I consider myself a person who likes nice, well-made, quality, long-lasting, with some-sort-of-artistic-history-behind-it kind of consumer. I’m a life-stylist, after all. Those qualifiers would deem Neiman, Saks, Ethan Allen, Pottery Barn, Smith Hawken, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, etc… those kinds of stores, my go-to places for lovely home décor. But, I’m an every-day girl who loves to shop and find some good bargains. And so therefore, without a single shame, I will tell you that I love Target. And while I still shop at those other stores and really enjoy more high-end boutiques with unique wares, there’s something about Target that’s just so easy. And fun, quite honestly.
The Missoni for Target collection did me in real good 3 years ago. I lost all sorts of reasoning and logic and hit every single store in the Atlanta area looking for every piece of the collection. Oh, but it was worse than just having every local store’s number in my phone and calling for stock checks. It was way worse. I made two friends on a FB Page dedicated to the zig-zag collezione who were equally obsessed, and then the real maddness began. Like young NY fashionistas after a skirt or pair of shoes Carrie Bradshaw rocked in any episode of Sex and City, now up for sale at a local thrift shop (because isn’t it there that Patricia Fields found most of the pieces for Sara Jessica Parker‘s wardrobe?), we had to have anything and everything from the oh-so mediocre line. We exchanged phone numbers, email addresses, and got to go work. One lived in Durham, NC, the other in Chicago. I was in Atlanta. Between the three of us, we’d individually call our respective stores begging customer service or the stock crew to look up something the other couldn’t find in her stores. We’d find, we’d ship, and then we’d take pictures of our beloved goods.
That madness lasted about 5 months and depleted my bank account by an embarrassing amount. Hysterically enough, every single item has since been packed and is living in storage here in DC. I barely got to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Well, except for a party here or there using some of the serve-ware. And, I did create this lovely tablescape inspired by the vintage vibes of the 70s, which is what Missoni is all about.
But, the best part was making two new and authentic friends. Nicki moved back to Thailand, where she’s from and we Skype every few weeks, and Lindsay moved to NY . Oh, and I did lose a solid 8 pounds in those three months from the constant running around.
I vowed never to do that again. No matter what collaboration Target could come up with. It just was not worth the mental stress of keeping track of who had what.
Oh, but have I ever eaten my words like never before just a few weeks ago. Not because there’s a designer collaboration I’m interested in, rather because I’ve been reunited with one of my closest friends: my fashion and style sister at heart. Two girlfriends could not be more similar in so many ways than M and I are.
And who knew she loved Target as much as I did?! She revived that dormant attraction right before Christmas when we hopped in her Mini Cooper and drove around looking for scarves. That’s another story, but the all hearts in scarf hunt turned into an all out spree for housewares, kitchenwares, serve ware, and and any knick knack we could justify needing. She’s married with a kid, and I, single and childless, had the same intention: to make our at-home entertaining aesthetic sleeker and sexier. That meant going for an all white and natural look.
The game started but we set rules: no more than three Targets in one day; purchases must be from clearance, no calling stores to inquire about inventory, no crossing state lines, and no calling friends from other states. Simple enough. After 2 months of endless finds, revisits, editing down, returns, exchanges, and comparisons, we wrapped with some pretty nifty things, all under $50.
Since I cook and and entertain for a living, I had to go a bit outside our ruling parameter and incorporate some color, so these few little animal and graphic icons are the bit of splash I really needed to add. Plus, the whimsical touch is always fun while noshing at the table.
CERAMIC CHEESE PLATTERS
I think this was my favorite find next to the milk jars I found at Nordstrom during a sneak away break from Target. Two medium rectangular ones are great for laying out cheese, sauces, dips, fruit, etc.. while hosting friends. And I put my two to good use already. Originally $15, I got mine for $4.48 each. But the larger one, as M has so chicly set out at her place, is great for a more decorative approach — candles (another story we won’t get into to!), napkins, matchsticks, and anything else you’d need at the dinner table. It’s a great “carry-all” platter.
I’d use mine for food, too. It just makes sense. Originally $18, we got it for $6.
(The large square ceramic cheese platter. Image c/o MB via iPhone)
(The large square ceramic cheese platter. Image c/o MB via iPhone)
CREATURE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Owls are this enigmatic little creature I’ve been obsessed with for about 8 years. I have an owl for everything. Name it, I have it. The little salt and pepper shakers are the absolute perfect way to season my food at the table. And these are entirely too adorable and well-crafted with their crackled texture and creamy color. A nice way add a slither contrast from so much starch white. I started with two sets but checked myself and realized I really didn’t need 4 of the same, right? So, two would do. $4 for the set.
But what about the fox?! So sexy! I ended with two salt shakers somehow, so those little cute fellas were $2/pair.
MELANINE PLATES AND BOWLS
The little fox set is seemingly part of a larger collection of dinner ware with print in bold colors, paisley patterns, and the like, few of which I opted for. I did snatch up, however, 12 little bowls with a red fox and other prints, with the matching small dishes. Superb for condiments, sauces, and tastings. Even for candy bowls. What I didn’t find were the matching melanin appetizer plates. Out of the 9 or so stores, not a nil carried these cute little plates. Lucky for me, I saved some money.
Okay, so I just found out I have this thing for milk jars. The vintage type. It shouldn’t surprise me in the least since I collect vintage anything. The one I grabbed at Nordstrom is the best — perfect size and cream color. But the Target ones, though labeled “soy sauce dispenser”, is so appropriate for holding milk for my café con leche! I grabbed two for a total of $4.98. I just never know how many people are going to show up at one of my shindigs.
OH yes, there were countless other accoutrements I could have walked out of there with (and did, actually), but none that would serve the purpose of sharing with you how incredibly fun bargain shopping can be; especially when you have an accomplice that’s not necessarily there to offer some reason. Rather cheer you on!
Here’s to my next shindig!
*Oh, the wood spoon is from another collection of wood kitchen wares I’ve recently purchased, mostly from designer stores and TJ Maxx. I’m mildly obsessed with Italian wood pieces. They’re just so sexy!
So, tell me, where do you shop for nice hosting serve ware? Surely, Target’s not everywhere, and there are great nooks and crannies I’d love to hear about in your neck of the woods!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself. B-