Category Archives: News from Brayton Bed and Breakfast

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


Proudly displaying local artist

December 17, 2012 by braytonbb

Scott and I were out one weekday evening enjoying a couple of glasses of wine at one of  our favorite establishments in town. Gardinas. We love that we can just walk a couple blocks and check out downtown Oshkosh and enjoy so many wonderful treats. I am pleased to say that so many local places display great artwork by so many of the wonderful local artists that we have in our city.

Immediately my eye went to this amazing painting on the wall inside Gardinas.  I knew exactly where I would put it.  I just had to have it! Sometimes I can look for a long time for something that I want, not really ever knowing what it may be, but knowing that when I find it, I will just know.  That was the same in this case.

The following day I got in touch with the artist, Leif Larson, whom I had never met before. He was so kind to hold this piece for me until I was ready for it.  A few days ago, I called him up and said I was ready, at least for the most part. He was so gracious to deliver the piece for us.

I am so proud to be able to show this piece at the B&B for the sake of displaying a local artists piece of work, but also showing off the beautiful Algoma Club building, which is only a few blocks away from us.

If you are ever looking for a piece of local art, abstract, or figure painting, I highly recommend the work of Leif Larson.

What to get for the person who has everything?

December 10, 2012 by braytonbb

How about a gift certificate to a bed a breakfast? Gift certificates are that perfect gift to give anyone. Especially one to a B&B. They know you are thinking about them and want to pamper them to a relaxing stay. We will be the first to tell you that a gift certificate to our lovely establishment is the way to go, however I will not be stingy. There are a couple of options for you this season.

1. You can purchase a gift certificate from us in any amount- even for packages.  We can email you the certificate, put it in the mail for you or mail it directly to whomever you are gifting it to as a surprise.  If you have stayed with us before, we always enjoy meeting your friends and family. You can purchase one directly from our website or call us and we can take care of everything.



2. You can purchase from WBBA which is our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association. A gift certificate through them gives your recipient the option of choosing any B&B they would like to stay in within the association. There are over 150 bed and breakfasts to choose from. WOW! We have a few of our favorites as well.

Either decision, will be the right decision. Any questions about either one of these options, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will be more than happy to help guide you in the right direction depending on what you are looking for.


Hot Ticket Giveaway!

November 28, 2012 by braytonbb

Oshkosh has so much to offer. Why do you think we are called the Event City? Unique retailers, amazing restaurants and all different types of  festivals for all ages. The Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau likes to share these great finds each month by giving a small of piece of the city in their Hot Ticket Giveaway! It could be an overnight stay, tickets to a show or a gift certificate to our city’s many great shops and restaurants.

This month, we are happy to tell you that we have paired up with the CVB to be a part of that prize package.  There will be an overnight stay here at Brayton Bed and Breakfast, a gift certificate to Gardinas Wine Bar and Trillium Salon. All downtown. Wow! I wish I could win. All you have to do like “Visit Oshkosh” on Facebook and click on the “Hot Ticket Giveaway” button and enter all your information. It couldn’t get much easier. You can enter every month too for a different package giveaway. We can’t wait to find out who the lucky winner will be.


Holiday Surprise at Brayton Bed and Breakfast

November 26, 2012 by braytonbb

So this idea popped into my head this summer and I have been anxiously waiting to pull it all together. Originally, I was just going to have a  Christmas Tree with only clear ornaments, with each one having a surprise inside. I have embellished a little though. I have decided to have a few trees this year.

First,  a Charlie Brown tree or twig tree, is what I found they were called,  on the front porch. I saw one on Pinterest and started looking online for one like it. After seeing them for $80.00 I showed the picture to my husband and had him build me. I love it! Thank you honey! Its simple and my favorite. We get several Christmas cards each year from our guests so I think this will be the tree I string them on.

Secondly, a romantic tree at the top of the stairs , small, pink, glittery and a lot of fun!

Finally, my last and of course my somewhat traditional tree in the living room where my idea is born. For anyone staying with us in the month of December, you can pick a clear ornament from this tree, among all the fun, colorful, large bulbs and trinkets that adorn this tree.  Open up your ornament to find your surprise. Many bulbs will have 10, 20 and 30% off stays inside.  Two bulbs will have 50% off stay and one bulb will have a free one night stay.  All returning guests can use their surprise for that stay. All new guests will have the opportunity to use their surprise for for a future stay. We like to reward our return guests just a tad bit more when possible.

If this is a hit, I may do the same thing around Easter with eggs. So, that being said, come and relax with us after all that holiday shopping and enjoy some home made hot chocolate while sitting by the cozy fire.

Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbook is here

November 14, 2012 by braytonbb

cookbookWell, they are finally in. The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast cookbook is here. If you pre ordered your copy, it is waiting for you to come and pick it up anytime. I did order 10 additional copies for those of you have decided they just can’t live with out this years addition or if you have decided that they will make excellent Christmas gifts.

This is the largest collection of recipes EVER from the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association. These recipes are from many of my friends and other innkeepers around the state. Some of these recipes are old family secrets (not anymore), some are recipes born from mistakes and some were tweaked from other recipes. This is the Eighth  cookbook that WBBA has put out. Every prior addition has sold out.  These are not just breakfast recipes either. You will get everything from appetizers, lunch, dinner, desserts and special dietary recipes as well.  You can find a recipe by inn or by category.

We have a total of 6 recipes in the book which I am sure some of you have tried. I tried to add recipes that were not in the previous books in case you had copies from the past.  I look forward to making a few of these myself from other inns. Its great to share recipes that you know are a hit.

Need advice

November 8, 2012 by braytonbb

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce puts on these great seminars that are free of charge. Its hard for me to get to them most of time since they are at 7:30 in the morning and I am usually making breakfast.  A few weeks ago, I noticed they were having a seminar on blogging being presented by Dealer Fire. Fortunately, I was able to attend this on. I have been blogging now for over year, but I knew that there was so much more than I needed to know. First, off let me say, the folks at Dealer Fire are really nice and really knowledgeable. I learned a lot, thanks!

One thing in particular that was mentioned though to me was to try and post Monday-Thursday between 12:00 and 3:00 on my social media sites (Facebook, twitter, etc.) The logic to this is that  a lot people do not look at their social media sites right away in the morning or later afternoon and never on Fridays. I had not really thought about this, but it seemed to make sense. The problem I was thinking about was that I always posted what was happening in Oshkosh every Monday morning and my food blog every Friday morning. Apparently two big no no’s. This week I decided to post my food blog Thursday around lunch time and  not mention that I was doing it differently.  Now, it hasn’t been that long, but  too many people have not seen the recipe this week. By the way, it is scrumptious and perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

So, my question goes out to you. What you think? Stick with the Friday morning recipe or do you think I am better off switching it up to lets say, Thursday afternoon? When do you log on?

We sadly say goodby

October 8, 2012 by braytonbb

Many of you will know Georgia in some form or another. You may have read about her in the journals in your room. She has either met you by the door by sliding into it if you rang the doorbell or barked to let me know someone was inside. She may have nuzzled by your leg during wine and cheese hoping that you would pet her. More often then not, she would be in the kitchen with me in case anything fell on the floor and then followed me to the table with your meal in hopes that you might feel sorry for her and slip her something under the table. Cold winter mornings, she would scoot right up to the pellet stoves to keep herself warm. She was not a big barker like some Schnauzers  and she never jumped on people or the furniture. However, some of you missed your own pets so much that we did find her in your room at times cuddled up with you in bed. Attention is one thing she did not lack.  Some of you even inquired about finding a dog just like Georgia. She looked at you with those cute eyes, that it was hard not to love her back.  My Mom, who lives near LaCrosse raises Schnauzers.  So a few puppies have even been purchased from her that are Georgia’s relatives so you could have one for yourselves.

Over the summer, she became irritated with her back hind leg. We took her to the vet and found out that she had liver cancer. Her tumor was quite large, so she had probably had it for awhile, but it had grown enough that it had bothered her to not want be touched in a certain area.  Up until last Monday it would have been hard to know that she was sick. She loved treats and still chased squirrels around the yard. By Monday evening, she was pretty sluggish and didn’t want even want  a treat. Tuesday night we said our tearful goodbyes to a family member and innkeeper if you will. I have added a few photos soon after we got her when our daughter was small to recently. Good by dear friend.




Meet our friends that have been coming the longest!

September 24, 2012 by braytonbb

Phil and Robin-butternut



I want to introduce you to two AMAZING people. Robin and Phil started coming to see us in 2007, soon after we first opened. We donated a gift certificate to our Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau where in turn, these two won a stay with us, along with dinner, a salon package, tons of coupons and trickets and I am sure a lot more things that I am forgetting to mention. Since 2007, we have seen Robin and Phil more than a dozen times.  Sometimes participating in our murder mysterys and sometimes being introduced  to their family and friends.  Not only have they brought others to stay with us, including children, Mom, Sister and Brother in law and several friends but we have visited them as well. These two people are our guests, but they have also become our friends. We chat often over Facebook and try to stay up to date with everything going on in their lives. I count my blessings often that we have found such dear friends through a chance meeting that would have never existed if I didn’t do what I do. This is for two positive people that always seem to find sunshine around every corner.

Where’s Waldo?

June 30, 2012 by braytonbb

Where’s Waldo? In OSHKOSH, of course. He’s turning twenty-five this year, and to celebrate, the famous fellow in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting twenty different local businesses all through the month of July. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, books, and more. From Brayton Bed and Breakfast, Crescent Moon Antiques, to Caramel Crisp Café.  Waldo figures are showing up in public areas of local establishments. Anyone who wishes to participate can pick up a “Find Waldo in OSHKOSH!” search list with the names of all the businesses, and collect an “I Found Waldo at ___________” card for each Waldo they spot. Collecting cards in sixteen or more businesses and turning them in at Apple Blossom Books will win a Waldo button and an entry for other, larger prizes to be drawn at a Waldo party on July 31. The Grand Prize is a complete six-volume set of Waldo books. People who prefer a shorter version of the hunt can collect the cards from eight businesses and pick up a Waldo button at Apple Blossom Books.

Waldo is the creation of Martin Handford, whose entertaining drawings of crowd scenes swept the world in 1987. Since then, the Where’s Waldo books have held a cherished spot on bookstore shelves the world over. There are now over 55 million Waldo books in print worldwide and they’ve been translated into eighteen languages. An entire generation has grown up searching for Waldo and his cast of wandering companions.

In celebration of Waldo’s longevity and popularity, his American publisher, Candlewick Press, is teaming up with the American Booksellers Association and 250 independent bookstores all across the country, including Apple Blossom Books here in Oshkosh, to have fun and encourage people to visit local businesses. There is no charge to participate, and the game lasts for the entire month of July. For more information about hunting for Waldo in OSHKOSH, call Apple Blossom Books at 920.230.3395.

Waldo is hidden somewhere on the front porch of Brayton Bed and Breakfast. If you find him, grab a card. If we are around when you are there, please find us and sign up for our drawing where we are giving a gift certificate for a percentage off your next nights stay with us. Please be courteous of other staying with us and only look for Waldo before 8:00 PM. Thank you!




Finally, garden is completed!

May 29, 2012 by braytonbb

I feel like I am behind this year, and with all this early warm weather, you wouldn’t think I would be. Needless to say though, I am.  The garden is now weeded, new mulch laid down, flower pots galore surround the inn and new flowers and hostas are filling us the garden. Things are looking pretty good though I have to say. Now, its just keeping up with all the watering and weed pulling throughout the summer. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining one little bit. I love this time of year and wish it would last longer than it does.

Oshkosh has so many great things that are coming up this summer and my future blogs in the upcoming weeks will be filled with things to do, places to go and people to see.  A little insight is Irish Fest,  Saturday Farmers Market, graduation ( my daughter enters  high school…sigh…, waterfest, festivals, etc etc etc. You’ll have to check back for everything that is going on. Enjoy Summer!





8th Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbook is in the works.

April 19, 2012 by braytonbb

I am looking for some suggestions. The WBBA (Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association) is in the process of putting out its 8th cookbook from Wisconsin innkeepers. They are asking for 4 recipes from each inn. I started looking through all my recipes and then decided that I would let you choose. Please tell me your favorites that you have had when you have stayed with us and we will use the top ones in the cookbook. I need all requests in by April 25th. You can reply to this blog, comment on our facebook page or email me. your choice.

Cookbooks will be ready for sale by October at a price of $24.95.  We will ship them to you or someone else as well for an extra charge.  As always we will have a hefty supply, but if you preorder now, they can be yours for $19.95.  Boy that sounds like a real infomercial. Sorry about that. These cookbooks have been in a huge demand in the past and sell out each year.

In case you are wondering, the cookbook is more than just the recipes.  There will be information about each B&B that submitted a recipe as well.  The last cookbook that was put out was so  much more than just breakfast entrees. Appetizers, soups and some lunch and dinner entrees and Amazing desserts were also included!

I look forward to seeing all your favorites

Death to the Doilies!

April 16, 2012 by braytonbb

You may have heard about it, you may have not, but I am proud to tell you that the Death to the Doily campaign has started.  I do not have a lot of information to tell you since it is fairly new and the  details are still being worked out. There was supposed to be an open house on April 22nd for B&B’s to participate, but they did not have a very good turn out for participants so that has been canceled.

Death to the Doilies? What is it you ask? Well, let me tell you. There are many misconceptions to a bed and a breakfast and one of them is the dreaded doily! Yes, at one time, whatever B&B you went to, they were there. Under lamps, used as coasters, on the backs of chairs and yes, even made into bed spreads. I am happy to report though, that we have never had a single doily at our inn, nor will we ever. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not putting down the doily and those B&B’s that use them. One in many advantages to staying at a B&B is that we are all so different, unlike the boring hotel chains. You have your choice of so many different locations whether its in the country, the city, a turn of the century Victorian, row house, farm house or modern day new construction. If you love the doily, they are still there, however if you do not, you do have options.

I have included this video which will give you a glimpse of the promotion and some quirky innkeeper humor.

Death to the Doily Video



New suite is named – Casa Suite

March 6, 2012 by braytonbb

With many months of working on the new suite and receiving so many name ideas from our Facebook followers, we have come to a decision. Casa Suite is the new two bedroom suite. A name brought to us from the contest we ran on Facebook for naming rights. Jon and Susan from Milwaukee have won a free night stay in the new suite. However, we have decided that our runners up, Robin and Philip and Mary Kay and Chet should also be rewarded. They are each receiving $100.00 towards their next stay with us.

With just the bathroom needing completion, we are only a couple weeks away from showing you the final outcome. Casa means a lot to us for several different reasons. Casa means home. Therefore, we want you to feel comfortable, as if you are in your own home, not only at the B&B, but in this new suite as well. We also purchased our home from Casa Cara 8 years ago, which was a  non profit organization here in Oshkosh. In keeping with the rest of the theme of our other rooms, which are named after people that had a significant influence on our home and business, we felt this was the best choice.

The Casa Suite is a two bedroom suite on the second floor. As you walk through the door, the master bedroom is on the left. It is decorated in dark green mossy, suede walls, and velvety mossy green drapes with creme berber carpeting. It boasts a black king size four poster bed with a heated mattress pad, two nights stands with a ipod alarm clock, 32″ flat screen television and ceiling fan. As you walk out of the master bedroom, you will walk through an arched entry way into the foyer.  To the right of the foyer is the second bedroom which offers two full size beds with tan tufted headboards against a deep plum painted granite wall. It is carpeted in a nutmeg color flooring, with a ceiling fan, 27″ flat screen television, and one night stand with a shared ipod alarm clock. As you walk out of the second bedroom, it will lead you to the living room. The living room is carpeted in a smoky gray flooring with a 37″ flat screen television, black sofa with chaise lounge, a cream leather chair and ceiling fan. Off to the side is a small work area with a desk.   The bathroom which is off of the living room is still being completed, however some things you can look forward to is a double vanity, bathtub, laundry facilities and a tiled shower with steam like amenities.

I am looking forward to getting professional pictures taken of the new suite, but I wanted to offer you a sneak peak of one of the rooms. In a couple of weeks, I will post more once completed. We are taking reservations now. You can book online or call us anytime.

New reservation system has gone live, WITH A CONTEST!

December 19, 2011 by braytonbb

Though this may not sound too exciting for some of you, however it is a huge benefit to all involved. For one,  when booking your reservation online, you can now see what is available and what is not just by looking at the calender on the left. The dates marked in gray, we do not have any availability.  The dates that are not  marked you can click on and see what what rooms are available that day for that price, also you can see if  there  is a minimum night stay on any or all rooms.

There are also tabs at the top of the page that you can add a package to your stay, add extras such as flowers, candy, dinner,etc. buy gift certificates that I can email or mail out or get those sheets and bathrobes that you love so much when you stay.

In the summer we offer Scotty’s Pontoon for rent. Our guests get a discounted rate, however we offer it to anyone that would like to use it. . Coming soon, there will be a link that will show when the pontoon is available, which then you will be able to book online as well.

If you have any suggestions, please let us know. Some things we have control over and some things are just how the system works. We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible when booking your reservation.

As an extra bonus, we will have an additional room available this Spring. After you click on check availability, go to the guest rooms. Scroll down to the bottom where you will see our fifth room that we will be offering. We are having a contest over the next few months on the name of the room.  If we choose your name for the new guest suite, you will win a one night stay in the new suite.

So click on check availability now on our site and start thinking of some good names and then email us and with your thoughts. Good Luck.

Merry Christmas Week

December 17, 2011 by braytonbb

I don’t know about a lot of you, but it has been a tough season for me to get motivated to put up the decorations and feel the spirit of Christmas. We have  had such a mild winter ( which I am overjoyed about) and little to no snow (which I couldn’t be happier about) which is what I blame my lack of ambitions for. Though the decorations have been up for a while with the push of my guests, my Christmas shopping is hardly started. I am not a last minute shopper. In fact, most of my shopping is usually done online and is done by now. I have my work cut out for me these next few days. I have a feeling I will be in the same boat as many others-which means lot of crowds and lines. YIPEEEE-Not!

Anyway, wish me luck for my daughters sake. In the meantime I have posted some decoration pictures.

Secretary of Tourism, Stephanie Klett stays at Brayton Bed and Breakfast

May 12, 2011 by braytonbb

Friday recipe of the week is postponed until tomorrow due to the Oshkosh Tourism breakfast being held this morning.

Secretary of Tourism, Stephanie Klett stayed with us last night prior to speaking at the Oshkosh Convention Center. She highlighted 2010 Oshkosh tourism achievements and spoke about what we have to look forward to in 2011 and following years.

I am honored that I got to attend the breakfast and listen to Stephanie speak. She is such an inspiration and a lot of fun to listen to. I don’t get a chance to attend many city functions in the morning and on weekends due to that I am usually making breakfast, cleaning rooms and checking new guests in to the inn. I don’t have any employees other than my husband and daughter (who if you would like cheerios for breakfast) I could then possibly attend, if I could get away from worrying about what was happening when I was not around.

Thanks again Stephanie for visiting Oshkosh and staying with us. We are very honored!

New for 2011

January 24, 2011 by braytonbb

We have joined forces with Olden produce as a CSA. What is a CSA you ask? Community Supported Agriculture Share Program.
This allows us to get our produce from a local source and support our local community.
This year we will be able to get a constant supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs during the growing season. All produce is grown in a sustainable all chemical/natural free manner.
We will have fresher, local choices that we will be able to utilize in making your breakfast and desserts each day. I am hoping that will be be able to use some products that we have never tried before and make some new recipes as well.
Please come and check us out this summer to see what all the fuss is about.

Christmas at the Inn

November 29, 2010 by braytonbb

It is a beautiful time around the inn at Christmas. We have just finished putting up the garland and lights outside, candles in the windows, Christmas tree up and of our course our mini Christmas village. We would love for you to come and enjoy this beautiful time of year with us. We also sell gift certificates, which make the PERFECT, holiday gift that anyone would enjoy.