31 December 2014


|| Happy Holidays ||

It's the last day of December & this has been one hell of a year. This time last year we had already celebrated New Years in Sydney, watched the fireworks at the bay and wondered where we were heading next in our big adventure up the East coast of Australia. Our life consisted of surfing, sun tans and BBQs. Hell I know... 

This year things are a little different. No more living out of a car by the beach, we have taken to the Rockies in Western Canada, spending our free time on the snow with butterflies in our stomachs. (Though I miss the freedom of exploring new places and sleeping in our car Guss!)

The Christmas season is never the same when your family are not with you, but all of us at the Annex family here, have made it another awesome celebration. Good food, packages from home and a little skiing to see in 2015. 

A lot can happen in a year. Experiences, destinations, dreams coming true, dreams being made. For me 2014 was the year of travel. Lets see what 2015 brings. 

Happy Holidays 


19 December 2014


|| Chasing the Aurora & finding Shooting Stars ||

When the alerts started coming in on Wednesday night, a group of us quickly started grabbing cameras and layering up for some twilight photography. The chance of witnessing the incredible Northern lights or Aurora, was at its highest in months. 

Pulling into Lake Minnewanka, the mountains were pitch black in contrast to the millions of stars in the sky above. We set up our tripods and began taking some long exposures, checking to see if the camera could pick up anything our eyes couldn't. Apart from some vague red glows we had no luck! What we did witness were three of the longest & brightest shooting stars streaking across the sky. 

It was a night well spent with friends, laughing and stargazing. 


17 December 2014


|| Happy Birthday to my little blog ||

Time is a funny thing, one moment you could be wishing for it to speed up, waiting for something exciting to happen, other times however you never want it to end.

This year has been insane. It doesn't feel real. 

I am so thankful I decided to start this blog, Some reasons being to keep family & friends in the loop, anther is that my memory is shocking, so this visual diary saved my soul in ways that I can look back on things that were important to me at that time and digest that it was all in fact real & not a dream.

I like to believe that my blog has evolved from being my ramblings with a few photos thrown in, to a creative platform full of inspiration and opportunities. What does the future hold? Plenty more room for adventures, meeting like minded bloggers and a fun filled 2015. 



By Julie For Free People

I've always been stuck somewhere between minimalism and maximalism…

Born with an innate appreciation for all things over the top, outlandish and showy, but with a desire to live as simply as possible, I’ve struggled over the years to find balance between these two aspects of my personality. It’s often said that a cluttered space is the sign of a cluttered mind, yet I find exactly the opposite to be (at times) equally true: a space clear of debris leaves room for the intangible clutter so many of us hold within ourselves. The layers of our Selves, of past and present, of goals and aspirations spilling forth and filling every nook and cranny. Our outward-facing clutter often serves as a distraction, a screen that’s all too easy to hide behind, but strip that away and what’s left? Who are you, really?
Over the past few months I’ve been searching. Peeling back the layers in an effort to just be, creating some breathing room — both in my space and in my mind. As the years pass, it’s imperative that we learn to lighten the load, lest the burdens that we carry become too heavy. This weekend, allow yourself to live simply and see how it affects you.
First, know who you are: Try an outfit with no pretence, in earthen colors inspired by the winter landscape. Allow your personality to be your main accessory, complimented only with a few well-chosen accouterments. Don’t hide. Just be who you really are.
Explore the unexpected: Simple doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of reaching for the glittery gold polish, try a minimal grey and white manicure. Or a dramatic cat-eye on an otherwise bare face. One simple statement can make an impressive impact.
Make something, and then give it away: An exercise in letting go, create a beautiful object for the sake of creating. Draw, paint, sculpt, write. When it is complete, part ways. Give it to someone you love… or a stranger. But don’t view it as a gift, instead learn how to let go, see how it effects you, think about that feeling in the context of your life and apply it in a larger sense.
Always, sometimes, never: How often do you use what you have? Sort it out, pare it down. Sometimes, always, never… make three piles and split it up accordingly.
Use what you love: Don’t save your most cherished accessories, clothes, or belongings for special occasions. Use them. Love them. Create opportunities to showcase these posessions. If you have a gorgeous set of vintage china, host a dinner party to show it off. Think about it, if you only wear your favorite holiday dress once a year, you’ll only wear it five times in the next five years… that’s 1,820 other missed opportunities.

15 December 2014


|| Tender Bruises in Exchange for an Exhilarating Ride || 

Since swopping the salt water for snow powder I have noticed a few changes. The first being the aching of muscles in places I didn't know existed. The second being the amazement of how long it takes a tail bone to heal after a massive stack...though I suppose hitting it in the same place for the next three attempts didn't aid its recovery. 

Even though I miss my daily dose of Aussie lifestyle, defying gravity in the ocean with my fins, I don't regret my decision to move to Canada. I love the extreme temperatures of hot & cold that gives my travelling adventure a wonderful splash of diversity. I love the mountains, the clean air, the views so incredible a picture doesn't do it justice...

Over the past few days things have hyped up in terms of festivity. The Christmas parade has trundled down Banff Ave, the Christmas train has passed though in a whirl of lights, we have had our festive works doo, played a game of Canadian Curling and failed at showing our housemates some Welsh culture by accidentally making scones instead of Welsh cakes... 

I have been itching to try out my new ski poles, so this week it is happening. On Wednesday I finally get to stretch my legs and have a explore around Sunshine Village, no more baby slopes, its back to what I know best...until there is fresh powder at least. 


11 December 2014


The Power of Place.
By Laura Tovmassian for Darling Magazine

It was dark, but the air was clean and the evening was fresh. As we sat on a rickety wooden bench beside the moonlit lake, I began speaking candidly with my boyfriend about an old friendship. It was one that had been so enriching and challenging, but had since been made rusty by the mere effects of passing time and lack of effort. As I expressed my regret for the state of this broken friendship, he reminded me of the truth about brokenness: that we are rightly saddened by it because it’s unnatural and points at imperfection.
At the end of an hour-long conversation about faith, purpose, friendship and remorse, we sat in silence for a moment. Finally, he gestured at the scene in front of us – the foggy but moonlit sky over the murky but quiet lake – and said, “It sounds like you are kind of feeling this.”

And there it was, in all of its messiness. Looking out, I saw everything that I was feeling without even being able to put words to it. I appreciated this moment in all of its honesty, because it was altogether ambiguous and precise. It was more truthful than my words could be.
Sometimes, you find yourself in the right place at the right time during the right conversation. The scene fits the mood and compliments the topic of discussion. Your surroundings have been painted on the landscape of your narrative to represent the words that you cannot express that are written and known deep inside of you.
From joy to sorrow and excitement to fear, we encounter a variety of different emotions depending on the physical place in which we find ourselves. Entering a doctor’s office for an examination may cause you great anxiety, while sitting in your grandmother’s living room could make you feel peaceful or nostalgic. Simply visiting an old classroom where you took a very difficult or demanding class may be stressful, while entering the gym where you made the winning basket fills you with pride and adrenaline. You are the same person every place you go, but a combination of aesthetics, associations, memories, and circumstances makes each place affect you differently.
 "There’s a certain kind of peace that comes from recognizing intention and significance in your surroundings."
Although there may be times when we are unable to describe how we are feeling or why, we can feel understood when we say things like, “you know, that feeling you get when you are waiting to see the doctor?” or “remember how we felt when we were standing on the top of the Grand Canyon?” As much as it pains me to admit this, there are in fact some things that words simply cannot express. This is where visual art comes in.
Whether you express yourself through painting, drawing, singing, or writing, you become comfortable in your own form of expression until something unexpected causes you to recognize beauty in another context. If I gave paper and a pencil to each person in a classroom and simply instructed them all to use that paper and pencil to “tell me about themselves,” the variety of responses would likely be astounding. Some would draw a picture. Some would write a paragraph. Some would make origami. The possibilities would be endless and each person (even the ones who don’t consider themselves “artistic”) would create something unique.
The more appreciative we are of different forms of art, the more opportunities we will have to encounter beauty. The moment by the lake that I described earlier caught me by surprise because the idea of considering my thoughts in visuals was completely foreign to me. But even as somebody who thinks in words, the honest beauty of that moment gave me pause.
My encouragement to you is this: allow yourself to expand your concept of beauty by expecting to encounter it wherever you go. There should be at least a handful of moments in life that words can’t quite capture. Choose to treasure those moments.

18 November 2014


|| November Marks the First Year Travelling ||

Dedicated to all our loved ones at home. There is nowhere quite like it. 


15 November 2014


|| Mountain winds sound exactly like the Ocean's Waves ||

The gear has been ordered. Boards have been polished. The snow has started to fall. Ice covers the floor, the evenings are dark but the fires are lit. Each hand is gloved, hot chocolate in throat. Waiting. The temperatures are minus. Sun kissed freckles have vanished. People are queuing. The gondolas are running, chair lifts are moving, the shops are stocked. 

The doors have opened. The mountain season has begun. 




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