Monday, November 25, 2013

RHONJ Stars Aligned for Dina Manzo's Project Ladybug Goddess Night Out

Dina Manzo, Project Ladybug Founder   Photos by Suzanne Curry
A Starry Night in NJ                            By Suzee

I had not been to one of Dina Manzo’s Project Ladybugs fundraisers yet, but there were five of them before this year’s. I have a feeling they got better with age as this year’s fundraiser was fantastic.

Held at the luxurious Venetian in Garfield (which used to be the old Cameo), the graceful European architecture and sweepingly grand high ceilings sets the stage for a truly mystical and magical Goddess Night Out.

Teresa was as sparkling as her Fabellini

It was billed that Dina was the host and the Teresa Giudice would also be there, as she was listed as a part of the organization. It was also publicized that Kathy Wakile would be there. I had not seen any mention that  Melissa Gorga was also going to be there so it was a nice surprise to see her there as well. Four housewives in one place with no fighting going on. :-)

Dina was dressed in her goddess best, an electric blue gown with a jeweled wreath in her hair, which was full of long curls. Theresa was stunning as usual. I don't think I've ever gotten a bad picture of her. She wore a silver, shimmery, figure-fitting gown which was like flowing tinsel and also wore a wreath on her head with her hair down for the event. Kathy Wakile went the traditional route of the goddess with a white, toga-like gown on with a simple belt. Melissa Gorga gave life to a perfect little black dress.

After you went in  the entrance there was long hallway lead you to the grand ballroom  illuminated by magnificent chandeliers. Right before the ballroom was the Step and Repeat area, which was accessible to everyone. Off to
Kathy had the Roman Goddess thing going on
the right of the room was what I will call the “basket” room, for lack of a better term. The over a hundred baskets were elegantly placed on tables in the center of the room.  Along the walls on both sides were vendors selling all kinds of wares that appealed to the Goddess in all of us, like blingy clothing and jewelry. There were two or three cupcakes vendors giving out cupcakes but it must not have been a cupcake-eating crowd  (it was a definite Spanx night)  and the other food was so good because there was a lot left over at the end of the night. For the more practical Goddess there was a wellness area where people could receive complimentary services. It was pretty busy.

Melissa Gorga speaks to's Heather Zwain
Teresa had a special table in the Grand Ballroom and was signing copies of her book amidst a backdrop of a Fabellini poster. There was always a line there because Theresa chatted and took a photo with anyone that asked.

As with all fundraisers, there was an introduction and thank you presentations. Dina Manzo took the mike and called the attention of the audience. She started out by thanking everyone who helped her - friends, family, volunteers and the other housewives, at which point in time they joined her in a line to her left. (See my other post for the video). She also thanked the staff of the Venetian for their hard work, and then with a smile said, "Yes, this was not held at the Brownstone, but it was just because they didn't have the right date available - don't read anything into that!" She also had her friend do a meditation, which was unusual for a fundraiser but nonetheless interesting.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dina Manzo's Project Ladybug; What is it?

Dina Manzo recently held her 6th Annual Project Ladybug Gala at the Venetian in Garfield, NJ. This event was entitled "Goddess Night Out " and was attended by over 600 people, which was capacity for the Grand Ballroom. Besides the atttendees, the vendors and volunteers, supporting her there that night were RHONJ Teresa Giudice, Kathy Wakile and Melissa Gorga. CC Sabathia's wife, Amber also supported the cause.

Project Ladybug is the brainchild of  Dina Manzo. She explains how it is run by women and states, "It is amazing what women can do when we all come together." During the evening, one of the speakers, Author Latham Thomas, said that it started with a "thought in her consciousness that became action".

Project Ladybug, simply put, helps children who are sick. If you are a mom or love a child, I think that anyone's biggest fear is the thought of that child getting sick with a deadly or chronic disease. Project Ladybug helps support the children and the families of those children at a local NJ Hospital, St. Joseph's in Paterson. Over a million dollars has been raised so far.

According to the website, "The Ladybug Fund at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is an initiative dedicated to providing important resources to seriously ill pediatric patients and their families as they face lengthy treatment regimens. The Fund strives to help families face the financial and emotional hardships during their child’s treatment.  Project Ladybug will provide assistance to the patient and his/her family that is rarely given by other local and national organizations.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Update: Bad Parents Film by Caytha Jentis Premieres on HBO - This Comedy about Soccer Parents Stars Janeane Garofalo, Kristen Johnston, Cheri Oteri, Michael Boatman, Ben Bailey... and even a Real Housewife of New Jersey - Enter to Win a DVD Copy

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Update: This is an updated article on Caytha Jentis' film Bad Parents, which as of January 2019 is now available on HBO. 

If you've got kids in sports, this is the movie for you to see. The move is a satirical slice-of-life film about obsessed soccer parents. That's enough said there if you have children or have been at any organized sport activity where the parents have just a little too much to do with what is going on. Or perhaps it will make you sit back and think.

Bad Parents is LOL. It stars Janeane Garofalo (Truth About Cats and Dogs, and Jerry's female equivalent in Seinfield), Michael Boatman, Kristen Johnston (Third Rock, Music and Lyrics), Cheri Oteri (SNL, Grownups2), and Christopher Titus (Titus). Also in the cast is Ben Bailey (Cash Cab), Reiko Aylesworth (Hawaii 5-0, Lost), and Rebecca Budig (All My Children) and Bill Sage (American Psycho).

Bad Parents was filmed in NJ by writer/director Caytha Jentis, who has not only several films on her resume including The One and Then Came Love with Vanessa Williams but also the highly successful "The Other F Word Series" about a bunch of interesting ladies going through their second chapters now showing for free on the www.The Bad Parents held a top spot in Redbox sales when it first came out.

Here's the trailer:

Fans of  the Real Housewifes franchise will enjoy looking for Jaqueline, though it's a brief cameo.. Caytha Jentis and and Producer Dorothy Fucito said that they were happy to have Jaqueline in the movie and that she was a pleasure to work with.


You can also enter to win a copy of Bad Parents on Just scroll to the bottom right of the homepage, enter in your email address and write "Bad Parents Movie Contest" in the box. (Your name won't be shared or used for anything but this contest.)

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Goddess Gorga's On Display Gets the Crowd Going at Dina Manzo's Project Ladybug Fundraiser

Dina Manzo hosted a grand fundraiser in NJ entitled "Goddess Night Out". This annual benefit raised money for Project Ladybug, Dina's own charity, which helps children with cancer and other pediatric illnesses at St. Joseph's Hospital in NJ and now also Sloan Kettering in New York (see other post for details).

RHONJ Melissa Gorga having fun on the dance floor
Billed as appearing were Dina, Teresa Giudice and Kathy Wakile. I think everyone was happy to see Melissa Gorga there as well. Part of the evening was dancing. Melissa was on the dance floor when her song was played, she seemed surprised. It's a great song to dance to.

RHONJ Cook Off #1 – Goddess Dressed Chicken Marinated with Yogurt & Fresh Herbs

Goddess Kathy Wakile shares a recipe to keep us all Goddess-looking
In honor of Dina Manzo's Goddess Night out  here's a recipe for a healthy goddess!

RHONJ Cook Off #1 – Goddess Dressed Chicken Marinated with Yogurt & Fresh Herbs

This recipe was shared by Blogger from

Di's Dish: A Tribute to Glee

Goodbye Finn, Goodbye Cory
GLEE puts together a superb tribute in “The Quarterback.”

I have been a fan of Glee from day one and have seen every episode.  Finn Hudson was one of my favorite television characters of all time.  He was lovable, talented, earnest, and was always trying to do the right thing.  The creators of Glee tackled a difficult subject with the untimely death of Cory Monteith, and they delivered a tasteful and moving episode.  They also delivered an essay on grieving.

The show opens beautifully with “Seasons of Love.”  The setting is spare and appropriate.  The song is performed by cast members past and present, grouped into sort of a pecking order.  This is a good choice.  As a fan of the show, I did not think the newer characters should have a central role in the tribute.  Their relationship with Finn was fleeting. 

Next we see Kurt preparing to travel to Ohio from New York.  Kurt is devastated of course, yet grieving with determination. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

INTERVIEW: Meet Actor Marc John Jefferies - Or Have You Met Him Before?

Marc John Jefferies Marc John Jefferies may not be a household name, but he's most likely been in your home on many an occasion.

When he was a very young boy he was a cast member of the illustrious and ground-breaking Cosby Show.  He's also been on such hit NBC shows as The Tracy Morgan Show, ER, Law and Order SVU, HBO's Treme and several others.
He's also done many voice-overs for TV and film. He's been in #Finding Nemo, Monster's Inc, Bill Cosby's Fatherhood, Justice League, Dexter and others. His movie appearances include Haunted Mansion (in which he played Eddie Murphy's son), Notorious,  Get Rich or Die Tryin', Spider Man 2 and Stuart Little. In a movie that also starred Halle Berry, Jessica Lange, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson Marc played the adorable and fought-over Isaiah in Losing Isaiah. 

Marc was nominated for 2 Young Artist Awards, one in 2002 for Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - guest starring Young Actor in The Practice (1997) and one in 2004 for Best Performance in a Feature Fill - Supporting Young Actor for The Haunted Mansion (2003.