My Oven Diaries


By Joyce Castanha

The Oven Diaries

What started as a stray experiment on afternoon turned out to be the biggest turnaround of events for me. Let me share this whole experience with each of you and hopefully inspire you to take the plunge, dream new dreams, do all those things that make you happy but never really found time to do….things that you may have never thought of before!

When my husband was offered a new role in his current company in a new location, we were thrilled at the thought of what this new adventure may have in store for us. Over the next few weeks the paperwork was done, bags packed, and we were ready to leave. While relocating is surely fun it also brings with it a whole new set of challenges too and getting us all settled in was surely one of them.

I had taken time off work after being a working woman for 15 years. My daughter was only three then and I decided to make use of this new-found time that I had now and spend it with her. I took on the responsibility of it all while my husband took up his new role at work.

It was a phase filled with a lot of firsts, fears, apprehension and with due time, we sailed through it all. It was now time for me to get back to my crazy corporate world (love it for all its craziness actually!). This, however, proved to be tougher than I ever expected. The job market for expats seemed tighter than ever. And when you’ve sent your resume to tons of recruiters and still nothing, it gradually begins to wear you down and slowly and steadily, negativity seeps through.  

It was during this ‘low’ phase. One day I decided to bake something for the family as a surprise when they got home from school and work. It was a simple vanilla cake, no frosting, not even sprinkles! Everyone seemed to enjoy this treat a lot. I must confess I wasn’t much of a baker or anything. This may have added to their surprise. Baking turned out to be a therapeutic experience for me.

red velvet cake

From here, I began a series of experiments with new recipes—vanilla, chocolate, red velvet too. And then gradually I started working on my frosting skills and I was pleasantly surprised by the results! Youtube was my go-to guide/tutor/mentor. Soon, friends began placing orders for little parties and I was thrilled at what I could achieve. I even went on to a cake decorator course and got my certification (when you learn a skill you need some certification—it’s how it works on the corporate side, right?).

My husband encouraged me to have my on Page on social media and that’s when I unveiled Oven Diaries (#ovendiariesj). Each bake has its own connection to certain aspects of life and that’s what makes it so much fun. No, you do not always get it right the first time. It may not always turn out according to what you thought it would. But at the end of the day, it’s your creation and it’s what you make of it. Now isn’t that similar to life itself?

So, go on! Challenge yourself! Do something you have never done before, and you will be surprised at what you can achieve! The only thing that limits us is our mind, our thoughts. We are born with the ability to do everything! So keep striving to be the best version of yourself!

Come bake with me....

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