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5 Things We Love






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Fight the bite

I spent all my college years covered in red, angry mosquito bites. How I wish I’d known about Aspivenin back when I lived in the dorms at Hawaii Loa College! Aspivenin is a simple, plastic syringe-like device that sucks the venom out of insect bites. My skin doesn’t usually react until a day or two after I’m bitten, and then the bites turn into golf-ball-sized welts. Now I use Aspivenin as soon as I know I’ve been bitten. A little drop of clear liquid comes out and, voila, I know it’s working. Sometimes I have to repeat the extraction process for a couple of days, but my bites never get as big as they used to and I don’t experience the allergic reaction. Visit www.aspivenin.com/english/main.html. — Martha Shade, Los Angeles

Choco-like

When I saw Sweet Paradise Chocolatier pop up in Kailua a few years ago, I was like, "Meh." I didn’t even step inside. The exterior didn’t scream luxury, and any other chocolate just isn’t worth the calories. But recently, curiosity got the better of me.

Master chocolatier Melanie Boudar, who honed her skills at the Ecole Chocolat of Vancouver, Canada, and the Culinary Institute of America, creates handcrafted gems, working with local chocolate growers to produce a complex flavor profile. Sure, her chocolates are beautiful to look at, but they also pass the crucial taste test. Sweet Paradise offers more than 40 true-to-life flavors like Lavender Honey Truffle, Cappuccino Tiramisu and Dark Chocolate Raspberry. A four-piece box will set you back $10, but every bite is worth the price. Sweet Paradise is at 20-A Kainehe St.; call 230-8228. Also on Maui in the Lahaina Design Center and soon at Wailea Gateway Center. — Nadine Kam

Funny bunny

They call this guy the Happy Bunny, though in our office we refer to him as Mean Bunny — and oh, how we love him! He has a message for everyone: divas ("I sincerely want you to genuinely worship me"); office managers ("Make all the stupid people shut up"); and meanies ("The Boring Awards called. You won!"). Created by Jim Benton, the Happy Bunny is available on T-shirts, calendars, bookmarks, stickers and more. Visit jimbenton.com. — Joleen Oshiro

Slow cook, fast clean

Anything that makes mealtime easier is great in my book, which means I break out my slow cooker on a fairly regular basis. Toss everything in the pot and when you come home, it’s dinner. The only thing that takes a while is the cleanup, when you have to let the pot cool all the way down before scrubbing the baked-on goo. Enter Reynolds’ Slow Cooker Liners, which make Crock-Pot cleanup as easy as the prep. Just slip one of the large, heat-resistant plastic bags in the pot before adding ingredients, and there’s no goo to clean up. A box of four liners sells at Longs or grocery stores for $2 to $3. — Donica Kaneshiro

That’s my baby

The BOB Revolution has become my stroller of all strollers, and I’m hoping it will last for a while, given that it carries up to 70 pounds. With 16-inch rear wheels and a 12-inch front swivel wheel, it’s an all-terrain jogging stroller that’s also good for running errands around town. The suspension system with shock absorbers can be adjusted according to baby’s weight. The BOB Revolution is available at Baby Emporium and Bikefactory and online for about $320 to $420; www.bobgear.com. — Nina Wu

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