If you follow me on InstaGram (@cassiesugarplum), then you know last week I was at Haven, a blogger conference specifically for Home Decor/DIYers. My feed was a flood of pictures with one thing in common....me grinning ear-to-ear, standing beside a favorite blogger. 

What you didn't see, was my chaotic journey of getting there! Like a total blonde bimbo (I can say that, because I am one), I had Mr. Sugarplum drop me at the wrong airport! And do you know when I figured it out??? When the ticket agent told me, after I'd waited in line for 30 minutes!

By then, Mr. SP was long gone, and I was out of luck getting a flight from that airport, unless I wanted to pay $1,200. After months of preparation and anticipation, there was no way I was going to miss the conference...but ain't nobody got time for $1200 plane tickets!

So my sweet man rushed back to pick me up (I may have been excessively sweating and on the verge of tears by then), and drove like a maniac to the correct airport. I missed that flight by about 5 minutes, but by some divine intervention, the agent was able to waive all fees and book me on the next flight (4 hours later). I may have kissed him. No tongue though.

I was a little rumpled and wilted when I finally arrived, but managed to make the tail-end of the cocktail party. We all hugged and greeted each other like life-long friends...not like people who'd only met on the internet.


It was so surreal to see them in person, and to actually hear them talk. In my head, they all had Southern accents, but turns out that's my voice, not theirs. Any anxiety I had about meeting 'strangers' evaporated in the first few minutes. The conference was an amazing group of women, all creative and talented, who share the same joys and passions of blogging.


Ana White gave a fabulous Keynote Address (did you know the girl gets over 10 million pageviews a month!?), and I picked up some great tips from her:

* Every post should do at least two: Educate, Inspire, Entertain, Reward
* Love the haters, because they are readers, too.
* Fellow bloggers are not competitors, their successes help to pave the way for others.
* If you're not proud of it, don't do it.

Then it was time for our first of two panels on Social Media...(we're working on posts with all our tips, so stay tuned). Update: check out How to Grow Your Blog with Facebook here.

{snagged from Kristin's instagram}

Megan wasn't able to make the conference, but she surprised us with a bottle of champagne in the room. Courtney, Carmel and I toasted her, and a successful panel discussion, once we were done. Yes, this was after our panel. In no way were we drinking before the panel. 

{thanks for the sweet treat, Megan!}

There were so many sessions available, it was hard choosing which to attend. I learned some great new styling tips from these ladies.


And am even more motivated to get organized after listening to this power couple.

{Chris, me, Jen}

Who knew you could actually approach magazines about being published?! The adorable Erika gave some great tips and pointers.


In between the learning, and eating, we had so much fun meeting all the other bloggers. Every single person was open, friendly and down-to-earth. How about this super-sized blogger sandwich I managed to get in?!

{Katie, me, Sherry}


Hi Sugarplum | Haven Recap
{Kristin, Sarah, me}

{Jen & me}



I happened to be hanging in Chris and Sarah's room on the first night, so I was suckered recruited into Traci's flash mob. Let's just say, Mandi is very persuasive.

Update: lots of emails about my lacey shorts...found them here

I can't thank the Haven Team enough for such a fabulous experience. Everything was completely top notch, from the hotel and facilities, to the speakers and swag bags. I'm already counting the days until next year, and crossing my fingers I get asked back! I miss my new friends so much already!

And I'm proud to say I made it home with no drama, on the right plane, in the right airport. I guess me + traveling = dramatics these days (remember this incident?!).


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