Tuscan farmhouse at Querceto di Castellina family winery in Tuscany, Italy

Europe Adventure Part 3: Italy

The final stop on our European adventure was Italy! I was very much excited about Ireland and Switzerland, but was most looking forward to our experience in Italy. It was made even more special by the fact that my parents and Nick's mom and her cousin joined us! When we stepped out into the streets of Florence, Nick and I were nervous that we had made a mistake - we were coming from the peace and quiet of the breathtaking mountains of Switzerland to the hustle and bustle of Florence with people literally everywhere. Thankfully it didn't take us long to get adjusted and settled in - but we still laugh about how we looked at each other thinking "what have we done?!"

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Mountain views in Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Europe Adventure Part 2: Switzerland

We were dressed for cooler and rainy temperatures when we left Ireland, so we were very overdressed for the 85 degree temps in Zurich! We spent our time in Switzerland mostly in Grindelwald, but explored Zurich for a few hours before hopping on the train to head south. We had lunch in the cutest little square at what was essentially a pop-up restaurant - a food truck with tables set up. We explored, got some ice cream (naturally), and then found our way back to the train station. Side note - Switzerland is expensive. Our first experience with this was at the train station when you had to pay to use the restrooms, and then when we purchased our train tickets. But we were there and going to make the most of it!

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Fairy Bridges on the west coast of Ireland

Europe Adventure Part 1: Ireland

Our five year anniversary is coming up in two days on August 2, which is pretty crazy! Since our Europe adventure was kind of slated as our "5 Year Anniversary Celebration" now seemed like the right time to recap our amazing 16 days in Europe. So amazing that we even looked into switching our flights to stay an extra 4 days until we had to be home for work and other commitments - spoiler alert, we didn't. There's this thing called money and lots of logistics involved, so we stuck to our original plan. So I'll tell you all about our trip and not think about the extra four days that could have been.

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Contentment Challenge Reflection from Brenna of Ivy + Linen Design Co.

Contentment Challenge Reflection

I have been following Nancy Ray, a local Raleigh photographer and blogger, for a while now, so I have heard her talk about her Contentment Challenge quite a bit. I even followed her when she did it for the second time several years ago. I always thought, "I don't buy that much unnecessary stuff and I'm all about decluttering and not having excess, so I don't think the Contentment Challenge is for me." But when Nancy announced that she was going to be doing the Contentment Challenge for a third time started January 1, 2019 I felt this tug to give it a try. 

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Brenna from Ivy + Linen Design Co. sketching designs in her sketchbook - photo taken by Kelsey Nelson Photography

Looking Forward to 2019 - Goals for the New Year!

Yesterday we entered into a new year - even though December and January are no different than the transition to any other month, they somehow feel worlds apart. One of my favorite motivators and authors, Lara Casey, always says there is nothing magical about January 1 and that goals and action can be taken any day of the year (which I completely agree with!), but there is also something refreshing about a new year. So much excitement about the year to come and the hope and joy of starting fresh!

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Bookmark from Ivy + Linen Design Co.'s bookmark collection

Top 5 Books of 2018

Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax - I have trouble sitting still and "resting", so reading allows me to feel like I am being productive while actually taking time to rest physically and mentally from other tasks. I have been in a book club for the past 2 years, and while it is more of a social club, we still pick a book every month and I always read it. I love having other people pick out books for me to mix things up a bit!

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Simple recipe cards by Ivy + Linen Design Co., Photo by Kelsey Nelson Photography

A Thanksgiving Favorite: Hash Brown Casserole

Thanksgiving is a time of family, friends, fellowship, and food. It is also a time of traditions, which most of the time seem to involve food. For as long as I can remember, my Thanksgiving meals have included hash brown casserole. It is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish, not only because it is incredibly tasty, but because I have some pretty fond memories tied to that casserole.

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Brenna, the owner and designer of Ivy + Linen Design Co., sitting on her gray couch holding a cup of tea

Welcome to the Ivy + Linen Blog!

Hi there! I'm Brenna, owner and designer of Ivy + Linen Design Co., a stationery and paper goods business based in Raleigh, NC! Today starts a whole new journey of entering into the world of blogging and I'm looking forward to walking alongside you and sharing about things I have learned and continue to learn about small business ownership, marriage, inspiration, stationery, and all the things in between!

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