Wine Wednesday and Personal Wine Cellar Giveaway

Well, it’s Wednesday. But more importantly, it’s WINE WEDNESDAY! Yes, I am doing it. Dedicating an entire post to talk about wine. But stay with me here, you might be able to reap the rewards of me being WINO COTTER. Winking smile

wine (3)


You all know I love wine. But let me tell you why. Wine to me is more than a drink. It’s science, it’s an art, it’s culture. And I love learning and embracing all three of those. In fact, I started traveling and studying abroad when I was 12. I have traveled to over 4 different continents and over a dozen different countries. Heck, I married a kiwi, didn’t I? haha. Needless to say, when you travel, you learn about the region, the food, the people, and the WINE.


I enjoy a glass about every night. It’s always a slow savoring glass. So I can enjoy it. So I can let it breathe. So I can taste it’s fullness.

So today I will talk about wine. I know many will skip this post, and that’s okay. Wine may not interest you. But I like to share my interests with others. Here goes… cheers!

My favorite affordable wines. Yes, some are from New Zealand because I am bias. But the others are great finds that you can’t go wrong with. You might even call them staple wines.


  • Château Crisp from NZ- Sauvignon Blanc
  • Ruta 22 Malbec- 2011 –>a great year for Argentinian Malbecs


  • Coppola Rosso & Bianco- great table red blend
  • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin
  • The Show Malbec (2011 is best)
  • The HeadSnapper Malbec (2011)

New Zealand Favorites


  • White Cliff Pinot Gris
  • Mill Road Pinot Noir

Others not pictured but still favorites and affordable (Under $20)

  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2010
  • La Crema Chardonnay 2011
  • Apothic Red 2011

Usually Randall’s (Safeway) have great deals on these wines ever so often, but so does Costco. And I’ve even noticed that Target has an increasing selection of good choice wines. Never hurts to look their either.

Want more ideas? Here’s a great list for 10 great wines under $15. CHECK IT! Or you can follow my pinterest wine board.

Fun WINE articles and WINE charts.

Pairings and more.


The different types of Wine by style and taste



And last but not least… my NEW 6 bottle personal wine cellar!

wine rack

Expressing my love for wine via interwebs definitely has it perks. The lovely crew at Staples sent me this 6 rack wine cellar to review and to put to good use!

Oh, and the offered to giveaway one personal wine cellar too!


But first, let’s talk about the cellar, shall we?

Full disclosure: provided me with these products for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of mini refrigerators online.


I’ve had this cellar for 2 weeks now. So far, I adore it! I mainly store my red wine in there because it’s way too hot in TX to keep wine out in the kitchen and keeping it in the fridge is too cold, in my opinion. This cellar has personal temperature settings for both red and white wine. I keep it at 54F to store my red wine. It has helped my wine last longer and stay truer to taste. Which is obviously very important to me (us). It’s pretty small and light so you can place in on top of your refrigerator or on the counter top in the corner. It’s not loud and very easy to use. Plus it looks quite nice. Perks all around. Winking smile

Here are some of the product details from the Staples website.

Store a few of your favorites in this elegant, compact wine cellar.

  • Keep up to 6 bottles of red or white wine on hand and at an optimum temperature
  • Features an electronic temperature control with LED display
  • 14.75″H x 9.9″W x 20.25″D, 20.3 lbs.
  • Thermoelectric cooling system creates a vibration-free environment
  • 2 full-width chrome racks provide secure and steady storage
  • Double pane insulated glass door to further protect your wine from the outside environment
  • The small size makes this model a perfect fit for your countertop.
  • Color: Silver
  • 1-year parts and labor warranty

Here’s what to do to win a personal cellar yourself. See details below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I think this has to be one of my favorite giveaways. Sharing the passion here! Happy Wine Wednesday.

What’s in your glass?

Cheers! Literally!

LC (wino cotter)

Friday Food and Fitness Finds

Well it’s Friday and the Cotter’s have successfully made it through the week. You see, my husband has had a virus for 10 days and then pulled his back out right after that. Oh and he’s suppose to race Sunday. Ya, what a week! But we made it and he’s racing Sunday. Might not be a great race but we’re going for it! I mean, he is. I’ll be playing Sherpa!

Anyway, to finish the week I thought I’d share a few food and fitness finds. Because let’s face it, we all want more things to amuse our food/fitness minds, right? That’s sarcasm.

But really, these were great finds and must buys!

  1. First up, the new jaybird blue buds and blue tooth. I would have posted these earlier but my husband has been hogging them. I guess you could say that’s a good thing though. These are amazing! Such clarity in both the blue tooth and the buds. We used them with our phone for music and when driving in the car. I am a huge fan of the fit too! I’ve never been able to wear the little ear buds because my ears are too big (yes, I am dumbo), but these worked so well and I loved that they are wireless. LOVE LOVE LOVE!


2. This find is for the wine lovers. Maybe you’ve seen this before but it’s new to me. A wine preserver! Not the pump, but an actual argon spray that preserves wine, and it works!! Oh my goodness, I am saved! We both drink a glass of wine each night but that is it. Never a whole bottle.  Now we can save that bottle for the next night and it tastes the same. PHEW! Wino Cotter is happy!


3. Oh sweet Zevia. I am not a huge cola fan, but my husband is. I am actually a gingerale gal. We are sure getting our carbonated beverage fix with these stevia sweetened Zevia sample pack. Thank you Zevia for sending us a 6 pack. The ginger ale and strawberry were my favorite!


I also got my FRS fix but I’ll save that review for another day, so stay tuned. But let’s just say we can’t get enough, especially when there is a 5am masters swim session 6x a week!


4. The FITNESS FIND MOVE of the WEEK. Gosh I love this move. Double it up! Elevated static bridge ( works hamstrings) and tricep extension. Great to do at the end of a class for bonus work and core.


5. Healthy Bites Gear! It came! I didn’t know if I would like the shirts, but I do! Whatcha think?! Honest feedback please.


6. And last but not least, lock laces. I know a lot of you have tried these before, but there are so many brands out there it’s hard to keep up. The husband tried these out on his last race and was very pleased. In fact, he’s using them again this weekend. I still need to try out my pink pair but I’ll take his word for it. Have you tried this brand yet? I’m diggin all the colors!


This is a not a food/fitness find but more of faith FIND. I just had to share. I get these little God messages via email each day. This one hit home for me. It’s pretty profound, yes?


Any new food/fitness finds this week? Tried any of these?

Happy Friday!



Go with the Flow Friday

Well friends, it’s Friday. I really wasn’t on planning on posting much this week. You see, we were supposed to be in the Bahamas for the UWC triathlon.

Well…. hurricane Sandy had other plans and the triathlon has been postponed. Bummer! We won’t get to go but that’s okay. Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow, right?

So instead of running around here……


I’m going to get an extra day to run around here. Different but equally therapeutic! Yes?


And instead of eating out most nights while away, we’ll be making the most of what’s left in our fridge and leftovers.

I call this gluten free chicken tender and chili pepper tempeh stir fry with Cholula sauce! strangely delicious too!


And instead of spending most of the weekend working for the triathlon, I’ll be working for the gym, teaching my classes.



I’ll also be working for myslef, getting those Healthy Bite orders done early!


And working on the November Flavor…. Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip perhaps?

Instead of being away from the computer for 5 days, I’ll probably be rereading some pretty amazing posts.

Like THIS one, or THAT one. Two very different reads, both great writers!

Yes, go with the flow is my husband’s middle name. I think I inherited when we got married. Or so I like to think.


That being said, I think I’ll go with the flow tonight and enjoy a glass of wine and VALUE our extra time here.


Are you a GO WITH THE FLOW type of person?



No kitchen? No problem

Well, welcome Wednesday. I am so glad you are here. Just means the week is half way over. Which I need it to be.

You see, we’re leaving tomorrow. Yes, leaving for a work trip. This kind of sprung on up on us last minute. Oh say…. 2 days ago! WHOA!

I thought I was gonna get to go to Fitbloggin. But God obviously had other plans. In fact, I actually won a ticket to Fitbloggin. Did I tell you that?

Yep, I won a ticket about 2 weeks ago. I was stoked! I really wanted to go. I really wanted to go just to meet people and hug BLENDS (blog friends). I know, selfish, but true. What I didn’t take into account want that this ticket was only a ticket. It didn’t pay for food, airfare, or hotel. So I did what any blogger would do. Begged for a sponsor, pleaded in fact. I found no one. Sad face. I searched high and low in hopes that some company would sponsor me. But I think I was a little late to the game, as most companies already had sponsored bloggers going.

Oh well I said. There’s always BLEND 2013. I figured this was a sign that I needed to stay here, work on making extra money (cause we ALWAYS need that), and keep healthy bite orders flowin.

Well, little did I know that God had other plans.

He’s quite clever like that. Winking smile

We received an email about 3 days ago. An email from one of my husbands athlete’s he coaches. She needed help with an race she is putting on and she needed some help with her ironman training. Oh and of course, some good cooking.

We were her go to. I would help race direct, cook, etc. and the hubs would coach her and train few others. The perfect duo. The perfect JOB opportunity.

We took it, in fact, we jumped on it!

But there’s a catch. The house where we’re staying has no kitchen. Actually, it’s under construction. It was funny because I got this email saying that the house has no kitchen and was I okay with that? Would I freak out if I had no place to cook for everyone?

Guess what I said? …..NOPE! Not a problem. I thrive off this stuff. No kitchen, no problem. I’m bringing a blender and rice cooker in my bag. No joke.

I’m also stocking up on these items (Vega, larabar, chobani, attune cereal, and love grown just to name a few). Yep, a whole suitcase worth, well half are coupons, but you get the picture.


So a rice cooker and mini blender. Yep, i think that will do.


Lots of cold food meals like broccoli slaw, hummus, and turkey. Rice, quinoa, and oats in the rice cooker. A little hemp and love grown granola bowls, protein shakes/banana smoothies, canned fish and salmon on GF bread, Chobani yogurt and fresh fruit, and eggs that you can cook in microwave. Sounds good to me.


I’m thinking I might need a few of these kombucha cocktails to get me through it, but I’m ready.


I’ve got my game face on and I’m well hydrated.


So, does this count as falling into a good habit? Sporadically leaving the country for a last minute opportunity? Sure, why not.

wiaw fall into good habits button

Thanks Jen for letting me jump on it this week.

Have you ever had to cook for people without a kitchen? If so, what’s your go to meal?




I’ll post where we’re going Thursday. Hoping I get to post a bit while I’ll there, but not for certain yet. And if you’re going to Fitbloggin, have fun and hug each other for me please. <3

Pen this, Pin that

I don’t know where I came up with that title. It’s just fell out of my half working brain. It works though. Cause today is FOODIE PEN PAL reveal day and I have workout that you can PIN later. See, I am quite clever. Winking smile

Let’s start with the Food, naturally.

Each month, the Lean Green fighting Machine Bean (aka Lindsay) puts on fabulous foodie pen pal exchange. You get paired up with a fellow blogger and BAM< new goodies in the mail. I love it because you get to know other food and fitness bloggers, plus you get to try new foods, duh.


Or if you are like me, you get a Trader Joe’s High. We don’t have one in Austin, can you tell I am deprived? Just kidding.

No but really, my penpal Melissa spoiled me with Trader Joe’s Gluten Free staples. She even sent me recipe to go along with the ingredients. I loved it!


Not gonna lie though, the dried fruit and peanut butter where not used for the recipe.


We broke into that stash the minute we got and then I used the peanut butter to make these bad boys. Vegan Peanut Butter Coconut Healthy Bites.

PB coconut

Thank you Melissa! You read my FOODIE mind!

And thank you Lindsay for hosting this fun exchange. I think everyone needs to give it a whirl. Go HERE for more info!

I’m thinking we need to host a WINO PENPAL next? Any takers?? Smile with tongue out


Haha, and you think I am joking.

Okay okay, let’s end this Friday with a little Fitness. Pin this and then do it. It’s quick, it’s effective, it’s just plain sweaty.


Now I am really thinking about that WINO penpal. LOL!  Hmmm..

Happy Friday,



Racing Update and Steak Therapy

I think I’ve started this blog post three times already. You see, I really had (have) no idea how to just blurt it out. I guess there’s no right way either, eh?

The past few months have been HARD! Hard to watch I’d say. The hubs has been back and forth with knee problems, not like last year, but still lingering. We’ve seen several doctors, tried multiple solutions, and finally found out that there is one thing left to do…. REST. Not give up, not throw in the towel, but REST and REGENERATE the cartilage in his knee.

Rest, in the middle of the season? Ouch, that’s more painful than truly resting.


We’ve had our pity party.

We’re over it.

We’re gonna give it time.

If the video isn’t working, just go here.

And me? Well… all I can do is pray, be cheerful (or at least attempt to be, haha), and be there for support. It’s THE LEAST I can do for this strong man.


And maybe some steak therapy. Yes, you heard be right. Steak therapy. A woman’s food therapy might be a glass of wine, some chocolate, etc. But a man’s therapy is meat.. and TEXAS size one.

A Texas sized T-bone with a little spice and sass.

It “cured” all! Haha, kinda. Winking smile

The Marinade: Caraway Seed, lime juice, Franks hot sauce, and ginger sesame dressing


The toppings: grilled corn, figs, and a little onion.


The final result: Deliciousness



Let’s not forget the wine, which I bought purely for the name.

Un4seen, yes.. that’s us right about now.


Thanks Alysia for hosting the WINE of the WEEK!


I usually end with a question, but today is different. I’ll end with a


Thank you for letting us share, for support, for just venting.




WIAW: Rebooting

Well friends, poor little laptop is still getting rebooted. Luckily the hubs is letting me borrow his. Although the space bar doesn’t work unless you push down it really hard. It sounds like I am angry at the computer when I type. Hmm, maybe I am.

Nah, in fact, it’s all good. I’m thinking this is going to be my reboot week. Rebooting my own little system here.

  • Rebooting my priorities
  • Rebooting my thought process
  • Rebooting my time connected/disconnected
  • And so on….

You see, I think we all get to a point where we can either stay busy, stressed, and “unproductive.”


We can just STOP.. REBOOT.. and just on being productive, with a hint of GRACE. Yes?

I like that so much better anyway.

Productive with a hint of Grace… here goes!

That being said, I’m not wasting anymore time here today. Just a little WIAW, and I might have thrown in a little What I Worked Wednesday as well, hence the trail picture.


In random order here folks. New food finds, new kombucha and wine to try, new trails to hike, new healthy bites, fresh figs, and just good eatin’.

 IMG_20120624_083812IMG_20120623_074742  IMG_20120624_141627 IMG_20120626_072300IMG_20120624_182529  IMG_20120626_072428 IMG_20120626_072527 IMG_20120626_072643 IMG_20120626_175525 IMG_20120626_181359

Dairy Free/Gluten Free/Nut Free Healthy Bites.

Berry Lemon Crunch and Chocolate Cherry Chia.

So good!

IMG_20120625_140809  IMG_20120626_165205

How will you reboot this week?



WIAW- My Instagram Theory

It’s been a while. I mean a REALLY good while since I’ve done a WIAW post. I always love Jen’s WIAW’s. She’s got such a great thing going on and it’s fun to see new recipe ideas, products, etc.

But me? Ya, I have not been taking many pictures. I mean legit pictures. In fact, I rarely carry my camera anymore. I blame instagram. Or rather, I am saved by instagram. It does all the trendy photo filtering for me. I might be lazy, but my peanut butter jelly sandwich will look GOURMET for it. Haha.

Anyway here’s a look at last month’s instagram eats in the form of good ‘ol WIAW.


Lot’s of combo’s, lots of healthy bites, lots of kombucha and good wine. Ya, that’s about right.


GF Falafel & veggie succotash. Balsamic Curried Jicama and chicken sausage.


Ginger and Ginseng, my two favorite drink flavors.

lazy eggstravelubervega

My product junkie snacking. All worth it though!

peach pecan gingercran crunchcoconut choc chipmuddy buddyvanilla figpineapple rum coconut

My fun new Healthy Bite flavors: Cranberry Crunch (nut free), Muddy Buddy Mocha (Vegan), Pineapple Rum, Apple Praline Pecan, Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie dough. I think I like coming up with the names more than the flavors. Winking smile



And then there is this. Oh yes, my wine. In my next life, I will become a sommelier. Or maybe I should start practicing now? Yes!

So thank you instagram, thank you for  making me lazy with my camera.

BUT! Oh yes, there is a BUT….

Thank you instagram for reminding me that YOU are WHAT you eat.

I am interesting (hence new flavor combos)

I am “ballsy” or rather, I take a “bite” out of life. Haha, yes? (hence the healthy bites)

I am good and spicy (hence the ginseng and ginger)

I am FINE… like a FINE WINE! No need to explain that one. hehe.

Now, how’s that for a WIAW?

Your turn! What’s your instagram food say about you?




Trying to convince the hubs to do a video update. Because  there is AN UPDATE! All good so far too.


I have another giveaway coming up. OH SNAP, that is cool!

Flavorful “Foto” Friday

Happy Friday. We made it. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of work to get caught up on this weekend, but it’s the weekend, so I can half ass it, right? Winking smile

I did manage to get caught up on my TO DO list, so i will announce the healthy bite winner Monday. Sound good? Don’t forget to check out the giveaway. A MUST DO on that TO DO! haha.

Anyway, it’s Fitness Friday, Foodie Friday, and Foto Friday all rolled up into one big Flavor Ball. This Friday is all about Mojo. Not really sure what Mojo really means, but to me it means spice. It means sass. It means magic! So here’s a little bit of my MOJO flavor to end the week.

Sweet and Spicy Mojo Salmon with brown rice and papaya salad.


This is quite easy to make. Take a spicy marinade, like a Jamaican jerk or Southwestern flavor, add it to a pan with a little white wine, garlic, lemon, water, and basil. Place the salmon fillets in pan and coat with sauces. Then cover and steam on medium high for 10-15 minutes. I add the basil last 5 minutes. For the papaya salad, use romaine lettuce, grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, goat cheese,  chopped zucchini, and pine nuts (optional).

This dish goes great with a light red. I used a classic table wine from this vineyard. Definitely a good buy!


Oh and don’t forget the great view! It completes the MOJO dinner. Winking smile


Next up are my MOJO Healthy Bites flavor. Yes, these were MAGICAL!! Can you guess the flavor?

muddy buddy

It’s Muddy Buddy Mocha and it just so happens to be Vegan and Gluten Free. Magic in the making people!

And last but not least, my MOJO playlist. It had been way too long since I made a playlist for teaching classes. Here’s the one I used for my cycle/yoga class. It’s sassy, yes?


Alright, that’s enough flavor talk. Enjoy your weekend! I’m off to celebrate Wine Friday.

What’s your Mojo like this week?



FYI Friday

Let’s make this short and sweet today. I’ve had a lot of things to share but not a lot of time. How does that happen? Ha!

FYI Friday…. Kinda like Fun Facts Friday or Food for thought Friday, right?

Just go with it.. Winking smile

FYI- My email got hacked! So if you received an email from me with a random link, DON’T CLICK ON IT. EEK! Sorry.


FYI- GF Tortillas make a much better tostada. Just bake at 400F for 3-5 minutes. Then put whatever you’d like on top!


FYI- So delicious has protein packed almond milk! Made from pea and rice protein. I like it! Good to pump up that protein in cereal and smoothies. The plain almond breeze vanilla is a little creamier. Good for coffee, oatmeal, soups, etc.


Oh and definitely a good combo with some LOVEGROWN GRANOLA too!


FYI- Did you know Dogs need at least an hour walk/hike a day? Yes, they need to expend energy just like us. Crunched for time? 30 minute light jog or some sprints. Seriously, we do that with Sadie. A quick walk then go do sprints with her later or throw the ball. You dog will thank you, and so will your body. MOVEMENT! Smile with tongue out


FYI- PINOT NOIR is the King of Spring! Yes, this makes me very happy. Oh let’s just lift our glasses now and cheers to that.


Well folks, that’s all my FYI today.

For those of you racing, at BLEND retreat, training, etc. this weekend….

Make it great!

Do you have an FYI this Friday?