Category Archives: Harry Potter

Platform 9 and 3/4 in London, England

Welcome to Travel Tuesday! We are a family of three generations that love Harry Potter.  It began with my younger sister who started after the second book came out and my parents got hooked as they read them too. Feeling left out of dinner conversations I got roped into reading them and then wondered why I was the last to join the family book club.  I married my husband and got him into it and my kids as they were born. In fact Ronan was ‘baby Harry’ for one book release party and a howler for the one Maddox went as a baby Mandrake plant.  So being able to take my mum, sister, husband, and boys to get our photo taken at platform 9 and 3/4 this summer was mandatory while we were in London.  This was my second time here (see picture left) and they have since updated the wall and have added a gift shop. My thoughts on that near the end of this post. 
Like Harry Potter too? I wrote about What I Have Learned from Harry Potter

My Review of Platform 9 and 3/4:
When we we came before it was just the cart in the wall. In fact there was no partial suitcase or owl cage.  We were able to just walk right up and take as many photos as we wanted. So we took sweet and silly ones. Of course with having kids (as cute as they are) they may not always be in the mood to join in and my oldest was having one of those moments. So returning to do family photos for the Christmas card was on our todo list this summer.  Boy was I surprised to see how much it had changed!   I am taking a note that this could be different if we come again when it is not summer time but then again who knows.  There is a gift store right it and the portable queue markers likes you would find at Disneyland. There was quite a group of people waiting and I will say that everyone who was  there was very nice. In fact they did not mind that almost everyone in my party wanted to get their photo taken twice and then do a huge group shot.  I love the new editions to the the cart and I actually kinda like that they had scarves you could wear and helped flick it for movement for you.

 If I was not a photographer this next bit would not have bothered me so much.  I am sure many people come every day and never have this view point…or I just love Harry Potter way too much and my expectations got shattered.  I usually always have my 50mm on my DSLR because it is a great portrait lens and I was getting nice portraits of my mum and sister with my family while they were visiting.  However due to the close proximity of the queue of other HP fans and where the staff members were located there was no way to get a ‘perfect’ shot. I had to shoot off from the side and I could not get back as far as I needed too. For the portraits I took it ended up being okay but for my portraits the family member that took my photo cropped out important parts of Platform 9 and 3/4.  Not to mention the lens did not work for our family shot when we had to all look sideways.

The answer for that would be okay I will rely on the photographers they have to take our portraits. They are armed with nice DSLRs and flashes and look all professional with their HP staff badges. Everyone gets their photo taken in time with the guy who fluffs the scarf in the air. You can view your photo at the gift shop and purchase it to take home.  So I thought…sure maybe we can get the family one from the store. The gift shop was not the place to be if you do not like small cramped spaces as it does not do well with crowds of people.  Then when I finally saw our photo my heart sank. I maybe would have taken it if it was free but I certainly was not going to pay money for that shot. It was horrible.

Here is my thought on purchasing the photos.  Right above where platform 9 and 3/4 is located they have huge wonderful skylights. So unless it is nighttime or extremely stormy out you are going to have wonderful natural lighting coming down like you were in a fabulous photo studio.  Yet the staff taking photo use their flash for every one. I cannot comment whether they change their settings during their shift but after seeing our photo I would have definitely changed the exposure and better yet taken it without the flash.  It was the one time I got really frustrated. It really is hard when you know so much about a something that it kinda ruins the experience when it is out of your control. So we did not buy that photograph and we walked away with photos that despite the weird angle are far better exposed.

My husband reminded me that they also say to you in the queue something to the tune of ‘You can take your own photos but they will not be as good as ours.’

I love Harry Potter and I hope to go again and maybe beat the crowd control during a quieter time.  Also cannot wait to go to the Harry Potter tour in London too! Have you been?

Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.
1. Share a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. Grab the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie in a link! 😉 
3. Linkup goes live every Tuesday at 8 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
5. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
6. The First Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

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

What I have learned from Harry Potter

Day 23, Thursday: Things you’ve learned that school won’t teach you

At the last book release with my newly acquired book in hand while carrying my sleeping baby ‘Mandrake plant’ in my HotSling.
There are many things I have learned through experiencing life that I did not learn in school.  However there are also a lot of things I learned from reading books.  I love J.K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter book series and I have both the English and the American series sitting on my bookshelf.  I owe my younger sister for getting me hooked into this magical world.  My parents had started reading books along with her and I would be sitting at the breakfast table feeling left out as the three of them discussed ‘quidditch’.  There were only three books out when I began reading them and was instantly hooked.  For each book release we would stay up all night at the bookstores.  As my children came along I brought them along too and in costume.  My eldest was baby Harry Potter with the scar for the 6th book release and for the 7th he was a Howler and his baby brother was mandrake plant.  I now read these books to my children and when we finish a book they are then allowed to finally see the film for the first time.  These books have touched three generations in my family since their release in the late nineties. 
What makes the Harry Potter series so great is that this in-depth imaginative world of magic is married with so many integral life lessons we can relate to or apply to our own life as muggles.  If you have not read the books I have to caution you with a quote by Doctor Who’s River Song, “Spoilers.”  

1.  How we treat others.  This is a reoccurring theme in the books.  With wizards of different backgrounds (truebloods, half-bloods, and muggle born) many characters use this class system to treat people differently.  Characters like Draco Malfoy who think half-bloods like Hermione are dirt and less off families like the Weasleys, are not much better.  Then of course  w have the house elves who are most mistreated for being common slaves of the magical realm.  

In the Goblet of Fire Sirius says to Ron, If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”  

Real character is not defined by someone’s surname nor how well off they are in life.  But by how they treat others, especially those who can do no real benefit to make our lives better.  Selfless acts of kindness are the real strength behind a person. 

2. Parent’s Love is Powerful.  This is seen from the beginning with how Harry Potter was saved against Voldormort’s attack on his family.  In the last book we see examples of two mothers whose parental love leads them to make choices to protect their children.  Despite the truth that Narcissa Malfoy is horrible woman, she was shown in the books to do anything for her son, Draco, even make an Unbreakable Vow to save his life.  In the Deathly Hallows she spares Harry’s life, walks away from Voldormort, and gets her family to leave the evilness behind.  I felt in the film it portrayed the Malfoys leaving as cowards. While there is truth in that the unblinding love for her family above all else is what drives Narcissa to protect her family and get away.  The other character is Molly Weasley in one of my favourite scenes in the last battle at Hogwarts.  Belatrix has made an attack on her youngest daughter Ginny and makes a comment about her recently deceased twin son, Fred.  Molly’s love her for children sends her into mother bear mode to protect her children which is followed by the infamous scene where she curses and then kills Belatrix. I definitely believe this theme resonates stronger with me now that I have children of my own. 

3. Your family is not limited by blood relations.  Harry may have lost his parents early on and have been treated like an unwanted and worthless outsider by his muggle relations.  However that does not mean he does not have a family.  He was practically the eight kid in Weasley family and was looked after by characters at Hogwarts such as Dumbledore, McGonagall, and yes…Snape. For myself I love this truth in the books because it is something that rings true in my own life.  I grew up in Europe where my parents’ blood relations resided in the US.  As small as our family is, as I have no cousins, I had my church family that became my adopted grandparents, uncles, and aunts.  I have friends all over the world that are closer to me as family than blood relations on my husband’s side of the family.  Especially as an expat living an nomadic life, we do not have to limit ourselves to the family to which we are born.  
4. The good deeds of others is not alway seen and you cannot judge a person.  These two things are best represented in the books by my favourite character Severus Snape. He is looked at as a baddie or a non agreeable character through out the series.  It really is not until his death that Harry realizes the truth behind Snape.  It was Snape’s love and devotion for Harry’s mother that motivated him to let others see him one way while he basically looked out for Harry’s best interests through out the story.  His character has helped me in my own life when I had people thinking and saying things about me that were not necessarily true and more so very ugly.  But I had people in my life to protect and I will still go on protecting them.  Perhaps it could have been easier for Snape to just come clean to be treated and respected better by his colleagues and students. But then he would have failed the one he loved. That is what I really liked about his character that he had that much love inside him, though it was not seen by others.  My second favourite character was Neville and he could have easily been discounted as being insignificant and worthless to the story.  But he grew and improved through out the books to become the strong character in the final part of the story.  It proves you should be patient with yourself and others. Never judge. 
5. Actions speak louder than words.  In this case they are also more important than the hand we are dealt in life. In the books this is best shown through the comparisons of Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort.  They are so similar when it comes to the lives they were given.  They were both orphans, both found out they were wizards at age eleven, both could speak to snakes, and both were destined for Slytherin.  I still think that Harry Potter, chose to be in Gryffindor.  Which is the the point of this that we all have the choice.  While Tom Riddle chose his path and became Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter chose to be good and fight evil.  
 Albus Dumbledore says, “It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  
To say that we cannot do something or cannot achieve a goal because we lack something is limiting our true strength and character.  Doors may open and close but we can choose which path to take and can choose how we react to life. 
6. We all make mistakes, but we can grow from them.  We are perfect and we will continue to make mistakes until our last breath.  Just as we should not judge others for their mistakes we should also live by the truth we can come back from them.  Mistakes do not have to define us but to help mold us into better people.  At one point of the books Ron walked away from his friends out of anger.  However he came back and stood beside his friends when they needed him most.   Professor Lupin is a werewolf and does not run away in shame.  Instead he uses that to help mentor Harry and become a stronger character for his choices in the book. Percy was not a character I was necessarily found of in the books.  After he deserts his family he comes back, admitting wrongs and asking for forgiveness. We can all find redemption in this life and we should be quick to forgive others.
7. Inspire others with the way you live your life. Having lost my father almost five years ago this is something I have taken away from his loss.  His life inspired others and he has inspired me, my husband and his grandsons.  Harry too lost his father but it was his memory of him that gave him the stregth to stand up to Voldemort in the graveyard scene.  I want my own children to remember me for the choices I made and the legacy I leave behind. We are not perfect but we can strive to be that person people need in their lives.  Its a powerful theme I take away from this book series.
I know there are many more lessons to be taken away from this book series and so many great lessons from other books.  It is why I love to read and why I pass on the love of books to my children.
Q: What is a book that has impacted you and what have you taken away from it?


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

Eurocup 2012

Before I touch on football, a big Congratulations to my Lil’ Roro for winning first place in the art competition for Purple Pinky. We are so proud of your accomplishment and seeing that sweet smile when you found out you won just melted my heart. I love you, my little man. xx ♥ £1 saves the lives of 2 children ♥

Sometimes this is how I feel.
Maddox showed up with a bowtie for dinner. He requested I call him ‘the Doctor’. Should I have checked to see if he had a Sonic Screwdriver on him? 
#doctorwho #bowtie #kid #dressup 
‘Fun': Palaeontology fun with my son 
#day4 #photoadayjuly #fun #bones #dinosaur 

‘Something Soft': My son’s hair 
#day29 #photoadayjune #soft #bw 
Happy 4th of July! 
@welovemarilyn @alwaysmarilynmonroe @bonnierose 
My son won first place for the Purple Pinky Children’s Art Competition 
#charity #art #school #rotaryinternational #purplepinky 
Dip dyed, cut off, and distressed my jeans for new summer shorts. 
#shorts #jeans #dipdye #summer #diy
Mirror crashed and broke into way too many pieces than I have patience for today.
‘Favourite part of your day': Receiving messages from friends & family all over the world. 
#day3 #photoadayjuly #phone #text #message 
My dinner before the game. 
#pizza #eurocup2012 #italia
A new book for my summer reading. 
#summer #read #book #ontheroad #kerovac
Its Game Day. 
#eurocup2012 #italy #italia
Attending the Summer Concert at my boys’ school. 
#school #concert #music #singing #songs

  • The sun has been up since 0400 and its now 0920 and it is currently 22°C. Is it too early for frozen yoghurt?
  • My current dream car is the 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. She is beautiful. #car #vintage #rollsroyce #silver
  • You know what night is…its Italy vs Germany. Forza Italia! xx
  • First goal goes to Italy! #eurocup2012 #italy
  • SUPER MARIO!!!!!!! And a yellow card for taking off his shirt! HA #eurocup2012 #italy
  • Photo: Italy vs Germany! #eurocup #italy #shadesofblue #maggio #christian #parody #football #forzaazzurri…
  • Buffon ti amo! #eurocup2012
  • Going to not comment in recent game events and instead point out that keeper Buffon looks a lot like actor John Turturro. #eurocup2012
  • I love Di Natale! xx #eurocup2012
  • Italia did it! They go on to play Spain in the finals! #EUROCUP2012
  • Up to episode five of season two. I think Richard, the war vet missing half his face, might be one of my favourite characters because I think the actor does such a great job bringing him to life.
  • Last day of work at salon until September. Just one last unsold appt for cut&style available xx
  • Last appt sold. See you in September. xx
  • Seeing Michael’s heart break as tears rushed to his eyes when he saw Fiona in jail made my own heart ache. When Fiona started crying, I did too. Do I really have to wait two weeks till the next episode?
  • Hulk vs Loki was hilarous.
  • From my boys’room I hear Optimus Prime singing Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. >>
  • You know you’re a TCK from multi cultural background when your brain instantly blurts out appropriately…
  • ‎25 super-easy everyday hairstyles for long hair
  • Wising I was at the beach and not cleaning, so my tunes this morning are @jackjohnson & @jasjason_mraz
  • To my Canadian friends, Happy (country I tell English people I’m from) Day.
  • Watching the Eurocup 2012 Finals Italy vs Spain #eurocup2012 #Italy
  • Wish I could watch the game at the pub with @ryanA_official & his friends bc not only am I watching alone but just missed 5min bc of my net.
  • Great. Apparently I missed the goal. Italy catch up! #notamused #eurocup2012
  • Italy it was not our year. :( #eurocup2012
  • “Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan.” Gillian Darmody – Season II, Episode VIII
  • Photo: My son won first place for the Purple Pinky Children’s Art Competition #charity #art #school…
  • Photo: Third Culture Kids. Artwork by my own little TCK, Ronan (age 7)
  • My hair seems to be more wavy & less curly the longer it gets. I love the natural waves with a centre part as of late.
  • Polio has been the theme today. So blessed to have two healthy kids after watching that heartache.
  • Sometimes Im terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts. #edgarallanpoe #quote
  • Emily and Jef are still my favourite couple.
  • Photo: Self Portrait Challenge 2012 #selfportrait #hairflip #birds #movement #longhair #feathers (Taken with…
  • I am eating one bite of my kids’ cookies for every 15 min that they havent finished cleaning their room. It just got real. #parenting #ftw
  • Rocking out to Bon Jovi for my non holiday here in England.
  • Can Nucky Thompson be my Uncle? 😉

Summer Fayre

The biggest thing this week was the Summer Fayre (UK spelling) at my boys school.  It has been something we have been looking forward to for weeks.  The boys got to engage in many crafts and activities.  One I did not post a photo from was where they three small balls to knock of coconuts from their stand. If you hit it, you got to keep the coconut. Too bad my Hawaiian boys did not bring home any coconuts. 😉 However they had a lot of fun with the Jousting competition.  Ronan and Maddox went up against each other first and Maddox did a really good job keeping up with his older brother. Ronan, the champion, got to then play a game against his classmate.  I think both of them would have played this all afternoon if they were allowed.  There were cute animals, lots of yummy cakes, and of course tea.  Luckily the rain held out enough so that we had sunny weather.  I really love all the saturday activities they have at the boys’s school. I wish I had not missed out on so many with work, but appreciate all the time we have had together.  Memories to last a lifetime.

‘On your mind': My 9th anniversary is just 39 days away. 
#photoadayjune #day24 #selfportrait #wedding #bridal #anniversary 
A must read for all girls 
#girl #book #heels #read
#quote #OscarWilde #Wilde #advice 

Summer Fayre at my boys’ school today.
‘Something cute': 
#day25 This London Swan #photoadayjune #swan #cute
Norwegian School Band performing today at my boys’ school. 
#school #band #music #norway
Sleeping continued…
Acquired the first half of the UK versions for £1 
#books #read #potter 
Friday Night 
‘From a high angle': Dinosaur Exhibit 
#photoadayjune @NHM_London 
‘Movement': My sons Jousting 
#day23 #photoadayjune #movement 
‘Where you Slept’ 
#photoadayjune #bed #damask #England


  • I ♥ Boardwalk Empire and @therealbuscemi Check out the opening credits they are exquisite: @HBO #boardwalkempire
  • Don’t give a woman advice; one should never give give a woman anything she can’t wear in the evening.’ – Oscar Wilde #quote #wilde #advice
  • Photo: ‘On your mind’: My 9th anniversary is just 39 days away. #photoadayjune #day24 #selfportrait #wedding…
  • Photo: Listening to Villa Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras while curled up and lost in my book.
  • Its Italy vs. England…having a bit of an identity crisis here. Sorry England, but Forza Azzurri! #euro2012 #italia #football
  • Photo: Supporting Italia tonight against England in Eurocup 2012 #Italy #eurocup (Taken with Instagram)
  • Italy playing well controlling the game vs England. But more luck on our final touch in the second half. 0-0 #euro2012 #italiainghilterra
  • I wish Napoli’s Di Natale had been put in sooner. Still goaless in extra time. #diNatale #euro2012 #Italy #napoli #italia
  • Goal???? No offsides. Pout. #Italia #euro2012
  • Penalty shoot out time between Italy and England. I cannot look! Eeep! Forza Italia! #euro2012 #Italy #Italia
  • Italy going to semi finals against Germany! #euro2012 #Italia
  • ‎Oh Mondays. Was awoken at 0400 by the bright english morning sun, or was it the need to throw up, either way Im lying here with an emptied stomach, a residual burning in my throat, and the piercing light through my bedroom cutrains.
  • ‎”Just finished doing hair extensions. A perfect way to as length, fullness and/or colour. Email for…”
  • Listening to La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi @GetGlue #GiuseppeVerdi
  • Photo: ‘Something cute’: #day25 This London Swan #photoadayjune #swan #cute (Taken with Instagram)
  • Finished emails and two cups of tea, time for a little lunch and then its #selfportrait time for the 2012 challenge:
  • Know Thy Enemy: Intelligence in COIN Operations essay by @ryanA_official featured at:
  • Attempting to defeat gravity for a self portrait…but my head cold is making it difficult. :/
  • Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis is so beautiful. Its one for tuning out the world.
  • I really like Jeff the skateboarder. @BacheloretteABC
  • Happy Birthday to my beautiful friend @melissahurley_ , an amazing Makeup artist.
  • There is 50 Shades of Grey fanfiction. For clarification that makes it fanfiction based on a book, based on fanfiction based on a book. #smh

London, Father’s Day, and Forza Italia!

We have had a lot happen in the last week.  The best was going up to London with the boys. We got to meet up with my high school friend, Joann, from our NAHS days in bella Napoli, Italia today. Had such a great time. Ryan and I took the boys to the National History museum, a walk through Hyde park to see the Peter Pan statue, and to King’s Cross to see Platform 9 and 3/4. A pretty sweet way to spend a Saturday. There was Father’s Day of course and watching Italy play in the Eurocup 2012.  Here are the highlights in photos and tweets! xx

‘Art': A mask from Morocco from @ryana_official trip there this year.
#photoadayjune #art #Morocco 
Making happy eggs for @ryana_official on Father’s Day
Plaits & Braids in the hair are always pretty.
 #plait #braid #hairstyle 
‘In My Bag': the contents of my purse
‘Fave photo you’ve ever taken': For my Secret Lies of Women project on domestic abuse awareness #photoadayjune #bonnierose #conceptual #photography #abuse #awareness
‘Yellow': Ronan experiences what the Earthquake in Japan in 1995 was like.
The Peter Pan statue in London today and when I was 8.
Sneak peek for my self portrait challenge tomorrow. Want to join? Read comments.
 #selfportrait #challenge #self-portrait
Watching Italy vs Ireland. Forza Azzurri!
#italia #Italy #calcio #football
Platform 9 and 3/4
Boys’ first visit to National History Museum in
Outside the national history museum

  • Photo: ‘Art’: A mask from Morocco from @ryana_official trip there this year. #photoadayjune #art #Morocco…
  • If youre going to get literal with a RKelly song do trapped in the closet! You cant break your neck if youre trapped in a closet #wanderlust
  • Coworkers coaxed me to talk w/ my English accent instead of american. They said it was really good just I sounded really posh like the Queen
  • Missing my sister for reenact a scene from our childhood moment. scene@GetYourPHX @ZoeTweets #peterpan #London #memory
  • Spent the day hiking, something my dad loved. Had we not gotten lost, wouldnt have found the poppies. The VFW icon always reminds me of him.
  • MMR vaccine now connected to Autism – Italian Court ruled it did cause harm
  • David Beckham and Adam Levine have made a point that a man’s best accessory to abs are arm tattoos. #abs #tattoos #Beckham #Levine #sexy
  • Any mean thing someones gonna think of to say about me, Ive already said to me, about me, probably in the last half-hour – 
  • @girlsHBO #GIRLS
  • Photo: Watching Italy vs Ireland. Forza Azzurri! #italia #Italy #calcio #football (Taken with Instagram)

  • Goooooaaaaalllll! Go Italia!
  • ITALIA!!! They are in the Quarter Finals!! Forza Azzurri! #euro2012 #italia #football #calico
  • By wearing my bikini inside, wearing coconut scent and flowers in my hair, while listening to Hawaiian music it can BE summer in England. 😉
  • Photo: I used to own a plethora of Archie, Betty, and Veronica comic books when I was in elementary school….

Live Aloha. Remember Charles.