On Essex Mums this month
Hello everyone, hope you all enjoyed the snow (or at the very least tolerated it) and are looking forward to the lovely spring weather which is bound to be just around the corner (ahem).

Before going on with the newsletter, I'd like to let you all know about the 'maternity leave' I will be taking at some point over the next couple of months. As many of you know, we're expecting our third baby in March, so while I should be around for a little while yet, as I'm sure many of you know, babies tend to be somewhat unpredictable and I wanted to give everyone a heads up that if there's anything you would like put on the site in the next couple of months, whether it's events, ads or anything else, send them over to me sooner rather than later! I will do my best to be back to work as soon as I can be so hopefully you won't notice anything missing!

Me and IA great opportunity for mums
me&i are launching their spring collection, full of frogs, flowers, and other fantastic prints. They’re now strengthening their Essex team and are looking for energetic mums who’d like to earn an extra income to join their sales team.
me&i now also have a complete line of stylish ladies wear, and with demand for everything Scandi at an all-time high they’re expecting a record season.
All me&i clothes are made in European factories that care for their workers and the environment.  The baby range uses organic cotton and the whole range is Öko-tex labelled, guaranteeing the clothes are free from harmful chemicals. 

For more information visit www.meandi.eu or contact Pernilla Kemp, 07725 030821.

Are You Pregnant Too?

It seems I'm not the only one awaiting a new arrival - we're having a bit of a baby boom on the site, so if you're in the club too, come and say hi! Post your due date, or just discuss how you're feeling with other Mums-to-be. You might also want to check out our fantastic Ask the Midwife section, where you can ask Lorraine from Birth Affinity, a qualified Midwife, Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner, birth educator and mum of three any questions you have about your pregnancy as well as getting advice from other Mums. You might also like to check out some of our great articles on Pregnancy and Parenting.

Welcome to the Forum!
We've had lots of 'newbies' on the forum this month which is always really lovely! A few of them have got stuck in and have been posting lots so I thought it would be worth reminding everyone that you are ALL welcome - whether you're brand new to Essex Mums or have been around but lurking for years, we really do welcome everyone. It's nice to hear about what everyone's been up to so don't worry if you think you don't have anything interesting to say, just come and chat! Come and tell us about yourself in the Introductions section and have a look for a new 'daily thread' each day in the 'A Bit of a Chat' - a great way of getting to know people.

Half Term Events
As always there is a selection of local events below, but check out the Things to Do section for Half-Term events near you this February. There are great things happening both indoors and outdoors across the county so you should be able to keep the kids entertained all week! Keep an eye out for more events added in the next couple of weeks.

Want to write for us?
We have a great team already who are writing brilliant articles for the Pregnancy and Parenting section but I'm still looking for article writers for Essex Mums. You don't need any experience of being a 'proper' writer, just be enthusiastic, willing to do some research and able to write clearly. Each month there are prizes given out to some of our writes: £50 a month for the highest number of articles, then £25 for the highest voted article and £10 for the second. If you're interested please register on the forum and let me know your username but emailing me or posting in this thread, then I'll add you to the writers group.

It would be especially great to get more experts on board, so if you have a specialist subject and would like to write, please do get in touch. All articles will be credited to you and can have a link to your website, blog, or anywhere you would like them to link to!

Ask the Speech and Language Therapist
Speaking of experts, please welcome our newest forum professional! 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 in this brand new section.

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 2013 over the next few days.

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.



Neverland Keepsake Creations

With pieces ranging from stunning keepsake jewellery to enchanting quilts, cushions and creatures, Neverland Creations can capture those special moments forever.
From baby scan images, hand and footprints, fingerprints, kisses, doodles and a modern take on the classic cameo, each pure fine silver charm is sure to capture everything that is precious to you.  Patchwork quilts, cushions and creatures can incorporate anything from first babygrows to wedding dresses or Gran’s favourite blouse.
Each piece is designed with the client to ensure the final piece is just as unique as the family that created it.


As always there is lots more going on this month! Below is a selection of the fantastic things going on but you can find full listings on the Things to Do section.

Barking and Dagenham
2nd: Eastbury Manor House Family Day
3rd & 17th: Derek, Floppy and Friends, The Broadway Barking
18th: Half-Term Takeover, The Broadway Barking
19th: Be My Valentine, Eastbury Manor House
24th: Kiskis Pabegelis (The Rabbit Who Ran Away), The Broadway Barking
2nd: Winter Walk, Norsey Woods
9th: Festivals of the World Open Day, David Lloyd
13th: First Aid Sessions, Sunnyside Children’s Centre
16th: Chinese New Year, Eastgate Shopping Centre
18th – 22nd: Books, Cooks and Scarecrows Week, Barleylands
18th-22nd: Cottage Crafts & Pond Dipping, Wat Tyler
18h: Feb ½ Term Fun: ((Detective and Junior Detective Xperience)), Brightside School
19th – 21st: Nestbox Week, Wat Tyler
21st: Razza Roller Skating Disco, Eversley Leisure Centre
Every Saturday: Hungry Caterpillar Crafts and Activities, Braintree Museum
Every Sunday: Snowdrop Sundays, Hedingham Castle
Every Weekend: Snowdrop Weekends, Marks Hall
19th: Feb 1/2 Term Fun (Martial Arts & Junior Martial Arts Xperience), Maltings Academy
20th-22nd: Half-Term Storytelling, Braintree Museum
20th: Feb 1/2 Term Fun (Sport & Junior Sport Xperience), Maltings Academy
22nd: Arboretum Adventure Children's Play. Marks hall
6th & 13th: The Get Ready Club, Mountnessing
10th: Creative Blast in Concert 2013, Brentwood Theatre
15th: Pamper Morning, Chicken and Frog
16th-24th: Spring into Half-Term Trail, Weald Country Park
17th: Bird box and table making, Weald Country Park
18th: Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes come to life!, Chicken and Frog
19th-22nd: Holiday clubs for disabled young people, Bishops Hall
19th: Den Building, Thorndon Country Park
20th & 22nd: Whizz, Bang, Pop! Chicken and Frog
21st  & 22nd: The Pirates of Dinosaur Island, Brentwood Theatre
23rd  & 24th: The Brentwood Spring, Craft & Gift Show, The Brentwood Centre
26th: Developing Scissor Skills, Knights Way Centre
Castle Point
3rd: Tales for a Winter’s Afternoon, Hadleigh Country Park
3rd: Tales from the Fireside, Hadleigh Country Park
24th: Roundhouse Open Afternoon, Hadleigh Country Park
2nd: Baby and Toddler Event,  Champions Manor Hall
3rd: Hobbit Trail & Hobbit Hike, Hanningfield Reservoir
5th: Dragon Tales: A Workshop for Chinese New Year, Just Imagine Story Centre
12th & 13th: Love Splat, Just Imagine Story Centre
16th-24th: Nature Watch Week, Tropical Wings
16th: Fingerprint Fun, Essex Police Museum
18th - 22nd: The Danbury One Day Activity Experience
18th – 22nd: Pirates and Princesses Week, Marsh Farm
18th: Triple Dance, The Boswells School
19th: Mad Science Holiday Camps, Dovedale Sport Centre
20th: James and the Giant Peach, Just Imagine Story Centre
20th & 21st: P.A.S.S. Soccer, Chelmer Valley High School
21st: Catch! Netball, Chelmer Park
22nd: Now That's What I Call Pantomime, Hylands House and Estate
23rd: Minuscule Family Festival, Just Imagine Story Centre
26th onwards: Annie, Civic and Cramphorn
All month: firstsite Art Awards for children ages 7-12 years
3rd: Teddys Concert in the Moot Hall
4th  & 26th: Yummy Mummy & Dishy Dad Coffee Morning, Jungle Adventure
6th: The Jungle Dance Off, Jungle Adventure
8th: All Star Wrestling, Charter Hall
9th: Carnival Child, Colchester Arts Centre
10th: Tower Tours, Layer Marney Tower
13th: Special Chaacter Visit, Jungle Adventure
14th: Woo at the Zoo, Colchester Zoo
15th: Day Dream Cinema: We Bought a Zoo, firstsite
16th: Older Kids Ukulele Workshop (9+), Tea and Sympathy
17th: Ships and Boats Family Day, Art Exchange
18th – 22nd: Holiday Fun at Colchester Leisure World
18th: Video Game Making Workshop, Signals
19th-21st: Warm and Woolly Pictures for Cold Days, Natural History Museum
19th: Go Wild Bushcraft, Fingringhoe Wick
22nd: Frosty Friday: Abberton Reservoir
23rd: Kids’ Circus Workshop, Colchester Arts Centre
Epping Forest
3rd: Deer Walk, Epping Forest
9th: Festivals of the World Open Day, David Lloyd
16th – 24th: Half Term Horrors, Royal Gunpowder Mills
16th: Children’s Nature Club, Epping Forest
18th-22nd: Holiday Clubs for Disabled Young People, Loughton
19th-21st: Half Term Activities, Zinc Arts
20th: Family Events: Slugs and Snails, Epping Forest
2nd: Junior Science Café, Science Alive
9th: Why the Lion Danced, Harlow Playhouse
13th: Valentines Disco, Busy Bees Nursery
18th – 22nd: Essex Outdoors Activities, Harlow
18th-22nd: Holiday Activities, Harlow Leisurezone
18th – 22nd: Space Activities, Science Alive
21st: The Hare and the Tortoise, Harlow Playhouse
27th: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Harlow Playhouse
All month: Health Care Exhibition - In Sickness and in Health, Havering Museum
2nd: Story Play – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Queens Theatre
8th: Bedford Nature Rangers, Bedfords Park
9th: Mum, Bump, Baby and Toddler Fair, Harold Hill
10th  & 11th: Cupcake Classes, Hobbycraft
16th: Chinese New Year Celebrations, Romford Shopping Hall
18th-22nd: Romford YMCA Half Term Events
18th: 22nd: Half Term Activities, Stubbers Adventure Centre
19th: Space Craft Event, Harold Wood Library
20th: Halo Wars, Laser Mayhem
21st: Dinosaur Adventure, Bedfords Park
23rd: A Walk Through the Solar System, Harold Wood Library
18th-22nd: Clubs Complete Multi Activity week, Burnham on Crouch Primary School
20th: Essex Outdoors School Holiday Canoe Day, Bradwell Essex Outdoors
21th: Essex Outdoors School Multi Activities Day, Bradwell Essex Outdoors
22nd-23rd: Scouts Gang Show 2013 - 'Out of this World',  Maldon Town Hall
24th: Essex Baby Events Sale, Wickham Bishops
3rd: Family Sunday – Telling Tales, Valentines Mansion
10th: Super Snakes, Valentines Mansion
14th: Love, Actually, Valentines Mansion
18th: Treats from the Baker’s Oven, Scrumptious Pumpkin
19th: Intergalactic Cookery, Scrumptious Pumpkin
20th: Storytime and Facepainting, Gants Hill Library
21st: Hey Diddle Diddle, Kenneth More Theatre
22nd: Face Painting and Rhyme Time, Fulwell Cross Library
16th: Pancakes and Coffee Morning, Hockley
18th – 22nd: Rochford District Holiday Activities
18th: Matilda, The Musical Workshop, Mushroom Theatre Company
20th: Half Term Late Night Party, The Fun Factory
All Month: Shoe Heaven, Central Museum
3rd: The Moscow State Circus, Cliffs Pavilion
6th  & 13th: Improving Your Self-Esteem, Summercourt Children’s Centre

3rd: Tales from the Fireside, The Windmill
9th & 10th: Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Palace Theatre
18th: A Gruffalo Themed Morning, Blenheim Children's Centre
19th-23rd: New Shoes? Half Term at Central Museum and Planetarium
19th-23rd: Traditional Tudor Crafts, Southchurch Museum
19th: Healthy Lunchboxes, Summercourt Children’s Centre
20th: The Dragons Dance- A Chinese New Year Multi-sensory Workshop, SACC
22nd: Guinness World Records Officially Amazing Science, Cliffs Pavilion
27th: Baby Massage, Summercourt Children’s Centre
21st: Chelsea FC Foundation - Clacton Coastal Academy Mini-Kickers Fun-Day
21st: LDN Wrestling Cage Match, Princes Theatre
24th: Madame Butterfly, Princes Theatre
2nd: Driving Lessons for 11-16 year olds, Lakeside
18th – 22nd: Join us for a monster fairy tale adventure!, Lakeside
16th: Skygazing, Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
17th: Family Nest Box Building, Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
19th & 20th: Drawing Lab – Monsters and Myths, Culver Youth Centre
19th: Hey Diddle Diddle, Thameside Theatre
20th: Hip Hop Theatre, Thameside Theatre
22nd: Messy Madness arts & crafts morning, Orsett Village Hall
6th: Pyjama Drama Free Taster Session, Parsonage Community Hall
9th onwards: Witch Hunt, Saffron Walden Museum
16th-24th: Everything but the Squeak Week, Audley End
18th-22nd: February Family Fun, Hatfield Forest
18th: Feb 1/2 Term Fun (Spy & Junior Spy Xperience), Dunmow St.Mary’s Primary School
19th-21nd: Holiday clubs for disabled young people, The Arts Centre
20th & 21st: Spell Quest, Saffron Walden Museum
20h: Feb 1/2 Term Fun (Martial Arts & Junior Martial Arts Xperience), Dunmow St.Mary’s Primary School
25th: How to Catch a Star, Felsted School's Hunt Theatre


Cool in Cloth
Cool in Cloth

Natural Togs for Little Sprogs. 
Cool. Funky. Stylish, Buy them ..or else! 

Use code FREEPOST for free delivery



New in the Alternative Shopping Guide

Take a look at the lovely new shops that have joined us this last month! Get in touch if you would like your shop to be featured on the guide.

Product Reviews
Here's a list of what's been added this month! You can see a bit about each of our reviewers here, or can go straight to the reviews here.


Everything else
Product reviews etc. will return with the normal newsletter next month.

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. 

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

Kind regards


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