The Geeky: Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Thoughts

Hello Ladies & Gents!
Yes, I am back with a new post and a new series as well. I would like to announce that “The Geeky” will be a weekly series that I have developed in hopes of branching out my blog to reflect who I am as a person: a lady infatuated with fashion, health, beauty, food, and everything geeky. With this change, I hope you all noticed the new menu and category names! I really love the new names but I would love to hear from you awesome readers!! I am also planning on updating my banner to something that is a bit more permanent and more simple but also reflects everything that I am doing on this blog.
Anyways, today is the first official post in “The Geeky” series! And I hope you can tell from the title what it is about…
imageYes! It is about one my favorite games/series: Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remastered! (Yes, I pre-ordered it…) For those of  you who don’t know about the original FFX & X-2…let me do some introducing, yes?

Final Fantasy X is a role-playing game produced by Square (Now called Square Enix) that released in 2001. This was the first of the entire Final Fantasy series that featured voice acting which ultimately made it a breakthrough game. The story revolves around a young man named Tidus in his home of Zanarkand. After playing a blitzball match, his home is destroyed by Sin. He is then transported through time 1000 years and arrives in Spira. He then joins a young summoner, Yuna, on her pilgrimage to destroy Sin.
Final Fantasy X-2 was released two years after in 2003 and revolves around Yuna and her journey to find Tidus and prevent a war from breaking out between the Youth League and the New Yevon Party.
On September 13, 2011, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy X would be remastered and re-released in high definition in celebration for the game’s Tenth Anniversary. Earlier this year, game footage was released as well as the announcement that Final Fantasy X-2 would be joining the re-release in celebration of it’s Tenth Anniversary this year.

So as you can see, this game is really a big deal! And for me, I have had high expectations since 2011 and even more so after seeing the Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer from E3 this year. So..what are my thoughts on the images, videos, and news so far?
image-1One thing I look forward to with the re-release is the graphics during the cut-scenes. I thought they were pretty fantastic in the original for its time…however we have progressed graphics wise, so after two years of reproduction, I expected a lot. Above we can see Tidus in the beginning cut-scene where the gang is sitting in the Zanarkand Ruins. I definitely notice a difference especially with the length of his face and the details of his hair.

Here we see the full SD VS HD Beginning Cut-Scene from FFX. Honestly, I love the added details of those clothing and hair. I kind of wished the characters weren’t as pale which is more noticeable when they zoom in on Tidus and Yuna. Overall, I guess since they are still making minor adjustments, it is better and something I can definitely deal with.
image-2Here is a shot of the other characters; Auron, Wakka, and Lulu. As you can see, the HD version definitely shows thinner characters with added details to their garments. Their accessories have much more depth than the standard photo which I find marvelous in itself. I feel that this is really the best picture to define the HD changes that have occurred.

Now, I have heard that they have remastered the music as well and so I did some looking on YouTube and found a comparison video of the battle theme used in the standard version and the HD version…

Honestly, I am really loving the orchestrated battle theme. It seems to make the battles more epic even though they can get super frustrating (especially with those stupid Tonberry guys) and it makes super anxious because now I want them to release a remastered soundtrack for both games. AHHHH! Square Enix what have you done to me? I am upset however because from what I’ve seen/heard…they are still using Jade from Sweetbox’s version of “real Emotion” and “1000 Words” for Final Fantasy X-2 rather than (my preference) Koda Kumi’s version. But hey, I’ll just buy the Japanese version like last time…*le sigh*
image-3 Another thing I have heard is that both games will have the international version for international release rather than strictly Japan. This means that Final Fantasy X will have new sphere grids (NO!), new aeon bosses (OK!), and possibly special features (I DON’T KNOW!). Final Fantasy X-2 will have new dress spheres (THEY’RE CUTE!), tweaks in gameplay (YAY!), and a final mission that occurs postscript (YAY!). I’m pretty sure this has been confirmed, but if it’s still a rumor please let me know!

With all that, I must say I do not regret pre-ordering the game. Had it just been me waiting two years for minor changes, I probably would not have even bothered and stuck with the original. BUT because the differences are quite extensive and with the international version being available worldwide and getting TWO GAMES FOR $40 along with an FFX & X-2 art book, I find it quite reasonable and well worth the wait. Release date wise, I’ve heard December 19th in Japan but no rumored date for US as of late.

So, I hope you all enjoyed this post. I am still kind of figuring out how to make “The Geeky” interesting and so on but please bare with me as I work out some kinks and really progress in the series. But I really had a lot of fun watching the videos, doing the research and everything! It is truly a blast to be doing these kind of posts! So let me know how I can improve if possible and be sure to comment below with any requests on geeky posts you’d like to see!

I hope you all had an amazing weekend and I hope you all have an amazing week as well! I am so happy to announce that before the end of the year, the SimplyTaylorRae YouTube channel will be up and running!! Why? Because I FINALLY HAVE A MACBOOK AIR! Yes!!! Actually let me explain; Anthony has listened to me complain about the limited capabilities of my HP laptop ever since I’ve had an HD video camera. I had no intention of asking him to buy me a laptop seeing as how he has an iMac that he RARELY uses, so I thought I would use that to edit and upload videos. WELL, Anthony surprised me on Saturday with a MacBook Air and I could not be more thankful. SO now, I can branch the website out to YouTube and produce videos that go along with STR posts. Thank you so much hubby for this amazing gift!! AHHHHH! Ok ok, have a fantastic week and always remember to Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

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Mini-Haul featuring YesStyle.Com

Hello Ladies (and Gents?)!!!
Today has been a relatively great day honestly~! I am prepping my room for a new bed and I’m trying to organize it so there is a lot more room to work out and do my pilates, but I don’t know how that will work out…but Anthony and I received our teaser photos from our Engagement Session with Mathy Shoots People!! I will leave a pic here just to tease you all, but most of them are on my Instagram (@TaylorRae319) so be sure to stop by and take a look if you want!
With that said, in the last post I had a mentioned doing a post on a mini-haul since I was receiving an order this week! Well, my order has arrived and I’m going to show you all what I got from one of my favorite stores, YesStyle.Com…mini-haul1So for those who don’t know what YesStyle is; YesStyle.Com is an Asian Fashion store that also carries Asian beauty products, accessories, and lifestyle accessories as well. Anyways, I decided to go ahead and order a couple items that I felt were necessary and spoil myself a little…so, WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I ORDER!?mini-haul2Yes…I ordered short-sleeved shirts for fall. Please don’t judge me. Anyways the shirt on your left is the OrangeBear Eye-Print Dotted Top and I got it for $19.01. I personally love the artwork of the eyes and the polka dot pattern. It’s actually a bit thicker than I had initially thought, but it still requires me to wear an camisole underneath. The shirt to your right is the ZOO Short-Sleeve Diagonal-Hem T-Shirt which was $17.46. This shirt was a bit thick as well, but I love the color. It’s quite off the shoulder for me but I think it would look quite cute with my light blue polka-dot vest. I really am glad I got these honestly.

mini-haul3So, I guess I forgot to take pictures of the other face mask I received but the one pictured above is the Utena Puresa Facial Sheet Mask in Sakura Extract which I bought for $11.64 for a box of 5 masks. I have been wanting to try a Japanese face mask for a while since I’ve only used Korean masks, so hopefully this will give me a good impression, yeah? The packaging is cute though so I’ll give it that for now. The other mask pack I bought is the Tony Moly I’m Real Rice Mask Sheet which comes in a pack of 3 for $7.76. It says it’s for clear skin, which is something I desperately need since my skin has been ALL OVER THE PLACE lately. But, I’ve always loved Tony Moly products so I think I’m going to be happy with this purchase as well.

Well, that’s it for this mini-haul! I will be doing my first geeky post this week tomorrow or Thursday. I’m thinking about doing like a weekly diary about “The Legend of Korra” because that show stirs up so much feeling and emotion when I watch it…and quite frankly it got me started on shipping, OTPs, feels, and so on. So I feel it would be a good start, HA! Anyways, I ended up just pic stitching a few of our engagement photos together as a pic, so YOU GUYS GET MORE THAN ONE! YAAAAAAAY!!!15391_10153300146970145_852431280_nWe should be getting a bit more in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that post. Well, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!! Please keep those affected by the Navy Yard shooting in Washington DC in your thoughts and prayers! Always remember to Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With love,
Taylor Rae

SimplyMe: Wedding Stuff & Other Things…

wedding stuff

Hello To Everyone!
I am back finally!!! It has been so busy recently and I just came down with another ill day and oh my gosh I CAN’T WIN. But a lot of wedding stuff/planning has been underway and a lot of food, working out, and I am literally all over the place. But now that some of the important things are taken care of, I can really start to relax until the last week of September since we’ll be having our Engagement Cookout with family and wedding party members. But here is a little update on what’s been going on lately!!

wedding stuff1So, last Sunday my family, my best friend/Maid of Honor, and I went to Fairfax for the Washington Bridal Expo and I have forgotten how overwhelming these bridal conventions can be. There were so many different vendors and so many prizes to win. It was madness. Luckily my family and Ambrozine were so helpful!! We ate our weight in free food and cake and oh my gosh it was great in the meal aspect. I did find a few photographers and videographers that I really wanted to meet with and so on, but for the most part…it was just crazy and I will probably only go to one more and then be finished with them. But I am so glad I got to see my best friend and really go over possible plans, color combos, and so on!! She’s truly the best MoH ever!

wedding stuff2Monday, Anthony and I finally took our pre-wedding/engagement photos with the incredible duo photographers: Mathy Shoots People. The whole day was just geared towards prepping for our session. I had to get my hair curled by my hair stylist, had my mother do my makeup since I get shaky hands when it comes to eyeliner, and talk about ideas with Anthony. We did our photo shoot in Downtown Fredericksburg since it’s got antique shops galore and a river near by for great photos. We also took some shots in a freakin’ awesome vintage store called Horseshoes and Hand Grenades also located in Downtown Fredericksburg and they were so amazing to us! They closed the store a tad early so we could take our photos without any interruptions and distractions. They also had like super cute vintage clothes and it took everything in my power to not buy everything. But I do want to thank everyone who helped out!!! Thank you Matt and Kathy, H&HG, Jennifer Cheek (hair stylist), and my mother!! I can’t wait to show you all the photos!

wedding stuff3Last but not least, Thursday I went to my first Bridal Boutique!! Apparently, my mom had a friend who’s sister ran a local Bridal shop in Occoquan called Amy’s Bridal Boutique! So, my mom, brother, and I went up for the day and had some Salvadorian food before heading to our appointment. In case you don’t know what those things are in the picture, they are Fried Plantains (Plantanos) and Pupusas! I tried to limit what I was eating since I didn’t want to be bloated while trying on possible corseted dresses. Well, after lunch we headed over to the store and I fell in love with Amy and her mother! They were so lovely and personal…I felt so comfortable trying on dresses. After about 4 or 5 dresses, I felt so awkward because I had really loved them all. They all had something that I fell in love with, but not enough to buy on the spot. There was one dress though that when I initially saw, I thought it was definitely not the one and it was going to be laughable even. Let me just say that just because it looks a certain on the hanger, doesn’t mean it won’t look DROP DEAD GORGEOUS ON YOU. Well, I tried it on for hoots and giggles…and I fell in love immediately and I told my mom to FaceTime my dad to show him. We all felt it: THIS WAS MY WEDDING DRESS. So…I bought it. I would post a picture of the dress on here, but just in case Anthony decides to read this post…I’m just going to keep that a secret until our big day! Sorry!!! But a brief description: It reminds me of a shooting star. BAHAHAHA. I’m sorry again.

Well, that is pretty much all that has happened recently! Just an update on TheDCLadies.Com: My next post will be live on the 26th during TheDCLadies Wedding Week! So, I have a special idea planned for the occasion, but it will still pertain to college students so don’t worry! I am supposed to be receiving a lovely package of purchases within the next few days, so I may do a mini-haul this week or do a review on the recent Legend of Korra Book 2 episodes since I’ve been trying to add a geeky feature to the blog. Let me know which you would like best in the comment section!!!
Anyways, have a fantastic week everyone!! Please stay safe and if you could have Colorado Flood Victims in your thoughts and prayers, please do so! Remember to Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With love,
Taylor Rae

My Ultimate Wedding Workout & Diet

I’M FINALLY ON MY COMPUTER!
Hell hello everyone! Yes, I finally have had time where I wasn’t preoccupied with pre-wedding photos, bridal showcase, school, work, and everything in between. But after this post, I do have to workout and oh my gosh am I dreading it…BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE. And just in case you haven’t noticed, that is pretty much what today’s post is all about: My Ultimate Wedding Work & Diet!
1240562_10152162499224867_1776757694_nAlthough Anthony and I have yet to set a wedding date, I’ve been feeling this need to really get fit for our big day and it seemed smart to start now and loose the weight slowly and at a healthy pace. I also am in the process of putting myself on a healthier diet so that all my progress does not go to waste. In this post, I will be sharing my workout routine and ways that I am changing my diet to reflect a much more healthier one. So, let’s start:

blogilatesFor those who don’t know, I’ve had multiple back injuries including a cracked spine within the past year. So, I’ve found it difficult to find a workout regime that wasn’t too hard on my back. Luckily, I did my research and found that pilates would be the best since it’s more geared towards losing weight than yoga. After discovering that, now began the search for where and how to work out…because I hate gyms. Luckily, there’s YouTube and a special Youtuber, Cassey Ho of Blogilates. Right now, I’m currently using her Beginner’s 4-Week Calendar which you can get from her website, Blogilates.Com. Since starting the workout routine, my back has been in the best shape since what feels like forever. The pain is little to none and my legs are starting to appear slimmer. My abs are slowly starting to shape and my love handles are close to gone and this is just the second week so far.
One thing I would suggest with you all is starting off slow. My workouts started from 15 minutes and are now up to 45 minutes and a little more intense. Also, PUSH YOURSELF. I understand you may be ridiculously sore, but if you slack off one day…it could lead to two days or even to you slacking off the entire workout routine all together. So just keep at it and find your motivation. For me, my motivation is looking healthy for my wedding day so that when I get married, I can fully enjoy my marriage in a healthy body. I also suggest downloading the Blogilates app for all you iPhone users…just saying.

But here is a video from Blogilates to show you guys how fun her workouts are…

healthyIf you’re wondering what the text in the picture means…let me explain. 80% of losing weight is eating a healthy diet. So, if you’re working out and your diet consists of ramen…your wasting progress. However, I suggest slowly removing all the junk food from your diet. I can say that I tried removing it all in one day…and then the cravings hit and got worse and worse. So remove a couple things per week and don’t be afraid to treat yourself to like a chocolate bar if you fulfilled your week’s workout plan.
Also, try to choose healthier alternatives. For example: use coconut oil rather than olive oil or PAM, oatmeal instead of cereal, fruits instead of sweets, lettuce instead of bread for burgers and tacos, white meat rather than red meat. These little changes can have such a healthy and positive impact on your body. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and since the change in diet and workout, my hormones have become more balanced as well as my metabolism. So I’m not saying this out of the blue, it is definitely something that works from preventing diseases and cancer and so on. It has been proven and I say this as a way to wake up those who feel that antibiotics and drugs will help.

Well, I know it was rather short but I must assure you all a SimplyMe post will arrive with pictures from both the Bridal Showcase in Fairfax as well as behind the scenes of our Pre-Wedding photo shoot in Downtown Fredericksburg. We are super excited to share these experiences with you all!! So look forward to that next week. I also have my first bridal appointment at a family friend’s bridal boutique on Thursday so I may or not post about that, we shall see.
Anyways, I hope you all have an amazing weekend! Stay safe and take care everyone and as always: Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With love,
Taylor Rae