Monthly Archives: October 2013

Travel & Seasons: Q&A

My so-called ex-pat life has been filled with nostalgia recently.  I was wondering where all these memories were flooding from and then realised it was because of the weather.  Two years ago my family was experiencing our first autumn in England.  Autumn has not usually been my favourite time of the year.  Some how there are all these things I am experiencing again make me feel comforted in memories.  The colder weather that requires coats, hats, and scarves.  Finding interesting leaves, conkers, and colourful ivy covered walls.  The rainy days in England where umbrellas pop up all over town. Rushing inside to warm ourselves up with a cup of tea.  There are all these elements of autumn which bring back cherished memories.  It has made me look back at old photographs from 2011 and I found this series I took of my family in London.  On our way to our intended destination we found a huge amount of fallen leaves which resulted in a spontaneous play session.  We had so much fun playing in the leaves and I really enjoy the photos we captured of the event.  It has made me realise when thinking of travel and seasons that I really do love London in the Autumn and Winter time.  Here are some of my favourites from that cold but memorable day:

“What season is your favourite to travel in and where would you go based on your answer?”

Want to join the sidebar as a SPONSOR for November?


Q: “What season is your favourite to travel in and where would you go based on your answer?”

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*photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Are You a Girl Gone International?

I started this blog when I became a mum as a way to share photographs and our travels with family across the globe. I found my purpose in blogging through becoming an expat and moving abroad. Something I had not expected were all the opportunities that would come from having a blog.  One of which is being introduced to an amazing online community, Girl Gone International and becoming the Adventure & Travel editor for their online magazine. For me it was finally finding a community to where I felt I belong with like minded individuals who love being a citizen of the world.
What is Girl Gone International?
✈ Non-Profit Organisation
✈ New generation of women living abroad
✈ We represent, connect and support
✈ Over 10,000 members
✈ Fast growing, friendly global community
✈ 100s of free events all over the world
✈ Active hubs in 24 cities
✈ 20 more hubs opening in 2013
✈ Busy online communities on different platforms
✈ Funded by our magazine GirlGI
✈ Digital Lifestyle & Travel Magazine
✈ – new site coming soon!

About GGI  communities

Each city has it own Community Manager. The girls that come to our events are English speaking and internationally minded who want to meet like-minded friends, gain a foothold in their new city or build a strong network. Alternatively they have just come home from being abroad and want to keep in with an international circle. 
Girl Gone International Communities can be found in: 
Reykjavik | Edinburgh | Glasgow | London | Manchester | Amsterdam | Berlin | Hamburg | Freiburg | Dresden | Munich | Dusseldorf | Frankfurt | Vienna | Stockholm | Athens | Croatia | Rome | Paris | Madrid | Palma | Barcelona | Alicante | CapeTown | LA | New York | Ottawa | Vancouver | Brisbane | Mexico City | Panama | Rio | Seoul | Boston | Toronto
I am so happy to be able to offer you a complimentary issue of the Girl Gone International magazine! For the next several days I am holding a giveaway here at ACR.  To enter this giveaway follow GGI and I on the social media sites below and tweet about this giveaway.  You can tweet about this once a day through out the giveaway for an additional point. 
INSTAGRAM | @GirlGoneInternational #girlgi
SPOTIFY | Girl_GoneInternational
*Image belongs to Girl Gone International |

Platform 9 and 3/4 in London, England

Welcome to Travel Tuesday! We are a family of three generations that love Harry Potter.  It began with my younger sister who started after the second book came out and my parents got hooked as they read them too. Feeling left out of dinner conversations I got roped into reading them and then wondered why I was the last to join the family book club.  I married my husband and got him into it and my kids as they were born. In fact Ronan was ‘baby Harry’ for one book release party and a howler for the one Maddox went as a baby Mandrake plant.  So being able to take my mum, sister, husband, and boys to get our photo taken at platform 9 and 3/4 this summer was mandatory while we were in London.  This was my second time here (see picture left) and they have since updated the wall and have added a gift shop. My thoughts on that near the end of this post. 
Like Harry Potter too? I wrote about What I Have Learned from Harry Potter

My Review of Platform 9 and 3/4:
When we we came before it was just the cart in the wall. In fact there was no partial suitcase or owl cage.  We were able to just walk right up and take as many photos as we wanted. So we took sweet and silly ones. Of course with having kids (as cute as they are) they may not always be in the mood to join in and my oldest was having one of those moments. So returning to do family photos for the Christmas card was on our todo list this summer.  Boy was I surprised to see how much it had changed!   I am taking a note that this could be different if we come again when it is not summer time but then again who knows.  There is a gift store right it and the portable queue markers likes you would find at Disneyland. There was quite a group of people waiting and I will say that everyone who was  there was very nice. In fact they did not mind that almost everyone in my party wanted to get their photo taken twice and then do a huge group shot.  I love the new editions to the the cart and I actually kinda like that they had scarves you could wear and helped flick it for movement for you.

 If I was not a photographer this next bit would not have bothered me so much.  I am sure many people come every day and never have this view point…or I just love Harry Potter way too much and my expectations got shattered.  I usually always have my 50mm on my DSLR because it is a great portrait lens and I was getting nice portraits of my mum and sister with my family while they were visiting.  However due to the close proximity of the queue of other HP fans and where the staff members were located there was no way to get a ‘perfect’ shot. I had to shoot off from the side and I could not get back as far as I needed too. For the portraits I took it ended up being okay but for my portraits the family member that took my photo cropped out important parts of Platform 9 and 3/4.  Not to mention the lens did not work for our family shot when we had to all look sideways.

The answer for that would be okay I will rely on the photographers they have to take our portraits. They are armed with nice DSLRs and flashes and look all professional with their HP staff badges. Everyone gets their photo taken in time with the guy who fluffs the scarf in the air. You can view your photo at the gift shop and purchase it to take home.  So I thought…sure maybe we can get the family one from the store. The gift shop was not the place to be if you do not like small cramped spaces as it does not do well with crowds of people.  Then when I finally saw our photo my heart sank. I maybe would have taken it if it was free but I certainly was not going to pay money for that shot. It was horrible.

Here is my thought on purchasing the photos.  Right above where platform 9 and 3/4 is located they have huge wonderful skylights. So unless it is nighttime or extremely stormy out you are going to have wonderful natural lighting coming down like you were in a fabulous photo studio.  Yet the staff taking photo use their flash for every one. I cannot comment whether they change their settings during their shift but after seeing our photo I would have definitely changed the exposure and better yet taken it without the flash.  It was the one time I got really frustrated. It really is hard when you know so much about a something that it kinda ruins the experience when it is out of your control. So we did not buy that photograph and we walked away with photos that despite the weird angle are far better exposed.

My husband reminded me that they also say to you in the queue something to the tune of ‘You can take your own photos but they will not be as good as ours.’

I love Harry Potter and I hope to go again and maybe beat the crowd control during a quieter time.  Also cannot wait to go to the Harry Potter tour in London too! Have you been?

Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.
1. Share a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. Grab the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie in a link! 😉 
3. Linkup goes live every Tuesday at 8 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
5. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
6. The First Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

*Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Weekly Wishes #6: Theatre and You

I am linking up today with Melyssa for my Weekly Wishes series. While I may not post about all my wishes for the weeks and the upcoming months, they are made and they are there.  I would like to touch on some things that have happened in that regard first and what I am wishing for too!
T H E   U P D A T E S
THEATRE | My previous wishes of getting back into the theatre have continued to be fruitful. My motive for returning to my childhood passion (and my major at Uni) was that I really needed a hobby.  Between my husband and I, one of us has to be home to watch the boys and since I now work from home my social circle is not that big.  I have to work at finding creative ways to get out of the house and meet new people.  It really becomes harder as you get older to make new friends from when I was younger and moved around frequently.  So being able to return to something I love to start growing my network has been a blessing.  Want to be involved in the theatre world in your area?

  • Step Up and Volunteer your Services: My local theatre group has a newsletter that goes out every month, to which I am subscribed.  I read in a recent newsletter there was a need for a secretary for their monthly meetings.  I felt it was a great way to get involved and so far I have really enjoyed it. 
  • Attend a Script Reading: Most theatre houses and drama groups will have readings through out the year.  This is a great way to meet people and enjoy the theatre scene.  You may even get to be involved! I was asked to take a part for a rehearsed reading at our local group and found myself on stage once again after ten years of absence from the theatre.  If you have never been to a script reading, I definitely recommend it!
  • Audition, Audition, Audition: Yes if you really want to be involved you got to put yourself out there. I have been wanting to do this since my kids both became school age but let the ‘american accent’ be my excuse. I finally decided to go and went to my first audition this summer just to try it once.  It ended up getting me introduced to one of the local theatre groups and to attend another audition. This one for the Cinderella Panto in January and I got a part.  We had our first read through this weekend and I was so excited to meet the whole cast. 
  • Have a Skill: The theatre is not just about being on stage and acting. There are so many facets to the theatre community and ways you can help out and be apart of the group.  From backstage to the front of the house. All you have to do is ask. See what doors open for you. 

MOVING | Previously our landlady had decided not to renew our lease which meant we would be having to move days before Christmas again.  Between Expat stresses of getting my husband’s visa this month we were also constantly looking at places online and going to viewings in person to find a new ‘home’. Our prayers were answered at the end of last week when we found out our landlady would not be needing the property back and would renew for another six months. So now I can officially plan to be here for Christmas and decorating and put off the house hunt until 2014.
TEACHING  | My current passion is photography. It has been since I was a young girl and more so since 2007 when I began  my business, Bonnie Rose Photography. Today marks the official first day of my B.Lux photography courses and I have been so excited to work with my students this month.  So far I have just one course available, B. In Focus with at least six other courses in production.  The next class for B. In Focus is open for registration and begins on Monday the 4th of November, 2013. My wish is for live workshops to be available in 2014 starting in England. I love sharing about photography which is why it is a huge part on my blog. I have a special photography guest post today on Kate’s Grow Your Blog Baby: Photography. Want a photography guest post for your blog, let me know!

LONDON BLATE | I am also hoping to be doing a blate in London next month with my fellow Expat bloggers.  It is always good to have something to look forward to and not that I am not stressed out about an impending move a trip to London sounds lovely! Who among my blog readers is in the London area?
1) Always taking photos 2)The rehearsed script reading 3) My Self Portrait
4)Playing with my lighting  5) Reading my Panto script 6) B.Lux Student badge…keep a look out for it! 😉 
RECENTLY | I also just wanted to highlight on some recent events in case you missed it.
  • War on Girls: a new post in the series yesterday about an inspirational poetry slam
  • Advice: I would love if you could help me break down that fourth wall and share what you love or may not like on the blog so I can tailor this both for you and me. 
  • Travel Tuesday: I am still doing Travel Tuesday link ups and have changed the button in case you are still using the old one. Hope to see you all tomorrow as I will be mentioning our November theme! 
  • Self Portrait: Along with my goal of posting every day, doing one self portrait a week is my other.  Played around with slower shutter speeds this weekend and had my son help out for a more conceptual piece. Whether you just like to follow along or want to link up it is a Self Portrait Saturday challenge. 

Q: Tell me What you think about anything, I love hearing from you. :)
*images original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

The War on Girls: Poetry Slam

I have gotten a really great response from you all about my War on Girl series.  So when I saw this video on Upworthy today I knew I had to share it here on the blog. It expresses so beautiful in the use of poem form the pressure we as women feel to take up less space in the world.  This does not start as women, this begins as girls as we watch the woman around us.  I cannot say more about this because the video speaks volumes.  Meet Lily Myers whose poetry slam ‘Shrinking Women‘ won Best Love Poem at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in April. 

Watch the Video via Upworthy

“You have been taught to grow out, I have been taught to grow in. You learn from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence. You used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much. I learned to absorb. I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself. I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters.” – Lily Myers (Shrinking Women)
Q: How did this video make you feel about the way society treats 
women and men in today’s world? Tell me your thoughts!  

Self Portrait: ‘Pause’

Self Portrait: ‘Pause’ by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Welcome back to Self Portrait Saturday challenge! I took a break last week which I hope was alright.  It has been quite busy around here. On top of it all we had been going to view several different houses where we could move to in December.  This was due to our landlady deciding to not renew our lease in December. Which meant we would be moving days before Christmas again this year. If we were not already a bit stressed with all the details involved with applying for my husband’s visa this month, we were now.  It became one of those situations where if you just had one big stressful challenge to overcome it could be alright.  Multiply it and now all you want to do is hit the pause button. Which was the inspiration behind this self portrait.  
I had originally planned to do this one quite differently.  I hope to try it again with my original plan and see how it turns out.  It was supposed to be me staring still into the camera while my entire family moves in chaos around me.  However I only had my youngest son to help me with this one at the time and I really like how it turned out. I will say the fact that my wrist is cut off, almost made me not post it at all.  I usually would have caught that while shooting to correct it in camera.  Obviously my mind is on a few different things all at once. I used a slow shutter speed of 1/4 of a second on a tripod and layered a few different images of my son so that he appeared to be all over the place. 
I found out last night that our landlady, for whatever reason, has decided she will renew our lease for another six months. Which is a huge weight off of our shoulders.  I can now  plan to be in our house for Christmas and we will not have to move next month as we had thought.  So the house hunting search has ceased until 2014 and we can focus on visas and holidays.  If I have been a bit absent in the social media world you know now where my head has been.  Feeling quite blessed to have this one issue resolved. 



I try to do one every week and post on a Saturday. 
 If you would like to link up with me, add this button to your blog. I would love to see your photography!
Grab button for A Compass Rose's Self Portrait Saturday

Get out those tripods, remote controls, and set your self timer!
It must be a ‘self portrait’ and does not need to be an image you took this Saturday. Feel free to link up to past Self Portrait posts in your blog. This link up will be every Saturday so feel free to use that as your motivation to learn more about your camera, hone in on your photography skills, try out new post processing techniques, and let your creative spirit come alive.  Join the Self Portrait Saturday challenge!

* Self Portrait: ‘Pause’ by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Thank You & Your Feedback

Dear Readers: Our week is coming to an end and I wanted to take this time to say ‘Thank you’.  You mean so much to me and I continue to blog every day because of your encouragement, your support, and most importantly your friendship.  I do not know how you stumbled upon my blog but I am so thankful our paths crossed.  Thank you for returning time and time again and thank you for every single comment, each tweet, and every thoughtful email.  Thank you for not only being my friend but for loving on all my sponsors and those who have guest posted here at ACR.  I may not say it enough but your kindness and love mean so much to me and I appreciate everyone one of you. 

C h e e r s .   G r a z i e .   M e r c i .   D a n k e .   T h a n k   Y o u ! 

May I ask a favour? I have been posting on this blog off and on since 2005 and I do not even begin to think that I know everything there is about blogging.  Just this morning I was reading blog advice from my friend Lauren and found that her tips were still quite relevant to me.  My aim is to continue adding quality blog content with both words and photographs as ACR keeps on growing.  Being the nomadic free spirit I am I sometimes feel I have a hard to defining my ‘niche’.  From talking with my other Third Culture Kid friends I know I am not alone. So I wanted to ask you for your advice. 
  • What are your favourite blog posts on ACR?
  • Which series have been your favourite?
  • Do you like guest posts?
  • Which guest posts have been your favourite? 
  • Do you like the link ups and which link ups would you participate in?
  • Do you like occasional giveaways?
  • I notice many bloggers share new photos of themselves in every new post. This is not something I necessarily do. Do you feel like not having that aspect makes it harder to connect to me?
  • What do you not see that you wish I had more of on ACR?
  • Are their things you love on other blogs that I do not do here?
  • Are there things you think I could do better at?
  • Would you like to see something changed?
  • How do you read ACR? On your smart phone or on the computer?
  • Do you like following me on other social media sites?
  • Which social media sites to you like following me on? (twitter/pinterest/facebook/instagram/etc)
  • Do you like the photography portions to ACR?
  • What makes you excited about returning to this blog?
  • You love coming here…what would be your dream posts to read here?
  • What would you love me to blog about?

Answer one, answer all it is up to you. I just started typing questions as they came to me.  I really appreciate your feedback as I just to make ACR better for you.  I love writing and sharing my photographs which is why I enjoy blogging so much.  However I want to break down that ‘fourth wall’ and really hear from you so that I can connect my blog further to my readers. No two blogs can be the same which is why comparing can lead to ruin. Help me instead continue to evolve ACR into what it should become. I appreciate any feedback you can give me.

You do not have to comment on this post with your feedback.  

* Bridal photo up top: Photography © Miriam Pinkston Visual Artist, 2009-2013 All Rights
** Custom graphics original to A Compass Rose by Bonnie Rose © 2005 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |