four questions & Haven 2016

by | Mar 25, 2016 | a slice of life | 5 comments

If you’re clicking over from Mom 4 Real, welcome!  Everyone else, you’re welcome, too!

I have a backlog of furniture makeovers and projects to share, but today I am sharing about the upcoming Haven blog conference.

I posted a couple of weeks ago that I am a co-opening-keynote-speaker with my dear friend, Shaunna, and I’m also a Haven Maven Mentor along with some amazing bloggers…


The whole idea of having mentors is that we can be available to you to help you squeeze the most out of your time at Haven.  I love encouraging others, so I’m stoked about being a mentor.

As a mentor, the Haven team asked me four questions and here are my answers…


1. How many years have you been blogging?

I first posted to my blog August 2009, so that means almost seven years!  Wow.  I didn’t even realize it has been that long.  Those seven years translates to 2, 254 posts and almost 200,000 comments.

We’ve had a lot to talk about, haven’t we?

My very first post was a before & after of a craigslist hutch.  Pretty fitting, huh?


You can check out that first blog post HERE, if you’re curious!


2. What is your favorite DIY project you’ve completed? 

Oh gosh…that’s really hard for me to pick, but I think I have to go with the tufted sofa.  That was such a big accomplishment for me, as a self-taught upholsterer, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.



3. What is something significant you learned from a conference?

The first blog conference I ever went to was Blissdom and it was there that I met Shaunna, Traci, Myquillyn, Melissa, Layla and other DIY bloggers for the first time.  The sessions were okay, but my mind was blown when I sat down for a chat with Becky from Infarrantly Creative.  She was so open about monetization and didn’t just give me tips, but she connected me with her ad network, talked through numbers specifically and shared strategy.

It was the most valuable “session” I attended and directly impacted my blog earnings.

Now, some of you may remember this, but I was one of the co-founders of Haven.  Our group started having Skype meetings about a blog conference that was geared specifically towards home/DIY bloggers and their readers.

Those meetings were a riot and often deteriorated in shenanigans.

Anyway, when we were focusing on the task at hand, we wanted to capture the kind of conversations I had with Becky and bring it into the sessions.


Last year, I took a class at Haven on SEO and my mind was blown just like the day years prior when I talked to Becky.  I eagerly wrote down tips, tools, resources and strategy that would help drive traffic to my blog.  I was also challenged by John Acuff, the keynote speaker.  It prompted me to come back home and write the post asking my readers what they wanted from my blog.

The point being, the first blog conference I attended, the most recent one and all of those in between have been so valuable.  They weren’t just a time to hang out with kindred spirits, my blog heroes and fellow entrepreneurs, but they were each a great investment in my business.


4. What is one piece of advice you would offer a blogger–new or otherwise–who is going to Haven?

Know that you’ll be overwhelmed!  It’s exhausting and overstimulating and mind-blowing in all of the best ways, so come prepared to take it all in, take lots of notes, business cards and pictures and give yourself a month or two to digest it all!

Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your blog idols.  I remember feeling like such a small-fry dork standing next to The Nester for a group picture at my very first blog conference.  I thought it would sound foolish to tell her how much I loved her blog.  She leaned over to me and whispered, “Hi.  I love your blog.”  It’s amazing that I was still standing upright for the group photo.

We’re all DIY/home bloggers and we’re all there to connect.  So, connect.  Don’t hide in your room.  (Although, I must confess that Shaunna and I were hermits one year and ordered room service and did a lot of hanging out in our jammies.  That’s what we needed that year, though!)

Tickets are on sale for the event on the Haven Conference website.  I hope to see many of you there!

And, before you sign off to enjoy what is hopefully lovely spring weather in your neck of the woods, check out the answers Mandi from Vintage Revivals has to these four questions…


You can read posts from other Haven Maven Mentors below

Day 1: Southern Hospitality | City Farmhouse | In My Own Style | Rooms for Rent

Day 2: All Things Thrifty | Perfectly Imperfect | Beneath My Heart | Sand & Sisal | French Country Cottage

Day 3: Liz Marie Blog | My Repurposed Life | Just a Girl | Bower Power | Thrifty Decor Chick

Day 4: Unskinny Boppy | Mom4Real | Craftberry Bush | Not Just A Housewife

Day 5: Miss Mustard Seed | Vintage Revivals | Home Stories A to Z | House of Wood


  1. Jessica @ Petal + Ply

    Man, I really wish I could go this year. We’ll be on vacation so I can’t be too sad but ugh.

  2. Karen

    My daughter is a blogger (beginner) can I attend with her even though I am not a blogger? When I clicked on your Haven link the home page stated the conference is in August, but when I clicked on the register tab there was a statement that said, ‘see you in July’. Are the August dates the correct dates? Thanks so much for sponsoring this! I hope we are able to make it!!

  3. Loraine O

    blogger or not? can we come to do the conference? i just wanna be around people with that knowledge and experience about life i’m 26 already but nevertheless still too young compared to the experiences you guys had. it would be an honored being mentored by you guys. awaiting to here from you guys. ciao!

  4. DanielHeller

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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