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

Saturday, December 12, 2015

SOMWA A Wonderful Cause!!!

New York! New! York! New York! Come hang out with me Sun Dec 13th! Bring a toy and wear your dancing shoes for the Somwa Foundation 7th Annual Toy Drive. All the toys go to families with HIV. 

Hydeia Broadbent and I donated our time to this wonderful cause, Mothers of Survivors With AIDS (SOMWA). 
At the age of 23 Shacazia Brown's the founder of SOMWA, mother Wanda E. Buggs died from an AIDS-related illness. Shacazia has been unrelentless in her work for those living with HIV. In addition to the toy drive every year SOMWA participates in the New York AIDS walk and goes to Kenya to work with children living with HIV and that's just some of the work Shacazia does on behalf of those living with HIV. 

She lost her mother and then picked up the cause in memory of her mother! Her mother is looking down smiling.. 

Here are the details...

Join us on Sunday, December 13, 2015, at Taj Lounge 48 west 21st Street New York, NY between 5th & 6th from 4pm - 10pm.

Kitchen will be open to purchase food
2 - 1 drinks from 4pm - 6pm (top shelf)
*early arrival is strongly suggested*
Music provided by: @djmissyb @dadjpoisonivy and @djcraignice1 

#FREE admission with a new unwrapped toy suggested $10 donation without.
21 and older

We will have two amazing hosts:
@raelt Emmy Award Winning AIDS Activist & @hydeiabroadbent International HIV/AIDS Activist & Humanitarian

ALL toys will be distributed to @gmhc @preciousdreamsfoundation PS 401 The Christopher Avenue Community School &  Children in Kenya affected by HIV/AIDS

Monday, December 7, 2015


I'm honored to have been asked to participate in the Center For Disease Control, Act Against AIDS newest HIV Testing Campaign, "Doing It." Donating your name and brand to a national campaign is no small thing. This is especially true, when you give someone else total control over how they present you to the public.

The best part of the campaign for me was the day long photo shoot working with two women that I love and respect. Charreah Jackson is the Lifestyle and Relationship editor for Essence Magazine. She also wrote the anniversary article on me for Essence, Dec 2015. Karyn Brianne Lee, is a Chicago girl and Co-Founder of Red Pump.

 I believe donating my time and name is worth it. Testing for HIV is important. What we know today is the earlier a person knows there HIV status and get in treatment, the longer you will live. In fact, early treatment for HIV could turn into decades of life. This is why testing is important.

The reality today, is about 40% of newly diagnosed cases of HIV are people infected by people who didn't know that they were infected. Testing can reduce new cases of HIV.

Join the campaign and be one of those #DoingIt Tag me on my Social Media sites after you have  tested  for HIV using the hashtag #DoingIt

 And if you see any of the billboards or adds in your city of Me, Charreah and Kayrn take a pic with it and post it on your Social Media site... Don't forget to tag me... I will repost on my Social Media Sites.

(I'm not sure which pictures of me they are using other than the tea party, even if's its only one picture, I'm wayyy excited, so be on the lookout.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

World AIDS Day!

Good Morning Lovely's!! Today is World AIDS Day! A day of remembrance for those we lost to this disease. But also a day to fight stigma that blames and shames those living with #HIV world wide! It's a time to demand treatment for all and work toward ZERO infections! Tell someone you know with #HIV that you love and support them! Text, hit them up on Social Media, Call or drop by their house but just do it! #teatime ☕️ 

Join me live on Periscope today! I will be answering questions off and on all day.. You can follow me on World AIDS Day!
Also my speech tonight at North Carolina A and T University will live stream on my Periscope http://www.periscope.com/raelt

Finally the best way to support me is to purchase a bracelet or my book! Everything is 50%off coupon code shop2015 http://www.rltcollection.com

Namaste #WAD2015 #aidsawareness #DivaLivingWithAIDS #aids
Clicky Web Analytics