I like to think of myself as pretty organised; I never forget a birthday and I’m one of those people that start buying Christmas presents in September. However, I’m not always completely on the ball; I do have the odd mishap, and sometimes, only sometimes, fail to recall a special event for a loved one. I hate being caught out and having hardly any time to put together a great gift for a friend or family member, but luckily with Rushden Lakes around the corner, I never have to worry again. Rushden Lakes is my number one spot for shopping, and for presents it’s suitable for all ages and all budgets. I headed down to the lakes with the intent on scouting out gifts for my mum and two friends. I didn’t have a clue on what I was looking for but I was sure something (if not multiple things) would grab my attention. I enjoy making up gift hampers for my favourite people; I fill it with a variety of things I hope they’ll love and it means they get to open five (or so) presents instead of one. I also don’t often buy the readymade gift sets because I sometimes find there are items included that will be discarded, so I like to make my own. I started in Card Factory as my mum is a huge fan of those cards with the pages of verse telling her how wonderful she is and how much she means to me. They’re such affordable cards and have a huge variety so I love it in there. They also have an assortment of mugs (dogs/cute/sassy etc.) and little trinkets that I find always go down well in a gift basket. Next I scoped out the jewellery in Accessorize, Pandora, House of Fraser and Primark. The prices varied drastically and there was so much choice. I knew whatever I went with, my friend would appreciate because we have very similar taste. I love how Rushden Lakes caters to so many demographics; a customer can buy a ring for £300 but equally £3. I then had to squirt some perfume and check out the cosmetics (mainly for me but let’s pretend it was for my mum and pal) in House of Fraser and Boots. I like including face masks, body lotions, bath bombs etc. in my hampers as pamper sessions are one of my favourite things and I know my mum and friends love them too. In House of Fraser, I came across a stand with fancy leather wash bags that had my best friends name written all over them as he loves a classic piece. Finally I went on the hunt for fillers; keyrings, notebooks, sunglasses, candles, travel mugs (like the ‘OMG U OK HUN?’ pictured from Paperchase), and similar. I pick specific products for the person I’m constructing the gift basket for and go from there. Luckily, having Rushden Lakes on my doorstep, no matter how much disposable income I have, I can always guarantee that I’ll be able to find the perfect gift there. There’s something for everyone, for every age and every budget.