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.



Still Figuring it All Out

Some of you might have noticed a few changes here lately. For the last two years, I haven’t had a title for my blog, so I just used my social media handle photobaugh. But I did have a tagline “Finding Inspiration in Everyday Life.” I recently got inspired and I have decided to call my blog My Inspired Fibro Life and change the tagline to “Finding Inspiration in Everyday Life While Living with Fibromyalgia.” pexels-photo-211122.jpeg

Continue reading “Still Figuring it All Out”

A Blogging Milestone: Thank You

Daily prompt: homage

Milestone: 100 Followers and Counting

This post is to pay homage to my readers, visitors, and followers, as my little blog reached a milestone today: 100 followers! I know that doesn’t seem like much in the blogging world, but considering the fact that I don’t follow a regular schedule and don’t monetize the blog with advertisers, I am pretty proud of that number. I want to thank each and every reader, visitor, follower for keeping me motivated to continue to post and helping me reach that goal. I appreciate the likes and comments you leave for me, and I am truly grateful! So a big THANK YOU!

snoopy happy dance
Wouldn’t it be nice if we expressed joy and gratitude every day?

Why I Blog

I started my blog almost two years ago as a way to share my love of photography (hence the blog name – PhotoBaugh – my last name is prounouced “Bow-man” so it’s a rhyme), things that inspire me, and tips about living with fibromyalgia. In that time I haven’t spent as much time with the camera as I would have liked due to other commitments (my day job and my board memberships), but those days do come. So I mostly share things that work for me to live a healthy, inspired life while dealing with chronic pain, and hope that I can help at least one person with each post.

“As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.”   ~ Paul Shane Spear

Blogging Tips I Have Learned

  • Consistency is Key: While I am not the most consistent, I have found my views and follows go up considerably when I post regularly. Life has gotten in the way a few times for me, as I have written about (here and here), but I am still working towards my goal of regular content.
  • Be Authentic: Life is not all perfectly posed pictures of travel to glorious places or sipping lattes. My best read post has been the post where I talked about my blogging journey and my screw-ups. 🙂 (I started the WordPress fundamentals course that day!) Write about what you know and what makes you happy!
  • Share Your Content: Some of my other big days have come from link-ups I do with the FibroBlogger Directory, WordPress prompts, or other bloggers’ prompts. I also share on Twitter and Pinterest, and less rarely on Facebook (I just have a personal presence there).

Gratitude and Joy

Just like Snoopy and Woodstock, I am doing my little happy dance right now. Thank you for reading about my little slice of life. Today I honor my readers and I hope you have a joyful day!

“Find out where joy resides and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

What milestones are you trying to reach? What are your tips for blogging success?



Share Your World

I rarely do these challenges, but I really liked Cee’s Photography’s “Share Your World – June 12, 2017” post. I am a little late to the game this week because I was traveling, but I thought I would play along and share a little bit about me.

What do you do when you’re not working? If you are retired, what do you that is not part of your regular daytime routine?
Well I work a lot! However, my free time is spent volunteering – I am on the board of a local food pantry Good Samaritans of Garland (we are currently trying to raise funds for much needed building repairs) – and I volunteer for my leadership alumni group. I also enjoy working out, photography, blogging, reading, cooking, gardening, and traveling.

Garland Gives Day 2017 at Good Samaritans of Garland

What would you do if you won the lottery?
First, I would splurge on a new computer and camera! But first and foremost, I would get our finances in order so that my daughter’s college was paid for and then my husband and I could retire. I will have 20 years at my job in September, so I am eligible to retire then, but my current goal is to retire at 25 years. We would look for a house with some land so that we can both enjoy the things we love to do – gardening, photography, cooking for me; working on cars, forging steel for knives, gardening for the hubby. And he wants chickens so we can have farm fresh eggs all the time. 🙂 And retirement would give me much more free time for volunteering, so I can give back.

What makes you laugh the most?
My husband, my kids, and my dogs always make me laugh. Like Cee, I too love Friends reruns and the nerd in me loves The Big Bang Theory, but my current summer guilty pleasure is binge-watching Bones on Netflix. Emily Deschanel as Temperance Brennan is pure gold.


What is your biggest pet peeve with modern technology?
As an IT professional, you would think I have the latest and greatest. But my peeve is that technology changes so rapidly, and I like things to last! I use my 8 year old iMac for my blogging, and it has been painfully obvious for a year or so that I need to upgrade! 😦 Where’s that lottery payout?

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful for the fact that I have a job that affords me the opportunity to travel to conferences for professional development and was able to visit Philadelphia for the first time. I saw some wonderful places I have never seen before, although I had to cut the trip shorter than originally planned. This coming week I am looking forward to some test results. (More on that in another blog installment.)



Cybersecurity for Bloggers


This blog is a little out of the ordinary for my personal blog, but today my personal life and professional life are intersecting. By day, I am a technology manager, charged with supporting software applications, building technology solutions for complex business problems, and making sure those solutions are secure and our end-users are properly trained. By night, I usually blog about those random things in life that inspire me. Lately, that has been security.

As this is National Cyber Security Awareness Monthcyber_blog1  (NCSAM), I have been running a campaign at work to raise end-user awareness about simple security tips to use at work and home, as well as posting information on social media under my personal accounts. As a member of the “Stop. Think. Connect.” global online safety awareness campaign, I use many of their materials for this initiative. And when I came across “Safety Tips for Bloggers” I figured I would share this week, as the theme is “Our Continuously Connected Lives,” hoping I could share some useful information with my readers. Continue reading “Cybersecurity for Bloggers”

The Blogging Chaos in my Head

Your head must be clutter-free in order to be productive and creative.

Several years ago I saw David Allen, the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) guru, speak at a leadership conference, and he said some things that have resonated with me:

  • There is chaos and clutter in your head. (I need to remember to get milk on the way home. Did I feed the dogs? Johnny has football practice today. That presentation is due this week.)
  • Your head must be clutter-free in order to be productive and use creative energy.

So I created a modified version of his system in OneNote for writing ideas and to-do’s down several years ago. I started a similar approach when I first started my blog almost a year ago, but over the summer I just quit writing. Now mind you, I recognize that this is really still a half-hearted online journal at this point, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, people! So after this prolonged writer’s block absence, this past week I decided it was time to write again, as I made a concerted effort to write AND post. So after several months, what changed? 

Continue reading “The Blogging Chaos in my Head”