Child safety advocate raises concerns about Airbnb rentals for Super Bowl

Child safety advocate raises concerns about Airbnb rentals for Super Bowl given reports of assault, prostitution, drug dealing and violence associated with home-sharing site 


Stop Child Predators: “Parents should be on alert with ‘guest strangers’ in communities”

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – National child safety advocacy group, Stop Child Predators, raised concern today with the expected increased usage of Airbnb, HomeAway and other short-term rentals during the Super Bowl warning parents in the Greater Minneapolis area to take extra precaution to keep their children safe.

“With thousands expected to rent out homes to visiting Super Bowl fans, complete strangers will be infiltrating homes in neighborhoods across the city,” Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators.  “Parents should be on heightened alert for out-of-town visitors in their neighborhoods during the week leading up to the big game and speak with their kids about what to do if approached by a stranger.”

According to a [Minneapolis] Star-Tribune article last fall, an Airbnb guest staying at a rental in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was charged with an attempted sexual assault of a seven-year-old living in the house the family rented.

Over the last year, there have been numerous stories in cities across the country of Airbnb rentals being used for prostitutiondrug trafficking and out-of-control parties, which have led to violence and even shootings in residential neighborhoods.

Rumenap said her group, Stop Child Predators, has started raising awareness of the potential negative impacts of short-term rentals.  She said the new trend of commercial Airbnb hosts buying up residential homes and apartments to rent out as ‘illegal hotels’ has raised concerned with local community leaders across the country as neighborhoods cope with a weekly turnover of transients and strangers coming and going from their communities.

“Tools like sex offender lists are becoming obsolete as there is no safeguard in place to stop a child predator from renting an Airbnb property next door,” stated Rumenap.   “Airbnb certainly does not condone such bad behaviors through their site, but they also have not done nearly enough to combat the unacceptable actions of its operators and guests.”

According to a report by U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, major events like the Super Bowl generate an “increase in tourists seeking entertainment, including commercial sex, increasing the potential risk for exploitation and human trafficking.  Traffickers are opportunistic hunters, and they see major sporting events and the hundreds of thousands of people who flock to sports venues as an opportunity for huge profits with very little risk of penalty or punishment.”

Stop Child Predators encourages neighbors of Airbnb rentals during Super Bowl Week to be on alert and call authorities if they suspect a criminal activity such as prostitution, human trafficking, public drunkenness, illegal drug usage or the endangerment of a minor is occurring in a rental unit in their community.


True Story Foods: A Return to What’s Real and True Organic, Non-GMO and All Natural Meats


True Story Foods, makes its national debut offering all natural, non-GMO and organic sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, and fresh pork. True Story believes in a future of food that is a return to what is real and true.  A future that is respectful to the source of our food – the soil, the animals, and the farmers. True Story is nurturing a community of family farmers, artisan producers, progressive retailers and food lovers who are dedicated to this future.

True Story lives by:

Fair Trade Partnering With Farmers

True Story partners with farmers to set an equitable price for their animals to ensure the animals are raised humanely and without antibiotics, to create a sustainable livelihood for generations to come. All their animals are fed an all-vegetarian diet, and never fed antibiotics or growth enhancers and live without undue stress or agitation.

Crafting Real Foods

All True Story’s recipes are crafted in their California Kitchens with artisan methods used for three generations, like hand seasoning and netting roasted turkeys and hams, using traditional all natural casings, and hand tying sausage links. Their foods never contain synthetic nitrates or nitrites.

Provoking Honest Conversation

True Story shares the story of their animals, farmers, and community to provoke honest conversation about how food is raised and prepared. They believe informing and educating food lovers helps them to make better choices for them and their families.

“True Story is raising the bar in the meat industry by returning to a more traditional model”, says Co-founder, Phil Gatto. “The best way to make food is the way it was done generations ago, starting with the best ingredients and taking care in each step to protect the land and animals.”

Some of True Story’s Foods include:


Organic Thick Cut Oven Roasted Chicken Breast  – A Nexty East 2017 Finalist

Slow-roasted, thick cut slices of sustainably farmed chicken, which make for an easy delicious meal or snack. This organic chicken provides a healthy solution to busy families trying to find delicious quick meals without sacrificing great taste. SRP $6.99.

Organic Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

True Story Foods Organic Sweet Italian Sausages are made with sustainably farmed organic chicken, our Italian sausage delivers a kick of Mediterranean herbs and spices with a gentle dash of sweetness. Available in 10 oz. package, the SRP is $6.99.

Organic Uncured Applewood Smoked Ham

True Story Foods offers a line of Organic Sliced Deli Meats including Uncured Applewood Smoked Ham. This delicious ham is rubbed with brown sugar for a lick of sweetness and then slow-smoked over Applewood, our sustainably farmed organic ham piles on savory taste in every bite. The Uncured Applewood Smoked Ham comes in 6 oz. packages for a SRP of $6.99


Pasture Raised Uncured Beef Hot Dogs

Our pasture raised, all-beef franks are uncured and skinless — each bite pops with deliciousness thanks to our signature seasonings. They are available in 12 oz packages for a SRP of $7.99


True Story Foods also offers a wide range of products such as Organic & Wildflower Honey Chicken Sausage; Organic Sliced Deli Meats; Grass FedOrganic, Uncured Beef Hot Dogs; Organic Sliced Deli Meats and more.

All True Story Foods are available in select natural and traditional grocery retailers and Costco.


About True Story Foods:

Founded in San Francisco in 2011, True Story believes in a future of food that is a return to what is real and true

at our family-owned   and operated kitchens and farms, we craft delicious meats, including natural, non-GMO and organic

sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, bacon and fresh pork. True Story Foods Is The Winner of 2017 Nexty Award for Best New

Organic Food.

True Story strives to raise and prepare their foods with integrity:

  • We partner with farmers to create an equitable model that supports sustainable farming.
  • Our animals are fed an all-vegetarian diet, and never fed antibiotics or growth enhancers, and live without undue stress or agitation.
  • Our meats are all natural and free of synthetic nitrates and nitrites.

Our foods are available in select natural and traditional grocery retailers and Costco. For more information, visit

Preparing for the IEP Meeting: Tips to Help Parents of Children Coping with Special Needs

One of the most stressful experiences many parents or guardians of children coping with special needs face, is going to a meeting about their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This plan is very important because it outlines goals for the child’s education and treatment, and it guides how services will be provided. An IEP is created by a team and reviewed at a minimum annually at an IEP meeting.

“These meetings are very important because the IEP guides how the child will be educated and outlines goals for the child, interventions, and any accommodations and services that will be provided,” said Dodd White, president and CEO of the Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit organization providing therapeutic and special education services to children ages 5-14 in the greater Washington, DC area,

“It’s important to review IEP meeting documents in advance before the meeting,” said White. “An IEP meeting brings together the entire IEP team assisting your child – educators, treatment providers, parents, the Local Education Agency (LEA) representative and others. The parent(s)/guardian(s) is an important part of that team. You are an advocate for your child,” said White. He offers the following tips to help parents or guardians preparing for an IEP meeting:

Tip #1 – Confirm meeting attendance. At least 10 days before an IEP meeting, you should receive a letter of invitation. As soon as possible, RSVP for the meeting in writing. Inform the school if you will attend the meeting in person or by phone. If you are not available to attend the meeting at all, propose alternative dates and times, even locations.

Tip #2 – Review draft documents before the meeting. At least 5 business days before the meeting, you should receive drafts of the documents (e.g., IEP, Behavior Intervention Plan, evaluations) to be discussed during the IEP meeting. Take time to review these documents before the meeting.

Tip #3 – Carefully review draft documents and write down your questions and notes. Make sure you understand your child’s diagnosis. Ask for clarification of education or treatment jargon if needed. Goals and objectives should be clear. Make sure you understand start date(s), how long services are offered, and the procedures involved. If your child is not progressing toward a goal as you had hoped, ask how this will be addressed, or if a goal should be revised. If you want more frequent updates on progress during the school year, you can request additional updates. If you think something else might help your child, come prepared to discuss it. Write down any proposed changes to the IEP and any information you would like to add.

Tip #4 – Invite additional people to the IEP meeting if you want them there and think they can contribute. An IEP meeting takes a “team” approach to helping your child. Take the initiative to invite individuals who have relevant knowledge or expertise regarding your child (such as, family members, coaches, community support workers, social workers, attorneys, advocates, etc.). Let the school team know additional people will attend the meeting.

Tip #5 – Strive to build a healthy working relationship with the school, treatment providers, and the entire IEP team. Developing healthy and professional relationships with the school and treatment providers can help your child. Be open to discussing issues promptly, directly, honestly and courteously.  Ask questions and listen carefully to answers. This will allow you to respond appropriately and avoid misunderstandings.

About the Episcopal Center for Children
The Episcopal Center for Children (Center) is a nonprofit, nondenominational school and treatment program for children contending with emotional challenges from the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Accredited by the Joint Commission, the Center serves children who are 5-14 years old in grades K-8. The goal of the Center’s treatment, therapeutic milieu, and individualized special education program is to empower each child to function productively within his or her family and community. Building on strengths within children, the Center partners with families in treatment and focuses on enabling its students to access and become their best possible selves. More information is available at and on Twitter and Facebook @ECCofDC.

Super Food For Super Bowl from Garden . @GardenLites

Score The Winning Touchdown In The Big Game

With Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes & Garden Lites® Muffins


Garden Lites®, the delicious vegetable company and the leader in unique delicious veggie-rich foods, has the perfect products for your Big Game get-together. From savory Superfood Veggie Cakes, which are brimming with a superfood blend of veggies, to the decadently delicious yet veggie-rich Muffins, this football holiday will be a sure win for your family and friends. The total line is made with only clean/simple ingredients, is non-GMO certified, gluten free, dairy and nut free, kosher and always delicious.  At only 100- 120 calories per serving, and always convenient – and ready to heat/serve in a few minutes – no matter which team you’re rooting for, everyone will all agree: Garden Lites is the winner!


All products can be found at or by logging on for a store locator.  They are in the frozen and refrigerated sections of your supermarket.

Experts agree that superfoods are incredibly good for you. Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes Superfood Blend are packed with nutrient-rich superfood veggies like kale and cauliflower.

 The products include:

Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes with Kale & Quinoa are also packed with nutrient-rich superfoods like kale and quinoa.  The line packs only 100 calories!  Garden Lites® Superfood Veggie Cakes come in a package of 6 veggie cakes for an SRP of $4.99. They are available in both frozen and refrigerated sections.


Garden Lites® Chocolate Muffins and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins which are the best sellers in the product line.  The first two ingredients in Garden Lites Chocolate Muffins and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are zucchini and carrots and they are made of 33% veggies.  Heat in the microwave to enjoy a decadent experience for only 120 calories. Garden Lites muffins come in a package of 6 muffins, for an SRP of $4.99.

About Garden Lites:

Garden Lites® is a Classic Cooking, LLC brand based in Avenell, New Jersey that produces delicious vegetable snack foods. Since 2008, Garden Lites has raised the bar in healthy foods by delivering full flavor that’s also veggie rich. Garden Lites has the Good Housekeeping Nutrition Seal of Approval and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 Cooking Light – The Healthiest Frozen Foods in the Supermarket: Breakfast; 2016 Grocery Headquarters Trailblazer Award; 2016 Parents Magazine 25 Best Frozen Food for Families; 2016 – Gluten Free Digest Chocolate Muffins; 2015 Pioneers of Better For You: Refrigerated and Frozen Foods and 2017 Runner’s World Editor’s Pick.

 For more information on Garden Lites products, visit and be sure to “Like” on Facebook and Follow on Twitter!


Mean Green Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleaner

This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated. However, all opinions are 100% mine. 


Over the last six months I have done a lot of cleaning up around my home. And I am very thankful to have been introduced to Mean Green Cleaning Products. I’ve had the opportunity to test out several products and share informative tips.

You wouldn’t imagine what a little time and TLC can do to a home. A few years ago, I can recall dreaming of having a maid. If only, someone could come and clean up my home once or twice a month and get in the toughest of places. With that being said, I am super thankful the Holidays are done and over with. Luckily, cleanup this year wasn’t as tough as the prior years with the help of Mean Green Cleaning Products. This company offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor products that are non-toxic and biodegradable.


With all the colds and flu viruses I felt compelled to share one of my favorite Mean Green products. Mean Green offers an ANTI-BACTERIAL Surface Cleaner which kills 99.9% of germs. Use it in the kitchen, bathrooms and other high traffic household area.

This product does not contain bleach, harsh acids or phosphates and it is designed to product effective cleaning, deodorizing and disinfection in areas while housekeeping is of prime importance.

Take charge and stay safe and healthy in 2018 from my family to yours. XOXO



Intoducing: Hard Candy’s NEW Look Pro Galactic Eyes Palette!

5, 4, 3, 2,1… blast off with Hard Candy’s NEW Look Pro Galactic Eyes Palette!  This one of a kind eye shadow palette combines the mesmerizing glow of the cosmos with the hot trends of the runway.  Each shade has a strong color payoff and glides on perfectly for a gorgeous finish.
Galactic Eyes
Hard Candy Look Pro Galactic Eyes Palette, $8
  • Includes 10 deep and bright shimmer shadows
  • Shadows can be layered or worn alone
  • Strong color payoff
  • Glides on perfectly for a gorgeous finish
  • Includes a double ended shadow brush

The Hard Candy Look Pro Galactic Eyes Palette is available at Walmart and