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Passion = Success

I couldn't agree more.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Recently, I visited a good friend in California who happens to be an amazing chef. She was gracious enough to teach me how to make homemade tomato soup on a night we decided to stay in and relax. It was DELICIOUS and I have been hooked ever since.

It doesn't take too long to make this soup from scratch. Here's how:

4 carrots
1 white onion
5-7 garlic cloves
1 small box of organic chicken broth
3 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
2 cups of half and half
2 bay leaves

Peel and dice carrots, onion and garlic cloves. Sautee in pan on medium heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil for about 10-15 minutes.

Pour in chicken broth, diced tomatoes and half and half. Add the bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Remove bay leaves. Blend mixture until creamy. I use a hand held blender (found HERE) and it is amazing! It definitely eliminates the mess of transferring the soup into a regular blender.

Serve hot with a grilled cheese or panini of your choice! ENJOY!


Motivational Monday

Murphy's Law: noun
The facetious proposition that if something can go wrong, it will. 

Who has days that leave you shaking your head and mumbling, "Murphy's Law" under your breath?  It's so easy to get caught up in the things that go wrong and the next think you know, the irritations begin to build up. Instead of friendly greeting the barista at the drive through, you are short and rude when they ask you to repeat your, "Grande double shot skinny mochiato with an extra pump" order. 

My Monday started out by spilling my new MAC pigment all over my bathroom floor. Uuuugghhh! Whatever it is that is eating at me on any given day, I always try to remember to...

No matter how bad my day is, I need to do a better job of remembering that I am blessed. I am loved. I am healthy. Others aren't as lucky and it is so important to treat EVERYONE with respect. You never know when you'll make someone's day, or when they'll make yours. :) 

Reeeallly Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This has to be the easiest thing I have ever made. This pumpkin chocolate chip bread is very moist and does not have a super strong pumpkin taste. I added dark chocolate chips (my favorite) for a little extra flavor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
Mix your moist yellow cake mix and one can of pure pumpkin with a hand mixer until creamy
Add your chocolate chips
Bake for 35 minutes (give or take a few minutes)



Sweet Victory

A devastating loss to Utah State on September 7th left all of us on edge for the upcoming game vs. our in-state rival, BYU. The Coaches and players worked their tails off to prepare for the much-anticipated game. My husband slept in the office and grinded around the clock to ensure his game plan was flawless.

In true Utah vs. BYU fashion, the game was CRAZY! I was on my feet and screamed through all four quarters. (Sorry to the Roderick family who sits behind me!) I was pretty upset about some lame calls by the refs and it was even more frustrating that we had to beat the Cougars not once, not twice, but three times in one game! I am SO proud of the team for playing their hearts out. It was a true representation of who the Utes are; resilient and tough. I also want to give a huge shout out to our fans who deserve credit for several false starts by BYU's offense. It was a great game and I am looking forward to another WIN at Arizona State this Saturday. GO UTES!

Waiting for the UTE WALK to begin!

RUSHING the field!

Coach Whit accepting the DUAL Trophy

Celebrating the big win with my family - Dad, me, Jenny, Matt & Mom

Last, but not least, I couldn't resist!

For more great pics from the game click HERE or HERE
You can read an entire break down of the game HERE


Peanut Butter Cookies with a Kick

At work tomorrow, we are having a shower for my good friend who is expecting her first baby. I signed up to bring a dessert and just baked a batch of the most delicious peanut butter cookies. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE peanut butter?) I don't have a great pb cookie recipe so I turned to the internet and found one that looked quick and easy. I chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter cups and mixed that in the dough for a little extra kick. Enjoy!


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups sifted flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
*Optional - 1 bag of Reese's PB Cups, chopped


Preheat oven to 375ยบ.
Mix the first six ingredients. 
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. 

Roll into balls and press down with a fork dipped in sugar or flour. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes on un-greased cookie sheet. 


Throwback Thursday - Utah at. Utah St.

In honor of the Utes playing at Utah State this Friday night, my Throwback Thursday pics are via 2008 in Logan when we beat the Aggies at Romney Stadium. GO UTES!

Heading into the game with my girls - Caitlyn, Staci and Me
#3 - Taking control of the offense.
GO UTES! - Staci, Kelli, Me, Caitlyn


Black & Tan on a Summer Day

Hey ya'll! I snapped a few quick photos before I ran out the door this morning. It is still HOT here in Salt Lake City so I am not quite ready to bust out my new fall wardrobe. Right now, I love the trend of mixing watches, cuffs and bracelets and I always love to wear black (what can I say, I am a New York gal!) I had to visit some clinics for work so I wanted something sophisticated and comfortable.

Watch - Michael Kors, Leather/Gold Wrap - Stella & Dot, Gold Bangles - Brass Plum

Black T - Brass Plum, Khaki skirt - Halogen, Black Pumps - Cole Haan


We Must Protect This House!

One week from today, the Utah Utes will begin their journey to the top. I will be there to cheer them on every step of the way. Go get 'em, boys!



My three best friends from high school and I have remained really close. I am so grateful for these beautiful, intelligent women who support and love me at all times. Yella, BC and Megger - Thanks for your unconditional friendship. I love you! XOXO

Then and now - 2002 to 2012!


The Best Day of My Life

We recently got our wedding pictures from our fantastic photographer, Kirstin Roper. It has been so much fun going through the thousands of photos and re-living the best day of our lives. Here are a few of our faves...


Live Fit

I think (or at least I hope) that I am not the only woman who goes through phases when it comes to diet and exercise. For the most part, I do a good job eating clean, taking vitamins and working out. But let's get real, we all know stress mixed with the hussle and bussle of every day life can get in the way of always making healthy choices. (Oh yea, my sweet tooth doesn't help either.)

Of course I want to look good, but even more importantly I found out 2 years ago that I had really high cholesterol. My overall score was 227! For someone my age, it should be well below 200. This was a turning point for me. I was not ok with being at a higher risk for heart disease and I was not interested in taking a daily medication to get this number down. I knew I had to take my health into my own hands.

Pinned Image

Last fall, I decided to follow the FREE work out plan and recommended nutrition guide in Jamie Eason's Live Fit Plan in hopes that it would help increase my all-around health. I dropped quite a bit of weight and felt really good! The BEST news of all is ... (drum roll) ... I lowered my cholesterol 47 points!

Well, my friends, it is time to get back on it. For me, being prepared is the number one thing that allows me to be successful. I have to make my food in advance, I have to pack lunches and snacks and I have to eat every 2.5-3 hours. Period. My life motto which my husband and friends know all too well is, "PEOPLE DON'T PLAN TO FAIL, THEY FAIL TO PLAN." Ain't that the truth? Jamie suggests some delicious recipes that I really love. Check them out... I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I have been lifting weights again for the past week and I am incorporating Bikram Yoga and cardio as well. I am sore, but it hurts so good! One of these days I am going to work up the courage to try Cross Fit too.

Good luck to all of you ladies out there that "be up in the gym, workin' on your fitness!"

Jamie Eason - I wouldn't mind having her abs. Just sayin.


August, already?

This year has flown by! Not quite sure if it's because all of the wedding planning/festivities kept us so busy or because I am getting older. (My mom always says the older you get, the faster time flies by.) Needless to say, I cannot believe it is already August! With the end of summer in sight, it can only mean one thing around the Johnson home. FOOTBALL SEASON IS AMONG US!

The Utes started fall camp a couple of weeks ago and Brian has been hard at work getting ready for his first season as the Offensive Coordinator. I am so psyched for him and I know Bri is excited too (although he always remains calm, cool and collected!) I try to keep up on daily practice reports - if you don't already, make sure you follow Bill Riley on Twitter @espn700bill. He does a good job & posts daily audio interviews with Coaches and Players. I also love to read the Salt Lake Tribune SEEING RED blog and looking at all of the great pictures they take. I must say, I am pretty pumped for the home opener at Rice Eccles Stadium on August 30th!

Coachin' him up! Brian w/ freshman QB, Travis Wilson at the Utes first practice of fall camp.

With hubs working long days, I manage to fill up my free time with the following:

- Girls Dinners - Gotta love girl time and a glass of wine.
- Cleaning - I have OCD really bad - anyone who has been to my house knows I cannot handle anything out of place or dirty.
- Working out - I fell off track for a little while, but I finally feel like I am getting back into the groove.
- DIY Projects - I am making the CUTEST wreath, pics to come when it is complete.
- Party Planning - Whether it is a birthday dinner or my sister's baby shower, there is always an event to prepare for.
- Prepping for Football Season - Every year I order new Cold Gear from Under Armour so I am prepared for whatever weather conditions come our way during game time.

Although I will miss the summer months, here's to a great year and an amazing football season! See you all at the games and as always, GO UTES!


Working Woman!

I was recently inspired by a new blog, Running on Happiness, to put forth a little more effort in my daily attire and appearance. Let's be honest ladies, while I love a cute new outfit, perfectly curled hair and painted nails as much as the next girl, sometimes putting yourself together at 6 am just doesn't sound like the most glamorous thing to do. That being said, I need to step up my game.

I decided to go with a camel colored skirt (Halogen, from Nordstrom), a Leopard shirt (Nordstrom) and red blazer (Nordstrom.) I completed the messy up do with a black and gold headband (Nordstrom) and black Vince Camuto heels (Nordstrom). Now that I have established that I only shop at one store in SLC, I plan to get out more. :)


Little Bites of Heaven

This past Saturday, I hosted Girls Night IN at my house. We had a ton of delicious food and a great time catching up. For dessert I wanted to make something new, and I wanted it to be bite sized.

If you know me, you know I am a sucker for cookie dough. When I came across the recipe below I couldn't wait to whip up a batch. What could be so amazing, you ask? Get this - eggless cookie dough truffles! (Or as I like to call it... Little Bites of Heaven.) Try these. You can thank me later.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips14 oz dark chocolate candy coating

Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate candy coating in microwave according to package directions. Using toothpicks as a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Tap on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Main Floor Makeover

The quest to complete our home is still in full force. A few months ago, we were able to transform our dark and drab family room, dining room and kitchen into a calming, sophisticated space. We still have a few things to do (drapes being one of them), but we are so happy with the way it turned out. As always, I have to give a shout out to my friend Ashley from Ashley Winn Design for her help and expertise. Check out our before and after photos. As soon as we finish up details, I will be sure to post some updated pictures!

BEFORE: We bought this oversized brown couch when we first moved into the house. It is SO comfortable, but I felt like it was over powering the room. We have moved it to the theater room where I think it will be the perfect "cuddle up and watch a movie" piece. 

AFTER: We had our couch custom made (for an amazing price) by Rocky Mountain Upholstery. We wanted something really deep so Brian could still lounge on it, but we also wanted it to have clean lines. We added 2 club chairs in a tan linen that face into the room so it felt like a true conversation space. The area rug was a killer deal! Originally, it was $1200 but I found it online for 75% off! The coffee table also adds function to the room since often times people are eating while watching a game. 

BEFORE: Nothing was hung on the walls. It felt so BARE and BORING!

AFTER: Now, we have great lighting with the additional lamps, and 4 big frames to display anything we want!

BEFORE: Again, I felt like our dining room table, chairs and area rug were too dark next to the dark wood in the kitchen. 

AFTER: We decided to go with a carpet tile so spills can easily be cleaned. The chairs are all uniform which now gives it a cleaner look. 

BEFORE: One last view of the entire space... not much to look at!

AFTER: Aaaaahhhhhhh! So much more relaxing!