Apologies to anyone who just got a wonky looking newsletter - hopefully this one is a bit better!

Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a wonderful 2013 but that 2014 brings you even more happiness. It's been a great year here at Essex Mums and as the site has grown so much over 2013 I thought I would take this opportunity to go over the many different areas of the site - I hope that it will continue to be a useful resource for your family.

Once again I would also like to thank everyone who has been a part of the site this past year (and previously). When I started it back in 2008 I never would have dreamed of it becoming what it is now - hopefully a useful and interesting site, but most importantly a supportive, friendly and amazing group of parents who have been there for one another through thick and thin. Thank you Essex Mums, there's a lot I would have struggled to get through myself without some of you.

Please feel free to use the buttons below to add your own event, business etc to the website totally free:

Submit an Event
Come and CHat
Submit a Business
Submit Place to Eat




NEW classes for pre-schoolers coming to Rayleigh and Southend from January – now taking bookings!

Talking Tots provides the only pre-school activity class to focus on encouraging confident communication and social skills, self-esteem, good listing and attention, basic pre-literacy and expressive language development – all key skills needed to support effective learning at school!
Want to know more? Please email claire@talkingtots.info for further information about:
  • FREE taster sessions running on 31st October at the new Southend library, The Forum
  • Classes currently running in Shoebury, Thorpe Bay and Leigh-on-Sea
  • Classes launching in Rayleigh and Southend in January
Don’t miss out!


The Forum
Without the 
forum, where would we be? So many of us have made great friends here, kids have grown up together and we've given and received some amazing advice as well as just having a lovely place to chat each day. If you've never posted, please make it your new year's resolution to come and say hello; if you posted once but decided it wasn't for you, please give us another chance! We're always happy to see some new faces, just dive right in to one of the daily threads. Don't feel daunted, it really is a friendly and welcoming group.

If you're 
pregnant or already a parent and need some advice, there's al
ways someone who has been there, done that. There's a section for Essex Dads, for those of you who fancy a bit of stardom, who fancy a debate or just want a rant; you can ask for opinions on medical issues, or on schools and nurseries. If you want something different for your child's birthday party you can find it on the forum, and likewise if you have a business opportunity you'd love to share, you can do so here too. There's even an area for buying and selling where you can list items free of charge! The Local Business Noticeboard is a new section of the forum to post about and promote your business to our community. If you are interested in having your posts shared with our Facebook and Twitter followers too, email me on louise@essexmums.org about forum sponsorship at just £20 a year.

As well as that, you can get professional advice from one of our experts:

  • Ask the Baby Expert: Ask Lisa Clegg author of The Blissful Baby Expert any questions you have regarding dealing with everything baby-related. 
  • Ask the Business ExpertAsk our business expert Claire Conby any questions you have about starting up or running your own business.
  • Ask the Children's Physiotherapist: Ask our Children's Physiotherapist Chris Smith from Kidsphysio2u any physical development concerns you may have, or for general children's physiotherapy questions. 
  • Ask the Dentist: Have a question about tooth and mouth care? Ask Charl Chapman from Essex Dentist.
  • Ask the Midwife: Any questions about pregnancy, labour, birth or postnatal care? Then ask our experienced midwife for some advice.
  • Ask the Occupational Therapist: Ask our Occupational Therapist Abi Johnson for advice about your child's fine motor skills, handwriting, self-care or difficulty accessing leisure activities.
  • Ask the Solicitor: For legal advice and questions - ask the Solicitors from Leonard Gray LLP 
  • Ask the Speech and Language Therapist: Post your questions about any concerns you have about your child's speech or language development to the Therapists from C&D Independent Speech & Language Therapy
  • Ask the TeacherHave a question about your child's education? We have a range of teachers from Early Years right up to Secondary ready to help and offer advice
  • Ask the TrainerPut your health and fitness questions to our forum Personal Trainer Zoe Randall 
  • Ask the Working Mums Coach: Are you are working mum who needs some advice, or are you looking for help to get you back into work? Come and ask our Working Mums Coach from The Pickle Shed
Does your baby have a flat head?

It could be a condition called Positional Plagiocephaly.Until 4-5 months of age repositioning and tummy time techniques may be enough to encourage natural correction of head shape. 

If repositioning techniques have not brought about sufficient improvement, then Cranial Remoulding Therapy is an option. This is a pain-free 
and non-invasive treatment.

If you would like more advice the London Orthotic Consultancy’s clinics in Romford and Harley Street offer an initial, no obligation FREE consultation at which your baby’s head shape will be assessed, measured and treatment options discussed.

Contact: 020 8974 9989 or info@londonorthotics.co.uk

Things to Do
Hopefully a section you're all familiar with! The 
Things to Do section is a fantastic listing of what's on for families across Essex. It's divided into different areas to make it easy as well as types -  one off events, parent and toddler groups, classes, groups for older children and things for parents. I'm always on the hunt for new goings on so please do contact me if you have anything you would like listed here or just submit the event yourself using our online form. Every event links through to a forum post with more details, which means there is also the opportunity to discuss things you have been to yourself, and find out what others have to say about them. Regular events, venues etc. are also listed on the map, which makes it easy to search for what's on near you.

I'm eager to make sure that all classes, groups etc are as up to date as possible so please send over any new details if you run a class, or let me know if you see something that is no longer running or needs updating. Oh, and make sure you mention you read about it on Essex Mums if you do go along to something new!

NEW THIS YEAR! You can now make your event 'Featured'on Essex Mums for just a pound a week. Once you have added your event you can choose the subscribe option below the 'Add Your Event' button to start the Featured ad running, or pay via the Online Ad Payments page. It's only a pound a week, with the amount being charged on a weekly basis, so there is no need to pay the full amount upfront, and you can run the listing for as long as you like. When you want it to finish, simply cancel your subscription. 

 Places to Go
I still have hundreds of great attractions and days out to add to the 
Places to Go section but it's been filled out a bit more this year, giving detailed descriptions of venues and attractions across the county, divided into categories to make it easy to find something if you fancy a day out. If you would like your place to go listed here, just get in touch on louise@essexmums.org

Places to Eat
Family-Friendly Eats section contains listings and reviews of family-friendly restaurants and cafes, so that parents make informed choices about where their family can enjoy a meal, and where might be best to avoid. It would be great to eventually award establishments certificates of family-friendliness, based on what the users of Essex Mums have said but for that we need more ratings and more reviews, so come and tell us about the best and worst near to you. You can also use the map to find places near you. If you would like to add a place to eat, just use our online form.

Pregnancy and Parenting
Pregnancy an
d 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. Please bear in mind that all articles (unless otherwise stated) are written by members of the site and are not to be used in place medical advice from a doctor, midwife or health visitor. If you're interested in writing for this section yourself, please get in touch

Also this year, we added a
baby names section to the site - a personal interest of mine and something I've wanted to do for years!
 It's full of interesting and unusual names, as well as the classics. You can rate and save your favourites, add anything you have to say about the name and search by origin, top 20s since 1903 and some fun categories that I am hoping to add more of!

Competitions and Special Offers
Things to win! Check out the great 
competitions we have on Essex Mums, and let me know if you would like to run a competition yourself. This page will be updated with some great new competitions for 2014 over the next few days.

You can also find some fantastic special offers exclusive to Essex Mums!

Alternative 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! Now is the perfect time to sign up for the Guide for 2014 and/or 2015 so drop me a line or book online if you're interested. All shops listed get a mention in the newsletter and on the forum and every new product added is shared with our followers on twitter and facebook so it's a great way to promote your shop.


Formed by a husband and wife team, ebabystuff.co.uk gives parents the opportunity to buy or sell baby and toddler items. As new parents themselves, their home soon became filled with outgrown clothes and toys not played with, plus bigger things too like prams, travel cots etc.  When selling these items it became a struggle finding a cost effective option, which is when they formed ebabystuff.co.uk.
Ebabystuff.co.uk offers “no sale, no fee” on standard listings.  They have also set the final sale commissions low so that their members will see more of their money back at a time when they need it. Ebabystuff.co.uk is designed to the specific needs of parents by focusing solely on baby and toddler goodies, which will provide our members with a target audience of buyers for their items. Likewise, it will also give new or expectant parents the chance to buy new or used items, hopefully for a bargain!  All parents know just how hard it is to buy everything your child needs and ebabystuff offers a solution to some of those problems.
To welcome you to 
www.ebabystuff.co.uk we are pleased to offer this unique 50% discount code ‘essexmums14’ against listings enhancements until 31 March 2014.

Essex Mums Shop
The most exciting new addition to the site this year is our 
shop! It features lots of lovely products from small and local businesses so come and take a look! If you have any products you would like to sell through us and think would be a good fit, please get in touch!

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.  Click here if you have something you would like reviewed! We can allocate a reviewer to you, or you can choose someone you think fits what you're looking for.

Directory is your guide to local services, shops and more. There are free basic listings available to all which include contact details, website etc. and inexpensive lifetime listings for those who would like a little more exposure. To add your company, just fill in the online form and submit your listing.

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!

A totally new section this year is the Activities section. Here you can find user-submitted
recipes, Arts and Crafts ideas and Educational Activities. If you have any ideas, or would like to write a regular feature for any of these sections, please get in touch - it would be lovely to have some regular contributors here and may be a nice little promotional piece for a food/craft business as it will of course be credited to you! There is also a section about getting fit, though I'm still working out what to do with this! Anything you would like to see?

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.


You can now purchase ads quickly and easily online here. Once paid you can email us on louise@essexmums.org or we will contact you to arrange what we will need from you, artwork, dates etc. Banner ads can run from any day of the month, newsletters go out on the first of each month. As is has been popular I have decided to extend our buy one, get one free offer for the rest of January so if you book an ad through the new page you will get the same again totally free, on anything from a small newsletter ad for a month up to a banner ad for a year. Just book online and quote 'BOGOF' on your order to qualify.

If you would like help putting an ad together, we can provide this service free of charge.


21 Day Fast Fatloss in the New Year- Lose that Festive Weight !

After years of helping  ladies get in great shape I have used all of my knowledge about Nutrition, convenience and designed a 21 Day Fastloss Plan to help you get started.

My recipes are simple and easy to follow with lots of Healthy twists on "Family Favourites".  You use the 21 day plan alongside my cook book that has over 100 recipes that are quick and easy.

Then follow my 12 week Total Body Toning program.  These workouts are perfect if you have been training for a while but you haven't managed to see big changes.  These workout's really focus on the female problem area's, Legs, Bum, Tummy, Love Handles and Triceps
Special Offer: TMH Cook Book – 21 Day Fat loss Plan – 12 Week Total Body Toning Program – Just £36.97 before the 31st December


Everything else

As always, please send any events, feedback, ideas etc. to me at louise@essexmums.org. 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

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