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, August 23, 2011

Happy Birthday RLT Collection!

It's my birthday! Yep, Three years ago I launched my RLT Collection, a line of bracelets that I design and hand make myself. It was a brave endeavor but I figured that I had nothing to lose.

I watched all those Oprah shows where young white girls had an idea and ran with it and before you knew it, they were an over night success. I remember when I made the decision, I had a lot of nay sayers, Yep! In those early days, "Friends" would say to me, "You really think people will buy them?" Or "I thought it was just a hobby." Some of those people still haven't purchased a bracelet. One such person said to me one day, "Well you know I don't wear bracelets."  I just shrugged it off.
Brooke From Harlem Heights Wearing RLT Bracelets 

Markeeda Wearing  RLT Bracelets
But three years later RLT Collection is still here and growing. No, it hasn't made me rich; And in those first two years the collection was just hanging in there with very little profit. But I never gave up. I continued to invest in the collection with little return. I continued to shop for better and more beautiful gemstones and spent hours working on designs.  And it is starting to pay off;  My bracelets are more beautiful than ever and people are wearing my bracelets proudly.

I try to live by my motto, A Bracelet For Every Woman! I have them in every price range to fit every personality.  And my Unisex Collection is growing so men can sport my bracelets too. It is my goal to have my bracelets become a household name. In the last 20 years, I never had a goal that didn't have something to do with HIV/AIDS in some way. RLT Collection is another way that I am making history.

Paul Wearing RLT Bracelets
It feels so awesome to have this gift designing bracelets and sharing it with others. I never thought that I would one day be a business woman, but I am! And I'm all giddy, even as I write this blog

I take pride in my collection!! And I'm going to continue to invest all that I have to make RLT Collection the best it can be.  Thank you for supporting me!! Your support has helped to make RLT Collection what it is today!

In honor of my 3rd year anniversary I'm having a SALE! It starts today August 21st and ends September 13th. 30% off on all bracelets!! The coupon code at checkout is Celebrate.  My prayer is that I have many more wonderful years! And that RLT Collection will become a household name, at least in your home.

teamRae Diva II AIDS Awareness Bracelet
Post Script: There is a New teamRae Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelet. I had to discontinue the old one because the red rhinestone bead is no longer available. The new one has a simple angelic crystal dangle in the back... Also, please email me, or Tweet me photo's of you wearing RLT Collection for the photo album.

Happy Shopping!! Click Here!

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