Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#OnePride: Win 2 tix to Lions Vs. Bucs in Detroit!

If you are a fan of the game of football, then this giveaway is for you.

If you are a fan of the Detroit Lions, then this giveaway is also for you.

And if you're a fan of either the Detroit Lions or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- and you've never had the pleasure of experiencing a football game at the beautiful Ford Field, then this giveaway truly has your name written all over it.

It is my utmost pleasure to host this giveaway, and I sincerely thank the Detroit Lions (and Ryan in particular: Thank you, Ryan!) for making this possible...

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we have on tap today:

Two FREE tickets to Detroit Vs. Tampa Bay on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 1 p.m. 
at Ford Field.

You don't want to miss this.

Enter now.

This giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 13, 2014. 
(Please note that choosing to "like" The Brown Girl with Long Hair on Facebook or becoming 
a member of this site via Google Friends Connect per the entry options below will entitle you to 
a free entry on all future The Brown Girl with Long Hair giveaways.)
Thank you for participating and good luck!

And one more thing: We've also got two other giveaways going on at the moment:
one for a deep fried Thanksgiving Turkey from Jive Turkey,
and one for a 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target dress.
Click here to enter one...or both!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The not-so-fine-print: This giveaway is sponsored by the Detroit Lions and is for two tickets to the Lions Vs. Buccaneers only. Winner will be chosen at random. The location of the seats will be determined by seating availability at the end of the giveaway. All other costs that may be associated with the winner's game day experience, including but not limited to: parking, concessions, and merchandise, are solely the winner's responsibility.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Today is the NFL's A Crucial Catch Day!

I can recall the exact moment when I first realized that even I was susceptible to breast cancer.

I was serving as Deputy Mayor of my hometown and, at the time, I was sitting amid other dignitaries at a luncheon hosted by the American Cancer Society.

I had just taken a swig of my lemon water and was about to take a huge bite of the arugula salad before me when a petite brunette cancer survivor took the stage and began to share her story.

In the minutes that followed, she relived -- and in vivid detail, I might add -- how breast cancer had threatened to rob her of a chance to mother her two young children and experience happily ever after with her husband.

She was 31.

The same as me.

Prior to her diagnosis, she was a healthy non-smoker with nary a trace of breast cancer within her family.

The same as me.

She thought developing breast cancer would be the least of her worries...

The same as me.

On my drive home from that lunch, I realized that breast cancer can happen to anyone.

That is why, as an NFL blogger, I would like to take a moment to share with you information about the NFL's A Crucial Catch Day, which is today, October 25. The campaign is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older. 

This year, all NFL markets will be supported with American Cancer Society grants funded by A Crucial Catch. Over the past three years, American Cancer Society CHANGE Grants, have educated 72,000 women on the benefits and importance of breast cancer screening with more than 10,000 free or low-cost screenings performed. This lifesaving work continues in 2014 and was expanded into all 32 NFL team markets. 

The following grant-funded communities will conduct focused outreach, education and breast cancer screening TODAY: 
Atlanta, Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Brandywine, Maryland
Buffalo, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Dearborn, Michigan
Denver, Colorado
Fort Worth, Texas
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Houston, Texas
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jacksonville, Florida
Kane County, Illinois
Kansas City, Missouri
King County, Washington
Miami, Florida; 
Milwaukee,Wisconsin
Nashville, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana
 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Port Chester, New York
Riverside, California
Sacramento, California
Salinas, California
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Paul, Minnesota
Tampa, Florida

Here's what you can do:
  1. Sign up: Sign up for a personal screening reminder.
  2. Donate: Donate to the American Cancer Society to help more women get screened.
  3. Share: Pledge to get screened and encourage others.

Furthermore, throughout October, NFL games have featured players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, as well as additional on-field and in-stadium branding -- all to help raise awareness for this important campaign. 

Much of the apparel worn at games by players and coaches, along with special game balls and pink coins will be auctioned off at NFL Auction, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program.

For more information on A Crucial Catch Day, please, visit www.nfl.com/pink 


P.S. If you follow The Brown Girl with Long Hair on Facebook, then you may recall that I recently participated in an insightful Skype chat (my first as an NFL Blogger) regarding an extremely important topic. Please note that I will share everything with all of you, shortly! 

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Behind the scenes of Detroit Lions' Training Facility

As you read this, the Detroit Lions are experiencing quite the change of scenery as far as their practices go.

On Monday, the men in Honolulu blue flew to London, England for their contest this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons in Wembley Stadium.

Which means you could probably hear crickets chirping back at their training facility -- the Detroit Lions' headquarters -- in Allen Park, Michigan.

So I figured this would be an opportune time to showcase the site where the Lions usually practice and prepare for games.

Let's go inside...

The Lobby
From the high cathedral ceilings all the way down to the pristine hardwood floors, the lobby of the Lions' training facility looks like what you think it would look like: Pretty darn nice.

You are now entering...
These frothy glass doors lead to, well, everything.

The Field
Sandoval Field is the indoor football field located inside the Lions' headquarters, and the turf that covers the field is identical to that which is found at Detroit's Ford Field, where the Lions play their games...



Detroit's Hall of Fame
After exiting Sandoval Field, one encounters glass shelves that display the helmets which represent the remaining 31 NFL teams. And then one sees the photos of the players who have put the Detroit Lions on the map through the years, including NFL Hall of Famer running back Barry Sanders, whom my husband Scott blocked for during his entire career...


School is in Session
It goes without saying that the gameday preparation required by an NFL player include tons of physical practice. But what many may not know is that players also spend quite a bit of time reviewing film and discussing plays. And the kind of room this takes place in resembles, well, classrooms, which are classified by a player's position. For example...


Keep Out
The weight room was inhabited by players when I was nosing around taking photos, and what remains of the facility, such as the locker room and personnel offices, well, they are point blank off limits. 

No exceptions. 

Not even for an NFL wife.

I hope you enjoyed this peek inside 
the Detroit Lions' headquarters. 
My beloved Lions take on the Atlanta Falcons in London, 
this Sunday, October 26, 2014.
The game will be broadcast on Fox at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
Gooooooooooooooooo, Lions!!!!!

And another thing! Join Scott and me at the Detroit Lions Youth Football Moms Safety Clinic on 11/11/2014 from 6-9 p.m. at the Lions Headquarters and Training Facility. This is a FREE event, but space is limited and will be determined on a first-come, first serve basis. Deadline for RSVP’s is 10/28/2014. (This event is for youth football moms only.) Please click here for more details!

And one last thing (I promise): We're hosting a giveaway for 
a 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target dress identical to the one I wore recently to the Lions tailgate to benefit 
HAVEN, a center for domestic violence.
Click here to enter!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My most exhilarating purchases -- Part One

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love me a good bargain. 

And of all the fabulous things I have scored on the cheap, there are three that still send shivers down my spine. 

Here are their stories in a three-part series. First up:

My authentic Louis Vuitton Speedy 35
What it retails for: $990
What I paid: $77.77

This beauty was pre-owned, but in the best possible way.

The handbag’s monogrammed fabric had been nicely broken in.

The tan genuine leather handles had aged and developed a beautiful patina (a thin film on the surface of leather that is valued for its aesthetic appearance).

And the interior was clean as a whistle. 

I found this bag on eBay, and it had all the tell-tale signs of what I like to call a “sleeper auction.” 

A “sleeper auction” is when – someway, somehow – a gem of an item manages to fly below the radar of potential buyers. 

No one had yet placed a bid on this bag – despite the fact that less than 24 hours remained on the auction. 

Yes, it was entirely possible that someone had designs to bid on – and eventually win – this bag, just like me. 

But a voice deep inside told me otherwise. 

I was out of town traveling with the Auto Show at the time, and knew I would not have access to a computer that day. 

So with adrenaline pumping through my veins, I bid on the bag before leaving my hotel room. 

I entered the absolute max I was willing to spend: $77.77 -- seven being my favorite number. 

I hoped for the best, but expected the worst. 

When I returned to my hotel at the end of a very long day, I was shocked to learn that I had won the auction. 

And even better? 

I was the only bidder. 

I went on to carry this bag for two years straight, and it even became the inspiration behind my bridal shower cake (see photo top right).

And I rocked it a few weeks ago to the private reception the NFL hosted to celebrate the arrival of the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit to The Henry Ford Museum:

Best darn $77.77 I ever spent.


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Monday, October 20, 2014

10 Kinds of People Nobody Likes




As a general rule, I don't like to write about negative things.

But sometimes rules were made to be broken.

Everyone knows at least one of these people, yet no one likes any of them.

The one who plays the martyr.
"Oh, don't mind me, I'm only dying over here...but I'll be okay," says this person...about their paper cut.

The one who feels that they've cornered the market on pain and suffering.
Like a martyr...but meaner. You're sick as a dog and would love nothing more than to dive under the covers and remain there, but Thing One's diapers aren't gonna change themselves and Thing Two wants a grilled cheese and some goldfish crackers. This person calls in the midst of all this, asks how you're feeling, and when you tell them, they get pissed off at you because they're the ones who are supposed to always have it worse. And they've got no problem reminding you of it.

The one who revels in being an inconsiderate shopper.
You're fifth in line at Walmart, and from the looks of things, you'll be stuck there until 2047. And your kids are getting antsy. And you have to go to the bathroom. And your cell phone battery is running low. Oh, and Thing Two's Nabi Jr. just ran out of juice. It's basically the makings of a perfect storm. And then the guy behind you -- the one with a lone bottle of mouthwash -- asks if he can take cuts. Like, really, pal?

The one who thinks it's always about them.
These are the kinds of people who high-jack the toast at your wedding reception to spread the word that their mate has popped the question or use the peak of your baby shower to announce their own pregnancy. These are also the kinds of people who go on to e-mail you unsolicited school portraits of their children -- even after they've posted them to Facebook. And Instagram.

The one who thinks life -- and everything in it -- is a competition.
This person somehow thinks they've arrived because they have more Facebook friends than you; they've lost their baby weight faster than you; and they'll conveniently remind you that they've sprouted nary a gray hair when you've just plucked a box of Nice 'n Easy off the shelf at CVS.

The one who likes to rain on your proverbial parade.
So you casually mention to this person that you've spent the afternoon baking your son's favorite chocolate chip cookies. Their reply? "I hate chocolate chip cookies." Or you tell them you've found the Audrey Hepburn box set on sale for a steal. Their comeback? "Ugh. Her movies suck." These kinds of people reek of a particular fragrance called Eau de Killjoy.

The one who delights in Internet bullying.
We all know this person...but, actually, we really don't because they prefer to use an alias when they cruise from site to site leaving a bevy of distasteful comments in their wake. This person is also known for writing with conviction about what they claim to know so much about. But here's what they definitely don't know: How to conjugate verbs and how to use spellcheck.

The one who thinks the rules don't apply to them.
These are the kinds of people who should be stripped of their driver's license. I'll just leave it at that.

The one who judges everyone -- and everything -- like it's their job.
This person lives to remind you that everything you do in life is wrong, but they've somehow managed to do everything right. Yeah, okay. (Insert eye roll here.)

The one who pretends to care about you.
This person will vow to help you in any way they can. And as soon as you turn your back, they'll help you, all right. Help you right off a cliff.

And here's a bonus...

The one who's only happy for you if...
...they can have exactly what you have. Or better.



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Friday, October 17, 2014

Win the blue dress I wore to the Lions Tailgate!*


So if you follow The Brown Girl with Long Hair blog on Facebook, you may recall a recent post in which Scott and I attended Detroit Lions Tailgate Party at the Birmingham Country Club, which benefited HAVEN, a center for domestic violence treatment and prevention. And I wore the perfect sheath dress; this blue 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target dress that I found on eBay for $19.99 NWT (New Without Tags):
But few people know the story behind this dress...

The Background
So I buy this dress on eBay -- in a size small -- and the shipping was so fast that it seemingly arrived hours later. I take it out of the bag and wait for it...wait for it...much to my dismay, the seller messed up and sent me a size XS.

Ugh.

I try it on anyway. 

My hope is that the dress runs big and that I can keep it so as to avoid repackaging the sucker and schlepping off to the post office to return it. You know, because I'm kind of a hermit, and in the rare instance that I do leave the house, I sure as heck would like to go to a more exciting place than the post office.

The dress fits, yes -- it's a roomy XS! -- but I know a size small would fit my body better.

I e-mail the seller, and explain that he made mistake.

His reply? 

"Keep the XS," he writes. "Sorry for the error. I'll send you the small you ordered. Keep both; give the XS to a friend."

My first thought: This seller deserves stellar feedback.

My second thought: I'm giving away the XS on the blog.

So, again, here's the catch: The dress I'm giving away is a size XS.*

The Dress
Now, in the event that you haven't clicked off this blog post yet, please allow me to give you more details on this dress, which is also NWT. Here are the measurements:
XS 
Chest/Bust - 17"
Sleeve Length - Sleeveless 
Waist - 17.5"
Hips - 19"
Total Length - 35"

And here is the description, lifted straight from the eBay listing:
Jeweled Beaded Neck Shift Dress
sleeveless, shift dress
Crew neck, hidden back zipper, 
Clear beading detail at the neckline
Hidden- slit style pocket at each hip.
Fully lined
Machine washable
100% Polyester
The Fine Print

Now, I get that the fact that this dress is an XS makes this dress a no-go for many.

However, I would like to remind you that with the holidays coming up, this dress would make an excellent gift for those XS gals in your life -- especially if she has a penchant for the Detroit Lions Honolulu blue (wink, wink).

Here are some additional pics of the dress:


The Fine Print
This giveaway is sponsored by The Brown Girl with Long Hair blog. Target stores and 3.1 Phillip Lim are in no way affiliated with this giveaway. This giveaway is open to US residents living in the continental 48 states only. Winner must contact me within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2014. Thank you for entering...and good luck!



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit Preview

So if you follow The Brown Girl with Long Hair on Facebook, you'll know that Scott and I escaped for yet another much-needed Mommy and Daddy Night out, this time to The Henry Ford Museum for a private reception to celebrate the arrival of the NFL's Gridiron Glory Exhibit, which showcases the best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (located in Canton, Ohio).

And in true NFL fashion, the event didn't disappoint. 

Here's who was honored, what I ate, and what you can expect to see should you visit the Gridiron Glory Exhibit, which will be holding court at The Henry Ford Museum until January 4, 2015 before it heads to Phoenix, Arizona...

The People

Here Scott and I are with the evening's honoree, former Detroit Lions tight end and NFL Hall of Fame member Charlie Sanders. Before we were personally escorted through the exhibit by an NFL historian, Mr. Sanders participated in a Q&A session with the audience, which I found to be enlightening, unabashedly real, and, at times, tear-inducing. Here are some the things that I heard from Mr. Sanders that night that I couldn't wait to share with all of you:

  • Although Mr. Sander's mother died when he was only two, he said that because he had had such a wonderful support system in the form of other family members, he really didn't feel the void left by his mother's absence until he was much older. Still, he would hear athletes on the radio or television say, "Hi, Mom," and he longed to be in the position to do the same. So when he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, he ended his speech with, "Hi, Mom." There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Mr. Sanders says that he still watches that speech every month, but when he gets to that part, he can't stomach watching it and has to turn it off. Below are three of Mr. Sander's best quotes from the Q&A:
  • "Your mind can be your greatest asset...or your greatest liability."
  • "I didn't engage in trash talk on the field. No, I was all about conserving my energy."
  • "People say all the time that football is a game. No, checkers is a game." (Implying that football is far more brutal.) "But I feel blessed to have played it."
Here's Scott (right), Mr. Sanders (middle), and former Detroit Lion Dexter Bussey (left), whose daughter I actually attended freshman orientation with at the University of Michigan!


The Food
First things first, and I'm going to keep it real, here: Frankly, one of the highlights of the evening for me was the opportunity to have a little wine in place of whine. But when I arrived at the bar, I went for the gusto. The entire evening, I sipped the smoothest gin and tonic this side of the Mississippi (light on the ice; extra lime, please) . #AdultBeverageAlert:

And then there was the food, which was laid out in a way which begged to be photographed. At the risk of looking like a freak tourist, I neglected to take a photo of the entire display. But I did sneak a pic of the Caprese salad (left) and my plate which contained two succulent crab cakes, the salad, and steamed zucchini. I know, it doesn't look like much. Because it wasn't. I was trying to practice some restraint:

But the restraint went to you-know-where when I saw this -- Fresh, piping hot cobbler:

So then I had to do this:


What? You didn't think I was going to pass up fresh, made-from-scratch mixed berry cobbler with FRESH whipped cream...did you? I'll tell you what: I even licked the glass. Screw the diet. It was worth it.


The Exhibit
Now, should you visit the Gridiron Glory Exhibit, unfortunately, there won't be an open bar, waiters serving crab cakes on a silver platter, or mixed berry cobbler.

However.

There is still plenty of reasons to check this exhibit out. After all, it contains hundreds of groundbreaking artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and also affords patrons an opportunity to get up close and personal with the game of football. You'll have a chance to slip on a helmet rigged up with coach-to-player communication, test your vertical leaping ability, step inside the Champions Theater and see hard-hitting new material from NFL Films, and more.

Here are three extremely fascinating things that I deem worth the price of admission: 
  • The accounting ledger below is from a game played on November 12, 1892 in Pittsburgh and is the first documented proof that a player was paid to play football.  Note the line item that shows William "Pudge" Heffelfinger was paid $500 to play in the game. The ledger, which is considered "Football's Birth Certificate," is among the most significant documents in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s vast collection:

  • Any die-hard fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers knows about The Immaculate Reception, which was one of the most famous plays in the history of American football. .(The play's name is a pun derived from the Immaculate Conception, a dogma in the Roman Catholic Church.) It all went down during the AFC divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh on December 23, 1972. With the Steelers trailing in the last 30 seconds of the game, Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass to John Fuqua, who was immediately hit and lost possession of the ball. As the ball fell towards the ground, Steelers fullback Franco Harris scooped it up and ran for a game-winning touchdown.  But here's what many may not know: Right before The Immaculate Reception, the owner of the Steelers left the press box and headed down to the locker room to console his team -- he thought they had lost! But when he had arrived, he saw all the Steelers players celebrating because they had won the game -- and were Super Bowl bound! The owner's son had the good insight to remove the elevator panel of the elevator his father used to travel down to the locker room while The Immaculate Conception was going on...and that elevator panel is on display during this exhibit.
  • Also on display are various pieces of memorabilia from the Columbus Panhandles (pictured below), one of the first chartered teams of the NFL:

They were an interesting bunch, those Panhandles: Six of the 11 starters -- and the team mascot -- were brothers, and they all worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad, which afforded them the opportunity to travel to play away games.

So there you have it. A peek inside the NFL's Gridiron Glory Exhibit, which showcases the best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Check your local museums because the exhibit may be coming to a city near you!



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Friday, October 10, 2014

My response to Vogue's "By 30" bucket list

Don’t get me wrong, my day looks – or night ones, for that matter – are not apt to inspire a spread in any of the hottest fashion magazines, but I thought I was doing all right in the style department.

I’ve got a pretty impressive shoe and handbag collection as well as enough jeans and cashmere sweaters to clothe a small nation.  

But a bucket list of fashion risks recently released by Vogue magazine entitled 10 Fashion Risks You Should Have Taken by the Age of 30 proves I am woefully inept in the sartorial department.

Judging by my response to the ten items on their list, I scored a D+, at best.

According to Vogue, a woman should have tried the following by her 30th birthday:

1. Stepped out in thigh-high boots and a miniskirt at least once.
I do own a pair of black thigh-high Donald Pliner boots, but I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I wore them. Nixay on the miniskirt, by the way. As you can see, I am off to a rip-roaring start.

2. Adapted something from a school girl’s uniform-pleated skirt, Peter Pan collar, or over-the-knee socks for your working wardrobe.
Before becoming a SAHM, I worked in politics…and in broadcast news prior to that. Had I showed up to city hall – or the TV station – in a school girl’s uniform or over-the-knee socks, I may have been removed from office – and most definitely ridiculed into oblivion by my camera crew.

3. Exposed a cowboy boot.
Check! And I’ve got a straw beach hat to match. Brownie points.

4. Taken to the streets in a nightgown.
Does making a mad dash down the driveway to fetch the morning paper count? My hunch is no.

5. Done sequin pants for day.
First, I think the writer of the list meant “don,” and, secondly, I didn’t know there was such a thing. I hope they are lined with silk because, otherwise, they sound horribly uncomfortable.

6. Gone goth, punk, or grunge for the night.
Allow me to preface my response by stating that I have nothing but love for my brethren who have a penchant for going over to the dark side, but the closest I’ve come to going goth is wearing Chanel’s “Black Stain” on my toes in the wintertime.

7. Reinvented an oversize men’s blazer as a dress.
Have you seen my husband’s blazers? A former NFL lineman, he wears a size 3X. His blazers can in no way pass for a dress.

8. Blown your tax return on a pair of skinny leather pants and regretted it.
Nope. But once upon a time, I did spend nearly twice my car note on approximately 25 tubes of MAC lipstick after receiving word that my favorite color was being discontinued. And, no, I still don’t regret it.

9. Worn a “signature” hat.
Somehow, I don’t think this limited edition NFL Bud Light cap Scott brought home from this year’s NFL draft party counts.

10. Referenced at least two of the following for inspiration: Joan Jett, Jane Birkin, Bianca Jagger, Stevie Nicks, Kurt Cobain, or Anita Pallenberg. 
I have fantasized about wearing a white suit jacket à la the one Bianca Jagger wore when she married Mick: 

But I don’t have the courage nor cleavage to pull it off.

What about you? How did you fare with this list?

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