She Wears Many Hats (and you can too!)

My sister-in-law is an amazing jill of all trades. I am always amazed at what she sends our way, and become quite giddy whenever I see a package from her in the mailbox. What I would call her specialty as of late - hats! Amazing knit hats! Even before Avalee was born, she was set in the millinery department!

But I don't post merely to tease you..... 

want to win one of these fabulous creations?
$20 to spend at IBB? 

Two Hats to Give Away = Two ways To Win!
  • Love your way: Once we reach 350 Facebook fans I will choose one fan at random
  • Buy your way: Every order over $100 received between now and October 10th is automatically entered to win (please note your order must be $100 in merchandise, and deposits on rentals/trials do not count towards this $ amount)

ps. want to meet this amazing lady? 

pps. there may or may not be a beach ball stuffed inside that oh-so-photogenic giveaway pumpkin hat......


Finally Fall

All I can say to today's post.... YUM!

From the Desk of Marky Baby - 

Oh how I love the smell of fall.... (well, I mean, when I can smell it. My allergies are so bad I generally cannot smell from August until October). 

I have a few fall favorites, in no particular order: 
  • Turning leaves
  • Pumpkin patches
  • Cool dense air that really makes the Turbo go whoooosshhhhhh
  • Cosby sweaters (no, not worn by me, but others)
  • Guessing when Christmas decor will be set out by eager retailers
  • And, as always, the food! Warm slow-cooked stewed concoctions 
Yummm. I never differentiated winter and summer foods when I was a child. But when we moved to Minneapolis I realized why one needs winter foods - mainly to thaw out. 

Last year a friend bestowed upon us a chili recipe which we both love. I just made it tonight and Avalee loves it too! Here it is - please enjoy! 

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic 
1 lb. ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can red kidney beans, undrained

1. Peel and chop onion and garlic.
2. Cook beef, onion and garlic in saucepan; drain when browned.
3. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and tomatoes w/ their liquid. Break up tomatoes.
4. Heat on high until boiling - reduce heat so bubbles gently. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir in beans and their liquid. Heat to boiling over high heat. Once boiling reduce heat so bubbles gently. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes stirring occasionally until desired thickness.
*For a hearty serving of leftovers, double the tomatoes and beans. 
*Serve with shredded cheddar on top. 
*We like to use turkey in place of beef. 

1 cup milk
1/2 stick melted butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cups yellow corn meal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Mix milk, melted butter and egg.

2. Add yellow corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes in a greased pan.

Or, buy one of these:

Tiny Tush Love

Of course a store called 'Itsy Bitsy Bums' should love something called 'Tiny Tush.' I mean, they are practically the same thing (diagrams help, right?): 

Itsy Bitsy = Tiny
Bums = Tush

And anyways, aren't most cloth diapering items/accessories/stores/fan clubs/cult followings' names all just euphemisms for adorable teeny gluteus maximuses (or should that be maximi? hmmm)?

I digress. 

I was excited to see an article about Tiny Tush's founder Charlene Foster and wanted to share it with you all. I have been nothing but impressed with Charlene's products, and cannot wait to see where her business goes. Being a fellow Cheese-head, I also feel the home state pride for her! 
I've known about the Tiny Tush brand for quite a while. In fact, Tiny Tush's liners were one of our very first cloth diapering purchases. However, I'm quite surprised there isn't more fanfare for the Tiny Tush Elite One Size Pocket Diaper. I am so impressed with this diaper! 

So customizable - two microfiber inserts, four rise settings, aplix closures. 


Well designed - reverse pocket ensures both that the microfiber inserts are completely covered and, in addition, no nasties get in the pocket when you are spraying it. 

So, if you know someone looking for a one-size pocket diaper with a fantasically tall rise, send them to Tiny Tush. And if you are a fellow Wisconsinite, join me in beaming with pride. 


Baby Steps

After a two week hiatus, I'd like to welcome back Marky Baby to the land of IBB. 

Have I told you (nope, I'm positive I haven't, but the phrase makes a nice transition don't you think?)... every Monday Mark emails me his post, typically jotted down on his lunch break. Today's post arrived pre-lunch, as he likes to see the whites of his deadline's eyes the early email caught me by surprise. As I read his thoughts, it just struck me as so meaningful, and all around quite sweet. For those who don't know me well, or even at all, I've had several health issues over the years. Nothing that I left ever keep me down for long, but some days can be very, very challenging. Today was one of those days. 

Anyways, what I mean to say, his message rings so true and I thank him for the lovely post. I hope you all enjoy it. 

From the Desk of Marky Baby...

As my little baby starts to walk run, climb stairs, climb on things like the dog, her walker and pretty much anything else that sits still for too long, I have realized something.... it all starts with baby steps. 

Abby, Avalee and I strolled the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City on Friday night after a refreshing dinner at Blanc (Editor's Note - if you are local, you *must* try this place! especially the truffle fries!) and a quick trip to the Gap. We happened to have two ways to get back to the car - a. take the slow creepy elevator back to the parking lot, or b. walk up the three flights of steps. With the sun setting at our backs and the dinner sitting heavy in my stomach, I wanted to go for the elevator. Avalee seemed to have other ideas. Her eyes lit up when she came upon the steps and, her little fist in mine, she pulled me towards them. 

My thoughts were as follows, in no particular order: 
  • Fight or flight, I'm going with flight
  • Whose daughter is this really? Three flights of steps in the KC heat. What? 
  • She'll definitely be pooping out, or should I say, get tired in the middle and stop.
  • Who's going to help Abby up the steps? 
  • Who's going to help me up the steps? 
  • Why aren't there hand rails? 
  • What genius decided to put so many steps outside? 
  • Oh look, a bird, Kaw-k-Kaw

Anyways, step by step Avalee climbed with minimal assistance. Then she stood still long enough that I thought she was done, so I picked her up and started to climb. Avalee seemed to have other ideas. She quickly wiggled to get back down, and her trek resumed. 

With people looking on, cheering from the McCormick and Schmidt's patio, shrimp cocktail in one hand and a cocktail in the other, Avalee kept going (Editor's note - I spy a wee bit of fiction Marky Baby). It wasn't until close to the top when an older gentleman passed us by, saying 'someone's going to sleep well tonight.' He obviously doesn't know Avalee (Editor's note - while I may have chronic fatigue, my apple fell very far from the tree). Anywhoos.

She finally made it! She climbed her Everest! When I turned around and looked to where we started I was shocked! She really did it! It just goes to show you slow and steady wins the race. My little girl showed a lot of heart and determination. So, next time I am faced with a momentous task, my own Everest, I shall attack it with one baby step at a time! 


It's a (Sock) Zoo

Hope everyone is doing well today. It is quite the blustery day in IBBville - fall is definitely in the air! 

In one of my former lives, I was a double major in studio art and art history at the lovely Gustavus Adolphus College (say that 5x fast, it's fun). The love to create and stimulate the imagination never left me, however the time to be crafty certainly has. A very inquisitive and very energetic 14-month-old has left me precious little space to pull out any of my former loves - painting, beading and the like. While I can still take photographs (poor iPhoto is bulging at its proverbial seams), I am feeling restless for another project to keep me entertained on the cool fall nights. 

Well, this morning that project practically fell into my lap (yup, fell, Avalee pushed the laptop while I was checking my email). Check out Boden's sock menagerie! I am so excited. And this gives me a use for those pairs of socks that don't get much love these days. 

Other than imagining Avalee's new family of sock dogs, I've been shipping lots of orders out to families across the country and our northern neighbor as well - love spreading the cloth love! And the approach of one of my favorite seasons (the others being winter and spring, haha) has left me feeling quite generous - mention 'GIFT' at checkout to get a fun surprise with your order! Good through September 22nd. 



So proud to announce the first WAHMlight winner

Congratulations Andrea T., such a precious photograph of a daddy and his little girl! 

Andrea has won a Cow Patties Famous Pocket Fitted! Yay! 

Interested in winning your own fun IBB goodness? Check out this month's WAHMlight Guerilla Fluff


Welcome to the WAHMlight Guerilla Fluff

So excited to bring you a few fantastic bits of Guerilla Fluff! And introduce you to a smart and funny WAHM named Novia. 

Happy September folks! And welcome to the WAHMlight Guerilla Fluff!

ps. Want to win $10 towards a future IBB purchase? Details below. 

Itsy Bitsy Bums: Tell us about yourself - your family, your likes, your dislikes. 
Guerilla Fluff: Well my family and I currently live in the land of soybean and corn (i.e. Indiana), lol. And my partner and I have a little 20 month old girl named Giselle (a.k.a. Gizzy) who's absolutely adorable and a good kid (we know we got lucky with her) but let's be real and say that she's also hell on wheels lol. The terrible twos have infiltrated our once serene home.

I'm pretty boring actually (having kids has SOOOO domesticated me). I like to read in my spare time, and my favorite TV shows are Fringe and House M.D. and I like to listen to lounge music - two of my fave bands are Zero 7 and Massive Attack. I also like to cook and I'm pretty sure I have THE BEST tasting chili ever; so if anyone would like to challenge that let me know and we can have a chili throw down LOL!

Besides being a mom and a WAHM I'm also a full time masters student going for my MFA in Fashion Merchandising. I'm the typical overachiever; which is typical for a Leo LOL!

IBB: When did you start making diapers? 
GF: Like most WAHMs I started making diapers after I had my baby. I wanted her diapers to be more cool and less 'cutesy' AND have great function. There were a lot of cute diapers out there, but the majority of the cute ones lacked on function and Gizzy would whiz through them like she had nothing on, and, being the problem solver that I am, Guerilla Fluff was born. :-)

Guerilla Central 1
Basically this is my ball and chain. I've got my industrial straight stitch machine I've affectionally dubbed 'The Monster' and I have a Brother Innov-is that I call 'Little Monster.' I switch between these two machines religiously. I have a dry erase board that serves as an overview of orders and a more detailed list of orders/customs to the right of it (I need a new board lol). You can see where Gizzy came in and tried to put a diaper on one of her Hello Kitty bears lol.

IBB: What is your favorite part about being a WAHM?
GF: Helping people find a solution with cloth diapers is my fave part of the process (my least favorite would be cutting because that can take days). I like helping people make the best decision for their kids and I wouldn't recommend/sell a product that I wouldn't use myself. Of course I also do like seeing pictures of kids wearing Guerilla Fluff or playing with one of my dolls. It's gratifying to know that someone found an answer to their cloth diapering dilemmas with my products. It makes the 19 hour days worth it. 

Guerilla Central 2
This is where I store more fabric lol. 50% of my [hard to find] stuff lives in and on that book case. I have put my ironing board to good use by using it as a table of sorts where I store my overflow of fabric. That's where most of my dyed and marble-dyed stuff lives. On the floor in their own separate bins are dirrty dozen orders and future stocking items as well as prints that I am cutting out for the baby expo I'm participating in in October.

IBB: Where do you get inspiration for the products you offer? 
GF: That's like asking an artist where they get inspiration and the answer is always the same... everywhere and in everything and from everyone lol. I'm an 'idea man.' I literally have a notebook FULL of hundreds of ideas for Guerilla Fluff stuff lol. So when I do stock an item or create a new item it's been marinating in my head for quite some time (usually months). I'm pretty meticulous that way. 

IBB: How does your background in fashion influence you?
GF: Working in fashion affects your taste level a bit when it comes to choosing and manipulating fabrics. I'd probably say that the biggest influence that working in the fashion world has on me when it comes to Guerilla Fluff is how I go about presenting it and how I go about creating my products. It's bigger than diapers to me a lot of the time. Working in the fashion world you don't have the option to sit and focus on the present - you have to be able to be a fortune teller a bit because you're always thinking about the next season and future products. And working in that very fast-paced world really has affected what I stock, when I stock it and how. Dude, I have some longies designs coming that I don't think anyone could've taken to this level. 

Guerilla Central 3
It may look like chaos but I know where everything is. ;-) This is where the bulk of the fabric lives, all washed and ready to make into fluff for parents and babies to . Along with my knitting and my ba-gillion snaps lol.

IBB: What is your favorite fabric currently stocked at IBB?
GF: Hands down Konichiwa Kitty. We're HUGE Sanrio fans here... and by 'we' I mean Gizzy and me lol. I have created a little Hello Kitty monster (she has three Hello Kitty stuffed animals and she carries them around the house ALL the time) and I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but in my mind a little girl can never go wrong with some HK love. 

Now that you've gotten to know more about Novia, take a chance to explore her amazing creations. Itsy Bitsy Bums currently has a limited stocking of both Calibers and One Size Fitteds!

Interested in winning $10? Thought so! Here's how - 
  • Post a picture of your little one wearing your favorite Guerilla Fluff diaper to the IBB Facebook page
  • All entries must be posted by September 30th
  • Feel free to post as many photographs as you'd like
  • I will select a winner no later than October 2nd
  • Winner will be announced both on the IBB Facebook page as well as on this very blog
  • Any and all photographs you post must be your original artwork and, by posting, you agree I can use the winning photograph for my blog or website