On Essex Mums this month
Hello everyone, hope you all had a fun half-term and a spooky Halloween and found lots of great things to do on Essex Mums! Here's a quick run-down of what's new on the site this month.

Bump 4 Joy

Welcome to new members from Bumps, Babes and Kids
A big hello to everyone who came to the stand at the Bumps, Babes and Kids show in Southend and to the new members who signed up to join the site. I'm pleased to announce that the winner of the prize draw is Nicola Wakeling - congrats Nicola and enjoy! I hope those of you who signed up find Essex Mums useful and come to say hello in the forum.

New to Essex Mums?
For those who have recently found the site and are wondering where to find what they're looking for, you might find it useful to have a look at this thread, which has some handy pointers and ideas for getting to know Essex Mums.

Bonfire Night
Check out the Things to Do section for Guy Fawkes Night celebrations near you, and come on to the forum to discuss which ones go with a bang, and which are more of a damp squib.

Parenting Groups
A new addition to the site this month is Parenting Groups. Rather than have month groups I thought we could have age groups so that you can talk to mums with kids who are a similar age, get advice or just chat about what they're up to. As the kids reach the end of the group they can 'graduate' into the next one.Come and tell us a bit about your little 'uns! You can see all the different age groups here.

Alternative Christmas Shopping Guide
Lots of great new products have been add to the Gift Guide and there ware now more than 300 fantastic present ideas ranging from the very useful to the totally weird! Take a look for everything from tiny stocking fillers to big presents, and for gifts for the whole family. Let us know if you get anything nice!

Expanding the site
At the moment a large proportion of Essex Mums members are parents of preschool children, and I would really like to reach some other groups and get them interested in the site. In particular it would be nice to have more pregnant Mums-to-be (and not just to get our fill of lovely newborn piccies when they arrive!) and Mums of older children, who can hopefully offer a bit of advice and experience to those of us with younger kids. If anyone knows of an ante-natal group, school, or other organisation that would be willing to give some leaflets out to these people (and to any parents really!), please get in touch.

Are you looking to make a little money? Can you write something funny, interesting, moving, or just plain useful for other parents? Then I'm looking for you! I would love to have more Mums (and Dads!) writing for the Essex Mums blog, and am currently offering a small payment for every one that gets published. Ideally I'm looking for a few bloggers to make fairly regular blog posts, so it could be a nice little bit of extra cash for you. Again, get in touch if this is something you're intersted in doing.

Christmas Events
It might seem early, but please start sending me your Christmas events asap so that I can get them on the forum and Things to Do section. You can add them to the forum yourself if you prefer. You might find this template useful for doing so.

Dream Toys

New on the Shopping Guide
New this month on the Essex Mums Alternative Shopping Guide:

Manuka Baby: Beautiful sleepwear and more

Lapin and Me: Unusual and beautiful products with a touch of nostalgia

Home & Garden

Funky Glass: handmade glass specialists

Toys & Games

Orchard Toys: Fun, educational toys and games.
Pedal Pushers: Where children's dreams come true!

PhotoFairytales: 10% off orders over £15
Quote order code EM151, valid until 30.11.10

Offer only valid once

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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On the forum

A small selection of what's on for families in Essex this month *Bonfire Night Special* :

Friday 5th:

Saturday 6th:

Sunday 7th:

Take a look at the Things to Do section for full listings.

If you would like to have your event listed in the next newsletter, please get in touch.


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