Blog News, Funny, Giveaways, Life

Haven Awkwardness, Business Cards, & an AWESOME Giveaway


Well how about that?  My first winner’s email bounced back, so I had to pick a new one.  Congrats to the new winner, Jessica!

I’m sure by now you’ve been reading post after post about the Haven Conference.  You might be sick of it; you might be annoyed that you missed it and don’t want to hear any more about it.  So, how about we talk about it again?  Ha.

Only this time, instead of rolling your eyes and gagging over how much we lovey-dovey bloggers adored meeting one another (don’t get me wrong, we totally did), how about I give you the inside scoop on some of the more awkward encounters I had the pleasure of being in the middle the cause of?  I’ll even give one lucky reader a special treat for getting all the way through it (there will be a quiz if you win, so don’t go skimming and ruining it for everyone.  Pssssh.*)

I felt prior to the conference that I maybe wouldn’t be able to relate to many of the other bloggers for several reasons:  I live alone; most of them don’t.  I am single; most of them are married.  I have Charlie; they have children.  I have a foul mouth and a sense of humor that includes a lot of Family Guy and South Park references.  Put a beer in my hand, and my volume goes up to 11.  They are also all polite enough to actually pay attention to each other’s blogs and projects; I have been in grad school and and haven’t had a full bathroom since March.  Basically, I haven’t been a blogger who is good to other bloggers, and that makes me feel very impolite just standing there with nothing to start a conversation (“Hi, I loved your kitchen remodel, etc.”).  That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of things that we all have in common – it’s why we were all at a conference in the first place (since we’re all DIY home improvement/design bloggers and readers).  It’s just that… well, for more than one reason, some of the impressions I wanted to make on others (like trying to be funny) only left me feeling like I should just stuff my business cards in my mouth to prevent the next horrifying sentence from slipping out:

An awkward photo I sent to Allison from House of Hepworths during a morning session.

When someone finished telling me a funny story about her children:

“Um… my dog once climbed onto my roof.”

When someone spoke about their lawn or landscaping:

“…I didn’t even know my bonsai plant was living for four months.”

Upon introducing myself as “Sarah… from The Ugly Duckling House?”

… hearing “Oh, right!  You’re the ugly girl!” on more. than. one. occasion. Um… not exactly…

When discussing which sessions to attend:

“Are you taking the furniture painting class?”
“Nope. I can’t even pee and shower in the same room. So, um, furniture isn’t a priority right now.”

When talking to the Roeshel about her gorgeous conference bag with her logo on it:

“Ooh, I love that bag.  But I thought you had a red logo?”

Nope.  She totally redesigned her blog and I forgot because I had been reading it through my phone app.  Whoops.

I also completely blanked on Carmel from Our Fifth House.  For someone who is bad with names, I found that it was even harder to try to remember both a person’s name and their blog name.  And I friggin’ called her Carmen.  She was very nice about it, but I felt like an ass.

Then, there were a few occasions where my awkwardness had nothing to do with what was coming out of my mouth.  Since I live in the Atlanta area, I had no need for a hotel room.  Which meant I was the girl in the lobby bathroom changing into a cocktail dress while everyone else did it in the privacy of an actual room where it would be appropriate.  I just plopped my bag down and wriggled into a new dress like it was supposed to happen that way.

I had an opportunity to chat with several people at the cocktail party thrown for the Haven attendees.  Only as this was happening, someone turned the room temperature up to 200 degrees and I kept fanning out the back of my dress because I knew that the alternative was to have a giant sweat streak down the back.  I seemed to be the only one affected at the time.  Explaining that I was strangely hot helped cool my embarrassment in front of those close enough to hear me, but for the ladies across the room, I basically (probably) just looked like I was fanning a fart.

I also volunteered to help in Ana White’s carpentry class on day two.  I was so nervous standing in front of the group that I think the drill in my hand was shaking (I have a very hard time standing in front of a crowd.  I only volunteered because I’m forcing myself to work on having more courage with public speaking).
See?  Awkward.  I wish this were out of the ordinary from my normal behavior.  But no.  The cause of the awkwardness was totally my fault, obviously.  Every single person I encountered was sweet, funny, and fun-loving.  I guess it’s just inevitable for there to be at least a little awkwardness when nearly 300 strangers from the internet meet in one building.  Okay, a lot if you’re Chris Hansen (I was going to write “a lot if you got introduced via Craigslist” – but considering that’s how Kathleen and I met, I thought it would be better to change it).

Another awkward thing that happened is I won a giveaway for stopping by one of the vendor booths – a Kreg Jig.

The awkward part?  I already have it.  I love, love, LOVE this tool – but I don’t need two.  See my post about my super easy DIY craft desk to learn more about how amazing a Kreg Jig really is.  So, instead, I’m giving it away to one of my readers.  Because you should benefit from my awkwardness, don’t you think?  It was kind of the whole idea behind this blog when I started writing it.  Learn from my mistakes.  And now we’ve come full circle, so I’m not sure where to go from here with the site.  Awkward.

Okay, joking aside, here’s how you can enter this giveaway to win a Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System and Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp:
  • I’m keeping things simple, so only one entry per person.
  • Be sure to include your contact info so I can email you if you win (if you don’t, I’ll just redraw for a new winner).
  • Giveaway ends next Thursday.  I’ll announce the winner on Friday’s post.
  • I’m paying for shipping, so entries must be continental U.S. only, sorry.
Easy enough?  Good luck!


*Totally kidding.  No quiz.  But aren’t you glad we got the chance to get to know each other better?

Disclaimer:  links to products contain affiliate links.  I was not paid by Kreg tool company to promote this giveaway; they don’t even know I’m doing it.  I truly enjoy using their product and I know you will too!

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  1. says

    Oh I totally would have been right there with you sticking my foot in my mouth. Most of the time it seems to be the one thing I'm good at!

    slowdotsandfastcars at gmail dot com

  2. Anonymous says

    Some months ago, my husband borrowed his father's Kreg jig and was so enamored, he wanted to buy one for himself. I told him that was a silly idea – he could borrow his father's any time he wanted it. Now, after reading your blog and several similar ones, I have so many great project that I want to do that I've been trying to justify buying my own Kreg jig. But if I won one, I wouldn't have to figure out how to hide it from my husband…
    Sarah S.

  3. Anonymous says

    Your blog is fantastic! I'm a single gal too and I love seeing projects you can do without a spouse! :)

    I'm slowly acquiring tools and would love the Kreg Jig!! My email is


  4. says

    seeing as how this could so easily be me, i loved reading this post. i want to go to a blogging convention this next year and you nailed it.

    ill be the awkward girl in the corner, all alone, muttering curse words to myself.

  5. says

    I feel like you just read my fortune for my first Haven!!!! Note to self….bring one of those little plastic fans (you know the one with the propellers that got stuck in your hair as a kid) because I am sure to be sweaty!!!!


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