Back to School! Essex Mums Newsletter September 2016
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Essex Mums Awards  *   Back to School  *  Classes and Groups from September  *  Introductions and Meet-Ups  *  We want to pay you for your ideas! *  We want to pay you for your ideas!  *   Essex Mums Awards  *   Product Reviews   *   New on the Shopping Guide   *   Pregnancy & Parenting Articles   *   Recipes   *   Craft Ideas   *   Educational Activities   *   Special Offers   *   Blog   *   Events   *   New Groups & Classes   *   Ad Rates   *    Competitions
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Back to school again! I don't know about you but this summer has flown by for us and I can't believe we're another school year on! I do hope you all had an enjoyable Summer and found lots of great things to do. Why not stop by the forum and tell us what you really enjoyed, or review the places you've visited in our Local Listings section!

If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!

Truly Madly Healthy Personal Training for Mums

Since having my first baby 7 months ago I have focused my training to help mums feel more body confident. My sessions are aimed at rebuilding strength and embracing your new post baby body. I understand that time is precious so our sessions work your entire body and include a program to use at home. 
Based in my private home studio in Leigh so you can train with complete privacy.
Email :

Essex Mums Awards
Today is the LAST DAY you can vote in the Essex Mums awards! Come and vote for the people, places and things that make your life as a parent in Essex that bit easier!

Voting will close at midnight tonight then will be tallied up over the next few days and announced asap so make sure you vote, share with your friends or customers (or both!) and generally say thanks to all those wonderful people who bring so much joy and fun to our families. Last year it was so amazing to be able to show how much we appreciate them and I am looking forward to doing the same again this year. 

Thank you to everyone who has already voted; we have already received more than 40,000 votes, which is just amazing and already outstrips the number received last year by miles!

The 2016 Essex Mums Awards are sponsored by:
Mum2mum market is getting a boost in Essex thanks to it’s appearance on BBC2’s Dragon’s Den.
Mum2mum markets are nearly new sales of great quality maternity, baby and children’s goods - prams, toys, clothes, equipment, furniture etc...
The sales are already proving popular in Billericay, Chelmsford, Dagenham and are now coming to Thurrock, Southend, Basildon, Canvey , & Colchester
SELLERS book a stall online and get help every step of the way with our great tips and keep 100% of the profits.
BUYERS can come along and pick up bargains at up to 90% off retail prices.
Visit our Facebook page for all the latest dates, information  and offers  

Back to School
Whether your kids are starting nursery, infants, juniors, senior school or even university, you can come and chat about it on the forum and are sure to find other parents experiencing the same thing. Come and chat about what's going on with you in our 'What's happening this year?' thread or if you have a specific issue you would like to discuss, please feel free to start your own topic in our Education section. It can be a daunting time for your kids but also for you to be starting something completely new and it can definitely help to speak to people who have been there too, or are going through the same thing.

If you want some professional advice about school, you can post in our 'Ask the Teacher' section where we have a range of teachers from nursery up to secondary who are happy to give their advice and opinion about any educational issues that are bothering you.

A lot of schools now have facebook pages and groups for parents to communicate with one another and I have been starting to get a list together here. If your school does this I would really appreciate you letting me know the link so that I can add it to our list and make it easy for parents to find the relevant group for them. If your school doesn't have a group you are welcome to post on the forum to find out if anyone else knows where one is, or start one on there yourself!

If you're looking for a bit of back to school shopping, check out the 'School' section of the Shopping Guide for some fantastic shops or if you're looking for a bargain, check out the School Uniform Shop where you can buy and sell used uniform.
Classes and Groups from September
Those of you with pre-school children may well be looking for something fun to do, and will be pleased to know that all the term-time classes and groups will be starting up again. There is such an amazing range of activities for little ones, and you can find listings of them all in our Things to Do section. Within each area you can find sections for Parent and Toddler Groups, Classes, Sports and more. Our Local Listings section also has some great information about what's going on near you! If you're overwhelmed by the choice and would like some ideas as to what is worth giving a go, make sure you come and ask on the forum as you'll get some great feedback from other parents who have already tried them.

I am currently updating these so if you run a group yourself that needs some changes made, please let me know on Likewise, if you would like one of our review panel to attend one of your classes and write a review, do let me know!
Introductions and Meet-Ups
Want to get to know other parents in your area? Come and say hello in our introductions and meet-ups section. It is now divided by area so you can say hello or arrange a get-together with other parents close to where you live. Take a look and see who is near you! If you're not sure which area you're in, let me know!
We want to pay you for your ideas!
Can you come up with good recipes, craft ideas and fun educational activities? Send them over to us and get paid!
We always need new ideas for the website and can pay £5 for every one we use. Just email over instructions and a photograph to and I'll let you know if we can use your idea!
Post Natal Pilates
In Upminster
Babies Welcome!

Would you like to participate in safe gentle exercise with other new mums, in a supportive environment with baby alongside you?

Pilates is a series of slow and controlled body conditioning exercises which relieve stress, build core stability & strength & stamina, improve muscle elasticity & mobilise spinal joints.

The Post Natal Pilates course includes pelvic floor re-education, restoring optimal posture, checking for stomach muscle separation and prescribing gentle rehabilitative exercises to each individual.

Our classes & courses run from Monday – Thursday evenings, and Tuesday – Friday mornings in Upminster & Cranham.  Post Natal Pilates for new mums is on Tuesdays or Thursdays.  For further information or to book, go to or call Charlene on 07411 826721.
Product Reviews
Want to find out what's worth buying and what's worth missing out on? Where is good to go and where to avoid? Then consult our crack team of Essex Mums product reviewers before making your purchase! Click on each reviewer on the Product Reviews page to see all of their reviews, or click here to browse the reviews or search by categories such as age range and type of product.

Here are the product reviews added this month! 
The Skin Clinic, Brentwood
I arrived in Brentwood ahead of my appointment and parked in a nearby pay and display. I located the Skin Clinic salon which was towards the end of the high street across the road from the main stretch. There are small simple signs and I was at ease that the location lends itself to popping in without a big sign next to me saying “skin peels for the slightly wrinkled”
Click here to read Sarah's full review
Being a family who are always wanting to try something new, I was delighted when I received DRINKmaple to review. I was sceptical before tasting it, wondering what water made solely from a tree could possibly taste like but I was pleasantly surprised. My daughter was also happy to find such a great drink that was suitable for vegetarians! 
Click here to read Melissa's full review
Charles Bentley Double Folding Camping Chair from BuyDirect4U
We are keen campers… well, the rest of my family are keen campers, I like the sitting around the fire bit, the outdoor drinking bit and catching up friends, and am not such a fan of the lack of comfort and poor night’s sleep. However, I’m willing to let this go to make my family happy. What a martyr!
Click here to read Louise's full review
Allied Healthcare
We’re the UK’s biggest home care provider, and our most important asset is our employees. We wouldn’t be where we are without them. That’s why we invest so much in training and developing our care workers.
Care work is an important job that makes a real difference to people’s lives. So we think it’s important that our care workers receive the encouragement, training and financial reward that gives them not only professional skills, but also the status they deserve.
Getting Active
Find out how other Essex Mums and their families are getting fit and fabulous in our Getting Active section! Get some ideas for things to try, read their wonderful reviews and follow in their footsteps on your own healthy journey. 
Grassroots Rugby with Little Scrummers
We are a family run business which started in 2009 and we are here to help bring the exciting game of non contact rugby to the younger children who deserve that opportunity to enjoy this fantastic sport. We enjoy and feel strongly about supporting local and national charities and our community. 

Click here to read
The Healthbug – Hydration
My name is Natasha Gant, I am a life coach and run a health and wellbeing business called The Healthbug which is a new and innovative health management brand that teaches you to become the best version of yourself.

My focus and passion is to help people achieve all aspects of health and happiness from nutrition and diet advice to lifestyle, mind-set, coping mechanisms, sleep, meditation and hydration. I truly believe in the benefits of transforming our whole self; from the inside out – top to toe.

Click here to read
Eating Less and the Secret Power of Thought
Imagine starting a new diet. You’ve made your mind up and this time you are going to stick to it. You feel a sense of determination as you step on to the scales, wince a little as you note what they read but you promise yourself that this time it’s going to work.

Click here to read
New on the Shopping Guide
Looking for great gifts, fairtrade or handmade toys, clothes that are a bit different to what's on the High Street, or just something to treat yourself? You'll find it all and more on the Essex Mums Alternative Shopping Guide! Browse shops on the guide by category, or search the product guide for that perfect buy! 

New this month:
  • My Little Boots: Adorable soft soled leather boots. Perfect for crawling and those all important first steps.
If you have a shop you would like to advertise on the Shopping Guide, please get in touch on

Bar / Batmmitzvah, Wedding photography and family portraits . Memories that will last a lifetime.  
Please contact me for a package to suit all budgets. 
07956 818477
0208 491 6482 

Pregnancy & Parenting Articles
The Pregnancy and Parenting section features fantastic information about different aspects of pregnancy and parenting written by our very own Essex Mums: everything from trying for a baby to raising teenagers. This section is a work in progress so check back regularly for new topics.

Our pregnancy and parenting articles will be on hold for a month or two while the section has a facelift, but here are a couple of favourite articles from the past!
Quiz: Which Playground Mum are you?
The school playground can be a fun place to meet other parents and rediscover the social life you may have lost since having children, or it can be a nightmare of cliques and feeling out of place that might take you back to the worst parts of your own school days. We thought we would take a light-hearted look at the different types of Mums (and Dads!) you might encounter in the playground
Take the quiz here
Avoiding Gender-Sterotyping with Children's Books
Do you tweet? When we became parents, we found it a quick way to read about interesting parenting ideas, really briefly, because we didn’t actually have time to sit down and read much any more. At first we tweeted individually as ourselves, but then after reading the brilliant book by Marianne Grabrucker There’s a Good Girl: Gender Stereotyping in the First Three Years – A Diary, it inspired us to keep a micro diary of our own on Twitter about our then 3-year-old girl and 4-month-old boy.
Read more
Can you choose your baby’s sex?
Is it possible to choose the sex of your next baby using natural, DIY methods? Some people think that they can at least sway the odds, so for couples anxious to balance their families, it could certainly be worth a try. Sex selection using medical intervention is illegal in the UK, but there are many natural, non-invasive changes that couples can make themselves that are thought to tip the odds one way or the other.  
Read more
Take a look at our recipes section for some tried-and-tested family-friendly feeds! Do you have something you would like to add to this section? If so, please share it here. If anyone is interested in becoming a regular contributor please get in touch
Healthy breakfast egg muffins
These are great for breakfast but also for snacks. They keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and perfect to pop into a lunchbox or take along to a picnic.

Read the full recipe here
Great Middle Eastern side but also a fun food for toddlers to dig into and discover some new flavours

Read the full recipe here

Saturday 8th October 
Mind Body and Spirit Day Charity day for St Luke's Hospice 
Held at:
Marconi Club 
Tydemans off of Beehive Lane 

Contact Genny on 

A day of holistic healing, experienced  mediums and clairvoyants such as Genny Sapiro, Maureen Flynn, Kerry Standfast and many more. 
Hanmi Buddhist Association will be offering free healing and meditation all day. 
Lots of stalls, refreshments and raffle. 

Find us on Facebook Mind Body and Spirit Events in Essex

Craft Ideas
Our Craft Ideas section features arts and crafts for children of all ages. Just click on the image to find out how to make it! If you have any ideas, or would like to write a regular feature for this section, please get in touch!
Homemade Blackboard Frames
Another great idea from Clair Thienel: beautiful homemade blackboards!

Read more
Surprise Ball
A quick and easy activity to set up, great for fine motor skills and talking about colours and textures. If you don’t already have an Oball or something similar, you can often find them cheaply on amazon or in charity shops.

Read more 
Educational Activities
Our Educational Activities section features ideas to get your kids learning and help them with their homework. We really need some contributors for this section who can come up with some simple ideas, so if you would like to become a contributor or just have a few suggestions, please post them - anything is welcome, no matter how simple
Bug Hotel
A bug hotel in the garden provides a haven for creepy crawlies, this can attract other wildlife to the garden, and give children the opportunity to explore the bugs!

Read more
Reading Bookworm
This idea from was originally aimed at getting kids to read throughout the summer holidays, but I think it could be a great idea all year round for rewarding unenthusiastic readers. Of course we all know that eventually reading is its own reward but even for a good reader it can be a bit of a slow-starter, so a little incentive doesn’t hurt. 

Read more
Special Offers
Special offers for Essex Mums added this month!
15% off at OvenBlue
We are a professional domestic and commercial Oven Cleaning Business serving the people and businesses of Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
Read more
10% off Baby Massage Classes
Are you looking for something fun yet relaxing to do with your baby? Or does s/he suffer from wind, constipation or colic, or have trouble settling at night? Would you like to learn a wonderful skill that will benefit both you and your baby, and meet new friends too? Come and join a baby massage class!

Read more
15% off at PregnancyPillows.Net
Supplier of Multi-Award Winning Pregnancy, Maternity and Nursing Pillows, available in 7 lovely colours.
Read more
10% off at FireStar Toys
FireStar Toys is the world’s largest LEGO minifigure online store. We sell thousands of LEGO sets, minifigures and parts including a huge selection of all the best custom designs brands from around the world.
Read more
10% off at PastelPrint
PastelPrint is a leading UK fingerprint jewellery company and prides itself in providing top customer service and excellent quality of personalised items, as endorsed by the Guild of Master Craftsmen and many of our returning customers.
Read more

The blog features posts from me as well as from guest bloggers, so if you have something you would like to write, please get in touch!
Times Change, But Some Things Remain Much The Same
Times change, sometimes very quickly and sometimes over a longer spell. For us as adults, it’s easy to see this happening. There are things that we see, particularly if we are parents, that are so different from when we were kids. 
Read more

Every day this Summer Holidays

Be sure to bring your little ones down to Marsh Farm during the 6 week holidays for our Summer Spectacular, taking place every day. Prepare yourself for Magic Shows, Animal Displays and Milking Demonstrations. Play in our extensive indoor and outdoor play areas and run wild in our enormous inflatable village – all included with your entrance ticket!

Why not head into Chicken Coop Crafts and get messy & creative with our arty fun? There are hours of fun to be had at Marsh Farm, with bouncy pillows, sand-pit, tractor town, tractor and trailer rides, den building, pony grooming and much more!

NEW attractions!

The whole family will love getting lost inside our massive Maize Maze! Spanning across 4 acres, this labyrinth crop field will leave even the most expert puzzle professionals scratching their heads! Can you find the middle? Those lucky enough to crack the maze will discover a tasty treasure in the center – then you just need to find your way out…

If your kiddies love to explore then get ready for the enormous NEW Outdoor Adventure! Boasting 3 towers, rope bridges, tunnels, climbing nets and slides, this giant jaw-dropping play frame is hours of fun for children of all ages (come rain or shine)!

Tickets are just £11.50 on the day or £9.99 online, under 2s go free and no dogs allowed.

Lots going on this month! You can find full listings on the Things to Do section or search by area using the links below. Make sure you take a look to find fun things to do for your family, and let us know when you try something good. Oh, and remember to say you saw it on Essex Mums!

Join the Essex Record Office to celebrate the creativity to be found within their collections, including in art, music and photography. The day will include a multi-sensory family trail and a chance for children to make their own books inspired by the collections. Find out more at

Saturday 10 September, 10.00am-4.00pm
Essex Record Office, Wharf Road, Chelmsford, CM2 6YT
Free, no need to book

New Classes and Groups

A selection of new information about classes and groups added this month.  Some are brand new to the site, some just have updates about new venues, details etc. Take a look at the Things to Do section for complete listings.

Parent and Toddler Groups
Children's Centres
Groups for Older Children

You'll see results sooner than you think!

Effective tuition puts your child one step ahead. It helps them to develop and make progress – and improves their focus, motivation and creativity.
Our dedicated tutors are educational professionals who have an outstanding track record in helping children achieve better results.

Whether you’re looking to catch up or extend we have a group for you from age 5-18 years. Prepare for SATs, 11plus, GCSE or A Level in Maths, English or Science.

Call today to arrange your free consultation and trial lesson.
Southend        01702 680400
Benfleet        01268 833838
Basildon        01268 833330
Ad Rates
If you'd like to consider advertising on the site, take a look at the Ad Rates page. There is a range of ads to suit all budgets, and if you want to hear how advertising on Essex Mums has worked for others, take a look at the Testimonials page. I am always happy to put together packages that suit you and are normally discounted so get in touch if you have a few ideas about where you'd like to be on the site and we can work together to find something that suits you. If you would like help putting an ad together, we can provide this service free of charge.

If you are interested in being informed of special ad offers, let me know. 
Everything else
As always, please send any events, feedback, ideas etc. to me at I love hearing how people use the site and ways I can improve it. The normal newsletter will be back next month - I hope you've enjoyed this overview of the website!

I hope you have a lovely month and that I'll get to see you at a meet-up soon.

Kind regards

Fantastic things to win! Enter one of our great competitions or get in touch if you would like to run something yourself. New competitions are always being added so make sure you check the competitions page for new giveaways, and get in touch if you'd like to run a giveaway yourself. 


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