George Turns Two! A Boat Party

George Turns Two! A Boat Party ~ The Way to His Heart ~ #birthday #boats #partyfood #kidsparties

My George is two. How did time go by so fast? I’ve heard the second child grows up faster, but this is ridiculous! He’s always grown fast, but now he’s in a rush to do the same things as his sister which means I’m losing the toddler in him very fast. His birthday was back before Thanksgiving and we knew were going to throw him a boat party. He’s been loving boats all summer long and anytime we go over a bridge, by a stream, or by the ocean he’ll ask, “boat?”

Now that I’ve gotten a few children’s parties under my belt and have two kids to look after I decided to hold back a little and keep this party simple. My husband and I also really didn’t want to deal with fondant this year so there were no 3D puppy cakes or bounce houses like his sister’s second birthday party, but we had just as much fun and the food and decor were a hit!

I opted to make a simple wave cake for George. I’ve never done a smash cake before and I figured this would be the last chance to do one so I thought making a smaller cake with simple piping to look like waves would be cute. Top it with a little origami boat and it’s a win. George loved the cake, but didn’t do the typical smashing. I thought he would since the kid loves cake, but he chose to eat his with a fork. For everyone else I made cupcakes with little sailboat toppers. There were a few more toppers made but George woke up a few days before the party and decided to play with them. No problem, we’ll just have less. I’m learning that sanity is worth a lot more then four extra toppers!

For the food I decided to go with some comfort food. It was before Thanksgiving and I wanted to steer away from those flavors, but it was cold and I just thought some chili would be great. I also made a batch of macaroni and cheese because I knew it would be a hit for both the children and adults. Through in some great breads, simple appetizers, and we were good to go! I went real simple with the favor bags and opted to give the kids some goldfish and a tub toy boat. Again, they are two and they really don’t need any more desserts to go home with and now that I’m a bit wiser I also didn’t want to send their parents home with more stuff!

We had a great time and this party was really simple to plan and execute once I decided on everything. We still play with the cardboard sailboat and George now has a cute life preserver with his name on it for his bedroom door!


George Turns Two! A Boat Party ~ The Way to His Heart ~ #birthday #boats #partyfood #kidsparties



Crudites with Ranch Dressing

Chips and French Onion Dip

Cowboy Caviar


“Catch of the Day” Goldfish

Apple slices



Texas Chili with fixings (corn chips, sour cream, green onions, cheese)

Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese


Super Easy Crusty Bread



Ice Creams ~ Easy Mint Chip, Vanilla Bean, Ben’s Chocolate Ice Cream

Cupcakes and Cake ~ Chocolate Cake, Buttercream Frosting



George’s Sailboat Shirt

George’s Sailboat ~ A few inspirations from Pinterest and a handy husband

George’s Life Preserver ~ Purchased from Amazon, personalized by Wink’s Kennebunkport

Paper Sailor Hats

Cupcake Toppers

Cake Sailboat Topper

Favor Bags ~ Tub toy boat and goldfish with Catch of the Day Bag Toppers



California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip

California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip ~ All of the goodness from the classic pizza but served up as a bubbing warm dip! ~ The Way to His Heart

Whether you are looking for something warm and delicious to snack on while watching the snow fall, the big game, or because you love eating warm dips, you must try this! We made it last month and it’s become a favorite. Sometimes I worry about buying ingredients for a new recipe and having leftovers, but these were quickly used for a second batch. It’s been a great treat to snack on during the cold weekends, by ourselves throughout the day or with friends. I originally served this toasted french bread and tortilla chips, but we started eating it with potato chips and anything we can get our hands on to use as a vessel. What I haven’t gotten is a great picture of this stuff. Sometimes it’s not about the looks, and this is the case. It’s good, I promise! I just wanted to hurry and get this recipe to you so you can start enjoying it as well!

I listed two ways to prepare this down below. If you want to make this in advance and serve later on to friends or to bring somewhere, go the slowcooker method. If you want to make this quickly and enjoy immediately, then the oven route is the way to go. Either way, they taste good. The original recipe showed red onions, but I felt that although they are used on California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken and I love it there, it just didn’t add anything to the dip.


California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip


  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (plus more for garnish)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup Smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • handful Cilantro, chopped

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 hours in slow cooker set on low. Shred chicken once cooked.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream and barbecue sauce and mix until smooth. Add the mixture to the slow cooker and stir in the mozzarella and smoked Gouda. Cook for 2 hours until hot and bubbly.

Top with bacon and cilantro and serve with chips, bread or pita chips.

If you’d like extra browning, place in an oven proof dish and top with extra cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is browned.

**You may also bring the chicken to boil in a pot of water seasoned with salt and pepper and then simmer until done, approximately 15 minutes. Then place everything into an oven proof dish and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Slightly Adapted from: Oh, Sweet Basil


Cucumber, Thyme, and Tangerine Infused Water ~ Cool and refreshing way to add flavor to your water ~ The Way to His Heart #CLBlogger #HenHouseLinens

Now that life is back to normal and things have slowed down from vacation and the holidays I can step back and breath. Get my house in order, in more ways than one. When I look out the window here in Maine, it’s typically pretty gloomy. We’ve been lucky so far and we haven’t gotten much snow or cold weather, but it’s here now and I’m over it. So, I’m cheering myself up and bringing the sunshine inside and brightening things up with some cool cucumber and fresh citrus flavor. I love the addition of the thyme. I would have never thought of it and I had some from the holidays I wanted to use up anyways. I also love bringing out my geeky beaker pitcher when I get the chance!

So, whether you need some citrus sunshine in your life or to add some life to all of that water you’re drinking because of your “eat better” resolutions. Try this wonderful infused water and some other great ones out there as well! While there is a recipe, you really just keep the ratios right with however much water you are using and you’ll be set. That’s the great thing about infused waters, you can’t go too wrong!

Cucumber, Thyme, and Tangerine Infused Water ~ Cool and refreshing way to add flavor to your water ~ The Way to His Heart #CLBlogger #HenHouseLinens


Cucumber, Thyme, and Tangerine Infused Water


  • 4 cups water
  • 5 cucumber slices
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 4 tangerine slices

Add ingredients and refrigerate for one hour. The longer it sits the more intense the flavor. Store in refrigerator for up to three days.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, Jan 2016


Cornbread ~ The Way to His Heart ~ A perfect all purpose Corn Bread recipe that is great to have in your recipe arsenal.

For my son George’s second birthday we decided to make a big batch of chili. It was the week before Thanksgiving and the temps were getting cooler and cooler. When you make chili, you have to, or at least you should, have a good cornbread to go with it. While I typically love a sweeter cornbread, this is really a great all-purpose cornbread that goes well with chili. It also appeals to most people.

This cornbread tastes so good because it doesn’t just rely on cornmeal for it’s flavor, but using actual corn. Crazy, huh? This simple addition creates a world of difference. This cornbread doesn’t get baked in a cast-iron skillet, which is what I tend to use, but also appeals to everyone since not everyone may have one of those in their kitchen. If you don’t, you really should. You can get an inexpensive one and your cornbread and steaks and everything else will thank you for it! Anyways, you’ll still get a great crust since this recipe bakes at a higher temperature than most.


Cornbread ~ The Way to His Heart ~ A perfect all purpose Corn Bread recipe that is great to have in your recipe arsenal.



The little birthday boy being ever so patient as Mommy takes some pictures of the cornbread that he’s had his eyes on all morning.



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat to 400 F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until combined, set aside.

In a food processor or blender, process brown sugar, thawed corn kernels, and buttermilk until combined, about 5 seconds. Add eggs and process until well combined. (Lumps will remain from corn, that’s okay!), about 5 seconds.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Begin folding the dry ingredients into wet with a rubber spatula. Give mixture only a few turns to barely combine, add melted butter and continue to fold until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface with the spatula.

Bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, invert onto a wire rack, and then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.

Best served warm. You can always wrap it in foil and reheat for 10 minutes. Also, cornbread freezes really well so you can always have some around the house!

Source: Cooks Illustrated, January 2005