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, April 5, 2011

Fashion/Beauty Tuesday: Beauty With A Cause!

I love Law and Order SVU and that Mariska Hargitay brings the complex character of Olivia Benson to life. On the show, she was a child conceived in rape who grew up with an alcoholic mother trying to cope with raising that child as a result of rape. A lofty task on her mother's part. But during that period, women had no choice. They had no right to choose. A baby made out of love or rape was a baby had.

Her character went to new heights when she became a victim of rape on an undercover sting in prison. I love her character. This season she told a rapist after his capture, "You're my bitch now!" My Twitter timeline was trending SVU that night. SVU clearly helps us to understand rape and abuse in a way that we never had.

But I believe that one of Mariska's greatest roles is as founder of A Joyful Heart Foundation, a foundation committed to healing the mind, body and spirit of sexual assault victims. The great thing about this foundation is that they support survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence. I am impressed with the work that Joyful Heart does. Read their story here.

As an adult survivor of both childhood sexual assault and abuse and rape, I wish there had been a Joyful Heart Foundation when I was a child, or even when I was raped when I was a young adult.

Sexual assault is real!
  • One in three women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.

  • Every two minutes in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted.

  • Nearly four children die every day in this country as a result of child abuse and neglect. And up to ten million children witness domestic violence each year.
And when I saw this bath product from Philosophy that supports A Joyful Heart Foundation, I had to share it with you. 100% of the net proceeds go to the foundation. This scent is floral and feminine and I love it! But most important, it's a great cause and one way to show your support for victims of sexual assault and child abuse. It comes in both a lotion and shower gel and I plan to buy them both. Yes, both! When you layer the same shower gel and lotion you increase the longevity of the scent. Check it out here.

Purchasing Joyful Heart is one clear way to show your support for such a great cause! Another way is to join me this Friday by wearing dark blue to show your support for survivors of child abuse. The following Friday, April 15th, we'll wear teal to show support for survivors of sexual assault. Then we'll alternate Fridays wearing dark blue on April 22nd, and teal on April 29th. Tweet and/or Facebook me photos of you wearing these colors. I'm creating an album to go on my Facebook page.  


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