I finally made it to the Nutcracker Market! I can't tell you how many years I've said I'm going to go and never made it, but I drove the 45 minutes into Houston from my suburb to experience this local shopping tradition sponsored by the Houston Ballet. There are over 300 booths of home décor, Christmas decorations, food, skin care, clothing, and jewelry. So, how was it? Crowded, a lot of dowdy clothes, over priced jewelry, big hair I thought disappeared at least a decade ago, lots of girly alcohol for sale, and a few hidden gems. I know that's not the best endorsement, but it's just my take on it. Let's just skip to the hidden gems, shall we? There were several booths that had beautiful and unique items for sale. That's what makes it worth going. As much as I adore many chain retail stores, I can walk into so many homes and immediately recognize where they bought many of their items. In the scheme of things it doesn't matter, but sometimes I crave something that is handmade and heirloom quality. My absolute favorite booth was about 20% of the entire Nutcracker Market space, The Paul Michael Company. I immediately fell in love as soon as I walked around the corner and saw this.
I love the sofa, chair, coffee table, chandelier, pillows, and ottomans. Okay, that's everything. The picture doesn't do it justice. Here's a pic from their Facebook page of what they are really about.
And their website...
The best part is it is not expensive! That chair is only $399. I had it in my cart for much more a few weeks ago at a big online store. This picture also makes me want to break out my flocked tree even though we already decided to go with a real one this year. And that brings me to their Christmas décor. Amazing! They have "good" tree ribbon. If you are tired of chain store ribbon you know what I mean. I love their items because it is a perfect blend of rustic, contemporary and casual. It's such a hard mix to obtain, but their décor make it look effortless. There are also handmade items that I may or may not have picked up for Christmas gifts. I won't go into detail since my family reads this blog. My mom was with me and picked out her gift. At least I know she will like it!
When we were checking out I noticed the store locations on the shopping bag. One of them is in Monroe, La. where my family is originally from. Here is a picture from their store.
Doesn't this make you want to decorate for Christmas? I love that their décor already looks collected in the store. Another thing that I love is the quality of their pieces. If you read about the company it states they started this company because of the lack of quality in home décor. It is hard to see in the pictures, but in person you would think these items would be much more expensive than they are because you can see the quality. They are solid, heavy and many are handmade. I can attest to the weight of these items after lugging them across the Reliant Stadium parking lot...for longer than necessary. Let's just say I know where I get my sense of direction from after trying to figure out where my car is with my mom. Between the two of us I figured out which lot we were in and she figured out that the car I was trying to open did not belong to me. We eventually found the car, but both of us have sore arms. We also commented on the need for a drink as soon as we got in the car!
I'm marking so much off my Christmas 2013 bucket list and adding more. Thinking about the Nutcracker made me consider taking my boys to the ballet. Would they enjoy this?
Or wish they were at home playing on their Xbox? That's a tough one!