Monday, June 20, 2016

School’s Out. Keep Kids Happy & Busy With These FUN Activities!

School’s Out. Keep Kids Happy & Busy With These FUN Activities!
Ontario Bakery Makes Custom Cakes & Treats for Birthday Parties & MORE!
It’s so exciting when school is finally out for the summer! We dream of swimming and camping and fun all the time! But the reality is, adults can’t always make those things happen and kids still need to have fun and keep busy. So rather than lose your mind, try planning for these activities so you have happy creative kids even when you can’t go for a big adventure.  
Here are some ideas we have for your young ones happy and busy this summer:
Have a bubble box. Most dollar stores have large bottles of the bubbles available or you can even make your own. There are some cool resources online that show you how to create shapes out of bubbles using just string! Kids have a blast with this one. It’s great option for the backyard or park, so they can rinse off easily.  Just keep everything in a large tupperware for easy storage, accessibility and mess control!
Plan weekly picnics. Depending on the ages and interests of your children, you can give the picnic a theme (tea party, teddy bear or lego picnic) or keep it simple and add some little treats like fresh baked cake pops or cookies! Kids love it! Bring along things like ring toss, butterfly nets or bubbles for them, and a book or your own work to do alongside them.
Plan a summer reading game. Go to your local library once every week or two and get as many books as you can, in the areas your child is interested in. If your child is interested in a book beyond their level, don’t be afraid to encourage the challenge. Make a poster with a path and milestones on it. Every chapter or page they finish gets them a little treat or prize! The bigger milestones can be rewarded with an ice cream date or day at the pool. Remember that each child learns differently and if they feel discouraged, get into the book with them. Tell them words. Keep it fun! For younger children, enjoy reading times at the library, where they can usually have fun being read to as a group. (Or lead your own!)
Make a summer treasure box. Teach your children to capture memories with this simple and fun idea. Get an old shoe box. Have them decorate it their way. Then keep it available for holding little pieces of memorabilia, photos and treasure findings they gather throughout the summer. Next summer, you can revisit the box and remember your good times!
Animal love. Do you have any neighbors with animals that are good with children? (and are your children good with animals?) Have a day each week where you visit the animals and give them some love. Spend some time researching and asking what the pet enjoys for treats and toys and perhaps spend some time making them for the animals. 
We know that summer is fun, but not easy. We’re here to not only give you a break, but enhance your child’s summer while bringing you together.  At Ontario Bakery, our goal is just that. We are proud to provide the custom baked goods you need for every special day that comes up, from tedding bear picnics to birthdays and big weddings. Call us to place your custom order today!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Great Ideas for the Perfect Tween Girl Birthday Party

Great Ideas for the Perfect Tween Girl Birthday Party
Let Ontario Bakery Make You the Perfect Custom Party Cake!

Preteen girls are right at that age where they want to do things that are more grown up, but still have a childlike flare for having fun. It’s absolutely possible to give them the best of both worlds with these simple and usable ideas! Make this birthday a memory they’ll be proud to remember.

Jewelry Party

This party theme is a huge hit with the pre teen crowd. You can easily find all beads, craft jewelry, old unique jewelry for the pieces, costume jewelry pieces, and craft sets at thrift shops, crafting stores and garage sales. The girls can make necklaces, bracelets, and rings for themselves and for the birthday girl. You can encourage them to design unique friendship bracelets, as they’ll always have them as a keepsake. Plus, they take hours to make so your girls can watch movies while they make their unique designs.

A Night of Beauty
How about throwing a makeup and spa party? Ask some older friends to help, fix up a room like a beauty salon.  You could put face masks on them, paint their nails and toe nails and even have stylish drinks with lemonade and grenadine with little umbrellas inside. If you want to go further with this one, book a makeup artist to do their make up and then bring them all to the movie and dinner later to show off their fabulous state.
Keep going with that and opt for a spa day!  Include essential oils and add facials to the above and you've got the whole thing ready for a memorable night of fun!

Sing Along
It’s so easy to throw a karaoke party.  You can rent out a machine at home or go out for the real experience!  Some places have age restrictions, but you usually have the option of renting out a little room out. If you’d like to keep it more simple, just put on some music videos and divide the party into two teams. Play a song at random and see how many words of the song each player on each team knows! (Someone else can be reading lyrics on a phone to check accuracy.)  Throw in some fun food like chinese noodles or sushi, and you’ll have the perfect party!

The Great Outdoors
The more outdoors type would love an organized an adventure day.  Here, you can go on a hike, build a raft or go canoeing.  If you have access to a lake or a little island, this is a great idea for everyone involved.  If you'd like a daytime, relaxed activity, you could start things off with lunch out somewhere nice and then maybe they could get their nails done. If that feels out of budget for you, rope in a friend and do it at your home. Get a couple movies (or music) and some delicious treats and give the living room to them for a few hours. 

At Ontario Bakery, we know birthdays and it's one of the celebrations we do best. We'd love to make this day even more incredible, so please, visit our California location or give us a call!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It’s Time to Honor the Fathers of the Home, Don’t You Think?

It’s Time to Honor the Fathers of the Home, Don’t You Think?
Celebrate dad with sweet words, sweet gifts and sweet cake!
This Father’s Day, we want to share with you a write up we shared last year - but was so important that we wanted to share it again. Why? Because fathers play a critical role in the development of their children but they’re under recognized, under appreciated and far too often… unavailable. Though we don't need proof, research shows that fathers who are actively involved in raising their children can make a positive and lasting difference in their lives.

ACTIVE LOVING FATHERS:
1. Let their kids know that they are loved. Love involves more than saying the words, “I love you.” Fathers who love their children demonstrate their love by spending quality and quantity time together.  Children who feel loved are more likely to develop a strong emotional bond with their father and a healthy self-esteem.

2. Provide their children with a positive male role model. Children, regardless of gender, need positive male and female role models. Children tend to model behavior (positive and negative) that they learn from on a consistent basis. Active fathers can promote positive behaviors by setting a proper example of integrity and kindness for their children.

3. Provide children with emotional support. In addition to financial support, children also need emotional support from their parents. Active fathers listen with their whole hearts and support their children when they experience joy, sadness, anger, fear, and frustration. Fathers who support their children emotionally tend to raise children who are more in-tune with the needs of others.

4. Enhance their children's self-esteem. Self-esteem refers to how a person feels about himself. Children with high self-esteem tend to be happier and more confident than children with low self-esteem.  Active fathers promote their children’s self-esteem by being fully involved in their lives and letting them know that they are highly valued and have something special to offer the world.
5. Enhances your child’s intellectual development. Children who are raised with actively involved fathers tend to score higher on measures of verbal and mathematical ability, and also demonstrate greater problem-solving and social skills.

6. Provides your child with guidance and discipline. From infancy, children need proper guidance and discipline. Active fathers play an important role in teaching their children proper behavior by setting and enforcing healthy limits.
7. Gives your child someone to play crazy with! One of the primary ways that fathers bond with their children is through play. According to researchers, there are qualitative differences in the ways fathers and mothers play with their children. Fathers tend to use a more physical style of play (e.g., wrestling) that offers a number of benefits to children, including enhanced cognitive ability and confidence in their strength.

8. Provides your child with someone to talk to when she has questions. Young children are full of questions. This natural curiosity helps them learn about their environment. Active fathers can be such a valuable source of information for children and safety who are seeking answers to life’s important questions.

Father's Day is upon us.  Children need fathers in their life regardless of the family dynamic, just as much as they need mothers.  We want to not only honor fathers this year, but encourage them in their journey as the role they have is such an important one.

From all of us at Ontario Bakery, we want to wish you a wonderful Father's Day and would love to make a cake or other sweet treat to add some more greatness to this beautiful holiday for you!!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Get to Know Health Benefits of Chocolate and Why You Might Want More of It!

Get to Know Health Benefits of Chocolate and Why You Might Want More of It!We know you don’t need more reasons to eat chocolate, but there’s nothing more fun for us than taking a normally guilty pleasure and adding some health value to it! That’s great, right?

The truth is, the right kind of chocolate really does keep you healthy and youthful but there’s more you need to know about it for it to actually be of service to you.

Did you know that chocolate is loaded with a high amount of antioxidant rich nutrients necessary for healthy skin and hair and reduced stress levels? It’s true! But these power nutrients are never found in cheap candy bars and or everyday mocha latte. The magic power ingredient in chocolate is found in the cacao content of the chocolate. You may have noticed this on certain bars of chocolate showing up as a percentage on the wrapper, such as 60%, 70% or 80% even. The higher the percentage, the higher the benefit.
Now that you know where to find it, here’s what it can do for you!
Skin Protection: The cacao bean also contains various essential nutrients which help you to stay healthny and beautiful. With great sun protection properties, it has the power to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing sensitive conditions like sunburns and skin cancer. Regular dark chocolate consumption also helps you achieve that sought after smooth, problem free glow, as it keeps your skin moist and well nourished.

Hair: Cacao is a great aid in promoting blood circulation in the scalp which leads to increased growth of healthy, lustrous locks, reducing hair loss. In addition to that, it's anti-inflammatory nature helps minimize the odds of getting scalp infections.  Infused with the goodness of several hair-benefiting ingredients, dark chocolate improves the overall health of your tresses, making them shiny, sleek and voluminous.

Skin Exfoliation: Not just for eating, this magical bean can be used in combination with coffee beans for efficient exfoliating! It detoxifies and sloughs off the dead skin cells and allows the newly exposed, fresh skin to breathe freely.

Here’s the important catch though. You’re going to have to exercise self control!
Cacao is great for you but sugar and dehydration are not, which is what can happen when you ingest too much. So, if you want to make sure you’re getting the health benefits of chocolate, you need to help your body be in a healthy state to receive it.

Healthy tip?

Drink plenty of water. If you go for 2 liters a day, you should be good. Stay away from additional dehydrating foods like breads, crackers and coffee.

Of course, live your life! We are a bakery and understand that there are many occasions in life that call for sweets and sugary delights. Just find balance. And then the benefits will come through for you!

At Ontario Bakery we are always ready to make your life a little sweeter. Call us for your custom baked cake and other desserts today!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Don't Miss These Easy Tips for a Fun & Memorable End of Year School Party

Don't Miss These Easy Tips for a Fun & Memorable End of Year School PartyThe end of the school year is a momentous occasion for every child. So it’s only appropriate that there should be a party in place to celebrate, right? The party doesn’t need to be over the top or elaborate. It just needs to allow for some good old fashion ‘it’s finally over’ fun!
We found a great site with a really helpful article complete with links to even more of the details they suggest for end of the school year parties. Of course, whenever we hear the word ‘party’ we want to join in with our custom made baked goods, like cakes, cookies cake pops and other sweets! (if you’re in Southern California, please give us a call to place your order!)
Here are some great tips from the tip junkie, that you can use to throw a crazy fun, end of school year party!
1.  End of School Ice Cream Party ~ This Ice Cream Shoppe Party is perfect to kick off summer break.  Since the last week of school is usually filled with special activities, school talent shows, and awards ceremonies, I wanted this Ice Cream Shoppe Party to require minimal work.
2.  Kindergarten Graduation Ideas~ A fun way to celebrate your Kindergarten graduating.  These sand pails in school colors made great gift bags and personalization is easy with a paint pen.
3.  Saved By The Bell School Party ~ Bayside High School taught us about love, friendship, and how to be Cool at School! I wanted my dessert table to be all things awesome, gnarly, and totally RAD... just how Zack and the gang would do it!
4.   Sidewalk Chalk Festival ~ Kick off the summer with a fun party for the neighborhood kids with a simple sidewalk chalk party. Everyone can draw their messages to each other or their favorite memories from the year.
5.  Bye Preschool and Hello Kindergarten Printable ~Print your own end-of-school celebration picks. The download includes picks for preschool through 5th Grade.
6.  Countdown to Summer ~Have your kiddo paint a paper plate {or two} yellow for the suns and then tape paper circles for an easy count down to summer.
7.  End of School Count Down Calendar ~ How to make this fun count down.  Those little sun faces are actually inverted Hershey Kisses.  Kids love them, guests love them, and I have been known to snag a few myself.
8.  End of School Basket ~ On the last day of school it is a tradition to have a basket for the kids filled with goodies to get excited about summer.  This year I did one big basket filled with FUN!
As you can see, it’s so fun to do this for the kids and they’ll absolutely love it. We hope your celebration is wonderful and memorable and that if you’re close enough, that we can make it even sweeter!

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!
Volunteering
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!