Haven 2013 Recap Part II

Haven Was Pure Heaven  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Yes, it’s true! The Haven Conference was pure heaven. I loved every minute of it. If you missed it, you can check out yesterday’s Part I post here. I talked about:

  • What Haven would be like for my hubby
  • The Sessions
  • The Brands

Let’s get started on today’s post!

  • The Swag
  • The Parties
  • The People!

The Swag

People! Look at all the stuff I got! Unbelievable. I had to lug it through three different airports but it was totally worth it! My head is swirling with all DIY projects I have in mind to do with all these goodies. You’d better stay tuned 😉

Haven Conference 2013  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Okay, this door wasn’t part of the swag but sooo pretty 😉  Every blog and sponsor there signed their name to this chippy rustic door. I’ve already used my amazing Ballard Designs burlap bag and I’ve worn my Miss Mustard Seed shirt every day {almost and I’m not kidding, ha!}. Okay, I purchased that shirt but it’s still included in my free swag!

Haven Conference 2013  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

The Parties

We had such great parties! Such a great time to connect the face to the blog! We had an initial cocktail party when we arrived Thursday night that was so much fun.

Haven Cocktail Party  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

We had another lovely cocktail party Friday night sponsored by Home Depot and Rustoleum. I’m still dreaming of my Rustoleum Rusty Razz champagne and raspberries cocktail and those yummy fried chicken sliders! YUM-MY!

Haven Cocktail party www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Haven Cocktail party www.somuchbetterwithage.com

And right after the cocktail party was a dance party sponsored by  Ryobi!!

Haven Cocktail party www.somuchbetterwithage.com

L to R:  Heather from Southern State of Mind, Laura from Turquoise Home, Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof, moi

We learned the DIY Shuffle. Every time I listen to Blurred Lines I’ll only be able to hear the words “looking for deal, gonna drive it on home, gonna sand it, sand it, sand it. Then paint it, paint it, paint it. Gonna blog about it…” The best dance moves ever, ha!

The DIY Shuffle  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

The People

Oh my, the people. Where do I begin. Bloggers are the most supportive people I know!! They want you to succeed. They ask about your family. They ask about how you did that project. They have the biggest hearts and the most caring souls. I felt so loved being at Haven. It really is like a haven for bloggers! To know these people by their blogs is amazing but to actually get to MEET THEM? Mind blowing!

I nearly fell over when I saw Marian Parsons from Miss Mustard Seed. I think she was one of the first blogs I ever read and her beautiful book sits nicely on my ottoman. The tips in that book for painting and upholstering furniture are fantastic! Getting to meet Laura from The Turquoise Home  was amazing too!! Laura has helped me out SO MUCH with answering all my questions when I was moving over from Blogger to WordPress. To see her in person is awesome! Laura, you’re the best!!!

Yvonne from Stone Gable, well I kinda stalked her to get a photo but she was just as sweet as pie. And get this…she actually knew my blog!?! I know! Little ol’ me?!! That totally made my day! I’ve been linking up to her parties for quite some time and her home and blog are just gorgeous!!

Haven Cocktail Party  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

 L to R clockwise: Laura from The Turquoise Home, myself and Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof
Me with Marian from Miss Mustard Seed
Yvonne from Stone Gable
Lauren from The Thinking Closet, Laura, myself and Jenna

And now for my cheesy over-the-moon smile!! I just couldn’t contain myself! Karianne from Thistlewood Farm is amazing! Her blog has exploded and she is just darling! I talked with her on the phone before Haven so I was THRILLED to meet her in person. Yep, that’s me with Miss Mustard Seed again. I guess you can say we’re BFFs now 😉  Marian and Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect taught that amazing painting furniture class I went to and I just had to wait for a photo op with them 😉  I have Shaunna’s e-book too. Absolutely amazing tips and she has videos too!

Meeting People at Haven  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

L to R Clockwise:  Myself, Karianne from Thistlewood Farm and Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof
Myself with Karianne 
Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfectly, myself, and Marian from Miss Mustard Seed

These were our party girls!! I hung out with all these girls most of the weekend and I’m soooo glad we met! I was familiar with all their blogs but to actually hang out with them is well…mind blowing, ha! Are you sick of me yet?

Ryobi Party at Haven   www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Rachel from Lines Across, myself, Lauren from The Thinking Closet, Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof, Laura from The Turquoise Home,  Heather from Southern State of Mind

Ryobi Party at Haven   www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Heather, Jenna, myself and Laura at the Ryobi party.

On our last night, we went out for a fabulous dinner {shocking that I actually left the hotel!} and met even more great friends. I’m telling ya, the DIY blogging community is AMAZING!

Dinner Out With The Haven Girls  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

L to R back row:  Lauren from The Thinking Closet, Angie from Angie’s Roost, Rosemary from Not Just Paper and Paint, myself
L to R front row:  Lynda from Oh So Shabby, Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof, Rachel from Lines Across, Denise from Denise Designed,  Emily from Two Purple Couches

 And now best for last…my Haven roomie, Jenna. Jenna blogs at Rain On A Tin Roof. We started following each other’s blogs around the beginning of this year when we were just starting out. We noticed quickly that we were both at the same newbie level and so we’d always comment on each other’s blogs and soon we started to email each other. We wanted to collaborate together in some way so we started our link party Give Me The Goods Monday and yes, Jenna came up with that title. Actually, she always has the best tips and she’s always been so willing to give them to me. So in return I would do the same. What really drew me into her blog, though, was how damn funny she was! I would read her posts and think, man, I betcha she’s really like that in real life. I mean, she calls her husband Grunt Labor! And the stories she would tell via email were just freakin’ hilarious. I knew we would be besties if we lived close. So when the opportunity came to go to Haven, we jumped on it!

Honestly, I don’t know what I was more excited about…going to Haven to learn or going to Haven to meet JENNA! I started to get nervous on the plane. Then really excited! I think I texted her like a dozen times. When I finally got to the hotel and out of the elevator, she was right there to greet me and I got the BIGGEST welcome I’ve ever received!! She screamed and hugged me so hard she nearly knocked me over. Yes, it was love at first sight!! And people, she is just like she is on her blog!! So funny and with a Southern accent to boot.

Let me tell this, the blogging world is amazing for this reason alone:  you meet people that are just like you! I mean seriously. Jenna and I could talk about ALT photos and SEO and Picmonkey and lighting exposure and link parties and painting furniture and vignettes like FOREVER! I’m sure I could talk to any blogger about those things. BUT take that “language” AND the fact that we have the same sense of humor and tons of similarities and a daughter the same age and have only the best interests for each other and it’s mind blowing!! It’s like we’ve known each other forever.

My husband was so concerned we might not like each other. How could that be when we email each other five times a day?? I mean we’ve cried together over transferring our blogs {BY OURSELVES!} to WordPress. We’re each others cheerleaders when we score a sponsored post. I know that when it’s naptime my inbox is going to light up like a Christmas tree with emails from Jenna. It’s fun and it’s amazing to have a friend like Jenna.

It’s sucks because she’s in Chattanooga and I’m in Vancouver {Canada}. Yup, a bit far. But thankfully there is email and social media. Should we try Skype next, Jenna? Facetime?

Jenna and I at Haven  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Oh, I almost forgot. She bought me this gorgeous gift. A monogrammed towel?? Who does that? Yep, Jenna does.

Love you girl!

Thank You Jenna www.somuchbetterwithage.com

 So long for now Buckhead Atlanta. I will see you again next summer!!

Jamie In Atlanta  www.somuchbetterwithage.com

Thank you everyone who made Haven possible! You ladies are the bestest!!


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  1. You have me rolling over here! Your inbox lighting up like a Christmas tree?! Haha! You gave me way too much credit! Love ya girl and miss you!

  2. Hi Jamie. I’m here by suggestion from Facebook. I don’t think our paths crossed at Haven, but I’m glad to have found you now! 🙂

  3. Jamie, I love this post! You’re right Haven was heavenly! So glad I went and that I got to meet you and Jenna! You are both sweethearts! And, funny! It’s the whole “DIY thing” that’s the cherry on top!
    Cheers to you and yours 🙂

    1. So great to meet you too, Therese! It was a blast! I can’t believe how much fun it was and how much we all learned! You’re a sweetheart too 😉 Hope to see you again next year.

    1. It is the best thing since sliced bread!! Unbelievable, wasn’t it? I hope to meet you next year!

  4. Reading what you wrote about Jenna about made me tear up. How wonderful that you’ve been able to forge such a strong friendship through blogging and now through Haven! It was such a joy to meet you in person, Jamie, and spend quality time together in Atlanta. I’m proud to say I saw you take that awesome Buckhead pic! (Which is my fave by the way.) Major hugs coming your way.

    1. Awww thanks Lauren! It’s amazing how friendships can be made over the blogworld. So glad we’re friends now too. And yes, love that Buckhead pic too 😉

  5. I love this recap on Haven, Jamie! I wish I could have gone this year, but we had a scheduled vacation that week. Hopefully next year! You’ve made it sound so fun! It’s so sweet that you have found a new bestie in Jenna via the blogging world!

    1. Aww, thanks Karen. I know, it was right in the middle of family vacation month but next year it’s going to be in July! Hope you can make it next year and we can meet!

  6. Eeek! Jamie, I was just searching on Google about Haven and saw your post amongst the others, and had to see your experience about it. I am DYING to go this year! It looks like a blast! It was awesome seeing it from your perspective. I can’t wait to meet all of these incredible bloggers, yourself included! Don’t be surprised if I “stalk” you like you stalked Marian. Haha

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