hacking the national art gallery with museum hack

Howdy folks, how’s it going?

Welp, looks like I took forever to post again. It’s been kind of crazy here at home with my sister’s wedding and summer semester starting back up. But I got ya’ll for this week so there’s that.

museum hack title pic

So, a couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a wonderful NY based company called Museum Hack and they were kind enough to offer Anthony and I tickets to one of their Washington D.C. tours at the National Gallery of Art. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse and I am so happy I didn’t.

museum hack guide

For our tour, we had the lovely Molly as our guide. She was so friendly and knowledgable with every piece she’d selected for our tour and anything else we inquired about. Not to mention the secret stash of “art appreciation” (a.k.a. chocolate) she had to keep us going during our two hour tour.

museum hack images

Our trip began with the Portrait of Ginevra de’Benci in which we were told of her many admirers and the secrets that lie in the back of the painting. It was then I realized that this tour wasn’t going to be your standard tour…Molly immediately proposed a two hour length game where we have to find a new lover for Ginevra using any painting or statue within the gallery. We then proceeded to the selection of beautiful Raphael paintings including the highlighted work, The Alba Madonna.

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Throughout our tour, we learned about scandalous behavior, Napolean’s…little Napolean, ugly children, and even played a good ol’ game of Burn, Buy, Steal. So needless to say, when it came to the end of our tour I was a little sad. Molly asked one final request of us and that was to pose with a statue for a souvenir polaroid to take home. It was sad parting from the tour group and even Anthony, who was at one point skeptical, found himself having such a good time that it didn’t even feel like two hours. I hope at some point, we will have the chance to do this again…and again…and again.

To sum it up; Anthony and I really enjoyed ourselves. We learned so much and had a great time doing so. If you are in the DMV, or even in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, a few other locations, I would highly recommend checking Museum Hack out. They do group tours, bachelorette parties, engagements, and more. If you’re interested in a tour, please check out Museum Hack’s website HERE.  If you are interested in attending the National Gallery of Art, please click HERE for operating hours and more.

museum hack thank you

Thank you all so much for reading and a H U G E thank you to Museum Hack for the incredible opportunity. I absolutely adored my time and will be recommending to all my friends, strangers who aren’t rude to me, and family members I am still in contact with. You have a wonderful group of folks working for you and I just can’t stop gushing about it.

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Anyways, that’s it for today’s post. I hope you all enjoyed and I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you. Also, my prayers and condolences to the friends and family affected by the tragedy in Manchester last night. My heart goes out to you all.

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae 

infinity mirrors: yayoi kusama exhibition

Holy crap, two posts in one week?

APOCOLYPSE!

Just kidding, but like I said in the previous post, I am starting to find my groove as the amount of things happening this month is slowly coming to an end. But I really wanted to share my thoughts on something a friend and I had the pleasure of seeing when I came back from Charleston!

infinity mirrors

Can you tell I have a new favorite font? Pfffft. Anyways, my wonderful friend Mariko invited me to the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum up in D.C. and I was ecstatic. I have seen pictures (including Jenny’s which you can see here) and it looked so interesting and my type of exhibit with all the polka dots and what not. So we found ourselves getting off the metro and waiting in line for about 2 hours to get time passes which was cold, wet, and yet successful! After we had a quick lunch at Starbucks, we were finally able to make our way into the exhibition and OH MY GAWD.

flowers - overcoat

(“Flowers – Overcoat” (1964) & “Love Forever” (1966))

Just to be clear; this is not a review. This was a wonderful exhibition that I just wanted to share the memories of with you all!

Needless to say, I was never really familiar with Yayoi Kusama or her work prior to this day. I was surprised to read and see how her work related to her fear of sex and the male anatomy as well as her mental state throughout the years. There were pieces that I felt I could relate to on a personal level, but also pieces that left me in a state of shock or confusion.

dots obsession

(“Dots Obsession – Love Transformed into Dots” (2007))

When you step into the exhibition, you are greeted with a video of Kusama herself, talking about the exhibition and her view on humanity and the world and how she wishes her works to be perceived. She seemed very child like (not in a bad way…) but also very sincere. There is also a video when you are waiting in line for the “Dots Obsession” room where she is singing and motioning with her arms; although Mariko and I were unable to hear what she was saying, but it really emphasized the child-like quality in her and within the meaning of the “Dots Obsession” exhibit.

infinity mirrors comp

(“All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” (2016), “Phalli’s Field” (1965), & “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” (2009))

The popular exhibits were of course, the infinity mirrors, all with an incredible wait time but worth it. We discovered a part of us that had a love for pumpkins as well as experiencing the awkwardness that is explaining what “phallus” means. It is incredible though to feel the emptiness of what Kusama presumes is infinity even while surrounded by objects on the ground. However, the most uplifting and beautiful exhibit in my honest opinion…was the “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity.” You stand in a dark room surrounded by tiny lights and lanterns, reminiscent of the lantern festivals in Japan. It’s calming (until the lights suddenly shut off for a brief moment in their cycle) and gives you perspective. Is the end of eternity really that beautiful or still?

obliteration room

(“Obliteration Room” (2017?))

The finale of the exhibition (also known as the “point of no return” by Hirshhorn staff) is the “Obliteration Room.” They provide you a sticker sheet and you are able to place polka dots wherever you’d like and let me just say – people do not disappoint. The entire room was covered and my heart felt cluttered but happy at the same time. We took so many pictures in this exhibit and I want to go back for round two.

Honestly, this exhibition was wonderful and worth the two hour wait. If you are able to go, you may as well make it a day trip as the time to see every exhibit with wait times and such is probably around 3+ hours. If you’re in the DMV area and would like to learn more about the exhibition and how to get tickets, click here!

Anyways, that is it for today’s post! I hope you all enjoyed and I shall see you next…but a little throwback before you leave…

“Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos.” – Yayoi Kusama, 1868

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Eck

anxiety & depression

How’s it going guys?

It’s been a really weird couple weeks with me and as promised on my Instagram account; I’m going to explain and give you guys a little heart to heart about how I am dealing with said weeks.

anxiety

Before I begin; let’s just put a wee little disclaimer that my views and thoughts on counseling and anti-depressants are that of my own. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and those expressed are mine. I appreciate your understanding.

First off; yes. I have anxiety and depression. I have known of it’s existence in my life for the last 8 years and it has taken me through some really crazy rides mentally and physically. As to what significant event caused my anxiety and/or depression…I’m unsure. Between family issues, sexual assaults, living with PCOS, and a prior lack of self confidence and worth; it’s hard to really pinpoint what triggered it into existence. I just remember feeling a sense of relief when my doctor confirmed that it was a mental illness.

attacks

When I was first diagnosed, my anxiety attacks were at an all time high. I remember coming home crying because I despised the way I looked or I was getting so easily overwhelmed by family issues or my grades at school would drop to a B. I would cry so hard that I would hyperventilate and there were days where I would bang my head against a wall for hours hoping to knock myself unconscious or do enough damage to remove myself from the situation. The worst part is that I never documented how or what triggered these attacks…so it took me years to really track down what causes me to flip that switch from ok/happy to down/depressed/severely upset.

Recently, I have been paying a bit more attention to what triggers me. Implied or visual rape scenes in movies throw me into hyperventilation, large crowds make me nauseous or very clingy to the person I’m with, trying on clothes is a horrifying experience that causes me to cry 90% of the time, and so on.

With my depression…there really isn’t a trigger for it. Lately, I have been experiencing some really awesome highs and excitement with getting into a university, the YouTube channel, and singing on the side. But then I’ll be in my car or I’ll be laying in bed and I suddenly feel like I’m worthless or I am doing everything wrong. I start to get really emotional and this heavy weight enters my chest and I’ll end up crying for 2 hours or until I fall asleep.

In the last two weeks, I have experienced this sort of depression a total of 7 times.

treatment

Normally when you get diagnosed for anxiety and depression, your doctor suggests a few things to help maintain or “treat” your symptoms. My doctor had given me three suggestions; antidepressants, counseling/therapy, or self-care.

When it came to antidepressants; I was very stern about not touching them. At first, my fear was becoming addicted and not being able to function without their help. I also at some point had this negative stigma towards antidepressants because of how they were portrayed to zombify you and were farmed out to everyone. Keep in mind, my views today are much different. I’ve seen antidepressants work wonders for many folks and not so great for others; I’m really using this as a last resort if I don’t see any progress with my depression and frequency of anxiety attacks.

With counseling and therapy…my biggest fear is talking about what makes me anxious or sad with someone who I’m unfamiliar with. I’ve heard people say that talking to an unbiased and neutral person helps because they’re more honest with you and will give you better results as to finding out your triggers and where your frustration stems from. This still scares me having to recollect everything that has happened but thinking about it more and more, this is probably my next step.

And finally…my adventures with self-care. This is where I am experienced; your girl has tried 101 different ways to keep herself sane and let me tell you what. I have a pretty good system going on. When I first delved into self-care, I fell heavily into relying on distractions. I would play video games until wee hours of the morning or sleep all day. Let me just say that it was not the healthiest way to live life but it worked at that time. Nowadays, I have found myself writing down what I’m feeling or being more vocal to my family or Anthony about what is going through my head. I still play video games to distract myself though not as much, but I also read or take some time to myself at a local cafe and work on things that make me like myself more like the website or the YouTube channel.

handling

To be honest…I’m not too sure if I am handling it in a healthy manner or not. There are days where I feel like I am doing the best I can and I keep it moving and provide myself care as needed, but there are days where I let it all come crashing down and I cry because I’m depressed and I cry because I feel like a failure because I’m depressed. It’s the epitome of an emotional roller coaster and I’m not too sure if I’m providing the best advice on how to handle it all.

At the end of the day; everyone handles themselves differently and every single person who has anxiety and/or depression and unique triggers. You may have a positive experience with anti-depressants or you feel comfortable talking to a counselor. The best advice I can give is to really evaluate what causes you to breakdown – what occurred immediately before your anxiety attack – and so on. Once you are able to do that, find an outlet. Write down anything and everything, talk to someone, something to give you some sort of release. I can’t guarantee that everything will be solved or you’ll be magically healed…but I hope it provides you some sort of relief.

I know this was a rather long post, but I felt it SO MUCH in my heart and I hope it helps you or someone you know. In terms of care, medication and so on; if you have any suggestions and recommendations, please leave a comment down below! Also, if there is any discussion, please understand that I want this to be a safe place. All comments have to be approved by me, so I hope you all will be kind and courteous to one another! Thank you all so much for reading this and I hope you have an amazing week ahead of you.

Thanks for reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae 

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gif source: yui

Current Favorites + December 2016 +

Hello Everyone & Happy 2017!

I’m sorry I didn’t do the “annual” new years post this year…I had sincerely thought about it but I just couldn’t get into the spirit of it. 2016 was a difficult year for me and although I tried not to let it get in the way of me blogging and filming, it did decrease my motivation substantially for a good portion of the year. But I feel that this year I will try to take better care of myself in terms of physical and mental health. But I do want to say; thank you guys so so much for spending 2016 with Simply Taylor Rae. 2017 marks my 5th year of blogging and I’m not too sure whether to celebrate or just spend the year finding my “identity” and keeping it calm. Either way; you guys ultimately kept me going and I appreciate everything you do. Thank you.

Anyways, here’s to the first post of 2017 and the many more that will follow!

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December was a really weird month for favorites; I kind of started changing my thinking and taste in many things but I still hope you all enjoy the post. By the way, please enjoy looking at my incredibly nosy doge who likes to bust in when I take pictures.

+ POKEMON SUN & MOON +
pokemon

Ya’ll know I was excited for this release and it was worth the wait entirely. Pokemon Sun and Moon have really brought about a well needed change to the franchise; instead of gyms, there are trials where you get Z-crystals rather badges. Many cute Pokemon have been introduced as well…but shiny hunting has become a pain in my butt I tell you what. Overall though, I really really loved this game and although it took me a wee bit to finish it; so so worth.

+ADIDAS SHOES+
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During our trip to California, Anthony bought me a pair of new Adidas shoes for our anniversary and I love them. They are quite comfortable to walk in and are cute for many occasions including Disney Land. We got these for a pretty good price I believe and I’d definitely suggest them. They’re quite aesthetic in my honest opinion.

+DISNEY JIM SHORE FIGURINES+
disney

This is kind of what began my taste change…I had originally received the Minnie figurine from a very kind coworker and I adored it. So much to the point where I bought the Marie one because I just felt the need to buy another one. They are so cute and the small ones aren’t too expensive from the Hallmark store. I’m hoping once I get another shelf from IKEA, I can go and get a bigger figurine or two.

+MY BED+
bed

And finally, we come to the staple of my favorites. My bed. This seems so freakin’ depressing but I have literally felt a need to stay in bed a lot more lately. I know it’s probably part of my anxiety turning into a mild depression, but it has become kind of like a safe zone for me. I want to edit in my bed, I want to watch movies…IN MY BED. I want to play my video games from the comfort of my warm bed. And my dog only wants to love me and stay for cuddles on my bed. But yes…it’s sad, but my bed is possibly the number one thing on this list. *le sigh*

And that is it for today’s post! If you have anything you’ve enjoyed during December or have any suggestions on how to celebrate 5 years with Simply Taylor Rae; please let me know in the comments down below. I hope you guys had a wonderful and safe new years and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. ❤

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

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gif source: yui

 

Pretty Guardians – Sailor Moon Fan Club – Make Up Lip Gloss Unboxing + Video

Hello my Lovely Pretty Guardians!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas yesterday! Mine was quite lovely and relaxing, thank goodness. Did you spend time with family or get some really great gifts or have any stories? I’d love to hear from you all in the comments down below! ₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡

Anyways, the day after coming home from California, I went to pick up a package and was happy to see it was from Tokyo Otaku Mode which meant my Sailor Moon Fan Club package arrived!! So I did an unboxing photo shoot and video for you all. I hope you enjoy!

sailor-moon-title

The package came with a certificate featuring the official fan club card along with a member exclusive lip gloss brooch based off the original manga and Sailor Moon Crystal brooch. Needless to say; I felt even more like a Moon Princess when I opened up the package. (⺣◡⺣)♡*

WATCH THE VIDEO


sailor-moon-box

The box is incredibly gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing. It’s rather small and deceiving in terms of weight; it’s heavier than it appears which isn’t bad at all. The back has detailed information regarding the lip gloss. I’m very pleased with the packaging and have it displayed with the certificate.

sailor-moon-brooch

Let me tell you; I didn’t have high expectations when it came to this lip gloss. It’s not because I lack faith in the company…but rather I’ve rarely purchased make up over the internet. So when I opened the box and held the brooch, I was happily surprised at the quality. It’s quite heavy in your hands and the “jewels” look very sturdy and won’t fall out any time soon. The back is nice and clean with a tiny sticker displaying minimal information. It brings back a lot of nostalgia and happiness from my childhood of reading the manga and watching the anime.

sailor-moon-test

When opening up the brooch, you’re greeted with a lovely pastel pink colored gloss and a tiny mirror that I’d probably get little to no use out of. The lip gloss doesn’t have much a scent to it which is perfectly okay for me as I tend to have super sensitive skin. There isn’t really any tint to it also which is also fine with me. It does appear to give a very moisturized cover, so this may be appealing to those who prefer a shinier lip cover rather than matte.

Overall, I’m in love with this item. As a long time Sailor Moon fan, being a part of the Fan Club brings me so much joy and to have a chance to own items such as this is incredible and nostalgic to me. I’m thankful for the opportunity TOM brought to overseas fans to be a part of such a wonderful club. ٩(๑∂▿∂๑)۶♡

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I hope you all enjoyed today’s post! I’m hoping to have either a new year’s post or a December favorites post by next week, so please be on the look out for that on the blog. I’m also hoping to have a Christmas Haul unboxing video on the YouTube channel by tomorrow! Have a wonderful last week of 2016 and I will see you next time!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

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gif source: yui