My Dino Family Has Grown! ๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐ŸŒดโ˜„๏ธ

Somehow, even in my deep love for dinosaurs, I’ve avoided Jurassic Park toys/the franchise apart from the original movie. This is ironic, because the two biggest factors behind my dinosaur love, at least in childhood, were The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park. The latter was the first “really scary” movie I ever watched which at the time felt like a milestone. It still gives me the same thrill today.

I think I wanted to make my affection for dinosaurs more… pure? Lol. As in free from brands? But the result is that I’ve missed out on amazing things, like Jurassic World Evolution, the original novel (which I own but never read) and stuff like Camp Cretaceous and of course the AMAZING figures in the toy line.

The most recent change to this was getting the raptor and t-rex figures I named Bangers and Mash. I was so pleased with them that I began to look for more in this line –both the Imaginext and “normal” lines, honestly I’m not familiar with the specifics, but I got a few new dinos, and now most of them have arrived.

It’s also very unlike me to get toys that have movements or make sounds. I generally dislike this. But Jurassic World toys are so unbelievably cool in this regard, that I couldn’t help it and do not regret it.

The first two I want to show off are these Indominus Rex and Carnotaurus:

Their chibi proportions make them appear irresistible cute!

The Carnotaurus “Toro” is by far my favorite. He can blink, which I wish worked better (you really have to push) but he is so adorable and lifelike:

Here is his chomping action:

Even more adorably, he can look from side to side! This is truly excellent toy design.

Indominus Rex is a little fiercer-looking. You can feed her, but she will get mad if you touch her while she is eating:

This is another Indominus Rex, of the cheaper Imaginext line. I saw this at Walmart while I was with Mwako and found the concept of it hilarious. A little dino goes on its back, and supposedly Indominus Rex should fiercely and easily shake this cheeky hanger-on right off.

Instead, it is a rather futile effort, as the little guy just will NOT LET GO.

I have to admit, I was not bummed out by this failure. I like that the little dino won’t be easily lost, since he’s determined to stay on, and Indominus Rex just hangs its head so dejectedly after the failed attempts that I found it hilarious.

Those are actually poses I like to keep them on, but if you keep his head at the lowest setting, he looks SUPER sad. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Finally, I was able to find a differently-colored pair of t-rex and raptor in the ridiculously affordable XL Imaginext line. Bangers and Mash were from Walmart and sold separately for a very reasonable price, while these two come as a set on Amazon, for even less money:

And yes… I do expect to name all my dinos and give them some sort of flair. That’s what all my toys get! ๐Ÿ˜

I have just one more coming –actually, she already came (it’s Baby Blue) but I wasn’t too pleased with the paint job so I’m having her replaced. And there are two more, massive dinos I want, and I truly mean massive, but they are $50 each. I put those in my wish list for now. ๐Ÿ˜… Maybe for Christmas? I’m not sure my mom will humor me that much. It’s not the cost, it’s just that a brachiosaurus that goes past my knee might be too much.

On a final note I am very excited for the Jurassic World Evolution game coming out in November. I hope I can get it. ๐Ÿฅบ I swear in no year of my life have they ever been so many games I wanted to play!

Pumpkin Drinks Are Back, But I Might Be Done…

Starbucks pumpkin drinks are back, so I had my first one of the seasonโ€ฆ Got a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Sadly, it was almost totally flavorless. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Iโ€™m not sure why I still try. I hadnโ€™t had Starbucks in months for this reasonโ€ฆ There are three locations near me, and they all botch simple drinks (no special requests/mods) every time. My husbandโ€™s too.

It didnโ€™t use to be this wayโ€ฆ in particular when the newest one opened it could be counted on to make perfect drinks. Then it steadily declined. And no one wants to be a Karenโ€ฆ so Iโ€™ll often trash my full $6 drink, a rare treat, rather than complain to a tired barista. ๐Ÿ˜ข The times I have asked for it to be fixed or remade were when I was with someone else who would have felt uncomfortable if I simply stared at my drink and didn’t drink while they did.

And you may say, “well donโ€™t buy overpriced Starbucks at all then” but I don’t go there for the good “coffee”. The chain has been a steady presence in my life where many important memories were formed & parts of my books written. Sometimes I just want to go back, and enjoy a syrupy drink… it shouldn’t be so hard when I never ask for any modifications to them.

I still sometimes have the occasional perfect (or, you know, just moderately enjoyable) drink, but it’s so rare. I had already gone from “Starbucks through the year” to “Starbucks only at Fall & Christmas” (because those drinks seemed impossible to screw up) and now… it may be just “Starbucks at Christmas”.

Until that gets botched too. Lol. I dunno. I may give a PSL one last try. I’m just bummed, man.

Bunk Bed Nook In Progress! ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ

I completely forgot to mention this on my posts about Mwako’s visit, but while he was here, the IKEA bed I long wanted (and for which I held a gift card) came back in stock. Mwako had a very small rental car, and it was a VERY iffy proposition, but he humored me, and we went off to try and get it and potentially end up completely stuck in IKEA unable to fit the bed’s two boxes in the tiny rental car.

Well… it fit! Not only that, but Mwako got the boxes in the car and into the house by himself, I had no idea he was so strong, I could not even move those boxes.

When Mwako left the next day, shortly after he was gone our friend Fern called and came over, and somehow I got him to take apart the futon, take down the bookcase, bring up the smaller bookcase, bring up the boxes, and assemble the bed! He’s a real trooper and a very reliable friend…

At some point Christopher arrived. Then I made coffee for the two of them while Fern finished with the bed. The following Saturday our other friend, Gaspar, took me to my mom’s to get the mattress I keep there.

Below you can see what it all looks like right now:

Here is some video, too. It looks very cozy even though there’s still a way to go:

And you can see that I’ve kept the parts of the futon because it makes a fantastic pair of floor chairs:

Rosie obviously thinks so too:

I’m still missing the top mattress, which has been ordered but takes a while to get here. Without a mattress on the top, I cannot access my shelves or finish putting things on the wall, which are currently sprawled on the library floor. So I’m eager to receive it.

Also, when I next have a sleepover, now my friend and I can sleep in the same room. When we have someone in the guest room, Christopher can sleep in the master bedroom and I can sleep here.

We cuddle lots before bed, but sleep separately because of his snoring and because he moves a LOT, and because at this point we prefer different mattresses, but it works out for us… though somehow I still can’t stand to sleep “alone”, haha… I need him in the next room, at the very least. ๐Ÿ˜ Still, that was the main reason behind needing a bed in the studio. And sometimes we just have a lot of overnight guests!

Oz And Aalia’s Little Oasis ๐Ÿ๏ธ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒธ

This artistic freedom commission for Aster Grimoire has to be a recent favorite of mine! I only had the vaguest of thumbnails done yesterday; all other work on it was done today. It was the only commission of the day but a huge speed improvement for me and done a month ahead of schedule. ๐Ÿ˜

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Let’s Get You Back To The Sea ๐ŸŒŠ

Artistic freedom commission for Onikiba!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Tiny Lion’s Tiny Prey ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ‹

I think a net might work better for catching those, Mwakoโ€ฆ

Artistic freedom commission for Skuma!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Sandy Squelf ๐Ÿ–๏ธ

It’s quite late for a summer icon but I’m still on a high after my fun days with Mwako so I’m using this until Fall. ๐Ÿ˜

The swimsuit my character is wearing is a real swimsuit you can purchase from Wen’s Etsy shop! https://www.etsy.com/listing/619252531

๐Ÿ„ You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Copyright is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie.

Snow’s Socky Dreams ๐Ÿงฆ๐ŸŒœ

Artistic freedom commission for SnowTheBear!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Storytime With Mr. Wuffster! ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿ“š

Artistic freedom commission for JimmyWuffster on Twitter!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.