Essex Mums Newsletter April 2016
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Easter Event  *   Essex Mums Awards  *   Starting School  *   Can you help us with our homework?  *   Want to be on TV?  *   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, hope you are enjoying the milder weather and getting to enjoy some fun outdoor family time. For those of us with school-age children, a large part of April is going to be taken up with the Easter holidays - good job there is so much on! Our Easter page is full of fun things to do across the county, and you might find some other great ideas on the site too!
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 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! 

Easter Events

Looking for spring fun, Easter egg hunts, arts and crafts or anything related to cute Easter bunnies and new baby chicks? Then check out our Easter Holidays events for the whole family across Essex. Hopefully you received our dedicated Easter newsletter last week but if not, you can see everything that's going on across the county on our Easter events page.

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
Essex Mums Awards
I am excited to announced that the 2016 Essex Mums are now underway! Nominations have been pouring in and at last count you had nominated more than 10000 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: - 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:
You'll never want to go back to drying your little ones off with a towel once you've tried these gorgeous bathrobes from Fox Organic Kids. Made from organic cotton in Portugal and featuring a snug hood and belt for secure tying, they're perfect for beach, bath or pool. Available in 4 prints, including the Dinosaurs pictured, but also a stylish star print and one depicting native British animals. Bathrobes co-ordinate with Fox bed linen (cot bed and single size). £28 with a 10% discount for Essex Mums (use code ESSEX).

Starting School
Many Essex parents will be finding out which school our little ones are going to in the next week or two, although I'm sure you'll all agree they seem far too teeny to be starting school already! You might like to chat about it with other Mums in the same position in the Schools section of the forum. Whether it's wanting to share news of where your child is going, talk about what to do if you're unhappy wit the result or just chat about what happens next, it's always nice to speak to others who have been in your position.

If you have a question for a professional, check out our Ask the Teacher section.
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! 
Want to be on TV?
Then take a look at the Media Requests section of the forum for shows needing people like you.

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.
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! 
Tropical Wings
We went to Tropical Wings with my three little ones yesterday for my twins’ 3rd birthday. On entering Tropical Wings we were led to an overspill car park. Even though there were lots of cars, the Zoo didn’t feel overly busy at any stage. 
Click here to read Michelle's full review
Guosto Recipe Box
I’ve been intrigued by the idea of recipe boxes for a while so was really thrilled to have a go at trying a couple of recipes from Guosto. The idea behind it is that you choose the recipes you like the look of (with the option of having 2 or 4 portions) and all the ingredients are delivered to your house: really convenient, of course, but what appeals to me is the lack of waste. You get exactly what you need to make the recipes, no more, no less.
Click here to read Louise's full review
Leisure Island Fun Park Canvey
We decided to do something today and ended up at Leisure Island Canvey. It was incredibly cheap at £5 for an all day wristband and adults free.

Click here to read Michelle's full review
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! 
LadyM @Home Workout with ILU
Here is the first 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: 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.
Where to go for Breastfeeding Advice
Breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy, it’s something you and your baby both have to learn to do together. This can be very overwhelming, but don’t worry, you are not alone. There are lots of different places you can turn to for advice.
Breastfeeding positions
Head lice are small, wingless insects that can live on the human scalp within the hair. Their colour ranges from white to brownish, and when they first hatch they are so tiny that they are almost invisible to the human eye, although they can grow to just over a millimetre. Anyone can contract head lice, but they are very common in children. 
Read more
A Mum's Experience: Taking a Baby on Holiday
You will probably be told, as was I, that you should go somewhere close perhaps Spain to make sure you and your baby are ok with flying and to let your baby get used to a slightly different climate etc. So why on earth did I book a 2 week holiday to Mexico? The good news is that I lived to tell the tale and so did my baby (and the husband)! In fact we had a fabulous holiday and would do it all again. 
Read more

I have local self-employed AVON opportunities today Call Kerry Gray Avon
Area Manager on 07734878620 without obligation Email
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
Banana "Ice Cream"
Super easy and super healthy non-dairy banana “ice cream”

Read the full recipe here
Pork Fried Wontons
A tasty starter or something fun to have as a side and get your kids into Chinese food.

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
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!
Puffy Paint
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!

London Borough of Redbridge Swimming Club

Will be starting  Adult swimming lessons at Caterham high school pool, Catherham Avenue, Clayhall. Ilford. IG5 0QW
We have three sessions available:
Monday 19:15 till 20:00 and 20:00 to 20:45
Wednesday 20:15 to 21:00
Courses are tailored to your own needs and help you:
Overcome phobias, Improve water confidence, Build Swimming Ability, Developing Stroke Work, Improving Fitness
12-week course costs £102.60 per person
Consisting of 45 minute lessons in a school pool away from the public
Entry during the course will  be charged pro rata depending on the start date.
For details and booking
Mic Hasted
LBRSC Coordinator
07941 674568
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
Free Meal at Noo Noodles
Noo Noodles is a takeaway restaurant which offer a healthy alternative to a burger – noodles meal which cooked individually and in front of you on the real fire using only fresh ingredients.  We think every child does find noodles yummy and its so fun, especially in Noo Noodles where you can build up your meal from ingredients you like. 
Read more
20% off at Pippins
Welcome to Pippins – A delightful collection of personalised gifts, many are engraved in our workshop here in Hampshire. Suitable for any occasion, or simply treat yourself!
Read more
10% off at Quick Brown Fox of Dulwich
Quick Brown Fox of Dulwich is a little company doing great things with kids bed & bath linen. Their Fox Organic Kids range combines awesome prints with great ethics. Fabulous quality organic cotton – their bathrobes co-ordinate with their beautiful bed linen.
Read more
10% off at Loubilou
Loubilou is the leading source for original children’s clothing, toys, and accessories from around the world. Our goal is simple: To showcase the most delightful, most unique childrensware on the planet.
Read more
15% off at Magnus and Blue
Handmade silver fingerprint necklaces made to order.
Read more
10% off a subscription to Amazing!
Amazing! is a monthly printed magazine that spans the National Curriculum for boys and girls aged 7+ and it’s designed to get children learning in a brand new and exciting way!
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

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 Make Running Your Family Home More Affordable
Running a family home doesn’t come cheap. No matter how much your household income is, it’s always worth looking at ways to cut your spending. The truth is, having a family is incredibly expensive. On average, it costs just over £9000 a year to run a family home.
Read more
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
Groups for Older Children
Children's Centres Sport
Groups for Parents to Be
Classic Festivals and Events/Quintessentially British Events

The Weald Country and Craft Show, Weald Country Park

1st and 2nd May, 10.00 – 5.00 

The Weald Country and Craft Show will be bringing many new and exciting attractions this year from the amazing Stunt Monkeys with top British Riding Team to the wonderful World of Birds demonstrating flying with vultures, storks and parakeets.  We will again be supporting small producers and adding to our Food and Drink Markets, the Classic British Bake Off and most importantly our children’s Horticultural Tent.  Demonstrations from Rural Crafters and supporting local and handmade.  The FESTIVALS OF features over 25 classes daily which you can enter throughout the day as well as Dog Agility and two main rings. or
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 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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