5 Things We Love is a shortlist of newly discovered stuff you have got to see, hear, wear, use or eat. What are you loving this week? Send a brief description of your latest favorite thing, where to find it and how much it costs, along with your name and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
#1 // Dried mango hits the mark
Like most people in Hawaii, I love all things mango. But after years of snacking on li hing mango, I was burned out on the stuff. In most cases the thick pieces were dehydrated to an almost crystallized state — too sweet for my taste. I still needed something to tide me over until mango season, so when I spied 7D Dried Mangoes on sale at Longs, I gave it a try. The thin-sliced fruit, naturally processed with cane sugar, has a velvety texture on your tongue and is dried just enough to give it a bit of chewiness while keeping the tart flavor. Regular price is $2.79 for a 3.5-ounce package at Longs; also available at food stores. — Christie Wilson
#2 // Travel book gives packing advice
My favorite find is the clever and helpful book "Secrets of the Packing Queen — A Practical yet Humorous Guide to Travel," by Hawaii author Jeri Lynch. I love to travel but find packing a challenge! This fun read not only has given me great tips on packing efficiently, but also makes a great gift. It’s available at packqueen.com and amazon.com for $24.99. — Cindy Nichols, Kahala
#3 // Shampoo spray skips the residue
For years, women have used dry shampoos (and before that baby powder)to sop up excess hair product and salvage blowouts after a workout. The only problem was the white residue that almost always accumulated near your scalp unless your application technique was perfect. But with Oscar Blandi’s new Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray, the lengthy name says it all. The clear powdery substance sprays on in a fine mist and makes your hair styleable in less than a minute. Buy it for $11 for a 1.4-ounce can or $23 for 5 ounces at Sephora. — Donica Kaneshiro
#4 // Versatile buckets are felt and fun
These sturdy felt buckets, only $2 each at Target, are high on the international scale of cuteness –funny animal faces! — but they score extra points for versatility. They come in several animal images and inanimate objects such as flowers, robots and sports balls. The label calls them "Easter baskets," but they could also be pressed into service as gift bags, lunch buckets, a tote for toys or craft supplies, goodie bags for a birthday party, even a purse for the young or young at heart. They stand about 7 inches tall, so they’re big enough to be useful but not big enough to be cumbersome.
If it’s your week for snacks for the soccer or baseball team, consider tucking them into sports-themed buckets. You’ll be a hero. — Betty Shimabukuro
#5 // Comedian Maron’s podcast hits its stride
The rise of the podcast has been a boon for stand-up comedy. I’ve been happy to see a favorite stand-up find a greater audience with "WTF with Marc Maron," available for free download on iTunes or at wtfpod.com. After an uneven start, the podcast has evolved into a forum for insightful discussions with great comedy minds,among them filmmaker Judd Apatow, comic-of-the-moment Louie C.K. and late-night talker Conan O’Brien. Maron is also great when he strays from the comedy formula, letting listeners in on what amounts to therapy sessions,or goes outside the world of laughter to welcome, say, authors Chuck Klosterman and Sarah Vowell, as he did recently, the latter discussing her Hawaii-themed book "Unfamiliar Fishes." But at its heart, "WTF"is about the comedy and is essential for fans of humor. — Sjarif Goldstein