Christmas Weekend Recap!

Hi Lovely!

I hope you had an absolutely amazing holiday!!! I spent Christmas in Northern California with Fletch, my Dad, and our pup, Lily. As you probably know by now, this was our first Christmas without my Mom. When making our holiday plans I knew that regardless of where I was, it was going to be a difficult time. Losing my Mom has honestly been the most difficult thing I’ve gone through. I have a ton of triggers. Mother/daughter relationships, any type of death, sickness, hospitals, mother figures in general, and basically anything else she liked/talked about. So yeah, everything basically makes me think of her.

So, you can imagine how hard Christmas would be since it was her favorite holiday. My parents went all-out for Christmas. I remember walking up the stairs from my bedroom and seeing the sea of presents spread out under the Christmas tree. My Mom and Dad LOVED seeing my and my siblings’ little faces as we opened our gifts.

That’s why when deciding on what we wanted to do for the holiday I decided that I needed to spend it with my Dad. While the holiday was going to be difficult for me, I knew it would be even harder for my Dad. I also wanted to be with someone who was feeling the same pain I was feeling. I didn’t want to spend the weekend sad so I made sure that we all kept busy. To be honest, being around my Dad and Fletch really helped.

Day 1

Our first day in California we drove up to Monterey to visit the aquarium. It was seriously RAD! Fletch and I had never been so my Dad thought it would be a fun experience. We had a great time looking at all of the little critters.

Day 2

Our second day in California was Christmas Eve so we didn’t do too much. I met up with my friend, Elda of Thousand Skies, to grab coffee and walk around the outlet mall. It was wonderful! I had only met Elda once before at a convention but it was really short. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Elda is just as lovely in person as you might think.

After hanging out with Elda I spent the rest of the day at the house with my Dad and Fletch. It was a perfect way to spend the day.

Day 3

Christmas day started with opening gifts. My big gift for my Dad was a trip to the Winchester Mystery House. It was really hard to keep it a secret but I’m so glad I did! He seemed really excited about it. My Dad kind of over-did it for Fletch and I. I won’t list out everything we got but I will say he really nailed it. After gifts we rested for a short bit before prepping for dinner. My Dad made us prime rib, crab, corn, carrots, and we helped with the mashed potatoes. It was an amazing meal!!!! I haven’t eaten that well in a long time (lol). After dinner we decided to all go to a movie together. The last few years we’ve seen a movie on Christmas so its kind of become a tradition. It was the perfect way to spend the holiday.

Day 4

Our last day in California before heading home was spent in San Jose, visiting the Winchester Mystery House. Both Fletch and my Dad had never been so Fletch and I thought it would be a fun little adventure. It was a lot of fun!! The house is a lot less creepy than you might think. It’s just a strange yet beautiful house with a lot of character. I’m really glad we could all go together.

That’s my recap! I hope you enjoyed hearing about my Christmas in California with my Dad and Fletch. The holiday was difficult but being surrounded with such love and support made it easy to get through.

How did you spend your holiday?

My Christmas Recap

Hi Lovely!

I hope you had an amazing Christmas! I sure did. It was a very eventful weekend so I decided to share a little recap here on The Cutie Life. Yay for life stuff!

Christmas Eve was a busy day. I worked most of the day before heading to the airport. We arrived nearly three hours early and had time to eat a meal, do a little shopping, and rest before our flight. During my shopping I found the cutest marshmallow mug and had to buy it.

Flight to San Jose

We ended up being delayed an hour and didn’t get in to California until 11:30pm. On the plus-side, we flew first class to California and enjoyed some wine and fresh cookies. It was bomb.  Memory collage

Christmas day was pretty great. My parents loved their gifts, I took a ton of photos with the two of them, which is always wonderful, and I received a few items that I really wanted. After the hustle and bustle of gift opening we lounged for a bit before enjoying a yummy dinner. That evening we continued to enjoy each other’s company and watched the movie, “Selma”. Seriously, if you haven’t seen this movie you need to.

San Francisco photos

On Saturday Fletch and I took a little adventure up to San Francisco. I really wanted to check out the ModCloth Fit Shop and we thought the trip would be a fun way to spend the day. The ModCloth store was pretty cool. I liked being able to try on items first before buying them online. I was a little dissapointed in the selection BUT it was still cool. I mean, any excuse to check out ModCloth stuff is fine with me.

After the ModCloth store we went to Japantown. It is now my new favorite place in San Francisco. We spent three hours there and I could have stayed for three more. It was Hilary heaven. Lots of cute stores filled with cute things. I spent entirely too much money and I don’t regret any of my purchases.


My favorite part of Japantown was Pikapika. It is this little store filled with photobooths. Fletch and I decided to try one out and ended up in one of the booths deemed “difficult”. I didn’t think it would be too difficult so we jumped in! Little did we know that the booth was in English and Japanese. We had no idea what we were doing and ended up getting some pretty amazing/silly photos.

Sunday was spent at home enjoying our last few hours together with my parents. We took some photos, watched TV, and chatted. It was the perfect way to spend our last day together.

Photos before leaving

I had an amazing weekend. I don’t get to see my parents very often and being able to spend the holiday with them was wonderful. It was truly the best gift I could receive.

What did you do for Christmas?

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A big THANK YOU to my family

Hi Lovely!

Happy Christmas!! Today Fletch and I are in California spending the holiday with my parents. I love visiting my parents and spending time with them. It is the best gift I could receive. With that said, I wanted to share my appreciation for my amazing family.

My parents have always been so supportive of me and my dreams. They helped me through college, encouraged me to pursue my passion for blogging, and provide love and support on a daily basis. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for them. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for always being so wonderful.

Hilary in front of tree

I have amazing siblings. My big brothers have shaped the silly person I am today. They were always there for me growing up. I know we may not talk as often as I’d like but I think of them often and all they’ve done for me. I have the sense of humor I have today because of those guys and I am so thankful for that. My older sister truly inspires me. She is an amazing mother, a loving friend, and an incredible sister. She has overcome so many things to become the wonderful person she is today and I am so glad I have her not only as a family member but as a friend.

I of course need to include my wonderful husband, Fletch, in this little post. Fletch has been an amazing source of love, support, encouragement, and every other nice thing you could ever want from another human being. Fletch and I met in college and have been together ever since. He is my best friend and I feel so lucky to call him my partner in life too. He inspires me daily with his work ethic, his passion for teaching, and kindness towards others. Fletch makes me want to be the best version of myself every day.

Lastly, to all of you wonderful people, thank you. You are my little blogging family and I appreciate each and every one of you. You make me feel special with every like, comment, share, and interaction me have.

Thank you all. You make my life full of joy just by being in it.

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Time Traveling Tuesday: A Fond Christmas Memory


I have always loved Christmas. The food, the quality time with family, and as a youngster, I loved the presents.
My parents always made sure I got exactly what I wanted. They always took care of us kids.
I am very fortunate to have such loving and caring parents.
I was five years old on this particular Christmas morning. I had been awake downstairs in my room most of the night trying to get to sleep.
I was too excited to sleep!
My parents told me that I had to wait until four in the morning for presents. I would go around to all of the bedrooms to wake all of my brothers up.
It was dark in the house as I crept up the stairs, towards the tree.
I saw a little box moving on the outskirts of the tree.
What could this be!!
As I walked closer the tension grew.
I was just about to open the box when a small little head popped out.
It was an adorable white puppy peeking out to greet me.
I named the little one Snowball and loved her instantly.
Well, that is until she started eating everything, scratching holes in the wall, and peeing on everything.
We quickly fell out of love with the little furr-ball. We decided to find her a good family and send her on her way.
While the puppy may not have been a good fit for us I will always remember the Christmas morning I came up the stairs to find a puppy.
It is that joy and surprise I try to give to others when I find that perfect gift.
I will hold that memory with me forever.

What is your fondest Christmas memory?


365 Project – Days 323, 324, 325, & 326

December 20th, Day 323:

Day 323 Dec 20

Our first snow of the season!!
It was gone in a matter of hours but I am glad I was able to see it for myself.
It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

December 21st, Day 324:

Day 324 Dec 21

This Christmas Fletch, Lily and I went to California to visit my parents.
I am so glad I am visiting and spending time with my folks. I don’t get to see them too often so this time I have with them is very sweet.
These are just a few vintage suitcases that they own.
I love them!

December 22nd, Day 325:

Day 325 Dec 22

My parents own three dogs; Angel, Sherman, and their youngest, Lola.
She is a one year old Yorkie that won’t sit still.
She is adorable but man is she a lot of work! I am so glad that I captured a photo of her!

December 23rd, Day 326:

Day 326 Dec 23

Fletch and I finished our last bit of Christmas shopping today.
We bought the last few gifts and I decided to capture that excitement with this photo.
We are done!