Essex Mums Newsletter November 2015
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Bonfire Night  *  Alternative Christmas Shopping Guide  *  Festive Fun  *   Meet Father Christmas  *   Getting Active  *   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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Hi everyone, hope all the kids and babies have had a lovely half-term and enjoyed Halloween. This month the newsletter will be focussing on Bonfire Night events across the county and a few festive ideas as I know a lot of you are already making Christmassy plans!
If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!
The Enchanted Forest

Fairies, elves, pixies, Jedi knights, pirates and much more can be found in the Enchanted Forest hidden in the studios of Williams Family Photographers.  Children love to dress up and with the realistic setting and their wondrous imagination they’ll love it and you’ll get superb wall art. With a sprinkle of magic and fine art styling you’ll be acquiring something you will want on your wall for a long time.

The set is great for all from newborn babies right up to adults. Mother and daughter sessions are very popular. We have a large range of costumes in a variety of sizes and the session is all about fun whilst creating unique art.

call us on 01621 782500 or visit

Bonfire Night
As long as the weather holds out, most families across the county will be off to some sort of Bonfire celebration this weekend or next, so take a look at our Fireworks page to find some Guy Fawkes celebrations near you. 

I'm sure there are some I haven't discovered so if you know of one that isn't listed here, please email me the details on and I'll get it added or just add your event here.

If you would like to advertise on this page (any business can have an ad), they are now only £5 and you can book here.
Alternative Christmas Shopping Guide
If you like to get organised early with Christmas presents, our Christmas Shopping Guide is now full of lovely gift ideas for the whole family: make sure you take a look at the Alternative Shopping Guide and the Product Guide for some ideas for unique and unusual presents for the whole family, and check out some the lovely shops that are listed there. Many are small businesses run by parents just like us, so not only are you buying a lovely gift, you're also helping small often local businesses stay alive! Yay! If you have your own shop and would like to be featured, please get in touch - listings start at just a pound!

Louise's Beauty Room

I am a professional home based salon in Hornchurch offering a wide range of treatments Monday to Saturday, with daytime and evening appointments available.
I only use top quality, well respected products in my treatments and I am fully qualified and experienced in what I do. Some of the treatments I offer are: Gelish, O.P.I Manicures, O.P.I Pedicures, Waxing, Tinting, LVL Lash Lift, Hopi Ear Candles, Access Bars and Hot Stone Treatments.
20% off first appointment for new clients

Facebook: /
Phone: 07793 673528
Festive Fun
It might be a little early to be getting Christmassy, but as the month progresses I know many of you will be starting to think a bit more about it, so would like to devote a bit of newsletter space to all the fantastic festive fun there is to be had. If you're thinking of planning things to do nice and early, take a look at our Festive Fun page, which has listings for all sorts of Christmassy events, or click on the title below to take you to the page. New events are being added all the time but this should get you started!

It's not too early to get your children booked in to see the big man in red. Whether you want to meet him at a local bazaar or go all out for a winter wonderland, you'll find it listed here. Keep checking our Meet Father Christmas page as more places announce when they will be visited by the one and only (ahem) Santa Claus this year.
Getting Active
There is a brand new section on 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.You can see the first few reviews here and we'l be adding more as they come in!

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
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! 
Oxelo B1 Scooter
Dexter has not yet learnt to ride a scooter, though he is very keen! He’s had a go of his older brother and sister’s ones and really enjoyed it but they are much too big for him so it usually ends up with me pulling him along most of the way. 
Click here to read Louise's full review
The What on Earth? Wallbook – Timeline of Science and Engineering
I  admit  that  this  book  has  a  very  long  title  but  the  very  short word  of  â€˜WOW!’ sums  up  how  brilliant, amazing  and interesting  this  book  is! - From the outside, this looks like any normal book, however when you open the book, you unfold 2 metres of timeline with beautiful illustrations and so many facts that we are still learning new things even after spending hours poring over the facts together.

Read Jenny's full review
Organix Alphabet and Farm Animal Biscuits
Alphabet biscuits from the Organix Goodies range are mini-bags of toddler-sized snacking biscuits, available in multipacks of five individually-packaged servings. They are suitable for babies over 12 months of age. Each of these little round biscuits bears the imprint of one of the letters of the alphabet on one side
Click here to read Helena'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! 
Formidable Fitness, Southend
On Monday I went to formidable fitness on the Temple Farm industrial estate.  I quite liked that it was out of the way and I didn’t have to go through hoards of town goers etc to get there. It was fairly easy to find and I went straight into reception to meet the personal trainer Belaal, as agreed. 
Click here to read Charis's full review
Dynamic Yoga with Rob Gretton
High intensity boot camps, marathon training, high energy Zumba,  fast paced spin classes and running up 200 steps just so you can pretend to be Rocky when you get to the top (we’ve all done it).  All of these things are great, but what about the slower side of fitness? What about also taking the time to be gentle with ourselves.
Click here to read Kylee'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! 

New this month:
  • bibT: Amazing, wipe-clean tops for children from 6 months to 4 years old
  • Dribblebuster: Keep baby's neck and chest dry with these scarf style baby dribble bibs
  • Funwall: Colour in wallpaper, borders, magnetic play sets and stickers for all ages and colouring abilities
  • Gilly Gray: Beautiful wedding, beautiful price
  • Helenka White Design: Artisan Jewellery And Sculptures - Not Just For Cat Lovers.
  • Martha and Hepsie: Illustrated homeware, stationery and gifts with pops of colour and character
  • Mungo and Maisie: Quality children's toys and gifts that are a little bit different
  • Picklebee: The home of the Picklesuit and other fun, innovative products for babies and children
  • Schmuncki: Traditional looks with a modern feel
  • Wittonwood Crafts: Handmade Taggys and Hanging Hearts 
  • Zizzz: Designed for better sleep
If you have a shop you would like to advertise on the Shopping Guide, please get in touch on

MGHKIDS.COM - Get ahead start this Christmas with fantastic stocking fillers. We stock a great range of novelty children's pyjamas from the likes of Disney, Minions, Frozen, Superheros and many more at unbeatable prices. Visit us at to order yours today. While stocks last. 

We can deliver to any address in the UK & Ireland.

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
Croup is usually a childhood illness. It is a respiratory condition that affects the windpipe - or trachea, the airways - or bronchi and the voice box - or larynx. It is also called laryngo-tracheo-bronchitis. When a child has croup, it causes swelling within the voice box and the windpipe can become blocked. This causes breathing difficulties. 
Read more here
Bronchitis is an infection or inflammation of the bronchi, and is one of the most common chest infections which most people can expect to develop during their lifetimes. 
Read more here
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
Banana & Almond Fudge 
Have your kids overdosed on sugar this Halloween? Why not try this healthy alternative

Read the full recipe from Jemma at Truly Madly Healthy
Slow Cooked Sweet Potato Chilli
Super-simple and really healthy. Can be eaten with rice or in wraps. Add sour cream, guacamole, salsa and cheese to make it even tastier!

Read Louise's full recipe
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!
Easy Firework Craft
If you’re looking for something fun and easy to do with the kids this Guy Fawkes Night, this easy fireworks craft from Juggling with Kids could be perfect for you!
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
Land Art
Last week I took my kids to an outdoor ‘Land Art’ session at Belfairs woods. To be honest I thought it was just going to be collecting leaves and sticking them on a piece of paper, that sort of thing.Don’t get me wrong, I  have a lot of time for these sorts of activities – really I was just looking for a nice day out in the woods and an excuse to do something a bit creative but wasn’t expecting much. 
Read more
Using Autumn leaves to learn about Photosynthesis
Most secondary school children, and many primary school children too, will have learnt about photosynthesis in class: if you need a refresher, this is the process that makes a leaf green.

Read more
Special Offers
Special offers for Essex Mums added this month!
Starchild Shoes
Starchild famous soft sole leather baby shoes and slippers are instantly recognizable, colourful and fun. And our toddler slippers are a hit too once your little one starts to walk! 
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
Two free classes at Essex Choi Kwang Do
Self defence/ martial art classes in Little Dunmow. 

Read more
Pennies Nannies
At Pennies Nannies we are committed to helping you find the right nanny for your family. Pennies is a family run company with over 25 years experience in childcare including our award winning Day Nurseries in Kent 

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 Sport
At My Doll Best Friend, a doll is a gift for the imagination.

With a doll in their hands a child is ready to tell an exciting story.
Who are the characters...? What do they wear?
How do they know each other?
What will happen...?
A question for parents: how may your child's imagination and confidence develop through doll play and story-telling?

Play is serious learning.

We need our imaginations throughout our whole lives and developing it starts young...A doll is more than a toy, it is a gift for the imagination.

Start the story...

*Especially for Essex Mums readers there is 10% off purchases in November with code MUMSNOV15.*

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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