Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Being Open with Teresa

Kathy was glad that she was able to clear the air with her cousin.

We are still in Italy, so grateful to be seeing friends and family whom we have not spent time with in over six years since Rich and I last took this trip. Now with Victoria and Joseph being older, words cannot describe how amazing this has been for us all -- check out my Instagram @officialkathywakile for my photo journal.

When we have met people from other countries that watch our show, as well as some who are not as familiar, it always takes us by surprise how we serve as catalysts to help bridge communication gaps. For instance, topics that have remained hidden and effectively created deeper wedges, separations, or silence in families for generations suddenly are no longer taboo and our presence encourages discussion and forgiveness...even some laughter! As always, thank you for sharing your stories and opinions; it really means so much to us and we have learned a lot. In return, we're so glad that our experiences have often been able to create positive change and growth in other families.

Now for this week's episode:
I love how the passion that runs deep in our family brings out the best in all of us. It was so surreal to watch this episode, since so many things actually happened during this Lake George trip that you, the viewers, never got a chance to see...but trust me, a lot of other stuff happened! Communicating, forgiving, really owning and taking responsibility to move us all forward as a family was a big emotional break through -- and, get ready, there is more! You have to keep watching. You will be amazed at how deep we really get with our relationships and learn how to communicate better with each other so we HEAR what each person is really saying -- each bit of effort we all gave is a step in the road to reach the long lasting goal of wholeness. We are continually fueled by the ever-increasing levels of respect and attention from each other, but even so, no one said it's easy, because life gets complex sometimes, doesn't it? So, it was quite something that Dr. V was able to help support and translate communications between Teresa and Joe as brother and sister and then bring in Melissa and Joe as their spouses. It brought them all to another level which was nice to see. And I was so glad to have the opportunity to say my piece to Teresa and she to me, and at the same time we both were open to really hear each other.

One thing is true regarding our family for sure -- the very people whom you love the most can actually drift away if you don't pause and take "fun" time together and make an effort to retain that bond. Instead of fighting, you have to play and hang together, and when we do that, it lets us laugh, relax, and simply have fun together. It bonds you all over again and reminds you of why you love one another so very much. Rebuilding our relationships one happy memory at time! So it was great to cook together, drink together, laugh together, take that time out and drop our guards and be able to discuss those things that can normally be stressful...just like how we've been able to help the families we've been meeting on our trip to Italy. All I can say is my Dad must be smiling up there in heaven: he really believed in family love, and so do we. Before I go, I just have to tell you I'm so, so excited about my new dessert cookbook, INDULGE: Delicious Little Desserts—75 Recipes that Keep Life Real Sweet (from St. Martin's Press) will feature a slew of “user-friendly” recipes for the whole family. So much is happening, stay tuned! I will share more really soon!

And check out my column for called “Kathy a la Carte,” where every Friday I tackle your burning questions about baking, entertaining, style, beauty, friendship, relationships, career, and of course, family!

Thank you for your support and keep up with what's happening with me on my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @kathywakile, @richardwakile, @victoriawakile, @josephwakile.

Come see me there: there is a chef showdown at Mohegan Sun on Friday Sept 13th, and I am so excited to be special guest judge. Please come and check it out during their restaurant week festivities. And the following day I will be at SKYTOP Lodge on September 14th for a dessert demo!

Keep it sweet,



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.