Haven 2012

Haven 2012


In the end….as with so many things around here….it all came back to the toes.


I was sitting in the front row of the auditorium at the end of Haven 2012 listening to the Q & A session.  Questions were flying fast and furious all around me as I sat calmly and contemplated my toes.  Well….actually, I contemplated my toes in my new Haven sandals.  I had bought them the night before I left for Haven and I remember sitting in the shoe department at Dillard’s….trying on sandals and shoes at a frenetic pace.  Boxes and boxes  stacked next to a harried sales clerk as I tried to decide which pair to buy.

As if somehow finding the perfect pair of footwear would remove all the anxiety and worry about going to Haven.

These are the thoughts that rushed through my mind as I sat there on the front row.  Maybe I should have been paying attention.  Maybe I missed a really good discussion about Haven 2013.  Maybe I should have been thinking about SEO or aperture or advertising or public relations or whether or not Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was going to be used on Mount Rushmore if George Washington needed a touch-up.

But I wasn’t.

I was thinking about how cute my feet looked in my new sandals.

And I was thinking about how I wasn’t nervous or worried anymore and that I had gone to a blog conference where I had never truly met anyone before…..except on their blogs.

And I was so happy.



Happy that I had met so many new friends.

Happy that I had learned so much.

Happy that my sparkly toed sandals and I had survived.

And the excitement and joy of the moment was too much to keep to myself.  I had to share.  I wanted someone else to understand.  To see.  To recognize that we had all been a part of something truly special and we were leaving this place changed in ways, that perhaps even we had not imagined.


Hey,” I whispered to the blogger sitting right next to me.  I kind of knew her…..I mean….we had been introduced once…..and after all…..she was a blogger.

And that was good enough for me.

Good enough to share the wonder and the excitement and the joy of this exact moment in this exact place with her.

Hey,” I whispered again.


She turned and stared at me blankly.  Maybe she didn’t recognize me.  Maybe she was really into the Q & A and was unaware of the complete and absolute epiphany that was happening just a seat away.


Undeterred….I gestured toward my shoes.  “Seriously.”  I whispered.  “Don’t you think these sandals are so cute?

She stared at my feet and my beaming face and took into consideration the earnestness with which I asked the question.

And quizzically looked at me.

And then she smiled.

And nodded.


And that my friends, is what Haven was about.  I mean SEO is wonderful and everyone wants to become an advertising guru and Annie Sloan paint truly is incredible.  But when all is said and done…..in the end….it’s really about blogging and relationships and two bloggers sitting in the midst of hundreds knowing that this moment was special and incredible and full of expectations for the future.

And  a pair of really cute shoes.


PS  Just to clear up any misperceptions.  Most of the time I wasn’t sitting calmly.  There was definite hand waving and plenty of exclamation points.


And a whole lot of absolute nonsense like this 🙂


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  1. That’s a great post. I never even noticed my old tennis shoes/

  2. Your shoes complete you! Glad you met so many new friends who can relate to your cute toes!

  3. Yes, the right shoes make all the difference. Cute bag!

  4. You crack me up! I too found ym my wandering because I was too busy thinking about the amazing people I was getting to meet!

  5. Our appreciation and joy found in the perfect shoe is truly a bond which unites us around the world. I told you that you would be perfect.♥

  6. Haven sounded like it was a blogger’s dream. I wish I could have made it. Hopefully next year I’ll get to meet you. I’ll be sure to look for the girl with the cute pedicure and perfect sandals.

  7. Oh I can feel the excitement and the nerves!! Love the toes, mine are chubby but they look better in pretty sandals too!!

  8. You are crackin’ me up K.A.!!! =)

  9. You’re totally a cute shoe kinda gal! So glad for our time together, sweet friend!!
    xo Heidi

  10. I should have added in my post a #4 big surprise … that you’re toes really aren’t long. hahaha 🙂

  11. Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers :

    LOL…cute post. And yes your shoes and toes are cute too!

  12. After i broke my foot (actually broke it twice in 6 months), and had my own hardware installed, I had to give up cute shoes…mostly…BUT there is nothing like having an awesome pedicure to go along with my almost granny sandals…even THEY are a little more upbeat, but ahhh the pedicure, THAT is where it’s at for me! So glad you got to go, and that it was GOOD for you. And the bag is ADORABLE! 😉

  13. Oh your sandals are cute…. but then I would expect nothing less from you! And for the record your toes do not look all that long!! In fact I couldn’t help but think that they look normal length. I am glad you were able to met so many “friends” in person. Have a wonderful day!

  14. I would not have given you a blank stare. And never ever would you just get a nod from me. I would have squealed and jumped and yelled and hand waved and called out to the entire conference room to come over and look and marvel and ooh and ahhh over your fabulous sandals encasing those perfectly pedicured toes …!



  15. i noticed your feet right away but didn’t want to creep you out by ogling them. 🙂
    it was seriously SO great to meet you! you are awesome- funny, adorable, sweet, warm… so much better than i ever could have imagined.
    here is to dreams coming true, friendship, and wine!

  16. I noticed your cute shoes, big smile and laughter right away! You’re a doll! Haven was a blast! It was a true joy to meet you! 🙂

  17. karianne,

    Two things you can never have too much of — good friends and good shoes! So glad you had an awesome time at Haven!

    Blessings to you,


  18. You’re a hoot! It would be nerve-wracking if you’d never been before. If shoes calm you down, so be it! But you could put an eye out with one of those sandals…seriously! lol!

  19. Kari – Meeting you was a big highlight of my first conference experience. I loved getting the chance to see your happy face, to hear your laugh in real life, embrace your fun personality and hug ya! I wish we had more time together!

  20. I adore this…why you ask? Because i have been known to do the same thing! Love it!

  21. What a hoot ~ I hope we get to meet one day! I’m definitely putting Haven on my bucket list.

  22. Kari,
    I’m your new biggest fan! You are a hoot, only in the best way!

  23. Ha! Love it! You are so much fun. Meeting you was one of the highlights of the week for me. So glad we got to hang out a bit, and I hope to see you again next year!! 🙂

  24. I would have been admiring my shoes too. And I would have liked yours….and I would have noticed every one else’s shoes too………and their eye brows. haha. You would have been the first one I would have found. I would have known you by your shoes, your eyebrows and your lipstick. lol

  25. It was so great to finally meet Thistle, the lady that appeared out of nowhere back in December and had me drooling on my keyboard over such an awesome house and story about how you left the concrete jungle…but it does come back to the shoes and they were amazing, not as amazing as you though.
    So glad to meet you!

  26. I never would of even noticed your cute sandals. My eyes would of been fixated on the amazing shape of your eyebrows and that would have left me feeling completely inferior.


  27. Some day, I am going to own a pair of shoes that can transfix me…and I’m going to a blogging conference. You’ve convinced me that both are necessary! 🙂

  28. I remember sitting next to you when you spotted that oh so cute bag from Whipper Berry…I swear you jumped 10 feet when you saw that bag….!!…You got up, hands waving, jumping up and down with total excitement…If they had a “Miss Totally Over The Top Excited Person” award at Haven, it would be you!
    I really want to bottle up your energy…I would make a fortune!!

    Great group at Pappasitos…and me, I was sandwiched between two legends…Susan from Between Naps on the Porch and Kim from Savvy Southern…Oh what a night!!…..

    Always love your sandals and “toes”…!

  29. Reading this post I can actually hear your voice telling me this story a few days ago when we laughed till we cried over your unabashed, shameless love of your shoes!! I’m sure she just couldn’t handle how fabulous they were and simply nodded because she didn’t know how to process it, right? 😉
    P.S. The vendors told me to tell you how much they appreciated you thanking them in the Q & A session!

  30. Ok, I admit, I’m a wee bit jealous of all you who went to Haven! I’m also jealous of all those who got to meet you! I hope I can get to Haven next year, and more importantly, I hope to give you a great big Canadian style hug!

  31. “the complete and absolute epiphany that was happening just a seat away”

    Best line I’ve read all day – thanks for making me giggle!

  32. Those shoes are super cute! And I totally enjoyed reading this post about Haven! Hope you have more to share!

  33. You were one of the most memorable people at Haven because of your effervescent personality and your big smile! I watched you quite a bit, not because I was being stalky or weird, but because I was wishing that I had that much positive energy flowing out of me and to all the people that surrounded you! It’s funny how you can affect people without even meaning to. Thanks for that! Oh, and I do love those sandals!

  34. I’m so glad you got to go to Haven! I have seen several pictures of you floating around. Looks like you had a blast! I was suppose to go. I had my ticket and my hotel reservation but then decided I wanted to put my extra money into my booth and going to Haven was going to cost me a lot. I can’t go somewhere like that and not buy new outfits, shoes, cute camera strap, new handbag, business cards… I know that’s not what’s it’s about but that’s me and I can’t help it. So I sold my ticket to an awesome girl and she is going to give me the low down on what went on. I am definitely going to make myself go next year no matter what!

  35. Girl it’s all about the shoes and fashion”_!!~ Glad you had fun there~

  36. The whole time I am wondering “WHAT IS HAVEN?” well, okay until I got to the part where you mentioned the BLOG CONFERENCE. Wow! How cool is that? Where is this held? When is it held? How did you decide to go?

    I’m obiously behind in your posts…I’m going to have to go read up now!

    Congrats to you for going somewhere new and meeting new people! Sounds like a lot of fun. And cute moments, too!

  37. Your toes did look fabulous. 🙂 I’m so glad we met and I love that my life will be more hilarious and richer because we are friends now! 🙂


  38. Ya know. It’s nice to see all that went on, so I can be prepared with cute shoes and business cards and T-shirts with Orange Daisies and a purse to match.

    I would have showed up in my Birkenstocks, empty handed, with a utter deer-in-headlights glazed look on my face.

    Think I’ll start shoe shopping now so we can sit and nod at one another while every one else is absorbing all of that important information. Oh, and I guess I’ll need to learn how to paint my toe nails, too.

    There is so much to do to get ready and only a year to get it done…

  39. Kari, if/when we meet the first thing we will do is take off our shoes because I’m challenging you to a “long toe off” We will have to come up with some type of award for the winner. At that time I will also share with you some of the interesting movements my toes make when I walk…..Are you up to the challenge??

  40. P.S. I think if I can learn how to paint my toes, I’m going to throw a linky party just for flip-flops…

  41. You know I’m not really checking blogs much this summer. I am on a sort of blog break, just popping in here and there but your blog feeds into my email so I get too tempted to stay away and I click 🙂
    Always glad I did!
    You make me smile.
    You are funny.
    I like funny people.
    It’s kind of my favorite kind of people.
    Yes, shoes are cute and vital to the whole experience I think, quite.

  42. Karianne, you are the cutest and the funniest!!! LOL!!!
    I wish I was there to admire your sandals!

  43. I adore your writing style. But not as much as I adore YOU! Like so many have said, you were the highlight of my week. I just loved you and am so glad to be able to call you a friend after Haven.

    PS- CUTE SHOES! And toes! I have Fred Flintstone feet, so I’m jealous of cute toes.

  44. Ahhh! I’m so absolutely jealous of your cute toes and sandals aanndd your time at Haven! It looks like such a blast! I can’t wait til next year! I’m going for sure!

  45. you ARE such a hoot. 😉

  46. Adorable (as always). I told everyone that you are exactly as fun and adorable that you appear to be. I just loved getting to know you (and I wish I we could have hung out more) but it was so great!

    Oh and I definitely bought 2 new outfits before Haven because I was so freaked out. Retail Therapy is a thing, ya know.

  47. Now THIS is a haven recap post. What’s funny is that I totally remembered those shoes. I don’t remember anyone else’s shoes, but I remember those!

  48. You’re so cute, you crack me up. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more about Haven!

  49. This is such a sweet post…I can’t think of a better way to start a conversation or make a lasting relationship 😉

  50. Kari! so glad you had such a good time, along with everyone else. Yes, it’s a Haven High! Next year, I’m going to hang out with more groups like yours & many others. I had too much to do & not enough time to just hang out and do lunch & dinner with all of you. Maybe we need an extra day!! So happy to meet you.

  51. My daughter and I do this thing at bedtime where we tick off all the things we love about each other as I tuck her into bed. Ex: “I love your eyes…I love your cheeks…I love your elbows…I love your ears…” and I give each of her body parts a kiss after I say it. I don’t know why, but our bedtime exchange is what instantly popped into my head when I finished reading this post of yours. So here you go, Karianne…

    I love your eyes.
    I love your smile.
    I love your instantly infectious and oh-so-positive personality.
    I love that you find joy in the moments.
    I love that I had the pleasure of meeting you at Haven.

    And, of course, I love your super cute sandals and toes. (Just don’t expect me to kiss them now, mmkay?)

  52. So glad you had a great time! Can’t wait to hear all that you learned. I bet your head is still spinning-at least mine would be!

  53. Oh how I love this post, KariAnne! How did I not know you before Haven!? You are an absolute delight and breath of fresh air. It was such a pleasure meeting and chatting with you throughout Haven. And I’m serious when I say that I’m going to stop by and say hi if I end up going to KY Lake this Labor Day. 🙂

  54. Those sandals are a show stopper! So pretty!! Sounds like you had a wonderful time at Haven and nice that you could relax and enjoy the experience.


  55. How FUN.And YES those are cute sandals.So much so I am frantically looking for them on line LOL!!!!! Wish I could have been there.It must have been a ball!

  56. Love your toes, but without having a fetish 😉 I relate, seriously, I do! When my toes are painted, and they seldom are, I remind my family of how very pretty they are by telling them every chance I get that I have pretty toes! I can only imagine what they would do if I added my shoes, too 🙂

  57. What an awesome recap! I wish I would have been there, but I’m just not at that stage in blog fabulosity, quite yet. 😉 I’ve read several posts about Haven, and so many people have commented about how funny and great you are…as if there was any doubt! Congratulations on the pretty feet (and brows), and also, getting through the anxiety of the unknown. I can’t even imagine how tough and awkward that would be.

  58. You are one fun and hilarious girl!

  59. I love you shoes! Fun read. thanks.

  60. They are SERIOUSLY cute sandals and the darling pink toes just add so much to the picture! I’m glad you had a great time and made connections. I need to check the sandals at Dillard’s. =)

  61. So wishing that I wrote a blog. I would of loved to gone to Haven. Sounds and looks like you had a great time.

    Yep I’m sure I would have been doing the same thing. Nothing is better than a cute pair of shoes and a good pedi.

    Love reading your Blog. I use to start my day with your post but since I’m off all summer I like staying up late and finishing my day with your blog.

  62. It looks like you had the best time at Haven! I’m so glad that I had the chance to meet you, though ever so briefly. You are so full of energy and bubbly. I believe that you are the bell of the ball! Loved looking at your pics. Thanks for sharing them.

  63. Such a pretty foot…………………….my husband like most men do not understand my desire to buy shoes when in fact I only own a 3 or 4 pairs fo shoes and will wear them till the are holey and falling apart………………….lol

  64. Love the sandals and the bag!!!!!! Oops…. and the toes.
    So glad you had such an awesome time. You deserved a break. Now back to slaving away with the camera, computer, paint brush etc

  65. I seriously loved meeting you. You made me laugh every time I saw that awesome smile and your toes of course 🙂 I’m kicking myself in the butt for not getting a photo with you. Next time. Because there will be a next time!

  66. Great shoes and pretty toes can change everything. I bet the blogger sitting next to you was like, “wow, people here are SO friendly!”
    I used to be in the knitting business, and I loved going to the trade shows and meeting the “celebrities” and just being with hundreds of people who were just as crazy as I was. SO much fun!

  67. Ahem!!!! The eyebrows just called me and asked me remind you that they weren’t mentioned in this post. So, here I am, doing my part because, well, eyebrows can be pretty intimidating sometimes, ya know?! The sandals, for the record, are DELIGHTED with the post and don’t see why the eyebrows are making such a fuss. I, on the other hand, am STILL throwing myself a little pity party over not having been able to attend. I’m pretty sure that I have enough glitter and confetti for one or two more days. xo

  68. you always make me smile. i’m so glad that you enjoyed haven so much. i told cassie that i probably would have stood dumbfounded in a corner somewhere. that much greatness per square foot would have rendered me speechless.

  69. I can always count on you to make me laugh!! I’m so glad you had a wonderful time! Btw, those shoes are really cute 😉

  70. Awww, that makes me want to go even more.
    Thanks for the reality check. Loved it.
    Your writing, your candidness….so funny….like I WAS there .
    Laughter and admiration of your cute toes and shoes,

  71. love your toes. love your shoes. love your heart my friend. Spending almost every waking second with you at Haven was a highlight of my LIFE!! I seriously came home 5 lbs lighter from laughing so hard! Let’s just take a moment and remember the day 😉 ….the day we all became sister bloggers…but not in a weird creepy way like sister wives….haha…but friends for life! Love you Kari!!


  72. Cute shoes! I have enjoyed reading so many recaps of Haven! How amazing that you were able to go and meet other bloggers IRL. That in itself is totally worth it 🙂

  73. OH I wish I had been there…and yes, those are the cutest sandals (and feet)…reminds me I need a pedicure!

  74. Your sandals are rad and so are you. I will think about those sandals whenever I read your blog from now on. No really, you summed up my feelings about the conference so beautifully. 🙂

  75. I hope the eyebrows held up, too? 🙂 I think my favorite part would have been meeting people, too. Friendship and girl time beats paint and fancy blog terms every time, all the time. Glad you had a good time!

  76. Kari, I chuckled through this whole post! I can totally relate to the focus on your new sandals. They made you happy and did help to contain any anxiety. They ARE really cute sandals! I would have loved to go to Haven. I would have been so nervous meeting all of the really popular bloggers! It would have been fun meeting the bloggers that I got to know online. To finally meet them in person would be so…..much fun! I adore your blog and love your honest, funny writing style!