Essex Mums Newsletter October 2015
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School Selection   *   Halloween and Half Term   *   Christmas   *   Getting Active  *   Would you like to write for us?  *   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! Hopefully the kids are now nicely settled into school and nursery and we're all getting back into some sort of a routine. With half-term and Halloween coming up this month we have been adding lots of great things for you and your family to do this month!
If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!
Theatretrain Performing Arts Leigh & Southend on Sea opens this September!

We are a Saturday Stage Stage school for kids aged 4-18.  We teach our kids how to dance, act and sing creating outstanding opportunities for our pupils to perform on stage in local, regional and famous West End Venues.  In July 2013 Every Theatretrain School performed at the O2!  Next year our students will be performing at The Royal Albert Hall!

We are delighted to have the support of several famous and talented patrons,Sir Derek Jacobi , Catherine Tate, Lucy Davis & Alfred Molina.

No experience required just enthuasim & commitment.  Build confidence; make new friends whilst having fun and having professional training in the arts! Contact us for a trial session".

Our contact details are:-
Twitter: @TTLeighSouthend
Tel:  07585 707855

School Selection
For those of you who have children starting school next year, you'll now be thinking of filling in applications and choosing a school. It can be a daunting task - what is your local school like, will they like it, does it fit in with the other things we have to do and places we need to be? If you're looking for some advice, whether it's to do with getting feedback about local schools or asking if it's worth deploying tactics when filling out application forms, come and ask on the forum in our Educationsection. It can be a daunting time for your kids but also for you to be starting something completely new and it can definitely help to speak to people who have been there too, or are going through the same thing. You might also find it useful to quiz our lovely teachers with any concerns you have in theAsk the Teacher section.
Halloween and Half-Term
There are some spine-tingling sounding events across the county this month for Halloween. More will be added as the month progresses but we have been busy adding lots of fun things to do to our Halloween/Half-term page here.

If you have an event you would like added, please feel free to send it over to us at or add it here. If you would like to book an ad on the site, please get in touch to discuss or just book here.
Make a difference with this flexible business opportunity!
  • Would you like to run your own business?
  • Would you like an opportunity that’s flexible enough to fit around family commitments?
  • Would you like to make a difference in your local community?
If you have answered YES, read on…

Business & Community Charter Awards 
We have launched Business and Community Charter (BCC) Awards in Southend and are now looking for franchisees across Essex who would like to administer the Awards in their local authority area. 

BCC Awards are robust, rolling awards that acknowledge and celebrate businesses of any size and type that support the local community. 

If you would like more information, give Jill Poet a call on 01702 468387 or e-mail:

I know a lot of you don't want to hear it but Christmas isn't too far away. I'll keep it brief, but if you want to see what's on this Christmas, I am starting to compile everything in the Festive Fun section. If you organise events, make sure you send them over to me or add them to the Things to Do section, and if you're interested in some Christmas advertising, get in touch as spaces last year sold out quite early.
Getting Active
Over the next few months I will be putting together a brand new section of the site, all about getting you and your children fit and active.

We will be putting various products and activites to the test and thoroughly reviewing the pros and cons of each, to give our community the best advice and ideas to get them in shape.

If you are involved in any of the following businesses and are confident that your product or service can help with weightloss, fitness or general good health, or if you would like to join our team of reviewers, please get in touch!
  • Exercise classes for Mums
  • Sports and exercise sessions for children
  • Weight-loss products
  • Nutritionists/Healthy Eating
  • Personal trainers
Baby Massage in Hornchurch
Come and learn the wonderful skill of baby massage in a lovely relaxed and welcoming environment. Massaging your baby provides a wonderful opportunity for expressing your love and affection for your baby. Baby massage is also known to help soothe and ease colic, reflux and constipation. I run classes in the Hornchurch area and can also offer 1:1 home sessions or group sessions which are great for friends. For more information and to book your place on my next 5 week hourly course please contact Emma at Come and meet new friends, enjoy a wonderful bonding time with your baby and learn a lifelong skill.
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! 
Tic Tac Throw
Tic Tac Throw is family game based on the traditional Tic Tac Toe game but uses dice and boards to give it a new edge. The game includes 8 variations, many with exciting names such as ‘Battlestar Ships’, ‘Haunted House’ and ‘World Domination’, most of these games are for between 2 to 4 places although Haunted can be played by a single player.
Click here to read Jenny's full review
Before my experience with Sam from TutorFair, I had never been convinced of the need for a pupil who was doing well at school to have a tutor. At best I thought it was a waste of money, at worst it just screamed ‘pushy parent’ to me. 

Read Louse's full review
Organix Alphabet and Farm Animal Biscuits
We entered the farm, no problems and staff were very friendly and helpful, interacting with my three little ones a lot. We were given the wristbands straight away with no queue along with a timetable and map.
Click here to read Melissa's full review
Drynites Pyjama Pants
My son is struggling with daytime potty training and so we have not even thought about night-time training and I don’t think we will for a little while yet. We have been using a cheap brand of pull-up nappy at night time although after trying Drynites Pyjama Pants we won’t be buying any more of the cheap nappies. 
Click here to read Jenny's full review
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! 

If you have a shop you would like to advertise on the Shopping Guide, please get in touch on
Experienced & Friendly Piano/Theory Teacher
Playing the piano from age 4 I trained at Royal College of Music after being a young Trinity scholar. Teaching for over 35 years I am often asked what is best age to start? Answer - anytime - realistically children need to have mastered reading basics & have a concentration span of 15 mins +.

I teach all age groups & standards preparing for exams or purely for pleasure teaching in your home or mine whichever suits your schedule - total flexibility is the key to relaxed & pleasurable learning for all my pupils. Trial lesson available.

Based in Leigh on Sea

Contact Verina on or 07919 043190

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.
Getting your toddler to love fruit and veg
The toddler years are a time of rapid change and extraordinary development for your little one, and a time when diet preferences start to form.  Just when you think you know what your toddler likes to eat...
Read more
Quiz: Which Playground Mum are you?
The playground can be a fascinating microcosm of society, full of different characters and personalities. But what sort of playground Mum are you?

Find out here
Bedwetting: The key to confident kids day and night  
Every day children are faced with challenges that can knock their confidence, whether it’s at home, in class or in the playground. One of the most common can be bedwetting, which can have a real impact on self-esteem.
Read more here
Pregnancy over 35
Having a baby in our late thirties and early forties is not uncommon any more, and in most cases a healthy woman aged 35 and over can expect to have a healthy pregnancy. However, the health risks to mother and baby are known to increase with maternal age.
Read more here
Creative Blast Performing Arts Academy
Creative Blast Performing Arts Academy teaches all round skills in singing, dancing and acting for children and young people who want to have fun, build confidence, make friends and develop skills. We cater for all ages and provide opportunities to gain certified qualifications! Recent success includes CBPA students in the West End and touring productions of The Bodyguard Musical, the West End Cast of Thriller Live, National Youth Theatre and NYMT.   Our new studio in Grays is now open! Contact us for a free trial. Look out for our upcoming school holiday workshops. Call 01375 386247 or visit

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
Creamy Chicken and Potato Bake
Easy and tasty – the kids will love it!

Read the full recipe here
Grilled Avocado with Cheesy Eggs
An easy and healthy light meal that is surprisingly filling and energising. Perfect for lunch or brunch if you are pushed for time but want something tasty.

Read the full recipe from Kerry at Roses for Posies
Leek, carrot, broccoli and torn chicken soup
Very tasty! Good for lunches, dinners and for freezing! 

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!
Lion painting with Footprints and Forks
A fun, simple idea from Emma Owl! Create a friendly lion face with a memento of how tiny your child's feet once were.
Read more 
Coffee Filter Spider Webs 
A great spooky idea from The Artful Parent – and really easy to do! Your kids will love making some of these as Halloween decorations.

Read more
My Football Journal

: This Journal has been developed for children who play football to keep a record of their football season, which they love to do. The pages are full of different areas to fill in throughout their season. Matches played, what the score was and a question about their best memory to encourage a positive outcome to every game.
Children: This is a great Football journal just for you with no rules. You can fill out your football journal throughout the year and add your own notes, photos and drawings. keep a record of all your match results and your best memories from every game.  

Book will be available to buy from 15th of September 2015 - follow our facebook page for updates

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
Educational games can be fun
Educational games can seem a bit boring for kids but as more parents devise their own ways to play these can get a lot more fun. These games can be free, enjoyable to make and, most of all, a great way to help your child learn about the world around them.
Read more
Using Autumn leaves to learn about Photosynthesis
This amazing interactive resource from is like an advent calendar with an educational twist for each day of the year. Every day of the year has a picture and when you click on it it reveals facts and information about a special event, famous person or celebration related to that day. 
Read more
Special Offers
Special offers for Essex Mums added this month!
25% off Talking Tots new Baby Talk Programme
If you have a baby aged between 5mths and 12mths then why not come along to Talking Tots's new Baby Talk Programme?

Read more
Gingerbread House Smash - Free Print
Introducing a Jo Collins Photography take on Christmas- A Gingerbread House Smash! A new, exciting and messy way to celebrate Christmas. Thoroughly enjoyed by children of all ages! 

Read more
10% off at Earthzest
Earthzest provide a pure and highly effective alternative to conventional skincare products that contain high levels of water and synthetic chemicals. 93% of the range is 100% Organic and we also offer a selection of 100% Natural Face Masks, Bath Salts and Scrubs.
Read more
5% off at Pattern Perfect Limited
We are a small painting and decorating company based in Manningtree, Eseex but cover the surrounding areas (Brantham, Bradfield, Ipswich, Tendring, Bromley, Wix, Wrabness, Harwich and beyond) established in 2010 we are a family based company offering interior and exterior painting and decorating services 
Read more
20% off at Asquith London
Asquith make activewear for yoga, Pilates and living in. Ethically made in Europe using the best natural performance fabrics, their versatile collections are designed for you to wear everywhere – perfect for the school run, having lunch with friends or relaxing in on the weekend.
Read more
10% off What On Earth Books
What on Earth? Wallbooks are perfect for kids that never stop asking questions.  Curious children can lose themselves in 14-billion years of history, laid out on a series of beautifully illustrated two metre long timelines, with answers to just about every question the adults don’t know. 
Read more
Two free classes at Sign and See
Exclusive to Essex Mums offer. Book a Full term of Toddle Talk classes and get 2 of those classes FREE of charge (saving £10), inclusive of FREE access to the venues stay and play pre and post each lesson.
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!
3 Warning Signs That It May Be Time to Replace Your Mattress 
Our modern life is full of pressure and stress.  Every human being needs to have rest to return to daily activities with full energy. However, as it turns out, not each person sleeps well during the night.
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
Children's 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. Offers this month: Buy one get one free on all ads, Halloween/Half-Term ads and Christmas advertising.
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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