{Part 2} Haven Recap

haven logo

After a much needed night of sleep Mr. Woodsy and I were ready to tackle day 2 of Haven! We actually slept in a little (7am that’s really sleeping in for us). We made our way downstairs for breakfast where we met up with a few of our favorite bloggers. Pictured above is Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Kim from Sand and Sisal, and Jessie from Imperfectly Polished. It was quiet in the main exhibit hall which was a nice change of pace from the day before. We actually had an additional hour to roam the hall and work on our vendor worksheet for a chance to win prizes later that day. Glad we did because we both won a prize at the closing session (see below for what we won)! We also started chatting with vendors and the time got the best of us and we were late for our first sessions of the day! By the way, day 2 was all blogging sessions for me… no DIY!

 Session 1: I Like Big Blogs…

Moderators: Beth from Home Stories A2Z, Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Traci from Beneath My Heart, Myra from My Blessed Life, and Sara from Thrifty Decor Chic.

Seriously, this was an amazing session that could have honestly been a full days worth of info! I really paid the most attention to the SEO portion of this talk since I’m always looking to learn more on SEO.

Here are 8 out of the 10 tips to improve SEO:

  1. Be honest with good content
  2. Use keywords within your post
  3. Rename your photo titles and utilize alt text
  4. Use headings and bold words
  5. Use tags and tea tags
  6. Use the description box
  7. Name your post with strong words
  8. Linking to yourself and limit outbound linking

Ultimately, think about the way you blog and try to live by these 8 rules… figure out what you like about your blog and what you don’t like about your blog.

Be proud of the blog you have. Don’t try to be like others… be you! Remember, you never know who is looking at your blog and you want to be proud of what you have published.

I’m sure the other 2 were really important but some where along the lines I never wrote down 9 and 10… too much great info coming out of the mouths of these amazing ladies!

Next, up… lunch! During my morning session I had been tweeting back and forth with Ana trying to coordinate meeting up. The only time that worked for both of us was lunch… so Mr. Woodsy and I had lunch with Ana and her husband Jacob (dubbed RAM on the blog). We had a great lunch together and also had the chance to get to know Kristi from Creative Kristi much better. We all chatted about home DIY projects, wood working, products we like to use, fishing, hunting, our day jobs, family, etc.. it was wonderful!

Recipe for Press Book - Haven Conference

 Session 2: Blogging PR

Moderators: Tauni from SNAP!, Amy Flurry from Recipes for Press, Ashley Walters and Rachael Powell from Powerhouse Factories

All of these ladies had so much to share. Sharing insight on why bloggers want to work with brands, why brands aren’t looking for big bloggers, how we as bloggers can build relationships with brands, etc.

Amy shared some insightful information on the power of press and how we need to establish ourselves as experts. She also gave us some insight into print editorial calendars and who to contact (hint hint the editorial assistants)!

We spoke about when its ok to be paid for something and how you should always be paid for a photograph. Oh, and never ever (promise me people) would you ever give exclusive rights for a photo. That means the magazine can do whatever the heck they want to do with it and you have absolutely NO CONTROL!

The most important thing that was stressed in this session was to know who you are, your medium, and a spin on your blog. Don’t be afraid to let brands know why you are unique! 

Infarrantly Creative speaking at Haven

Session 3: Advertising

Moderators: Becky from Infarrantly Creative, Sara from Thrifty Decor Chick, and Julia from Hooked on Houses

I seriously took the absolute most notes during this session. Becky is a wealth of knowledge. A few key things I took away from advertising–you have multiple ways to earn revenue. Don’t place all your eggs in one basket. DIVERSIFY! 

  • Ad Networks (tons out their) be weary of the contracts you sign. No if you can backfill… that’s very important!
  • Selling Private Ads… use something like Passion Fruit Ads which helps you manage the book keeping portion of the ads. *This is something I’d like to start doing in the next few months!
  • Affiliate programs–seek quality programs that the whole world doesn’t have.
  • Sell eBooks
  • Sponsored Post
  • Reviews & Giveaways

When your working with brands and companies you need to know your goals up front. Be specific and creative and show them what makes you unique. Know why you want to work with them! Don’t just say that you love their product–make ti relatable!

haven conference

 We ended our day with a Q&A with the ladies who organized Haven. Great questions were asked and amazing answers given. It was also a time where names were drawn for various prizes! Of course after the conference wrapped up I wanted to get some more photos with some of our favorite bloggers!

Top Photo: Rhoda from Southern HospitalityBeth from Home Stories A2Z,us and Kate from Centsational Girl 3 out of the 6 amazing women who put together Haven. These ladies are all amazing in their own ways…enough said!

Middle left photo: Kristen from Pearl Gateway. I recognized her at the opening session.  We chat frequently on twitter. I was so glad to finally meet her in person. She is super sweet and creates some pretty amazing crafts!  Oh and we gave her a “Sew Woodsy Sandwich” which we then dubbed to everyone we took a photo with!

Middle right photo: Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous. Enough said. This girl is cuter than words can describe, and well I think everyone knows her blog. We chatted and let’s just say that someones fab craft room might just be showcased over at Linda’s place in the next month or two… if I can ever get it cleaned up and photographed!

Bottom left photo: Tauni! Yes, the Tauni creator of SNAP! conference. I felt kind of flattered when she recognized me in the PR session. We’ve chatted on Twitter a few times. We did the classic House of Smith’s pose quickly before class started. Hopefully I’ll be attending SNAP! next year!

Bottom middle photo: yep, that’s Viv from The V Spot Blog. We chat via email and twitter and Facebook on a weekly basis. It was so nice to connect in real life. And yes, she is just as funny and sarcastic in real life as she is on her blog!

Bottom right photo: I was super shocked and flattered when Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage hunted me down at the closing session! Gah! Not only does she make amazing stuff, she’s super nice, and the women is full of so much business knowledge! She also inspired Mr. Woodsy to get his butt selling some of his hand turned pens and bottle stops. I’m so glad we got to meet!

Haven Conference

A big shout out to Matt from The DIY Village. Mr. Woodsy was so happy to meet another male DIY enthusiast at the conference. The inevitably found each other every day… not hard when you have 250+ women in the room and maybe 5 men.

Pictured on the top of the photo collage is me with Pamela from PB&J Stories and Ann Marie from White House Black Shutters. Both of these ladies are stellar in real life and I could not be happier we all finally got to connect in person! We pretty much hung out together throughout the course of the conference.

Pictured middle left–our new friend Gail from My {re}Purposed Life. We hung out with her almost the whole conference as well. What an amazing women and beyond super sweet! I can’t tell you how grateful both Mr. Woodsy and I are for finally meeting Gail!

Pictured middle right– finally after a good 2+ years we finally got to meet Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps in real life. This was the first wood working blog Mr. Woodsy started following. Like I said in the part 1 of Haven Conference Recap… Sandra spotted us from across the room. Friday night we all went out to dinner and Mr. Woodsy and Sandra chatted the entire time talking about wood working of course! They both want to build together… and who knows maybe one of us will make the trip up or down to build with one another!

Pictured bottom left– Jamie from C.R.A.F.T our first Florida DIY blogger friend! All 3 of us were excited to meet another Florida DIY blogger so we instantly bonded! Jamie’s blog is amazing–its all about creating really awesome free things!

Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl (whom I did not get a photo with) got a suite from the hotel so that a few of us could get together after the conference and have birthday cake to celebrate her birthday (which was the next day), and a few other blogger’s birthdays! I’m so excited Brittany got the suite because Amy from Mod Podge Rocks stopped by to hangout with us (and go to dinner with all of us crazy bloggers)! We were in the room for a few minutes… chatting with everyone–I turned around and that’s when I saw Amy the first thing that came out of my mouth was “What the hell are you doing here?!??!” classy, right? lol Amy just laughed. I didn’t realize she moved back to Atlanta… we’ve talked via email multiple times, so I was totally out of the loop. In any event I was so glad I was able to meet Amy!

Yes, we won all this… The top large photo is a culmination of swag bag goodies and winnings. Seriously, don’t get mad us when I share what we won… towards the end of the show we were both getting evil stares and we started to feel horible for winning!

  • (Top right corner photo) Mr. Woodsy one a mini stool from the Minwax booth. He used it to sit in packed session on day 2.
  • I won an amazing picnic basket from Cutter full of bug repellant products!
  • Mr. Woodsy won a new Rigid Tri-Stack 5 Gallon Air Compressor and a Rigid Nail Gun!!! Both items he had been eyeing in the store for the past year. Totally made his trip complete.
  • (Not pictured) I won a set of Ryobi Drilling and Driving Set
  • At the closing session I won a Minwax tool box full of stains.
  • At the closing session Mr. Woodsy won a 3M TEKK Protection gift pack.

haven conference

The next day we checked out of our room… with a massive cart full of swag!  We spent Saturday with my Aunt who lives in Atlanta and then made our way home on Sunday.

rain from tropical storm debbie

Unfortunately, we had to drive through Tropical Storm Debbie, so our 8 hour drive home took much longer than anticipated.

sew woodsy with yorkie

Thankfully, we got home and reunited with our pup, Lola!

I hope you enjoyed my part 2 Haven recap. I did not post with intentions to make anyone jealous… but to enlighten my readers and to give my audience a glimpse into what a DIY conference is like!

 Remember, don’t forget to enter the Haven Swag Bag giveaway!!!

*Update: We had a few people ask where we got our shirts made. Head over Fibers.com to make your own branded shirt!


  1. woohoo! great recap Katie!
    It was such a pleasure to meet you both. I enjoyed talking to you a lot!
    so happy y’all snagged so much swag! Hope to see you at another conference one day soon!


  2. Yay haven was soooo much fun! I hope we will have a chance to meet soon…thinking of going to snap again this year but not sure. Lots to think about!!

  3. Oh my gosh, you got a ton of awesome stuff! Great to meet you there, it was so fun and I look forward to next year’s already!

  4. another one dropping out after haven. what happened?????????blog-fatigue??????????

    • Hi Brenda–I’m not sure if I understand your comment. We were on vacation for a few days and time got the best of us. We had all intentions to have a few blog post scheduled for our readers, but at the end of the day family comes first. We are looking forward to sharing the rest of our master bedroom revamp project with our readers.

  5. I loved meeting you both! You are an amazing couple! We all could not believe your luck in all the prize loot!!! “WHAT?? They won again???LOL!” So fun! I can’t wait to see all the great things you create with it all!

    And wow girl, you took amazing notes! I kept forgetting to take notes, so I’ll just have to bookmark this post to refer back to what we learned!

    Hugs to you both!~ KIM

    • Awe Kim! Thanks for the kind words. Yes, we were super lucky to have won such great loot! I don’t feel like I took that great of notes and if you want I can share my full notes with you via email. I just gave brief snip-its of what I learned.

  6. this is a wonderful post! I wish I could have gone to Haven!! I have a question though, when you say.”She also gave us some insight into print editorial calendars and who to contact (hint hint the editorial assistants)!” Can you give me any more tips on HOW or WHO to contact if I would like to see if they (a brand) would be interested in a sponsorship on my blog? I feel at a loss there!

  7. Thanks for the great overview of our session, Katie!

    It was great to mee you and your husband!

    • Hi Rachael, thanks for stopping by. I gave the “cliff notes” version to what I really wrote down. It was nice meeting you as well at Haven! Hope we can work together in the near future.

  8. So glad that I happed upon this recap because now I am even MORE excited about Haven 2013. That’s right, I just bought my ticket, and I’ll be there (my first blog conference eva)! Really hoping that you and Mr. Woodsy will make your return…and that we can get together sometime in Orlando before then. I just have this hunch that we’ll get along swimmingly.

    Happy New Year, Katie!


    • Mrs. Woodsy aka Katie says:

      Hi Lauren! I’m so glad you’ll be attending Haven this year. We will be there again. Tickets bought the first day they went on sale and hotel booked! We just need August to get here already. We should definitely get together. Even if its just to sew!!! We have little to no DIY/Craft bloggers here in CFL. I would love to start building a little community. Make sure you read our other 2 recaps of the conference! 🙂

  9. Hi, I’m going to Haven this year and was just doing some ‘research’ on it. I came across your post but I can’t find any way to search for Part I of your Haven recap. Do you have a search box on your website or a way of getting to your older posts?
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com


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