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, August 5, 2011


I get so much love and support from my Facebook and Twitter Family. You are the most praying bunch I know and that's a good thing. Grandmama use to sing a song... I'm so glad they prayed.. I'm so glad they prayed.. I'm so glad they prayed for me. Yes, prayer changes things and I'm grateful for all the support that you show me, but sometimes I wonder, really wonder about you all.

I wonder what's going on in your own life. I wonder if you are praying for me in one breath and turning around making decisions for your life that could put you right in the situation that you're praying for me.

I wonder if somewhere in the back of your mind there is a disconnect from my life to yours. You like me, you admire me, some of you even think I'm awesome how I continue to persevere but yet you have not internalized my message in a way that you have changed your own behavior.

I just wonder, how many of you are living this lie.  I call it a lie, because to support me and my work and to pray for me constantly and yet you have not applied my message to your own life, you are living a lie. How do you truly support something that you don't use? i.e.... You support my work, but not use my message for your own life.

When I was working in politics a long time ago,  I learned to never ask someone to write a check for a political candidate that I was not willing to write myself. It speaks volumes for that which you believe in. That's why I try to the best of my human ability to live the life that I preach. Conviction validates Conviction; And Iron sharpens Iron. You make my life and message stronger by applying it to your own life.

I remember once I met a young girl in the clinic. She was 18 and 8 months pregnant with HIV. She had only known for two weeks that she was infected. In the course of our conversation, she said, "I know who you are. I heard you speak Ms. Thornton when I was a freshman in high school." Then she added, "You were so good! You were the bomb!" I stood frozen, speechless as she added, "I admire you so much. "At that moment if felt like she had stabbed me in the heart. I don't care if you like me or  think that I am a good speaker. What I care most is to NEVER meet you in the AIDS clinic.

So  Im going on record today... I'm challenging all of my supporters to live the message that you support in me. Sit yourself down and assess the thing that is blocking you from living this message. Is there something about your life that you think is different from my life, so therefore you will never live my life?

Well, if so, then you are living in arrogance. Arrangonce that says, there is something about my love, lover and life that exempts me from HIV and even Herpes, when in fact the only thing that truly exempts you is protecting yourself. Remember my message, you don't know half of what you think you know about your partner, and I pray that what you think you know is true.

Think about it.  Is your inability to follow my message a fear of being alone or rejected? Well, remember the message, you are more important then any man or woman can ever me. Self Love comes first and when you start to love yourself, than someone worthy will then love you. The fact is, if your partner don't respect your choice to use a condom, then he/she is not respecting the choices you make about your body and your life. And I think if they don't respect you, then they are not worthy of you. Why give this precious part of you to someone who doesn't respect the fullness of who you are?

I'm saying today that I love and appreciate ALL of your support. Every Tweet, Every Email, Every Facebook,  Every Bracelet sale and Every Donation you make to my blog. When I'm at my lowest it lifts me in ways I cannot even begin to explain. Your Tweets sometimes remind me that God has gifted me, and I have an obligation to keep going. In recent months a bracelet sale and your donation to the blog  goes straight to a bill and keeps me afloat. I thank you all for it all!!

But what I want most from you is to live my message... Live this message that you support and under grid everyday in so many ways. More than anything, I'm asking you to live it! Conviction is everything.. Believing it is one thing... Living it is Everything...

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