Friday, May 20, 2016

3 Brilliant Things to Do After You Graduate (Instead of Working)

3 Brilliant Things to Do After You Graduate (Instead of Working)If you’re about to graduate, you have lots of reasons to be cheerful. You’re about to walk across a stage balancing a board on your head while wearing a trip-hazard, as the ceremony demands. Once you have your degree in hand, you’re ready to embark on your post-university life.  Are you ready?
Maybe not. And that’s ok. Diving right into the workforce is not only unnecessary, but it’s quite normal to put it off until you’ve taken a much needed break from your studies to enjoy your life and well earned freedom.
Not ready for life’s next step? No worries, here are some other things to do after you graduate that will be both fun and enriching:

Take a break and travel

Graduate gap years are more common than ever. There’s nothing wrong with taking time out, traveling a bit and doing something different before you get a job. But, like every other opportunity that you face, this one needs research and planning. Many students intend to take a break after graduation but very few actually do.
Taking time out requires a level of thought and forward planning that is slightly inconsistent with the notion of simply kicking back and relaxing. You need to find answers to the following questions:
  • What will you do and where will you go?
  • Do you want to travel, work (paid/voluntary) or study overseas?
  • Will you need to raise some money/pay off debts first?
  • Why are you doing it?
  • What will other people (potential employers) think of it?
  • Will it help you to get the job you want afterwards?
  • Should you try to get something organised (job/course) before you go?
  • When's the best time to return?
Employers are generally positive about graduates taking time out to travel or work abroad, but only if the experience, personal development benefits and skills gained through it are sold well. Extended holidays without aim are a turn off. If you want to start a graduate job on your return, you need to investigate applications timetables for the careers that interest you before you go.

Work for yourself

More graduates are considering self-employment – and why not? If you have ambition and a decent idea or skill to sell, it's probably worth a go soon after you graduate. You have less to lose, more commitment and energy, you're used to working anti-social hours and, working for yourself beats working for someone else.
If you’re not sure what to do, think about your simple talents - the ones that are easy for you to do and are needed by other people. Some examples are copy writing, editing, content development, marketing, graphic design or being a virtual assistant. Not only are these all great options, but they are mobile jobs and if you choose to travel, you can take the jobs with you!
Whether locally or abroad, volunteering to help with children, those in poverty, refugees, art or music institutions, etc, can help you apply your passions or skill sets in a way that gives back. It will also test how much you are interested in the field where you are pouring your energy into while being immersed in other cultures, and socio-economic groups.

The point is, that there are definitely options out there for people that are not ready to just dive into the grind of the  9 - 5. This is the best time of your life to go and figure out what you want by doing and by living, rather than just by wishing. 
You’ve worked hard at your studies and you’ve earned some real living time. Ontario Bakery applauds you and is here for all your custom baked goods, from graduation to weddings and all the fun in between!

Our Simple Guide to Planning a Stress Free Graduation Party

Our Simple Guide to Planning a Stress Free Graduation PartyGraduation is a big time for the whole family. It’s a time where everyone is proud and very relieved. So why not celebrate? This is a time to come together and congratulate your graduate. But be sure to not overwhelm them with the details or pressure them into a party they aren’t wanting.
If you want to throw a graduation party, have at it - but be sure to run these simple questions by your guest of honor, to make sure it meets their needs and schedule too. Once you’ve done that, let them know not to worry and just to show up and have fun.
How Big of a Party?
Should it be a big celebration or small? This will be a determining factor for every other detail. Decide if you want it to be over the top or intimate and personal. Once you know this, you can start brainstorming about if it should be a backyard thing or something that you need to rent a space for.

What Kind of Food and Entertainment Would Be Good?
What kind of food do you want to provide? Or do you want a potluck? Anything goes here, but keep it easy. BBQ, finger foods, fruits, veggies and dip are all great options.  For desert, would you like a cake or cupcakes? Cookies are fine too, but the cakes tend to be more fitting for the celebration. As far as drinks, simply decide if you want alcohol, soda, or simply water and juices. All are fine depending on your location and crowd.

Who Do You Really Want to Be There?
Who do you want there? Who does your graduate want there? Just family? Just friends or both? Be sure to take into consideration any conflict of attendees and deal with those situations beforehand.

What Kind of Food and Entertainment Would Be Good?
What kind of food do you want to provide? Or do you want a potluck? Anything goes here, but keep it easy. BBQ, finger foods, fruits, veggies and dip are all great options.  For dessert, would you like a cake or cupcakes? Cookies are fine too, but the cakes tend to be more fitting for the celebration. As far as drinks, simply decide if you want alcohol, soda, or simply water and juices. All are fine depending on your location and crowd. Along with that, you should decide if you want live music, a dj or a simple playlist as your entertainment and music. What’s your style?

When Would You Like to Have it?
Talk to your graduate about their plans. They might already want to head out on a trip with their friends. And since this is to celebrate them, they need to have the first say. You can plan the party for the day before or even right after. Just discuss it first.

When everything is said and done, remember not to stress. Graduations are a wonderful thing to celebrate and at Ontario Bakery, we love to be a part of it. We'd love the honor of making you a custom cake just for your special day. Contact us today to see what creation we can bake for you!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why You Shouldn’t Waste Your Time Designing Your Wedding Cake:

Why You Shouldn’t Waste Your Time Designing Your Wedding Cake:Not everyone realizes that you can hire a cake stylist to handle the details of your wedding cake but it’s one of the best things you can do for your wedding process! It’s just one thing you can check off your list of things to do and attend to! 

Everyone in the wedding party deserves to have a stress free experience, from the mother of the bride, the bridal party to the bride herself, right? Ontario bakery understands that, which is why we are known for bringing so much elegance and delight to each wedding we are apart of. 

You have enough to plan with dresses, locations and who's on the invite list. Why spend extra time trying to figure out your cake, when a talented and experienced wedding cake stylist can create just the cake to fit your unique flair and wedding's look? 

We all know a wedding cake picture can only get you so far, so when you visit us you will also get a chance to taste various wedding cake flavors and fillings. We are well known as having one of the biggest selections of delicious options anywhere near Ontario.

As you and our stylist enjoy the pictures and the tasting, your perfect wedding cake will emerge. Then it will be up to us to produce your wedding cake to exactly your design, and add it to our picture gallery of incredible and scrumptious wedding cakes.

So call us. Make wedding planning even more simple. Let your cake be handled by a stylist. Ontario Bakery is excited to help your wedding be the best it can be!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day Gifts that Go Above and Beyond But Stay in Your Budget

Mother's Day Gifts that Go Above and Beyond But Stay in Your Budget
It’s time to celebrate the amazing women in our lives who have given their best to support, encourage and nurture us. But don’t get caught in the usual last minute flower rut!

Below are a suggestions for some simple, and still very special ways to honor mom!
Breakfast in Bed.  Now please, with this one, don't wake her up!  Keep it personalized to HER needs.  She may not want pancakes.  She might want fresh juice, a cup of tea and her favorite book!  Absolutely make sure she has a flower or a few sprigs of lavender and rosemary to bring a fresh and relaxing aroma to the morning.

Day for Mom.  She's given years.  So give her a day.  This day should push her out the front day (sans kids) and into the world.  Be generous and stock her wallet with some funds so she can have a pampering adventure meant just for her!

Plants - the easy ones -  are a tried and true way to celebrate mom, with the added bonus of the springtime variety of options available! Very popular and loved options right now are varieties of air plants and succulents. They don’t require much and make a beautiful accent wherever they are placed!

Personalized Coupons.  This is a great one, especially for the little ones to do for mom!  You could make a 5-15 page book full of redeemable coupons for caring services.  Make a few for foot rubs, doing the dishes, washing the car, doing the laundry and more!  But remember, she WILL redeem them, so plan them out carefully!

Hire a Driver.  An upgrade from the last one, give her the relaxing gift of having the day to herself and not even having to drive!  Imagine the surprise and excitement in her face when she's dolled up for lunch and finds a driver, door open, awaiting her presence.  She will be queen for a day!

Moms are miracles and we believe that’s worth celebrating.  At Ontario Bakery, we want to be a part of your joy by providing custom delicious cakes, cupcakes and treats! If you're in the Orange County area, please get in touch and let us know how we can make your day even more special.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Feeling Pressured By Graduation? Here Are Some Calm Reminders to Help You Through It.

Feeling Pressured By Graduation? Here Are Some Calm Reminders to Help You Through It.
As graduation approaches, it’s hard not to feel suffocated by the whole process. Everyone has their expectations of you, you have your individuality, hopes and dreams and yet - you’re plagued by the many unknown in what comes next. Well, we’ve been there before and are here to go down the road with you. Take a moment to enjoy a deep breath and know that it’s going to be ok. We shared this piece last year and felt it was so good that it should be shared again. 

A little graduation encouragement from us at Ontario Bakery to you:

Regardless of whether or not you’re continuing your education, you never truly stop learning. Since you're going to keep learning, why not travel to new places and become a student of the world? You'll meet so many new and interesting people. While you're at it, bring books outside of your comfort zone and read as many of them as you possibly can.   

Once you've spent some time 'apprenticing at life', take the lessons you've learned to the growth of your purpose. Notice I said purpose rather than job. One of the great illusions in our world today is the idea that there’s some perfect job out there, waiting for you. The truth is, there isn't a perfect job for you to find. Any job you find, is a series of tasks meant to fulfill someone else's dream.

The work world is changing rapidly. Companies are getting smaller, not larger. Entrepreneurial endeavors are becoming the norm.  If you are able to embrace this reality, you won’t have to settle for a position that doesn’t fulfill your potential. You can create position and the perfect job for yourself based on your skills, talents and passion.

So to recap:  

  • Don’t worry so much about doing... Be more concerned about who you are becoming. Continue growing and learning.  Trust that what you’re meant to do will become clearer over time.
  • Get practice by helping build someone else's dream: This will save you years of pain and accelerate your growth in ways you can’t imagine. And it will humble you.
  • You can create the perfect job. The best way to do what you love is to build the perfect job for yourself. Start a small business, if even as a hobby, so you’re never completely on someone else to earn a living.
Spend a good amount of time learning more about who you are and what you want to do with your life will become more clear over time. Continue to be patient and reflect on who you are and the person you are becoming. These practices will offer your soul the quiet time it needs to gain clarity in a world where distraction is normal an personal reflection is rare.

Your graduation is a time to be excited and prepare for what's next. But remember that what's next is simply another step on an unpredictable journey. You have so much to be proud of and so much more to look forward to and we want to celebrate with you!

Ontario Bakery specializes in the custom cakes and other goods that put the sweet finishing touch on your party! Call us today and place your order!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ideas to Help You Do Better Than Flowers and Brunch for Mother’s Day.

Ideas to Help You Do Better Than Flowers and Brunch for Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is a very special day, so why do we only get as creative as brunch? I know there’s a lot more that can be done and want to share some great ideas that you and mom are sure to enjoy.
Let’s get started.
Idea #1. Getaway for the weekend. If you and mom are close pals that love to hang out and relax together, you can probably handle a fun weekend getaway. Try a relaxing spa package, a museum-centric urban destination or something a little more outdoorsy like whitewater rafting or mountain biking.
Idea #2. Go thrifting. It’s a great way to enjoy retail therapy without the harsh stint on your budget? Have fun putting together outfits, accessories, trinkets and look through the books. Take it further and even include some vintage shops!
Idea #3. Go to a yoga class or weekend together. Whether you’ve got a Lululemon-sporting mom, or she’s never even said “namaste.” Either way, a yoga class can be a great way to bond and relax together.
Idea #4. Go hiking or camping. Pack up some gear and tent it for a night, or just find a picturesque place to hike and picnic together.
Idea #5. Go wine tasting. This is one of my favorite ones. Grab some delicious desserts, salami, fruit and cheese and add a wine tasting afternoon to your picnic. Spread out a blanket and indulge. You’ll feel great!

Make the best of this Mother’s Day and go beyond the brunch and flowers this year. See which idea works best for you and have fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Some Graduation Advice for the Empty Nest Parents Out There

Graduation. It’s that time of the year where our children get older and some move on to bigger education in far away lands. This is great, right? We’re proud of them and excited. But the truth is, it’s a big shift for the parents. Many mothers especially, regardless of how close of a relationship they had, can become very depressed as they lose what they’ve focused on for a solid 18 years.  As your student moves on to university life, you might find these techniques useful to help you get through the exciting, but still difficult change as well.
Stay in communication
It is important for parents to stay in touch with students, but it isn’t necessary to talk several times a day, or even every day.  Consider a weekly or bi-weekly phone call or Skype session to check in and catch up.  Then use other forms of communication like texting or email to fill in the gaps.  That will enable you to tell your student something on your mind, but she can respond in her own time. Feel free to send your student a private Facebook message, but avoid filling his Facebook wall or liking all of his posts. That will just become annoying.
Invest in your friends and community.
Since you are probably finding yourself with more time than you used to, invest in relationships that can provide you with community, connection, and encouragement.  If married, take this time to get to know your spouse without having to plan around a child’s schedule.  Go out with friends and have fun!  Ask a co-worker to go to a movie or ask a neighbor to go on a walk.  Even if you don’t feel like being with people, you will find if you make up your mind to do it, you will be glad you did.  While you still might miss your student, you won’t be as lonely.
Get to know what makes you excited!
Think about what you used to do before a child consumed your time.  Perhaps writing, crafts, exercising, or going to school got put on the back burner.  Now is the time to find something you are interested in and jump in with both feet.  Do you just miss having someone to help?  Find a cause you are passionate about and volunteer your time at a local organization.
Adjusting to an empty nest takes time, but try to be an example to your student that life changes can be exciting, adventurous times.  You will always be a parent, even as your relationship changes and grows with your adult child.
And remember. This is an exciting time for your child. Be attentive and share your bigger emotions with a close friend or spouse. This will free your child to enjoy this exciting new phase without feeling guilty or concern.
Ontario Bakery wants to celebrate with you. Don’t forget to call us, when you’re ready to order your custom baked cakes and other party desserts!