A friend of mine was researching what rice to buy and I told her I like Tamaki haiga a short grain rice with the germ still attached. It tastes like white rice but it's supposed to be more nutritious. Anyway, it tastes good and we use the gaba brown, quick, or white rice regular setting on the Zojirushi so can't really screw that up. Tamaki haiga is better than your usual bowl of rice and it's good for rice bowls, stir fried rice, etc. Some more rice thoughts from somebody else. Also, there's no "best" rice. Buy what you like.
Other rice: Anson Mill's Carolina Gold Rice is good especially for red beans and rice but it's a bit too expensive for the trouble. Carnaroli for risotto, bomba for paella, and Kodafarms has good sweet (sticky) rice, rice flour, and Kokuho rose. I've made but I don't really fool around too much with jasmine, basmati, or long grain rice. And I don't like brown rice.
For pasta we go with Rustichella D'Abruzzo for spaghetti, bucatini, mezze maniche, farfalloni, and orecchiette. There's a couple bulk sales a year at Market Hall for this pasta and I grab some when it happens. Otherwise, Barilla is fine and fresh, home made pasta is easy enough.
I'm stillbuying and using this soap/savon de Marseille. I just cut off a piece, however much when I need it, and haven't had to think about a body soap for over a decade now. It lathers well enough as a sometimes shampoo too. I bought three bars that should last me the next three years. I wanted something simple, basic, and genuinely good quality. Weird to be posting about soap I know, but might be helpful for someone. Also this is a bit of a maximizer/satisficer exercise, I searched for and got the "best" soap, no need to revisit that decision. Kind of a bifl (buy it for life) decision as well.
Portugal makes some high quality and relatively inexpensive home goods too e.g. La Graccioza for towels and linens (but already settled with linens)
Le Labo hand soap and lotion, Hinoki (bathroom). Pretentious but nice.
Aesop for hand soap and lotion, Resurrection and Reverence (kitchen and bathroom). Also pretentious but nice.
Caswell-Massey (almond, jockey club, number six, and verbena scents) bar soap and almond hand soap and lotion. These were fine. Packaging and scents from above Claus Porto, Le Labo, and Aesop are better.
Eiderdown comforter is the opposite of a weighted blanket, the premium is with the high warmth to low weight ratio. The down is collected from nests and is about as environmentally friendly and responsible as can be. $4800
I simplified my workout goals to run 4 miles every day and hope to ramp up to 5 to 6 miles a day at some point. Rest days will generally be Mondays with some ad hoc rest days depending how I feel.
Gear wise, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% are amazing shoes. I used to run in Asics either Nimbulus or Cumulus but these Vaporflys feel way better. They have carbon soles and some nice cushioning so my body doesn't feel wrecked after my runs. It's a noticeable and significant difference.
I'm usually pretty skeptical about heavily marketed gear/features. But I do understand how carbon fiber soles can both absorb the force of my running and spring me forward. Carbon fiber in road bikes definitely absorb choppy roads so it makes sense it would do the same in shoes. Carbon fiber is one of the coolest materials.
The other item that's helping me run and recover quicker is this Hypervolt Plus massage gun. I was skeptical about this too but it works. Recovery is a big deal if I want to actually run every day.
Considering it's just shoes and a massage gun and not like a bike, bike parts/maintenance, swimming membership (for pool access), gym membership, seems like I should be able to save some money too.
My go to polo shirts are the Sebastian style from Orlebar Brown and Adrian/Roth styles from John Smedley. They're both pricey but the quality and the feel are pretty good (moreso for the Smedley polo since it's Sea Island cotton). Orlebar Brown does seem to fade quite a bit over time.
Happy to take other recommendations for polo shirts if you happen to stumble upon this post and have something good for me to try out.