Home for the Holidays: Adopt a New Pet This December

When we hear the phrase “home for the holidays,” we typically think about friends and family convening together. But what about animals? So many animals in the area are in need of a forever home, and the holiday season sees more pet adoption than any other time of the year. With that in mind, we’d like to share some information about pet adoption. Many of our properties are pet friendly, and our new Bella Ridge community even offers an on-site dog park! Find out more about adopting a pet in time for the holidays:

Before You Adopt

Pets are a big decision. The Louisiana SPCA has provided a comprehensive checklist of things to consider before you adopt a pet, from lifespans to financial commitments. A new furry family member will also require a bit of pet-proofing to your apartment, so be sure to prepare your space for a new animal.


Puppies and kittens are a popular choice for adoptions, but adult animals are often already trained and just as lovable. (Photo courtesy Found Animals Foundation on Flickr)

Holiday Events

The upcoming NOLA ChristmasFest in downtown New Orleans will have adoption specialists from the SPCA on site to answer any questions and expedite the pet adoption process. If you already have a dog, bring him to the Santa Paws pet costume contest and parade on Sunday, Dec. 21. Registration starts at 3:00 p.m., and all proceeds benefit the Louisiana SPCA.

Senior Pets

The Louisiana SPCA honored “Adopt a Senior Pet Month” in November, and although the month is over, we can still consider the benefits of adopting an older pet. Older animals are less likely to be adopted than their kitten and puppy counterparts, but these animals are already housebroken and often have the sweet, mellow temperament that comes with age.

Other Ways to Help

Even if you’re not able to adopt a cat or dog at this time, you can still help organizations like the SPCA provide quality care to animals in need. You can sponsor a specific animal for a more personal experience, or send a general donation. Donations to animal organizations in honor of a friend or family member also make great holiday gifts for the animal lovers in your life.

1st Lake Properties loves animals, too. In fact, we’ll be hosting a Pet Drive from Dec. 15-31. Stay tuned for more details!

Local Favorite: Bella Ridge Loves Kyoto 2

We’re so excited for our new Bella Ridge luxury apartment community! From incredibly modern interiors to an on-site dog park, this beautiful apartment complex offers luxury living with square footage, dedicated covered parking, and amenities that you just won’t find in downtown New Orleans.

The property is close to an amazing shopping center with stores like TJ Maxx, DSW, Ulta, and World Market, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a local presence. In fact, one of Uptown New Orleans’ most popular sushi restaurants, Kyoto, has a second location just about a mile away from Bella Ridge near Elmwood Shopping Village. We’ve taken a closer look at Kyoto 2 to bring you the best of authentic Japanese flavors and the charm of a local favorite.


Enjoy fresh, authentic sushi at Kyoto 2, located near our new Bella Ridge property. (Photo courtesy Alexandre Chang on Flickr)

One of the best-reviewed items on the menu is the Poke Salad Roll. This dish takes elements of the classic Hawaiian raw salad and translates it into a sushi roll. Creamy avocado and a spicy chili dressing play with taste and texture while tuna, crabstick, and squid provide a trio of flavorful seafood. Veggie fans will love the Slow-Ya-Roll, not only for the clever name, but also for the combination of cucumber, avocado, asparagus, and sprouts. Creative rolls like the Funky Margarita and the Taco Salad combine quality seafood with surprising toppings (think spicy avocado sauce or a tangy vinaigrette).

A complete menu with appetizers, noodle soups, salads, and mains provides ample options for even the choosiest eaters. For dessert, the ginger ice cream and black sesame ice cream satisfy a sweet tooth with a welcome alternative to flavors like vanilla or chocolate.

One of the best parts about Kyoto 2 is that you can pick up takeout and enjoy Japanese-style favorites at home in Bella Ridge. Contact us now to find out more about the property and secure a lease. We’re already filling up!

Cranberry Conundrum? Here’s What to Do!

Thanksgiving leftovers are almost as much a tradition as the turkey itself – but sometimes, we can get tired of the same old dishes day after day. One of the things we always tend to stock up on a little too much is cranberry sauce. The tart, bright flavors of cranberry usually only end up on the table during the holidays, so who can blame us for going a little overboard? However, after Thanksgiving is over, we’re left with a cranberry conundrum: What do we do with extra cranberry sauce and cranberries? Get some inspiration with these tasty ideas.


Whether you’ve got extra cranberries or sauce, you’ve got plenty of creative options. (Photo courtesy catharticflux on Flickr)

Spicy Cranberry Salsa

With the addition of a sliced jalapeno, salt, cumin, cilantro, and the zest and juice of one lime, cranberry sauce becomes a sweet-and-savory salsa. Simply pulse the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Pair it with turkey taquitos for a double-whammy of leftover repurposing.

Cranberry Grilled Cheese

We know cranberry sauce plays well with savory flavors like turkey, but it’s a surprising ingredient in classic grilled cheese. Simply pair it with bread, white cheddar, and plenty of butter, then grill up as usual. The result is a little bit messy – but totally worth it.

Cranberry Ice Cubes

Keep these colorful ice cubes in the freezer throughout the holidays. You can add them to smoothies instead of regular ice for seasonal flavor, pair them with sparkling seltzer for a festive and fun holiday beverage.

Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry sauce adds moisture and sweet tartness to hearty oat muffins. Portable and comforting, these muffins are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

This recipe couldn’t be easier: Mix a bit of cranberry sauce into your favorite homemade or bottled barbecue sauce. Cranberries add tart depth of flavor and a beautiful color. Use it to top smoked meats or as a dip for fries.

Veggie Tales: Get the Story on Which Vegetables Roast Best Together

‘Tis the season for oven-roasted vegetables. This method of preparing veggies is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting (i.e. baking in the oven at a high temperature) brings out all the natural flavors of vegetables and intensifies them. The process also creates caramelization and a nice, crunchy exterior.


Sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, and red onion are all prime choices for roasting. (Photo courtesy Amelia Crook on Flickr)

While the ingredients couldn’t be simpler – all you need is olive oil and salt – vegetables often require different cooking times to roast evenly. As a general rule, root vegetables like carrots or turnips take longer to roast while more delicate veggies like onions or broccoli cook up quickly.

Perfect Pairings

In a pre-heated 450-degree oven, these vegetables share similar cooking times and taste great together:

  1. Baby squash, bell peppers, and zucchini – 10-15 minutes
  2. Broccoli, garlic, radishes – 10-15 minutes
  3. Carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes – 30-40 minutes
  4. Parsnips, carrots, new potatoes – 30-40 minutes
  5. Cherry tomatoes, eggplant, garlic – 15-20 minutes

Pro Tips

  • Aim for all the vegetables you roast together to be about the same size. For example, if you choose to roast cherry tomatoes with eggplant, leave the cherry tomatoes whole and cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes.
  • Craving a pairing that has different roasting times? No problem. Put the vegetables that require more cooking in the oven first, then add the fast-cooking veggies later.
  • For a healthier option, skip the oil. You can use chicken stock or even a bit of water to cover the bottom of the roasting pan and prevent sticking. If you do use oil, make sure it’s olive oil: this healthy fat has a higher burning point safe for roasting.
  • Don’t pile up the pan. Vegetables need space to roast – arrange them in a single layer with room to breathe for best results.
  • Flip the vegetables halfway through, if possible, to allow for the most even cooking.
  • You don’t just have to use salt! Try out other spices like pepper, rosemary, thyme, or cumin for an added layer of flavor.
  • Roasted veggies are more than a side. You can puree them to create a flavorful, luscious soup using a food processor and a bit of liquid like chicken stock, cream, or water.

November 2014 Apartment Specials at 1st Lake Properties

With fall in mind, we’ve harvested a hearty crop of apartment specials this month. Our November specials at 1st Lake Properties offer incentives at many of our communities in Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Mississippi. As part of our renovation celebration, we’re offering free rent at Turtle Creek; at Arbor Gate, we’ve lowered our initial deposit fee. Even more great deals are available, too – take a look at all of our specials below!


Lakes of Chateau Estates South is just one of several beautiful properties offering November specials.

Turtle Creek  Interested in a studio? One week of free rent will lure you to Turtle Creek in Metairie. All apartments will soon have a washer/dryer and added flex space as part of an ongoing renovation celebration!

Van Mark Apartments  Located in Ridgeland, MS, Van Mark apartments is offering $150 of your first full month of rent as part of our November special. It’s all in the details at this spacious community: wood-burning fireplaces and spacious closets make these apartments feel like home.

Lakes of Chateau Estates South  Call now to find out about our reduced rates on select apartments at this Kenner community. A putting green and a private lake are just a few of the amenities that beckon outdoor enthusiasts.

Sugar Mill East – These Kenner apartments warm the heart with sunrooms in each and every unit. As if being only a block from Lake Pontchartrain weren’t enough, these apartments also include access to Sugar Lake, a private lake stocked with fish and a picturesque mill wheel. Call now for up to $250 off move-in costs and reduced rents on select units.

Sawmill Creek  Offering reduced rent and move-in costs on select 2-bedroom apartments, Sawmill Creek could garner you up to $1,200 in total savings! This River Ridge, LA, community creates a cozy atmosphere with wooded landscaping and in-apartment amenities like a fireplace and vaulted ceilings.

Arbor Gate  Arbor Gate apartments in Picayune, MS, feature amenities like a state-of-the-art fitness center and plenty of green space that creates a sense of tranquility within this gated community. Pair that with this month’s special – a $99 deposit and reduced rates – and you’ll see why Arbor Gate is an excellent contender for your next home.

Lake Towers – These downtown apartments offer seamless access to the best of the Baton Rouge lifestyle – festivals, farmer’s markets, and restaurants are all just a quick bike ride away. The November special offers waived administrative fees on all 15-month leases and reduced rates on select units. Call now to find out more!

Lakes of Chateau Estates North  Our November special includes special rental rates on select units. This Kenner property offers amenities made for enjoying the fall weather, like landscaped walkways and a private lake. Call now for more details about rent and move-in.

Citrus Creek West – Located in River Ridge, Citrus Creek West is in an unbeatable location: Metairie and Downtown New Orleans are both easily accessible, and you’ll experience the peace and quiet of life just outside a major metropolis. Featuring special rates on select units, this gated community also includes thoughtful amenities like fireplaces and gourmet kitchens.

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