It’s our anniversary.

Hello friends. It’s been awhile. I feel like so much has happened in the last year or so, and I feel an update is necessary. As you know, we’ve been through a lot of change since the loveinamasonjar brand was started, nearly 3 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years.

loveinamasonjar.com

What started as a new beginning after leaving my career, moving, and getting married, turned into something to just “maintain” because I loved it, while working part-time and then full-time. Then came our most important job of all, becoming parents, and life as we knew it is completely changed! Needless to say, throughout it all, this blog and many of the creative things I love to do have become last on my list.

BUT I’m excited to say that things are changing again, and I will soon have more time to CREATE again! After going back to work part-time for a few months with the baby, we’ve decided to take the leap of faith and move to one income so I can stay home and be a mommy to our favorite little girl. And hopefully with that have more time (if she would take a nap!) to do all the things I have been wanting to try and tell you about it on the blog.

So…to celebrate our 3 year anniversary in February, we will be launching some new items in our ETSY shop, working on our brand, and hopefully will have more tutorials and blog posts as we go along. We have LOTS of new ideas that we’ve been working on (think baby related – surprise, surprise) 🙂 and hope to be able to share them soon. Thank you for supporting us on this journey! I’m so excited to move forward and see what this will bring!

Blessings!

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Baby showers: Tea Party and Fancy Brunch

I’m learning that with a newborn (and probably children of any age!)  it’s hard to get anything done that takes time! But as I post now, I have a sleeping baby on my chest, so I’ll squeeze some blogging in when I can! I wanted to share a post about the baby showers that were hosted for us, because they were both so lovely!!

We were blessed with 2 showers, 1 was a family shower hosted by my moms and sisters, and the other a friends shower by my best friend. Both were just perfect and I couldn’t have asked for more!

Gender Neutral Baby Shower Tea Party 

For the family shower we had a “tea party” theme. We had fruit and scones and coffee cake and of course coffee and tea. They decorated everything in tans and creams to keep it gender neutral and had beautiful flowers and mason jars. It was beautiful!!

  tea party themed baby shower - loveinamasonjar.com tea party themed baby shower - loveinamasonjar.com tea party themed baby shower - loveinamasonjar.com

tea party themed baby shower - burlap banner - loveinamasonjar.com

 Fancy Baby Shower Brunch 

For my other shower, it was at a beautiful resort outside for brunch near the pool. It was a smaller group, so we had a special little menu and cabana and were able to decorate the table. It was so pretty and fancy. I felt so pampered!!

Special baby shower menu - loveinamasonjar.com

Baby shower pool view - loveinamasonjar.com

baby shower brunch - loveinamasonjar.com

baby shower brunch - loveinamasonjar.com

fancy baby shower brunch - loveinamasonjar.com

 

We’ve been celebrating

The past few months have been a blur, but definitely not short on fun! Someone in our house turned thirty (I’m not telling who) so we threw a party, and one of my best friends is getting married, so of course a shower was in order! And you’ve got to love a southern California winter because,  both parties were outside in our backyard! We thought we’d share some fun party photos for your enjoyment.

// Rustic Gold Glitter Bridal Shower //

rustic gold bridal shower - gold dipped mason jars - loveinamasonjar.com

I love the theme of rustic but fancy gold glitter and so I’m so excited to see what this wedding looks like! And of course, if you’re looking for some gold glitter dipped mason jars, you can find them in my ETSY shop HERE

rustic bridal shower - manicure kit favors - loveinamasonjar.com

Don’t you just love the sweet shower favors that my friend made? They are manicure kits in a mason jar. They have cotton balls, nail polish remover, file, clippers, and of course gold glitter nail polish. Good idea, huh!

rustic gold bridal shower - loveinamasonjar.com rustic bridal shower burlap banner - loveinamasonjar.com

Another hosting staple in our home are the mason jar drink dispensers from potterybarn. So glad we registered for them for our wedding! I can’t tell you how often we’ve used them! We also purchased the galvanized drink dispenser stands from there too. Oh and yes – that banner can be made CUSTOM in our ETSY shop HERE

rustic bridal shower - loveinamasonjar.com

// Backyard 30th Birthday Party //

We decided to put the drinks in a wheelbarrow.

Backyard BBQ wheel barrow drinks - loveinamasonjar.com

Even the chickens wanted to join the party!

backyard chickens - loveinamasonjar.com backyard BBQ - loveinamasonjar.com

 

For dessert, we had to have chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies. My very favorite chocolate cake recipe can be found here and the cookies…well that’s a family secret 🙂

favorite chocolate cake - loveinamasonjar.com best chocolate chip cookies - loveinamasonjar.com

And of course, my husband figured out a way to hang these globe market lights we purchased for our rustic outdoor wedding 2 years ago, and I’m so happy that we can still use them for lighting in the backyard!

backyard BBQ party - globe lights - loveinamasonjar.com

outdoor globe market lights - loveinamasonjar.com

And thanks to my sister-in-law for taking these lovely pictures of the party!

Happy Spring everyone!!

Big news…

Well, we have been MIA lately, and I’m sorry! But we do have some big news to share! Can you tell what it is by this photo??
pregnancy announcement photos - cowboy boots - loveinamasonjar.com
We are going to have a baby! Our very first! We found out over the holidays and enjoyed being able to share the news with our family and friends. My amazing sister-in-law was kind enough to take some announcement photos for us so I wanted to share with you. Didn’t she do a great job!?
burlap banner pregnancy announcement photos - loveinamasonjar.com
Ps – if you want an burlap banner like the one above, it is for sale in our ETSY store!
pregnancy announcement photos - cowboy boots - loveinamasonjar.compregnancy announcement photos - cowboy boots - loveinamasonjar.com

We used these photos to send out an announcement card and we loved how it turned out! We used Zazzle for the design.

pregnancy announcement card - loveinamasonjar.com

So… hopefully you don’t mind if the blog starts to include a few baby/pregnancy related things in the future! I’ve already decided I think I want to make the crib bedding (bedding is soooo expensive!!) and curtains for the nursery, so you may see some posts of my sewing trials in the near future!

Photo review of the Holidays!

Well, I finally logged back into this blog and realized, it’s been awhile! We had a lot of fun over the holidays, visiting family and even taking a 2 week vacation somewhere in between! Even though we did lots of baking, decorating, crafts and projects, I never had time to write about it! So, I though I’d do a quick recap of our last few months through photos!!

Our lovely rustic Christmas Tree.

Rustic Christmas Tree - loveinamasonjar.com

Jam Christmas gifts – a detailed post of these gifts coming soon!

DIY edible Christmas gifts - homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

DIY edible Christmas gift – Cookies in a Jar. We made 150 chocolate chip cookies!

DIY edible Christmas gift - cookies in a jar - loveinamasonjar.com

Homemade buttermilk biscuits – another DIY edible gift!! Aren’t these boxes the cutest!

biscuits and jam - DIY edible gifts - loveinamasonjar.com

12 days of Christmas. I’ve been doing his for my husband the last two years and its really fun!

12 days of Christmas - loveinamasonjar.com

Oh and we got chickens!! Red and Wynona. They are 7 months old and already laying eggs!

Backyard Chickens! loveinamasonjar.com

And I have to share their chicken coop that my husband made! Isn’t it great!?

Homemade Chicken Coop - loveinamasonjar.com

And that wasn’t the only thing he built over the holidays – he also made me a raised garden bed! We planted some lettuce, kale, and broccoli so we will see how it goes!

Raised Garden Bed - loveinamasonjar.com

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying your New Year!

Canning 101: basics of water bath canning for homemade jam! – Part 2

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Ok – so in the last post we left off with preparing the jam based on your recipe. I like to do this while you are waiting for your pot to boil, and continue after you put the empty jars inside and they are getting all hot and sanitized in the water bath canner.

canning 101: homemade jam

So, we have mashed our fruit, put it in a pot, added the sugar and set it on a boil. I also often add lemon juice and zest for added acidity. Each fruit acts different, and so with some you will want to strain the juice and reduce it to thicken it, and others you won’t need to do that. With some you can also add in green apple slices to add pectin and get the jam to thicken. Whatever you do, you’ll end up boiling and stirring the fruit for awhile (probably up to 30 minutes). The longer you boil, the thicker it will eventually get. And you’ll start to notice some foam on top. You’ll want to remove this with a spoon as much as you can.

canning 101: homemade jam

By this time your canning pot should be boiling and you can put your empty clean jars inside to sanitize them until your jam is finished.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

When you’ve tasted your jam and you think your ready to fill your jars, use the tongs to pull your jars out of the boiling water. Remember you have your rings and lids in a bowl waiting and they need some hot water to prepare for sealing. You can pour the water from a few of the jars into the bowl for that. Then get your funnel and place it in the top.

canning jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Then scoop the jam out of the out and fill your jars! You’ll want to leave “head space” in each of the jars based on the recipe, usually 1/4 inch. This just refers to the amount of space you leave from the top of the jar. Use the tool to measure, as this also helps to ensure your jars seal properly.

canning jam - loveinamasonjar.com

The next thing you need to do is get a damp towel or paper towel to wipe the top and side of the jar clean. You don’t want any jam on the outside or around the rim as it may not seal and then your jam could go bad.  Once the jar is clean use your magnet to pick up a lid and ring from the bowl of hot water and put in on the jar!

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
Secure the ring to “finger tight” so its secure, but you can still unscrew it easy with you fingers. You want it to seal, but you don’t want it to be on there too tight. Next, put your jars on the rack in the boiling pot!

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Once all your jars are filled, cleaned, closed and in the pot, lower the rack down and make sure you water is 1 inch about the tops of your jars. If all looks good, then put on the lid and let it boil to process your jars! This usually takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on your recipe, but after 15 minutes of being in a boil, they should be good! Then you can lift up the rack and take out your jars one by one.

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Place all the jars on a towel and let them sit for 12 hours undisturbed. You will begin to hear a little ‘pop’ as each jar is sealing. You may even hear it right as you pull them out of the pot. Check after an hour by feeling the lid to make sure they have sealed. If any of the jars haven’t sealed, put them in the refrigerator and use them first. But hopefully you will have none! And that’s it! You’ve successfully canned homemade jam!

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

There are so many great things you can do with homemade jam! Eat it of course, but you can also use it for hostess gifts, christmas gifts, and even wedding favors!!

HAPPY CANNING!

Canning 101: basics of water bath canning for homemade jam! – Part 1

This post has been a long time coming. I have started this so many times and it has taken me FOREVER to get it finished! But today is the day… get ready for the basics of water bath canning – Part 1! Wahoo!

Let’s begin with the supplies needed. You will need a large water bath canning pot with a rack like this one here. The pot is pictured below, with the rack inside.

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
The rack helps to lift the hot jars in and out of the large pot. They often come together in a set, and you can get them lots of places (Target, Ace Hardware, etc.)

You will also need the supplies pictured below. You can get the blue canning utensils in a set from Ball here or at the stores listed above.
canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
The blue thing that looks like a zig zag is for measuring headspace when you fill the jars. The tongs are for lifting the hot jars out of the pot. The lid lifter has a magnet on the end so it’s easy to get the lids out of the water to seal the jars. And the funnel is for pouring in your hot jammy goodness into the mason jars!

I also like the measuring cups with the pour spout to scoop the jam out of the pot and fill the jars (these were given to me by my friend who first taught me to can jam!) Oh and don’t forget the mason jars!! I prefer the 1/2 pint jars for jam.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

You’ll need to wash these lids and jars in warm soapy water before canning so you can keep things clean!

And let’s not forget the fruit and your recipes. I love the book Canning for a New Generation, by Liana Krissoff because it has recipes with low sugar and uses other methods for natural pectin in fruits, so you don’t have to have pectin on hand.

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Now that we’ve got all the supplies, let’s get to making jam!!!

First, wash your lids and jars in hot soapy water, and fill your canning pot with water! You’ll want your jars to have 1 inch of water above them when they are processing, so you’ll need to fill it that much. Once its full, put it on the stove bring it to a boil.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Put your jars aside on a towel and your lids and rings in a bowl while you prepare your jam and wait for the water to boil in the pot.  Then get out your fruit! Follow the recipe for making the jam, but for the most part, it will look a little like this…

Hull the strawberries | chop the fruit | mash the fruit | put in a pot and add sugar | bring to a boil

canning 101: homemade jam canning 101: homemade jam

And that’s where I’ll leave us for today. I’m sorry for stopping mid process, but if I don’t I will never get this out! Stay tuned on how to fill the jars and process in the water bath canner in Part 2!

DIY edible wedding favors and thank you’s

We have been busy with the wedding season in our etsy shop, loveinamasonjar! I love all the creative ideas brides have and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of it! I wanted to share what we did for wedding favors for our fall wedding, in case anyone is in need of an edible DIY wedding favor idea!

Matt and I love chocolate chip cookies (Matt especially) so it seemed fitting to include them in our wedding, And my father-in-law makes the best chocolate chip cookies around. I mean – they really are the best. So we were so thankful when he was willing to make 250 chocolate chip cookies to use as our favors! They were such a hit, and we loved that it was something we both love, and it was a family recipe.

We were going with a kraft paper, brown paper bag look for the rest of our wedding, so we decided to use a brown paper bag with a custom stamp to hold the cookies for your guests. We had the stamp made for us at the same shop that did our invitations (see that post here) – Stampout online. This is what they looked like on our table.

DIY wedding favors - loveinamasonjar.com

Don’t these cookies look delicious!!?

DIY wedding favors - loveinamasonjar.com

And a close up of the stamp.

Cookie Bags stamped - DIY wedding favors - loveinamasonjar.com

We also wanted to include a thank you to our guests, as it was so special to us to have them all there to celebrate with us, so we incorporated that into our favor as well. The thank you card we made ourselves, and printed on kraft paper card stock we bought at Michaels.
custom wedding thank you - loveinamasonjar.com
We decided to use a mini clothespin and attach the thank you to the hand cut napkins we made and put them at each place setting along with the cookie favor.

wedding thank you - loveinamasonjar.com

For the napkins, we simply picked out different fabric patterns, and my moms and sisters hand cut each piece. We left them frayed because it was easier, and it was more “rustic” anyway! See – we couldn’t have done it with out family!!!!

favors on long tables - loveinamasonjar.com

Every time I write these posts, I am reminded of how blessed we are, and what a wonderful family I am a part of! An amazing part of planning a wedding is the way families pull together to make it happen!

Easy DIY July 4 party ideas!

Happy (almost) Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July is almost here, can you believe it? I love this holiday and wanted to share some ideas from a party we threw a few years back (actually it ended up being my engagement party but I didn’t know that at the time :))

We set up simple tables with red table cloths and a mason jar with a dollar store American flag for the “centerpiece”.

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We used a long table for the food spread and made sure to get American flag plates and napkins to make it festive! We did potluck style so everyone brought something, which made it super easy!

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One of my favorite entertaining staples is this mason jar beverage dispenser from pottery barn . Don’t forget the sharpie for marking names on the cups!

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For bottled beverages instead of a traditional ice chest we used a red radio flyer wagon to hold the drinks!

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And last, but not least, dessert. Try this festive cupcake American flag display! You can use any flavor with white frosting and berries on top for the decor! I was so happy with how it turned out!

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Hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday!

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DIY Mason Jar To Go Cup

Hi friends! It’s been awhile! I have no idea where the month of April went, but apparently it’s now mid-May! Summer is a-coming! And on that note, I thought I’d share a little DIY I did awhile back that would be a great project for the hot summer days coming up!

I know you have all seen the mason jar to go cups before, so this is no surprise but I just thought I’d share! (Plus, be sure to read the update at the end with some additional suggestions…)

What you need:

..mason jar  with lid and ring (I used the regular mouth pint size)..

.. #14 stainless steel grommets..

..hole punch or drill..

..hot glue gun..

..straws (I got mine from starbucks)..

mason jar to go cup - loveinamasonjar.com

Step 1 – drill or punch a hole in the center of the lid

Step 2 – use a hot glue gun to glue a grommet on the top and the bottom of the lid, just around the hole

DIY mason jar to go cup - loveinamasonjar.com

Step 3 – Wait to dry and then insert the straw and screw on the lid!

DIY mason jar to go cup - loveinamasonjar.com

That’s it! It looks super cute and even fits in a car cup holder!

UPDATE: After a while the glue began to come apart from the lid (I think it has something to do with the moisture and the smoothness of the lid). I tried re-gluing a few times, but it came apart each time. The next time I have a few minutes to do a project I want to try a rubber grommet like the one used in this post from Little Bit Funky Blog. Hope this helps!