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


「ぴこぷり」Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival Tote Review


Merry Christmas


Why yes, it is indeed Christmas and I actually have time to write a blog post. I suppose a little update on how things are going would be a relatively good way to start!

I’m not too sure if many of you know but I recently got a new job! I’m currently in the process of transitioning into it, but I’ve been really busy with my current job and Christmas shopping. But I am finally able to relax and get some good rest and work on pictures for future posts! In terms of Christmas, it was quite wonderful and quiet but a bit lonely since Anthony is visiting family this year. He’ll be home soon enough though!

Anyways, I recently ordered the latest issue of 「ぴこぷり」or Pico Puri and it came with the cutest Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival themed tote! So I’m going to review it~. ( ๑‾̀◡‾́)σ»

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What is Pico Puri? Pico Puri is a gaming magazine in Japan geared towards young female gamers. The magazine has comics featuring popular game characters, QR codes for Animal Crossing, and more. It’s honestly the cutest thing I’ve ever read however a tad bit expensive at $12.99. But this month it came with Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival Themed Tote….and I could not say no to anything with Lottie and Isabelle’s face. Let’s be honest. ʸ(➜◡ु⚈᷉)♡⃛


Let’s start off with the packaging! Everything came wrapped in plastic and bubble wrap which I certainly appreciate because I try to keep my magazines in the best condition possible. The actual tote was also kept in a brown box with a plastic wrap with Animal Crossing characters scattered on it. The box was a tad difficult to open, but nothing a knife couldn’t fix!


I’ve never been so aesthetically pleased by a little tote in my life. Let’s be real, the whole reason I purchased the magazine (aside from the QR codes) was for the adorable tote that features my three favorite characters; Lottie, Isabelle, and Reese! Plus, the tote itself is a light pink with polka dots. So freakin’ adorable, omg. (੭ु。╹▿╹。)੭ु⁾⁾ The material is a soft plastic that is waterproof and quite comfortable. In terms of size, it’s rather small, so I will probably use this as like a lunch bag or something~.


There isn’t much going on with the inside. The tote isn’t lined with anything in particular, but it’s still waterproof which is the main thing for me. It doesn’t open to much further at the bottom, but like I said; it’s a small tote for small uses, so that isn’t much of a concern. ╮( ꒪౪꒪)╭


Overall, I absolutely adore the tote for aesthetic reasons, however it’s going to see close to no use due to it’s small size. _:(´□`」 ∠):_ But hey! It’s cute, right? With that said, I hope you all enjoyed today’s post! I also hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas and Holiday season. I have a few posts to put up hopefully before New Year’s Eve if all goes well! Anyways, you guys are so incredible and I love you all loads!!!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love, 
Taylor Rae ヾ(๑ㆁᗜㆁ๑)ノ”

The Geeky: 2014 Holiday Gift Guide


Why hello there everyone!

For the past two years I have done a quick holiday gift guide to help you shop for the geeks in your life! Today I’m following the annual tradition and this year’s guide is geared toward the ladies in your life. From jewelry to home decor, here are five items that make perfect and adorable gifts for your girl friend, female friend, maybe even your mom.

hatsune miku bag

Let’s face it, many ladies love purses and backpacks. Plus they make the perfect gift for the holidays.  If you have a Hello Kitty or Vocaloid fan in your life, this bag is definitely a must!  This is Hot Topic‘s “Hatsune Miku x Hello Kitty Hobo Bag” is reasonably priced and on sale for $14.63~! If you really want to fancy up a bag gift then stuff some fun or delicious things inside! It’ll be a cute surprise for the recipient!

luna p cushion

Who doesn’t like a little something to spruce up their living space?  With all of the Sailor Moon products being released this product is probably one of my favorites (that I have yet to purchase…)!  This product is JList‘s “Luna P Ball 1/1 Beads Cushion” it’s a wee bit expensive at $35 plus shipping, from Japan, BUT if your recipient is a huge Sailor Moon fan then this gift is beyond perfect. Also this product brings a ridiculous wave of nostalgia!

ack-bar tee

You can never go wrong with buying a T-shirt as a gift. It’s simple, cost effective and can make some feel as if though you know them all too well.  This year I have a shirt for ALL of you Star Wars nerds! Say hello to ThinkGeek‘s “Ack – Bar Ladies’ Tee” and it’s priced oh so lovely at $19.99. Who doesn’t love Admiral Ackbar and corny puns? Maybe with some added chocolate on this side this gift will surely be out of this world in a galaxy far, far away.

pikachu mug

This year has been the year of Pokemon, and, I am loving it. If your lady has bought it then she is rocking one of the new Pokemon ORAS games. Why not buy her a cute mug to drink hot chocolate or coffee from while they spend about 10 hours a day trying to collect all 8 gym badges and catch all of the legendaries? This mug is the Pokemon Center‘s “Pikachu Big Face Coffee Mug” and it goes for $14.95! You can place a hot chocolate packet with a candy cane and some popcorn inside side to spruce it up a bit! Tis an easy yet awesome gift, yes?

roam necklace

Ah, yes. Statement jewelry made a wonderful…statement…this year! And here is a clever statement for the Wanderlust laden lady in your life: ModCloth‘s “No Place Like Roam Necklace”! It’s slightly expensive at $29.99, but it’s sure to bring a smile to that wonderful lady’s face as she lets her eyes roam over the map set in the necklace itself! It’s a stunning gift that is sure to catch some glances and make them wander!

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Well that’s all I have for today! I hope this helps you with shopping for your ladies ~. If you liked today’s post and or want to suggest other items perfect for Christmas go ahead and please leave a comment down below! If you would like to suggest topics for future posts please click the “Contact” button above and shoot me an email! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays~! And like always…

REMEMBER: IT’S A SNACK! (I love this pun…)

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

「なかよし」Cardcaptor Sakura Clutch Pouch Review

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Hello, Hello!!!!
Happy Finals Week!!! Yes finals have been the cause for my rather long absence. It’s the end of a busy semester, for me, and after this week I am free! (Cue rather cliché angelic choir.) I have missed blogging, recently, so I thought I do a mini review on an adorable product I recently purchased. Let’s take a look shall we?

the product

I’ve recently been getting back into anime in my free time. More specifically Cardcaptor Sakura! I was quite a fan back in the day and I just can’t get enough of it lately. So when I saw that the latest issue of “Nakayoshi” had a Cardcaptor Sakura clutch purse included I ordered it! I went through CDJapan for this order and it arrived, after processing, within a week and a half.


The pouch is double sided; one side is a pink, metallic material and the other is fabric  with a repeating pattern on the material. The metallic side has the Clamp logo stamped at the top near the zipper in grey ink. Unfortunately, in most light, it is difficult to see the logo and it looks cheaply stamped. The other side has a colorful pattern of Kero-chan, the Clamp logo, cherry blossoms and moons. I actually prefer this side since it has more color and you can make out the pattern rather than the dull grey ink.


The inside also has two sides. The side with the fabric has a protective plastic covering that is to protect your belongings from rain I assume. The metallic side has a fabric covering.  As to how much it can hold, I’m just going to say a lot because the typical amount of things I tend to bring with me is low and small. This pouch looks better holding quite a few items and I don’t have enough to fill it quite yet.

Overall the pouch is ridiculously cute, however certain aspects seem a bit cheap. Though it is still a great pick up, especially, for fans of the series. It’s perfect for the magical girl fans out there, or the nostalgic CCS fans such as myself. Would I use this pouch in public? HECK YES!… if I had enough items to fill it. I would definitely recommend this product as it’s incredibly affordable plus you get to read a Japanese manga magazine along with it.

Thanks so much for being so patient during this semester! You all have seriously been so awesome. I am going to try and come up with a quick Christmas guide and beauty recipe post when I get the chance~. I hope you all enjoyed today’s post and expect more like it soon! As always, please feel free to comment down below with your thoughts and questions about today’s post and if you’d like to suggest topics for future posts, please click the “Contact” button above!

As always, I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend! It’s getting cold, so bundle up~. And…

REMEMBER: “Trademark poses and spells are the basic parts of being a magical girl!” – Tomoyo Daidouji (CCS)

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

Hatsune Miku Expo-tations Part 2

Hey guys, look!
Yes, I am back with the second portion of my Miku Expo-tations! (Sorry for the pun…) Today, I am sharing my expectations for the Hatsune Miku concert…but before that, I guess I’ll catch you up with life! Today is the first day of fall semester and I already dislike it! The frustration that comes with a community college filled with jerks and obnoxious people is too much to handle. Aside from that, I’ve just been working and playing a lot of Pokemon. Now that we are caught up, let’s start.

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When it comes to Vocaloid concerts I have high expectations. I recently watched the Magical Mirai 2013 concert. It was ridiculously phenomenal and so real, and yet still carried the cartoonish look that people go to see. I am expecting some awesome stuff you guys don’t even know.

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Oh yes. I am not too sure what to expect with the song list. In the documentary, they tried to create a song list that will tailor to Indonesian fans specifically. For an American audience, we may not get the same song list and that is perfectly fine with me because I know songs that I would really like to hear that have appeared in only one or two concerts. While others have appeared in close to every concert.
“Senbonzakura (千本桜)” Miku
This song is ridiculously fun to dance to and I feel like it would really get the crowd pumped. If Miku uses the fans this time it would be even more fun by adding audience participation to it.
“shake it!” Miku, Len, & Rin
Len break dances and the song is awesome. Need I say more?
“Pane Dhiria” KAITO
KAITO’s kick flip. Once again, self-explanatory.
“Leia” Luka
I think this song is so great for Luka but isn’t the typical concert song for her. The song also adds a soft rock feel that I was loving during Magical Mirai. They should definitely bring it back.
“Tell Your World (English)” Miku
I have a gut feeling that this will be included in the song list primarily because in Indonesia, they added “Venus di Ujung Jari” into the song list. Also, livetune plays a huge part in the Miku concerts so I am expecting this to play. If it doesn’t I’ll be surprised.
“1/6 -out of the gravity-” Miku
No reason. I just like it a lot.
“Himitsu Keisatsu (秘密警察)” Miku
Once again, it adds a lot of audience participation and I’m pretty sure the North American audience are familiar with this gem of a song. Also, it’s quite catchy…
“Hello, Planet. (ハロー、プラネット。)” Miku
This song is ridiculously adorable and adds more audience participation. Plus, I know the dance that goes with it and I want to show Anthony that learning it was not a vain effort.
“Piano x Forte x Scandal” MEIKO
Aside from the fact that I love this song it seems to be the only way/song they can include MEIKO in.
“Sweet Magic (スイートマジック)” Rin
This is actually a song that has not made its way into the concerts yet, so I feel that it would be super awesome and new for Rin, but still give the feeling that “Melancholic” did since it’s also made by Junky.


For costumes, I’m expecting the traditional outfit, of course, but it’s hard to tell if certain songs will display the costume changes with it. So, here are the costumes I’d like to see for the songs I’m hoping:

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As for available merchandise; I’m thinking concert tees, merchandise, CDs, DVDs, and other things typical for Miku concerts. There will probably be some items that you can buy either at the concert or the exhibit, but it’s hard to tell since the exhibit and concert are being held in two different places.

JUST A REMINDER: Anthony and I will be attending Day Two of Miku Expo in NY. If you see us, be sure to stop and say hi! We’d love to meet our readers!!

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I hope you all enjoyed today’s post because this was a lot of work to think up…haha! But as I said, we are super excited to attend Miku Expo and document our journey with you all! If you have thoughts, expectations, or are even attend Miku Expo in NY, please comment below. I love to hear what you all have to say! If you’d like to suggest ideas and topics for future posts, please click the “contact” button above. I hope you all enjoy your week, take care, and…

REMEMBER: Ferguson, MO. We stand with you!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

Recent Purchase: Cookbook & Miku Chan!?

Hello There!
How have you all been?! I am definitely starting to realize what life in the adult world is like… Working full-time is so frustrating and exhausting and not to mention being a full-time student. I am trying to find time to do everything that needs to be done, but posting once a week will have to do until I am able to come up with some sort of schedule.

Moving on, OH EM GEE. Have you all seen the first installment of Simply Taylor Rae’s newest YouTube series: The STR Crew Reacts To…!? Last week, it was Sailor Moon Crystal Act One. We will be filming Act Two sometime this week so you should look forward to that, but just in case…you can view the video HERE.

titleAnyways, I feel like I haven’t done a recent purchase post in what feels like a rather long time. I mean, I’ve bought stuff here and there, but never seemed to take any pictures until the other day! So, here are a few things that I have purchased within the last month or so!

the cookbook

Remember when I did Awkward Chef posts!? Yeah, those are coming back with the help of this really adorable cook book. This is “Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches” and I honestly had no intention of buying this book, but I thought “Why the heck not?” and purchased it for $11.17 on Amazon (HERE). I can’t wait to make pink rice and add faces to sandwiches that will at one point be in stomach, digesting. Yum-Yum indeed.


In case you haven’t noticed, I am on a nostalgia kick! I don’t know how this happened, but I suddenly want to buy everything that reminds me of when I was little. Quick question: Is this what they call a quarter-life crisis? I had already purchased the first three not too long ago and I wanted to finish another manga series so I found “CardCaptor Sakura Omnibus #4” on Amazon for $17.07 (HERE) and I am so happy to have the complete collection now! What shall be my next venture?

skin care

Well, when you see any products from TheFaceShop on my blog…you already know where I went. Surprisingly enough, I did not buy as much this time!! Lately, my face has been producing enough oil to run my car for the next 3000 miles or so and I am in need of water and anything to keep my face properly hydrated! I ended up purchasing the Lovely ME:EX Magic Pink Powder Mask which was about $8 I believe. The adorable packaging and the calamine are what suckered me into buying it. I also purchased the Herb Water Powder Mist to replace my TonyMoly facial mist. This was about $11 or so, and it leaves a slight shimmer when used which I like since…well, everyone likes sparkles. Thankfully, every time I make a purchase I get the cutest samples and this time I was given a mini Green Tea Toner & Lotion Kit and a Core Seed Purifying Essence!

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Finally, we have the two items that I have been so excited to get my hands on! Yes, these are the new Hatsune Miku POP Funko Figures and they run about $12.90 each. Honestly, it took me a bit longer to find the Hot Topic Exclusive release…I had asked my local Hot Topic like three times if they had gotten it in and they told me no each time. I had checked online and couldn’t find it and I felt a wee bit heartbroken. So, I sucked it up and bought the regular edition on Amazon (HERE). I’ll admit, I still loved it but I just had to have the HT Exclusive edition. So on my way home from Annandale, I decided to do one last check at a Hot Topic way up north from home and BY GOD THEY HAD IT. Talk about #Winning.

Well, there you have it. I promise the next recent purchase will be much better and hopefully much more…full? Anyways, let me know what you all think of today’s post in the comments down below! I am excited to hear what you all have to think and while you’re at it; if you have any suggestions for future posts or videos on the STR YT Channel, go ahead and click on that contact button above!

As always, I hope you all enjoy your week and take good care of yourselves! I’m going to be working, but hopefully it won’t be too bad…ugh.

REMEMBER: MikuExpo in NYC is officially three months away! Will you be there? :O

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

Inspiration for a Wardrobe Change

Hello everyone!
I do apologize for a week without a post…a lot has been happening and I am thinking about talking about in another post. For now, I will just say that a certain event occurred that kind of threw me off from blogging, but after a talk with Anthony, I realized that I can’t have anything hinder me from my passion. Anyways, recently I have been thinking about doing a complete wardrobe change over the next year that better suites me and my personality and my love for Asian fashion. Therefore, I thought it would be great to show you all just exactly where I get my inspiration from.
wardrobe changeYes, I have been wanting to plan this for so long and I think I have found all of the courage and inspiration I need to make it happen! Now, this will take a while depending on when we start wedding planning, but as it pulls together I will surely document it for you all! With that said, where do I get my inspiration?
Mori GirlThis is a fashion that I have longed to try for so long. This is Mori Girl or 森ガール. It’s a Japanese Fashion Subculture focusing on comfort, layers, and neutral colors. It also gathers its inspiration from nature which is so appealing to me! I always love to layer clothing and the use of colors, you can barely go wrong with mixing and matching. I feel that this is the best inspiration for my personality since I tend to wear comfortable and calm clothing.
Otome KeiThis is Otome Kei or オトメけい. Back in high school, I was actually dressing in Lolita fashion so imagine petticoats and full skirts galore! A part of me actually misses a lot of components that went into a Lolita coordinate. Unfortunately, I really can’t wear big skirts and such at work, so Otome Kei is really the best way for me to add Lolita components and still be able to wearing pants and shorts! I really want to get back to looking a tad more feminine and I think this would be a perfect fit for my growing wardrobe.
korean fashionI must admit, when I first started dwelling into Asian fashion…Korean fashion wasn’t too appealing to me. I guess I wanted something more “out there” and so on, hence why I dove right into Lolita fashion. Well, now that I’m a little older and I really don’t want to wear anything too overwhelming for me, I think Korean fashion adds a light pop that brightens an outfit without it overwhelming me which is perfect for work and a chill out day. I also find that Korean Fashion provides a lot of sneaker coordinates which is awesome because I love my sneakers. Just saying.

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Well, that’s my wardrobe inspiration! I hope you all enjoyed and found this helpful in some sort of way. I have a lot I want to share with you all in this changing of the clothes and what not, so I hope you all will look forward to the future posts. Anyways, I am going to go ahead and get some rest before work! Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you want to suggest future posts or review, go ahead and click the comment button above.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week! Please take care, stay safe, and always remember to take care of your body since you only have one! 🙂
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae