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Fate and Destiny at Work

Jacqueline talks about setting boundaries for Ashley and shares how she met her husband Chris!

By Jacqueline Laurita


How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo and stream next day on Peacock.

Here we go again. Moving right along. I think we are about halfway through the season already. I don't remember exactly what it was but something reminded me of my first boob job that I FINALLY had done at the age of 30. I felt like I needed it badly and I am the first to admit that it was ALL for vanity reasons. My naturally big boobies were sagging after I had Ashley. I HATED them and was embarrassed by them. Chris was very sweet to say he didn't mind them, but I was always insecure about them. I was happier with them once I finally got them done. Childbirth can have a way of messing with our bodies. Having children is totally worth it though, so don't let that stop you. I don't feel the size of a woman's breasts matter AT ALL, but every woman should feel secure and comfortable with their body and I was not. Breast augmentation is a personal choice and I'm all for it.

My vote for the best scene was the heartbreaking, motivating, supportive Mom scene between Caroline and Albie. I was sobbing while watching that. I know how hard Albie studied to get that far. He successfully finished four years of college at Fordham University only to go on to law school a feel like he wasted a year of his life there by missing the mark by an 1/8 of a point. That was a very tough and depressing moment in his life to get through. The message Caroline gave him was to NEVER give up, no matter what people tell you, or what obstacles you encounter while trying to achieve your goal. Always keep the faith and believe in yourself and your capabilities, work hard and you WILL get there. If there's a will there's a way. The key is don't give up, make it happen. Sometimes on your journey you may discover that what you thought you wanted isn't really what you want after all, and it may lead you down a different path to something bigger and better. To quote Garth Brooks, "Some of life's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." So true! It broke my heart to see Albie's spirits down and Caroline so upset. When Caroline cries, I cry. It's true that when your kids hurt you hurt too. It's a horrible feeling. Albie is a beautiful kid with a great personality, great work ethic, and great family values and with the support of his family he can't lose. He WILL be successful.

I am so proud of Lauren and all of her accomplishments. I am so happy that she has finally found her passion as a makeup artist and is doing very well. She is VERY good at what she does. You will be seeing a lot more of her work in the future. She has been doing Caroline's makeup a lot and it always looks great. Keep up the good work Lauren!

Teresa's housewarming party was as over the top as she is. People had been harassing Teresa and Joe to have a housewarming party for a while. They love to entertain and they are the most gracious hosts I know. Teresa handled Elvira with her forthcoming questions and comments so well. She always makes me laugh. Teresa's dress was fabulous too. We had so much fun. Geez, Chris and I had a simple barbecue for our housewarming. Why didn't we think of flame swallowers, break dancers, a personal chef, flashing rainbow lights on the house, Playboy bunnies to serve cocktails, a DJ and a red carpet? Speaking of the red carpet, did you love my red carpet walk? I always wanted to do that. I'm such a dork. I like to goof around. I crack myself up.


Teresa invited Kim D. to her housewarming because the more she got to know her, the more she liked her. When Kim D's sister-in-law Kim G. found out about the party and left me that sweet message to pass on to Teresa, I felt bad that she might have felt left out, so I suggested Teresa invite her. After all, at that point, I hadn't known her to do anything bad to either one of us. I made the suggestion to invite Kim G. because I felt like it was the right thing to do, but it was Teresa's party and her decision.

The only thing Teresa asked of everybody that she invited to her house was to not mention the fifth housewife's name. She wanted the party to be a positive, fun experience for everybody. Caroline was put on patrol that night to shut down any mention of you know who. She did a good job. Nobody wanted to hear her name or talk about her anymore. I heard Kim G. telling Caroline that I was obsessed with a certain someone when, at the time, KIM was the one constantly coming to ME to discuss that certain someone. Kim would also ask me for advice on how to handle her. It was just weird that she would go there like that, at that particular time, and to Caroline of all people. I felt it was uncalled for and I couldn't figure out why she did it. I was offended and needed to tell Kim why. A lot of that confrontation was cut out. It was mostly me reminding her of all the moments SHE came to ME to discuss that certain someone and what she had told me about her. I was not obsessed, I was upset. I feel like there is a difference. When Kim asked me what my problem was with that fifth housewife, I told her my reasons. End of story. Kim G. and I came to an understanding that night. She apologized and we moved on and started being friendly again.

I still really like Kim D. She makes me laugh. I know it seemed a little crazy for her to take over Teresa's mic during her housewarming speech, but Kim's heart was in the right place when she expressed how she was feeling. There was nothing wrong with Kim getting drunk at that party. Teresa wanted us to drink, have some laughs and enjoy the festivities. Kim was just feeling really good and happy at that moment and wanted to share that with us all. LOL! I thought it was hilarious. Caroline ... not so much. I had confronted Kim D. right away and was very honest with her from the beginning of our friendship about my suspicions of her and that I wanted to know the real deal between her and the fifth housewife. She explained herself and gave what seemed to be honest answers and I respected her for that. Kim had always been very pleasant to me and I had no reason to not like her. Who she is friends with is really none of my business. Kim D. told me all the ways the fifth housewife did her wrong and how she disposed of Kim when she no longer needed her. So Kim decided to start to treat her the same way in return. The fifth housewife and I both actually met Kim D. on the same day, ironically enough. We both were shopping in her store, Posche. A lot of the clothes you've seen us wear this season, including some of the jewelry, came from Posche. You can shop online at Posche now on



YAY! Ashley is back home with us! As turbulent as it can be at times, we really feel like home is where she belongs right now until she figures things out and we can guide her a little more. Raising a teen is tough for parents but I realize that it is also tough being a teen. How soon we forget. Being 18 makes you a legal adult but mentally, most 18 year old kids are not ready to take on the world and live independently. You may think you know everything at that age, but you don't. Kids want their freedom to come and go as they please, do whatever they want to do, and answer to no one, but want their parents to hand them money when they want it. Life doesn't work that way for the majority. Get used to it. You will always have responsibilities, obligations, choices to make, consequences for your actions and work to pay for all of your shit. Learn to deal with it.

I respected Ashley for coming to us and apologizing for her bad behavior. I also like that the shirt she chose to wear said, "Respect your elders." I thought it was funny. She's a good kid. We all have our moments. I always try to understand how she was feeling at the time of an argument, why I didn't approve of the way she handled herself, and then I suggest better ways for her to express herself. We discuss ways she could have been handled the situation to achieve a more positive outcome while still making her point and avoiding conflict. It is illegal nowadays to beat your kid with a wooden spoon so that's the best I can do. LOL! Chris is the best at giving advice and Ashley tends to take him more seriously than me. Both of the conversations you saw with Ashley, Chris and me were a lot more detailed than what was shown. The gist of it was that she was always welcome back home, but only if she was ready to live by our rules understand why we have rules, and to respect the rules and us. We went over what we expected of her. It got emotional because I don't understand how little things escalate to a fight between us. I wanted her to know that I love her and that I'm not her enemy. My delivery may not always be right, but my intentions are always in her best interest. My advice is given through my life experiences. I wish I could save my kids from heartache by sharing with them all that I have learned but sometimes they do need a little tough love and have to learn from their own experiences. Sometimes that is very hard and frustrating to watch. One day it will all click with Ashley. One day Ashley will be very successful in many ways. She's a very smart and talented girl. We have faith in her.

For those of you who have been asking about how Chris and I met, I will tell you the story. Chris and I met the summer of 1996 when Ashley was only five years old. At the time, I rented a chair in a salon doing hair as a licensed cosmetologist in Las Vegas, Nevada where I had moved with my ex-husband and my parents in 1990. I also would work my salon schedule and appointments around certain weeks when I was modeling at conventions that frequently came to our town. It was good money that I needed and I enjoyed doing it. I don't really like to call it modeling because it wasn't as glamorous as print work and runway, but I had fun doing it anyway. I modeled clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, computer programs, just what ever came to town. I never took jobs out of town because I had to take care of a small child. One day my Dad, who was senior vice president of operations at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, told me that a coworker of his knew a guy that needed a model to work in his booth at a trade show in Chicago. It was for the the NSGA (National Sporting Goods) trade show or something like that. I could never afford a vacation, so a trip to Chicago sounded like a pretty good deal to me and came at a time when I really felt like I needed to get away. My Dad's coworker was a guy named Steve Shiripa. You may know him by his character on The Sopranos. Steve is actually the guy that introduced me to a friend who hired me to do that job in Chicago. Meanwhile, Chris was a jobber in the wholesale apparel business and was building a new company. He was returning from vacation when he and his brothers decided last minute to go to the convention in Chicago. Chris was living in New Jersey at the time. Fate and destiny at work. Chris and his brothers happened to come by our booth and his brother just happened to know one of the girls I was working with through her sister. Small world. Chris and I were introduced. I thought nothing of it, besides the fact that he was a handsome guy with pretty blue eyes and dimples who was very quiet and seemed shy, but sexy at the same time.

Chris and his brothers came back around later that day and invited us to a dinner they were having. I originally said no because I didn't know them well enough, but the girl I was working with kept insisting that she knew them to be good guys. She told me that Chris wasn't going to go unless I went. I found that strange and hard to believe because Chris and I hadn't spoken much, but I was intrigued at the same time. I finally agreed to go to the dinner but only if we met them there. Chris and I sat across from each other and basically tuned everyone else out all night while we talked and laughed. We had an instant connection. I had a great time with him. When I left, we exchanged numbers to keep in touch, never thinking it could go anywhere because of the distance between us. From that day on it was nonstop visiting and ridiculously long and frequent phone calls in which we really got to know each other and became the best of friends and fell in love. That went on for about five years. There was a year break between us after three years. I really had no desire to move to New Jersey at the time and pull Ashley away from my family and friends and he couldn't make the move to Nevada. We couldn't move forward. I was so in love with him and I wasn't dating other people, but I was scared to make the move. After our year apart, our failed attempts to get each other out of our minds and attempts of being with other people, we both realized we were just meant to be together and it wasn't worth fighting it anymore. We had missed being in each others lives so much. We knew we loved each other but I just didn't know where he would fit in and where it could go. We reconnected and then a year later he came to me and proposed to me right in front of Ashley. I had to make a decision right then and there. HELL YES! I decided to go for it. I knew if I didn't that I might regret it the rest of me life. I knew that I loved Chris, he made me laugh, we both enjoyed a lot of the same interests, we had the same family values, and wanted similar things for our future. I felt safe with him and knew that he would always take care of me and Ashley, and he'd treat her like his own daughter. It was the best decision I ever made! We've been together 14 years and we're still going strong. I still see my Nevada friends and family often. It all worked out.(While dating Chris I also went on to work for Lancome and worked on-call for swing and graveyard shifts as a cocktail waitress for a local hotel and casino called Samstown. I also freelanced as a makeup artist, just in case you were wondering.) That's the end of my long ass story and the beginning of a new one that you're more familiar with ... my life in New Jersey.


For those that didn't get my humor last week in my blog, I wrote CHOW last week instead of Ciao on purpose because I was writing about how much I love food and I thought it was an appropriate ending. I don't think all of you caught on to that because I was getting messages that I spelled it wrong. I'm silly like that. I thought I'd clear that up.

I bet you can't wait to watch next week's show. Get ready for drama, drama, drama! I'll be back next week. Love to you all. XXOO!

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