General FAQs

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

Mac & Cheese sounds cool. But what do you actually do?

Whatever we enjoy doing and people will pay us for (and sometimes not pay us for 😄; but usually, payment is required). The ol’ “find something that makes you happy and use it to make others happy” cliché. For a less vague answer check out the Offerings Page to see concrete examples and noodle around in this post: How do YOU think I make money?

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 and/or has a Life of Yes℠ vibe. This is a service offered through Mac & Cheese Productions℠. Head here to find out how to get exposure to Cheese-Its.

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; she’s available as a consultant in various capacities. Would you ask your dentist to coffee and say, “Could you give a quick glance at my back left molar? It’s killing me and I’m not sure what to do” and expect her to both say yes to the invite and giving you free a dental exam?

The reason you want to get coffee is usually a service Saya offers through Mac & Cheese. So many requests, only so much time to make a living, get to her own too long To Do List, roll in the grass. So, again, Thank you for deeming Saya someone worthy of your time. But, negative to your coffee request.

Sometimes living a Life of Yes℠ means saying no. Read this post for more insight into this angst’y area.

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 on Mac & Cheese. Or come to any of the 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 — 

Can you speak for free at my event/organization?

Saya does not speak for free so if you don’t have a speaker budget, she is not a good match. Much like how a mechanic fixes cars or a stylist cuts hair for a living and uses what people pay them for bills, mortgages, groceries, so it is with Saya and speaking. If you have funds for a speaker and are interested in having Saya inspire, motivate, and a-ha! your audience, check out Saya’s speaker page.

Do you accept Guest Posts?

Mac & Cheese does not accept any unsolicited Guest Posts. Guest Posts are from people who either are approved partners or from people whom Saya asks directly.

How do you pronounce Saya’s name?


Like Maya Angelou. But with an “S”. And with fewer 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!).”

Where can I find your headshot, logo, other marketing materials?

On the Press Kit page.

I don’t see an offering of [event of yours] on the Calendar; when’s the next one?

Great question whose answer is always a “Thank you for being interested!” shrug. No Mac & Cheese offering is on a set schedule or has a secret date that just hasn’t been announced yet. Offerings are added to the calendar as soon as a date is selected and as Mac & Cheese’s schedule and passion for XYZ allows. If you don’t see something you’re interested in on the calendar, keep M&C on your radar by getting on the newsletter list and/or following on social to be alerted when new dates are added.

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, Camp, a cleaning, 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? 

You can see job openings here. To sponsor, head here. To volunteer, head here. To collaborate, head here. If you live outside of Chicago and are interested in expanding M&C into your city, head here

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

Yes! Check out the Chapters Page.

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

And of course, Mac & Cheese travels wherever people bring us.

I Hear You Have a List For Everything. True?

Pretty true. Housing Criteria List, Job Criteria List, College Criteria List, Pet Peeve List, Boyfriend Criteria List, lots of other lists. But you’re not here for inane ramblings probably. Looking for the referral lists? You’re in the right place.

A note before you jump in: some of the below 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.

If you use an M&C referral, let Saya know about your experience so she ensures she continues only to thumbs up the best of the best.

If a link doesn’t work, a business no longer exists, or there’s some other wonkyness, let Mac & Cheese know.

Service Provider Referral List

Look for this badge to know you’ll get quality work by quality people

Head here for referrals of realtors, web designers, coaches, personal trainers, architects, mechanics, dentists, handyfolks, contractors, plumbers, and on and on and on… 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. If you’d like exposure to the Cheese-It network, head here.

Venue Referral List

Head here for a list of places to get married, teach a class, run an offsite event for work, throw a birthday party, and on and on and on…

Life of Yes℠ Resources List

Head here for resources that fit the Life of Yes℠ mentality: books, videos, articles, professional organizations, conferences, activities to do (classes, entertainment, dating, volunteering, spirituality, physicality), and on and on…

Material Item Loves List

While we’re all about experiences here at Mac & Cheese, sometimes “stuff” is nice too. Here are some of our favorite things via the Mac & Cheese Amazon Affiliate Store.

Make Life Easy(ier) Tools List

This is a a tiny sample. A longer list is on the Life of Yes℠ Resources List above, on the “Tech Tools” tab. If productivity is a topic of interest, check out the Calendar page to see if there’s an upcoming class or webinar, where we go over much of below more in depth.

  • Private Internet Access is a horribly boring name but it’s one of the simplest ways to keep yourself digitally safe
  • Canva is graphic design for those of us who can’t graphic design
  • Grove Collaborative is a consumer products delivery service with a mission to help people make the switch to natural, non-toxic household products  
  • 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)
  • is a web application which provides speech to text transcription and converts live speaking into a written transcription. 
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Airbnb is for you if you’d rather stay in a home than in a hotel
  • Tripit organizes travel details into one master online itinerary, even if you book through multiple travel sites

Chicago Referral List

Head here for suggestions of Chicago activities, lodging, restaurants, and on and on and on…

Activities to do When Traveling List

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’.

Coffeehouse Referral List

Head here for the Chicago list, and to Saya’s YELP list for non Chicago.