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Be a pumpkin carving ninja!

Find a heavy pumpkin: the denser, the better.
Don’t fight it: let the shape, physical features and colour of the pumpkin guide your end product.
Kit up: rummage through kitchen drawers for ice cream scoops, melon ballers, citrus zesters, paring knives, cheese graters and vegetable peelers.
Gear up: Wear gloves to prevent cuts.
Wash up: Wash your pumpkin before carving, but consider waiting until you're finished carving before cleaning the interior to provide more structural integrity while carving.  
Mark it up: use a permanent waterproof marker to help map out your masterpiece.
Go 15%, or 100%: You don’t need to cut all the way through; scrape the surface of the pumpkin for contrast.
Don't be too fussy: Sometimes you need to start carving to get into it.
Remember to take pictures for posterity!  

Fall planter box; soft palette

Different take on pumpkin/fall planter box. Has a softer palette and the cyclamen can go right through past Christmas, maybe with some paper whites and greenery. Pretty!

Debt: a four letter word

Is it perhaps the worst four letter word you know? D-E-B-T. Of course, having a mortgage on your home and a post secondary education are considered good debt, because they are investments in your future. But as a rule, don't bother eying up your friend's new furniture or this season's must have bag. You may be able to see the consumer goods; what you can't see is the consumer debt they are dragging around with them.

Eating out: split checks or group cost divide?

Everyone knows that eating out is expensive. It's also perhaps the only way you may see your friends socially in an era when kitchens are small and everyone wants to break bread together. What do you do if you are the caesar salad bread sticks water person and your friends are charcuterie platter roast lamb bottle of fine shiraz people? You don't want to see rude or cheap - that's never fun. But it's certainly unfair for your friends to expect to divide the bill equally at the end of the night. If it's a close split - everyone had wine, everyone had a similar entree - then just divide the bill. The extra $10 it may cost you isn't really worth quibbling over and perhaps next time you'll have the prawns. But if it's obscenely unfair, ask for separate bills upfront and avoid the issue altogether. Thoughts?

Built -in compost idea: no brainer

Isn't this a great idea? Quick way to shift your green waste from above board to a container hidden below, without getting seeds 'n' peels 'n' stuff all over the floor. Something to consider if you are renovating your kitchen.

Pumpkin planter box

Like many people, Tightwad LOVES the fall. The crisp, brisk air, the changing colour and the giant orange orbs that are so versatile: pies and planters! Check out this gorgeous planter idea as seen on the lovely gardenista.