Haven Conference 2012 Recap {Hanging Out With Strangers I Met On the Internet}

Hi friends! Hope all of you had a fabulous June weekend. I actually had to work all weekend to catch up on the time I took off last week for Haven. One of those crazy end-of-the-quarter weeks filled to the brim with closings... you know how it goes! But it was totally worth it, since I had a blast at Haven.

The DIY + home design + blogging conference was held in Atlanta last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Hosted by some fabulous bloggers and sponsored by some amazing brands, the conference was a hit. Seriously- everyone loved every minute!

This was my first blogging conference, so I didn't quite know what to expect. Let's just say my expectations were exceeded! This conference gave us the perfect amount of time to socialize with our fellow bloggers, network with sponsors and attend really great educational sessions- some about DIY and some about blogging. Seriously, the perfect mix. I took classes on carpentry from Ana White, thrifting from Mr. Goodwill Hunting, blogging from a panel of bloggers (like Sarah, Myra, Tracie, Beth and Rhoda), photography from Layla and Kevin at the Lettered Cottage and a class on home design. One of my favorite classes was the home design class, where I learned so much from blogger Darlene at Fieldstone Hill and two of my favorite Atlanta designers and friends, Erika from BluLabel Bungalow and Sherry from Sherry Hart Design. There was so much talent at the conference, it was crazy!

I was kind of a bad blogger and didn't take too many pictures. I felt awkward enough staring down ladies I thought I "knew" and mustering up the courage to go say hi! We all kept joking and saying, "wow, we're just hanging out with a bunch of strangers we met on the Internet, aren't we?" Ha!

But during the first night's kick-off cocktail party, I quickly learned they were more than strangers... more like old friends who love all of the exact same things you do. It was pretty cool.

Thursday morning started off with a bang as John and Sherry from Young House Love took the stage. They are just as honest, hilarious and down-to-earth as you would imagine. Oh, and they're definitely all kinds of bad a$$ bloggers. Seriously, they're blogging geniuses! I was happy to have a few moments to chat with them at the Wednesday evening cocktail party. Little Clara loved my baby bump and, as she rubbed on it, even guessed that it was a boy! Clairvoyant Clara, I like it.


After the YHL speech, it was time to dive into some classes!

Ana White showing us how to make a shelf unit.


The beautiful (and smart! there are seriously some smart-cookie bloggers out there!) ladies on the "How to Grow Your Blog" panel- Myra, Sarah, Rhoda, Tracie and Beth.


Sherry from Sherry Hart Design explaining how to mix fabrics + patterns. Genius session.


In addition to the great classes, it was also so much fun to meet and network with so many great bloggers. These ladies are incredible- they're kind, they're sweet, they're genuine... I was blown away by all of the awesome folks that I met! Here's a little montage of some of my favorite ladies.





Oh and helllooooo. The swag bag. How have I failed to mention that so far? The Haven conference hooked us up with some amazing swag to take home. From Kreg to 3M to Frog Tape to Annie Sloan to Rustoleum, we got it all. Well, you can see my loot below. 


I actually won the Kreg jig and clamp in a raffle. How cool?! Now I need to come up with a new project to use those bad boys. And thanks to all of you lovely ladies who helped this preggo chick carry all of this stuff around all weekend. Yes, I kind of looked like a hot mess squeezing past the rows of chairs and waddling up to the stage to claim my big ol' heavy tool package. I'm sure it was a sight ; )

Oh and not pictured is a fun new Rustoleum product we got... I've already whipped out a project from it that I can't wait to share with all of you tomorrow. It's a fun nursery project and I'm kind of obsessed with it....

All in all, Haven was the bomb. Dot com. It feels kind of like summer camp ended and I just can't imagine how I will be able to make it until next summer. Luckily, I collected a big ol' stack of business cards so I can go through those and visit the blogs of all of the lovely ladies I met throughout my time at the conference. Oh and I think my new business card was a hit! I passed a lot out, so hopefully I'll be able to meet lots of new friends.

Thank you so much to Rhoda and her team for hosting Haven. We can't wait until next year!

So there you have it- my Haven Conference 2012 recap! It was great meeting you, if you were there, and if not... I better see you next year!! : )
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25 comments:

  1. Sounds fabulous Michelle! You are glowing….and it looks like you all had a wonderful time meeting. Bummed to have missed you live and in person but hopefully sometime in the future!

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  2. Fun recap, Michelle! And it really was like summer camp...can't believe we have to wait a whole year for the fun to start again. ;) I'm so so happy I got to meet you and make a new (real!) friend!

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  3. So much fun! I wanted to go so bad too, but the price of tickets were just not in the budget this year. I am so excited to read everyone's recaps!

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  4. It was great to meet you Michelle! I agree that Haven was awesome! What a crazy/overwhelming/informative experience! I felt like my head my might explode on Saturday. Thankfully, it didn't.

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  5. Oooh so fun! I've always wanted to go to one of these.

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  6. Love your recap!!!! It was a great few days. I can't seem to stop talking about it!!

    So great to meet you!!!
    Jen
    athomeinthenorthwestblog.com

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  7. Looks like everyone had a fabulous time! So sorry I missed it, especially since it was in our backyard!! Hoping for next year.

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  8. You look so cute!!!! Love this recap, and so glad you had a great time...now email me stat! ;)

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  9. Great recap, Michelle! It was so nice meeting you, thank you for taking a few minutes to chat with a fellow GA blogger on Friday afternoon. And best of luck to you and your hubby on all your exciting, upcoming family & house adventures =)

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  10. So fun, Mich! I SO wish I could have come to hang out with you all!

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  11. It must have been so surreal meeting everyone! Glad to hear you had a good time. Hopefully, I can join everyone next year!
    -Shelley

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  12. Hey, Michelle, so glad you were there for our first conference. We are over the moon excited at how great it went.

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  13. Hi Michelle! Meeting YOU was one of the highlights for me -- so fun to put faces and blogs together. :) My brain is still swimming from all the great knowledge that was imparted, but I am so excited to implement some of what I learned.
    Hope we can get together soon!
    xo Heidi

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  14. Hanging out with blogger strangers is so much fun! Looks like you had a great time. And, whoa, that is some awesome swag!

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  15. Great recap! I totally agree that it feels like the end of summer camp. And I'm excited to see what you tackle with that kreg jig. We've had one for a while and it has revolutionized our (okay, my husband's) projects. :) Great to meet you!

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  16. Okay, I'm determined to attend Haven next year!!

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  17. I am so glad I finally got to meet you! and how did we not get a picture together?? I was sooo bad about taking pics-oh well, next year for sure!

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  18. I feel like I met so many people and somehow, someway did not cross paths with you. Love hearing the recaps of all of the highlights!

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  19. I knew I should have introduced myself - people overload! Great recap, Michelle! I love reading all of these posts and hearing everyone's experience. Helps to sooth the sadness of not getting to meet every friend. ;)

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  20. Sounds like such an amazing time! I'm so envious! I absolutely cannot wait for next year!

    You're looking fabulous by the way! :)

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  21. It's so nice to hear about the wonderful experience everyone who attended had - hoping to make it one of these years. You look great Michelle! Thanks for the recap.

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  22. ha hanging out with internet friends - that does sound a bit freaky - but with blogland - all is good! welcome home!

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  23. Hi Michelle,

    It was so nice to meet you! I've loved reading your blog and was glad to talk briefly at the opening reception. Hope all is well!

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