Thank You 2016: Highlights in 12 Photos

I'm starting to believe that new year, new you is a little bit outdated. Why wait when you can make a change now? With that being said, ta-daaaaaaa!!


The blog is now looking contoured, baked, and highlighted. I hope you love the new formatting as much as I do. It took long hours and lots of caffeine to get it finished, but I am overly happy that this day has finally arrived. Go ahead and take a look around for yourself. The re-branding made everything a lot more interactive, user-friendly, and just so pretty. Also, it is perfectly formatted for mobile devices in addition to desktops. One of my favorite features has to be the new "My Current Loves of the Moment" on the home page where you can actually shop some of my favorite things.

This year was insane and a blessing for sure, but I'm ready for 2017 y'all. 2016 is starting to feel like a filled up notebook that has some good content, but lots of scribbles, crossing out, doodles, and torn pages. It is fun to look back at the beautiful chaos, but I am so ready for a clean slate. Every single month this year I was surprised with some sort of opportunity that I didn't expect to happen. I wish I could have told myself this time last year that some of those accomplishments that I always imagined completing would happen this year. That would have spared me some anxiety. These accomplishments didn't just happen to me, but us. Every email and comment makes me so happy, so thank you babes. Happy New Year! 2017, I'm comin' for you.

Below is a favorite moment (it was so hard picking just one!) that I wanted to share from each month of 2016...

January. I was official crowned the new Teen Miss New York U.S. of America. This was the beginning of the long road that would take me to nationals and all the way to ultimate crown that changed my life.

February. It's my birth-month! This year I celebrated multiple times (ohh Raquel), but the best part was my pink Hummer limo party that came to school for my friends & I. Celebrate big or go home.

March. Rachael and Raquel. The Rachael Ray Show got in touch with me to co-host segment and style my mom. I had the coolest experience being on the show and got such amazing feedback from viewers across the nation. Thank you again to Rachael and the entire staff for this opportunity of a lifetime.

April. The national pageant was only four months away and I had a ton of appearances to make with my state title. This was one of my favorite events that I appeared at because I have a thing for princess themed parties. I can't even count how many autographs I gave out and Disney songs I danced to (Let It Goooooo), but the smiles from these little girls make it all worth it. 

May. I always dreamed of having a photoshoot with one of my favorite photographers, Georgina Vaughan, and it happened in May. Georgina and the whole team are the best of the best and I won a photogenic award at the national pageant thanks to them.

June. Another precollege fashion course was in the works. This year I studied personal branding & self promotion at FIT. There is nothing better than focusing on a certain area where you excel and meeting other like-minded people with the same interests as you. Studying in NYC is an experience all its own. There is no place I would have rather been.

July. Beyond blessed. My mom and dad surprised me with a brand new car. It was certainly the best gift ever and I love driving my cute little car around. 

August. I am your Teen Miss U.S. of America 2016-2017. Months later it still feels strange saying this, but I did it. This was such a fairy tail moment, but in all reality I worked for months to make it happen. Winning this title means so much to me and so far my reign has been simply amazing. Thank you to my director and everyone who supported me on the way!

September. Another season of NYFW was down in the books. I swear if you told me that I would have ever gotten invited to fashion week years ago I would have laughed in your face. Well guess what little one, you did it (a few times)! This season was really fun and the collections were out of this world. 

October. Besides the glitz and glamour that comes along with my title there is a lot of volunteerism. October was Domestic Violence Awareness month and I got to give back to volunteer and give back to an organization. Here my friend, Chasaity, and I attended a fashion show fundraiser and had a blast helping out.

November. I was selected to be a women leader at Dutchess Community College for the Live Your Dreams Girls' Conference. It was amazing to be given such an honorable title because last time I checked I was just a seventeen year-old girl trying to figure out this world. Luckily I have a different type of mindset and I only see success. I was able to share my story with a ton of middle-school girls and they were really shocked with how many things I have achieved and I'm not an old person, as they told me. 

December. So, now it is December as I sit here and reflect. The wildest part is that I only selected one thing for each month that I thought was pretty rad and so many of these things I hoped to achieve in my lifetime, but I did a bunch in a solid year. Thank goodness I am imaginative and I have ton more goals where that came from. 2016 was very nice to me. There were people who weren't so nice to me though and I thank them all. They were the reason why I focused on myself and look at what I got done. xoxo.


  1. Seems like you had a great year!
    It makes me really happy to read people's achievements and good experiences. Everything listed here looks like so much fun!! Good for you, girl! I hope you're proud of yourself and happy with what you've done this year <3

    Carmen | Wandering Banshee

  2. Love the way you celebrated your birthday, seems like you had a great year!
    Wish you have an even better 2017 gorgeous!


  3. Your year seemed so fun, well done on winning all your titles- they're such great achievements!


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