My Unofficial Version of the Pink Leaf Cookie from Italian Bakeries

pink cookie sandwich baking partyFor as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the pink leaf cookies with the chocolate sandwich middles that you get at Italian bakeries and sometimes in the gourmet cookie assortments at the grocery store if you are lucky. These cookies come in pink and green sandwiches in the exact same leaf shape, and they have a layer of chocolate holding them together. I believe the pink cookie is a strawberry flavor and the green cookie is supposed to be pistachio, I THINK. For almost as long as I’ve loved these cookies, I’ve been desperate to learn how to make them. I’ve scoured the Web and asked chefs and others I know who love to bake. Always coming up empty handed, I thought about reverse engineering the cookie with a basic Italian butter cookie recipe. I found a pretty good amount of success with this method.

WARNING: STOP reading here if you might be disappointed in learning of a possibly different origin for these scrumptious cookies other than the quaint Italian bakeries of your childhood or the pleasant Italian women you’ve pictured baking these from scratch —

Okay, you’ve been warned… I also, through my research, came up with a new theory that the pink and green leaf sandwich cookies might be a product of a company that mass produces them for sale at bakeries and so forth. Sort of like a Nabisco or Keebler, but more upscale and more “white label.”

kitchenaid-mixer

Again, just my suspicion, but it would certainly explain why a recipe is so hard to come by! And also why, no matter what brand, store, or model, I cannot find quite the right leaf shape cookie cutter or cookie gun with leaf shaped disks.

From a previous blog post I wrote, I’ve received a few requests for my version of the pink leaf bakery cookie recipe, so here goes nothing! If you try it, please let me know in the comments what you thought and if you have any improvements or modifications that may be useful to other people.

Unofficial Italian Bakery Pink Leaf Cookies Recipe:

pink-leaf-cookie-dough

Ingredients:
1/2 pound butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
pink-leaf-cookie-cutter1 egg
1 tsp strawberry extract, or to taste
2 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
Red food coloring

(Yields 40 cookies, depending on size. I usually double the recipe. When you need two cookies per sandwich, the recipe doesn’t stretch very far…)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer (my favorite), cream the butter and sugar until super fluffy (around 3 minutes or so).
  3. Add eggs and strawberry extract and mix until blended completely.
  4. On the lowest speed, add in the flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt.
  5. Mix the dough just until it’s blended. Avoid overmixing.
  6. Add in a few drops of red food coloring and mix with spoon until blended. Adjust to your desired shade of pink.
  7. pink-leaf-cookie-pressFill your cookie gun (cookie press) or roll out a handful of dough for use with cookie cutters.
  8. Attempt to make equal numbers of the same shape of cookies – for example, I have used the Wilton Cookie Pro Ultra II Cookie Press as well as the Wilton Leaves and Acorns Cookie Cutter Set, although you can find other cookie cutter options as well. You will need pairs of cookies to make the little sandwiches. Space them apart by about two inches on your cookie sheets.pink-leaf-cookie-tray
  9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown.
  10. Cool on cooling rack.
  11. Heat about 1/3 of a bag of semisweet chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup. Be careful not to overheat – I put mine in for 60 seconds followed by another 10 seconds, mixing in between.
  12. chocolate-leaf-sandwich-cookieUsing a spoon or other utensil, spread the melted chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and press the other half together so they stick.
  13. Place on a sheet of wax paper inside a plastic container.
  14. Repeat for all cookies until done.
  15. Place container inside refrigerator for about 10 to 20 minutes to “set” the chocolate. This way the chocolate won’t melt and smear as much as it otherwise might.
  16. Enjoy and share your cookies and this pink leaf cookie recipe with family and friends!

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Please let me know what you think of this recipe if you decide to try it! I would be glad to use your comments to further improve the recipe for our readers, myself, my family, and friends. Also, if you’ve attempted the green leaf cookies, please share as well. Thanks, and happy baking!

pink-leaf-sandwich-cookie

A Delightful Kitchen Addition – The Miallegro MiTutto, an Immersion Hand Blender That Does It All!

Even if you’ve never been handy in the kitchen before now, the Miallegro MiTutto is about to change that up for you. This is a great kitchen addition whether you receive it as a gift or you purchase it yourself.

I found the Miallegro MiTutto to perform like a dream come true when using it. Incredibly fast, the MiTutto did its work so quickly that I felt like I had blinked and missed it. I’ve used quite a few choppers in my time, and this one is by far my absolute favorite. It offers five different speeds, so you’ll be able to prepare a variety of recipes in little to no time at all.

You can mix up so many different recipes from smoothies to soups to shakes to quiches to puddings to so much more. In fact, the Miallegro MiTutto is styled to mix, crush, chop, mince, mix, blend, puree, and whisk your food with relative ease. Among its many offerings are four innovative attachments intended to chop, puree, aerate, and blend with little effort on your part.

strawberriesmilkshakeIt has a number of accessories, including a beaker, a stainless steel blending shaft, and a food processing container. Plus, it’s easy to grip and use due to its ergonomic styling, enabling a firm, secure grip. Its 550-watt motor has five speeds, including a turbo option, so you can work with foods of all temperatures.

Reasonably priced at approximately $70, the MiTutto certainly delivers great value for a small financial investment. This hand immersion blender features a compact design that gives it convenient portability, makes it easy to bring this with you on extended vacations or to visit a friend or family member.

It makes it easy to prepare nearly any recipe, and you’ll feel like a pro doing so! You can use it to chop all sorts of vegetables, including onions and garlic without creating any odor or making your eyes tear up uncontrollably. Now is a great time to make up a batch of homemade applesauce. You can find a wide variety for sale and with the MiTutto, so you can dice up your apples quickly, giving you a head start on the cooking process!

If you one of the many consumers who enjoy taking something out of the box and using it right away without any side tasks like putting it together, just give yourself a couple of minutes. It’s not that difficult to set it up, particularly once you’ve done it. It’s easy to let yourself become overwhelmed by the number of blades and parts, but in actuality, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy using this handy implement without them. The blades offer the kind of versatility that any well-versed cook desires, and does so in a way that is highly effective.

Whether you are looking for quick preparation for your meals or the fastest way to get to the delicious taste of a breakfast shake, the MiTutto is armed and ready. It offers an 18-month warranty, and it’s easy to store. You can even use the MiTutto in your own pots and pans without any worries over scratches or nicks in the finish. The Miallegro MiTutto is available in two colors – kiwi and blueberry.

I received the kiwi version free for the purposes of this review and I love it! Of course, I began with the sweet stuff (a milkshake) and progressed to sauces (sweet and spicy) to food preparation for a variety of delicious recipes.

How to Make the Most of your Small Space

Whether you’re living in a dorm room, studio, or really small apartment, you probably don’t have a great lot of room. It can be even more complicated when you are sharing a space with someone else. I’ve got some tips that can help make your place seem more of your own while giving everything you need a home.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Dollar Store
My local store has oodles of plastic containers of all shapes and sizes. This not only saves me an incredible amount of time usually spent scouring every corner for a certain cardi or the jewelry pièce de résistance, but also saves me money that could have been spent on extravagant storage pieces claiming to save x amount of space. Because it’s so inexpensive, it’s not a heartbreak or a dent in your savings to get rid of when you need to move.

Vanity

Use every inch you’ve got.
There’s no reason a cabinet should have empty space. Find creative ways to stack items. I’ve used locker shelves waaay past high school. (They might be my best investment.) I’ve used them to stack my shoes in my closet, doubling my shoe space. They’re currently in use as extra shelving in my kitchen and giving me more space on my makeshift vanity.

Find ways to hide what you need, but don’t want to see.
Because I travel a lot, I have a lot of luggage. I use it as storage for clothes that don’t fit the season, or simply to hold all of my other travel bags. Although maybe not the most “grown-up” thing, the bed risers I have give me plenty of space to store these things and put them out of the way. For other “unsightlies,” I’ve found that the spaces between tv stands or bookshelves and the wall are perfect places to store items. For large shelves, bigger books can hide items placed behind them.

Shelves

Think vertically.
If you’re in a dorm, loft the bed. It provides excellent space for desks, dressers, couches. Back in the day, I’ve used the best posts to dry laundry or store a sweatshirt or two. Opt for tall skinny shelves rather than stubby wide tables or shelves. Place items you use most frequently at eye level. Items you use once in a blue moon belong on the tippy top. Make sure you have something stable to stand on if you need a boost to get to the top of your shelving unit.

If you live in a rented space that isn’t brand spanking new, there’s sure to be a fair share of holes in the wall. Try to avoid creating new holes by using the same ones that are already placed there. I tried to use as many of the leftover nails and photo hooks left in the wall as I could without relocating them. For my place, metallic flower accents were placed in the old tack holes. For multiple or bigger marks on a wall, large pieces of artwork or tapestries can cover spots while adding color to the room.

Studio Space

Do you have any tips for saving space for your home or apartment? Comment below and let us know!

Jack-O-Lantern Inspiration and Tips

Make the most of your Jack-O-Lanterns this Halloween with Pumpkin Masters Kits. Pumpkin Masters has a variety of decorating kits fit for every skill level. This brand’s supplies are geared towards children, jack-o-lantern novices, and the veterans of the art. I received four kits and two lights to test out and tell readers about.

Carving saws are not meant to last forever or even for more than a few jack-o-lanterns. If you plan on having a carving party, invest in multiple saws as well as kitchen knives to make sure there are not only enough for everyone, but that you have replacements for when they inevitably break.

Kid carving kit

The Kids Carving Kit includes a saw with an easy grip handle and a different type of blade to reduce injuries. It should be held like a pencil and perpendicular to the pumpkins surface to resist breaking.

The Kids Carving Kit incorporates simple designs and easy to use tools. Children can trace their chosen design with a crayon on the pumpkin’s outer shell. Before their creation is ready for lighting up, children can choose from four pairs of eyes to add mystique to their jack-o-lantern.

If you’re ashamed of your ability to carve out a triangle shaped piece out of an orange gourd, the Decorating Punches Pumpkin Tool Kit is made for you! A book of patterns included in the kit provides easy designs to transfer to a pumpkin’s surface.

Holey pumpkin

 A Yayoi Kusama inspired masterpiece in the works.

Align the punch tool with the design and push through the surface. The two different punch tool s minimize the time it takes to cut through the shell manually and guarantees a clean shape. The punch tools allow for two different sized circles or petal shapes.

The traditional Pumpkin Carving Kit includes saws, a drill, a scooper, and a pounce wheel. The pounce wheel transfers patterns by rolling across the lines of the design and creating impressions on the pumpkin’s shell. The included patterns indicate how challenging the designs as well as how to properly carve out the design to prevent breaking.

Prolong the life of your pumpkin handiwork with a carved design. There is no need to carve out any insides, so don’t expect any pumpkin seeds from this creation.

The Surface Carving Kit includes twelve patterns and three interchangeable tips for so many possibilities. Depending on the design you select and the time you carve, your pumpkin can double as fall decorations. I chose a pretty leaf pattern, which will not become irrelevant come November 1st.

jack-o-lantern

I received two LED Xtreme Strobe Flashing lights. These are the coolest pumpkin lights I’ve seen! I wish I had them as a kid. The flashing lights add a spooky flair or a dance party vibe depending on what design they are lighting up.

The Xtreme Strobe Flashing LED Lights are safer than candles and are easy to transfer to different pumpkins. (My group of carvers tried them in a few different lanterns to check out how they turned out.) No need to worry about running back to the store – batteries are included so they are ready to go as soon as they are out of the packaging!

jack-o-lanterns

Happy Carving!

Don’t forget to take pictures of your jack-o-lantern! Pumpkin Masters hosts an easy to enter Pumpkin Carving Contest. Find rules and how to enter here.

Sevenly: Stylish Awareness

Be the Change Sweatshirt

Sevenly is a charitable company that raises money for different causes each week. Unlike other charities, they offer a variety of products at a range of prices. There’s something for everyone on the site: clothing for all ages, home decor, stationery, jewelry, and toys.

The clothing lines are not limited to simply unisex t-shirts. Tops are available for men, women, and children. It’s very nice for women to have a form fitting shirt other than something shapeless or baggy. Show support and bring attention to a cause by wearing your shirt proudly and stylishly.

Each week offers tanks, a range of t-shirt styles, and sweatshirts. I received a tank and a tee — they are so super comfortable and the softest fabric.

I recommend them as perfect to lounge in, workout in, or just to run day to day errands. Basically, you will want to wear these shirts wherever and whenever.

Beauty Baseball Tee

Each week multiple designs are featured on the site for these different shirts. The designs for the causes are amazing. There are several images each week.

Seven dollars of every purchase on the website is donated to a particular cause for the entire week. Past charities have included Invisible Children, National Autism Association, The Humane Society, and To Write Love On Her Arms

Sevenly also offers accessories, like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, as well art prints.The art prints feature past designs so you can always show your support for a cause. Art prints allow certain designs to be available past the typical seven day timeline.

To see what Sevenly is raising awareness for this week, stop by their site at here.

You Are Mighty Necklace

Exercise Ideas and Fun Outdoor Activities for People and their Dogs to Enjoy

Puppies love playing outside in the summer!Staying fit and healthy is just as important for people as it is for dogs. A daily dose of exercise can positively impact one’s health, not to mention mood and outlook on life. Different breeds of dogs often benefit from different types of exercise. Certain intense exercises may not be appropriate for all breeds of dogs, while other types of exercise, like going for a walk, can be just perfect for people and dogs of all ages.

The right amount of exercise can help improve the quality of life as well as increasing the lifetime of dogs and humans. Consider these exercise ideas for people and their dogs to enjoy together:

•    Go for a walk. Try different walking routes a couple times a week to keep things interesting.

•    Go running or jogging together. Training for a 5k race or just trying to get back in shape can be a lot more fun when you have company. If your vet approves, consider taking your pup along for your jog.

•    Play fetch in the yard. Sticks, tennis balls, and other toys can serve as the perfect distraction from a dull day. Play fetch in the yard to give your pup some much-needed exercise. Toss the toys in different directions and teach your dog to bring the items all the way to you with commands like “closer” and “all the way”.

•    Play Frisbee. Teach your dog how to do a number of Frisbee tricks, whether you make them up as you go or you watch YouTube videos for the coolest tricks to replicate. Remember to keep your dog’s safety in mind at all times.

•    Run around at the park. A trip to the park can be fun for any dog. Explore a park with a lake or reservoir, a boat landing and marina, or a lot of ducks, fishermen, or other interesting features. A park with a running trail or course can be a lot of fun to experience with your dog.

•    Check out a local dog park or dog beach. Your dog will likely love a trip to the local dog park or a dog beach, even if you have to drive a little bit to get there. You can meet other dogs and allow your pup to be as social as he wants.

•    Host a puppy play date. Get the neighborhood dogs together or have your puppy’s friends over for a fun day in the yard. Set up a doggie obstacle course or plan for some Frisbee throwing, ball, and plenty of water and treats.

•    Try out a dog sport like agility or fly ball. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find a center that offers agility courses or maybe even sheep herding. It can be a fun experience for you and your pet, so give it a shot.

•    Go for a hike. Find some trails or a mountain that has popular hiking trails. Take your dog, along with a picnic lunch, and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.

•    Take a swim in a nearby lake. Some dogs love to swim, but you’ll never know if yours is one of them if you don’t give your pup a chance to try it. Toss the Frisbee a few feet out into the water to get your dog to brave it, but expect you might soon have a tough time getting your dog out of the water, too, once she sees how much she loves it.

These are just a few ideas for fun activities you can enjoy with your dog as a form of exercise. Before you begin an exercise regimen with your pet, consider speaking to your dog’s veterinarian. A good vet can advise on whether you dog can keep up with your mile pace or your preferred distance, as well as commenting on other activities you may tend to enjoy with your pet.

You can find fun and exciting, active things to do with your dog all year long. Some of the most fun activities seem to take place in the warmer seasons. Consider these suggestions to enhance the quality of life of your favorite pet.
Keep Reading: Top 10 Summer Activities to Enjoy with Your Dog…

Fun Ideas for Unisex Baby Showers

gender neutral baby shower themesBaby showers are traditionally quiet affairs with games, cake, and punch. But today moms want something more. Planning a baby shower for today’s moms-to-be requires a bit more creativity than in the past. Add the fact many parents want to wait to find out the sex of the baby and be surprised, and you can see the traditional blue or pink baby shower just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Here are some creative and fun ideas for unisex baby shower themes to help you plan the perfect party for your favorite mom-to-be.

Pamper Party
A pamper party is a great theme for treating the mother-to-be like a queen. For an intimate shower with just a few guests, especially for a mom having a second baby who might not have an all-out baby shower, consider booking a day at the spa and so everyone can get mani / pedis and massages. You can ask the salon to set up refreshments or provide your own. The spa may also have a private room where you and your friends can enjoy the day in peace and quiet so everyone can have fun and relax. Most spas have packages for parties, so check around your area to find one you can host a pamper party. This is a fun idea for gender neutral baby shower themes. You can also do a spa day at someone’s home, setting up stations for nail painting, foot soaking, and maybe consider hiring a massage professional to come to the party. An at-home spa party could probably accommodate more guests, especially since the pamper party can quickly become expensive at a real spa and salon.

Decorate a Onesie Party
This cute idea gives your guests and the mom-to-be a chance to be creative and celebrate the upcoming birth of the baby. You’ll need white cotton onesies in different sizes (newborns grow out of them quickly), fabric paint, glitter, fabric stamps, rickrack, and any other embellishment you can think of. At the party, let everyone decorate the onesies to their hearts’ content. After the party, your mom-to-be will have keepsakes that are useful and memorable. This party idea plays right into unisex baby shower themes, making it a popular and special choice when you don’t know if a little boy or little girl is on the way.

Baby Book Party
Instead of traditional baby shower gifts or even just instead of cards, ask guests to bring their favorite childhood book. They can also write a short note to baby in the book to make it really special. You can choose themes from a favorite childhood book series to help you plan the unisex baby shower, making sure the theme runs through the cake, decorations, and centerpieces. Guests will give baby a head start on his or her library, and they will also enjoy sharing memories of their favorite books.

Planning Tips for Gender Neutral Baby Shower Themes
You want everyone to have a good time, especially the mom-to-be, so try to keep the baby shower no longer than three hours in most cases. Keep the refreshments simple; cake, sandwiches, candies or cookies, and cocktails or wine are popular choices. Be sure to have mocktails for the mom-to-be and guests who don’t want to drink. Be creative with the decorations. For example use baby bottles, a diaper cake, and other items that can be used after the baby is born. Most of all, have fun!

What’s an Eye Hole?

Now that the summer is winding down, you may not be spending your time outside from sunup to sundown. Why ruin your hair-do by constantly flipping your sunglasses from your eyes to the top of your head? An innovative new product saves the day (and your coiff!) with a stylish new accessory.

Continue reading What’s an Eye Hole?

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches Using Different Kinds of Cookies

sugar-cookie-icecream-sandwichIt may be a wonderful summertime treat, but Chipwiches and ice cream sandwiches can be delicious any time of year. It’s hard to picture a more scrumptious dessert than ice cream sandwiched between two soft, chewy cookies. Yum! Store-bought ice cream novelties like Chipwiches can certainly be tasty, but making them at home adds a fun element of creativity and freshness.

Whether it’s a hot summer day or a rainy day any time of year when you’re bored, consider making your own delectable ice cream cookie sandwiches using your favorite flavor of ice cream and favorite type of cookie. You can use store-bought cookies if you must, but half of the fun is baking your own cookies to use in your ice cream sandwiches.

When making ice cream sandwiches at home, you can make them completely by hand or you can use an actual ice cream sandwich maker or mold. You can make ice cream sandwich minis or full-sized treats, depending on how much variety you want to have in your snack. Mini ice cream sandwiches can be great for parties – just make them ahead of time and freeze until you are ready to serve. My family bought me the Cuisipro Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Maker set for Christmas last year and I love it. You can make mini ice cream sandwiches in shapes of hearts, stars, and circles, in as many flavors as your heart desires. This kit is a super easy, beautiful, and fun way to make delicious, amazing, frozen treats any time of year.

I also received a different set of ice cream sandwich makers for bigger treat sizes from a friend. The Tovolo Ice Cream Sandwich Molds set allows you to make ice cream cookie sandwiches very easily with a cookie cutter type mold. The molds have a plunger type piece that allows you to gently push out the ice cream sandwich once it is ready. These ice cream sandwich molds and the mini ice cream sandwich makers are really cute and fun helpers when it comes to making your own frozen treats at home. Of course, you can always make cookies in similar sizes and simply use those without the ice cream sandwich press as well. It’s really up to you and how you prefer to assemble your treats!

homemade-ice-cream-sandwiches3

Try these tips to make a delicious spread of ice cream cookie sandwiches for your entire family or all your friends to enjoy.

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Ingredients:
– Ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, black raspberry, black cherry, strawberry, cookies and cream, etc.)
– Ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe
– Mini chocolate chips

Recipe Steps for Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches:

1. Make up your favorite batch of cookies. Chocolate chip cookies work perfectly, but you can also make oatmeal raisin cookies, sugar cookies, chocolate sugar cookies, and more.
2. Allow cookies to cool sufficiently, at least 20 minutes.
3. Match up cookies of similar sizes.
4. Bring out the ice cream and a scooper.
5. If using an ice cream sandwich maker, follow the individualized instructions. Usually you will press the mold / cutter down onto a semi-soft cookie, scoop the ice cream into it, and press down onto another cookie. Then twist the handle until the ice cream sandwich pops out of the mold.
6. If desired, press mini chocolate chips around the edges of the exposed ice cream.
7. Store your cookie sandwiches individually in plastic baggies or in a freezer-safe plastic container with a lid.

Making homemade ice cream sandwiches is easy and fun, but you might find a little difficulty since the ice cream melts really fast. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your fun treat-making experience:

ice-cream-sandwiches-x• When making these treats in bulk, create small batches and take a break to let your ice cream get harder again. If you try to make too many sandwiches or let it take too long, the ice cream will be a mushy mess that is too tough to handle.
• Put them in the freezer in small fold-over sandwich bags, individually wrapped for best results. That makes them easy to enjoy later, too!
• Consider putting them in the freezer for a little while before you add the mini chocolate chips to the edges if you find the ice cream is too soft to manage.
• I know it’s hard to wait, but please avoid putting ice cream on the cookies until they’ve really cooled. Your ice cream will melt too fast and you’ll never be able to enjoy your cookie sandwich without a real mess!

Do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream cookie sandwich? I made the ultimate, extreme ice cream cookie sandwich using chocolate chip cookies and cookies and cream ice cream with mini chips on the edges. I also tried sugar cookies and black cherry ice cream, oatmeal craisin cookies with chocolate ice cream, and sugar cookies with black cherry ice cream. They were all wonderful, although Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches will always have a special place in my heart!

Do you want to try this? Have you already done it? Do you have any other tips to share? Please share your comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

Fun, Relaxing, and Exciting Vacations for Seniors

seniors vacationsWhen it comes to taking vacations, seniors have a wide range of travel options. The possibilities for mature travelers include weekend getaways, cruises, and guided tours, to name a few. There are also trips for single seniors looking for some time away. Depending on the type of experience you are looking for, here are some enjoyable options.

All-Inclusive Vacations for Seniors

You can find a whole world of destinations to choose from when planning a vacation. If you are looking for a relaxing trip away from home, an all-inclusive vacation provides a stress-free environment. All-inclusive vacations allow you to leave your worries behind. This type of vacation includes food, drinks, and activities in the cost of the trip. All-inclusive trips to Jamaica or the Dominican Republic provide relaxing vacations for seniors looking to spend their time in a tropical environment.

Educational Trips

Educational trips make great vacations for seniors looking for an enjoyable learning experience. Historical locations, such as Greece and Riviera Maya, are rich with historical landmarks and expeditions. Guided tours take you to several destinations while providing you with historical information to create a memorable experience.

Cruises

Cruises offer a wide range of possibilities for seniors. Seniors can choose from multi-city destination cruises, European cruises, and Caribbean cruises. In addition, you can find themed cruises tailored toward mature travelers, including trips for single seniors. Cruise ships have a wide range of activities available on-board, including swimming, golfing, dining, and a variety of entertainment. Opportunities to explore new cities offshore also exist when traveling from port to port.

Weekend Getaways for Mature Travelers

Senior vacation ideasWeekend trips for seniors provide the perfect excuse to take a brief break from life. Plenty of convenient and affordable weekend destinations may include wineries and bed and breakfasts. Wineries make a great romantic escape, especially if you are looking to relax and try various samples of wine. Bed and breakfasts are ideal for seniors interested in spending a cozy weekend enjoying nature walks and daily activities. Try exploring wineries and bed and breakfasts in your area to find your best option.

Planning a vacation can be difficult, especially if you do not know what you are looking for in a week or weekend away. Consider what type of vacation you want and how long you would like to travel. This information will help you get started on planning your perfect escape. Whether you are a senior looking for a relaxing getaway or a fun-filled adventure, you’re sure to find an ideal vacation that is perfect for you.

Nautical Dresses, Coral Dresses, and Summery Sundresses for Mom and Daughter

nautical-dresses-xCoral continues to be a hot color this summer, and pretty shades of orange join along for the fun. The navy and white stripes and nautical look and feel drives another powerful trend this summer. And it seems fun and flirty sundresses in bright or bold colors and interesting patterns will never go out of style. Dressing in matching outfits with your daughter can make for some adorable pictures and it can be an enjoyable experience for moms and infants, toddlers, and little girls alike.

It might be tough to find matching outfits for mom and daughter, so we’re trying to do as much of the work for you as possible. Check out these cute mommy-and-me infant, toddler, or little girl matching or close-to-matching outfits for a lovely second half of the summer.

Orange / Coral Dresses for Mom and Daughter
Hues of the orange family add a fun burst of color to your summer days. Whether it’s a summer wedding, graduation party, or another special event, consider dressing up in duplicate with your little one for some great photo ops and a fun experience across the board.

41yy0aNoEFL._SY445_ orange-coral-infant-dress orange-stripe-dress orange-stripe-toddler-dress

coral-beach-dress coral-white-stripe-girls-dress

raya-sun-cover-up lucky-jeans-toddler-dress

Stunning Nautical Themed Dresses for Mom and Daughter
It seems the nautical theme is back and better than ever. You can find tons of dresses in navy and white patterns for adults, and a few cute styles for kids as well. Check out these gorgeous navy and white striped nautical dresses for mom and somewhat matching or at least complementing styles for infants and young girls.

nautical-sun-cover-dressnautical-dreess4 nautical-dress1 nautical-dreess9 nautical-dreess8 nautical-dreess6

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Cute, Flirty Sundresses for Moms and their Girls
When all else fails this summer, throw on a sundress. Better yet if you and your shining star can match. Consider these fun and stylish mother-daughter dresses as a nice way to bond with your daughter this summer. Your infants may not know what’s going on, and your toddlers may fight you on getting dressed, but your little girls are sure to love dressing up like their mama. Check out some too-cute options for summer mommy-and-me fashion.

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sun-dreess6sun-dress2 sun-dress1

sun-dress3 infant-dress2 infant-dress1