Smatterings: September 2015 Vol II

  • 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 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!


ACTIVITY TO CHECK OUT — two days only!


Chicago’s own Ho Etsu Taiko is excited to announce ROTATIONS, a collaborative performance celebrating Japanese taiko-based music in America.

Ho Etsu Taiko invites Los Angeles’ innovative On Ensemble to join the stage and share original material that expresses the development of taiko as a performance art, written specifically for ROTATIONS. The two ensembles, each with different approaches and influences, will play new compositions as well as each ensemble’s own music.

Catch this unique blend of sounds for one weekend only at Athenaeum Theatre’s main stage on October 3 and October 4, 2015.


$5 discount on tickets for groups of 10+ with the promo code GROUP

Venue: Athenaeum Theatre Main Stage
2936 N. Southport Avenue
Times: Saturday, October 3 at 7 pm Sunday, October 4 at 2 pm
Tickets: $22-$27
Reserved Seating Box Office: 773-935-6875
Tickets Online here

CHEESE IT PERK — free CUSP Conference Pass ($1950 value)!
Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 10.49.27 PM
Anyone who buys a Fear Experiment℠ ticket by Thursday midnight can enter to win a pass to the Cusp Conference
$1950 value.
25 speakers in a day and half.

On creativity, innovation, and inspiration.

Winner announced Friday.
Bonus: get a free Divvy Bikes Day Pass with your ticket while they last.

Get your ticket and enter to win here!

7 Ways Happy Couples Deal with Disagreements Differently

40 Things Your Soul Wants You To Know

25 Quotes that Will Quiet the Negative Voice in Your Head

This Interactive Map Predicts Peak Fall Foliage Times in Your Area

Six Things You Probably Didn’t Know Were Negotiable

Poopfiction Finds the Perfect Story to Read While You’re on the Toilet

Turn Small Talk Into Good Conversation by Asking About Their Passions

Boost Your Confidence Before a Presentation With a Little Arrogance

Top 10 Everyday Life Hacks That Take 10 Seconds or Less

Prevent Avocados From Browning With Cooking Spray

Three Passive-Aggressive Phrases to Avoid When Giving Feedback

Top 10 Incredibly Useful Windows Programs to Have On Hand

Top 10 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Getting Rid of Clutter Once and For All

Hunter S. Thompson’s Best Life Tips

Learn to Take a Compliment by Replacing Your Default Response

Ensure Your Airbnb Host Can Legally Host You Before Your Trip

What Research Says Happiness Really Is

How to Choose an Offbeat Travel Destination (Without Getting Screwed)

Top 10 Dating and Relationship Challenges You Can Overcome

Create Professional-Looking Gmail Signatures With the Google Drive Suite

Naps vs. Coffee: Which Is Better When You’re Exhausted?

Check “My Account” in the Google Play Store For Unclaimed Free Stuff

Make Croutons From Leftover Pizza For the Best Salad Ever

The Key To Success: Friendship. Here’s Why.

The One Formula To Find Your Passion In Life

Good Question: How can I stay creative when I have to sit and type all day long?

How to be more interesting than a phone.

How To Write an “About Me” Page That Gets You Hired

The 25 Most Amazing Campus Student Unions

Teachers, check this out!
Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 12.39.36 PM
Samsung is pleased to announce the launch of the 2015/2016 Solve are for Tomorrow STEM-based technology contest. From now until October 30, we are accepting applications from teachers in all disciplines representing grades 6-12, and there’s no limit to the number of teachers that can enter from each school.All applicants will have a chance to win a share of $2 Million in technology and prizes for their school.

Prizes will be awarded at each stage of the competition, from the 255 State Finalists to the final Five National Winners. Entrants must answer a few, simple questions about their school and STEM education at

One school per state will win a technology kit to produce a video addressing the challenge; “Show how STEM can be applied to help improve your local community.”

In addition to the above mentioned, we will be awarding five teachers in every state including D.C., two Galaxy tabs. There will also be one winner from each state that will receive a $20,000 technology package for their school.

Fifteen National Finalists will receive a trip to attend our pitch event, where they will present their video to a panel of judges. Finally, the selected five National Winners will also be invited to attend a celebratory event in Washington D.C. in addition to winning $120,000 technology package for their school.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 12.38.04 PM
If you know any youth struggling with anxiety and/or depression, check out Well Brain!
Cheese-It Rachel is wonderful.


Head to these 5 Chicago Coffee Shops for Great Coffee, Work Atmosphere

Do You Have Toxic People in Your Life That Are Limiting Your Potential?

The City Is Selling More Vacant Lots For A $1 Each

Took improv with this gal, nice lady!

How One Millennial Mom With 3 Jobs & Poor Spending Habits Now Earns An Extra $400 A Month

Free Admission and More Planned for Chicago’s Inaugural ‘Museum Week’


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

part-time paid Production Designer position 


Aka places I will never go

Terrifying Platforms and Observation Decks


The Best Workout in 7 Chicago Neighborhoods

Chicago has the largest percentage of female-founded startups in the world

Save Money with These 9 Apps

National Suicide Prevention Week  was last week

15 Suicide-Attempt Survivors Tell Their Stories

Sniff, sniff. My boyfriends.

So Long, L’Carpetron: A Farewell to “Key & Peele”

OMG!!!!! You can check to see if there are any washers/dryers available FROM YOUR ROOM?!?!?
20 Things to Know for Your First Year at BC, as Told by Boston College Alumni

Hmmmm… some YES, never! Some, I do and will always do!


My favorite scene in Chicago!

Stories and flop sweat: Scenes from live lit in Chicago

7.5 Tips to Survive and Thrive in (a Jesuit) College

Survivor Files $1.2 Million Lawsuit Against Kim Davis & Mike Huckabee


Free to attend, and if you’re so moved night of event to donate, donations welcome!

 Water 1st is a Seattle based charity dedicated to bringing clean water to some of the most under-privileged communities in Ethiopia, Honduras, Bangladesh, and India. Unlike most water charities, Water 1st not only funds these clean water projects and provides engineering expertise, but the installed systems are then managed by the woman of the villages serviced by the system as a cooperative. This raises their social status, allows them to earn a wage, and enables their children to go to school instead of spending the majority of their days fetching dirty water from a distant source.
We rely 100% on charitable contributions from corporate and individual donors to fund these clean water systems and the health and hygiene education that accompany these installations

78 E. Washington Street, Chicago
*Complimentary valet parking provided*

Join us Friday, September 25 for a festive evening as we celebrate clean water and the lives it saves.

Cocktails. Silent Auction. International Market. Dinner. Program.
Help fund clean water, toilet, and hygiene-education projects in Ethiopia, Honduras, and the urban slums of Bangladesh. Last year we raised over $100,000 — let’s do it again this year!

RSVP and more info

Wanna try out Divvy Bikes, Chicago’s awesome bikeshare program?


Not a Comedian? You Should Still Think About Taking Comedy Classes.

Why D.C. Wants to Teach Every Kid How to Ride a Bike

2 Cheese Its made the list! Congrats Evan and Cory!

18 Inspiring Men Share What Being Vulnerable Means To Them

Instead of moaning how horrible this city is, refreshing to see this!

5 things you’ll miss when you move from Chicago

A Sharing Economy Where Teachers Win

6 Steps to Becoming a Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Why I’m taking Labor Day off

The Unfair Truth About How Creative People Really Succeed

On Networks, Connections, and Relationships

 Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS

Mingler — THIS WEEK!

  • The event that started it all, 12 years ago!
  • Join the thousands of people who’ve come through the Mac & Cheese doors
  • 20 to 30 people all come solo for a low-key evening of expanding networks
  • More info & reserve a spot here

Fear Experiment℠

  • The next round has been announced! Dance or improv January – March 2016. To apply head here.
  • 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

  • Last one till Summer 2016!
  • “Truly one of the best experiences of my life” – camper
  • Unplugged, everyone comes solo
  • If you’d like to apply to Fall’s getaway, head here

Life of Yes℠ Meetup — FULL! Join the group so you can get in on the next one.

  • Chatting with strangers on couches and armchairs about how to live a full life – professionally, socially, romantically, whatever-ally…
  • Sharing of resources, ideas, and overall positivity. 
  • More info and rsvp

Life of Yes℠: Live YOUR Dream, not THE Dream workshop

  • I share personal anecdotes and the philosophies that have shaped my path, encouraging students to have “Aha!” moments and think proactively about how you can get the most out of life. 
  • You’ll leave not only with big-picture philosophies but also small-actionable steps you can apply immediately.
  • One Fall date
  • See reviews, more info, and register here

Idea Potluck — NEXT WEEK!

Pub Quiz Night

  • Last one of 2015!
  • In true M&C fashion, you are encouraged to come solo.
  • You’ll be put on a team of (friendly) strangers. Is it scary to come by yourself? YES! Will you live and have a good time? YES!
  • Questions will range from “Name the Brady Bunch housekeeper” to “The unrest in which Asian country in 2007 was called ‘The Safran Revolution’?”, and everything inbetween
  • Get on a team here

Productivity Class

  • Last one of 2015!
  • I share an overview of numerous resources (mostly tech-based) that I use on regular basis to maintain organization, frugality, and efficiency, along with tips and insight, to give you a starting point to deciding which tools to further investigate and incorporate into your own life.
  • This class is not about learning the ins and outs of specific tools, but about someone else narrowing the overwhelming field of options and presenting her best-practices and favorites for you to choose which you’d like to learn on a deeper level.
  • Many people get work to pay for this!
  • See reviews, more info, and register here

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

  • 25% off Lesbians Who Tech Summit with code LWTMAC
  • 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

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Notify of