Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Look for Less: West Elm vs. Threshold

Gold flatware seems to be having a "moment". Both Williams Sonoma and Kate Spade have pricy options of this trend. On the more affordable side, you could pick the West Elm version (shown at far left) at $39 for a 5 piece set.  Or you could get a similar look - and save even more dough - with the Threshold set (at Target, shown on the right) for just $19.99.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Double-Take: Houzz 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. Today we're looking at two modern glass knot sculptures; either one would make a great living room accent piece. But one of them is from Houzz and costs $42.50, whereas the other is by Threshold (at Target) and costs just $14.00. Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Honest Company Sued Yet Again...

CNN reports that The Honest Company is being sued yet again over false advertising, this time for its baby formula (sold on their own website as well as on

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has filed a lawsuit in California claiming the company falsely labels its Premium Infant Formula as "organic." The lawsuit alleges the product contains 11 synthetic ingredients that are not allowed by federal law in organic products, including sodium selenite and taurine. The OCA also claims that some of the ingredients haves not been "assessed as safe for human foods -- much less for infant formulas."

On its website, The Honest Company says the infant formula is "meticulously blended using non-GMO (genetically engineered), naturally-derived, organic and other high-quality ingredients, sourced from trusted organic farms to help ensure pure, safe, and quality goodness."

The company told CNNMoney on Wednesday that its formula is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and meets all safety and nutritional standards. "It is also certified USDA Organic by an independent third party, in strict accordance with the National Organic Program. We are confident this lawsuit will be dismissed," a spokesperson said via email.

The OCA is seeking a jury trial. Last year, The Honest Company was sued for alleged false labeling over the use of "natural" on some products, including its sunscreen. And just last month I reported about the false advertising on their laundry detergent.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Target Blasted for Selling "San Fran" Shirts...

Nothing says "I'm not local" in the SF Bay Area like calling San Francisco "San Fran." Which is why - as SFGate reports - it's ironic that a brand called "Local Pride" is selling "San Fran" shirts in San Francisco's City Target on Mission St.

An eagle-eyed writer at San Francisco Citizen first spotted the sacrilegious shirt being sold in the men's section among a selection of San Francisco-themed shirts, including one with a bear on it that says "CONSERVE."

Further inspection of the Local Pride brand by SFGate found it to be NYC-based and created by an Iowa native, and readers of this blog know I've blogged about it before. "This collection is about the sense of discovery," Local Pride designer Todd Snyder said in a Target press release. "We want to be your tour guide, showcasing the unique aspects of the local cities. I have visited some of the coolest spots and spoken to a lot of locals in each city that helped me design original, exclusive and fun designs." Unfortunately, Mr. Snyder knows very little about our "local pride" - or proper nomenclature - around here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

More than 500,000 boycott Target over bathroom policy...

MSN reports that a conservative Christian activist group has gained more than half a million signatures so far from people pledging to boycott Target over its transgender bathroom policy.

The petition started by the American Family Association on Wednesday raises concerns that Target's inclusive stance on transgender rights encourages sexual predators and puts women and young girls in danger, because "a man can simply say he 'feels like a woman today' and enter the women's restroom."

The boycott had more than 503,000 signatures as of Monday morning, marking it as one of AFA's most popular campaigns. "This is the best response we’ve ever had this quick," says AFA President Tim Wildmon, attributing the protest's viral nature to the fact that "everybody knows who Target is, and it’s an easy-to-understand issue." Wildmon says Target stands "to lose a lot of customers who won't come back."

But Target is standing by its policy. "We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions," says Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder. "As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work — and our guests an inclusive place to shop — we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target." She added that hundreds of Target stores "have single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option."

Target made its position public in a blog post last week, stating that the company welcomes "transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity." The announcement comes as legislation on transgender issues in multiple states has spurred several major corporations and businesses to take a stance on LGBT rights.

Monday, April 25, 2016

New at Target: Hint Water

I squealed with delight yesterday when I discovered that my local Target store is finally carrying my favorite beverage: Hint. I became obsessed with Hint a couple of years ago - so much so that I now get it delivered directly to my door (FYI, if you order 3 more more cases, delivery is free!). But it's great to know that if I ever run out, I can just go to Tar-jay to get more. Living up to it's name, Hint comes in a variety of fruit flavors with just a hint of flavor. Their motto is "Drink Water - Not Sugar" and true to that, this fruit-infused water has zero calories, no sweeteners and no artificial flavors. And Hint comes in both regular and "Fizz" (or carbonated water) varieties.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Marimekko: What I Kept & What I'm Returning

One week into the Marimekko for Target launch, the online orders have started to come in and I can tell you what I liked and am keeping, and what I didn't and will be returned to the store.

As shown here, I am keeping the flip flops, shorts, and hat (which I just found yesterday in store). One note: on my shorts, the center seam does not line up neatly as in the stock photo provided by Target, which is a bummer.

I also plan to keep the Kaivo print beach towel and the Harko print beach tote. My shipment of the Kukkatori print tunic and the Oakariino print dress hasn't arrived yet, so the jury's still out on them. But if the fit is anything like the Terry Cloth Coverup, then I'll be returning them as the side slit is way too high to wear these as anything but a beach coverup. So far, the Coverup is the only piece I wasn't happy with and will be returning. In general, though, I'm disappointed this line didn't include more wearable pieces.

I just started a new job, so I'm only able to visit Target on the weekends these days. Of the two stores I hit yesterday, both only had a smattering of Marimekko items left - mostly in women's clothing. It looks like the pants and the kaftans are the biggest leftovers, probably due to their oversized fit. I also saw lots of the kites and the garden tool sets, as well as several beach towels. From the few swim separates I saw, it looked like the sizing ran small, so I expect more returns on the swimwear side.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New at Target: DESIGNLOVEFEST for Cheeky

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on what you wished had been included in the Marimekko for Target line. I had dismissed the idea of lower-end items yesterday (like nail files) but I think the addition of paper napkins + plates would have been great, considering the beach/outdoor/picnic theme that the collab seems to be going with.

So if you're missing pretty paper party products, you might want to check out the new collection from Cheeky tableware designed by Bri Emery, founder and editor of DESIGNLOVEFEST. This limited-edition line of pastel, punchy, polka-dotted line of disposable plates, cups, napkins, bowls and cutlery that not only makes a statement on your table, but also helps people in need: when you buy a pack, Cheeky will donate one meal through Feeding America.

The DESIGNLOVEFEST for Cheeky collection is available now in select Target stores and on, and each item is just $3.99.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Marimekko: What's Missing?

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on their Marimekko purchases. Although a few of you had technical issues (like I did!) in the first few hours of the launch, it sounds like most of you were able to get what you wanted online and in store. Overall I'm happy with what I've got thus far (a beach towel, flip flops and tote bag) and am satisfied with the quality on all of them. The clothing looked decent to me in the store, but I'll have to wait until I get my online orders before I can comment on fit/sizing. In reading your comments + other blog reviews, it sounds like certain pieces - such as the beach coverups and kaftan dresses - are generously sized.

In reflecting on this collab, it seems to me as if Target could have produced more items, seeing they were already teaming up with Marimekko in licensing some of their iconic prints. For example, some of you wrote me that you wish they had produced more "wearable" clothing (appropriate for work) vs. concentrating only on beachwear. Likewise, I wish they had produced a candle (like the glass ones shown here from the Missoni collab) in each of the featured Marimekko prints.

On the flipside, perhaps Target purposely limited the amount of items in this collection in order to make the items more "covetable"? For instance: I'm glad Marimekko didn't follow Lilly Pulitzer's lead with cheaper items like the printed nail files; remember how many of those were left over last year?? How about you, readers? Is there a product you feel is "missing" and wish Target had included in this collab?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Almost 2,000 Marimekko for Target Items on eBay...

While many news outlets (like Fortune Magazine) are reporting that the Marimekko for Target collab was NOT a sellout, almost 2,000 items from the collection are already listed for resale on eBay. Interestingly enough, a lot of the items on eBay aren't priced too inflated. Case in point: the blue Marimekko kaftan shown here has a Target price of $34.99, but the average price on eBay is around $50. I wonder if the eBay vultures realize that this collab doesn't have the same allure as Lilly Pulitzer.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Marimekko for Target: What Did You Buy?

Good morning readers! I've already heard from some of you that you had NO issues ordering what you wanted from the Marimekko for Target line - bravo on that! Unfortunately, I faced some technical issues that made ordering challenging in the wee hours of this morning.

To recap: I woke at 12:20 and immediately tried to order from my mobile phone. I had success with the shorts I wanted, but then when I tried to order a second pair (in a larger size, as you never know how these designer collabs are gonna run!) the page said this item was unavailable. I then looked for several other items I wanted and got the same message. I don't know if this was due to server traffic or what, but I decided to check out with what I had (one pair of shorts) and complete the transaction before moving on to my laptop computer.

From my computer, I was able to order the shorts in the other size, but several other items I wanted - like the dress shown here - was sold out, as were all the totes, bags and scarves. Actually the page error I kept getting was "we're sorry - this product is not available", with a sad-looking Target dog mascot. I was able to order the black/white print terry cloth coverup, and then I called it a night.

This morning, after reading some of your comments about having NO ordering issues whatsoever, I went online again and was able to get the dress shown here after all. The bags, totes, etc. are still all sold out online, and listed as available in stores only.

At the last minute (since I was already up) I decided to brave the crowds this morning and see what I could find in store. Around the same time (8am) a good friend texted me that she was at another store, and I asked her to pick me up the blue/black Harka Print Tote, and she found one - yippee! I'm so glad she got one for me as my local Redwood City, CA store was a mess. By the time I got there at 8:15, all the totes/hats/scarves were gone. There was a large swarm of women with kids in tow surrounding the clothing racks, and the girls clothing seemed like a big seller. The womenswear seemed well stocked, and they had several sizes of the dress and shorts I had already ordered online.

Knowing my friend had secured my coveted tote, I headed to housewares where I picked up a coordinating beach towel in the Kaivo Print. [Of course, I just now noticed that there's a matching Harka Print beach towel which is only available online, but I think I'll stick with the Kaivo so I'm not too matchy/matchy.] I also got the last pack of the colorful Kitchen Towels before the houseware department became a feeding frenzy. Seriously, there were women with overflowing carts, buying everything in sight. In the checkout lane, I heard one woman tell the clerk "yeah, I'll probably return most of this stuff, but I wanted to nab it before it sold out."

What about you, readers? Did you venture to the store today, and if so, what did you buy? Or did you avoid the frenzy altogether and shop online (hopefully without the technical difficulties I had!).

Oh yeah, this is gonna sell out... at least on some items

I'll post more in the morning, but long story short: I woke up at 12:20am PST to find that all the Marimekko for Target hats (like the one shown here) plus all the tote bags and scarves were already sold out online. Ditto with the shift dress/tunic that matches this hat. I think this is gonna be a sellout, folks!

UPDATE: it looks like some of the things I couldn't access in the wee hours are now available. But other things - like all the hats, bags, etc. - are indeed sold out.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Will Marimekko for Target Sell Out?

Is everybody ready for Marimekko for Target, launching tonight at midnight? What's your personal shopping strategy? Mine will be to scope out the items I really want in the Lookbook this evening, then set my alarm to wake up at midnight and do all my shopping online (vs. braving the store tomorrow morning).

For those of you concerned about Target's website crashing (as has happened with past designer collabs) this article by the Star Tribune states that The Bullseye isn't taking any chances. Dozens of Target's technology, social media and guest relations employees will be working through the night Saturday to monitor the online launch and to help troubleshoot any problems. "It's all hands on deck making sure the [Marimekko] launch goes as smoothly as possible," said Joshua Thomas, a Target ­spokesman. And if traffic does begin to overwhelm the site, Target will likely put shoppers into queues as it did on Cyber Monday last December, when its website was also swamped. But the company hopes it won't have to do that, because in the past year they've been working to increase the site's capabilities to handle larger amounts of traffic during big shopping events.

But will Marimekko for Target cause the frenzy that Missoni and Lilly Pulitzer did? That's a good question. Marimekko does have the special ingredient that's been part of Target's biggest hits: bright, distinctive prints and patterns. Those also were part of the winning formula for the Missoni and Lilly Pulitzer collections. However, there are signs this one will not reach the same frenzy. For example: when Target held a pop-up shop in Manhattan's Bryant Park last year in advance of the Lilly Pulitzer collection hitting stores, long lines formed and it quickly sold out. But last weekend, Target once again gave New Yorkers first dibs on the Marimekko collection with a selection of items for sale on the city's High Line park. And this time, the products did not sell out.

On the other hand, the New York Post is predicting that Marimekko will be a sellout for several reasons. They cite the fact that the brand is beloved by style gurus from Jackie O to Sarah Jessica Parker. Plus, non-Target Marimekko isn’t cheap, and they carry a long-term value for vintage pieces. Marimekko is also hard to come by, as it only has a handful of stores in the U.S., and virtually none in flyover states — so this will be the only way for design buffs nationwide to buy the brand without resorting to its website.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Look for Less: Kate Spade vs. Target

This striking similarity struck me the other day... Kate Spade has an adorable mini-journal - dubbed a "Little Gold Book" - available at Paper Source for $16.95 (shown far left). Not a bad price, but too high for me considering that the Dollar Aisle (at Target) has an almost identical one (shown on the right) etched with "Dream Big" for just $3.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Marimekko for Target already hitting eBay...

Uh oh.... it's happening again. In advance of the official Marimekko for Target launch (which isn't until April 17th) some goods are already hitting eBay, like these cute shorts in a Blue Citrus Pattern. How does this happen, you ask? Well, it's due to the fact that Target always has a press event to promote their designer collabs, and for Marimekko they've created an art installation + pop up shop on New York's High Line.  Select pieces from the collection are available for purchase on the High Line, and obviously some of those pieces are being resold on eBay.

If you're lucky enough to live in - or be visiting - NYC this weekend, the Marimekko for Target High Line installation is free to the public and open from April 8 – April 11. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street between 10th and 12th Avenues from 10 am – 8 pm ET daily.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Coming Soon to Target: Sugar Paper Office Collection

A Bullseye View reports that Target is continuing its collab with LA-based Sugar Paper with a new office collection. Coming early this Summer, the collection will contain nearly 50 office essentials, including a high-gloss desk (shown here in forefront) to inspire and brighten workspaces. The new Sugar Paper for Target collection will be available at all Target stores and on starting in early July. Prices range from $1.99 to $399.99 for the desk.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New at Target: Sam & Libby Jewelry

The Sam & Libby brand at Target is expanding beyond shoes & bags. I noticed the other day they now have a selection of belts, scarves and jewelry, like the two bangle bracelets shown here.  The solid blue one on the left is $9.99, and the watercolor-print one on the right is $12.99, making them comparable to similar costume-jewelry offerings at Target.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cartwheel Now Clips Manufacturer's Digital Coupons

Target announced yesterday that it is testing a new feature that allows shoppers to combine Cartwheel’s percentage-off deals with actual dollar-off amounts from virtual coupons, all within the app.

Consumerist reports that thus far, the app features about 40 digital coupons — depending on where a particular shopper lives — showcased right alongside Cartwheel’s typical deals. The coupons can generally be identified by a dollar-off amount, rather than the the percentage discount that Cartwheel is known for. They also typically have a longer use period – several months, compared to the average weeklong savings of a Cartwheel deal.

Users simply click on the single-use coupon to add it to their Cartwheel barcode. As with the traditional Cartwheel app, the barcode is scanned at the register and the discounts deducted from the purchase. By adding digital coupons to the Cartwheel app, shoppers can increase the amount they save during a shopping trip since coupons generally provide larger savings — $0.50 to sometimes $2 off products — than the app, which typically offers savings of 5% to 15%.

The new feature is a partnership between the retailer and a third-party provider of digital coupons, TechCrunch reports, noting that the app will be integrated with a coupon database as opposed to Target working with actual product manufacturers.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fab Find: Dollar Aisle Tote Bags

Yesterday at Target I spied these summery canvas tote bags in the Dollar Aisle. As shown, they come in colorful stripes, a fun shark print, and an adorable 'hello' design. Not only are they cute, they're a bit larger (making then more functional) than some of the other recent Dollar Aisle totes (like the bunny one I told you about a few weeks ago). And best of all, they're just $3 each!