Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nutcracker Market
Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 10:00am - Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 6:00pm
Houston, TX 77054

Over 325 national and international merchants, offering unique items for the entire family, including home d├ęcor, gourmet food, apparel, accessories, toys, garden items, and much more … just in time for holiday shopping!
Show Times & Dates Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10 AM - 9 PM Friday, November 11, 2011 at 10 AM - 9 PM Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 10 AM - 6 PM Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 10 AM - 6 PM
Tickets Advanced tickets may also be purchased at Houston-area Randalls for $11.00 beginning October 17, 2011. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $12.00. Half-price admission is available daily 3 hours prior to closing. Children under 5 are free. Groups of 20 or more will receive a discount of $2.00 off the regular admission price if purchased in advance.
Parking Fee per vehicle is $10.* *Parking rates are subject to change without notice.

This is the 2nd year in a row, I have got to meet Kristen Alfonso. I am a big fan of Days of Our Lives, so seeing her is always a perk for going to the Market.

I am a Foodie so I am immediately intrigued by any easy gourmet sounding meal, I can impress my friends with. If Winter finally shows up this year these soups will be fantastic.
Potato Leek, Tomato Basil, and French Onion.
I will add a few drops of truffle oil to the Potato Leek, a garlicky toasted bruschetta to the Tomato Basil and ofcourse a gooey Gruyere covered slice of rye bread to the French Onion.

Leibman's is always one of my favorite vendors. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Leibman a few years ago at a Nigella Lawson Book signing. She is a wonderfully charming, and creative lady that has a way of bringing out the very best in food. I tasted a sample of the Shrimp dip and the Pesto dip and loved them. They will come in handy for Holiday company. Generally I buy more but I still have a well stocked pantry of goodies I haven't even gotten to use yet.

This brand Allure is new to me. They had a lovely display and very nice people working the booth. I bought Vanilla Almond scented potpourri and Room Spray.

It was time I threw out my old dusty faded potpourri and replace it. The Allure Potpourri has a pretty mix of organics and looks beautiful in crystal bowls around the house. I sprayed my fresh bed linens with the room spray. The scent didn't last long on the sheets, but it was worth a try. Its a nice fresh scent that isn't floral. Normally I am very much a flower girl, but I did like this scent very much.

My number one client and good friend let me leave work an hour early to go to the Market when I said I'd bring him some pralines. He is from Louisiana so I knew I had better come back with the real McCoy. I found the New Orleans Candy Co. booth and knew I had hit a winner. Very nice people at that booth with loads of samples and goodies.

Anyone who knows me well , knows I am a Glitzy Glam gal with Domestic Goddess dreams of grandeur. I have a world class apron collection. I saw a woman wearing a red one like this. I immediately liked it but didn't like the $45 price tag, I put it on the back burner for my first run thru of the market. Since I didn't go overboard or break the bank with what I did buy, I went back and bought this Red Sequin apron it has ruffles on the bottom that are hard to see in the picture. It also comes in black and gold.

It will be good the next time I want to play Sexy Housewife for the husband, Ooh La La. Hopefully he doesn't sleep thru my


This year I decided to take the Pedi-cab/tuk tuk from the back 40 of the parking lot to the golden doors of Reliant Center. No reason to use up all my energy hiking when I could be using it for commando shopping. I used the Pedi-Cab to and from the center to my vehicle. The guys work for donations. I gave them a $5 each ride.


When I told my husband they had several bars set up in Reliant Center as well as a couple in the parking lot, I think I changed his mind about going to craft fairs with me


I was disappointed the Foot Massage guys were not there this year. Last year I saw these great old timey wooden shoe shine seats. Upon closer inspection there were men offering foot massages while ladies sipped Mimosa's. Who ever came up with that idea is a genius.


Every woman there will be dressed to the nine's. You will be shocked at how many stylish gorgeous women of all ages are there. So glam it up, or get ignored like an ugly step sister.

You have just paid $21 to get in the place, that's more than guys pay for cover charges at Strip Clubs. This is an event, a place to see and be seen. So live it up!

Men are allowed- generally they are parked in a corner to watch your bags and the bags of all your friends.

There is a lingo , a kind of silent code, the double entendre,... If someone smiles at you and says excuse me, (just know that there is a silent "bitch" on the end of that) and you should get out of the way. Prices are clearly marked on everything- So if you have to ask, either you are blind or you cant afford it. Questions? Ok most if not all products have no moving parts and are really self explanatory. So don't hang around the register asking questions about some product you aren't going to buy anyway while 5 people are actually trying to check out,if you'd just get out of the way. I think more sales are lost due to "Strollers" than anything else.

Strollers and Rollings bags are not allowed. Ok , we all understand baby strollers and rolling grocery cart/totes, but that's the politically correct version.

To expand the definition to include what it means literally. Strollers- those who slowly trudge thru the market congesting traffic and hovering over the samples counter like its a buffet with no intention of buying.

Rolling Bags (Not meant to offend my elders, but) Old ladies/Men on Motorized scooters or walkers. This is such a crowded pedestrian area you will become a hazard to yourself and others.

If you have children get a babysitter, I saw one woman with a kid in a backpack and thought she is going to be hating herself in about 30 mins and ready to dump the kid and backpack into the nearest trash bin in an hour. There may have been 2 toddlers wandering around, I didn't see them for long. Your kids may be precious to you, but in this stampede of shopping frenzy they will quickly become trampled over speed bumps.

This is the female equivalent to Running with the bulls in Spain.


Rachel C.
Houston, TX
Ok, here's the Down Low...Everything is expensive. It doesn't matter. You will get swept into the hysterical madness and find yourself gasping and fighting for the perfect Christmas decorations that you have never wanted/needed until THIS VERY SECOND. You will shove people and you will not be embarrassed. You will leave with a lot of bags that will sit in your closet. And you will love it and drool when you think of next year.Not a good place for kids-- no strollers allowed and no toys sold in general, so just leave them home with the hubs. Plus, I'm already irritated with the sheer number of people so keep your child out from under my feet.Has some regular old stuff here too... bought myself a new pair of Toms that I rocked all around Vegas.You are going to have to park about five years away so wear good shoes and a light jacket-- you will hate yourself if you wear a coat, regardless of how cold it is outside it is a sauna inside. You can take the free tram or bus to the gate but hold on and be ready for hell on wheels...Buy your ticket from a Randal's or online before you go so you can breeze past the line and make sure to grab a map.Def eat before you go, but be ready, regardless, to shell out some bucks for a coke and a snack to sit down and give those 'dogs a rest.Bottom Line: I hate to shop. But my mom and I walked inside the Market for seven hours and considered going back the following day as we had so much fun. Need I say more?

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