Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In This Season of Giving, Read About How This New Mom Gave the Gift of Life to Another Family

We always say that it is our customer's testimonials that give us the motivation and energy to continue our mission of helping women (and soon to be men) feel comforted and dignified during their hospital stays. This new testimonial did just that and brought tears to our eyes. We think it is the perfect story to share during this holiday season.    

This new mother made a huge sacrifice to bless another family with the gift of life and we LOVE that our Annie & Isabel hospital gowns were a part of this special journey. We are sending warm wishes to the amazing Elizabeth and her family. She truly is a real life ANGEL! 

"My surrogate journey started with the movie "Baby Mama", which is nothing like the actual process, at all. My husband and I have a 2 year old little girl named Lillian and we can't imagine our lives without her. My pregnancy was a breeze and labor with her was easy, 3 hours, no epidural, and no tearing (sorry if that's TMI) As the doctor was cleaning my daughter off I looked to my husband and told him I want to give the gift of a child to another family. I felt in my heart that it was my calling to give a family their own precious little face to look at and love on. I was required to wait until I was medically cleared by my OB before I could apply for the surrogate program ConcieveAbiltities in Denver CO. 

In December of 2011, sitting in a hotel room in Denver, while my 3 months old daughter slept. I filled out my application to be a surrogate. Three weeks later I got the email saying I was invited into the program. I could not have been more excited. From that moment on it was a slow and steady process. We had our match meeting, went over the legal aspects, and signed the contracts. 

Nine months after submitting my application it was transfer day! October 15, 2012 two (yes two) perfect embryos were transferred into what we hoped would be there oven for the next 9 months, me. I was on doctor ordered bed rest for 48 hours and as soon as the bed rest was lifted I knew I was pregnant! I was short of breath and craved orange juice which were the only two symptoms I had when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. So, nine days post transfer I took a home pregnancy test and got a big fat positive. After a blood test, the doctor confirmed it, I was pregnant! Then at 8 weeks we saw 2 sacs and 2...count em.....2 heartbeats!

Through the process the intended parents were very standoffish and were excited but didn't show it. They attended none of the appointments except the hospital tour when I was 20 weeks pregnant. The disconnect between my family and the intended parents is what brought me to Annie and Isabel. 

While the other surrogates were having baby showers thrown by/for their intended parents I was home with my loving husband and daughter. Their baby showers inspired me to treat myself to a few luxury items for my delivery. I entered "designer hospital gowns" into the google search bar. There were 4 companies listed before Annie and Isabel, but their back stories and customer testimonials are what hooked me. Those and the fact they had an Elizabeth gown!

I had no hesitation in ordering my gowns (yes I got two). The sizing was easy to understand, the designs are adorable, and the gowns cover everything. Being that I'm 6 ft tall, some gowns tend to be a little short. What really sold me was the fact that the gowns had pockets. I even had a pocket sewn into my wedding dress. I have to have my phone and chap-stick at all times. 

I checked my shipment status every few hours to make sure they were on their way. I opened the box and tears filled my eyes. They were gorgeous and I knew they would help in my recovery. I gushed over them for a few days before packing them in my hospital bag to await the faithful day when I would give mom and dad their precious cargo back.

The big day came and everything went so fast. The twins were born on May 25, 2013 via c-section happy and healthy. I was wheeled into recovery where my husband was waiting for me. I remembered him kissing me on the forehead and holding my Annie gown up. "When you are able to walk I will give you your gown my princess." That was all the motivation I needed, I was in my gown just after dark.

As my husband and I walked through the hospital (sometimes 4-5 times a day) there was always a comment made or a question asked about my gown. I answered every question with joy and a smile. I wanted everybody to know what an impact a beautiful gown can have on their recovery. But the gowns were not packed away after the twins. I keep them handy for any and every hospital trip, which included my several ER visits for kidney infections caused by my catheter.

Thank you Annie and Isabel for the wonderful, beautiful, and modest gowns." 

Yours Truly,
Proud Surrogate

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday...Ready...Set...GO!!!

Happy December and Happy Cyber Monday! Every year, we rest up in preparation for our annual Cyber Monday sale! We always love the thrill of all the orders that roll in on this day! If you have been thinking about buying an Annie & Isabel designer hospital is the day! Being a small business, we can tell you, this is the ONLY day a year that we have a sale! 

As you probably know, the gift of an Annie & Isabel gown is sure to bring a smile to an expecting mama, a loved one with an upcoming surgery or hospital stay, someone who unfortunately endures frequent hospital visits, doctor appointments, radiation treatments, chiropractor visits, or acupuncture treatments. So many places you can avoid those icky gowns!

Tell them that you love them with the gift of their very OWN designer hospital gown! Say "no thank you" to the paper gown or gown worn by many!!

We went back and forth about holding our annual sale this year, because we are very low in the inventory of some of the smaller sizes. You may find that we are out of your favorite gown or size, so we would also like to honor our Cyber Monday discount on gift certificates {today only}! We are in production with a huge order of gowns, so if you are able to wait a few months for your gown, then purchase a gift certificate and redeem it in the near future. If you can't wait, and we don't have your favorite gown, we are truly sorry. 

To take advantage of this once a year offer - please use the code "CYBER" upon checkout for 30% off of your entire order. 

In other exciting news around Annie & Isabel HQ...We are beyond honored to be included in Sactown Magazine as one of five local "Cool Companies" featured in the December/January issue . When we started Annie & Isabel in 2009, we never could have imagined all the exciting moments we would experience as a result of this business. Having Sactown Magazine feature Annie & Isabel is definitely one of those moments, and will be remembered as the highlight of our 2013 year. If you live in the Sacramento area, you can pick up your copy of Sactown magazine at your local Raley's, Bel-Air, Nugget Market, Cort Bros., Safeway, Barnes & Noble, or Taylor's Market.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Popular Blogger Jill Krause of Baby Rabies Wears our Isabel Gown to Welcome Lowell

This is a long overdue testimonial but well worth the wait!!  We have been following the blog, Baby Rabies, for quite some time so we were so excited when the writer of this blog, Jill Krause, wanted to wear one of our designer hospital gowns for the birth of her third child. 

Jill is a very talented writer with a great sense of humor. Her sense of humor about being a mother and highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly of everyday life has definitely struck a chord with many as she has gained a huge following on her blog and has over 20,000 followers on her Facebook page. If you don't already follow her blog, head on over and check it out. It will be worth your time!!

Jill chose to wear the "Isabel" designer hospital gown for the birth of her third child. She delivered a beautiful baby boy, Lowell Scott Krause, on July 30th, 2013. 

Jill wore her "Isabel" hospital gown to recover in after her delivery and here is what she had to say about wearing her own hospital gown:

"My Annie & Isabel gown was such a nice treat. I loved slipping it on after I got cleaned up post-delivery, before heading to recovery. It was great to have a beautiful, comfortable gown on when family came to visit that not only functioned well for me, but also looked great in pictures. I especially loved that I didn't have to worry about anything peeking out the backside, and that the shoulders unsnapped for breastfeeding and skin to skin time."

If you are up for a good birth story that will make you smile, laugh and cry, read all about the birth of Lowell here from Jill's blog, BabyRabies:  "Lowell's Birth Story"

Congrats Krause family!! You are all truly blessed. 

Photo Credit: A Sacred Project

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Annie & Isabel Helps In Naming a Baby!

We always love a good Annie & Isabel story and this one melts our hearts! This new mother, Kimberly, gave birth to her beautiful daughter on September 6th. Read how she and her husband decided on the name for her daughter. Hope this story makes you smile as much as we did:-)

"As soon as we found out we were having a girl, my husband immediately came up with the name Evelyn and I added the name Grace to make it our perfect name. Although we loved the name, neither of us felt we could really commit to it 100% until we saw her! Multiple times we thought, "What if she comes and she's just not an Evelyn??"As the months went by, I began to second guess our name and told my husband we needed a back up "just in case". Starting that process wasn't easy and there wasn't ANY other name that we LOVED so much, so it felt like an overwhelming task. At around this time (August), my sister, Kristi, had prompted me to go to your site and pick my favorite gown as she had generously volunteered to buy me one for my shower."

Kimberly with sister, Kristi, on the left
"So I went to Annie & Isabel's website and was only paying attention to the patterns of the hospital gowns. I didn't even see that they were named! There was one that I felt "really spoke to me" with it's vibrant colors and pretty combination of pink, purples & orange. Of all the choices, I knew this pattern was the one and so I clicked on it. Low and behold it was named the "Evelyn".  I gasped and said out loud OMG it's a sign!!! From that moment on we 100% committed to our name and my precious Evelyn Grace came into our world on Friday, September 6th!"

"Putting my gown on really made me feel like myself again and gave me back the confidence to get out and walk around the hospital! I loved the compliments I got as well. It was a big hit with other new moms and the nursing staff! Thank you so much!!"

Welcome to the world Evelyn Grace and thank you to Kimberly's sister, Kristi, for keeping her sister comfortable and stylish in the hospital!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A New Twig on Grandma "Annie's" Family Tree - Welcome Baby Sawyer

Sometimes our gowns are worn by people who have a special connection to the people for whom our gowns are named. This is Heather who is married to one of our second cousins, Adam. Heather wore our Annie gown, named for Adam's and our great-grandma Annie.

Here is a picture of three generations.....Our Grandma Annie's great-grandson, Adam, her granddaughter, Linda, holding Annie's newest great-great-grandchild.....and of course, Heather.  We know that Linda has all the makings of being a wonderful grandmother as she learned how to do that from the BEST...our great-grandma Annie.

Welcome to the Family Tree Sawyer James!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Newest Feel Better Campaign Recipient, Tim, Needs Our Prayers

Every once in awhile we ask our community to pull together and wrap our arms around someone in need of our thoughts and prayers. So far, you always come through. This is the reason why we always boast that we have the best fans ever. WE NEED YOU ALL AGAIN!!

Tim is our latest "Feel Better Campaign" recipient. Tim is a 35 year old young man who, a couple of weeks ago, had everything going for him. He serves our country in the United States Air Force and also works in a job he loves, as a firefighter. He loves serving others and helping people in need.

He has a beautiful wife, Lacey, and three precious boys.

In the course of one week, Tim's life changed drastically and he is now fighting for his life. Last week, Tim was having some abdominal pain, so he went to the ER. What he thought might be a bad virus turned out to be much more serious. He ended up requiring emergency surgery and was told he had cancer that had spread throughout his abdomen. 

Tim and his family need our help! We are asking you to help us make this post go viral so we can send Tim a ton of thoughts and prayers in hopes that he can be provided with the strength to win this battle. He has way too much to live for…….

 and these sweet boys need their daddy.

We donated one of our men's camouflage gowns to Tim so that he can fight this battle in style and with dignity. By the looks of this picture, we don't think cancer stands a chance against Tim!

So…help us make his story go viral on Facebook!!

1.  "SHARE" this post on Facebook to help spread Tim's story so we can get more people sending good thoughts and prayers his way.

2.  "LIKE" this post on Facebook. Let's show Tim just how many people are thinking about him.

3.  Leave a message for Tim on our Facebook post. He and his family are following us on Facebook and each message we send to him will help give Tim the strength to battle cancer and kick it's butt!

4. Lastly, Tim and his family are going to incur a lot of medical and travel expenses. Thoughts and prayers are what mean the most to them at this time, but if you are inclined and would like to help with his expenses, please visit his donation site where you can also learn more about his story and receive updates from his family and friends:

Fight hard Tim!! We are sending you prayers of strength, courage, and hope and there are a whole lot of other people doing the same. Your boys need you back home reminding them how fun yard work can be!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


You might have thought we were done with our giveaways but SURPRISE!!! We have a couple more fun giveaways including today's giveaway with Mommy Measure! We have followed this company for several years and have always LOVED this product.  

Mommy Measure is a decorative measuring tape that gives mother's a fun new way of documenting their pregnancy. It's an all-in-one pregnancy growth chart and journal. You can document your belly growth with the measuring tape and it comes complete with a marker that allows you to write a little milestone at the time of measurement. It's simple, easy, cute and fun!!

I Instagrammed this picture at 24 weeks when I really started feeling my baby boy kicking at night.

It's so fun to see how much my belly has grown throughout this pregnancy.

It's hard to believe I am in the homestretch of my pregnancy. My two boys can't wait to meet their new little brother and have so much fun helping me measure my tummy.

Mommy Measure is generously giving away two of their measuring tape kits for two lucky winners!! See below to enter and GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

{GIVEAWAY} Ruby Dot Designs

Call us old fashioned, but there is something about receiving a handwritten note that can just make our day. If you've purchased one of our designer hospital gowns, you know that we write a personalized handwritten note with every gown order. We pause and take a minute to send healing, comforting, or happy wishes with every gown. It is what makes our business rewarding and worth every minute. We connect with our customers this way and cherish many of the friendships that have started with a card.   
We'd like to introduce to you to Ruby Dot Designs, a company that emulates this very concept. Ruby Dot Designs offers contemporary and personalized stationary products. Owner Kim Farrens designs and carefully handcrafts each item out of her home office in Sacramento, California. We love Kim's cards. Many of our family and friends have been on the receiving end of her beautiful cards.  

Kim has graciously offered a set of her note cards for this GIVEAWAY (a $50 value). Entry is easy and at the very minimum you will LOVE having her Ruby Dot Designs in your Facebook feed to make you smile. 

Kim works with each client to design a product just to their style. As you can see all her designs are clean, fresh, and contemporary. Her products include personalized note card sets, enclosure cards, gift tags, prints, notebooks, and coffee mugs. She has a product for every occasion! Enter below...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shanna Celebrates Her Birth in The "Annie" Designer Hospital Gown!

We wanted to share a beautiful testimonial from Shanna about her experience wearing Annie & Isabel after the birth of her son. Congratulations Shanna! You look gorgeous in the "Annie" designer hospital gown!

"Thank you so much for my amazing Annie gown! After delivering my son, all of my visitors commented on how good I looked considering I'd just given birth. I felt so beautiful in the pink gown, and I love looking back on pictures of me in the hospital. I am so appreciative of the work you are doing to make women feel better about themselves while in the hospital! Thank you again!" ~Shanna

We LOVE testimonials! Submit yours by emailing us at

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Our giveaway this week is with a company we absolutely adore, Everything Happy. This company not only has amazing products, but they also have huge hearts. For every product purchased from Everything Happy, they donate another of that same product to a child who is struggling or in need. The best part is that Everything Happy allows their customers to pick where the product is sent from a designated list of places carefully chosen by them. So when you purchase an Everything Happy product you make not just one child happy, but TWO!! This program is called "One to Love, One to Give".

Everything Happy's products are sure to bring a smile to any child's face. We have purchased several of their blankets and they are always a huge hit. I honestly wouldn't mind snuggling up in one of their blankets myself!!!

Our giveaway today is for one lucky winner who will get their choice of either a medium Giggle Happy Blankie:
or a medium size Chomp Happy Blankie.
The giving doesn't stop here though! Everything Happy will be giving away an Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns to another lucky winner this week also.

Please go "LIKE" their Facebook page here-> EVERYTHING HAPPY and find out how you could win!!!

Click below to enter the Everything Happy blanket giveaway and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 22, 2013

YouTube Beauty Guru, Tiffany Darlyn, Delivers 2nd Son and Recovers in Style

We recently had the pleasure of working for the second time with YouTube beauty guru, Tiffany Darlyn. Tiffany produces videos on her YouTube channel that range in topics from hair tutorials, health and fitness, fashion, makeup tutorials, and so much more. She has quite a following on her YouTube channel, receiving thousands of views on all her videos. She also has thousands of fans via Twitter and Instagram.

One of the things we love most about Tiffany is the fact that she is down to earth and very approachable. She hasn't let her popularity get to her and always makes an effort to respond to her fans. You can tell she loves what she is doing and appreciates every fan that takes the time to watch her videos!!

When Tiffany had her first son two years ago, she wore our Susan gown and looked absolutely beautiful.

Since that time we have continued to keep in touch with Tiffany via Twitter and Instagram so we were excited when she announced that she was expecting another baby!! She chose to recover in the "Annie" designer hospital gown this time and, once again, looked fabulous:-)

Here is what Tiffany had to say about her Annie & Isabel hospital gowns:

"I am a mom of two boys, an almost 2 year old and a 2 month old, so I got the opportunity to wear an Annie and Isabel gown twice! With my first son I wore the Susan and with my second son I wore the Annie. Both gowns are beautiful and I'm so glad I was able to wear them. After hours of labor and giving birth, the last thing you want to do is take pictures, but wearing these gowns gave me confidence and I wanted to show it off and take as many pictures as possible! Not only that, but I was more comfortable in a gown that was actually mine, versus the standard blue hospital gown that is normally provided for you. I love everything about the gowns, the pockets, the easy access buttons, and the tie on the back, they are just perfect. I got soooo many compliments from my doctor and nurses. They all loved my gowns as well. To anyone thinking about purchasing one, I would say don't think twice about it. I DEFINITELY recommend these gowns and guarantee you'll love them!"

Thank you so much Tiffany!! We have enjoyed watching your little family grow!!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN ONE OF OUR DESIGNER HOSPITAL GOWNS??!! If you haven't already, please go "LIKE" our Facebook page because tomorrow we will be doing a giveaway with one of our all time favorite companies. We will be giving away their product and they will be giving away one of our designer hospital gowns on their Facebook page. We will post the giveaway on our page.  Good Luck!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


The giveaway for this week is from a company we discovered at the SacBaby Expo a few months ago. The company is called DoorBell Decor and the product and idea are genius!! We bought one at the Expo for our soon-to-be baby this October and enjoyed chatting with owner Krista and learning about how they came up with their product!

Anyone who has had a baby knows how defeating it can be when you put your baby down for a nap, they are finally sleeping, and the doorbell rings only to wake up your peacefully sleeping baby. Baby sleeping time equals precious mommy time and we, as mothers, would do anything to keep our babies sleeping. Have you ever seen a post it note on a doorbell that says, "please knock"? DoorBell Decor has come to the rescue! They have created cute tiles that are designed to slide over your doorbell when needed so that any visitors are forced to knock on your door. 

Doorbell Decor make tiles for all kinds of purposes and you can change them out as needed. Below is an example of a tile to keep those babies sleeping:

This gives you an idea of what it looks like on your wall over your doorbell:

There are tiles for people who work night shift or anyone going through cancer treatments...

Do you live in an area inundated with solicitors?? There is a tile for that!

If you just don't want people to use your doorbell, there are other options, like this, that can decoratively hide your doorbell.

Doorbell Decor has several tiles to choose from for any occasion! I can't wait to use mine this Fall. 

They has graciously offered to give one of their tiles away for this giveaway. Enter below and good luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


This next giveaway comes from another very creative mom entrepreneur, Lara Kiniris. Her company is called "The Calligraphy Girl" because she specializes in calligraphy writing but it is so much more than that!! In addition to using her talents to address envelopes for special occasions, like weddings, she also creates works of art with her calligraphy, which she likes to call "word art". Her creations are beautiful and each piece is unique.

The Calligraphy Girl holds a special place in my heart because Lara created a beautiful cancer ribbon to celebrate my one year thyroid cancer anniversary, using words I chose to describe my journey from the beginning to becoming a cancer survivor.

I also had her create an Irish cross with the names of all the children, their spouses and grandchildren of my in-laws to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

The Calligraphy Girl has created cute calligraphy art to celebrate children like this cute baby bottle:

and a beautiful dress for the princess:

as well as a baseball or basketball for the sports lover:

Want to give a friend a unique present to celebrate a significant birthday?? Lara created this purse for one of our mom's best friends using words our mother chose to best describe her friend. How cute is this??!!

Or perhaps your friend is a shoe lover….

Lara's calligraphy art is amazing and unique and is sure to be a treasured gift for anyone. What I love most about Lara is that she is willing to try anything. You give her the object you want to make, along with the words you want to use, and she creates it!! I have had her create several things and she hasn't disappointed me yet.

So now for the best part……THE GIVEAWAY.  One winner will receive an 8x10 calligraphy "word art" piece from The Calligraphy Girl. She will work with you to create your special piece. Enter below and good luck!!