Home > Looking Back At 2018: The Highs, The Lows And Things To Come

Looking Back At 2018: The Highs, The Lows And Things To Come

Over the Christmas break, in between watching Home Alone for the 15th time in a row and stuffing my face with gingerbread men, I took some time to reflect. After this crazy year of go, go, go, it was nice to just sit back, relax and think on this past year.

2018 was not an easy one. In fact, there were moments where I felt like 2018 was just pummeling me into the ground, Mike Tyson-style. Some days, I felt bruised and battered, and others, I felt on top of the world. It was truly a year of mega highs and deep lows.

It has taken me a long time to write this post for fear of dredging up painful memories. I’m glad I did though. This post helped me put into perspective how great I have it, with loving family members, great friends, my health and a cute little pup who loves nothing more than cuddles. #Blessed – I am. So, I’m going to dive in and recap the highs and lows I’ve experienced over 2018, and a quick snapshot of what’s to come.

Dominique Baker walking and smiling in the forest wearing a Mooseknuckles parka
Dominique Baker walking and smiling in the forest wearing a Mooseknuckles parka

Mooseknuckles Saskatchewan Parka | Top – Aritzia | Jeans – Citizens of Humanity | Socks – Roots (unavailable) | Boots – Ugg | Hat – Nordstrom

My Dad had a kidney transplant in August 2017. His recovery was long, tough and at some points, scary. There were times where he was so sick and in pain that I didn’t think my heart could take it. Fast forward a year – almost exactly a year from when his doctors felt his new kidney was on the brink of failing, and here he is, alive with us.

In December of 2017, I turned the Big 4-0. Yep. WOW. I still feel like I’m 24, but with a budget. It’s great! For my birthday, my super awesome friends Katrina and Lo suprised me with tickets to see Demi Lovato and DJ Khaled in Montreal in February 2018. They got this amazing AirBNB in the middle of the city, and we spent the weekend shopping, getting manis and partying it up. So great!

A picture of Reese the Bernedoodle dog standing on a park bench

One of the major highs of my life, nevermind 2018, was becoming a dog mom to little Reese. I wanted a dog for so long and my darling husband surprised me with a puppy for my 40th birthday. Reese was born on January 9th, 2018 and he came home with us on March 9th, 2018 (more about little Reese here).

The past nine months with him have been awesome, with a few hiccups. He’s the most affectionate, wily little guy ever, but raising a goofy puppy had a few minor low points – like The Great Teething Era of 2018 where he bit us HARD non-stop with his little pin teeth and loved using our finished basement as his private bathroom. You know what? All of that was completely worth it, especially when he cuddles into my lap and looks at me like “I’m the only girl in the world”. #LOVE

A shot of the Moët & Chandon bar during the launch of Moët's Rosé Impériale champagne

In April 2018, I fell off my chair when I received an email from Moët & Chandon inviting me to the launch of their new Rosé Impérial champagne. I mean, MOET!! The event was stunning…STUNNING and company so memorable! It truly was an event to remember and the brand made me feel like a celebrity…I’m so, so lucky!!

Dominique Baker in a Nora Swim bikini standing on a rocky cliff in Tofino, BC

Other highlights offered up by 2018 were wearing a couture gown made for me by Zarucci to the Governor General’s Awards, press trips with Lincoln Canada to Toronto and Tofino, BC (INCREDIBLE), driving around a dreamy 2019 Ford Mustang for a week like a BOSS, seeing Diana Ross perform live at the National Arts Centre, seeing Chaka Khan at the Jazz Festival, finally feeling ready to get an intern to help out with my blog and reaching 10,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, 7000 of those subbies gained this year!!! Mega win for me right there!

2018 also offered up some real sh*tty times too…events that were painful and heartbreaking. In November, I lost both my lovely Aunt and sweet father-in-law who was like a Dad to me. Seeing my husband in such pain at the loss of his father was crushing, and my Aunt was such a bright light…it left a huge hole in our family. F*ck cancer. F*CK IT!!!

Again, my father’s struggle with his transplant recovery was scary. I was used to my Dad being this larger-than-life figure who is funny, active and loves life overall. To see him frail, weak and constantly in and out of the hospital made me wonder at times if the transplant was worth it (totally was).

Looking Back At 2018: The Highs, The Lows And Things To Come

With all of the strife happening in 2018, it made me lose motivation with blogging. At times, it seemed really frivolous to write about shoes and handbags and makeup when life is kicking the crap out of you. I dropped the ball a lot this year in all aspects of my life and officially felt burnt out in December. Like, real burn out with a “nice” sprinkling of depression.

I felt low a lot, and considered taking a good, long break from blogging and taking a leave from my day job…but I pressed on….and took two weeks off during the Holidays. It was completely restorative and for the first time in a long time, I feel energized and ready to do better.

Dominique Baker Sitting on a bench in the forest wearing a Mooseknuckles parka

Last night, I wrote out some goals for the first three months of 2019 and actually wrote out a plan to achieve them. I decided against writing resolutions this year, but did keep the ol’ “Buy A Chanel Bag” on my list of goals. I’m so close – lol! I’ll be sharing that list of goals and tips on goal-setting in a separate post, so stay tuned.

There are a few things that I’m definitely going to undertake in 2019, like investing in some continuing education (I’m thinking SEO optimization and some digital marketing courses), refreshing the look of my blog, travelling a little more (New York Fashion Week, I hear you calling me) and a few special things I’m going to keep under wraps for now.

Dominique Baker at the Armani Beauty Stars Party in Toronto

Of course, one of the greatest highs of 2018 was support I’ve received from each and every one of you. As my blog enters its fourth year of existence, my community grows and continues to be so encouraging! A funny thing has happened too. As I continue to grow, the haters seem to have disappeared. I have the odd haters here and there that like to point out “what kind of beauty blogger could you be with such uneven eyebrows?” (sigh), but I’m heartened to see that I’ve managed to build a community of people that like what I do and want to see me succeed. That right there keeps me going every single day. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I wish each and every single one of you a 2019 full of love, health and prosperity. And I look forward to 2019…it’s going to be a good one. I can feel it in my bones!

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. January 3, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! It is hard to open up to your community, but I for one appreciate it. Happy new year and wishing you all the best in 2019,

    • Dominique
      January 3, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      Hi Sherita,

      Means a lot that you took the time to read my post. Opening up to my community is one of the ways that I relieve stress and connect with my followers. It’s also important to me that my followers know that my life isn’t all clothes, makeup, rainbows and unicorns – lol! Us bloggers are really people too whose lives are not perfect by any means. Writing this post was truly cathartic and therapeutic for me.

      Wishing you a 2019 full of peace, love and light!


  2. January 3, 2019 / 1:23 pm

    Glad to hear your father is doing well. But I am sorry to hear about your losses in the family, one is hard… let alone two.
    I lost my father in law over 1.5 years ago, and the loss just doesn’t go away. Victor still very much remembers him and asks me about him every day. That part is harder.
    I can totally relate about feeling like the blog is frivolous, but if it brings you joy then it’s a great way to escape… if only for a few minutes. That was my experience anyway.

    Congrats on your business success, looking forward to tuning in along the way in 2019!
    Bonne Annee!

    • Dominique
      January 3, 2019 / 2:19 pm

      Hi Chantal,

      Thank you so much for commenting! Yeah – 2018 was a rough one, but I’m keeping my chin up and forging ahead. I’m really, really sorry for your loss. Poor little Victor! My father-in-law was like a father to me. Ever supportive, he’d call me and leave me these long voicemails about how proud he was of me and where he could find the things I was featuring on my blog to support me. My own parents don’t do that! God – I miss him. I better stop…the tears are coming. My Aunt too…she would comment on every Facebook post and shoot me DMs about latest trends and our shared love of champagne. LOL – totally runs in the family…

      Anyways – again, thanks for your kind words and the feeling is mutual. Looking forward to following your own blogging successes and being inspired by your bomb outfit posts!

      Take care and see you at the next event!


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