Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bad Weather Birthday Party Ideas for Kids That Just Want To Have Fun!

Bad Weather Birthday Party Ideas for Kids That Just Want To Have Fun!Birthday parties are always fun, but when cold or rainy weather is in season, it can be hard to be creative. That doesn’t mean you’re limited, it just means thinking outside the box! We at Ontario Bakery know what kid's love, from our custom cake pops to birthday party fun! So if you need some fun all-weather birthday party ideas, we have just the ones for you!
Fun on ice.
There’s no reason to resent the chill in the air; just make it work in your favor. Depending on where you live, find a local indoor or outdoor ice rink to have for fun. You could have skating lessons for all the kids, or for the more balanced partiers, boost the challenge by playing tag or another party game.  If you want to keep costs down, it’s actually more budget friendly to purchase tickets and lessons on your own, instead of paying for a party package. You’re getting the bonus of the party room, so save the celebrating with the cake and gifts for home if you’re wanting to cut the costs.

Paper Mache
Spread protective bags/paper/plastic all over the living room and dining room table. This one’s going to be fun!  Get all the tools needed for paper mache and start creating. You can go with a movie theme (and watch the movie while everything dries) or go with a costume theme and have a party part two later in the month! Options are endless here!

Rock Climbing
Let kids climb the walls all they want at a rock climbing gym. You can usually find one in most large cities and it's a perfect party place for energetic kids. They offer a variety of climbing structures to choose from, so they're great for children of all ages. If everyone's new to the sport, then go for the party package, which typically includes instructions and all the gear to keep them vertical for hours.

Bake your fun.
A party where the kids create their own treats is so much fun, whether the treats are savory or sweet. Pizza is actually one of the most fun, because younger kids love to handle the dough and everyone gets to choose their own toppings! Just be sure to have enough of everything, including the pans, to go around!

As you plan your birthday party, remember to call Ontario Bakery for all your birthday cake, cupcake and cake pop needs! We love creating custom baked goods for your unique celebration. Call us today for a quote!

How to Find the Perfect Flowers and Florist for Your Wedding!

How to Find the Perfect Flowers and Florist for Your Wedding!We help a lot of brides with their weddings and it’s important to us that they are educated and prepared so they don’t get taken advantage of or add unnecessary stress to the planning.
In our last post, we helped you with all the tips you need for getting the right and perfect cake. Now we want to share some tips for getting the perfect flowers and hiring the right florist. But we felt it better to share some tips directly from the offbeat bride, a Seattle based wedding florist.
As a budget-friendly florist, these are her personal tips:
  1. Before you go "bouquet crazy," learn what flowers are going to be in season at the time of your wedding.
  2. Stroll around your local farmer's market. Talk with growers who sell cut flowers. Ask them questions, lots of questions. This tip is incredibly helpful if you are doing your own flowers.
  3. Pick three florists to interview. No more — no less. Too many florists and you're drowning in info, too few florists and you're very limited.
  4. When you first visit a potential florist, DO NOT show them any of your ideas. Don't even tell them your budget. Just ask them questions, MANY questions, like… What styles are your mainstays?, What is the typical budget you work with?, If a flower is damaged/unavailable for my event, will you substitute it without my consent?, Could I see your portfolio (of REAL weddings)?, and How many weddings do you book on a typical weekend?
  5. Have a fairly solid idea of the blooms and styles you want. DON'T be talked down unless a reason sounds completely legit. Insincere answers might mean you might need to find a different florist.
  6. When you ask to see a portfolio, a "Teleflora" book doesn't cut it. You need to see real photos of actual weddings and events that the florist has done themselves. If your florist cannot provide a "look-at-what-I-did" book, consider walking away.
  7. If your florist keeps reassuring you that he can get you that tropical bloom you want even though it's not in season, remember that the price could be anywhere between 3 and 5 times more expensive than when the flower is naturally in season!
  8. Look online at wholesalers and become familiar with how flowers are shipped. As an example, almost all garden roses must be ordered as an entire case. That's almost 100 blooms! If you only want garden roses in your bouquet and no where else your florist is going to be stuck with about 80 garden roses. In some floral shops, you will be charged for the full case, not just what you use.
  9. Many florists really don't want to play the price haggling game. There are "industry standards" that dictate pricing. Some florists work on a 3x mark-up, and many florists use a 5x mark-up on weddings.
  10. Learn about hidden charges, delivery fees, etc. If you want your florist to set up your arrangements, you might have to pay for their gas plus an hourly fee.
  11. Bring in your own ribbons and other floral accessories. Remember the price mark-up? A 2x mark-up is typically used on hard goods (ribbons, pins, etc.), so see if you can supply your own. That way you only pay for them once.
  12. DO NOT pay for petals! Have someone pick up a bouquet at a supermarket and have fun destroying the blooms yourself. It's an amazing stress reliever and you will be happy knowing that you didn't waste $10-$20 for someone else to rip them apart.
  13. DO NOT bug the heck out of your florist. Limit your phone calls and resist the urge to just "stop by." The last two floral shops I worked in would tack on extra charges for brides who took more time to deal with. (find out more about Ariel here!)

As always, we want the best for your big day and your floral experience should be beautiful and stress free! Remember that for those of you in the Southern California area, Ontario Bakery is here to make the perfect custom cake for any occasion!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Easy Tips to Ordering the Perfect Wedding Cake Without the Stress!

Easy Tips to Ordering the Perfect Wedding Cake Without the Stress!Planning a wedding needs to be as simple as possible. You need the dress to be right,  the venue available and the cake to be easy. The best way to avoid planning stress is to know what questions to ask and who to ask in the planning of your beautiful details.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in the planning of their wedding is choosing the right baker and bakery for their cake. They don’t put it on the priority list and then forget how much of the main attraction the cake is on the big day; both during the celebration and later in the photos!

Don’t put your cake planning on the back burner. Make sure you find a trusted and reputable baker for your wedding cake and then ask them the right questions to make sure you end up with just the right cake for your big day!

Samples. As for samples of cakes and icings. You need to decide on the cake flavor, icing in between layers, and outer icing and you want to make sure it’s the right sweetness and blend.
Inspiration. Bring photos from magazines or pinterest that inspire you and have style aspects you want to see show up in the designing of your cake.
Toppers. Know what topper you’d like to use ahead of the time, as the topper is the final style touch and should both go with and inspire the cake’s overall look.  
Timing. Find out how far in advance your bakery plans to bake the cake and when they will frost it. You want a fresh cake but also not a last minute cake.
Pick up. Don’t pick it up. Have it delivered. This not only alleviates one more stressor but also puts the responsibility of transport to the trained and experienced.

When selecting a bakery for your upcoming event you want the very best. For those of you in the Southern California area, please visit us at Ontario Bakery in California and contact us with any questions you might have for the planning of your big day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How to Throw the Perfect Princess Birthday Party!

How to Throw the Perfect Princess Birthday Party!If you have a little girl, the chances are pretty high that she’ll at some point, as you for a princess birthday party. You couldn’t really blame her either. What little girl wouldn’t want to be surrounded by pink and tiaras?
We don’t want you to be overwhelmed, so we’ve gathered together some easy and glitzy girly ideas you can use to throw the best princess birthday party she’ll ever have.
Start with the invitations. These will set the tone and get both the birthday girl and her guests excited about the coming soiree! To keep it personal, skip buying invitations. Instead, take a cute photo of your own little princess in her favorite princess dress and use the photo on or as the invitation. Include the important details and encourage her guests to come in their own fancy prince and princess outfits!
Goodie Bags. One of the things kids look forward to at birthday parties are the goodie bags. Make sure that your child’s princess party bags include items like princess stickers, princess books and even mini glass slippers. Don’t forget to decorate the outside of the bag as well.
Finger Food. A perfect option that is both easy and crowd pleasing are little sandwiches. Find out ahead of time if your guests are vegetarian or have any allergies. Then choose a good sandwich and use cookie cutters to make them that much more inviting!
Drinks. Royal children get thirsty! Keep it fancy whether you’re service lemonade from a pitcher or even using juice boxes, by tying or gluing a pink, gold or silver ribbon around each container or glass!
Fun. Have a dress up area with different costumes to try on. Get an assortment of either themed princess dresses or fancy clothes and place them in a treasure chest! Include books to read, tiaras and even face paint for extra flair.
The Cake. The big dessert has got to help you end with a bang! There are so many possibilities here! Find a cake stylist and get the cake custom made just for your little girl. One fun thing you can do is to gather a few of her princess or doll accessories like purses and pearls to place on top of the cake. Another idea is to have a doll placed in the middle with the cake as the dress. If you’re in Southern California, call us at Ontario Bakery and we’ll discuss the options with you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Simple Tips on How to Keep a Pregnant Woman Happy

Simple Tips on How to Keep a Pregnant Woman Happy
Pregnancy isn’t an easy adventure for anyone. It’s beautiful, of course, but to call it easy would be far from the truth. The mother to be is sore, with her muscles and bones expanding and her body carefully growing what feels like a little alien in there! On top of that, there are the hormones, which make for not only unhappy mother to be, but a cautious father to be as well.
Hard as it may be, it’s still beautiful and important not to forget that. The best way to remember how beautiful pregnancy can be, is to really nurture the mother on a regular basis. And you better believe, a well nurtured pregnant woman is well worth the effort.
Sleep In
She will need a lot of sleep and if she doesn’t get it, you can bet on a difficult day for her. So respect her needs. She may need to sleep in or even go to bed early and rise early. Remember, it doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to be respected!
Body Pillow
Get her a body pillow. These are wonderful additions to the bed as they support the hips, the belly, neck and back depending on how you use them. This will not only make for a better night sleep but also come in handy when the baby is born.
Water (flavored?)
It’s vital that she stay hydrated both for herself and the growing child. If she is dehydrated, there won’t be enough embryonic fluid, which can lead to complications. If she can’t handle the taste of water, play with it. Add ice, lemon wedges or cucumber slices and a couple drops of stevia to sweeten it. Don’t be discouraged if she doesn’t like it. Remember, this is frustrating for her too.
Clothing
Clothes that are comfortable are hard to find. So, first of all, make sure she has a few really good staples to choose from. Second, always make sure she knows she’s beautiful in them!
Don’t Take it Personally
As said earlier, her body is changing constantly and she has more hormones circulating through her than she knows what to do with. If she’s edgy, see how you can help but be sure to not take anything personally. Her feeling sick and uncomfortable is not your fault. But if you’re short tempered, defensive or aggressive, that will be your fault and not a smart move! Just be loving and patient. Be sure to invest time into yourself and remember that this too, shall pass.
Funny Films
Take her to the movies or stay home, just make sure to make watching funny films a norm. This will keep her distracted and boost her dopamine levels, helping her to have less stress and even better sleep!
Food
Another dopamine releaser here, so don’t forget it. A few good tips on food are: 1. Make sure she’s eating every 2-3 hours, even if it’s just a little. This will avoid the blood sugar crash. 2. Invest in a greens powder supplement, as she can add this to juice or a smoothie for an added nutrition boost on the days she feels extra down or can’t stand the idea of food. 3. Don’t worry about her cravings. As long as she’s drinking a lot of water, taking her vitamins and not going overboard, it’s actually good to cater to her cravings a few times per week, especially with chocolate. Chocolate is a great dopamine releaser and will help keep her spirits high and happy. 
Of course, we are happy to custom bake just the cake for her, whether to celebrate her or simply to surprise those random cravings! And of course, we are southern California’s go-to family owned bakery for all your baby shower needs! Call us and place an order today!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sweet and Easy Ways to Say “I Love You” on Valentine’s Day!

Sweet and Easy Ways to Say “I Love You” on Valentine’s Day!Valentine’s Day is coming up, but why wait? Why not celebrate early in simple and sweet ways along the way? 

At Ontario Bakery, we’ve done more wedding and engagement cakes than we can count, so we’ve seen a lot of love come through our doors. One thing that we’ve learned is that a little love every day makes the bigger celebrations even more sweet. 

So make it even more special, with these sweet and easy ways to show your love each day along the way to Valentine’s Day!


Hidden Post-It’s:  This is such a sweet one. Sit down a write a list of all the little things you love about your partner and the things you’d love to say to them to put a smile on their face! Then, each day, write one of those things down on a post-it note and sneak them into the places your love will see them. Some examples are on the bathroom mirror, on the computer screen, the steering wheel or inside the fridge!
Morning Coffee: Most people love the comfort of a warm beverage in the morning, be it coffee or tea, so why not be a step ahead of the game? Have the water hot and ready, so that by the time your partner gets out of bed, there is a tray waiting there with all the needs: the coffee or tea bags, the cup, spoon, cream and sweetener. Add their favorite morning read if they have one!
Night Massage:  Busy people get tired feet. Offer to rub his or her feet before bed for extra relaxation and a better night sleep! For more fun, trade off! Each night you both take a turn rubbing each other’s feet or alternate nights! You’ll both enjoy it for sure!
Sweets: Sweets always have a way of saying ‘I love you’ don’t they? What if you were to custom order a batch of cookies where each cookie has your anniversary written on them, or your names, your pet names etc? Think of the cookies like candy heart messages, but personalized and far more beautiful.
Attention:  This may seem small, but it’s the biggest of all. Practice giving your undivided attention. In our busy world of smartphones and technology, it’s easy to become distracted. In turn, we end up missing important points that mean a lot for our partners when we notice them. So stop what you’re doing if your love needs to chat with you. (big or small) If you’re too busy, pause, look them in the eye and tell them that what they need to say is important to you, but you can’t give them the attention they deserve right now. Then set a time when you can come back to the conversation and stick to it. Doing this, helps a person know they matter. 
Try these ideas out. Boost up the romance and care in your relationship long before Valentine’s Day to really make it special. From our hearts to yours, have a love filled day!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Special Tips on How to Pamper a Pregnant Woman on Valentine’s Day!

Special Tips on How to Pamper a Pregnant Woman on Valentine’s Day! Pregnancy is something to be celebrated for sure, but it does take it’s toll on the woman’s body! She is expanded beyond comfort, with her energy levels zapped and her hormones on an eternal roller coaster. She may or may not feel the warm and fuzzy feelings about Valentine’s Day, so it’s best to shower her with some simple loving gestures.
Spa Pedicure:
All those body changes do a number on the feet and deserve some relief. Spa pedicures go above and beyond, providing the mother to be with some extra care and love for her very tired feet. Make sure they’re good at the massage; it’s the best part!
Body Pillow:
Don’t scoff. The body pillow is one of the best gifts you can give her, as they can be positioned in any way needed for her comfort, whether sleeping, sitting or even laboring!
Photos:
Hire a good photographer to take some gorgeous photos of her during the most miraculous time of her life. She may not feel very comfortable in her own skin right now, so a good photographer there to capture her beauty will be such a blessing to her.
Massage:
Right now, everything hurts. So give her either a one day massage or a package where she can be seen weekly. She will forever be grateful. After all, everything in her body is moving and it’s hard for her muscles and bones to keep up! Massage is just the ticket.
Treats:
Every woman has her cravings, so find out her favorite flavors and call in a custom cookie or cake order and give her exactly what she’s wishing for. We at Ontario Bakery are used to these calls and are here to meet the need!
There’s no need to run out of ideas. A pregnant woman will love and enjoy all of the listed ideas from the bottom of her heart. And have tissues nearby; she might just be overwhelmed at the love you have for her… which is the goal right?
From our hearts to yours, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Good Health: An Even Better Reason to Give Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

Good Health: An Even Better Reason to Give Chocolate for Valentine’s Day
We all associate chocolate with romance. We give candies and sweet morsels for those we love and who’ve stolen our hearts. But why? Well, chocolate makes us happy and feel good! You might think this is an old wive’s tale but even science is supporting it!
Scientists at Cambridge University have carried out brain scans that shows us that not only does chocolate release dopamine, (the happy hormone), but they also point out that chocolate also causes the human body to react just as strongly in a positive sense, as if it were in full swing love or infatuation! Isn’t that interesting? We at Ontario Bakery  don't need more reasons to love chocolate, but this sure gets us smiling!
What else is so good about chocolate? Well here are a few fun and healthy facts about chocolate from lifehack, that we thought we’d pass along!
In one small bar of 70-85% dark chocolate, you get:
  • nearly 6 grams of fiber for digestive health
  • a third of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iron to promote cardiovascular fitness
  • over a quarter of your RDA for magnesium for skeletal health
  • nearly 50% of your RDA for copper and manganese, important for antioxidant functions
  • antioxidant levels increase, leading to lower blood pressure
  • A variety of studies have shown that both dark chocolate and cocoa powder reduced LDL and oxidized LDL levels and increased HDL levels.
  • dark chocolate boosts your energy
It’s important to note, that a serving of dark chocolate still contains 300 calories, so it is best to consume dark chocolate in moderation. But don’t worry! You can still get these healthy effects from smaller servings; just try to make sure you are eating dark chocolate that 70-90% cocoa.

Scientific proof or not, we know we love chocolate and so do you, right?  That's why Ontario Bakery strives to provide the most delicious and succulent desserts possible. Valentine's Day is just around the corner too! Be sure to call us and place your order soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why Eating in Season in Best and How to Keep it Delicious!

Why Eating in Season in Best and How to Keep it Delicious!
You hear a lot of people talk about eating in season, but how do you know what the hype is about? And what does it mean?  In the world of natural living and natural health, eating both locally and what’s in season lands at the top of the priority list and we want to tell you why.

It’s financially smart.
For starters, the cost is lower. When produce is in season locally, the over abundance of produce can allow the price to drop. Think about it. Mangos in January are always expensive, but apples in September are pretty affordable. It’s about supply and demand, and when crops are in season you’ll be rewarded financially by purchasing what’s growing now, when there’s plenty of it.

It tastes better.
Usually, the taste of the food we buy is just as important as the cost, if not more so. When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world, and both affect the taste. Compare a dark red, vine-ripened tomato still warm from the summer sun with a winter hothouse tomato that's barely red, somewhat mealy, and lacking in flavor. When having to transport crops, they must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t rot during transportation. They may not ripen as effectively as they would in their natural environment and as a result they don’t develop their full flavor. The foods lose their flavor as much as they lose their moisture. Local foods that are grown in season keep their full and whole flavors, not to mention, aren’t tainted through shipment pollution and other damaging chemicals like preservatives and waxes.

There’s always something new to try!
A wide variety of crops can be harvested in the fall, such as squash, apples, endive, garlic, grapes, figs and mushrooms and even in the winter, like citrus, kale, radishes, turnips and leeks. Add those to the foods that are available in both the summer and winter like sweet peas, corn, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans. When you see what’s out there, you find that you can either create a dish based on just one item or even see what new creations can be made through different combinations!

Support local businesses.
Choosing to eat locally also skips the major corporations and allows you to support the farmers local to your city or community. As a family owned local business, we at Ontario Bakery understand what it means to be independently run and really can’t succeed without our community. So we encourage you, whenever you can, to support your local farmers, knowing that they aren’t just providing you a service, but their increasing your life quality with better health and well being!

So find out what’s in season in your neck of the woods. You’ll be rewarded with high quality produce, packed with nutrition your taste buds will definitely thank you, as well as lower cost! And remember to contact Ontario Bakery for all your custom cakes and desserts in Southern California!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Keep Wedding Planning Simple with This Easy Tip!

Keep Wedding Planning Simple with This Easy Tip!When you’re planning a wedding, you need things to be simple and dependable. The big day is far too important for you to be calling, double checking and reminding the people you’ve hired about the details that are so important to you. From your dress to the reception hall and cake, keep it as simple as possible.

So the last thing you need is for cake shopping to be complicated, right? It’s important that you have the right cake that both fits the look of your wedding and your taste preferences.

The simplest way to do this is to meet with a cake stylist to make sure everything is as you want it. Not all bakeries have one on staff, so be sure to call ahead of time to check.

Other helpful ways to keep it simple:

  • Go with a tried and true suggestion from a family or friend. (Call and interview first though!)
  • Ask the baker if you can taste samples of cakes and icings. You need to decide on the cake flavor, icing in between layers, and outer icing.
  • Bring photographs or pages from bridal magazines with you. A picture IS worth a thousand words. So, if you have something in mind already, show the baker a picture. It's easier than trying to explain everything in words.
  • Pick your cake top out ahead of time and bring it with you to the baker. Some cake tops are heavy and may need special consideration or support. The cake topper may look too small or big for the cake you had in mind. The baker can help you with sizing of the top cake.
  • Ask the baker how far in advance they bake the cake and how far in advance they frost it. You want the freshest possible wedding cake, but not a last minute cake either.
  • If you have special decorations like pillars, columns, cake tops, flowers, etc., find out if there are extra charges. Most likely there will be extra fees if you have an elaborate setup.
  • Ask about the setup and delivery options and charges. Don't send a friend or relative to pick up your cake please! Let the professional baker deliver it and set it up.
When selecting a bakery for your upcoming event you want the very best and definitely the most simple. So visit us at Ontario Bakery in California. We deliver just what you’re looking for and with all the ease you need!

Happy wedding planning!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Fun Date Night Ideas for New Parents on Valentine’s Day!

Fun Date Night Ideas for New Parents on Valentine’s Day!Remember when you were younger or without kids and those spur of the moment date nights were so easy and fun? Remember when you had the energy to actually go out? Well, we know you’re tired now and going out isn’t the easiest, much less spontaneity! But before you get too discouraged, we want you to know that there are ways to kindle the romance in your marriage and still have some romance whenever you want, but also on Valentine’s Day.
Of course, some of these ideas will take planning, but you still have time and the preparations are simple.
Call in the Reserves
This isn’t an option for everyone but it is one to consider. Depending on your child or children’s ages and needs, you might want to ask for help. A good friend, your parent or sibling may not be planning to do anything for V day and may love spending time with or even the night with your angels! So don’t be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is that they say no, right?
And if they say no, there are plenty of ways to make the best of it. We are a family owned business with many children between us and we feel we’ve mastered these date night challenges. So of course, we want to share the secret recipes  to date nights for parents!
Have an Indoor Picnic
No matter where you live, this is a fun one. For most of you, the weather wouldn’t invite you out anyway in February so why not picnic indoors where it’s warm! Your night can be made very special when you make a special meal, and roll out a blanket on the living room floor after baby goes to bed. Maybe in from of a fire? Cook (or order in) your favorite meal, turn on some mood music, light some candles and pour some wine. Even though you’re hanging out at home instead of hitting the town, an indoor picnic can feel really special and intimate.
Plan a Staycation
This one’s good, because you can make it last a few days and is perfect for the families not ready to leave babies overnight! One way to do it, is to leave little ones with caregivers for a couple hours - 3 days in a row! Or do the same thing but with the picnic mentioned above… do it 3 days in a row with food from different countries, with a different movie each night or by taking turns each day giving massages! Regardless, have chocolate or a cake nearby for your sweeter side!
Game Night
We’ve always loved this. It’s especially great if you’re both competitive, athletic or just love a good laugh. Order some pizza, put the littles to bed and break out the board games or the Wii. There’s no babysitter required for this one either, so break free and have fun!
Enjoy Nature.
If you’re known to friends as the adventurous couple, but haven’t really been out much since baby was born, try out a day hike. This is a great daytime date — you can leave baby with a sitter for a few hours and explore the great outdoors together. An added bonus: You’ll get some exercise in, which is great for your health and mood! Pack a picnic to enjoy when you get to a nice spot with great views. Also a great activity if you choose the staycation route.
As you can see, there are plenty of fun ways to still enjoy each other. We gave you the insider tips on how to have fun, but you’ll have to come up with the romance on your own!
And remember, nothing says romance quite like chocolate. So if you’re not sure what you want and don’t want the hassle of baking, let Ontario Bakery do it for you. We’ll custom bake according to your occasion and craving. Call us today and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!