Home > Time For Reflection: How I Handled 2017

Time For Reflection: How I Handled 2017

I’m not going to lie, guys. I’m kind of glad to see the back of 2017. Don’t get me wrong – this year has had some major highs that I’m sooo pumped about.

I think we can all agree that 2017 was a doozy. I'm outlining the highs, the lows and how I handled everything this year

There was my father’s successful kidney transplant in August. Our trip to Spain and England – one of the best trips of my lifetime. Reconnecting with my family in the States and Barbados was a huge highlight. In addition, I landed some major campaigns and worked with some topnotch brands…work that I’m very proud of!

I also accomplished a lot of goals this year, like learning my new computer and some awesome programs that have really leveled up my blog and photography. Turns out I’m not that tech-challenged after all!! I also reached some “minor goals” that brought me a lot of happiness like saying “F*ck it” and buying that designer bag I had been salivating over forever.

The thing I’m most proud of this year is my work with the community and upping my charitable contributions. If it wasn’t for the Ottawa community’s endless support and encouragement, this blog wouldn’t be where it is today. This year was a year to give back, and working with The Tamir Foundation, The United Way, Local Talks and The Ottawa Hospital were gleaming highlights.

2017 also had some serious lows for me. My grandmother’s death was the low point of the year. Losing the matriarch of our family was absolutely terrible. My father’s recovery from the kidney transplant was a rough one. Things were pretty touch and go there for a while which caused some major family stress. While the blog is booming, I still have a full-time job, so finding a good work-life balance was hard. I started burning out and really needed a break. Then there was all the stuff in the media…from fear of the world blowing up to tensions in the States and constantly reading about absolute monsters like Harvey Weinstein took its toll on me.

Casual Holiday Style Inspiration From Une Écharpe - Une Vie | Looking for a little casual holiday style inspiration to keep you cozy and chic while you run around like crazy? I've got a great look for you that's easy to wear and beautiful!
Yeahhhh…I’m just going to stop reading the news forever.

So, as I look back at one of the weirdest years in history, I’m reflecting on how I can personally make 2018 better. Here are my thoughts:

Stop Doing Shit You Don’t Want To Do

I think we can all agree that 2017 was a doozy. I'm outlining the highs, the lows and how I handled everything this year
“Yes. I would like to shop more. Thank you.”

One of the biggest awakenings this year for me was sitting down and determining what I want to do, and what I definitely DO NOT want to do.

With blogging, I get bombarded with offers daily. When I first started, I felt flattered to be contacted by companies who wanted to collaborate and felt obligated to promote all of the products I received. I stopped that right quick when I realized that many of them weren’t a good fit for Style Domination and my readers. My life got a lot easier when I learned to say “no” more.

This crosses over to all aspects of my life now. If I need some downtime, I take it. If I can’t make it to a bunch of events because I need to rest, I politely decline. Saying no when you need to is absolutely freeing. Saying “yes” when you want to is the BEST.

Reconnecting With Family

I think we can all agree that 2017 was a doozy. I'm outlining the highs, the lows and how I handled everything this year
The English side of my family – my aunts, cousins and beloved Ryano

My immediate family were the only ones living in Canada for decades. Recently, a few more have “seen the light” and become Canadians too. When my dear Grandmother passed away, a lot of the family converged in our native Barbados for her funeral. While it was a very sad time, meeting my cousins, some of whom I’ve never met, was absolutely fantastic. To look at a bunch of people with shared traits and personalities was awesome. We continue to stay in touch frequently and have even visited each other throughout this year.

Getting Serious About My Health

The Chic Christmas Shopper| My chic Christmas shopping look. Needs some inspiration for looking great while fighting the Christmas crowds? Read on.

My father has a lot of underlying chronic conditions like diabetes which frankly, really put my own health into perspective. To see him struggle with a disease that for many is completely avoidable is an eye-opener.

While I’m pretty careful about what I eat, the time had come to really reduce the alcohol and sweets-consumption. I found myself saying a lot this year: “Do I really need that third cookie?”, “Is a third glass of wine necessary?”, “Maybe diving head first into maple syrup isn’t a good idea.”

I want to live a happy and fruitful life – a healthy one so that I can spend as much time as possible enjoying the company of my best friend (Ryano) and experiencing the world. In order to do so, you really need to wake up and take care of yourself.

What Worked For Me This Year

A few things really worked for me this year:

I Stopped Second-Guessing Myself

If I wanted to go to an event in another city that I felt would really benefit the blog, I went. If I felt I needed to be more assertive to achieve a goal, I put my Big Girl Pants on and grabbed that opportunity. If I wanted a pair of shoes, I stopped stressing and bought them. After all, life is too short to say no to those glittering shoes!

I Took Part In Things I Really Enjoyed

Personal training at Premium Performance Fitness is the best fitness decision I've ever made. Check out my amazing progress!
Getting my butt back into the gym and being the best Dom I can be? Priceless. Thanks, Premium Performance!

I got back to gardening, an activity that brings me peace and allows me to reflect. Running outdoors was my saviour this summer. Finding a fun running route really helped too!

Sunday Spa Days became a “thing” for me this year, and my glowing skin is thanking me.

Partnering up with one of the best personal trainers in the city was definitely one of the best things I have done for myself this year. I look great. I feel great. I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had. Thank you so much, Premium Performance, for whipping me into shape!

I Got Organized

Read this and learn more about Lolë's totally awesome Yellow Label Program. Donating is caring!

My husband treated me to an external hard drive for my computer and it’s keeping me and my millions of photos organized. One of the best organizational gizmos ever.

I also treated myself to a Moleskine agenda. My iPhone calendar just wasn’t working for me. I need to write things down to remember them, so that little black book is literally my personal assistant. It’s surgically attached to my hand along with my iPhone.

Writing out all of the events I have to attend on a giant wall calendar helped me immensely too. No more accidentally forgetting a major function or double-booking myself. This brought me a huge sense of relief.

I Made My Life Prettier

Saje Wellness' AromaArt Diffuser is a beautiful way to add a relaxing atmosphere to your home!

I spend a good chunk of my waking moments in my office working on my blog. The office used to be a dismal, beige box littered with products and clothing that I needed to review. One day I snapped. Entering that clutterbox made me stressed and it absolutely was not conducive to concentration.

Structube – a popular, modern furtniture store here in Ottawa was my saving grace. I was on a budget, and they had furniture that was gorgeous and moderately priced. I treated myself to a beautiful white desk, bureau and a huge bookshelf is on its way.

I also bought some gorgeous teal silk curtains and a matching velvet, tufted desk chair. My friend Emilie is a talented artist, and I commissioned a huge black and white painting from her. I topped off the room by acquiring a bunch of pink and gold accents. Currently, I’m working on a gallery wall…so excited!

This “prettier life” thinking also translated to my wardrobe. I unloaded a ton of old clothes I no longer wear to my sisters, and sold a bunch via Preloved Ottawa’s awesome consignment service. This funded some investment pieces that I added to my wardrobe. Along with the big clearout, I took a long look at what I always wear in my closet, and started buying classic, well-made pieces to complement them. I feel much more put together, which boosts that confidence, my dears!

What Didn’t Work

Toxic “Friends”

How do you de-stress? I cuddle puppies and perk up with Teonella Jewellery!
Poe, the most adorable friend I met this year

This year was a sad one for many reasons, one of which was realizing that you sometimes outgrow people. It’s no one’s fault. Life just directs us to different paths and lifestyles.

I also made the realization that sometimes those people who seem friendly and helpful are only doing so for their own benefit. This was a tough one. It took a lot of courage and soul-searching to take the initiative and cut ties with those who do not uplift others and prefer to wallow in negativity. Life is too short, you know?

Blogging Until The Wee Hours Of The Morning

Looking for some cinq à sept style inspiration? Sympli has you covered. Read the post to see how I styled the Sympli Timeless Dress for cocktail hour!
Laughing maniacally because I was on four hours sleep

I was burning out. Tired and anxious, I knew I needed to make a change. I was working out more too and needed the sleep, but felt compelled to churn out content quickly.

Then I noticed something…life started to pass me by. I wasn’t seeing my friends as much. My poor husband got used to screaming at himself while watching basketball on tv, instead of at me. I longed to hear: “CURRY! YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS!!” Looking ragged, I started to dread blogging. Since I LOVE my blog, I needed to make a change and fast.

Scheduling posts in advance, researching fun topics, and frankly, blogging when I wanted to helped. My content was better and I felt less rushed. I reclaimed my life and started taking more breaks and doing things to help me unwind like watching 10 straight hours of Song Of Style’s YouTube channel or researching new friends.

Saying Yes Too Often

Rosé All Day: The Elevated Romper

Attending way too many events, I was subsisting on a diet of champagne and canapés. Officially exhausted, I took a break and evaluated which events I really wanted to go to, which ones would further my blogging career, and which ones I could safely say no too. My waistline thanked me.

The same went for other areas of my life. Relatives who want to visit for two months straight? NO.  Taking on work projects that I didn’t need to and that were no fun at all? Absolutely not. Feeling pressure to look a certain way (constantly shopping for new clothes for events and photoshoots)? No Nopety Nope.

This year was the “Year Of No”. I’m liking the Year of No!

What YOU Guys Liked!

You guys love perfume!

As always, I am so grateful to all of you for reading my blog, laughing at the ridiculous videos I post on Facebook, tuning into Instagram and cheering me on and watching my YouTube videos. It’s been an absolutely fantastic ride! It makes my heart swell to get all of your emails, DMs and comments on social media. The overwhelming support has given me the confidence to excel at something I love. THANK YOU!

I’ve rounded up a list of my most popular blog posts of 2017…some of which were a total surprise to me:

I See London, I See France

Red Zara Blazer

A fun little post about how I forgot my pants for a photoshoot…mainly because I was always stressed and in a rush.

How To Rock Your Best Travel Style: Sympli Clothing

I collaborated with Sympli Clothing, a Canadian born and bred clothing company that focuses on quality and best fit. I think this post resonated with many of you because I wrote it in the dead of winter. Many of you were heading south and appreciated a review on this travel-friendly clothing.

The Prettiest Bag You Ever Did See: Gucci Dionysus

Gucci Dionysus GG Mini Blooms Bag
When a bag is a work of art, you blog about it!

Four months after purchasing this bag, I finally got to blogging about it. One of my favourite bags of all time, I loved photographing it, and you guys loved reading about this Gucci Blooms Dionysus Bag.

Knowing Your Worth: A Blogger’s Wake-Up Call

Do you know your worth? Not sure? This article will help you find out!

I wrote this post after a frustrating exchange with a popular brand with deep pockets. The problem? The brand wanted major promotion on my social media accounts, but refused to compensate me. This experience sparked this post and it turned out that “knowing your worth” really resonated with many of you.

Well, that wraps up this 2017 overview. Again, I thank each and every one of you for reading Style Domination. It means the world to me. And for those of you who read this blog, follow and comment on all of my social platforms, and have now become friends – I’m eternally grateful for your encouragement.

Love you all and wishing you a very fruitful and healthy 2018!

Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. Cathy
    December 28, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    Love the blog and you! xo

    • Dominique
      December 28, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      Aww Cathy! Thank you! Miss you, girl! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Wishing you the best in 2018!

  2. December 28, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    Great insight to your year and life! Saying no will be on the top of my list for the new year! ?great post! Sherita – busywifebusylife.com

    • Dominique
      December 28, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Hey Sherita! Thank you kindly! Saying “no” was a big turning point for me this year, and a huge relief. You’ll see what a positive difference it makes when you take the time to evaluate what’s really important to you and your business. Take care and have a wonderful 2018!

  3. Melissa Guenette
    December 28, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    Well said. Wishing you a great 2018. Hopefully we more of each other. #inspired.

    • Dominique
      December 28, 2017 / 9:52 pm

      Hey Melissa! Happy New Year! Thanks for your kind words and let’s grab Jodie and get a drink soon! We’ll definitely see each other more in 2018!

  4. December 29, 2017 / 11:22 am

    I really enjoyed this. I think I need to make 2018 my year of no. I find myself saying yes way too often out of a sense of obligation. Thanks for being open about the fact that you were feeling burnt out even though you were going to all these fun events and doing something you love. I think alot of people resonate with that. I know for me, I tend to question myself, like how could you possibly feel tired if you’re doing things you love and your life is great? We all need a break sometimes, so thanks for that reminder. Wishing you a blessed, happy, peaceful and successful 2018!

    • Dominique
      December 29, 2017 / 8:28 pm

      Hey C! This is the nicest, most thoughtful comment ever. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to comment on my posts. These posts are my favourite. Pouring out my thoughts and ideas onto virtual paper is completely cathartic. It’s touching to know that fabulous people like yourself enjoy them.

      So yeah – that’s blogging at its finest…making your readers think everything is perfect when it’s not. This year was tough as hell, but my family made it out the other side ok. For that, I’m so grateful. And yes! Focusing more on things that fulfill me is the best! That will be my number #1 resolution for 2018. I feel that I’m already well on my way.

      Wishing YOU a blessed 2018. Sending bright, shiny, positive vibes your way!!

  5. December 29, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Such a great post Dom! I also set out to make 2017 the year of no and it was no easy feat but really does make a positive difference in your life! Can’t wait to follow along in 2018 (and especially to see that fab sounding new office space)!

    • Dominique
      December 29, 2017 / 8:24 pm

      Hey Lindsay! Oooh! You’re such an interior decor maven that I’m a little stressed about showing you! LOL! I am really happy at how its turning out though! Thank you so much for your kind words. I know I don’t comment enough, but know that I’m following all of your posts. I’m loving seeing how quickly Max is growing. What a sweetheart! Wishing you all a great 2018!

  6. Melissa Watterson
    December 29, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    Great post Dom. I too had some highs and real lows 2017…when illness touches our most treasured ones… re-evaluation is key…in all areas. It encouraged me to really look at what and who is important. Lots of love and well wishes for 2018 ❤
    Mel xx

    • Dominique
      December 29, 2017 / 8:22 pm

      Hey Melissa! I’m sorry to hear that you had some lows. Family illness really sucks. It really puts things into perspective. Life is too short to wallow in negativity, and life is too good not to live it to its fullest. Wishing you and yours the BEST 2018!

  7. December 29, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    This s beautiful post… some of which I relate to


    • Dominique
      December 30, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you kindly, Mbaire. Wishing you a great 2018!

  8. December 30, 2017 / 2:15 am

    2017 definitely had its ups and downs. There was so much going on in the world on top of dealing with your own issues. I spent the majority of the year trying to stay away from the news.

    Like you, I’m ready to see what 2018 has to offer. Thank you for sharing how your 2017 went. I really enjoyed reading this.

    • Dominique
      December 30, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you kindly, Tiffany! I had to take a bit of a media detox this year. I would read the news online and was left feeling stressed, upset and anxious. I’m so sorry at the state of the world today. Sometimes, you just need to retreat a little and take some solace in the company of loved ones, friends and pets!! Haha!

      Take care and wishing you a wonderful and healthy 2018!

  9. Paul
    December 30, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Hey Dominique!

    A friend of mine recently reccomended that I check out your blog and instagram! I am hoooooked ! hahaha Your posts and videos have such a nice energy to them and I actually find a great deal of relaxation in your posts!

    Keep up the great work…I’ll be reading/watching!!


    Paul Lebel

    P.S. I work in the Shoppers Beauty Boutique at Bank and Sunnyside in Ottawa . If your in the neighbourhood please stop by and check out our Boutique 🙂 🙂

    • Dominique
      December 30, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      WOW PAUL! That is so great! Thank you so much for these kind comments. You really made my day! I try really hard to let me “weird personality” shine through my writing. Glad that someone appreciates it!

      I will most definitely come and visit you at Shoppers. I like that Beauty Boutique too. Can’t believe I haven’t met you! Talk soon and wishing you a fruitful and Happy New Year!



      • Paul
        December 30, 2017 / 4:38 pm

        We would be happy to to see you 🙂 Happy New Year and all the best. 🙂

  10. Fedora
    January 2, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    Hey!! Just dicovered your blog! And I am oh so excited to have found a lovely classy blogger from Ottawa! Yay! 🙂 new subbie! I already love the content. Happy New Year!

    • Dominique
      January 2, 2018 / 8:39 pm

      Oh wow! Thank you so much for this! It means the world that you stopped by and liked what you saw. Can’t wait to see you “around the blog” more! Here’s to a wonderful 2018! *cheers* xoxoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.