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Handmade jewelry has island touch

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    Jewelry from the Knotty Mermaid boutique.
    Zak! designs' Confetti dishware.
    Lily’s Dark Chocolate.
    ChicoBag’s Produce Stand rePETe mesh bags.
    Coola Suncare SPF 30 mineral sunscreen.

Haleiwa-based designer Keri Bennett spent countless hours collecting shells and beach glass for her Knotty Mermaid online jewelry boutique. Among the choices are a 14-karat gold-filled Criss-cross cuff that can also be worn on your upper arm and the Heartbeat band. The hand-hammered and polished bracelets are $94 (available in sterling silver-filled versions for $79). Bennett’s Mary Jean rosary is handcrafted with wooden beads, shells and sea glass for $144 (gold filled) or $129 (silver filled). Visit

—Nancy Arcayna

For soothing sun care, go with minerals

Chemical-based sunscreen often causes my skin to redden, so I prefer a soothing mineral formula. Coola Suncare is a luxe choice, at a luxe price ($36 and up). The 1.7-ounce SPF 30 mineral sunscreen for faces serves as a matte primer under your makeup (it contains a common cosmetic “smoothing” ingredient, cyclopentasiloxane, among other ingredients), and can also be worn to the beach. It’s water resistant and includes anti-inflammatory ingredients such as organic evening primrose and linseed oil. I prefer the cucumber scent, but there is also an unscented version. I like the 3-ounce tube of Sport sunscreen (SPF 35) with a bright citrus-mimosa scent and phytoplankton extracts that give a slight phosphorescent effect; it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes. The Baby potion (SPF 50) is paraben- and preservative-free, and exudes the delicious scent of cocoa butter.

Find Coola products at Nordstrom, V Boutique at the Waialua Sugar Mill, Hairscapes at Waterfront Plaza, and other stylish outlets in Honolulu. Info:

—Elizabeth Kieszkowski

Produce bags help eliminate plastic

While Honolulu’s new plastic bag ban doesn’t include bags used for loose fruit, veggies, nuts and grains at supermarkets, I discovered a great alternative for those who want to take plastic reduction a step further. ChicoBag’s Produce Stand rePETe mesh bags are lightweight and handy, measuring 12.5 by 16 inches. One side is mesh and the other solid nylon made from recycled plastic bottles. The reusable bags are machine washable and have a drawstring at the top. I bought a three-pack for $11.95 on; also check

—Nina Wu

No-sugar treats satisfy cravings

Lily’s chocolate has pretty much been a game changer for my daily chocolate fix. Since cutting refined sugar from my diet, my choices are extremely limited. After about a year of searching I found Lily’s, which is sweetened with the herbal sweetener stevia and erythritol, a naturally occurring, low-calorie sugar alcohol. It comes in original, almond, crispy rice and coconut varieties for $5 at Down to Earth and Whole Foods.

—Krystle Marcellus

Confetti dishware brightens your day

Get into the summer party spirit with colorful, retro Confetti dishware from Zak! designs. The dishwasher-safe bowls and plates are made from recycled melamine using a patented process, with little flecks of color adding a festive touch. This package of red, white and blue mixing bowls, ranging in size from 18 ounces to 3.5 quarts, is $48 and 9-inch plates are $6.50 each at The Compleat Kitchen at Kahala Mall, or check for the entire line.

—Steven Mark

5 Things We Love is a shortlist of newly discovered stuff you have got to see, hear, wear, use or eat. Please keep in mind that featured products may be in short supply and may not be available at all store locations; prices may vary. Tell us what you are loving this week by emailing

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