All posts by Marina Neira

My name is Marina! ๐ŸŒ I am an artist and fantasy writer, born in โ€™83. Youโ€™re welcome to refer to me as she/her; Iโ€™m pan and polyam. ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’› Iโ€™m a big animal lover (with four cats and close to a hundred pet snails) and a book collector, with books in almost every room of the house. I have a passion for dinosaurs. Iโ€™m also a furry and a Little in case youโ€™re familiar with those terms. Iโ€™m what you could describe as peculiar. I talk peculiar, dress peculiar, and have peculiar interests, to put it all mildly. Being this way has sometimes made it hard to find people I vibe with, but it has also led me down some interesting paths in life. For commission inquiries please contact me at marina@marinaneira.com

New Games! ๐Ÿงฉ๐ŸŒˆ

Today is our 6th wedding anniversary! My mom sent us some board games, and Grandma sent a check that we used to get another board game and the new Nintendo Switch Sports. I also got the new Jurassic World Domision KerPlunk, so I figured I’d make a post about all the new board games.

The games we got from my mom were Happy Little Dinosaurs, Yahtzee, and that Pokรฉmon-themed Labyrinth game:

Here’s KerPlunk!

And here is the game I am most excited about, that we got with the gift money from Grandma –Raptor!

I’m really excited for many game and date nights with these games in the near future! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Mother’s Day Week ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ’

It’s Sunday again! And this weekend is Mother’s Day. So Happy Mother’s Day to our moms and to any moms reading this. ๐Ÿ˜Š We all took my mom, Christopher’s mom and Grandma to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to celebrate. And I also visited my mom during the week. Anyway, let’s get on with the weekly recap!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

This stuff is from last week but I didn’t have a chance to take pictures until now. Some Jurassic World finds. First, a puzzle in an egg! I haven’t “hatched” it yet. ๐Ÿ˜

And a really nice coloring book, of the same sort as the Turning Red one:

This one actually was from today. We went to Sam’s Club and I found the most amazing Mandalorian activity book:

The pages are THICK. It has lots of activities, some with actual cardstock. I can’t recommend this enough! It will make for lots of scrapbooking fun.

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Tuesday I went to my mom’s. All I have from this day is this photo of Sweeney:

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Wednesday my mom’s gas station was closed down because they were recording a Ferrari commercial. We were allowed a sneak peek!

And have more photos of Sweeney, because why not…

In the evening I finally beat Pokรฉmon Sword, so that was nice.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Thursday we got news of a fire near my beloved Marham Park. There was a storm the night before, and lighting hit somewhere. The fire was very big and we still don’t know if it was just the Everglades or the park itself affected. I hope it wasn’t the park. ๐Ÿ˜ž

A new scratcher I ordered for the kitties came in on this day. Rosie took to it immediately:

For lunch we ordered aรงaรญย bowls from Raw Addiction, but they were much smaller than usual which was a bummer.

Anyway, my feeder is getting continuous visitors. They do make a mess, but I love them all the same.

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

Friday morning I went out for a long walk, and also to Target. I didn’t buy anything but these Jurassic Park Funko backpacks were really neat to see:

For lunch I had avocado toast and opened another Good2Grow Podz:

Got a trike this time! Really cute.

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

This was the day we took our Moms and Grandma out! We were off early, first to pick up my mom and then to grab breakfast.

It is rare that my mom joins us on an outing like this one, and our partner was with us too, so these photos are really precious to me. I wish my sis in law had been with us too, then I could say all of the people I love most in the world were with me. All the photos below are of me and my family.

When I went a few weeks ago with our partner, none of the LEGO stuff was on display tet. But this time it was, and that made this visit a particular treat!

The slightly maddening thing is that the upcoming LEGO statue to be unveiled is a realistic snail on a mushroom… and I missed it! Sigh. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Anyway –critters! The photo set below is all critters. My favorite is the lounging squirrel at the start!

And here are all the other photos… flowers, plants and such, things that didn’t fit in the above sets:

I got a bit worried because my mom seemed close to heat stroke by the end. But ultimately we made it to a restaurant and then she felt better. After that, we took her home. Then the rest of us relaxed back at our place.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

Breakfast this morning was SO wonderful! Christopher made me a fancy pancake again and my mom in law burned the bacon just the way she knows I like it. Not extra crispy. Burnt! It’s always a delight.

I got an even cuter photo from my squirrel feeder today!

And that’s all… family is now gone back to Sebastian so it’s time to get to work again and continue catching up on my backlog of, well… everything!

Back To Normal ๐ŸŒž

Happy Sunday, everyone! Time for yet another week’s recap. All of this week I felt very overwhelmed. There is so much to do… I don’t know how I can ever catch up… but I guess eventually I’ll manage it. Anyway, let’s get to what happened this week!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday was Mwako’s last day with us. We went out to breakfast and shopping one final time, and then he was off to the airport.

At Publix he sneakily got this Jurassic World Dominion shopping bag that he surprised me with before leaving… I love it!

We did one final Target stop, where I finally caved and got the Ankylosaurus that I’d picked up and put back on the shelf three times prior. At home, he quickly made friends with Bumpy!

Also at Target, I found this awesome coloring book of Turning Red. It has wonderful illustrations and activities –stickers, too!

I also got another Highlights Hidden Pictures book. I love these so much. The old-timey pen and ink illustrations give me life!

The last lovely find was this little gliding Bowser Jr.! Isn’t he adorable?

For dinner we had salmon. And that was that for Monday. I don’t have anything to share until Thursday because I was just so busy.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

For Thursday I have a few odds-and-ends. Firstly, I installed the bird feeder that my mom in law gave to me, and added a cob of corn for good measure:

Also –this is older, but I only photographed it today. It’s a very gently used The Lost World: Jurassic Park baby triceratops figure by Kenner:

Brand new, this can go well over a hundred dollars. She came out of the box and with no egg, but she was only $25… so I am happy.

Also, I hung my little Bowser Jr. from the studio ceiling so he looks like he’s gliding!

Today our partner and I released some ladybugs to fight the aphids in our brand new almond bush. The ladybugs were exposed to the heat for too long on the way to us, but most of them revived and immediately went to work:

Later in the afternoon, at the insistence of friends, I took a break to play some Pokรฉmon Sword and have a snack:

I drank another of my Good2Grow Podz, this one is a baby T. rex, so cute!

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Saturday was stressful. Kotoko has been vomiting, sometimes a little pink (meaning there was blood, at least once). We’ve been in constant contact with our vet, and finally at her advice we brought her in. Kotoko was a very good girl, as always.

Multiple tests were done and we will see what the results say, for now we have special foods and nausea meds. Hopefully it is nothing serious.

In the evening, the three of us went out to dinner. We ate at El Balcรณn De Las Americas. It was a good place, we will go there again. Since we were a bilingual table, our very nice waiter gave us a bilingual dessert:

Later that night I decided to dress Grover up in pajamas, since all he ever does is sleep with me anyway:

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Sunday I went on a little date with our partner while Christopher rested and enjoyed some solitude. He couldn’t get us out the door fast enough, but I think he would have enjoyed this place were it not for the heat. We went to the Yellow Green Farmers Market. The best thing was the smells –like fair food stalls on steroids! We had carne a la vara, with arepas. It was awesome.

The people at this stall could use some help spelling, but it was pretty hilarious:

A lot of people bring their dogs here. This pupper was at a stall that sold… either carved wood items of some sort, or candles, or both. I forget.

He or she was in fact a good guard dog, but only as far as other puppers were concerned. I could get this close without any sort of reaction! If any dogs got anywhere in sight though (even far off!) this pupper would perk up and bark fiercely… without ever leaving his or her little perch. ๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, that was a lovely time. I’m really treasuring the memories made. ๐Ÿ’•

๐Ÿ“š Drake And Fred’s Story Time ๐Ÿ“š

Commission for Babydrake, also featuring Frederichusky!

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.

Mwako’s Here! ๐Ÿฆ๐ŸŒˆ

Hello, everyone! First of all, I want to apologize for my absence/commission delay which I hinted at but did not fully explain. Being sick three times (never COVID but always sucky) having a weekend-long Easter visit with family, an almost week-long visit of my dear friend Mwako during which time I did not work at all, dealing with important travel paperwork AND having my period on top of it all, meant that no commission work got done whatsoever.

I am now back at the tablet and getting things done, so you all will be getting your WIPS and/or finished pieces over the next few days. But before that –here’s this week’s summary!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday was a special day. It was the Jurassic World Dominion street date for the new toys! Christopher and I made a deal: I could spend up to $200, and anything I purchased would be set aside for my birthday and Christmas. This suited me fine! I went to Target and Walmart and came back with a cart full of things. ๐Ÿ˜ Although, the new displays were not out at Target, a very nice employee got me everything I wanted from the back.

I also passed by Five Below on the way back and scored a few nice Super Mario finds!

A Super Mario Easter egg and Mario Kart UNO cards! The UNO cards I plan to use for scrapbooking. I loved that the puzzle below had Bowser Jr. in it!

It was otherwise a quiet, busy day, prepping the house, doing chores, and drawing.

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Tuesday, it was more and more prepping. I had a lot to do. But I did take some time to myself in the morning, walked to the mall, had a snack there, and bought some pins to decorate my new Galactic Pal bags:

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Wednesday I was up at 5:00am to finish prepping the playroom. It took more work than you imagine, simple though it looks (lots of lugging stuff downstairs, plus putting the mat together, moving furniture, building the tent –tricky on my own) but I think the end result turned out really nice!

The couch looked cozy…

Stuff for outdoor play!

Ricky Parky had not been down to play in quite some time!

Tomoyo was really interested in all the toys…

At least she couldn’t bite this. She definitely tried to bite other things.

I used my travel pillow as a chair for Cookie:

Everywhere you looked it was colorful and full of toys and things to do, games to play, books to color…

Out of the Jurassic World Dominion release, there were a couple of cheaper dinos that I bought for myself so I wouldnโ€™t have to wait to play with them, such as this cute Imaginext gal. Sheโ€™s really expressive! You can move her up and down and side to side by the tail, open and close her mouth, and change her facial expression! Her arms move too!

Coloring books and games…

I love this Jurassic World version of TOMY’s classic Pirate Pop-Up game!

My new T. rex friend was looking for trouble…

Here’s Ricky all ready to โ€œpretendโ€ camp indoors!

Bluey was ready to welcome Mwako, too!

Crayons!! ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

More friends and fun things to do! ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿš‚ Socks was a little surprise gift for Mwako.

On Mwako’s first night with us, we went to Blue Ginger, a fancy sushi restaurant where the food is served in little floating boats. It was wonderful, I was so happy we got to go because it’s one of Christopher’s favorite places that we can so rarely afford, and Mwako treated us all.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Thursday we took Mwako to my (currently) favorite park, Marhham Park. I picked a very colorful outfit, and brought Cookie along on her first outing:

First we did a quick Starbucks run for breakfast at the house.

Cookie tried her first cake pop!

Once at the park it was time to explore. I love this place, with its pine-needle covered floors. It looks kind of otherwordly in places. The more I explore Florida the more I find beauty I didn’t know it had.

Here’s a couple of pics I got of me and Mwako:

It was overall a super nice time. I did at one point get chased by a few bees and really panicked and ran for a long, long stretch, leaving Mwako and my partner well, WELL behind. Later they told me that as I did that, they heard what had to have been a gator jumping into the water, mere feet from us. They said it definitely sounded like something bigger than a grown man.

What makes that a bit scary is that on recent Googling I found out a woman was attacked by a gator during a jog at this same park. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was that same area. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I guess it’s a good thing that I was running!

Anyway, I’ve been doing stops at Walmart/Target/Dollar Tree/etc, and here are some finds. First, a couple of Uncaged Wild Pop-Ups:

A couple of super cute cups from the dollar store, Berenstain Bears and Arthur-themed:

And some Jurassic Wold stickers:

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Friday, we went to Butterfly World. This is truly the perfect time of the year to go! The amount of butterflies was off the chart, like stepping into a fairy tale world.

First, here’s an all-butterfly set of photos. They were just so pretty.

A cute caterpillar friend!

The birds here are very tame and friendly:

This one was taking a little bath:

This one was… feeling territorial?

I didn’t know canaries ate lettuce, did you?

This little guy was tucking in for a nap. ๐Ÿ˜Š

In the museum and insect area, the moths were my favorite, but everything was beautiful and interesting:

Here’s a wriggly mealworm. These guys are small, but they can bite! If they didn’t I might want to have them as pets.

We bought a couple of plants before leaving. An almond bush which was part of the reason behind the trip, and a mimosa plant as a gift for our dear Christopher. ๐Ÿฅฐ After Butterfly World, we went back to the house to play some games in the playroom I’d set up.

We played the T. rex pop-up game first. It was lots of fun! I jumped every time. ๐Ÿ˜…

Then we played Yeti In My Spaghetti for a while, before it was time to set the table for our burger dinner.

I had special fancy dino paper plates for the occasion! I had to get another one though because someone spilled his drink all over me and my T. rex… ๐Ÿ˜‘

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Let’s start this day with a photo of Tomoyo, laying elegantly as she does:

Mwako continued to humor me by driving me to Targets so I could look for more Jurassic World Dominion stuff. So in the morning we were off, first breakfast at Starbucks and then to Target.

I was very excited at this particular Target because it was my first time finally seeing a Dominion display!

Some neat things I saw (but didn’t buy) were this Pokรฉmonย themed Labyrinth game by Ravensburger and this Jeep Wrangler R/C car, Jurassic World themed. I was really tempted by the car… ๐Ÿ˜…

Ultimately, I came home with this super cute Elmo backpack and Jurassic World Dominion set of minis, both of which Mwako was kind enough to treat me to:

Once home, it was time to move on to some backyard fun! Well… back porch fun. We blew some bubbles, for starters, but I don’t have photos of that. It was fun, though. Ricky sat and watched, it had been a while since he came out to play, as I mentioned:

New T. rex was excited to get into the chalk so we quickly moved on to that.

Playing with chalk was so much fun. I never got to do this as a kid, believe it or not. Chalk was something we only had at school, and colored chalk? What is that, anyway? So, silly though it may seem, this made me really happy.

Ricky Parky had a blast too!

The cats were very curious about the chalk, smelling it, rolling in it, and just being generally very interested and wanting to be involved in our playtime.

Rosie was arguably the most interested of all:

I tried drawing Mwako, a snail and a subrosian for Christopher (that one ended up being my favorite):

I also drew one of our house “soots”:

Mwako did a pretty spiffy job of drawing Stitch!

After that it started to sprinkle, so we went back inside to continue our fun.

A pause for more Tomoyo, this time giving me a half-hearted but playful air-swat:

Time to play some more! First some Jenga…

We each had a cute snack. Since today was special, I picked one of my Good2Grow Podz. Grogu is so cute!

I had my veggie chips in my Bluey bowl, not that you can tell…

The movie for the evening was Brother Bear, an old favorite. It’d been a while since I last saw it. We colored with crayons while watching and just had a nice time.

After the movie, Mwako, my partners and I all went to mini golf. That was a lot of fun to do late in the evening! They closed just as we left.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

Today, Sunday, was the last day with activities, since Mwako is leaving tomorrow.

I opened my minis in the morning while having some quiet time to myself. They are so cute!

Look at that adorable tiny carnie, a perfect little chonk:

Being time for another outing, I got dressed up, new backpack and all:

I picked Dusty to accompany me today:

We took Mwako to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park today. This was a lovely setting to take photos of Dusty in, just like Marham Park with Cookie:

Here are some random pics without Dusty in them. Of course I still have to add stickers.

Here’s Mwako looking super cute in the outfit I picked for him to wear. Pink looks great on him, I think!

Our time at the park was fun but exhausting because it was so hot. Once we got back home and freshened up, we sat down to have some “kiddy time” again. First we laid down the Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It! board game:

It’s a high quality game, with a massive board and very cute pieces:

It’s a collaborative game, either all players win, or the “pigs” win. We enjoyed it, and it certainly has lots of replayability.

At some point, I don’t remember when, I ate this cute chocolate Easter sheep:

After the board game, we played with blocks. It may seem silly, but don’t knock it til you try it. With LEGO, you still have to “think”. There’s something incredibly relaxing about playing with big-ass blocks. Once you let go, all your adult worries melt away, if only for a little bit.

I “play” in a bit more of a conventional manner, making “houses” for my Thomas The Tank Engine Mega Blok figures:

In you go:

Incidentally, I was wearing my bear kigu. It really helps put me in a certain kind of mood when I play with toys such as these. ๐Ÿป

Mwako, for his part, is far more chaotic, creating some impressive (and sometimes slightly frightening) creatures:

This here has to be one of my favorite photos of this visit…

HE COMIN’

We drank as we played and ended our evening in the little tent, just laughing and kinda pouring our hearts out to each other in a tipsy haze. This ended up being the most memorable portion of the week for me. It was such a lovely end to the visit, and left me feeling much closer to my beloved friend of now quite a few years, and looking forward to another visit later this year.

I know this was a very long post. If you read it all, I’m so grateful! Hope it was enjoyable. ๐Ÿ˜Š