Cast Blog: #RHOC

Prince Charming

Gretchen shares her thoughts on Slade's ring shopping and how this episode made her love him even more.

Hi Everyone!

Since I haven't gotten a chance to blog about the last two episodes I just wanted to say thank you all so such for the positive feedback on my Facebook/Twitter accounts about my Pussycat Doll Performance! It truly was such a great memory and something I will never forget. You only got to see a glimpse of that night as I had three different costume changes and performed on the bar, the stage, a swing, and the carousel horse! It was great to have all the ladies there supporting my big debut on my first Vegas Stage! I actually had so many of my dear friends, and family come out that weekend to support and celebrate my performance including Jeff’s daughter who came out all the way from Michigan to join in the fun! I feel so blessed to have so many great friends and family! That is really what life is all about.

My number one fan Slade is the best person on the earth and I am so grateful for his constant support, love, patience, and encouragement to go after my dreams! Every woman dreams to have that kind of partner in life, and I have been so blessed to have found my prince charming.

With that said this blog is going to be a lot about my situation with Slade because many of you are asking me questions about it. This episode definitely made me cry knowing that Slade loves me so much and wants to give me so much, but just can't at this time. Hearing him say that all he wants to do is make sure I know how much he loves me and that I mean more to him than just a girlfriend was so touching. Normally it's always the woman pushing or wanting the man to ask them to marry them and the men are hesitant. It is weird how reversed our roles are compared to the traditional way of doing things. However, I love that Heather said to Slade that I wouldn't care what size ring he got me, because she can just see how much we love each other. That statement just goes to show that, even in the short amount of time that I have gotten to know her, she knows my true heart -- and that's a good friend if you ask me.

I've had the big diamonds, big houses, fancy cars, etc. Of course, I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy that lifestyle, but I have definitely learned that lifestyle isn't ultimately what make me happy. What makes me truly happy is that I have a man who loves and adores me, protects me, builds me up when I am down, is the calm in my storm, and makes me feel like the most important person in the world every second of the day. Our love is the kind of love I have dreamed of having since I was a little girl. It's the kind of love I have prayed for my whole life; a love that fulfilled me emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. God finally answered my prayers when he gave me Slade.

Now, I'm sure all your jaws dropped when Slade asked Gabe at Newport Jewelers if he could get a CZ stone until he could afford the real thing, but the truth is once I thought about it I realized it was very sweet and showed his vulnerability. He wants to get me a beautiful ring, but knows he just can't right now. That is hard on a man's ego no matter what way you slice it. I'm so proud of the fact that he is not just pretending to be someone he is not; it's a very brave thing to admit on national television. Slade is working so hard right now to get out of debt and working multiple jobs to do so. He is one of the hardest working men I have ever known, despite what the other woman think they know about his life and job situation.

Ultimately I had to laugh because I know his impatience got the best of him. He wanted a certain ring but he couldn't do that right then so he was trying to figure out how to get the ring he really wanted for me. One thing I can assure you about Slade is that he has too much pride too not to get me the real thing, and our jeweler obviously wouldn't allow him to do that anyways! However he also knows me well enough to know I won't care if it's a ten carat diamond ring or a one carat. Good news is you can always upgrade if and when your financial situation changes later! Kind-of like what my Dad did for my Mom on their 40th wedding anniversary!

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone for the kind comments about me making the right decision about not getting married until some things are worked out. It's a hard decision when you love someone so much, but right now it's the right decision for me. I have worked very hard to get back to the place I was before I got engaged to Jeff. I was financially self-sufficient and a very hard working business woman. I never want to lose sight of that again, because working and having my own thing is truly what I love to do. It makes me feel whole. I lost myself a little when I gave up my career to be with Jeff, so we could travel together and build a bi-coastal lifestyle.

Slade has always supported and encouraged me to continue to go after those dreams and has never asked me to give them up. My companies are thriving, I am getting to do everything I have ever wanted to do and accomplish in life, and I couldn't be happier. The next stage will be adding a family to my life, and I don't believe you have to be married to start that. Look at Brad and Angelina six kids later and just now they are engaged! LOL!

I am very excited about the next stage of my life with Slade. He is going to make an amazing father to our children -- just like my father has been to me! Was it just me or did Slade and my father remind you of each other in last week's episode? Weird! My parents really do adore Slade and they are excited about the thought of little ones soon as well!

Speaking of kids! Holy Hell with Briana and Vicki's scene. I have to say I am sure proud of Briana for calling her mom out on some things. Bottom line is that sometimes parents need to be called out too.

Briana is not a 14 year kid being disrespectful to her mom, she is a grown married adult talking to her mom as a concerned daughter about multiple issues. I am sure it was not easy for Briana to say some of the things she did, but sometimes it takes someone close to you to make you realize something. Briana said a lot of things I have wanted to say to Vicki multiple times. Briana is dead-on that her mom always goes on the defense, deflects from herself, and tries to turn it around on the another person.

What I found the most interesting was when Briana basically called her mom out for emotionally cheating on Donn with Brooks. WHOA!!! When she said she saw things on her mom’s computer between the two of them, my mouth dropped to the floor! I was like "Oh boy this is going to get ugly." Vicki obviously was upset because she got up and whispered under her breath that she could not believe Brianna went there.

As you all can imagine I could have a whole hell of a lot to say here, however I refuse to do what these woman did to me and make accusations about things I do not know all the details about! It just continues to prove my point that I think she is a major hypocrite. I sincerely hope that Vicki can start to take a deeper look at herself after this episode and see that even her own daughter is pointing out the same things we are to her. My talk with Heather was very heart-felt and it was great to see our relationship starting to grow as friends. I have really come to adore her and her honesty. She is a straight-forward girl with a great head on her shoulders and a great friend for good sound advice.

I think it was cool that Tamra got the Simon tattoo removed! It shows she is ready to move past that stage and get on to a new and happier chapter in her life. Sometimes we make mistakes in desperate and confusing times in our life. It sounds like the tattoo was one of the moments for her, and it was very cleansing to get that off her body, so she could truly move on with Eddie.

Terry is hilarious, and Tamra running to the bathroom was hysterical. I love that Tamra walked Eddie right into his statement about buying her a ring! To see Eddie's face was classic! That's a sure way to get a man to put his money where his mouth is! I also understand Tamra's concern regarding the kids because it does always add a different dynamic, however after getting to know Eddie I don't have one doubt that he will be great with the kids and the transition will work out just fine!

In regards to the puppies and princesses party, I have decided that it is probably best to just "plead the fifth" on that one.

On a lighter note, we have been inundated with e-mails about the new pink collection! So here is the update! I was back in New York all last week meeting with buyers for the new collections, and I am excited to announce that I will be back on Shop NBC with my new collections this fall! I also got to see all the samples of the new pink collection coming out and I am sooo excited for you guys to see these pieces! They are gorgeous! They are coming very very soon so please be patient with us! Trust me it is worth the wait! The collection will include the pink satchel you saw on the show in the photoshoot I did, a wallet, an iPhone cover, iPad cover, passport holder, and a three-piece overnight luggage set. It's the perfect travel collection! To be contacted once the collection is in stock, sign up on our interest list by sending your email address to Info@shopgretchenchristine.com and put "pink collection" in the subject line, or visit my website at GretchenChristine.com for more info. Remember the pink color is significant because we are giving a percentage back to the Breast Cancer Charities of America!

Also I'm so excited to tell you guys about my first acting gig with Telemundo TV! Every Thursday you can check out Telemundo.com for the new series Mia Mundo that I am in. It's a new bilingual series that my fellow Bravo sister Jenni Pulos from Flipping Out is in as well! The cast and crew were amazing to work with and it was such a great learning experience for me. I was so honored that they wrote this role specifically for me and invited me to be a part of this great cast!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you know my schedule is very hectic right now with travel and work, but I always read all your messages, even if I can't always respond. I cannot say thank you all enough for the constant love and support you show me every week. It means more to me than you guys know!

Xoxo
Gretchen Christine

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Lizzie on That Kentucky Fried Nickname

Lizzie weighs in on Tamra's nickname for her -- and opens up about her body issues.

We have finally made it to the Reunion and I am happy to say I survived my first season of Housewives. . .Well almost. Next week is Part 2 of the Reunion and I have to admit I pretty much left in tears. I am not a large part of this week’s reunion, but I would like to take this week’s blog and focus on female bullying and body image. As women, I think it is our job to build each other up. We are all mothers, sisters, and daughters. There are so many body image issues among young women and I write this blog for any woman who has had insecurities about her body. If it talks to any of you than it will not have been a waste of time.

I am sure everyone is aware of Tamra's nickname for me, "Kentucky Fried Titties." When I first heard her call me this I thought, "Nah, I won’t even give it energy."  It really is trashy and frankly low-class. However, it was a trigger for me and it really touched on something that I had been self conscious of for my entire life. It sounded exactly like the pre-pubescent boys in my middle school P.E. class. "Hey Lizzie, can I get some fries with that shake." The girls would snicker, "Lizzie's sprouting!!" I grew up hearing a lot of derogatory names targeted at my large chest. I was the girl in fourth and fifth grade that cried when friends had pool parties and wore T-shirts over my swimsuit to cover up my chest. My mom's friends would laugh and say, "One day you will love your assets." But I was always self-conscious.

I grew up dancing and cheerleading and finding uniforms and dance recital costumes was always such a struggle for me. I literally thought about quitting just because of my boobs -- I was so self-conscious and embarrassed. Thank goodness I have such a loving mother that made me feel so much more important than that and didn't let me walk away from something I loved because of body image issues. Even when I started competing in beauty pageants the swimsuit competition was a big thing for me to over come. Some mothers assumed my mom bought me implants at 15. My boobs have always been "up for discussion." At Miss Teen USA, I had to have a special seamstress come in and sew cups in my BodyGlove competition suit because I was bouncing all over when I walked. When I competed in Miss USA, I also had to call in a special seamstress to alter my competition bikini top so it fit my little back and large chest. And, as many of you naturally larger chested women know; real boobs do not "stay put." After I moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career I found myself victim to my large chest yet again. I would only be called in for "Hot Girl #2" and roles like that. How could anyone take me seriously with these 34DDD natural boobs at age 21? I had a college degree. I graduated top of my class, I was so much more than "Hot Girl #2", or so I thought.

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At age 23, I couldn’t take it anymore, I cried enough over being insecure about my body. It was time to do something about it. I talked to my mom and she took me for my first breast reduction. It was the best thing I ever did. I felt free! It felt so great to go swimsuit shopping and to buy dresses that I didn't have to wear a minimizing bra with! I can honestly say it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I am 5'7" and I always had boobs, so one thing I didn't want to do is get rid of them completely. I still wanted to feel like me and keep some of my natural curves. Perhaps going 34D wasn't small enough or maybe I just have incredible growing breast tissue. Whatever the case, my boobs were huge again six years later. I decided to have another breast reduction right before my wedding. I was the perfect size. Not too big and not too small. . .and then I had kids. So, now I have very large boobs again. I will probably get another reduction when I am done having children, but we want more kids so now is not the time. I guess God wants me to have big boobs! So, excuse me everyone for finally embracing my body.

I know some of you are probably thinking, "Oh poor Lizzie and her big boobs." But it was a real thing to me and I think as women we all struggle with insecurities. We have all struggled with body image issues at least one time in our lives. I have always been a big believer in beauty shining from within. Think about it. How many people do you know that have such beautiful personalities that it shines through and makes me them even more gorgeous human beings? How easy is it to overlook an attractive person who is mean and ugly inside? People start looking like their personalities sooner or later.

How does all this translate into adult female relationships? I think there are many similarities. I think it has a lot to do with self-esteem, acceptance, and respect for others.

I am sure there are tons of people that applaud Tamra for her name calling of me, or of Alexis when Tamra coined the term "Jesus Jugs." I see nothing more than a 47-year-old bully when I see Tamra. I see bullying. Tamra didn't just call me a name in a fit of anger. She made up the name and announced in her interview. Later, she announced on Watch What Happens Live. My question is why? Why is she so proud of this name? (Which, I have to be honest, I have heard before, it’s not even original.) What kind of message does this send to young women? I don't have girls, but I have nieces and I would never want to teach them to be "mean girls." This may seem trite, but I always felt sorry for the bully. Why do they act like that? It always seemed like bullies have a difficult time connecting with people in meaningful ways and thus use relationships for manipulation. Look, if we can put someone on TV and afford them fortune and fame for being a bully, we are exalting that poor behavior, and sadly we as a society give it life.

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