The 2019 Haven Conference is coming up next week, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I remember my first conference like it was yesterday! This photo is from the first Haven Conference 2012. Let me tell you a lot has changed since then, not just my weight and hair color!
MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A BLOGGING CONFERENCE
Items to bring to a conference:
Smile and be ready to meet, learn and laugh.
Sweater some rooms are cold but if you’re like me and have hot flashes, you will be fine.
Most of the time you will get a pen and notepad in your swag bag. If you want to live on the edge don’t bring these and please don’t yell at me if they don’t give them to you.
Don’t overpack and if you do, bring an extra suitcase. Haven is notorious for providing lots of awesome swag bags!
AFTER THE CONFERENCE
Follow up with your new friends and awesome sponsors.
My blogging career has had many twists and turns, tons of opportunities and life-long friendships that I made at Haven and other conferences that I’ve attended over the last 7 years. I have had the pleasure of working with wonderful brands like the last five years with Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart, competing in decorating challenges like The Design Dash with La-Z-Boy, building projects for HomeDepot DIH – DoItHerself campaigns, DIY projects from Stikwood and Airstone, Samsung, HomeRight, Wagner, Monrovia Plants, Tyson, Decor Steals, Sauder and more.
Ps. I’m a Mentor at Haven for second year, I’m humbled and honored to be a part of this awesome conference.
Have you seen the latest in farmhouse decor? These white painted books are showing up everywhere. I’ve seen them all over Facebook and Pinterest, the minute I spotted the hardback books at Dollar Tree, I knew exactly what I was going to do. This book stack DIY is so easy and anyone can do it. Today is our monthly Dollar Store Design day and we have affordable ideas galore, be sure to see check all the others out at the end of the blog post.
to this, Painted White Book Stacks, perfect for farmhouse decor.
Welcome to this month’s Dollar Store Design Squad Challenge!
Can you believe the transformation? A can of Ultra Matte Rust-oleum spray paint and 3 hard back books from Dollar Tree never looked so good. The rope is from Dollar Tree too, I already had the ribbon. I included affiliate links for the products used.
SUPPLIES NEEDED TO DIY BOOK STACK
Books (I looked around and $1 was the cheapest books that I found)
Open the books to about the middle, spread out on whatever surface you will use to spray paint them. I put mine outside on a tub that I’ve turned upside down.
Spray paint with flat spray paint, I like flat because it looks more shabby chic. Apply 1-2 coats of paint, letting it dry according to instructions on the spray paint can.
Let the books dry overnight.
Apply transfer (stencil) to the area that you choose.
Using Chalk Paste, squeegee over the silk screen area to product the design on the books.
After the books were completely dry, I placed the re-usable transfers (sticky stencils with a silk screen area) on the books. For the wording, I used black Chalkology paste. Add the paste and use a squeegee to spread. See the photo above. The wind mill was chalked in gray (Storm Chalk Paste).
You can add lettering, quotes and just about anything you can think of to dress up the books! I used a windmill and antique shop words. You can also use sand paper to distress the books if you’d like. I love the white farmhouse look.
Tie the ribbon around the books and add rope, totally optional. I love the texture that the rope adds.
These stacks would look great on the bookshelf, end table, or any space in your home that needs a little extra. Just think of all the ways that you could personalize them to your home.
PREPARE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE FOR SUMMER ENTERTAINING
Summer is almost here! What better reason to start sprucing up outside? We have lots of family that live near us and we love grilling and chilling this time of year. There are a few basic things that I do to prepare our outdoor space for entertaining. When the guest arrive, they think it looks like this all the time!
BONUS (Be sure to enter the giveaway, details below)
For comfort and decorating, I use outdoor materials. I don’t want to have to remove and store anything out here. The outdoor space looks as cozy and welcoming as my indoor space. I want to clean it, add people, food, beverages and let the entertaining begin!
A couple times a year we have a major cleaning routine that involves pressure washing and mold & mildew removal. Now that we’ve completed that, all we have to do is maintain. The porch becomes a catch-all for anything that comes out of the house and needs to be stored in the garage. Here’s what I do to maintain our outdoor space.
Preparing for Summer Entertaining
Remove everything that does’t belong.
Trim around porch and pool area.
Blow porch area first and then concrete around pool.
Grab a bucket, cleaning cloth and fill it with warm water to wipe everything down.
Just like inside, I do all the dirty work first. Remove unwanted items, trim, blow and then clean all the surfaces.
Using the Greenworks Pro blower has been wonderful! In the past I’ve either had to get Barry to crank the gas blower or get out my 100′ electrical cord and wrangle it around to all the spots with the electric blower. Popping in a 60 volt battery, which can be shared with both the blower and the trimmer is so much easier. Trust me, I am more likely to clean more often when it’s easy!
There’s a switch on the side of the blower, you can lock in place so you don’t have to push the trigger the whole time. Honestly, I think Barry was more excited than me to try these out, he said they have the performance of a gas unit but without the hassle! Ok really, he’s excited because he knows that I will be able to use them for quick clean-up while he’s busy doing something else. You can find this awesome duo at Lowe’s right here: Greenworks Pro GW 60-V String Trimmer/Blower Combo Kit with (1) 2 Ah Battery, Charger (Currently on sale too!)
I never wanted to edge or trim before, now I don’t have to worry about cranking the string trimmer, just add the battery and get to work. The trimmer has a 13″ cut and all you have to is bump the head to feed more line. No more cranking, adding gas or dragging an extension cord around. Even with the battery, they are both light weight and easy to manage. Clean up just got a lot easier! You can watch me in action:
We just need to add friends and family, let the summer entertaining begin!
Enter for a chance! There will be 3 winners – $300 worth of Greenworks products at Lowe’s. To enter just follow Greenworks on right here–>> Instagram and like the post for the giveaway. For every person, that you tag they will gain another entry. The winners will be chosen on Friday, May 24th. Good luck friends!
I want to personally thank you all for joining us each week, it’s been a fun ride but all good things must come to an end. We have loved getting together with you every week for the last six years, it’s hard to believe that this is our last linky party. Best of luck to you all!
This week’s features are inspired by your creative backyard ideas link up from last week’s party.
What can you do when you finally realize your couch or sofa has seen better days but there’s no budget for a new one? It turns out there are quite a few ways to bring it back to life without breaking the bank. Also, it’s definitely worth the effort: the couch is often the largest piece of furniture in the living room and updating it can give the room a fresh new look!
Whether your sofa looks worn out and needs a reupholstering or paint job or you’d like to make something more simple like a slipcover, there are plenty of frugal couch & sofa makeover ideas and I selected some of my favorites to share with you. Time to get your DIY on!
There’s something for everyone, I hope you find the makeover idea that suits your needs right here: