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Sunny Sunday and a lovely Castle

The medieval castle Schaloen, located in the south of the Netherlands.

Morning little birdies of the flock, want to come on a little walking tour in my proverbial backyard, just around the corner one town over? Visit a real castle and walk up and down some hills? Get our juices flowing and those tired winter muscles tingling again? Okay then, let’s walk.

Let’s soak up some sun in Sicily Italy

Sicily collage

Good day my friends. It is a busy time here, I survived my first full week at the office, but now my weekend will have to be so busy with activities to get it all done that I am getting tired just thinking about it. I think I need a vacation…..

I never got around to showing you my pictures of an extended weekend we spent on the beautiful island of Sicily in Italy in October. Well I think we could all do with a bit of sunshine in our lives, so lets go have ourselves a little summer shall we.

It was my first trip to Sicily and it will not be my last. What a beautiful island.

We stayed in three different places, we did a big city, we went to the coast and into nature and we spent some time in historic little country towns.

Of course there was the food, oh the food! I indulged in lots of gelato, and sea food (fish for me, sea fruit for my guy), and lots of really good Italian coffee (espresso for the man, Latte Machiato’s for the lady), with a bit of delicious sweet on the side.

The island is so divers: it has these magnificent cliff top views, the ocean is so bright blue, there is history on every corner, and the food is wonderfully unique and good. I was in love.

We had gorgeous weather the whole time, I just kept marveling at the fact that it was already the second half of October and I was wearing shorts and t-shirts and swimming in the sea. We had a marvelous time and now that we know that this beauty of an island is only a two hour flight away (going to Amsterdam takes just as long by train), we will surely visit more often.

I’ll just shut up now and let you soak up some of that gorgeousness, hopefully it will warm up your weekend.

Have a good one, my friends!


Palermo, capital of Sicily


holiday Sicily Italy_-4


CLICK HERE to see more

See the Windmills spin at Zaanse Schans in Holland

Visit Zaanse Schans Dutch traditional homes and windmills-9


Wanna play tourist with me? Shall we go explore a beautiful part of my country that I have never visited before? Wanna go see the windmills spin in the wind? And I mean really see them spin? Okay then here we go.

This is part three of our little mini vacation I took with my Love at the beginning of Oktober. On day 1 we went hunting for design and decorating inspiration, on day 2 we visited Amsterdam and on day 3 we went to explore what might be the most touristy bit in our country outside of Amsterdam: the Zaanse Schans.


Visit Zaanse Schans Dutch traditional homes and windmills-3


The Zaanse Schans is a piece of the Netherlands that is about as Dutch as it can get. It is a flat landscape with lots of water, quaint little wooden houses and lots and lots of windmills. You might say it is a bit of an industrial area from days long gone by that has been preserved. Those mills used to work hard for the woodworkers who were building ships close by, grind ingredients for paint colors that Rembrandt himself used and generally provided the power for lots of things that people needed power for.

But before we go wander around the little town that is still there. Can I show you the hotel we were staying in….

Come on over and see the windmills spin for real, and marvel at the most fun hotel I have ever stayed in: CLICK HERE


Our one Day Amsterdam Trip

Visiting Amsterdam-4


So, I was telling you about our mini vacation we took at the beginning of Oktober….

Day one was hunting for inspiration and scouting trends and styles  at the home decor event “Woonbeurs”. Day two was spent wandering around Amsterdam.

Come along as I take you on a little Amsterdam trip and show you some of my favorite spots in our capital city.

CLICK HERE for the full tour.

Interior Design Trends: getting my home decor fix

Interior design trends and home decor inspiration at the "Woonbeurs Amsterdam" a residential living event. Get inspired and see what the five hottest design trends are right now.


Hello friends if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might have caught wind of a little mini-vacation I took recently with my guy. It was glorious, wonderful and such a treat. The sun shone on us that weekend, quite literally actually because Fall is treating us very kindly this year.

On the first day of our three day trip we went in search of inspiration. Home decor inspiration to be exact. Taking a look at how the professionals were doing things. What is hot and what isn’t anymore. Where does my style fit in these days? And what should I absolutely do/change/ have right now.

In other words, we visited the Woonbeurs Amsterdam. I looked up the proper translation of that and found “Residential Event Amsterdam”, but basically it is a show/exhibition/market of all things living and the home. You’ll find vendors of floors, paint, furniture, accessories etc,; interior designers showing off their latest styles; home decor magazines have show houses that incorporate new trends; you can get all the information for your upcoming kitchen/bathroom or garden renovation etc.

And of course you get a whiff for what is in style and trending over here when it comes to furnishing and decorating your home.

So let’s go visit, and see what’s hot, shall we…..


Design trends and home decor inspiration at the "Woonbeurs Amsterdam" a residential living event. Get inspired and see what the five hottest design trends are right now.


The entrance set the mood: natural colors, homemade, a bit rustic, a dash of modern, lots of denim and natural elements.

But let’s not linger here too long, there are three halls to discover and conquer.


CLICK HERE to take the full tour and get some ideas and be inspired.



Fields of Heather and musings of a busy mind

Fall Heather Landscape 2


I learned something during my summer break: make time to do fun stuff! Stepping away from the computer during the summer has been so good for me. I definitely was heading toward a little burnout. Burnout from work, from blogging and mostly burnout from myself. Much has changed in my office life this year and it has made it a lot busier in my life and most of all in my head. And my head has  never been a very quiet place to start with. I am always in awe of the people that can meditate. That can just sit still and be still. I can sit still very good, but I need a book or a tv to grab my attention. I can loose myself in a book quite easily, following along in the chase of a murderer. But be still just with me, myself and I? Not so much. But more and more I have come to realize that I need still in my life, I need quiet, I need nothing.

So I am working hard on adding more of nothing (isn’t that a nice contradiction…)

Stepping away, taking it easy and make sure that life doesn’t pass me by has been a firm resolution for this new year (working in education gives me a ‘new year’s start’ twice a year).

And my Love is so on board…..


To see more of this beautiful Sunday morning and some close encounters of the lovely kind CLICK HERE


Medieval Kettwig in Germany – Mr. Songbird speaking

Kettwig Germany black slate houses


Dear ladies, friends of Songbird and readers of this blog.

This is mr. Songbird speaking. I took over the blog for a day, it was necessary….

You may or may not know that I have invoked a veto for appearing on this blog. That lady of mine is never without a camera and therefore she ‘catches’ me doing this or that frequently, (often she catches me in the act of taking a power nap…..) and I do not want to be exposed to this world wide audience of her.

Consequence of her always logging that camera around is that I have never had any reason to take any pictures myself. Which of course resulted in her complaining that I never took a photograph of her.

Well I got her now. I recently bought myself a nifty little ‘guy-camera’ and I am in the process of learning how to handle it.

So when I recently took my gal to a day out on the town in honor of her birthday I was the man in charge of taking the pictures.

I thought it was only fair that I showed off those pictures myself here.

So please come along as I show you the medieval town of Kettwig in Germany.

I’ll be brief in my commentary, since typing up this little essay in English already took me an hour.


Kettwig Germany duck pond

“We arrived in this little town and were greeted by this duck pond. Very nice. I took my time in photographing it.”


Marianne Songbird hiding behind the camera

“As I turned around I caught Marianne taking my picture with her phone. I took that as a challenge, the game was on…”

“First things first, she dragged me into this romantic girly shop. Of course she had read about it online somewhere. Probably on a blog…”

To see more of the home decor store she dragged me too, this lovely medieval town, and the photography challenge between me and Songbird….


10 Reasons to Love New York City

Hi there, before I managed to lose the whole month of May, April went out with a bang. We made a great trip to our most favorite city in the whole world, New York City.  So it is only over a month late, (but who is counting) but let me show you why I love […]