Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tiffany Darlyn Designer Hospital Gown Giveaway ~ Winner Picked July 12th

We are so excited to be doing an Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown giveaway with Tiffany Darlyn.  We want to give a big welcome to all of Tiffany's subscribers, blog followers, twitter and facebook fans!!  For those of you who don't know who Tiffany is...let us introduce you.

Tiffany is a 21 year old beauty guru on youtube.  She produces videos on youtube about fashion and beauty that include makeup tutorials, hair tutorials {including the products used to produce the finished look} as well as clothing styles to make a girl look great!!

Tiffany is currently pregnant and will be wearing our "Susan" hospital gown for the birth of her son.  She has gained quite a following from people all over the world.  We discovered her through another poplar youtube beauty gure, Dulce Candy.  Dulce Candy wore our "Annie" and "Susan" designer hospital gowns for the birth of her son.  What we love most about both of these beautiful women is that they are down to earth women wanting share their gift of style to anyone that wants to follow along and they're fun to watch too! Their personalities shine throughout all their videos and they have a way of inspiring all the women who watch their videos as can be seen by all the great feedback they get!!

We asked Tiffany how she got started and how she gained such a following and here is what she had to say:

"I decided to start my youtube channel because I got inspired by other gurus on youtube like DulceCandy87 and KandeeJohnson! I was always into makeup, hair and fashion and I thought it would be fun to share my love with other women or young girls as well.  So I made a few videos and I saw that I was getting positive feedback from people, and I started getting requests to do more videos. I ended up making my videos continuously and as I made more videos, my subscriber count went up, and next thing you know I'm at 30,000+ subscribers!  I made a blog spot, twitter, and facebook fanpage and my subscribers would follow me on there as well.  I've been making videos for about 2 1/2 years now and its something I really enjoy!  Not only is it fun, but I love that I can inspire young girls and sometimes older women, and all of the great feedback I get from them is even more of a plus!"

We are so happy that we can share our company with Tiffany's subscribers and equally excited to introduce Tiffany and her youtube channel to our fans!  Tiffany has two Video Blogs on Youtube.  The first is her Beauty Channel and the second is a fun Pregnancy Video Blog.  Check them out!!

Now...for the fun part....the Annie & Isabel hospital gown giveaway.  We are going to randomly pick one lucky winner for an Annie & Isabel hospital gown of their choice.  In order to win you need to do the following:

1.  Go to our website and look at all of our hospital gowns at http://www.annieandisabel.com/

2.  Go to our facebook page at www.facebook.com/annieandisabel and "like" us.

3.  Come back to this blog post and tell us which hospital gown you like best and what you might use it for.

4.  You can get an extra entry if you share on your facebook profile the following:  "@Annieandisabel is having a giveaway on their blog for a designer hospital gown. Go like them on facebook and find out how you can enter to win!"  Then you must make a separate comment on this blog post that you did that. (you have to put the @ before annieandisabel so that it will link to our facebook page and it will only work if you like our facebook page first)

5. This giveaway is only open to U.S. Residents

We will use Random.org to generate a winner and will announce on July 12th who the lucky winner of one of our beautiful hospital gowns is on our blog ~ facebook ~ and twitter pages.
Thank you to everyone who enters and GOOD LUCK!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Proud Mama in Her Annie and Isabel Designer Hospital Gown

Another new proud mama in her Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown.  This is Mary and she is wearing the "Isabel" hospital gown. She is a first time mommy and loving life with her sweet little girl.  Here is what she had to say about her Annie & Isabel hospital gown:

"Just wanted to say how much I loved my Annie and Isabel gown.  It was great to have something new and clean (that I knew was clean) to put on after she was born.  I really appreciated the full coverage and snap up sleeves as I was on IV medication for the first day and had to get up frequently.  I got so many compliments from the nurses and family.  Thanks."


We have some great news about our Isabel designer hospital gowns!  A while back we announced that the Isabel fabric had been discontinued....at least that is what we were told by our fabric distributor.  We just ordered more fabric to make more hospital gowns and guess what?... The Isabel fabric is still being produced! We are so happy about this, because The Isabel gown is one of our best sellers.. and our personal favorites too!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Cheery Evelyn Hospital Gown Helps Joy Feel Better During a Recent Hospital Stay

We have been receiving so many orders recently from people buying our hospital gowns for themselves or for a loved one or friend dealing with an unplanned hospital stay due to an illness or injury.  We have a special place in our hearts for all the brave women who face difficult hospital stays.  While it is always hard to hear about people dealing with tough diagnoses, it makes us feel good that our gowns might provide a small bit of happiness and comfort in that person's hospital stay. We package our hospital gowns with so much love and often think about the people who will wear our gowns as we iron each gown and prepare it to be sent out in the mail.

We want to thank our customers that write to us and let us know how their hospital stays went and what they thought of their Annie & Isabel hospital gown.  It always brings a big smile to our faces and keeps us motivated to spread the word about our company so that many more people can be provided with comfort, style and dignity during their hospital stays!!!  We always say....when you look great....you feel better and our customers tell us that too!!

Here is a lovely testimonial from Joy who recently wore our Evelyn designer hospital gown.

"To the designers of Annie & Isabel hospital gowns... my compliments. The style and beautiful colors are so cheerful. They made my stay in the hospital pleasant. The hospital staff at St. Agnes always made comments about the gown... "where did you get that gown?... it's so pretty!"
Thank You,

If you have worn an Annie & Isabel hospital gown and want to share your story, please email us at wecare@annieandisabel.com  We love to share the stories of all the inspirational women who have worn our hospital gowns!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Birth Story from a Dads-Eye-View by Charlie Capen of HowtobeaDad.com {Guest Post}

As most of you know, we get awesome birth testimonials from moms who deliver their babies in Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns {we love you ladies!!!}. We thought it would be fitting, as we all get ready to celebrate Father's Day this Sunday, to get the "man version" of that ah-mazing birthing process all of us women talk about. Charlie and Andy {also dad's to all boys} are the hilarious guys behind HowtobeaDad.com and we are honored to have Charlie guest blogging here today about the birth of his son Finnegan. The first two stories were published on their website and we want to thank Charlie for sharing with all of us, Part III of "Dude to Dad: A Birth Story". This is quite a story and we know you will all enjoy it.

To read Part I of "Dude To Dad: A Birth Story, click here!
To read Part II of "Dude To Dad: A Birth Story, click here!

Dude to Dad: A Birth Story, part III

“I’m not getting in the car, Charlie. Forget it…”

After three moaning hours of "slow dancing" my wife, being stood up by our doula, having a doctor basically tell me to do whatever I thought was best, calling a friend who'd recently had a baby to assist, my brother probably losing his mind in the next room and, to top it all off, not having our bags or a printed off "birth plan" prepared since he was now coming a week early, I was ready to say, "Cool. Let's poop that baby out right here. We have hardwood floors."

But I'm not one of those people who think like they talk. I think in concepts, not in words. So, it was a split-second before I said in a tone of voice that would make God do whatever I wanted and with as much charm as the snake in Eden, "We're getting in the car now."

And so we did.

Our doula, bless her errant and absent heart, decided we were wrong about my Avara's contractions calculations that I was frantically emailing her. She must've chalked it up to her "those parents-to-be are just freaking" instincts she'd had about us. Well, she was wrong. And did I mention the birth plan she drew up for us when we first met with her? When I attempted to print it, it said TWENTY pages. We discussed it for 10 minutes. EFF THAT.

But let me back up for just a minute. We know we aren't medical professionals, and we're good with that, but we figured we'd earned the right to make some decisions about the birth process, so we wanted a birth plan. We studied harder than the majority of our friends and armed ourselves with knowledge. But we also understood the fluid reality of birth. Situations change. Things develop. There is no friggin NEED for a birth plan to be 20 pages because I can't imagine a nurse speed-reading it and saying, "Sounds good to me" upon arrival.

Car Clock
It's 12:23am. Do you know where you unborn son is?
...So, in between minute long contractions every other minute, we scooped up some pillows from the couch and we all struggled to the car. We loaded my wife into an SUV, in the "way back", as we called it when we were kids. You might call it "the trunk". She was on all-fours. It was the only position my wife could stay in. It was 12:20am.

I drove like a ninja, if ninjas knew how to drive, racing like a man with a death wish and hearing my wife makes sounds I could never imitate or want to hear her utter ever again. We got to the hospital in about 20-25 minutes and pulled up into the massive parking structure maze. By then, Avara's contractions were coming less than a minute apart and she basically couldn't walk and couldn't talk. We asked the half-brained parking attendant if they had a wheelchair we could use. Nope. I mean, it's a hospital for godsakes. Why would THEY have a wheelchair.

We finally made our way to the registration area (having pre-registered for Finn's delivery). The nurses were very nice and things seemed relatively calm, but the nurse who checked us in, noticed my wife having a nuclear contraction and asked, what would we come to know as, the "billion dollar question":

"Are you pushing right now?"
"No... I've been trying not to... for over two hours."

This nurse, as far as I'm concerned, is a Nobel Prize winner. She saw what was happening with my wife, what I'd tried to explain for over 3 hours to others, and she leapt on it. We went immediately to an "active labor room" (by wheelchair) where she checked my wife. "Well, you're 10 centimeters dilated. You're going to have this baby," she said overly perkily. She then turned to me with her eyes wide and mouthed, "I can feel his head."

Baby Showers are crazy
It was total pandemonium in the hospital room. See?
Then came the sh*tstorm. Clothes ripped off. Machines plugged in. More nurses (with less bedside manner). More stress. If only I had my 90 page birth plan to tell everyone to shut up and speak in hushed, calm tones. I'd love a whisper, if I could get one. But every time I asked for lowered voices, I got: "YEAH, NO PROBLEM. WE CAN DO THAT" in the style of a Texas trucker trying to beat out his big-rig for sound. They paged our doctor, an installation of some celebrity in his own right at our hospital, but they worried he wouldn't make it. And remember, from Part 2, he was supposed to go out of town.

At that moment, the heart monitor could no longer find a heartbeat for my son and they began administering oxygen to my wife. I could tell the nurses were getting skittish. I kept myself buoyant by thinking about user error and machine failure. They wanted us to push. Where the hell was our doctor? They told us 'he couldn't to be reached' and in came a resident who looked like he was twelve years old, deciding out loud what do with his "patient". My stomach sank and right then in came our doctor, pulling his sweatshirt off like Superman in a phonebooth with his scrubs underneath. We were both relieved better than any drug they could administered us, just seeing his face. He dove his head down by my wife's chocha and then popped back up with smile, "So, we're going to have a baby now!"

30 minutes on Earth and Finn was dominating the conversations of the room.

Yep. And we did. Three to four pushes later, no more than 20 minutes from setting foot in the Obstetrics wing, my wife produced the most amazing baby boy I've ever seen. No drugs. No substitute doctor (he was drop kicked out of the room). No one stronger than my wife. Yes, she did crush my hand to brittle dust. Yes, I did look down and watch my son being born. And no, I wouldn't take back any of it.

We remained there a day and half afterwards because my son's oxygen levels were a bit low and our night nurse, Hailee, was amazing. After a rigorous bath and few more suction appointments, he was right as rain and we drove home at about 13 miles per hour the whole way. In Los Angeles. Where people kill each other over driving too slow.

First time seeing Finn
The First time seeing Finn.
My Favorite Two People
"Two of my favorites."
It wasn't how we planned it. There were many failures along the way. But when you have that baby in your arms, it really doesn't matter. Nothing matters. Except that perfect baby and his perfect spit-up, all over your clothes...

Thank you so much Charlie for sharing your whirlwind birth story with us. The only thing missing in an Annie & Isabel gown for your lovely wife Avara..maybe next time, eh?

Charlie and Andy are running a contest for Father's Day - check it out and enter today {they want to treat you to Starbucks!}

Follow How to Be a Dad - you will laugh daily, we promise!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kirsten Enjoyed Her Anita Hospital Gown After a Quick Delivery!

A wonderful testimonial from Kirsten. She shared with us such sweet pictures of her daughter looking so proud to be a big sister! We love to hear from women who have worn our gowns. Thanks Kirsten!

"Our little boy was born on March 11th. He came into the world in a hurry and I didn't have my gown on for the actual birth. But, I can honestly say that putting on my gown a couple hours after he was born was wonderful! It made me feel refreshed and beautiful. It was just so nice to wear something that was clean and hadn't been worn by complete strangers. I received many compliments on it from all my nurses and also from family members who came to visit me. I loved that it covered everything that needed covering and the pocket was perfect for keeping my chapstick handy! My gown will always be a part of my memories of the wonderful day our son was born. Thank you so much!"
~Kirsten, California

Speaking of quick deliveries... We have a GREAT guest post this Thursday {in honor of Father's Day} from Charlie, from HowtoBeaDad.com. Birth stories are pretty funny coming from a Dad's point of view. You won't want to miss it... Here is an intro from Charlie about their site. We have really enjoyed following How to be a Dad and hope you will too! You can find them on Facebook and Twitter too.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Donate Life America - You Can Save a Life and Leave a Lasting Legacy

Yesterday, our post was about living donation and the National Kidney Registry, who helps promote and facilitate transplants for so many people awaiting kidney transplant. We shared the amazing story of Liane and her mother, who were part of a 21 paired cross-country kidney transplant exchange. The National Kidney Registry has changed the way people wait and endure years of dialysis while waiting for a donor. It is truly ground breaking and really built on love and the desire to help a loved one waiting. Please read yesterdays post if you missed it...we were truly inspired while writing it! 

Today, we wanted to quickly follow up with the most common type of transplants performed in the United States and the ones we see in our jobs as RNs, and that is donation after death. On Monday, on our Facebook page, we posted a poll regarding organ donation. We were surprised that the majority of those who participated, want to be organ and tissue donors and are actually registered on the DonateLife.net website! 

The Organization Donate Life America is a non-for-profit national organization committed to increasing organ, eye, and tissue donation. By going directly to their website, they will direct you to your individual states donation sign up page. The website is full of wonderful facts about donation and very inspiring stories... {get you kleenex}... We thought we would post this short video about John and his gift of sight.  

 video from DonateLife.net

As nurses, we see first hand how a failing organ can effect a person's life. All too often, I am working in the ICU trying to keep someone alive who has a liver that is rapidly failing. The only thing that will ultimately save this individual, is a liver transplant. Many times a liver will become available because of the great gift of another person who made their wishes known to their family, but sometimes that liver never comes and my patient will die in our ICU waiting.   

GM2007_WebAd_Roma_300x250.jpgWe encourage you to please visit Donate Life's website and educate yourself about organ donation. You can limit your gift of any organ or tissue you do not want to donate and can exclude use for research. Take the decision and stress away from your family, and make your wishes be known. To give you an idea of how many people are waiting to receive an organ, please see the statistics from the Donate Life's website below.

28,663 people were given a second chance at life last year!

PLEASE REGISTER YOUR WISHES TODAY & help us spread the word by posting on your Facebook page and/or Twitter page. If we encourage just one person to sign up, it could save the lives of many! If could be your loved one in need of an organ, eye, or tissue transplant someday.


 You can leave a lasting legacy of life and give the ultimate gift...
The gift of LIFE!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Liane Becomes a Living Organ Donor To a Stranger To Save The Life of Her Mother

I will never forget my darkest day as a mother thus far, when my 2 year old son George was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. As I sat by the side of his ICU crib for three days as he lay unconscious, I prayed for my sweet boy to wake up and act like the energetic and sweet boy we loved. It was surreal being on the other side of the bedside. I was usually the ICU nurse who was comforting the mother, not the other way around. The masses of doctors and nurses came in and out and were preparing me for the worst. They suspected that George was having seizures from the infection that surrounded his brain and we would not know his ultimate prognosis until he woke up. They thought there could be a chance that he would lose his hearing from this...I didn't care about hearing loss...we could learn sign language... I just wanted to be able to take my son home, back to our beautiful family life we had started together. I felt helpless, which is a terrible feeling for a mother and more so for a nurse who knew all the possibilities of complications that come along with bacterial meningitis. That feeling of wanting to save your child from the pain and suffering they are experiencing is unfortunately one of the realities that so many parents have to deal with when their child is sick. George spent 2 weeks in the hospital and I'm so thankful  to be able to say that besides being deaf in his left ear, he is just as normal as any little boy his age. He wears a hearing aid, or "magic ear" as he likes to call it.

The nightmare experience with our little George made me realize that, as a parent, I would have done anything to help make our son well again... and so I want to share the story of another parent, Garret, and his wonderful idea that has saved many lives. This was an idea that was born out of parent's love for his child and the same desire to save her life. It is also the story of Liane, who would do anything to save the life of her mother.

Last spring, we received an order from my college roommate Vanessa for one of our college girlfriends Liane, who was going to be donating her kidney to a complete stranger. I reached out to Liane and learned that she was going to be part of a 21 paired cross-country kidney transplant exchange....and she would be donating her kidney in return for her mother to receive a kidney that was a good match for her. These surgeries would be performed at UCSF, where I work as a RN, and are made possible because of an organization called the National Kidney Registry.

I wanted to know more about how these paired kidney exchanges worked, since many of them were being performed at UCSF, and when I read about Garret Hill, the founder of the National Kidney Registry, I knew exactly how he felt when he found out 36 hours before surgery that he wasn't a good match for his 10 year old daughter who suffered from kidney failure. It is a terrible and helpless feeling to watch you child suffer. Garret used his extensive background in business and software development and founded the National Kidney Registry. This allows willing donors, who might not be a perfect match for their loved one in need, to donate their kidney and in return their loved one will receive a kidney. This registry has decreased transplant wait time for their patients from up to 51 months to 11 months per their website and have been responsible for 276 transplants to date. They project to facilitate over 2,000 by the year 2013. We encourage you to watch Katie Couric's coverage of the National Kidney Registry on CBS Evening News below. With organizations like the National Kidney Registry, the success with live donor transplantation could be endless.

Here is a picture of Liane and her mother. We are happy to report that both Liane and her mother are doing well! Because Liane agreed to be part of a kidney exchange, her mother received a kidney in the 21 live donor chain. Talk about paying it forward! 

On the day that Liane so selflessly gave one of her kidneys at UCSF Medical Center, she celebrated the occasion in our Annie designer hospital gown. Here is what she said about wearing an Annie & Isabel hospital gown.

"A wonderful friend gave me an Annie & Isabel pink hospital gown prior to donating a kidney and being hospitalized. I can't tell you how cute, practical, and comfortable it was. I wore it the whole time I was in the hospital and every nurse commented on how cute it was. I love how it covers all the important "areas" unlike the coventional hospital gowns. It is a definite must have for any woman who has to spend and time in the hospital. I love my gown and still wear it at home as jammies!"

~Liane, Hawaii

Tomorrow we will have another post about organ donation. Please stop by and learn about another way to give the ultimate gift.... the gift of life! YOU could save a life or many. 

Here is a diagram of the cross-country kidney exchange that Liane and her mother were a part of. If you want to learn more about The National Kidney Registry, please visit these sites and help spread the word about living donor donations.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Husband's Gift of an Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gown

There is nothing more sweet than when a husband buys his wife an Annie & Isabel hospital gown for the upcoming birth of their child. It is one of the best "push presents" he can give because it provides his lovely wife the gift of comfort, style and beauty during a time when she might not exactly feel that way!  We hear time and time again from new mothers that our gowns made them feel so beautiful and we LOVE that!! Thanks to all of the hubbies out there who support Annie & Isabel and in turn support their wives. 

This proud husband, Dino, purchased the "Annie" designer hospital gown for his wife, Katie, and here is what Katie had to say about her experience:

"I wanted to thank you so much for creating such great gowns.  I wore the Annie Gown during my birth to my beautiful daughter Sophia.  Whan an awesome gown!  It was so nice after a long labor to take a shower and put on this comfortable gown that made me feel beautiful.  I love how easy it was to breastfeed my daughter and how easy it was to cover up too when people came to visit.  After being in the same maternity wear for so many months it was great to put on my own personal gowns.  I can't tell you all the compliments I got from nurses and staff about how awesome they thought this gown was.  I can't wait until I can wear it again or maybe I will try one of the other beautiful patterns for the next delivery."

Congratulations Dino & Katie...Sophia is so sweet!