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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

5 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

I have to admit, I am not always the best at Mother’s Day gift-giving. It always seems to sneak up on me before I can think of a unique gift idea! This year, I’m determined to stay on top of this special day of celebrating all you mamas out there! To make your gift search a little easier, I’ve rounded up 5 easy ideas to make your Mom feel loved, appreciated, and celebrated!

1. A Subscription to Her Favorite Magazine – Maybe your mom loves juicy gossip magazines, or maybe she drools over the pages of Elle Decor. Whatever kind of mom you’ve got, here are some of recommendations for magazine subscriptions: Darling Magazine, Real Simple, Elle Decor, and Dwell are some of my favorites!

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2. Spring-Inspired Apron – Want to be the favorite child? Look no further! These gorgeous aprons are perfect for the mom whose got a green thumb or who loves to cook. Both the full and half aprons are washable and have a limited run. Get yours by April 29 here!

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3. Chatbooks – I absolutely adore chatbooks for any and every occasion. They are an easy, cost-friendly way to make a book of all your favorite memories. I love doing them for Clayton and I every six months, and I gifted my besties some with a recap of our Europe trip last summer! These books are great for the sentimental mom! The best part is? They’re only $8!

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4. Monogrammed Coasters – These coasters are perfect for the mom who loves to host! You can get these beautiful leather coasters customized for a special gift your mom won’t forget! Set of 4, $28. 

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5. Modern-Day Polaroid Camera – This Instax Wide camera has brought SO much joy to me over the past couple years. It has continued to be one of my favorite gifts. If your mom loves capturing memories, this is the gift for her!

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Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is coming up on May 8th! Happy gifting!

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.

Home Sweet Home: Favorite Things to do in Dallas, Texas

I always love trips back to my hometown. I grew up in a Dallas suburb, but spent plenty of time all over the metroplex. I honestly always thought I’d graduate college and move back. Funny how life works, huh? I have a few favorite spots that I’m always sure to visit or eat at while I’m home. While Fayetteville is known for it’s local attractions and small businesses, you still miss out on the great shopping and restaurant scene in this big city.

Clayton and I packed our bags and headed to Dallas for Easter this past weekend and had such a fun time. I thought I’d share a little bit about our weekend and share my favorite spots for the next time you’re in the heart of Texas.

First things first: clear your schedule to make time with hometown-friends. Let’s be honest, this is always a priority when I am in Dallas. Growing up, this group of guys and girls were my family (and still are!). We all grew up in youth together and have stayed friends ever since. Seriously, we have a group text that has been going strong for the past 6 years. Through life changes, moves to different states for college, marriage, and new seasons, we’ve all stayed so close. It’s always one of my favorite parts of the weekend getting to spend time with my people.

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Brunch, always. Let’s kill two birds with one stone here, right? For our day together, we decided to kick it off with an amazing brunch at Oddfellows in Bishop Arts District. We love any chance we have to get out in that area. We shared laughs, meals, and coffee. Highly, highly recommend their brunch! Dallas has a handful of amazing brunch spots. Don’t miss these:

  • Oddfellows
  • Bread Winners
  • Cafe Brazil
  • Ida Claire
  • Public School 2014

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Bishop Arts District is seated right in Oak Cliff and is home to a handful of fun restaurants, shops and coffee spots. I would say it’s one of the best spots in Dallas. We spent the rest of our day walking around in the beautiful spring weather and exploring new areas! Be sure to check out my favorite shops:

  • Set + Co
  • DIRT Flowers
  • Dude, Chocolate
  • Society Candles

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Coffee Shops are always a fun way to explore a new city. While Dallas is more known for their overload of Starbucks, you can still find some fun coffee shops if you’re willing to drive around a little more. We found a great coffee shop in Bishop Arts called Wild Detective. It’s located in an old house right off the main strip. They had a beautiful back patio area too! Some of my other favorites are:

  • Ascention Coffee
  • Houndstooth
  • Crooked Tree
  • The Joule Hotel
  • Davis St. Coffee (pictured below)

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What’s for dinner? That’s a pretty common question in my family. We really enjoy dining out, especially for a special weekend like Easter. Clayton and I had some great family time this past weekend. We spent our Friday night on a double date with my dad and his fiance (and my step-mom-to-be) in downtown Mckinney. We ate at a new restaurant called Sugar Bacon and let me tell you I have been dreaming about that place ever since. It was delicious. And not to mention, downtown McKinney gives you that small-town-feel that made it seem like I was back in Fayetteville. Still hungry? Here are some other fun restaurants/ areas to dine:

  • Sugar Bacon in Mckinney Square
  • Square Burger in Mckinney Square (Clayton and Dad had a little date here!)
  • Whiskey Cake (you. must. try. the. whiskey. cake.)
  • Cane Rosso
  • Artins in Shops at Legacy – Shops at Legacy is an upscale area filled with restaurants ranging from $ to $$$$. It’s a great place to walk around when the weather is nice, as well!
  • In-in-out….get it while you can!

The rest of the weekend was spent with family, celebrating Jesus and all he did for you and me. He’s good and I’m thankful. This weekend was one for the books, for sure. Are you planning a trip to Dallas? Here are a few more of my favorite things to do while home: 

  • Head to the DMA! It’s an amazing FREE art museum!
  • Steel City Pops – ummm…popsicles anyone? Yum!
  • Klyde Warren Park is great for walks on a beautiful day. They’ve got food trucks if you get hungry, as well!
  • Northpark Mall – pretty much every store you could imagine.
  • Walk around, eat, and shop at the Shops at Legacy.
  • See a movie at iPic or Studio Movie Grill! Who doesn’t love eating dinner while they enjoy a movie?!
  • If you’re in town during the summer, you can’t miss the Snowcone Lady in Frisco. She’s been around as long as I can remember and is quite the legend.

To finish off, I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of my weekend. I just wish I could take everyone I love and move ’em up here with me!

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Grapefruit & Rosemary Cocktail

Hello, friends! Spring is officially here and it’s made me so excited to play around with new cocktail ideas! I always love making a new cocktail or mocktail at home with dinners on the weekend. It’s a fun activity to do with your girlfriends or your significant other! Particularly, this season I’ve been craving grapefruit! Luckily, I had one just sitting pretty in the fridge, so I decided to whip up one of my favorite cocktails!

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My favorite part about this cocktail is that it’s guilt-free. I am using all natural sweeteners (honey or agave), fruits, and fresh herbs! To add more flavor and bubbly goodness, I added in my favorite flavor of La Croix to make this drink even more flavorful!

So, in honor of the weekend coming sooner than usual this week, here’s my easy, quick, guilt-free Grapefruit + Rosemary Cocktail!

ingredientsGrapefruitCocktail2

serves 2
1 tbs honey or agave
1 tbs grated ginger
2 oz gin
1/4 cup grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
1 cup coconut La Croix
2 sprigs of rosemary
3 cubes ice

*If you’re making in bulk, it may be easier to grab some organic, bottled grape juice at the store. Just make sure there are no added sweeteners! For all my mocktail lovers, feel free to cut the gin. It’s just as good with or without!

instructions

-Grab a cocktail shaker. Add in all ingredients, including ice.
-Shake, shake, shake! 15-20 seconds.
-Pour drink through the shaker’s filter (so none of the rosemary or ginger pieces get in your cocktail) and do a little taste test. Sometimes I like to add a little more ginger or honey, but it’s really up to your preference. Add what you need and shake again.
-Divide up your drink into two pretty glasses and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and slice of grapefruit.
Enjoy!

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grapefruit
Not only is grapefruit tasty and refreshing in the warmer months, but it also has some amazing benefits for you:
-It’s a superfood!
-Grapefruit kick-starts your metabolism. Woo hoo!
-Vitamin C boosts your immune system.
-It’s a natural fat burner!
-High levels of antioxidants which means clear skin and a healthy body!

Okay, if the pretty presentation, clean ingredients, and health benefits didn’t get ya, I don’t know what will! Make this cocktail after work tonight or for your guests this weekend, I promise, it won’t disappoint!

Easy Paleo Blueberry Muffins

Guys, I am so excited because today my roommate of three years, Lindsey Strong, is sharing one of her amazing paleo recipes here on the Colour Journal. Linds has been living a paleo, grain-free, dairy-free life for the past four years. I’m constantly inspired by her dedication and love for real food and health. Let me tell ya, it’s way easier to live this lifestyle with a roomie like her. I love coming home to the smell of warm paleo banana bread or her famous blueberry muffins. It was that intoxicating smell (and taste) that initially gave us the idea of featuring some of her amazing recipes here on the blog. So, to kick off her first of many recipe features here on the Colour Journal, today Linds will be sharing her recipe for Paleo Blueberry Muffins! Enjoy!


 

Easter Sunday is coming up, and for many of us, that means family brunch! Maybe your whole family eats Paleo, but mine certainly does not! It can be a little difficult to get my parents and siblings on board with my alternative eating habits, and I really don’t want to make two separate brunch menus to appease everyone.

Fear not, friends! Now there is a solution to separate menus and added hours in the kitchen. These blueberry muffins will have EVERYONE loving a healthy brunch, from your processed sugar, dairy-loving brother to the blueberry muffin, connoisseur father and everyone in between! Now let’s get cooking!

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This week’s kitchen playlist: Brunch Cooking
Find me on Spotify (Lindsey Michelle Strong) to get the tunes behind the recipe!

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Wet
1 room temp egg
½ tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup honey
¼ cup coconut oil

Dry
1 shake of the salt shaker
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut flour
5 tbsp tapioca flour
1 cup almond flour
½ cup of blueberries

instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk
  • Heat the coconut oil and the honey together in the microwave for 30 seconds or until both are smooth
  • Add in the vanilla and room temperature egg and whisk until smooth
  • Next, add in the dry ingredients. Starting with the smaller ingredients will allow them to be more thoroughly mixed in before adding in the flours
  • Whisk one shake of the salt shaker, baking soda, and cinnamon
  • Next add in the 3 flours and whisk until combined
  • Finally, fold in the blueberries. Feel free to add in more or less depending on your level of blueberry love. But do be careful not to add too many. Too many blueberries are likely to cause the muffins to crumble more easily
  • Fill your muffin tin with the batter. I like to use paper baking cups as they help the muffins to cook more evenly.

Let those babies cook! The muffins need to cook for approximately 20-23 minutes. However, as often happens with Paleo food, the top may cook faster than the insides. I recommend checking the muffins at 18 minutes. If you notice this happening, create a little foil tent for your muffins to encourage baking through without roasting the tops!

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quicktips

Don’t skip the tips! These may make your baking time a titch easier!

  • Run your measuring cup under hot water before you scoop out the coconut oil. This will keep the oil from sticking and make the cup easier to clean
  • Room temperature eggs keep the coconut oil from clumping. Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees, so contact with cold ingredients can cause clumping
  • Fill empty muffin slots with water. This helps the other muffins to cook more evenly.

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Thanks for stepping into my kitchen today!

Happy Easter and another fabulous day on your Paleo journey.

Linds

Olivia Sue’s Nursery Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

For 9 long months we waited for little Olivia Sue Chamberlain to make her way into this world, and she finally arrived on January 19th, 2016. Olivia is Clayton’s new niece, and we have loved having a new little baby to love on and watch grow.

It was no surprise that her trend-setting parents went all out for her precious new nursery. They brought feminine and modern together in an effortless combination, and gave miss Olivia a room we’d all be pretty happy calling our own. Take a look:

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That gorgeous white mid-century modern changing table was actually a dresser from local shop 410 Vintage! They took a one-of-a-kind piece and made it their own.

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How sweet are these book shelves? Olivia’s parents, Bobby + Rachel, mixed in their old baby photos with various children’s books.

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This gorgeous floral wallpaper is the focus of the room, bringing in a modern, feminine feel for a new baby girl.

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We love you baby Olivia! Just let us know if you’re wanting a roommate because both you and your room are just too cute to pass up.