On Essex Mums this month
I know people are people are generally torn between those who can't wait (me!) and those who want everyone else to shut up about it, but Christmas is definitely on the way. Things are looking distinctly Autumnal around here and  now that the spooky fun of Halloween is done, it's time to look forward to snuggly jumpers, winter cosiness and getting ready for Christmas!  


Christmas Gift Guide
I know some of you are super-organised and done already but for those of us who still have some Christmas Shopping to do, take a look at the Christmas Gift Guide. As always it features a fantastic range of shops selling interesting, original and somewhat different ideas and saves you a trip to the High Street! You can search by category or look through a full list of all our lovely shops here. If you want some product ideas then take a look at the Product Guide which has a range of gorgeous goodies for you to browse or search by category. Click the catgeories below to get started:

Something for Babies
Something for Toddlers
Something for Little Kids
Something for Big Kids
Something for Tweens
Something for Teens
Something for Adults

If you're interested in a listing for your shop or product, get in touch at louise@essexmums.org - listings start at just a pound!

Christmas Events
We're in the process of getting as many Christmassy events across Essex added to the Things to Do section as possible so make sure you get yours sent in nice and early!

Christmas on the Forum
There are discussions underway on the forum about a Christmas PartySecret Santa and a Christmas meal for the Mums, so take a look if this is something you would be interested in and don't be scared to get involved!

Daily Thread
Moving away from Christmas, I'd like to take this opportunity to invite everyone who wants to get chatting on the forum but doesn't know where to start to post in the daily thread. It's always found in the A Bit of a Chat section, and today's (Tuesday) thread is here. It's a really nice way to get to know some of the others on the forum, both the regulars and the more infrequent posters. I know it can be a little intimidating joining in when you don't know anyone, so it's a great way to just dive in - everyone's really friendly and it's always lovely to see a new face!

Bonfire Night
Make sure you check out the Things to Do section for Bonfire Night celebrations near you - I will be adding more over the next few days too.

Discount Card
I've been thinking of starting up a reward card scheme on Essex Mums whereby users can get a card that gives them discounts on local shops, attractions, classes, events etc. I'm looking for input and feedback about this so if it's something you think your business might be interested in, please email me at louise@essexmums.org to discuss. A few of you mentioned last month you would be like to be involved but it would be nice to get more interest. 

Parent and Toddler Groups
Do you take your little one to a baby or toddler group? If so, please tell us about it! I try to list as many as I can in the Things to Do section but know I've barely broken the surface, especially as so many groups only advertise with a posted on the wall or by word of mouth. If you know of somewhere worth mentioning, please come and post about it on the forum and I'll add it to the calendars too to help other parents not in the know!

For those of you who run groups, you're welcome to post any changes or new times on the forum, or send them over to me at louise@essexmums.org

Christmas Winter Wonderland
Catch us at this year's Christmas Winter Wonderland organised by Bumps, Babes and Kids. It's on 3 & 4 December 2011 at Southend Leisure & Tennis Complex, Garon Park, Eastern Avenue, Southend SS2 4FA and should be a great festive day out. The days will feature a Santa's Grotto, a family of live reindeer, write a letter to Santa and lots more Christmas attractions. There will also be bouncy castles, entertainers, dance shows, Jo Jingles, Tumble Tots, messy play with Messy Madness plus over 100 shopping and information stands. Make sure you come and say hello and share a mince pie with us!
IPS Photography

New Forum Ads
As the forum is the most popular section of the site I've often been asked about ads that are available in that area, so I've finally got round to introducing some! They're currently on a special offer of just £15 per spot, and the fun thing is that you can put a few together to make a bigger ad if you would like to as they are sold by the block! You can see them down the side of the forum index page: snap one up while they're cheap!.

I'm still offering free Directory listings on the site so please send over your details if you are a local business wanting to be listed, or pass it on to anyone you know who should have a place on here. I'm also offering discounts on ads for Autum and Winter, including 10% off anything if you quote 'newsletter' when you email me. Contact louise@essexmums.org for a rate card or just to discuss your options.

Product Reviews
We have an exciting new section on the site - Product Reviews! I've put together a crack team of Essex Mums with kids of all ages to test products and give you their honest opinions on them so that you can see what's worth buying and what's worth avoiding without parting with your hard earned cash. You can see a bit about each of our reviewers here, or can go straight to the reviews here. Here's a list of what's been added this month!


The Cosy Shopper
Dolly Daydream Cushion
Dry Bib bandanas
Earth Friendly Kids Wipes
Maclaren Beginnings Soothing Delicate Soap (For Baby)
Moomin Treehug Babygrow

Earth Friendly Kids Wipes
Earth Friendly Kids Zingy Citrus Range
London Toile Cot Bed Duvet Set in Pink
My 1st Scooter from Find Me a Gift.com
Thomas and Friends: Day of the Diesels

Earth Friendly Kids Zingy Citrus Range
Garden Quoits
Thomas and Friends: Day of the Diesels

Garden Quoits

Gosh Nail Glitters

Heavenly Bump Maternity Tunic

Gosh Nail Glitters
Lose Weight with Andrew Johnson
Nip+Fab Sheer Make Up Fix

Classes, Groups & Clubs
Southend Caterpillar Music

New on the Shopping Guide
The Shopping Guide features both a shop listing and a product listing to help you find that perfect gift, whether it's for someone else, or for yourself! The guide features lots of lovely products that are a bit different to what you'll find on the High Street, and new products are being added all the time. Take a look! If you are interested in being featured, please let me know. Next month I'll be starting to think about the Christmas guide so if you would like to be a part of that (starting at just £5 for an ad) get in touch for more details.

New additions this month:

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. Oh, and make sure you enter some of our lovely competitions!

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

Kind regards

Nadine WyattRachel PereiraSophisticakesEmma SHeridanPeter DaveyAmis CupcakesThe Big SingArbonne

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On the forum

A small selection of what's on for families in Essex this month
Take a look at the Things to Do section for full listings:

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