Hello, Friday! Link Roundup: 25 Last-Minute Halloween Ideas

Happy Friday! I hope you are having a great week. We finally got some chilly weather here in New York, the leaves are changing colors, and it really feels like fall. I’m loving it!

Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s been on my mind lately. Are you ready?

I’ve seen so many creative ways to celebrate this creepiest of holidays. While you may not have time to throw an awesome Sharknado Party (a la Brooklyn Limestone … she has the best Halloween ideas!) or create a Haunted Mansion Graveyard Inspired Party, there is still time to do something fun and festive!

25 Last-Minute Halloween IdeasPhotos courtesy (clockwise): Young House Love, A Beautiful Mess, Fleece Fun & Your Southern Peach.

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I’m Getting Organized: Bedroom Closet Makeover!

I always thought my apartments would get bigger as I got older, but the opposite seems to be happening. I’ve gone from a large 2 bedroom in Chicago to a small 2 bedroom in San Francisco to a tiny 1 bedroom in New York.

My husband and I really lucked out with our New York apartment, so I’m definitely not complaining. It’s the perfect size for the two of us, and it has a lot of charm. The main issue is storage – we need more!

This week, I finally switched out my summer and winter clothes, and it was the perfect opportunity to reorganize my bedroom closet. That’s right, MY bedroom closet. Much to my husband’s chagrin, he got the boot to the hall closet a while ago.

Bedroom Closet Makeover: BeforeIt’s a walk-in closet, but a very narrow one. When we moved in, I tried configuring the closet a number of different ways. I finally ended up hanging my clothes along the back wall, using a large shoe rack on the left, and hanging my scarves, belts, and handbags hang on the right wall.

At some point this summer, I became quite lazy about hanging my clothes, and they started piling up on the shoe rack. Between these piles of clothes and the scarves and handbags sticking out from the right wall, things had gotten really messy and tight.

The first thing I did was remove all the folded/stacked clothes, take out any extra hangers, and unpack my winter clothes. Everything went on the bed, and then I began sorting.

Closet Makeover: Organizing Clothes on the BedThen I moved my summer clothes to an under-the-bed storage container. This thing holds a ton of clothes – it’s the perfect way to maximize space in a small apartment.

Closet Makeover: Storing Summer Clothes Under the BedNext, I moved onto my shoes. I don’t have room to store my sandals, so I simply moved them from the top of the shoe rack to the bottom. My husband keeps his shoes there, as well, and I organized those a bit, too.

Reorganizing Shoe RackI also have an over-the-door shoe organizer (I may have a small shoe problem!), which hangs on the inside of closet door.

Over-the-Door Shoe OrganizerDon’t worry, I filled up those empty spaces!

After organizing my shoes, I moved my jeans, lounge wear, exercise jackets, and t-shirts back to the top of my shoe rack – neatly folded, of course!

Organizing Clothes on ShelvesThe right wall was next.  Previously, I had a bunch of hangers (full of scarves and belts) hanging on two hooks. All these hangers stuck out so far that it was difficult to get to the back of the closet.

To fix this problem, I simply added two nails to the lower half of the wall and moved a scarf hanger and the belt hanger there. Then I rehung another scarf hanger and my most-used handbags back on the original hooks. I also moved the handbag file (it holds bags I don’t use very often) to the opposite wall next to the shoe rack (not shown here).

Double Hang Scarves to Conserve Space.Finally, I reorganized all of my hanging clothes. I like to hang similar items together, so I can find clothes easily.

Organizing hanging clothes in closet.I’m so happy with how my closet turned out!

Bedroom Closet Makeover: Before & AfterIt’s still tiny, but at least it’s organized, and I can actually reach my clothes. Now comes the hard part: keeping it this way!

What part of your home needs to be organized?

P.S. Check out how I organize my jewelry, too!

I’m linking up with Sweet Bella Roos’ Pin It Thursday and Creations By Kara’s Organizing Ideas Link-Up.

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Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar

Now that fall is here, it’s officially comfort food season. After a chilly day, there is nothing better than curling up with some hot chocolate, macaroni and cheese, cookies … basically anything full of carbs!

One of my favorite carbohydrates is the potato. Whether it’s baked, fried, roasted, or tater totted (ha), if it’s a potato, then I’m happy. I especially love twice-baked potatoes. Here is one of my favorite recipes: twice-baked potatoes filled with broccoli and cheese. These overstuffed potatoes are easy to make and delicious, and they can be served as a main coarse (add a salad) or a side dish.

Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and CheddarOverstuffed Twice-Backed Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar

Serves 4 (main dish) to 8 (side dish) people

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium baking potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or other cheese)
  • 16-oz. package frozen cut broccoli
  • salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a fork, pierce each potato all over. This will allow built-up steam to escape, and keep the potatoes from exploding in the oven (wouldn’t that be fun?!?). Place the pierced potatoes directly on the oven rack. Bake until tender (tested with your fork), about 45-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook broccoli in microwave according to package directions. Set cooked broccoli aside until it’s cool enough to handle, and then cut any large chunks of broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces.Remove cooked potatoes from oven and set aside to cool. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.

When potatoes have cooled, slice off the top third. Remove potato flesh from the top slice and add it to a large bowl and then discard skin. Using a small spoon, scoop flesh from potatoes and add to bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Set potato skins aside on a greased baking sheet.

Scoop out potatoes.Add butter, Dijon, garlic powder, and sour cream to the bowl. Mash potatoes until well combined. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and mix well. Season to taste with salt.

Mash PotatoesAdd CheeseOops! I didn’t realize until looking at these pictures that I used a jack/cheddar mix, instead of sharp cheddar that was also in my refrigerator. Guess what? No one noticed, and they were still delicious!

Add broccoli to mashed potatoes and stir until well-mixed. Taste again and add additional salt, if necessary.

Stuff each potato skin with 1/4 of the mashed potato mixture.

Stuff potatoes with filling.After the potatoes are stuffed, carefully top with the remaining cheese.

Top Potatoes with CheesePlace baking sheet in oven and bake until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through (about 25-30 minutes). Enjoy!

Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and CheddarOverstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and CheddarOther ideas for baked potatoes:

  • Top with chili and pepper jack cheese
  • Stuff with black beans, salsa, and monterey jack
  • Pile high with garlic-sauteed spinach, cherry tomatoes, and feta

What is your favorite comfort food?

I’m linking up with Creations by Kara’s Look What I Made Wednesday, Sweet Bella Roos’ Pin It Thursday, and Mommy Hates Cooking’s Make Bake Create.

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