We all have our guilty pleasures when it comes to reality television, and we’re pretty sure that most of us have watched at least one episode of the hit Bravo t.v. show, The Real Housewives. There’s the “O.G.” (a.k.a. Original Gangsters) ladies of Orange County, the drama-filled divas of Beverly Hills, the hot southern belles of Atlanta, the spicy Latin ladies of Miami, the socialites of New York, and those feisty and family-loving Italians in New Jersey!
Jacqueline Laurita from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” is like a breath of fresh air with her candid, relatable and honest answers that give us a very detailed glimpse into her life.
Despite the fact that she’s on a hit show, is a licensed cosmetologist and soon-to-be published author, and has been married to her husband Chris Laurita for over 12 years (Founder of BLK Water) with 3 children (one of whom is Autistic), she’s just like us, the mom next door. An amazing one at that! Get ready to find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about our Featured Mom, Jacqueline Laurita!
Who are you? Briefly describe yourself and what you do.
My name is Jacqueline Laurita. My Birthday is April 26, 1970 and I am a true Taurus. I am one of the original cast members of Bravo’s hit reality TV series called “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” I have been on the show for 5 seasons. I am a licensed cosmetologist. I started in hair, ventured into make-up artistry and now that I’m getting older, I’ve taken an interest in skincare. I have a passion for researching beauty products, treatments and procedures. I’m launching a beauty website called AltruisticBeauty.com to share my passion and knowledge with others who also share the same passion. I am happily married to a man named Chris, (Who is also a Taurus) and I am a mother of 3. I have a 23 year old daughter, Ashlee, from a previous marriage, and with Chris I have an 11 year old son, CJ, and a 4 year old son, Nicholas, who has been diagnosed with Autism. My husband and I have become active Autism Advocates through our mission to recover our child and we want to help as many others as we can along the way.
My husband Chris and I are currently writing a book together about our Journey with Autism and how we “defy expectations” through our experiences as a couple.
How would your kids describe you?
When I just asked my 11 year old that question, he said, ”Amazing and Funny” My daughter said,” Strong, loving, hard working, inspirational, and sassy when you
need to be.” Nicholas just looked at me and turned his head. LOL! It’s ok, I know he loves me.
Name 3 words or virtues that best describe what matters most to you as a mom.
Loving, Patience, Humor
What does a typical Monday look like to you?
I get up at 7:00 and drink a cup of hot organic green tea with a teaspoon of organic local raw honey, a tablespoon of Braggs organic apple-cider vinegar, and the juice from half a freshly squeezed lemon.
I let the dog out to potty and make sure he has food & water. (I do that throughout the day as well, even though he still rebels and potties in the house too. Then I get to clean it up. It’s really glamorous.)
I make Nicholas his lunch for school, which consists of his special diet.
I do a load of laundry
I then go on the treadmill for 30 min.
I wake my boys up at 8:00 and go through the routine of getting them dressed, teeth brushed, backpacks ready and out of the house in time for school. (& sometimes getting myself ready in between if I have somewhere to go after school drop off)
Nicholas needs a lot of prompting & getting him to use his words while following his routine, during this process.
I also give Nicholas his morning dose of supplements.
My husband drives my older son, CJ, to school at 8:40 and I drive Nicholas at 8:55 with our dog, Santino.
On certain days my trainer, Jolene Matthews, will come in the morning to make me workout.
I then take a quick shower & clean myself up. I always wear make-up, even if I’m not leaving the house. It’s a habit I can’t seem to break.
I eat breakfast as I work on research and/or writing articles for my beauty website, altruistic beauty.com for a few hours.
I take a little break & check and respond to emails.
I then switch over to working on my book about our Autism Journey. (I also have another book I’m working on, that I will announce later. It’s more beauty based)
I go on my social media. I can’t help myself.
I organize things in the house while I return phone calls.
I go to pick up Nicholas at 2:30 and CJ at another school at 3:15
I go home in time to get the boys a snack before Nick’s therapist comes.
While Nick is in therapy 2-3 hours, I have one on one time with CJ. WE watch a movie/Tv or do something together and then we do homework.
I feed Nicholas his special diet food when he gets out of therapy.
I do more laundry & clean up the house, along with myself, before Daddy comes home.
We prepare & have dinner.
I clean up dinner
I play with Nicholas & practice my parent training tasks that his therapists teach me.
I go in the Hyperbaric Chamber with my son Nick while we either work on a task together or at times we do our own thing. He will go on his ipad and I will go on my computer and work some more, answer emails, etc.
I shower the kids, get them ready for bed, lay out clothes for next day.
I put kids to bed.
I hang out with Chris, or next to Chris, while he watches TV, while I go back to work on my computer. We stay up very late so we can hang out together and/or make-out.
I go to bed around 1-2 in the morning
How do you balance work, family and “me” time?
I don’t. If anybody knows how to do this effectively, please share with me your time management skills! I just take it day by day. I always make time for my kids. They can be very demanding but I enjoy them. While Nicholas is in therapy after school, CJ and I get to spend some one on one time together. Having a child with special needs takes a lot of extra time and attention from everyone so I feel like it’s important to make sure the rest of us make some extra time for each other.
My daughter lives in California but comes home to visit often. I love having her here. We have a much better relationship since she moved out. We learned to appreciate each other more.
My husband and I make sure we plan out our date nights alone together at least once a week. We leave the kid talk at home. Sometimes we go out with other couples. We stay up late after the kids go to bed so we can enjoy our time together. (Sometimes a quickie will do. ;0)
When I feel like I need a little break, I take one. When I start to feel run down, overwhelmed and exhausted, I can feel my patience starting to fall short and I know I’m not giving the best of myself.. I know my limits. (Coincidently, that is usually around the time of my monthly visit)
Taking care of yourself is very important to your emotional and physical well being. When you take time, and care for yourself, you can take better care of others because you feel refreshed, self satisfied, energized and ready to go back in full force. Everybody wins.
You’re extremely vocal and supportive about your child’s Autism and dealing with that. What’s been the biggest challenge? What advice do you have for other moms out there who are facing Autism with their child? (We LOVED how candid & honest she was with all of her responses!)
My biggest challenge has been getting my child to communicate through speech. I want to be able to have a conversation with him one day and watch him have shared enjoyment with others. He is also such a picky eater, so another challenge is trying to get him to eat more of a variety of food.
I have SO much advice for the Mom’s of a newly diagnosed child with Autism. OKAAAYYY…YOU ASKED….Where do I start? (Feel free to edit it down) lol!
For more of Jacqueline’s tips CLICK HERE!
What’s your favorite way to de-stress after a long day with kids?
I like to read, research, write, and/or surf the internet on Beauty and/or Autism sites , or funny things on youtube, while cuddling up next to my husband. Before the birth of my sons, I used to take bubble baths by candlelight while I played music and sipped on a slushy drink or glass of wine but I have not done that in SO long. I think I’m going to get back on that. “Calgon, take me away!”
What’s your favorite spa treatment?
I love getting a manicure and pedicure with a back, neck & shoulder massage. I also love all kinds of facials.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
I like popcorn or Butterfinger Blizzards from Dairy Queen!
Wine (red or white?), champagne, vodka, or something else?
I prefer red wine, but it usually just makes me feel tired.
What’s your go-to drink on Tuesday night? On a Friday night?
I don’t really drink during the week unless it’s a special outing or we are filming a social scene. It just makes me sleepy. I’m a 1-2 drink maximum girl unless it’s a special event. If it’s a special event, I will throw back some shots and get silly with the rest of them. On the weekend or special night out I prefer a flavored vodka on the rocks mixed with water or soda and a lemon and lime wedge. I also enjoy a Bacardi/coke with 2 limes. Sometimes I will try other specialty drinks when I go out.
Finish this sentence… “The best part about being on the RHONJ is..”
Being able to have used my platform to raise autism awareness and to have been able to meet so many interesting people. (That… and the money of course. lol!) The experience has been interesting for sure.
How do you find your Zen?
I stretch and then meditate. I love reading spiritual, self-help books. I am always looking to better myself and grow as a person.