10 Top Tips for a ‪#‎stressfree‬ Christmas !

10 Top Tips for a ‪#‎stressfree‬ Christmas !

by Karen Perkins

1 Xmas has not happened yet so you still have a CHOICE about how you are going to enjoy it ! What would you really like to change this year to improve it ?

2 Pick your most annoying relative of friend. Choose to be nice to them this year ! See what happens !

3 Buy yourself a secret santa present ,that you really love . Place it under the tree as your treat on Xmas day !

4 Go and help someone else instead eg the Archer project. ( google for ideas near you !!)

5 Book yourself a de-cluttering session and take it to a charity shop..help others

6 Or teach yourself to sell things on e-bay, and start a way boost your income in the new year !!

7 Go and hide in a deep ,warm bubbly bath !

8 Play hide and seek and have a snooze whilst waiting …kids love this !!

9 When it all gets too much walk round the block , twice if you have too ,it really relaxes you !

10 Invite the neighbours kids round on Christmas eve ,and keep your pets or kids entertained !

Now book yourself a little New Year New You Lifecoaching FREE taster on 07971 881251 and find out how you can make those changes in 2015 that you have been putting off !! www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk

Snow Shoes

Clandestine Cake Club: Sheffield’s Secret Cake Escape

Clandestine Cake Club: Sheffield’s Secret Cake Escape. We were interviewed at our last meeting by the new blog about town WhenInSheffield …who summed up the cake club very eloquently !

Join us to bake ! Our next event is Sat 21st March 2-4 on a Spring Baking theme … Book via @fabcoach or e mail coachmekp@gmail.com


Karen xx


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 coachmekp@gmail.co.uk or on LinkedIn

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 . http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/sheffield/ 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 ! http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/ccc-events/sheffield-oooh-la-la-le-grand-depart-cakes-on-a-cycling-theme/ 

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

Best Cakiness Karen xx




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 http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-1-6523067

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 coachmekp@gmail.com


Karen Perkins www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk



Mark Tillison, MD and Biggest Marketing Geek at Tillison Consulting, http://tillison.co.uk

tillson best

1 Describe your job in 140 characters!
Most days, it feels like being the captain of a great football team, celebrating victories we’ve helped clients achieve

2 What did you want to be when you grew up ?
An Accountant. I met a cousin of mine when I was young. Maths was my strength at school, he had a nice car and impressed me. I worked through school to a Business Course at College which was the foundation to further study and a career in Accountancy. The module in the first year killed any dreams I had of becoming an Accountant – it was just too rigid, had too many rules for me and frankly, just squashed my young spirit. I successfully completed the Business and Finance course, which was otherwise inspiring, interesting and as I’d later discover, very useful.

3 What are you most proud of in your Career  ?
Having taken some time out to reflect on what we’ve achieved as a team over the last 2-3 years has been an amazing experience. We’re so focused on the constant changes in our industry and goals and objectives for next month, next quarter, next year, that we lose sight of the amazing journey we’ve been on.

4 Which famous person inspired you at work and why ?There aren’t any specifically, but I have a lot of respect for Richard Branson. To me, Richard just “gets it”. He has fun in what he’s doing and has a real passion and vision for what he believes in. Whatever ventures he’s been involved in seem to be more of a cause than a profit-making exercise.

5 What & where is your favourite Networking event ?
We coordinate a monthly social event for local businesses – Curry Business (http://tillison.co.uk/curry). It’s a completely informal event to meet, chat and eat good food. No elevator pitches, no membership, no commitment to come every month. 20% of our bill also goes to a nominated local charity each month as does the venue. We get a great, fun night out, the restaurant gets a huge (30+ people) booking and a charity gets a pretty sizeable donation.

6 Where would you take a client for a ‘thank you ‘coffee or lunch in Sheffield ?
I hear Tamper coffee, Agraah and the Wig and Pen are great places.

I’m not local as I work all over the UK , but if it was a client, I think I’d be letting them pick, though I’d do my best to influence Indian food. You wouldn’t be the first to spot a theme here!

7 What is your tip for beating stress at work ?
Celebrate every victory. It’s very easy to get stuck complaining about things that aren’t going as well as you want, clients behaving badly or technology not working as you expect, but the truth is that our days are filled with successes and victories – we just take them for granted and get frustrated when some things don’t go as well as the majority. Personally, I need to vent about this stuff and I’m grateful to have a team around me that knows this and gives me an alternative perspective on situations.

8 What is your favourite way to relax ?
Since an young age, I’ve played competitive snooker to a reasonable standard and play for a team in a local league. There’s always a need for practice to maintain a competitive standard. My teenage son also has the bug and I help support and coach the childrens’ team at the weekends. Seeing them achieve success and winning recent awards has made me very proud.

9 What advice would you give to a young person setting out on their career path ?
Careers don’t get built 9 to 5. Find a career doing something that you love, something that inspires you, something that you can be proud of. My timekeeping may not always be the best, but no one could ever accuse me of not putting in the hours and committing to a cause. Find a career doing something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

10 How can people contact me ?

Via Twitter http://twitter.com/Tillison, or just type “Tillison” in to Google. Predictably, you’ll find me occupying most of the first page.

 Mark Tillison has helped build businesses online for the last 10 years. Mark formed Tillison Consulting in 2007, a team of digital marketing Specialists who work with ambitious businesses through training, coaching and managed services to help them make a profit online.

 tillson best


Free 1:1 on #IntellectualProperty & legal issues for new businesses in #Sheffield

Spring clean your career with an MBA upgrade !

Spring Clean your new business idea !

The University of Sheffield will be running legal clinics with local renowned law firm hlw Keeble Hawson free to anyone and everyone working in or with a small business in Sheffield, even if you’re thinking of starting your own…

You can book for the first event on Feburary 13th with a talk on Intellectual Property Law and Commercial Law from a legal representative plus a chance for a cup of tea and a chat with others in the small business sector. If you’re in need of some 1:1 time with a legal representative then half hour appointments are available in complete confidence.

Please contact the Innovation Centres team for more information or book a place through eventbrite.

Information related to this message is available at http://hlwlegalclinicsheffield.eventbrite.co.uk

For business coaching and motivation contact Karen Perkins on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/karen-perkins/21/173/73a

Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach

life coach in sheffield  career coach karen perkins


Fabcoach, Karen Perkins Life and Career Coach from Sheffield interviews one of her favourite businesses every week on her Blog    www.fabcoach.wordpress.com

Rosemary Finn , works at Taylor Bracewell, Fountain Precinct, Balm green, Sheffield, S1 2JA
rosie finn


Twittter Rosemary Finn @Law_Sheffield

1 Describe your job in 140 characters ! Challenging and rewarding. I am able to help people through a difficult time in their lives by offering practical and cost effective advice and representation.

2 What did you want to be when you grew up ? I actually wanted to be a Solicitor although for brief periods I considered teaching history and becoming a Physiotherapist.

3 What are you most proud of in your Career  ?  That my advice and work enables people to move on  to the next chapter of their lives. I still see some of my old clients and it is lovely that many years after I represented them that they acknowledge how much I helped them. This is very humbling but heart warming.

4 Which famous person inspired you at work and why ? In all honesty, although there are famous people I admire, I can say that from a work point of view my biggest inspiration was my Mum who was not at all famous. She always taught me that if  I worked hard I could be what I wanted to be. I was faced with many people, even my Head of  Sixth Form telling me that ” people like me” didn’t become lawyers. I think he was of the view that to break into the legal profession I needed to have either lots of money or family who were already in the profession. This was a slightly outdated attitude even in the late 1970s /early 1980s! Needless to say, my Mum put him in his place! She worked hard as a District Nurse and without being pushy encouraged me and my two brothers to fulfil our potential. She and my Dad were always supportive.

5 What & where is your favourite Networking event ?  Doncaster Chamber of Commerce Women In Business lunches. There is an informal atmosphere and I generally find that the attendees are very friendly and welcoming and show an interest in you and your business. They offer good company and good food which is usually a winning combination.

6 Where would you take a client for a ‘thank you ‘coffee or lunch in Sheffield ?  I like Caffe Nero as I love their coffee. For lunch, I like ASK or Philpotts for a sandwich.

I like the Calamari at ASK and the Smoked salmon and Cream Cheese sandwich at Philpotts is lovely.

 7 What is your tip for beating stress at work ?  Take a deep breath and count to ten! Then tackle the problem because it won’t go away if you ignore it. Also, you need to know when to turn off the computer and go home. It is good to work hard but there are only so many productive hours in the day and you will become more stressed if you continue working beyond those productive hours.

8 What is your favourite way to relax ?  Reading or spending time with my daughter and our crazy but loveable Cocker  Spaniel.

9 What advice would you give to a young person setting out on their career path ?  Work hard but also make time for yourself and family. Consider all of your options. Not everyone is suited to Higher Education and for some, the cost is prohibitive so consider if their might be other ways to achieve your goals such as Apprenticeships. Listen to those who might be a little older and wiser than you as they may actually be able to offer you some sensible advice.

10 How can people contact me ?  Telephone: 0114 2721884 or Mobile: 07780479805


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Plan your retirement way before you retire !!

I have just been interviewed by Campbell Harrison, Sheffield based Financial advisor12314009-retirement squares and retirement planners. I shared my coaching tips for a successful retirement !

” Although the idea of not having to work anymore can be exciting (and something you might have been looking forward to for many years!), for some it can be a mixed blessing. The change from being in work to being retired presents many different feelings, ranging from panic and boredom to sheer joy at having time available to do what you want. As with all big life changes, retirement can take a lot of adjusting to and it’s quite common to feel unsure about this new chapter in your life. http://www.campbellharrison.co.uk/blog/life-coaching-tips-for-a-successful-retirement 

Contact me for some Life Coaching or retirement planning !! http://www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk/retirement-coach-sheffield.html

Happy Dreaming !Karen

Women Wearing Colorful Bathing Caps