Reality Roundup: Babies, Bankruptcies, and Bailouts, oh my!

Andy Cohen (left) and Kim Zolciak (right). (Source: Twitter)

Bravo’s new slate of programming for the upcoming year is sure to be a hit. Three Real Housewives franchises will be returning, so far, as well as two returning spin-offs and two new spin-offs.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta has already been renewed and the Atlanta ladies will be returning for a seventh season. Season five of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is on the network’s agenda and The Real Housewives of New Jersey will return for its sixth season this summer. The Real Housewives of Miami was noticeably absent from the list of returning series; however, Bravo has yet to announce a cancellation.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spinoff Vanderpump Rules was  renewed for a third season and the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak will be coming back to Bravo for the third season of her spinoff, Don’t Be Tardy.

Former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Caroline Manzo will return to the network to star in her own family-centric spinoff series, Mazo’d with Children. The show, which is set to debut later this year, will feature Lauren Manzo’s engagement.

Bravo cameras were rolling as The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss said “I Do” to Todd Tucker earlier this month.  The series will document Kandi’s long journey down the aisle.

Additionally, Bravo  handed season renewals to many other series including The Millionaire Matchmaker Season 8, Fashion Queens Season 3, Shahs of Sunset Season 4, Watch What Happens Live, and second seasons of Thicker Than Water and Blood, Sweat & Heels.

Check out the full list of new and returning programs at BravoTV.com.

On the set of The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion taping last month, things got physical between cast mates.

According to multiple reports, Porsha Stewart got into a brawl with castmate Kenya Moore while filming the reunion special. A police report was filed and an arrest warrant in connection with the altercation was processed for Porsha.

TMZ reports that Porsha turned herself in on Wednesday to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and was booked on misdemeanor battery charges. The RHOA star was immediately released after taking a glamorous mug-shot and posting $2,000 bail.

See what went down tonight on Part 1 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.

No means no! Former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel has turned down offers to return to the ratings-challenged Real Housewives installment.

Although Andy Cohen is no longer a Bravo executive, “Honchos at the network asked him [Andy] to reach out to Bethenny and ask her if she would be open to making a return to RHONY,” an insider told Radar. “The hope was she would come back as a regular cast member, but Bethenny was also offered a guest role.”

“Bethenny didn’t even take time to think it over [before saying] no,” the source revealed. “She has absolutely no plans at this time to return to reality television. She believes she has moved on from that.”

Although Bethenny will not be returning to reality television anytime soon, “she would love to appear on television again in a different capacity,” the insider added. “Perhaps even as a fill-in host for Andy on Watch What Happens Live.”

Bethenny’s self-titled network talk show was cancelled earlier this year.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…..you guessed it! Just days after saying “I Do”, The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss says that she and her husband Todd are ready to start their own family.

“We’re trying now for a baby!” Kandi revealed in the new issue of In Touch. “We haven’t succeeded yet. If it happens today, then we’re good with it.”

“We’re really looking forward to having kids together,” Kandi dished. “I can’t wait to [have] one big family!” Kandi has one daughter Riley, 11, and Todd has a daughter Kaela, 17. Both are from previous relationships.

In addition to pleading guilty to multiple federal fraud charges last month, The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice are in a crushing amount of debt.

The reality stars will only be ordered to pay back $7,500 of the whopping $13 million debt they cited in a 2009 bankruptcy filing.

“We just want the money she owes us,” an employee of the North Hudson IVF fertility clinic, one of the Giudices’ creditors, revealed to Radar. “We’re just a company that helps people.” Teresa was rumored to have undergone multiple fertility treatments at the clinic in order to conceive the couple’s youngest daughter Audriana. Radar reports that the Giudices owe the clinic $11,765.59 for their services.

According to bankruptcy documents obtained by Radar, some of the Giudice’s debts include $5.4 million to Wachovia, close to $2 million to the Community Bank of Bergen County and over $1 million to Dime Savings Bank. They also owe thousands of dollars in back taxes to the State of New Jersey and the IRS.

“If it weren’t for the money she’s made from Real Housewives of New Jersey, she would be in serious financial trouble right now,” a source revealed to Radar. “Her book sales have been very low, and Teresa hasn’t been offered any gigs for paid promotional appearances either,” the source continued. “It’s a foregone conclusion, Teresa absolutely will have to sell her beloved New Jersey mansion. She’s terrified she could end up homeless.”

Teresa and Joe are currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to multiple federal fraud charges. They both could be spending years behind bars.

RHOC‘s Tamra Judge is in a very bitter and public battle with ex husband Simon Barney for custody of their three children. According to Radar Online Simon is using evidence, including school absentee forms that show Tamra forgetting to call in the children’s absences, to prove a pattern of neglect. A series of text messages between Tamra and her 15 year old daughter Sidney have also been made public in which Sidney states that her mother is acting selfish and break(s) promises. In the conversation Tamra tells her daughter she consistently has to walk on egg shell(s) around her. She says My pain is deep for years and trying to make sure you kids are okay on top of that is not easy. Tamra and Simon’s two other children are Spencer, 13, and Sophia, 8.

Showing support for the OC star is another Housewife who is no stranger to teenage daughter drama. RHONJ Jacqueline Laurita has shown she’s got the back of her west coast friend.  The two have been cracking jokes regarding the situation back and forth via their Twitter accounts like this one: 

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The image Jac attached was of Faye Dunaway in her most infamous role as Mommy Dearest. The tweet got some people a little miffed, but it seemed to jive with Tamra’s quirky sense of humor. In fact it appears that Tamra and husband Eddie Judge are close with the Jac and Chris Laurita. The NJ couple got some sweet treats from their OC friends as evidenced by this very public thank you:

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Looks like Housewife crossovers don’t just happen on TV folks!

Tell us— Do you side with Tamra or Simon?

Leave a comment below and voice your opinion! Your email will never be sold or shared.

Do you have a submission or idea for next week’s Reality Roundup? Email your thoughts to brent@tbbreality.com!

 

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The Ultimate Staycation

How about purchasing your own Palm Tree? Photo creditL Polyvore.com

How about purchasing your own Palm Tree?
Photo credit: Polyvore.com

One of the benefits of my day job is it comes with a nice chunk of vacation time. At one point in my life that was an amazing advantage. Now, however, I find free time to just be a Petri dish for anxiety. Being a working mom has a few advantages in that most days we are programmed to survival mode. The minutiae of life are the farthest things from our minds. The downside to that is when vacation commences the details we often ignore come swooping in on us like a gigantic black fog…the Harry Potteresque dementors of middle class mommyhood.

Suddenly every little thing we’ve ignored for months becomes gigantic. The spot on the wall, the stain on the rug, the fact that the dog hasn’t been groomed in ages. It becomes overwhelming. How did we  survive all these months that I’ve been so neglectfully keeping a roof over our heads and food in our bellies?

Many of my co workers get to escape during these breaks. I’ve lost count of how many are in Disneyworld as I type this. I, however, am not. My kids are just too young to justify such an expense that they would scarcely remember, that and the fact that Snakes On A Plane would be Bambi compared to confining two three year old boys in a flying tube. So lest I spend my vacation a slave to home maintenance and doctor appointments, I’ve devised the Ultimate Staycation plan. Amidst the chaos of catching up on, and trying to ignore,  the usually overlooked details, I have a plan to enjoy almost every indulgence I would at a resort…without the packing, the price, and the TSA detaining my children :

Strategy 1: Itinerary

Just like getting to a destination involves commitment and work, so does staycationing. You have to get your itinerary together and promise yourself to complete it. The problem you face on a staycation is that you are in your home surrounded by your everyday obligations…sans work. It is easy to fall into housework mode, or, even worse a lazy pattern of time wasting on social media. If you social media time waste from a beach it’s still vacationing…if it’s on your couch…well, you just saw a couple of hours to accomplish some pretty cool stuff pass you by. Your itinerary should be a schedule of all the things you like to do when you are away and have the venues and times in which you can do them locally.

Strategy 2: Relaxation

One of the benefits of going away is you can’t fret over laundry, bills, and polishing the stainless steel. You are removed from all of it therefore making it easy for you to relax. Harder to do that at home with all that crap staring right at you. Also hard when your family and friends know you are around, thus asking favors and commitments of you impeding on your downtime. You are going to have to find ways to relax. I recommend going to a spa for a body treatment and a massage. Do this at the beginning of your staycation to set the tone for the rest of the week. Continue that spa feeling by spending some time each day meditating or, my personal fave, creating your own steam shower by turning the water all the way hot, aiming it at the wall, closing those shower doors, and breathing.

Strategy 3: See a Show

It’s very common to be entertained while vacationing away. It’s fairly easy to recreate that while staycationing. On the high end you can see a Broadway type production or concert, on the low end community theater or an open mic night at your nearest comedy club. Staycationing with kids? Seeing a show geared toward them counts. Get creative if you are on a budget. Is the local high school running a production? What about a matinée at the movies? The point is get out and watch something happen!

Strategy 4: Don’t Cook

Cooking involves shopping, planning, and cleaning…and unless it’s pleasurable shopping…we will get to that…none of those things scream vacation to me. Spend the week dining out, preferably with a cocktail, and ordering in. Budget super tight? Pre cook and freeze your meals for staycation week the week before and use paper and plastic!

Strategy 5: Gamble

Gambling is a huge part of vacationing for many, but if it’s not your thing feel free to skip this section. I will be the first to admit that I love to play slot machines, especially the new fangled ones that work like video games that pay you money…sometimes. Gambling is no longer restricted to Vegas, Atlantic City, cruises, and Native American Reservations, now there are racinos and even online casinos…some offering free games you play for the fun of it! So carve out a night to take your chances, even if it’s in your own living room! Who knows you may win big and be able to take an away from home vacation. Just please don’t make it a habit.

Strategy 6: Sight See

When visiting a new place we love to explore the area, but when was the last time you explored your own backyard? We often take for granted what is available to us, especially when we live near a big city. Imagine you are a tourist in your own stomping ground. You’ll realize how many attractions are at your disposal that you’ve ignored!

Strategy 7: Buy a Souvenir

Shopping is a vacation pastime. Tour companies know this and often have deals with retailers in which they bring their relaxed vacationers in by the droves. Plan a staycation shopping day, but just to purchase something you want. This is not a trip to Sears to get that new dishwasher you’ve been contemplating. This shopping trip is purely for the joy of browsing and picking up something just because you like it. If the weather is nice go to an outdoor mall or better a craft fair or flea market.

Strategy 8: Go Swimming

…or at least wear a bathing suit. Most vacations are to warm weather locales. Ski bunnies are far outnumbered by beach bums for good reason. Chances are if you were taking that out of town vacay you’d be packing your swimsuit so find a reason to wear it. Can you get a day or week pass to a gym with pool? Do any of the local chain hotels offer pool passes? How about the Y? It sounds ridiculous but just the act of putting that suit on and reading a book on a towel in your living room will put your mind in vacation mode. Play ocean sounds in the background and sip a fruity cocktail.

Strategy 9: People Watch and Read

Watching people and reading books are totally vacay activities for me. Rarely do I have opportunities for either which means it is definitely part of my Ultimate Staycation plans. So get on a park bench or head to Starbucks. Sit, relax, and let your mind wander about who and what you see. Bring your favorite book or magazine with you.

Strategy 10: Get that Tan

The biggest tell tale sign of vacationers is that glow from all the abundant sunshine they have soaked in on their travels. Who says you can’t get that on your staycation too? Moisturizing with a product like Jergens Natural Glow during your staycation week will have you looking fresh from the beach by the time you are back to work. Want a faster fix? Go back to the spa you started your staycation at and get a spray tan.

 

Recipe: Staycation Drink: The Drunk Arnold Palmer

This is my fave staycation drink. I love it because it’s easy to make and the ingredients will last all week:

Ingredients:

Iced tea I use Arizona

Pink lemonade I prefer Newman’s Own

Malibu rum

Fresh mint

Crushed Ice

Fill a highball with crushed ice. Pour a shot of Malibu on he bottom. Fill halfway with lemonade. Fill remaining with iced tea. Garnish with fresh mint.

Reality Roundup: Housewife Wedding Bells, and Baby Bump Swells

Kandi ties the knot! Credit: In Touch Weekly

Kandi ties the knot!
Credit: In Touch Weekly

By Lesley Rousso

Last weekend two Housewives tied the knot. Real Housewives of Atlanta Kandi Burruss, married TV producer boyfriend  Todd Tucker on April 4th. Burruss’s storyline has revolved a lot around her mother Joyce‘s lukewarm feelings toward Tucker, but it seems like all went well for the big day. The 37 year old singer/songwriter was thrilled telling In Touch, “This is one of the best days of my life. I never imagined that I would marry my best friend. Todd’s been that to me.” Earlier this year Burruss and her mother appeared together on the Bethenny show to tell the world they have made peace regarding the relationship. Burruss has one daughter, Riley, 11, who she brings to the union.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Taylor Armstrong also married last weekend. Taylor whose former husband Russell committed suicide in 2011 after she filed for divorce, has an 8 year old daughter Kennedy. Taylor appeared on VH1′s Couples Therapy with new husband John Bluher. On the show Bluher had told Armstrong of his plans to adopt Kennedy to which she replied,“There could be no better father for (her)”. According to Radar Online, the lavish affair, which took place at the Pacific Palisades, CA Bel Air Bay Club cost the Bluher’s nada. The entire wedding and reception tab was picked up by WETV’s My Fair Wedding. Seems, even though she’s no longer a Housewife, Taylor just can’t keep off of Reality TV.

Last week, Joanna Krupa took to Instagram and Twitter to put to rest some long time rumors that have been swirling around.  “The rumors that I wanted to be transferred to RHOBH were always false,” she stated.  Joanna goes on to say that the rumors that RHOM has been axed or renewed are also false.  Too bad, because given Joanna’s history with RHOBH resident bitch Brandi Glanville, that would’ve been an intersting season.  As far as RHOM goes Bravo TV announced their returning shows last week and the Miami franchise was not on the list.  Considering Bravo beats to their own drum, this could mean anything. In our opinion, if they do bring it back, a cast shake-up is in order.

According to E! News, former RHOC star Lydia McLaughlin is pregnant with her third child.  Lydia announced on Friday that she’s due in November and couldn’t be happier.  She goes on to say that she was trying to have another baby and didn’t want that to be her storyline on the show.  Hence the reason she left.  Lydia says it was “bittersweet” to exit RHOC but she was ready to move on.

In RHONJ news, Lauren Manzo and fiancee Vito Scalia had a blowout engagement party at the Manzo family’s Brownstone catering hall.   According to Instagram and Twitter the only remaining cast members present at the  party were Melissa and Joe Gorga and Kathy and Rich Wakile.  If you remember the Manzo family left the show to focus on Manzo’d With Children.  Obviously former castmates the Laurita’s, Chris and Jacqueline being the bride to be’s uncle and aunt, were also there.

Manzo’d With Children  may have been the right move for Caroline and company. Last week Bravo announced their new lineup, and the RHONJ spinoff, along with two Atlanta spinoffs made the cut.  Kim Zolciak, husband Kroy and their six kids will be returning for another season of Don’t Be Tardy and  Kandi and new hubby Todd will appear in Kandi’s Wedding (working title).  The short term series will be similar to  NeNe Leakes’ spinoff I Dream Of NeNe and focus on the planning of their wedding.  Apparently the theme is Coming to Americawhich symbolizes the couple meeting in Africa. Bravo has also announced some scripted shows to their lineup including Odd Mom Out, which is a series produced by and starring novelist Jill Kargman as an Upper East Side mom who is trying to keep up with the proverbial Joneses.

Back to Atlanta, according to TMZ, Kenya Moore has threatened to have Porsha Williams fired after she attacked her at the taping of the reunion show.  The other Housewives are alledgedly on Porsha’s side, but no matter what happens, we cannot wait to see this reunion.  Hey Andy Cohen, at least no one attacked you this time.

TMZ also reports that  Real Housewives of Beverly Hills husband Ken Todd is being sued for allegedly attacking two construction workers outside of Sur, the couple’s West Hollywood restaurant.  Brothers Kevin and David Cazaref were using a concrete chipper when they accused Ken of complaining about their work and threatening and attacking them.  Apparently this is not the first lawsuit to come from the incident.  Ken sued the brothers in October 2013 saying he had been attacked and that the brothers tried to extort money from him.  The Cazaref bros are now suing for slander, and assault and battery.

Okay since I am guest Roundup blogging for Brent this week I cannot omit “The Killing Off of @TheBravoholic” from Twitter fiasco.  As a former Bravoholic I was saddened when Bravo decided to get rid of the handle.  In case you’re unfamiliar with it, @TheBravoholic was a contest in which @BravoTV chose a viewer (tweeter) to tweet as the Bravoholic for a week.  Long story short, Bravo chose someone to be the Bravoholic that final week, that people were up in arms over.  This woman, had made a very nasty comment to Carole Radziwill regarding her deceased husband while live tweeting RHONY the previous week.  Complaint tweets came flooding in along with lots of unfollowing and Twitter wars.  I tell you it was a show in itself.  Bravo blamed it on a security breach sending the former ‘holics an email telling us this-

“Due to questionable activity we’ve been experiencing with the account over the past few weeks we’ve decided to retire the Twitter handle and end the weekly contest.  We have evidence of multiple people accessing the account past their tenure as Bravoholic, and since we cannot pinpoint the source of this activity, we have no choice but to deactivate the account.”

Well, this set off another Twitter frenzy, with all mourning @TheBravoholic.  It spun off polls and fights and banding together as former Bravoholics with moments of tweet silence.  While I do feel bad the account is gone, and that TBB’s own Tara Cushing and Brent Osborne should’ve been chosen over some of theses clowns (collagegate, holicgate 13), the whole thing was super entertaining.  I wish that others could’ve had the chance but it is what it is. It was fun and I got to do it and that was pretty damn cool.  It’s over but there is a group of us who are now, the few, the proud, the Holics.