Screw having a New Year’s resolution.

Screw having a New Year’s resolution.

Dear Kweens,

I’ll try and keep this short as we’re on the cusp of a New Year and there’s plenty of bubbles, laughter, dancing and misbehaving to be had.

But I wanted to share something with you and hope in doing so, I will not only help you but help myself.

Every time it gets to this point of the year I ask the same 3 questions.

“Have I done enough this year?”

“Was it more than I did the year before?”

And lastly…

“How can I evolve again next year?” Basically, what can I change about myself?

And for all the achievements and life goals accomplished, maybe this was my biggest problem all along: this ridiculous competition and constant struggle with myself. I mean, as if the temptation of comparing yourself with the rest of the world wasn’t draining enough. It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted.

So here I started to go again, picking at what went wrong, despising myself over not just the big things but the little things too (like my point of view in conversations or the bad jokes I had told), putting myself down, sizing myself up against this and that. And speaking of size, this also includes looking back on what I was wearing last year verses this year. Putting a whole bunch of clothes to the side of the wardrobe that I never got to wear again, even though I swore this would be the year I’d fit back into them. Examining how many more bumps and lumps and marks have formed on my body and despite all my talk, how I’ve once again done nothing about it, if not, just contributed to it more.

Now, not that self-development and self-growth aren’t necessary, but I guess it’s whether it’s necessary in spades and with such scrutiny; especially when’s it’s coming from deep inside. What about self-love?

If you too are single, in your 30s and scarily reaching the high-end of that age bracket, I encourage we try something a little different next year.

Let’s make our resolution to not change what we don’t like but to accept it instead.

Let’s embrace who we are.

Yep. Let’s grow ‘fully’ into our own skin.

Let’s be so much on the side of comfortable that it could also be a little too uncomfortable.

I know it’s cliche as hell and I’m not the first female to lead this charge but let’s fucking love-the-shit-out-of-ourselves, shall we?

I mean utterly and totally and unapologetically love ourselves.

Let’s be our own best friend.

Christ, let’s date ourselves! Take ourselves out for walks, to the movies, to dinner…

Let’s take the time to look after ourselves as much as we look after everyone else.

Let’s give the pep talks that we give to our nearest and dearest to ourselves every time life gets a little too hard next year.

Let’s try and I mean god damn try to burst with pride and celebrate even the little-wins. And every now and then let’s stop and reflect on just how far we’ve come or what we’ve overcome; especially if you’re doing it on your own.

What’s a Kween without her King you ask? Well, historically speaking, more powerful. But that power can only come from within my friend. You can’t buy it, you can’t eat it, you can’t drink it, you can’t smoke it, you can’t force it. You need to have a quiet word with you body and mind, and remind it that it is enough. Because, you are enough.

Good luck in 2018, my Kweens. May we learn to appreciate every flaw, crease, nook and cranny in our life, personality and body; from the top of our crown-wearing head, right down to our fat baby toe.

Be brave. Be bold. Be you.

Big love,

Carmela

x

Introducing Carmela Contarino, the #PowerKween behind ‘So The Fairy Tales Lied…’ 👸🏻♥️✨

Carmela is an Aussie in London with wanderlust. A TV/Radio rebel. Fierce feminist. Loud laugh-er. Emotional eat-er. Pop culture cat. Red wine wooer and karaoke kween. She hopes that her experiences are just like yours, funny, warm, loud, raw and that maybe you can figure out this thing called ‘life’ together. #YasssKween 🙌🏼

Guest Kween: JANE CONNORS “You’re Under No Obligation To Live Your Life A Certain Way!”

Guest Kween: JANE CONNORS “You’re Under No Obligation To Live Your Life A Certain Way!”

Let’s be real Kweens- adulting is HARD!

I could not wait to grow up and make all my own decisions and create my dream life!

I thought it was going to look a certain way. You expect to get married, have babies, have a great career, buy a house all by the age of about 25. The earlier the better!

SPOILER: it didn’t happen for me this way at all. Well to be honest not even one part of that has happened.

I am about to turn 40, very single, with no kids, no house, (and I don’t mean I rent, I mean I have a storage locker with my stuff in it and no fixed address) and I chucked in my career to work for myself. Absolutely not the life mini-Jane planned out but what did mini-Jane know anyway?!

I spent almost ten years working in media in Sydney and I LOVED IT. It was my dream gig. My workplace was listed as one of those ‘top places to work’ in Australia. I interviewed there 3 times before I got a job. I had great friends, a great boss and great perks (think lots of parties, tickets to the best concerts and a beer fridge that was permanently open). But I left it all on a whim (and with a lot of tears) for nothing. For wide open space. To chase dreams that I hadn’t even figured out yet what they even were.

I flailed around for a good six months afterwards. It was terrifying. I regretted it. A lot. I went back casually. I felt so vulnerable. I wasn’t achieving anything. Basically I got scared that I’d made a HUGE mistake.

Thankfully, just before I reached the point of begging my boss to take me back I scored a contract to produce a two month tour for someone I hugely admired. Literally my dream gig! And I learned that your dream gig can change. You can change. What lit you up yesterday doesn’t have to be it for you. Sometimes you need to wait for the right timing. And waiting can be scary.

Flash forward and today I contract regularly creating events for people I admire. I work for myself. I can roll out of bed anytime I want. I can work in my pjs. I’m on the road so much that I currently do not have an actual home. I see my friends so much less than I did before.

I don’t always have a steady income. Some months are better than others but I always get by. I cannot imagine going back to setting an alarm every day AND doing my hair. No thank you.

I do miss working in an office. I miss the camaraderie, having like-minded people around, the office parties, the office crushes (ammmiirighhtt??), the birthdays with office cake or when something big & exciting happens and you can just turn to the person next to you and share it. It can definitely be lonely and there’s no Christmas party (alright there’s a Christmas party but it’s just me singing Taylor Swift songs).

This year I spent two months living in New York, two months in New Zealand and two months on the Gold Coast. Some for work and some because I can literally do my job anywhere so I picked New York. I’m not an idiot.

This sounds pretty glamorous but let’s be honest, in New York I was sleeping on an air mattress next to my niece’s cot (actually that bit was pretty fabulous!), I wasn’t going out to the coolest New York bars, I was negotiating time differences and working ’til midnight cause that was when the Australia market was online. Most days it was exactly the same as being in Australia, but better. Ok, it was definitely better!

Sometimes I feel like I’m always making life harder for myself. Leaving good jobs. Moving cities. Being away from my friends and my support systems for long periods of time. Finding my comfort zone and leaving it again.

I swing wildly between loving being a gypsy living out of a suitcase and seriously craving bed linen and throw cushions and wanting to buy groceries. I really, really miss owning food. You can’t cook shit if you have to buy all the ingredients from scratch. This is a fact. But I wouldn’t trade any of it. Even if I don’t always know what I’m doing or where I’m living.

You’re under no obligation to live your life a certain way. Not the way your mum says you should or the way your friends do or even the way mini-you thought you would. Live life your way. Do what lights you up. Set your life on fire! I mean not like real fire. I mean like the Rumi quote says. But also sometimes burning stuff can be cathartic, so if that’s what you need I am not here to judge. You do you.

Pave your own way Kweens! And then find other Kweens that have done the same thing and have a long lunch on a Tuesday because you can do whatever the hell you want!

Jane Connors is a Freelance Tour Manager specialising in not being in one place for a long period of time. She loves Taylor Swift, TV Crime shows and is a very fast walker. 

@Jinny_Jane

Things people say to single thirty-something year olds.

Things people say to single thirty-something year olds.

“What do you mean you can’t afford it? It’s not like you’ve got 3 kids to feed at home?”– No, I don’t. Thank you Capitan Obvious. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t expensive for me too. I’m responsible for my rent, my bills, my groceries (which don’t come at a ‘discount rate’ because I’m single) and I don’t have the luxury of sharing those costs with someone else.

“I don’t know how you travel so much, don’t you want to buy a house?”– To quote the little Mexican girl in Old El Paso ad, “Why don’t we have both?” It doesn’t have to be one, or the other. And even if I wasn’t traveling so much, I’m sure all my money would be going on smashed-avo-on-toast right?

“You’re soooo lucky, you have all this free time to yourself, you get to do whatever you want.”- Yes, I do. That’s my choice. You had that option too and you chose a different lifestyle. Accept it. The grass isn’t always greener.

“I wish I had your life. I miss having one-night stands.”- Ha! I spend most weekends at home. I hardly ever go out. I haven’t been to a club since Ja Rule was a thing. I’ve had sex once this year.

“Let me go on your Tinder and choose a guy for you.”- Oh, what a fun ‘game’ for you. Go ahead.

“Do you think you’re just too fussy? Loosen up a bit and date someone!”- Forgive me for not throwing myself in front of every bachelor. If choosing to be single over shacking-up with ‘Basic Barry’ (because I don’t fear being alone) is wrong, sue me.

“So, why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Followed by “Oh my god, don’t get a boyfriend, they’re so annoying.”- Stop asking single people ‘why’ they don’t have a boyfriend. 98% of the single-population don’t know why and the other 2%, well… be prepared for a 5-hour conversation about dating apps, how dating is harder these days, how no one dates anymore etc. Also, there’s no need to play-down your relationship in front of your single friends. You’ll find most of your single friends are happy that you’re in a relationship- even if they’re not in one. Seriously.

“So, don’t you want kids?” Followed by “Honestly, don’t do it, kids are the worst, mine is being such a little shit today.”- You don’t have to talk your single friends into having kids. You also don’t have to tell them about the bad stuff in order to make them feel better about not having kids. Single people aren’t getting around all ‘single’ because they don’t want to reproduce. For some, that might be the case, but majority of singletons just haven’t found someone they want to start a family with yet. And some are struggling to get to the 3rd date stage, let alone the baby-making stage. OR maybe, just maybe they’re not ready yet and have other things they want to get out of the way first. Like, numerous Sunday bottomless brunches that involve smashed-avo-on-toast.

“Can we go on a girls night? I just wanna get drunk and do random stuff like you.”- I’m in bed by 7pm most nights. Is that random enough for you?

“Are you one of those weird feminist types? When will you people stop complaining?”- You first.

“Are you a lesbian?”- Lol! I wish. But since your sexuality isn’t a choice, let’s just settle for the fact that it’s not as simple as switching teams and Bob’s your uncle, your single days are over. Thanks anyway Detective Dickhead.

So to conclude, try some of these instead…

“Wanna just have a night at home instead? I can’t afford to go out and you probably can’t as well?”

“Where are you off to next?”

“I’m free this weekend, let’s drink all the wine!”

“Fuck, how shit is Tinder? And how many dic pics are you gettin’ on the reg? Not cool man!”

“Hey, congratulations on surviving any single-person stereotypes today!”

“Screw the haters, you do you boo!”

“You’re amazing and your life is amazing just the way it is.”

“Slay girl, slay all day!!”

Ok, ok. I think you get my point. 😉

Big love,

Carmela

x

Introducing Carmela Contarino, the #PowerKween behind ‘So The Fairy Tales Lied…’ 👸🏻♥️✨

Carmela is an Aussie in London with wanderlust. A TV/Radio rebel. Fierce feminist. Loud laugh-er. Emotional eat-er. Pop culture cat. Red wine wooer and karaoke kween. She hopes that her experiences are just like yours, funny, warm, loud, raw and that maybe you can figure out this thing called ‘life’ together. #YasssKween 🙌🏼

Guest King: MATT BASELEY “My New Life As A Stay-At-Home-Dad.”

Guest King: MATT BASELEY “My New Life As A Stay-At-Home-Dad.”

Well, firstly it’s a massive honour to be a Guest King, although I’d prefer to be a ‘Prince’ as ‘King’ makes me feel old, but that’s just the truth isn’t it? I’ve now got grey hair on my head and my chest but nowhere else yet, thank god!

I’m married, I have a mortgage and I have two kids. Billie, aged 2 and Ziggy, who’s 9-months-old. Man, when did that happen? Yep, I’m not that 22-year-old on the dance floor at Cargo Bar, wearing my best Tarocash shirt, drinking Woodstock and coke, trying to make eye contact with the ladies (very unsuccessfully) anymore. A lot has happened. The nights where I would pick-up a kebab and go home in a cab by myself are a far and distant memory.

Since then, I married the woman of my dreams, I lived out a childhood dream of hosting my own capital city radio show, I’ve interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment, and got to travel the world. But nothing compares to what happened at 12:50 am on February the 7th 2015: I became a Dad.

Now marrying Bella was and will be the happiest day of my life, but the birth of my children sits equally in some sort of parallel universe (kinda like the Upside Down in Stranger Things but happier, although the actual birth had its Demogorgon moments).

It was amazing, 16 hours of labour (maybe not so amazing for my Bella) but the end result was just incredible. It was a natural birth, so there were no curtains or screens, everything was happening right there in front of me. When it came to crunch-time, the mid-wife asked me to hold one of Bella’s legs up and push it back. “Holy shit”, I thought, it’s happening! I didn’t know if I was going to watch the birth in the lead up to it – blood and I aren’t the best of friends – but the moment I heard the mid-wife say “I can see the head” I thought “Why am I missing out on this?” So, I watched this miracle take place, first the head, a nose, shoulders and then this mini-human just came out.

It was my job to tell Bella if it was a boy or a girl as we didn’t find out during the pregnancy, but I was a wreck. I think I was covered in more liquid than the bub, I was a sobbing mess, like snot and all, but eventually I managed to get out “It’s a girl!”

Boom, we were parents, just like that. 3 days later we were leaving the hospital with this little person who is totally dependent on us. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that the same person who was once on a podium, drinking bad bourbon in bad shirts, now had the responsibility of raising a child.

I remember struggling to work out how to clip up the baby seat. I remember driving home from the hospital at an average of 5km/h. I remember walking through the door and then, it was 3 months later. I honestly think there is something that happens to your brain in the first few months that makes you forget how hard it is.  Maybe this is so you’ll have another child, which we did, 2 years later. A little boy.

When Billie was born my contract at the radio station wasn’t renewed and I was out of a job. I had offers but nothing that justified me going to work and Bella staying at home. So, we made the call that Bella would return to work and I would become a SAHD; a Stay-At-Home-Dad. Controversial? Is it? Yes, I’ll admit, it took me a while to confidently say that’s what I was, because even people I was close to would say “Yeah, but when are you going to get a real job?” Or in the supermarket when Billie would be crying in the pram (like babies do) there would be constant comments from strangers like “Maybe it just needs its Mum”.

Yes, that’s really what stunted my confidence in the beginning. People’s reactions didn’t surprise me though. I think that comes from years of gender stereotyping and that unfortunate macho, misogynistic mentality of ‘looking after the children’ is a woman’s job. I still (on the brink of 2018) know men who have never changed a nappy or even worse, never spent any one-on-one time with their kids. It makes me sick, and a little sad.

I worked in radio for almost 13 years and I think that prepared me for raising children. Toddlers are just like ‘talent’ or programming executives; they think that the world revolves around them, that they are always right and are prone to a tantrum every now and then but if you give them food and tell them how much you love them, then they’re fine.

I feel so lucky to know that from the moment both of my kids were born that I have spent every day with them. I was there when Billie and Ziggy first sat up, when they first crawled, and when they first pulled themselves up. Billie’s first steps were to me.

Now the downside to this is Billie says “Gday mate” to people when we’re walking down the streets of Newtown. She enjoys watching the golf and she asks if we can go to the pub for a beer. So maybe she’s spent a little too much time with me, but as I sit here and write this I’m also enrolling her into pre-school for the first time next year.

Don’t get me wrong, parenting is hard AF, and there are moments when you think, how can I run away and not come back without anyone thinking I’m a bad person? So pre-school (a few days a week) will be good for all of us, but it does break my heart to be sending my little mate off. The truth is, as much as she needed me since she was born, I’ve needed her. She is my best mate and I’m going to miss her like hell. Poor Ziggy, he isn’t going to be allowed to leave the house until he’s 6. I feel so blessed to have this life and I thank you for letting me share it with you. I’ve just realised I’ve got shit on my shirt, so I’m off to Napisan, bye.

Matt Baseley is a 34-year-old former pastry chef, who dreamt of captaining the Australian cricket team or playing the Phantom on Broadway but he wasn’t good enough at either, so he ended up working in commercial radio for almost 13 years. Matt is now a stay-at-home-dad, who also features as ‘that guy’ in a few TV commercials and a reporter on Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender.

@MattBaseley

Matt and Billie also have a ton of fun in the kitchen making healthy(ish) food in a simple, realistic way. You can follow their cooking adventures here. #CookingWithBillieCoco

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