Category Archives: blog

10 Year Blogiversary!

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved

This month marks my 10 year milestone with my blog A Compass Rose (ACR).

I started it in 2005 days before my first born son came into this world. Now he is just days away from celebrating his first double digit birthday. I think of everything that has happened in the past ten years and wonder how it all fit into one decade. Some of it made it on my blog, others did not and happened during a period of downtime away from the blogosphere. I have taken a lot of my most favourite photographs specially for the blog and my self portrait series. I have blogged every day for the most part of a year, working on a consistant flow of posts that covered photography, travel, third culture kids, and expat life. I have made a lot of friends and kept in contact with those that are as close as family. While my level of activity has gone up and down it has always been there, like an old friend, ready to pick things up where we last left off. Thank you to everyone who has ever come here, for the comments, for the support, and most importantly all the love and friendship. Thank you.

Self Portrait: ‘Nominated’

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 - 2014 All rights reserved |

Self Portrait: ‘Nominated’ Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2014 All rights reserved |

My self portrait ‘Nominate’ was taken today in response to being nominated for the MADS 2014 Blogger awards.  I was so excited to find out I have been nominated in the following categories: Blog of the Year, Photography blog, and Family Travel blog. Thank you everyone who suggested A Compass Rose for the MADS.


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Become a Sponsor for August

This Summer is all about countdowns!
There are:
7 days until my Mum arrives from the US.
10 days until we leave for Wales.
14 days until my sister arrives.
16 days until our 10th Wedding Anniversary
This pretty much gives me one last week 
to get everything done before we leave on vacay. 
Don’t worry while I am gone  I have scheduled 
a special surprise to keep you entertained in my absence. 
However that means August is only 14 days away!
That is just two weeks!
Want to become a sponsor on ACR? 
I am currently holding spots for AUGUST sponsors. 
Spots are limited.
Ignore any starting dates that say ‘July’ 
as I will approve them to begin on August 1st.
These are the different ad spots available on ACR:
‘North by Northwest’
250×300 Featured Ad Space is the spot with the biggest exposure! 
Includes top ad placement in the Sponsors section of the side bar, 
one per month with no rotating, solo feature post, and social media shout-outs throughout the month. 
You also get have my blog for a day with your own solo post. 
Topics must fall under the themes of the blog.  
Ad will run for 30 days*** CURRENTLY BOOKED!
‘Second Start to the Right’ 
250×200 Large Ad Space Placed under the Large Ad spot in the sidebar. 
Includes introduction in group sponsor spotlight post with photo and 3 links. 
Publicity through social media shout-outs. 
Ads rotate automatically with each page load for maximum exposure. 
PLUS: Ad will run for 45 days, instead of 30!

‘Cardinal Directions’
250×150 Medium Ad Space placed under the Large Ad spot in the sidebar. 
Includes introduction in group sponsor spotlight post with photo and two links. 
Publicity through social media. Ads rotate automatically with each page load for maximum exposure.  Ad will run for 30 days

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

Best Week Ever/1

As we come to the end of the week and the end of another month 
I would like to start a new series ‘Best Week Ever’.  
I like to live positively and think that every week could be our best week ever.
It will be my end of the week posts about everything we have been up to here in England.  I realise with so many social networking sites bits about my expat life is a little all over the place.  Or with my blogging schedule there are things I would love to share with you but run out of days in the week to devote a post to another subject or story.  Without further adieu here is the first installment of Best Week Ever on A Compass Rose.  Let me know what you think! 
1. Bieber Fever. It has hit my house. I asked both my boys how they wanted their hair cut and they answered ‘Justin Bieber’. After doing a google search to confirm what kind of a look they wanted with their hair I got out my hairdressing bag and got to work.  My eldest chose Bieber prior to 2011 and my youngest chose Bieber circa 2013.  The result? Two happy clients.
2. Book Club.  I finished Sense & Sensibility for the #JaneAustenBookClub.  It was my first time to read this novel.  Due to seeing the film so often it was hard not to picture Alan Rickman as Col. Brandon. It was also a little harder to get into for some reason.  Minus a completed blog post for the book club, I am all set to reread Pride and Prejudice for July. Anyone else in?
3. My husband loves to cook. He was not really encouraged to do so growing up but as an adult it has become one of his top passions.  Somewhere in Hawaii with our mainly vegetarian diet he found a love for all these new vegetables and tastes he had not had before and I believe it is what unlocked the flood gate to his culinary interests.  Having not grown up eating canned vegetables I honestly get weak in the knees every time my husband cooks with something new for the first time.  Do not let me fool you I can cook. It is just I look in the fridge and think ‘omg what am I going to fix for dinner??!’ and he looks in the fridge and comes up with some combination I would never have dreamed up.  This week we had garlic chicken wrapped in bacon and covered with chile spices. Yes please. 
4. Recipes. I finally blogged about Pims after having been asked so many times by readers and friends in America about it.  It really is a staple of all get togethers in the ‘summer’ (if you can call it that) in the UK.  At a fete it will have the longest que and will be the first thing to run out before the ice cream.
5. I Challenge You! To keep myself accountable and to be inspired by all of you, I have started my first link up for the #SelfPortraitSaturday challenge.  This is a project I started last year and decided to continue this year.  However I need you to help encourage me to do it every week.  Share your selfies whether you use a camera or a phone and make sure to link up before the end of Friday GMT.
6. Suits! I blogged this week about getting a Suit Tailored in Bangkok. Also my husband now has his suit, tie, and pocket square for the Vow Renewal in August.  I just cannot wait to see him all dressed up.  Honestly there is nothing sexier to me than a man in a well fitted suit who knows how to put the look together.  For a split second I thought I might forgo my wedding gown and wear my white suit (inspired by Angelina Jolie) that I wore to leave my reception.  However I do not feel super beautiful in it for whatever reason this week.  So I do not know. We will leave it at that. 
7.  Photography. We learn from our mistakes.  Sometimes false truths that we are led to believe before realising that we were misinformed.  Since I love photography and want to share with you my passion for it, I want to dispel with the lies.  You can read more about it in the post this week: Photography and the Lies I Believed
8. To my Winos. I am still doing the #FMSPhotoADay challenge on Instagram.  For the prompt ’empty’ I decided to do a shout out to all my blogger friends who are always sharing their photos with wine to share with you the sadness in my house that is the empty decanter.  What can I say? It has been a tight month.  I am looking forward to going on vacation later next month with my sister so she can talk my ear off about wine and give me a wine tasting.  She is a level II Sommelier and I could not be more proud of her.  So as empty as my decanter is when the budget is tight, so is a piece of my heart when my sister is not near. 
9. My Day Out. Yesterday I had to run into town to return a whole bunch of library books as well as pick up Pride & Prejudice for next months reading.  It was so lovely out while I was in town.  It was warm enough to get away without a jacket and the sun brought everyone outside.  Which was good since as soon as my kids got home from school it rained through to the evening.  Want to see some videos of life here in Bath, England? Those are up on  Instagram too. 
A   L i t t l e   B l u r b   a b o u t   B l o g g i n g   o n   A   C o m p a s s   R o s e :

I am constantly over analyzing every aspect of blogging and of my blog.  Which you might notice is why the design has undergone a evolving face lift over the last week. 

After coming off the Blog Every Day In May challenge I have been trying to streamline my posts so that they are all relevant to ACR.  I really want to join in every link up and think the giveaways are lovely.  However, I want you to know that I will try my best not to bombard you with things that are not related.  
I feel as a blogger over the last few months I have felt pressured to ‘fit in’ and to do what everyone else is doing.  If I give into that mentality I will lose myself, my voice, and my love for blogging.  So here is me just saying that I will continue to strive towards the best I can be for you my readers.

Lastly if there is anything you like, love, or do not like let me know.  Blogging is a learning curve. 

Google Reader is shutting down on Monday.  However there is a wonderful solution: Bloglovin’.  Do you follow ACR on Bloglovin’ yet?  I would love to keep you as a reader, if you have an problems let me know. 

Q: Would you link up to this If I made it an option for next week? A ‘Best Week Ever’ link up?


*Photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved – 

Blog Friends/1

We had a week of warm sunny days here in England only to have friday be cold and rainy.  As we had planned a bbq on the lawns behind the Royal Crescent, I was quite sad to see the rain clouds.  My smile has returned this morning with seeing the beautiful sunshine has returned for the weekend.  It looks like we will be returning to Monkton Farleigh for our first fete in England as expats.  I look forward to showing you photos and a recap from our adventures on our country walk today. 
Do not forget you are Invited to a Tea Party Giveaway!  Check out the link to yesterday’s post to find out how you can score the perfect gifts for a Tea Party from bloggers all around the world! 
I have some pretty amazing sponsors on A Compass Rose.  This month especially and I would like to take today to introduce you to a few of these ladies.  So without further adieu I please meet:

Hi, everyone! I’m Rachel and I write over at Postcards from Rachel, a lifestyle blog. I’m a former expat who loves to post about my family’s travels, recipes, DIY, my two dogs and everyday life. I’d love for you to stop by and say hello!
Hi everyone! My name is Tara and I am the sole person behind Starletta Designs, a handmade jewelry design business. I strive to make affordable jewelry using high quality materials like gemstones, sterling silver and 14kt gold fill. The pieces I create are always limited edition or one of a kind, as I am always creating new designs! I also write a blog; shockingly called Starletta Designs as well. The blog is a mix of personal and business topics.

My Etsy shop: 
Hi there, I’m Rachel, the blogger behind With Love, RachelI write about all of the things that make life wonderful, from adventures in traveling to fabulous shoes. I drink more wine than I probably should, I consider bargain shopping one of my talents, and I often think out my plan for how to survive the zombie apocalypse. I’m also training for my first ever marathon and sharing the challenges that come with it.

The Hi-Life & Love blog is a lifestyle blog about a Hawaiian girl currently living the mainland adventure with her island Marine.  She is a mom, a wife, a Tahitian dancer, and model.  Bella posts about fitness, aspergers, beauty, shopping, cooking, and all things Hawaii.  Guest posts from her teenage daughter and preteen son also are featured on the blog.  She is a military wife that has lived longer outside the mainland US in both Japan and and Hawaii.
The Nectar Collective documents my life as a California girl living and growing in Tokyo, Japan. 
I recently got a dog named Monja, who has a fetish for worn socks and is basically the sidekick to my silly and happy life. I write all about positivity, travel, love, dogs, DIY projects, and how we can each spread our unique nectar to the rest of the world. Come say hi, and have a bright day!

Thank you to these lovely ladies!  If you are interested in joining them on my side bar:

Sponsor – A Compass Rose

You’re Invited to a Tea Party

This month I sponsored Living in Another Language.  Amanda is a teacher living the expat life with her husband in South, Korea.  I am very excited to not only sponsor her expat blog, but to co-host in a  a very international giveaway.  Each blogger was selected from a different country to make this a special themed giveaway from all around the world.  It is like having a penpal when we were little, except that if you win you get packages from several different bloggers with different postages.  Special thank you to all the ladies who accepted to be apart of this giveaway. It means so much to me that you wanted to join in and participate with us.  Of course a big thank you to Amanda for making this all possible and putting together such a creative giveaway for our readers.  I hope you guys love this giveaway as much as I do and will have fun participating!  Thank you for your continual comments, love, and support.  If you have just found me today through the giveaway, thank you for coming over and I look forward to getting to know you better. 
We were all little girls once. We all played tea party with our stuffed animals, dolls, siblings, and parents. But let’s face it…we STILL love tea parties! That’s why I’ve teamed up with a group of awesome girls to send everything you could possibly need for a tea party delivered to your home. :)

 photo giveawayteatime_zps2d38bc9c.jpg1. Bonnie @ A Compass Rose // 2. Amanda @ Living in Another Language // 3. Casey @ We Took The Road Less Traveled// 4. Erica @ Expatria, Baby // 5. Patricia @ Kisses and Croissants // 6. Erica @ To the Sea // 7. Melyssa @ The Nectar Collective

Now on to the part you’ve been waiting for…  photo goods_zps9a9f90f6.jpg1.$10 Gift Card to Jess Vartanian’s Etsy Shop // 2. $10 Gift Card to Sephora // 3. Nail design kit: french mani guides, glitter, nail art paintbrushes, dot pen and more // 4. Polish pottery mug // 5.Beautiful silkscreened tea towel from independent Indonesian designer Tulisan // 6. Domo cup (for tea/coffee!), matcha chocolate, green tea face mask, & ice cream notebook // 7. Tea & a custom made hair fascinator (you choose the color)
1// Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY
2// Winner will be notified via email on Wednesday 6/19/13 or Thursday 6/20/13.
You have two days (48 hours) to respond to winner notification email. If you do not, a new winner will be chosen.
3// Winner will be verified.
4// View the Terms & Conditions listed on the Rafflecopter below
5//Enter away! The more entries you fill out, the more likely you are to win!

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: