Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Final Thoughts

 
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Dear Readers,

I started this website in hopes of gaining employment in the media industry. I started this website with the intention of visiting book signings and appearances to give others who couldn't attend the scoop on them while having a place to show my ambition and work ethic to potential employers.That was nearly 8 months ago, and I have learned in those 8 months that things often do not go as planned.

I never found new employment, well I haven't found it yet, but what I did find was an amazing team of interns that wanted me to employ them. I have never been any one's boss before. I have been able to take some bad boss experiences in my own life to help mold me into the boss I would want. Drew and Brent may be young, but they have more drive and ambition than many adults I know. I am blessed to have them and just knowing they are here makes me want to work twice as hard to turn TBB Entertainment (more about that in 2013) into a company which, if they chose, they can work at long after their college years are through.

I went to only one book signing, and one wine signing (Thank you Teresa Giudice) but I have been to countless events, starting as a ticket holding guest and evolving into a respected web journalist on a press pass.

I sought to get quotes from reality stars on Twitter which somehow morphed into interviews, invites, and in some cases friendships (much love to Amy Laurent, Aviva Drescher, Heather Thomson, Lori Zaslow, Lauren Foster, and Kim DePaola)

I found that though I probably could work for somebody else, on my own I am more of a powerful force than I ever imagined. I was looking for my escape from my everyday, and found my niche and people who believed in me (Thank you John Basedow, Pam Fink, Nyk Fortune, Sharie Manon, Victoria Doroshenko, Nicole Lotito, Marysol Patton, and Elvira Grau).

One thing I never was looking for, however, was a fan base. I reached out onto Twitter to connect with those who could maybe help me find a new line of work, and I got followed back by all of you who, for the most part, have been supportive, loving, and forthcoming with your lives and loves and feelings. I've been inspired by all of you and your appreciation of my writing is more than any amateur journalist (or seasoned author) could ask for.

It hasn't always been easy. The competition in reality television blogging is stiff, at times brutal. Not every follower has been kind. The occasional troll pops up and, believe me, they aim below the belt, and it stings. I've been called an awful mother, a spoiled bitch, and a "corpse". But every time I felt like quitting one of you has lifted me out of it.

As we move into the new year, I am moving into both a new domain and a new business. Along with Lindsey from Cinderella's Glass Closet, I am laying down the plans for a full fledged media relations business. Along with Drew and Brent I am moving to a new web address and layout. We will be bringing you a full fledged magazine layout site with more articles and interviews than ever before.

So thank you to all the reality stars who have appeared on TBB, to Bravo TV and Bravo PR for allowing us to function in your world, Andy Cohen for the occasional tweet of confidence, Bethenny Frankel for being my role model, and you all of my fans and readers. See you in 2013! Onward and upward!

Regards and Hugs,

Tara
TBB

*Additional Thanks to: The Manzo, Laurita, and Wakile Families; Dazzle Candy, The Cherished Decor, Initials Inc, Mitzy-Lou LLC,The SS Collection, Peggy Tanous, Slade Smiley, Gretchen Rossi, Sarah Winchester, Brooks Ayers, Josh Altman, Heather Bilyeu, Jenn Zucher,Lawrence Thompson, The Cast of Miss Advised, Tamra Barney and Wines By Wives, Tipsy Girl Wine Designs, Koppers Chocolate, Good Charma Jewelry, Yummie Tummie, Dee, Lori M, 3 Ice Cubes, Sheri Morgan, Amy Poliakoff, Liz Margulies, Makeup By Eric, Buzz 60, Positive Andrea, Jairo Arias, Rosie Pierri, NJ Sweet Spot, Mom's Thoughts Show, Not So Soccer Mom Radio, Gina Cutillo, Diamond Kesawn, ttracyh, Matthew Drozd, Kristen Schiano, Fabellini Wine, Sheila Giudice, Brando's Cucina, Melissa Gorga, the cast of My Big Gay Italian Wedding, Elaine Lancaster, Lynda Erkiletian, Stacy Vance, Isabella Staycer, Pam Ermizian, Victoria Cumberbatch, and most importantly my family for being so flexible and understanding when the hours were long and my patience was thin, I love you more than I can ever express and everything I do is so the four of us can have the best of everything!




Sunday, December 23, 2012

Drew's View-Shah's of Sunset

Think you have enough gold? Think you have enough diamonds? Well, think again, because you obviously haven’t met the new Shahs of Sunset. Back for its second season, Ryan Seacrest’s show follows six rich Persians as they work, play, and throw daggers all over Tehrangeles. Already 3 episodes in, I can tell this season will focus more on businesses and relationships than season one. 

Asa Soltan Rahmati is, as she claims, a Persian Pop-Priestess.She’s a well-known singer in the Arab community and fully embraces her heritage. Her distinct wardrobe revolves around gold, bold colors, and Bohemian clothes. She’s a true gypsy. Her and GG have some beef, but will Asa let this picayune fight interfere with her Diamond Water business? Let’s hope not!
 
 
Golnesa“GG” Gharachedaghi is a feisty 30 year old who “works” with her sister promoting their new business, GG’s Extensions.  It's clear that GG has some anger management issues to work out. ( For instance, she threatened to cut her pregnant sister’s face off). Will GG’s immature attitude lead her to become this show’s Danielle Staub, or will she fight through the verbal attacks? PS, congrats to GG on her recent engagement to Omid Kalantari (she announced the news on Dec. 9 on WWHL)!
 
 
Mercedes“MJ” Javid tries to balance her nightlife with her job as a real estate agent. Last season, we saw MJ blackout in Las Vegas and throw up in a club (my favorite scene of the season) but this season MJ seems to be more focused on clearing her head. Her critical mother is affecting MJ’s emotions and now, MJ is stuck between sticking up for GG or sticking with her friend of 20+ years, Reza. We just saw Reza walk out of a conversation with MJ in episode 3, will their friendship self destruct?
 
 
Openly gay Reza Farahan keeps the atmosphere light with his witty comebacks. He’s a successful real estate agent with a luxurious lifestyle to keep. On camera, he’s hilarious, but no one is more comedic in side interviews than he is! Some obsessed fan will definitely publish a book on Reza’s quotes! Even though he views MJ as his sister, she is failing as a business partner, and Mike is slowly stepping into the equation. How will Reza balance his business, his personal life, and his friendship with GG in season 2?
 
 
Mike Shouhed is an ambitious commercial real estate agent with an eye on girls, money, and fights. Has he found love with Jessica? The two had their date documented, a cuter moment on the show. After GG’s fight at Solati’s pool party, Mike is shifting himself away from her. Now, he’s stuck as the mediator between MJ and Reza. Mike, can you save the group from falling apart like Danity Kane?
 
 
Newcomer Lilly Ghalichi is the real Persian Barbie. She’s thin, she’s rich, she’s hot, and she’s fabulous. She’s a licensed attorney in California but likes designing sexy bikinis instead. This Louboutin-rocking designer has already wound up in some drama with MJ! They had a pretty awkward dinner on episode 3, but Lilly just smiled and kept her cool. I’m excited to see how much brawn this attractive star has. We know she’s got the brains, but will she get physical at all this season?
 
 
I am EXTREMELY excited for this season of Shahs. I rewatched last season three times because it was fabulous, but I know this year things will be different, especially with a newbie in the crew. I wish I was as glamorous as these stars, but I’m sure I’ll learn a few tips from them. For Christmas, I need gold. LOTS of gold. Oh, and a puppy. #ShahsTips

Drew Schwendiman is a TBB writer and intern.
Follow Drew on Twitter @uknowitsdrew

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deck the Halls with Elvira Grau

Dear Readers,

The holidays are a time of hope and peace. I think we've all felt the loss of hope in the deaths of the Newtown CT school children and the loss of peace with the deaths of their trusted principal, counselor, and teachers. Schools are the safest havens for our youth. We've all had that image shattered by the events of last Friday. As our nation mourns and struggles to make sense of this senseless act of evil, may we never forget those who must forever live with part of that holiday spirit taken from them. There are no words to say, no words of comfort I can offer, just that I grieve with our entire nation and world, and pray for a better future, and that someday the holiday season will bring peace and hope to those families and Sandy Hook Elementary school once more.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Regards,

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tara


 Christmas is the magical time of the year when Santa Claus comes to town!
 Decorating the house can be lots of fun, starting with the outside. If you live where the weather conditions permit, making a snowman is a kid's favorite. Kids love playing in the snow and having fun making a face for their snowman, using a carrot to make a nose and putting a hat on top really brings the snowman to life!

 Indoors can also look as if you're outdoors when decorating your home by bringing in mother nature's beautiful pine cones to make a centerpiece or pine needle branches that make your whole house smell delicious.

 Filling up a glass vase with cotton balls to look like snow and placing some pine cones on top is a unique and inexpensive way to make a holiday centerpiece that all your guests will love!!

 Setting the table with personal place seating cards is a nice touch. You can use snowflakes cut out of thick paper. Simply write your guest's name and place on top of their plate. Small round x-mas tree ornaments and pine cones also work well. Make the seating cards out of paper and attach to the ornament or pine cone.

 You can also use small Xmas ornaments to fill up any glass vase you own to give it a festive look or fill with water to float a candle. Whether you're using sticks or votives, candles make any holiday feel special.

 The colors of x-mas are all beautiful so be creative and try a different color palate each year. From an all white theme, to a red and white, or white and emerald green one. The trick in working with colors is the contrast. If you have a red or emerald green linen, using white china & table napkins. To tie in the emerald green theme, use pine branches in your centerpieces for color. For red use foliage with red in it such as poinsettia or juniper branches.
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Housewives for Tots



Jacqueline Laurita
Nicole on ENV Consultants &
 Terry of Terry's Mane Street Salon
Heather Robinson

Last Friday night I attended yet another party with the Real Housewives of New Jersey. These ladies are always out, about, and in the spotlight, but more so now that the cameras are once again watching their every move.

The event at Al Di La' in East Rutherford, NJ was hosted by Housewife friends Heather and Cliff Robinson. You may remember Heather and Cliff from RHONJ Season IV. Cliff is the extraordinarily tall former NBA star and Heather is his stunning wife, the one who got very flirtatious with Rosie Pierri in the hot tub. I spoke to Heather on the red carpet. She was wearing a snakeskin print dress in holiday festive red and was thrilled with the turn out.

The Robinson's head The Robinson Network (
TheRobinsonNetwork.org) whose aim, as outlined in their mission statement, is to "Unite celebrities and pro athletes under a common banner (in order to use their status to reach) farther and wider (to achieve) better results for a greater number of charities." Together with Dining Out NJ, they threw a party to benefit Toys For Tots. Guests arrived with new unwrapped toys to be donated, and from the looks of the table when I dropped my gift off, there will be many more smiling faces on Christmas morning.

There were all the makings of a Jersey worthy soiree'. Red carpet, photo booth, press, and Kathy Wakile's cannolis, set up next to a chocolate fountain no less. It was after this evening that I decided to start my New Year's diet early. Speaking of Kathy Wakile, she looked fantastic fresh off her QVC debut just two days before. 






HOLIDAY SWEEPSTAKES AND HOUSEWIFE HOT SPECIALS! Click Me!



Also at this event was Jacqueline Laurita. This was the first time I had seen her since her Sparkle Speaks for Autism fundraiser in September (Jacqueline Sparkles and Speaks for Autism 9/20/12). She looked incredible in a sequined cocktail dress. She also looked very happy and well rested.






Cliff Robinson
This was the Jacqueline from the earlier days of the series. Her recent tweets about her son Nicholas's progress and her improved relationship with daughter Ashlee (Holmes) would explain her renewed glow.



This was truly a great night for all involved. Charity, networking, socializing, eating, oh and drinking, as demonstrated by the woman who slipped and fell right in front of me...was it real or was she trying to get on the show?...There may have been a camera there, then again, maybe there wasn't, you will have to tune in to Season V to find out. And if there was and you do, I'm the woman hovering in front of the cannolis and the chocolate fountain!
Regards and Hugs,
TBB





Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kim D's 2012 Posche Holiday Fashion Tips & Show!



 A Posche original
Kim DePaola's (AKA Kim D.) Posche holiday fashion show was held on Monday December 3d at the Bottagra restaurant in Hawthorne, NJ. The guests were a blend of Kim's friends, fans, Bravolebs, and production crew. Yes, RHONJ season 5 was filmed that night, a detail I feel comfortable sharing because  Kim did on a recent YouTube interview on The Derek Z Show.

I entered the Bottagra to discover a long line of very excited fans. "We are going to be on TV squealed a young woman behind me." Guests had to have their pictures taken and sign a release form with Siren Productions, the company responsible for the New Jersey Real Housewives franchise. Being I had attended another recent taping, I was able to bypass the process and go right on in. The night belonged to Kim, her fabulous holiday fashions, and the Giudices, as members of the family were everywhere. Teresa, Joe, Pete, and Sheila, were easily spotted as well as some rumored new co-stars on the popular series. Were any other HWs there? I'll keep that little secret to myself and let you all tune in to find out! When the show is being taped photo opportunities are harder to come by, but I did get a shot with Teresa and Joe's gorgeous sister in law Sheila, who, I was excited to find out, is a big fan of TBB and "Juicy" Joe himself who appeared in good spirits. My friend Charlie and I were put at ease by his friendly manner and good sense of humor.

Center stage, were the holiday fashions. The models walked through a path between the tables in glamorous looks selected by Kim and her keen eye. Kim has worked in retail since she was 15, a detail she shared with us in her October interview. This show was a milestone for her as she debuted two looks from a new line she has been designing with Devon Thomas.


 I was lucky to get a sneak peek of all the holiday fashions back in October when Kim and her assistant model/actress Kristen Schiano invited me to the cozy little boutique in Wayne, NJ. The ladies explained the trends of the season and Kristen modeled each one giving TBB readers an exclusive holiday fashion show of their own:



Looks (clockwise from top left)
1. The Peplum- Kim says these flouncy classic waists, as well as animal prints-hey it's Jersey-are in!
 2.Fur Accents-Like this glamorous cuff.
 3.Cut Outs-This dress gives everyone a peek through feminine lace.
 4.All Over Lace-Especially in this classic holiday red
5.Green- Kermit was wrong, it's easy to be green in these fab Alice & Olivia heels!
                                                      
Happy shopping everyone, and remember you can get these looks on line at shopposche.com
And look for me on the episode, I had prime seating behind all the "action."
HOLIDAY SWEEPSTAKES AND HOUSEWIFE HOT SPECIALS! Click Me!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Drew's View-Maya's Hope

I went to the Maya's Hope fundraiser and finally met my boss, Tara (TBB), who I have been working for remotely for the past month.  Her pseudonym is misleading because she is actually one of the most down-to-earth people I've ever met, and she doesn't get starstruck meeting the Bravolebs.  In fact, WE had full conversations with them!  Let's start the night from the beginning to end, from my eyes, because this is, after all Drew's View.

I arrived at the Soigné K Boutique around 6:15 after making a wrong turn earlier in the night.  Before I could even take off my coat I was being checked off of the guest list, a true VIP feeling.  The beautiful Madison Avenue store showcases high-end clothes, which were displayed behind beautiful people in expensive suits and dresses.  I felt a little out of place.  Waitresses came to me with hors devours but I preferred the cheese sticks.  TBB arrived fashionably late because she was casually hanging out at Amy Laurent's before-hand.  Talk about making an entrance!  We made our way to the back of the crowd right next to that awesome tray of cheese sticks. Amy ran into two of Miss Advised's producers who have worked on many Bravo shows, including The Real Housewives of Atlanta and New York City.  It was interesting talking to people who work so closely with the very shows I love to watch.  


HOLIDAY SWEEPSTAKES AND HOUSEWIFE HOT SPECIALS! Click Me!

We took a break from engaging the producers and made our way to Sonja Morgan (RHONY) for a photo-op. We were the last people to speak with her before she left early on account of being "dizzy".
Later, Liz Margulies walked in and waved at TBB from a distance.  We approached the stylish Gallery Girl and had a nice personal conversation with her.  She was actually the first Bravoleb I got a picture with.  Hopefully she won't be the last!  




I continued conversing with Amy and her fabulous intern, Danielle, until Maya Rowencak, founder of Maya's Hope, spoke to the audience.  I had been emailing Maya about her charity earlier in the week so it was nice to hear her speak.  She had just flown home from Ukraine, where she visited disabled orphans abandoned by their mothers.  Maya's emotional speech really inspired me to look for people who need help outside of PSA's or Wikipedia articles.  I never even considered that there were children in need of help in Ukraine and the Philippines, the two countries Maya's Hope focuses on helping.  Danielle and I personally spoke with Rowencak after her speech and I was truly touched.  I am now working on raising awareness for the charity.
As the evening came to a close I was exhausted. I got a taste of what TBB does with running from a day job to a night out networking. It's not easy, but it was definitely worth the effort. Who says you can't have fun on a week night?  I can't wait to go to more events with The Bravo Bitch because she means it when she says she's "the viewer who gets behind the scenes!"


- Drew Schwendiman

For more information or if you would like to help, please visit mayashope.org.
Follow Drew on Twitter @uknowitsdrew

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bitch About Town



HOLIDAY SWEEPSTAKES AND HOUSEWIFE HOT SPECIALS! Click Me!

It's been a cray cray week here at TBB. We (my interns and I) have been running around NY and NJ checking in on the local Bravolebs.

Monday I attended the third annual Glitz and Glamour Holiday Shopping Event at the famous Brownstone owned by the Manzo family. As with most events organized by The Sparkling Event, owned by Caroline's nieces Candice Laurita and Cristina Granelli, every three feet there was a member of the Laurita/Manzo family. "We have such a strong resemblance," said Cookie Laurita, sister of Caroline and Dina (Manzo). "Even before (RHONJ) I would go to the mall and get stopped by a stranger who would ask, 'Do you have a sister? I saw someone who looks just like you.' "

Proud mom, grandma, and great-grandma Nettie Laurita was there selling her line of faith inspired handmade jewelry. "I can't believe how busy it has been," she told me referring to how many orders she has received as of late. Nettie's pieces are increasing in popularity but she is adamant that they are for a special purpose. "I can't tell you how many customers we have had that have told me they wear their bracelets or necklaces to their chemo treatments and it lifts their spirits," says Nettie's friend Andrea Virella who has been helping the Laurita matriarch get her creations and message out to the public.

Next to Nettie's table was two set up buy Housewife and entrepreneur Kathy Wakile who has a line of jewelry, The Goddess Eye collection, as well as her cannoli kit that debuts this week on QVC. Kathy was selling samples from the kit at Glitz and Glamour. "I want to be very involved in everything I do," said Kathy as she filled some cannoli shells  from one of the pre-filled bags included in the 24 shell dessert kit. Helping her fill shells that night was Victoria who still can't speak about where she is attending college (Bravo contracts) but assures me that she is enjoying the experience.

Also manning, or should I say "Manzoing"  a Cafface table at the event was Lauren Manzo, her boyfriend, Vito (Scalia), and Albie's girlfriend Lindsey Andrews. When I asked mom Caroline if there were any impending engagements she replied, "Both Lauren and Albie are so involved in their businesses right now. They want to be set before they think about marriage. Lauren is right now opening up several Cafface counters in the area...Chris and Albie's restaurant opening was delayed by Hurricane Sandy but it should happen in January. It will be called Little Town and Chris has went all around the local area looking for the best of everything, the best hot dog, the best beer, to feature at the restaurant."

Wednesday I attended Commit to Hope at the Soigne K Boutique in Manhattan. The event was held to benefit Maya's Hope, a charity devoted to helping children in orphanages around the world. I met up with Miss Advised's Amy Laurent and celeb stylist and fashion designer Tamae Ishii before and we all arrived (fashionably late) together. Amy headlined the event with RHONY's Sonja Morgan and Gallery Girl Liz Margulies. Liz and I had only tweeted previously, but she recognized me almost
immediately and waved through the crowd. I was surprised by how tall she is. "Well I am wearing heels," she said and told me she is 5'7 the same height as me,however I felt much shorter and I had heels on as well. "Perhaps I'm shrinking in my advanced age," we laughed. Margulies is not sure if her show will get a second season, but she really enjoyed the experience she told me. She also pointed out that a man in the crowd who my intern and I thought was Eli Klein was actually his brother. "He recently lost a lot of weight so now they look so much alike."

Sonja looked divine in a silver lace and sequined dress and though she said I looked "familiar", we had previously met at Gretchen Rossi's fashion week party, she was gracious despite the fact that she didn't instantly recognize me. She posed for a quick picture and  then put her coat on. "I just got over being sick, " she said, "and I still feel so dizzy." 






My week of Bravoleb elbow bumping concluded Friday with Elvira Grau's Hurricane Sandy Relief fundraiser at her venue Space Odyssey in Englewood, NJ. There was a sushi table (the tuna tartar pizza was out of this world),passed appetizers, and glittering cupcakes from NJ cupcake queen Melina Milionis. In attendance was several of the Housewives cast. Also there was Pregnant in Heels alum, and best friend of Lil Kim, Jennifer Dalton. Dalton was wearing an organza and rhinestone gown. She told me that baby Reign is now 8 months old and Lil Kim was actually playing the role of babysitter for the night. Rumor has it that Dalton is the newest housewife for season five, something Teresa's (Giudice) SIL Sheila Giudice told me on Twitter. As always, I'll believe it when I see it, as Bravo knows how to keep their audience, even the inside ones, guessing.

Speaking of Teresa, like Sonja, it took her a second to place me. Was it because I chose to wear my hair up? Recognizing me right away though was Melissa Gorga whose sister Kim (Pirrella) I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks back. Melissa was there with Joe (Gorga), the Wakiles, and songstress Kim Sozzi (Feel Your Love) who was getting ready to make her debut in My Big Gay Italian Wedding the next night. "You saw the show, but without me," she said disappointingly. No worries Kim, I will come see it again. Sozzi was there with her boyfriend Randy Narod, a  very prominent New York name in the world of PR, branding, and bagels!

Always a pleasure to see is Richard Wakile. He has a genuine love of people and story telling. That night he told me and a small group of party goers that he had met Kathy on a plane. "My girlfriend of eight years dropped me off at the airport and I met Kathy on the plane and instantly fell in love with her. Look at her, she's the whole package, how could I not?"

It was a long week, but a lot of fun catching up with everyone. Next week I will be attending Kim D's holiday fashion show on Monday and a Toys for Tots benefit on Friday. If December stays this busy you can find me at the mall on Christmas Eve, buying whatever is left on the shelves!

*For more about the event for Maya's Hope see Drew's View later this week