Val’s Version of Stroganoff

This used to be my husband’s favorite meal that I make and when we were first married he would have me make it every other day.




1 lb hamburger

2 brown gravy mix packets

1 cup beef broth

1 Tb Worchestershire sauce

1/2 cup sour cream




Brown the beef in skillet (drain excess fat). Add both gravy packets to the cooked meat. Add the beef broth and the Worchestershire sauce. Simmer until thick. Mix in the sour cream. Serve over noodles.

My Actually Haunted Ghost Story

Ever since I started writing this horror short story, strange things have been happening to me.


The very first night that I even began outlining… something really creepy happened. A sound came over my baby monitor. A high-pitched trill that sounded like someone screaming. Dan and I just stared at each other like… whaaaaaaaaat is that?? It had never done anything like that before or anything since… I didn’t tell Dan that I was working on a ghost story at the time and tried to pretend like it wasn’t the creepiest thing ever.

After the baby monitor thing, I tried to listen to music when I worked on the story. But the music would inexplicably turn itself on and off.

Then, one night I had a vivid nightmare that I was lying on the floor of my apartment and couldn’t get up. This weirdly-lit guy was standing by the wall, grinning at me. He slowly came closer and closer to my face. I woke up gasping and thrashing my arms trying to push him away. Dan calmed me down. The next day the light had burnt out in the spot the man had “stood” in my nightmare.

creepy lighting

After I had written the story and revised it. I was cleaning a bottle for my son at the kitchen sink when I saw a man in a blue jacket walk across my backyard. Thinking it was my husband I dashed to the other window to wave hi… no one was there. And I know, because I frantically checked ALL of my windows and EVERY inch of my backyard.

I finally finished revising the darn story. Good. I exited completely out of Word. And I started to play around on the internet… when the thing RE-OPENED ITSELF onto my computer. I think I wrote a ghost story that in and of itself became haunted.


So… anyone want to read it?

Ava, a true skeptic, has no problem cleaning and closing The Redd’s Theater by herself at night… even though it is said to be haunted by a magician who murdered his wife there. 5,000 words

If you are brave enough to challenge the haunted ghost story, you can fill out the application below and I will email it to you. (All I ask in return is that you tell me what you thought of it.) HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


The Time I REALLY Told the Wrong Punchline

When my husband and I were dating, I decided that I was going to tell him a little joke…

I’m not going to tell you what the joke was, because honestly it was an inappropriate joke and I shouldn’t have been telling it in the first place. All I’ll say, is that it had to do with a handshake and a leprechaun.

That’s it… that’s all I’m going to tell you about it.

As I begin to tell him, I remembered how funny the punchline was… and it made me laugh before I could even get to said punchline. I started laughing really hard. So hard that … I farted. Audibly.

I vividly remember Dan blinking in confusion, wondering if that was part of the joke. IT WAS NOT. But now I’m laughing and crying of pure humiliation. And I never was able to finish that joke.

It was bad. But he still married me.


Just a short story today. You can click HERE for more embarrassing stories if you want to laugh at me. Go ahead… it’s fine… I won’t even know…

Fed is Best: I couldn’t breastfeed and that’s okay

TMI warning: In this post I will be talking about my anatomy. Probably a lot. So if you are uncomfortable with reading about that I suggest you skip this one. Here, I’ll sum it up for you: I wasn’t physically able to feed my baby without a bottle, but I ended up being okay with it.


You’re still good with reading? Okay… ’cause I’m about to talk about my boobies… Last chance.

Well here’s something you probably didn’t want to know about me. I have inverted nipples. Yep. #noshame If you don’t know what that is, you’re probably imagining a couple of funnels. Thankfully that’s not what it is. It just means that my nipples are completely flush to my breasts. Which, aesthetically I’m cool with but was hell when I tried to breastfeed my newborn. I mean, poor thing, honestly. That would be like trying to drink out of a bowling ball.

more like this

Those first few nights at the hospital really sucked. Really. Every two hours I would have a WHOLE TEAM of nurses forcing my screaming baby onto my chest. To make things worse, he had a tongue tie. The doctor had to cut the skin under his tongue in hopes that he would be able to latch easier. He didn’t.

It was all a bit of a traumatic experience for me as a new mom. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the resources because I had MORE THAN ENOUGH. Too much probably. I had two separate lactation experts, one gave me a fake plastic nipple and an IV drip to supplement with formula. That was its own nightmare. Using the supplement system was a two man job. My husband would have to help me assemble and hang it all up. It took us forever. And then it wouldn’t stay suctioned cupped to my boob because there wasn’t anything for it to hold onto. I would be COVERED in formula by the end. It was such a mess.


I tried to pump milk to give him, but I couldn’t get enough out. I even remember spoon feeding him milk. Finally, I was like… look… I’m already “supplementing” with formula, I might as well switch to fully formula bottle feeding.

When I made the switch it was such a peaceful and calming thing. It was wonderful. I loved it. His weight and height shot up like crazy! He was fed and I felt like a successful mom.


If you too are struggling with breastfeeding, know that whatever you decide IT IS OKAY! I truly believe that every mother should raise their child in their own beautiful way.

Here are some reasons why I loved bottle feeding, if you are considering switching:

    1. Daddy was now a part of that bonding experience.

It was so nice being able to have my husband feed the baby every now and then. We could take shifts during those long nights and I could actually sleep! I got breaks every now and then and my husband LOVED feeding the baby.

      2. I knew exactly how much my son was eating.

When the pediatrician asked how much he was eating I replied without missing a beat. 4 oz every 2 hours. I really liked this aspect of bottle feeding because it helped me keep a better schedule.

      3. My body was my own again.

I feel a bit ungrateful mentioning this reason, but it’s true. When you’re pregnant you are always worried about what you’re eating or doing. That doesn’t stop after you’ve had the baby and you’re breastfeeding. I remember feeling a sense of relief when I gave up breastfeeding! I could eat spicy foods again! Yay!


Trying to make the right choices as a mother is SO HARD and SO guilt-inducing. Be kind to those mommas out there because I promise they already worry that they’re not doing enough for their child.

You are. You are the right mom that your child needs. I promise.