Mason Jars & Summer Living!
with Mary & Maggie
Hey Mason Jar Fans!
Mary, here! It’s summer time, and the living is easy with The Lifestyle! Maybe you’re hitting the trails or camping, getting vitamin-D lounging pool side, checking out some food trucks or festivals, or simply hiding from the kids to enjoy your coffee for 5 minutes in quiet (solidarity – amiright?!).
Whatever you’re doing, you need to stay hydrated or caffeinated! And supplied with snacks. And entertained. And stylish. And we’ve got just what you need all right here!
Whether it’s tiki torches for your backyard, neat snack containers for car trips, caddies to keep silverware, napkins, and straws clean, storage lids to transport your goodies, or different colored silicone sleeves and lids to make serving drinks at your next playdate easy peasy lemon squeasy, we’ve got you covered!
Summer can be a relaxing, laid back season, but it can also be pretty busy. At Mason Jar Lifestyle, we totally get that! You may not know this, but among all the employees here at MJL we have almost a dozen kids (plus so many fur and feather babies!) so you could say summer is a little hectic.
We wanted to take a moment and share some great tips and tricks with you no matter what you’re doing to beat the heat or soak up the sun!
Summer is the perfect time to slow down and make time to hang out with friends and family in a backyard bar-b-que. Did you spend a good bit of your 2020 pandemic summer getting your outdoor space all spiffied up? I know we did. Well now’s the time to show off your a-Mason backyard along with your mad grilling skills!
Mason jars and accessories can make hosting any gettogether simple, stylish, and safe (no more runaway napkins or bugs in your beverage).
My aunt came to visit recently and we were so happy to see her so we threw a little patio party.
Frog / Flower Lids
Our MJL frog/flower lids are just as versatile as our caddies. They’re perfect to hold straws, brushes, pens, flowers, and so much more!
I love how easy these lids make arranging flowers for a beautiful table. I used a shiny copper frog lid with a fluted regular mouth pint Mason jar.
If you’re having people over in the summer, then you need to have something cold to drink on hand. One of my favorites is lemonade as it’s such a classic, summer drink (and very popular).
Making your own lemonade is so easy and tasty to do! Plus you can customize it to your desired level of sweetness and add berries or herbs. For our BBQ, I went with a simple lemonade.
High quality, fresh squeezed fruit juice is really what will make or break your beverage. I love our stainless steel juicer for easy lemon juicing right into a Mason jar (and you can keep track of how much you’ve squeezed with markings on the jar). I added our wide mouth pour and store lid with handle to a half gallon jar for smooth serving.
I also can’t recommend our Mason Jar Lifestyle silicone sleeves enough! We carry them in several colors so everyone can pick their favorite and keep track of their drink. You can added our silicone straw hole lids in order to make even more color combinations and keep bugs out.
Orzo Pasta Salad
I love a good pasta or potato salad to go along with my grilled burger or hot dog. We recently started carrying some new cookbooks at MJL (I’m a sucker for cookbooks!) so I decided to check them out for some inspiration.
Full Disclosure: I’m HORRIBLE at following recipes (ask my husband!) because I typically look at several and then combine ideas. This isn’t a great method for replication but there you have it. So I derived the recipes I used from our new books, but I didn’t perfectly follow them.
First I tried Orzo Pasta Salad from Mason Jar Salads and More by Julia Mirabella. I swapped out regular orzo for festive tricolored pasta and opted to use dressing I had on hand (Italian) instead of making my own as the book suggests. I also decided to mix all the ingredients together instead of doing a layered salad for easier, outdoor eating.
Once I whipped up the pasta salad, I divided into individual servings (8oz wide mouth Mason jars) and used our silicone liners and stainless steel bands to seal and store them in the fridge. This is one of my FAVORITE storage solutions to keep odors contained, food fresh, and make for quick reheating (just remove the metal band).
Check out all the recipe details HERE or below:
I’m kind of known for my homemade ranch dip which first appeared in our blog post about Mason jar salads – check it out HERE! In the original blog post I go into details about prepping the dry ingredients and directions for mixing up fresh batches.
I find mixing up a wide mouth half pint worth of dip is perfect for most gatherings. I also love using a silicone liner and stainless steel band to keep the dip fresh (and my fridge fresh too) until guests arrive!
My grandmother always used to make trifle, and so I wanted to carry on that tradition with my aunt visiting. Again I used one of our new cookbooks, this time Mason Jar Lunches by Jessica Harlan. The original recipes calls for angel food cake (which I love), but my grandmother always used pound cake – so that’s my main deviation.
In an effort to make this easier, I purchased the pound cake (a 3 pack from Costco – though my grandma always bought the frozen Sara Lee’s version). I also thought it’d be fun to use the Mason jar to cut little circles of pound cake to make neat layers, and it worked great! You can see how I did it in the photo.
I layered the dessert in regular mouth half pint jars which was the perfect serving size. I had other prep to do so I wanted to get these set up early. My solution was to do all the layers but the final cream topping ahead of time and then put on our MJL stainless steel storage lid with silicone liners. This kept my trifles fresh and perfect in the fridge. I stored the extra cream for topping in the fridge as well.
Once I was ready to serve, I rewhipped up the cream and topped each individual dessert. You could add mint leaves, sprinkles, etc. to decorate but I thought they were lovely in their simplicity.
Check out the recipe details HERE or below:
Summer picnics at the park, on the trail, or in your own yard are such a wonderful part of the season! You can use your Mason jars and accessories to make your meal easily portable, fresh, and delicious.
Bamboo Utensil Set with Carrying Case
Our MJL travel bamboo utensil set with cotton carrying case are great for taking with you anywhere you go and will have all your needs covered with a fork, spoon, knife, straw, and pair of chopsticks. The case keep your utensils clean and ready to go.
Divider cups make grab and go snacks easy to prepack and take with you wherever you go. I’m a big fan of veggies and ranch (see recipe above) and our MJL divider cups enable me to have healthy snacks on hand. You can also use them for hummus and pita bread, chips and salsa, salad and dressing and so much more.
We’ve recently started carrying our divider cups in regular mouth size as well – so your options really are endless! Make packing your next picnic neater and healthier with silicone divider cups (stainless steel lid included).
2-in-1 Lid to Connect Two Regular Mouth Mason Jars
When it comes to dry snacks and sweets, I always gravitate towards the 2-in-1 lid which will connect any two regular mouth Mason jars. My girls love crackers and dried fruit, but these are also perfect for yogurt and fruit or granola, nuts and candies, veggies and dip (again), even a half pint of juice and a crunchy snack. If you’re taking these hiking and you don’t want the glass to bang around, simply add the right sized silicone sleeves to your jars for protection.
If you like a handful of these ideas, then you might want to consider one of our starter sets. We have several different options listed under our Gift Sets category.
Purchasing a starter set will give you a selection of different items to make your picnic a sunny success!
Leak Proof Storage Lids and Silicone Liners
What party or picnic is complete without tasty beverages on a hot day? Mason jars are perfect for this because you can store them in a cooler or ice bucket with a leak proof lid for transportation. We carry several options including our stainless steel or plastic storage lids, and our silicone liners and stainless steel bands.
Once you’re at your destination, pull out the silicone sleeves (or you can put them on before), straw hole lids, and straws for bug free, spill resistant outdoor drinks. I personally like the silicone straw hole lids and silicone straws for this just to add more cushion if one of the jars hits the ground.
Kicking back at the pool is one of summer’s greatest treats! But you want to make sure you safely enjoy your cold beverages and tasty snacks, and that’s where Mason Jar Lifestyle has you covered!
Our MJL silicone sleeves are one my favorite accessories and have saved my jars more than once from meeting a shattered end. We carry 7 sizes from 4oz regular mouth jelly jars all the way up for 32oz regular or wide mouth quart. In that range you’ll find a size to fit everybody’s favorite drink and snack of choice.
Add a silicone straw hole lid and silicone straw to provide even more cushioning (plus keep the bugs out). Plastic storage lids are another perfect, pool side companion to keep snacks fresh and dry until you’re ready to enjoy them.
Infusion Drinking Lids
Whenever I leave the house, I almost always have at least 2 Mason jar beverages with me – one coffee based and one water based. In the summer, I always have cold brew coffee on hand and I LOVE our cold brew filter kit is perfect for coffee and loose leaf tea!
But I also adore fruit and herb flavored water, which is where infusion drinking lids come into play. These lids are spill proof and provide a filter to keep everything but the water in your jar. You can use a silicone sleeve with these as well.
I always grow mint, basil, lavender, rosemary, and other herbs in my garden. Add to those the incredible fresh fruits of summer and you’ll be thoroughly hydrated in no time! Here’s a few combos to try:
- Strawberry & basil
- Blackberry & sage
- Cucumber & mint
- Watermelon & Rosemary
- Lemon & mint (my favorite!)
We love our regular mouth sprayer lids and use them all the time for cleaning products, whether it’s a large warehouse size container of Simple Green or a homemade mixture of vinegar or castile soap.
But they’re also great to keep you cool by the pool if you want to spritz yourself with water or spray some witch hazel into a cloth. They’re also ideal if you enjoy making your own DIY bug repellent. Many recipes involve essential oils which need to be stored in glass containers – making Mason jars a great solution!
Maggie, here! Are you chompin’ at the bit to get outta town? After very little travel over the past year, I know my family is ready to see some sights a la the Great American Road Trip. There are always little gems along the way that we’d never experience if we’d flown to our destination. A few of my favorite random and impromptu stops from the past years: a trout hatchery in New Mexico, a picnic area overlooking Lake Sakakawea, a small winery nestled in the Black Hills, and the largest Holstein cow (statue) near Bismarck, North Dakota.
Of course, with three kids, food and drinks at-the-ready are an absolute necessity. While we love stopping at picnic tables along our route for scenic lunches (and some fresh air), someone in the car is pretty much always hungry or thirsty during the drive.
Pint & Half Mason Jars
Here’s what I bring to keep us happy and hydrated:
Always at least a pint and a half jar (and usually a few) filled with water. These fit perfectly in our car’s cup holders.
When we stop for gas, I fill them up with water (using the water function of the gas station’s soft drink dispenser). I top our jars with silicone drinking lids and often use pint and a half sleeves to keep the drinks cool and the jars break-resistant. If I’m concerned about spilling, I’ll actually top the jar with a stainless steel lid with silicone insert and add the drinking lid right before use.
Bonus: in the morning you can fill your jar with coffee instead of water!
Save some money for fun road trip excursions or souvenirs by planning ahead and packing car snacks!
Pour Goldfish crackers, almonds, M&Ms, grapes, or whatever your heart desires into your jars, and you have the perfect Mason jar treats! The best part? They fit in cupholders!
When I want to get a little healthier than the typical road trip snacks, I’ll cut up some veggies (carrots and celery are the best) and stick in a jar with a divider cup filled with hummus or ranch dressing (see the recipe for best. ranch. ever. above).
Again, they fit in the cupholder! Also, because kids think it’s fun, they may be inclined to eat a healthier snack. Plus they come in regular and wide mouth now!
Frog / Flower Lids
Finally, my kids love to color and draw on our road trips, but the floor of our car was always carpeted with spilled colored pencils and crayons by trip’s end. I recently thought of a solution: stick a grid lid on top of a Mason jar and fill the jar with art supplies. Surprise, surprise…they fit in the cupholder! (Do you see a trend here?)
Silicone Liner for Tissues On-The-Go
One thing I’ve never done but think would be convenient is to make one of these Mason jar tissue holders…because they could fit in a cupholder (I realize that in my hypothetical road trip situation, I ran out of cupholders about 500 miles ago). If I had a dollar for every tissue emergency in our car…I’d probably have enough to upgrade to a really nice suite on our next family road trip. Just take a silicone lid liner and cut a criss cross out of it. Stick a roll of tissues in the jar, and voila! You’re ready to road trip, sans tissue emergency! You can CLICK HERE for a great blog post with directions to make your own!
I’m going to be honest – I have only ever taken my kids tent camping once. Living in Colorado, this is a bit of a surprise to people. I’ll take a yurt or a rustic cabin any day of the week, however, and we reserve at least a couple each summer. My favorite cabin spots over the years have been in Golden Gate Canyon here in Colorado and right on Lake Angustura near Hot Springs, SD. There’s something about being self sufficient (and without screens) that brings out the fun in our family. We love cooking over a campfire, playing games, exploring, and telling stories. And, once in a while, it’s good to see that we can make do with so much less.
Whether you’re a tent, RV, or yurt/cabin camper, Mason jars can serve many purposes when space is limited.
Here are some ways we’ve used Mason jars during our camping adventures!
Bring a few Mason jar solar lights and charge them in the sun during the day. If you need to save space, fill the jars with other things you might need during your trip. The light they put off in the evening is incredible!
Recently, one of our fans who travels the country in an RV with her mom shared this great photo of her solar lights charging on their dashboard during the day.
Cold Brew Filter Kit
Yes, it’s fun to make hot coffee in the morning when you’re camping (and I’ll get to that next).
But an easy, highly caffeinated alternative is to make Mason jar cold brew coffee and keep it on hand for whenever you could use a cuppa jo. If you’re in an RV, we recommend keeping it in the fridge. If you’re camping and have access to a cooler, that would be the best place for it, because cold brew is best enjoyed…cold!
So grab a MJL cold brew filter kit before your next trip and make delicious coffee and tea!
Coffee and Spice Grinder
Speaking of coffee, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought coffee beans on a trip and then realized I had no way to grind them. Mason jar coffee grinder to the rescue! Seriously, just keep one of these lids in your glove compartment. It will come in handy camping and probably many other times, too. How perfect would it be to freshly grind some beans into a Mason jar and then impress everyone with some delish, fire percolated coffee as people emerge from their tents (or yurts, or campers…)?
These are perfect for lotion, soap, sunscreen, or any other pumpable item – especially homemade ones.
They look especially great in an RV, and another fan shared a sweet pic of her sink-side Mason jar soap pump setup. We love this!
2-In-1 Lid to Connect Regular Mouth Mason Jars
This might be my favorite camping idea of all. Make some pancake batter in a larger Mason jar (size would depend on the number of people you’re feeding, but a regular mouth pint or quart would work great) and fill a smaller jar (a regular mouth 4 or 8oz jar would be my suggestion) with syrup, and connect them with a 2-in-1 lid. I’d also recommend adding silicone sleeves to the jars, just to be on the safe side. You’re all set for griddled pancakes!
When I entertain, 99% of the time, I just pop open some wine. While wine is great, sometimes you want to do something a little different – maybe a little more involved – especially when those gatherings with friends are few and far between.
Cue my trivia friends! I’ve been getting together with this group for a few years to partake in the ever-so-cheeky Geeks Who Drink trivia. Of course, during most of 2020, our get togethers were put on pause. Gathering (outdoors for virtual trivia as of now) with them again has given me back a much needed sense of normalcy. While we usually just drink wine or beer (that some of the team has been known to bring in a fanny pack – because, I will remind you – it’s Geeks Who Drink), I decided to go a little more upscale for this week’s event with Mason jar jam cocktails!
Before I get to the recipe, here are my suggestions for Mason Jar Lifestyle products that will take your cocktail party, from trivia night to bridal shower, to the next level.
Half pint jars are excellent vessels for fun cocktails, and short glass straws are the perfect addition! (In fact, Cosmopolitan magazine bought these from us right after we started our business for that very purpose. I was pretty excited.)
Mason jar cocktail shaker lids are one of my favorite Mason jar accessories of all time. They’re perfect for a cocktail like this one that needs to be shaken vigorously too!
You can put them on any size regular mouth jar, they work great, and they’re pretty darn cute.
Hand Cut Open Bottom Mason Jars
Let’s talk about ambiance. We recently realized that our hand cut Mason jars make beautiful candle chimneys! Light a candle and stick a cut jar on top for an easy, instantly classy look.
Here I varied the sizes of jars and even threw in a vintage-looking aqua number. You could use different sized candles or opt for battery-operated. Either way, you’ll have an elegant and easy tablescape for your outdoor event.
Tiki Torch Oil Lamp Lid
Want a little more fire power? Maybe you’d like to burn some citronella to keep the bugs at bay? Try our tiki torch oil lamp lids for regular or wide mouth Mason jars.
These tiki torch lids work great and produce a beautiful flame that’s sure to impress your guests. Set a few around to provide a nice glow and warmth as the evening sets in.
If you want people to be able to distinguish their drinks from one another, a good option is to offer half pint sleeves to people in different colors. We have multiple colors to choose from, and I promise that you’ll end up using them often for so many things!
And now for the best part – the recipe!
Mason jar peach jam cocktail, serves 5
- 10 oz bourbon
- 5 oz lemonade
- 4 tbsp peach jam
- Sparkling water
In a regular mouth quart jar, using the measuring lines on the side, add 10 oz bourbon, 5 oz lemonade, and 4 tbsp jam. Fill the remainder of the jar with ice. Top very tightly with cocktail shaker lid. Shake it like crazy to get the jam mixed in!
To serve: Fill half pint jars about halfway with ice, pour drinks into jars about ¾ of the way up, and top each drink with a splash of sparkling water.
You can view the recipe HERE or below as well:
Whew! After reading all that, you’re probably imagining all the ways you’re going to use Mason jars this summer, and we’ve got an awesome surprise for you! We are giving away a $150 Mason Jar Lifestyle gift certificate to one lucky reader! Simply use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Winner will be announced Tuesday, June 8.