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Verizon FiOS Empowering Our Youth #PlayLikeaGirl

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When growing up I had a love-hate-love relationship with sports. I definitely enjoyed playing sports, but my interests waned easily and this often led to my deserting the fun of sport for the mall or boys. Looking back I regret some of the times I didn’t see my various interests through to the end, especially when it came to athletics. The sport that kept my interests captivated for the greatest amount of time was soccer. For seven years I played and created lasting memories that I still hold in high regard today. However, it was a short seven years.

Looking back I could have played all the way through high school and possibly longer if I hadn’t given in to my wanderlust. Even though soccer was the sport that grabbed my interest and attention, I did have the opportunity to play another sport that gave me the feeling of teamwork and empowerment and that was powder-puff football. My position as kicker was crucial (lol), but the experience nonetheless provided a grip of good times that will last a lifetime! My childhood may have past, but my children are neck deep in it.

Living in the middle of the country and being blessed with three children, two boys and a girl, I have been made aware of the disproportionate sports play options for boys versus what is offered for girls. However, this limitation has not prevented my daughter from enjoying the empowerment provided by the interests that drive her. I have always reminded her of the power she possesses by reinforcing her in positive ways, even when it’s a male dominated interest. What is important here is that she believes in herself and follows her heart. My daughter isn’t really a tomboy and she’s definitely not the biggest sports nut, but she does enjoy playing baseball and soccer with her brothers and friends. She is quite the princess and her love for the arts is second to none. Her “sport” is what she derives from the right half of her brain. If it involves singing, dancing, or drawing she’s on it. It’s the air she breathes and my husband and I fully support her love for it. When my daughter was born I was so excited about all the possibilities she would have for herself when she grows up. She’s only seven years old, but my daughter has found her passion in the arts. She talks all the time about wanting to be a music teacher when all grown up and that makes me so incredibly proud of her. And one day, if she decides sports are more her thing, then my husband and I will be there on the sidelines to cheer her on- I may even dust off a few of my old jerseys and let her wear them to practice!

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Verizon supports our youth and the impact that sports can have on the lives of girls. They recently started this awesome campaign and to kick it off they are holding a fantastic giveaway. Be sure to check out their YouTube page for some cute videos and follow along in some coversation. You can share your story of how your daughter #PlaysLikeAGirl with photos or video at http://verizon.com/playlikeagirl for your chance to win the Grand Prize, a Deluxe Tech & Sports Equipment Package. Prize package includes:

  • Samsung Galaxy NX 20.3MP Camera with 18-55 Lens (ARV $1,699)
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 2 – 128 GB (ARV $1,000)
  • Type Cover 2 for Surface Pro 2 (ARV $130)
  • HEX Surface Sleeve (ARV $40)
  • Surface Mini Display Port HD AV Adapter (AVR $40)
  • Monster iSport Victory In-Ear  Headphones (AVR $150)
  • Apple iPod Nano (ARV $150)
  • Amazon Gift Card for Sports Equipment purchase (ARV $1,800)

The approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is $5,010.00! All Grand Prize details, including specific product models and features, will be determined by Sponsor in its discretion.

Verizon FiOS gives your family the connection and speed you need to play with the big boys. Share your proudest moment of your daughter’s athletic achievements at www.verizon.com/playlikeagirl. You could be chosen to win a grand prize valued at $5,000!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Verizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

  • Verizon Wireless

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful story and those little girls look wonderful and energetic. This story reminds me of my passion for sports like basketball, soccer and running while in high school and the benefits for sports are so enormous, both physically and emotionally for the individual. Thank you for companies such as Verizon for supporting the initiative and hope other can emulate the same.

    • shanamama

      It was my pleasure. I love sharing in wonderful things such as this campaign. And to know that a company makes empowering our youth a priority is a wonderful feeling.

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Preserving Your Memories with YesVideo #RememberWhen

Full Disclosure: I was compensated for my time on sharing the YesVideo holiday deadlines.  All opinions and family memories are 100% my own.

HolidayDiscandCaseThere always seems to be that one person that you just don’t know what to purchase for the holidays. If you’re one of the “lucky” few like me, then you have multiple people whom are equally “challenging” for gifting to. For starters I have my husband, my dad, my mom, the in-laws, heck, who am I kidding…it’s just about everyone I know! Not to mention I am just plain bad at buying gifts! However, the one thing I have found that never seems to disappoint is the fondness for family memories. And what captures those special family moments better than a photograph? Nothing. What is the best, most secure way to share those memories? A DVD- so you know they will always be there no matter what.

For me, the security of having those memories on DVD is constantly reassuring. The peace of mind offered with the knowledge that all of my family’s memories are safely stored on a DVD is priceless. I do not want to relive my worst fear again- losing all those precious moments to the pitfalls of modern technology. One such moment I didn’t lose because I learned the value of safe storage.

I have a video of my oldest riding a bike for the first time. This was before I had a video camera so I took it on my cell phone. Mind you this was five or so years ago so while the quality isn’t the greatest it’s still one of my favorite videos of him. He takes off and just doesn’t stop. He didn’t fall once! I may or may not have cried like the proud sappy mommy that I am. But it’s one of those memories I will never forget, therefore it holds a special place in my heart. And when my son is older and has kids of his own we can all look back and say “Remember when you learned how to ride a bike” and we’ll be able to pull up the video and watch it together as a family. Preserving those memories so I may pass them on to my children is important for me. Knowing they will make new memories with my future grandchildren while enjoying our family’s history make me teary eyed just  thinking about it. That’s how precious and close to my heart I hold these irreplaceable moments. But guarding my family’s past is not the only reason I have embraced DVD’s.

Like most people, I am very big on convenience. As a mom to three wee one’s being able to get multiple things done in one stop is a huge deal. It’s one of the many reasons I love Sam’s Club so much. I can get what would normally take me multiple shopping trips all done in one place. And that includes using YesVideos video transfer service. Yes indeed you read that right! YesVideo transfer service kiosks are conveniently (yay!) located inside Sam’s Club at the photo center! In addition to transferring all those wonderful family memories you have on film, they also transfer several different video formats and digital memory card data to DVD as well. These include VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, Hi-8, 8mm videotape, Digital 8, MiniDV, BetaMax, 35mm slides prints, digital memory cards, USB drives, and data CD/DVDs.

YesVideo Sams

Make sure you get your transfer orders in before December 2nd, 2013 to get your order back to you before the holidays (we all know how hectic the holiday time is). That is their deadline for guaranteed holiday delivery. And if you love good savings like I do, then hurry up and place your order by November 30, 2013 because you will save 25% off your entire order with no coupon required!

Don’t worry If you’re not a Sam’s Club member because YesVideo also has kiosks inside of Walmart at the photo center. Don’t want to leave the house? No worries, YesVideo also has an iPhone and iPad app so you can watch your home movies on the go or share with family and friends!

For more information on YesVideo/Sam’s Club Online be sure to check out their Website, Blog, follow them on Twitter and course you can find them on Facebook.

 

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Disney’s FROZEN Advanced Screening

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I was given the opportunity to invite my local Oklahoma City (and surrounding area) readers to an advanced screening of Disney’s newest film, FROZEN!

Come and enjoy fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

The screening will take place on Tuesday, November 12th at 7:30PM at the AMC Quail Springs Mall which is located at 2501 W Memorial Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73134. To sign up for the advanced screening please visit the following link http://www.seeitfirst.net/pin/926651 But hurry, these screenings tend to go quickly! If the link does not bring you directly to the OKC screening page enter the code: 926651 and it will bring you there. I also wanted to add in that these are not reserved seats, seating is based on a first come first served basis so make sure you arrive early!

For more information on Disney’s Frozen you can check out their website www.Disney.com/Frozen, on Facebook and of course on Twitter as well. 

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Disney’s FROZEN Printables

In just a few short weeks Disney’s newest adventure film FROZEN will hit theaters nationwide! I for one am super excited to see another female prominent cast from Disney, especially since the last one that came out (BRAVE) was such a huge success with our entire family. Below I have a few printables that you can print out for your little’s. We’ve got ours printed out and put together to make little books out of them. These are great for keeping little minds busy and entertained.

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Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”). Featuring music from Tony® winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit”), “Frozen” is in theaters in 3D on November 27, 2013. For more information, check out Disney.com/Frozen, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyFrozen and follow us on Twitter: Twitter.com/DisneyAnimation.
 

AND just in case you haven’t seen the official trailer yet (where have you been man!) you can watch it right now. I dare you not to laugh.

Make sure to download full quality images by clicking on the link below the preview, not the actual preview.

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Like FROZEN on Facebook, Follow FROZEN on Twitter,  and the official website here. FROZEN opens in theaters everywhere on November 27th!

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Wordless Wednesday-Large African Wild Dog

I have never seen a Lycaon (African wild dog) until the other week when we went to the Zoo for my daughters field trip and dude let me tell you….they really are quite large, a little intimating yet they have a cute puppy quality that make you say awww. But not cute enough to want to pet cause yeah, they are wild animals and hello, did you see how big it’s paws are? Oh probably not seeing as I cut it off the photo, ugh. I’ll just say they were big. It was the first thing I noticed when we saw this one.

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See, it’s kind of cute isn’t it!

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Not sure, is this a I want to play look or an I want to eat you look?

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See, it’s a playful “little” puppy! 


 

 

 

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Keep your morning routine up with Designer Whey

I received samples of Designer Whey products in order to facilitate this review through the Fit Fluential Ambassadors Program. All thoughts and opinions expressed are solely mine 

Over the last few years I’ve come to realize that while I may be happy with my life in general, there are aspects of it that I would like to change. More specifically, my body or really my body image. I try to live a healthy lifestyle. I am not a fan of junk food. I used to have a major sweet tooth but I’ve thankfully gotten that under control. I love vegetables and eating salads and I’ve started exercising again which is all wonderful BUT there’s that one thing that I’ve always struggled with…..breakfast. It’s never been my thing. Even in high school I avoided eating breakfast at all costs. I don’t like the feeling of starting my day feeling bloated and that’s typically how I feel after eating early in the morning. Unfortunately this one small thing has held me back in my weight loss journey.

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I know you’ve heard of Whey Protein Powders but did you know that they are not just for the hardcore exercise fanatics…but us regular Joe’s starting out in our journey too and they help in weight loss as well? I know seems like that is not possible especially since really all we see in store shelves is body builder images next to any type of protein powder. It’s why I avoided them for so many years but I am so glad I was corrected in my thinking.

Whey is superior to all other forms of protein, boasting the perfect amino acid profile for muscle building, strength, and recovery. Based on its biological value (BV), the measure of a particular protein’s effect on nitrogen balance, as well as its protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), a measure of how well a particular protein supplies the nine essential amino acids, whey protein scored higher than meat and eggs!

Whey protein also empties from the stomach and is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than other proteins, which results in speedier muscle recovery. As such, it is the preferred choice for post-workout nutrition when the body is in a catabolic state.

– See more at: http://designerwhey.com/about-us/whey-benefits/#sthash.oZvx4wmc.dpuf

One way I have been incorporating Whey into my diet is through smoothies. Who doesn’t love smoothies right! And they seriously couldn’t be any easier to make. My two favorite versions right now….with yogurt and without. You will need four or five ingredients depending on which version you make. Combine all ingredients and blend until you reach the desired consistency.

For the non yogurt version you will need:

Fruit (fresh or frozen)

One whole Banana

Approximately 6-8 ice cubes

One scoop of Luscious Strawberry Protein Powder by Designer Whey

Designer Whey

For the yogurt version you will need:

Fruit (fresh or frozen)

Half a Banana

Approximately 3-5 ice cubes

One 6oz. S’mari Strawberry Yogurt

One scoop of Luscious Strawberry Protein Powder by Designer Whey

Another product I love from Designer Whey is their Protein Bars. With three young kids we tend to be on the go a lot of and there are more days then not that I suddenly realize it’s two o’clock and I haven’t eaten. I’ve been keeping at least one bar in purse for days like these. Not only are they amazingly good…OMG like seriously I enjoy these more then I do a candy bar, but I am not left hungry or wanting more. I am completely satisfied and ready to resume my activities of the day.

 

Right now you can enter to win FREE Smári Organics Iceland Yogurt! Here’s what you need to do:

1.) Click here to download & print the viking hat! http://bit.ly/VikingSelfie

2.) Take a pic wearing said Viking hat

3.) Post it on their wall & share!

Side note….if the promotion ends prior to you visiting their site you can still get a $1 off coupon AND a Free Iceland Photo EBook by visiting Designer Wheys Facebook page!

 

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Our adoption story with Theta

I have always been an animal lover. I remember growing up and thinking I can’t wait for the day that I get my very own puppy. That day finally came on January 30th of this year. I shared our special day with you all and announced her official welcome into our home. It was the perfect day.

Fast forward to October 1st. A representative from the rescue we were adopting Theta from came to our house to pick her up so she could be brought to an eye specialist. See back in April I noticed that her eyes looked a little….off. Actually you could see directly through her right eye. I brought it up to the vet and he said he couldn’t look at it because he wasn’t sure if the rescue would cover it. I then talked to the receptionist and she said she would talk to the rescue and let us know. Background: In September we noticed that our check for our “donation” had been cashed without word or any adoption paperwork for Theta. We emailed the owner of the rescue and asked what happened, why hadn’t we received the adoption papers and we had concerns about Theta that were never addressed.

When making arrangements for Theta to see the specialist it NEVER occurred to me that they would not bring her home.

She will get her to the vet on the first and then back to you some time after the appointment.  The vet works very odd hours, and schedules time by having you call in at 2pm on the day you are set to visit to get your appointment time.  It’s really kind of weird.

Looking back on it I beat myself up for not taking her myself or going with them or doing something to keep her in our hands not theirs. After they did not bring her home the next day I knew something was not right. I sent numerous emails, texts and even called the owner but most of my attempts went ignored. We would hear from the owner about once a week if we were lucky and as soon as I asked when we could bring Theta back home he would stop all communications. This went on for almost a month. Me begging and pleading trying to get our puppy home and them ignoring me. I can’t tell you how hard it is to feel utterly helpless.

They wanted us to pay for her surgery but based on the agreement they signed since they never forwarded the adoption papers the rescue was responsible for her treatment. The cost quoted to us for the treatment according to the owner was over $2300.

From the reports I know that the doctor found a cataract in here eye.  It is not common for a dog of this age to have these so he believes that it is hereditary.  If it is hereditary, there is always a chance that the other eye will also develop a cataract.  The best way to keep her vision is to do the surgery to fix her eye now while she is still young, and to do it as soon as possible.  The estimated cost of the surgery is over $2300, but they are offering a discount to us as a rescue group.

I explained to them many times over that we are a single income family. We have three children and that was a big chunk of change that we simply could not afford. Twenty-four days later the owner finally agreed to run a fundraiser but he still expected us to pay half. I started a fundraiser but wasn’t able to raise but a very small amount. My husband spoke with a volunteer and in frustration of going in circles with the rescue for nearly a month he said two words that I believe they based their entire decision off of. He referred to Theta as that dog when he said we wouldn’t pay for the surgery. One moment  of weakness and we were judged.

Yesterday morning we my son opened the front door to go to the bus stop he yelled asking why Thetas house was out front. Confused I ran over and sure enough her crate was out front on our door step and a check in the mailbox. There was our answer. Again instead of communicating with us and acting like adults they dropped off some of her stuff an ran. My heart is broken. I don’t know that I have ever cried as much as I have in the last day. I feel silly because so emotionally distraught over this but she was my baby. We got her at eight weeks old and I raised her. I fed her, bathed her, cuddled with her, trained her. She was my baby Theta and I loved her.

 

The reason I am sharing our story is to hopefully help someone in their pet adoption journey. Please make sure you do your research on the rescue you are working with. Meet with them in person, don’t allow lack of communication. Get every thing in writing. Read what you sign. Make sure they are truly legitimate and have their information handy. The rescue we went through does not monitor their phones, it’s an answering machine and that’s it, same goes for their email. They have no address listed and they screen their phone calls. I ignored these signs and just took them at face value when I should have paid more attention. I would do anything to get our baby girl back but at this point I am lost and with no way to communicate I don’t know what good it would do.

Theta1

Theta3

*Quotes includes in the post are verbatim from email communications.*

 

 

 

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Marvel’s THOR: The Dark World

You all know my love for Thor, and my boys have a love for all things LEGO so imagine our excitement when I received a LEGO Thor clip in my email today.

The cuteness…wait cute is probably the wrong word, but I can’t help it, it was cute! I wonder how long it took someone to make this. Love seeing creativity at work like this.

Like THOR on Facebook
Follow THOR on Twitter
Visit the Website
 
THOR: The Dark World out in theaters everywhere on November 8, 2013!

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Remember the Classics with #DisneyClassicsBox

This may age me a bit but I remember when I was younger I had my very own record player. It was small and a cream and brown colored plastic record player and it was all mine. And the only two records I used to play were my Disney Collection discs. One was in a white case and the other a blue. I still remember what they look like but the actual names are lost on me. But I remember playing those discs throughout the day. They were the only possessions I had that meant anything to me. I have always loved music and Disney movies so being able to listen to some of my favorite songs any time I wanted as a little girl left an impression on me.

On November 12, 2013 Disney will be releasing their newest Classic Box Set which will not only include recent Disney songs but many classics as well. Here is a brief description:

From The Studio’s earliest days, music has always been an integral part of the Disney creative process. But when ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf’ debuted in 1933, it began a musical legacy that remains unmatched to this day. Disney Classics Box Set is a music collection that represents this legacy.

Timeless Classics
Collected here are some of the most iconic melodies from Disney’s golden era. From ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ to ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ and ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah’ to ‘The Whistle Stop,’ these Timeless Classics are part of a musical heritage inextricably woven into our human culture heirlooms passed down through the generations.

Modern Classics
This compilation begins with 1989’s The Little Mermaid, which not only ignited the renaissance of Disney Animation and storytelling, but a rebirth of Disney Music as well. Favorites from ‘Under the Sea,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘A Whole New World,’ these Modern Classics continue to shape the company’s musical history and heritage.

Television Classics
Spanning from the 1950s to present day, this album represents quite an eclectic compilation of themes. At the very least, it’s an interesting musical graph of changing tastes and social evolution over the last 60+ years. Everything from ‘The Ballad of Davy Crockett,’ to ‘Get’cha Head in the Game’ from High School Musical, is represented on this album, but probably the most beloved of these Television Classics however, has to be the ‘Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater.’

Theme Park Classics
Music plays a vital role in the Parks as well; whether it be cleverly establishing an attraction’s story or the sheer brilliance of underscoring the banks and turns of a thrilling roller coaster. Collected here are not only those Theme Park Classics we know and love today, but others we fondly remember from days gone by.

 You can take a sneak peak at some of the music performed by Alex G & Peter Hollens in the video below.

I would love to get this for my daughter since she shares my love for all things Disney and all things musical. It would make a great present for the holidays don’t you think? To pre-order your very own Disney Classics Box set click here!

 

 

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Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I don’t know what possessed me to bake this weekend but I suddenly got the itch to have oatmeal cookies. As I was raiding the pantry I realized that I do not have any raisins. I had cranberries but I wasn’t sure if the kids would like how tart they are so as I was about to become all sad panda I thought hey what about banana oatmeal cookies? And so banana oatmeal cookies were born.

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Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Yields 3
Light & fluffy oatmeal cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ripe bananas smashed
  2. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  7. 3 cups old fashioned oats
  8. 1/2 cup butter
  9. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  10. 1/2 cup sugar
  11. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until creamy
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg
  5. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredient bowl and mix until smooth
  6. Add in half of the oats and the mashed bananas and mix well, then add in the remaining oats
  7. Put rounded teaspoon sized cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/
 These cookies were delicious, light, fluffy, not too sweet with the perfect touch of banana.

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Some how I managed to have three dozen cookies last a week in a house with five people. How I did this I am still not sure but go me!

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If you were to feel so inclined as to add a dollop of cream cheese frosting on top of these cookies it will taste ahhhhh-mazing. I only had about a tablespoon worth of frosting left from my last baking expirement which was probably a good thing so I didn’t shovel these cookies into my mouth, but I did have nutella which I may have dropped a teensy bit on top of one of these morsels. Oh.my.yum!

Oatmeal Banana