Monthly Archives: May 2013

Giveaways for June

It is the last day of May and it is time to celebrate! 
We have completed the #BlogEveryDayInMay challenge!
We now have over 200 Readers through Bloglovin’! 
If that does not may you excited enough,
I have two goodies for you!
The first is I have updated my Sponsor spots 
with new names and even added a new spot! 
To celebrate for a limited time you can get 25% off 
any sponsor ad with the promocode: TRUENORTH

If that was not already great
I have been asked again by Mish
to be part of her monthly Giveaway!
Up for grabs from these beautiful ladies:
Enter below!
And remember, the more entries you make, the better chances for you to win. Obvi. #simplemathskills
Good Luck and have a great weekend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Photography: Mermaid Cove

Day 31, Friday: A Vivid Memory

It was was the last Saturday in March of 2010 on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.  I had just driven up from my home in Mililani where I had gotten model, Alysha ready in hair and make up.   With glittery eyes and long red hair in waves she was now ready in wardrobe as my mermaid for the evening conceptual photo shoot.  I had obtained the costume at a vintage store in Tucson, Arizona on a visit at my mum’s house and had only used it once for Halloween in 2008.  Coincidentally Halloween that year had fallen on the night of my first photo exhibition in Honolulu and now it was being used again before my departure back to the mainland. I had a whole list of concepts I wanted to complete in the final months of my island life.  While many male photographers were content with shooting just bikini clad models on the sandy beaches, I had my heart set on photographing a mermaid.  Of course in my mind what mermaid photo shoot would be complete without a Prince Eric? So as we got out of the car we met Samart, our leading man to complete the vision.

On to the beach we went in one of my most favourite areas of North Shore for being secluded and devoid of tourists.  I have almost always had this area to myself on my many drives to the area.  With my camera and equipment and a bagful of props we started up the rocky cliffs for the first half of the shoot.  It soon became the golden hour and the soft warm Hawaiian sunlight lit up Alysha and Samart as they portrayed my versions of Ariel and Eric.  Which was good because the trade winds were having a field day with my light reflectors.  While on many shoots I had the luxury of a photography assistant, today it was just the three of us.  I remember before the shoot I had run down to the touristy section of walmart to pick up a collection of shells.  These I had then hot glued onto fishing wire. This made it quite easy to display the smaller shells, with easy clean up since they were all attached to the same line.  I had a few bigger shells and a nice starfish that I moved around the scene.
For the second part of the shoot I wanted to draw on the idea of Eric  being shipwrecked and either saved or discovered by Ariel.  I even had Eric catch Ariel in his net. We had a vintage table, originally from Russia, as our token piece of washed up wood.  All in all it was a really fun shoot and I despite having a very small team for the day I got the images I was hoping to come away with from concept.  All though my secret desire as a girl to become a mermaid was never realised, it was fun to orchestrate story I loved as a child.  Thank you to Alysha and Samart for making my vision possible. 
Here were my top favourite photographs from my concept shoot from ‘Mermaid Cove’. 

Like that we are complete with the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  If you would like to see my other posts for the month click the label/tag ‘maychallenge’ below.  Thank you for joining me on this month long journey and I look forward to seeing you in June with my regularly scheduled posts about photography  travel, third culture kids, and expats.

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

The Strength in Letting Go

Day 30, Thursday: React to this term, ‘Letting Go’

D e e p a k   C h o p r a 

In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, 
but you will find yourself.
Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved
My fifteen year old self watched on the big screen as Rose let go of Jack’s hand.  I was unable to fathom why she did not find a way to share the piece of wreckage that looked big enough for him to rest beside her.  ‘Never let go‘ he told her.  His last words were more of a metaphor then telling her to cling on to a now dead Jack from the frigid ocean water.  I walked out of the cinema in Germany with my friend talking about how we would have never let Leonardo DiCaprio go. We would have found a way.  I was taught to hold on frequently through life.  As a little girl holding my parents’ hand, in the absence of my father during the war, and through moves to new countries and cities.  You hold on.  
Especially as a Third Culture Kid, a girl who spent a significant part of her childhood living in and out of different countries, I was holding on to all of my past.  To all my past ‘homes’, all my friends, and all my memories.  This ingrained in me the type of friend I would become as an adult, fighting for friendships that others would easily walk away from.  I was forced to say goodbye to friends because of moving and so I would hold on quicker and tighter to friendships knowing what it meant to have that them at all. There was one friend who was kinda rough around the edges but I always stood by his side.      I like to think that everyone has the best intentions and there is a heart attached to every soul.  I would always seek him out and bring him back to our group of friends when he had not been seen from in a while.  He was the closest I have come to having a brother and I honestly cared about him as much as I enjoyed his company.  The last time I sought him out he revealed to me that in his mind I was the cause of his failed relationship with a mutual friend.  To me it came way out of left field though it explained much in hindsight.  It was at that moment after seven years of an off and on friendship, that I found the clarity to let go.    
When my husband and I were going through rough times I was counselled to get out for a while.  Not to leave forever, but to get away before things between us got worse.  That leaving for a awhile would help shock things back on the path towards recovery for our marriage and our future together.  So when I saw an opportunity arise for a trial separation we took it.  I had been hanging on through the loss of my dad and realised that it was not making me stronger.  It took more strength and courage to let go than try to survive. Letting go restored my soul as I allowed others to be responsible for themselves. Through that freedom of stress I found myself. I would not have thought there was strength in letting go.  Not when people around me were telling me I was in the wrong for leaving. In the end my husband and I found our way back to each other and put our family back together.  I find truth in the counsel I was given for it fixed what was broken in the first place.  
As children we relearn simple lessons over and over until we finally comprehend the wisdom behind it to implement the right action into our life.  As adults I believe it is no different.  Though the hardships and stresses may differ, in retrospect I see the lesson in the end to be similar.  I have had to let go in many facets of my life as a child and now as an adult.  Even when we lose things or people in life we still have to let go of the lingering pain.  
After fighting for a decade with my in laws and hoping that they would eventually ‘see me for me’ and love me unconditionally I was pushed to the breaking point of the relationship.  Despite my own dislike for confrontations I brought out the problems in conversation, called it out and laid it on the table.    I wanted to get it out, get over it and move on from the same fights that would arise.  Growing up in Italy I saw how a family would have an loud boisterous fight at the table, get it all out, and then move on. Yet some people can never let go because they keep so much emotional baggage locked up, with fear of ever talking about it.  Their thoughts, words, actions, and judgements I cannot control.  I finally realised last Autumn I could not force anyone to like me and time nor distance would not necessarily make any difference.  I found the strength through the storm to let go.  In the end I found indifference. Which if I cannot have love, is better than harbouring the opposite.  
The simple truth is if we had control over something we would not let it hurt us or strain our life.  So by letting go of things and people of which we do not have control, we are essentially letting go of the toxic and negative aspects in our life.  That is what we have control over.  It is where we find our inner strength and through it our true selves.  
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong,
 but sometimes it is letting go.” – Herman Hesse


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

Music that Speaks to Me

Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you.
I decided to look for the songs that have really impacted my life in one way or another  and these are the five that have spoke to me for this prompt. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do.
I love music. I love the way it can alter and change your mood if you are feeling down.
I love the way a song can cement itself to a memory or a person.
A world without music would be a sad one indeed.
My eldest son always has a song on his lips.
Whether he is humming or singing.
Music is the heart of the world.
Y o u ‘ r e   M y   S t a r 
I put this song on my sons’ iPod before my husband and I moved to England.  We did not take our boys with us initially so that we could get settled with a place to live, jobs, and a schools.  I do not lot like being a part from my sons one bit but I did what I could to help the transition.  I told my sons that every time they were sad because they missed us they could listen to this song and that I would be doing the same thing too.  It still makes me think of my sons when I listen to it and Stereophonics are one of my favourite bands.

Gavin Rossdale
F o r e v e r   M a y   Y o u   R u n 
I fell in love with Gavin’s voice in Bush when I was in seventh grade with ‘Swallowed’.  When his solo album was released in June of 2008 I listened to it frequently.  In August my father was killed.  When we got to my parents house I went for a lot of walks on my own to get out of the house and this song started playing on repeat from my iPod.  I ended up modifying the title to ‘Forever May You Fly’ for a title to put on the Ghost Bike memoria for my father who flew in the USAF.
A s   t h e   W o r l d   F a l l s   D o w n 
When I was five years old I had two loves aside from my daddy.  One was Prince William, whose photo with his mum Diana sat on my vanity, and the other was Jareth, the Goblin King from Labyrinth. I loved this film and enjoy watching it now with my own kids.  While I equally adore the song Within You followed by David’s last scene in the film this song is quite iconic.  I really enjoyed the dream-esque world of being a princess in a world that is just too strange and foreign to be comfortable within.
D a n c e   M e   t o   t h e   E n d  o f   L o v e
I had to include both the original from Cohen with the amazing violin and then one of my favourite covers of the song by The Civil Wars.  It is one of my favourite songs to dance to with my husband.  I wanted to include the meaning behind the song however and will let Cohen’s words do that for me:

“…it’s curious how songs begin because the origin of the song, every song, has a kind of grain or seed that somebody hands you or the world hands you and that’s why the process is so mysterious about writing a song. But that came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt. So, that music, “Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin,” meaning the beauty there of being the consummation of life, the end of this existence and of the passionate element in that consummation. But, it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved, so that the song — it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.”

L  a   V i e   E n   R o s e 
I love Edith Piaf and when I was last in Paris my husband took me to see her final resting place in Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. I could listen to her voice for a long time and though I have many favourite songs La Vie en Rose is my most favourite song.  I think I hummed it a frequently aloud and in my head when were were in Paris.  I found a little music box song of it when in Sorrento and I love to play it.  She is just so iconic and I do not think I will get tired of this song. 

*photographs found here belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Freshford by Photographs

Day 28, Tuesday: Only Pictures
For today’s post I share with you just a few…because my family knows I took so many…photographs from our Saturday which was spent in the town of Freshford.  We went on a country walk throughout the town and countryside with dinner at the pub in town.  Six hours later it was time to go home but we had a fifty minute wait until the next train home.  We decided to not wait and take a two and half hour walk back home along the Avon Canal to Bath.  It was a beautiful day and we spent most of it walking and enjoying the sunshine. Without further adieu here is my post in only photos.



*photographs found here belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Pin it Forward UK with 16 Tips

I can see Pinterest becoming the modern woman’s evolving handbook of life.” – Bonnie Rose

I found out about Pinterest after moving to England in 2011 from a friend over facebook.  Pinterest had not officially come over to the UK yet.  However after seeing a short article about Pinterest in the Stylist, a free weekly woman’s magazine in the UK, I began talking about it with my clients at the salon where I worked.  Especially for the younger generation Pinterest seemed to be a simple answer for my clients who were redecorating their rooms, looking for new fashion ideas, and needing new hairstyle options.  I started having my phone on me so that I could pull up my own pinterest boards as reference for haircuts or letting clients search pinterest on my phone for ideas.  Google is great and but when it came to coming up with quality content from searches, Pinterest was hands down the best option for my clients.
Pinterest has now come to the UK and many bloggers have been asked to blog about Pinterest with #PinItForward  As a Pinterest convert myself and who would share it with anyone I met, I felt I should now share it with my readers.  This is my post about what I love about Pinterest and how you can make your Pinterest page and boards exciting for other users.   
W H Y   I   L O V E   P I N T E R E S T 
and how board & pins can change your life
The main concept I love about Pinterest is being able to brainstorm and save ideas about the things I love most about life.  I love to plan for future life events like birthdays, holidays, my vow renewal, pregnancies, and when I finally have a girl of my own. I can search for and save tips for when I need advice on my marriage, holistic health options, and for fixing things that break or go down when my husband is away.  Pinterest has also become the hub for everything DIY.  There are so many that I have categorized my Do-It-Yourself pins into separate boards of beauty & health, tricks, crafts, OCD (organization), gifts & toys, and decoration.  Basically any facet of your life can be made into a board and the ideas you find online pinned to it for future reference.  Which leaves me with only one question?  Where was Pinterest when I was planning my wedding ten years ago in 2003?
M Y   P I N T E R E S T   B O A R D S 
and what my boards & pins say about me
Currently my Pinterest boards say I have wedding fever.  As I am planning my 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal in August, Pinterest has become my best friend.  I did have one board, but found with pinning so many things in a complex subject it was hard to go back and find anything.   I now have twelve separate boards with the prefix title of ‘I Do Again’ to aid me in my endeavors.  I have boards for pins in so many facets of my life as a female, a career woman, a wife, and a mother.  I can see Pinterest becoming the modern woman’s evolving handbook of life. 
W H O   S H O U L D   B E   O N   P I N T E R E S T
and why it is not just made for stay at home mothers
My mum, who has embarked on a new life path, pins on boards focused around her new career choice. My husband, who works in the field of international relations and risk analysis, pins as an extension of his blog. My children, ages eight and six, pin ideas for their upcoming birthday parties on my pinterest account.  That is three generations of pinners in my family alone.  I find it is a good example of how the process of saving ideas is timeless and for all ages and backgrounds. 
W H Y   I   R E C O M M E N D   P I N T E R E S T
and how everyone benefits from having a board

If something works for you in your life you more inclined to talk about it with others.  Be it a new product from the store, a new hairdresser at the salon, or new parenting tactic with your children.  I have found Pinteret to be a positive source of vision that translated well into intergal parts of my life. I have used it to plan parties, to put together a new outfit,  to find new beauty regimens  and find new recipes. However you do not have to have as many boards as I find I need myself.  Even one board could benefit your life.  If I was to recommend one board that would fit everybody I would say to make a ‘Vision board’. Give it a unique name with a personal description that fits your life goals.  Pin things you find online and from browsing Pinterest that represent that goal or dream.  Use your board to identify with your vision and goals.  Pin now and read later to reinforce your wants in life and what matters most to you.  Be specific with the pins on this board to keep your attention on your intended goals. Perhaps you pin a few now and then come back later.  You never know when things you have pinned will be quite helpful to you in the future.  
H O W   B E S T   T O    U S E   P I N T E R E S T
The Best Tips I Have Found To Be User Friendly

1) Have a Smart Looking Profile.  
  • Choose a username that matches your online personality.  If it is mainly personal use your name.  If you own a blog you could go with your blog name.  If you own a business create a business Pinterest account with your company’s name. 
  • Choose a clear and eye catching profile photo for your profile picture.  
  • Have your About You section filled with a short, sweet, and concise description of  who you are in under 160 characters.  Key words are vital. 
  • Add your website and verify it for use of the analytical features of Pinterest. 
  • Simple is Best. Keep your pages looking attractive with simple descriptions. Do not make lengthly paragraphs with too many hash tags. 
2) Have Unique Board Names.  Many people like to have a board for hairstyles and haircuts they find online.  How many of these users do you think use the title ‘Hair’ for their board?  Quite a number of them as displayed in the image below.  Instead of getting lost in the pack, choose unique names to make your board stand out from the rest.  Make sure they are relevant to the subject but stand out amongst the crowd.

3) Board Descriptions.  Each board can and should have a good description with key words and phrases to go with it. This helps other pinners know what content is found on that board and for when searching for specific content.  You can use up to 160 characters in your board descriptions.  Links and hash tags are not needed in this area.  Also make sure that you place your board in a specific category related to that subject.

4) Pretty Cover Photos.  Each board can have a cover photo.  I recommend making sure each one has the best eye catching photo and which may be the most likely to be repined.  You can also keep updating these images so that your boards always look fresh and current to pinners who follow your boards.

5) Use Pin Descriptions.  Include several key words. Make it Personal with using ‘your voice’ and even try to be funny. Use trending hashtags, but do not go overboard. I have heard conflicting information whether Pinterest is currently using hashtags for when it comes to searches.  However hashtags are great to have for pins that get reshared over twitter.

6) Post Unique Yet Related Content.  There are so many pins that get recycled over and over again.  If your followers are avid Pinterest readers more than likely they have seen many of those popular pins before. Find new content aside from just repining what you see from other users.  You can do this easily by adding the Pin It Button to your browser.  So anytime you are online and find something new you can pin it directly to your boards.  Make sure you also pin things that are related to your Style, your image, or your brand.  Furthermore add in the description your explanation on why you think it is interesting.  This will engage others to comment back and repin. 
7) Keep Your Pins Pretty.  For the way Pinterest was created vertical photos for pins look more pleasing to the eye than horizontal ones.  If your are pinning photos from your website, think about cropping your photos to be taller to be more eye appealing.  The prettier your pins, the more likely another user will click it or repin.

8) Check Before you Pin.  Just as you would read the label before buying something, do not take a pin by its word.  Just because that photo looks pretty, does not mean you actually want it on your board. You should always check the pin to make sure that it doesn’t go to spam, that it is content you want to share, and that the link indeed works.  

9) Watch out for Duplicates.  I believe Pinterest has set up something new to prevent you making duplicate pins.  However it is always good to go back and check your board to see if you have already pinned something already.  A great practice to help keep your boards clean and organized.
10) Do not Over Pin.  If you overwhelm followers with too many pins per day, they may stop following you.  Think before you pin. If you find Pinterest to become a black hole that sucks much of your time away, give yourself an allotted time to be on the site and then move on until the next day.  No need to repin items to your  exercise board for an hour, when you could be doing an actual workout.

11) Keep the Boards Organized.  This could be by grouping similar boards together or even alphabetically. Feel free to continually keep your boards organized by moving them around to keep the most engaging boards in the first two rows. These are the first boards other pinners will look at when searching for pins or interesting boards to follow.

12) Tag other Pinners.  To increase engagement between members, you can tag other pinners.  This is great if you want to share something you pinned with someone you think might find it interesting. However it is even more beneficial for you if you tag the original pinned of that pin as a reference.  Just put the @ symbol followed by their interest user name and they will be alerted to the fact that they were mentioned.  By doing this every time you repin you will be introducing your boards to many other pinterest members. This engages communication about things you both have an interest in on your boards.

13) Be Involved in Group Boards.  Pinterest users can create boards with other users to pin together towards the same goal! This is not only a great way to help each other out but to build a community.  It helps in cross promotion and finding new followers.

14) Analyze Data. You will first need to go in setting and verify your pinterest boards. Once you verify your site you can have access to an Analytics section.  You can check your site metrics which includes: pins and pinners by day, repines and repiners by day, impressions and reach by day, and clicks and visitors by day.  You can also check the most recent pins, most repined pins, and most clicked pins.

You can also other websites like:

15) Promote with a Link.  Always include a link to your brand from your pins and vice versa include a link to your interest boards on your blog or website. Do not let any opportunities become missed opportunities when it comes to new followers.

16) Have fun! Pinterest should be fun and if you find it to be work maybe you should take a step away for awhile.  I equate it to trying to build something with legos. After awhile things can get frustrating and it just ends up in more frustration.  Just step away, enjoy life, and come back when you are ready.  Remember too much of a good thing can be bad.  Life is too short not to have fun. Enjoy Pinning!


Since growing sites like Pinterest are constantly evolving, things will change.  In the act of researching before writing this post I learned a lot myself about ways I have been neglecting my own account.  I look forward to correcting my bad Pinterest habits and making some positive changes from what I have shared with you today.  I hope this post has helped you learn something new if you are already in love with Pinterest already. If you have any questions post a comment below.

P I N   I T   F O R W A R D   U K 
Most recent pinners on I love to follow

Q: Do you have a favourite Pinterest board you follow? Let me know which one in the comments so that I can check it out! 
Bonnie Rose

*screen caps sourced from Pinterest using my acount: 

Memorial Day

While today is Bank Holiday in England it is Memorial Day back in the United States.  While either day may mean days off from work, picnics, and bbqs, I take this time to remember those closest in my life who have risked much for the the many they will never meet.  Especially for the fallen heroes, those who never got the opportunity to return home to their loved ones and to the ones still Missing in Action. 

The F-111 in Lakenheath, England is the plane my dad used to fly.  He was a navigator and bombardier in the USAF. He retired as a Lt. Col after 30+ years of service that included fighting in the Gulf War.  
My fondest memories of Memorial day with my daddy is visiting the American Military Cemetery in Nettuno near Anzio.  I remember once we went there and got there when Clinton was in office and I was so excited to get to see the President in person.  I believe it was a special place for my dad because his father had fought here in Italy during WWII.  Basically that is three genrations of my family who have spent significant parts of their life in Italy and four generations of my family whom have lived in Europe. 

Although no longer with us, I remember him especially today.  He is the reason I was born abroad and was able to grow up on military bases overseas until the age of seventeen.  He was an influential person in my husband’s life and a big factor for why he chose to follow in his footsteps and join the USAF too.    I wish he could visit us and enjoy our life here in Europe with us but I know he is smiling down from Heaven.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. 
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
– Gen. Patton

This is my time to remember my dad’s father, my dad, and my husband for their years of service and in the US Armed Forces.  I also say thank you to everyone else who has served their country and sacrificed  much.  It is a great honour, purpose, and duty and to you I write this post.  Thank you. 
Happy Memorial Day Everyone. 
*photographs found here are sourced and those not sourced belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |