Thursday, January 29, 2015

Planners, Mistakes and Strikes, Oh my!

WOW!  What a whirlwind.

First of all, did you guys know that THEY (whoever they are) have done away with double spacing after punctuation marks? WHAT? Why don't THEY give everyone that hasn't been in school for say, 15+ years or so an update to let us know these things? Thanks to the one who let me in on this little secret, and I'm sorry that I double-spaced in the planner. I will make sure that is corrected in the 2016 planners. Also, since I am pointing out mistakes. Did you all notice I put two 31st slots in December. Oh my goodness, that's weird. I hope you all have some white out.  ;{ Can't believe it after all of the proofers we had.

Anyhow, my blog has been seriously neglected folks. I had so many plans and ideas for the blog and many free downloads, thoughts and ideas I had planned to share back in October, along with Christmas specials and promotions, giveaways, you name it. But, it's like a bomb was dropped on me and I fizzled away to another place. That place, was basically my bedroom and more specifically, my bed. I kid you not. I lived there for awhile.  

And that is why my house sometimes looked like this:



I've wanted to write about all of the happenings of the 2015 planners and the series of MANY unfortunate events that occurred with them, but I haven't had the energy until now. LOL.  

For awhile, I wanted to hide in some remote part of the world and pretend I didn't ever even make the planners.  It was that bad at times, especially right around when our sweet little baby was due. The timing couldn't have been worse.  

It was a crazy time for sure , mostly for this good man sitting at his desk:



This guy is my husband, Ryan. Isn't he cute! He is A-MAZING! To say how grateful I am for his patience, his loving kindness, his hard work and business savvy is impossible. Wow though, seriously, I'm impressed.  Since October, he has been handling not only his own personal full time business, but he has also been completely running Mormon Mom Planner (which is full time in and of itself), he has also been running our household with 6 kids, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, handling school/homework, scripture study, fulfilling his church calling, helping neighbors with tech support, hosting parties, wrapping presents, teaching a community class,  getting all kids ready for church most Sunday's (which deserves a prize for that alone)  :) He wakes up with our kids in the morning, feeds them and sends them off to school so I can get some extra sleep. He has made me breakfast in bed almost everyday since I had the baby. He only stopped last week because I've just recently checked back in to the land of the living again.  Mostly.    ;)

He is truly a superb individual. I left him completely alone to do it all for these last 12 or so weeks. We did have some good help from family, which I appreciate a lot.  They are also fabulous people. 

Not only did I run and hide and turn the whole mess over to him. I also ran and hid from the rest of the world, avoiding anything and everything that involved, should we say, any...effort.  :(  I am currently the Young Women President in my ward and I just completely jumped ship for half the month of November all of December and half of January turning everything over to my counselors and advisors. Nice huh? I don't think so! I am ashamed.  ��

I could barely move and I was in such a depression because nothing was going as planned with the planners and I was just SO HUGE! Not a good combination people. I also have a serious hormonal imbalance that has gone un-helped for months because I can't take any of the bio-idenetical hormone replacement pills while pregnant or breastfeeding. This causes me to be very sleepy, a little grumpy and a bit unfocused to say the least. I literally abandoned everyone and everything and I'm sorry. It's one thing to take it easy because your having a baby, but it's a whole other thing to not face your responsibilities and just quit, and boy did I ever quit.  

So anyway, I just wanted to give a shout-out and a big thanks to my business partner and best friend. Ryan. You saved us all!  :) Thank You!

I also wanted to express a big heartfelt thank you to...YOU!

You have been so wonderful. Seriously, you are the BEST! All the emails of encouragement, patience and support through all of the chaos have been so helpful and a huge booster for us. You are good people and I love you.  :)

And just so you all know the WHOLE story, here is a recap of all of the mishaps we had so we can all have a good laugh over it, looking back. It really was just SO crazy and unbelievable.

1)  Planners were supposed to be in hand the second week of October and shipped out 2 weeks later.
2)  Planners were delayed because we were told VERY LAST MINUTE that they couldn't get us the coil we wanted, after promising they could. 
3)  We told manufacturer to send the planners UNPUNCHED so we could bind them with the right coil here in Utah. They punched them anyway. Uhgggg!  :(
4)  They sent the planners a few weeks late, which bumped the new date of arrival to the second week of December (oh no, that's my due date and scheduled c-section time)
5)  Paid extra for expedited air freight to get the first 1000 orders delivered to us and shipped out to customers by Thanksgiving
6)  Had to RUSH the production of pockets that would fit the rest of the WRONGLY punched planners.
7)  Paid extra for the perfect coil we found and rushed the binding process (they worked tirelessly)
8)  Binding process took longer because the planners were punched wrong and didn't quite fit the coils. 
9)  The mailing company mis-understood and didn't mail the freebies out to most of the first 1000 orders (we've been trying to make up for that one for awhile).
10)  We tried to make up for the freebie mishap by entering all 1000 into a database and then we paid a labeling company to print out all the labels for us. When they entered it into their database it shifted all the names down one which caused all of the freebies to get sent to the wrong person/address, which of course confused a lot of people and we received most of those back in the mail (still making up for that mistake too).
11)  The rest of the planners finally arrived the first week of December just in time for the Longshoremen strike . Seriously????
12)  The planners were finally unloaded a couple week later, so we paid extra to expedite the planners here to Utah, which actually didn't really speed things up at all because FEDEX said they were delayed because of "weather related reasons" Hmmmmmm??? Questionable, since there were no storms reported. So they got to the binding warehouse 2 days before Christmas.  
13)  Businesses closed for Christmas
14) mailing house had trouble processing multiple order packages.  Quite a few mess ups bumping orders out if the system.  
15)  We had some trouble getting our system to update with our mailing companies system until January, when we finally got it figured out, which caused a lot of confusion and email inquiries (100's each day) Yikes!
16)  Did I forget anything? Probably.

That's a lot, isn't it? I know we've made a few mistakes and continue to make some, but these have all been great learning lessons for us and for all involved and we are looking forward to next year as we have ironed out these kinks and we hope that all of you will enjoy these planners for many years to come. I know I sure enjoy making them.  It brings me a lot of satisfaction and joy. I can appreciate all of the blessings that occurred in getting the planners here as well and I'm grateful for the opportunity God has given me to create and share my talents with others.  

There, I finally jumped back in. I'm back. It feels good.  I'm motivated and excited for this year. I'm going to get busy and finish some unfinished projects and design some more awesome products for you to download and work on some other ideas I've had floating around for awhile.  That is, in between taking care of my little family, my calling and loving on this new little guy.





One last thing, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Sweet Shoppe Designs and give them credit for several of the covers I designed for 2014 planners. The mom & chicks cover, the teal chevron, the surrounded with flowers, the dark flowers and the small arrows covers are all elements and papers that I found on their website. You really need to go and check them out, they are my favorite digital scrapbook store.  You'll find several other elements, and background papers I've used from 2013 planners as well.  






Monday, January 12, 2015

Final Update

Update #5

Hello everyone! We hope you are having a fabulous January. We are feeling relieved to have shipped out so many planners in the last few weeks and we are feeling really excited to be completing the rest of the shipments this week and being caught up. All planners will be shipping this week so look for those in the mail soon.

We have decided to go ahead and print some more mom-on-the-go planners since there have been so many requests for those. We will have those up on the website early tomorrow morning for you to order. They will take approximately 3 weeks to produce. 

We have surprisingly had to order more stickers and supplies so those will be shipping out as soon as we get those back in stock in a few days. 

You have been more than patient and we really appreciate your business. You're awesome!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekly & Monthly Planning

I thought I would post an example of how I fill out the Monthly and Weekly planning spreads in my planner.  This is typical, but some weeks I'm filled to the max and other weeks, there just isn't much going on (which usually end up being my favorite kind)  I will be updating the blog periodically to show you samples of how I use the other pages in the planner as well.


(Click on the picture for a bigger view)

www.intheleafytreetops.com
Monthly Spread


www.intheleafytreetops.com
Weekly Planning Spread

Friday, January 2, 2015

Update #4 - Binding and Shipping

Thank you again for being the best and most patient customers in the world. Many of you have responded kindly and that has helped make a very stressful situation almost bearable.

We are working as quickly as possible to get the planners bound and shipped.

Since December 22nd (when we FINALLY received the planners, after they had been trapped for almost 3 weeks) we have bound and shipped 798!

This coming week we will be able to ship even more planners.

Another 240 planners are ready for pickup and shipping in the morning, and another 300 should be ready tomorrow afternoon.

If you haven't received your planner yet, or an e-mail with a tracking number, you will soon.  Thanks again for your patience.

To hold you over until your planner arrives you can download a PDF of January 2015 here: http://bit.ly/Jan2015download

If you chose "Local Pickup" when you ordered watch for an e-mail saying your order is "Awaiting Pickup" and then come by the store to pick it up. You can find the pickup location details here: http://intheleafytreetops.com/faq. Please don't come by the store until you receive an e-mail notification.

Lastly, if it seems like e-mails or messages are being ignored, I'm sorry. We stayed up until 2 a.m. the other night (and we are at it again tonight) trying to respond to everyone's e-mails, messages and Facebook comments. There just aren't enough hours in the day (or night) to get everything done.

We know you are all anxious to get your planners and that you have waited way too long already. But we are making progress. And if you can endure just a little longer without your planner, you will soon be able to enjoy an entire year of happy planning.

Thanks again for supporting our small, but growing, business.

Ryan and Melinda




Monday, December 22, 2014

Update #3 - Shipping Delays

Update #3 - Shipping Delays

The planners did get off the boat and get on a truck last Tuesday, the 16th. This was after they had been stuck at port since December 3rd. 

Unfortunately, this wasn't the end of our troubles and frustration. 

The planners shipped last Tuesday and should have been delivered on Thursday the 18th, but as of today they still haven't been delivered! You can see the progress yourself at http://FedEx.com. Use the tracking number: 3124603602. It looks like they were delayed because of bad weather?!?

It's really hard to believe. And so discouraging. 

It looks like they are now in SLC and we should get them today. But this means we have lost Thursday, Friday and Saturday as work days. And we will lose most of today since they probably won't be delivered until this afternoon. 

This really puts the nail in the coffin as far as getting any more planners delivered before Christmas. I'm so sorry for those of you who needed these as gifts. We feel terrible about it and wish things could have gone better.

Now our goal is to get as many planners as possible delivered before January 1st. We will keep you posted on our progress.

Thanks again for support and patience,


Melinda and Ryan