Archives by: Estelle Rodis-Brown

Estelle Rodis-Brown

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About the author

Estelle Rodis-Brown is a freelance writer and photographer from northeast Ohio whose insatiable curiosity secures her enduring commitment to lifelong learning.

Estelle Rodis-Brown Posts

NEO Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Local, Off-Beat and (Just a Little Bit) Lazy

2018 Editions Latest News Magazine November December 2018 Resources


You make your list; you check it twice. Then there’s nothing nicer than settling back in your comfy chair and shopping online for all the gifts you need for the holidays. This season, you can support small, local business owners who sell meaningful, creative gifts while enjoying the convenience of online shopping.

Earlier this year, votes from 36,000 Northeast Ohioans were compiled into The Cleveland Hot List, featuring 6,690 businesses competing for the title of greater Cleveland’s best through CityVoter, an online ballot. Within that listing were 58 nominees for Best Gift Shop.

We whittled finalists into these top-rated gift shops that also offer online shopping. From fun stocking stuffers to keepsake legacy items, you can buy creative and meaningful gifts from local shopkeepers — all from the comfort of your own home.


STEM Handmade Soaps

This small company offers premium handcrafted soaps, using 100 percent all-natural ingredients. Only high-quality pure vegetable oils and high-concentration glycerin are innovatively combined to create hydrating soaps. Products also include lip balm, deodorant, body butter, scented candles, men’s grooming products, hygiene accessories, pet shampoos and gift sets.

Price range: $3-$40

12405 Madison Ave., Lakewood

Wood Thingamajigs

A female veteran-owned and -operated woodworking shop, this may be Northeast Ohio’s premier source for all custom furniture, home items, decor and outdoor games. Products include cutting boards, Cleveland- and Ohio-themed wall hangings, customized family trees and special orders.

Price range: $10-$125

Newbury Township

Earth Angels Holistic Health

Earth Angels Boutique provides “Tools for better living — Release. Balance. Restore.” Products include incense sticks and burners, worry stones, selenite and quartz products, gemstone sets, salt lamps, sterling silver/stone jewelry, and even an Amethyst Geode Calcite Quartz Healing Empowerment stone.

Price range: $2.50-$185

3518 Scranton Road, Cleveland

The Framer’s Gallery

Choose from a wide selection of artwork and gifts created by local, regional, national and international artists.

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Yvonne’s Story: Determination + Staff Teamwork = a Successful Homecoming after Rehab

Health & Wellness Relationships
Yvonne speaks all five languages better than ever. A few months ago, she addressed an audience of 200, speaking in fluent Latvian. And now, she is writing a book (in English) about her childhood. She plans to renew her expired passport and travel back to Europe. The sky’s the limit. ...
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ER, Urgent Care or Home Remedies? Make the Right Call at the Right time

Grandparenting Health & Wellness Magazine September/October 2018
A child should be seen right away if they seem sluggish, won’t eat or drink, appear mottled, have cool hands and feet (suggesting shock), have difficulty breathing or have an unusual rash such as purple spots under the skin. ...
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Lucy’s Story: Motivation, the Hidden Ingredient in Cookies

Caregiving Personal Improvement Relationships
Cookies aren't just cookies when they're Lucy's homemade cookies. They are an overwhelming expression of thanksgiving, a motivation for healing, and an inspiration for the rest of us to follow as we continue to serve our community in measurable and meaningful ways. ...
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Backyard Bounty – Community Gardens Nurture Neighborhoods — and Neighbors

Food & Nutrition March/April 2018 Outdoors Things to do
“Every time I step into this garden, I’m transported to a place of green that inspires me to be strong and beautiful, like the plants growing here. My garden has been a huge mentor. It has helped me to slow down, slough off the cares of the day, and remind me of the joy of seeing the first blossom on the tomato plant. I experience renewed joy and awe every time I see another one.” — Argerie Vasilakes ...
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What’s Your Plan? Pursuing Purpose Post-Retirement

January/February 2018 Personal Improvement

Why do some people thrive after retirement, while others seem to fade away?

The difference is often between those who continue to seek self-improvement with a sense of purpose and those who fall into a state of basic routine. The deciding factor in each pathway is one’s sense of self, otherwise known as self-image.

Who are You?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, self-image is the personal view — the mental picture — that you have of yourself. Self-image is your collection of your characteristics, how you describe yourself: intelligent, beautiful, ugly, talented, selfish, kind. These represent your assets (strengths) and liabilities (weaknesses) as you see them.

Self-image changes over time, affected by early childhood influences plus accumulated experiences with teachers, coaches, friends, family, coworkers and even strangers.

These relationships reinforce what you think and feel about yourself, for better or worse. Your sense of self is entangled with your sense of purpose, and both are shaken when children leave the nest, you lose a loved one or you face retirement.

A Retirement Roadmap

Dr. Dudley Tower is a human and organizational systems expert from the Dynamic Aging Institute, a nationally recognized program based in South Carolina. Tower says we live in an era of age-defying opportunities created by longer lifespans and delayed physical and mental decline.

Despite the apparent advantages of a longer, healthier life, many retired older adults are not motivated to pursue purpose in self-actualization or try to reach their full potential. Instead, some people spend retirement in a state of “mindless routine and busyness,” he says.

The problem is that retirement is unnatural, Tower says. The type of work you do should simply change, not stop. A growing population of older adults has retired around age 65 and now faces another 20 to 25 years of life expectancy.

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Giving is Good for You – So Now What?

2017 Editions Health & Wellness November/December 2017 Personal Improvement
It makes sense: the more we give, the more we get. But what exactly are we getting? This year, why not develop your generosity gene and reap the rewards - you'll be glad you did. ...
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Perennials with a Plan: Make Room for Growth

September/October 2017
Gen-Xers and Millennials get all the attention, but we Boomers have another moniker: Perennials. Find out what it means to be one, and how to nurture your inner Perennial. ...
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