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 31, 2012

Love Who Loves You Back!

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about dating and relationships. Maybe because ummmm I got this man macking hard to me. You know when you first meet a man that shit besssss some kinda good. Good Lawddddd, but how you start is not always how you finish. Those, first days, week and months we seem to be on cloud nine. That person seems to get the best of who we are and we gladly give it; and don't let the sex be good, you may lose your mind.

I know that to be true in my own life. I've been on that vicious cycle more times than I would like to admit; in and out of relationships that suck the fucking life out of me. It's interesting though, what seems to give you life at some point, turns around and suffocates the life out of you. How do you get to that point? Like, how can it be so good, then so bad? All of that seems to be a mystery to me. I can examine every relationship that I've been in and I would have a different answer to every success and every failure.

Love is not monolithic, and truth be told, nor is your life, they both take many paths. Other than chemistry, mutual RESPECT and mutual ADMIRATION, I don't really have the answer for the right ingredients to make a relationship work. Yes, respect and admiration is my starting point. If a man respects you, he will not be outside of your relationship and with admiration, you will always be the only woman in the room. Even when you are not physically in the room, your vibrant spirit will always shine bright in his heart and that will out weigh anything that should cross his path.

 I wish that I had a crystal ball that could tell me the outcome of a relationship, but I don't and with each new person, chance taking becomes king. But what you can determine up front, is how you want to be treated. If you go into a relationship understanding your worth, you will never let a person devalue you. Your values become Queen and that will guide your path no matter which way the road goes. 

Now let me be honest, in the past I have gone into some relationships understanding that I'm a bad bitch, but at some point my greatness took a back seat to the possibility of loneliness. No one wants to be alone and to top that off, no one wants to admit that it just didn't work. 

So we hang onto the madness, hoping and even praying that the goodness will come back. In the process the madness sucks the life out of you, and it feels nothing like his tongue when he was sucking life into you. For Real... For Real...  

How long do we stay in the madness trying to get back the goodness? What do you lose in the process that you can never regain? 

Staying at all cost is a dangerous thing to your spirit. Madness can chip away at the best of you. It can leave cracks that can never be repaired. It has taken me years to get to this understanding and more years to apply it to my life. Just because you know better, don't always mean that you do better. 

You must begin to ask yourself, what kind of life do you really want to have? Where is the epic center of your joy? Does it lie within you, or does it lie with how someone else makes you feel? And when are you honest with yourself that the madness is greater than the goodness?  

I don't have all the answers to these complex questions. Everyone has to live their life to the best of their ability. As for me, I understand that there isn't a dick on the planet that can make me feel better than I already feel about myself. The sparkle in my eyes shines bright and I'm not willing to sacrifice this wonder. 

I understand my value and I know that I cannot be with a person that does not see me as God intended for me to be. I was shaped in His wonderful image, and there is nothing or no one that can ever interfere with God's gift to me. Been there and done that and I don't like how it feels. I want to be in sync with the greatness that God has given me. 

My Bottom Line: Love Who Loves You Back!!! Stop chasing mothafuckers sucking the life out of you. Stop surrendering the best of you to have a part of him.
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