Now that it’s finally fall, your wait to participate in seasonal activities is over! You can host plenty of fall festivities from the comfort of your own backyard. All you need is some refreshments and a few activities to keep adults and children alike occupied during the event. Try out these fun suggestions to make yourself and your backyard the talk of the town.


As the weather cools down, many people celebrate holidays that bring families and friends together. Some people in your community may not have families or friends to go to for meals and celebrations. In that case, you could consider hosting a potluck where every guest brings a dish or contribution of some sort.

By involving yourself in the community you live in, you could change people’s lives or how the community is run. Reaching out to others when loneliness is all-consuming, especially for those who don’t have anyone with them on holidays, can help you make new memories and put smiles on others’ faces.


If you don’t mind potentially tearing up the grass in your backyard — or if you have a larger driveway than most people — you can host a “trunk or treat” where families can go trick-or-treating around to the trunks of different cars.

This event leaves most of the decoration up to the owners of the individual vehicles who participate, so you can relax and only worry about acquiring candy and decorating your own trunk for the Halloween season. For families who don’t participate in Halloween but still love the concept of trick-or-treating and dressing up, this opportunity could be a wonderful tradition.


If you want to spend time with friends and family outside, consider transforming your outdoor space into an environment prime for partying. Hosting a game night outside is akin to hosting a house party, so you have to be sure you’re ready enough for the people who might attend.

Consider allowing people to RSVP to the party, either by mail or digitally, so you have an accurate headcount of who will be attending and how much of everything you’ll need. You can guess how much each guest will eat, but the best method is to make sure you have one pound of food for every guest.

 Once you have the menu and music sorted out, think of what sort of fall-themed games you could host on this game night. Consider buying small prizes to award the winners of games to motivate people to play. If you want a modern twist on bobbing for apples, consider blindfolding contestants and allowing them to reach into a pail of water and apples using just their hands. You could also host a costume contest and give awards for the most creative or best costumes.


What could be better than cozying up with some snacks and watching favorite fall movies? Whether you choose to go the spooky route or find something milder that reflects the season, you can host a successful movie marathon from the comfort of your backyard.

The most important thing you’ll need is a projector. From there, you can either have a collapsible screen, an inflatable screen, a white sheet, or something else that you can use to project the movie onto. Be sure to make plenty of snacks to keep all your guests satisfied. 

Consider creating a fire pit in your backyard ahead of this occasion. While you might have blankets to ward off the chill of the night, they can’t compare to the warm glow of a fire. Aside from providing your guests with much-needed warmth, a fire pit can also set the mood for the season.


If you’ve been through a corn maze, you know just how thrilling it is to get lost in nature and finally find your way out. You can build a similar maze in your backyard using bales of hay. While it might not be as challenging as a corn maze, it could still provide your guests with the excitement and triumph of emerging victorious. Just make sure your yard is large enough to hold a labyrinth!

Instead of buying fake haybales, consider supporting a hardworking farmer or other local hay-grower. Make sure to put your order in early, well in advance of the party, to make sure you’ll have the quantity you want, as hay is regularly in high demand. Get other members of your household to help you build the maze, and you’ll have an activity that will keep people talking about your festivities for years to come.


It would be a shame if you let the season slip by without celebrating. Why not round up your closest friends and family, or your entire neighborhood, to take part in the fun autumn festivities with you? Planning something can get you in the right mindset for the holidays, and when all the planning is done, all you have to do is sit back and watch it all come together.

Guest Contributor: Rose Morrison


Choosing an exterior paint color for your home is just one part of the paint-selection process. As a homeowner, you want to ensure that your exterior paint withstands harsh weather conditions and UV radiation. While exterior painters will expertly prepare your home for a smooth, long-lasting paint job, your chosen paint finish can either make or break the final look and longevity of the paint. This handy guide will help you choose the best paint finish for your home exterior.


Paint sheen is not just about aesthetics. Paint finishes affect how long exterior paint lasts on siding, trim, doors, and other exterior surfaces. There are four different types of paint sheens that professional painters typically use on home exteriors and each has unique benefits when used on the correct surfaces.


While flat paint finishes used to be the most popular, they aren’t used much on exteriors these days. Flat paint is matte, porous, and susceptible to fading and mildew problems. Most customers desire paint finishes that are shinier and more durable, but flat paint doesn’t have to be ruled out completely. Because flat paint isn’t shiny, it can be a great option for disguising flaws on older homes. However, a flat finish is only recommended for exterior walls, and not areas that are touched often such as doors, railings, or windows.

When to use a flat paint finish: If your home has older wooden siding, or you need to conceal siding imperfections, flat paint can be a good choice.


Eggshell paint is the most popular exterior paint finish for the body of a home. Because eggshell isn’t dull like a flat finish, or too shiny like a high-gloss sheen, it looks great on a variety of siding types such as HardiePlankstucco, horizontal wood, and others. Eggshell paint also offers more durability than flat paint, so it can easily be washed with occasional power washing. It’s also an ideal choice when you need to hide imperfections under the coating on older wood or stucco divots. Eggshell can also protect your home from precipitation and seasonal weather changes. This popular paint finish lays down nicely, so you won’t be able to see any brush strokes, roller edges, or spray marks after applying.

When to use an eggshell paint finish: If you’re repainting your house siding and want a low-reflective finish that also conceals minor imperfections. An eggshell finish is also perfect when you need to subtly bring out trim details.


Satin paint has a nice sheen and is ideal for exterior trim areas that are used or touched often. This highly durable, stretchy paint resists peeling and mildew. A satin paint finish is perfect for use on a variety of trim areas such as eaves, soffits, overhangs, trim boards, porch ceilings/trim, door frames, window sills, and so much more. It’s important to note that satin paint magnifies imperfections like dents, dings, cratering, and ridges in older wood trim and wood siding.

When to use a satin paint finish: If you want a beautiful sheen on your trim that isn’t too shiny, this is the finish for you. This is especially true if you live in a hot, sunny climate as satin paint contains more UV protectant to prevent fading.


A semi-gloss paint offers visible shine on home exteriors and is ideal for surfaces that require frequent cleaning. The glossier sheen makes semi-gloss paint more durable than satin, so it’s easier to clean. Semi-gloss paint can also endure harsh weather conditions and withstand excess moisture. While a semi-gloss paint finish can look beautiful on trim details, it isn’t a good choice if you need to conceal cracks, chips, or other surface imperfections.

When to use a semi-gloss finish: A semi-gloss finish is best for painting garage doors, front doors, exterior trim, gutters, shutters, metal lamp posts, railings, and window sills.


If you want your exterior trim to really pop, then this is the paint finish for you. A high-gloss sheen offers extreme durability and adds a beautiful richness to paint color. You may be tempted to paint your entire home exterior with this easy-to-clean, highly durable sheen, but it isn’t a good idea! Painting all of your siding with high-gloss paint will make your home look “plastic” and magnify surface imperfections. Simply use this finish for highlighting ornate architectural details, trim, and doors. Professional painters will happily paint your exterior walls and siding with a semi-gloss or satin paint to complement the high-gloss finish of your trim.

When to use a high-gloss finish: Use this heavy-duty paint to highlight architectural details, decorative fixtures, accent trim, shutters, front doors, black metal railings, window frames, or anything else you touch on a regular basis.

House painting tip! Semi-gloss and high-gloss paints can be brittle and chip if not applied to the right surface or with the right preparation. Gloss paints can look amazing on front doors that have been kept in great shape from porches and awnings, but won’t look nice if your door has dings, cracks, or other blemishes. Professional house painters will ensure your home is prepped and painted properly so that your paint job looks amazing and lasts a long time.


Paint finishes on your home are just as important as the colors you choose. This is why it’s critical to trust your exterior house painting project to a professional painting company. Not only will professional painters use the right painting tools and techniques to deliver a flawless finish, an expert paint color consultant will help you choose the perfect paint finishes for your siding and trim. Trusting your exterior home painting project to the professionals will provide you with beautiful, long-lasting results. Request your free exterior painting quote today!

Guest Contributor: Mark Sharp


Have you checked out our new Blue Collar Eats video over on Facebook where we reviewed Amigos Mexican Restaurant? “You guys know me, I’m always on the hunt for tacos, and we found somebody that’s giving Frankfort a run for their money”, says Kevin. This restaurant is definitely a hidden gem! We sat down and gave you the scoop, along with Ron and Jason who joined us for this delicious meal.

Ron, one of our plumbers, joined Kevin in reviewing this restaurant out. “The steak is real nice, tender, delicious, the cilantro is fresh, onions are fresh, everything is diced up real fine, it’s easy to eat. I like this taco a lot!”

Jason, another one of our plumbers, explained why everyone says this place is giving Frankfort a run for it’s money. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this place is gonna give places a run for their money.” Ron chimed in and agreed, saying, “No, definitely. Even the chicken is traditionally seasoned, not overpowering, really nice, juicy and tender. Pretty much everything you would want in a piece of chicken.”

All three agreed “now that’s a good taco!” as they cheered to the tacos and took a bite.

Kevin review a little bit of everything, from the tostados, chicken tacos, steak tacos, their guacamole, homemade salsa and burritos. He said everything was great, and the best tacos he’s ever had.

“The chicken tacos and the al pastor are great!” says Rasheed from Bear Down, he’s one of their best customers! He loves this place and talks very highly of them.

Another customer explained he loves the tacos, and his little brother likes the burgers. “There’s something here for everyone.”

Amigos reopened their doors on Thursday, October 14th at 20831 S. Lagrange Rd. in Frankfort IL. Keep in mind it is a cash only establishment, but they do have an ATM located inside of the restaurant.

Check out our video on Facebook on our page, Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing – Local Plumber and make sure to check out the restaurant whenever you’re in the area!

Guest Contributor: Tiffany Powell


If there was ever a good time to invest in a parcel dropbox, it is now. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the need for a sharper focus on health and safety. Social distancing and avoidance of crowded public places are critical steps.  

Imagine a mother having to go with the kids to pick a parcel at the post office drop box. With more than one child in tow, it can be difficult to contain them. How will she, for instance, keep them from touching surfaces. 

Maintaining the six feet distance will be another challenge. Such exposure can lead to the whole family contracting the dreaded disease.  

A home delivery parcel dropbox has so many advantages. The most obvious is the convenience of contactless deliveries. You can adhere to the social distancing calls but continue to shop as usual. 

But, do take note of how to handle home deliveries to avoid getting the virus. You should, for instance, let the package sit for up to 24 hours before touching it. Remove outer packaging and dispose of them. And, wash your hands thoroughly after touching the items.  

Investing in a secure lockable parcel delivery box ensures safety for your items. It does not matter whether anyone is home or not when the courier comes around. Once the item is in the delivery box, only you can access it using the lockbox key or combination.  

There is no shortage of parcel drop box suppliers or vendors. It can get rather confusing in choosing one. But, there are some considerations you must have in mind. So what are they?  


The first consideration when choosing the right parcel dropbox is by looking at the security features. As we mentioned, there are many delivery box options available.  

But, a strong selling point or differentiator is how they secure or assure the safety of your deliveries. At the very minimum, you want a lockable delivery box.  

Look for the type that uses the cantilever system. Once the item is in the parcel box, there is no way to get it out. The neighborhood burglar will have no luck using the entryway to access your purchases.   

Another key security feature is the material that makes up the body of the parcel drop box. You want sturdy, durable, and hard to breach. Do your part in making the burglars work a little bit harder. Heavy metal delivery boxes are a good option.  


Since the delivery box stays outside it is prone to the effects of the elements. Metal rusts, depending on the moisture levels. Wood will rot due to the same reason. 

Delivery box manufacturers apply anti-weather material to weatherproof the boxes. Ensure critical parts like seals have the relevant protection. You want to avoid having to replace the box within a short period.  


Do take note of how easy it is to install the parcel dropbox. Some are pretty simple, and with a few tools, you can have them mounted. Carefully read the instruction manuals to avoid any mistakes.  

If you think it will be a challenge, ask for expert help. The vendors or manufacturers should have no problem availing someone from their team to help you.  
Improper installation can reduce the safety of the delivery box. If, for example, you do not securely mount it, the thief can carry the box. 


There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to parcel delivery boxes. You are in the best position to determine what will work well for you.  

Look at what you typically buy as a guideline. If you stick to smaller purchases, there is no need for a large parcel dropbox.  

Heavy parcel delivery boxes work well for multiple packages. They are also fantastic if you share the home with others who receive items.   


You can place the parcel drop box almost anywhere outside of the home. Some favorite spots include driveways, front porch, garden, or gate posts. That means it is visible to anyone who visits. 

So, do look for an attractive design to add to the beauty of your outdoor space. There are many variations of colors and designs.  

Apply some creativity with a simple DIY painting job. It allows you to blend in the delivery box with your existing outdoor decor.  

You also have options with mounting or installation. You can go for those that you place on the wall, above the ground. Such are ideal for smaller parcels. 

The other option is the floor-mounted parcel delivery boxes. They can accommodate larger packages, and give more flexibility with placement. 

You could have it in the driveway, garden, or anywhere you choose. This is unlike wall-mounted options that require, well, a wall. But, again it comes down to your preference.  


Look out for available lockbox technologies.  Smart lockboxes, for instance, are becoming quite popular. Such will send notifications once the delivery man scans the barcode. 

You can set it up to send the alert to your mobile or other internet or Bluetooth-connected devices. Such allow for Integration with smart home technologies. You can lock, unlock or share access to the box using virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. 

They also allow for custom configurations depending on what you need. Other features include live streaming videos, sound recording, and motion sensors. This helps improve the safety of your deliveries.  


Enhance your safety during this pandemic period with a home delivery parcel dropbox. You avoid unnecessary exposure by having to make trips to the designated drop-off points. 

The right parcel delivery box comes down to what you need and your preference. But, do check out the security features the manufacturers offer.

Also, pay attention to the material of the parcel delivery box. It should be strong, durable, and weatherproof. Determine the best size depending on what you typically buy.  

Think about the installation as well. Do you want to mount it or have it on the floor? Whichever you choose should be convenient for you and the delivery. It should also be secure enough to make it hard for the local burglar to make away with the whole box

Guest Contributor: Daniel Martin