Last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to visit Island Creek Oyster Farm down in Duxbury, MA. My husband is a big fan of oysters and got me into them a few years ago too — now we’re both oyster-obsessed and love checking out new varieties whenever see them pop up on the menu at local restaurants (we’ve even done some at-home-shucking too!). No matter how many we try though, we always come back to Island Creek’s as our favorites. After being invite to visit the OysterPlex and meet the folks that run ICO, I’m even more committed to my favorite oysters now. ICO Farm 5ICO Farm 14ICO Farm 6Chris and his team took us through the history of building the ICO OysterPlex and brand, and showed us how they cultivate and farm the oysters from ‘seed’ to harvest. It all started on the shore where we saw the greenhouses where the team grows their algae to feed the oysters at the seed stage. From there, we followed the seeds through their life cycle and ended up out in two boats on the water where they grow  in trays in Duxbury Bay until they’re ready to harvest.

ICO Farm 8ICO Farm 1ICO Farm 1120140725-102216-37336811.jpgICO Farm 9Duxbury Bay is absolutely gorgeous. After visiting the oyster trays out in the water, we stopped at the ICO float out in the water where they process and sort the harvest each day and enjoyed some of the oysters that had just been plucked out of the water — doesn’t get much fresher than that! A few beers and glasses of rosé wine were enjoyed with the oyster-feast as we met Skip Bennett, founder of Island Creek. My favorite anecdote from the day was hearing about how Skip drove into Boston one day to try to offload a surplus of oysters to local chefs. He showed up at the back door of East Coast Grill in Cambridge with his pick-up truck and his oyster haul. East Coast Grill was the first place to buy wholesale oysters from Island Creek, and the rest was history!ICO Farm 1020140725-102215-37335876.jpg20140725-102217-37337668.jpgICO Farm 4ICO Farm 2

It felt like a once in a lifetime experience to get to visit the oyster farm where some of our very favorite seafood treats come from. I also learned so much from Island Creek team about oysters, (did you know it only takes 18 months to grow a full size oyster shell?! I thought it took years upon years!), the benefit of aquaculture and oysters to the environment, and the great things that ICO does to give back to the community with their foundation. Thanks so much to Skip, Chris, and the rest of the Island Creek team for such an awesome day

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We’ve had our fair share of cold winter nights this year, which means we’ve had to get creative with weekend plans and bring a few of our date-nights close to home. This weekend we had a little taste of summer with a coffee-table picnic. We had a plate of French cheeses — my sweet husband sent me a box of Murray’s Cheeses for Valentines Day (the way to my heart is Camembert, not roses!). We also had some local oysters, which I’ve always been intimidated to shuck on our own, but after some research on technique my husband mastered it in no time! The good news is the weather is warming up, so here’s hoping those newly obtained shucking skills are put to use at a real picnic soon.

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Luckily summer is almost over, because this Saturday I am confident it peaked — I had the.best.day.ever.  We went with some friends for a day trip out to Nantucket and had the most perfect summer day. It  was my first time there, so we explored the quaint little cobblestone streets and did some window shopping, we took a ride out to the Cisco Brewery and did a tour and some tastings, and we had a delicious seafood dinner as the sun was setting over the island. At one point we were sitting outside with the sun shining, eating oysters and enjoying some drinks while listening to a live band play at the brewery, and I just felt so overwhelmingly happy — I mean, does it get any better than that? photo5photo2photo3photo4photo

It was a pretty amazing weekend; I had tons of fun celebrating my fiance’s birthday at the delicious Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston. Saturday was spent sourcing some eye-catching treats at Macaron Sweeterie. And Sunday was the cherry on top of a fun weekend, working on a styled shoot with two of my best friends — check back tomorrow for a sneak peek! How did you spend your weekend?
My new cooler tote is c/o Scout by Bungalow