Category Archives: Twitter

Blogging: Social Media & Your Brand

Today’s prompt for Blogtember states, “Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.” 
When I started this blog back in January of 2005 I did not have the social media outlets that I do today, mainly because many of them did not exist yet.  Aside from message forums, chat rooms, and texting blogging became my first step into the social media scene.  I began my blog to share photos of my newborn son as we embarked on the new life as a military family far away from family.  Within that year I created accounts with Livejournal and Myspace. My world was finding it’s way online but behind the protection of passwords.  I even stopped blogging for a while because I was scared about sharing photos of my son online.  
Eight years down the road and things have really changed in the way social media impacts my life.  I was at a job interview where I had previously turned in my CV containing links to my various social media platforms and was greeted with, ‘I feel like I already know everything about you.” I google myself and am greeted with much of my photography portfolio and images from my blog.  Being in the creative scene I realised that my name and my presence online is my brand. Anything I share online now is married to the fact that once it is out there, it is out there. 
As of today my whole family’s life is impacted by social media.  I am constantly documenting our life on camera and sharing online.  My husband uses social media to talk about foreign policy and his football club, Arsenal. My kids now will come up to me and ask me to take a photo of something and share it on facebook. Anytime we are out and have to wait on something, more than likely my husband and I will have our phones out.  The digital age of constantly checking, sharing, or reading something online. With the world of smart phones I can be out of the house and publish a blog post.  Furthermore I can share a photo from the post on Instagram, which automatically gets shared to my twitter feed, which can then be shared to my facebook wall.  Within seconds I have shared a piece of my life with over a thousand people in my personal network alone. 
I believe with all things there is a learning curve with social media and making sure it does not take over your life.  However used well and it can really benefit your business, your brand, and your blog. I have put together a Social Media & Your Brand infographic for this purpose.
Feel free to pin this to your Pinterest board and follow me on Pinterest.
Also remember about the Giveaway!

*infographic orginal to ACR made by Bonnie Rose © 2007 – 2013 | All Rights Reserved –

Halloween 2013

October is flying by fast and November will be here after Halloween has come and gone. This is the first Halloween that I will not be with my boys and so I made sure we got costumes and photos before I had to leave back home to England.  Halloween is not really my favourite holiday but I have carried a rule from my mum, ‘Nothing scary’ in regards to the costume selection.  We originally had decided on Doctor Who, but since my husband and I cannot celebrate with the boys, my sons chose the Avengers as their back up plan.  Ronan chose to be Thor and Maddox chose to be Captain America.  I took them out to Allerton Park last week and we had a Halloween photo shoot.  Here are my favourites.  I wish my boys a fun (and safe!) Halloween on Wednesday.  Look forward to seeing my two favourite heroes very soon! xx

Thor & Captain America
Captain America 
Captain America
Ronan as Thor
Maddox as Captain America

    All photographs are owned by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All rights reserved

Instagram: thebonnierose

Swim Lessons with Ronan & Maddox

My boys have been doing swim lessons on Saturday morning for the past few weeks and this Saturday has marked the middle of the term.  Maddox is in level II and his big brother Ronan is in level III.  They both have been having a lot of fun in the water and improving on their technique and skills.  Pictured to the left is a photo of Maddox working on his front crawl after kicking off from the side of the pool.  It is hard to think that a year ago he would not want to be in water deeper than his height. Soon he will be swimming as well as his brother.  Ronan has really improved on his front and back stroke in the last few weeks.  We also took him to a pool with a diving board and got to seem him go off of one for the very first time.  Seeing him conquer his fear and accomplish that goal was amazing as a parent to watch.  I know my boys both miss Hawaii quite a lot, but their love of water and being in the water has not vanished. 
Swim lessons are fun!
Working on the different ways to float.
Lap Swimming
Ready for kick off!

Instagram: thebonnierose

Birthday Cake

Birthdays are always a great celebration and last week we got to celebrate one here at the house.  The boys’ grandfather had his 60 something birthday.  The boys love to be in the kitchen so we talked about making something special.  So on the big day the boys and I spent our science period making a very chocolate cake with coconut oil.  It was very yummy and super rich.  But a nice special treat for someone celebrating a big birthday.  The boys were excited to pick out cards and get balloons and presents.  It was a fun evening. 
The chocolate cake.
Ronan signing the card he picked out. 
Watching the cake come out with candles on it. 
The boys decorated pumpkins for a grocery store competition.  They made 3D affects for spookiness!
Ronan was all smiles in home education this week. 
Instagram: thebonnierose

Decorating Pumpkins and the Pork & Apple Festival

Can you believe it is now October and Halloween is just weeks away?  I know we cannot, even though we have been getting our decorating groove on.  I have included first pictures from the decorating process of our pumpkins and squash, an update from last week’s blog post of the Pumpkin patch.  We also spent the weekend in Clinton, IL for a Pork & Apple festival.  It was a beautiful sunny day out for the festival and we had a lot of fun eating pork, ham, and apples!  We also enjoyed a live rockabilly band, the Swamp Tigers, which I highly recommend.  We made rope, saw vintage farm equipment, and watched how different crafts are made.  All in all it has been a great week and perfect start to Fall! Enjoy the photos.

Our pumpkins and Squash for Halloween (L to R: Mummy/Vampire, Jack, Ooogie Boogie, and Boo)
The boys and I started by choosing our first ‘victim’ and taking their ‘Before’ shot.
My son, Maddox, made a Mummy Vampire with felt facial pieces and white crepe streamers for the bandages. 
My son, Ronan, loves Nintendo and wanted to make Boo. More importantly King Boo. Not pictured is his crown, which he is now wearing.  We started by priming him in white and then painting over with a pearly white paint so that his white teeth would stand out in the main white.  Of course Boo is sporting his tongue hanging out of his mouth.
We love Tim Burton at my house so it was only natural we do Ooogie Boogie with this great big Squash from the pumpkin patch. I started first by painting him in two coats of green.  I used various shades of green to outline in his limbs and for contouring after using black for his facial features.  I also gave him his seams, with one gapping seam that has bugs oozing out of him. The final touches were two dice, one in each hand. Now he really is a gambling man—er squash!
Last year we didn’t do pumpkins because we live in England and Halloween is not as big of a holiday as it is in the USA.  But the year before I made a Jack Pumpkin with a white pumpkin. He was great bug since we carved him, he did not last very long.  This year I got an off white pumpkin and added white paint first, then painted on his face with a quote from The Nightmare Before Christmas on the back. 
This is my Jack, from 2010, that I carved out of a white pumpkin for Halloween. 
Here is a final look at our main pumpkins and squash for this year. Looking good!
We have some smaller pumpkins and squashes left and here is one that I am working on now.  I took a few pages of my September Vogue magazine and used it to collage over it using Hodge Podge.  I do not feel it is finished yet, so I may update you with a final piece in an upcoming blog post for October. 
For our really small pumpkins and squashes I used this chrome spray paint to coat them.  I really liked the final look.  However I have also taken a few and used orange glitter to give them some varying accents.  I used an ‘A’ on one of them for a monogram of our surname. 
We went to Clinton, IL for the 44th annual Pork & Apple Festival for food, fun, and music. Maddox is pictured here making his own rope. 
Close up of the tools and simple machine needed to make a rope. 
Ronan and Maddox showing off their ropes at the Pork & Apple Festival in Clinton, IL
The Swamp Tigers
The Swamp Tigers
Vintage farm equipment and apples for sale. Of course we had to buy some to eat too. 
Showing how the corn is processed and vintage license plates on display inside the barn. 
How glass beads are made and a vintage washing machine.
Watching different tradesman in how they make their crafts of both wood and metal. 
Last but not least the boys have some fun before bedtime with their ‘parachuting man’.  See you next week!
Instagram: thebonnierose

Fall has Begun

Fall is finally here and we are already enjoying the changing colours of the leaves.  So much so we went out and picked a bunch of our favourite leaves from the ground and took them home.  I had seen on Pinterest how you can fold the leaves to make roses and got busy constructing my own.  Since Rose is my middle name (literally), I took photos to show you the Fall coloured roses.  You can see them displayed above and I have included a photo at the end of this blog post. 
My boys at the farmer’s market at the pumpkin patch. 
To celebrate the season we went to a farmer’s market and a Pumpkin patch.   My boys were so excited pick out their own pumpkins and gourds.  It will be fun to decorate this week for the Fall holidays.  With our wagons full, we left and headed over to Arthur, an Amish community.  We picked up a bag full of apples from the orchards and spices to make our own apple pies.  I have never made a pie before so it was a pretty big deal for me to try it this year.  Thanks to one of my friends for a yummy crust recipe, I got busy with slicing apples.  For those of you big on using coconut oil, I will let you in on a little baking secret.  Instead of using crisco in the crust, I substituted with coconut oil.  You just need to make sure it is in its liquid state, and not solid when you mix it with your ingredients.  Otherwise your dough will end up lumpy. Though my pies do not look as beautiful as professional pies, they were the best tasting ones I have ever had.  Proof that homemade is definitely more fun and more tasty! Hope you guys have fun trying your hands out at baking this Fall like we did.

My homemade Apple Pie, the first time making one.
With our left over apples we sliced them thinly and put them on a baking sheet.  After sprinkling them with a little splenda and apple pie spice, we put them into the oven to bake for an hour on each side. The result: Yummy home made apple crisps! Yummy! My son, Ronan, really enjoyed making these and my other son Maddox really loves eating them for a snack. 
My boys trying honey sticks at the Farmer’s market in Champaign, IL.

Ronan in his wagon at the Pumpkin Patch.
My sons had fun checking out all the interesting pumpkins and gourds at the Pumpkin Patch.  
Maddox at the Pumpkin Patch. 
Running through the maze at the pumpkin patch. 
This is one of my favourite photos that I took in Arthur, the Amish community. The breeze was making the laundry on the line dance and the sun was shining through the trees.  Just a very beautiful scene.
Passing a horse and buggy on the road in Arthur.
Fall Roses made from leaves that I constructed from the leaves my sons picked out.

Fun Foods for Kids!

With it being the final week of Summer I have favoured the last of warm weather to wear our shorts and summer tanks.  We are still unsure about when we are coming home to England so I have been finding things to keep our days fun.  What better to keep their interest than fun food!  Today I made them ‘Octopus Speghetti’ for lunch with Turkey hotdogs and whole wheat spegetti. It was pretty simple to make. First I cut each hotdog into four sections.  I wanted the octopus to have eight arms so I punctured the noodles into the center until the ‘arms’ were even on each side.  Once the water had boiled I put the Octopuses into the pot and as the noodles started to cook they sunk down far enough to cook evenly.  Once they were cooked and drained I covered it up with some leftover sauce and voilà!  It was definitely a huge hit with my boys.

This week we started it off with a cookout with friends of the family at the park.  Another time for hot dogs, this time grilled over a fire pit.  My boys do not eat a lot of hotdogs, so they were much more excited about the dessert: S’mores!  We had fun roasting the marshmallows and trying not to catch them on fire.  Better yet pairing them with chocolate and putting them in between two graham crackers.  Its been a great week and I look forward to Fall starting tomorrow!

‘Octopus Spaghetti’ made from turkey hotdogs and whole wheat spaghetti.  
Before & After of the cooking process. 
Roasting hot dogs over the fire pit at the park. 

Roasting marshmallows for S’mores.
My S’more 
Here I am roasting a marshmallow for my sons’ s’mores. 
The boys playing with the Playmobil© toy lot found at a yard sale this last week. Its been a huge hit!

Instagram: thebonnierose