The Big Thaw= Foraging, Greening, Kayaking, & Crawfish

     So… we’re both pretty sick, but have been working all day. Jason’s editing marketing videos for a company and I’m writing emails, marketing, and booking clients. This blog post is just going to be laid back about the things we’ve gotten to see and take part in in the past week because we can’t muster the energy for anything more creative than that.

     Last week after we dropped off our paperwork to be in THIS Sunday’s Bridal Expo at Morris Park:

 we had some time to kill before a free class and headed to MAKE South Bend. There we saw how the 4-color screenprinting process works and snatched up some awesome South Bend Flag swag. For those of you who didn’t catch it, South Bend has a new city flag that was designed for South Bend’s 150th anniversary last year! What better time to celebrate that now than in this Indiana’s 200th anniversary?! Jason also snatched up a print of an awesome piece of artwork: a cat watercolor painting if you will.

     We then went to the Asian Market in downtown South Bend for the first time. It’s a bit like other Asian markets we’ve been to, except this one had a few more “fresh” veggie options. We grabbed a bag of new goodies to try including a sapote fruit we’ve never tried, some watermelon seeds, melon licorice-flavored seeds, octopus in a bag, etc. and headed out. If you can’t travel another country at the moment to experience their culture, a thing you can do is head to a foreign food market! We loved this Venezuelan restaurant that we tried at the end of September in South Bend, but it seems to have since shut down. It was absolutely amazing, though, and we added it to the “firsts” we’ve tried together including Ethopian food we got in Santa Barbara, uni in Santa Barbara, and many other cuisines we’ve gotten to try for the first time together.

     Last for the day, we were finally able to attend a class on Wild Edible plants. The class was amazing and very informative, but we’ve a long way to go in terms of being genius foragers. Together we’ve gathered wood sorrel, morel mushrooms, and other small items for eating. Jenny has gathered wild raspberries & strawberries in her parents’ old backyard woods and we’re both really interested in finding some plants we for sure know are edible and trying those as we head into spring. Next on the list is definitely Queen Ann’s Lace! Who knew those were edible? We sure didn’t until we took the Unity Gardens class at the library. The Unity Gardens also held a whole weekend’s worth of classes during the Growing Summit held at the classrooms at the library and we’re so excited to see what they have at the Farmer’s Market this coming weekend. We can’t believe that they let anyone pick from the community gardens and we can’t wait to head over there and check all of that out!

     This past weekend the very Irish/ Polish city of South Bend, Indiana (the city we work from and where Jenny grew up) celebrated St. Patrick’s Day about a week early. (We still don’t understand this- why not start Friday the 18th since St. Pat’s is on Thurs the 17th?!) The celebrations included live music, green beer in large party tents downtown, and a parade! We missed all of that because we were busy, but we DID get to see for the first time a river dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day! This “river greening” is a long-held tradition in Chicago, IL and though it’s in Illinois, it’s merely an hour and a half from South Bend, Indiana and residents of South Bend tend to lean toward cheering for and celebrating Chicago teams and traditions a little more than Indiana teams and traditions. Anywho, though we’ve never seen the Chicago Greening, we did get to see the South Bend East Race river greening on Saturday! It was very short since the river flows quickly through the small rapids and the dye dissipates rapidly, but it was neat to see a neon green river. We got to snap some photos and video, chat with some family & friends we ran into, and go on our way.

Dumping dye into the St. Joe River so we can all pretend to be Irish or something

Posted by Jason Hughes on Saturday, March 12, 2016

     Did we mention we even got Nelson’s Port-a-Pit chicken on the way over?! It’s been a hot minute since we had it in October and we’ve been waiting through winter to eat the deliciously seasoned mini potatoes and half a chicken! We even got to use our some of our $20 cash we got back from recycling our bottles in Michigan! And yes, by the way we found 2 places that take recycled bottles sort of nearby. In Michigan you get 10 cents back per bottle you recycle, but each place only recycles bottles that they SELL. We have a couple small bottles left, but it was nice to get rid of at least 200 of them that we’ve been hoarding for almost 5 months-!

     Monday was the 1-week mark of the snow and ice melting where we live, so we decided to take the kayaks out to see how the wildlife and flora were doing around the lake. All of the lilypads and other swamp plants were dead, but we found cranes, swans, and other wildlife nearby. We learned that our cat Kevin is terrified of boats and water (as most cats are) and gave up on trying to teach him how to sit in a kayak. We also found a trap in the water on our shore that surprisingly contained 6 live crawfish! Jenny hadn’t seen any since she was young, and even then only ever saw a couple in her life. The crawfish seemed to turn blue with age/ size and were very fascinating to watch when we put them into a container. After photographing them, we decided to set them free rather than eat them since we didn’t know much about them and knew they existed in very small quantities here.

    Yesterday we got our wedding photography page up on The Knot. We’ve still been tediously working our butts off marketing and answering brides’ emails, but this was a big milestone for us. We’ve been working with The Knot for about a month to get our page up, and it’s finally up to our relief! You can check it out at :

Couples love us! See our reviews on The Knot.

     Tomorrow we’re off to the Bizarre Market at MAKE South Bend & are excited to have our last and most awesome bridal show this weekend at Morris Park Country Club in South Bend! The event is on Sunday March 20th from noon- 4 pm and we would love to see you there!

     Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day tomorrow (as responsibly as possible) and we'll catch you next week!