Hello friends and a special welcome to all you readers coming from Traci’s place at Beneath My Heart.  I’m Jaime for anyone new and that’s me below waving to you in front of my giant USA map I made for the Haven Conference last summer:  

giant USA map made from Purebond plywood

I’m here today because I’ve been selected as a Haven Mentor for the 2017 conference and I thought I’d share a bit about myself as a DIY blogger.

Haven Mentor blog hop

How many years have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for 7 years and it has flown by in a blink!  I started, as most bloggers do, wanting to share a kitchen renovation with my friends and family so everyone could see the progress and change in tidy little post packages.  That kitchen renovation led to sharing all types of projects (and I cringe at those early posts now!) from sewing to painting and my all time favorite – building.

kitchen renovation 2010

SECRET #1: I used an iphone for ALL my photos for the first 3 years of blogging!

What is your favorite DIY project that you have completed?

It’s so hard to pick just one but if I had to choose my favorite DIY project that I have completed it would be my workbench style desk only because I use it EVERY SINGLE DAY.  It’s made from plywood, stud lumber and hardware connectors and completely not fancy but so functional for me:

diy workbench inspired desk

What is something useful you have learned from a blog conference?

As bloggers we tend to work alone, in our homes, yet we are part of this enormous online community.    What I learned from going to Haven for my first time in 2014 is the importance of that real life connection with peers.  It is priceless.

My first year attending Haven I taught a building class with Jen from House of Wood:  

We knew each other online but never met in person before.  Once I made that real life connection with Jen and all my other blogging friends it took this passion of mine to a whole new dimension.

The Haven Conference is chock full of actual blogging information in the form of classes, speakers and hands-on workshops.  But it’s also spending time with like minded people who do what you do, where you can share experiences and understand each other, that is the most useful thing I have learned from a blog conference.

ryobi party Haven Conference 2016

Haven 2016 (left to right): Jenn @ Build Basic, Alex @ AVE Styles, Aniko @ Place of My Taste, Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY, Corey @ Sawdust 2 Stitches, Brittany @ Pretty Handy Girl, Sam @ DIY Huntress, Brad @ Fix This Build That, Sam @ Simply Organized and me.

SECRET #2: I love to ‘talk shop’ and consistently text and message with my blogging friends all the time!

What is something you love about blogging and what is something you wish you could change?

What I love about blogging is the freedom it gives me to take care of my family and have a very flexible schedule.  I can work on projects around my kids school day and activities which allows me to feel productive and contribute to our home in more ways than one.

diy outdoor cabana lounge

My 3 kids aren’t too interested in helping me with projects but they sure do love the results.  Here they are climbing on the outdoor cabana lounge I built last summer

What I wish I could change about blogging?  Back when I started 7 years ago you had a blog and maybe a Facebook page and that was it.  Now we have so many social media platforms to keep up with and readers are getting their fill from all different ports.  The landscape has changed drastically and keeping up can be hard, I wish it were simpler but the digital world is growing and we must adapt if we want our content seen.

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

My one piece of advice for a blogger who is going to Haven would be to put yourself out there despite your social awkwardness and deep desire to relax in the quite of your hotel room.

SECRET #3: I’m an introvert and I’d rather stay home, work alone and shop on Amazon for everything – if only they shipped lumber too!

A conference can be overwhelming but I promise you will reap great rewards if you take that extra leap to be social and embrace your digital friends.  After all you are probably going through similar situations and have shared experiences, life is much more full when you surround yourself with people who understand.  I for one am looking forward to meeting new faces at Haven this year and catching up with old ones too, can’t wait to see you all there.

Be sure to click over to Kirsten at Sweet Tea LLC for more fun facts and lots of blog lovin’.

All the Haven Mentors will be posting in a blog hop this week so if you’re curious and want to know more about us please be sure to stop by the links below: 




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