Where are you and where did you come from?

We currently live in Columbia, Missouri, a college town in the middle of the country. Originally from Minnesota, I (Jessica) relocated to Missouri in 1996 with my family. After finishing high school, I moved to Springfield (where Neil is from) to go to college. Neil and I met through mutual friends several years after I graduated from Missouri State University, during a car event with our local club. Once we started dating Neil moved to Columbia and the rest is history!

What are your degree(s) in?

I (Jessica) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design with an emphasis in graphic design and illustration degree in 2004. Ever the glutton for punishment, I returned to school and completed a MA in Education in Educational Technology with an emphasis in Learning Systems, Design & Development in December 2011. With that out of the way, I’m finally taking a break to mull the idea of Ph.D. for a few years. In what, I have no idea!

I (Neil) started learning on the early Internet in the 1990’s, self educating while in high school. As I progressed my skills I was hired at Cox Hospital in Springfield, Missouri as an Implementation Specialist in 1997. After a couple years I was promoted to a Systems Administrator. After 10 years with Cox, I met Jessica and relocated in 2007 to Columbia and assumed a Project Management position University of Missouri Health Care. A couple years later I moved to a job as a Network Systems Analyst position with the University of Missouri.

What do you currently do for a living?

Currently we both work for the University of Missouri in IT by day. Neil works in networking and Jessica does web design and development. By night we run our own creative and consulting business out of our upstairs loft. We say creative and consulting because it’s too hard to narrow to a specific field of work. We do design, development, consulting. Bring us an idea for a project, and we’ll find a way to help!

Why did you start a freelance business?

Neil is a developer and I’m a graphic and web designer, so we joke that between the two of us, we would make the perfect designer/developer. In reality, two heads are better than one, and we have an exceptional set of skills we think are hard to find in just one person. And bonus, we work well together.

What kind of services do you offer?

Honestly, there are too many to name. If you have an idea, or wonder if we can help you with a project you’re considering, drop us a line!

Why did you start blogging?

Like many, most of our family and friends are spread out all over the country. We started our blog to update them about events in our lives and the progress we were making planning our wedding. When we made it a goal to eat and live healthier and started cooking more of our meals at home from scratch, we started sharing the recipes online and got a huge response. As we move through life and continue to try new things we share them for you, our friends and family!

What sparked your interest in cooking?

Like a lot of people we hit the mid-twenties and experienced the collision of desk jobs and slowing metabolisms. Wanting to eat better, and spend more time together, we started making healthy meals at home in the evening. Meals quickly became something fun that we enjoyed challenging ourselves with, and we’ve experienced so many new flavors and ingredients in the process.

You seem to cook both healthy and unhealthy food, why?

Simply put, we’re human and life is short. While each meal and decision regarding your health is important, it’s important to have a balance. For us that balance means that day to day we stick to a Paleo diet, but when special occasions come around we indulge, within reason of course. We enjoy good food and try not to let our desire to be healthy become an unhealthy preoccupation. We hope you enjoy our mix of healthy and fun recipes.

Are you vegetarians?

Despite our collection of both vegetarian and vegan recipes, we are neither. Neil loves meat and while I could easily live without it, I tend to perform better during exercise with it in moderate levels. Overall, we strive to be ethical meat eaters, seeking organic, ethically-raised meat and seafood wherever possible, and minimizing consumption whenever possible.

What kind of camera equipment do you use?

We use a Nikon D90 with the stock 18-105mm lens and a 50mm f1.8 fixed lens for most of our food shots. We are eying a wide angle lens to aid our hiking and camping shots to capture landscapes. Most specifically a 17-55mm f2.8. We would also love a macro lens, and a telephoto lens around a maximum of 300mm.

What kind of computer equipment do you use?

(Neil) It is ironic that I actually use a 5 year-old Core2Duo desktop while Jessica uses our newly built i7 sandy bridge quad core PC with 8 gigabytes of ram and a 256mb solid state (OS) drive, and a 2 terabyte drive for storage. Complete with an nvidia GTX560 1gb pcie x16 video card. Oh yeah we also got her the professional; color correct IPS monitor. She is spoiled.

Do you have credentials or expertise in what you write about?

We have a tough time believing that its possible to be an expert at anything, and even though we hold advanced and professional experience in many of the topics discussed, we just can’t bring ourselves to label ourselves “experts.” Chalk it up as a consequence of liking so many things, there just isn’t enough time to know everything about everything. We try a lot of things out, and write about our experiences, doing the best we can to write honestly, thoroughly and to the best of our knowledge.

Where did your blog name come from?

Our name comes from, well, our name. It’s also the name of our freelance business. When we went to register our name in 2009, we saw that “Kohler Creative” was taken on the web. So we went with the next best thing, Kohler Created.

How often do you backpack?

As often as we can but not as often as we’d like. With a busy schedule, a new house and trying to navigate the unpredictable weather in Missouri, we definitely do our best to maximize our trips, taking them whenever we can. Most of our trips occur in Missouri, but we also love to explore new states and terrain. Have a travel tip for us? We’d love to hear it!