Did you know that there is 3 different types of plungers, and there are specific uses for each one? When most people think of a plunger, they commonly think of the “sink plunger” which most of us probably have in our bathrooms.


This plunger is referred to as the common sink plunger. Most people think of a plunger like this when they hear the word plunger, and think this one is for plunging your toilet but this is not the correct one to use. This plunger should be used on flat surfaces to get the maximum benefits out of it. The cup needs to lay flat directly over the drain and create a vacuum that’s strong enough to dislodge the clog in the sink. When people try to use this on in the bathroom toilet, it might work, but it also isn’t the best way to get it unclogged. A toilet is curved too much for this plunger to create the vacuum that it needs to properly unclog the toilet. This one is to be used for tubs, kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, laundry tub sinks, or anything that you has a flat surface.


This is the plunger you should be using when you need to unclog your toilet. A lot of people do not know how to use this plunger because it’s a hard plastic that is not easy to control. It is difficult to create the vacuum seal you need over the drain. The plunger can definitely scratch the surface of your toilet, and this is why most people don’t use this one because the rubber sink plunger won’t scratch. You should only use this type of plunger for toilets.


This is called a toilet plunger, but it can be used in just about any type of drain. The cup on it can fit a sink plunger, but the flaps can fit in the curved toilet drain which can create the suction and vacuum that is needed to unclog it. This plunger is very versatile, but it is recommended to not use the same plunger on your toilet and your sinks because of the risk of cross contamination. You can use this plunger for toilets and sinks, but recommended not for both.

Guest Contributor: Tiffany Powell


The average cost for plumbing services ranges between $350 and $700 for a regular job like repairing sinks, faucets, or toilets, and the average rate for hiring a technician ranges between $80 and $120 per hour depending on the day of the week and the market. Some contractors will also charge you a service fee of $100 or more for just showing up at your place, and your plumbing charges can also escalate if they do the work during an emergency event or weekend.


Plumbing services are among the most costly maintenance or repair services you can pay for. Here are a few tips to help you avoid expensive plumbing repairs in the future.


Checking your pipes and fixtures regularly helps you detect plumbing problems with greater ease. To carry out these checkups effectively, you need to make a checklist. A regular checklist would include:


●      Toilets

●      Showers

●      Washing machine

●      Sump pump

●      Water meter

●      Sinks

●      Tubs

●      Shut-off valve

●      Water mainline

●      Outside


Although you might be tempted, experts recommend you don’t use exposed pipes to hang your laundry. Additional weight from your clothing and the hanger strains the pipe and makes it more susceptible to leaks. So, you must find an appropriate place to hang your clothes to avoid unnecessary leaks and expensive repairs.


The advantages of trenchless pipe repair make it easier for those who need to repair their plumbing system. Trenchless pipe repairs cause less damage, provide better overall service quality, and are completed much faster than other repair methods. In the long run, going trenchless will give you a pipe solution that will be long-lasting and you’ll also save more money.



Clogged drains are among the most prevalent plumbing headaches, and many people clear them using products that contain chemicals, but this is a big mistake. Such products are likely to erode your drain pipes, resulting in even greater damage. Using them repeatedly can eventually cause leaks and expensive repairs. Thus, hire a plumber to snake the drain and clear away the clog. Or, if you are DIY-savvy, you can buy your own snake for about $20 and clean the drain yourself.


It gets extremely cold in the winter and your home needs sufficient insulation to protect your pipes. Even in a drafty house, it is still possible to protect your pipes by insulating exposed ones.


Choosing to insulate the pipes by yourself may not be the best option because you will only be able to access the pipes that are out in the open. But a plumber will insulate the pipes even in hidden areas of the home, particularly during renovations and remodels when the pipes are exposed. Request your plumber to install heat tape for pipeswhen they open your wall or expose the usually hidden pipes. This will maintain a water temperature of 55 degrees and above when the weather gets extremely cold.


Strive to ensure that grease, hair, and food don’t go down the drain. These substances often contribute to drain clogging, causing you lots of problems. There are various measures you can take to prevent potentially harmful stuff from going down the drain, including using drain strainers and alternative methods of disposing of waste.


We all enjoy high-pressure showers; however, pressure exerts unnecessary stress on your pipes, which can reduce the lifespan of the pipes and increase the possibility of a leak. So, measure your water pressure using a hose bib gauge and ensure the pressure is between 40 and 80 psi. If it is above this range, contact an expert plumber to install a pressure reducer.


If the temperatures fall extremely low, outdoor spigots are likely to freeze. However, you can protect your spigots from extremely low temperatures by keeping your hoses indoors for the winter. If you have installed an in-ground sprinkler system in your home, call a professional to winterize it because the water that remains in the pipes can freeze and cause the rupturing of the pipes. Collaborate with a professional to empty your sprinkler pipes also to prevent rupturing over the winter.


If you are on a budget and you’d like to have some plumbing work done around your home, save money by finding a reputable plumber with fair rates. Don’t do the work yourself–unless you are trained to–or hire an unqualified person to do it. Working with an expert plumber will save you a huge chunk of money in the long run and help you ward off expensive plumbing mistakes.

Guest Contributor: Lizzie Howard


Many would find surprise and delight if they only knew how vital staying free of clutter is to a productive workspace. So, here are five crucial organizational tips for a clean and productive workspace. Putting a bit of energy today into reorganizing where you work could pay dividends in your immediate future. So, to organize better, be mindful and consider purchasing an air purifier, limit what goes on your desk’s surface, reorganize over time, place your seat in a way that makes you comfortable, and ensure you must turn around to find a distraction.


Our environment affects our mood and our productivity. Therefore it’s important to create and maintain a clean, organized, and mindful workspace. When our space is cluttered our mind is cluttered and usually vice versa. Some of the ways you can create a mindful workspace include tidying up and getting rid of dust, dirt, and germs. Getting a portable office air purifier is a great way to combat this as it can effectively reduce allergies, viruses, and bacteria. This tool can bring fresh clean air to your workspace. You can also add plants, candles, and essential oils to create a more mindful space. 


Limiting what goes on the surface of your desk goes a long way with keeping clutter to a minimum, freeing you to be your most productive self. Papers will often get out of control, but you can limit how many of them stay on your desk’s surface. That will ensure that you know just what is on your desk. Also, consider cleaning your computer’s desktop. That is another way you can clean to decrease clutter and increase productivity. You might decide to keep only today’s tasks on your desk, making your workspace flow well and freeing you to concentrate on the task at hand.

It can be overwhelming to clean your workspace because it might be rather messy. So, know there is a better way. Take it one day at a time and clean a portion of your workspace at a time. One day, you might clean your desk, and another rearrange the furniture. If you are consistent enough with the cleaning, you will soon have an office free of clutter, letting you become a more productive worker bee. So, stay the course because, like at the company where you work, a reorganization does not need to disrupt your workflow completely.



When attempting to increase your productivity through better organization, ensure that you are comfortable when sitting. You will sit longer and work harder if you feel you belong where you are sitting. Nobody wants to feel out of place. Suppose you prefer to sit at the corner of the room wherever you go because it makes you feel safe to get lost in whatever you are doing. In that case, it would be incredibly unwise to put your desk somewhere where your back was to other people.

Another thing that will help dramatically increase your work productivity is making sure you must turn around to use a distraction. For example, avoid letting yourself see your phone unless you turn around to pick it up. That way, you will reduce the temptation to get sidetracked and ensure that you only leave your workspace when something is genuinely vital. So, you can try to lengthen the time you spend working straight before you take a small mental break in this way. You will find your work productivity soaring if you do.


Creating an organized, germ-free workspace is possible with a bit of effort. Still, thinking smarter and not harder about keeping your workspace clean and organized is part of the solution. So, to create a productive workspace free of clutter, be mindful and consider buying an air purifier, limit what stays on your desk, clean a bit at a time, practice mindfulness about where you are sitting, and minimize distractions. Clutter and a lack of productivity often go hand-in-hand. So, here is to you, making your office as clutter-free as possible.

Guest Contributor: Sierra Powell


Homeowners often ask themselves, “When is the right time to paint?” They might want to freshen up their walls, or completely re-imagine their living space, but no matter the reason, the decision to paint your home, it’s not one taken lightly. 

Sure, there are ways you can speed up the process, but at the end of the day, painting a room can use up a fair share of time and resources. 

Sometimes, that decision is made for you. Especially when you’ve suffered smoke damage to your home. When there’s been a fire in your house, apartment or condo, it’s a traumatic experience. And no matter the size of the fire, you’re bound to be left with some smoke damage to your walls that you’ll want to address immediately. 

The good news? It’s actually fairly easy to clean and paint over smoke damaged walls. Just follow these easy steps, and you can get your home looking spotless again in no time. 


Before you get to work, look at the damage you’re dealing with. If you’re lucky, the smoke damage is only superficial. There may be soot from fire or ash on the walls, but no structural damage to the walls themselves. 

In that case, the amount of work you’ll put into painting over smoke damage should be pretty straightforward, and you can jump to the third step. 

However, if there is more significant damage, you’ll want to address that before you get to work painting over smoke damage. 


If you’ve found damage to your wall, you might need to bring in a professional to put up a new wall, or repair more extensive damage. But if there is damage just to the drywall, you could take it upon yourself to fix that damage yourself.

For small to medium sized holes in the wall, you can fill the hole with plaster, wait for it to dry, and then sand it down. Once you’ve patched your holes and repaired the damage of your wall, it’s time to prep the area to clean and paint over smoke damage. 


Now you’re ready to start the process of cleaning your smoke damaged walls. That’s where dry cleaning sponges come in. Made of vulcanized rubber, these dry cleaning sponges are great for cleaning soot off of walls.  

For this step, you’ll need the following materials.

  • Gloves to protect your hands as well as walls, since natural oils in your skin can blot on the wall, complicating your efforts to clean your smoke damaged walls. 
  • Plastic Sheeting to place around the smoke damaged walls. Debris and ash might fall during the cleaning process, and you’ll want to avoid any ash or soot staining your floors as you clean your walls. 
  • Eye Protection such as googles will be good to make sure no soot from the fire or ash gets in your eyes.
  • Dry Cleaning Sponges are, of course, essential. The good news is that if you have extra dry cleaning sponges, you can still use these in the future. They’re effective at cleaning up more than just soot from fire, they also can blot out nicotine stains or candle soot on walls. 

The actual cleaning process to get the damage of smoke off your walls is relatively straightforward. Starting from the top of your smoke damaged walls, and working your way down, use your dry cleaning sponge with straight, overlapping strokes. Do not scrub, as that can drive soot into your walls and make it harder to get soot off your walls in the long term. 

After each stroke of the sponge, check it for debris and coloration. If it becomes clogged, or blackens noticeably, take a razor-blade or safety knife to cut off just the surface area of the sponge. 

You shouldn’t try to clean or wash these sponges, since their absorbent nature will be negated by soaking it with water or soap, but by cutting away used layers, you can get a lot of use out of each sponge, and hopefully will be able to absorb most of the soot and ash from your fire damaged walls and ceilings. 

After going through the entire affected area and cleaning soot off your walls, you’re not done yet. There’s another step for cleaning smoke off walls before you can paint over the smoke damage.


Now that you’ve started to clean smoke from your walls, removing much of the soot and ash from your fire damage, it’s time for a more intense clean using a deep-cleaning product. You can use a grease-cutting agent, or a deep cleaner. The important thing is to avoid using standard, run-of-the-mill cleaning products for this step.

Your goal here should be to remove as much soot and ash as possible. This is the last step for how to clean smoke off walls, and ensures that no lasting smoke damage causes problems down the line once you’ve begun painting. 

Using your heavy-duty cleaning product, take a rag, or regular cleaning sponge, and apply it to the walls like you used the dry sponge—starting from the top and working your way to the bottom. You’ll likely want gloves for this step as well, as the cleaning agent may be caustic to your skin. 

When you thoroughly clean the area, you should be ready to begin the process of smoke painting, or painting over your smoke damage to make your walls and ceilings look like new. 


Now it’s time for the show to begin—priming your smoke damaged walls, so you can effectively paint over them. If you’re wondering about any lingering odor, and are considering an odor blocking paint, the primer is where you can begin to help make sure that the smoke damage does not bleed through and require future paint jobs in the future. 

If you’re dealing with strong odors, such as those you find from nicotine stains, make sure that the primer you choose is a pigmented shellac primer, since that will be more effective than standard oil-based primers. 

As for applying that primer, we have numerous guides on how to paint your walls quickly and efficiently. There’s no real difference between applying primer and applying your actual layer of paint, just make sure to choose the correct primer, and apply your primer consistently and liberally. 


You’ve repaired damage, cleaned the area, and primed it for painting. Now is the time to paint! You can go with the same color you had before, or you can take this as an opportunity to completely reinvent your room with a brand new color.

When you paint over smoke stains on walls, if you’ve done the previous steps to clean and prime the area, painting the wall on its own isn’t any different from painting a wall without smoke damage. Once you’ve prepared your walls for painting, take an interior latex paint and apply two coats, until everything looks like new! 


And that’s how to clean clean smoke off walls, using paint and primer. Of course, cleaning and painting over smoke damage does more than just spruce up your walls. A fresh coat of paint can increase your home’s value, or completely change the feel of a room. And hopefully, with this guide at your disposal, you can paint over smoke damage and renew your home without breaking a sweat!

Guest Contributor: Jeff Good


Your home is one of the most essential things in your life. It keeps you and your family safe, holds all your belongings and becomes your most valuable asset over time. As such, you want to take care of your house so it continues to serve you well. These signs will let you know if it’s time for a little TLC.


Life gets busy, and sometimes, it’s hard to keep up with the cleaning. Your house may fall into disrepair after gathering so much dirt and dust — leaving room for pests and other detrimental things to sneak in and feel right at home. The best plan is to attack one room each day with cleaning supplies. If you don’t have the time to clean, consider hiring a maid service that can take care of the hard work for you. Then, you’ll appreciate your clean home and won’t have to worry about anything lurking around in the dark and dusty corners.


The average American’s monthly energy bill is nearly $120. Some people may see this price as a symptom of living in the wrong place, but you can reduce that cost by giving your home a little TLC. Switch to more energy-efficient options, like lightbulbs and appliances, to reduce your consumption. This can also reduce your carbon footprint and positively affect the environment. Upgrading these parts of your home can lower your electric bill.


Starter homes don’t fit their owners forever, and that’s OK. You may find that your current house doesn’t suit your needs as your family grows. Many people sell at this point, but that doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re attached to your home, it might be time to look at renovations. 

Most homeowners choose to remodel the kitchen first, but if you’re running out of space, you may consider converting one area into another, like an office space into a bedroom. If you love your home, rearranging your space to allow new rooms, furniture and features could help meet all your needs.


You may not be able to tell whether your house has appreciated without getting it appraised, but you can examine the area to know whether it’s earning value over time. Homes in a growing neighborhood with an excellent school districtwill likely see higher price tags. Selling your home while the market is hot means you’ll get the most bang for your buck. 

Even if you choose not to move out of your home, its appreciation should make you care about it a little more. It could be valuable one day, and the idea of eventually selling it should motivate you to keep it up and take care of it. That way, it will fetch a finer price than you could have imagined. Besides, living in a valuable home may make you choose nicer belongings and care for your current ones.


How long has it been since you upgraded your furniture? It can wear down over time and be detrimental to those who use it. Consider replacing your living room suite when your couch starts to creak, as that can indicate it may fall apart soon. Similarly, mattresses need to be upgraded if you’ve used them for too many years — neglecting them is detrimental to your sleep, which can impact your physical and mental health.


Sometimes, it feels like everything falls apart at once. You can expect your appliances to start failing at the same time if they’re the same age. Planning might reduce this money burden, but saving isn’t always an option for some families. Replacements can get costly fast. You may have to prioritize one upgrade over another until you have the funds to deal with all of them.

Similarly, you may want to renovate parts of your home but cannot afford it. In many cases, a family might outgrow a house and need to remodel it. Most people spend over $10,000 on home remodels, which can be a hefty chunk of cash and potentially hurt a wallet if not saved up. If you can’t handle the costs of upgrading your house, you may look to fix it up just enough to get it ready to sell — and then find a home that suits all your needs.


How many things in your house are broken that you simply live with? You may have found a way to work around uncomfortable situations or accept things as damaged, but doing this is no way to live. 

Start by making a list of all the broken things in your home. Then, prioritize these items by how difficult it is not to have them functional. Do you need your fireplace in the winter, or is having a working sink more important to you? Once you have your list, start working on it and give your home the love and care it deserves.


Moving is inevitable sometimes. Still, if you live in your dream home, you shouldn’t feel like you have to leave it just to make it suit your needs. Upgrades, fixes, and a lot of love and care can make your house the perfect fit.

Guest Contributor: Rose Morrison


Even if you’re a pro at various DIY projects, sometimes it’s best to hire an experienced contractor for larger or more complex home renovations. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, when more people started staying at home, Google trends indicated an 8% increase in searches for general contractors in one year. However, choosing the right one for your remodeling project is essential and requires you to dig deep into their qualifications and expertise.

Thankfully, finding a good contractor is not impossible. Here are six things you should look for when hiring someone to work on your home.



Always begin your search for a contractor by making sure whoever you find is licensed. Each state has its own licensing board and requirements that general contractors must meet. Visit your state’s Department of Labor website to find a directory of contractors in your area. 

Keep in mind that hiring a licensed contractor is essential if you intend to sell your home in the future. Otherwise, your renovation project can decrease the value of your home and will likely be excluded from the transaction. 

Homeowners may also need to pay to redo the work by a licensed professional or potentially end up with other legal liabilities, even if they were unaware that the contractor they initially hired wasn’t licensed. 

It’s important to know upfront that your contractor has met industry and state standards to work.



Whoever you decide to hire as a contractor should maintain general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Always be sure to ask right away to see their certificate of insurance to verify the policy is still in effect. 

General liability insurance ensures your contractor is covered for injuries that may happen on your property and any unnecessary damage they may cause to your home. However, it does not cover injury to their employees or subcontractors.

If your contractor hires additional people to work on your renovation, workers’ compensation insurance is a must to protect others from accident expenses and industry-related fatalities. Most states require general contractors to carry workers’ comp even if they only employ one person. 

Sole proprietor contractors may choose to opt-out of holding workers’ compensation for themselves to drive down their premiums.



You will want to look for a contractor with ample experience in the project you need completed.

Search for contractors specializing in painting if you’re looking for a color makeover. Hire a roofing expert for repairs or replacements. Other specializations may include kitchen or bathroom remodels, plumbing, electrical, flooring or new construction.

You should ask the following question when interviewing a general contractor:

●      How long have you been in business?

●      What sort of experience do you have with this kind of job?

●      Do you have before-and-after photos of work you’ve done?

●      What’s your vetting process to ensure subcontractors are qualified?

●      How long have you worked with your subcontractors?

●      What steps will you take to protect my property?

Communicating your project needs and inquiring about their skills and backgrounds will give you better insight into who will be working for you. You’ll have a good idea of their professionalism and ability to do a great job.   



You should be getting multiple estimates and bids as you search for a contractor. Find out the estimated cost of your project — materials, labor and contingency fund — as well as payment options, payment schedules and your right to cancel.

Do they accept credit cards or checks? Do they require a down payment before starting the project? 

Some red flags to be aware of when it comes to costs of services include:

●      Never pay for a project in cash. Many times, this may mean it’s a scam. You can also then use your cashed checks as a receipt.

●      Always make checks payable to a company rather than an individual.

●      Never pay more than one-third of the project costs as a down payment. 



Nobody wants to wait around forever for a home project to be completed, especially if it’s large enough to displace you or gets in the way of everyday life. 

Ask your contractor how long they expect a project to take from start to finish. Remember that delays sometimes occur, such as poor weather conditions or supply chain issues in obtaining the materials.

Regardless of the turnaround time outlined in your contract, be prepared to adjust your timeline and have a little bit of flexibility when unforeseen circumstances arise.



When push comes to shove, the best way to look for a contractor is by searching for reviews, recommendations, and word-of-mouth.

Ask friends, family and neighbors who worked on their houses and how they liked the finished product. It would help if you also looked the contractor up on Google, Yelp or another site where customers can leave reviews.

Research the company’s profile on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to read through any complaints and search for keywords that indicate a scam. You may even ask the contractor if they have a list of local references you can contact. 

These tools can be beneficial as you decide who to hire.  



Searching for a good contractor may seem like a project on its own, but the more you know about them, the more trust you’ll have in the work they can do. Following these six steps should help you make the right choice.

Guest Contributor: Rose Morrison


Are you trying to find the perfect lighting for your home? There are many factors to consider when choosing the right lighting solution for your home or office. The type of light, the color of the light, and even how the light is positioned can all affect how you feel and how well you’re able to see. This article will discuss six different types of lighting solutions and how to choose the right one for your needs. Let’s get started.


LED lighting is a great option for both home and office use. LED lights are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and come in various colors and sizes. They can be used as task lighting or ambient lighting and are perfect for areas where you need a bright light or want to save on energy costs. You can learn more here about the different types of shoebox LED lighting and how to choose the right one for your needs. If possible, get the right bulb that is made for the fixture.

When choosing LED lighting, you have to consider factors such as the brightness of the light, color, size and type of fitting, and the bulb’s lifespan. Also, you will need to create a considerable budget since some of the LED lights can be quite expensive. Ensure also to buy the same from reputable sellers to ensure you’re getting a quality product.


Halogen lighting is incandescent lighting that uses a tungsten filament in a gas-filled bulb. It produces a bright, white light and is popular in track lights, recessed cans, and pendants. Halogen bulbs are available in various shapes and sizes, but they are more expensive than other types of lighting.

When choosing halogen bulbs, you should consider the wattage, lumens, and beam angle. You will also need to make sure that the fixtures can handle the heat from the bulb. Halogen lights produce a lot of heat, so be sure to factor that into your decision when choosing a fixture.


There are many different types of fluorescent lighting. The most common type is the T12, which has been around for a long time. However, it is being phased out because it is not as efficient as other options. The newer option is T16, which is more energy-efficient and offers better light quality. There are also compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, smaller than traditional fluorescents and can be used in various fixtures.

When choosing fluorescent lighting, you need to consider the brightness of the light, the color temperature, and how long it will last. It would be best to make sure that the fluorescent bulbs are compatible with your ballast. This means that you have to check on the wattage of the bulbs and the voltage of your ballast.


Incandescent lighting is one of the oldest types of lighting, and it is still popular today. It uses a tungsten filament that is heated until it glows. This light is very warm and provides a soft, natural light. It is available in various shapes and sizes, but it is the least energy-efficient option.

When choosing incandescent lighting, you need to consider the wattage, lumens, and color temperature. You will also need to make sure that the fixtures can handle the heat from the bulb. Incandescent lights produce a lot of heat, so be sure to factor that into your decision when choosing a fixture.


High-intensity discharge (HID) lighting is a gas-discharge lamp that uses an arc light to produce a bright, white light. It is popular in streetlights, parking lots, and industrial applications. HID lighting is available in various shapes and sizes, but it is the most expensive option.

Like other bulbs, you have to make the right choice for what type of HID you want. Metal halide (MH) is the most popular choice for general lighting, while high-pressure sodium (HPS) is often used for streetlights and security lights. When choosing an HID bulb, you need to consider the wattage, lumens, and color temperature.


One of the most popular types of smart lights are LED bulbs. They’re energy-efficient, long-lasting, and controllable with a smartphone or tablet. You can usually dim them, change their colors, and even set schedules. Some brands allow you to control your bulbs remotely so that you can turn them on or off when you’re not home.

One downside to these smart bulbs is that they can be a bit pricey, but the long-term savings make them worth it in the end. Consider a smart LED light strip if you’re looking for an affordable option.

There are many different types of lighting available on the market today. When choosing a type of lighting, you need to consider the brightness of the light, the color temperature, how long it will last, and the cost. You can choose any option from the above list, depending on your needs and budget.


Have you stopped in at Oak Forest Bowl located on 152nd and Cicero in Oak Forest? This place has been here for over 60 years and it’s the gift that keeps on giving! There are multiple things to do here, bowling is not your only option. They have “the Park” which “includes full service bar, food menu, two volleyball courts, bean bag courts, fire pit , plenty of tables for guest to enjoy their food & drinks while dining outdoors.” ( They have leagues for volleyball and of course, leagues for bowling. They even have birthday party specials, an arcade room and slot machines as well.

This year Oak Forest Bowl will be the hub for the 13th Annual Oak Forest Fleadh’s 5K. Registration is still open if you’d like to participate. This is where the runners will meet pre and post race. The Fleadh is about “family, fitness, and fun” and the theme is “Fleadh Around Town!”

One of the most underrated thing about Oak Forest Bowl is their food. One may not think that their food is high quality and delicious because it’s a bowling alley, but believe us, our hungry plumber, Kevin, Kim and Keith devoured the food they serve. This place is underrated, and we’re here to show you why.

“And now, let me get this straight, you guys serve breakfast here?” Kevin was shocked to find out that Oak Forest Bowl serves breakfast all day long, you can’t find that at many places. Keith, the owner, had the perfect response. “Yeah, we do, we have senior leagues in the mornings, we open 9am every day. Even the days we don’t have senior leagues, we are still open at that time, so we started doing breakfast and it became pretty popular and we actually offer it during all hours of our operation. Sometimes you’re bowling and it’s 8pm, and you want an omelette or skillet, we can help you out. It’s to give everybody choices, we do have a lot of regular bowlers as well, and we try to make a pretty wide variety on the menu, because if you’re here every week you don’t want to eat the same hamburger or a hot dog.”

The pizzas they have are handmade. Keith explains that they make their own dough, and use their own homemade sauce and a homemade cheese blend. “We take pride in it, we feel like we took the steps up and got positive reviews, and why stop there, we try to go all out.”

Kevin ordered the Italian Beef Pizza, and he was amazed with how great it tasted. “This is good beef, I can tell this is good quality beef.” Keith explains how they go to a pizza convention in Las Vegas, The International Pizza Expo. After going there that’s when they decided to go full force with the pizza and the different unique creations not usually known, but taste so great together.

Kim Malecky-Iles is the Executive Director at the Oak Forest Chamber and she joined Kevin and Keith in trying the food. Kim is Kevin’s favorite co-host, they love sharing ideas about supporting local businesses like Oak Forest Bowl over some delicious food.

Kim was amazed with the cheese sticks, “if you are a cheese stick fan, this is where you want to go. It’s not all batter, it’s really good!” Kevin even agreed with her after trying the cheese stick that it is definitely a good cheese stick. “So much cheese, mozzarella, so good. So flavorful, it melts in your mouth. Fresh, gooey, and just amazing.” Kevin explained that the cheese sticks were “a mouthful”. Kim and Kevin both recommend you try these. Keith agrees, you should also try them, but he’s a little biased! “Can you see why these cheese sticks are one of my favorite things on the menu? We make quite a bit of these, we didn’t realize we would sell so many, which is a good problem to have!”

The chicken tenders that Kim and Kevin tried were also great quality. Kevin said they were calling his name and he was so glad he tried them. Kim tried the Buffalo while Kevin tried the garlic parmesan. Kim explained, “not too spicy, crunchy, and triple the size of where you normally get tenders.”

When everyone was done eating, they all agreed that this is a great spot for the 13th Annual Fleadh 5k hub because the food and the atmosphere are great.

We can’t wait for the Fleadh, which is March 5th, 2022. If you’d still like to register to be in the parade or the 5K, registration is open.

Register for the 5k:

Register for the Family Parade:

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Home renovations can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider before starting, from the budget to the type of renovation you want to do. Here are some tips on what you should know before starting your complete home renovation.

One of the most important things to consider before starting a renovation is what you want the end result to be. Do you want a complete home renovation, or are you just looking to update certain parts? Knowing what you want will help make sure that your renovation goes as smoothly as possible and that you don’t spend money on renovations that you won’t be pleased about in the end.


Planning a home renovation can be stressful and confusing.  What should you do first? How much will the project cost? Where should you start? It is important to have realistic expectations about what the budget will be before starting; otherwise, it can lead to frustration and disappointment. One way that people often underestimate their budgets is by not planning out all aspects of their renovations beforehand or by overestimating how long the renovation process will take them.


In order to create a realistic budget, it’s important to understand exactly what needs renovation, how much time it will take, and what materials are needed for each phase of work that needs to be done. If you are unsure, or if you have limited knowledge of your home renovation project, it is best to speak with a contractor to get their advice on what will need doing, how much time it will take, and why. It can also help to look at similar projects in your area for guidance. Another reason that budgets may not be realistic is that they fail to account for materials and supplies.

Often there are unexpected expenses that people hadn’t taken into consideration before starting, such as replacing all of the cabinets with new ones, or any appliances that may need to be replaced. It is best to create a separate budget for materials and supplies in case any of these expenses come up. Budgeting for things like appliances, lighting fixtures, paint, and flooring is important to avoid any excess costs after the renovation is complete.


It is extremely important to keep a positive attitude throughout the process. By staying positive, you will be able to better handle any problems that come up and will be more likely to finish the renovation on time and within budget. Here are a few tips for keeping your spirits high during your home renovation.

Pick a project you will enjoy Even with a positive attitude, some parts of the renovation process can be exhausting or frustrating. If you pick a project that you truly enjoy, you will be able to stay engaged in the process and hopefully push through any rough parts.  If you truly can’t stand your project and don’t feel comfortable starting it, consider getting help from a friend or relative who might be able to assist.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Making a schedule will allow you to create a timeline for the project and ensure that you finish all of your tasks within a reasonable amount of time. If you happen to run out of time, it is okay to finish the project another day or ask for help.


It is true that you will have some inconveniences as a result of your renovation. However, it is also true that those inconveniences will be temporary and the benefits far outweigh them. Most people find their new space more comfortable, attractive, and enjoyable than their old one after they finish renovations. Imagine coming home to a house just how YOU want it! Instead of being surrounded by everything someone else wants for you or what was handed down from generations ago. You’ll have all the modern conveniences with none of the clutter or outdated items you don’t care for anymore. In addition to feeling better about yourself in your own home, there are many other benefits associated with renovating: lowered utility bills from upgraded insulation and energy-efficient appliances, additional living space, and less maintenance.

Renovating a home can be a large pill to swallow in the beginning, but it is worth the effort in the end. By creating a realistic budget, staying positive, and following a schedule, homeowners can minimize stress and ensure that their renovation goes smoothly. After the renovation is complete, homeowners will enjoy living in their new space and reap the benefits of having updated appliances, insulation, and more living space.

Guest Contributor: Andrew Adams


It’s no cakewalk to complete a big home project because they tend to stack up when in the renovation process. It’s best to not lose your focus and concentration on the task ahead and take one step at a time. With these viable methods, you will be able to save time and money on your big home projects without any concern. Sometimes projects can pop up unexpectedly when things break down, and you may need ways to buffer the expenses and time consumption!



Maximum efficiency when it comes to your monetary goals can be tricky when building home projects. It’s very easy for a few smaller projects to pile up and become a large task overall. As the needs of your home increase, so does the demand for more funds to accomplish everything. Keeping a receipt of everything you purchase is important to document in your organized budget. Spontaneity is your enemy when it comes to home renovation, and letting your emotions take hold can drive the prices up. If you’re looking to save money, then calculate your budget and leave a bit of wiggle room because plans can fluctuate. Staying organized will give you a sense of confidence and a grasp over the situation so the final price isn’t a shock.



When it comes to the materials, design, and matching the quality of your new projects, you must plan it out well for the best results. This phase can take some time so it’s best to accept it and not rush through the process. Otherwise, you risk hasty decisions that could be regretted later. This is a time for brainstorming and contemplation regarding any particular design. For example, you could simply put a square of a particular wallpaper design up to see if it hits your eye right. There are many ways to plan out your project, but it’s definitely a creative and individual process. You can benefit from other ways to save money on big home projects and never pay full price again! You will be looking at whatever work is accomplished for a long time which is why it’s imperative this step is taken into consideration.


One unique way to save money and space is to sell things you come across around the house that you don’t need. Many people don’t bother and throw things away, but you can shave off a percentage of the project cost if you are patient and sell it instead. Clearing out your home will also give you an advantage when conducting the projects as there is more space to work and less clutter. If you have a lot of stuff you don’t use, then this is the perfect time to have a garage sale or consider selling online. This will really help you save a lot of money depending on how many possessions you own. It’s definitely a handy way to potentially cut the cost of any given project in half!


When renovating outdoors, it’s important to have all the logistics covered and OPE Dealers helps you with cutting costs and saving precious time. Time is definitely money when it comes to renovating, and it’s easy to waste time without professional guidance with outdoor projects. These dealers utilize outdoor power equipment software to effectively carry out tasks like inventory management, sales, and attaining the necessary equipment. Experience is another valuable quality because they are aware of many facets of the industry that a novice might miss while taking on a solo venture. Outdoor renovations can be particularly labor-intensive and you need whatever equipment you may need to get the job done



These are the right concepts to keep in mind when furthering your interests in larger home projects. You will gain more control over the situation and can save resources with a wiser approach. This is a modern time full of opportunities to handle certain projects yourself with instructional videos online. This type of specialized knowledge for renovation used to be more elusive and is available to access in detail regarding the subtleties of any home craft.