Summer is busy, y’all.
Between family events, vacations, stuff with kids, and general life stuff I feel like we’re constantly running around like crazy people this time of year. It doesn’t help that this seems to be a time where we’re making plans with people more than any other time of year – something about summer just makes us want to have a ton of people over all the time…maybe to distract us from the fact that it’s so hot our faces are melting off?!
It can be stressful to host things. There’s a lot of (self-inflicted) pressure to have a perfect home, have everything completely clean, and present the most delicious menu ever created. But, let’s be real – no one has time for that. And really, your guests don’t care – they just want to have a relaxed and happy host! So, today I’m going to share a few of my favorite tips for keeping summer gatherings casual and stress-free (along with a couple of my favorite summer recipes). But first, I’m going to share my secret weapon for making sure I always have my very favorite cleaning and hosting products on hand, so I’m ready for guests at a moments notice.
Have you heard of Grove Collaborative? No, this post isn’t sponsored by them (but I do use affiliate links throughout this post, meaning if you visit their site and buy anything I’ll receive a small commission at no additional charge to you), I just want to talk about them because I kind of love them a lot. I discovered Grove a few years back when one of my favorite bloggers started talking about them, so I want to pass the love on in case any of you haven’t gotten on the Grove Collaborative train yet.
Grove Collaborative sells all of your favorite cleaning and household brands (and even some health and beauty stuff!) at killer prices, shipped right to you on a regular basis. It’s a free subscription service and you can determine exactly what you need and how often you want it. You can cancel shipments any time (they’ll send you a warning a week before they ship, so you can add to or cancel the order if you want), and they even have a VIP program where you can get free shipping and free gifts a few times a year.
Basically, it takes all of the thinking out of keeping your cleaning cabinet stocked, and means you never have to run out of countertop cleaner again (just me, or does that happen to anyone else WAY too frequently?). They’ve also got a great selection of things you don’t need on a recurring schedule – I really love their glass spray bottles, and I’m obsessed with my new kitchen dish brush set (you may have seen it make an appearance on my Instagram Story recently). Their dish brushes are the best ever and I absolutely refuse to use anything else.
If you haven’t already signed up for Grove Collaborative, you’re definitely going to want to check it out. Aside from just having some of the best products ever at really great prices, they make it so much easier to keep everything stocked so that you’re always prepared to host guests or do a quick house cleaning. But, I promised some other tips on hosting people for the summer, so here are the rest of ’em:
5 Tips for Hosting Easy Summer Gatherings
- Don’t stress too much about how clean your house is. No one is paying attention except for you, I promise! They key to a relaxing summer gathering with your friends is to let it feel really casual and spontaneous – that means that you should not spend hours cleaning under any circumstances. My best tip is to have a few systems in place so that your home practically cleans itself, and then do a quick 30-minute sweep before everyone arrives.
- The little details make a big difference. The Stylish Hosting Kit from Grove Collaborative is perfect to plop down in the guest bathroom. Load it up with some Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap and lotion (side note: did you know they made lotion? I didn’t until recently, and now I’m obsessed!), and your guests will feel totally spoiled. I’m always so appreciative when a host has lotion readily available in the bathroom, because I usually like to apply a bit after washing my hands because they tend to get dry really quickly. This kit comes with a beautiful ceramic tray and Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, hand lotion, and dish soap and it’s F R E E for all new customers with your first order of at least $20. We all like free, right? Especially when it makes your job as a hostess easier. Just click here to redeem the offer (it ends this weekend)!
- Have some snacks on hand when everyone arrives, and keep the menu simple. I always try to have some chips and dips available to toss out on the counter when the guests get there, so everyone can get to munching as soon as they walk in the door. As far as the meal, we’re big fans of grilling during the summer months – it keeps the kitchen from getting too hot, it tastes delicious, and all the guys seem to love gathering around the grill and chatting while dinner is finishing up!
- Set the mood with some happy music and some summer-y candles. I really like light floral scents this time of year. My go-to music when we have guests is the Nickel Creek Pandora station – it’s mellow but has a cheery feel to it, and it’s great background music so no one feels like their conversation is being drowned out.
- Finally, my favorite tip for entertaining any time of year – remember that you guests probably aren’t judging how clean your home is, how well-decorated it is, or what it smells like (okay, maybe they’re judging that one just a little). Guests spend more time remembering how they feel when they’re at your home, and that’s what makes all of the difference. Put their needs first, think of little things you can do to make sure they feel at home (is there a place to put their purse? Do they know where the bathroom is?) and actually do those things. If you’ve got that covered, your party is pretty much guaranteed to be a success!
I really love hosting people year-round, but there’s something about a gathering in the summer that just feels extra special. This is truly one of my very favorite times of year, and it’s so nice to share it with all of our friends!
Before I go, here are a few more bonus tips for you, from the archives:
- Here’s a post from earlier this week on how to set a (how to set a (super easy) summer table.
- Don’t forget to make some sangria.
- Strawberry lemonade is also a great option (add some rum to this and you’ve got an amazing cocktail).
- Oh, and ice cream cake. You always need ice cream cake.
- Here are a few tips to make your home feel more hygge (don’t know what that means? You’ve gotta read the post!)
- And here are some specific hygge tips for the summertime!
Don’t forget to check out Grove Collaborative – the offer ends this Sunday (July 16th) evening, so you’ve gotta act fast! I promise you I wouldn’t be talking about this if it wasn’t a company I truly believed in – their products and prices are awesome, the customer service is great, and I can’t stop talking about how much I love them. After all, they’re the company that first introduced me to Caldrea, which is the brand that basically makes me want to clean my house so that it can smell like what I imagine heaven must smell like. Best scent in the world.
Pssst – if you’re already a Grove customer, you can still get the hostess kit I mentioned earlier! Use this link to get 25% off your kit!
Have you ever heard of Grove? What’s your favorite cleaning brand?!