Category Archives: Food and Drink

Friday Favorites Roundup

Y’all, this is NOT my outfit for today. This was  back around LAST FALL/WINTER.  It is still around eighty degrees in Southern California and the weather doesn’t look to be dropping anytime soon. Which makes this Fall loving gal really sad.

Come on, California! Get with it!

In the meantime, I am dreaming of sweaters, booties, warm and cozy things for your home, and soups to make at home.

First, who watched last week’s UCLA game against Texas A&M? I thought for sure I would have to comfort my Bruin loving husband because it did not look good. That comeback game was one for the books because even I was cheering (and I am a USC fan!!!)  I love games like that!! So good!

Now for my favorites for this week.

Since Fall is slowly happening, and for some of you, the transition into cooler weather is already happening in your area, I have been browsing some of my favorite sites for pretty Fall worthy items to add to my wardrobe.  I am always on the lookout for sweaters, duster cardigans, jeans, and booties, as well as some accessories.  A lot of these are on sale as well, so if you are able, snag a few of the items you have been eying before the price goes up again!

When it comes to my home, I love switching out pillows to match the seasons.  One of my favorite shops happens to be Linen and Ivory. They have such cute merchandise so if you are looking for something festive, you definitely should check this small business out.
I love this pillow
And this one
Name that movie!!!  It is one of my favorites for Halloween. My sisters and I have always wanted to dress up as the Sanderson Sisters for Halloween. I call dibs on Winifred Sanderson.
There are a ton of beautiful pieces, so please go check them out!!!  I have these two Pillow covers currently in my home:
And Candles? Yes, we need fall scented candles in our home! Pronto!
My favorite candle scent is Marshmallow Fireside from Bath and Body Works. You guys. YAAAASSSS!
Bath and Body Works is having a special right now on these candles (regularly $24.50) but you get them for $12.50 each when you buy 2 or more.  Do it. I always stock up on my favorite scents when the three wick candles go on sale. I love having them burn in my home, especially when the weather cools down and when I am reading….or just anytime really. I don’t need permission to light a candle!
I am also dreaming of delicious soups to make during Fall/Winter months that are relatively easy, yet delicious and healthy and satisfying.  That is super important to me.
Here are some soup recipes that have caught my eye recently and I am going to make in the coming weeks:
That is all I have for today.  What are you loving this week?  If you don’t already, follow me on Insta to see what I am up to daily!
Be a Size You,

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,



Friday Favorites Roundup week of 8/21

Yippeee! It is Friday! I am so dang excited for the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, our family likes to go on little adventures, whether that is hiking, trying out a new lunch spot, the beach, or just chilling and watching a movie. We do our very best to spend time together in the middle of being so busy with activity. I don’t want to miss a single moment with my family.

On to my favorites!

I am really, really wishing for Fall to hurry up and get here. I have a few Duster cardigans in my closet that need to be worn and I can’t wear them in ninety degree weather. Not happening.

If you don’t have one, you need one or a few! I am searching for a leopard one for myself to add to my collection (so if you spot one, let me know!) because it would be perfect for Fall and for date night in some cute black skinnies and heels. I have already envisioned the outfit I would wear with it. Does that make me weird? Please tell me I am not the only one!

Anyway, the one I am wearing is from Lularoe (my sister, Sheena Roark is a retailer) but here are some other duster cardigan options here, here, and here.

I am currently reading and finishing up Cultivate by Lara Casey. I took a brief break from it to read Be Obsessed or Be Average. These two books are completely different, but I love them both. Excited to share my thoughts and what I learned from Cultivate.

I like simple meals as much as possible. But I have also been digging making Eggs and Kale for breakfast. It is so easy and I just feel so good after eating it. I can’t explain it!

It is especially hardy after a workout. I use my favorite organic spices, Balanced Bites Spices. My husband loves to use the Taco and Fajita seasoning. I love the Savory, Diner, or Italian.

Speaking of workouts, lately, I have been enjoying the 17 Minute HIIT workout by Joel Freeman (co-creator of Core De Force). When I say it is 17 minutes, I mean it. It is intense. It gets the job done, and then you get to go on with your day. It is only available for BOD members, so if you aren’t one, and you would like a free 14 day trial (and you don’t have a coach!) you should check it out! I took this workout (and more) with me to Laughlin this past week and it was awesome to kick butt and not have to figure out what to do for my workout while on vacay. Winning at life!

That is all for this week, sister friends!

What are you loving this week? Please share or tag me on your social media posts so I can see all your favorite things.

Be a Size You,


Friday Favorites Roundup

Happy Friday, friends!

We made it to the end of the week and the weekend is upon us.  I am so dang excited for the weekend. Why?

Because on Sunday, I leave for Laughlin. Yaaasss! I will be traveling with my Mama for a late birthday getaway and I can’t wait to plop my butt in the river and just relax.  Sometimes, when you start to wig out, you need a break.  And my favorite place to relax is by the river. So excited!

I have decided that each week, I will do a Friday Favorites Roundup of my favorite things that happened or I saw or I read or purchased. I love being inspired by pretty things, and I am sure many of you do too!

I got these amazing 1. state Iddah Performance Cutaway booties at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale as a birthday gift to myself and they are gorgeous! They come in so many colors.  I originally had wanted a different color, but after I placed my order, I got an email letting me know that the color I had wanted had sold out. So I went online and bought the black instead.  They are so cute and they are great with dresses and with jeans. Love them!

I have been obsessed with graphic tee’s and pretty skirts lately.  I had purchased this limited edition Lularoe Metallic skirt sometime during the holiday season last year, but I never got to wear it.  This week, I decided to wear it with my Greatest Commandment Tee from Cross Training Couture.  For the skirt, since mine was a limited edition piece, I am not sure many LLR consultants will still have them, but you can find similar pieces here , here, here.

It is no secret that I do enjoy cooking, but I truly don’t have a ton of time, especially now that school is back in session and baseball will be starting up soon, and not to mention swim has never ended! Holy cow!  I know I am really late to the Instant Pot game, but I finally tried it out awhile ago, and I am in love. So much that I got rid of my slow cooker, since my instant pot has the slow cooker function on it. The one that is linked is on sale, and I am not sure if it is still available, but you can definitely try and see if it is!  When they drop in price, they go fast!

I made an incredible dish called Lemon Garlic chicken from Predominately Paleo and it was a huge hit!  My husband wasn’t too sure about the Zoodles I had with the dish, but he gobbled it up so I call that a win in my book. And he even ate left overs…….yaaaaaassssss!

I also seem to be obsessed with anything blush when it comes to workout apparel.  I fully believe that when you buy yourself new workout clothes and gear, you are far more motivated to crush it. Yes? No? This is what I tell myself anyway! My husband and wallet may disagree with me, but that is my story and I am sticking to it! These are some of the things I am crushing on right now and are currently  on my want to buy real soon list.

And last, I am so inspired by my Back to School, Mama community. We started on Monday, and they are seriously crushing it! I am one proud coach as I know when you are a busy mama and things get super busy, it can be so hard to get into a healthy routine for yourself, but these women are willing to try and do it. And they are succeeding and pushing me to stay committed. I love it!!!
What inspired you this week? I would love to hear!
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,


What’s Next For Me in my Health & Fitness Journey

Hey all!

It has been awhile since I have done a weekly recap of my fitness and health adventures, so I thought I would briefly check in here to share what is going down.

I will be finishing up my first 30 days of Piyo this week. It has actually felt so good to just stretch and not jump. My body feels more flexible. I don’t feel as run down, and I feel stronger too. This was an awesome break from the extreme fitness I was used to.

Starting on Monday, I will be diving into 21 Day Fix Extreme, which is a 3-week fitness and nutrition program. I love the 21 Day Fix Series. Anytime I need something short but effective when it comes to fitness, that is my go to, unless it is dancing. I will be back to lifting weights, cardio and body weight exercises this time, so really focusing on my nutrition for muscle growth and stamina, and having Shakeology to fill in the nutrition gaps I may be missing, as well as a ton of Energize on hand, is what will get me through. Don’t think for a second that this program is easy. Lol!

If you have done the basic 21 Day Fix and don’t know the difference between the Fix and Extreme, here is a handy tool for you. 

For those curious about how I eat, I will follow a mostly Paleo diet. It will still work with this program. 

For those of you in my upcoming Bootcamp that begins Monday, I will be sharing a “how to choose your fitness program” tutorial today in our community. Not in my May Bootcamp but would like to join us? There is still room! Just click on the contact me button or apply here

Nutrition will be huge for me. I have already shared about how my nutrition and changing to a more Paleo lifestyle has helped me in my overall fitness transformation, but I want to share how I think eating differently will help you as well.

It doesn’t have to be technically Paleo. But it should be nutrient dense, and real food. I see so many on social media about women who are looking to get healthier and change their bodies, but they don’t really eat that different. OR they go the extreme route and do a diet or cleanse believing that it will help speed up their metabolism or help them lose weight, but then they find themselves back to where they started. They may see some weight loss in the beginning, but after the diet is over or the juice cleanses are done, it is a heavy reality. 

Food isn’t something you can kind of sort of stick with. You must constantly be researching, experimenting, cooking, trying new things. Food isn’t one size fits all. But I will say the eating whole food is for everyone. Stop buying the pre-packed frozen health food and start making your own. If you need something quick and nutritious so you can avoid junk food, this is why I recommend Shakeology. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated meals. Keep it simple, sister. If you keep telling yourself that it is too expensive, too much time, or that you are too busy, those are excuses that need to go. You need to re-think your priorities and your beliefs. Just tell yourself instead that it is not worth the time, the money, or the effort to do these things in order to be healthier. 

Honestly, when you tell yourself that, how does it sound? 

Because I really believe that nutrition is such a key factor in your results, I will be posting my meals each week on social media. I won’t do it daily, but basically a weekly recap so you can see by what I mean when I say easy, nutritious, and delicious. I promise, it won’t be complicated. 

I will also share my favorite places to eat out that provide locally sourced and organic options. Worth it to find awesome restaurants in your area to help you! 

As always, my heart and mission is to encourage you and push you. You are worth it, sister friend! 

Be a Size You,

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bites

2016-08-15 11.05.08

Just a disclaimer. I am not a food blogger. When I make meals or snacks, I practically scarf them down because I am that impatient when it comes to food. So I apologize in advance that I don’t have beautiful photos of my food.

You will have to settle for my obnoxious selfie instead.

Again, I apologize.

But I wanted to share with you a recipe that I made this last week that was so good, my husband demanded that I make them each week for a snack he could grab and go. It is also kid approved which means for all of you mamas out there who are struggling to find a new healthy snack to pack with your kids lunch, you can try this!

I adapted my recipe from Michelle Myers. I used slightly different ingredients, but they are still incredibly nutritious and a perfect snack for you and for your family. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bites

1 cup Quick Oats

1 Cup Real Organic Peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)

1/2 cup of real honey

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Shakeology for a superfood boost)

2 TBSP Chia Seeds

1/2 cup raw organic Cacao Nibs

  1. Add the quick oats, shredded coconut, protein powder & chia seeds into a large mixing bowl
  2. In a smaller mixing bowl, add nut butter and honey. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add nut butter mixture into dry ingredients and use a spatula to blend ingredients together until they form a cookie dough texture.
  4. Sprinkle in cacao nibs until evenly distributed in the dough.
  5. Roll into balls. Wet your hands with water before rolling to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  6. Store then in the refrigerator in an air-tight container to avoid them from drying out.

These won’t last long in your house.  Mine lasted a few days. Actually, barely that. In all honesty, you should double your recipe and practice some portion control when it comes to these. They are that good!

Let me know what you think! I would love to see your photos of you making your own protein bites! Do your kids love them?

Be a Size You,



Maple Dijon Chicken

I love maple Dijon anything. I also love checking out Pinterest for meal ideas. There were tons of variations of Maple Dijon chicken floating around, so I thought I would try my own hand at making it with what I had in the pantry.

It was a total win! Even my picky six year old who pretty much complains at every meal (it is a miracle he grows!) loved it and asked for it to be in his lunch for school.

Yes. Go make you some of this! If you are doing the 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Hammer and Chisel or any other program, this will work!

Fix approved Maple Dijon Chicken
Fix approved Maple Dijon Chicken

Maple Dijon Chicken with brown rice and steamed veggies

1 pound or more of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (You can definitely use breasts, but thighs have way more flavor. Be sure to trim the fat as much as you can).

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 TBSP Italian seasoning (or you can try dried rosemary, thyme, or favorite herbs)

2 TBSP Real Maple Syrup (NO AUNT JEMIMA!)

2 tsp soy sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 TBSP Olive Oil


In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, seasoning, maple syrup, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Pour over chicken in a 8×8 baking dish, making sure they don’t overlap, and chicken are thoroughly covered.  Cover, place in fridge and allow chicken to  marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, preheat over to 375 degrees. Bake in the over for 45-60 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.

Serve with brown rice and favorite steamed veggies.

This is 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green.

By the way, the marinade could definitely be used as a salad dressing. It was quite tasty on it’s own!

Be a Size You,




Forks Over Knives

Today I finally got to see the documentary Forks Over Knives. I had seen a trailer back on another blog and since then I have been anxiously awaiting its release to DVD.

I am absolutely, one hundred percent passionate about eating healthy, a fit lifestyle and taking care of the bodies God has given us. We only have one here on this earth. This video helped open my eyes to the staggering truth regarding how much processed meat and animal fats we as a country consume, as well as the stunning facts and benefits that eating a whole, holistic plant based diet can produce.

Imagine reducing Cancer and diabetes just by changing the way we look at food. Imagine if we lived differently from all the rest, ate mostly vegetables, worked out regularly…..


While I am certainly not a Vegan, I do support the idea of a rather Vegan lifestyle. I know in my own house, we will probably not go entirely without chicken or fish. (My husband loves meat…so leaner meats will be in our house).  

But eliminating McDonalds and Taco Bell from the family menu….that is entirely my goal. 

I have included the trailer for you:

Hospitality and the Church

The pot was boiling away, the signal that it was ready for me to submerge the pasta in it's heated water.  Adding salt and spaghetti, I stirred to break apart the noodles while thinking of our dear friends who would be eating this meal as a family.  

Only it would't be as a joyous occasion.  Our friends had experienced loss and they were in mourning over a loved one.  

Dan suggested I make a meal and he would pick up some groceries containing quick dinners for a few days. Just so she would't have to think of dinner for her family. So she could just be with her family.  

I prayed my dinner would ease their burden somewhat. 

I thought of moments when a home cooked meal, a thoughtful note, a caring phone call brought life back to my heart.  And even in the happiest of moments, the thoughtfulness of others always encouraged me.  Always brought a smile and warmth to my heart.

I think of my two girlfriends who were expecting little ones this past year. When their darling babies arrived, no one ministered. From the church. Family helped if they lived locally.  Sure there were congratulations and well wishes…but I wonder about the attitude of hospitality.  

It seems so old fashioned here in California.  Or maybe, we just weren't taught the true principles of hospitality.  To share gifts of food, conversation and comfort.  To not just send a email, tweet, text or facebook messages, although those are good!  But to be hospitable, to cook for someone, clean their house, give a new mommy a nap….to celebrate with them in a joyous occasion or mourn alongside them during a difficult season….is when we see the church doing what God want of us.

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace…" 1 Peter 4:8-10 (ESV)

Does your church practice hospitality within its members and to those outside? Do you?