How to gift wrap that whatchamacallit. suggests a Hershey's Kiss gift wrap

For more thrifty AND nifty eco-gift wrap ideas, see HTC’s Pinterest suggestions!

Okay, you’re really tickled with the gadget, widget, whatcamacall it you bought for __________ [fill in the blank].

But you don’t want him/her/them to guess what it is before they are allowed to open their present.

How to disguise it?

Stick it in a Hershey’s Kiss!

All you need is a funnel of whatever size, a bunch of aluminum foil, and a “flag” of white paper out the top (Use a turquoise marker and ALL CAPS to make it seem like a real Kiss!)


(I’m sure Hershey’s Kiss is a trademark or copyright or whatever; Here’s their site. I am only riffing on the cultural imprint these candies have made on our culture.)

One-of-a-kind present for a one-of-a-kind kid!

dress up trunk, filled with goodies from a resale shop!

Any case will do; this is from Target. Of course, make sure the lid is safe for little ones.

Is there an imaginative, creative child on your gift list? Here’s a present that not only is fun to give and receive, but

massively enjoyable to SHOP for!

A dress-up trunk!

Find a sturdy and safe trunk, box, or even small dresser, and fill it with:

  • Colorful, sparkly, filmy dresses
  • Flowy tops
  • Elastic-waisted skirts and pants
  • Scarves, jewelry
  • Gloves, hats
  • Vests, ties, belts
  • Shoes, shawls, capes
  • And all the props you can find, from tiaras and magic wands to pirate maps, spy-glasses and laser lights! A stuffed parrot? Fluffy rabbit to pull out of that hat? (You get extra credit from me, if you include a few books about adventuring!)

All of the above, and some fun stuff you’ll discover along the way, can be found at your friendly, local resale, consignment, and thrift shops. Find yours here.

And don’t forget, most imaginative play takes place with friends… so fill that “trunk” to the brim with multiples.

Who knows? You may be inspiring the next Sir Laurence Olivier or Katharine Hepburn!

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