Monthly Archives: April 2013

Travel: Seaside Heights, NJ

My sister Zoë at the Seaside Heights Boardwalk in NJ

Now that we are officially in Spring and preparing for the coming Summer I have been looking back at some of my favourite Summer destinations.  Last year we went to one of them: Seaside Heights at the Jersey shore.  My family has gone to this costal destination a few times as I was growing up to visit my dad’s father and brother who lived around Newark, NJ.  Now that both my father and his father have passed away it is just my uncle who lives there.  I have only been able to see him a handful of times in my life and one of those was August of 2012.  My sons and I flew out to meet my mum (‘Nonna’) and my sister Zoë (‘Zia Zoë’) at the airport in Pennsylvania where we drove to our summer destination. 

Seaside Heights, NJ

Seaside Heights Beach park
Lounging on the beach with Uncle Tom, my boys, and my sister.
My mum rented a condo that was only a two minute walk from the beach. 
Thats right only two minutes and we could be ankle deep in sand and splashing around in the water. 
My boys and Zia Zoë enjoyed playing together in the water. 
What beach vacation would be complete with out making sandcastles with your Nonna. 

Then a short walk back to our vacation rental to get ready to go out to eat.

Visiting the MTV Jersey Shore house…might I add they painted the flag backwards. Seriously?
I flipped the photo (which you can tell by the words on a sign) because I am a girl raised in Italy.
The Boardwalk was cool at night because you could drink at the bars and the rest was locked up and deserted. 
During the day it was bright and sunny. A perfect setting for eating ice cream  from the famous Kohrs. 
With my only and best sister in the world: Zoë
The boardwalk is full of fun games and and prizes that can bring a smile to the child in us all. 
This is how I will always remember the Jersey Shore. 

In the end this was one of the best family vacations that I have been on since my boys have been born.  Unfortunately my husband was not with us on this one due to him being back at school during that time in England.  The condo was really nice inside, we could prepare our meals in the kitchen, and do our laundry whenever it was needed.  There were a lot of great places to eat at for dinner in the area and bagel shops for breakfast.  My one recommendation would be for those who would come here with children.  The rides on the boardwalk can be quite expensive so we let our sons choose one ride each.  We then took them to Six Flags nearby for the day and let them ride all the rides they wanted.  My sons said at the end of the trip that their favourite part was playing at the beach (free) so dont feel pressured to break the bank for family fun.

Sadly after our trip was when the storm came through and wrecked and destroyed many places with the flooding.  There is much that has to be rebuilt to get the boardwalk back to its former glory.  Despite the vacation rental being so close to the beach it luckily was unharmed.  Hopefully someday we can return to relieve the great memories of last summer.  My boys definitely recommend it.

Helene in Between
Linking up for Travel Tuesday.

Doing Laundry and Helping the Environment

Last week I talked about Doing the Laundry – UK vs USA and the pros and cons that come with it in each country.  I got a lot of great response and feedback from the post, thank you readers!  Make sure to take a read if you have not had a chance yet.

As an update, this weekend I was able to catch up on quite a bit of laundry that had been piling up.  Saturday we had a very warm cloudless day of sunshine. In England that means you forget your previous plans and react like it is summer by donning shorts and sunnies to head outside in the sun. I remember last year when we had our fluke day of summer in the early Spring.  My family had headed into Brighton on the train and I had never seen it packed with so many bodies headed to the shore.  Girls are wearing short dresses and shorts and you would think we were all at club med. We take our sunshine days seriously in the UK.

Back to the laundry situation. I made sure to move all the wet laundry outside and run another load to put out before we left on our country walk.  When we came back hours later our laundry was practically dry. This never happens if there is cloud cover, despite the sun being out. It was really great. I could get used to this but I checked the weather report for the week and looking a bit gloomy on that end.

However there is always a reason to find the positive. Today I am bringing to you the upside to doing laundry.  As a working mother I live to multitask and what better to do that with then to combine your passions with the things that must get done.  If you are a regular reader you know that my family is really big into buying locally, conservation, being ecofriendly.  A few months ago I was trying to find a UK version of the US’s borax. Basically because I am an avid user of Pinterest and wanted to make our own laundry detergent at home to be more economical.  However I realized upon asking all my friends in the UK that Borax is not easily obtained here.  More so it is apparently ‘too toxic for normal people to use’.

A friend in Oxford referred me to try Ecover laundry detergent. What I found out is that Ecover uses only plant-based and mineral ingredients. This means it is not only gentle on your clothes but your skin as well.  It has complete biodegradability and minimum impact on aquatic life.  Their packing is made from sugarcane to be renewable, reusable, and recyclable. Those are three ‘r’s I can stand behind.

Check out this information graphic for more details on  how doing laundry and helping the environment  can be done at the same time.

Cleaning the seas, one bottle at a time
Cleaning the seas, one bottle at a time. Visit The-Splash for more information and to read our pledge.

Q: Have you tried or do you use Ecover products?  Have you found ways to be Eco-friendly in the household?

Bonnie Rose

*These statements and words are my own as I am passionate about being eco-friendly for our health and our environment.   

The Best Weekend so Far

This has been the best weekend so far.  I start this post off with quite lofty expectations of what my family and I did these past two days.  To be fair we really have not done that much.  We did leave the house yesterday on our weekly country walk.  It was not the most amazing country walk that we have gone on since we moved here at the end of December.  There were no celebrity sightings nor did we go  visit any museums.  I could list off and ramble a good amount of other things that could give reason to why this weekend could have been amazing.  I do not need too.  This has been the best weekend so far for the pure reason that we were together and we enjoyed every moment.  Life has made it apparent to me in recent years of how short it can be.  I have also seen how miserable life can be when you cannot share the preciousness with those you love.  How you can not get back the time once it has past.  
This was the best weekend so far because we lived the moment.  We enjoyed our country walk and relished over how much we love being outside.  We saw a couple of young deer and two wild pheasants.  We got to travel through a part of the countryside we have yet to explore.  My kids accustomed to our long walks did not complain once this weekend the entire time we were outside and were able to keep up.  We had an amazingly warm day where no jackets were needed and we wished we were all wearing a summer wardrobe.  Back at home we enjoyed watching the Arsenal football game together cuddled on the couch.  Afterwards we realized it was much warmer outside than it was in our home.  Ryan got the lawn chairs out and we sat outside drinking wine and talking as a family.  The best part was counting ten different hot air balloons and a hangglider up in the sky from our back garden.  
It is only midday of Sunday and our weekend continues.  I look forward to soaking up every second of it. I hope you are all enjoying every precious moment with the ones that matter most in your life. 
Bonnie Rose

*Instagram photography by Bonnie Rose © 2013 All Rights Reserved

Guest Post: ‘Make Me Look’

Today I am pleased to share with you a guest post by my featured sponsor this month, Melissa from Make Me Look.  Not only is she an amazing make up artist and up can coming photographer, she is one of my best friends.  We met on the island of Oahu, working together on photo shoots.  If you have been following my blog, you have seen some of our collaborations together on my throw back Thursday photography posts.  I love Melissa because she is loving, creative, driven, and beautiful inside and out. Without further adieu, I leave you with Melissa and her post:
Melissa and I when she came to visit me in England last year. 

As a Makeup Artist with over 10 years of experience, I had the desire for a more lasting form of beauty. 
This lead me to pick up the camera and create both the palette and the image.  
I recently created a website called “Make Me Look,” 
which is where I create looks that can easily be recreated on anyone.

I love all forms of beauty, but I most enjoy bringing out a woman’s natural and innate beauty. 
Makeup can be fun and simple, and should never be taken too seriously.  
I have been freelancing for Chanel Cosmetics for almost 3 years.  
I really relate to their makeup style, which always enhances, as opposed to covering up.  
When I’m not doing makeup or taking photos, you can find me in the kitchen 
making my own coconut milk, almond butter, and just about any other condiment you can think of.  
As soon as my short layover in Virginia is over, 
I hope to spend a few years in Europe, soaking up the fashion and culture.  
My ultimate goal is to open my own “experience boutique,” so be on the lookout!
Melissa and I on a rooftop in Waikiki, Hawaii.
On the island of Oahu where we worked together and became friends.

Follow Melissa:
Make Me Look Blog
Melissa  Hurley Website
Twitter: @melissahurley_
Instagram: @makemelookmag
Google+: +Melissa

*Photography and make up belong to Melissa Hurley and all rights reserved.

TCK: 10 Things Expats Raising Children Should Know

This is an article I wrote for an Expat Writing Competition at  While it does focus on specifics for living in England the majority of it does and can be applied to Expats from all nationalities living anywhere in the world. This is the issue about raising nomadic children outside your home country and culture in a nice Top Ten fashion.

10 Things Expats Raising Children (in England and elsewhere) 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.

4.  With raising TCKs your children may find they have more in common with other nomadic children, especially as they become adults, than they do with non-TCKs from the country of which you originate.

5.  While living in England give your kids the best experience of the culture by immersing them in the local customs and way of life. From holidays to sporting events, there are many facets of England that you can use to create lasting memories of a childhood abroad. Especially if you are around other expats, make sure your kids have local friends as well. As a military brat, I have known many families who never left ‘little america’ on the military compounds while living in Europe. It is one thing to visit another country as a tourist, and quite another to immerse yourself in a culture as an expat.
Bonnie Rose’s personal view as a TCK

6.  Document your experiences with your children so that if you leave the country later, you will have memories for them to keep with them. Especially remember to take notice of the little ‘day to day’ things we often take for granted after living in one place for a while. These will be the things you will miss most after you move on. It will become more memories of travel for your children. Especially if you continue a nomadic life. As TCKs when you do not necessarily have a ‘home’ you connect with all the countries and cultures in which you lived. The little things like country walks on the weekend with your parents and going to the Pantos at Christmas will become important parts of their identity later on.

7.Prepare your children in England before you move back home if you plan on repatriation. Even if you moved your children around frequently with easy enough adjustments it will may not compare to the move back to your home culture. Since birth I moved around constantly growing up mainly in Europe and moved to the United States at seventeen years old. It was that move back ‘home’ with my parents that became the hardest move to date. It may not be for every one and can be harder on some than others. Knowing before hand the challenges can help the family as a whole as you embark on the next path of your life.

8.  The Hidden Immigrant may be something your children will face if you are an American expat returning home from England. They will appear to look, sound, and fit right back into American life. However little things like personal interests, foods, world views may differ from their peers. Being teased for something seemingly small can trigger a form of culture shock or a feeling of being lost and alone. Recognizing these triggers and embracing that being different is okay can help transition your children into life in your home culture. Coming home may be harder because while they may not have fit in 100% as a English kid in England they may now feel they also do not fit in 100% in America. Nurture the ‘Neither/Nor’ feeling while helping them embrace the positive sides of being a nomadic child with a broaden experience and world view.

9.  Help your children keep a positive view of being a nomad by keeping in contact with friends that you make abroad and with returning back if at all possible. Keeping a connection with the time period in their life where they were defining themselves as individuals will be a key part to helping them answer the question ‘Where are you from’ later in life.

10.  As with anyone and anything in life there will be pros and cons. With raising third culture kids in England and else where you will find that to be the same. While there can be a continual sense of loss or not knowing where you belong, there are a long list of pros to accompany the nomadic upbringing as well. TCKs tend to get along with more people of any background, are more linguistically adept, and can adapt better than the norm. The more you know about TCKs and the more you know about how your children are feeling will make you that more experienced as a parent raising nomadic children. - Where Expats Blog
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 *photos belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
* For information regarding the use of photography by Bonnie Rose and photographic services contact bonnie[at]bonnie-rose[dot]co[dot]uk

Photography: Colour Pop – Fashion Concept

Hard to believe it is already Thursday and it is time for our weekly throwback. This is my Colour Pop photo shoot from Hawaii.  I was working again with models Alysha and Kristen and with make up artist Krystle.  We shot at a nearby playground where the hawaiian red dirt was prevalent and I liked the way it worked against Alysha’s red hair.  Both models brought their own personality into the styling. It was a fun atmosphere, fun colours in the make up and a fun shoot.  
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Models: Alysha Busha & Kristen Elizabeth
Make up Artist: Krystle Teocson Parinas
Hairstylist & Photography: Bonnie Rose

Also want to give a mention to some of the lovely blogs
 I have been following from my sidebar:

Oh, hey.  I’m Kate.  I am a self-professed coffee addict.  I am obsessed with flats, you will rarely find me in heels.  I am NOT a natural redhead, but my hair IS naturally curly.   I love cereal and would eat it every night for dinner if you let me, luckily my husband cooks.  I also love a good dress with pockets.  Oh, and I always ALWAYS return my shopping cart to the corral in the parking lot (I think this says a lot about a person’s character).” – A Peony for your Thoughts

Hi, I’m Bella. I’m a mommy, a wifey, Tahitian dancer, and model. Currently on a mainland adventure with my Marine hubby. ” HI Life & Love blogs about fashion, beauty, nails, love, family, fitness, Aspergers, and Hawaii.  – HI Life & Love

Side Street Style is run by a creative couple – Laura and John.  Laura is a freelance writer and trained photographer and is a snap happy girl. John is a traditional cut throat barber.  We have an extended breastfed and co-sleeping toddler son, Mr A and he is awesome!” – Side Street Style

He’s Jeremy, I’m Chelsea.  We met, we fell in love, we got hitched, we decided to spend our lives traveling the world.  Our current spot is as ESL teacehrs to adorable Korean kids that we love 95% of the time (they’re kids…other people’s kids…I think 95% is as good as it gets).” – Lost in Travels

I’m Emily. I’m a Texas girl in a long relationship with a boy from England…yeaa!! Between finishing college, preparing for Tom to visit this summer and preparing to go back to Paris in the Spring, my life is a little hectic, but I love every second.  Hope you enjoy everything you find here at Hopeful wondering!”  – Hopeful Wondering
If you would like to have your button on the side bar read Sponsors & Swaps for more information.

 *photos belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

* For information regarding the use of photography by Bonnie Rose and photographic services contact bonnie[at]bonnie-rose[dot]co[dot]uk

Wedding: Fresh Flowers or DIY Paper Flowers?

When I got married in 2003 my colour were a dark wine red and white.  I poured over wedding magazines to find the type of flowers I wanted to compliment that theme.  I looked at vendors and then I got the quote from the florist.  My heart just sunk.  What I really wanted in the way of flowers would put me far out of budget.  However what I could afford was far from my personal taste.  The bouquets I was shown had a lot of fillers, a lot of greenery  and babysbreath.  Ten years ago I was not a fan of  the latter and I didn’t like the way the green fillers in the bouquets took away from my colour scheme.  Really how expensive could flowers be?  I did my research and I found company who would sell me 200 wholesale bulk roses for only $200.  I chose 100 black magic roses (the dark red ones in my bouquet below) and 100 white roses.  I was so excited because this was far cheaper than anything the florist showed me and it was exactly what I wanted.  The flowers came a few days before the wedding and we followed the simple directions to get them ready.  The night before my mum helped the bridesmaids make the bouquets and she also put together the boutonnieres. 
My 50 stem bouquet with Black Magic roses.
So now that we are renewing our vows I am looking at flower options again.  Since we are already married and this is our renewal, I do not have the same budget I had back in 2003.  It is a much smaller and more intimate affair and we will be traveling to Wales to our holiday rental for the event. So far I have yet to find a florist near to the area that would be able to help me out.  I have also been looking at ordering flowers online again. However smaller budget for flowers and not really liking anything I am finding online.  Lucikly this time around we have the ever so popular Pinterest website.  As you can see below I have a board dedicated to ‘I Do Again – Flowers’ and these would be my most recent pins. 
Follow me on Pinterest:

With August still months way I have set anything in stone. However I have held on to one idea for the last two months that still seems like a lovely and viable option.  Paper flowers.  Paper is cheaper than fresh flowers so it fits my budget.  There is the technical side that is involved in the decision to use paper flowers.  Just how likely will it be that I can replicate any of the paper bouquets right now is up in the air.  I also have been saving a ton of egg cartons because since we mostly eat Paleo we go through eggs very quickly.  I saw how you can make flowers out of the empty cartons and that is another idea I am keeping in mind.  Next to my egg cartoons I am also keeping every wine bottle and all the jars from our honey, coconut oil, olives, peanut butter, etc.  So far I have quite a collection.  It looks like if making my own flowers from recycled goods works I will have plenty to also use on tables and for decorations.

Here is just a sample of what I have saved so far from the recycling that we usually put outside for collection.

My question today is: have you ever made flowers from paper and recycled goods, past the age of 10?  What do you think about doing a eco friendly bouquet by repurposing materials from around the house? Did you find neat ways to save money for the flowers in your wedding?