Mar 19 2012

Monday misc. — updates on chipping counter tops, dropped phone calls, and more


Blossoming pear tree! Photo credit: Me, Kacie of

This is technically still winter. What in the world? We’re enjoying it. I wasn’t expecting such an early spring, and I still have some inside projects I want to do (spring cleaning, painting, organizing paperwork) so maybe we’ll have a few rainy days so I can get to it. I’m not about to spend 70-80 degree non-humid days inside if I can help it!

My tree (pictured) is blossoming. Just a few days ago it was just buds. It smells kinda odd, though.

Counter top update:

EDIT 8/6/13: Please see my updated post here on my negative experience with Giani Granite and how the company offers a refund.

Just about a month after we painted our kitchen countertops with Giani Granite, we noticed some chipping in the paint. You can see our old white countertop underneath. It isn’t so obvious now, but I do notice it if I’m looking for it. I think as time goes on, it’s going to get worse.

The damage is near the sink and above the dishwasher — heavily trafficked areas. Maybe we didn’t let it cure long enough?

While the counters did look neat at first and people who have seen it in person were amazed that we painted it, I just don’t think I can recommend this kit for a kitchen. Kitchen countertops need to be durable! I don’t think this is a long-term solution and I don’t think whenever we go to sell our house someday it’ll work to leave the counters the way they are.

I contacted the company and they were really awesome about wanting to offer a different type of topcoat. The representative I spoke with said for unexplained reasons, some people’s counters chip and need a different seal. They offered to send that at no charge. I’ve yet to say “yes, send it please” because part of me wants to just replace the counters with new laminate.

That would be more expensive, obviously. Shane isn’t wanting to go that route. I just feel like if we’ll need to change the counters eventually or before we sell someday, we might as well do it early on so we can enjoy it.

I’m glad we tried it, though. We did not like the white laminate counters we had and knew we wanted to change them somehow. We just hoped the paint kit would have worked out better. I bet the kit would work better in a guest bathroom or a bar area or somewhere that doesn’t get tons of use. Some people haven’t had a problem with it at all — it really has lots of positive reviews.

Still, I thought I needed to update on our experience.

Magic Jack update:

Not long after I posted my fairly positive review of my Magic Jack Plus, I’ve had a calls drop. Not sure why! Slightly frustrating, though I have calls drop sometimes on my cell phone, too. It’ll happen randomly. It’s enough that I want to put out a strong caution if you’re considering the device for your own use.

I’m keeping ours because it’s still extremely inexpensive. If I’m talking with my mom and the call drops, I’ll just call her back. Easy enough to save a lot of money, even if it can be annoying.

Water stuff:

I read my municipality’s annual water quality report (nerd) and was disappointed to see some violations with regard to the use of chlorine. Gross. I purchased a shower filter at Lowe’s for $18 and I’m amazed at the difference. No dry skin after a shower! No irritated eyes! Probably plenty of health benefits, too, since we’re not breathing chlorine vapors or absorbing it into our skin.

I also purchased a higher-quality filter for our fridge water dispenser via Amazon subscribe & save. It’s not as fancy as a reverse osmosis system or something of the sort, but it’s budget-friendly and better than the stuff straight out of the tap.


Shane is taking some time off next month and we plan to do some fun stuff around central Indiana. At first we thought we’d go somewhere vacation-y, but then we remembered we’d have a 16-month-old who doesn’t sleep well near me or in weird places. She’s still in the ‘crazy stage,’ though she seems to be chilling out. We figured we’d be gentle to ourselves instead of stressing out when we’re really just wanting to relax.

So, we’re looking into some things to do in central Indiana and do a stay-cation. The zoo, Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum and Conner Prairie are on our list…anyone want to give me more ideas?

Posted under Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Monday misc. — updates on chipping counter tops, dropped phone calls, and more”

  1. Sorry your countertops aren’t holding up. I totally understand wanting new ones so you can enjoy them before you sell your house. Good luck!

  2. Gah! That stinks about the countertops. I agree with you- I would want to replace them so you can enjoy them!

  3. 1. Those white-flower trees smell bad, I agree. Pretty, but, yuck.

    2. We looked into all sorts of countertop options for our kitchen (I really wanted butcher block) and ended up replacing our really-old laminate with newer laminate. Sometimes you just need something newer or a better color, not fancier.

    3. We have calls drop on our work phone, which is Vonage. I’m not sure whether to blame teh portable phone, the digital phone line, or a cell phone on the other end. It’s frustrating, I agree.

    4. We have well water, so no worries about chlorine, but we do have lots of filters. It definitely makes a big difference.

    5. Central Indiana staycation! Hooray! Visit me! We could plan a playdate. Perhaps when you’re in the area for Conner Prairie. State parks are great mini-road trips, too.

  4. I love Conner Prairie :-). And have you been to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. The water clock alone is worth it, but there are all sorts of great things to do there!

  5. I am looking into making new counter tops for our house. I have been exploring some ideas and I saw an architect use the underlying formica and just stain it then seal it. I am thinking about doing that. I could do the entire kitchen for $50 bucks! Wow so there are people that actually use the Magic Jack. I always see the commercials but never known anyone to make the jump. I went golfing last thursday it is insane how nice it is out. Here in NY

  6. It would be several hundred dollars to replace the counters though, so that’s a bummer. I wonder if we can DIY or if we’d need to hire that out. I’ll try to price it out anyway to just see what it might cost, and maybe watch for sales or hit the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Ugh!

    Susan, we have been to the Children’s Museum! LOVE IT. It’ll be on the list in case of yucky weather for sure. I’m hoping to have a mix of indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, because you never know around here :)

    Joanna — those trees. ICK I can’t decide if they smell like garbage or fish. Weirdest thing.

  7. Sorry about the countertops. We win some, we lose some. Maybe you can hire out to replace?

    At least the weather has been amazing here in the midwest. Hard to imagine that we’ve had several days in a row of 80+ weather here in Chicago, while it’s still actually Winter!

    As for things to do, how about a day trip to Brown County? Haven’t been there in many years, but it was an interesting diversion.

  8. Don’t you feel super germ free after a high chlorine shower? lol

  9. Thanks for all the effort you’ve put into this blog. It’s appreciated! I’ve passed along the Versatile Blogger Award to YOU! Congrats and keep up the great work!

  10. Something about chlorine and drinking water that doesn’t go together. But a shower filter does sound good idea. May have to pick one up myself.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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