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

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tea With Rae: Valentine Shop Guide

Yes, tea can say love in so many ways. I believe the best way to end the day is with a cup of relaxing tea such as chamomile or lavender and cozy up for a great conversation with your significant other. But don't worry about having another in your life. For me, single now, a cup of tea at the end day is taking care of me in the best of ways. I sip on one of these relaxing teas and snuggle between my sheets with great book. It takes me away from the stress of the day and prepares me for a necessary good night's sleep. Tea is loving the self in the best of ways. So here are my recommendations to say I love you, whether it's to yourself or someone else.
I simply love these teapots! The one on the top is great for one person. I love the matching cup, saucer and teapot combo. It's Diva Fab! The one with the hearts is just too cute. I would pair this combination teapot/infuser with solid red cups. Both of these teapots are from The NecessiTeas, and while you are there, pick up some of her Black Beauty Tea; a black tea infused with maple flavors and roses. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds delightful. And don't forget when you make a $10.00 purchase from NecessiTeas they will send you a few of my favorite samples. Just write in #TeaWithRae in the note section.
One of my favorite teas is The Republic of Tea's Double Dark Chocolate Mate Tea. OMG! This anti-oxidant rich tea is made from South American Yerba leaves and infused with organic dark chocolate. Now, I know some people don't like dark chocolate, but don't get sidetracked by the name. It's the perfect blend with a rich chocolate flavor. Double Dark Chocolate Mate is the perfect dessert tea. I typically drink it in the evening after dinner when I'm not going to have a heavy dessert. But if you want to be decadent, I suggest that you stop by Kilwin's Chicago and pick up their chocolate covered strawberries in a chocolate martini glass. These two items are a perfect combination and a wonderful way to end your Valentine celebration at home. *smile*
I fell in LOVE with this tea cup and saucer set from Nordstrom. They speak for themselves. This glazed porcelain set of six comes in a wonderful mixture of colors. They are simply beautiful! I wanted them so bad but my funds are so tight. My blogger friend Kim also wanted them but didn't want all six so we went in together. I guess three are better than nothing.

So what do you put in these fabulous tea cups? Glad you asked. Here's a few more Valentine tea picks. This wonderful blended tea Strawberry Rose, by Esp Emporium is a mixture of floral and fruit, and it's caffeine free. (Also, Esp Emporium offers a 10% discount to my followers, the coupon code is TeaWithRae.) Another caffeine free tea that I love is Honeybush Hazelnut, a perfect blend of sweet honeybush blended with chocolate and hazelnut. Now, I love Earl Grey tea for after dinner. This bergamot flavor combined with red tea creates a unique Herbal Grey, both by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company. Last, you know how I simply LOVE black tea. For a smooth tasting premium black tea with a sweet, malty, chocolaty taste, I recommend Teavana's hand rolled Black Dragon Pearl.

And let's not forget my all time favorite treat, cupcakes. Patty, the owner and chef over at More Cupcakes, outdid herself with this Passion Passion Passion Cupcake! OMG!! The cupcake is just what it says, a passion cake, with a passion center and a passion frosting, finished with a white and dark chocolate heart.
Now if you have no time to do any or all of these, I'm gonna recommend the ultimate treat, High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel. I've done it twice and it is worth it and so much more. If you have never experienced high tea, take this time to do so!
And let's not forget my product. I design these wonderful Tea Bracelets. They are fabulous tea balls to strain your tea. Some have a dual function, they can be disconnected from the tea ball and worn as a bracelet. But mostly, they are Diva approved tea balls each one designed and handmade by me from gemstones. You can also checkout my wonderful line of bracelets, RLT Collection.
I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine's Day! And remember to keep yourself safe. There is no love or sex worth your life. Wrap it up!!! Condoms come in many colors and sizes...

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