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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Am More Than My Vagina..

I learned something about myself this weekend that made me understand how far I've come in my thinking verses the application of what I know, as it relates to dating and sex.

I've been saying over and over again that it's not enough to know better, that at some point you have to apply the knowledge to your life so that you can be your best you. It is true that we are products of our past. It teaches us good, bad and indifference. It shapes who we are, which influences what we do. I know this has been the case for me. I also understand, that we do not have to be a prisoner to our past.

My former therapist used to drill into me that discipline is a transferable skill. That you can apply discipline to all things in your life and at the end of discipline is feeling good about yourself. It's the difference between eating 3 cookies or 15 cookies.  Each will dictate how you feel about yourself, once it's said and done. Well, that same thing applies to dating.

This is what I'm talking about. I spent Valentine weekend with Mr. Handsome. It was a really great weekend of bonding and intimacy. No, not sex, per-say, but intimacy. So what's the problem? Well, I realized that my demons are relentless and that I still have work to do on myself. Before I go any further, I must pause and say having a man in your life who is confident in himself goes a long way in achieving your goal.

Well it's like this, I was so use to men wanting to fuck all the time that I almost missed the most important moments of the weekend.

Mr. Handsome is a few years older than me. He has been around the world, seen all and done all - and while sex is great, good lawd, it was not his focus of spending time with me ... And for a slim moment I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me. I think it's a deep contradiction that women want men to treat them like a woman important beyond her vagina, but when he does, you doubt the very thing that you are seeking.

It made me wonder how many women out there defined how great the Valentine weekend was by the sex? And then how many women had men in their life that expected the sex, and then more sex. I remember a few years ago someone tweeted that if a man takes you to an expensive restaurant, don't pull out the flannels but sexy lingerie.

I tweeted that my vagina wasn't for sale. I meant that, but now I look back and I see the argument of the expectation of sex that rules our thoughts and behavior. While sex is one aspect of a relationship, it should not rule. Mr. Handsome said to me, "there's more to life then simply fucking." In our honest discussion about it, he was clear, I don't need to fuck all day to enjoy you.

I know that I am more than my vagina, but I'm also clear that our past behaviors are not easily broken; well I'll speak for myself. The one thing for sure that Mr. Handsome is teaching me is patience on the one hand, and appropriate growth in an relationship on the other hand. Women are so brainwashed with the pretty woman syndrome. Most of us have married him in our heads when you are still really getting to know each other. Case in point, Pinterest dream weddings are the craze. LOL, and you all know I'm telling the truth.

I'm thankful for Mr. Handsome at this junction in my life. I understand that intimacy is not about fucking and I'm grateful that Mr. handsome not only knows that too, but applies it to his own life and that has set a wonderful pace for mutual respect that leads to growth.

Sitting in Mr. Handsome's man-cave ( the garage ) looking out at the snow, wrapped in my mint coat as he smoked a cigar, drank cognac and I drink tea and had my first ever sip of cognac, listening to music was one of the most erotic, imitate moments of the weekend.

 Ladies if we want men to stop thinking below our waist, we must do the same. If you want a different outcome in a relationship then maybe you have to do something different.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. At some point in our lives we have to make changes, no matter how difficult it may be.  I've said it over and again, sex is not love and just because a man fucks your brains out does not been that he wants to build a future with you. Having a man that allows appropriate space for sex with the unplanned moments of dancing in the middle of the living room is a win-win.

As for me, I'm chasing my demons the fuck out of my life. I don't know where Mr. Handsome and I are going. In fact, I'm not looking for a particular destination, if we're there, great. In the meantime, I'm surely enjoying the journey.

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