Haven Recap (Part One)

Hi friends! First, I want to say thank you for all your sweet comments about our one year wedding anniversary yesterday. You guys are the best.

As you know, I flew down south to Atlanta last week for Haven 2012.

Holy crap, you guys. It was awesome. Imagine a magical place full of bloggers just like you. A place where you talk about blogs, learn about blogs, and share about blogs. But you don’t only talk blog. You talk about other stuff too. Stuff like decor, thrifting, painting, and much, much more. This magical place is called Haven.

Let’s start with the amazing and talented chicks who made Haven happen.
Kate from Centsational Girl, Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick, Beth from Home Stories A2Z, Traci from Beneath My Heart, Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Chris from Just A Girl,  Marian from Miss Mustard Seed, Kristi from Creative Kristi (not pictured), and Kristin from Stockdale Design (not pictured).

(Disclaimer:  All of these photos were taken with my iPhone. It was ten times easier to carry around my phone rather than my DSLR. You’ve been warned.)

Haven started off with a bang Thursday morning with Sherry and John from Young House Love giving the keynote. I’m not gonna lie, I probably sat there with a goofy grin on my face the entire time they spoke. These two are amazing. They’re so down to earth, and they’re just as funny, if not funnier, in real life as they are on their blog. John and Sherry shared some great advice, both about DIY projects and blogging. Love them!

The rest of the two days were filled with informative sessions. All of the sessions offered on Thursday were also offered on Friday, which was really nice.

The first session I attended on Thursday was “I Like Big Blogs– Tips on Growing Your Blog” with Myra, Sarah, Rhoda, Traci, and Beth. They shared great tips and ideas. You want to know some of those tips and ideas, don’t ya? OK, here you go:  Content is king. A great post includes great content, title, pics, watermarked pics, links, and questions. Don’t have auto-music on your blog (I said this MONTHS ago). Show your personality. Get on the social media train. Choo-choo!

The second session I attended on Thursday was “Blogging PR” with Tauni from Snap ConferenceAmy Flurry, and Ashley and Rachael from Powerhouse Factories. They shared ways to build relationships with brands. Very informative. Here are some things I learned:   Be authentic. Never do giveaways to gain readers, do them to thank your readers. Don’t write a bad product review (you can do pros and cons). Contact the product maker and tell them what went wrong before putting them on blast on your blog.

The last session I choice to attend on Thursday was “Basic Photography/Photo Styling” with Kevin and Josh from Shoot, Fly, Shoot, Layla from The Lettered Cottage, and Kate from Centsational Girl. While I know a lot about photography, and I’ve been shooting in manual for over a year, I thought it would be a good refresher. I was looking forward to learning more about photo styling. What did I learn? I learned the three things to good photography: ISO, aperture, shutter speed. Group things in odd numbers. Divide your photo into thirds.

My first session on Friday was “Thrifting 101” with the hilarious Rashon Carraway (aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting). He shared some awesome thrifting tips and tricks. Here’s a profound quote from Rashon: “Don’t look for anything at any time, but look for everything at all times.” So true. He also said not to buy overpriced items at thrift stores. When you buy overpriced things you keep the costs high. Light bulb.

I headed to Décor 101 with Chris and Beth for my second session on Friday. They went over some great design rules and concepts when it comes to decorating your home. Rules and concepts like, mixing metals and textures; bringing nature inside (as in plants, not wild animals); and when styling a vignette, start with an anchor object and add in other items.

The last session I attended was “All About Advertising” with Beckie from Infarrantly Creative, Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick, and Julia from Hooked on Houses. They shared a boatload of information on advertising. My head was spinning after all the knowledge I gained from this session. Want some juicy morsels of information? OK. Don’t put up an ad until you get paid. Don’t be afraid to tell ads and brands that their add is not attractive enough for your pretty little blog (do this tactfully, obviously). Get paid for giveaways. Don’t do paid text links. Evidently they are the bloggy equivalent to bath salts. You’ll go all crazy and cannibalistic. (The people of Haven didn’t make that statement. That was all me.)

I’ll be back tomorrow to share some more photos and fun stories about my time at Haven.

If you went to Haven, what was your favorite session?
If you didn’t go to Haven, are you sad you didn’t go? You should be. Because you and I would have had a blast. But don’t worry, there’s always next year.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like to know about my time at Haven?

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  1. Everyone is being secretive about what exactly they learned. Is that because of information overload or were you sworn to Haven secrecy?

    1. I edited the post at 9:45AM (EST) to include some super top secret Haven information. Just for you. Let me know if I didn’t include enough, and I’ll try to further spill my guts.

  2. That’s so awesome! Thank you for sharing your recaps. We can’t wait for Part 2! 😉

    Mendi & Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

  3. What an awesome experience! I’m going to check out some of those blogs I’m not familiar with too. Just got back from my extended vacation (from life, lol) so I missed your anniversary yesterday. So, happy belated anniversary!!

  4. Super jealous I didn’t go!! Looks like a very fun and informative time! Can’t wait for part 2!

  5. I’m still jealous that you won tickets, and super sad that I didn’t bite the bullet and go 🙁
    Maybe next year, it would be too fun!!

  6. Sounds like the magical land of Oz for bloggers! I’m absolutely so super jealous! Can’t wait to hear more about it and can’t wait for next year!

  7. Thanks for sharing those tips! I didn’t go this year but I would love to go next year! I’d like to know about getting more people to read/comment on your blog and how to gain my followers 🙂

  8. THANK YOU for sharing all your tips!! Sounds like you had a great time. Do you care to expand on the “get paid for giveaways” tip? We’ve heard that a bit, but have never gotten paid for a giveaway that we’ve done. We must be missing something!

  9. I LOVE these tips :)! I so wish I was there, but somehow was totally behind the game on this one and didn’t even hear about the conference until it was too late! I think you need to remind us all next year when it’s time to register so we can all hang out 🙂

  10. Chelsea,

    You are amazing! I am so privileged and honored to have met you at Haven. You are truly beautiful inside and out! Thanks for being real and authentic and just generally wonderful!


  11. Awesome recap, I wish that I could have taken all the classes! I’m so glad that I got to meet you and I’m very happy that I could teach you how to squeal about the “big bloggers”! If you need me to pick you up at the airport next year, just let me know!

  12. Great summary! My favorite sessions were the advertising. And the photography. Okay, and paint. And design studio… 🙂 Wish I could’ve met you there!


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