New Year’s has this annoying habit of getting me all nostalgic and thoughtful about the year that’s just passed. EVERY year. Sometimes I just write a Facebook status, sometimes I post my top photos, other times I script a long blog post on what I’ve learned. However, when I started thinking of 2018 I just smiled. I’ve stumbled into the Arts and Media more than ever before. So why not share the movies, shows, books, apps, and songs that have impacted me the most?

So here’s those five categories with my highlights of 2018…


You’re going to be shocked at some of the movies that aren’t on this list, but what can I say? 2018 was a good year. I probably went to the movie theatres more than I ever have and found a new all-time favourite. So, here we go!

  • #3 Avengers: Infinity War. It’s at my #3 spot for the simple reason that when I watched it, I had totally forgot that it was a Part 1 of 2 movie. So even though I was a devoted Marvel movie fan, I was gut-wrenchingly confused (my friends explained as soon as the credits rolled). All of this said, it marks 2018 like nothing else—the grand scale of it, how they managed to weave a dozen stories into one, and well, Captain America’s beard.
  • #2 The Incredibles 2: I’ve been a Pixar fan since 1998, and The Incredibles went down the line as one of my favourites of all. However, I was apprehensive when I heard they were doing a sequel. Could they really live up to the first? Yet it kept true to the spirit of the original while throwing the characters into some epic, and hilarious, new situations (Jack-Jack vs Racoon will go down in history). This was all I could say afterwards: If I have to wait 14 years for another sequel, and it’s THAT good, it’s well worth it. 
  • #1 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I know, I know, it’s quite the mouthful. I couldn’t even say the whole title when I decided it was one of my favourite stories, ever. I was reading the book (thanks Indy xx) for the first time when I found out Netflix had made a movie with all my favourite British actors and actresses. What can I say—England, post-WWII history, little children, and a writer’s romance? I was smitten.

TV Shows

  • #3 …… The best way to be safe from spoilers….
  • #2 …… about the TV shows I’m currently watching…
  • #1 ….. is not mention them on social media.

So just talk to me if you’re curious. Better yet, grab some popcorn and come on over!


I’ve always been a reader, but it’s only since growing up and getting busy that I’ve realised how immensely important it is for me to keep reading (and I don’t just mean nonfiction!). This year takes my record since I was in elementary school for how many books I read in a year. Where do I get the time? All I can say is, just make time for what you value.

  • #3 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows) I know, I know. Here it is again. (It’s only in the #3 spot because there were some other legendary books in the running). However, it has my award-of-all-time for book that successfully, pleasantly surprised me. Since it is written as a series of letters from various characters, you don’t always get FULL descriptions of the people. In short, I just thought one character was much older than they actually were. It turned out quite alright.
  • #2 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anne Lamott) For those of you who don’t know, I did a three-month School of Writing in April and, well, it’s the best decision I made in 2018, and certainly one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life. Although it wasn’t required reading, my leaders Matias and Samantha highly recommended this during the school and I took it home with me. Favourite, most memorable lesson? “Write shitty first drafts.”
  • #1 Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. (Brené Brown) This is the newest book I have ever owned—that is, it was only released a few days before my birthday and Jenny got it for me. For those of you who are Brené Brown fans, there’s no need to convince you to read it. However, even if you have no idea who she is—if you work in teams, in any context, and want practicals on how to have those hard conversations with people, this can be your top book of 2019.


Through some incredible generosity of friends and family, I got an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil this year—and so all of these are somehow related to that. I’ve never been more impressed with any piece of technology I’ve owned, so thank you especially to those who made it possible. Follow @kaylanorrisart on Instagram for examples of what I do!

  • #3 Notability – Best for visual or normal note-taking. Plenty of options, yet simple to use.
  • #2 Procreate – Artist heaven. So many options that will make you dizzy—then if you’re not overwhelmed, you can explode in creativity. (It’s also what I use to make the blog title graphics!)
  • #1 Instagram – Finally discovered that I could use it for INSPIRATION, not just distraction. It’s safe to say I follow a LOT of artists now. 2018 favourite: @stefankunz


These were the most difficult to choose, and even now I’m like, Kayla, I can’t believe you didn’t put THIS one on there! Or that one! but these are the ones that have stories attached to them, stories that deserve a coffee date or a long drive. For now, I’ll just leave you with some of my favourite lyrics and links to listen yourself.


So, what’s your top 3?

Pick a category, all five, or come up with your own, and be as long as short as you’d like––I’d love to hear!