Dina Manzo is one of the most beloved housewives from Bravo's hit series, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Not even considering herself famous, she is one of the most down-to-earth and passionate people we have ever met - a joy to talk to and a wonderful person to work with. We can't wait to share our one on one with the one and only Dina.
We miss you on the show, so much! Would you ever come back on the show?
Reality TV and that form, ummm no. I have to say that is hard - the fame that came along with it makes me uncomfortable because I would rather be famous for what I am talented at rather than for arguing with someone. That is what I am working on - and I appreciate our fans, they are so amazing and they are the biggest supporters and especially the Ladybugs but there is always that why, why do you want me to sign it, I didn't get it, it made me a little uncomfortable like I felt like there is no reason for me to be famous. I don't mind the fans coming up at at all - I LOVE them and it is one of my favorite parts.
Now that you are off the show, is Project Ladybug your main focus?
Project Ladybug has always been my main focus - I started this fund before I was a Bravo Housewives so it was something that I was really passionate about to be quite honest with you I never thought it would get as big as it was - it started off being like one event a year that I wanted to just throw this for the kids and it grew into something bigger and the more I started doing it the more passionate I became and the more I feel like it is my purpose in life. Not only does it feel good to do things for these kids but it really builds me up. My favorite thing is meeting people who think the same and truly want to help people and to surround yourself by the people that really get you - that is really the key to happiness.
You have a passion for creating a beautiful home. Your house as we see on TV is beautiful.
Do you have any decorating tips you can share with your readers?
I actually have been doing a You Tube series on decorating tips - I get a million questions so I decided to make these little clips to address the questions I am getting and of course a lot of them our decorating because I did it for 20 years. My philosophy on decorating is to surround yourself by things that really mean something to you and things that you love and you're drawn to. I mean, you're drawn to a certain color for a reason. I believe in past life and all of that so if your drawn to a period of furniture or a certain color - there is a reason why you are. If you surround yourself with stuff your just drawn to and stuff that brings you happiness it's really going to bring your happiness because when you open your eyes the first thing you see in the morning is your home. And for me if you can make your home a happy place that makes you feel good and nurture your soul you're going to carry that with you throughout the whole entire day. My best advice is to follow your gut - even if it is something that isn't in trend or if it makes you feel good just do it. The way I decorate my home people, a lot of people don't necessarily agree with the concept but I find something I love and find spot for it. If I see something that speaks to me I will buy it and even if it sits downstairs for a year - it does.
We are really trying to bring more home into cupcakeMAG - everyone is trending in fashion but their house as well.
Sure. I mean we are going back to that. With this economy we are back to our homes. We are staying in more so it is more important then ever to make it a sanctuary. You don't do that by picking room number 2 in Ethan Allen. You have to make it your own.
You always look so great - your hair is always perfect, your make-up, so flawless. What can we find in your make-up bag? Certain things you can't live without?
I am addicted to Carmex, I hate to tell you for $1.69 a tube - that is with me at all times. I love Makeup Forever's HD Foundation - especially being on television, it was a lifesaver. And I love my staple that I have been using for years and years is MAC Powder.
What is on your Christmas list? Anything you are dying for?
Well, I have to tell you, I am building this magnificent closet and that to me - I can't thank my husband enough for doing this. I mean, I am not going to lie, I love my shoes, I love my purses, I love everything but the fact that there is some clutter going on in my current closet, it just doesn't feel right to me so I am not asking for anything for Christmas - I am just so grateful that he is building me this closet. It will also be in a couple magazines as well.
As for Danielle, Dina says she still receives links with Danielle still talking but she does her best to ignore it. As Dina says, "I left for a reason and I am not allowed to officially announce if I am part of season three or not but leave me alone. It doesn't bother me what she says because everyone knows that there is no truth to it - it just bothers me that she can't move on, I want her to move on and I want her to be successful and I want her to make millions so she is finally at peace."
I hate talking on the phone with the passion. This interview is probably the longest I have been on the phone. I have actually lost friends from not talking on the phone. I am just not a phone person. I will sit with a glass on wine and talk for hours but don't call me.
I am fanatical about soft material. Like if my shirt is itching me I will stop and buy something else.
I love the smell of horse breath. Sometimes I will pull over and pet the horses just to smell their breathe.
If I see an old person walking on the side of the road, I will break down in tears. I don't know what it is. Old people really get me. My daughter is the same way, I don't want her to be as crazy as I am like if we see an old person walking with both look at each other and cry.
I only drink water. No carbonation, no soda, no nothing.
My favorite room is my bathroom - it is the prettiest thing ever.
Pet peeve? Liars really get me.
I hate surprises. I need to know every Christmas gift, I just need to know. I am good at finding out everything too and don't ever through me a surprise party because I am too good of detective.
I love blues.
I have the worst memory in history.
Favorite place in NYC to eat? Upstairs at Bergdorf - I actually crave them.
All things Dina!