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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fashion/Beauty Tuesday: Essie - Judith Ripka Diamond Dust Nail Lacquer

Last week I went to High Tea at the fabulous Peninsula Hotel. I had a wonderful time, great tea, great food and great conversation with my friend Lesa. I blogged about it in my "Tea With Rae," post. By far it was one of the best Teas I have experienced. I have to admit, the Peninsula goes the extra mile. On some select Fridays they have an informal fashion show. Lesa and I lucked out. The Judith Ripka and Luca Luca models floated around showing off fabulous jewelry and clothing, and handing out goodie bags to every single table.

The goodie bag had generous gift certificates from both Judith Ripka and Luca Luca. It also included a bottle of nail lacquer. I didn't think much of it at first, I just casually looked at the package. But to my surprise, it was a limited edition nail lacquer from Essie and Judith Ripka with genuine diamond dust. Yep, I said diamond dust! But how about this, the Essie Loves Diamonds polish is not only infused with genuine diamond dust but there are three bottles of this polish floating around the country with a 1kt diamond, emerald and sapphire. For Real!. It took everything I had not to dump the entire bottle of polish to see if I was a lucky winner. But I'll wait  until the polish is almost gone. Why waste diamond dust. And for me, the suspense is half the fun.

On the surface, this polish reminded me of Essie's traditional nude colors, but this is not your typical polish, remember it is infused with diamond dust. So yesterday I went to have a manicure with this fancy nail lacquer. I have to admit, it does have a glow about it that is not typical of Essie nudes. But there is no glitter or anything like that. It is a classic nude with a pop. And I have fallen in love!

My favorite nail color, Sugar Daddy has officially been dethroned by the Love Diamonds polish, "Put A Ripka Ring On It". First of all, the shine is unbelievable. But more than that, it is a perfect blend between Essie nude colors like Mademoiselle, which tends to be more sheer, and the chalky colors like Angel Food.

Over all, this polish is #DivaApproved. I'm going to stock up because it is a limited edition and who knows when they will run out. Just a warning, they are double the price of other Essie polishes, but I figure the more polish I buy the greater I increase my chance to win that 1kt diamond, emerald and sapphire at the bottom of one of these bottles!

Don't forget to check out Friday's Blog "Tea With Rae," and enter the raffle to have tea with me at the Peninsula Hotel. Also Tea With Rae Logo
 T-Shirts are available. 

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