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Local Acre

Well, I have to say after being disappointed for awhile I am back on the "I love Lakefront" band wagon. The new beer just released is SMOOTH, lots of flavor without being too complex. I am sure the hop heads will not be satisfied - but I am. I am a HUGE Cream City Pale Ale fan, but since it was changed I have to say this one is NOW MY FAVORITE. Love, love, love it

worth the calories


Albuqurque NM

Well, I was there for work and we went out for Mexican 0 YUM! I wanted a light beer so I tried this, it was ok. What was better is that after I posted this picture on my FB one of my friends suggested a microbrew right up the way. I LOVED IT! I got a growler.


Rock Bottom - Rye IPA

During the warmer months Joe and I go to Rock Bottom and I had to try this because it sounded interesting. I thought it was a little dark for an IPA but overall hoppy from beginning to finish.

The best if the Mug Club, you must get it - its FREE! And you get free stuff. So do it!


Homewood Flossmoor Station

Ok, so I guess I am officially a beer snob. I went to the Flossmore Station knowing that I would get some decent beer and decent food but what I did not expect is the waitress bringing out the snob in me.

I enjoy an unfiltered, blonde in color beer. So when I asked if it was filtered and she responded with the attitude "no microbrews are filtered" I felt the need to correct her. I mean - clearly from this picture you can see it is not filtered - but some of the beer in the tasting glasses are.

I enjoyed the blonde, unfillered Gandy Dancer Honey Ale - I would recommend this place for a happy hour but not a dinner date.

Riverwest Stein and a fire

Riverwest Stein is a staple! A must have, not many people don't enjoy this beer. I am a big fan of Lakefront - HUGE, it might be because I was the BEST TOUR GUIDE EVER! That fact aside, this is an amber lager which is well balanced between malt and hopps. Very balanced and LOVELY.

Webinar: How to do it well

The commercials are everywhere! "Hold a meeting from home!" "Meet with people around the world!" Those claims make it sound easy, well it is not! I believe with proper training and preparation most can do it well - but it takes practices. I have seen the best face-to-face presenters get frightened and bomb during a webinar. I have helped presenters become comfortable and deliver engaging presentations from a remote location. Of course first thing is first, choose the best webinar software for your purposes, target audience, use and platform.

Need help? Send me an email: sarabethu@yahoo.com


I work for a small company with alot of projects. We needed a way to communicate what projects were going on and key milestones. There are many project management software's out there, you pf course like with any software need to figure out your needs before making a commitment. I believe is testing it out with a couple people who will be using it daily before signing a contract.



Sending out survey is so last season. What you really want to know is - do you like or not? IdeaScale can do that for you. It's like getting a bunch of people in a room and getting a bunch of thumbs up or thumbs down. It's great! Now, it is not totally easy - you need to do a little homework, market it and make it super intuitive for your target audience.

Can you do it? Go check out IdeaScale.com.

Scatterbug confession


I am sorry for moving things but I needed to. But life is all about adjustments, whether it be technology or a healthy lifestyle. For example, I was traveling last week in Phoenix and I was so proud of myself for getting up every morning to work out! BUT we ate out every night and every lunch and instead of being a good girl and ordering salad - I ate big meals. Ya know what - THEY WERE ALL WORTH IT! I felt a little guilt and then I checked myself - that is why I work out, so I can enjoy these times of gluttony.

Now back to home cooked small meals all day long, I really missed it and so did my body.


Vegas 2009


So here we are a couple weeks from Vegas and some of you have never met before. This is the easiest way to introduce everyone. I thought I would explain the connections between everyone and a little history on this Vegas trip.

This will be the third year for the Gidley's and Villari's, second year for Palka's and Frodyma's and the first year for the Urech's, Czopek's and Ang's cousin.

Pictures - believe it or not we don't take many pictures, usually on the plane ride there and back and that is about it....unless you go do something off premises like shooting a gun or something.

Most days we wake up early, have breakfast, find a place at the pool, drink (some of us bring our own) and find a place to go dancing or gambling. Some of us venture out to shoot guns, go shopping, maybe ATV this year (I know Bob wants to), rent a sports car (don't think about it JoeG) - basically find someone who wants to do what you want to and go do it! Have fun!

Organizing us all to do everything together is impossible, let's just text and hopefully we can connect at the pool to talk about the night. Now let's give you a little info on everyone going:

Joe and Sarabeth Gidley - We have been married for 3 years. Now for the group connections, my brother is Dave Urech who is married to Stephanie Wiliams who has invited her sister Kim. I actually went to JR High with Kim Williams-Czopek. JoeG has known Brian Villari for 30 years, Tracey for 20 years and works with Brian which is why we moved back from WI. Bob Palka is "our guy", yes - we know a guy. Hotel bound around noon Wed.

Brian and Tracey Villari - Brain and Tracey have 3 kids and 1 dog, live across from Ang and Erik and met Giuliana and Bob at pre-school through their kids. Hotel bound around noon Wed.

Ang and Erik Frodyma - Have 2 kids, 1 dog and invited they Ang's cousin this year, which I am figuring they have known each other for awhile. Hotel bound around noon Wed.

Giuliana (aka G) and Bob Palka - Have 2 kids and 1 cat, Bob the contractor extrodianaire has done lots of updates on our house. Hotel bound around noon Wed.

Dave and Stephanie - have 1 wolf (ok it's a dog) have known each other since high school, been married for 1 year and Stephanie is by far the youngest member of the Vegas crew.]

Kim and Chris - have 2 kids, 1 dog, been married for ten plus years.

Kim and Brad Bettenhausen - have 3 kids, 3 cats and been married for 18 years.Hotel bound around noon Wed.

Please make a comment to add anything to your description, try and recruit people to an activity you want to do, restaurants you want to go to or just general excited-ness for the big group trip.


A Soda Pop - I LOVE

This is very hard for me to say but I really like this soda MASH. It is as healthy as a soda can be with little sugar and lots of taste. I found it at Potbelly's on LaSalle - SO GOOD. If you see it try it - I am a big water pusher, but this was really good. I just might have to go back and JUST buy the soda without the sandwich - seriously.


May - Joe's Bday!

Happy Birthday to Joe! The big 36.... we golfed, went to Lakefront and enjoyed a beautiful Memorial Day weekend (his birthday is the 25th). We golfed at Ravislow in Homewood, where my dad started working at 11 or something. So he was telling stories, most of them only safe for my mom's ears but we got a couple.


New Lunch Place: The Protein Bar

Ok - this place is on Franklin across from the Sears Tower and it has some great healthy options. First of all, the nutritional information is on the packaging and the menu which should be done by all restaurants. I mean, how are you suppose to make an educated decision without that information? Second, the prices are VERY reasonable for the quality of food you are getting. Lastly - the portion sizes are actually "serving" size. They are not too huge, but you get enough to fill you up.

I was very impressed! Plus right now they frequently give out free samples to promote the product.


PS - I would personally recommend the Pancake in a Bowl - YA-UM!


Challenges at work, is it worth it?

I work in an office which is full of very healthy people who compete is marathons, triathlons, discuss new workout routines and don’t get me started on how much we talk about healthy food. Of course there are a few who like to tempt you to sway from your daily healthy food routine. For example, there is a man in the office who brought in a machine called the “Hot Diggity Dogger” which cooks a hotdog, warms the bun and fills the office with free smells that make you feel like you are at a ball game – JERK. Then there are others who are MASTER bakers and bring in their yummy goodness treats to share (because they would not want to eat it all on their own at home). Last but not least, the birthday celebrations – sugar GALORE! Somethings I have tremendous willpower but others exploit my weakness.

Its hard, but the high quality beer I drink on the weekend is worth all the unhealthy stuff I passed up during the week.

Overall - Pick your indulgence and savor every inch or ounce of it.


Make it easy

My husband, Joe, does not eat a lot of vegetables but he is a healthy person, works out, drinks his protein shakes and watches what he eats 90% of the time. He likes vegetables, I should say he mostly likes broccoli. Of course there is a but coming – I buy it, he does not eat it, fresh or frozen. Through trial and failure I finally succeeded – frozen packs of broccoli and cheese and I made it the first time for him. Not only did he see how easy it was to make he LOVED it! I am so excited, so I will be buying more of those.

Along with the broccoli with cheese thing I found I was found frozen pureed squash – I finally made it! I cooked with with peas and then added some cayeene pepper and a slice of cheese – YUM! Not sure there are a lot of others who would like it but I did.


A healthy lifestyle

Some would think that going on a diet IS choosing a healthy lifestyle - not me. To me, there is a HUGE difference. I would never suggest to someone to go ON a diet, diets imply rules - can and cannots. Rules are difficult to follow, how do I know? I have tried many diets and failed miserably, which is a horrible feeling. Failure can be a good thing, a chance to learn something new, be reflective and honest with yourself - and creates a point to improve from. It took a very honest voice in my head to realize that I needed to make health a priority in my life, which meant many changes. I tried to break the change in small segments that would allow a little bit of change at a time - change is hard.

First of all, I focused on my diet (what I was eating). Instead of eating out I started cooking at home, bringing my lunch to work and finding healthy snacks. Once I thought I had that down, I started a food journal - YIKES, here comes that honest voice in my head again. I used my food journal to figure out how many calories I was taking in, when I looked at my exercise I realized that I was not going to loose weight if I did not use up more of the calories through cardio and weight training.

This is where I hit a snag, because of my situation (working full time, working on my masters, trying to sell a house, taking care of the dog and my husband living in another state) I did not feel like I had the time or energy to work out. So I did what I thought I could - walk the dog, get to the gym 1x a week and try to eat healthy. When I look back I realize that I was making excuses, I would have had more energy if I would have worked out - if I only had the motivation.

Today, health is not only a priority to me, but also my family, my husband and my co-workers - WHOAH does that make a difference. I am not sure how this happened, if it was me inspiring those around me or being inspired by those around me - I tend to believe it is about 50/50. Point being, I have been able to be successful because of my support network and their decision to choose a healthy lifestyle.

Have you chosen a healthy lifestyle? Are you having challenges?


This is impossible, I have no time!

Ok, this is a common excuse for not exercising or being active - let me share with you some solutions I have heard from people:

  • I started walking the stairs, 4 flights up to see my boss and I do that a couple times a day.
  • Now that it is nice out I am going to ride my bike to work, that is 5 miles there and back so in a month I could possibly ride 200 miles!
  • When I go to the mall I park far away from the entrance so I have to walk further instead of looking for the closest parking spot.
  • When I am waiting for my kids at karate I go for a walk, makes the time go by and I get some exercise.
For myself, I have figured out that I can not work-out after work - I have tried and it does not work. So I get up at 4:30am (that is when my alarm goes off) and work out form 5am-6am, get ready at the gym and then make the 6:50 train. This works for me, but it is not for everyone. I even manage to drink a protein shake from the gym to the train to refuel my body. I only arrived at this solution because I did alot of reflection and was brutally honest with myself. This is not easy - but you can do it!


How much should I eat?

It is difficult to know how much to eat so here are some tips:
  • Focus on the size of your fist
  • Use a smaller plate
  • Use a tea cup for ice cream (if you must have it) or anything else you are worried about eating too much of
  • A baked potato once a day gives you your starch, easy to overeat rice and pasta


o Cooking Light recipes to get some variety. Go to the website if you don't want to get a subscription (cookinglight.com) and search for ingredients you want to cook with.

o Also, “Recipes for Health” on the New York Times website is a nice resource. They always have seasonal recipes that are fairly simple, but also interesting and balanced nutritionally. Many of them are done by the cookbook author, Mark Bittman. He has a good food blog called “Bitten” and wrote “How to Cook Everything” and “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian,” both of which are great resources.

o Ellie Krieger, a nutritionist who has a cooking show on the food Network and has written several cookbooks

o Eat This Not That - interesting book

Tips from co-workers: first round

I work in an environment that is very supportive of living a healthy lifestyle, I get lots of tips from my co-workers.

Tips from co-workers:
1. Egg beaters – I like the ones from TJ’s because they’re cheap and they are yellow so they look like eggs. You can microwave them if you don’t mind the “scrambled” approach but I also make omelets with them (with lots of veggies and a little 2% shredded cheese) on the weekends and sometimes for dinner. 30 cals per serving!
2. Sugar free pudding or Jell-o. The pudding only has 60 calories and no carbs and the dark chocolate ones are pretty tasty.
3. Frozen veggies with cheese sauce – they’re expensive but pretty tasty and easy and come in single servings...the broccoli and cheese is only 60 calories
4. Lemon and olive oil with salt and pepper as a salad dressing...lighter and healthier than store-bought salad dressing
5. That breaded chicken from trader joes in the frozen section. Does wonders for salads and is very easy to make.
6. Salmon from costco, cut into pieces and freeze. Broil with lemon pepper, 5 min. a side.
7. Baked asparagus with lemon, salt, olive oil and a little parm.
8. Ginger dressing from jewel, comes in light.

What tips or questions do you have?


Miracle Foods!

You need to find your miracle foods...what are they? Well, foods are a miracle when they provide you with alot of good stuff AND you get to eat alot of it. (high protein, high fiber, lots of vitamins, low calories)

Here are some examples:
Greek yogurt:
17g protein
80 calories

• Shelled edamamae, cold pasta salads (tabouleh etc..)
• Hummus – other than as a “dip”
• Super bread – traders joes! Low cal and high fiber!
• Cottage cheese
• Almonds (adds a crunch and much more)

What can you do with Greek Yogurt? Combine with fruit, combine with ranch mix to make a dip, sour cream substitute - there are endless opportunities, be creative.

Why is it so hard to have a healthy lifestyle?

I have to admit, I have struggled since graduating from high school in '93 to stay in shape, it took alot longer then it should have to make the connection between my athletic extracurricular activities and my solid muscle physique. So of course it did not take long to gain the freshmen 15-20 and then my clothes started fitting differently. I look back and was grateful the style was baggy, baggy, baggy.... Anywho! I tried everything, different diets, training for triathlons and then I started with the excuses. My excuses ranged from work schedule, to money, to time, I mean the list is endless. I have to admit, my schedule was ever changing for the last 6 years but starting Nov 2008 I started to get some stability, a routine. My routine (see blog post) would not work for everyone - some people think I am crazy but it works for me.

I will share what I have learned and I hope some of it is helpful to you. Please feel free to leave comments or questions. Good Luck! You have already made a step towards a healthier lifestyle by seeking out information, so good for you.


Snowing in April

Well, we are into April and it has snowed twice!! We did have some good weather, Joe even got the bike in and home for a tune up and work done at the local HD dealer. Not alot of excitement in the Gidley household, Joe painted the bathroom orange (looks awesome) and I think that is the last room we really need to paint - plus he needs a painting break.

Some idiot (drunka**) took out our beautiful iron mailbox one Saturday night, we are sure it did major damage to their car. We are going to replace it with a brick one, that will stop them dead in their tracks!

Cayman is excited about the weather, she has figured out all the spots in the house she can lay in the sun and at what time.

Mom and Dad Urech have gotten home from Florida and Milwaukee - its hard to keep up with them, if they only had a blog.


Kiss me I'm Irish - Stout

Well I am sure that many of you would argue whether Rock Bottom is a craft brew or not, I don't care. I have been to many different Rock Bottoms (Warrenville-IL, Milwaukee-WI, Indianapolis-IN, Minneapolis-MN) and each one has their own brewer. I was very impressed in Milwaukee (where I became a Mug club member) tastings were fun, all the local beer snobs attended.

Back to the beer, I had a stout Kiss me I'm Irish - which was described as a dry Guiness - SPOT ON! I totally enjoyed it, lightly roasted flavor, light in the mouth and a great head. Highly recommended! This is at the Rock Bottom in Orland Park on Lagrange.


Magners - Irish Cider

Well, I was at Teehans in downtown Tinley Park, IL and I saw a tap handle I did not recognize - Magners. So of course I need to ask about it, I was not thrilled about the answer, it was an Irish Cider. Cider? Really? Irish? I do not claim to be knowledeable about cider so take my thoughts with a grain of malt - but it was really sweet with a undesirable after taste. A positive? The color was nice...

The company has been distributing for 5 years and have become very popular and currently resides in 14 markets. If you are a cider buff, it is worth checking out, I guess - but I will not be giving it a second drink.


More House PIcs

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Nothing too out of the ordinary happened this month, Joe and I are making health and working out a priority and it is going well. This month we have been together for 10 years, a long time. I guess it does not feel like that considering most of our relationship has been long distance. Anywho - I have been promising pictures of the house so here it goes.


Honey Lemon Vodka

I was really excited to hear that Great Lakes Distillery moved their location to the southside of Milwaukee and started public tours. I would suggest it to EVERYONE, the tour was filled with history and distilling knowledge - along with a sneak peak of products yet to hit the shelf. This is the first distillery since prohibition so they are battling old laws and winning! One law they have not been able to change is offering samplings to their guests, but they have built rapport with the hotel across the street (The Iron Horse) which in itself is an interesting place to visit and are able to provide samples in their establishment.

Now let's get down to business, we were offered 3 samples Vodka, Honey Lemon Vodka and Gin. I have always been a Gin kinda gal, but I have to say my favorite was the Honey Lemon - I could actually drink it on the rocks it was so smooth, with a balanced flavor which was not over powering. Some of you might be skeptical - but this vodka is made with Honey from WI and they HAND ZEST all of the lemons. This is the benefit of a small distillery expensive ingredients, taste distilled and small batches. Where can you get it? You can order it from Binny's, visit Discount Liqours in Milwaukee area or just check out their website to find a place near you (or find a tasting they are doing in your local tavern).

Overall - so smooth it's dangerous if I had some I wouldn't share (I might even hide it from my husband).


January - Good Start to 2009

Started the year off great, we are making healthy lifestyle changes and it is paying off. What kind of changes? Protein shakes, more vegetables, lean meats (well for Joe - I am not eating many animal proteins these days). Out Friday night date is at the gym, swimming about 500yds or so. Joe has an easier schedule to fit in the gym, I get up 4:45am T-Th to work out. On the weekends though there are some cardio-kickboxing classes and spin that I alternate going to. Of course Sat night is our cheat night, being good all week has to have some benefits.

We had an open house in January, I know I need to add some pictures of the house - I will! Joe keeps painting so that is my excuse since I have to put up the most recent pictures :). At the end of January we were in a family poker tournament and I made the final table - WOOHOO, I am learning. Joe won our money back in a side game - we're a good team.