My Vintage Cookbook Collection

I have spent the past few months focusing on the kitchen.  I made most of our meals, and continued my dedicated menu driven shopping trips.  Some of my kitchen successes include candy corn white chocolate chip cookies and cream cheese covered cinnamon roll cake.  I even made homemade ramen noodles for our miso soup!  Now, I am combing through my cookbook collection just in time for Thanksgiving.

My vintage cookbook’s have been collected over the course of the past eight years since moving to this house.  They all come from vintage books stores, and thrift stores.  Some were gift, and others keepsakes.  I spent years in pursuit of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in thrift stores.  After the movie Julia and Julia was released vintage copies were going over sixty dollars!  Read on to find out if my mission was a success!

My collection of local cookbooks.

Church Cookbooks a stable of the south.

I have multiple church, club, and family cookbooks.  There little spiral bindings are terrible to store, but they are a treasure.  They have a great set of unique and local recipes.  Often, the cookbooks support a good cause, and are little pieces of the community. I enjoy the bits of random in them. of my cookbooks have little stories and quips about life in the area.  It is nice to have my grandmother’s church group cookbook.  When I think of her cooking and miss her during the holidays, I can open this and make something she used to.

The Church and Club Woman’s Companion

The Church and Club Woman’s Companion

Every wonder how much coffee to serve?  How about a list of appropriate appetizers?  This book,  published in 1964 is still relevant today despite the birth of Pinterest.  It is organized by event categories.  It not only has food, but art projects as well.  I hope to use this for a classic holiday party sometime soon!

Joy of Cooking

Joy of cooking

This copy was a delightful gift from a good friend who loves to cook as much as I do!  It’s retro teal color is perfect for my vintage shelf.  The Joy of Cooking has been a stable in American kitchens since the 1930s.

Southern Cooking

Mrs. S. R. Dull by southern cooking

Southern Cooking was featured on a Fun Finds post in this blog awhile back.  The author has a collection of classic southern recipes.  She covers huckleberry pies to corn bread.  The 358 pages book can meet all your southern cooking needs!  Did you know, if you boil pecans for a few minutes they will crack easily on the ends?  (I learned the son page 357!)

Favorite Recipe’s of America Set

favorite recipes of america set

Confession, these books were purchased based on the cover.  I found the complete box set in a vintage bookstore in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  It’s gingham covers are divided into five categories.  Not all the recipes are gems.  There is a lot of JELLO involved.  Unlike other books on this list each volume has multiple sections of color illustrations.  Just in case you want to see if you nailed it.

The Art of French Cooking

mastering the art of french cooking

I found Mastering the Art of French Cooking at a thrift shop two years ago.  The best part, instead of sixty dollars, it cost two.  Although I have not tried any of the recipes in this one.  It is iconic.  It is a great to have it in case I need to whip up lady fingers!

If you are INTERESTED in these books you can find them ONLINE.   They should all be available in some editions on Ebay and Amazon.  Maybe even Etsy!

What favorite cookbooks are in your kitchen?

10 Top Tips for Poshmark Success!

As mentioned in my saving money article, my favorite side hustle is Poshmark.  Poshmark began around five years ago as an app only used clothing platform.  Since then it has grown to include a website and new features daily.  My best friend constantly mentioned the ease of listing and selling.  I took the plunge in the Fall of 2015 and listed my first ten items.  Since then I have made over $800 dollars on the side with very little effort.

Besides the extra cash, I find it satisfying to give old clothes new life.  Americans waste over 15 million tons of textiles each year according to The Balance.  By reselling and shopping thrift I am at least slowing the process however  slightly.  When I find a nice item while thrifting that is not my size I will sometimes place it on Poshmark in order to see it go to someone with a similar style to me.   It is also nice to see quality thrift pieces go to a happy home.

I also sell things that no longer fit or interest me.  Flipped thrift finds also make their way to my shop.  My highest profit margin was over fifty dollars for one item!  The biggest downside of Poshmark is their take on items is high. Usually three dollars and more depending on the items selling price.  However, I decided the time price ratio over the years has been well worth it.  Below, are my top 10 tips for success on Poshmark.   Please feel free to sign up using my referral code MANDYLHORNSBY, and get to poshing!


1. Pictures are key.

Post clear pictures in good light that show different views of the item.  I will post a front, back, tag, and detailed picture.  If the item has an imperfection photo that as well.  You are allowed 8 pictures per post so use them!  I think a simple background with the item on the hanger works.  Some poshers style their items with accessories or use a fancy backdrop which can be cute or busy depending on preferance.  I personally am not a fan of items laying flat.  Using a hanger allows the person to view it as if they are in a shop.  You are also welcome to model the item as well!  (Some buyers will request this or a specific type of picture.)  Below are some examples of past sold listings.

Example of a clear and simple listing picture.

2.  Titles and descriptions galore.

Make use of your adjectives in both titles and item descriptions.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the brand, size, and color of the item?
  • What is the material?  Any special measurements?
  • Are there any rips, tears, stains, etc.?
  • What makes the item unique?
  • Where and when can you wear the item?

Be as thorough as space allows in the description.

Detailed photograph of the patter and fabric.


3. Share your items multiple times a day.

When you “share” your items they are refreshed in the search by going to the top.  Unlike other sites, this is free and can be done an unlimited amount of times.  I make a point to share my items several times a day usually morning, lunch, and evening.  It is great to do it on weekends as well.  However, just doing this  a few times a week is effective as well.  I went through a sales slump after my first Christmas season, and realized that was my problem after speaking with a friend.  My items were sitting at the bottom of the search results.   It is an easy fix, and only takes a few seconds.

Show off the whole item in your listing.

4.  Participate in the community.

This is something else I did not do when I first began.  I would ignore my feed when other poshers followed me and shared my items.  What a mistake!  I now follow back all who follow me and share their items.  If someone I do not follow shares my item, I follow them and share their listings as well.  The more your items are shared the more they are seen, and have a chance to be purchased.  The posh parties that happen three or more times a day are also great opportunities.  Every time I share relevant items in a party it is shared and liked multiple times.  Take time to admire and comment on other shops.  It is usually much appreciated.  So get going, and make new friends!

Flat photos are not the best for selling.

5.  be willing to negotiate.

The “make offer” feature is the most annoying and useful seller tool on the site.  The offers can be ridiculously low!  However, nearly eighty percent of my sales are through an offer.  Clothes once purchased are like cars.  Their value plummets even if the tags are attached and they are not worn.  So be open minded, and counter any insulting offers with something more reasonable.  Try to keep in mind the cut that Poshmark takes and how much the buyer has to pay in shipping costs.

Don’t forget to photograph the back of items as well!

6.  follow trends.

I often try things both successfully and unsuccessfully to sell.  Even though I think it is unique or I would wear it does not mean I can sell it.  Keep track of items that have sold recently by limiting your search.  For example: last year LuLuRoe was selling like crazy, and now it has slowed considerably.  Vera Bradley used to be popular, and now I have to basically give it away.  Surprisingly kitschy items like a My Little Pony tshirt and Invader Zim blanket have sold well.  You can also take the approach of curating a closet to a specific theme like color, brand, or style to attract a certain type of customer.

Follow trends in styles and brands.

7.  Keep your active listings SEPARATE from your sold.

Another genius idea from my posher guru.  As items sell in your shop, share the ones below that have not sold. This way all your sold items are not mixed in with the items still available.  Customers can view all by scrolling your available listings without items getting lost.  Buyers can also bundle more than one item together to buy at one times.  You want to maximize these opportunities!

8.  use the free seller tools.

Going to be out of town?  No problem! You can put your shop on hold to where it can be viewed, but nothing purchased while you are away.  You also have a stats page that keeps a running tally of items sold, ratings, and shares.  Bundle discounts can be made for customers that purchase more than one item from your shop.  These features are all complementary with the site.

9.  Drop the price like it’s hot.

When you drop the price an item it is placed on sale on Poshmark.  They will  offer reduced or free shipping to the poshers who have liked the item.  I will wait until an item has multiple likes, usually over ten, to drop the price.  Doing this on Fridays and Saturdays after most people are paid can increase sales.  Reducing the price if no one likes the item can also assist in generating interest.

10.  Package your items cute and cheap!

All buyers expect a nice package that is shipped within three days.   Keep packs of  thank you cards from the Dollar Tree and Michaels to write a nice and personalized card to the buyer. For color, I will stuff my box with cute tissue paper for shipping.  I have always received good reviews for this, and it takes little money.  Some will wrap items like a gift or tie them with ribbon. That is fine as well!  You can get the boxes used for shipping for free from your local post office or order them online.  You need the Priority Boxes.  (NOT the flat rate ones that look exactly the same.)  I even schedule the postman to pick up my item the day after it sells from my porch after packaging and adhering the shipping label they e-mail.  There is no need to spend time or gas to go to the post office.

Closet Items



Do you use Poshmark?  What is is your shop’s name, and top posher tip? 

**Special thanks to @muddymermaid for all her awesome tips for Poshmark that has made mine so successful!**

Disclosure:  Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission is you click through and make a purchase.