Monthly Archives: March 2012

Even the Kitchen Sink

Silgranit by BlancoEven the kitchen sink was something of an ordeal when it came to bringing our reno plans to life. Thanks to your feedback, we knew to avoid a corner sink, but we were still puzzled about what material our sink should be made of.

We ruled out stainless steel as too industrial.

Solid surface was out because it doesn’t wear well over time

Cast iron enamel looks lovely at first, but tends to chip and scratch. With my fondness for cast iron pans and metal baking sheets, I knew this wouldn’t be a good long-term fit.

What was left? Silgranit.

Silgranit is a lightweight, durable granite composite that promises to stand up to what my family and I could dish out. Not that we routinely let crusty dinner dishes pile up in the sink, but, well, sometimes it happens.

Silgranit was suggested to us by our appliance saleswoman; that was the first I’d heard of it. As I was searching online for more information on this wonder-sink, I crossed paths with a PR peep who works with the brand and she arranged for me to receive a Blanco SilgranitII sink and a Blanco faucet.

Not only is Silgranit tough, it’s pretty, too. It comes in a wide choice of styles and colors. We (yes, DH had an opinion about this) selected a Blanco Diamond 1 3/4 bowl undermount sink in biscotti, which goes perfectly with our counter tops and our wall paint.

We got off to a rocky start with our sink because, durable as they are, they can get cracked during the shipping process. We did not notice any cracks in our sink upon arrival or before it was installed, but one appeared after the counter top guys installed it. Maybe they screwed it in a bit too tight or something? After a near-heart attack, near tears, foot stomping and a finger pointing drama our guy provided a replacement sink of the exact color and style we ordered and installed it that very same day. (If a Silgranit II sink is damaged during shipping, Blanco will replace it.)

Since then the sink has been in for good. And it’s been great. Nearly two months into living here, it still looks like new.

(When it’s not full of dishes.)

So far, Silgranit is living up to its scratch-resistant and easy-to-clean promises. Hooray!

We also received a Blanco faucet. One of the challenges here is that we selected our model from online photos, which made me nervous. I like to see and touch products before bringing them into my home, but even the high-end kitchen shops in my area had limited displays of Blanco faucets. We went with our gut and selected the Rados with pull down spray because it had the functionality we wanted, namely a pull down vs. pull out spray.

We’re happy with our selection. The faucet’s brass body (with satin nickle finish) gives the unit a substantial feel. It feels more solid than the plastic chrome-plated faucet from the Big Box store that we had in our previous house.

See those rubbery bumps on the back of the pull down unit?

 

Blanco faucet

The small one unleashes a steady stream of water that can be adjusted for temperature and water pressure.

 

Blanco faucet

 

And the larger one releases the spray. The spray makes it easy to wash dishes and the sink. It also leaves me fantasizing about playing “beauty shop” in my kitchen.

 

Blanco faucet

Washing dishes by hand* is never fun, but I’m so glad to be in my own fabulous kitchen, that it’s almost a pleasure to do them.

 

*We do have a dishwasher, but it always seems like there are a handful of items that demand a hand job.

The Tax Nightmare is Over (I Hope)

tax timeWe moved in with my parents for a few months–back in 2008. And then we got stuck, until very recently. We’re now in a truly wonderful house, but staying with my parents for so long created a few problems, one of which was organization. Because I’m a hopeless optimist I have a very strong sense of denial, each month we lived with my p’s, I’d tell myself that in just another month or two we’d be back on our own. It was okay that I left this or that unfiled because soon enough I’d have a real office again.

I never got organized. I never put the right systems in place.

So when it was time to do my 2011 taxes, I was really scrambling. Most of my papers were here, but some were still at my parents. I was months behind in my bookkeeping.

But then I caught up.

Aaaaand then my computer crashed.

Needless to say, it was overdue for a backup.

So I had to enter months of financial data all over again.

Now everything is balanced, reconciled, and ready for the accountant.

I hope.

Business taxes are due March 15. You ready?