Monthly Archives: May 2015

My Blonde Transformation

Brunette to Blonde


You may have witnessed my blonde transformation if we are friends already on various social media outlets (ie. Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook).  If not, do not worry you are on the right blog, A Compass Rose, I just have a new look for summer!  About a month a go I decided to take the plunge and I have not looked back since. I could not wait to finally share with you on the blog about my blonde transformation and this post will now be part of a ‘Going Blonde’ series.  Through this post and the rest to follow in this series I will be your resident hairstylist and share with you the following topics:

  • How to prepare your hair before you go blonde
  • The steps I took to go from brunette to light blonde
  • How to talk to your hairdresser/hairstylist/haircolourist
  • The cold hard truth about colouring your hair
  • How I continue with a nopoo regimen at home (see: I broke up with my shampoo and conditioner)
  • The upkeep it will take to stay blonde
  • How lighting can be a blonde’s best friend or enemy
  • Why I went blonde and what had held me back before
  • Answer the question if blondes really do have more fun
  • Plus I’ll answer any questions you send my way!
    • Got a question?  Send it to me via twitter using @the_bonnierose and add #blonde or/and add a comment below!

Before going Blonde from Brunette

I want to give you a brief glimpse into my hair before.  Above is a look at my hair before I went blonde.  My natural regrowth is a level 5 on the ashy side of the scale. Think of a level one as jet black and level 10 as platinum blonde. The older lengths of my hair appear warmer than the newer growth.

HAIR COLOUR | I stopped using hair colour and grew out previous hair colour from July 2012 to January 2015.  About four months before I went blonde my coworker used a glossing product from Sebastian on my hair.  Unlike a traditional hair colour or lightener it contained no ammonia and no peroxide.  therefore no colour lifting and no hair damage.  It left my hair with a deposit of a dark brown colour and a glossing shine that would eventually all wash out.  As I do not use shampoo at home and go at least a week between cleansing my hair, the colour gloss lasted well.

HAIRSTYLE | As far as my hairstyle I have had the right side of my head shaved for about a year with grown out layers.  My hair is naturally curly.  The shorter is more curly and the longer it is more wavy.  I tend to wear it naturally curly and with brushing and/or braiding it will drop into loose waves. I have thick hair so when it is parted in the center you cannot tell I have a substantial amount of hair missing from one side.

After: Blonde from Brunette

Here is a look of my blonde transformation four weeks after I went blonde initially.  This was after my new growth touched up for the first time since going blonde.  As an important note my hair has gone through various stages of lift and toning from the before to the after photos included in this post.  I will explain the whole process with a vlog to come along in this going blonde series.

Here we have it: My blonde transformation!  I have tried various types of blonde in the past but this was the first time I went about it in the smartest and healthiest way for my hair.  In the end it has paid off because my mum has given me her seal of approval.  Thank you mum!

GOT A QUESTION?  I look forward to sharing with you more. Let me know your questions by commenting below and/or sending me a tweet on twitter.  Also if you have any friends wanting to go blonde share this series with them.  As a hairstylist I have had to do far too many colour corrections on blonde gone wrong or have had to chop inches of hair to get the hair to look healthy.  Just because you want to go blonde does not mean you have to also cut your hair short.  I have yet to buy any blonde extensions, so any photos you see of me on social media is all my own hair.  I would like to get some in the future as I like to add more thickness when it comes to updos and braiding.  For now I love my blonde transformation.

Going blonde is possible.

Warwick Castle & Horrible Histories


Best thing about living the expat life in England—castles! Castles are not on short supply here in the UK and my family is enjoying getting to see different ones. The castle that has been able to really come to life the most in this modern day is Warwick castle. Located in Warwick, this castle is near Shakespeare’s Stratford on Avon. We recommend taking enough time to see both places, so making a weekend out of it is highly suggested.

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My boys are both fans of Horrible Histories and they made the interaction aspect of Warwrick Castle a fantastic experience for my sons. They were given special badges and activity packs when we entered and there were many different locations through out the inside and outside of the Castle for them to get a Horrible History twist on things. The people who were working through out Warwick Castle were phenomenal and really brought the place to life.

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I could definitely see returning Warwick Castle as we did not get to see all the shows and theres bound to be things we did not see the first time. Even with so many people there, the crowds were not a problem. There were great food options available and you could even bring in your own and have a picnic on the lawn. Here are a few more favourite photographs of mine from our adventures at Warwick Castle.

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Don’t forget to link up! x

Couch Surfing

Happy Travel Tuesday! My name is Marcella and I blog over at WhatAWonderfulWorld. I’m a

Londoner who loves to blog about travel and photography. Today I’m sharing my

feelings on CouchSurfing while travelling.

Rewind to summer 2009.

One evening I got a text from a friend, which read something like this…

‘I’m walking to the bus station to meet a girl who is coming to stay at our flat for

the night.  We’ve never met before’


‘It’s called Couchsurfing.  Look it up.’

These words opened up many doors over the next few years!  When receiving the text I

was in the process of planning my 5 month trip to South America.   I clicked onto the Couchsurfing website and spent many hours

searching through the website looking at profiles.  I also created my profile; with just my

For those of you who don’t know; CouchSurfing is a website where you advertise your

couch/bed/mattress/floor for travellers to sleep on for a few nights.  You send requests to

hosts and afterwards leave reviews for your hosts.  The idea being that you get to see the

‘real’ country/ city by staying with locals and getting to know the culture.


Anyway, fast forward a few months.  I met up with an old school friend, who loves

travelling as much as I do, and we got onto the topic of CouchSurfing.  I said I’d heard of

it and had looked at the website.  He raved about it and said that he had surfed around

many countries.  Now I’d had two raving reviews to use Couchurfing.  So that evening I

went home and completed my profile – added information about me and pictures.  I then

began searching for couches in Rio.

My first stop on my 5 month trip was Rio during carnival.  I knew that carnival was

going to be a VERY busy time for Couchsurfers so I sent off around 4 requests to hosts.

The next day I received a message back from a host saying they’d be happy to host me.

At the same time I was looking on the group for Rio and saw a post from Kelly asking if

anyone was interested in travelling around after carnival.  I hit reply. As if by fate Kelly

had also messaged the same CS host I was staying with.  We chatted on Skype and

planned a few places to go after carnival.

In February 2010 Kelly and I met at Rio airport and headed to our CS hosts place.  She

was hosting another 6 CSers at the same time; I told you carnival was busy!  A few days

later she said we could stay with her friend, another CSer from Rio, as she was heading to

her mum’s house.  Our next CS host was hosting 8 CSers in total from all over the world.

He had keys cut for all of us.  During carnival he took us to all the local parties and street

parties.  Ones that we would have never know about without CS.


After carnival was finished we travelled to two other

places in Brazil; Florianópolis and Porto Alegre, where we were hosted by

amazing hosts.  Brazil was the start of my love for Couchsurfing and seeing the ‘real’

country with locals.  I was addicted!

During the rest of my travels I met many CSers who showed me local places, shared food

with me, gave me advice etc.  I then also surfed two couches in Paris later that year.

When I then moved to Chile at the end of 2010 it was my time to finally pay back for all

that my CS hosts had done for me; it was my turn to host.  I was so excited!  I kept this

up while living in England.  In total I have surfed ten couches and I have hosted nine

groups of people too.  Life got quite busy and so weekends became full up and hosting

slowed down but i’m itching for CS again!DSCF1186 DSCF1519 DSCF1529 DSCF1711 DSCF4180

Have you ever Couchsurfed? What do you think about it?  If you’re in doubt, I couldn’t

recommend it enough!

Happy Surfing!


Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Happy Travel Tuesday! My name is Marcella and I blog over at WhatAWonderfulWorld. I’m a Londoner who loves to blog about travel and photography. Today I’m sharing a travel adventure, that didn’t quite go to plan… but had a beautiful ending!

Be careful going to Mendoza this weekend. You might get stuck in the mountains if it snows!” But I thought we’d be fine!

While living in Santiago, Clem and I went to Mendoza in Argentina for the weekend. It’s a seven hour bus ride away with a scenic view from the windows of the bus but we didn’t realise quite how scenic our return journey would be! We left on the Friday and spent the weekend there. When arriving to the bus station in Mendoza on the Sunday morning we were told that the border crossing had closed because it had snowed in the mountains. The border crossing is in the mountains and so when it snows it gets closed. We called our bosses and explained that we were stuck but should be back tomorrow.

For the following two mornings we went to the bus station early in the morning to hear that it was still closed. It was also a public holiday and so pretty much everything was closed. We spent many hours hopping between different cafes and wondering around. On the Wednesday it was re-opened and we were on our way along with everyone else who has been stuck for days. So instead of a 7 hour trip… it took 12 hours to get back.

But… every cloud has a silver lining and we were rewarded with these beautiful views of the mountains covered in soft, white snow. On our way up… DSC_0341DSC_0345 DSC_0356 More and more snow filled the view as we got higher and higher. DSC_0362 DSC_0369 DSC_0378 DSC_0394 We were really happy to see this sign. DSC_0398 DSC_0406 DSC_0417 Just try not to get altitude sickness and forget how to speak Spanish at the border crossing, like I did!

Have you had a ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ moment?

Marcella xx




Festivals & Celebrations

Lewes Bonfire Night by BonnieRosePhoto on Etsy, £60.00

Festivals and Celebrations 
“Have you ever been to an amazing festival or celebration while travelling? Do you have any special festivals or events from your home country or where you live now? Have you celebrated something special while travelling?” – Travel Tuesday co-host Marcella 

“Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…”
The USA has their firework displays for their Independence Day from England in 1776 and the UK burns effigies of Guy Fawkes, a man who failed the Gunpowder plot of 1605. After celebrating Bonfire Night a few years back in Lewes, I honestly favour the UK holiday. If you are ever going to be in England for Bonfire night I highly recommend heading to Lewes for it is the biggest celebrated Fifth November Event in the world. In fact there are six different bonfire society’s all celebrating the Fifth in various parts of the town. Each has their own processions, traditions, costumes, fire sites and fireworks.
My History with Bonfire Night
When we lived in England, when I was a young girl, I loved going to Bonfire night.  Even when we moved away from England my dad will still take me to celebrate it.  I have fond memories of when we lived in Italy and getting together with the RAF families to set fire to the Guy and watch the bonfire burn.  When we moved to England in 2011, this was one of anticipated ‘firsts’ that I wanted to experience with my husband and sons. There was a bonfire society near where my kids went to school that year and the school was involved in the procession. This meant we got to hold up banners and march all around the town of Lindfield, waving to the crowds of people watching.  I even got to hold a flaming torch which was probably the most exciting part of that night for me.  As we were part of the procession we got a prime location to watch the bonfire and fireworks from later that evening as well.  It was our first Bonfire Night together as a family in England and a very memorable one indeed.

I wrote about Bonfire Night in Batheaston, England, you can read it too. 


what are some memorable festivals you have attended around the world?