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Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I'm not going to be obnoxious and tell you these cookies are scrumptious and to die for, because they're not. They are a spin off of a 21 Day Fix cookie recipe and they are an easy recipe to whip up when you're trying to diet make it past four days on a diet. This week we had takeout pretty much every single night, as life would have it. By Friday night I was in desperate need of a detox. Since Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow this week and we have six more weeks of winter, I figured it's a good time to get back on the wagon and clean up my diet before bathing suit season is upon us.

Like I said, I'm not going to lie to you and say these cookies will change your life. But they might change your success on a diet if you have a sweet tooth like me and can't live without dessert. :)

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Yields approximately 32 cookies (less if you roll into 2 inch balls)


  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (no sugar added) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with spray.
  3. Combine oats, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Add bananas, raisins, walnuts and peanut butter. Mix well.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet and flatten with a spatula, or roll into 2 inch balls.
  6. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until firm.
21 Day Fix: 2 cookies is 1 yellow container

Southwest Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls

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Hey working mamas and busy teachers! One of the easiest ways for me to stay sane is to prep all of my lunches on Sunday night. It also keeps me from eating fundraiser candy bars for lunch (or this time of year- Girl Scout cookies!)

This week I threw together these easy, healthy and inexpensive quinoa bowls. You can top them with your favorite southwest style ranch dressing or add the fixings you'd add to tacos. In the interest of time this week, I only added green salsa as my topping/dressing. All of the ingredients can be cooked on Sunday and will still be fresh and delicious on Friday!


  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1.5 cups of dry quinoa
  1. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Spread them on a baking sheet and cook at 350 for 20 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, rinse the quinoa and cook. I cook my quinoa like pasta, I watch until it seems done and then I drain the excess water. For better taste, use chicken or vegetable broth or bouillon in the water. My days of trying to cook it perfectly are over!
  3. Drain the black beans from the can.
  4. Assemble bowls! 
  • Optional toppings: corn, sliced black olives, avocado, sour cream, salsa

Turkey Cut-Outs

Have you caught the holiday baking bug yet? I always start itching to bake for the holidays once Halloween is over. Today I'm sharing my cut-out cookie and cookie icing recipe, along with a cookie cutter hack! Do these turkeys look familiar? It's because they are made out of my shamrock cookie cutter! 

Productive Paraprofessionals

In my region of the country we call our paraprofessionals teacher aides, but I am aware that through most of the country these God sent people are referred to as paras. Whatever you call them, we can all agree that they are instrumental in a special education classroom.
For the purpose of this post, I will be using both terms synonymously. 

I wouldn't survive without my aides, and I am always alarmed when I hear teachers complain about their aides. Don't get me wrong, it can be very challenging to manage adults when you are managing students with disabilities all day. But I truly believe that paraprofessionals and aides can make or break your classroom. Here are some tips for creating an environment that empowers and engages your aides for the good of the kids.

1. Decide what you want from them and set expectations right away. I often hear teachers say that their paras do not do their job or interfere with the students instead of support them. One thing to remember is that in most schools, paras are assigned on an annual basis, often moving through different grade levels and different programs from year to year. An inclusion aide has a much different job description than a functional self-contained aide. Set expectations and share that

Mediterranean Farro Bowls

This is the third Sunday in a row that my sister and I have done healthy meal prep together. It makes such a difference to have healthy lunches packed. When I pack a healthy and filling lunch, I don't find myself eating a bag of Goldfish or a handful of Tootsie Rolls from my desk after my students leave. It also makes my mornings a zillion times smoother when I don't have to pack a lunch. Since my sister is in college, she doesn't have the luxury of a microwave with her all day, so we have been trying to make high protein cold salads. This week we put together two variations
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