Author Archives: caitbuss

Pinterest Rip Off (Kind Of): Colored paper and folder game storage


Last week I found these in my classroom:

From what I can gather, they come with textbooks. I think they contain supplementary materials. In any case, they’re a million years old, as you can see from the peeling labels. I took them home, bought some Goo-Gone, and went to work. Then I spray painted them with some leftover paint from another project.
I decided to use one to hold folder games, and another for colored paper storage. That’s where the Pinterest Rip Off comes in. I found this pin and thought it was really clever. Little did I know I would have so much colored construction paper in my room and would really need this solution.

organize construction paper in plastic files. Keep scraps in the green hanging folders that separate the colors. Crates also work. This makes them stackable and portable and easily used by students. No more mess and damaged paper! Great idea!

And here they are!

Notice my leopard print labels. You can find the downloadable file here. I also used them on my Music Teacher’s Pencil Cups.

This whole project was free! The containers were already in my room, I had the paint on hand, and the labels were a free download. What do you think of my new storage?


Pinterest Rip Off: Keeping Dice Corralled


I love doing these short little posts! I hope you guys like them! I’ve been wanting to recreate this pin for awhile, but I figured there would be dice in my room already so I didn’t want to buy any. And I was right. Here’s the original pin. Molly at Lessons with Laughter used small containers she found at Staples. Well I was at Wal-Mart (I feel like I am every day) and you know those things that hang in the middle of the grocery aisles with lunch containers, small toys, i.e crap on them? Well that day, they had small food containers in four packs. For $1.50!

I got back to school, found my dice, popped ’em in, and viola! Now when my students roll the dice, they won’t go flying all over!

Pinterest Rip Off: Music Teacher’s Pencil Cups


This will be short and sweet. I found these on Pinterest and KNEW I had to make them. Aren’t they clever? But they also had to fit my theme.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought a two pack of lime green plastic cups in the dorm section. They were $1.50!

Then I made leopard print labels just like the ones that cover everything in my whole classroom. Stay tuned for that post. I found the labels in Pinterest too (duh). You can find them here, along with several other animal prints.

And that’s it! Easy peasy, mac n cheesy!

Here they are in action next to my teacher’s toolbox. Check out that post here!

Pinterest Rip Off: Teacher’s Toolbox


Are y’all ready to get back to school?! I know I am. Kind of. Truth be told, I’m terrified and really just trying to keep to together. But that being said, I’m so lucky to have a job, in a neat city, close to family, living in a cozy apartment. I’m really thankful for everyone’s advice, physical help, financial help and support.
And gushing over! This week, as part of my new classroom overhaul (more on that later!), I broke down and made a teacher toolbox, much like I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. To see the example I modeled mine after, click here. She even includes a downloadable template for your labels, and it rocked! Here’s a picture of my finished box.

To get started, you need a toolbox. You can get these at Lowe’s for $17. They only comes in navy. Wah-wah. A problem easily solved with a can of black spray paint. (Some of you are reading this and thinking, “Why bother? There’s not that much difference between navy and black.” And you would be so wrong. So wrong.)

Then go to Hobby Lobby (Michael’s or your local craft store will also suffice) and pick out scrapbooking paper. I picked out lime green and blue with a subtle polka dot, since those are my classroom colors. They were 12×12 inches each, so I cut them to 8.5×11, to fit my printer. Download that lovely template, take a survey of your office supplies, and edit the labels to suit you. I used a font I downloaded for free from kevinandamanda. Then I printed right on to the scrapbooking paper. Cut out the labels. They were a little bland for me, so I took my scraps and doctored up the large labels. I also decided laminate mine, so I could change them easily and reuse them in later years (SIDENOTE: LAMINATION IS MY NEW FAVORITE THIS EVERRRRRR). Then I slapped them on with some masking tape. Ta-Da!

My white trash (according to Dad) recycled pallet coffee table


I’ve been drooling over Pinterest projects involving upcycling wooden pallets for months. You know, the ones that home improvements stores use to haul freight? Those. And it just so happens that I did not have a coffee table for my new apartment. So let me just tell you the short story involving my acquiring these pallets.

So I know that you can get in trouble for taking pallets from the back of a store because some stores reuse them or charge for them. What’s a girl to do? Craigslist. I consulted Craigslist and found this guy in Lawrence who was selling pallets for $5 a piece. Reasonable. Okay. So we make arrangements for him to come to me and I made sure my roommate was going to be home because I’ve seen The Craigslist Killer. And good thing too.

So the guy turns into my apartment complex and I can hear him before I can see him. He rolls up in the shadiest I-promise-children-candy-and-then-abduct-them van. He was nice though. But that’s what they all say. He gives me the pallets, I give him ten bucks. And that’s that. Thank God.

I get home for the summer and inform my father that we are making this coffee table. And here it is in a series of photos.

Here is my pappy being a good sport and sawing the first pallet in half.

You’re the best, Dad.

Okay so here’s half of one pallet. Notice the wide gaps. My lovely father happened to have some spare wood that fit perfectly between the gaps.

I skipped a step, my apologies. Here’s the pallet with the spare wood nailed in between the gaps, but this is also after we had repeated the first steps on the second pallet, hence the stacking.

Now for some paint. I picked a nice mac ‘n’ cheese color that turned out waay more yellow than the swatch. Small town hardware store, what can you do? But I really like it. We painted the pallets separately and attached them after the paint dried. I don’t have a photo, but we attached the pallets with six steel straps similar to these, three on each side. We left them unpainted for an industrial look.

Here’s both pallets in the painting process. We had to move them into the garage and onto saw horses, because it rained that day. Which, by the way, is the ONLY rain I’ve seen this summer. 😦

Here are my casters. We attached them to woodblocks first, partly for stability, partly to raise the table up an inch.

I also don’t have a photo of the finished product. I’m really bad at remembering to take photos. I just get so into it. 🙂

The Ultimate Drink Stop, deconstructed.


This summer I found myself in a Sonic drink rut. For those of you out there Sonic-less (I pity your soul), Sonic is a drive-in fast food joint that I mainly go to for drinks. We’re talking endless possibilities. Sonic claims to have 398,929 possible drink combinations, although I’m a music teacher, not a mathematician, so we’re just gonna take their word for it. Point is, you can get ANYTHING.

So I said to myself, “Self, why do you always get the same thing when there’s thousands of delicious options? Let’s get something different every time we go to Sonic this summer.” So that’s what I did. And here’s my list, in reverse order according to said deliciousness.

Pineapple Sprite

Although to me this was a no-brainer, pineapple plus lemon-lime soda, Sonic does not quite understand I don’t think. Instead of stocking pineapple syrup, they use the crushed pineapple that is used for banana split topping. And IT CLOGS THE STRAW. Duh, Sonic. Thus every other pineapple concoction is out.

Strawberry Lemonade

The same goes for anything with strawberry in it at Sonic. In an attempt to market the drinks as “fresh”, they always use real strawberry. Don’t they know if I wanted real strawberry, I would eat a real strawberry? I came to Sonic for delicious artificial syrupy goodness.

Peach Sprite

This was good, but the peach tasted diet. Like Splenda instead of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Yuk.

Chocolate Dr Pepper

This was interesting. I would have never ordered this, except my mom’s standby drink is always chocolate diet Coke. So I tried it with Dr Pepper. As far as I can tell, they use Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Which is thicker than soda so it doesn’t dissolve completely. But I kind of liked it that way. Some sips were hinting at chocolate and some sips were mostly chocolate. It was like a box of chocolates, you never knew what you were going to get. See what I did there? Eh?

Green Apple Sprite

I really like the green apple flavor. But it didn’t come across very strong in Sprite. Maybe they didn’t put enough in. Maybe I should get this again and compare. More to come later.

Vanilla Cherry Dr Pepper

I think Dr Pepper actually makes this in cans, but its better at Sonic. It just is.

Cherry Limeade

This is the quintessential Sonic drink. If you’ve never been, get this. And you get a cherry in the bottom.

Cherry Blue Powerade

I had a friend who used to call this Shark Attack. Get it?

Watermelon Ocean Water

Ocean Water is Sprite with blue coconut flavor. Then add watermelon. Mmmmm.

Watermelon Sprite

There’s a lot of watermelon on this list. I just really like it.

Vanilla Orange Fanta

I picked this one up from another friend. It’s like Oreos and PB, don’t knock it till you try it. It’s sort of like a carbonated creamsicle.

Watermelon Slush

I think I forgot to mention that Sonic has awesome slushes. And you can get them in any of the flavors. They only list a few under the slush category, but if you ask nicely, they’ll make anything.

Blue Powerade Slush

If you love Powerade/Gatorade, this is exactly as fantastically delicious as you think it will be. I like to get a large and sip for hours.

Cranberry Limeade

I feel as though this is the Cherry Limeade’s older, more sofisticated sister. Only downside is no cherry in the bottom.

Watermelon Limeade

And this is the Cherry Limeade’s crazy fun-loving friend.

Green Apple Lemonade

I loooooove the green apple. I know I said this. I like it in lemonade over Sprite because you can really taste the awesomeness.

And the favorite……Watermelon Lemonade

Are you surprised it’s watermelon?


What’s your favorite Sonic drink? Leave me a comment!

Movin’ on up, to the East Side!

Movin’ on up, to the East Side!

Wow, it’s been awhile. Since the 72-Hour Kit post, I finished student teaching, graduated college (!), got a teaching job in Oklahoma City for next year (!), subleased my apartment and moved back home with my parents. Until, that is, I move to OKC in July.

Moving. It sucks. Luckily, I’m somewhat of an expert. We moved a lot because of my dad’s job. Eight times, if you don’t count all the moving I did in college by myself. And it’s moving time in the Buss Household again, so here comes number nine.

So I thought I would document just a little bit of the craziness that was moving all my stuff home for the summer. And I will share a little bit of moving wisdom for all you noobs.

Here are some photos of the packing process in my apartment.

Now, I’m a organized girl. But moving is a whole different can of worms.  In order for the boxes to be organized/light enough to carry, my place always gets trashed. I’ve never been able to master the art of packing in a pretty way. It probably doesn’t exist. But here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Consider color-coding your boxes. Moving crews are not always literate. I WISH I was kidding. For this move, because I’m moving with my parents and then AGAIN to OKC, I put hot pink duct tape on all my boxes so the movers know they’re mine and so that I won’t forget anything in the move to OKC.

2. I also numbered my boxes. Then I created a numbered list with a description of the contents of each box. Then I plan on making two copies of that list. One will be for moving day #1, where I check each box off the list as it comes off the truck at my parents’ new place. The other will be for moving day #2, where I check each box as it gets loaded onto the U-Haul to OKC. You with me, people? Good.

3. Feed and hydrate your moving crew. They work hard and if you move in the summer like we always do. It WILL be 104 degrees that day. It will. Just trust me.

4. Don’t pack all of your Harry Potter books in one box. I know, your brain is telling you to put them all together so you know you won’t misplace one, but your dad will be mad at you because the box will be too heavy. Been there.

5.When the U-Haul company says that the trailer you rented fits a queen-sized bed, don’t believe them and measure it first. My mattress fit and my box springs was one inch too wide. So this is what we ended up with.

The box spring precariously bungee’d into my dad’s truck. Like the Beverly Hillbillies. We had to take the back roads and it took us an extra hour to get home.

6. Moving day is gonna suck no matter what, so the better you plan, the more tolerable it will be. Plan to eat takeout on the floor of your living room that day. Plan on being gross ALL DAY. Plan on breaking something. Plan on the movers breaking something. If you prepare yourself for all the sucky stuff, it’s almost fun. ALMOST.

Anyone out there have any good moving tips that I forgot? I’d love to hear ’em, because I have two moves left this summer. Boo.