Category Archives: birthday

Happy 25th Birthday Zoë

It is my half birthday which means it is my younger sister’s Birthday today!  She turns twenty five years old and to mark her quarter of a century birthday I have devoted this post to her.  Zoë, who works as a sommelier in DC, is celebrating this milestone by jetting to California to enjoy the wineries out west.  While I so wish I could be celebrating with her I will have to wait until she comes back to visit the UK at the end of July.  

Took these in Tucson, AZ in 2011 before saying goodbye to Zoë as she headed home to DC and we soon left for the UK.
Effect caused by placing her BlueBlockers sunglasses in front of the camera lens. 
Zoë is also a Third Culture Kid, graduated from Pepperdine University, and is the favourite Aunt to Ronan and Maddox.
Since we spent a significant part of our lives growing up in Italy, my sons call her Zia 

My sister and I in Naples Italy during the total of sixyears that we lived in Naples, Italy.
I am holding our boxer, Baci, who stole our hearts as just a young puppy. RIP <3 

So excited and proud to be able to see her graduate from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California in 2011.

Zoë, means ‘life’ in Greek and we have always joked from a very young age that she is ‘full of it’.  She really lives life to the fullest and is not afraid of taking risks.  She grew up moving and traveling around Europe until she was a preteen.  In the states she found her love for dance, ballet, cheerleading, and music.  Spent her senior year as a foreign exchange student in Australia before attending Pepperdine University.  While there she studied at their campus in Florence, becoming fluent in Italian and began learning Arabic back in California.   After getting her degree in International Relations, she found her passion in wine and is now a Sommelier certified, level 2 of 4. Though she now lives in DC, I can foresee her moving abroad sometime in her future.  She is a Third Culture Kid after all and traveling is in her blood. I am so blessed to have her in my life and I only hope our paths continue to cross through out our lives.  

Zoë in Photography 
I love taking her photo when we are around and here are some of my favourites:
‘Broken Down’ was a concept fashion shoot about a dancer who got delayed during a cross country road trip.
‘Broken Down’ was a concept fashion shoot about a dancer who got delayed during a cross country road trip.  
Zoë at Seaside Heights boardwalk at the Jersey shore in 2012 and on a rooftop in West Hollywood in 2011. 

Our Holiday portraits December 2012 in Bath, England.
Love this behind the scenes shot with Zoë, who was assisting me on a photography shoot in California.  

Music can remind you of people and places.  
Mumford & Sons will always remind me of  Zoë.

Have a great 25th  Zoë! 
We miss you so way much and 
look forward to seeing you this summer!


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

Gems of Happiness in Motherhood

Day 14, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy for the Blog Every Day in May challenge. 

Today is my youngest son’s 6th Birthday and after abruptly waking him up with ‘Wake up birthday boy its your birthday!’ I guided him downstairs for his surprise.  We had decorated the couch with bunting and balloons with his first present waiting for him with a ‘6’ badge to wear to school.  After singing Happy Birthday we shot of confetti guns and Maddox opened his present of new Horrid Henry books. It was great morning and I look forward to the rest of our celebrations after school.  We are taking Maddox to get his first Build-A-Bear at the workshop in town and eating out for a special dinner.  My mum got him a proper sized tent thats waiting in my closet so I look forward to future camping trips with my family.  I know he is going to be really surprised. Thank you Nonna! 

My sister is five and half years younger (to the day, so we share half birthdays with actual birthdays) and I always thought that was a huge age gap. Now that Maddox, my youngest, is six years old my baby fever is worse as ever. Having two sons I still have high hopes for adding a baby girl to our family one day. It is new ground to plan a baby because we did not plan the other pregnancies. Due to the military my husband missed out on a lot of the early months of Ronan’s life and almost the entire pregnancy with Maddox. Having a more stable life as expats in England I look forward to experiencing having a child abroad. I do not know at this time when we will start trying but I am constantly reflecting on what I love about motherhood.
Enjoying country walks in England, a pastime I enjoyed with my own father, is a gem of motherhood. 

Gems of Happiness in Motherhood

  1. When they giggle in their sleep.  The sound melts my heart. I have yet to it capture on camera, but they still do it.
  2. The Lessons of Life. It can be some of the most insightful, challenging and sometimes hardest part of life growing up. Sometimes the most rewarding.  I make sure my sons realize that life is not easy. So when they accomplish something like mastering the diving board at the deep end of the pool they realize their accomplishments. I love sharing those moments with them. 
  3. When they notice things about life. Things that you would not have seen because you are a grown up.  I love viewing the world through my children’s eyes.
  4. Holidays and Birthdays.  Each one is special and count down the days till the next one.  Children  get so excited about them and they are more fun as a parent than I remember from being little.
  5. Reliving my childhood through my children.  Raising Third Culture Kids (TCKs) in a similar nomadic life as my own. Taking them to places I went to like Disneyland, having them go to school in England like I did, watching shows and films I loved as a child, etc.  Its an interesting take on the past while living in the present. 
  6. The Spontaneity. Things I dont look forward to or plan can be some of my favourite memories.  I took my boys out on an impromptu hike after school one day and we had such a great time.  Life is too short not to be lived in the moment. 
  7. The things they say. Sometimes its heartfelt and sometimes its hilarious. I honestly never know what to expect from the mouths of my sons.  I enjoy especially my one on one conversations with my sons when they come home from school.
  8. Their Growth. Watching them get older. Looking back through photos and videos. Comparing them through out the years as they grow.  Its an amazing thing about life.
  9. When the hug, kiss, or say ‘I love you’. Especially when you are least expecting it.  Especially when you really need it.  


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

Birthday Cake

Birthdays are always a great celebration and last week we got to celebrate one here at the house.  The boys’ grandfather had his 60 something birthday.  The boys love to be in the kitchen so we talked about making something special.  So on the big day the boys and I spent our science period making a very chocolate cake with coconut oil.  It was very yummy and super rich.  But a nice special treat for someone celebrating a big birthday.  The boys were excited to pick out cards and get balloons and presents.  It was a fun evening. 
The chocolate cake.
Ronan signing the card he picked out. 
Watching the cake come out with candles on it. 
The boys decorated pumpkins for a grocery store competition.  They made 3D affects for spookiness!
Ronan was all smiles in home education this week. 
Instagram: thebonnierose

Maddox turns 5!

Happy Birthday to my 5 year old son Maddox. 
#birthday #Maddox 

We set off the fire alarm with the fountain sparkler candles we lit on my five year old’s cake. #birthday #cake #sparkler 
‘Grass': My boys taking a Hoola hoop class on the green grass at the park. 
#photoadaymay #photoadaychallenge

‘Flag’ Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012. 
#maycreative #photoadaychallenge #jubilee #queen #flag

I just got carded to prove I was over 18 to buy special birthday candles for my son. #beforeiturn30thisyear

Happy birthday to my son Maddox! Just five years ago today I gave birth to him on the sunny island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Maddox’s Superhero party at the Bowling Alley

Maddox’s Super Hero party at the bowling alley was quite fun. We had 13 boys in total and our party hostess took care of pretty much everything. The other parents made a lot of comments on all the details we put together for party. I think the consensus was that I should become a party planner. The photo booth went well though we did just one group shot since it was hard enough to wrangle all the boys together for a photo. The cake pops did not pass the decoration phase and our ‘plan b’ cake got left at home by mistake. So we are going to enjoy the cake on Maddox’s actual birthday. I have had very little sleep with party prep…pretty much exhausted.

Bridesmaid hair today at work. Stylist: Bonnie Rose
#hairstyle #updo #wedding #hair
‘Birds': We like to watch the ducks after church on Sundays.
 #maycreative #photoadaychallenge
‘Something that makes you happy': Finding a bespoke dresser that looks like a dollhouse.
#photoadaymay #photoadaychallenge 
My take on Wonder Woman for my son’s superhero party.
Want to see more photos from the party? Stay tuned…

Popart Superhero Birthday Party

Maddox as Batman for his 5th Birthday party at the bowling alley.  He chose the theme of Justice League and I tied in a little Pop Art to give it an added PUNCH! (No pun intended)
Older brother, Ronan, went as Green Lantern.
Batman & Green Lantern before the party commences. 
Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. 
11 boys (plus two younger ones not pictured) all together.  England is not so big on dressing up for things. We had2 boys that were Justice League themed, one marvel superhero, one Indiana Jones (um, might have gotten confused from Ronan’s party invite back in January?),  one police officer, and four in plain street clothes.  I think in hindsight I should have just had Maddox dress up and made capes for all the other kids for better themed photo.  Or try it again in the USA. 
This was our party host who orchestrated the whole bowling party.  She was amazing.  Keeping 11 boys under the age of 9 in line while dealing with heavy bowling balls is not an easy feat. 
Maddox and boys lining up to start bowling. 
Maddox bowling at his birthday party. 
The birthday banner I made from Flash comics with Maddox’s name on it. We used it to decorate the party table. 
The party bags that I made with the Pop Art comic book theme. I bought a bag of confetti and glued each dot on, one at a time. 
The table center piece  with the pop art dots and an M (for Maddox) and a 5 (for his age) which I collaged in Flash and DC comics. 
Each boy got a photo frame/thank you card that I collaged individually in comics. 
Another look at the photo frame/thank you cards. 
Since the cake pops fell through, I decorated lollipops with masks and capes.  Using a two tier cake stand, I decorated it with the cup cake toppers I made. 
Another look at the center piece. 
Wonder Woman and Batman gift tags. 
I believe all the photo frame/thank you cards were Flash themed.  
Maddox telling his dad, Superman, how much fun he is having at his party. 
Holy Cupcakes Batman it is time for food! (Sadly with the cake pops not turning out, we ended up leaving the back up cake at home. So no singing at this party.  Thats okay because they don’t eat birthday cake at the kid parties in England. 
As the kids were getting ready to leave, we quickly rounded up a few of them for a very quick photo with the felt masks I sewed and put in each of the goodie bags.

Photography by Bonnie Rose © Bonnie Rose Photography 2012 All Rights Reserved. 


Maddox’s birthday is coming up and so it is time to start getting his party planning into order.  If you remember I made Ronan’s Indiana Jones invitations back in January.  For Maddox’s party this year he wanted a Super Hero party…more specifically a DC Justice League party.  I decided to tie his theme together with a Comic Book Pop Art look.  Here are the double sided invitations that I made tonight. The dots I think took the most time. Maddox says he really likes them and I look forward to making the decorations.

Handmade invitations for Maddox’s Superhero party

‘Circle’. #photoadaychallange
 #photoadayapril #love #quote #Corinthians #frame
Pulled Pork with Kale-slaw and celery sticks. Kale-slaw made with homemade mayonnaise
made with avocado oil, s&p, garlic, mustard powder, and egg.
Vibrant purple blooms outside our flat.
Boys got a £1 coin for helping mummy tidy this afternoon. Off to Sainsburys to get a special treat.

Jasmine Star Quote: “At the end of the day you can take mistakes and turn them around. Dont pay to play.” @creativeLIVE

‎”Sometimes we give up our dreams for safety & comfort. But I was ready to risk safety & comfort for my dreams.” – @jasminestar