Taking Chances, Part 1: Haven Home/DIY Blogger Conference

  Ok, I lied.  I said I was going to take a break from blogging for a little bit (& if I was smart, I wouldn't be using packing time to blog), but I'm afraid if I wait I will forget all the wonderful things I learned last weekend at the Haven DIY/Home Blogger Conference.

     Let's start out with this: I am not a risk taker.  At all.  My husband likes to tease me & say that we met during my 6 weeks of rebellion in college.  I like tradition, stability, routine.  Ironic for a military wife, huh?
 The positive side of this is that I tend to be fairly organized & I invest a lot of time before I start any type of work project.  The negative is that I don't like taking chances & if I don't feel properly prepared for something or assured of success, I'd prefer to just not do it at all.  But, as I've said before, my mom's example of a well-lived life encouraged me to take the risk of starting my own business & blog, even though I have no way of knowing the outcome.  But thank goodness I finally took a chance, because it has led to some great (& some surreal) moments, including the conference.

I read a lot of blogs, at least 25-30, maybe even more.   I don't read each one every day, or even every week, but I like to check in fairly often to see what's going on in the DIY/Home blog world.  Blogs provide me with a ton of education & inspiration, more so than any of my design classes, maybe because they are written by real women (& men) who have decided to take their passion & just go for it.  They write about both the successes & the setbacks, and I try to learn as much as I can from them.  So when I saw a chance to attend the Haven conference, I just had to go for it.  I was nervous to attend because I am such a new blogger, & because I didn't think I would know anyone else going, but I knew I would kick myself if I didn't attend.  And I am so glad I did!!

     I met so many wonderful people, including this great group of bloggers & artists below. I was super nervous (as I usually am in social situations), & was grateful to meet these sweet ladies the first night.  Our time together was filled with laughter.  Thanks for making my first conference a great experience!

(L to R): Cheryl (New House to Home), Dana (an incredible artist),
 Brandi (Toodlelou Designs), me, & Allison (Soiled Rotten)  (photo courtesy of Brandi Smith)

    I also met some of the authors of blogs I have long read & admire.  Ashley (The Handmade Home), Erin (Two Story Cottage), Sherry (Young House Love), Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Design Indulgence), & Emily (Emily A. Clark) were so incredibly nice.  I put my foot in my mouth several times (as I often do), & they all graciously ignored it. Thank goodness for other people's ability to sense my good intentions.  :)

     In addition to meeting some of my favorite bloggers, I learned SO much.  Most of it was helpful, but some of it gave me anxiety because I learned all the things I'm doing wrong or that I should have done already but haven't yet.  My to-do list when I got home was a mile long.  I am looking forward to growing & improving this blog/business armed with all my new knowledge.  A big thanks to the ladies who put together the Haven Conference; it was a wonderful experience & I am so glad I took the risk to step outside of my comfort zone!!