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    Dinner

November 23, 2015

Who’s Bringing What to Thanksgiving Dinner? Coordinating the Family Meal Plan

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Written by: Danielle Dannenberg

Coordinating the Thanksgiving dinner menu for a big family requires a level of organization comparable to planning school bus routes or air traffic control patterns. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to hosting holidays at our house, but it’s only because I want everyone to be calm, cool, and collected the day of the event. Imagine the chaos that would ensure if we ended up with five turkeys and no mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving!

For potluck-style holidays where the main attraction is the dinner table, I take extra measures to make sure everyone brings a different dish and we have a balanced meal. This usually manifests in the form of an elaborate flow chart, which evolves into a detailed family email, and potentially annoyance when Aunt Debbie hits “reply all.” Let’s not talk about the year when Uncle Mike didn’t get the memo and we had to suffer without chocolate pecan pie…

This year I’m trying something a little different and I have a good feeling about it. I’m lucky enough to be a part of the Flayk Beta Testing Group, which means I get special access to the app before it’s released to the public.

I’ve started making dish-specific lists for each meal I’m cooking. I listed out each ingredient for my favorite gluten free sweet potato casserole and vegetarian wild mushroom gravy recipes. Hopefully this way I’ll know if I need brown sugar…  before Thursday morning rolls around.

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Plus, I’ve decided to nix the mass email and am going to attempt to coordinate what everyone’s bringing through the app. Using the calendar feature I created an event for each dish and assigned the appropriate person as the event owner. I even set up automatic reminders 1 week and 2 days in advance so I don’t have to do the nagging myself! Flayk will send them a phone notification to remind them about the smoked turkey or the apple pie.

It also gives people backup if, for some reason, they can’t show up with the dish they were assigned. For instance, if Nancy can’t bring the stuffing, she can easily flayk it, everyone will get a notification, and someone’s likely to claim it in a heartbeat because we all know it’s not Thanksgiving without stuffing― much easier than the email chain.

Thanks to Flayk, we’re on track for a stress-free, balanced meal ― complete with mashed potatoes and chocolate pecan pie.

April 27, 2015

Goodbye Dinner Table Talk: Is communicating through social media and mobile messaging the norm for families today?

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Written by: Danielle Dannenberg   Photo by: Lock & Stock Photography

Back in the early days of technology, we only used cell phones when we left the house. When we were at home we had the landline and – of course – each other. Now it wouldn’t be uncommon for a kid to message their parent from another room in the same house or for a parent to check a notification on their smartphone during dinner. In fact, according to a study by Edison Research, less than half of families sit down for a meal without distractions on a daily basis. It’s easy to blame tech-native kids for this constant presence, but research proves parents are equally responsible.

Today, 84% of all American moms own smartphones, exceeding the average 64% of American adults (according to studies by Edison Research and Pew Research Center, 2015). On top of this, 4 out 5 of moms with smartphones said their phone is almost always within arms reach (“Media and Moms 2014,” Edison Research). But moms aren’t the only tech-savvy parents; according to a study by Pew Research Center, 75% of all parents in the U.S., moms and dads alike, used social media in 2015.

We rely on technology for nearly everything, from communicating to planning, scheduling, playing, learning, and even filling awkward silences in the room. Technology can make us feel closer to our friends and can even generate positive experiences for families. 89% of moms said they share technology experiences with their children (“The Truth About Moms,” McCann Truth Central). If technology is going to become a bigger part of our lives then the most we can ask for is that we share more connected experiences together. As long as we balance virtual interaction with real down-to-earth family time.

Flayk combines both into one seamless experience. With the app you can manage family plans digitally so that you can be more present when you’re together. If like many moms, your phone is always at your fingertips, organizing your family will be easier than ever with Flayk.