Haven Conference–my trip to a blogging conference last week

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!


I went to a photography class by Kristen Duke, a class about building blogging friendships by the amazing Sherry of Young House Love and Katie from Bower Power Blog, and another one on advertising.


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!


The third day I went to a session on painting with milk paint and chalk paint taught by the fabulous Marian from Miss Mustard Seed and Shauna from Perfectly Imperfect.


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! )


  1. Love, love, love this, Christina!!! SOOO glad you had such a wonderful time! Would have loved to be there with you! Maybe next year… 🙂

  2. Loved being able to spend time with you at Haven, Christina! Thanks for all your great advice & encouragement! So sorry about your site. What a yucky time for it to happen too! Hope you have an awesome weekend!

  3. Jackie W says:

    I think you meant to say Tracy from Beneath My Heart. Unless she changed her name to Beth, LOL.

    Anyway, looks like a lot of fun and look forward to future posts!
    Have a wonderful weekend

    • Christina says:

      YES, I totally did. Thanks, I fixed it. I have written and rewritten and edited this post about 4 times so it is all blurry to me about now 🙂

      Thanks for coming over and reading!

  4. Hi, Christina! I, too, attended some wonderful sessions at Haven. I’m a small projects DIYer, crafter, & “wanna be” blogger! The blogging world seems overwhelming! However, I met so many wonderful people & learned so much valuable info! Maybe one day…! (Love reading your blog!)

  5. Hi Christina, Glad you were able to attend the Haven Conference! Homes.com & ForRent.com enjoyed sponsoring the event and connecting with attendees such as yourself! Feel free to take a look at all the photos from the event on Facebook, tag yourself & share with family/friends! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151783562125943.1073741827.38844010942&type=3 Hoping to chat with you soon!

  6. Rebekah F says:

    hey there! sounds like you had a great time. so glad you were able to go… i was wondering .. what is milk paint and how do you use it? and what were the things used and done to the 3 pieces of trim in your picture? i LOVED the middle and bottom piece -especially the bottom! hope you’re well… thanks!

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