It’s pronounced Tarjay not Target

It’s no secret that things sound better in a French accent and hence there is no reason to limit its use to the French language. Growing up in Sydney my friends and I used to refer to the American department store Target as Tarjay, it made our Saturday jobs folding polyester clothing sound all that more sophisticated. To be truthful, 25 years ago Target stores in Sydney suburbia where not glamorous places. What 16 year old would think that this would become her number #1 go to store when she reached motherhood and beyond? What 16 year old is thinking of the merits of a store where you can purchase all the families essentials like; milk, champagne, toilet paper, lipstick, ibuprofen, kids birthday present, frying pan, bedding, lamp, stationary ………. under one roof ?

Now living in Boston, Target has become my sanctuary.  Not that my husband  understands but I know I’m not alone as I have witnessed other mothers in action, aimlessly strolling the aisles perusing all the things they don’t really need yet magically convince themselves otherwise. The store is open until midnight, so its guilt free shopping when the kids are asleep and their return policy is extremely generous to allow for easy returns on those impulse buys. I mean how many accent tables can you fit in a 1000 square foot apartment regardless of how pretty they looked in the store?

Recently I’ve been buying more home furnishings than toiletries and groceries at Target. Occasionally I have escaped home in the middle of a snow storm on the proviso that we desperately needed toilet paper only to come back with new lamps and bedding and no toilet paper (true story!). What I love the most about Target’s home range is their constant reinvention. Their design collaborations keep things fresh and interesting. The current Project 62 range is modern, edgy, with a mid century twist, none of the pieces are too bulky, so they not only fit comfortably in the back of the car but also in small living spaces! Nate Berkus also collaborates with Target and has a great range of accent pieces that are constantly changing to match both the seasons and trends. The Hearth and Hand range made famous by Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper is also worth a look for a more traditional and conservative design with a shabby chick feel to it.

In my experience Target has been smart with their price point, they are making every day pieces at affordable prices. They are by no means family heirlooms and most pieces are unlikely to withstand heavy combat but they do what they say on the box. I think the home furnishing industry is changing with big department stores like Target collaborating with designers to produce affordable pieces. I think the days that a piece of furniture was purchased as a family heirloom are long gone and that is testament to the times we live in. Fashion has long been that way and whilst most will invest in one or two statement pieces a year that will hold their longevity and last a lifetime (well at least you tell your husband that to justify the cost of those leopard print boots), the rest are affordable pieces purchased to keep up with the latest and greatest. Check out some of my favorite recent ‘Tarjay‘ finds below.


If we are constantly editing our wardrobe why should our homes be any different? Fashion transcends to many areas not just clothing. It is easy to update and spruce up an old outfit with a new pair of shoes or a statement necklace, likewise it is as easy to do the same with a room. A tired room can be given a new lease of life with some new throw pillows, a new rug and some art work all without breaking the bank. Next time you go by a Target, think ‘Tarjay‘ and head on inside, you might be surprised that you walked in expecting to buy the family pack sized toilet paper but came out with a new room. Viva La France and happy decorating.


Ruth @ prettyonastring



When passion finds you later in life


Today’s post is a little reflective and one I think many of you can relate to. As I embark on a new venture I wanted to press pause and reflect on how a 40 plus year old, ex scientist and now stay at home mum wound up sitting at her computer googling ‘how to buy a domain?’

A proud member of the Gen X brigade I am a big dreamer. I remember reading Lorna Hill’s books and dreaming of joining a ballet school even though my rhythm was questionable back then. Fast forward to high school when I was the shortest in my year and airlines had height restrictions to qualify as an air hostess (or flight attendant in these more PC times). I dreamt of flying the skies in my perfectly fitting uniform, with flawless hair and make-up, and permanent welcoming smile as I greeted each and every passenger with the famously coined phrase ‘tea? coffee?’. Oh, and of course I was going to marry the pilot!!! Going further with my ability to dream big I was convinced I was going to be the next real life ‘Doogie Howser M.D’. Yes, I was going to be a fully-fledged Dr. at just 14 years old!! I mean if it happens on TV it’s real right? So in an attempt to demonstrate to my parents that I was finally growing up, and that it wasn’t just all dreams, I convinced them I would focus on a career path where I would get a job in a hospital, preferably as a nurse that would be working alongside a Dr Doug Ross. Who can forget the wonderfully handsome pediatrician made famous by the dashing Mr Clooney in ER.

Ultimately my parents nagging won out so I enrolled and completed a degree in Biotechnology. Science was not a passion but my parents convinced me it would lead to fabulous job opportunities and job satisfaction. When you’re 17, do you really know what job satisfaction entails, and can you really have job satisfaction without the passion? Whilst the job opportunities where there and I got to travel the World, something I was and am still passionate about, ‘The role of Heat Shock Protein 70 in the virulence of apicomplexan parasites’ (cannot believe I still remember my PhD thesis title) was not my passion! Whilst I did have a successful career as a scientist it wasn’t until I had kids that I finally admitted to myself this was not for me.

The dreaming hasn’t stopped and I constantly tell my boys to dream big, however I also tell them that the most important thing is to be true to oneself. That you can succeed in whatever you do as long as you are passionate about it. Your passion will feed your happiness and this will lead to success. Ultimately the most important measure of success is your happiness, the satisfaction you have in what you are doing and the fulfilment it gives you.  Today I am surrounded by fellow Gen X woman who to are waking up to their dreams and making a go at new ventures, because where there is desire there is passion and a drive to succeed. The World is big enough for us all, I am constantly inspired by our ability to hustle, and one huge benefit of being a member of this amazing group of woman is our ability to support and help each other out.  I refuse to believe that it’s ever too late to follow your dreams.

So what is my passion? In a nutshell … all things pretty and helping others achieve their version of pretty on their budget. My home is my sanctuary, my haven, my real life ‘domain’. For my family I have created a space that is curated to showcase not only our personalities but our lifestyle. I don’t believe in creating show room spaces on an unlimited budget. My spaces are designed for everyday living and enjoyment. Living in an apartment I am obsessed with organization and getting every last little bit of use out of the space available. This is a trait I have passed on to my oldest Son and we both are passionate about finding new and better ways of organizing our space and collectables. Last but not least, I am passionate about writing and hopefully making people smile and may be even laugh a little in the process.

It is with these newly awakened dreams and passion that I found myself googling ‘how to buy a domain’! Please follow my dreams as I document with humor my dream to create not only my pretty space but also help others create theirs, follow