Over the weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Haven Conference in Atlanta. I’ve been wanting to go to this conference since the first one 3 years ago, and was so excited to finally make it happen! It was an incredible experience and I learned so much and met so many amazing bloggers! I totally don’t feel weird calling these ladies friends anymore. 🙂
I left for Atlanta on Thursday morning and met up with Jess from Little House. Big Heart, who was my roomie for the weekend, after landing. Jess and I have been following each other’s blogs for almost 3 years and elevated beyond comments to talking on G chat and recently, to texting! It was so nice to talk to her in person and put a voice to her words.
Haven – Day 1
That first night there was a cocktail reception and time to chat and meet other bloggers. I met so many amazing ladies that night like, Emily, Kelly, Kim, Michelle, Amber, Amanda, Caitlin, Cassie and Katja. That initial night also put me at ease for the rest of the weekend. I was nervous that things would be awkward, but it wasn’t. It was like seeing old friends. After the reception a bunch of us headed out to dinner at Tin Lizzie’s for some real food. I had the Southern Comfort tacos, which was chicken, BBQ sauce, goat cheese and fried pickles. It sounds weird and gross, but trust me, it was delicious!
Friday morning kicked off with the keynote speaker Chip Wade from HGTV’s Elbow Room. It was so cool to see the spaces that he’s designed and put together on his show and hear him talk about optimizing space in homes in unique ways.
Friday I went to several great sessions including Blogging Trade Secrets with Laura of Finding Home, Jen of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Erin of DIY on the Cheap and Dusty of All Things G&D. I learned a lot about expanding the blog and a LOT about branding the blog.
I spent some time on the airplane reflecting on this class and what exactly the brand of this blog is. After meeting people and hearing some of the things they said about my blog and me, I realized that Attempts at Domestication really is me! I by all means don’t have it all together, but I’m trying. Trying to make my house a home for Jesse and I, trying to save money by DIYing, trying to cook (occasionally) and trying to live a full and fun life as a wife. My life is all about attempting!
Another amazing class was High End DIY with Danielle of Danielle Oakey Interiors, Courtney of A Thoughtful Place and Kirsten of 6th Street Design School. I’ve been following Courtney for a few years and she always has the most amazing spaces! It was so inspiring to learn from her, and the other two ladies about ways to incorporate high end items and DIY projects to make a house seem more high end rather than kitschy.
Friday evening was another cocktail party followed by a dance party. I LOVE dancing and throwing down, so this was right up my alley.
I did make the mistake of wearing a strapless bra that night, so my dancing was constantly holding things in place haha. Luckily for me Karah was there to help a girl out! Karah was one of the first blog friends that I made back in 2011, so I was extremely excited to finally meet her in person!
Day – 3
Saturday was full of more sessions and meeting bloggers! Jess and I both went to a session on working with brands with Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl, Mandi of Vintage Revivals and Diane of In My Own Style. I’ve worked with a few brands before, like JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, but never for monetary compensation. The session was very helpful in showing me how to approach brands that I may want to work with in the future.
The biggest thing with brands for me is that I always want to make sure that I’m working with a brand that I’m already using. I always want to be honest with you guys and even though I would love to make actual money blogging (making money from doing something you already love is the dream right?!) I never want to BS my readers!
Before the wrap up that night I had dinner with Jess, Amanda, and Kelly at Chuy’s. I know, I’m obsessed with this place. We had such great, heart-felt conversations about life and family, it was cool to get that deep with people so quickly! These girls are the best!
The closing party was another amazing time with dancing and cocktails and gave me a chance to grab photos with some of my fave bloggers!
Cassie and I danced the night away and she was my “Fancy” singing partner.
It was so great to meet Anna after years of following her blog. Thanks again for the caffeine hookup! 😉
Cassie is so sweet and so stylish! I love how much her home and projects reflect her and her style. She’s the person that gave me the guts to try mixing patterns!
Emily was so much fun to talk to and hang out with on the dance floor! Plus, her house and her style are just incredible!
Brittany is just a bad@$$. She’s done so many amazing projects and after talking to her I feel like I can do anything. I’ll definitely be asking for her advice in the future when we work on the kitchen!
One of the biggest things that blew my mind is that these bloggers that I look up to actually knew me! I leave comments and follow people on social media, but never really think that they see me, at least not enough to know me when I walk up to them!
I had such a fabulous time at Haven, and I hope that I can pull off going again next year! I met so many amazing ladies and really learned a lot about myself. It sounds cheesy but it’s true! I can’t wait to really hop into blogging in the coming weeks and put everything into action!
Ok, overload over. Check back in tomorrow for the return to DIY! I hope you had an awesome weekend! 🙂