coffee & cats – visiting crumbs & whiskers –

I’m back from the dead, ya’ll.

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I am truly sorry for my absence these past few months, but I bring with me cats and coffee. You’re welcome.

This past Sunday, my beautiful friend, Tawny and I decided to take a trip up to Georgetown for what we thought would be a tea date, but the place was booked for the rest of the day. SO OUR NEXT BEST OPTION was of course…cats. And with that, here’s a photo look at our visit to the only cat cafe in the DC Metro Area, Crumbs & Whiskers.

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Walking inside, we were immediately greeted with the most gorgeous cat sitting on the counter. I was able to place a drink and macaron order and then we were headed upstairs to meet the many cats that grace the establishment. I immediately thought I was going to die because I typically have severe allergic reactions to cats…however, I did not and all allergies ceased until the next freakin’ day when I was sneezing all day at work.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The cats were all incredibly friendly and there were quite a few that were extra playful. The staff was wonderful and accommodating and answered any questions we had about the cats and how they’re taken care of and such. I even had an inquiry about one of their recent additions, Ru, a three-legged cutie patootie…but unfortunately, the new house we moved into doesn’t allow cats. Otherwise I would’ve walked home with a couple cats.

If you would like to visit Crumbs & Whiskers in Georgetown or in Los Angeles, click here for more information!

Disclaimer: We were not paid nor sponsored by Crumbs & Whiskers for this post. 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 hope you enjoyed this post and here’s to more posts in the near future!

Thanks for reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 

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!

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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!

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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!

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

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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

Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions — A Review

What’s Happening Everyone!?
I hope everyone is doing well! It’s been an awesome week and I am starting to get back into the swing of blogging; and it feels good. Anyways, Anthony and I recently had the chance to see Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions in Vienna, VA…so we thought, why not do a review on our experience?

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Before I begin this review, I believe it is needless to say that I am an ADAMANT Pokemon fan. I have been heavily influenced by my mother who had bought my brother and I Pokemon Red and Blue during it’s original release and I haven’t stopped since! So you can imagine the amount of excitement I was feeling as Anthony and I made our way to Vienna for the event.

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The concert was held at the Wolf Trap’s Filene Center and the two of us had purchased Prime Orchestra tickets. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect as Anthony and I had never been to Wolf Trap before and i found the pictures of the venue on the website to be a bit confusing. Upon our arrival, and to our relief, we found a beautiful venue… under ferocious blistering heat.Though I can’t really blame the heat on the venue, besides, Anthony and I drank our weight in water during the wait so we stayed safe and hydrated! In spite of the heat the wait was still an incredible experience. The crowd was packed with so many Pokemon fans — both young and old — mingling with one another, battling each other, and some were even shiny hunting (like me)! It was an awesome sight to see.

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We waited for the performance a couple of hours and, in the mean time, purchased some rather expensive concert goods; a t-shirt for $30 and two posters for $30. We were finally able to go to our seats and enjoy some good ole’ “Who’s That Pokemon?” trivia! Within minutes the orchestra was finally seated and prepared to begin. The minute Susie Seiter took the stage my heart began to pound and I was immediately at the brink of tears.

The Orchestra began with arguably one of the most iconic pieces of Pokemon music from the last 20 years since it’s debut; “Pallet Town.” With amazing visual effects from the games themselves I found myself watching in awe and totally captivated by nostalgia. Each song becoming more powerful and emotional than the next. I found that my favorites pieces from the performance were “Ecruteak City” and “N-Counter.”

After two hours and a 20 minute intermission we were wound down with an amazing encore performance of two songs that hit me right in the feels. The oh-so-famous Anime theme “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” and the ending theme to Pokemon XY. They also performed , “KISEKI” as a loving tribute to the late Satoru Iwata who passed recently. My heart was heavy and my eyes wanted to tear up as the concert came to an end in a most heart felt and emotional way. But thankfully the fun didn’t end when the music did.

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After the concert both the conductor, Susie Seiter, as well as creative director for the concert, Jeron Moore, were out seated signing posters. Anthony and I both managed to get our posters signed in a timely fashion. We were glad too because though there were A LOT of people in line and it was already close to 11PM. Susie was super sweet and so beautiful and Jeron asked me if I had “Kept Calm” during the concert (I was wearing a shirt saying “Keep Calm & Catch ‘Em All”) and I happily said “Not at All” with a huge smile.

So, I must say….my overall impression of the Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions was….AMAZING.

If you have an opportunity to see it you should. Don’t hold back especially if you’re a heavy duty die hard Pokemon fan. The music will leave you breathless, and the visual effects keep your eyes if not in set in awe as they stroll down memory lane. Anthony and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we’re so happy to have taken the time to go out and see it. One piece of advice for you poke fans out there; make sure to bring some money. This merchandise is expensive…BUT…it’s also very cute. The ” like you really really can’t help yourself from emptying your wallet because it’s so cute” kind of cute.
For more information about the Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions tour and to see if it’s coming to a town near you, please visit the website HERE.

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Anyways, that’s it for today’s post and review! I hope you all enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing about it. The next post will be a follow up to the last SimplyMe post so please look out for that coming soon! I hope you all have a wonderful week and weekend, please be safe and as always….

REMEMBER: “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”…especially if you want that shiny charm.

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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