Wednesday, August 20, 2014

solid surface countertop review: 6 months

Back in February, we had LG HI-MACS solid surface countertops installed in our kitchen. Now that it's been about 6 months, I thought I'd come back and share how they're doing and how we like them so far.  When we were shopping for counters, we couldn't find very much information or reviews (other than from the company directly) on this material, so hopefully this will help you, if you're thinking of having these installed yourself.
The verdict: So far, we love them!  One thing that we love about these counters is that they almost always look clean, even if they're not spotless.  This is nice because I don't feel like I have to get out my cleaning supplies and scrub them everyday.  
They are also stain resistant. Stains just sit on top of them and scrub away easily.  

I have a true story in regard to stains...I was feeling stupid invincible one day while I was touching up gel stain on the island and I accidentally got an entire blob of the stain on the island counter.  I had a bit of a panic attack, but with some Comet, and some intense scrubbing for a few minutes, the stain came out and you would never know it happened!
A couple times a week, I deep clean them with The Honest Company multi-surface cleaner, and a scrub sponge. I love this stuff - it smells so good.
One downside to these counters is that they can show water spots, so I'm always sure to dry them off with a dish towel, giving them a little buff, and they look amazing after.  This doesn't take much time, and is worth the little bit of extra work.  This is just like if you get your car washed, and hand dry to keep the spots from showing up on your shiny clean vehicle. I just use these dish towels from Ikea.
One other downside to these counters is that they are not scratch resistant.  If you look closely, you can see little scratch marks, but the light pattern we chose, and matte finish doesn't allow you to see them, unless you really look close, with the light at the right angle.
There is only one place where we have an actual gouge out of the counter, and no one ever notices it (even myself! I have to actually look for it, to see it's there).  See if you can spot it...
I bet you couldn't see it!  Here it is...I zoomed in like crazy on this photo so you can actually see it. It's about an 1/8 inch long.
At first, it really bothered me, but it's really not a big deal.  I've read, and friends and family have told me, that you can actually buff scratches like this out, so if we ever get more in the future, we may go that route.

We also upgraded our sink and faucet when the counters were installed, and we absolutely love them. 
 The big, single bowl is fantastic for washing pots and pans, and I've never once missed having two bowls. I also like having our sponge out of sight.
This sink has the "Perfect Drain", and it is amazing.  It stays so much cleaner than our last sink with the extra ring around it, and looks seamless and beautiful.

 And the faucet is gorgeous, and works like a dream.  The stainless doesn't even get very many water spots.
Overall, we are loving our countertops.  They look amazing and really transformed our kitchen.  They have some downsides, yes, but most countertop choices do, and this is proving to be a great choice for the way we live, within our budget.
 One other small update:  I found these two picture frames on clearance at Target and finally found the perfect photos for them. I love the way they add warmth and personality to this space.

Monday, August 18, 2014

aden's maternity photos

Since we purchased our Nikon earlier this year, we have not only increased the quality of the photos of our everyday moments, but we are also venturing into the world of photography.  So far this has been for friends and family, to capture special moments in their lives.  

For instance, we shot these photos for our sister-in-law last month, as she is expecting with our nephew in late September.  She is a stunning woman, but is absolutely glowing in these photos.  She had all these cute little props since this is the first boy for them, and our niece even jumped in on some of them.
We also took their pregnancy announcement photos earlier this year. 

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