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Our Engagement Story

Guys I am soooo overjoyed to share with you Clayton and I’s proposal story. This past week has been the best week, full of excitement, friends, family, and a promise that I get to look down at on my hand every day! I can’t say enough about how thankful I am to be Clayton’s girl, and how excited I am that I get to spend a lifetime with him!

So let’s hop into the story, shall we?

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We were in Portland, OR visiting one of my college roommates and her husband who moved there about a year ago. I had been searching for a good time to come visit, and when I saw the ticket prices drop, I jumped on it and invited Clayton to join too! The whole weekend was absolutely incredible. From foodie spots to hikes on the coast, it couldn’t have been a better trip. Clayton has been sooo busy with American Native and we had been fighting for quality time together, so this trip came at the perfect time. We hadn’t even started our first day in Portland when I mentioned how good the trip had already been, being together and focusing on nothing other than being together. Little did I know one of the biggest moments of my life was around the corner!

 

It was our first morning there and we woke up early,  our bodies touching the ground on each of our deflated air mattresses in Julie & Trav’s living room. Luxury travel, I know. Because of the time change, we were up preeeeety early, so we decided to go on a little run through the city to get the day started. It was absolutely perfect weather, sunshine and only slightly chilly. We got back, and Clayton seemed a little eager to get the day started. (I only found out later that he was on a timeline with the photographer). So, we decided on a breakfast place, and headed out to enjoy one of our favorite meals of the day together.

We settled on a brunch place called Screen Door. They specialize in southern food and let me tell ya, it was probably my favorite meal of the trip.We love early mornings and breakfast food, so it was the perfect way to start an engagement day. His order: chicken and waffles. Her order: Veggie Egg Frittata. Um, YUM. We had the best time, people watching from the patio and seeing multiple trucks come in with farm-fresh produce. Needless to say, I was already loving Portland.

To my knowledge, the day was free and there was no agenda to be had. I was open to anything! Clayton mentioned going up to Mt. Tabor, a mountain that overlooks Portland to get a better view of the city before we jumped into our weekend activities. I had heard him mention it before, so I had no obligation! We headed that way and it was the first time I had a good look at the trees in Portland. They were huge, and made you feel so small. I haven’t seen anything like them before! From where we parked, it was a short 10 minute walk up to the top of the mountain, where the overlook was. We parked and started our ascent.

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As we walked up, I noticed all the wild daisies sprouting up everywhere. Wild daisies like this are my absolute favorite flower, and every spring I feel like a kid in a candy store, nose against the window looking at these beautiful little things that just grow on the side of the road. These daisies that sprout up, without permission and in no need of adoration, are one of the ways I really feel Jesus and am reminded of how much he loves his kids. It’s always been that way with wild daisies, and so it was just that much more special to see these all over the place I would be getting engaged.

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We got to the top and saw the overlook of the city, the trees, and enjoyed the sunshine for a bit. Clayton suggested going down in the center of the park, under the trees. When we arrived, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a little book. He suggested it was just a ‘little something’ and truly y’all, at this point, I STILL did not know a proposal was about to happen! I flipped through the book and saw that Clayton had compiled all the polaroids that we had taken over the past 16 months of our relationship. Pictures from our trips, various dates and events, all such sweet memories that I loved looking back on with him. Polaroids are kinda ‘our thing’ so we have quite a few piled up over the past year and a half. When I got to the end of the book, I saw that he had written a little something: “Will you be in my polaroids for a lifetime?”

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My heart stopped, and as he sunk to one knee, I was truly in shock! I could not believe THIS WAS THE MOMENT!!! I kept saying “oh my gosh, wait, wait! slow down!!! Pause! Let me soak this in!” But of course, he didn’t stop, he continued to pull out a beautiful blush, crushed velvet ring box with a gold-foiled “C” on the top (Chamberlain, his last name). When he opened up the box, I truly couldn’t even keep myself from freaking out. I was shaking and tears were comin’ and I just couldn’t believe how beautiful this ring was! He slid it on my finger and I even think I forgot to say YES because I was so lost in the moment (I followed up with a YES, DUH, OF COURSE afterwards).

As if this wasn’t like the peak experience of my life, Clayton tells me that my favorite photographer, Phil Chester, was here to photograph our proposal!!! I hear some clicks from a camera, and there he is!! I start shaking and freaking out even more. Phil has been like my favorite photographer for YEARS and I couldn’t believe he was HERE to capture OUR engagement!!! CAPS!

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It was such an unbelievably special time and even now, I can’t believe it’s real: that I actually get to marry Clayton Dean Chamberlain!!! After Phil finished up our photos and headed out, Clayton and I continued to stick around and talk about what the heck just happened. I begged to hear all the details: how he got Phil, how he decided to do it in Portland, when he got the ring, how he got the ring box, what secrets he (and all my friends and family) had been keeping from me! I wanted to know it all, and he was an open book.

After I had heard it all and cried some more, we got to spend some time praying together. I think out of everything, this was my favorite moment of the day. It was the first time Clayton and I were able to really pray as a couple committing their lives to each other and to Him together! It was such a freeing moment, not having to worry about emotional/spiritual boundaries because of the promise wrapped around my finger. It truly was amazing and opened up the door even wider for thankfulness, joy, and expectancy for what’s to come.

The rest of the day, as you can imagine, we were just on cloud 9, loving life, loving eachother, calling friends and family to share the exciting news. The rest of the weekend was enjoyed in Portland as a committed, engaged couple. (Stay tuned for a Portland recap and Bae Vacay video ROUND TWO!).

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Lastly, though, I just have to say – Jesus is so faithful. Since I was young, I have hoped and most importantly, prayed into my future marriage. I would day-dream about what he’d be like, what his qualities would be, made my list and checked it twice of my ‘wants’ and ‘musts’, and while those ‘musts’ are important, Jesus knows my desires and needs wayyyyyyy better than I do. Clayton is my answered prayer, but he’s so much more. He’s God’s grace on my life, he’s all I want and exactly what I need in a life-partner. He makes me better and stretches me to be more Christ-like. So so so thankful and can’t wait to begin this adventure through life with him.

Photos by Phil Chester

A Morning at the Farmer’s Market

I’ve been counting down the days until the Fayetteville Farmer’s market opened back up again for spring. This past weekend, the wait was finally over! Saturday market’s have continually been one of my very favorite things about living in Fayetteville. It was always the place to be on the weekends during college, my favorite activity to bring my family to when they came to visit, and has continually been Clayton and I’s favorite way to fit in a little Saturday morning date.

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I always love to grab a coffee before we start walking around, it’s a good way to warm up on chillier mornings!

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The market has some of the best local produce. Prices are usually pretty comparable to normal grocery stores, but since it was so early in the spring, they didn’t have a huge variation of fruits and vegetables. Lot’s of carrots, kale, and leafy-greens.

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The handful of busking groups also make for a happy, folksy live playlist as you walk around the square. Featured above is hands-down the best group at the market, conveniently called “Farmer and the Markets

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As if it’s not good enough already, on market Saturday’s, everyone brings their pup along. I about died when I saw this beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog. It’s definitely my dream dog. I kinda fell in love.

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My absolute favorite thing about the Fayetteville Farmer’s market? The flowers! The flower selection is seriously unmatched, and those prices are pretty too. I can always count on coming home with a handful of fresh blooms for the house.

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After our lovely morning at the farmer’s market, we walked to the cutest little coffee shop right off the square. It’s only a few months old and the specialize in, get this, toast! They have a great selection of sweet and savory toasts on wheat, white, or sourdough breads. They are owned by Arsaga’s at the Depot, so you know it’s good!

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I grabbed a delicious almond-milk lavender latte to-go and ran across town for a lunch meeting with my love. I’d say it was a pretty successful Saturday!

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Don’t you just love the farmer’s market? I may be a little biased but I do think we have the best one here in Fayetteville. If you missed out this past weekend, be sure to make plans to go this coming weekend! A morning well spent.

5 Podcasts for Your Work Week

Are you a fan of podcasts? I have never really been one to listen to podcasts regularly until this past year. I have found that podcasts are an amazing way to learn and be entertained while in the office. If you’re like me, working on the computer all week, it can sometimes get old to listen to that same playlist over and over. I’ve found that podcasts have expanded my knowledge on cultural and social issues, as well as brought inspiration and motivation to my daily life.

You can find podcasts on just about any subject, but one of my favorite things to listen to are interviews with people in the working world who have made an impact in some significant way. I love hearing about how people have gotten to where they are, the struggles they faced, and how they overcame.

I have a handful of podcasts that are on repeat during my work day, and I wanted to share them with you! Here are my top five favorite podcasts right now:

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1. Girlboss Radio: Did you guys read this book? Sophia Amoruso wrote about her journey to founding Nasty Gal, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world. I absolutely loved this book when I read it last year, and I was thrilled to find out she has now started a #girlboss podcast. On the show, Sophia interviews different women who are leading their own companies, starting brands, and more. I am constantly inspired by these woman who are truly paving the way for generations to come. My favorite podcast, currently!

IMG_82642. Stuff Mom Never Told You: This podcast is just that, stuff you wish your mom had told you that somehow you have to figure out on your own. That’s where this podcast comes in handy. The two hosts, Cristen and Caroline, decode all the random questions you may have about us ladies and gents. To give you a sample, recent topics include:
“Knitting”
“Dad Bods”
“Women Who Vape”
Laughing while learning is always a good method.

IMG_82743. After the Jump: Design blogger Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge hosts the podcast After the Jump. She conducts a series of interviews with creatives in a handful of industries, chatting about topics relevant today. Topics include:
“The Future of Print Magazines”
“Changing Pay Rates for Creatives”
“Change the World Through Design”
Unfortunately, the series ended in 2014 but there are over 100 episodes to sift through with a long list of interesting topics for creatives!

IMG_82724. Hillsong Sisterhood: I absolutely love this podcast. Maybe it’s not as much of a podcast as it is a compilation of sermons by Bobbie Houston, Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church and head of Sisterhood, the women’s ministry. Hands-down, this is my favorite go-to when I need a good dose of truth and biblical encouragement. She’s got the cutest personality and the funniest stories.

IMG_82675. This American Life – This American Life is a podcast I’m sure many of you are familiar with. I first heard about it through their addicting series ‘Serial,’ but soon came to find out, this is no new podcast. This weekly show is a journalistic program, featuring various memoirs, informational topics, and social issues. It’s a great source to learn more about a handful of topics that are going on in our world today. 

You can subscribe to any of the above podcasts through iTunes for free! Do you have any great podcasts to add to the list? I would love to add more to my library! Be sure to comment your favorites below!

*PS, excuse the blog right now. There are some errors happening with a few of my graphic elements on the side bar. Working to fix this week!

On Canvas

Last weekend I took the time to paint for the first time in a while. Maybe a year. Crazy. I used to paint so much in college, specifically 2014. I loved it. It was a way for me to unwind, be creative for creative’s sake, work with a new medium where *clicking and deleting* isn’t really an option. You’ve got to be brave with your stroke, it takes confidence in your own eye. And if you mess up, you have to find a way to add to it with new colors or strokes to make it work. It takes my eyes off a screen, where most of my day is spent being digitally creative, and get’s me lost in a canvas of color. I love it.

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From my last post, you saw my inspiration swelling up from the Pantone colors of the year. I took that inspiration and put it on a blank canvas. It felt so good to sit and let a brush dip in paint and glide across a textured surface. To think abstractly. To make art for art’s sake.

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No matter what you do, taking the time to be creative is so important. Even those of us that have a creative 9-5. Allowing yourself to explore new mediums is essential in keeping your mind inspired and your creativity refreshed. Whether it’s writing, doodling, cooking, sewing, decorating, you name it, find what makes your creative little heart come alive and make the time to indulge in it.
What’s your creative outlet?

Still Alive.

Here’s the deal, friends. I want to be completely honest here. I feel stuck. This space, I love it, but I’ve let it fall by the wayside. Hence, why I’m posting this. I was so stinking sick of coming to my blog and seeing that the last post I did was from thanksgivingI had to see something more inspiring than a thanksgiving table. Hence the cute pink photo from tumblr.

I saw that photo, and while I was mostly looking for a prettier first image than a table of food, it really felt familiar. That photos is empty but has so much brilliant, beautiful potential. That’s just how I feel about the Colour Journal. It’s not getting the attention it needs, it’s pretty empty, but it’s got so much potential.

My day-to-day is creative. I’m a graphic designer, I’m a freelance blogger, I’m a content creator. Creativity is my fuel to get my through the day. Yet, I come home at the end of the day, having no time or energy to pour into this little space. When I create fun blog content for clients, all I can think of is how this is what I wish I could be doing for the Colour Journal. 

I have no idea what this year looks like for the blog. I do know this, I’m sick of having to come back to this space once a year kicking myself for not giving it the attention it needs. I think it’s easy for me to have a spurt of passion and crank out tons of content at once, and get burned out. It’s missing the year-long consistency because I tend to put too much on my plate at once.

Here are two things I know I want to implement into the Colour Journal this year:

  1. Consistency in my content. Less content more frequently. Instead of having half a year of great content and the other half empty and uninspired, I want to do less for longer (the entire year).
  2. Sacrifice. I know this space is not getting the attention it deserves because of my full freelance schedule. I want to sacrifice a little by working a few hours less in order to have time to devote to this space consistently.

Thanks to my circle of friends (online and real life) that have encouraged me in my journey with the Colour Journal. I’m excited for it’s potential. 2016, you’re lookin’ pretty good.

Backyard Camping

If you know me at all, you know I am more the glamping type than the camping type. I came to the Arkansas, the ‘natural state’, for college, and camping was a common outing on the weekends for my peers. Growing up in Dallas, camping was never something my family did, and definitely wasn’t something I did with my friends. With Devils Den State Park only 20 minutes away from my college campus, I would frequent for hikes with friends. Somehow, though, I made it a full four years without ever having had the experience of camping.

On my senior year bucket list, I scratched in the words ‘go camping!!!’ along with other activities that I thought would be my last. Well, I never went camping, and I am now living post-grad life in the town I spent my college years in. Two things I didn’t expect. That same desire to have the camping experience stuck around and as fall rolled around and the leaves began to change, I knew I had to make this happen.

I picked a weekend, got a group, and hopped onto the state park website to reserve a campsite, when I realized that, unfortunately, the weekend I was trying to go was all booked. Luckily, the group I was going with was a little more optimistic than me and suggested that we camp in their backyard! These two, Sarah and Josiah, are friends of Clayton and I. They live in a cute little house on a big property, fully equipped with a fire pit, firewood, and room to set up a tent. So, that’s just what we did. 

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This Boom Chicka Pop kettlecorn made the perfect around-the-fire snack. Plus, that packaging, right? Couldn’t pass it up. 

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For our dinner, we did Sweet Potato “Cheese” Fries. I pre-cooked some homemade sweet potato fries and brought them along. We each made foil into a little bowl and piled in sweet potato fries, Daiya dary-free pepperjack ‘cheese’, crumbles of bacon (also made beforehand), and green olives. We stuck it in the fire for the cheese to melt and WOW. A perfect paleo-friendly camp dinner. So yummy. Who doesn’t love guilt-free cheese fries!?

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For breakfast in the morning, we had a potato breakfast hash. We definitely utilized the house for this meal. We made roasted potatoes and vegetables topped with an egg, green onion, and bacon. yum.

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Backyard camping turned out to be a great first step into the camping world. I got to experience sitting around a fire, cooking hobo-bag dinners, going to bed early because there’s not much else to do, sleeping outside in a tent, bundling up in a sleeping bag, and waking up to birds chirping and the crisp air of an early morning. But, there was the luxury of a bathroom and kitchen and a convenient place to change and brush my teeth. It may be camping for wimps, but it was just right for me. Next time, I’ll bring an air mattress too 😉

Have you ever been backyard camping?

FAVORITES of 2014

A little late in the game for a recap of my favorite moments in 2014, but hey, it’s still January, right? I’d say its still safe zone to reminisce on the past year. 2014 was one for the books, full of life and beauty and hardships and waiting. I had many ‘firsts’ happen in 2014 as well, which is always an accomplishment in my book. I love venturing out into new things, hobbies, & projects. Well, here it is! My favorite moments of 2014:

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