Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Happy Memories

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

Happy Memories

Jacqueline thinks Teresa and Joey just need to make some new memories to outweigh the bad ones.

 

So...What did you think of this episode? I thought it was funny. My parents visit every year right before Christmas. I love when they visit! We visit with each other about every three months. It's great! We are very close. It made me giggle to see my dad helping me get the kids' tree out of the attic. I didn't find my dad's glasses in the tree until I put the tree back up in the attic after Christmas. It created the biggest "Where's Waldo" type search for those glasses the whole time the tree was up. They somehow were on the bottom branch, upside down, toward the middle post of the tree when I found them. 

Every year, we have a grown-up tree (sometimes real, sometimes fake) and a kids tree (always fake and pre-lighted). I used to have an allergy to pine trees that made my nose and eyes itch, which made me sneeze a lot. The kids get to decorate their own tree. We make paper chains from Christmas scrapbook paper. We thread popcorn and cranberries. They hang their Disney, Hallmark, homemade and school-made ornaments. They also hang candy canes, tinsel, and whatever else they want on it. It's their own tree to design however they want it. We put a train around the bottom of the tree along with all the Christmas stuffed animals that we have collected over the years that people have given to them. It's usually a lot of fun. We drink hot chocolate and listen to Christmas songs while we decorate the tree. We always read our Christmas books and watch our favorite Christmas movies like 'Christmas Vacation.' Good times!

Last year I got lazy and instead of breaking down the tree, I just shoved it up into the attic like the Grinch. I had bought a brand new slightly bigger and fuller kids' tree last year and completely forgot all about it. Oh well... Next year.

Did you see our poor flat Christmas cookies? Another one of our Christmas traditions is that we make Christmas cookies for the kids to decorate.  I somehow ran out of flour for that batch, so I thought I'd be clever and substitute it with pancake mix. Clearly a stupid decision. Note to self for next year, stock up on flour before holiday baking. No more flat cookies! This was slowly resembling the Griswold family's Christmas. Ah, memories!

When Teresa asked me to invite Melissa and Joe to our cocktail party right in front of Melissa after their talk in my library, I would never say no. I thought that was a good sign that they were headed in the right direction. Besides, if Teresa is really trying to connect with her family again, we will all make the effort along with her, since Teresa is like family to us. We would welcome Teresa's family with open arms. They can work out their issues with each other on their own. This is what Teresa said she wanted. 

I love helping people, and I enjoy trying to resolve conflict to make everyone happy. I'm like a detective trying to solve a mystery. I enjoy dissecting and analyzing every detail of a conflict to get to the root of the problem and make sense of it all so then I can find solutions to help resolve it. YES, I WANT WORLD PEACE! I DON'T enjoy drama, but I DO enjoy the challenge of dissecting it and then finding solutions to resolving it. I don't try to CAUSE the drama, I try to END the drama! Of course, being human, there have been a few exceptions when someone was REALLY a complete jerk to me, so I may have lost control of myself for a little bit... But I came back around and took control of myself again. I like everyone to get along. Unfortunately, there are some circumstances when people can't seem to agree to disagree and move forward, so they choose to part ways. I hope that doesn't happen with Teresa's family. As long as they are attempting to try to make it work, I think that's a good thing! 

I really didn't know Kathy all that well at this point and Teresa wasn't really feeling her at the time, so that's why I didn't invite her. Baby steps! Maybe Teresa working to better one relationship at a time is a good idea. My mission was to bring their family back together for the holidays and before the New Year. 

Ashley's worried that if I kept assisting Teresa in trying to bring the families together it could end badly for me. Being the neutral one isn't always the most comfortable place to be. Ashley remembered me trying to get Danielle to fit in with our family, and that just made everything worse because neither of them really wanted that. At the same time, I can't stand to see my friends hurting. Sometimes, as an outsider looking in, you can see things differently than when you're the one that is caught up in the storm. I just want to bring in a few rays of sunshine. That's all. Nothing wrong with that. I'm praying to God to work with me here.

For the first time EVER, we hired a chef to prepare appetizers for us. It was such a treat. I could actually focus on my guests, and I didn't even have to be at the sink cleaning dishes later. It was lovely. I'd do it again.

I was a little nervous having everyone together for the first time at my house, but I love Teresa and Joe, so of course I would be open to loving and accepting their family as well. I just wanted everyone to have fun with each other and be at peace like old times. It seemed from looking at their old photos from their family trips to Punta Cana, that things were good between them once upon a time. Sometimes, as in most families, sh-t happens! That doesn't mean that they can't get that bond back. It takes work and time, but if all are willing, they have a shot. 

I think we were all laughing during that entire party. Joey Gorga was HYSTERICAL! He and Teresa must have been a hoot back when they were tight. BRING IT BACK! Like I said, "Cut the sh-t, let's party!" Melissa was a lot of fun too. We all enjoyed each other's company. This is the kind of night Teresa has been wanting with her family. See how that works? When one extends the olive branch, the other will extend one right back. Who knew that by the end of the night we all would be so comfortable with each other that Joey Gorga would be free balling it wearing my jumper. Lol!

I think they are slowly dipping their toes in and testing the waters. I can tell there was a little hesitation there to jump right in. (Just a little.) The more happy memories they create together, the more the happy memories will start to outweigh the bad. Cheers to positive thinking! 

My heart breaks for Lauren because I know how close she and her brothers were growing up together. They did everything together so it's only natural that she is feeling a little left out right now. They are at a crossroads in their life. I can only imagine how Lauren feels. Both of her brothers moved out at the same time, experiencing that next chapter in their life together. She is still at home, at least thirty minutes away. The boys are still living together, making new friends and working together. Lauren feels left out of the loop. She is missing out on all of her brothers' new inside jokes that they are forming with the new people that they are spending time with. Sometimes it is too inconvenient for a thirty-minute drive after a last minute phone call for dinner or a get together just to turn around and drive back home at the end of the night. A lot of the boys' plans are spontaneous, so they don't always think to call Lauren or expect her to want to make the drive. They should at least invite Lauren and give her that option. Lauren also has her own life, which includes her relationship and time spent with Vito and her own career that also takes up a lot of her time. Free time as an adult with all of your new added responsibilities becomes valuable and rare. Finding free time becomes more difficult. 

I think Lauren knows that this is a natural progression of life, but it's a hard adjustment for her. The difference is that the boys are adjusting to this change together, while Lauren is adjusting alone. She wants to stay as close to them as they always were. I know that the love for each other is still strong and it's not going anywhere. Everyday life is just changing as they are growing and spreading their wings. My advice to Lauren is just to enjoy the free time that she does get to spend with her brothers while she's with them and not spend it being bitter and complaining that she's not with them as often. Make it good quality time. Quality verses quantity! Just be pleasant when you are around each other and enjoy being in that moment and be confident that the love will always be there. That will bring you closer instead of pushing each other away, because you all will be enjoying that time together creating new happy memories. In the end, isn't that what you want? Teresa and Joe, does this sound vaguely familiar?

On a lighter note, I freakin' LOVE the feather Christmas tree the boys got for their apartment! I would expect nothing less from @GreggyBennett living there. Make sure you check out the "Boys to Manzo" webisode series on Bravotv.com! It makes me laugh every time!

I wish Kathy lots of luck with whatever she decides to do with her incredible baking skills. I could not stop laughing when Albert burst out laughing in response to Kathy and Rich's thoughts of possibly opening a catering hall. He couldn't even hold it in. There must be a good story in there somewhere. Obviously Albert feels that it is a serious commitment, which Kathy and Rich may not be fully prepared for. They better do their research!

Melissa, I hope you get your gold singing booth where you'll make lots of gold records for us all to enjoy. It was really sweet of Joe to build Melissa that studio to allow her to work from home so that she can spend more time with her family and still work on her career. Saves that traveling time to and from the city. I thought her voice sounded great singing by the piano without any music behind her, and it took a lot of guts to do that in front of everyone the way she did. Congratulations to Melissa for working with great producers to further her career. Best wishes for her success.

Teresa and Joe, loved that little picnic you had on your dining room floor. That was so romantic. Chris and I once camped out on our living room floor with a little tent and roasted marshmallows over a candle together. Loved it! Love those moments. Stick together and stay strong! XOXO!

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Love to all! XOXO! See you next week after the drama episode...           

Follow me on Twitter @Jaclaurita and check out my website www.JacquelineLaurita.com.

 

Amber: Is Dina Coldhearted?

Amber Marchese dishes on her first reunion and why Dina Manzo confuses her.

Hello Housewife friends!  Welcome to the jungle baby! My first reunion was a wild ride. Call me sick and twisted, but I had an unbelievable time at the reunion when most, I have been warned, dread it. I felt like it was “The Great Purge” and when I went home I was felt relieved of any built up tension. I don’t care if anyone has a grudge against me, my slate is clean and I harbor no ill feelings towards anyone. I love to argue my point, and I truly stood by all of my convictions this season, so I was ready to say exactly what was on my mind, and then some. 

I know the twins and I went at one another pretty hard, but that is what the reunion is all about. It is an opportunity to get it all out and potentially understand one another's position better. Then we can each make our own decisions as to where we want to go with our relationships. I am very much the type of person that can say some of the meanest things and sling mud, but hug it out at the end forgetting anything negative that was said. It just rolls off my back. I actually think it is healthier to say what needs to be said, and then move on.

One thing I did question after the reunion was if Dina actually has a heart or if I should start calling her the Tin Man. I actually have not figured her out yet. Is she really just a coldhearted bitch, or has she been hurt so many times that she has become warped and jaded. I feel I don’t owe anyone any reason as to why I call cancer “the cancer,” but I will give it once more anyhow. “The cancer” is “the monster” to me. It is a way for me to take away its power and to minimize it. “It” destroys lives, so “it” does not deserve a name. It is just “the cancer” -- it was “the monster” or “the dragon.” Although Dina claims to have an understanding of how devastating cancer is to a family, her actions and blatant lack of empathy proves otherwise.

In addition, I did not think it was appropriate for me to interject into family quarrels at the reunion; however, this is something that I feel strongly about. I have met Jaqueline and I have spoken to her on many occasions. In the very short time that I have gotten to know Jaqueline, I know and have empathy with the struggles she has caring for Nicholas. I felt that Dina’s interpretation of her nephew was callous and completely out of touch with reality. The only thing that keeps playing in my mind is, "You know nothing John Snow."  No, thank God, he is not hooked up to machines with cancer; however, what the Laurita family goes through is extremely difficult on a day to day basis that will continue on for a lifetime. It is emotionally and financially devastating. Although, Dina "visits" children with cancer, at the end of her visit she gets to go home, leaving it behind and goes on with her daily life. Since Dina does work with children with cancer, I pray that she can abstain from a self-absorbed lifestyle and become a loving, involved aunt.