Carob at Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club

imageBaking with Carob at our July meeting. The challenge was to learn how to bake with carob and I made a carob, honey and walnut cake using carob syrup. here is the write up I did for the Clandestine Cake Club

The cake I made had deep rich flavour and an almost treacly taste. #Yummy The carob was supplied by @savvyspreads in Sheffield.

Visit the Clandestine Cake Club website to join the Sheffield group . We meet monthly and new members are always welcome … Come by yourself … We are very friendly !

Contact me Karen Perkins via or via @fabcoach on Twitter

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 !

6 Steps to feeling Happier at work

6 Simple steps to feeling happier at work

We spend a lot of time at work, from Monday to Friday probably more waking time in the office than with our families and loved ones. If we are to cope with this, we have to make sure we make the most out of our work time and enjoy it.

1. Positivity and smiling

Positive thinking can feel laboured at times but has been proven to work in many studies. Smiling is infectious and is the simple form of positivity that uses what psychologists refer to as the theory of self-perception (if you see yourself as happy, you will become happy). Being positive leads to efficiency and well being for yourself and the people around you. When you radiate positivity in an office, others will be picked up as a result. When trying this out, make sure you stay away from any negative people as they are bound to bring you down. It’s free too !


2. Moving around

Walk the stairs instead of taking the lift in the mornings, go for a walk at lunch and walk around the office when making phone calls. Energy comes from oxygen, oxygen comes from motion so the more you move about, the more energy you get. I don’t know about you, but when I have lots of energy I tend to be a happy. I walk at lunchtimes, even just round the block. Take the bus to meetings .

3. Declutter

There are books dedicated to this single point. Make sure you have a clean workspace and environment around you. Clutter brings you down on a subconscious level – it looks like even more work to be done. Have a clear structure and organization on your desk so you can swiftly leave a task and come back to it later. You should also have an effective workflow and make use of in- and out-boxes. Plan 30 minutes a month to really tidy.

4. Change your routine

The same old routine day in and day out will wear you down slowly. Try using a different pen, have a tea instead of coffee, change your telephone greeting etc and see how it feels. Variety is the spice of life they say, this applies to work as well. Big corporations shuffle things around all the time, even if a division is performing it can always to with a shake up and change things – so can you.


5. Eat quality food

Have a proper breakfast and lunch, with high quality food that will provide you with energy throughout the day. If you want snacks in between, stay away from chocolate, cakes  and fizzy drinks . The sugar levels in these products will give you a buzz from which you will come crashing down only a few minutes later. You don’t want to give yourself mood swings by having the wrong type of food. Stay on the healthy and nutritious side and you will feel better and have more overall energy (and you will be happier with your body as a result). Almonds, apples, sugarfree gum are good.

6. Go on vacation!

If all else fails, get yourself out of the office for a few days and recharge your batteries. Make your weekend into a mini break Switch off completely, turn off any handheld devices and just relax. You will come back with a new perspective on things and you will be a happy person, hopefully with lots of great memories to share.

Can you think of any other simple steps?

Get a better work life balance with Karen Perkins Life & Career coach Call me now to book your FREE 30 minute coaching taster 07971 881251

life coach in sheffield  career coach karen perkins

A new Harvest of cakes with Sheffield Clandestine Cake club

Sheffield Clandestine Cake club September event  produced  17 fabulous cakes on a Harvest theme & were displayed & demolished at Honey Pie Tearooms ,Meersbrook.  Hosted by Jo Hardiman and her lovely staff who made us very welcome,we had lashings of real tea…complete with strainer !  Here are some of the delicious cakes with a little bit of cakey techie info to help you bake them too ! Sheffield bakers are famed for their originality and ingredients as you will see from the wide range of autumn fruits & spices used in the cakes . Join a future meeting  …we bake for fun and are all non competitive bakers ! Howard Middleton sent his apologies too ! #GBBO


My name is Karen Perkins & my own recipe cake was a roasted hazelnut & almond cake, topped with home-made blackberry jam, whipped cream with blackberries & home made hazelnut & almond praline . I was surprised how easy the praline was , but take care with the hot sugar ! Follow me @Fabcoach on Twitter for dates & events from the Sheffield Clandestine cake Club.

DSC03825Alice made an apple & pear crumble cake. Fruit & seeds were popular ingredients in our autumn theme .
Dawns Streusel cake had Cinnamon & mixed spice streusel topping  with fruit and a butter & salted caramel filling. Caramel frosting topped it off !

Plum & Ginger was the sticky yummy Autumn theme chosen by Suzanne !


Mary’s chocolate & damson cake, one of Nigel Slaters finest ,had a soft mousse like centre .

DSC03832Pauls Apple & Cinnamon cake from the BBC Good food programme had moist apple inside.


Bernie made an Orchard fruit cake with 4 whole apples and pears in. Very yummy and full of your 5 a day.

Karen W made a Maple Syrup & Apple cake with ginger . It was still warm #heaven. She suggests serving it with cream.


Jacky made an apple, strawberry & blueberry cake with a marmalade syrup glaze.
Marthas cake came from the comedy thriller Drag me to Hell… following an internet search & had 1lb of grapes, slightly crushed plus olive oil instead of fat. It also contained fresh rosemary.
Debbies Apple & Walnut cake had black treacle & cream cheese frosting

Silvana baked a cheesecake from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook. It had homemade blackberry jam swirled in it.
DSC03827A beetroot, cinnamon & seed cake was Hannahs creation. Another Nigel Slater masterpiece with poppy & sunflower seeds , and icing topping with poppy seeds


Final cake was a delicious Dutch Apple cake by Liz with massive apologies from me as I missed the photo. It was round with neatly circled apple slices and a shiny sticky glaze .


DEC  ALTERNATIVE XMAS CAKES joint meeting with Chesterfield & Newark & Sherwood groups, …OMG over 25 cakes to try & a Secret Santa   ! Register free on the website & book via the events page! Its really easy !

Contact me for any details ! Hope to meet you soon Karen Perkins

10 Tips for using Google Alerts Create your own personal News PR feed!!

Karen Perkins Life Coach Sheffield

10 Tips for using Google Alerts               (Your own personal News & PR feed!!)

Use Google alerts to follow any topic on the web & feed into your PR
Step 1      Get a Google account and G mail account
Step 2      Sign into Google
Step 3      Google ‘Google alerts ‘
Use the HELP …it is actually helpful !!

Google explains their service like this   ”  Google Alerts are e mails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web. For example, people use Google Alerts to:

  • find out what is being said about their company or product.
  • monitor a developing news story.
  • keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
  • get the latest news on a celebrity or sports team.
  • find out what’s being said about themselves.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You enter a query that you’re interested in.
  2. Google Alerts checks regularly to see if there are new results for your query.
  3. If there are new results, Google Alerts sends them to you in an email.

For general queries like [ football ], you can get a summary of the new results every day. For specific topics, like [ cardiovascular atherosclerosis ], you might not get an email every day, but you’ll find out when something new and relevant is published. See more examples of how Google Alerts are used “

Step 4  Get alerts sent to your G mail account daily /weekly  Set up alerts
Step 5   Choose the type of  info can you get ?
-videos                                -books                                 -articles                                             -reviews                              -products
Step 6 So if you collect china cats   you can request alerts on China cats
Then you can

  • ·        re tweet/ blog/share these on Your social media
  • ·        offer them as tips to your clients
  • ·        watch what your mentors are doing
  • ·        follow trends
  • ·        spy on people ooops no !!!!
  • ·        watch your keywords   eg @fabcoach  #mindfulness

·        Step 7 What else could you use them for ?

  • ·        Track your own social media profile

Step 8 Be an expert from your own laptop !       Polite Hint

  •            No copying
  •         Manage your alerts or your g mail box will clog up !!
  •         Thank people for content

Step 9 For more Social media advice and Tips #quickfast   Contact me to book your 1 to 1 social media session !
Step 10 Call me on 07971 881251  or e mail me at
Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach

© Karen Perkins 2013

My summer of being Austere Budgetarily ish and tech-ing up!

I have decided to do an experiment which involves really sticking to my re-use , recycle blagging  & and charity shop my way to Christmas for the rest of this year. I have already embarked on de cluttering and tidying so lest see what happens . Some things will need to be done in a proper way , like electrical repairs but I will see what I can achieve.

At the same time i aim to use my existing programmes etc to get paperless having been inspired by one of my lovely coachees to go all electronic, so I will be blogging about my progress there too !!


Karen Perkins Life Coach Sheffield

Karen Perkins Life Coach Sheffield

Come and follow me on Twitter @fabcoach

Or at

When are you going to sort your love life out ?

Dating Coaching

Date Coaching Sheffield with Karen Perkins

Fall in love with yourself and the rest will follow!

“I only meet players”
”Everyone I meet has excess baggage”
“I just want somebody normal, but like George Clooney or Harry X obviously!”
“Am I too old to start dating again?”
“What do I wear?”

My Date coaching helps you step back, take time to reflect and think about what you want, need, and the kind of relationship you’d really like. There are lots of choices!

No need to dash back to a copy of Mr or Mrs EX, or settle for “they’ll do!”

Using Life Coaching tips and techniques you’ll uncover what or who you are really looking for then get a plan to achieve it. Practical tips too:

  • Safe dating… How to weed out creeps
  • Tips to get the most from Internet, apps and speed dating
  • Juggling your kids/ex and your new romance
  • Getting yourself ‘ready to date’
  • Flirt coaching or dummy dates!
  • Dating after Divorce

Date Coaching, like Life Coaching gives you a real opportunity to explore, and practice exactly what you want to do, and help build your personal confidence to enjoy meeting people and dating again.

Coaching looks to the future!!

Dating help and Coaching in Sheffield with Karen Perkins

What my Date Coaching customers say

“Karen helped me be clear on what type of man and relationship could suit my busy life and juggling teeneagers and a job ! Her perceptive questions and tips improved my on-line dating profile, and how I decide who to date! I now allow myself to see Dating as Fun, not a chore. I have a choice now, and the pressure is off!! I look forward positively to meeting new men, having a fun date, and possibly look forward to a long term meaningful relationship. I am even trying Speed Dating after her consultation with me.”
Dating Divorcee Sheffield, name supplied

Date Coaching Fees

1 session of 1 hour plus worksheet. Internet dating Intro and maximising your Profile. £45

4 sessions based on life coaching principles, uncovering what you want then practical steps over 2 -3 months to get dating ! Lots of tips, motivational exercises and ideas to get you back on track!! £180.00 includes worksheets and text updates.

Contact Karen >>
Purchase Date Coaching >>

Call me to book your free 30 minute coaching taster session by phone ,skype or over a coffee on 07971 881251

10 Dating tips for new Internet Daters #Valentine

Top dating tips from karen perkins10 Dating tips for new Internet Daters by Karen Perkins Life & Career Coach, Sheffield

Starting dating again does not have to be depressing if you approach it in the right way! Get some friends, or a date coach like Karen Perkins, to help you. Try and keep it fun and safe… dipping your toe in the water with a few internet dates, or events such as Hope Valley businesswoman Cathy Hinsley’s highly successful Single Social group is a great way to get back into meeting people.  Think of it as ‘practice’ for when the right one comes along! A few trial dates will boost your confidence- let’s be honest, if you want to get better, you need to practice. Just go for a coffee to start with and think of finding the right person for you as like other types of shopping… if you want to buy some fab shoes, you always have to do some research into what’s available, what style suits you, and often change your mind on the way… so be realistic and be open to all the exiting options.

Make use of makeovers and personal shoppers to find an outfit that really shows you off at your best. Stylists like Sheffield’s Nicky Valantine can help you get the right look too- no need to spend a fortune. And remember- smile, even on the phone, the other person is just as nervous as you.

Here are some tips to stay safe and boost your confidence

1 Take control You may have to meet a lot of people to find that special someone you really like, so try and enjoy yourself. Meet lots of people and if it doesn’t work first time, dust yourself off and try again. Think of it like internet purchasing. Some dates you may keep as friends; they can give you feedback and moral support as they are dating online too.

2 Check your profile When you set up an internet profile on a dating or other site, do get friends to check it so you are not encouraging the wrong responses. Choose your words carefully, look at other profiles and see what appeals to you. You can always update it as you go along. ‘Adventurous’ may send out the wrong message to some…

3 Read the dating safety tips carefully Take things at your pace. Do not give out any personal info until you feel ready. Be careful what you share by webcam or photo, you never know who else is watching.

4 Photos get more responses If you don’t want to share because of your work or embarrassment, say you are happy to send a photo later otherwise people may overlook you.

5 Trust your intuition If someone sounds wrong, then trust your intuition and don’t go. A bit of Googling or Facebooking can reassure you about people you do not know well.

6 Think of a good dating venue in advance For example, chose somewhere safe, well known to you, but where you won’t find all your friends piling in to embarrass you. Suss out a likely table, loos etc which will help you feel more confident when you arrive. Meeting outside a coffee shop or pub and walking in as a couple can be less daunting. When you do go on a date, tell a friend and text them when you are safely home.

7 Never give out your address or home telephone until you choose!

8 Analyse the sites There are lots of dating sites and newspaper dating pages , so have a good look at them, their cost and if they attract your kind of date.  Google for people’s comments on how good they are and ask your friends which ones they recommend. You can look using a free profile first. Wait for special offers once you have joined, which makes the monthly amount much cheaper. Take advantage of offers to check out a site. Some sites may share databases so spend wisely!

9 Have an Internet Shopping Date evening with your friends Get some nice internet profile photos done over a glass of wine and some feedback on your clothes choices, make up etc if you have not been on a date for years. Your friends will love helping you and have fun egging you on and finding out how it went…

10 Finally Take 5 years off your age and add 5 years to theirs!

Have Fun! Don’t give up; there is someone out there for you when you decide! If you need any help with your online profile, some confidence building and lots of tips about where to meet new people, like the Single Social events, contact Karen Perkins on 07971 881251 or follow her on Twitter at @fabcoach for lots of free dating tips.

Karen Perkins:

Dating, Life, Career and Social Media Coach 

Karen Perkins  is a life, career and social media coach. Karen moved to Sheffield to study a post grad in Housing and after meeting, marrying and divorcing her ex-husband, has brought up two children as a single mum who are now ‘fantastic teenagers’. Aside from her part-time job in social housing, Karen is currently moonlighting as exam coach, business mentor, taxi driver, butler and cashpoint. In 2002 Karen had a chest infection so bad, she thought she wouldn’t make it. Surviving an ambulance dash to hospital, she decided to put her childhood entrepreneurial ambitions into action and started her own business. Her initial business idea came from caring for her elderly mum. Karen helped her re-locate to Sheffield, and find and settle into a new flat, which inspired her Later Life coaching for older people, widows and those facing retirement.

Karen’s successful coaching business is tailored to the needs of the individual or business. She offers one-to-one coaching, focusing on the work – life balance and planning how to manage issues that arise in the future. The combination of her public and private sector experience with that of setting up a successful coaching business, helps her to understand her clients’ needs and priorities whether they are teenagers, careerists, older people or women starting dating again. Her date coaching service helps people who are trying to get their life back after divorce, or even avoid marrying the wrong person and the Empty Nesters Club she founded helps women coming to terms with a change in roles and relationships after their children move away from home.

Karen’s love of walking led her to found Sheffield Speed Date Walking, her love of social media led her to become Sheffield’s only Twitter Coach , plus all Social media and  her love of cake led her to found Sheffield’s Clandestine Cake Club!

Karen is regularly in the media. She has been re-tweeted by the New York Times and MumsNet, is a regular careers specialist on BBC radio and has guested on Radio 5 Live.

Karen Perkins, Business and Life Coach
Skype id     karenperkinslifecoach
Mobile         07971 881251
Twitter       follow me  @fabcoach  and  @laterlife