Homemade Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

I am taking a little siesta from writing while we are in this early time of adjusting to life as a family of four. I will post now and then as I have this recipe and a product review to share with you next month. Oh, and in case you hadn't heard the news, take a second to meet Baby W!

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I made my first batch of caramel rolls for Mother's Day and they were a success! Here is the recipe I used:

Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

  • Frozen or fresh, homemade bread dough
  • 1 cup white sugar, mixed with 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
Start out with a batch of homemade bread dough (I use a version of this recipe). Don't allow bread to rise.

Break off into bun-sized pieces and roll in the white sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place rolled dough in greased baking pan.

After all of the dough has been broken into pieces and rolled in cinnamon sugar, set rolls aside and make topping.

Melt the butter and pour into remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Stir well. Melt ice cream and add to mixture. Stir until evenly combined.

Pour mixture of butter, ice cream, cinnamon and sugar over the rolls of dough. Allow rolls to rise for 20 minutes in oven heated to 170°. Remove from oven after risen.

Preheat oven to 375°. Return rolls to oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy and share with others... if you want to :)

Bonus: These are toddler-approved!

Have you made caramel rolls before?
What is your favorite homemade treat?

Linking up with Jessica & Jill at the Fit Dish, Fitness Friday and Mommy Moments.

Meet Baby W!

Here is a quick intro to our newest family member, Baby W!

Baby W made his grand entrance at 12:40 am on May 23rd in our home. We had an amazing first waterbirth/homebirth experience! He weighed in at 7 lbs. and measured 20 inches long.

Baby W's homebirth story will be coming later...

Today we are all resting, enjoying time as a bigger family and celebrating my birthday!
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell of all His wonderful acts. 1 CHRONICLES 16:9
Linking up with Mommy Moments.

I AM ENOUGH: Battling Perfectionism

Do you struggle with feeling "good enough"? What does it take to be "enough"?

For this week's Fit Dish link-up, we are discussing "ENOUGHNESS":

Feeling like I am "good enough" has been an ongoing battle for me. For much of my life, I have viewed my value based on my performance, how other people view me (hello, people-pleaser!) and striving to do everything perfectly.

Perfectionism shows itself in a few different forms including procrastination, performancism and people-pleasing. Performancism and people-pleasing are the main struggles for me creating thoughts like this:

Do more! You're not doing enough.

Try harder. Then everyone will be happy.

Why try something new? I don't want to chance being a failure.

Striving for perfection is a mess. It's an unattainable goal. An exhausting battle. A total joy-sucker. It makes you more judgmental, joyless, stressed out, bitter, angry, self-condemning and enslaved by the fear of failure.

The worst part is it's a monster that's impossible to please. After achieving the goal, the striving cycle moves on to the next target. The high for a perfectionist is short-lived and then it sends them on to pursue more perfection.

A perfectionist feels like they are NEVER ENOUGH. 

But there is HOPE and FREEDOM from perfectionism and there is a healthy way to strive to do your best!

My freedom came when I surrendered my life to God and started a new life in Jesus Christ. I'm far from having my perfectionist thoughts kicked, but now I can call out the self-defeating thoughts, replace them with God's truth and move forward.

God calls us to give our best effort in everything we do. The key is that He doesn't want our work to define who we are. Our performance - good or bad - does not change God's love for us!
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. COLOSSIANS 3:23-24
Let's dig into God's Word to see what He has to say about the value of His children:

The Truth About Being ENOUGH

I am CHOSEN by God.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. JOHN 15:16
I am God's DAUGHTER.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. 1 JOHN 3:1
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. EPHESIANS 2:10
I have VICTORY in this life.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57
I am FREE from condemnation.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. ROMANS 8:1-2
My value isn't found in my day job, physical appearance, athletic performance, season of life, social status, house size or what other people think of me.

I AM ENOUGH because I belong to GOD!

Living in God's love and grace helps me to be loving and gracious to others. This freedom allows His children live with less pressure, more peace and more joy. We are able to live bravely and to boldly follow where God is leading us without the fear of failure!
“God needs obedience, obviously, but God isn’t hanging a standard over us saying ‘Just try harder, and then I’ll love you.'”

God calls us to obey because He already loves us! The free gift of salvation is just that. We didn’t earn it and we can’t un-earn it.
Kathi Lipp in Rejecting Perfectionism
Listen to full broadcast on Rejecting Perfectionism on My Faith Radio.

Do you or have you struggled with perfectionism?
How do you know you are "enough"?

Linking up with Jessica and Jill on the Fit Dish and Fitness Friday. #dishthefit #believeiamenough

How & Why I Run During Pregnancy

Week 37 is already here and Baby is now considered "early term". We are cleared for home birth whenever he or she is ready to arrive! For today's Fitness Friday, I am sharing how & why I run during pregnancy.

Pregnancy brings on all sorts of questions from friends to family to complete strangers on the street. Add running into the picture and the questions multiply.

Running during pregnancy is a curious topic because it's not everyday you see a woman 9 months pregnant wogging (waddle-jogging) down the street in this town. These days many women continue to run and exercise during pregnancy. Just not around here...

These are the real reasons behind HOW and WHY I continue to run (and strength train) through pregnancy. And how it's not as crazy as it sounds!

Disclaimer: There is no shame in NOT running during pregnancy! Any form of pregnancy-safe exercise is beneficial as long as it is approved by your doctor or midwife and it is comfortable for you. This post is sharing my personal experience and IS NOT intended as medical advice!

How I'm Still Running

Consistency. If you were a regular runner pre-pregnancy, continuing your running routine during pregnancy is safe as long as you are approved by your doctor or midwife. The key is to be consistent. Being consistent with weekly workouts has helped my body to gradually adapt to pregnancy changes and support my growing belly.

Support Belt. The <affiliate link> Gabrialla Elastic Maternity Support Belt is a life-saver when it comes to running during pregnancy. It provides great belly and back support while I run. I haven't ran without wearing mine since mid-second trimester! I have used the same support belt running through both pregnancies and it's worth the investment.

Low and Slow. Low mileage, low intensity, slower pace. What the numbers end up being all depends on you personally and your pregnancy. My runs are 2 to 3 miles, four times per week. My average pace is now between 10:30 to 11:30 per mile and I take walk breaks as needed. Despite moving at a slower pace, maintaining a running cadence around 180 strides per minute does make running more comfortable!

Hydrate Well. Being an active pregnant woman means you need to drink more water than sedentary pregnant women. Livestrong recommends that pregnant women drink an additional 8 ounces of water for every hour of light activity. Dehydration can cause preterm labor, constipation and bladder infections in late pregnancy!

One Day at a Time. Take pregnancy one day at a time - one run at a time - and to listen to your body. My mindset is that each run could be the last run of this pregnancy. I have no expectations of running through a certain date. There is no shame in walking, choosing another low-impact exercise option or just taking a nap!

Why I'm Still Running

I feel better when I do. Pregnancy does make it harder to for me to get out the door early in the morning. My motivation comes from knowing how I feel once I get moving and how great I feel post-workout. Exercising gives me extra energy and I feel like I have a little extra stamina to chase our toddler throughout the day.

Running feels natural. With a big belly and 20 additional pounds on my frame, I don't look particularly graceful but my legs remember what they're doing and moving feels really good. Because my body was well-adapted to running before pregnancy, running while pregnant still feels natural to me.

Eased pregnancy discomforts. Exercising has helped to ease the discomforts of pregnancy from morning sickness and insomnia to constipation and fatigue. Staying fit and keeping a strong core also helps to reduce pregnancy back pain.

Endurance for labor and delivery. Labor and delivery are a huge test of endurance. In my first pregnancy, staying in shape gave me extra endurance for labor and delivery and I know it will help with baby #2, too. Labor may be longer this time - who knows what Baby has planned - and staying fit will certainly help with whatever lies ahead.

More Pregnant Running Resources:
The Benefits of Running While Pregnant at Active.com
What You Should Know About Running While Pregnant by Amber Kuiper

What is your favorite form of exercise, pregnant or not?

Linking up at Fitness Friday and Mommy Moments.

Choco-Banana Muffins with Greek Yogurt

It's time for another Fit Dish Tuesday! Today's [optional] topic is:

My latest baking adventure has been chocolate chip banana bread muffins with a healthy twist. They are my "healthier pregnancy craving alternative" (somewhat healthier than eating straight-up chocolate chip cookies) and are also perfect to freeze for after baby's arrival.

To healthify this dessert or snack, I cut the amount of sugar in half and added Greek Yogurt to one of my favorite banana bread recipes. Of course I couldn't leave out those chocolate chips. Bananas and chocolate chips are made for each other.

Choco-Banana Muffins with Greek Yogurt

  • 1 cup Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • optional: 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°.

Pour yogurt and water into mixing bowl and mix until smooth consistency. Add baking soda, sugar and melted butter. Mix well.

Add eggs and mashed bananas. Follow with the flour and quick oats. Mix the chocolate chips in last.

Pour the mixture evenly into two regular-sized greased muffin pans. Bake in oven preheated to 350° for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool and then enjoy! I couldn't wait long enough to take a picture...

Since this recipe is a double-batch of muffins, one muffin pan is for my family to eat now and I'm freezing the other 12 muffins for after baby comes :)

What is your favorite healthy dessert?

Linking up with the Fit Dish. #dishthefit

For Two Fitness Post-Mother's Day Giveaway - Enter Today!

I am so excited to partner with For Two Fitness for an amazing post-Mother’s Day giveaway. Finding comfortable workout clothes that fit throughout the whole pregnancy is a challenge but For Two Fitness apparel has got you covered! For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for the new mom or mom-to-be. Read the details below.

This year, we are celebrating Mother’s Day all week! We are so thankful to YOU — our community, customers, friends, moms and moms-to-be. To express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and our ambassadors. The Grand Prize is valued at more than $1000. We have phenomenal prizes, from Joovy, Garmin, Feetures, Sara Haley and us, For Two Fitness – all facets of your fit mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

Prizes are brought to you by our wonderful brand partners, sponsoring ambassadors and of course, us here at For Two Fitness. Here are more details about the grand prize - everything you see below:

Grand Prize Giveaway items:

This contest runs from Monday, May 11th through midnight on Friday, May 15th. Please follow all of our contest co-hosts on Instagram:

Visit For Two Fitness’ Blog to enter! 

Thanks for celebrating Mother’s Week with us! Good Luck!!

Linking up with Mommy Moments.

Friday Favorites | 36 Week Update

Happy Friday, Happy Fargo Marathon weekend and Happy Mother's Day weekend!

There is a lot of awesomeness going on this Fitness Friday and upcoming weekend. Plus, we have made it to the Week 36 Baby Update, which is a personal record for me :) That has been the best Mother's Day gift so far!

My Fitness Friday Favorites

ONE: Homemade Caramel Cinnamon Rolls for early Mother's Day. I have been craving caramel rolls and finally worked up the ambition to make them. To keep myself from eating the entire batch, I'm giving away half of the pan as Mother's Day gifts ;)

For my first attempt, they turned out really well but could have used some extra caramel topping. The recipe is coming in a future post!

TWO: This made my Mother's Day/Week. While I was making lunch, an eerie silence came upon the house. Too quiet to be a good thing with a toddler around. I walked into E's room expecting to find total chaos or something broken and instead found him reading his Bible by himself! Heart melted...

THREE: Great running this week. Despite feeling large and in charge, running has been strangely comfortable. Baby is pushing up into my ribs and my bladder is much less abused than before. I'm guessing this relief will be short-lived but I'm enjoying it for now until Baby drops. I need to find more shirts long enough to cover the bump!

FOUR: Everything summer! We had a great stretch of being outside nearly all day and every day. Summer is really here and the few tulips we have are blooming. I love being able to wear shorts, going to park playdates with E, running without the weather shield on the stroller and working on my tan lines.

FIVE: This video. The "I'm So Pregnant" parody by What's Up Moms is very relatable for me at the moment and I think their version is way better than the original song! Pregnant or not, watch this video and start your Friday off with a good laugh.

We've made it to 9 months and finding workout shirts that fit properly is getting tricky!

Baby #2: 36 Weeks

Baby's Size: Honeydew, average fetus size: 17.2 to 18.7 in, 4.2 to 5.8 lbs.

Cravings: Waffles, apples with peanut butter, homemade caramel cinnamon rolls, hard-boiled eggs, fruit snacks and other random things.

Aversions: Venison and whatever is for supper.

I'm Feeling: Ecstatic to make it to week 36! Earlier I mentioned that this is a "personal record" for me because E was our healthy miracle baby born at 35 weeks 1 day. Praise God that this pregnancy has been UTI and preterm labor free! I'm tired from after lunch time and on, but that seems to be pretty normal for 9 months preggo.

Sleep: Still sleeping like a rock. Besides a couple of bathroom breaks every night, I'm sleeping really well but could always use more!

Weight: Up 21 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Lord, I thank You for this pregnancy, our baby's health and the blessing of motherhood. Guide Baby's development in this final month and I pray that he or she comes in Your perfect timing. We give any anxieties over to You and trust that everything is in Your awesome hands. Give us rest and peace as Baby's birth day approaches and prepare our family to welcome this new life into the world. Amen."
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation.
He is my Fortress, I will never be shaken.
PSALM 62:1-2
Last Week's Workouts: 
Monday: 3.02 miles with the jogging stroller + dog, 10:44/mile.
Tuesday: 2.01 miles with the jogging stroller + dog, 10:43/mile.
Wednesday: Prenatal Yoga
Thursday: 3.1 miles with the dog, 10:49/mile.
Friday: Off.
Saturday: 2.38 miles with the dog, 10:51/mile.
Total Mileage: 10.51 miles
What is the best thing about your Friday so far?
How are you celebrating Mother's Day?

Linking up with Fitness Friday and Mommy Moments.

My Favorite Long Run Podcasts

Today we're dishing out our favorite podcasts on the Fit Dish link-up!

During the day, I don't listen to podcasts as much as I used to. Mainly because my full-time job involves a lot of random toddler-created noises, and I can't fully focus on the broadcast anyways. By the time the broadcast is over, I can't remember a single thing I learned! (Toddler-approved music is the way to go - Lecrae and For King and Country are our favorites lately!)

Now when I'm training for a full or half marathon, that's a different story.
The long run is my podcast time.

My Favorite Long Run Podcasts

Long runs can get a bit monotonous and mentally boring, especially if you run solo. Listening to upbeat music or an interesting podcast helps to distract me from my legs whining about how tired they are or my mind attempting to convince me to cut the run short and go back to bed.

When I have a training run of an hour or longer, these are my top three go-to podcasts:

My Faith Radio

The My Faith Radio podcasts feature a variety of different hosts and faith-related topics ranging from Health & Wellness to Business & Finance to Relationships! When I am fitting in early morning training miles, this is my favorite podcast to learn more about God, growing in my relationship with Him and insight on biblical parenting and relationships.

Marathon Training Academy

The Marathon Training Academy, or MTA, podcast is a great listen for everyone from beginners to advanced runners. Trevor and Angie Spencer share about all thing running and they were the ones who taught me about the marathoning basics back in 2009! They have been a great running resource for me and they share inspiring stories from other runners on their website as well.

Quick & Dirty Tips

If you aren't in the mood for a long-winded podcast, the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast is the way to go. The audio clips are around 10 minutes long each and cover pretty much every topic under the sun - even interior design, real estate, time management and pet training. The toddler parenting, grammar and exercise categories are my favorites!

What are your favorite podcasts?

Linking up at the Fit Dish. #dishthefit