Dork Diaries: Birthday Drama - Out Now!
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December 13, 2018


Hi Nikki,

I struggle with something that shouldn’t bother me, and everyone I talk to isn’t very helpful. But here it is: I HATE my name! It’s extremely popular where I come from, and that makes me feel like I’m not unique or special. Plus I just don’t like the sound of it. I have other similar-sounding options to change it to, but I’m afraid my parents won’t like it if I do. Please help!

I Need A Nicer Name

Hi I Need A Nicer Name,

I’m sorry to hear that people haven’t been very helpful when you ask them about changing your name! I’ll try to give you the very best advice I can.

It seems like people who hate their name usually have a SUPER unusual one, or a SUPER common one.

People with unusual names might get made fun of for their name, or constantly deal with people mispronouncing or misspelling it. It might make them feel like they’re different, when sometimes they just want to blend in.

But on the other hand, you’ve got a name that blends in just fine. It’s super common, but that makes you feel like you’re not unique. Of course that’s not true! Your name is only a small part of who you are. Your personality, talents, interests, thoughts and dreams are what make you unique and special!

But a name is so…on the surface, I guess? People may not know everything about you, but at least they might now your name.

It really depends on your parents, but I think there’s a good chance they won’t be offended if you want to try out something different for a while. Don’t tell them you HATE the BORING name they gave you. Just say you’d like to change it and see how it goes. If you have a common name like, for example, “Emma,” it might help if you can truthfully say there are three Emmas in your class or in your group of friends.

It also might help if you choose something that’s not wildly different from your given name – from Emma to Samantha, for example. Instead, choose something similar to the name you have, like Em, Emmie, or Emily. Or you could try going by your middle name, if you have one.

FUN FACT: Nikki Russell, illustrator of Dork Diaries, goes by her middle name instead of her first name! Plus we both have the SAME exact name! Pretty cool, right? 🙂

So anyway, if your parents don’t mind, then just go for it! Remember, however, that it might be tricky getting everyone on board with a new name at first, or even getting used to it yourself.

But, if your parents aren’t cool with you changing your name OR what you try just doesn’t feel right, try to focus on the things that truly make you unique and put your energy into developing those instead!

Do you have a super unique name or a super common one? Have you ever tried to change your name to something else? How did it go? Tell us in the comments!
December 10, 2018


When Brianna marched into my room and asked me if we could make a snowman, I just rolled my eyes at that girl. I mean, did she ever take a look out the window to see that there was absolutely NO TRACE of snow on the ground?!

So, when I tried to convince her that we couldn’t make a snowman without snow, she told me I was being unfair! Seriously, the little brat had some NERVE. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to make a snowman without SNOW! DUH!!

“But Amanda got to make a snowman last week!” Brianna complained. Then she crossed her arms, sank to the floor, and pouted. Amanda must have made a snowman when she and her family went to Swanky Hill Ski Resort last weekend. And the only reason why I knew they went was because MacKenzie would NOT stop bragging about it!

Then I noticed how upset Brianna was because she wouldn’t be able to make her own snowman. She can be a brat sometimes, but I actually felt sorry for her. That’s when I got a BRILLIANT idea!

“Hey Brianna, I know another way we could make a snowman!!”

I grabbed her hand and we ran downstairs into the kitchen. I told her how Mom taught me to make these cute little snowmen cookie pop thingies, and that I could show her.

It’s super simple that even Brianna could do it (with my help, of course).

Turns out that Brianna LOVED making the snowmen cookie pops! 🙂

She also LOVED selfishly DEVOURING every last one, leaving absolutely NONE for me!! 🙁

So here I am, about to make some more of my own. And guess what? I decided to include some pictures and instructions right here so that YOU could make them, too! Like, how cool would that be?!

NOTE: Please make sure to ask your parents (or an adult) for permission before you begin!


Okay, so here’s what you need:

  • One package of Oreos (I personally prefer the Mega Stuf ones!)
  • Two bars of white chocolate to cover the Oreos with (instead of Oreos and white chocolate bars, you could also just use White Fudge Covered Oreos if your local grocery store carries them).
  • ½ cup of chocolate chips (you can do milk chocolate or white chocolate. Your choice!)
  • One bag of M&Ms or Skittles
  • One package of Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • One package of Hershey Chocolate Kisses
  • 24 Lollipop sticks
  • Sprinkles
  • Cookie Icing
  • Marshmallows

Okay, so first I melted the white chocolate in the microwave until it was all nice and gooey. After that, I used the white chocolate like glue to put the lollipop sticks into the Oreos.

Next, I dipped the Oreo into the white chocolate. Then, while the white chocolate was still warm on the Oreo, I grabbed the chocolate chips and M&Ms and gave the Oreo two eyes and a nice, big smile!

It looked SO CUTE that I decided to make another one with a smirk made out of red cookie icing and a Skittles nose.

For the very last step, I created cute little scarfs and hats for the snowmen!

To make the scarf, I cut a marshmallow in half, and rolled it back and forth between my hands until it was long like a rope. Then I decorated it with sprinkles.

Finally, I used some white chocolate to glue the scarf around the snowman’s neck.

For the hat, I flattened the other half of the marshmallow, added some white chocolate to the top of the marshmallow, and then placed a Hershey Chocolate Kiss on top. I even used a mini marshmallow as the little puffball on top of the Hershey Chocolate Kiss to create a Santa hat. It turned out so nicely that I decided to make another hat using a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cup!

And, as Miss Bri-Bri, celebrity chef to the stars would say—VOILA! You have some really delicious, absolutely ADORKABLE snowman cookie pops.

I had SO MUCH FUN making the first two snowmen that I decided to make a WHOLE FAMILY OF THEM! SQUEEEEEE!! 🙂

So, what did you think of my snowman cookie pop recipe? Give it a try and tell me how it turns out in the comments, or feel free to share your own favorite holiday treats and recipes below!
December 8, 2018

Dork Diaries Book 13 TRAILER: Part 2

In Part 2, Nikki and her BFFs Chloe and Zoey read a party planning book for really cool birthday party ideas. Will Nikki have a fab backyard cookout party? Or maybe a movie night pajama party? DISASTER strikes and Nikki has a complete MELTDOWN! Will her reputation at school be totally ruined? Find out what happens in Dork Diaries Book 13: Tales From a Not-So-Happy Birthday by Rachel Renée Russell.


Hi Brandon!
I’m entering a contest at my school and I want to WIN! I think I’m good enough to earn first place, but now I’m afraid to lose! Can you help me overcome my fear of losing?

Lisa The Lousy Loser

Hey Lisa The Lousy Loser,

Okay, first of all, I think it’s awesome that you entered the contest! Contests can be pretty scary. So you’re already an awesome winner in my book. (I know, I know, that’s totally cheesy and I don’t even care. 🙂 )

You’ve also got confidence, and that’s cool. Sometimes it’s hard for us to believe in ourselves, but not for you.

But yeah, the thing about entering contests is that there’s always a chance you could lose. You might not win, or you might not get cast in the play, or your poem might not be the best poem ever written. And it’s not only creative stuff, either. The same thing happens when trying out for a team, running for student council, or even making new friends.

The thing is, you definitely won’t win if you don’t try.

So, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Losing happens to all of us at some point in life. It’s very important to know how to lose without beating yourself up or getting mad at the winner. So, if you DO lose, consider it a learning process.
  2. Be happy for whoever wins, even if it’s not you. That’s like the #1 way to overcome your fear of losing. Hey, you’d want others to be happy if YOU won, right?
  3. In most contests, there can only be ONE winner. It’ll be tough for the judges to make their decision and sometimes you have no way of knowing EXACTLY how they decide. Even if you don’t win THIS contest, maybe you’ll win another one.
  4. Ever heard of the saying, “It’s not about winning, but how you play the game?” Well, that saying is true. Whether you win or lose, just keep trying to do your very best, because that’s what makes a REAL champion.

Look, even if you don’t win the contest (or make the team or get the part), it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. Just keep doing your thing, and you’ll eventually get rewarded for it. Make sure you also love what you do enough to keep on practicing it for fun.

And remember, it’s totally normal to feel a LITTLE snarky and jealous about not being the winner. But please don’t take it out on the winner, the judges or yourself. And DON’T GIVE UP.

How do you cheer yourself up when you don’t earn something you worked really hard for? Any advice for Lisa The Lousy Loser? Tell us in the comments!
December 6, 2018


Dear Nikki,

I’m SO upset! My friend was saying mean stuff about me on social media, so I said something mean back. Then her mom told my teacher and now my teacher says I’M cyber bullying. IT’S NOT FAIR! I’m mostly upset because I feel like my mom is ashamed of me. She said that this could affect my school grades because I’ve always been a top student. My teacher also wrote me up, saying that I’m cyber bullying—what if I have to speak to the principal?!! My teacher thinks I’m a bully and my mom is making me delete my social media. Everyone is mad at me! PLEASE HELP!!

Social Media Meltdown

Hi Social Media Meltdown,

OMG! Okay, first of all, THANK YOU for being honest. I get a TON of mail from people who’ve been the target of bullying. But rarely does anyone admit to doing some of the bullying themselves.

It’s not cool that your friend posted mean stuff about you on social media. However, saying mean stuff back can also get you into BIG trouble. 🙁

I think your mom and teacher are really upset because they know how bad cyber-bullying is. Cyber bullying is NOTORIOUS for making a lot of kids’ lives MISERABLE. So, they want to take serious action before it really gets out of hand.

This one incident is not going to affect your grades. I think your mom just doesn’t want your teachers to see you as a troublemaker. It’s SUPER important to make sure this never happens again. Or if it’s happened before and you just didn’t get caught, make sure it stops here.

Although this has been a bad experience for you, you learned a very valuable lesson the hard way. Cyber bullying is unacceptable behavior.

Deleting your social media is a total bummer, for sure. However, it won’t be forever. It’ll give you a chance to back away and not get sucked into drama. It’ll give you a chance to show your mom and teachers that you’re genuinely sorry and want to earn their trust again. When you start over, you’ll be able to start afresh! 🙂

I think you should apologize to your friend. Don’t dwell on the fact that she started it. She knows that, even if the adults don’t. And, if she keeps posting mean stuff about people, she’ll eventually get in BIG trouble, just like you did. Next, try making new friends that wouldn’t get you into trouble like she did. It’s not really fair that all the adults involved are not holding her responsible for the fact that she cyber bullied you first. But, as the old saying goes, “Life ain’t always fair.”

Next, make sure your mom and teachers know how genuinely sorry you are, and how you want to earn their trust back. Then do just that—focus on your studies and on being a good person. I promise that it won’t be long before everyone has moved past this.

It won’t follow you forever. We all screw up. And we all deserve second chances. Your mom and teacher want you to be the best person you can be—that’s why they’re holding you to a strict standard. But, I’m sure they also understand that nobody’s perfect.

What would you do if you were in this situation? Do you have any advice for Social Media Meltdown? Tell us in the comments below!
December 1, 2018

My Dad Won’t Let Me Get A Pet!!!

Hey Brandon,
I really want a pet and I’ve been asking forever but my dad just says no. This is so upsetting because I love pets. Now I’m really depressed because I’m never going to have one!! Help!!!

I Want A Pet Pretty Please

Hey I Want A Pet Pretty Please,

It’s always such a bummer to hear from someone who really wants a pet but can’t get one. But it’s common – so at least you’re not alone.

So first of all, I think you should talk to your dad and ask (with NO whining) what his reasons are for saying no. If you know WHY he’s saying no, then you can figure out if there’s something you can do to change it.

For example, if he’s saying no because he or someone else in the household is allergic to the kind of pet you want, well, then I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do about that.

But if he’s concerned about costs, you could do some research to figure out the costs, not just of adoption, but also food and vet bills for your pet. And then you could figure out how much money you could contribute to help pay those costs.

He still might say no, but if he sees you being reasonable and thoughtful about how to problem-solve, there’s a chance he might say yes.

If there’s no way to change his mind, remember that it doesn’t mean you’ll NEVER have a pet. At the very least, you can have a pet when you’re older and living on your own. OR your family situation might change, like someone might get a higher-paying job, etc. So, never say never. 🙂

In the meantime, if you can’t have a pet in your home for now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one in your life at all.

My first suggestion would be to volunteer at a shelter like Fuzzy Friends. Shelters always need help. And sure, you’ll do some sweeping and cleaning out cages, but you’ll also get plenty of time snuggling the animals. Shelters want the animals to stay comfortable with people, and they want to get an idea of each animal’s personality. Volunteers are really important for that.

You could also let your neighbors know how much you love pets. Then, when they go on trips, or even just have a long day at work, they may ask you to come over and feed their pets, play with them, etc.

I hope this helps. I know you’ll have a pet one day, and I hope it’s sooner than later!

Have you ever convinced a parent to let you get a pet? If you’re not allowed to get a pet, how do you find ways to hang out with animals? Tell us in the comments.
November 30, 2018

December Calendar – Ice Skating

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

1 vertical page – 8½ x 11in
November 28, 2018


Dear Nikki,

My BFF is completely, totally, hopelessly ADDICTED to Dork Diaries, and I want to get her a Dork Diaries gift that she doesn’t already have. What do you get a Dork Diaries fan that already has all the books?

Seeking A Secret Santa Surprise

Hi Seeking A Secret Santa Surprise,

I’m happy that your friend LOVES Dork Diaries! If you’re looking for an adorkable gift for her or for yourself, then check out our brand new Dork Diaries Friendship Box video below! It has LOTS of cool stuff inside.

I hope you love it as much as I do! 🙂

November 26, 2018


Hey readers, I have a REALLY FUN quirky question for you today!

You know how in the Disney movie, Cinderella, a fairy godmother appears out of nowhere to grant Cinderella ONE special wish?

Well, now YOU get to be in Cinderella’s shoes! (No pun intended, you know, since Cinderella wears glass slippers and loses one at the ball and everything.)

Okay, here we go…

If I were your fairy godmother and could grant you ONE WISH, what would you ask for?

Please share your answers in the comments section below. I CAN’T WAIT to see what your wish is!

November 24, 2018


Hi Brandon,

I lose motivation super quickly. I love starting new projects and working on them, but I can never seem to finish them. I don’t know what to do. Help!

The Procrastinator

Hey Procrastinator,

I totally know what you mean! In the beginning, a project can be super exciting. Maybe you’re learning a new skill or you’ve got something super cool that you’d like to make. But then you get distracted or the process isn’t as fun or easy as you thought. So, you might lose interest.

Sounds to me like you haven’t really found a PASSION yet. And that’s totally okay! If you’re starting projects that you don’t finish, you’re probably not really into them. If I’m REALLY into something, even the boring parts are fun for me. But when I’m only SORT OF into it, it gets so boring that I want to give up.

I think sometimes it’s okay to let a project go. You might find that you’re just not that interested in whatever it is. Or maybe you’ve had all the fun you can with it, and now it’s time to move on. As long as we’re referring to hobbies, they should be fun and entertaining. So, if you’re forcing yourself to do something (besides school stuff, which we HAVE to do no matter how boring it is), what’s the point?

Other times, I think you have to keep your eye on the prize, if the prize is worth it to you. Yeah, maybe all the work you put in training for basketball try-outs is exhausting (and literally a pain!), but think how sweet it’ll be to make the team! Or learning a musical instrument can be really slow-going and BOY are you going to get sick of playing Hot Cross Buns, but when you put in the work and can eventually play in a band with your friends or write your own songs – AMAZING!

Just be honest with yourself. Don’t stick with something that’s supposed to be fun just because you feel like you SHOULD. On the other hand, remember that sometimes a project gets fun after you’ve put in some work, so if it’s worth it to you, keep your eye on the prize and find the fun in the work!

That’s my best advice. Maybe our readers will have more.

What makes you want to give up on a project? What keeps you going? What are your best tips for sticking it out? Tell us in the comments!