We recently took a week vacation to the Outerbanks in North Carolina, which couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Our vacation was filled with lots of sunshine, lots of cuddles and lots of laughter. It was so refreshing to be together as a family and not have a set time to be anywhere or do anything. We marched to the beat of our own drum the entire week and let the boys create our schedule.I’m not sure I have ever seen my two year old quite as happy as he was splashing and playing in the ocean. And he’s still talking about how he “climbed a mountain” (which was actually the sand dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park). Our littlest one mastered the art of sitting up while we were away and is now experimenting with the military crawl to get where he wants to go. They are both growing up so fast, so I’m thankful for a week of uninterrupted time together which allowed me to step back and appreciate every little moment.

When we returned from vacation, my two year old had a summer party at school. So of course, I used this as an excuse to whip up a summer themed banner and bite-sized beach cupcakes.  I didn’t have time to run out and buy anything, so I simply used a boxed cake mix that I had on hand and made my own butter cream using the recipe from Amy Atlas’ book, Sweet Designs. To decorate, I crumbled up some vanilla wafers for the sand and then added little drink umbrellas and goldfish to give the cupcakes some pizzazz. And there you have it – beach cupcakes!  Quick and easy and the kids loved them!

The welcome summer banner was also a quick project. I knew I wanted something sunny and bright, and thought this design captured the essence of summer. Printed on card stock and tied together with some natural twine, it was the perfect decoration for my son’s summer party at school (and just a little sneak peek at what you can expect to see once we open up our etsy shop!)

It’s less than a week in, and I can already tell its going to be a great summer. So how did you celebrate the start of the summer season?