At the end of last year I set myself some goals. Little did I know I would get to doing so many!

I never blogged about it, but here's how my goals looked for 2016:



Find a new career 👍
Move to London 👍
Get my hip movement back 👍
Take an acting course 👍
Give my first performance
Try out for my first audition

After moving to London, fixing a place to live and a job to earn some money the next thing on my list was drama classes.

Acting is something I’ve wanted to do for along time now. It wasn't like most of the stories you hear, I hadn't wanted to do this since I was a child, but after turning maybe... 21 it really became a real interest of mine and over the years that desire has just grown and grown.

At first I didn’t know what options were available to me I lived in a small town, with a small community of actors but really no opportunity for adult beginners. Slowly though, by starting online I found recommended books and began reading what I could. I bought DVDs, watched interviews and classes and started to build an understanding of some of the methods, practices and skills needed to act. But still I’d never said a line to an audience.

In 2013, I made my first big step. On my travels across America (I’ll leave links to my travel diaries below), I spent a few weeks in LA and being one who likes to do as the locals do, I got myself an acting coach for a month.

Travel Diaries


(There are more of these I've not uploaded yet. Let me know if you'd like to see them!)

That was a great experience. I don’t think I was great, but I wasn’t terrible, and I came away having picked up a script, memorised some lines, and most importantly I’d pushed myself.

When I came back to the UK however everything came to a bit of a halt, with no classes available in my local area I was back to my books for another few years. Skipping back to today, a career change, a health change (after my big surgery!) and I’m now living in the heart of London with opportunities galore.

I took my first class in my first few weeks, and although I was absolutely terrified (I was so close to not showing up!) I went back to class every weekend for a month and now...well I’m hooked. I’m loving every part of the experience. It’s pushing my comfort zone, my boundaries and my confidence. I’ve done things in the last few months I never thought I’d do. There are times I’ve gone home deflated because frankly I sucked! But that’s ok because everyday I went right on back and I’m working harder all the time. The whole point about doing these classes isn't about finding out that you're already good at something, it's about improving yourself every time you try.



Since my first course a few months ago, I've lost count of the number I've attended since, and in just a few days I'll be giving my first showcase performance. It's going to be such an exciting milestone for me I can't wait.

Who knows where this adventure will go but I can’t emphasise more how important it is to embrace your fears and reach for your goals. If you’re in it for the right reasons the end goal won’t matter, its all in the journey and I’m loving every step of the way.

When I wrote my goals for 2016 I was bed ridden, living alone in a small town with not all that much going on. The likelihood of hitting those goals was pretty slim. But look at me now. I'm hitting goal after goal and I can’t wait to hit the next one – auditions!

If you’d like to know more about my classes, my experiences and advice on finding the right teacher for you let me know. I have a few idea up my sleeve for a blog series and possibly a matching youtube series and I’d love to share more with you. I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes and especially those up coming auditions, but do leave a comment if you're interested!


So have you had any goals this year you’ve been knocking out the park, or anything you’re trying to pluck up the courage to do?
Winter is the best time of year for a cup of something hot and a big ol' slice of something yummy. My all time favourite cake (to bake) has always been a coffee cake. A family favorite, and the first cake I ever mastered when I was a kid I know the recipe off by heart.

But seeing as its Winter and spice is everywhere, I thought I'd try changing up my usual recipe and throwing in some extra treats to make is extra soft and give the coffee a warmer wintery flavour.

After a few attempts, here's my Sticky Spiced Coffee Cake


This cake is one of the easiest fail safe cakes I know. An All-in-One recipe that will hopefully still impress your friends and family.

Ingredients

175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
175g room temperature salted butter
50g soft chewy toffee chopped into very small pieces.
3 Large eggs
3 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp boiling water

Icing
225g icing sugar
125g room temperature butter
2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp cinnamon for dusting

Loaf tin
Loaf cake case or butter for greasing
Icing bag

Instructions

Pre-heat your oven to 170°.

Before you start I recommend sifting all your sugar, cinnamon, flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, then throw in your butter and eggs and mix with an electric mixer until smooth, light and creamy. Dissolve your coffee in your hot water and add to your mixture slowly while you mix making sure its blended through all your mixture, finally add your toffee pieces and distribute evenly through mixture with a spoon.

The toffee will completed melt and dissolve into your mixture inside the oven making it extra moist and rich. If you want to have little chunks of toffee sprinkle them on top of your icing as a finishing decoration.

Spoon your mixture into a greased or lined loaf baking tin and place in the middle of the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. While you set it aside to cool you can get started on your icing.

First dissolving your remaining coffee into your hot water again combine all your ingredients into a clean mixing bowl until light and smooth. You want to make sure you have no lumps from the butter or icing sugar.



To finish off remove your cake from the tin and cake case (if you've used one) and place on a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil from the toffee. Then when completely cooled place ice and dust with cinnamon.

This cake has just a subtle spice but add cinnamon to your hears content for an even warmer wintery flavour.

I hope you enjoy trying this recipe yourself and as always if you try it be sure to send me photos on twitter I love to see them.
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