Sheffield & 3 counties Cakenic 2014 was a cakey success !

3 Clandestine cake clubs , well in fact 4, met up at Christines house in the balmy Barlborough sunshine . Sheffield, Chesterfield, Newark & Sherwood, and the Loire Valley clubs celebrated our annual 3 counties Cakenic ” picnic with cake ” . Thanks to hosts Christine & Vern who kept the tea and Pimms flowing & held a tombola for NGS Cancer care charities.

There were 10 cakes ! First up Christines Red Gooseberry & Lemon Thyme

???????????????????????With gooseberries and lemon thyme from her garden. Moist & delicious.

Next was Sticky Vickie’s Lemon Meringue Cake . A Victoria sponge with lemon curd and cream filling topped with meringue and home made lemon curd. The curd was in fact microwaved so very fast.. recipe to follow on the Sheffield CCC page .



My cake was a raspberry &  white chocolate sponge cake with chocolate essence . The filling was raspberries whipped with double cream & a spot of icing sugar. I made a raspberry drizzle in the microwave for the topping, just frozen raspberries, sugar & water 50 seconds on high, then sprinkled with toasted almonds .

???????????????????????????The first of 2 savoury cakes was a Prune , Pistachio and Goats cheese cake from Rachel Khoo s French recipe , baked by Fiona who runs the Chesterfield CCC . A great picnic cake .


Next up a cheesily decadent Mozerella, Feta and bacon cake by Rosemary , based on Nigella’s community baking recipes on line. The centre just ooozed cheesiness !

??????????????????????????????????????????CCC newbie Karen made a yummy St Clements cake with zesty icing. She only heard about the cake club on Weds so is our fastest ever recruit !


The Loire Valley is famous for its sticky toffee pud cake now !! Thanks to Jean !! Topped with butterscotch topping and pecans.


Nick the Loire valley number 2 made a sticky ginger cake, with cream cheese and cream frosting . We hope to do a CCC twinning event soon !! Its a Mary Berry cake to celebrate the 2014 Great British Bake off ! #GBBO


Sticky orange and poppy seed cake with drizzle icing. Lovingly prepared by Liz , and delivered via a massive traffic jam !!


Finally Annes magnificent Lemon Sherbert Cake with lemon curd and cream filling . Tip sherbet dip dabs are great & you get to eat the lollies afterwards


So here’s the cakey evidence

photo (2)Thanks again to Christine & Vern ……


photo-2Join us at Sheffield Clandestine cake club ! Our next event is Sat 27th of September and is “Back to school” cakes of your school days, puddings or memories of school baking .

Hope to see you soon ! Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach !! Contact me to book at or on LinkedIn

Fabcoach #Tramlines 2014 Highlights ! Part 2

Sunday dawned, another brilliant sunny day for #Tramlines 2014.

First stop the Folk Forest in Endcliffe Park. It was fantastically rammed full of families, beardies & folksyies ! Can we have a bigger space next year !! Had to buy yummy Lemon & Poppyseed cake for breakfast from Seven Hills bakery stand…coffee from Motorola Coffee ! The band was Nat Jones & friends.. very musical, lovely harmonies & the prefect start to the day.


Onto the bus and off to see Rolo Tomassi at Corp ( Corporation to you ) . V fiesty , 2 screamo singers & as usual for Corp bands at #Tramlines excellent !! Nice new stage backdrop !!

Thence to the Cathedral to see Womans Hour . Sadly the gremlins meant a long wait .

Liked the pyramids on stage but left to go to the Millenium gallery to attempt to see Bloodsport at 7.00. Once again a re scheduling put them on to 9.00 so we scooted to the Leadmill to see Blossomer, and Nick McSweeney filling in for the injured Hey Sholay. 10 out of 10 to Leadmill door staff who made us get a pass out for later !!

Back up the hill to Millennium Gallery to see DJ ..really good    then AT LAST and thankfully well worth it, 3 piece Bloodsport .


Amazing one of the best bits of Tramlines . Described as

tags: aggrobeat diy experimental afro-beat hybrid vigour records life in units post punk soukous Sheffield  I heard Brian Eno, Talking Heads, Swans all in one go… relentless beat … uplifting !!

We would have loved to see the amazing Bo Ningen too !! But nipped back down to the Leadmill, past the queue with our passouts !!

The Leadmill was absolutely jam packed for the last gig of the night Slow Club . Sadly the sound system was slower … the crowd were hot & restless … the brave Slow Club took to the stage for an acoustic version then finally sans monitors they burst into action !! A brilliant end to a jam packed weekend at #Tramlines2014 !!

Slow Club

Can’t wait till next year , will have my weekly bus pass ready for another epic trail of musicality !!

Live life to the full and if you are interested in a bit of techy, career focussing coaching then please follow me on Twitter @fabcoach or subscribe to my newsletters via Contact me here !

Best Wishes Karen and see you in 2015 !!




Fabcoach #Tramlines 2014 Highlights ! Part 1

We planned our Tramlines 2014 to get 110% ..well what else do you expect from a life coach !! It is the Urban Glastonbury …and you get to sleep in comfort at home !!!

Friday.. collected the Weekend advance Wristbands

??????????????Popped into a small local shop for wine & nibbles takeaway on the sunny City Hall steps

Then …. off to the Leadmill for Braver than Fiction , then to the cool Millennium Gallery to play a bubble bursting game by Aaron Oldenburg  on the Kinect oops that’s ‘game rules as an expressive media ‘  . Allusondrugs were brilliant in the Gallery


followed by a little sit down on the gallery balcony …fantastic view of the Sheffield Skyline .

?????????????????????????????????????????Up to the Harley to watch Cholumbian DJ , nice air con too ! Next Katy B at the main arena with her fab dancers .

?????????????????????The space in front of us filled up in 2 minutes !! Really enjoyed the set ! #tramlinesselfie


Back to the Millennium galleries for Shackleton another DJ !!  And  little walk home . When we checked we had walked 4.5 miles Eeek !

Saturday Update . We walked via a take out latte at Waitrose ..up the Moor to see local band CJ and the Bear Trap with lead singer Chloe Jade Simmons. Excellent & only 12 00 !


Thence via lunch at the Blue Moon cafe , scones with Blueberry & lime jam, to Magpies at the Cathedral . Cool venue but new floor so no red wine for Tramliners . Their bar is popular & donations help The Archer Project . Magpies included beautiful trumpet, and harmonies .

????????????????????????????????Next a quick nip down to Smoke BBQ & down the steps to the Busker Bus , where we found Seven Tors . They sang us on a top deck double decker bus ride round Kelham Island, Derek Dooley way, via the University Commons & Hanover way and back to Arundel Gate ;


From there we walked all the way up the back of West St ,admiring the backstreet architecture to Weston Park ,to cool down with tea & ice cream. OMG quick dash though the Uni to the Harley to see the fab Autobahn…a bit Jim Morrison, a bit Johnny Rotten , a bit Ian McCulloch , nice and loud ! The nice doorman even let me take the rest of my ice cream in ! #thankyou .

Next off the see CJ & the Bear Trap set 3 at The Old House … past the rubbish cleaners & crushers  near the Forum . Sheffield Council did us proud !

Returned to see Bloodsports at Millennium galleries , but they had moved to Sunday #rats . Next year I will keep the @tramlines twitter feed on for updates !! So had roast chicken & Caesar salad on a grassy knoll in Tudor square.

Then back up to the University Arms to see the magnificent Baby Godzilla !  Amazing energy & feats of balance & bouldering by the lead guitarist.


Walls, amps …what next …yes piles of amps !

??????????????????????????????????????????Next the band Dinosaur Pileup …a great grunge end to day 2 ! The next post will have day 3 . I am exhausted writing about what turned out to be 6.84 miles walked in pursuit of musical excellence !! Note to self next year buy a 7 day bus pass !! #Standbyme !!

Watch out for part 2 !! Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach



Collaborative Lawyers & Coaches get Physical to Fundraise !

Collaborative family lawyers and professionals including relationship coaches, mediators and financial advisors are coming together to support the Kids in the Middle #Doncaster campaign by doing a physical challenge set by Ian Burkitt of MTF – Military Fitness Training.
Taylor Bracewell has linked up with Hall Cross Academy and Family Matters Mediation to raise funds for this worthy cause which gives a voice to children in separating families.
Hall Cross Academy have put themselves and Doncaster on the map by being the first school to actively engage in this national project.  The students are inspriational – helping in the design of the website and training as peer mentors alongside raising much needed awareness and funds.
Date of event: Sunday 29 June 10-12
 Venue: Hall Cross Lower School Doncaster
Our common goals:
Raise awareness of Kids in the Middle
Raise awareness of Collaborative Family Matters
Raise funds for Kids in the Middle by sponsorship/donations
Collectively we aim to raise over £500 from this one event
6 teams of 4 including a team of kids will complete a physical challenge, suitable for all levels of fitness, adopting the following strategies which we use in collaboration:
social skills
… and loads more
Above all it will be fun!    PLEASE SPONSOR US
Donations for this event should be sent to me by cheque payable to Doncaster/Rotherham Collaborative POD.
For donations generally visit or donate by texting KITM £5 to 7070 (or any other amount)
Below are links to further information relation to our cause and purpose.

Cakes That remind us of Home

Today 10 bakers from Sheffield Clandestine cake Club met at The Archer Project behind Sheffield Cathedral who hosted our event. Thanks to Sam who provided tea and tapwater to help us chomp our way through the different cakes . Sam gave a talk about how the project helps people facing homelessness & sleeping rough. The theme he chose was cakes that remind us of home as home has many definitions and is such a fundamental part of peoples lives.

Here are some of the cakes, with the stories our bakers told.


The first cake was a Coffee & Walnut cake which I baked from my mums recipe via Delia Smith . When I was young we only had cake once a week at High tea on Sunday . My mum baked chocolate cake one week, Victoria Sponge the next , then Coffee and Walnut..and back to chocolate !!

The next cake baked by Rosie was at Robin Hoods Hat cake as she hails from Nottingham. The candle was to remind her that she only had cakes at birthdays when she was young, and that her fondant icing reminded her of birthday cakes at home !! It had a yummy buttercream and jam filling .




Marys lemon cake was an old family favourite. Her mums lemon buns evolved into what she called ‘lemon finger cakes ‘. We know this now as the good old Lemon Drizzle Cake .



Bernie made a coconut cake . It was a 50 year old recipe from her mum and granny (Age 94 ). Old recipes she said were much simpler than today . The chocolate reminded her of the smell when her mum used to melt chocolate on top of cakes by putting them under the eye level grill ! They always used Bourneville, as that was the only dark chocolate then .



Anita brought a Spicy Banana fruit loaf. Its low fat as has 2 bananas liquidised till smooth. She told us of a local Midlands delicacy of ‘fruitcake on bread & butter ‘ !


Gill , with an impressive CCC cake debut …told us about baking birthday cakes at home  for her 2 kids, one liked Raspberry and the other lemon, so she combined the 2 into one lemon frosted delicacy !


Helens Malt loaf was inspired by her memories of her mum at home , who baked with recipes which were much simpler than today ( a common theme) . Measures were pints & half pints including raisins. The cherries and almond topping were from her childhood memories .


Just to say Bakers are invited to submit recipes for the Clandestine cake Club Vol 2 . Look on the CCC website for details and deadlines . Look t the left hand column.


We also had a visit from Video journalist Danielle Hayden who interviewed and videoed the group ! Link to follow !!

Join out next event on Sat 28th June to celebrate the Tour De France coming to Sheffield ! 

See you all there … Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach for updates on next events !!

Best Cakiness Karen xx



Cakey Update from the Cake & Bake Show

I was excited to be asked to help on the Clandestine Cake Club stand at the Cake & Bake Show Manchester 2014. It is an amazing combination of cake & foodie suppliers stands, baking clubs and demonstrations by famous bakers like Peter Middleton, Frances Quinn from the #GBBO Great British Bake Off . There were lots of opportunities to sample the cakes & learn tips on icing, sugarwork & prunes !! The CCC stand was busy all day with novice bakers looking to bake with others . We had a Bundt competition with 10 entries . They were judged by @dollybakes ,the Bundt Queen , Rachel McGrath the Bolton group CCC organiser and Peter Middleton . Health and safety rules meant no tasting by anyone but the judges …but I managed to scrump a bit of the winners …yummy !! I am the Sheffield Clandestine Cake club organiser .

Here are some action pictures from the day !!

CLANDESTINE PRUNE POUTWe are doing the Prune Pout !!


Cakes from Saturdays competition .


First Prize !




Meeting a real #GBBO competitor !

CCC at the Cake & Bake Show 6.4.14






20140406_100525Cakes that look like savouries !








20140406_163812Competition cakes from the main Cake & Bake Jungle themed bakeoff .



If these cakes have inspired you please join the Sheffield Clandestine cake club & our upcoming events !

or contact me Karen Perkins via @fabcoach or email me at



Cake Cake Cake !!

When is a pie not a pie? That was the conundrum posed by members of Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club at their last meeting… The answer: when it’s a cake!


See the Video which appeared on the Sheffield Telegraph website  CLICK HERE

The secret location for the monthly meeting – revealed only once bakers had booked a place – was Bradleys  café at the Nichols vintage crafts centre on Shalesmoor.

Around 20 bakers and their guests, of all ages and interests, turned up to chat, swap recipes and enjoy each other’s cakes.

Organiser Karen Perkins says: “We have 120 members registered and we want more people to join us – including men who bake. Well behaved kids are welcome too.


“We’re also looking for foodie charities or business venues to host us in 2015 – 2014 is already booked up!”

For more details see Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club

Next dates

12th April   Only 4 places left

24th May  Lots of space , central Sheffield near the Sheffield Food Festival

28th June Tour de Yorkshire cakes with Cycling theme 4 till 6

Book via the cake club website or


Karen Perkins


How to get your body beach ready with Confidence !

I have just written some tips for a fantastic beachwear co called South Beach Swim Co

All about getting ready for summer , with foodie tips from Clare Shepherd from NewLifeNutrition in Sheffield .

Here is the blogpost  … follow this link !

Have a great Spring and Summer ! Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach

Best wishes Karen


Fabcoach interviews Jill Turner – Principal at Jill Turner Associates Holistic Financial Planning

Fabcoach, Karen Perkins Life and Career Coach from Sheffield interviews on of her favourite businesses every week on her Blog

This week it’s

Jill Turner – Principal at Jill Turner Associates Holistic Financial Planning
Follow her on Twitter     @joinedupjill

1 Describe your job in 140 characters!

Working hard to ensure you and those who depend on you are more financially secure now and in the future.

2 What did you want to be when you grew up ?

I  don’t think anyone ever wakes up one day and knows that they want to be a financial adviser,   in the States maybe where the profession of Financial Planning has a much higher profile  but here in the UK, we need to raise our public profile.    I remember really wanting to work with children and perhaps being a doctor as I liked Science and biology at school.  That was until someone told me you have to disect people who have donated their bodies to medical science, I’m  squeamish at the best of times,  so that was a definite no no.   I’ve always had an interest in radio and broadcast journalism from my teens and   produced my own radio show for five years.  If I could earn a living for my family broadcasting roots music that would be bliss.   However, I am fortunate enough to teach radio production at Sheffield University’s World Music summer school and that keeps my hand in.    I love what I do now and sometimes wish that my career in financial services had provided more stability as a medial career may have done but it perfectly combines my love of mathematics, my passion to help people and gives me time to be at home with my own children.

3.  What are you most proud of in your Career ?

Not giving up,  completing the last of my diploma exams at a time of acute workplace stress and life changes then  going on to establish my own practice.

jill turner 2014

 4 Which famous person inspired you at work and why ?

I’m not really one for celebrities and  famous people, I think our young people can be misguided into looking for inspiration from famous people rather than seeking their own mentors or looking to support each other and give each other feedback.

If I am to choose a famous person it would be Bishop Desmond Tutu, he’s always so happy, forgiving, patient , non judgmental and very wise.

5 What & where is your favourite Networking event ?

I had the time to go to Faye’s netwalking once and really enjoyed the relaxed way I could just walk alongside a stranger in the fresh air, no agenda, no 60 second pitch but just that great feeling of getting to know someone and swapping ideas, that you may never have had the chance to otherwise.

In terms of return on investment, confidence boosting, building trusted relationships, training,  giving and receiving business leads  it has to be BNI,  which I joined about nine months ago, its demanding and I have to say challenging at times but it has opened doors and landed me business, that I would never have imagined possible.

In terms of personal development it has to be the Ubuntu Pods, facilitated by Jane Swain for whom I have great respect.  It is an invitation only group of business owners, solopreneurs, thought leaders and senior managers who come together in a board room style meeting to discuss best practice and sound out business issues.

6. Where would you take a client for a ‘thank you ‘coffee or lunch in Sheffield ?

I’d like to say Wagamama’s but sometimes popping soya pods and eating noodles can be a bit too informal and messy.    Before the children I used to go out to hear live music and my passion for  Djing and broadcasting meant I spent a lot time with headphone on so now hearing is not so brilliant.  In  places where there’s a lot of  background noise it’s a bit tricky to keep up with conversations, so the venue  can’t be too noisy but it is important for the place to have some ambience.   All in all I think it would have to be Eten on York Street facing the green by the Cathedral.  It’s a relaxed and welcoming Bistro with delicious well priced food, an eclectic assortment of china and proper tea.

7 What is your tip for beating stress at work ?

Making a pot of tea.

Trying not to work long hours.

Getting enough sleep although that is difficult with two under fives.

Being open honest and transparent with my clients.

Maintaining  confidence and belief that I have done everything correctly, in the best interest of my clients and also to the best of my ability.

Not jumping to conclusions and taking time to reflect.

 If all else fails I like to go for a walk I am very lucky in where I live,  I can be deep in the woods or out in the fields in less than two minutes.
jill turner logo

8 What is your favourite way to relax ?

Playing with my children,  putting on some music and dancing  and forming our own percussion band.

I also like to cook and share food and a beer with friends and family, that’s another great way to relax

9 What advice would you give to a young person setting out on their career path ?

        Enjoy the journey

        Never be afraid to ask either for the business, for the job, for advice, for help, for feedback and enjoy the journey.   If you don’t ask you don’t get.

        Believe in yourself and your vision.

        Don’t give up.

10 How can people contact me ?

Jill Turner BA (Hons)   Dip PFS
Jill Turner Associates – Holistic Financial Planning
Joined up thinking to protect the ones you love, manage risk and achieve your financial goals.
Office :              0845 250 1271
Twitter:             @JoinedUpJill
Find out more:
Electric Works, Sheffield Digital Campus, Sheffield S1 2BJ   

I have all my contact details on my website, that would be the best way. 

coffee mornings

Thank you Jill for sharing your thoughts & ideas !!

See you at Netwalking soon !

Get yourself on Google+ asap

What’s all the fuss ? 

Basically… Getting noticed on Social media is all about people liking your content & sharing it with others and on & on hopefully! Google+ has load of features to help you do this ! Take a Google tour too!
1 Get a Gmail Google account & Log in   View & follow mine at
2 Click on the  +K   or the GRID on the top bar and you are in Google+
3 Complete your profile  Think about your business focus with personality like Twitter
4 Set up a page for your business
5 Set up some circles & invite people to join.. my circles are shown in the picture in 8 below

What is Google+ and why should you use it ?  Thanks to Mark Tillison

Overview & tips

6 Hangouts
Hangouts, are useful for  group meetings, discussions, or demonstrations. “It’s completely unique to Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter don’t have these yet.  So how can companies make use of it? You can organize a panel discussion explaining to potential customers how to use your latest product  and then archive it and upload it to your YouTube channel or   YouTube seamlessly. Whether you’re teaching a recipe, organizing a chat with thought leaders, or doing a live product demonstration, “It looks very professional but doesn’t take much effort.”

7 Google Plus’ Communities feature,

Allows groups to form around particular interests. “Three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have said Google Plus was an easy place to meet people,” says Sherman, “but now it’s amazingly different. You can even join the community as a brand, which you cannot do on Facebook, and you can interact with your potential customers, influencers, and people of interest.” Indeed, she points out, “there are a ton of influencers who are concentrating on Google Plus these days.” And as she wrote in a recent blog post, “GooglePlus can give you access to influencers who might not notice you elsewhere…There is a nice spirit of camaraderie that people seldom feel with well-established platforms.”  What group will you set up ?   Thanks to Linda Sherman

8 Share posts & updates with your circles

I have set up different circles & can choose what I share with whom. Share text, photos, links, videos (BIG right now  …and Google+links to YouTube) and events. Just type in the box !

6  G+  Button
Add this to your website and get people to recommend by pressing the button. It also shows who has recommended so a double bonus.  

7 Sharing photos
On an Android device 2.1 or later you can upload photos to a private album for sharing later ! Great for photographers to show off their albums & get comments/likes via G+ 1+

8 Free Text messaging service to anyone in your Circles that has uploaded the APP

So that’s a few things to get you started !

9 For more Social media advice and Tips #quickfast   Contact me to book your 1 to 1 social media session !  

Call me on 07971 881251  or e mail me at
Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach  and my Blog

10 Book my Social Media Masterclass , 1 to 1 or with a colleague . Tailored to get your business making the most of the power of Social media in a 2 hour session plus tips & homework. I can come to your office or you can come to me!

£100 per session. Read my testimonials on LinkedIn  and on my website

© Karen Perkins 2013