Deep Thoughts about the Meaning of Blogging and a White Mantel Decoration

Hi sweets, glad to see you here again. I have got flowers for you today. White flowers on a white mantel. Must be a theme here at the nest, cause I love me some white.

Enjoy the flowers while I chat with you about something that has been on my mind…..


white vases with roses in front of vintage french mirror on mantel


Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about this little blog of mine. It has started to be noticed left and right and in my real life too. And people keep asking me what it is, this blog thing, and why I do it, and what is in it for me. All good questions and those are not too hard to answer. My blog is my decorating journal, a way to record the small things in life that make up the essence of living in my opinion. I love going back through my own archives and seeing a little corner in my house again all dressed up for Spring or sporting a nice Fall-ish outfit. Decorations that have been long gone but that are forever immortalized here on my little blog. I love that my blog motivates me to surround myself with beauty, even on a very ordinary day that is otherwise filled with work responsibilities and household duties. 


small white vase with white roses


But then people also ask me why you all would read me. What my ‘message’ to you is. Apparently as a blogger you are supposed to have a message, a brand. I am supposed to be able to give an elevator pitch. You know a short very to-the-point description of what I do and what I want people to take away from my blog. Short enough that I could tell it all in the short elevator ride between the parking lot and the entrance of let’s say Ikea. 


Spring mantel decoration in white


I don’t have an elevator pitch. I don’t even think I have a message. And I am totally stumped when I have to think about my ‘brand’. I am not a brand. I am a very ordinary woman from the low lands who rides her bike to work while thinking about what color to paint her hutch. I am a blogger with paint stains on her fingers and a craft room in a perpetual state of disorganization. I am not a brand. Brands sounds scary and aloof and corporate and business like.


white rose bud in front of mirror


But I think I’d like to have a message. Or maybe at least be a blog that has a meaning. I hope that coming over here and visiting me somehow makes your day better. That you become inspired or maybe just feel that you have been over to see what a friend has been up to. I’d like that. 


white mantel decoration with roses via Songbirdblog 2


But I guess I shouldn’t be giving the answer, you should. So if you read this, would you be so kind to tell me what my blog means to you? What do you take away from visiting me? Why (if at all) do you return here? 

And maybe you can see something I can’t, because it is all too close and personal for me. But do you think you could recognize a post from me from a distance? Is there anything that you think is typically Songbird? Do you think I have/ I am a brand? 


white mantel decoration with roses via Songbirdblog 1



Really I’d love to know, if only so that I can start answering all of those questions I keep getting with more than just a blank stare….

Leave me a comment or send me a message, 

I am listening…….

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  1. says

    Hi Marianne – who are these people asking you about your message and brand?! Have they seen your blog – do they love it? If they haven’t seen it tell them to read it and then ask them the same questions as you have asked us.
    I for one, love your blog – I love the fact that you are a normal woman, maybe the fact that there is “nothing in it for you” is what is so endearing about your blog. That you take the time to create such beautiful photos to inspire people, that is what I love – and yes, I could spot one of your blog posts from a mile away because of the gorgeous photos, always so carefully planned and always stunning.
    Don’t worry about the brand, or even what the message is – just carry on speaking from your heart, about your home and your life. You are doing beatifully. Nikki

  2. Eva says

    Ik vind dat je een heel eigen stijl hebt qua interieur die je er meteen uitpikt en ik waardeer het juist dat je vanuit jezelf schrijft over dagelijkse dingen. Dit zorg ervoor dat het persoonlijk blijft en ik nieuwsgierig ben naar je nieuwe decoratie en je laatste klussen in huis. Dit heeft niet zoveel met een ‘merk’ zijn te maken volgens mij, maar vooral met jezelf zijn en origineel zijn. Mijn interieurstijl is heel anders, maar toch haal ik veel inspiratie uit jouw blog, juist zien dat iemand het anders doet en te zien hoe fijn alles in jouw interieur in balans is, brengt me vaak op nieuwe ideeën.

  3. says

    I read your blog because of the interior decor inspiration (and usually by small means). I am picky about what blogs I follow, and my own interior style is not like yours, but your images are beautiful and restful to the eye.
    Though, I disagree wholeheartedly about needing to have a message, and especially a brand. YOUR blog is YOUR place. You do what you want with/in it! *Blogging without obligation*

  4. Goedele says

    Ik volg je nog niet lang genoeg om een antwoord te geven. Ik volg je omdat je uniek bent in de ‘low lands’, heel anders dan vele andere blogs, andere stijl. Ik volg je ook omdat je blog zo professioneel oogt, wat ik net wel associeer met een brand, maar dan een ‘personal brand’.

  5. Kevin says

    Hmn — I check your blog each day because it’s a sweet reminder of my family’s background from Holland and my wife’s from Germany. Because I enjoy your focus on simple pleasures. Because I appreciate your European perspective. Because you help me imagine what my life could be like if I lived in Holland or Germany instead of the States (which I hope will happen one day). Thanks for being you.

  6. says

    Hi Marianne, I always come back to your blog even if I can’t visit often, your blog is one of those I love to come back to over and over again. Why? Well I guess it’s because you inspire me with your creativity, your blogging tips and because your a “regular” woman who just enjoys recording her life’s adventures. I honestly admire you so much for this blogging thing because I know how much time and effort it takes to work on a post and blog. It inspires me, plain and simple. I would agree with the ladies above and say you don’t need a “brand”…You are your brand, and I hope you just keep on being yourself! Don’t let anyone stick you into a box! I know there are probably people out there who don’t get it and that’s ok, not everyone has to understand. I don’t understand it either sometimes, but maybe it has something to do with connecting with like-minded people all over the world? Whatever it is, I enjoy following along.
    Cheers, Siggie

  7. says

    I follow quite a few blogs, am excited each morning to open them up and see what my ‘friends’ are doing. It’s like having a virrtual neighborhood coffee party, and I love it. Your blog has a beautiful serenity about it, and I thank you for that! I would love it if you would check out my blog as well –

  8. Maria Ellisabete Avelar Alexiades says

    Hi Marianne, I`m a portuguese wousewife, retired, 2 grown children, 6 grand-sons.
    I love your blog for different reasons. The first one is because it`s a reminder of a dear dutch friend I used to visit every December for about 20 years. Your garden is very much alike his garden. Unfortunately he died five years ago. I miss him, I miss Amsterdam and other dutch cities a lot.
    I also love your blog because it´s peacefull, clean and inspiring. I love flowers, gardens, candles, pillows, changing rooms decoration but I also have a stubborn husband that doesn´t like changes and has a very different idea of decorating a house. I don´t like blogs that when you are reading them they are funny and interesting but suddently all the text ends with a saucy advertising.
    Thanks, Marianne

  9. Emilou says

    Morning Marianne, i love coming to visit you here! It is like having a friend (which you are) in the Netherlands. And I am relearning my geography!!! To me, the most important factor is the peace I feel after visiting you here. Your photos and words are so gentle, no hurry, no rush, rush, rush. Just genuine and real, enjoying where you are and painting, decorating as our seasons change around us. Could I recognize your from afar? Yes, and I have just been following you since before Christmas. Carry on! Your friend from Oregon USA. Smiles, Emilou :-)

  10. SHARON says

    I enjoy your company, your uniqueness, and what you share. We don’t even live in the same world or the same generation and there’s a connection. Pleasure, thoughtfulness, and different, yep guess that’s why.

  11. Marilyn says

    Dear Marianne, I think you are a lovely person, with a lovely blog. You have an artist’s eye, and make a beautiful home, and I enjoy “visiting” with you. I’d love to sit down with you and a cup of tea and have a chat. It’s also a “bonus” that you live in the Netherlands. I lived a few months in Europe and loved it. It’s nice to see your country and other places you go sometimes–but I’d read your blog if you lived in the U.S. too. Your photos are lovely as well. I’m always happy to find a post from you in my email.

    And yes, I think I could spot a Songbird post at a distance. Lovely, peaceful and white (which, by the way, the “whiteness” is not my style, but I love to look at it.) Your brand is YOU, and I hope you stay the way you are.

    Love from California.

  12. Florence says

    First of all I love your blog and I am so glad to have found it. After reading your blog for a while I realized that you were from the Netherlands. I’m here in Southern California. I love returning to read and see all the wonderful things you have in store for us. I love your simplicity, elegant and yet beautiful decorating ideas. Your style is clean, serene and peaceful. I have printed out your White Mantel for Spring (2012) with the twig wreath you made and am using that idea that for my 2013 Spring mantle. You inspire me To Do! Thank you. Your uniqueness is your style not a brand. Be who you are already, sweet Songbird (Marianne).
    Sweet Blessings!

  13. Gail says

    Sometimes I view your blog as my therapy, to see something pretty just for the joy of seeing something pretty, brightening my day.
    Sometimes I view to learn something – how to do something, new way to arrange something….
    I appreciate your efforts

  14. Karen D says

    I’ve been narrowing down my blog reading ruthlessly (I’m don’t have a blog myself) for the same reason many pare down things in their lives that take time. But yours will always remain. You are a comfort, an enjoyment. And I continue to be a fan!

  15. Carolyn (SoCal) says

    Greetings, Marianne,
    I suppose the questions you were asked can be either unsettling or thought provoking. We are all faced with those kind of questions, at one time or another. I think that they can cause us to become more focused and relaxed with who we are! Your blog was appealing to me from the first moment I saw it. As many have said, it is peaceful and exquisitely delighting to the eye and soul. Beauty is always refreshing! Besides, nearly 3,000 people who follow you is an impressive assurance that you are doing something right!!

    • Gwen says

      Wow. I wrote mine and now go up to read and we are all saying the same thing… It’s peaceful, quiet, eye appealing…so I’d say that’s your brand!!!

  16. says

    Peaceful, clean and inspiring… I really love that quote! And I whole heartedly agree. I come here to forget about noise. Thank-you for the eye candy of gorgeous projects and photography.

    Yes, I can spot a Songbird post a mile away. You are already a brand by just being you!

  17. says

    message, brand? Oh sweetie, you blog is all about you and your love of beauty. It is why I visit and why I am inspired. Blogging brings me joy. I hope that is the only reason you ever need to blog. xo P.S. I hope you will share this lovely post at the Thursday Hop :-)

  18. Gwen says

    Hi Marianne,
    I DO love receiving your blogs. I am inspired to beautify my own home when I see how lovely you arrange each display…so much detail and interest in the lovely touch you have in decorating. I love the simplicity and colors that you choose to use. Thanks for sharing with others your lovely talents. Keep blogging!

  19. Gwen says

    Well I’m drawn to your post because it is not like any other post. I dont know. It’s not fussy feeling yet its so beautiful. I get inspiration. I adapted my Advent candles from yours. I like how you use white and it sparkles. You write and the words are relaxing and calm. Like you are just sitting down and talking to each of us! I’m not sure who they are but maybe their life is too hurried to enjoy beauty and then get inspired to create beauty in their own little spot in this world both inside and out!!
    Oh! I’m also intrigued. You aren’t American but you know our slang!!! I don’t need an interpreter to read your English and I wonder, hmmm…I even get mixed up with the slang of the various parts of the US but not your writing!!!
    So I read your blog for fun, for your writing, for craft ideas, for decorating ideas, for smiling at life, for seeing the world across the ocean blue through your eyes, for seeing what new idea you’ll have for using white, hmmm and your quiet humble manner that makes us blog readers feel like saying How DARE anyone not understand!! It’s our hobby!! It’s fun and clean cut and artistic too. Happy Day to you from the USA

  20. kirby carespodi says

    Marianne–I am new to your blog; I found you through Andrea at the Cottage Market. I am constantly asked what my blog is about, and I tell them it is about having fun. It’s not as much the product for me, but the process. I love telling my little stories, no matter what they are about, and the cats and my husband are tired of listening to me. So I tell my stories to the internet, and people have the option of reading or not reading…it’s fine. But I have had my chance to tell them, and that’s all I need! I will continue to read your blog, as the Netherlands is one of my favorite places!

  21. says

    I wouldn’t worry about a brand – you aren’t a business you are a person we are getting to know one photograph and one story at a time. I read your blog because I love your style and because you live in the Netherlands which is where I lived as an exchange student more than 30 years ago.

  22. Ans says

    Hallo zussie, ik heb zojuist pas deze blog gelezen en ook al het commentaar. Zoals je weet, ik vind je blog prachtig en het is fantastisch dat zoveel mensen uit zoveel landen zoveel mooie dingen erover te zeggen hebben. Ik denk ook dat als mama je blog zou kunnen zien en dit alles zou kunnen lezen, ze ontzettend trots op jou geweest zou zijn. Ik ben het in ieder geval.

  23. Deborah says

    Dear Marianne,

    Where to begin? For starters, you are in my Fav Blogger folder….and when I go there (often) to catch up, I generally click on your blog first. Why? I don’t exactly know. But after giving it some thought, here is what I came up with: When I come to your blog site I feel like I’m opening the door to a quiet place that will not knock me over the head with obvious design, but with a warm, welcoming atmosphere that is filled with surprises…that all come together and create a sense of a place I want to come back to again and again. Your blogs are always real and simple, and although I didn’t know that you are someone who rides their bike to work while thinking about what color to paint your hutch, once you revealed that I understood that your blog is exactly that. It is you. Which is why it is wonderful and why people keep coming back again and again. Thanks for being you. And thanks for your blog!

  24. says

    Tja, gewoon een blog bijhouden is tegenwoordig al niet meer genoeg. Maar het is de vraag of je in alles mee moet gaan en of het goed is om er te diep bij na moet denken. Je steekt er je hart in en mijn advies is om hier gewoon door te gaan. Je hebt een trouwe schare aanhangers die je blog ontzettend graag lezen, die interesseert het echt niet of je een “message” of “brand” hebt. Ze verheugen zich op je volgend berichtje, that’s it.
    groetjes, Marianne.

  25. Anne says

    I found your blog through Young House Love. When I looked through your pictures the first time, something inside just said, “Yes, yes, yes!” It almost made me teary. I’d like to think it’s the Dutch in me responding to your home and words, even though I’m an American. Love the white, the peaceful, non-cluttered simplicity of your pics–and yet it doesn’t look bare or cold at all.

    Your blog reflects your own style, which I greatly enjoy, but it also somehow gives me the courage to follow my own style, which has a slightly different twist. The ability to do that is a gift!

  26. JuneA** says

    What a coincindence!1 My husband just came and peeked over my shoulder and asked what I was reading and what your blog is about!!!! LOL To put it simply, your blog is about what inspires you and gives you joy and you are kind enough to share that with us!!! I am very glad to have found you!