Wednesday, September 30, 2009

cool and perfect

A friend of mine, Megan, introduced me to a new t-shirt line on etsy that she did a photo shoot for last week. I am always tickled with pen and ink design and these tees enchanted to no end . Dressing On The Side creates quirky, whimsical, tongue-in-cheek tees with a limited run for each design. Loving "Cupcakes are Cool".

Add one of these tees with a pair of ripped up jeans, vintage boots, and it's a perfect look for me (and Megan).
*images JTB photography

Monday, September 28, 2009

more is more

I've been inspired by Judy of Atlantis Home to add layers and textures of silver on my wrists. Easy and perfect to dress up a tee and jeans--which will be my wardrobe most of this week with lots of shipments arriving for holiday.
*via atlantis home

Friday, September 25, 2009

guess who

Guess who just got his first haircut?
Guess who snapped a picture of a freshly groomed Benson and mailed it to a special dog trainer?
Guess who misses Jack and hopes he'll respond.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Monday, September 21, 2009


To some, these pics may scream "dust me! clean me!" but I love the memories they share. Think of the many hours at flea markets it took to collect all the blue and white... Hold on tight to those things that let you remember special moments.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


If a picture speaks a thousand words, this one tells such a fun story. A girl on an adventure in a faraway land ready for whatever life throws at her. Hope your week is filled with smiles and adventures as well.
*unfortunately, I've misplaced the link...if I find it, I'll post.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Hope your weekend is filled with sweetness. I'll be working and enjoying every minute!
*image joy the baker

Thursday, September 17, 2009

fresh air

When a friend tidies up your room that is littered with wadded up used Kleenex, dead flowers, dirty plates, and a poor, pitiful girl cocooning herself in blankets who bursts into tears at the mention of "cheering up" know you've got a good friend.

When your friend mentions that "you need to be showered, sprayed, and cleaned up. You've got a business to run, people that want to see you, and life goes on" You know you've got a great friend.

I'm going to be okay. A new day and a new out world.

ps. Ralph, have a fabulous weekend off :)

*image via stephanie

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

more, part 2

It's ironic that a few posts ago I kicked myself for listening to my heart...and now, I wonder why I stopped.
The rest of the story.
After I found out about the financial turmoil my Uncle was involved in and the accusations he was throwing at Jack ; I dug deeper. I searched EBay, classifieds, and Craig's
When "museum quality/one of a kind/ heirloom" was mentioned in a Craig's list ad for furniture, I had to check into it. I emailed the seller and was told that the pieces were in a storage facility in the city. I asked to see them, was given a time, and let my manager, Ralph, know that I was going to run an errand and would be back soon.

When the storage door opened and my Uncle was standing there I wasn't sure what to say. He made excuses about why he had the furniture and when he knew I wasn't buying it, he began to throw insults at me and then the police arrived.
From what I understand they have been investigating my Uncle for embezzlement, insurance fraud, and identity theft for a number of months. I was in shock watching the police tape off the scene and take my uncle away in a squad car. The only thing that saved me was that Ralph had looked in my day timer to see where I had went and arrived soon after all this. He was the one who told me I was "best dressed"...sometimes you just have to laugh.
I feel like a fool. I believed in "family" and I really wanted to belong to a family. It turns out that my only living relative is a criminal who could care less about me. The worst part is that I believed him and turned my back on an amazing, wonderful man that wanted to be a part of my life.
Thank you all so much for your support and your kind, sweet, comments. You will never know what they have meant to me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

in the beginning...part 1

Where to begin? Let's catch everyone up, shall we? I'm finishing up a bottle of wine, so feel free to join me.
I bought a dresser that needed some TLC on EBay a couple months ago. The dresser happened to be in a town a couple hours away where a long lost Uncle of mine lived. I had never met him, but when my mother was on her deathbed, she encouraged me to seek out any family I may have...even if it meant on my father's side. I dabble with the idea of contacting him.
I'm getting ready to pick up the dresser and I meet a really cute guy named Jack who is just a sweetheart. It also turns out that Jack (or Jack's sister, Lily) is the seller of the dresser I am picking up. They have it stored at Jack's house that he recently inherited from his uncle. It's a small world.
Jack and I continue our relationship in the following weeks. And let's not forget that my newly acquired/found dog, Benson, thinks Jack is the best thing since bacon.
Sound like a fairytale? This is where it gets sticky.

I finally meet my uncle and he seems nice enough and tells me how amazing my mother and runaway father were. I plan to meet him at his house the following week and perhaps introduce him to Jack.
When I drive to my Uncle's house I can't believe where it's located. You drive past a sweet little cottage before you see my Uncle's mega mansion. The cottage belongs to Jack. Let me clarify.
My Uncle owns the main house of an estate and Jack owns what used to be the gardener's cottage.
I tell my Uncle of the amazing coincidence and he tells me to "watch out for those people." He warns me that Jack's uncle was caretaker of the entire estate and he is sure that Jack's uncle has stolen pieces of irreplaceable furniture that he originally purchased with the estate .
I tell him there must be a mistake. He asks if I had seen any upscale, higher end pieces of furniture at Jack's house. And then I pause.
Along with my dilapidated piece of a dresser there WAS beautiful looking furniture in the potting shed. Could it be? My Uncle tells me to stay away from those crooks and that he is sure Jack and his family are selling the furniture and making hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I leave my Uncle's house and bolt to Jack's. I ask if I can see the potting shed. Jack has no clue what's going on and opens the shed door. There are no pieces in there. I assume the worst.
Back at home, Ralph tells me to think all this through. When I start researching I realize that Jack has a stellar reputation whereas my Uncle is in financial ruin and in court cases for monies owed to others. It's a mess.

image via parleycoot

best dressed

I'm so glad I could be voted best dressed when the police questioned me today. It's been an over the top, circus kind of day and I'll explain later in a very LONG post. On the upside...I just bought these from Anthropologie and they held up well under stress.

Hanging On

Although I had a great weekend, I am feeling a bit tense this morning. I'm going to solve a mystery and it could get messy. I'll fill you in as it unfolds.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

no plans are good plans

I'm going to be spending the weekend nesting and playing (Benson is barking as I type...he knows that I'll be all his). By next week I hope to have a very complicated puzzle solved and see where life goes from there.
A letter to someone very dear and very sweet:
Dearest Jack, don't give up on me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And the Oscar goes to...

I had dinner with a friend of mine who keeps up with my blog. She mentioned that other blogs she reads spotlight fads and fashion, interior design, food and traveling , but my blog played out to be more like a movie.

"No it doesn't; don't be silly" I replied. "It's my life. I like to share the good, the bad, and the ugly and hope that it makes sense to someone." But the more I thought about it; isn't everyone's life like a movie?

You're the actor or actress in a leading role, you have supporting actors, sets, costumes, and makeup. Every once in a while you have good direction but have to endure bad lighting and timing at the worst possible moments. Unfortunately there are no writers in "This Is Your Life" movie's all improv.

What genre of movie would your life be most like? A sensitive drama? A heart pounding thriller? Romance or comedy? Perhaps a quirky Independent film? Whatever the style--keep the audience buzzing and bring home your Oscar for a stellar life.

blue skies ahead

It's a new day and I'm feeling good. Hope you find some sunshine today.
*via mostbeautifuldarling

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

life's a beach

My sweet friend Ralph locked the store, held my hand, and took us to the beach along with two venti cups of very strong coffee. We talked for a long time and his (along with yours-thank you)advice was to slow down, take a breath, and do what I do best. That some fact finding.
Whenever I buy a major piece for the store, an item that I will most likely spend more on than I had planned; I research. I ask questions, I read, I want to know all the facts before purchase so I don't walk into a surprise. That's the control freak in me...but in matters of the heart, who can think like that?
It's taken me all day on the computer and being on-hold for what seemed like hours, but I've discovered some answers to a few of my questions. Unfortunately there are still many more questions that are still unanswered but I'm beginning to realize that I may have jumped to some wrong conclusions.

Monday, September 7, 2009

give me a minute

This weekend chewed me up and spit me out. When will I start thinking with my head and stop listening to my very foolish heart? It's very complicated and I'm feeling as if my thoughts are spinning when I think about it and I'm really not sure if I should even be writing about something so raw.
Basically, my uncle just filled me in on some things about Jack and his family that are not very appealing and I'm a mess. I'm so mixed up about who to believe, how I am feeling, and why is it so easy for me to fall for the happily ever after endings in life?
I promise I'll be back to normal soon...thanks for listening.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Is it me, the change of seasons, or has everyone decided to be happy and think good thoughts in blogland?! Everyone seems to be gearing up for great times and happy days ahead--and I'm ready for it with arms open wide.
* find this at the loveshop/etsy

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Don't wake me

Just got off the phone with my Uncle and looks like I'll be seeing him on Saturday morning. I could be totally wrong,but as he was giving me directions to his home it sounded like it's close to Jack's cottage!
I never pay too much attention to street names but they all sounded vaguely familiar and when he said to drive past a "small white house on the corner" makes me wonder.
To be honest, Lily (Jack's sister) didn't have many kind words regarding the people who live next door. I don't know all the details, but when Jack inherited his Uncle's home there were a lot of legal mix-ups because the cottage was originally the gardener's quarters for the main house and no one knew who owned what. I guess it was a mess to figure it all out.
Chances are slim that they are neighbors (because that would just be too crazy even for this girl) but we'll see what happens. Have a wonderful, safe, holiday weekend--enjoy your families, friends, pets, and life!
*via most beautiful darling

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

sweet thing

Cooler temps mean warm and cozy food and since I'll be traveling to see Jack and my Uncle over this holiday weekend, I thought I would bake something for them.
What to bake? I searched Joy the Baker and was tempted by the zucchini sweet potato bread...sounds like Fall to me, and I'm sure they'll appreciate a hand delivered home baked treat.
Since the two men live in the same town, I'm hoping to have them meet, but just not sure if it will happen this weekend or not.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thank you

Being relatively new to the blogging scene I am humbled as well as baffled as to how I received not one, but two awards recently. The latest bestowed upon me is from SimplyColette along with a KreativBlogger Award graciously given to me by Catanya's Things. Thank you for reading and enjoying what goes on in a day in the life of Natalie.
I'm not sure what the rules are but most of them are to share things about yourself that others may not know. I mentioned to Colette that I feel like I tell way too much and must bore everyone to tears...but let's see if I can surprise you with any of these.

1. I took ballet for over ten years anticipating that one day I would be a ballerina...unfortunately a broken ankle from cheerleading ended that idea.
2. Benson is the first dog I have ever had. He's taught me so much about enjoying life and going for it.
3. I rode up in an elevator with Oprah to the penthouse apartment where she lives in Chicago. Her skin looked flawless.
4. My mother went out on a date with Rick Springfield aka Dr. Noah Drake. This was before "Jessie's Girl."
5. I was voted "Babe-a-licious" in High School. Yuck. I wanted to be the girl most likely to succeed or the funniest or the most talented. I'm still trying.
Okay...that's all you get. I'll tell more later so you can see that I'm not all drama. My life is crazed at times but I'm very fortunate and very happy to have A French Cloud, friends, and amazing readers like you that are kind and supportive. Thank you.