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, February 25, 2013

Monday Reflection:Just Enough Goodness To Keep Me Going

I woke up this morning to a Tweet that made my freaking day. I was lying in bed thanking God for another day and when I was done, I took an assessment of my body; Pelvic Pain-Yes, Neck Pain-Yes, Tingling in my Feet-Yes.

Yes... A deep sigh. I looked to see where Sophie was and smiled; she always makes me smile curled up somewhere in the bed getting her beauty rest. Lately that's how life has been and I take the bitter in stride and embrace the sweet.

No matter what I face I take it in stride. Either I do, or it will do me in. This I understand to be so true; you can't allow the heaviness of life to weigh you down. You have to do something while under the weight. Even if it's only wiggling your toes. That way you know that the weight doesn't have all of you.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the pain and the heartache, it feels like that's all that life is. When in fact life is all of it, the good, the great, the bad, the ugly and the fucked up. As I muddle through trying to find solutions to all my secondary health issues, I feel weighted down. But the fighter in me won't let anything or anybody have that much control over me, so I appreciate the good moments no matter how small or large they may be. Good is Good and I don't dare depreciate it's value.

So sista girl has been basking in the glory of goodness all morning. OMG! Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph wore my bracelets to the Oscars last night! When I saw her tweet  to me, I almost did a two-step, like for real... for real...

I feel like I won the freaking lottery!  I'm so honored and so surprised. I had NO idea that she was going to wear them. I love her combo. She is wearing a black Marc Bowers gown and added color with different tones of green agates from my fall and winter collections.

 Shoot, this is enough goodness to keep me going all week long. It reminded me that in the midst of my pain and doctor appointments, God still has a life for me to live. There are new bracelets to be designed, blogs to be written, more wonderful moments with Sophie and a new handbag waiting on me in my future. It reminded me to hold onto the goodness however and whenever it comes.

Over these last few years of downsizing my life, I have learned that you don't need as much as you thought you did. Most often we are over indulging in this society of more is better.

I love handbags!!! And I probably will never stop buying them. But after having to sell a ton of my designer handbags just to buy groceries, I've learned the hard way to never overlook the smallest of blessings and to never squander them in excess.

 When God blesses me with money to pay my bills, I don't take it and buy a handbag with some stupid ass rationalization. I don't miss place my blessing!  When you accept your blessing for what it is, then you honor God's gifts to you. I was reminded today, that God will always give you just enough to keep you going. All you have to do is recognize the gift when it strolls your way. Often times we begrudge the small things, waiting on the big things. But I wonder, if you can't handle the small, if God will bless you with the big. So today, I bask in the blessing of my bracelets being showcased in such a grand fashion. It was just enough goodness to keep me going...

Post Script: Sheryl is wearing the Candy Apple Agates up top with a fireball center and an enamel center in the middle of her stack. Click Here! The top bracelet she is wearing is this multicolor faceted Agate in the bottom picture. Click Here! And the last  multicolor bracelet is from the summer collection and is no longer available.  There are only a couple of each bracelet in the collection.

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