Archives by: Breanna Mona

Breanna Mona

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About the author

Breanna Mona is a Northeast Ohio freelance writer specializing in entertainment features and theater reviews.

Breanna Mona Posts

Planes, (Dress) Trains & Automobiles New Year, New Discoveries at NEO Museums

2019 Editions January/February Featured Fun January/February 2019 Magazine
Take a fresh look at Northeast Ohio's museums this winter. You'll like what you'll discover - military airplanes, high fashion and quirky exhibits. Try one a week (or more) and see what's new - and old - in art, nature and history. ...
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Money Moves; How 529 Savings Plans Benefit You & Your Grandchild

Education & Technology Financial Planning Grandparenting Magazine Money NEO Grandparent September/October 2018
“If education has been a family tradition and core value, it's a wonderful way to leave a lasting legacy,” she says. “The estate tax advantage of placing assets in 529 plans is also compelling. 529 plan assets are not included in taxable estates. This can save significant estate taxes for high net worth families.” ...
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Summer Festival Roundup

Things to do Uncategorized
Odds are, you’ve got your sunscreen ready, a tank full of gas and your dancing shoes on. But before you hit the road and relish in your usual spots, give yourself a refresher course in the events we’ve compiled here. ...
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NEO’s Outdoor Summer Concerts – Fun, Free & Alfresco

May/June 2018 Resources Things to do
Lucky us; NEO has plenty of places to listen to great music. The best part? It's outdoors and free. Check out some of our region's best choices, from cool jazz to lively big band music. And don't forget rock. After all, we've got the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in our backyard and plenty of music to prove it. ...
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Dig It: NEO’s Not-So-Secret Gardens and Museums (You’re Gonna Like ‘Em)

Fun March/April 2018 Outdoors Resources
Garden and gallery hopping should be on your Spring menu; Northeast Ohio has plenty to see both outdoors and in. Stop and smell the roses, then check out a troll museum. We've got lots to see - enjoy! ...
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Skip the Scalpel

Health & Wellness January/February 2018

If you want to kick off the new year with a new look, there are plenty of ways to iron out wrinkles and suck out fat —  all without having to go under the knife.

Age, genetics and sun exposure play a role in how we look, says Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, a cosmetic dermatologist. Non-surgical options generally are divided into three categories: injectables, lasers and other procedures such as chemical peels.

While most non-surgical cosmetic procedures are fairly simple, she recommends using a physician for injections or laser treatments.

“I tell people there’s not on person out there who doesn’t want to look their best. They want to age gracefully,” Dr. Khetarpal says. Skin generally starts showing signs of aging when we’re in our 30s, and some procedures such as Botox injections can be done as soon as smile or brow lines begin to show.

When or if to begin treatment is a matter of personal preference. “Today I treated someone who is 25 and someone who is 91,” Dr. Khetarpal says.


Here’s what’s popular in Northeast Ohio:

Chemical Peels

Sure, you’re beautiful just the way you are. But even the finest artwork could use some polishing. Chemical peels are good for acne scarring, pigmentation issues, removing redness (for folks with rosacea), shrinking pores and anti-aging.

Local medical esthetician Andrea Fenda of Apex Dermatology says chemical peels tend to get an undeserved bad rap. “People think of chemical peels and they think bloody and oozy. But there are many different types and strengths. You would come in for a consult, and they see what’s best for you.”

Are they painful?

“You feel a tingly sensation, so you hold a fan to feel comfortable. You may be pink or red when you leave, but you can resume normal activity,” she says.

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Playhouse Square’s Army of Volunteers

2017 Editions November/December 2017 Things to do Volunteerism

Photo credit for RedCoats pics:

Playing Around

Not all heroes wear red capes; some wear red coats


RedCoat volunteers of Playhouse Square are the first friendly faces to greet you in the theater. Odds are if you’ve attended a show, they’ve greeted you at the door, scanned your ticket, given you a program and directed you to your seat. What would you have done without them?

It takes nearly 90 RedCoats to staff an average Broadway performance. Since expanding its KeyBank Broadway Series, Playhouse Square is on the lookout for more of these right-hand men and women.


Ella Wilson of Shaker Heights found herself with a little extra time on her hands when her daughter went off to college. Since she’s been drawn to theater, she decided to become a RedCoat. “I absolutely love every moment of it.”

Wilson especially enjoys the children’s programs at Playhouse. One busy evening at the theater, she felt a tug on her jacket. She looked down and heard a little boy say, “Excuse me, thank you for helping me.”

“That just brightened my whole day,” Wilson says.

Jim and Linda Borsuk of Westlake decided to become RedCoats together.

“My wife and I attended Playhouse Square as patrons for years,” Jim Borsuk says. “Every time we went there, everyone we ever came across weren’t just happy but glad to help you.”

They decided it was time to join the team.

“We had always talked about when we retire, when we have time, because we are both extremely busy people. Then last year, we finally said, ‘Let’s just do it.’ We just wanted to give others the same great experience we always had at the theater.”

Borsuk says it doesn’t feel much like work at all.I can disconnect from what I do on the 9-to-5 basis and enter this other world of happiness.

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Out with the New, In with the Old

Hobbies Money September/October 2017

Antiques and Collectibles

By Breanna Mona


What’s your attic’s net worth? Fighting off cobwebs and furry little critters is tough enough. Figuring out which mysterious trinkets are worth a pretty penny and what’s simply a hunk of junk is even tougher. You don’t need to appear on “Antiques Roadshow” to get to the bottom of it. Here’s the word from local antique experts.


Over It

Hummel, Royal Doulton, Precious Moments, Lladro — these names used to mean big bucks. But these days, most collectible figurines have lost their bite in the antique business. While still very collectible and worth something, they’re just not the money-makers they used to be. Hummels are a good example.

Jean Koepke, the owner of the Medina Antique Mall, says rarity counts, but the value has still declined.

“If they paid $150 for it, now they may only get $50,” she says.

Ryan Prpic — who manages Eastside Relics in Willoughby — agrees. He says a Royal Doulton figurine bought for $100 may only be worth around $40 today.

Why the decline? Pat Martin, owner of Antiques on the Square in Chardon, explains.

“The antique business changes so dramatically year after year — especially in the last 10 to 15 years,” Martin says. “Millennials want different things. They don’t collect like my generation did. Millennials look for functional pieces. They love repurposed antiques. They like painted furniture, etc.”

Other items Millennials are quick to pitch are pottery, china and glassware. Martin says there’s been at least a 50 percent drop in value — if not more — in these pieces.


What’s Hot Now

Which items are getting all the action across all generations? Furniture. Koepke says Hitchcock furniture is particularly sought after because it’s no longer made.

“It’s very popular and hard to find.

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