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Friday, August 12, 2016


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I was in Atlanta last weekend for a home blogger conference called Haven.  I've attended once before and was excited to get back and learn new things, hone some blogging skills, and connect with friends new and old.

I don't have anything profound that I learned or did there to share with you (even though I learned a lot- but most of it's more technical blog stuff that you wouldn't be interested in!).  I didn't take nearly as many photos as I should have, I was just wrapped up in the experience and not thinking too much about documenting everything.  Bad blogger for sure!  I will share what I can from the experience, though, and a little bit about what we did, where I went, what I wore, and who I saw!

I traveled with 2 friends from Oklahoma City, and it made the trip so much nicer to have someone to pass the time with!  Especially when we had to get up at 3 a.m. to catch our early morning flight out the first day.  I wanted to share this tote with you that was so helpful to carry.  It's customizable so I was able to put all of my favorite things on one bag... black and white stripes, navy, green, AND a monogram... what could be better?  I loved this bag for the trip because I could pack so many things inside for the flight, yet it's technically still a purse so I could take another large carry-on as well.  It also had a handy zipper pocket and 3 open pockets inside to stash my phone and some of the smaller items so they didn't get lost.

Barrington Gifts Custom Monogrammed Tote Bag

We arrived in Atlanta suuuuper early and had most of the day before we needed to check in for the conference, so the nicest local friend picked us up and treated us to a day around Atlanta visiting some of her favorite stops.  Laurie runs the most wonderful Etsy shop full of the happiest, girliest, most Southern things you ever did see, from tabletop to paper goods to monogrammed accessories.  She doesn't blog but you can follow along with her on Instagram at @lboriginals.  She is one the sweetest, most genuine and gracious, kind, generous, hospitable, talented, welcoming people I have ever been around, and she made us all feel like we were old friends right off the bat.

After making a few shopping stops, she took us to the most darling lunch spot in Atlanta, the Swan Coach House.  It's evident that this is a favorite spot for females (and a few males) to lunch!  The classic decor and delicious food had us all swooning.  It's a must-visit for sure if you're ever in Atlanta!

Me  ||  Emily from Eleven Gables  ||  Laurie from @lboriginals  ||  Denise from Frazzled Joy

We had to try their signature chicken salad and frozen fruit dessert, and it did not disappoint!

Seriously, Laurie is the best!  More than anything, she has the kindest heart, but I still drool over her sense of style (her wardrobe is to die for) and crazy good pattern mixing skills.  She has a dish collection that's out of this world!  We stopped here in the dressing room at Tory Burch for a photo since we were both ga-ga over the cornice detail, spotted fabric, and brass trim.

remember...up since 3 a.m.!!  zzzzzzzz    ;)

One way that Laurie went above and beyond to take care of us was that she had one of her adorable custom tote bags waiting for us, personalized and everything!  She was so thoughtful in anticipating how helpful that would be at a conference where we were picking up products and information here and there all day before returning to our room in the evenings.  I mean, could her choice be more perfect for me or what?  Thank you again, Laurie, I will always think of you and our super fun day when using this bag!

Similar shoes here, here, or lower heel here

Jaime from That's My Letter cut out and assembled this amazing map out of wood pieces.  Bloggers in attendance hung their card on the state they were from so that local friends could make a connection.  I wish someone was standing in front of it for reference, it was BIG!

On the last evening of the conference there is always a big party sponsored by one of our fabulous brands, this time Ryobi put on quite a show!  It's a fun excuse to get a little more dressed up than normal.

You may or may not know, Emily of Eleven Gables and I have been friends since Jr. High/High School, and came to Haven together 2 years ago too.  It was so nice to have a friend that I'm completely comfortable with (which is necessary when you're sharing a bed the size of a postage stamp!) along for a trip like this, yet we both did our best to branch out and meet lots of new friends, too.  Here we were on our way to the Ryobi party...

and after!  It was late for these Mamas and our feet were killing us!!  ;)

We also shared our room with these two lovely ladies and all ended up pretty in pink for the evening! I've known Cassie from Primitive and Proper for years and she is just as genuine and delightful as she seems when you read her blog.  Denise from Frazzled Joy is a friend from OKC who traveled with us too and has been blogging for a few years, but this was her first trip to Haven.  It was fun to show her the ropes and try to help keep her from getting overwhelmed!

Cassie  ||  Me  ||  Denise  ||  Emily

As good and helpful as the classes at Haven are, a huge component and benefit is networking and meeting "online" friends face to face.  It's quite an experience to have so many friends who you read all about, see every corner of their home and often details of their lives on a computer screen, and feel like they're a close friend become a face to face real-life friend!

There are SO many girls that I finally got to meet personally at Haven, but I did a poor job of getting  a photo with most of them.  Here are a few that we did remember to take...

Christy from 11 Magnolia Lane- a joy!

This lady right here is a treasure.  I've "known" Julie from Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss for years as well, and had a feeling that we had common interests and knew we shared our faith, but after finally connecting in person it's confirmed... I have a kindred spirit in her!  She came on her own and I'm SO glad she did, and I had a blast hanging out and visiting with her.  She just completely made over and re-launched her blog, too, so make sure to check it out.

My floral blouse here, or similar here

Emily and me with our handy tote bags in action...

Blogging royalty was there to share in our general sessions.  Marion from Miss Mustard Seed and Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect spoke in our opening session, and then John and Sherry from Young House Love wrapped up the conference by telling us what they've learned since quitting their blog and branching out into other things.  Loved hearing their take on things and learning from their experiences. 

A huge perk of attending Haven is the wonderful swag bag that all of the vendors and sponsors contribute to and send home with us.  As much as I love what's inside, I think my son is always more excited to check everything out and see what's in it for him!

So, that's the briefest little summary of our trip.  I hope that you'll visit some of these friends I linked to, I know that you'll grow to love them and their projects just as much as I do!

Have a great weekend, friends.  We're soaking up the last one before school starts at the end of next week!

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Would you like to comment?

  1. it was so great to spend more time with you! and i love that we all wore pink and all wore it uniquely! :)

    1. I know, so fun! So glad we got to room together, Cassie! Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. It was wonderful to meet you, Jennifer! You are every bit as sweet, genuine and gracious in person as you are on your blog.

    1. Suzy, thank you. Same to you! Wish we had been able to chat a little more!

  3. Gorgeous ladies!!! It looks like such a fantastic trip Jennifer! Love seeing all you ladies I love together! Some day....I'll actually meet all of you in person so my kids can stop teasing me about my "online friends" :)

    1. I know, really hope we can meet up some day! Hope your schedule is slowing down just a bit, even though I know you're enjoying every second!

  4. Looks like a great time! Someday I'll make it back again...

  5. So glad I got to tag along with you girls! It was such a great time!!

  6. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. The Swan Coach House is the best here in Atlanta. Many a bridal luncheons and baby showers have taken place there.

  7. Looks like you had a great time in Atlanta. My favorite shop in Atlanta is Boxwoods which is in Buckhead. It is the best ever!!!!

    1. Hi Ron, we went there! LOVED it!! I got so many good ideas! My friend Laurie told us about how amazing it is at the holidays, too... can't imagine it getting much better!

  8. I love reading about all the other Haven experiences and glad we were in the same mentor group. I went with one of my close friends too, which I think makes it a little easier. Those totes are the cutest and fits your style perfectly!!!

  9. Jennifer! What a fun and exhausting trip! Thanks for being my roomie!! I think I am thoroughly caught up on my sleep now and ready to work on the blog!! This was a wonderful recap of such a fun weekend! XOX, Emily

  10. Jennifer-- you are so sweet! I love your re-cap & it was definitely worth the trip if only to meet you 😊 Hope to see you again soon!


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