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03 May '24

Meet Holly from Creative Capes

Posted by Annie Messing

Let me introduce you to my friend Holly from Creative Capes. She makes amazing personalized handmade capes, masks, and shields for children, empowering them to unleash their inner heroes.

I lovingly call Holly my "business bestie" because we get along so well and enjoy chatting about all things imaginative play, female entrepreneurship, and the magic of childhood.

My son Shiloh absolutely adores his superhero cape from Creative Capes and all the cool accessories that came with it. I am particularly impressed with how silky the cape feels and the sturdy stitching. Every kid needs one of these.

Holly makes capes in all colors and sizes - even ones for adults. I'm not even kidding when I tell you that after seeing Shiloh swish around the house in his cape, my husband said he needs one too (Hello Father's Day gift!).

Please check out Creative Capes and remember it the next time you need a freshen up the playroom costume collection!

13 Mar '24

The Magic of ABC Blocks

Posted by Annie Messing

Let me to share a little story about ABC blocks and why they hold such a special place in my heart.

Nearly 18 years ago, my oldest daughter Evangeline was just a plump 9-month-old bundle of joy and cuteness. My husband was away for a few months, doing military training at a base in Alabama. With baby in tow, I headed down to spend a few weeks with him. The base housing we stayed in was minimally furnished, and I hadn't brought along many toys.

Especially in the mornings, I needed to find something to keep Evangeline occupied while I got ready. I remembered how much she enjoyed the toys at my parents' home, which we had just visited. These were all toys I had also played with as a child - a big red apple with a cheery bell (classic Fisher Price), pretend peas + carrots, and a classic set of ABC blocks whose sides were worn down to a silky smooth patina from hours of play.

I found a little toy shop in the local town near the base with a set of solid maple ABC blocks -  I still remember setting them on the floor for the first time and watching Evangeline's eyes light up.

In the subsequent weeks, she and I played and played and played with those blocks. We stacked and toppled down. We babbled about the letters and pictures printed on each block. I think at one point, Evangeline may have taken a favorite block to sleep with her. Once we were back home from that Alabama visit, those blocks continued to be a favorite.

Even now, 18 years later, the blocks still sit in a basket on the shelf. They evoke such sweet nostalgia and a tangible reminder of how magical playtime can be for both parent and child.

It's fascinating how something as simple as playing with blocks during childhood can have far-reaching benefits later in life. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has done research that underscores how block play in early childhood can shape cognitive development and mathematical skills in adolescence. It's a testament to the importance of play in childhood and its lasting impact on cognitive growth and development.

If only we could devise a way for those blocks to tidy themselves away once playtime comes to a close!


01 Feb '24

Annie's Cozy Winter Favorites

Posted by Annie Messing


My family and I have been back in the states for six months now. The whirlwind of unpacking boxes, settling in a new city, helping my kids get acclimates at new schools has occupied much of my attention. But with the new year, we are all feeling much more settled and I've turned more of my energy back to Brimful.

First order of business - a fresh new post for the blog.

The first few months of the year always feel a little slow - perhaps it's the cold weather or maybe we're all just waiting for spring to come! I find myself looking for  the little things that will make these winter days feel a bit brighter. So, this post is dedicated to all things cozy and feeling fresh when it's grey and cold outside.

Extra High-Waisted Jogger Sweatpants - Emily Schuman has mentioned these sweatpants several times on Instagram and since the ones I have are 20 years old (not even kidding!), I decided to get a pair. Fast forward a few months and I now have three pairs! They really are so comfortable, priced well, and hit the waist at just the right spot. (I do recommend line drying to keep them from shrinking.)

Marrekesh 1000 Piece Puzzle - When boredom hits, I love doing puzzles! Eeboo makes such lovely ones that are illustrated inclusively and this Marrekesh puzzle is next on my list. I'm telling you, doing puzzles are like free therapy.

Keap Candles - This beautiful candle company was featured on Cup of Jo a few years ago and I was intrigued enough that I signed up for a candle subscription. I love how intentional the brand is about being eco-friendly and really - the candles smell absolutely amazing.

Maree Eye Gel Pads - I'm a perpetually exhausted mother of four children ages 9 to 17. Need I say more? (wink) These eye gels really freshen up my face after a poor night's sleep. The sparkly bright colors of each set are such a mood booster!

Wild Toni Jun - Last summer, I discovered the delicious flavor of jun - the lesser known sibling of kombucha. Upon drinking it daily for a few weeks, I saw a huge improvement in my gut health. It also makes a refreshing drink for the afternoons, when energy starts to wane.

Set of 6 Melamine Cups - The spoons + forks from Rice DK have been a huge hit with my whole family for a good ten years now. And now we have cups to match! These are about the size of a shot glass - which are a delightful size for a quick sip of juice or to hold a handful of chocolate chips. I wasn't sure how well my kids would like them - but they are all fans.

Badger Vinyl Sticker - Use it as a book mark, add it to a water bottle, or stick it on the front of a journal binder! Stickers are the perfect little something that bring a smile. I love having a stash of them to give to the special people in my life.

Hand Creme - My sister gave this hand creme to me for Christmas and this particular scent smells heavenly. Winter and hand creme, they just kind of go together, right?

Anytime Centering Cards - I think no matter the age, we could all use a bit more centering and education around our emotions. These cards gently guide parents and kids how to regulate breathing and redirect focus when social situations feel difficult to navigate. Another resource I have found helpful with my older kids are these printable affirmation cards.

Nourishing Lip Balm - I am always looking for a lip balm for my chapped winter lips and this one really works well. It's luxuriously thick without being sticky. Give it a try!

Pencil Pouch - Is there such a thing as too many pouches? I think not! I use small fabric pouches for all sorts of things - and of course, for pencils too. The design of this one is gender neutral and holds enough pencils and crayons for when kids are out and wish to draw or color. And if needed, a few pieces of candy can fit in there too.


13 Feb '22

Bri Heiligenthal's Toadstool Sugar Cookies

Posted by Annie Messing in Recipes

Back in September, I wrote about how toadstools have become a beloved design trend in fashion, clothing, and children’s lifestyle products. As you can see, Brimful is fully on board with this trend with no signs of stopping! In fact, if you follow the shop over on Instagram, you will want to tune in tomorrow for a toadstool themed giveaway!

My friend Bri is graciously hosting the giveaway and along with Brimful shop credit, one lucky winner will also win cookie decorating essentials to make her gorgeous toadstool sugar cookies. So if you’re toad-ally gah gah for toadstools like we are, please join in the giveaway fun on Monday, Feb 14th at 9AM PST.

Bri uses this trusty sugar cookie recipe year round - the only thing she omits is the lemon juice.

For the icing, Bri has come up with an easy-to-follow method that gives her great results, batch after batch. Here is one of the toadstool cookie cutters that Bri likes using.

Icing Recipe and Tips:

Start with one cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of water-mix together until the consistency is smooth and not too thick/not too runny. You want it not so thin that it will drip right off the side of the cookie, but not so thick that it won’t easily squeeze from the bottles. Continue adding water in very small amounts (you can always add more powdered sugar if you find it’s too runny). Once you’ve got the right consistency, add food coloring. A few drops is all it takes for a nice bright red color. Bri recommends this one for the most true red.

Once it’s all mixed well, pour it into different squeeze bottles and essentially “color” it onto the cookies. Start with the red and let it harden completely before switching to white icing for the toadstool's white dots and stem.

I hope you've enjoyed this cookie decorating tutorial and be sure to tag Bri at @burtsbrisplease on social to show off your cute cookies!


19 Nov '21

Cyber Monday 2021

Posted by Annie Messing

Is it just me or does planning for the holidays feel a little bit precarious this year?

I have been leaning hard on my belief that keeping things simple is best.

The shop is fully stocked for the Christmas shopping season a bit earlier than usual, so that's good news! You can see all the newest arrivals here and there's even a few ornaments this year too.

Brimful's once-a-year sale will be on Cyber Monday, November 29th at 8am PST. The two promotions being offered are:

15% off orders > $50

20% off orders > $150

The sale codes for both promotions will be emailed out to Brimful's newsletter subscribers the evening before the sale. If you aren't signed up already, you can do so on the homepage or welcome pop-up. Please note that Animals & Dolls, Brin d'Ours, Grapat, and a few Olli Ella items are excluded from the sale.

To ensure your orders get to you by December 25th, the shipping deadline for Christmas delivery is Wednesday, December 15th. Orders will continue to be shipped after this date, but may not make it for the big day. Fingers crossed for no delays!

This is my ninth holiday season playing Santa at Brimful and the excitement of seeing your cute holiday orders come in never fails to thrill me. Thank you for supporting this little shop! Despite the ongoing pandemic and uneasiness we may feel about gathering together over the next month, I hope you all have a beautiful, memorable holiday season.

xoxo, Annie





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