Our Favorite Things

We all have our favorite things – whether it’s in our closet, on a bookshelf, in our CD player or simply something we just can’t live without. Still Christmas shopping? We asked some of our favorite celebrities what their favorite things are, resulting in a great list of gift ideas from Christmas concerts to custom Photo Puzzles. You can find the best gift for your family. It’s a MidWeek Style feature that’s become one of my favorite holiday traditions. Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season filled with love, laughter, and, what the heck, some amazing gifts too!



Robert Uluwehionapuaiakawekiuokalani Cazimero
Entertainer/kumu hula

Favorite Christmas item: Many things but a real and fresh Christmas tree is the bomb. (He’s pictured with the Christmas tree in the lobby of his condo, which he decorates every year.)

Favorite holiday tradition: Christmas concert.

What is the best Christmas gift you ever received? Sounds corny, but a hug from someone I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Favorite item in your closet: Long-sleeve white shirt with French cuffs and my skinny jeans.

Favorite accessory: New puka shell necklace from Paumalu.

Something you have that you think every person should own: Confidence and gratitude.

Something you can’t live without: Friends.

Favorite book: River God.

Favorite CD: Mannheim Steamroller first Christmas album.

Favorite DVD: How to Train Your Dragon

Anything new happening/coming up? A new CD, perhaps Hula Vol. 3; Merrie Monarch 2015; and to celebrate 40 years teaching my Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua.

Stephanie Lum with husband Ryan and 1-year-old son Dylan

Stephanie Lum with husband Ryan and 1-year-old son Dylan

Stephanie Lum
Hawaii News Now anchor

Favorite Christmas item: We got married in December 2011 and these personalized ornaments were gifts from our friends and family. They mean a lot to us because they’re a reminder of our special day. Our family is getting bigger and we’ll need to get several more ornaments to add to the tree!

Favorite holiday tradition: Enjoying the neighborhood parade and seeing the holiday lights and displays with family after our annual Christmas dinner.

Favorite item in your closet: Black stretchy maternity skirt. I purchased several because they’re so comfortable!

Favorite accessory: Silver swirl sparkling drop earrings that I got in Thailand. They pretty much match any outfit.

Something you have that you think every person (or parent) should own? A “Grapple,” which looks like a toy rubber apple.

This small item is a big help when eating out or at an event with your baby. It has a suction cup on the bottom to keep it in place on a table and rubber cords that fasten around your child’s toys.

With this, your baby stays entertained and keeps you from having to constantly pick up toys dropped on the ground.

Another must-have? Stainless steel multiple blade food scissors. The blades easily cut up big adult portions into tiny bite-size pieces. When your baby is hungry, time is of the essence. The scissors are a lot faster than cutting food using a knife.

Another favorite is our Baby Breeza. It’s just like a coffee maker except it makes ready-to-drink warmed-up baby formula in however many ounces with the press of a button. It really comes in handy when your hands are full or you’re carrying your newborn baby, and you don’t have much help. Between those organic formula reviews we found online that helped us pick out the best formula for our baby and this. Motherhood is becoming a little bit easier.

Favorite book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Baby’s First Words and Goodnight Gorilla … because they’ve helped expand Dylan’s imagination and vocabulary, and he enjoys them so much.

Favorite CD: I have so many favorite music albums, but some of my favorite music artists are Stan Getz, Jason Mraz, Thievery Corporation, Alicia Keys and Bruddah Iz.

Favorite DVD: During the holidays The Sound of Music always puts me in a good mood and has me singing along!

Anything new happening/coming up? Yes, my husband and I are expecting twin boys! I’m due around the middle of March. We’re super excited for their arrival … but with two on the way plus Dylan, we know we have a lot of work cut out for us! With that said, Ryan and I are very blessed, fortunate and thankful for our family because they have always been willing to help with anything we need from the get go … including baby-sitting!

Scott Wong with wife Tamar, 3-year-old daughter Elyse and 8-month-old son Dylan Kahn  Photographed at Punahou School, where Scott graduated from in 1997  PHOTO BY BODIE COLLINS

Scott Wong with wife Tamar, 3-year-old daughter Elyse and 8-month-old son Dylan Kahn Photographed at Punahou School, where Scott graduated from in 1997 PHOTO BY BODIE COLLINS


Scott Wong
Head Coach, Pepperdine women’s volleyball

Favorite Christmas item: Love my hot Christmas drinks from Starbucks.

Favorite holiday tradition: Tearing through stocking stuffers on Christmas Eve!

What did you ask Santa for this year? Drone or new standup paddleboard … couldn’t decide!

What is the best Christmas gift you ever received? Wife! Married Dec. 22, seven years ago.

Favorite item in your closet: Any of my Quiksilver Waterman shirts – love them.

Favorite accessory: I travel a lot and when I do, I can’t live without noise-canceling Bose headphones and my neck pillow.

What is something you have that you think every person should own? Any Apple product!

Something you can’t live without? Coffee.

Favorite book: So many, but the Bible is what I read most often.

Favorite CD: Who uses CDs and DVDs? I don’t get to listen to my songs now – it’s all kids music, which is fine. My daughter loves I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.

Favorite DVD: When the Game Stands Tall. Just saw this movie and it really inspired me. I have always focused on helping create a program that focuses on the development of young people into not only great volleyball players, but also those who significantly give back to the communities that have given them so much.

What are you working on now? Just became head coach of Pepperdine and I have a lot of work to make it into a top team like Dave Shoji’s Rainbow Wahine.

Anything new happening/coming up? My wife and I have been blessed to have some great relationships with our time growing up and over the last five years of coaching in Hawaii, but we are looking forward to our move to Malibu.

Maila Gibson-Bandmann with husband Kelii Bandmann and their cocker spaniel Molly

Maila Gibson-Bandmann with husband Kelii Bandmann and their cocker spaniel Molly

Maila Gibson-Bandmann
Recording Aritst/Entertainer

Favorite Christmas item: Peppermint desserts! (She’s pictured with a chocolate peppermint cake from Rise & Shine in Mililani.)

What did you ask Santa for this year? For our Happy Christmas Concert at Ala Moana Hotel with Ben and Maila to sell out, and it sold out in 10 days!

What is the best Christmas gift you ever received? My husband and I purchased our home (in Mililani) in 2007 and moved in right before Christmas. It was brand new and made us feel such a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Favorite item in your closet: I have a pair of black suede Nine West boots that I’ve had for at least six or seven years and I love them!

Favorite accessory: My wedding ring.

What is something you have that you think every person should own? A really good planner that inspires them to write in it. While technology is great, I love seeing things written down.

Something you can’t live without: My Bible and my journal. I try to read my Bible and write in my journal every day.

Favorite book: I just read Girlboss and loved it. It took me a plane ride to Florida to read it! It’s funny and inspiring. As for novels, I also loved Memoirs of a Geisha.

Favorite CD: Mariah Carey’s Music Box. I have every lyric and note memorized, and love singing along with it from start to finish. My sister Kanoe and I used to listen to it over and over, and sing along with it in high school. I bust it out every now and then.

Favorite DVD: The Devil Wears Prada or Serendipity. I can watch both of those movies over and over, and I just love that they’re set in New York. And since it’s Christmas, let’s add Elf to the mix too! I love quoting the lines and when the reindeer take off into the sky at the end, I always tear up. It’s so innocent.

Anything new happening/coming up? Right now, I’m working on a new CD with Ben Vegas. Hopefully it will be out in February. We perform at Aulani every Thursday and at HASR Bistro on select Fridays. I’m also Realtor relations director for Hawaii VA Loans, and am having a blast helping to grow that business.

Kawehi Navarro with husband Blaze and daughter Lehiwa Kamakele

Kawehi Navarro with husband Blaze and daughter Lehiwa Kamakele

Kawehi Navarro
Flight attendant for Hawaiian Airlines, professional hula dancer and Hawaiian Host ambassador

Favorite Christmas item(s): My daughter Lehiwa, who was born on Christmas Eve, and, of course, Hawaiian Host chocolate products.

Favorite holiday tradition: Going to my grandma’s hale, spending time with my ohana and watching the keiki open their gifts, and, of course, all the ono food.

Favorite fashion accessory: My gold bracelets. I have one with my name on it, which I got for my 16th birthday, one for my high school graduation present, Blaze gave me one with our daughter’s name on it and I also have one from my mom that has my name on it because she wore it when she gave birth to me. I love my bracelets because they all have a sentimental meaning.

Favorite book: I own many Hawaiiana books from place names, ancient stories and, of course, Mary Kawena Pukui’s dictionary. As a Hawaiian, it’s important to stay connected with my culture and I encourage those who live here to get to know our culture. I also feel that it’s my job as a parent to pass down traditions and teach my children our culture, and hopefully they can continue the tradition for many years.

Besides my Hawaiiana books, I always will love The Notebook, and, yes, it’s also one of my favorite movies. I’m a sucker for romantic stories.

Something you can’t live without: Coffee! I love coffee … I don’t consume as much as I used to, but I have my morning brew and, only on occasion now, I will have my afternoon pick-me-up. Now that it’s the holidays, I love drinking holiday-flavored drinks. My current favorite is Hot Peppermint Mocha Latte.

Favorite CD: I personally don’t have a favorite CD, but my daughter loves listening to her Disney nursery rhyme CD in the car. She has a book to follow along with the different stories the Disney characters read. I like it because it’s educational and it’s Disney! We love everything Disney!