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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Reflection: Progress Not Perfection!!

Last Monday was a day filled with emotional and physical fatigue and I declared that I was going to do something about it. Remember I said, “So instead of me giving into my Blue Monday, I evaluated what got me to this place and what I can do differently to change it.” It was definitely a lofty declaration on my part.

We do it often, don’t we? Say how we are going to change things in our lives, like lose weight, stop being a doormat, start school, balance our time, keep ourselves safe from HIV by using a condom, pick the man who will value and love you for you. The list goes on and on, but at the end of the day, I wonder how many times we make these resolutions to ourselves and don’t follow through. And equally as important, what does that do to our self esteem? Declaring, but never doing. Starting, but never finishing. I know for me, when this happens, I don’t like myself very much and that cannot be a good thing. Self love should not be compromised by anything, not even you. So I ask myself, “Why do I keep doing the same thing that will render the same result every single time?” The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Are we living on the boundaries of insanity?

I've done it over and over. I’ve even done it on this blog. Yep, you heard it. My two biggest declarations, lose weight and balance my time. Yes, we go into these resolutions with the best of intentions, but somewhere along the way we become paralyzed, stuck in our routines that derail our progress. Some of us are even afraid of failure but as the saying goes, fear is false evidence appearing real. It is what we have made ourselves to believe it may be, rather than what it is.

Another barrier to success is fear of failure. What if I can’t do it, and closely connected is, what will people think? But you will never know until you try. Defeatism is another barrier to our success. We conclude, I might as well stay fat, because there is no expectation of me fat... It is who I am. We find comfort in the fact that people will accept us in what ever state we are in. That, for many of us, is a safe place. In our twisted thinking we see it as better then people saying, “It’s taking her forever to finish school or to lose weight.” But one pound is better then no pound and one class is three credits toward a degree. For Real...

I learned from my mentor Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, that if you don’t run you are guaranteed to lose, if you do run you might lose. Yes, he lost the presidential nomination in 1988, but 8 million votes gave him enough delegates and power to be a voice at the Democratic convention. That voice changed the one man one vote rule, and that paved the way for President Obama to win the Democratic nomination. For Real... Without that rule change twenty years ago he would not have won the nomination. So what am I saying? I’m saying we have to start somewhere.

No, we won’t climb a mountain overnight, but I would prefer to be on my way up then stuck at the bottom. Baby steps are certainly better than no steps at all. Progress should be your aim, don’t get stuck on the concept of perfection, that is what God is... We on the other hand are simply human. Do your best and you will render the best outcome. Do nothing and you will render nothing...
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