Caroline Manzo…The Next Chapter



She may no longer hold the title of Real Housewife, but Caroline Manzo is holding her head very high these days. Well rested since completing her final season on RHONJ over a year ago, she has been spending lots of time with her family and being “normal”. Now preparing for her reality television return in a new, self titled series, she’s ready to bring the light hearted laughter back to Bravo. I caught up with Caroline at the annual Spring Sparkle shopping event.

TBB: The Manzo’d With Children pilot is complete and you are about to start production on the real McCoy…

CM: Yes, the real McCoy! Eight episodes which we will start filming in about 2 weeks. I don’t know how long the process will take, maybe 8 or 9 weeks.

TBB: How do you think this will compare to filming Housewives?

CM: It’s a completely different animal. It’s a half hour (show), it’s light hearted. There will be dilemmas and stuff but not the crazy drama that Housewives was. It kind of just spotlights the way we live our life in our house.

TBB: I know your mother, Nettie Laurita, she’s a very creative , very interesting and inspiring woman. Will she be on the show at all?

CM: I don’t know. We only have 8 episodes and they will be following our lives, so I don’t know what’s going to make it on. There’s so much going on with me and Al, and the three kids (Albie, Lauren, and Christopher) and then there’s the extended family, Vito (Scalia), and my sister Fran (Laurita) who’s also on the show. That’s a lot to pack into 8 episodes in a half hour, really only 22 minutes when you count the commercials!

TBB: How are the plans for Lauren and Vito’s wedding coming along?

CM: We’re taking out time. She’s got a year left as she’s getting married next summer. We have the venue, obviously The Brownstone, and we have the church and the band booked. Probably July or August we’ll start wedding gown shopping. Then I’m just going to sit back and relax! The hardest part I don’t even have to worry about. I’m just going to show up at The Brownstone and I’m sure everything will be fine!

TBB: What has it been like knowing the The Real Housewives of New Jersey is taping and you are no longer a part of it, after you were for so many seasons from the very beginning of the series? Do you miss it at all?

CM: It was funny, my husband and my kids said to me, “We got your back,” because it takes a toll on you. I am just happy and relaxed enjoying time with Al and the kids. I’ve been playing tennis, and getting back in the gym, and cooking dinner. I’m just being normal. Not one single second did I think about it, not one moment did I miss it. I wish them all well, obviously. My time was done, I knew when it was time to go and I opted out.

TBB: Have you heard anything about the filming of Season 7?

CM: I know nothing, I know absolutely nothing. If I see any of the ladies I don’t ask about it. When something is in my past, it’s in my past. I had nothing left to give, I didn’t see eye to eye with a lot of the way things were going, so why would I go back and ask questions and wonder how filming was going? I would have stayed on otherwise. So, I left for a reason and I’m happy.

TBB: What was your initial reaction when you found out that your sister Dina (Manzo) was rejoining the cast of Housewives?

CM: It’s her choice and I’m not going to say more than that.


The latest Sparkle event was sponsored by Jeff Bailey, Todd Bailey, and Anthony Laurita of United Real Estate NJ. Photographed with Caroline and TBB.

The latest Sparkle event was sponsored by Jeff Bailey, Todd Bailey, and Anthony Laurita of United Real Estate NJ. Photographed with Caroline and TBB.

TBB: Are we going to see a revival of the Ham Game?

CM: I hope not! Those kids you know what, they don’t stop! I love them to death! They keep me young, they keep me laughing all the time, you know, Ham Game, who knows! If it’s not Ham Game, leave it to Christopher to think of something else I’m sure!

TBB: How’s Jacqueline doing?

CM: Jacqueline’s doing great! Nick is in therapy, we’re all hands in on that. It’s 1 step forward, 100 steps back, but I’ve always said, “If love can cure, he’ll be fine.”

TBB: Will we see Chris and Jac on (Manzo’d With Children)?

CM: I hope so, they are a very big part of my life. Again, it’s only 8 episodes and when you’ve got a family as big as mine…My house is like the hub, mine and Chris’s house are where everything all happens. But again, it’s like the Housewives, they film thousands of hours and you just never know what’s going to make it.

TBB: What do you hope viewers get out of Manzo’d With Children?

CM: I want them to smile. I want them to laugh and I want them to smile because that’s what life’s about!

Working It Out with Jolene Matthews

imageFitness trainer and enthusiast Jolene Matthews wants to change the world one body at the time. The brand new mom knows just what us busy women need to stay in shape. Below she shares her tips for everyone to have a banging body in 2014! Get motivated by the same gal who motivates RHONJ’s Jacqueline Laurita!

TBB: Many people are either starting or relaunching healthy lifestyle plans this month. What is your best advice to ensure that theirs doesn’t end up another unfulfilled resolution?

JM: It’s possible, it’s doable! The first couple of weeks are the hardest, but stick with it and you will find that exercising is something you want to do every single day! It’s one of the best things that will change your life! Don’t overshoot, don’t have unrealistic expectations. Just take it day by day.

TBB: What about people who say, ” I hate to exercise”, how can they make it a more enjoyable experience?

JM: I’m a big fan of group fitness classes because there’s something for everyone and so many wonderful trends. If someone isn’t motivated to workout by themselves they can meet new people who can help them get motivated. There’s something out there for everyone to embrace from boxing to ballet, even poll dancing classes. I teach fitness classes and I often see people come in late and leave early. If a full class is too much at the beginning, then take a half a class. It’s better than not showing up at all.

TBB: Real Housewives of New Jersey fans might recognize you from working out with Jacqueline Laurita. How long have you been training her?

JM: I’ve been helping Jacqueline workout for three years, or in Housewives time, since Season 2!

TBB: What does Jac’s fitness regimen consist of?

JM: As women legs and glutes are our largest muscles groups. Jacqueline has amazing lower body muscles. She really has great legs for which she loves to do lunges and squats to maintain. We don’t do a lot of weight lifting on her lower half. She’s naturally fit.

TBB: Last season there was a scene in which you were training Jac as she vented about her feud with on again off again friend Teresa(Giudice). During the segment you seemed to be rolling your eyes in exasperation. What really happened? 

JM: It was funny because that’s not really how it went down at all. The way (production) cut things together made it look like I  was losing patience. When we workout (Jacqueline and I) talk about a lot of things. She works hard, is a lot of fun, and our sessions are enjoyable.

TBB: Congratulations on the recent birth of your son, Hunter. What is your advice for pregnant women?

JM: It is so important to stay fit during your pregnancy. I know so many people who think it’s an excuse to sit on the couch. Look, I know what it’s like to be tired and have morning sickness. It’s easy to succumb to the feeling of being tired and just take a nap, but the best thing for you and your baby to stay somewhat athletic.

TBB: We hear a lot of people, specifically busy moms complain that they just don’t have the time for exercise. What are some ways to incorporate exercise into a new mom’s schedule?

Being a new mom gives Jolene an extra reason to stay fit and healthy!

Being a new mom gives Jolene an extra reason to stay fit and healthy!

JM: Myself being on the go with a newborn, I don’t think it’s hard to fit in exercise. If your baby is taking a nap do push ups and squats, whatever you can. It all adds up.

TBB: What, in your professional opinion, are five essential exercises for everyone?

JM:* Triceps dips make your arms look lean and mean!

*For chest and biceps do 20 to 30 pushups daily on your toes, not knees.

*Use abdominal exercises that incorporate all four muscles. Bicycles, which are bringing your elbows up to opposing knees are perfect. Just 100 a day and you are set!

*For lower body do squats with weight or just your own body resistance.

*Lastly cardio is really important. 20 squat thrusts in the morning before breakfast and 20 in the evening can fit into anybody’s schedule and will get your heart pumping.

TBB: Having appeared on reality TV is being on television something you’d like to do again?

JM: I do! My goal is to be the next Jillian Michaels, the blonde version! I love sharing my message of fitness and health with other people. Right now my focus is my family and my child, of course, but hopefully I will be back on TV in the future. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with a national audience.

 *Jolene Matthews has been featured in magazines and television as both a fitness model and expert. Want more stay fit advice from Jolene? Follow her on Twitter @JoleneMFitness and see what she’s up to at

TBBonTV : Design Tips from RHONJ Girl Lindsey Andrews

Lindsey Andrews showed Tara Cushing and Derek Zagami around her Hoboken NJ apartment.

Lindsey Andrews showed Tara Cushing and Derek Zagami around her Hoboken NJ apartment.

In Real Housewives of New Jersey season four Lindsey Andrews made quite a stir as the girlfriend Albie Manzo was nervous to introduce to mom. In season five, no longer on the show…or with her former beau…she made an even bigger statement in the form of a very talked about blue dress. Though she says she no longer dates the eldest Manzo offspring, she still has the heart of his mother, Caroline, who has become a mom away from home for the Rhode Island native. In an effort to catapult a burgeoning career in fashion design, Mrs. Manzo, as the shy twenty five year old refers to her, ordered a custom dress, one which she surprised Lindsey by wearing on the Reunion show.

The royal blue gown sparked a sensation and rumors that Jacqueline Laurita‘s red number was also an Andrew’s original. We caught up with Lindsey to learn more about the face behind the blue fabric. Impressed by her beautiful apartment we got some great Looking Real Housewife Rich for Real Cheap interior design advice from Lindsey. We hope you are as inspired as we were…so much so that I now have a Buddha on my dresser too!