Looking Back on 2017 & Setting Goals for 2018 + The Perfect New Years Eve Dress


The last week of 2017! How did we get here!? There are some days that seem to go by slowly but I swear, every month goes faster than the last. I wanted to take a minute to look back on some highlights of 2017 and then, look forward to the year ahead and write down my biggest goals for 2018. I wanted to put together a classy yet super fun look for this New Years Eve look! I decided on THIS sequined mini from Rachel Allan! I love the simplicity of the silhouette but the sequins, low back and bell sleeve give it the exact right amount of oomph! I paired it with a simple black pump and a fur stole for a little warmth! Rachel Allan is always my go to brand for occasion wear! My NYE dress (pictured here) is by Rachel Allan and I also recently wore an amazing two piece gown by Rachel Allan to a fundraiser in Madison (see that one HERE).

So... Am I the only one who finds New Years to be a little bittersweet? It's the closing of a chapter, a year in this thing we call life. New Years is a time to look back on all of the good from the last 365 days and a time to let go of all of the bad. 2017 for me, was a weird yet beautiful year FULL of change and growth. I started the year feeling a little lost, I spent the last week of 2016 and first 2 weeks of 2017 in California (where my parents were spending the Winter) not sure what I was going to do... I spent the beginning of 2017 deciding exactly what to do and choosing to stay in Chicago was the first of my good choices of the year.... 

rachel allen black sequin new years dress

Highlights of 2017


- Turned 25 in California surrounded by most of my favorite people on the planet. It was an amazing way to kick off 2017.

- At the end of the month, I went to my first Snowball. I wore the most amazing red gown by Rachel Allan (see it HERE). As long as I've mentioned it!... Snowball is an amazing black tie event for young professionals in Chicago. It's hosted by Junior Council which supports the Pediatric and Adolescent HIV and AIDS programs of The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. I went with a few of my blogger girlfriends and we had THE BEST night. I still remember it like it was yesterday... AND we're going again this year! Chicagoans, you should absolutely join us! Find tickets HERE.

- Started the search for my first condo. 


- Mom and I went to Miami for one of our oldest family friends daughters Bat Mitzvahs 

- Attended my second NYFW and took my best friend with me.


- Went on my first ever press trip to Akumal Mexico (read more about the trip HERE) with Olivia, Caitlin and John. These three are now three of my closest friends and some of my biggest inspiration.

- My high school girlfriends flew to Denver to visit one of our best friends who had just moved there. We had the most fun that weekend. We rented a cabin in the mountains, hiked all day, made a no phones rule and laughed harder than ever before. 

-Reconnected with my high school crush.


- Put an offer in on my first home!

-Flew to LA and pulled off a surprise showing up at my best friends door on her 25th birthday!


- Landed my biggest campaign so far of my blogs career with one of my favorite brands, L'Occitane!


- Had the best 2 days at my first ever staycation with my girls, Olivia, Caitlin and Ashley at The Peninsula. (see photos HERE)

- Became a homeowner!!!

- Left on the trip of a lifetime to travel the Amalfi Coast with two of my best friends see the video from my trip HERE and photos and complete travel guide HERE)!

girl dancing new years eve dress


-Headed straight from Italy to meet my family in my favorite place in the world, Hood River Oregon for a week with the family and on my way home visited the boy in Denver.

-Moved into my first home!!! I started construction, finished construction and moved in!


-My mom, brother and "sister" came to spend a weekend and were my first guests in the condo!

- Witnessed the total solar eclipse.


- Attended my third NYFW and had an absolute blast (photo diary HERE).

-Pulled of surprise number two and showed up at a birthday dinner I planned for Patrick in Denver without him knowing!

-Attended a fundraiser for a great cause with my best friends and watched my best friend give a beautiful speech (more about the cause HERE).


-Traveled to San Francisco with my family for my cousins wedding and saw so many amazing, old friends (photos HERE).


- Traveled to Denver to attend the Dear Jack benefit concert which I had been dying to go to for years!

- Collaborated with Teen Vogue, a dream come true!!!

-Had a fun filled holiday girls weekend in Chicago with my best friends.

-Spent another amazing Thanksgiving with my family!

- Collaborated with H&M- another dream!


-Finally saw Hamilton with my Mom! Can't wait to go again!

-Made some updates to the condo, so excited to show you!

- Was asked to be a part of a campaign with Moncler about being your unique self. I still can't believe it! What an honor!

- I hired my first intern and I can't wait to start working with her!

rachel allen sequin dress fur collar new years outfitt

I looked back on my goals for 2017. I wrote that I wanted to focus on one thing... being happy. I feel so lucky to say that I think I accomplished that goal. Surely, there are ups and downs of every year. I mean, there are ups and downs of every day! But, 2017 was immeasurably happier than 2016 and for that I am so grateful.

Thinking about 2018 there is really just one goal (with many little facets) that I would like to put my energy into. My goal for 2018 is:

Be your best self.

I was listening to a podcast last week about health, diets, meditation exercise etc. They discussed how you have to make a conscious effort to create a lifestyle that helps to make you the best version of yourself. In a society where we're constantly comparing ourselves to other people (our looks, bodies, income, lifestyles, businesses, material possessions... you name it) . It's easy to lose track. But what I want to learn to remind myself is that I am not any of those other people, I am only myself and my goal in 2018 is to work towards becoming the best version of me. Here's how I want to do it.

new years eve outfit

Goals for 2018

-Work towards becoming the best version of myself

-Slow down

-Grow my businesses but find a much better work/life balance.

-Be healthy. Cook more. Get back into a regular workout routine.

-Spend just as much time (if not more) with family and friends.

-Travel, write, read, learn more.

-Drink more water.

-Get organized. Stay organized

-Don't stress about little things and don't complain about them either.

-Laugh a lot. Love a lot.

-Don't take things too serisously.

-Stay happy.


Happy 2018 all you crazy wonderful people. Thank you for helping me to be able to do what I love every day. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, stellar 2018. I wouldn't be here without YOU. Can't wait to do 2018 together!

xx Ali 


A big thank you to Rachel Allan for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.