Welcome to the MJL team, Michelle Kettleborough! Michelle is a life-loving, Denver-based writer and mother-of-two. She has just recently embarked on the Mason jar lifestyle. Keep up with her chronicles here.
Hello MJL fans and followers! Congratulations on making it half-way through July and through half (if not more!) of your kids’ summer vacations! With the Independence Day festivities behind us, but several hot, humid weeks ahead, we thought we’d shift gears to share something “cool” about the month of July!
July is Plastic-Free month! We know many of you are doing what you can to reduce your plastic consumption and waste. Some of you, however, may be a little dubious about plastic-free anything being possible. The material is EVERYWHERE – food containers, utensils, bags, toys, the list is seemingly infinite. So, let’s talk about one small step you can make that has a significant impact – ditching plastic straws.
Think about the number of plastic straws you use in a day, a week, or a month. Doing a quick mental tally of my own personal use, I’d say that I, conservatively, use upwards of 20 per week. And don’t even get me started on how many my kids use! Each one of these straws will take up to 200 years to decompose. Two. Hundred. Years. Somehow, this is making the cold, tasty beverages of summer seem a little less refreshing. But what is a person to do? Straws are everywhere!!!
Enter the Mason Jar Lifestyle line of re-usable straws. We’ve got stainless steel straws, glass straws, and biodegradable paper straws! The use of each one of these items not only keeps one more straw from entering a 200+ year journey into our landfills and waterways, but it makes you a participant in PlasticFree July, and can make you feel better about you daily beverage habits. No one needs their cold press latte with a side of environmental guilt!
Our stainless steel and glass straws come in several different sizes, are completely reusable, and have their own cleaning brushes included. They are lightweight, rust-proof, BPA free, and, clearly, contain no plastic. Our paper straws are completely biodegradable and provide a great alternative when you need a lot of straws (picnics, playdates, parties…). Not only are these straws a responsible choice, but they are a convenient one. Keep your straws in your utensil drawer along with your other daily-use items. Keep some in your purse or backpack. Keep some in the car. They take up very little space, weigh next to nothing, and are the perfect alternative to plastic. Once you make the switch, we’re sure you’ll be convinced that re-usable straws are the way to go. And, they’re a great gateway to othersustainable/reusable products! You’ve been warned…😊
If you’ve got any tips or tricks, or want to share your success with non-plastic straws, let us know on the Mason Jar Lifestyle Facebook page or on Instagram! We wish you all a happy, healthy, and plastic-free summer!
Even though those winter storms keep on rolling past, we’re starting to see more and more grass showing through in between bursts of snow. Maybe it’s a tad early to start planning for outdoor parties, but we just can’t help ourselves. A warm, sunny day could sneak up on us, right? Maybe? …Please? (Hope springs eternal!)
We have a number of items available that will give a lovely ambiance to your next outdoor soirée. One of our newer products, which we’re really excited about, is this Mason jar string light set. These would look so great along a window or around the edge of a porch, don’t you think? I keep picturing all the colorful shapes and shadows they would cast on the ground after the sun goes down. Since there’s not always an outlet nearby, you could also consider the option of candles to give your outdoor gatherings a nice glow. We carry several different styles of tea light holders, so you can pick the perfect one to blend with your decor, or you can mix and match if you’ve got a more eclectic style. If you’re not big on the idea of actual candles, you can try some LED tealights to get the same look without having to worry about keeping the flames lit on a breezy evening.
If candles aren’t your thing, we also have multiple styles of solar lights. Leave them out during the day to charge up in the sunlight, and once it gets dark enough, they’ll start coming on automatically. We just added some new styles and sizes, so you can use single bulb or strand lights, or even flickering multi-color ones, depending on the vibe of the party.
One of the toughest things about keeping guests comfortable outside can be keeping the bugs away. Our antiqued oil lamp / tiki torch lid can convert your jars into citronella lamps. You just add some citronella oil, screw on the lid, and light the wick. Set them up in areas where people are congregating, and away go those annoying mosquitoes.
Since your guests won’t be busy swatting away bugs, they’ll have their hands free for drinks. You can serve them in style with one of our stylish jar caddies. They’ll help you carry out up to 6 at a time as you’re making the rounds serving up lemonade, iced tea, or your signature cocktails. The faster you get people served, the more time you have to spend with your friends enjoying the evening!
Okay, maybe that’s enough daydreaming about parties for today. If there’s anything special you’re looking forward to when spring hits (especially if it involves your jars!) let us know in the comment section.
Good news, everyone! We’ve got some new stuff up on the website. (We hope you’re as excited by that as we are!) Some of the items are variations on familiar favorites, and some are completely new products. Here’s a quick look at all the goodies we added…
“Measured With Love” Measuring Cup Set
We are absolutely in love with these measuring cups. Stacked together, they resemble a beautiful pale blue jar, but the segments pull apart into 4 pieces for 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup measurements. It’s a really attractive set you’ll be happy to have out on the counter, which means your measuring cups will always be at hand when you need them!
Mason Jar Lifestyle Reusable Straw Bag
In addition to our regular straw sleeves made from reclaimed denim, we now have straw pouches with a cinch top, perfect for keeping your straws organized in a drawer and for having them clean and ready-to-go if you stick them in a purse or backpack. The outside is stamped with the Mason Jar Lifestyle logo.
New Styles/Sizes of Frog Lids
Frog lids are so useful and versatile, aren’t they? We wanted to add a few colors and sizes to give you more decorating options. They are now available in shiny copper or your choice of three different antique finishes–rust brown, oil-rubbed bronze, or galvanized metal.
The rust brown, galvanzied metal, and copper lids are available in both regular and wide mouth sizes, so those of you with wide mouth jars who’ve been waiting on frogs lids can finally get to decorating!
New Decorative Lid Styles
We added 5 new finishes for the canister lids with handles; check out all the different styles that are now available here. Additionally, the flat-top decorative lids now come in 4-packs of shiny copper or antique pewter, whitewash, or barn roof zinc finish options.
We’re always amazed by the cool ways people find to decorate or organize using our products, so if you’ve got some photos of yours in action, send them our way. We’d love to see ’em! Also, let us know what you think of the new items and if there was anything else you were hoping to see on the list but didn’t. Our customers always have such great ideas for us, and we appreciate your input!
Well hello there! Long time no see. Here we are in late February, the dregs of winter. March 1st is considered “meteorological spring” and March 20th (the vernal equinox this year) is “astronomical spring.” That means we’ve either got about one week or one month left of winter, depending on which one you consider the “real” transition. I’ve decided to go with the former, since it seems more optimistic…although I’ll really know that spring has sprung when those cute little crocus flowers start peeking their colorful heads out of the ground!
For now, though, we’ve been seeing a lot of this…
Some of you are probably fortunate enough to live in places that don’t get hit very hard by winter. For the rest of use who are still trudging through snow and scraping ice off our car windshields day after day, waiting impatiently for green grass and warm sunshine to come back into our lives, this seemed like it might be a good time for a pick-me-up. A little sunshine in a can, as they say…or, in this case, a jar. (‘Cause that’s how we roll here.) Here are three fun Mason jar mood boosters to get you through a gloomy day.
This one was a given, right? There are few things more lovely and cheerful than fresh flowers. Pick up a bouquet of some of your favorite blooms, and arrange them in a Mason jar. You can use a frog lid to hold the stems in place and add a rope handle if you want to hang it somewhere. Display it someplace where you’ll see it often throughout the day. Even if it’s grey and gloomy outside, it’ll feel like springtime in your home!
Taking a little “me time” now and then is important and is a great way to boost your mood. Put together a little Mason jar mani-pedi kit for yourself (or for friend, if you’re feeling generous!) with all things that will make you feel pampered–cute nail polish, hand/foot scrub, lotion, comfy socks, you name it. Add some decorations to the outside and a fun lid on top so that when you pull it out to use, it will really feel like a spa day. We especially like this “spa kit” assembled by the people at Classy Clutter. They put theirs together to give as a gift, but to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite TV characters, “Treat Yo Self!”
Birds, the harbingers of spring. Bring ’em on! The seasonal birds will start showing up soon, so you’ll want to be ready for them. Many stores sell seed mixes that are designed to attract specific species of birds. (I’ve tried using different ones, and they actually work!) If you like the idea of waking up to the sounds of songbirds, hang a bird feeder near your window and fill it with their favorite seed mix, then get ready for the music. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can convert a standard Mason Jar into a cute bird feeder using a dispenser base and some strong twine, or you can try our all-in-one hanging Mason jar bird feeder. It’s ready to go–you just add the bird seed!
There you have it! Three of our favorite Mason jar mood boosters. What are some of yours? We’d love to hear about them!
Christmas is less than three weeks away! If you’re like me, you sometimes struggle with finding meaningful AND unique gifts. Mason Jar Lifestyle to the rescue! It doesn’t get much more unique than Mason jar accessories (and who doesn’t love Mason jars??). But here comes the best part: we are proudly partnering with charitable Houston-based coffee company From the Grounds Up to make your gifts extra meaningful. From the Grounds Up roasts premium coffee, with 100% of profits benefiting a farm in Jos, Nigeria. Contributions provide crops, seeds for the tree farm, farm animals, and all that’s needed to support their agriculture needs. Each coffee bag is stamped with what is currently being purchased for the farm!
We’ve put together a perfect gift set, which includes a wide mouth pint Mason jar, a faux leather sleeve, a silicone coffee lid, a stainless steel band, and a bag of this premium coffee. Each set includes a holiday card with a note detailing the positive impact of your purchase. When you purchase and give this gift set, you’re really giving two gifts – one to the gift recipient, and one to the farmers in need!
The coffee is Nicaragua Reyna del Cafe Medium Roast (whole bean) Medium Roast, South American, Whole Bean Notes: Butterscotch, Caramel, Floral Small Batch Roasted, Organic, Premium Coffee
Because each bag is freshly hand roasted in small batches, this set will be offered for a limited time – through December 10th only – for Christmas gift giving, so please act quickly!
The set is available here. If you would like us to write a custom note on the card for you (if you’re sending it directly to the gift recipient), please indicate in the order notes what you would like the card to say.
Seasons greetings, friends. If you’re reading this, then it looks like you survived the big weekend of holiday shopping. Congrats! Whether you braved Black Friday crowds, supported the “little guy” on Small Business Saturday, or shopped from home in your PJs on Cyber Monday (or maybe all three!), we hope you found some great deals and some fun gifts for your loved ones. Thank you so much to all of you who chose us for your shopping needs and visited our website to take part in our storewide #THANKFUL sale over the holiday weekend. We truly appreciate your business, your feedback, and all of your support!
If anyone is kicking themselves for missing out on our sale this past weekend and would like advanced notice for the next one, now would be a great time to sign up for our newsletter! (A little elf told me there might be another special event during the month of December…) We send out email updates to let you know about things like giveaways and upcoming sales, as well as updates on new products we’ve added. You’ll even receive a 10% off coupon just for signing up.
As many of you probably know, today is Giving Tuesday, a day when people across the country donate to their favorite charities. At Mason Jar Lifestyle, we love collaborating with non-profits to support worthy causes. For a list of some of the groups we’ve worked with in the past, check out our Giving Back page. We’re always taking requests, with special consideration given to organizations in Colorado, especially the Denver area.
One of our company’s first donations was to Forgotten Felines Rescue. They have a network of foster parents that care for cats and kittens and help get them socialized for their “forever homes.” This is a picture of Barney (adopted from FFR) befriending his new family. He was immediately very sweet and loving with all the tiny humans in his life, due to the devoted care he received in his foster home, and he’s now a cherished member of the MJL household. Because this organization does such great work, we were happy to hear from them later when they had a donation request, and we jumped at the chance to give back.
For those of you planning to make a donation today (or anytime, really), there is a fantastic website available to make the decision a little easier and make sure your financial contributions are being used as effectively as possible. The site is Charity Navigator, and they provide ratings and detailed information for almost every charity group that files their information with the IRS. It’s an amazing tool for choosing non-profits, to help you make sure you donate to the ones that use as much money as they can directly toward supporting their causes.
We’d love to hear about some of your favorite charities. Leave us a comment to let us know which groups are at the top of your list and what it is you love about them.
We’re Maggie and Ryan, and we loved Mason jars long before our business, Mason Jar Lifestyle, was even a twinkle in our eyes. When our youngest child was two-months-old, I (Maggie) was shopping at a local big box store and came upon a display of Mason jar drinking lids and soap pumps next to the jars. I immediately put one of each in my cart but wished there were more options than just those two items. I wondered what other clever attachments were out there, and I knew I wasn’t the only one.
Fast forward a few months, full of research and planning, to the launch of masonjarlifestyle.com – a dream come true for Mason jar lovers, who, like us, wanted to make the most of their jars. Did we mention that we also had a two-year-old and four-year-old child at home (in addition to our baby!)? It was a wonderful, whirlwind of a time. I recall taking product photos with baby sleeping peacefully (and, let’s be honest, often also crying and fussing), strapped to me in his carrier.
We did everything, from web design to shipping, from a small office in our home. After just a few months, though, we had outgrown our small home office and began searching for, and soon relocated into, an offsite space. We also hired two awesome family friends to assist with shipping and a part-time nanny to help with our kiddos.
Since we launched our business in May 2015, we have grown into a larger operation than we ever imagined, while continuing to value quality and customer service, just as we always have. We now have five amazing employees. All seven (Ryan and me + employees) of us are totally committed to giving our customers the very best experience possible. Each order still includes a handwritten note. Every email receives a response directly from either Ryan or me.
If you want to see a product that we don’t yet carry, we want to hear from you. We have an active social media community on Facebook and Instagram, where we often post ideas, sales, giveaways, and other fun content. We also value giving back to the community with regular donations to charities and charity events.
We will never forget where we came from or why we’re here. It’s for the love of jars, and it’s because of you.
Hello, all. This is “Mason Jar Middle Sis” here (MJMS, if you’re in a rush), embarking on my first blog post for Mason Jar Lifestyle. Thanks for joining me on this journey!
A couple of weeks ago, my husband came home from the grocery store with an apple cake mix that he thought I might like. (Awwww.) The back of the box had instructions to turn the ingredients into a salted caramel apple crisp, which I thought I might like even more.
I gathered my ingredients and peeled and sliced several apples only to discover, after opening the box, that the caramel sauce was not included. Shoot! After digging through the fridge and confirming that we didn’t have any on hand, then digging through the pantry and confirming that the caramels we’d gotten “for Halloween” had all disappeared well before Halloween, I decided to make caramel sauce using ingredients we already had, which were sugar, butter, vanilla, and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
I’d never made caramel with condensed milk before; luckily, it turned out great! (Scroll down for the full recipe.) While it was still warm and gooey, I drizzled some of it over the apple crisp.
The rest went into a jar and into the fridge for later.
I only made a half batch, since I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I’d recommend making a full batch if you do it yourself, since it’s easy to store and would be fun to share with people. I think this would make a great little gift for friends, so there’s really no reason to worry about making too much. You could bring a jar with you to share at Thanksgiving this year, or add a fun lid insert and a cute gift tag and give it as a holiday gift to anyone with a sweet tooth. It’s good with cake, ice cream, or even stirred into your hot cider or cocoa.
To turn this into a tasty treat to-go, you can put some sliced apples into a jar and a couple spoonfuls of caramel into one of our divider cups, then pop on a lid and you’re all set.
Since the divider cup is silicone, you can stick it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to soften the caramel before you eat it, if you prefer yours warm, like I do. That makes it softer for easy dipping/drizzling. (Just don’t heat it longer than that or the caramel might boil/burn.)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some delicious caramel apples to enjoy.
Caramel Sauce Recipe Makes about 2 3/4 cups
Ingredients: 1/2 cup water 2 cups sugar 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, divided 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions: Add sugar and water together into a medium sized, heavy duty saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Allow it to continue to boil, without stirring, for 10 to 14 minutes.
It will slowly start to darken. Tilt the pan occasionally to redistributed the mixture and keep the cooking even until it turns a deep caramel color. Remove from heat. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. It will bubble up and expand a bit, which is why you need a medium pan to keep it from flowing over the edge. Do not scrape the sides of the pan during this stage.
Add the first half of the stick of butter, one tablespoon at a time, thoroughly stirring after each piece. Stir in the remaining half stick of butter and vanilla extract until smooth. It will thicken as it cools.
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