Road Trip to Arizona ~ Part 1

Hi Friends! Hope you've had a great weekend! We took it easy and hung around the house for the most part...I was trying to put the finishing touches on this year's curriculum for the kiddos before we jump into it this week. I'll be real honest here...I have done absolutely nothing in terms of decorating for the fall season. I am feeling really far behind, but somehow I know there are many of you who can relate. So, until I can get some projects done around here, I thought I'd share about our Road Trip to Arizona ~ Part 1.

We started our journey with the kids sharing the backseat with our pooch, Scamp. We dropped him off to spend the week in Lubbock with my parents and their cute pup, Desdi.

After spending the night in Lubbock, we journeyed through New Mexico on our usual route...Santa Rosa...Albuquerque...Arizona, stopping only when necessary for gas and potty breaks.

This time, however, we actually lingered awhile in Santa Rosa at the Route 66 Auto Museum.

My kiddos were in "little piggy heaven" amongst all the classic cars and Corvettes. They even commandeered my phone to snap a bunch of pictures. Believe me, there are at least 20 on my phone.

After a short while, it was time to hit the road again.

After Albuquerque we detoured from our traditional route again to spend the night in Pinetop, AZ with family. This took us through some beautiful country...not at all what I'd expected to find in western New Mexico and Arizona in mid-August.

We stayed at my SIL's cabin for the night where she introduced my daughter to the fine art of eating raw cookie dough. (not that she didn't already have some inkling of it's magical powers)

After a wonderful breakfast of bacon and eggs cooked out on the grill by my BIL, we took off down the hill to spend the weekend with my father-in-law an hour closer to Phoenix. Here, the kids rode my FIL's ATV through the park where he has a small "cabin", and also did a little exploring in the forest behind his property.

They also had some fun on his mobility scooter. My son loved riding it throughout the park waving to all the neighbors. I'm sure if my FIL would have had both of his scooters up at his cabin the kids would have wanted to have races.

We played some rounds of pool in the clubhouse, until the kids got busted for breaking the age rules. Oops. In all the years we've gone up to visit my FIL, it was never an issue as long as adults were in the room. I guess some people just don't have anything better to do than squelch the fun of youth. This picture is of my FIL, giving pointers on the game of pool...before they were busted. See the small sign above his head on the door? That's where it says that they have to be 16 to play. :-(

One of my favorite things to do up in the mountains of Arizona is to watch the afternoon thunderstorms roll in during monsoon season.

My mini-me and I watched it rain from the front porch. I love the smell of the fresh rain as it hits the high desert.

After lunch on Monday of that week, we headed down from the Mogollion Rim into the Valley of the Sun. Parts of the drive looked "other worldly". The kids kept remarking how beautiful it was. I guess all those years we lived there I just took it for granted.

Stay tuned to see some fun places we visited while in the Phoenix area... a couple of favorite restaurants and a new-to-me boutique, which just happens to be an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist.
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I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Food for the Soul ~ Deuteronomy 7:9

Happy Sunday to you, friends! Hope you are enjoying a nice long weekend with family and friends, or at least relaxing before fall activities kick into high gear. Whatever place God has you in right now, I pray that you will know the faithfulness of the Father. I pray our hearts will be moved to obedience, so that we might please Him and experience the blessings of being His children.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!
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Creative Ways Link Party #17 and Features

Well, it's here! The last Creative Ways Link Party of August is upon us. Where did the month go? By now, most of you have started the school year with your kiddos. We still have a few days of break left, which is a good thing because I am sort of freaking out feeling a bit anxious about our curriculum and getting it all done on a daily basis. There's just so much knowledge I want to impart to the kiddos and it seems as though time is slipping away. I know we will get into a groove, but it's the anticipation that gets me. So, to escape from all that, I say we have a party! Who's with me?

I had such a great time going through all your links from last week's soiree. I love seeing familiar faces each week and am thrilled when new friends come to party with us too. It is truly staggering the amount of talent that is out in the blogosphere. I am humbled and honored to have you joining me to celebrate all your creative ways! Here were some of the standouts from last week's party:

Clockwise from top left

Pepperoni Calzones by Tastes of Lizzy T
What a great way to change up the weekly pizza night!
Book Page Hydraengas by Muslin and Merlot
I love anything made from book pages! These gorgeous orbs are no exception!
This sounds like the perfect salad to end the summer berry harvest.
7 Drawer Dresser with Chevron Top by Her Tool Belt
I love how she used parts from a pallet to make this beautiful piece of furniture. Such details!
Homemade Peppermint Patties by Born to Bake Forever
Be still, my beating heart! Who knew making peppermint patties was this easy?
Autumn Inspired Little Red Wagon by My Thrift Store Addiction
Such a sweet way to usher in the beauty of fall flowers!

If you missed these wonderful posts, be sure to click through their links to check them out! So, let's get right to this week's party, shall we? What have you been working on? I can't wait to see!

Link Party Guidelines
  • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
  • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
  • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways
  • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
  • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
  • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
    Posed Perfection
    <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Posed Perfection" width="250" height="177" /></a>

    I would love for you to start following me on BlogLovin' to ensure you get the latest posts. I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!

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    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies ~ Just Because

    Hi Friends! I'm happy to see you here today! So, we're back from our little trip to Arizona, and while I sift through those pictures to share a little about our vacation, I decided I needed to make these Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies ~ just because.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    I'm not quite sure where this delicious little recipe came from, but it is definitely going to be making it into our cookie rotation. Not that we really have a "cookie rotation" per se, but doesn't it sound like a good idea? I thought you'd agree ;-)

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    Here's what you need: butter, brown sugar, vanilla, light corn syrup, egg, flour, salt, pecans and chocolate chips.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    These start just like every other cookie with creaming together the butter and sugar, then add in the vanilla.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    Next you'll beat in the corn syrup and the egg.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    You'll finish up by incorporating the flour and salt until it is a good workable dough.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    Roll dough into 1-inch balls.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    Then roll the dough balls into the chopped pecans.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart, press firmly with thumb to make indention and bake for 11-13 minutes, or until cookies are firm.

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    Remove to wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are cooling, make the chocolate filling by microwaving some corn syrup for a minute, then add in the chocolate chips ~ stirring until the chips are melted. Pour into a ziplock bag, seal it and snip the corner. Pipe the filling onto cooled cookies. Watch out for the cookie thieves!

    Nutty Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

    1 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup light brown sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1 egg
    3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (or any other nuts you prefer)

    chocolate filling
    1/3 cup light corn syrup
    1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together butter, brown sugar and vanilla in mixer on medium speed.  Beat in corn syrup and egg until incorporated. Slowly add in the flour and salt until blended. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in chopped pecans. (Alternately, one could mix the pecans in with the dough, then roll the dough into 1-inch balls.) Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb into the center to create a deep indentation. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire rack and cool completely. Prepare the the filling by heating the corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and continue stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Scrape filling into a pastry bag or small freezer zip top bag and seal. Snip off a small corner at the bottom of the bag and pipe filling into the thumbprint holes. Makes about 5 1/2 dozen cookies.

    ** recipe for the cookies was not clear on when to pipe the filling into the indentations, so I did it before baking the cookies. Some turned out okay-looking while others had a bumpy look to them. They all tasted fine, but I think the texture of the filling is better when it is not baked.  I altered the recipe to recommend piping the filling on after baking the cookies.

    Our house of cookie monsters was divided on which cookies they liked best...the ones rolled in pecans or the ones with the pecans in the dough.

    Want more cookie ideas?
    Old Fashioned Chocolate Glazed Cookies

    Great Pumpkin Cookies

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    I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

    Food for the Soul ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16

    While we were visiting Arizona a couple of weeks ago, I saw this beautiful flowering plant and couldn't help but snap a picture and share it with this week's Food for the Soul.

    As we go through trials, and we most certainly will, our hearts need to stay focused on this truth. We need to be recharged, refueled and renewed daily by God's Word.

    Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away,
    yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
    2 Corinthians 4:16

    Thanks so much for stopping by today! Your visits mean so very much to me! May your souls be encouraged this week as you seek Him wholeheartedly! 
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