I'm so pleased to say that over the next few weeks I'm working with shopping centre intu Derby to showcase some of my favourite Autumn/Winter 2018 fashion and beauty trends as well as what makes the centre the perfect place to spend the day. 

With our spare time out of work being at such a premium I always want to make sure I make the most of mine and I just love that I have a whole day of entertainment in one place - at intu Derby I can shop to my heart's content, have a delicious meal and even go to the cinema which in my book makes it the perfect place for a date day with my husband. Okay perhaps he isn't such a fan of the shopping element but the promise of a good dinner and a movie and he's sold!

We headed to the centre a few weeks ago to accomplish my mission of getting my Autumn/Winter 2018 wardrobe underway with a few outfits and trend led make up pieces and also a few treats to help me relax and rejuvenate at home after a really busy few weeks of my day job and working on projects at home.

As a plus size woman it can be really hard to goes clothes shopping in stores because there just aren't as many options out there for us and quite often if a brand does have plus sizes it'll be online only so you can't try stuff on in store which is such a shame. Thankfully that isn't the case as intu Derby as they have a selection of stores where I know I can find beautiful clothes that fit. 

I started my mission on the first floor of New Look where they keep their Curve collection. I have a lot of New Look Curve pieces in my wardrobe, it's a great brand for getting basics like trousers, jeans, camis and tees but is also always on top of the latest trends. One of my favourite things about their plus collection is that a lot of pieces are available in the main size range too so you know you're getting the same fashion forward pieces, unlike a lot of brands whose plus ranges are completely different to the main range and often a lot less stylish.

Next on my list was H&M, another great place to find budget friendly fashion and accessories. Their plus size range is located towards the back of the store next to the jewellery (handy!) and is another great place to grab basics as well as awesome work wear pieces. The selection is updated pretty regularly and they get a lot of the best pieces from the online selection which is brilliant as their sizing can vary, so being able to try it on in store is really useful. I've been a fan of H&M jewellery, bags and cold weather accessories for a while now as they do such a great mix of classic and quirky styles; and as we all know - a great outfit is finished with the perfect accessories!

The final clothing store we headed to on this trip was Marks and Spencer. I LOVE the Marks at intu Derby, its got a great layout and has everything you could possibly need - fashion for men, women and children, beauty products, perfume and make up, homewares and food. I could and have spent a good few hours in this store and always come away with lots of goodies. On this occasion I found my Autumn dress of dreams that I can't wait to show you next week! It was actually from their main range that goes up to size 24 as standard in most items, but they do have a Curve range too that goes up to size 32. As well as my new favourite dress I restocked my lingerie drawer with some lovely new bras and knickers (M and S undies are the best!), a fab pair of boots and a few pretty pieces of tableware to help with styling food posts.

We all know a great outfit needs a great pair of shoes to go with it, so of course I headed to Office to get my trainer fix! They have such a great range of shoe styles at Office that it's one of my go to stores and I especially love that they sometimes have exclusive styles that you can't find anywhere else.

I checked out their new in ankle boot and shoe collections and although I loved quite a few it was two super girly pairs of trainers that came away with me - you'll be able to spot them in my upcoming outfit posts!

After a morning of hardcore shopping me and Pete were definitely ready to refuel with some food. There's an awesome choice of places to eat at intu Derby so we were really spoilt for choice, but we decided to head to Five Guys for burgers and fries to remind us of our wedding trip to America. 

The quality of the food at Five Guys is so much better than at regular fast food joints and we love that you can completely customise your burger with whatever toppings and sauces you want. The skin on fries are delicious too and it's great that they tell you exactly where the potatoes you're eating have been grown.

If you're feeling decadent I would definitely recommend treating yourself to a milkshake too, they're just SO good! Like the burgers you can create your own flavour combination and even add in extras like malt or whipped cream on the top - the perfect weekend treat and a good sugar fix to get you ready for more fun at the centre!

After we had recharged our batteries we were off to restock our pampering cupboard. I'm really lucky in that I get to try a lot of great skincare products but I especially love having an expert's help in person, which is exactly what I got at The Body Shop. I was helped by the lovely Stacey who sat me down for a skin consultation, using some gadgets to check the moisture levels and oil levels of my skin while asking me questions about any concerns I have and what products I currently use. With this information she recommended me some new products to try to solve some problems for me and as alternatives to Body Shop products that I already love - keep your eyes on my Instagram stories over the next few weeks to find out what they were and whether I love them! I couldn't resist trying out some Body Shop make up while I was in store too and some bath time treats for myself and Pete came home with us too.

Our last shopping stop was to get me some new make up treats at MAC so I can recreate my favourite looks from the AW18 catwalks in a more everyday wearable style. The assistants in store were great at helping me find the products I needed to create the looks I was set on and I can't wait to show you guys what I came up with in a few weeks' time!

It's safe to say that after all of this fun we were ready in need of a sit down so we dropped our bags off at the car and made out way to the Showcase Cinema De Lux. I love how easy it is to pick your movie now - just amble up to one of the screens and swipe through to see what movies are on, select the one you want to watch and pick your show time, pay on the card machine and it will print your tickets then and there. If you know the film you want to see is a popular one you can pre-book online too and just print your tickets at the same machine when you get there - so easy!

We were still pretty full from our Five Guys lunch so we just got drinks rather than any more food, but the selection available is great - on op of the usual popcorn, sweets and hot dogs you can get nachos, chips and premium ice cream sundaes.

When we go to this cinema we usually pay that bit extra to sit in the Directors Lounge as it makes the experience that bit more special - you get a two seater leather sofa to sit on each with your own fold around table for your snacks. Speaking of snacks, a drink and some popcorn is included in the ticket price but there's even a menu of hot and cold food and drinks that will be delivered to your seat! Sweet and savoury snack platters, paninis, beers, wine, cocktails, ice creams - you name it! Sharing a sofa to yourselves makes it perfect for a date and you can even splash out on a bottle of bubbly in an ice bucket right by your sofa, now that's living the dream!

We had a really lovely day out together at intu Derby and I'm so pleased that it's only a 20 minute drive from our house. It's easy to get to and there's bags of parking with lifts that take you right to the shops, but the best thing for me is being able to feed my fashion addiction, love for film and get delicious eats all in the same place!

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram, Twitter and here on the blog to make sure you don't miss my tips on the hottest fashion and make up trends for Autumn/Winter 2018 as well as great little things you can get at the centre to carry on the fun and keep treating yourself at home.

Photos by Bex Gauhl Photography