Category Archives: blog

My 3 Worst Traits as a Blogger

Day 24, Friday: Your top 3 worst traits

This sort of a question in an interview setting always makes my head draw a blank. I could list list off the many less than flattering things I think about myself but is that what you really want to hear?  I have decided to look at my three worst traits as a blogger, and hope that you’ll forgive me and still want to be  my blogger friend. 😀 

My 3 Worst Traits as a Blogger 


1) I am a procrastinator. I equate it to being a student in school that has 30 days to work on a paper.  Said student puts the research off until the last few days, does not start writing it until the day before, and then runs on to campus to get it in before the deadline.  Yes that is me in the blogger world.  It was actually probably worse when I was only blogging once a week.  Now that I blog daily it has helped me in that regard so much.  I started making an organized schedule of what I will post every day of the week and trying to schedule the week’s posts on Sundays.  However if presented with a deadline I still find myself putting it off until the last possible moment. Or worse yet (and hoping it never happens again) emailing my blogger friend to see if it is too late to turn something in.  Fortunately for me when this happened yesterday Mish was super helpful and kind.  Which has further reminded me to make sure I schedule everything so that I do not eventually get pulled into a Google Hangout with my blogger friends for an Intervention.  

2) I am a Twitter novice. I am not sure when I actually joined twitter because I used to tweet on an older private account.  I mainly tweeted with the few friends who had twitter and followed my favourite celebs.  Tweeting back in 2009 did not mean what it means to me now in 2013.  Back then it was more of a conversation, like instant messaging, between friends when we were not together, similar to facebook. Today however I see a purpose in it as a blogger and as a business owner with Bonnie Rose Photography.  Also most of my facebook friends do not use twitter and following mostly celebs can lose its enticement after a while.  Since I blog about being an expat, tck, and traveler I love reading tweets around the world from similar bloggers. With that said I still do not think I know what I am doing when it comes to Twitter.  Especially when it comes to promoting my posts.  I feel like I either do not promote them at all or too much or not well enough. All these questions run in my head about it. Do I misuse the hashtags? Could I be doing hashtags better? More importantly do my hashtags on Instagram drive you crazy? I think I overanalyze everything about my social media marketing. 

3) I still use my phone camera sometimes. I admit it and I am here to say that I am not happy about it.   Not to say I do not love sharing my instagram photos because I do.  But I have owned professional cameras and work as a portrait photographer. I should never be relying on my iPhone 4 for photographs.  When the lighting is amazing I am not too ashamed of the photographs, but in less than perfect lighting the grain comes in and I cringe.  So maybe I’m a photo snob.  But I also know I love my posts way more when I have photos from my Nikon DSLR and I figure my readers do too.  I know with my prescheduled posts this is not so much of an issue, but with my ‘on the fly’ posts I tend to rely on my phone.  Admitting I have a problem is the first step right? 

So with negative I have to follow with positives.

I plan to be better at working against procrastination, to learn more about how to use twitter better, and to share more high quality photographs on my blog.  :)



*photographs found here  are sourced.

My Blog’s Archive Faves from 2005 – 2013

Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

This was my original header I created in 2006 for my blog design when it was called ‘Mummy Paparazzi .  I have always clung to my ties to having been born in England and the Union Jack has always been prominent in the design.  It was not until 2012 I started thinking about changing the blog title and changing the theme from a mummy blog to a Travel, TCK and Expat Lifestyle Blog.  

I have not yet made a Archival of popular or favourite posts so completing today’s prompt took me a little longer than I had expected.  I put some of the most popular posts in categories below.  Since I have only really joined the community of bloggers as of 2013 there are many posts since 2005 (back when the blog was called Mummy Paparazzi) that do not show up in popular searches.  My very first post Waiting in the Wings was written fifteen days before I gave birth to my first son.  I love to look back through old posts and find things from which I had forgotten. For example Get Cheese-y Wit it is about the pet mice we had in Hawaii. The older posts are photo heavy as it was more about sharing recent snaps of our life with my parents. Then with the loss of my dad and dealing with a shaky marriage, blogging again fell to the sidelines.  I have never kept up the blog when things in my personal life were not as great as the photos I was sharing. It took moving to Europe in 2011 to start our Expat life that my blog started coming back to life every week with a new post. Bon Fire Night was my first post on November 5th, 2011 since my blog was resuscitated back to life. I love that post because I got to share a favourite childhood memory in the present with my husband and sons in our new life in England. Christmas in London and Leaves in London may be my favourite posts from 2011.  In 2012, I started sharing a lot more of my fashion photography and guest posts on Manifold Magazine (A Night out in London). However I think my favourite posts are New Years with our self portrait holiday photos, Doctor Who Experience, Snow Day, PopArt SuperHero Party, Saturday Picnic, and Halloween. All the posts below come from the most popular and favourite posts of 2013.  As this is the first organized look of posts through out the time of  A Compass Rose (and Mummy Paparazzi), I hope you will have fun checking out the links and exploring the blog.  It has evolved since its creation eight years ago and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store. 
A Personal Look:
Travel Posts:
TCK & Expat Posts:

I am a TCK & an Expat
My Expat Life
Moving Abroad
A Few Favourite (Expat) Bloggers
Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. I
Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. II

Ugly Tourists Make Me Uncomfortable

Q: Do you have a favourite post from my blog that I have not mentioned?  I will be making a better archival page for ‘new readers’ soon and would love any feedback or advice! x


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

A Few Favourite Bloggers

Day 19, Sunday: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them.  There are several blogs I check daily every morning for new posts and stalk follow on twitter. I tried hard to share with you only five but you get seven instead. 😉 

Aspiring Kennedy
I love Lauren. We go back to summer camp in cabin 5 and later as students at University. I love reading her blog because her infectious fun personality really shines through her posts. That and I love that we now have more in common as adults now that she also lives the expat life in England and is now raising a daughter. While her blog now has a proud mummy element as she now embarks on life as a parent, she still sticks to her original theme of a lifestyle blog. If you like to live vicariously through other expat and travel blogs, Aspiring Kennedy is perfect as Lauren is always off traveling somewhere new or trying out a new cafe for afternoon tea. 
American Expat with a daughter in London, England.

Expatria, Baby
I knew as soon as I found Erica’s blog that I was here to stay. As a photographer I am in love with her style of expat lifestyle and travel photographs. Her blog truly documents her expat life as a mummy blogger. Indonesia had not been on my radar before but now as an avid reader of Expatria, Baby I have added it another place to which I would love to travel. What really draws me to Erica is her true expat spirit of adventure and exploring the world around her with her daughter in tow. She has a great way of showing what life is like through her daughter’s eyes too.

Canadian Expat married to a Swiss, with a daughter in Indonesia

From There To Here
I have only just recently found out about this blog and it is already one of my favourites. Jay now lives in Norway but also previously lived in Gabon, Africa. I love to read about the places she has been and she writes so eloquently and paired with beautiful photographs. She does a really great job at taking the reader along on the ride in her posts as you travel vicariously through her blog. I look forward to getting to know her better and reading more about her life now in Norway. Oslo has always been one of my favourite places to where I have traveled and so her current location was a magnetic attraction when I first found out about From There to Here.

Canadian Expat in Norway

Casey Cote
I have to admit that I really love Casey’s blog, We Took The Road Less Traveled, because it is a life I had hoped my husband and I could have experienced when he was in the military. Having been stationed in Stuttgart as a girl myself, I love to read about Casey’s life in Germany as a military wife. I love that they take full advantage of their time stationed abroad to enjoy life on the economy and immerse themselves in local culture. She is currently on vacation seeing more of Europe and following her travels is favourite thing about her blog. Her posts are full of life and I find it so fun to read about and see the photos from their latest adventures in Europe.

US Military Wife stationed in Germany

Twitter: @CaseyCote

Living in Another Language
As a nomadic person by birth I am not surprised that I can find kindred spirits in others that live across the world. Amanda is definitely one of those people and I have really enjoyed getting to know more about her through her blog and talking with her on twitter. It can be fun seeing what you have in common with other bloggers. She is also a military brat, is living the expat life, and is also married to a guy who loves to cook and work on motorcycles. While some bloggers show photos of their kids, she has an adorable bunny named Jazz. I think its cool because my husband and I had a bunny named Pippin (and later renamed Harriet when we found out it was a girl) when we first got married too. Since I live in Europe I love following along to her life in Asia. She is a photography lover and so you get photography filled posts and Instagram updates of her life in Korea.

Former military kid living the Expat life teaching in South Korea

Lost in Travels
Chelsea’s blog has been one of my favourites since I found it through another blog where her eye catching button was displayed. I have not stopped following her blog since and have enjoyed getting to know her better. I come away from Lost in Travels blog with the motivation that if you want to do something or go somewhere, you should do it! After getting married she and her husband left the US to travel the world, experience new cultures, and share adventures together. It comes off to me like a modern day expat fairytale, something I would have dreamed of as a younger nomadic girl myself. She keeps it real as she shares the heart of life living and teaching in Korea. Plus she does a great job at sharing her own experiences to aid others in life as an expat and with advice for having a blog. I love that she is very genuine and caring and I ;look forward to continuing following her adventures around the world.

American Expat couple teaching in South Korea

Across the Pond

I found Meg’s blog through Lauren (blog mentioned above) and became an instant follower. I love following her blog because as a person she comes across as having a huge heart and from hearing her story, she comes off as being a very strong individual. She moved abroad with her previous relationship and to go to school and started her blog to document and share her experiences in Europe. She now is getting ready to leave and repatriate back to California as a newlywed to a man from Northern Ireland. I really look forward to following their story as they begin their new life in the US together. As I follow mostly expat and travel blogs, it will be cool to see her life married to an Irish expat in Sunny California.

Newlywed Expat in Scotland getting ready to repatriate back to California

Thank you for looking through some of my favourite blogs, these are some extraordinary women and they all inspire me to continue to live life internationally. I think the general theme is ‘Girl Gone International’ which is the name of an amazing magazine I now have the pleasure of taking part in and of being involved. You can follow on twitter at @girlgoneintl, online at the website:


*photographs found here today do not belong to me but to the blogs to which I have credited. 

Hats? I wear many different shoes!

Today is the sixth day of May with the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  Feel free to join in and if you catch this anytime through out the month feel free to just jump right in.  

Day 6, Monday: If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question, ‘what do you do’?

This question may be as easy to answer as ‘where are you from?’. Which my means my answer will be not simple, nor short.   What ‘I do’ has evolved with each location we move to and can change from month to month.  Already as a wife and a mum of two, I wear a variety of ‘hats’ as they say. However I really think the expression should be ‘I Wear Many Shoes’ because as a female I do have an obsession with shoes.  As I am a photographer, I have decided to be ‘less wordy’ today and just share with you in photos of what ‘I do’.  

In no specific order here is what ‘I do’ and the many shoes I wear:

I currently work from home. I blog and will be starting as an editor at 

I am a travel photographer and really enjoy writing about being a TCK, an Expat, and Travel. 
I really enjoy being a portrait photographer for children and families.

I work as professional portrait and wedding photographer with a background in fashion photography.

I am a trained cosmetologist and up until this year worked in salons. 
I also love doing creative work outside the salon with other photographers.

I do makeup for makeovers, brides, models, and photo shoots.  
I am also trained in makeup artistry which is fun for creative looks like this or for flawless look for brides. 

I am an assistant on shoots. Really I just love being creative and being a part of the creative processes.
I model. I’m joking.  I have ‘modeled’ but more for fun and to create some fun projects with other photographers.
These were created by the lovely Jacquie in a conceptual boudoir project as a hairstylist. 

I am a wife and I work daily on our marriage. I  am planning our  vow renewal for August. 
I go on long walks on the weekend in the country side with my family.  We are kinda obsessed with country walks.
I am enthusiast of natural alternatives when it comes to what we eat and beauty regimens. I love Coconut oil. 
I am a traveler and a global nomad.  I feel most at home on an airplane or in an airport headed to a new destination.
I take creative conceptual self portraits. Which means I look really crazy to people passing by but all for the sake of art. 

I cultivate the love of art, history, and culture in my sons.  Pictured here at the museum in London, England.

I read and promote the love of books in my sons.  We read together and they read ‘chapter books’ on their own.

I may be doing something more on to this in the months to come but basically I am just a person that includes ‘living life’ on my list of things that I do.  I live live life by loving those around me and enjoying every moment!

Q: What do you do?
Read about Day: |1|2|3|4|5|

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

Quotes for Nomads

Today is the fourth day of May with the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  
Feel free to join in and if you catch this anytime through out the month feel free to just jump right in.  

Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Day 4, Saturday: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it
I love finding quotes and I wish I could hold to memory many to be recited in the perfect situation.  Perhaps in another life I will be blessed with a photographic memory.  One reason I love to read is to come across words that speak to your inner core.  Although the prompt was for one, I have three favourite quotes to share with you.  These quotes speak to a very personal level with me as a nomad and traveler.  The first is spoken by the Narrator in the film adaptation of the book Chocolat

But still the clever north wind was not satisfied. 
It spoke…of towns yet to be visited, 
friends in need yet to be discovered, 
battles yet to be fought.” 
– Chocolat

The reason I love this quote so much is because it really speaks to me as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and now as an ATCK. I have people constantly coming in and out of my life with moving so frequently. It has made me feel like I have lived a ‘normal’ person’s lifetime in my mere thirty years.  I am always being called to some place new and get itchy feet when I have not traveled to somewhere recently.  To me the purpose of life is the experiences and I want to experience all the world has to offer.  Those lines spoken by the narrator really tap into that nomadic existence and has been a favourite amongst my other TCK friends.  

The second quote is from one of my favourite authors, Tolkien.  I have been a huge fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series from a young age.  I read from the same books to my kids that my dad used to read from to me.  If I ever wanted to get a quote tattooed on my body it would probably be the following. 

Not all those who wander are lost.” 
– J.R.R.Tolkien
As a TCK, you can feel that you do not belong anywhere or that you do not have a home.  You move so much and wander this world to have roots in one place.  However I feel enriched in this truth. Which is why the statement about not being lost hits home to me. To be fair this quote is taken out of a poem which is found in his book, The Fellowship of the Ring, twice and is a lovely poem in its own right.  The poem is about the ranger, Aragorn, who later takes his place as King.  The first time the poem is mentioned it is in a letter to the Hobbits from Gandalf, before the Hobbits know that Strider is indeed Aragorn. 
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
– J.R.R.Tolkein
My last quote to share with you today is from another of my favourite authors, Earnest Hemingway.  I would have to say my favourite books of his are A Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast.  This quote is from the latter.  For me it really fits in with how cities, countries, and cultures embed themselves in my life and stay apart of me forever.  
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, 
then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, 
for Paris is a moveable feast.
– Ernest Hemingway 

Read about Day: |1|2|3|

Q: Have you read any of these books and do you like these quotes too?  
Or do you have other quotes that speak to you as a traveler?  
Would love to hear your thoughts!

Bonnie Rose

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

Travel: Ugly Tourists make me Uncomfortable

Today is the third day of May with the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  
Feel free to join in and if you catch this anytime through out the month feel free to just jump right in.  

Day 3, Friday: Things that make you uncomfortable

Traveling with or being around the ‘Ugly Tourist’ makes me very much uncomfortable.  Given that I stand out already with an American accent if you are an offender from the US of A, I will want to put as much distance between us as possible.  Coincidentally I have movstly lived in highly touristy areas giving me plenty of run ins with the Ugly Tourist.  While some can be outrageously obnoxious I have realized others are just ignorant to traveling outside of your country.  You cannot correct what you do not know to be wrong. Perhaps this will be enlightening to some to help you in your upcoming travels abroad. For the rest of you who want to run for the hills when getting too close to these un-savvy travelers, feel free to comment below with your own stories.  

I Feel Uncomfortable by Ugly Tourists Who…
…Will Not Try New Foods. 
They are the ones you find eating at well known fast food franchises instead of local cuisine. Or who ask for traditional dishes from their home country whether or not it is on the menu.  Personally for me to experience a culture you have to experience their food.  We had the opportunity to live in Hawaii for a few years which is rich in a variety of Asian restaurants. My sons still have a great love for dim sum, pho, pancit, and sushi to name a few.  However, we had people visit us who would not even allow us to take them to a restaurant that did not serve ‘American food’ (their quote not mine).  I grew up in a family that moved and traveled in Europe through out my childhood. We took a trip to Poland and ordered blindly off a menu and ate whatever came. I highly suggest putting the experience over the comfort because you can always eat at home what you would eat normally. 
…Who Expect Different Portion Sizes.
This may be more geared towards the ‘Ugly Americans’ opposed to tourists from other nations. It is no secret that many Americans are overweight and it is brought up in conversation with me by people here in the UK.  Food portions outside of America in other countries can be much smaller. Even when it comes to drinks you have to remember glass sizes will be smaller and without refills. If you are still hungry or still thirsty you can always order more. 
…Are Not Modest.
Many places that tourists go to visit when on vacation include places of worship.  However not all tourists are familiar with the modesty rules to go inside these places.  If you are female you more than likely will not be admitted inside if you are wearing short skirts or shorts and if your shoulders are not covered.  Some places also may request that the female covers her head with a shawl.  Last year in a  church in Italy I lost count of how many times our guide had to interrupt himself to stop a female tourist from coming inside due to modesty issues.  The best thing to do is to plan your trip and then dress accordingly to the day.  Some places will provide shawls that you can use to cover your shoulders, but you should not rely on that assumption. 
…Dress Like A  Slob.
Obvious to most you should really wear clean clothes.  However you really can stick out as a tourist by looking like a slob in context to the country you are visiting.  If you are traveling to Europe the rule of thumb is to wear well tailored clothes and only wear tennis shoes if you are going to the gym. That does not mean you have to wear a suit when on vacation. Just take a look online of what the locals wear in the country and dress to impress.  As a traveler you only get a first impression by locals when interacting in the country.  In this case appearances do mean something. 
…Brings Their Obnoxious Attitudes.
I dislike to point fingers but when I found out that the cast of the Jersey Shore was going to Italy I immediately cringed.  Having grown up in Italy twice I never met anyone who acted and spoke the way the Jersey Shore cast does, despite their Italian heritage.  Know that you are a guest in the host country and you will be watched and judged accordingly.  You are representing your whole country back home when abroad so be the best representation of it.  Dial down the personality as you resepect the country you are visiting.
…Do No Respect A Country’s History.
Those tourists who see things and then make remarks about how they have ‘old thing’s back home too. Or who bring up the past history and make very rude remarks or questions to the locals.  Tread carefully and do not compare your home country to the host country.  It is very beneficial to read up about the country before you travel.  It will give you a new found respect and make you more informed about the country instead of only knowing about the beach or party scene of that location.
…Feels Entitled In Their Host Country.
I remember being on my honeymoon in Cozumel, Mexico and it was my husband’s first time out of the United States and Canada.  The US Coast Guard was there and we unfortunately kept running into them at the hotel or out in town. I say unfortunately because they were the young naive tourist type who spoke and acted very loudly.  We remember one such loud conversation they had with the hotel concierge about not getting the right room on the argument of ‘but WE are the US Coast Guard!’. 
…Criticizes Cultural Differences And Customs as Strange.
Remember that you are a guest.  People will watch and listen to you more carefully because of that fact.  Especially if you are in a group.  The slight comments you make when you dont understand the culture or find something strange, keep to the hotel room. You will not only be offending people and the country but coming across as very rude.  Just because something is different does not make it wrong.
…Speak Loudly To Non English Speaking People In English.
It does not matter how loud you talk or how loud and slowly you yell people will not understand you better. They will only understand how rude you are. I was in a 7-Eleven buying water in Thailand when an American family was talking louder and louder to the shop keeper.  At the point where their tone got angry as well as loud I put down my water and took my business elsewhere.  No one wants to be around that. 

…Get Frustrated With the Locals For Not Speaking English.
Which leads us to the next point of do not get upset just because the locals do not speak your language. While it can be frustrating and even a bit scary to not be able to communicate, keep your attitude in check.  It is not a written rule that everyone should speak English or which ever language you are trying to speak.  Take a breath and move on.
…Expect The Host Country To Be Like The USA.
People and customs differ from country to country. It can be easy to assume small things will be the same in the host country, so do not get frustrated when things end up being different.  I smiled kindly to a waitress after having a family member visiting asking for ice for her drink.  Do not expect to always find things like ice cubes, air conditioning, central heating, king size beds, flat sheets, english menus, etc when in the host country.  Further more asking for it or asking why it is not available is not the best way to act.  Accept the differences and focus on the perks of the host country.  
Whether you learned something or just shook your head in remembrance of an Ugly Tourist you have met let me know what you thought in the comment section below. 

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VLOG: Interacting with Third Culture Kids

Today is the second day of May with the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  Feel free to join in and if you catch this anytime through out the month feel free to just jump right in.  I will be posting my normal posts, so you get a special treat of two different posts for each day this month. Read about Day 1.

Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you’d like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

I decided to do a VideoLog (VLOG) on how to interact with Third Culture Kids (TCKs).  
I hope you find this informative and if you would like to know more about TCKs click the top link.
I wrote out what I wanted to say for 80% of this and the rest was just me talking. You will be able to tell when I run out of my ‘script’ because I will start saying ‘um’ frequently. I apologize and I hope to get better at my future VLOGS.  Unfortunately my editing software did not want to corporate today.  Let me know if you liked this VLOG and if you would like me to do more of them on the blog.