August 13, 2010
It gives insight into my businesses, my family, how I became one of “The Real Housewives of New York City” as well as a few of my favorite places and things.
Hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!
All the best,
Woman Around Town:
Ramona Singer—The REAL Real Housewife
Real Housewife Ramona Singer recently returned from a four-country tour of Africa. She toured as part of a group supporting AfricaFoundation.org, whose mission is to empower people in poverty-stricken countries via education, healthcare and sustainable, income-generating activities. Ramona supports other charities, too, but this recent excursion was both surprising and revelatory. When she saw the living conditions the children were made to endure, Ramona was saddened. “People living in third-world countries need more than money to be helped. The kids need an education, most of all, and one of the things AfricaFoundation.org does is build schools from nursery through primary and secondary levels,” she says. “It’s incredible.” Ramona was invited to participate in the trip by a friend, Krista Krieger, the Chairman of AfricaFoundation.org. The group visited five schools in four countries. “We built a kitchen so the children could have fresh food every day. A healthy body creates a healthy mind,” she says. “Some of the schools even have gardens.”
Ramona spent those two weeks in Africa away from husband Mario and daughter Avery – something she’d never done before to such an extent. And, she traveled with eight other women of whom she knew only one. “I was a little nervous at first but it was a life-changing experience,” she admits. “Just to be so close to nature, the air was so fresh, to see the lions and cubs and elephants. It was amazing. If I were an animal, I’d definitely be a zebra because they’re social, they’re smart, they hang out in packs with giraffes who can see oncoming danger and they’re chic. They stand out in the crowd!”
The most amazing part of the journey for Ramona was speaking with the children who seemed happy despite their circumstances. “These children don’t have what we have and yet they’re always happy and smiling,” she says. “It showed me that money really can’t make you happy if you’re not happy within yourself. You could see it in the faces of the children how happy they were just to be in a school, learning, and on their way to having a better future. So many people in America are driven by making money. I’m not saying that I don’t like to be successful because I do, but it’s not the end all. Health and happiness are more important than money.”
Ramona’s success was a journey of its own. She grew up in Dutchess County, NY, the oldest of four children (she has one brother and two sisters) with a father who had an abusive temperament, particularly toward her mother. As a result, Ramona felt like a caretaker. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and graduated with a four-year business degree in fashion before working in the industry for Macy’s, Calvin Klein and French Connection. When she was 30, she started her business with a $70,000 loan from her father. “It was the only good thing he’d ever done for me,” she says. “I paid him back, in full, with interest, within a month.”
Ramona’s business (as a fashion distributor) is now a multi-million-dollar enterprise. It was in the early years of her business that Ramona met and married Mario and eventually had Avery, who’s now 15. Her segue into the world of reality TV occurred after a series of twists and turns. If you’re wondering how one becomes a Real Housewife, in Ramona’s case, she was spotted on another woman’s demo tape about Manhattan moms. Ramona had no intention of going on the show but had done the demo tape as a way to record herself with Avery for posterity. “I just wanted the DVD,” she explains. “I loved the way they captured Avery and me. It’s adorable.” (See Avery and Ramona Welcome You to Their Manhattan Apartment! on YouTube.). When Ramona’s friend, Dr. Sharon Giese, mentioned that casting was underway for a new reality show, Ramona’s initial response was that she had no time. Bravo pursued and eventually, Ramona acquiesced, with the condition she could bring her True Faith Jewelry line along for the ride. Although, as she points out, the show is just a glimpse of who she really is. “They don’t show all sides of me,” she says. “But overall, the show has been great and the best thing for my business. The only downside is a lack of privacy at times.”
While we’re on the phone chatting, Ramona tells me she’s packing for the Hamptons, shaving her legs and preparing for her August 11th HSN jewelry show. Apparently, having it all requires doing it all and sometimes, doing it all at once. Ramona’s business has grown over the last 20 years and thanks to the show, in new directions. “It got my creative juices flowing,” she says. She’d begun the True Faith Jewelry line with Mario through his family’s fourth generation jewelry business and then launched Tru Renewal, a natural, eco-friendly skin care line made with green algae (a rich source of vitamin C and other antioxidants).
Ramona’s “personal renewal” began two Christmases ago when Mario convinced her to invite her father to celebrate Christmas with the family. Years before, when Mario’s father had passed away and his mother needed help, she lived with the family for 10 years until her death—family was important. As it turned out, Ramona had a great time with her father that Christmas and was sad to see him leave. “I forgave him,” she says. “He died two weeks later.” The reconciliation was cathartic as was watching herself on TV. Together, these things catalyzed the renewal she talks about. “I’m more understanding and not so sharp with my tongue. I’m still open and outgoing but I’m more edited and softer now.”
Ramona’s new line of estate-inspired jewelry launches on Wednesday, August 11th on HSN with whom she has partnered. The new line includes pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings. Pieces are priced from $159 to $600. “They have a red carpet or estate feel and estate jewelry will always be in style. Women will always wear it,” Ramona says. “They can pass these pieces down through the generations.”
Signature pieces in the collection are Cuff Bracelets, one in Turquoise and Sky Blue Topaz with Diamonds ($399) and another dainty Diamond Textured model ($299). One particularly exquisite piece (though rather more expensive) is the Large Hoop Earring set with 1ct. of Diamonds ($549). The target audience is the everyday woman. “It’s great quality and when you wear one of these pieces, it completely changes the outfit,” she says. “You can wear it with a dress or jeans. You can wear it everyday. They’re investment pieces, always in style but without the Madison Avenue prices.”
Tune in to HSN this Wednesday (August 11, 2010) from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm (EST) for Ramona’s live appearance and the launch of her new jewelry line.
Real Housewives of New York City is just a narrow window into Ramona’s world. “There’s a lot people don’t know about me,” she says. “I can decorate, landscape, do construction. I’m a great cook and I can whip up a dinner for 24 people.”
Ramona says she makes a delicious tuna sashimi with grapefruit by slicing fresh tuna thinly and squeezing fresh lime and grapefruit juices over the tuna slices. She shreds a few grapefruit sections (peeled) over the tuna and adds sliced cherry tomatoes and cilantro. The acid from the citrus cooks the tuna. The longer it sits, the more it cooks. “It’s beyond delicious,” she says.
Filming for The Real Housewives of New York City typically takes place from September to December so we’ll have to wait and see what next season will reveal. I ask about the possibility of a Ramona brand Pinot Grigio, in the meantime. “It’s certainly not out of the question,” she laughs. “Maybe.”
Woman Around Town’s Six Questions:
Favorite Place to Eat: The Standard Grill
Favorite Place to Shop: Bergdorf’s
Favorite New York Sight: The Boathouse in Central Park
Favorite New York Moment: Every New York moment!
What You Love About New York: The energy! And you never feel alone
What You Hate About New York: The way it smells in extreme heat
For more information about AfricaFoundation.org, please visit www.AfricaFoundation.org
For more information on True Faith Jewelry, please visit www.TrueFaithJewelry.com
For more information on Tru Renewal Skincare, please visit www.RamonaSinger.com
For more information or to purchase Ramona Singer Jewelry for HSN, please visit www.hsn.com
Photo of Ramona, Mario and Avery at Ramona and Mario’s Vow Renewal Ceremony by Rob Rich
Article source: www.womanaroundtown.com
July 23, 2010
Mario, Avery and I all went to Newport Rhode Island for a week-long family vacation recently.
I had never been to Newport before and didn’t know what to expect. Upon arriving we were all staggered by the remarkable beauty and rich history of the town!
We joined my great friend and her family on her 150ft yacht for our 6 day trip. We were docked at 41N, which has a great hotel and restaurants inside and out. The outside restaurant played fabulous music and had an incredible almost life-size chess set which Avery and Mario enjoyed.
The best experience for us was doing the Cliff Walk. In fact it was so much fun we did it twice! We would start out on the very top by the ocean and huge cliffs, which was actually similar to hiking in Aspen. The views were so spectacular and so were the homes!!
We had the opportunity to tour a local landmark – The breathtaking Breaker’s Mansion. Would you believe i was still furnished in the same manner as the 1800′s when the Vanderbilt family resided there?
I have never seen such opulence and decor. The house was larger than life with gilding and rooms upon rooms. Personally I would have been nervous to ever sit on a chair if I lived there!!
We also got the chance to play tennis twice at the Tennis Hall of Fame. They have beautiful grass courts. Mario and I played against Avery and a pro which was so much fun and so different from playing on clay.
We really enjoyed being on the water. Avery would water ski and do wave boarding and we all went jet skiing. We would take the boat out for short day trips as the water was rough and even though one day it rained we still had the time of our lives!
Oh and did I mention the food on the yacht?!! The food the chef would prepare for us was so amazing that we only dined out twice locally! But we enjoyed our visits to the town because everyone was so nice and the stores and restaurants were all fabulous.
There’s nothing like eating el fresco and watching the sunset with family and great friends.
It was really one of our best vacations ever!!
p.s. – I will be posting many more pics from my trip and other summer events to my Facebook Fan page in the upcoming weeks. Become a member so you can view them!!
July 2, 2010
I have gotten so many questions and comments about my underarm sweating/ veal chop procedure (lol) that I realized I need to share the experience with everyone.
I have had this condition of excess perspiration since I was 21 years old.
It was so embarrassing to see huge round sweat marks and worse was how it ruined all my silk dresses /tops and wool and cashmere sweaters. They would stain and never come out!!!
Now for the more technical terms. This condition is formally known as “Hyperhidrosis”. According to google health, Hyperhidrosis “is a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively and unpredictably. People with hyperhidrosis may sweat even when the temperature is cool or when they are at rest”.
When Dr. Giese, whom I trust implicitly, first suggested I try her Hyperhidrosis Treatment with internal ultra sound under local anesthesia (she is only one of a few that do it} I admit I was nervous.
How much would it hurt? Where would the sweat go, would it be unhealthy? What would the recovery be like?
I decided to first try a prescription deodorant called drysol. Well you can only use drysol at night, then you have to wear a T-shirt. I tried it for a while but I would forget some nights and I don’t like sleeping in a t-shirt!!
So back to Dr. Giese I went.
I asked her will I sweat more somewhere else if I stop sweating under my arm?, is it unhealthy to kill these sweat glands? She assured me there would be no negative consequences and she was right there has been none!
She told me I would have no pain, as I am a nervous nelly when it comes to pain and guess what there was NO PAIN during the procedure.
She told me there would be discomfort after and prescribed pain killers.
But guess what…I did NOT NEED THEM, I only took 3 advils and I had just done the procedure when i was filming at the Four Seasons for lunch with Jill and Sonya asking them to come to St John for the RHONYC.
The only drawback for me was that i could not work out my arms for 3 weeks, but it was well worth it.
I no longer have sweaty underarms, I no longer have huge wet marks. Do you know how embarrassed I was every time I would film…certain clothes would sweat up and now that is no more, it’s all gone.
Botox would have been the only other option and that averages $1500 – $2500 per session every 8 – 10 months! This procedure costs $4500, took only 30 MINUTES and provided PERMANENT results!!
I am SO HAPPY with the results. I highly recommend this procedure to anyone and everyone!
Avoid painful injections and save money by visiting Dr Sharon Giese. In fact, if you make an appointment with her office in the month of July and mention my name you’ll get a discount!
She is the best in whatever she does, she is a perfectionist!!
To learn more about Dr. Giese:
Or call: (212) 421-3400
Hope this helps!,
Credit: Google Health
June 4, 2010
I truly do love him more today than the day I married him.
Below are the vows he reaffirmed to me at our beautiful ceremony. I had to share it with the world as they mean so much to me!
Probably the biggest decision one will ever make is the person to spend the rest of your life with. Sometimes it takes quite a while before you know if you’ve made the right choice. I was fortunate to have known very early that I had made the right decision. My mom had suffered a stroke and she would need care for the rest of her life. Since Dad had already passed away I asked you if it was alright if my mom could live with us in our home in Southampton. Not only did you take her in but you embraced her with love and kindness like she was your own mother. That is when I knew I had made the right decision. I had absolutely chosen the women I would spend the rest of my life with. After 17 years of marriage you have been at my side through everything that life has thrown at us, both good and bad. You have been a steady rock in times of trouble had a ray of sunshine when I could not see the light. You have applauded my achievements and comforted me in my setbacks. You have given me the most wonderful daughter a father could ever have. For all of this I am blessed and so I reaffirm my vows that I said so long ago. Ramona, I will love and honor you through good times and bad for better or worse in sickness and in health until death do us part. May God continue to bless our marriage.
After 18 years he still knows how to take my breath away. I am so blessed to be married to the love of my life!
Photos courtesy of Rob Rich.
May 20, 2010
We are still in Namibia but moved to the Wilderness Safaris‘ Desert Rhino camp. Enjoyed a full day of exploring the region. This camp is home to the largest free ranging black rhino population in all of Africa! How cool is that?
I love animals and seeing so many of them face to face in their natural habitat has been amazing! Each camp feels more beautiful than the next. I wish Mario and Avery were here to experience this with me.
Here are a few pics of where we are staying:
Tomorrow I head back to Johannesburg where I will be spending 2 additional days before heading back to NY.
This has been quite a journey for me and I would like to thank everyone who has been keeping up with my tweets, blog posts and facebook messages.
The Africa Foundation works in conjunction with the &Beyond Foundation to provide aid to Africa’s children. Visit their website to find out what you can do to help today – www.africafoundation.org
* Photos: Wilderness Safaris
May 19, 2010
We are now in Damarland Namibia but I wanted to share these pictures which I was able to take on our community visits last week.
We saw a total of 6 different schools which the Africa Foundation has helped to build. It is so important for EVERY child to recieve an education as well as a good meal each day – that is why we are working to get more kitchens built along with schools.
While I was saddened at first for the conditions that these children have to endure, their amazing positivity and hospitality showed me that you can truly make the best of any situation. They enjoy going to school and are so appreciative for everything the Africa Foundation has done for them. Please visit africafoundation.org for information on how you can help today.
*Africa Foundation works in conjunction with &Beyond Foundation to provide aid for the children of Africa.
May 18, 2010
We are now in Namibia at camp Little Kulala. This is a desert retreat. We had a full day of guided drives through the towering dunes. Tomorrow we continue on to the Desert Rhino camp. I have included some photos of where we are staying, so you can feel like you are here with me on my Safari.
Africa is such a beautiful continent with so much to offer…
Be sure to follow me on twitter and become a fan on my facebook page for pictures and other updates from my trip!
Photos courtesy of Wilderness Safaris.
May 17, 2010
Wilderness Safari’s Mombo Camp
Please keep checking my blog for more updates and picture!
*www.AfricaFoundation.org works in conjunction with &Beyond Foundation to provide aid for Africa’s children.
Photos courtesy of Wilderness Safaris and &Beyond
May 10, 2010
Everyone has been inquiring about my Africa trip, so I wanted to share with you the information for the companies I am traveling with…
See below for information on Wilderness Safaris:
One of the companies that we are traveling with as part of supporting the AfricaFoundation.com is Wilderness Safaris. Wilderness Safaris is a conservation organization and ecotourism company dedicated to responsible tourism throughout the areas in which it operates in southern Africa. Its goal is to share these wild areas with guests from all over the world, while at the same time helping to ensure the future protection of Africa’s spectacular wildlife heritage and sharing the benefits of tourism with local communities.
Its wildlife, marine and heritage safaris in remote and pristine wilderness destinations are specialized, educational, explorative and fun. Camps and services are safe, hygienic, authentic and insightful of guests’ needs. Its “conservation through tourism” policy shares the benefits of tourism with local communities and ensures the protection of these areas for future generations.
Wilderness Safaris is privileged to operate privately on 2.8 million hectares (6.5 million acres) of southern Africa’s finest wildlife reserves in some 60 lodges and camps. There is no one style set in Wilderness camps; rather we celebrate the difference and uniqueness of each area and its wildlife so that each group of camps has its own identity, feel and character. This variety of accommodation, activities and product means that there’s something for everyone wanting to come to Africa.
Be sure to check back on my blog for more information and photos of my amazing trip!
March 31, 2010
I dont know how to download this from my Flip video camera as yet but theres a new video of me getting ready for Bethenny’s wedding (which was amazing by the way).
If you would like to see it, join my facebook fan page and let me know what you think!
xo – Ramona.