Our day trip to Westgate-on-Sea: My favourite UK beach for the kids

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids

We all love a good beach holiday – fortunately living in London means we can easily jump on a train and head down to the coast in less than two hours (most of the time!) When there was just LO, I took him to Westgate-on-Sea with my friend and her daughter (you can read about our trip here) a couple of years back in August. It was so hot I even got sunburnt that day!

Bank Holiday weekend was going to be sunny, especially on Saturday so I asked Daddy P if we should all go to the beach for the day. He was a little reluctant – he’s very shy – and was a little anxious about being on the beach with people but I assured him it would be lovely, chilled and NOT busy like Margate. Whilst Margate is great for older kids and teens, I think Westgate is perfect for younger children and babies.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Margate for older kids and teens, Westgate for young children and babies
We set off on Saturday morning at 10am to arrive at London Victoria station. It was packed! I think everyone had the idea of going to the beach that day – luckily for us I booked our tickets the night before. There was the longest queue for the ticket machine but a member of staff told us we could just show our ticket reference at the gate and collect the tickets when we got to Westgate. We boarded on the 11:37 train and reached Westgate-on-Sea by 14:05 – the train was late and this was probably because it was so busy. There was an announcement on the train that said First Class was open because it was so busy – lucky for those who managed to get a seat in First Class but we were happy enough to get spacious priority seats on the train when we got on.

Arriving at Westgate-on-Sea station, we picked up a few beach items before heading down to the beach. We got a sun canopy tent for £13.99, Daddy P picked up a fisherman-style hat and I got the kids a couple of buckets and spades. Food and snacks too, of course! When we got down to the beach which was about a 5-10 mins walk from the station, we arrived at St. Mildred’s Bay – it looked beautiful in the sunshine. The only problem was that it was still high tide! I hadn’t checked the tide times – oops!

Top Tip: If you’re heading to the beach, check the tide times!

It was not a big problem for us. Plus, it was a lovely day and the sun was shining so we didn’t mind. It was a little windy but sometimes, a welcomed breeze. Apparently the local cinema (Carlton Cinema) only costs £3.50 per ticket so we could’ve looked for it but we weren’t that fussed.

We decided to head up towards West Bay beach which is where I went with my friend a couple of years ago. We sat on the side of the walkway like the locals, watching other people pass by. We ate our sandwiches and cheese & onion crisps, washed down with water and fruit shoot. After we had finished eating, we decided that it would be nicer to head back down to St. Mildred’s Bay as it seemed less windy there. On our way walking back, we stopped off at the local cafe for clotted cream ice cream which was so yummy! I went for the caramel one and got Daddy P a boozy rum & raisin one though he picked out the raisins… they were really big raisins and he’s not a fan of fruit in things.

He’s a fussy eater.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
A view of St. Mildred’s Bay

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Walking back from West Bay eating our ice cream

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
A silly selfie moment (Daddy P photobombing in the background)

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
LO giving us a big smile for the camera!
The tide had gone down a little as it was around 4pm so we found a little spot on the sand and pitched up our sun canopy tent. It’s one of those pop-up ones so easy to set up but because it was windy it was so hard to keep it secure. We ended up folding the stroller and put it at the back of the tent to weigh it down haha! I let the kids roam free on the sand and in the shallow waters. LO was in his element and I really think he wouldn’t have been brave enough to venture out by himself if it was a crowded beach. He took his bucket and went looking for shells and sea snails on the side of the small rock cliffs whilst Baby Girl sat happily in the sunshine with her bucket and spade eating sand… she ate A LOT of sand. She ate so much that when we got home, we were met with a big sand-poo nappy. Nice. Nothing better than an exfoliating poo to wash off.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
“Mmm this sand looks tasty…”

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Munch, munch, munch!
We stayed on the beach until toughly 7pm. It was starting to get even more quiet and we thought it would be best to head home before the mad rush of people from Margate got on the train. For the whole day we only lost one pair of Baby Girl’s sandals and LO’s sun hat. Not too bad for a full day out to the beach, I thought we’d lose much more than that. 🙂 When we got on the train, it wasn’t too busy. LO and Daddy P managed to get a seat so I stood up with Baby Girl in the stroller. Daddy P would’ve been the one standing but he’s not great with the stroller so I took one for the team.

It was a great day out and I would definitely love to take the kids again. I really think that Westgate-on-Sea is a great UK beach for families with young kids. It’s less chaotic and packed like Margate but just as lovely. Upon coming to Westgate, we passed Whitstable and Herne Bay, they looked amazing. I know Botany Bay is not too far too and I’ve said to Daddy P that might have to be our next little beach to review. 🙂

There isn’t much to do around Westgate in terms of attractions or games so if you’re looking for a beach that offers that I’d suggest going to Margate instead. However, if you’re looking for beach destination where your little ones can roam free but still be within your eye line, head down to West Bay beach or St. Mildred’s Bay at Westgate.

Here’s some useful links on Westgate-on-Sea before visiting:
General info – http://westgate-on-sea.kent-towns.co.uk
Weather – www.accuweather.com
Tide times – www.tidetime.org
Things to do (not much) – www.aboutbritain.com

I hope you find this post helpful! If you’ve also been to Westgate, let me know what you thought about it below. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog by Manny Ngo

My thoughts on: “What is Home?”

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair UK - What is Home?
What is Home? / Source: Pixabay
I recently read an interesting article on Wayfair UK. They conducted a street survey asking people what “home” really meant to them. They were met with similar responses – home is all about family, comfort, and happiness. Out of 400 people Wayfair spoke to, 71% said that the sofa was the most important item of furniture in their home. We do love our sofas and TV moments. 🙂

To me, home and family are synonymous. One cannot be without the other – remember that there is a difference between a home and a house. As much as I love my peace and quiet, I love the feeling of lots of friends and family coming over for a social gathering. A home also can’t really be complete without a sofa, to be honest.

“We hit the streets of London over the Easter weekend equipped with an armchair and a microphone to find out what home really means to us! The findings were both insightful and heartwarming, exposing that our homes are much more than just buildings or places, they are family, comfort, inspiration, happiness and much more.”

– Wayfair.co.uk

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair

I remember when we first moved into our home in Greenwich. There was no Baby Girl and LO was still a baby. We had no sofa for a month and had to sit on the floor for dinner and TV time. We didn’t mind as it was only short term but it definitely didn’t feel warm and inviting without a sofa around so I completely understand why it’s the most important furniture in the home.

Do you remember the first time you moved into your home and the point when it started to feel like a home instead of just a house?

What does the word “home” mean to you?
Let me know in a few words below… 🙂


This post was inspired by Wayfair UK’s post on “What is Home?”. All words and content are my own, the stock photo has been credited.

My Kaya Jewellery Wishlist + Amazing Giveaway!

Hi all!

It’s been a while since I made a wishlist or hosted any giveaways so I am over the moon to be hosting a brand new jewellery giveaway! 🙂

You can be in with a chance of winning a £40 gift voucher to spend at Kaya Jewellery – a UK handmade and personalised jewellery company with a conscience. Part of the company’s project goes towards the Eduki Foundation which helps children in Gambia get an education. Personally I am a big advocate of improving children’s education and I think the company is doing a great job to help out – last year, the they donated 2,500 euros to the Eduki Foundation.

I want to kick start the giveaway with my top 5 wishlist items to give you guys a glimpse into what Kaya Jewellery offers.

They have a fabulous range of both silver and pearl jewellery but not much is available if you’re more of a gold jewellery fan. There are a few really nice gold pieces on the site but I think the majority is silver jewellery. Being a fan of both gold and silver, I find that silver jewellery stands out more against my skin whereas gold jewellery blends in with my skin tone a little bit more. Right now… I’m a fan of silver jewellery.

So without further ado, here are my top 5 wishlist items:

1. Jasseron Bracelet with initial engraving

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Kaya Jewellery Wishlist & Giveaway
Photo Credit: KayaJewellery.co.uk

 

This beautiful silver Jasseron bracelet has solid soldered links which makes the bracelet stronger. It’s available in both women’s and baby’s size and can be engraved with one or two initials. I love the heart and pear charm – it’s so adorable. I wouldn’t purchase it for Baby Girl because she’s only 13 months old so a little too young in my opinion to wear jewellery accessories but it’d make a great gift for an older child or teenager.

2. Personalised ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ star necklace

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Kaya Jewellery Wishlist & Giveaway
Photo Credit: KayaJewellery.co.uk

 

This silver engraved Twinkle Twinkle chain is so cute and perfect for little girls. There’s something I find really innocent and child-like about star pendants on a chain. This one even comes with a coloured pearl charm which you can choose the colour of. This silver necklace can be engraved on both the front and the back but it’s limited to 9 characters so bear that in mind.

3. Matching Mum & Me necklaces

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Kaya Jewellery Wishlist & Giveaway
Photo Credit: KayaJewellery.co.uk

 

This silver Mum & Me necklace set would make a really good Mother’s Day gift or a birthday gift for yourself and/or your daughter. I love the design concept of the child’s heart pendant fitting into the mum’s pendant. It’s so clever. Like the previous two items in my wishlist this one also has the pearl charm… I think I have a secret thing for pearls! 🙂

4. Silver ‘Entwined’ necklace

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Kaya Jewellery Wishlist and Giveaway
Photo Credit: KayaJewellery.co.uk

 

This silver necklace ‘entwined’ design is very symbolic – to me the larger ring represents the mother and the small one represents the child. As stated above, you can personalise the rings if you want to (why wouldn’t you?) with up to 20 characters on the large ring and up to 8 characters on the smaller ring. The engraving is also done by hand by the company owner, Tanja – it doesn’t get any more personalised than that. I chose this necklace because even though it’s quite a simple design, sometimes the simpler ones are the most beautiful.

5. Silver baby bangle

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Kaya Jewellery Wishlist and Giveaway
Photo Credit: KayaJewellery.co.uk

 

No wishlist for baby jewellery can be complete without one of these. It’s a staple jewellery piece and one of the only things I would buy for Baby Girl at this age as it’s simple and can’t be a choking hazard due to the design. A silver baby bangle is one of the ultimate baby jewellery gifts you could buy and the engraving option makes it extra special and extra personalised. I wanted to get one of these for Baby Girl’s first birthday but didn’t have enough money as we spent it all on her birthday party so it’s on our list for this Christmas instead.

About Kaya Jewellery
Kaya Jewellery is a UK company that specialises in handmade, personalised jewellery for mumsmum and daughterbaby / children and “3 generations” (nan, mum, baby). They offer personalised engraving, gift wrapping and gift boxes.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Kaya Jewellery Wishlist & Giveaway

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

So now you’ve read my wishlist you’re probably eager to start shopping. Enter the giveaway to be in with a chance of winning a £40 gift voucher to spend at KayaJewellery.co.uk.GOOD LUCK!

 

blog-button
(opens a new window & takes you to Rafflectoper)

 

This giveaway is for UK entrants only. The winner will be selected at random and be sent the gift voucher by Kaya Jewellery directly.

Giveaway expires: Friday 30th June

NB. This post was written in collaboration with KayaJewellery.co.uk in exchange for hosting a giveaway. All words, opinions and content are my own. Photos of the jewellery have been credited to the source.

June 16: It’s Oxfam’s Dressed By The Kids Day

If you’ve always wanted to get involved with a charity event but didn’t know where to start, add Friday 16th June to your diary right now. It’s Oxfam’s Dressed By The Kids Day!

Source: Oxfam

So, you may be wondering what Oxfam’s Dressed By The Kids Day is all about? It’s a one day event where Oxfam asks the nation to be dressed by the children in their lives and raise some money to help end poverty. The great thing about this even is that it’s open to everyone – there’ll be thousands of workplaces, schools and groups of friends taking part right across the UK.

Sounds like a laugh right?! If you are breaking out in sweats by the thought of your little bubbas dressing you, you can choose to give them ‘guidance’ and select outfits for them to choose from However if you’re ready to go all out in style, let the kids go to town and pick out whatever they want. Mis-matched shoes? Check. Green checkered shirt with acid yellow hot pants? Why not?! 🙂

If you’re ready to join in on the fun, here’s how you can take part…

  • Register with Oxfam online to join in on the fun and raise money
  • If you can’t afford to raise money but still want to get involved and raise awareness, just make sure you’re ready for June 16th and share your snaps on social media using the hashtag #DressedByTheKids – if you can tag/mention @OxfamGB or the dedicated event account @dressedbythekids that would be an added bonus!
  • You don’t fancy getting all dressed up but want to help out, you can raise money by holding a raffle or a bake sale or sweepstake
  • Spread the word to friends and families and donate via Oxfam JustGiving page

Don’t forget to check out the dedicated Dressed By The Kids page which has all the information you need and more. You can download badges and party prop cutout activity sheets for the kids as well as creating your own video which features you!

Here’s my little video:

(make your own video here)

… and that’s it!

Let the fun begin. I will be taking photos and plastering them all over my social media so I’m sure you’ll run into one of them… who knows – I might even make a collage video and upload it on Youtube or post a podcast about the day. For more info on the event click here: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising/dressed-by-the-kids-day

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Oxfam Dressed by the Kids Day


This post was written in collaboration with Oxfam’s PR team to raise awareness for the day event. All words, opinions and content are my own. The press video has been credited accordingly. 

Educational games for kids: Clothespin Drop!

| Guest post by Education.com

Sometimes it can be difficult to find educational activities for children that are both fun and engaging. Sometimes your child will just want to play, not learn and play at the same time.

However an online website called Education.com offers a wide range of learning resources for children from preschool to primary school age. They offer fun and educational games, worksheets, stories, songs and activities like the one they’ve given me below.

I am more than happy to present to you “Clothespin Drop” – an educational game that will help preschool-aged children to learn about colours, sorting, pattern matching and counting. I have also added a couple of alternative suggestions, just look for the pink text below to see what they are. I haven’t changed much because it’s pretty good the way it is; a why-fix-it-if-it’s-not-broken kind of thing.

I’ve been wanting to give this game a try as it looks so cool but I haven’t gotten round to doing so with LO as work’s been busy (will be more so in the lead-up to summer!). I hope you like the activity below – if you decide to give it a try, let me know! Education.com may be providing me with more games and activities to offer you guys so keep an eye out for them as they’ll be exclusive to this blog. 🙂

If you fancy checking out there other games, visit their site:
www.education.com/resources/geometry/


The Greenwich Mummy | Educational Preschooler Activity: Clothespin Drop

Activity: Clothespin Drop!

Age: Preschool children

Encourage your preschooler to practice color recognition, counting and pattern matching with this fun and colorful clothespin drop game. This is a great way to get your child excited about learning the basics of math.

What You Need:

  • 5 Coffee cans (or Bisto gravy cans or anything else similar)
  • 5 Sheets of construction paper (red, orange, yellow, green and blue)
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • 25 Wooden clothespins
  • Tempera paint* (red, orange, yellow, green, blue)
    *you can also DIY with some egg yolk and food colouring – cheap & cheerful
  • Markers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stopwatch, or digital clock

What You Do:

  1. Help your child cut down each piece of construction paper to the size.
  2. Roll one color of paper around each can and tape it in place.
  3. Have your child tell you which color is on each can, while you write the name of the corresponding color onto the paper.
  4. Ask her to separate the clothespins into groups of 5.
  5. Have her paint each group of clothespins a different color. Let dry.
  6. Line up the cans on the floor in a row, in the center of a room.
  7. Scatter the clothespins, mixing the colors around in the cans.
  8. Encourage her to see how quickly she can separate the colors and put them in the corresponding can. Time her to see how quick she is!
  9. Dump them out again and mix them up. Tell her what her last time was and shave off a few seconds. Yell, “Go!” and have her re-sort them. Yell, “Stop!” at the end of the time allotted. Did her speed increase? The more she practices, the faster she’ll get!
  10. Practice creating patterns by timing her as she places clothespins in the colored tins in a specific order. As she continues, try to introduce more complex patterns.

Enjoy!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog by Manny Ngo

My thoughts on the future of mummy bloggers…

In conjunction with Innovation Company’s study on the future of blogging.

I started my blog just under two years ago and have seen it grow which is a big success to me. I’ve had the chance to work with brilliant brands and am quite proud of myself for still being here and blogging nearly two years on. I really didn’t think I would last this long but so, so glad that I have because I actually like blogging! 🙂

Being a mummy blogger is a niche itself; sometimes it can be really difficult to get your voice out there as there are so many mummy/daddy/parent/family bloggers out there now. I started off blogging about local family activities and reviewing them however, as the months went by I found myself blogging more about other things like home, lifestyle, beauty, fitness, and food. My blog wasn’t just about being a mum and writing about my parenting experiences, it was more than that. It was about me as an individual.

I think in order to survive in the blogosphere, you need to have your personality injected into your blog. People are nosey (no offence to anyone) and we like to learn about how other people live their lives. My favourite mum blogs are the ones that write about their everyday life and what they do in their spare time for fun ie fitness or eating out, how they keep themselves sane during the school holidays and talk about their parenting mistakes and oopsie-moments with their children. People want to see the realness in blogs, especially parent blogs because everyone knows… parenting is not easy and far from ever being perfect.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Future of Mummy Blogging
Source: The Artful Parent

Another thing I’ve noticed is that blogging is not just about blogging as in the content – it’s also about the amount of followers you have. This is where I fail miserably. I have nearly 3,000 combined followers across all my social media which is nothing compared to some mummy bloggers out there who have over 10,000 followers per social media platform. Brands love it and so do the public; the more followers you have the more ‘respect’ you have online. Having a big social media following will give you that “influencer” status which will make you look very attractive to brands.

The good thing is that nowadays even the little guys like me can get recognised for blogging. If your social media or blog following isn’t as high but your readers or followers are very engaged with your posts, that has a better conversion and can give you a bog advtange over a blog that has more followers but less engagement. For example… (math lesson time!) you have 10,000 followers and only 100 liked your post, that’s a conversion of 1%. However, if you have 1,000 followers and 100 liked your post… that’s a conversion of 10%. See how good the stats look now?

Say hello to micro-influencer marketing!

giphy - Rihanna
Source: GIPHY

Thank it. Praise it. Salute to it. The rise in demand for micro-influencers means we can all get a piece of the blogging-influencer pie, no matter how big or small your blog following is. Yay! 🙂

I think mummy bloggers will continue to stick around for a while. There’s always going to be a new mum searching for parenting advice and what better way to get it than from a mummy blogger? Mummy bloggers are also venturing out into vlogging, podcasting, hosting blog conferences, workshops and even offering their blogging success tips online to connect more with their readers and give them that little bit ‘extra’. I think this innovative way of thinking is what will help them stay ahead of competition and stay in the game for the long haul.

What are your views on the future of blogging? Do you have any innovative strategies in place to connect and engage with your readers?

The Greenwich Mummy Blog by Manny Ngo


This post was written as a part of Innovation Company’s study on what bloggers see as the future of blogging. I received payment for this post however all words and opinions are my own.