Inter-May-ssion {What’s That Word?}, Cymplified!

What is inter-May-ssion?

I remember saying, in my previous post, that I wish I could press pause on May. It may look like I did because this blog was quiet for the whole month of May. There was a long inter-May-ssion. See what I did there?  😀

What happened? Well…

Cray-cray May!

When May came in, our helper went out and had a two-week vacation. Hubby and I teamed up for the household chores. The littlest one’s ballet classes were still ongoing. Nobody’s going to stay at home with the other two, therefore, I had to let them tag along. It was just me with three kids, in a mall. Imagine that!

I am grateful, though, that we got to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend via a stay at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas. For a couple of days, I did not need to worry about cleaning the house or my family’s meals. Thankfully, there was someone who could feed our dogs. My brother let me use one of his vouchers to book a room at a lower price.

Yay for this stay!

What our room looked like: I wonder what the kids were chatting about in this meeting by the window. We placed the two corner chairs together to make another bed. I am happy that the bathroom has a bathtub!

Breakfast was not included in the room rate, thus, I availed of the Continental Club package. It came with two breakfasts, snacks and cocktails (which my husband Rix and I didn’t take advantage of anymore). For dinner, we went out, walked around the block and found ourselves at McDonald’s.

After breakfast on the 44th floor, the children went on a swim at the indoor pool. Our request for late checkout was granted and before leaving, the receptionist gave me a white edible rose for Mother’s Day.

A view of the hotel lobby: These are the three reasons for celebrating this occasion.

Away we go!

In the midst of this craziness, Rix received a phone call that changed the course of the month. The two of us were presented with an opportunity to visit South Africa. We took it; missed the recital, arranged for childcare (thank you so much, Mama!) and packed our suitcases.

Here, we posed with the South African flag on Table Mountain.

South Africa flag

It’s my first time to go out of the country with Rix, and without the children. I’ll post about this trip soon, after I blog about Balesin.

How are you doing? Where did you go on your latest trip?

Press Play On April, Cymplified!

It’s as if I went on an intentional blog hiatus. Already, words and stories are building up inside my head, waiting to burst out through my fingertips.

Press play on April

In reality, there was a problem with my blog for days. Then, April rolled in and I became occupied packing for our family’s annual trip. All the while, taking our youngest to her ballet classes at Ballet Manila… And getting back to good health and shape with the hubby.

Learning ballet. #summer2017 #cymplifiedmoments

A post shared by Cym M (@ceemee) on

After early mornings at the gym, we rush home to prepare: he for work, I, together with Cayla, for the ballet classes.

Then, the calories returned. I celebrated my birthday dinner with my family, my parents and li’l brother with steaks at Meat Depot. I only got to blow out my candle on my Red Ribbon mocha cake on Easter Sunday evening, a day after we came back from the beach.

Yes, from the Royal Villa, Balesin island where we ate buffet-style meals every time. It made dieting difficult, at least for me.

Letters to my Children

I brought books, a watercolor paint set and a watercolor pad to our vacation. I had the romantic idea of quietly reading or painting by the beach. But, moms know that didn’t quite happen the way I envisioned.

I read a few pages because I didn’t have an hour to spare. I did a quick watercolor, yes. It needed to be quick because the sun was already so hot, and the children didn’t have breakfast yet. This was the result.


One of the books was the locally published Letters to my Children, which I won from a giveaway ran by The Googly Gooeys. It’s a collection of thoughtful letters from 35 parents. It would be great to read most of them to my kids before bedtime! I love the wisdom and encouragement other parents impart.


What would you say if you had the time and the chance to pen a special letter to your beloved children?

This question at the back of the book begs to be answered. Well, I started writing in a notebook my own letters addressed to my children. So far, I have two entries. I realized that there are a lot of things I want to tell my kids. Topics range from love, to taking care of themselves, chasing their dreams, etc.

Pictured is the design I did in the notebook for the said letters. I used watercolor. Speaking of letters, behind it is the book I am currently reading. Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto.

So that’s my April so far! I wish time would slow down… I don’t want to press play on May.

How is April going for you guys?

Nickerbacher Chapter Book by Terry John Barto, Cymplified!

I first read the story of Nickerbacher, the funniest dragon as a picture book. It was a pleasant surprise to learn about the new Nickerbacher chapter book. At first, I thought it’s a continuation of the picture book. Consequently, I realized that it’s kind of an expanded version. There were still pictures; but the story was more in-depth.

If you happen to be a dragon and you happen to want to be a comedian, then this book is for you! Seriously, this is a nice read for children who can handle longer books. It inspires them to chase that dream, against many odds.

If you happen to be a princess and you happen to have an advocacy, then this book is perfect! When something feels right, then fight for it. Even when no one seems to believe in it. When there’s a pulling inside us to do something good, especially for the marginalized, do it.

If you happen to be a prince who wants to follow his heart and extend help to the unexpected, follow it! Everybody deserves kindness, right?

If you happen to have friends and family who are encouraging, what else is there to do but be thankful? It’s difficult to find people who support us and our dreams.

I got all these from a children’s book with six chapters? Yes, I did! Although the drawings do not have any colors, they were doodled in great detail.

This is an easy read that kids from aged 7 or 8 and above will enjoy.

Note: I received a copy from the author to read and review.

Nickerbacher Book Cover Nickerbacher
Terry John Barto
Early Chapter Edition
TJB Kids
December 8, 2016

Nickerbacher is a dragon and aspiring comedian who travels to La La Land to audition for The Late Knight Show. Hoping to prove to his father - and the world - that dragons can be funny. Nickerbacher befriends a prince and a princess who help him realize his dream while paving the way for equal rights of all citizens.

Date Night At Nobu Restaurant, Cymplified!

Tenth year, ten things

Our 10th wedding anniversary came, then went without a special celebration. Both of us were occupied at that time. We managed to eat outside together, though, for the purpose of pagpag. Filipinos know this practice.

Anyway, for our tenth year, I am listing down ten of the many things I love about my hubby.

  1. Hardworking
  2. Generous
  3. Clever
  4. Helpful
  5. Considerate
  6. Respectful
  7. Versatile
  8. Cute, after all these time 😀
  9. Great dad
  10. Supportive husband

rix cym @ nobu restaurant

Nobu Restaurant

Therefore, our date was then set in November, before the gift certificates expire. I am so thankful for a chance to dine at Nobu Restaurant. I have never set foot there before. DreamPlay, yes. We had qualms about the Omakase tasting menu. We asked ourselves the question, “will our bellies get full?” I also was concerned about eating raw fish since I don’t eat sashimi.

As they say, “there’s a first time for everything!”

We passed through this space before we arrived at Nobu.before nobu

This is the sushi counter where chefs prepare the fresh sashimi. Continue reading “Date Night At Nobu Restaurant, Cymplified!”

Start Right Here, Cymplified!

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Theodore Roosevelt
start right here

When I find it in my heart to do something, I agree that “the first step is always the hardest.” “But, it’s the only way to reach the second step,” said Susan Gale. Therefore, I remind myself to start right here. Face that blank page. Paint that first stroke. Write that first sentence.

start right here
It is scary to start something, which I have no idea what’s going to happen to it in the end. Is it worth it? Would I, or they, like it? I’ll never know until it is completed.

Fear of the unknown. Starting something new requires change. Change is daunting.

attitude matters

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
Winston S. Churchill

One of the things that motivate me to get going is attitude. How do I feel about a certain goal or task? In the #JoyfulDaysbyCym planner inserts, I included a page about goals and actions we need to take to reach those goals.


The kind of attitude I have guides the result of each goal I have and the next actions I will take. I wrote about Attitude + Action = Result.

I have an innate need to create. But, there’s something holding me back. The questions above: Is it worth it? Would I, or they, like it? Additionally, what if my creation does not match how I pictured it in my head? What if I fail? I’ll waste paper, paint, and time. I’ll waste disk space and bandwidth.

Yet, those are the investments I make for pursuing my passion. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Even if no one will like it. Even if no one will read it. I’m creating for myself first. I have this satisfaction of completing something. Like my #JoyfulDaysbyCym planner inserts. My goal was to finish it… And I did in January!

Maybe the next goal is to sell it…  😉


Do you agree with starting right here, where you are? What do you want to achieve that makes you feel scared?

Love And Family Bible Verse, Cymplified!

about love

Love leads the establishment of marriages and the formation of families. Constant commitment stabilize families. To commit is to decide to love each other every single day.

1 John 4:7-12 (NIV)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Where does this love come from? Our capacity to love is a reflection of God’s, although not perfect since we are sinful beings. We need the Lord to be able to stay committed to our spouses and families.

This is not the first time I’m writing about love in February. Here are some of my past Valentine’s posts.

about our family bible verse

I read in passing an article about choosing a family Bible verse. It may be this post, or not. Anyway, I asked my eldest what she thought must be our family verse. Honestly, I had no idea. Seems like it should tie to a family goal, doesn’t it? My husband and I haven’t discussed a goal yet.

This was her answer. Then, I made it into one of the pages of #JoyfulDaysbyCym planner inserts, which I am selling. See the end of this post for the product page.

family Bible verse 1 John 4:19

Isn’t it a great verse? Our family could be about loving the Lord, loving each other, and loving the needy. I just need to tell my hubby about it! It is my hope that he will lead our family spiritually.

We could start by listing down the ways we show our love. This blank list could get us started.

ways to show love page for family Bible verse


Do you have a family Bible verse or motto?


Value In Aloneness, Cymplified!

being alone…

I don’t remember going to the canteen by myself, buying my own food and sitting down to consume it alone, in grade two. It seemed that I was always with a friend, or a classmate, doing things together. Maybe I don’t remember correctly.

Although, I do remember that I mostly had lunch alone in college. When I wasn’t part of a block anymore, I rode the jeep from one school building to another without a companion. I had a different schedule from the people I know. There wasn’t a familiar face in most of my classes.

But, in grade two, kids banded with others, right?

It was my eldest kid’s recess time and I saw her through the window. I was hanging out (read: tambay) just outside her school. She bought siomai from the school canteen and sat down on a plastic stool by a long table in the eating area. As I watched her, I realized that she was eating alone, occasionally looking around at the other kids, but not talking with them.

My heart twinged at the sight.

I wondered if she’s okay… Doesn’t she have any friends?

…but not lonely

Recently, I realized that being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. There’s a difference.

value in aloneness
image source

I love being alone! My me-time is valuable. This is where I think, write, doodle, plan, and dream up blog post ideas. I can people-watch as much I like. These are the times that I don’t have to think of any topic to talk about with another person.

This realization alleviated my worry about Ella a little. There is

value in aloneness,

after all.

What are these values?

Getting to know yourself. Hot or cold? Over ice or blended? There’s nobody to tell you what to order at Starbucks. It’s all up to you.

Learning to be independent and resourceful. Need to save your seat in a crowded Starbucks to go to the restroom? Place something dispensable and conspicuous on the table. Like an umbrella, an inexpensive one.

Setting your own pace. Whether you finish your frappuccino in one big gulp (OK, three), or not, time is in your hands.

Loving yourself. So, you’re really not into chai latte. That’s all right since it’s not your cup of tea. We all have our own preferences. Everyone makes mistakes. All people have strengths and weaknesses. We know the clichés. The challenge is to love ourselves through them, enough to learn from them and make ourselves better.

“No man is an island”, that’s for sure. We need friends and communities. We thrive on relationships. But, being by ourselves once in a while has its perks.

  • Be recharged to serve our loved ones
  • Get time to be calm and collected
  • Pursue personal projects


What is your favorite thing to do when you are having some alone time?