ten rules for a happy relationship

I find it a huge compliment when friends tell me that they think Jay & I have a great marriage.

We’ve been together since we were kids, which is a long time to build trust and love and friendship. Which are all things that I think make a successful relationship.

Not that I don’t sometimes struggle with these myself, but here are my ten rules for a happy relationship

  1. neglect the whole world rather than each other
  2. it takes two to quarrel and if you’re going to fight passionately, make sure you make up just as passionately!
  3. say I love you and share kisses and hugs every.single.day
  4. never hog the remote
  5. if you must criticize, do it lovingly
  6. leave the mistakes of the past in the past
  7. never go to sleep with an argument unsettled
  8. allow time for separate interests & friends, as well as shared adventures
  9. keep yourself right – look your best for your partner (no-one else wants to see you in daggy trakkies so why would your partner?)
  10. in the words of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “be a lamb in the kitchen and a tiger in the bedroom”!
Ever After | photography by Max Wanger

grill’d | burger review

Those who know me, know I love a good burger.

I could go so far as to say burgers are one of my favourite foods!

Janine was in amazement when I told her I had never heard of Grill’d Burgers before considering there is one right near us in Darling Harbour (having since gone there, I do remember actually seeing it before but it didn’t register at the time)…

My first life changing moment with my Grill’d burger occurred on Degraves Lane in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago.

Grill’d Burger is seriously good. Seriously cool. Seriously mouth-watering. Seriously burger. There is no ridiculous fancy-pants Turkish bread or aoli. It’s the perfect beef (or chicken/lamb/veggie if that’s your thing) burger pattie with classic accompaniments like pineapple, beetroot, egg and bacon.

Grill'd Degraves Lane (photo from LittleCupcakes)
the clever wall art
wall @ Grill'd Darling Harbour

For a moment, I am lost in the menu. So many delicious burgers. So little tummy space.

the menu

How can I go past the Summer Sunset; grilled 100% lean beef, avocado, crispy trim bacon, golden pineapple, salad, relish and herbed mayo. For $0.80 I get extras of beetroot and pickles.  It’s a towering inferno that I can’t fit my mouth around, but it is seriously good. 

Summer Sunset burger

Jay goes for the Mighty Melbourne (or called the Almighty in Sydney); grilled 100% lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish and herbed mayo.

Mighty Melbourne (aka the Almighty)

The chips deserve their own shrine. For starters, they aren’t fries! They are chips. They are fat, crispy, herbed potato on the outside and fluffy starchy goodness on the inside. You can get them served with several different dipping sauces (herbed-mayo, tomato sauce, tomato relish, sweet chilli mayo).


Jay orders with a lunchtime beer which, hurrah! comes in pints.

a pint of Little Creatures pale ale

Whatever your burger preference, Grill’d has it covered. And its all good!

Check here for Grill’d locations, but if you live in Oz they are located in 5 out of the 8 states. 


aerial ping pong | guest post by Nathan

Some facts about my friend Nath;

  • I’ve known him since I was 13-ish
  • We were on the swim team together for 5 years
  • For about 2 weeks in year 10, I had a crush on his twin brother
  • I used to beg him and Grant to dress the same (much to their disgust)
  • He’s a fantastic electrical conductor; he’s a Sparky who’s been seriously electrocuted a couple of times, and
  • He was hit by lightening while out sailing.
  • He once ate raw oysters off a rock with me at dawn
  • He’s quite stubborn
  • He was one of my husband’s groomsmen
  • Last year he ran through the pitch-black jungles in Borneo following a tribe of headhunters
  • Last year he married a wonderful girl named Mandy who has turned out to be one of my good girlfriends
  • He makes a good home brew
And he’s my guest blogger today! Here is his wonderful account of our Melbourne adventure to an AFL match…
Words by Nathan:

To the unobservant eye it was just like any other ordinary Saturday, it was June 11th 2011 and it started just like every other, I woke up as I have done each and every Saturday since the day I was born. But that is where the similarities ended.

It was the first morning of our long Victorian weekend and although all participants may not have acknowledged it, as travelling through Paris a visit to the Eiffel tower is a given, when in Melbourne a sporting event at the MCG is a necessity. A few distractions before the big event were inevitable, I had to have a shower and brush my teeth, breakfast and coffee in some cute little cafe, knitting in Federation square, catching trams and cheeky beers at noon. All things to pass the time before the main reason for visiting the southern state of Victoria – Geelong Cats V Hawthorn Hawks at the “ G “ (that’s what Victorians call the Melbourne Cricket Ground)

The evening was always going to be cold so the correct attire was required to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment. We all purchased new scarfs to support our team. It might have been viewed as an attempt to blend in with the local Victorians and we definitely didn’t let on that our first choice would have been to watch the Rebels or Storm play. I like to believe that Geelong embraced its six newest and relatively uneducated AFL supporters along with a Hawks supporter who took time out from feeding his 10 month old son a greasy McWhopper burger to inform us of the unlimited interchange rule and the confusing time keeping methods.

The first bounce was everything we could have hoped for, cheering supporters, giant pom poms behind goals, soul warming takeaway food, icy cold beer and scantily clad cheerleaders … maybe the cold weather kept them away? It is difficult to understand how the umpires keep their jobs as the extreme number of knock ons, forward passes and offside infringements that were missed was unbelievable.

Putting the umpires deplorable performance aside, the game was played at a fast pace and the athleticism of the players was unquestionable. I’m not sure if this is the correct terminology for the code of football but the MVP for the game was never in doubt after a first half bag of 6 goals from Podsy (he plays for our team the Cats and a goal is when they kick the ball between the two tallest sticks), The Go To Man, target el Podsy. Not wanting to rub salt into the wounds of the Hawks but Podsy was undefendable, be the man 10 foot tall and bullet proof.

The 63 thousand 4 hundred and 76 strong crowd definitely got their money’s worth. From the unquestionably talented busker outside the “ G “ to the short queue for food and beer along with a game of aerial ping pong between two of the great teams in the League a fantastic evening was had by all including the six newest, scarf wearing  Geelong supporters.

To be serious the game was great to watch live and the result was not decided until the final siren with only 5 points the final margin. Watching Buddy Franklin run around only proved he is an amazing talent and although he played on the unsuccessful side that night he stood out not only on stature but in his performance.

The final siren went and with the crowds dispersing and every tram overfull to bursting with people we decided to leg it back into the city and burn off some of the calories we had partaken in that evening. Although walking back to our hotel was not the ideal scenario…

AFL was the winner on the night!
Geelong Cats 13.10.88 v Hawthorn Hawks 13.5.83
the end
Nath & Mandy; on the way to the game
Janine & Ian; on the tram to the game
Mel & Jay; on the way to the game
63,476 supporters to be exact!


*We initially found the points scoring confusing, but once it was explained it was actually pretty cool. Here is the best way I can explain the scoring: 

(My goodness! It’s like an equation!)

three days…

…til True Blood Season 4

til then here are;

three pictures of Alexander Skarsgård

Skarsgård for Interview Magazine June2011
Skarsgård for GQ Magazine June2011
Alexander Skarsgård

three pictures of Anna Paquin

Paquin for Stella Magazine
Paquin for Nylon Magazine
Anna Paquin

three pictures of Stephen Moyer

Moyer for Details Magazine
Moyer for Entertainment Weekly
Moyer for Playboy

three pictures of Ryan Kwanten

Kwanten for GQ Magazine
Ryan Kwanten
Kwanten for SMH interview

three pictures of Joe Manganiello

Manganiello for People Magazine
Manganiello for Interview Magazine
Joe Manganiello

three pictures of Rutina Wesley

Wesley for Esquire Magazine
Wesley for Edge Magazine
Wesley for King Magazine

three pictures of Deborah Ann Woll

Woll for H Magazine
Woll for MarkT Beauty
Woll for H Magazine

andiamo cafe | degraves lane | melbourne

Degraves Street and Lane in Melbourne are named after two brothers who were pioneer settlers in the mid 1800’s. They arrived from Tasmania in 1849 and set up grazing farms in Melbourne. The streets are located near Flinders St Station and Degraves Lane is famous for it’s European cafe culture.

Degraves Street Melbourne

My first walk down Degraves and I’m transported back to Montemarte in Paris; it’s cobbled stone street, little hole-in-the-wall coffee vendors, green & white lattice chairs and the abundance of cafes and little specialty stores. It’s so cute!

Degraves Lane
Degraves Lane

The six of us eat breakfast at Andiamo Cafe which is a really cool space; rustic chunky wooden furniture, recycled industrial accessories on the tables and a giant over-sized brown paper butcher’s roll on the wall on which the menu is written. It’s busy and packed full of people wanting Sunday brekkie and coffee. We’re squeezed into a communal table with chunky wooden block stools.

Adiamo cafe

 We drink; coffees and fresh juices

freshly squeezed juice

We eat; 

big breakfast (poached)
big breakfast (scrambled)
big breakfast with avocado
French toast with Andrew's sausages
Mediterranean breakfast
Special: Mexican breakfast

I have the Mexican brekkie; it’s a flour tortilla heaped with fresh grilled corn, wilted spinach, poached eggs and avocado salsa. I’m in heaven!

Andiamo cafe | 36 Degraves Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph |  03 9650 8060