Luxury Perfume Exchange Brunch – Camo and pink edition

Chef JudyWhether you are a perfume connoisseur or just love trying new scents, you’ll enjoy swapping perfumes on Feb. 10, from noon to 2 p.m., at 541 Bonanza Drive, Suite 102 in Fayetteville, hosted by Chef Judy Cage. Get ready to indulge your senses in a delightful brunch spread while exploring a wide range of exquisite perfumes.

Chef Judy started this unique event to bring fellow perfume enthusiasts together to discover a world of luxury scents, mingle, eat great food, and be in a safe space to share tips and give recommendations.

The brunch is also a great way to network with like-minded people who share a passion for luxury perfumes. Attendees are asked to bring a scent valued between $65 to $110 in a gift bag.

Chef Judy is a staple in the Fayetteville area. She loves connecting with and supporting local business owners and is known for her generous giving and infectious smile. Her love for cooking started at a young age. A native of Chicago, she joined the military after high school and honed in on her cooking skills.

Stationed in Fayetteville, she made it her home and started three businesses: Uptown’s Chicken & Waffles, Let Me Cater To You, and Personal Chef & Catering Company.

“We have built a reputation for quality food with a diverse menu. My passion is providing excellent service for all events, from a casual company picnic to an elegant wedding reception,” Chef Judy shared.


Chef Judy has built an impressive reputation catering to well-known artists and treating every client like a VIP. She operates with a spirit of humility, excellence, and professionalism. Her incredible talent has been recognized on the Food Network's Super Market Stakeout, where she showcased her skills and emerged as the winner. This experience propelled her to new heights, fueling her love for television, cooking, and the thrill of competition.

“I had such a great time,” Chef Judy said, “This experience has been amazing. I love television, I love cooking, and I love the exposure. These competition shows allow me to perform at my highest level in the kitchen. I also met some amazing people while showing my competitive side.”

Later this year, Chef Judy will release a coloring cookbook titled, “The Book Next To The Bible.” It will offer recipes and stories from Chef Judy’s table. She loves to travel, laugh, make people smile, and spend quality time with her family and friends.

Chef Judy says attendees will be in for a real treat at this event. She always has something exciting and fun to do. Not only will you exchange fragrances and enjoy good food, but there will be local vendors you can support. Grab as many perfumes as you want to exchange, grab a friend, and plan to have a fabulous time as you network with people in the area!

Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/luxury-perfume-exchange-brunch-tickets-788682660067?aff=ebdssbdestsearch or by calling 910-443-3588.

Rex Plowden Heirs' Tea: A tea party for boys

pexels ton vn 18738681In a wonderful cultural shift challenging traditional stereotypes, Rex Plowden Heirs plans to create an enjoyable and relaxing new setting for men in an unlikely way– tea parties.

Ayreka Plowden and her two sons, William and Cory II, are all co-owners of Rex Plowden Heirs. Both William and Cory came up with the fun new idea for a men’s tea party.

“I haven’t [been to] a boy’s tea party before,” Cory explains, “I always saw girls do it but I wanted to do one for the boys.” William, the eldest son at 8 years old, joins in to explain, “I think it’s going to be a fun thing to do for boys. We can talk and learn different things about [the] people [that come].”

Their mother heard their ideas and turned it into a reality. At Ayreka’s current job, she hosts various types of exhibition events throughout the year. Instead of hosting an event for herself, she decided to let her boys’ ideas come to fruition. As avid tea drinkers, the three family members knew it would be a wonderful way to bring people together to promote health and create a positive male community. Their focus is to bring boys together and instill loving values and traditions in them that will help them succeed and be their most authentic selves.

Rex Plowden Heirs’ Tea party is set to take place on Feb. 3, from noon to 2 p.m. and invites young men and boys alike to spend a relaxing afternoon making friends, exchanging stories, and drinking delicious tea. Though primarily geared towards young men and boys of color, who have often been excluded from events like this, everyone is welcome. The venue is on the seventh floor at 100 Hay Street #Suite 706 in Fayetteville. Make sure to get your tickets ahead of time so Rex Plowden Heirs can accommodate everyone with an accurate headcount.


“I am ever grateful for Ms. Sylvia Glanton for allowing me to utilize her space for this event for my boys and it’s a really beautiful space and I really can’t wait to set everything up,” Plowden says.

“[We want to show] that boys can have tea parties as well and to show them how to properly present themselves in society."

Plowden explains just how helpful this event can be for so many young people.

“[This] gives them an opportunity to put their best foot forward [and] gives them a chance to put some pride in themselves and how they dress and how they present themselves to others.”

Plowden and her two boys have plenty of games and activities planned. Hot and cold tea will be provided alongside hors d'oeuvres. They ask attendees dress to impress, whether that means a nice suit or a well-loved dress shirt. Bring friends and family to create an even bigger and sweeter community for young boys to figure out who they are and what they like. The more positive male figures and support, the better. Tickets are $45 for an adult male, $15 for a young boy, and $25 for any extra men in your party.

Rex Plowden Heirs hopes to host a boy’s tea party annually to continually create a safe space for men and boys to have positive male bonding. “I wanted to kind of get out of the toxic masculine mindset that drinking tea [is or] isn’t masculine,” Plowden explains.

If you’d like to help sponsor or be a part of this event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/royaltea-a-gentlemens-tea-party-tickets-792676967147 for tickets or contact Rex Plowden Heirs on the same website.

Love is in the air: Valentine's Day in Fayetteville

pexels jill wellington 3553703

Valentine's Day falls on Wednesday, February 14th this year. No matter if you are commemorating the occasion alone, with a partner, or with your children, Fayetteville has a variety of events and activities to offer for everyone's enjoyment.


Friday, February 9th:

-Candles & Cocktails: Valentine's Day Edition-Dirty Whiskey Craft Cocktail Bar at 6:30 p.m.

-A Fatal Valentine: A Valentine Murder Mystery-VFW 10630 at 7 p.m.

-Date Night Charcuterie-The Downtown Market of Fayetteville at 6 p.m.


Saturday, February 10th:

-Dress Like Your Type-Valentine's Event-Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom at 7 p.m.

-Be My Valentine Carriage Rides-222 Hay Street at 1 p.m.

-Tying the Knot with Us Macrame Workshop-Green Side Up Garden & Gift Center at 10 a.m.

-Cupids Arrow Beer Mile-Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom at 2 p.m.

-Pre-Valentines Speed Dating-Rockfish Creek Winery at 6 p.m.

-Valentine's Day Hangout-Cumberland County Public Library at 10 a.m.

-Valentine's Day KickBack-5555 Yadkin Road at 10 a.m.

-Valentine's Day Vegan Dinner-Prima Elements Holistic Wellness Center at 8:30 p.m.

-Valentine's Candle Making & Wine Tasting-Scented Wicks Candle Bar at 6 p.m.

-Ariel's Under the Sea Valentine Tea-HanMarie's Performing Arts & Events at 10 a.m. at 4787 Raeford Rd.

-Red & Black Annual Love Party-2945 Hope Mills Road at 9:30 p.m.
-Luxury Perfume Exchange Brunch-L2 Candle Bar at 10 a.m.

-Lovers & Friends Paint Party-805 Elm Street at 7 p.m.


Sunday, February 11th:

-Gastons Valentines Day Drag Brunch-Gaston Brewing Taproom at 11 a.m.


Tuesday, February 13th:

-Valentines Spirit Night-Roundabout Skating Center (71st Location) at 5:30 p.m.


Wednesday, February 14th:

-Valentine's Day Murder Myster & Dinner-Segra Stadium at 8 p.m.

-Flower Crown Workshop-Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom at 7 p.m.

-Sip & Paint Valentine's Day Edition-White Rabbit Pub at 8 p.m.

-Auricular Acupuncture & Reiki in the Salt Room-414 Ray Ave at 6:30 p.m.

-Be My Valentine-Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery at 6 p.m.

-Anti-Valentine's Garage Patio Bar-Bubba's 33 at 7 p.m.

-Love is Blind Taste Test-James Creek Cider House at 7 p.m.

-Preschool Story Time: Valentine's Day/Love-North Regional Library at 11 a.m.


Thursday, February 15th:

-Valentine's Day Party-The Sip Room at 4 p.m.


Friday, February 16th:

-FLD Valentine's Day Affair with Brian & Ellie-Fayetteville Latin Dance LLC at 8 p.m.

100 Professional Black men in Black

100 professional black men in black

Continuing the success of the 100 Professional Black Women in Black Photoshoot, community organizer Tiffany Campbell is at it again with the 100 Professional Black Men in Black photoshoot.

Taking place in downtown Fayetteville just like its predecessor, this event will gather local professionals, all dressed in black for a powerful photoshoot. This time, it will be professional black men in the spotlight. The historic event is set to take place on Feb. 10th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participants can start checking in at 1:45 p.m. at Segra Stadium.

There will be an opportunity for mixing and introductions until 2:15 p.m. when the first photo will take place. 100 Black Men in Black is sponsored by Fayetteville Observer, Brother Strong, Flip Flop Sauce, and Segra Stadium. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/100-professional-black-men-in-black-tickets-793832312817?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.

Campbell, a Youth Counselor Technician and owner of Elite Steps is excited to bring this opportunity to the black men of Fayetteville.



“This event is going to be epic. History is about to be made again. I expect a larger turnout since they know what the end goal is. I’m also excited for women to drop by with their sons, who don’t have male figures to attend with them, to be in a room full of professionals. I love that because due to my job I see many black young men in the system that lack male figures and they don’t always see professionals so they don’t think it’s a possibility,” she said about the event.

After 100 Professional Black Women in Black and its viral fame, Campbell didn’t want the men to think she had forgotten about them. They definitely weren’t an afterthought in her planning of these historic events.

“It was a thought as I planned the 100 Professional Black Women in Black but the true inspiration was when I saw the lingering effects of that photo shoot and the excitement of the men to have their own,” said Campbell.

100 Professional Black Men in Black is more than an event, it’s a movement. Campbell is inviting attendees to bring the young men in their lives, be they sons, nephews, or cousins, with them.

“It is extremely important for the boys to not only see it but interact so they understand that everyone has a story and being professional does not mean they don’t understand them. This gives them hope and shows them that dressing up makes you feel good - it's not a funeral or court. This will build self-esteem and hopefully help strive for greatness,” Campbell said of the importance of the event for the young men and boys in the community.

Campbell will need help the day of the photoshoot with the boys and young men who will be attending, saying, “I need men who are willing to help me look after boys whose mothers will be present but not in Segra Stadium with them ­— to look out for them while we walk. There is someone affiliated with me who is assisting parents who need assistance getting clothing for their children. I need for every child to feel their best and look their best. As we help many of them see something that is not common.”

The plans for the future are big for the founder and creator, saying, “The future is to create opportunities for us to network in hopes to create generational connections and enhance our culture. [To] create a space so that everyone can go to one place and see all we have to offer so we can support each other, collaborate and more than anything, create a safe space that’s full of love and a nurturing environment that promotes and prioritizes mental health.”

100 Professional Black Men in Black is sure to be revolutionary and conversation-starting, a catalyst for greater things. Those attending can use the hashtag #100BlkProMen to document the experience.

For more information about 100 Professional Black in Black, check out the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/396077419545584?active_tab=about.

Let the good times roll by celebrating Mardi Gras

new orleans mardi grasMardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a vibrant and lively celebration that has a rich history spanning several centuries.

This annual event has become synonymous with indulgence, revelry, and colorful parades. The roots of Mardi Gras can be traced back to ancient Roman festivals of fertility and abundance, but its modern incarnation can be attributed to French settlers in the city of New Orleans.

The history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans dates back to the early 18th century when French explorers established the city. They brought with them the tradition of celebrating Mardi Gras, a time of feasting and merrymaking before the solemn period of Lent.

Over the years, the celebration evolved and incorporated elements from various cultures, including Native American and African traditions.

Today, Mardi Gras has become a unique blend of different influences, making it one of the most iconic and anticipated events in the world.


The heart of Mardi Gras lies in its elaborate parades, flamboyant costumes, and vibrant music. Krewes, which are social organizations responsible for planning and organizing the festivities, play a significant role in the celebration.

Each Krewe has its own theme and designs elaborate floats that are paraded through the streets for all to see. Spectators line the sidewalks, eagerly waiting to catch beads, trinkets, and other treasures thrown from the floats.

Mardi Gras is not only a time for revelry but also an opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate. It is a chance for people from all walks of life to forget their worries and immerse themselves in the joyous atmosphere.

The streets of New Orleans come alive with laughter, music, and dancing as locals and visitors alike join in the festivities.

The history of Mardi Gras is a fascinating tale of cultural fusion and celebration. From its humble beginnings as a religious observance, to its current status as a global phenomenon, Mardi Gras continues to captivate and enchant people from all around the world.

Here in Fayetteville, the celebrations may be a bit small, but that doesn't mean you can't throw a fabulous Mardi Gras party in your home.

Guide to Mardi Gras Party at Home

Can't make it to New Orleans to join the festivités? Bring the Big Easy home with our Ultimate Guide to Throwing a New Orleans-inspired party. So put on your mask, grab some beads, and let the spirit of Mardi Gras carry you away!

Set the Mood with Music
Perhaps one of the most essential elements that make Mardi Gras truly unforgettable is the music. Music is the beating heart of Mardi Gras, infusing every street corner and party venue with infectious rhythms that compel everyone to dance and let loose. From the soulful sounds of jazz to the energetic beats of zydeco, music sets the tone for this grand celebration like no other.

Here are some great resources to compose the ultimate Mardi Gras playlist:
NOLA School of Music's Ultimate Mardi Gras Playlist: http://tinyurl.com/59c27pxf
37 Songs for Your Mardi Gras Music Playlist from The Bash: http://tinyurl.com/3z95p5nv

Plan the Menu
One of the most important aspects of any party is the food, and planning your Mardi Gras party menu is no exception. The rich and vibrant flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisine are a must-have for this festive occasion. From jambalaya to gumbo, there are countless recipes that will transport your guests straight to the heart of Louisiana.

To start off your Mardi Gras feast, consider serving some traditional appetizers like crawfish dip or spicy shrimp cocktail. These dishes are sure to get your guests' taste buds dancing in anticipation of what's to come.
For the main course, you can't go wrong with a classic jambalaya. Packed with bold flavors and a mix of meats like sausage and chicken, this hearty dish is a true crowd-pleaser. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at making gumbo, a rich stew filled with shrimp, sausage, and okra.

No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without some delicious desserts. King cake is an absolute must-have for this occasion. This sweet and colorful pastry is traditionally served during the Carnival season and is typically filled with cinnamon or cream cheese. Another popular dessert is beignets, which are deep-fried doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar. These pillowy treats are perfect for dipping into a cup of café au lait.

Get inspired with some of these great recipes:
50 Classic Mardi Gras Recipes from Southern Living: http://tinyurl.com/bdhc7e23
Must-Have Mardi Gras Recipes from Southern Discourse: http://tinyurl.com/mry4232k

Spread the Purple, Green & Gold Around
You are for sure going to need some fabulous decorations that will transport your guests straight to the heart of New Orleans. Mardi Gras is all about indulgence, celebration, and vibrant colors, so it's important to set the mood with the right decorations. From purple, green, and gold streamers to festive masks and beads, there are so many creative ways to transform your space into a Mardi Gras wonderland.

Start by setting the scene with a colorful backdrop. Hang purple, green, and gold curtains or fabric to create a backdrop reminiscent of the iconic Mardi Gras parade floats. You can also use balloons in these vibrant colors to add a touch of fun and whimsy. Scatter confetti or glitter on tables and countertops to give your party that extra sparkle. Don't forget to incorporate traditional Mardi Gras symbols like fleur-de-lis or jester hats into your decorations for an authentic touch.

Another essential element of any Mardi Gras party is masks and beads. Provide your guests with an assortment of masks in various colors and styles so they can fully embrace the spirit of the celebration. You can also hang strings of beads around the party area or use them as table centerpieces. Not only do these decorations add a festive touch, but they also make for great photo opportunities.

To take your Mardi Gras decorations to the next level, consider incorporating some themed props. Set up a photo booth area with props like feather boas, oversized sunglasses, and sequined hats for your guests to pose with. This will not only encourage interaction and fun but also create lasting memories.

Take some decorating notes from these great sites:
Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Dinner Party from Giggles Galore: http://tinyurl.com/5avseruv
11 Vibrant Mardi Gras Party Ideas for Adults to Nail the Celebration from Sixth Selle: http://tinyurl.com/bdfwrspa

Let the Good Drinks Flow
From vibrant cocktails to traditional New Orleans favorites, there are plenty of options to choose from that will have your guests feeling like they're right in the heart of the French Quarter. One popular choice is the classic Hurricane cocktail, a fruity and rum-filled drink that is sure to get the party started. Another great option is the Sazerac, a traditional New Orleans cocktail made with rye whiskey, absinthe, and sugar. The bold flavors of this drink perfectly capture the spirit of Mardi Gras.

And let's not forget about the iconic Mardi Gras punch, a festive blend of fruit juices and spirits that is as delicious as it is colorful. No matter which drinks you choose to serve at your Mardi Gras party, one thing is for sure - they will definitely add to the overall celebration and make your guests feel like they're part of the festivities in the Big Easy.

Find something fabulous for your guest here:
13 Mardi Gras Cocktails to Sip and Savor Like a Boss from Dine with Drinks: http://tinyurl.com/4c79rcfc
25+ Mardi Gras Mocktails from 3 Boys and a Dog: http://tinyurl.com/wny6fhe2


Remember, Mardi Gras is all about letting loose and embracing the joy of life. So go all out with your celebration and let your creativity shine through. Whether you choose to go for a traditional approach or put your own unique spin on things, your Mardi Gras party is sure to be a hit.

So, get ready to party like they do in the Big Easy and let the good times roll!

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