Carboot Wanderings by Kat Molesworth

Just like the goodies; sometimes the beauty is rich at the car boot sale. It’s as much fun coming down for the pictures as it is for unwanted treasures.

Our decorator keeps trying to stage an intervention about how packed out our house is but I just can’t help myself…

Carboot Wanderings by Kat Molesworth

Carboot Wanderings by Kat Molesworth

Bags To School: Filming with Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston #BagsToSchool at Housewife Confidential

The start of a new term is filled with conflicting emotions. The thrill of new stationery and taking on a fresh term, the anticipation of things to come and the equal parts joy and sadness of our children stepping into the next stage of their lives.

Yes, there is something about the first day of school that makes me well up with overflowing emotions.

Cath Kidston #BagsToSchool

This summer we spent a day filming with team Cath Kidston to create their back to school campaign: #BagsToSchool. We started early and soon the house was filled with people working on the shoot. Despite my nerves the children did an incredible job and (for the most part) followed direction.

At lunch time lots of our village friends joined us to shoot the sequence at the school gates and all of the children worked so hard to execute the scene for every take. I love that so many children willingly gave up the first day of the holidays to help us out.

Cath Kidston BagsToSchool

For me Cath Kidston is one of those brands that taps into my nostalgic heart. I still have the very first item of hers I bought (a pencil case from The Hambledon back in the 90s) and I remember the joy of reviving prints which reminded me of my Grandmother’s house. I loved her products so much that Mr Kat’s best man obtained a message from her for our wedding day (got to love ribbon dealing weavers and their connections). For a long time I imagined buying Cath Kidston for my children and when the time came I decorated Milla’s bedroom with her paper – can you spot it in the video?

I’ll always feel a strong pull to Cath Kidston’s aesthetic and I am so grateful that we are now a small part of their story.

This video is such a lovely celebration of the first day of school and perfectly captures all the different emotions surrounding that morning including the big ploppy tears.

Also – OMG, how cute are this season’s bags? See more over at Cath Kids! If you have a Cath Kidston bag be sure to tag it with #BagsToSchool on Instagram and mention me (@thatkat) in the comments so I can check it out.

I will be sharing some back to school recipes over on the Cath Kidston blog in the next few weeks, I’ll let you know when the post is live.

Thank you to everyone involved and to all of my friends who helped. The other two bloggers featured are Katie and Kat and my dress is from Boden (because I know you’ll ask!)

Disclosure: We were compensated for our involvement in this campaign.

Piano Stool Makeover with Annie Sloan

Piano Stool Makeover Made it My Own with Annie Sloan

I love picking up second hand furniture for our home. I scour the car boot sale most weeks and spend an unhealthy amount of time on eBay searching for the right pieces.

Recently, Milla took up piano lessons and needed a stool to sit at the piano. It took a couple of weeks but I found this beautiful stool in Portsmouth for a tenner. Originally it came with green velvet upholstery and it was crying out to be brought up to date.

Handily I was making a film with the team at Annie Sloan as part of the Made it My Own campaign and this was the perfect project! Ann kindly recovered the seat for me which instantly gave it a lift and it was ready for Milla and I to give it some colour.

Here’s the video of us painting.

If you can’t see the embedded viewer, click here to view it on YouTube.

Is it terrible to admit I wasn’t convinced by chalk paint at first? Having never properly tried it before this year I wasn’t sure if it would be any different than using emulsion for my projects.

After working on this stool I can safely say that I love using Annie Sloan chalk paint. I was really happy with how the colour mixed and how quickly I was able to complete – I did two coats and waxed the stool in one day.

Made it MY Own With Annie Sloan After

Don’t you think the piano stool is so much more me now? I’m adding it to the gallery of #MadeItMyOwn projects by tagging the picture on Instagram. What would you paint?

Dear Swimsuits, I Don’t Need Your Control

Dear Swimsuits, I Don't Need Your Fucking Support

I am sitting on the sofa with fat, salty tears of impotent rage and shame rolling down my cheeks. I have been here before; every time I think things will be different and yet once more I find the rug pulled from under me.

Let me back up. Next week the decorator is moving in and we’re going to live in the tent for a few days to let him get on with our makeover. We’re going over to Purbeck and plan to spend as much time at the beach as possible.

I have been searching for a nice swimming costume for a few months but meet the dreaded control at every turn. Since when did my tummy automatically need to be controlled when out in public? I reserve the right to let it lollop out of control at all times. I’m looking to swim, not squash my internal organs.

The two costumes I ordered from ASOS Curve, one and two sizes bigger than my normal dress size respectively, didn’t even make it over my bum so tight were the ‘control’ panels.

The more I searched for plus size swimsuits online the more I found that there were no non-control options left. When you look closely at the details every suit seems to be control whether it advertises it or not. Why don’t plus size women get the option to choose between regular swimwear and control swimwear?

Which brings me to today. My swimsuit (pictured) has never been great but it did a job. Since my body has changed shape and the fabric lost elasticity it’s no longer an option. With only a few days to go I decided to head over to a store to try some on.

Except I can’t. Put bluntly: I’m fat and stores don’t want to entertain the likes of me on their premises these days.

Evans, the plodding stalwart of plus size clothing, appear to have shut most of their stores. Or at least the stores within easy reach of my home. Perhaps this is as well – their swimsuits seem to cost astronomical amounts for MIRACLES. Forgive me for snorting – I don’t need a miracle, just something to swim in thank you very much.

A quick search online showed that Marks & Spencer carried a reasonable range of plus sizes. As I’m in between three sizeable stores, I called the branches to check they had larger sizes in stock.

Except they don’t.

M&S only stock their plus size range online. So if you want to buy or try any of the range you instantly have a fat tax of delivery slapped on. Sure, you can have goods delivered to store but, as you are not allowed to return plus size items in store, you are still inconvenienced purely because you dare to be fat.

Marks and Spencer do have one swimsuit in their plus range which is non-control (and ugly) but this is how they choose to advertise it:

Marks and Spencer use Skinny Models for Plus Size Range

Yes, for a garment which starts at a size 18 they have a flat-tummied model who, I’d wager, doesn’t wear a size in double figures let alone close to an 18. For realz.

Every time I hear the hand-wringing about falling profits at M&S I’ll remember today. Today I couldn’t walk into their large, purpose-built regional store to spend my money. I couldn’t walk past the tempting packaging in the food hall to pick out a few treats (we all know I love to eat), I couldn’t stroll through the homewares department on my way to lunch in their cafe and be tempted by one thing or another which would fit in with my redecoration. No, I couldn’t even make a single planned purchase because these companies don’t want to sell to fat people in public.

Well fuck you too.

I am sick of living in a society that grabs at every last penny but rejects selling to fat people. As our collective girth swells there is an increase in shame rather than an expansion of services. I refuse to be cowed by anonymous fools in boardrooms who don’t realise their failure to embrace us as people is exactly why we turn our backs on their shops.

I reject this bullshit.

So my tears are short-lived, I’ll save my rage for the next battle and I’ll spend my money elsewhere. I am not ashamed of my body and the shops need to get over it too.

I tweeted Marks and Spencer about my frustrations and asked them twice to comment. At time of publication, over two hours later, they made no response despite replying to other twitter users.