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, June 25, 2010

Fashion Friday: The Ultimate In Girl Power!!

I'm just coming to realize the power in my newest bracelet collection. I hadn't really given a lot of thought to the design concept. I had only one goal in mind for my design and that was to capture my sister friend and confident Alicia as best as I could. She is in the middle of her fight with breast cancer and kicking it in the behind! So, I wanted a fitting tribute to her.

The choice of Rose Quartz gemstones seemed to be a win-win all the way around. Pink is Alicia's favorite color and it is also the color of breast cancer awareness. Alicia is the ultimate girly girl and I wanted to make sure that the collection was consistent with her personality. I knew that I had achieved that goal when Alicia's mother said to us, "WOW, these are really feminine!" All I could do was smile. Mission accomplished!

But yesterday, one of my biggest customers, and the first to purchase from the collection, tweeted me that she was wearing her Alicia Bracelet. And then she tweeted, "It's the Ultimate in Girl Power!"  I agree...

Then we had a conversation about her 9 year old daughter who loves pink and was trying to maneuver the bracelet for herself. When Willie explained to her daughter the significance of the bracelet, her reply to her mother was, "You better sleep with it on." Willie and I exchanged a few more tweets about this young activist in the making. But the bottom line is that Willie had already begun the important discussion in a small way with her daughter about breast cancer.

I hear time and time again that women are afraid to touch their breasts and give themselves an exam, but doing so could mean early detection and early detection can save your life. We must begin educating our daughters as early as possible on issues related to being a woman, from self-love to self-exam. And yes, we lead by example. So something as simple as wearing a bracelet for breast cancer and HIV/AIDS awareness will let your daughters and nieces know that you are concerned about these issues. There is a lot of power women wield in almost every society. The saying is true, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." As women, we have to use our power to enrich our lives and the lives of others.

The wrap bracelet in this collection was designed with a peace sign because Alicia loves peace signs. She has them in every shape, size and possible use, from earrings to t-shirts. More bracelet designs will be coming to this collection with a peace sign.

Post Script: Alicia has just completed chemotherapy successfully and is moving on to the next phase of treatment. She is handling this with grace and dignity. Oh, and the little girl in the picture above is Alicia's 15 month old granddaughter Jazmyn. She's in a contest at WGN beginning June 28th.  Do us a favor and vote for this Diva in the making...

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