1. Try these treats
Don’t let the "whole grain" in Ba-Le’s Whole Grain Corn Puffs keep you from munching on this light, crunchy, sweet, nutty treat. There’s also a furikake version, and we all know furikake makes everything taste better. Am I right? It’s $2.99 at Foodland with Maika’i card.
Also try Ba-Le’s Cranberry Crisps. — Christie Wilson
2. Sophie’s my choice
Though I’ve never met her, Sophie Kinsella is a friend. Her modern-day fairy tales are full of romance, escapist frivolity and comic materialism. And, with a new book, "Mini Shopaholic," hitting shelves this week, it’s a great time to become acquainted with Sophie. You may think you already know her work through the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic," but if the only Becky Bloomwood you know was the one portrayed in the slapstick-infected 2009 film, you’ve cheated yourself out of an unexpected tale of redemption and romance.
"Mini Shopaholic" (Dial Press, $25), the sixth book in the Shopaholic series, is available from amazon.com for $13.50. Catch up on all things Sophie Kinsella at www.sophiekinsella.com. — Donica Kaneshiro
3. Another reason to visit Maui
It’s easy to taste why Tropica’s exclusive Dragonberry Bomb, Over Ice, the creation of master mixologist Freddie Sconfienza, won top prize at the First Annual Mixology Bartending Competition in Lahaina. Chances are the exotic drink made from the fruit of a vine like cactus will earn top marks with your palate, too. It’s just the right balance of sweetness and tart crispness. That’s not surprising given that dragon berries, the concoction’s main ingredient, share the vine with large, white fragrant moonflowers sometimes referred to as "Queen of the Night." Remember, you are what you drink.
Tropica is at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali (www.westinmaui.com, 808-667-2525). — Allison Schaefers
4. Wrist wear that’s light as air
I don’t like wearing watches, so it was important when I did get one that it feel as close to nothing as possible. Enter Swatch, the Swiss company known for its colorful and playful designs. The watches in its "Skin" collection are only 3.9 millimeters thick and are virtually weightless. Many surfers and kayakers prefer the tough-looking, ironclad diver models, but these sleek designs tuck easily under the sleeve of your rash guard and are waterproof to 100 feet.
They cost $105 at the Swatch shop in Waikiki (2335 Kalakaua Ave.; 922-1401). — Steven Mark
5. Deals for the desktop
One of the best (and most dangerous) things about working at Restaurant Row is its proximity to Fisher Hawaii. For office supply geeks, this is heaven! There are hidden deals everywhere on everything from pencils and mailing labels to mochi crunch. The main store is located at 450 Cooke St. (524-8770), with a downtown branch at 1072 Fort Street Mall (524-0700). — Gordon Y.K. Pang