Archive for April 2011

 

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Times Square AW11

30 April 2011

Times Square AW2011

I went to a fashion event at Times Square, in Claremont, which is a rather upmarket suburb of Perth. Actually, it doesn’t get much more upmarket – it’s where Perth’s multi-millionaires and billionaires, go shopping and dining.

The show was an open-air show, on the roof top, under the stars. The atmosphere was just lovely. I sipped a bit of champagne, I ate some amazing garlic prawns, I got a front row seat, and chatted all night.

Times Square is a cluster of boutiques including Wayne Cooper, Aelkemi, Bettina Liano, Leona Edmiston, Breathless, Anna Thomas. For this show they were launching their Autumn Winter 2011 Collections.

These are a few looks from Aelkemi’s collection – I adored the purple fur, black sequins and the pleated dresses.

Times Square AW2011

Anyway while I was walking back to my car, I strolled through the new Claremont Quarter Shopping Centre. It was late night shopping and the place was filled with shoppers.

I haden’t visited Claremont in a few years, and I could hardley recognise the place! There used to be a large dodgy car park right smack bang in the centre of the precinct, but now there is a very pretty-looking, 5 storey shopping centre there… it looked great!

And then it occured to me that I needed to buy some groceries, and that the shops were open, so what the heck, in I went. What was very amusing was that I was dressed in a bright red, mini-length, ruffle-shoulder, cocktail dress, and I DIDN’T FEEL OUT OF PLACE! There were some very well dressed people there, doing their weekly grocery shopping in head to toe designer clothing!

Times Square AW2011

So I thought I’d try to capture the hilarity of the moment.

I stood in front of the Coles supermarket, in front of the oranges and tomatoes, and snapped away at myself, making sure I photographed the fruit behind me.

I felt like such a dweeb! A blogging dweeb no less!

Photo credits: Big thanks to Perth Photography who took the catwalk photos above.


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Time Machines

28 April 2011

Time Machine

My husband and I have a problem.

We like to collect things. Old things, beautiful things, sentimental things, things that make us laugh, things that make us marvel, things that remind us of favourite places… oh, the list goes on.

But recently, when we packed to move into our new house, we were both a little traumatised by how much stuff we had collected over the years. We literally have boxes and boxes AND BOXES of all our beautiful and precious objects stacked up in our shed… still waiting to be sorted, thrown away, or kept.

I have been slowly working through the pile, and today, I thought I’d share a few objects that made me chuckle with delight.

Pictured above, is a little old fashioned day-and-date calendar thing.

My 6 year old saw it and went WOW IT’S A TIME MACHINE!!! Indeed it was.

Floppy Disk

All my documents from 1996, university files, backups and journal writings are currently trapped in these 3 ½ inch floppy disks.

They each store 1.44MB of data. And I think I have more than 100 of them. Oh, what to do. Shall I throw or keep?

Floppy Disk

These are 5¼ inch floppy disks from my family’s old Commodore 64. I kept them because they looked so cute and retro.

Cassette

OK this put a huge grin on my face. Back in the 80s, personal computers used cassette tapes to hold and load their data, called Datasettes. I distinctly remember myself as a really little kid messing around with these cassettes.

You know, every time I look at these things, I am struck by my own delight. I keep thinking, some time not too long in the future, I’m going to show my grandkids these funny looking objects and they are going to go WTF??


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Rebecca Minkoff and Red

27 April 2011

Rebecca Minkoff and Red

Rebecca Minkoff and Red

I recently sourced and received a whole stack of new bits and pieces, and I’ve been having a ball, playing with new styles.

This outfit made me giddy with happiness. I’ve never worn bright red pants, so my legs felt like they were bursting with life – hence the dancing. I’m positive that wearing the colour red does something to the brain.

Top: The grey slouchy top is by Rebecca Minkoff – a US designer with some very cool styles in her collection.

I bought it on sale from the ShopBop Sale (30% – 70% off). There are loads of nice clothes over there! I’ve bought a few things, which I’ll get around to photographing soon.

Pants: The red pants are actually leggings  from YesStyle (AUD $25). And yes, they are loose enough for me to wear as pants.

Jacket: A premium item from Lilies of eField.

Shoes: Heart and Soul heels by GlamRockChic.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Liam at 2 Years Old

25 April 2011

Liam at 2 years old
Just look at the red in his hair!

My 2 year old toddler is an absolute chatterbox. He just does not shut up.

Lucky for him, he is insanely cute. And I can spend all day talking to him and listening to him chatter for hours.

He’s so naturally well-mannered and polite – saying thank you, you’re welcome, ‘cuse me, sorry, see ya later! And he’s so caring and sensitive, always asking me, “Are you ok mum?” “Are you good?” “What happened?”

My other two children were never like this. They were either self-centred (as children naturally are) or just totally oblivious to the feelings of other people (as children naturally are).

I used to believe that other parents made this stuff up. Naturally polite children? No such thing!

But Liam likes to crawl into my lap, wrap his arms around me like a koala bear, squeezes me tight, then leans back to look at me with his deep brown eyes and asks “Can I have a back scratch please mummy?” and he’ll flop his body into my chest and nuzzle his face into my skin… and go, “Ahh, that’s really nice mum.”

And my heart – oh my heart – it melts into a glorious mush of love.

Did I mention he is my last baby?

Liam at 2 years old


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Texture Mix – Hairy Shoes and Sequin Skirts

22 April 2011

Yes I have more new stuff and because all my real life girlfriends are on holidays, I can’t contain my excitement… so I’m going to share with you all, my online girlfriends :)

Hairy Shoes

I’ve been on a bit of a shoe buying ban. But these leather pumps (with pony hair I think?) were $140… they were on sale and I paid $35 for them, from Sportsgirl.

Black Knit Jumper

Since spying and falling in love with an ACNE cable knit jumper online, I have been looking for one everywhere.

This one was from YesStyle, and I seriously am in love with it.

Gold Sequin Skirt

I have been looking for a gold, sequin, mini skirt that was CLASSY (is there such a thing??). We shall see. Again I found this one on YesStyle, and so far so good. I like that the gold is a satin champagne colour rather than bright yellow gold.

Can’t wait to play with it and style it up.

Tribal Earrings

Tribal earrings from Birdsnest. Love these!

( See all my Shopping Stories here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Harmony

21 April 2011

My children’s school recently held a “Harmony Day” where they all celebrated the community’s cultural diversity.

There was a mini costume parade at the school, and friends and family were invited to a multicultural picnic on the oval. A simple and casual event, with an excellent attendance!

I promised the kids that I’d be there.

The last couple of years I’ve been very non-committal and uninvolved with school events. I’ve just been too busy with work, life, and it’s tricky when I have a baby/toddler to look after. I’ve been happy to help with money and permission slips, but not my time. Ha isn’t that just the usual story?

I suppose for the kids, the school community is their life. They get so excited about upcoming events, and man, when they can’t be a part of it, the look of sadness and disappointment on their faces is enough to bring any parents to their knees. Oh the guilt.

Anyway, I thought I’d try a bit harder for this event.

Harmony Day 2011

Our family is a mishmash of cultures – Australian, Chinese, Scottish, English and Singaporean. I made a huge dish of Asian-style noodles, I put together Australian-style pavalovas, and we sat on a Scottish-styled tartan picnic rug, while drinking a hot cup of English Breakfast tea and orange juice.

I even made an effort to wear a Chinese-style silk top with a blossom print, and one of my sons wore Chinese silk pyjamas while playing cricket. It was very cute.

I sat there on the rug, on the grass, in the beautiful sunny weather, surrounded by hundreds of other smiling families and children from all over the world, and I wondered how I ever came to a point where I had to be driven by guilt to make myself be a part of this.

Then I laughed at how mothers are. Feeling guilty for feeling guilty.

I let the thought slide and was decided to enjoy the rest of the picnic.

The children were so happy, in a “I’m so proud of you mum” kind of way.

And I guess I was too.


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Winter Goodies From Birdsnest

19 April 2011

Recently it occurred to me that I have lots of nice going-out clothes to wear in the cooler weather. But I was severely lacking in more casual, relaxed clothes.

I picked out 3 new items from Birdsnest, which, in my humble opinion, have a well selected collection of clothes, styles and brands for real, everyday women.

They have this an excellent Outfit Section where you can browse through their catalogue by outfit, and it gives you new ideas on how to wear items and put things together.

Birdsnest Winter 2011

Anyway, usually when I buy tops, jumpers, cardigans and jackets, I tend to choose more fitted and slimmer shapes… mainly because fitted shapes are more flattering and are easier to layer.

But this time I tried more relaxed and loose-fitting shapes.

And I must admit, it worked out really well because I adore all 3 items! I just want to wear them all the time and mix them with everything I have in my closet – my black skinny jeans, my blue jeans, some leggings, a red pencil skirt, my camel pants, my leather skirt, some khaki shorts.

They are complete wardrobe winners. Yay!

Birdsnest Winter 2011

The Waterfall Blazer – It’s basically a soft blazer with a drapey collar. This jacket has a two-tone panel on the underside of its sleeves and I think it looks sooooooo cool!

Birdsnest Winter 2011

The Cut-Out Top – I’ve never been a fan of cut-out shoulders… until now. This one looks, feels and falls so nicely. It looks effortlessly sexy, relaxed and understated. I might buy one in a cream version.

Here I wore it with my faux fur coat, leather shorts and suede wedges.

Birdsnest Winter 2011

The Slouchy Sweater – So comfy! I actually wore this jumper to death with my jeans. This day I tried it with my leather skirt and it looked great.

These are a few other slouchy knits and tops from Birdsnest that I was drooling over :

Birdsnest Winter 2011

(Oh and don’t forget their Birdsnest Up to 70% off sale).

Happy Shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Racist Furniture

18 April 2011

A big, old plywood wardrobe sat at the back of our garden shed. It was eaten out at the bottom by termites, and not even good for storing gardening tools.

So my husband broke it up to put it in the rubbish bin.

And he noticed this on the back.

cupboard_base

It says:

Poveys
434 Newcastle Street, Perth.
European Labour Only

Huh!?

So I did a little bit of research on the Internet, and yup, Australian furniture manufacturers used to proudly stamp their products with this assurance to their (presumably white) customers than no Asians had been employed.

It seems this was a very common practice between 1900-1950s. A hang-over from Australia’s “White Australia” policy, that was finally swept away in the 1970s. My family came to Australia in the 1980s.

My curious eight year old, half-white, half-Chinese son Callum wanted to know what “European Labour Only” meant.

I wasn’t looking forward to exaplining to him what racism is, but he has to find out sometime, right?

I’m glad to say that this explanation took a long time, since Callum had no idea that anybody would hate someone else just because of the colour of their skin, or the shape of their face. In fact, he thought I was joking.

I’m so happy that my children go to a school so multi-cultural that they don’t really think racism is possible. But then, that is one of the reasons we chose to live where we do… a VERY mixed race area. I guess my children will find out the hard way, one day (deep sigh).

But maybe not! I have lived almost the whole of my life in Australia, and I can honestly say I have never been treated differently due to my ethnic background.

I suppose the white people who owned the furniture shop all those decades ago weren’t really BAD people. Probably, they just never had the chance to find out that Asian people are just like everyone else. Times change, people change, and societies change.

And places change. There isn’t a furniture factory at 434 Newcastle Street anymore.

(But there is a Vietnamese supermarket a few doors down!)


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Bargain Beauties To Wear Everywhere

16 April 2011

Shoes Gladiators - Nude

Zu Shoes were having a 50-75% off sale the other week, and I bought these gladiator sandals for $30. They are real leather and a lovely light tan colour. I didn’t think it was a *smart* purchase at the time, with winter approaching. But they were such a great price for real leather.

Anyway, it turns out that I have been wearing them everywhere, with almost everything – jeans, skirts, shorts, maxi skirts – because they add a very cool, understated luxe look to my outfits. They are definitely my best buy this month!

Sunglasses Cateyes

Yes I bought another pair of sunglasses. These are “cat eyes” from the sale at Urban Outfitters

I’m in this terrible cycle of buying “affordable” fashiony sun glasses, because I always lose them or squash them. So I buy another pair, and another. I wonder if I would take better care of my sunglasses, if I spent a bit more money on a quality pair?

( See all my Shopping Stories here )


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Bearing Fruit

14 April 2011

New Garden: Mandarins

New Garden: Oranges

Those who know me well, know that I’m a bit of a closet gardener.

I loooooove gardening. I love thinking and talking about growing vegetables and fruit. Composting and worm farming. Mulching and water saving tips. I’m no expert, but my eyes will light up and I’ll ramble on for hours.

Well, my new backyard is split into two sections. One is the pretty entertaining area. The other is a huge area that we call “The Farm”.

New Garden: Vegetable Beds

It has 4 large, raised, vegetable beds, two sheds, lots of low garden beds, and lots of established citrus fruit trees. I have lemons, oranges (pictured), limes, grapefruit and mandarins (pictured)!

It all needs a bit of work. But it’s perfect for me.

You should see my eyes sparkle.

I’m in heaven.


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Colour Clashing

13 April 2011

Colour Clashing

The other day I was inspired by the glorious sunny weather, and put together an outfit using a few brightly coloured bits and pieces from my wardrobe.

I have quite a few coloured items – red tops, pink camisoles, purple skirts. And it was quite nice to drag them all out and play with all the possible colour combinations.

Colour Clashing

The Aqua Top is by Al&Alicia, a casual tank with a mesh cut out at the waist. I might wear it with a bright purple skirt next time.

The blue skirt is by Marnie Skillings, an Australian label with very quirky and playful looks. I love the origami fold detail, it’s one of my favourite skirts, because it looks great with any top. I got it from online boutique, Fashion Artiste.

The orange shoes are by GlamRockChic. They are orange suede with gold chain detail – just fabulous!

The belt is actually a vintage gold necklace by Australian designer Joveeba.

The trench coat is a tan 70s style belted mac from ASOS.

And I’m wearing some gold polish on my nails. It was just a cheap bottle I bought from a pharmacy, but the colour was just gorgeous – more like a lovely mix of champagne rose gold.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Homemade Hot Cross Buns

11 April 2011

Hot Cross Buns

I am very excited at the moment. I have a new cook book and I have been inspired to BAKE!

With Easter coming up, the bakery sells hot cross buns for $6.50 for a bag of 6. Now I LOOOOOVE hot cross buns. I can eat about 3 in one sitting. And my kids could probably eat 2, maybe 3 each. Which means I would have to buy 2 bags for $13, which ain’t happening.

So I was inspired to try and make some myself.

The recipe looked super easy, and it was.

I tried out the recipe 3 times (in one week!). In the end I halved the original portion, to make 16 small buns, because the original amount of yeast made the dough grow so large that I didn’t have a bowl big enough to fit all the dough! It was spilling out over the sides!

Anyway, I thought I’d share a slightly modified Chocolate Chip version on my blog (if you want the original version with sultanas and currants, I guess you’ll have to buy the book!).

These are so fricking amazing. The smell, the texture, the light sweetness, the glaze, the bits of chocolate… they are absolutely delicious.

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

10g yeast
150ml warm water
45g caster sugar
275g plain flour
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
50g butter, softened
70g of chocolate chips

Flour Paste
45g plain flour
15g castor sugar
45ml water

Syrup Glaze
15g caster sugar
15ml of water

1. Stir yeast and water in a large bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes while you get the rest of your ingredients together.

2. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, egg and butter (make sure it’s soft!).

3. Mix very well for 3 minutes with a spoon. Add chocolate chips and then give it another good stir for 2 minutes.

4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap, and leave the bowl in a warm place for 1- 2 hours. (I like to make it just after breakfast, before I drop my kids off at school.)

5. Preheat the oven to 170C.

6. The dough should have doubled in size. Knock back the dough with the spoon, and transfer onto a well floured surface. The dough is pretty sticky and soft, not like pizza or bread dough! I rolled them about and cut them up with a spatula and a spoon, I didn’t actually touch the dough with my fingers.

7. Divide the dough into 16 portions, lightly roll each of them into a small ball, and place the balls onto a lined baking tray. You’re supposed to place them 5cms apart, but I just put them 3cm apart.

Hot Cross Buns

8. You’re supposed to wait 1 hour for the balls to rise slightly, but I just waited 15 minutes.

9. Flour paste – Mix the flour, sugar and water in a small ball. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag – I use a plastic zip lock bag, and snip the end off one corner.

10. Pipe crosses across the buns.

11. Bake the buns for 25 minutes, until the tops are nice and dark golden colour. The darker the better!

12. Syrup Glaze – Lightly boil sugar and water in a small saucepan.

13. Once the buns come out of the oven, brush the tops with the glaze.

14. Best eaten hot!

New Cook Book - Bake by Alison Thompson

This is the cook book the recipe came from, Bake by Alison Thompson. Full of easy-to-bake classic baking recipes. Can’t wait to try out more.


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Rainbow Brights

9 April 2011

This new season brings a fun new trend – adding a bright pop of colour to your outfit.

It’s fun – especially with winter around the corner, where everyone tends to wear black and grey – so it’s easy to wrap up with a brightly coloured scarf, or slip on some bright coloured heels.

Brights: Green Silk Skirt

I bought this beautiful green skirt from the op shop for $2. It’s a wrap skirt, it’s mid calf length, it has this gorgeous Eastern ethnic print on it and it’s pure silk.

Brights: Blue Shoes Nine West

These are a pair of Nine West shoes I have had for a while – patent blue! Love them!

Brights: Purple and Red Skirts

Again I bought these skirts from an op shop. The purple one is a silky maxi skirt with an awesome split! The red one is a wool blend pencil skirt, it looks quite short in the photo, but it falls below my knee. I think I bought them both for $3 each.

Brights: Joveeba Vintage Necklace

Bright gold, vintage necklace by fabulous Aussie label, Joveeba.

( See all my Shopping Stories here )


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Elbow Grease Vs Acid

7 April 2011

washing-oven

This past month, my life has been utterly consumed by moving house and trying to settle into my new house.

But as well as that, we are – also – now landlords of our OLD HOUSE. Well, kind of.

The owners of our old house are none other than my husband’s parents – who are currently overseas, and we have taken it upon ourselves to help them spruce it up for renting.

And when I say “spruce”…

I mean, I had to CLEAN THE 7 YEARS OF ROAST CHICKEN FAT MOLECULARLY BONDED TO MY OVEN.

It is funny how you don’t *see* that kind of stuff when you’re living in a place.

In my defence, my old oven was already 20 years old, and a dark brown metal colour to start with.

So there you have it.

Today’s photo is me, scrubbing the kitchen for 3 hours, but still able to stand back and admire the brown coloured bubbles collecting in the grills.

Bit like cappuccino froth no?


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Faux Fur + Gold Details

5 April 2011

ASOS Faux Fur Coat

Just before I flew out to Copenhagen Fashion Week early this year, I received a very cool gift from ASOS – a Vintage Style Faux Fur Coat that I picked out.

Needless to say… I loooved it! I wore many times during fashion week, and it helped me survive the below zero temperatures – it was just gorgeous.

Anyway, with the cooler weather approaching, I thought I would finally feature it here properly.

I also wanted to point all my Australian readers to the Winter Clearance over at ASOS.

They are selling jackets, jumpers and other yummy wintery clothes at great prices. Not to mention free delivery worldwide!

Details

A few other bits that I wore.

Leather bracelet: Wanderlust and Co
Onyx Beads: A gift
Gold Watch: Guess
Nails: Witchery Nailpolish

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Our Three-For-One Sunday

4 April 2011

We are usually blessed with weekends crammed with family activity, tasks to be done and a bit of lazy relaxation. We like to keep things balanced.

But on Sunday, I believe we hit our record of activities done in one day.

sunday_sunrise

6am: We all woke up! Jumped into the car and drove to my brother in law’s house for breakfast.

sunday_baconeggs

7am: Nothing is more delicious than eating bacon and eggs, in the backyard under the trees, on a beautiful Autumn morning.

sunday_gardening

9am: My husband and I split the kids up to do some jobs around the house. He took the 8 year old and fixed some broken light bulb fittings around the place.

My 6 year old and I did some serious gardening – we cut back a tree (which was the same height as I was) then dug it out of the ground, roots and all. Bloody hard work!

My 2 year old, toddled around the garden with me, playing with buckets of water and sand.

sunday_snack

11am: Morning tea – cut fruit and warm chocolate chip buns I made a few days ago.

sunday_jetty

1pm: Went to the river to meet up with some friends for lunch. We all had a swim and caught jellyfish from the jetty.

sunday_bednap

3pm: Came home covered in salt and sand. Had a quick shower and we crashed into bed for an afternoon nap.

We all slept for 2 hours! Amazing!

sunday_slingshot

6pm: Made our way to my grandma’s house to celebrate my mother’s birthday.

We walked across the road to play in a park. My dad bought all the grandkids these cheap, glowing, slingshot toys that turned into spinning helicopter things, which entertained everyone until we ran out of sun light.

sunday_dinner

7pm: My aunty made an incredible 7 course Chinese banquet for all of us. It was so delicious. OMG my mouth was watering. I hadn’t had proper, home-cooked, Chinese food in so long that I made an utter glut of myself.

9pm: Made it home and put the kids to bed. My husband did a bit of housework and I made lunches for my school kids.

After that, he watched a bit of TV, while I read a bit of my book.

We put our feet up, looked back through the day, laughed because it felt like we had lived THREE DAYS IN ONE… and just smiled with content satisfaction. Life is sooo good.


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ELLERY Spring Summer 2011/12 Collection

1 April 2011

ELLERY Spring Summer 2011/12 Collection

I had the pleasure of being invited to an exclusive fashion show of Kym Ellery’s ELLERY RTW SS 2011/12 Collection on Tuesday night.

It was definitely a much anticipated show, with the presence of fashion celebrities, local personalities, national magazine editors – the local fashion industry was swelling with pride and excitement.

Last year I wrote about how I fell in love with her Ellery S/S 10/11 Collection. Since then label has been a national sensation and she was recently awarded Best New Designer at the recent Prix de Marie Claire Awards.

ELLERY Spring Summer 2011/12 Collection

The show was quite a treat indeed – clean, crisp tailoring, cropped tops, sheer flowing skirts, tan leather, gold glitter knits, wide leg pants, white waffle textures. The dominant colours were white, black, tans, gold, coppers and bronze.

There were hints of 70s glam, and Fantastic Mr Fox inspiration, all with a modern feminine edge.

It was an absolute delight to see the brand evolve and mature.

I would say there were a quite a few pieces that I would love to own – the sheer glittery maxi skirt, the bronze dress, silky white shirt, the tan belt and a dark denim shirt.

It was a fabulous night!

All photos are my own.