Strawberry Shortcake Cookies (+ St Louis update!)

We’ve been living in St Louis for 30 days now, and I thought I should give you an update.

We really like it here.  Like, REALLY. Even though I’ve called an electrician 3 times, a locksmith once, and I feel like I’m constantly reliving an episode of This Old House, I love it.

I went to the grocery store the other day and was completely overwhelmed at the selection of food.  I live down the street from a fabulous ethnic food market that sells all my favorite colors of lentils and multiple brands of pomegranate molasses.  I don’t know how I functioned in Kansas for 18 months without the variety.  Oh, the big city.  How I love you.

First things first, we bought my freaking dream house.  It’s a 1920s brick house complete with the little octagon tiles in the bathroom.  You know the ones.  Hello, swoon.  It has original stained glass windows in a few places, and I can’t get enough of it.  The large dining room reminds me that people did other things for entertainment before the invention of television.  We are maintaining a television-free household at the moment, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say how much I missed watching Property Brothers.


^A small peek at one end of the kitchen. I love it, but part of me wants to gut it and make everything bright white. Hate me?^


^I can’t stop decorating with animal print. Send help. My husband is horrified of my taste.^

The weirdest and most wonderful thing is:  we became friends with the people we bought the house from.  It’s not often that you can become friends after a situation that involves haggling over price, but man, I love those people.  How lucky are we?  One of our first weekends here, they showed us their favorite antique shops in the city.  If Brian and I don’t get lost in a conversation talking about all the things we could do with this house daily, it’s rare.  We are simultaneously smitten and giddy.

That said:  I’m not the best person to tackle DIY projects with.  We successfully converted an original gas lamp post to an electric version in the front yard, but not without a small fireball, a puff of smoke, and a flipped breaker.  Hey, it’s a part of the learning process.  And just as we were about to pat ourselves on the back for the do-it-yourself job, all the money we saved was spent on an after-hours locksmith call.  Antique door handles lock behind you, note to self.

All in all, we’re settled.  And I’m happy.  Well, kinda.  You see, I kinda-sorta actually really quit my job in the corporate world.  And I’m about 109% sure I’m never going back.  What am I doing with my time?  (besides lengthy conversations with an electrician).  I’m a private chef now.  Oh, and I also teach cooking classes and dessert parties.  It’s fun.  It’s scary, too, don’t get me wrong.  And just when I’m about to have a break down and search for jobs, I book a client.  Life is crazy like that:  Do what you freaking love and can’t stop thinking about, and the universe puts its arm around you and says ‘we’re doing this.  For real now.  And knock it off with the guilt.’


Did you come here for cookies?  You shall be rewarded:


Find the recipe for these strawberry shortcake cookies that I often eat for breakfast over on Food Fanatic:  Strawberry Shortcake Cookies recipe.



  1. says

    Omg this is such a great post! First congrats on quitting your job and teaching cooking classes. That is so awesome! And just think of all the time you’ll have to blog. Or do household repairs and such. I love your house! Congrats!!! Buying something in SoCal is on my maybe? I hope? list. Congrats to you guys :) Pinned the cookies! Delish!

    • says

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Averie :)
      Have y’all started looking at houses in SoCal? My husband grew up in Camarillo and is constantly looking at property down there. He said that prices are starting to go back up, and interest rates are starting to climb, too. If you wanna buy, now is the time! Not to be bossy or anything :) Trust your gut, buy what you love, and know that the things you overlook in a house because you’re momentarily in love become the things you save up all your money for to renovate/destroy/rehab! Yep, lol!

    • says

      Thanks, Momma Swope! 12″ thick-brick?! Oh my!
      Our house is two layers of brick + plaster walls (the ones with chicken wire in them, we think, because the wifi signal is horrible–yikes!). So we have this enormous fireplace that the previous owners re-did with wood salvaged from Hurricane Katrina (be still my heart!), and there’s a gas line to it. Brian said he wants to cut a whole in the wall and make it a gas-heating fireplace (not just the gas fireplaces with the flame, actual heat-producing gas). So, you’re saying i’s not easy to cut through 2 layers of brick + plaster? ;)

  2. Julie says

    You are so cute. We used to have an old house. Used to. Should have been younger when we got it and married a husband who was more handy in fixing a house with 12″ thick brick walls. Yeah. BUT they have so much charm. They really, really do. Hope your weekend goes well for you and oh–yummy cookies. :) xo

  3. Anne says

    Ahh!! I am SO SO excited to hear that you’re loving StL! Your house sounds wonderful and loads of fun. I can relate to the new-homeowner-DIY effort – we just bought a house a few weeks ago and last night had our first event of making-it-worse-before-making-it-better. :P

    And serious congratulations on the brave new job! It’s so exciting to see people doing what they love. :)

  4. says

    Congrats on all the new and exciting changes in your life! It sounds like you’re having a total blast and I can’t wait to see where this new direction takes you. And I am fully supportive of all animal-print based decorating decisions ; )

    • Julie says

      Uh, no. But then and again, we had a house built in 1869, so it was old! Like, ancient. We did discover that plaster is NOT easy to replace–there aren’t many people that fix/work on plaster, although we did finally find someone that did an awesome job. Sadly, because the plaster fell in on one side of the house, the baby room (aka Stephie’s first bedroom) had large gaping holes in the wall. Probably is part of the reason she’s like she is. Too many afternoons laying there looking at an ugly wall. It’s not a do-it-yourself project, unless Brian is a LOT handier around the house than Jerry is (which is basically, not at all). It’s a good idea, though, because the old houses can be a bit nippier than the newer ones. ;)

  5. says

    Congrats on quitting your job and teaching cooking classes! That is amazing and very exciting! I love you house, it is very cute and cozy. As are they fun cookies!! Mmmm!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Tieghan. I often read your site and think about how lucky you are to discover your passion so young in life. You have more years to accomplish your dreams than I do! Get after it :)

  6. says

    Um…CONGRATS! How exciting, a new house and a new job! Having permanently (or at least I think so) left the corporate world about 3 months ago to do what I love too, I can say it’s pretty flippin’ amazing. Getting up each morning to tackle the day is actually something I look forward to now :)

    • says

      I would die for your bright white kitchen! I would also give my left arm, right kidney, and both earlobes to snuggle your babes. Your babies melt my heart right into the bedroom. Sorry. Not.

  7. says

    This is SO exciting! I dream that one day I’ll be able to leave the corporate world too, but until that day comes I’ll stick it out : ) Your house looks too cute and I’m always allll for animal print! I also used to live close to St. Louis, what a great little/big city. We occasionally travel there for baseball games so if we do this year I’ll let you know. Also, I love love love that you are private chef-ing, which I’m suuuper interested in, so I might be shooting you an e-mail : )

  8. says

    i adore this post. i am so unbelievably happy for you!! it renews my faith that what i want to do with my life (and my money) is totally within reach. scary, but it’s possible and totally NOT crazy :)

    ps. don’t you DARE touch those cabinets in the kitchen. OMG I DIE. if you get rid of them, please send them to me. i’ll give them a lovely home ;)

    pps. come decorate my house. i love animal print. and i think that rug is gorgeous!!

  9. Brooke says

    Just wanted to give you congratulations on your bravery to pursue what you love on a full-time basis. I’m green with envy to be sure! I’m glad you are enjoying St. Louis, but right about now, I’m wishing for a way out of Missouri – I’ve had all the cold & snow I can manage for this year! :) Looking forward to trying these cookies, maybe they will take away some of the winter blues. Very best of luck to you with the new gig!

    • says

      Hi Brooke! Don’t be envious! I’m hardly living a dream life. Pursue your dreams? What are they? :)
      This cold weather needs to STOP. Everyone keeps telling us ‘oh, this snow is so abnormal for St Louis. And then it snows again!’ I’m over it, too! :)

  10. says

    Loved the update! I’m so happy for you guys. And congrats on leaving the corporate world! Private chef? Amazing!!! You are 100% right that the universe will always take care of you so just DO what you love. These cookies sound fantastic too!

  11. says

    Paul hates me because I want to gut our 1940’s kitchen and make everything white. I’m still working on him. Maybe these cookies will help?!

  12. says

    So great to hear you’re loving STL! I lived there my whole live and we live in Louisville, KY now and while the ‘ville is great, I dearly miss good ole Saint Louie. My husband and I bought our house almost a year ago and believe me – almost every project has been a disaster. It DOES get better! We recently built shelves in our garage and a headboard (both from scratch!) without total failure. :)

  13. gracie says

    I loved this post and loved seeing a few snaps of your new place.I would love to see more as I am on “old house” addict. I love the HGTV show “Rehab Addict” I bet you could get tons of old home rehab info watching…if you are not already. I understand you dad’s concern but showing snipits really isn’t giving anything away related to location or address.
    Finally, congrats on your new career. I think it has to be so rewarding and fun to do what you love. I have no doubt your business will take off in no time at all.

    • says

      Thans, Gracie! It is fun to do what you love–it hardly feels like work!

      We’re so addicted to HGTV! And not just for the hunky Property Brothers. SWOON. I follow them on IG. It’s bad. I shouldn’t stare, haha! Since we bought a house in a historical district, it remained online for viewing for many months. I’m terrified someone will recognize it and paste my address in the comment section. However, after we paint walls, I will definitely feel more comfortable sharing shots. Stay tuned! :)

  14. says

    Um, super mega gorgeous kitchen! But I’m with ya, I would like it bright white, too! Especially with that beauty of a mixer on display to brighten it up even more :) and your face, of course!! And these cookies OF COURSE!!

  15. says

    Glad to hear you are loving my home town; I doubt many folks realize what a rich history St. Louis has and the amazing food. Tried toasted ravioli yet? I just bought a new house because I’ve done the re-do thing…but I’ll enjoy seeing your adventures!

  16. gracie says

    Well, now your dad’s concern makes lots of sense…especially since the house must have some very specific design features. I guess father does know best! In any case, have fun working to make the house your very own. That’s what I love about old homes…they echo the accumulated history of all the folks who have lived in and lovingly added to that history.My next door neighbors live in a beautiful home built in the mid 1800’s. They have made an effort to keep so many of the historical features in place. At Christmas, the home is decotated as it might have been over 150 years ago and honestly, it is magical. Actually, my bungalow is on a piece of land sectioned out of a corner of their original lot. It was built in the 1930’s for relatives of the owners of the big house who needed housing during the Depression. When I moved in, the then elderly owner of the big house showed me the tools he and his father used to build my house.

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