Monthly Archives: March 2013

Buona Pasqua 2013

The boys hopped down the stairs to find all the Easter treats. 
The treats the ‘Bunny’ left for the boys very early this morning on the stairs of our home. 
The Boys at the beginning of service getting ready to light the candle.
Easter Service at church. The boys helped make pretty crafts to decorate the cross; The Easter Garden; Easter service.
The Decorated Cross 
Happy Easter from my bella familia to yours. 

*photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights reserved –

Self Portrait: ‘Awaits’

My husband said I have a lot of photographs of me looking out the window.  
Perhaps he is right.   I look out my windows frequently through out the day if I am inside.  
Partly for the view and partly because it is a great place to think 
as I envision hopes and dreams for the future.  
I recently moved our smaller white IKEA bookshelves 
from the boys’ room downstairs into the look window nook.  
It has become a new favourite place of mine 
of where I can sit to write, brainstorm, and just meditate.  
Do you have a favourite spot to which  you go?
Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

*Photograph belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography
**Cannot be used without written consent, please contact for more information regarding photographic services.

Top Ten List for Expats with Kids

I recently wrote a top ten list entitled, ’10 Things Expats Raising Children in England Should Know’ for the expat blog network for their March ’13 Contest.  For just a couple more days you can go read my entry and help by commenting and sharing the post on various social networks.  

I have posted just a little sneak peek here, but you will have to go read the full list on their website. 

10 Things Expats Raising Children in England Should Know

  1. Depending on the age of your children and how long you will be living in the country, you may be raising Third Culture Kids, or TCK for short. Find out as much information on the subject as you can. American sociologist David C. Pollock coined TCKs as “a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.” 
  2. Expect that your children will face some sort of culture shock in England, even if you are moving from another english speaking country like the United States. Culture shock does not necessary happen immediately and can differ between individuals. Prepare your children for the tough times so that when a situation arises you can meet the challenge with comfort and flexibility.
  3. Realize that your kids may transition faster in a country as a child than you will as an adult. I had lived in England as a young girl, but with raising two boys in school over here found them to adjust quicker to life in England. My boys would correct my word choice or even my pronunciation of words from the ‘American’ to the ‘English’. Kids are quite resilient and impressionable when taking in a new culture and learning the laws of the land. 

By: Bonnie Rose

To read the rest view at:

 Please help me to win a prize by 
sharing my contest entry on 
Twitter, Facebook, etc and by 
leaving a really good comment!

*graphic made and owned by Bonnie Rose

Thoughts: I am my Father’s Daughter

A beholder of a US passport and an American accent it was not easily understood by some why I would seek ‘home’ in a a seemingly far off land.  I had been called selfish for for wanting to move my family across the ocean when jobs, schools, and homes could be found closer to my husband’s family.  Without jobs or a place to live my husband and I took the leap across the pond.  It can be quite scary and we managed it through support of many kinds, the biggest coming from the big man upstairs. I also find comfort in knowing that my father, though no longer with us since 2008, was keeping us safe.  He is the one reason after all that I would need to move back home to Europe.  
My father left home to join the USAF Academy at the age of seventeen and served 30+ years as an US Air Force officer and a veteran of the Gulf War in the ’90s.  He did six tours in Europe: three in England, two in Italy, and one in Germany.  That is roughly seventeen years living abroad and he got to see much more of the world through his work and free travel.  They say a girl’s father is one of the most influential people in her life, and this is the man who shaped my life, my worldview and my love for travel. I am my father’s daughter.  Returning home to Europe and living in England has been bittersweet at times. Let me clarify that statement.  It has been completely sweet like Cadbury’s milk chocolate, life itself will always have challenges and stress points.  The bitter part has been that my father is now no longer here to experience this part of my life with us and his grandsons.  
It has been four years and half years since he was taken from  this life, and that loss is still felt.  When the photographs below were taken at his funeral at the USAF Academy I was crying daily.  I may not cry daily today but I find little things will trigger tears over my father not being here.  I was looking at photographs from a friend’s trip to Austria and Switzerland, places from which I have fond memories with my dad.  In one sentence I went from the excitement of hoping to go there on our next trip, to sadness that my dad could not meet us there.  I will forever have him in my heart and every trip I take will be that more meaningful for it.  I just wish I could do more for my dad’s  presence in my sons’ lives.  So I do the best I can here in England.  I have photographs of him up, trinkets from his life and we share stories about him.  Some of my favourite stories are the ones my husband shares about my dad.  They only knew each other for a few years through trips and rare holidays, but he became the son my dad never had.  They would talk on the phone longer than my conversations with my dad. I admit I became envious of their relationship but in retrospect I am so glad that they were able to get close. I would not have wanted it any other way.  To know my dad and my mum love and appreciate my husband for who he is means so much to me.  
I do not have a whole lot of photographs with my dad and the last ones taken at his funeral. We had a lot of friends of my dad write, call, and visit at his memorial in Tucson, Arizona.  But at his funeral we had long time friends from my dad’s time with the military in England.  It meant so much to have them there for my dad and for us.  Though we were all hurting inside over the sudden loss, it is nice to see the smiles in the photos because my dad was always smiling.  He could find the best in everything. He could make friends with people from all backgrounds.  It is that part of him I hope I can channel into my sons to carry on the ‘Nystrom’ way of life.  The life of accepting others, the life of loving to travel, and to live every moment to its fullest.  
Live Aloha. 
Remember Charles. 
*Photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved
** For more information on photographic services contact bonnie[at]bonnie-rose[dot]co[uk]

Wedding: My Custom Gown

Upstairs above my wardrobe is a box with my perserved 
wedding gown, veil and gloves from my wedding day in 2003.  
As August slowly approaches in the horizon I get more curious about opening that box.  
I feel like a little girl awaiting Christmas and knowing what she hopes to open that morning.  
I really want wear the gown again for our vow renewal ceremony. 
I have an idea of updating it.
But more on that later.
I originally had another gown for my wedding. 
One that I had picked out with a couple of my bridesmaids.
We had traveled to a bridal shop that boasted
‘the largest bridal gown selection in the Mid-South’.
It was my first time to try on gowns and I fell in love with one.
It was pretty and I felt so pretty in it.
However weeks later I was looking through a bridal magazine 
and fell in love with a Amsale couture.
Unfortunately it cost as much as my wedding.
My dad asked me if I wanted the wedding or the gown.
I really wanted the gown.
It was perfect.
Love at first sight.
(because you can experience that with a gown)
So I found a seamstress in town and brought pictures of the gown.
I picked out the fabric I wanted and she took my measurements.
The dress that originally was priced at $2700 
I had made for my body for only $600
Best decision ever.
The other dress is still in my closet in a garment bag.
I’ll be honest I take it out and try it on every so often.
I like to pretend I’m a princess.
Nothing much has changed from 
when I was a little girl growing up in England 
with a photos of Prince William on my dressing table.
My mum found my tiara for me, a replica of Princess Diana’s. 
When the original shoes I wanted for my dress were out of stock
I went for the extreme opposite with lots of bling. 
I had long fingerless gloves and two different veils.  
Long one for the ceremony and a shorter for the reception.
The jewelry my mum gave to me as a gift.
I changed into a custom tailored white suit for my ‘going away’ outfit
as my new husband and I  drove off into the sunset.

Photography: Angela Alexander Photography
Photography: Angela Alexander Photography
Photography: Angela Alexander Photography
Photography: Angela Alexander Photography

*photography by Angela Alexander Photography of Little Rock, AR. 

Travel: Crossing the Channel

We left the island of Hawaii to live on the island of Great Britain.  While I thought I would never us the term ‘mainland’ again (when referring to the mainland of the USA), I sometimes do revert to that label when I refer to Europe.  While England may be set off in the ocean, just like Japan is off of Asia, it is quite easy to travel to the ‘continental Europe’.  We traveled back home this way from Paris last Summer. We took a ferry from Calais, France across to Dover, England where you can see the beautiful white cliffs.  We would really like to return here with our boys to explore the beauty and the history of those symbolic white cliffs. 
For us the experience of using the ferry was very easy and accommodating  We were able to get through customs fairly easy and the waiting period to board was met with a nice waiting area with vending machines if needed. The prices would be as expected on the ferry for food and refreshments and I cannot comment more than that as we brought our own for the voyage.  The trip seemed shorter than I expected or remembered as a child and we were able to just enjoy the trip and relax.  We had traveled through Italy and France up to this point so just being able to kick our feet up was a great ending to our travels.  While flying may be a lot easier or quicker, we really enjoyed taking the trains and ferry back.  The view as we came in of the white cliffs were just breath taking. Whether you are traveling by train or car, I definitely recommend checking out crossing the English channel for the views and the experience.
Our view from the ferry of the white cliffs of Dover.
My husband chillin’ on the ferry as we enjoy our view.  
Watching the sunset as we arrive back in England.

*All Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights reserved |
**Please get in contact with bonnie[at]bonnie-rose[dot]co[dot]uk for information on photographic services.

Bristol Fashion Week – Spring Season 2013

I was very honoured to be chosen by British Style Bloggers for the ‘Day in the life of a catwalk reporter’ competition.  This was my first fashion show to attend here in England.  The last fashion show I attended was Tucson’s Fashion week in the US  and covered fashion shows in Hawaii while I was living on the island as a fashion photographer.  I really enjoyed being able to compare my experiences with Bristol Fashion week while getting to meet the other fashion bloggers.  Since I have relocated to England I have noticed the differences between street fashion of women in England compared to what I have seen in America.  Women wear a lot more denim and jeans in America where as here everyone appears to have a signature style.  Be it a good or bad, it is their style.  It is hard not to be inspired when among the other fashion bloggers at BFW with their personal style choices.  I love how women in England take more chances with fashion and really grab from what is current on the runways of London, Paris, and New York.   I left with not only new friendships but with new ideas about what to wear for the current spring season from what I saw on the catwalk and on my fellow bloggers.

I loved seeing how they transferred looks from the runways to the high street as they showcased looks from stores within the mall at Cribbs Causeway.  The show began with the James Bond theme and men looking dashing in monochromatic suits.  I was instantly hooked as I photographed from a prime location at the end of the catwalk.  For Men’s wear my favourite looks were from Austin Reed and River Island. There were a lot of prints from monochrome to colour, but my favourite were the  french inspired prints from Marks and Spencer.  Between those dresses and the retro swimwear from Fat Face I have been motivated further to go on vacation in style.  The children models truly stole the show with their dancing down the catwalk in Next and Gap Kids.  They were all looks that were perfect for those of us who shop the high street to implement for our own personal style for 2013.  

I leave you with one question.  
What will you be wearing this Spring and Summer?

They began with James Bond music, dancers and men in black tie.
Fashions from Dorothy Perkins with menswear from River Island
Tap dancers outfits from River Island
Selected accessories from Accessorize
Footwear from Soletrader
Designer sunglasses from Vision Express

Fashions from John Lewis

Fashions from Marks and Spencer

Fashions from Fat Face
Children’s fashion from Next Children

Fashions from CC Viyella with menswear from Austin Reed
Children’s fashion from Next Children
Footwear from Jones Bootmaker

Fashions from Timberland

Fashions and Technology items from John Lewis
Hair styled by Tomlinson Hairdressing

Fashions from Wallis and menswear from Next
Selected accessories from Accessorize
Footwear from Dune

Fashions from Marks & Spencer
Designer sunglasses from Sunglass Hut

Lingerie from  Ann Summers
Flamenco dancers’ fashions from Phase Eight and Next
Footwear from Dune

Fashions from River Island
Children’s fashions from Gap Kids

Fashions from various retailers at the Mall at Cribbs Causeway

(…is this kid not the cutest? I may be biased as a mum, but I thought his dance moves stole the show)
*All photos belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
**Interested in photographic services by Bonnie Rose please contact 
***This was an article published at Bristish Style Bloggers. Click button above.