Lentil Scare

Today's New York Times has a story on India's ban on lentil exports and the impact this has had on the Asian Indian community in Jackson Heights, NY: "Trouble in Queens as Lentil Prices Rise" (registration required). When X and I visited my parents on Long Island over Labor Day Weekend, the lentil shortage was the talk of the Indian community. My cousin told my mother that the local Shoprite still had a good selection of lentils at great prices (she had already stocked up and then felt free to alert my mother).


The Case Against Diamonds

There's a nice article on this local shop from the Puget Sound Business Journal focusing on its founder Jim Tuttle: "The business model seems to appeal to Northwest sensibilities. Tuttle said his customers include people who like the idea of working with and supporting artists, and people who are looking for something unique. Tuttle also sells Canadian-branded diamonds, which appeal to customers concerned about buying 'blood diamonds' or 'conflict diamonds,' which are mined in war zones and sold secretly to bankroll insurgent armies. Tuttle said customers also appreciate Canada's labor and environmental protection laws. "

Speaking of blood diamonds, there is an upcoming movie that will be titled, "Blood Diamond" starring Leonardo Dicaprio and directed by Edward Zwick (click here to see the trailer in Flash or Windows Media). Debeers is reportedly concerned about the film's impact on diamond sales. This is an ironic development considering how Debeers relied on Hollywood and the Royal Family to convince the public that diamonds are rare and precious, when all evidence is to the contrary.


Non Diamond Engagement Ring

X and I have been looking for either sapphire or emerald solitaires in a platinum setting. Surprisingly, http://www.bluenile.com/ doesn't have a great selection of non-diamond engagement rings. But, it is a good starting point for picking out the specs for your ring. And, they are having a sweepstakes to win a diamond valued at $5,000 when you visit the site.

X and his sister went jewelry shopping this past Saturday. It was to be a surprise, but he was so impressed by one of the stores that he thought we should shop together at Green Lake Jewelry Works.


Junebug Weddings

We live in Seattle, WA, so I've been looking for a local wedding planner. I really liked the website for Junebug Weddings and will give them a call. They may be a bit too posh for our modest budget. But, visiting the website allows you to enter a contest for a $500 shopping spree to Tulip, one of my favorite local clothing boutiques.

Wedding Porn

Ever since X and I started discussing getting married a couple of months ago, I've been DVRing a bunch of wedding shows including Real Weddings from The Knot, Bridezillas, Platinum Weddings, and A Wedding Story. By far, Bridezillas(new season began this week) is the most entertaining and probably the most real. It shows brides coping with nerves, limited budgets, and family. In the other shows, wedding planning is shown to be a harmonious, seamless process. We recently watched a Real Weddings episode featuring an Indian couple, who had a traditional Gujarati ceremony that incorporated a western tradition of exchanging rings. All of these shows have contributed to our determination to have a simple, no-frills wedding. According to the NYT (citing Modern Bride), the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $26,000. X and I would like to spend less.



I'm a bzzagent and joined the smartbargains campaign a few weeks ago. X and I got a head start on our registry by purchasing this great Sitram 11-piece stainless steel set. After checking the usual suspects (amazon, target, froogle, etc.), this ended up being the best deal for a 10-piece+ tri-ply steel set with aluminum bases. If anyone feels like checking smartbargains out, type in BZZ before checkout to get free shipping.

$72 Billion Spent on Weddings Worldwide

This stat is from Business Week editor, Gene Marcial (View with Windows Media/Flash).