Happy Halloween 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!  This year for Halloween, little man William is…

mickeymouse halloween16

Mickey Mouse!  Thanks to cousin Jacob for passing down his costume from when he was two years old.  William loves Mickey, so it sure worked out perfectly.  This photo was when William was at Jacob and Audrey’s house trying on his costume.  More photos will be posted on Instagram (@itzlinz) throughout the day / evening.  When William puts on his costume now, he says, “Fat belly!”  Thank you, Jacob and Audrey for that one.

This is William’s third Halloween.  Last year, in 2015, William was Thomas the Train.

halloween2015 thomas train

He’s grown SO MUCH in the last year!  This year he actually “gets” Halloween.  Well, more than last year anyway.  He understands the fact that people dress up and wear costumes and that candy is involved.

linking up with healthy diva

Let’s do one more flashback photo from William’s very first Halloween in 2014 when he was six months old and an obligatory pumpkin.

william halloween14

Me oh my, he is growing up!

I hope everyone has a very happy (and safe!) Halloween this year!

What are you / your kids dressing up as this year?

sweet and salty fall trail mix

This sweet and salty fall trail mix is the perfect treat for when the weather begins to cool, the leaves start to change colors, and pumpkins begin appearing every time you turn.  Heck, this sweet and salty fall trail mix is good any time of year, but it’s especially festive in the fall.  How ’bout that?

sweet salty fall trail mix

When Brach’s candy corn miraculously make their way to store shelves letting the general American public that Halloween is near (just two months away), it’s no surprise that a bag (or eight) make it home with me.  However, I’ve always been a big believer in practicing moderation.  So instead of downing the whole bag in one sitting, I mix the sugary goodness with a few other items.  Then, it takes longer for me to finish my stash and run back to the store for more.  Genius, I tell ya.

sweet salty trail mix

This particular sweet and salty fall trail mix has the perfect combination of sweet and salty and chewy and crunchy to satisfy any and all cravings.  Brach’s has a “mellowcreme autumn mix” bag that is seriously the best of every world.  It has regular candy corn, chocolate candy corn, and those cute little pumpkins.  So much goodness in one bag.

fall trail mix

Sweet and Salty Fall Trail Mix


  • 2 cups popcorn
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 1 cup Brach’s mellowcreme autumn mix
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container.

sweet and salty fall trail mix

That, my friends, is how we kick off fall in the sweetest way possible.

What’s your favorite part about fall?

Halloween 2015

Obligatory Halloween 2015 post NOW!  Few words, lots of cuteness, here we go!

halloween2015 thomas train

After not wanting to wear his Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween costume for a few weeks prior, William cooperated on actual Halloween and kept it on.  He wanted no part of the conductor hat and bandana, but hey, the shirt was the big part of the costume, so I’ll take it!

The tradition in my family is to go to my grandparents’ house on Halloween with all the cousins and take picture in front of the infamous tree that William is standing before.  For decades (literally), kids and families have been getting their picture taken in that exact spot.  All the St. Louis cousins:

halloween2015 cousins

William would have preferred that I hold him (momma’s boy!), but one of his cousins held him in place long enough for Stephanie to snap the picture.  I love all their different costumes!

Mama and Papa with 11 of their 14 great-grandchildren:


How amazing?!  We were just missing the three Houston cousins.

linking up with katie and erin

William was quite a trooper on Halloween.  St. Louis does “trick or treat” (I don’t understand why other cities don’t do this…) where you have to tell a joke or do a trick in order to get your treat.  William’s trick was saying choo-choo just like Thomas!  And he actually did it for several houses!  He was loving walking around from house to house; I couldn’t believe how much he walked!  And momma was more than happy to take / eat all his candy.  Since he doesn’t know what candy is right now, I figure there’s no reason to introduce it to him this young.  He’ll have pleeeenty of years to discover it and eat it.

halloween 2015

And one last picture since you all know how much I love my niece Audrey.  This picture Stephanie took of Phil throwing her in the air is just awesome and will make your day.

audrey halloween

All photos courtesy of Stephanie Cotta Photography

What did you do on Halloween?  Did you or your kid(s) dress up?  I went to a Halloween party on Friday and dressed up as a nurse!

White Plum Discount Code | Pumpkin Patch 2015

With October 31st less than one week away, Halloween festivities are in full force!  We had two birthday parties to attend this weekend and went to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins!

pumpkinpatch 2015

I couldn’t get the classic pumpkin shot because little man wouldn’t sit still for more than two seconds, but he sure did love running all around!  The only time I could keep him still was if he was in my arms.

pumpkin patch oct15

camo leggings – White Plum 

Let’s take a quick second and reminisce on one year ago when he was, actually, a pumpkin:

william halloween14

OMG so cute! I can’t believe how much he’s grown!  He won’t even hardly let me put on a costume this year!  Saturday should be interesting…

linking up with katie and erin

Some other great pumpkin shots from just yesterday:

audrey oct15

Audrey was cracking up because William was wiggly (as always!), so Stephanie put that gigantic pumpkin on him to keep him still.  It worked!

Jacob had to have his own picture with baby William, of course, because it’s not fair if only one of them get their own picture with him.

jacob oct15

William is such a mini Jacob, especially when he wears all his old clothes. Stephanie graciously gives me all his hand-me-downs which is fantastic because she has the best style and got him the best clothes! As he got older, she got him more and more stylish outfits, so his clothing only got better.  William’s one lucky dude.

Yesterday I wore camo leggings, a white top, and brown boots which, I feel, is the perfect fall outfit.  White Plum graciously sent me the leggings after giving me my choice of their many styles.  I chose camo after texting with Stephanie and asking what the most stylish of their options were. 🙂

me october15 whiteplum leggings

These leggings are AMAZING!!!  Leggings are every girls’ staple during the fall (and winter!), and the White Plum leggings are a MUST-HAVE.  First of all, they are only $19.99 (even less when you use the discount code LINZ30 for 30% off your entire purchase!).  Second of all, they are super stretchy as they only have two sizes: 0-12 and 12-18; since they accommodate such a wide range of sizes the stretch is incredible!  Plus, they are crazy soft.  I could literally sleep in them.  The thickness is perfect, too.  They’re thick enough where I don’t feel like I have to have my entire tush covered by a long enough shirt, but the leggings are actually very thin.  So thick enough to be flattering and thin enough to be comfortable with any kind of boot!  I am seriously going to order a few more pairs. They have tons of options, including a classic black.  See all their leggings HERE.

White Plum is kindly offering all my wonderful readers 30% off your ENTIRE purchase from now until October 30.  White Plum’s prices are already amazing, so this additional discount makes their line extremely inexpensive.  I’ve already ordered a couple pairs of booties, tunics, and long sleeve tops.  I love how they always have the latest in what’s new with the fashion trends.

white plum discount code

I need a new fall wardrobe and White Plum is where it’ll happen!  Not to mention they have fabulous jewelry, too!  And they take PayPal.  I’m obsessed.  It’s the easiest, fastest, most fashionable, and best prices you’re going to find.  Ever since I discovered White Plum about a year ago, I’ve made purchases almost monthly.  They deliver daily emails with new deals and crazy low markdowns.  White Plum is definitely my favorite online shop!

pumpkin-patch 2015

Now if only we could get them to make a kids line, too…

What’s your fall fashion item must have?  Have you carved pumpkins yet?

William’s First Halloween

William’s first Halloween – did you expect a different post for today? 😉 Come on, now!  Even though we celebrated Halloween last weekend with my family, I was still excited for William to wear his costume on actual Halloween.

william halloween14

Just the cutest little pumpkin I ever did see!  Since he obviously couldn’t wear his costume to school, I dressed him in this adorable pumpkin outfit we received as a gift:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

And look how this big boy is sitting up all by himself!

The teachers always dress up at school on Halloween and we try to be creative with our costumes and tie it into our curriculum somehow.  This year, we tied it into Social Studies – I was Sacagawea and my teammates were Lewis and Clark!

lewis and clark

We were trying to reenact a real scene from Missouri’s early settlement. 😉

My costume came from my grandma who dressed up as a Native American some time ago for Halloween. She kept this fabulous suede outfit which turned out to be perfect for Sacagawea!


Of course Sacagawea was babywearing – you know I loved that!  All day long, my students asked me why I didn’t bring Baby William and said they hoped he wouldn’t get jealous I was wearing a different baby…

Random side note: You know I love Water Wipes.  They’re the only wipe I’ll allow to touch William’s bottom because they contain 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract.  I didn’t put any face paint on William, but if I did, I would have been totally comfortable using Water Wipes to remove any makeup.  I do use Water Wipes to wipe him down if I’m about and about.  Or if he pees on Audrey while she helps change his diaper (this happened over the weekend – HILARIOUS!). If I need to wipe my hands or clean his binky while we are out, I grab a Water Wipe from the diaper bag.  They really are the most gentle wipes and can be used on anyone from parents to kids to babies!

Back to Halloween.  In the evening, we went to one of my friend’s houses.

halloween friends

The mommas and our babies.  Wolf was an adorable lion, Carly was a sweet bee, and William’s pumpkin costume was overtaking him.  They rode in a wagon to trick-or-treat (for about ten minutes!).

halloween wagon

It was the cutest thing ever; they were all wedged in there.  It was a bit chilly, so we didn’t last long.  Towards the end, William was getting tired and I caught a super cute sad face on camera!

sad pumpkin

But more times than not, he was his usual happy baby self!

halloween wagon1

We decided this was the beginning of a tradition that must happen every year.  Crazy to think how quickly time has flown and will continue to fly; next Halloween, they’ll all be walking (running)!  That’ll be a whole new ballgame!

What’d you do for Halloween?  Trick or treat?  Party?  Pass out candy?

Linking up with Healthy Diva for Marvelous in my Monday!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I can’t believe my little pumpkin is celebrating his first Halloween!

halloween14 pumpkin

Baby William is going for the typical-first-Halloween-costume: a PUMPKIN!  But this is no ordinary pumpkin costume.  This has been worn for the last three years by Jacob or Audrey.  Must keep the tradition alive!  On Sunday, some of the cousins went to my grandparents’ house, Mama and Papa, to celebrate Halloween and wear their costumes.

family halloween14

These cousins are so lucky to spend so much time with their great-grandparents!

Superheroes to the rescue!

spiderman batman

Typical boy costumes.  I suppose William will get there one day. 😉

And Elsa.

aud elsa

I’m sure noooooobody else is dressing up like Elsa this Halloween, right?  But she’s the sweetest, for sure.

It’s always a fight to decide who gets to hold and sit by William…  Audrey wins, as usual.

cousins halloween14

But then Jacob is upset, so he gets to hold William for the next picture and decide who gets to be in it with them:

halloween14 cousins

Obviously not Audrey.

All was good and they all got their William-fix.

But I don’t think we can ever have too much baby William.

william halloween14

Happy Halloween from my little pumpkin!

Halloween Workout

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I’d whip up a Halloween Workout for you!  These days, my workouts consist of walks through the neighborhood and workouts in my living room.  My equipment is limited (dumbbells!), so I like to get creative and mix things up a bit.  This Halloween workout alternates cardio blasts with strength training moves for a total body workout that is sure to leave your muscles creepily burning!

Halloween Workout

Cardio bouts are in green – get your heart rate up!  Some notes on the moves:

  • 15 walking lunges: alternate legs, lunge low, watch that your knees doesn’t extend over your toes
  • 31 seconds jumping jacks: stay low for more of a challenge
  • 15 bicep curls & shoulder presses: curl, then press
  • 31 seconds mountain climbers: wrists should be directly underneath shoulders
  • 15 squats: stick out that booty
  • 31 seconds speed skaters: click HERE for a demonstration
  • 15 push-ups: nose to the floor
  • 31 seconds frog jumps: sit your butt back as you go down to the floor, explode up
  • 15 dumbbell rows & tricep kickbacks: a row is like you are starting the lawnmower, then kickback for a tricep burn
  • 31 seconds plank: keep your butt down

There ya have it!  I was going to do this workout two days in a row, but my legs were on fire after the first day.  Thank you, lunges!

Want more Halloween posts?  Check out these links for Halloween workouts & recipes:

What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

~ When indulging in a few sweet treats, remember to practice moderation and find balance.  Don’t skimp on meals, try to cut calories, spend all day at the gym, or feel guilty about what you eat.  Be intentional with what you do and enjoy the holiday! ~

Friday Favorites

Happy happy Friday!  Some Friday Favorites include Zoey in her piggy costume:

zoey pig

Doesn’t she look thrilled?  Itz actually from last year, but itz still cute.  And I had to share it with you because the fourth grade teachers dressed up for Halloween at school as…

halloween school

Pigs in blankets!  Nevermind the fact that the kids just thought we were pigs and we had to explain the blanket part; it was an easy and fun “costume.”  Blurry picture thanks to a dear little darling taking it.  All good.  Oink oink.

I wouldn’t say I’m picky with my coconut oil, itz just that I’ve always bought my jars from Trader Joe’s.  Once, I tasted my friend’s coconut oil who had bought it from Whole Foods and it tasted terribly.  I’m not sure if it had spoiled (can coconut oil get rotten?) or what the deal was, but it was not good.  Hence, I’ve always stuck with what I’ve known and gone the Trader Joe’s route.  However, at the Blend Retreat, we were given a jar of Swanson Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

coconut oil

Even though Blend Retreat was back in May, I just finished up my jar of Trader Joe’s coconut oil.  I must say, Swanson’s jar is just as good!  I’ve been using it in the morning to cook my eggs.  Two thumbs up, Swanson!

I’m not one for fancy makeup.  I love makeup and would totally buy designer brands if cost wasn’t a factor, but let’s be real: it is.  Foundation is one thing that I’m always changing.  I like something that smooths out my face, covers up blemishes, and provides some type of shine control. Normally, I use foundation and powder because I feel like I need powder to attain that matte (not shiny) look.  Rimmel London is a brand I’m familiar with as itz affordable.  I was recently sent their new foundation through Influenster.

Rimmel foundation

Itz liquid mousse foundation and they boast that itz lightweight and controls shine.  I had to pick my shade on the internet which I was a bit nervous about, but somehow I managed to choose correctly and True Ivory is a perfect match for me!  I’m being honest when I say that when this tube runs out, I’ll definitely be spending my own money on another.  I really, really like it.  It does everything I mentioned before: it smooths out my complexion, it hides blemishes, AND it controls shine!  Get this: I have NOT been using powder this past week, and by the end of the day my makeup is still in tact.  LOVE!  Itz actually not yet in stores yet, but will be soon!

Box subscriptions have always struck my fancy.  Whether itz filled with snacks, makeup, nature-friendly products, whatever, I think they’re fun and I think they make for great gifts as they’re unique and they’re the gift that keeps on giving.  I just discovered a brand new box that’s totally different and more awesome than them all.  Itz a box from Quarterly Co which is a company that hand picks experts and personalities to curate boxes in different categories and industries.  The best one is a Fitness Fashion & Trends package created by Bianca Jade of MizzFIT!

mizzfit quarterly

Bianca has an unbeatable formula for promoting better self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love through fashion and fitness, and she wants to share it with you in her Quarterly boxes! You can expect edgy and innovative wellness items in line with MizzFIT’s fitness philosophy: “Style Up 2 Shape Up.” Her packages will inspire and guide you to radiant style and a strong life.

The first box is about to ship and I’ll definitely share what’s inside when it arrives.  Also, I really do think this sounds awesome which is why I paid my own money for it.  This is not something I’m “reviewing” for blog purposes.  Here’s a video from Bianca talking about what’s to come.  There are three themes for her boxes:

  1. Pack your gym bag
  2. Get inspired to sweat
  3. Rejuvenate & restore

YES YES YES!  Seriously I can hardly contain my excitement as Bianca literally has the best style, and if she’s handpicking the goodies (which she is), I’m totally in!

What’s something you’re loving this Friday?

Pumpkin Recipes

Halloween in St. Louis is always chilly or freezing, and with the holiday nearing and temperatures dropping, itz safe to say that fall has officially arrived!  And with fall being here, you know that pumpkin recipes are all the rave right now in this blogosphere.

Zoey pumpkin

Zoey in her pumpkin costume last year.  The photo seemed fitting although this post is all about recipes and good food and clearly we won’t be eating little pumpkin Zoey!

I’ve been drooling over several pumpkin recipes and thought I’d share the ones with you that really caught my eye!  These are all created by FitFluential Ambassadors.

I need to get baking like ASAP!  (Or you can send me anything pumpkin related!)

What pumpkin goodness are you baking? Leave links in the comments!

Pumpkin Carving

Fall is here and with Halloween nearing, we had a pumpkin carving filled weekend!  My sister Stephanie invited us over to carve pumpkins yesterday afternoon and it was a blast.  My brother, sister, and I all forgot how hard it is to carve pumpkins!  (Yes, itz been a few years since we’ve done this last.)

pumpkin carving

We thought the boys (Jacob & Jackson) would love getting their hands dirty while they scraped out the pumpkin guts, but not so much.  While Jackson lasted slightly longer than Jacob, they were both more than eager to wash their hands.

pumpkin guts

After pumpkins were carved, we made the obligatory roasted pumpkin seeds and munched away and had plenty to take home, as well!

pumpkin seeds

I’m sharing all of this pumpkin and family goodness for Marvelous in my Monday!

When all was set and done, we carried the finished products outside and lined ’em up!


Not a bad showing, eh?  Starting on the far left, Jonny made a “U” pumpkin since he’s obsessed with the University of Miami Hurricanes.  Jacob’s is next to his as a Spiderman pumpkin.  Audrey painted hers black and used stickers to make a Minnie Mouse pumpkin.  Amy’s perfect smiley face pumpkin is next.  Jason carved Jack O’ Lantern in his and Jackson’s, and mine is on the far right with the jacked up smile.  🙂

The kiddies and their pumpkins:

kids pumpkins

Jonny and I took our pumpkins home and as soon as the sun went down (which is way too early these days!) lit a candle and watched them shine!


Have you carved pumpkins yet this year? What did you put on yours?