Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Recipe Club: French Dip

I came across this recipe on A.Liz Adventures for French Dip and was anxious to give this easy dinner a try.  My husband was skeptical because he'd never eaten French Dip, but I figured it would be tasty.  

 I made a few changes to her recipe.
Here's my Easy French Dip
1 can beef consomme
1 can french onion soup
1 pkg of 6 hoagie buns
1 yellow onion 
1 lb shaved roast beef from the deli counter
1 package of provolone - 12 pieces

Thinly slice onion and saute. 
Combine both cans and heat on the stove top.
Add in the roast beef and bring to a boil.

Open the hoagie rolls and pile on the meat. 
Place them on a cookie sheet.
Add sauteed onions.
Sprinkle with salt.
top with provolone - two slices per sandwich.

Put open sandwiches in the oven on broil for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown.
Give each person a small bowl of the remaining liquid
 to dip their sandwiches in during their meal.

*recipe makes 6 sandwiches

We LOVED these sandwiches and will definitely have them again!

 Our favorite dessert this month has been brownie sundaes.
I have never made a great homemade brownie so I always buy Triple Chunk Brownies in a box.  They are delicious.  We like to top them with mini M&Ms before they bake.

I shared a weekly menu with some of my favorite recipes from this month a few weeks ago.
Here are the highlights:
Smoked Sausage, Peppers &Onions

Homemade french fries and ribeyes

What are your favorite dinners from this month?

Linking up with Momfessionals today for Recipe Club

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Olive's 1st Game Day at Notre Dame

I wanted to do a full game day recap because we had such a great time at Notre Dame last weekend.  Consider yourself warned it's a picture overload, but I wanted to remember everything about this day.

Pregame Tailgating:
Olive was working hard on her throwing, rolling in the grass and getting grass stains on her pants.  She was excited to be out of the car and able to run around.  She loved watching all the other kids playing and ran around saying hello to the other tailgaters.

 We've talked/dreamed about tailgating for YEARS, but have always lived so far away that it wasn't really an option until this year.  We had a great set up and it was so much fun!
 Anytime Olive makes a serious/skeptical/stink face, Kevin makes sure to tell me that Olive looks just like me... I'm not quite sure what to think of that.

A definite highlight for Olive was making everyone a "salad".
She picked the grass herself, pretended to "mixa" things and then delivered a salad to each of us.  This kept her entertained for the longest time.  She kept saying "I cooking!"

 We packed up our camp and headed on campus.
We stopped at all the major sites on campus to snap some pictures before the game.
Kevin and his parents.

 Kevin knows that I love taking pictures so he said, 
"Maybe we'll end up taking our Christmas card picture today!"

 Touchdown Jesus!
 The weather was perfect and Fall was just starting to arrive on campus.

 We sent Kevin and his parents off to the game and Olive and I were off to explore.  
We started with a snack by Touchdown Jesus and listened to the band.
I pointed out all the landmarks on campus and tried to tell her about Kevin's college life there.  She was mostly interested in spotting flowers, naming their colors and asking me to pick one for her.  That and laughing at all the squirrels running around on campus.
 The mums were just starting to bloom.

 We made our way to The Grotto and said a few prayers for our family.
The flowers were lovely all over campus.

 The ducks and geese were excited we brought them a snack.

 We visited Kevin's old dorm.
This GO IRISH banner is gigantic.
It's made out of bed sheets and is about 5 sheets high and 20 wide.
It really is massive.
 We crunched leaves.

We couldn't have planned a nicer day.

 It didn't take long for Olive to fall asleep.  I kept walking around campus enjoying the sites and sounds while she slept.  I followed the game play by play on my phone and loved hearing the cheers and boos from the stadium all over campus.  It should also be noted that this was Bun-Bun's first time on campus, too :)

 It got cloudy, but campus was still beautiful.

 Olive woke up and was ready for more sightseeing.

We played football right outside the stadium 
and could hear everything that was going on at the game. 

 We picked up leaves, collected rocks, watched ants and just enjoyed being out and about.  Olive had a great day and it was fun to see all of the other families with little kids milling around campus during the game.

 Sunset on a wonderful game day!
The Irish won 62-27

Tuesday Talk: Tips for Enjoying Game Day with Kids

Kevin and I have gone to our share of football games over the years, but we'd never gone to campus with a toddler in tow.  This past weekend we loaded up our car, my in-laws and headed to Notre Dame for some tailgating.  I hadn't been on campus since I was pregnant with Olive so I was really excited to show her around.  We'd both consulted friends and gotten tips about where to park, activities on campus and details for bringing little ones.  They were all very helpful in ensuring that we had a wonderful day.

We learned a few things along the way that I thought I'd share with you today in case you ever find yourself wanting to tailgate with little ones.
It's VERY doable and enjoyable for everyone if you PLAN ahead.

1. Arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to do things on campus and enjoy pre-game.

2. Pack toys and things for your kiddo to play with while you're tailgating.  The frisbee, mini football, pom poms, team colored necklaces and books were a big hit for Olive.  She also loved playing in the grass.  We had music playing and lots of adults to help entertain her.  Everyone around us was really friendly so Olive enjoyed stopping by saying hello to our tailgating neighbors.

3. Try to park in a grassy area so you can set up a blanket for the little ones.  We brought folding chairs for the adults and Olive loved our ND blanket.

4. Bring lots of snacks, sippy cup and favorite foods for your little one.
We had pretzel sticks, gummies, carrots, cucumbers, chips and normal tailgating food.

5. Let your kiddo run around and get the wiggles out.  We traveled 3.5 hours to get to campus.  Olive did great in the car with her usual toys/books and was ready to run when we got to campus.  We parked on the golf course so there was lots of green space for her to explore.  She ran around and caught/kicked the football while my husband was grilling for us.  

6.  Prepare all the side dishes ahead of time so they just had to be pulled out of the cooler when it was time to eat.  This allowed me to focus on Olive and have fun with her instead of worrying about fixing lunch.  I cut up veggies, dip, got potato salad and all of the condiments ready to go.

7. We sat down together for lunch like a normal meal.  Kids like routines :)

8.  We headed to campus with a bag of different toys to play with.  We brought bread to feed the ducks, the mini football, fan gear, books, drinks and snacks.  We enjoyed the sites and sounds on campus, took some pictures together and dropped the adults off at the stadium at game time.  

9. We opted to not take a 2 year old into the game at nap time and I stayed out with her.  It worked out great.  I explored campus while she napped and then we did fun things together when she woke up.  We picked flowers, fed the ducks, got a campus tour from me, took lots of pictures, shopped at the bookstore, ate a snack, checked out the library and ran into a bloggy friend from Cedars and Tiny Flowers.  We had a really great time.  I walked 16,000 steps that day and slept great that night :)

10. We planned ahead and made sure the weather was going to cooperate.  It was a dreamy day in northern Indiana.  If the forecast called for rain, we weren't going to attempt bringing our little one so since it looked like the perfect day we figured it would be fun for everyone.  We also packed pjs for Olive so we could change her for the car ride home.  Made for an easy transfer to her bed when we pulled into our driveway around midnight.

11. Have realistic expectations and don't expect your kids to be perfect.  Olive loved the day and didn't throw a single fit or cry once which qualifies as a best day ever in toddler land :)

12. Start family traditions when your kids are young.  It was a lot of work to plan for a successful game day, but it was so much fun.  We had a blast and can't wait to go back.

Have you ever taken your kids tailgating before?
Any other tips for me because I'm sure we'll be making this a regular family activity?

It's time to link up with my favorite ladies this week.
Join us with your favorite post from the week.
We had 129 bloggers join us last week!!
(Starting from the upper left:)
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Keri - Living In This Season  ~ Christina - Waltzing In Beauty
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Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones ~ Whitney - Polka Dotty Place
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Polka-Dotty Place