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The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Haven Recaps

You GUYS! I am so behind. The Haven blogging conference was, oh, three weeks ago now, and I still have not blogged about it. I think that probably makes this just about the latest recap ever.

But ya know what? Sometimes life happens.

And by life I mean vacation. At the beach. With sand and sun and my three favorite boys.

It makes it kind of hard to focus on “work.” 🙂

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I thought about not doing a recap because by this point, I’m terribly “tardy for the party,” but Haven is the best blogging conference in life and everyone should know about it, so I figured I would be doing a disservice to you, dear readers, if I skipped it altogether.

So here it goes. Three weeks late.

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

First of all, I should say that after last year’s huge debacle with the MARTA {Atlanta’s public transportation system}, I was just a teensy bit stressed about getting from the airport to the hotel on time. And also in one piece. Thankfully, the oh-so-darling Kirsten from Sweet Tea and Saving Grace offered to pick me up and along with Amy of One Artsy Mama, we made it to the stunningly gorgeous Grand Hyatt in Buckhead without any snafus.

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{Photo courtesy of Kirsten at Sweet Tea and Saving Grace}

You’re just going to have to believe me that the hotel was gorgeous though, because the only photo I took of the decor was of the tile in my bathroom to show my friend back home that it was the same as hers. Bad, bad home blogger.

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

But at least the tile is pretty, right? 😉

“So what exactly does one *do* at a blogging conference anyway?” you may be wondering.

Well, you mingle with brands…

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

…like these fashionably dressed guys from La-Z-Boy. {With my roomie, Chelsea from Making Home Base!} Some of the brands I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past year started out as connections from Haven– it’s prime territory for building those all-important relationships!

You also attend classes…

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{Photo by Jamie of So Much Better with Age}

…like this one taught by my brilliant friend Jenna of Rain on a Tin Roof. One of the things that I love so much about blogging is that there are so many different roads to success. Blogging conferences give you the unique opportunity to hear from bloggers who are paving the way in various areas of blogging and learn from their incredible successes.

But really the thing I love most about blogging conferences and the reason I’ll go back again and again…

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{with Chelsea of Making Home Base and April of House by Hoff}

…is the people. My people…

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{Chelsea, me, April, Sarah from Life on Virginia Street, Rachel from Maison de Pax, Amy from The Blissful Bee, Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof, and Jamie from So Much Better with Age}

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times– blogging is best done in community. And Haven reminds me of that over and over again. As bloggers, these are the people who “get” you.

They understand why you sleep less than you should because you’re up late creating rockstar content. They totally get why you contort yourself in crazy ways in order to get that *perfect* photo of your latest project. They’re the ones that celebrate with you when your blog reaches a new milestone and are there to say, “I’ve been there. It’s hard. But don’t give up…” when you’re wondering if all of the time and effort is worth it.

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{me, April, Mandy from The Hankful House, and Christy from Confessions of a Serial DIYer. And in case you didn’t know, my secret is out– I’m really short in real life. 🙂 }

And as phenomenal as the classes were {They SO were! So good!}, I find I always learn the most not from sitting in class, but from the genuine small group conversations I have with other bloggers at dinner, in the hallway, hanging out in the room, etc. Blogging is truly best done in community… and you won’t find a more fabulous community anywhere!!

The Latest Haven Recap in the History of Recaps | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{with Ginny of Organizing Homelife}

So basically, my point is… if you ever have the opportunity to go to a blogging conference, GO!!! {And if it happens to be Haven, come find me so I can hug your neck! 😉 }

I know it can be nerve wracking– I am the most introverted person ever in life, so the thought of being with hundreds of people for 3-4 days straight is totally overwhelming– but I promise, you’ll love it. It’s like you’re picking right back up with friends you’ve known for years, even if you’ve never met them before, because blogging is awesome like that. It’s a common denominator, a shared passion. It unifies people. And that’s pretty amazing.

An especially huge thanks to the wonderful ladies who plan, coordinate, and work incredibly hard to make Haven a success every year– Traci from Beneath My Heart, Beth from Home Stories A to Z, Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Chris from Just a Girl, Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick, and Kristin– you are all so talented and inspiring! Thank you for creating this 3-day haven for bloggers… pun intended. 😉

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Hope to see you all there next year! Have a wonderful weekend!

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9 Comments

  1. Katie @ Little House of Four says:

    Looks like you had such an amazing time! I can’t wait to go next year and meet all the amazing ladies that I’ve come to know. Have a great weekend 🙂

  2. Great recap, Abby! So fun to see you with your bloggy buddies! :0) I’m excited to go to Haven and hope to make it next year. After reading your recap, I’m SUPER excited! Thanks for sharing all of your pictures, too!

  3. Leah Sannar says:

    That looks like so much fun! Want to know something funny? I’m actually at a conference right now. I started selling Younique makeup a few months ago… only to learn that I’m really not that into it, and that blogging is where my heart is. But since I couldn’t get my money back… I just came anyway! And I have spent the last 3 days barricaded in my hotel room, IMMERSED in Building A Framework. :o) Ironic right?! I hope I can get to a blogging conference soon. I know I’d LOVE it.

  4. Lauren English says:

    I love this! Going to a blogging conference is one of my dreams/goals for this next year, and this only makes me want to go even more! I love so many of the bloggers you listed and am jealous you got to hang out with all them! So, so fun.

  5. Michelle Mortensen says:

    I love your recap. I wanted to attend Haven this year, but life got in the way (as in I had to spend a week in Stanford University Hospital). However, I AM going to make it next year. I just know it. It is something I will look forward to all year. Thanks for shaaring your journey.
    Best,
    Michelle from simplysantabarbara.blogspot.com

  6. Ok, I know this is from months ago but, I really would like to hear about which conferences you feel are most valuable and of course fun! I am extremely new to blogging and am only in the setup stage (as in I have my website setup and will begin actual posts in the next few day if all goes well:). I have been researching for nearly two months now on everything form best site layouts to post topics for my niche and anything and everything in between. I’m an over analyzer if you haven’t noticed yet;) If you could let me know which are your favorite conferences I would greatly appreciate it!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Jessica! I’ve only been to Haven and I absolutely loved it. I’m speaking at SNAP in April and I’m really looking forward to it, but I haven’t been there in the past. I also spoke at Online BlogCon last year which is a great one if you want to go in your jammies! ~Abby =)

  7. Jodi Brungardt says:

    WOW Abby! I am just now reading this post but I find it CRAZY!! A good friend of mine works for Kreg Tool (maker of the Kreg Pocket Hole System) <- they are based in my hometown of Huxley, Ia. Any who……..she told me about the Haven Conference and encouraged me to go, even offered to go with me. I have been toying with the idea, and as much as I love her, I really want to go alone so I can "experience" ALL of this conference as a blogger! After reading your post, I am even more excited.

    I will look you up so I can squeeze your neck back! And say thank you for all you have taught me so far!!! Love your eBook by the way!!!
    If I had it in hard copy, I would have every page highlighted!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, you are the sweetest, Jodi! I’m so glad Building a Framework has been so helpful to you. Can’t wait to meet up at Haven! So fun!

      ~Abby =)

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