Smatterings: November 2015 Vol I


  • 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
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  • Want to post in Smatterings? Find out how here
  • Want to see upcoming Mac & Cheese Productions events in one easy to read/find spot? Calendar here
  • Appreciate Smatterings? Drop something in the Smatterings Tip Jar for the time it takes to curate and send this twice-monthly goodness!



Any single ladies looking for some dating help?

Get a 2 for 1 to this event led by a fellow Cheese-It! Find a friend to bring, purchase 1 ticket, and then email Jason with code “SAYA” to get another ticket for free.

If you’re a single woman in Chicago and can’t figure out why the simple process seems so difficult, join Jason Silver, relationship expert and CEO of the Matchmaking Institute for an innovative 2 hour boot camp on the most effective modern day dating strategies.

Learn proven strategies to:
Meet more quality men
Find the right match for you
Learn how to filter out the crazies and players
How to avoid getting into a relationship with a guy who will flake out


Chicago journalist Amy Guth (and Cheese-It friend!) is creating a documentary film series about women and online harassment, with topics ranging from civility and “snark” as a default setting in many online spaces, all the way to doxxing, threats and the psychological and economic impact of online harassment, as well as covering the many ways people and organizations are working together for change.

The goal of the project is to create real impact and bring this very important issue into the public dialogue, to connect organizations around the world doing work in this area, to seek out legal and legislative solutions, to facilitate communication, to encourage and support digital civility, to help combat online bullying and sexism and body-shaming and abuse, to find meaningful solutions that speak to digital rights and data privacy, and to change the narrative around online harassment.

This is so much more than a documentary. And, your support is needed to make it happen.

Please consider supporting the project’s Kickstarter campaign by becoming a backer here, and by sharing the campaign on social media.

Campaign ends by November 13, so don’t delay!

See how you can get a FREE seat at this dinner party! Ends Tuesday 5pm.

autumn living final-01
Do you notice the shifts of the seasons? Do you know what it means to live in harmony with these changes? Join Zach Zube (Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist) to learn to see the world around you in a new and beautiful way!

Have the pleasure of sharing a meal with like-minded individuals while learning about the therapeutic benefits of the food and spices you are enjoying. Let Zach and the fabulous staff at the Grind Cafe provide you with delicious, fun, and educational evening you will soon not forget!

You will also take home the Autumn Living Booklet filled with recipes and tips for autumn living as well as your jar of spices from the Spice Bar!

Registration closes end of day Friday, November 6.

Register here (or win a free seat here!)

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We have some fabulous classes coming up at Bespeak Studios — and there’s a space for you!

Here’s what’s on the blackboard for November:
– Learn to Play Bridge, Nov. 8, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.
– Introduction to Photoshop, Nov. 8, 12 – 3 p.m.
– Screenwriting for Beginners, Nov. 14, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
– So You Want to Write a Grant? Nov. 15, 3 – 4 p.m.

For more information and links to sign up, visit

Are you an instructor with an idea for a class? We’d love to chat with you about hosting it here. Contact us at or 844-737-MEET.

Bespeak Studios
737 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

How to Make Your Home Less Welcoming to Spiders

Google Maps Can Find Places to Stop On Your Route, Shows Gas Prices

Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem Aren’t the Same Thing

These Are the Best Suburbs in the U.S. for Raising a Family

Thank a Colleague at the End of the Day To Start Tomorrow on a Positive Note

Getting Things Done Guru David Allen’s Productive Workspace

Career Spotlight: What It’s Like to Work at an Apple Store

This Graphic Shows How to Keep Your Pantry Well Stocked (and When to Toss Things Out)

How to Fart in Public and Get Away with It

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Panic Over Processed Meats Causing Cancer

Four Sneaky Ways to Trick Your Enemies Into Becoming Allies

If You Want More Control of Your Life, Make Different Decisions

The 606 is Not the High Line 

People have been comparing the park formerly known as the Bloomingdale Trail to New York’sHigh Line since the beginning. Now that it’s been open awhile, it’s clear to John Greenfield that in some ways, the 606 isn’t as good — but in other ways it’s even better.

Via GapersBlock

Build Your Listening Skills by Holding Back the Interruptions

Three Things You Can Do to Grow More Brain Cells

How To Survive An Office Meeting

Find Out If Anyone Has Ever Died Inside Your House With This Web Site

Avoid Uber’s Surge Pricing by Waiting a Few Minutes

The Best Productivity Tricks Used By Evil Dictators

Improve Your Communication Habits by Asking Close Friends About Them


How Friendships Change in Adulthood

I quit my tech job so I could work on the projects I wanted to work on. Maybe you should, too. Maybe we should work together.

We Need Help: Now Hiring A Few Good Staff Writers

How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult

Anyone want to work for the Cubs?!

Residents of Fishers Island Seek Artists for Neighbors

Proud to call this gal a friend! Becoming a Dating Coach in Midlife: Bela’s Story

Best library in Chicago?! Amazing pics, can’t wait to check it out.


Jessie Spano, Saved by the Bell — this is how many of the current Fear Experimenters feel!

You know I love me some coffeehouses!



What Happens When Your ‘Jeopardy!’ Response Goes Viral


Many people ask why I’m a Divvy member when I already have two of my own bikes. This is why.

You should become a member too! It’s changed the way I get around the city.

Sign up with my link, we’ll both get a bonus month!

NYT  The Death of the Party


Everything Doesn’t Happen For A Reason

Ahhh, memories!

‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’ Movie Will Make Your Childhood Nightmares Come To Life

Am glad my family didn’t turn its back on my mom and I (my mom is white, my dad black).

Deadline is November 6th!

Calling All Entrepreneurs: How’d You Like $2,500?

Week of Want: I killed my to-do list, then Google bought my ideas

How To Fix Chicago’s Tech Industry

7 Bad Skin Habits You Need to BreakFrom your pillowcase to your lunch choices

Jahmal was an Idea Potluck Dish this month!

South Side Teens Visit Whole New ‘Diverse’ World: The North Side

20 life lessons from the Chicago Cubs



On Tinder, Off Sex

So excited for Tarrah!

Emanuel loses his voice as spokeswoman Tarrah Cooper departs

How To Live This Year As If It Were Your Last

Oslo just declared that it will become the first major city to ban cars

A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day 

This year-long journey across the U.S. keeps you at consistent high temperatures.

The How Behind Creating a Life You Love (Hint: There Is No Magic Formula)

How to Walk Like a Ninja: An Illustrated Guide

4 Ways to Figure Out What You’re Good At (Not Just What You’re Passionate About)

Do Uncomfortable Things Regularly to Get Used to Leaving Your Comfort Zone

The Best Ways to Break the Ice and Get to Know Someone on the First Date


7 Honeymoons That Feel Expensive But Actually Aren’t

Here It Is — Bernie Sanders Dancing On ‘Ellen’

‘Playboy’ To Stop Publishing Nude Images

4 Places You Should (Actually) Be Spraying Your Perfume

As someone who spends way too much money here… sigh. I LOVE their salad bar.


Danny Meyer is eliminating all tipping at his restaurants and significantly raising prices to make up the difference, a move that will raise wages, save the hospitality industry, and forever change how diners dine.

The 19 Types of Friends Every Woman Needs

How to Host the Best Movie Night Ever



Lots of job openings at WBEZ!

“Thank God I’m still alive. Because I worked in a job for two years that literally had me wanting to kill myself.”

Alive, a talk by Adam

Met this guy when he came to a Meetup of mine
Lessons Learned As A Meetup Organizer

NYT Piece

This Column Is Gluten-Free

Love this game!

Sneaky Cards: Play It Forward” is a new card game that’s the ultimate reminder that random daily moments and interactions with strangers can be a lot of fun.

If I know you and would recommend you, feel free to ask me to do so.


“I’m looking for someone half-time with the potential to expand into a full-time role, someone who meets three criteria:
-Has confidence
-High EQ
-Has a couple of years of digital marketing experience (strong execution skills).
The role is a cross between project manager and execution.”

 Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS

After a whirlwind Fall of events — Minglers, Life of Yes℠ Workshp, Productivity Class, LOY Meetups, Idea Potluck, etc etc — only one thing left on the 2015 calendar, Fear Experiment℠! Thanks for making the Fall so busy and full of life. Stay tuned for 2016’ness.
Win-Win Market
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  • Awesome day of local vendors selling their wares at Mac & Cheese this past Saturday
  • I debuted some of my Life of Yes℠ products! (stay tuned for the online LOY store)

Fear Experiment℠

  • Next round is dance or improv, January – March 2016. Last info session is tomorrow! Must attend to apply.
  • To get tickets to the show this Fall – storytelling, stepping, and a capella — head here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED you attend a show if you’re going to apply.

Life of Yes℠ Sleepaway Camp

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

  • My Service Provider referral list and my Chicago venue referral list, along with other resources can be found on my FAQ page
  • 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 up here
  • 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
  • Luxe: Sends valets to park for you, wherever you are – it’s fast, affordable and convenient. Use SAYA for $20 credit
  • Zen Payroll: 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 $20 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 handfull 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. The last time I used it, I liked the gal a lot, her name is LaQuita Hayes if you want to try to use her as well**

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


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

Use someone’s services in Smatterings and LOVED them? Went to an activity suggested in here and LOVED it? Have some other positive come out of Smatterings?

Let me know! That fuels me continuing to do the free, time-consuming Smatterings twice a month.

Wanna give me a “hug”? A “thumbs up”? Smatterings Tip Jar

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