I Can't...

If you have an idea for an “I Can’t,” either to attend or to facilitate, head to the Suggestion Box at bottom of page

‘Member summer camp? Where you learned, participated, and stretched yourself amongst an invigorating blend of familiar and new faces? Where you were led by welcoming, low-key counselors in a welcoming, low-key environment where the only item on your Packing List was a bag of “I’ll try”? In Mac & Cheese Productions’ I Can’t series, adults state they’re unable to do something, they try it with a bunch of other adults who also “can’t,” and everyone proves themselves wrong and not only does the thing, but enjoys it and says, “That wasn’t so bad. In fact, kinda fun. Good for me! What’s next?!” 

Through I Can’t, adults do the thing they’ve been wanting to do but haven’t done because [insert excuse here] —

  • “I’m too old”
  • “I’m out of shape”
  • “I missed my opportunity”
  • “Money”
  • “Time”
  • “Kids”
  • “I don’t have anyone to do it with”
  • “There’s nowhere I feel comfortable doing it”
  • “I’m embarrassed”

As at camp, topics and structure are varied but the “be yourself amongst others being themselves and witness the magic that happens when you try with others trying” vibe is pervasive. 

Current Offerings

Mac & Cheese is an inclusive, no judgment (of self or others) space, and welcomes all human beings. Bring something to write on/with and if you’d like, food/drink for yourself. In-person offerings are held at Mac & Cheese Productions℠, in Wicker Park, near Ashland & Division unless otherwise indicated; exact address sent upon registration. For virtual offerings, you’ll need wifi/cell service and a device with a camera (phone, computer, tablet) and will be visible to the hosts and other attendees to make conversation more conversation’y, unless otherwise noted. You should be able to attend virtual offerings live; replays are not offered.

For details about each event, scroll down; suggested you read the detail before you register as there are no refunds and you should sign up knowing all the ins and outs.


Join Us

Make sure you select the correct offering, sometimes there are lots to choose from! Times are CDT.

 


This is a virtual offering. Facebook Event if you have friends you’d like to invite or if your general network would want to know about this via a share.
 
“I’ve heard of Stories. But I don’t do them or get them.”
“Go ahead. Convince me that I need to ‘do’ Stories.”
“Why would I choose to share via Stories versus the other methods and platforms?”
“More technology to learn?! I just switched from AOL to gmail.”
“I watch other people’s Stories and always wonder how they XYZ.”
“Why would I spend time on something that disappears in 24 hours?”
“It takes me 7 hours to create a Story; how does she create them so fast?”
“I know there are Story design tricks and efficiency hacks, I just don’t know what they are.”
“I always watch her Story/I always skip her Story. I want to understand why, what makes a ‘good’ story and a ‘bad’ story.”
“How does she always get the perfect part of the song to play?”
“How the bleep do you see the responses when you ask a Sticker Question? Also, what’s a Sticker Question?”
 
Saya gets it. Saya was you. At first they were just circles she ignored. Then they were circles she sometimes tapped. Then they were circles she looked for. Then they were circles she created. Then they were circles others asked her about. And here we are.
 
I Can’t: Instagram Story is for you if you’d like to learn the ins and outs of one of the most popular and growing social media tools — personal use, professional use, a mix of both; however you want to dabble, you’ll have a-ha moments and inspiration to create your own Story goodness. This class will be of the learn and apply variety where you’re taught concepts and techniques and then little birdies, you fly off to test, tweak, and implement on your own, and we’ll regroup to share our experience and creations.
 
To Bring
  • Your phone with Instagram downloaded and logged into (very important to have the most recent version of Instagram)
  • A wifi-enabled device (computer or tablet)
  • Note taking materials
  • A willingness to try, apply, and share
  • Food/drink if you’d like; eating during class a-ok!
Guide
Learn more about Saya here.
 

This is a virtual offering. Facebook Event if you have friends you’d like to invite or if your general network would want to know about this via a share.
 
Feel like everyone else has their finances figured out while you’re pretending everything’s fine?
Is looking at your bank account or credit card statement difficult?
Would you rather [insert every horrible thing] than look at your finances and figure out how to organize them into a useable budget?
Have you been wanting to start a budget forever but the overwhelm is real and stopping you?
Does starting a budget feel pointless because you don’t know where to begin or won’t stick to it?
 
I Can’t: Budget is for you.
 
Making a budget has been on your to-do list forever. One of those things you’ll get around to eventually, but eventually never seems to actually arrive. Plus, you’re not the only one, right? Only 41% of American households actually follow a budget, right? But wouldn’t it be nice to get ahead for once? Wouldn’t it be nice to have control over your finances and not worry about how you’re going to cover next month’s or even next week’s bills? In this workshop, Chloe Daniels (aka Clo Bare) takes us through how to create a budget that aligns with your priorities. By the end of this workshop, you’ll have created your very own personalized budget, understand how to update it as you go, and also have loads of tips on how to stay on budget, save more money, and even start to invest in that retirement fund.
 
This is a topic where there can be negative feelings — shame, fear, inadequacy… People hate talking about money and they especially hate feeling like they don’t know something they think they should know. But the good news is MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCE. Most people don’t know what the heck a 401(k) is. Most people don’t know the first step in creating a budget. Most people ignore their finances and hope they’ll just work out somehow. And that’s totally okay. By coming to this workshop, you’re taking the steps you need to get to a place where you control your money, instead of allowing your money (or lack of money) to control you. It’s okay if you don’t know and it’s okay if you feel like you should’ve known. We don’t get taught this stuff in school and Clo Bare is all about a judgment-free, vulnerability-safe zone.
 
Guide
Chloe Daniels, also known as Clo Bare, is a personal growth and finance blogger who started her debt-free and financial independence journey in 2018 when she was saddled with $70k in debt from her student loans and car loan. Within a year of deciding to finally tackle her personal finance, and get serious about paying off debt, Clo Bare managed to pay off $20k in debt, while still paying cash for five international trips in one year and saving more than $13k in the process on her five-figure income. A year later, she started investing in real estate, paid off another $20k in debt, and is now on track to retire by 46. Despite having studied English and Spanish and being terrible with money in her early 20’s, Clo Bare is a self-taught budgeting and investing fanatic whose passion is to teach, share, start conversations, create safe spaces to be vulnerable, and answer questions about adulting your money.
 
 
To Bring
  • 2-4 weeks of your spending and income–preferably 4 weeks so you can see all your monthly expenses. You can either keep track leading up to the event or you can print out/have handy your bank account transactions and credit card transactions so you can go through what you spent while we’re creating the budget. These numbers are for your eyes only and you will not be asked to share them.
  • A video capable device
  • Note taking materials
  • Food/drink if you’d like; eating during class a-ok!
  • A sack of self-love


This is a virtual offering. Facebook Event if you have friends you’d like to invite or if your general network would want to know about this via a share.

Intrigued by the thought of moving to a new place but [insert all the reasons you haven’t]?

Moving can seem really overwhelming, especially if you’ve spent most of your life in one place. Lots of logistics go into a smooth move, and you have to consider timing too — do you pick a date and plan around that? Or do you find a job first? How do you make friends as an adult when starting over in a new place? What do you with your current home and all of your stuff?? It can feel like there are a million reasons not to move, but often the reasons to move are the most powerful.
 
Caro Griffin has spent most of her life on the move – first as a teenager, then a digital nomad. Over the last two years, she’s lived in: Croatia, Czechia, Portugal, Morocco, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Chile, Peru, and Colombia, and recently settled in Mexico City. She’s here to tell you that the scary parts of moving are often the most rewarding, and that moving doesn’t have to bethathard. Starting over in the place you most want to be is a powerful thing that a lot of people never get to experience. So whether you’re moving for pleasure or work or just a fresh start, the big move you’ve been dreaming about is totally possible!
 

Topics

  • How and why to make a life-changing move
  • All the boring but important tax, legal, and immigration things to consider – especially if you’re considering an international move
  • How to start planning your move and strategies for making it happen sooner rather than later
  • What to do with your current place and all your stuff
  • Finding local resources in your new home
  • Tips for making friends as an adult in a new place

Guide

Caro is the Director of Operations at Skillcrush, a tech startup teaching women the digital skills they need to change careers and doing it completely remotely. After attending three high schools in four years, she settled in Chicago for almost ten years before packing up again to become a full-time traveler. She’s spent the past two years moving from country to country, before recently settling in Mexico City. In the process, she’s amassed a whole slew of resources about moving and starting over and is excited to share those with you.
 

 

To Bring

  • A video capable device that can connect to the internet
  • Note taking materials
  • Food/drink if you’d like; eating during class a-ok!
  • A sack of self-love


This is a virtual offering. Facebook Event if you have friends you’d like to invite or if your general network would want to know about this via a share.
 
Do you wish you could —
  • Bring in some extra money to pay off debt or build a travel fund?
  • Become an entrepreneur without quitting your day job? Have more freedom in your schedule?
  • Build something of your own and create more than one income stream?
You can! By starting a side hustle. The only problem is that you might not know where to start, you have little time, you’ve done some things on your own but haven’t made much progress. Or you may not even know what type of side hustle to start!
 
In this workshop, Jessica shares the most important lessons she’s learned from side hustling over the past 9 years —
  • Reasons why people start their side hustles
  • Things to think about when figuring out what type of side hustle to start
  • How to find time (and energy) to work on your business.
  • Why making money is not the most important thing
  • Getting through the day to day challenges of it all
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of starting a side hustle or even coming up with a side hustle idea, this is for you. 
 
Guide
Jessica L. Williams is the founder of Tech Biz Gurl and works with folks who like their 9-5 but also want to create an additional income stream doing something they love. She is the creator of #jesspicks, a weekly newsletter featuring the best resources and tips for side hustlers. Her days include a mix of doing Customer Research Strategy for &yet, consulting on various projects at SDI Presence, and helping other startups and companies through operations. When she’s not working you’ll probably find her somewhere reading, eating dessert or dancing.
 
 
To Bring
  • Your video-capable device
  • Your side hustle goals, challenges, and questions
  • Note-taking materials
  • Food/drink if you’d like; eating during class a-ok!
  • A sack of self-love

Sample of Past Offerings

  • Yoga
  • Grieve
  • Improv
  • LinkedIn
  • Organize my home
  • Buy a home
  • Photograph
  • Draw
  • Have a dog
  • Side hustle
  • Figure out what I want to do in life
  • Land my dream job
  • Clean
  • Find love
  • Put on makeup
  • Travel
  • Ask for money
  • Wine
  • Bake
  • Camp
  • Adult my money 

“I attended the I Can’t Find My Dream Job workshop and it really helped to boost my motivation in looking for a new opportunity. Before the workshop, I felt stuck and generally directionless. I really didn’t know what I was looking for in my “dream job” but I knew what I was doing at my current job did not match. Through the exercises, resources, and ideas of the workshop, I was able to put one foot in front of the other and not feel so overwhelmed by the concept of switching gears. The workshop provided specific steps that I could do that night or the next day to get myself on the train towards reaching my goal. I wrote them down and actually did those tasks! I also found the personal stories from Saya and L’Oreal Thompson to be incredibly motivating. There is something uniquely profound about being in a room full of people who are going through what you are going through AND people who have moved beyond that state to where you want to be. It is the extra push you need to dig yourself out of any ‘stuck’ situation. And that is really why I love going to these workshops and events, even outside of the I Can’t offerings. It’s truly an authentic community of people who can affirm and understand what is happening with you in the moment, and at the same time support you when you say “I can” to something. The support goes above and beyond. This workshop as well as other offerings from Mac & Cheese Productions has profoundly shifted my perspective about life in general, knowing there is a like-minded group of inclusive, diverse and positive people willing to support each other in making the absolute most out of life – in every aspect.”

Testimonials

"Saya, I just wanted to say thank you. I was really scared about taking (I Can't: Improv), but you and Pete did such a great job of making a space where there was no room for fear and insecurity. It was really helpful for me to be there."
"The workshop was so comprehensive and has really gotten me excited about cleaning. I am also thinking about how I can incorporate ideas into other areas of my life, so thank you again!"
"I attended the I Can't: Clean workshop because I knew there must be more strategic, efficient, and effective ways to clean than what I've always done, and Saya definitely showed me better ways! From general strategies like working from the top of the room down to specific product recommendations I came away with knowledge I could use (and I did use it--I gave my kitchen a thorough scrub a few days after the class!). It helped that the class was in a casual setting because it made it easier to ask questions (and to confess our personal cleaning shames). I wouldn't think to take a cleaning course anywhere else because I'd assume it would be very judgmental, but I knew from other Mac & Cheese events that the class would be low-pressure and practical."
"I Can't: Camp was an adventure worth the bug bites. We hiked, swam, built fires, told stories, created in-jokes, saw a bald eagle, and got comfortable being uncomfortable! I appreciated the balance of downtime and doing things, being able to connect with the group but also enjoy the peacefulness of nature. Learning new skills that I didn't know were "me" was exciting - at one point the group was cheering me on as I scraped and scraped a firestarting flint SO determined to get a blaze going (it worked!). I couldn't have asked for better leaders in Saya and Aaron: funny, low-key, positive people who inspire confidence and put people at ease. I came back to Chicago dirty, smelly, itchy, and craving a shower beer like no other, but with tons of positive memories and zero regrets."
"This workshop was great! Kristyn and Saya were awesome. I learned a lot on approaching home organization and have a better understanding as to why my strategies previously didn't work. Kristyn was passionate and very knowledgeable. The workshop was held in a comfortable setting that fostered great interaction and dialogue."
"I thought this class was great! I learned about yoga and got to try it in a super comfortable environment, the instructor was fun and explained things. The class overall was a great way to bring people together with similar interests and also things they’re each going through."

Suggestion Box

"I Can't" Idea

Suggest an "I Can't" topic, either as an attendee or as a facilitator. If you have a facilitator in mind whom isn't you, tell them to fill this out. Note that this is a very popular series both on the attendee side and on the facilitator side, so if you're suggesting yourself for the latter, no promises. Additionally, Mac & Cheese is much more likely to collaborate with people already in the M&C world, people whom we already know are fabulous; meaning if you don't already come to events and/or interact online, you should start doing that! The whole "friends helping friends" thing...
  • Please make sure you type this correctly. If you're just suggesting a topic, Mac & Cheese probably won't reach out; this is is more for folks who want to facilitate a session. But, just in case...
  • If you'd like to share further info on the topic.
  • The rest of the form is for people interested in facilitating

    You're all done if you're just submitting a topic idea — skip down to SUBMIT.
  • If virtual, Mac & Cheese will host on Zoom. If in person, Mac & Cheese is usually where I Can'ts take place, but sometimes it makes more sense to hold a session elsewhere, e.g. a glass blowing studio, a gym, or an animal rescue.
  • If you're open/it doesn't matter, state that. In-person Mac & Cheese can hold 30ish. Virtual Mac & Cheese can hold 100. Keep in mind: how many attendees will make it worth your while, venue size, venue capability (number of tables and chairs, etc), materials you provide, desired participation level (individual, small group, whole group), desired "feel" (is intimate preferred?), desired potential revenue (the more people, the more revenue potential).
  • If yes, when and why then? If you're open and timeframe doesn't matter, state that. We try to have at least a month of registration being open and it can take a week'ish for initial back and forths and event creation, so ideally, you don't want to do this within the next 2-4 weeks.
    Do you XYZ without having to be reminded? If you're given instructions, do you read and follow all of them? Are you punctual? Do you pull your weight? Are you proactive? Can you manage life without a lot of hand-holding? Do you offer something fabulous? Are you low-maintenance? Do you think you can work with a Type A only child who has a lot of opinions, systems, and preferred ways of existence yet whom is also collaborative and open to your you'ness? Are you someone who aligns with Mac & Cheese Productions℠ and is someone Mac & Cheese would be proud to be affiliated with? Are you a good person who believes in equality for all? Are you nice?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.