All Posts By

Lilly Cristy

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The Art of the Meat + Cheese Board

It’s the season for gathering, bonding and of course eating! I’ve struggled so many times trying to come up with what to make to treat my guests. That is until I discovered the lovely “art” of the meat and cheese board. It’s trendy and simple to put together and the board creates a cozy and chill atmosphere. Plus, sharing food tends to be the perfect way to start up some great conversations and it can turn into some truly heartwarming conversations with friends.

I invited my closest girlfriends (also known as my “soul sisters”) Alona, Yana, and Oksana and their dolls Annika, Elsa and Vienna and baby Ace to Chloe’s 2nd birthday play-date. It was 10 am so I didn’t want to serve lunch and everyone had already eaten breakfast. The cheese board was the perfect treat for us mamas and for the babes to nibble on! Here are some ideas on how to assemble that ultimate spread.

1. Start with a giant board.

2. Place your meats on the tray first and place them across from one another- mine created a triangle.

3. Incorporate your cheeses (I love using different textures and flavors).

4. Add in your crackers – the more variety the better!

5. Tie in some dried fruit and nuts.

6. And my favorite step: ADD in everything else that makes your taste buds dance! Such as fresh fruit, jams, honey, favorite sauces, herbs…there is no right or wrong here!

Everyone enjoyed it so much that I ended up making another one the next day as an “appetizer” before dinner for my family. I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy it as much as I did!

Photography: Michell Strizheus 

Wicker Table:

White Vase & Arrow Cheese Board: Mint+Basil

Dried Floral:

Cake and all ingredients: Hy-Vee

Stay tuned for more from Oksana, her delicate words, + drool worthy home. Explore the rest of her creative eye here:
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A Holiday DIY

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year….” We just couldn’t agree more with this Christmas classic. And while we mourn the lost days of sunshine and bright, golden leaves, we welcome this cozy season with open arms. So grab some hot chocolate, a cozy blanket and settle in for a fun holiday DIY that will surely create a special memory that warms your heart each year as you pull out your Christmas decor.

This time of year is a favorite at our “Nest”. It’s enjoyable for so many reasons but my favorite reason is to use those creative cells in my body that perhaps have been hibernating all year long. Since were all about stretching that penny, here are some ornaments I’ve created and put on my tree this year. Hope it inspires you to go out of your comfort zone and do something unusual and get your family involved doing it!

*All supplies can be found at your local craft store- I purchased all of mine at Hobby Lobby. 

“Paper Lantern”

  1. Items you need: card stock paper, beads (different sizes), hole punch, cord (mine is suede) and scissors.
  2. Cut 8 pieces or paper. Mine are approx. 6in long and 1/2 inch wide.
  3. Line up all pieces and make a hole on each end.
  4. Take a long piece of cord, fold into two and put your beads on the side with a loop.
  5. Line up you holes and thread the paper through both ends.
  6. Add a bead to the bottom and tie your cord to keep the bead secured in place.
  7. Fan out the paper, tie and cut access cord.


  1. Items you need: yarn, scissors, hard cover book, wooden beads and a long & thin tool to help feed the yard through the beads.
  2. Wrap your book approx. 50 times with your yarn
  3. Tie one end really tight and cut through the other end.
  4. Tie the tied end with additional yarn horizontally.
  5. Thread your beads and trim your ends to make them all equal length.

“Feather Ring”

  1. Items you need: wooden ring, beads, feather, cord and scissors.
  2. Wrap your ring 2-3 times with your cord and secure it with your bead but don’t tighten all the way.
  3. Feed the tip of your feather on the back side of the cord.
  4. Tighten to secure everything with your bead.


These ornaments instantly became sentimental and priceless for me. Hope you find a slow and cozy night in the next few weeks, make a cup of hot cocoa (insert drool emoji here), turn on some Christmas music and embrace your creative side with your little ones (or big ones) and perhaps create a few Christmas tradition.

Stay tuned for more from Oksana, her delicate words, + drool worthy home.  Explore the rest of her creative eye here:

Think you could add a little pizazz to what we’re doing here?  Get in touch!  We’d love to see what you’ve got cookin! Info + ideas to




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Re-staging // Shelving // & Transformations

With the change of seasons well underway up North, we are all for fresh starts, fresh decor and transforming our homes into a cozy, little atmosphere that prepares us for the long winter ahead and countless hours spent indoors. Read on to hear how Mint + Basil Ambassador, Oksana, gives here home that “fresh” new feel with items she already has.

I love moving things around in my home as it makes me feel like I’ve hit the refresh button. One of the ways I spruce up my home is by un-decorating and re-staging. Sounds weird, I know! But there’s nothing more satisfying than a “blank canvas”. When the creative juices start flowing, I literally move my entire living room (or whatever room I am working with) to one corner and start with a clean slate, moving things around playing with it until it feels just right. It doesn’t always make sense at first and looks odd but it’s all about the big picture. Today I want to show you how I style my kitchen shelf doing just that, de-staging and then putting it back together.

There are a few things I like to keep in mind during this process….

  1. Start with a clean shelf.
  2. Start with the large pieces first & position them randomly throughout the space. (This part always looks odd and it really doesn’t have to make sense.)
  3. Add in your medium sized pieces next. I like to add texture by layering, for example, placing items both horizontally and vertically (such as plates).
  4. Add in some contrast by placing light pieces in front of dark pieces.
  5. Incorporate everything else! (This is my favorite part!) In my case, I added a glass jar full of carved wooden spoons, cheese board utensils, metal straws & honey spoons. I also added a bit of nature with some dried grass from my backyard. I like to play around and add height and dimension.

I prefer a cohesive shelf and displaying items with a similar feel. I stick with a color scheme or an actual theme. I love simplicity with a pop. I also try to tie in pieces that make me happy and bring heartfelt memories or just things I enjoy (such as coffee- can I get an AMEN!?). My shelf incorporates a lot of simple whites, textured whites, neutrals and to add the pop factor a bit of copper. I begin by separating my items into three sections. Large items, medium pieces and the tiny details. I like to make three piles on my table.

Hope this helps you with whatever project that’s brewing in your creative soul right now. My only advice I can give is to start blank and bare. This can be applied in a lot of areas of our life. There’s something powerful about a fresh start as it often turns into a magnificent transformation.

Stay tuned for more from Oksana, her delicate words, + drool worthy home.  Explore the rest of her creative eye here:

Think you could add a little pizazz to what we’re doing here?  Get in touch!  We’d love to see what you’ve got cookin! Info + ideas to







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Is there anything more quintessential summer than a BBQ? We think not. And now that our favorite season is in full swing, we’re ready to dust off the ‘ol grill and get to cookin’. Because if we’re being honest, food just tastes better grilled. (Can we get an amen!?) Whether it’s a kabob of summer veggies, a rack of ribs or just a nice juicy steak….we’re alllll about that grill life. After all, it is the only type of food that’s totally socially acceptable to eat in a swimsuit, right?

Ever had barbecue sauce so good, you’d consider licking your plate? Well anyway, Lillie Q’s is that good. With a variety of flavors ranging from a traditional, mustard based sauce, to a vinegary flavored sauce and even a white sauce perfect for coleslaw…these folks thought of everything. But they didn’t just stop at sauce, because what BBQ is complete without chips? With five different flavors to choose from and all natural ingredients, we’re hooked and we’re pretty sure you will be too.

Tip: Keep it simple when serving a crowd! Don’t choose too many different types of meats or veggies or you run the risk of overcooking your meat. Spice things up with a variety of sauces and condiments to choose from!

Sauces not your jam? No worries, we gotchu. Meet Spiceology, your new BFF. Seriously though, with names like “Cowboy Crust” “Greek Freak” and “Black Magic” we’re obsessed. Rub these yummies on your meat or sprinkle ‘em on your veggies and your taste buds will seriously FREAK OUT.

Tip: Be sure to cover both sides of your meat or veggies with a good coating of spices and rubs while it’s still raw. This allows the flavors to really cook into the meat, making your meal just that much more delicious.

What BBQ is complete without beer?! And what if we told you we had goods to help you make your own?! Yep. Because how cool is it to tell you friends (as they sip on deliciously, cold beer) “Yeah, I made that.” With a variety of different flavor profiles, you can take home a box full of everything you need to get to brewing. We’ll cheers to that!

Tip: Pair a lighter ale with your barbecue for a more enjoyable experience.

We didn’t reeeeeally know just how important using the right tools on the grill was until we melted our poor, little plastic spatula. With some grills reaching temperatures of up to 800 degrees, it’s super important that you use the right tools on your grill. Nobody likes melted spatula on their burger. We personally love using our stainless-steel LED grilling spatula. It’s bright, flashlight capabilities make those late-night grill-outs even easier.

Tip: Don’t forget to start with a clean grill! But seriously, who wants last night’s burgers on today’s chicken? No thank you.

Don’t forget about dessert! (We never do.) Why not take your s’mores to the next level with gourmet chocolate?! YUM. Our personal favorite, Compartes chocolate, will definitely leave your guests impressed and asking for a second…and a third…and well, you get the point.Tip: Try a white chocolate bar with one of our handmade jams inside your s’mores and really kick your s’mores game up a notch.

Well folks, there ya have it. Our favorite M + B products, tips & tricks to make this grilling season your best yet.

by: Lilly Cristy