If you have been reading Puddy’s House for a while, you know that my blog was created after attending the Haven Conference in 2012.
Haven is like the mecca for DIY bloggers. I had to go back in 2013, and of course returned again this year. The conference is held for 3 days in Atlanta, and if you happen to be in that hotel, it seems it is taken over by (mainly) women for the weekend. I always feel like Haven is so hard to summarize, and I go into it thinking I’ll take all these great pictures that will show what it is really like, but alas, I don’t have tons of great pictures to share! And, I also think to non-bloggers Haven might not be that interesting, but I feel it is important to share because it is a highlight of my year!
This year, the keynote speaker was Chip Wade from HGTV. I got a seat close to the front so that I was sure to get a picture, problem is he moves around A LOT when he speaks, so I really on have this one because he stopped moving while he played a video highlighting one of the projects on his new show, Elbow Room.
I haven’t watched his show yet, but the projects he shared were inspiring and a great reminder to do things that function well in your home for how you use your home. As soon as he was done speaking, we basically ran right up front to get a picture with him and it’s not the best, but we got the picture!!
After our Chip Wade stalking was over, it was time to get serious. I attended great sessions over a 2-day period. I took a variety of sessions in order to learn and improve in different areas, so I made sure that I covered the areas of DIY, design and many different aspects of blogging. My head was swimming! I took so many notes and I am slowly working on a plan to implement them.
Besides getting an education, I also had the opportunity to meet with the brands that sponsored Haven. Many of the sponsors had interactive booths and contests, so Amy and I took some fun pictures. But, meeting with the brands is also a serious aspect of Haven. I wanted to connect with brands that I already know and love, but also discover new brands that I wanted to learn about and decide if there are products they make or opportunities they have that will help me in my projects and blog. When we registered for Haven, we picked up our swag bag, which was stuffed pretty full, but then I also picked up other products and information from the sponsors, so this is everything that came home with me. It was a fun effort to get it home on the plane, but everything made it safely. I can’t wait to use some of the products and build the gifts from Home Depot.
Every night, we had a fun party to relax and have a good time with the other bloggers. It was great to have the time to get to know bloggers that I only know from the internet in real life! Makes me feel a little less like a stalker and more like I know them.
Amy was my travel companion again this year, so that is why she is in basically all of my pictures. Home Depot and Ryobi threw us a great party on the last night, so we had to get a picture with their fun backdrop. With Amy and I is Kim from The Kim Six Fix. Kim is one of the bloggers I met last year and have stayed in contact with her all year, so it was fun to hang out in person again. I also had fun with a few of the other bloggers that I talk to reguarly online and finally had the chance to spend time with them in person: Charlotte from Ciburbanity, Bee from Windgate Lane, Melody from My Passion for Decor and Anne from Anne Thompson Designs. And, I met tons of new to me bloggers that I can’t wait to continue the conversations with throughout the year and see them at Haven next year!
When Haven ended last year, they challenged us to “Do good on a grand scale” and this year they are going to make it happen. Haven is partnering with Habitat for Humanity for Hands of Haven on July 26th.
Bloggers will be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, shopping Habitat restores, or just proudly wearing the t-shirt in support of Hands of Haven. I’m proud to be part of such a wonderful group of bloggers.
I am already anxiously awaiting Haven 2015! But, after such a full weekend, I was glad to return home to Bob and Puddy. This is the one picture I got from Bob while I was away; it has a sneak peak of our new shed in it.