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Haven 2012 {Conference Recap}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

You want to know what we learned this year at the first ever Haven conference?
There are so many talented people in the world.
It’s true. Every single blogger we met has unbelievable talent, was super cute (I’m not lying when I say that Monica and I left feeling old and frumpy!), and could not have been nicer. It totally felt like a huge family reunion (except that we had never met before!) Seriously, though, we attended some inspiring sessions, chatted with some of our favorite bloggers and enjoyed really fun BFF time, too! It started out with a smooth flight, a pricey cab to the hotel (60 bucks, one way!) and the discovery that the hotel had overbooked and that our confirmation was actually a pending notification. Booo. But the guys at the Crowne Plaza worked it out and we got a room (a nice one, I might add!)

Upon arrival, we met some of the Haven crew and received our swag bags. There were some pretty sweet finds in the bag, but our favs were definitely the Annie Sloan Chalk paint, Purdy paint brush, Kreg Jig Jr. and a stencil from our go-to stencil girls at Royal Design Studio. Score!

We attended six sessions total, each of them were taught by some blogging bigwigs- do you see that list below? Southern Rhoda, Tracie at Beneath my Heart, Beth from Home Stories A to Z, Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick, and Myra from My Blessed Life We were SO thrilled to meet these ladies in real life and hear all the stuff they’ve learned through their blogging experience. We also spent time talking with vendors (Monica won 3 awesome paint brushes at the Annie Sloan chalk paint booth), and with business cards in hand, checked out all the blogs we hadn’t read before, .

Rashon Carraway, aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting, rocked the Thrifting 101 session! Remember him from The Nate Show? We had fun sharing stories about our times on the show and how great the staff was to us. Good times, I tell you.

Sherry and John from Young House Love were the keynote speakers, and not only were they adorable, they were so down to earth, full of good tips and witty, to boot. Not fair. We loved their mindset about writing their blog, and their honesty about sort of stumbling into blogging fame.
We could have talked with Sherry the entire night. She’s totally like the other best friend we wish we had.

We LOVED meeting so many people with similar passions as ours, and discovering awesome blogs we had never heard about. No one truly understands blogging except other bloggers, that’s for sure.

Beth from Free Stylin’ and Jamie from C.R.A.F.T

The highlight of our trip was meeting our blog mentor, Beckie. We’ve been chatting with her on the phone every week for the past few months. We knew she was insanely talented and driven, but we were so not prepared for how awesome she is in person! And drop-dead gorgeous. Her session about advertising had everyone buzzing about her. And for good reason! Love.that.girl.


Monica was really excited to meet her, and I was scared, I guess. Awkward, Jess, awkward.
And I’m sure you’ve all heard of Allison from House of Hepworths, but we were psyched to meet her since we were in the Blogging 2 Better collaboration with her the past 6 weeks.

Layla from The Lettered Cottage, taught a killer session on photo styling that rocked our picture-taking world. How she preps rooms for photos is genius, and even though we learned a lot, we’re pretty sure that she has a creative eye that can’t be duplicated.  I am a HUGE fan of hers, so was pretty excited that she sort of knew who we were (or pretended to, anyway!)

We also had the priviledge of hanging out a bit with Ashley and Whitney from Shanty 2 Chic. These girls make DIYing look amazing. A gorgeous, creative blogging duo.

And speaking of gorgeous-ness…take a look at Ana White building a rolling storage caddy in sky-high heels and tight cropped pants. Fabulous, isn’t it? Makes us feel like we should maybe reconsider our t-shirt and sweatpants attire for DIYing. Or maybe not.

And finally, here’s a shot of us fooling around at the Homes.com photo booth. Our new bloggy best friend, Karah from The Space Between, took this picture and we love it. And you’ll love her. First of all, she lives in Curacao, and secondly she does great projects (just check out her rooftop pallet bed) and thirdly, she’s a lot of fun to hang out with.
So that’s our crazy recap! All in all we had as really fun time, and I can’t say enough how much fun I have with Monica. It may actually be possible that two people share the same brain. Just sayin’. 😉
If you could meet one blog crush, who would you choose?

The comments +

  1. Erin Spain says:

    Love this recap! Glad I was able to meet you girls (even though it was very brief!). You both seem like so much fun! Hopefully next time we’ll get to chat more. Looking forward to following your blog! Haven was definitely so much fun and I can’t wait until next year!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  2. I love that you got a butt shot of Ana White! Nice recap 🙂 So glad I met you two!!!

  3. Kerry Rossow says:

    Love this! I met both of my blog crush’s- Julia from Hooked on Houses and Leslie from The Bearded Iris. It was a whirlwind of fun, huh?

  4. Blog conferences are so exciting! I love reading all the re-caps, AND… now I have much more blog stalking to catch up on. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wish I could have been there and met you two. Additionally, I have a major girl crush on Katie Bower.

  6. Ah I loved meeting you girls! You are crazy talented! Was so fun to chat! Xo

  7. I totally agree that is felt like a family reunion! It’s humbling (and super fun!) to see so many awesomely crafty, creative people in the same place. So happy to have met y’all!

  8. I felt the same way about ya’ll. It is a privilege to do this with you guys! Thanks for the kind words.

  9. So excited to have met you both! Y’all are such dolls…it was fun to get to know you. Thanks for the constant inspiration!

  10. It was great to meet you talented gals! We should try to do a PA bloggers get together some time.

    Love that shot of Ana White. My feet hurt just looking at it!

  11. Fun recap! I was so glad to meet both of you. I wish we could have spent more time together! You both are just so fun. Thanks for sharing the picture of us even though I look like such a huge dork! I hate seeing pictures of myself. lol. Let’s keep in touch even though we aren’t doing the collaboration anymore. You guys rock my socks.

    • We felt the same exact way! We were like, “When did we start looking 50 years old?” and “What were we thinking, wearing that?” Ugh. Anyway, SO great to meet you too. Let’s keep in touch!

      J & M

  12. Wow! This is so awesome. What a great recap. Thanks so much for the shout out, isn’t that homes.com pic fun. Looking awesome even when you’ve got huge felt flowers in your mouths. 🙂 Obviously, stalking … er, meeting you gals was among my highlights. 😉

    • It was so fun to hang out with you, Karah! And look who’s the blog rockstar now: two features this week, Centsational girl & The Lettered Cottage! You go, girl! You totally deserve it. 🙂 Just remember us little people when you hit it big. 🙂

      J & M

  13. Kim says:

    Makes me want to be a blogger! Sounds like such a fun conference and such fun people to be around! The first blog I followed was Layla’s, so I’d love to meet her. But you both have such inspiring and fun ideas that I’m hooked on this blog, too!

  14. found you via the HAVEN recaps around blogland – how is it that I’ve not connected with you before now? craaazzzyyyy! welcome home – looks like quite an adventure! looking forward to reviewing your blog in the days to come!

    http://www.NorthernCottage.net

  15. Of course I knew who you were, silly wabbit!!! 😀
    I’m so glad we got to hang out for a bit and I really, really hope it won’t be a whole year before we get to do it again!
    XOXO
    Layla 🙂

  16. Kim Wilson says:

    It was so good to meet you both in real life! I so agree with you realizing the sheer talent nestled in one room was bursting from the seams! So many creative, wonderful people! You all always bring a smile to my face!
    Kim ~ Sand & Sisal

  17. Great recap! It was so good to see you guys there! 🙂 I just wish we would have had some time to chat. 🙁
    Hopefully next year!!
    Traci

  18. Tauni says:

    It was so lovely to meet you girls at Haven a couple of weeks ago! I am glad that we had the chance to chat briefly – I loved hearing your story and look forward to following you as “East Coast Creative.”

    xoxo, Tauni

  19. Annie says:

    Oh now I love this! You did an awesome job ! Thanks for sharing!

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