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1st Lake Blog

Spring Cleaning: How To Deep Clean Your Apartment

It’s springtime, and that means it’s time to give your apartment the deep clean it deserves. Soon, you’ll be having family gatherings and dinner parties with friends, and the relaxed housekeeping techniques you used during your winter hibernation will need to change.

Read on for the best ways to deep clean the rooms in your apartment.

The Living Room

Your living room is a notorious location for dust. That’s why dusting is priority number 1 here. 

Using a duster, dust the living room from top to bottom. We mean that literally: start by dusting the corners of the ceiling, move to picture frames, tabletops and furniture, and then thoroughly dust the baseboards. After you’ve systematically dusted the room, move on to the door frames. 

Next, use a rag, water, and furniture polish to scrub down any chair/couch legs and tabletops. Once you’ve cleaned all the hard surfaces, use your vacuum hose attachment to remove debris from all cushions and crevices. Next, vacuum the carpet and mop any wood flooring. 

The Kitchen

First, use the same dusting process you used in the living room.

Next, explore the refrigerator. Chances are you’ll need to throw out some expired food and clean some spills. Scrub the interior of the refrigerator thoroughly, and wipe it down with a dry towel.

Using disinfectant, scrub all appliances (stove, oven, microwave, etc.) with the same care that you cleaned the refrigerator. Afterwards, disinfect all kitchen surfaces so that you can cook in a sterile environment. Finish cleaning the kitchen by mopping the floor. 

The Bedroom

Winter coats, furry sweaters, thick scarves–these things can take up a lot of space in your closets and dressers. Fold ’em up in an air tight space bag and place them on the top shelf of your closet! Have items you know you’ll never wear again? Pack those up too and bring them to your local donation center.

Next, your bed. Let’s clear the air and admit: we’ve all shoved things under our beds right before company comes over. But today is the day you tackle that beast. Take a few minutes to climb under there and remove any items you find. You might just stumble upon that other sock you’ve been looking for or that sandwich you made a few weeks ago (we won’t tell). Trash what’s trash and re-organize what’s important.

Curtains and carpet: we hope you clean these items more than just once a year, but in the event that you don’t, it’s time to start. Give your carpets a deep vacuum to remove any pet hair, human hair, dust, and dirt. There’s nothing like fresh vacuum lines marking the trail of your cleanliness. Curtains are the next thing you will want to vacuum. Grab your handheld vacuum for this task. Then from top to bottom, bust that dust!    

The Bathroom

Dust all necessary items, just like the living room and the kitchen.

Use a glass cleaner to make your mirror shine! Disinfect the counters and sink.  Scrub the shower/tub area with a mild cleaner like distilled vinegar, and use mildew spray if necessary afterward. Wash or replace your shower curtain if necessary.

Tackle the toilet bowl with toilet bowl disinfectant. Make sure to clean the handle and seat. 

Last, mop the floor, and enjoy your fresh bathroom!

Other Resources

There are plenty of other sites that have great tips on giving your apartment a deep clean. Try Apartments.com, BuzzFeed, and U-Pack for more great cleaning advice.

Once your apartment is clean as a whistle, start inviting your friends to your apartment with pride!


Where To Quench Your King Cake Cravings

It seems like each new Mardi Gras season brings a whole new wave of king cake creations.  With just one week left of Carnival, you have lots to try and little time!  To make things a little easier, here’s our breakdown of the delectable desserts you must try before it’s too late! 

Chocolate Addict? Us Too.

That’s why we’re obsessed with Bittersweet Confections’ Chocolate King Cake filled with chocolate cream cheese. Cue the drool. 

The Bittersweet Confections Chocolate King Cake (Photo: Bittersweet Confections)

Cannolis and Cookies…In a King Cake? Oh Yeah. 

Two unexpected favorites of ours include the Cannoli King Cake from Nor-Joe Imports (Metairie’s Favorite Italian Deli & Grocery) and Cookie Dough King Cake from Caluda’s King Cake! Both of these spots are centrally located near many of our apartment communities. The Cannoli King Cake is everything you are thinking and more. The delicious traditional king cake gets an Italian twist with sliced almonds topping this decadent, cannoli-filled pastry. 

Nor-Joe Cannoli King Cake (Photo: Nor-Joe)

Back at Caluda’s King Cakes, you’ll get your hands on special flavors each week like Cookie Dough King Cake and Banana’s Foster. But you might miss your window of opportunity on your new favorite flavor, because this baking crew rolls out new dough each week! Check their Instagram to keep yourself in-the-know. 

(Photo: Caluda’s King Cake)

Trying to Be Healthy This Carnival?

How about some portion control to help curb the carbs? District Donuts has you covered (sort of) by offering king cake donuts. Get all the king cake flavors jam packed into a tiny(ish) version of this season’s sweet of choice. 

(Photo: District Donuts)

Now if you’re really trying to cool it with the carbs and sugar, try the healthy king cake everyone’s been talking about: Eat Fit Nola’s King Cake. This traditional treat checks all our health boxes: it’s all-natural, gluten-free, Keto friendly, low carb, & absolutely delicious. Yep, that about does it. 

Eat Fit King Cake (Photo: Eat Fit Nola)

Tried All Those and Still Want More?

Our friends at GoNola wrote a very extensive blog on all the king cake finds this city offers. Check it out here!


Bella Ridge South

Welcome to our Bella Ridge South info page! Here, you can sign up to receive email updates of our newest luxury apartment community in River Ridge, Bella Ridge South! When completed, Bella Ridge South will be a 240-unit luxurious community with high-end apartments and must-have amenities.

Bella Ridge South, which broke ground last month, will feature exclusive amenities our residents have come to expect (plus some not-so-expected surprises!). These amenities include bike rentals, a Lifestyle Center with a kitchenette, TV, hang out space, a serenity fountain, and a dog park. Residents will also enjoy package lockers, a resort-style pool, a fitness center, a dog wash area, ride-share pick up, bike storage and a fully covered parking garage. Residents will be able to park on the same floor as their apartment and be just a few steps away from their front door.

The community is minutes from local dining, shopping and entertainment spots like the Elmwood Shopping Center, Zea’s, DSW, AMC Palace Theater, Theo’s Pizza, Zoe’s Kitchen, Hour Blast, District Donuts, and more!

Click our subscribe button below to be the first to know about Bella Ridge South updates like availability, floor plans and amenities!


Four Furniture Staples for Small Apartments

Sometimes a studio apartment is all you really need. But such small spaces can create bigger challenges when it comes to storage. 

So we did a little digging and found four furniture staples that will make your apartment ultra functional! 

1. Floor Lamps {with Storage}

Not only do floor lamps provide an additional source of mood lighting (which you can never have enough of!), but they can also be excellent sources of storage!  Let those vertical lines work for you by selecting a floor lamp with one, two or three tiered shelves. By stacking toward the sky, instead of side-to-side, you will clear valuable floor space and gain essential room for books, a laptop or a cup of coffee! Like what you see below? You can snag it here. 

Bed Bath & Beyond Catalina Floor Lamp

2. Wall Organizer 

The great thing is, no matter what size apartment you live in, you have walls! By adding a few wall organizers throughout your home, you’re guaranteed to gain more storage and up your organization skills. When it comes to placement of your wall organizer, our first go-to location is right next to your front door. By placing a wall organizer near the place where you enter and exit for the day, you give yourself the opportunity to load and unload your day’s essentials in one place. No more rummaging around the house wondering where you left your keys this time. Our advice: purchase an organizer with a couple of different functions — a hook for your keys, a basket for your mail, and a shelf for your wallet. This prevents miscellaneous, yet vital items from being strewn about your home. Want the wall organizer below? Click here.  

WayFair Hobbs Entryway Wall Organizer

3. Magnetic Towel Bar

This one makes us all giddy inside. Why? Because it’s a stroke of pure genius. For most of us, our bulky refrigerators don’t exactly scream stylish. BUT, many of us have funky, fun dish rags that do! That’s one of the reasons we love this nifty find. Just slap this magnetic towel bar to your fridge, neatly place your cutest hand towels over them… and voila! Not to mention, this tool actually keeps your valuable counter top space free for the other stuff you really need. Oh and one more thing: by having a place where your towels can hang, you also have a place where they can dry if need be. We think Wayfair hit the trifecta with this one. Find it here, if you agree!  Want even more storage? Take a look at this kitchen organization rack from West Elm.

Wayfair Magnetic Wall Mount Towel Bar

West Elm Magnetic Kitchen Organization Rack

4. Storage Beds

Who knew a bed could be even more than just a snuggly oasis for rest? We did! By purchasing a platform bed with built-in storage, your comfy corner of the world can double as a highly functional source of storage. Plus, these purchases can be more cost-effective than you may think. Or if the built-in drawers aren’t your thing, just simply getting a raised platform bed will give you the space to slide your own set of storage boxes under there. Want to search this bed and others like it? Here’s the link

IKEA BRIMNES Bed Frame With Storage

There you have it! Four ultra-functional furniture pieces for your apartment!  

Need a New Apartment for All This Great Furniture You’re Getting?

Visit our website to find one! 


Thrifty & Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and seemingly everyone with a significant other is looking for that perfect gift! While there are the tried and true go-to gifts such as chocolates or roses, sometimes it’s good to try something a little different.

A gesture that veers away from the classic gifts can show that you care even more, as it requires a bit more thought! There are several things you can do to show that special someone how much they mean to you while sticking to a budget as well. With finances being tight for a lot of people, there’s no need to break the bank just to make a sweet gesture on Valentine’s Day!

Photo by Leonardo Wong on Unsplash

Breakfast in Bed

We think there’s no better way to start this love-centered day than by waking your boo up to breakfast. One gesture that goes a long way without having to spend a lot of money is to make a simple and delicious breakfast spread. Stacked pancakes, hot coffee, and a side of scrambled eggs–what more could we ask for? Plus, breakfast food is the least expensive of all so you won’t break the budget. 

Even if you’re no expert in the kitchen, looking up a special pancake recipe or giving homemade french toast a shot might be a sweet idea. Even if you come up a little short in your attempt to be a gourmet chef, the effort involved will certainly prove how much he or she means to you! Try finding a recipe that isn’t too heavily involved, and a meal that can be relatively mess free (since you’ll be eating it from the comfort of your sheets).

Here are 45 breakfast in bed ideas. 

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Gifts From The Heart

Another way to show that you care on a budget is to create your own gift. Sometimes these gifts are the most meaningful, because they require genuine time and thought. Do you have a special talent that you can utilize? Perhaps you’re a great singer, photographer, or artist.

Take an inventory of the skills you can use to create a gift that shows you really care. If you can play a guitar or sing, try singing a song about your loved one.

Another idea that most anyone can do is to create a scrap book of your time together. You could include photos you’ve taken together, movie ticket stubs from your first date or dates thereafter, small mementos from trips you’ve taken together, and other sentimental scraps. The more thought and effort you put into your scrap book, the more special it will be.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

A Sweet Retreat

Sometimes, the best gift you can give is a simple escape from everyday life. Take a brief trip with your loved one for Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you can manage a day off of work together and take a day trip to a close-by destination that you both enjoy. If you or your significant other isn’t able to take off of work, book a hotel room in your city or town! Even if it’s close by, simply being able to stay somewhere else, have someone else pick up after you, and be away from the normal stresses and tedium of home can be huge! Some hotels run specials, and you might be able to find a room fairly cheap. Try using one of our favorite apps/sites, Hotel Tonight to see day-of hotel specials in the area. In their own words, Hotel Tonight “partners with top-rated hotels, they give us their unsold rooms, and we show you each day’s best deals. You check out those deals, book the one you like and boom! You’re on your way to a great stay.” 

Photo from the Eliza Jane Hotel

Get a little creative this Valentine’s Day, and you may find that not only can you save a little money, but the added sentiment of creativity can go a long way! Here’s to a safe and happy Valentine’s Day for everyone!