Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Faking It

Amber Calls Out Andy Cohen

Dina: What am I Doing Here?

Amber: Is Dina Coldhearted?

Dina: "The Reunion was Very Hard to Watch"

Teresa: We Love Hard, We Fight Hard

Dina: The Ladybug Event was Perfection

Amber: I Felt I Like I Was Being Hazed

Melissa: Continue to Pray for Teresa's Family

Why Amber Shares Her Cancer Story

Dina: I Was Team Santa

Teresa: I Don't Blame Jim

Bobby's Unacceptable Behavior

Amber: Dina is Jealous

Melissa: "We are Heartbroken"

Dina Reacts to the Sentencing

Kathy Talks Kevin Jonas

Amber: Dina Was Planning a Blood Bath

Jim and Amber Were on Different Pages

Dina on Bobby's "Bizarre" Behavior

Amber Calls BS on Dina

Nicole: Words are So Powerful

Teresa: "Kudos to Dina!"

Teresa: I Love the Show, I Love My Fans

Praying for a Positive Outcome for Teresa

"Tipsy Melissa is My Spirit Animal"

Dina's Lose-Lose Situation

Jacqueline on Her Status with Teresa

Why Teresa Told Dina the Rumor

Amber on Her Cancer Scare

Teresa: There was an Agenda to Hurt My Family

Melissa: I Do Feel for Amber

Dina: Gia's Beautiful Inside and Out

Nicole: This is Not 'Jerry Springer'

Amber on Her Meltdown with Teresa

Amber's Emotional Call to Teresa

Teresa Thanks the Fans

Dina: Florida Will Be the New Scary Island

Teresa: I Wish I Never Heard the Rumor

Amber on the Shocking Rino Rumor

Victoria Gotti's Big No No

Faking It

Jacqueline thinks Ashley could try a little harder with her art and Teresa could try a little harder with Melissa.

Happy New Year’s! New beginnings! Let bygones be bygones! XOXO! Raise your hand if you make New Year’s resolutions. Now raise your hand if you keep them. I make them every year! I even write them down. I do GREAT… for about two and a half weeks. Hey, I try. Sometimes throughout the year I go back to them and attempt to follow through on them again. At the end of the year, I check to see how many New Year’s resolutions I actually DID follow through on, so I can check them off. No comment, BUT there is always a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day, a new moment in time to start again. I personally prefer Mondays. Lol! 

Whether or not you meet your goals, I think it's so important to write them down and then force yourself to look at them from time to time. Put them on your bathroom mirror or even inside your toilet seat lid if that will get you to look at them often. Your subconscious mind will start to lead your conscious mind. A vision board is good too, as well as fun to make. I have a big one that I made. Maybe I'll share it with you all one day. Good luck with yours. Best wishes for a great, productive, happy year!

Like I have said many times before, I love it when my parents come to visit. They are the best parents and grandparents ever! It is just so comforting knowing they are around me. We all enjoy them having them here, and they help out so much in their parent and grandparent ways. 

I don't know if you noticed but there was a GIANT wine glass in the background on the counter in this scene while talking to my parents. I usually bring that out as a joke when somebody tells me how stressed out they are. It cheers them up. I think in that instance the glass was offered to me! 

Since Ashley won't listen to me, I just keep hoping and praying that she will listen to someone else. Anybody else. Feel free to get in line. I can't understand why she is so resistant to me. When all else fails, send in the army! I went straight to Colonel Jerome P. Grippe (my father).

Most of you may not know this about my daughter, but Ashley has some serious raw, creative, artistic talent that she hasn't done anything with. She can draw very well considering she has had no previous lessons or experience beyond art class in high school. She is AMAZING! I feel like she should nurture that talent God gave her. Her father, Matt, was given that same gift. She certainly didn't get it from me. I still to this day draw the same square house with the triangle roof with a chimney with smoke coming out of it, clouds in the sky, a curved V for a bird, a rectangle and a cloud shape on top of it to form a tree, a stick figure by the door, and maybe, if I'm feeling extra creative and happy that day, I'll even add a couple flowers, a dog and a rainbow. Tadaa! That's about as far as I go. When I see what Ashley can do, it blows my mind.

It frustrates me that she won't take that creative talent further. I feel like she should incorporate it into a career somehow or take a few advanced art classes to challenge and enhance her skills. Has anyone seen her recent sketches of Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga on Twitter(@AshleeHolmes)? She has many other drawings too. I'm not sure who can get through to her or what it will take to get her motivated to do something positive for her future.  

I thought it was very nice of Lauren to ask Ashley to design her T-shirts for her  grand opening at Chateau for her new business. I'm so proud of Lauren. She has come a long way in the past two years with her business and in her life. She will be a very successful woman. She is a very creative and talented make-up artist.  I think Lauren was disappointed in the designs Ashley presented to her, because not only did she not design anything from Lauren's vision that they had previously discussed, but also because it showed that Ashley didn't put any time or effort into them. Lauren is well aware of what Ashley is capable of drawing, and she was TRYING to give Ashley a chance to shine. Why wasn't Ashley taking advantage of that? I just don't get it! Ashley had plenty of time to do it and do it well. Lauren was right, Ashley did tell me she did those sketches in her car before she walked into that meeting with Lauren. I was upset about that, but I did my best not to say anything to her about it. I gave Ashley a few reminders here and there to get it done but that only annoyed her, so I decided to leave it alone. 

Responsibility and time management are learned skills. Ashley will learn that there are always consequences for her choices and the actions she takes. Her own experiences are the best way for someone like Ashley to learn, since she won't listen and learn from anyone else's. My dad was right when he said, "Life is a deadline, get used to it!" Everything has a time limit, including life itself. Like Nike says, "Just do it!" Don't waste precious time. Don't be tardy for the party. Whatever Ashley does in the future, I hope she puts her whole soul into it. She will most definitely succeed, but unfortunately right now she has the talent without the ambition. I have no doubt that she will be incredible at whatever she chooses to put her focus on. I do have faith in my daughter. I'm just tired right now of fighting for her. It's her turn to fight for herself. Thank you, Lauren, for giving Ashley another shot with your T-shirts. Back to the drawing board, Ashley! Let's wait and see what she comes up with next. Come on, Ashley! We all have faith in you. You can do this! Show everyone what you've got! 

Let's get on with that Gorga/Guidice play date at Melissa's house. I found the getting ready and waiting period before the play date scene extremely relatable. How many times have you tried to get your little ones up, fed, showered, dressed, and ready to get out the door, only to have them fight you or their siblings every step of the way? Little girls are the worst when it comes to wardrobe. They have very strong opinions on what they will, won't, or want to wear in that moment. That's where the uniforms in private schools come in handy. (Or even Teresa's suggestion of a boarding school!) 

I have to say though, I LOVE rockstar Milania! Those boots were rockin’! That vision had me cracking up for a while. That girl has a lot of personality! She always makes me laugh. I like how Joe (the old troll) told her he was going to put her out in the snow head first to freeze her mouth so she can't talk. I'm going to try that on someone.

Meanwhile, how adorable and well behaved were Melissa's kids trying to wait patiently for their cousins to arrive? They're beautiful. CJ drives me crazy sometimes while waiting for his friends to come over. He actually sits in front of the window and waits impatiently until they get here. Every once in a while I hear him yell, "MOOOM, when are they cooooming?" How the heck could I know the answer to that? I just want to give him a tootsie roll lollipop and ask him to count how many licks it takes to get to the center and not to call my name again until he figures it out. Maybe by then his guests will have arrived!

I love how Teresa told the girls on the way over that if they didn't behave she was going to send each of them away, and then you hear a little voice ask, "In different places?" LOL! Wishful thinking I guess. Ha ha ha! Too cute! That was a clever comeback. They all had adorable stylish outfits on for that play date, even if they were unhappy with Teresa's choices! In the end, mom wins. Mother knows best. The cousins get so excited and look so happy when they get together. 

As far as the recent play date goes, it was like watching a mini-Melissa and a mini-Teresa playing together, wasn't it? They even acted like their mothers may have acted when they were younger. Watch that clip again, if you didn't catch it.  I think it's painfully obvious that the adults don't share the same enthusiasm toward each other as the kids do when they greet each other.

They both say that they want so badly to try to make their relationship work for the sake of the kids and for their family, but it's clear that it's not that easy. There are too many deep wounds that haven't been healed. There's just a Band-Aid on it for now. I can still sense the animosity. It's hard to watch. Their guard is up. Let's SINCERELY give this relationship a try instead of dishing out hit and runs and backhanded compliments.  If you dish it, be prepared to eat it. The relationship between them won't work if it's not real, and I think it's pretty obvious that they are still harboring resentment. I see Melissa making an effort here, but Teresa…come on, girl! I'm rooting for you! Either resolve it or fake it until you make it. 

Even if Teresa had never heard Melissa sing, she could have shown a little more excitement and support for her than that! Don't you think? Maybe just even fake it a little? Teresa had yet another chance to show her support for Melissa's singing on Andy Cohen's show. I'm surprised she didn't have an opinion then either. Maybe Teresa was thinking, "If I can't say anything nice, I won't say it at all." Then again, we are talking about Teresa. LOL! I happen to LOVE Melissa's song. It's one of those songs that are really catchy, and you find yourself singing it constantly without even realizing it. I enjoy it. 

I'm beginning to wonder how long Teresa has been like that with Melissa? When did their relationship start to go sour? Has it always been like that? Maybe this is starting to explain where some of Melissa's bitterness toward Teresa may have come from and why she may have pulled away from her in the past. I'm wondering what Teresa thinks that Melissa has done to her. Having more tact may be more effective in dealing with others. Be happy for each other and show encouragement and empathy toward one another.

Everyone looked so beautiful and handsome on New Year’s Eve. I borrowed my dress from Caroline. I believe she got it from  

Teresa did tell me that she did not want Kathy at that New Years Eve party, but she also said she knew and understood the situation. Even if Caroline was just getting to know Kathy, Albert's relationship with the Wakiles went back many years, even before he knew Teresa. How could they have invited the Wakile's whole family to New Year’s without inviting them? In the past their family had their own thing going on, and there was never a connection between everyone involved, so there was no obligation to ever invite them before. This year was obviously different. 

Kathy, who I have gotten to know through Teresa, is a genuine sweetheart if you haven't picked up on that already. I truly and sincerely love her. I love her sister Rosie too. She brought cookies for Caroline on New Year’s out of appreciation for having her and her family there and knowing it had to be a little awkward for her. She was not there to cause a problem. Could it have hurt Teresa to at least TRY one of Kathy's cookies? I don't understand. Is all of this animosity because Kathy made that "unattended child" comment? The footage actually showed that statement to be true, but everyone knows it was a family and friends party, so I'm sure the kids were safe. I don't think that Kathy intended to insult her parenting with that statement. I think she was trying to make a point about how much chaos exploded on that night of the christening, why she was trying to leave, and how she was protecting the kids and getting everyone to safety. I think Teresa misunderstood. I really do. She didn't imply she was a bad parent. That's silly. It's clear Teresa loves her kids.

Maybe Teresa was still upset about Kathy inviting her brother and Melissa to Christmas Eve. I don't think Kathy put any pressure on anyone to come. It was just a simple invite she had extended when things weren't going so well between the Gorgas and the Giudices. I don't feel like there was ill intent behind her invite. When things started to get better between them, she was going to extend the invite to the Giudices as well. You remember how that mission failed.

I remember thinking, "Come on, Teresa, make up with Kathy so we can all go to Punta Cana and be one big happy family! Quit being so stubborn and end it already, it's a new year for new beginnings!" I was so thankful for the invite to Punta Cana, because I had never been there. I think I went home that night and packed for the trip before I went to bed then asked my husband, "So when are we going?" (Always assume the sale.)

I never noticed Lauren feeling insecure about herself the way I am noticing now by watching and hearing her on the show. She has always seemed so confident and bubbly. It made me sad to see that. I'm going to keep my eye on that. I see Lauren's beauty, and I know her family, friends, and boyfriend, Vito, certainly does. I want Lauren to see it and feel it too.

Ashley was looking so beautiful and glamorous on New Year’s! Although I didn't like the look of her sitting at the bar asking for a shot at twenty-years-old! Not to mention The Brownstone could have lost their liquor license over that request had Christopher provided. Good boy, Chris! Thank you for not serving alcohol to a minor. Ashley, shame on you for even asking! I guess that talk I had with her before we got there meant nothing to her. Sometimes your choices don't only affect your life, but through the ripple effect, can affect others as well. One day she will understand. 

I found humor in the banter between Rich and Joe. Guys are so different than girls. Imagine what would happen if that same exchange went on between the girls. Somebody's hair would have been on the floor by now. At least the guys were laughing and hugging. The girls were a little more stiff.

Richie, love ya, but LIGHTEN UP! The drunk older guy was only DANCING with your sixteen-year-old daughter! Sure he could have slipped her his number or a roofie, but we were in a room full of family and friends. Victoria is a very beautiful girl and looks so much more mature than her age, and she carries herself as such too. It would be easy for someone to misinterpret her age. Get your rifle ready, Papa Bear, because Little Bear is growing up. It's a tough transition not only for the child but for the parents as well. Completely understandable! Lucky for the Wakiles, Victoria seems to have a very good head on her shoulders. I think she knows how to make good choices. I'm just curious, was there anything about dating or making out with boys in her contract? Better revise soon if not.

Amber: I Felt I Like I Was Being Hazed

Amber Marchese dishes on her experience this season on #RHONJ.

We made it Housewife friends! As it was my rookie season, I felt like I was being hazed in a sorority, but as hard as it was, I made it! I learned so much about how strong I am as a person and some areas that I can work on. I learned that I really do have a “no surrender, never retreat” mentality. I will go to bat with anyone, at any time, and will defend myself and my family at all cost. I also witnessed the undying love that my husband has for me and his family. He was not going to let anyone hurt me and will unleash hell if someone tries. He is truly my modern day Spartan warrior. 

I am so blessed to have shared my experience and struggles with breast cancer -- the timing of my five year mark, the photo shoot, and growing my hair for five years then cutting it for charity -- it was nothing short of a miracle that the Bravo was able to catch that all. It was just meant to be and God was truly working his wonders. Cutting my hair was completely symbolic for me, since cancer no longer defines me. I will never forget, however the pain, fear, and anxiety is in my rear view mirror now. I can sometimes look back to remind myself where I came from, but it in no way defines my future. It is my promise to all of you, I will never take that for granted, especially knowing that there are thousands struggling with cancer every day. 

On to my perspective on the season finale! I am not quite sure why the twins make it a point to confront others in front of large crowds. As Teresa said, they had two weeks to call her and speak to her about what Victoria Gotti had said to us. If they had an issue or wanted an apology, so be it, but what ever happened to being a civilized human being and picking up the phone to call? They did the same thing to me. Two weeks went by without any phone call from them. In fact, they never returned any of my phone calls or texts! They decided to make a scene in front of an entire party. Difference is, this was at a charity event with children in ear shot. Can you blame me for not wanting to bring my babies to this event? I would have absolutely loved my children sashaying down the runway, but there is absolutely no way I would EVER allow my babies to hear what went on. I spoke with Teresa and I knew the twins never called her. So I knew exactly what was brewing, so did Dina. My children come first and mama was protecting her children. Dina was brazen enough to kick Jim and me out of the Florida home for less of an offense, why wasn’t Dina kicking the twins out because they were making a scene at her own charity function for children?! Can we say double standard? Where were her “heads rolling” that she claimed would happen if someone started anything at a Ladybug event? 

I will add that I completely understand how hurt the twins are. I can understand their anger. However, I cannot understand their way of handling conflict. That level of “hot headedness,” I would think, cools down at a certain age as we tend to calm ourselves, think clearly, and with wisdom. It is a level of discernment that should happen after a certain age or experience in life. 

Dina claims to be Teresa’s friend of 25 years, but does not back up her friend at all. If that was my friend, like Christine or Angelia, whom I have been friends for just as long, the twins would not have gotten to the letter T in stupid before I would be dragging them out of the event by their ears. Dina doesn’t have to agree with her best friend, but she should also never allow someone to call her friend of 25 years stupid, at her own charity function no less. Especially knowing what her friend is going through, which pales in comparison to some stupid rumor.

Since Dina has unwarranted venom towards my husband and has completely snubbed him for his previous contributions to The Ladybug Project, I am going to thank him on their behalf for coming up with the idea of the children's fashion show, as well as the connection to East Coast Stars. Since Jim did not attend, he also made a sizable cash donation on behalf of our family. Jim had also worked hard before all the drama to make sure Ladybug even had a venue with all costs covered, including food and beverage. The venue was ultimately not chosen, but Jim had still worked hard to give Dina an option for the event. Instead she chooses to focus on Jim’s comment about her IQ after she interrogated him at an extremely inappropriate, charged moment right after his wife was attacked. Despite her inappropriateness, Jim still ended up apologizing to her. However in my opinion she should have apologized to him for being so glaringly insensitive. 

It may seem as if my perspective is harsh for an end of season blog, LOL! But it is what I was feeling at the time. I owe it to you all to give you my honest interpretation of it. However, at the end of the season, I came out having a certain amount of respect for all of these ladies. Being on a reality show is hard; it pushes us to our limits and it is nothing short of psychological warfare. I truly hope you will support all of us, equally. Teams are good, and appreciated; however, keep the hate towards other Housewives out of it. Perspective are OK, different points of view are what make the world go round, however, when your perspective rises to a level of cruelty, it takes the fun out of our jobs. Allow us to be ourselves, with the good moments and even the moments when we could have handled ourselves a little better. At the end of the day, the Housewives are girlfriends that have strong personalitiesand disagreements -- we love, we hate, and we make up. That’s life. 

I have would like to thank: Denee Lockhart, Amy Malkoff, J. Vincent Jewelers, Cate Scaglione Photography, Castle Couture, Action Media Productions, Elinet Cakes, Christine’s Restaurant, Historical Names, East Coast Stars, Zaboyon, Greenhouse Flowers, Johnny Donavan PR, Anthony Palmieri stylist, Tony Bowls evening wear, and finally, my husband Jim and my mom, Pamula Aguero. 

It was an amazing experience that I would not change for the world. I want to thank all of you for you love and support. This was a wild ride. 

Many blessings to all!

Amber Marchese