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

Saturday, June 11, 2011

United In HIV! A Social Event For a Socially Conscious Cause!

I'm very proud of the groundbreaking work that I have been doing in social media to educate and challenge stigma and shame around HIV/AIDS. In just a little over a year, I have made a mark. When I embarked on this mission, I had no idea that it would take a life of its own. It's been good for me and the people that I engage daily, through Twitter, Facebook and this Blog.

I am exceptionally proud of my groundbreaking HIV/AIDS Tweet-ups. Taking a social event and carving out of it a social cause. To date, I have held two tweet-ups and on this Tuesday I will host my third in recognition of National HIV Testing Day. By the way, I'm taking my Tweet-Up's across the country to the cities where I'm speaking, beginning in September.

The thing that is really fun is that I have not locked myself into one type of Tweet-Up. The first one was held at Hotel Allegro Encore Liquid Lounge, with wonderful swag bags and raffles galore. A grand affair for sure. I was told it was one of the best swag bags ever. The second Tweet-Up was hosted by Kilwin's Chocolate, here in Old Town Chicago. I partnered with  my friend, Social Media Guru and Mommie Blogger, Dwana aka Houseonahill. We socialized, tweeted HIV statistics, ate chocolate and ice cream on that cold winter night, for National Black HIV Day.

Cyon in His Hostess Attire! 
Now on this Tuesday, June 14th, I'm going to SideTrack, a premier gay bar in the City of Chicago. Why? Well, because Gay Black men are our brothers, fathers, sons, grandfathers and cousins and yes, many of us  women have a BFF in our back pocket. The exciting thing is, I'm partnering with the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus. And the Dynamite, Fabulous Cyon Flare will be hosting on this night. And I've been told that he is the best Host on that side of town.

Side Track Bar is rolling out the red carpet for us and I'm way excited. Now it's gonna be a rough day for me. Yes, many of you know that Tuesday's are my IV medication day. But I will have my 6 hour IV drip, come home, rest my body and spirit. Have a cup of tea, put on my Ruby Woo lipstick and 4 inch heels and get there to have a blast.

We will be testing for HIV throughout the night. There will be lots of information, condoms and just a lot of fun people united around HIV. We will be tweeting HIV statistics throughout the night. There are raffle prizes from spa treatments to tea, RLT Collection, and the list goes on and on. We even have a tea give away for the first 100 people. Cyon and Craig Johnson of the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus have worked their tails off. I'm grateful that they took up all the slack when I became ill. And of course my wonderful assistant Latoya always does her part. If not for them this would not be happening.

What's so awesome is this, Boys Town will have no idea what hit them. The fact that a Black Woman is not afraid to partner with Black Gay men and unite around a cause is groundbreaking. We are showing Chicago that as a people, we are united around the issue of HIV/AIDS. And we have even invited the Mayor. We are keeping our fingers crossed that he will choose our National Testing Event, as he is planning to drop in on some in the city during this month.

This is going to be a lot of FUN! Laura Branch, former director HIV/AIDS Division of the Chicago Department of Public Health, will be our special guest DJ and I have heard that she is off the chain.

Ok, so come out and have a little fun with us. I might even dance in spite of how I'm going to feel from my IV treatment. Now if I can dare to take such an important stand on the need to work together with our brothers and pull my Diva together and get there after 6 hours of IV medication, then you can at least come hang out with us. With me and Cyon, ha, we will be the hostesses with the mostesses and all for a great cause.

You can RSVP Here. We just want to get a head count. The event is Free! But if you give a $10 donation you will receive a free drink. Yes, there will be spirits, but Starbucks will be there serving, yep, you guessed it, tea. And the money will be spilt straight down the middle between me, to support my work around HIV/AIDS, and the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus.
See Ya Tuesday! We are United In HIV!  #UnitednHIV Like I say on Twitter everyday #ICannotdoitAlone and neither can Gay Black Men. We must come together if we are going to see a change happen for the best in our community around HIV/AIDS.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics