Thursday, July 30, 2009

Forecast gloomy for Smith & Hawken at Target

I hate to say this, but things aren’t looking good for the Smith & Hawken line at Target. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I had hoped that Target would continue the line (possibly buying out the brand name) despite the fact that the company had gone out of business. However, things are looking grim at my two favorite local Targets; both have taken down the Smith & Hawken endcaps and signage, and the S&H aisle has been reduced to a small – and dwindling – clearance section. And while continues to carry Smith & Hawken merchandise on their web site, it is primarily a selection of their patio furniture and outdoor accessories vs. their home and garden décor.

PS: Pictured is one of my beloved Smith & Hawken items: a wooden duck that we have on our mantle.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday’s Rave: this recycled pencil case

Here's a totally fat-free, no-guilt snack! This clever pencil case is made from a recycled chip bag. And get this: it's only a buck! Yep, that’s right: one American dollar. At left is a representative photo I found on the web; it seems that this eco-friendly pouch is a popular craft project, and there are dozens of sites out there with directions to DIY. But at only a dollar, why even bother making your own? Target’s versions come in a variety of “flavors” including Doritos, Sun Chips and Rold Gold pretzels. Unfortunately, I can’t find them on Target’s web site, but you can find them in the store on an endcap in the stationery department.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sale Alert: Merona Collection dresses

Attention, Merona Collection fans! All Merona Collection dresses are on sale this week at Target for 30% off (just $27.99 down, from $39.99). However, this sale is happening in stores only, and is not available online.

Clearance Alert: Erickson Beamon at Target

The Erickson Beamon jewelry collection (which I found rather garish) is now on sale at This charm bracelet (shown at left) is now 30% off at $20.98 (down from $29.99) and most of the rest of the collection has been reduced by 30-50% as well.

Now from what I can tell, the line hasn’t budged an inch in stores. I keep seeing the same fully-stocked display in the jewelry case… so I think they’re going to need to discount the Erickson Beamon line even more if they’re ever going to clear it out!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. This week's pick is this mod bedding set (including a comforter and two pillow shams) from designer Dror Benshetrit. The twin/XL twin set is on sale for just $39 (regularly $49) and the full/queen size is on sale for only $47.99 (regularly $59.99). Plus, all other Dror bedding is on sale this week, too... including these cool reversible pillows that I blogged about last month.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Target opens 23 New Stores & creates 4,000 New Jobs

Most retailers these days are closing stores and slashing employees. But not Target.

The Bullseye announced on Tuesday that it plans to open 23 new stores and create new 4,000 jobs. All 23 stores, which include 17 general merchandise stores with expanded food options and two are full-grocery SuperTarget stores, will open on July 26 across the country.

The general merchandise stores feature a blend of everyday essentials, including household products, electronics, clothing and an assortment of food and seasonal merchandise, as well as amenities like Starbucks, Target Cafe and Target Pharmacy. Each store employees between 100 and 250 employees.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday’s Rave: these Merona separates

Target continues to amaze me with their clothing options. These separates (shown) were in their weekly ad this week, and are part of their regular Merona line (vs. their more upscale Merona Collection) but they’re just as stylish, IMO. And even better, both are on sale this week!

The woven wrap dress in a dark aqua and the drawstring halter in chocolate/gold are both on trend and come in hues that transition well to Fall. I can picture wearing them now and then layering the dress with a charcoal gray cardigan and throwing a light jacket over the halter top once the weather gets cooler.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sneak Peek: New Pixi Products at Target

Pixi - the cosmetics brand with the cute name and even cuter packaging – is bringing 4 new products to their line at Target starting next month...

Eye Bright Liner: A waterproof nude-pink liner that you use on the inner rim to make the whites of your eyes pop ($16).

Flawless Beauty Primer: Smooths and primes the face with pearl and truffle extracts and vitamins E, A, and C ($29).

Eye Bright Primer: A light-reflecting cream-to-powder formula with Vitamin E and chamomile that brightens eyes and anchors makeup ($29).

Flawless Finishing Powder: A translucent mineral powder with malachite, rhodolite, zinc, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins, for a poreless, light-reflecting finish ($21).

And if you need a Pixi-fix now and can’t wait for the new products to drop, order their Must-Have Makeup Kit in “Ravishing Rosy” (shown) for just $35 (regularly $39) at

Monday, July 20, 2009

New at Target: Ni Hao, Kai-Ian

Chinese is spoken by more than one billion of the world's people, in a country that's fast emerging as an economic powerhouse. So it's no surprise that a new kids show cropped up last year on the Nick Jr. network to prep preschoolers in Mandarin, giving them a head start in competing on a global scale.

With Ni Hao, Kai-Ian, Nick Jr. aims to copy the successful formula of the incredibly popular animated predecessor, the Spanish-speaking exploradora, (aka Dora the Explorer). The similarities are visible. Both shows feature spunky girls with oversize heads and big brown eyes, though Dora is 7 and Kai-lan is 5-ish. Both shows bust out in catchy theme songs, and most importantly, there's the part where the audience is invited to repeat a word. And now, Target is bringing Ni Hao, Kai-Ian to their toddler and toy departments, with clothing, backpacks, plush dolls, building blocks, and activity sets featuring the show’s characters.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. This week's pick is featured in the college dorm "must haves" section, but it's really for anyone who needs a quality microwave oven at an outstanding price. It's this Sunbeam .7 cu ft 700-watt microwave (pictured) and is a great buy at just $39 this week. It comes either in black or white, and is available in-stores only. And FYI, I did a quick search on Walmart's site, and they don't offer any microwaves that come anywhere near this price.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free family fun with Target

Don’t let the recession suck all of the fun out of your summer. Instead, check out Target’s list of year-round free and discounted events it sponsors across the country (find the list at In all, 120 venues in dozens of cities offer more than 2,100 days of arts entertainment at little to no cost.
Here are some highlights, but visit the complete list for deals in your own city and state:

Denver: At the Children's Museum, admission is free from 4 to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. Kids can play firefighter in the mock fire station, shoot hoops, buy groceries at the little market and build objects with real tools (

Chicago: The summer-long Family Fun Festival at Millennium Park offers free family-friendly performances and activities every day through Sept. 4 (

Washington, D.C.: For the 19th year, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is staging Free for All summer performances. About 17,000 freeloaders are expected to attend "The Taming of the Shrew" Aug. 27-Sept. 12 at Sidney Harman Hall (

Los Angeles: The California African American Museum features free programs on one Sunday each month. Recent lineups have included theater and dance performances and celebrity co-hosts (

Thursday, July 16, 2009

“Gossip Girl” a no-go?

According to the New York Daily News, Target’s upcoming clothing line by fashion designer Anna Sui is still a go, but the outfits may no longer be “Gossip Girl”-themed.

“One of Target’s top executives got nervous about being that closely associated with the show, given the [debauchery] its characters get into,” said an on-the-set source. For those of you unfamiliar with the show: the main character, Serena (Blake Lively’s character) has killed a man, and most of the characters frequently get wasted, do drugs and have promiscuous sex.

A “Gossip Girl” insider told the NYDN that a party scene featuring Blair and Chuck (played by Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick) was set to shoot at Sui’s flagship store in New York last week, with models wearing Sui’s Target collection being used as background extras.

“There was going to be signage, as well as Target symbols in purple and black — Anna’s signature colors,” says the source. “And it was rumored that Anna herself was going to be making a cameo appearance.” But at the last minute, the store pulled out of the event, sending the crew “into a frenzy because they had to scrap everything they had planned,” says the insider. “They can’t believe Target would bail on them, especially after publicly announcing the collaboration. It’s Target’s loss, because the line would have sold better if it had played a part in the show.”

The NYDN went on to report that Target would not comment, and that reps for both Sui and the CW network didn’t respond to calls. And now, Stylelist is reporting that this whole story has been blown out of proportion, and that the Target-Gossip Girl association is still definitely ON. But regardless, Anna fans shouldn’t fret. Whether or not you see Sui’s duds on “Gossip Girl,” they’ll still be for sale at Target stores come September.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday's Rave: Sally Hansen’s Age Correct Hand Crème

I found this hand crème at Target - Sally Hansen's Age Correct - and have been using it for several months now. Not only does it smell uplifting and citrusy (kind of orangey, although that could be the grape seed oil) but it’s lived up to its claim of “visibly improving the signs of aging”. Besides grape-seed oil, it also contains Vitamins A & E, as well as collagen. It instantly softens, doesn’t leave your hands feeling greasy, and a little goes a long way. For all those reasons alone, I’d give it a “rave”. But the main reason I’m writing about this amazing hand crème is that I realize that it’s cured my soft, peeling nails. For years, my nails were thin, fragile, and prone to splitting/peeling when they started to get the least bit long. But no more with this crème; my peeling problem is over, and I can actually go out and enjoy getting manicures now that my manicurist doesn’t need to “file down” the uneven parts of my nails. Yippee!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday's Rant: Target's book return policy

Most Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today’s rant is about trying to return a book to Target. Let me just say that you’d better have your original receipt in hand, lest you get hassled at the Customer Service counter. Apparently Target has a new policy in place that states that without your original receipt, you cannot return a book there. The rationale is that A) they have no idea when you bought it (as bestsellers can often stay on the shelves for months, if not years) and B) they have no idea whether you actually bought it at Target or not. Now both counts made me laugh since I had bought the book with my Target card… so they could not only confirm that it was a Target purchase, but also look up in their computer exactly WHEN I bought it.

Now it seems to me that books should be treated just like any other merchandise you want to return without a receipt: if you have the original credit/debit card you used to pay for it, and you've purchased it within the last 90 days, plus the item visible looks unused/unworn, then you should be able to return it with no questions asked. Why should books be any different?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hollywood Intuition at Target: one hot mess!

Back in March, I shared with you the news that Shop Intuition – the trendy Hollywood boutique to the stars – was going to produce a line of jewelry, bags and accessories for Target called Hollywood Intuition. I was dubious at the time, and true to my prediction, the collection is one hot mess!

First off, a warning: Target’s web site only shows a smattering of the pieces in the collection. Case in point: this black tote with attached scarf (pictured) is not on the web site yet. But I saw this tote in the store and one word came to mind: cheap. I also saw another faux-snakeskin bag (also not on the web site) that looked completely unremarkable. Seriously, you’d be much better off buying one of the faux-snake Mossimo bags as the styling is much better on theirs. I did see this bracelet set, but it was really cheaply packaged in a clear cello bag - ? [Maybe the Target employees were supposed to remove this outer covering? Not sure, but it was a turnoff]. The necklaces didn’t impress me, either.

Moving on, I saw this belt-bag in black and several crayola-brights. While it seemed fairly mundane at the time, in reading the positive review for it on Target’s web site, I can see how this bag might come in handy when you only want to carry a few things (like your keys and cell phone) but want something more than a wristlet bag. But don’t worry: Hollywood Intuition has plenty of those, too, should you want one.

The one bright spot in the collection is a set of three stretchy tie-dyed hair bands (one purple, one green and one yellow) for just $2.99. But even at that price, I didn’t feel compelled enough to buy them.

All in all, Hollywood Intuition is a another disappointing Target-designer collaboration. I'll pass on this one, and save my hard-earned money for the upcoming Carlos Falchi collection instead.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. This week's pick is an array of school essentials on sale this week for just 50-cents each. The assortment includes 10-pack Bic pens, 34-pack #2 pencils, 8-pack RoseArt colored markers, and 1-inch vinyl binders, as well as 70-page Mead notebooks in some pretty nifty patterns (shown) vs. the usual solid colors.

Now on the one hand, I can't believe that it's time to talk about "Back-to-School" yet... but I guess for those kids in year-round school (as our youngest is) there's really only a couple of weeks of summer left. And as someone who's waited TOO late in the season to buy school supplies - and was left scrounging the Target aisles for the LAST college-ruled 3-subject notebook - I can attest that it's never too early to stock up on this stuff.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The end of the line for Smith & Hawken at Target?

Once a darling of the upscale good life, high-end garden retailer Smith & Hawken will go out of business by the end of the year. Liquidation is already underway at the company's 56 stores nationwide.

Smith and Hawken was founded 30 years ago in Mill Valley, California as a garden tool importer. It was purchased in 2004 by Scotts Miracle-Gro, but now it's closing its doors.

"With the economy and the markets the way they are, this is just something we needed to do for the overall business," said Scotts Miracle-Gro spokesman Su Lok from company headquarters in Ohio. Over 700 employees will lose their jobs, along with 130 associates and 70 employees at the corporate offices. Everything in the store has already been marked down by 20%, with discounts getting deeper as the December closing date approaches.

But what I want to know is: does this also mean an end to Smith & Hawken’s budget line for Target? Introduced in 2006, the line of patio furniture, garden accessories and home décor seems to have done well at Target, but whether it will continue now that the main brand is folding remains to be seen. I’m really hoping that Target continues it - perhaps in a similar move as they did with Nick & Nora sleepwear - in buying rights to the brand name once that company folded.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Boots and Target featured on Extra TV

The entertainment show Extra did a fun piece last night on the British beauty line Boots, available in the U.S. exclusively at Target. In the segment, several celebrities - including Sharon Osbourne and Jane Seymour - proclaim their love and devotion to Boots products. Check it out!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shaun White 4 Target to return next month

As I first reported way back in February, Shaun White's collection for Target will return to stores next month. Shaun White 4 Target will be back with a similar assortment of men’s and boy’s T-shirts, wovens, shorts and denim as the products he first debuted a year ago. White’s new collection will hit stores and nationwide on August 15th, and this time will be available year-round.

"I’m excited to continue working closely with Target on the line. We had so much fun with the limited-edition collection last fall that we had to come back again,” said Shaun. “With the new line, you can definitely see the influence that music, art, skateboarding and travel have on me and the designs we are creating.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday's Rave: this Merona tunic

No, this is not a Tory Burch tunic... although it looks awfully similar to one of Tory's, doesn't it? Nope, this one (pictured) is from the current Merona Collection at Target, and is a sweet deal at just $26.99 (a far cry from the Tory tunic which costs a whopping $275!).

PS: in addition to this vibrant purple/pink print, it also comes in solid brown with white piping (also at $26.99).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Glory for Girls Coming to

Glory for Girls, an eco-friendly beauty line, will be available at starting this month. All of the Glory for Girls products are free of known potentially harmful ingredients, such as artificial colors or fragrances, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, and hormone disruptors. The 100% vegan formulas are clinically and allergy tested, biodegradable, and the packaging is made of recyclable plastics. Plus, all the are made in the USA.

"With retailers like Target, that pride themselves on bringing high-fashion to the masses, Glory has the visibility and reach to address a growing market for girls as well as their mothers," said Brittany Clotfelter, founder of Glory for Girls.

The complete Glory for Girls line includes face and body washes, lotion, deodorant, lip balms and clarifying products retailing from $7 to $22. The line will be featured in four categories on the web site: Natural/Organic, Skincare, Personal Care and New Arrivals.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sneak Peek: Anna Sui for Target

Anna Sui’s Go International collection for Target doesn’t hit stores until September, but it’s already generating a lot of buzz. In case you missed the news, Anna’s line is inspired by the four main female characters from the TV show “Gossip Girl”. The collection will be available in Target stores and online September 13th through October 17th. There are 19 looks total, each inspired by one of the four main female Gossip Girl characters (Blair, Serena, Jenny, and Vanessa) and broken into categories as such. At left are a sampling of looks, but check out the CollegeFashion site for more preview pics.

PS: this seems to be the most dress/skirt intensive Go International collection I’ve ever seen!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. Today's pick goes out to all my gal pals who keep asking me "do you have a bike? Do you ride with the kids?" And I tell them yes - yes I do have a bike, and that one of my absolute favorite Spring and Summer activities is our Sunday bike rides together as a family. So KK and Val and Caroline, no more excuses, ok? Run out and get this sleek Schwinn Clear Creek Comfort Bike, on sale at Target this week for just $169 (or $30 off!). It features a comfy suspension seat, 18-speed Shimano grip shifters, plus a handy cargo rack. Target even offers free assembly in the store; it doesn't get any easier than that.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Here in Northern California we've been blessed with warm and sunny weather (but thankfully not the scorcher that last weekend was). The hubby and I are about to head over to my brother's for an Independence Day BBQ; it'll be quiet this year since the kids are all off doing their own thing (indicative of being teenagers, I suppose... oh well!).

In any case, have a spectacular and safe 4th of July. And in the event you should need any last-minute items for your own celebration, Target stores ARE open today (as are most malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores). Does anyone else remember when everything was CLOSED on the 4th of July? I mentioned this to a friend of mine who's about 12 years older than me, and she said she remembers when most stores were closed on Sundays (!!!).

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sneak Peek: Target’s Fall ’09 Accessories

I know, I know….it’s barely the 4th of July, and no one wants to think Autumn just yet. Nonetheless, Target's already gearing up for the upcoming season. According to FabSugar, for Fall '09 Target “focused on texture and sleek embellishments such as suede shoes made in a rainbow of colors and clutches decorated with zany zippers”. I’m crushing on these suede peep-toe booties (shown) as well as the retro cloche hat. For additional preview pics, check out FabSugar’s site.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Target’s New “up & up” Brand

Target has relaunched its store brand of basic household products as they adjust to changing consumer habits in the recession. They’ve rebranded their core commodities line — a product category that includes everyday items such as baby wipes, sunscreen, dryer sheets and plastic containers — under the name “up & up.” The relaunch includes new packaging that replaces the traditional Bullseye logo with colorful arrows and the new brand name.

Target has actually been phasing in “up & up” products into its stores since March, although I personally have seen a huge upswing in the rebranded merchandise in stores in just the past two weeks. By the end of September, Target will be selling more than 800 “up & up” products. Target claims the brand is equal in quality to national brands (and they even hired a third-party testing firm to back up their claims) but at a lower price, offering a savings of 30% on average.

“Our guests are savvy and know they don’t have to spend a lot to get high-quality products,” Mark Schindele, Target’s senior vice president of merchandising, said in a news release.

The rebranding is all part of Target's efforts to stay competitive in this recession. Store brands are on the upswing — they’re generally more profitable than name-brands for retailers — and market researchers say that consumers are increasingly buying in-house brands to save money.

PS: in a similar move, Target rival Walmart recently relaunched its own private brand, called “Great Value”.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday’s Rave: the KROOOM Tree Stump Stool

While I was in Target the other day, I noticed a new endcap in the home furnishings department that had me do a double-take. What caught my eye was this wacky storage stool from a company called KROOOM, which looks exactly like a tree stump! It’d be perfect for a teen’s or dorm room, and although there were other styles of KROOOM stools there (one was definitely more “girly” in a pink & purple paisley print) this one really stood out. When I tried to find more information on Target’s site, there was none… so I did a web search and found out that that Jon at Happy Mundane was as taken with this item as I was. So check out his blog for more information and pics of KROOOM’s packaging and Target’s endcap.