Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Bad Attitudes on the RHONJ Retreat

Kathy thinks everyone should have gone into the Lake George trip with a more positive outlook.

High ho, high ho, it's off to Lake George we go!

Usually a road trip is something you are excited for, but this trip, well...let's just say there was a bit of uncertainty as to where we were going and what we would be doing. But if you commit to a weekend of team building, then you have to stay positive and be open to the possibilities of helping make things better. And realize that sometimes difficult steps have to be taken to make progress. I was really getting annoyed with the negativity before we even started.

At this point we were on our way, we made the decision to go, now let's all put forward our best effort to make this work. Keep an open mind, guys! Open your hearts! Let's not set up the doom and gloom before we even get there.

The only way for us to resolve our family issues is to stick with the people present: sister and brother; Teresa, her husband Joe, Joe, and Melissa Gorga; and the cousins (that would be Me, Richie, and Ro). I think that’s enough personalities to deal with at one time without dragging others that aren’t even on this retreat into the conversation, especially if they can’t be there to speak for themselves. I don’t want to speak for anyone else and I don’t want anyone speaking for me either. On a related note, Jacqueline and Chris were not able to come on this retreat; at the time none of us were fully aware the level of effort required to care for their son Nick, who has Autism, and in fact, Jacqueline and Chris were just starting to grasp the details. It is such a complicated spectrum disorder to understand, and Jacqueline has been so brave to share her experiences in order to help others. So, if your interested to learn more about Nick and Autism in general please go to where she shares more and provides links to Autism awareness organizations. Jacqueline and Chris certainly have their hands full and have been wonderful parents -- being proactive for Nick's recovery and keeping that their main focus. I only wish them the best forever and always.

On arrival at this castle it was sort of funny -- when we all went to our rooms we starting feeling the heat! Was it because we were in, its just the fireplaces, silly!
Then we went to break bread together for this first time in a year (and without the team builders present). Talk about AWKWARD! Right after lunch we got into it with the professionals with exercises to help us get in the mindset of being part of something larger than ourselves. We all had this expectation on how this was going to play out with re-dedicating ourselves to having consistent partnerships and improving the commitments of each relationship. Instead, the anger and frustration bubbles over and OMG it blows up, big time!

But we eventually do get to a good place. You’re probably wondering'll just have to keep watching. Even now, it is good to have experienced it all and be watching all over again -- breakthroughs for anyone are monumental moments.
And speaking of great moments, Great Falls in Paterson brings such happy memories back to me from my childhood, as we went with Caroline and Al. I think its safe to say that most of us of our generation who grew up there feel the same way. Especially those that are first generation American born.

My father and his older brothers before him, along with his mom, settled in Paterson because of the huge industrial city it once was. Due to its powerful water source, Paterson was home most of the northeast's textile mills and was called “Silk City.” In fact, my parents both worked in the dye houses and textile and clothing factories there.

I loved seeing Caroline and Al walking over the footbridge that I found to be so exciting as a kid and hearing Albert share his own memories was wonderful. The pride and admiration he has for his father’s memory is tangible, and I totally understand that depth of his commitment to his father and his family. If you ever get a chance to visit this area, Lambert Castle has a great view of the city of Paterson. Yep, our very own castle right in the backyard. The other day I heard this old disco song, I’m sure that you all know it and I have to say the words really hit home, especially with these recent events. We are family; I got all my sisters with me....

Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
(HIGH!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
(WE!) no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family JewelThanks for you support and follow me Twitter @kathywakile, @richardwakile, @victoriawakile, @josephwakile or my Facebook.

Come see me at SKYTOP Lodge on September 14th for a dessert demo.

Check my website for other upcoming dates that I’ll be in your area.

I was thrilled when approached by St. Martins press almost a year ago to do a cookbook, and now that is has come to fruition, I am grateful for this amazing opportunity!

Thank you to everyone who made this dream come true. So honored to be working with my editor, the talented Michael Flamini; we both have a love for delicious desserts!

Keep it sweet.

Lots of Love,

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Dina: "The Reunion was Very Hard to Watch"

Dina Manzo opens up about her comments regarding her family and why she kept quiet for Teresa Giudice.

This reunion was very hard to watch. What most of you don't know is I went in there with the intention of keeping silent on my family issues, as I have for the past four years. An incident happened at the reunion, and I won't even give that person the attention they crave, but it set me off to tell my truth. Well some of it at least. I felt I was very P.C. this whole time, but now I had enough. Some people will push you because they know deep down inside you won't push back, but being "zen" is all about setting boundaries, and learning that has been part of my spiritual path. 

I don't want to go into much other than saying my answer about Nic came out very cold because there was more to it. I wish it were that easy to get to know him, but unfortunately it's not because of my relationship with his mother, and I'm just being honest. He is not missing me nor does he know what is going on with this family because of NOTHING more than his age. Anyone who is trying to make people think otherwise, especially his mother, should be ashamed of themselves. The Mother Theresa comment was about people comparing how I raise money for children with cancer yet don't help him. I went on to say how blessed my brother is to live in a county in New Jersey that people actually move to for the autism programs offered. How I see joy in him because of the progress he is making. He is a happy, beautiful child that is on his way to recovery, and although I know it's a struggle for parents of children on the spectrum, there is NOTHING wrong with seeing joy in them instead of sorrow. I appreciate all the parents of children with autism for their emails, tweets, etc. understanding and APPRECIATING that I see Nic as a 4 year old beautiful boy and not labeling him as anything other than that.

Kathy and Melissa should not have challenged me about "family values" if they don't want to hear my side. I kept quiet for the most part for TERESA, not wanting to bring up old wounds when she was dealing with so much around her sentencing. It was a hard position for me to be in. 

I have no words for my sister on WWHL. She could have answered the no engagement question and left it at that. The lies that followed after were extremely hurtful and must have come from the sheer frustration of having to defend her position on the engagement party. All of you have seen I have ONLY ever said positive things about her no matter what I was feeling. 

Please take a moment to watch this video I made on my truth about it all. I will post all the details on my look next week, but you can get to everyone involved -- from hair to dress  -- on my Instagram post on Sunday. Speaking of Instagram, I invite you to join me on a post a day for the month of November to share what you are thankful for. Showing gratitude for what you have in life just allows the universe to send you more to be thankful for! Trust me, it works!

Sending lots of love, 

Dina xo


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