Essex Mums Newsletter May2016
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New Local Listings Section  *   Half-Term Events  *   We want to pay you for your ideas!  *   Ask the Trainer  *   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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Another month has whizzed by; is it just me or does anyone else feel like their children are getting too big, too fast? At least the weather seems to be cheering up and we can get out and enjoy some of what Essex has to offer. If you ever find something new and fun to do with the family, do come and tell us on the forum so that we can all try it out! It's great to hear what everyone's been up to!
If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!
 

Barracudas

“Giving every child such an amazing experience they can’t wait to come back!” 

  • Superb Easter & summer camps at 35+ locations!
  • Fantastic range of activities for 4.5-16 years
  • The best qualified staff:child ratios for any comparable provider
  • Extended hours from 8am-6pm
  • A Brilliant Childcare Option for Working Parents!

Barracudas, the UK’s No1 children’s activity camp offers peace of mind for working parents during the Easter & summer holidays. We’ve been rated ‘OUTSTANDING’ by Ofsted more times and more consistently than any other activity day camp provider and because we’re registered with Ofsted you have the added bonus of using your childcare vouchers as payment! 


New Local Listings Section

Our fantastic new local listings section is now up and running. It's an amalgamation of the Places to Go section, the Directory and the Places to Eat section, making it so much easier for you to find shops, services, groups and wonderful places near to you. Take a look here and see what you think: www.essexmums.org/listings - I'd appreciate any feedback, good or bad! If you see a business you've used or a place you've visited, why not leave a review?

We are working hard to move everything from those existing sections over to here and by the end of the month it should be able to take over from them. In the meantime, you are welcome to list your business - there's a simple registration process, then you can add wording, images, social media links... whatever you want, and it's all completely FREE! You can choose to get a lifetime featured listing for just £20 if you want to make it stand out more, but there's no charge just to be listed.
Half-Term Events
The summer half-term isn't until the end of the month but it's not too early to start planning fun things to do! As always there are loads of great events on - we have been starting to add them to our Summer Half-Term page so keep checking back as more is added throughout the month,

You can find out what's on for every school holiday and special occasion on our School Holidays page. Each holiday is fully updated in the month before but events can be submitted at any time.

If you would like to submit an event, click here and if you're interested in an ad on this page, take a look at our school holidays packages.
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 louise@essexmums.org and I'll let you know if we can use your idea!
Ask the Trainer
Has Spring inspired you to get fitter and healthier? Why not pop over to our Ask the Trainer section of the forum where you can put your health and fitness questions to Personal Trainer Zoe Randall. If you're trying to get fit or lose weight yourself, you might also be interested in joining our Weight Loss Support Thread, or checking out our recipes section for some healthy ideas.


Little Scrummers
was set up in 2009 to give a fun and exciting ‘tag-rugby experience’ sports class. With a talented team of handpicked coaches the club now runs across 3 counties (and growing!) With a total of 12 clubs & 750 children taking part each week.

By giving youngsters an introduction to a sport so young (classes start at 18 months - 6 years) the classes help improve fine and gross motor skills, encourage children to live a healthy and active lifestyle, all whilst being fun!

Why not book your child in today for a FREE TRIAL! www.littlescrummers.com
 
Essex Mums Awards
Even more awards nominations have been coming in this month and at last count you had nominated more than 15000 people, places and things that make your life as a parent in Essex that bit easier or more fun! Nominations will stay open until June so you still have plenty of time to get yours in, just fill in the form here: http://www.essexmums.org/awardsnominations.html - the top nine companies with the most nominations will go through to the voting round, as well as last year's winner.

Local businesses, make sure you get the recognition you deserve by sharing the page with your customers and asking them to nominate you!

If you want to see what people voted for last year, take a look at the Essex Mums Loves... section and if you're a company interested in sponsoring the awards, like the lovely businesses below, take a look at the packages on offer here.


The 2016 Essex Mums Awards are sponsored by:


Snugalicious features a gorgeous range of super soft bamboo baby clothes, from newborn to 8 years. The benefits of Bamboo are that it's thermoregulating (so ideal for warm or cold babies) and is made from natural fibres so brilliant for children with allergies such as eczema or asthma.

I am currently looking for new members to join my team and this fantastic opportunity. Perfect for new Mums/Dads or those with children who maybe don't want to return to work or would like something that fits in around family life and can be pursued as much or as little as you'd like!

Use code SNUGST16 when ordering through the facebook page or by email to receive 10% off your first order.
 
Email: sarah@snugalicious.co.uk
Phone: 07793 720714

 
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! 
Shaken Udder Salted Caramel Milkshake
Shaken Udder is launching a new flavour of milkshake, Salted Caramel, and we were given some to review. Shaken Udder milkshakes are made with British milk and the ingredients used are also British produce. There is also less than 5% of sugar added into their milkshake  
Click here to read Melissa's full review
Hasty’s Adventure Farm, Clacton
A lovely new adventure farm has been built in Clacton on the airfield. A huge, sprawling place with some animals to see (more to come in time) a kid’s playground and sand pit, ride on tractors and a massive undercover play area with climbing ropes and slides for kids over 7. 
Click here to read Michelle's full review
Nevendon Manor: Oz – The Search for Toto
I’ve been intrigued by the goings on at Nevendon Manor for a few years now but have never had the chance to go. The events always sound really fun and different and photos look amazing. So when the chance to go to their Easter happening: ‘Oz – The Search for Toto’ came along, I was keen! I took along my 8, 6 and 3 year old who were quite excited by the idea!  
Click here to read Louise's full review
Masha and the Bear – How They Met
We received the new DVD collection of the animated television series of Masha and the Bear for review. This series was originally produced in Russian and has been translated into 25 languages and aired in more than 100 countries. - 
Getting Active
Find out how other Essex Mums and their families are getting fit and fabulous in our Getting Active section! Read their wonderful reviews and follow in their footsteps on your own healthy journey. 

Here are the new reviews added this month! 
Get a perfect butt! Just 10mins each day
Here is the second of three great at home workouts, shared with Essex Mums by ILU

Click here to see the workout
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:
  • BabymaC: Spanish Baby Clothes Boutique 
  • Lifft: Slings which are simple and comfortable to use without buckles, knots or fastenings.
  • Tuta Kids: Stylish clothes for stylish kids
     
If you have a shop you would like to advertise on the Shopping Guide, please get in touch on louise@essexmums.org
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.
Breast milk
Breast milk is specially produced to meet all the nutritional needs of your baby at the start of their life. It contains lots of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Breast milk is the only food your baby needs for their first 6 months. 
Read more
Weaning: 8 tips on introducing new foods 
Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix shares her top tips for introducing your weaning baby to new tastes  
Read more
Weaning: What your baby's facial expressions mean
A new survey by leading baby food brand Organix, reveals more than half (55%) of mums say a baby’s facial expression puts them off trying to encourage their baby to like a new taste. In response to the research, Organix commissioned Vivien Sabel, Clinical Psychotherapist and body language expert, to help parents interpret and understand their little one’s facial expressions.  
Read more
Recipes
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
Grilled Mexican Chicken with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
A delicious and heart-friendly meal. Kids will love how colourful it is and parents will love how easy and healthy it is! Great for lunch but could also be a light summer main meal.

Read the full recipe here
Super Fruity Milkshake Lollies
Fed up with sugar-laden ice lollies? Then why not make your own? Use Shaken Udder milkshake as the base for these calcium-packed fruity ice pops. Better still, get the kids to make them with you!

Read the full recipe here
Cherry Pie Cookies
These easy to bake cookies are almost magical…their disappearing act is amazing.

Read the full recipe here


I have local self-employed AVON opportunities today Call Kerry Gray Avon
Area Manager on 07734878620 without obligation Email Kerry.Gray@avon.com
 
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! louise@essexmums.org
Glow In The Dark Glitter Jars
This idea from One Little Project really caught my eye. I would have loved it when I was a child and am sure there are lots of other budding artists out there who would enjoy it too! Puffy paint is really easy to make and gives an amazing texture that lasts a few days: fun for adding something extra to your paintings!
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
Me in My World
Do your kids know where they fit into the world? This is a fun activity to help them understand where they live and what lies beyond. You could even take things further and look at the Solar System, the Galaxy etc.! As suitable for EYFS as it is for KS2 children, though older children might be expected to do more research themselves!

CLASSES IN BENFLEET, HADLEIGH & RAYLEIGH
Come and learn Pilates in a very small group!
•    Experiencing back or neck discomfort?
•    Notice that your spine is not as flexible as it once was?
•    Recently had a baby and need to re-build your strength?
•    Not sure whether you're exercising safely & effectively?
•    Want to be highly supervised in a small group by a highly qualified and experienced professional?
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.

Our classes & courses run from Monday - Thursday evenings, and Tuesday - Thursday mornings in Upminster & Cranham.  For further information or to book, go to www.upminstersportsmassage.co.uk or call Charlene on 07411 826721.
.
Special Offers
Special offers for Essex Mums added this month!
20% off at Clue HQ Brentwood
Clue HQ provides 2 great live escape fun games for families, friends and colleagues. We opened in November and have worked our way up to top thing to do in Brentwood and top in Fun and Games in Essex. The biggest thing that people say about us is FUN.
Read more
£20 off at Burlesque Jems
Do you crave for an hour just to yourself where you can explore your inner vixen and be the most sparkly you can possible be? Look no further! Welcome to the Burlesque Jems ‘Kick Start Spring Campaign’.  
Read more
15% off at Carddies
Carddies are Award winning British colouring sets encouraging creativity, pretend play, imagination and story-telling… 

Read more
20% off Stripes at Plum and Ivory
Plum & Ivory design and source gorgeous gifts, specialising in cashmere accessories, all desirable to own and a pleasure to give.  

Read more
£10 off at Girl Meets Golf
Get £10 off all events with the code ‘Essexmums’

Read more
15% off at White Rabbit England
15% off at White Rabbit England
White Rabbit England houses a unique collection of childrens lighting, interiors and gifts to brighten little ones’ lives

Read more
10% off at The Craft Cabin E4
Fun, entertaining, educational and social!

Painting-decopatch-teddy making-play area-parties-3d casts-hand and foot prints & so much more!

Read more
10% off Micro Scooters at Cuthberts Toys
The Mini Micro Scooter is the perfect 'first' scooter for your children to learn on and they'll be zipping around in no time.  The scooter has 3 wheels, with two at the front for stability, a sturdy brake at the back to slow them down and a low robust deck.  The 'lean and tilt' steering makes it easy to navigate around obstacles.  The scooter is lightweight, easy to carry and the T-bar handle pops out for compact storage.
Read more
10% off at Little Herbs
A baby’s delicate skin needs the utmost care to ensure it is protected and nurtured safely. Expectant mums need just the same. Little Herbs believes only the best will do, especially as we know that at least 60% of whatever is put on our skin sinks into our bodies. -  
Read more
10% off at Beautylashus
For all Essex Mums  we would like to offer you a 10% discount on all treatments. If you ‘like’ both pages you can get this offer just pm Beautylashus for more info and booking availability. 
Read more

Blog
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!
How to update your kitchen on a budget
When you have a busy family home, money can be tight. There are many money saving ideas for even the biggest of jobs that can mean you have more money to spend with your family. If your kitchen is looking a little lack lustre, don’t think that you just have to live with it. There are many ways in which you can update your kitchen, giving it a completely new feel, without having to spend a lot of money 
Read more

Rocco Cushions


I am a distributor of Rocco luxury cushions – a fashion-led brand that offers contemporary designs and materials in fabulous striking and neutral colour palettes.  Great quality cushions at affordable prices. 

To view the current collection please visit my Facebook page ‘Luxury Living by Leanne’.  Or email me for more details luxurylivingbyleanne@hotmail.com

Cushions from just £20.  10% discount if you mention ‘essexmums’- offer valid on your first order only and until end May 2016.

Events
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!

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.

Classes
Parent and Toddler Groups
Groups for Older Children
Children's Centres
Sport
Groups for Parents to Be
LUXURY SPA RETREAT FOR PARENTS WITH FREE CHILDCARE!
There is no tougher job than being a parent but finding time to relax and rejuvenate can often seem impossible. Our Petit Pampering - Mummy & Me Retreats enable expectant mothers and parents to enjoy a luxury yoga & spa retreat while their babies and children are being cared for on-site by our team of professional nannies and children's entertainers.

Held at the stunning 5* Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Ware. We have a range of packages including Pregnancy/Couples/Golf and Spa and Mummy & Me starting from £99.  You can enjoy health and wellbeing classes, deluxe beauty treatments, time in the first class spa facilities and delicious afternoon tea, all while your children are being lovingly cared for and entertained reassuringly close to hand.

Our next retreat will take place on the 21st May with dates in June, July and August also available so please contact us for more information or to book a place. erin@petitpa.co.uk and feel free to like us on FB - Petit PA 

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 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
Louise

CLASSES IN BENFLEET, HADLEIGH & RAYLEIGH
At Mini Professors we introduce toddlers and pre-school children to the wondrous world of science.  Our motto is ‘science is all around us’ - we show children how science is related to everyday objects and everything we do using fun, interactive experiments, singing and storytelling.

Exciting topics this term include fossils, microscopic creatures, digestion, machines, rainforests and mirrors.

We aim to inspire a generation...come along and help nurture a passion for exploration and scientific adventure.

Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/miniprofessorsbenfleet) to find out more & take advantage of our 3 classes for £12 launch offer.
 
Competitions
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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