Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jenn Sbranti, THE Hostess With The Mostess, Wears an Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gown

We were so thrilled to learn that Jenn Sbranti, founder and editor-in-chief of Hostess with the Mostess, welcomed her second daughter in our Anita designer hospital gown. We are huge fans of HWTM and the amazingly talented Jenn. Her website and blog are full of hip and modern party planning ideas, recipes, and inspiration. Here is what Jenn has to say about her experience wearing an Annie & Isabel gown,  

"A sweet friend of mine sent me a super colorful Annie & Isabel gown just a few days before my C-section - it was such a caring & thoughtful surprise to receive! I was so grateful to have such a "happy" and comfortable gown to recover in at the hospital for the next few days after surgery - and I have to say the gown was especially a hit with the nurses... every single one of them commented on it. :) I also love seeing the bright colors from the gown in the gazillion iPhone pictures I took of my brand new baby girl while she slept in my arms those first few days! Thanks to Annie & Isabel for adding a creative touch to those cherished photos!"

Jenn shared one of those adorable iPhone photos with us. Here is Jenn's sweet Rylie resting next to Mommy on her birthday. What a beautiful baby!   

For the few of you who don't already know about Hostess With The Mostess, you must check out her fabulous website! Below are some of our favorite ways we follow HWTM. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

From The Joy of a New Life to a Battle with Leukemia :: The Story of One Annie & Isabel Hospital Gown

Jill was my very first friend. Growing up, our houses shared a fence and we were constantly hopping over to one another's house to play. All of my favorite childhood memories included Jill and I cherish them dearly. We thought we were hilarious. We would spend our summer days making up dance routines in the pool, setting up lemonade and cookies stands in the neighborhood, and our afternoons watching the soap Days of Our Lives and eating popcorn. Long live Bo and Hope Brady. Are they still together? 

Jill has two beautiful daughters, Camryn and Sadie, and we were so happy that she was able to wear our Anita designer hospital gown for the birth of her second sweetheart Sadie. This is what Jill had to say about wearing an Annie & Isabel gown for her birth, 

"Wearing my gorgeous A& I hospital gown while delivering Sadie, truly made one of the best days of my life even more special". 

Jill, like many of our wonderful friends, has become an Annie & Isabel ambassador. She sings our praises to everyone she knows and we are so thankful. Jill was one of our first believers, not because she experienced wearing one of our gowns, but because she understands how a simple and beautiful hospital gown of your own, can change almost everything about being in the hospital.

Jill even wrote to The Ellen Show last year and told her all about Annie & Isabel and how she might like to have us on the show. We all thought Ellen would be calling us right away, especially because her mother is a breast cancer survivor and we donate a portion of our proceeds to support women who are newly diagnosed. CLEARLY, Ellen must have not received her letter! Ellen... are you out there??? We are still free for an interview ANY time that is convenient for you. K? Thanks.

Jill thinks of us. Always. She is an amazing friend. Even better, she has not let the legacy of her own Anita designer hospital gown end with Sadie's birth over two years ago.

Jill shared it with her friend Danni who had this to say,

"This picture is of my husband and me right before I delivered our son Benjamin. Thank goodness for epidurals, hence my smile...and my Annie & Isabel gown, which made me feel so cute and hip!"

Last week, I got a text from Jill that her good friend Patricia had been unexpectantly admitted to the hospital with acute leukemia. Patricia's spirits were low and Jill thought about Annie & Isabel once again and rushed over to the hospital with her gown in hand. She sent me the most adorable picture of Patrica and her sons shortly after, with big smiles on her faces.

Jill knew that Patricia would unfortunately be getting good use out of her borrowed Anita gown, so she surprised Patricia on Mother's Day with her own Annie & Isabel "Susan" designer hospital gown and posted this picture to our Facebook wall.

Here is what Jill said about gifting her our Susan designer hospital gown on Mother's Day,

"It was honestly amazing the difference in her spirit (and her smile) when she put her new A&I gown on today! It's been a very rough week and an especially tough Mother's Day, having to deal with more blood transfusions and a high fever. She is hanging in there and wearing her gown with pride and even showing it off! I LOVE how happy it makes her! Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Patricia now has three Annie & Isabel gowns in her rotation and we are thinking about her daily as the Annie & Isabel warrior that she is. Please keep Patricia in your thoughts as she kicks cancer's butt!

Thank you Jill for keeping the dignity, comfort, and style alive with you Anita designer hospital gown!

Have you shared your Annie & Isabel with a friend? We'd love to hear the story of your gown!

~written by Jilly Bean's BFF Selena (co-owner of Annie & Isabel)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Battling Thyroid Cancer for the Second Time ~ A True Warrior

Today's testimonial is near and dear to my heart because this Annie & Isabel warrior is fighting thyroid cancer which, as many of you know, I recently fought these last few months.  She was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in 2011 and had surgery to remove her thyroid and then received treatment for the cancer shortly after her surgery. Thyroid cancer, unfortunately, can be a pesky cancer and doesn't always like to go away completely.  When Janelle had her annual routine body scan this year, the doctors discovered that her thyroid cancer was back in some lymph nodes in her neck. 

Janelle recently required another surgery to remove the affected lymph nodes.  According to her good friend, Lynn, who purchased her the "Evelyn" Annie & Isabel gown, Janelle has had an amazing attitude throughout this second bout of thyroid cancer.  You can see this bright attitude shine through in her beautiful smiles in the pictures below!!

Janelle just prior to surgery

Janelle just after surgery...still smiling
Today Janelle received her radioactive iodine pill that will hopefully kill any remainder thyroid cancer cells. This treatment period is one of the most difficult and challenging times, both physically and mentally, in fighting thyroid cancer.  The treatment itself can make you feel nauseated, tired and achy and it also requires isolation away from family.  She will be away from her husband and children for about a week.  We would love if you could keep Janelle in your thoughts and prayers over this next week.  Our greatest hope and wish for Janelle is that this treatment will, once and for all, kill this cancer and allow Janelle to live a healthy full life with her family.

Her friend Lynn wrote us this very nice testimonial:

"When my dear friend, Janelle, told me she was having surgery for thyroid cancer, you instantly came to mind.  I adore this woman as if she were my sister and knew a gown from Annie and Isabel would bring her cheer during a challenging time.  I had Janelle pick her gown from your website and was delighted when she chose the "Evelyn" (since she would have a little "Lynn" by her side at all times.). Janelle loved the meaning behind Evelyn and so do I:

"When Evelyn walked in a room, you could feel her optimistic and happy presence.  She loved to laugh and we laughed with her."

Evelyn could not have been more fitting for Janelle as she radiates positive energy wherever she goes.  Thank you for the opportunity to wrap Janelle in a gift of love and beauty."

~ Lynn Visser, Loomis, CA

Saturday, May 12, 2012

:: The Story of Laura :: An Annie & Isabel Warrior Who Will Inspire You This Mother's Day

As we celebrate motherhood this weekend, we hope you will join us in giving thanks for all the mothers in our lives. We celebrate not only mothers and grandmothers that we were blessed with in this life, but also the "untitled" mothers who raised us...the teachers, coaches, aunties, girlfriends, neighbor ladies, brownie leaders and all mentors who nurtured us. We honor all of these women who gave us love along the way and taught us how to be mothers ourselves.

We especially honor Laura this Sunday, a courageous women who is a role model for motherhood, even while facing many serious health concerns. Laura is not only a mother and a wife, she is a true Annie & Isabel warrior in every way. She battles Cystic Fibrosis on a daily basis. We talked with her husband Kevin for this very special Mother's Day post. Here is what Kevin said about his lovely wife Laura.

"Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a recessive genetic disorder affecting the lungs as well as the pancreas, liver, and intestines. It causes the thin layer of mucus that helps keep lungs free of germs, to become thick, clogging airways and actually leading to infections that ultimately damage the lungs to the point of no repair. Most CF patient will require a single or double lung transplant. Today the average expectancy for patient with CF is 37 years. When my wife was diagnosed with CF at the age of 2, the doctor's provided little hope that she would make it to her teens. A couple decades later, she is still out to prove them wrong."

"Her strength and tenacity to fight the disease is amazing but it is not easy. On a daily basis Laura has to do 1-2 hours of breathing therapy which includes a percussion vest, nebulized antibiotics, and a number of inhaled medications. With an active 4 and a half year old boy about, 2 hours of anything is tough."        

"The frequent hospital stays away from have long lost their luster. As you go into the ICU time and time again, it is one of the few places that you don't want everyone to know your name. Her doctors and the staff are amazing, but these are not the type of "stays away from home" that most look forward to. It is comforting to have our hospital fashion consultants, the Annie & Isabel line, to make our stays a little easier. We really can't say enough about Selena and Anna and their hospital gowns. It is surprising how many little details are in their gowns and they do make your stay better. They are always the topic of conversation and seem to lighten the mood a bit. Thanks ladies."

"As a spouse of someone with a chronic disease, it is sometimes difficult to deal with the consequences of what life has dealt your partner. At the same time I am amazed at the strength in which Laura faces CF and all that accompanies it. She is always positive, always looking at the silver lining to a situation and making the best of it. She has taught this trait to me and our son, making her an amazing role model, wife, friend and mother."

"I cannot say enough about what a great mother Laura is. She has created an environment for growth and development that is perfect. She provides endless activities and ideas that challenge our son in a fun and exciting way. She constantly shows patience and provides encouragement regardless of the situation. With all of her health issues, I cannot imagine anyone being a better mother. We both love her very much. She is an amazing mother."

"Happy Mother's Day Laura. From Kevin and Everett."

We just want to thank Kevin for taking the time to honor his beautiful wife Laura on this Mother's Day weekend. What a beautiful family he and Laura have. Little Everette is the cutest!!! Laura truly inspires and we are so happy to share her story with our readers. Happy Mother's Day Laura!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Comfort of an Annie & Isabel Hospital Gown for an Emergency C-Section

We get this question all the time...

"Will I be able to wear my Annie & Isabel hospital gown for a c-section?"

We can't say for sure if your hospital will allow you to wear your own gown, but many of our Annie & Isabel customers have worn them for c-sections. Annie & Isabel gowns are actually the perfect hospital bag item if you are scheduled to have a c-section. Post-op, the frequent incision checks are that much easier, as is skin to skin bonding, and nursing. Most women just aren't ready to wear clothes immediately after abdominal surgery. Regardless, every new mother deserves to look stylish, be comfortable, and stay dignified postpartum in your own hospital gown!

Jenn was wearing her Anita designer hospital gown the minute she laid eyes on her beautiful son Nolan. Jenn had been admitted to the hospital early due to complications and we worked with her thoughful husband to get her an Annie & Isabel gown. We were so happy and relieved to hear of baby Nolan's arrival!

This is what Jenn had to say about her experience wearing an Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown during her c-section and recovery,
"My husband bought me an Annie & Isabel gown after being admitted for bleeding with placenta previa at 34 weeks knowing I would be in the hospital until our baby boy had arrived. I was on complete bed rest for 4 days in the hospital until the bleeding became uncontrolled. That's when they rushed me to the OR to do an emergency c-section. My baby boy was 35 weeks. He is our little miracle baby! I was so happy to have such a beautiful gown to wear while I was in the hospital. It made the super uncomfortable days seem a little brighter!!! Thank you Annie & Isabel for your dedication to provide beautiful gowns!"
Jenn Moore

Jenn is also the owner of Jenn's Bebe Boutique. We just drool over her adorable custom bows, headbands, and tutus! Yes, we are the mamas to six boys, but how can you not buy these bows for our friends daughters?! We LOVE to support mom owned businesses and would love it if you would too!