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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Diva is Celebrating Two Years!

Well, it's been two years today! Yep! I leaped out here in the blogging world two years ago today and it's been one heck of a journey. I never thought that my ministry would shape up like this. No, I thought I would be speaking/preaching and teaching women about self-love all over the country.

Welp.... Here I am preaching and teaching women about self love all over the world and I never have to leave my house. It's funny how you plan and then God plans. When speaking engagements dried up, I kept praying that God would open doors for me to keep ministering and honestly, I prayed for some $ ching change. Not speaking meant two things, I wasn't ministering and that's a shame cause God has given me so much to give to you, but not speaking also meant that I was one broke ass black woman! For Real... For Real...

Well, my funds have only gotten a tad better, here and there. Thank GOD for bracelet sales from my RLT Collection, cause ummm, some days I haven't had grocery money and then I get a sale or someone donates to my blog. It's funny how God works, just when I  think there is no light at the end of the tunnel, just when my bank account hits $10.00, something comes along.

No, it's not how I would have planned it for myself. Nope! But I've never gone hungry and the lights have never been turned off. In the scheme of things, God has been a keeper! What I've learned in these last few years of financial struggle, I didn't need as much as I thought I needed. That's why my e-bay store is always up. The more I get rid of, the more I want to get rid of. It's been so liberating so much so, I've decided to get rid of almost all my St. John Knits... For Real!!

But most importantly, God continues to make room for my gift. Cause truly, this survivor is never gonna be homeless, if I gotta take my tail to McDonads and get a job. If I have to sale all of my clothes, I will make a way to keep a roof over my head. So back to the ministry. Blogging and tweeting  is clearly an unorthodox way to minister, but it's a wonderful, available and a free tool!

At first I didn't think I could do it. Yes, I knew there was a ton of stuff inside of me waiting to get out, but I didn't know if I could write it down in a way that you would get it. Thank God I didn't let that fear paralyze me. You know, sometimes we have stuff we know we should be doing, but we let fear stop us. Fear of failure, fear of what people will say, just fear, fear, fear. Don't let fear run your life into the ground! God has so much for you, and you're stuck on the what if's and the perfect plan. There is no perfect human plan, just a perfect God plan and the sooner you open yourself up to what God wants for your life, the better off you will be.

Now I've had a few rough patches this year. My health has been doing the most. Some day's I was too sick to blog and other days I was so sick of being sick that I couldn't think about anything else but being sick.  Depression sat in some days after long bouts of illness that I didn't want to wash my ass more less write a blog. I'll tell you that the IV medication I take to treat herpes, takes the freaking life out of me; Thank God for resilience! Here I am better and getting back into the swing of things.

We survived another year together. Thank you! Thank you for reading my blog! Thank you! Thank you for sharing my blog with others. Thank you! I couldn't have done it without you!  Thank you for voting for my blog, and helping me to win, CBS Chicago, Most Valuable Blogger in Health for 2011. Thank you! Thank you for every donation! Thank you for every bracelet sale! Thank you! Thank you for every prayer. Thank you!

So here we go into a new year and I'm committed even more than ever!! Sometimes I get frustrated because my blog has no sponsors. I'm like what the heck do I have to do to get a sponsor? But I have to let that shit go. Just let it go!

Just like God has made room for my gift, God will provide for me. Maybe not having a sponsor keeps me focused on what God will have me to do, rather than what a sponsor would have for me to do. I''m sure in time the right sponsor with the right fit will come along. Someone who will value my work, uncut, uncensored. Until then, I will continue to do the work.

I need you to continue to read my blog. The more you read my blog the more valuable you make it. I need you to share my blog with your friends. I need you to Facebook and Tweet my Blog Post if you really like them. The more readers I get, the more valuable my blog becomes. We've done good in the scheme of things. I get about 23,000-25,000 readers a month, but I think we can double my readership.

I will make a commitment to keep pushing through whatever is going on in my life and write, write, write. I need you to make the commitment to read, read, read... share, share and share.

Thank you for another year! You Rock!!!

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