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, May 7, 2010

Fashion/Beauty Friday: Viva Glam V Makeover

I never ever leave the house without lipstick on my lips. That's Diva Rule #2. I love lip color and I never get locked into one. I have two lip colors for everyday that gives me a nude, neutral look. I have lip color for the fall, lip color for winter and lip color for the summer. I have lip color for TV and different colors for magazine photo shoots and particular ensembles. I love lip color! It completes you, giving a more polished look. Whenever I'm feeling low, I make my way to a makeup counter and try on lipstick until a smile comes to my face. If you experiment, I guarantee that you will find one to make you smile.  
So when my virtual intern Kianta told me that she didn't wear lipstick, I was horrified. I e-mailed her right back, "We have got to find you some lip color girly." The plan was on. When I came to speak at FAMU I was going to take her to MAC make-up and supervise a makeover. But when I arrived in Tallahassee, I discovered that Kianta was too overwhelmed with the details for the event I was speaking at so she found me a replacement. Yall know I don't like surprises!!

When I met  Soror Bridgett Simmons, I had mixed emotions. I was happy to help this coed reach her Diva Glam look, but nervous because she has really bad acne. She explained to me that her acne used to be worse, but like most young girls her age, she started taking birth control pills to help get it under control.  
Bridgett also explained that she only wore make-up for special occasions because she was afraid to clog her already oily pours. MAC make-up artist Ashley Green was confident that she could give us want we wanted and the challenge was on.  She began with MAC Prep + Prime to prevent clogging and give her foundation staying power. Like most makeup artists, she began with the eyes. They start with the eyes to ensure that the foundation is clean and smooth with no residual from the eye makeup. She mixed two colors on the entire lid to achieve this neutral look for Bridgett's complexion. 

After Ashley shaped the brows, which always finishes the eyes, she applied medium coverage foundation on Bridgett to even out her skin tone and give her face a flawless look. We could see the improvement right away. To finish the look she applied blush to the cheek bones. Without a doubt blush highlights and shapes your face. She then applied mascara to her lids. On a side note, MAC also has a Prep + Prime for the lashes. It actually extends the length of your lashes. I highly recommend it. 
Ashley assured me that any woman could achieve this look in a matter of ten minutes. Bridgett was looking great but now we had come to the moment of truth. I knew what lip color I wanted to use on Bridgett, but I didn't want to influence the makeup artist on the decision. She is the expert! I just have a good eye for color. 
But Ashley and I were definitely on the same page, she whipped out Viva Glam V and a smile came to my  face. I love this lip color and wear it for my everyday look. It is a perfect neutral, non chalky color that can be worn by many different skin complexions. Even better, ALL Viva Glam V proceeds go to help HIV/AIDS causes. This lip color is a winner all the way around!!

Ashley chose to use the  Viva Glam V gloss to give Bridgett a fresh, young look. Without a doubt Bridgett had achieved a Diva Glam look. She was so happy that she continued to smile the entire evening. Of course on a college student's budget, I thought it was only fitting to treat Bridgett to her first tube of Viva Glam V

I had a blast supervising this Diva Glam makeover for Bridgett.  Everyone were such great sports.  But I know what you all are saying, Bridgett had Ashley who is clearly a great makeup artist to help her achieve this look. But she assured me, the more you apply your makeup in the morning, the easier it will get. What she did for Bridgett, can also be your 10 minute face everyday. Makeup does enhance your God-given beauty. For Real... For Real...

 Lipstick is a must... I'm just saying... Diva Rule #2!!

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