bravwel style

Styling with Tobi

Have you heard of the online shop, Tobi? A client of mine, years ago, had the most beautiful dress for her boudoir session and she told me she got it from a site called Tobi. I’ve been a big fan of the brand ever since. I picked out a few of my favorite items from their site recently and wanted to show you how I styled them on a somewhat average day of mine. When I don’t have a session to go to you’ll find me at home for the majority of the day, sneaking away for a quick coffee date with girlfriends and hoping that once my husband gets home he steals me away from my computer for a little date. Dream day? Maybe.

Our mornings start out snuggling with our kitties and drinking coffee. We’re super early birds and usually wake up before the sun rises. It’s our favorite time together, before the emails are replied to, the lunches are made, and the hubby has to leave for work. We’re usually cozied up on the sofa, with at least one giant fluff ball in our lap. Speaking of, let me tell you a quick story about our cats. We wanted to clean out our floor furnace to turn on our heater and once Adam opened it all up and starting clearing out the dust bunnies he uncovered fourteen cat toys. Guys, fourteen!! Our little miss Delilah thinks it’s a fun game to shove her toys down there so now we’ve turned off our pilot light juuuust in case. With that all said, this sweater dress is the perfect thing to throw on in our chilly apartment.

Dress: Tobi Turtleneck Sweater Dress

Socks: Similar (super, super cute and on sale!)

Letter Board: Letterfolk

Cat: not for sale 😉

After Adam leaves for work my day begins. I start writing back emails, editing and checking my to do list. Being a photographer, there are many days I don’t leave my house (the editing cave is real) but it’s so good to get out. Rose Park Roasters is the cutest little coffee shop in our hood of Long Beach and I’m there weekly either for client meetings, dates with friends or just grabbing a delicious chai latte and bacon cheddar biscuit to take back to the cave. This floral maxi is the perfect thing to throw on for a girly date at this cute spot! It’s also a little sassy if you wanted to wear it out to a date night with some cute platforms with your beau! I love how versatile it is.

Dress: Tobi Floral Maxi Dress

Shoes: Dolce Vita for Target booties

Hat: Yellow 108

Bag: Urban Outfitters

Once 6:30 rolls around I’m anxiously waiting for Adam to get home. We try to go out on a date once a week, usually to one of our go to spots for sushi or pizza but every once in a while we’ll break out of our restaurant shell and try a new spot. We’re dying to head to Rances for pizza soon and check out Roe’s new restaurant. So many great spots here in Long Beach! This wrap dress is seriously my favorite. Not only is it super flattering, how can a wrap dress not be? But the color is perfect and can easily be dressed up or down. I love pairing it with my favorite vintage clutch and platforms. Gotta show off the gams on date nights!

Dress: Tobi Wrap Dress

Clutch: Vintage

Shoes: Dolce Vita Platforms

Bracelet: Pressed Rose Jewelry (Adam got this for me on our first Christmas as a married couple. It has our wedding date stamped into it and I LOVE it!)

Be sure to head to Tobi soon and take advantage of their 50% off site wide sale!

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Our Wedding / Bride Style

We last shared Adams take on Groom Style and today I wanted to share all that went into my favorite outfit I’ve ever worn! I wrote a post on finding the dress here but didn’t spill ALL the deets on my actual dress. I did confess about buying my dress before we were actually engaged because I was a crazy person but it all worked out.

157_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseThis dress. I worried about it for months while it was being made. Worried I would hate it once I actually got it and had it in my hands but of course, it was the opposite. I loved it so hard. I had it altered to fit me a bit better (I still wish it would have been tighter in the bodice but whatever) and added the Juliette sleeves to make it a bit more romantic. Those tiny little strands of fabric were my absolute favorite part of the dress. I ended up tucking them in at the end of the night so I could dance because while they looked really really pretty, they totally made me have t rex arms and wrapping my arms around Adams neck to sway to our first dance just wasn’t going to happen with them on.

028_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_House 175_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseThe dress on it’s own was stunning by adding the belt really made it pop and pulled the attention to my waist (which I’m real into since it’s the only part of me that is “tiny”) The belt was definitely more than I was planning on spending on a damn belt but #yolo when it’s your wedding, right?

186_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_House 199_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_House 180_Brumley & Wells_fine_art_film_photography_California_destination_weding_Figueroa_Farm_HouseThese shoes were a whim of a purchase. I was searching for a wedge since our wedding was mostly outside in dirt/grass but then I saw these and they were so affordable and comfortable and pretty. Plus that pop of blue on the bottom was just too cute to pass up!

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I’m already sad that it’s all over and this stunning dress is just hanging in my closet but I guess I’ll keep it around for my daughter to wear or tear apart…

Dress: Clementine by Sarah Seven

Belt: Sarah Seven Gilded Belt

Shoes: Betsey Johnson “Blue”

Robe: BHLDN Venezia Robe

Hair: April Warford of Eclectic Chic Salon

Makeup: Wynter Binder

Beautiful photos all by the talented Brumley and Wells

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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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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

Making our space a home

Adam and I are huge homebodies and mornings spent together are our favorite. We just soak up that time together, while everything is still and quiet, drinking our coffee and watching our favorite morning show. It’s just a couple of hours but we really treasure it so you can imagine our need for a really, really good sofa. I’m excited to share our journey to finding the one!
Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 001 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 002 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 003 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 004We’ve lived together for a couple of years now but really didn’t start making our little apartment our home until after our wedding. I was the type that would say “This isn’t our real home yet. We aren’t going to be here forever so there’s no need to decorate or worry about the perfect pieces” but boy was I wrong. Once we started making the space our own we really felt at home and loved our time spent here. We had a sofa from my previous place that was cute but not at all comfortable, so we then got a second sofa but ended up not liking the color of it and it just wasn’t right either. It was like a real life Goldilocks problem in here! We finally decided to be grown ups and do something more customizable that we knew would be perfect for our space. We decided to go through Jonathan Louis since they have sooo many options. We knew we could create the perfect sofa for us with all of their options and stylish furniture. One of our main concerns was finding one that was just the right length for our odd square living room. JL has great sizing options that we were able to choose from and we were so happy to be able pick out the size that worked best for us. As far as the color went, we knew we wanted to go with something light to open up the room and lucky for us they have hundreds of swatches to choose from too. We loved that we were able to see a swatch of each of the fabrics we liked online before we made a decision. Ordering online can be pretty intimidating but we are so in love with how it all came out! If you’re not the online sofa ordering type you can browse their furniture at stores like Macy’s, Living Spaces, Z Gallery and a ton of other local stores. Find one here!

Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 005 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 006 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 007 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 008 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 009The second it arrived and we sat on it it was like sitting on a cloud. It really is the most comfortable sofa we’ve ever sat on and we love how deep it is. No more fighting for “the perfect spot” because really, it’s ALL the perfect spot. Since we spend a ton of time in our living room it is the most perfect sofa for us. We also love the fact that it can double as a bed since we don’t have a guest room. Even Adam can comfortably fit on it (and he’s super tall 😉

Overall we are so thrilled with our experience with Jonathan Louis and we would recommend them to any and all of our friends and family! They made the process simple and painless and we are so excited to have a space that really feels like us!

Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 010 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 011 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 012 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 013 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 014 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 015 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 016 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 017 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 018 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 019 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 020 Jonathan Louis Furniture - Megan Welker Photography 021Oh, and our new kitties Samson and Delilah are really into it as well 😉

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Jonathan Louis but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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