Happy Monday Ya'll!
Well, I'm back from Atlanta & trying to get back into a normal routine & schedule! The Haven Conference was SO MUCH FUN , but soaking up all the INCREDIBLE information that they give you over the course of two days & networking with 250+ bloggers is a bit exhausting!! I've been offline for the last couple days just trying to clear my head & organize my thoughts!! There are so many things I want to change & incorporate into my blog, but trying to figure out where to start is the HARD PART!! I've decided that I'm just gonna take it one day at a time & face the realization that I'm only ONE PERSON & I can only do so much!!!
Are ya'll ready for a little (or rather large) recap?!
Sherry & John from Young House Love kicked off the conference with a FANTASTIC & very ENTERTAINING opening keynote speech. They talked about their blogging journey & how they one by one quit their full-time jobs to blog full-time. Their blog has been a HUGE success & they have received tons of press! If you haven't visited their blog before, you should totally take the time to check it out!
After the opening keynote, I attended the "I Like Big Blogs" session taught by Sarah (Thrifty Decor Chick), Traci (Beneath My Heart), Rhoda (Southern Hospitality), Myra (My Blessed Life), & Beth (Home Stories A to Z.)
This session was very informative! They discussed ways to engage your audience, how to write a great post, elements of a great blog layout/design, the importance of social media, & how to balance life & blogging. It was SO GREAT to hear their perspective on these topics & learn from the pros!! :)
Later that day, I attended "All About Advertising" taught by Beckie (Infarrantly Creative), Julia (Hooked On Houses), & Sarah (Thrifty Decor Chick.) It's safe to say that, this session completely ROCKED MY WORLD!!!
We learned about private ads, ad networks, affiliate programs, ebooks, & ad campaign programs. These ladies are a wealth of knowledge! The things I learned in this session were totally worth the price of my Haven ticket.....nuff said!
Probably one of the most entertaining sessions of the conference for me, was Thrifting 101 taught by Rashon Carraway also known as Mr. Goodwill Hunting!
Rashon talked about how thrifting has gone from being a thing that people were "forced" to do, into a thing that people now "choose" to do! He revealed all of his thrifting tips & secrets and made us laugh repeatedly throughout the session! He told us that we shouldn't "look for anything at any time" but instead, "look for everything at all times."
This session was so much fun and probably one of the highlights of the conference for me! I even managed, to get my picture taken with Mr. Goodwill himself....
At lunch time that day, I got to sit and eat with one of my favorite bloggers EVER...
You all know Traci from Beneath My Heart?! Yes?!
Traci is one of the sweetest women I have met since starting this blog! Even though she is a bit of a blogging ROCKSTAR, she is the most down to earth person you'll ever meet! I was lucky enough to get to room with her at Blissdom this past February & she has been such a blessing to me! At lunch we talked about all of the crazy renovations they have going on at their new home! It has been fun to watch all of the projects they have going on & all of the progress they have made. They recently completed their kitchen & are now working on their master suite! Stop by, say "Hi", and check out all of their amazing handy work!
I also met & hung out with these lovely ladies that day at lunch....
Rene (Living, Laughing & Loving) on left & Christina (Frugal Homemaker) on right. Although I was familiar with these ladies & their blogs, this was the first time I was able to meet them in person. They were both such sweethearts & I am glad to call them bloggy friends!
After lunch, I attended the Design Studio session taught by Darlene (Fieldstone Hill Design), Erika Ward (Blue Label Bungalow), & Sherry Hart (Design Indulgence). This session was great as a whole! Darlene talked about Defining Your Personal Style, Erika discussed Transforming your Home Into a SuperModel, & Sherry taught us how to mix colors & patterns in terms of fabrics! So much fun!
I got to sit with one of my new blog friends, Anna (Ask Anna Moseley) & Mr. Goodwill Hunting during this session & we took a moment to Instagram It! :)
The last session, was one that I was SO LOOKING FORWARD TO....
It was the Basic Photography & Photo-Styling class taught by Kevin & Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage and their friend Josh. Josh & Kevin have a photography site called Shoot Fly Shoot and they taught all of us Haven Mavens how to brave it off Auto & embrace Manual mode! Although I have been shooting in manual for a while now, I still really enjoyed this session & did learn a few new tips!
Layla & Kevin taught the photo-styling part of the session & discussed things that they take into consideration when shooting photos for their blog & magazine features. This was the part of the session I learned the most from! I can't wait to start incorporating some of these things into my blog photography!
I even got to meet & take my picture with Layla at the end of the session!
Another blogger I was looking forward to meeting was Sarah, a.k.a.Thrifty Decor Chick!
Sarah's blog was the very first DIY blog I came across in blogland after her feature on The Nate Berkus Show! She introduced me to the world of home decor/DIY bloggers and was one of the main reasons I was inspired to start this blog! I learned so much in all of the sessions she taught & admire her even more after attending the conference & meeting her in person!
I also got to meet Bonnie & Trish from Uncommon Designs....
I've been talking online with Bonnie & Trish for several months now and it was so awesome to finally meet them in real life! They are both so talented & have a beautiful blog! Stop by & check it out!
The conference wrapped up with a little Q&A session with all of the Haven coordinators...
This was an opportunity for us to ask questions that we were still seeking answers to & discuss the possibilities of Haven 2013!!
These women did such a great job of putting this conference together....
Even though this was the first year for the conference, everything ran SO SMOOTHLY!! You would have thought they'd planned several conferences!!
Ladies, I can only imagine how many countless hours went in to planning this conference!! Thank you so much for all of your hardwork & dedication to Haven 2012!! We all had such a great time & learned so very much!!
Looking forward to Haven 2013!!!
Will you be there?!
Linking up here....
Haven Linky Party at Southern Hospitality