Monday, November 30, 2015

How to Keep Kids Busy During Cold Wet Winters

How to Keep Kids Busy During Cold Wet WintersA Winter wonderland might be fun to look at and even play in but the truth is, that those dark gray days can really wear on a child’s energy levels and need to be busy! It’s important that they have fun busy things to do so they stay happy, sleep rested and you don’t lose your mind either!
At Ontario Bakery, we know that family comes first. That’s why we want to share some simple fun activities with you for little hands and busy minds!
  1. Build an obstacle course - all kids love to climb and hide. Get out the pent up energy using blankets, pillow and other fun props!
  2. Window Painting - Using water colors, have fun with paint on windows! Let the sun shine through and enjoy your creation. Don’t worry, it all washes off!
  3. Create a Puppet Show - Write a story together. and then create little paper cut outs to perform your own puppet show!
  4. Make a Family Tree - Talk about your family and all the generations. Make a cutout of a tree and place your family’s faces on the different branches to show your lineage to your child!
  5. Play with Clay - Recreate your family and decorate a Christmas scene. Have your child make your pets and all their favorite toys even!
Winter doesn’t have to be boring. Even though you’re stuck inside there’s plenty of fun to be had. And why not top it all off with some winter sweets? Fresh baked cookies or even a cake? Call the bakers at your local family bakery. Call Ontario Bakery. A family for all families.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Christmas Baking Is Not for the Faint of Heart. Here are 3 Quick Survival Tips:

Oh the smell of freshly baked bread, warmed apples and spices filling the home. You can walk by a “Christmas candle” and suddenly want a tray of cinnamon rolls. We don’t blame you, this is the most delicious time of the year and you’re going to want to take action on those cravings.

But don’t fall into a pit of the suffering Christmas baker. We know about it. we’ve been there. Baking is our business. But as such, we want to pass on some stress relieving wisdom to help you survive the Christmas baking season with a smile on your face.

Tip #1. Set aside a day or two (not more) each week, to do your baking. Why? First of all, it’s not healthy to bake and binge. If you are watching your health, this allows you to have a craving and then set aside a day to do the actual work and enjoyment. Enjoy the yummy tastes and the satisfaction of self control. Second reason, you won’t add the baking to an already busy schedule. You’ll know when it’s on the plan and can work around it as needed.

Tip #2. If you’re including other people, like family or children, allow more time so they can enjoy the process too. Feeling rushed or being impatient will take the magic out of the moment and lessen the enjoyment. So allow more time. It’s that simple.

Tip #3. Don’t. Seriously. Look at why you are baking anyway. Are you doing it to please other people? Then don’t. This season has enough stress and expectation built into it without adding baking to the picture. And if you still need sweets and delicious things to enjoy, have it baked for you. Find a local baker to custom bake for you and take one more stressful item off your list. It’s worth it to have your sanity.

And that’s what we do at Ontario Bakery. We give you your day bake. We love to bake and we do it so you don’t have to. Life is busy enough. Let us be the ones that make it sweeter.

Questions? Contact us. We’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, happy, stress-free baking to you!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Sweet Health Benefits of Cinnamon You Really Need to Know About!

Cinnamon is one of those spices that just makes you feel good. And it’s good timing too. This is the time of year to enjoy spiced wine, pumpkin pie and cinnamon swirls! So isn’t it great to know that this delectable spice has health benefits to offer as well? Well we at Ontario Bakery are quite in tuned to the
The Sweet Health Benefits of Cinnamon You Really Need to Know About!
goodness of cinnamon and are happy to share not only the health benefits but also some great ideas and ways to use it in everyday snacks and meals!
Numerous studies show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, making it a great choice for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike.  That’s also great news for anyone who wants stable energy levels and moods.
It has natural anti-infectious compounds.  In studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens. 
For those looking to loose weight and be more heart healthy, it reduces LDL cholesterol levels.  LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol.  Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It improves regularity and nutrient absorption, as it contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese. These, in addition to cinnamaldehyde, helps with menstrual pain and infertility, as it increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones. 
Bonus fact? It’s a great binder! Cinnamon, when met with liquid and allowed to set, coagulates, creating a gelatinous response.
Take advantage of cinnamon’s potential benefits and incorporate it into more of your meals and desserts! It can be used it in both sweet and savory dishes in so many ways!

Here are 6 easy ideas:
  • Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee, or add it to your coffee grounds before brewing: Great for boosting metabolism and starting your day!
  • Fold cinnamon into yogurt, along with cooked, chilled quinoa, fresh cut fruit, and nuts or seeds.
  • Season roasted or grilled fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Stir cinnamon into honey and drizzle over apple or pear slicesl
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon to lentil or black bean soup, or vegetarian chili for a fall flare.
  • Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar onto popped popcorn.

Really, there are even more options than this. Browse around online to see more options! Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years to heal the body and enhance tastes, so why stop now?
At Ontario Bakery, we love being apart of lasting memories in your families and would love to be a part of more.  Please let us know what we can do to help you have a warm and delicious holiday season!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Great Tips for Throwing a Fun and Easy Engagement Party!

Great Tips for Throwing a Fun and Easy Engagement Party!Engagement parties are so fun, but people often pour too much energy and money into the wrong areas of the planning! You deserve to enjoy an engagement party that’s fun, freeing and all about celebrating love with the people closest to you.
At Ontario Bakery, we’ve seen it all. We’ve heard the success and horror stories alike and are happy to share some great tips with you!
Keep it Simple.
You don’t need to book a major venue. If you want to go out, go to a restaurant where you can book a back room or private area. Even simpler, have it at a friend’s home and simply have it catered so you can have the best of both worlds.
Hire a Photographer.
It’s the next step after having your engagement photos done. Capture the party. Capture the kisses and the general romance in the air. Then have someone create an album to be gifted at the wedding! For even more fun, take photos throughout the wedding planning process and present an album documenting the whole thing!

Story Telling
Have your guests share their favorite romantic experiences, how they met their partner or about the proposal. Everyone will have a fun time swapping mushy and funny stories around.

Eat Well
The old adage of Eat, Drink and Be Merry has it’s weight. It’s so important to celebrate with fine food, drink and delights as they mirror the occasion! If you’re not having it catered, ask everyone to bring an ethnic side dish or choose the couple’s favorite ingredients and ask everyone to get creative with them! It’s a lot better than too much salad or chips and salsa!

Lastly, Ontario bakery wants the best for your celebration. We’d be honored to provide you with a custom cake or other sweets of your choosing, to finish the night well! Remember, Ontario Bakery takes pride in your celebration and we do hope you come to us first  for your custom wedding cake needs when the time comes!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fun and Classy Ways to Celebrate a Woman’s 40th Birthday

Fun and Classy Ways to Celebrate a Woman’s 40th BirthdayWe’ve all heard it said, that 40 is the new thirty. Well, if that’s so, then 50 is the new 40 and nothing is more empowering for women than that. Women no longer have to feel that 50 is the invitation for a mid-life crisis. They can now recognize it as a time to step into an opportunity to live more powerfully, confidently and in the now.

The strong and talented birthday woman in your life deserves a celebration worthy of her honor, so here are some fun and classy ways to celebrate a woman’s 40th birthday:

Who to invite. This just might be the most important tip. Make sure that the people you are inviting are people that will motivate and inspire her. The last thing she (or anyone for that matter) needs is to be surrounded by complainers that only see aging as a depressing path to dying. Invite people that are excited to live their lives, have goals, and are feel inspired!

Choose a theme. You don’t need a theme but it sure makes it fun and brings out the playfulness in everyone. You can go fun and silly or go classy and elegant. Fill the night with your favorite movies, food and music.  Stay in and dance or go out and strut your evening look! But remember to take pictures because it's sure to be memorable.

Capture it well. Put someone in charge of photography with a goal in mind. Tell the photographer what moments you want to make sure our captured, like laughter, kisses, bonding, emotions or a carefree spirit. Then collect the photos together and privately present it later as a belated final gift. She will cry, so have tissues.

The Bucket List. Make a list of 10 things you want to do in the next year and then 10 major things you want to accomplish in the next TEN years. From simple things like calling an old friend to travel or adventure!  These should all be things that you've either forgotten to take the time to do or just never found the time or the courage to take that big leap. This is a great table discussion and way to keep the whole group talking, sharing stories and comparing goals. Who knows? Maybe an exciting adventure will be planned!

As you can see, there are many ways to celebrate the incredible women in our lives and keep them feeling young. Of course, we are happy to add to the delight of your celebration with some custom baked goods! Call us at Ontario Bakery  and we’ll happily give you all the details!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

5 Tips on How to Throw a Smooth and Simple Kid’s Birthday Party

5 Tips on How to Throw a Smooth and Simple Kid’s Birthday PartyAs your child’s birthday rolls around the bend, you’re mind quickly becomes overwhelmed with the party planning details. And if that party falls anywhere near another holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, you are really going to need a plan to keep the stress and cost down.

But don’t make your kid take the hit. They are looking forward to their big day and it’s not their fault that it comes at a hard time. So if you are looking to throw a smooth and simple kid’s birthday party this year, then we at Ontario Bakery are excited to share some of our favorite tips with you.

Keep it Simple.
This is a kid’s birthday party; not a wedding. The most everyone is expecting is some good ideas for fun and a delicious treat at the end. A party with simple elements means you will have less to coordinate and worry about, giving you more time and peace of mind to enjoy celebrating the birthday kid of honor.

Keep it Small.
Not everyone has to come. A good way to gauge this for kids is to have them invite a list of kids equal to their age. A ten year old then, could invite 10 of her closest pals, for example, though this guideline might not be so realistic for the younger children. Remember that most kids will have one or two adults with them, making your guest list bigger. So keeping a party small makes it easier to manage and gives you enough time to mingle with your guests to make sure guests are enjoying themselves.

Keep it Fun.
You don’t have to facilitate the gaming olympics but keeping games around are  real boredom saver. Small activities for young ones could be coloring, or painting on parchment or bubbles. For older ones you could have jenga, ring toss or cards. As other parents ahead of time to monitor different activities to keep the safety and fun in flow.
Ask the Kids.
Kids know what they want and often times it’s not too complicated. YOu can avoid a lot of unnecessary work if you just ask their advice in the beginning.  

Keep the Gifting Short.
Most people’s kids have a hard time sitting through an extended gift giving time. One option is to treat it like a wedding. Have the presents stacked on a table and allow the child to open them at home. This allows the fun to be the focus and an added bonus is that the child is able to take time to draw or write out thank you cards to his kind friends.

At Ontario Bakery, we know kids, parties and celebrations better than anyone. We’ve baked more custom baked goods than we can remember and we’ve got plenty of parties left in our kitchen. So as you plan, let us help you keep it smooth and simple with our custom baked, delicious birthday cakes.

Friday, November 13, 2015

5 Tips to Growing Gratitude in Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

5 Tips to Growing Gratitude in Preschoolers and KindergartenersDo your kids say thank you? Do they mean it? With Thanksgiving coming up around the corner, we are reminded of how important it is to be thankful but even more so, to show it!
Over the next few days, we'll be sharing little tips on growing and encouraging gratitude in the different stages of childhood and teen years. We are a family owned and run business and we care about family values. We think that these tips will warm your heart as much as they're warming ours. 
Growing Gratitude in Young Children.
It's important to remember that young children are still developing the concept of being thankful. It doesn't come naturally. So any little gesture is a step in the right direction, verbal or non-verbal. Practicing good manners in instances when a “thank you” is appropriate will nurture their budding sense of gratitude. While saying “thank you” may be an automatic response at a young age, as they get older they’ll begin to attach true meaning to the words.
The process:
Sending thank-you's
When your young kids receive gifts, they should be expected to create and send a thank-you picture or short note within one day of the kindness. To practice immediate thanks, teach the non-verbal kids how to sign 'thank you'. You simply place your hand at your mouth and then extend it forward.
Role playing
Use pretend. Have a tea party with manners or have the stuffies practice saying thank you when appropriate.
Favorite moments
At meal times or bed times, everyone take a moment to talk about something nice that happened to them or about a person that was kind. At the end, say, "I'm thankful for ____" and insert the person or situation.  
Sing it 
Sing what you're thankful about or find a poem about gratitude and say it often. Children memorize well this way. 
Make a kind list
Write down the people in your child's life that they love and appreciate. Then have him or her help you think of nice things that could be done or made for them as a way to say thank you. Make or do something once each week and let your child give the gift and experience that joy.
Spreading gratitude is actually quite simple when we commit to it sincerely and out of love. Children are quick to model after our behavior so it's up to us to set the standard. At Ontario Bakery, we believe that giving is a beautiful way to show our love and thankfulness. So, of course, if you'd like to include custom baked sweets to your list of giving, we'd love to share in the process. Contact us today with any questions!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Simple Ways to Make Thanksgiving More Meaningful and More Delicious!

Simple Ways to Make Thanksgiving More Meaningful and More Delicious!Looking for a way to make Thanksgiving more meaningful and more delicious? We don't blame you! Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather your friends and family around in gratitude as you enjoy your feast. There’s the Turkey to plan for, the yams to prepare and all the side dishes to go with it.

What we at Ontario Bakery don’t want for you is to be so caught up in the hustle of cooking, that you forget to enjoy the day! So in the middle of the planning, we want to share a few ways with you that will help you not only add more ease but more meaning to your Thanksgiving Holiday.

Simple Ways to Make Thanksgiving More Meaningful and More Delicious!Gratitude: This one comes 
as an obvious one but let’s go deeper with it. Instead of being thankful, really be in gratitude. Whatever your family tradition is, whether you share, or pray before your meal, we have one to add to it. Before or after your meal, take a deep breath. Silently look around at everyone. Make eye contact. Then allow everyone to take a turn sharing their gratitude for both the person on their left and one other person at the table or in the room. We as a society are great at sharing that we are thankful for food, shelter, clothing and such - but we fall short in sincerely sharing our gratitude for other people. When people feel they are appreciated, they do more of whatever has been noticed and appreciated. Appreciation creates a desire in our hearts to do and love well.

Goals: This one comes in two parts. First, share some of your goals for the last year. What were they? Did you meet them? What stopped you and what kept you going?
(That’s part one)
For part two, share your goals for the next year. Are they the same ones? Are they built on this last year’s goals? What will you do the same or differently to help you get there?
How have these goals made you more thankful in life?
These questions are great conversation boosters and will help you to get deeper and closer to your friends and family members.
As for easier? Ontario Bakery is a family owned business that thrives on custom orders. We know you love your pumpkin pie, but who can resist a custom baked cake; perhaps with vanilla and cinnamon, to finish off your holiday meal? Not many can, and that’s why Ontario Bakery is here. We want to be available for your holiday to deliver the sweet grand finale!

No matter how you’re spending your Thanksgiving, small or big, Ontario Bakery is ready to help. Call us today and place your order! (And ask the questions that matter as you gather together this year!)

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Surprising Health Benefits of Chocolate You Want to Know About!

All the winter holidays are just around the corner and the last thing you want to do is enter the battle of you vs. the dessert table.  So, while we don’t want you to unleash all binge control, we do want you to be advised that if you’re going to go for the sweets, go for the chocolate. From Ontario Bakery to you, here are some surprising health benefits of chocolate you definitely want to know about!

Dark Chocolate has been proven to be full of antioxidant rich nutrients that are necessary  for healthy skin, hair, vitality and stress levels. They calm the mood, boost dopamine levels and bring people together because of all the happy hormones they release. What fun!
It doesn't mean you should be grabbing your favorite candy bar every time a craving shows up. It does mean however, that when you do have that craving, that there are some beneficial choices out there.

Here are the WOW properties of chocolate:

Antioxidant Rich: Chocolate is loaded with winning antioxidants.  And what are antioxidants good for? They rid the body of free radicals; those menacing little molecules creating the havoc in your body responsible for aging, disease and even cancer! The antioxidants bond themselves to the free radicals and pretty much walk the plank with them to make sure they are disposed of properly.

(While I could dedicate a whole page to just the antioxidant benefits, I'm going to move on the the exterior perks you are free to enjoy!)

Less Stress: Stress can really mess with your work, home and general quality of life. Dark chocolate boasts wonderful stress-relieving qualities and works wonders in getting you a glowing skin (more skin benefits!) by reducing elevated stress hormones. .....ah...  dopamine!

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.
So as the holidays near, if you so find yourself wanting to indulge a little bit more into your sweet tooth and have a celebration to prepare for, please let us know!  At Ontario Bakery we are always ready to make your life a little sweeter.