June 29, 2015

Getting Started With Turning Pages Co

People are always saying that starting a business is hard, and keeping it up and running is even harder. If you would have listened to my thoughts two weeks ago, when someone told me this, they would have sounded something like, "What can be so hard about it? People do it all the time! Look at all of those cute Etsy sticker shops...I CAN DO IT!"

But after two weeks of struggling, and battling my way through, I've learned that there is nothing more truthful than that statement.

It takes a lot of time, patience, ambition, and money to get a business, even as small as my sticker shop, up and going. Before you can start up a store, you need to decide what you plan on selling. Once you've done that, you need to purchase any tools and materials needed to create the product. When that's done, you need to establish your store, getting the look you want, writing policies and other information you want your customers to know. You need to take pictures that will take the customers breath away, and decide on prices that will make them want to buy your amazing product. And finally you need to build a customer base, provide a great quality product and the best customer service possible.

Opening up an Etsy shop and throwing up a few cute stickers sounds pretty easy, but there is so much more that goes into.

Here's my story...

About to weeks ago I decided I was going to take the plunge. After working an eight hour shift in a little coffee shack, dealing with a handful of rude customers, and battling the heat (almost 95 degrees) which the owner of the shop isn't willing to provide a good AC system for their employees, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands.

If you think I quit my job, you're wrong. This barista job is what's putting me through school right now, and I'm not willing to give that up. I need the money to attend school, get my education and do better for myself and Joshua, in the future. But after working this job for almost a year (in August), and having a few tough days these last few weeks, I've learned that it isn't what I want. I need it now, but it isn't what I want.

Working this job, in these crappy circumstances is what's pushing me to do better, to improve and to finish off school. And ultimately, create and build my own Etsy shop.

The first thing I wanted to accomplish, before I did anything else, was to buy a cutting machine and learn how to properly work it. Of course, there are so many different things you can do with this machine, and I'll learn all of those possibilities sooner or later, but I wanted to know exactly what I needed to know to create and cut stickers.

I was lucky enough to find a cutting machine on clearance at my Michael's Craft Store for only $200 (they ran for $250 at my local Hobby Lobby). I bought some sticker paper as well as some ink to restock my printer. 

Who knew setting up this cutting machine would take almost two hours? The machine came completely built, but getting it connected to my computer and the program downloaded were the difficult tasks. 

A few things that went wrong from there include,

  • The cutter didn't cut through enough of the paper, to be able to peel the stickers off....even though I had it on the recommended setting for this specific paper.
  • The cutter wasn't lined up, so it needed to be calibrated a few times.
  • The sticker paper was extremely thick, almost the thickness of heavy duty cardstock.
  • My printer was printing croaked, causing the cuts not to be lined up.
  • My new sticker paper I bought kept getting stuck in my old printer, so I had to purchase an entirely new printer. (One that is wireless, thank goodness!)

A few things did go right though,

  • I was able to design the first 5 or 6 sticker sets that I'm releasing.
  • I was able to find some cute envelopes for cheap, as well as plastic baggies to send my stickers in.
  • I created To and From labels for the envelopes, and designed a small freebie sheet for the month of July, to send with each package.
  • I also decided to come up with a special offer for the first 48 hours Turning Pages Co is open, and I finally came up with an idea for that.

Finally getting the entire process of producing quality stickers down, it was about time that I start working on the shop itself.

I decided to name it Turning Pages Co, to go right along with my blog and other social media. I love the name, and it means a lot to me.

From there on, I had to take pictures of the stickers I want to sell, provide descriptions, write policies, decide on prices, and be identified so people can use credit cards and Etsy gift cards in my shop. 

There is still a lot for me to do before July 1st, which is in two days, but I'm extremely excited to finally get started. I can't wait to share my sticker designs with the world. 

So thank you guys so much for stopping by and giving this really long blog post a read. Also for being so patient with my late blog posts this week; I've had to throw a baby shower, attend a wedding, and get things going for Turning Pages Co.

If you're interested in taking advantage of the first 48 hour special for my shop, stay tuned here or follow me on Instagram @turningpageslisa!

June 28, 2015

Starting Up My Own Etsy Sticker Shop WHAA?

Instead of writing this entire story down in a big ol' paragraph, rambling and jumping back and forth from one idea to the next, I'm just going to answer the six most important questions. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

ME! That's who!

Yes, Lisa is starting her very own business.

I've been contemplating this idea for a while now, and about two weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to take action. I'm excited about the shop and about the fun and bright stickers! I hope you guys are just as excited as I am!

It's a sticker shop! Where I'll be selling all kinds of stickers and decals! And probably anything else I create. I'm planning to have a handful of different sets of stickers, in different colors, but obviously I'll be new to the entire thing, so I won't have too much up just yet.

Because I'm still working out a few kinks, I won't be opening until July 1st. I wanted to open as soon as possible, but I know it isn't realistic. I want to have a good amount of stickers designed. I want them to be made from good quality paper and ink. I want to have amazing pictures of them to post in my shop. I want to be able to ship the cutest and most fun packages in the world. And I want to have affordable prices.

All of those things take some time, practice, and patience.

I'll be posting in the near future about how I finally got started and the steps I took to doing so!

On Etsy! I want to be able to ship out not only in the US, but also Internationally! I absolutely love Etsy, so it seemed like the perfect choice! My shop is called Turning Pages Co.

Because I absolutely LOVE stickers, from my middle school years when my friends and I collected them, up until today. After purchasing my planner, I started watching Youtube videos and looking up ways I can plan, organize and decorate. I realized a lot of stickers are based on other types of planners, so I really wanted to start making my own.

I've purchased all the materials required to start an Etsy sticker shop, and I'm starting to design my very own stickers. I'm doing it pretty much all on my own, but with the love and support of my family and friends. I hope to soon change my brother's old room into an office, but that's still going to take a lot of convincing my mom.

I will be opening the shop on a Wednesday, but I hope to have new sticker designs out every Sunday. To keep you all updated, and informed, Sunday's post will be dedicated to the new sticker releases! I will also be constantly updated on Twitter and Instagram, so follow me there if you're interested.

I don't know too much about specials and discounts, how and when I plan on doing those. BUT! I do hope to open the shop with either a special discount code, or a freebie sticker sheet!

So I hope this was clear and covered the most important information! I will go into some more detailed about the process of starting a Etsy shop in tomorrow's post, which is why I wanted to cover the most general information today.

Again, Turning Pages Co is officially opening on Wednesday, July 1st, and I will most likely open with a discount or special offer. I hope you guys stop by and check it out!

June 26, 2015

Book Review: Dead Until Dark

Variane Script
(Sookie Stackhouse #1)
Charlaine Harris

..."Lisa, SHUT UP! You're reading adult books now?"

YES! You know, just little ol' me over here, maturing n' stuff!

....AAAAND I am totally kidding!

Dead Until Dark/Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire/True Blood (are there any other names, or did I get them all?) has been floating around me for a while now. From all of the printed books, to the television show, to the ladies at my local library having an intense conversation about it, I decided it was finally time to make the move, and pick it up.

Dead Until Dark is the first book, in the thirteen book series, and I admire you, if you can name them all in order. It took me quite a while to figure out which order these books came in, thanks to crappy wifi in the bookstore, no numbers to be found in the book itself (maybe I'm delusional) and a confused book store employee. But after about a half an hour, I was all set to go!

Obviously this series revolves around vampires, and if you would have asked me to read this two years ago, I would have thrown it back your way. But quite some time has passed since my vampire phase, and I think I'm ready to get back into it!

Plus, Dead Until Dark isn't extremely clique vampire, but almost realistic seeming. The story follows a girl in her early twenties, from the south, who spends her days working as a bartender and waitress, and hanging out with her grandmother. Sookie lives in a time where vampires exist freely and people are beginning to get used to the idea of them roaming society.

The story takes off when a vampire shows up at Sookie's work, and sits down at one of her tables. From there people are dying off, one after another including a co-worker and Sookie's grandmother, Sookie's cat is strangled, and she finds herself tangled up with multiple vampires, and one very special one.

All kinds of weird and sketchy things happen, but Sookie isn't just any regular human...she has the special skill of reading peoples thoughts. Normally, you would think is totally awesome, but Sookie truly shows us what it would feel like to know what everyone around you is constantly thinking. Especially when it's about murder.

Besides that Sookie shows us a perspective of dating a vampire that isn't absolutely perfect. In every other movie or book, vampires are absolutely gorgeous, fast, strong, the relationships are amazing. But Sookie is much smarter than that, and truly thinks about the future. I mean how could girls in these stories not wonder about what would happen when they're all old and wrinkly and the vampire guy is looking as good as ever? Sookie considers that fact, along with never being able to have children, never getting to spend the actual day with him, never getting to experience normal couple things.

If you can't tell, I absolutely adored Sookie. She's so thoughtful and caring. She's smart and thinks before she makes decision.

Overall, Sookie is what made Dead Until Dark such a fantastic read for me. I will admit that I adored her relationship with Bill, but I couldn't wait to flip each page and see what Sookie would do next.

In the end, I'm glad that this was the first adult novel I read. I was worried about stepping into this different genre, and experiencing something entirely new, but Dead Until Dark made everything worth it for me.

Have you picked up this series yet? How far into it are you? Do you like it?!

June 24, 2015

Target Dollar Spot & Daiso Haul

If you follow me on Instagram (@turningpageslisa), then you may have seen a picture of some of these goodies!

Everyone in the Youtube and Blogger world is picking up these extremely cute crafting and planning supplies at the Target Dollar Spot, as well as Daiso. Even though I roam both of these store, I guess I wasn't looking close enough, because I had no idea they sold these supplies.

After drooling over blog posts and Instagram pictures of people hauling these amazing finds, I couldn't resist the urge any longer....I had to go to my local stores!

Jenna Sue

Two sets of lined sticky notes, and a line notepad. I've seen a few people pick up these sticky notes, but when I purchased this notepad, it was the first time I saw it. I love that it's pretty wide, and especially that it's lined. I can't wait to start using these in my planner!

As everyone else, I had to get some page flags. Of course I won't be keeping all four sets! Two of them are going into my giveaway stash!

And the last things I purchased, were these fun and bright Thank You cards! I don't really know when I'll be using them...probably just when ever I need to tell someone how thankful I am? Hahaha..? But they are extremely cute, I haven't gotten the chance to open them up yet...but if they were lined, or had an awesome quote inside, I could die happy...

Jenna Sue

WASHI TAPE! They had a few really sweet styles of washi tape, so of course I had to pick up a few rolls. I haven't tried them out yet, so I'm not sure how well they work, but they are REALLY cute!

This is another item I haven't seen too much around, maybe one or two bloggers. I honestly don't even know what I plan on using these for, but I'll figure something out. These are tiny little neon page flags, that can be clipped into your binder. If you're using these PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW!! Thank you!

And finally a huge stash of sticky notes. There were so many different patterns and designs it was hard to decide. I did pick up five for myself though, and two extra for a future giveaway.

Have you guys recently hauled anything from your Target Dollar Spot or Daiso? Let me know! I would love to see the treasures you found!

June 22, 2015

Actually, Who Am I?

A lot of you don't know me....well all of you don't know me personally...unless your some strange kid that used to go to high school with me...who is still stalking me two years later on my blog...then you might just know me.

But GENERALLY, you don't know me. You may know my face, you may know what books I do and don't like, and you may know I'm a student, struggling my way through life. So you basically only know the surface of me.

I wasn't too sure what I was going to post today. I didn't want to post another haul. I didn't really have a book I could review. And I just wanted to sit down, and type away, without having to get dressed to make a video, or take pictures, or do something else. All I wanted to do was roll out of bed (it's my first day off in almost two weeks), make a cup of coffee, sit down, and write.

After a little bit of thought, I decided I would tell you about myself.

Variane Script

My real name is Lisa (I would hope that you guys AT LEAST KNOW THAT), I don't go by a fake name or anything, and I'm turning twenty one years old at the end of October.

I attend the state university where I live...I don't want to give the name, because you know, creeps.

I absolutely love it. I have always loved school. I don't know what it is about learning, and the new school supplies every year that gets me so excited! I enjoyed high school, but university is a hundred times better. In high school every kid had to attend; if they wanted to be there or not. It was hard if you were thrown into a group of kids who could care less about being there, which is exactly why university is so much more enjoyable. The people there, WANT to be there. They LOVE being there, and I LOVE being around people who want to be there.

Besides attending school, I also work any where from twenty five to thirty five hours a week, making coffee and selling frozen yogurt. My boyfriend's older sister got me the job, and now, ten months later, I'm assistant manager in our little store. I absolutely love working there; I'm allowed to do homework and read during down time, and I always get excited when a regular customer pulls through so we can catch up.

When I'm not attending classes, doing homework, or working, I'm usually out and about with friends, family or my boyfriend. Joshua and I have been dating since I was sixteen...which is about four and a half years. He isn't sensitive or all too romantic (like how we constantly seem to read about in some of our favorite YA romance books), but he is a lot of fun, cares about me, and occasionally has his soft spots and sensitive moments...even though he would never admit to them (don't tell him I told you so). Its crazy how in one moment he can make me the happiest girl in the world, and then the next can get on my last nerve.

He knows exactly how to make me laugh, which makes it hard to be mad.

Variane Script

My goals in life right now, are to finish college, not only with a Major in Accounting, but also a Minor in Education and a Minor in Mathematics. I want to earn those degrees by using grants and working for my own money, so basically staying FAR FAR away from loans.

I also want to feel good about myself, and feel healthy. So my goal is to work out two or three times a week. I haven't been able to the last two weeks, simply because I was so busy finishing up school and working, but I hope to get started back up again this week.

My goals for blogging/youtube, are to become more consistent, with new and interesting content. I want to spread my horizons when it comes to video editing, pictures, and social media. I hope to buy a new laptop, and a new filming camera to improve the quality of my content.

Other random goals include starting up my own Etsy shop and purchasing a Circut Explore Machine to create my own stickers. Also to keep my room more clean, to declutter my bookshelves from books I don't want anymore, and to study harder, and stop procrastinating with homework.

Overall I want to become a better me. I want to improve. I want to make goals and reach them. I want to be friendly, happy and just enjoy life.

June 21, 2015

It's My First Week Back! What Am I Reading?

It's my first week back at blogging, and all I've posted so far are two introductions and a sticker haul. No book reviews. No hauls. No book or reading content what so ever...

To be honest, I didn't really know where I wanted to get started. I have a history with reading, books and reviewing, so I was torn between starting where I ended off, or starting entirely new. But after contemplating, and even pushing this post off until the end of the week, I decided that I'm starting new.

I reinvented this blog, changed the design, and basically started from a clean template. Why would I dig into the past, where I wasn't even having a very good time, and rehash all of that negative energy? Why would I go back to where I felt so pressured to read books I didn't want to read? I wouldn't, so I didn't.

Throughout the school year, I basically hoard summer books. I love "summery" and contemporary reads, so whenever I stumble across one (especially at a good price), I buy it. Of course I don't read it though! That's just silly! I save it throughout the entire nine months of school, to read in my three months of summer break.

Summer break is now in full motion, and I still haven't decided which books to read. I usually start the summer off, with a TBR, filled with books I hope to get to during those three months. But with the way things are going, I'm a bit more spontaneous, and actually a little afraid of forcing myself to stick to a list again.

So instead, I'm just going to show you what I'm reading for the week(ish), which will probably include what I'm reading right at the moment, and the book, or two, I plan on reading next.

...FINALLY, without any more rambling, what am I reading?

Currently I'm in the middle of two books...

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This is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith, is the first book I started reading. So far its pretty interesting. A girl accidentally gets sent an email from a movie star, but of course she doesn't know it's from him. I'm not too far into it, I'm right at the point where he finds her, or at least who he thinks is her...dah dah DAHHH!
I think its cute and lighthearted, and perfect for my first summer read. I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, so I was excited to get started with this one.

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Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris; I'm reading this one because I feel like its finally time to make the jump. I'm almost twenty one years old, and I haven't read a single adult series. Of course, I will forever buy and read YA, but I think it would be good for me to occasionally read an adult novel.

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I'm not exactly sure what I plan on reading next. I don't think I'll be getting too much reading done this week, because of a busy work schedule, planning a baby shower and going on a mini vacation this weekend. I might take a book to read, but who knows! Afterall, it is vacation!

But The Heir by Kiera Cass has been calling my name, ever since I brought it home from the store, so I might just have to indulge in that!

What are you all reading? Anything interesting or out of the ordinary? I would love to hear some suggestions!

June 19, 2015

Meet My Planner!

On Monday I reintroduced myself...and today is Friday, which means it's about time I introduce you all to my planner!

I'm not too picky when it comes to the planner I want, ultimately it needs to have a cute cover, be simply and basic inside, and start/end in July. Cute cover, because who doesn't want one. Basic inside, so I can decorate and design to my hearts content. Start and end in July, because I'm a student, and enjoy having a new planner at the start of the new school year.

Other than those three conditions I was open to any "type" or "brand" of planner. Before I finally made my choice, I did do some looking around and searching. I'm new to the entire planning community, so I learned a lot when I did. Two of the most popular planners are the Erin Condren planners and the Plum planners. But when I made this purchase the 2015/2016 Erin Condren planners weren't available yet, and I hadn't heard too much about the Plum planners.

After watching tons of videos, unboxings and reviews, both brands sound absolutely amazing, and I hope to purchase their products in the future.

But because I'm still so new to planning, I decided to go with something a little bit less expensive, and then work my way up from there. After spending a few days searching for the PERFECT planner, I went with the Posy Paper 2015/2016 Navy Pink Floral Gold Pattern.

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Carolyn, the owner of Posy Paper wraps this delicious planner in the prettiest brown envelope, and packages it in a plastic wrap. Nothing was damaged, ripped or bent! After making your order, you are sent a message, asking what name you would like to have written on the cover. I decided to put my full name, but for these pictures I blurred out my middle name and added a mustache...(sorry to disappoint..the mustache doesn't come with it...) The font style and color is absolutely gorgeous!

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What I didn't know about this planner, was that it came with plastic covers, for both the front and the back. The floral cover is made from a harder card stock (not just paper), which is unlikely to rip, but it's still REALLY nice to have that extra protection!

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(Weekly View)

While the cover is cute, and the entire book seems to be really well made, a planner is useless if it isn't practical and spacious. I have pretty big hand writing and I intend to decorate each month and week, I wanted something that was basic, and big. This planner is exactly that!
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(Monthly View)

As you can probably see, I've already started doing to pre-planning!

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And lastly, it comes with this pocket at the very end. I think it's cute and well thought out, but I don't know how I plan on using it just yet. Maybe to keep some sticky notes in, or the current sticker sheets I'm decorating with. I don't really know, I'll still have to think of something!

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The only accessories I have right now (which probably will be changing very soon) are these two glitter bow paper clips from Two Krafty Chicks. I'm using these to keep my place for the current month and the current week...or else it would take me forever to find the right page every single time.

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Another accessory I hope to purchase in the future is a band to wrap around my planner, to keep it nice and closed!

June 17, 2015

Sticker Haul: Etsy/Hobby Lobby/Michaels

Welcome to my very first sticker haul! After ordering my planner, I couldn't resist ordering some cute stickers, and head to my local Hobby Lobby and Michael's. Even though I wasn't receiving my planner for another 10+ days (since it was being shipped from Canada), I just had to get my hands of some cute stickers.

I did pick up quite a few sheets of stickers, but my excuse is that they were extremely cheap (some sheets only $0.75) and I needed to start off my stash. I did have a few sheets of stickers laying around the house, but most of them are at least 10 years old.

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I've been dying to finally be able to use these goodies, they are all just TOO CUTE. Let me know if you plan on picking any of these up! What stickers have you recently hauled? Leave a link to in the comments, I would love to see!