Brett F Braley Interview: Baking, Chickens, and Life in Rural Pennsylvania

20 Nov 2018


For today’s post, we caught up with our friend Brett. Brett is a Pennsylvania-based blogger who runs his eponymous blog Brett F Braley, a collection of tasty recipes, handy tutorials, and charming musings on day-to-day life.

From busy California to rural Pennsylvania, why did you choose to settle so close to nature?  

I grew up in Pennsylvania, so I kind of always considered my time in California to be temporary. After five years in San Diego, it was time to move back home. In that time, me and my (now) husband had adopted three dogs and wanted to settle down a bit where they could stretch.

Luckily, we found the perfect little farm for our family to grow and to really plant roots after so much moving around.

WoolOvers Mens Lambswool Knitted Waistcoat


We’d love to discover more about your day-to-day. Can you walk us through a typical day for you?

I thrive in a schedule, so I try to maintain some semblance of balance and routine each day. Nolan, my husband, wakes up first and brings me coffee before going to work. I work from home as a Marketing Manager, so I’m lucky enough to stay in bed and enjoy my coffee while I check emails, read a bit, and cuddle with our dogs.

By 7:00 or so, I’m up to do the chickens. I change their water daily. Now that it’s winter here, I also make them a breakfast of sorts – usually oatmeal, sometimes eggs (yes, you can feed your chickens eggs!), and whatever is neglected and overgrown from our kitchen herb garden.

Brett F Braley blog - chickens

Brett F Braley blog - eggs

The rest of the day is spent answering emails, making dinner, doing chores, taking an hour to relax with the dogs or run outside with them. I clock out at five, listen to the radio while I make dinner, and wait for Nolan to come home.

When it gets dark, I visit the chickens to let them in, tend to any that may be sick (I’m a bit of a hypochondriac with my hens, so I watch them closely!), and then it’s lights out.

A bath before bed and then more reading or some TV. It’s simple, but it’s a perfect life for me.


How did you first discover your passion for baking and what is your favorite recipe? Any ideas for Thanksgiving?

I really kind of fell into baking by necessity. We had moved to California so I could attend law school, but it wasn’t for me. I was too young (I started when I was 20) and I don’t think I was emotionally capable at that time to fully acknowledge how firm these decisions were. So I quit after a year.

And because I quit and had no money coming in, we were broke. So I started to cook to avoid eating out. Then I found out how much I enjoyed it and the rest is history!

Brett F Braley blog - baking

I think my favorite recipe right now is the simple iced cookie. Especially right now, when Christmas cookies are in no short supply for our family. My recipe is super simple and takes all of 20 minutes to make (icing a bit longer, but that’s the fun of it, isn’t it?).

Brett F Braley blog - iced cookies

For Thanksgiving, I’m lucky enough to be taking the year off from the kitchen. With that being said, I have three rules for mashed potatoes: use cream cheese and butter, don’t forget the garlic, and go heavy on the black pepper.


You’ve got 3 dogs and 27 chickens, who keeps you busier?

The dogs for sure. The chickens are very good with routine. They’re the crockpot of livestock – set them and forget them. As long as they have a warm place to sleep and fresh water, they’re good.

The dogs, on the other hand, are spoiled. All very needy, as they’ve been babied. They run the house. They even get their own dinners at night (scrambled eggs right after we finish our dinner)!

Brett F Braley blog - iced cookies


Why do you like wearing WoolOvers? Do you have a favorite style from this season’s collection?

I absolutely love WoolOvers and so glad I discovered the brand. The styles are comfortable and classic, two things that I value a lot in my clothing.

Right now, I’m loving the versatility of the cable zip-neck knitted sweater. It’s great for throwing on in the morning to let the chickens out or to dress up a bit. Nolan wore it when we hosted a breakfast after our wedding and looked handsome as ever in it.

Mens Pure Wool Aran Cable Zip Neck Knitted Sweater

Photos ©Brett F Braley

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