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Emily Speaks

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets

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Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series | Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Gui
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This week’s Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenged us to repurpose old puzzle pieces. I think we can all admit as parents that there is no shortage of random, useless pieces in our homes once we let the kids crack into a new puzzle. I decided to do a little something different this week and instead of centering my project around activities for the twins, I decided to hold a mother daughter night and make a project that served as an extension of the Emily Speaks series. Over a scary movie, a pile of style magazines, some Mod Podge and an Exacto knife, we made puzzle piece affirmation magnets.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets

I’ve always been a big fan of Mod Podge. I pretty much used it to decorate my entire college bedroom, with collages and furniture statement pieces that all had a touch of the crazy that was my thought process in those formative years. I was excited to share it with Emily, and hope maybe she’ll find a similar manner of self-expression through art with this awesome little super wonder of sticky.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets

After digging through the magazines and finding words that would fit on the puzzle pieces, we got to work. I’ll admit, finding the right words and cutting them in a way that would work on the puzzle piece was a bit of a challenge and it took some getting used to and more than a few of hopeful phrases that ended up in the trash bin due to poor cutting on our parts. But once we figured it out, we had a pile of great phrases to work from.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets

We painted each puzzle piece and the word affirmation with Mod Podge and set them to dry. We planned on waiting overnight, but Emily brilliantly suggested we speed up the process with her blowdryer. This did the trick, although I admit they came out a bit more wrinkly than I would have liked and hopefully with time, as with normal drying periods with Mod Podge, the wrinkles will stretch and dry some more and disappear.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets

We used the Exacto knife to cut off the excess from the magazine clippings and stuck an adhesive magnet on the back and voila! Puzzle piece affirmation magnets. Now Emily and I can put them on the fridge, she can pop them in her locker at school or we can put them up in other places as constant reminders of our awesome.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Puzzle Piece Affirmation Magnets

Check out what the other ladies did with their extra puzzle pieces and if you happen to have repurposed some of your own in kid-friendly fun ways, be sure to link them up below!

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Sadia

    July 20, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I’ve used old puzzle pieces, painted, as decorations on photo frames, but these would be perfect as central components of a collage!

    Thanks for linking up!

    • Katy Blevins

      July 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

      I admit, I was a bit baffled as to how to use them when I first thought about it, but now I’m in love and have all sorts of fun ideas!

  2. Everyday with Chrys

    July 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    What a great idea. This would be perfect for those puzzles that we have lost pieces to over the years.

    • Katy Blevins

      July 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks so much! We’ve got a bit of a growing supply ourselves. The boys love puzzles, but man oh man, those pieces are always disappearing!

  3. Carie Spence

    July 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Now these are something my daughter would love to make! Going to show her tonight! Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.

    • Katy Blevins

      July 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Yay! That’s awesome! Definitely be sure to come back and share the end results. I’d love to see them!

  4. Megan Walker

    July 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    What a great idea! I bet your daughter loved doing this activity with you : )

    • Katy Blevins

      July 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      We had such a great time together. In fact, we’re already planning our next Mother/Daughter project. It’s nice to just set aside time for ourselves and put our hands to work on something creative together.

  5. MandyE

    August 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Fellow twin mama here! 😉 And I just discovered Mod Podge. (Where have I been???) Love this idea! I just made a magnet board for my girls (since pushpins will scare me until they’re much, much older). This will be great! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Katy Blevins

      August 5, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Isn’t Mod Podge the best Mandy?! Sometimes I have to remind myself not to shellac everything in sight. Ha ha ha ha!

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Emily Speaks

11 Alternatives to Self Harm: Emily Speaks

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Alternatives to Self Harm | Emily Speaks | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide
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If you’re just connecting with the Emily Speaks series, be sure to check out her first post, Cyber Bullying and Self-Harm, to catch up. Today, Emily will be sharing 11 alternatives to self harm to help those hurting to make healthier choices to cope with emotional struggles. 

11 Alternatives to Self-Harm: Emily Speaks


I know it can be hard not to self-harm if you’re being bullied, but you need to try to think of other ways to deal with the pain. Cutting leaves angry scars on your body. You should try to deal with your hurt in other ways. Here are 11 good examples that will hopefully help you out a little bit.

1. Try talking to somebody about what’s going on so that you can get it out of your system.

2. Go outside where nobody is around and just scream as loud as you can for as long as you want.


3. Take a rubber band and keep it on your wrist so whenever you feel like cutting you can just take that rubber band and snap it on your wrist (softly – not to where it harms you).


4. Get an old teddy bear or stuffed animal that you don’t want and take your anger out on that.


5. Go on a jog or go out and ride your bike or long board or whatever you have and just ride around to calm yourself down.


6. Go hang out with your friend(s) and get your mind off things that would make you want to cut or do anything else to harm yourself.

7. Sleep it out and take a long nap and see how you’re feeling when you wake up.


8. Go hang out with your family and just relax.


9. Listen to some music.


10. Read a book.


11. Get an art journal and draw out your feelings. You can paint, draw pictures, even just scribble hard.

These are some of the ways that I stop myself from cutting, because I do still think about it when things get rough. When that happens, I try to do these instead and it helps. It does! You need to do anything that would take your mind off of any bad thoughts you are having and make you want to hurt yourself. This might not be the best list of ideas, but if you take a chance and try them out, they might end up working for you. You’re not only helping yourself, but you’re helping everyone else around you by making a better choice to not self-harm. 

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Emily Speaks

Back to School Blues: Emily Speaks

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Back to School Blues | Pep Talk | Emily Speaks
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I know that some of you may be scared of going back to school, maybe because you don’t want to be bullied again, or you’re scared that you won’t make any new friends. Or maybe you’re just nervous you might not do that well in school this year. Well let me tell you this…I’m nervous to go back to school myself !

All that you need to do is believe in yourself. Believe that you will be successful. Believe that you will make a ton of new friends. Believe that you will have the best year that you can have!

Back to School Blues | Pep Talk | Emily Speaks

Some of you might get excited when summer comes along every year because it gives you a break from all your teachers, tests and most of all some distance from the people around you. Summer gives you a break from all of the teasing, the people laughing at you, and the people that try to bring you down the minute you step on that bus until the minute you step off  every day. Summer also brings feelings of relief, because you know that you won’t have a test or a quiz the next day and you can relax and not stress so much.

I know all of this, because these are all of the things that I’m fearing of right now. I’m scared to go back to school every day, because I know there will be some tough moments for me. I’m not afraid to say that I don’t do very well in school. Part of it is because I’m not understanding what we are learning, or I get distracted really easily in class. Or sometimes I’m just not having the best day and it’s hard to focus. Even though I’m scared to be going back to school this year, I’m going to try and make the most of it, not only because it’s my last year in middle school,  but because I want to know that I did my best, and did everything that I could to be the best that I can be.

Don’t let school make you someone that you’re not and don’t let bullies make you someone that you’re not. Be you and be happy with who you are and what you’ve got, because trust me it’s better that way. Be brave!

Back to School Blues | Pep Talk | Emily Speaks

I hope everyone has a good year! Love and make it the best that you can! Love, Emily

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Emily Speaks

Cyber Bullying and Self Harm: Emily Speaks

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Cyber Bullying and Self Harm | Emily Speaks | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide
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ANOTHER AWESOME UPDATE! A link up has been added to the bottom of this post. If you’ve written a blog post about bullying, self harm or other difficult journeys, please share your post! Let’s join together to build a community of supporters who are committed to the fight to stop bullying and want to actively work to encourage those who are hurting around us. LINK UP AND SHARE!

UPDATE! Due to the overwhelming show of support and response to Emily’s post, we are hoping to host an Anti-Bullying Walk in Virginia Beach, VA to bring the community together to #StopBullying. If you’d like to be involved or can offer help in any way, please let me know! THANK YOU! 

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While no parent wants their child to ever experience any type of hurt, emotional or otherwise, I have to say I have never been prouder of Emily than I am in this moment. The journey towards health and wellness for her has been a long one and we’ve still got a ways to go, but the woman of strength she is becoming is truly something to behold. She’s bravely with us today to share some personal insight with her own cyber bullying and self-harm experiences. Let’s give her a big welcome and show her some love for having the courage to talk about a tough topic to help others. Let’s celebrate in the victory along with her as she finds her voice.
Cyber Bullying and Self-Harm: Emily Speaks
 
My name is Emily, and I’m gonna tell you a little bit about my story.
 

I’ve been having issues with being bullied. In school I would get called ‘stupid,’ ‘a dumb blonde,’ ‘ugly,’ ‘fat,’ ‘retarded’ and then there’s the cyber bullying where I’ve been called ‘ratchet,’ ‘worthless,’ ‘not important,’ and pretty much all the same things I said before too. 

It hurts, it really does, and it came to the point where I started cutting and self harming myself. It’s not only the bullying, I’ve had problems with family and all of that just made me sad and angry all the time. 

My dad and stepmom always wonder why I’m always in my room or why I don’t interact with them and others, or why I have an attitude more than usual. It’s because I’ve been having hard times at school and with the people around me. I know that’s not a good excuse to treat my family poorly when they didn’t do anything to me. I just never understood that, and instead I was blaming everyone at that point. 

Now I know that my family is here to help. 

Bullies are just there to bring us down, and they make us believe that we aren’t worth anything. Believe me, I know how hard it is to not listen to what they are telling you. I’m still having trouble to this day with believing what the bullies are saying about me. 

This is to all the kids who were bullied and who are being bullied now: You need to go up to whoever is doing it to you and you need to put the biggest smile on your face and say “I’m stronger than you think I am. I am better than you think I am and your words mean nothing to me. So you can keep trying to bring me down and call me names, but you’re just wasting your time.” And then you just walk away still having a smile on your face. No matter how hard it is and no matter how much their words put you down and hurt you, you need to let them know that you’re better than what they are putting you through and you believe in yourself! I promise you that it will get better! You may not think it will, but trust me it will get better. 

And this is to all the bullies out there: What you put people through is not okay! You make people cut every single day, you make people want to kill themselves. So many people have killed themselves over bullying and it could have been because of you. You make people feel worthless, you make them feel like they have no reason for living another day. It’s not fair to do this to anyone. Maybe you are bullying people because you have been bullied and you are just blaming others for what someone did to you, or maybe it’s because your parents abuse you or you have trouble at home. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, you have no ok reason to treat people this way, especially if you know how it feels. So you need to put yourself in their shoes and remember how it felt when you were bullied. Ask for help if you’re in trouble or hurting, but don’t hurt others to make yourself feel better. 

And this is to the parents of children being bullied: If you see your child acting differently than they usually would, ask them what’s wrong and talk to them. See what’s going on and if they need any help or just need someone to talk to. 

It’s important for you to have a good relationship with your child. 


You can’t try and force anything out of them, because if they’re like me, I don’t like to talk about my problems with anybody. But always try your hardest to let them know you’re there and that you care, and that you’re gonna listen to what they are telling you. When they’re ready to talk. 

If you’re being bullied or you know someone being bullied, get help now at StopBullying.gov.



Please link up your posts about bullying or self-harm here. Let’s come together and build a resource to let others know they are not alone! Let’s join together in the cause to stop bullying and bring healing to those who are hurting around us. This link up is always open! Please share. 

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