Saturday, July 14, 2018

Why A Food Cart May Be Your Answer to Starting Your Own Business

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

If you are starting a business, you may want to invest in a food or beverage cart. A food cart helps you to save money on start-up costs and monthly rent, so you have more money to order goods and supplies. Are you wondering if a food cart is a good choice for you? Here are several benefits of investing in a food cart for your business.

Offers Mobility

There are many carts that offer handles and wheels for relocating to another spot. This is great if the weather, construction or a special event forces you to change your routine. If your current location is not providing much business, you can easily move to a location that offers a lot of foot traffic.

Provides Advertising

You can order your food cart with a custom graphic, signage and digital menus, which gives you the opportunity to advertise. Your customers are going to see your business name and logo every day, and they may even recommend your food cart to their co-workers or peers. Think of this as your way of creating a brand identity for your food business.

Protects Your Goods

There is more to running a food business than pushing a cart with your logo on it. You need to make sure you are offering delicious, healthy food to your customers. This is why the carts include refrigeration or steam tables to keep your food fresh. Your cart also includes a sneeze guard, umbrella and canopy for protecting your food.

Meets The Requirements

You do not want an unsafe or unhealthy cart to put a damper on your business. Luckily, there are many carts that meet the requirements for safety, sanitation and fire-spread ratings. The carts are certified for stadiums, malls, hospitals, airports and convention centers, which means you have your pick of the bunch when it comes to gaining customers.

When you are ready to start your business, you can find a variety of food carts for sale. The inventory ranges from ice cream and hot dog carts to soft drink and coffee carts.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Out of Time Series - by Nadine Brandes A Faith Filled Alternative to Mainstream Dystopian Fiction

I'm reading the dystopian Out of Time series by author Nadine Brandes. Boy has it been worth jumping head first into a genre of YA that I wasn't sure I was mentally prepared for.

Allow me to give you a brief bit of background: I've seen several dystopian movies and while I enjoyed the action and the creativity of the world building, I don't necessarily like a story that doesn't give much hope (The Giver by Lois Lowry -- is an exception to this. It does end on a positive, hope-filled note). Dystopia is the opposite of Utopia. If you're familiar with my blog, you can imagine my reservation. Even when I write tough, emotional scenes, poems and short stories, I feel as though they are not finished until at least a glimmer of hope is planted firmly in place. The Hope that lives within me is too glorious and has so permeated my being that I cannot ignore it and leave it out of my writing.

But my teen daughter likes the dystopian genre. And I needed to find appropriate books that fit our worldview and her tastes to encourage her relatively new found love of reading.

And that is why I decided to go ahead and dive into the realm of Christian Dystopian. Nadine Brandes' Out of Time series (A Time to Die, A Time to Speak and A Time to Rise) more than adequately fills my requirements and my daughter's preferences. There is intrigue, shock of violence (without the graphic, gratuitous details offered in many other dystopian works), a character who grows in strength and in spirit, a powerful display of what control without compassion looks like, submission (by force and by choice) and best of all: hope. Lemme rewrite that last part to reflect a more accurate picture.

And best of all: HOPE.

Hope that does not reside in self or in human authority, but in the Creator of the Universe. The One. The I Am. The One who holds all in His hands and loves more fully and deeply than we can ever imagine.

A quick summary of A Time to Die, as described on Amazon:

How would you live if you knew the day you'd die?

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government's crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall -- her people's death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.
 (You can find summaries of the other two novels in the series on Amazon also)

My Take

The government's harsh regulations control nearly every aspect of human life, thereby effectively eliminating the need for God. Or so they think. These faucets of the story line are crucial, but the main takeaway is a beautifully crafted journey of one young girl's coming of age both in her physical and her spiritual life. Not only must Parvin navigate relationships and physical danger, but she must cope with the ever present struggle to live by faith in the midst of doubt and heartache. She discovers the True Giver of joy and security in the tumult of a world that has largely forsaken its Creator.

The world Ms. Brandes describes is immediately recognizable, yet still beautifully imaginative and often alarming. I felt like I was reading a futuristic historical series -- (I may have just made up a new subheading in the dystopian genre. I can do that, right?) Some parts of the world live as primitively as you can imagine and others are fantastically technological. When these differing types of societies collide, the contrasts reveal so much more than a distinction of class systems. 

Nadine compiles words on a page in such a way that made me grin and tear up. Several times I was grabbed by desire to highlight especially creative and vivid phrases. Being a purist, I resisted defacing the books. However, I am giving myself permission to reverse that decision at any time. I am a writer so honing my craft and learning is ongoing. ::insert big cheesy grin here::

Thinking of plunging into the sometimes murky waters of dystopian fiction? The Out of Time series may just be the springboard you need.

Are you familiar with Dystopian fiction? What books have you read that depict a world gone wrong, yet yearning for its Creator? Share in the comments below!


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Finding the Right Recruiting Firm

Are you in a situation where you need to hire a person for a very important job at your company? If this is the case, you should seek out an experienced recruiting firm that can help you locate candidates for the job with the skills you are looking for. It can take a lot of time to sift through job applications on your own. A recruiting firm can handle this task for you. They will have the skill to narrow down the search and find the most qualified candidates. Here are a few tips that will show you how to choose the best recruiting firm to meet your hiring needs.

1. Find out which recruiting firms other business owners are using.

The first thing you will need to do is seek out the opinions of other business owners. Which recruiting firms have they hired to look for suitable candidates? Why did they choose the particular recruiting firm they are working with? Are they satisfied with the quality of the candidates that the recruiting firm has found for them? How much do they charge for their services? Talk to as many business owners as you can in order to get many references for recruiting firms.

2. Find out which recruiting firms are recommended by the Better Business Bureau.

You can find the best recruiting firms Boston by taking a look at the BBB website. They will have very detailed descriptions of each company. You will be able to find out about their business practices and overall reputation in their industry. It is a very fast and easy way to get a list of competent and reputable recruiting firms that will be able to find the candidates you need.

3. Call the recruiting firms you are interested in hiring to find out more about them.

You should never hire a recruiting firm before you talk to them. Find out their methods for finding suitable candidates for your business. Speaking to a representative for each recruiting firm you are interested in will help you to decide if they will work well with you.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Help your Children Learn English Naturally through Immersion

Children whose parents aren't fluent in English begin life at a significant disadvantage. Although there is no national language in the United States, English is the most commonly used language in schools and in business. In order to help their children learn English and compete on a level playing field with their peers, parents can enroll them in immersion courses to teach them about the language as well as the culture in America.

Benefits of Language Immersion

There are several ways to learn a new language. You can purchase textbooks, software or hire a tutor to learn English words, usage and grammar. However, these options are often boring and most people who start them don't follow through long enough to gain fluency. By choosing an immersion course instead, students learn about the history and culture as well as the language. It's been said that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. Immersion classes give students the tools and information they need to master the language and fit in with other children their age.

Supplemental Learning


Camps are used by sports leagues to give athletes focused attention for a short period of time. These camps typically last a couple of weeks and are led by experts in the sport. An esl summer camp can have the same impact on a student's mastery of English. A camp won't teach a student everything they need to know about the English language but it will supplement their regular education and help the traditional learning make more sense.

Being fluent in English is essential for anyone who wants to live or work in America. It is also the second language of choice for people all over the world. The best place for non-Americans to learn about the English language and American culture is in a historic United States city where they can interact with native speakers and see the landmarks they've been learning about in class.


Friday, June 1, 2018

On Being Introverted

"You're not a snob after all, are you?" David put his hand on my shoulder.

I glanced up and almost dropped the book I was holding. "Um, no . . . "

"See, it's just that you never talk. We all thought that you thought you are better than us."

"Really? No. I mean . . . I've just never had much to say."

As he walked away he tossed over his shoulder, "Everyone has stuff to say."

This is a true conversation I had with a fellow senior the next to the last week of my high school career. Talk about being thrown for a loop! Not only was I suddenly aware that an undisclosed number of acquaintances thought I was a snob for four years plus, but the idea I had since junior high that there was something wrong with me had been confirmed.

I wasn't popular. I wasn't an athlete (my tennis coach would whole heartedly confirm that) or a cheerleader (let it be known that I believe cheerleaders are athletes also). I wasn't a burn-out (better known as doo-rags and weed eaters). I was just me. Quiet, a bit awkward with the small talk, but just me.

I had a small group of friends and I was content. Sure I kinda wished I'd been invited to the parties that were talked about Monday morning in hushed whispers as other kids slid into their seats just before the bell rang (Little did I know what actually went on during some of them). But on the whole, I was content. Even though I long ago convinced myself that there was something wrong with my personality. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized there isn't anything wrong with me, I'm just an introvert.

Introvert Dear explains it this way:
" . . . someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone. This is largely because introverts’ brains respond to dopamine differently than extroverts’ brains. In other words, if you’re an introvert, you were likely born that way."
Being an introvert is different than being shy, though often the two are used interchangeably. Shy is more about being nervous or self-conscious in social situations. Believe it or not, extroverts can have this trait also.

The good news for me is that I finally realized that I don't need to be "fixed." My Creator intended for me to have this temperament for a specific purpose. Does that mean He won't push me out of my comfort zone? Oh, no, He definitely will. And He has, at times. He's too good of a Father to leave me completely as I am. And He's too righteous to not remind me that I cannot do most things on my own. I must lean on Him and trust Him in order to become more like Him.

I think it's going to take awhile to stop thinking of myself as "less than" just because I'm not extroverted, not able to successfully make small talk, and be some kind of hospitality wizard. I've always admired those who could do those things. Wanted to be like that for most of my life. It's time to let myself off the hook.

I am also learning to be thankful for who God created me to be instead of being discontent because I'm not who I thought I should be. Because I'm not who others thought I should be. Because I'm not who I thought others thought I should be. Did you follow that? Ha!

Are you an introvert or an extrovert or both?