Places to Go/Things to Do - A Few, Quick Days at Universal Orlando


I know I don't share much in this space much anymore, so I should probably check in. And, honestly, I'm not sure about the future of No Monsters in My Bed. I've started blogging more on my professional website and I'd love it if you would follow me/check in over here.

I'm hoping to keep No Monsters as a place to share longer posts and opinions - book reviews, random links, etc., while moving my personal photos to Darcy Troutman Photography, but, truthfully, I haven't felt like sharing as much as I used to. My kids are older and entitled to more privacy and, like everyone else, sometimes social media just seems overwhelming.

We will see.

In the meantime, LOTS of photos from our trip to Universal are online here (I find squarespace's photo uploader to be much more user-friendly than Blogger's uploader) - please stop by!!


Things to Eat - 6 Week Meal Plan (mid-November - December 2017)

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Okay, so it is already February and I'm finally posting our dinner plan from two months ago. I basically took January "off", but now I'm back and blogging . . .


MONDAY - Plated (soy-glazed steak with crispy brussels sprouts and yuzu vinaigrette).

TUESDAY - Sheet pan chili (recipe here). This was good but it didn't taste that different than regular chili.

WEDNESDAY - Dan makes venison stir fry.

THURSDAY - Plated (Za’atar chicken schnitzel with Israeli salad).

FRIDAY - Hot dogs while camping at Sky Meadows State Park.

SATURDAY - Dinner club with friends and neighbors.

SUNDAY - F makes mac and cheese for the kids; Dan and I eat snacks before Angus and Julia Stone at the 9:30 club.


MONDAY - Plated (creamy pumpkin baked rigatoni with mozzarella, fontina, and fried sage). I'm sure this wasn't our healthiest Plated, but it tasted amazing.

TUESDAY - Plated (Thanksgiving cheeseburger with caramelized onion aioli and roasted butternut squash).

WEDNESDAY - Pizza with neighbors.

THURSDAY - Thanksgiving at Dan's brother's house.

FRIDAY - Dinner out at Marble & Rye with Dan's family.

SATURDAY - Dan makes chicken.

SUNDAY - Eggplant parmesan after setting up the Xmas tree. The kids complained, but eggplant parm is one of my favorite dishes so every once in awhile I force them to suffer through it.


MONDAY - Pasta with tomato sauce and garlic bread. Because sometimes easy = awesome.

TUESDAY - Black bean chilaquile (recipe here). This has become the kids' favorite recipe (which makes me so happy as I love it too).

WEDNESDAY - Dan makes fish.

THURSDAY - Plated (sheet pan flounder with harissa, crispy scallion potatoes, and dill aioli).

FRIDAY - Appetizers before Mean Girls, the musical (so good!).

SATURDAY - Plated (butter-basted steak with sautéed brussels sprouts and garlic-parmesan fries).

SUNDAY - Dan cooks fettuccine alfredo.


MONDAY - Turkey, sweet potato, and black bean chili (via Gwyneth, recipe in this book). On a cold day, this is the best recipe ever.

TUESDAY - Dan makes venison steaks.

WEDNESDAY - Everyone pigged out on popcorn during Coco, so we have grilled cheese and eggs for dinner.

THURSDAY - Plated (gnocchi pomodoro with swiss chard, goat cheese, and sage-toasted pine nuts).

FRIDAY - Dan makes a venison roast.

SATURDAY - Plated (miso salmon and quinoa bowls with roasted sweet potatoes, cucumber salad, and sriracha mayo). I'm not usually a salmon fan, but these bowls tasted incredible.

SUNDAY - Dinner at a friend's party.


MONDAY - Order out pizza.

TUESDAY - Family dinner out at Boru Ramen.

WEDNESDAY - Plated (potato latkes with horseradish sour cream, roasted carrots, and spinach salad). I mess up the latkes big time.

THURSDAY - Frozen pizza before a Christmas Carol at Ford's Theater.

FRIDAY - Plated (chicken tinga tostadas with cabbage-carrot slaw).

SATURDAY - I photograph a wedding, the rest of the family eats dinner at our neighbor's Christmas party.

SUNDAY - Taylor Gourmet carry-out.


MONDAY - Plated (moroccan chicken with cherry tomato sauce and couscous).

TUESDAY - Plated (spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs with whipped ricotta).

WEDNESDAY - Black bean chilaquile (recipe here). This has become the kids' favorite recipe (which makes me so happy as I love it too).

THURSDAY - Farmers and Fishers for the solstice.

FRIDAY - Make you own pizza night before we leave for Christmas in Chicago.


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