Category Archives: guestblogger

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. 

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.

TCK & Expat: 10 Steps to Keeping in Touch with Friends

This is the third part to a series about Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and friendships. In the first two parts,  TCK: Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. I and TCK: Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. II the focus was on the effects a nomadic life has on friendships.  While some friendships can remain intact, many and most slowly slip away with each move to a new location.  When facing the cycle of continual loss, how can you recover and maintain your social circles?

“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.” – Wikipedia on the Definition of a TCK

Nomadic children and ATCK (Adult Third Culture Kids) are also joined by the Expat adults when it comes to having to say goodbye to friendships and hello to new ones.  Having to constantly make new relationships as an adult has already proven itself as harder than when we were kids.  You are no longer in an education system forced to spend hours every day with your peers.  You are in the work place and in the community where friendships now have had time to really grow for those who do not move away.  It can prove challenging to break into social groups.  However challenging it opens you up to a new world of relationships and experiences.  So what do you do now when you have to say goodbye and move to another city, country, or continent?  What about the friends you leave behind and how do they adjust to your departure? Is there a way to return to old friendships after you get busy with your own separate lives?

My tips for keeping in touch with your friends:

1. Use the Phone.  Whether your friend is in the same or different country you can more than likely keep in contact every month with the phone.  There is nothing like hearing the voice of your friend and even a quick five minute call can do wonders for a long distance friendship. If you are unable to phone your friend, due to long distance charges, there are many smart phone aps that you can use to converse with your friend. Send free messages and calls with Viber, send free messages with Whatsapp, and send free messages and video chat with Skype and Google Hangout.  The point is to keep that open channel of communication.

  1. 2. Write letters. By this I mean get actual paper and write a letter to your friend that you can send through the mail.  Email is great because you can quickly send something off and it will be received instantly. While that is perfect for social networking and business it can really lack the personal touch that can help a friendship flourish.  If you ever had a penpal when you were younger you can remember how great it was to recieve a letter in the mail and find out what your friend has been up too.  Just remember to send the letter after you write it. It can be too easy to put off taking it ot the post office and letting the contents of the letter become old and irrelevent.  Sometimes when you have not written a letter in a while it can be hard to get it started.  Just think about what you would like to know about the friend you are sending it too and share that bit of information from your life.  Let your friend know what you have been up too.  Pretend like you are talking to them when you write your letter and do not worry about being boring.  Just put your personality and how you normally talk in conversation into the letter and talk from the heart. 
3. Send Cards and Care packages. Surprises in the mail are the best, so why not surprise your friend with a nice note card from your local stationary shop? Or better yet put together a care package full of items that remind you of your friend and local delicacies from the place where you are currently living.  It is a great way to show to your friend that you care and are thinking of them.  Plus sending them items from your current home can help connect them to your current life.  If they use to live where you live now, getting a care package with some of their favourite and now hard to get items will certainly brighten their day. Just remember that sometimes it is the littlest things (ie inexpensive gifts and trinkets) that can show how much you care.
4. Use Electronic Mail. Of course  make sure you both have each other’s e-mail addresses so you can keep in contact online.  As great as ‘snail mail’ can be, it can also be great to just quickly check in online with your friends.  Especially during stressful times and during hardships, being able to get a quick message or make sure your frined is okay shows how valuable email can be.   
5. Chat Online. You can also use instant messenger services online.  For example with MSN, AIM, Yahoo, and Google you can talk with your friends and do so all at once in a chat. There is nothing like turning on your computer and checking your inbox for updates from your friends.  
6. Video Chat.  Face time can be some of the best time shared between friends who are separated by distance.  There is nothing like being able to see your friend and watch their reactions as you talk.  Video conferencing now a days is even better than when it was first available to the public.  Using services such as Google Hangout you can talk to more than one friend all at the same time.  Depending on the quality of the connection it can be the next best thing to seeing your friend in person. 
7.  Make Plans.  It is easier to keep in touch with friends when you know you have plans to see each other.  Before it use to be hard to return back home because in the nomadic community that means the home you once knew may not be the same one to where your return.  It becomes not only the question to how you will get there, but where will you stay, where will you go when you get there and what do you do with your things when you do? Using the website Friends of Friends Travel, you can plan your next trip to see each other or even travel together to a new destination. The best part of FOF Travel is that you keep your travel network within your friends and their friends so when you travel you know that you are safe.  Within your travel network you have many different services you offer and take advantage of complimentary. Be it a place stay, a change to meet up with a trustworthy and friendly local, somewhere to leave your stuff, and access to travel advice and tips.  If you become a premium member at FOF Travel you get access to a whole line of travel services that include (and not limited to) flights, travel insurance and tour packages.  No longer do you have to reminisce about the good time and wish you could go back to the places you once lived and where you have traveled.  The world is at your fingertips with your social travel network at FOF Travel.  All you have to do then is make a plan to see each other.  Where you go from there is up to you. 
8. Be Assertive.  Step up and contact your friend.  Do not wait on them to make the first move, for them to check up on you, or to get a letter from them.  Make it your responsibility to keep in touch. Friendship is a two way street, but sometimes all it needs is a jump start from one end to revive itself.
9. Ask questions.  It is so easy to share information about our own lives. Make sure to think about questions a head of time and even write them down if you need too.  Keep your friendship strong by making sure the relationship is not all about you.  Even if you have known someone a long time, by asking questions you are letting them know you care and letting them be open with you about how they feel about a certain subject.  In turn they are letting you into their life, sharing themselves with you and furthering the bond of trust in the relationship.  The important part is to make sure your friend knows that you care about them. 
10. Go with the Flow. Friendships and relationships all have peaks and valleys.  Do not get strung out or dramatic when at times things dont seem to be the same as they used to be.  Just go with the flow and work on the above steps to keep your friendship refreshed.  
*See this Article on Friends of Friends Travel:
**For more information on Third Culture Kids, TCKs, and ATCKS
***Photographs and wording belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights reserved | 

Guest Post: ‘Make Me Look’

Today I am pleased to share with you a guest post by my featured sponsor this month, Melissa from Make Me Look.  Not only is she an amazing make up artist and up can coming photographer, she is one of my best friends.  We met on the island of Oahu, working together on photo shoots.  If you have been following my blog, you have seen some of our collaborations together on my throw back Thursday photography posts.  I love Melissa because she is loving, creative, driven, and beautiful inside and out. Without further adieu, I leave you with Melissa and her post:
Melissa and I when she came to visit me in England last year. 

As a Makeup Artist with over 10 years of experience, I had the desire for a more lasting form of beauty. 
This lead me to pick up the camera and create both the palette and the image.  
I recently created a website called “Make Me Look,” 
which is where I create looks that can easily be recreated on anyone.

I love all forms of beauty, but I most enjoy bringing out a woman’s natural and innate beauty. 
Makeup can be fun and simple, and should never be taken too seriously.  
I have been freelancing for Chanel Cosmetics for almost 3 years.  
I really relate to their makeup style, which always enhances, as opposed to covering up.  
When I’m not doing makeup or taking photos, you can find me in the kitchen 
making my own coconut milk, almond butter, and just about any other condiment you can think of.  
As soon as my short layover in Virginia is over, 
I hope to spend a few years in Europe, soaking up the fashion and culture.  
My ultimate goal is to open my own “experience boutique,” so be on the lookout!
Melissa and I on a rooftop in Waikiki, Hawaii.
On the island of Oahu where we worked together and became friends.

Follow Melissa:
Make Me Look Blog
Melissa  Hurley Website
Twitter: @melissahurley_
Instagram: @makemelookmag
Google+: +Melissa

*Photography and make up belong to Melissa Hurley and all rights reserved.

Top Ten List for Expats with Kids

I recently wrote a top ten list entitled, ’10 Things Expats Raising Children in England Should Know’ for the expat blog network for their March ’13 Contest.  For just a couple more days you can go read my entry and help by commenting and sharing the post on various social networks.  

I have posted just a little sneak peek here, but you will have to go read the full list on their website. 

10 Things Expats Raising Children in England Should Know

  1. Depending on the age of your children and how long you will be living in the country, you may be raising Third Culture Kids, or TCK for short. Find out as much information on the subject as you can. American sociologist David C. Pollock coined TCKs as “a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.” 
  2. Expect that your children will face some sort of culture shock in England, even if you are moving from another english speaking country like the United States. Culture shock does not necessary happen immediately and can differ between individuals. Prepare your children for the tough times so that when a situation arises you can meet the challenge with comfort and flexibility.
  3. Realize that your kids may transition faster in a country as a child than you will as an adult. I had lived in England as a young girl, but with raising two boys in school over here found them to adjust quicker to life in England. My boys would correct my word choice or even my pronunciation of words from the ‘American’ to the ‘English’. Kids are quite resilient and impressionable when taking in a new culture and learning the laws of the land. 

By: Bonnie Rose

To read the rest view at:

 Please help me to win a prize by 
sharing my contest entry on 
Twitter, Facebook, etc and by 
leaving a really good comment!

*graphic made and owned by Bonnie Rose

Meet Lorna from Raindrops of Sapphire

I had stated I would post my show photos today 
but have been a little delayed with taking care of my family.  

Side note: 
Onions are an amazing home remedy 
if your little one gets an ear ache. 
Who knew? 

So for my post today I want to introduce you to a lovely fashion blogger 
by the name of Lorna, of Raindrops of Sapphire
Lorna is very sweet and has beautiful ombre hair, which as a hairstylist I love. 
Plus she has, from what I see from her blog, to be an amazing wardrobe. 
Do you remember this photo below from what I posted on Friday?
This is Lorna on the far right. On her left is Tara, Laura, Fritha,  and Me.
If you are either of the two gorgeous bloggers on the far left let me know.
“This was my third time at BFW and it was definitely my favourite! 
They just keep getting better and better each year 
and Mark and Andrew are the perfect hosts!”

– Lorna Raindrops of Sapphire (pictured with Tara of The Style Rawr)

Lorna has done several lovely pieces on her blog that are all geared around Denim 
(‘Jeans’ if you’re a reader from the USA)
Since I sound like I come from the land where people wear a lot of denim 
I really appreciated these posts. 

Thank you Lorna and make sure to check her blog tomorrow for a bit about me. 
Plus she posts some awesome fashion pieces. 

Have a great end to your weekend!

Fashion Bloggers at BFW

Yesterday I brought you some sneek peeks from my camera phone 
from the Bristol Fashion Week live bloggers show. 
 Today I am showing you a little bit of what it was like 
being there with the other fashion bloggers. 
Tomorrow I will touch on the fashion from the runway. 
 Stay tuned for my feature article at British Style Bloggers
on Bristol Fashion Week Spring Season 2013.
I have only been in the Bath area since Christmas.
So it was really great getting to meet bloggers from the area.
Better yet, getting to put a face to a twitter handle and blog. 
Everyone was really friendly and I really enjoyed getting to meet 
Fritha of Tigerlilly Quinn and Laura from Side Street Style
It was interesting still to see how the runway show here in Bristol
compared with Tucson Fashion Week in Arizona
and the many fashion shows in Waikiki, Hawaii. 
In all the excitement there was something very comforting
about being back behind the camera at a fashion event.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for more about the fashion
that we saw on the runway at Bristol Fashion Week 2013.
*All Photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
** If you would like to use any images please contact Bonnie Rose at