a quick trip to charleston

Why hello!

I guess I am back from an unscheduled hiatus. It’s been frustrating trying to get back into the swing of things and keep myself from getting overwhelmed from everything going on within the last month. But it is starting to slow down and I’m getting over this writer’s block and what not.

Anyways, last month I celebrated my 24th birthday and it was so friggin’ relaxing! A huge thank you to my parents, Anthony, and my friends for all of the birthday wishes. I stuffed myself silly with cake and food. And literally the weekend after, Anthony and I went down to Charleston for a couple days as I had my cousin’s bridal shower to attend.

charleston

To be honest; this trip wasn’t as relaxing as I hoped it would be. It felt like there was always something we had to do, but there was a day or two where Anthony and I were able to go out and shop a bit and grab a delicious bite to eat. And on top of that, my camera won’t recognize my computer when I plug in the USB so there’s an entire day’s worth of photos that I can’t upload. Ughhhh. BUT I WILL TRY.

bridal shower

So, the day after arriving was my cousin’s bridal shower and it was so lovely. She had such pretty decorations and the party favors were champagne flutes with our names on them. For a gift I got her a cute towel that says “Mrs” on it along with a knife she had asked for in her registry. I enjoyed seeing her again after what has felt like years and so happy she’s finally getting married to such a kind fellow.

myrtle beach

The next day (also the day my current camera is holding hostage), we went to Myrtle Beach as a day trip so that we could go and see the Hollywood Wax Museum. The museum was okay, definitely not what I expected in terms of realness to the celebrities portrayed but still fun. The museum also has two extra interactive rooms; a Zombie room that I ended up having a huge anxiety and panic attack during and a Mirror room that…was designed for kids. After the museum, we went out for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe which was mine and Anthony’s first time. It wasn’t like how I initially imagined, but the food was decent so there’s that. Afterwards, we all took a stroll along the boardwalk where we found some really cool stores but my main concern was filling my dairy-allergic belly with ice cream because #aesthetic.

shopping

Our last two days in town, we went out shopping at the outlet stores. I ended up finding two dresses for under $50, accessories, and goodies for mad cheap! My shopping addicted little heart couldn’t process it. We were also on the hunt for South Carolina mugs at Starbucks, but alas…they do not have any. How upsetting. But still, we found so many great deals and even had a magnificent lunch at a new Japanese restaurant that was surprisingly authentic and not that expensive.

Overall, our trip was fairly busy and I didn’t really get to do all of the things I wanted…but it was still so wonderful to see my family and spend time with Anthony in my hometown. Hopefully next time we go down, we can go to the beach and visit downtown. But that is it for today’s post! I hope you guys enjoyed and like I said, I am so sorry for the lack of pictures…I am trying to troubleshoot the issue, but nothing is working unless I get an SD card reader. (le sigh) Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead of you and I shall see you next time! ❤

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

 

SimplyMe: back home in California

Hey everyone!

Oh wow; it’s December already. WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO!?

california-title

So yes, your girl traveled back to California for a week-long vacation and boy was it packed with loads of fun. It was weird being back after 9 years…even though it wasn’t the area I lived in. Honestly, I’ve never been to Los Angeles…or anywhere near it. It was honestly a culture shock much like New York was. But it was honestly so wonderful meeting Anthony’s family and reuniting with my cousin after so long. ♥(ˆ⌣ˆԅ)

california-arrival

The day we left; we woke up at 3:30am…such an awful and horrible idea but we had to get ready so we could leave for the airport. We got through check-in and security rather quickly, much to my surprise so I felt the need to awaken myself with a Starbucks drink. Let me tell you; the line for Starbucks was 15 minutes longer than actually arriving and checking in and passing through security combined. But ya girl made it and got her green tea latte with Anthony claiming I experienced “First World Problems” and “Basic White Girl Syndrome.” Our flight arrived and hour and a half later and it was packed. 6 hours of awfully cramped aisles on a tiny plane, but we made it through. (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧ We arrived in LAX and were picked up by Anthony’s aunt and uncle and they immediately took us to the motherland…In-N-Out Burger. The Lord has never been so good until I tasted a Double Double for the first time since I left.

california-aquarium

We spent our first day saying hi to Anthony’s family and grabbing food like authentic Mexican tamales and within the first 12 hours of arriving I managed to gain 10lbs. #WORTH Our 2nd day was his aunt’s birthday so we took her out and celebrated with her and did a little shopping. The 3rd day we decided to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Now, let me just say…after having gone to the Monterey Bay Aquarium…this aquarium is fairly small but it was quite cute. I absolutely adored the Jellyfish exhibits and petting Stingrays. Across the street from the Aquarium was a Bubba Gump restaurant which we ate at and it was quite delicious and I got to share my love of knowing useless trivia which included “Forrest Gump.” We then went a did a little more shopping and made our way back home. ƪ(΄◞ิ۝◟ิ‵)ʃ

california-alley

The 4th day was probably the most culturally shocking and anxiety driven day for me…we visited Santee Alley. I understand that most people probably wouldn’t be too worried about this and are considering me childish for being afraid…but when that tiny alley gets packed with people you don’t know and you’re not familiar with the area. BOY OH BOY. The anxiety goes up high. I was grabbing on to Anthony every chance I got and breathing was rather difficult. Thankfully, near the end of our experience, we stopped for a breather and grabbed some food; bacon wrapped hot dogs with pico de gallo on top and a side of chili mangoes. I don’t know how we made it out or how we got back home, but we did. With little time to rest…because Anthony’s family threw a get together since he was back in town. It was a great time with great food, but I had severe anxiety from the day and the best feeling was just sitting down and petting the family dog, Rocky.

california-tokyo

On the 5th day of Christma- I mean California; Anthony’s cousin took us to Little Tokyo to meet up with my cousin and her fiancé. There was anime goods galore, delicious food everywhere you turned, and just so much to take in. I couldn’t contain myself. I stopped by a cute café called HoneyMee and grabbed a green tea to warm up. My cousin’s fiancé got us 銅鑼焼き (dorayaki) and we did some shopping. And by some..I mean A LOT. For lunch, we drove to the Grand Market where there are so many different food vendors and little restaurants and it was everything dreams were made of. Since I was craving ramen, I went and ordered from Ramenhood which was all vegan if I remember correctly. It was incredible and the noodles were the perfect consistency. Sooo good. ( ᵕ̤ ‧̫̮ ᵕ̤ ) Finally, we made our way to The Last Bookstore which was so enchanting and full of wonder. If you enjoy bookstores and just sitting in the silence and reading a good book or three; this is the perfect place. We spent a lot of time here just exploring the labyrinth and art gallery. It was the end to a perfect day and I am so happy to have spent it with my cousin.

california-disney-p1

FINALLY. Ya girl went to Disneyland and loved it. Let me explain though; I will never understand why people take their kids out of school to go to an amusement park on a Monday when we all know full and well that school is not out for Winter vacation yet. Needless to say; lines were long for just about anything. We did manage to ride on It’s A Small World and one rollercoaster…for children. But we walked around and took in the beautiful view of Disneyland during the Christmas time.

california-disney-p2

We were able to get pictures with one character though and I am upset that I forgot to include the picture of us but it’s on social media regardless; Darth Vader. It was a short wait and so worth me embarrassing myself by asking for a selfie. After walking around Tomorrowland, we made our way to Main Street for the Christmas Parade and it was incredible and full of “AWWWWWWWWWWW.” Mickey and Minnie hit me right in the feels and the Disney Princesses…were lacking Moana, Mulan, Pocahontas, and what not which was a tad upsetting. But they did have Tiana which was lovely. When the parade was over, we went through all of the shops and bought a few souvenirs which was incredibly difficult because Disneyland is expensive and suitcase space was running out. We then left the Happiest Place on Earth and made our way to an Italian Restaurant for Pizza and Salad, then home to rest.

Our last day was just dedicated to resting and relaxing. We did go to a local mall and had an amazing dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, but it wasn’t as rushed or busy. We just wanted to gather ourselves and prep for the day of traveling to come.

All in all; our trip was amazing and full of fun and I am so thankful to Anthony’s family for inviting us and taking us in for the week. They were so incredible with their hospitality and took wonderful care of us. I am also thankful to my cousin and her fiancé for taking us around LA to the good spots and finding time in their schedule to meet up. ໒( •́ ∧ •̀ )७ I wish we didn’t have to leave so soon, but I know we’ll be back.

Anyways, that’s it for today’s post guys! I hope you all enjoyed this post and I promise, I got some more to come this month!!! IT’S FREAKIN’ CHRISTMAS AHHHHHHHH. I hope you all enjoy the week ahead and I will see you next time.

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae 

commission_9_gif_by_yui_22-daf1rkj

gif source: yui

SimplyMe: Changes, Parties, and Updates

Wow, I thought I posted more in September but I suppose I did not? My bad, guys!!

So, needless to say, this last month has been a bit more hectic than usual hence the lack of posts. I guess I let myself get a bit overwhelmed before getting everything taken care of? I’m not too sure, but a huge thing I was really focused on was getting everything ready to go back to school. After a year hiatus, I felt that I needed to get my butt back in gear and go back to receive my bachelor’s degree which is fine but reapplying for college is very stressful for me. Thankfully, everything worked out and I’m hoping to hear within the next month whether I’ll be accepted into the college or not, but I’m so nervous. ╰[ ⁰﹏⁰ ]╯

There’s also a huge part of me that was struggling with anxiety over everything happening at work, college, and home that I felt so rushed for no reason and just wanted to sleep or relax rather than worrying about the website or the YouTube channel.

changes

However, today I was able to get a lot of things done I think! I made a lot of updates and changes to Simply Taylor Rae! If you notice, the header image has changed and I absolutely adore it. I wanted to leave it simple (obviously) and make it universal to changes on the site. I also made changes to categories; the categories are back up at the top menu to make searching for posts easier, however older posts have been categorized as “older posts” which you can find at the bottom. There are still more aesthetic changes to come but in terms for formatting and such, that’s finally complete. ⁽(◍˃̵͈̑ᴗ˂̵͈̑)⁽

Anyways, let’s move on to updates!

If you were on Twitter or Facebook, I had announced that Anthony and I were planning on attending Nekocon in November to cover the VOCAMERICA concert. Although I would really like to go, that is no longer set in stone due to financial priorities. If we decide that we have the finances to go then there’s a possibility we will be there, however it’s kind of a bad time for us as we have a trip to California coming up along with Christmas so it’s kind of a long shot.

BUT SPEAKING OF CALIFORNIA…yeah that’s a thing we’re doing. I am hoping to vlog as much of the trip as possible, but no guarantees if we can’t find the vlogging camera. However, I will definitely be taking plenty of pics for the site so no worries there.

And finally, let’s talk about this past weekend!

party

This weekend began a bit stressful; we had a 50th birthday party to attend but I also needed to make cupcakes for and although normally that doesn’t sound too hard…it’s difficult when you work full-time and still need to buy supplies and things just were not working the way you’d thought. Thankfully, the cupcakes came out super clean and classy and we did have fun at the party!

Aaaaand, I think this is where I’m going to wrap today’s post! I hope you guys enjoyed this post though I know it was a bit more informative rather than fun, but I really do appreciate you all being incredibly patient and supportive through this process!! (ෆˊ͈ ु꒳ ूˋ͈ෆ) If you have any suggestions for the site and constructive criticism, please let me know! You can leave a comment down below or click the contact button at the top of the page.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I shall see you next time!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

commission_9_gif_by_yui_22-daf1rkj

gif source: yui

4 Years of Simply Being Me

simply being me

Hey everyone!

So, 4 days ago marked Simply Taylor Rae’s 4 year anniversary. I wasn’t sure what to write or say…it’s been a very crazy month for me and to be honest; I’ve worn myself out in a lot of ways and I’ve had so much going on through my mind about my future and the future of Simply Taylor Rae.

Don’t worry; I’m not going to shut down the website. (ノ´ロ`)ノ

But I do want to make it so that I don’t have to cover as many topics and such.

If you haven’t been on any of my social media within the last two months, I announced that when I finally re-vamp the site this year I would be removing Beauty and Food from the line up. Although I still love talking about beauty and health products and food…I haven’t touched on the topics here on the website for maybe a year and/or more. I also see Simply Taylor Rae going into a more focused direction; a geeky lifestyle blog. I’m not too sure what other changes will be made but I promise to keep you in the loop as I make decisions.

I’ve also have been working on the YouTube Channel WHICH has 3 more videos you all should certainly check out! And if you have topics for future videos; PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know in the comments down below! I want the channel to be something you enjoy, so you gotta let me know what you enjoy…as long as it’s family friendly. _φ(°-°=)

THANK YOU

You know…when I first started blogging, I wasn’t sure what to do or say. Heck I didn’t think anyone would read it. It was something to keep me busy while I had close to a 5 hour break in between college classes. I didn’t think I’d spend 4 years trying to perfect my writing or come up with niche. I just wanted to do something productive and fun and now it’s become such a huge part of me. I love it. I love the awesome feeling of pushing that freakin’ publish button. I love editing pictures and collages for each post. I absolutely adore being a writer, blogger, author…I don’t even know what to call myself still.

Anyways, I want to thank you all for everything. You’ve read about my life these past 4 years and watched me grow…and I’m honestly really emotional about it. I hope I’ve matured and I hope I haven’t disappointed you at any point in time. I want to continue to grow and share my life with you guys and I hope you have the same feelings. (๑•́‧̫•̀๑)

Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your comments. Thank you.

The next year will be one of change. And I think it’ll be for the better.

With all of that said; if you have any suggestions for the future please leave a comment down below!

Thank you all again and again.

Picture Source:
1

Thanks For Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae ( ˊᵕˋ )♡.°⑅

Travel Diaries: Miku Expo & NYC

I’m back from New York and oh boy, do I have a lot to tell you guys!

For those who didn’t know; I traveled 4 hours up the road to New York for Miku Expo and it was an amazing trip. I originally planned to vlog it but unfortunately, Anthony couldn’t find his camera and I didn’t want to carry my big camera all around the city, so I just decided blogging it would be best. SO TA-DA.

miku expo title

This was definitely a more prepared trip than when we attended back in 2014. We secured our train tickets a bit closer to home rather than from D.C. and we also booked a hotel room right beside the concert venue since I would be walking back to the hotel by myself. I also anticipated spending a lot of money on merchandise and goods, so I prepped that as well. I’ll start this blog from the beginning of Saturday morning…⁽(◍˃̵͈̑ᴗ˂̵͈̑)⁽

miku expo train

Saturday morning; Anthony and I were awake by 5:30 to get showered and dressed as well as to finish packing for the overnight stay. It was definitely an off morning for me; I forgot a lot of Miku Gear I wanted to wear and I almost left behind my phone charger which was crucial. But I managed to bring everything necessary for the trip and we made it to the train station a bit ahead of time.

Honestly, the train ride wasn’t as bad as the last time. We arrived only 15 minutes late because of engine problems during the switch from diesel fuel to electric, so I had plenty of time to explore NYC with a friend.

miku expo minny

And of course that friend just so happened to be Minuettee from Twitch! We’ve been friends since around the time after I started streaming and I absolutely adore this cutie-patootie. She showed me around NYC and took me to Starbucks (of course, because we are so freakin’ classy omg), Skylight Diner, Macaron Cafe, and Midtown Comics! We also chatted on Skype with our friends and I was so excited to finally be with Minny~! ꒰♡ˊ͈ ु꒳ ूˋ͈꒱.⑅*♡ She also took me on my first NYC cab ride…it was so interesting but I felt like I lived such a sheltered life; everything seemed so new and it was like more culture shock. (∗॔꒪⺫ॢ꒪)

miku expo concert 1

miku expo concert 2

After taking me on my first cab ride, Minny and I sat in the VIP line for about 2 hours or so where we chatted with other fans including a couple employees from Good Smile Company in Japan. To be honest; Miku fans are some of the nicest fans I’ve ever met. It’s an incredible sight to see so many people from different backgrounds coming together for one concert.

Anyways, around 6:30 we were able to go into the venue where we received our VIP bags and got early access to the merch table. Speaking of which; Minny and I had a plan. Minny would go secure a location as close to the front as possible and I would go purchase the merchandise. The plan was successful and we actually had a good spot; but we are so freakin’ short and the people in front of us just so happened to be really tall but they were nice enough to move around so we could see.

So the concert started with the opening band, Anamanaguchi, and they did a phenomenal job getting the crowd pumped and ready to go. I wish I had taken pictures during their set but I was honestly jumping up and down have a blast. They had a relatively short set, but it was amazing. After Anamanaguchi performed; within minutes the opening animation began and Miku popped up with “The World is Mine” and the entire audience ERUPTED with 「世界で一番お姫さま!」(Sekai de ichiban ohime sama!) and it was on from there. There were so many awesome songs played but I think my favorites were “Remote Control” by Rin and Len, “Ten Thousand Stars” by Miku, and “Sharing the World” by Miku and Anamanaguchi. It was an emotional rollercoaster and at the end during “Star Fragment” I looked over at Minny and we just hugged each other. Miku Expo has always been a positive experience for me and to see it again and feel so much excitement and to sing loud and obnoxiously and wave glow sticks around…it was such a happy feeling inside of me and I wish it never had to end.

With that said; the concert was beautiful and amazing and I am hoping that another one will be around in the future. We ended up leaving the venue around 10:50 or 11pm and headed to CVS to pick up some snacks and drinks. After that, Minny and I parted ways sadly and I went to my hotel room and passed out.

miku expo after

The next morning, Anthony and I woke up fairly early to explore NYC before heading to our train back to VA. It was a lot of fun; we got pancakes and Starbucks while attempting to find the Disney store. Needless to say we didn’t find it, but we found a cool gaming store in the area and I ended up buying something from it…har har. We ended up just heading to the hotel to get our stuff, check out and wait at the train station until our train arrived.

And that pretty much sums up our entire trip…(๑́•∀•๑̀)ฅ

miku expo thanks

Thanks for sticking around with that long post…I was so excited to share the trip with you guys! I’ll be posting a video and a haul post tomorrow hopefully if all goes well! As for today I am going to call it a night but I wanted to say a huge thank you to Minny for taking me around NYC and making my Miku Expo experience amazing. ❤ I’ll see you guys next time!!!!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae (๑꒪▿꒪)*

 

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

Happy New Year +2016+

happy new year

(∗❛ัᴗ❛ั∗) HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ 明けましておめでとうございます!(∗❛ัᴗ❛ั∗)

I honestly was not expecting 2016 to sneak up on me like this, but it is here and I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. My family and I didn’t do much for New Year’s Eve; we went out for Indian food at a local restaurant and stuffed ourselves silly. Afterwards, we came right home and took a food coma nap before ringing in 2016.

Today, we kind of slept in before heading to run a 5k right around the corner. Let me just say, I’m exceptionally sore and sleepy after that run. That pretty much sums up the last two days. ୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ How was your New Year’s?

year review

This last year has had a lot of incredible things happen, but there were a few heartbreaking moments as well. I won’t go into detail what’s happened, but things happen for a reason. Good things are to come. However, despite that, I did want to share a few exciting things that happened in 2015!

Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions Concert
Vacation in Luray, Virginia
Hello Kitty Macarons from Sweet Fix DC
Chopping My Hair Off
A New Job
Our Very First Twitch Stream in June
Reached 100+ Followers on the Blog!

You all have been so supportive and loving, I cannot thank you enough for how wonderful 2015 was.

2016 new years resolution

I’m not 100% sure of what to expect of 2016. It’s a bit scary in terms of all of the unknowns, but I know that I will have to move forward regardless and remember to keep my chin up. But I will share my resolutions with you all! Hopefully some of you can relate…because it was incredibly difficult coming up with this list…

#1.) Focus on me a bit more...
I tend to focus on others a lot more than myself and it effects me in both positive and negative ways such as stress. So I want to do a few things for myself and hopefully create a balance so that there is less stress and frustration.

#2.) Speak & write Japanese more…
I want to keep improving my speaking and writing in Japanese even outside of college, so if you have any book or app suggestions, please let me know!

#3.) Run a 10k…
Since I’ve ran a few 5k races, I finally want to train and run a 10k this year!

#4.) Learn different photography tricks…
I want to improve my photography for the blog as well as other aspects. I want to learn how to properly light and focus!

#5.) Be more active on the blog…
It’s been a bit frustrating this year trying to keep up with constant posts this year and that is entirely my fault. A part of me feels busy with work and other things, and another part me has either hit a writer’s block or just lack of inspiration. I want to make Simply Taylor Rae bigger than anything I imagined, but in order for that to happen…I need to put in the effort.

I may come up with more resolutions within the next week or so, but this is all I have for now. へ(´д`へ) I hope you all have the most amazing 2016 ever. May it be prosperous and filled with love and laughter. Don’t ever give up no matter the situation, keep pressing on, and you will find your way. You guys are honestly so wonderful, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

(๑❛ꆚ❛๑) THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL 2015 (๑❛ꆚ❛๑)

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

SimplyMe: A Well Needed Vacation (Part Two)

Welcome back guys!

This recent week has been a rather stressful one with my full-time schedule officially starting back up! I’m still trying to get back into the habit of blogging, but I think I’m doing pretty well after such a long hiatus! And without further ado here’s the second, and last, part to our vacation in Luray, Virginia!

title

First off we went through the beautiful Luray caverns. We were informed, afterward, that our tickets also permitted us to enter all of the other museums within the premises. This included the Luray Valley Museum!

museum hopping

mining

In all honesty I think this was Anthony’s favorite spot in the valley. At the Luray Valley Museum, typically, visitors learn about the Luray area prior to the 1920’s…but, in Anthony and my case, we did more “gem mining” than any actual…learning.

Gem mining in the Luray valley is when you buy bags for rocks, gems and sand that you can mine for yourself.  You can also wash your wares yourself outside at a watering station. Anthony and I decided to go hard with two JUMBO BAGS!!! We ended up making it out with a lot of amethyst and pyrite!

outdoor breakfast

The next morning we did a lovely breakfast outside of the hotel. It was so nice since the weather was rather beautiful!

relax

horse feeding

After breakfast Anthony and I made our way to the White Oak Lavender Farm for some relaxation! Also, so I could shop for a few things to help me relax my anxiety and stress. However…as soon as we arrived Anthony started having a pretty bad allergic reaction to the lavender ask around us. So, we made our trip a quick one. We played GIANT checkers and saw some lovely farm animals! Anthony said I could go ahead and pick some lavender and buy a few things. But, for his sake, I chose a lavender and strawberry ice cream as well as lavender dark chocolate…yum! Both treats were amazingly delicious and well worth the price you pay!

And there you have it! That was our valley vacation. It wasn’t too  busy because our main goal was purely to relax and enjoy being away from work and home! We are so happy to share these photos with you and we hope you enjoy them. An anniversary post is on the way soon, too, guys. I promise. And like I always say…take care and have a wonderful week and weekend! I shall see you all next time.

REMEMBER: Cherish Each & Every Day!

Thanks for Reading! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

SimplyMe: A Well Needed Vacation (Part One)

Hello everyone!

Long time no see….

WHOOPS.

Yeah, I have to admit…it has been a while. I’ve been going through kind of a rough patch in terms of the blog. Honestly, this month marks three years since I purchased the domain for Simply Taylor Rae. I am so incredibly happy with the progression and how many lovely blog friends I have made over the years. However for a brief period, my mentality went south; I began to focus on how many followers I was gaining rather than producing quality work and enjoying what I do. It got to a point where I was incredibly discouraged with the lack of participation with my first giveaway and…I actually wanted to give up. I wanted to stop and just not even look at my blog.

But then, what has all this work been for? Three years worth of work that I poured my heart into wasn’t for waste. There are people who have read my posts and found them helpful or entertaining. Although they may not physically type it in the comments, I know in my heart that people are looking and sharing and enjoying it in some way shape or form. Although it’ll take me some time to rebuild the same motivation that I had throughout the last three years, I promise to continue to bring quality posts to the site and to enjoy each and every bit of it!

simplyme vacation

With that said, this past week, Anthony and I went to Luray, VA for a mini vacation since it’s been stressful for us at work and with finally planning the wedding. It was definitely what we needed and I managed to get some great photography shots and I want to share the photos with you all! I managed to take a lot of pictures, so I’ll break this post into two to save the scrolling.

outside the hotel

We had the pleasure of staying in a lovely hotel called The Mimslyn Inn. It was truly breathtaking with the gorgeous architecture and simply yet elegant rooms. However, the outside was most beautiful of all to me with a lovely view and an eye-appealing garden.

fancy dinner

For our first dinner, we dined at the hotel’s own restaurant; The Speakeasy. It was nice and the food was actually quite good. A bit on the pricey side for the items we ordered, but definitely worth it for the quality.

Dinner

Cavern Entrance

During the second day of our trip, we spent a good portion at Luray Caverns. I honestly enjoy these types of touristy attractions that get you one on one with nature and natural formations…and surprisingly Anthony did too! It was such a beautiful sight to see.

into the cavernsinto the caverns 2

Alrighty guys, I think that’s a pretty good place to stop for today! I’ll be doing a 3rd year anniversary post soon, I promise but I hope you all know how dear to me you all are and how I treasure each follower, reader, and supporter of Simply Taylor Rae! It’s been an awesome three years and I’m going to make the fourth year SO MUCH BIGGER AND BETTER! So watch out guys! Until next time…

REMEMBER: Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward. – Henry Ford

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

WE DID IT! ~100+ Followers + Giveaway~

HOLY HELIX GUYS.

Three precious years ago I created Simply Taylor Rae with one goal in mind: to have fun and inspire others! We’ve grown incredibly since 2012 and I am happy to announce that we have reached a major milestone…

WE HAVE REACHED 100+ FOLLOWERS ON THE WEBSITE!

Hachune Miku 2

Oh my gosh! This is so wonderful you guys! I am so happy, proud, thankful, and astounded with you readers and followers. I want to continue to make a website that you all can readily enjoy and I want continue to grow as a blogger and gamer with all of you by my side.

To celebrate reaching such an encouraging milestone, I have decided to host my very first Giveaway, here on Simply Taylor Rae!

Giveaway Announcement 2

Do you guys remember when Anthony and I went to New York for the Hatsune Miku Expo as VIPs? We ended up saving a VIP package for a special occasion and I think it is the right time to give it an amazing home! This VIP Packages includes:

Prize

1x VIP Badge featuring the Virtual Diva herself!

1x VIP Only “Sharing the World” by BIGHEAD Vinyl LP

1x VIP Only Vocaloid Fan

1x VIP Only Miku Expo Reusable Shopping Bag

1x Miku Expo x Good Smile Company Reusable Shopping Bag

Giveaway Rules

AS FOR THE RULES, THEY’RE SIMPLE:

1.) To Enter: Leave a comment down below with your favorite Vocaloid song and why! I want to know what brought you all to enter the world of Vocaloid or what makes you love it!

2.) You can only enter ONCE.

3.) You must use a valid e-mail address; this is because if you are chosen I will be notifying you by e-mail! Please make sure to check your e-mail the day of the drawing.

4.) You must be willing to give me your address. This one is self-explanatory.

5.) Open to U.S. Residents Only. Once we build up more followers, international giveaways will be soon to follow.

6.) The last day for entries will be JUNE 1ST! The Drawing will happen DURING OUR TWITCH LAUNCH ON JUNE 5TH at 6PM.

thanks

Picture Source:
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Thank you guys so much for all of the awesome support and love! I do have a couple of announcements! We will be attending the Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions concert in Vienna, VA in July! We also will be holding a MIKU-CHAN SPECIAL TWITCH LIVE on September 8th or 11th depending on my work schedule. This is because “Hatsune Miku Project Mirai DX” was originally suppose to release next week and be a main part of our Twitch launch however, it’s release was delayed 4 months. (Thanks SEGA.) So I still wanna make a big deal out of it, but it’ll just happen 4 months from now!

Anyways, I am so excited to see what Vocaloid songs you guys choose and I hope you find this giveaway ridiculously fun. As always, I hope you all enjoy your week and AHHHH:

REMEMBER: Miku is Love. Miku is Life.

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae