by Mary & Maggie
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Hey there, Mason jar fans!
The summer has flown by and somehow we’re in August already (I have NO idea how that happened!). With the smell of fresh sharpened pencils and cool crisp mornings just around the corner, Maggie and I are contemplating getting our kids ready for back to school and finding useful and awesome gifts for those teachers.
Additionally some of you are heading back to your in person job again or maybe you’re just getting ready to reorganize and upgrade the home office and/or homework desk.
Whatever your situation, we have so many great ideas to make your day easier including how to not spill your commuting cup of coffee on your shirt, how to always be able to find your favorite pen on your desk, and how to pack quick and healthy snacks and lunches on the go!
For the In Person/Home Office & Homework Desk
At the office or at home, whether it’s mine or the kids, our desks always seem to turn into a bit of a landfill. I like to think I know where everything is (or at least what pile it’s in…) but with a few accessories, the desk chaos can be tamed once and for all!
One of my favorite tricks is using frog lids to organize pens, pencils, markers, paint brushes, scissors, and more! My girls have started to keep colorful string and rubber bands in the bottom of their jars for added flair while keeping things tidy. I personally love to use a frog lid with a caddy, so that the jars stay neatly together, and I can carry them around in a group. Bonus – the caddies add stability, making it harder to tip over should a stack of books tumbles over in a swirl of homework completion.
Along the same lines, I use decorative lids all the time to sort, organize, and keep tidy the rest of our necessary office and craft supplies. We carry several different finishes and styles so you can find something that will match your décor aesthetic.
Mason jars and accessories are perfect for tidying up your office space, your work from home space, and the kids’ homework desks.
Stay hydrated with a cool, refreshing beverage close at hand in an insulated, silicone sleeve (pictured here: quart size), silicone straw hole lid, and silicone straw. You can add some color and cheer with flowers neatly arranged with a frog lid.
Whether the in-person office is your destination or your commute only requires a few steps, making sure you’re able to arrive with your favorite morning beverage in your jar and not on your shirt is always the goal! I LOVE our MJL silicone drinking lids and use them every single day for my morning cup of coffee. They’re soft and comfortable to drink from and keep me from spilling. I recommend protecting your hands and keeping your coffee or tea warm longer by using an insulating silicone sleeve for your Mason jar. These handy koozies also protect your jar if it gets dropped on the way to the car (I’ve accidently tested that one myself and can attest to it!).
Maybe you’re a morning smoothie, water, iced coffee, or other cold beverage drinker. Well, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered, too! Of course our MJL silicone sleeves are great for cold drinks, especially when paired with one of our straw hole lids and straws. I personally usually have one of each on my desk at all times in order to keep my water to coffee ratio somewhat in balance!
And while we’re talking about coffee… I can’t fail to mention our Mason Jar Lifestyle cold brew filter kit which is perfect for brewing coffee and tea. It’s so simple to use and yields amazingly tasty results. I always have a fresh batch of green tea and iced coffee on hand in the MJL warehouse for our crew. With my garden in full swing right now, I’ve been making mint green tea and it’s so refreshing – you really should try it! After the brewing is done, I store the quart jars of tea and cold brewed coffee in the fridge with our pour and store lids for easy consumption. I typically use our MJL wide mouth version of the pour and store lid with handle, since the cold brew filter kit fits in wide mouth Mason jars.
Whether you’re commuting in the car or just a few steps to your desk, Mason jar drinking and straw hole lids paired with silicone sleeves will keep tasty beverages close at hand.
I’ve found that pint and a half (24oz) Mason jars fit perfectly in my cupholders so I can always have a coffee and water with me wherever my work day takes me! Here I have my coffee in a jar with a silicone sleeve and silicone drinking lid and my water with a silicone sleeve, silicone straw hole lid, and glass straw (my favorite kind of straw!).
For Packing Easy Lunches & Snacks
Packing lunch… I’m not sure what it is about the daily grind of packing lunches and snacks, but it is quite simply one of the most dreaded tasks in our house. That being said, it can be much easier with Mason jars! One of my favorite tips is simply to pack dinner leftovers away in the appropriate sized jars with a silicone lid liner and stainless steel band. Then, when I’m ready for lunch at the MJL warehouse, I quickly take the band off, move the liner off the top a bit to allow for venting and pop my lunch straight in the microwave. Don’t forget to use a silicone sleeve to cushion the jar in transport and insulate the hot contents from your hands.
One of my favorite Mason jars for lunches and snacks is the 4oz jelly jar, which I don’t think gets nearly enough attention. It fits perfectly in lunchboxes, snack bags, or whatever you carry into work and is a great size for nuts, dried fruit, hummus, dip, chocolate… really anything! I love to use mine with our adorable 4oz silicone sleeves and plastic storage lids.
If you want to take two things at once (my kids love dried fruit and crackers – see picture above), then our 2-in-1 connector for regular mouth Mason jars will keep everything secure until you’re ready to eat. You can use the connector with any size regular mouth Mason jars. Along a similar line, we carry silicone divider cups in regular and wide mouth. These little cups are perfect for Mason jar salads, breakfasts on the go, or just to keep food separated until it’s time to dig in!
Keep healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack options on hand with Mason Jar Lifestyle silicone divider cups and reusable, travel utensils made of ecofriendly bamboo.
MJL divider cups (in regular and wide mouth) are perfect for everything – salads & dressing, yogurt & granola, veggies & dip, chips & hummus, fruit & yogurt and so much more! Plus our travel utensils make eating at your desk easy with this sturdy bamboo set that has everything you need (fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, and straw in a cotton carrying case).
Another lunch and snack star got mentioned above but deserves another one here – our Mason Jar Lifestyle pour and store lids in regular and wide mouth. I use these all the time to pack lunch for myself or snacks for the kiddos to keep them fresh and lunch bags clean. They’re airtight so you can take a jar full of your favorite candy or small cracker and pour out a little (or a lot) and store the remainder at work – how’s that for a time saver!
If you can’t decide what lunch or snack accessories you need, we have two great gift set put together with some of our favorites to pick from. In the healthy lunch starter set for Mason jars you get: a Mason jar pack & go lunch box (which holds 4 quart jars), our travel bamboo utensil set with cotton roll-up carrying case, and one set of either regular or wide mouth plastic storage lids with silicone liners (you pick the size!). Another super useful set is our salad & snacks starter set for Mason jars. In this one you’ll find: one regular and one wide mouth silicone divider cup with stainless steel storage lids, one regular and one wide mouth pour and store lid, and one 2-in-1 connector for regular mouth Mason jars. Either one of these sets will get you set up for success this fall with packing healthy lunches and snacks!
Of course, back to school is for teachers, too! Whether you’re a teacher, you’re close to a teacher, or you’d like to get your kid’s new teacher the best “Welcome Back!” gift ever, we’ve got you covered! A lot of these ideas are also great for those of you going back to the office.
First up, we have our handy dandy frog lids. In years’ past, Mason Jar Lifestyle has donated frog lids and jars to every teacher and staff member at our kids’ elementary school for teacher appreciation gifts. The PTA adds a beautiful bouquet to every jar, and, voila!, it’s a gorgeous gift that keeps on giving – that is, the teachers can use the jars and lids again and again, whether for flowers or to organize pencils, pens, markers, etc.
Mason Jar Lifestyle donates regularly to our kids’ elementary school and here are donated quart Mason jars and frog lids turned into beautiful vases!
We just love our community and are always excited to find useful and fun ways to give back – especially to our schools and teachers! Frog lids really are the gift that keeps on giving as organizers after the flowers are gone.
Another item that our kids’ teachers always love is our drinking sets – particularly the pint and a half jar, silicone sleeve, and drinking lid. I love bringing a variety of colors and letting them pick out their own sets. These are perfect for hot or cold drinks, and even soups. The sleeves protect the jars from breakage and help insulate the contents. It’s fun for the kids to see their teachers using -and loving- their Mason jar lifestyle drinking sets day in and day out.
Our kids have a couple teachers (who happen to be some of their favorites) who keep fun treats, like Skittles and M&Ms, on hand as classroom rewards. A Mason jar with a stainless steel storage lid and adorable chalkboard labels keep the treats fresh while adding the super cute factor to the classroom aesthetic. Mason jars are always a fun and inexpensive way to stay organized, and “treat jars” are no exception.
Lunch time isn’t only the kids’ favorite time of day – teachers need the break, too (probably even more than the kids)! Mason jars are a handy, low waste, inexpensive, safe, and fun way to bring nourishment every day. Mason Jar Lifestyle carries lunchboxes made to fit four quart Mason jars. Add divider cups to those jars to keep dressings and dips separate from other jar contents. And you can never go wrong with a silicone sleeve and stainless steel storage lid.
We hope you’ve found these ideas and tips helpful! We’d love to hear your favorite Mason jar back to school and the office tips, tricks, recipes, and ideas. Head over to our Facebook page or Instagram feed to contribute or comment below! We absolutely love hearing from you : ) and wish you a very happy, healthy, and productive back to school season!