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 18, 2011

Yep! Taking It to The Next Level!

Yesterday I had a photo shoot for RLT Collection, my bracelet line that I launched three years ago. I've been working on the new collection now for almost three months. Yes, I've been even working while I've been sick; Doing the best with what is before me each day. I think that we all should do our best with what we got; To do less is to squander what is before us.

I decided to take RLT Collection to the next level, so I'm taking steps in the right direction. You can't just talk about your dreams, at some point you have to put some action behind your dreams.

So here I am working hard to get to that next level. I'm having my first Trunk Show, on October 27th at the Comfort Suites, Chicago. I'm a little nervous about having fashion bloggers and writers review my work, but if I want to go to the next level, it must be done. The collection needs the exposure.

The reality of it all, everyone will not love my bracelets, but many will. I cannot let the fear of rejection stop me from giving it a try. I've just got to be willing to push the envelope. I also understand that I might even learn something from my critics, but I will be careful not to allow it to destroy my own creative eye, but instead use it to help me grow.

Yep, I'm doing everything I got to take my collection to the next level. I'm launching the RLT Signature line, The Power of Three. Stackable bracelets are the hottest accessory in fashion right now, from Barney's to Forever 21.  So I'm taking my designs to the next level, creating my own distinguishable style for my stackable bracelets. The Power of Three will be unveiled both at the Trunk Show and on the website October 27th.

Yep, I'm doing everything I can to take my collection to the next level. I'm in the process of revising the bracelet website, which is the primary place my bracelets are sold. I'm giving it a face lift, and website design is not an easy thing, nor my expertise. Nope... But I'm not letting that deter me one bit. So my  photo shoot yesterday was for the website.

I was very blessed to have an awesome photographer, Parrish Lewis of Parrish Lewis Photography. I'm honored to be the small pea among some of his big name clients. The make-up artist Nicole, from bombshellartistry, was just like her business name, a BombShellArtist.

The photo shoot was fun, but it was mostly hard work. I came home and went straight to bed. And let me tell you, this morning, I didn't want to get out of that bed. But I have a Trunk Show in 9 days; so, as usual, I'm pressing my way.

Yep, I'm taking RLT Collection to the next level! I'm investing time, energy and every available dime I can get my hands on. I'm giving it all that I have because at some point you have to stop talking about your dreams and put some action behind your dreams!
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