Tuesday 19 December 2017

Deck your halls with boughs of holly

Deck your halls with boughs of holly but don’t just stop at your halls, you can deck your windows, walls, mantelpiece, front door… you can even deck the air! Staying home for the holidays, well make your home feel special. Summer is here and life is good, so spread the cheer and create a happy home environment.

Often in summer there is too much light coming into our homes and they tend to overheat, so take the opportunity to hang or erect things in your window to obstruct some of the strong summer sunlight. Ideally plants work wonders, but also try candles and fairy lights.

For the mantelpiece, shelves and the like, decorate with candles, flowers, cards and any symbols that are significant to you at this time of year. Decking the front door can be predictable yet gorgeous by adorning it with a wreath. You don’t even need to buy one. Get an array of herbs or plant cuttings and make your own. And for the unpredictable… let your imagination take rein.  
Decking the air is easier than you may think…. get some beautifully scented candles burning and some aromatic plants and flowers. I remember as a child getting an orange and sticking it with cloves. This smells incredible and is super easy to do. Think of your favourite memories for childhood holidays and place items around your house that take you back to that time. This is a sure-fire way to subliminally make your holiday even more special.

Don’t forget to spoil yourself and take every opportunity to unwind. Here’s to happy holidays and a fantastic 2018 from the Cramer team.

Thursday 14 September 2017

Get your kitchen's act together - Part 2

Part 2 – Cleaning with a vengeance 

I’m hoping you’ve been busy giving away, throwing out or selling your un-used, cluttering kitchen crap. If you had one, how fun are garage sales by the way?

Now, my grandmother always said “cleanliness is next to godliness.” So if you want to feel really divine, clean your kitchen like a domestic god or goddess. Take out everything from your cupboards and give each and every surface in there a thorough rubber-glove-armed clean with hot water and eucalyptus oil - no need to buy gross expensive synthetic chemical crap. For the more persistent smears, nothing beats cloudy ammonia. Just ensure you have adequate ventilation and dilute it. The smell is quite severe, but it goes away quickly and takes off the most extreme grease and stains. And insects don’t like the eucalyptus smell, so you kill two birds with one stone. 

While you’re at it, clean the fridge and oven, and pull out the grease filters in the rangehood, soaking them in hot water, a few generous squeezes of dishwashing liquid and a ¼ cup of baking soda. In less than half an hour you can start scrubbing them with a non-abrasive brush or scourer. Et voilĂ ! Do beware if cleaning a gas oven with ammonia, make sure the gas and pilot light are off or your kitchen could light up like a gunpowder-laced Christmas tree. 

Now look up at the ceiling. Are there fly s*>t spots or squashed mosquito remnants anywhere? Is there a mass grave insect cemetery gracing your flush mount opaque ceiling light? No matter how clean your kitchen is down below, a grotty ceiling can ruin the effect, so get up there on a ladder armed with your eucalyptus and ammonia-infused sponge. Please note, this task, and the gas oven cleaning one should be done when completely sober. The rest could call for some hard liquor. 

So please get to it. I will give you a bit of leeway, in case you get overwhelmed easily like me and all this is daunting and giving you nausea and panic attacks at the prospect.  I’ll give you a week or two before I post the next blog, so take on bite sized tasks. Maybe do one cupboard a day and give yourself the entire weekend to clean the fridge and oven. I don’t mean spend the entire weekend doing this but make sure you accomplish the task at some point. So when we catch up next, we will be able to move forward with a beautiful kitchen, a pristine canvas, or at least a far less cluttered, filthy one. 

Remember always aspire to acquire kitchen heaven....

Monday 6 February 2017

Get your kitchen’s act together

Part 1: Out with the old, chipped and ugly

Aspire to acquire Kitchen Heaven...

Whether renting or living in your own property, so many of us end up with kitchens that look like a junk/food bomb hybrid has gone off. Maybe it’s extra appliances that seemed like a good idea at the time but now get used bi-annually if lucky (in my case that milk frother, mini blender I’m lucky to fit half a banana in or the jaffle-squashed-sandwich-thingie that’s big enough to land a small helicopter on.) None of them fit in the cupboards (which are already overflowing with way too many saucepans, an army of coffee and teacups and mismatched glasses, hideous wedding gift crockery that you can’t give away in case they visit – not to mention all the non-perishable food, so much of it past its use-by date.) So these useless appliances get relegated to the benchtop along with the appliances you actually use, the oils, seasonings, obligatory fruit bowl, clashing decorative elements, piles of paper comprising of bills, kids pictures, takeaway food flyers, etc etc. Really – I can’t be the only one who needs a kitchen makeover.

Do you ever use this?
Chipped mugs and crockery must go!

Someone wise once said “A clean, tidy home creates a peaceful mind”. Someone else said “A clean house is a wasted life”, but we’ll chose not to focus on that for the purposes of this exercise. So, think de-clutter and clean, clear surfaces. Work from the anti-hoarding doctrine of if it hasn’t been used for a while get rid of it. Don’t be precious and sentimental either – it’ll get you nowhere. Root out all that chipped crockery, those ugly mugs (husbands excepted), throw out all the takeaway flyers along with the past-use-by packets and jars. Anything that is salvageable can be re-homed to a charity or if your place is bad enough, you may even have enough stuff to have a garage sale (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.) 

Half dead plants, ugly plants, tragic holiday mementos, horrid ceramic oil vessels oh, and don’t get me started on fridge magnets - they all need to go.

If you can't save it, bin it!

Plants should be pleasing on the eye

So get busy and keep watching for our next installment in which we will show you how to make your kitchen the gorgeous place it was born to be.

Monday 23 January 2017

We Love Local: Ode to Latteria

Latteria, a veritable Sydney coffee institution, is also the second home away from home to Cramer’s MD, Erle. Not a day goes by that he cannot be seen there for breakfast or lunch, and invariably both. He discovered Latteria when he moved into the Cramer Victoria Street premises in the late 1990s and he has never looked back. His favourites are the fruit salad, in his words “the best fruit salad in Sydney as it is freshly cut to order”, the spinach focaccia and almond milk flat white, his of-late metrosexual coffee of choice.

We all love the staff, past and present. Who can forget those gorgeous Italians, Tommie, Pino, Vito and Pete! Eye candy to all persuasions. Then the divinely blokey English dude who has only recently departed and the truly loveable Jamie, and now the eclectic mix that makes up Erle’s new best friends. 

We love the specials of the day, we love the delightful chai and the sweet treats. All in all, Latteria, WE LOVE YOU!!!!