose of motherhood.

Potty training has taught me a huge lesson on patience. Patience to be present, to pay attention to what is right in front of me. To be encouraging, to not rush the process, to not place expectations on timing or play the comparison game we often play as mothers.

Patience is needed in every area of parenting and potty training is just one way where we can see as parents where our patience is wearing thin.

I have found that it's when I come from a place of patience and presence that I can then glean wisdom from those messy, mundane, time-consuming tasks of potty training, and find that the waiting, sitting and hours of time spent in the bathroom gives me an opportunity to be present in my child's world.

Whether it be the grocery line, a traffic jam, or cleaning up wet bedding, I learn the art and joy in the small and big moments in motherhood. Giving our children space to fail and try it again as many times as it takes encourages them that they too can cultivate the gift of patience in there own tiny lives.

My daughter speaks to me everyday, inviting growth that sometimes feels really hard and frustrating, she provokes patience to be felt and sensed through every minute of the day. And for this I am grateful. Because to truly live and be present in my child's world means “I learn from her, and she learns from me." Even in potty training.

Our children have so much to offer to who we are as individuals and they have so much to teach us. In fact, I have come to live for these exhausting, beautiful, and downright messy moments in time. When I push myself to embrace them, rather than just find them frustrating, I stretch and grow and evolve. I become the mother I hope to be.

And to you mama, whether in the midst of sleepless newborn nights or toddler tornados or the midst of potty training, may you find strength as a mother, as a wife, and as a person to let go of any expectations or judgements you place upon yourself.

May love and gratitude fill our hearts and peace be with all of us on the journey that motherhood is.

Life
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