On Essex Mums this month
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On Essex Mums this month
Hi everyone, I hope those of you with school-age children had an enjoyable half-term and found lots of ideas for things to do on Essex Mums. With the Easter holidays coming at the end of this month, it seems like there's there's so much to do. Let's hope the weather's good for all those egg hunts!

I mentioned this last month but it's worth reiterating for those who didn't see it! We're expecting our third baby in the next couple of weeks, and while I will be doing my best to keep up with everything on the site, it might take me a little longer to get things done than usual! I hope you can all bear with me and put up with a little tardiness. I'm actually offering some discounts on ads to try and get them booked up for this period: details are further down the newsletter if that's something you're interested in.

Oh, and of course not forgetting... happy birthday to us!


ScallywagsScallywags Party Supplies
With three little Scallywags ourselves, we understand how important it is to find unique, quality products at a great price and have them all conveniently arrive to your door.  As well quality and price, your little Scallywag’s happiness is what every parent is eager to achieve for their child’s birthday party.  This is where we can help you achieve just that!  With our easy to navigate website, fantastic products, party planning and tips pages containing some great advice to get you started, what are you waiting for?  Pop over to our website to see how we can help you!


Happy 5th Birthday Essex Mums!
It seems crazy to say it but Essex Mums is five years old this month! Where has the time gone? I don't want to gush but I probably will... I really want to thank everyone for helping me make the site as great as it's become: from our wonderful forum members, many of whom have become great friends and who chat every day, to those of you who just uses the site now and then - thank you all. We have had many many meet-ups over the years, and although the arrival of our latest sprog means I won't be organising a party this year, I hope we can organise many more soon. Remember, if you want something to go on in your area, all you have to do is mention it on the forum and you're bound to find someone who wants to come along. Thank you to all the venues that have allowed us to meet up for free at their centres, to everyone who has ever sent an event, taken out an ad or made a suggestion. And a really special thank you to those who have helped me with the site - to our reviewers, our writers and our moderators. I genuinely couldn't have done this without you!

Okay, so I did gush a bit...

Easter Events
The main listing for Easter holiday events will come in next month's newsletter as the bulk of the holiday is in April but if you want to start planning in advance, make sure you take a look at the Things to Do section. If you are an event organiser, make sure you have sent details over to me

Want to write for us?
We have a great team already who are writing brilliant articles for the Pregnancy and Parenting section but I'm still looking for article writers for Essex Mums. You don't need any experience of being a 'proper' writer, just be enthusiastic, willing to do some research and able to write clearly. Each month there are prizes given out to some of our writes: £50 a month for the highest number of articles, then £25 for the highest voted article and £10 for the second. If you're interested please register on the forum and let me know your username but emailing me or posting in this thread, then I'll add you to the writers group.

It would be especially great to get more experts on board, so if you have a specialist subject and would like to write, please do get in touch. All articles will be credited to you and can have a link to your website, blog, or anywhere you would like them to link to!


Things to win! Check out the great competitions we have on Essex Mums, and let me know if you would like to run a competition yourself. This page will be updated with some great new competitions for 2013 over the next few days.

Ad Deals
In order to ease my workload when the baby gets here I've been trying to get ads  booked up for a few months from now. Because of this I'm offering 3 months for the price of 2 on all ads. If you're interested, the details are below. Just drop me an email on louise@essexmums.org to discuss
  •     Top banner ads (usually £80 p/m): £160 for 3 months, £300 for 6 or £500 for a year
  •     Homepage ads (£45 p/m): £90 for 3 months, £160 for 6 or £300 for a year
  •     Bottom banner ads (£30 p/m): £60 for 3 months, £100 for 6 £175 for a year
  •     Forum ads (£15 p/m): £30 for 3 months, £50 for 6, £75 for a year
  •     Newsletter ads (£20/£15/£10 p/m): £60/£30/£20 for 3 months, £100/£50/£30 for 6, £175/£80/£50 for a year)
  •     Things to Do ads - main sections (£20 p/m): £40 for 3 months, £60 for 6, £100 for a year
  •     Things to Do ads - subsections: (£10 p/m): £20 for 3 months, £35 for 6, £60 for a year


ProsportsThe true costs of getting children into sport
With increasing costs it is becoming harder and harder for parents to get their children into sports activities. With most places and venues charging anywhere from £5 – £10 for 45 minute sessions, this is without registration fees, kits and the other many weird and wonderful ways of getting that few extra quid out of hard pressed parents, and as much as we all like taking them it’s becoming harder and harder to justify.
This is why it’s fantastic when something like Mini Sports comes around. This project is a partnership between several organisations, and they have managed to near enough half the cost of running these classes for pre-school children.
“We are incredibly grateful to people like CAVS and Tumble Town in Basildon for providing us with the space and Essex Mums and Yousport tv for helping us promote it to all the families that may benefit. It’s been a great effort from all parties” Richard Partridge from Prosports Coaching who deliver the project.

This project is running throughout the South of Essex. For more information call Richard on 0787 150 7511 or visit http://www.prosports-coaching.co.uk and look in the 2-4 year old section for details.


As always there is lots more going on this month! Below is a selection of the fantastic things going on but you can find full listings on the Things to Do section. Watch out for more Easter events added throughout the month.

The Essex Book Festival will  be going on all month at venues across the county. Click here to find out more and to see what’s on for families at this fantastic event celebrating all sorts of literature and to listen to some of your children’s favourite authors
Barking and Dagenham
2nd: A Flower Revolution, Eastbury Manor House
3rd,  17th & 31st : Derek, Floppy and Friends, Broadway Theatre
2nd & 3rd: Mother’s Day Present Making, Barleylands
2nd: Cupcake Classes, Hobbycraft
10th: Danceworld Stage School presents The Musical Mash Up, Towngate Theatre
14th: Razza Roller Skating Disco, Eversley Leisure Centre
15th & 16th: The Great Mums Get Together, My Funny Bunny
16th & 17th: Wartime Farm Weekend, Barleylands
17th: Pamper/Craft Day, The Wick
24th: Charity Easter Fayre, Eversley Leisure Centre
29th onwards: Baby Animals and Farmyard Fun! Barleylands
2nd: Rumpelstiltskin and the Wheel of Fortune, Braintree Arts Theatre
4th: Willow Workshop, Marks Hall
7th: Mad Chatter’s Tea Party, Carousel Children’s Centre
9th & 10th: Marvellous Mother’s Day, Hedingham Castle
9th: Make a Mother’s Day Card, Braintree Museum
10th: Mother's Day - Edwardian Afternoon Tea, Greenstead Farm
14th: Namco 10th Birthday, Namco Funscape Braintree
16th: Find the Rabbits, Braintree Museum
23rd: Game and Country Fair, Cressing Temple
29th: Unmythable, Braintree Arts Theatre
20th: Live Chicks at the Museum, Braintree Museum
31st: Great Bardfield Easte Egg Hunt
4th: New Baby Massage Sessions, Chicken and Frog Bookshop
6th: Developing Pre-Writing Skills, Knights Way Centre
8th: Strictly Air Ambulance, The Brentwood Centre
9th & 10th: Mini plays performed by students from Frances’ School of Drama, Brentwood Theatre
9th & 10th: Mother’s Day Weekend, Old MacDonalds Farm
14th: Teach Your Child to Use Scissors, Chicken and Frog Bookshop
23rd: Blackmore Pre-School Nearly New Sale

26th: Get Ready to Write, Chicken and Frog Bookshop
29th onwards: Easter Egg Extravaganza at Weald
29th onwards: Easter Egg Hunt, Old MacDonald’s Farm
29th: Easter Hopalong, Thorndon Country Park
Castle Point
2nd: RSPB West Canvey Marsh Walk
7th: World Book Day 2013 at Farmer Freds
10th: Walkies in the Woods, Thundersley
16th: Astronomy Open Evening, Hadleigh Country Park
31st: Roundhouse Open Afternoon, Hadleigh Country Park
1st & 2nd: Annie, Chelmsford Theatres
2nd: Learn to Draw with Tom Knight, Essex Police Museum
3rd: Horse and Carriage Rides, Hylands House
5th: Melinda Whiting Photography, Creepy Crawlies
6th: Little Acorns Pre-School Gardening Club, RHS Hyde Hall
7th, 14th & 21st  Busy Fingers Craft Club, Hobby Craft
8th & 9th: Baby hand and foot casting morning, Creepy Crawlies
9th: Make a Mother's Day Bouquet, Just Imagine Story Centre
10th: Sam Gayton: Lilliput, Just Imagine Story Centre
12th: Wam Bam Boomerang SEN Nights
13th: Illustrating Children's Books, Anglia Ruskin University
13th – 16th: Coppelia - The Magic Doll, Chelmsford Theatres
15th – 24th: National Science Week Garden Trail, RHS Hyde Hall
16th: Crime Scene Investigation, Essex Police Museum
17th: Jan Burchett and Sara Vogler: The Adventures of Sam Silver, Chelmsford Library
19th & 20th: Peely Wally Stories and Crafts, Just Imagine Story Centre
23rd onwards: Easter Eggtastic, Marsh Farm
23rd: Fairy School Workshops, Chelmsford
24th: Doctor Who: Past, Present and Future, Cramphorn Theatre
25th: Hand and Foot Casting, Busy Bee’s Nursery
29th: Easter Bunny and Egg Hunt, Galleywood Heritage Centre
30th: Easter Trail, Essex Police Museum
31st: Easter Egg Hunt, Hylands House
1st Early Spring Walks, Beth Chatto Gardens
2nd: Teddy’s Picnic, Colchester Arts Centre
3rd: KidsKit4Less, Highwoods Sports Centre
9th: Photography Workshop for 11-17 yr olds, Colchester
10th: Mother’s Day, Colchester Zoo
12th: I am a Tulip, What are You? Mersea Island
14th: Castle Revealed, Colchester Castle
15th: Transport on Mersea Island, Mersea Museum
16th: Family Forest Schools, High Woods Country Park
17th: Bushcraft Forest Survival day, Fingringhoe Wick
23rd: Badger Walk, Tiptree Heath
24th: Easter Egg Family Workshop, Colchester Art Exchange
25th onwards: The Great Garden Easter Egg Hunt, Beth Chatto Gardens
26th: Julius Caesar, Colchester Castle Museum
29th onwards: Easter Wonderland, Colchester Zoo
29th – 31st: Day Out with Thomas, EARM
30th: Children's World Fun Park at Abbey Field
31st: It’s Easter, Layer Marney Tower
Epping Forest
1st: 'Ask the Midwife' coffee morning, Belgique
3rd: Steam Open Day at Ilford & West Essex Model Railway Club
9th: Storytime with Dr Seuss, Lopping Hall
23rd: Fun Easter Egg Hunt in Epping High Street
29th onwards: Easter Eggstravaganza, Lee Valley Farms
29th onwards: Explosive Easter, Royal Gunpowder Mills
31st: Chilming's Easter Woodland Wonderland, Epping Forest
2nd: Junior Science Café, Science Alive
2nd: Story Play: Where The Wild Things Are, Queens Theatre
5th: Tatty Bumpkin Taster Session, Upminster Library
6th: Cupcake Classes, Romford Library
8th: Bedfords Nature Rangers, Bedfords Park
9th: First Aid For Kids, Havering Museum
23rd: Big Frog Day with Froglife, Bedfords Park
23rd  & 24th: Easter Babies, Wellgate Community Farm
25th – 30th: Join An Indie Easter Egg Hunt! Romford Shopping Hall
29th onwards: Activity Week, Stubbers Adventure Centre
31st: Easter Day Come and Play, Romford
3rd: Open Day at Friary Walled Garden
8th: Cold Norton Pre-School Shopping & Pamper Evening
10th: Mothering Sunday, Museum of Power
17th: Science Sunday, Museum of Power
30th: Beginning Of Season FREE Open Day, Maldon Museum
31st: Easter Egg Hunt, Promenade Park
All month: The History of Valentines Gardens – An Exhibition
3rd: Gingerbread Fun at the Mansion, Valentine’s Mansion
12th onwards: Great Gardens, Redbridge Museum
2nd: The Big Egg Hunt - Real prize at the end! Belchamps Scout Centre
5th: Baby Sensory Mother’s Day Special, Hawkwell Baptist Church
11th & 12th: Skating Marathon, Rollacity
15th: Fun Factory Red Nose Day After School Party
16th: Laura Dockrill introduces the Wonderful World of Darcy Burdock, The Mill Arts Centre
18th: Matilda Workshop Day, Mushroom Theatre Company
20th: Special Needs Fun House (10-11yrs), Rayleigh Megaplay
23rd: Jo Hodgkinson: My Friend Nigel, Rayleigh Library
24th: Dukes Dance Experience, Mushroom Theatre Company
All month: Shoe Heaven, Central Museum
2nd: Nearly New Sale, Leigh Community Centre
6th: Baby Sensory Mother’s Day Special, Westcliff
7th: Talking with the under 2’s, Blenheim Children’s Centre
8th: Woman:Leigh, Café Valise
9th: Dare to Dip, Nr Ocean Beach
14th: Parenting Workshops: “I wish I had more time with my children.”, Blenheim Children’s Centre
15th: Toddler Clinic and book signing: Jo Frost, Waterstones
17th: Charity Teddy Bear’s Picnic, West Leigh School
21st – 23rd: Horrible Histories ‘Terrible Tudors & Vile Victorians’, Cliffs Pavilion
28th  onwards: Trotters on Sea at Southend Pier Cultural Centre
29th: East Family Fun Day, The Greenhouse
30th: Easter Hunt, Southchurch Museum
21st: Wildlife Walk with the Nazeman, Walton on the Naze
29th onwards: Easter Mini Farm, Clacton Factory Outlet
31st: Easter Egg Hunt at the Tower, Jaywick Martello Tower
1st: Mums’ Voice, Grays
3rd: Driving lessons for 11-17 year olds, Lakeside Shopping Centre
4th: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Thameside Theatre
5th: Parents Engagement Group Thurrock (PEG), South Ockendon
9th & 10th: Mother’s Day Weekend, Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
19th: Thurrock Fostering Information Evening, Orsett
21st: NCT Thurrock Branch - Babies & Children First Aid Course, St Cedd’s Church Hall
23rd: Meteorological Celebration, Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
26th: Fun and friendly StartUp Class, IKEA Lakeside
31st: Easter Egg Roll, One Tree Hill
All month: Witch Hunt, Saffron Walden Museum
7th: Waking the House Up, Audley End
23rd: Open Railway, Audley End Miniature Railway
24th: Baby Sensory Easter Special, Flitch Green Community Centre
29th onwards: Easter Trail, Hatfield Forest
29th onwards: Easter Family Fun Trail, Audley End
30th &  31st: Easter Bunny, Audley End Miniature Railway
31st: Easter Egg Hunt at Bridge End Garden


Truly Madly Healthy

A Healthy Fast Cook Book for the Family
With more and more people looking for the healthier option but still wanting great tasting food TMH provides you with just the right amount of knowledge to know why you are eating the foods, then with over 100 delicious recipes to choose from. 
It has been a huge hit with mums, who are keen on keeping in shape and providing nutritious meals for their families. A busy mum can be assured that she will be feeding the entire family a Healthy & Nutritious Meal without substituting on taste.
Contact  Jemma on 078 346 12069 or jemma@trulymadlyhealthy.co.uk

New in the Alternative Shopping Guide

Take a look at the lovely new shops that have joined us this last month! Get in touch if you would like your shop to be featured on the guide.

Product Reviews
Here's a list of what's been added this month! You can see a bit about each of our reviewers here, or can go straight to the reviews here.

Special Offers for Essex Mums

Baby and Mummy Massage: 10% off Gidea Park classes when you quote Essex Mums (before 29th March)
Bouncing Baby Yoga: 10% off baby yoga classes when you quote Essex Mums
EWTO Essex: 2 weeks free taster classes across their little Dragon and Juniors WingTsun Kung Fu classes in Chelmsford and Loughton. Call SiFu Kul on 07977 132111 to book a space. 
Get Ready Club: Two classes for the price of one (Get Ready to Write & Teach your child to use scissors)
Little Scrummers: 20% discount on membership to all new members when quoting Essex Mums.
My Gym Billericay: Pre-opening Enrollment Special - free membership & half of first month's tuition fees. Email 
mygymbillericay@gmail.com and Quote EMUMS
Swim with Me: Half-price swim lessons at Colchester Academy (starting 13th April) with code Academy13
Tappy Toes: Quote 'Essex Mums' for a FREE trial class at Tappy Toes classes on Mondays at 1.30pm for 20months to 2.5years and 2pm for 2.6-4.5 years in Epping
Zumba Sue: Free Zumba class for new customers when you quote Essex Mums at reception
Angel Cashmere: 10% off with code ESMUM10
Baby Bebe Boutique Ltd: 10% off, includes sale goods, with code ESSEXMUMS
Bambino Merino: 10% off with code EMTEN
Harry and Molly: 10% off with code HMESM
Indivijewels: Like them on Facebook for a 15% discount
Jane deBono: 20% off with code ESSEXMUMS
Little Lollipop Kids: 15% off with code essex15
My Wife Your Wife: 10% of with code ESSEX13
Props & Frocks: 15% off hire costumes or 10% off retail with code Essexmums1
So-Hooked handbag hooks: 20% off with code LOVEMUM2013
Sweetpea: 15% off with code essex13
Chocolate Truffle Company: Free delivery available for all orders over £20 to the following Chelmsford post codes including, CM1, CM2 and CM3
Circa Calendar: Special Essex Mums price of £29.95 with code ESXMUM10
Fairwind: Quote Essexmums for 10% off
Krafty Keepsakes: 10% off all orders until April 7th with code ESSEX10
Nest: 15% discount with code essexmums
PhotoFairytales: Lovely Mother's Day gifts - 10% discount on orders over £10 before March 31st with code ESSM102
Smart Start Toys: 5% discount with code EM12/13
Splash Studios: Quote Essex Mums for complimentary photo session and 10x8 print
Beauty with Becky: 25% off until mother's day with code MOTSDAY.
Bish Bash Birthdays are offering a 10% discount off any party entertainer booking if you quote 'Essex Mums'.
Chez 357: 20% off your first treatment when you quote Essex Mums.
Claire Sarah Wedding Planner: Quote Essex Mums for a 10% discount
Graze: 1st and 5th Graze Boxes Free!

Loch Fyne Restaurants: Children eat free! (T&CS: One child eats free from the children's menu per adult main course ordered from the à la carte menu only. Children 10 years or younger. Offer not available in conjunction with any vouchers, offers or promotions)
Spin Collective: 10% off with code mumsjustlove10

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. 

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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