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

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Reflection: There's A Brighter Side Of Darkness...

I sooooo want to be mad. I'm tired as all get out from travel drama but something inside of me won't take me there. My flight got cancelled last night coming home from Blog Her 12. Weather, what weather it's sunny outside and sunny in Chicago; These people are mad, I thought!

But me being mad didn't change one fact,  that there was a storm between Chicago and New York. I was just glad that Luke could come get me and that I had a place to lay my head for the night.That was the brighter side of last night, with 3 cancelled flights. I got to share another meal with my bestie one more night, which is one of our favorite things to do together.

Then this morning at 4:30 when I arrived at the airport, I discovered that the American airlines flight Delta had put me on was over sold. Mind you, I started out in LGA airport and ended up in Newark.

With Luke gone, I had to gather my two heavy bags, (one weighed 55 pounds and the other 53) and make my way over to another terminal to get the Delta flight I eventually took to Detroit.

I know, I know, yes I live in Chicago but I'll get to that in a minute. By 6:30am having been in the Special Service Line for over 30 minutes, I so wanted to be mad but the brighter side of it all took a hold of me. For sure my bags were over weight and I didn't get charged. Weather is not the responsibility of the airlines. And even though I got a 3 hour layover in Detroit at least I'm not still in Newark booked on the plane where the flight crew can't work because they are on work rest. Too many hours and they shut them down.

So I'm sitting on this plane waiting on a gate because we got here too early, I'm not confused about this either. There was NO Starbucks in Newark's airport so as soon as I deplane I'm headed for a perfect cup of black tea @starbucks Tazo Earl Grey! He's the king of my tea life!

Detroit is closer to Chicago than Newark and there were no other flights that would have anything shorter than 3 connections, so I'll sit in this airport and even with a 3 hour layover I will get home sooner than had I done something else.

This is one of those travel days from hell where you want to be mad at somebody about any old little thing. But the fact of the matter is shit happens and that's how life is. Today I'm embracing the brighter side of this horrible travel nightmare.

I could have not come to Blog Her 12 and I wouldn't be having this drama. But not coming to Blog Her would have meant that this blog would not have had doors opened to help make it the best it can be for you and me.

So I'm getting off this plane now! Gonna head straight to Starbucks and in about four hours I'll be walking into the comfort of my home. Do you know how many people that don't have a home? Wish I could google it for you right quick. It's alot! There's a brighter side, no matter how far your home may be... You have one.

Yep, I'll walk in my house and my baby girl Sophie will meet me at the door with love, love, love and more love. And my other Bestie Markeeda, who cancelled her flight back home to keep Sophie will look on with glee. So while getting home has been some kinda sitcom drama, I'm embracing the brighter side.

Blog Her was wonderful and I wouldn't change a thing! I have a home to come back to with lots of love waiting for me. As the song goes, you may not always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.

I try to keep things in perspective. There is always a brighter side on the other side of darkness. All you have to do is peek around the corner and allow yourself to see.

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