Friday, August 31, 2012

Post Card Pretties: From Here to There

Hi there, folks!  When I saw this post card swap hosted by Defying Gravity and For Love of a Cupcake, I knew I had to join.  Partly because I love swaps (duh!), but also because I love meeting new people.

I was paired with Kara from Ramblings of a Marine Wife, you can check out her blog here.

I can't tell you how excited I was to receive her post card, all the way from Okinawa, Japan.  I used to live there when I was about 2 or 3, but I don't remember much about it obviously.

Anyway, here's the lovely postcard that Kara sent me:

It says "Katsuren Castle, Okinawa"

Sorry for the glare, my camera was not cooperating! But just look at that gorgeous view! I would love to see it in person. :)

Thanks to Kara for sending this awesome post card and thanks to Elizabeth at Defying Gravity and Manda at For Love of a Cupcake for hosting this great swap!  Check out what I sent to Kara here:

Foodie PenPals August

Click here to sign up!

I stumbled across Lindsay's blog, The Lean Green Bean in July and signed up to be a foodie pen pal.  What the heck is a foodie pen pal, you ask?  Check it out:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
The important thing to note with this program is that the person you're sending the box to is NOT the same person who is sending one to you.

So, without further ado, here's what I received in my box this month, from the lovely Sharonda at Inspired Soul Coach. 

What I saw when I opened the box

I saw the Luna bar peeking out and I got excited! Love Luna. :)

CHIPS! Really loved the Potato, Tomato, Spinach flavored ones. 

Loved the Crunch Dried Fruit and so did Dom, surprisingly!  Haven't tried the corn yet, but I will soon!

LUNAAAA! :) Peanut butter and White Chocolate Macadamia!
Oh Sharonda, you know the way to my heart! lol

OMG, the dark chocolate peanut butter was to die for! Dom loved it too on his apples :)
Haven't tried the almond butter yet, but I need to, I've always wanted to try it!

And last, but certainly not least, the lovely note from Sharonda!

A big thank you to Sharonda for sending me these lovely snacks and treats. Especially the dark chocolate peanut butter and the Luna bars! Yum! This was my first time participating and it was an awesome experience!  Can't wait to do it again next month!

Curious to see what I sent to my foodie pen pal, Katie? Well, then go right over to her blog, The Almost Vegan, and check it out! :)

And if you'd like to sign up to be a foodie pen pal, too, click on the button at the top of this post!


P.S. I have a new email address - contact me at: mia[at]thechroniclesofchaos[dot]com. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nutty and Nifty Thursdays 8/30/12

Hi there! If you're new here, Nutty and Nifty Thursdays is my weekly recurring post where I talk about some highs and lows of the week.  If you're a returning reader, welcome back!!! :)  Here goes:


- Walking into daycare on Monday and seeing Dom sitting in a chair behind the receptionist's desk.  Me, ever the optimist: "Dommy! Are you being a good helper?" And the receptionist says, "Um, no.  He's in time out in the naughty chair."  Of course he is.

- People/businesses who hold on to checks for EVER, until you've forgotten about them, and then they cash them all at once.  My bank account just loves when that happens.

- Apparently having no casual shirts.  Where did they all go?  Most of the shirts I buy lately, when I have money to buy anything that is, are shirts I wear to work.  But I just wanted to wear a t-shirt the other day and I couldn't find any and I was a little perturbed.


- My friend Allie at A Day in A Joyful Life is organizing a Scarf Swap!  Because I love scarves and Fall, and because Allie is AWESOME, I signed up immediately. :) And you can sign up, too, just click on the button below and head on over to Allie's blog.  It will be so cool to see all of the scarves that people pick out.

- FOOTBALL!  Redskins are doing pretty well so far in the pre-season.  I really want to go see a game before it gets too cold.

- Having a group of really awesome ladies sign up for the pen pal program.  You guys have no idea how happy it makes me! *happy dance*

- This video.  Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard until I cried.  This is so my life. :)

Tell me about your highs and lows for the week!

P.S.  Don't forget to enter the Sponsor Showcase giveaway at Pointing Up.  You may see something you like there from yours truly. ;) Click here for your chance to win!

P.S. again:  I'm looking for bloggers who would like to do a guest post here at The Chronicles of Chaos.  The topic is Fall.  Any aspect of the season - the food, fashions, traditions, holidays, memories, anything.  Please email me ( or leave a comment below if you're interested.  I have a few ladies who have already signed up and I'm so grateful! I would need to have the guest post sent to me by 15 Sept and then I will let you know what date your post is scheduled for (they will be running at the end of September/early October).  Yayyyyy! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Embracing Change and Learning to Let Go

This is a very old picture of me.  Don't ask what the hell was up with my hair.
But I like how happy I look! :) 

Well, good morning, Chaos Crew!  Are you having Mia withdrawals?  Just smile and nod.  If you need to get your fix, head over to Jordy Liz Blogs and read my guest post about embracing change and learning to let go.  I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks to Jordy for having me on her blog!

Hope you guys have an awesome day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A little under the weather

Sorry guys, I know I've been a neglectful blogger.  But I'm just not feeling up to par and if you've been reading along, you know the last few days have been rough for me.

Send me love, best wishes, and chicken soup. :)  Catch you guys later when I'm back to my old self.  But before I go, I want to leave you with some sad, pity-inducing photos of how I feel.




OK, you get the point.  Be back soon.  Ciao!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Confessions v4

Sunday Confessions time!

1) I'm sick.  Like hacking up a lung, using 3 boxes of tissues, alternating between cold and hot, kind of sick.  I haven't been this sick in a long time. I just want to lay in bed and have somebody bring me soup and pamper me.  What's that you say?  I can't hear you over the cackles of laughter about that ridiculous statement. 

2) Will brought home his first school artwork!  I'd show you a picture of it, but somebody at his school decided that using orange fingerpaint on a piece of dark green construction paper was a good idea.  Yea, not so much, so you wouldn't really be able to see anything.  But I'm still excited! I'm going to be one of those moms who saves everything, just warning you now. :)

3) I'm getting a bit tired of entering bloggy giveaways where sponsors don't follow through with that they promised.  I do love getting free stuff, who doesn't, right?  But why say you're going to participate in the giveaway and then not follow through with your promise? I would never, ever do that, I mean, your reputation is on the line! (This doesn't apply to any of the wonderful bloggers who DO follow through!)  

4) What in the world are the ingredients in hot sauce?  Is crack the number one ingredient? Because I cannot get enough of this stuff! I could totally drink it out of the bottle. And I may or may not lick it off my plate sometimes.  


5) I've been in a funk lately.  I don't mean being sick, I mean a mental funk. I don't know why and I hope it goes away soon.  I just feel restless and exhausted and in need of some change in my life.  Everything irritates me and I haven't been in a good mood for awhile now. :(  Maybe I just need a hug. 

OK, well, that wraps up this depressing edition of Sunday Confessions.  Join in next week, where hopefully I will have taken some Prozac and be in much better spirits.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Where do I fit in?

Was there ever a time in life where you felt like you didn't fit in?  Growing up, I always felt like an outcast.  I feel like most people have a strong sense of ethnic/racial identity, and they don't have to hesitate on the "race" portion of any form they've ever filled out.  As someone from an Italian and Thai background, I never really knew what to put or how to identify myself.


No matter what race I decided to tell someone I was, people either didn't believe me or had no clue what I was talking about.

Sample conversations from my past:

Ding Dong 1: "Italian? My uncle is Italian and you sure don't look like him."
Me: "Well, thank God for that."
DD 1: "Well, can you speak Italian?"
Me: "No."
DD 1: "Then you're not really Italian."

Ding Dong 2: "Asian? What kind of Asian? Japanese?"
Me: "No."
DD 2: "Chinese?"
Me: "No."
DD 2: "Vietnamese?"
Me: "No."
DD 2: "Well what then??"
Me: "Thai."
DD 2: "What the !@#$ is Thai?"
Me: "Thai, you know, as in from Thailand."
DD 2: "Oh you mean like Pad Thai? But I thought that was just a food."

Ding Dong 3: "Hola Maria! Habla espanol?"
Me: "No. Soy italiana."
DD 3: [in English] Italian? Yeah right. No really, where are you from?  Bolivia?  Honduras?" [Or insert just about every other Spanish-speaking (or Portuguese-speaking) country, I've heard about all of them and have had many versions of this same conversation - Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Portugal, etc.]
Me: "No, I'm Italian."
DD 3: "Whatever.  I know you can speak Spanish, you're just pretending now."

As a kid, whenever my mom's friends were around, they would look at me as if I were an alien and ask her questions about me as if I weren't even in the room. "Can she even speak Thai?" "Wow, look at all that curly hair, she's definitely not Thai."

It wasn't until I read an article in a teenybopper magazine (Seventeen magazine, maybe? Can't remember) as a teenager about Kristin Kreuk (from Smallville, if you remember that show), where they described her as Eurasian.  And that term blew me away, as I began to do more research and find pictures of people who looked kind of like me (and I am by no means an actress or a model, not by a long shot, but I just mean their facial features and coloring and hair, etc).

Kristin Kreuk - Source

Maggie Q - Source

Olivia Munn - Source

As I got older, I stopped letting it bother me and kind of enjoyed being a bit of a chameleon.  On a trip to Miami with my dad, we went to the Miami Zoo.  I stopped at a kiosk to get ice cream and the guy behind the counter asked me if I was from there (meaning Cuban).  I said, "Sure." And he gave me the ice cream for free!

Charlie (who is also part Asian) and I got married in Hawaii and we fit right in.  Everybody thought we were natives because there's such an amalgamation of Asian ethnicities there.  Oooh, using big words there, did ya like that? :)

Now I always joke around with people who are trying to fish and see what nationality I am without coming out and asking.  They'll ask, where are you from? And I'll say, Virginia.  And they'll say, what about your parents? And I'll say, oh they're from all over, but most recently Virginia. :)

I guess the point of all this is that I'm finally comfortable in my own skin.  White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, whatever - I accept me.

So now it's your turn, tell me about a time when you felt like you didn't fit in.  Doesn't have to be about ethnicity. You know I love reading your comments, they make me smile!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nutty and Nifty Thursdays 8/23/12

It's time for another round of Nutty and Nifty Thursdays!


- People who can't handle change and take it as a personal affront.  Get over it!  The only thing that doesn't change is that life is full of changes! Can I get an Amen?!

- 2 sick kiddos and now I'm starting to get sick, too.  Sore throat, nose that alternates between being stuffed and being runny (TMI, yeah, yeah), and just a general feeling of yuckiness. :(

- Teenyboppers who don't pay attention while they drive.  I almost got rear-ended yesterday because some kid was daydreaming or whatever and traffic came to a sudden stop on I-95.  When I looked in my rear view mirror, all I saw was this little pickup barreling towards me! Then I hear the SQUEEEEALING of his brakes and I tensed up, just waiting for the crash because there was not anywhere that I could go.  But luckily he was able to stop without hitting me.  I gave my best "what the flippin flap are you doing?!" glare in the mirror and went on my merry way.  That showed him!


- I got my foodie pen pals box in the mail on Monday! I cannot wait to share with you guys what I received, stay tuned for that on 31 Aug.

- I am now a proud member of Virginia Bloggers, an awesome blog and directory of bloggers who live in Virginia. So excited.

- The Expendables 2.  I cannot wait to see this movie! I don't know why I love cheesy action movies so much, but I so totally do.  Of course I love the usual suspects (Schwarzenegger, Willis, Stallone, etc), but I am SO SO SO looking forward to seeing Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme.  There better be an abundance of round house kicks, or I might cry. Click to watch the awesome trailer and get super stoked along with me:

- I got to do my first ever guest post for my lovely friend Krystle and her awesome blog, Life Revolves Around Them. You can read the guest post here and go check out her blog!! :)

That's all for now, folks!  Share your highs and lows of the week, I'd love to hear them! :)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pay it Forward Handmade!

I just read about this awesome pay it forward project on Sarah's blog - A Cat-Like Curiosity. I thought it was a great idea and I want to participate, too.  Here's the deets:

There’s a pay-it-forward crafty plan underway, and lots of bloggers appear to be joining in!

So, here’s how this pay-it-forward thing works:

I will send a surprise gift to the first three commenters on this post (and if there are more I might send out more). The gift will be a handmade surprise by me and I will send it to you sometime in the next 365 days. All you need to do is the following:

Leave me a comment and include your email address (if you profile doesn’t link back) so I can get in touch with you about your mailing address and some other information about yourself.

To complete signing up, you MUST play along too by blogging a similar post and pledging to make a surprise for the first 3 people who comment on it.

So, do you want to play along?

Comment below, and I’ll send a thoughtful gift to the first three people who do.

Let's pay it forward to one another! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaways!

Hey there, my lovely Chaos Crew! We've got a guest post and some giveaways today.  Who's excited??!

Life Revolves Around Them

My lovely friend and fellow blogger, Krystle @ Life Revolves Around Them, graciously let me do a guest post today.  She just had a beautiful baby boy named Lucas, and he was born a bit earlier than expected. Which reminded me of Dom's birth, so I thought I would share that with you.  Check out the post here to read all about it!

Anddddd... there's a few hours left to enter the giveaway at Every Day is a New Adventure! You could win a lovely gift card from Starbucks (from me!) and 2 other lovely prizes.  Go now, before it ends!!

Anddd last, but certainly NOT least, I'm also sponsoring a giveaway at Pamela's Heavenly Treats! You could win a lovely gift card from Starbucks from me (wait, I'm sensing a theme here!) and there are 9 other lovely prizes up for grabs - 2 winners will win 5 prizes each.  Go, go, go! :)

Hope you all have a lovely evening!

All You Wanted to Know About Me, Myself & I.

Or at least the answers to these 5 questions, anyway. :)  I'm linking up with the Me, Myself & I link up party to tell you more about myself.  Are you ready??

1) What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

This an easy one.  I would be a writer of course.  I would sit down and take the time to write the books that have been floating around in my head for years.  Who knows? Maybe I'd be FAMOUS. ;)

2) If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?

I of course would spend as much time with my family as I could, especially with my kids.  I would probably make a bunch of videos for them to play at certain times of their lives, like I've seen other moms do when they knew they were terminally ill.  Ugh, it's making me tear up just thinking about it!

3) If a front page news article was written on you, what would the headline be?

"Who is that DORK?"  No, seriously, it would probably say, "Local Woman Breaks Record for Number of Times Watching 'The Smurfs' Consecutively".  I really wish my kid would find a new movie to obsess over! :) 

4) What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who make loud, smacking, chewing noises when they eat.  You are not a cow, close your mouth!!

See also, people who go "slurp, slurp, ahhhhhh" after every single sip of their drink. I mean, really? I don't care if you're drinking the nectar of the gods, put a cork in it!! 

5) What is your favorite chick flick movie?

Does Forrest Gump count as a chick flick?  I could watch that 1,000 more times and still never be sick of it. And of course I cry every single time I watch it.  


And there you have it!  5 new things about me that you didn't know before.  Stick around, maybe you'll find out even more.  I'm off to watch 'The Smurfs'! ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Confessions v3

It's Sunday, so you know what that means, I'm linking up with Alyx from Every Day is a New Adventure for Sunday Confessions!

1) I don't like mayonnaise.  I despise it with a vengeance.  And I get resentful when every restaurant on the planet assumes that you want it on your sandwich, even when you tell them you don't.  How hard is it to not put mayonnaise on something? I'm saving you a step!

Barf!  Source

2) I love Justin Bieber. Oh my god, I can't believe I just admitted that, but I do.  I tried to hate him, I really did. I wanted to be one of those people who is so above it all and only likes uber-cool music like U2 or whatever, but I can't give up my cheesy music. It's a problem!

3) I hate talking on the phone. Probably the only two people I talk on the phone with on a regular basis are my dad and Charlie. Because I know I won't run out of things to talk about with them and I can ramble like a dork and they won't care.  I feel this weird pressure to always have something to say on the phone.  Is that strange? And then I stress myself out and all I want to do is get off the phone and end up feeling awkward.

4) I'm obsessed with birthdays. Mine, my family's, my friends', I just love birthdays. I think I'm often more excited about someone's birthday than they are, lol. I also have a really weird memory, I can remember my friends' birthdays from like grade school, people that I don't even talk to anymore. 

5) I eat the same dish at every restaurant and rarely ever try anything new. Like, if I go to Wendy's, I always get a spicy chicken sandwich (NO MAYO!) with fries. I never, ever get anything else. If I go to Red Lobster, I always get popcorn shrimp and a baked potato. Always. Weird, I know, but it makes it easy when hubby picks up food for me.  I just have to tell him what restaurant I want him to stop at and he knows exactly what I want. :)  The benefits of being together for 11+ years, I suppose.

Hope you all enjoy your Sunday! I'm having dinner with my daddy today and I cannot wait!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at Every Day is a New Adventure! I'm sponsoring a Starbucks gift card, and there are 2 other prizes, go check it out!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Write Me a Letter! I Dare You...

Who wants to be my pen pal? No, seriously. I love blogging and connecting with people online, but there's something about receiving a hand written letter in the mail that has always appealed to me. I would love to start a pen pal program and get to talk with all different types of people out there. If anybody out there is interested, please fill out the form below. No one else will see your information but me, unless you put in the notes of the "Address" field that you'd like to connect with other pen pals as well besides me. In which case, I'll match people up! This could be fun. The only rule is that whatever you send to your pen pal has to be hand-written (or drawn!)- a post card, greeting card, letter, drawing, whatever. You do not have to be a blogger to participate.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nutty and Nifty Thursdays - 8/16/12

It's Thursday, so you know what that means... time for Nutty and Nifty Thursdays!  This mama is tired, though, so it's going to be short one.


- Boys' first day of daycare on Monday.  Sigh.  That was not fun.  I know it will take a little time for them to settle in.  But my mommy guilt gets me every time. :(

- William is back to waking up 3 and 4 times a night again.  He doesn't appear to be sick or teething, so I'm not sure what is going on with him.  But I wish he would sleeeeeeep! So tired. That moment when you're snuggling your baby, rocking him back to sleep, and you think he's out cold, so you put him down in the crib and as soon as his back touches mattress, he starts wailing at the top of his lungs... yea... no thank you.

- I haven't had time to do any recipe posts lately and that bums me out.  I will have to remedy that very soon.  I'm thinking something with chocolate!! :)

- I'm a die hard True Blood fan, but is anybody else kind of disappointed with this season? I just think it's been a bunch of random, extremely weird (even for True Blood) storylines and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Plus, [SPOILER ALERT!] they killed off Christopher Meloni's character, so of course I'm a little peeved. haha.


- We're nearing the end of August and I can almost smell Fall.  My sweaters are calling my name! Dom keeps talking about going back to the pumpkin patch, I can't wait to take him!

- Having a great lunch with my friend yesterday.  Pizza... wings... oh man, it was so delicious.  You know you're in for a good meal when even the menus are greasy. ;)

- Finding out that today is National Rum Day! I didn't know that rum had its own day, but it definitely deserves one.  I'm bummed that I wasn't able to celebrate National Rum Day in the proper fashion, but I'm sure I'll be able to make up for it in the very near future. ;)

Oh Malibu, how do I love thee?  Source

Alright folks, I'm off to bed.  Tomorrow is Friday, yippy!!

What were your highs and lows for the week? 

Where I Come From - the Virginia edition

Shades of Gray and a Pinch of Pink

Hi Guys! I'm linking up with Erin from Shades of Gray and a Pinch of Pink to tell you about my home town.

I'm from Fredericksburg, Virginia, which is a city that is conveniently located about 50 miles from Washington, DC.  It's a commuter city because a large population of our residents commute to other cities up north for work.  We're a very diverse city - a little bit urban, suburban, country... we've got it all!


I think Fredericksburg has come a long way.  When I first moved here when I was 6, people would always say "Fredericksburg?! Where is that?"  But now we're pretty well-known, at least in Virginia. :)

Some popular attractions:

Carl's Ice Cream


Lake Anna

That's my bestie! :)

Rappahannock River


Paul's Bakery


My favorite memories are of walking around every inch of historical downtown Fredericksburg as a kid with my dad.  And also visiting all of the old Civil War battlefields.  We would roam around the city for hours, walking, exploring, spending time together.  It was the best.

There's been so much growth here in the past 20+ years that I've lived here.  New homes, new businesses, new people.  But there's also been a sense of comfort for me - living in the same place that I grew up in, seeing people that I went to school with.  Every time I think "I need to get out of this town and go somewhere new" I think how much I would miss it here and how much I want my boys to grow up here and experience the things that I experienced and take them to the places that I went to as a kid with my dad.

Anyway, that's a little bit about where I'm from... where did you guys grow up? And what did you love about it?

P.S. I'm sponsoring a giveaway at Every Day is a New Adventure.  Go check it out!!