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 8, 2014

HairFinity!! Putting It to the Test!

My New Weave Look!
It is no secret that I wear weave. I've had a lot of hair drama over the years. My hair had been long. Then I cut it off and wore it short for many years. Then it just wouldn't grow back to my original length. Then I weaved it for a year, going back and fourth to Ellen Lavar in New York and hanging out with Luke in the meantime. In that year, it grew back to my original long length but it also grew gray. Listening to the choir, I colored the gray. With the relaxer and color, it was just to much for my hair. Over months, I painfully watched, my hair fall out in the sink, in my hand and in my comb.

Then two years ago, I got my hair weaved by Trayce Madre and it has grown, surpassing my original length. Today, for the most part, I have pretty healthy hair and all of my relaxer is gone. Yep, I'm natural under my weave. Weave has been a protecter to allow my hair to grow without all the heat from blow drying and curling.

Me and Tymeka creator of HairFinity at BlogHer

While at BlogHer I met the owner of Hairfinity. Now I have to be honest. I have seen their Intsagram testimonies and I didn't believe the hype. Tiara and I have had a few conversations about this hair vitamin that claims to help your hair become healthy and grow. So when I saw their booth at BlogHer I stopped and told them what I thought. You know I'm never short of opinions and they met me word for word. LOL! But no, they were really nice about it. You can read about how Hairfinity works here.

I had a couple of conversations with the women working the booth at Hairfinity. One who is a breast cancer survivor. She cut her hair when she started chemotherapy. She told me that  she wanted to have control, rather than surrender it to chemotherapy.  She has been taking Hairfinity for a month and I was honestly impressed. She had more hair then I would have thought.

Another woman working the booth lost all of her hair in a car accident. The accident disfigured most of her face. She not only lost her hair, but also her hair line was virtually gone. I saw the pictures for myself. You talking about her life as a miracle, just the facial reconstruction alone was remarkable. Honestly, I just couldn't see how any of her hair would grow back after her cousin showed me the pictures and pointed to the woman in the picture standing a few feet away from me. "She's been on Hairfinity for two years," her cousin said. I was impressed again.

Now, you all know I'm not easily impressed but they had me eating putty out of their hands the next day when I met the owner. I thought this product was straight out of China. Wrong!! If Hairfinity wasn't impressive, Tymeka Lawrence the creator and owner of HairFinity certainly is . This soft spoken chemist is a very gracious hand-full of dynamite! At fifteen she became pregnant with her daughter, but didn't let it stop her. She not only finished high school and college, but went on to receive her masters degree.

Kloe Kardashians at BlogHer14
O. K. they had my attention, and not because celebrities like the Kardashians use the product but because of the testimonies and the ingenuity of Tymeka. Since 2006 she and her husband has ran Brock Beauty from Slidell, Louisiana.

Sooooo, I'm putting HairFinity to the test for a year. Now my hair does grow when I'm wearing weave and I have no intention of stopping. Love weave, it's just far easier to manage than my natural hair. Prior to HairFinity, I've been marking my hair growth every three months when I get my weave redone. That's what I intend to do with HairFinity. I started taking the hair vitamin last Monday. In full disclosure, they did give me a three months supply at BlogHer so that made it easy for me to get started. I gave one month to Tiara to get her started. I felt like I had nothing to lose, but I will be purchasing the rest for the remainder of the year.

I am particularly concerned about my edges and the part of my hair at the very top that I leave out each time I weave so that I  have a natural look. Those parts of my hair tend to grow a lot less then the hair braided under the weave.

I will have three markers in this one year. 1) Overall growth, compared to last year with weave 2) Growth of my edges and the very top that is not weaved  and 3) The overall health of my hair.

I will check in every 3 months. I hope it works because I'm really rooting for Tymeka Lawrence and Brock Beauty. I'm so glad that they came to BlogHer or else I would have never put the product to the test.

Now in fairness, I do take a lot of medication and medication can impact the growth of your hair. My side kick, Tiara also started it last Monday and she will be my other marker. She also has some tough to grow areas in her hair, especially her edges. I can't wait to see her results. We are both giving Hairfinity a year. At the end of the day, the ingredients in HairFinity are a mixture of vitamins so I feel that its safe, but as always a person with health issues and on a any medicine regime should consult their physician before venturing off. The bottom picture is my natural hair one month before I got my current weave. Now let's watch it grow.

Natural Hair Diva!

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