Category Archives: Friends

Meet up in the Park

The day before we left for Wales we had our first meet up with our friends who would be going up with us.  Ryan and I had met both Miriam and Grant at University before they even started dating.  Miriam had been my RA and we met Grant through the theatre department.  I was really excited that they would be able to be here for our vow renewal as Grant had attended our wedding ten years ago and both of them had come to the hospital to visit us when Ronan was born eight years ago.  That was the last time we had seen them and now they have three boys and one on the way.  Right away sons started playing together and we enjoyed a wonderful bbq in the park here in Bath, England.  It was a perfect start to our vacation and what would be our 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal week. 

Q: Have you ever gotten together with friends you have not seen in a long time? Best memory?

*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

HI – Life & Love

Today is the fifth 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 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don’t have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member.

Let me start this off by saying that I feel blessed to the number of bloggers out there that I consider friends.  Though I have been blogging off and on since 2005, it has only been now in 2013 that I have started blogging every day and interacting with the blogger community.  To be honest I did not know much about it before.  No offense to my  mum (I love you) only family members seemed to read my blog and rarely comment. Now that this whole world of bloggers has been opened to me, I daily read other blogs and interact via twitter and instagram.  My only regret is not knowing about this community back when I moved to England in 2011.  Especially when it comes to the other Expat bloggers.  I could have easily chosen a few different bloggers in the ‘Expat’ category for this post.  I held back because of my TCK personality. I tend to grab on to friendships fast (bipassing whatever social norm of stages it takes to become a ‘best friend’).  To be fair as brave as I am I was a bit afraid to say ‘hey I love this girl!’ even though I may have only been blogging alongside you in this expat life for the last 4 months, 2 months, or even week. Sometimes it can be a little disheartening to keep reading and commenting on blogs where the author never comes over here to read my own.  But I keep up with the truth that friendships are more about giving, than receiving.  Thats why I blog to share myself and to give to others.  
I hope even in despite of times when I get busy or overwhelmed in real life that I can still give and be there for you.  If you feel that I am missing out on something or not keeping up feel free to embarrass me on twitter. I joke, but honestly  I just love making friends and I do not want anyone to feel alienated or alone. This may be my blog, but I have started blogging in 2013 to build friendships with people all over the world.
Behind the Scenes in front of Diamond Head on a photo shoot. She was modeling  and I was the hair & make up artist.

Without further adieu I would like to introduce you to a blogger friend of mine who started out as a real life best friend first.  She actually started blogging because I asked her too. To be fair I surprised her with a designed blog so all she would have to do is start writing and sharing photos.  I can be a bit persistent  😉  She is even more beautiful inside than she is on the outside with a big heart.  She loves her family so much and her blog is focused around her Ohana.  We met while both being stationed in Hawaii with branches of the military.  She is currently on the mainland but will be returning soon to her home on Oahu.  I met her in 2007 and since that time we have both been through a lot. There have been friends that fell off along the way or whom I realized were not friends for the right reasons.  However she and I came through it better friends than when we first met.  I am honoured to call her my best friend.  She is my ISFL (Italian Sister For Life) as I grew up in Italy and she has Italian blood.  She blogs over at HI-Life & Love and her name is Tammy.
Modeling & Photo Shoots

Around the time that I was working on more photo shoots as hair & makeup artist I started getting into photography as well.  I really wanted to keep spending more time with my friend, Tammy, and so I encouraged her to get into the modeling scene in Hawaii.  It was great because we had a common interest we could share together away from the military world. So while I tried to look for some awesome candid of us at Starbucks or on the beach, most of my photographs are from photo shoots. To be fair these were some of my favourite memories together.  Despite how stressful life can be, photo shoots were fun because it was a get away into a different world.  Besides what girl doesn’t like getting to dress up in new clothes, have her hair and make up done, and feel pretty in front of a camera?  

Two of my favourite photo shoots with Tammy were ones where I was behind the camera.  The first was shot for my project ‘Secret Lies of Men & Women’ where we addressed the issue of domestic abuse.  The ‘Polynesian Dancer’ shoot was one of my last shoots before I left the island. 

Why I love reading her blog :

This is my list of why I think you will love reading her blog.  Especially if you want to escape to the life of living on an island or being by the beach you will love her.
Hi-Life&Love is a Hawaiian Lifestyle Blog.

She is love and is not afraid to proclaim it.  Life is empty without love and withit the world is beautiful.

She is loving mom of two, who also shares the joys of raising a son with Aspergers.  (side note: her son created this piece of artwork and I love it.  Its really beautiful to see how he sees the world)

She posts about her wardrobe and how she keeps her hair so healthy, shiny, and long.
I always remember her having such beautiful nails.  As someone whose nails always chip after a day,  I enjoy her posts to see what creative colours and designs she chooses.
She is motivated to fitness and shares how she has gotten her rock hard abs over and over again.
Her heart is also in the kitchen and she posts about the yummy creations that she makes in there.  I made a pie last year from her crust recipe and it was the best tasting pie I ever made.  (thank you Tammy!)
She is also an amazing friend.  Here with my Island Ohana.

Thank you for taking the time to read through about one of my blogger besties.

Thank you also for all of you who visit my blog, who leave comments,

who talk with me on twitter, and like my photos on instagram. 

I look forward to seeing these beautiful blogger friendships grow this year. 

Read about Day: |1|2|3|4|

*photographs found here either belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | or belong to Tammy of Hi-Life&Love blog.  Please get in contact if interested in any photographs shown on A Compass Rose.

Ohana Means Family…

“…and family means nobody gets left behind.” – Lilo & Stitch

Behind the scenes for a photo shoot while we were both living on Oahu.
During my time in Hawaii I met one of my best friends.
We still keep in weekly contact though we are now divided by oceans.
But of our lives have gone through a lot from our first North Shore meet up,
but it has brought that much closer.  Friends like that become more like family.
In Hawaii we call that your Ohana and I am very excited to
share my Ohana with you because she has recently joined the blogger world.
 Stop over at Hi-Life & Love and give her a warm welcome!

Embracing our Italian Sisterhood at the Jersey Shore last Summer.


Ronan and mummy in 2005.

No I am not pregnant.  Though I have been diagnosed with a bad case of baby fever.  My temporary remedy is living vicariously through all my friends who are having babies.  Recently it seems like the number of those involved in family growing is way up.  My newsfeed on facebook is filled with people pregnant, ready to give birth, or showing off their precious bundles of joy.  Those little babies just grow up so fast.  I can attest to that fact because my sweet babies are now eight and five years old respectfully.  My eldest just had his brithday this past month and I can hardly believe eight years have gone by.  In that same amount of time he will be sixteen and that just seems unfathomable.  I would love in the next few years to have one more and try for my girl. I’ve only had her name picked out since 2004. 😉

With my sweet Ronan in 2005.
I have been looking back through the photos of Ronan when he was born.  My husband, son, and I  have all changed quite a bit since those photos were taken.  It was the end of our days in University and were were so young.  Neither of our parents were able to be there for the birth, but we had a lot of friends from campus come visit.  I realized the baby pattern I mentioned above is quite true with our friends in the pictures below.  My high school bff and roommate at Harding University now has her own precious little girl.  We went to summer camp with Lauren (also pictured) is expecting or is now a new mum.   Then my friends Grant & Miriam have three sweet boys and have just announced they are expecting again.  Getting older is not so depressing, as it is so beautiful to see how well everyone is doing.  Children are such a blessing.  
My BFF from HS in Italy and Uni roommate, Caroline, with Ronan
My cabin-mate from Camp and friend from Uni, Lauren, with Ronan 
Friends from University, Miriam & Grant with Ronan

So until that time when we announce another one is on its way, you can find me on Pinterest pinning away things on Pregnancy, Oh Baby, and When I Have a Girl.   What will be her name?  You’ll just have to stick around and find out. 😉 
PS. Lauren and +Miriam Pinkston  you both are in my thoughts. 
P.P.S. Cannot wait to meet your sweet girl Caroline

Friends and Fun in Brighton

‘Best friend’ @evanofthemount
#masseffect #maycreative #photoadaychallenge

Sign in the loft at the Vodka Revolution club. 
At the NSC Summer Ball in Brighton

‘Snack': a shot glass of seeds, nuts, and dried berries. #photoadaymay #photoadaychallenge

Feels like Cinderella. Must get back before midnight or my boys turn into gremlins…wait wrong film reference.

The white wine smells like ferrets.
  • Listening to IR students debate while I eat dessert and drink wine. Feel more at home with all these Europeans than I have with the Brits.
Ran in the rain in my heels to catch train to Brighton. Shout out to ‘my friends’ at the car wash for your sentiments on my appearance. 😉

Observation & Quiz

Today was a nice change of pace.  Instead of my usual home-work locations, I had two other locations to head to today.  This morning I got to go to my son’s school to observe him in the classroom setting.  It was really fun to see him in class and to get some great ideas for when we homeschool.  This evening  Ryan sent me out of the house to hang out with his friends for a Pub Quiz night.  This was my very first pub quiz and I was quite excited to take part.  Tried the Bulmer’s pear cider for the first time too.  Though the quiz questions were not all that easy for me I did fairly good at picking out the celebrities in the photo portion. 
Maddox and his classmates at playtime.  
Quiz Night

With Ryan’s friend Krista from Uni
Quiz night at the pub in Brighton tonight with Ryan’s Uni friends.

Just finished observation day with Maddox in class. Really helpful in planning his new curriculum. Oh to four years old again.

‎”As much as death takes from us, it also gives. It teaches us what is truley important.” #DesperateHousewives

The Sun comes out and we flock to the Beach.

The Sun came out today and so everyone flocked to the beach at Brighton.  After picking up the boys from school we decided to meet up with Ryan’s friends. But by the time we got to Brighton the sun hid behind the clouds and the temperature dropped again.  Ryan’s friends had become reclusive to their apartment and we had the beach to ourselves.  As the light started to go down we decided to seek warmth at the pub for dinner.  But not before we got some new family photos on the shores of Brighton Beach.

“Stelllllllllllaaaaaa!” The pebbles at Brighton beach make great can holders. 
Posing with my partner Ryan on the rocks at Brighton Beach. 
Seagulls flying around the coast. 
My little family. 

Kisses at the beach.  
Found a heart at Brighton Beach. 
DIY Bottle candle holder at the pub. 
My little Mr. Fashionista 

‎”Why is Mummy laughing?” asked my eldest son. “That’s her nervous laugh. She does that when I make fun of her,” my husband replied.