Category Archives: Family Fun

Friday Favorites Roundup: Game Day Food!


This photo has nothing to do with College game day or tailgating…but isn’t Madi so precious?

Okay people, did you know that Saturday, September 2nd is National Tailgating Day?

Yes. Yes it really is. And it is also National College Colors Day. But really, the only thing any of us can think about, at least those of us who LOVE college football, is that it is back and we are so ready to eat our way through the game day season!!!!

Personally, my family watches more college football than NFL. But I think this post will apply to any sport, because today we are talking about Game Day food!

My favorite subject.

I am rounding out several of my favorite recipes from my favorite food bloggers so you can head to the grocery story today and make some goodies for your families.

Before I go on, if you need a College Football Game schedule because (for some crazy reason!) you don’t already have it printed out, Here you go.  Some games kicked off Thursday.

Can you tell I am excited!!!!

Okay, now for the food.  These are my favorite items to have on hand. I basically like to follow a couple of rules:

*Have some protein



*Plenty of beverages

*Chips (A variety. My hubby will not touch gluten free chips. He wants Lay’s. I tried)

*Easy to whip appetizers that are pop in your mouth friendly and require not a whole lot of effort.

For those of you who will be tailgating, you probably have your own rules that you like to add because you will normally be somewhere for several hours.

Here are some ideas for you to check out:

*Easy Chicken Wings from Balanced Bites

* Guacamole (No recipe needed although this one is great from Balanced Bites)

*Deviled Eggs by Primal Palate

*Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Jalapenos by PaleOMG

* Slow Cooker Babacoa by Fed and Fit ( I made the Barbacoa this past week and it was a huge success!! Instead of making Jicama tacos though, I chose to use Almond Flour Tortillas from Siete Foods . Still incredibly delicious!!!)

*Oven Fries by Balanced Bites

*Buffalo Chicken Dip by Living Loving Paleo

*Paleo Ranch Dressing by Nom Nom Paleo  (Or grab some yummy dressings from Tessemae’s or Primal Kitchen.

And plenty of your favorite Veggies, Chips (I prefer Kettle Chips Jalapeno flavor or Siete Foods Lime flavored Tortilla chips.

I also have plenty of water and other drinks on hand for the family because we don’t just root for our team, we watch all the dang games that day.  We LOVE College Football!

There you have it. It is a small list, but if you are having a gathering at home for your family or even a few people, this should be good. If you don’t want to cook it all, and who does, have your friend bring some over!  Share the load.

I want to see your game day photos!

Who are you all rooting for? Our house is a  house divided.  USC vs UCLA over here in the Harper household!!! Let’s go Trojans! Fight on!

Be a Size You,



Newport Dunes Getaway

This last week, the hubby and I took advantage of the kids being with Gramie and Papa for camp and headed off to Newport Dunes!

Newport Dunes is this awesome resort where you can rent bungalows or hook up your trailer for a relaxing and fun vacation by the bay. It is absolutely beautiful and it is truly one of our favorite places to go for Vacation. It also has one of the best 4th of July Fireworks shows I have ever seen, so it is definitely a place you want to visit!

You can paddleboard, swim, kayak, visit local beaches (Newport Beach is literally 5 minutes) and also check out some amazing local eateries.

Fashion Island is a spot we love to visit as well when we are in a shopping mood. Well, honestly I am always in a shopping mood. Dan….not so much! There are a ton of amazing stores and restaurants in this mall. More high end than most malls, but we love it! And they have an Anthropologie. Yaaaassss! 

Dan and I have spent most of our time simply relaxing, eating, and laying out at the Beach. I did want to share a couple of eateries that we discovered that we loved and thought you would too!

Dory Deli in Newport Beach. We just happened upon this spot because we were really hungry, but we wanted something different than just burgers and fries, or tacos. Dan suggested it because he thought the name was funny. So glad we ate here! I got the Kale Caesar and Dan got the Ruben Sandwich. We also split a bowl of their Clam Chowder and OH MY GOSH. So good! I don’t know how old they are, but I did see that they will have a full bar soon. They had quite a bit of selection when it comes to salads, sandwiches, sides, even coffee and they have brunch on the weekends. I loved my salad. I think next time I will be daring and try their Seared Ahi Salad. Because it sounds so good! 

R+D Kitchen at Fashion Island. Dan had eaten here before with a friend quite a few years ago and he said all he could remember was the burger. He said it was that good. So I wanted to eat there.

Y’all, the menu is not very big. And it is a bit pricey. But worth it! He got the Cheeseburger and a side of fries for us to split (because always say yes to fries) and I grabbed the Chicken Thai Noodle salad (I think that is what it was called.) Huge winner. 

I mean, what? Doesn’t that look amazing? It was so good you guys! There were noodles, bits of Mango, carrots, chicken, cilantro, jicama, sesame….and the dressing was this light dressing that tasted peanutty, but it wasn’t heavy. It was amazing. Our waiter recommended it and I jumped all over it. So delicious! 

I am serious. If I could get a job where they could send me to restaurants to eat and share my thoughts, yaaassss. Sign me up.

Dan and I basically kept it chill. It was Shaun Week for my workouts this week, so I made use of Newport Dunes fitness room. Side note to Newport Dunes: you need more weights folks. Eight pounds and ten pounds are not gonna cut it. I know you have mostly runners visiting, but yeah….let’s do better for the fitness room. 

And a whole lot of beach time.

We leave tomorrow and I am sad to go, but overall, it has been amazing and much needed. So grateful. 

Be a Size You,


Ready for Harvest

Whenever I think of Autumn, I think of the words in John 4:34-35:

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work…..Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” 

After summer, Fall is my next favorite season.  Here in California, we don’t really experience seasons.  Unless you live in more northern parts of our state, it generally stays the same temperature with some variances in heat. But not too much. For instance, last week? We were hitting 90 plus degree temps.

Yeah, Fall doesn’t feel like fall quite yet.

But that is okay.  I think the fields are still ripe and ready.

Especially the fields in your own home, and in your communities, and in the hearts of those you love.


Our family got to take a break from the mundane and school, and went to our local apple farm in Julian, CA to pluck from the trees that were ready to share their abundance with us.  This is the kind of stuff I live for.  Julian is this perfect little town and it is so cute and I wish that I could visit it all the time!

We got to go with friends from church and can I say that we as a family really needed this. We needed to go on an adventure together. Yes, to most, it was simply apple picking. But to me, to this mama heart, we have been so busy rushing from one activity to the next, our schedules are full and it feels like we are on a hamster wheel. So the fact that we got to bend the rules a bit and get away as a family together to do something fun meant the world to me.


The Fields are ready for harvest in my own home.  No one else is going to spend as much time as Dan or me to teach my children about Jesus or spend time with them.  It is the will of God who created me and made me a mother to raise up these little humans.   It is my job. It is my main ministry.  I have a heart for women and I am actively pursuing women’s ministry, but my first role is wife and mama.  Family.

It is why going to the apple farm with the kids and Dan meant so much to me.  It was a chance to create a memory that we could talk about together.


I am also reminded that I am to love other people, especially when their hearts are ripe and ready to hear a message that can be transforming to their lives.  I will let God do all of the heart transforming work. I will simply open my mouth and be available to those who need to hear powerful truth.

Being on social media tends to be a popularity contest of sorts.  I don’t want to post so that I can become more popular or gain more likes. I want to post words that will inspire and point back to Him.  My hope is that each person who visits my small corner of the internet, they will be moved to learn more about their Creator and to fully submit to His goodness.

When I take my children out and we go on adventures, my heart isn’t that they will see how much money we spent or all the cool places we get to go.  My heart is that they will see that I love them and desire to spend time with them and to have fun with them and create memories together. Right now, I need to be nurturing and caring towards their little hearts so that as they grow older and one day have families of their own, they will spend the time harvesting in the hearts of their children, as Dan and I tried to do with them.

Often when a lot of read scripture and we see the callings that Jesus placed on the disciples to share and witness, we think of traveling all over the world, or going on missions trips or running non profits.  But God has shown me over and over again that I have my own little field right in front of me that needs attention.

For those fields are white for harvest.

Be a Size You,


Get Your Couch Potatoes Off the Couch

Get Your Couch Potatoes Off the Couch – iVillage – StumbleUpon.

I saw this great article about getting our kids off the couch and getting them active.

I know for my kids, they would much rather watch VeggieTales than go run around. Well, at least my 5 year old would. My 2 year old has not figured out how to sit still yet!

So I often have to get creative and get them outside or just doing something active so that they are not sitting most of the day.  In the summer it was easy. We went swimming practically every day.

But now that school is here, laziness is beginning to set in for both kids and momma!

I hope the article inspires all of you to get moving and enjoy time together without having to resort to sitting on the couch.

What are you doing to keep your kids healthy and active?



Thanks Grammie ;)


Everytime they consume cereal for breakfast, they finish it off together by drinking their milk from the bowl just like this. 

In unison.

Quite frankly, I there are some who would say this is a display of poor manners.

Me? I say this is hilarious and it shows how much these two are joined at the hip, even with their age differences. 

So thanks Grammie for teaching them this ;).


A Cinderella Story

"In my own little corner

In my own little chair

I can be whatever I want to be." ~Cinderella (Rogers and Hammerstein)

On a gorgeous Saturday morning, Madi had the opportunity to attend a dinner theater, which just happened to be having performances of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.

I was so excited for her to witness this show. Growing up, I was able to see it on TV and my parents recorded it for me and my sister so that we could watch it over and over to our hearts content. Learning the songs and routines together and even performing them at Talent shows. (Well at least my sister did ha!)

Much to my surprise, Dan and I got to tag along too!  We made arrangements for my parents to watch Sean and off we were to the Candlelight Pavilion to see Cinderella.

It did not disappoint.  

Dan joked that I was more excited than Madi was for the show. Which was probably true.  It is one of my favorites.  

Madi wore her favorite princess crown and dressed in her pretty dress and felt like a princess.  


She even got to take a picture with Cinderella herself!


She had such a great time!

If you have never seen Cinderella the musical, it is much better than the Disney version (no offense Disney!) 

Costumes, music and magic oh my! Perfect for little girls =).

We had a wonderful time being with Madi and enjoying the day with her.  Thanks Mom and Dad Harper!




Fair Fun!

Yesterday we went out to the fair to make good on the tickets we were so graciously given by one of our college students.  At the OC Fair, kids are free (SCORE!) so we were so excited to be able to take them along with us and enjoy some awesome fair rides and food.

We slid down slides


Pet cute farm animals




Took fun farm animal pictures


And of course we consumed cotton candy, ice cream and bbq.  We weren't brave enough to try fried twinkies or any other fried delicacy.  I like my heart just the way it is thank you.

Poor Sean was a tad small to go on most of the rides, but we did find him a huge sand box to play in. 


We had a great time! The kids came home completely pooped, which meant that they went to bed without too much of a fight.  Win/Win for everyone ;).

What did you all do for fun this week?


Back To Reality….Sort Of.

Our vacation in Newport Dunes was amazing and just what we needed.

The ocean,  barbeques, family time and relaxation helped all of us, especially me and Dan, to refocus on what is really important in our lives.

We minister to those who come to Illuminate every Sunday night. Sharing hope and grace to a room full of hurting individuals. 

But our first ministry is to our family. Specifically, to each other and to two little munchkins that we just adore.

So while, yes, we are back to "life as usual"… won't really be life as usual ;). We will still have ministry/church stuff, a house to clean, kids to wash, laundry to fold, bills to pay.

But life will be different. That is our goal.

Because come on, how can you resist these cute kids!



We sure can't!

Hope you are all having a wonderful July with all of your loved ones.



Changes and Loving Summer

We have been a busy bunch over  here. Summer is finally here and let me tell you that I absolutely, positively love this season.

Experiencing a couple of changes here. Nothing major.  But still, change is fun and can be really exciting:

Like getting a new haircut


Anticipating this little guy's second birthday on the 4th of July


A change in the weather (finally the sun is out!) means spending tons of time in the pool


In the summer I absolutely adore the heat.  Call me crazy, but I love 80 degree and above temperatures.  I know. I'm nuts.

But I can't help it! Plus, summer to me means:

*Farmers Markets

*Strawberries, blueberries, Raspberries, Watermelon

*Beaches and sunblock

*Pretty maxi dresses with wedges


*Family Vacations

Yes, this season is pure heaven for me.

What do you love about summer?