13 The Haven Experience Part 2

Haven Haven Haven, I could talk about you forever, but alas it may be dragged on too long. This final post is the second part of the Haven experience (if you missed it, here’s part 1) and probably the best one yet. So strap in and hold on tight because here we go…

On Friday, Jodi and I were waiting for the elevator and to pass the time, I was enjoying the cityscape views. To me, this meant enjoying the beauty and luxury of rooftop pools.

In just a few short moments, I noticed a person lying face down. Thinking nothing of it, I continued scanning enjoying the view. Each time I ended up making my way back to the pool. Maybe time stood slow, but I casually told Jodi that it was weird he hadn’t moved. A few more moments passed and my focus was now completely set on him. Panic started to set in, this guy hasn’t moved a hand, leg, or even an inch. Sprinting to the nearest phone (while still waiting for the elevator), I began calling the front desk. In my daze, Jodi snuck to the window and took over watching, just as the phone was picked up she exclaimed “He’s UP, He’s UP!!”

Whew. That was close.

I guess I’m glad my lifeguard instincts were still very much in place. Maybe time stood still, maybe I’m too quick to conclude, who knows. Looking back I think I had no concept of time-- I’m sure it’s completely possible to hold your breath until the crazy fast Hyatt elevators arrived.

That evening, our sponsors spoiled us with TWO Parties. The first, a cocktail party with Home Depot complete with hors d’oeurves and summery drinks.

Cheers to twinsies and amazing sliders!

Shortly after the drinks ran out they stopped serving, the fine people over at RYOBI, sponsored the BEST dance party ever!! Let me tell you, I haven’t shown off my horrible white-girl-dance-moves in quite some time. Something about being surrounded by girls just like me brings out some disco fever. It helps we all got to show off the DIY Shuffle (most of us learned THAT day). You can see my cameo behind Traci (from Beneath My Heart) around 3:22.

For those of you attending DIY conferences in the future-- learn it and request Blurred Lines at your next event. Trust me; you will be THE STAR of the show. Make sure to give Traci credit of course, because that girl earned it!! Dear friends of mine, if we're out dancing and I hear Blurred Lines, you best bet I'm going to bust out some DIY Shuffle. Fair warning.

In case you're wondering the moves are:
  • We're looking for a deal
  • We've got it, we've fount it
  • We're going to drive it on home
  • And Sand it
  • Step back and hammer it
  • Paint it.
  • Then we're going to blog about it.
  • Pin it
  • Facebook
  • Tweet it
Somewhere in the mix I tried inching my way to dance with Mandi from Vintage Revivals, because let’s face it, that girl has MOVES like Jackson- nope not Jagger, MJ, the King of Pop moves! But instead of busting a move together, I blurted out that she reminded me of Kesha. She kindly said something like “so you’re saying I have greasy hair?!” taken aback I think I muttered no, no, no. She laughed and kept dancing. If I wasn’t so angry at my comment I would have said: ‘As in the upbeat, beachy, chill kinda Kesha vibe not the brush your teeth with a bottle of jack vibe.’ Mandi if you’re reading, you’re the glam Kesha, really. I probably should have just said Ivy from the new 90210.

Another highlight was the fact that we got to dress up, where I wasn't regretting the decision to pack the cocktail dress. It was also about the only time that I sported some Black and White Branding (as opposed to over kill on my last trip).
Cell Phone Pic, yuck!

Later on that evening, while still dancing and furiously trying to avoid poking anyone in the eye, my roomies were fleeting to our dance floor purse stash (you know close proximity to throw your purse and junk) with arms full of tools. This whole time, my roomies had been schmoozing with the RYOBI guys and failed to clue me in. Within moments, I strutted over there and struck up conversation. About 15 minutes of giving them a hard time that my roomies were stacked and I’m empty handed, somehow I managed to sweet talk my way into snagging a tool that wasn’t even on the shelves yet, this baby:

That’s RYOBI’s Right Angle Screwdriver. At the end of the night the three of us were strutting, heels and all, across a busy Atlanta street carrying tons of tools. Not gonna lie, it sort of looked like we stole them. But those RYOBI guys though- they’re so generous.

Did I also mention that during the twitter chat, leading up to Haven, I also scored RYOBI’s Starter Kit? Yeah, somehow this lucky girl hustled just enough to score not one but two prizes from them. I think the beau is either a bit jealous or fell in love a little harder now that I’m building my own tool arsenal.

Somehow during Scottie's sponsor schmooze-fest, not to be confused with snooze-fest, she promised a Right Angle Screwdriver video from me, so I guess I can’t let her or RYOBI down now.

On Saturday, I was one of the lucky participants for the Ballard Design Bookcase Challenge. This was the second of two Challenges (the other was the previous day). We were instructed to use supplied products from their latest line to style a bookshelf and were told that there will be a twist, a bigger one than the previous days. 

That wasn’t gonna stop me. for the night before (Friday night), I read through all the comments from the previous day’s challenge after casting my vote.

Day 1 Challenge dilemma (photo from the Haven Facebook Page)

The one thing that was consistent was that it was hard to see what was on the shelves when voting online because the shelves didn’t have backs. Taking that tidbit, I knew our team needed to stand out and we were going to do it by using fabric to line the back of the shelf. That way we could dominate in the online votes. It also made the elements pop to the casual passer-by.  My plan was to get there early, scope out the goods, scheme with my fellow teammates, and win that thing.

Once my incredible teammates arrived I told them about the plan. This is when I connected the dots that Traci (you know the one who came up with the DIY Shuffle) was our team leader. How awesome!! 

Back on track: the rest of the team came up with the color scheme, and ‘theme/team’ name. I remember telling them that we should hold off on ‘revealing’ the fabric backing so no one would steal our idea. Instead, we could set everything in place to hold the fabric down. Boy did that paid off. Because about halfway through they announced their twist: “Not all clients are pleased with the first design so each team must move to your left.”

Our original color scheme was green, white, and gray. Our new color scheme: purples and oranges. Quite a difference. Anyway, long story short here’s what our shelf looked like:

Later that day after the Keynote speaker, they announced the winners. Low and behold, our team won the Saturday Challenge! $100 gift certificate to Ballard Designs. Cheah, awesome! All that Scheming and Planning paid off. I blame it on my competitive side.

Oh and it goes without saying that Ballard Design does not slack on their designs, their whole product line is absolutely stunning. And surprisingly durable since we man-handled all everything including some of the delicate fabrics.

The last day (now Sunday) all of us girls were furiously cramming all of our swag into our luggage when Serena came across a dilemma. One of the coolest tools, the guitar Rip-Cut from Kreg wouldn’t fit in their carry-ons or the box she snagged from we threw together this video on how to pack odd shaped packages for flights:

It’s an impromptu and pretty funny/awkward video. Promise.

Some things to note:
  • Serena was only censored because of a random non-swearing comment.
  • Haven Mavens- who noticed that there’s two drink tickets (near a suitcase) left unfulfilled? Sheesh, that's alcohol abuse har har.
  • I thing it goes to show we truly appreciated our sponsors. Thanks 3M for the tape and big box for all the other Haven swag. Thanks Online Fabric Store for the durable boxes (the fabric was an added bonus). And thanks Kreg for the guitar.
Here’s what the package looked like when we were finished:

I have tons more photos and even more stories, but I’m sure y’all are sick of it by now, so thanks for sticking it through. Hope you had a good laugh or two and maybe even learned something. Thank you sponsors, thank you roomies, thank you new Haven Maven friends, thank you celeb blogers, and thank you RYOBI for spoiling me.

Who wants to help me pick out something awesome from Ballard Designs? Anyone want to come over and build something with our new RYOBI tools? Maybe you can help me or, better yet, make a cameo in the right angle screwdriver video? Are you super competitive, enough to plot out a plan of attack like a total dork? Have you met your twin from another state?

P.S. I was not paid or perked from any of these vendors; they just happen to be some of the coolest sponsors and happen to support one of the best blogging events.
Preparing for a blog conference or event of your own? Be sure not miss:
Prequel: get your cords organized and label your stuff because your new bff roomies won’t want to fork out money to ship it to you.
4- What I learned from all those Classes at Haven (Part 1 & Part 2)
6- THE Haven Experience (Part 1 & Part 2, you are here)

Check out more blog event tips from my experience at the Maiedae Mixer


  1. haha I LOVE the DIY Shuffle totally awesome! This post was fantastic Trisha, you had me laughing through out! Genius packing to get your guitar home :)

    1. Goal achieved!!

      Better get on that or I'll teach you when I invite myself to your place to show me how to decorate for fall!!

  2. Trisha, cute video of us! Lol. And to think I got it home. Whew! And I can't believe you told Mandi she reminds you of Kesha! Hahahaha. Never ever compared anyone to Kesha. It will be misconstrued as an insult. Ha! But I agree that Mandi was ultra cool. She had a cool vibe.
    Now that Haven is over, I'm ready for Haven '14! Lol

    Thrift Diving

    1. Yeah I can't believe that mistake either. Hopefully Mandi doesn't black list me!!

      I'm totally ready for Haven '14! Hope we get a super secret Haven Maven email telling us when the tickets go on sale!

      Much love,
      Trisha D.

  3. That video was too cute! Y'all are some clever gals.... And speaking of clever, I'm so impressed by how many posts you did on Haven; not only is that a gift to your readers and blogland, but I'm sure it was useful for you to process and revisit all the things you learned and experienced. Way to cement your learning!

    The Thinking Closet

    1. Awe thanks Lauren, you are incredibly sweet. They were a lot of work but hopefully worth it!!

  4. It's so fun to read about your Haven experience. On the one hand, I would LOVE to nerd out about blogging! On the other hand, I am a huge anxious introvert mess and would probably spend the whole time in a corner people-watching... Lol.

    1. Oh girl I hear ya on that anxious part. I think there's something about being together with MANY women just like you that brings out the best in all of us. It's even a confidence boost because one moment you could be talking to a fabulous Celeb blog and the next you could be meeting your future blogging BFF- or many, because you can't have enough blogging BFF's.

      The entire experience was more than I could have ever hoped for and more.

  5. LOVE how you got your brand on the street ;)

    1. I was wondering if anyone would notice!! Wouldn't it be cool if I paid for advertising like that- like graffiti-ing the street with my brand?!

  6. Commenting again because I just now noticed your watermark in the pool picture - so clever! I read this post on my phone before, and I guess I didn't notice in the small pic!

    1. Yay!! on both another comment AND checking out the subtle watermark!! Dang cellphones and their tiny photos haha.


Comments make my heart go pitter-patter! Your comment may not appear right away as they are manually accepted.

Pin It button on image hover