My second day in Atlanta for the 2013 Haven Conference started out how every Haven Conference day does for me:
After a wonderful first day in Atlanta with Katie from Bower Power, Sherry from Young House Love and their families, I returned to the hotel to meet up with my dear friend (and 2nd year Haven roomie) Beth from Unskinny Boppy! Beth was chilling in the lounge with loads of other lovelies that I was thrilled to see again including Heather from At The Picket Fence, KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms, Chris from Just a Girl, Kim from Sand & Sisal, and many more! (I would elaborate further on names and blog links, but at this point I had been up for almost 24 hours straight and it’s quite possible that best friend I thought I’d made over my first glass of Chardonnay was really just a table lamp.)
When I finally made my way to bed I vowed I’d be sleeping in until 5:00pm that day, waking up just in time to get ready for the cocktail party…until Rhoda from Southern Hospitality mentioned that she and the other organizers of Haven would be stuffing swag bags at 9am on the first floor and wouldn’t turn down volunteers.
The chance to pitch in and offer some behind the scenes Haven help, and get a first peek at swag?
Who needs sleep?!
Beth and I set our alarm for 8:30am, and by 9am I was pony-tailed, mascared, swag bag filling fool. Check out these gorgeous burlap bags we received compliments of Ballard Designs! (Not only did it come in handy all throughout the conference, but it also saved me $90 in overweight luggage charges when I pulled it from my suitcase, filled it with some of my packed items to lighten my load and used it as my carry-on for my flight home – thank you, Ballard!)
In addition to photography, I also Scorsese’d it up to capture this little gem for everyone following along on Instagram:
It took us forever, y’all (<- so long that I picked up “y’all” from my southern friends) but we eventually got about 400 swag bags stuffed, and then we were off to lunch and joined by some more Haven arrivals we ran into in the lobby on our way!
After lunch we made the oh-so-important wine run to the Trader Joe’s down the street and stocked up on drinks and snacks to tide us over the next few days!
After our Trader Joe’s run, I had every intention of sneaking a nap in (after I ordered all fun to cease existing while I stepped away, of course) but instead unpacked my bags and ironed my clothes – you know, the sexy stuff.
Soon it was cocktail hour and the official kick off to Haven 2013! Thursday night’s cocktail party, sponsored by Homes.com and ForRent.com was an outdoor event at our hotel (The Grand Hyatt Buckhead) sprawling across two patios and a beautiful Japanese garden. What a welcome!
Check out all these gorgeous girls I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting that night:
After the cocktail party I joined Gillian, Leslie, and Amber from Homes.com and ForRent.com for a delicious dinner, and loved getting to know these fabulous girls, and their work, better!
My night ended how every Haven Conference night does for me:
Late night girl talk with my dear friend Beth.
Who needs sleep?!
Look for more 2013 Haven Conference Recaps coming soon!