2015 Mac & Cheese Productions℠ Gift Guide

I get asked all the time for, and love sharing, recommendations — travel, accountant, photographer, venue, tech tools, groups to join, activities to do, office equipment, people to connect with. You name it.

You can see many of my referrals on my FAQ page. In-depth travel posts are on my blog.

I haven’t really done gift recommendations so I thought I’d try something new and in the spirit of the holidays, share a most random collection of things I love, in case you want to gift yourself or someone else. Oprah’s Favorite Things, without the Oprah or the car under your seat or the screaming or the me giving you anything.

If you’re a Chicagoan and like supporting local, * = Chicago’ness.

In case you need more after perusing the list, and enjoy tactile shoppping —

Upcoming Shopping Events

Any gift loves you’d add to below? Leave in the comment section so we can all salivate and maybe, buy.




  • cook your food via your phone – Anova Precision Cooker
    • “Makes it easy to get professional-level cooking results at home. To use the Anova Precision Cooker, you simply attach it to a pot, put your food in a seal-able bag and set the time and temperature. The Precision Cooker circulates water around the pot while ensuring a consistent temperature throughout. The Precision Cooker also connects to your phone, allowing you to cook amazing meals by simply touching a button. The food is amazing, tender, and moist every time.”

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  • all in one kitchen tool set – Bin 8 Multi Kitchen Tool
    • measuring cups, a cheese grater, a funnel, even a lid grip for opening stubborn jars

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Bags & Travel

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  • tools to help you travel light – Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Specter Set, Packing Cube
    • these were sooo helpful on our Norway/Sweden trip and allowed us to travel with just one bag each, for two weeks!

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Bath & Body & Clothing

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  • campfire with a twist – OneLogFire
    • “Using kiln dried logs that burn from the inside, OneLog Fire is easy to light. Each log gives up to two hours of compact fire making it a perfect heat and light source without the mess of a traditional campfire. Enjoy OneLogFire at parties and small gatherings. OneLogFire makes fires convenient and hassle free.”

Paper Products & Art

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Food & Drink

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  • wine in a box, but in a good way – Winestyr
    • “It’s our mission to discover the country’s best small production wines. We seek out real wines made by genuine people. We’ve personally met all of the producers we work with and tasted hundreds of wines; Winestyr is a collection of our favorites.”

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  • mmm, candy – Quin
    • “Reimagined, updated, modernized. We make candy for today that has the uncanny ability to tug at the heartstrings of yesterday.”

Tech Tools & Services

These all have free plans which I used to start. But then I grew or wanted more or both. Best Friend gifted me a year of Pandora, and I was hooked on the idea of gifting a service upgrade! Practical, useful, and much appreciated.


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  • wireless scanner and printer – Brother HL2380DW
    • I can print from anywhere in the house!
    • From any device, including my phone!
    • quiet
    • high-quality printing
    • toner that doesn’t cost an arm and leg and that lasts



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  • the Cheese-It Army sponsoring the schooling of Patience and Benigne – Mac & Cheese Productions℠
    • Cheese-Its have been the education benefactors of a Rwandan boy (and later, his sister as well) since 2008 and we’re always looking for more folks to join the Do Good Army!
    • you pledge any amount and if we reach our goals — $750 for Patience and $600 for Benigne for the 2016 school year — Saya will collect


2008 when Saya met them and 2015

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Some of these links are referral links, meaning I may get some goodness if you make a purchase through them. So, THANK YOU!

Speaking of which, I could really use some more Airbnb and Uber credit, so if you have a trip coming up and are looking for lodging or if you think you may need a taxi’ish vehicle at some point, would you sign up via my Airbnb link and/or use my Uber code “ubercheeseit? You get credit too for both services if you’re a first time user.