Meet The Author

Contributing Writer

Abby is an ex-professional figure skater who works full time as a Program Specialist for Customs Border Protection. In her spare time you can find her seeking out vintage finds for Maeve Vintage; a business she runs with her mom and sister {OR} blogging about her most recently attended CityMoms event on her own blog, Little Miss Martha. She lives in Noblesville, IN with her hockey guru husband Mike and their little spitfire of a daughter, Ella. Spitfire #2 due in late 2016!!!

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40 Bags in 40 Days


So it's lent.  A time of where you sacrifice something that you normally love (and yes I know there’s more to lent than this). I decided to try a different approach this year, mostly because I typically forget to not eat meat on Fridays and usually I'm not able to actually follow through with the 40 days of giving something up. So when I saw this Lenten challenge on Facebook, I decided I was in. Bring it on 40 bags in 40 days!  #40bagsin40days


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DIY Wood Bead Garland


I’m feeling nested lately.  

I am due with The Other Girl in about 30 days… and scared shitless of course!  Even though it’s baby #2, the fears do not go away. And neither does the feeling of needing to get the house in order!  I really mean my house is never in order, so this a great excuse to get the hubby on board with cleaning and ridding and finishing up projects!  

Fortunately for him, the nursery is a project all my own.  I don’t know if people just “reuse” the items they’ve had in their previous nurseries or if they start from scratch on all of them.  It’s only my 2nd… not sure… But I do love designing things and rearranging so I’m starting over on the other girl's room.  And I’m not one to buy a set so usually my pieces come from everywhere.

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Oversized DIY Prints


I love me a good large black and white photo.  Will you find them all over my house?  No.  But I love them and felt it was time…

A couple years ago, we had photos taken when we thought it would be our last session as a family of 3.  And I think it turned out being just that as we didn’t have any more taken of all 3 of us between then and now, but I digress… However, I LOVED the photos but I never know what to do with photos anymore…  Printing photos can also be super expensive! 

So… I figured I’d try the engineer sized prints you can get at your local FedEx or Kinkos.  I’d been wanting to try them forever and this was the perfect opportunity.  I had an empty hall that needed filling, and this was a great affordable, stylish way to bring that area of my home to life. 


I actually used Office Depot as their online portal was the easiest to use in my opinion.  The photographer, also a friend, gave us the files for the photos, and I loaded them into the online portal world of Office Depot, and hit send.  About $20 and 4 hours later (around $5 for each print), I had 4 large black and white poster sized photos. 

Remember, I’m cheap, so next I headed to IKEA for their Ribba frames that run around $8 (or at least they did at the time. I’m so dreaming of the day when IKEA is in Fishers).


I sat down at the kitchen table with my Xacto knife, frames, gold scissors, and photos and went to town framing these beauties. 

I’d also like to state that I’m NOT a perfectionist. Don’t judge me, I’m just not.  I don’t have time for that.  To me, imperfect is perfect.  And I wanted to add that in there because these are not perfect.  To the untrained eye (and those who don’t get too close) the quality may look quite great… but if you get up close, there are some blurs and pixelations in some places, but I didn’t mind that.  I actually think it gives it a little character.   Also, I’m sure you can tweak the settings more than I did when it comes to print quality. 


But there you have it…

Adorable, Affordable, and Artsy.

As a finishing touch we added some old railroad signs above just to anchor the space a bit more. I love it and can’t wait to try another print elsewhere sometime soon!


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Checking Off the List: Office Makeover

I don’t know about you, but I have a LIST…

A list of all major things that should be happening around my home and probably should have happened five years ago when we moved in…

This list includes paint kitchen and bathroom cabinets, fix trim in all rooms, new carpet upstairs, redo pantry/office, fix landscaping, etc… You get the idea… I could go on forever probably!  

But I recently finished one of those tasks on the list and let me tell you it feels sooooo good!

Which one?!  Well, I finally made the little office space we use in our pantry into an actual office space!  Yay!  And the best part?  It only cost me about $150 TOTAL.  I consider myself a queen of Craigslist and pride myself on not paying full price often; however, in this case I used a lot of what I already had.  

Let’s start with our before…

This spot is right off of our garage and used to be more like a dropping spot/mudroom/desk area.  It’s not a huge spot, but it’s where a washer and dryer would have gone had we not put them upstairs.  Anyways, this is what it looked like in there when we started:



First task for the office pantry: Paint.

(already had) $0.



Second Task: Fix up desk.

Desk & Spray Paint - had

Marble Contact Paper - 2 rolls



Third Task: Hang Shelves

Around $75

6 white brackets - $4.95 each

2 pieces of wood cut to size $19 each

Stain - had



And that’s all!  While it did take most of the weekend due to painting, I’m really happy with how it turned out!  It feels so good to have a calm place to work where I can shut the door if I need to AND I’ve finally checked something off our to do list!  I think I am more productive because of it, and it was a great way to express my love for decor!  I love how it turned out!







There’s even a spot for Ells, her bags & artwork!



Until next time!  Wonder what trouble my “nesting” will get me into next?





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Maeve Vintage



Ever since I was a little girl I remember dreaming up doll house living rooms or rearranging my own bedroom. I think my sister hated it.  I was always watching my mom move the sofa here and the chair there, too.  Then I grew up wanting to be an interior designer, but chose the {obviously} more secure college degree of political science.  So I continued to rearrange only my own living room and bedrooms much to my husband’s dismay…

Then I decided to start a business.  I never knew all that was involved but had always wanted to be my own boss and own my own boutique.  I honestly never saw the business I picked involving ALL furniture.  I thought it would be an adorable clothing boutique most likely for children.  But alas, I chose to offer boutique furniture rentals when I launched Maeve Vintage with my mom and sister in early 2015.   Maeve is named for my daughter, her middle name, and I hope that by me sharing a passion of mine with her, letting her watch me work, and letting her play in the warehouse (aka real life dollhouse) it will show her that if you have a dream and work hard at that dream, you can make it happen no matter who says what.  


*She's also a great furniture tester*




Maeve Vintage is a boutique rentals & event styling company that serves central and northern Indiana with a warehouse space located in Fort Wayne.  We hope to allow all party throwers to add some charm to their events without breaking the bank. We offer vintage sofas, chairs, dressers, buffets, and even tiny details like table décor and vintage china.  Along with our individual pieces, we also offer packages for those who need a little direction on what would look good together.  And if you still aren’t sure how it will all be pulled together, we offer styling services too! 

Maeve is my favorite creative outlet I’ve found to date.  I get to be creative.  I get to work with fun people, including my family.  I get to buy things all the time--things I have nowhere to put in my own house and which I can use and reuse and style differently, which makes them the best blank canvas!  I can style tablescapes, lounge seating areas, seating arrangements, and more!  It’s a fun way to be able to move furniture all the time without upsetting my husband!  Haha.  But seriously the best part is that none of it is at my house!  He loves that.  

Just some examples of what we've done to date: 


Winter Holiday Minis with Holly of Blue Baloon Photography:



A pop-up luncheon featuring our china, goblets, serving dishes, and teacart. Photos by The Colagrossis:




Wedding of Abby & Dillon featuring our sofa & chairs. Photo by Cambria Custom Events:



Mid Century Modern Styled Shoot featuring our furniture and styled by us! Photo by Kelly Benton Photography:




Bridal Shower featuring our lounge seating:



Industrial Boho Styled Shoot featuring our chairs and styling. Photo by Indigo Lace Collective:



If you are interested in what Maeve is all about, we have a ton of information on our Website -  We are always posting new things on instagram (@maevevintage) - sneak peeks of upcoming shoots, published shoots, real weddings and events, etc... So make sure to follow along with us on this journey!  


Lastly, if you are thinking of starting a business or new venture all I can say is just do it.  You'll never know EVERYTHING before you start.  You'll never be 100% prepared for all the scenarios that my come your way.  You'll never regret doing it if you are doing it for the right reasons... So just jump in.  Someone I met recently told me "done is better than perfect" because if you wait for perfection you'll be waiting forever... and it's right!  I'd love to hear from you if you are thinking about doing something new!  Just do it!  

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Spring Cleaning Hacks for Busy Moms

So I don't know about you gals, but I seriously feel like I never get to do anything on the weekends because I'm always cleaning or doing laundry.  Cleaning sucks.  It really does.  I only have one kiddo, but she's a tornado who can wiggle her way out of picking up and has the most toys I've ever seen.  I have a husband who only does his own laundry, and by "does" I mean throws the load in the washer and nothing else.  And two dogs who we got because they weren't supposed to shed... but they sure do!  Everywhere!  So Little Miss Martha here feels like a farce thanks to her disaster zone of a home!  

And with April upon us, it's time for everyone to be thinking about Spring Cleaning.  And with that, I'm going to share a few of my favorite hacks and a cleaning calendar to help us all keep our houses clean(er) and our sanity in tact! 



*Break it down from Penny Pincher Jenny

Its exhausting taking entire weekends to clean things up, and honestly it feels like you never have any rest!  So break it down.  Jenny from Penny Pincher Jenny breaks a deep clean down into 7 days. There are more details on her site, but this is a quick overview. 

-Day 1 - Drapes and Blinds

-Day 2 - Fan & Light Fixtures

-Day 3 - Bedrooms

-Day 4 - Bathrooms

-Day 5 - Kitchen

-Day 6 - Floors 

And on the 7th day he rested... 


*Daily Tasks from Good Housekeeping

According to Good Housekeeping there are a few daily tasks one should not neglect. I'm not going to lie, I maybe do 4 of these daily... you? 

-Make Bed

-Clean Coffee Maker

-Clean Dirty Dishes

-Wipe Down Kitchen Counters & Table

-Sanitize Kitchen & Bathroom Sinks

-Sweep Kitchen Floors

-Wipe Down Bathroom Surfaces

-Squeegee Shower Walls

-Do laundry, as needed

-Sanitize Sponges

----This is obviously not a daily list for the working mother... just saying... 

To see how often they suggest doing everything click here to see their suggestions. 


*The Quick Clean from Clean Mama

This is typically how I clean... A quick and hurried cleanup before someone comes over for a visit.  It feels good when you are done, things aren't trashed, and you still have time to do other things!  

1. Gather Your Tools -- must haves include: feather duster, microfiber cloths, lint roller, all purpose cleaner, disinfecting cleaner (bath), cleaning wipes, and window/mirror cleaner. 

2. Set A Timer -- 30 minutes is probably a realistic time frame.

3. Start With a Laundry Basket & Garbage Bag -- begin by collecting anything that belongs somewhere else.  

4. Do a Quick Dust

5. Wipe Surfaces -- Spray all hard surfaces and wipe with cloth.

6. Wipe Mirrors 

7. Quick Vacuum -- visible high traffic areas.

8. Fluff Pillows and Straighten Throw Blankets -- Fake it till you make it ladies! 

9. Fresh Towels -- The look of fresh towels can really defy the eye!


Clean Mama has some really great printables too!  Like this April Cleaning Calendar... 

Who's up for the challenge?!

Vinegar is my favorite thing to clean with but sometimes the smell can be too much.  So I recently found this DIY Lemonade Cleaner and you can even make it with your kiddos! And one last tip... 


All you need is:

1/2 cup of vinegar

1/2 cup of water

Combine and use to clean just about anything thanks to vinegar being so versatile!  If you want to make it smell yummy, just add lemons or orange peel to the spray and let it sit for a couple of days so the vinegar can adapt to the new scent before you use it!  If you can't wait, throw some lemon or orange essential oils in there and get to cleaning!  




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Me and My Not So Green Thumb
Does anyone else not have a green thumb but wish they did?  I don't know about you, but once it starts to get nice outside, I just MUST have greens in my house.  Not too many big plants, as they just become another expense because I kill them, but little greens all over make my life happy.  I swear I can only keep plants alive that must come back every year, which explains why I only buy perennials anymore!  
Some of my favorite ways to bring Spring inside even when it's still cold out can be found at your local Home Depot.  Yes, Lowe's probably has them too, but I've come to be able to depend on Home Depot for Fiddle Figs and Succulents.  
First, does everyone know what a fiddle fig plant is?  If you don't, you should.  Unless of course you are a plant killer like me, then I'll leave it up to you, but at typically $13 a pop, these can be killed a few times over the summer and are worth every penny of green they bring into my living room, even if for a short time.  
"The fiddle leaf fig tree, also known as the Ficus Lyrata is a plant perfect for the indoors. It has large, violin-shaped and heavily veined leaves that tend to have upright growth. The fiddle leaf fig tree is a species that is native to the tropics as they require conditions to be wet and warm."  
Now, let's be real -- we don't live in the tropics, and I don't know about you, but I'm always having to add a layer because my house is so cold (which might be another reason I'm a good plant killer).  But this plant is so easy. Water it about once a week and make sure it gets direct sunlight. When it gets warm, I sit it out on our patio.  All other times, it's by a window, and I've set a time on my phone as a reminder to water it to try to not kill it so quickly.  But just look how cute she is... 
And then there are those succulents... My absolute favorite.  I've used them in decor for the last 10 years.  They were even a huge part of our wedding.  They, too, are just so easy. Although, I still tend to have the uncanny ability to make them crumble, but at least it takes them a little longer than regular plants.  
Go to your local Goodwill or thrift store and grab a cute little teacup and saucer or even a floral bowl.  Trendy floral, not grandma floral just to be clear.  Then head to home depot for a bag of potting soil and your choice of succulents!  You'd be surprised at the variety they have!  It's quite impressive. Then if you really want to add some fun to it go on down to The Corner Cottage in Noblesville who now has the largest array of fairy garden accessories I've seen in one place and get yourself some ironic animals... Deer, Dogs, Moose... and add them as a nice touch to some of your bigger planters if there is room. 
And lastly, my other favorite green that even looks beautiful once it's dead {hahhaha} is that fancy eucalyptus from Trader Joes for $2.99 a bushel.  Run don't walk to get yourself this special treat.  They always have it and it always makes you feel like you just left the spa!  
And that's how you get away with having a not so green thumb and having some green thumb items in your home for Spring.  And of course, the little always gets to pick out a plant too, and she always picks these cacti with their great color!  Happy Spring! 
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A Big Move for A Big Girl

My little one turned FOUR at the beginning of the month, and I can’t remember anymore when she moved from her crib to her big girl bed… It feels like forever ago.  She used to be the most solid sleeper and it was A M A Z I N G!  I was super spoiled by her.  We would lay her in bed, turn music on, say goodnight and shut the door – that was the bedtime routine.  A M A Z I N G like I said.

Last fall we changed her from her original BIG (full) bed to a twin bed for the sake of space in her room.  She has way too many things, and the full bed was just getting in the way.  But ever since then, she’s not only been NOT sleeping through the night, but she’s made her way to the middle of our bed most nights instead.


So after much deliberation, we decided to move her to our guest bedroom where the BIG bed fits better.  So far, not much change as she tends to usually wake up around three o’clock AM AND (not or) four o’clock AM.  So while we are not making much progress in the SLEEP IN YOUR OWN DARN BED KID way, it gave me a chance to redecorate again.  


At first I thought I’d have to repaint the room from what it currently is, to a white.  I just thought it made more sense for a little girl.  But after chatting about it with a design friend, and realizing I really didn’t want to repaint, we just started moving things in.  The BIG bed, which was already there and my favorite – a $60 find at a Noblesville Antique store, resembles a Jenny Lind, which it very well might be.  The dresser, another favorite—a $75 Craigslist find.  The teepee, because every little girl needs a teepee in their room these days.  And other odds and ends that we already had in our house… The key to finding good things on Craigslist or at antique stores is really a combination of luck and consistency. The key to finding things in our house—well that’s probably just considered hoarding.




While the room isn’t completely finished, it just makes more sense for her.  It’s a little bigger and gives her more room to play as she grows.  It’s a little moodier, which is totally her, but it still incorporates pieces she’s had since she was a baby mixed with new ones.  

We even gave her a little fairy door, which was the easiest DIY I’ve EVER done.  So easy anyone can do it! Go to Hobby Lobby right now with your 40% off coupon and head to the dollhouse area.  Grab your favorite door.  Head home and spray paint the door - takes 10 seconds.  Adhere to wall with your own preferred method—mine was 2 nails under the door so it sits on top of it in case the fairies prefer a different location.  


While there are still some things that need coming together, we are hoping that the cozier it gets, the sleepier she stays.  It also opens up her old room to become a nursery when I make progress on that “have a baby” New Year’s resolution…

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Finding My Happy...xoxo Abby
Ok Ladies,  I don't know about you, but the new year can always be a bit overwhelming... 
That feeling that you need to clear out clutter after you just brought in (most likely) two car loads of toys and gifts in the week before... 
That feeling that you need (or want) to lose 10-15 lbs after you just ate 15 lbs of "stuff" on Christmas... Yes, that's true, I read it somewhere-probably on the internet-which means it's got to be true. 
That feeling that you need to get organized when the year has just started, and if you are like me have just gotten your new weekly planner for Christmas.
That feeling that you need to do better this year, but you aren't sure where to start because you are always trying to do better...
That feeling that you need to read more this year, but you aren't sure if you should follow through with this or sleep instead... 

Oh gosh I'm always so tired... you?  
Maybe it's because I stayed up to watch the ball drop for the first time in like 4 years!  

I feel like my New Year's resolutions are always about the same things: lose weight, read more, get organized, plan better, and spend more quality time with family.This year I think I'm going to try some new things. The resolutions will change a bit, and I'm sure throughout the year I will forget about one or another of these, or I will fall behind on my reading, but I feel like these are pretty simplistic and open ended.  I don't really think you can do any of these things wrong.   I think in the past I've set goals for myself which were really setting myself up for failure only because they weren't realistic for me and my lifestyle.  So this year I'm sticking to these resolutions, and P.S. I promise future blog posts will be about things I love like DIY, Decor, & Lifestyle... But had to get this out of the way!  
1.  Get Organized -- I feel like if I get better organized I might have more time -- more time to hang with my little one, my husband, my computer (for blogging), my bed (for sleeping, maybe husband if he hasn't annoyed me all day), more books... You get the idea.  I'm hoping that blocking out time and sticking with it will make my life WAY more bearable for everyone involved.
2.  Read More -- So dumb me printed out a 27 books every woman should read -- Well that's not true.  I found a list of like 100 and wrote them all out with the intention of posting it somewhere in my house and crossing them off as I read them... But this list of 27 seems so much more manageable so I'm going to try to tackle 12 this year -- one each month on average.  We shall see how this goes...
3.  Love More -- I find myself feeling overcome by stress and such.... Life getting the best of me.  I hope to spread more love, kindness, affection, and all other words that go along with love this year!  
4.  Have a Baby -- Or get pregnant. I realize this one is out of my control, but let's just hope for the best, because my little one just keeps asking and asking... 
5.  Pray More -- I'm not a hugely religious person.  I usually have doubt, but I always pray when I see a car accident, I always talk to God when I am alone, and I tend to find comfort in knowing someone (whoever it is) is looking out for us or has a plan for us.  So this year, I will pray more. 
6.  Find My Happy -- If that means one weekend I go to a creative conference, one weeknight I go out with my fellow city moms, or even something as small as a clean house (which actually isn't that small of a thing b/c I swear it's impossible) or having fresh flowers in my house... These are things that I love and make me happy, and when I'm happy, I'm sane.  Don't you feel this way?

Along with all these things I do hope to be a more consistent blogger -- I blog for The City Moms, Little Miss Martha (my personal blog), and Maeve Vintage (my business blog), ask for help when needed, and finish my house projects which you will all get to be a part of if you hang out with us on the TCM blog this year!  
Here's to a great 2016 for all of us!  
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DIY Fringe Tassel Curtains
I keep seeing the cutest little pom pom and/or fringe curtains everywhere.  
They've been in many of my "carts" recently but I just haven't been able to pull the trigger.  Mostly because I've decided I'm scared to overspend (although only on certain things) and end up with buyers remorse.  
So I've waited...
1 / 2 / 4

Then I walked into Michael's the other day and saw these adorable little tassel garlands.  
They were purchased for $2 each.  What a great deal!  

"Fringe equals tassel in my book, kind of like leopard equals neutral!"
And off to Target I strode to purchase some plain jane curtains which were on sale for $7.49/panel.  The first one I even got with an extra 20% off using Cartwheel.  But for some reason I only bought one at a time and when I went back for the 2nd the promo had expired. 

So... If you'd like to make your own... You only need 

Here's what you'll need:
Fingy Tassels in color of choice from Michaels
(I used 1 pack per panel)

Curtains of your choice, but I went with Room Essentials White Window Panel

Gold Scissors
(just kidding any color will do)

Needle & Thread
The tassels came on a string as I believe they were supposed to be used for Garland. 

And if you know me, I never have a REAL way to measure so in true Little Miss Marthafashion I used my scissors to measure in between each tassel.
"So Anthro-esque!"
And with one of the easiest projects I've ever done, I had some really really cute curtains with a little bit of sass.

I'd love to see your DIY Decor!  Share what you've come up with on my facebook page or leave a link in the comments below! 
DIY Tassle Curtains from theCityMoms Blog
DIY Tassle Curtains from theCityMoms Blog

Cant' beat a DIY on the cheap!  
I may add more tassels, but it's actually just perfect for a little girls room!

Total Cost :: $18.98

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