the spice must flow (zigazig ah)

I really hate the term “staycation”, but that’s what I’m doing. In a universe where the world isn’t ending, “staying” is the last thing I would ever do on vacation. My time off is for going! I don’t get paid for this time off, so I must make the most of it!

.. except I am burnt the fuck out and about to break. I’m at the point where I desperately want to cry or rage or scream at current events both global and personal, but I can’t – the most I can muster is a brow more slightly furrowed than usual. That probably isn’t good.

So, last Wednesday I asked my boss for this week off. It took him until late Friday afternoon to even acknowledge my email which definitely didn’t help the burning, but by 4pm I had approval for the week off. No GitHub for 9 glorious days. It’s not Europe, but I’ll take it.

I didn’t just want to sit around the house doing nothing. That’s been the default since the quarantine started (today is day 129), and it’s part of why I’m burnt out. International Jet Set Kimli thrives on planning adventure, and with no adventure to be had or even imagined at this stage, it’s been a lot of disconsolate couch-sitting interspersed with Animal Crossing and a steady stream of mail-order edibles. Plus, this week off is costing me a lot of money. I have an off-shore savings account with funds stashed away to pay myself when I’m on vacation, and in the interest of keeping the banks happy, I still need to pay bills and the mortgage. Going a week without pay is stressful. Breathing is stressful. Staring blankly at the ceiling for hours and desperately wishing I could cry to move this concrete wall in my chest is stressful.

It’s only Day 2 of my not-a-staycation, but I’ve been very productive. I don’t have Big Plans for each day this week, but I definitely want to get some stuff done. First up: SPICES!

I didn’t have the foresight to have a spice solution installed in the kitchen when we moved in. While there is a dedicated cupboard for all things spicy, it’s difficult to access while cooking. My standard method of “pile of random spices on counter” was unorganized and unsightly. I started hunting for a new way to spice, and fell in love with a system of magnetic jars – unfortunately, it was a) expensive and b) tiny. A system of 24 2oz jars cost $120USD plus $100USD for shipping. 2oz of spice is hardly any spice, but you can get 4oz jars for $265USD shipped. These are empty jars, of course – if you want filled ones, that’s more.

That’s a dumb price for not enough bottles, so I did some looking. I found sets of 12 3oz mini mason jars for less than $20 Canadian with free shipping, so I bought 3 sets. $40 for some strong magnets, a dining room table covered in spices, and most of a Sunday later, I had a solution. Ed took the whole thing one step further by discovering that my tiny jars fit PERFECTLY under the cupboards:


The magnets are attached to the cupboard itself, and the jars are just pulled off to use. It’s currently set up with 15 jars on either side of the stove. I did fill all 36 jars, but ran out of magnets .. so I ordered more of both so I can complete my spice assortment and look super cool while doing it. Each jar has two labels: a laminated (did you know paper laminate is food safe?) white label inside the spice itself, and a clear label on the exterior of the jar. They’re all sitting in alphabetical order because that is right and proper, but they can easily be moved around based on frequency of use.

I’m super stoked about this system. The jars have been up since Sunday, and are holding steady – spice is super light, and even though the jars are glass, they’re pretty tiny and far smaller than the 18lb magnet limit.

When the remaining jars arrive and I get them all set up in the kitchen, I’ll take a picture of the entire setup. I am super pleased! A quick trip to Bulk Barn filled my jars up but good, and I am ready to .. order pizza for the rest of my staycation. Don’t judge me, I’m burnt the fuck out.


5 thoughts on “the spice must flow (zigazig ah)

  1. I love this! I, too, have spice management problem, and so I’m totally going to steal your idea. How did you you attach the magnets to the cupboard? I’m guessing Gorilla glue would work because it’s pretty strong, but since you’ve already successfully done this, I thought I’d ask!

    • The magnets I bought came with 3M sticky circles! They’re stuck to the cabinet and have not budged, even after a week. Highly recommended, and less hassle than gorilla glue (and theoretically removable)!

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