5 Essentials for Productivity

Howdy & Hello!

Welp, school is back in session! Spring semesters are beginning and it’s time for us students to become productive again! I know it sounds ridiculously difficult after a long Winter vacation but trust me, I’m feeling it too. So today I want to share with you my five essentials for productivity. These can be helpful for students or anyone in need of a boost in productivity!


If one of your resolutions, or goals this year, is to boost productivity or start a new small business. Then I would like to highly suggest checking out Kabbage. Kabbage provides a means of increasing productivity by offering small business loans. Applying for a loan, on Kabbage.Com, is simple, fast and there are no burdensome obligations involved. So, all in all, it’s truly helpful. perfect playlist Tip One: The Perfect Playlist.
One of my most effective tools for productivity is an epic playlist of sorts! I personally have two separate lists dedicated to how I am feeling at that particular moment. One is full of calming instrumentals for busy, overwhelming days. The other is brimming with upbeat tunes for slow days when I need motivation. I, myself, wouldn’t suggest too many songs that you typically sing along to as that may decrease productivity rather than the opposite. decorate Tip Two: Decorate Your Space/Tools.
Honestly staying motivated, and productive, is already a difficult enough task. And having a boring and dull environment does not help. So why not spruce up your working space? Maybe place some obnoxious internet meme of Tina Belcher on your wall or decorate your cubicle with all of your Sailor Moon merchandise. Essentially something that will pep you up when you see it. However, if you are unable to decorate, then customize your supplies by buying a Vocaloid notebook or a Pikachu pen!  Super simple and quite effective from my personal experience.

Tip Three: Prioritize Your Time.
I know procrastinating is an incredibly easy thing to do; even I am guilty of the practice. Well fear not because I have found, recently, that prioritizing my time is super beneficial and helps me remain productive throughout the week. If you have trouble with organizing and prioritizing; try buying a weekly planner or download a planner app on your phone. I am currently using a weekly planner to squeeze in my blog posts between school and work. And the amount of work I’m doing now is incredible compared to before.

distractions Tip Four: Minimize Distractions.
I have found that I possess an incredible tendency to get distracted very easily.  Whether it’s because my room is too messy or my rather obvious addiction to my 3DS and Pokemon. If you are aware of what items and situations distract you; try removing them from your situation beforehand. For instance, if I get distracted by my messy room, I would clean it up another day or a few hours in advance. If I feel a need to play my 3DS, I like to place it in an extremely inconvenient spot. So I won’t be tempted to break my concentration and pick it up until I am finished with my work.

Tip Five: Don’t Be Productive 24/7.
Don’t neglect to take some “me” time so you can relax and unwind. It’s great to be productive, but to be constantly  working can become stressful and overwhelming. So pick a day or some time where you can pamper yourself with a bath or an awesome movie. Maybe even spoil yourself with Chinese food and an evening of shiny hunting on Pokemon… or is that just me? Please tell me I’m not alone. thanks 3 Anyways, I hope this post helps you all become more productive at school or work! This post actually quite a fun one to make. If you have any tips or would like to comment on today’s post, please do so down below. If you’d like to suggest topics for future posts, please click the “Contact” button above! As always, thanks for stopping by and…

REMEMBER: “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae


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.


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

Welcoming 2015

Well, Hello everyone & Happy New Year!

It’s already 2015, what the heck? Time has flown by way too fast! I suppose I want to use today’s post to kind of reflect on 2014, and share my resolutions for the new year. Sounds a bit cliché, I know, but I enjoy sharing these things with you all. Plus, many things happened in 2014 that have made me incredibly happy. Although, I have a feeling 2015 will be one of my biggest years!

welcoming 2015

It’s hard for me to accurately describe 2014.  There were so many things that happened, both good and bad, but I believe that’s the case for many people. There were definitely more highlights than low points,  though overall I think 2014 was a very productive year!


One of the biggest highlights was going to New York and finally seeing Hatsune Miku live! When Crypton announced that they would hold a live concert on the East Coast, I decided that I would anything to see this concert!  So Anthony and I bought train tickets, made arrangements, and on October 18th, we went to Manhattan for one of the best concerts EVER!!!

Another grand highlight was attending Katsucon, the anime convention, for the first time since 2008. Although the wait in line was most frustrating, it was still great fun and I found some awesome items.

I also trained for and ran my very first 5k Zombie Run! I was incredibly sore afterwards and I had bruises for a good week or so. Still, it was all totally worth it to run with my brother, Kyler, and my mom!

In terms of Anthony and I, I think this year was a bit ground breaking for us. We celebrated a year engaged and yet another year together. I am incredibly thankful to have spent all these years with him. 2014 was really a year of us learning to communicate a heck of a lot better. We still have some hurdles ahead and we argue at times, but what couple doesn’t? We are still learning but we are slowly prepping for the lifetime commitment of marriage, though there isn’t any rush.

2015 resolutions

Now, I guess, it’s time to talk about my 2015 resolutions:

1.) First and foremost, I want to save up as much money as possible. This seems like a popular resolution throughout the world, so it doesn’t need much explaining.

2.) I want to build up more self-confidence & began to experiment with Cosplay.
Something I have always wanted to do but never felt comfortable enough to try was Cosplay.  I want to start researching and figuring out what characters would fit me best! I think it would be incredibly fun and a great addition to the blog.

3.) I want to learn how to cook at least 5 recipes & 2 baking recipes. I suck at cooking, so I feel that this is a valid resolution.

4.) I want to participate in at least 3 different 5k runs! I think I may have finally caught that runner’s high, so I want to fill my year with 5ks!

5.) Finally, I want to learn how to compete in Pokemon battle competitions. I spend way too much time playing anyways, I may as well put it to good use right?

I’m keeping my list super simple this year since, I really didn’t complete much of my list last year…but I think you all deserve an idea of what is to come this year with SImply Taylor Rae.

I am going to do everything in my power to start learning how to use Twitch so I can share my shiny Pokemon catching adventures amongst other things. Along with that I want to do more video game posts, so I hope you all will look forward to that. As I said earlier I am trying to do some cosplay posts so if you have any ideas or suggestions, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment below. I will also be doing more product reviews throughout the year and more photography specified posts. These are my overall goals, but if I think up anything else then I shall let you know!


I hope you all enjoyed today’s post! I hope you all have an incredible year full of happiness and geekiness!  Play all of the games you want to, dress how you like, do what you feel is right and all that good stuff! Let us make 2015 an epic year indeed! If you enjoyed today’s post and wanted to share your thoughts, go ahead and comment below. If you would like to suggest a topic for a future post please hit the “Contact” button above. As always, you all are the best and…


Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

P.S. Be sure to check out the “About Us” page to learn more about the team behind Simply Taylor Rae a.k.a. The STR Crew!