Most of my life I've been nicknamed "Sunshine". I'm naturally a happy, encouraging and energetic soul. I am a pastry chef. I'm creative by nature but also mathematical. Baking became my life's work early on. I graduated from Culinary School in Scottsdale, Arizona just after my twenty-first birthday and continued to pursue pastry. It was my heart. However, I had a life long dream to be a mother as well. Magically, I found myself married to a sweet husband and we desired children. None came. It took several years. Finally, when the opportunity arrived to be a full time mom, I jumped at it. Little did I know that after my second pregnancy I would face the awful and dark reality of post partum depression. My normally bright disposition was shaded.
As a young mother it was very hard for me to find time for myself, yet I knew that in order to give my children all the emotional strength they needed, I would have to take care of my soul. In that pit of depression and despair, it became ever so difficult to face even the basic needs of myself and children. Often the only light of joy I saw in a day was the brief time that my children napped and I could pull out my bread books and make a new creation. Over time, I discovered a renewed passion for decorative bread. That feeling I had missed for so long was returning. I had something of my old baking life back and it felt good to remember how much I loved to create. As my children grew, I included them in my baking experiences. Often we'd mold homemade play dough for hours on end in our humble kitchen. More times than I can remember, I was sculpting life-like flowers next to my son's "dough-cars" and squiggle-haired silly-faced characters. I found myself encouraging his heart creatively and in so doing, found a common interest that has continued. Creating bread pulled me out of the darkness, along with the loving support of dear friends and family who finally saw a glimpse of "Sunshine" coming back.
I never imagined that I would ever see my children grow up. Yet they have passed those toddler years and are now in school during the day. The depression is all but gone and I have that passion for life and creating that I knew before. I've taken that love of creating to many others through teaching as a private instructor. A few years back a dear friend who I had attended culinary school with, encouraged me to write a food and baking blog to share my bread and cooking skills with the world. Needless to say, yet another creative outlet has been discovered. I love to create amazing artistic breads, foods, and share those creations with the my blog friends. The bread painting I do has been featured in Australian Baking Business Magazine, as well as Food Network's blog. A local TV station producer saw my bread and asked me to come visit the station. That has grown into a part time passion as a regular featured chef on the NBC and Fox local TV stations here in Phoenix. In so doing, I have seen countless souls discover their own baking creative-genius. It has been so fulfilling and exciting to play even a small role in helping others face any challenge in life. It is my passion to help others find their creative spirit. In that spirit of love, I have found light and peace. I thank God everyday that I was able to come out of that darkness and I know that anyone facing those challenges in life, need only begin to hope that there may be a spark of light left in their soul. Let that hope grow. Create something. It may seem small, but it may be just what your heart needs to see the sunshine of day once again.