Although it may sound cliche, and of course there are times when I feel very differently, for the most part, there is nothing I love more than spending time together as a family. Having waited such a long time for our children, I relish the days when we can spend days at the park, picnics at the beach or holidays together by the sea. I may be totally biased but my children are the most fun to be around and even the most mundane days at home are a thousand times better when we spend them together.
We are lucky enough to have made some wonderful memories together as a family, travelling right across the country, enjoying days out and exciting adventures, and yet there is still one thing left on our family bucket list – a Summer festival! I’ll be honest, growing up festivals never appealed to me. Whilst my friends were off revelling in mud at Glastonbury, I was more than happy at home in my nice warm bed and even now the idea of sitting in a muddy field with deafening music doesn’t appeal to me. And so when eBay challenged us to plan our own at home family festival, it felt like the perfect opportunity to create a festival every bit as wonderful as the children deserved but with all of the luxuries of being at home.
As a family we sat down to discuss what we would want from our family festival and each of the children had their own requests. Megan wished for sleeping under the stars, Harry wanted hot dogs (always!), Eva wanted glitter, Lewis said we needed music (but ruled out the Disney sound track!), I insisted we would need to be warm if it rained, and Gaz just wanted the whole thing to be as stress-free as possible. And, thanks to eBay, it couldn’t have been more simple to create our very own festival which we aptly named Dovestock!!
I’ve been using eBay for as long as I can remember, either to sell our own unwanted goods or to purchase other people’s. What I didn’t realise is that eBay sells just about everything you could ever need, not only second hand but brand new items too. Even better, with the brand outlets there are hundreds of well known brands, including designer makes, at amazing discounted prices. From homeware to camping gear, clothing and shoes, the biggest decision for the six of us was how to decide between so many fantastic products!
I’m sure all parents will relate to the fact that shopping with kids is hard work, so not only is it a bonus to be able to shop on-line with eBay, but even better that it is literally a one-stop-shop for all of our purchases. I was able to add each item to my basket and check out via Paypal, knowing that with 30 day returns and full buyer protection, regardless of the outcome, eBay had it covered. With free click and collect or next day delivery on many items, our parcels were arriving thick and fast and the children’s excitement with each package we opened was contagious!
Once all of our purchases had safely arrived we couldn’t wait to get to work on our family festival but first the girls were eager to add a few personal touches to our outfits, starting with floral headbands.
Using clear plastic headbands bought for just £1.75 on eBay, we used super glue to stick on a variety of plastic flowers which were buy 4 get 4 free from an independent seller on eBay, Bad Ass Beauty.
I won’t lie to you, sometimes I find crafting with the kids hard work and yet this was such an easy craft idea and the children really enjoyed creating something they could wear and were really proud of.
I love how effective our home made floral headbands were and we will definitely be trying other similar craft ideas this Summer. With the floral headbands ready it was time for the children to get dressed and they were so excited with the outfits they had chosen.
Eva chose this gorgeous unicorn dress from Mountain Warehouse, a brand which we have previously bought outdoor clothing from but I had no idea they had such beautiful children’s clothing such as this! Made from 100% cotton it is lovely and soft and light weight for the Summer, plus the colours are perfect for a festival!
I was amazed that we bought it for just £14.99 from the brand outlet, especially given the quality, and will definitely be buying more from Mountain Warehouse for our Summer wardrobes. Eva was absolutely made up with it!
Megan chose the most beautiful floral dress from Joules, a brand I absolutely love and never fails to deliver on quality. The print could not be any more perfect for Summer, with beautiful coloured florals and 100% cotton material. And with 29% off the RRP and free standard delivery, you really can’t go wrong!
The girls also both chose some Crocs sandals which are not only adorable, but so comfortable as well. I think any festival goer will agree that a good pair of shoes is a must, after all you don’t want your feet to ache from all that dancing!
It came as no surprise that Harry chose this Mountain Warehouse Easy Care Dino T-shirt, with added UV protection to protect his skin. At just £6.99 it’s so affordable which makes me happy, and appeals to dino mad kids, which makes Harry happy!
You can’t go wrong with denim shorts, especially for festivals, and these boys denim shorts are such a great price from an independent seller, Excite Clothing, at just £6.99. Excite Clothing sell a variety of ex-chain store items so you have the bonus of getting big brands at small prices!
All that was left was a touch of glitter which was made easy with Skin Safe Cosmetic Glitter Glue and a variety of glitter pots we chose from an independent seller with a buy 3 get 5 free deal on all glitter pots.
We couldn’t wait to get started with our festival and where kids are concerned there’s no better way to kick things off than with a picnic. I wore my Joules multi stripe dress which is a world away from what I would usually wear but it turns out, I love it! The Joules official outlet store have some gorgeous items and I think every family festival needs a little colour and I’ll be wearing it the whole Summer long I’m sure. I also chose some Crocs Swiftwater flip flops which are genuinely the comfiest flip flops I have ever owned!
Our picnic hamper is also from eBay and it may sound ridiculous, but I have wanted one my whole life. In my head I have dreamt of us enjoying relaxing picnics in flower filled meadows and, whilst that may not be the reality with my four, it’s a great hamper to take along with us on our travels. With cutlery, plates, glasses and even a bottle opener (that will come in useful!), I love how everything is in one place and the children adored using it, even in our own garden. I can foresee lots of picnic teas over the Summer!
Putting the children’s dreams into practice was a lot of fun and one of their ideas was to have a juice bar, with Harry insisting he would be the “server man”. We bought this portable camping table which is not only a fantastic addition to our camping gear, but will be so useful in the garden during Summer get togethers and BBQ’s or, if the children get their way, to act as their very own juice bar for our at home festivals.
We also hung bunting in the garden to add to that festival feel and loved that this coloured outdoor bunting, made from oil cloth, could fare any weather and last the whole Summer long! We also added some Solar LED string lights to brighten up even the dullest of days.
I think the part the children were the most excited about was the camp site, our own little corner of the garden where they could camp out and really enjoy the whole festival experience at home.
We bought the Eurohike 2 man pop up tent which, true to its name, literally popped up and was ready to use in seconds! Big enough for Eva, Megan and Harry, the tent will be perfect not just for our festival but for use during the Summer, to play in, and even for beach days as a respite from the sunshine – if it ever makes an appearance!
We saved a whopping £40 on the RRP of the tent which is amazing and just goes to show how much money you can save on eBay. I would never have thought about buying camping gear from eBay which is crazy as they have the most amazing range, as we soon found out!
Obviously ever festival needs seating and we loved the look of these folding camping chairs from an independent seller on eBay. With high backs and cup holders they are perfect for use in the garden or days out and holidays and fold up into a handy carry bag for easy transportation.
Available in a choice of five colours we chose red to match the tent and they are so comfortable and we will get so much use out of them, not just during out festival but many outdoor days to come. Gaz looked right at home in his Jack and Jones chino shorts but with the weather taking a turn for the worse we were grateful to have bought a selection of coats, with Gaz wearing his new Columbia Men’s Huntsville Peak Jacket from Millets Outdoor.
We love Millets and have had some really good quality items from them in the past so it’s a bonus to know we can find them in the brand outlet for discounted prices! The jacket offers unrivalled weatherproofing which will last Gaz throughout Summer and well into the Winter months.
With an adjustable hood, zipped pockets and Lightweight Microtemp insulation, it’s the perfect jacket for an outdoor festival and when the rain started Gaz was more than grateful to stay warm and dry!
I adore Megan’s Joules Raindrop Fleece Waterproof coat which in true Joules style is both beautiful and practical. After a tough winter for Megan with one infection after another, it’s important for me that even throughout the Summer she keeps warm and dry and, with the addition of a fleece lining to the hood, it does exactly that,
The important thing for me is always that my children love their clothes just as much as I do and Megan absolutely adores her coat and the only issue we had was later trying to coax her into taking it off!
Also from Joules was Harry’s Skipper Waterproof Raincoat in a gorgeous navy beetle pattern. New with tags from the Joules Outlet, with 58% off the RRP, the jacket has a soft fleece lining with contrast trims and is such a fun and colourful design. Harry can be hard work when it comes to getting dressed and the fact he couldn’t wait to put this on spoke volumes!
Eva chose this gorgeous Hatley Roaming Horses Raincoat which came from a private seller with the bonus of free postage, It is just the loveliest print popper fastenings and a soft contrasting lining. I just wish it came in my size!
I’ve been looking for a lightweight raincoat for a while now and so this Joules Golightly Pac Away Jacket was exactly what I was searching for. The entire jacket folds up to fit inside one of the pockets so I can pop it in a bag incase of rain without having to lug a heavy raincoat about this Summer. As far as festival goers are concerned, this is a real must!
And in keeping with the festival theme, it was important that we were prepared for the wet weather with our footwear too, and thankfully eBay has a fantastic range of wellies to choose from! In the end we all went with Joules wellies from the Joules outlet, swayed by their gorgeous designs and free delivery. I chose the Whitstable floral design in navy which are lovely and tall which is exactly what I look for in a welly!
Eva chose the Joules French Navy Floral Stripe wellies from an independent seller and Megan the Joules Parakeet Ditsy Design again from an independent seller. I was really pleased with both pairs and did that typical Mum thing of getting a size bigger with thick socks so they will last the whole year long.
Harry was delighted to find the matching wellies to his jacket with these Joules Navy Beetle Wellies and I was pleased to make another great saving on the original RRP. I’ve been so impressed to see brands such as Joules selling on eBay and it’s really changed my mindset when it comes to where I shop for my children!
Luckily by the time the weather really took a turn for the worse we had our ‘Main Stage’ up and waiting in the form of a Pop Up Gazebo made from durable water-resistant 420 denier Oxford fabric. I think every festival needs a back up plan and this is a great way to ensure that the weather doesn’t ruin your day.
Super easy to assemble with removable sides and doors, we were able to have it up and ready in just a couple of minutes and it also comes with a really handy bag for storage when not in use. We also wanted to add an extra special touch to our main stage with these LED stage light spots, something we will get so much use out of throughout the year with the children’s birthday parties and special occasions.
We had the most fun at our at-home family festival and I can think of no better way to end it than listening to the children rocking out on the ukulele, busting their best dance moves, singing at the top of their voices and living their best life, right here in the comfort of our own garden.
Make sure you keep an eye out over on our Instagram channel for a video of our day over on IGTV soon!
** We have been working with eBay on a sponsored collaboration to create our own at home family festival. All items were provided via eBay and we have been compensated for our time. All words and opinions are our own unless otherwise stated.**