Category Archives: From Amy

Meet Emily…blogger, mom and Jooners user.

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I recently had the chance to connect with fellow blogger, mom and multitasking extraordinaire, Emily Dickey.  Her blog is great — it’s packed with clever DIY activities, candid posts about life as a Chicago mom, product reviews and giveaways.

What inspired you to start your blog, Baby Dickey?                       Emily:  My baby! My husband and I lived out-of-state when we became pregnant with our first so I wanted a way to keep our friends and family in the loop… you know, because no one has ever had a baby before 😉

Fill in the blank:                                                                                     Before I was a mom I showered every day, now I’m lucky if I brush my hair before leaving the house.                                                                                                       

Favorite recent quote by one of your kiddos?                                   Emily:  I was making my morning coffee and Ryan said, “Oh my goodness, what would you do without creamer, mommy?!” He knows my world would be over.    

Words you life by?                                                                                         The days are long, but the years are short…. wake up and live!                                  

What about family dance parties?  What music are your kids “into” these days?                                                                                               Emily:  Haha, my 3-year-old son actually loves B.o.B and Bruno Mars… and he can sing “All I Do Is Win” and “Gangnam Style.” Is that something to be proud of? I’m not quite sure.  I think absolutely….

What is your favorite type of party?                                                   Emily:  Anything that gets everyone together! I love our annual family reunion.

Thanks Emily for chatting!  Did I mention Emily recently reviewed Jooners Premium?    Have a look.

Help! Simple Answers to Common Questions.

Organizers, Volunteers, Parents, and Awesome Jooners Community,

Hello, Amy here.  If you’ve been to help@jooners.com lately, most likely we’ve had a chance to communicate.  It’s been pretty cool for me getting to know some of you, and learn about how you are using Jooners.  I’m learning what’s working for you and what isn’t and our Jooners team is taking notes.  So, thank you!

A few recurring topics and questions are noted here, as well as give you a few tips for solving future help questions.

Q.   How do I change the primary email address associated with my existing Jooners account?
A.   Email help@jooners.com.  Include the existing email address and the address you would like to change it to.  We will change it for you and confirm.  Simple!

Q. What are shifts and why would I use this?
A. In short, shift sheets are your friend.  Perfect for setting up shifts for an event such as library book fairs, timing during swim meets or working the food tent. Check out our brief video, which walks you through the process step by step.

Q. What is Jooners, Why might I use this?
A. Jooners is an online volunteer management system.  We help you create online sign up sheets (just say no to paper!) and strive for happy organizers and happy participants.  Check out our quick How To video to learn more.

Q. Finally, what do I do if I am just plain stuck!
A. Email help@jooners.com.  It is helpful for us to be as specific as you can about the question you have.  For example, be sure to include the email address associated with your Jooners account, the specific sign up sheet (URL is fantastic) you are addressing, and a brief step by step explanation of what is happening. This helps us help you faster and more efficiently.

As always, I look forward to connecting with you and Happy Organizing!

Meet Tammy. Homeschooler, blogger and Jooners user!

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A heartfelt thank you to Tammy Litke, who has recently given Jooners Premium a test drive and blogged about it here.  Tammy is a mother to a 16 year old girl and has been blogging since 2008.  She loves watching movies, spending time in the kitchen and Disney Cruises.

To learn more about Jooners Premium accounts click here.  Also, don’t forget we now offer a monthly payment option for those of you looking to give Premium your own test drive!

Another use for Jooners…Birthday Parties!

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Hello, Amy here!  I love the holiday season but it does get hectic.  And, my son is one of the lucky “holiday babies” as I like to call them.  His birthday falls just after the new year.  While this is great fun for a kid (keep the present train coming!), it can get overwhelming for a parent.

This year, however, I decided to use my Jooners account to help me organize his party.  It was a breeze!  The sheet creation was simple and I decided to share it on my personal Facebook page with family and friends.  This step seriously helped me eliminate at least 10 emails and text messages that I would have otherwise had to send one at a time.

Next time you need help organizing your child’s birthday party, give Jooners a try!  Also don’t forget to try out our feature.  It’s even simpler than the sheet creation, you can customize the note if you want, and your helpers will surely smile when they receive this in their inbox.

Smiles all around make for a happy, happy birthday!

Gift Ideas for Teachers

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Hello Happy Organizers, Amy here.  If you’re a bit hectic like me, you may have let a few gifts till the last minute.  Example:  the teacher gift.  We love our teachers and giving them a thoughtful gift over the holiday is just one way to say “thank you, we appreciate you more than ever.”  

This begs the question:  What to give?  Here are a few of my favorite ideas for teacher gifts this holiday season:

  1. Gift cards.  Who doesn’t love a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble gift card?  We all know, when we find one of these stuffed away in our wallet, it’s like finding a tiny nugget of goodness.  You can never go wrong with this, consider pairing it with a cute coffee mug or travel cup.
  2. A beautiful poinsettia or other plant.  This is one of my son’s favorite gifts to give.  It’s simple, beautiful, and perhaps most important, useful.
  3. Personalized stationery.  While stationary may seem a bit dated, I find this gift particularly elegant.  Plus, teachers are always using stationary and cards to communicate to students and parents.  Yes…I love this gift idea!
  4. A letter.  This gift is perhaps the most valuable and costs virtually nothing at all to give.  Fewer things are more special than a personalized letter.  Love the way your child’s teacher handles the reading hurdles?  Tell them in a letter.  Is your child’s teacher that one special teacher that seems to somehow connect with your child in a way that boggles even your own mind?  Tell them in a letter.

Of the four gifts above, number four is my favorite.  As always, I like to keep gift giving simple and heartfelt.  

What are your favorite teacher gift ideas?  Feel free to share!

26 Acts Of Kindness

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With heavy hearts and many questions unanswered, we struggle to find proper words to express our thoughts and extend our prayers to those affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

During this time words feel incomplete, so we have decided to stop talking and start doing.  Together with our families, our children or simply as individuals, we will be producing 26 acts of kindness before Christmas.  It is our hope you will join in.

My son is six years old.  As I tuck him into bed tonight I am reminded I am one of the lucky ones.  I’m not sure if my 26 acts of kindness will change the world but I’m certain we need to try.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut.  #26acts


The Best Gift Ever

The richest gift I have ever received is the gift of dance.  As a child, I had a passion for only one thing: ballet, a love of movement and music.  The nearest studio was 70 miles from our home.  Six, and often seven days per week, we made the 140 mile trek in our family suburban.  The lessons I learned in ballet extend far beyond a pirouette, however, and the relationships formed around such a beautiful art form have been life long.

As parents, we love to give our children extra curricular activities and opportunities.  Yes, these activities keep them active, they provide kids with a sense of structure beyond academics, they teach them (and sometimes us) how to win and how to lose.  Activities teach special skill sets that we might now be capable of teaching our children.  They are an incredible gift.

As we move closer to the holiday season, I reminisce about my ballet family.  The Nutcracker was a special treat each December and, to this day, still symbolizes the holidays in my heart.  As for my ballet friends…some have developed professional careers as ballerinas, some have gone on to teach, many even opened their own studios.  We are a group forever connected by childhood memories and a love for dance.  Call it Passion.  Call it Art.  Call it Common Interest.  I like to call it Family.