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What We Learned This Month: March

Welcome to our monthly post about interesting facts your assistants have learned from working on requests over the past month. 

What kind of sunglasses does Leo wear? There are HOW many blogs on Essential Oils? How do you make a Leprechaun trap?

This isn’t an April Fool’s joke. Find the answers to these questions (and more) below! 

You can find out what frames/sunglasses your favorite celebrity was wearing on tv or in the movies at SunglassesID: http://www.sunglassesid.com/“- Jessica O.  

I learned that there are some very interesting developments being made in the automotive field involving autonomous vehicles for public transit, as well as for future public availability/purchase. Apparently 2017 will be an exciting year for technological advancements.”- Samantha H. 

“I learned what a leprechaun trap is and how to make one. AND there's a popular new treatment called Kybella that they're injecting into under-chin fat and it dissolves the fat cells! Crazy!”- Tammi D. 

“I learned that, through Fancy Hands, I can escape my wheelchair and my small apartment and travel, in a virtual manner, around the world and beyond. In March, I was in Cambodia helping a social worker who runs an amazing program for youth. I was in Maine locating the perfect home to host an upscale bachelor party weekend for 18 people. I was in Chicago planning a birthday celebration that had a small guest list and a huge budget. And I traveled to a galaxy where the Force has reawakened as I provided assistance to a client who has played a part in the Star Wars franchise for a long time. All this without ever going out my front door! Thanks Fancy Hands.”- Susa C. 

“ I have learned how to create not one, but two Slide Masters on Power Point Presentation and how to Apply a built-in theme to save time and frustrations over creating the same background for numerous pages.” - Heidi W. 

“I learned that there are over 200 blogs that blog about Essential Oils!”- Zella Y. 

“There are services available that will help you plan your entire stag party. They don't just offer the typical adult type venues either. Have fun with a paint ball war among your friends or go dirt bike riding and even wake boarding are some adventures that they can make happen. Pretty cool right?! I had no idea this was even a thing.”- Kelley P. 

“I learned about travel options in China and Yiwu Market - a wholesale market that has almost anything imaginable. Everything we buy really is made in China and available for pennies in wholesale quantities. We pay outrageous markups.”- Susan B. 

Join us at the end of the month to find out what interesting facts were learned in April! 

Tradition!

Everyone has their own Thanksgiving traditions. Whether it’s watching the game, not eating Turkey or maybe hiding out from everyone, each person has something that makes Thanksgiving their own. 

This year we've asked our assistants to share their own special traditions with us. Keep reading to get a glimpse at what makes their Thanksgiving, well, Thanksgiving! 

My family loves the holidays. We all get together on Thanksgiving for lunch at noon on the dot. We eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams (my personal favorite), cranberry sauce, corn, and of course, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Afterwards, oddly enough, we decorate our Christmas trees! Haha. My parents have theirs up already so I don't even know what they're going to do this year. Probably critique mine.” – Megan P.

I always do a shrimp and crab boil with new potatoes, corn on the cob, green onions, garlic, fresh sourdough bread and fresh fruit salad! YUMM!! I'm a beach baby!- Beth S.

I kind of stretch my Thanksgiving out over several days. On Thursday, my hubby and I head out to east Texas to his grandmother's house. She starts "dinner" around noon, but everyone comes and goes and eats (and eats!) all day. This usually includes her three sons and their wives, eight grandkids, and their wives/kids. It's such a blast to get to see everyone and it's totally informal.

Then, Friday is my cooking day. That's because on Saturday we have folks over to our house. This includes my Mom/Stepdad, my sister and her hubby, my mother-in-law, and a variety of other folks (neighbors, friends, family) who happen to be in town at the time. Our house is a little more formal, as we all sit down at the table to eat together. I love to cook, so I do as much of the food as possible from scratch, and each year I try out all kinds of new recipes. There are few things I like better than filling the house with the smell of baking pies and boiling cranberries!”- Holly M.

“Since our son was born five years ago, we've started the tradition of travelling for Thanksgiving. Rather than trying to appease the grandparents on both sides, we spend our time visiting a new place or revisiting a favorite and enjoy the day as a small family.”- Tiffany J.

“Since I've been with my husband (about 5 yrs now)- it has been my relatives (about 50 of us!) for lunch. Turkey is almost a 'side-dish' there, as we have all the fixings plus our Chinese/Singaporean background favorites (and lately the highlight is a roasted pig). Then after hanging out and catching up with my cousins, their kids, aunts, and uncles- we head back down to my husbands family. Then- we have Thanksgiving #2 plus Filipino favorites (pancit, flan) at my in-laws house. My multi-cultural Thanksgiving, but I love it! I think a sit-down traditional meal would be boring for me now! :) And- as a result- I have never made a turkey- as my family always gets together on Thanksgiving (more than any other holiday).- Evelyn E.

In my family our tradition is to watch 'The Wiz' ( MJ & Diana Ross Version) & 'The Last Dragon.'Each family member has to be a character from the movie for the whole time we are together. And you MUST quote lines from the movie, even if we are in public. When I tell you it's the funniest thing on earth... Imagine someone walking up to you in the store asking you "Who's the master?" and 3 people run up and say "Sho Nuff!" (thats from 'The Last Dragon') Or, my momma used to call me Fleet. "Fleet?" "That's right. Fleetwood Coup De Ville. Momma had High Ideas."('The Wiz') It might be corny to some but it gets extra cool when we bump in to people that know the movies. They actually play along. Welp that's our silly tradition. I look forward to doing this every year, so if you are in NYC and you hear some crazy people in a store singing a song or quoting a movie come say "hi." It's probably me and my crazy kin folks.”- A. Nicole S.

"I always have an "Orphan's Thanksgiving" -- even if I'm with my family that year. Anyone is welcomed to join. We don't always do everything traditional on the dinner table, but all is free to join. Then, we do the typical "what are you thankful for" conversation after our blessings.- Mandie S.

The celebration starts the night before for us. This will be the 12th year that my best girlfriends and I gather on Thanksgiving Eve to bake pies and have our own celebration. We start about 3 pm and it's great, because we chat about what everyone will be doing for the holiday with their own families while we bake and sip champagne. Usually we get about 12 pies baked (pumpkin, pecan and apple) and just as many no-bake pies ready (two of our favorites are chocolate silk and lemon cream...yum). The holiday itself is full of family and an assortment of people who we won't let spend the day alone. It's a great time for everyone and a time of year that we reflect on how blessed we truly are. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! XO”- RK S.

“Thanksgiving has always been a day long event for my Italian family, with two full meals and dessert. We go to my parent's house - my parents, my two sisters and myself. Now it also includes all of our spouses. And my two kids - neither of my sisters has kids yet. Throughout the years it has also incuded various close family friends and relatives who stop by either during the second dinner and join us or after dinner for dessert. 

For our family dinner we have the traditional things - turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie, cranberry sauce, etc. That is the first and main family meal, usually eaten around 2:00 PM. (My parents always try for 12:00 PM - after a few decades it still hasn't happened). As my family is Italian, we also have a second type meal consisting of homemade stuffed shells, salad, meatballs, sausage, stuffed peppers and mushrooms. This is usually eaten a few hours later, around 5:00 PM or so. And a few hours later, we have dessert.

This year is going to be extra special. I have been living in Florida the past 3 years and have not spent Thanksgiving with my family. So this is the first time I will be home for Thanksgiving, since we moved back home in May. (Huge difference between Turkey Day in Florida where you can swim after dinner and Turkey Day in New England where you can ice skate, haha) This will be the first year my 2.5 year old and my husband will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. We will have it at my sister's new house this year. So I really do have a lot to be thankful for.- Jen M.

"We go out to eat for a huge Turkey Day dinner then we head to the casino!"- Kimberly C.  

 "We're a blended family and trying to start all new traditions. We moved to Florida full time last year and are having my husband's sister and her husband for dinner and my husband's son and his wife. This will be the first Thanksgiving my husband has spent with his son in over 20 years. They live about an hour away and I assumed he would go to his mother's (who also lived an hour from him). I took a chance and invited them and they said "yes" right away. I'm very excited and nervous all at the same time!"- Pam G. 

Meet Dawn: Assistant

Meet Dawn: a proud wife and mother of six, count ‘em, six boys, hailing from Norway (a town in Maine, not the country). She’s been a Fancy Hands assistant for over two years and has done everything from finding a live camel for an office party to finding the perfect dance class. There are very few tasks she hasn’t tackled. Keep reading to find out more about Dawn!

What has been the most memorable task you've handled? Oh.... There have been a few... I guess the most memorable would have to be to find a live camel to parade around the office (IN the office).

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task? Being a Fancy Hands assistant, I have learned so many things. I learn something new practically daily. 

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community? Keep being Fancy!

If you were marooned on an island, what are the three things you would take with you? A fire starter, My husband, and a tent

What charity is the closest to your heart? I am very passionate about homelessness and poverty in America.

What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you? My family and I were in a tough spot and our landlords were selling our house. We didn't have the money to move. They bought a house for us, and then let us finance the house through them. They are truly a blessing!

What is the silliest thing you have ever said or done? I am a joker and I am always saying or doing something to make people laugh. I once put my son's room contents on the porch. I told him that we had to sell all his things to pay for feeding him. (It didn't go over well)

What is the strangest food you ever ate? Squid

What’s your favorite flavor Jelly Belly? YUCK!!

What super power would you like to have? To go back in time.

What would be the title of your autobiography? Where Do I Begin? 

What’s your favorite myth, legend or fairy tale? Cinderella

Do you have a favorite board or card game? Skip-Bo


*Some* of Dawn's boys having fun with pumpkins. 

Meet Joslyn: Assistant

Meet Joslyn: a mother of two hailing from what she calls a “small town” in Lawton, Oklahoma and a Fancy Hands assistant for over two and a half years. When asked what the title of her autobiography would be, she replied “Making It Through Each Day Still In My Pajamas”…that’s a book we don’t want to miss! Keep reading to learn more about Joslyn. 

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

One of the ones that sticks out to me the most was when I helped a client surprise his wife by planning her a day full of pampering. It was last minute, but we were able to pull it off. 

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

I learn something new everyday! I have become so knowledgeable about a variety of topics since I started working here. 

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

I am so happy to have the opportunity to work from home with such a great group of assistants and clients! Everyone does their part to make things run smoothly. 

If you were marooned on an island, what are the three things you would take with you?

I would have to say my two boys, chocolate candy and an electronic device to keep up with all my reality shows! 

What charity is the closest to your heart? 

The Humane Society. I have such a soft spot for those poor animals and wish I could bring them all home! 

What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

I appreciate the little things more than a grand gesture. My husband taking out the trash, watching the kids so I can get a few minutes of quiet, those sorts of things mean the most. 

What is the silliest thing you have ever said or done?

Lately it would probably have to be that I have to sing the ABC song with my toddler all the time, no matter whether we are at home, or standing in line of the grocery store with strangers around us. 

What is the strangest food you ever ate?

I'm not the most adventurous foodies, so probably eel. 

What’s your favorite flavor Jelly Belly?

Buttered popcorn- yum!

What super power would you like to have?

I would love to be able to travel at lightening speed so that I could get anywhere in the blink of an eye. 

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Making it through each day still in my pajamas.

What’s your favorite myth, legend or fairy tale?

Snow White has always been one of my favorites since I was a child. 

Do you have a favorite board or card game?

Scrabble!

Joslyn & Family

Meet Helen: Assistant

For two years, Helen has been happily assisting Fancy Hands clients near and far. Originally from Pennsylvania, Helen enjoys spending time with her family and loves spicy food. Want to learn more? Take a look at what else Helen has to say! 

What has been the most memorable task you've handled? All the Disney Vacation tasks are memorable to me because I love all things Disney!

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task? Not everything is how it seems.

What are your hobbies?  Ummm...Does being Fancy count? 

What is your favorite karaoke song? "Your Nobody Called Today" by Sylvia 

What is your spirit animal? I think I might be part squirrel

What is your favorite kind of ice cream/froyo? Strawberry Cheesecake.

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

Who is your biggest inspiration?  My family!

What are some of your favorite apps (technology)? Yelp, Google and Skype!

What are some of your favorite apps (food)? Hot wings, jalapeno poppers and cream cheese wong tongs.

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community? I am truly grateful to have the wide variety of tasks to choose from! Everyday is a learning experience. 

If you see Helen working on your task, say hello! 

Meet Anne: Assistant

Everyone say hi to Anne! She's been a Fancy Hands assistant since October 2014 and lives minutes away from NYC in the Garden State: New Jersey. Anne has answered a few questions for us to help get to know her better. Check 'em out below! 

What has been the most memorable task you've handled?  I had to call a client's 18 year old brother during the holidays and tell him that he missed him, and then proceed to tell him three funny jokes.

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task? Perseverance always pays off!

What are your hobbies? Camping, softball, and unfortunately, shopping! Since I have no children of my own, I love spending time with all of my 19 nieces and nephews.

What is your favorite karaoke song? "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad"- Meatloaf

What is your spirit animal? A Swan. Swans are idealistic, open-minded, and passionate. My good nature often leads people to think they can take advantage of me, but they should be careful—beneath that serenity lies a fighting spirit. I love fiercely and unconditionally.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream/froyo? Edy's French Silk

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world? That's a toss up of Ireland and Italy; I'm half Italian and half Irish 

What is your go-to dance move? A very strong chocolate martini

Who is your biggest inspiration? I know this sounds cliche, but my mother. She raised 8 wonderful children, and is a very involved grandmother of 19, and ALWAYS had a smile on her face no matter how hard things got, we never knew it. She's also been an amazing wife of 44 years of marriage to my father, who is also wonderful.

What are some of your favorite apps (technology)? EBay, Amazon, (anything shopping related), Fox News, One Note, and Microsoft Office Mobile (I go to school online, so this is always open!)

What are some of your favorite apps (food)? Fried calamari, mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings, hot spinach dip, stop me now.......

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community? It's always a pleasure assisting you! The kind words and feedback are more appreciated than you know! There's nothing more gratifying and rewarding in my work than knowing I have left the client happy! Because of you, I love my job and the challenges it presents! 

Meet Emily: Assistant

Emily is the daughter of Peace Corps volunteers, so she was born and spent the first 17 years of her life in the Philipines. She currently resides in Omaha, NE and has been a Fancy Hands assistant since May of 2014. Keep reading to learn more about Emily! 

What has been the most memorable task you've handled? I love the proofreading tasks, and I love transcription.   Those really stick with me because I enjoy seeing what people have written and I like helping with it!

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task? How to find email addresses at various companies - I had to find 150 recently.  I had no idea that this was even possible, but I got some great advice from other assistants!  

What are your hobbies? I love to travel. I was stationed in Germany when I was in the Army, and I'm planning on going back this summer. I also love to read and cook!  

What is your favorite karaoke song?  I don't do Karaoke, but I love singing along to the radio.  Much to the chagrin of my 19-year old daughter, right now, I really like "All About the Bass" .

What is your spirit animal? A butterfly, because I'm always flitting from one thing to another.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream/froyo? Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Jam Session.

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world? Back to the Philippines.  I spent my childhood in a mountain town called Baguio and I would love to go back!

What is your go-to dance move? I'm taking the fifth on that one.  Emily has no rhythm!

Who is your biggest inspiration? My husband, Andy. He went back to school to become a teacher in his 40s, and I admire the courage that took!

What are some of your favorite apps (technology)? Aviary is an awesome photo editing app from Adobe.  Mint helps me keep my finances in order, and Skype helps me keep up with family and friends around the world.

What are some of your favorite apps (food)? Oh, I love food.  I can't pick just one!

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community? Our clients are great - supportive and friendly and great to work with.  I've learned so much about so many different topics since I've been doing this.   Most importantly, I've learned that "I can't do that" is a phrase that has no place in my life!

Volunteer Day

Today, Fancy Hands HQ volunteered at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger (BSCAH) food pantry in Brooklyn, NY. BSCAH was founded in 1998 as a traditional food pantry, and they’re currently the largest pantry in Brooklyn. They provide food to over 12,000 New Yorkers in need of food a month. This past year, they provided over 1.8 million meals to Brooklyn residents in need. Straying from the standard food pantry protocol, BSCAH allows their clients to select their own fresh produce and non-perishables through a supermarket-style pantry setup. BSCAH gets their food donations from several organizations around New York, including the Food Bank for NYC. They also own and operate two urban farms, which is where a lot of their fresh produce comes from. They are always looking for volunteers and accepting donations. If you’d like more information about volunteering or if you'd like to donate, you can find that here. A very special thanks to the staff and clients for allowing us to spend a few hours helping out today! 

FH HQ outside of the BSCAH food pantry. 

Meet Allen: Assistant

Meet Allen! Allen hails from Portland, Oregon ("a weird place") and he has been an assistant at Fancy Hands for longer than most: since April 2012. Keep reading to see what else Allen has to say about polyphasic sleeping, dance moves...and more!

What has been the most memorable task you've handled? Helping one of our clients find their lost dog. We created digital flyers and emailed/faxed them to hotels, restaurants, pet stores, humane societies.  We called dozens of proprietors along the beach. It took a few days but we found that little dog.

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task? Let's see...polyphasic sleeping...Quantified Self...Cold Shower Therapy...I love the fact that I learn something new every day. Whether it's something about myself, serving the client, or subject matter the client needs an assist with, my horizons are constantly being expanded.

What are your hobbies? I work for Fancy Hands.

What is your favorite karaoke song? Yeah, right.  If I am singing something must be wrong with the universe. But I love a round of Boston's Rock and Roll Band.

What is your spirit animal? The Beagle,  loyal, playful, and keenly led by the nose.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream/froyo? Vanilla- there are literally 100's of ways to dress up a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world? Someplace where it rains less than nine months of the year.  But more to the point, 

What is your go-to dance move? Scientists have found that women rated male dancers higher when they performed large, variable movements of their head, neck, and torso. Male dancers were also considered "good" dancers if they displayed fast bending and twisting of the right knee.  I would say if you need a go to move thats the one to do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x7bMzDPDbs

Who is your biggest inspiration? My wife. She accomplishes so much in such little time. She has an infinite amount of time for a husband and children and still figures out how to impact literally 100's of families over the last 15 years. She is amazing.

What are some of your favorite apps (technology)? Reminder is a great app-keeps me on task; Square Up  lets me accept credit card payments like the big dogs; and of course I love Dropbox.

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community? Thank you, for allowing me the opportunity to assist.  You make my life better.

Meet Michael: Assistant


Meet your assistant Michael, originally from what he calls "a small town in New Jersey known as Barrington". He has been an assistant at Fancy Hands since January 2014. Check out some cool facts about Michael below! 

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

I had to create an road trip itinerary for a client going from San Francisco to New York City. That was really fun looking up all the places they should stop and see across the country. 

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

There was an article about "the 10,000 hour rule" which it means anybody can be a master at something if they put in that time. 

What are your hobbies? 

I'm a big history buff so I am always seeing what new exhibits museums are displaying. The artifacts from the past really help me keep things in perspective.

What is your favorite karaoke song?

"Sweet Home Alabama" Lynyrd Skynyrd

What is your spirit animal?  

A crow, it is a problem solver and enjoys a great meal.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream/froyo?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, no more feeling guilty of eating the dough beforehand.

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

Italy, it's such a beautiful place and where my ancestors emigrated from.

What is your go-to dance move?

Don't sign me up for any dance competitions but I'm known to do the Twist.

Who is your biggest inspiration? 

My father, he's always willing to help someone without expecting anything in return.

What are some of your favorite apps (technology)?

Google Maps, it's my go to app for going two miles away or two hundred.

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

Thank you all for helping to grow this incredible service.

Meet Athanasia: Assistant

Meet Athanasia, a Fancy Hands assistant who has worked with us for over a year and a half. She was originally born in Greece and made her way across the pond to Chicago. She later moved to California for college but has gone back to her US roots and currently resides in Chicago. She's the proud mother of two and has so much more to share below! 

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

They are all pretty memorable.  My best was this poor woman who wanted to get a wig for her granddaughter because she has leukemia.

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

I have learned so much from the tasks that I have done.  It is very hard to answer this question because everyday I learn something new.

What are your hobbies?

I love the outdoors and anything to do with water.

What is your favorite karaoke song?

"Like a Virgin" by Madonna

What is your spirit animal? 

According to the quiz I took, my spirit animal is the butterfly.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream/froyo?

I am a caramel swirl ice cream kind of girl!

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

Egypt.  I would like to see the Pyramids in my lifetime. 

Who is your biggest inspiration? 

My children, they inspire me to be a better person every day. 

What are some of your favorite apps (food)?

Of course, Greek food, and Sushi!

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

I have learned so much working here and I really enjoy helping others.  I also work with some very sweet and smart people.

Athanasia and her daughter Michaela.

Meet Kelley: Assistant

Meet Kelley, a Fancy Hands assistant since November 2012. A mother of three with a grandchild on the way, Kelley was born in the Philipines and currently resides just outside of Philadelphia. Keep reading for more fun facts about Kelley! 

What has been the most memorable task you've handled? I found a picture of a client’s grandfather that was published in a magazine in 1970.

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task?  What I lack in knowledge can be learned in a pinch

What are your hobbies? Gardening, Playing MMO & MMORPG War Games and sleeping

What is your favorite karaoke song? “I Need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler

What is your spirit animal? A pit bull

What is your favorite kind of ice cream? Macadamia Nut

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world? Hang Son Doong in Vietnam, The Batu Caves in Malaysia and Bora Bora in the French Polynesia.  

What is your go-to dance move? The Tootsie Roll

Who is your biggest inspiration?  My children.  Everything I do is for their future, and the benefit of their existence.  

What are some of your favorite apps (technology)? Auto Text Expander and Google Docs

What are some of your favorite apps (food)? Thai spicy beef salad, chicken wings and lumpia

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community?  Do what you love, and I'll take care of the rest. 

Kelley and her family. 

Meet Tesha: Assistant

 

Tesha, sparkling! 

Meet Tesha, a Fancy Hands assistant since May of 2014 from Marshall, Missouri. Tesha is a mother of two and really loves her job working as a Fancy Hands assistant. We've asked Tesha to answer a few questions to help you get to know her better. Check 'em out! 

What has been the most memorable task you've handled? The most memorable task I've had was making wedding invitations. It was very exciting!

What is one interesting fact you've learned from a task? I learned how to use the Neat program. 

What are your hobbies? I LOVE playing old board games like Clue.

What is your favorite karaoke song? "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world? I've always wanted to explore Italy.

What is your go-to dance move? The head bob

Who is your biggest inspiration? My daughters, Lily and Lemi. Without them, I wouldn't have motivation or inspiration!

What are some of your favorite apps (technology)? Groupon, Yelp, and Wish

What are some of your favorite apps (food)? Wings and toasted raviolis

What do you want to say to the Fancy Hands community?  I'm so grateful for everything I've learned and can't wait to learn more!

Tesha and her family. 

Fancy Halloween

Halloween is upon us! Check out what the Fancy Hands HQ dressed up as today. 

Clockwise, from the top: 

1. Fancy Hands HQ Group Photo (minus Scott & Mandie)

2. Lindsay as Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development

3. Nick as Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction

4. & 5. Ted & Josh as Duck Dynasty Brothers 

6. & 7. Dave as a gorilla 

8. Orry as “Fun Boy”  

Hope you're having as much fun today as we are. Happy Halloween!  

Meet Mandie: Assistant Operations Manager

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve added Mandie as the newest member of the Fancy Hands HQ family. Mandie is joining us as Assistant Operations Manager, and while this is a new position for Mandie, she’s no stranger to Fancy Hands. Prior to joining us at HQ, Mandie was as a Fancy Hands assistant for over two years and it’s likely she’s completed at least one task for you during that time. In order to help you get to know Mandie a little bit better, we’ve asked her to answer some questions. Enjoy! 

What is your go-to karaoke jam? 

There is not enough alcohol in this world to get me to sing karaoke. Trust me….this is a good thing. 

What is your go-to dance move? 

“That girl has had too much to drink.” 

What is your favorite guilty-pleasure TV show? 

NCIS and Persons of Interest- I threaten people to disturb me on Tuesday nights. 

What are your top 3 apps (technology) right now? 

I’m simple in this department: Pandora, DropBox and Google (Hangouts/Gmail and the Google voice search “OK GOOGLE!")

What are your top 3 apps (food) right now? 

Wings, Wings, Wings (Hot with a side of celery and ranch)

What are the next 3 movies in your Netflix queue?

Reign Over Me, The Numbers Station, Fire With Fire

Who is your inspiration?

My mom. When people question how I am today (all of it) it’s okay to blame her. She’s proud! 

Where did you grow up?

Sumter, South Carolina

If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza

If you could grab a drink with any historical figure, who would it be and why?

Benjamin Franklin- he was a pioneer inventor. 

What are you most proud of? 

My life- all of it. It may sound like a cop-out response, but there’s no one thing I’m proud of. I’m honestly happy with/proud of everything. 

Welcome to the team, Mandie!

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

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

Do what you love.

You've probably read our philosophy on our site before: "Do what you love. We'll do the rest." 

We encourage everyone to do what they love - not just our clients. In fact, our founder, Ted Roden, created Fancy Hands by doing what he loves - building a website and company.  

Our developers launched a forum a while ago, so that our assistants can communicate with each other from all over the country. It's been a huge help for them to be able to share ideas and tips about how to get their work done, and it's connected people who were previously not able to speak to their co-workers. 

This week, one of our assistants, Allen L., started a thread with this:

I have been a Fancy Hander for a while now, and I love what I do. Fancy Hands came along at just the right time for me and has made a big difference in my life. I want to hear about your Fancy experience, so I thought I would start this thread and ask you all some questions. 

As we read the responses, we were reminded that our assistants are also doing what they love - working and learning while raising their children, caring for other family members, and enjoying the freedoms that being a Fancy Hands assistant allows them to have.

Here's what our team members had to say: 

What are the biggest benefits to working as a Fancy Hands assistant?

I have been a Estate Manager / PA for over 20 years and Fancy Hands has helped me keep my skills sharp. I had assistants in the past for some of the larger estates I managed and I never had to learn in-depth Excel spreadsheets, and I never seemed to have the time or interest to focus on it. With Google Docs (I am a G man all the way), I have been exposed to a lot, and I'm digging the learning experience. - Alan J. 

I was looking for extra work on top of my full-time job that involves long hours/lots of travel, and I found other PT work hard to schedule. I can do Fancy Hands tasks on my lunch hour, in the evenings when I've lost control of the remote, and on quiet Sunday mornings. I love getting to learn. I prefer tasks that are research/data entry based, and I've had the opportunity to learn some fantastic things! I've proofread great book chapters, I know every food truck in NYC, I've made lists of great blogs and websites that I never knew existed...sometimes I want to thank the clients for letting me help them! - Allison B. 

The biggest benefit to me is being able to work from home with my daughters. Before I started working from home, I was a teacher. It was really hard to leave something that I loved so much, but I just couldn't stand the thought of leaving my baby at daycare. I thought I'd only stay home one year and then go back, but we decided to have another baby! Also, with Fancy Hands, I'm able to put the the research skills I learned while earning my graduate degree into use! May as well get some use out of that - I paid enough for it. And the last benefit is the ability to do things that I can learn from. Education is my passion, and educating myself is part of that. I learn so much from the tasks I do as a Fancy Hand. - Courtney B. 

I have an OCD with Sensory Integration Disorder seven year old, and keeping up with him takes a lot of time and attention. The various appointments for him make working during the school year nearly impossible. I love to work - something, anything to keep that mind fresh. Fancy Hands gives me a chance to do what I am good at: research! I worked as a Reference Library Assistant for 7 years, and then 2 years as an Executive Assistant, and this puts all those skills to work. The occasional person needing help with Star Trek references makes the job even better! - Christina H. 

I get to stay at home with my son! And when we move around, because my husband is in the Army, I won't have to worry about finding a new job. - Joslyn S. 

You can work whenever you want to. The work is always changing. You can choose exactly what tasks you want to work on. - Heather D. 

I am able to stay home with my two kids (4 year old and 20 month old). I am currently three months pregnant with my third and have been so very sick and if I worked at an 8-5 job there is no way I would still be employed! Good pay is another benefit. You get what you put into it. That is a nice feeling, because it is rare these days to feel as though you are earning for the amount of work you put in. Another great benefit is the ability to stay current. The tasks I work on not only keep me relevant with the constantly changing technology and world events, it also allows me to keep my brain healthy and my grammar and typing skills up to date. - Jeanne-Marie M. 

IT IS SO MUCH FUN! I mean who can beat sitting in your recliner calling people all day? Not to mention you get to act out so many different roles. I own my own business in a way. I am the boss. Well...except for Scott, haha! YOU LEARN SO MUCH! I have learned everything from how to get major discounts on hotels, to negotiating tactics, and so many real world tools that will make my life so much easier. I love learning, especially when it's crazy odd stuff. This job never ceases to amaze me, and every day I learn something new. And Scott - I mean who doesn't like this guy? I love having a manager I can trust to the fullest. - Draconius G. 

I love the amount of knowledge that you learn and retain from various tasks. For example, I never knew there was a website dedicated totally to unclaimed property. I checked it the other day and, boom! A $75 check was sitting under my name, unclaimed for the past 6 years. Had I not had a task for someone that involved learning this interesting fact, that check would have just sat there forever! I currently work for a cable company that is going through several changes (buy-out and department shutdowns). Fancy Hands offers me the peace of mind that if my department shuts down,  I have an alternative (much more fun) full time position to go to. - Amber M. 

I quit working after I had my son in 2010; not because I had him, but because my husband got an awesome job offer in a different city and we decided to see how it would go with me not working. I make just as much here as I would working in the "real world" and paying for daycare. I love not leaving the house and dealing with difficult coworkers. I often get e-mails from an old friend at my previous job and things have gotten so bad for her since I left, I'm glad I don't have to deal with the office politics anymore. - Chris N. 

I was told 22 years ago I couldn't have children, which was fine with me since I never really liked kids...dirty little creatures, and there is just no reasoning with them. Anyhoo....wasn't I just a little (LOT) shocked that at 40 I find myself pregnant! I am now "that" woman who can not shut up about how amazing, smart, beautiful and did I mention amazing, her 2 year old little girl is. So I am an old dog learning new tricks, and FH allows me to be the stay-at-home mom I want to be without having my brain turning to complete mush. I love the flexibility that "my" company allows me. I can be my polished, professional self on the phone while covered in whatever manner of goop my daughter is finding fascinating that day. - Denise Q. 

My dad has serious health issues, and I am able to get him to appointments etc. plus spend some quality time with him while I can. I am so grateful for that! It's a gift for both of us. Second is the access to learning new things. I've seen things our clients are using and check them out - I am now on Evernote and I use Dropbox. I know I would never have learned about these great tools in my previous work environment. - Juls N. 

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a virtual assistant?

Always be professional in your contact with our clients, and go the extra mile. - Donna H. 

Take a chance. If this is the kind of stuff you do all day for your friends and family, then make the extra step to getting paid for it. - Christina H. 

It is a great job if you're detail-oriented and good at following directions. It is important to know your skill set and be clear about the things that you're good at and knowledgeable about. Some tasks will be out of your league, and that's OK - work instead on tasks that you know you can answer thoroughly and accurately. - Allison B. 

Brush up on grammar and punctuation rules. Learn how to use Zipping software. Learn how to use Google Drive. If you make a mistake, own it and correct it. - Susan M. 

I would warn someone considering becoming a Virtual Assistant that it is addictive. This was something I was going to try for a couple of months ... and well, I'm still here! I just can't stop myself! - Juls N. 

Give it your all! The interactions you have with the clients and the information you learn is awesome! - Jeanne-Marie M. 

Know what you're good at and do that. Leave the rest to someone else, or learn how to be good at that, too. - Courtney B. 

Wake up early. Don't get overwhelmed. It's all about balance. Do what you can. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Find out what you're good at and be quick in claiming those tasks. Get real with yourself and never be afraid to go that extra mile for clients. It pays off in the end. I love Fancy Hands! - Draconius G. 

Give it your all. This is your work product that you are producing for FH. Do go the extra mile, because the first time you get kudos from a client for a job well done, it will click. You are not just an anonymous person sitting at a computer. You are THAT person's personal assistant! - Denise Q. 

Meet Karyn: Director of Communications

I haven't ever added a bio of myself to our Fancy Hands staff page because, as the company blogger and social media chick, it's more fun for me to interview other people. But one of my stock questions is always "what's your favorite Fancy Hands request?" and I just have to tell you guys about what my Fancy Hands assistant did for me yesterday. So I answered all of the other bio questions, too, and here we are. 

Meet Nick: Developer

Nick is our youngest employee at Fancy Hands HQ, known for his love of Subway and motorcycles. Here's what's on his mind: 

Monthly Yearly
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