Need a little extra cash? Here’s an idea to FLIP over!

Flip Tips from by Kate HolmesThe other day, a man sidled up to me to share that he’d found a jacket at a thrift shop and taken it to a resale shop to sell. I assume he was whispering the tale so as not to alert the other folks to the killing he’d made:

bought for $5 sold for $125.

But maybe he just found thrift-flipping sexy and he was making a pass at me, known consignment/resale/thrift maven. Who knows? (Then again, we could have been soul-mates. I like finding the right market for undervalued stuff, too.)

Have you thought about flipping some great items from one market to another? It can be a great way to set aside some cash for a rainy day… or for a sunny beach vacay!

Here’s some Flip Tips:

Shop thrift stores that receive from high-end neighborhoods. If the thrift cannot sell a great item for what it’s truly worth, that’s where you come in, to transport it from a low-end customer base to one that appreciates it.

Know your prices. That;s where a little Internet browsing can really pay off. That basic black Eileen Fisher cardigan for $14? Look it up: Same sweater, on Nordstrom? $248.

Know your knock-offs. Not only are fakes not worth what the real goods are… they are also illegal and immoral to sell, even secondhand. Skip ’em.

Watch that YOUR taste doesn’t interfere with your wallet. For example, I love faded, washed-out black t-shirts. Most people don’t. So unless it’s my size, I let it pass.

Make it look better before you try to pass it on. You and I, as experienced pickers, can overlook its wrinkled or dusty appearance… but won’t it look much better with a little love and soap?

Consider minor modifications. Take that ghastly amateur oil painting out of the expensive frame, and sell the frame by itself. Most folks who aren’t shoppers like you and me would get distracted by the ugly painting and not think of the frame on its own. Or try painting that cute little shelf gloss white instead of the orange-y wood color it is.

Ask your destination shops. Do they have items they can always sell sell sell? Whether it’s sports gear, small dressers or weather vanes, knowing what your market needs is a good starting place for your searches. Ask, too, what they really kinda don’t want. More black handbags. Size 2 dresses. Coffee tables. That way, you won’t mis-invest.

Any tales of great flips? Suggestions for others? Comment below!


Quick Yummy Holiday Gift from Your Kitchen

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from HowToConsign.comI used to usually run out of ideas for hostess or neighbor gifts around Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukah and so on. But no longer!

I make and freeze these ready-to-bake Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and as long as they can travel from my freezer to theirs, it’s perfect! Something they need (who doesn’t need chocolate?), that doesn’t need to be displayed or worn, that they can use later after the onslaught of holiday sweets, and that says lovin’ from the oven….

If my giftee is far from my freezer, why I just bake them up!

Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 3/4 cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips
Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add Baking soda, powder, and salt and mix. Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

And here’s where the holiday magic comes in:
OR Roll into balls on parchment, freeze, directions for baking would then be:

*Keep cookie dough frozen until ready to bake*
Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place frozen cookie dough balls 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown around the edges but not overly browned. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

PS You can jazz up this recipe with things like golden raisins and orange zest, but to my way of thinking, chocolate should stand on its own.

Photo credit: By Paul Martin (originally posted to Flickr as Oatmeal Cookies) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


Preserve those Halloween Monsters

How to Get the Best Halloween PicturesThey’re just too cute for words… so don’t forget to take a great photo of the kids (and the not-so-kids) (and the jack-o-lanterns) in their Halloween costumes! Here’s a gathering of the best tips I found (follow the links for many more tips)… and my own personal tip, which is to practice beforehand!


Before you press the shutter, you must decide:  One — What is the subject of the photograph? Two: How can I focus attention on that subject? Three: How can I simplify the subject?  How to Take Great Halloween Photos

Halloween is a time of drama and you can add to this by getting in nice and close and filling the frame with your subjects. Halloween Photography Tips

Don’t always shoot from adult-level looking down on the little ones. Take some shots from a child’s-eye-level too. Halloween Tips 

Ask your witch to cast a spectacular spell, tell your ninja to show you her best moves, or have your little pirate give you his best ‘Aaaaargh’ while waving his sword13 ways to get great photos of kids


Oops, it’s suppertime? Time flies when you’re resale shopping.

You know how you can lose track of time when you’re exploring all the treasures a resale shop has to offer? And all of a sudden it’s half ’til dinnertime and you haven’t even thought about what you’ll feed the ravening horde?

Here’s the solution: Fish Veracruz Resale Style.

Quick recipe so you can resale SHOP til the last minute.Veracruz sauce is partly Mexican, but since Veracruz had a lot of French influence, it’s kinda French too. But mostly I love it because I almost always have the ingredients and it take 20 minutes to make.

Kate’s Resaler Fish Veracriz

You need about 2 pounds of fish fillets. Fresh or frozen. Something like snapper or tilapia. Anything mild. Not salmon.

What you gonna do is make the sauce in a frying pan, then poach the fish in the sauce. Make sure you choose a pan that has a cover…

Warm up about 2 T olive oil. Put a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted with garlic would be my choice) undrained, in the pan and add some minced garlic. Try a couple of cloves worth. Heat over medium for 3 minutes.

Add 1 T tomato paste, about 1/2 cup of white wine, and some green olives and capers. I use lots. Say 1/3 cup of olives and 1/4 cup of capers. There, that’s your sauce. As it bubbles merrily away for 5 minutes or so, salt and pepper your fillets. Lay them gently in the sauce, spooning some sauce over to cover the fish. Cover the pan, and cook gently for 5-10 minutes. Until the fish flakes nicely.

That’s it. Yum. Good with rice (pretty with yellow rice!) and green veggie. Brussels sprouts with a touch of balsamic vinegar are best, but spinach or green beans work too.

Photo from Their fancier recipe is nice too, but wouldn’t you’d rather shop than cook? Me too.


It’s not really fall, but it’s tourtiere for dinner anyway.

Tourtiere, simplified by Kate Holmes of TGtbT.comWell, it’s fall by the calendar, and that will have to do here in Southwest Florida. So here’s what’s for supper tonight chez nous. I’m speaking French so I can avoid pronouncing tourtiere.

Tourtiere: a French Canadian meat pie.

Simmer 2-3 lb. ground meat (I use beef, pork, veal, turkey but it’s traditionally pork) in 3/4 c water with 1 envelope beefy onion soup mix, 1/4 t nutmeg and 1/4 t allspice. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 minutes.

Then thicken it with 3 T flour whisked into 1/4 c water and let thicken a bit, say 5 minutes.

Turn the mix into a (good old Pillsbury) pie shell, cover with the other shell, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

That’s it.

(I know, some charming ladies in lace caps named Marie are probably revolving in their graves. But I like it.)

Until I started looking for an image to share with you, I didn’t know this is a traditional Christmas dish. I make it ’cause we like it, it freezes well, and it can even be eaten room temp.

I’m making roast carrots too, as long as the oven’s on. Did I mention it’s 90 degrees at 6pm?

See more Recipes I’ve actually used and recommend.