Essex Mums Newsletter February 2015
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Half Term Fun  *   Alternative Shopping Guide 2015   *   Essex Mums Awards 2015   *   Can you Help us with our Homework?   *   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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Hello everyone, now that Christmas is well and truly a distant memory, hopefully you have all recovered and are looking for some fun things to do with the family. Half-term is 
coming for those with school-age children, so check out what's on across the county.
If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!

“Giving every child such an amazing experience they can’t wait to come back!”
  • Superb Easter & summer camps at 34 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!

Half Term Fun

If you are a parent of school age children, half term will be rolling around for you this month. As always we have plenty of fantastic events listed on the site, so take a look at our Spring Half-Term page (though admittedly, spring sounds a little ambitious given how chilly it is out there). This is currently being updated as we are sent more events so make sure you check back to find more fun family ideas.
Alternative Shopping Guide
I'm so excited to be adding some lovely new shops to the Alternative Shopping Guide this year. The guide is full of fantastic independent shops that sell great gifts, fairtrade or handmade toys, clothes that are a bit different to what's on the High Street, and lovely bits and bobs to treat yourself, so make sure you take a look! You can browse the different categories for shops or search the Product Guide if you are looking for something specific.

If you are a shop and are interested in getting listed, please 
email me for more information.
Essex Mums Awards
Coming next month is the opening of the second Essex Mums awards. Last year's was so exciting and saw tens of thousands of votes cast for your favourite people, places and things. The nominations will start from next month, so get thinking about what makes your life that bit easier or more fun!

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, take a look at the packages on offer here.
Can you help us with our homework?
We have a section of the site that could be a really fantastic resource for parents of school-age children but it needs more input - can you help? The Educational Activities section contains ideas to help your children with their learning, from nursery right up to secondary school. If you have any useful tips, games or ideas, please share them! It doesn't matter how silly or how simple, if it helped your or your child, it might help another! 
Would more sleep for your baby (and the rest of the family) interest you?
Why not try this fantastic DVD based Home Learning Programme developed by BABY REFLEX? Only “A Touch Away" from you now!
Specially created, gentle loving techniques that can help baby's sleep, help with relaxation, improve baby’s mood, help relieve tension, and more. All techniques are clearly shown on the DVD and can be easily applied by you or your partner.
Get your copy now at the special price of £14.95 and will last you a lifetime.
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 Milkshakes
I reviewed the shaken udder milkshakes as thought my children would enjoy them. They are made with real bananas, chocolate and strawberries and have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. 
Read Rachel's full review
The Blissful Baby Expert Book
I had very high hopes for this book, especially as my 3 month old was not sleeping very well at night, waking every hour! However I found it quite difficult to read. There are no photographs and only a few diagrams which I feel makes it like a novel rather than a help book. 

Read Natalie's full review
Sylvanian Families Chocolate Rabbit Family
I love Sylvanian Families. Ahem… I mean,my five year old daughter Iris loves Sylvanian Families. Well, really, I do love them.They are one of those toys, like Lego, that you remember fondly from your own childhood and try to encourage your children to get into too.
Read Louise's full review
Loom Band It!
Loom bands are the year’s craze which children and adults alike have got into. For those who don’t know what it is, it involves tiny coloured elastic bands which you weave together using fingers (and end up cutting your circulation off if you’re not careful) or use a loom board which is supposedly easier, to create all kind of designs from bracelets to dresses.

Read Michelle's full review
Hugo Frosch Owl Eco Hot Water Bottle
We’ve reviewed a few things from Hugo Frosch before and I’ve always been really impressed with the quality of their hot water bottles. Unfortunately, so has my daughter Iris who has managed to steal every one of them from me and build up a little stash of them under her bed, much as she does with both of her brothers’ cuddly toys. 
Read Louise's full review
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! 

Check out some of the gorgeous new shops added to the Alternative Shopping Guide this month:
  • Darlo: Bright and cheerful 100% organic cotton comfies for your little one 
  • Neliana: An exciting childrenswear boutique which offers style, individuality and outstanding service. 
  • Two Little Peas and Me: Lovingly crafted, personalised children’s clothing and accessories
If you have a shop you would like to advertise on the Shopping Guide, please get in touch on
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.
Colostrum is the ‘first milk’ that your body will start to produce, it is also sometimes referred to as ‘liquid gold’ because it is very important for your baby’s development and growth. Colostrum is a very rich and creamy milk which may be slightly yellow in colour. 
Read more
Leaking breasts during pregnancy
During the second trimester of your pregnancy, you may notice that your nipples begin to leak. There is no need to worry as this is normally completely normal.
Read more

BoBo Baby Wear. Inspired, beautiful baby wear and gorgeous baby accessories at good value prices. Bows, flowers, bloomers and pettiskirts in fabulous fabrics and prints. 
For wonderfully versatile, stylish outfits for our very small friends who simply must have the very best..... For something a little bit different, look  what we have for you.....
Follow us on twitter @mybobobabywear &    
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
Morrocan Style Chicken Stew
We all need something to warm us up a bit, so why not try this Moroccan style chicken stew.

Read Foodie Woodie's full recipe
Beetroot Soup
Beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants.

Read Jona Eckerlein 's full recipe
Gluten-free cupcakes
These light and delicious cupcakes are so moist that no one will be able to tell that the flour has been switched for a gluten-free blend. They are quick and easy to make, and will keep in an airtight container for several days.
Read Helena's full recipe
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!
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
Nine Times Table Trick
Have a child learning their times tables? Here’s a simple trick to help them remember their nine times tables up to ten. 

Read more
Dividing any number by 5
Make your child maths genius by teaching this easy trick of dividing any number by 5. 

Read more
Instantly Agelessâ„¢
Instantly Ageless™ is a powerful anti-wrinkle microcream that works quickly and effectively to diminish the visible signs of aging. The revolutionary ingredient is argireline: a peptide that works like botox—without the needles. Instantly Ageless™ revives the skin and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores for a flawless finish.
For more info:
Special Offers
Special offers for Essex Mums added this month!
Stamptastic is new fast way of naming all your belongings! - Get 15% off

Read more
Weekend Box
Weekend Box is an activity box sent through the post with the bits you need to have fun-filled weekends with your little ones (aged 3-6). Get your first box free!
Read more
The Magic Door Store
Your Magic Door gives your fairy visitors their very own magical entrance into your home. Get 10% off!

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!
Brits are ‘alone’ a quarter of every weekday
Brits are progressively spending more time by themselves. In the last census 7.6m people were recorded as living alone: by 2031, this figure is expected to top 10.9m. 
Read more
Study Medicine abroad with MCDP
Are you worried your child might not be offered a place in a Medical school in the UK over a B grade on their A-levels or because they didn’t show their best on the interview?
Read more

Here at Essex Beauty Treatments in Rayleigh we offer the best in beauty and holistic treatments. Semi-permanent EyeLashes, Shellac, Waxing, Reflexology and many more. 

We are also very proud of the cleanse program we offer! Forever Living's C9. 

A nine day cleanse program that will help you feel great and look great. If you want to loose up to 12lb in 9 days and feel great then contact us at Essex Beauty Treatments for more details.
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.

Parent and Toddler Groups 
Updated Children's Centres Timetables 
Groups for Older Children 
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. Coming this month: HALF-PRICE DIRECTORY LISTINGS, AWARDS SPONSORSHIP AND SPRING HALF-TERM PACKAGES!
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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