Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Lucky in Love

Caroline thinks she must have done something right to end up with such a wonderful husband.

Merry Christmas! Seems crazy to be saying that when it's 98 degrees outside!  

I really enjoyed the kids in this episode. I don't know what made me smile more, their faces or their outfits. Too, too cute. Nothing was better than CJ calling Christopher out on the Santa bells fraud. I loved Chris and Jacqueline's reaction to him; they tried to convince CJ that it was Santa, but the kid's no dummy. Good try, Christopher, there's always next year. Plenty of time to think out a better approach.

My Uncle Lou is not a Manzo, he's actually my dad's brother, so he's a Laurita. Christmas Eve is spent with my side of the family, so the faces you saw were mostly Lauritas!  If you were in the house you would have known immediately; it's all in the eyes, we all have the same exact blue eyes! 

The kids loved the bracelets and the meaning behind them. We wear them every day and that makes me happy. Call me crazy, but I think a tangible reminder can sometimes prevent an unnecessary argument from happening. And let's face it, the majority of arguments with family members are unnecessary. 

I felt the need to invite Kathy and Rich to New Year's Eve for a few reasons. Albert asked me to; the Giudices and Gorgas were asked, and Al didn't think it was right to leave the Wakiles out. They've been clients of The Brownstone for over twenty years and now there was a social connection made through Teresa and Joe. I didn't know Kathy that well at this point, but it made sense, so I invited them. Whether or not Teresa wanted them there had no relevance; I have two eyes and two ears, I can make a rationale decision based on what I see. I'm not going to dislike someone because I was told to. Some may perceive my decision as being disloyal to Teresa. Loyalty to a friend doesn't mean do what I say, it means doing the right thing, and sometimes the right thing is telling your friend when they are wrong. I'm not going to get on the hate train; remember the object here is to mend relationships, not to help destroy them. 

I'm going to lump everyone else's Christmas into one paragraph. If I talk about them separately it will take me a month to write it all out! The kids were gorgeous, every single one of them. Between the outfits and the attitudes I was smiling the entire time. The best was Milania, "That wasn't Santa, that was Nona!" Can't pull the wool over that kid's eyes! Poor Gia! Throw up, chamomile tea, and a photo shoot within sixty seconds, now that's one tough kid. Way to go, Gia! Antonia's scream when she saw the gifts was hilarious. I remember when the kids would come barreling out of their rooms on Christmas morning hoping that Santa came; precious memories, treasure them, mom and dads, time flies. 

I didn't have a problem with Joe and Melissa leaving Teresa's house early to go to Kathy's. They did the right thing by splitting the day between the two families. Joe was uncomfortable spending the entire day with his family, and quite frankly after seeing the comments made behind their backs he has the right to go where he wants. Kathy wanted to invite Teresa to Christmas when she approached her at the Gorga Christmas party. Teresa didn't give her the opportunity to ask and turned her away instead. Was Kathy being a bad cousin then? I only wish that there was no talk of bad cousins, empty chairs, and witch wives at the Giudice home. Eat, drink, laugh, and be grateful for the moment. Baby steps…

Wherever the Gorgas got their tree, that's where I'm going next year. A tree that grows gold Rolexes? I'm there! Joe obviously likes to spoil Melissa, and I appreciate that she admits to loving every minute of it. If she wants something she asks for it, even if it's a bedazzled microphone. 

Joe built the studio for Melissa to keep her home where "she belongs." Melissa knows that and accepts it, there is no hidden agenda between these two. It's like the marriage edition of 'Let's Make a Deal.' It works for them, so let's not judge.

I felt terrible for Jacqueline when she shared the fact that Ashley hasn't given her a gift for any celebration or holiday in a while. I don't think her sadness has anything to do with the absence of a gift; it has everything to do with Ashley's attitude. Jacqueline just wants to feel like she matters to her, and if I could have jumped through that TV last night and shaken Ashley for her arrogance, I would have. Let's all hope that as Ashley watched that scene she realized that some changes need to be made. I've got my fingers crossed.

Richie and Kathy were funny. Apparently Richie always loses his wedding band. I have an idea, Kathy, take him to a tattoo parlor and ink it on, problem solved! (You're welcome Rich!) I'm obviously joking, those two have a great relationship. Wedding band or not, Kathy has no worries -- Jeff Goldblum loves her to death. 

My first impression of Joe Giudice on Christmas morning was SCROOGE! But then I began to realize that the guy was sick. His face was red, his nose was stuffed up, and he looked totally miserable. I've seen him interact with his kids and he enjoys them. I know I'm going out on a limb here, and as a viewer you're probably thinking we were watching two different shows, but I'm giving him a pass on this one. OK, OK, half a pass… Does that make you happy? Feel better, Joe!

We met Alexa Ray Joel a couple of years ago at a fundraiser. She is a ray of sunshine. This kid has a smile on her that will melt your heart and the personality to match. She is driven to succeed on her own merit and works hard at it every day. When you consider who her parents are, that's pretty impressive. I respect that in her and I respect that in my own kids. The easy way out for them would be to work at The Brownstone with plenty of job security and a fat paycheck. All three of them chose to carve out a life and career for themselves by working hard and chasing their dreams. The night of Alexa's performance her mom and I were having a conversation about this and counting our blessings. The general perception is that mommy and daddy will open doors and pave the way. Not this group, power on, kids.

Albie was definitely infatuated with Alexa, and I thought it was hysterical. He was incapable of putting a sentence together in her presence, and that was a first for him. Christopher and Lauren saw this and enjoyed torturing him whenever the opportunity presented itself. The good news is that Albie got his act together and found his voice!

Right now they all remain friends and have a very nice relationship with one and other. Who knows what the future holds with Albie and Alexa. Hey, you never know, maybe Christopher will be the one to steal her heart? But trust me, she better know how to make a good pot of gravy! All kidding aside, check Alexa out on iTunes. She is a tremendous talent, and I wish her all the success in the world. 

Last but never least, I want to talk about my Albert. We've been married for twenty-seven years, have had our fair share of ups and downs, but thank God we're still standing. The man loves me beyond reason. I'll never understand it, and I'm certainly not going to point it out to him. I'm a lot of things, stupid isn't one of them! I don't know when or where but sometime in my life I must have done something right, because God decided to send him to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Dina: The Ladybug Event was Perfection

Dina Manzo thanks everyone who helped make her event a success.

Let's focus on the positive shall we? I was over the moon with how this Project Ladybug event turned out. All the girls did their part. Teresa's hair care line Youthful 8 provided all the hair for the event as well as sponsoring some decor and favors. Melissa rallied some amazing raffles and her and Joe kicked ass with the live auction. The twins packed the house with all of their friends, and Amber gave us the connection to Stacie and adorable fashion show by East Coast Starz.  

I have to say a big thank you to Abbey and Tommy for opening their home to us and a HUGE thank you for connecting me with Louis and the team at Sayerwoods Event Designs. They went above and beyond with the candy theme. I was blown away how they made my vision come to life. To top it off they are the kindest people to work with! 

Couture Candy Buffets did an amazing job with the candy bar even though I drove them nuts with the layout, LOL! Sugar Rush Bakery's cupcake bar was a hit and the boys from SCE Event Group as usual rocked the house. iParty Pix gave us a fun photo booth to play with and The Brownstone filled the guests' bellies to the brim. Thank you to all those who donated to our silent auction: the NY Islanders, NY Jets, NY Giants, Depasquale Spa, Yanina & Co, DJ Pauly D, Harrah's Resort, and iParty Pix. Last but not least thank you for picking out my gorgeous dress from 25 Park, for my hair, and Dayna ( for doing my makeup for the night. My good friend Manny as usual captured every moment for us (

Thank you to my ladybug team of my sister Cookie, Lexi, Kenny, Stephanie, and Dianne for keeping things flowing while mama bug got her Meana on. 

The night was amazing and other than the little glitch of the girls' talk (which I'm so grateful happened at the very end of the night), it was perfection.

Special heartfelt thanks to Jacqueline Collot, mother of Julien, our man bug in heaven that is the namesake of the Project Ladybug fund at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Along with a touching video of Julien himself, Jacqueline shared her story to help put a face on childhood cancer and those that it affects.  Of course thank you to all of our honored guests, who helped us to raise $50,000, which was presented to the hospital by myself and some of the girls. I was a very happy bug. 

Please visit here to see a video I made for you guys on this last episode. Click around and see what you missed, there's lots of juicy stuff in there. 

As for this season...I learned a lot. I may keep quiet but my eyes are wide open.

Namaste Bitches!