Although I’m a blogger, I’m also a blog reader and follower of (many) other blogs. I continue to get lost in blogs for hours late at night and am giddy when I find a blog that is full of creative talent, exciting ideas, and cool projects. I fall hard for beautiful photography (especially food photos), the way a post is written, and the little thrill of getting to peek into someone’s home.
Last weekend, I went to the Haven blog conference in Atlanta, where home and DIY bloggers can connect face-to-face, instead of just visiting with each other online. Social media platforms like Instagram have made a lot of us closer these days because we can see what each other is looking at, working on, or doing throughout the day. It’s easy to leave a quick comment and respond back and forth. But, getting to actually hear someone’s voice and interact with them in person is priceless.
I’m fortunate to have a close group of blogging girlfriends, but there is always room for more! At Haven, I was able to talk to bloggers I’ve been looking forward to meeting, and was happy to be approached by blogging peers as well. If you ever end up at a blogging conference (or any event) and want to meet someone, just go up and introduce yourself and say hi! I’m sure the person you are meeting will be happy you approached, and if they aren’t, then maybe they weren’t worth meeting after all. Either way, it’s good to know!
The blog world that I love is based on relationships and a friendly, welcoming, encouraging network of women. I wanted to give a shout out to the ladies I got to meet for the first time and hope you’ll visit them too.
Ten June (It’s about time we met! Michelle and I go way back as blogging buddies and meeting her just felt really comfortable and natural. I miss her already!)
The Chronicles of Home (Jennifer was a previous contributor to Honey We’re Healthy and I got to hug her in person and thank her for her wonderful recipe posts. She’s the kind of person you feel instantly at ease with. I wish we had more time together.)
Useful Beautiful Home (I was so happy to get an email from Rachel saying she’d be at Haven this year. She guest posted on my blog awhile ago and we’ve kept in touch through email ever since. Loved getting to meet her in person.)
Life on Virginia Street (I’ve been drooling over Sarah’s home for a while now, so I was really looking forward to meeting her in person. We got to connect several times throughout the trip and I really liked her. P.S. serious hair envy!)
Desert Domicile (Caitlin and I got to eat lunch together on day two and chat about her work, blog, and life in general. If you’re not familiar with her blog, go check it out- I bet you’ll like it. Her projects, styling, and photography are spot on).
Eat, Sleep, Decorate (Amy is so easy to talk to and pint size like me:) I almost didn’t recognize her with her hair straight and a little lighter than her profile pic!)
Organizing Made Fun (Becky and I share a love of organization, but I had no idea she lives in LA. And we are both clinging to ‘ole blogger)
Craftberry Bush (Lucy can be described as gorgeous and lovely. She taught a photography class and there was an audible gasp in the room when her photos and artwork were featured. I will be ordering a watercolor from her asap.)
Iron & Twine (Michelle might just be the cutest pregnant woman (with twins!) I’ve ever met. I know it sounds cheesy, but she really was glowy.)
Blue I Style (Angela is really down to earth and I adored her business card.)
Walking in Grace & Beauty (Cyndi and I had emailed before Haven, but it was fun to hear her Southern accent in person. We talked style and fashion for a long time the first night.)
The DIY Playbook (Casey and Bridget are super talented blonde bookends! I almost mistook Bridget for Cassie several times because their hair is almost identical.)
Parties for Pennies (Heidi was one of those women who approached me with a kind smile and introduced herself. She’s adorable! With so many people at a large conference like this, I’m thrilled she said hi or we might have missed each other!)
Bliss at Home (Kristin and I have followed each other online for a long time now. Got to meet this beauty finally!!)
Cuckoo 4 Design (I think Julia was having a blast because every time I saw her, she was radiating happiness. She’s another one I almost didn’t recognize because her hair was up sometimes and I’m used to it being down in her profile pic:)
Lucky Scarf (So good to meet Candance- and she explained why I was seeing that scan code on people’s business cards – if you scan it with your phone, it can take you directly to someone’s blog.)
Krystine Edwards (I was happy to chat with Krystine and and discover we have several mutual blog friends.)
With Heart(I’d be happy to see Jennifer’s adorable daughter on Instagram everyday.)
Wind Gate Lane (Bee was one of the last women I got to meet, but we shut the last party down chatting away. I bet we could have talked for hours.)
6th Street Design School (I finally got to meet Kirsten after following her blog for four years. About there years ago, she gave my blog a boost by featuring my home on her blog. I still remember being so excited about being contacted by her. Very cool to get to meet in person.)
Danielle Oakey Interiors (Who knew how fun Ms. Oakey was?! Girl is spunky and cool and gorgeous. I could not believe this is the same woman I followed on Instagram as she hung in there, day after day, on bed rest with her son, who’s now 18 months old!)
As for old friends, I’m not gonna lie, getting ready in our hotel bathroom with a mirror/lighting combo that mimicked like a real-life Valencia Filter was pretty fun! We joked that we wished it could have followed us around during the conference. 😉
Hunted Interior (Hanging out with Kristin is kinda surreal because she’s so stinkin’ talented, but is just as kind and humble as can be. For example, she went to the store specifically to buy peaches for Jen because she heard us mentioning how sweet it was that Jen’s son asked for a peach for his birthday present that weekend. Kristin is that kind of sweetheart. She also chauffeured us around all weekend!)
Hi Sugarplum (My travel companion, accessorizer, and genuine ear all the time. Cassie is funny and in high school, I’m sure she was voted “Most Popular” because if you meet her, you fall in love.)
I Heart Organizing (I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with Jen twice now and I can honestly say she has a heart of gold, especially for her readers. If you read her blog, I’m sure you know what I mean.)
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Middle: Lakeitha Duncan (Lakeitha and I connected on Instagram recently and bonded over our fitness journeys. I’m so proud of her- to date, she’s lost 78 pounds and she’s not done yet! I didn’t get the greatest shot of the Iman Tribal Necklace I bought from her, but I got tons of compliments on it), Pretty Well Organized (I’m smitten with her new etsy site), Thrifty Decor Chic (OG of the blog world and as down-to-earth as you can imagine), All Things G&D (I had a great long talk with Dusty and it was just what I needed. She truly is one of a kind, full of energy, and so vibrant), & Just A Girl (just awesome- and we got to meet her adorable family too. They are even better in person.)
Bottom: Hunted Interior, Hi Sugarplum, I Heart Organizing, A Thoughtful Place (Courtney is one woman who has her priorities straight and I so admire her for that. She always helps me put things in perspective when I feel out of control. Not to mention her talent for pulling a room together with just the right amount of glam and comfy feel. Love her like a sister and just wish we lived closer.), Hunted Interior
There are so many more awesome women I chatted, laughed and shared blog tips with, but didn’t get a photo. Some people I didn’t even get to meet. 🙁 At a conference this large (I heard around 350 attendees??) it’s impossible to meet everyone. You can see more photos of everyone on Instagram at #HAVENCONF
And, oh yeah, there were classes- two full days of lectures/workshops from experienced bloggers on everything from DIY with power tools/decorating/photography/working with brands/managing ad networks, etc. 😉 I took some good notes for you on the classes I attended and I’ll be sharing them tomorrow!
My roomies and I collapsed into bed at 2am the night before we had to be up at 6am to catch our flights home. Even running on fumes the next day, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I didn’t want to miss a precious moment with these girls.