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. Held at Mac & Cheese Productions℠, in Wicker Park, near Ashland & Division unless otherwise indicated; exact address sent upon registration.

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!


I Can’t: Put On Makeup

This is a virtual offering. You’ll need wifi and access to a device with a camera (phone, laptop, tablet, desktop). You will be visible to the hosts and other attendees to make conversation more conversation’y. Facebook Event if you have friends you’d like to invite.

  • Are you interested in using makeup more (or at all) but don’t know where to start?
  • Do you get frustrated when you try to apply makeup and it doesn’t turn out the way you expect?
  • Do you feel makeup might be fun or helpful but feel embarrassed or have conflicting feelings about participating in patriarchal appearance ideals?
  • Does choosing, purchasing, and applying makeup seem overwhelming?
  • Are you like, ‘WTF what are all these brushes for?’

Join us to learn no judgment, super-duper beginner makeup techniques and principles — 

  • what certain tools and techniques do/are supposed to do
  • why those tools and techniques are useful
  • how to decide what to do
  • how to use the tools and techniques to suit what you would like to accomplish

All people are different, so instruction includes broad and general beginner tips — the goal is for you to have more confidence and a basic framework which you can apply to yourself based on your individual style, personality, bone structure, skin texture, and budget. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions so engage that beautiful brain and apply what you learn to accomplish what you want!

To Bring

We realize that you may not have some of these items and that these items are not, uh, essential. And that a reason you’re taking this class might be you don’t know how to buy these items. So just the Musts List is absolutely a-ok. If you have/can get your hands on the other items, fabulous! But not necessary.

Musts

    • device with a camera and wifi that you can set up in your space
    • a washed, clean face
    • clean hands
    • a mirror
    • decent lighting that preferably points at the face and isn’t casting a shadow downward
    • note-taking materials

Ideal Add Ons

    • facial moisturizer appropriate to your skin type
    • a basic and inexpensive color correcting palette like this
    • basic eyeshadow/liner brushes like this
    • a poofy brush like this
    • if you have your shade tinted moisturizer/foundation you already use and like (we’ll talk about this more in class)

Bonus Points

    • bronzer, blush, or powder
    • eyeshadow
    • mascara
    • a lip color and closely matching lip pencil

The Instructor

Kristine Lorenzo is an independent hair stylist and salon owner based in Wicker Park. She genuinely enjoys teaching clients techniques to feel more successful with their hair at home, with emphasis on the WHYs of how hair works. She sucks about washing her face before bed but is working on it.

Website // Instagram

 

 

 

I Can’t: Meditate

This is a virtual offering. You’ll need wifi and access to a device with a camera (phone, laptop, tablet, desktop). You will be visible to the hosts and other attendees to make conversation more conversation’y. Facebook Event if you have friends you’d like to invite.

  • Have you been curious about meditation but not sure where to start?
  • Maybe you’ve tried it before but felt like a “bad meditator”?
  • Do you think you have to sit still, be quiet, stop the thoughts?

Start here.

There is no failure in becoming aware of this moment, just as it is.

We will sit, stand, lay down and move. We’ll work with the thoughts in new ways instead of stopping or resisting them. We might even make some noise.

Whether or not you have past experience with meditation, this class is for you. We will bring kindness and curiosity to exploring different tools for being present, on purpose, and moment by moment. Mindfulness isn’t about needing to feel any particular way. It also isn’t a quick solution to the challenges of life. It’s a way of noticing habits, making space for change, and cultivating gratitude, compassion and wisdom. We’ll experience a variety of exercises to expand your toolbox for working with your life – the pleasant, the unpleasant, the neutral. It’s referred to as practice for many reasons; come find out why.

Find connection — to self and others — from the comfort of your home.

Appropriate for never-meditators and those with established practice looking to bring their beginner’s mind back into the game – all are welcome!

To Bring/Prepare

  • device with a camera and wifi that you can set up in your space
  • comfortable dress
  • somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit, stand, and lay down
  • your curiosity and openness

The Instructor

Claire Zawa is a doula, Care Manager, and Mindfulness-Based Childbirth & Parenting teacher. She believes that mindfulness is possible for anyone, it just takes some remembering! She practices almost every day, so there is always room to grow.

Website // Facebook

Sample of Past Offerings

  • Yoga
  • Improv
  • LinkedIn
  • Organize my home
  • Buy a home
  • Photograph
  • Draw
  • Have a dog
  • 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.
  • 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. Mac & Cheese can hold 30ish. 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.
    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.