His and Hers / Valentines Day Gifts

We joked today saying that Valentines Day is such an overrated holiday. Maybe it’s because we’re married now or maybe it’s just that we’re lazy. Probably a bit of both to be honest. While we don’t care to get all gussied up and go out we do love to give each other little gifts. AND I’m a total sucker for good card and we both brought our a game in that department.

meganwelker-hisandhersvalentinesday-1I have an ongoing Pinterest “wishlist” board that Adam gifts from and so obviously he hits the nail on the head every.single.time. I’m so in love with this little pink crossbody bag from Old Navy. It’s going to be the perfect bag for our travels this summer in Europe. The perfect pop of color and perfect size! So excited about it! meganwelker-hisandhersvalentinesday-4Now if anyone knows Adam you know he has the craziest sweet tooth. I wanted to get him something fun and something to attract to his love for sugar. Sweet and Saucy Shop (if you don’t already know about them, you’re welcome) makes these chocolate covered oreos that you can customize. Adam’s dream girl is Kate Beckinsale so what better than Kate cookies saying “Hey baby, I’ll rock your underworld”? Nothing. Nothing is better than that. And they’re damn delicious. meganwelker-hisandhersvalentinesday-3 meganwelker-hisandhersvalentinesday-5 meganwelker-hisandhersvalentinesday-2Hope you all have a lovely and sweet Valentines Day! What did your love get for you? Are you going out? Would love to hear!

xoxo

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Brioche French Toast

Brioche French Toast - Bravwel 001If you ask Megan what my weakness is she would say “Sweets”. I am a sucker for anything sweet and a french toast breakfast is right up my alley. For Christmas I was given the cookbook NOPI by author Yotam Ottolenghi and Nopi head chef Ramael Scully. Yotam introduced me to this amazing brioche french toast recipe which we attempted..and I think we succeeded.

Brioche French Toast - Bravwel 003Now this recipe calls for a fruit compote and a topping of orange yogurt. We didn’t have everything so we decided to forgo the yogurt and stick to the fruit compote as a topping. We also didn’t have Star Anise so we substituted with cinnamon.

Ingredients:

Orange Yogurt –

  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt and finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar

Mixed Berries –

  • 10 1/2 mixed frozen berries
  • 1/3 cup fine sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Star anise sugar – (We used 1/2 cup of fine sugar with 1/4 cup cinnamon)

  • 8 whole star anise, blitzed in a spice grinder into a fine powder
  • 1/4 cup of fine sugar

French Toast –

  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 14 oz brioche loaf (cut into 6 1.25in slices)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter

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  1. Fold all of the orange yogurt ingredients together in a mixing bowl then refrigerate.
  2. Place berries in a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice. Place over high heat and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, set aside and let cool for one hour or while you continue to cook and prep.
  3. (If using Star Anise) mix together star anise and sugar then spread out on a small plate in order to be dusted on the toast later.
  4. (Cinnamon Mix) Mix the cinnamon and sugar and set aside ready for dusting.
  5. Place eggs in a bowl and whisk well until fluffy, then slowly pour the milk while whisking. Then transfer to a dish that is large enough to fit the 6 slices of brioche in a single layer (use two dishes if necessary, don’t separate soaking because some bread will soak up more egg than the later pieces). Add the brioche slices to the dish and set aside for 5 minutes turning them once.
  6. Preheat the oven to 465 degrees
  7. Place large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat with 4 teaspoons of butter. When the butter begins to foam lay 3 pieces of brioche slices in the pan frying for 1-2 minutes. Flip the slices over and add 4 teaspoons of butter. Remove the slices and set aside on the baking sheet. Once all the brioche is on the baking sheet place in the oven for the remaining 4-5 minutes (until the toast has puffed up and golden brown). Then take the baked brioche and either dip or dust the Star Anise or Cinnamon on the toast.
  8. Serve at once, with the berry compote alongside, and the orange yogurt spooned on top.

– Enjoy!

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The Rain Room

IMG_7530Have you heard about The Rain Room? It’s a magical exhibit at LACMA that allows you to walk through a room with rain falling from the ceiling and you do not get wet. WHAT?! Well, I shouldn’t say you don’t because if you’re Adam, you get soaked. I mean, not everything is perfect and you have to walk really slowly and be the right height for the sensors to see you.

IMG_7531Because it’s been SUCH a hit, they’ve extended the exhibit until April. I suggest getting your tickets asap though. They sell out really quick since it’s a timed exhibit. Head here to get tickets! We had so much fun spending the morning at the LACMA and finally going to The Rain Room! A great date day activity!

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Our Wedding / Groom style

019_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HousePicking out the suit was the easy part, it was putting together the details that took time. I knew right away I wanted Church’s shoes, I mean, they were at one time James Bond’s favorite footwear. The watch was from Megan’s Grandfather which he was given during his time in the Navy, it was a great vintage and personal piece. I also had some vintage black cuff links which stood out against the white shirt. Finally the bow tie, have to keep it classic. There were so many options to choose from, one was from J. Crew, but the tie I ended up using was from Hackett, a London based brand. If I could add one more thing it would have been a simple white pocket square, it just steps up the outfit and looks very formal. When it comes down to it, the suit is the staple but the the devil is in the details.

As soon as Megan said “yes” it was time to start planning. When it came to buying a suit I knew exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want a rental or a simple suit, I wanted something that I could wear over and over again while looking more formal that an average two piece suit.

What typically happens is most men go for a tux rental. You show up for a fitting with your groomsmen, pick your colors and then you open it the day of your wedding and something is missing or a wrong size. I wanted to avoid this all together.

128_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseChoosing the suit was not clear right away. I first tried on a ready to wear Hugo Boss black suit and while it fit nicely, I just didn’t feel entirely comfortable in it. I told Megan I wanted to check out one more place, a custom tailor called Klein Epstein Parker. We went in and right away I knew it was perfect. I was able to choose everything from the color and fit of the suit to the lining and different lapel options. The tailor was incredible and listened to everything I wanted and in the end I walked away with a suit that was custom fit for me and looked amazing for the SAME price as the ready to wear Hugo boss suit.

In the end I’m really glad I invested in a custom suit. It wasn’t cheap but in the long run it was worth it. I asked a few friends what to do, a Tux or Suit? I finally realized a suit would be more practical and decided to make it more formal with a simple black color and peak lapels. This suit resembles my custom style with a perfect modern fit while staying classic.

Men, if I could give one piece of advice it would be to invest in a suit instead of renting a terrible rental tux. You will continue to get use out of it long after the wedding, unlike a wedding dress (sorry ladies).

615_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseAll photos by Brumley & Wells

Our Wedding / The Guest List

044_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseI started this series last fall and then life happened and the blog got neglected, yet again. But I’m back with full force and promise to be better with this blog this year. I’m so excited to start sharing all of the details of the happiest day of our lives! I wanted to wait to share all the nitty gritty details of planning a wedding (in less than five months) until our wedding was published and now that it’s here, here, and here I can share with you what we couldn’t live without, what we could have done differently (not much) and what vendors to invest in.

So, you’re engaged! Hooray! What next?

009_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseThe first thing to do is find a coordinator/stylist that you love and hire them immediately. I wrote a post about how the ladies of Beijos Events saved our wedding. Honestly, without them it probably wouldn’t have happened. Well, maybe it would have but it definitely would not have looked as good. Next, and this is the painful part. Start figuring out your guest list. You can’t start venue/date shopping until you know how many people your venue needs to accommodate. We kind of went the opposite way on that one only because our venue was my DREAM and I couldn’t not have our wedding there. I wrote a bit about it here.

046_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseFor us, our venue was a top priority, which meant that our guest list took a backseat. Figueroa Farmhouse is a magical place to get married but they only allow 75 guests, including vendors. Yes, you heard that right. So we really had to think long and hard about who we wanted to be there with us. I know we hurt peoples feelings along the way but we made a decision that #1. We didn’t want to meet anyone for the first time at our wedding (with the exception of a few family members, and I mean like two). #2. No one could bring a date if they weren’t married or in a serious relationship. #3. We only wanted people there that knew us as a couple . If we had only hung out with one person in the relationship then we didn’t feel that close to them to have them on our a list. You kind of have to get brutal when it comes to this but when you have about 60 people you can invite you have no choice. Thankfully we both have really small families and chose to only invite immediate relatives which helped a lot.

For a little more help, Style Me Pretty recently shared a post about ways to trim your guest list, which was a great read!

Next up, the grooms look because why should brides have all the fun?

All photos by the amazing Brumley & Wells

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