Skip to main content

Summer Entertaining with Grove + My Go-To 3-Ingredient Dessert Recipe


We're finally starting to entertain at home. Last summer, we didn't do a whole lot of that. Instead, we were settling in, furnishing the place, and planning and tackling our first major projects. Our only guests were close friends and family who were popping in to see the house, help with projects, or hang out with us when we needed a break from home improvement conquests.

Now, our entire first floor (except for one room that I can live with until fall) has been stripped of wallpaper, painted, and decorated. We can spontaneously invite friends and family members over without fretting about old wallpaper, drywall dust, or "off-limits" rooms blocked off by plastic sheets. Instead of cleaning up construction zones, we simply have to tidy up.


We had our first little dinner party a couple weekends ago—hosting my former landlord (a fellow old house enthusiast and fixer-upper) and his lovely San Fran friends. And you guys, it was so nice to have company over. The wine was flowing, laughter bubbling, and conversation buzzing. I loved it.

In the coming weeks, we're planning to host a few other get-togethers and I've decided to share my my favorite essentials to keep on hand, my almost-too-easy-to-be-true 3-ingredient go-to dessert, and a FREE Stylish Hosting Kit offer for new Grove customers.


1. Stylish cleaning supplies that smell good.
Shopping with Grove Collaborative means I always have my favorite Mrs. Meyer's products on hand for quick tidy-ups before people arrive and mid-party cleanups. Guests always end up in the kitchen—and these look lovely on my sink and smell good if someone insists on helping me wash up a few dishes. 

Want a free Mrs. Meyer's hand soap, dish soap, and hand lotion? Keep scrolling. :)

2. Wine.
I mean, do I really have to go into detail on this one? And yes, I definitely buy wine based on the labels—especially when it matches the decor.

3. Tasty, Go-To Dessert.
I'm not a talented baker by any means. The bf makes some epic desserts, including German chocolate and red velvet cake. But sometimes, we need something that's quick, foolproof, and delicious. Dump cakes are my go-to because I probably already have the ingredients available, they're easy to whip up, and guests tend to rave about them. (My recipe's at the bottom of this post!)

4. Pretty glassware.
Hanging out poolside or in the backyard calls for plastic cups. But if we're sitting around the dining table, I love to bust out the pretty glassware. 

5. Bottle openers.
I like to have a few handy with at least one in the dining room and another near the fridge for beer. It's always good to have a backup, as these gadgets tend to grow legs and walk away during dinner parties. 

6. Grove's new ceramic tray.
This gorgeous little ceramic tray is brand new to Grove—and so versatile that it'll go with practically any decor. I'm still deciding where to put mine. Bathroom vanity with soap and lotion on top? Kitchen sink to hold the sponge and scrubber? It'd look lovely on a dresser top for perfumes and jewelry, too. But for entertaining, it's the perfect size to set out plastic cutlery, hold a corkscrew and bottle opener, or even serve little cookies or sandwiches.

Want a free tray for your sink, vanity, or dresser top? You're in luck.


I'm partnering with Grove Collaborative to offer new customers a FREE Stylish Hosting Kit, which includes:
  • One Mrs. Meyer's hand soap
  • One Mrs. Meyer's dish soap
  • One Mrs. Meyer's hand lotion
  • Grove Collaborative Sink Tray
  • Free Shipping & a 60-Day VIP Trial
It's the perfect reason to stock up on Mrs. Meyer's products for your summer entertaining. Individually, any of these items would make a fabulous hostess gift for the next get-together you get invited to. 

Whether you choose to keep the Stylish Hosting Kit for yourself or give it to a friend, you'll also get that free 60-Day VIP Trial. Being a VIP gets you more savings, free shipping, free gifts, price matching, special sales, and personal service. 

Since the Grove sink tray just debuted, these kits are going fast and only available for the next few days! Don't miss out!


Here's how to claim your kit:
  1. You'll receive the Stylish Hosting Kit for free when you sign up! (You can choose which scents you want in your cart.)

  2. Spend at least $20 on whatever you want.
    Twenty bucks goes a long way on everything from more cleaning supplies to baby, bath, or beauty products to other summer essentials like organic sunscreen and bug spray.

  3. You made it!
    Click Finish & Pay to place your order. You'll receive your first box within a few days.
Already a Grove customer? There's a special offer for you, too—you'll receive the Grove sink tray for 25% off! Click here to claim the offer. 

Oh, yeah! About that tasty, go-to dessert that's so easy even I can't mess it up...

Ingredients:
  • One box of yellow cake mix.
  • One 21 oz. can of pie filling.
  • One stick of butter straight out of the fridge.
Instructions:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray your pie dish with nonstick baking spray.
  3. Slice the entire stick of cold butter into thin 1/4 inch squares.
  4. Dump the can of pie filling into the dish.
  5. Dump the cake mix on top and spread it out to evenly cover the pie filling.
  6. Evenly arrange all the butter squares on top of the cake mix.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  8. Place on a cooling rack to cool.
  9. Serve with a spoon and—if you're feeling extra decadent—a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  10. Enjoy!
It's really that easy. I usually use apple, cherry, or peach, but other pie fillings will work, too. I've tried a cherry pie filling/chocolate cake mix combination, but it didn't turn out as well. So I recommend a yellow cake mix in most cases. Feel free to get adventurous by adding nuts or fruit on top. I once used a spice cake mix, added caramel into the apple pie filling, and threw in some chopped walnuts—it was a divine dessert for autumn! 

You can also totally make your own cake mix or pie filling if you have the time. I've made my own rhubarb filling. And a few weekends ago, I pitted tart cherries from the farmers market for my own cherry pie filling. Of course it was easy and more delicious than canned pie fillings, but I don't always have that  little bit of extra time on my hands. 

The glory of using ready-to-go ingredients in this dump cake is that you can whip it up, stick it in the oven, and get other things done in the kitchen while it bakes—like making avocado chicken roll-ups, pepperoni pasta salad, and cheesy mashed potatoes for your dinner party, while a chuck roast cooks in a crock pot. :)



Dessert's a valid enough excuse
to host get-together, right?

Claim your Stylish Hosting Kit
offer now and start planning!



Comments

POPULAR POSTS:

DIY Cat Barrier for Under $100 (See-Through, Climb-Proof, and Too-Tall-To-Jump)

ICYMI: I gave up Cotton after deciding that after trying so many things, my two adopted cats Dahlia and Cotton were just never going to get along. Long story short: I missed her. And Cotton's back. And Dahlia's not going anywhere. My heart is big enough to keep trying. And my apartment is big enough that if I need to keep them separated long term (or permanently), it can be done.
I'm going to write-up a separate post about some of the solutions I've tried, how they worked, who they worked on, and what I'll be trying next. But in this post, I wanted to share the main 'piece de resistance' of having both cats in my apartment: an un-climbable, un-jumpable, see-through barrier to separate Cotton and Dahlia.

Aria's Room | Pretty Little Liars Decor

Welcome back for LU's 2nd room in the PLL series!  Today you're getting a glimpse into my favorite room on the show... Aria's room.  Aria Montgomery is the artistic, imaginative, bookworm of the bunch.  So it's no surprise that her room has an artsy, historic, romantic eclecticism atmosphere.  Plus, it's full of books.  My two words for Aria's attic space: Vintage Eclectic.  (Those happen to be my two favorite decorating words... so brace yourself for my soon-to-come swooning.)

Pencil It In | Working the Pencil Skirt into Your Work Attire, Including 25 Examples with Do's and Don'ts

Starting this week, every Wednesday on The Lovely Side will be devoted to wardrobe, hair, and beauty content.  With summer internships right around the corner and interviews for real world jobs looming as well, I thought now would be a good time to delve into the world of office fashion.  
Sarah, a reader, recently emailed me asking about how to style a pencil skirt for her "somewhat casual, somewhat professional workplace full of fashionable co-workers."  She's been lusting after pencil skirts at several stores, but been hesitant to purchase one for fear of looking bad in it and not knowing what to wear with it.