Archive for March, 2012


ONE WEEK until I’m on my way to the Dominican Republic. ONE WEEK! Unbelievable. I can’t get too excited, though, because I have 5 days of school and work before then, plus one paper to write and a big law skills assignment to complete. Yikes. But once I’m done with all of that, watch out world. I am so looking forward to seeing the Mackeys and smelling/feeling the air. Plus, I will be bringing lots and lots of gifts – it’s going to be more amazing than Christmas morning.

Today, rather than working on all the school work that needs to get done, I got something done that I had been waiting for a year and a half — I got my driver’s door window regulator and motor replaced. For the past year and a half I had to duct tape my window up, and wedge it with a door stop. Not beautiful, but cheap. This month, however, I got a bonus at work so splurged and finally got it fixed. Originally estimated to be a $400 fix, I spent just under $200, so that felt great. I made the guys at the shop crack up as I told them it was Christmas to have a working window! As I drove home I opened and shut the window multiple times, just because I could. So much fun.

Another thing I did was hang out with one of my good friends from school, and also spend time with my roommate.

I also cooked myself a really great meal. So great, in fact, that I’m going to give you all the details to making a balanced, gluten free meal for one in 15 minutes.

As labeled in the photo, this meal contains all five food groups! Starch and grains, fruit and veg, protein, dairy, and dessert. The dessert is actually relatively healthy — see my post from Feb. 24th for the details.This meal was so easy to put together. I rubbed my tilapia with approx. a  teaspoon of melted (homemade) butter then covered it with blackening seasoning. My tilapia took about 13 minutes at 425. Once the tilapia was in the oven, I got my cucumber and orange ready. With 8 minutes left in the time I boiled my water for my minute rice and let it sit. With 2 minutes left I cooked my beans (in the microwave). I pulled out the fish at 13 minutes, and got everything else on the plate as it cooled just a bit. I poured my milk, placed my fish and dinner was ready!

Easy and delicious, in under 15 minutes, not to mention super healthy and a meal any mom would be proud of. (And, yes, I do usually eat like this, minus the dessert. Tonight I treated myself.)

Now my roommate and I are going to watch the movie that she thought we were going to watch last night… I guess school work will just have to wait until tomorrow!

~Amber Joy


A Surprise Worth Anticipating

You know how yesterday was my roommate and her sister’s birthday? Well, today we threw a surprise birthday party for them. It was PERFECT. A bunch of us crowded into our little house and had a blast surprising Megan and Mandy.

Jeremy, Mandy’s husband, was in cahoots, and got the girls to the house without them even having a clue. He took them out to dinner, then stalled at various places until we had told him to arrive. He even made Megan chase the car around the parking lot, taking off right when she was reaching for the door. The girls were shocked to come into a dark house filled and have a bunch of friends pop out yelling “SURPRISE!”

I had the hardest job of convincing Megan that even though her friends didn’t hang out with her on her actual birthday, she was still loved and shouldn’t be lonely. To make her feel better we “planned” on watching one of the movies I gave her when she got home from dinner. I got her really looking forward to it, so the surprise was even more sweet.

It was a great evening of fellowship and so fun to actually pull off a great surprise.


~Amber Joy

Craving Avocado

I’ve been craving avocado, maybe because my stomach knows I’ll be in the Dominican Republic soon…

Due to my cravings, here are seven recipes I’ve pinned on my Cooking Board on Pinterest. (Again, if you’re not on Pinterest, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Follow me at

Baked Avocado Fries from More Design Please 

Corn Cakes with Tomato Avocado Relish from Annie’s Eats

Mozzarella, Tomato, and Avocado Salad from Ashley’s Cooking Adventures

Avocado Grilled Cheese from A Turtle’s Life for Me

Cucumber, Turkey, and Avocado Rolls from Caveman Gourmet

Avocado Spinach Egg Salad from We Are Not Martha

Black Bean, Avocado, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad from Skinny Taste

It all looks so delicious, doesn’t it??? I don’t know when avocados will be up to my standards in Virginia, but maybe I’ll get the chance to make one of these recipes in the DR. Yum, avocados.

Speaking of avocados… Lynchburg is getting a Chipotle this June! It made my afternoon 100x’s happier.

Speaking of happy… It’s my roommate and her twin sister’s birthday! Happy Birthday Megan (left) and Mandy (right)!

Oh, one more happy! Happy Thursday — tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!

~Amber Joy