Giveaway Monday: The Meraki Menagerie

Happy Monday everyone! Time for another fantastic giveaway! I know… exciting, right? It seems that my giveaways have found a theme of starting on Mondays so why not make it official with a “Giveaway Monday” title.

This one comes from another new etsy shop and a very talented, super hysterical, undeniably beautiful friend of mine. I am happy to spread the love and brag on Hilari and The Meraki Menagerie. Hilari and I met in college when she BLEW MY MIND with her dancing talent at auditions for our college dance company. She’s a tiny little fireball of energy and enthusiasm and I simply adore her. Plus she is an avid Harry Potter fan and can quote the Hunger Games bad lip reading video like its her job. Yeah, she’s awesomesauce. But I’ll let her tell you a little more about herself and her fantastic shop! Meet Hilari!

If I could spend every day creating new things, I definitely would! The best days are those during which I can devote some time to making gifts or pieces for someone. I recently developed a love for wrapping anything I can find in wire. I have a love of all things art, however, my great love lies in painting! I opened my Etsy in early October and have truly enjoyed adding a bit of a business side to my life long hobby of crafting. We’ll see where it goes!

I graduated last May with a degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Aside from perpetually filling my schedule with art related to-do lists, I drink a lot of herbal tea, watch Harry Potter, and play with my blue eyed bunny, Sullivan.

She’s adorable, right?

Hilari has been kind enough to give LITT… readers the chance to win THEIR CHOICE of one of her beautifully creative Guitar String bracelets {the ones listed as “featured items” on her Etsy page}. I’m seriously in love with these gems… they are gorgeous.

As usual, entering is easy! Simply use the Rafflecopter link below and earn as many entries as you want! More entries mean more chances to win, so don’t stop with just one! Once you enter, just cross your fingers and hope that you’re the winner!
The giveaway will run through Sunday, December 9th and the winner will be announced on Monday the 10th! I’ll contact the winner and move forward on the road to getting your bracelet! Be sure to really spread the word, these pieces are too beautiful not to brag about, and best of luck to everyone! And of course I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Hilari for hosting this fantastic giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time…

*I’m always looking for new products and shops to brag on. If you have something you feel is worth bragging about, let me know! And if you are interested in hosting a giveaway with Life in these times… let me know by leaving a comment here, on facebook, or by tweeting me up! I love connecting with other blogs and small businesses to help spread the love!


This was the general mood in our house yesterday. Between mommy having a bit of an emotional melt down to daddy getting two teeth pulled… it was only fitting that The Bean share our sentiments.

Whenever we get to a week that ends in the number one I feel the need to look back at all of The Bean’s weekly photos. I’m amazed at how, in 9 months, she’s morphed from a squishy, squirmy, little ball of adorable to a waving, raspberry-blowing, sweet and smart little person. And still I can’t believe she’s mine.

Here’s a quick overview of the newness of this past week:

  • I thought we were ahead of the game with 4 teeth but now we have 6! Two more teeth have sprung up on the top row and she’s definitely learning to use them… more on that later.
  • We finally got baby gates! And thank goodness because little miss is all over the place. We are still getting used to it but so far it’s done it’s job of keeping her off the steps!
  • We were SHOCKED the other night when, after the hubs and I had spent the afternoon on a date at Six Flags, Keelin decided to take her first solo steps! I KNOW RIGHT!? She’s a big time cruiser and will often let go of one or both hands to stand and look around. But this time, she let go of the table and took AT LEAST three unsupported steps right at me. I, of course, freaked out! We only started “walking” with her a week ago and now she’s making an attempt to do it on her own. Brilliant.
  • We had a great visit from one of my bridesmaids, Laura, and her soon-to-be hubby Mitch. They were heading back to NC/VA after spending the weekend at Auburn and were able to stop by the house for lunch. It was great catching up with them.
  • Keelin’s 9 month check up was great! The nurse finally called her a GIRL {she normally says, “Take him in the room and remove everything but his diaper” even though she’s dressed like a girl and it says FEMALE on her chart… who knows} but I think the fact that we went overboard with the pink had something to do with it. She’s growing like a weed, in the 75th percentile for height! She cried like we were pinching her when the pediatrician started examining her but it kind of made us all laugh.

That’s about all for us this past week. No fabric options for next week… because I’m lazy and forgot to take a picture.
If you didn’t already see it Monday, I finally opened my Etsy page… theKeenBean! Check it out and let me know what you think!

9 month check up  – nurse, pink overload

The Keen Bean

I am so incredibly excited that I FINALLY checked this long overdue item off my TO DO list this weekend. You’ve heard me talk about it for a while now and I finally sat down {while the hubs was off having bachelor party adventures with a friend of ours} and got it done. I had a neat little station set up, put The Avengers on repeat, and got down to business. I did it! YAY ME!


The Keen Bean Etsy


I have always talked about opening an Etsy shop because I like to be crafty whenever possible. But it wasn’t until after learning I was having a girl that I started really CREATING. What started off as buying a small quilting swatch to turn into a hair piece has turned into something I’ve really become passionate about. Seriously, all I want to do {besides hang with the fam} is make sweet things for sweet ones.

Currently the shop consists of one-of-a-kind hair accessories for little girls, and little girls at heart. I don’t have a basic design that I make on repeat, each item is 100% unique and made with love. But hair accessories is not all you will find at theKeenBean, I have more ideas than I can fit in my brain {literally I have to write them all down each time a new one pops up so I don’t forget it} and will be adding on SOON! Expect the expansion to include baby clothes {boys and girls}, home accents and decor, and plenty of do-dads for nursing moms. This is a big deal people! I’m going full speed ahead!

So, how bout that name?

When I decided that I was going to open an Etsy shop I knew I had to come up with a name that was cute, easy to remember, and gave a spotlight to my inspiration. Ergo, theKeenBean. I love it. It feels fun, happy, stylish, quirky, and everything else my own little love is to me. I would love for you to take a look around and tell me what you think! Since I’m new to the Etsy world I would love some feedback as well. You all are such wonderful loving readers and I really respect your opinions so I’m officially drawing a target on my head and saying bring it on! You like the pieces. You hate the pieces. You’d totally buy something. You think the name is stupid. You think I’m an absolute genius. You think I should adjust my pricing. Whatever it is… hit me with it!

Also… if you’re on Etsy or have experience on Etsy, I’d love some tips on how to get noticed {and join my circle! I’ll be happy to do the same}. How do you establish a solid selling relationship? What advice would you give me just starting out? Am I totally in over my head? Again… bring it on!

I’ll be adding a new page to the blog featuring newly listed items and specials so be on the look out for that as well! FYI, I’m currently running a GRAND OPENING special for the month of October {Breast Cancer Awareness Month}that includes a free Breast Cancer Ribbon clip with every purchase. {they are also for sale as individual purchases}

breast cancer ribbon hair clip


So, I couldn’t resist sharing this news with all of you, since I’ve been talking about it for long enough, and I hope you all visit, explore {buy things}, be happy and tell me what you think!

P.S. Some of my one-of-a-kind creations will be included in an upcoming giveaway. I know I’ve talked about this a lot too… but it is happening! Getting some final loose ends tied, because it has to be awesome, and then it’s go time!

Until next time…