Consulting for Individuals

If you’re an individual looking for 1 on 1 support, you’re in the right place!

If you’re looking for workplace/group consulting, head here. If you’d like DIY coaching, check out the Adulting Kit and Speaker in a Box.

Jump to inquire about Mac & Cheese 1 on 1 consulting

Though she doesn’t have an MBA, had $300 in her savings when fired, and has been just “figuring it out” as she goes along, Saya has run a successful “wouldn’t change a thing” business since 2004, and even with the challenges that surface personally and professionally, lives a blissful life. Her partner in crime, marriage, and Mac & Cheese, Pete, shares her love of spreading the Life of Yes℠ philosophy, perfect for people eager to transform their lives.

Their goal is to equip you with the tools to make changes in your life, leaving you happier, healthier, and more in control of your own fulfillment.

Through personal anecdotes and the philosophies that have shaped their paths, you’ll have “Aha!” moments and start to think proactively about how you can get the most out of life, personally and professionally. You’ll gain big-picture philosophies and small-actionable steps you can apply immediately.

Pete and Saya are the perfect blend of knowledge and action + empathy and kindness; there’s no better cheerleaders to have in your corner.


"I’ve looked up to Saya as a speaker and a person who lives life and runs business on her own terms for years. One of her Life of Yes posts about designing her life to be ON a few days of the month and OFF the rest of the days really spoke to me. I signed up for four consulting sessions and am currently in my second round of four. It's been amazing. I knew working with her would give me a kick in the pants from someone I know and trust. She's always helped me grow in safe, supportive spaces. That has been a throughline for all of my engagements with her. This one is no different. I’m glad that she lets me take the time I need to get my homework done and knows that I do my best even when it’s not 100% done. I've appreciated the gentle pushes - like “What are you gonna charge?” and "Are you sure this is really true for you?" It's been nice to have that support and accountability to get stuff done. Speaker in a Box is for folks who want to get into paid speaking engagements and want someone to walk them through the step-by-step process of getting started. There are so many questions about how to start being a speaker and the Box eliminates those while providing advice, tips, resources, and templates to help you along the way."
"(Saya’s) coaching is the gift that keeps on giving. I get lots of golden gems in our sessions; but the best and most unusual perk is going about my life and making realizations based on what (she) said, long after we meet. Every time I open up the brilliantly organized shared document (she) created for us, it's like I am having another session. I’ve had like 20 sessions for the price of 4. Saya figures out what you need. She preps a ton of goodness ahead of time for you during the session and then she gives you fun things to do (post-session) that’ll help you solve your challenge even more. She puts her heart into every session; it's like she made a private course for me that I can look back on over and over again."
"Pete's financial help has been as much counseling as it has been budgeting and growth projections. What are your financial hang-ups, family dynamics that unwind your best-laid plans, and worries that keep you from being your best self? Making sure my plan addressed those things as well as the nuts and bolts of financial planning is what Pete excels at. Pete made my financial plan match how I make sense of my life. I already paid off my credit card debt and I am giving money to places that matter to me on a regular basis. I've also game-ified my monthly budget so that I can save for trips and give extra donations when I come in under budget. Talking with Pete gave me the courage to call Vanguard not once or twice but four times to break through my limited financial vocabulary and successfully get my money into a ROTH account. I feel proud of myself. If you are nervous about your living situation, your sticky finances with your family, and feeling too old to ask that one question (or hundred questions), Pete is your guru."

Nitty Gritty

 Pete & Saya are knowledgeable, easy to chat with, non judgmental, transparent, and caring. And silly. But professional silly.

Mac & Cheese Consulting is —

One on one with Pete or Saya (Pete for Personal Finance, Saya for everything else). Based in Chicago, works globally.

Sessions are 90 minutes.

$215 or $275 a session

  • Minimum of 90 minutes, either via phone or Zoom; whichever you prefer
  • If you’d like more than 90 minutes, you can book multiple sessions up front (up to you whether you’d like to actually schedule them up front as well or schedule as you go)
  • Up to three individual sessions are $275/session
  • Sessions booked four at a time are $215/session
  • Payment is due to book Mac & Cheese; how to book and available dates will be sent if Mac & Cheese is the right fit and has availability

Refund, Cancellation, and “I’m running late!” Policy

There are no refunds. You’ll get a full credit for future sessions if you cancel before 48 hours from our meeting. If you cancel within the 48 hour time frame, there is no credit. The clock starts at the agreed upon time; if you’re late, that eats into your time and the session will still end at the agreed upon end time.

Ready to work with Mac & Cheese? Fill out the form below. If you’d like more info, noodle around Additional Info below.

Inquire About Mac & Cheese Consulting

  • Please make sure you type this correctly
  • Email is the main form of communication. This is a Plan B, just in case option...
  • Why now? Have you gotten support in this area before? How did it go? Why Mac & Cheese? The more specific, the better. E.g. if you choose "productivity" and want to learn Evernote or how to tame the inbox specifically, share that.
  • This is mostly for people who are seeking professional support but if looking at your site would help paint a picture of who you are personally, feel free to share. Skip if not applicable.
  • This helps with thinking about time zones, scheduling, all that jazz.
  • Sessions scheduled four at a time have a price break ($215/session instead of $275/session). If you think you'd like more than four, let's start with four to ensure fit and to not lock you into anything to maintain flexibility -- who knows where life will take you?! You can always add more later.
  • This ensures Saya sends you the appropriate payment gateway information.
  • If there's a reason for this date, that's helpful to hear.

Additional Info

Business, Career, & Entrepreneurism

  • Considering entering the self-employment, work from home, side hustle, entrepreneur game and looking for “getting started” guidance?
  • Are you in the self-employment, work from home, side hustle, entrepreneur game and looking for growth/”now what?” guidance?
  • Tired of envying others? Tired of feeling like a hamster in the hamster wheel? Tired of throwing spaghetti on the ceiling to see what sticks?
  • Interested in challenging yourself more? Professional growth and development? Learning?
  • Seeking a change in what you do? Not sure what that change is?
  • Do you want to know yourself better?
  • Do you loathe answering questions like “What do you?” or career small-talk?
  • Are you trapped in a Golden Handcuffs job? Good pay, benefits, title, location, perks, growth potential. But. There’s something missing.
  • Wondering how to network in a way that’s not the worst?
  • Are you interested in a new career path yet scared to leave the one you’re on?
  • Which side of the perk-fence is more appealing? If it’s the one you’re not on, it may be time to make a change.

Whether you have yet to start or you’ve been on your own for awhile, Saya can help you navigate the rollercoaster that is figuring out what you want to “do” in life. Our time on earth is too short to spend the majority of a week’s hours doing something you don’t want to be doing. Let’s find out what you want to do and do that.

Dig Deep

  • finding the courage to take the leap
  • setting yourself up for success
  • when to DIY vs when to delegate
  • defining your definition of success
  • sales, marketing, and self-promotion
  • productivity: time management, efficiency, systems and tools, timelines
  • networking that doesn’t feel like networking
  • finding community when you’re a solopreneur
  • money: pricing, when to work for free/a discount, when to save money vs when to spend money, how to succeed if you don’t have a lot of capital

Personal Finance

  • Do you wish you had confidence when it comes to your finances?
  • Do you wish you knew the best app/spreadsheet/method for keeping track of your financial life?
  • Do you wish you had a better understanding of where your money goes each month?
  • Do you ever feel embarrassed that you don’t know as much about personal financial health as you think you should?
  • Do you wish you could make a realistic, achievable plan to
    •         Pay off your debt?
    •         Take the vacation you’ve always dreamed of?
    •         Buy a home?
    •         Be able to weather the unexpected surprises that keep popping up?
    •         Start saving (or save more) for retirement?
    •         Change from the regularity of a 9-to-5 job to the world of self-employment and the accompanying irregular income?

If you answered yes, Pete can help. He’s spent 20 years coaching and counseling people on their personal financial situations and how they can make better decisions when it comes to money.

Specifically, Pete can help you:

  • Organize, optimize, and automate your financial life so that you can make your finances a high priority without having to commit all your time to managing them
  • Understand your psychological and emotional relationship to money
  • Uncover your values so that you gain clarity around the right financial goals and the best plan to achieve those goals
  • Reduce the shame, fear, and uncertainty that often accompanies financial struggles
  • Start achieving your financial goals, building a virtuous cycle of positive achievements, as opposed to a self-defeating cycle of financial missteps than then lead to further missteps

Disclaimer — Pete…

  • Is not a financial advisor
  • Will never try to sell you any products or investments
  • Will never make commissions based on anything you do or purchase
  • Will never have any control of your money. You’ll pay only for our time and conversations together
  • Will solely offer you education and coaching. When you get to a place where you no longer need consulting, you should move on and stop contracting Pete’s services. If you need the services of a financial advisor, Pete can recommend options.


For those interested in the space between cleaning your home yourself and hiring a professional. If that’s you, you can contact Saya to check availability and see if she’s the right person. If she’s not, she’ll probably have a resource or rockstar to refer to you.

Could your home use sparkle & shine? Would you like to tackle it yourself but aren’t sure where to start or where to focus resources (time, energy, money)? Are you ready and willing to clean but also overwhelmed? Is hiring a cleaning service not the route for you? When you clean do you think, “There must be a better way”?

Saya loves to clean and loves to teach others how to clean better. Where better means in a way that’s easier and more full of joy; or at least less horrible. If you’d like someone to assess your situation, in a warm, supportive, no judgment way, and give you a customized step by step blueprint that includes a list of recommended supplies, a task checklist to ensure thoroughness, and a priority list in the suggested order of attack — “Based on XYZ, start here…” — this is for you. She’ll lovingly tell you don’t do that, do this. She’ll take into consideration your likes and dislikes, your pain points, your hurdles, your resources, and your vision for your ideal home.


Planning, curating, and hosting events has been Saya’s bread & butter since the beginning. From dinner parties to adult recitals, a group of six to an audience of 700, from her own space to rented space. She’s a master at playing to her strengths and creating comfortable, welcoming, and impactful experiences for people of all backgrounds. She is not for hire as an Event Planner, someone who does all the nitty gritty for you; she’s for hire to empower you to efficiently and confidently produce your own events.

Dig Deep

  • processes and systems
  • tools
  • registration
  • agenda and structure
  • facilitation
  • attendees
  • collaborators
  • partners and sponsors
  • sales and marketing
  • talent
  • communication — with attendees, with talent
  • venue
  • ambiance — music, decor, AV
  • materials — food & drink, giveaways, activity supplies

Productivity & Time Management

You know “productivity” and “time management” are things but where to start? Where to spend your resources? How to best use XYZ to fit your needs? Saya narrows the overwhelming field of options. A Huffington Post article called her “Chicago’s productivity-guru” and she was included in the Gmail Genius series.

Whether you want someone to listen to your specific productivity or time management issues and suggest big-picture solutions and tools to fix what’s broken or whether you want to deep-dive into a specific area or tool, Mac & Cheese can help. Saya has numerous resources, mostly tech-based, and a few key mentalities that she uses and draws from to maintain organization, frugality, and efficiency, as well as keep her head clear for the fun stuff. She has a full personal life, filled with Travel! Activities! Dates!, and has run a successful business since 2004, filled with event curation, keeping track of and adhering to deadlines, wrangling thousands of people, being laid-back yet professional, traveling the frugal path, and wearing many hats, which she has managed to do while keeping her head above water and with a smile on her face. It can be done.

Sample Areas of Focus

  • email
  • to do lists
  • calendars
  • automation – e.g. when rain is in the forecast, get a reminder to take your umbrella; save all your Instagram posts to Dropbox
  • digital security
  • digital organization
  • personal life – travel, shopping, household tasks…
  • managing projects
  • managing others
  • social media – platform use and scheduling
  • event planning

Sample Tools

  • Evernote
  • Asana
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Drive
  • Gmail
  • Dropbox
  • Bitwarden
  • Todoist


  • Seeking a change in life? Not sure what that change is?
  • Do you want to default yes more instead of no?
  • Would you like more connection in your life? With others? With yourself?
  • Do you want to know yourself better?
  • Are you searching for community? A sense of belonging? Somewhere to belong?
  • Would you like more joy in your life? Laughter? Fulfillment?
  • Interested in challenging yourself more? Personal growth and development? Learning?
  • Feel like you’re a magnet for the wrong things, wrong scenarios, wrong people?
  • Do you want to spend more time doing what you want to be doing?
  • Do you feel you’re on the sidelines of life watching it pass by?
  • Do you need to put yourself first at times, instead of others?
  • Are there icks in your life you’re having trouble moving past but want to?
  • Do you want more confidence?
  • Who’s driving your bus: you or someone else? Is that how you want it?

The segments that make up our lives should be rooted in and filled with joy and ease. Saya creates that lifestyle for herself and for others.

Public Speaking

  • Do you have stories or thoughts you want to share publicly?
  • Do you feel like you don’t have stories or thoughts others would want to hear but you’d like to explore?
  • Do you want to improve your content, from what you say to what you show (e.g. slides)?
  • Do you want to feel more comfortable and confident in the spotlight?
  • Does public speaking or calling yourself a ‘speaker’ freak you out yet also intrigue you?
  • Are you already a speaker who wants to be more of a speaker? More gigs? More well rounded?
  • Does the idea of getting paid to share your interests sound neat?
  • Does the idea of getting paid to speak sound neat?
  • Does the idea of getting to travel to speak sound neat?
  • Do you want to be more comfortable creating and asking for speaking fees?
  • Do you want to know what else you should be asking for outside of fees?
  • Do you want to learn how to better promote yourself as a speaker?
  • Do you want to create a Speaker Webpage but aren’t sure where to start?
  • Are you curious what other tools besides a webpage you should have as a Speaker?
  • Do you have stories or thoughts you want to share publicly?
  • Do you feel like you don’t have stories or thoughts others would want to hear but you’d like to explore?
  • Are you interested in learning speaker best practices outside of your actual presentation, like interacting with event organizers and engaging with the audience?
  • Can you come up with a gazillion excuses why you’re not and never will be a Speaker?

Do you fear the moment when

  • Someone asks you how much you charge?
  • You submit a quote, immediately wishing you had charged less?
  • You see a quote response in your inbox, afraid to open it because you know they won’t pay you what you want?
  • Someone asks you what your qualifications are?
  • Someone asks you what you speak about?
  • You make your thoughts public?
  • People realize you’re a fraud, that you don’t know what you’re doing, and/or you’re not worth the price you’re asking?
Are you ready to stop being intrigued and to take action? Are you ready to next-level it when it comes to being a speaker?

Dig Deep

  • How to choose, create, and share content
  • How to best communicate your thoughts and stories in ways that are engaging, memorable, comfortable, impactful, and inspiring
  • How to best complement your speaking (slides, handouts, etc.)
  • How to be less fearful of the stage and the spotlight
  • How to make public speaking work with you instead of against you
  • How to feel comfortable calling yourself “a Speaker”
  • How to figure out what to speak about
  • How to get speaking gigs
  • What tools you need to be a Speaker
  • Creation/updating of your Speaker Page
  • How to feel comfortable talking Speaker money — asking to get paid, what to charge, when to give a discount/speak for free

Saya teaches avenues to being a speaker that work with what you already possess. No having to get certified in this or having to attend that. No e-book or fifteen-step program to buy or coach to hire. No waiting or analyzing or running things by others.


  • Do you have no stories?
  • Do you feel you’ve lead an uninteresting life?
  • Do you have nothing to say?
  • Do you have tons to say but don’t know where to start or how to say it?
  • Do you want to be a better writer? A better speaker?
  • Have you always wanted to write but _____ forever gets in the way?
  • Do you have a “thing” you want to work through, get over, learn from?
  • Do you have a “thing” you want to transform from negative to positive?
  • Do you want to (re)discover your voice?
  • Do you want to challenge yourself?
  • Does public speaking terrify you? Excite you?
  • Does sharing personal stories terrify you? Excite you?
  • Do you want your thoughts and your experience to help others?
  • Can you come up with a gazillion excuses why you’re not and never will be a Storyteller?

When Saya used to try to fit in — which as an amazonian biracial Black Jew with a single mom, homemade clothes, and bike for a car was difficult — she was miserable. Since learning the power of voice and vulnerability, she is a master at getting others to push themselves and “Me too!”, and now embraces her literal and figurative stretch marks. Often through the spoken and written word.

Saya loves to combine her superpowers of storytelling and an ability to get people to see the goodness within and the importance of sharing said goodness. She’s keynoted conferences, shared a TEDx talk, and participated in various performances from the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival to Listen To Your Mother to Fear Experiment℠. For years, she’s guided people in personal journeys to increased self-confidence and personal fulfillment.

Writing & Copy Editing

Do you have a text you’d like someone to proofread? Give a new perspective? Suggest content and revisions? A speech? A story? A blog post? A love letter? A proud Boston College English and Sociology major, a public speaker, a teacher of storytelling, and a writer, Saya loves to support others with her editing superpowers. Her niche is the personal narrative, where you talk about yourself.