a day in maymont – italian & japanese gardens –


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Well long time, no see guys!

It’s been about a month and a half I would suppose…whoops. In all honesty, this past Summer seemed so non-stop! I had a class that required me to do 2-3 assignments pretty much every day and it took up a lot of my free time. BUT I’M BACK. With a super long post too, so ya’ll better enjoy it.

Anyways, this past weekend, a darling friend of mine named Tawny and I drove down to Richmond to visit the Maymont Estate specifically because we had read about their Japanese garden. WELP, we finally went down and did a collaborative photo shoot together and today I’m going to show you the pictures. TA-DA.

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And I would call that a wrap! We had taken so many photos..almost 400 I believe and managed to get it down to 129 which was a miracle. Honestly though, these gardens were so gorgeous and there was beautiful weather…it was so perfect. Also a huge thank you to Tawny for being my partner in crime with this photo shoot and getting me out of my comfort zone.

Disclaimer; 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’m hoping the next post will be an anniversary geared post, but we shall see. 😉

Until next time guys!!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae


Current Faves +December 2015+

What is up everyone!?

Oh wow, it’s the last week of 2015! Time has honestly flown by; it feels like 2014 just ended. This year has definitely been one to remember and I’ve definitely experienced some bittersweet moments, but I know that everything will work out in the end. ଘ꒰ ๑ ˃̶ ᴗ ᵒ̴̶̷๑꒱و ̑̑

Anyways, I thought a good idea for the last week of December would be a “Current Faves” post! Something a bit fun~! I hope you all enjoy it.

current faves

If you don’t recall, in October’s Current Faves, I had mentioned my favorites books of the month. This month will instead include a beauty product since I haven’t read any books worth mention. (○´・д・)ノ


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Last month I decided to splurge a little bit on iTunes and ended up finally purchasing HachioujiP’s “Desktop Cinderella” album. I have no regrets. This album is full of fun, electric pop goodness. I listen to it while getting ready to gain some hype for the day and…it makes me feel like a princess. | ू´ᆺ`●) With so many great songs, it’s hard to choose a favorite, but the song I’ve listened to most is “Beautiful Nightmare” featuring Megurine Luka. I definitely recommend this album for Vocaloid enthusiasts!



I swear, I have no idea what Winter is anymore. Virginia’s weather has been all over the place with hot days then straight to cold; it makes no sense and it’s doing a number on my skin and lips. Although I’m struggling to find a facial product that is consistent for the weather changes, I have grown incredibly fond of my EOS Lip Balm. It’s slightly fragrant, but doesn’t have an excessive smell or taste. It’s very moisturizing and I typically only need to apply it 2 to 3 times a day. The only issue I have is reminding myself to put it on…



So, my dad got me “Splatoon” for Christmas. And I LOVE IT. I was so interested in playing it after seeing countless posts on Tumblr…and now I see why everyone loves it. The squid characters are actually adorable, I want all of the Callie + Marie fanart, and the game play is actually quite smooth despite my very slight frustration with the camera. I can’t wait to actually do online turf wars!


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Oh look! Another Christmas presents. (*ˊૢᵕˋૢ*) My parents got me a really cute new tote for Christmas and it’s ModCloth’s Got One Friend in My Pocket Tote and oh my lord, it’s perfect. It’s a rather large tote, so it fits everything I carry or a normal basis PLUS an extra front pocket which I am incredibly thankful for. I can put my phone and keys in that pocket without worrying about losing them. Anyways, I absolutely adore how this tote goes with pretty much every outfit I put together. ♡( ૢ⁼̴̤̆ ꇴ ⁼̴̤̆ ૢ)~ෆ♡ It’s like a match made in heaven. (Thanks Mom & Dad)

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Alrighty, that’s a wrap! I hope you all enjoyed this post, it was a lot of fun to put together. I will be posting either tomorrow or New Year’s day like I normally do, so please be on the look out! Have a fun and safe New Years Holiday and don’t party too hard!!!! (*;´□`)ゞ

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae ˭̡̞(◞⁎˃ᆺ˂)◞*✰

The Geeky: 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Well Hello Everyone!

Oh no guys, it’s almost Christmas and if you’re like me…you like to do that little thing you learned in school at an early age.


Oh yes, the concept is a lovely one. But have no fear, I’ve devised a lovely list of perfect gifts for the lovely ladies in your life.

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Ah, yes. Who’s ready for some incredibly cute, geeky, and classy gifts!? Tay Tay sure is. ೕ(⁍̴̀◊⁍̴́ฅ) This year we are going to go through each of the STR categories; Fashion, Geeky, Beauty, & Food. ARE YOU READY!? Let’s do this.


You guys already know how big of a Star Wars nerd I am and this year, ModCloth has the cutest Change Purse with Greatest Pun of a Name: Be the Change Purse you Wish to C-3PO. For $19.99, you can get that awesome Star Wars nerd in your life some flippin’ style just in time for the new Star Wars movie release! I am personally loving it like crazy.


Oh my, yes yes yes to this. This is a bit more expensive than 99% of the items I’ve posted on the blog before, but believe me…it’s worth it. I’m talking about that beautiful New Nintendo 3DS XL from GameStop. At the tender price of $199.99, you can experience faster processing while playing phenomenal games such as Super Smash Bros. and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. I recently got one as an early anniversary/Christmas gift from Anthony and I LOVE IT. I highly recommend this for the gamer who ignores you. (I mean, why not right?)


You guys know I couldn’t do a gift guide without something Sailor Moon, right? ∠( ᐛ 」∠)_ And guess who just found a seller for the BEAUTIFUL and limited edition Creer Beaute Sailor Moon Make Up Powder? You guess it; YesStyle.Com! I’m not one to wear make up but if I could open up that gorgeous broach every day, I’d consider it greatly…or just keep it to look at and stare. This lovely powder will be a bit pricey at $66.90, but I’m sure the Sailor Moon loving fangirl in your life will adore you and it FOREVER. Just saying.


Finally, we’ve reached my favorite subject; Food. Although you’ll probably be eating loads of food on Christmas Day; why not give the wonderful gift of reading and teaching via a cookbook? I’d highly recommend Shirley Wong’s “Kawaii Bento” cookbook which you can purchase on Amazon. For $23.01, your friend can make the most ridiculously adorable food that you’d regret eating because it’s that freakin’ cute. Pair it with a cute lunch box or bento box, and I’d think you got a marvelous gift idea on your hands.

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Well, I think this year’s holiday gift guide was an incredible success! I hope this helps you in some way, shape, or form. (Quite frankly, I’m tempted to spoil myself on a couple of these items…whoops.) If you have any gift ideas or have purchased these bad boys before, drop a comment down below! I love to hear from you all. ღゝ◡╹)ノ♡ I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and a very safe Holiday weekend! Next week, I think I’m going to do a more personal post. There’s a lot going on here and I really just want to share it with you all. Anyways, take care guys!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae ( ื▿ ืʃƪ)


WE DID IT! ~100+ Followers + Giveaway~


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…


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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!

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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:


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


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.


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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

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!

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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!

What’s in My Bag: Overnight Edition

Hello everyone! Long time, no see!!! I hope you all don’t mind but today I am sharing with you all how I pack my overnight bags since Anthony and I recently had an overnight trip to New York/New Jersey. A simple and fun post since I am getting back into the swing of things here!


Well, this is the bag and everything I shall be using for our trip! The bag was a lovely gift from my coworker, Stephanie and it is the perfect size for a simple overnight stay. It comes with a cute and matching cosmetic bag that I will be using as well!

PicMonkey Collage

Of course, I’m going to need some clothes for the next day. Granted, depending on the amount of room in my bag…I may be wearing the same pair of pants just to have a little extra room for merchandise and goodies. I will be bringing an extra t-shirt and your typical under garments. I’m sticking with a simple Pusheen t-shirt and the what not.


When it comes to toiletries and skin care products I try to keep everything small with sample packs. For this trip I used TheFaceShop Calming Seed Trio Sample Pack that I received a while back. It already comes in a small box and I can just throw it in my bag. For shampoo and conditioner, I had none. I didn’t plan on washing my hair the next day since I am still trying to grow it out.


Since we will be on the train for a total of 6 hours all together, I am definitely going to need some sort of entertainment. I may be bringing my handy, dandy, oh-so cherished Nintendo 3DS XL with me. And playing all sorts of games from Super Smash Bros to Pokemon Y. I will also be listening to all the Vocaloid music I possibly can on my iPhone.

Well that is it for today’s post! Since we are back from Miku Expo in New York, you can definitely expect a photo journal post tomorrow and the haul on Monday. I do apologize for the lack of posts these weeks, but it’s the same excuse as always: work, school, work, school. I am trying though! Anyways, I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s post! Feel free to comment down below on whether you found this post helpful or if there are any items you’d take in your overnight! If you would like to suggest topics for future posts, please click the “Contact” button above and fill out the form!

As always, thank you all for reading and continuing to read even during these busy months for me! I hope you all have a fantastic week/weekend and just for giggles…

REMEMBER: Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs.

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

Oily Skin Take Down!

Hey Hey & Howdy!
I am back this week with a beauty post, but before that…Miku Expo! Did you all enjoy the expectation posts? We are so excited that we are thinking about having t-shirts made with the new STR Mascot image on it!! When we make the final design we will be sure to share it with you all! Anyways…I would catch you up on life but it is still work and school! Only difference is I’m starting to play Pokémon with the intent of catching a shiny Pokémon and playing the Looker Side-quest. (Insert obnoxious sigh here.)

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So, as you all may know; I have ridiculously oily skin that requires a rather large amount of care. I have a feeling some of you are looking for ways and products to help maintain oily skin. I have found a skin regimen that has been working for me for the latter part of summer! I’ll show you all of the products I use both day and night.


For morning I tend to keep it relatively simple with two to three products. For cleansing I use TheFaceShop Charcoal Cleanser I showed you all in a previous post. Because this cleanser doesn’t do much in terms of exfoliating I use my Sasatinnie Exfoliator that I purchased from Sasa.Com! After rinsing I go ahead with a quick splash of super cold water and continue to pat dry with a clean towel.

Once my face is dried I use my TheFaceShop Calming Seed Calming Mist Toner. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea toners could be so helpful, but holy hand grenade they are! Moving on, I apply my TheFaceShop Calming Seed Skin-resting Cream as a moisturizer and that pretty much concludes my morning routine.

I will say that if my face seems especially oily or my skin appears shiny, I will do a quick spray of TheFaceShop Herb Water Powder Mist which has a powdered finish and makes the skin appear more matte.


At night, I spend a bit more time on my skin regimen. I begin with my St. Ives Green Tea Cleanser. Speaking of which, I swear by it as it is hypoallergenic and has kept my skin looking its best for years now. After about a minute of massaging the cleanser into my skin, I’ll rinse with relatively warm water and apply the same toner as listed above.

This next step is entirely optional but I have found it incredibly necessary as of late. After applying the toner and allowing my face to dry I will use my TheFaceShop Lovely ME:EX Magic Pink Powder Mask and leave it on all night. It has calamine in it which is actually quite nice and calming for my trouble skin and has helped with my cystic acne if I accidentally (or purposefully) intake dairy. I highly suggest this mask if you’re looking for a way to calm a breakout or have persistent redness.

If I decide not to use the mask I will let my skin rest after applying the toner and head straight to bed!

Well that is it for today’s post! I hope you all enjoyed this post and found it helpful or beneficial in some way or other. I’d love to hear what you all thought of today’s post; if you have any products or own any of the products listed, please comment down below on your thoughts and suggestions! If you’d like to suggest topics and ideas for future posts, please click the “contact” button above! I hope you all enjoy your week and to all you students out there…WELCOME BACK. It sucks, I know. Anyways…

REMEMBER: Fall is right around the corner…as is Super Smash Bros. 3DS.

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae