Category Archives: Your questions answered


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.

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!


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.

25 things to do in Oshkosh for under $10.00

February 24, 2014 by braytonbb

25 things to do in Oshkosh that are under $10.00? How many times have you said there is nothing to do or I am broke. Well here is a list compiled by our wonderful convention and visitors bureau of 25 things to do this winter and upcoming spring. I thought it was so worthwhile that I had to share. Many items are available as a discount with the complimentary Convention and Visitors Bureau coupon book.

Bowling Sign

1. Enjoy our winter farmers market at the Washington Hall (formerly The Eagles Club)

2. Check out the WIOUWASH Trail ( walk, cross country ski, snow shoe or bike)

3. Visit the art galleries on the UW Oshkosh campus.

4. Sled down Garbage Hill at Red Arrow Park

5. Grab a day pass at the YMCA and go ice skating, rock climbing, swimming, and so much  more. ( Youth and high school $10.00, adults $14.00.

6. Enjoy a budget movie at the Time Community Theater.

7. Visit the Nativity collection inside the Algoma Blvd. United Methodist Church

8. Explore the Oshkosh Public Museum

9. Visit the Paine Art Center and Gardens

10. Enjoy Gallery Walk and AfterWalk inside the Grand Opera House.

11. Take your dog to the free dog park at  Winnebago Community Park

12. Get your laugh on at the Backlot Comedy House on Main St.

13. Tour the historic Morgan House

14. Catch a show at the Fredric March Theater on the UW Oshkosh Campus

15. When is the last time you went bowling? Oshkosh has 4!

16. Go to a parade, including the St. Patrick’s Day parade coming up soon.

17. Pick up a comic book or board game from House of Heroes

18. Pick up a book at the Oshkosh Public Library

19. Check out the EAA Air Museum.

20. Play some pool at The Magnet

21. Go treasure hunting at one of our thrift and antique stores.

22. Grab some coffee and a sandwich at Caramel Crisp, Planet Perk, New Moon or Piloras

23. Attend Tuesday night $5.00 movies at the Marcus Cinema

24. Grab some great chili at Dr. Benzie’s.

25. Enjoy a frish fry at South Shore Ice Yacht Club.



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.

What to do this 2013 winter season in Oshkosh?

January 7, 2013 by braytonbb

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a winter person. Being an innkeeper in the winter is the best job ever!  I get to hunker down inside the inn while the fire is going, baking, cleaning, and enjoying wine and cheese with our guests. It just doesn’t get any better than that, unless of course you are looking for something to do outside in Oshkosh. We have got you covered.

New this year, there will be an outdoor ice rink on Miller’s Bay at Menominiee Park. How romantic and fun is that? Couples and kids alike learning how to skate or just having fun.   You’ll find sledding hills at Red Arrow park and Westhaven Circle Park.

Cross-country skiers should definitely try Winnebago County Community Park. There is 4.2 miles of trails groomed for classic-style cross-country skiing. The cross-country ski trails can be accessed by the park’s north entrance. Snowshoeing is also available on the walking paths of the Coughlin Community Natural Area.

How about snowmobiling? In the Oshkosh area you can ride a 200-mile network of groomed trails. The adventurous rider can connect to hundreds more miles of trails running throughout the region. During most years, the Oshkosh area gets enough snowfall to keep the trails open through much of the winter and this season doesn’t look much different.

Oshkosh might be one of the best ice fishing destinations in the Midwest. Located on the shores of Lake Winnebago, the ice angler has access to more than 138,000 acres of ice. Anglers fishing through the ice in the Oshkosh area generally target walleye and yellow perch. There’s a short sturgeon spearing season in February – even if you’re not participating, it’s a fun event to see firsthand. Anglers can access the frozen lake via a number of excellent boat launches, but Menominee Park is one of the most popular access points.

What if you didn’t plan ahead and you need equipment, we have got you covered there too.  Hergert Sport Center offers cross-country skis, snowshoes, downhill skis and snowboards.

So find something to do and come back to stay with us sitting by the fire, drinking some home made hot chocolate or wine and enjoying this wonderful season.

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.


What makes a B&B guest different than a hotel guest?

August 20, 2012 by braytonbb

I get asked all sorts of questions about the guests that have stayed with us over the years. One popular one is “Aren’t you afraid, since don’t know the people that are walking through your door”? Heck no! I never thought about it that way before. If I did, I don’t think I would be the right person for this job. Besides, our guests don’t know us either, so its a two way street. Another question is, “tell us about all the crazy people and stories that have come through the B&B. I feel like I usually disappoint people with my answer. I really don’t have any. Everyone is so nice! Seriously! The difference between a B&B guest and a hotel guest is that everyone is usually here for the same reason; to meet new people, socialize, gain a new experience, and love of older homes. Yes, we do get business travelers, but they choose us to relax from their long day, rather going back to a stale, predictable hotel. Mostly though we get honeymooners, anniversary couples, family reunions, friends traveling together and so on. They look forward to their stay and we do whatever we can to  make their stay unforgettable. So what really makes the bed and breakfast guest different than the hotel guest. Their contagious happiness.

That being said, these ladies that stayed with us this past week, were the epitome of happiness and it rubbed off on me everyday that they were here. They travel together every year. Sometimes the 5 of them, sometimes up to 12 of them. Usually in the  Midwest, but they have gone as far as Washington DC. All friends with each a unique personality. They wandered out smiling each morning in search of coffee. Some were up  way before I was and some like to sleep in until right before breakfast at 8:00. Their stories of their adventures on past trips and history as friends were a joy to listen to at the breakfast table  and in the afternoon when they would get back from their journey around town. I think they may have even added to their stories for their next trip. I hope they made some wonderful memories in Oshkosh and at the inn. I know I will think of them often and smile when I do.

Where can I find a bed and breakfast?

May 21, 2012 by braytonbb

It really is incredible the number of people that stay with us from Oshkosh that say, ” I didn’t even know there was a bed and breakfast in town”, or ” I have driven or walked by here often and didn’t even know you were here”.

We always ask our guests if they stay in B&B’s often. We do get a lot of first timers that say “I never thought about staying a bed and breakfast” or “I don’t know why we don’t stay in them more”. I would like to think or at least it seems though that once people leave us,they seem to have a better understanding on what a bed and breakfast is. Hopefully they will think of it more in the future when they  want to stay close to home, travel out of town, out state or even out of the country for that matter.

So where can I find a good bed and breakfast?  The internet and iphones have been a great deal of help, but how do you know that you are getting what you are paying for. First off, stick with sites that you are familiar with, have consistent reviews or that you have heard from others that are worthwhile.

You may not know this, but most states have there own bed and breakfast associations. Wisconsin has one called Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association(WBBA). We are one of the largest in the country. This is a great place to start since there are strict guidelines to participate. You know when you stay at a Wisconsin bed and breakfast through WBBA, that you will get exactly what you were promised. There are bed and breakfasts that do exist that do not partner with WBBA, but its kind of like staying a 4 star hotel compared to a 2 star.  There site is user friendly where you can pick a certain city, area or amenities that you are looking for.

Another great source, especially if you are looking out of Wisconsin is bedandbreakfast.com. Unlike WBBA, they don’t have the standards to abide by, but you do have a lot to choose from and they offer some very helpful reviews on each of the properties.

Next time you are thinking about traveling, think of a bed and breakfast. You are supporting the community that you are visiting and the service will be far more friendly and knowledgeable.


Top 10 questions about staying at a bed and breakfast

May 14, 2012 by braytonbb

We get a lot of people that stay with us that have  never been to a bed and breakfast before.  I always gets really excited about this, since we then,  are not compared to anywhere else, and now others have to live up to what we offered.  Before the reservation even gets made, I get some pretty typical questions from those that do not know what to expect. I have the the top 10 that I get asked the most often along with my responses, in no particular order ( in case you were wondering as well). Don’t stop the questions coming though, we like it when you ask and we love to tell you what we offer.

1. Do I have to share a bathroom with someone I don’t know? Nope, not at Brayton Bed and Breakfast. Yes, some B&B’s do have shared bathrooms, so this is an excellent question to ask. All of our rooms and suites have their own private bath. Some with two person soaker tub and steam like showers as well.

2. Do I have to eat breakfast with people I do not know?   The choice is yours. You can eat the main dining room with a group, on our sun porch with individual tables or or even in your room. Interact as much or as little as you like. Each bed and breakfast is unique, so if this is a concern, this is another great question to ask.

3. I have food allergies and restrictions. Is this a problem? Not for us it is not. Just let us know when you make  your reservation if you a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, atkins, etc etc etc. We have a lot of tried and true recipes and love a challenge occasionally too.

4. What kind of breakfast can I expect in the morning? We always offer two choices. A sweet dish choice such as a stuffed french toast, waffles, or bread pudding to name a few and then a savory dish such as a quiche or breakfast burritos which are some of the favorites. Your entree also will come with some type of fruit, bread meat and/or hash browns. We have never had anyone walk away hungry or disappointed.

5. Is there a certain time you serve breakfast? We serve breakfast between 8:00-10:00 everyday.  We try to be flexible on the times to be respectful of other guests wanting to sleep in, but if you do need breakfast earlier, please ask. We will do what we can to try to accommodate.

6. Is there a curfew? Nope. We are not your parents. You have your own code to the house, so you don’t even have to worry about taking keys with you. You can come and go as you like and stay out as late as you want.

7. Do I have to bring my own towels, sheets, shampoo, etc. Nope. We have everything that we think you may need. Not only do we provide fresh towels and sheets, soap, shampoo and conditioner, but everything is the highest quality. Each room also has a hair dryer and our suites have bathrobes to enjoy while you are staying with us.

8. Will we have our own privacy? Absolutely! We are here when you need us. We don’t believe in hovering. We have plenty to do behind the scenes to make your stay comfortable. As for hearing guests in other rooms, not true either. One thing  nice about having a 150 year home is that it is made of plaster and lathe and not drywall. Its so quiet, we never hear people coming or going.  The time is yours to do with what you wish. Our home is your home, so  make yourself comfortable.

9. Will I be able to get online or print something if I need to? Yes. We have WIFI throughout the inn. Most of our rooms have some sort of table, bench  or chest to work on, but if you need more room, we also offer a small work station with a printer on the sun porch and the Casa Suite offers it own work area. If you are meeting with a group of people, they are more than welcome to come over. Our dining room works well for that too, but please let us know so we can make sure that you get the privacy  you need along with our other guests as well.

10. Air conditioning, hot water, squeaky floors? Though our inn is 150 years old, our electrical and pipes are not. When we purchased in the inn in 2004 we did a complete remodel from top to bottom. That means adding all new windows, central air, new pipes for instant hot water, 3 hot water heaters so you will not have to worry about running out of hot water when you fill the tub and outlets that will allow you to plug in your hair dryer and curling iron without blowing a fuse. We have even furnished the inn with all new furniture and warm paint colors to make your stay relaxing and not stuffy. Though we can’t guarantee that the floors won’t squeak, in spots, since they are original we do think that you will appreciate their beauty.

I could probably go on and on, but these are the ones that get asked the most often. As I mentioned, each bed and breakfast is unique, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. It doesn’t matter where you stay, all innkeepers want the same thing and that is to make sure that you walk about happy and think of coming back or staying in another B&B in the future.


What do people come to Oshkosh to do?

March 20, 2012 by braytonbb

That is the question I get all the time, especially this time of year when the weather is not always cooperative with peoples plans.

Hmm. Where do I begin I usually say. Thats the truth though. There is so much to do in Oshkosh year round and because we are the “Event City”, there is always something going on.

Let me just start with the obvious. EAA Museum! Hello, this is a nationally recognized museum. People from all over the world will come here once a year, but anytime of year is a great day to visit the museum.  Paine Art Museum and Gardens. Oh my gosh, this place is gorgeous with the Nutcracker over the holidays, Room of  Blooms in just the last couple of weekends, Faire on the Green, plus all their other exhibits throughout the year.   Oshkosh Public Museum is right across the street from the Paine. Each year they bring several exhibits to the city but also year round exhibits that portray Oshkosh, such as the history of the Sawyer family, The Apostles Clock, and lumbering and logging history are just to name a few.  The Grand Opera House is quite the sight to see as well. This intimate theater sits 668 patrons and hosts nearly 100 performances a year. The Wiowash trail, Menominee Park and zoo and  South Park are not to be missed either. Great walking trails, volleyball and basketball courts plus several events are held here every year.

I don’t want to leave out gallery walk where local artists can show off their work in our downtown retail shops.  Our new river walk will be able to connect area businesses that are on the water and bring in new business to the city as well.

Your going to get hungry with all this driving and/or walking that you will be doing. We are are so fortunate to have so many great downtown restaurants, spas and retail shops downtown. Soiree, Chic to Chic and Apple Blossom Books  are a few of my favorite shopping stores. When I get hungry I love to walk down to Gardinas and Caramel Crisp and then take in a pedicure or massage at Salon Mode. I could go on and on with all the events that Oshkosh puts together from fisheries, to festivals and concerts and free outings for families.  I guess you will just have to come to Oshkosh for a visit each season to take in everything we have to offer.

Yoga Anyone?

March 13, 2012 by braytonbb

My sister introduced me to yoga about 3 years ago. I went twice and decided that it was not for me. I was doing pilates and zumba at the time which I really liked the pace of both of them and yoga just seemed a little to slow for me . I couldn’t get my head in it. About a year later, I was having a hard time sleeping well. I have always talked and did a little walking in my sleep, but it seemed to take over my life recently.  I tried a new mattress, herbal teas, vitamins, and went to the doctor who said I should get a sleep apnea test. I had insurance, but apparently my insurance didn’t cover the cost, and the cost was not worth it to  me to take the test.  I knew that I could figure this out on my own.  Not long after, I was at a women’s group that I below to and I was talking to some other women about my condition. It just happened that the women from Inner Sun Yoga studio was there and she suggested I try yoga. I listened to what she had to say and said I would come. Even though I knew that it was not for me, I knew that I needed some sleep and so did my husband, so I decided to try again.

Inner Sun Yoga studio is just one block away from us. I liked the convenience so I decided to walk to class one day. I am sure you know where this is going, but after class I felt great. I felt like I got a good workout in and I felt more relaxed. I tend to be a pretty high energy person and have to remind myself to relax more often than not. Anyway, that evening, I slept a little bit better and so did my husband so I decided to go back. After the second session, I was hooked. I did try other instructors and noticed that each one conducted their class a little differently which meant that I was getting something different from each class and instructor.  The longer I went, I learned which classes and which instructors were giving me what I needed.

It has now been three years since the first time I have gone and though I still do a little talking in my sleep once in awhile, I do sleep much more soundly, I need less hours and I have learned to relax throughout my day. I am so thankful for Deb at Inner Sun Yoga Studio for convincing me to come back.

If you have never taken a yoga class or even if you have and thought that it was not for you, try it again. Inner Sun Yoga studio awakens your senses the minute you walk in the door with relaxing smells and an intimate atmosphere that takes you into a different place. Deb and I have put together a package deal for a couple of her workshops coming up. You save money on her workshop and on your stay with us as well. You can view more details about her workshops and the package deal on both of our websites.