Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Saltine Candy Update!

Can you believe Christmas and the end of December is just a few short days away?  My family and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

Really quick, I can't believe the response I got from my Saltine Cracker Candy post!!!  Thank you everyone for your new ideas and it makes me warm and happy knowing how much you loved this recipe, too.  One of Jim's co-workers actually won a Christmas Cookie contest with it!

Here are a few additional ideas I received... can you see which one I implemented above?

  • Toasted coconut or heath bits sprinkled on top
  • Instead of saltines, use graham crackers!
  • Sprinkle bacon?!  Oh, blessed YUM!
  • What about chocolate and say, a tiny bit of spice-cayenne? JalapeƱo juice?  Like put cayenne in with the chocolate chips and stir and then out on top. Same with the juice-just put a tiny in the bowl and mix and then put on as usual.
  • Add a drop of orange oil to the chocolate and mix in orange rind sprinkled on top!
My friend, Elizabeth, and I really started getting creative once we got going!  LOL!  Thanks, sweet friend for amping up this recipe and making it OVER THE TOP in so many new ways!

Also, I tried this really simple treat yesterday... eehhem... the photographic sample shown here was quickly ingested by the photographer (moi) with absolutely no guilt!  It spoke to me.

Chocolate peppermint marshmallow

Be blessed!

With love, 
The Baxter Family

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Luxury Sugar Scrub on a Dime! Pamper Your Teachers!

I am on a creative streak this week... And, drumroll please... I cut paper, used adhesive and crafted just now!!!  Yipppeeee!

As I racked my brain on what to give teachers and other friends and hostesses this time of year, I ran across a BRILLIANT idea that I want to share with you.  Brown Sugar Scrub!  If you've ever found this  in a specialty shop, you know how expensive fancy scrubs can be, so imagine my suprise at finding this recipe on... goooooogle!

Here's the link to the recipe I used from one of my favorite women, Paula Deen. Works like a dream!

So, here's the final product.  Mason jars were found for a dozen in a box for around $6 at Walmart.  And, I had all the other supplies except the raffia which I know I can use again for more crafting fun!

My bible study ladies and my little bub's preschool teacher will get this version with the scripture on the back.  I even let him help me scoop and stir, so it's a nice gift from the kids to loved ones, too!

Please share your homemade gift ideas with us on my Midnight Artist Facebook Page, or point a link to your own blog or photo by leaving a comment below!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pure Heaven! Saltine Cracker Candy

Ok, no, my scrap room is not finished yet... but it's coming along!  The hardest part is cleaning out the things I really don't need... to make room for KISS (Keepin' It Super Simple) with everything at my fingertips.

What I AM going to share with you (Thank you to my scrappin' friend, Rena for her reminder) is my secret weapon for making friends during the holidays!  Bwah ha haa haaaa!  Let's see if it helps my husband get a promotion with this first batch he's putting on his desk to lure everyone to him.  If it works, we'll start calling it Promotion Candy.  :)

Shhhh - only you guys know about it now so feel free to make it your secret weapon, too.

Saltine Cracker Candy


Saltine Crackers
1 cup of REAL butter (none of this fake margarine, low fat stuff - lol)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
chopped walnuts or crushed peppermint candy (optional)
kitchen timer

1.  Preheat your oven to a toasty 350 degrees!

2.  Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a layer of saltine crackers on the bottom.  If you have a Pampered Chef large stoneware baking bar pan like me, your crackers will line up perfectly!  (If you need one of these awesome pans and don't have a consultant, let me know, I'd be happy to share mine with you!)

3.  Have your kitchen timer ready.  In a saucepan, melt all the buttah and add brown sugar.  Let it hard boil for 2 minutes.  You can test when it's ready by spooning a small amount in cold water.  If it quickly hardens like candy, it's ready!  I've burned it before, so the timing is essential :)

It almost looks 'fluffy' in a hard boil.
4.  Pour butter and sugar mixture over the saltine crackers spreading evenly with a spatula.

5.  Bake in your oven for 5 minutes.

6.  Remove from oven and immediately pour bag of chocolate chips over the crackers.  Once melted, spread melted chocolate evenly over the crackers.  Optional: sprinkle chopped nuts or peppermints over the top of the chocolate.
YES, the ENTIRE bag!
Nice and mmmm mmmm melty good!

7.  Place pan in the refrigerator (or outside) until cool.  When cool, cut into squares and enjoy thoroughly!!!  Tip:  Once cool, it helps to let the candy sit out at room temp before you cut or you'll get a million pieces.

8. Share if you can manage to pry yourself away from the batch!  LOL!  Our family loves this treat so much that we've learned to even save all the little crumbs and pieces that fall off in the cutting process.  Just put them into a small freezer bag, toss them into your freezer until the summer when you need the most fabulous topping for your icecream :)

I like to pick up the dollar-store Christmas tins, line them and layer in between wax paper to fill them up to hand out to neighbors, teachers and friends.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think or if you have any fun variations you'd like to share!!  I won't bother to wait to hear what your family or friends think cause I think it'll take a while before you let them have any!  Hee hee.

P.S.  Another cheescake episode is coming your way in the next few weeks... stay tuned to see what flavor I decide to bake this year!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oohhhh Helllooo! Blog Hop Share!

Oh my goodness!  It has been FOREVAH!  Sadly, my craft room (to be) still looks like this:

And there's more boxes in the basement :)  I'm really missing my crafting now - especially with the holidays sneaking up on me... but I have an incentive to get it done.  The boys will be out of school in about 2 weeks and I'd love to have a place to escape... and for us (as in you, me and maybe the kiddos) to do art projects together in there.  BUT, I really need to do it sooner so I can do a couple cute tags for teachers gifts, etc.  I have a few things up my sleeve that I will share soon!

Until then, please URGE me to clean up my act by leaving me a comment, posting on my facebook page wall, or sending me a friendly 'hello' email!

For now, I'll point you to a fun blog hop with some of my stampin' gal pas!

I hope you're taking time to enjoy the holiday season!  With much love and blessings,  Teri

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A New Beginning... The Blog Continues!

Hi Blog Friends!

I'm writing a quick note to let you know that after next week, I will no longer be a Close To My Heart Consultant.  If interested, I'd be happy to make a referral to someone in your local area or another consultant friend who can provide you with exceptional service!

Moving to Chicago has opened the door of opportunity for me to spend more time with my family and our increasingly busy lives as my children grow more active.  This was not an easy decision for me since I have loved every minute of my time as a consultant with CTMH, but after much prayer and counsel, I have decided this is the best thing for our family at this time in our lives.  At the same time, I'm very excited about this new beginning...

Many of us have been friends for a very long time and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your long-time business and more importantly for your friendship.  It's been my honor to serve you and share crafting ideas with you, too!

But don't worry... I still love Close To My Heart and crafting and so I will continue to post my creations and share fun finds on my blog as I have time!  

If you'd like to keep up with my artwork, please sign up for my blog post updates via email subscription. I will also eventually post some of my excess supplies for sale on my blog once we get unpacked over the next couple months :)  Feel free to also follow "The Midnight Artist" facebook page at

Forever grateful,



P.S.  I should be pulling out my Cricut with the new Art Philosophy Collection very shortly!!!  I am soooo excited to create some holiday awesome-sauce!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Make Me Happy Moment & Discontinued List

Hi there!  Well, we're no longer homeless and it's such a wonderful thing!  It's been busier than I remember a move-in ever being as this is the first time we've moved in right at the beginning of the school year, so it's taking us a bit longer than usual to unpack and put things in their nooks and crannies!

One of my favorite things about our new home is the fabulous back yard view (ask me how I feel about that when we have to rake it in a few weeks).  We created a 'make me happy' moment last weekend when we put up these two homes ready for move-in as we notice everyone getting ready for the winter.  LOL!

I'm happy to report that a young pair of squirrels found their critter mix and officially emptied it yesterday... and we've attracted several varieties of birds, to include my favorite, a pair of gorgeous cardinals to our yard!  It took both of them several days to locate this prime real estate and an another for the birds to realize that our dog is really no threat.  Not sure if the squirrels will feel the same way when our fence is put in a couple weeks from now and Ginger is free to chase :)

Just wanted to be sure I passed this little tid-bit along.  While I'm still not creating again, yet... my goal is to be somewhat operational around the first week of October!  Stay tuned... for now, here's a note from our corporate office.

1. Retiring Product Line Announced
The following product lines from the current Idea Book will not be available in the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book:
Color-Ready products:
  • X1406 Color-Ready Hodge Podge Alphabet
  • X5749 Color-Ready Oxford Alphabet
8 1/2" x 11" cardstock:
  • X1411 8 1/2" x 11" Colonial White Cardstock
  • X1412 8 1/2" x 11" Black Cardstock
  • Z616 Rubber Brayer
  • Z1228 Soft Set Eyelets Black & White Daisy Collection
  • Z1229 Soft Set Eyelets Chocolate & Colonial White Collection
  • Z1208 Soft Set Eyelet Tool
  • Z1245 Eyelet Tool Replacement Punches
We will continue to stock all of these items with the exception of the eyelets and eyelet tool through the end of January. The eyelets and eyelet tool (including replacement punches) are available only while supplies last. Once the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book goes live to customers, any excess inventory of the retiring items listed above will be available online at a discount in the “While Supplies Last” category.
Make it a great week!  P.S.  I'll try to zoom in on our backyard friends and post their family portraits soon!

~ Teri

Monday, August 15, 2011

Glossy Dimensions Hop & National Stamping Month Campaign Today!

Hi Everyone,

I'm still in the midst of being homeless... and currently squatting with dear family in Minnesota :)  It's so much fun being here and having this precious time to reconnect!  I'm going to watch my niece play ice-hockey this morning and then head to the Como Zoo later on.

In the meantime, I didn't want to leave you hanging for too long.  My stamping friends have a marvelous Technique Hop they posted last night in the wee hours and I wanted to be sure you saw their creations!  Please check out my friend, Debi's, blog for the start of the hop.

Also, today is the start of our fabulous National Stamping Month (September) Campaign!!!  Check out Pair-A-Phrase....

From now until the end of this month, when you purchase $80 (to include the $5 SOTM) you get 3 free stamp sets with your order!   Make it a party with a couple friends (only 3 or so) that take advantage of the special and you can get 1 half-price item... uh, the new Cricut Bundle for only $50!!!  Just had to sneak that in there -  LOL!

Now's the time to reorder your favorite adhesives and some new fancy pants paper before we hit the school year so that you can start working on projects when the kids head back to school!

Have a fabulous week and it's just a few more weeks until we get settled and you start seeing some fun projects again from me!
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