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, October 12, 2015

Finess Stops Bladder Leaks!

I'm always pleading the case for women to take control of their bodies and health. It's a fact that no one will take care of you the way that you take care of yourself. But over the years, women seem to be stuck, especially when it comes to our bodies.

I think this culture of misogyny has impacted how we view, and even how we treat, our bodies. Equally important, it has created degrees of shame around our bodies when we should be empowered.

And I understand why, around the world our bodies have been used as a weapon against us. Our clitoris have been cut, we have been raped as political pawns, murdered for having premarital sex, married off  too young, and in the United States, our bodies have continuously been front and center as a pawn by our elected officials. No one should have the right to regulate what I do with my body.

Let me give you an example of the kind of shame women have around "female issues". I was at an event with a group of women talking about a new product on the market called Finess, I'll get more into that in a minute, and this brilliant business woman admitted that for years she couldn't bring herself to purchase her own tampons. How does a woman grow to be bold and awesome in one area of her life, but in one of the most important areas, live in fear of what people might think of her? I'm no different, you all know I kept my HIV status a secret for seven years because I was afraid of what people would think of me. Back when I was diagnosed, only "whores, gays and drug addicts got HIV" *Blank stare* Even Cosmopolitan magazine told women that they could have unprotected sex with an HIV positive man if their vagina was "healthy" and if they had "normal" sex, they could not get HIV. *blank stare*

I think most women have been at that place of fear and shame around their bodies one time or the other. How could we not be, living in a culture where we have been taught to be ashamed of our bodies and our sexuality. So when my girlfriend, and fellow blogger Dwana, asked me if I wanted to review this new product for and about women I said absolutely.

Now in full disclosure, when I got Finess in the mail, I was like they want me to put this thing where? But I had promised Dwana and Ann-Marie from the Boombox Network that I would participate, and my word is always my honor. But in real talk, I also needed the money that I was being paid to sample this product. So I pulled out my big girl panties, and tried Finess.

Let me give you the 411 on Finess. It's a revolutionary product, first of its kind, over the counter approved by the FDA to help women stop bladder leaks. Yep, a woman places Finess over her urethra and it actually stops her bladder from leaking. The technology is different from others, in that it's an non-intrusive product, which means, nothing is inserted inside of your body.  And unlike pads that only catch your urine, Finess actually stops you from leaking altogether.  Huh? Yes I said, you put it over your pee hole and it will prevent your bladder from leaking urine.

Bladder Leaks i.e. Urinary Incontinence. huh? Well, bladder leaks are common among women who have given birth and it is especially common among women making their way to menopause like me. But there are some women, simply experiencing spontaneous bladder leaks, you laugh too hard, you sneeze,  you cough, working out you feel a drop, you gotta go to the bathroom real bad and there's no place to go and a little pee leaks out. At one time or another, we have all been there, and if not, like grandmama use to say, "you just keep on living honey." I know since I've been going through this menopause thing, I have been experiencing more and more leaks. But I hadn't yet given any thought about how to control it, other than a pad, that is until now.

After two days of sitting on the counter, I got my nerve up and tried Finess. At the end of the day, this product is for and about making the lives of women better and for that you can always count me on board.

Finess is a sponge like form about 1 1/2 inch long and at the top widest part about the same. It's super soft with a little sticky adhesive on the back and you simply place it over your urethra, i.e your pee hole. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't give a lot of thought to where my pee hole is exactly, I just know it's somewhere near my vagina. So for me, I had to lay on the bed with a mirror and find it. LOL, but for real. 

Now you all know I'm a little slow sometimes, so it was awkward for me holding the mirror and placing Finess over my uthrea all at the same time, but after two tries I was successful. When we had the fireside chat with a group of women who had also sampled Finess, other women in the group had no problem at all, they just sat on the toilet or squatted and Bam! I was envious for real, because every time I used Finess I had to do it with a mirror.

The adhesive was a little sticky at first, but for sure it is safe. After I placed the Finess sponge I was acutely aware of it for at least the first 30 minutes to an hour. But after that, I forgot I even had it on until I actually had to use the bathroom and had to take it off.  Other women in the group said that they even forgot they had it on until they peeed and it fell off. All the women had different experiences with Finess. I had no irritation from the adhesive while wearing Finess or after I took it off. It was very comfortable and I had absolutely no bladder leaks.

Over all, I would recommend Finess to any woman who experiences bladder leaks. It's a non-intrusive way for women to control urinary incontinence. I'm always elated to see new products that give women the power that need over their bodies, so my hat is off to the team over at Finess. You can learn more on thier website.

Now, Finess is not sold in stores, you have to purchase it either from Finess Website or on Amazon for a trail it will cost $4.99. Here's a coupon code for 50% off for a 36 pack at Amazon, V23DVC72. Click here to shop.

YESSSSSSS! I'm giving away a trial pack of six and shoot I'll even throw in a bracelet from RLT Collection. AlI you have to do it is make a comment on this blog post about what you think about Finess. Follow Finess on Twitter or Like them on Facebook and on October 19th, I will announce a winner on this blog. And y'all know you have to be following me. *blank stare* The hashtag is #StopBladderLeaks. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Finess. The opinions and text are all mine.

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