Menu

THE

FANCY HANDS BLOG

San Gennaro

Today we continued our 3 year tradition of visiting the San Gennaro festival. It originally started because we were so close to the festival in our Manhattan office, but today we made the trek from our new office in Williamsburg to keep the tradition alive. Here’s a smattering of photos from our Manhattan adventure.

In order clockwise:

  1. Our CEO, Josh, experiencing his first visit to our favorite pizza place, Toby's Public House
  2. The sign outside of Toby’s, because we love it so much.
  3. Lindsay posing for a pic with a real, live cannoli
  4. A San Gennaro street corner
  5. Hands up! The Fancy Hands HQ crew (minus Lindsay) celebrating San Gennaro

  6. The Empire State Building peeking through the San Gennaro decor

Totally Zen

After a few years of using our own system, we thought we’d try out a system built specifically for Client Support. We’ve officially made the switch to Zendesk which allows us to easily and quickly log and respond to your Support requests. This gives you faster responses and leaves all of us feeling, well, totally zen.

Seriously, look at that face!

Too Cool For School

I feel the first line of one of my favorite movies, You’ve Got Mail, says it best:  “Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” (If you haven’t seen it, first of all: what? Second of all: get yourself to the nearest device with streaming Netflix, and get out the tissues!)

While Fall may not have officially graced us with its presence, the start of the school year certainly has! The beginning of the school year can be as stressful as it is exciting. Perhaps you’re a student embarking on that self-discovery journey we call “college”. Maybe you’re a parent sending your little cherub off to build a contraption that keeps an egg safe when it’s dropped off of a building in the name of science. You might be a teacher getting ready to mold the minds of the next generation. No matter who you are, your life is busy and there’s always going to be something you need to get done, but don’t have the time to do it.

That’s where Fancy Hands steps in and helps make the beginning of your school year slightly less stressful. Below you’ll find a few examples of what Fancy Hands can do to help you out now that school has started. Heck, these might even be things you need help with once you’ve gotten into the swing of things! Either way, we’re here to help make your life easier.

Parents:

  • Did your child go into the first day with an Anna backpack, only to find that everyone else had an Elsa backpack, and now they need an Elsa backpack too? We can find an Elsa backpack near you, and even purchase it for you. We unfortunately won’t be able to prevent you from hearing “Let It Go” for the millionth time this week.

  • Want to make healthy and creative lunches for your kids, but don’t have the time? We can plan out a menu for you, complete with shopping list, for the entire school week so all you have to do is assemble. Naturally, you’ll need to add in a bag of Cheetos for cafeteria trading purposes.

  • Extra-curricular activities can be overwhelming. We can help you add these and any other family events to your calendar so you never miss a beat.

Students:

  • Need to manage your extracurricular calendar, or maybe just your class schedule? You can connect your Google calendar and we’ll add events and classes so you don’t have to add them yourself. Now you can be social and on time for every class!

  • Are you having difficulty doing some research for an assignment? We can help find you resources that’ll help you ace that paper. We’ll pull the all-nighter for you.

  • Books for classes are expensive! We can help you find, purchase and ship you the right book for the right price.

Teachers:

  • We realize how exhausting lesson planning can be. Let us help you organize your lessons in a spreadsheet, so you can be sure you’re on top of your coursework.

  • School holidays are a time for you to relax! We’ll coordinate your school’s schedule with your calendar so you can look ahead and know when your next vacation day takes place.

  • As a teacher, you can take advantage of several discounts in your community. We can help you make a list of these discounts, so you know where you’re eligible and what the discount will be.

For more ideas on what we can do to help you, check out our Common Requests page. If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can do so here.

Here's to a great school year for everyone!





*In honor of the First Day of School and Throwback Thursday, here's a pic of me and my sister on our first day of school an undisclosed number of years ago. I mean, look at that color coordination. Seriously.*










Moving Tips from FlatRate Moving: Things Most Commonly Forgotten When Moving

If you are planning a move, you may hear this nagging voice in the back of your head telling you that you are forgetting something. Don't ignore it, because you probably are!

There are a lot of small details that go into a move, and there are a few that are constantly forgotten. Chances are good there is at least one thing on this list you are forgetting. Luckily for you, FlatRate Moving and Fancy Hands have teamed up to help make sure you don’t forget a thing. You can now get $25 off of your move with FlatRate Moving! Just use the code "FANCYHANDS" before requesting your quote to get $25 off.*

And, for after you've booked your move, here’s a helpful list of some of the most commonly forgotten things to keep in mind when planning a move.

Reserve Freight Elevator - You may not know it, but if you are moving into an apartment or condominium building with an elevator you may need to reserve the service elevator. In many cases, this needs to be done at least a week in advance. You definitely do not want your movers to arrive to the new building with all your belongings, if you can't use the elevator. No time to call? Don’t worry, Fancy Hands can reserve the elevator for you.

Trash and Recycling Bins - If you paid for your bins, don't leave them sitting behind the garage in their hiding spot. If you pay a fee to rent them through the waste company and will have a different provider in your new area, make sure the company picks them up before you move. Fancy Hands can call the waste company andschedule a pick up for these bins.

Memberships, Subscriptions, and More - When moving a considerable distance away, make sure you cancel your gym membership, and change your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Use a Fancy Hands task to stop or switch your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. We’ll also take care of cancelling your gym membership!

Gathered Items - Everything from dry cleaning and shoe repairs to school transcripts and vet records fall in this category. If you have loaned out items to neighbors, make sure you get them back. It's a good idea to create a list of things you need to gather and check them off as you get them. Fancy Hands can help you organize this list, as well as help you schedule times to pick up the borrowed items.

Spare Key - You hid a key under a rock and in a tree somewhere. Now it's time to find them. These need to be left behind for the new owners or residents. While you're at it, take the garage door opener out of your car to leave, too.

Microwave - You are probably thinking it is pretty strange anyone would leave an entire small appliance behind. Well, in a lot of homes, these do stay behind intentionally, so movers will often assume they stay, especially if the fridge, stove, and dishwasher are remaining in the house. Schedule a reminder to have your Fancy Hands assistant call to remind you to take that microwave with you!

Mail - You know you need to change your mail. In fact, you have thought about it several times, but decide to do it later because there is plenty of time. Now it's moving day, and as the mail truck passes in front of your house, you realize you didn't take care of it. You can do this right online at the USPS site, or send Fancy Hands your

moving details to set up your mail forwarding.

Outdoor Items - Hoses, solar lights, wind chimes, and bird feeders are all commonly forgotten. Although, sometimes, some of these are nice to leave for the new occupant.

Odds and Ends Inside the Home - In addition to the microwave, household items commonly forgotten include floor lamps, shower lines, full length mirrors, plants, magnets, pet bowls, toilet bowl cleaner, plunger, and the coffee maker.





*The fine print: This Offer is valid only for moves booked through FlatRate Moving’s New York branch after the date of this Offer where both the ‘pick up’ and deliver take place between August 19, 2014 and September 30, 2014. This Offer is only valid if presented to FlatRate Moving prior to receiving a FlatRate moving quote. This Offer may not be combined with any other offers, discounts or promotions. Valid on moves valued at $1,000 or more.

Delegation Lessons

Phil Buckley is new to Fancy Hands and has graciously shared how he’s learning to delegate to his new personal assistants, one task at a time.

“Delegation has never come easy to me. It’s definitely not a strength. The first time I had access to an assistant, I didn’t know how to help this person help me.

My justifications for this poor time management cover the range of productivity misconceptions: it would take more time to explain what I want than to do it myself, I do this task really fast, I can do it the best, etc.

Starting a consulting business didn’t make delegation any easier. Often, there was only me to delegate things to and completing tasks myself gave me the satisfaction of keeping expenses low. I had no problem calling in experts to do work that I couldn’t do myself, but the small tasks remained areas of opportunity. My accountant offering to file my quarterly tax payments. I responded “No thanks, I like to do it.” Another productivity mistake.

I became interested in a virtual assistant when Michael Hyatt shared the benefits of and tips onusing this service. He made a compelling and pragmatic case, but I didn’t take action.

Last week, I was reading a blog post by Steve Scott about his Kindle book launch. He shared that Fancy Hands, a virtual assistant subscription service, had completed his research for a small fee. I clicked on the link and became intrigued by this service.

Fancy Hands offers most types of tasks including setting up appointments and conference calls on your calendar, booking services, admin tasks such as editing emails, making calls on your behalf, research, etc.

I decided to start with the basic 5 tasks per month for $25 package to test how much I would use the service. The set up process took minutes on their easy to navigate website. It was great to see a 50 percent discount for the first month adjustment to my invoice too. Every step of the process made me happier.

This year, I haven't had a lot of time to market 'Change With Confidence' or my consulting business. This seemed like a perfect area to get help with. I wanted to send copies of my book to professors to see if there was interest in including it on their course reading lists or to have me as a guest lecturer. I have had excellent experiences with a few profs, but have not had time to expand my connections.

My first Fancy Hands request was to compile a list of profs who teach organization development or change management courses in the US and Canada. In time, I will create another task for the rest of the world.

Once I hit send, a banner appeared saying "relax while we take care of that for you." I thought, this is also a de-stressing service.

I can't wait to review the results of my request. My guess is that once I get used to the service I will think of many other tasks that are better completed by Fancy Hands.  Delegation is easier than I thought.”

For more on Phil’s Fancy Hands journey, click here.




Time Management Myths: Uncovered

The Harvard Business Review blog just published a post entitled "4 Things You Thought Were True About Time Management" in which they discuss the various Time Management myths floating around.

"It’s about managing your time. False.

Time management is a misnomer, says Jordan Cohen, a productivity expert and author of “Make Time for the Work That Matters.” He says that it’s really about productivity: “We have to get away from labeling it ‘time management’. It’s not about time per se but about how productive you can be.” He likens it to the difference between dieting and being healthy. “You can diet all you want,” he says, “but you won’t necessarily be healthier.” In the same way, you can pay close attention to how you spend your time, manage your email, etc., but you won’t necessarily be more productive.

Teresa Amabile, the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and coauthor of The Progress Principle, whose expertise in this area comes from reading thousands of work diaries of workers who documented their struggles to get work done, says it’s more about managing your overall workload. Many managers simply take on too much. “If you don’t keep an eye on the commitments you’ve made or are making, there is no time management technique that’s going to solve that,” she says. Sure, this might be an organization-level problem — many managers overload their team members ­— but she says that most professionals have more control over their workload than they might admit. “It is possible to say no. It is possible to negotiate,” she says. Cohen agrees: “While your schedule may not be yours per se, you can be judicious about what you go to and how you manage it.”

You just need to find the right system or approach. False.

“Having a system can be useful, but it takes more than that,” says Amabile. “And what works for each person, like spending an hour and a half on focused work at the beginning of the day, will not necessarily work for another person.” The key is to continually experiment with techniques. “Some things may or may not work in a particular context or situation,” says Cohen. Try lots of different approaches — really try them. Don’t change the way you check email for a week and declare it a failure. Set metrics for measuring success, give the approach time, and consider involving someone else — your boss or a coworker — to help you evaluate whether it really worked.

You need to devote time to change. Somewhat true.

One person I spoke to said her biggest challenge was finding time to put time management systems into place. She didn’t have the day or two she felt she needed to set aside. Amabile says this may not be necessary: “Small tweaks can make a big difference. The best approach is to start out with a few small things. Progress in this context might mean that you find yourself with some additional time each day when you can reflect and think. Even if it’s just an additional 20 or 30 minutes each day, that’s progress.” But it depends on how bad your situation is and how desperate you feel. Amabile mentioned one person who decided to use her vacation week for a major overhaul to achieve less stress. She looked at how she was using her time, her level of commitments, and experimented with a few techniques that people had suggested. “She felt things had gotten so out of control that she wanted to give herself this gift. But that was an extreme measure that was necessitated by the extreme situation,” says Amabile.

It’s up to you — and only you — to get it right. Somewhat true.

This may be partly true. “There is no one who’s responsible for how productive you are,” says Cohen. In that sense, this rests on your shoulders. He is clear: “You’re expected to be productive, so you better take this puppy on yourself.” But Cohen and Amabile both say you can’t do it alone. “If you’re in an organization where there are pressures for immediate responses or turnarounds on all requests or there is no room for any kind of slack, it’s very tough to do time management on your own,” says Amabile. She points to Leslie Perlow’s research about small tweaks you can make in any work environment. Still, it may be tough. “Organizations unknowingly put a lot of barriers in front of you to get your work done — unclear strategy and clumsy processes, to name just a few,” Cohen says.

If this sounds like your company, Amabile suggests you make attempts to change the culture. “I would urge people to push back in ways that they believe will be effective,” she says. Raise questions like, “How can we be more productive around here?” This can often be more effective than focusing on getting out of your own bind. “You have a responsibility to push back on the organization,” she says. Cohen also thinks it’s worth talking with senior management, because it’s often bigger than any single manager. “It requires a redesign of how work gets done, where decisions get made, how they get made. There’s only so much that a system can take,” he says"

Are you managing your time efficiently? Find out here.  

Defend Net Neutrality

Let Fancy Hands help you take a stand for Net Neutrality! We'll call your local representative on your behalf and ask them to vote NO on the amendment to H.R. 5016 that strips away FCC authority to enact meaningful net neutrality rules. (eff.org

Click here to take a stand against Net Neutrality. 

No susbcription necessary. Just fill out your name and address and we'll take care of the rest. We'll help you tell Congress that the future of the Internet matters to you! 

Young Architect

Here's Mike showing his love for Fancy Hands!  

Not only is Mike Riscica an architect, a writer and an avid yellow labrador fan, he's also having Fancy Hands take over so he can manage the rest of his busy schedule. He's taken time out of his busy schedule to show his love for Fancy Hands on his blog Young Architect

"An Imaginary Friend

For the past few months I have had a little imaginary friend that does all the annoying things that I don’t want to do. Ya know thinks like: make appointments, research things on the web, call this person or place for me to find an answer on something and even copy and paste something over and over and over again.

After they finish each one of my little tasks they send me a neat little email with the summarizing results from whatever task I gave them to do.

Sounds crazy, but I can’t tell you how much more productive I have been by getting all these silly little things off my plate.

What the hell am I talking about?

Over the winter (shortly after I built this Young Architect website) I started using a little service on the web called Fancy Hands.   Fancy Hands is a virtual assistance subscription service that does small tasks, which take about 15 minutes. It works like this.

I send Fancy Hands a task either by logging into their site, email or by leaving them a voicemail. Just for an example say my task is something like:

Subj: Find exterior Pictures of a building in Portland Oregon

Hey Fancy Hands,

I am working on an architecture project. Can you find me as many pictures of the building located at 2023 NW Hoyt St, Portland Oregon? The building is also called the William Temple House. Shots that show as much of the exterior of the building are gold.  Interior shots are of no use to me.

Please send me the JPGS. Include the screen shots from google earth and maps, but also look elsewhere on the web.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Thanks so much.

- Michael Riscica

This request then sits on the Fancy Hands server where it waits for someone to pick it up, do the work and email me the results.

After the task is completed they send me an email, which sends a notification to my phone and updates my account on their website with the results from that task.

20 minutes later, I got back a .zip file containing the files I requested above.

Why?

Heres why I am using Fancy Hands for as much as I can.

I am insanely busy
In an average week, I attend between 5-15 meetings, make routine site visits at various locations, and meet with many different people. I need help. Often, I call fancy hands while I’m running from one meeting to the next asking them to make a call or look something up that I just don’t have time for.

I get distracted
Looking for pictures of a building on the internet? Sure it sounds simple enough. But I guarantee you it will take me twice as long to accomplish this task than someone who isn’t invested in the process. I’m a sucker for  being derailed by something while I am in pursuit of an answer. I have learned that letting someone else vet the information as a first pass is more effective process. These small 15 minute minutia tasks are derailing me from getting larger, more important work done.

Sometimes I need a fresh point of view
A lesson I learned a long time ago early in my architecture career is that when you have been working on and looking at the same drawing for many hours at a time there could be a very blatant and obvious error on the drawing, but because you have been looking at the drawing for long time You just can’t see it.Are you a bad Drafter or Architect? No! definitely not. But I bet if you walked away and came back a few hours later you would immediately notice that error.

Fancy Hands has been a great place for me to run something past someone with a fresh point of view to make sure that something I wrote makes sense.  (PS – that was just an example, I doubt Fancy Hands can check your Architecture drawings. But you can try it and let me know how it works out.)

My Small Tasks

Here is a short list of some of the things I have Fancy Hands doing for me.

  • Research the purchase of a laptop that meets 10 different requirements.
  • Create a list of quotes on various topics.
  • Find the lowest price of a product I am looking to purchase.
  • Find the number for the building department in this town, call them to see if they have building permit records on this property.
  • Find a local store that has a certain product.
  • Help me narrow down when to take my vacation by looking at the cost of flights.
  • Find me the cheapest non-stop flight that works best for my schedule.
  • Make a dinner reservation for 7:30pm, if that doesn’t work then call these 2 other restaurants.
  • Call the print shop, send them this PDF and tell them I want 50% scale prints in black and  white. Print and bind 4 sets. I will pick up tomorrow at 11am , they can bill my account. Give them my cell to call if they have any questions or problems.
  • Proofreading professional emails that I have spent a great deal of time crafting.
  • Fancy Hands has proofread all blog posts written on this site. Yep, even this one.
  • Search the internet for the office number of Mr. Engineer and tell him that I need to cancel our afternoon meeting, but reschedule for next week.
  • Search the web and find out who designed the building at 2023 NW Hoyt.
  • Call my 5 local art supplies stores and find out which one has this specific glue.
  • Research which dog food I should be buying.
  • Help me find answers to my never ending cell phone problems. "

But wait...there's more! You can check out the rest of Mike's post here: http://www.youngarchitect.com/2014/07/05/fancy-hands-review/

Fancy Fourth

Kick off your 4th of July weekend with a discount from Fancy Hands!

Get 15% off of your first month of service, or an additional 15% off of our already discounted annual subscriptions. Just use the code 'fancyfourth' when signing up, and you'll see the discount applied before you submit your payment. Click here to take advantage of this discount, now through the end of the weekend.* 

From all of us here at Fancy Hands, have a happy and safe 4th of July! 

*Discount good through 11:59 PDT on 7/6/14. Only applicable to new subscriptions. 

Payments Are Back

After a not-so-brief hiatus, we’re pleased to announce that Fancy Hands can now make payments on your behalf again!

We’ve rolled out a smoother payment process that will give you the ability to pay for the items you need through Fancy Hands, and increased the limit per purchase to $200.

How It Works:

Whether it’s flowers or a new gadget, let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll find you the best price on what you want to purchase.

Once we’ve found the item, we’ll ask you to approve the payment. 

You can approve the payment from your email:


Or from your Dashboard:

After you’ve clicked the ‘Approve Payment’ button, your assistant will be able to pay for the item on your behalf. 

What’s New:

We’ve revamped the payment process, which means there have been a few changes. We’ve doubled the payment limit, so we can now make payments on items up to $200. There will also now be a $0.99 transaction charge on every payment to cover Fancy Hands transaction costs. This will be rolled into the final total you see when approving the payment. 

What’s the Same:

We’ll continue to search for the best price on each item we purchase. We’ll also continue making high quality, secure payments on your behalf. There is absolutely no credit card information required when making your payment, and each payment will be charged to the card you have on file. 

Sit back, relax and let Fancy Hands make a payment for you today

Working Smarter

 

Meet Nick Loper: Fancy Hands subscriber since 2012, head of the #1 virtual assistant company directory and review platform, and published author. 

Nick’s new book, Work Smarter: 350+ Online Resources Today’s Top Entrepreneurs Use to Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals is now an Amazon Bestseller, and we’re proud to say Fancy Hands helped. We asked Nick to weigh in on how he used Fancy Hands to help him write his newest book.

In his own words:

“How Fancy Hands built an Amazon Bestseller, 15 minutes at a time.

Recently I undertook a big project to find out what online tools and resources today’s top entrepreneurs are using to run their businesses.

My original idea was that it would make a viral blog post, but as the post grew past 10,000 words (10x the length of a typical blog post), I knew I had something bigger on my hands.

The final project became a book called Work Smarter: 350+ Online Resources Today’s Top Entrepreneurs Use to Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals.

In total, over 500 entrepreneurs contributed their favorite tools – which included Fancy Hands.

The book went on to reach the top of the Amazon charts during launch week, generating more than 20,000 downloads and earning dozens of positive reviews and a position as the #1 free business book that week.

As you can imagine, there was a lot of research and preparation that went into this project, and I actually relied heavily on Fancy Hands to build the foundation of the book.

For this book project, Fancy Hands:

**Built a spreadsheet of all the contributors and resources named.

**Categorized the resources.

**Found/wrote descriptions for the tools I hadn't heard of, which was a lot!

**Found links and pricing information.

**Transferred the spreadsheet data into sentence format.

**Found contact information for the contributors and the companies named.

**Submitted the book to free kindle promotion sites.

**Found relevant questions on Quora related to the book’s content.

Most of the work was done in shared Google Docs spreadsheets and document files. We could collaborate and have multiple people working on one file at the same time.

All said and done, I used 79 requests over the course of 6 weeks to research, build, and support the launch of Work Smarter. (I had to upgrade to Super-Premium after running out of tasks!)

At 15-minutes a pop, Fancy Hands contributed nearly 20 hours of work to the project, and proved that a non-dedicated VA service can still be an asset for larger projects.”

You can check out Nick’s new book, as well as his other books, here

In the meantime, we'll be awaiting Nick's tasks for his next book! 

Introducing: Recurring Requests

We’re excited to announce our launch of recurring requests!

Whether it’s a haircut, monthly expenses, or combing through all your new twitter followers, you can now create a task once and have it repeat on a weekly or monthly basis.

It’s super easy to do -- just click on the recurring request icon before sending your request.

You’ll then be able to choose how often you’d like the request to repeat on a weekly or monthly basis.

Once you’ve scheduled how often you’d like your request to repeat, click ‘Confirm’ and then ‘Send Request’ -- that’s it!

You’ll see that all of your recurring requests are marked with the recurring request icon, and you’ll also be able to see the next time the request will automatically send. You will also receive an email reminder before your task is set to recur, allowing you to reschedule.

If you want to stop the recurring request or skip the next cycle, you can click on your task and choose the option to skip or cancel the recurring request. This will not cancel the current request.

You can start scheduling your recurring requests now on your fancy new Dashboard. 

Rad Dad

Father’s day is right around the corner, and if you’re still looking for the perfect gift, look no further than Fancy Hands! We can help you find a gift that will show Dad how much you care. 

Is Dad's favorite place outside in front of the BBQ? We can help you find cookbooks, utensils, aprons, rubs, spices and sauces.

Does your Dad need to upgrade his bar? We’ll help him keep it classy with items like whiskey glasses and decanters, home brewing kits, beer and wine clubs and cocktail recipe books.  

Keep Dad hip with a new wardrobe. We can do all of the legwork and find you shirts and sweaters, ties, belts and hats, shoes and socks, and athletic, outdoor and swimming attire.

Need to update Dad’s entertainment system? We can get you the best deals on tablets and phones, stereos, speakers and Sonos, Set-top boxes and e-readers, and TVs and computers.

So, your Dad is a huge sports fan. We can scour the Web for gifts like golf gear, tickets to the game, autobiographies of sports legends and rare baseball cards.

Does your Dad love gear and gadgets? We can help you find popular new items like headphones, fitness tracking wristbands, watches and bags, backpacks and briefcases.

If you’re looking at this list and you’re thinking: “My Dad doesn’t want or need any of these things!” you can give him the gift of time with a gift subscription to Fancy Hands. You'll find gift subscriptions here.

In addition to helping you figure out a gift, we'll help you plan a special day for your Dad if you're going to be visiting.

No matter what you need this Father's Day, Fancy Hands has got you covered. 

Happy Father’s Day, from all of us here at Fancy Hands!

All In The Family

Jennifer and Felicia are a mother-daughter team based in Massachusetts that work as two of our Fancy Hands assistants. Felicia was first to become a Fancy Hands assistant, and, after learning the ropes, she immediately thought her mom would be a great fit for the Fancy Hands team. Felicia was right, and Jennifer became an assistant just a week after her daughter. Both ladies have been helping make lives easier since January 2014.  

We asked these two some questions to help you get to know them better: 

What has been the most memorable task you've handled?

Jennifer: My most memorable task was helping a gentleman propose to his girlfriend at the college they both met at.  It was so sweet.

Felicia:  Helping a Mom find educational toys for her young sons. I used to be a preschool teacher so I found it very enjoyable to provide some of my own insight, as well as the researched information.

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task?

Jennifer: There are A LOT of possible masters and graduate programs to study at New York University.

Felicia: All of the wonderful websites available for finding vacation home/villa rentals.

What are your hobbies?

Jennifer: I walk daily. I also love to sing, dance, read/learn and spend time with family and friends. I am also an avid hula hooper.

Felicia: Painting and drawing, watching Say Yes to the Dress and HGTV, and going for walks.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Jennifer: Jesus. I am in awe of how loving, kind and inspirational He is.

Felicia: My mom. 

What is your favorite karaoke song?

Jennifer: "Love Shack" by the B52s

Felicia: "Picture" by Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world?

Jennifer: It would be great to go to Europe.  If only I could get up the courage to fly that far.

Felicia: The Caribbean

What is your go-to dance move?

Jennifer: That would probably be the Wop (bringing back the 80s). 

Felicia:  Hip shake

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community? 

Jennifer: I love working for Fancy Hands. I have always enjoyed helping people and learning in the process. Fancy Hands allows me to do both. In my time, outside of FH, I am a homeschooling mom.

Felicia: I absolutely love this job, helping people in a variety of ways every day! 

Life's a beach! Jennifer and Felicia catching some air on the beach

Always a Bridesmaid

Oh, May. The flowers, the warm weather (finally!) and... the beginning of wedding season.

While I'm still waiting for Prince Charming to swipe right on Tinder, I could not be happier for my many wonderful friends who have found someone equally as wonderful to spend the rest of their lives with.

What does all of this everlasting love mean for me? Let's just say that starting in May, I have (at least) one wedding to go to per month through December. It's just so difficult being wildly popular.

For one of these weddings, I'm not only an attendee, but I'm the MOH (for those of you not reading The Knot daily, that's code for 'Maid of Honor'). Being the MOH, I am responsible for planning the most incredible Bachelorette party the Bride-to-Be (let's call her 'B2B') has ever attended. No pressure, right?

Much to TLC's dismay, my real life thankfully involves a total of zero bridezillas. B2B let me know she wanted to go to Atlantic City for her party and she knew the exact hotel she wanted to stay in, as well as where she wanted to go for dinner. Being from New Jersey, I'm sort of ashamed to say I've only been to Atlantic City once in my life and I can't even remember the name of the hotel we stayed in when I went, so clearly I'm useless in this situation. So, when the B2B told me this, I was excited about planning but needed some help ironing out the details. That's where my Fancy Hands came through.

First things first. I had made the hotel reservation, but the website said check-in is at 4pm. I'm not sure if you've ever traveled with 15 girls, but 4pm is not nearly enough time for all of us to get ready for the big night. 

My request: 

"Call the hotel and make sure that a. we can check in early and, b. our rooms are next to/near each other."

Within minutes, my assistant had called the hotel I had booked, made sure that we could check in at 1pm instead of 4pm at no extra charge, and confirmed that our rooms were near each other, as it said they would be when I booked them.

One down, several to go.

Next request:

"Can you please call Margaritaville in Atlantic City and make a reservation for 15 people on the 16th at 7:00pm. (If this is not available, please make it for 6:30 or 7:30pm.) This is for a bachelorette party. They said on the website that they can't take reservations on Saturday evenings during the Summer, but if you can do this, it would be a big help.

Also, please get an email confirmation or have them call me to confirm the reservation after you've made it. Thanks!"

Response:

"Hello Lindsay,

I have called Margaritaville in Atlantic City and made the reservation on the 16 at 7:00pm for 15 people.

They can't send a confirmation e-mail and said to call back a week earlier to confirm the reservation. However, it is already in their system.

All the best,
Celine M."

It's a miracle! I can now rest easy knowing that lodging and food are taken care of, and that we don't have to try and squeeze a party of 15 into a restaurant without a reservation at dinner time.

Now, onto the fun part: drinking! Normally I know my way around bars, but as I said, I've been to AC once and my memories are fuzzy. Fancy Hands to the rescue.

Request:

"I know little to nothing about Atlantic City. Can you find some good, non-sleazy bars in Atlantic City (might want to look up reviews) preferably on the boardwalk near/around our hotel? If you can find 3-5 popular or well-liked bars, that would be delightful. Thanks!"

Christina really nailed this response. She came back to me with 5 bars that she had verified are popular with the local crowd, as well as visiting patrons. Not only are the bars well reviewed, but there is a diverse selection of bars to choose from that will make everyone in attendance happy. Christina also kept cheap drinks in mind, which is key. 

Lastly, the B2B has requested a jitney/rickshaw/bicycle taxi ride around the boardwalk. Sounds like fun! I know about as much about jitney-rickshaws, as I know about Atlantic City. Let me get my assistant on the case.

Request: 

"Hello! 
Can you please get as much info as possible on how much it is to rent a rickshaw/jitney (I'm not really sure what they call them) in Atlantic City? It would probably be for anywhere between 1-4 hours on a Saturday evening. Are there companies that own them, or are they just dudes on a bike with a wagon attached? Enlighten me. 
Thanks!"
Tiffany came back with a plethora of knowledge about these bicycle taxis and now I know more about rickshaw rentals in AC than I ever could have hoped. Just FYI, a one hour rickshaw ride down the boardwalk will set you back $40, but a 5 block ride will cost $5 (the same amount as a Fancy Hands task!). You don't have to reserve in advance, you can just hop on
I'm confident that I will enlist Fancy Hands to do more research for me in the coming months, but for now I'm feeling at ease knowing that most of the party has been planned and that Fancy Hands has my back if anything else comes up. 
I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on how that rickshaw ride goes. As for the rest of the party, well, you know what they say: what happens in Atlantic City, stays in Atlantic City. 
Wait, that's how that goes...right? 

Mother's Day Dilemma

Today my Dad called me in a panic. "I want to get your Mom tickets to a Broadway show for Mother's Day, but I don't know how long the star is going to be in it, and I don't know when we'll have time to go!"     

"Dad," I said. "First of all, when did you become so popular that you have such a packed schedule? Second of all, why don't you have Fancy Hands call the box office and figure out when the star is leaving the show? Also, you can have Fancy Hands suggest a good day to bring Mom to the show based on the calendar you integrated when you set up your account." 

"Oh," he said "That's a great idea! I'll go do that now. You're my favorite child."

OK, so he left out that last part. But, within about half an hour, Fancy Hands informed my father that the star was going to be in the show through August, and that he could take my mother to the show in July. As a bonus, they also found him a discount code for tickets. 

Operation Mother's Day Gift: complete.

Need help with your last minute Mother's Day gift? We can help

No Hourly Fees

Basic

Less than $1 a day

5

Requests

per month

-25%

Professional

Most Popular

15

Requests

per month

-25%

Premier

Best Value

25

Requests

per month

-25%

Want to purchase a gift?

Fancy Hands is a recurring subscription. Signing up for any plan means you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.
Payment processing by