Holiday Puppy Chow


With only a few days until Christmas, it's the perfect time to make some fun snacks. I made a Holiday themed puppy chow for a holiday party at my work. I thought I'd share it with all of you.
I roughly followed the recipe from the back of my Chex Cereal. So if you want to imitate mine, you'll need:

  • 8 cups Rice Chex (for more flavor, you can use Chocolate Chex, or something like that).
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I actually used the Reese's Peanut Butter Spread because I only had crunchy peanut butter. Nutella will also work!)
  • 1 tbsp butter/margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Holiday M&Ms
  • 1 cup Peppermint Bark Chips


Steps:

  1. Measure Chex into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a glass (microwave-safe bowl) heat chocolate chips and butter. To do this without burning your chocolate, bring a couple cups of water to a boil in a pot. Make sure you use a bowl large enough to sit on top of the pot. You are basically creating a double boiler.
  3. Mix in the peanut butter, or other chocolatey spread. Once the mixture is smooth, you can take it away from heat. 
  4. Pour over Chex cereal and mix until all pieces are coated. In order to do this, I split mine in half and stirred.
  5. Put all Chex into a 2 gallon resealable bag and add powdered sugar. Shake it up until all pieces are covered.
  6. Chex recommends that you cool it on waxed paper, and then store in an airtight container.
  7. I mixed in my M&Ms and Peppermint Chips after I cooled it, so that the M&Ms wouldn't melt.



Let me know if you enjoyed this blog post by leaving a comment. If you make my version of Puppy Chow, post it on instagram or twitter and use "#Shutterblush"




Holiday Gift Guide for Her

It's the most wonderful time of the year! One of the best things about the Holiday season is getting gifts for everyone! Here's my holiday gift guide for her, in two parts. There's under $15 gifts, and under $25 gifts.




Under $15




Under $25


NOTE: This is not a sponsored post and contains only my personal opinions.

Let me know in the comments if this was a helpful post. 
Also, don't forget to follow Shutterblush on Bloglovin'.


DIY Christmas Countdown


Happy December! I'm going to try and post a lot more throughout the holiday season and next year. I know I've been slacking lately but I'd rather put up more quality posts than throw something together last minute every week.

For my first Christmassy Post, I'm showing you a DIY Christmas Countdown! It's a very easy DIY and perfect to do at the beginning of the month.



You'll Need:
  • A Stand: I'm using one that I already had at home but you can buy one similar at Hobby Lobby or another craft store.
  • Chalkboard Paint: I used chalkboard paint that was made for glass, because the surface of my plate was shiny.
  • Chalk: I used sidewalk chalk in the supplies photo, but a softer chalk is better.
  • Plate: Any Christmas colored serving plate will work, but I bought this one at Party City for a few dollars.
  • Brush: I used a sponge brush, which you can get at any craft store.
Steps:
  • 1. Clean your plate with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. This preps the surface for the chalkboard paint.
  • 2. Once it's dry, paint several layers of chalkboard paint onto the inner circle of the plate. The first layer was difficult, because the paint was not sticking. After that layer dried, the second coat covered it fine.
  • 3. My chalkboard paint suggested to allow drying time for four days. I let it dry for a couple hours and it was fine.
  • 4. Design your countdown! I looked at fonts online for inspiration.
  • 5. Don't forget to change the number everyday.

In the end, I used a paint marker style chalk. Let me know if you liked this DIY in the comments. 

In the comments, also let me know what kinds of posts you want to see during the holiday season and make sure you follow Shutterblush on Bloglovin' to see all of my holiday posts.


The Great Pumpkin Patch


This Thursday, I went to the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, IL. with some other art students from my school, including the photography classes. This pumpkin patch is one of the largest in the Midwest and covers 200 acres. You can read more about it on their website.


There were tons of pumpkins that were already picked and ready to be bought. They also had a huge variety of squash. We didn't actually get any carving pumpkins, just a small one that was including in our large group admission. They also gave us coloring books! There were farm animals too, including an alpaca, llama, goats, chickens, geese, sheep and pigs. I think the chicken below looks very Halloween, almost like a spiderweb design.


This was taken in the "Miscanthus Meander" which is a very tall grass from Florida. 



There were several different mazes, including, of course, the maize maze (maize is basically the same as corn). There was also a maze made of hay bales, sunflowers, and broom corn. Then we explored the Children's Garden which was tucked away under a weeping willow tree. There were little streams and a bridge as well as a squash for every letter of the alphabet.



Thanks for reading! I love feedback, so please tell me what you thought of this post in the comments. On this field trip we went to an Amish Farm as well, and that post is coming soon!






My Favorite Things About Fall



1. Sweater Weather
I love the temperature in Fall, it's cool and the air isn't as humid. It also means you can dress in layers, including sweaters, cardigans, leggings or jeans, boots, and leg warmers.

2. Pumpkin Everything
I love the pumpkin flavor that comes out in everything during October. Pumpkin pie alone is great but I love all the other foods that come out with pumpkin flavor. However, I don't drink coffee, so I'm not excited for Pumpkin Spice Lattes.


Last year I carved a pumpkin to look like my dog, he's a boxer.

3. Halloween
One of my favorite Holidays, after Christmas, is Halloween. I love dressing up, decorating pumpkins, and going to Fright Fest at Six Flags. This year I might even make it to a Haunted House.

4. Hot Chocolate
Since I'm not a coffee drinker, I love that in Autumn it's finally cold enough to drink hot chocolate. I love the variations too, like dark chocolate, caramel, peppermint, etc.

5. Thanksgiving

Another great Holiday in the fall is Thanksgiving. I love food, and my family always watches the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV and then the dog show.

6. Black Friday
This year I finally have my own money to spend at Black Friday Sales so I'm super excited. I've starting planning where I want to go, and I think I'll even start on Thursday night. Of course, Cyber Monday is going to be big too.



7. Crunchy Leaves
The trees around my house have already started changing colors! They're all over the sidewalk and one of the best things about Fall is stepping on leaves and hearing the crunch.

8. Friday Night Lights

I love going to high school football games, and since I'm a senior this year I want to go to as many as I can. My school even has a pretty good team. Unfortunately, I work a lot on Friday nights.

9. New Seasons on TV

One of my favorite reality TV shows, which I wish I could be on one day, is Amazing Race, and it's already started. There's also new seasons of Revenge and New Girl. What TV shows are you excited for this fall?




Let me know in the comments what you love about Fall!

Loufest DAY ONE


Last weekend (September 6 & 7th), I went to Loufest with a good friend, Kelsey. Loufest is a two-day music festival held in Forest Park, St Louis. The lineup included headliners like Arctic Monkeys and Outkast, as well as local bands like Pretty Little Empire. The weather was amazing, it was in the 70s and 80s both days. Saturday morning was a little bit chilly, but after noon, the sun came out and it was a nice temperature.
*note: all photos on this post, unless stated otherwise, were taken on my iPhone 5


We arrived at about 2pm on Saturday, and went straight to the merch tent. I got a The 197 t-shirt and an Arctic Monkeys t-shirt. They were each $25.



(Pentax k20 DSLR)

We then listened to Washed Out while we got some Smoothie King smoothies to hold us over until dinner, I had Mangofest & Kelsey got a Caribbean Way. After doing some exploring, we discovered that the Chipotle VIP tent was VIP (for the people) and we could line up for FREE TACOS! I tried the Carnita (Pork) with cheese and guacamole. I have to say, I wasn't a fan of the pork. I usually only eat chicken but the other option was tofu.



(Pentax k20 DSLR)

We collected recyclables during Future Islands to earn free "Rock & Recycle" t-shirts. Then, we tried some 'Strange Donuts'. They weren't really that strange, they were actually delicious. I got a Gooey Butter Donut (a STL staple), and Kelsey got the Vegan option, which was Cookie Crumble (with oreos).


The 1975 was on my must-see list, so we lined up about an hour before they started at 6.30. There were probably only about 15-20 people in front of us, which I think is pretty good for my first music festival. They sounded so good live, I definitely recommend seeing The 1975 if you get the chance. They're an "indie rock band" from Manchester, England. Matty, the lead singer, was super entertaining. When he wasn't singing, he making jokes, dancing around or drinking from the bottle of wine he kept on stage.



In between The 1975 and Arctic Monkeys, Cake was performing on a different stage. We decided to skip them, and get a little bit closer while we waited for Arctic Monkeys. We also could have met The 1975, but it was more important to us that we get an amazing view of Arctic Monkeys.


Throughout the entire first song, the lights were so crazy and bright that no photos turned out. However, I kind of like the one above. As it was quite dark and my phone was dying, I didn't take many photos. Arctic Monkeys was also amazing live, and it was really cool when everyone was singing along. Almost all of their songs are pretty chill, so there was no jumping around or shoving for the most part. Again, I highly recommend checking them out if you aren't familiar with their music, and seeing them live when you get the chance.


Overall, I really enjoyed my first day at Loufest. If you enjoyed this blog post, please comment! Or if you also went to Loufest, let me know!