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The Haven Conference was at the beginning of this month. And since I immediately came home and hit the ground running with my kitchen makeover, I haven’t had much time to reflect on a lot of the things I learned. So today, two weeks after the conference, I’m finally taking the time to do it.

Sitting on the floor listening to a speaker

There’s only one catch: if you were at all interested in what the Haven conference was all about, the classes, and how we all learned something important about blogging, you would have already read the 100+ recap posts that you can find at your nearest Google. So nothing I can tell you in the traditional structure of this-is-what-we-did-and-here-is-why-it-was-fun is going to really do it for you at this point. And if you’re not interested in hearing at all about a blog conference of 300+ DIY enthusiasts… then a post like that wouldn’t really turn you around to wanting to hear about it either. And after doing both a traditional recap and a more “me” style recap last year, I wound up liking (and re-reading) the one where I talked about being awkward more.

So, since this blog is more about the funny, messy, and sometimes unexpected side of things, here you go: my brief recap with a twist – ten anecdotes of hilariousness that you may have had to be there to fully appreciate. (Most of these pictures are borrowed – so thank you to the ladies who took the time to actually take photographs!)

Beautiful weather in Atlanta

1. I re-learned The Wobble.

And thankfully (?), Jessica from Gourley Girl & Guy got a picture of it. And you’d be surprised how many of these ladies (given the right mix of alcohol and music telling you to “shake dat ass”) can really get down on the dance floor.


Just a Girl and friends
from Just a Girl

2. Ryobi hires smokin’ hot tool reps

…to attend a conference full of married women (and one single one). And they make them do things like this:

Ryobi guys dancing

For those that can’t see it too clearly, it’s all the Ryobi guys with branded umbrellas marching their way to the dance floor to the tune of “It’s Raining Men”. No really, this actually happened. Cost of attendance: worth it.

Ryobi Team at Haven
from the Ryobi Nation Facebook Page

3. Sandra (Sawdust Girl) likes to teach classes with no pants on.

Sandra showing off her muscles in a Duluth apron
from Simply Designing

Sandra was actually just wearing an apron lent to her by Duluth Trading Company, and mistakenly grabbed the men’s version – which wound up completely covering her shorts. But my version of the story is funnier.

4. Magical moments can happen anywhere, even in a closet.

Sherry from Young House Love and Katie from Bower Power

This was a class about forming genuine friendships with other bloggers and blogging etiquette, complete with Katie from Bower Power telling folks that certain requests are a lot like asking to borrow her underwear.

5. The right time to drop your beer bottle

…is definitely the very second that everyone quiets down to hear the winners of a giveaway.

Exterior of the hotel

The first night there, we attended a terrace party hosted by Homes.com. I finished my one beer – see? not even tipsy – and in my attempt to grab a business card, let the empty bottle slip from my hands. It hit the ground and didn’t break, which I thought was going to be the worst possible result. Not true. The bottle continued to cling-clang-clatter all over the downward-sloping cement walkway directly behind me. Everyone turned and I had to proudly exclaim, “That was me, sorry!”

6. Staying at the hotel

…lets you both drink more and have ridiculously childish moments with people who totally get this blogging thing.

Hanging out late into the night
Who needs sleep? Staying up late is just so much more fun.

7. I apparently like stealing flower displays after parties.

See above picture – Rustoleum tricked out one of the events with flower vases using spray paint. And since the flowers are almost always going to go to waste if no one takes them home, they don’t mind when you swipe them for your room. I hope.

8. There’s something called BRF, or Bitchy Resting Face… and I probably have it.

Sarah with hand on her head

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Sew Woodsy for enlightening me (one of the funniest conversations of the entire trip). And finally, there’s a name for the face I must be making when guys insist that I smile. I wind up wanting to frown even more.

9. Dirty hair? No problem… just curl it.

Sarah and Pamela

Thanks, Pamela. From suggesting that we buy special tumblers for drinks, our goofy trip to Target, and taking my phone… you were a riot to room with!

10. There’s so much love… um, lots of it.

Silly photos
Sorry, Dusty, you’re too late.

Okay – so this post started as things I learned… and since I’m choosing not to go into the actual classes too much, I’ve run out of funny things. Except for maybe a few funny things you might learn about me if you were to meet me in person:

Sarah and Chelsea from Two Twenty One
with Chelsea from Two Twenty One
  • I have a vulgar sense of humor. If I were to use Dusty’s words here, “Sometimes you just gotta drop an f-bomb.”
  • I talk with my hands. A lot. Which may also mean that I accidentally smack the person next to me if I’m in a crowd (sorry, ladies).
  • I just might know how to “get low” and make Lil Jon references. I grew up in Atlanta, after all. Okaaay?

Finally, my thanks to the Haven Conference crew and all of the sponsors… the best part about Haven is meeting all of these wonderful people. And the worst part is that all of these friendships have to continue across the country. Let’s be real, here: I’m a girl who loves power tools, beer, and Family Guy. Which also means that my social life typically involves toilet humor and more guy friends than girls. But I still like dressing up, wearing makeup, and acting a little silly every now and then. So here was the perfect opportunity for me to be myself, make some new female friends, and learn a ton of new info about how to be a better blogger and decorator. It’s both fantastic to meet these people, and a shame that there wasn’t enough time to meet even more. Sorry for getting a little sappy – but when your normal life doesn’t involve people who know much about blogging or the culture (I mean, I basically put my daily life on the internet like a total weirdo), it’s completely different when everyone around you acts like it’s the most normal thing in the world. You’re excited for their successes. They’re excited for yours. And you sometimes put the camera down and soak up the minutes instead. Thank you also for YOU reading along. I really do appreciate having my own little corner of the internet to share these things with you.

On Monday, we’ll be back to the usual programming – priming the kitchen is heavily underway, and I’m hoping I can even start painting and reveal the paint color early next week. Have a great weekend!

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  1. Fun recap, Sarah! So many fun memories were made. Can’t wait til next year! Hope to see you at some meetups soon!

    1. I am still going to have Saturday classes, but luckily I don’t have any late Saturday afternoons. So with any luck, I’ll be able to tag along to the end of a meetup or two!

  2. Sarah,
    You have me cracking up. So true about the Ryobi guys (married woman here) and their entrance was a riot. I follow Sandra and got that info. on the no pants–you still made me laugh. I think I would not be able to dance with all the women. That is way out of my element! But I am such a dork in the sense that I never get out that I would probably look like a knob laughing at everything people said–like doubled over laughing. I find I do this (pediatric office recently) and think “oh my, you gotta get some friends”. I LOVE how you can all connect and if it weren’t for my lack of time (no excuses from you, right?) and bad/no knowledge of computers I would have a blog 1. because I have seriously considered and 2. realized I might end up with some friends. SOOO SAD!

    1. That’s definitely the best part of a conference like this – just allowing yourself to be you. While there was a little bit of self-consciousness from everyone, I think eventually we all just started to relax and enjoy the very rare opportunity. Getting so little time to see the people you feel such a connection with is kinda sad, in a way. Grateful for the chance to see familiar faces and meet a few new ones :)

  3. I knew I would love your recap….but I didn’t know I would love it this much.

    I am so so so so happy I got to meet you FINALLY after staring at every adroable brunette just a little too long trying to see if it was you hahaha. PS…..Tim has been trying to compose an email to you for a whole week :) He keeps thinking of more things and then proofreading and editing….it’s kind of adorable.

  4. Was there an unofficial uniform of black and white stripes for Haven? Every recap I’ve seen has so many b/w stripes! Haha.

    1. Ha! Yeah, I saw pics on Instagram where the bloggers noticed that too & started all taking pictures together (to me, seeing a group of people in stripes was prison-photo-ish, which made me laugh even more). Nice eye ;)

  5. I love it! Totally true…all of it. I loved your recap. I will deny doing the Wobble. I will. I swear.

    1. Liar ;) New tradition at the meet-ups: everyone does the shuffle. Because that will look so much more bizarre in a random restaurant around town.

  6. Holy Ryobi!!

    So sad I couldn’t make it but happy you guys had so much fun :)

    Love the beer bottle cling clang too

    1. Dude. Sooooo embarrassing. I had every eyeball pointed back at me. I hate the thought of people assuming I was drunk instead of just plain clumsy!

  7. Find it strange you didn’t mention Young House Love in #4. Sheri appears to be the one speaking, and nothing in your comments. I think it makes you look like an insecure blogger. Generally like what you blog, but this struck me as odd.

    1. I had a number of crappy iPhone pics from that talk, and that was the best one that I got from the discussion (general rule of thumb: when you have a lot to choose from, always go for the pic that is the most flattering). No slight meant to Sherry of course, love her to death. She and Katie are both badasses in their own right and Katie’s comment was just a funny story to include in the recap.

  8. Awesome post! I always say my friends have to be funny! So wish I met you at Haven…next time ;)
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com