So let’s get something out-of-the-way… I use the term “tomorrow” loosely. It’s not that I’m not highly motivate and capable, or even that I spread myself too thin, I think it’s mostly because I over think EVERYTHING. It’s the main reason I don’t post as often as I’d like to. I told you Monday night that I’d post the rest of my Haven Conference recap tomorrow, but I didn’t. That makes it like 20x harder to post my “late” post the next day. Which would have been yesterday… Anyway, just thought I’d try to explain…
Plus my kids attend Mommy Summer Camp, which means I entertain them 24-7, so I sneak in writing whenever I can. It’s not really an approach I’d recommend because it makes me so frazzled I feel like I’ve lost my mind.
I’m also a little hesitant to share this post because I don’t think it’s as funny as the first one and I feel like I’ve built you lovely people up only to let you down. But anyway…
My Haven Experience – Day 2
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but things got worse the second day. To sum it up… chicks are bitches. I heard story after story about rude interactions, like “bigger” bloggers being offended because someone lesser didn’t know what their blog was without asking. I’m not going to lie, I had a hard time matching faces to profile pictures. I’m sure I was hard to recognize as well (you know, to the 5 people there who had ever read my blog) because I wasn’t in my painting clothes with my hair tied up in a hot mess of a bun.
I was definitely running low on the sunshine and happiness today.
I hate to tell you, but lots of the people I talked to were devastated that their favorite blogger was actually someone they hated in person. Bummer. Luckily that didn’t happen to me. I was more amazed at how many blogs I had never heard of. You (and I) go around thinking we all read the same popular DIY blogs, but I was blown away at the wide range of differences in everyone’s favorite blogs. I had never heard of half the ones my new peeps were obsessed with and vice versa.
But on a positive note, I did see a rainbow today, and it came complete with a leprechaun by the name of Jon Acuff. Freaking amazing keynote speaker. I must live under a rock because I had never heard of Jon Acuff but he is like my new favorite person. He was very witty and engaging and made me feel better about the ridiculous number of domains I have registered with GoDaddy. I’m assuming his books are equally as good — I’m so advanced I might be able to skip his first one though — Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job. What day job??? I might just pick up with the later two Start and Do Over. He talked about 4 key components to building an awesome career — and I had 2 of them, so I’m halfway there — woohoo! I am oozing with character and I’ve got mad skills, wouldn’t you agree? I came to Haven to build relationships and find my hustle, so I was thinking I was exactly where I needed to be.
At the other end of the rainbow was Ana White. Thank goodness she wasn’t a blog idol letdown! Her session was a make-and-take, so she only got to speak for a few minutes, and then we made wooden trays. Ana had high praise for my tray, which I had wood burned and painted to look distressed. She was super approachable and very friendly and even took her phone out and started following me on Instagram while we stood there. That brings my grand total of Instagram followers up to 136. Can you guys help a girl out??? @smartgirlsdiy
- There were a few people there who actually knew and read Smart Girls DIY! Hot damn.
- In one of the sessions I attended I learned that Facebook wasn’t dead! Thank goodness, that’s where I have my biggest fan base. I learned how to step up my Facebook game, so why don’t ya’ll (see that?) head on over to my FB page and Like It right now. Oh and leave a comment or two while you’re there! You rock!
- I met Elisha from Pneumatic Addict briefly, and she doesn’t know it yet, but we’re going to be good blogging buds in the very near future. She is a rock star builder.
- The session on going from Blog to Brand was a nice little kick in the butt for me. I kinda started to feel excited about going home to work on all the marketing stuff I have been ignoring.
- On a related branding note — PureBond Plywood is going to make me famous. They don’t necessarily know it yet, but mark my words!
- This is a good one – I was sitting all alone at lunch, at a big round table for 10 people, feeling like a complete tool, when I got a big fat dose of sunshine and happiness. Two foxy ladies came and sat with me and introduced themselves as Erin and Tricia. We had a nice conversation about everything but blogging. So who were these sweet ladies??? Turns out they were Suburban Bitches. You gotta love irony.
- I ate enough tuna at the soiree that night that I didn’t have to buy dinner!
I was really bad at taking pictures, but I did get this one from Friday night. Looking good ladies! (Check out the pretty picture I DIYed of all of us in Part 1 of this post)
You can’t really tell, but I was the only one wearing jeans and it was because I got locked out of my hotel room. The damn lady at the desk wouldn’t give me a new key. Something about the room being in my husband’s name, blah, blah, blah… it was one of those times I thought it might have been a good idea to take his last name. Nah. So I slept on the street. No I didn’t. I rescued my key which was locked in someone else’s hotel room (not a guy hubby, don’t worry, it was in Deb’s room) and slept in my cozy hotel room all by myself.
Which reminds me — I was VERY excited to get some alone time and spend 3 nights in a hotel all by myself. Fifteen minutes after I got there I was calling the husband to tell him how lonely it felt. I guess it’s hard to turn the frazzle off.
Looking back on the day, it was okay, but for whatever reason I was completely bummed by the end of the night. I think it was the chicks are bitches thing. But maybe I was just bummed that I still hadn’t found my hustle. Maybe from the depression of not having a career? Maybe because my house is in complete turmoil? Who the heck knows?
Even though I felt like I woke up on the snarky side of the bed Saturday morning, things were much better on Sunday. To my delight, the hotel had bottles of Naked Juice at the breakfast buffet. I downed one at breakfast and stuck another 4 in my purse. I don’t usually carry a big purse, so this was already my lucky day.
Here I am in front of a car at the a GMC booth.
- Ana White – still awesome. She gave a tutorial on SketchUp (which I’ve been meaning to learn) and I was really impressed with how she responded to questions from the audience. She’s a smart girl too!
- I enjoyed Lesley Clavijo‘s session on web design and left realizing I already knew a lot more than I give myself credit for. Now if only I would implement more of it. Sigh.
- Zach from The Color Cord Company happen to sit down with my peeps and me at lunch. I have been wanting to replace the chandelier in my entrance way with one of their creations. I’ve had this pinned for about a year.
- I spent the first two days talking up Lynda.com to my new blogging friends who wanted to learn more about this or that. (Lynda.com teaches you EVERYTHING computer and camera related!) So I felt very good about myself when at least two presenters on day 3 recommended Lynda.com in their sessions. Dude, I’m so smart.
- I finally got a chance to hangout with Kim Six from The Kim Six Fix who was one of the only blogging friends I had prior to Haven. It was super cool to finally talk to her in person.
- Mandi Gubler from Vintage Revivals (one of my all time favorite blogs!) gave the closing remarks and I am happy to report that she was not a disappointment!
It shouldn’t surprise you that my favorite part of the weekend was the dance party on Saturday night. Ok, maybe it should surprise you a little because dancing in public is a big anxiety trigger for me, but… I had 3 hard ciders so I was good to go. It was a lot of fun!
After seeing Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl (one of my blog crushes) in the bathroom twice — and rightfully feeling waaaaay too stupid to approach her in there — I finally got my chance at the dance party. And wait for it… she gave me a big hug. My only unsolicited hug I got all weekend. Finally!!
I learned a lot at Haven. But more importantly I was inspired. I feel new energy toward my blog. A wee little bit of stress about making the 479 changes I need to do. But I think I might have gotten my hustle back. (Dude, I am so not an English major because I just had to look up gotten to see if it was really a word — yup — I’m good.)
So I am saying this out loud — I am going to go for it and treat blogging as my job. And make some money from it.
I am also going to try to write in shorter paragraphs.
Will I go back at the Haven Conference next year? Not sure. It’s fun to meet up new blogging peeps and will be fun to catch up with old ones, but I’m thinking I’d rather go on a bloggers yoga retreat/spa weekend, but I’m not sure that exists. Bummer. If I do go back to Haven, I’ll be sure to bring extra sunshine and happiness and hand out unsolicited hugs to all the newbies there. That would be fun.
There was a lot of talk about being real and authentic throughout the weekend, and Mandi nailed it when she said “own it.” So I’m owning my thoughts about Haven and trying to keep it real for y’all. 😉
Be sure to check out more posts about our family life below!