It was the 12th October 1996, and my mother, brother and I were moving into our new home. It had been three years since our parents divorced and one year since our family dog ‘Bruno’ passed away.
For a fresh new start, mum had promised my brother and I a four legged friend to join our family. My brother and I had always had a thing for labradors, so when mum told us we were getting a new dog, a golden labrador it was to be. Before our new family member arrived, my brother and I brainstormed every name under the sun. We listed the names of chocolate bars, cold beverages and foods. It wasn’t until we moved onto geographical locations that we finally agreed on the name “Moscow”.
I was so excited when Moscow came home. I was 11 years old and when I first cradled him in my arms, tears of joy streamed down my face. At that moment, I knew I had found my best friend. Moscow was special.
Sometimes our childhoods can be a difficult time in our lives. During some of the greatest challenges in my life, Moscow, was by my side. He was always there for me and he loved me dearly. He was always happy to see me; he had an open ear; and licked my tears away which always made me smile. Moscow was my rock and he taught me how divine dogs really are.
In my early 20’s I began the search to find myself. While this quest continues to this day, one of the things I discovered on my travels was a love for cake and baking. It was by completing Julia Cameron’s The Artist's Way, I uncovered my creative nature and found a love for cake. Cake gave me a way to express my creativity and share my love with others. I began selling cupcakes at the markets and making cakes for my friend’s Birthdays and Weddings. I named my venture I Love Cupcakes. During this time, I began to expand my knowledge of nutrition and began using organic ingredients in my recipes. As I became more aware of the impact of sugars and flours on my diet, I lost my love for cake.
In May 2011, I married my first love. Days after returning home from our honeymoon, Moscow passed away. He was almost 15 years of age. While I would miss him dearly, I couldn’t help but think Moscow waited until he knew I would be taken care of.
Following my Heart
I began to meditate and create a greater connection with myself and life. During this time, I committed to completing The Artist’s Way course again and removed further creative blockages preventing me from expressing the artist within. In the last week of the course, I decided to combine my love for dogs and cake and make Pupcakes. I had realised I was holding on to my secure job, afraid to let go and trust that something greater was waiting for me. The day came when I could no longer deny the burning in my heart, so I resigned from my job and became the Pupcake Queen.
My husband, Rohan, supported my decision and helped me to create a home business called I Love Pupcakes. My vision was to create finely decorated cakes that were both delicious and nourishing. Through experimentation, I developed a dog-friendly Easter egg recipe which made me think of creating a Pupcake recipe book. Along with making Pupcakes, I began to share the wisdom and personalities of dogs with the world.
Like always, my vision was BIG. I could see the world sharing the Pupcake love and so I began to sell my Pupcakes to stores. I wanted to get my message out there, but didn’t quite know how. While it seemed as though things were going well on the outside, the inside was a different matter. As my success didn't happen overnight, I began to lose faith in myself and my Pupcake vision. Rather than acknowledging my achievements of creating a business that fulfilled my heart, I chose to see myself as a failure and my creative passion dwindled. Feeling heartbroken, I made the difficult decision to suspend sales and stopped creating Pupcakes.
Almost consecutively, I fell pregnant and embarked on the journey of motherhood. Though I had decided to let Pupcakes go, Pupcakes did not want to let go of me. Some nights I would lie awake dreaming of Pupcake designs and recipes to be collated into a book. This was the manifestation of my desire to expand beyond my maternal role. Acting on this realisation, Pupcakes was brought back to life.
I approached my cousin, Sonya Perks, a professional photographer and mother of three to assist me with my Pupcake vision. For the next 12 months, Sonya and I worked together capturing the beauty and fun of the Pupcake creations, as well as the personalities of the Pupcake models. I enlisted the help of Maria Vidauure a talented graphic artist and my good friend Belinda Pollard, Publishing Consultant and Editor to bring the book to life. Thousands of photographs taken and many Pupcake recipes tested, my dream has become a reality.
Now the divine dogs in our lives can have their cake and eat it too!