Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sale Alert: Nate Berkus Spring Home Decor

Now that the last Nate Berkus home decor collection has been cleared out of stores, Target is re-stocking with Nate's new Spring merchandise. As shown here, he's focused this collection on warm neutrals, woven textures and bright metallics. And right now Target.com has it on sale for 10% off with the coupon code 'MARCH10'.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Clearance Alert: Local Pride SF Collection

Attention Bay Area CA peeps! The San Francisco Local Pride by Todd Snyder collection of tees and hoodies at Target are now on clearance for 70% off - in stores only, and obviously only in the SF Bay Area. That's how I was able to pick up this super-cute "Lake Tahoe" tee for just $4.48 (regularly $14.99). I also nabbed a couple of tees for my hubby - like this "West Coaster" one - for the same price. There were a ton of shirts left on the racks, so I wonder if this collab hasn't done that well - ?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Look for Less: Land of Nod vs. Pillowfort

Target has really been pushing their new Pillowfort line, with lavish in-store displays. And I have to admit, their offerings are really cute + also at a great price point. Case in point: this Teepee by Land of Nod (far left) may have served as inspiration for Target's Pillowfort version (on the right). But Land of Nod's Teepee is $159, whereas Pillowfort's is only $89.99 regular price (on sale this week for $76.49).

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New at Target: Modern Sprout

I spied something new on an endcap at Target today: grow kits from Modern Sprout. I saw two varieties: an 'herb kit' (with Basil and Mint) and a 'flower kit' (with Pansies). These simple, self-watering kits feature vintage-inspired mason jars outfitted with a passive hydroponic system known as “wicking,” which brings water and nutrients up to the plant's roots. So whether you forget to water, overwater, or both, it's pretty much foolproof. Each jar comes equipped with everything you’ll need to start growing; just add water and set in a sunny window.

After taking a peek at Modern Sprout's website, it looks like single-jar kits usually retail for $20/each, so Target's version at $12 (for the single jar flower kit) and $24 (for the double jar herb kit) is a better deal. The brand was also one of "Oprah's Picks". 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lookbook: Marimekko for Target

With less than a month until the Marimekko for Target collection drops (on April 17th) A Bullseye View just posted highlights from the line’s highly anticipated lookbook. Staying true to the beloved brand’s roots, the Marimekko collab is bursting with playful patterns and vibrant prints in bold colors and stark black & white.

The collection boasts more than 200 items (with most under $50) that range from outdoor decor and swimwear essentials to furniture and entertaining pieces. Check out the full assortment here on Target.com.

Tuesday's Rant: Target's Self-Checkouts Not Open at Peak Times

On Tuesdays I sometimes take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. I haven't done a 'rant' in quite a while, but this one's been building up and I can't hold my tongue any longer.

Can anyone tell me WHY Target bothers to have 'self-checkout' stations, but doesn't open them during peak shopping times? At my local store, this most frequently happens in the mornings, before 10am. There could be lines for days at all the other lanes, but they won't open up the self-checkout ones. When I've asked - aka, complained - about this before, the standard answer I get is that they are "short staffed": meaning, they don't have a dedicated person available to man the self-checkouts in case a shopper gets stuck or has questions. My response to this is that it'd make more sense to close ONE of the regular lanes to have that clerk supervise the 4 self-checkout ones.

Anyhow, yesterday I had enough.... with all lanes full with overflowing carts (note to self: lots of moms with babies seem to shop on Monday mornings!) I left the handful of items I'd wanted to buy on an endcap. Had the self-checkout lands been open, I would have gladly used them (as much as I loathe them) but after waiting 10 minutes in vain, I bailed.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Double-Take: West Elm vs. Threshold

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-shay and match it up against a lookalike - yet pricier - designer piece. Clear-glass display boxes seem to be having a "moment"; I keep seeing them all over the place, filled with everything from jewelry and trinkets to succulent arrangements. Here we have two gold-framed rectangular versions (both approx. 9x4x2" size) which look very similar. But one of them is from West Elm and will set you back $49, whereas the other one is by Threshold (at Target) and costs just $14.99.

Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Clearance Alert: Nate Berkus Home Decor

My local Target stores have put the current collection of Nate Berkus home decor on clearance for 50% off - including the table lamp, wall hanging, and tray basket shown here. Unfortunately, this sale seems limited to stores only, as these items are either regular price (or only discounted 30%) online on Target.com.

Monday, March 14, 2016

New at Target: Stella Valle Jewelry

Last Summer I alerted you that Target was teaming up with jewelry designer sisters Ashley Jung and Paige Dellavalle to bring their modern yet classic Stella Valle jewelry line to The Bullseye. Their Target collab is a fraction of the price found on the sisters' regular retail line seen at retailers like Bloomingdales.

Getting their start with the backing of moguls Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban with a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank, the sisters combined their military experience, business degrees and eye for style to develop a custom jewelry line that melds military might with a feminine touch.

Initially Stella Valle for Target was only available on Target.com, debuting last August. But now I've noticed a whole jewelry case (as shown) dedicated to the sparkly line, so now you can check it out in person in stores.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fab Find: Merona Eyelet Dress

I had already bought this pretty Merona eyelet shift dress in basic black at my local Target, wishing it came in more colors. And lo and behold, it's now available on Target.com in a whole array of other hues, including this vibrant "Orange Spark" (shown here) which I ordered this morning. This dress is fully-lined, well made, and looks far more expensive than its $29.99 price tag. And best of all, this week it's on sale - as are all dresses at Target - for "buy 1/get 1 50% off".

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Clearance Alert: Threshold Faux Houseplants

Remember the Threshold faux houseplants I told you about a couple of months ago? Well they're now on clearance in Target stores at 50% off. The selection includes a wide variety of ferns and succulents, both individual ones (shown in the basket, down to just $1.48 each) as well as potted arrangements and glass terrariums. In fact, right after I took this pic, a woman came up and snapped up most of the faux plants in the basket, commenting "they look so real"!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Consumer Alert: The Honest Company Laundry Detergent Found to Contain SLS

Uh oh.... Jessica Alba's The Honest Company is under scrutiny again. Last year, it was for the brand's sunscreen, and this time it's for their laundry detergent. As reported by Treehugger, the Honest Company is under scrutiny after two lab tests found significant amounts of sodium lauryl sulfate - a chemical they've promised to not use in any of their products - in its laundry detergent. This detergent is just one of the many Honest Company products sold at Target.

The Honest Company, which Alba founded in 2011, is now valued at an impressive $1.7 billion. Selling cleaning supplies, diapers, baby wipes, bottles, formula, skincare products and vitamins, all are marketed as safe, natural, and non-toxic. The product line appeals in particular to parents who wish to minimize their children’s exposure to toxic chemicals.

But a recent discovery by The Wall Street Journal has called The Honest Company’s commitment to transparency into question. Two independent lab tests, commissioned by the WSJ, have found significant amounts of sodium lauryl sulfate in the company’s liquid laundry detergent, one of its original and most popular products. It was not just a trace amount, but roughly equivalent to the quantity of SLS found in Tide detergent.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a cheap cleansing agent that is often added to products to make them foam better. Its toxicity is debatable; some green-minded companies like Seventh Generation continue to use it, arguing that it is safe when formulated properly, and even the widely respected Environmental Working Group gives it an overall low hazard rating. But Alba herself has called SLS a “toxin that consumers should avoid.” which is why it is on the list of ingredients allegedly not used by the company.

You can hear more about the dispute here on Treehugger, as well as at The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Isaac Mizrahi for Target

Am I the only one who still misses Isaac Mizrahi for Target? The outspoken designer started his line at Target back in 2002, with it ending in 2008. Shown here is an ad from the Spring/Summer 2004 collection.

Racked recently caught up with Isaac, and regarding Tar-shay, he said he was initially hesitant to partner with them.  "I was scared I would lose all my credibility as this couture kind of person," he says. "I even started making couture again at the same time, until I finally got the idea that it was not the right game for me." Ultimately he told himself it was the right fit because while he "wasn't going to make a deal with KMart, I did love Target, with all its humor in advertising."

You can read more about Isaac's uber-successful Target line, his current QVC collection, and how he got his start in high fashion here on Racked.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

LOTS of Looks for Less: Target vs. J.Crew

A friend sent me this pic of the latest J.Crew catalog, and it looks like Michael Kors isn't the only retailer Tar-jay is copying these days. They seem to be copying at least 3 J.Crew styles this season. But judge for yourself: on the left is the J.Crew tear sheet, and from top to bottom, here are the sandal styles that Target is mimicking:

* The Sam & Libby 'Toni' (on clearance for just $13.48!) is a colorful dupe to J.Crew's Malta Mirror Metallic Slide for $78.
* The Sam & Libby 'Harper' Bow Slide (also on clearance for $13.48) is quite similar to J.Crew's Gingham Knotted Fabric Slide, which retails for $118.
* And the Mossimo 'Lolita' Thong Sandal (for just $22.99) is very close to J.Crew's Suede Tassel Slide, which costs way more at $168.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Look for Less: Merona vs. Michael Kors

Espadrilles are a Spring staple, and there's a ton of styles out there, from flats to wedges (like these shown here). You could splurge for the Michael Kors' "Aimee" (featured far left) which will set you back $174.99 at 6PM.com. Or you could save some dough and opt for Merona's "Buffy" (at Target, shown on the right) for just $29.99.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sale Alert: Pillowfort at Target

Remember Pillowfort, the new kids home brand I told you about last month? Well Target has the whole line on sale this week for 20% off. That's right: all the furniture, decor, storage, bedding and lighting in the entire collection is on sale. Click here to browse by category or by room theme.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fab Find: Dollar Aisle Pet Rock Kit

Any of you out there old enough to remember the "pet rock" craze from the 1970's?  Well Target's bringing them back to the Dollar Aisle, only this time they're re-invented as DIY kits for kids. Each kit contains a faux rock, a paint brush and 3 paint colors to create your new "pet".  And at just $3, this kit would make a great rainy-day activity for your bored budding artist.

Friday, March 4, 2016

New at Target: Sonia Kashuk's Knock Out Beauty

When women wear her makeup, Sonia Kashuk wants them to feel women feel confident, empowered and ready to take on the world. With that notion and the inspiration of women as the ultimate fighters, Knock Out Beauty came to life. Partnering with female artist Dana Louise Kirkpatrick, Sonia has created a new collection for Spring 2016 intended to advocate, inspire and transform women everywhere. The limited-edition line includes brush sets, cosmetics and accessories, all covered in Dana Louise's brilliantly-designed artwork and empowering words.

The packaging is certainly a departure from Sonia's past offerings, and has a punk-rock feel to it. And the colors are either crazy bright (like the vivid blue nailcolor dubbed 'Roll With the Punches', and a matte red lipstick called 'Power Punch') or super neutral (like the pale palette in her new Knock Out Beauty Eyeshadow Box for $24.99).

Sonia Kashuk’s spring collection will be available in Target stores and on Target.com beginning the week of March 7th, with prices ranging from $4.79 - $39.99.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Consumer Alert: Target Mug Recall

If you happened to buy this particular mug at Target for Valentine's day, be forewarned: although labeled as "microwave safe", it is not. These "“Love Today” ceramic coffee mugs - sold exclusively at Target stores - were mislabeled as microwave safe. And as a result, if microwaved the metallic print on the mug can spark, posing a fire hazard.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says it has already received three reports of the 14-ounce ceramic cups sparking in microwaves because of the gold metallic “Love Today!” printed on the outside.

The 12,300 cups were made in China and distributed by Illume. They sold for $8 at Target in starting in Dec/Jan. with a removable label on the bottom that reads “microwave safe,” the CPSC said. “Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled mugs and return them to Target for a full refund,” the agency said in its notice.

For more information about the recall, visit http://tinyurl.com/h8ct3mz.

Introducing PillowTalkCouture...

After such a positive response to the Marimekko for Target collab yesterday, I thought I'd take the opportunity to announce my own new venture. I've opened an Etsy store called Pillow Talk Couture, and if you're a fan of bright, unique prints like those from Marimekko (and past Target collabs like Missoni, Liberty of London and Lilly Pulitzer) then you might want to check it out.

PillowTalkCouture is a mashup of my passions for vintage finds, eclectic design, and "up-cycling". As a child I was obsessed with my grandmother's extensive scarf collection in amazing colors and patterns, many by the graphic designer Vera Neumann (a brand that had its own mini-collab with Target a couple of years ago).

I recently re-discovered this vintage scarf collection and pondered "what could I do with these"?  I immediately thought of creating pillows, except for a few hurdles... first, I hadn't sewn in years, and the thought of re-learning how to insert zippers was daunting. Furthermore, I realized that pillow inserts were expensive - even at craft supply stores.

That's when it hit me: why not repurpose brand new, unwanted pillows languishing in the clearance bins at stores like Home Goods? I marry the pillow backs with color-coordinated vintage scarves, then re-use the pillow inserts. The result is a one-of-a-kind, up-cycled pillow with a vintage "face".

And boy, if these pillows could talk, they'd certainly have a lot to say! Many were part of my grandmother's personal collection (circa 1950's-1980's) and others are eBay finds. Shown here is just a sampling; right now I have about 15 uploaded to Etsy, but I just had another photo shoot this week and soon will be adding more to my inventory.

So check me out on Etsy - or follow me on Instagram @pillowtalkcouture - to learn more about my recent work and what inspires me!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Target Announces New Collab with Marimekko

Target is teaming up with Finnish design house Marimekko to bring the brand’s bold prints and cheerful colors to the masses starting April 17th. Known best for their vivid color combinations (which this preview pic is uncharacteristically lacking) the Marimekko partnership reminds me of Target's past collab with Liberty of London in that it's sure to be heavy on prints and patterns.

“When it comes to our partnerships, we travel far and wide to find designers and brands we think our guests will love,”
said Julie Guggemos, senior vice president, product design and development, Target. “For our spring collaboration, that brought us all the way to Finland! We’ve had our eye on Marimekko for quite some time, and can’t wait for guests to have a chance to shop this limited-edition collection in just a few short weeks.”

Marimekko for Target
will feature more than 200 print-centric pieces that span outdoor d├ęcor, furniture and entertaining essentials, as well as beach and swimwear for women and girls. The collection also features a number of firsts for Marimekko, including the bocce ball sets and parachutes. And best of all, most pieces will be priced under $50.

According to A Bullseye View, Marimekko was founded in post-World War II Finland by Armi Ratia to bring color and cheer back to the country. Armi asked a few of her artist friends to create avant-garde prints for her husband’s oil-cloth printing factory. But people wanted to wear the bold prints and colors and that is how Marimekko – meaning Mary’s dress – was born. Since then, Marimekko’s prints have appeared on everyone from Jacqueline Kennedy (she wore a Marimekko dress on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1960, causing an international sensation) to Sarah Jessica Parker.

Marimekko for Target
will be available at all Target stores and Target.com April 17th. Prices will range from $7.99 for sunscreen to $499.99 for a paddle board, but most items are under $50.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fab Find: Dollar Aisle Grow Kits

The other day I blogged about faux plants in the Dollar Aisle at Target, and today I'm bringing you REAL ones. These grow kits contain organic seeds in herb variations of Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary, housed in pretty pastel tin pails. These particular ones are $3 each, but I've also seen the "mini versions" - in tiny terra cotta pots - for just $1 each.