ASICS: A Review of Roadhawk FFs

About six months ago, I grew tired of mediocre running shoes. I had spent $100 on Adidas Parleys, only to have terrible back pain every time I ran. Also, I began to realize that every time I was using Nike running shoes, the padding wore out rather quickly.

I think I always thought of Asics and New Balance as “ugly,” so never really gave them a second look. However, some of their more recent styles are actually cute. Of course, these brands are known for comfort and support, so I decided to give them a shot.

I happened upon the Roadhawk FFs at DSW, but they didn’t have the size I wanted in the color I wanted. I found them somewhere online (for about ~$70 I think?) and happily wore them for seven months without the padding wearing out. Mind you, I use them at least 3-4 times per week for running and power walking, both indoors on a treadmill and outside on the pavement. For the price and quality vs. value, I had found my new favorite running shoes. There was no lengthy, painful break-in period — maybe once or twice with a little rubbing. After that, it was as if they were made for my foot.

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When the inevitable shin splints started (the hallmark of running shoes worn down), I jumped back online to see if I could get a few more pairs. This time, I was able to find them on ASICS website. As of Oct. ’18, they are on sale for $50 per pair, and if you’re lucky, there will be an additional coupon code floating around the internet. A few weeks back, I was able to find a 40% coupon code AND put the order through Ebates for some additional savings. (I keep thinking I should be one of those people on the Ebates website because of my lifetime savings of $2,200…yes, that’s right, over 2k just with Ebates!)

I bought three pair!

Huddleson Linens Custom Order: A Review

We are still here! Onward we continue into the full-home renovation that we boldly took on 1.5 years ago. At this point, many of the rooms are just about done, allowing me to get to the fun part: decor.

Right now, we are working on the “dining room,” which is its own space, but also technically one of the wings in our L-shape kitchen area.

The control variables: the flooring itself that we already purchased and my late aunt’s custom dining room set. We did end up re-staining the dining room espresso/black set, though, because the cherry wood stain did not work with the colors of the room:

 

Ok, ok. So. For one of the final touches, I needed an oval shaped-tablecloth to complement both the chairs and the following home decor pieces that I already selected for the space:

 

 

Emily & Merritt Rose Rug, Pottery Barn; Cafe Italia Tiles, Lowes; Sputnik Flush Mount, Lowes; Dover Cordless Roman Shade, JCPenney

I looked high and low, eventually realizing that most tablecloths on the market right now are seriously ugly! While I love Overstock.com, Target, Pottery Barn, West Elm, etc., as much as the next person, there is a huge gap in the market for really nice looking, modern, high-quality tablecloths.

Enter: Huddleson Linens. This place is amazing! As soon as I went onto the website, I immediately fell in love with one of the patterns, as it offers the “updated vintage” feel that we are trying to give our home:

 

 

When I read that the material was 100% Italian linen but sewn in the U.S.? My two favorites places? Well, consider me sold. There was just one problem: none of the tablecloths were close enough to the size of our table.

I noticed that the site had a “Custom Linens” tab, but I figured such an order would either be extremely expensive, or only available in bulk. However, I couldn’t get that pattern out of my head — it was exactly what I wanted — so I emailed customer service just to see. 

Later that same day, the owner, Tim, got back to me with a price quote based on my rough dimensions. Surprisingly, the quoted price was less than that of the stock oval tablecloth because my table is actually smaller. (It stands to reason to charge less money for less material, but how many companies would charge you more just by virtue of it being a custom order? Most of them, I’d say.) After a few email volleys with Tim, who helped me make sure I was giving him the right measurements, I paid the invoice and waited.

What a pleasant experience.

My husband and I literally said to one another, “There’s no possible way it was that easy. He almost needs to make it more complex and annoying just to make this believable!” Maybe I’m just jaded, but customer service is really in trouble these days. Huddleson Linens reminds us that there are still GOOD companies out there who care about their customers.

Arrival Day

A few weeks later, my custom tablecloth arrived– packaged adorably, and with a handwritten note, I might add. The Huddleson brand was communicated through every piece of the packaging, right down to the plastic wrap and ribbon.

 

The material is beautiful: a very lightweight, yet substantial linen with a nice saturation of color in the stripes. Of course, it fit my table perfectly, just as Tim assured me it would. I can’t recommend Huddleson linens enough. Now that I know this measurement is perfect, I can order any of the other linens (which I plan to do). I also can’t wait to check out their bed sheets.

And no, this is not a paid post at all. As a small business owner who prides herself on the lost art of customer service, I wanted to draw attention to someone else who really, truly cares about their product and the people that keep them in business. Thank you, Huddleson, for making our home a little bit more beautiful! We are almost there with our dining room, now!

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On Happiness and Fleeting Moments

Over the past few years, I’ve realized that the moments where I feel the fleeting buzz of intense happiness occur when I am with my husband and dog, doing nothing particularly special.

Before we bought our house outside of Boston, we lived in a condo, and I wanted more than anything to give the doggie her own yard. Just the other day, I peeked out the kitchen window and watched her run free in the back, panting and happy while my husband threw her tennis ball around.

I am jolted, profoundly, when I realize, in these moments, that bursts of happiness are not the product of where we place our energy.

Yet, we continue to work, buy, consume.

There is something called a “blue zone,” a place where more people have longer life expectancies than, perhaps, nearby areas. These identified blue zones consist of Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Nicoya, Costa Rica. A feature piece in The New York Times Magazine from 2012 sheds a lot of light on what, specifically, the lifestyles of these people consist of—particularly Ikaria, Greece.

Researchers cite their diets as being primarily plant-based and preservative free, but also draw attention to lifestyle habits, such as community connectedness, socializing, and living with a sense of purpose. Most of us try for some of these to one degree or another, but the author of the article brings up an important point: when you are an individual in a community that is not conducive to such a lifestyle, it is tremendously difficult to maintain it. Basically, the habits contributing to longevity are cultivated by being near others who practice them too.

I sometimes wonder if even a reduction in stress levels could do wonders for us. Sure, the standard American diet leaves a lot to be desired in terms of health, but we are all depressed, overworked, and anxious. Thus, when the numerous advertisements showcasing fast food and restaurants appear, well, it’s easy to see why many of us turn to food as comfort. (For what it’s worth, an ad about fresh mozzarella is the extent of food commercials that I’ve ever seen on Italian television.)

Somehow, we need to do better. We need to stop chasing happiness and just be.

“HAPPINESS.—A butterfly, which when pursued, seems always just beyond your grasp; but if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” —The Daily Crescent, 1848

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