Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great holiday season. Be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or whatever you like to celebrate at the end of the Gregorian calendar year.

For me the holidays were great. We stayed home and managed to do several projects. Christmas party was fun, with a visit from Santa and lots of happy kids.

But it all affected my blogging routine.

I’ve been silent for a few week now, due to office move mid December, followed by the 2-week break from work for me and hubby and from school for the kids.

I’m back to (a new) office and normal life now, but still slow in getting to full speed.

I’ll still try to participate on at least one, maybe 2 challenges this week, but not a promise.

Happy 2016!!!



Name change… once again

So I started as Etol Thoughts, for lack of creativity and energy to think of a better name at the time I created the blog.

A few years later, I decided I wanted to change it, since the original name was pretty boring. That’s how last year my site’s name changed to Musings, love it or leave it.

The “love it or leave it” part was due to frustration with an incident I had with people trying to use my own words against me in a not cool way. I was really mad and wanted to send the message that if you don’t like what you read here, just don’t read it at all. A bit bitter, huh? But I had my reasons…

Now that the trauma has past, the tagline was sounding even more bitter and not really approppriate. So I was thinking about changing it (the tagline at least) anyways.

Then today,  in the Blogging 101 Challenge (for which I must admit I did not sign up, but am still peeking at the assignments at the Daily Post) they had the assignment of creating a good site title and tagline, and that’s how my site got to change names again:

Creative Busyness, because I’m never really idle

The idea for this came from the phase “creative idleness”, but considering that I’m never actually idle I couldn’t really use idleness in there, right? So I made a little tweak and explained the why in the tagline.

And I liked it! Really did!

Hope you did to. Feel free to give me feedback on the comments.


I miss you, dear blog, but did not forget about you.

It’s been a while since I last time I posted here. Almost a full month!

But I haven’t been not posting, I was just busy writing about my experience with the Whole30 program and about getting into the Paleo diet.

I also had the homework to create a site during the course break in September, and that’s why I posted elsewhere.  I actually created a whole site all from scratch, doing the htmls, css’s, images and everything in between (apart of course from also writing the contents). It was a pretty cool experience and I guess the site turned out very nice.

If you want to have a look at it, the address is http://mywhole30.com.

The Whole30 experience was also very good and I’m still sort of following the rules of it, even after finishing it. Just because I feel so good now, that I don’t really want to go back to the old ways…

Or if you want to know what-da-heck Whole30 is, but do not want to bother to go my the site, here’s the contents of the What’s It Is page, that explains it a bit:

What is the Whole30®?

According to their own site Whole 9, the Whole30® program is a “nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days”.

The main idea is to re-educate people on how and what to eat in order to improve life on both physical and psychological aspects.

The physical aspects the program claims to improve are body composition, energy, quality of sleep, attention span, mental attitude and athletic performance.

Psychologically, the benefits are typically related to our relationship with food and how and why do we eat, for example, it targets eating only when hungry and not giving up to cravings (by actually eliminating them), or having events of emotional eating – when you eat when you feel stressed out, or tired, or sleep deprived…

The program exists for a few years now and the people who participated on it have been pretty successful in improving their lives and even getting rid of some illnesses they never though they would be able to get rid of. Some of those illnesses include, but are not limited to: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, types 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, allergies, migraines, depression, GERD, joint pain, thyroid dysfunction, leaky gut syndrome, and Celiac.

This re-education happens by having you follow very strict rules for 30 days in order to eliminate everything that could potentially be affecting your health, so you can evaluate how do they affect you. So at the end of the program they also show you how you should re-introduce any foods you still think you cannot live without, and tells you to be attentive on how that food will affect you so you can decide if it’s really worthy to have it or not.

One of the things they try to stress a lot is that this is not a diet, it should be a temporary fix and is not focused on weight loss. People do lose some weight during the program, but loosing weight should not be the reason for doing it. They even ask you to ditch the scale and do not weight yourself for the whole 30 days the program lasts.

About their eating recommendations, they follow the Paleo ideas but are more strict on certain areas (like for example, desserts are not allowed even if with allowed items).

The basic idea is that there are some more healthy foods, what you should consume, and other less healthy foods, that you need to eliminate during the program.

The list of more and less healthy foods are as follow.

More Healthy Less Healthy
Meat, Seafood and Eggs Sugars, Sweeteners and Alcohol
Vegetables and Fruits Grains and Legumes
The Right  Fats Seeds Oils
                                              . Dairy

If you’re interested in knowing more about the program, visit their website at whole9live.com.

The program is also detailed on their book It Starts with Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, which is the one we read as a group before taking the challenge. It’s a pretty good book and I certainly recommend it.

In this site I’ll be quoting the book and the newsletter they send throughout the program, as I deem appropriate.

Now, let’s go eat some real good food!

Then, when the September break was over, my first class in school was WordPress (yeah!) and we had to create a brand new blog during class. Instead of creating just a exercise blog that I would abandon later, I decided to create one that would continue talking about my new diet, but without the day-to-day descriptions I did during the Whole30 program. And that blog is http://paleotizingthegirl.wordpress.com. It’s public and open for everyone to have a peek. Feel free to stop by there too.

So now you know…



I bought my domain!

Yep, no more .wordpress on my URL anymore.

Having the .wordpress never really bothered me, so I must confess I don’t know exactly why I decided to buy it, but I just did and I like that I did.

Maybe because it feels like a commitment I’m making to my dear blog.

Another reason that may have influenced my decision is that I’m learning Web Design right now and eventually I’ll need more from WordPress anyways, since one of the classes I’ll be taking is a WordPress class . Just buying the domain is probably not enough but it’s the first step.

So from now on you don’t need to type the .wordpress anymore.

Welcome to life etolbagam.com!!!!!!


Mataphors and kids: Not the bag, mommy!

This will be a very short post, to show a dialogue I had with my daughter last year when she was about 3,5 years old.

And it will show how metaphors sometimes do not work with kids…

” Sweetheart, if you eat too much candy now you won’t be hungry for dinner”.

“But I’m eating just a little bit, mommy!”

“No. This is not a little bit. I can see you’re eating the whole bag.”

“The bag no, mommy! Just the candies that are inside of it!”

This post was written in response to the Weekly Writting Challenge: Easy as Pie

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mail It In – Today I almost…

I love emails!

Just love them.
Although I was considered and extrovert when we took the Myers-Briggs training, and although every single person on Earth who knows me agrees to that, when it comes to talk seriously I get shy.
And that’s where and when email comes in handy.
I can say anything to anyone in email. But I can’t face-to-face.
Don’t know why.
Maybe the person’s presence intimidates me, and when email takes the presence out, then intimidation goes away and I can express myself a little better.
At work, I also prefer email, not only because of the above, but also because it serves as a record and can be used for future reference (my inbox is H-U-G-E, with very little being deleted… )

So for this week’s challenge, I’m forwarding to you an email that changed my life.
Last year I was feeling pretty depressed.
But in spite of knowing I was depressed and knowing that I was the only one who could do anything about it, I was doing nothing.

Until I started bugging a friend with my problems.
And what a friend!!!
The best ever!
He is the kind of person who is always there for his friend, and always finds time to help a friend in trouble, and last year I was in trouble.

So here is a thread that we exchanged over the course of a couple of months, but culminated with the email that’s on top (there were further communication after that, but this is the one I claim to have changed my live).
On the email he suggests me a few changes on my diet to help me go through depression.
I took it and it helped.
In only a week I was feeling a different person.
Of course depression didn’t go away in only a week or with diet change only, but that was certainly the start of the end of it.

So here it is…
I just hope someone out there can also benefit from it.
And sorry if it turned out too long.

(and BTW, I tried posting by email, but still needed to edit later, to get the pictures at the right position… It was still nice to learn how to do it, though. ;o)


From: My Friend
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 7:12 PM
To: Me
Subject: RE: Today I almost…


I totally know what you are talking about, and my heart goes to you.Totally. In a way, that is the downside of parenting: you prioritize kids higher than yourself — which it completely natural, unselfish and instinctual – and you end up being depressed like the bunny above.

I am going to suggest a few things, and you are not allowed to say“I do not like how that tastes!”. Nope. 🙂

This is your breakfast.

Hard Boil some eggs, like a dozen every week. It takes 10 minutes to do this.

Every morning, eat one or two with a slice of cheese (any cheese you like, fatty or not), and drink water. Take one mega-pill of Multivitamins, Niacin, or Chromium with food.

For Lunch. Eat at work, and get plain meats and greens only. Fish is great, too, but leave rice alone. No Pizza, No Potatoes, No Mexican, No sandwiches. No rabbit stew if you can help it. 🙂

Back home.

Buy lots of cold cuts (salami, chicken or turkey breast, ham, whatever you like) in the supermarket. I buys spiral Ham by the pound. (Animal fat does not stick to you because there are no carbs in the meat).

Buy a variety of Plain yogurt (I recommend Fat Free, cus Milk Fat is bad).

Get Trim Cottage cheese, cheese’s you like, etc.

Get Tomatoes, Lettuce, and other veggies that are not starchy. Buy Hummus, and other kinds of testy salty treats.

When you get cravings, take the bags of salami, veggies and milky products, and eat standing like fingerfoods. It will take 5 minutes, and you will be full. Your body knows when you had enough meet and proteins. In an hour, eat again.

Do this for ONE week, and all your sweet cravings will be gone. I promise… and you will be jumping around, full of energy. 🙂 like the bunny below

So, remember, it is simple. All you need is to have the right ingredients on hand.

<My Friend>

PS: I am feeling that I am in the Ketosis state (when your body uses its own fat for energy). That is the state where you are melting away. Plus I feel very energized, and I am not angry, depressed, or absent minded. Please, try.


Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 5:18 PM
To: My Friend
Subject: RE: Today I almost…


Thanks for your support/help/reply/caring/friendship (hard to choose the word here. Maybe just thanks for you! ).

Yes, let’s talk about it some day over lunch or walk (I guess I have too much alcohol on me now to even write… I’m just back from a team morale event that ended in a brewery… 😉

But I do know that your bolded suggestion can help and it’s one of the things that I always try to do,but I must confess that after bathing and feeding the girls having a sandwich is always the easiest way to go, hence cutting carbs is always a very hard thing. And also, it’s kind of a chicken/egg issue: the more depressed I get, the more I crave sweets (chocolate specifically) and I do know that the more I have them the less overall energy I’ll have (all the sugar/carb story you know about) and the more I’ll crave them… and finally on this mood I have being lately it gets even harder to get the motivation for such a change of behavior…

Anyway. Let’s meet some of these days.

Let me know how your schedule looks like, since you’re the busiest one between us…





From:My Friend
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 12:02 PM
To: Me
Subject: RE: Today I almost…

I am sorry that you are feeling blue. (I get that way during the summers; mainly because I am a big baby tat hates heat and is miserable when it’s over 25 C. Weh.)

Can you ask yourself if you have any things in your life that bother you: relationship with yourself, husband, or the kids? Money worries? Aging? Worries about home/parents? Health concerns? These are often low-level pressures that add up if we do not address them as they occur. Sometime, personal procrastination and disengagement with our own issues catch up with us. We can talk about this. Talking sometimes brings the issues into awareness, and enable you to deal with the issues… and the pressures evaporate as you engage.

Another healthy thing to do is to look at the organic issues: mood, happiness or depressions are other influenced by the internal chemistry. You may be carrying too much environmental toxins/poisons in you, or not enough other nutrients. I know this to be a major issue I overlooked for most of my 40+ years. I am now taking Vitamin D and Niacin, which are in turn lowering down my cholesterol and acceleration my metabolism, and in turn, I am so much happier. I mean, it’s like taking an overdose of Prozac, except it is all natural and not at all dopey. Also, I am eating no carbs at all for a week now, and I think this is a fix in itself.

Lastly, are you doing what you were meant to do? Do you think you are achieving your life dreams? Does this matter to you? I mean, let’s face it: when you are doing what you like to do, your mind gets into a happier state by default. Note: this is probably not a cause, but a side issue, if at all. A happy person recognizes issues like these and deals with them.

Let me know if you want to talk about it. There are a few things you can do while you are thinking about it: remove all sugars and carbs from your diet and take a mega-multivitamin with food every day. Also, if you have any food that you just love, love, love: remove it from your diet. And give it a week.

<My Friend>


Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:02 AM
To: My Friend
Subject: RE: Today I almost…

Hi there.

Me again bothering you with my problems… Sorry…

But this week a guy from my team went on leave due to depression/stress.

That makes me wonder if I shouldn’t be doing anything to make me get out of this not-so-well mood before it reaches a point that I need to take a leave like the guy.

The work context is different. He was under much more pressure and having to deal with politics in the group, and also his personality is of a person who stresses out very easily, which is not my case.

But still, it’s been a while that I haven’t been feeling too well and I don’t think I’m really doing anything to change that…

And answering you question from the old email below, it’s not only about work. Work is the easiest to blame and to want to change, but I feel a bit weird about everything now.

And this week I’m kindof back to the not-feeling-well phase (maybe the stars, maybe the review, maybe PMS, maybe the story of this poor guy…)

Oh well. Sorry again for keep dumping all of this on you.

See ya and thanks for listening 😉



From:My Friend
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 6:34 PM
To: Me
Subject: RE: Today I almost…


I am sorry that this is lasting for you for months. You are a “quiet smile” type of person, and I know you have incredible depth. I try not to pry, but I did sense some sadness, or at least low energy when we met last few times.

You may be totally right about the post partum depression. Your body was taxed with producing another baby – and your body was drained of all sorts of good juices – vitamins, minerals, nutrients. Plus, the shock to the body can mess up all sorts of hormones (serotonin being one of them) and there you have it – a depression comes.

How is the rest of your life, outside work?

I am oof tomorrow (taking a day off to unwind), but I will be here on Friday. Do you want to meet for lunch?


Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 4:54 PM
To: My Friend
Subject: RE: Today I almost…

Damn stars!

Screwing up our feelings, perceptions and behavior!

Can we realign them somehow?


I’m usually a very positive person and I always think everything will be all right. The thing is that I’m feeling like that since I came back from parental leave, in August last year. And that’s why I’m starting to wonder if I’m at the right place. It’s just taking too long, and I guess people are starting to notice that I’m slacking more than really working. And I feel bad about it. Have always been a hard worker… 😦

And always proud to be a very positive person too…

I also feel sorry for you be feeling the same.

And if we can find anything funny in the bad things that happen, it’s kind of funny to hear that from you, because you are also someone I have always seen as a very positive, always smiling person. And to realize that you can also be feeling not good about something makes you look more real and also makes my problem seem smaller (it may sound terrible, but it’s always comforting when you realize other people have the same problems as you do. It’s just sad that it’s you, not some joe doe I don’t care about.)

So, let’s wait for it all to get better.

And if until then you need a prijatelj to cover you with a blanket, feel free to ping me.

And be sure I’ll ping you again too.

(and may search for help with EAP, maybe… let’s see… 😉 )




From:My Friend
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 4:27 PM
To: Me
Subject: RE: Today I almost…

Poor baby. I am sorry that you feel that way right now.

You know I am feeling a bit lost as well. And angry/frustrated. So we are totally doing different things but feel similar.

Do you believe in the cosmic influence? Something external is screwing with our feelings, perceptions, and sometimes even behaviors and we all feel like mumbling rumbling idiots. When in fact the brain waves are scrambled because of the stars.

Be OK with having a bad day or a week every now and then. It will get better. And during those days and week, just rely on the prijatelj to cover you with a puffy blanket and tell you when it’s over and the birds sing again.


Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 4:17 PM
To: Mt Friend
Subject: RE: Today I almost…

Hi there,

I feel clueless and lost in thisjob…

I wonder if I’m in the right place.

Don’t feel motivated for a while now.

Maybe some kind of post partum depression, or just that I wasn’t born to do this job…

Oh well…

Sorry to keep bothering you with those kind of emails.

Just need a priatelj again…





Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 2:59 PM
To: My Friend
Subject: RE: Today I almost…

Thank you for being such a great priatelj!

Frustration is with the planning for<Project>, so it won’t get resolved anytime soon, but it’s fine… Whatever!

I’ll just try to go by next week without stressing out too much and then on the following week I’ll be in sunny and warm Rio with my family and friends, not having to worry at all about fonts and lips and tools….

In the meanwhile, workout does help a lot, so I may be seen going for walks around the campus quite frequently… 😉

But if I feel really bad again next week I’ll call you for a coffee 😉

Have a wonderful weekend!



From:My Friend
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 2:46 PM
To: Me
Subject: RE: Today I almost…

Aaaaw. How sweet. I am here for you, so feel free to let me know when.

Your Serbian is impeccable. All is very correct and it sounds right, too.

Hope the frustration subsided and better yet, got resolved.

Hope you have a happy weekend and that the babies behave well, so you can nap, nap, nap. 🙂

<My Friend>


Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 1:57 PM
To: My Friend
Subject: Today I almost…
Importance: Low

Sent you a meesage saying:

Treba mi priatelj danas

Got frustrated with something, but working out made my mood go up again…


Anyway just wrote now to show off my attempt to get some Serbian going…


Ps. If the sentence doesn’t make sense, blame on http://translation.imtranslator.net/translate/default.asp, and if the spelling for priatelj is not correct you can blame on me, since I was the one transliterating it from the Cyrillic…

This post was written in response to this week’s writing challenge. For more details on the challenge, check it out here.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Blue gecko on a stolen style

This week’s writing challenge asks us to try to write on a style that is different from ours. Some style that reflects how some of our favorite authors would tell the story if it was them writing.

One of the authors that have a most unique writing style among the classic Brazilian authors is Machado de Assis. He has lived in the 19th century and was part of the Romanticism and Realism literary movements.

Most of his work was written as if he as engaging in a conversation with the reader.
I wish I could have had more time to try it better, but here is how I retold last week’s story on a style that could be considered somewhat similar to his…

In this story I’ll tell you how my friend Etol got a little critter toy she is so fond of. That’s how the story goes.

Going back seven years in the past, our character was working at a little company, not the big corporation she works at this present moment. That former company had a very friendly and cozy environment and all colleagues had a very amiable relationship. To some she considered being good friends with.

One of those friends of sweet Etol, was a very handsome and good-spirited gentlemen, who worked on the technologic department of the company. This gentleman had at his desk a little critter toy, picturing a gecko lizard, on a very nice blue shade. The lizard was always placed on the gentleman’s desk. That little critter reminded our friend Etol of her childhood in the rural area of her native country. She has never really seen one with a blue shade, but the toy gecko still looked a lot like the little real white ones she was so used to see at her childhood home. And I believe that was the reason  – or maybe possibly  the fact that the toy was a fun object to manipulate – why she would take it and keep playing with it on her hands, every time she had business to talk about to her dear colleague. He was a smart and very attentive gentleman and could not help but notice the fondness she had for the little toy.

Time has passed and, after 4 years providing a good deal of work, spending long hours at the office and delivering several projects for that company, our friend, Etol, found that it was time to go on a more challenging adventure and asked to leave the company.

On her last day – which was the 10th day of February year 2006 –  Etol, who was very excited about the new adventures that waited for her on her new endeavors, but at the same time very sad to leave her friends behind, went to all the offices of the company to bid farewell to her good friends. When she finally arrived at the office of her dearest friend, he presented her the as a gift the little blue lizard toy, saying it it was now hers to keep.

Our friend was very touched by the gentleman gesture and still has the lizard toy up to this date. And now, the toy serves her to remind her of her native land, but also of her dear friends she left behind at her previous company, friends that are much missed by her.

This post was written in response to this week’s writing challenge. For more details on the challenge, check it out here.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Blue gecko!

With this week’s challenge, I just realized I’m not too much of a things person.
I do have a hard time throwing stuff away, but I guess it’s more because I always think they could be useful someday, rather than for being attached to them.

But I did find an item I like very much. And here’s the little story behind it.

Until about seven years ago I used to work on a different company than the one I work for today. And I had some friends there.

One of them, cute and fun IT guy, used to have a little rubber blue gecko on top of his monitor. That gecko reminded me a bit of the several geckos (although never in a blue shade 😉 ) we saw at our home back in Brazil. Maybe because of that, or maybe just because it’s a rubber gecko fun to play with, I loved playing with the little blue critter every time I went over to his office. And he obviously noticed that.

Then, after 4 years working for that company, I found myself a job that was more in line with my career plans, so I left the company.

On my last day (February 10th, 2006), when I was about to leave for good, I started going to each office to say goodbye to my friends. So when I got to his office, he handed me the little blue gecko, saying it was now mine.

I loved it. Now, the gecko doesn’t only remind me of the white ones from Brazil, but it also reminds of my good friend I miss so much.

So here’s the little blue guy crawling on my current office:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This post was written in response to this week’s writing challenge. Not a great piece of literature, but it was fun to think of a favorite thing and remember the story behind it. For more details on the challenge, check it out here.

Reactivating again

to write about anything that comes to my mind and show some beutifull images.

so, just start off well, here are some pictures I took in the past couple of months:

Changing the tone

A friend of mine has the following sentence by her name in the IM window:

Once I eliminated the negative people from my circle, I was ready to soar!

I have always seen it and agreed with it. I also hate negativism.

I once broke up with a boyfriend because he was way to negative for me. The kind of person who prefers dark and rainy days, who thinks music is to express pain, so any playful and happy sounded music was no good for him,  and who would just worry too much about everything and think only about the bad consequences everything could bring. A year later I was done with him. It took me 6 months though to have the guts to break up, as I was afraid that being so negative and depressing, he could do something crazy to himself (or to me???) if I broke his heart. Poor guy! Never did anything to hurt anyone (at least not that I know of and not during the time we dated). He was sad, but inoffensive. I just couldn’t handle that much negative energy around me.

Well, this is all to say that I decided to change the way I’m using this blog. Today I suddenly – and sadly – realized that I was using it mostly to vent my frustrations and bad feelings, which was creating a very negative tone to the blog.

Enough of that!

First thing I did to try to change this was to change the theme. The one that I picked before was nice, but too dark. So time to go. Picked a lighter one now (not as light as I wanted but the very light ones had too narrow columns and were cropping my butterfly… 😉 )

For the contents, I have 2 options:

  1. not use the blog to vent frustrations at all
  2. write more frequently, instead of remembering it only when I feel frustrated.

I guess I’ll go for number 2, since everyone do need a place where they can vent sometimes, right?

So off to a new start!