General FAQ

For FAQs about Camp, Fear Experiment, and Minglers, head here.

Can you share my event/job opening/thing I’m trying to sell/______ with your network?

Probably! As long as it fits Cheese-Its interests, the Life of Yes℠ vibe. This is a service offered through Mac & Cheese Productions℠. Head here to find out how to get exposure to the Cheese-It Tribe.

Can we meet for coffee/a drink so I can pick your brain*, hear your story, run an idea by you, get some advice, ________?

So flattered! Really, truly. But, no. Unless you want to hire Saya.

It’s not you, it’s her. Really. YOU are amazing. So many requests, only so much time to make a living, get to her own too long To Do List, roll in the grass. Sometimes living a Life of Yes℠ means saying no.

That said…

Saya loves to connect face-to-face at events, whether her own events or other people’s events. Bonus, you get to meet a plethora of amazing folks and be entertained/learn something. Check out the calendar for upcoming Mac & Cheese events and come on out.

If you want to hear the M&C story and philosophy, and apply it to your own life, the Life of Yes℠ Workshop is your best bet. Or read the About Page. Or check out the myriad of press she’s gotten. Or come to any of her public speaking engagements which are listed on the calendar.

If you’re looking for a life coach or other folks who specialize in one-on-one’ness beyond what Saya offers, check out the Service Provider Referral list below. There are tons of other referral and recommendation lists in the Referrals Section as well (travel, activities, venues, etc).

*On the topic of the “pick your brain” phrase:

How do you pronounce Saya’s name?


Like Maya Angelou. But with an “S”. And with less Pulitzer Prizes.

Fun fact: did you know Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson?!

Why “Mac & Cheese Productions”?

It’s universally-loved, it’s comfort-food, it’s memorable…

A Cheese-It said it best: “The name ‘Mac & Cheese’ embodies all that Saya has created: warmth, goodness and fulfillment. Overall good food for the soul (without the calories!).”

What’s the difference between a Life of Yes℠ (LOY) Workshop and Camp?

The LOY workshop is a class, with Saya sharing lecture-style and then participants sharing their subsequent thoughts in small groups or in the whole group.

LOY Camp is an intense yet relaxing weekend getaway that is a mix of individual, small group, and whole group activities and a mix of passive-participation and active-participation. Solo attendance is required. 

Can I run Mac & Cheese events in my city?

If you’re interested in running a Fear Experiment℠ in your corner of the world, head here. For all other offerings, head here.

Can I buy a gift certificate for a Mingler, a Camp, your other offerings to give to a loved one?

Absolutely! Shoot Saya a note and we’ll make it happen.

Are you hiring? Do you need an intern? A partner? 

There are no current job openings or partnership opportunities outside of Fear Experiment℠–but we always say, “Share your interest! Who knows what the future holds?”

If you live outside of Chicago and are interested in helping expand M&C into your city, head here.

If you’re in Chicago and interested in partnering, head here and for volunteering, head here.

Do you offer Mac & Cheese in places outside of Chicago?

Most of the offerings are in Chicago. But occasionally, we do cross state-lines. Want to be notified if/when that happens? Head here. Online offerings like webinars and consulting are occasionally options; additionally there may be a Fear Experiment℠ in your area, which you can find out here. If there isn’t, you can bring one to you!

Life of Yes Sleepaway Camp is great for anyone, wherever you live — we’ve had campers from Maine, NYC, Seattle, LA, Philly…


Some of these links may be referral links — when you sign up, you may get goodness, M&C may get goodness, both may get goodness. Goodness being a credit, discount, compensation, a high-five. If M&C refers someone or something, know that the referral is rooted in genuine reverence for his/her/its quality and usefulness.

Can you refer me to a photographer, real-estate agent, life coach, career coach, graphic designer, ________?


If you use someone M&C refers, let Saya know about your experience! Due to the amount of asks and Saya attempting some amount of selectivity, no, you can’t be added to the list (even though what you offer is FABULOUS). She adds people at her discretion. Don’t ask. Really.

Can you suggest a venue for my Chicago event?

Click here for the VENUE REFERRAL LIST.

If you use a venue M&C refers, let Saya know about your experience!

Chicago: where should I stay, eat, have fun?

Click here for a blog post on My Chicago.

When I travel to ______, do you have any suggestions of Mac & Cheese-type activities or groups to explore?

Check out Saya’s San Francisco List here and her Worldwide List here. There are also posts from various places she’s traveled on the blog, search ‘travel’.

You seem to love coffeehouses. Any recommendations, both Chicago and elsewhere?


All are Chicago, save for Saya’s YELP list.

What are some of your favorite books, videos, podcasts, articles, professional organizations, conferences, activities to do (classes, entertainment, dating, volunteering, spirituality, physicality)?

Click here for the LIFE OF YES RESOURCES LIST.

You seem great at time management, organization, and efficiency. What tools do you use? You seem like you know a lot of cool resources for living an awesome life. What are some of your faves? (Saya teaches a Productivity Class, check the calendar to see if there are any upcoming classes!)

  • Private Internet Access is a horribly boring name but it’s one of the simplest ways to keep yourself digitally safe
  • Mighty Text allows you to text from your computer, sync’d with your Android phone & number
  • Strikingly is for easy yet look good website creation
  • WebinarNinja allows you to easily host webinars
  • aText accelerates your typing by replacing abbreviations with frequently used phrases you define
  • Dropbox is Saya’s go-to for online storage, online sharing, and giving the public access to documents, video, and photos
  • Evernote is a digital filing cabinet that Saya couldn’t live without (Evernote Essentials is a book that helped her learn it)
  • ParkWhiz allows you to compare price, location, and amenities for parking all across the US to find the right parking spot for you
  • SpotHero is another great parking app
  • One Woman Shop Bundle: products that address solo business ownership — the Building Your Online Community e-course ($49), the Kickstart Your Content workbook ($29), the Solopreneur Finances course ($77), and The Solopreneur Sanity Handbook ($49). You can buy them all ($99) or separately.
  • MailChimp makes designing and sending email to groups easy-peasey
  • Freshbooks is online invoicing, expense management and time tracking
  • Gusto Payroll allows you to easily pay yourself, employees, and contractors, as well as automate tax filings. Sign forms online, handle vacations and bonuses, onboard employees. Use this link and if you become a paid user, get a $100 gift card.
  • Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox: photos of them, their titles, where they work, and links to their social-media accounts, so you can link to them without having to leave Gmail.
  • Boomerang, a simple system that sends emails at a specified date and time, also tracks emails to remind you to follow up with someone, and reminds you if someone doesn’t get back to you.
  • Buffer gives you a consistent social media presence all day long by helping you schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer once a day and it automatically posts for you to social-media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • LastPass relieves the stress of trying to remember a slew of passwords by securely storing and giving you access to any of your account credentials
  • HelloSign digitizes your signature and lets you sign documents directly in Gmail—no more printing out a document, signing it, scanning it, and sending
  • ToDoist, an online to-do list, means you always have access to your list: no more “oops! I left it at home.” (Saya and Pete used WeDoist to plan their wedding)
  • Doodle gives you an easy way to find a convenient time to meet with several people. No more 23 emails back and forth trying to find a time that works for all.
  • Canned Responses helps if you’re sick of typing out the same reply every time someone emails you with a common question. Compose your reply once and save the message text with the “Canned Responses” button.
  • Airbnb is for you if you’d rather stay in a home than in a hotel. Use this link and get a credit if you host or if you lodge.
  • Prezi gets you off the PowerPoint treadmill and makes you look like a creative genius. Just don’t go overboard on the zooming.
  • Lifehacker is a go-to resource for all things random yet useful, from technology reviews to DIY projects to moneysaving tips.
  • Uber lets you request a cab ride, anytime, anywhere. No cash is exchanged (even the tip); it all goes on the credit card linked to your account. Use code UBERCHEESEIT and get a credit for first time users.
  • Lyft is similar to Uber. Use code SAYA20 for a discounted first ride.
  • Dabble makes it easy to try something new: learn a skill, dust off a rusty one, or find a new pastime. You can even teach your own classes and earn some extra income doing what you love.
  • GoogleDocs is a must-have for any collaborative work. Create and edit documents online while working with other users in real time—and always have access to your material, no matter where you are!
  • Ifttt, shorthand for “if this, then that,” is a simple Web app that  automates actions when certain conditions are met. For example, if it  checks the forecast and it looks like rain, you can set it to send you a text message to grab your umbrella.
  • PadMapper makes apartment-hunting less awful and almost fun by plotting the apartments on a big map and letting you filter for exactly what you want.
  • Slack, all your team communication in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. Real time messaging, file sharing, supporting one-to-one and group conversations.
  • Square Cash, a ridiculously easy way to send/receive money. No signing up for anything!
  • Tripit organizes travel details into one master online itinerary, even if you book through multiple travel sites.