SimplyMe: Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving


Yes, today is Thanksgiving!! One of my favorite holidays…because of mostly the food. But also, it is that time to give thanks for the many things we take for granted as well as to spend time with your loved ones! So, today’s post will be a personal one based on The DC Ladies’ “The Thankful Project” where they spent 17 days posting a different topic to be thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving! Therefore the post will just feature all the topics! LET’S BEGIN!

imageHonestly, there is so much I am thankful for this year. It’s truly been a successful and plentiful year for me, whether it be my internship, Anthony proposing, the one year anniversary of Simply Taylor Rae, and so on!! I can’t wait to show you all everything I am thankful for and I hope you all will remind yourself of things to be thankful for!
image_1I am Thankful for a Person – So, it is difficult to choose just ONE person. I feel thankful to everyone in my life, past and present. Each person was either meant to be a blessing or a lesson and because of that, I am who I am today. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my fiancé, and all the people who I’ve crossed paths with.
I am Thankful for a Place – I’ve traveled across America as well as overseas to Japan and Israel. Each place has given me many memories, people, and the chance to diverse myself into something different. It has been a blast to be able to travel across the US and the world and I hope to do it so much more in the future.
I am Thankful for an Experience – I have had the chance to experience so much, but one of my favorite experiences was singing on a boat on the Sea of Galilee in Israel! I believe there was over 300 people!
I am Thankful for a Talent – I am always thankful for my ability to sing, but I’ve only recently really realized how much I enjoyed writing and blogging. I am so incredibly thankful to have so many outlets to express myself!
image_2I am Thankful for a Failure – So, for those of you who don’t know, I have attempted to make Japanese curry on many occasions. The first 5 times, I thought to use frozen vegetables because I was too lazy to cut up potatoes and carrots. And each time, the curry came out too watery. So, after the fifth time, I managed to do a little better each time.
I am Thankful for a Job – I am thankful for my part time government job. It pays my bills and allows me to do the things I enjoy. I am thankful for my internship with The DC Ladies. They have allowed me so much room to write about things I enjoy. I am thankful for Simply Taylor Rae, though I think it is too much fun to be considered a job…
I am Thankful for a Photo – The photo of right after Anthony proposed will be one of my favorites for all time.
I am Thankful for Words“Always remember to smile because it may save a life.” I remember the first time I read that, my heart filled up and I realized that even the most simple of gestures can help someone live another day. Hence why I always say to live, laugh, and smile.
image_3I am Thankful for a Memory – The memory of Anthony proposing will always remain in my heart as well as each day where we create laughable memories and sad memories and so on. Each memory, I am truly thankful for.
I am Thankful for Something I was Taught – It is surprising to say this, but I used to absolutely HATE writing and reading. It was ridiculous and boring to me and I was terrible at it. I remember in high school, I had an English teacher who was super critical of my work and because she has high expectations, she ultimately helped my writing overall and after that, I wrote more and more to the point where I actually enjoyed it. Because of her, I now am able to enjoy writing on Simply Taylor Rae and so on.
I am Thankful for an Opportunity – It wasn’t until recently that I realized how thankful I am to be able to attend college. Most of my friends have to take out student loans, or they have to pay out of pocket. My father always told me that he would take care of my education and that I wouldn’t have to put myself in debt to go.
I am Thankful for an Ability – I am thankful for my ability to see and workout! It sounds so simple, but honestly my eyesight has progressively worsen over the years, but I can still see thanks to the wonderful invention of glasses. I also enjoy working out because of the relief for my back.
image_4I am Thankful for Something I Own – I am thankful for everything I own, but I guess something specific would be my camera! I enjoy capturing memories and videos and being able to re-watch them.
I am Thankful for a Choice – When you’re growing up, you have the choice of following society’s definition of normal or following your heart and doing you. I chose to be who I am which is the geeky, crazy faced, blogger that I enjoy being! And every day I am thankful for making that choice because life has been too good since!
I am Thankful for Something I Take for Granted – I think there are times when I take my puppies for granted. I am not home as often so when I see the puppies, I just want to love on them!! Taz just loves on you and DeeDee barks to welcome you back. They make coming home worth while.
I am Thankful for a Book – I have read many books, but the one I think that changed my life was “Kamikaze Girls” by Novala Takemoto. The book is about two girls who live two different lifestyles, but become friends in the end. It’s about being true to yourself regardless of what others say and enjoying the things you love.
I am Thankful for Something About My Family – My family is so unique and slightly dysfunctional and it can be crazy at times. But, they have never left me hanging and have always supported my decisions. They have always kept me grounded and allowed me to speak my mind and just be me. And I could not thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me.

Well that is it for today’s post!! I am so happy to be able to spend some time with mine and Anthony’s family and I hope you all are able to do the same! Take care everyone and have a great Thanksgiving! Always remember to Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

P.S. We put up our Christmas Tree…


Winter Fashion Must Haves!

Hello lovely ladies!
Ah! It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving…or rather the end of the weekend, but I am so excited! It’s weird because everyone keeps asking about how it feels when it comes to holidays and being engaged and honestly, Anthony and I have been together for so long that it really doesn’t feel too different. The only difference is that there’s a ring on my finger. I am trying to find a way to spend Thanksgiving with both families, but Christmas should be a bit easier! Anyways, now that Winter is right around the corner (or already here if you live in Virginia), I am so excited for winter fashion. I love the feeling of layering up with gloves, jackets, and scarves! Here are a few items I am excited for!

imageSo, the items I have chosen for this post are all specific items! I will be sure to link you all to the items and list their prices! I am so incredibly excited for Winter fashion though everyone. The weather is perfect for the ultimate layering and you all don’t understand how much I love SCARVES. Don’t judge me please. WELL, what’s the first item I am craving?
image_1Well, for those of you who don’t know…I may love ModCloth a little too much. And I am loving this jacket as well!! There is something so classy and mysterious about a trench coat that intrigues me and really makes an outfit more “Casa Blanca” to me. ModCloth’s Junior Stylist Coat is so lovely and really makes me think of a mysterious princess with the embroidery around the shoulders! It is a tad expensive…like around $199.99, but if you can afford it, LET ME KNOW IF YOU LIKE IT. Because this coat is making me drool with loveliness. The website does say that this coat isn’t particularly warm, so this is probably more suited for you ladies over down south or on the west coast!
image_2These babies are a steal, let me tell you! I actually just bought these on Thursday and I am so excited to wear them tomorrow for school and dinner with a friend. These are Payless American Eagle’s Pixie Stud Western Boot and boy are they comfy. I was able to snag these for $20 in store, but they are on clearance so they are $20 online as well! One thing I like about these boots is that they do not look overly Western. They have a subtle Western touch, but the studs give it some OOMF. It’s also got a very tiny heel which I love since I dislike pumps and so on. I would totally suggest these for you ladies who love wearing tribal print sweaters or those thick men’s sweaters at Kohl’s…a bit specific, I said.
image_3I’m loving random patches this season…whether they’re heart patches, panda patches, Sailor Moon patches, and so on! The minute I saw this sweater, my heart skipped a beat. I have always had this preference for horizontal stripes…though they say if you have a bigger bust, they can make you appear bigger. I DON’T CARE. Anyways, this sweater is ASOS’s Stripe Sweater with Heart Patch and it is online for $39.16! I do love how the model paired it with a mustard yellow skirt…ah, clothing envy. I can definitely see this for all ladies regardless of region. It may even be perfect for Valentine’s Day, yes?
image_4I may have made a mistake when labeling this picture…on the website, it is considered a “neck snood” and I just about died laughing when I read “snood.” MOVING ON. Honestly, this was more about the color rather than the actual scarf type, though I feel knitted scarfs are much appropriate for the cold weather. If you all can’t tell, I’m loving the Teal/Tiffany Blue trend going on. This snood above is Target Mossimo’s Twisted Neck Snood in Teal. It is NOT sold in stores, so you’d have to order it online for $19.99. I feel like if you live in an area where it is cold every day and night, you’d want to go for thicker material like knitted or wool scarves. If you live in an area where it’s like Spring in Winter, you should be fine with light-weight scarves. I am loving the thick material look, it just screams COMFY to me. Ahhhhh.

THAT’S IT EVERYONE! I hope you all enjoyed this post! I enjoy hunting for clothes and accessories and then posting about them. I get to show you all items I am interested in and see what you all think or read your reviews and so on. The cold weather is taking a pounding on me though! My bones are aching and my skin is far from happy, so I have oatmeal lotion with me EVERYWHERE. I am so excited for Thanksgiving though! I’m hoping to do a Pre-Thanksgiving post on Wednesday and then a SimplyMe post on Monday since Anthony and I have our anniversary on Sunday! I can’t wait to show you all how we celebrate anniversaries and Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Please be safe and always remember to Live. Laugh. Smile
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

P.S. – Did you all notice my new banner? Anthony made it to reflect everything about me and GOSH DO I LOVE IT. What do you all think?? Let me know!

Recent Purchase: Ross Finds & SaSa Order

Hello everyone! I’M BACK.
So, my goal was to have two posts last week, but my internet has been acting up again and we finally got it up and running again I believe on Saturday, but I’ve been busy with work so NOW I HAVE TIME! I actually recorded a video last night, but I may re-record the video because the lighting was lame. I am hoping to have it up on YouTube within the next week if all goes according to plan. As for the OOTD post…I literally just realized last night that the MacBook Air does not have a SD card port, so I have to upload the photos onto my HP laptop to edit. SO IN DUE TIME. But today, I received a package from SaSa.Com and I am so excited to show you all what I’ve purchased recently!!

imageSo, recently I have been mostly purchasing Christmas gifts, but I managed to snag a few items for myself as well! In case you haven’t been on my Instagram lately, you have probably noticed that I wear new glasses now!
image-1Prior to my eye exam, my eyes were starting to have trouble focusing on small items and even large items which I never used to have trouble with. I also had trouble with car lights and road signs, so once we got a chance…I finally took an eye exam! I go to MyEyeDr for those of you who are wondering, and when I went the first time two years ago, they just told me my eyes sucked (in lamest terms) and gave me my prescription. This time, they finally found out that I have astigmatism which is super lame, but at least I still have the ability to see with glasses. ANYWAYS, the next day I came back to look at glasses with the help of Anthony (because I can’t see myself in the mirror without glasses). We found two pairs I liked, but they were a bit expensive for the frames themselves. So, I asked the lovely lady at the desk if I could just have my prescription to take over to WalMart and she asked if I found any frames I liked. So I told her which frames and then mentioned that my budget was $250 for frames AND anti-reflective lenses. Well, after 20 minutes, she came out and she gave us one heck of a discount: I ended up with Kate Spade thick black frames which run for $230 themselves, anti-reflective lenses, and insurance for $250. I think it was a great steal and I am so thankful to the wonderful lady for working with my budget to make sure I get frames that I actually love.
image-2So, while we were waiting for my glasses to be ready, we stopped by Ross to really just look around. I had no intention of buying anything but I feel like every time I say that…I walk out with something. Well, if you don’t know Anthony, he loves Nike shoes. He has turned me onto Tiffany-inspired Nike’s and we found a pair in MY SIZE for only $37. To be exact: these are the Nike SB Dunk Low LR in Crystal Mint. Now, Anthony loved them so much that for our anniversary on the 1st of December, he wanted to wear a matching pair. So, I ordered him a pair so we could match. His was a bit more expensive, but well worth it! These were a pretty killer find in my opinion seeing as how I have been on the search for the original Tiffany SB’s or anything Tiffany inspired. I am a happy camper.
image-3As the title says, I also got a package in from SaSa.Com today! Now, these products were featured in a few of Lindy’s videos on the BubzBeauty and BubzVlogz YouTube channels: I order the Sasatinnie Facial Cleansing Brush for $7.20 and the Essential Rich Premier Ultra Honey Hair Mask for $9.60! I will say that I have used an Essential hair mask before and I actually featured in my post “My Tools for Operation: Long Hair!” and I loved it, so when I watched Lindy’s video and looked at the reviews, I am expecting A LOT from the product. With the Facial Cleansing Brush, I have not used it before, but basically it’s an exfoliating brush for your face. I am just happy that I don’t have to go out every two weeks for disposable ones that tend to sell out all the time. Honestly though, I love SaSa because the items are reasonably priced though they do take a little while to get here because I choose the standard shipping option. I am so excited to use these though and I will be doing a demonstration with the brush on Instagram later tonight! So follow me @TaylorRae319 for that!!

Well, that is it for today! I hope you all enjoyed this post because I feel like I have not done a recent purchase post in so long! Unless you count the YesStyle mini-haul…ugh. Anyways, Friday morning I will be in Washington DC doing a photo shoot for Refinery29 and Anthony will hopefully be with me to film the experience. I am so excited to meet other DC bloggers who are short like me!! AHHHHH. Anyways, there is that. ALSO. My post for this month is UP on TheDCLadies.Com!! Please feel free to stop by and read it, comment, share it, and so on!

Please have a wonderful week, be safe, be thankful. Like always ladies, remember to Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

The Foodie: Delicious Times at Choi’s Korean Kitchen

I finally have fast internet! It only took a wee bit long. BUT I made sure to finish this post for you all! Well, first off, Happy Veteran’s Day and Monday! I just want to say thank you to all who have served in our military include my father for 20 years of service including two tours in Iraq!
So, a little while ago, my family decided to have dinner together at a local Korean restaurant called Choi’s Korean Kitchen. Now, I know it may seem that the restaurants I go to just so happen to be Korean…I promise that different Foodie posts are coming! But here is a little run down on how my time went!

DISCLAIMER: I was neither paid nor asked to do this post. This is purely based on a personal experience and the meal was paid for entirely by myself or my party with no discount offered or persuasion.

imageChoi’s Korean Kitchen is located in Fredericksburg, VA about 25 minutes away from my home! It’s a bit closer than Yechon, but the food tastes just the same: delicious and comforting. Now, my family are Korean food fans but Anthony is still learning about all the yummy-ness.
image_1In my last Foodie post, I explained that most Korean meals come with 5-6 sides. Our sides were much like that of Yechon but much more pickled veggies like the radish and carrots above. They also had the bean sprout dish that my brother enjoyed! The kimchi was a tad bit spicier but that was probably because my dad was like “Oh, we like the spicy.”
image_2We also ordered an appetizer of Spam Musubi or Spam Rice Balls. My dad and Anthony fell in love with these the moment they took a bite and Anthony even made them a day after too…BUT these are actually quite good because the spam they use is not as salty as the spam I grew up with. It’s got a milder taste in my opinion. But it’s a great combination with the seaweed. I would definitely suggest this to you all.
image_3So, I have an easier time with noodle dishes, but I want something to the effect of Bibimbap…which ended up being Dol Sot Bimbim Myun. Now, I have tried looking up the correct spelling because I’ve seen it spelt three different ways, so if the spelling is incorrect, please please please let me know! Anyways, this dish is essentially beef and an assortment of veggies in a yummy beef broth and buckwheat noodles. Now, I had a blast with the cucumbers, carrots, and radishes alongside those buckwheat noodles. I’ve always enjoyed soba noodles, but in this broth, they were superb.
image_4Look at those noodles. If you aren’t familiar with buckwheat noodles, they are kind of like angel hair pasta noodles but made with buckwheat and quite frankly, I think they are much softer. Anyways, overall, this was yet another great Korean experience! The owner was very accommodating to my brother’s vegan needs and she constantly checked up on us and had many conversations with us! She makes the restaurant feel like you’re in her home and she is cooking your meal.

If you’re in the Fredericksburg area, be sure to stop by Choi’s and have a Korean family experience like never before!
For a better look at their menu options, check out their website: ChoisKoreanKitchen.Com!!

That is for today! I am currently waiting on an order to arrive so that I can do a “Recent Purchase” post for you all! It’s been a while and I got some really great purchases recently! I am also thinking about doing a giveaway before the year ends as a thank you to all you awesome readers! Now, I already a few ideas as for gifts for the giveaway, but I certainly want to here your ideas and advice seeing as how this would be the VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY Simply Taylor Rae has ever done! (This was not done on TaylorRae.Co either hence why this is entirely new!) So, I would love to know if any of you would participate or help spread the word of the giveaway!

I hope you all have an amazing week! Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I’m still doing the 30 Days of Thanksgiving challenge on Instagram (#30DOT)! What are thankful for today? Let me know in the comments below!! Take care everyone and be safe! Remember to Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

My Fall/Winter Skin Care Routine

Hello Hello Hello!
I am posting a bit earlier this week right? I have gotten so much done today: I went to the eye doctor to get my prescription renewed, I finished my next post for TheDCLadies.Com which goes live on November 14th, I did a pretty rigorous workout thanks to Blogilates, managed to clean and organize my room a bit, finished my film and literature homework, and now I am working on this post! Anyways, I’ve noticed a lot of people having difficulty finding the right products or routines for fall and winter skin care…so I hope my routine will help you all in some way!

image-6So, I use 4 main products for my routine: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser, St. Ives Green Tea Cleanser, Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer, and Neosporin Ointment. I will admit that on days where I feel like relaxing, I will use sheet masks, but not on a regular basis to call a routine.  So, let’s begin with my morning routine.
image-5So, this obviously occurs after I take a hot shower. I will splash warm water on my face to make sure my pores are nice and open to remove all the dirt and excessive oil. I then use one of my favorite cleansers ever, St. Ives Green Tea Scrub. Now typically I would use an exfoliating sponge along with a cleanser, but I feel like this scrub is pretty good on it’s own and controls the oil well enough. I rinse off with warm water about 5 times then rinse with cold water 5 times to shrink the pores to their regular size. I pat dry with a towel and then move on to my Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer. I’ve loved this moisturizer because a little goes such a long way and it is great if you have oily and sensitive skin! I apply a thin amount all over my face and pat into my skin with clean hands. Then, if I have a bad cystic acne breakout like I have recently, I apply Neosporin to areas affected. This basically keeps my skin hydrated and protected from the dreaded wind burn, as well as keeps my skin from breaking out all over the place when the weather changes.
I tend to keep my evening routine quite simple since there are days where I come home late at night and just want to go straight to bed. I would once again splash my face with warm water with clean hands. I use Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser for bed because I wanted a much more gentle cleanser that doesn’t exactly exfoliate, but still cleans. This cleanser reminds me of hand soap when it comes to consistency, but it is very relaxing on the face! Afterwards, I will rinse with warm water and then rinse with cold water about 2 times each. Then, if any spots need to be treated, I would use Neosporin overnight to kill any excess bacteria.

I know this seems like probably one of the most simplest routines ever, but when you have sensitive skin that goes crazy if too many products are used…simplicity becomes key! I would say that during the fall and winter months, it is best to keep your skin hydrated because of the dry, cold weather! Wind burn and itchiness will run amok. Use gentle exfoliators and cleansers that are moisturizing based or use a really good moisturizer that is suitable for your skin. Recently, my skin has reacted quite bad to the change in weather to where I had a cystic acne breakout that was rather minor, but after a week with this routine, my cystic acne has virtually disappeared. So, let me know your fall/winter skin care routine! What products are you loving this season?

That’s all for tonight everyone and YES, there will still be a Sunday posting! I am debating on whether to do a foodie review or a fashion post. I will let you all know on Twitter (@TaylorRae319)!! With that said, have a great weekend everyone! I hope you are safe in travels and always remember to Live. Laugh. Smile 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

SimplyMe: Our Engagement Photos!

Hello everyone!
I AM SO RIDICULOUSLY SORE RIGHT NOW. I have been trying to complete the workouts Blogilates releases and today I completed the “Love Handle Hysteria” workout and let me tell you all how much I hate weights. Anyways, I am so glad that I finally have a day off where I can relax and FINISH A POST. Well, if you haven’t read the title already…OUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS HAVE OFFICIALLY ARRIVED! We got the full amount a couple days ago and I have been sharing them with everyone! They were everything I hoped for and more…plus, it’s mine and Anthony’s first photo shoot together.

imageSo, I wanted to use this post to kind of give you all a detailed look at our engagement photo experience and give a very special thanks to those involved. So, the day started off with me working out so that I can fit into the dress above. I then took a trip around the corner to get my hair done by Jennifer Cheek! She did a wonderful job curling my hair because typically…my hair doesn’t hold curls. Afterwards, I came home and relaxed and looked through some of the items I got from the Bridal Showcase.
image-1Once Anthony came over and we finally got situated and everything together for the photo shoot, we drove down to Downtown Fredericksburg…specifically, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Vintage Boutique. Now, I had called the store days in advance to ask permission for us to have part of our photo shoot in their store. They were very happy to say yes and I think some of the best pictures were while we were shooting there. So, we go in to take a look around and Anthony had some vintage video games and consoles to sell. I fell in love with every piece of vintage clothing and shoes they offered in my size and it took a lot to make sure I didn’t buy them too. After a little while, Anthony and I decide to take a walk before the Matt and Kathy from MathyShootsPeople come. When we came back, we began the photo shoot!
image-2We had a great time shooting in the store. I think some of our best pictures were taken here! We had some ultimately geeky moments and lots and lots of laughter. Matt and Kathy made us feel so comfortable since this was mine and Anthony’s very first photo shoot together. Honestly, I think Matt and Kathy are as close to a future us personality wise than most people we know. They were awesome to work with and definitely caught some truly awesome moments!
image-3After our shoot in the store, we stepped out to capture the unique green and purple store front. Wanna know something funny? We actually asked the store owner to photo bomb! AND HE DID. It was great. I am so thankful to Horseshoes and Hand Grenades for giving us free range in their store and making sure we were comfortable and free of interruptions! After our store shoot, we went for a walk around downtown looking for really vintage and unique backdrops for some photos and we came across a few wooden doors and graffitied walls. We then found an old barn looking building where we took individual shots and some pretty shots laying down.
image-4We then proceeded to a local river to take a few more shots laying down and then we took some awesome street shots and a silhouette shot that I completely adore (and will definitely use for our wedding). After we finished our last shots, we headed up back to the original street we met up on and…Anthony made an Instagram video. Haha! I’m serious, but we also talked about how awesome social networking was and how thankful we were for their overall awesomeness and when the photos would be done and so on. I think this was one of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget it…especially with the photos! I actually compiled a slideshow for the blog!!

Just in case you don’t read YouTube descriptions, the music is actually a tribute to how Anthony proposed! If you didn’t see the original post where I announced our engagement, Anthony proposed during “Natural Anthem” at The Postal Service concert! So I used my favorite song and the original song he proposed to.

Well, there’s our engagement photos! I hope you all enjoyed them and I promise a beauty post is coming up!! I would like to give a special thanks to Matt and Kathy from MathyShootsPeople.Com! As well as to the awesome owners and staff at Horseshoes & Hand Grenades! You all made this day extra special! Anyways, it’s about to be 10 o’clock and I have to wake up at 5am!! So bed time for me!! I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember to stay safe! If you’re on Instagram, I’m doing the 30 Days of Thanksgiving Challenge! What are you thankful for? Follow me @TaylorRae319!
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae