bravwel style

Our New Home!!

We bought a house!! We are beyond excited to set roots down in Visalia again and make an old house our new home.

If you know us then you know we didn’t want a new build. Actually, the older the better. We love the charm, unique features and layouts of older homes. So when a 1960’s ranch style home came on the market in a friendly little community tucked away in the outskirts of town, we knew we had to jump on it.

Yes, its 50 years old and yes, it needs a lot of updates (wait until you see these bathrooms) and some work but it’s nothing we can’t handle, right?

So, after thirty days of paperwork, inspections and negotiating we finally got our keys to our first home, that just so happened to be on Adam’s birthday (what a gift right).

Instead of moving in right away like a normal couple we’ve decided to dive head first into renovations. But before we share our DIY experiences we want to share the home in its current state and give you an idea of what we’re working with.

So, come on in!

The house was built in 1964 and most things in it were also built in 1964. Including those terrible doors and the old windows. Both (all) are getting updating very, very soon. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a video tour and watch Megan take way too long to explain things that are being done in the house.


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!










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





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.


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

Brioche French Toast - Bravwel 004 Brioche French Toast - Bravwel 005

  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!

Brioche French Toast - Bravwel 008 Brioche French Toast - Bravwel 010

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

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