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Best Week Ever/3

If you are new to my Best Week Ever series this is my way of looking back on each week positively. Every week should be our best week and even when times are tough find something that makes life beautiful to be living.  This week I have to say I am happy for the warm weather.  It is the first real summer that I have experienced in England.  Last year we got two weeks of great weather right at the time Ryan and I were on vacation in Italy. It has been really lovely to see the beautiful blue skies and spend so much time outdoors with my family.  This past weekend we went to a local fete and spent time walking along the canal and the parks in Bath, England.  Anytime we can be outside as a family is a great day for us.  This week has gone by so fast and I am glad to welcome this weekend and all it has to offer.  
1. Summer Fete.  I learned that it is pronounced like ‘fate’ in American and not pronounced like it rhymes with ‘set’. Have been to three now saying it the wrong way.  Luckily I have an awesome friend who is also an American expat that was able correct this blunder this week.  
2. Wedding dvds. I have a really good friend named Sally.  She was my husband’s neighbour growing up back in Illinois.  She has always been really nice since I met her and probably one of my biggest supports.  I am almost always getting online to find a sweet comment that Sally left for me on one of my photographs.  She  sent us a care package this week with a wedding dvd her husband made at our wedding in 2003 and a dvd of her daughter singing at her wedding this summer.  It was so thoughtful and I just wish Sally and Arlie could be here this summer for our vow renewal.
3. Scars. The portrait for this self portrait saturday was focused on one of the scars on my neck. It is a memento from after I was born with being a premie and surgeries for a disease.  Read more about it on Self Portrait Saturday.  Remember there will be another post tomorrow and you can link up with us! 
INSTAGRAM: Therese were a few of my favourite Instagram photos from the weekend.  We walked into town on Sunday along the canal, which is one of my favouite ways to get there.  We also got to enjoy the view from the Pulteney Bridge where we stopped for ice cream. This bridge is like the one in Florence where it has shops all the way across it. The weather is really warm hot out here and there has been lots more drinking of Pims. You can follow me on Instagram here.

Weekly Wishes: I discussed my weekly wish, my plan to get rid of my wardrobe and the reasons behind it.
Travel Tuesday: A new link up with my cohost Belinda.  This week I take you to the Darker Side of Pompeii.
Life in England: A Sports Day recap with a special VLOG on Third Culture Kids by my son, a TCK.
Photography: This week’s photography post was an instruction on how to take your family portraits.

This has been my first week using the Disqus app for my comments.  You might remember I had tried using it before for a day but went back to the blogger comment format since I like being able to email back and forth with my readers.  I will say having not been able to respond with everyone do to the ‘no reply blogger’ issue I finally decided to give Disqus another try.  Right now I really love it.  I am still able to have a continual conversation with you as we get email notifications to reply back to each other and I have found more people are leaving comments now than with the old system.  
So I wanted to ask how do you like it? 

r e a d i n g  i n  b l o g  l a n d :
The Way I Wanderlust – Magnetic Island, Australia by Kaylie
Expandng – Tips on Photographing Butterflies by Lisa 
With Love, Rachel – The Right Way to Make a Mojito by Rachel 
World Traveling Military Family – Local Tourist Pt. II Montgomery AL by Mrs B
Starletta Designs – Handmade Jewelry Designs by Tara
Jessica Lynn Writes – 1000 Pounds What Would You Pack by Jessica Lynn 
Found Love. Now What? – 4 Things I Did to Grow & Change my Blog by Belinda
An Invisible Crown – Weekly Wishes by Jade
Beauty Expresssion – Tops & Flops by Luchessa

Q: How has this been your Best Week Ever?
I am also linking up with Casey:
 We Took the Road Less Traveled 
Tweet this Blog Hop!

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

Summer Fete in Batheaston

Yesterday we attended our second fete for the Summer season and it will not be our last.  Though we almost feared the weather would have ruined this gem of summers in Great Britain. It was set to begin at noon but we did arrive until three because of the pouring rain.  Miraculously the rain stopped and we were able to spend the last hour of it partaking in all our favourite fete activities.  There was drinking of Pims, letting the boys spend pocket money on activities, checking out the goods for sale, and the eating of cakes and ice cream. The only thing we missed out was on a delicious bowl of strawberries and cream.  However in its place we got to watch a Maypole dance with local school children.  If that was not enough dancing for my boys, they also got to partake in dancing to Gangnam Style.  I left with a happy family, a full belly, and a camera filled with documented memories and a nearly dead battery.  All in all it was a lovely village fete and I look forward to our next one in two weeks time. If the photos below are not enough to get you to a summer fete this year, I took two videos posted to Instagram as well.  To which I have to say is a new feature I highly love. However since they do not allow embedding of videos yet, insert shameless plug to follow me on Instagram here.
** Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved –

Weekend Edition: 27/28 of April ’13

This weekend my husband and I decided to take the family into town where we live in Bath, England.  The weather looked like it might become fowl, but with only a few minutes of rainfall we enjoyed both some sun and some cloudy chill skies. There are stil many shops that we have not been into so we ventured into some new places on Saturday.

For those of you who do not know, my husband loves to shop.  When I met him in University he was happy to buy shirts for a quarter at the local thrift store bin of work shirts. However somewhere between being married to me and then having to wear a uniform with the USAF he found a love for good quality clothes.  When you are married to your best friend AND he loves to shop for himself it is a win-win in my book. Now I just have to get him to start buying me clothes 😉

I also finally got an eye exam this week and new glasses.  My most current frames broke in January and I have been wearing a very old perspiration sine then.  I cannot explain to a person with 20/20 vision how amazing it is to finally be able to see.  I can also now stop wearing my prescription sunglasses inside the house which means I will also have to stop singing ‘I wear my sunglasses at night…’

Today has been relatively chill with us staying at home, planning a birthday party for my youngest, and watching the Arsenal game this afternoon.  We did miss out on our country walk this week, having opted to go into town instead.  This was due to practical matters as well as my eldest is currently without the right shoes for mud.  His boots have a gap in the heel and on our last walk he is foot got covered and soaked in muddy water.  However his replacement wellies are due next week so we can venture out in the countryside on the weekend.

Here is a little overview of what I have shared on Instagram this week and weekend:

Photography by Bonnie Rose via her Instagram. Follow @the_bonnierose

Q: How was your weekend?
Bonnie Rose

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

The Best Weekend so Far

This has been the best weekend so far.  I start this post off with quite lofty expectations of what my family and I did these past two days.  To be fair we really have not done that much.  We did leave the house yesterday on our weekly country walk.  It was not the most amazing country walk that we have gone on since we moved here at the end of December.  There were no celebrity sightings nor did we go  visit any museums.  I could list off and ramble a good amount of other things that could give reason to why this weekend could have been amazing.  I do not need too.  This has been the best weekend so far for the pure reason that we were together and we enjoyed every moment.  Life has made it apparent to me in recent years of how short it can be.  I have also seen how miserable life can be when you cannot share the preciousness with those you love.  How you can not get back the time once it has past.  
This was the best weekend so far because we lived the moment.  We enjoyed our country walk and relished over how much we love being outside.  We saw a couple of young deer and two wild pheasants.  We got to travel through a part of the countryside we have yet to explore.  My kids accustomed to our long walks did not complain once this weekend the entire time we were outside and were able to keep up.  We had an amazingly warm day where no jackets were needed and we wished we were all wearing a summer wardrobe.  Back at home we enjoyed watching the Arsenal football game together cuddled on the couch.  Afterwards we realized it was much warmer outside than it was in our home.  Ryan got the lawn chairs out and we sat outside drinking wine and talking as a family.  The best part was counting ten different hot air balloons and a hangglider up in the sky from our back garden.  
It is only midday of Sunday and our weekend continues.  I look forward to soaking up every second of it. I hope you are all enjoying every precious moment with the ones that matter most in your life. 
Bonnie Rose

*Instagram photography by Bonnie Rose © 2013 All Rights Reserved

Weekend Edition: 13/14 of April ’13

We started this weekend off with pancakes and our country walk.  There was a little debate about whether or not we would be going outside since the weather clearly was ‘rain’ and an Arsenal game would be on in a few hours.  However my need to be outside in the country won over and we got the boys ready for our walk.  Every week it is pretty much the same.  My sons will complain or find reasons to complain for the first fifteen minutes and then they have an amazing time for the entirety of our journey. Time seems to stand still when we are outside, hours pass, and my boys just enjoy the moment.  I really look forward to my weekends with my family. I had been working in a salon when we first moved to England.  I loved working as a hairstylist but it includes working on the weekends.  I was working Saturdays and my husband was working Sundays. Time off for ‘family time’ was seldom and is why I cherish these walks even more.  There is always something new to see.  Today it was the giant monochromatic cows grazing in the pastures as we walked right past.  It may have rained on us. We may have been drenched by the time we got home. It was still a wonderful walk and we came home with smiles on our faces.  Hope you all had a lovely weekend with the ones who matter most. 
Beautiful sunny day awaited us this morning before we headed out on our walk to church. 
Rain meant mud and puddles. Two things I just love when I am wearing my beloved pink Hunter wellies. 
Raindrops falling from the limbs of a thorn encrusted branch. You really can find beauty if you look for it.
Climbing is always involved on the public footpaths.  This is how you climb from one side of the gate to the other.
Very slippery mud in this area so we kept to the planks like pirates of the English land. 
The cows grazing in their fashionable monochromatic trend.  
We of course had to ‘moo’ and hope the cows would in turn talk  with us.  
The one on the left stopped grazing for a moment so I could partake in a country walk photo op. 
Follow the yellow arrows and look out for the public foot path signs.
Maddox got splattered with mud when I hopped down from the gate.  It looked like he cried mud.
Not sure why I feel I look grumpy, because I was anything but while we are outside. Love being outside.
I had to run to get this photo.  If you have ever walked at Ryan’s normal walking pace, you know why. 😉
If it was not so wet I would have easily sat down and enjoyed the flowers. 
Oh how I love Spring!  April Showers bring May flowers right? 
Trying to keep up with taking more photos of the two of us together this year. Ronan helped out today. 
We stopped by the shop for milk and it was still raining.  However they did not seem phased by the weather. 
Sometimes I wish I could pause moments in time.  This would be one of them. 
This is how my hair looked when we got home. Long curly waves and lots of frizz. Oh and no make up. Enjoy! 😉
After church today we enjoyed homemade parsnip soup and a few pots of tea.  The sun is outside but taking it easy today as we catch up with the laundry from the week.  I should really post about how I do laundry in England, because it quite differs from the US. Till then, let me know how your weekend was and what you got up too!
 *photos belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
* For information regarding the use of photography by Bonnie Rose and photographic services contact bonnie[at]bonnie-rose[dot]co[dot]uk

Boys getting older and moving up.

My boys left recently with my in-laws to go back to the USA for seven weeks this summer.  I will be joining them after I get back from my trip with my partner to mainland Europe. It will be 11 years since I have been back to my home in Napoli, Italia where I grew up twice for a total of 6 years.  As much as I cannot wait to go back home and that I hope it does not go by too fast, I am really looking forward to seeing my boys again in three weeks.  We have had to be apart in different countries or continents four times over the last seven years, and it does not get easier. Things can be quite loud at home when you are raising two boys, but after about 4 hours of silence it has been too quiet.  I miss them so much.  Going to look back over their last week here in England and highlight the best parts of our time together.

As you might remember we went bowling in May for my 5 year old’s birthday party.  We had a great time and the boys have been wanting to go back ever since.  They got that chance while Bob and Sue were here and the boys got to show off their bowling skills.  Ronan brought his a game and his competitiveness and really showed us up.   Its been crazy to see how much they have been growing up over this year so far.   Both boys have really pushed forward in their reading for one thing. Maddox went from not reading at all in August to now he can read from chapter books. After finishing our latest Harry Potter book, both boys were in need for summer reading.  We used their gift certificates from school to get them some great choice reading about dragons and samurai.  The boys are also moving on up in their groups at bible class over at our church.  This past sunday was their last day until they get in September. Maddox will be moving into Ronan’s class and Ronan will be moving up to the next class.  They are both excited about the move up.  I signed us up for a church retreat for when we get back and I hope they will have fun on the weekend trip.  We saw the baby ducklings on our walk home and the boys were telling me how big they think they will be when we get back.  It has been fun watching them get bigger since our first time finding the babies.  
The last day the boys were here we went to the store so I could get them proper hats for the hot summer awaiting them in the USA where temperatures have been in the 100’s (F).  They look really cute in them, but they look so much older when they wear them. It does not help that I gave them hair cuts before they left for the summer. Ronan maintained his style, but Maddox wanted a big change. He wanted batman shaved into the back of his head. We might try that this summer.  When I asked Maddox what he wanted he said he wanted hair ‘like Ronan’ and when I use my ‘hot thing that makes it straight’.  So we went shorter to help keep his curly hair maintained.  The boy has a lot of hair so I basically took it short on sides and back and on the top I did not really take off any length, just took out a lot of weight.  So hes got a lighter and more trendy look. Which makes him look older.
I let the boys sleep in our room on their last night and it was hard to sleep with listening to them sleep so sweetly next to me.  I even woke up before my alarm set for 0430.  It was hard to get up, but I wanted to make sure I made them a proper breakfast.  The boys were dressed in the outfits I laid out and finished with their breakfast before their Papa even woke up. I definitely take from my dad with getting ready in the morning.  With the extra time I took the boys outside to take some last photos before I see them again. They were so cute for it being so early in the morning.  I think Ronan took it hardest when they drove away, and I basically almost threw up outside for all my neighbours to see after they left.  I think the anxiety just really drove the nausea.  Luckily I ended up feeling better in a few hours. But my heart still hurts. I miss my boys so much.  With having them apart before, I really do not like nor want to have to be apart from them ever again.  3 weeks.  I can do this.  Ronan and Maddox, mummy loves you so way much! 

Bowling with my boys.
Bowling Bros 
My boys just finished reading The Prisoner of Azkaban. Their reward?
Getting to see the film for the first time and Ive promised butterbeer.
#butterbeer #harrypotter #book #read
My partner and I at dinner tonight.

My boys with their chapter books for Summer reading.
#book #read #summer #dragon #samurai
Fresh flowers decorate the arch of the church this morning.
#church #lindfield #door #flowers #arch #allsaints
Secret! Today I noticed a filled in stairway in church.
#history #church #lindfield #allsaints #stairs #hidden #secret #arch #old
Peach rose bush in Lindfield 
#rose #peach #roses #lindfield #cloud 
Watching the ducklings after church
#ducks #church #allsaints #lindfield
My OCD has paid off. In the process of organizing one giant box of legos
into several easy to categories, we located the missing Sonic Screwdriver.
#sonicscrewdriver #doctorwho #tardis #lego #OCD
Classy. My sons drinking milk from the ‘fancy’ glasses.
Taught my boys how to wear their new hats from River Island.
#riverisland #hiphop #hat #summer #boys
Ronan. Your smile melts my heart.
#ronan #hat #hiphop #batman #smile
Maddox. He looks older with that chocolate mustache.
#hat #maddox #max #hiphop #mustache #costa #son
Maddox and I painted our nails. He chose rockstar grey
and I chose a matte orange-y pink.
#nails #colour #pink #orange #grey #hands
Loop plaits
#hair #hairstyle #plaits #braid
My son twirls his hair when he reads.
#socute #hair #read #book #boy #twirl
Last night with my boys at the pub before their flight back to the USA.
#raisingboys #pub #food #dinner #family @ryana_official
My son making sure no one eats his mushrooms. 
Dont worry, Papa doesnt like them. 
#food #mushrooms #pub #son 
Desserts are stressed spelled backwards.
#pub #dessert #food #etonmess
Gave Maddox a haircut at midnight. Now we are whispering
stories before we fall asleep. Early flight tomorrow.
#hairstyle #haircut #maddox #max #short
The boys found one of my necklaces, and since its a rarity
that I wear gold I let Max have it.He looks so grown up.
 #chain #gold #maddox #max #hat #hiphop #boy #son
Amazing how awake my boys were at 0500 for a photo op.
Took these right before they left for the airport.
#raisingboys #son #hat #hiphop #shaka #hilife #peace #smile #boy
I have never seen so much of my dad (RIP) in Maddox than today.
I wish had photos of him at Maddox age to compare.
#dad #son #grandson #expression #photobooth #genes #maddox #max

  • Just awoken from a dream about Dad. He had sent me a care package and it had just arrived in the post. I wish there was mail services between here and Heaven.
  • Second time seeing this film. First time I bawled like a baby in the theatre because De Niro’s character reminds me …
  • After beating ME3, going back through the games starting with the first one. @GetGlue #MassEffect
  • Living vicariously through @SethGreen this week while his Instagram feed shows photos from @Comic_Con #SDCC #SDCC2012
  • Finally watched the big episode about Sam Ax’s fate. Michael & Fiona are my favourite tv couple.
  • Boys and I read this last year and found the movie on lovefilm today. We are discussing how cool it would be to live in a tree house. The film makes us miss island life on Hawaii.
  • I love that the Hill’s Whitney Port is a judge this season.
  • Wearing my Deanna Troi shirt to dinner with Magners and @ryanA_official #nextgeneration #startrek #nerd #cidre
  • Gearing up for London 2012 by introducing my boys to a film from my childhood. Belly laughs galore!
  • Jessica Biel to play Viper in yhe next Wolverine film…awesome! #wolverine #comics
  • “That’s right, Kenny. The babysitter is dead.” Im pretty sure my sister, Zoë, and I could quote the whole film.
  • Woah it is the Doctor in Lego form at #SDCC #doctorwho #SDCC2012 #cosplay
  • Madonna may be 53, but she does not look a day over 35 @MadonnaWorld #Madonna #MDNAParis #MDNATour
  • ‎4 Reasons I wish I could have gone to ComicCon: @Bourdain @GroovyBruce @sethgreen @mattsmith_dw TY to those who posted pics #SDCC #SDCC2012
  • I have some down time and wanted to shoot. But out of apples and oranges and the store closed 30min ago. :( #selfportraitchallenge2012
  • TKMaxx has a lot of surf wear…a lot of Billabong. Makes me forget Im living in the UK and its raining. #beach #surf #tkmaxx #billabong
  • Found a pink Hello Kitty espresso maker. #hellokitty #espresso #coffee #pink #purple #tkmaxx
  • It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.
  • Photo: Preview of my latest self portrait entitled ‘Orange Crate’. #selfportrait #self #orange #oranges…
  • The back of my FIL’s shirt. I miss Haleiwa. #hawaii #haleiwa #shirt #turtle #honu #aloha
  • Their suitcase packed, their outfit laid out, & carryon ready. Let my boys sleep in my room. Want to stay up & listen to them sleep. Peace.
  • Just said goodbye to my boys. :( They left with inlaws for 7 wks in the USA. Safe drive & safe flight. Mummy misses u.

The InLaws Visit

My boys have been counting down the days for weeks until their Papa and Mimi come over to England.  The day finally arrived last week and there have been smiles all around.  The first full day the boys got to show them around their school as we went in for the award ceremony.  The boys met me at work on Friday and we went out for smoothies afterwards.  We spent the afternoon painting and played games together.  On Saturday we took the boys to Crawley to see the new Spiderman film and it really exceeded my expectations.  We had our first mexican meal in over a year at a nearby restaurant in the town.  What was really interesting inside were the chandaliers. A few were made from old spoons and one from old bottles.  I posted photos from the below. Sunday the boys and I walked into Lindfield for church.  We got to see the little ducklings and they are just as cute as ever.  Unfortunately the English summer rain caught us in the downpour.  Monday we decided to go see Bodiam castle and there we were greeted by hoards of ducks.  They were quite cute and we had fun feeding them.  Another creature I found was a fuzzy little bat sleeping on the castle wall inside.  It was quite cute.  On the way back we decided to take a detour to the beach in Hastings.  The weather was so cold and it made me miss the warm Hawaiian sun.   We caught up with the rain again on Tuesday, this time in London.  We went to the British museum for most of the day and I think the highlight for me was the Picasso exhibit.  The boys really enjoyed seeing the mummies.  While on the subway we were right next to the actress from Doctor Who (and ER), Alex Kingston, who plays River Song.  No photo unfortunately to share but it was another highlight of the day.  The boys enjoyed playing on the pirate ship at Hyde park while it was not raining.  It has been a good first week.  Just one more week left with the boys before they head over to the US.  I am sure it will go by way too fast. :(

The inlaws surprise the boys at school.

Ronan reads his story to his Papa and Mimi at school.

My boys receiving their awards at the end of the year award ceremony at their school.

2 for 1 smoothies today at 

Painting with watercolours with my sons. 
#painting #watercolour #watercolor #drawing #art

Afternoon art 
#art #artwork #painting #watercolor #watercolour #girl 

Lost a game of Monopoly to my father-in-law. I traded Mayfair to complete the pink properties…and then landed on both blue properties! 
#monopoly #pink #Mayfair #gamenight 

Strawberry love. 

Bottle chandelier 
#chandelier #light #bottle #decor

I love hugs from my little man.

Spoon chandelier 
#spoon #chandelier #decor

Waiting for the rain to stop and the pub to open for lunch. 
#selfportrait #rain #England

The baby ducklings in Lindfield are getting bigger and are still so very cute. 
#ducks #lindfield #pond

For ‘blood sucking’ creatures of the night they are quite fuzzy and cute. 
#bat #castle

I caught this duck drinking from the dog bowl. 

I had him eating out of my hand. 


He is a silly knight named Maxalot.
 #knight #sillyface

At the seaside in Hastings 

Fish faces with my son Maddox 

Checking out the mummies at the British Museum 
#museum #london #skull

With my sons at the British museum 
#museum #london

Princess Diana Memorial Playground in 
#london #memorial #princess #Diana

  • ‎9 and half hours till their arrival. #inlaws
  • Best part of my morning? Finding a 2 pence coin in the hose of my hoover. No wonder it lost suction. Glad its not broken. #firstworldproblem
  • My american father in law is playing chicken with on coming traffic when deciding what lane to drive in here in the UK. :/
  • Clean house and just finished the dishes from supper. Whats a girl to do but kick up her feet with a cup of tea.
  • Photo: Painting with watercolours with my sons. #painting #watercolour #watercolor #drawing #art (Taken with…
  • Photo: Lost a game of Monopoly to my father-in-law. I traded Mayfair to complete the pink properties…and…
  • Watching Karl in Mexico with the hubs and my father-in-law. Yay for hearty belly laughs.
  • “What Naples is, is a damn beautiful.” – Anthony Bourdain So excited about going back home to bella Napoli this summer!
  • Have focused on pushups lately. Sleeping with my hands behind my head, cant tell if its painful in my chest muscles or feels great #exercise
  • Hoping it is better than the last three, than again Im not a fan of Tobey as Spidey. @GetGlue #AmazingSpiderMan
  • IDK whats more exciting, the next Bond film, another Batman film with Christian Bale or the newest film in the Bourne Series.
  • I ♥ High tops for guys. Can you suggest brands that make affordable ones in boys sizes? My kids outgrow shoes fast.
  • Going back through the series starting with season I of NCIS
  • Slept on my neck wrong and today my neck progressively keeps getting worse. Hurts to hold my head up. :( #painful
  • My 5 yo went from not reading at all in Aug to tonight where he read from Harry Potter to me. So proud. I ♥ reading HP with my sons. #read
  • What do you call a Frenchman wearing sandals? >>>>>>>>>>Philippe Phillop. #joke
  • Bachelor is Spencer Mathews from Made in Chelsea. Game on.
  • Making faces on the train commute to London
  • Photo: Self portrait in castle by candlelight #selfportrait #castle @thebonnierose
  • Just rode on the subway two seats away from Alex Kingston aka River Song #doctorwho
  • Today I sat next to Alex Kingston on the subway, saw a Japanese artifact that looked like a dalek, and spotted this doctor who bank note at the #BritishMuseum #doctorwho #dalek #tardis
  • Woke up from an extended afternoon nap just in time for dinner and a thunderstorm. The rain and thunder sound so beautiful. #rain
  • Just shy of 0430 and watching the sun come up.