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, July 9, 2010

Fashion Friday: The Color Red!

Red has always been a color of glamour and sensuality. It has been seen on the red carpet more than any other color. It is even the color of the "power suit" worn by many in the political and corporate world. It is a color that compliments any skin tone and definitely makes a fashion statement. Red is no doubt my favorite color! Well, honestly for me it is equal to black. A must have in every woman's wardrobe!  

In 1991, a decade into the AIDS epidemic, it became a powerful symbol in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Brought to life by a group of New York artists called Visual AIDS. The artists sought to create an image that would be seen simple yet bold. One that would make an impact wherever seen.

Red was chosen to symbolize blood and danger. The tails pointing down was chosen to symbolize life flowing away. It was first worn publicly by Jeremy Irons at the Tony Awards in 1991. It instantly became an international symbol for HIV/AIDS Awareness.

While the color red for AIDS Awareness has not gained the wide support the color  pink has for Breast Cancer Awareness, it is certainly a close second. In recent years Bono launched a campaign using the color red to help fund AIDS in Africa projects. His campaign seemed to have brought the color of red for HIV/AIDS Awareness to life.

When I reached out to the fashion world to support my Social Media Event many responded in the color red. I was elated that they sought to contribute to my event and at the same time highlight the color of HIV/AIDS Awareness.

Sound Chick Accessories created these funky one of a kind earrings made with feathers. These earrings are definitely for a woman who is comfortable making a statement literally head on.

Pretty Afrika created this one of a kind clutch handbag. The handbag is designed with red African cloth that has gold specks. I loved it so much that I requested a version of it for myself. She only makes one-of-a-kind items. The earrings are wonderful, the picture does not do them justice... Gotta come and see them up close.

Ave Maria Boutique donated this fabulous red patent leather handbag. I love it so much that I started counted my pennies to see if I could afford this handbag. It's valued at $250.

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph donated her Diva AIDS Awareness t-shirt. Yes, "An Evening With Rae Meet, Greet and Tweet," will have some wonderful raffle prizes and the color Red will take center stage on July 15th at Encore Liquid Lounge. Even the wait staff will be wearing the color red. Me, well, I'm wearing ummm... Not sure yet....  But I will look cute, that's a promise, as we tweet a message of HIV Prevention and challenge stigma and shame against HIV/AIDS.

Post Script: Lululemon Athletica donated these wonderful tote bags with positive affirmations written on them for our premium Swag Bag gift given to the first 100 people to arrive. And actually, these are the bags that you get at Lululemon Athletica when you make a purchase there.

And let's not forget Monday's beauty blog, Milani Cosmetics also donated 100 bottles of Red To Tango Nail Lacquer for the premium Swag Bags.

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