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.
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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!
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.
The following guest post is by Aubri Parmenter, Mason Jar Lifestyle’s new intern extraordinaire! Aubri is a super busy wife, student, photographer, and mother of two. She is also a serious Mason jar fan who wants to show you how life changing these little jars can be. You’ll be seeing more of her around these parts in the coming weeks and months. Take it away, Aubri!
When a lot of us think about mason jars, we immediately think about food, and definitely not about bathrooms. If you’re anything like me (or my husband!) you probably grew up with mom and grandma (and great-grandma in my case!) putting up yummy things each fall. My mother-in-law gave us an amazing basket at my bridal shower filled with home-canned corn, carrots, green beans, tomato sauce, apple sauce, peaches, pears… to represent the year’s supply of home-canned yumminess and love she had put up for us for our first year together. For many, many years, Mason jars have just been about food for me. I always washed and stored them in the garage for the next canning season… until now! Now, I have seen the light and there are mason jars in my bathroom. I promise I’m not nuts and after you see these tips, I bet you’ll be grabbing some of your jars out of storage to put them to use in your bathroom too!
1. Bathroom storage simplification: Just about everywhere you look these days, you’re finding people utilizing mason jars for storage. It’s not a new thing, but it is certainly something that you could incorporate into your home with relative ease and great impact. If your bathroom counter is anything like mine used to be (low on style, high on stuff) corralling your things into pretty jars can be provide a great facelift to your design. Grab a pretty tray that’s collecting dust in a cupboard, or rescue one from a thrift shop and try out the following sizes of mason jars to store those sometimes-cluttery bathroom supplies! Any of the jars mentioned below would work great with one of our sundry lids, making the jar a two-in-one holder! • quarter-pint jars are the perfect size to hold q-tips, and you can even use quilted jelly jars if you like a little extra sparkle • half-pint jars make excellent holders for cotton rounds • pint jars are perfect for toothbrushes and makeup brushes (using a frog lid helps keep them upright and not touching!) • quart jars are great for cotton balls
2. DIY cleaners We hear a lot of scary things about the health hazards that certain chemicals can present. We also hear a lot of scary things about all those cleaning chemicals finding their way into our wastewater, and all the empty plastic bottles in our landfills. Either way you slice it, simplification of our cleaning routines is a great thing. Our grandmas and great-grandmas used fewer products than we did and still had sparkling clean homes… when you make your own cleaning products; you save money and contribute less waste to landfills. What does this have to do with mason jars? EVERYTHING!
• Throw some home made scouring powder into a half-pint jar, put a shaker lid on and you’re ready to clean that tub • Place an Adapta-Cap Sprayer Lid on any regular-mouth jar and fill with all-purpose cleaner. I like the 12 oz quilted jelly jars for this application because they’re easier to hold and they look so pretty, but really any regular mouth mason jar will work.
3. Homemade foaming hand soap Foaming hand soap was born to live in a mason jar. If you’re using a pint jar, many even have measurement marks on the side. It is so simple to whip up a batch of DIY foaming soap right in the jar, no messy measuring cups required. Top it with a foaming soap pump lid and you’re ready to go.
It’s safe to say that mason jars are pretty handy when it comes to streamlining your bathroom clutter. You can line them up on a counter, arrange them artfully on a pretty tray, or even create a rustic piece of functional art by securing them to a piece of wood using pipe clamps. The only limit is your imagination!
It’s been awhile since our last giveaway here on the blog…so let’s have one now! How about $25 to spend on any Mason jar accessories you’d like from Mason Jar Lifestyle?
Would you use your $25 to buy a Mason jar soap pump?
Maybe some Mason jar solar lights, too?
Check out the Rafflecopter below for several chances to get entries. The contest ends at noon MST on Tuesday, October 20. The winner will be announced here. Good luck to you!
The following is a guest post from my good friend, Mitzi. Mitzi has proven both her canning and cooking ability time and again. Not only did she teach me how to make the best peach jam I’ve ever put in my mouth, she brought utterly delicious, homemade dinners to our family each time we brought a new baby home (if you’re keeping track, we have three kids). So, when she offered to provide her recipe for Mason jar ice cream, I basically said “yes” before she could even finish asking. Without further ado, here’s Mitzi (who, as an aside, is also a highly skilled seamstress and owns an upholstery shop in Denver along with her talented husband, Danny. Check it out here.):
If you love homemade ice cream as much as I do, this recipe may be dangerous because it comes together in about ten minutes, it mixes right in a quart-size Mason jar, and there is no cooking required. Xanthan gum is used to thicken the mixture to simulate the custard-y mouthfeel of an egg-based ice cream. Of course if you want to do an egg-based ice cream, a Mason jar is the perfect vessel for chilling the ice cream base prior to churning.
Here’s the basic recipe for the no-cook ice cream: 1 pint heavy cream 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup crushed fruit (peaches, berries, whatever) 1/4-1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum 1/2 teaspoon vanilla whole milk (more on this later)
Mix the crushed fruit and a couple of tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl and set aside. While this mixture sits the sugar will draw liquid from the fruit to form a syrup (yum!). In a quart-size Mason jar, add the remaining sugar, the cream, and the xanthan gum. Shake well to combine and keep shaking occasionally until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the fruit and syrup to the jar and shake again. You should already see some thickening of the mixture as the xanthan gum does its work. Add the vanilla, and then fill the remaining space in the jar (up to the glass rim on the outside) with whole milk. Shake again and refrigerate (20 minutes minimum, but it can sit in the fridge a day or two if needed prior to churning.) This recipe will perfectly fill a 1.5 quart ice cream maker with some truly amazing homemade ice cream, while mixing it in a quart-size Mason jar automatically limits the volume of your ice cream base, allowing room for the ice cream to expand as it aerates. Churn ice cream according to your machine’s directions. The finished product will have a soft-serve consistency; freeze for 2 hours for a scoopable texture. The lucky people with whom you share this will not believe how easy it is (if you decide to tell them, that is…)