This last weekend was the most fun I have had in probably, 22 years. The only way it could have beat my cousin’s 6th birthday party was if there was a ball pit. Maybe next year.
I spent the last four days at my very first blogging conference. I know a lot of you all aren’t bloggers so let me give a wee bit of background. Haven is an annual conference in Atlanta where bloggers who are in the DIY, crafting, painting, woodworking, decorating, and general awesomeness category get together. We get to learn from the pros, network with brands, and meet people in real life that we have talked to online for ages.
There are lots of blogging conferences, but Haven is special. This niche is incredibly supportive, and blow-your-mind talented. An obvious choice for my very first conference.
I am absolutely positive I could write a whole weeks worth of posts about what a great time I had, but instead I am just going to tell you why you should go next year. Besides the fact that we could sit and drink lemonade and gossip together, that’s obvious. Without further ado…
Wait, an ado, I didn’t take any photos (tisk, tisk for real) so I am relying on the #havenconf instagram feed to drive all my points home. I have already decided my resolution next year is to have my camera surgically attached to my hand so I take more photos. Bad blogger award 2013 goes to….me. Shoot I didn’t write a speech. End ado.
Nothing puts a little fire under your rump like a blogging conference. We got a whole new site design, pretty business cards, and made these cute little swedish fish favors that Jackie loved (yay). Do you think any of that would have happened if I weren’t about to go talk to 400 fellow bloggers. Absolutely not.
When you are going to hang out with a bunch of people you stalk on the daily you have to look good right? This means you have a completely valid excuse to buy those cute flats, that new makeup, and an adorable camera bag. Necessities ok. How funny is it that Carrie and I ordered the exact same camera bag, great minds I tell ya.
The obvious reason for going to a conference is to learn. I took sessions on everything from photography to SEO to social media advice to hands on design tips. I am still trying to wrap my head around all this new knowledge. The learning doesn’t stop with the sessions though, the chatter with fellow bloggers can be a wealth of information. Isn’t that a lovely group Sarah captured? So fashionable, I needed those tips.
If you are a blogger, you spend way too much time behind a computer screen. This I know. Sometimes it is nice to get out and smell the
roses hydrangeas that Mrs. Hoff snapped a pic of. This weekend I actually, sort of, kinda felt like I had a life….for a minute. It felt like Christmas and my birthday made a baby and called it Haven.
Do I even need to mention this? Clearly when you get that many creative minds in one place you get on an inspiration high, which is the only kind of high to be. Everywhere I looked there were beautiful things and brilliant ideas. This map that Breida posted a photo of really got my proverbial juices flowing.
Ok, if you come for nothing else please come for the cheese plates. Kidding, sort of. The food was amazing and I gotta send a standing ovation to the fine folks at Buckhead Grand Hyatt for the stellar service. The second I set my fork down, someone was there swooping my dirty plate away so I could make room for dessert. Now it’s time to buy a treadmill, Tiffany’s photo is making me hungry. Seriously, get in my mouth cheese.
Haven’s sponsors were fantastic. There were parties and swag, sure, but they were some of the nicest people I have ever met. When I came home and Tim opened up my suitcase he thought it was his birthday. I don’t think I have ever seen him so happy to see safety goggles. I met a ton of amazing people on that couch up there from Ballard Designs that Jamie grabbed a photo of. That rug and I have a real love affair going too.
To balance out all the tasty food, you gotta make sure you get out on the dance floor and bust a move. I worked up quite a few sweats between dancing and walking to vendor booths. Now some brave souls went hiking and running, but I think doing the robot on repeat burned just as many calories. Holler. Double holler to Ryobi Tools for throwing such an awesome party. Good time had by all.
The whole way down to Atlanta I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t be starstruck. Newsflash, I was a total creeper that stared just a little to long at the bloggers I have read for years. It wore off after the first day, but it was so amazing to see all these ladies being so normal. They had so many inspiring stories and endless knowledge, I just soaked it up like a sponge. I loved Ana White’s keynote, and I am so happy Ashley got such a great photo of that little baby bump.
By far, hands down, without doubt, no competition the best part of this conference was meeting so many new friends. I can’t say enough nice things about some of these girls. I am so lucky to even have the opportunity to know most of them, and can’t wait to be reunited next year! In fact, I am really bummed that I have to wait a whole year to see them again. I’ve said it a million times but this weekend just instilled it in my brain that blogging is all about the community. This community blows my socks off. Thanks Megan for snapping this pic.
It’s easy to see that I have a lot of nice things to say about Haven. I had such a great time and feel so blessed to have been able to experience all the awesomeness. Let the countdown to 2014 begin.
Have you been to Haven?
What’s your favorite part of conferences?
Are you craving a cheese plate now?
Christina! I loved meeting you at Haven! Also, you had the cutest business cards by far!
I am sooooo happy I got to meet you!!! You and Nick are even sweeter in person and I didn’t think that would be possible!!!! Looking forward to next year 🙂
I loved the way you did the recap! I have yet to do mine, I have soo much going through my head I have no idea how to organize it yet!! Your blog is so cute, and I LOVED the fishes lol
Awwwwww thank you!!!! I’m so glad we got to meet and dance the night away 🙂
I LOVE you AND this post! So well said! 🙂 can’t wait to see you again! 🙂
I have been telling Tim all about you and how we need to convince you all to move to Missouri hahaha (please)
Um, your new site is gorgeous!! And your recap is awesome. You took the words right out of my mouth. What an incredible weekend we’ve all just had! I don’t think I got to meet you, but hopefully I will at Haven 2014 😉
Yessssss….it’s a DATE 🙂
Do you miss the lunch buffet? The food was awesome!
Yes, can they please just cater to my work every single day….I mean I am having withdrawls here haha.
I met you at Haven, just riding the elevator up to our floor on the last day. :). I LOVE your blog design! I’m wondering what platform you are using and if you designed it yourself or had someone do it for you. Are you a graphic designer? Great Haven post, it was so much fun!
Hey Adrienne! Thank you so so much, we actually used Jenny Highsmith from Maiedae. I love graphic design but I had no where near the artistic skills that girl has….she watercolored every single element!!! Impressive.
Hope to see you next year 🙂
Christina, so glad to meet you at Haven! Great recap — and such a cute idea with the pics from instagram 🙂
Awwwww thanks Katie! I got home and had all of four photos so I figured I better think of something 🙂
So glad I got to meet you, best of luck with that little baby you got coming!!!!
i’m so glad you had such a fabulous time! it’s on my list to go next year…as long is it doesn’t interfere with my WEDDING!!! (I got engaged over the weekend!) can’t wait to see how your blog transforms and grows in the coming months! =)
AHHHHH CONGRATS!!!! That is soooo exciting, make sure you check back here this month…a couple other amazing bloggers and myself are hosting a “wedding week” full of fun crafts!!!
This is a great list of reasons to go to Haven. I’m so glad we met and I got to hang out with you on the last night.
I am SO SO SO glad I came up and talked to you all that first night! You guys were so much fun 🙂
Hey Christina! Woot woot! I made the Instagram list of 10! Thanks for the shout-out! I totally agree, #10 was the BEST! So glad we were able to hang out so much. I also can’t imagine waiting a whole year to get to see my new blogging besties! Good thing the internet can keep us up-to-date with everyone!
No joke, what if we had to wait a WHOLE year to even talk….pshhhh you can’t keep me away 🙂
I gotta find something like this for what I do, it looks very useful and also a blast!
Oh for sure, it was awesome! I wish there was a conference in St. Louis….hopefully they will do “Show Me the Blog Conference” next year 🙂
I was so bummed we didn’t get to meet, but I LOVED reading your wrap-up and couldn’t agree more with the best part being the connections made with other bloggers. Here’s to hoping we can connect face to face at Haven 2014!
YES…..let’s make that our mission! It’s just impossible to meet everyone, next year though….I will find you 🙂
Christina, your blog is gorgeous! I love it!! Great Top 10 list, too. It was so wonderful meeting you and I hope to see you back at Haven again next year!
PS. I just double-checked to make sure I was following you on Instagram and I accidentally unfollowed you! Crisis was averted when I tapped that little green button to follow you again. Whew!
Hahahaha, I do that all the time 🙂
I am so happy I got to meet you, you are more sweet and funny than I ever could have imagined!!! Cheers to next year.
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thanks for the recap! I just started my diy blog last month and I think you’ve inspired me to try to attend next year… gotta start saving my pennies. Thanks!
Ohhhh for sure! It was worth every penny (but there were more pennies spent than I expected). Hope to see you next year 🙂
Awesome recap. Was Tim jealous that you went? Also, I’m pretty sure YOU would be my #1 reason to attend Haven!
Now, as any loving friend would point out, why the heck did you buy a new camera bag but not even use your camera?!? Silly girl.
I KNOW RIGHT! Such a dumb dumb! After the first day I didn’t even carry it because it was too heavy…but the bag still came in handy for sure since it was luggage sized 🙂
You should come next year….puh puh puh PLWEASE
Hey Christina – Great to hear you had a good experience at the Haven Conference! Homes.com & ForRent.com enjoyed sponsoring the event and the opportunity to connect with you! Be sure you get a chance to look at the photos from the event on Facebook, tag yourself & share with family/friends! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151682489139086.1073741827.280285049085&type=3 Love your recap!!
YAY! It was so nice to meet with you and I look forward to browsing through your photos!!!!
It was so great meeting you! I wish Haven was a week-long thing instead of a couple days. There’s just not enough to meet and talk with everyone. I’m excited they moved it up to July so it’s only 10 months until it’s Haven time again!
Heck yes! It was so funny, as I left on Sunday I felt like I was leaving the best summer camp of my life. I already have a countdown going for next year!!! So glad I got to finally meet you 🙂
Somehow I missed meeting you! Now I’m sad! Maybe next year? Don’t you love the pic of the flowers and champagne? I brought those flowers home. The TSA agents thought they were beautiful. They lasted a week and I smiled every time I looked at them. Can’t wait to browse around your blog! Happy Blogging!
Ohhhh FOR SURE we will get together next year 🙂
I am real jealous….I so wish I would have snagged the flowers. They were gorgeous!
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