Category Archives: Your Life

The End is Near

new year

This has been a very tough and emotional year. There has been too much sadness and confusion. Our world has dealt with hate, attacks, shootings, deaths and some strange elections.

Social media has played a huge part in this year. We have seen damaging hate spread everywhere, yet there have been overwhelmingly huge amounts of support for one other. We couldn’t be prouder of the people we follow on Twitter. They understand what is going on in the world and speak the truth, but there is always hope. There is always hope for our world and everything in it. You are our future and because of you, our future has hope.

Among all the negative things, some amazingly good things happened this year. Tumblr user helthehatter has compiled a terrific list ‘good things that happened in 2016’. Definitely worth checking out! Yes, it will make your heart feel all warm and fuzzy.

It’s almost time to get off this wacky, did that just happen, roller coaster ride called “2016”. In just a matter of days, 2017 will be rolling in.

Before you say goodbye, take some time to reflect on the year and ask yourself these #3 questions.

1. Did you accomplish your biggest goals this year?

When January 1st comes, we all set goals and we continue making goals all year. Completing a goal feels awesome, but we usually expect too much from ourselves. It can be impossible to do it all. Think about any big goals you conquered or meaningful accomplishments.

Think about the goals you made. Did you have too many? Did you finish them all? How can you change the way you set goals for next year? You are a human, not a robot.

2. Was there something you could have done differently?

Could you have spent more time with friends or family? Could you have handled a situation better? What did you learn this year? Think about how you will handle this in the upcoming year.

3. What are you most proud of from the year?

As you celebrate the new year, also celebrate you. Think about your achievements. Any and all of them, big or small. Did you get that grade or finally understand that math problem? Did you start a blog or make a new friend? Did you try something new? Whatever it is, you’re amazing and you should be proud of yourself.


We don’t know what 2017 brings, but I know we are ready. We will bravely face the new year, full of new possibilities.

Thank you 2016 for everything you gave us and taught us.

2017….bring it!

Our Favorites October

Let me start off by saying a great BIG THANK YOU!

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes. It made my day so special!

Now on to October.

Happy October! We hope it’s been faBOOlous so far!

We love this time of year! We have to admit we are big fans of Halloween. We love the tricks and treats, dressing up, and eating candy. What’s better than that?

As the daughter (Gabriella) I grew up getting to wear tons of DIY costumes made by my mom (Veronica). Most of them worked, but sometimes they just made us laugh. When I was four I was an unmovable butterfly. That’s right. Unmovable. The costume was so big and stiff I could hardly walk and definitely couldn’t move my arms. Hey, it was still cute.
Lots of love,

DIY Halloween Costumes

Now, some of our fav tricks and treats!

Veronica’s Fav Trick:

Gabriella’s Fav Treat: Pumpkin everything! Come on, admit it. We all love the pumpkin stuff.

october favorite flavor pumpkin

Gabriella’s Fav Costume: DIY Cookie Monster costume. This costume is the cutest (and it looks easy). You need to check it out. Totally brings me back to my childhood. Cookie Monster is the best.

Our Fav La la la:

Our Fav Bite: Silly Apple Bites. We are so making these. Oh yeah, they’re also good for you. Go check out how easy these are to make.

Image by Fork & Beans

Have a spooktacular weekend!

Do you have a favorite childhood costume? We would all love to hear about it in the comments below.

5 Ways You Can Be Lazy This Summer And Still Buy A Taco

Lazy Summer Taco
Its summer!

School’s out and all you want to do is sleep in, play video games and maybe go to Taco Bell once in a while.
Sounds pretty much perfect, but you’re going to need money to buy that taco. So unless you’ve got an endless supply from mom and dad, you need money.
I’m not talking loads of money, but just enough to get by. Yes, there will be plenty of kids working there tushies off all summer saving for a car or for college, but maybe that’s not you.

So what can you do to make some coin?

Here are five ways YOU can be lazy this summer and still buy a taco:

1. Dig through your couches and find loose change.
Find change anywhere (Not from your mom’s purse) and take it to a change machine at your local grocery store and cash it in. Change adds up – I see a burrito with your name on it.
2. Talk to a neighbor about mowing their lawn.
They may want it mowed every week or every two weeks or even once a month. How long does it take to mow a yard? Bonus, it doesn’t have to be done every day. It’s a great way to make some money for little effort. You can set up to do several lawns. The more you do, the more dollars you make.
3. See if anyone wants his or her dog walked.
Walking a dog for 30-60 minutes a day. Yes, it is daily, but it takes an hour at the most. Still less than a part time job and still gives you plenty of gaming time.
4. Find out if any neighborhood parents need a date night.
You could babysit once a week so they can have a night out. Or, you can be a mother’s helper. Offer to play with the kids once or twice a week for an hour for a small fee. Mom can have some me time and you make some easy cash. Again, it only takes a few hours a week.
5. Look for neighbors that could use some help.
You could carry in their groceries or get their mail.
One summer I got the mail for a woman who lived on my street. She couldn’t walk to her mailbox so I brought it to her. It took five to ten minutes out of my day and she paid me. You can take a bathroom break longer than that.

There you go. Simple ways to make a few extra dollars.

Your welcome.

Now go. Go forth, be lazy and enjoy your tacos.

Bonus: Did I mention your couch (and butt) will thank you. While you are away for a couple hours a week (or less), your couch cushions can air out and fluff back up.

– NBL V –

How Do You Pick Your Role Model?

Role Model

Have you ever walked past a row of shiny magazines?

Their glossy covers of beautiful people with perfect hair and great bodies are hard to ignore. Have you ever looked at these celebrities smizing and thought, I want to be just like her or him? Even when you read the articles, they seem to focus on superficial things.

They paint a picture of perfection.

Magazines tell us to make choices based on looks and popularity. They take talented people, put them in a box and say, THIS should be your role model!

Look at her perfect skin, his amazing muscles, this fabulous outfit and glamorous life! They are famous and “perfect”! Of course you want to be like them!

Is that how you pick your role model?

By their boobs? Their airbrushed skin? Their famous “friends”? That might be what the magazines, and a lot of our culture want, but I have a problem with that.

I have two major problems with choosing a role model based on looks and fame.

#1: It Isn’t Fair 

It does a disservice to the people you are looking up to. Role models deserve to be seen for who they are as people. Their fame or their hair is not what makes them unique and special. Your role models should be recognized for their talents, their kindness, their hard work and passion. They are more than a pretty picture on a magazine. Let who they are as people inspire you.

#2: It’s Unrealistic 

Wanting to be like someone based on beauty or fame can lead to comparing yourself to unrealistic goal. The truth is, most of the photos you see aren’t even real. They are photoshopped like crazy (these pics are ridiculous). That’s because no one looks like a magazine cover, not even celebrities. The people you look up to would not want you striving to look a certain way or become something that you are not.

Don’t compare yourself. Don’t value people based on their popularity or looks.

Instead, be encouraged by the things that make your role models awesome people! Let them be a sense of inspiration to remind you that you are capable of endless possibilities.

Whether your role models are on magazine covers or not, remember that they are human beings. They are not perfect. They are real people with real talents and real flaws. In many ways, they are just like you.

Who are your role models?

What makes them awesome? 

– ttfn G –

Dear Hope: Afraid I Will Start Smoking Again

Dear Hope,Friends Smoking Pot
I have recently stopped smoking pot. I used to smoke all the time. I would get stoned before going to class and I just didn’t give a shit about anything. I was failing everything. Then a new family moved next door to us. They have a son my age and I thought he was a complete nerd. I didn’t want to be friends with him but my mom made us hang out. I would barely talk to him at first, but then I actually started to like him. He’s cool. He doesn’t drink or smoke which is totally new to me. At first I would get stoned when we hung out then I started to feel guilty. Then after two months I realized I hadn’t smoked in a while. Plus I started doing better in school. My problem is my old friends don’t understand. They are pissed that I won’t smoke anymore. They don’t understand why I hang out with him. I’m afraid I will start smoking again just because I hang out with them alot. What should I do?
– Jake

Dear Jake,
You need to do what is right for you. Your improved grades and new friendship show that you have been making great decisions. When it comes to your old friends, it sounds like they do not respect some of the changes you’ve made.

They are having what they consider “fun” and they want you to join in. They want things to be the way they have always been. It’s hard to see change in others because it makes you review yourself. They might even be feeling a little guilty. Change can be hard, even when it’s good.

You cannot change who they are, but you can expect them to respect your decisions. Be straight with them. It’s still you. You’re just not smoking pot anymore. Explain that you want to hang out, but you don’t want them to be pressuring you. If they are good friends, they will get accept you not smoking and get over it.

If you feel too tempted or they keep pressuring you, it’s time to move on. You need people around you that are supportive of your choices. Even though it’s hard to let go, it can sometimes be necessary. Don’t feel guilty if you need to move on. Instead, focus on all the positive things in your life. You have a new friend that sounds great and your grades have improved.

Friends are an important part of life. They should support you, not hold you back.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Completely Clueless in Geometry

Dear Hope,Geometry
My Geometry class is kicking my ass. I am falling behind and I’m completely clueless. I can’t fail or my parents will go off. HELP!!!!
– Failure

Dear Failure,
I use that name because it was the name given, but I don’t agree. Having difficulties or failing a class does not make a person a failure. Now that I have said that, back to Geometry.

You’re mid-way into this semester, but that is still enough time to turn things around.


Ask your teacher for help. They are there to help you understand the lessens they are teaching. Most teachers will find time to help you. If your teacher is not willing or doesn’t have time, ask them to recommend a tutor.
• Tutors can be a great help. If it’s someone from your school they have either just taken this class or may be taking it now. It’s fresh and they understand what you need to learn.
You can order Geometry For Dummies, 2nd Edition. According to the Amazon description learning geometry doesn’t have to be painful and can even be fun. I can’t guarantee the book will be fun, but I believe it can help you.
• Watch YouTube Videos. There are so many math type videos out there. If you don’t like one try another. Everyone has different styles of teaching and learning.


I think if you try one or all of those, it can help. You will have to put some effort in, but you can totally do it!

Also, I would recommend talking to your parents. Let them know you are struggling, but you’re going to get help. That always sounds good to parents. They may even have some ideas or resources to help you. Plus, if they know you are trying, they might even cut you some slack when your grades come out.

Good luck with the geometry!

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Will You Be Real This Week?

Be Real

Do you put up walls, or wear a mask to hide the real you?

Have you pretended to be something someone else wants to make life “easier,” or to be liked?

Do you ever feel like it is easier to be fake than to be you?

Are you being real?

I have to be honest with you, I act my way through too much of my life. I don’t even try, but like a safety vest, my mask inflates and I’m reacting appropriately before I can make a genuine mistake. It’s sometimes easier to unconsciously fake my way through moments than it is to remove the safety of being what everyone needs. It takes a conscious effort to remember to leave the safety vest off and actually be real. But once it’s off, the magic happens and it’s completely worth it.

It’s time to be real! Remove the safety vest and be authentically yourself.

I challenge myself to be real.

I challenge you to be real.


Let’s do this.

That comment section below is getting pretty lonely. Are you going to be real this week? Let me know!

– ttfn G –

The Lesson I Learned From My Dog


Our dog’s life is simple. He sleeps, eats and goes outside to run around. He’s definitely not as young anymore and he now enjoys the consistency of his simple life. At least he did until this week when that all changed.

This week my dog taught me a valuable lesson. The lesson: never give up.

It all started when I went to the backyard to bring him in the house. We have two adorable dogs, Cassie and Shaie. Cassie came right in, but Shaie would not budge. He was fixated on a particular spot toward the back of the yard. No matter how many times I called, he would not move. Finally, after coaxing him in with his favorite peanut butter dog cookies, I went out to investigate.

What had his attention that long? I could only imagine. We’ve had many things in our yard that have called for his attention.

Their dog toys – Frisbees, balls, and what not
Dead things – mice, birds, etc. I know it sounds terrible, but we also have cats. It happens.
A live turkey baby – That Shaie carefully carried to safety.
Fruit and nuts – From a neighbors tree

As I approached the back of the yard, I saw a huge hole in the ground under the fence. Seriously. A huge hole. Even though Shaie is big, he actually could have gotten through it.

Looking closer, I could see it was filled with a big piece of concrete. I guess the neighbors behind us put it there. Good thing because trust me, given the chance, he would have gone right through the hole. He has always been a free spirit runner. Anyways I came I saw I checked. Problem solved. He can’t get out and he will get over it. Right?

The next day he was back at that spot. Concentrating and obsessing about getting through that hole. He just sat there staring at it. I just imagined him making plans and formulating ways to get out. After what seemed like forever, I broke out the peanut butter treats once again to get him in.

Next day, the same thing. Again and again. Day after day. More obsessing. More planning.

I barely let him out the door and he would rush straight to that corner. What is with this? Why doesn’t he just give up? Why does he keep trying and trying?

He keeps trying because he doesn’t believe in giving up.

I saw this huge piece of concrete that he could never move or get around.

What I saw was a big obstacle.  What he saw was opportunity.


I realized it doesn’t matter how I saw it. I may think he will never get through. I might have given up by now. But not him. Not Shaie. He believes he will get out. He is trying to figure out a plan that works for him.

Watching him, I got to see his never give up attitude. What seems like an obstacle to one person (or dog) may seem like an opportunity to another. He had a passion, a dream, a determination to get through that hole. Even if I fully think he would not, he did not give up. He did not let my negative thoughts stop him. He taught me the important lesson to never give up. A lesson we all know but forget. When things get tough or we think we can’t, we forget to keep trying.



Never give up your dreams. Never give up on your passions. Don’t let obstacles get in your way. If it seems too big or seems impossible, find a different way. Shaie was determined and he never gave up. The big block of concrete did not stop his dreams. He found a new way. He started digging a new hole next to the concrete.

Take this lesson from my dog Shaie. NEVER GIVE UP!

– NBL V –

Ready! Set! Shop!

We recently got a Dear Hope question Dear Hope: The Stress of Working Retail and it reminded of this post from last year. I wanted to re-share it with you. I am still working retail and these are good reminders for the holiday shopping season.


It is the holiday season and I work retail.

That pretty much means I won’t see the light of day until mid-January. If you work retail during this time, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Working at a department store during the craziest shopping season of the year is intense, exhausting, kinda fun, but mostly, it is insanity.  Every kind of person that exists in the world comes out shopping and most of them have on their crazy faces.

Working retail means I work weird hours and everyday consists of running…and running…and running around helping customers locate the “perfect” gift.  A lot of them are panicking because they have no time left to shop for their thousands of presents they still need to buy.


If you’re out braving the wild stores in search of gifts, think about the people spending their holidays working to help you find what you need.

Here are some tips: 


Sometimes all it takes is a nice smile and a little friendliness to change our day.



Take some with you when you go out. Everyone benefits from some patience. Trust me! Everyone working will love you for it!

Remember what giving is about. 

If you are one of those panicked “so many gifts and so little time” people, calm down.  Remember what giving is about. It is for fun, not for stress. Remember when you are hunting down the perfect thing that it is about making someone else feel good. So relax!

It is all just stuff.

REMEMBER whatever you are in the stores searching for, it is just stuff.  I know you really want those new boots, or the new video game, but they are items. Those things come and go, so don’t stress about them.  You may cry a little if you don’t get what you want, but you’ll live.


As for me, I’ll be running around like a madman for the rest of the month until all the ugly sweaters get returned in January.

– ttfn G –

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