#MothersDayWeek – Maureen Dolan of Sand Dollar Swim

Maureen Dolan is a SM to four and she runs Sand Dollar Swim, providing fashionable UV protectant children’s swimwear.
She joined our Mother’s Day Week chat…
How will you be spending Mother’s Day this year?
Maureen: I will be spending Mother’s Day with my mother my sisters and my husband and children. 
Do you have any beauty tips passed on by your mother or grandmother that you can share with us?
Maureen:  however tired you are never go to bed with out taking off your make up and putting on your night cream…. 
Editors Pick: how adorable is this rash vest from the Sand Dollar Swim collection? Perfect for little mermaids…

#MothersDayWeek – Julia Minchin of Hippychick

Image: Telegraph

Julia’s plans for mothering Sunday are anything but slick, mummy-ish and indulgent.  In fact, as with any Sunday (or weekend for that matter) at this time of year, Julia will be zipping up her boots, rolling up her sleeves and literally getting stuck in to helping her flock of ewes with the delivery of their lambs.  ‘When it runs smoothly it’s the most amazing experience in the world but that’s not always the case.  We normally have to bottle feed at least two lambs a year and that means through the night as well.  They are no different from human babies in the early stages.  Though it would be nice to think that I could be thoroughly indulged with a meal out and then flop into a bed of clean sheets at the end of Mother’s day, I’ll probably be sleeping out in the barn on a camp bed, at the beck and call of a couple of tiny lambs.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way and my brood of children, at least, will be with me to help.

Julia’s best beauty advice came from her great grandmother who always swore that the secret to beautiful skin as well as a long life was to follow a steaming hot bath with an ice cold shower.  Though Julia isn’t quite as rigorous with this regime, she does make a habit of splashing her face with cold water after her daily cleansing routine, morning and night.  This is followed with a generous layer of ‘Repechage’ a professional anti-ageing skin care range enriched with seaweed which she swears by.

Whilst her grandmother didn’t follow any particular beauty routine, she was a passionate advocate for carpe diem, seizing the day, a guiding principle which her granddaughter, Julia, has also adopted and implements daily.  Mother’s Day will be no exception.

Find out more about award winning children’s retailer Hippychick or read Julia’s blog…


SM Chats to Ali Burlingham of Waterbumps


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Ali Burlingham is former Aquatics Manager at WaterBabies – the baby swimming lessons which have thousands of parents, including celeb SM Fearne Cotton, ‘splish splashing’ with their little ones – and she has now launched a new ‘sister’ venture called WaterBumps.

WaterBumps is an aqua fitness regime aimed to help pregnant women prepare for childbirth and get back into shape afterwards through gentle but effective workouts in the pool.

Currently regional,  but with plans to expand nationwide, find out more at http://www.waterbumps.co.uk/

Many of our team’s own little ones were or are avid Waterbabies and we were delighted that Ali agreed to chat to us…

How did the idea for WaterBumps come about?

Ali: During my time as an Aquatics Manager at Water Babies I was challenged to keep ahead of the competition by thinking centred around other areas we could develop into. Lots of other competitors and swim schools were already doing 4-7 year old swimming lessons, but no-one was looking the other way!

As a practitioner of pre/post-natal reflexology, and having attended pre-natal yoga classes throughout my pregnancies, I started researching how we could break into this market. In the summer of 2012 Paul and Steve took the leap of faith (based on my research) and in January 2013 I became the Head of WaterBumps, a new and exciting role developing a new franchise business in pre and post natal water-based exercise classes – WaterBumps!

Most of 2013 and the start of 2014 saw us complete a feasibility phase where there was strong evidence that this market is untapped, especially in the water. An outstanding piece of internal market research (20% of the Water Babies client base – 8,000 clients) also proved to us that this market has great potential. Therefore the business modelling phase and programme trials were done and are now completed!

At the start of July 2014 we appointed a Business Development Officer, Penny and we relocated the Head Office of WaterBumps to Bristol. Since being here we have built the brand of WaterBumps, finished the website and on the 15th September 2014 we launched the first ever WaterBumps – WaterBumps Bristol & Bath. This is a company-owned franchise that I run with the assistance of Penny.

Can one do WaterBumps at any stage of pregnancy/post partum and does one need to be a good swimmer?

Ali: Women can join our ‘before birth’ classes after their 12-14 week antenatal check right through to due date. Our ‘after birth’ classes can be joined either once a woman has been medically signed off – 6 weeks after a normal vaginal delivery and 10 weeks after a caesarean as the recovery time is a lot longer, or any time after they have had a child – this can be years after too!!

No women do not have to be good swimmers, all our skills can be tailored for them to have their feet on the pool floor, we don’t ask anyone to go underwater or do anything that they feel uncomfortable with.

As you are currently regional, is there one ‘taster’ exercise you could share with us to try at our local pool?

Ali: Push and Glide – as soon as you are pregnant you don’t and can’t lie on your tummy and lots of women miss this. This skill is a great way to glide across the water on your front and give your body a full stretch. Stand with your back to the pool wall, with shoulders under the water. Place arms out straight in front of you holding a float. Bend your knees and gently push forward by pushing your feet either off the pool floor or the wall behind you. At the same time really stretch your arms forward and straighten your legs once you have started to glide. Sometimes you won’t go very far – this is more about getting the full body stretch rather than reaching the other side of the pool!!! It’s lovely and very relaxing, our mums-to-be really like this skill after a long day.

Are you running WaterBumps courses for would-be-instructors as well as for new/expecting mums?

Ali: Yes, as the business grows we will be training teachers through on the WaterBumps teacher training course which will include the brand new ASA Level 3 qualification that we instigated, designed and developed with the ASA (National Governing Body for Swimming)

And – we had to ask – is there any singing involved…?

Ali: Hehehe – not in WaterBumps classes – the peace and quiet of the classes is exactly what our ladies want – time to bond with baby, stretch and tone, as well as relax and switch off!!

Ali – we hope the new venture goes ‘swimmingly’ (and without any Happy Nappy accidents!)

#MothersDayWeek – Lorena Oberg of Lorena Oberg Skincare

Lorena Öberg Portrait colour

Lorena Oberg’s beauty empire includes clinics offering everything from scar and tattoo removal to mastectomy bra fitting, hair and beauty treatments, her Academy – plus her wonder product DermaEraze Miracle Oil, which is super natural and is great for stretch marks, dry skin, nails and hair.

She joined in our Mother’s Day Week chat…

How will you be spending Mother’s Day this year?

Lorena: Provided that the weather is nice, we will be going, along with my inlaws, to have a picnic at Hever Castle which is close to our home.  We love the open spaces of Hever Castle and the gardens are just beautiful.  We usually run into local friends frequent the Castle.  My family is my greatest achievement.  A sunny day with all the people I love is the perfect way to spend any day.  We don’t  mind the weather and the place as long as we’re together.

Do you have any beauty tips passed on by your mother or grandmother that you can share with us?

Lorena: My Italian grandmother taught me early on how Olive Oil can be used in a million ways in our beauty regime.  I have since used Olive Oil as one of the main ingredients in my Miracle Oil, because that’s what my grandmother called it!”

#MothersDayWeek – Jo Smedley of Red Herring Games

Jo Smedley set up Red Herring Games on a shoestring in 2007 and since then the company has gone from strength to strength; providing the intrigue and the giggles for many a Murder Mystery party with their bespoke ‘at home’ kits and and interative events.


We asked Jo our Mother’s Day chat questions, but couldn’t resist sneaking in an extra one…

How will you be spending Mother’s Day this year?
Jo: Driving down to Norfolk!  My mother-in-law is down from Shetland visiting her sister and we don’t get to see her very often given the distance.  Norfolk is easier to travel to than Shetland, so we’re heading down there to spend mother’s day with her.  (Which means a 3 hour journey there and back with two fighting children for me… joy… but at least I’ll have a hand blender again!  *my Mother’s day gift request as my last one broke (again… I’m always killing them!)


Do you have any beauty tips passed on by your mother or grandmother that you can share with us?

Jo: My mother (step-mother in this instance… long story, but I always think of her as my mum) isn’t into makeup or beauty particularly, and in fact neither of us go into it in a big way and only put it on for the odd special occasions, but I’ve always considered my mother extremely beautiful (she would deny that!)    I’ve always thought, the inside shines out.  If you have a great personality (as my mum does) – then your face radiates that and you don’t need loads of makeup.  No amount of makeup can hide a sour inside.   

Who would your dream Murder Mystery dinner party guests would be…?

Jo:  Ideal murder mystery guests?  Oh… that’s a tough one.  Mind you – I’ve always had the most fun with friends, so if I could invite around anyone I wanted, then I’d invite around all my best friends, ignoring their physical location as some of them, through moving, are now miles and miles away.)   However, if you’re looking for who I’d love to meet.  Well… I’d love to have Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant and John Nettles sitting around my dinner table.  My husband wouldn’t be too impressed, but he can pick the female guests!

#MothersDayWeek – Caprice of By Caprice

The beautiful Caprice is CEO of By Caprice lingerie, swimwear, nightwear and bedding and we were delighted to welcome her to our Mother’s Day Week chat.


How will you be spending Mother’s Day this year?
Caprice: I will be spending Mother’s Day my two beautiful boys, taking them to football. Hopefully it will be a warm sunny day and we can have a picnic in Hyde Park. My boys have already made me a Mother’s Day card and drawn mommy a picture – they make Van Gogh look like chopped liver.
Do you have any beauty tips passed on by your mother or grandmother that you can share with us?
Caprice: My mom and grandma would put flax seed oil on their hair followed by a shower cap (the shower cap is important because this can get really messy).  Keep the shower cap on for a few hours and then wash and condition. This is a great beauty tip for restoring moisture and shine.


#MothersDayWeek – Helen Wooldridge of Cuddledry

Helen and Polly’s amazing Cuddledry concept – the apron towel that makes bathtime less stressful – won over five dragons and is now a hugely successful multi-award winning brand.

Helen and Jasper 2

We were delighted that Helen took time to answer our Mother’s Day questions:

How will you be spending Mother’s Day this year?

Helen: firstly watching my nine year old son in a rugby match, and then being surprised by my kids – or so they tell me!

Do you have any beauty tips passed on by your mother or grandmother that you can share with us?

Helen: my mother says always make sure you don’t just cleanse, but use a good toner before you moisturise. She has lovely soft, young skin in her seventies, so I am trying to remember to do as she says!


#MothersDayWeek – Sally Hall from Dorothy and Theodore

dolly and teddy

Sally Hall, is the founder and Director of online boutique Dorothy and Theodore.

We asked her if she has a beauty tip her mother or grandmother gave her to share and she gave us a brilliant answer!

Sally: “Keep a light lipgloss in the kitchen cupboard – if the doorbell rings unexpectedly, a slick of lipgloss, will make you feel ready for any visitor regardless of the onesie you may be wearing!”

Editor’s pick: Make a Mother’s Day with the beautiful yellow leather changing bag from Dorothy and Theodore collection…

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