the keepsake book

Quotes are like little keepsakes from books I’ve read, people I’ve met, stories I’ve heard. I carry around these quotes because they make me feel a certain way or think a certain way. They are my own collection of words. I want to hang them up on all my walls like paintings. Because just as the artist sees the beauty in art I see the beauty in words.
—  thoughts-I-lost  



    I am Cancer. Child of the Moon. Guardian of the 4th house. Maternal by design. Nurturing is instinctual for me. It is my way. I’m good at it. Call it protective, watchful, vigilant…it’s my inner core. Down deep in my bones, I KNOW there is a force guiding me. I trust what I feel. What I intuit. Some might see me as over-protective, but I see it as my calling. To protect the souls who are entrusted to my care.

    I’m fervent in my emotions. They sway me and change as rapidly as the weather. It’s imperative that I trust them. They are part of who I am on the cellular level. To fear them is cancerous, for everyone around me. I am an introspective being. Exploring my own depths keeps me healthy emotionally. It helps to channel my moods, especially the volatile ones [the dark ones], to healthier outlets.

    I am a sentimental fool. Nostalgic and a bit melancholic at times. I feel a strange sense of comfort in memory. I love to pull out old letters written long ago. From past lovers. Longtime friends. I hold on to cherished keepsakes. Old books read to me as a child. My great-grandmother’s spectacles. You name it. If it holds a memory it has value. Value that is heart-deep. There is no price you can place on that.

    My home is my haven. Sanctuary from a harsh world. I return there again and again. I build there. Invest there. Guard it, at all costs. It must be kept clear of contentious energies. I despise contention. Loathe conflict. If you bring this into my space, I will NOT tolerate it. But enough of that. I also create there. Magical things. Mystical things. Come and sit at my table. There will be laughter and love….lots of love.


Olicity Historical/Regency AU.   Sometimes the one person you could never, ever, see yourself loving is the one person you could never live without.

Previous chapters can be found HERE.


Chapter 14

For as long as Oliver could remember, Felicity’s ethereal beauty had beckoned him into her universe. She was all refined loveliness, just like the pink peonies he chose for her that morning.

No matter if she was angry at him or ignoring him as she was apt to do in the past…he had still basked in her light.  He had been a far away and lonely planet and she was the sun whose laughter, intelligence and vivaciousness unknowingly warmed him.  

She now…looked at him. She now…saw him…the man who wanted to cherish and love her.  Beloved sapphire blue eyes, full of interest and desire, peered up at him through delicate spectacles as she took his hand and stepped down from the carriage.  He swore the earth stopped moving as he felt the searing heat of her gloveless fingers.  So much about her unexpected visit was inappropriate, but so very, exhilarating.  

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Patreon Holiday Countdown #17
A Nap. Dragon age. Sera & Cullen

Sera slid up to the door of Cullen’s office and pressed her ear against the wood. She waited a few heartbeats before a low, resounding snore echoed inside. Snickering, she eased the latch up and crept further in. The high and mighty Commander lay slumped over his desk, quill still in hand, ink staining his fingertips. Picking her way to him, she lifted the edge of his mantle up. His face was relaxed in his sleep. Well, it was this time anyway. Not always though. Sometimes he’d have deep frowns that wrinkled up his face. It would’ve been funny if she hadn’t recognized the anguish behind that kind of look.

“Let’s see,” she whispered, taking up the letter he was writing. For Her Inquisitorialness, of course. Not like he wrote to anyone else. Patting his head once, she took his quill next and dipped it back into the ink. Letters were always better with pictures. Especially naughty ones.

Biting her lip to contain her laugh, she lovingly sketched Cullen smirking with his little knife in hand. She bit her tongue in concentration as she tried to make his eyebrows look as though they were wriggling in invitation.

“Much better, yeah?” She held it out for the sleeping Commander to inspect. “Yeah; knew you’d like it.”

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Getting Through the Second Trimester Slump

With my first trimester behind me, I was looking forward to the second phase of my pregnancy; a time that some refer to as “the golden months,” where things like nausea, extreme fatigue, and bloating are safely in your rear view mirror.

And guess what? They were right!

Well … for the most part.

During my second trimester, I felt like the black cloud of extreme fatigue had lifted and I was 100 percent myself again. I was ready to hit the town in a cute outfit, grab cocktails with my girls, have wild sex with my husband … Oh, but wait, I’m still pregnant.

There were times during my second trimester when I felt so good that I forgot I was still carrying a child. This mind f— of trickery led to what I believe should be called “the second trimester slump.”

Yes, it was amazing to finally not have to deal with the misery and discomfort most women face in their first trimester. But how awful is it to feel like your old self again, but not be able to participate in any of those fun activities you once took for granted?

During this time I had many a vivid dream about martinis and the occasional cigarette that felt so real I found myself panicking when I awoke thinking that I must have sleep smoked or drank. I didn’t of course, but was deeply repressing my urge for my old life.

Other things changed as well. Things like sex with my husband became a bit odd for me due to the fact that I was now limited to about two positions in order to not squash — as my husband puts it — “it’s roof” or have the baby (my belly) staring him in the face. I feel like men are constantly imagining their baby winking at them when they make love to their pregnant wives thus making sexy times more few and far between.

Speaking of your belly, this is the time when most women really pop. You’re now sporting a full on bump, that albeit cute, comes with its own set of challenges. Now that my midsection was large and in charge I started to require assistance to tie a shoe, get up, and adopted a stop drop and roll technique for getting out of bed.

With all of these massive, and sometimes difficult changes happening, there is one thing about the second trimester that makes it all worthwhile: Those first real kicks from your baby. I had felt flutters here and there throughout my first trimester, but by the end of my second, baby Dorsey was a full on kicking machine! I felt the baby all day, every day and it always made me smile. I will never forget the moment Ryan felt the baby kick for the first time. It truly was one of those precious memories I will have forever. It also serves as a great party trick when you can press a spot on your belly and watch baby kick back!

So enjoy all those little moments mommies-to-be, and look forward to the last few months of this incredible journey. I know I am!

Here are my favorite preggo products right now:
1. An essential oil cocktail for stretch marks (Mix 5 drops of frankincense, myrrh, and french lavender with almond oil and rub all over belly, butt, back, and thighs. Use only 100 percent pure essential oil!)

2. Baby Keepsake Book and Planner by Mindy Weiss

3. BellyBuds

-Naya Rivera

This photo appears in the February 2014 issue of The Sun Magazine. Every month they create a theme and February’s theme is “keepsakes.” I found this book in a local, used bookstore. The book itself, George Santayana’s autobiographical novel The Last Puritan, is not something I’d normally be interested in, but when I found the inscription in the back of the book, I hugged it to me and decided to take it home. The name plate in the front of the book reads “Grace Howard.”

Grace, I'lll keep your book safe with me.

While river otters spend most of their time in water, they sometimes travel across land in search of a mate. Oh, the things they do for love!

If you otterly love animals, check out Welcome to the World, our new keepsake baby book filled with adorable photos of baby animals.

Mindy Weiss Giveaway Winners

I can’t get over how cute all the entries were for this giveaway. For this contest I asked all you mommies what your first purchase for your baby was and to share a pregnancy pic. Omg … cuteness overload for sure.

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared such an intimate moment in photo with me. You all look so beautiful!

As promised, the 7 winners will receive a Mindy Weiss Baby Keepsake Book & Planner signed by Mindy Weiss herself!

Here are the lucky moms who won! (In order of the pics):

1. Kara Anderson 
I’m currently 7 ½ months pregnant with my first baby! The very first thing I purchased was a bathing suit for him! As unimportant as it is right now, it was too cute not to buy!

2. Jenna
Hey Naya! The first thing bought actually wasn’t something I bought, but my sister bought a onesie for our baby boy saying “Nine months ago, my mommy read Fifty Shades of Grey” I thought it was hilarious! I would love if you signed it as well if possible! I’m a big fan of yours!

3. Sabrina Capetillo
This picture is from our announcement! We loved including our puppy, Nalah, and had fun with every picture we took. The first baby item I bought was a small pair of gender neutral monkey shoes, since our favorite animals are monkeys!

4. Roxie Padilla
Hey Naya!!! I found out I was June 12th, 2014 after trying to conceive for 2 years. The first thing I bought was a piece of wall decor for his/her future nursery that reads “You are our greatest adventure!” My son was born January 20th, 2015 and since the day I found out he was growing in my tummy until now he really has been our greatest adventure!!!

5. Annie Lynn
This picture was taken while I was pregnant with my son. I am now 27 weeks pregnant with a little girl but I don’t seem to have any good bump pictures!First thing I bought for this baby were bibs and a few outfits. I haven’t been shopping much yet for her.

6. Dani Moraes
This pic was taken when I was 34 weeks. My baby is now 9 months but I still don’t have a keepsake book. How crazy is that right?! The first thing I got when I found out I was pregnant was a plush duck at Carter’s. We didn’t know if I was expecting a boy or a girl and I really wanted to get something.

7. Michael
This picture was last year when I was pregnant with my son who is now 7 months, I’m currently 7 weeks pregnant with baby #2 but no baby bump yet. So far we haven’t gotten anything for this pregnancy but with my son the first thing we bought was clothes once we found out his gender :)

Winners: Be sure to check your email for instructions on how to claim your signed copy of the keepsake book.


Outlander Season One: The Ultimate Collection (Blu-ray + UltraViolet + Limited Edition Keepsake Box and Flask)

Based on the best-selling book series by Diana Gabaldon and Executive Produced by Ronald D. Moore, OUTLANDER spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure. Now, go deeper into Claire & Jamie’s journey with this Season One Ultimate Collection box set, loaded with special features – including an extended episode of The Reckoning, a gag reel, deleted scenes and more!

Special Features Include:

-A Keepsake Box

-A Collectible Book that takes a deeper look into the first season of Outlander with photographs and excerpts from the crew

-An Engraved Flask with one of three unique quotes from the series

-A Curated Collection of Photographs chosen by the actors, creator and author, complete with frame

-The Season One Soundtrack with three exclusive tracks

-A Bonus Disc with exclusive special features and the Outlander Yule Log


Format: AC-3, Box set, Dolby, Limited Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
Subtitles: English, French
Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
Number of discs: 5