Tag Archives: Thomas & Friends

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

April Rolls Swiftly On! ๐ŸŒโ˜”

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m back with another weekly recap. I should first say that while this post is post-dated for the week of Monday 4th-Sunday 10th of April, it’s about two weeks late… my apologies. It’s been very hectic, if in an on-and-off way. The subsequent week is also being posted momentarily.

As you will see in both posts (and a few additional side posts) my days have been packed with activities –though nothing much happened during this particular week that wasn’t me working on art, taking walks, playing video games (which I’m sharing on separate posts), shopping for dinner ingredients, or cooking (at least until the weekend).

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

First off, now that the house is fully painted, let me show you better photos of what it looks like. I feel like it’s the prettiest colored house anywhere near us. But maybe I’m just biased.

The entrance looks so bright and colorful. I love it so much!

On the topic of colorful things, here is a friend I picked up at the craft store’s spring section. This time of the year is always great to find new snail-themed decor, and of course I added it to the collection on display around the snail tank.

On Monday night we made mojo chicken bowls. We all worked together on different parts of the meal, and marinated the chicken for about a day. It was pretty great!

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Tuesday I went for a walk, just for fun and to pick up dinner ingredients. At Dollar General I found the Harold Mega Bloks set, I was really happy to add him to my collection that already has Thomas and Percy:

I also found this super cool Crayola dinosaur kit. I love the box so much that for now it’s on display on a shelf. Someday I’m sure I’ll open it though.

I made my guys quiche for dinner:

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

During my Tuesday walk I passed one of the buildings that they are tearing down. They were an eyesore for a very long time; years. It is weird to see them disappear so quickly.

Here’s a little GIF I made of Kotoko greeting me with a silent meow:

Of course today we had date night again. My husband and our partner played the new Kirby game while I enjoyed watching. I got some screenshots to share this time:

It’s an adorable game, we’ve already had a few enjoyable evenings with it.

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

I’ve started having bagels with smoked salmon for lunch sometimes; I like them a lot.

Some cute photos of Kotoko, including a tiny blep and an old-lady yawn:

Today we made a sort of (fake) grass carpet on the porch. Our partner was using this stuff to decorate his old apartment, and now that he’s living with us, he didn’t know what to do with it. He suggested this as opposed to trashing it and I think it looks interesting.

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Here’s a photo I took on Saturday of Rosie enjoying the new “grass”:

This day I got up early and prepped the slow cooker to cook beef for tacos all day. After cooking for like eight hours, it was amazing for dinner:

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

Sunday was our adventure day. Our partner and I went to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (being outdoors, we could not convince our favorite vampire to come along). This is a very beautiful place that our partner had never been to, so I was really excited for him to enjoy it since he loves flowers and nature.

I took lots of photos that I will caption here and there, and had a little risky adventure.

First, a pretty brook…

Just general photos of the garden’s beauty:

A friend!

Speedy getaway ๐Ÿ˜

Ok now for a little story. You wouldn’t think so by the manicured look of this place, but there are multiple gators living here (in spite of the sign saying crocs, this is an alligator area):

Now I’ve been living in Florida for twenty years, and whenever I see these signs I get so excited to see a real, live alligator. Not to get close. Just to see one. They are basically dinosaurs. But I never had seen one in the wild. Today though, would be the day!

Prior to this encounter, we were walking down a nature trail –here’s some pictures of it:

Anyway there we were, when I pointed down to our partner a strange gathering of bluish flies at our feet. They were flying in a curious pattern. Cue him going “oh shit” and grabbing me and quickly pulling me back. What I had assumed to be flies, perhaps close to an animal carcass or waste, was a nest of blue-winged wasps!

We didn’t know at the time that these wasps are not super aggressive, and it is possible to gently walk through a swarm unmolested (we would come across a second nest later after the gator encounter, and again felt lucky to not be stung, since we didn’t see it until we almost stepped on it, just like this time).

A bit rattled by the wasp nest sighting, we doubled back and took another trail. Barely five steps into the trail I wanted to take a photo of the lake before going right.

…well, I didn’t when taking the photo above. But then I looked again, and my gasp of “Is that real?” was greeted by another “oh shit” from our partner (we were about twenty feet away from this quite massive guy –you can best gauge the distance in the photo above, as the one below is significantly zoomed in):

The scary thing is that he blended in so well. I could have gotten a lot closer before noticing him.

Now I want to point out a few things. The weird tag-like thing on his tail. His almost comical grin. His way-too-white teeth. His goofily beady eye. And of course he (she?) was perfectly still. All of these things together would have me bet money that this was not a live animal. I wasn’t stupid enough to approach him, just trust me that we were far away enough, but I did feel very sure that this must have been some decoy thing placed there by the garden keepers to keep people from approaching the water and actually risking a real encounter.

Since we were at a distance to make an easy getaway if needed, our partner began throwing very tiny pebbles at the water, and kinda near the gator’s head. I’m talking the size of my thumbnail, nothing that would have hurt the guy, but perhaps I dunno, made him blink? I will say again I was quite sure this gator could not possibly be real. So many years of never seeing one… My companion, wisely, told me one must always assume they are, but we both found the gator’s complete lack of reaction surprising.

We tossed maybe three very tiny pebbles. The last, rather than hitting the water, fell upon the gator’s butt with “toc!”. And here I can tell you this was a very real creature that immediately and quickly looked at his ass in a totally unamused way before resuming his sunbath, and then we left very fast and very respectfully and I felt very very bad for having done anything close to harassing him while he enjoyed his siesta.

But, boy. Was I over the moon! Going forward I will assume all are real (and so should you)! It’s uncanny how fake they can look. I just did not expect a gator to have such a goofy smile. It was rather cute. Definitely made my day. But I will say, please don’t do what we did. I know our partner humored me because we were at a safe distance. But had I been more sure that he was a real animal I would just have looked and walked away.

On our way back around we took another photo from the other side, and warned people we saw heading in that direction, so that he would be unbothered.

We continued to go around the garden, smelling flowers and studying leaves:

I made a GIF of our walk through the path above, because it was so pretty:

This tree had a face:

Here’s a photoset of many pretty flowers that we saw:

For a light lunch, we had crepes!

We had a wonderful (and adventurous!) time. Once home, I made korean beef bowls for dinner for the three of us. It came out pretty good:

Next week we are visiting family for Easter. And the week after that, Mwako is visiting us! I’m so excited. Are you excited for Easter too?