Monday, September 16, 2013

Make Time for Living With IKEA and an IKEA Gift Voucher Giveaway

This is a sponsored post for IKEA

Hello Beach Dwellers
As you know dear reader, the mantra at Desire Empire is living beautifully by the beaches, on a budget.  I like to pretty things up a bit and take lots of care with what I just makes me happy, but the fast pace of life can often get in the way.  One of the ways I destress, is to use my creativity as an outlet to counter the craziness that goes with family life and all the pressures of holding it together.  

Spending time with family and friends is a priority for most of us and for me, to be able to do it in a home that I love as well, is a great privilege and something I am very grateful for.   

So whether it is setting a beautiful table for guests, wrapping my Christmas gifts with great care,

 putting the love back into living, with a pretty coastal table,

lighting up my Christmas mantel with snowflake lights, to delight my children,

styling a coastal vignette in blue and white,

Laying around on beachy cushions, with an espresso on a Sunday morning, with the family,

taking time for morning tea after soccer, before we all go in different directions,

making a table that little bit prettier with tealights,

re doing a little girls bedroom, so it is a pretty place for her,

framing memories and a first pair of shoes,

foofing my lounge suite for the onset of Spring,

 arranging some lovely sunflowers, grown by the littlest beach house brat in the vegie patch, in an enamel jug,

placing a Chinese orchid in a pretty pot holder, which makes me smile,

using smart kitchen and glass ware to entertain my friends,

or even just a place to store some homemade pink lemonade.

It is amazing how often I use IKEA to make time for living pretty and well.  The product is clearly a staple at the Beach House and one which I continue to use over and again to express myself.  It is functional, beautiful and priced reasonably to fit within a family's budget.  

Life isn't a dress rehearsal - so make time for living.

To help you make time for living, I am giving away 2 $50 IKEA Australia Gift Vouchers. 
To validate your entry, here's what you need to do:  

Watch this short IKEA video and leave me a comment, letting me know what you think of Teddy's suggestions to make time for living and how you make time for living yourself.

Sharing this post to each of your social media platforms or giving it a Google + will constitute another entry.  Leave me a separate comment for each share.

And good luck.

Giveaway Terms and Conditionns
This is a game of skill.  
You MUST enter the giveaway on this BLOG by leaving a comment here. You do not need to have a Blogger account.  Just sign in as anonymous and leave an email address.
This competition is open to Australian Residents only.  
The prize is a $50 IKEA Australia gift Voucher.  There are 2 x $50 vouchers.  A person may only win ONE $50 voucher.
This competition is open from now until 30 September 2013 12pm Australian EST.
The winner will be announced on this blog, Face Book and Twitter and I will contact you, as long as you have left a valid means.  The winner will have 7 days to respond, otherwise the prize will be redrawn.
Disclaimer:  All products in this post have been purchased by me over the life of this blog and beyond, because I love them and still do.

If you would like Desire Empire posts to come straight to your inbox every ten days or so, you can sign up here for my Newsletter.

Today I am linked up here
With Some Grace       


  1. Looks wonderful! I was in Ikea last week and had to be physically restrained by my partner from buying everything for our new apartment. Still left with a PAX wardrobe though, so cant complain! Love,

  2. Hello and welcome back hope you had a well deserved break :)
    I agree, life goes by way to fast we need to stop and smell the roses, spend time with friends and family, and just slow down relax and just be. I love how you laid the table with the tree leaves, so Australian :) Im a big fan of the Ikea homewares, vases, and decor items they can really add lots of personality to a room for a pretty modest budget.

  3. Hello, what a cute video - with a message. I love how they shot it... the ex-TV producer in me coming out there. How true... time to claim back the lounge room from the laptop! Make time to see Gran and do family concerts... my wee lass loves to sing and dance and put on shows.

    As a family we are NOT as busy as many are... the kids don't do much outside school - at the most one thing a week, and next term two are doing nothing but play with their pals in the cul de sac. I'm so glad to live in the Sydney 'burbs which are safe for kids to play in.

    I haven't been to Ikea for years... but pre-Christmas is a great time to go as the decorations they have are so beautiful. Would love to win and enjoy a trip... and pick up lots of meatballs to dreeze too.

  4. I am sad that I am out another giveaway but I am nevertheless very pleased with your post and the host of ideas it gives me. I love the top shot of the blue and green table top and what you did with the sunflowers on top of the rustic Bushnell's box.It looks great.

  5. Teddy's suggestions have always been applicable... successful loving families have always known this!

    The menu's not exotic, but we make Saturday nights a compulsory, totally family time, with takeaway chicken, chips and salad, a movie or DVD and no phones! As the children grow, it may have to evolve into something more like the European tradition of the weekly family dinner...

  6. So many truths in the video.

    Just to reclaim family dinner time would be a start. We tend to all be eating at different times. The effort is worthwhile for now & the future.


  7. Taking the time to enjoy life more, Teddy has ideas galore, It is dining together I most adore, Preparing food for those you love to come together to share is never a chore.

  8. Ideas galore, Thanks Teddy for the thoughts on making meal times a time to come together and explore, Preparing food for those you love is never a chore, It is a motto I live by and those meal times I adore.

  9. I'm a Cancerian so my home is the most important place to me, I make time by starting the day early and getting up 3 hours before work.

    Where thou art, thou is home. Make time for living today!

  10. I agree. Go out, have fun and do some things thats out of the norm! I would love to be able to do that..I might start this weekend by organising my own birthday dinner!

  11. I love Teddy's suggestions- we fill so much of our time with 'stuff' and I for one am awaiting the return of stay-in-your-pj's-all-day days as a common event!

  12. From the Mouths of Babes.. Teddy sure has some very valid points. Watching his video made me think about how much time we DON'T spend together... Laptops, Phones, iPads, all get in the way and we wonder why we don't know much about each other anymore!

  13. Awwww, Teddy! Yes, life goes by quick, but I'd love to spend some quality time with hubby putting together an Ikea flat pack white gloss table, which is next on my list of must-have Ikea items :) gemmiealliston{@}

  14. Awwww, Teddy! Yes, time flies and it's hard to spend time with loved ones, but I'd love to spend some quality time with hubby putting together a flat pack high gloss white table from Ikea that I've had my eye on for ages!

  15. Very Well Said by Teddy making Quality Time for Family is so Important and it always Makes me feel so Good.

  16. Ted's 100% correct. Spending time with my family is paramount and for me the most sprcial time of them all

  17. 'I want to reclaim the lounge from our laptops' (um, yep that was meant for me Ted). Thank you. I'll just finish entering this competition and shut it off. :)

  18. Sorry, I got lost in the beautiful photo's in your post and the awesome rooms that boy was walking through!
    What was the question again? What you think of Teddy's suggestions to make time for living and how you make time for living yourself.
    I think Teddy has a pretty good grasp on life really. I sometimes get lost in just living, but I am on a mission to enjoy the present and always take the time to stop, look and listen baby! Sorry, just been to Vegas remember :)
    On a completely weird note, your advert regarding the InterCon in Moscow is really freaky timing. My son has decided our next holiday will be in Russia and we are InterCon Ambassador members. I was just about to look it up and there it was, here on your site.
    Anyways, back to the point. Love Ikea, love your flair. Would still love you to style our backyard table settings when it is finished. If I win, can you come shopping with me?

    1. Teddy makes a good point. And what parent wouldn't listen to such an adorable boy. Clever and creative ad. I think a compulsory "unplug" time between 5-7pm makes for great family time. Dinner and breakfast are my favourite time of the day.

      Gorgeous pics by the way!

  19. I agree, time goes way too fast you need to make time for living. I also love to have family meal times together at the table. Where we speak about our days and enjoy each others company, just like the Brady Bunch. :-)

  20. Love the giveway!

    mandaoverturf at yahoo dot com

  21. I agree. I wish I could enjoy living time

  22. I agree - I love the suggestions :)

  23. What a great ad. love it. actually have a few tears in my eyes as things have been so hectic lately and I'm looking forward to slowing down with my kids over the school holidays - some baking, playing board games, walks in the park, bike rides and lego sessions (and some me time if i can squeeze it in - i love wandering around markets - hardly surprising). thanks for sharing Carolyn.
    have a good weekend
    Fiona x

  24. That's quite the house Teddy has there. I agree, if you don't make time for living there's no point to life is there?

  25. Nice house Teddy. Agreed. If you don't make time for living, life is pointless isn't it?

  26. tweeted:

  27. Teddy's right - we all need to take the time to enjoy the big and little things of life and stop rushing from one thing to another.
    Me, I like fresh flowers on the table & kitchen bench, by the bedside and in the bathroom – all high use areas and every time I see them I smile. Baking on weekends: so the house is filled with happy smells that tell the occupants they’re loved. Sitting on the deck (whether with a cuppa or a glass of wine) and enjoying the birds calling and watching the clouds scurry. Saying ‘thank you’ and ‘I love you’ and giving hugs as many times as possible each day.

  28. Yes he has got it right! lets make time for the important things in life, dont worry about tomorrow it will have its own worries ,treasure every moment of time with our families time goes too fast, enjoy these special things in life

  29. Bang on Teddy. Its all about embracing now and what's important

  30. Loved Teddy's suggestions to make time for living. Healthy balance between work, rest and play, makes a happy life which is living life the way it should be. Ways I make time for living are by going for a walk (refreshes my mind and good for my emotional well being, as well as giving me motivation and energising me), Coffee/catch up with close girlfriends each week (great support group which encourages and inspires), Do a holiday roster in the holidays of activities the kids choose to do (It gets the kids involved and we all have fun spending time doing different activities, excitement every day as we choose a new activity to do), Having a relaxing bath (while reading a magazine, so relaxing and I feel revitalised). These are just a few examples of what I do to make time for living.

  31. Oops Forgot to leave my email address

  32. Well said young man! Bring back the burnt cookie smell, I love it! We try to have at least one day a week that is 'famliy day'. We might spend most of the morning doing housework & tidying, but at least we do it together & then we watch a movie of toddler's choice after lunch so we can all have a little rest :-)

  33. I shared on FB

  34. Oh Teddy - you put it perfectly! I'm forever telling hubby that we need to slow down and just spend time with the kids - kicking a ball, finding shapes in the clouds, talking about their dreams etc etc. That's living! After all, THEY are the important 'job' we're doing, NOT something that 'gets in the way' of our jobs. We are trying to dedicate half an hour every afternoon before dinner to doing just that - no phones, no distractions, just making memories together xx

    Gemmawestacott (at)

  35. Shared on Facebook!

  36. Wow, I'd make more time for living if I had a house like that, (though the cleaning time might be a bit much!).
    We currently make time for living by getting outside and walking. We go geocaching and the whole family get involved.

  37. I think what Teddy has expressed is sadly what a lot of kids feel but never express, and what we adults deny far too often!
    I make time for living by remembering to forget the time sometimes!!! I'm often hung up in schedules, planning and list-making, it's just part of my personality and not something I need to get rid of completely, but it does stop me from really living... which to me is all the small moments with the ones you love - playing a boardgame, sharing something home-baked for afternoon tea, or just having a laugh together. When I put down the planner and put on my silly hat, I can relax and have fun without worrying about a schedule and that's when life really happens!

    Thanks for the chance :)


  38. 'Put living back into the living room' - what sage advice! At the moment our living room looks more like an office with xerox boxes as makeshift storage 'units' so decoratively speaking I haven't made much time for living BUT every Fridays I try to get the family together for a movie night, to slow down after a busy work week, and just relax and have fun! Thanks for the chance xx

  39. It's great we are all so busy these days we forget to just enjoy

  40. Time for living happened here today on a rare day off together in school holidays we had six teenagers ( our 2, 2 cousins, 1 boyfriend and a new friend) all play table tennis, backyard cricket and card games ( spoons was deadly an injury to my neice may see her lose a fingernail ). Kids having fun eating us out of house and home whilst hubby and I pruned and weeded and planned for shed building. Aaaaah the serenity :) thanks IKEA.

  41. That Teddy kid sure is smart!! We are living in a Motorhome so one would think we are "Living" but lately we have been so busy with "Life" that those moments of being are speeding by far too fast.
    This last week I put a stop to that and I took two of our boys out nearly every day to somewhere new. I wanted us as a family to experience moments where we took our breath away by new adventures, new views and exploring new places. Happy to say that my soul was thanking me for it and I got to spend quality time with my family - getting off line is so very worth it :)


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