Swimming Food

baked ham sandwich

We are summer swim team people. Mr. Star Wars moved up an age group this year, and his practice time is now an hour later than Miss Priss’. That means we spend every evening at the pool from 5:30 until about 7:45. Prime dinner hour. I was bringing snacks with us to practice and then we would eat really late dinner– like a bowl of cereal– when we got home but that was a disaster. I have started just bringing meals to the pool. My goal for pool meals is food that does not require utensils or dishes.

Yesterday, I brought a pan of those baked ham sandwiches that people serve at tailgates or football parties. The classic recipe with the Hawaiian rolls is really greasy and has too much butter for me (I can’t believe I am saying that), so I combined a few different recipes to reduce the butter amount– a little.

Mini Baked Ham Sandwiches


  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 2 T. horseradish mustard
  • 2 T. finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb. deli ham, very thinly sliced– almost shaved (I like maple glazed)
  • 1 lb. baby Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 pkg dinner rolls (you will use 9 rolls)
  • 9×9 inch metal baking pan (disposable aluminum pans work well)


  • Mix the softened butter, horseradish mustard, chopped onion, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Combine well.

ham sandwiches spread

  • Cut the rolls in half horizontally. Keep the top and bottom halves separate.

ham sandwiches rolls

  • Spread a layer of butter mixture on the bottom half of each roll and place in a 9×9 pan.
  • Cut the Swiss cheese slices into quarters. Place one piece of cheese on the buttered bottom half of each dinner roll.
  • Top the cheese slice with ham.
  • Add another quarter slice of cheese.
  • Spread the remaining butter mixture on the top half of each roll and place one on each cheese/ham stack.

ham sandwiches assembly

  • Cover the pan of sandwiches with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

ham sandwiches baked

  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

ham sandwiches in pan

What kinds of snacks do you bring to eat at the pool? It is amazing how hungry swimmers get!

Swim Coach Survival Kit

coach survival kit tags

Swim team season officially ends tonight with a swim and pizza party, swim medal presentation, and gifts for the coaches. We have four swim coaches for our team. Three are college students, and the head coach is a science teacher during the school year. The swim team mom in charge of the coaches’ gift decided cash would be the most useful for the coaches rather than gift cards or something more specific. She needed a way to present this present, so I offered to make these easy potholder clutches.

I originally saw the idea on a site called Tidy Mom. They are really fun (and fast) to make, but you will need a sewing machine. I filled the finished clutch with items a coach might need at the pool. We filled the first pocket with the cash.

coach survival kit supplies


  • square potholders (The Tidy Mom post suggested potholders from Target. I had a hard time finding single square potholders. I ended up purchasing 2-piece oven mitt sets from Kmart. My square potholders are 7″ x 8″– not a perfect square– with a loop along one short side)
  • Scotch tape
  • snack size Ziploc bags (6 1/2″ x 3 1/4″)
  • sewing machine
  • ~7/8″ button (coordinating color)
  • thread (coordinating color)

coach survival kit tape bags


  • Set your potholder on a flat surface with the loop on the right side. I kept the potholder pocket on the outside, but it is up to you how you want your potholder to face.
  • Place one snack bag on the right side with the baggie opening facing the right edge. Place a piece of tape on the top and bottom to keep the baggie from moving.
  • Place another snack bag on top with the baggie opening facing the left edge. The center should overlap with the first baggie. Place a piece of tape at the top and bottom.
  • Continue alternating baggies right and left. I liked 5 snack bags (=5 pockets). The Tidy Mom post used 10, but the bags fill up fast if you include bulky items and then the clutch won’t close.

coach survival kit zig zag stitch

  • Sew a zig zag stitch down the middle of the potholder, which should also be down the center of the Ziploc bags. Cut any loose threads. Carefully remove the tape from the edges without pulling or stretching the plastic bags.
  • Fold the clutch in half and pull the loop around to the front and eyeball where the button will need to be placed. If you do not have a loop on the potholder, follow the Tidy Mom site’s directions for adding a loop.
  • Attach the button with coordinating thread. I used green thread and black/green buttons in honor of our swim team colors.

coach survival kit buttons

  • I printed gift tags on white cardstock and tied with curly ribbon to the loop.

coach survival kit finished

Survival Kit Content Suggestions

  • plastic comb
  • chapstick
  • sunblock stick
  • gum
  • Bandaids
  • hair rubberbands (for the girl coaches)
  • travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Tylenol or Advil
  • Tums
  • travel size lotion
  • travel size shampoo
  • some cash or change (for trips to the snack bar or soda machine)

coach survival kit contents


  • Flatter items work better. The sunblock stick took up a lot of room. I ended up removing the toothbrush and toothpaste because the combination of the 3 created too much bulk.
  • When possible, I used items that matched our team colors (black comb, green gum, black and green hair bands). I did not force the color thing, though.
  • Don’t cheap out on the Ziploc bags. I bought CVS generic brand on sale, and they are a little flimsy. I wish I had used Ziploc or Glad snack bags.
  • This could easily be adapted to a Teacher Emergency Kit for a great back to school teacher gift. It could also be used for many other sports as an end of season coach gift. It is not very girly if you use solid colored potholders, so it works for males and females.

coach survival kit filled

Swim Team Shirts

sharpie tie dye shirts

In honor of the final swim meet of the season, Mr. Star Wars and his teammates decorated shirts after swim practice this morning. The coach brought acrylic paint and brushes, each swimmer brought an old white t-shirt, and I felt compelled to up the decorative quality of the shirts and brought materials for Sharpie tie dying.

I learned about this so cool but so easy technique 10 years ago when my oldest niece attended a summer camp near my parents’ house. My niece was 5 or 6 at the time and came home with this t-shirt that had multi-colored sunbursts all over it. Lately, I have seen samples floating around on Pinterest. The Pinterest sample I saw looks a little different than my way, but it is roughly the same procedure. The best thing about the Sharpie tie dye is the minimal mess!

sharpie tie dye supplies

The Materials

  • Sharpie pens, variety of colors (we used shades of green and black for our team colors)
  • medicine droppers (purchased at CVS)
  • rubbing alcohol
  • coins (quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies)
  • cardboard squares (about 8″x8″)
  • cup or jar

sharpie tie dye before

The Directions

  • Put the cardboard piece inside the shirt to prevent the Sharpie from leaking through to the other side. Move the cardboard around as needed, so it is always beneath the area where you are working.
  • Place a coin on the shirt. Draw an outline of dots with a Sharpie marker around the edge of the coin. You want the dots to be fairly close together to make the effect better. You can alternate color dots if you wish.
  • Remove the coin from the shirt.
  • Pour rubbing alcohol into a cup, so it is easy to get the alcohol into the dropper. Fill the medicine dropper about 1/3 full and begin dropping rubbing alcohol into the white center of the Sharpie dot circle.
  • Add drops a little at a time, always directly in the center of the Sharpie dots, until the Sharpie begins to bleed out.

sharpie tie dye sample


  • Our white cotton t-shirts from Cherokee (Target line) and J. Crew worked better than the Hanes men’s cotton undershirt. There is a difference in the weave of the cotton. It was kind of interesting how the material changed the effect of the stain.
  • If you alternate colors, you can create new colors. For example, alternating blue and red dots creates purple. This is a great learning tool for kids about the color wheel.
  • The sun burst size changes depending on how close the dots are to each other, so experiment with that too.
  • You do not have to use the coins. Kids can create any dotted outline (like a heart or a star) and discover different results.
  • Unfortunately, I have not figured out a way to set the Sharpie marker well when washing. If you run the shirt in the dryer before the first wash, it helps hold the color. When you do wash the shirt, wash in cold water on gentle cycle. You may want to hang dry.
  • Black Sharpie marker looks like purple when it spreads.

sharpie tie dye sample 2