Bolder Blogging: Finding Your Sweet Spot

I was on my computer yesterday, trying to edit this food picture and recipe below when it hit me.

side note: this is the most unromantic delicious soup, which I will post tomorrow, a comical valentines day.

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Is this my sweet spot?

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After reading this devotional and multiple email conversations with some dear friends, I feel like it is… my sweet spot.

Not just food, but the art of food, the sharing of food/recipes, the giving of food, and making food with LOVE.

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My sweet spot is not just blogging, but encouraging. I am NOT a writer. In fact, I hate writing (gasp!), but the process of interacting with others and lifting each other up on a daily basis fills my heart with JOY! It’s why I’m still here after 5 years of blogging.

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My sweet spot is not just being a wife, but being a sherpa wife. Yes, it’s a SWEET job. It does not pay much monetarily, but oh does it have other GREAT rewards. Being part of a TEAM. Knowing that you are the support system and a key element of that DREAM!

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My sweet spot is evolving. And I’m trying to find the cherry that goes on top. I’m wanting a BOLDER taste. Maybe it’s all about creating a BRAND (our brand) that can help support our dreams.

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Cotter Crunch is my sweet spot. Here are my current and future toppings.

  • Developing more gluten free recipes
  • Business side – creating and selling more healthy bites ebooks and other gluten free ebooks
  • More posts from the Kiwi –> his triathlon/running knowledge, tips, etc.
  • Workouts. All kinds. But always BURPEES.
  • Racing –> the travel, the strategies, the food, the vision.
  • Nutrition- our nutrition. Not following a trend, but focusing on what’s working for us and sharing that.
  • Corny Cotter Posts—> ALWAYS.

What other toppings (aka topics) do you want to see added?

I FULLY believe that everyone has a gift, a sweet spot. Maybe you are in it. Maybe you’re still tweaking that “taste.” Maybe you need to let go of the bitterness first… Oh wow, ponder that for a moment.

What is your sweet spot? Are you living it?

GO FOR IT!

Cheers,

LC

p.s.

I’m not sure if this is a “thinking out loud” post, but you should definitely check out Amanda’s thinking out loud series.

Gratitude Muscles & #UdisFriendsgiving

Yesterday we had an abundance of family, friends, delicious food (gluten free included), and a thankful heart. What can I do with that thankfulness today? Keep giving it. KEEP and GIVE being the KEY words.

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Gratitude is a discipline

The more you practice feeling grateful, the more grateful you become.

Gratitude is a muscle you strengthen through daily use — an exercise, not an emotion.

It’s not something you feel, but something you do.

Like most things, the people who are best at it are the ones who do it even when they’re tired and worn out and don’t much feel like it. –> Jeff Goins

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Going gluten-free requires a strong network of friends and family, and Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving is the perfect time to show thanks to and celebrate gluten free supporters, experiment with new recipes and try with friends and family.

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Thanks to Udis glutenfree for letting me share and give in THANKS with my family and friends the gluten-free way. Yes it was savored and appreciated.

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I made a allergy friendly few dishes, yes we enjoyed them all, but actually it wasn’t all about the food, it was about feeding the my Gratitude Muscle.

GF/Dairy Free Oreo “dirt” pie. Shall I share the recipe?

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turkey leg

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And you know what? My Gratitude muscle grew yesterday and I plan on making it grow more and more over the Holidays. It does take FOCUS, PRACTICE, DICIPILINE, but to me, that’s the best kind of HOLIDAY workout you can do for yourself and with others.

So Cheers to Thanksgiving!

Are you working on your Gratitude muscle? –> corny cotter is on a roll this week!

LC

In a New York Minute: Changing from One season to the Next

Well, we’re back from New York and settling into real work in real life again. You see, this past weekend we spent wonderful time in West Point, New York for my life long friend’s wedding. It was an honor to be part of this celebration and an honor to be able to stay on campus. I’m still in shock of the beautiful scenery and all the history! I was able to sneak in 2 beautiful full runs while we were there and soaked up every minute of it!

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Friday and Saturday were full of wedding events. Yes, the Cotter’s got fancy. I mean, I had 3 dresses for 3 functions. The most I’ve ever dressed up in a 24 hour period. Ha! Thanks to my mom, I had dresses to wear. She dressed me. I have three brothers and I hate shopping. Haha.

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Anyway, the ceremony was perfect. The Cadet Chapel was breath taking. Pretty close to Kate Middleton’s wedding, don’t ya think? Winking smile

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Sunday we traveled back into the city just in time for the marathon. We didn’t get to really see much of it but it was fun to be in the city with all the excitement.

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We then met up with Michele and spent the rest of the day and night with  her wonderful family. Did I mention I love her boys? Oh my, so cute! We are so thankful for Michele and Paul (her husband). Such amazing people and so glad we got to connect! I’m trying to convince them to move to Austin next. ;-)

stole this pic from Michele

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Before I wrap things up here, I just wanted to tell you a little bit of what happened before we left. The Kiwi and I were pretty overwhelmed with things. I wanted to stay home and try to get a lot of work done because I felt swamped! And the kiwi wanted to try and get in some key training before his last race. Little did I know that our time away would make us see the bigger picture.

We both realized we needed to GET AWAY and just BE “the Cotters.” No work, no training, no deadlines, no real schedule. We appreciated the time with family and friends and realized just how BLESSED we are. Talk about a slow down challenge REALITY check.

The kiwi did not get to train but that too was a good thing. He needed that rest. We found out that his fall from the last race was a little more serious than we thought. So his off season started a week early. No race this weekend. Instead, we’ll be resting and taking it easy. Right now the doctors say his injury is just a bone bruise but we’re getting xrays to double check.

So I guess you could say that New York brought us into a NEW season. One where we will be resting in God’s plans. Letting go of any expectations.

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Well, that’s the update from the Cotter’s. The good, the bad, and everything in between. But let’s focus on the good. Cause let’s face it, worrying about the rest is gonna get us no where.

Cheers to a new season!

Crazy Cotter

p.s.

“Remember to verbally say thank you in every situation, the good and bad, because you will always grow from both.” –>  THANK YOU! <3

Endurance Foodie Friday: FAITHFILLED

Meh.. I kind of let this week go. I mean, after Monday’s tragic event and then the West Texas explosion, I really didn’t have much to talk about or share. I mean, I could have, but honestly I had nothing to say. Just a lot of prayer and heart felt grieving. I think it’s needed, to go through the motions that is. To grieve with and for others. Then we can turn around and BE STRONG the days following. Yes!

Isaiah 41:10

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But I also had a FULL week. Lot’s of Healthy Bite orders, a sickly husband who needed some tender lovin’ care, and a NEW NIECE! Yes, my 3rd niece! Born on Monday, the 15th! She has been a blessing during this time. New life, so pure and innocent, blessed us just when our hearts were needing a little more FAITH!

Welcome Harper Faith Taylor. You are LOVED and YOU are what makes this week FAITHFUL.

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It’s times like these I realize that no one can steal your joy, your passion, your purpose! No matter what turn of events takes place, God always shows the good in the midst of it. He shows us how to BE STRONG for OTHERS, to BE LOVING, to BE THANKFUL.. each and every day!

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As a wife of a professional “racer,” I am always at that finish line, waiting, cheering, supporting. Nothing will change that.

Nothing can change my passion to be a sherpa wife. Nothing can change my husband’s passion for racing, for running, for triathlon.

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And even more so, nothing can change the fact that we are BONDED in community, built on FAITH FILLED miles, sweat, and high fives.

This weekend take the time to run, walk, swim, bike, lift, etc. with a FAITH FILLED heart. Then go share a meal/break bread/coffee/etc. and embrace this wonderful FAITH FILLED community.

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Thank you Jason for letting us share our love of FOOD and more with this wonderful community.

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Gluten Free Baked Cinnamon Raisin Cashew French Toast with Honey Almond Custard (topping)

#EnduranceFoodies Participants for the upcoming week:

The #EnduranceFoodies are athletes who love to spend as much time in the kitchen as they do training and racing.  Since we all have different tastes and inspirations getting a group of like-minded people together to share in our passions was the goal.  This month’s theme was TWO COLORED meals. Here are the participants for this month:

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Faith filled .. let’s keep it going!

Cheers,

LC

p.s.

Looking for a way to get your community involved in the HEALING for BOSTON? CHeck out Pavement Runners Run for Boston taking place this Monday! 

Thursday Thoughts & Love

There are things in life we should be fine with, but we’re not. And no matter how much we try and “act” fine, inside we want to stomp our foot like a toddler with a tantrum.

That was me this week. Although I did end up stomping my foot and then taking out my aggression in the weight room. I was sore.

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But that’s probably the last thing I NEEDED to do to cope. Yes we are human and exerting energy does help us to be “more fine” with things, but only temporary.

So there I was, stomping away and not listening to God. I wanted my plans to happen, not His. I wanted to do my own thing and I wanted it NOW! (see, toddler tantrum–> mine mine mine)

That was until my tiredness set in, and in the midst of my weakness I prayed. Then I read this.

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Because where I am weak, HE IS STRONG! Thank goodness for that!

Just a few Thursday Thoughts today.

Happy Valentines Day! Hope you know that you are loved, even if you have your “days.”

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Signing off, humbled and thankful.

LC

p.s.

Tomorrow afternoon I will announce the BLEND retreat and ATTUNE Foods giveaway. Plus I’ll share a few Friday Foods & Finds! A much more light-hearted post. Winking smile

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p.p.s

you still have till the 17th to get 50% off your regular Nuttzo Order! Coupon Code CotterCrunch42 at checkout.

Past Year to New Year

2012 was a year of healing for the Cotters. I knew it would be because I prayed it would be. Didn’t know how or when, but I knew HE (God) would work HIS ways. All I had to do was TRUST. Easier said than done, but I (we) did.

As a couple we took every risk, every opportunity. We “went” for it. We learned the hard way and we learned to count our blessings.

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Me? Well, I gained so much more than my health back. I gained my smile and my confidence back. And I will continue to pray and work on that!

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So yes, Healing in 2012. Now it’s time to nurture. My ONE WORD in 2013. My focus.

nurture- Care for and encourage the growth or development of _______

oh the possibilities are endless here. I think I’ll take it one month at a time.

“Lose the long list of resolutions — all your sweeping promises to change — and do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything.”

 

This video is way long, so feel free to skip, but I just had to post it. Why? Because it captures the journey.

oh and if you’re looking for something fun. Check out WORDLE for your blog. Here are my words. Apparently I did a lot of confessing in 2012. LOL!

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Cheers to 2013!

The Cotters

p.s.

I’m so going back to blonde and getting a spray tan. Realistic, yes? Winking smile

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Flashback Friday: Kiwi Cotter

As I sit here, thinking over this past year, I almost get a little teary eyed. For me, that says something. I may be corny, but shedding tears of emotion? Pah-lease. Haha, actually, I share in tears of joy. And that’s why I am writing this today. For me, to share joy, to look back at life and THANK GOD for all He’s done.

You see, a year a go today we were on a plane to New Zealand. We wanted to escape, we wanted to rest, we wanted to heal, we wanted to simplify, we KNEW it was worth the risk. And oh how it was totally worth it!

We sold a lot of our stuff, put the other half in storage, and just went for it!

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It was in New Zealand that I realized I had life all backwards. I often thought that I needed to do more, be more, make more, and please more. A constant state of stress and pressure brought upon solely by myself. And the same goes with James. He stressed over trying to provide more, give me more rest (even though I wouldn’t take it), and make me happy. We danced around one big stress ball 24/7 . His  training and my health suffered as well.

But when you move thousands of miles away with nothing else to do but to take care of each other, rest, and just be a wife, you learn that that is more than enough. I struggled for the first half of that move. I struggled with being restless. Not knowing what to do. And then it was if God physically said to me “STOP, take my PATH!”

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Oh yes, I listened this time.

Rest. Love. Listen. Work to live, not live to work. Disconnect to reconnect. Have Faith. Have Hope. RESPECT each OTHER. Laugh. Be kind. Ask for Help. Give a helping hand and a listening ear. Hug. Stop and Smell the Roses. Buy Flowers for yourself. Walk slow and take in the scenery. Read God’s Word. Worry less, thank more!  Dream BIG.

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Those words, those phrases, have been glued to my mind ever since we left New Zealand to come back to the states. I try to remember them daily. The hubs does a pretty good job of reminding me as well. To say that we never get caught up in the busyness and stress of life back in Austin would be a LIE. It’s hard not too. But as soon as I start to feel that way, I look back at this year, I look at how far I (we) have come. I look back at how much we have slowly gained (physically, spiritually, and mentally). I look back and see how our love (and marriage) grew stronger. I look back at it all and smile. A year of true growth and I don’t want to stop! Amen!

A year ago today we left for New Zealand. We were nervous, anxious, happy, excited, tired, and weary. Can you tell from our eyes?

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A year later (picture below), we are so much more restored and THANKFUL for new strength.

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I know this was totally off the beaten path today, but it was on my mind and I had to share. I wrote this post for me. And boy did it feel good!

Enjoy the rest of your Holiday weekend! And be sure to checkout the Healthy Bites Facebook Page tomorrow for a Small Business Saturday discount!

Cheers,

The Cotters

To Mourn the Storm

This weekend has been one of many mishaps and many goodhaps?? Is that a word?  But there is one thing that could not escape my mind. Sandy.

Just as we share in each other joys, God teaches us to share in each other’s sorrows as well. My heart has been aching for those affected by hurricane Sandy. Mourning is a part of life, and we often just ignore the feelings when we hear about it. But I think it’s healthy to let those emotions play out, to really mourn and/or grieve with and for others.

So yes, it saddens me, in a deep way. Reminds of the fires we had last year, when people lost everything. It also reminds me of the stories my mother in law told me when they experienced the Christchurch New Zealand earthquake(s). UNREAL stories!  But I am also thankful that my friends and family are safe.  I highly recommend you read the Sandy recaps from Julie and Dorry. Their hearts are amazing! Angela talks here about her experience as a NYC marathoner whose race was canceled. And Christine talks about her homecoming post Sandy.

This Sunday, take a moment to mourn, to pray, and give in anyway. Then thank God for what YOU do HAVE!

Life, Love, Health, Beautiful Scenery, Food, Job, Family, Friends (IRL and Blog friends), Laughter, Faith, etc.

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I’ve maybe posted 2x this past week. To say I’ve been in a funk is an understatement. But again, i feel like taking the time to let the emotions is important. It has humbled me in more ways than one, and for that I am thankful. I am also thankful for a God whose mercies are new every morning. 

And on that note, good MOURNing.

Cheers,

LC

p.s

I do have a giveaway and more real”blog stuff” to post, but just hang tight while my Corny Cotter side let’s loose. ;-)

WIAW: Food for Thought

Not your typical WIAW, but go with me here. We’ll talk food for thought. My thought diary on this Wednesday, sound good? I’m hoping Jenn will approve. Winking smile

Grab a fork and dig in.

What if. Yes, what if you didn’t know how to measure?

Would you miss knowing your weekly running mileage? Your pace? Your PR’s and your PB? Not if you didn’t know it. You’d run to run. You’d run because you can. You’d run because you enjoy the movement, the feeling, the zoning out, the scenery, and the time alone or with others.

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What if you couldn’t measure ingredients? Would you throw everything together and hope for the best? No, you’d probably taste more real food. Keep simple and savor the simple things.

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What if you couldn’t measure your height, weight, body fat, etc. Would you know if you were healthy? I think being healthy starts from within.

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What if you couldn’t measure success by money or fame. Would you be successful? Yes, because success doesn’t define you. It’s often overcoming adversity that does. Am I right?

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What if you couldn’t measure up? What if you couldn’t measure up to someone else’s gifts, their talents, their strengths? Well, thank GOD we really can’t, and thank GOD we don’t have to.

What if we replaced the word measure with the word value?

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I think we’d all spend more time VALUING our health, our time, our strengths, our weaknesses, our loved ones, and even the food we eat.

Am I working on this? You better believe it! Do I still struggle, yes of course. But our worth, our value, is more than a feeling. It’s a gift. Might as well accept it and cherish it!

FOOD for THOUGHT WIAW Diary complete!

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Now, what’s for dessert? Maybe chocolate covered confessions? Just kidding

What do you VALUE?

Cheers,

Corny Cotter (LC)

Back to regular workout and food related posts later this week and maybe even a giveaway. Winking smile

Tuesday Truism

How’s that for a title?

Truism according to good old Webster:

Definition of TRUISM

: an undoubted or self-evident truth; especially : one too obvious for mention

You know what TRUISM slapped me right across the face this morning? It was this quote from a devotional I was reading. Well, it’s not really a truism per se but I am going to make it one, k? A Cotter Truism.

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I liked it so much I tweeted and instagrammed the heck out of it. Ya, I tend to do that.

The truth is we forget that we are blessed beyond means. We’re human. We get wrapped up in our daily “to-do’s,” errands, job obligations, life obligations, etc. Ya, we’re busy bodies. We need a slap in the face TRUISM to humble us. Well, at least I do.

If I were to have today what I thanked God for yesterday, it wouldn’t be much, even though I do have much. So I am starting over. DO OVER right here, right now!

I’m going to start by thanking GOD for big and small things in my life. The things that I am thankful for today. Then I will put this quote on my fridge, look at tomorrow morning, and repeat. Thankful. Humbled.

I am thankful I have been able to travel to some amazing places.

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By the way God, feel free to send us to more of these places. Winking smile

I am thankful for a husband who shares a similar passion. Triathlon, fitness, Health!

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I am thankful that he works hard for our family and I am even more thankful that I get to make him breakfast every morning and dinner every night.

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I am thankful that I have some one waiting for me at the door every time I come home, even if it’s not a real “person.”

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I am thankful for great companies that fuel us and cater to all our food allergy needs. Gluten free, real ingredients, quality care all around! Thank you Lovegrown Foods and CorePower. Not sure what we’d do without you!

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I’m thankful I get to roll balls make Healthy Bites as a job. Haha, had to make you laugh somewhere.

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A hobby turned passion, turned GO FOR IT DREAM!

The truth is we go through life in a blink of an eye. It’s easy to do. But what if we held our eyes open for just an extra second each day? Imagine how much more we’d see. Cause really, we have more, more to see and be thankful for.

What’s your truism this Tuesday? What are you thankful for? yes, corny, but it needs to be said. Winking smile

Cheers,

LC

p.s.

Here’s some more Truth for ya: Lovegrown Foods has a NEW product coming to shelves at the end of November. I get to do a giveaway for it too, YEA! So stay tuned.

HINT #1 – It is PACKED-FULL of nutritional benefits!
HINT #2 – It contains NO Sodium!
HINT #3 – It is CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE