SimplyMe: My First D.C. Sakura Matsuri!

Hello guys!

Ahhhhh!!!! Why do I always take so long in between posts? (・д・`o) To be perfectly honest though, I have really found it hard to find any motivation. It’s not because of you guys though! You guys have been really awesome and patient. But there has been a lot of stuff happening at home and it’s hard to kind of hard to get myself back into the swing of things. (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧

ANYWAYS, I figured I’ll kind of share a fun day with you guys in an updated SimplyMe post.

Title Sakura Matsuri

So this past Saturday was Washington D.C.’s 56th Annual Sakura Matsuri Festival and my friend, Chami, invited me to go with her this year! I’ve been wanting to go for so long and I’ve been living in the area for like 9 years now? I was so excited and I definitely needed a pick-me-up after this past week. And holy goodness, we had a blast! Although…I’m 99% sure we have a slight fear of Metros now though…

Eating Sakura Matsuri

Before I start, we were well aware that we’d be stuffing our faces for most of the day so about 80% of the money we spent ended up going towards food and drinks. (Which is probably the best way to spend money in my opinion.) There were so many goodies to eat and snacks that we couldn’t get a full grasp of it all. But oh my gerd you guys, it was amazing. Here’s a little list of what I personally ate:

  • イチゴ持ち (Ichigo Mochi)
  • カレーライス (Curry Rice)
  • C. C. Lemon
  • ビーフおにぎり (Beef Onigiri)
  • 抹茶ボバティー (Bubble Green Tea)
  • たこ焼き (Tako Yaki)
  • Pocari Sweat
  • 抹茶チョコレート (Green Tea Chocolate)
  • Beard Papa’s シュークリーム (Cream Puff)

I think that about covers it…thinking back I feel like we ate more, but I could be wrong. But oh my gosh, it was so delicious. It was like being back in Japan for a quick moment; the takoyaki tasted so delicious and wasn’t overpowering with the fishy taste, the curry rice was better than anything I ever made, the onigiri was on point, and all of the green tea sweets just made my life. I’ve never felt so completed food wise. Take me back.

Doing Sakura Matsuri

You guys, when I saw the program for the matsuri, I DIDN’T EXPECT IT TO BE SO FREAKIN’ BIG. Oh my gosh. We did a lot of looking around; not really much shopping though we did manage to buy a few things. We found our way over to the NHK booth where you could take pictures with Domo and make a letter to yourself to put in a huge Domo time capsule. So we did…and then we were told that MOTHER FREAKIN’ SEBASTIAN MASUDA WAS IN TOWN AND MAKING AN APPEARANCE AT THE BOOTH.

For those of you who don’t know who Sebastian Masuda is; he has been Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s art director for one of her tours and a few of her music videos as well as the creator of the Kawaii Japanese brand, 6% DOKIDOKI. I’ve been a fan of his work (though you probably wouldn’t be able to tell…I can’t dress the way I want to due to work…) and when I was told we could meet him…I made it a mission to stay through the day.

AND I DID. I MET SEBASTIAN MASUDA. (But I was so nervous…all I could tell him was “Nice to meet you” and “Is it okay if we take a picture?”…) And a part of me was a little upset because I wished I had dressed up but I don’t have many of the clothes I had back in the day when I followed the Japanese fashion trend. Argh, ONE DAY WORLD, ONE DAY.

AHEM. Moving on.

We also got a chance to relax and watch a few performances on the Matsuri’s Jpop Stage including the incredibly talented and beautiful KuroPOP! They do a lot of dance covers and are currently on their SaKURO Tour! You all should go and check them out; they’re really funny and it was such a pleasure to meet them and now I’m regretting not asking for a picture. (I’m totally tempted to ask them for a Cyber Thunder Cider collab…OMG.)

Thank You Sakura Matsuri
Overall, we had such a great time and we are totally up for next year! If you went to D.C. Sakura Matsuri; let us know! Go ahead and comment down below with your thoughts and definitely let us know if you saw us. Next year I will be sure to take more pictures and maybe even vlog if I get really fancy with it. Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

The Foodie: Earl Grey & Orchestras at Tea Tyme

Hello Everyone!

This week I am back with a review for “The Foodie” section and I am super excited for this review! We are going to review another local Tea Room in the Downtown Fredericksburg area; “Tea Tyme & Whatnots”. (❛ัॢᵕ❛ั ॢ)✩*ೃ.⋆ So, without further ado, here is The Foodie: Earl Grey & Orchestras at Tea Tyme.

DISCLAIMER: I was not paid, asked, or offered any discount for this review. This review is based solely on my own experience as a customer and the meal was paid for entirely by my party. Thank you for your understanding. tea tyme title Honestly, something about Tea Rooms and Houses bring about a lovely feeling inside me. Seeing beautiful tea cups, incredibly cute miniature sized finger foods and desserts…it’s something I enjoy seeing. It is also something that makes me yearn to come back. Tea Tyme & Whatnots is located in Downtown Fredericksburg on Carolina Street in the middle of a building surrounded by another restaurant and a bridal store. Thankfully, they have a large sign out front to remind any passersby’s of their location. Tea Tyme Interior When walking into the restaurant, you are immediately greeted by a lovely pink color theme, many sparkly items and gorgeous tea cups surrounding you. Tables are decorated with lacey cloths with tiers of different sugars, salt and pepper shakers. Unfortunately, there is little room when the restaurant is full of customers. The tables are in close proximity to each other. There’s also the fact that the chairs sometimes don’t fit underneath the table.  It can force you to sit with your side towards the table much like I did during this visit. It’s a bit of an inconvenience, but the wonderful atmosphere kind of kept me from thinking too much about it. There was a large TV above the table we were sitting. On it was a DVD of some violinist and orchestra playing. I did enjoy the music and video, but I would have much rather there be no TV. Just classical or jazz music playing in the background, in my opinion, would be better as it adds to the ambiance of a tea room. Tea Tyme Food For this visit, Anthony ordered a BLT with a side of Potato Salad. I ordered the Victorian Afternoon Special with Cucumber Sandwiches on Wheat Bread, Chocolate Chip Scones, and Creme De La Earl Grey as my Tea choice! The Potato Salad came out first and Anthony and I were both fairly impressed…it didn’t taste funky or anything. It tasted like a potato salad should, however it didn’t set itself apart from others that I have had in the past. After the potato salad I received my pot of tea and it was splendid. I was incredibly happy with my choice of tea as it had a light vanilla taste while still maintaining that Earl Grey excellence. I added a bit of creamer to mine. It made the tea smoother to drink while leaving the taste mostly unaffected. Then came Anthony’s BLT which he found most adequate. The BLT included avocados which had shocked him a bit initially. He said the sandwich, as a whole was good, but all in all a little pricey. Finally, I was presented with my Victorian Afternoon Special. The plate design was rather adorable; cute miniature finger sandwich filled with refreshing cucumbers, dill sauce, heart-shaped scones, and a teeny tiny strawberry cupcake with an even tinier tea cake on top. Despite the presentation, I was sort of underwhelmed. You pay about $15 for this plate and tea, but it’s filled with rather small portions. In terms of taste, the cucumber sandwiches weren’t terrible. I felt the bread was a bit firm and tasted somewhat stale. The scones were delicious I just wish they had more of a variety. And the teeny tiny cupcake with the teeny tiny tea cake on top was good, but gone in a second. If I had to say anything, you’re mostly paying for the atmosphere if anything.

The service was okay, I suppose, it was rather slow. I guess we had arrived right after a large party had left. We noticed two of their servers were still cleaning up after them. During our meal the service was incredibly slow; we waited a while for my tea. It came after our food did and our wait for the check felt excruciatingly long. I had to go up and remind the servers that we were ready to pay and leave. The servers were very nice, but slow and inattentive service is, sometimes, frustrating to me. Overall, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Tea Tyme for their food. It’s overpriced and lacks anything special to make it feel like it is worth the price you’d be paying. However, if you were to go in for a pot of tea and scones with the intentions of relaxation to the elegant sound of classical music then this would be a quaint spot to do it. Tea Tyme Thanks If you would like to visit Tea Tyme & Whatnots, visit their webpage HERE for their menu, operating hours, and more.

Picture Source 1

I feel like I haven’t typed this much up in so long. I had to take a break just to rest my fingers! I hope you all enjoyed this post or found it helpful in some way, shape or form! As for my next post I am sincerely debating about whether to do a Sailor Moon collection post or a Sailor Moon Recently Purchased Items post…which would you prefer? Leave a comment down below on which you’d like to see! AND PSST! GUESS WHAT!?

WE REACHED 100 FOLLOWERS ON THE WEBSITE YOU GUYS! WE DID IT! ˚‧*♡ॢ˃̶̤̀◡˂̶̤́♡ॢ*‧˚

So, in celebration of this beautiful achievement, I will be hosting a giveaway in the near future! So be on the lookout~. As always, thank you guys so much for your amazing support and continue to spread the word of Simply Taylor Rae and the STRCrew! Have an awesome week/weekend and YOU KNOW THE DRILL:

REMEMBER: There’s always time for tea.

Thanks for Reading~!

2015 Fashion Inspiration

Long time, no see!

Oh my goodness it has been too freakin’ long. In case you haven’t been on any of the Simply Taylor Rae social media accounts…I’ve been experiencing a few health issues caused by an infection in my chest. I’m doing a lot better, but it’s been extremely difficult to get things done while feeling less than 100%.

BUT I’M BACK. ꉂ ೭(˵¯̴͒ꇴ¯̴͒˵)౨” With a picture heavy post.

fashion

Today’s post is a reflection of the direction my personal fashion is heading. (You see what I did there with that rhyming right!?) It’s mainly a mix of simplicity, vintage, and a bit of Mori and Dolly Kei! I’ve noticed that I’m either geared towards a simple and comfortable look…or a pattern-heavy mix of everything. There is no in-between.
(๑′°︿°๑)
Let’s just get straight to the pictures…

collage one

collage twocollage three

Picture Source:
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And there you have it ladies and gents!!! Who knows where my fashion sense is headed! Honestly, I think I’m just focused on having fun with it all. As should all of you, because what is the point of wearing anything if in it you’re not having any fun? I hope you all enjoyed this post! Have an awesome week and as always…

REMEMBER: You can be fashionable and geek out to Shoujo.

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

PS: We have a Sailor Moon post & a Foodie review coming up in the next week. Huehuehue.

The Foodie: What the Phô at Phô Tây Dô

Hello & What is Happening!?

Honestly, what better way is there to start off the new year than with a delicious post about food!? I believe it’s been a wee bit of a while since my last foodie review. Though, I promise today’s post is going to leave your mouth watering as I describe my experience visiting the Richmond located restaurant, Phô Tây Dô.

DISCLAIMER: I was not paid, asked, or offered any discount for this review. This review is based solely on my own experience and opinion as a first time customer and the meal was paid for entirely by my party. Thank you for understanding.

what the pho

Phô Tây Dô is a small restaurant located in the west end off of Rigsby Road in Richmond.  Kyler would not stop talking about Phô Tây Dô and how amazingly delicious it is~. So, during one of my most recent trips to Richmond, I decided that the entire STR Crew would go and try it out.  I was pleasantly surprised with my experience!

exterior interior

The exterior is that of a small ranch style house that you may pass by on the road if you did not known otherwise. They do have a private parking lot that is kind of small with only 6 or so spaces available. Although they do have a relatively large orange sign that lets you know you’re in the right place.

The interior appears larger than it looks on the outside with the help of some large mirrors. It has somewhat of a diner/ dive feel with the hand painted retro cutouts of people that double as clever advertisements. It posses a  super comfortable atmosphere. My only complaint would be the Christmas music instrumentals that sound like cheesy 8bit ringtones. It threw me off for just a second.

appetizers

For an appetizer, we ordered 2 egg rolls and 2 vegan friendly spring rolls. I’ve never been a big fan of egg rolls, so I didn’t try them personally, but Anthony said that they were quite good. I did eat a vegan spring roll and they were tasty and wonderfully light on the stomach! The somen noodles were refreshing and even better in the peanut dipping sauce!

the pho

Now we get to my favorite part; the phô! My brother and I both ordered the vegetarian phô  which was filled with tofu, vegan broth and rice noodles. They also included plenty of bean sprouts, basil leaves, sliced jalpeños and lime wedges. For my bowl, I added a squeeze of lime, plenty of bean sprouts, and hoisin sauce and after being mixed, it was heaven~. My heart was heavy with happiness during my meal. I will say this; I couldn’t really eat the tofu for weird reasons that had nothing to do with the restaurant. However, they did not go to waste because my brother was kind enough to finish for me. It was an incredibly delicious meal that was perfectly portioned so I didn’t feel the least bit sluggish after eating.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Phô Tây Dô! The waitress was wonderful, the food was fantastic, the prices were totally reasonable, and the atmosphere was quiet, small, and comfortable. I would highly recommend trying a bowl of their phô if you’re ever in the Richmond area. A word to the wise though: they only accept cash payments!

thanks 2

If you would like to visit Phô Tây Dô, visit their Yelp page HERE for their menu, operating hours, and more.

Honestly, after making this post over…I am craving phô again! AHHH. Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed today’s review and I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on Phô Tây Dô! To comment, just do so below and if you’d like to suggest topics for future posts, please click the “Contact” button above! Here’s to a wonderful week and you all know the deal…

REMEMBER: “If you believe you’re beautiful, you will be. I did.” – Tina Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

My Perfect NFL Game Day Outfit feat. Fanatics.Com

What is up my home skillets!?
It has been a ridiculously crazy week here with midterms and a research project due. I am pretty sure that after this week posting should be on a more regular schedule!
So for today’s post the sports apparel and merchandise website, Fanatics.Com, has challenged me to create my very own perfect NFL game day outfit and I gladly accepted!

challenge

The rules were simple: put together a stylish and personal outfit coordination that embodies me and my personality and base it around one of the jerseys from their website HERE.  I was also told to challenge my blogger friends so I am challenging Alex from Alex’s Beauty Corner, Stephanie from The Scrunchie and Raven from Blog of Ciaraa!

title nil

I included a couple pieces from Fanatics as well as two pieces from YesStyle! I will include specific links for each item so don’t worry about trying to find it!!!

nfl outfit

When Fanatics told me to choose a style that embodies me, whether it was on the field or in the comfort of my own home…best believe I chose the comfort of my own warm home. Anthony and I are the biggest home bodies on the face of the Earth. So, my style is something I would wear around the house whether we have company over or not.

For my jersey I chose the Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly Nike Womens Game Jersey in white. Why the Panthers? Well, I’m from South Carolina, so I am a personal Panthers fan! (We aren’t doing that fantastic this season, but my dad’s a Redskins fan. What can I say, ” like father like daughter.”) This jersey looks fitting but comfortable. Plus, I’m sure if I order a size up, it would be the perfect comfy, oversized fit that I prefer!
For pants, I would have gone with jeans had we been going out to a sports bar or an actual game, but since I prefer to stay at home…we are going with YesStyle’s Redopin Lace-trim Tiered Shorts in black. When I am home I tend to eat a wee bit more than if I were out, so jeans are a big no and elastic waist bands are a YES. Plus, this makes the outfit a tad bit more feminine and girly and less formal.
I don’t know about you all, but here in Virginia…it’s freezing already. Even inside a warm home, I can get pretty cold really easily. So if I’m wearing shorts I am definitely going to put on some fleece tights underneath them! The tights I chose were YesStyle’s 59 Seconds Brushed Fleece Lined Tights in black. If this is too warm just switch to regular thin tights and you should get the same effect.
Since we aren’t going out I think a pair of slippers would be more than appropriate for such an occasion. So why not show some Panther Pride with Fanatics’s Carolina Panthers Womens High End Open Knit Slipper in black. They look incredibly comfortable and incredibly warm which sounds so right to me.
And finally, I can guarantee that my hair will not be washed and covered in dry shampoo galore. Therefore, I may, more than likely, resort to throwing my hair up into a ponytail or bun. I would totally use Fanatics’ Carolina Panthers Pony Tail Holder Set and since they’re under $5, I wouldn’t be breaking the bank either.

Picture Sources:
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AND WITH THAT, my perfect NFL game day is complete and I LOVE IT. I hope today’s post inspires you all to create your own perfect game day outfit for any sports occasion. I am also happy to share that Fanatics has more than just NFL items so whatever sport and team you like, they have. I would highly suggest checking out their entire store for your favorite sports team! I also want to know what you all thought of today’s post! You are always welcome to leave a comment down below and if you’d like to suggest topics for future posts, please click the “Contact” button above and fill out the form!

To learn more about Fanatics please visit Fanatics.com & their NFL Jersey section HERE.

As always, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you all have a fantastic and safe week/weekend! My next post will be a SimplyMe update which will feature my very first 5K Zombie Run~! Please be on the look out for when it arrives! Thanks again to you the readers as well as Fanatics.Com and as always…

REMEMBER: “There she is.” – David Letterman on Hatsune Miku

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae