Setbacks Are Temporary

Just remember that setbacks are temporary. We all stumble, falter, or fail at some point in our lives, but it’s how we pick ourselves up and carry on that matters. Persistence and determination will overshadow those setbacks and help you overcome.




30 Day Challenge – Week 3

This is the fourth in a series. Read the initial post, Week 1 Progress, and Week 2 Progress.

30 day challenge - week 2 results (1)

A set-back is defined as a reversal in your progress. This past week I experienced a bit of a set back, that I wrote about in my post on The Challenge of Slowing DownI hurt my back, came down with strep and inflamed vocal chords, and was ordered to go home and rest my voice. Then came the fibromyalgia flare. And then word that one of my cousins, who is just a few years older than me, died unexpectedly. Talk about some stress on the body.

This is what happens when you ignore the little voices in your head telling you to take it easy. Take a day off. Get some rest. If I had rested sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have developed strep and lost my voice, maybe I wouldn’t have gone into full fibro flare mode.

“Temporary set backs are overshadowed by persistence.” ~Quentin L. Cook

Week 3 Results

Although I experienced some set backs with my health and my energy levels, I was still able to keep up with the other habits I am trying to reinforce: daily gratitude and daily logging of my food.

Overall results:

  • Workouts: Yoga 6 out of 7 days – a few days were some very gentle, restorative yoga for my back, but I did it.
  • Weight: I have lost 0.2 lbs this week. (Overall weight loss so far: 4 lbs.) My body has been inflamed and trying to heal, requiring more fuel to recover. I am surprised I even lost anything.
  • Food: Logged everything, including tea in honey, cough drops, etc. in MyFitnessPal.
  • Gratitude: 7 out of 7 days
  • Sleep: Well this is still my biggest struggle and my biggest fail. One night I couldn’t sleep because of back pain. Several nights I was up with post-nasal drip and a sore throat.

Developing Habits





“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” ~Aristotle




They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, so I have hit that mark. Developing habits takes time, consistency, determination, and persistence. You’re more apt to continue with those habits if:

  • You tell others about what you are trying to do
  • You don’t make excuses
  • You develop affirmations
  • You reward yourself

I rewarded myself this week by allowing my body time to heal.

Do you have some bad habits or issues you would like to work on? Consider challenging yourself for 7, 14, or even 30 days!


More Is Not Better

The Daily+ brought to you by Aura Cacia…. More is not Better. This should be our mantra not just on Mondays, but every day. Rather than tackling a long and overwhelming to do list, focus on what’s important first. Set your top three priorities for the day, and do them. It helps you feel more accomplished, less buried. Focus.


I start my planner each day with the top three priorities. Today I have to tackle budget prep and an upcoming project prep.

What are you top priorities for the day?



The Challenge of Slowing Down

I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was.

Life in general requires overcoming challenges and obstacles of many types. Life with fibromyalgia introduces its own share of challenges: lack of energy, lack of sleep, chronic pain being the most prevalent.  These things can change who you are and how you approach life. What once was a simple task, such as getting out of bed in the morning, can now be a daily struggle.

In the years since my diagnosis, my biggest challenge has been SLOWING DOWN. I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was. Type A personalities, like myself, prefer to be in the game rather than sitting on the sidelines.

Adopting health strategies such as a clean diet, regular workouts, and supplements, has helped lessen the daily pain and limited my “flares” of my fibromyalgia. It has allowed me to maintain a moderately active lifestyle. And then I begin to think: Maybe I am OK. Maybe I am in some sort of remission. Maybe I can push myself just a little harder. And that thinking usually ends in a crash and burn, i.e. fibro flare and bed rest. Slowing down, resting allows the body to recover from the stresses put upon it. Without a recovery period, we can do our bodies more harm than good. Continue reading “The Challenge of Slowing Down”

Clean Eating: Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

Smoothies are a great way to sneak more fruits, vegetables, and fiber into your diet. The combinations and options are endless!

I make a lot of smoothies for breakfast. My typical recipe is high in anti-oxidants and fiber, with all kinds of yummy stuff in it. It’s easy for me to blend up and drink while I am getting ready in the morning. But I have seen this trend of making smoothie bowls so I decided to try my hand at one over the weekend, for my 30 Day Challenge.

Continue reading “Clean Eating: Blueberry Smoothie Bowl”

30 Day Challenge – Week 2

This is the third in a series. Read the initial post and Week 1 Progress.

30 day challenge - week 2 results (2)

Here is my Week 2 check-in of my 30 day personal challenge for the month of April.

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” ~Zig Ziglar

Difficult roads

Difficult Roads

To say these last two weeks have been difficult is almost an understatement. And I am not referring to my 30 day challenge. That has actually been the easy part! My husband has been gone on two different trips. Work has been particularly busy and difficult. I have been extremely busy with my volunteer work. And, oh, there was that little flare of fibromyalgia along the way.

So this week’s entry will be short, sweet, and to the point!

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~John Maxwell

Week 2 Results

Where I am still falling short is on my sleep. This has always been difficult for me. Never enough, not refreshing enough. Even Saturday night when I was completely exhausted I didn’t sleep through the night. It didn’t help that one of the dogs was barking incessantly at a squirrel she had cornered in a tree!

As far as my daily gratitude, yoga, and logging my food, here are my results:

  • Workouts: I have practiced yoga every day. Even the day I overslept and then had a fund raiser after work, I made sure to come home and practice a relaxing session before I went to bed.
  • Weight: So far down 2.5 lbs. and 1.5% body fat 🙂 (happy dance inserted here)
  • Food: Logged every day, and haven’t gone over my calories. My next challenge, however, will be to work on the proper balance of calories between Carbs/Proteins/Fats.
  • Gratitude: Haven’t missed a day in my journal, and am thankful I have been so successful thus far!
  • Sleep: Still struggling here. I have had a few good nights of quality sleep, and a few not so good nights. Six straight hours of sleep is remarkable for me. 😦

This week’s goal: Better quality sleep!

This should be easier to accomplish, since I don’t have quite as many after work activities planned, I am hoping to take a couple of half days off of work, and I have a Saturday morning date planned with my husband for breakfast and a trip to the Farmer’s Market!

Do you have some bad habits or issues you would like to work on? Consider challenging yourself for 7, 14, or even 30 days!


The Sunshine Blogger Award


Wow! Grateful and humbled by my nomination from Sara AKA FibroButterfly18 who writes the blog The Last Days of Pompeii . Her blog, like mine, is written from the perspective of someone who lives with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions, but doesn’t let it define her. She looks at each day as a gift and is much happier for it. So check out her blog.

And before I could even get this blog post finished, I was also nominated by LadyFibroWarrior, who was on my list of nominees before I heard from her about nominating me! She is another awesome fibrowarrior blogging about life with fibromyalgia and maintaining a positive attitude.

Please check them both of these lovely ladies’ blogs out. You know you want to! And Thank you both for honoring me with this.

The Rules

1.) Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog

2.) Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you

3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive this award, and write them 11 new questions

4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog


My Answers to FibroButterfly18:

  1.  Why did you start your blog? I started this to try to share my story of life with fibromyalgia, and how I have learned to cope with the challenge of living with a chronic condition. My goal was to inspire or help one person with the healthy lifestyle habits I have incorporated.
  2. What motivates you to write a post? Can I say “it depends”? Sometimes it’s a lovely quote I come across.Sometimes it’s a daily challenge or prompt. And sometimes it’s just something I am dealing with in my life. I am trying to become more deliberate and less haphazard with planning out my posts, but some days I post a picture… just because.
  3. What is your all time favorite blog and why? Wow, that’s not a loaded question, is it? There are so many great bloggers out there that I don’t think I have an all-time favorite. One of my very favorites is the first blog I started reading: My Beauty Bunny by Jen Matthews. I came across her blog probably in 2010 or 2011 and am still reading it today. I always refer to her blog when I am checking on whether a product is cruelty-free or not, and I love her great reviews and awesome contests (here’s one I won!).
  4. What are your blogging short term goals and long term goals? Short-term is to finish my “branding” or identity. I just recently finally found a name I was happy with, after just going with my social media handle (photobaugh) for so long. Long-term is develop a more intentional approach to blogging so that I can perhaps turn this into a business when I retire from my full-time job in a few years.
  5. What do you hope people take away from your blog posts? Hope, inspiration, joy. I always try to end on a positive note. I aspire to inspire others.
  6. What is your favorite post that you have written for your blog and why? Another tough question. I would say the post called Combating the Loneliness of Chronic Pain, because I felt like I had written about some sound advice for coping with something we all struggle with at times – loneliness. 
  7. What is your favorite activity? Another toughie. I have so many favorite things to do. But I think I am happiest when I am outside in nature, taking pictures.
  8. How do you promote creativity on your blog? I am really still learning and trying to find my true voice, but I like to use a variety of post types to promote creativity. My blog is not 100% about fibromyalgia, so I sometimes post pictures or quotes, or something in response to a great word of the day prompt.
  9. Are all readers welcome to your blog or are you a dedicated niche writer? I am definitely not a niche blog – I hope to share with anyone that will read about how I am able to find inspirations in my every day life. We can all use a little more inspiration, can’t we? While I do write a lot about fibromyalgia, I don’t want that to define me. I have other interests (cooking, art, gardening, travel) and passions (volunteering, photography) and I enjoy sharing those.
  10. What motivates you every day to keep on keeping on? Sheer determination. I don’t see fibromyalgia as a death sentence, just as yet another hurdle that I strive to get over every day.fibro1
  11. Which blogger inspires you? Julie at Counting My Spoons was the first fibro blogger I came across several years ago, so she inspired me to think I could write about my life with fibro. And Lee at Fibro Blogger Directory has inspired me to continue to improve my blog and help promote other bloggers. I love that these bloggers are so willing to share and help others learn and grow.

My Answers to LadyFibroWarrior:

1. Hot or cold? Definitely hot.

2. How did you find or learn about WordPress? Honestly I can’t remember. I have had an account for reading blogs for some time and launched my blog in the fall of 2015. A friend of mine then used it to set up a website for a project we were working on together in our leadership class, exposing me to many other features it had.

3. Favorite T.V show? Friends, Grey’s Anatomy. But currently watching Frasier on Netflix. Oh my goodness that show was so funny!!

4. What do you blog about and why? I blog about life with fibromyalgia and how I try to find inspiration in every day life. I definitely don’t lead a glamorous life, so I just like to post pictures or quotes that inspire me to live the best life I know how.

5. Favorite color? Blue, although you would think it was black from looking at my wardrobe! haha 🙂

6. What is the one thing you could never give up? Mascara, definitely mascara.

7. Coffee or tea? Both. Coffee in the morning, tea before bed and sometimes during the day.

8. Who is your favorite blogger? (See answers #3 and 11 above!)

9. Chocolate or vanilla? Dark chocolate is my *almost* daily splurge 🙂 but their are plenty of vanilla things I like – smoothies, gelato, vanilla bean scones, vanilla bean cheesecake. I just don’t indulge very often in dairy or gluten based products. 😦

10. Have you ever published anything? If so, name drop so we may check it out. Not per se. I have co-written a trade article and have spoken at several regional and international conferences for work. 

11. What country you live in? The great old USA!

My Questions – Let’s Have Some Fun with This!

  1. What was the last blog post you read?
  2. What made you laugh today?
  3. What are you grateful for today?
  4. Where was the last place you went on vacation?
  5. Where is your favorite place to take a vacation?
  6. What inspired you to start writing a blog?
  7. What did you wish you knew before you started blogging?
  8. When you’re not reading blogs, would you rather binge watch Netflix or read a good book? 
  9. Which social media platform do you prefer and why?
  10. What is your favorite quote or saying?
  11. What one thing did you do this last week to show yourself some self-love or self-care?

My Nominees…

  1. Lady Fibro Warrior
  2. Mama’s Fibromyalgia Journey
  3. Melissa vs. Fibro
  4. The Nutritionist Melissa
  5. Tea with Jennifer
  6. Spending Spoons
  7. Reclaiming Hope
  8. Spoons & Sass
  9. The Scoop on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness
  10. Living with Fibromyaglia
  11. Cooking without Limits

I was nominated for one of these a few years back and never finished the post. Definitely not as easy as one would think! So it’s totally up to these bloggers if they want to participate or not. However, you should still check out their sites. They are all wonderful.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about me.