behind the scenes blog tour

Take a look inside Itz Linz with this behind the scenes blog tour!

copy-blogheader.jpg

my first blog header – I still love it!

Who nominated me?

Joanna from Makingmine. (Check out her behind the scenes post HERE!)  Joanna describes herself as “a wife, mama, cupcake connoisseur, and fitness newbie. I’m striving for a healthier, more well-rounded life.  Life is what you make of it, and I’m Makingmine!”  Clever little lady, eh?  Smart, too!  But what she’s too modest to tell you is that she’s amazing in the kitchen, her food photography skills rock, and she’s quite the DIY crafter.  She knows how important it is to incorporate fitness into her everyday life while finding the balance of being an incredible mamma to her sweet Eleanor (and baby #2 on the way!).

What am I working on?

Well, isn’t that a loaded question? How about LIFE! Ha. Truthfully, I’m still working on finding balance, teaching is incredibly busy and before school and after school is devoted to taking care of my precious baby William.  Taking care of the house, making nutritious meals, and trying to find time to workout have all become secondary priorities to William.  Don’t get me wrong; I do what I have to do.  Dishes are done, bed is made, laundry is clean.  And I eat.  Oh, do I eat. (I will never, in my life, go hungry.)  And fitness?  Well, 30 lunges here, 15 push-ups there, and lots of movement at school, at home, and in my neighborhood is the norm, though I do fit in “real” workouts when I can.  As for this guy?

baby on the move

He’s working on moving.  I set him down by his toys, and just a few moments later, he was completely off the blanket!  He’s not crawling (yet!), but, boy, is he moving!  He rolls and scoots, and is getting faster by the day!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m a healthy living blogger like so many other wonderful bloggers.  Many other bloggers blog full-time or hold some type of degree in fitness or nutrition.  I’m more of an “everyday woman” who holds a full-time job, is a mom, and balances living a healthy life with nutritious foods and lots of movement.  I’m not knocking anyone for what they do; truth be told, I would be a stay at home mom if I could, but that’s not in the cards right now.  So I’m doing the best I can while balancing that thing we call life!

Why do I write/create what I do?

I’ve been blogging for almost three years now (woah!), and when I started, it was for several reasons.  First, my friends and family were always asking me questions about the “weird” foods I was eating and asking for advice in the gym, how to workout, etc.  I’ve always been interested in all things related to food, fitness, and healthy living.  Annette, my best childhood friend and amazing lady behind Enjoy Your Healthy Life, introduced me to the blogging world with her own blog.  I started reading more and more, and soon began thinking, “If they can do it, why can’t I?”  Annette encouraged me to make the leap, my sister Stephanie took pictures of me, I set up Itz Linz, and the rest is history!

Really though, I worried that I wasn’t “qualified” to write a healthy living blog because I don’t hold a degree in health, fitness, or nutrition. (I do have my Master’s Degree in Education though!)  But then I realized, I’m not claiming that I’m certified in anything; I’m just sharing what I know and what I do.  It’s not like I make up information.  I read a lot on a variety of topics, so I do feel pretty well versed in the subject matter that I write about.  Also, I disclaim that I’m not a doctor, personal trainer, dietitian, etc. all the time.  I’m just me, sharing about my life, hoping to show that living a healthy life doesn’t have to be hard, expensive, or complicated.  Eat mostly healthy foods, move your body, get enough sleep, keep stress to a minimum, smile a lot, surround yourself with those who love you, and you’re good to go!  (Sometimes easier said than done, right?) Life is like a tree…

How does my writing/creative process work?

I write what’s on my mind.  Besides posting Monday through Friday, I don’t really have a posting “schedule.”  I do participate in link-ups, sometimes more often than others, but if I don’t have anything worthwhile to post, I don’t.  I do try to be as authentic as possible because those are the blogs I enjoy reading.  I want people to be able to relate to me in some way.  That being said, I don’t share every.single.detail. of my life.  For one thing, that would get really boring to read, another thing, some privacy is nice, and lastly, it’s my choice what I share.  I absolutely love blogging.  I love writing, I love the community, I love learning about new workouts, products, clothes, etc., and most of all, I love sharing it!

The next stop!

britt

Brittany from Delights and Delectables.  Brittany is a blog-friend turned real-life-friend.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Brittany on a few occasions, and I can tell you that she is the kindest, sweetest, most down to earth woman I’ve ever met.  While we don’t get to see each other as often as I’d like, she’s always willing to give advice, provide a listening ear, or simply laugh and chat with.  Brittany understands how to balance a busy life of working full time, being an outstanding momma, cooking healthy meals, and working out – she definitely motives me!

And Brittany’s Baby D is, inevitably, going to be best friends with baby William.  I mean, who could resist this face?!

winter hat

He hopes you enjoyed this behind the scenes blog tour!

Do you have any questions I didn’t answer?  If you’re a blogger, what makes your blog unique?

I’ve got sunshine!

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day… Anyone else LOVE that song?  Whenever I hear it, I just can’t help but sing along.  And that’s not a pretty thing.  Anyway, Holly and Kelly both nominated me for the Sunshine Award which was so sweet of them.

Sunshine-Award

Rules:

1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Holly’s Questions:

  1. When is your birthday? August 12th
  2. What’s your favorite TV show? This is a tough one as I don’t watch a ton of TV.  Some shows that I do enjoy are Nurse Jackie, Parenthood, Californication, and Girls.
  3. What’s your favorite thing about fall? The weather – not too cold, not too hot!
  4. Sweet or savory? Sweet! Hello, 31 healthy smoothies!
  5. What’s your dream job? Teaching! Blogging! Oh wait, I’ve got them both. :) Life is good.
  6. What book are you currently reading? I go through phases with reading and am not currently reading anything.  The last book I read was A Dog’s Purpose.
  7. What time do you typically get up in the morning? 5 am.
  8. What’s your favorite holiday? Chanukah since we spend so much time with both of our families and lots of friends!
  9. What’s your ideal vacation spot? Anything with warm weather!
  10. What’s your favorite animal? Zoey, obviously!

zoey

Kelly’s Questions:

  1. Favorite breakfast food? Smoothies!
  2. Biggest guilty pleasure? Being in my pajamas and robe every second I’m home.
  3. If you could only have 4 meals for the rest of your life what would they be? Salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and ice cream – that way I could change them up on a daily basis since there’s a million options for each – heh heh sneaky sneaky!
  4. If you could only have 3 beverages for the rest of your life what would they be? Water, tea, and smoothies (so much variety!)
  5. Favorite musician or band? I’m so not a music person. I just turn on the radio.
  6. Favorite running distance? Half marathon! Oh how I miss running…
  7. If you had an unexpected night free, what would you do? LOUNGE!
  8. Are you more city or country? Suburb? Ha. I guess I have to say city being from St. Louis and all – that’s not country whatsoever despite the fact we’re in Missouri.
  9. Best date you’ve been on? My first date with Jonny!
  10. The craziest thing you’ve ever done? Uhhh I guess you could consider meeting people from the internet… aka every blogging event I’ve been to haha! Most people think that’s pretty weird, but obviously us bloggers don’t! :)

jonny me nye

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Favorite nut butter?
  2. You have the option: fro yo or ice cream… but you can only have one… forever!
  3. Dream car?
  4. If you could only do one type of workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  5. Best magazine?
  6. All food is “healthy” for you. What do you choose to indulge in?
  7. What decade would you like to experience?
  8. Favorite form of social media?
  9. What would you rather do without: internet (computer, phone, etc.) or dessert?
  10. What makes you unique?

Williams Pyramid

The Nominees:

  1. Annette @ Enjoy Your Healthy Life
  2. Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries
  3. Meg @ A Dash of Meg
  4. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist
  5. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables
  6. Katie @ Healthy Diva Life
  7. Janetha @ Meals & Moves
  8. Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen
  9. Lindsay @ Cotter Crunch
  10. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

Answer one or two of the questions! My dream car is a Range Rover!

A Makeover: Itz Still Linz

A Makeover: Itz Still Linz

On December 31, 2011, Itz Linz was born.  I wrote my very first blog post, Itz NYE, and immediately fell in love with blogging.  Over the past year and a half, blogging has become so much more than just writing.  I’ve developed friendships with the most amazing ladies.  I’ve traveled to new cities to run races, attend blog conferences, and meet new blog friends.  I’ve been given the coolest opportunities.  I love it.  I just love everything about blogging.  Some people look back on their first posts and their first blog design and are embarrassed.  Not me.  I still love my first blog post and I’ll always love my first blog header.  For those of you new, here it is:

blogheader.jpg

I remember asking my sister Stephanie to take pictures of me for my blog.  She’s the only one I told at first and she was not only my photographer, but my creative eye, supporter, and designer of my Itz Linz header.  I still think itz fabulous and will probably continue to use those three images for a long, long time.

However, a year and a half later, itz time for a change.  A new look.  A new design.  I’ve grown.  Itz Linz has grown.  I went to the studio yesterday and the makeover began.

itz linz

Stephanie had the vision for what the new design would look like.  She encouraged me to pose in capris and a sports bra.  I told her that most bloggers who do that have six pack abs and are completely shredded.  I know that’s not me, but one thing with my blog is that I’ve always been myself.  I’ve never pretended to be someone I’m not.  So there I am.  And you know what?  I work hard for the body that I do have, and dare I say… I’m proud of it!

A major thank you goes to Dimvaloo as they sponsored my apparel.  All folks in St. Louis must visit Dimvaloo.  They are the only ones in the United States, besides California, to exclusively sell Lorna Jane Activewear.  Itz my new favorite without a doubt.  The sports bras and the tanks with built-in bras are amazing.  Not only are there removable pads which prevent any embarrassment if ya know what I mean, they are the most awesome pads ever.  They are like push-up pads and do wonders for the ladies!

Itz Linz

Something else I love about Lorna Jane clothes are the motivational messages.  The particular pair of capris I’m wearing have a fold over waistband that reads INSPIRE on the rear.  I think itz perfect for my blog photoshoot since inspire is something I try to accomplish with my blog.  If I can just inspire one person to make a healthy choice, prepare a healthy meal, or get moving, then I’m totally happy.  Enjoy your one and only close up butt shot:

inspire

Guess all the squats paid off, eh?  Ha!

For anyone who may have missed this week’s posts:

To everyone who has so graciously sent their thoughts, prayers, and love my way: Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I’m grateful to be able to openly share about my life and just be me.  I hope that you all stay true to you.

yoga

All photos and blog design done by the one and only Stephanie Cotta Photography.  While she specializes in newborn photography, she always makes time for me from helping choose my outfit, shooting me in the studio, and immediately editing pictures and creating my new and fabulous blog header and background.  You’re the best and I love you.

Thank you to Dimvaloo for sponsoring my outfit and providing color inspiration for the new look at Itz Linz.  And I know you all know how much I dig the braided headband!

Have a wonderful weekend. Sending lots of love to everyone! xoxo, Linz

Old School Blogging

I’ve been tagged by Katie at Mom’s Little Running Buddy and Melanie at Nutritious Eats, so that means itz time for some old school blogging!

A. Attached or Single? Attached to my Jonno! Itz been two and a half years already and we’re going strong.  Can’t believe how quickly time flies!  Cliche, but itz true.

wedding

B. Best Friend? I have several best friends, but I’ve got to say that my sister is at the top of the list.  She’s always there for me and constantly supports me no matter what.

C. Cake or pie? I’m going to have to go with cake on this one.

D. Day of choice? Saturdays and Sundays.  I love not having a schedule.

E. Essential Item? My iPhone.  I know we’re all way too obsessed with social media and staying connected, but I do love it.  That being said, I also know when itz time to put it away.

F. Favorite color? Pink!

G. Gummy bears or worms? No preference – they taste the same.

H. Home town? Born and raised in St. Louis!  Go Cardinals!

I. Favorite Indulgence? You already know: birthday cake or cake batter ice cream.  I’m talkin’ real full fat, full flavor, extra creamy birthday cake or cake batter ice cream. Drool!

J. January or July? July – I love summer and I love hot weather!

backbend arizona

K. Kids? Of course this question would be on here.  I want them more than anything in the world.  Read about our journey here.

L. Life isn’t complete without? Family.  Itz everything.

family picture jump

M. Marriage date? October 23, 2010

N. Number of brothers/sisters? 2 brothers and one seester.

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples – you can do so much more with them.

P. Phobias? Germs.  Particularly in hotels and public places.

Q. Quotes?  Believe.  Itz short.  Itz simple.  Itz everything I’m holding on to right now.

believe

R. Reasons to smile? Happy to be alive! :) Happy to be healthy, to have a great husband, a supportive family, a good job, a house, and food on the table.

S. Season of choice? Summer.  I feel like we’ve already been over this.

T. Tag 5 People. Annette and Enjoy Your Healthy Life, Brittany at Delights & Delectables, Melissa at Treats With A Twist, Meg at A Dash Of Meg, and Ashley at My Food N’ Fitness Diaries.

U. Unknown fact about me? When I was seven, my older brother Jason and I were fishing with our grandpa Poppy.  Jason cast his line and it landed in my head.  After Poppy unsuccessfully tried to remove the hook himself, he took me to the ER where they had to shave a small portion of my long hair, remove the hook, and stitch me up.  Thanks, J!

V. Vegetable? Spinach, particularly in smoothies.  Hidden nutrients!

W. Worst habit? I’m perfect.  Just ask my dad. He is, too.  :-P

X. Xray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound. One day it will show a baby.

Y. Your favorite food? Ice cream.  See above.

Z. Zodiac sign? Leo. Raaaawr!

Answer the letters of your first name.  Have a great weekend, friends!

Itz all about ME!

Itz all about ME today, folks!  Hold your excitement, please.  I saw this fun ABC survey on Brittany’s blog GOtheXtraMile and thought it would be a perfect post for Friday.

The ABC’s of ME!

Addictions: Right now, itz sparkly nails.  I’ve totally been digging the ring finger party nail, but last weekend I painted all my nails sparkly… plus the party nail.

nails

Bed size: Queen! Though I do love having my space and then some in King beds when we got out of town.

Chore you hate: Emptying the dishwasher. UGH!  Jonny does this one. Always.

Dogs or cats: Dogs all the way.  Especially my little cutie, Zoey.

pretty in pink

Essential start of your day: My morning workout.  Lately, I’ve totally been rocking the best body bootcamp workouts.  The moves are very different than just regular strength training.  They’re hard and work me good!  If you need a new workout routine, you’ve gotta get in on the next session!

soooo pretty in the morning

soooo pretty in the morning

Favorite color: Pink!

Gold or silver: Silver, but I do have a few gold accessories.

Height: 5’3″ – Yup, I’m a shorty!

Instruments you play (or have played): When I was ten, I took guitar lessons because my dad plays and I wanted to be like him.  I didn’t like practicing though (nor was I very talented), so it didn’t last long.  Check me out in my prime awkward years wearing a totally awesome outfit from my dear grandma.

me guitar 1995

Jobs titles you’ve had: Elementary teacher (1st grade my first year, 3rd grade the past four years, and moving up to 4th grade next year!).  I’m also a soccer coach to six grade girls.  In college, I worked at the rec center.  I’ve also been a waitress and bartender.  I like being around people, what can I say?

Kids: I’ve got 19 kiddos for about 8 hours a day five days a week right now!  Someday, we’ll have our own, too.

Live: Born and raised in St. Louis.  Love this city.  Go Cardinals!

St. Louis Cardinals

Mom’s name: Susan – my amazing momma.  The woman who does it all.

mom

Nickname: Linz (duuuuh).  Linzaloo.

Overnight hospital stays: Never.

Pet peeve:  Gross manners.  Chewing/talking with your mouth full.  Just stop.

Quote from a movie: Ehhh I don’t really watch a lot of movies.

Right or left-handed: Lefty!  Jonny was a baseball stud growing up and when he found out I was left-handed he asked me to marry him.  Ok, not really, but I’m pretty sure that influenced his decision as he’s dreaming of little left-handed baseball all stars.

Siblings: Jason, Stephanie, & Justin!  We’re a good lookin’ family, if I do say so.

family

Plus, a special shout out to Stephanie who turns the big 30 + 1 today!  She’s an amazing newborn photographer (and sister, wife, momma, the list goes on and on), so if you want to want to oooh and aaah at the most adorable photos, check her out on Facebook!  (With over 10,000 fans, she knows what she’s doing!)  Happy birthday, Seester!  I love you.

seesters

Time you wake up: 5:00.  Wake up and workout, baby!  (Tips for how to do so HERE.)

Underwear: I don’t know how to appropriately answer this question, so I won’t.

Vegetables you dislike: None!  I love veggies and veggies love me!

What makes you run late: Me, myself, and I?  I take a loooong time to get ready.  I’m sorry, but I do.  Itz not that I’m high maintenance (because I’m not), I just like to take my sweet time.  I diddle daddle.  I’m always late.  Jonny is always early.  We work out.

X-rays you’ve had done: My pinky (thanks to my older bro for breaking that one during basketball when I was 5) and my pointer finger (got smashed between scooters during P.E. in fifth grade).  Both broken.  Luckily, that’s it!

Yummy food you make: Ice cream.  Shoot, I don’t make that.  How about anything with avocado like this Mexican Omelette?

Mexican Omelette 1

Zoo animal: Lions.  Tigers.  And [Polar] Bears (oh my!).

Itz YOUR turn!  Answer the letters of your initials.

ABC’s HLB Style

Yes, I’m a teacher and do ABC’s all day, but today I bring you the ABC’s Healthy Living Blogger Style.  Ok, so in third grade I don’t really do ABC’s all day, but as an elementary school teacher that’s what people think I do.  I found this survey that Chelsey (another teacher) did and Janetha created, so I decided to join in with the fun.  Here we go:

A is for age: 26.  August 12th is the magical day, but you don’t have to wait til then to send me presents. 

B is for breakfast today: High protein pancake and high protein frosting.

C is for currently craving: Arizona.  Good thing we’re going there on Thursday. :)

D is for dinner tonight: Probably some type of tofu and veggie combo since that’s about all we have in the house right now.  Good thing I have my press to make it way easier.

E is for favorite type of exercise:  When I’m into it, probably running.  I’ve run seven half-marathons, but am currently on a bit of a hiatus. 

10/3/10: Lewis & Clark Half-Marathon PR of 1:57:51

F is for an irrational fear: Being kidnapped.

G is for gross food: Anchovies.  The exact shape of little fish just weird me out.

H is for hometown: St. Louis and damn proud!  I bleed red.  Go Cardinals!

I is for something important: Family.  Mine is the best.

J is for current favorite jam: I have satellite radio and have totally been digging the 90’s on 9 station.  This includes Spice Girls, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Britney, Alanis, Hanson, all the good ones!

K is for kids:  Yes, I have 23 wonderful kids who I spend 8 hours a day five days a week with.  Oh you meant my own 24 hour kind of kids?  Just my beautiful little Zoey.

L is for current location: On the couch watching the most recent episode of Californication.

M is for the most recent way you spent money:  Food!  Specifically, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Schnucks.  I hit them all up on Sunday!

N is for something you need: More time in the day.  More realistically these.

O is for occupation: 3rd grade teacher.

P is for pet peeve: Noisy eaters.  Slurping, chomping, and heavy breathing disgust me.

Q is for a quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi

R is for random fact about you: If I could choose a decade to live in, I would totally go back to the 70’s.  Groovy, dude.

S is for favorite healthy snack: Whatever I’m in the mood for.  Any of these combinations.  Anything involving nut butter.

T is for favorite treat: Fro-yo.  Speaking of, it’s been awhile since I’ve had some.  I think I’m due.

U is for something that makes you unique: I am a very calm and laid back person.  It takes a lot to upset me or stress me out. 

V is for favorite vegetable: Kale and cabbage have been rocking my socks off lately.

W is for today’s workout: Arms & Abs, baby.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: I broke my pinky playing basketball with my older brother when I was 6.  I fractured my index finger playing basketball in P.E. when I was 11.  All 4 of my wisdom teeth had to be removed when I was 21.  My but little brother and I got them done at the same time, so it was kind of fun lounging around in pain, eating ice cream, and playing old school Nintendo.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight:  Going to bed at 9:00pm.  I was pooped!

Z is for your time zone: Central.  St. Louis, duh. 

Question: Choose a letter and answer for yourself!

Itz NYE

Hi!  My name is Lindsay Itzkowitz (hence the ‘itz’ on everything!) and I am finally starting a blog!  What better time than the start of a new year? New year, new you?  New year, new blog!  I plan on focusing on fitness, food, well-being, and balancing it all while working full time and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle.  Plus, my life is pretty great, so why not share it with you?  Here are some quick facts about me:

I am not a child anymore, though I do love kids.

I am 26 years old.  Birthday: August 12… presents always welcome!

I am not single anymore, nor will I ever be single again.

I am married to my best friend, Jonny.  We got married on October 23, 2010 and had the most fabulous wedding ever!  (Seriously… you should be jealous if you weren’t there or not invited.  You missed out.)

I am NOT a Jayhawk!

I am, indeed, a Tiger!  I graduated from the University of Missouri (M-I-Z!) with a bachelor’s in early childhood and elementary education and a master’s in curriculum and instruction.

I am NOT a Cubs Fan.

I am, and always will be, a true Cardinal’s fan!  I was born and raised in St. Louis.

I am not a fitness teacher.

I am a teacher of 8 – 9 year olds.  I am teaching 3rd grade for my third year in a row at a school I absolutely adore.

I am not an only child.

I am the third (and best) child out of four.  My parents and family are amazing.

I am not a cat lady.

I am a dog lover.  We have the cutest dog ever named Zoey.

I am not a marathoner.

I am a runner and an athlete.  I have run 7 half-marathons, competed in 1 sprint triathlon, and love fitness.

I am not a chef.

I am a big eater and love eating and cooking food.

I am not a photographer.  (This is my apology in advance for the many non-professional photos I plan on posting.)

But my sister is.

There ya have it.  That’s me in a nutshell.  Have a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year!