Friday, July 19, 2013

Show Off & Inspire-Desire Empire

I am so thrilled to be able to Show Off and Brag about Carolyn from Desire Empire.  She is so talented and so creative and just plain awesome.  An example of her style, ingenuity and go for it attitude is the fabulous settee on her porch.  Wait 'til you find out how it came about.  

A repurposed day bed I found on the side of the road, now lives on our front deck

Ok, enough from me, please welcome Carolyn and enjoy her fabulous tour from down under.

Hi I'm Carolyn and I blog from a sweet little post war beach house on Sydney Australia's northern beaches.
I am married to Mr Beach House.  My two kids, 10 and 4, are known on my blog Desire Empire, as the Beach House Brats.  Funny how it goes, but I was a fabulous mother until I had kids.
Like most households raising small children, it can be chaotic at times, but I love nothing more that to swan around making my home look good on a budget. 

We have slowly brought the cottage back from the bring of oblivion and it is still a work in progress.  I recently made over my daughter's bedroom.

The kitchen, and living room are finished.

My dad's old vintage surfboard
Although we live only an hours drive from the heart of the city,  the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the pace of life here on Sydney's Beaches is very relaxed and we often say we live in paradise.  Mr Beach House is a well known local boat builder and sailor, so we spend a lot of time on the water.

My Back Deck

I love to recycle and repurpose vintage pieces and recreate them with beachy style

This ladder gets used alot in my decorating
I am often known to make over my mantel again and again.

The mantel often accommodates my latest crafting project.

Or seasonal fare
Christmas Mantel

Spring Mantel

I love to craft and create

Beach party shoes

Lotus Napkins

Lately I find myself baking and cooking up a storm as an expression of my creativity.

I have recently lost 17 kg after having a skiing holiday, where my much older husband was doing two runs to my one.  Ironically I am the skier in the family.  It made me realise if I didn't do something about the baby weight I had failed to lose, I would be staring down the barrel of all sorts of health problems in the future.  So I started eating a Mediterranean style diet, with loads of fish, fruit and vegetables and whole grains and it hasn't been that difficult to drop the weight.  I also gave up alcohol and cakes initially, but I am finding the last 5kg difficult to lose though having reintroduced those things infrequently..

Moroccan Eggplant Salad

I also cook lots of light Asian food

Easy Prawn Wontons
But I don't miss out on anything really.  This luxurious chocolate mousse was made with avocados, bananas, maple syrup and cacao powder and was so delicious and easy to throw together.

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Mousse
I cooked this fabulous Chinese Pepper Steak at the Sydney Good Food and Wine Show to win my heat of a cooking competition I entered.  I didn't win the final, but learned heaps about myself and how to improve my cooking by entering.

Chinese Pepper Steak
On the blog I also feature lots of the beautiful homes for sale in the area.  This is a real sea change area and living here is a little like being on a permanent holiday, so lots of my readers are interested in the houses around here.

I also write lots of stories on our fabulous surroundings up here on the beaches.  I give lots of tips on where to stay and shop and fun things to do up here in paradise.

One of my favourite local vintage stores

My Beach

Sailing on Pittwater our local harbour

Some recent roadside finds
We do alot of entertaining at the beach house, particularly in Summer and I love to lay a beautiful table for guests.  It usually has a beach feel.  I love nothing more than opening up the house in the warmer months.  We are very lucky with the climate  in Sydney and can eat out doors for about 9 months of the year.

My Coastal Christmas Table

And finally, I adore Christmas crafting and baking.  For me it's the best time of the year on my blog.

No Bake Christmas Candy Tree

Nordic patchwork ornament

Reindeer Cookies

Thanks for inviting me to stop by Marty and share my story with your readers.  I really appreciate it.
Are you as impressed as I am with all of her talents.  Not only can she decorate, but she's a fabulous cook too.  There's always something wonderful on her blog, so if you aren't a follower, you really need to be.  Just go to  Desire Empire and click to follow.

If you would like to be featured on Show Off and Inspire, just send me an email.  

  I am linking to the following parties:

Wendy at The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Alison at Stuff and Nonsense for Friday's Unfolded
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Diann at The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Kate at Chic On A Shoestring Decorating for Flaunt It Friday
Jane at Finding Fabulous for Frugalicious Friday
Jennifer at Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Linky Party
Jen at Tatertots and Jello for Weekend Wrap Up Party Friday
Karen at Redoux Interiors Friday Party
Classy Clutter for Spotlight Saturday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks Linky
Aimee at It's Overflowing for Overflowing with Creativity Sat.

Let's stay in touch, click below or follow with
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  1. Marty I just love her blog. It just makes me what to live near a beach or lake. Someday Hubby and I are hoping for when he retires. Thanks for sharing her blog with us.

  2. That looks like such a great place to visit. Thanks for introducing her to us!

  3. Wow! I love Carolyn's place. So beautiful and inviting. It makes me think of vacation! Thanks for sharing her with us. I think I'll head on over to see more now. Blessings to you, Patti

  4. Country Bloke is from Sydney and we've talked about buying a beach house in Cronulla beach or going somewhere less populated like Crescent (Cressie as he says it) Head. Your beach house is absolutely beautiful. I love the way you re-purposed the surf board to be a message board!

  5. You are truly talented Carolyn!!!! And your home is gorgeous as well as all your tablescapes and decorative vignettes! Thanks for the intro Marty! Following now. :-)

  6. Hi Marty! Oh, I love these places and the first home is just so beautiful.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)


  7. what a beautiful home and a spectacular location. Talk about a dream place:)

    your very talented Carolyn and your scapes and vignettes are lovely.

    I enjoyed this tour very much.. Thanks Marty for the introduction to another great new blog for me to follow and visit..

    Happy Weekend to Ya'll

  8. Oh my, Carolyn has such a beautiful home. I love her beachy decor.

  9. I, too, love the sea and enjoy reading about others who do. Beach decor is my favorite and this was a fun look at the other side of the world! Thanks.

  10. What a gorgeous place she lives in. I am heading over to her blog now. xo Laura

  11. Marty, what a lovely bog. So glad that you showed her beautiful home and crafts. I am going over there right now and signing up.
    Many thanks.

  12. Thanks so much Marty for the opportunity to share my home with your readers. I appreciate it very much.
    And thanks to all your lovely readers for their kind words.


  13. Thanks for sharing Marty! Beautiful post!

  14. Nice feature ... Thanks for sharing!

  15. What a fabulous beach house and she's such a great decorater for this kind of style...soo fresh, warm and inviting! I love all the White and her beach Christmas too. Amazing! Big hugs,

  16. Oh...thanks dear Marty for sharing, too!

  17. Oooh, I'm so lucky to know Carolyn first hand and she really is lovely in real life. I wish I lived closer to just pop in for a cuppa and experience her hospitality and beautiful home.

    Anne xx

  18. What a lovely home and blog! Thanks for sharing with us on TTF this week! Love the roadside finds!


  19. Great to see Carolyn over here, I'm in Sydney too and know Carolyn, she would faint if she saw my house right now, it's a huge mess!! Her home is gorgeous and she's a lovely person too, and very inspiring with the weight loss and healthy eating.