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January 25, 2021

ZOEY’S WILD AND CRAZY SLEEPOVER!!

WOW!  It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the last week of January.  

It seems like we were just celebrating the New Year a few days ago!     

So, today I’m going to share an exciting video about my diary for the month of January…

DORK DIARIES BOOK 5: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-SMART MISS KNOW-IT-ALL  

It’s all about my BFFs and I writing an advice column for our school newspaper, as the super-secret, Miss Know-It-All.

The crazy part is that ALL of this DRAMA is the result of a TRUTH OR DARE game gone BAD!!  

And, it all started at a SLEEPOVER that Zoey had on New Year’s Eve. Would you like to hear all of the details?  

Then watch the video below and my BFF, Zoey, will give you all of the details about her wild and crazy sleepover!  

This really fun video was made by our superfan, Noelle.  Enjoy!…

Have you (or someone you know) ever pulled a prank or made a joke that didn’t go according to plan. Tell us all about it in the comments section below. 

January 22, 2021

Valentine’s Day Dork Maker

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE 😀!!  

One of my fav Valentine’s Day activities (besides munching on Godiva chocolates!) is creating ADORKABLE characters with the Dork Maker.  

And TODAY, I’m super excited to show YOU my 2021 edition! How COOL is that?! 

Be sure to check out the new clothing, hairstyles, accessories, backgrounds, and other fun stuff by clicking on the image link below.  

I’d love to hear what you think about my new Valentine Dork Maker in the comments section.   And, if you have any suggestions for fun things to add, just let me know.

January 19, 2021

SPOTLIGHT ON…WILLOW PHELPS!!!

When Willow Phelps was in fourth grade, she was named Kid of the Year by the ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). She had been caring for animals for years—not just the assortment of pets she had at home, but all kinds of animals all over the world!

She had done 5K runs, mile-long swims, and sewn and sold catnip toys to raise over $15,000 for different causes. Some of the causes she raised money for include homeless pet owners, chimps in Liberia, orcas in aquariums, and senior shelter pets.

One of Willow’s special projects happened close to home. At her school carnival every year, there was a booth where students threw ping pong balls at goldfish in glass bowls. If they hit a bowl, they got to take home a goldfish in a bag.

This didn’t seem right to Willow! “Goldfish can hear really well,” she explained, “so when they hear those ping pong balls pinging against their bowls, it probably hurts them and scares them. And then when they got home, a lot of them might not have the right care.”

Willow not only got her school to stop the goldfish booth, but she also raised the money to make up for what the school used to earn at the booth. 

Now Willow’s in seventh grade and she’s still throwing herself into helping animals and the environment. Over the last couple years, climate change has hit close to home for Willow, who is a competitive swimmer. Her swim team had to cancel their season because the lake they swim in became infested with blue algae bloom, which is unsafe to swim in. And then the surf camp she attends every summer, Girls Wave Riding Surf School was cancelled because of a hurricane. Both hurricanes and blue algae bloom are made worse by climate change.

But Willow’s not just going to sit around and watch while climate change threatens the activities she loves, and even more importantly, the habitat of the animals she adores. She has marched for climate change awareness in New York City, and is part of a lawsuit against the federal government over climate change.

How cool is that?! Go Willow! I know Willow is just getting started and I can’t wait to see what she does next! 

What’s something that you’re really passionate about? What are some things you can do to start spreading awareness about that topic? Enlighten us in the comments section below!

January 16, 2021

HELP! I’M ALLERGIC TO MY CRUSH!!

Dear Brandon,

I have a major problem. My crush at school eats peanut butter sandwiches almost every day. But I’ve got a severe nut allergy, and have to sit at the nut-free table in the cafeteria, which is like 12 tables away from him! He also loves dogs and I’m allergic to those too!!! For me, it’s already embarrassing to have allergies, but the fact that my crush loves things I can never share with him is even worse. How could he ever LIKE me when I’m allergic to things he LOVES??? Help!!

Awful Allergy Alert

Hi Awful Allergy Alert,

First of all, I’m so sorry to hear that you have allergies! Please don’t be embarrassed. That must be a big challenge to deal with, for real.

My best bud, Max Crumbly, is allergic to lots of stuff. He even has an inhaler. It’s really annoying for him, but we still manage to hang out!

Here’s the thing: we don’t pick our friends based on their health issues or things they can’t do. We pick them based on how good of a friend they are and how much we enjoy being around them. So, it’s not about what foods they can’t eat or what animals they can’t be around. We like people because of who they are! 

You say that your crush loves peanut butter and puppies, but I bet he likes other things as well.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Ask your crush to meet at a library to study and hang out. You can sit on opposite sides of a table, and food and fuzzy friends aren’t typically allowed in a library, so allergies won’t be a problem. You can ask some friends to come along too!
  2. Chat with him, via text or Zoom (if your parents let you do that). He’s probably got a lot of other interests, other than peanut butter and puppies, if you just ask. You might have more in common than you think!
  3. Have a brainstorming session with your BFFs to talk about all this. I don’t always do that kind of thing, but my friend Nikki always feels better after she talks with her friends. And she’s pretty awesome! She’s so nice and has a really great smile and—oh gosh, I’m getting off-track. Um, anyway, talking to friends is always a good way to work through problems.

Okay, bottom line: Don’t cross a crush off your list because of things that they can’t control. If you like him, find something to suggest doing that doesn’t involve the things that you’re allergic to! 

That’s all I’ve got for today. It’s your turn readers. Is there anything your friends do that makes it difficult to hang out with them? How do you handle it? Tell us in the comments.

January 14, 2021

Family Night Game Over!

Hi guys! Today we have a special letter from Max Crumbly! In case you didn’t know, he is Brandon’s best bud. He’s asking for advice about the headache of being stuck with his family due to the pandemic. I’m sure that many of us have this same exact problem!

Okay, so here is his letter…

What’s Up Nikki,

My family is big on having weekly game nights so that we can be together, bond, laugh and all that stuff. We do everything from board games to trivia to video games. But lately, everyone (including me!) is getting really impatient, competitive and a little bit mean about who’s winning. How can we get back to having fun?!

Max Crumbly, aka “Grumpy Grumbling Gamer”

Hi Grumpy Grumbling Gamer,

You know that phrase, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder?” Yeah, I think it’s probably true, because there hasn’t been much distance between the family members in my house lately, and my feelings for Miss Penelope (my sister’s hand puppet) have definitely NOT grown fonder! ☹

Example: Brianna keeps saying that she and Miss Penelope want another sleepover with me in my super comfy bed, but the last time I agreed to THAT ridiculousness, I woke up on the floor (Brianna claimed that Miss Penelope kicked me off the mattress. . . I have my doubts).

Seriously, I definitely get what you’re going through—I mean, it’s not easy in a normal year to hang out with my family on a game night. Picture this:

  • One Monopoly Board
  • One Hand Puppet (aka, Miss Penelope) wearing the Hat game piece while eating three other game pieces.
  • One Dad reading the rules while wearing a t-shirt saying “This RoachMaster Rules!”
  • One Mom trying to stop our dog Daisy (and my sister Brianna) from eating too many snacks.
  • One Sister stealing fake paper money because she’s trying to bribe the tooth fairy into never visiting anyone again (long story).
  • One ME watching the clock and wondering when I can call my friends and write about all this madness in my diary.

You got all that? Okay, now whip it all up and let it bake for about an hour. You want to know the results? Here’s what usually comes out of the family game oven:

  • One Tantrum (most often from Dad or Miss Penelope)
  • One Wildly-Contested Game (with rules that change ALL the time)
  • One Tired Family (who all declare themselves winners by eating dessert)

So yes, our game nights are always a little bit messy. But fast-forward to game nights happening more and more often, like they have this year for me and you…

Well yeah, that was always bound to blow up like a last-minute, badly-researched, extra-hot-sauce-infused science fair volcano, right?!?!

We’ve all been kinda cooped up in our houses more than normal lately, and we’ve been spending lots of extra time with our family, which is AWESOME in some ways and AWFUL in others. Bottom line: it’s normal to have a few stingy sparks flying around on game night.

Here’s my advice:

  1. Let one family member choose a game for the evening. Respect the choice and play that family member’s game! Rotate the games so that everyone gets to play something that they enjoy now and then.
  2. Create a jar of joke breaks. If things get heated, make your Uncle Oscar (or whoever) reach into a jar and tell a pre-written joke! It sounds silly, but so does having your Uncle Oscar tell silly jokes. It’ll break up the tension!
  3. Give out strips of paper to everyone at the beginning of the game that say “My Bad!” If somebody’s rude (and others call them out on it), they have to give out a “My Bad!” strip that entitles everyone else to ask for a favor.
  4. Rather than having a Game Night, have each family member suggest a different activity that would still encourage togetherness—like having a Zoom meeting with someone you all know, or cooking something together, or watching a movie and doing a book club thing—the possibilities are endless!

Okay, readers, now it’s YOUR turn—is spending extra time with your family driving you KA-RAY-ZEE? Do you have any advice for our friend, Max Crumbly?

January 11, 2021

Quirky Question Of The Month

Hey everybody! I hope your New Year is off to an awesome start. I know mine is! 🙂

So, I was thinking that since it’s a new year, why not kick it off with an all new QUIRKY QUESTION? This one’s REALLY good, too!

Okay, here it is: Which three songs could you listen to one hundred times and NEVER get tired of hearing them? 

Want to know what my answers are? My three favorites are listed below with links to videos:
1) Just Sing from the Trolls World Tour movie because I just love the cute animation and the happy, upbeat vibe!

2) Popular Song by MIKA and Ariana Grande, because I’m totally feelin’ the lyrics to that song right now. Real popularity comes from being true to yourself and mean CCPs better watch out since they won’t run the world forever!

3) DYNAMITE, by BTS because this song makes me feel energized and inspired to take on the world!  

Okay, now it’s YOUR TURN! Please feel free to leave your answers regarding your three fav songs and why you love each in the comments below.

January 9, 2021

My BFFs are FRENEMIES!

Hi Brandon,

So, recently my two friends got into an BIG argument. I don’t want to make either of them mad or hurt anyone’s feelings, but they keep pressuring me to hurry up and choose whose side I’m on. I really don’t like picking sides and it’s making me really STRESSED OUT. I don’t know what to do! Can you help me?

BFF (Best Frenemy Forever)

Dear BFF (Best Frenemy Forever),

Man, being stuck in the middle is not fun, so I’m really sorry you’re going through this. The problem is that if you choose a side, someone is DEFINITELY going to end up with hurt feelings. It’s kind of a lose-lose situation. Either way, one of your friends gets hurt. And you’ll be hurt too, when the friend you don’t side with gets mad at you.

(“I KNOW THIS, BRANDON. THAT’S WHY I WROTE YOU FOR HELP!” you may be thinking to yourself.)

I just wanted to state the problem clearly so you’ll understand why I’ll say this next: I don’t think you should choose a side. And I think you have to be clear that you’re NOT going to. Because if you’re just quiet about it, they’ll think you’re still deciding and they should keep pestering you to get you to choose one over the other.

I think you need to tell them really clearly and firmly that you like them both and that their argument is between THEM.  You’re not going to take a side, no matter how much they pressure you. And any time they try to bring it up again, you repeat the same thing. “Both of you are my friend and I’m not going to choose whose side I’m on.” You repeat it until they get it, or until it becomes annoying to everyone.

If they can’t get past their argument, they might need to sit down with someone neutral to help them talk it through – but it shouldn’t be you. You’re trying to be neutral, but since they’re both trying so hard to get you to agree with one of them, it would be really hard for you to help them with this.

So maybe pick a school counselor or a cool teacher each of you like to help resolve it. Or someone’s older sibling, if they can be neutral.

That is, unless your friends don’t actually want to resolve it. Sometimes there are issues so big and they just can’t let it go and then…well, then friendships change. I hope that’s not the case here. But if it is, they’ll definitely want you to take sides and I’d just encourage you to keep telling them you don’t want to lose either of their friendships.

But, hopefully it’s not quite that bad. Hopefully when you stand firm and make it clear that your friendship with BOTH of them is the most important thing, they’ll realize how ridiculous they’re being. Maybe they’ll even end up being grateful that you didn’t pick a side!

How do you handle it when you’re stuck in the middle between two friends? Tell us in the comments.

January 7, 2021

SHOULD I LEARN A NEW HOBBY TO IMPRESS MY CRUSH???

Hi Nikki,

So I’ve got a problem: my crush is WAY into snowboarding. All winter long, every single weekend, it’s like his favorite thing to do!! I may have made up a TEENY-TINY fib and told him that I LOVE snowboarding too (Confession: I don’t. I’m totally clumsy and I hate being outside in the cold!!!). Then he asked me to go to a snowboarding party for his birthday with him and his friends. His parents are paying for everything! I’d LOVE to spend time with him, but he’ll totally find out that I’m a phony!!! Now I’ve got three weeks to become a great snowboarder or lose a totally awesome chance to hang with my crush. WHAT SHOULD I DO??? ☹

A Not-So-Sneaky Snowboarder

Dear Not-So-Sneaky Snowboarder,

I totally get wanting to impress your crush. I may have told a teeny-tiny fib or two before to impress other people, too. But it’s not my fault! I’m a people pleaser! Shouldn’t that be a good thing???

So if I was to, um, try to do something like, say, skiing down an expert slope that I have NO BUSINESS SKIING DOWN just because I want to talk to my crush (and also because my arch-nemesis MacKenzie Hollister tricked me into it), can we REALLY say that it would technically be a BAD THING? 

Really??? Can we???

Well, maybe read my 7th diary to find out (Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star)!

In all seriousness, I like to make a pros and cons list for this type of situation. 

Let’s start with the PROS:

  • Shopping for a supercool new snowboarding outfit and some gear could be fun!
  • Maybe the ski lifts will be broken and you can just walk around with your cool rented snowboard, flashing smiles and waving at people with your awesome new gloves. Or better yet, you could stay inside near a fireplace and sip some hot cocoa!
  • You might end up being an AMAZING snowboarder! Like, how cool would that be?! ☺

Here are the CONS:

  • Um, shopping for a bunch of stuff you won’t use again might not go over great with your parents.
  • You don’t really like the idea of snowboarding.
  • And you don’t really like being cold.
  • AND you could totally wipe out and spend the next three months in a double leg cast! YIKES ☹!!

Okay, now that we’ve got some pros and cons, let’s think of some options:

  1. If going to the snowboarding party makes you more stressed than excited, I would honestly say, don’t go. Just make an excuse—try to make it a real one because it’s never nice to lie to someone. Maybe suggest a hangout with friends for the same day and then tell your crush that you’re really sorry, but you have plans. Which will be true!
  2. Tell your crush that you’re not really that great of a snowboarder and you don’t want to hold him and his friends back from the slopes they want to ride on. If he says that it’s no big deal if you’re not as good as them, then maybe give it a try!
  3. Realize that friends have different interests. You don’t have to like EVERYTHING your crush does in order to have something in common. You could always nicely bail on the party, but think of some other way you could hang out, doing something that you both enjoy doing.

When it comes down to it, if you keep lying about the snowboarding thing, it could become an even bigger problem down the line. While it’s definitely cool to take an interest in new hobbies and learn new things, if it’s not really your thing. . . that’s okay!

Okay readers, your turn to chime in—have you ever learned a new hobby just to impress a crush? If so, how did it go? Tell us in the comments!

January 1, 2021

Happy New Year, everyone!!

The year 2020 is FINALLY over. Thank goodness!

And, the new year 2021 is here with GREAT things ahead for ALL of us!    

Chloe, Zoey, and I had a New Year’s Eve SLEEPOVER, and it was AWESOME.  

We actually did a super-exciting New Year’s Eve countdown and then went KA-RAY-ZEE screaming, “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”

I wish all of YOU could have been here with us.   

Hey, I just came up with a really COOL idea.  Let’s do the countdown and celebrate together…RIGHT NOW!!

YES!  You can countdown with Chloe, Zoey, and ME!  

I’m SERIOUS!  It will be FUN!  

Are you ready?!!  

Just click on the link below, and yell at the top of your lungs along with US 😀!!…  

Wasn’t that FUN?!  

OMG!  It was a total BLAST 😀!! 

If you had THREE wishes for 2021, what would it be?!!   Of course, we ALL want the COVID-19 virus to go away ASAP, so you don’t have to mention that one.

Please list your wishes, hopes, and dreams for the Year 2021 in the comments section below.  Hey, it’s a brand new year, so they just might come TRUE 😀!  

December 31, 2020

January Calendar – Snow Day!

Right click the download button to save the calendar of your choice on your computer.