I’ve been silent on the Blogosphere for a while. Lots of big moves and changes afoot!
We returned to the US with our purpose more solidly etched in our minds, and a plan to achieve it. Since our journey home (read: “since our 40-hour itinerary of exhaustion”), we have:
Visited family in Florida, New York, West Virginia, and Virginia.
Researched, planned, and executed a move to North Carolina, where we found a beautiful rental in Cary. (A 2/1 duplex unit which feels ENORMOUS compared to the Odyssey!)
Enrolled in and completed a real estate broker prelicensing course at GoSchool. (HIGHLY recommend this school, especially if you can take the course with Amanda H.!)
Begun teaching through an online tutoring company to English language learners in China! (Post on this fantastic addition to my life coming soon, but in the meantime if you are interested in becoming a tutor, follow my referral link here to learn more! Or just leave me a comment!)
PASSED the licensing exam and applied for my license
Received my new license in the mail! (Now comes the time to decide which lucky brokerage gets to profit off of me!)
This has definitely been a radical shift from what we grew accustomed to while living the #vanlife in New Zealand, but it is not without its own perks! Despite my crazy schedule over the past several weeks, with the course, exam prep, and tutoring in between, it has been very important to us to start making this little space a home.
One thing about this unit is that is has no counter space to speak of. Literally, my chopping and prep is done on a cutting board on the stove. This meant my SPICES, while wholly welcome in my cooking, are wholly UNwelcome on my counters.
I present to you, my own take on the Marvelous Magnetic Spice Jar! This was super easy, and I love the result in so many ways!
To make my jars, I used:
4-oz mason jars (any small jar with a lid)
strong magnets (one for each jar)
Gorilla Glue (as per directions you will also need a small amount of water with a paintbrush or paper towel)
jar labels and pen
Step 1: Glue your lids to your rims
Most mason jars have a two-part lid, with the flat lid topper which fits in under the lid rim. I did not want to have to worry about juggling multiple pieces when opening a jar so I first glued the rims to the lids. I put a line of glue in 3rds around the inner rim and set the lid on it. Allow to dry a long time! I waited the prescribed 4 hours and then tested it on a jar, and the pieces came apart. Humph! I then waited a full day in between glueing stages, and didn’t have any more issues.
Step 2: Glue your magnets to your lids
It doesn’t matter if the glue shows a bit because this is the side that will magnetize to your fridge or other magnetic surface. The key is to make it strong! Again, I recommend waiting a full day in between to allow the glue to set permanently.
Step 3: Add your labels
Ok, so there are endless suppliers of mason jar accessories, and I could have purchased labels that would have perfectly fit the small flat oval surface on the front of my jars. BUT NO! I had large labels from a project a few years back, so I was determined to be frugal and repurpose them for my little jars. This was honestly the most time-consuming part of the project (if you don’t count waiting 24 hours between gluing sessions) and involved sizing my own stencil, then tracing and cutting each oval by hand with an exacto knife.
Step 4: Add your spices and design your display!
This stage was oh-so-satisfying! Empty all of your spices into their individual jars, tighten the lids and stick to your fridge! You can see my end result below, but our kitchen is still a major work in progress. The great thing about these is how easy they are to rearrange and repurpose! (Can anyone envision these as a way to organize office clutter or workbench necessities??)
A few things to note:
I chose the 4-oz jars because they fit one standard spice jar from the grocery store. I have seen something similar done with larger jars (6-8oz) but if you choose to use these just make sure that your magnet is strong enough to support the jar when it is filled with spice.
I ended up using 2 different types of magnets, because I inevitably bought too few of the first kind from WalMart, which were 1″ in diameter. They came in 4-packs and were dual-sided, with one side being MUCH stronger than the other; so strong that when I glued it to the lid, and later tested it on my fridge, the magnet escaped the Gorilla glue on the lid and stayed magnetized to the fridge! Fortunately I discovered this early after doing only 1, and the rest went on with the weaker side out to stick to the fridge. Still plenty strong! I also used about 4 magnets that I purchased from Home Depot. They were .75″ in diameter and less strong, so I used them for my “flake” spices (oregano, chili, marjoram, etc)
My jar labels came from Amazon a couple years back. The pack came with a “chalk pen” which looks great! However it is not permanent, so my lettering on the labels smudges when I grip a jar carelessly to open. If this is a concern for you I definitely recommend something permanent!
I chose to do a jar without a shaker top built in, because I like to be able to reach in with a spoon or measuring spoon to scoop out for a recipe or a sprinkle. They DO sell these sprinkle tops online if that’s something you rely on.
I will still continue to write about the things we did and saw and places we explored while vanlife-ing in New Zealand. Good motivation for everyone, myself included, to pursue their dreams and get back to that glorious wilderness!
Missed some stories? Check out a few below!
**Thanks for reading! I claim to represent no other’s opinions than my own. All experiences are my own, unless otherwise stated.**