5 years of simply taylor rae

title

H O L Y CRAP GUYS.

5 MOTHER FREAKIN’ YEARS.

I CAN’T PROCESS THE EMOTIONS I AM FEELING WITH THIS.

Who honestly would’ve thought this would be happening?! This is just too much for me…and I have so much to say and hopefully I am able to convey my feelings properly through just a post. First off, here’s the top 5 accomplishments over the last 5 years!

accomplishments

There are days where I feel like in the last 5 years, I haven’t accomplished as much as maybe other bloggers or writers may have but looking back on it now…I feel as though I should be proud of even the little accomplishments.

ACCOMPLISHMENT #1: 32,000+ Total Views & 23,900+ Total Visitors

I remember at some point within my first 3 years of blogging, I was obsessed with views and subscribers to the point where I became frustrated and unmotivated to continue. I then made a decision to NEVER look at my view count and today, for the first time in what feels like years…I looked and I am so so thankful for each view and each visitor. I never would’ve imagined 32k views and 23.9k visitors. You guys are so amazing, each and every one of you.

ACCOMPLISHMENT #2: 175 Posts (not including this one…)

Today, I was looking through my first couples years of blogging and realizing how uninspired and generic a lot of my posts were. I had tried to fit into what maintain bloggers in the area did so I could get “famous” and popular. Needless to say, that’s changed over the last two years. I’ve found myself posting things that interest me or personal projects and it’s become easier to write.

ACCOMPLISHMENT #3: 123 Subscribers!!

To every single subscriber; thank you. Thank you for continuous support of Simply Taylor Rae whether you’ve been a subscriber for a few years or relatively recently…thank you so so much. You guys are honestly wonderful and there are no words to describe how I feel about your support over the years. Thank you.

ACCOMPLISHMENT #4: Sponsored 4 Times!

I admittedly began blogging for the fame and sponsorships, but I was quick to realize that expecting those things from the get-go was unrealistic and awful of me. This was supposed to be a place for me to share tips and personal things and just have fun. Needless to say, I have had a change in perspective since then…but to those who were kind enough to sponsor me; YesStyle, Fanatics, Kabbage, and Museum Hack, thank you for supporting me and my website. You guys are truly awesome.

ACCOMPLISHMENT #5: Five Years Later

Never in my life did I imagine blogging for five years. I have wanted to stop many times. I wanted to give up. But between my family, my fiancé, and my friends along with those who subscribed and visit…you guys kept me going. You’ve encouraged me to keep writing, keep taking pictures, start a YouTube channel, and keep progressing to bigger and better things through Simply Taylor Rae. Speaking of progressing to bigger things…

special announcement

SAY HELLO TO DJ TAYLOR RAE

That’s right!! I have been practicing to become a DJ and I am set to make my debut in 2018! If you have been following my social media accounts; you would probably have known this for about a week or two. I can’t wait to enter this exciting chapter of my life and while I’m no where near a pro yet, I hope one day to make it to the big leagues.

Here are some specific things to address with the DJ announcement;

  • No specific debut date in 2018 yet.
  • I plan on focusing more on Vocaloid EDM, however other genres are not completely out of the question.
  • There will be live streamed mix sets; those will be announced via social media.
  • Mix sets and mixtapes will more than likely be uploaded to SoundCloud and/or YouTube.
  • There will be a page dedicated to DJ Taylor Rae added to the website shortly.

I can’t wait to share my progress and experiences with you all.

future

To be quite honest…I am still unsure of what the future holds for myself as well as the longevity of Simply Taylor Rae. While I hope it can go on forever, I also want to be realistic. At this point, I can’t guarantee a post every week or even every two weeks at this point let alone videos…but I want to try and continue to provide quality content that both I and you, as readers enjoy. I want to try hard to be the very best blogger and DJ I can be as well as a person in general.

Needless to say, thank you guys. You’ve made this 5 year journey worth while. Here’s to another 5 and more. I love you all so much.

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

Advertisements

a day in maymont – italian & japanese gardens –

 

maymount title

Well long time, no see guys!

It’s been about a month and a half I would suppose…whoops. In all honesty, this past Summer seemed so non-stop! I had a class that required me to do 2-3 assignments pretty much every day and it took up a lot of my free time. BUT I’M BACK. With a super long post too, so ya’ll better enjoy it.

Anyways, this past weekend, a darling friend of mine named Tawny and I drove down to Richmond to visit the Maymont Estate specifically because we had read about their Japanese garden. WELP, we finally went down and did a collaborative photo shoot together and today I’m going to show you the pictures. TA-DA.

maymount p1

maymount p2

maymount p3

maymount p4

maymount p5

maymount p6

maymount p7

maymount p8

maymount p9

maymount p10

maymount p11

maymount p12

maymount p13

maymount p14

And I would call that a wrap! We had taken so many photos..almost 400 I believe and managed to get it down to 129 which was a miracle. Honestly though, these gardens were so gorgeous and there was beautiful weather…it was so perfect. Also a huge thank you to Tawny for being my partner in crime with this photo shoot and getting me out of my comfort zone.

Disclaimer; All photos were indeed taken by either me or Tawny with a Canon Rebel SL1 with the Standard Kit 18mm-50mm Lens (because I ain’t that fancy). Please do not re-use, re-post, or anything along those lines.  Thanks for your understanding.

I’m hoping the next post will be an anniversary geared post, but we shall see. 😉

Until next time guys!!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

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.

museum hack images 2

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.

Picture Source
1

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 

commission_9_gif_by_yui_22-daf1rkj

gif source: yui