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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: yoga

RHONJ Ssn 7/Ep 7 - Spa-Cation

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the women escape the drama for a weekend filled with spa treatments and bonding. But will lingering tensions between Teresa and Jacqueline spoil the fun and relaxation? You may be surprised at the answer! Read on for a full recap of the trip...

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It's time for the first getaway of the season, and the ladies are heading to a spa weekend planned by Melissa Gorga at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ (which is about an hour away from where they live in the Franklin Lakes/Montville Township area). While the trip may just be a quick staycation to celebrate Teresa Giudice's first official weekend of freedom after getting her ankle monitor removed, the OG is less than enthused about the idea of being stuck under the same room as frenemy Jacqueline Laurita. In fact, in a strategic move to keep the peace, newbies Dolores Catania and Siggy Flicker even drive separate cars to keep the feuding veterans apart for as long as possible. 

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However, once the two cars arrive at the resort the tension is immediately palpable between Tre and Jac, prompting relationship expert Siggy to attempt to mediate an awkward reintroduction for the former BFFs. While Teresa jokingly asks whether she should throw Jacqueline down the stairs, the latter is determined to follow a strict regimen of "speak[ing] when spoken to." If Teresa is friendly, Jac will be friendly in return, but won't be going out of her way to make any type of small talk. The women decide to break the tension by getting ready to go out to dinner, and Teresa confides in Dolores that she isn't holding her breath for a reconciliation either. After all, Tre warns, she knows how to play nice and how to play not-so-nice...

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The 'Wives are escorted to the resort's private dining room in the wine cellar for their first meal, where Melissa has the unenviable job of sitting between her fellow OGs, with newbies Siggy and Dolores on the opposite side of the table. Over bites of yellowfin tuna, the rookies attempt to make small talk by bringing up their costars previous trips to Italy (in Season 2) and Napa Valley (in Season 4). Surprisingly, the conversation effectively thaws the ice between Teresa and Jacqueline, and they start to reminisce about the good old days in their "Lucy and Ethel" friendship. Shifting the conversation, Jacqueline brings up the stresses of raising a child with autism, (which, according to statistics, costs roughly $60,000 per year). Sensing an opening, Siggy puts on her relationship expert hat and gets the ladies talking about the hardships they've each faced in life. As they go around the table and trade stories of financial troubles, marriage, divorce and being a "ride or die bitch," the women's walls really come down and some genuine bonding starts to happen. With tears flowing, Siggy raises a glass and toasts to the fact that each and every one of the ladies is a survivor in some way or another. Cheers to vulnerability!

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After hitting up the fire pit for s'mores and more stories, the good vibes continue as Teresa decides on the spot to personally invite all the 'Wives (Jacqueline included) to her upcoming book launch for her new memoir, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again. After heading back to the room, the women decide to have an old-fashioned pajama party, including prank FaceTimes with their husbands and getting wasted during a game of wine pong. As Siggy points out in her confessional, as long as neither is bringing up or rehashing the past, the relationship between Teresa and Jacqueline actually seems to be capable of moving forward. Who would've thought this was actually possible just two weeks ago?

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Early the next morning, Melissa shows the other women a video of her son Gino competing at his wrestling meet, which naturally leads to a discussion of their children's various accomplishments. However, the mood turns when Jacqueline abruptly leaves the table and is in tears by the time Siggy finds her in a bathroom. Hearing the other 'Wives bring up all the milestones and moments their kids are having has gotten Jac emotional over her six-year-old son Nicholas, who is on the autism spectrum. The OG's "proud mommy moments" with Nick are markedly different from the other ladies' and through tears, she explains that she's worried he won't ever have the same kind of normal childhood his peers do. The victories are smaller and the work Nick puts in is so much greater, but Jac fears he'll one day be able to recognize how he's different from other kids. Eventually, Dolores, Melissa and Teresa come looking for their friends, and Jacqueline's tears provide Tre with a touching moment to comfort her. In her confessional, Teresa admits she can't even imagine how much Jacqueline is going through with Nick's autism and vows that if her former BFF needs a shoulder to cry on, she'll be there. 

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Having had enough tears for the day, the ladies change into their swimsuits and head to the resort's pool to lay out. However, when Dolores decides to dip her feet in, Melissa follows for a chance to talk to the newbie away from the other girls. Out of everyone in the cast, Dolores has been friends with Teresa the longest - we're talking 20+ years - so Melissa wants to get some advice from the show's resident voice of reason on how to move forward with her sister-in-law. Of course, Jacqueline notices her fellow 'Wives' chatting by the pool and manages to pick out both her and Teresa's names and the words "bringing up the past" in a crude attempt at lip-reading. Any bets on what this is going to do to Jacqueline's paranoia level? Even though both Dolores and Melissa insist the conversation wasn't about her (which it wasn't), Jac's suspicions have officially been raised.

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Later during spa treatments, Melissa joins the newbies for mani/pedis while Teresa and Jacqueline get massages - leaving the former BFFs truly alone for the first time the whole trip. While Siggy laments that she just wishes Jac could see that Teresa has truly changed since coming home from prison in the nail salon, the two OGs bond even more. Tre specifically promises Jacqueline that, despite their falling outs in the past, she'll be there the second her bestie needs her. At the time Nicholas was diagnosed with autism, the Giudices were going through the darkest part of their legal issues. So even though Tre wasn't available to support her friend back then, she is now. In turn, Jac apologizes for hitting below the belt when she's upset and...are we having a real breakthrough? This is actually happening, RHONJ fans!

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While Joe Giudice has a surprise reunion in Little Italy with former Jersey Househusband Rino Aprea, the ladies stay in for the final dinner of their spa vacation. During the meal, Melissa declares that she would have no idea Teresa and Jacqueline had yet another epic confrontation just a few days prior if they hadn't told her themselves, but after the lip reading at the pool, the latter's paranoia is on high alert. Ever the observant matchmaker, Siggy pinpoints the essential differences between the two OGs (Jacqueline wants to go deep in every single moment while Teresa's intentions are usually simpler), but when Jac catches Dolores and Melissa whispering again, she starts to lose it. Screaming that she's had enough of the side conversations, Jacqueline starts pointing fingers, but the other 'Wives promise yet again that they weren't discussing her at all. Calm down Jac, your paranoia is getting the better of you...

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The next morning, the women wrap up the trip with an early yoga session led by Teresa, who discovered how therapeutic the practice was while in prison. I'm a fan of Namaste Teresa 2.0, even when she has to explain the definition of "queef" to poor, naive Siggy. All in all, the vacation seems to end on a positive note for all the ladies, with new friendships strengthened and old bonds renewed. Could this be a new chapter of peace in New Jersey? Namaste bitches!

Tell me in the comments if you enjoyed this episode of RHONJ as much as I did! Was Jacqueline being overly paranoid? Has Teresa really changed? Is Siggy just the perfect mediator for these women or what?

RHONJ Ssn 7/Ep 4 - A Life to Envy

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the ladies get to work on everything from boutique openings to celebrity memoirs. However, Melissa struggles with Joe's lack of support as she prepares to open Envy by MG and Siggy questions Teresa over the rampant tabloid rumors about her marriage. Read on for a full recap of this week's drama...

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Melissa Gorga's dream of opening her own boutique is close to becoming a reality. But while she's busy working at the store, Joe Gorga is left to hold down the fort and Tarzan is not a happy Mr. Mom. Joe is old-school Italian and this arrangement is not what he signed up for when Melissa walked down the aisle 11 years ago. He thought he was getting a housewife who would cook, clean and take care of the kids, not a modern Housewife who wants success on her own terms. Now, I love Joe Gorga, but it's awfully frustrating to sit back and watch his antiquated views on marriage and gender roles get in the way of supporting Melissa's goal. C'mon Joe, I know you're better than this. As Melissa so boldly tells him, it's time to "man up" and be happy for your wife.

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Teresa Giudice is also busy advancing her post-prison career. In a miraculous three-week turnaround time that would surely have Aviva Drescher screaming "GHOSTWRITER!" Tre has managed to turn her diary from Danbury into a memoir, and it's time to record the audiobook version! En route to the offices of Simon and Schuster, the OG's lawyer delivers another piece of good news: he's sent in her final restitution check, which means she no longer owes the government a single dime. Hooray! Watching Teresa tear up as she records the dedications to her daughters is slightly heartbreaking as she reflects on the time with them her prison sentence took away. Two hours later, she heads to an editorial meeting where the publishers reveal the memoir's cover for the first time. Just like in her tagline this season, Teresa explains that the title of her book, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again, is a cheeky reference to just how far she's come since her iconic Season 1 table flip.

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Meanwhile, Jacqueline Laurita meets Siggy Flicker for lunch, where the topics at hand include the struggles of parenting and, of course, Teresa. As a newbie to the Jersey crew, Siggy was happy to hit it off with Tre while they planned Dolores Catania's birthday party while Jac remains cautiously optimistic that this new chapter with her old BFF will stick. However, as a professional relationship expert, the Sig is also concerned with the constant stream of tabloid articles that have come out in the wake of Teresa's release claiming that she and Joe are splitting up. Considering her career, Siggy feels qualified to help quell the rumors, but Jacqueline warns her that Teresa may not appreciate being questioned about anything in the tabloids (as she clearly knows from experience). Yet, Siggy's already set up a date to go rock climbing with Teresa and Dolores, so there's no stopping the rookie now. 

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So, while Melissa takes another stab at rallying Joe's support, Siggy brings her daughter Sophie to meet Teresa, Gabriella, Dolores and her daughter Gabby at the climbing gym. While the kids race to the top of the wall, Siggy puts on her relationship expert hat, comes right out and addresses the tabloid rumors to Teresa. The Sig explains that Tre can always come to her for an opinion or advice entirely free of bias and, shockingly, the OG actually reacts well. Laughing, she informs the newbie that she and Joe's relationship is stronger than ever and the stories circulating in the media are just a bunch of lies. See, Teresa 2.0 really is a different person than she was before going away...

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The time has arrived for the opening party at Envy by Melissa Gorga! The entire gang turns out for Melissa's big night, including Friends of the Housewives Kathy Wakile and Rosie Pierri, Jacqueline's daughter Ashlee Holmes and Teresa even brought Gia instead of Juicy Joe. The champagne is flowing and everything seems copacetic when Chris Laurita approaches Teresa to say hello for the first time in years. Jacqueline's husband is particularly disappointed that his old buddy Joe Giudice didn't come to the party, but Tre informs him that Juicy is off celebrating his grandmother's 82nd birthday instead. Chris suggests that the Giudices come over for dinner soon to catch up and it looks like things really may be going back to old times between the two couples, despite Ashlee's suspicions that Teresa 2.0 is merely a "publicity stunt" meant to restore the OG's reputation following her prison stay. 

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In the midst of the shopping, Melissa gathers everyone to deliver a speech, thanking her family and friends for coming to the opening and always supporting her in her various business endeavors. (She even makes a point to specifically say how happy she is Teresa could be there along with her two sisters, which is proof of the progress made in the Giudice/Gorga clan.) After the whole room raises a glass and toasts to Melissa's success, Joe pulls his wife aside and rather sweetly tells her how proud he actually is and that - despite his constant grumblings about the boutique - there's truly no better wife and mother for their family. This doesn't exactly make up for the episodes-long grief he put Melissa through about opening her store, but it's definitely a start.

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The day after the grand opening, Teresa spends time at home with Joe, and even manages to coax her husband into doing yoga with her. Via confessional, she explains that her new passion for yoga is what got her through her prison sentence, so she's hoping it can provide similar benefits to Joe as he prepares to go away to Fort Dix. However, with all the tabloid gossip once again intruding on their lives, the rumors are also on Teresa's mind. Point blank, she reminds her husband that if he did ever cheat on her while she was away, there would be no forgiveness. Namaste Teresa only goes so far, and that most definitely does not include infidelity. Juicy Joe grunts his confirmation that he understands, but while this type of gossip in the press could've maybe had more credibility a few years ago (that infamous call during the Napa trip, anyone?), it seems that these days, the Giudices' relationship is more unbreakable than ever.

What did you think of this week's RHONJ? Should Joe Gorga be more supportive of Melissa's boutique? Were you impressed with how Teresa handled Siggy asking about the tabloids? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

RHOD Ssn 1/Ep 4 - Mouth of the South

Glenn Rowley

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Well, that escalated quickly. Only four episodes into the inaugural season of The Real Housewives of Dallas and a full-out war has erupted between 'Wives, complete with wine-throwing, name-calling and a major walk-out. Read on for my full recap of the drama between LeeAnne and the other Housewives...

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We start this week off with another morning at Brandi Redmond's house. Amid the chaos of pets running around and getting the girls ready for school, Brandi informs her husband Bryan that Stephanie Hollman has invited her and the kids on a road trip to Coweta, Oklahoma to visit Stephanie's family. Ever attentive, Bryan sleepily nods along to his wife's plans, simply grateful that he'll get a day without having the girls drop a bunny on his face to get his attention. Once the kids get out of school, Stephanie and her boys show up at Brandi's house to pack up the van. After watching Brandi chase her nameless dog down the street and wishing for muzzles (for the four kids) and Xanax (for themselves), the two 'Wives are all packed up and ready to drive four hours to Oklahoma. Party time!

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Meanwhile, LeeAnne Locken is busy contributing to the Dallas charity world. In her confessional, the queen bee explains that her days begin and end with charity - whether she's running host committees, attending board meetings or connecting donors with organizations, this is LeeAnne's bread and butter. Today she's meeting with Heidi Dillon, who according to her is the actual queen of the Dallas charity scene. LeeAnne's goal is to convince Heidi to serve as this year's honorary chair for an event benefitting women who are HIV+. If she can get Heidi Dillon on board to get her wealthy friends to write the checks, LeeAnne can do all the rest of the work. Heidi agrees to be the honorary chair and tells LeeAnne to pop the champagne. I mean, who can say no when LeeAnne asks you to help give people a hand up in life?

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The next day, LeeAnne attends the Paws Cause charity event with her BFF Tiffany Hendra and Friend of the Housewives Marie Reyes to benefit the SPCA of Texas. After taking pictures for the press and joking that all three women arrived wearing the same shade of pink, Tiffany pulls LeeAnne away from the dogs and puppies to get the details about how her brunch went with Stephanie and Cary Deuber. LeeAnne describes the meeting as confrontational and laments that she couldn't get through to either of the other women about how their reputations could be marred by associating with Brandi and her potty humor. Marie's worried about how the tension between LeeAnne and the other 'Wives could affect her upcoming cocktail party, but I'm willing to bet she had no idea how crazy it could actually get.

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Stephanie and Brandi arrive in Coweta and the latter is blown away by her BFF's country upbringing. Stephanie's entire family shows up at her parents house for a good old-fashioned family dinner. Stephanie's experience growing up in Coweta was basically a picture off of a small town, All-American post card. Her parents were devout Pentecostals and she grew up going to church twice on Sundays and once on Wednesdays, her mom was a Sunday School teacher and she spent her teenage years trying as hard as she could to be perfect. Coming from a completely different family dynamic from the picturesque Hayes clan, Brandi is a little overwhelmed by all the love and bonding going on at the table. In fact, she admits in her confessional that it even feels a little bit awkward to her. Growing up she and her brother would often eat dinner in front of the TV with minimal conversation, which is basically the complete opposite of Stephanie's close-knit family who is offering a prayer before dinner.

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Back in Dallas, Cary has invited Tiffany to join her for some hot yoga in an effort to build their budding friendship. It turns out that Cary is a serious contortionist when it comes to the yoga studio. Seriously, while Tiffany struggles to keep up, Cary's busy twisting and turning her body into a human pretzel. (For the record, in a yoga situation I'm neither Cary nor Tiffany; I'm definitely more like the little old Asian lady behind them.) After yoga, the two 'Wives hit the juice bar and the conversation turns almost immediately to LeeAnne. Tiffany is constantly having to defend her BFF to the other 'Wives and tries to give Cary some perspective on how LeeAnne works. She tries to explain that LeeAnne puts up walls to protect herself because of how much she's been hurt in the past, but Cary simply finds the queen bee to be annoying and abrasive. Yes, lots of people in Dallas society know who LeeAnne is, but Cary opines that maybe that's just because of how loud she is. LeeAnne may be well-connected to important people in the charity world, but Cary reminds Tiffany that her BFF isn't a tried-and-true Dallas socialite. Either way, Tiffany wants to continue building a friendship with Cary as her own person, not just as LeeAnne Locken's best friend.

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Getting back from Coweta, the topic of family is heavy on Brandi's mind. After last week's revelation from her mom that her estranged grandpa wants to meet her, Brandi decides to finally give him a call. Once her step-grandmother answers the phone and hands it to her grandfather, Brandi emotionally breaks down in tears as she has her first conversation with this man whom she's never met. Over the course of the quick chat, Brandi learns that her grandpa played in the NFL in his younger days with both the LA Rams and the Denver Broncos. Finally, she tells her grandpa that she would like to meet him and invites him to fly out to Texas for a visit. As I said in my live-tweet, I don't think we've ever seen a storyline on the Housewives franchise quite like this one between Brandi and her grandfather...

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The night of Marie's happy hour arrives and all of the 'Wives are ready for a fun girls night out. However, Stephanie and Brandi are also wary of running into LeeAnne for the first time since Mad Hatter's. Yet, Stephanie claims she's in a good place after her visit to Coweta and isn't looking for any drama at the cocktail party. However, just because they don't want drama doesn't mean it isn't lurking close to the surface. As Brandi arrives with Stephanie, Tiffany is quick to pull the redhead aside to let her know she wants to be friendly despite Brandi's tension with LeeAnne, as her BFF eyes the conversation from across the room. From the perspective of a fan and an analyst, I completely understand what Tiffany is doing in this episode. In order for a Housewives show to really work, the cast has to be cohesive and consistently interact with each other. So far this season, the 'Wives have been separated into two distinct camps, with Brandi, Stephanie and Cary on one side and LeeAnne and Tiffany on the other. By making an effort to build a relationship with Cary and reaching out to Brandi, Tiffany is attempting to cross into the opposite camp and make the show work. Will it blow up in her face? We're about to find out much sooner than you think. But for now, bravo Tiffany, thank you for making some moves.

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As the cocktail party continues, LeeAnne and Brandi circle the room, effectively avoiding each other. However, when Brandi and Stephanie meet Marie's friend Taylor Garrett, the A-List: Dallas alum is quick to bash LeeAnne and dish some damning gossip about the queen bee. Naturally, Brandi and Stephanie are quick to eat this story about LeeAnne getting so wasted she pooped her pants up, but to me it's clear that this Taylor kid is a wee bit desperate for camera time and that as hard as we try, the Dallas 'Wives simply can't move away from the disgusting potty humor. Either way, Brandi is sure this singular gay man at the party is destined to be her new BFF (sorry, Stephanie?) After all, nothing will bond people faster on reality TV than a shared mutual enemy. Brandi and Stephanie are quick to relay the gossip to Cary and then question Tiffany about it. Once again defending her bestie to the other women, Tiffany finds her back up against both a literal and proverbial wall. With both Cary and Stephanie behind her, Brandi relentlessly continues to bash LeeAnne to Tiffany, point blank calling her a "bitch" and accusing her of trying to turn Stephanie and Cary against her at brunch. 

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In an effort to play peacemaker, Tiffany goes straight to LeeAnne and brings her by hand over to the other women to mediate the conversation. However, Brandi starts the discussion off on the wrong note by sarcastically apologizing to LeeAnne for not respecting her as an elder and being a proper "Little Miss Manners," and snidely questions whether she should refer to LeeAnne as "Miss LeeAnne Locken." Brandi then proceeds to call LeeAnne out on her brunch with Stephanie and Cary. LeeAnne insists that asking her fellow 'Wives to meet wasn't done out of malicious intent, but Brandi counters that the queen bee is "full of sh**."  The argument then turns to the confrontation between the two during the premiere over Brandi's unflattering imitations of LeeAnne. Brandi claims she was coming from a good place when she attempted to apologize, while in the same breath insisting that she still thinks LeeAnne "needs help." 

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LeeAnne takes this dig in stride, pointing out that Brandi is over a decade younger than she is and doesn't know hardly anything about what she's gone through in life. However, the younger 'Wife is quick to accuse LeeAnne of blasting her life story all over the Dallas tabloids for everyone to know about. Wait. Dallas has its own tabloids? At this point, LeeAnne is visibly upset and invites Tiffany to put a stop to this insanity, but when Tiff insists she's trying to mediate, LeeAnne walks away and - with the rest of the 'Wives looking on in horror - throws her champagne down on the ground. As the glass shatters and wine gets on Cary's dress, Stephanie calls a departing LeeAnne's move "classy," which prompts the queen bee to turn back around and confront the blonde. According to LeeAnne, the thing that's classy is that Stephanie continues to stand up for Brandi, whom she terms a "little piece of sh** trash who can't keep her mouth shut," and she warns that Stephanie's position in the charity world will go "down the toilet" because of her association with the former Cowboys cheerleader. 

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With that, LeeAnne storms out of the party and only as she's angrily muttering about how much she doesn't care about "those three little bitches" do I realize just how fabulous her patterned jumpsuit is. She leaves the rest of the women standing around horrified and not knowing quite how to react. Inexplicably, Stephanie breaks down in tears because of the confrontation and vows that she's done with LeeAnne, claiming she can't be around so much craziness any longer. I'm not quite sure why Stephanie's the one who's crying when her bestie was the one who picked the fight with the first place, but the episode ends with an ominous "To Be Continued..." placard below Stephanie's teary face.

What did you think of this week's episode? Are you on Team LeeAnne or Team Brandi/Stephanie? Next week, the drama continues to spiral out of control...