Wednesday, February 29

St. Patty's Day Cupcake Recipe

As you know, AnnaBean does some serious pinning on Pinterest.  Each week we usually find a few truly delicious recipes that catch our eye because they either a. instantly incite sugar fever & make us drool or b. the presentation is simply amazing.  

We were lucky enough to find a festive St. Patty's Day cupcake recipe that does both!  Here's the lowdown on the recipe for Green Velvet Cupcakes from the Love From the Oven Blog

What You’ll Need

Green Velvet Cake:

·         2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
·         2 cups sugar
·         1 Tablespoon cocoa
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         2 eggs
·         1 cup oil
·         1 cup buttermilk
·         1 Tablespoon vinegar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         1 oz green food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting

·         1 oz package of softened cream cheese
·         1/4 cup softened butter
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1 bag powdered sugar (2 lb bag)
·         Milk as needed

Ready, Set, Go!

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2. Using a whisk, lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl.  Add in remaining liquid ingredients and stir until blended. Set aside

3. Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.

4. Add food coloring to the wet ingredients. Stir.

5. Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until well combined and GREEN! 

6. Pour batter into cupcake pans.  

7. Bake regular size cupcakes for around 16 minutes or mini-cupcakes for about 13 minutes. Once they are done, cool for about 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes from their pans.

While your cupcakes are cooling, you can prepare the frosting (or just buy a store bought can like I naturally would!).

1. For the cream cheese frosting, mix cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.  Gradually add in powdered sugar as you mix. 

2. Add milk as needed for the desired frosting consistency.

3. Frost & Decorate!

4. Add shamrock sprinkles or any other decorative accent you can find to unleash the spirit of the Irish in your kitchen! The Love From the Oven blogger found her sprinkles at Michael’s.

Disclaimer: Cupcakes go best with a large cup of Irish coffee. 

Monday, February 27

NEW: Crib Bedding from New Arrivals!

Peace, Love & Pink Crib Bedding
After adding several new bedding sets over the past couple of weeks, we'd like to present some of our wonderful new sets from New Arrivals!

The Peace, Love & Pink set is a sweet feminine design that features a gorgeous modern chevron bed skirt in grey and pink.  Pink grosgrain ribbon ties put the finishing touch on this adorable ensemble.  

New Arrivals Crib Bedding

New Arrivals was started 12 years ago in the garage of mompreneur, Tori Swaim's home.  Initially starting her line with wipe boxes, over the years New Arrivals grew into a high end line of nursery decor and accessories including bedding, wall letters, gifts and more. 

The Dakota Blue Boys Bedding is a handsome boys set with a mix of classic and funky.  The random pencil check sheet provides a unique contrast with the Blue Stone Medallion fabric of the skirt.

This set also comes with several coordinating items like the matching Dakota Blue curtain panels

Friday, February 24

Jungle Safari Nursery Design

Parker Crib Bedding by Maddie Boo
When decorating boy's nursery, people tend to go with traditional blues & greens.  You can incorporate this color scheme and shake things up with lions, elephants and monkeys by creating an animal jungle themed room.

Make your little Tarzan the King of the Jungle with today's safari nursery design!

We chose the classic blue Parker crib bedding by Maddie Boo for today's idea.  Shades of dark blue and lime green stand out with a patterned ensemble of giraffes, hippos, elephants and more. We bring out the lime green accents of the set with our furniture collection.  

1. Wonderland Changer: This changing table is a really functional piece in the nursery and features lots of storage space for diapers and wipes as well as clothing and other necessities.  Aside from functionality, it is a really exquisite handcrafted piece with crystal hardware and a distressed wood finish.

2. Beadboard Open Toy Chest: Playing off the green accents of the changer, this toy chest's open form ensures the safety of child.

3. Straight Edge Name Plaque

4. Ivory Crystal Dangle Glass Ball Large Lamp Base with Modern Green Lamp Shade

5. Doodlefish Grand Recliner Glider

We dress up the walls with artwork and room accessories that are all about animals. The elephant and giraffe canvasses are personalized pieces that feature a gallery wrapped giclee print.

The giraffe wall clock incorporates blue and chocolate color accents and has a sweet message of "Life's a Jungle" written on the face. The giraffe switchplate cover compliments this perfectly!  Finally, the safari parade artwork brings together a range of jungle creatures in a dark blue canvas with a charming chocolate frame. 

Wednesday, February 22

Tips to Help Kids Get Over Fear of the Dentist from Parents Magazine

Owl Tooth Pillow
Kids & dentists just don't mix.  It's practically a fact of life.  In spite of this, there are some excellent tips we found from Parents Magazine that help ease children's fear about their cleanings and visits. 

1. Start Early with Visits to the Dentist

Parents recommends starting visits at the age of 1 or when the first tooth is visible.  Starting kids off young at the dentist will make them feel more comfortable later on when they have to come in for regular visits or in the event of an emergency. 

2. Watch the words!

Dentists and parents can make the visit better by using positive phrases and avoiding anything that may sound scary or alarming (aka "shot", "pain", "hurt").  

3. Pretend Visit

You can always play pretend with your child before their first appointment.  Parents recommends using a toothbrush to count child's teeth or holding up a mirror like a dentist would to check their teeth.  Picture books are also a good idea if child is really nervous or anxious. 

4. Prepare for Fussiness

Children may cry or whine (or even scream a little), which is completely normal.  The dentist and their staff are used to this, so stay calm and just try to make child feel comfortable.  

5. No Bribes!

"Many experts do not recommend promising your child a special treat if she behaves well at the dentist. Doing so will only increase their apprehension. Saying, "If you don't fuss or cry, you'll get a lollipop," might make your little one think, "What's so bad about the dentist that I might want to cry?"" After the visit, simply praise your child for behaving well and for being brave through the visit. Or bribe them with great decor like the Butterflies and Daisies Keepsake chest which features a first tooth envelope on the lid. 
Keepsake Chest with First Tooth Envelope

Monday, February 20

NEW: Designer Diaper Bags

Magnolia by Amy Michelle
New to our collection this month are a few fabulous diaper bags from OiOi, Timi & Leslie, Amy Michelle and Kalencom.  Since a few of us here at AnnaBean are most definitely "bag ladies", we get very excited about adding these designer styles to the collection.

We've configured a list of totes, handbags, and messengers that are ideal for a few different kind of "bag ladies"!

The Magnolia bag by Amy Michelle is one of the designer's most popular styles.  The chic faux patent leather fabric looks great and is an easy to clean, durable surface for messes.  If you like a slouchy bag, the Magnolia is your bag as it features a chic, modern slouch hobo shape.  

We've also added to our OiOi collection with a few messengers, totes, and carryalls.  The Chocolate Weathered Tote is a high fashion bag featuring a unique weathered exterior in chocolate with classic antique brass hardware accents.  Protective metal feet on the base will ease your mind when you have to set this beautiful bag down.  This is the ideal bag for the momma who does not want to sacrifice style at all!

The Black Quilted Carryall is a more casual bag featuring OiOi's jacquard microfiber fabric.  This quilted diaper bag comes with an insulated bottle holder, changing pad, wipes bag, shoulder strap and so much more.  It's definitely a more laid back look for parents who want to share a diaper bag. 

Kalencom's Gypsy Paisley Green Diaper Bag features a laminated messenger style, perfect for the mom who wants a long-lasting design that can handle the wear & tear of baby.  We love the bright, paisley pattern of this buckle style bag as well as the fact that you'll be well protected from spills and other messes with the laminated fabric. 

The Farah Dual Canvas Messenger by Timi & Leslie is another bright and colorful bag with plenty of personality.  This is the ultimate bag for the mom who prizes efficiency and organization.  The Farah bag features plenty of pockets, including insulated bottle pockets as well as double handles for comfortable wear and an easy to clean poly canvas exterior. Plus, a matching changing pad comes with the bag. 

Friday, February 17

DIY Craft with Fabric

                                Photo Credit: Twirl Blog
As you might have noticed from browsing through our store…we looooooooovee fabric.  From classic damask prints in various colors to colorful floral designs and more, we have found hundreds of unique fabrics from our favorite designers.  

Fabric isn’t just pretty though!  It can also be an affordably chic way to dress up your home.   

When decorating baby’s nursery or kid’s room, you can often save money on window treatments, pillows, and other decorative accents by making a do it yourself fabric creation.  Today on Pinterest, we found a crafty DIY project that is all about FABRIC! 

These do it yourself dishtowels make great, personal gifts and are a really pretty addition to the kitchen.  Compliments go to the blog Twirl.


½ yard of fabric
Flour sack cloth (usually in the dish towel section of the grocery store)
Straight pins
Sewing machine (and hopefully some sewing skills!)

Pinning together fabric on towel                          Credit: Twirl Blog

Ready, Set, Go!

1. Lay out the flour sack cloth/dish towel

2. Fold fabric over until it fits across the bottom of the towel

3. Iron the seam down to make a crease and then cut along the edge

4. Fold edges over again to create a clean hem and iron down

5. Using straight pins, pin down fabric to towel.

6. Set sewing machine to do a straight stitch and sew together.

Favorite Fabric by the Yard Prints from AnnaBean!
1. Pink Tulips Fabric by Doodlefish

Wednesday, February 15

Toddler Girl Birthday Outfits

Ribbon Ruffle Sundress
Celebrating girls birthday is always an exciting time to bring out the balloons, the cake, and that classic birthday outfit!  Between our classic personalized dresses and some new styles we've added to the collection, we figured it was a good time to showcase our favorite toddler birthday dresses. 

The ribbon ruffle sundress is one of our newest additions to the AnnaBean collection from designer MudPie. 

This adorable ensemble features a cotton dress with grosgrain halter neck and layers of pleated chiffon and a coordinating headband.  

Our personalized pique dresses provide a dressy birthday look for girl with a classic dress and a grosgrain ribbon sash that ties in a bow at the back.  These monogrammed dresses are a wonderful keepsake that can get a new look each wear with multiple interchangeable sash colors.  

Finally, push girl's birthday outfit over the top with headbands, hair clips and other accessories.  For winter birthdays, leggings and a warm sweater will keep her warm and give her outfit a modern layered look. 

Monday, February 13

NEW: Kids Furniture from Relics!

This year, we've really focused on bringing our customers more unique products as well as expanding our range of products. We're very proud to announce that we are now carrying the handcrafted, classical style Relics Furniture collection!

Relics began in 1995 by sister & brother, Krisi & Michael Salyards and their friend Maggie Abdo.  Relics initially started out as a picture frame company.  Michael, who was previously a general contractor would end up with lots of salvaged wood from job sites and would make picture frames from the leftover wood.

Once the frames were complete, Krisi & Maggie would create original designs for the frames.  Over the years, Relics has grown from just a picture frame manufacturer to a widescale furniture maker, producing 6 lines of furniture and over a hundred different furniture designs.

We love the Relics line because it's a custom crafted line of fresh, natural wood furniture that provides a timeless look to kids rooms.  The standard beadboard bed is a cottage inspired design that comes in dozens of different paint finishes.  Kid's bed comes with the option of the trundle for extra storage and can be coordinated with the elegant beadboard nightstand and 3 drawer beadboard chest.

Relics also makes unique bunk beds such as the beadboard twin over full bunk bed. This design features a full bed on the bottom bunk and a twin bed on top in your choice of distressed or non-distressed wood styling.

The standard panel bed is sophisticated design that caters to any age from toddler to teen.  Add a custom trundle with wood knobs to add detail to kids room as well as an extra space for storage.

Friday, February 10

Best Daddy Diaper Bags

Jungle Leather Slouch Tote by OiOi
There are sooooooooo many things you have to prepare for when baby comes along.  One of the things parents often forget is buying a diaper bag that mom and dad can both use.  Sharing one bag between both parents makes day trips and short errands much easier because you won't have to take the time to unpack one bag and repack another, often misplacing or forgetting things in the process.  Here our are favorite multipurpose daddy diaper bags:

Waxed Canvas Military Satchel Bag
The Jungle Leather Satchel is the ultimate man diaper bag that mom will also love.  This safari inspired bag features a two tone distressed leather finish that also happens to be water resistant.  

The design of the bag is incredibly functional and includes a nylon web adjustable/detachable shoulder strap, fixed stroller straps, and multiple pockets for organization.

The similarly designed waxed canvas military satchel features a sleek, simple design that can accommodate all of baby's essentials as well as having a space for laptop.  The sand washed canvas is a unique look that works well for both parents. 
Finally, the Charlie Pack Backpack by Pout is a stylish and functional bag with a quilted nylon exterior.  And, it's on sale for over 50% off at just $65.00. Using a backpack for your diaper bag needs gives parents more storage space as well as a hands-free travel bag that makes walking through the park a breeze!

Thursday, February 9

Modern Girls Room Design with Caden Lane Bedding

Boutique Pink Duvet by Caden Lane
Decorating kids room is quite a bit of fun due to the fact that you don't have to be traditional or follow any conventional design theme.  You can be imaginative and playful and fun by mixing patterns and designing the room around their favorite Disney princess or any other theme.  Here's our design plan for decorating a modern girls room with Caden Lane's boutique pink duvet set

Caden Lane's bedding set is a wonderful set that will grow with girl from toddler to teen.  The boutique pink duvet features multiple intersecting patterns including pink zebra, blue rose, and green and pink flower.

We chose to really play up lighting and the darker fabric accents in this set with a black finished chandelier, wall sconce, and lamp.  The elegant 5 Arm Glass Turret Chandelier adds a more sophisticated, darker accessory to the room, while the Zebra Shades & pink sashes  compliment the zebra pattern & the pink accents of the bedding.  


For the same reason, the black 2 glass medium lamp base paired with the rose swag lamp shade make for a really lovely addition to girl's room, especially with the detailed rose embellishments. Jubilee's black scroll wall sconce provides a unique wall decor piece that you can place in girls bathroom or in various places around the room.  

AnnaBean's custom Animal Print rug is a great choice for this room because it combines the essential pink, green, and zebra print fabric colors in the duvet bedding.  

We get creative with wall & room decor, adding in whimsical owl accents and more PINK!  Our Owl Wall Stickers feature a colorful array of owls sitting on the branches of a silvery tree and hooting to the midnight glow of a silver crescent moon.  

New Arrivals' Pink Owl Bookends complete this magical forest with handcrafted, hand-painted bookends that will add a nice decorative accent while creating a new space for child's books. 

The Curlz Wall Monogram and the Pink Sugar Fabric Memory Board add personalization to the room!  Memory boards provide a simple way to cover up blank wall space while also getting your girl excited about posting her latest accomplishments or photos and drawings. 

We build upon our room design with all things pink!

1. Rose Dot Fabric

2. Pink Posey on Green Drawer Pull

3. Vintage Geranium Child's Size Chair

4. Antique White Mirror

Finally, we can bring out the floral theme in this bedding with smaller room accessories.  Gilbert Designs' round rose wastebasket is probably the most beautiful trash can I've EVER seen!  

I can't imagine how I would even bring myself to throw something out in there haha. Nonetheless, it features an intricate hand painted design with pink silk rose flowers on top.  The Round Rose tissue box matches perfectly!

Tuesday, February 7

Really Simple Easy to Make Cookie Cups!

I'm not exaggerating when I say this recipe is extremely easy and very delicious.  

I recently saw this on Pinterest so I figured I'd share the directions & some great pictures from Nestle Toll House's recipe vault.
What You'll Need:

1 package of Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough

Your choice of filling!

Ready, Set Go!

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.  Grease twelve 2 1/2 inch muffin cups. 

2. Press 2 square of dough together and place in prepared muffin cups. 

3. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool in pan on wire rack. Center of cups will indent slightly upon cooling. With the tip of a butter knife, remove cookie cups from the muffin pan.

4. Fill cookie cups just the way you like 'em!

Ideas for Filling:

Yogurt & Fruit Cookie Cups: Top each with a spoonful of yogurt and cut up your fresh fruit of choice. 

Ice Cream Cookie Cups: Top each with a small scoop of ice cream  and sprinkle on morsel toppers. 

Rocky Road Cookie Cups: Immediately after the cookie cups come out of the oven, top with a mixture of semi-sweet chocolate morsels, mini marshmallows & chopped nuts. 

Monday, February 6

NEW: Girls Couture Hats!

As the first week of February ends, we're keeping good on our promise of adding new and interesting things to the AnnaBean collection.  Today, we want to showcase one of our latest additions, girls couture hats by designer Jamie Rae!  

These bright, bold creations are a real showstopper with metallic and sequin accents and the trademark Jamie Rae floral embellishment.  Couture hats make a wonderful Valentine's Day gift and are made from soft satin spandex for a comfortable fit.

And now, a little bit about Jamie Rae:

Jamie Rae Hats was started in 2005 by new mom, Jamie, who was inspired to design hats for her own children (who didn't have much hair their first two years!).  She sought to create unique hats for babies and kids that would first and foremost, be comfortable. Now, 7 years later, Jamie Rae sells hundreds of hats for girls and boys featuring traditional flower hats, crochet styles, and more. 

Friday, February 3

Best Gifts for Newborn

Ah Goo Baby Spa Plush Pad
There are good gifts for newborn and then there are great gifts for newborn.  We spend a lot of time trying to find new innovative products and gifts that will simplify mom's life and allow for plenty of pretty pictures of all of baby's new things.  Here are some of our favorite gifts that are extremely functional and quite beautiful!

The Ah Goo Baby Plush Pads provides an on-the-go and at home comfortable changing surface for baby.  The hi-density memory foam cushion is a wonderfully soft spot to change baby on and is covered in ultra-soft fabric selections that are water resistant and machine washable.
1. Duck Bib and Burp Cloth: Every baby needs a bib! You might as well have a really cute bib and burp cloth for all of those messy feeding times that are sure to caught on camera. 

2. Medium Yellow Baby Bunch:  This is a great gift to new parents because parents are sure to underestimate the sheer amount of clothes they are going to need for newborn.  The Medium Yellow Baby Bunch is a beautiful flowery presentation that houses 2 white bodysuits, 1 white t-shirt, 1 yellow and white striped hat, 1 pair of yellow socks, 1 pair of white socks, and a coordinating yellow bib!

3. Hoohobbers Cha Cha Cha Moses Basket: Our Moses Baskets come in almost a hundred different fabrics and match our designer crib bedding sets.  These baskets are a great tool for parents to use as they move from different rooms in the house.  While mom or dad is cooking, instead of having baby sleep upstairs in the crib, they can place the Moses Basket in the living room and know that baby is safe and secure. 

4. Pink Taffy 3-Piece Burpee Set by New Arrivals:  Burping is an inevitable task of parents, so you might as well have a lovely patterned fabric cloth to use!

Finally, a hugely adorable baby gift is the Hooded Hippo Robe by Baby Aspen. Wrap up infant with a lavender terry robe that can be personalized with baby's initial. 

Thursday, February 2

AnnaBean Interview with Be Positive Mom

Many moms have started new businesses at home as a way to stay home with their kids and contribute to the family income.  If you have been thinking about starting a business or taking your career in a different direction, we recommend reading about the origins of AnnaBean, and the advice one mom has to share about starting her own business. 

Check out the Be Positive Mom Blog's interview of  AnnaBean owner Karen Fontaine