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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

RLT Collection Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale!

RLT Collection 2nd annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday $23.50 Sale is taking place yet again!

 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale begins midnight Thanksgiving Day through midnight Monday. Prime bracelets will be markdown throughout the website for $23.50, as well as, other markdowns throughout the site. Shop HERE

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Each Day Renders A Right Now!!

At the Chemo Clinc on Tuesday
Well, here I go again!! I started IV medication last Tuesday and this week makes round two. I know for sure that I least have one more round. What a way to spend Thanksgiving week! Things had been going great until now. Other than recovering from the liposuction, I really can't complain. BTW, the heeling from the liposuction is going well to! The swelling is going down daily. The doctor said it will take about 3-4 months to fully recover. I have more to say about this another blog coming soon. 

It's seems that this life style change I have under gone with my diet and exercise is rendering some great results. My Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) was under control and I was feeling better overall. I wasn't blogging much, not sure why because I have lots to say,  but I was pressing my way in other ways.

Then BAM, here I go again. So my life is turned upside down again. I'm sick as shit from the side-effects of the IV medication. Nausea and fatigue is the order of the day. Yesterday, I was so sick the smell of food made me sicker. I'm to weak to work-out and cook and juicing went to hell in a hand basket. So this week I realized that my IBS is flaring up yet again. Yep, I'm constipated yet again. So for sure I know now that juicing and working out was actually the thing to get my bowels moving and was the thing that was making me feel better overall.

It's seems that this herpes continues to be the thorn in my flesh. It's been almost four months since my last round of IV medication and I was hopeful that it would be much longer before I had to travel this round again. You can search my blog for herpes to get more back ground. 

But basically I have drug resistant herpes. A very aggressive genial herpes that has been complicated by my impaired immune system. Herpes also attacks my nervous system causing nerve pain in my back and feet mostly. For the last 7 years, the only thing that will treat this form of herpes is two very aggressive anti-viral medications taken intravenously, cidofovir and foscarnet. I'm on cidofovir now. It's a once a week, all day infusion at the chemo infusion clinic and it wipes me out.

Yesterday I was so sick that I didn't want to do anything but be. It seems that this round is taking a toll on me. Typically, I'm able to bounce back and get back to some of my normal routine about 3 days after the infusion. Which is great, because I'm able to be human again before I have to go back for the next round.

 But this time I'm just not bouncing back and that has left me with a funky attitude. I hate having a funky attitude, but being all chipper is hard when you feel like crap. I don't know how those, happy go-lucky, praise the lord people do it. You know what I'm talking about. You ask, "How ya doing?" and they say, "blessed and highly favored!!!" in that cheerleader beat and the world is falling down around them. Me on the other hand, I be like, "How the fuck you think I'm doing,?" *hangs head* 

At the Chemo Clinc on Tuesday
I just don't have it in me to fake it, until I make it. There's something about faking it, that adds an extra burden. Not only do you have to figure out how to keep your head above water, but then you gotta find extra energy, keeping that cheerleader beat. It's easier for me to just sit still, accept that my capacity is limited and take the time to get better. In the end, I can give an honest answer about how I feel. And y'all  know that honesty is my only policy!!

I've done real well in seeking out alternative methods to be as healthy as I possibly can both physically and emtionally, and for sure I'm still searching. I'm thinking about adding medication to my routine and that my help me get through those dark moments a tad better. For now, I just listen to a little gospel music and cuddle with my baby girl, Sophie. 

Living with HIV/AIDS and all the complications that come with it, could be a full time job. It certainly is a life style of its own. But even so, each new day renders a right now. So instead of faking it, I'm embracing the right now and seeking avenues to make the right now better. There is healing in the honesty of your right now. There's an African Proveb that I love and take that with me in all things, in all areas of my life, "He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured." Embrace your right now in truth.

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