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With Christmas just a few weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. Mason Jars along with some of Mason Jar Lifestyle’s great Mason Jar accessories make wonderful personal gifts. These gifts can even be made in a pinch if you make sure and stock up on all these cute holiday accessories from Mason Jar Lifestyle!

Just imagine, your significant other texts you – you’ve been invited to a last minute holiday get together…..what to do, what to do?? A-ha! Throw together a few of these Mason Jar Mix in a Jar recipes, tie on one of our cute tags with our extra cute holiday twine, and BAM instant Hostess gift! Or make a bunch ahead to have on hand, but we know what’s going to happen, so here are some ideas and recipes. There are truly endless possibilities with Mason Jars and Mason Jar Lifestyle accessories!

Hostess Gift Ideas

Hot Cocoa (this is for a large batch) – recipe can be found here

Ingredients 7-1/2 cups instant chocolate drink mix 1 package (25.6 ounces) nonfat dry milk powder 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 cup powdered nondairy creamer Additions: crushed peppermint candies, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows. Directions In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. To prepare hot drink: Warm milk; stir in 1/3 cup mix until dissolved.Yield: 53 servings (17-2/3 cups total). Feel free to add a splash of peppermint schnapps if the spirit moves you! We won’t judge you….

Chai Tea Mix (this is for a large batch) – recipe can be found here Ingredients 2 cups sugar 2 cups unsweetened instant tea 1-1/2 cups powdered French vanilla non-dairy creamer 1-1/4 cups powdered nondairy creamer 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar 3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon white pepper Directions In a large bowl, combine the first 12 ingredients. In a blender, cover and process tea mixture in batches until powdery. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. To prepare chai tea: Place 1/4 cup mix in a mug. Add hot milk, almond milk, coconut milk….you get the picture; stir until combined. Yield: 32 servings (8 cups tea mix).

What about all those important employees, co-workers, clients, or service workers in your life? You want to give them something personal, but let’s face it you don’t have time to even be half the DIY talent that Martha Stewart is, and she’s busy doing a cooking show with Snoop Dogg! Here are some great ideas that won’t take a ton of time and will look great – like Martha Stewart great. Yaaaaaaasssss!

Funfetti Pancake Mix – recipe can be found here PANCAKE MIX: 1 quart Mason Jar 2 cups sifted flour 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons baking powder 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 3/4 teaspoons salt 1 cup rainbow sprinkles PANCAKES: 2 eggs 2 cups milk 4 tablespoons melted butter *Mix wet & dry ingredients together, and let the fun begin!

Curried Lentil Soup Ingredients 1 Wide Mouth Quart Mason Jar Layer the following ingredients: 1/2 cup yellow lentils 1/2 cup red lentils 1/2 cup yellow lentils 1/2 cup red lentils 5 sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil) The following spices sealed in a plastic bag (Savory Spice has excellent selections, and you can buy them in smaller quantities!) 2 tsp turmeric, 1-1/12 tsp curry powder, 2 bay leaves 1 dried chili pepper

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: 3 tablespoons of butter 4 smashed garlic cloves 1 diced red onion 8 cups water or chicken broth Directions Heat the 3 tablespoons of butter in large pot over medium high heat. Add the smashed garlic and diced onion. Saute 6 minutes. Add contents of spice bag, chili pepper, and bay leaves – cook for 3 more minutes. Add the lentils 8 cups of water or broth, simmer and cook until lentils are soft – about 1 hour.season to taste with salt. Savory Spice Shop also has some crazy yummy different salts! Recipe was found on foodnetwork.com. Mason Jar Lifestyle is a great resource to help you make it through the holidays and look like a DIY pro! We’ve got something for everyone on your list, so make sure and checkout our website for all your gift giving needs!

If you are not in the DIYing mood we’ve got you covered! We have several gifts that will be up on our website just in time for Black Friday.

Since the weather outside is still so beautifully warm, and we got some fun new products here at Mason Jar Lifestyle to try, I thought it was the perfect time to write a blog on Mason jar cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is great because it is less acidic and bitter than hot brewed coffee. I also need to clarify something – iced coffee is not cold brew coffee. Iced coffee is just strongly brewed hot coffee that is poured over ice. Totally different taste profiles.

So, if you don’t like coffee or iced coffee because of the bitter taste, give cold brew a try and then make your final decision. Mason jar cold brew coffee is not as bitter as hot coffee tends to be, and the cold brewing decreases the acidity and brings out the sweetness. Add your favorite creamer and flavored sweetener and -boom!- heaven in a jar!

I’m sure you’ve all seen more and more cold brew coffee options in the refrigerator case at your local grocers, but they are all pretty high in price. Making your own will absolutely save you money, and who doesn’t like to do that?? I am going to link a recipe in this blog post and show you the fun new product we just got here at Mason Jar Lifestyle. One lucky reader/Mason Jar Lifestyle customer will win a set of these new items.

These are Mason Jar Lifestyle’s newest items to help make your cold brew coffee dreams come true. The Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee filters!  They make the whole cold brew making process a snap! And here are the instructions for the GIVEAWAY! (To officially enter, please open the raffelcopter that follows this post) 1. Leave a comment on this blog and let us know if you have ever tried cold brew coffee and if you will be trying out this recipe. 2. Go to our Mason Jar Lifestyle Facebook page and like us, if you have not already. 3. And last but not least. Go to Mason Jar Lifestyle Instagram page, and start following us! 4. We will then pick a winner and announce that “hipster to be” on 11/23/16!

And as promised, so you can live out your hipster dreams, here is the Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee Recipe. All you’ll need is your trusty quart Mason jar and some items you probably already have on hand around your kitchen…..Or just go to our site for our new mesh Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee filters on the Mason Jar Lifestyle website!

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The following post is part one of an upcoming series, written by our team member, Kristie, as she learns the art of fermentation. Follow along, and learn, step by step, with Kristie. Enjoy!

I know we’ve all heard the word probiotics thrown around, but what are they and why would I need them and how the heck can I use a Mason Jar to make them??  Here are some quick and dirty facts on fermentation and probiotics.  Mason Jar Lifestyle has all you need to get started, minus the fresh veggies, of course.

Fermentation is basically the breakdown of a substance into a simpler substance, which is why fermented foods are more easily absorbed by us.  This process kills the scary bacteria we don’t want and eats up the carbohydrates in the food you are fermenting.  What….?!?! Eats away the carbs!  Yep, so when you eat them it helps stabilize your blood sugar and makes you feel fuller longer. Fermentation prolongs the life of food, but do not ever heat them, as that will kill all the probiotics they contain.

And what is a probiotic you say, well glad you asked…..  

These little guys are the main reasons why you should be eating fermented foods. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that help to keep the not so friendly bacteria from taking over.  They are basically the by product of fermenting foods.  There are many more benefits, but mainly we like them at this time of year because the friendly bacteria will keep our immunity up.  

Fermenting food does look a little intimidating, which is why I chose to write this blog post and series.  I’m going to share my fermenting journey with all of you, and hopefully show you how easy it is!  Mason Jar Lifestyle’s website has everything you need to get started right along with me on this fermenting food adventure!  They’ve got a great fermentation starter kit, that I will absolutely  be taking advantage of!  

So because I am starting from square one, I will also be grabbing the awesome book on fermenting vegetables that Mason Jar Life Style offers on their site.  I am truly excited to try this out, and to help improve my family’s health as well as save some money.  Fermented foods are not cheap, so learning how to ferment yourself will be extremely beneficial.  And I know you all probably have a plethora of vegetables left over from your beautiful gardens that you’ve been wondering what to do with!

According to an article written by One Green Planet, each day humans produce and use 500 million straws, yes 500 million.  To put that into perspective, the website eco.cycle breaks it down like this: 500 million straws could fill 127 school buses a day (46,400 per year).  Between the ages of 5-65 a person will use 38,000 straws.  

Wow, I don’t know about you, but that is a crazy amount of waste that is ending up in our landfills and oceans.  In the oceans these not only become waste, but hazards to some marine life and sea birds.  So what can you do?  Stop using single use plastic straws because…PLASTIC LASTS FOREVER.

Mason Jar Lifestyle carries several sizes of straws in both Stainless Steel Straws, Glass Straws, Silicone Straws, as well as Biodegradable Paper Straws .  It is very easy to carry these straws with you, or just refuse the straw at the restaurant.  Mason Jar Lifestyle is your one stop shop to help do your part and #CrushPlastic.  

We here at Mason Jar Lifestyle know that if we do not decrease the amount of single use plastic now there will eventually be more plastic than fish in the ocean!  Check out the other great article from One Green Planet here, the list below is taken directly from their article and pay close attention to numbers 4 & 5!  Mason Jars and Reusable Straws are your new BFF’s!!

14 Ways You Can #CrushPlastic in Your Daily Life Carry a spare canvas bag for groceries or small items you might purchase throughout your day. Bring a reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic one. Take a mug with you to work or class and ditch the plastic cups. Say no to plastic straws and utensils when eating out and bring your own stainless steel reusable ones. Use mason jars when grocery shopping to store all your bulk food items. Use cloth or reusable bags instead of produce bags when food shopping. Replace your plastic food storage bags with stainless steel tins or mason jars. DIY your own cosmetics instead of buying ones in plastic tubes. Reduce plastic packaging in your cleaning routine by making your own natural cleaners. Avoid microbeads in your exfoliating face or body wash. Try DIY-ing your shampoo and conditioner instead of buying plastic bottles. Switch to bar soap and shampoo to avoid plastic packaging. Skip the plastic tube toothpaste and make your own! Buy plastic-free beauty, hygiene, and cleaning products, like bamboo toothbrushes, plastic-free makeup brushes and natural material sponges.

Check our Instagram for a special offer!

The days are growing shorter, and there is a chill in the air, but there are also days you can still enjoy a drink on a patio somewhere, especially here in Colorado, thanks to the 300+ days of sunshine we enjoy! If you’ve shopped our site, you know we’ve got a great selection of accessories to help you fill your Mason Jar with lots of yummy concoctions.

Mason Jar Lifestyle cocktail shaker lids are a must for any bar! Their rustic relaxed charm fits in with any decor, and any regular mouth Mason Jar can become a shaker with these babies….boom! It’s so much fun to take these out and use them on a camping trip, picnic, tailgating, concerts in the park…did I mention TAILGATING? It is that season, and not everyone likes to drink beer, so why not bust out the Mason Jars and Mason Jar shaker – perfect for cocktails and mocktails, alike! Below, we’ve included a couple fabulous drinks to step up your tailgating game – and if you want more ideas (125, to be exact), we highly recommend The Mason Jar Cocktail Companion! And don’t forget to checkout our giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Mason Jar Mule

Mason Jar items you’ll need: Mason Jar (regular mouth/size of your choice), Mason Jar Shaker Lid, Mason Jar (wide mouth pint size), Faux Leather Sleeve with Handle by Mason Jar Lifestyle, Stainless Steel or Glass Straws by Mason Jar Lifestyle.

Ingredients: 2 ounces of your favorite vodka (mine is Prairie organic vodka) 2 ounces apple cider of your choosing Wedge of lime ½ cup Ginger Beer (I love Reed’s!)

In your Mason Jar Shaker, juice the lime wedge and put the whole lime in as well. Then add the vodka, apple cider, and a splash of the ginger beer. Shake all ingredients. Add ice to your pint Mason Jar with the faux leather sleeve pour contents of shaker over the ice and top with the remaining ginger beer. Garnish with thin apple slices. Makes 1 Mason Jar Mule.

Masorita

Mason Jar items you’ll need: Mason Jar (regular mouth/size of your choice), Mason Jar Shaker Lid, wide mouth pint Mason Jar, or whatever size you have! Stainless Steel or Glass Straws by Mason Jar Lifestyle.

Ingredients: 2 ounces of your favorite 100% Agave Silver Tequila (sorry no recommendations on tequila, long story…) 1 ounce Cointreau liqueur 2 limes juiced Combine all ingredients in your Mason Jar Lifestyle Shaker, and shake! Pour in the Mason Jar of your choice with a salted rim, or pop a lid on these bad boys, put them in your cooler, and you are ready to next level tailgate!

The cocktail (and mocktail!) ideas are endless, and you can always pop a lid on all of these recipes to take them on the go. I love making cocktails ahead of time for camping trips. They travel well and everyone is always impressed by the presentation (of course, be sure you’re following the law in your area – in most states, this means you will need to travel with your concoction in your trunk or, if you don’t have a trunk, out of reach of anyone in the vehicle – but be sure to check for yourself!). These are also great for tailgating, but always remember to enjoy responsibly! There are so many fun options, and we would love to hear all of your ideas, as well! Get in the running to win a cocktail gift box by entering through our Rafflecopter below, where you’ll find all the specifics. The winner will get an awesome cocktail gift box that includes a cocktail shaker lid, Mason jar, stainless steel straw, and a fun Mason jar cocktail book! Winner will be announced on November 7th, 2016. Can’t wait to see all your pictures!

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Sep 18

Mason Jar Lifestyle just celebrated two big milestones! First, we turned ONE on June 1st. Second, we just reached 4,000 “likes” on Facebook. What a month!

We couldn’t have done it without you wonderful people, which is why we’re giving away a $100 gift card to Mason Jar Lifestyle AND having an unbelievable week of sales!

Today’s Deal of the Day: We will include a variety 3-pack of our best selling stainless steel straws + cleaning brush in any website order (must mention “deal of the day” in your order notes). This is a $10 value, free with any purchase!

Check our Facebook page every day this week, which is where we will continue to announce our “deals of the day.”

Thanks a million for being a part of the Mason Jar Lifestyle family!

See the rafflecopter below to enter to win the gift card.

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We are so excited to have partnered with Malia over at Yesterday on Tuesday for a giveaway and to share some of the latest Mason jar products from our shop!

If you haven’t checked out Yesterday on Tuesday’s post featuring Mason Jar Lifestyle products in action, check that out here.

Mason Jar Lifestyle is proud to now feature over 300 unique products for your Mason jars. Here are a few of our new favorites:

Faux leather sleeve with handle to turn your Mason jar into a travel mug

Bent stainless steel straws

Stainless steel storage lids

Stainless steel storage lid for wide mouth Mason jars

Soap lids for wide mouth Mason jars

Don’t forget to enter Yesterday on Tuesday’s giveaway below for a chance to win one of two $50 gift cards to Mason Jar Lifestyle!

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We have a fabulous guest post today for you from our friend Jenny over at A Domestic Wildflower! If you want to try your hand at canning, this is a must read! Take it away, Jenny:

Hi, I am Jenny from www.adomesticwildflower.com where I share canning tutorials & tips, sewing projects, and other rustic and old fashioned DIY projects. This post will explain everything you need to get started canning so you can feel inspired, encouraged, and capable. I watched my mom and grandma can as a child and then didn’t get into canning for myself until I was pregnant with my first child. Some women nest by cleaning; I nested by canning. I fell in love with the process and product and I love sharing it with others.

The first thing you need to begin canning is a canning pot. These are often the black with white speckled enamel pots that are really large and are frequently sold with a wire rack inside. You don’t have to have a huge pot like this, and if you are a single person or a small family (read: not canning to feed a small army) a pasta pot will work just fine. In fact, I’d use whatever pot you can borrow or already own until you make your first batch or two before you make the investment. A large pot takes up a lot of cupboard space and in my tiny house, that is pretty important. The pot will need to be taller than the tallest jar you plan on processing (that means sticking inside the pot, upright) by at least 3 inches. I have a pasta pot that is shorter than the standard quart jar, so I just can pints in it. The beauty of a smaller pot is a shorter time for the water to boil, which can be very helpful indeed. Your pot doesn’t need a lid, though the water will come to a boil faster if you do.

In the pot you will need either a rack made of wire or a silicone trivet. Both keep the bottom of the jars off the bottom of the pot. This is not an optional piece of equipment. A jar will break inside the pot, much to your dismay, almost guaranteed, if you don’t.

You need a small or medium sized saucepan that will hold the 4-8 lids and rings where they will warm in simmering water while the more exciting action of cooking the preserve and processing happens in the bigger pots. Use whatever you have in the way of an extra saucepan. It doesn’t need to be fancy.

You need a preserving pan. This is the pot/pan you will cook the fruit or vegetable in before you pour it into the hot jars. It can be similar to the waterbath pot, but it would likely be a pan you already own that is heavier bottomed (less chance of scorching your jam or salsa) and can have lower sides.

You need canning jars. You don’t want glass mayonnaise jars that look very similar that are often found in garage sales, nor do you want a reused store-bought pasta sauce jar. You need canning jars that are specifically created to withstand the heat of water bath canning. They don’t need to be new either. Jars can be reused over and over for years. You should check the rims and the jars themselves carefully for cracks or chips. There’s nothing quite like the disappointment of filling a jar with delicious, hot jam, putting it in the water bath of boiling water, only to see the bottom fall out of the jar and your effort and fruit wasted.

One thing that I love about canning jars, lids, and rings is that they come in two mouth sizes: regular and wide. That’s it. The opening of any regular canning jar will fit every regular lid and regular ring and the same goes for the wide. They are NOT like the plastic sandwich container lids that are the bane of every homemaker’s cupboard, only fitting one particular bottom.

It doesn’t matter which opening you choose. It is a matter of personal preference and if you are just getting started, I’d buy what is most readily available or easy to borrow or purchase for cheap.

The size of the jar depends on the type of preserve you plan on making. I like wide mouth pints for everything. A pint jar holds 2 cups, and that is about enough pasta sauce for 2 suppers, not so much jam that it would go bad before my family eats it, and can double as a drinking class.

You need rings. They can be used but they should not be rusted. Save the rusted ones for a cute home decor project but get rust-free, dent-free, clean rings. New jars come with lids and rings but are often found/sold separately too.

You need NEW lids. The seal that is created from the lid on the rubber flange is only good (read: safe) for one trip through the canning pot. After that, they are useful for storing dry goods, crayons, etc, but not for canning.

One problem you might encounter is that if you buy a flat of new, in the box jars with lids and rings on them, the heat and pressure of shipping and storage may have sealed the lids and thus leave them unusable for waterbath canning. It’s a bummer but it has happened to me several times. It is much better to be safe than sorry, so buy new lids if this happens to you.

You need tools to put the hot food into the hot jars. A utensil kit may seem unnecessary but I will tell you that they are very valuable. A kit usually contains a funnel, a magnetized lid lifter, and a tong-like jar lifter. A funnel is necessary for pouring your boiling hot food into the very hot jar. A splash or drip on the rim of the jar could prevent the jar from sealing which would mean you’d need to eat that jar up soon and store in the fridge.

You need a way to get the hot jars out of the boiling water and back in the boiling water and there have been times that for whatever silly reason I couldn’t find my jar lifter when I needed to and I tried to improvise by wrapping rubber bands around some tongs and while it sort of worked, it was slippery and dangerous and can attest to the fact that a boiling water burn is no joke. I haven’t misplaced my lifter since.

The magnetized lid lifter isn’t necessary but it is a very handy tool. You need a way to get the hot lids out of the hot water and onto the jars in a quick fashion and this little lifter does exactly that. I store mine with my jar lifter and they make the hot, fun work of canning faster and safer.

A ladle is very, very handy and while I wouldn’t say it is an absolute necessity, if you don’t have one you need a long handled spoon. A ladle eliminates a lot of spilling, in my experience, and results in more food ending up in the jar and less on the floor.

You need a canning book. A recipe card from Great Aunt Sally is a good start, but you need an up to date canning book published by a reputable source. The first couple chapters in any good canning book outlines in great detail, with photographs, safe water bath canning practice. By reading those chapters, you will have a clear idea of why canning is a safe way of preserving food and what you need to do to ensure canning success. If you get the ‘safe’ part right (which is very simple to do!) the worst case scenario is jam that is too thin and is better used as syrup. Seriously, that’s the worst thing that could happen; that the yummy thing you were hoping to make isn’t as amazing as you hoped. Isn’t that the risk we all run while cooking a new recipe for supper? Get a book. Here’s the one I’d recommend.

Canning safety is the biggest reason I hear people say is preventing them from trying it. Because of this fear, I did some research and created a free PDF listing the pH values of foods a person would potentially want to can and wrote a post about acid & canning here. The post explains that by canning food that is high enough in acid, you create an environment that is too acidic for spoilers (bugs that make you sick) to live. Period. Please head to my post to grab your free PDF and stick it inside the front cover of the above mentioned book. That way you’ll feel confident that the delicious food you are putting up will be safe.

So if you have read the above list and are wondering what the heck you need all this stuff out on your stove for, here’s the basic process in canning. You put jars in the big pot and fill with water and bring it to a boil. You have the lids and rings in the saucepan simmering on the stove also. In the third pot you cook your jam or salsa or whatever your heart desires to preserve. When the food is boiling (and you have followed all the directions in the recipe) you remove the hot jars one by one and dump the water back into the pot. The hot food is then ladled into the hot jars. The hot lids and rings get screwed on and you quickly put the hot, food-filled jars back in the boiling water and let them sit in the boiling water for a recipe-specified time. The last step in removing the hot jars carefully and setting them on a towel on the countertop. Hot food into hot jars into hot water and back out again. That’s it!

The last thing you need can’t be purchased. You need a mentor. Someone who loves canning will tell you what you need to know and encourage you, which I find is the most important thing in getting started. Find someone who has canned before and ask them how they did it, what they made, the tools they liked or didn’t and why, and any lessons they learned the hard way. I love teaching others how to can because canning seems to have this strange mystique about it where folks on the outside see canners as tackling food chemistry and taming lions at the same time. Once I show someone how to can, the general comment is, “Oh, that’s not that hard.” Nope. It isn’t hard at all. True, the boiling water is hot, and if you have a kitchen the size of a tissue box like me, it can be a cramped and sweaty afternoon at the stove but the results are so worth it and it can be a really fun thing to do with a friend. I have very fond memories of peeling slippery, slimy tomatoes with my dear friend as fast as we could, sitting together at my kitchen table, and trying to can them at lightning speed before my new baby woke up. We sipped cold beer and chatted in low tones, reaffirming one another that it was indeed a good idea to buy soooooo many pounds of tomatoes with so little time and room to process them. We got almost done before the baby woke up, had a great time together, and she left with pints upon pints of tomato sauce and headed home for a shower. If that isn’t good clean grown up fun, I don’t know what is.

I hope you find this guide is not only comprehensive but encouraging. Get a couple pots and some jars, get a book, and get started.

If you loved this post and want to learn more, head to www.thedomesticwildflower.com/shop to grab the extended ebook version!

We have two great announcements for you today! First, we’re holding a super fun giveaway! Today through Thursday (11/26), enter to win a four-pack of these adorable galvanized steel snowflake lid inserts for regular mouth Mason jars! How perfect would these be for gift-giving or for sprucing up your holiday decor! We LOVE these adorable and versatile lids!

Secondly, we have a gigantic Black Friday-Cyber Monday coming up! Take 30% off almost everything* SITEWIDE from 11/27-11/30! Use code holidayshopping30 at checkout. Time to start making those wishlists!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! (Check out the giveaway below!)

*Excludes wax warmers and Mason jar Trash Amp speakers. These will be 10% off.

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