Haven Conference {2016}

I was a little absent last week but I had a good reason.  I went to Haven Conference in Atlanta!  It’s a blogging conference focused on the DIY/home decor niche of the blogging world.

I’ll give you the overview of the trip and summarize my thoughts on the experience at the end.

A photo posted by Amanda (@thebaybush) on

First of all…I should not be allowed to travel alone.  I was a hot mess.  I dropped my phone at the airport and it shattered.  Please leave your “best cell phone for blogging” suggestions in the comments.  I lost my boarding pass not once, but twice!  My backpack zipper busted on the way home and I had to tape it up with painter’s tape from my swag bag.  So, yeah.  Hot mess.


But back to the conference…I joined the Haven Mavens Facebook group and found roommates through it.  I’m so glad I did!  It was like having built-in friends even though I’d only chatted with them on Facebook before Haven.  It still felt like I knew them already.


Here’s our group from left to right…Jodi from Home of DIY, Shaina from Married to Restoration, Yuni from Love Your Abode and me!   (The awesome map was lovingly made by Jaime at That’s My Letter.  It was even more amazing in person!)

A photo posted by Amanda (@thebaybush) on

I enjoyed talking with the different brands and vendors and especially enjoyed all of the swag and product that came along with it!  I can’t believe how generous these brands were with their products!  I brought home an entire suitcase full of paint, hardware, tools, t-shirts, mugs and bags.  I was floored by the amount of swag!

I was so excited to start classes bright and early on Friday morning. I loved hearing from Miss Mustard Seed and Perfectly Imperfect.


One of my favorite classes was the photo styling class with Matthew Mead and Janet from Shabby Fu Fu.

A photo posted by Amanda (@thebaybush) on

It was so much fun to take a break from the technical stuff and make these fun jewelry organizers. I made two of them so I could bring one to each of my big girls. We will try to paint them and put the knobs on them before school starts back up.


I took a beginner photography class which proved to be too advanced for me.  Apparently, I know nothing about my camera.


I met a lot of new people!  I thought I read a lot of blogs but I quickly realized that there are a ton of huge blogs out there that I didn’t even know about.  Here we are chatting with Courtney from Hamby Home Decor before the Fashion Show.  I also really enjoyed meeting Kandice from Just the Woods,  Laura from Junque Cottage, Brooke from Start at Home,  Beth from So Much Moore , Elisia from A Pinterest Addict and Kayla from Plum Pretty but didn’t manage to get a picture with them.  Oh yeah…and there was my awesome mentor, Mandi!  She is a super star in the blog world and I was pinching myself the whole time!haven-conf

We walked the Red Carpet at the Saturday Soiree sponsored by Ryobi!  I have to admit to feeling extremely fancy.  I have no idea why I’m leaning back all weird like that…


The conference finished up with Young House Love!  I’ve recently started listening to their podcast and I was so excited to see them in person.  I almost did a creepy selfie with them in the background but chickened out at the last minute.

I’ve been home a few days and have had a chance to mull over what I learned…

  1. Like I mentioned earlier…I should not be allowed to travel alone.
  2. I have a lot of room for improvement on the old blog.  I learned something that I could implement on the blog in every single class.  I guess that proves it was time well spent!
  3. It was overwhelming.  Like really overwhelming.  Small talk is not my jam y’all.  I felt like I should introduce myself as “I’m Amanda from Life on the Bay Bush and I’m awkward.  That is all.”
  4. Brands!  I made new contacts with several brands that I hope to be able to share with you on the Bay Bush soon!
  5. Roommates are awesome!  It’s like having a built-in group of besties you can count on to hang with! (p.s. This is the only situation in which I would ever recommend sleeping with strangers.)
  6. I had a great time, made some new friends and learned a ton!  Maybe I’ll have everything fixed by Haven next year!

I’ve got loads of laundry to catch up on now that I’m home!

5 comments on “Haven Conference {2016}

  1. Awww loved this recap. And yes, this is the only time you should sleep with strangers ???. So glad I got to know you, Amanda! You’re a total sweetheart! ?

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