Whew…. I am sorry to have been absent around there recently. I have been having ALL kinds of site issues behind the scenes as you may have noticed if you visited the site and couldn’t get it to come up. But I have switched web hosts and made some other changes and I think everything is taken care of and things should be much better from here on out!
So better late then never, I wanted to share about a wonderful opportunity I had last week. You may have noticed from some pictures I was posting on facebook and Instagram (along with many pictures, tweets, and statuses from any other DIY bloggers you follow) – there was a huge DIY/Home blogging conference last weekend in Atlanta called Haven Conference. I was privileged to go last year to the very first Haven conference (you can read all about my first blogging conference experience here) and I knew there was NO WAY I was missing it this year.
Meet the Haven team (minus Kristin the amazing organizer). front – Beth from Home Stories A to Z, Chris from Just a Girl, Rhoda from Southern Hospitality and back – Traci from Beneath my Heart, and Sarah from Thrifty Décor Chick. I LOVE these girls and their blogs! Sarah’s blog – Thrifty Décor Chick was the very first home/DIY/décor blog I started reading about 5 years ago and from there I found these girls and many more blogs and eventually became a home/DIY blogger myself!
Haven Conference is held right here in Atlanta so I commuted in this year like I did last year. I really wanted to stay since it makes for late days, early mornings, and lots of fighting Atlanta traffic… not to mention missing out on the late night fun and fellowship with your roommates at the hotel. Next year for sure I will be staying!
Thankfully the traffic cooperated, and even though I got very little sleep I had a wonderful time! There was an opening party the first night hosted by Homes.com and ForRent.com. Even though I knew a lot of people this year (unlike last year), I still was a bit nervous. But that was all gone in about 5 minutes. I hung out with many Atlanta bloggers that I have gotten to know over the last year, one of which was this sweet girl – Heidi from Parties from Pennies.
I drove home, then raced back in time to hear the opening session by Ana White. If you haven’t visited her blog, stop what you are doing and go visit it now. Ana lives in Alaska and builds furniture (and built her own house!) and then provides free furniture plans on her site! She is an amazing blogger and has been blessed to see her blog explode over the last few years. She also wrote a book this past year. Her speech was incredibly encouraging and motivational.
One of the statement she made that I took away from her session was “Be really good at ONE thing, and good enough at everything else.” As a blogger sometimes I/we can feel like we have to be a great decorator, a great builder, a great writer, a whiz at all things technical behind the scenes, and then be an awesome photographer to capture it all too – IMPOSSIBLE! So recognize your strength whether it be writing, decorating, photography, building, whatever it is and excel at that. Then be good enough at everything else. If you are an awesome writer, your readers aren’t going to care if you have magazine worthy photos in your post.
The rest of the conference was spent in workshops that we could choose to go to, time spent visiting sponsor booths and meeting other bloggers, and of course food!
The food was amazing!
And even better, I didn’t have to prepare it.
Add to that an all-day custom made coffee bar, then getting to sit around in a living room type setting on gorgeous Ballard Designs furniture and chat with other bloggers, I definitely felt pampered for sure!
Ryobi Tools was another sponsor and a very popular booth. Loved this nail gun I got to play around with – definitely need to add one of those to my tool bag!
I have never done anything with chalk paint or milk paint but it has been on my list to try! I LOVED working with this paint. I learned so much in this class and had so much fun too!
We had our own pieces of trim, paint, paint brushes and rags and as Marian and Shauna instructed us, we painted each piece several times with different colors and different techniques.
This was the first coat.
And this was after 2-3 layers of different colors and after waxing. I cannot wait try some of these techniques on some furniture!
We got to try out some amazing products at the sponsor booths and even take some of it home. I wonder what the other people in the hotel and in Atlanta thought as they saw a bunch of women walking around with power tools.
I made some amazing friends – some I already knew like Angie from Slipcovered Grey and some new ones like Sharla from The House at Bluebird Lane and her sister Gina from Charming Zebra (not pictured).
I came home with a full heart and LONG to-do list, new friends, lots of motivation, and an adorable burlap bag…
filled with awesome swag!
So thankful that I had the opportunity to attend this year again. Looking forward to developing and maintaining friendships with all the amazing bloggers I met. And I am most excited at what is to come here at TheFrugalHomemaker.com! I hope you stay tuned because I have some some exciting things planned and in the works. Starting with a small series launching next week which you won’t want to miss! Thanks for reading along! I couldn’t be a blogger without readers (or I guess I could but it would be pretty boring! )