Once upon a time i was...

A playful journal for writing your story, one life chapter at a time.

We all have a story to tell. The questions in this fun and engaging journal will help you capture yours. Along the way, you’ll remember, reflect on, and make sense of the key experiences you’ve had so far—to keep, share, and pass along to the people you care about most. Inspired by the author’s wish to know her grandfather and how he lived his life, these questions tease out the everyday and the extraordinary—what we cherish most, the challenges we’ve overcome, and the ways we want to be seen.

From your favorite recipe to your biggest setback to the best place you’ve ever called home, the pages in this book will be written by you, sparking reflection, conversation, and thoughtful sharing for future generations.


Have you ever wondered about your grandfather’s favorite song or about your grandmother’s hopes and dreams? I have, and this is how I came up with the idea for this book. My name is Lavinia Bakker. I never knew my grandfather, and I would have liked to know so much more about him than the few stories my parents told me. 

Surely you have a person in your life whose memory (even if it’s your own) you wish to treasure. This book offers space to record beliefs and life lessons, to be cherished forever. 

If you don’t feel the need to give this journal to someone special, how about bringing it along on a vacation with friends or filling it in yourself? The answers and conversations that this book spark will brighten your life.

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