Smatterings: December 2015 Vol II (the end of the road…)


Guys. I’ve decided this is the last Smatterings.

After… seven? years of curating this twice-monthly list of random goodness, it’s time for me to focus on other things. Things that pay my bills. Things that bring me a better joy to eh ratio. Things that have been on my To Do List for too long. Check out more of but why?!?!? here.

I will still do Smatterings on social media, so if you follow #smatterings and/or join me over there, you’ll still get random goodness from me. Facebook & Twitter. It just won’t be as time-consuming nor will I feel any pressure to do it ‘on schedule.’

Many of you have used Smatterings’ services to promote your business, sell a couch, hire employees, gain exposure over the years. You can still have access to the Cheese-It network through social media shares and through inclusion in the Mac & Cheese Productions℠ newsletter. More on that here.

So, for the last time —

  • Did you know that if you search the hashtag #smatterings on Twitter or Facebook, you can get much of this random goodness all neatly laid out for you, going back months and months?!
  • You can also see past issues by doing a search on the blog for Smatterings 
  • Italics is my voice/means I’m the one to follow up with, which you can do here 
  • If you have your images turned off, you might want to turn them on as there are often pictures included
  • If you are reading this in an RSS feed, you may want to head to the original post, so you’ll see everything
  • Want to see upcoming Mac & Cheese Productions events? Calendar here


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9 Adult Coloring Books to Gift This Year

How to Use Coffee Grounds Around the House

So sad! Gaper’s Block is ‘closing’. So much of Smatterings material came from there.

Your big break

18 Things to Remember When Your Heart is Breaking

10 Simple Habits that Will Save You Lots of Time and Energy

12 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone

Agree with most. Not #9.

12 Things Enormously Successful People Refuse to Do

30 Things We Forget To Say “Thank You” For

One Thing Unhappy People Refuse to Do for Themselves

10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself

How To Say Goodbye To City Life

How to Deal With Me: A User Manual for All My Friends

The 20 Best New Apps of 2015

How to Keep Your Head Up in the Constant Stream of Bad News

“Passion Isn’t Something You Have, It’s Something You Develop”

Find the Average Cost of Home Repair Projects With This Interactive Tool

Why Cats Knock Stuff Over (and How to Prevent It)

The Most Common Budgeting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Barcode Alarm Clock Forces You to Get the Day Started

How to Block Tech Rumors and Movie Spoilers on the Web

The Practical Guide to Biking in the City

How to Travel With a Friend Without Driving Each Other Nuts

The Different Ways Being Uncomfortable Can Help You Grow

Take a Break: 5 Ways Freelance Creatives Make Unpaid Time Off Work

The New Rules of Presentations

IDEO’s Employee Engagement Formula

The Busier You Are, the More You Need Mindfulness

Two Things to Do After Every Meeting

Use Storytelling to Explain Your Company’s Purpose

Dealing with Loneliness While Traveling for Work

6 Unique Locations for Your Next Off-Site Meeting

A Neurotic’s Guide to Small Talk

What Can We Do to Be Happier?

Tipping Points: How Introverts Spread Big Ideas

Broadway hit ‘Hamilton’ will launch tour in Chicago


Loneliness May Warp Our Genes, And Our Immune Systems

My talk at Bodhi Spiritual Center!

Networking Tip: Don’t Do Favors Like The Godfather


The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do

“Jeff Goins, a brilliant new voice counting Seth Godin and Jon Acuff among his fans, explains how to abandon the status quo and live a life that matters with true passion and purpose. The path to your life’s work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life’s work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It’s about the task you were born to do. . . As Jeff Goins explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose. Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable. Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try. Through personal experience, compelling case studies, and current research on the mysteries of motivation and talent, Jeff shows readers how to find their vocation and what to expect along the way.”

Why Single-Tasking Is Your Greatest Competitive Advantage (Plus 19 Ways To Actually Do It)


By David Kadavy, best-selling author & entrepreneur

DescriptionBest-selling author David Kadavy interviews entrepreneurs and creators who have achieved success by their own definition, and built lives and businesses that are uniquely theirs. Topics will include entrepreneurship, marketing, creativity, neuroscience, productivity, lifestyle, and travel.

27 Question to Ask Instead of “What Do You Do?”

A Cheese-It is one of the life coaches and is THE BEST!

Change your life in just one month.

You, your tribe, and a trained life coach. Embrace your story.


New way to travel


Join the NightSwapping community and swap nights to travel. We’ve taken money out of the equation so hosts and travellers can enjoy an authentic experience.

Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.

No Apologies: I Changed My Default Setting From Self-Deprecating To Confident

Learn how to recycle, Chicago!

Starting Jan 1, you can no longer throw recyclables into the recycle bin in plastics bags (e.g. garbage bags, like I have! Oops.)


The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Write Down Your Future and Change Your Life; or Save it in a Trunk for Later

Amy Schumer Is Naked and Not Photoshopped and We Freaking Love It


This Email Subscription Will Make You Smarter

12 Keyboard Shortcuts You’ll Wish You Knew About Sooner

Hey, Introvert: Here Are 9 Holiday Party Coping Strategies

7 Charities to Give to This Year



Restaurants with Really Good Wi-Fi (Oh, and Really Good Food)

The 4 Best Places to Ice-Skate in Chicago


If you’re looking for gift ideas, my 2015 Gift Guide is out! Something for everyone.



For the 9th year, a group of Cheese-Its are sponsoring the education of Patience and Benigne, two Rwandan children I befriended on a trip over there many moons ago. Read the back story of how the genocide affected them and how we’re helping here; join us for next year!

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS

Idea Potluck

  • a group of pre-selected people, called Dishes, get 6 minutes each to do whatever they want
  • January and February are “nice, single guy” editions, where all the Dishes are nice and single and will say yes to anyone who asks them out as a result of Potluck
  • January and one of the Feb dates are straight guys, the other Feb date is for gay/bi guys
  • anyone can be in the audience
  • looking for more gay/bi Dishes! if you know of someone, send him to the potluck page
  • January’s edition sold out in four days, so…  you know what to do
  • tickets and self-nominations

Fear Experiment℠

  • Next round is dance or improv, January – March 2016
  • Last chance to apply!
  • Scholarships available!
  • More info and application, including a video that answers all your burning FE questions

Mingler — tomorrow!

  • The event that started it all eleven years ago
  • 20 to 30ish strangers come solo for a relaxed evening of low-key, no pressure connection-making
  • More info and reserve your spot

Life of Yes℠ Workshop — January date added!

Productivity Class

Recent Blog Posts

For the difference between a Life of Yes℠ meetup, workshop, and camp, head here.

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | CHEESE-IT DISCOUNTS & REFERRALS

  • You can find my Service Provider Referral List, Venue Referral List, Coffeehouse List, and other lists o’ mine here, including my new Life of Yes℠ Potpourri List (books, videos, articles, activities, etc.)
  • DivvyBikes: though I have two bikes, I’m a member of our city’s bike share program. See why here. Get a free month of membership when you sign uphere
  • Park Whiz: compare price, location, and amenities for parking all across the US to find the right parking spot for you. $10 credit when you sign up here
  • Gusto: payroll services, tax filings, what I use for all my money’ness; use this link, get $100 when you become a paid user
  • Champion Energy: who I use for my electricity (you don’t have to use ComEd!); use this link and code Shillman9894, get a $25 credit on your bill
  • LastPass: manage your passwords and other top-secret info (forget about memorizing tons of different passwords!); use this link, get a free month of Premium
  • Mailchimp: easily manage email campaigns; use this link, get $30 in Monkey Rewards
  • Kitchfix: delicious healthy food delivered to your door; use this link, get $15 off your first order of $30 or more (see my blog post on why I love them)
  • LYFT car-service: like a taxi, but way easier to use; use code SAYA20 for $10 off first ride
  • Uber car-service: like a taxi, but way easier to use; use code UBERCHEESEIT and get a $20 credit for first time users
  • Airbnb: my favorite way to lodge when in other cities (you can also make a boatload of cash by being a host); use this link for a $25 credit ($75 if you host!)
  • Handy: cleaning service; use code SAYA3359 for $25 off your first use. **NOTE: They’re pretty inexpensive and in the handful of times I’ve used them, definitely feel ‘getting what you’re paying for’. Not the best, not the worst. If you use the same person that might help in things like being late because they couldn’t find you, knowing the quirks of your house, etc. I finally found someone I really like, LaQuita H.**

NOTE: Many of these links give me some type of perk when you use them (so, THANK YOU!)

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That’s it, folks! Hope you enjoyed this issue. THE LAST ONE.

Wanna give me a final “hug”? A “thumbs up”? Smatterings Tip Jar and/or leave a comment below.

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Meagan Lopez

thanks for including my article on here! Was wondering why i had referrals coming from this website. Awesome Saya!