Essex Mums Newsletter March 2015
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Essex Mums Turns 7   *   Easter Events   *   Essex Mums Awards   *   School Admissions   *   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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March is here and could that be Spring poking its head around the corner? Seems a little too early to call it with some of the grim days we've been having but I'm sure that soon we will be able to get out and enjoy some activities that don't have to involve muddy puddles!
If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!

Essex Mums Turns 7

The most exciting news this month is that we will be reaching the grand old age of 6! I know I tend to waffle on with the thanks every year but I really do appreciate every single one of you who has helped make the site as successful as it is - from those of you who post every day and make theforum such a lovely place to chat, to those who just pop in once in a while to see what's on. Thank you! I hope you know that for me, Essex Mums isn't just a business, it's been a labour of love, and something I hope will continue to thrive in the years to come. 
Easter Events
We have been busy adding Easter events for this year and will get more on the site as the month goes on so make sure you have submitted yours here. The Easter page will be updated over the next week or so and you will be able to get to it from the homepage very soon so you can start planning.

If you're interested in one of our Easter ad packages, check out what is on offer here.
Essex Mums Awards
Later this month I will be announcing 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 run until June, 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.

Are you looking to make a career move, but need help with your CV? Has it been so long since you've been interviewed, you've forgotten how?
If you're returning to your career, or are just looking for a new opportunity for 2015, then Love Your CV can help! We offer a comprehensive CV writing and interview preparation service that's affordable but completely tailored to your needs.
Go to to see the full range of services we offer, or email today and see how we can help you to take your next step up the career ladder.

School Admission
Are you one of the many parents across the county who has just found out their child's secondary school placement, or is waiting to find out which infant school their little ones are going to? Why not come and discuss how you feel about this in the forum. There's a special Schools section where you can chat about everything from the school itself to your fears about such a big change. It can be so useful to have support from other parents in your position and to hear the experiences of those who have been there before. 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.

“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!
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! 
Organix Goodies – Banana Soft Oaty Bars
My children have grown up eating Organix Goodies products because I know from looking at the brand, that they produce good, nourishing and healthy snacks.  The Banana Soft Oaty Bars are no exception.
Read Jenny's full review
Holli’s Handicrafts
I love this! I love the fact that it has been hand-painted especially for my son and I love that it didn’t cost me the earth to have such a unique door plaque. This has been painted onto a wooden tile and has such a good quality finish on it, so it can be handled by children with no cause for concern. 
Read Allison's full review
Funky Voices
I've been thinking of joining a choir for a while but haven't had the guts to do it. I'm not a great singer - I can vaguely hold a tune but am not at all talented. I do enjoy it though generally this is something that would only really come out in the car or after a few glasses of wine, having persuaded my husband to have a go of Rock Band, rather than anything remotely organised! 

Read Louise's full review
Priddy Books – My Big Animals Book
This is my son’s favourite book at the moment! Which inevitably makes it my daughter’s favourite book. Cue squabbling and snatching galore. The animals featured in this book are all animals that children love to learn about, so it’s great to start the recognition process early.

Read Allison's full review
100 Family Adventures by Tim, Kelly, Amy and Ella Meek
Almost anybody with children will at some point wonder if their children watch too much TV or they may wish that they could encourage their children to get outside more.  This book is perfect for encouraging families that getting out and about together can be a lot of fun and not always that difficult.

Read Jenny's full review
Love Summer? Love Shake into Shape, feel great!
Summer Bodies are made in Winter!
Sick of trying plans that don't work? Don't fancy heading out to weight loss groups in the cold just to pay to get weighed? Don't blame you! Why pay to be weighed when you can pay the same amount to receive two of your main meals a day, a detailed plan, an online support group and one on one mentoring! Healthiest plan available to suit all budgets for as little as 68p per day.

Side effects include:
  • Weight loss
  • Better hair, skin and nails
  • More energy
  • Craving healthy foods instead of rubbish ones
Contact me today
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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:
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.
Dads and Breastfeeding
Some new dads can feel a little left out when they see how much enjoyment their partner is getting from breastfeeding their new baby. They may also feel like they are not getting as much chance to bond with their new child as their partner while she breastfeeds.
Read more
Sperm Health
It takes two people to conceive a baby and both the man and woman can make positive changes to their lifestyles to increase the chances of conceiving. 

In order to get pregnant, a man needs to produce sperm. It is vital that the sperm is as healthy as possible. The quality of sperm is measured by count, morphology (shape) and motility (ability to swim).
Read more
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
Golden Roast Chicken and Roasted Veg
A super easy dinner, perfect using up any veg left in your fridge. This recipe is with chicken legs here, but can also be done with a whole chicken.

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

Read the full recipe from Organix
Spicy Tomato Baked Eggs
Perfect weekend brunch idea

Read the full recipe from Foodie Woodie
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!
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:
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
A Survey of Sovereigns

This poem from ‘The Complete School Verse’ is a great way of remembering the English monarchs in order. Admittedly it doesn’t include our current queen but hopefully that one is easy to remember! 

Read more
Spelling Menu
Many schools give out a list of spelling words for children to learn each week. If your child struggles with a more traditional approach to learning them and wants something a little more inspiring, why not try one of these fun ideas for a twist on a fairly mundane task. 

Read more
Special Offers
Special offers for Essex Mums added this month!
Naming Ceremonies
Book a naming ceremony anytime during 2015 and mention Essex Mums and receive a 5% discount on the total cost of the booking! 

Read more
Fox Organic Kids
Fox Organic Kids offers the best of British textile design and ethical European Manufacturing. They specialise in cheeky prints on high quality organic cotton and offer a full range of cot bedding, as well as kids duvet covers and snuggly bathrobes. 
Read more
My Heart and Home
‘My Heart and Home’ offers a charming range of beautiful and traditional nightwear, gifts and keepsakes for babies and children. Their aim is to provide an irresistible collection which is both classic and original, designed in England, with a strong emphasis on quality and value.
Read more
Tiny Tales Storytellers
Tiny Tales are drama and storytelling for pre-schoolers aged from 2 to 4 years. Each 50 minute session takes children on a themed journey to ignite their imaginations. Half Price Spring Sessions just £2.50
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!
World Book Day is a Celebration you do not want to miss!
World Book Day is a celebration that recognises authors, illustrators, books and most importantly celebrates reading! In fact, its the biggest celebration of its kind currently being celebrated in upwards of 100 countries all over the world! 
Read more
We are pleased to offer our weekend Relaxation and Stress Management Courses!

These nurturing, relaxed and fun 2 day retreats near Chelmsford, aim to help you relax, find some time out for you and learn some practical de-stressing tips! You'll experience taster sessions such as yoga, art, mood foods, mindfulness and relaxation, plus you'll have a massage session from the fabulous Lotus Therapies and super scrummy food The Secret Pea Vegetarian Restaurant! 

Saturday 28th – Sunday 29th March and Saturday 11th-Sunday 12th April 

Visit our facebook page for more information or contact me personally to find out 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 
Updated Children's Centres Timetables 
Groups for Older Children 
Being a Mother is indeed a challenge and if you want to be a more relaxed Mum, have more patience, tolerance and master the home-work-balance, then meditation could really make a  major change to your life, which will reflect on your children.
Our unique and personally prescribed Meditation and Spiritual practices aid mindfulness and are enjoyed by thousands of individuals in Essex.
Apart from the profound relaxation experienced in just a few days, meditation brings other profound benefits like increased self-esteem and confidence, improved health and a greater sense of well-being, problem solve with ease, and an increased capacity to discover our purpose in life. 
So come and learn and enjoy this wonderful journey of self-discovery and personal transformation.
For further information visit our website at or contact, or phone 020 8523 3133.  You can learn at numerious Essex Centres
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: AWARDS SPONSORSHIP, HALF-PRICE THINGS TO DO ADS AND EASTER 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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