Slow Cooking


Yeah. I don’t have time for that. Since having moved to Sheldon, IA almost a year ago, I have fallen in love with convenience food. My weight having jumped almost 20 pounds proves it. However, now that we’re in the new house, I can not afford, monetarily or health considering, greasy, fried fast food.

Not so easy. I do not want to diet. I can’t. If I try to restrict myself in anyway I will binge eat to illness. I have extreme addiction patterns and I break easily. Very easily… It is time for a complete lifestyle overhaul. Time to cook my own food.


I thought it was love...

After seeing this awesome post on freezer crockpot meals, I was instantly inspired. I have always wanted to tackle crockpot cooking and this looked like an amazing way to really jump in with a meal time overhaul. There are two things I have in abundance, a lack of patience and a love for home cooked food.

Within hours of my inspiration, Starla and I went out to buy a slow cooker. I had one awhile ago but it gave me a bad feeling so back it went…don’t ask. Found a fancy name brand, 7 qt crockpot, on sale $50 marked down to $30. (It’s red and I HATE red appliances, with a fiery passion from hell, however I totally scratched it big time while opening the box, so I doesn’t matter. I ruin everything and having already made it mine by accidentally beating it up helps me to love it.)

Crockpot acquired and already damaged. Check.

Food shopping. This was the fun part. I actually made a list. I had no idea what my recipes were going to be or what I was going to mix with what. Just a general idea to wash, chop, pack and freeze. This is what I bought:
5 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
7 ish small brown potatoes
7 ish small red potatoes
2 bags celery
1 bag baby carrots
Bag of white onions, about 6, I didn’t even count
10 garlic cloves
Bag of green beans
12 chicken breast
5 mild Italian sausages
BBQ sauce
Taco seasoning
Marinara sauce
Freezer bags

I ended up with 6 meals. I was watching the totals at the register and I spent around $50 for all of the food as almost everything I bought was on sale. Score!

Now, I went at this just sort of looking over random recipes. Give ‘freezer crockpot cooking’ a google, there are some really awesome recipes out there…but I don’t follow recipes. If I do, I ALWAYS mess up. It is basic enough, I wash and chop and just pack the bags…Freeze and dump in the pot the next day, right? Wrong.

Baking Pan

You can make cake AND casserole in this bad boy!

Everything I do turns to mush. Everything. Low temp, high temp, low water, high water, and By mid-week I finally gave up. My freezer meals ended up in a 13×9 pan, in the oven. This was perfection. I love baking. Love. It. So, goodbye crock-pot. Helloooooo baking pan!

Now I am on a quest to find the quickest and simplest baked dishes out there. I would love to see your recipes in the comments below! I will be starting a new cooking project very soon as I get back in check with #GeekFit. More on that later…

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Marvelous Guest Soap

Marvelous Guest Soap

Marvelous Guest Soap

Our first soap for 2012 has been released and it happens to be comic book inspired. As to why, well, as a company specializing in “geek” it only seems natural, and obvious…but really, that has nothing to do with it…mostly.

Quick note, if this is the first time reading me, I write how I speak. I apologize for my punctuation abuse…

As some of you know, I cross business and personal all of the time. It is hard for me to separate the two because what I create is directly influenced by what I live and love. In days past, I had never really been a huge comic fan. *gasp!* I just simply never had access to comic books. I hadn’t even been into a real comic shop until my early twenties… However, my son has managed to completely change this and my products are reflecting it.

Quick history on Trent. He has a very hard time interacting socially and repeated kindergarten because he wasn’t ready for the chaotic social structure that was forming and he was also having a hard time with letters, seeing a lot of things backwards which then led to a hate for reading. He wanted nothing to do with it because it was difficult and he couldn’t understand it.

Trent teaching himself how to read.

Trent reading during soccer practice.

Enter his first Clone Wars Graphic Novel…So, his second year of kindergarten is over and we begin spending a lot of time in the library. While poking around in the pre-teen section he finds the book that started it all, and like a fool, I don’t remember which one it was, but he did end up reading every last novel he could find that summer.

I had gone to ComicCon during that time and StarFest earlier in the year. I bought tons and tons and TONS of old comics for the kids and by default, I was starting to really get into them. Add this giant plethora of reading material to his all ready giant stack of books and fast forward six months… My son had taught himself how to read.

I kid you not. As soon as my son found something he wanted to read it was all down hill from there. Comics worked so well for him because it was a lot of one word to one frame. With so many visual clues as to what a word is, from character expression to movement being demonstrated, he just figured out how to put it all together. He had learned the fundamentals in school, now he had found his own way to apply them. #win

Oh yeah, I originally had started writing this to tell you about soap…

So, about said soap…In tribute to the characters we have fallen in love with over the last year, which really, have all been older versions from the 60’s/70’s (We have to keep it kid friendly you know…) we have released the Marvelous Guest Soap. Our tiny tribute to the heroes that taught my son the joy of reading.

As a side note, on DC versus Marvel…I am more partial to Marvel because I am in love with Benjamin Grimm, however I have girl lust for Batman…What are you gonna do, right? We are an equal opportunity science fiction household and the same holds true for comics, as you will see this year in our soap designs…

I would LOVE to hear how comics have influenced your life in the comments below. What are your favorites? Who do you wish you could be?

Yours, Kylee Lane

P.S. I have two blogs here, one for business (product updates/development notes) and one for pleasure (being an ultra cool mom/education ranting) …already I find that I can’t categorize most of what I write. >.< How do you people with multiple blogs do it??

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Another Year

20120107-233954.jpg Hope everyone had a beautiful Holiday Season full of sweet treats and epic squees of joy.

We stayed very busy with work and very sick kids until a few days before Christmas where we just shut the doors, turned off the phones, hung blankets over the windows and watched movies and snuggled. Kids slept in until almost 10am on Christmas morning…which was the best gift they could have given us…

Next year will be our first Christmas in the new house so we spent a fair amount of time reflecting on our journey to buying said house. As most of you know, right now we are living (and running the business) above a garage in our future backyard. There was no space for a tree or decorations, though the kids did manage to draw and decorate plenty. Rory and I decided not to buy gifts for each other anymore (Holidays, birthdays, our anniversary…) and put all of our money into a savings account. As the gift-less year came to an end, we were (and still are) both pretty happy. Of course we bought the kids their usual assortment of jammies, books and art supplies for Christmas morning, but deciding not to gift each other has actually relieved a bit of stress…so we just make out more.

So another year has come and gone. 2012 looks like it is going to be loaded with a multitude of personal and professional changes, from a new home to a new work studio, new websites to new appilances, this will be the year we finally start living our real lives. …because you know, everything up until this point was just practice and learning, right?

From my family to you and yours, much love and well wishes for a kick-ass 2012. ♥

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Tulip Festival

Last Saturday (May 16th) Rory, the kids and I all went to the Tulip festival in Orange City, IA. We had sooo much fun. I have to admit, as the kids have gotten older, doing things has just become so much more fun…and less stressful…no more strollers, no more diaper bags, no more bottles…etc etc etc… Regretfully, we didn’t go on any of the cool rides (way too expensive…and scary looking!) but we had plenty of funnel cake!! Plus there was an art show and a car show. SCORE! We also had lunch in a plush grassy field and watched this amazing Indian group play some of the most awesome music ever… Trent loooved it. He hates listening music, which all of the rest of us love, however, he could not stop dancing while the band played. Adorable? Yes! Should have taken more pictures, like always, but we still got some really great ones. Enjoy! ♥

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Last week in pictures…

I was laying in bed last night going through the pictures on my phone and completely forgot I could send them to my blog! So, I would like to present: Last Week (and some of this week…) In Pictures!

On Tuesday (May 5Th) my sister and I took Trent shopping and to get hair cuts…He made his first purchase:

The Indiana LEGO game! He was VERY happy and proud!:
And I really needed to get my bangs cut:

I had them thinned out and cut at less of a slant…I do not know that I like them as much:

Trent got his Mohawk done for summer! Yay! :

Sometime last week it was rainy and I took this picture of my sexy car. One day this baby will be pink…:

Saturday (May 9Th)! I love Saturday’s. Starla and I always have a jammie outing to go buy breakfast food. 😀 She thinks it’s pretty cool I let her wear whatever she wants…I never have on makeup and I’m
always in my beloved flannel:
And an awesome breakfast was had indeed! :
After a great weekend and a long Mother’s day nap on Sunday, it was back to work on Monday (May 11Th). I was so busy I asked Rory if he and Trent could please help with some house chores…This was not the kind of help I was hoping for:
And yesterday, Tuesday (May 12th) Trent and I went on our weekly shopping trip and he found this AWESOME Boba Fett shirt. Had to get one for Starla too! (Would have gotten on for me also, but they didn’t have one in my size…):

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Enjoy your children ♥

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day! The kids made me a bunch of awesome cards (which I will be saving forever!) and my amazing husband got me tickets to go see The Offspring later this month. Woooo! ♥ The best Mother’s Day ever. Plus I got a guilt free four hr nap. *swoon*

I have been thinking all day about this post and now that I am sitting here, I do not know what to type. I feel like I should have some in depth advice or some mountain moving instructions on parenting. I mean, we ALL have advice on parenting and on a day like Mother’s Day it seems fit to spill your guts on how and why being a Mother touched and changed your life forever.

I feel, what it comes down to is enjoying your children. I know all to well that at times, it is indeed very hard to enjoy your children….Don’t get me wrong, I have very well behaved, intelligent kids and I take great pride when other Mothers glare at how “easy” my children look. I love those moments when a nearby mother, fighting with her child, glances over to see mine quiet and content with nothing more than holding my shopping list. This all came from a lot of tough love…and it was not easy. I’ve had to to give up a fair share of “me” time in the process.

I am going to go on a tangent here for a second. It’s Mother’s Day and it my blog so it can be as long and as off center as I’d like… Anyway, I can admit that I have not always been the most patient wife and mother. There have been many times I had just simply left the kids with my husband and did my own thing, traveling to see old friends. There have been times I had looked at my family life as a burden, something holding me back. But, I feel that going through these experiences have only made me stronger. They have given me a point of reference in this whole motherhood thing. I am able to look back and compare what kind of mother I could have been and strive to be something better, something stronger. Everyday we make the choice to be what we want to be. It is honestly that simple. Its not that easy, but it IS that simple.

So anyway…Enjoying your children. Life is hard. Gas prices suck. The economy sucks. Health insurance (or lack there of) sucks. There is so much negative surrounding us everyday that it can be very hard seeing the joy and wealth in something as simple as our children. No, no…children aren’t simple…but the joy that they bring is. I think that is something a lot of us lose in parenting. We become so overwhelmed with everyday life that our children just get lost in the shuffle. Even as a parent, we still have to have our own sense of being. We still have to be our own person. That’s where the enjoyment comes in. My husband and I love Star wars, so rather than put that on the back burner, rather than tuck away that part of ourselves, we embrace it with our kids. We pause on the weekends and watch a Sci Fi movie with them. Now we have a son so obsessed with space, we always have something to talk about. Our daughter loves making things, so she runs around Rory while he works outside and that bonding could never be replaced. We listen to music with our kids and read books that interest us with them. We shop with them in the stores we find interesting. From sharing what we like with them it has opened the flood gates of communication. We enjoy exploring their interests as much as they do ours. We enjoy our children and at the same time we are able to touch base with who WE ARE. I feel that because Starla and Trent know us as individuals they respect our decisions because they know why we make them. Respect is a big thing in this house.

So go enjoy your children. Share something with them about yourself. You may be surprised to find they have the same tiny seed of interest, it just needs guidance in blossoming. ♥

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Busy Week!

I mentioned in my business blog that it has been a crazy work week for me, so I haven’t been able to blog…Buuut the weekend is finally here so I can enjoy my coffee (while the kids run around screaming with Rory) and listen to my music in my jammies…

Last weekend, after church the kids decided to make one of their favorite characters (Well…one of MY favorite characters…) from Star Wars. Boba Fett. Yay! My kids rock. I just thought it was so cool because kids these days don’t sit and make things out of paper anymore…they need flashing cartoons and loud toys. However, there was a giant fight afterward as to who got to own this awesome creation…Guess everything can’t be perfect all the time.

Starla gets her new bike tomorrow so I will be sure to post a bunch of pictures for everyone! Also, hello and welcome to all of my family who has found me here and commented. ♥

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