Listful Living: This book by Paula Rizzo will have you living your best life!

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When I first saw this book’s title, Listful Living, I immediately thought “a book about making lists.  I’m in!”  I was captivated.  After all, who couldn’t be better organized?  More efficient?  As a new entrepreneur, I value efficient use of time, and completion of tasks in a timely manner. I also recognize that as I approach the 6-month mark as an entrepreneur, my responsibilities have only grown, but my 24-hour day has remained the same: Still 24 hours!

Little did I know that Listful Living was much more comprehensive than that.  If you think that you will be making “to-do lists,” please note that this is not what Listful Living is about. This book is about taking a realistic look at your life, evaluating it by being able to set your priorities, from top to bottom, and envisioning where you want to be a year from now.  This book is about action.

In fact, Listful Living has pages and pages of “homework” to help you visualize what’s already in your mind.  Putting it on paper is a kind of agreement with yourself, and it really helps to pinpoint where you are, where you want to be, and the way to get there. It sounds like work, but it will only save you time, energy, and will allow you to make your priorities a reality.

Listful Living by Paula Rizzo

As I read, I felt strongly connected to the author’s experiences, Paula Rizzo, as she described having visualized a better future for herself, realizing this future, and then having to step back to make room for her life and her priorities.  Sometimes, it takes a door closing to realize that the window was opened all along.  In Paula Rizzo’s case, it was a real health scare that landed her in bed for weeks.  In my case, it was the professional realization that if I stayed where I was, things would never change.  I had to produce the change myself. I had to BE that change.

Listful Living is the perfect gift for yourself, for busy moms and dads, for working parents, entrepreneurs, or simply anyone who wishes to improve their lives by being realistic, simplistic, and looking to a better, more fulfilling future.

Here’s to a more fulfilling, rewarding 2020!

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Melissa & Doug Toys

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What can I say?  When it comes to giving toy recommendations, one of the brands that immediately comes to mind is Melissa & Doug.  I love toys that are not only made for entertainment, but that are also didactic in nature, in other words, provide with a learning opportunity as well as being fun. Melissa & Doug’s products provide just that.  Their products are 1) creative, 2) versatile, 3) durable, and 4) fun. 

There is no substitute for creativity.  Children’s brains are plastic, and as such it is imperative that we use all tools available to cover all kinds of possibilities.  Take wooden blocks, for example.  Parents/teachers can use blocks in a variety of ways, for example, to encourage free play while building structures and to encourage observation skills by having children imitate block designs.

Versatility is a great quality and it is present in these toys.  What does this mean?  I always encourage the parents I work with to select toys that can be used in many different ways.  Puzzles, for example, are a great way to start.  If you are working with an alphabet puzzle, you may be concentrating on just learning letters, recognizing them one by one, but you could also work on letter sounds, labeling objects (the pictures on the puzzle), counting (the letters), and transitioning (putting letters and puzzle away).  You can come up with any number of activities based on the toy that you have in front of you, but rest assured that Melissa & Doug toys are made to be versatile.

Melissa & Doug toys are made to last!  I have had some of their toys for over 10 years!  Just make sure that you save all the pieces, and the toy you bought will be yours for years to come.  And last but not least, these toys are fun!  Who would want to play with toys that aren’t fun and engaging? We want children to be able to stay focused on those toys, fully enjoying them and playing with them.

When you are out shopping for fun toys this holiday season, think of all the positive skills that children can learn while playing with their toys.  I recommend this brand whole-hearteadly!

If you have any questions about this post of any other, please leave me a comment!