Category Archives: Sponsored

Advice to My Pre-Expat Self

Q I: What advice would you give to your pre-expat self? 

The advice that I would give to my pre-expat self would be to above all else keep positive.  Life is about how we tackled the challenges in our life and it will not always be easy.  Since becoming an expat I have had to deal with finding employment, getting approved to rent from a leasing agent without credit in England and not having a guarantor,  and cultural issues with co-workers  The most stressful being this time last year when my husband and I were both without jobs, a lease ending soon, not knowing  how we would afford to live two months down the line, and our kids were all the way back in the US with grandparents.  It was a stressful time.  However in the end my husband got the perfect job in just the nick of time, we found a new place to live, and we moved to Bath with our sons that joined us just a couple of days before Christmas. Of course life is always easiest to view in hindsight. However, things work out the way they are meant to be and it is better to remain really positive than to let the negative affect you.

Q II: How do you reconcile what you thought life would be like in your new home and what it is in actuality?

I thought we would be able to have done a lot more traveling than we have now.  Granted, between my husband and I we have traveled to four different countries outside of the UK.  However I thought my sons would have seen several countries in Europe by now and so far they have only been to England and Wales. Traveling is just a lot more expensive when you have a family of four.  While my passports are not collecting stamps we are taking advantage of the area we live in with  country walks and visits to see nearby towns.  Technically we will not be able to travel out of the UK for about six months anyways since our passports are with Ryan’s current ILR visa application.  I am looking forward to finally traveling with my boys outside of the UK and reliving the childhood my parents chose for my sister and I.  

This was a link up for the Expat to Expat: 
Q&A with Bailie and Belinda

P O S T S  BY  K I M

M A K E   F R I E N D S   &   F O L L O W   K I M !

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

Confessions of a Blogger

With the I was tagged by Kolbi with the Confessions of a Blogger post that has been going around the blogosphere.  With so many new readers it felt like the perfect time to jump right in and play along.  The rules are simple.  Answer the nine provided confessions, including the one written by the person who tagged you and come up with a tenth to answer.  

1. When did you first start blogging and why
I started blogging days before my first son was born in 2005.  I started this blog under it’s previous name ‘Mummy Paparazzi’ as a way to share photographs of my son to my friends and family who lived all over the globe.

2. Have you had any past online presence?
Yes.  I am thirty now, but I grew up with the internet. As a teenager I fell in love with web design, creating custom graphics in photoshop, and was a web mistress for a band I loved. With my career in the hairdressing and beauty industry I grew my online presence through Myspace, and later through Facebook and Twitter. Now social media is a huge part of my online presence both as a blogger and as a photographer.

3. When did you become serious about your blog?
I take that to mean when I started tailoring my blog for public consumption and not just for my family members.  When we made the big move from Hawaii to England I became more serious about my blogging and wanting to keep it updated regularly. It was in the beginning of 2013 that I realised there was a whole expat blogging community and decided to start blogging every day.

4. What was your first blog post.
My very first post on the 4th of January 2005 was entitled Waiting in the Wings.  A one paragraph post about what my life was like at that moment, waiting for my first child to be born.  We were in between places and on our way to move to Arizona where my husband would be joining the military.  It was the prelude to a new chapter in our life.

5. What have been your biggest challenges blogging.
Keeping up with my blog through the ups and downs with life.  While I created this blog in 2005 there have been some times in my life where blogging needed to be put on the back burner.  Luckily I was always able to come back to my blog and also able to put focus where it needed to be in my life during those times.  Though out the challenges I am glad I was able to keep up with my blog to continue to archive my nomadic life.

6. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
I do love having an archive of photographs and blog posts about my life through out the years.  While that is a personal reward, my blogging reward is all the relationships I have made through having this space in the blogosphere.  The people who have connected with my words, who have been moved by my photographs, and connect with this blog.  Even more so to me is the blogging community who has given so much to me.  All the blogs that I connect to, the posts that have impacted my life, and the bloggers who reach out to me and have become my friend. I am more appreciative to the blogging community than I think anyone will ever truly know.

7. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?

The most discouraging is the negative side that shows up.  The people who tear others down and the people who write negative things they would never have the face to say in person. I have seen bloggers who have been bullied online and I honestly do not understand how anyone would have the time to exert to such ugliness. Luckily I have seen way more encouraging and uplifting bloggers and readers that go above and beyond to build people up.

8. What is your lasting inspiration or motivation?
For me it is to be true to who I am.  I do not just post pretty photographs of a ‘perfect’ life living abroad in Europe.  I share the good and the bad. I share what inspires and motivates me. I share the beauty around me.  I share what I love and what I am passionate about to my readers.  As a Third Culture Kid, my blog does not have a simple theme.  It has may facets as I have a chameleon soul. However the lasting motivation to blog is to blog for myself and my brand. 

9. What is your blogging dirty little secret? (Question asked by Kolbi)
While I try my best to write blog posts in advance and have many scheduled that way, I do not stick to that method.  I often write blog posts first thing when I wake up in the morning.  There is something about having that special time to myself and writing first thing in the morning. I also sometimes tend to talk out loud as I write…it is just part of my impromptu writing process. 

Crystal from A Happy Type
Lindsey from A Broad’s World
Melanie from Melanie Fontaine
Gina from Sweet Serenity
Mandy from Emm in London
Jacintha from Urban Pixxels
Anna from Eat, See, Do 
Shobha from NYLon Living
Annie at Sew Graceful
Samantha from To the Days Like This

My question for them is…

10. What is your current goal as a blogger?My answer: My current goal is to blog every day and aside from having an unforeseen blackout from the internet for a few days I have kept to that since February. I want to continue that through to the 2014.
Want to do this Post?
Whether I tagged you or you want to join in all you have to do is answer the nine questions and add your own for the tenth.  If you have been tagged but do not have the time,  no worries. I would love to see your answers so please put a link to your post in the comment section below!

* Image custom to ACR by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

ACR: Become a November Sponsor

Hey babes and babettes.  Have been a little preoccupied this weekend with a sick kid.  Luckily my WebMD search of scarlet fever and strep fever was inaccurate and it ended up being a body rash due to a viral tonsillitis that has been going around.  Which meant we spent the entire weekend inside the house taking care of my son and getting ready for the ‘big storm’.  Which for us meant some nice howling wind and lots of rain that carried on through today.  The wind even blew my heart shaped brolly inside out today while in town.  The good news is my son is now starting to feel much better and in good time for their week off from from school.  We are having a fun week preparing for Halloween.  It is hard to believe there are just a few days left until November. Which means now is the perfect time to sign up to be a sponsor for November!

Join the Sidebar | I would love to have you a part of the ACR family.  Become a Sponsor Today!

Travel & Seasons: Q&A

My so-called ex-pat life has been filled with nostalgia recently.  I was wondering where all these memories were flooding from and then realised it was because of the weather.  Two years ago my family was experiencing our first autumn in England.  Autumn has not usually been my favourite time of the year.  Some how there are all these things I am experiencing again make me feel comforted in memories.  The colder weather that requires coats, hats, and scarves.  Finding interesting leaves, conkers, and colourful ivy covered walls.  The rainy days in England where umbrellas pop up all over town. Rushing inside to warm ourselves up with a cup of tea.  There are all these elements of autumn which bring back cherished memories.  It has made me look back at old photographs from 2011 and I found this series I took of my family in London.  On our way to our intended destination we found a huge amount of fallen leaves which resulted in a spontaneous play session.  We had so much fun playing in the leaves and I really enjoy the photos we captured of the event.  It has made me realise when thinking of travel and seasons that I really do love London in the Autumn and Winter time.  Here are some of my favourites from that cold but memorable day:

“What season is your favourite to travel in and where would you go based on your answer?”

Want to join the sidebar as a SPONSOR for November?


Q: “What season is your favourite to travel in and where would you go based on your answer?”

Click to view the Giveaway

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

Why being a Brit in Suburban USA isn’t so bad

Today my blog is being taken over by a guest post from my sponsor, Gillian of Gladley. A veteran of LDR,  the English blogger now lives the expat life in America.  I have loved getting to know more about her this month and look forward to letting her tell you more about her ex-pat life with her post, ‘Why Being a Brit in Suburban USA Isn’t so Bad’.  
When I first told people that I moving to the US to be with my American husband, people first assumed I’d be living in a big city.  Sure, it’s because I told them I was moving near Philadelphia, which is the USA’s 5th biggest city (population 1.5million!). But Philadelphia isn’t on the cultural radar of many Brits, so I had to explain my location in terms of somewhere Brits really knew: New York (I’m just a couple of hours away).

The truth is, I think I’ve only been to New York once in the year that I’ve lived here in America. You see, I actually live on that cusp between rural American and suburbia, between corn fields and super Walmarts. People in the city think we’re nuts for living this far out, and for a long time so did I! But, even as a Brit accustomed to hedgerows, local pubs, and walks through the town center, I’ve learned that living in suburban USA isn’t so bad. Here’s why:

Farm Fresh Food

At first when I moved over I was dismayed that I could no longer pop out for a five minute walk to get a pint of milk and some biscuits for my tea. This kind of thing is the metric for acceptable living for Brits. But if I take a little drive, I can buy farm fresh milk from a small mom and pop farm, served in a giant glass jug. I can stop and buy corn from a kiosk by a country road, and maybe chat to Bob the farmer about this year’s crops. I can take hay rides in Fall and pick my own pumpkins. I can buy fabulous ice cream from a dairy farm, and even visit the cows responsible! I don’t think I’ve ever been closer to the food I eat.

Beautiful work commute
Driving through rural and suburban PA is a pretty good commute as things go. Even as you get closer to the city, there’s still plenty of wide open spaces, and trees, until you get into Philadelphia proper. Sometimes when I’m traveling even further away from the city I’m the only one on a hidden country road, and I thank my lucky stars I’m not on a busy road caught in traffic.

It’s the best of both worlds
I really miss living in the heart of a busy city, being able to arrange last-minute coffee catch-up with friends, or being able to stroll through neighborhoods filled with different cultures in the space of a few minutes. But we’re still so close to Philadelphia that we can get that urban fix whenever I want. I love Philadelphia, it’s an amazing city and would like to move a little closer to it, but life surrounded by trees and open roads without sidewalks – it’s not so bad.

Recommended Posts by Gillian:
Be Friends with Gillian: Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram
*images in today’s post from Gillian of Gladley

Travel Q&A: September Sponsors & Giveaway!

Travel Q&A:  I asked all my sponsors this question, “What landmark or attraction would you love to see next and why?” See what answers we all gave and let me know in the comments what your answer would be too!

“I would love to watch the Northern Lights in Scandinavia.  I have heard that Tromso, Norway is the best place to see the Aurora Borealis and so that is definitely on my list. I have always loved Norway since I went to Oslo as a girl and definitely want to go back.” – B
“I love to see unusual landmarks, oddities, and museums, such as the grave of the man who invented the word robot (which is in Prague). The one I’d love to see next is the Forevertron in Wisconsin!” – Gladley

“I have never gotten the chance to travel outside of the US. But, one place that is top on my travel list would have to be Venice, Italy! Hopefully I get the chance to travel there sometime in the future!” – The Skinny Student

“Torres del Paine National Park and Patagonia National Park in South America. The panoramic views of the ice fields and the glaciers on the Andes mountains with the crystal blue water under neath are out of this world.” – A Broad’s World
“The Circle K in Tempe, Arizona has been top of the list for a while, as it’s THE Circle K from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. There wouldn’t be much to do except buy a drink, take a photo and quote lines from the movie to my embarrassed husband, but they’d probably be the best few minutes of my life.” – Little Black Suitcase

“I would love to see the Taj Mahal in India.  We’ve spent some time exploring Europe now.  I’d love to broaden my horizons and visit someplace more exotic and challenging India.  My husband loves India and I’m eager to explore it with him.” – Selena the Places

“I would love to see the Coliseum in Rome — just for the pure history of it all (plus, I want to go to Italy and eat tons of pizzas and have pasta and gelato and the Lizzie McGuire experience)!” – Chimerikal

“My one dream in life is to explore the countryside of England. I was raised on a strict diet of British comedy which spread into an obsession with all things UK. I’ve never been to England but believe me that’s the first place I plan on going overseas.” – Mocha Fox

Say what? Yes. A Giveaway and the first ever to be hosted here at A Compass Rose. 
You can win ad space from ACR and several of my September Sponsors.  
Bonnie RoseA Compass Rose
Brand new and first time ever available on ACR, an In-Post ad space for 30 days
200x ad space for 30 days

A+ ad spot 300×400 for 30 days

LindseyA Broad’s World
250×200 ad space for 30 days

Jess – Mocha Fox
300×200 ad space for 30 days
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*images original to ACR

My Personality Type: ENFP

Day Five of Blogtember states, ‘Take this short personality test and respond to your results.
I took this same personality test about ten years ago back at University and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my results this time around were a match.  I am an ENFP.  Which is the same as celebrities Gwen Stefani, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Walt Disney and Hunter S. Thompson.  Now keep in mind that not much stock is to be placed in these tests.  Think of them as indicators or a first peek if you will into your personality.  Here is what I found online about ENFP:
“ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.
ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.”
I was looking for a cute graphic to insert in this post and I found the image above on Pinterest.  It made me laugh because when I get ideas about things I totally start making these bubble charts and lists and letting all the ideas in my head just flow out onto the paper.  
Have you taken the quiz lately? Interested in finding out your results? You can take the personality test here. 
I am excited to announce you have a chance to win 45 days of ad space on ACR with me
as well as many other fantastic prizes through my former sponsor, Luchessa!
Check out the prizes below and make sure to apply with the rafflecopter app below. 
giveaway bunner

Hello my Beauties,
this is a very exciting month for {Beauty expression by Luchessa}, since the blog is celebrating the 365 days of its existence. It has been an amazing journey so far! To thank my most favorite beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, i asked them beforehand to be part of the Big 1 Year Blogoversary Giveaway, since each and every one of them was incredibly inspiring and helpful to me during the past 12 months.

For all of you, my dear old and new readers, it means you can win a whole lot of amazing prizes and maybe get to know some of these bloggers too. (You don’t know what you’ve been missing out!) Here are the bloggers & the goodies you can win:

prizesA 3 piece Set of accessories

First three prizes come from Beauty expression by Luchessa:
Winner 1: ARTDECO Golden Vintage Blusher „Enravish“ by Dita von Teese
Winner 2: ARTDECO Art Couture Lash Volumizer & Nail Lacquer Set by Dita Von Teese
Winner 3: A 3 piece set by 360° Accessories

Ad space

Winner 4: A 30 days of ad space on Trine-Marie Blog 

Winner 5: A 45 days of ad space on A Compass Rose 
  Winner 6: A 30 days of ad space on Josephine Nychole

Ill take it allWinner 7: A South African Rooibos Face Wash & Sorbet Face Mask from I’ll Take it All my so called chaosWinner 8: A customized 4×6 Nail Polish Illustration from My So-Called ChaosPolish alcoholic custom nail polishWinner 9: A customized nail polish (color & finish are winner choice) from Polish Alcoholic Scottish LassWinner 10: A set of Real Techniques Brushes from A Scottish Lass Style of Colours 
Winner 11: A handmade Turquoise Stone Chain Bracelet from Style of Colours I want to also thank my lovely friends for putting this giveaway on their blogs and helping me spread the word: Melissa from Pink Lady BeautySam from Honey Go-LightlyPatricia from Kisses and CroissantsCaroline from Style of the SideHolly from Miss Holly Berries Feel free to visit their blogs and say HI! As you can see, there are going to be 11 lucky winners! So good luck everyone!

Enter to win some amazing prizes: Open worldwide. Ends September 27th. Entries will be verified. See Rafflecopter for full Terms.