My Haven Experience!

Whew! My brain is just starting to calm down and process everything from last weekend at my first Haven Conference!

It was a whirlwind of fun and learning…and getting totally starstruck, as this is pretty much my version of Hollywood;) Oh, and CLINT HARP WAS THERE.

More on that in a sec…

So for those of you who don’t know, Haven is a conference held every Summer for the past six years, for Design and DIY bloggers. It’s a chance to connect, learn a ton at the various workshops, meet with brands, and just have a good ol’ time being surrounded by those who share your same (or similar) passions. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and was just never the right time, until this year.

I flew down (to Georgia) with my local blogging pal, Jocie from One Project Closer, and we arrived around 10am. We walked around since our room wasn’t ready, stopped for lunch, and chatted with other bloggers who had arrived…I was so excited! Can you tell?!

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We checked in later that afternoon, and there was a Newbie Meetup before the Welcome Reception – which was awesome. Everyone was SO nice and welcoming – if there ever was a packed room to have to walk into totally alone, it’s this one. Everyone’s in the same boat and so nice. Jocie is an old pro so she wasn’t with me – I didn’t know who I would talk to, but immediately connected to some sweet people who must’ve picked up on my Deer In Headlights look I was sporting;)

Then it was time for the Welcome Reception!

Here we all met our Mentor (mine was Danielle of Finding Silver Pennies – such a sweetheart!) and group. We met a few times over the weekend just to touch base and in case we had any questions, etc. I ran into Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick and totally geeked out. She’s been one of my biggest inspirations and the first blog I ever read. I didn’t even know what a blog was before her, and I completely fell in love with her style, and her gift for design and DIY.  She can pretty much do no wrong in my book, so when I saw her, naturally I fangirled. She was super nice and so sweetly obliged when I asked if we could get a pic…

with Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick

I mean, this weekend was off to a pretty awesome start, huh?! (P.S. They gave us those beads I’m wearing at our Newbie Meetup, which was pretty genius, because when I saw someone else wearing the beads, I knew they were in the same boat!)

At this reception, I made friends with Christene from Keys to Inspiration, and Allie from The Adored Abode. We hit it off immediately and ended up going out to dinner every night together!

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Friday started with a keynote speech from Rachel Kate, who had quite an inspirational story, including being on HGTV Design Star, creating lines for Target and other stores, being on Rehab Addict with Nicole Curtis and a bunch of other cool stuff! She expressed never giving up on your dreams and going after them, not matter how much you get turned away or knocked down.

Then it was time for a day full of informative sessions – from learning about ads from AdThrive, to Instagram secrets with Sarah from Our Vintage Farmhouse, to MEETING CLINT HARP and listening to his inspiring story and watching him and Jamison from Rogue Engineer build a quick box from a pallet…

with Clint Harp

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GUYS. Clint (on a first name basis now, you know;) ) could not be a nicer guy. I was a total blubbering crazy person when I met him and he was beyond adorable about it. He even made a video for my kids!!! Such a sweet, genuine person. Exactly like you’d imagine from watching him on TV.

In between all these awesome sessions, it was fun to just walk around looking at all the pretty displays and chatting with companies…

Haven Conference

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We had a Girls Night In on Friday night, where there were yummy treats, a smoothie bar, wine, music, along with a few crafting tables set up.  I feel honored to say I learned some watercolor tips from Lucy of Craftberry Bush?!! This is all a dream, right?

haven craftberry bush

Again, all the while hanging out with my new pals, Allie and Christene! Who doesn’t love a girls night in, am I right?!

Haven Conference

Saturday was another day of super helpful sessions – learned about content strategy, getting my blog organized, how to implement video content, and making this cool tic-tac-toe board with Jamison and Dremel, on their Mission to Make!

Dremel

Not finished here of course;)

AND we got to keep the tools! What the what?! Seriously guys, the swag you leave with is insane! I was told to bring an empty duffel bag in my carry-on JUST for all the stuff when you come home. It’s craziness.

haven conference swag

Then it was time for the closing speaker on Saturday. It was KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and I am an even bigger fan of hers now. I can’t even tell you how inspirational her speech was. We were sobbing then laughing then sobbing then laughing. I just totally adore her. She just wrote a book called So Close to Amazing and it comes out soon – I can’t wait to read it. I just wished I could take her home in my suitcase and hang with her forever and ever. That’s not weird at all, right?

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(That’s Jackie from School of Decorating on the left, then Allie, Christene, and me)

I came home Sunday full of so many feels. Tired, inspired, happy, excited, a bit overwhelmed…I kept hearing over and over again that I was going to leave with so much information – like brain hurts amount of information – but to just take my time processing it all – and that was GREAT advice.  I am so excited to start applying the things I learned, improve my blog, my social media (just started Insta-stories you guys! woop-woop!), all of it – for you awesome readers who are always so kind and supportive. But I’ll go nuts in the process if I try and do it all at once.

One thing I kept hearing over and over again is to make goals for yourself – even little ones count.

So I set my first goal: to be still every day, even for just ten minutes, so I can hear what direction God wants me to take this little blog of mine. There are so many factors to think about, different avenues to take, and sometimes its hard to know where to go from here. I’m such a go-go-go person – I like to be busy – but that also keeps me from being totally alone with my thoughts and dreams. So God and I are going to have lots of talks, and I’m going to do lots of listening. I know if I do that, I’ll be propelled forward in the right direction.

And I hope you’ll be with me as we find out what that is together.

To all the amazing people behind Haven, thank you for creating this space for all of us – to learn, to connect, to laugh, to share dreams, to create friendships. It was a life changing experience and I can’t wait for next year!

Comments

  1. Julie coleman says:

    Thanks for taking us along! I don’t often comment, but I truly love your blog and read every word. Sometimes twice. No doubt your warm enthusiasm brought you lots of new friends!

  2. Tiziana Revell says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I wanna go!

  3. It looks like you had the perfect Girls Weekend – inspirational, fun and amazing! And you made new friends (and met Clint!) Good for you – can’t wait to read more of what you learned in future posts!

    • Thank you, Lynn! It was pretty memorable for sure! I hope to apply all I learned to make this blog better than ever for you! Thanks for always being such a faithful and kind reader:)

  4. Liz, I loved this recap. It was so much fun meeting you and being there firsthand to see you meet Clint :)

    • Thanks, Jackie! And I loved your Clint story!! hahaha! We both came home with some doozies, huh?! 😉 So fun getting to know you – maybe see you next year?!

  5. I loved reading this! I’ve just truly started to get into blogging and it’s been hard not to discouraged thinking I’ve missed the ‘blogging boat.” You’ve encouraged me to keep at it purely because it makes me happy!

    • Yes! If it brings you joy, you go for it, girl! One thing I kept hearing was that we all have our own journey – and every journey is unique and our own. And not to worry about where anyone else is on theirs:) Best of luck to you, and maybe I’ll see you next year!

  6. It was great meeting you! I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time!

  7. I loved your post! I’m so glad it was such a great experience for you! I would totally be blubbering right along with you. haha. I’m happy you told us about your friends from Haven-Allie and Christene. Didn’t know about their blogs and I just followed them:)

  8. Michelle says:

    So excited for you! You are honestly the first blog I started reading years ago when my kids were babies ( I think our kids are about the same age). The first project I made was a monogramed cookie sheet / tray, and it’s STILL in my kitchen. I’ve always loved coming to your blog, and so glad you have no intention to quit! Glad you enjoyed your trip.

  9. Ahhh I love your recap!! I may be stealing a couple of pictures. It was so fun to meet you at Haven and I’m glad we connected right away. You are the sweetest! Next year we have to hang out in Charleston! I can’t wait.

    >> Christene

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