Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Classic Game Ideas For a Fun 5 Year Old's Birthday Party!

5 Classic Game Ideas For a Fun 5 Year Old's Birthday Party! Planning a birthday party for a 5 year old can be intimidating if you are lost for ideas on what to do.  5 year olds love to play games and if you are properly prepared, your party can be a great hit.  

Here are 5 classic game ideas for a fun 5 year old's birthday party! 

Pin the tail on donkey: Who doesn't remember and love this classic party game; fun indoors and out and can be adapted for any party theme (age 4+). You can buy prepared kits for this game or make your own. All you need is a picture of a tailless animal along with enough tails (ribbons, strings, etc...) for each child, a blindfold and some push-pins to attach the tails. Each child takes it in turns to pin the tail as close to the point where the tail should be, whilst blindfolded. 

Doughnut Game: Here's a messy idea! This game will challenge the children as they try to eat a suspended doughnut without using their hands or licking their lips! You can hang a doughnut for each child by creating washing line out of string. The child who uses their hands or licks their lips is out of the game. This game also works well with apples.

Apple Bobbing: Just in time for an end of summer or beginning of fall birthday! Apples are essential for the ‘bobbing’ game where children take it in turns to try and retrieve a floating apple with their teeth, with their hands tied behind their back. Fill a large tub with cold water and place enough apples for each player. Children can then either bob for the apples together or individually, but the player to get the apple first or quickest is the winner.
Tray Memory Game: This game provides a quieter game for wild crowds and will also get the party guests to think! All you need is a tray filled with weird and wonderful objects you find around your house along with some pen and paper for each child. Once the children are sitting around a table ready with pen and paper, place the tray with objects in the centre of the table and give them 1 minute to try and memorize what’s on the tray. Once the time is up, remove the tray and each child has to write down as many objects as they can remember from the tray. The child who remembers the most number of correct objects is the winner.

Sleeping Lions: After lots of activity and deep thinking this game is great to bring things back down; and will make parents happy to pick up their kids! Choose a large open room like a living room or even a backyard, and get all the children to lie down and pretend to be sleepy lions. If you are doing a particular theme you can get them to pretend to be fairies, pirates, dinosaurs or whatever fits your theme instead. Explain that whoever moves after the game begins will be out. During this time you can walk around the room, talking to them and trying to make them laugh. Each child who is out can help you try and make the others laugh. The last person left sleeping is the winner.

Planning a fabulous birthday party for your incredible 5 year old doesn't have to be such an intimidating task! Use these 5 classic game ideas, and your birthday party is sure to be a hit!  As an added bonus, our family bakers at Ontario Bakery are ready and excited to provide you with a custom cake specially made for your exciting day! Call us today and let us know what you'd like!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Easy Colorful Tips for Planning Your Fall Wedding

Don't be overwhelmed! Here are some easy colorful tips for planning your fall wedding.If you are like many people, you are excited about planning your fall wedding but need a little inspiration about color, decor and the likes.  Planning a fall wedding is a beautiful thing to do, as you don't have the limitations of summer heat or extreme winter cold.  The color hues provide a fabulous palette to work with for both party and accents.  

Your day deserves to be memorable. So enjoy these colorful tips for planning your fall wedding. 

Location, Location

Of course, you can easily host your event at any standard wedding location. But if you want to add a more picturesque flair  for your fall wedding, you may want to look at older inns, 18th century churches or meeting houses, mills and even barns. You might also look at an apple orchard, a vineyard, or any place that will have a view of fall foliage. If you live in a climate where the leaves don’t change, look for a venue with lots of rich dark wood and warmth such as a gentleman’s club or university club. A fireplace in the reception area would add an extra special touch. These are great places to consider because of their warm colors and rustic feel that embodies the colors and feel of autumn. 

The Look

Remember that the colors of fall are those rich, warm colors.  Sometimes a bright white is overwhelming the autumn palate.  So, cream and off-white dresses with gold beading and accents are wonderful options for an autumn bride. Your bridesmaids will look lovely in jewel tone dresses; while groomsmen would look classy and dapper in brown or dark gray suits. Remember that weather in the fall can be tricky – in many areas of the Country, it will be hard to know long in advance whether your wedding day will be warm or chilly. Be sure to purchase accessories for warmth to be prepared for the possibility of chilly weather.


The Decorations

A color scheme of rich jewel tones or traditional fall hues like red, orange, brown and yellow would help carry the theme through the space. For a modern fall wedding, choose a traditional fall color paired with something unexpected, like chocolate brown with robin's egg-blue accents. Fill the room with the bounty of the season - pumpkins, acorns, and gourds. Make jack-o-lanterns with decorative patterns rather than scary faces, or use paper bag luminaria for a similar effect.

The Flowers

Generally you can find mums, roses, daisies, yarrow, fall leaves, tallow berries and both natural and dried wheat for inexpensive prices during the fall. A spray of wheat or a single mum accented with a pheasant feather makes an elegant boutonnière. Consider hollowing out pumpkins for your centerpiece containers; another equally festive, yet less time-consuming option: scatter miniature or ghost pumpkins and tea light candles or lanterns across the tables. 

The Cake

Any wedding cake is fitting for a fall wedding, but you can add to your autumn theme by using more autumn inspired flavors like, spiced, pumpkin, apple, or chocolate. Traditional cake flavors topped with fall fruit would also be a delicious idea. As an addition or alternative, you could create an interactive dessert station, serving a mix of different pies instead of a traditional cake. 

At Ontario Bakery, we are dedicated to making your special day as unique as your love.  Let us know how we can further help to customize your day! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Throw a Budget Friendly Birthday For Kids at Any Age!

How to Throw a Budget Friendly Birthday For Kids at Any Age!It can be pretty intimidating to plan a kid's birthday party.  All the expenses add up fast. But I'm are here to tell you that your kid's party can be a smashing success without smashing your savings!  The tips I want to share with you will help you plan a more meaningful, super fun and enjoyable birthday party for your child without breaking the bank. 

I also want you to know that if you are frustrated with the expectations being placed on parents to throw an unbeatable 'pin-possible' day for your child, you're not alone. 

SO.  In light of the dip in economy and the increased awareness of our need to take better care of the world we live in, you'll find yourself one of many who are irritated with all the wasted energy and funds we pour into wasted products and needless investments. Let's not forget, that deep need to out-do ourselves each year.  (After all, if you hire a princess and limousines for your 4 year old, how on earth will you top yourself when she turns 9? ) Instead of making yourselves crazy getting the perfect decor and out-baking your neighbor, maybe the kids would rather everyone just slow down and spend more quality time with them as their birthdays approach.



  • First of all, cut your guest list. Some families follow this rule: a child can invite one friend for however many years old the birthday kid is turning (five guests for a fifth birthday, for example). Less fighting, less mess, less money. 
  • Bake your own cake or order a simple one from us at  Ontario Bakery.  We love to help!
  • Party at the park.  Parks come complete with their own trash containers and entertainment features. What's not to love?
  • Make it a potluck.  This way, each family can cater to their own picky eaters and food sensitivities and you won't have to over buy for wasted food.
  • Give party favors but choose ones that are gong to last longer than the cheap trinkets from the dollar store, such as seeds to plant in the garden or a cookie cutter that's related to the party theme
  • Let your children make the party decorations instead of crafting them yourself or spending a lot on decorations they won't even notice.  When they make them themselves, they not only notice them but take pride in their creation that will leave a more lasting memory.

We hope that you're party will be one to remember - and not because you spent your savings creating it.  If we can be of service to you, come in to Ontario Bakery and let us top off your celebration with our sweetest delights!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Celebrate the WORLD CUP FINAL with These Sweet Treat Ideas!!

Celebrate the WORLD CUP FINAL with These Sweet Treat Ideas!!What makes more sense than cheering on international athletes during a final game and filling up on delicious sweets? 




Well, it may hold a bit of irony, but we won't let that stop us!  The world cup final game is here and it's Argentina vs. Germany.  No matter who you're rooting for, we've got some last minute treat ideas for you to celebrate with.  

You ready?

-ARGENTINA-

CHOCOTORTA!
Celebrate the WORLD CUP FINAL with These Sweet Treat Ideas!!This is a chocolate cake like no other! You have one layer of a dark chocolate biscuit or cookie, followed by either dulce de leche mixed with cream cheese. Then more dulce de leche.....repeat! The best part is that each biscuit is dipped in coffee before being added to each layer, making it even more delicious.  Best part? You don't even need to bake it!

Celebrate the WORLD CUP FINAL with These Sweet Treat Ideas!!FLAN!
This is quite possibly one of the most well-known dessert dishes in Latin America.  Flan, also known as crème caramel in France, is made of a sweetened combination of eggs, milk, and sugar, usually with the added flavoring of vanilla essence. What shouldn't come as a surprise to you is that, as with most things Argentine, the flan is topped with, well, dulce de leche!

ICE CREAM!
Ice cream is perhaps the most celebrated and often indulged upon treat in Argentina! The parlors stay open until the early morning hours and the the treat is even available for delivery! The beauty of this treat is in it's rich creamy nature coming from the high quality fats found in the dairy of their cattle.  While you may not be able to find the quality of the Argentine ice cream near you, you can still celebrate them with your favorite flavor as a compliment to the chocotorta or flan! 

-GERMANY-

PRETZELS!
No, not the tiny ones from the bag, I'm talking about the nice big ones; salted and chewy!  You can easily make these yourself by simply twisting the dough into the right shapes, baking, glazing with butter and topping with salt!  You can also order them fresh from the bakery if there's time and availability.  Just be sure to have a variety of sauces like mustards or even a cinnamon and caramel sauce for a sweeter twist. 
HEISS und EIS!
Celebrate the WORLD CUP FINAL with These Sweet Treat Ideas!!This frozen fruit desert is such an easy and quick treat to make!  It's a favorite with German families all over. If are able to get frozen fruit and ice cream, then you can easily make this treat in a matter of minutes.  It's traditionally made red fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, berries, blackberries,  and cherries. But you can use any combination of them to your liking! Simply warm the berries into a compote adding sugar and cornstarch if you like, and then add as a topping to the ice cream!  Delicious!
WAFFLES! 
Who doesn't enjoy a warm plate of thick waffles? This is a German tradition and favorite that is easy to prepare and who's ingredients will be easy to find at the grocery store on the day before the World Cup Final!  All you need for this one is an easy recipe or mix and a waffle iron!  The rest is simple!  Us the heiss und eis berry compote as a topping, ice cream, whipped cream or simply the traditional american maple syrup! 
The possibilities are endless!  If you are in the Ontario or Irvine area of California, stop in and see us at Ontario Bakery, for some extra cup cakes, cake pops or even some fresh baked cookies!! 

We can't wait to see you!  Cheers to Argentina and Germany!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

How To Store and Keep Your Left Over Cake Fresh and Delicious!

How To Store and Keep Your Left Over Cake Fresh and Delicious!After a crazy holiday where you have indulged in your sweet tooth, you still may have left overs around and are hoping to keep nibbling at them rather than just throw them away.  However, it can be a challenge to keep those baked treats fresh and moist.  So whether you've made your own cake from scratch or had one custom made for you, we want to share a few tips with you about how to store and keep your left over cake fresh and delicious. 

FOR UNFROSTED/UNCUT
These are the easiest, really, because you don't have to deal so much with the cake drying out or messing up the frosting. You're going to want to wrap these tightly in plastic wrap.  Make sure to wrap the top, sides, and bottoms well, so that the plastic is touching all sides of the cake. (Basically, don't simply drape the plastic over the top). Another option you could do, is to go for a plastic bag with a zipper type seal. Once your cake is wrapped, store them on a counter at room temperature, and they'll keep fresh for about a week before starting to stale on you. Oil-based cakes tend to keep a day or two longer than butter-based ones.
(If you are looking to store cakes for longer than a week you could try freezing them.)
FROSTED/UNCUT
The benefit of having a frosted, uncut cake, is that the frosting serves as a protective plastic wrap layer, keeping it protected from the air and moisture present in the environment. A frosted cake can be kept at room temperature for about 4-5 days. To keep it moist but also preserve frosting, cover it with a cake keeper or an overturned bowl. (don't use plastic wrap at all. It isn't necessary and would only smash the lovely frosting). 
CUT/FROSTED & UNFROSTED
You really need to think of a sliced cake as a living organism. As soon as you make that first cut, your cake will begin to loose moisture, causing the cake to go stale more quickly. If you are able to, try to cover the sliced edges with more frosting to protect the cake from moisture loss. The frosting will work as a seal. If you can't do that, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the sliced side and make sure it sticks. Then proceed with covering and storing the cake as for the un-cut version. Cut cake keeps for a little less time, about 3-4 days.
WHEN TO REFRIGERATE  
Whether your cake is frosted or unfrosted, cut or un-cut, they are perfectly fine at room temperature for several days. Refrigeration is really only necessary during really hot weather and your home gets very hot during the day. High temps and sugar creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Another reason to refrigerate is  if you're making a cake that won't be served for more than three days, like when baking cake ahead for a party or special occasion.
If you are going to refrigerate your cakes, you'll want to wrap (unfrosted) cakes in plastic first to protect it from absorbing the odors in the fridge and to protect it from drying out.  When you are ready to ice and serve it, make sure you unwrap it first and let it warm up on the counter. For cakes that are already frosted, chill the cake uncovered for fifteen minutes to harden the icing, then wrap it in plastic wrap.
We love cakes, at Ontario Bakery, and we want to match you up with the right one for your special occasion!  So call us, let us know how we can custom create a cake for you, and we will get it made.  (and you now know how to store your leftovers!) 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Last Minute Family Fun Ideas for the Fourth of July!

Last Minute Family Fun Ideas for the Fourth of July!With fourth of July coming up in two days, many families are going to be looking for
things to do and ways to entertain the kids.  Why not put a spin on things and bring back some traditional favorites? 

If you're looking for some last minute family fun ideas for the fourth of July, look no further! We've got seven great ideas for fourth of July fun to keep your kids happy and busy!

1. Start with a good game of red rover!  This game is great for kids and a classic one for adults to watch and recall the memories of summer holidays gone by. 

2. Make a relay race out of eggs!  First dye the eggs with red and blue, leaving some white for the whole color look. Get out two spoons, one for each team. Divide the kids into two teams and have them take turn balancing the eggs on the spoons as the cross the grass trying not to drop the eggs.  Little ones love this game.  

3. Skip the eggs and have an entirely different relay race. Use batons, flags, or even balloons.  Anything can be used in a relay race. 

Last Minute Family Fun Ideas for the Fourth of July!4. Get out the sidewalk chalk and invite the kids to create a mural using red, white and blue chalk.  If they're hurting for ideas, suggest a flag, fireworks, US monuments etc... Everyone will have so much fun with this.  Just get creative and let the teamwork and imagination flow!

5. For the older kids, water balloons bring so much fun and relief from the summer heat. Make a game out of it - Keep it like the egg relay race and divide the big kids into teams, passing the balloons to the next player, being careful not to let the balloon drop to the ground!  To make it an extra challenge, poke a small hole in the balloon and have a race against the clock to not run out of water in the balloon by the end.

6. Other classics summer games like ring toss, horse shoes, potato sack race and three legged race. 

7. Provide the kids materials to create rockets such as cardboard tubes, foil, glue, paper, markers, ribbon and scissors. (child friendly scissors for the younger hands!)

If you wanting to add some sweet treats or a custom cake to your holiday, let us know at Ontario Bakery and we'll get the best deserts to you for your day! 



Monday, June 30, 2014

Are Your Kids "Bored" This Summer? Here Are Some Helpful Tips to Get Your Kids Outside!

Are Your Kids "Bored" This Summer?  Here Are Some Helpful Tips to Get Your Kids Outside!It's generally agreed up that most parents want the best for their children.  This can be a  challenge, as our world is changing and technology is advancing more quickly than ever before.  The truth is, we can easily be swept into new, less quality lifestyles before we realize it. Who would have imagined 30 years ago that parents would need to be encouraged and reminded to send their children outside to play? But, unfortunately, children are spending between 40 and 60 hours per week attached to electronic stimuli.  When you combine that with school, sports and other extracurricular activities, experts are beginning to see a dramatic negative effect on the children from reduced cognitive development and lowered problem solving skills to decreased creativity and an increase in childhood obesity.  

We can all agree that this is not a sustainable pattern and that little changes can make a big difference!

We hope that your family will take a step back from the hurried lifestyle to which we have become accustomed, and recognize the need for all of us, but especially our children, to have free time for play! Here are a few ideas to get your kids started. Once they get outside, we are pretty sure that they'll have plenty of their own ideas!



  • If you live in a house, make sure your backyard is child friendly.
  • Give children a basket, shelf or corner on the porch, deck or in the bedroom where they can display nature treasures that they find and want to keep.  Encourage them to tell you all about it and be excited!
  • Make sure they have simple tools to aid discovery, like a bug box, a small shovel, or a magnifying glass.
  • When you take children to parks and other natural areas, really let them to explore. It's easy for adults to fall into forcing their children to act like adults.  But this is the time to really let them explore!
  • Opt to walk to get smaller errands done instead of driving.
  • Notice what your kids notice.  If they're curious about a landmark or plant, find out more about it!
  • See what natural resources available in your area. Take children canoeing, kayaking, fishing or on a good hike.
  • When you children are busy, gather a few leaves from different trees. Then, give them the leaves and have them find which trees they came from.
  • If you have an appropriate area, let older children build a campfire in the backyard. Set safety rules, then stay away while they and their friends discuss hot topics. Check for safety by looking out the window or wandering out to ask if they need more snacks.
  • Make up challenges for children to do outside, similar to the "Survivor" television show. This is a guaranteed kid pleaser, especially if there is a reward (a gift of time with Mom or Dad, or perhaps a night off from helping with the dishes).
Just be sure to encourage the fresh air activities and be adventurous to get out there yourselves!!  If you want to top off the day with a sumptuous sweet, give us a call at Ontario Bakery and we'll bake you up the perfect treat!