Mason Jars: A Love-Hate Relationship

mason_jar_usesI have many pet peeves in life. From messy desk tops to my pants creating an unwanted muffin-top, my little dislikes range from normal to crazy. One pet peeve that I rarely am brave enough to mention because everyone is obsessed with them isĀ mason jars. You read that right. I can’t stand them… for the most part. There are a few times when I think they’re appropriate to use and about a million times when they’re just, dare I say, tacky.

What’s my least favorite use of these glass, Pinterest-y objects? Wedding decorations. Dear Lord, don’t get me started! At first, it was kind of cute, but then everyone thought so and all of the sudden every single wedding had mason jars. It is no longer clever to wrap twine around the tops of the jars to make bows and then put flowers inside. It’s also not unique to put lights inside and then hang the jars from the rafters of your barn/reception space. I’m not a hater, I’m just over this trend. Since I’m talking about trends I’m so over, I may as well mention my severe dislike of using chalkboards for anything at a wedding. It’s been done too many times.

Mason jars do have their purposes though, and these are a few of my favorite Pinterest-inspired uses.

  1. Portable Mason Jar Meals– I really like this idea for salads as a slightly prettier way to carry in lunch to work. Tupperware just isn’t as cute.
  2. Herb Garden– I don’t garden and never will but being able to grow herbs in my home for when I cook (if I cook) is really useful. Sit them in the sun and give them a watering everyday and you’ve got herbs!
  3. Kitchen Storage– I hate opening a bag of nuts or popcorn kernels and having them spill all over my drawers after a period of time. Putting food items like that in a clear, glass jar make it easy to see and super organized.
  4. Make Up Brush Storage– This is way cleaner than throwing it in a make up bin and you can actually find it without digging around for a few minutes.

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Hot Cocoa Mason Jar Recipe

mason_jar_recipeHappy Monday friends! Only a few days until Christmas and I’m in panic mode. I have so much left to do and not much time to do it. Last night, I spent a few hours baking and being creative. Notice I said a “few hours”. I never knew it took so much time out of your day to play Martha Stewart. I started out by baking gingerbread cookies (recipe to come tomorrow) and went on to make mason jar hot cocoa mix. Lucky for you, I saved the recipe and instructions!

Step 1: Get all the ingredients out, trust me it saves time.

  • 4 (8 ounce) mason jars
  • 2 cups of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 10 crushed up candy canes
  • Bag of mini marshmallows

Hot_cocoa_recipeStep 2: Layer 1/4 cup of sugar, half a cup of cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in each jar. Have a butter knife handy to even out each layer. Follow this by layering the candy canes and then the mini marshmallows in each jar. Use as much or as little of the candy canes as you see fit. I like a lot of peppermint!

Step 3: Print out heating instructions and attach it to the jar with string.

mason_jar_crafts“To serve: Remove the marshmallows to a plate and mix together the remaining ingredients in the jar. Bring 1 cup of milk to a simmer over low heat. Add 3 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix and stir until completely combined. Pour into cups or mugs and top with marshmallows before serving.”

Step 4: Add a festive bow on top of the jar and then take a photo for Instagram!

I’m giving these as cute gifts to a few friends. They’ll be impressed simply because they know how bad I am in the kitchen. Hopefully they feel loved too because I hate spending time on things like this, and believe me, I spent hours perfecting this! I guess I really can do anything when I force myself to. At least it made for pretty pictures!

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