Valerie Stark

A firm believer that the Midwest is all that and a tator tot casserole, Valerie moved to KC after graduating from Mizzou in 2013. She’s been married to her husband Josh since 2015, and together they’re raising an adorable, tiny human firework named Finnian (1). Valerie spends her workdays making funny greeting cards while Josh wins at the stay-at-home-dad game by teaching Finn words like “yee-haw” and helping him style his Snapchat filters. When she isn’t tracking down a new place to drag her family to, you can find her blasting showtunes, sharing (very poorly) wine with friends, reading, listening to true crime podcasts, or near cheese. You can’t find her playing kickball, so don’t even try. Valerie, Josh, and Finn shoot for put-together, but settle for put-on-pants—and they love every second of their reasonably-chaotic life.
leftovers in Tupperware

Easy Recipes Using Kansas City Restaurant Leftovers

There’s nothing better than throwing in the kitchen towel for the evening and taking the family out for a dinner at one of the many unforgettable restaurants in Kansas City. But after stuffing yourself...

Rediscovering the Movies and Other Loves

Sleeping in. Last-minute plans with friends. Interruption-free bathroom trips. Sacrificing some of the things you love all in the name of raising great kids is part of the parenthood game. But when you finally...
father and son looking at the oven

Stay-at-Home Dads are Actually Magic

I was at a happy hour with a few work acquaintances when someone asked what my husband did for a living. I smiled and said he was a stay-at-home dad. "Oh," they said. To be...
a fruity drink

Mocktails for Mamas: KC Bars & Drinks for Your Next Sober Happy Hour

When I was expecting my first child in 2018 and hadn’t yet announced my pregnancy, fate played a cruel trick on me: It inspired my coworkers to host a holiday happy hour at TikiCat. TikiCat...
woman smiling and drinking coffee

From Night Owl Mom To Morning Person

I am not an early bird. In all honestly, I’m probably not a night owl either, but instead some form of permanently exhausted pigeon, as artist Gemma Correll would say. But, dang...I would give...
mom working from home on computer with child nearby

Lessons from Being a Work-from-Home Mom

OK, working mamas. Mute your Slack channels. Take your break. Hide in the closet from your kids. Let’s check in. How are we doing? I personally can’t believe it’s been a year since I started...
couple laying together holding hearts

We Made It to Valentine’s Day 2021… Now What?

After almost a full year of COVID-19 restrictions in the U.S., we’ve made it to Valentine’s Day again...the last semi-normal holiday we had in 2020. And if you still have the same Valentine you...
happy woman jumping at sunset

How to Be Happy

“How to be happy.” The search suggestion flashed on the screen as I was navigating Pinterest. I hadn’t started to search for “how to be happy.” I really planned to type in “how to be...
woman holding baby while sitting at a computer reading letter with smile on her face

A Holiday Letter Worthy of 2020

It’s that time of year again! No, really…check the calendar. I know it feels like we’re still on day 4,329 of Apriltember, but bells are a-ringin’, cash registers are a-dingin’, and choirs best not be...
pic of a wrapped gift

Kansas City, I’m So in Love: Local Anniversary Gifts

If you follow the tradition of gifting each other themed anniversary gifts, local Kansas City businesses offer some great options to make your celebration one to remember. Listen, this year has been no joke—and...
pic of woman throwing autumn leaves

31 Ways to Celebrate Fall in KC During a Pandemic

Fall is by far my favorite season. Sweaters, cider, leaves, a ridiculously large stockpile of Halloween candy — what’s not to love? This year has been rough for so many reasons, but I am clinging...
pic of family reading together

5 Children’s Books That Will Teach You Something New, Too

National Book Lovers Day is August 9th, and what better way to celebrate than finding some new children’s books to read with your budding bibliophile? Reading with adults is often the first way kids can...
pic of Kansas City skyline

A Kansas City Summer Staycation

Let’s be honest: 2020 has served up a hot, steamy buffet of disappointment, cancelling everything from school to scheduled vacations. Whether you were planning on taking a summer trip and cancelled because of COVID-19...
pic of stressed woman

Fighting Mom Guilt Post-Pandemic

When the COVID-19 quarantine first started and I realized I’d be working from home, I was hit with a wave of mixed feelings, much like the rest of the KC community. There were the...
pic of vegetables being sauteed

The Great Quarantine Cooking Show

Like so many other parents-to-be, I went through all the traditional stages of pre-baby worry when I was pregnant with my first child in 2018. Will I be a good mom? Will I be...
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