The Best Pop Culture Moments of 2018 & 2019 Preview

Y’all. This year. It has been a wild ride for (I’m assuming) all of us. As we approach the ringing in of another new year, I thought it would be fun to take a look back into the year’s most pop-iest pop culture moments–the best of tv, stars, movies, music, and the viral internet that we witnessed during the last 365. Here we goooooo:

The Best of 2018:

  • Ben Rector, MagicThis album was one of my top of the year. Ben captured the feelings of nostalgia in music with his characteristically winning songwriting and incredible production. I still cannot stop listening. (Plus, meeting him was definitely one of this year’s highlights. His Magic tour show was amazing. A must-see in 2019.)Must-Listen: “Duo,” “Drive,” “Kids,” “Old Friends”

I love this song so much I had an Insta-artist letter some lyrics into prints for Christmas gifts this year for my old friends. 🙂

  • Kacey Musgraves, Golden HourNext to Magic, Golden Hour was by far my favorite album of the year. In fact, “Space Cowboy” may be one of my all-time favorite songs. I love Kacey’s turned-on-its-head take on country music and how she manages to create really meaningful music that is still clever yet engaging and beautiful. I’m crossing my fingers that she wins alllll the Grammys. (Oh, and nbd she just slayed this look at the 2018 CMAs.)
    Must-Listen: “Space Cowboy,” “Wonder Woman,” “Velvet Elvis.”
  • Jack Pearson. I know This is Us is not a new thing this year, but it is definitely the year I fell even more in love with a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. I swear, with each season, each episode, NBC (and Milo, of course) keeps getting this character more and more right. Truth be told, this show’s return, with its ugly-cry episodes, relevant themes, and stellar cast, was one of the best parts of 2018.

  • Girls Owning Sports. Who run the world? Well, it always has been, and always will be girls. Duh. Our queens this year? Simone Biles, just casually placing first on EVERY event at the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships (and with a KIDNEY STONE, and after taking a year off. NBD.) Then there’s Chloe Kim, the seventeen-year-old (yeah, seventeen!) Olympic gold medalist. (Yeah, the Olympics were this year. Remember?) And Serena Williams, of course, returning to tennis after baby as a certified Mom Boss in a French Open catsuit and as GQ’s Woman of the Year. YAAAASSS QUEEENS.

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Let me (not) be the first to say that Netflix has really killed its rom-com game this year. Especially with this Jenny Han-adapted YA film that brought Noah “Whoa Whoa Whoa” Centineo into our hearts and rekindled our love for letter writing. I’ve been rewatching it religiously since August. No regrets.


  • Line upon Line Scripture Journaling Editions: There are always new products released every year, all claiming to be the “Must-Have” in tech, toys, beauty, or –. But there’s not often a focus on great products aimed at increasing our spirituality, especially ones that I just have to have. But this year, Line Upon Line Co., the entrepreneur duo of Alexis and Emily released a wide-margin, scripture journaling edition of The Book of Mormon that has elevated my gospel study and enhanced my desire to dive into the word of God. They have since made a journaling version of the Doctrine and Covenants and have preorders open for The New Testament.

  • Educated by Tara Westover. This was easily my favorite book I read this year. One of my biggest goals of 2018 was to read more (see the Naptime Reads section for more), and this memoir really started off the year on such a high note. The best books open our eyes to the experiences of others that are different than ours, and this book truly did that for me. Plus, the writing is beautiful. (Oh, and Obama loved it, too. NBD.)
  • This Precious Moment.

    A moment we didn’t deserve, truly. But I am LIVING for this duo.

  • These boots Michelle Obama’s wore on her book tour. I cannot stop staring at them.
  • The 20th Anniversary of You’ve Got Mail: As if I needed another reason to celebrate being a lone reed or emphasize that the CAVIAR IS A GARNISH. I will be swooning over this movie until the end of time.
  • Honoring Mr. Rogers: Between a highly-rated biopic and new book, 2018 brought our attention back to the civility, kindness, and goodness of our favorite TV personality, writer, musician, and minister. Truly, his memory was a light this year desperately needed.

  • Veronica Mars Revival Announcement: I’m always a little wary of reboots and revivals. I mean, sometimes the original is just better, and should not be messed with (like *ahem* Clueless*). But when Kristen Bell announced the return of our favorite sassy detective from Neptune, I FREAKED. The new season will return to Hulu and is expected in 2019 with a majority of the original cast. And, and if you’re wondering what my position is: #TeamPiz.
  • “We Were Like” by Kelsea Ballerini: Another one of my favorite musical moments of this year was a rather unheralded one. Our favorite country darling casually shared a previously-unreleased track that charmed us back into the nostalgia of hot summer nights and our first real romance. Swooooon in a song.

  • Missy Elliott’s “Funky White Sister”: Forget the whole ridiculous Yanny/Laurel nonsense (yeah, that was this year), the internet’s true gem this year was a video recording of Mary Halsey singing at a Sunday karaoke picnic, shared by Missy herself.

    And how about our homegirl supporting a sista and boppin’ in the back? May 2019 bless us each with our very own hypegirl. And then, our beloved Ellen brought the two together in one iconic performance. I just cannot get enough. The viral internet gods really blessed us this year with this one.

  • The Food Therapist by Shira Lenchewski: Another one of my top books of the year. This book really changed–in positive and encouraging ways–the way I view my relationship with food. It’s approachable and filled with implementable ideas and principles. I highly recommend it as one of your 2019 reads. In fact, I will probably re-read it this year! It’s that useful. Plus, the hot-pink cover is just the best, isn’t it?
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Another point for Netflix. This movie adaptation of the amazing novel, while different, was still a cinematic win for me this year. I loved the casting (Juliet and Dawsey especially) and thought it was a quality homage to an amazing novel.
  • Anne with an E, Season 2: Perhaps this is an unpopular opinion for some Anne (or Megan Follows) purists out there, but I love Netflix’s Green Gables storytelling. Even with its many creative liberties, I love the fresh take on our favorite literary characters and the beautiful filming. I’m desperately hoping for a shiny new season in 2019.
  • The Royal Wedding: Despite all of the bad that may have happened this year, we did have this major ray of light: another Royal Wedding. The beautiful ceremony let us put aside our political and societal grumbles for one day and celebrate a cherished union.
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I mean, can you even? Plus, we got an added bonus: little baby Louis and this incredible holiday photo from Will & Kate. Hello, #familygoals.

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  • Kalen Reacts: Speaking of the Royal Wedding, the now-Ellen-Show-star’s reactions on everything from Megan and Harry to mac and cheese kept me ROFLing (yep, bringin’ it back) all year.

“Now I need to go get on Bumble and find me somebody royal to wed. No exceptions.”

    • T Swift With Our Favorite Brits: The collabs we truly needed this year.
    • Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney: A near 24 minutes of joy.

  • “Better With You” by Jesse McCartney: Not that he ever left, but JMAC IS BACK! This song killed it this year, bringing the former Dream-Street boy band-er into 2018 with a true hit.

  • Everything Ariana Grande: Girl has had a tough year. The passing of an ex, the beginning (and sudden ending) of a whirlwind relationship, and what I’m sure are severe PTSD reverberations from Manchester in 2017. And yet, this year she managed to give us an amazing album, a killer follow-up bop, and the female empowerment we really needed in 2018.Must Listen: “Thank U, Next,” “R.E.M,” “Breathin'”
  • Cravings, Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen: I was so excited at the release of another cookbook by Chrissy Teigen, since Cravings had so many amazing recipes. (Plus, it’s one of those cookbooks I actually read all the way through, like it’s a book club pick or something). And her follow-up did not disappoint! And amazing culinary skills aside, Chrissy continues to give us the quality internet content we check social media for. We do not deserve her.
  • Priyanka Chopra/Nick Jonas Wedding: So, yes, a part of my teenage self has died, knowing that I will never marry my beloved Jonas brother. Trust me, there was an appropriate mourning period. But adolescent grieving aside, I’m obsessed with this couple and their culturally-rich 2018 wedding ceremony. And that train. I mean, it’s bigger than my house.
  • Google’s Grown-up Kevin Home Alone Ad: There’s not much that says Christmastime to me like “Home Alone” (and Hallmark movies). As my family’s traditional Christmas Eve movie, I look forward to revisiting Kevin McCallister’s holiday hijinks every year. And even with Macaulay Culkin’s somewhat-odd adulthood activities, Google killed it with this grown-up Kevin ad featuring their Google Home tool. A+

  • Carly Rae is Back (And Other Musical Honorable Mentions): Girl, we missed you. Bad. And your 2018 musical return did not disappoint. “Party of One” is the true empowerment bop we needed to end the year. Don’t mind me, just jammin’ for the rest of time. Want more killer 2018 tunes? Check out my Best of 2018 Tunes playlist here.

What I’m (Not So Patiently) Waiting for in 2019:

    • Sarah Dessen, The Rest of the Story: Truth be told, it’s automatically an amazing year if we are blessed with a new Sarah Dessen novel. I credit Dessen with fueling my love of YA and my desire to write my own young adult novel. Her books are the literature of my adolescence and her writing has inspired me in my own craft. CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS! Is it June yet?

    • Stranger Things 3: Okay, has it not felt like six thousand years since we’ve had another season of ST? It has been a long year without Mom Steve and Mileven, let me just say, and the struggle is REAL. I’ve had keywords about the show tagged on Google Alerts for months, hoping for some whisper of news about the show’s new season themes or characters. And here we are, folks:
      The wait is almost over. Okay, well, several months yet to go. But still. The end is in sight. Phew. And forget Fourth of July barbecuing. I now have binging plans byeeee
  • Pantone’s Color of the Year: From the company:”Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”LOVE THIS. Here’s to a year of immersive and authentic experiences. I cannot wait to see how Living Coral manifests itself in fashion, design, and more this year. Swoon.
  • A possible Lizzie McGuire Reboot? Even the mere mention of a return of our beloved Lizzie has me smiling. Truly what dreams are made of.


Tell me: what were your favorite pop culture moments of 2018? What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Share!

One comment

  1. Thank you for bringing the Missy Elliott video to my attention – dying! Also, totally feel ya on Stranger Things! We been waiting SOOOOO LONGGGGGGGG

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