On Essex Mums this month
Hopefully, like me you've been enjoying the unseasonable weather this weekend just gone and managed to get out and about with the family in the sunshine. It certainly make a nice change from the rather dreary summer! I will try to keep this newsletter short so that you can make the most of every moment of sun that is left! 


Pick of the Week
I hope by now you've seen the Pick of the Week section on the homepage. As the site contains so much to see and do, I thought it would be nice to have a little section that highlights an event going on that week as well as a group or class you might like to try out. I've also included a Top Pick from the Shopping Guide so that you can see what lovely goodies are on there, and one from our Product Reviews. If there's a particular event you know of, please do let me know if you think it deserves a mention!

Reward 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.

Half term and Halloween
Keep an eye out for some lovely Autumnal and spooky Halloween events in the Things to Do section and make sure you've sent me yours if you want them included! You can also start sending over Christmas events too if you want to be really organised!

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

School Starters - September 2012
Is your child starting school next year? Are you finding the selection process baffling or just want some advice about local schools? Don't be afraid to ask for help and advice from parents who have been there, done that in the Schools section of the forum. 

Christmas Shopping Guide
I know it’s a bit early but I’ve been starting to think about the Christmas Gift Guide. This year’s will be similar to last year’s with lots of fantastic shops in the main Shopping Guide, organised by categories so you can find exactly what you want, and some lovely products listed in the Product Guide to give you some great, original ideas for gifts.  The idea is still that it’s an ‘Alternative’ Gift Guide where busy parents can find interesting and different gifts for their family without having to brave the High Street, so take a look at what gorgeous goodies are available! If you'd like to be on the guide yourself, just get in touch - listings start at only a pound and can include anything from products, through to class fees, driving lessons and tickets to days out!

Rayleigh Baby and Toddler Expo
I will be at the Rayleigh Baby and Toddler Expo with an Essex Mums stall on 15th October at the Mill Hall Arts & Events Centre in Rayleigh, so come and say hello if you're coming along!

IPS Photography

Ads and Directory
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!

Anne-Claire Petit Eskimo Doll from VUP Baby
Baby Aid Compact
Brother Max 3 in 1 Thermometer
Chocovenyl childrens’ wall stickers
Dolly Daydream Rag Doll
Kids' Music Shop DVDs
Little Pinkies Heart Shaped Locket
Memoir Lane Memories DVD
Mon Bébé
Organic At Heart 'Care & Soothe' Skin Care Balm for mother and baby from The Natural Store
The Original Cuddledry Baby Bath Towel
Spin Collective Wall Stickers

The Dessert Chef

I Love my Lunch Box – My Daddy Cooks

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

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