Simply Getting By

Simplifying my life & taking back control of my choices, possessions, lifestyle, and nourishment in order to salvage my finances, the environment, and my sanity.

Front Table Decorations September 25, 2008

Filed under: diy,homemaking — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 3:34 am

This table is one of the first things you see from our front door. I thought it looked plain, and I wanted some of those cinnamon scented pinecones, so I came up with some decorations.

The top photos are before & after. The bottom shows the supplies I bought to put it together.

Total cost- under $16
Wicker basket $2 on sale @ Dollar General
Ribbon $1 per spool @ Dollar General
Table Runner $3 @ Dollar General
Scented Pinecones $3.33 @ Rose’s
Mini Flower Arrangements $2 [$1 each] @ Rose’s
Coffee Cups $2 [$1 each]
Candles $2 [$1 each]


Still Here :) September 18, 2008

Filed under: change,homemaking — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 11:11 pm

Just a quick post to let everyone know I haven’t disappeared.

The state is in the process of paving our road, and they keep cutting or phone line in to, so I just got internet access back after being without since Monday.

I’ll do a longer “catch-up” post over the weekend, when I have more time.

This past weekend was really nice. Billy [my husband] knew that I was planning on doing a lot of cleaning and decluttering, so he helped me out a lot. We planned the day so we had breaks every hour, and quit working early enough in the evening to have some time together to just relax and talk. I was surprised how much we got done, including sorting and inventorying our emergency pantry, so I can plan the next few weeks’ meals on using up some older food and replacing it with fresh.

It’s amazing how much simpler the control journal makes things, because I know what I have to do and have things prioritized somewhat. I also made a control journal for my job, and even in using it the past few days, have been a lot more productive, because I know what I need to do and check off, before I get sidetracked on other projects. Still a long way to go, but I’m well on my way to running my life instead of letting it run me.


Baby Steppin’ Through The House September 12, 2008

Filed under: decluttering,homemaking — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 2:03 pm

I’ll be updating with some pics tomorrow, when I get my digital camera back.

One of the key concepts over at FlyLady is doing things in “Baby Steps” instead of trying to tackle it all at once. Even though I’ll be spending several days during the next couple weeks in crisis cleaning mode, because my parents may be stopping by to visit while they’re in town, I can appreciate the logic behind building a habit one small step at a time. I’m trying to do what I can now in the mornings after work, before I have to go to sleep for my night shift job, and I’m surprised how much of a sense of accomplishment I’ve been getting from the smallest things. I still have a long way to go, but I finally feel like I’m making progress, and that it will be possible to not only get the house clean but to keep it that way, despite not having much time to spend on housework right now.

I managed to have dinner cooked both Wednesday and Thursday, and I have everything prepared for tonight’s dinner and work snacks as well. That may not sound like much, but the past couple years I’ve done good if I cooked once a month – the kitchen was usually too messy to use for preparing food, and the stovetop covered in clutter. It’s nice seeing my counters again. Even though I only have about 1/3 of it cleared right now, it is scrubbed and clean enough to eat off of. Of course, the real benefit was getting to spend time with my husband as we sat down to eat, rather than grabbing a snack and staying in separate rooms, each doing our own thing.

My other baby step is shining the sink each morning. That FlyLady is one smart, sneaky, woman. She must’ve known that to shine the sink I’d have to wash the dishes that were in it, and have to put away the dishes in the drain. Of course, after a day of this, I noticed the dish drainer needed cleaning, and the counter beneath it, and the miniblinds behind the sink over the kitchen window. This morning, I cleaned the counter to the other side, and all of the appliances that live there [the coffee pot, deep fryer, and electric grill]. I guess if clutter can spread from any spot I sit anything down and leave it, then cleanliness can spread from whatever I clean as well. 🙂

The foundation for everything, for me, is having a routine already planned out getting dressed and putting on shoes before I start. Most mornings, I am tired from work when I come home, and I used to thrown on a nightgown and either veg out in front of the computer and kill time or go straight to bed. Either way, I got nothing done. Now, I know what needs doing, so I just follow the schedule until it’s done or it’s time for me to go to bed. Since I change right into my housework clothes, it gets me in the mindset for work, not slacking off. I always top this off with an apron and a scarf for my hair – it just seems to remind me that I’ve got work to do, and keep me in the right mindset to get things done, and I put some music on to keep my moving until it’s time to stop.

Do you have a “uniform” or a certain routine or thing that you do to let yourself know that it is time to do housework?


Welcome! (Again…) September 10, 2008

Filed under: career,decluttering,fitness,money,weight loss,work/life — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 10:56 am


Somehow I ended up deleting my whole blog while trying to update the look. Sorry about that.

Maybe I needed a “fresh start” anyway. I’ve been pondering a few new things lately, and procrastinating on many others, so I guess I can use this blog as a place to track my progress and keep myself a little more accountable. I was a little concerned about posting some of this publicly, because I tend to fool myself into thinking that clients might be put off by this blog if they read it and see that I’m not perfect, but then I realized that’s that’s all part of being human, and I’d rather be myself than put on a front anyway. I have a feeling it’ll be a lot better for me in the long run being honest with myself and others and maybe connecting with some people going through the same things than it will trying to be perfect, so please feel free to comment.

You might have noticed the new header lists a few rather ambitious goals, so I’ll break them down into a little more detail here:

Losing 100+ Pounds
Right now, I weigh around 284 pounds [fluctuating between 280-285]. My goal weight is 165, but even around 180 would be on the larger side of a healthy weight range for me. I don’t have any health problems from the weight, yet, but I figure now is the time to get it down before I develop any. My plan right now is to follow an 1800 calorie a day diet, exercise at least 3-5 times a week, track my progress at The Daily Plate on, and keep consulting with my doctor to stay on track and to adjust this plan as necessary.

Becoming A Runner
I was w
orking on Couch to 5k a few months ago, and had a couple problems, including 2 stress fractures and a pulled chest wall, so I decided to tone things back some. For now, I’ll be walking 3-4 days a week and doing either yoga or strength training on the other days. Once I can walk 3 miles at a 15 minute pace comfortably, I’ll start adding jogging intervals back in slowly, and will probably work my way back into C25K from there, then build a running program from that point on. I would ideally like to be in shape to run a marathon before I turn 30, but I’m taking things slow right now so I don’t end up getting injured again. As the weight comes off, and the walking progresses, it should make running much easier as well.

Decluttering and Organizing
My house is a wreck right now. I know most women say this, including my grandmother, whose home usually looked like she’d just got done doing a Better Homes & Gardens cover shoot. I’ll say it again – my house is a wreck! – I’m talking, call Oprah Winfrey, bring in the dump trucks, this girl has some serious clutter issues going on! I have family that may be coming to visit in a couple weeks, so it’s sort of kickstarted my cleaning plans. So far, I’m working things throwing away stuff I don’t need and trying to put things at least in the room where they belong, and by decluttering and straightening things up in 15 & 30 minute intervals. I’m starting to follow FlyLady to get all the normal cleaning done.

Working My Way To A New Career
Ive spent the past 5 years working a night shift job as a Correctional Officer [prison guard]. It’s not all that hard, but all of the drama is stressful and it leaves me mentally worn out because I get bored pretty easily. The pay and benefits are pretty decent, but that’s not really a good incentive for staying in a job I dread going to every night. I got my NC real estate license in February of 2007, and I have been working part-time at Keller Williams Realty. I absolutely love working there and helping people find the perfect home, but it’s been a struggle juggling this with my other job’s schedule, finding the money to pay for fees and advertising, and managing my time to get everything done so I can be successful. I’ve decided that I am going to really work on my business in the next year, and hopefully quit the prison and go full-time in real estate only next year.

Edited to add: The office I was working at closed down, and with the economic downturn, a full-time career in real estate is not working out at this time. I was thinking about taking a break already, but the closing of the office sort of sealed it for me. There are parts of it that I really enjoy, but I’m not sure if I’m suited for office work as my only career. Thinking back to the past, the most fulfilling jobs I’ve had were hands on [in a restaurant kitchen & in a furniture factory], so maybe I need to feel like I’m producing something tangible to really feel fulfilled by work. Since the office closing, I’ve had a lot more time to cook at home, and for the local soup kitchen, and I had forgotten how much joy I get from that. I am considering culinary school, with encouragement from my husband. Even if it doesn’t translate into a new career, a lot of the things I learn will be useful at home and for part-time work or seasonal catering jobs.

Getting Out Of Debt and Saving for the Future
Like many people my age, I left college deep in debt and dug the hole even deeper from there. All of this debt, and the high monthly payments that go with it, have kept me in a job I dislike and have held back my real estate career and many of my other dreams and plans for the future, plus made it hard just to make ends meet some months. I don’t know who came up with the idea of giving college students credit cards with 20+% interest rates and credit limits of $20,000-30,000, but I believe that the person had to either be really stupid or very heartless and conniving [I know the plan here is that their parents will bail them out if/when they get overextended, but it’s still just wrong]. I still can’t blame it on all on the credit companies though, because it is my fault that I ended up over my head with credit card debt, student loan debt, and a car payment that’s twice what I should reasonably be spending, so it’s up to me to get it paid off. At this point, I’m still playing “catch-up”, but I will be selling items on eBay, having yard sales, and finding ways to cut costs so I can put as much as possible towards paying down my debt. I will be doing this using the debt snowball method and following the advice from Dave Ramsey‘s website, books, and podcasts.

Finding New Ways To Enjoy Life
This is really what all of the above come down to. My life is pretty good as it is. I have a wonderful husband, our own home, and a secure job with a steady paycheck, my health is much better than to be expected [I’m a leukemia survivor], I have a good start on a career that I love, and I have the power to change most of the things in life that I am not satisfied with right now. Still, I am always looking for ways to make life better for myself and my husband, and for reminders to keep a positive mental attitude and to keep on reaching and making progress towards my goals. Life is overwhelming at times, but I feel like if I can work on things one small step at a time then it won’t all seem so big, and the small goals will motivate me to keep going until I reach the larger ones.

For anyone who reads this, please let me know how you found my blog, and if you are working on any of the same things. If so, good luck, and got any good tips?