I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sugar Daddy..

I was delighted when Patrice Grell Yursik, beauty blogger guru Afrobella, invited me to her spa manicure party celebrating her birthday. I didn't give it a second thought. I responded immediately. I had heard that the Allyu Spa was all that and a bag of chips and I was not going to let modesty get in the way. This invite was priceless, a room of Chicago's top bloggers at a top Chicago spa. It was a lovely day of laughter, fun and relaxation.

Luvvie and I had been spending hours on the launch of my blog so this respite was needed for both of us. Food Blogger Coco prepared an arrangement of exotic spreads and cheeses that made the palette say, “Yeah boy.”

We settled in and the manicurist called us into the spa room three at a time. I knew already what I wanted, Essie Sugar Daddy. What else? When it was my turn I marched to the room and straight to the nail color display. To my surprise, they didn't have Essie, or OPI? Some brand called Sassy. Huh?? “This is not looking good,” I groaned. I bit my bottom lip and smiled it off. Brittany was sitting at a table and I peeked over at the purple nail polish sitting next to her. “Cuuuute,” I declared, but was not interested. I’m a nude girl forever! But the nude colors were extremely limited compared to Essie and I started to feel disappointed. I went from rack to rack as the nail tech looked on apologetically. “Maybe I should try something different,” I said to hide my disappointment and every one quickly agreed. I guess my Diva was getting thin, so I snatched up something I knew for sure, “red,” and quickly sat down. I watched as the manicurist painted Brittany’s nails, the purple was looking kinda cute I admitted. I turned to Karen and she was getting the same color. With only one difference, one single nail of a different color. “Hmmm interesting,” I thought. “But a bit too much for me.”

They both were staring urging me to step out of my box. “It’s only one time,” Karen said. Brittany chimed in, “It’ll be cute.” The peer pressure was so thick I could cut it with a knife. “What the hell,” I declared. “It is kinda cute.” And before I knew it, I had switched colors. As the tech polished my nails, I mumbled to myself. “What the hell are you doing?” I had resolved that this was a wasted manicure. The first coat did not impress me one bit, so I turned away. I became disgusted at myself because I was not one to cave into peer pressure. Now I sat waiting for my wonderful Spa day to end in disaster. The nail tech brought me back to reality when she said she was finished. I took a long good look at my nails and a smile came over my face. They were soooo pretty and the color was hot! “WOW, they really are pretty,” I declared. I marched back into the other room and proudly showed off my nails. I was happy with myself for trying something new. And truth be told, I know that Brittany and Karen have my best interest at heart. They just wanted me to be happy.

In the end why get worked up over such a small thing. It taught me a lesson: be as open in my life about the small things as I am about the big ones. My advice to all the Diva's out there. COLOR is in!! It looks like candy on your nails and that can’t be a bad thing. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box. I will probably never give up nude, but I will mix it up. What the hell, you only live once!
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