Finding Joy And Peace In The Kitchen With Emily Hutchinson

“Cookies are my life.”

That quote could be attributed to any one of us, but this week, those words were uttered by none other than the cookie queen herself, Emily Hutchinson. 

On today’s episode of the L.A. Weekly Podcast, host and Publisher Brian Calle, along with Food Editor Michele Steuven, chats with Emily about all things baking. 

Emily has built a brand around her expertise in creating and decorating cookies, as both a bestselling author of Creative Cookie Decorating and a regular on Hallmark’s Home and Family, including a seat as a judge on Hallmark Drama’s Christmas Cookie Matchup. Her YouTube channel has over 3 million views, and her Instagram – cleverly titled “@the_hutch_oven” – has a loyal following of 113K. 

Most of us, even cake-hating Brian, like cookies. But how does someone turn a beloved dessert into a career?

“It started when I was little – way back when I was five – my grandma taught me how to bake in the kitchen,” reminisces Emily. “It was just so special and so fun and I caught on so fast. Being in the kitchen was like my place, we baked for everything – all sorts of desserts, breads, pies, she was the most incredible baker ever. She actually passed away when I was about 12 and so baking was really hard for me after she passed away and I put it on the back burner.”

Emily grew into adulthood, fell in love, and married her husband Mike. Soon after they welcome their daughter Reese and son Nick, who were elated to become big siblings to little Jennifer Louise, lovingly nicknamed Jenny Lou. Tragically, Jenny Lou passed away from SIDS before three months of age.

“It was beyond imaginable,” shares Emily, in a heartfelt interview with our hosts. “Every parent’s worst nightmare, beyond imaginable. It was devastatingly painful. I was really broken for a really really long time. Some friends noticed how bad my husband and I were struggling and invited my husband and I to church. And our lives started to change.”

In an effort to find peace and healing, Emily found herself back in the warm embrace of the kitchen once again. 

“I started to bake again, I felt so much joy,” she remembers. “I started making buttercream frosted cookie tutorials and people received them like a beautiful gift and started to learn from my videos, and that was so special to me.”

As Emily continued to post, her views shot up and her popularity grew. With a natural knack for teaching, she compiled all her lessons into a book that would become an instant hit: Creative Cookie Decorating.

If her grandma hadn’t had that love and patience with her while teaching, she wouldn’t be the baker she is today. She passes that down to her kids, her followers, and anyone who needs to find the joy and peace she once lost herself. 

Her biggest advice for trying things out in the kitchen?

“Always do it

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Police seek help finding suspect in homicide outside Michigan haunted house

PONTIAC, MI – Police have asked for the public’s help finding a suspect in a fatal shooting that occurred in a parking lot outside the Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac early Sunday morning.

Deputies with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and STAT EMS responded shortly after 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 27 to the popular haunted house, 18 South Perry St., for a shooting report.

The caller said the victim, a 29-year-old Detroit man, was laying on the ground in a nearby parking lot, per a statement issued by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim and his girlfriend had been waiting in line to enter the haunted house when a man in line ahead of them would not move.

Michigan haunted house, ranked No. 1 in the US, opens this week with COVID changes

The victim and the suspect — described as a man standing 6-foot tall and wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt and jeans — exchanged words as the suspect thought the victim had cut in line ahead of him.

The victim told his girlfriend he was going to his vehicle, police said. The suspect and the victim then went separately to the parking lot.

That’s when witnesses told police they heard shots fired. The victim, whose name has not been released, was shot in the side, neck, and chest.

He was transported to McLaren Oakland hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

A witness reported a blue sedan fled the scene at a high rate of speed after the shooting.

Anyone with information about the fatal shooting is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

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Club spotlight: Poway Valley Garden Club finding ways to blossom amid pandemic

The Poway Valley Garden Club presidents said the club is finding ways to meet up and share members’ love of gardening despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Carolyn Larsen and Stephanie Persson took over as co-presidents in June.

The club was founded in 1961 and works to promote gardening within the community, as well as to improve and beautify the community, Larsen said. It also is “majorly into education,” she added.

“It’s probably one of the most active garden clubs in the community,” Larsen said.

Health restrictions have changed club meetings, but the members are making the effort to stay social and involved. The club’s monthly meetings have transitioned to Zoom, including classes and guest speakers, Larsen said.

She said an example is the club holding an online gardening class for members via Zoom with a PowerPoint presentation. The following day, a club member opened her home garden to small groups of four to six people at a time, so club members could visit and see the garden. She did this for a week, Larsen said. The club members received clippings from the member’s garden and were able to have a hands-on mini-class, Persson added.

“We’re trying to navigate this pandemic the best we can,” Persson said.

While the club’s monthly, in-person meetings are typically three hours long, Larsen and Persson said people cannot sit in front of a computer screen for that long, so the Zoom meetings are about 1 ½ hours, with 30 minutes of club business and an hour for the guest speaker.

The club has 127 members, something Larsen and Persson said they find encouraging.

“We’re encouraged by the club being alive, and thriving, and having new members join during a pandemic,” Persson said.

It has grown in membership over the past 10 years, Larsen said. She attributes the growth to how active the club is and people wanting to be involved with that activity.

Larsen and Persson said their motto for the club this year is “Preservation, Persistence and Possibility.” This reflects their desire to preserve the club’s beautification and community service projects, persist with providing interesting and educational topics and outings, and create endless possibilities for the club and the local community, they said.

The club is involved with many projects around the community, including maintaining several gardens at Old Poway Park. These are the gardens outside Templars Hall, the orchard, the butterfly garden, the Nelson House flower garden and volunteer appreciation garden. It also maintains the Lake Poway Rose Garden.

Members also work hands-on with residents of Cadence at Poway Gardens, a memory care community in Poway. On the fourth Friday of each month, members engage in horticultural activities with residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Some club members are also involved with the Poway Valley Youth Garden Club, which supports several local school gardens and works with students.

The club holds several fundraisers every year, in order to raise money for scholarships and donate to Penny for Pines, which replants trees in

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Finding The Right Unique Home Decor Accessories

Interior Designers

If you have no prior experience, simply contact a professional interior designer. With years of extensive industry experience, designers have the tools and expertise you seek. Not only do they stay abreast of all the latest market trends and changes, they can help you secure furniture and accessories at great prices. This is especially true if looking for captivating and compelling home decorating ideas on a budget. Many designers also network with local showroom galleries, along with retail furniture stores and outlets. These professionals also have the skills to effectively match your existing home decor. This includes selecting the right appliances, tables, desks, and even floral arrangements for your new or current home.

Home Decor Magazines

Another option is to check trade publications. This includes magazines, along with pamphlets and other industry related materials. These are great resources to find design and furnishing ideas. Furthermore, they can help you track down certain pieces and sets that may have evaded you in the past. The latter is a common issue that most home and office owners face. They always seem to find that perfect addition while on the go, and simply cannot remember which store it was available at. The best part of these publications is the tips and suggestions they offer. Whether adding new items or simply revamping existing themes, you can find a wealth of home decorating ideas within trade magazines and on the web.

Traditional or Contemporary Decor

Even with home decorating ideas on a budget, it is important to establish consistency throughout the home. According to industry experts, traditional homes fare better with traditional accessories. This is opposed to contemporary accessories, which work well in more modern and futuristic abodes. There are several aspects to consider when enhancing your unique home décor accessories. Consistency is not only essential; It establishes a nice flow between accessories and components. No matter your specific theme or scheme, there are a myriad of products and accessories available at cost-affordable prices. This includes classy scrollwork candleholders, which offer the perfect balance of light that will illuminate your corridors and entrance ways. Divine corner shelves are also heralded for their streamlined and centralized look, which is perfect for formal and even casual dining areas.

With so many unique home decor accessories available, now is the perfect time to beautify and enhance your home. From throw pillows and side tables to rugs and ornaments, outlets also offer below market prices on a variety of products and brands. All it takes is a little legwork and research to find the right styles and trends to achieve your desired results.

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Finding Bathroom Decor Ideas

Bathroom can become one of the trickiest areas of your home to decorate. The good thing is that there are so many bath decor magazines which full of bathroom decor pictures and ideas for you to draw influence from. At this time, this article is going to deliver some information that will guide you in finding bathroom decor ideas. So, just take a look at the following information below.

The first thing that you should do is to determine about the style you are looking for. For your consideration, you can take a look at a country bath decor theme or the nautical bath decor theme. Actually, a good way to look at different ideas is to pick up a few Bath Decor magazines from the local book store. One of the most favorite magazines that you can take a look is Bathroom Trends. It will help you to find the idea to choose decor for your bathroom.

The second thing is to visit a few bath decor show rooms. These places commonly have full bathroom sets that built in many different styles and fashions. You will find some great ideas of bath decorating or maybe a complete bathroom design that you like. Most of the time, many people like to mix a variety of bathroom remodeling design ideas together in order to form their ideal bathroom.

The third thing is to go back to your bathroom at home and then try to picture the bathroom space decorated as you imagined. You should know that what looks good in other people bathroom does not end up looking good in the space that you have to work with. The size can play an important role as well as sunlight. Therefore, you have to make sure that the bath decor style you have chosen will blend well with the space available in your bathroom.

The fourth thing is to consult with a professional interior designer. If you have enough budgets, a professional bath decor expert can be well worth it. He can often bring many new ideas to the table which you might have never thought of. The interior decorators also may also have a large collection of the bathroom photos and the color samples for you to look at. The experience of interior decorators that working with wholesales can also make it easier to obtain the materials that you need to complete your project.

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