Artisan blogging

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Love of Learning

artisan

I’ve been pondering what I do as a blogger and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m an artisan blogger.

What is artisan blogging? It’s blogging with pure passion and creativity.

When I blog I’m totally 110 per cent immersed in what I’m doing … expressing, connecting, writing, crafting. Academic and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would describe this as flow – ‘a state of joy, creativity and total involvement, which problems seem to disappear and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence’.

I believe we are all artisan creators in our own unique way. Each blogger (author) I have come across has lovingly designed and developed their own style through image, art and expression to tell the story of who they are.

The original artisan

In France, the artisan is revered. A New York Times article by beautiful blogger and travel/food writer Ann Mah describes the artisans of France as ‘Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, or Best Craftsmen of France’. The title is about ensuring the survival of a tradition – it’s about grassroots perfection of creativity. I don’t think there is yet a blogging tradition, at least in the traditional sense, it’s too young, but I’d like to think that our authenticity of publication as authors and creators warrants a link to tradition.

In France of course it’s about the chocolatier, the baker, the florist and the corset maker. Here in little ol’ humble cyber Sydney it’s about a mother, woman, writer and creator who works to perfect her self expression in the same way as any artisan does simply as a way of deriving and giving pleasure to make life better.

Do you have a blogging style? How do you see yourself as a creator?

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bachelormum style

Linking in with lovely Jess for IBOT. Yeah!

Spirited Mama: backing my dreams

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Attitude & Adventure, Spirited Mamas, Uncategorized

Spirited Mama profileHaving the courage to back your dreams … 

It was in France when I was searching for an epiphany, searching for some way to reconcile my dream of travelling and spending more time with my daughter.

We’d been to a tonne of toy shops in Paris to meandre and gaze and laugh … then I came across a small toy shop in the small rustique village of Les Gets deep in the Haute Savoie – the French Alps. It was here I met my first Schlumpeter mobile – the little prince fishing for a star. He was suspended from the ceiling and he immediately captured my imagination. I then met Marguerite, Rose Bud, Aladdin, Aviator, Boat Boy and the rest.

Later, as I also sat suspended like a mobile on a chairlift heading quietly up a snowy mountain to try and ski off all the amazing food i’d been eating via an infamous black run and my epiphany came. 

Treasure Shop open for business

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Attitude & Adventure, On Health & Happiness, On Love of Learning

Margeurite-in-situSpirited Mama’s Treasure Shop is open for business.

What will you find in the Treasure Shop? Unique and exquisitely crafted toys and homewares from the heart of France.

Win an exquisite French mobile

I’m so excited because this is the culmination of a dream that has turned into a reality – I’ve commercialised my blog!!! I’m still pinching myself that I’ve done it.

To celebrate this awesome occasion with me, visit the Treasure Shop and Tweet about the toy or homeware you love. Include a link to the product and the @bachelormum handle in your tweet to receive 15 per cent off all Treasures. Follow me on Twitter while you are there if you like.

Or, please like one of my products on Facebook as they appear, leave a comment about the treasures so I know you’re in and like my site at the same time if you are new to the site.

By liking or tweeting about your fave toy or homeware from the Treasure Shop you will automatically go in the running to win a beautiful Moonboy or Marguerite mobile valued at $109.95. The more treasures you tweet about, the more chances you will have of winning Moonboy or Marguerite.

This competition has closed

Jenny O’Keefe has won a gorgeous French mobile. Thank you to everybody who entered. You will receive 15% off all treasures till September 30. This offer is cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Life is good

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Attitude & Adventure

flower sellerI often say to myself and to my daughter, ‘Life is good, life is good, life is good’.

I use it as a strategy to help my daughter to build a positive story for herself around the issue of her dad moving overseas. I think and hope that despite the intense and often sad feelings she experiences, her memory of her childhood, and the foundations that support her into adulthood, will be strong and happy and good.

When I stop for a moment and concentrate on that mantra ‘life is good’ I let fall away the swirling mess of angst and fear that sometimes dogs me as a parent, and I let fall away the remnants of what was the most difficult year of my life last year.

I live in the moment, just for a moment, and see and feel the beauty that is with me. The sun, the blue blue ocean, the clean air and the good coffee in my hand made by the little Greek place across from the beach.

I sometimes wonder how women in developing countries cope with the hardships of life – whether day after day they drag their feet around, feeling tense and aching inside. I somehow don’t think so. In my travels to India and Nepal I saw women struggling to eek out an existence smile big beautiful smiles as they tried to sell a flower (like the lady pictured) or a chai. Is it acceptance of what they have, or do the just live in the moment, grateful for what each minute can bring leaving aside all that they don’t have to get on and make the most of what they do have?

In this moment, life is good.

Do you consciously think life is good to make life good?

Photo: The flower seller, 1990. Bachelormum Style.

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Linking in with IBOT with Jess.

Nature's headache cure

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Health & Happiness

nymphaea

Whenever life goes out of control a dose of natural beauty, like lilies and art, acts like nature’s headache cure.

I had walked out of the office with a massive headache. I was cross at feeling like I did. I had an awesome night planned and my daughter was having a sleepover. Wasn’t it time to play?

I went straight to my chemist – the Royal Botanic Gardens down near Circular Quay. I strode around until the palms fronds and the cool began to calm my mind. Then I saw them.

In a pond was a series of water lilies Nymphaea. Yellow, pink, lilac, white.

It was like I had been transported to Monet’s Giverny without the airfare.

Headache gone.

Time to play, yay!

What’s your daytime headache cure 🙂

Linking in with lovely Grace at FYBF.

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Invisible ailments create so much drama

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Health & Happiness

sore fingerCan you see it? That tiny lump on the finger that is creating so much fuss and drama in our little household? No, I’m having trouble seeing it too. But it’s there requiring my full attention just around dinner time when multitasking is at its peak. Funny, we had spent the day with friends at the beach and it was hardly mentioned.

But that’s only the fingertip on the iceberg. Daily there are invisible bruises that generate volumes of homework procrastination and require much attention. Bright pink bandaids are applied to scratches that don’t exist because I asked for the bedroom to be cleaned. And if there is a chance of stern words because my poppet has been naughty, no doubt an ailment will appear that needs a kiss.

It’s sweet but sometimes they just need to toughen up … ‘Darling, it’s only a flesh wound!’ 

Does your child find imaginary sores that require much love and attention?

Join my newsletter and like me on Facebook to be in the know about the latest specials on exquisite French treasures.

Linking into IBOT with the lovely Jess.

Photo: Bachelormum Style 2013

 

School lunch disaster 101

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Health & Happiness

lunch disasterHave you ever seen anything like it? This is school lunch disaster 101.

I was scared to open the bag when my daughter told me the yogurt had run all over the rest of her beautifully made fare.

The yogurt burst … for the second day in a row. And i realised I hadn’t put in the frozen brick in to keep things cool.

It’s disgusting – not so much the yogurt although it was pretty bad – but it’s a symptom of an over-wrought working mum. I need to slow down, think, smell some roses. Thank goodness the holidays are coming – i think they’re more for me than her.

Do the little disasters that start creeping in remind you that you’re only human … sometimes I can only be human, not superwoman.

This is my new blog site (it’s yet to be officially launched but I can’t stop blogging!). If you’d love to be in the running to win gorgeous French treasures in celebration of the new look Bachelormum Style and Treasure Shop like me on FB. 

Linking in with the gorgeous Grace x

Free solution to household chores

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Health & Happiness

householdWhen I was a kid had to help with the household. It was miserable …

I collected the sticks which fell off the gum trees in the yard, raked the lawn and dusted the skirting boards. I don’t know which of these three evils was worse but I hated doing chores with a passion.

Now I do the vacuuming and nothing’s changed … But wait!

I’ve found a fabulous free solution. It’s called my daughter. Yes! She is learning at the tender age of eight that if she wants to be part of this little household then she has to contribute.

Gone are the days where all I do is handfeed her chocolates and blueberries while she reclines on the lounge watching the ABC kids programs … barking at me to fetch her another soft toy.

Tonight she had to wipe up while I put away the dishes. There were tears, gnashing of teeth, even a random ‘Whatever’ when I asked her to do the whole lot (rather than the token teaspoons) but after a short while the sink was spotless.

It felt … efficient and collaborative and freeee!

But what about that dreaded, awful, nasty, horrible vacuuming?

Hmmm … darling can you come here please?

I could get used to this.

At what age do you think it’s appropriate to get your kids to pitch in with the housework?

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Photo: Bachelormum Style 2013

Welcome to Spirited Mama

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Attitude & Adventure

bach mum jordanWelcome to Spirited Mama.

 The more success a woman has in her life – physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially – the greater sense of wellbeing she develops. When a woman is feeling good about herself, it’s easier for her to raise her children to be wise, resilient, happy and loving beings.

Spirited mama is not an identity but an attitude – it’s inspired parenting in a skirt!

A spirited mama is adventurous, resourceful, practical and solutions driven. She gracefully leaps over adversity to land on her stilettos … even if her mascara is smudged a little (or sometimes streaming down her cheek) in the process.

Coco Chanel once said: “My life didn’t please me so I created my life.” And that’s what Bachelormum Style is about – sharing ideas and stories on creating great lives for ourselves, our children, our family, loves, and friends.

Join my newsletter and like me on Facebook to be in the know about the latest specials on exquisite French treasures.

 

Photo: Spirited Mama 2013

A child’s sense of belonging – choosing the right school

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Health & Happiness

little school painted by a child

Learning acceptance … a child thrives in schools where there is a strong sense of belonging.

How to choose the right school for your child? It’s easy. If you feel a sense of belonging for your child and your family at the school you can’t go wrong. Kids thrive academically, socially and physcially when they feel they belong. They take less ‘sickies’ and have great role models. It’s that simple.

Sense of belonging is a big theme of mine because it plays such an important role in giving meaning and contentment to my life and that of my child’s. Without belonging life is soulless.

It was serendipity I came across some candid research at Sydney University which focused on how our children’s sense of belonging at school affects so many areas of their lives.

The writer of this paper, Chris Watkins, wrote schools that see themselves as “communities” or “families” provide a much greater foundation on which children can thrive.

He said kids who have a sense of belonging at school are more motivated to learn, have greater self-control, higher literacy levels because they’re more engaged, have higher grades generally and feel their “success was more in their hands than that of others'”. They actually like school better.

Paris with kids smart travel tips

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, On Attitude & Adventure

With kids in Paris … Insane or on Seine?
© Bachelormum Style 2012

The charms outweigh the challenges when travelling to Paris with kids. Here are eight tips to make this beautiful city child-friendly. 

1. Apartment living

Booking a Paris apartment to stay in rather than a hotel was the most sensible decision I’ve made in a long time. I used the website VRBO to source my accommodation. The entries had everything I needed to know about each apartment including an owners’ description. I chose a studio in Arr. 4 which featured: the Hotel d’Ville (where we ice-skated at night); galleries such as Musée Picasso; a food market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the fashionable Le Marais area, and it was just across from the Left Bank. (We were so close to the Notre Dame we could hear the bells chiming every morning). The owners lived in the US. Wife Alix was French and her husband was a retired neurosurgeon. A quick Google confirmed these facts so when I sent my bank cheque I knew I would receive the keys. A local manager, Thiery, was a phone call away if i needed anything.

I can also recommend Guest Apartment Services which has a small bouquet of beautiful Parisian apartments at the more upmarket end in great locations such as Ile St Louis and St Germain but still reasonable in price.

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