**This was hand posted at 8:05 pacific time on April 18th.  This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month

*Disclosure:  This is a compensated post.  I am a survivor of domestic violence, this story touches me and I hope will touch all of you.  

April is Sexual Assault month.  What better time to talk about it, than now.  With so many college kids on spring break, it's so important to get your defense up and be ready!  These days it can be scary, there is no typical "bad guy" face.  Do you really know the guy you are going on spring break with?  Do you know your neighbor, or babysitter or even your co-worker as good as you think you do?  Probably not.  Now, while I was not the victim of sexual assault, I was the victim of domestic violence.  I jumped right into my relationship with my ex-husband not knowing anything about his background and just trusting him, living life, having fun and assuming everything would be just fine.   Boy was I wrong!  Little did I know, he was a drug addict and had been in and out of prison his whole life.   If I just would have been smart and had a back ground check ran on him, those ten years of my life would have turned out so different - who knows where I would be!  One thing I do want to encourage is writing down any information you know about this person you are going on vacation with or even just going out on a date with.  If something does happen, you will have something, and a little something can go a long way! 

Doing a background check on someone can also be an excellent way to protect yourself.  Erik Knight, creator of DirtSearch.org saw the importance of access to information and created the website to present an easy to use and completely free platform.  Below are the top six people you should be running those background checks on -

1) Yourself: Approximately 15 million US residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with loss
  totaling upwards of $50 billion. The numbers just go up during the holidays. In addition, have you ever considered that the reason you didn't get that job or apartment is because someone background checked you? It is important to know what information about you exists on the web and to ensure it is accurate. Maybe you have the same name as someone with a sketchy past or maybe someone has stolen your identity without you realizing it. Search yourself often to know what information is assessable about you.

2) Your Date: The potential dangers of dating in today's world are clique for a reason. When you meet someone off an online dating site, knowledge is power. When you have someone's phone number,   username, and first name you can often find additional information including someones last name. Always meet up in a public place - but beyond that, take a little time to protect yourself. This is not just about safety, make sure that you know the background of someone before you enter a committed relationship, move in with someone, or get married.

3) Your Co-Workers/Clients: Shoplifting and fraud cost American retailers 8.9 billion last holiday season. The average small business owner loses $1,000's of dollars in outstanding invoices. Most people spend more time everyday with your co-workers than your family. Know who you can trust and who has dirty laundry. Any time money is involved in a relationship, know who are you getting involved with.

4) Medical Professionals: There are very few professions where honesty and reputation matters more than in the medical field - from a nurse, a plastic surgeon, or a general care doctor. Background checks for medical professionals can be very revealing, showing any malpractice suits as well as revealing any red flags. In today's day and age, medical care is expensive and the market is very saturated, everyone is trying to stand out. There is no reason to trust any medical professional or give them the benefit of the doubt - do your research and find what they don't want you to see.

5) A New Roommate: A roommate or a tenant can present problems - they might pay late, damage your property, or bring unwanted illegal activity into your home or onto your property. Background checking any potential roommate will ensure your new roommate has a clean financial and criminal history, it is an excellent way to ensure the overall integrity and honesty of the person sharing your home.

6) The Babysitter: Entrusting someone with your children and your home means putting major trust into another person. Do you research and ensure that your applicants 'all smiles' attitude is not just a facade.

Disney's Million Dollar Man Pitching Contest

I love baseball!  My youngest son who is 11 has been playing ball for the last seven years and I could not be more proud of him!  It's good to see these young kids out there striving to do their best and having fun at the same time.  As a Mother, I absolutely love spending my nights and weekends at the ball park watching these little guys play.  It breaks my heart when I hear a boy say he's never played.  To me, baseball is the all American sport.  These days to many kids are hooked on electronics - so sad! Every boy should be given the opportunity to learn the game of baseball. 

With that said, I have something very cool I had to share with you guys!  Disney is giving amateur baseball pitchers in the nation a chance to compete for a $1 million prize in the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest.  The Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest is being held to celebrate the opening of Disney's Million Dollar Arm, an incredible true story about two young men who went from never throwing a baseball to getting a Major League tryout!  Such a touching story and I can not wait for this movie to come out!   More information about the contest is below.

Amateur baseball pitchers—male or female, who are legal United States residents at least 18 years of age or older—are invited to qualify to compete in the preliminary rounds of the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest at either Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California or at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day at the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City.
Presented by SUBWAY restaurants, the three qualifying events will take place on April 25 and 26, from 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at both Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif. and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World and on April 26 only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day during the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City. Contestants will throw three pitches, each tracked by a radar gun, in an attempt to throw the fastest pitch. All participants will receive tickets for themselves and a guest to see an advance screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” at an AMC Theaters location later that evening.

Nine finalists chosen during these qualifying events will have a chance to compete for the $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.” The top three eligible pitchers with the fastest pitches from each qualifying round location will be flown with his or her guest to the final contest, which will take place at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, Calif., on May 6.  Each of these finalists will throw three pitches on Hollywood Boulevard. Any eligible finalist who throws one 100 mph strike (out of three pitches) will become a potential winner of the $1 million grand prize.

The nine finalists and their guests will be VIPs at the film’s premiere along with stars, filmmakers, major league players, coaches, scouts and celebrities.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Subject to Official Rules available at event or at http://disney.com/PitchingContest.

Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last ditch effort to save his livelihood he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India, the boys, who have never left their rural villages, are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell), learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.
Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay written by Tom McCarthy, Disney’s drama “Million Dollar Arm” stars Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell and Alan Arkin. The producers are Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray and Joe Roth. The executive producers are Palak Patel, Kevin Halloran, Bill Simmons and Connor Schell. The film will be release in the United States on May 16, 2014.

The Amazing Avocado

Do you know your Avocado?  I'll be honest and tell you, that even in my mid-30's if asked, I would not be able to tell you much about this intriguing fruit.  Sadly, I like many others was raised on fast food.  My parents were always gone, worked a lot and my Mom was not in the kitchen much.   I had always vowed not to do the same to my children.   I did not want my children growing up on fast food.  So now as a family, we do not eat out a lot.  We try to focus on eating at home and always as a family.  I like to try new foods and my husband loves to cook!  So, let's learn a bit about the Avocado.   Did you know that Avocados are one of the only fruits that contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (the good-for-you fat) that helps boost good (HDL) cholesterol and lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol.  The word “Avocado” comes from the Spanish word aguacate, which is from the the Nahuatl word ahuacatl.   Let's listen in to Chef Pati Jinich as she joins us with some fun facts and yummy ways to work the Avocado into your diet. 

Learn more about The Amazing Avocado and find some great recipes at http://www.theamazingavocado.com/

Hurricane Golf Tours

**Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through US Family Guide

The Hurricane Tour is comprised of four components: the Junior Tour, the Collegiate Tour, the Amateur Tour, and the Tour Shop (online). Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the Hurricane Tour administers over 150 events all across the country. With three different tours, golfers of any age and skill level are provided an opportunity to play the game.

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (#HJGT) was founded in 2008 with the intention of providing junior golfers between the ages of 11-18 an opportunity to play exceptional courses in a competitive environment. The tour's vision is to provide superb hospitality and make every event a memorable one. With play open to both males and females, nearly every junior golfer is eligible to participate on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. Membership for the HJGT is $89.00 and players receive discounted member pricing at each event. Every Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event is ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard (NJGS) and features a chance for players to earn AJGA stars. The top 3 finishers at each event will earn prizes. For a complete list of Junior Tour tournaments, visit: http://hjgt.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/hjgt14/schedule/index.htm.

The Hurricane Collegiate Golf Tour (#HCGT) was founded in 2011 and is perfect for college-aged golfers looking to perfect their game this summer in competitive tournaments at great venues. Whether you are a collegiate golfer looking to practice during the off-season, a future college golfer looking to prepare for the upcoming season, or a non-college golfer that wants to compete in first-class events, the HCGT is the tour for you! Membership to the tour is absolutely FREE and provides access to all 28 tournaments this summer in 11 different states. Top 3 finishers at each event will earn prizes. For a complete list of Collegiate Tour tournaments, visit: http://collegiate.hurricanetour.com/Event/EventList.aspx.

The Hurricane Amateur Golf Tour (#HAGT) was founded in 2014 with the intention of providing golfers of any age and skill level an opportunity to play exceptional courses in a competitive environment, while raising money to benefit the Hurricane Foundation and other charitable organizations alike. In order to play on the Hurricane Amateur Golf Tour, players must become a member for the low rate of $25. Amateurs (men, women and seniors) will compete in one of 10 flights based on their handicap, gender, and age. Senior Flights are for players that have turned 50 years old by May 17, 2014. Every tournament on the 2014 schedule will have a unique "Major Championship" feel to it. A special feature of the Amateur Tour is the "19th Hole Dinner," where players will have the opportunity to win raffles, giveaways, and silent auctions. The top 3 finishers in every flight will compete for the $2,000 total prize purse regardless of field size at the tournament. The payouts will be in form of gift cards to the Hurricane Tour Shop. For a complete list of Amateur Tour tournaments, visit: http://amateur.hurricanetour.com/Event/EventList.aspx.

Lastly, the online Hurricane Tour Shop was created in 2013 for the purpose of offering golfers of all ages the newest trends in golf apparel, equipment and accessories at PREFERRED PRICING.

Junior Tour: www.hjgt.org
Collegiate Tour: www.hurricanetour.com
Amateur Tour: www.hurricanetour.com
Tour Shop: www.hurricanetourshop.com

2014 #HJGT Schedule
2014 #HCGT Schedule
2014 #HAGT Schedule

Follow on Twitter:
Junior Tour: https://twitter.com/HJGT
Collegiate Tour: https://twitter.com/HCGTGOLF
Amateur Tour: https://twitter.com/HurricaneAMTour
Tour Shop: https://twitter.com/CaneTourShop

Like them on Facebook:
Junior Tour: https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneJuniorGolfTour
Collegiate Tour: https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneCollege
Amateur Tour: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hurricane-Amateur-Golf-Tour/1428485834037506
Tour Shop: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hurricane-Tour-Shop/545348652171159

Spring Break

It's Spring Break!!!  Here in Vegas, yes, it's even hot enough to spend a day at the lake! Be safe, have fun and take the time to enjoy this week with you children, making lasting memories!!

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for the feature.

The Dodge brand Power Rallye Tour is speeding into Las Vegas Premium Outlets, this weekend; April 11th- 13th to offer locals a chance to feel vehicle performance unleashed with the 2014 Dodge brand lineup.
The Dodge brand is hosting the first event at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets (South) and will be offering test drive participants an opportunity to enter for a chance to win $45,000 towards any eligible Chrysler Group vehicle. See below for more details regarding the test drives and Chrysler Group giveaway.

Dodge is showcasing its full lineup of 2014 vehicles – Charger, Challenger, Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey – as well as special edition vehicles and the Dodge Charger SRT and Dodge Challenger SRT, at more than 50 event locations across the country. Most “Dodge Power Rallye” events will feature test drives and all will include vehicle displays, interactive games where consumers can win prizes and an opportunity to enter the 2014 Chrysler Group National Giveaway for a chance to win $45,000 toward the purchase of any eligible Chrysler Group vehicle.

 The “Dodge Power Rallye Tour” will crisscross the country from now through mid-September, stopping at significant events and locations, such as car club gatherings, cruise nights, outdoor concerts and festivals, state fairs, shopping centers and trendy neighborhood locations. Examples include Taste of Omaha (5/30-31), the Cars at Carlisle show in Carlisle, Penn., (7/1-13), Ohio State Fair (7/23-24), Michigan’s Woodward Dream Cruise (8/16) and the 10th Annual Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival (8/21), as well as select Motley Crue concert tour dates. (Dodge is presenting sponsor of Motley Crue’s “Final Tour.”)

 The test drives will also feature special edition vehicles, such as the Dodge Charger R/T 100th anniversary model, Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker, Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 30th anniversary edition and Dodge Journey Crossroad.

Some events will include a Dodge 100th Heritage Wall chronicling a century of brand innovations, a technology tent, special edition Dodge vehicles and a Dragster Thrill Ride, allowing consumers to experience high-performance acceleration in a specially modified factory-built 2014 Challenger R/T outfitted with a Mopar Scat Pack 3 performance kit, giving enthusiasts the ride of their lives. The specially modified vehicle provides the perfect example of what the avid weekend warrior can do with their Dodge Challenger using factory-backed, hassle-free Mopar performance parts.