Monthly Archives: April 2013

Travel: Sorrento, Italy

One of the reasons I suggest to travelers to go to Naples, Italy is because my ‘home’ city is surrounded by day trip gems. One such place is Sorrento, which is easily accessible by train from both Naples and Pompeii.  If it is a clear day you can overlook the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.  You can also reach Sorrento by car if you take the Amalfi Drive that connects Sorrento and the Amalfi coast.  If you are daring enough you can come by moped since the road is narrow and threads along the cliffs high above the Tyrrhenian Sea.  Which ever way gets you to this coastal destination will make it worth your while.  I recommend making sure to wear shoes that can support a lot of walking and uneven surfaces. Start your day out with refreshing drinks and food from one of the cafes that overlooks the view of the Isle of Capri.  Do some shopping as you walk through the winding streets of Sorrento. I recommend checking out anything that is made with the regional lemons such as the limoncello, candies, and fresh smelling soaps. As it approaches dinner time make your way down to the marina and eat at the outdoor restaurant overlooking the ocean and the boats.  Choose the local house wine and you will not be disappointed.  As night prepares to fall make your way back into heart of town and you will be welcomed by the romantic nightlife.  Whether you choose to sample every flavour of gelato, drink limoncello, or dance under the stars it will be a night you’ll always remember.  If you are planning to get married in Italy for a destination wedding you might want to look at Sorrento for your backdrop.  We saw at least four different weddings on our past trip and nothing makes a town come alive than a celebration.  
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Bonnie Rose

*Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Monday at a Snails Pace

I headed down to the store this morning on the high street and had to keep stepping over snails.
I honestly lost count at how many I had to walk around as to not hear a crunching sound from under my boot.  Since I always have a camera on me I took the time to bend down and snap a few photos of them.  Sometimes like the snail it can feel like we are waiting forever for something to happen.  Like the ten years it took me to finally get back to living in Europe. However time is all about context and it can go past us quicker than a blink of the eye.  I honestly still cannot believe it is the last couple days of April before we are in May of 2013.  It does not seem that long ago that it was Christmas and we had just moved into our new place in Bath, England.  My youngest will be turning six years old in May and I can hardly belive that much time has gone past.  So how come when life seems to moving so fast, can it seem like it also moves so slow?  For me I am just trying to make sure I make the most of every day and that I devote my time and energy on those I love and those who mean the purpose of life.
Make sure you tell the ones you love how you feel today. Though it might feel like ‘just another monday’ its another precious day of life that will pass by fast. 

“A man builds a house in England with the expectation of living in it and leaving it to his children 
We shed our houses in America as easily as a snail does his shell.” 
– Harriet Beecher Stowe

Bonnie Rose

*phone photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Weekend Edition: 27/28 of April ’13

This weekend my husband and I decided to take the family into town where we live in Bath, England.  The weather looked like it might become fowl, but with only a few minutes of rainfall we enjoyed both some sun and some cloudy chill skies. There are stil many shops that we have not been into so we ventured into some new places on Saturday.

For those of you who do not know, my husband loves to shop.  When I met him in University he was happy to buy shirts for a quarter at the local thrift store bin of work shirts. However somewhere between being married to me and then having to wear a uniform with the USAF he found a love for good quality clothes.  When you are married to your best friend AND he loves to shop for himself it is a win-win in my book. Now I just have to get him to start buying me clothes 😉

I also finally got an eye exam this week and new glasses.  My most current frames broke in January and I have been wearing a very old perspiration sine then.  I cannot explain to a person with 20/20 vision how amazing it is to finally be able to see.  I can also now stop wearing my prescription sunglasses inside the house which means I will also have to stop singing ‘I wear my sunglasses at night…’

Today has been relatively chill with us staying at home, planning a birthday party for my youngest, and watching the Arsenal game this afternoon.  We did miss out on our country walk this week, having opted to go into town instead.  This was due to practical matters as well as my eldest is currently without the right shoes for mud.  His boots have a gap in the heel and on our last walk he is foot got covered and soaked in muddy water.  However his replacement wellies are due next week so we can venture out in the countryside on the weekend.

Here is a little overview of what I have shared on Instagram this week and weekend:

Photography by Bonnie Rose via her Instagram. Follow @the_bonnierose

Q: How was your weekend?
Bonnie Rose

*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Self Portrait: ‘Unanswered’

Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

I took today’s self portrait before breakfast while my thoughts were focused around the basic human need of interaction with others.  We were not put on this earth to be alone.  While I love my personal time away from the world if I had no one to share it with my life would be void and without purpose.  
I owe my fondest childhood memories, the stories that span across Europe, to my parents.  The good and bad days of the past have formed me into who I am today.  I have been told I got married as I was just a few months shy of turning twenty one.  When I met my husband at Uni I had that moment of clarity that we would spend the rest of our lives together.  Why wait years down the road to experience an inevitable life together.  I always wanted a family to experience a world of travel together like I had with my parents.  So we began our family and eventually found our way to return to Europe. 
Sometimes it can be hard to keep the lines of communication open.  Life can get busy and the world can push itself forward ahead in the priorities.  However sometimes it can be as simple as remembering to make sure that ‘you’ are plugged in.  

*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

TCK & Expat: 10 Steps to Keeping in Touch with Friends

This is the third part to a series about Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and friendships. In the first two parts,  TCK: Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. I and TCK: Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. II the focus was on the effects a nomadic life has on friendships.  While some friendships can remain intact, many and most slowly slip away with each move to a new location.  When facing the cycle of continual loss, how can you recover and maintain your social circles?

“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is 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.” – Wikipedia on the Definition of a TCK

Nomadic children and ATCK (Adult Third Culture Kids) are also joined by the Expat adults when it comes to having to say goodbye to friendships and hello to new ones.  Having to constantly make new relationships as an adult has already proven itself as harder than when we were kids.  You are no longer in an education system forced to spend hours every day with your peers.  You are in the work place and in the community where friendships now have had time to really grow for those who do not move away.  It can prove challenging to break into social groups.  However challenging it opens you up to a new world of relationships and experiences.  So what do you do now when you have to say goodbye and move to another city, country, or continent?  What about the friends you leave behind and how do they adjust to your departure? Is there a way to return to old friendships after you get busy with your own separate lives?

My tips for keeping in touch with your friends:

1. Use the Phone.  Whether your friend is in the same or different country you can more than likely keep in contact every month with the phone.  There is nothing like hearing the voice of your friend and even a quick five minute call can do wonders for a long distance friendship. If you are unable to phone your friend, due to long distance charges, there are many smart phone aps that you can use to converse with your friend. Send free messages and calls with Viber, send free messages with Whatsapp, and send free messages and video chat with Skype and Google Hangout.  The point is to keep that open channel of communication.

  1. 2. Write letters. By this I mean get actual paper and write a letter to your friend that you can send through the mail.  Email is great because you can quickly send something off and it will be received instantly. While that is perfect for social networking and business it can really lack the personal touch that can help a friendship flourish.  If you ever had a penpal when you were younger you can remember how great it was to recieve a letter in the mail and find out what your friend has been up too.  Just remember to send the letter after you write it. It can be too easy to put off taking it ot the post office and letting the contents of the letter become old and irrelevent.  Sometimes when you have not written a letter in a while it can be hard to get it started.  Just think about what you would like to know about the friend you are sending it too and share that bit of information from your life.  Let your friend know what you have been up too.  Pretend like you are talking to them when you write your letter and do not worry about being boring.  Just put your personality and how you normally talk in conversation into the letter and talk from the heart. 
3. Send Cards and Care packages. Surprises in the mail are the best, so why not surprise your friend with a nice note card from your local stationary shop? Or better yet put together a care package full of items that remind you of your friend and local delicacies from the place where you are currently living.  It is a great way to show to your friend that you care and are thinking of them.  Plus sending them items from your current home can help connect them to your current life.  If they use to live where you live now, getting a care package with some of their favourite and now hard to get items will certainly brighten their day. Just remember that sometimes it is the littlest things (ie inexpensive gifts and trinkets) that can show how much you care.
4. Use Electronic Mail. Of course  make sure you both have each other’s e-mail addresses so you can keep in contact online.  As great as ‘snail mail’ can be, it can also be great to just quickly check in online with your friends.  Especially during stressful times and during hardships, being able to get a quick message or make sure your frined is okay shows how valuable email can be.   
5. Chat Online. You can also use instant messenger services online.  For example with MSN, AIM, Yahoo, and Google you can talk with your friends and do so all at once in a chat. There is nothing like turning on your computer and checking your inbox for updates from your friends.  
6. Video Chat.  Face time can be some of the best time shared between friends who are separated by distance.  There is nothing like being able to see your friend and watch their reactions as you talk.  Video conferencing now a days is even better than when it was first available to the public.  Using services such as Google Hangout you can talk to more than one friend all at the same time.  Depending on the quality of the connection it can be the next best thing to seeing your friend in person. 
7.  Make Plans.  It is easier to keep in touch with friends when you know you have plans to see each other.  Before it use to be hard to return back home because in the nomadic community that means the home you once knew may not be the same one to where your return.  It becomes not only the question to how you will get there, but where will you stay, where will you go when you get there and what do you do with your things when you do? Using the website Friends of Friends Travel, you can plan your next trip to see each other or even travel together to a new destination. The best part of FOF Travel is that you keep your travel network within your friends and their friends so when you travel you know that you are safe.  Within your travel network you have many different services you offer and take advantage of complimentary. Be it a place stay, a change to meet up with a trustworthy and friendly local, somewhere to leave your stuff, and access to travel advice and tips.  If you become a premium member at FOF Travel you get access to a whole line of travel services that include (and not limited to) flights, travel insurance and tour packages.  No longer do you have to reminisce about the good time and wish you could go back to the places you once lived and where you have traveled.  The world is at your fingertips with your social travel network at FOF Travel.  All you have to do then is make a plan to see each other.  Where you go from there is up to you. 
8. Be Assertive.  Step up and contact your friend.  Do not wait on them to make the first move, for them to check up on you, or to get a letter from them.  Make it your responsibility to keep in touch. Friendship is a two way street, but sometimes all it needs is a jump start from one end to revive itself.
9. Ask questions.  It is so easy to share information about our own lives. Make sure to think about questions a head of time and even write them down if you need too.  Keep your friendship strong by making sure the relationship is not all about you.  Even if you have known someone a long time, by asking questions you are letting them know you care and letting them be open with you about how they feel about a certain subject.  In turn they are letting you into their life, sharing themselves with you and furthering the bond of trust in the relationship.  The important part is to make sure your friend knows that you care about them. 
10. Go with the Flow. Friendships and relationships all have peaks and valleys.  Do not get strung out or dramatic when at times things dont seem to be the same as they used to be.  Just go with the flow and work on the above steps to keep your friendship refreshed.  
*See this Article on Friends of Friends Travel:
**For more information on Third Culture Kids, TCKs, and ATCKS
***Photographs and wording belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights reserved | 

Expat to Expat Q&A: Weather

Today I have a bit of a treat for you.  I am linking up with Belinda for a Expat to Expat: Q&A Session.  Today it is mainly focused on the weather. Which for living in England is perfect because we are always talking about the weather here.

My life as an Expat:
Technically I am a dual citizen with England due to being born here to my American parents.  My sons and I both have dual nationality with America.  My husband is the full expat while I am a technically expat as a person who is always caught between worlds.  I am Third Culture Kid (TCK) feel free to read more about my life as a TCK here.  We have been living the expat life in England since the end of May 2011.  We have always wanted to move to Europe since I grew up and lived in Europe until the age of seventeen.  We lived in Brighton, England first and now we are living in Bath in the Somerset area.  We do not ever plan to return ‘home’ to the USA.  We are open to moving to other places in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere but for now are content with our life in the UK.

1. What was your favourite season back home and is it the same now; why or why not?
Technically I have never had a home and there is not one place I can compare to another from everywhere I have lived. I used to live in Hawaii while my husband was stationed on Oahu and it was pretty much Summer year round with a monsoon period.  It was really lovely always being able to be outside due to the climate.  I used to fantasize what it would be like to be able to layer when choosing outfits.  Now that I am living the expat life in England I have many chances to layer.  Leggings are pretty much a staple under anything I wear, including trousers.  I still love Summer, however what I may have taken for granted with island life is now a special treat in England for when the sun breaks through the clouds.

2. Is there a place you would like to move to base solely on the weather?
There are two places that come to my mind. First Hawaii because I remember what it was like to have a free afternoon, drive out to North Shore, and just lie on the beach in the sun.  I do think of the possibility of moving back there if we had to move to the USA. However based on weather I could also move to any place in Austria, Switzerland, and southern Germany.  I have fond memories in all three places from my childhood in both the Summer and Winter months.  Seasonal activities like hiking and camping or skiing and snowboarding in the Alps is a good enough reason for me to move there.

3. What is a piece or an article of clothing that you had to buy for your new home due to the weather? 
As stated above, leggings. Also tights and thick nylons. Basically anything that I can layer with that can help keep my legs from freezing.  It is also the first article of clothing that I picked up on for fashion in the UK during our first week as expats in England.  Girls wear leggings with everything. Under dresses, under skirts, under high waisted and really short denim shorts (that show you bum cheeks), and under trousers.  Especially in the cold months you can look around and 85% of the female population will be wearing black on their legs since most leggings come in that colour.  Wellies (rainboots) are also a staple item for our expat life in England.  I just had to purchase new pairs for my sons.  Not just for the rainy season but for our weekly country walks.  You do not wear trainers (sneakers, tennis shoes) to go roaming the countryside. Thats a sure fire way to stand out as an outsider.  Of course coats and scarves in multiple varieties or staples of the UK wardrobe.

4. Have you found the weather stereotypes of your home to be true? 
I have lived here as a younger girl, but yes the stereotypes of weather are true.  Its cold a lot due to the usual white cloud cover across the sky and definitely if the wind is blowing.  It does rain frequently.  If it s not raining its cold enough to be snowing.  Sometimes it rains but its not enough to even open up your brolly (umbrella). We went through quite a number of umbrellas during our first year in England due their short life expectancy and over use. When the clouds do disappear, the sun comes out, and the temperature rises you can bet that every able person will be outside enjoying every moment of the good weather.

5. Is there somewhere you would never live based solely on weather? 
I do love the snow especially if I am on a vacation to make the most enjoyment out of the winter weather.  However I do not think I would really want to live say in Alaska maybe or somewhere where the sun might disappear for quite a long time because I already deal with vitamin D deficiency with living in England compared to living in Hawaii.  However I realize that would include say Sweden and I really want to live there sometime after traveling there. So who knows, I probably could be open to anything. Every pro has a con anyways including weather. 

6. What are you looking forward to most this Spring? 
I am most looking forward to wearing my shorter and sleeveless dresses. Even if that means I am also pairing them with leggings, leg warmers  cardigans, and jumpers (sweaters).  Just being able to wear more seasonal outfits for Spring and Summer can trick the mind into thinking it is warmer than it is, even under a coat. 

7. Where you live what is your go to outfit for Spring?  
I really try to not wear denim in England if I can help it. To me denmin screams ‘America’ and I already have my accent as a fashion accesorsy. No need to overkill it.  I really like the feminity of wearing dresses and skirts. So my go to outfit for spring is usually a dress or skirt, leggings if the weather permits it, a cardigan or jumper (sweater) and a scarf.  It really depends on the weather because if we get our rare warm days than I could easily ditch the leggings and the cardigan. I pretty much wear my sunnies (sunglasses) year round.

8. What is one event or thing that happens at this time back home that you miss at this time of the year? 
Again I do not have a home to compare this too.  However when it is a colder or rainy spring day I will envision wearing less clothing and being on the beach in Hawaii.  I try not to do that as it is easy to always see the grass as greener.  I was missing Europe while living in Hawaii. I would rather just be content because I am happy where we are living in Bath, England. If I do have my down moment I can always head into Hollister, look at the summery beach clothing and pretend in the darkness of the store that I am somewhere sunny. 😉

9. What type of flower bouquet would you love to have as a surprise?  
I do love roses especially since rose is my middle name.  However I have always wanted to be surprised with a beautiful pink bouquet of peonies because they are another of my favourite flower.  However I also love red poppies because they remind me of my dad who passed away.  He served 30 plus years in the USAF as an officer and is a veteren and I cannot help but pass a field of poppies and have him on the forefront of my mind.

10. What does your perfect Saturday look like?  
Our perfect Saturday is blue skies with our without clouds and little to no rain.  My family usually is outside on a country walk in the beautiful English countryside every weekend.  We really love being outside in our wellies and being outside for hours.  It is something I used to do with my dad when we were living in England back in the 80s and 90s. There is nothing like being in the middle of the country surrounded by nature’s beauty to let the stress of the week just melt off.  It helps us remember how much we love and feel blessed to be living as expats in England.  I honestly get a high off of it. 

11. Are there any special holidays in the month of May in your new country?
Yes there is a bank holiday in May. British bank holidays are public holidays, recognized since 1871.  It comes form the time when banks were shut so no trading could take place.  There are eight of them through out the year and two of them are in May.  May Day or Early May bank holiday is the first monday in May and Spring Bank Holiday is the last Monday in May. 

I am linking up with Belinda for the Expat to Expat Q&A Session.  

Found Love.  Now What?

Want to play along? Here are the questions for April, feel free to answer them and link up below! {The link will be open until Sunday April 28th} Once you submit your post, feel free to share it on Twitter (#ExpatQandA) or Facebook. If you are not an expat, hop around the links below to view the other submissions!

*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights Reserved
For more information on Third Culture Kids, TCKs, and ATCKS

Wedding: My Mum on my Wedding Day

Photography by Angela Alexander of Little Rock, AR | All rights Reserved
Photography by Angela Alexander of Little Rock, AR | All rights Reserved

These are some of my favourite candid shots taken of my mum on my wedding day by our photographer, Angela Alexander.  I had previous spoken with Angela about how I did want some colour photographs but that I really loved the look of black and white.  Now looking back at my wedding photographs of almost ten years past I still have to agree.  Theres a way the black and white film just freezes the moment.  Of course you cannot tell that my mum is currently sporting the ‘Sharon Osborne’ bright red violet hair (that coincidentally matched my wedding colours quite well) but the cinematic feel holds you into the frame.

I planned most of the wedding all by myself with the approval of my now husband.  We found a lot of ways to get things that I really wanted in a more affordable DIY fashion like the flowers as mentioned last week.  Then there are all the special details that my mum did which made the day complete.

Veil: I told my mum that I wanted a drop veil style with a train, similar to Princess Grace Kelly. Instead of just buying one she made one for me and it got perserved with my wedding gown after the wedding.

Crown: I have always been a little obsessed with the royal family in England since I was old enough to know that I had English citizenship.  I used to have pictures of a young prince William and his mum on my vanity as a small girl.  My mum found me a replica of Lady Diana’s crown to wear on my wedding and it definitely made me feel like a princess.

Jewelry: Both my necklace and my earrings came from my mum.  I am quite picky when it comes to jewelry and yet she picked out the perfect pieces to fit not only my current style but my gown and the crown.

Garter:  My mum and I have both made wedding garters as gifts for our friends when they get married. It only seemed natural that she would make my garter.  She included special charms to fit the theme and my name (middle name Rose) and I keep it safe now with my other wedding momentos.

Flowers:  The night before my wedding my mum orchestrated the ‘flower making’ with my bridal party to put together our DIY bouquets from the roses I ordered.  She personally made my bouquet which I just adored.

Flower Girls:  I had little fairy girls for our wedding and my mum made them the cutest fairy flower girl dresses included with wings.  She also had the idea of them holding huge flowers that were big as the little girls that carried them.  Overall it was a perfect look.

As I plan my Vow Renewal for August I really appreciate all the little and big things my mum contributed to the original wedding and hope you enjoyed looking through these with me too.

Q: What are some details of your wedding that were special for you?

Bonnie Rose