Saying Good Bye to Sera’s Youth

Saturday was a birthday celebration for our friend Sera. Since we all are friends with Mandi, you reap the benefits of having your birthday styled by the talented, super creative, gorgeous Ms. Mandi fucking Stewart – I mean Mandi Rae (did I mention she’s gorgeous AND single?)   I am in charge of desserts. I spent Friday night baking cakes and cookies so they can be cooled overnight and ready to be frosted and decorated the next day. This is a challenging task for me because Sera cannot have anything with gluten or dairy or she’ll die. Not really, she’ll just suffer so much that she wishes she’d die. Okay, maybe a little too dramatic.


I picked up a box of cookie mix of each GF sugar cookies and GF double chocolate peppermint cookies. I did a little experiment with both and swapped the butter with shortening for chocolate cookies and coconut oil for the sugar cookies. I had planned to cut them out, make them into sugar skulls and got the molds from Amazon; I bet I could really have some fun with my 8-yr old Treyton with these molds. Like for Halloween. Well the chocolate cookies didn’t hold up. They spread like crazy but still taste good. The sugar cookies held up their shapes and I was able to decorate them. So note to self, coconut oil is a better alternative to butter. Shortening? not so much, in my opinion.


For the chocolate cake, I use this recipe. It’s Gluten and Dairy Free and it’s also Vegan! That means we could eat the entire cake guilt free and PETA will love us! I thought the cake turned out well. It was moist, a touch grainy and the frosting on it is smooth and almost pudding like, my 15-month old daughter Atreya loves it. Of course in the world of unconventional Dhila, a chocolate cake cannot be just a plain old chocolate cake. It’s gotta have a pizzaaazz! A gluten free kind of pizzaaazz.


I saw my favorite, talented and amazing baker ZoeBakes posted a Trix cake and I was blown fucking away! I asked Ms. Google to see if Trix is Gluten Free. I suspected it was since it’s corn based. This website said, Trix indeed is Gluten Free. She tested it with a thing that looks just like a peeing stick (a pregnancy test). I trusted it. Sera, do you possess such thing?


So I whipped up a batch of a layered Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan chocolate cake. I separated all Trix’s colored balls, a tedious task but must be done (my son Treyton helped after I bribed him a lemon popsicle). After frosting the cake, I studded each and every ball carefully to the cake. I had to stop a couple of times to put the cake in the freezer because the coconut oil based frosting melts fast in room temperature.


After careful arrangement of my trunk, both cake and cookies arrived safely to Mandi’s. We enjoyed Sangrias, Margaritas, fish and beef tacos, chips and guacs and shrimp ceviches, my cookies and cakes and a night full of storytelling around her chiminea. Like any other girls get together, we take a ton of selfies and played a game of #wheresmymustache.


Just like all the parties Mandi has thrown in the past, it is definitely another kind of party that I will never forget. Please hire her for your next party! She thinks of things that you would never think of. The details she puts in this party and any other parties she’s thrown in the past are meticulously thought of. Check out her Pinterest Boards


All photos are taken with Smart Phones.

Hello Birthday Girl Sera and her sombrero!

The white skull is filled with vodka

Meet Ms. Kacey aka Instagram @gmadef. She’s an artist and is blessed with the smartest beautiful baby boy Gabe.

These white balloons were supposed to be decorated to look like those sugar skulls but we got sidetracked.

We enjoyed too many of these sangrias. I’m swooning over that vintage ladle.

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Hey Ms. Mandi I “mustache” you how you make those damn fine ceviche?

Mandi is such an expert in setting the mood right for the occasion. We originally was going to her yard and have another bonfire but none us want to leave this magical spot. So in a Mandi’s fashion, if we won’t come to the bonfire, the bonfire shall come to you. She hauled that chiminea from somewhere far, like the front door or something to her backyard. There were candles and citronella to ensure that we don’t get bit by pesky mosquitoes.

Ms. Erin aka Instagram @lilyxena13 and Ms. Heather aka @playmanhm

I would gladly get stranded on a deserted island with these rad bitches

Here’s Ms. Mandi fucking Stewart. Isn’t she lovely! Find her @museinheels

The pinata borrowed Sera’s sombrero and is watching over the chiminea

Sorting Trix

Here’s the Trix cake I made for Ms. Sera. It’s Vegan, Gluten Free and Dairy Free.

Here’s the cake recipe

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And we all came home with a bottle of this bitchin’ nail polish

So Mandi created this game #wheresmymustache and post it on Instagram and we really went to town with it. Excuse me, let me rephrase that, Kacey went to town with it and started going around Mandi’s house to look for things to stick her mustache to.

Kacey won the #wheresmymustache for pinning the ‘stache on Virgin Mary

The pinata was filled with lovely things, just lovely lovely sustanance that we girls almost can’t live without like mini liquors, condoms, and lollipops

The  mustache went on this pretty gift bag that Heather bought from Patina

Ms. Heather got Sera the Dammit Doll.

Poor Kitty but priceless expression

Sisters!!!! photo taken by @gmadef

another @gmadef work

Sera’s soulmate Steve played along from home

I picked up these masks from Amazon too.

@playmanhm, she’s a hair stylist. Go get your hair done by her!

beautiful capture by @gmadef

@lilyxena13 by @gmadef

@dhilab #dhilaeats by @gmadef

@seraholt80 by @gmadef

@museinheels by @gmadef

I love you Mandi girl, you’re definitely one of the people who inspires me. Thank you for the wonderful party.

Now I will end this post with a song that Mandi introduced to me and I cannot get it out of my head and I must iTune it.

Thank you for checking out this post.

Oui! Oui!

For those of you who know Jeff and I, we LOVE to cook together. So this year, I’ve decided to throw a French Party for the family where Jeff and I cooked a little French meal for the family to celebrate both our birthdays (our birthdays are on the same month). I know some of you think, why would you cook your own meal on your birthday? Well, quite simple, I really like cooking for others, it gives me joy and what gives me joy, and give other people joy will make turning older joyful. Happy birthday to me and Jeff!

This was the invitation. Designed by me.

This was the menu that was placed on each plate that was neatly tucked under the folded napkins like the picture below.
Made these drink labels for everyone’s stem glasses
The boss and the husband sent me flowers to work and I took them home, rearranged them into smaller bouquets and put on mugs instead of vases.
For appetizers, I laid out assortments of French cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert and Port Salut
The second plate are slices of Saucisson Sec from Northern Waters Smokehouse in Duluth, Minn. A delicious salami! The bottom plate are baguettes made fresh daily from Chez Arnaud in Maple Grove, Minn. 

Jeff discouraged me from making Bouef Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin. Instead we went with simple Filet Mignon which Chef Jeff made. I made the Haricot Verts tied with Orange Rind as well as the Boursin Mashed Red Potatoes. 
For dessert, I intended to make mini Pumpkin Creme Brulee for the first time and half of them the sugar didn’t hardened as it should so some of them turned into a flan which was equally delicious!
It’s topped with Jeff’s incredible Fresh Cranberry Sauce. This sauce is the most versatile we’ve ever had. It goes on everything! Turkey, ice cream, pies, cakes, obviously this awesome Creme Brulee slash Flan.
I also made this super velvety chocolate mousse, layered with Raspberries. Topped with vanilla rolled wafers.
We ended the session by taking these shots. The moustaches were made by my mother-in-law using felts.
It was a great party! This year France, next year we’ll visit Italy.
Jeff’s mom and dad – Mike and Jean. My in-laws. The greatest in-laws ever! Jean is a cancer survivor. Doesn’t she look amazing?!
Patty and Caye. Patty is Jean’s little sister.
The Grandmas! Grandma Ginny (left-Mike’s mom) and Grandma Peggy (right-Jean’s mom)
Grandma Peggy and her companion, Trapper.
There’s that cute couple again
Carol (Jean’s sister) and Matt, one of Treyton’s favorite uncle (Patty’s son)
Patty’s daughter,  Nicole and her husband Mark with their only son (for now) Kian
Treyton’s cousins: Kael (right) and Ethan (left), aren’t they adorable! Behind them is their mom Kristi (Nicole and Matt’s sister) as they’re leaving for church.
My boys. Jeff put on a shirt that says “Canada, where grandma gets her drugs”. As close as French as he could come up with. I dressed up as a French Maid. I think it suits well for the occasion

Ninja Party #2

After the party at Chuckee Cheese and a nap, Ninja Treyton had another party at his house. Families only, this time. He was very delighted that everyone came and played along with wearing the ninja head band that his mommy made.
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
Chinese food, what else do you think Ninjas eat?
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Wait a minute? Buzz? Is that you?
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Baby Kian, the youngest Ninja in the house
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
Ninja Kian with Grandma
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
These two ninjas are sisters
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Uncle Matt, I mean Ninja Matt, the sisters sibling
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Ninja Kian with Great Grandma, Ninja Peggy
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Ninja Jean, Ninja Treyton’s Grandma is also very fond of Star Wars Legos
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Ninja Jeff aka Ninja Treyton’s Daddy
Yeap, had a great time this one ninja. He finally got what he really really wants.
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
Yes, he’s super spoiled, but we can’t help it

How Do Ninjas Celebrate Birthdays at Chuckee Cheese?

Although I favor more and more to party at our house, I always get reminded how exhausting it is and I’m left with no pictures. Although I’m never short of party ideas, I rarely have time to execute a plan.
What I love about Chuckee Cheese, it allows me the opportunity to spend time and talk with family and friends and catch up on things. I get the opportunity to take pictures! YAY! You send your kids off to the play area with peace of mind that no one’s going home with the wrong kid or worst, snatch your kids. The adults can sit and occasionally have adult chats between “Mom, can I have more tokens.” or “Mom, so and so wouldn’t take turns.”
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
Ordered some black ninja cupcakes and arranged them to resemble number 5
The goodie bags looked good!
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Here’s the Ninja who’s celebrating his birthday. He’s ready!
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Aang, the Airbender came
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
Leonardo, the ninja turtle came. He’s taking a break today that’s why the mask is off. Buzz light year came too!
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Two ninjas, one of the training session.
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Connor, Brianna, their momma Diana and Treyton
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Don’t be fooled by this. This is actually a part of Ninja training.
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Time to blow the candles
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
The downside of having black frosting
Treyton's 5th Birthday Treyton's 5th Birthday
Since Treyton was intimated by this ticket blaster, his BFF Eduardo did it for him
So, after the party at Chuckee Cheese, Ninja Treyton went home to take a nap to prepare for the second party at his house, click here to see photos.

Ninja Party Prep

Treyton celebrated his 5th birthday this year and three-days away before his Chuckee Cheese birthday celebration in the late morning and a birthday at home in the evening — yes, all in one day– I decided I wanted to put a little more effort this year. Here’s what I did for kids goodie bags.
First, the invitation

Treyton's 5th Birthday
I bought some ninja figurines at Party City, a set of 12 was about 5 bucks. Some fortune cookies and ball and jacks (my favorite game growing up!)
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Jeff made about 30 of these origami Ninja stars from regular papers. I packaged them out with some mini markers for the kids to decorate their own ninja stars.
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Treyton's 5th Birthday
Then I bought a yard of white fabric from Joann’s, 2 bucks, cut them up to make ninja head bands. I wrote each kid’s name with fabric pen in Japanese (thank you Google Translations). I also made some for the adults for the evening party.
I bought these chinese takeout containers from my favorite Chinese restaurant, Que Viet, for 10 cents each (way cheaper than the Container store). The chopsticks were from Sun Food, an Asian grocery store, a buck fifty for 10 sets.
Treyton's 5th Birthday
So how did the party go?
Click here for Chuckee Cheese Party and here for the evening party with the family.