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, October 4, 2011

#TeamRae-Chicago AIDS Walk 2011 #FunTimes

I didn't  think that I could do it this year. My health, as you know has taken center stage and interfered with a good portion of my life. As I debated the yes and no of the Chicago AIDS Walk, some of my devout members tweeted me often asking about the team, so with less than two weeks from the walk, I went ahead and signed up #teamRae.

I got off the IV medication on Friday and I shook off whatever I was feeling physically and participated with my team. The walk is always fun and it's for a great cause, service organizations that treat people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Core Center where I get all my health care is one of the recipients. There are times when I need to get medication from there. Like the cream I use to treat my herpes infection cost $700 for a small jar. So I'm grateful for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago leading the way each year to create additional funding for Chicago's AIDS  Care.
Some of #teamRae at Manny's after the walk

When I first arrived to the walk I thought that we would have only five people on the team, but some of last year's team members started to filed in one by one and two by two. And each time, we all jumped with joy and hugged with excitment.  We even had some new members this year and they just folded in like they had always been a part of #teamRae. We had 11 members in total and we had a blast walking Chicago's lake front.
Kurt and Sophie
And the star of the show was my little Miss Sophie. She was a hoot! When she wasn't riding in a man's arm, she was strutting her stuff like a Diva Poodle should.

Missing from the team this year was my old lady Nambi. At 15 1/2 it was time for Doggie Heaven... I miss my baby RIP Nambi

Me and Nambi 2011
Ok so next year I have a goal of at least 50 team members and to ensure that it happens, I took that responsibility out of my hand. What's the point of having a team and no help? So I am proud to announce that Antonia, but everyone calls her Toni, is Team Captain. You can find her her twitter @ itsToni and on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/ItsToniS
Me and Toni Tweeting Walk 2010
Or if you email rae@raelewisthornton.com I will forward all the information. There is a $25.00 sign up fee from the Chicago AIDS Foundation and we will be having #teamRae t-shirts next year. I will try to keep the cost at $20-22. So save your money. 

Lastly, you can still donate to my team. They have not yet closed out donations  Click this link. I'm so glad Toni kept asking me about the walk for this year. It was what I needed to help lift my spirit. I'm just so honored that people believe in my work around HIV/AIDS and show their support in so many different ways. The Chicago AIDS Walk is one way to be visible in this fight against HIV/AIDS.

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