The 2019 Skirts Awards


Best boyfriend: J, always
Best new crush (sorry, J): Wendy from Billions
Best relationship GIF: the WWE one; he knows

Best friend: Tyler, obvs
Best brother: Adam, the only family member who might also read this list
Best inside joke: Grandma's got a mint!

Best person to cuss at (with love) when anything tech-related goes wrong: Tim Apple
Best person to cuss at (with slightly less love) when my mail gets locked in the wrong mailbox or left on the wrong porch every damn week: WHO KNOWS, but you probably shouldn't be working for USPS, missy
Best person to hate for the rest of time: the lady at the leasing office who refused to fix my air conditioning unit in a sane way, leaving me and my stressed pet in a sweaty nightmare for the hottest two weeks of the summer


Best Twitter account actually used: @BigSkirtsEnergy
Best new Twitter bio: "Bury me under the GBBO tent."

Best videos on Instagram: hedgehogs with their heads stuck in toilet paper tubes; the hedgehogs love it almost as much as I do
Best photos on Instagram: hedgehogs in hats

Best blog moved from Movable Type to Ghost: THIS ONE

Best vlogs on YouTube: Zoe Sugg
Best travel content on YouTube: Currently Hannah
Best yet-to-be-posted videos on YouTube: mine


Best prickly pet: Gus, still
Best purple console table purchased: this one
Best candle burned: Chicago, by Homesick
Best new vehicle: Kia Sportage, mostly because it isn't "The Hamster Car"

Best new-to-me dining experience: real, actual ramen
Best “dang, I miss Chicago, but this will do for now” pizza: Mio's Pizzeria in Cincinnati, OH (at least one location makes the cut)
Best new-to-me imported candy: Maltesers

Best vacation: Dallas, TX, with J
Best mini road trip: Lexington, KY, with my mom
Best part about Lexington: a luxury apartment directly above an Anthropologie, my new dream home
Best parade attended: the Cincinnati Zoo penguin parade
Best worst geocache: the one with all of the spiders


Best can't-wait-for-more-episodes television shows: Billions and Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Best thing to come to the United States on a very slight delay (and also the best show to watch on repeat literally every week): Great British Bake Off, and Henry was my favorite
Best show that also ended in a very controversial way: Game of Thrones (holy cow, was that finale actually in 2019?)
Best moment of Wrestlemania: BECKY

Best video game watched: Assassins Creed: Origins (Playstation)
Best video game played until my arm started cramping: Mario Kart Tour (iOS)

Best book read for self-improvement: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Best book read to expand and challenge my worldview: Educated
Best book read purely for entertainment: Good Omens

Best podcast with three dudes: My Brother, My Brother and Me
Best podcast with two ladies: This Might Get Weird


Best encouraging book: The Road Back to You (I need to do an entire post about how I'm learning to embrace my fierce, aggressive, protective nature rather than hiding it for the sake of weak men)
Best encouraging Netflix show: Brené Brown: The Call to Courage
Best tools for bad mental health days: the You Feel Like Shit website and the Sanvello app (formerly called Pacifica and recommended last year, too)

Best life hack: digital receipts (and coupons) at CVS, y'all
Best tiny splurge: pick-up ordering for groceries

Best all-around fitness app: Peloton (thanks, J)
Best yoga app: Down Dog
Best sleep tracking app: Sleep Cycle
Best hydration tracking app: WaterMinder

Best self-care gift: a stationary bike
Best self-care purchase: vlogging camera, which is a weird but effective way to inspire myself to tidy up around the house, take care of myself, process some thoughts out loud, go on more adventures, and generally just set the bar a little higher for myself
Best self-care project accidentally abandoned: KonMari, oops
Best self-care project currently enjoying: this gosh dang blog post, y'all—may 2020 be just as award-worthy for all of us!

Best previous editions of Skirts Awards: 2018, 2014, 2013, 2011

Truly Happy

My grandpa has severe dementia, so many of the things he says are repeated as part of a routine. (“We aren’t the first ones here!” is something he exclaims with genuine surprise every Sunday morning when we pull into the church parking lot.)

Today, he surprised me with a new one. I was waiting in the car to pick him and my grandma up for church. As my grandpa opened the door and sat down, he said, “I hope you’re as happy as I am.”

I know he wasn’t trying to stump me, but I’ve been thinking about it for hours. 1) I’m so glad he is happy, even as this disease slowly erases him from our lives. 2) What a kind, loving sentiment. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents.

Oh, and I am truly happy. ❤️

This story was originally posted as a thread on my private Twitter account, but I didn't want to lose it in the archives.

Skirts with Pockets

Welcome to Skirts with Pockets, a weekly (fine, weekly-ish) collection of the online articles, websites, and other links that I've loved and now want to share with you. Please excuse any stray candy wrappers that fall to the ground as I empty my virtual pockets.

Bird-watching with the Ravenmaster

How do you even get a job like Ravenmaster for the Tower of London? I am a sucker for stories like this—interesting people doing interesting work and loving it.

Wine and Candy Pairings

To be honest, I bookmarked this article last year at Halloween, and I am just that far behind on sharing links. But it's never the wrong time to do a little wine and candy research, so hop to it.

The Sugar Conspiracy

This is one of those "long reads," so you have time to do the wine and candy research before you get to the end of it. It's a fascinating history of nutrition guidelines and food science, full of a surprising amount of drama.

Looking at Frames at the Louvre

"Today, the Louvre possesses one of the world’s largest collections of frames, with around six thousand in use and another three thousand in storage." Why is this so delightful? I miss museums.

LEGOLAND Japan Breaks Record With Cherry Blossom Tree . . .

You could give me 880,000 LEGO bricks and stop time itself, and still, I would never make anything this beautiful. Truly stunning.