Category Archives: Uncategorized

We don’t meet people by accident

May 7, 2016 by braytonbb

“We don’t meet people by accident. They were meant to cross our path for a reason”.

This is the quote we have currently have as our new friends profile picture on our Facebook page. I have truly believed this my whole life. Sometimes we never realize it until later in life and sometimes, we recognize it right away. This is the case with Crystal and Gloria from Florida; Mother and Daughter that were not only here for a few days to celebrate Mothers Day, but to also put a dear friend to rest who was originally from Oshkosh. She had told them stories about Oshkosh, Lake Winnebago, the Pioneer, The Boys and Girls and Club and all the wonderful people that were associated with Oshkosh.  Crystal and Gloria had promised her that they would bring her back and witness all the glorious things she had told them about the city.

These two had set out everyday to visit the places their friend had told them about, where she had lived, worked and meet the people of Oshkosh. Now obviously, people have come and gone, but I was told that everyone was just as gracious to these two out-of-towners as their friend had told them we would be.

Not only had Oshkosh made an impact on their lives, they also made an impact on mine. I have been practicing yoga for quite some time, but have only been recently teaching for the past year.  I have seen and felt first hand the power of crystals. I am also a  firm believer in Young Living Essential oils and use them along with a technique called Indianhead massage in all my classes.  During breakfast on their last day here, I found out that Crystal and I have a lot in common, but it wasn’t until I talked to her more, that things started to fall into place about my future and where I can see it taking me.

I share this with you, as sometimes we may not know where our life will take us until we are presented with something that was already there all along. I love what I do because it gives me the opportunity to meet people like Crystal and Gloria that I would probably never get a chance to cross paths with. Crystal and Gloria, I will miss your cheerfulness, insightfulness and generosity. Until next time-


Birthday Bash at WI inns

February 29, 2016 by braytonbb


Happy Birthday! (1)

So what does an innkeeper do when they want to get away? That’s easy, they find a Wisconsin bed and breakfast and get pampered themselves.

That is exactly what my husband and I and another couple did last week for my birthday. Our first stop was in Kohler, where we toured the Kohler museum. It was no charge to tour, but of course I took away a lot of ideas which I will be implementing in the next year, so as my husband put it, it really wasn’t free. We then headed over to Sheboygan and hit the John Michael Kohler Art Center. Another museum that was free of charge with a lot going on.

By this time, we were ready to check in at Lake Orchard Farm Bed and Breakfast which is also a working farm located on the shores of Lake Michigan. First off Mary and Nate, the owners, are fantastic hosts and our accommodations were beautiful, cozy yet spacious and very historic. There are 6 generations that have lived and worked on this farm. In fact, the inn was the old chicken hatchery, but you would never guess that unless you look at all the amazing photographs that they have placed around the inn. Mary serves up a wonderful breakfast in the morning as well, situated by the fireplace.

After breakfast, Nate and Mary were kind enough to take us through their newest venture in aquaponics, which refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks), with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In Nate and Mary’s case though, they raise tilapia in the old cattle barn and have added a large greenhouse where there are(well I can’t even tell you) how many different forms of lettuce that they harvest along with tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers, etc. Lucky for us, they were generous enough to send us home with some samples of tilapia and vegetables that we snacked on in the car after we left. Once we got home, what do you think we had for dinner? You guessed it, baked tilapia with some brown rice and vegetables. Yum!

Our next stop was in West Bend, which is only about forty five minutes away from Sheboygan. We had several stops along the way before arriving at our next inn for the evening. Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast is nestled deep in the woods. We just felt ourselves  relax as we crept down the long driveway to the inn. Each of their rooms are decorated  beautifully but we stayed in the Timber Trails room which had this mirror that transformed into a TV ( I may have to steal that idea), and a grand two person shower with numerous jets and showerheads, custom tile and a heated floor. If you decide to leave this amazing room, there is plenty to do at the inn. They have an impressive DVD library, game room with pool table and even an old tabletop Galactica video game.

Breakfast in the morning was also amazing. Let me tell you, I do not eat mushrooms. On my plate that morning was a Portobello mushroom top. I know what you probably thinking, but I grew up having to try everything. To my amazement, this mushroom tasted like steak. Sally did an amazing job and my husband was even more amazed that I ate the whole thing. We could have sat around all morning talking to Sally and Chris, but we both had things to do, like getting back at our own inn to check in new guests.

There are a ton of great Bed and Breakfasts in our state and all over the world for that matter. Why not check out these two or any other Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast.

Saying Goodbye

December 23, 2015 by braytonbb

Saying goodbye is always difficult especially when it comes suddenly and around the holidays. Last Thursday my Mom called to say that my Grandma Garnet (my Fathers Mother) was in the hospital and they did not expect her to make it through the night. Friday afternoon I got the call that she had passed. Tuesday was her funeral. She lived a great life to the age of 89 with 6 children ( my Dad being the youngest) and 14 grandchildren. I feel blessed that my daughter got to know her Great Grandmother. She had just as many family as she had friends at the funeral. Though I wish it wouldn’t have happened right before Christmas, I got the chance to see so many of my cousins and acquaintances that I have not seen in twenty and some thirty years. I have never been comfortable with death and never know what to say. I suppose the reason for that is that I have been very fortunate not to have had to experience this often. My parents are young and healthy along with my Aunts and Uncles and Mothers parents are still around that I get to see often.

My daughter graduated high school early and so we are having a graduation party for her this Saturday. As planning and preparing moves forward for the both of us, my mind is still on my Grandma. What I took away from her funeral though, is the importance of family. Not just the ones you see nearly everyday, but the ones you don’t. Dr. Suess said it best. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory”. 

In celebrating this holiday season, say I love you often, and treat the times like they may be the last. In remembrance of my Grandma I have included a few pictures. The first one was taken one week after my daughter was born. I lost my Grandpa just a few weeks after, but thankfully I was able to get a picture with her, with the both my Grandma Garnet and Grandpa Glenn. The second picture was taken at my high school graduation party and the last picture, though is not very clear, is a photo taken, with myself, my Mom, and both of my Grandmas in the fall of 1995.

Thank you to all of you who have read through this and have come into our lives.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Nicole, Scott and Chase

Glenn and Garnet Nov. 97










graduation 91












pictures of Grandma


Discover Wisconsin

October 12, 2015 by braytonbb


Fallen leaves on the ground

Back in June I mentioned that Discover Wisconsin was here at our inn filming. They also filmed a few other B&B’s in Wisconsin as well. The wait is finally over. We will be attending a premier party to see the final product tomorrow at the Grand Opera House. There will be about forty other bed and breakfast owners attending as well, some of which will be staying with us. I am so excited. I am even more excited to announce though that for those of you who live in the Green Bay viewing area, you can catch the first episode on CBS at 6:30 on Saturday, October 17th.  For the rest of you around the state, check out Discover Wisconsin to view your dates and times. We will also be on the radio for five spots. If you scroll down to the bottom of the link I provided you will see these times as well.

We will be featured on the  Discover Wisconsin homepage from October 14-21st. (However, the information remains on the website under “ Destinations”).  See it now, on the landing page as “coming soon”!  By clicking on it, you will NOW be able to get a sneak peak and see  photos, video clips, and features. Check it out!

Want to win an adventure? Visit Discover Wisconsin Contests and enter your information to win a grand adventure somewhere in Wisconsin. We may even putting a package together ourselves in the next few days. hint hint.

What a summer!

September 21, 2015 by braytonbb

signWhat a summer it has been! We have been crazy busy here at the inn( thank you so very much for that), that I have had such little time to be blogging about all the fun things to do in Oshkosh and put out recipes. I do apologize but I am hoping to get back in the groove since I am coming up for breath a little bit. Can you blame me though?  In just the past month we have had the Winnebago County Fair, Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, Chalk Walk, Fall Fest and Dragon Boat races and an amazing summer of Waterfest concerts and Farmers Markets. This summer will go down in the record books for being one of such great weather that not too many things were affected.

I saw this article that one of my counterparts posted on Facebook on the other day and I wanted to share it with everyone. It is the top 10 reasons to stay at a bed and breakfast.  They hit so spots, right on. Number 4 doesn’t pertain to us so we are “not so out of the way”, but that is also what makes us so special is that we are in the heart of downtown Oshkosh, where you can walk to all the great things that Oshkosh has to offer.

For those of you who stay in B&b’s often, this is just a refresher article, but for those of you who are new to bed and breakfasts, I hope this has enlightened you to try us out!

David Rush Travel Show

August 12, 2015 by braytonbb

Courtesy of Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Courtesy of Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

The David Rush Travel Show visited Oshkosh last week for a few days and we had the pleasure of hosting David Rush himself. Not only did he film our inn, he made his away around Oshkosh and the Fox Valley and was very impressed with our little city and the friendliness that surrounded. You can check out the video of our inn along with some other great places David visited while in Oshkosh Such as the downtown Oshkosh Farmers Market, EAA Museum and Frugal Fashion Consignment. You can see David’s show on YouTube and find out where he is this week. Thanks David for a fun few days!


June 11, 2015 by braytonbb

Diet? Wait, your thinking where is my recipe that she usually posts! Its not that I don’t have one this week, its just


that I thought this was just as important and since diet is based on food, I figured this was along the same lines. So, what comes to mind when you hear that word? I know mine use to be thinking that if you were on a diet, you must be trying to lose weight. Then about ten years ago when we started the B&B, the word diet took on a whole new meaning because we always asked about our guests dietary restrictions or allergies. So then, restrictions took on that similar meaning. These restrictions usually meant trying to lose weight, but most of the time it was for health, usually Dr. advised. As of recent though, dietary restrictions have taken on more of a different meaning with not only myself but our guests as well too. Now, if I hadn’t gone through these “dietary restrictions”, that by the way, I had put on myself, then I might be asking the same question that I hear from those that question this word, diet.

So, let me try to explain. Diet can mean you are trying to lose weight, but we have always been told that we shouldn’t deprive ourselves when trying to do so. Everything in moderation, right? So, you can be on a diet and still have that chocolate chip cookie. Yes, there are those that can’t because of no self control or the Dr. says No. For those people, skip over this part. I am not trying to change the world, just show a different perspective.

Now days, people are gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant and everything in between and more. You can call yourself whatever you want. Maybe you are vegetarian, but you decided this morning, you wanted sausage. Now, true vegetarians out there will say you are not a “real vegetarian”. Depending how you went into this new diet of yours, who is to tell you what you are and what you are not unless it was Dr. advised.  Most of us have a our cheat days. If  you are like me, I consider myself a vegan, more so a travel vegan. I am really good when I am at home but when I am dining out or at a friends home (hence traveling), I am much more casual about the word. I made this change for myself to feel better, not because I am against anything. Therefore if I tell you I am vegan, it just means that I prefer to lead a vegan lifestyle, however I do not want to put anyone out or if I decide, because I am an adult, that I want a cheese pizza, I am going to enjoy it.

So, whether you agree with me or not, give your friends, family and acquaintances a break if they tell you they are on a diet and have that piece of cake or sneak that slice of bacon.  We are all trying are best.

Happy Birthday

February 23, 2015 by braytonbb

Happy Birthday to me! Yes, my birthday was yesterday and I still don’t mind celebrating the day or weekend like I Nicole birthday at Carmellasdid this year. I will get to that reason in a moment.  Thursday, we attended a business function in town at Manila who offered up some wonderful sushi and Filipino cuisine. Friday night Scott and I celebrated with another couple we enjoy spending some time with at Brooklyn Grill who has the best happy hour around. Saturday night we decided to stay in, prepare dinner together and enjoy a glass a wine watching a movie.

We have a tradition that on our birthdays we get to choose one place to dine. Typically it is one of our favorites and sometimes it is someplace new that we have never tried. I typically don’t like to go out to breakfast, since what I make is usually better than I can get anywhere else, but this year, brunch appealed to me and I had heard so many great things about a place called Sap in Appleton, so the three of us decided to go.  Once we arrived it was an hour wait so we decided not to stay, however the food that was coming out looked amazing so I look forward to going back. Carmellas is almost right next door so we decided to walk down there for lunch. They filled up quickly, but the service was fast and friendly,  and the food was amazing. Though the tiramisu was untraditional, it was probably one of the best I have ever had. Spending a few hours with my family and having the day off couldn’t have been a  better birthday other than the opportunity to be able to share it with my entire family.

I was asked when I turned 30 if it bothered me. No, it didn’t. Then when I turned 40, I got asked the same question. Nope, that didn’t bother me either. I am pretty sure unless something dramatically changes, 50 won’t won’t be any different. As I was enjoying myself this weekend, it really hit me. Maybe the the reason birthdays don’t bother me is that because I had such a great childhood. If it were not for my parents, obviously I wouldn’t be here. So I guess celebrating my birthday is celebrating my parents and so thank you to Deb and Gary who are currently enjoying themselves on a beach in the Caribbean. I will see you in a few weeks. Also, thanks to all the great birthday wishes I received via texts, emails, Facebook and a few calls.


Covering a duvet by yourself?

December 22, 2014 by braytonbb

casa_suite_008jpgHow to cover a duvet by yourself in under 2 minutes? Not possible you say? I said the same thing. I am sure anyone who has ever tried putting a duvet cover on knows this is a royal pain in the butt. I am also sure that we have asked husbands and children to help pull, climb in, shake and whatever else can be down to get those corners to line up and not be lumpy.  You may have seen this little trick recently on Pinterest or Facebook or both. Whoever came up with this, is a genius! I  noticed where I pulled it from (makinglemonadeblog.com) makes mention that she linked up with others others so obviously this isn’t new, but it is to me.

When I first came across this, I marked it to come back to it and try it out. She made it look really simple. Too simple in fact that I thought for sure I would have some issues. I read the directions which seemed a bit confusing around step four. I then watched the video and got a confused around the same step, but still thought I am going to try this. So, today I did. She uses a full size duvet, but I actually used a king size duvet and cover on my king bed and it went just as smoothly until step four which I had to read twice, but figured it out pretty quickly. I am sharing this with you all since I will never go back to the old way of struggling to put a duvet back on my bed. For those of you who already knew this, you should be ashamed of yourselves for keeping this secret. 🙂  I am posting this link to my Pinterest page where you can find the details, otherwise, read below.

Step one: Lay the duvet cover Inside out on the bed with the opening of the cover at the bottom of the bed.

Step two: Lay the comforter(duvet) over the duvet cover, smoothing everything out so it lays perfectly over the cover.

Step three: Starting from closed side (top of the bed), roll the duvet and cover together towards the bottom (like a jelly roll). Start with one side, then go to the other until you can grab the  middle and roll towards the bottom.

Step four: Once rolled (you should be at the bottom of the bed), reach inside of the duvet cover at one corner  and grab the entire end of the duvet and pull through. Repeat on the other side and then the middle.

Step five: Unroll, shake it out, smooth it out, thats it!


Coffee Bar

December 15, 2014 by braytonbb

coffee bar2Our new coffee bar is a guest inspiration. Every once in a while a guests will say “Hey, have you ever considered this”, or “you know what you should have”? Sometimes, we have the same ideas, but financially or having the space is sometimes a challenge. Other times though, we think to ourselves, yeh, your right, that would be a good idea. This coffee bar is exactly that.

I am going to call this guest, now friend out. Robin Wagner, thank you! I know its been a few years since you made this suggestion, but it wasn’t an easy fix. We wanted it to be just perfect. You said to us a few years ago that it would be nice to grab coffee in your robe, without having to go into the dining room, when others were having breakfast. You just wanted to grab and go without feeling that you were interrupting something. That is never the case, however, we do want our guests to feel right at home. So, we began thinking, designing and trying to find the the right spot that  made it look like it fit, like it was always there. Our four seasons porch where we keep all of our Oshkosh information, and cozy fireplace was or first choice, but I didn’t want to lose what we offered in that room. We then thought about the alcove by the front door. Perfect spot, but it didn’t seem central enough.

Older homes, don’t come with a lot of closets, so we didn’t want to give up one of the few we had, but we felt that putting in the living room, which is also a common area would be the most beneficial. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room to stick in a refrigerator, but we did add a sink with filtered water, a space for wine glasses, coffee mugs, water glasses and our new Keurig which is getting a lot of use. We still offer coffee and tea in our dining room, but the Keurig  comes in handy for late night drinks or for those that want just one cup.

We hope you will stop in and check out our new Coffee Bar.

Don’t forget those gift certificates

December 1, 2014 by braytonbb

gift cert1

Many of you probably have your Christmas shopping done or maybe you have at least started. I would normally be one of these two, but this year I have been pushing myself to get the turkey on the table, the decorations up and now thinking about what to buy for everyone. May I suggest gift certificates. I know they can be a bit informal but they really are the perfect gift. I know I will be purchasing several this year. Please think small business if you can. Those box stores are nice but you want to talk about impersonal, that about takes the cake.

Speaking of gift certificates, we sell any denomination of gift certificate you would like, including ones that are packaged up in a nice little bundle that includes anything from flowers, to candy to dinner at a local restaurant. We can even take care of mailing them out for you if you wish. Just give us call, or buy online, let us know how you would like us to handle it and we will take care of the rest. No lines to stand in and it already comes wrapped.

Being Thankful

November 24, 2014 by braytonbb

Give Thanks... (#7287)

As I start preparing for Thanksgiving this year, since we always host the family, I get a little teary eyed knowing that I have a lot to be thankful for. I know I should tell my family and friends more often than I do, but I always assume they know. Whether they do or not, I know I need to voice it more often.

My daughter is a junior this year in high school. She has always known that she has wanted to to be a large animal vet. Other than wanting to go to UCLA, which we had to break it to her, that financially that was not going to happen, River Falls WI, has been her dream. Small school, small town and hands on learning is what she has dreamed about. Already taking some college prep courses in high school and doing an externship over the summer has made her even more sure. We travel this week up to UW River Falls to tour the school, just to make sure that what she has in mind is what it is all about. We have talked to her about doing her generals close to home to save some money and then transferring but that has never been her idea of the right thing to do. I get it! I was once there too. I just wanted to move away and make my own life and dreams happen. That is until she met Mr. wonderful a few weeks ago and now staying closer to home for those generals doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.  Funny how that happens, huh?

Anyway, I have been asked if I am ready. Ready for her to leave, or ready for her to stay? Well, I have to say because she is my only and we are very close, I would miss her like crazy. However, I know that she is ready. So I guess that makes it just a little bit easier knowing that she may choose to be four hours away. Am I ready if she stays? Yes, if I know she is staying for the right reasons and that its the best thing for her. I saw a quote the other day and it said that we should give our children two things. One is roots and the other is wings. I don’t think it could have been said any better.

With that being said, I am thankful for the support of my family, the love of my husband, the closeness of my friends, the guests that choose to spend time at our inn since there are so many great places to stay and the inspiration that my daughter gives me daily to be a better person and a Mom. I hope that you all find your thanks this week, throughout the holiday season and as you live your lives.

Welcome to Oshkosh

October 21, 2014 by braytonbb

We just want to be the first, though I doubt we are, to say welcome to Oshkosh. We are so excited to know that  Ski’s Meat Market and Grocery store  will be opening up tomorrow at 10:00 AM in downtown Oshkosh. It almost feels like Christmas. I can hardly wait! I hope to be one of the first paying customers on Wednesday.  We could not be more overjoyed to have a full service grocery store in downtown Oshkosh where we cannot only find the basics like milk, eggs and butter, but finally being able to buy fresh Manderfields bakery, a vast organic section to compliment NDC and one of kind items that we can’t find anywhere else locally. I have a feeling I will be visiting often and sending many people down the street. We have been waiting for something like this for quite some time and we couldn’t be happier knowing the crew behind such an endeavor. We know you will be very successful! 

Fun with our EAA guests

August 25, 2014 by braytonbb

This picture was a memorable evening out with some of our EAA guests. Yes, it should have been posted a month ago, but we have been pretty busy around here. Thank you so very much for that by the way! We love it!

We usually have the same guests every year, for the exception of one room that sometimes rotates out with new guests. That being said, we have become great friends with these guests, that unfortunately, we only see once a year. They are usually so busy working that they have little time to play, but this year, some of them made the exception. We introduced them to the best cheese curds in town and yummy burgers.

Don’t ask me what is going on with Scott. He always has to be the unique one in the photo.

petes 2014


Airbnb question and answer

May 28, 2014 by braytonbb

braytonBnbCertificateOfExcellence2014 There has been a lot of discussion lately about Airbnb and some in connection with EAA housing. It seems to be a controversial subject and one I hate to be in the middle of. Unfortunately, being an owner of a bed and breakfast,it is a question I have been asked about a lot lately. This is not a local issue though and has little to do with EAA.  Many licensed facilities, and local government agencies around the country are dealing with this subject.  Whether you knew about Airbnb before or it is a new term to you, there are some things that you maybe didn’t know.  I can tell you that it is not about the competition. I would even love to see another licensed Bed and Breakfast in Oshkosh.  EAA housing is a one time annual event, which in my opinion, should not be policed since it is under the 10 day lodging law. It is the homeowner that accepts payment for renting out their sofa, room or even home for a fee throughout the year continuously, that does not hold the permit or license, that is the concern.

Airbnb, for those that are not familiar, is a room or someones home to stay, one to several nights for an amount of money that is determined by the home owner.  A percentage of that fee is then returned to Airbnb.  They may even call themselves a BnB. You may get a bed, but you may also get a sofa or air mattress. Yes, you do know ahead of time since there is a description, pictures and reviews. Sometimes you may even get breakfast. Donuts, cereal, who knows, somebody may make you breakfast even. They have NOT been inspected for cleanliness or safety and they do NOT pay taxes to run as business.

Airbnb clearly states on their site the legal and regulatory issues that one should look into before deciding to be a “host”. This means registering, getting a permit or obtaining a license before being able to accept guests. They go on to say that each local government varies in how they enforce these laws but that they should be reviewed before listing on their site.  Many times, this is like the fine print that few of us may not always read.

You see, bed and breakfasts are just like hotels, restaurants and many other businesses. We have to be licensed, inspected and insured. We also have to pay room, sales and income tax. The majority of the city taxes that are collected, go back into the city for tourism dollars. It has helped make our convention center what it is today and helps bring tourism to Oshkosh, where in turn, money is spent in our restaurants, retail and entertainment sectors.

We have inspections each year to make sure that the fire detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are working along with making sure that we do not have insects, rodents or that our coolers and refrigerators are clean and cold enough. Our linens are also checked to make sure we are storing them correctly along with outlets and lighting working correctly. These are just a few of the items that we rigorously go through, not only  yearly, but on a daily basis to make sure that we, as a business, are not only running legally but also comfortably for those that visit us each and every day. Some people may argue with what is wrong with trying to earn an extra buck or two by renting out a spare room. If you take a look at some of the Airbnb listings, you will notice from some of the reviews that some of these “hosts” are doing quite well with there unlicensed and non tax paying businesses. The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association(WBBA) is the only quality-certified organization of its kind in the state, which is why we try so hard to let people know the differences between a licensed bed and breakfast and a non-licensed, not tax paying air bnb. There is room for everyone, including Airbnb hosts in Oshkosh that abide by the same rules as other business owners. We have a great city that many want to travel to and stay in. There was a great article on a website today that not only talked about Airbnb, but other such businesses that I thought was an excellent read that made several valid points.

With that being said we just learned that we won the Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor. This award is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews. Winners are selected from all over the world, with only the top 10 percent receiving this award.  We needed to maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers.  Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. We are so honored to receive this award and want to say thank you for everyone who has stayed with us this last year and for those that posted reviews. Without guests like yourselves, we would not have been able to achieve this.

Happy Mothers Day

May 5, 2014 by braytonbb

Mom's 50th b-day

My Mom- Debbie

First off, I just want to say Happy Mothers Day to my Mom and all the other Moms out there this weekend. As much as I enjoy what I do for a living, I usually miss out on weekend activities with our friends and have to cut short holiday gatherings with family due to having guests at the inn. This Mothers Day day is no exception. My Mom lives on the other side of the state, and though it is only a 2 1/2 hour drive, I will have to find another time to visit. She runs a greenhouse, so I know she will be plenty busy herself.  Since I am a Mom myself though, I am very lucky to be able to spend the day with my daughter. Traditionally, we like to get flowers in the ground on Mothers Day but the last few years we have learned that we usually get one more freeze and we are outside covering up and hoping that we can save our new garden, so we may put it off for one week.

If you are lucky enough to be able to spend the day with your Mom and want to do something special, may we recommend having a girls weekend away at a bed and breakfast 🙂 where a comfy bed and delicious home made breakfast is always included plus home made desserts and a wine and cheese social both Friday and Saturday night.  If that is not possible, brunch is always lovely, as Oshkosh has many brunch choices to choose from this Mothers Day, including the Roxy which is located downtown among many great retail stores. Oshkosh Community Players also presents, Barefoot in the Park at the Grand Opera House May 8-10.

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, tell your Mom that you love her. It will be the best gift you can give her.

Celebrity sighting

April 21, 2014 by braytonbb

I am not really someone who gets crazy over seeing or being around a celebrity. I mean, they are not any different than you or I. However, that does not mean that I don’t enjoy getting the opportunity to spend some time and get to know someone that I might have never had the chance to meet. I have said this before and I will say it again. The best part of my job is getting to meet so many wonderful people. Honestly, a lot of the time I don’t even know that someone is a celebrity until we start a conversation and realize that we have  more in common that either of us knew. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is very generous at sending people are way. A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of meeting Ms. Kara Laricks . I loved her style from the moment she walked in our door and her energy filled the inn and lifted my spirits. We sat for for nearly two hours during breakfast, just her and I talking freely and exchanging thoughts. I walked away feeling very lucky to have met her and inspired by her story of taking chances.  I hope one day, she may be back in Oshkosh again.  

Can you guess what this is?

January 23, 2014 by braytonbb

Can you guess what this gadget is? This week, no recipe, but a gadget that helps me in the kitchen. I will give you a few hints.

grapefruit cutter

1. It is used a lot at breakfast at our inn.

2. You can buy one of these yourself very inexpensively.

3. This tool makes eating this breakfast item much easier

4. This tool makes preparing this breakfast item much easier.

5. People that did not know this tool existed always ask me how I am able to prepare this one item so perfectly. Then they find out how and are amazed at this little gadget. I think Williams and Sonoma should send me a thank you card for the sale of this item.

To find the answer, you will have to go back to this previous post in our Blog.  If you don’t get it by looking at the picture, email  me. It will be fun to see how many will know.

The Busy Trap

December 16, 2013 by braytonbb

A friend of mine posted this this other day on Facebook and it really resonated with me, a lot! The Busy Trap. That is exactly what it is. We are all soooo busy and we feel like we are trapped. In reality, most of of us do it to ourselves. I know I do. I felt like this article was important to share since the author said so many things that rang true with me and so many of my friends. This time of year, I think it is also a great reminder how important it is to slow down, enjoy the season, and give something back to ourselves; time.

As you read this article, we are not all authors or bed and breakfast owners or stay at home Mom’s, or whatever it is that you do that makes you so important, but I think we will all understand that it is okay to say no once in awhile or to heck with it. In fact, soon after I read this, I picked up a book and enjoyed an hour to myself this afternoon. It was really nice.



Brayton B&B gets an intern

June 18, 2013 by braytonbb

For the last couple of years I have been talking about getting an intern. Fox Valley Tech, here in Oshkosh, has a hospitality and tourism program.  I thought it would be great to be able to give back to someone by providing experience and possibly a career path. I wasn’t seeing the big picture though until a past guest and I got talking about social media. I know many of my other innkeeper friends will agree that we all spend a great deal of time promoting our businesses through Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. It seems endless  and at times mind boggling trying to shuffle running an inn by physically doing all the tasks at the inn and then behind the scenes as well with things such as this. So for the time being, instead of training someone to do everything at the inn, I decided to get an intern to do some of my blogging to start off with.

If you don’t know this about me, I like to do everything myself. I have a hard time giving up control. Ask my family and friends. So, having someone blog for me is a huge step of trying to let go and manage my time a little better. This process though will be baby steps. I will still be blogging every week myself with recipes, since sometimes I don’t even know what I am going to post until the day of. I will also still blog about personal events, and things that happen at the inn( I think), until I can give up more maybe down the line.

So, I would like introduce you to Kyle. No, you can’t see him, but you will be able to get a sense of who he is from his blog entries. Kyle attends UWO, works a full time job and now interns for me. Kyle is interested in marketing, so he hopes to gain experience from blogging, analyzing  my Facebook page and working with Google. My hopes is that he can take away some experience by using me as his learning device and I can gain a little more freedom from my computer. Thanks Kyle!

More Amazing Guests!

June 11, 2013 by braytonbb

We all have met someone in our lives that makes an impact someway or another. Lucky for me, It happens a lot! Running a B&B gives me that luxury, since I get to meet so many different people from all over the world. They arrive as our guests, but leave as our friends.  This past weekend, I had the privilege in meeting 4 sisters. There is actually 5 girls and 3 brothers to this family. I am hoping one day, I will be able to meet the entire clan. I can only imagine that they are all just as wonderful as Ann, Margaret, Sue and Terrie.

When they first arrived, Ann asked me if I could tell they were sisters. I had to be honest, I really couldn’t.  They didn’t look like each other but I could tell that they all had their own unique personalities.

Ann, made the reservation. Though she wasn’t the eldest, she was the mother of the group. You could tell she was the glue. She held everyone together. Then there was Margaret from California. She was the funny one! She made everyone laugh, A LOT, including me. I have no doubts that if she lived in Oshkosh, we would probably be friends. Next was Sue. From the little bit that I could tell, she was the strong one.  My husband is always goofing around and she was able to dish out whatever he could give. It was a fun show just listening to the two. Finally, Terrie. She was quiet one. She absorbed everything that was going on around her; She listened contently and spoke wisely. She had a wonderful energy about her.

More importantly though than the unique personalities of these women, was the way they were around each other. They truly loved each other  and thrived when they were together. The bond that they hold is truly inspiring. It made me long for my sister who moved out to Napa Valley this past Autumn. So much so, that I called soon after they had departed.

I hated to see them leave. I wish they could have stayed much longer, but I know they have family that adores them. Thank you for choosing to stay with us while in the area. You four are an inspiration to someone that holds family near and dear.


Lets go shopping!

April 29, 2013 by braytonbb

Downtown Oshkosh has so much to offer when it comes to shops and retailers and we are within walking distance to all there is to offer. Not only will you find some unique stores and finds, but  great deals are going on this May as well.

Looking to spruce up your clothing wardrobe? Downtown Oshkosh has many great 2nd hand clothing store options. Atomic Katz is a fantastic store where you will find vintage clothing from the 20’s to the 80’s along with mid century modern furniture. Chic to Chic carries mall  and name brand items 1/2 to 1/3 of the original price.  Frugal Fashion and Klassy Kids are both great stores for men, women and kids.

How about taking home something truly unique. One of our favorite stores is Soiree which offers a few antiques, salvaged curb goodies, and retro funk.  This unique store  brings an eclectic shopping mix to downtown. Crescent Moon offers specializes in antique salvaged or reclaimed material provided for reuse in building restoration, new home construction and decorative arts from vintage flooring, doors or moldings and so much more.   Satori Imports has been in business for 44 years and offers everything from clothing, incense, jewelry to health and body products. A truly unique shopping experience.

How about a good book or music selection? Apple Blossom Books is an adorable shop that is independently owned and family oriented that offers fun special events, a general selection of new and used books and special orders. Just a fun place to shop. Exclusive Company is “Americas oldest full line record store”. Starting out from the trunk of his car to now owning 7 locations in Wisconsin, this store is must to visit.

All this shopping is probably making you hungry, right? Downtown has got that covered too. Gardinas wine bar and cafe offers an interesting and varied wine list, craft beer list, and a great selection of craft bourbons, single malt scotches and rare dessert wines available by the glass, along with pizza, paninis and sandwiches along with specials each and every day. Cranky Pats Pizza, makes a fantastic thin crust pizza piled high with mushrooms(if that is your flavor) along with pasta and a full bar. Caramel Crisp is another historic place to stop into. In business since 1933 they still use the same original recipe for the caramel corn but now offering a full lunch menu, ice cream and the best cookies ever.

Participating downtown stores are offering gift cards.  May 11 (Mothers Day Weekend), Destination Downtown will be happening where the ultimate ladies day is celebrated.  Start the day off on May 11 where you can enjoy lunch, a style show, & tons of prizes and a silent auction. In the afternoon there will be great sales and discounts at local downtown businesses.

Of course, downtown has so much more to offer, but that is just a sampling of the shops you will find just a few steps out our front door.

Hey, look we were mentioned!

April 22, 2013 by braytonbb

brayton_family-4Every once in a while, our name appears in an article, not necessarily promoting us specifically, but what may be around us or things to do in the area.  The first article is from Travel Wisconsin and as you can see Oshkosh made the list of things to do, see, and places to eat. The second article is a feature story for the Circus World Museum in  Baraboo. Though Baraboo is roughly a 2 hour drive from Oshkosh, it is an easy enough day trip for those who are looking for something different to experience. I hope you enjoy both articles as much as I did.


“Wisconsin’s Event City,” Oshkosh is home to over 1,000 events and festivals, including the famous EAA AirVenture and the Country USA music festival. The city on the western shore of Lake Winnebago also has more than its share of year-round fun. Here are our top picks for an Oshkosh weekend getaway, any time of year.

Where to brunch

Pilora’s Café dishes up the café essentials – friendly service and wholesome food – with a dash of originality. From jazz music in the background to some unusual menu items (like cornbread pancakes with Door County cherries and the Moroccan ham sandwich) Pilora’s makes a point of offering something different. They also brew Alterra coffee, so you can fuel up on a proper cup of joe before heading out for your Oshkosh adventures. 

Where to explore

The EAA’s AirVenture fly-in every August isn’t your only chance to experience Oshkosh’s world-renowned Experimental Aircraft Association. The EAA AirVenture Museum, open year-round, features over 200 historic airplanes, plus movie theaters, galleries, flight simulators, and two “hands-on” interactive galleries for all ages.

Where to shop

You’ll find a lot of unique shops on (and just off) Main Street. A few to get you started:

If big-name stores are more your style, The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh, across from the EAA, is home to 55 of the best. We recommend adding a whole day to your Oshkosh itinerary if you want to hit the outlets!

Where to get your culture on

The Grand Opera House, built in 1883, is the oldest operating theater in Wisconsin. It puts on a fun variety of entertainment, from the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra to musicals, rock ’n’ roll shows, and karaoke nights. The Paine Art Center and Gardens is a 1920’s estate with an amazing art collection and display gardens. Their Family Discovery Gallery offers hands-on art experiences for children. Admission: $9 adult/$5 youth. 

Where to go for dinner

Gardina’s Wine Bar & Café has a great menu of American/Mediterranean starters, cheese plates, salads and sandwiches, with nightly entrée specials. But it’s their pizza that steals the show. Bring an appetite and brace yourself for some tough decisions: there’s an impressive selection of wines, craft beers, and – bonus – individual-sized cheesecakes. Jam to live music Friday and Saturday nights. 

Where to stay

The Brayton Bed & Breakfast is just a short walk from Main Street. Warning: if you stay in this beautiful, friendly B&B, you might not want to leave…especially on the weekends, when you can enjoy an afternoon wine and cheese social in the living room, and homemade desserts later in the evening. Rates: $129.00-$299.00 nightly.

Learn more about all the fun Oshkosh has to offer here.

Liven Up Your Vacation: Visit the Circus World Museum

If you have enjoyed luxuriating yourself in your suite at Brayton B&B, drinking fine wine, eating local cheeses, and visiting the occasional museum, take a vacation from your vacation. Plan a day of highly charged entertainment at the Circus World Museum. The Circus World Museum is a two hour drive from Oshkosh; far enough away to be a significant day-trip, but close enough that you can still make it back to your suite for an evening drink. A premiere Wisconsin attraction, the Circus World Museum is a historical site that attracts thousands of visitors a year, and is loved by both children and adults.


What sets the Circus World Museum apart from your average circus is its remarkable history. The circus, originally named ‘The Ringling Bros. Circus’, was founded in 1884 by the five Ringling brothers. The Ringling Bros. Circus ran for thirty-five years, and in that time expanded to an empire consisting of the three largest circuses in America. In 1959, after the circus industry had gone into decline and The Ringling Bros. Circus had long been closed, its gates once again opened. This time it was named the Circus World Museum, a museum with a mission to preserve the circus industry, so it could be understood and loved by future generations.


The Circus World Museum is home to several of the original buildings used by The Ringling Bros. Circus; these buildings are the largest groups of original circus buildings in North America. Located on the north bank of the Baraboo River, they date from 1897 and 1918, and the area they comprise is now a National Historic Landmark. As well as these historic buildings, artefacts from the old circus are displayed in the many exhibits on offer across the site. Here you can see everything from the cage wagons in which lions were kept, to original poster art advertising circus shows.


Of course it would be unheard of to go to a circus and not see a show. With the spirit of the original Ringling circus, there are a variety of shows on offer to suit a multitude of interests and tastes. Gymnastics, acrobatics, elephant shows, clown shows, and contortionist shows, are just a few of the performances on offer for visitors. Just make sure to look at the performance schedule on arrival so you won’t risk missing your favorite.

Eating and Drinking

If your trip to the Circus World Museum falls during the summer season, then their deluxe onsite restaurant, Cookhouse Grill, is open for business. If not, or if you would prefer to eat away from the circus, why not venture into Baraboo? Baraboo is a bustling city with a diverse range of eateries. Here you can sample the best burgers American cuisine has to offer, as well as some top-notch Mexican and Italian food.

Getting There

Driving is certainly the easiest, and most cost-effective, way of getting to the Circus World Museum, and will give you the chance to experience some of the beautiful scenery of Wisconsin between Oshkosh and Baraboo. It is important, however, that you consider safety before hitting the road. Whether you plan to rent a car or bring your own with you to Oshkosh, you must ensure that you are covered against breakdown in the Wisconsin area. Purchasing breakdown cover is simple, as it can be bought quickly and easily online, and there are many cheap deals to be found. While it is unlikely you will need to use it, breakdown cover is priceless for the piece of mind it will give you during your trip. Once you’ve got your breakdown cover in the bag, and have set a date for your trip to the Circus World Museum, simply jot down the directions below and you are ready to go.


1.    Head northwest on Church Ave towards Central St(0.4 mi)

2.    Turn left onto Wisconsin St (0.5 mi)

3.    Continue onto Ohio St(0.9 mi)

4.    Turn right onto W South Park Ave(2.0 mi)

5.    Turn left to merge onto U.S. 41 S toward Milwaukee (2.4 mi)

6.    Take exit 113 for WI-26/County Rd N toward Waupun (0.4 mi)

7.    Turn right onto WI-26 S/WI-26 Trunk S/Co Rd N. Continue to follow WI-26 S/WI-26 Trunk S (21.5 mi)

8.    Take the Wisconsin 26 S/U.S. 151 S ramp to Waupun/Madison (0.4 mi)

9.    Merge onto US-151 S (1.0 mi)

10.  Take exit 147 to merge onto US-151 BUS S/WI-26 S/WI-26 Trunk S/Fond Du Lac St toward Waupun. Continue to follow US-151 BUS S/Fond Du Lac St.(1.6 mi)

11.  Turn right onto EMain St.(1.0 mi)

12.  Turn left onto WI-68 W/Fox Lake Rd. Continue to follow WI-68 W (9.5 mi)

13.  Continue onto State Hwy 33 W/W State St. Continue to follow State Hwy 33 W (44.8 mi)

14.  Turn left onto Washington Ave(0.6 mi)

15.  Turn right onto Water St. Destination will be on the left.

Ice Shoves on Lake Winnebago

April 15, 2013 by braytonbb

I was telling a friend of mine that just moved to Oshkosh a few months ago about the ice shoves that we witnessed on Lake Winnebago and she didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. I showed her some of these pictures that I took and she was amazed. I told her to head to Menominee Park  and take a drive. Over by the Waters it is pretty extravagant!

If you still don’t know what I am referring to, it is worth it to keep reading and take a drive to see the beauty and mess these things can create, especially if you are living on the lake.  This usually happens every year when the temperatures start warming and the east winds pick up and actually move the ice across the lake to the Western (Oshkosh) shores. It usually doesn’t take much  more than 10-20 minutes for the ice to come piling up on the lake, docks and on shore. As the ice breaks up, you can actually hear it moving, breaking and crunching together.  Sometimes it is large chunks the size of a car and sometimes if you get small pieces that collect together. With the ice storm that hit here last week, it left a beautiful display of ice hanging from everything from, trees, houses and down power lines with a mess of branches and  limbs scattered across the city as well.

As you can see from some of these pictures, some backyards have gotten smaller, docks have been taken out, and ice making its way onto the street.

ice shove lake eeeerie ice shove lake ice shove watersice shove pana ice shove trees



Family history this holiday season

December 31, 2012 by braytonbb

If  you have ever been to our place or been to our website, you will know that we are not like your typical bed and breakfast. You won’t find lacy pillowcases, flowered wallpaper or that 80’s country motif and we are completely doily free, and proud of it. Now, we know that there is a place for that. We have stayed in many lovely B&B’s that do a great job with these themes.  We hope that you can appreciate the architecture that our Creme City Brick Italianate home offers. We have brought in a lot of dark, warm colors to compliment the high ceilings and tall windows and doors.

Now we appreciate history just like you do. We love to tell people that our home is almost 150 years old and that it has gone from a residential home, to a boarding house, to group home to now our home and bed and breakfast. “Full Circle” is how I feel and what I tell most people. That is why we do have a few antiques in the home. Maybe a handful at the very most. In fact the ones I am the most proud of, are a piece of my own family history.

rocking chairWhen I was pregnant with my daughter I had a baby shower just like many. The best gift of the day came from my Grandmother who gave me her Fathers rocking chair. I never had a chance to meet him, but this rocking chair was always in my Grandparents house and I had never known the history.  She had cleaned it up and tweaked it to be squeak free. On the bottom of the chair seat she had written me a letter describing how her Father had sat in this chair every day on the porch smoking his pipe. It brought tears to my eyes that she was giving me something so precious, that meant so much to her and something that I could rock my baby in. Now my baby is teenager, so  it sits on the front porch at our other property where I can enjoy it just like my Great Grandfather.


floor lampNot long after we opened, my Mom gave me a floor lamp that was my Great Grandmothers. I was lucky enough to know her. In fact she passed away just a few weeks after my my daughter was born who is now 15. Its pretty cool that my daughter got to meet her Great Great Grandmother. She may not remember, but I do have a picture of the 5 generations. This lamp fits perfect in the B&B. It has a wonderfully warm glow that shines through the delicate beaded rice paper shade. I am so careful not to touch it too often, since it is in such fragile condition, but I love to show it off.



table lampMy family is very generous. Not just around the Holidays, but all the time. A couple of Christmas’s ago, I was unwrapping one last present. To my surprise, my Grandfather gave me a table lamp from my Great Grandmother. It is a very simple Tiffany design but something I adore. It is one of my favorite gifts that sits by the front door and illuminates the desserts I put out each evening.




rug2When I was a teenager, I was allowed to walk through the home of my Great Grandparents that they no longer resided in or had resided in for many years, but still kept full of clothes, dishes and furniture. I was asked at that time if there was anything I was interested in. At 16, at least for me, many things were beautiful, but I really did not have a use for anything. I spotted an area rug that I thought that maybe someday I could use, somewhere. I left and that was it. It was never brought up again. The home stayed empty until this last summer when they decided they would finally have an auction. There was this area rug. Water had been on it from a leaky ceiling and the years of mustiness had gotten to it, but it still looked incredible to  me. I put a bid on this rug along with one other one and they ended up being mine.  These rugs were steam cleaned twice but still had a long way to go to bring them back to their luster. My wonderful husband hosed them down and hung them on the clothes line over the summer where they were sun dried and cleaned again.  We rolled them up and stored them until we were ready. A week ago, I convinced my husband to help me bring one of the rugs inside the inn and replace it with a newer one that we had. He wasn’t so sure, but once it was among the other furniture and colors of the inn, it felt like it should have been here the whole time. I still have  not found a place for the other rug, but I know I will.

I felt like this was the ideal time to share a little piece of our homes history along with a little piece of mine as well. I am very fortunate to have a such a wonderful family who allows me to share  the history of my family with the history of this wonderful place we call home. Happy New Year and thank you to  my Great Grandparents, Grandparents and parents and to all of you who we have had the pleasure of seeing and meeting this year.

Nicole, Scott and Chase