1st Lake Blog

Meet Five of Our Favorite Southern Blogs

We’re New Orleans, but we’re also N’awlins – which means, of course, we’re pretty Southern. Whether we show it through our signature hospitality or our irresistible comfort foods, New Orleans is a Southern city, and today, we’re embracing it!

Check out some of our favorite Southern lifestyle blogs. You’ll find enticing recipes, gorgeous décor inspiration, and style to (cowboy) boot. See what we did there?

leahs pralines

Southern Living’s blog The Daily South often features New Orleans food and lifestyle items, like these treats from Leah’s Pralines. (Photo courtesy The Daily South)

The Daily South

It’s no surprise that Southern Living, the famed magazine, has a pretty great blog. The Daily South has fun features on Southern movers and shakers, interactive quizzes, competitions, recipes, and so much more. We especially love this blog for its constant stream of new and engaging content. You can typically expect multiple posts per day, and each one is definitely worth of a click and a read.

Southern Bite

Foodies, this one is for you. Southern Bite has a pretty delectable tagline (“Simple. Sustaining. Southern.”) and site manager Stacey Little has a real passion for sharing his Southern-influenced recipes with the world.

In addition to sweet and savory recipes aplenty, Little also has helpful how-to videos like how to safely cut up a whole chicken. Fun, interactive elements like his recent Virtual Potluck let readers share their favorite home-style recipes. Extra points to Little for his authenticity, too: he has a category called Lagniappe!

Magnolia Homes

HGTV star Joanna Gaines has a blog that’s as addictive as her show, “Fixer Upper.” Her Magnolia Homes blog features fun Q&As, easy (yet beautiful) DIY projects, and tips on using greenery inside your home. Everything on the site is simple and gorgeous, presenting a Southern-rustic aesthetic just like the homes she helps design with her husband in Texas.

Back Down South

Photos and music make for a great combination on Back Down South, creating a sensory experience for site visitors. From photographer Caroline Fontenot, the blog also includes interviews from fellow stylish Southerners.

A recent trip to NOLA on the blog talks about “killer po-boys” and includes popular spots like Erin Rose and the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. Did she nail it?

Haute Off the Rack

Louisiana represents with Haute Off the Rack, a style blog from New Orleans gal Jennifer Palpallatoc. But don’t worry – the blog isn’t limited to fabulous outfits. Visit Haute Off the Rack for helpful categories like “Haute Home Décor” and “Top New Orleans Hotels and Restaurants.”



Explore Fat City and Nearby 1st Lake Apartments

The area of Metairie known as Fat City has seen some incredible improvements over the past few years, with even more to come. After a heyday during the 1970s, Fat City’s popularity waned in the following decades. However, a recent resurgence has made it one of the most desired locations in Greater New Orleans. And, lucky for you, we have a range of First Lake Properties located in and around Fat City.

Ready – set – explore! 


A rendering of pedestrian-friendly details in Fat City. (Image courtesy the Regional Planning Commission and

New Developments

Severn Avenue, a main thoroughfare in Fat City, has several development and revitalization projects in the works. From new hotels to pedestrian-friendly details like widened sidewalks, benches, trellises, and more, Severn Avenue is in the midst of a renaissance.

Enticing Restaurants

It wouldn’t be a part of Greater New Orleans without dozens of incredible restaurants. In addition to Morning Call for beignets, café au lait, and other New Orleans cuisine like red beans and rice, Fat City is home to several Asian-style restaurants.

Sample a variety of Asian dishes at Kanno in Fat City. (Photo courtesy

Sample a variety of Asian dishes at Kanno in Fat City. (Photo courtesy

A few of our favorites include: Ohana for incredible sushi rolls; Korea House for authentic bibimbap (a savory bowl of white rice with a variety of toppings like beef and fried egg); and Kanno for fresh, California-style sushi.

Not craving Japanese or Korean food? No problem. Fat City is home to other enticing restaurants like Mellow Mushroom, Taqueria Corona, Acme Oyster House, and Drago’s Seafood.

 Ways to Work Off Those Calories

Perhaps you ordered the barbecue chicken pizza at Mellow Mushroom (it’s our favorite) or indulged in piping hot beignets from Morning Call. Fortunately, Fat City is also home to a sleek gym called Chronos Body Health and Wellness that features more than 7,000 square feet of space.

From a variety of workout classes to an on-site day spa and med spa to a fresh juice bar, Chronos is a beautiful, fully equipped facility to keep your body in tip-top shape. It’s also open 24 hours – no excuses!

What You’ll Find at First Lake Properties Near Fat City

Gallery Apartments in the Metairie area is nice and close to Fat City. The small, limited-access gated community features attractive landscaping, and inside each apartment you’ll find smartly appointed details like oval soaking tubs, bay windows, recessed lighting, and alarm systems. The interiors speak to contemporary luxury with plenty of space – and you’re just a short drive from Lakeside Shopping Center, Fat City, and the business districts of both New Orleans and Metairie.

In addition to a meticulously landscaped courtyard and sparkling swimming pool, Millstream offers convenient access to the best of Fat City. It’s also just a short drive to Lakeside Shopping Center and other Metairie retail destinations.


Things to Do in River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood

The New Orleans suburbs are fast becoming some of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the region. Offering close proximity to downtown New Orleans for work and play, the suburban area of River Ridge, Elmwood and Harahan are that perfect mix of convenience and quiet you simply won’t find in the city.

Things to Do in River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood

What’s more, apartments in River Ridge offer you space and luxury amenities like a pool, on-site dog park, gym, and much more. Our Bella Ridge property, for example, is in the heart of River Ridge and boasts perks like a covered parking garage.

Are you new to River Ridge, Louisiana? Whether you’ve just moved or are considering taking the plunge, explore a few of the things to do in River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood.


With easy access to New Orleans, this neighborhood offers an endless array of activities for all ages, but you don’t have to drive into the city to be entertained. Here are a few of our favorite entertainment options in your backyard:

AMC Elmwood Palace

1200 Elmwood Park Blvd, Harahan, LA
The AMC Elmwood Palace movie theater in Elmwood offers 20 screens, including a full IMAX experience. In true New Orleans style, this movie theater also features a full-service bar, making it a great place for date night.

Zephyr Field

6000 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA
Sports fans will love living so close to Zephyr Field. The local minor league baseball team hosts plenty of special events and promotions throughout the year, such as Military Night, Star Wars Night, Japanese Heritage Night, Italian Night and even a Luau themed event!

Adventure Quest Laser Tag

1200 Clearview Parkway, Suite 1106, Harahan, LA
Adventure Quest Laser Tag offers a variety of fun indoor activities for groups of any age. In addition to laser tag, they also offer bumper cars, cosmic golf, an adventure maze and an arcade. Look for their weekly specials and check out their membership option for extra savings.

Colonial Bowling Lanes

6601 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA
This locally-owned bowling alley features 24 wooden lanes and a laidback atmosphere. Colonial Bowling offers a variety of league bowling as well as group rates and parties. Need a break from bowling? Just head to their gameroom for arcade style games, or visit their Lamplighter Lounge for cocktails.

Lafreniere Park

3000 Downs Boulevard, Metairie, LA
Nearby Lafreniere Park offers 155 acres of outdoor fun, including a 2-mile jogging trail, 18-hole disc golf course, two playgrounds and a 20-acre lagoon. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all with a good book and a picnic.

theo's pizza

Local chain Theo’s Pizza offers a variety of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and other Italian favorites in River Ridge. (Photo courtesy Theo’s Pizza on Facebook)


River Ridge is home to several casual dining options to sate any craving. We love how you’ll find a mix of not only prominent national chains but also local restaurants. Some of our favorites include:

Seither’s Seafood

279 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
New Orleans is of course known for its great seafood, and the suburbs like Harahan are no exception. Seither’s Seafood is one of the top-rated locally-owned restaurants in this neck of the woods, and for good reason. Enjoy classic Southern dishes like shrimp po-boys, gumbo, crawfish, fried green tomatoes and raw oysters.

Phil’s Grill

1640 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
Phil’s Grill offers multiple locations throughout the greater New Orleans area, including one in Harahan. Customize your burger as you choose your perfect protein (options range from the traditional like Angus beef to vegetarian options like Portobello mushroom to exotic like bison or alligator). Opt for your favorite bun and toppings or skip the carbs and choose a lettuce bun or turn your meal into a salad.

The Ridge Bistro and Deli

1827 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
A local’s favorite, this hidden gem is located in the heart of Harahan and features delicious daily specials as well as staple salads, sandwiches and wraps. Entree options include pecan crusted red fish, chicken marsala pasta and portabello stuffed ravioli.

Zoe’s Kitchen

1208 S. Clearview Parkway, Suite D, Harahan, LA
Specializing in Mediterranean flavors with a Southern twist, Zoe’s Kitchen is your ideal destination for healthful dishes like grilled chicken kebabs, veggie pita pizza, orzo soup, Greek salads, and much more. They offer a menu for those with food allergies (several items are gluten-free or vegetarian) plus a menu called “Simply 500” where all items clock in at fewer than 500 calories. Not counting calories? Finish the meal with a slice of their YaYa’s Hand-Made Chocolate Cake.

Theo’s Pizza

1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
This local pizza chain is a regular winner of foodie awards, including most recently a Gambit Best of New Orleans Award for best pizza, and a New Orleans Magazine Tops of the Town nod. In addition to a comprehensive wine and beer list, Theo’s main draw is its pizza. Unexpected toppings like yellow squash, Anaheim peppers, goat cheese, and jalapenos make Theo’s a step up from your basic Margherita. Build your own pizza or choose from their own creative specialties. Salads, sandwiches, and appetizers are also available.

Kyoto 2

5608 Citrus Blvd, Harahan, LA
Noted for its consistently fresh and delicious sushi, Kyoto 2 is the Elmwood/River Ridge outpost of its Uptown New Orleans location. We go crazy for the poke salad or the ponzu-topped ceviche. Kyoto 2 also gets points for creative sushi names: order the No Name, Tiger Eyes, or Funky Margarita rolls on your next visit.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Sometimes you just need a burger and fries. Skip the typical drive-through options and head to Five Guys Burgers and Fries instead. At Five Guys, handcrafted burgers and real, handmade fries are just a dollar or two pricier than a drive-through and infinitely more delicious. Choose as many free toppings as you want (may we suggest the grilled mushrooms…) and try the fries Cajun style for an extra kick of heat.

Oak Oven

6625 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA
Oak Oven is a locally owned Italian style restaurant with a casual bistro atmosphere. Any restaurant in the New Orleans area can’t help but be inspired by local cuisine and Oak Oven is no exception… Not only does Chef Adam Superneau pair southern Louisiana influences with his classic Italian recipes, but the restaurant also uses many locally grown and house-made ingrediencts. (The fresh mozzarella, pasta and Sicilian semolina bread are all made from scratch in-house!)

La Madeleine Country French Café

5171 Citrus Blvd #2000, Elmwood, LA
Comfort food classics with a Francophile spin are the order d’jour at La Madeleine. Quiche Florentine is the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and if you’re unsure what to order – well, they have an on-site bakery. Specialty coffees and a selection of wine are available; so, too, are traditional French classics like Croque Monsieur, Quiche Lorraine, and flaky Spinach Pochette.

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt

1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Frozen yogurt is that perfect blend of tart and sweet that really hits the spot on a warm day. Pinkberry, an international chain, is known for its inventive flavors and options for people with food allergies. For example, their dairy-free mango frozen yogurt has bright, tropical flavors without any gluten, dairy, or added sugar.

Hickory Chicks Boutique in River Ridge features a fashionable assortment of clothing and accessories for women. (Photo courtesy Hickory Chicks Boutique on Facebook)

Hickory Chicks Boutique in River Ridge features a fashionable assortment of clothing and accessories for women. (Photo courtesy Hickory Chicks Boutique on Facebook)


Shopping is as easy as it is fun in River Ridge. Convenient shopping centers like Elmwood Shopping Center on Clearview Parkway pack a punch, while local boutiques offer unique finds.

Here’s a peek at our favorite shopping spots in River Ridge:

Hickory Chicks Boutique

1915 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
This locally-owned fashion boutique is located in the heart of River Ridge and features trendy women’s clothing, shoes and accessories at affordable prices. Be sure to check out their sale rack for unbeatable deals.

Ulta Cosmetics

1126 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Ulta is the ultimate high-low mix when it comes to cosmetics. Shoppers will delight at department store beauty brands like Bare Minerals, Tarte, and Benefit right alongside drugstore favorites like Covergirl and Almay. Check their website before you go: there’s almost always a sale and a coupon you can print or download.


1126 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW for short) has shoes for the whole family. With hundreds of pairs in stock, DSW offers a wide variety of styles, sizes, and prices. It’s the go-to spot for shoes whether you need a formal pair for a wedding, classic work pumps, or vacation-ready sandals.

Charming Charlie

1126 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Have you ever noticed how accessories can change the whole look of your outfit? That’s the ethos behind Charming Charlie, a sprawling accessories store with affordable jewelry that ranges from bohemian-chic to preppy. Hair accessories, purses, phone cases, and select styles of shoes are also in store. All you need to do is add your favorite outfit!

World Market

1134 S. Clearview Parkway, Elmwood, LA
In addition to furniture and other housewares, World Market features an international grocery store where you can find global favorites like Milka chocolate bars from Germany, Australian vegemite, and Britain’s favorite topper, HP Sauce.

Need more shopping options? Lakeside Mall in Metairie and Esplanade Mall in Kenner are both within just a few miles of River Ridge and the boutiques in downtown New Orleans, such as The Shops At Canal Place, are just 15 minutes away.

Annual Events

St. Rita Pecan Festival

This annual festival in Harahan celebrates everyone’s favorite Southern nut, the pecan, with plenty of food options including pecan pepper jelly, pecan pralines, pecan pies and much more. The weekend-long event takes place each November and features live music and fun activities for all ages.

We want to know!

Jefferson Parish residents, what are YOUR favorite things to do in the neighborhoods of River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood?

If you live in one of our River Ridge apartments, be sure to join us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your favorite neighborhood spots!

First Apartment Essentials: Checklist and Guide To Finding and Moving Into Your First Apartment

Moving into your first apartment? Feeling stressed? Check out this First Apartment Essentials checklist and guide to finding and moving into your first apartment, from

Congratulations! You’ve finished college. Enter the inevitable post-grad dilemma: “Now What?” While career and relationship issues are a bit more complex, you can at least get a grasp on your living logistics. Whether you’re stressing about moving because your lease is up at the end of the summer, or you’ve enjoyed relaxed, rent-free living with the parents until now, refer to these tips for finding and moving into your first apartment.

Before Moving Into Your First Apartment…

For those who are taking their time adjusting to life after college and haven’t yet made the big move to apartment living, there are some first apartment essentials to consider. Keep these questions in mind when it’s time to start thinking about moving out of Mom and Dad’s.

Be smart about your budget.

Most experts will tell you when looking for an apartment for rent; the rent should be no more than 25-30% of your annual income. While you might be dying to move into that two bedroom luxury apartment, you may not be able to afford it and should take many factors into consideration. Budgeting realistically for your new apartment, and finding one that suits your needs, is key.

Take the time to examine what your exact income is after taxes and subtract your expenses. Include food, household supplies, phone, car payment and insurance, credit card bills, clothing, gas, internet, healthcare, school loans, entertainment, and an extra category for “miscellaneous” for those unexpected expenses. What you have left is the rental budget for your new place. Some management companies, like 1st Lake Properties, Inc. include a flat rate for certain utilities per month, others you may have to pay separate.  Keep this in mind when considering monthly expenses.

Consider roommates carefully.

Choosing who you’re going to live with should not be taken lightly. With the right roommate, sharing a space can be a breeze and really fun, but if they’re the wrong choice, it can end badly. Before agreeing to live with someone you didn’t know before, make sure to spend some time with them first and decide if you’ll be able to get along and live in harmony. On the other hand, living with your best friend can also be tricky. Best friends don’t always make the best roommates. It’s up to you to decide what’s best.

Is it a good location?

While you’re apartment hunting, be sure to consider how close the location is to work, grocery stores, hospitals and entertainment. You might find your dream apartment, but it’s not worth it if the location is a nightmare.

What facilities are available?

Does the house or apartment you’re looking to rent have what you need, like washers and dryers, an alarm system, dishwasher, garbage disposal or outside space? Decide what is important for you to have.

You should never move into an apartment for rent before at least touring the community. It’s most helpful to view the layout of the apartment as it gives you a good idea of where and how much furniture you can have. Sometimes the actual apartment is not available to view, in these cases its best to see an interior to view the fixtures and finishes.

Turn knobs, open and shut doors, and open windows. Do you get a cell phone signal inside your apartment? Don’t be afraid to test all of these things out when you’re looking at potential apartments. While it may feel awkward, it is a very necessary step in making sure your new home is right for you. Ask as many questions when touring apartments as you need. You should be happy and comfortable and the tour should be a good experience.

Lease Items to Consider

Once the hard part is over and you’ve decided on your brand new first apartment, take the time to read the lease from cover to cover. Since this is your first time renting, you probably aren’t familiar with the legal lingo, try to familiarize yourself with it before showing up for the lease signing. Don’t be afraid to take your time combing through the details, and ask the agent about any questions or concerns you may have. Sometimes, simple clarification can lend to a huge peace of mind.

If you’re unclear about what your future plans may be long-term, ask about the possibility of a short lease term. Everything from re-painting the walls to what kind of roommates you can have is typically covered in the language of the lease. Reading the small print can make a big difference.

Moving into your first apartment? Feeling stressed? Check out this First Apartment Essentials checklist and guide to finding and moving into your first apartment, from

Free Printable First Apartment Checklist

Download our free printable first apartment checklist to make your move a breeze.

Furnishing Your First Apartment Cheaply

Many first-time apartment renters may find it hard to furnish their new apartment on a budget. While many of us would like a comfortable and stylish home, finding the finances to do so can be tough sometimes. Thankfully, there are many resources and decorating ideas available for furniture shoppers without a lot of money to spare. It is possible to have a stylish apartment without a lot of funds! Finding everything you need simply requires a little hunting, a dash of luck, and a bit of scrutiny!

Begin by digging through your local classified ads. Whether you’re looking at your local paper or at a local site online, make sure you check in on all the ads you can find. Once you have some free time, devote a day or two to hitting up local flea markets, thrift shops or second-hand stores.

Sometimes neighborhood garage sales, yard sales, or rummage sales can yield amazing vintage finds, perfect for decorating! If you’re at a neighborhood sale, don’t be afraid to ask about the history of the item or why they might be getting rid of it. You can never be too cautious, and most owners are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

If you lack the time to peruse local resources or simply haven’t had any luck when doing so, online sales and auctions are always a possibility. However, do your research and try to stick to more reputable sites when buying larger items. If you’re unfamiliar with the website or source, there is a possibility of it being a scam. Even if the site is reputable, there are also risks involved. Generally, you will not be able to inspect the item in person before buying it and sales are usually final. You should also take into account how much shipping costs will be before bidding on or buying an item online. Depending on how much shipping costs will be it may be cheaper to simply buy the item closer to home at a local store.

Whether you’re buying online or in person, it’s always important to inspect your item closely and thoroughly! Pull out drawers, look underneath the piece of furniture, and test doors. If the seller doesn’t allow you to inspect the item, don’t buy it! Even if the price of the item is cheap, you should expect it to be of good quality. Don’t be pressured into buying a sub-standard item!

Lastly, don’t be afraid to haggle with the seller. This can be most effective when buying from a garage sale, yard sale, or rummage sale. Most times, the owner of the item is simply looking to get rid of it. As long as you remain realistic when haggling, you can generally come to an agreement on a lower price. If you do a little research and have a working understanding of the going rate for the item you’re trying to purchase, this can help you immensely. Stand your ground, but be fair. If the seller refuses to lower the price, you can always shop elsewhere.

If you keep your wits about you and search thoroughly, you may find it easier than expected to make your home look stylish on a budget. Your new apartment should reflect your personality and be a comfortable place to call home! Have fun searching for the perfect furnishings and trust your instincts when buying everything you need for your new apartment home!

Remember: rent comes first!

Without a place to call home, your other expenses might as well go out the window. Make sure to prioritize rent above all else when payday comes. If money is tight, try to trim down by seeing what expenses you may be able to cut down on or remove completely from your expenditures. If you have a cell phone and no longer use your home phone very much, switch to cell phone only. If you’re going out to eat too much, try cooking at home instead to save money. There are always solutions to trimming your expenses down to help make ends meet.

Enjoy your first apartment!

Renting your own place for the first time can be exciting and perhaps stressful. If you take the time to make sure your apartment and lease are right for you, budget your expenses, make sure your utilities get turned on, and plan for the unexpected, transitioning into this new step in your life should be a smooth and fun process.

1st Lake = A Great Choice for Your 1st Apartment

Now that you’ve made all the important decisions about renting your first apartment after college, it’s time to start looking! Search for the perfect apartment in the greater New Orleans area at 1st Lake Properties and check out our map to see what 1st Lake location works best for you!

Be sure to also download our free printable first apartment checklist to ensure you make the move with everything you need.

Tax Refund? Spend It On Your Apartment!

The silver lining of tax season is the tax refund – and deciding how you’re going to spend it! Some people use it for a fancy night out or a vacation, but we think you can transform your apartment into a fine dining establishment and vacation-worthy spot available for enjoyment every single day of the year. Did you get a little lagniappe from tax season? Here’s how to spend it!

kitchenaid mixer

A Kitchenaid stand mixer turns you into a Food Network-worthy home chef. (Photo credit

For Foodies

Make your apartment a foodie paradise with smart purchases that create a restaurant-quality feel at home. A few ideas:

Vitamix blender. These high-performance blenders are perfect for at-home juicing, quick smoothies, and icy summertime treats.

Kitchenaid mixer. Another pricey – but totally worthwhile – kitchen appliance, the Kitchen-Aid mixer is a stand mixer that makes baking a breeze. But it doesn’t stop there. Use it for the fluffiest, dreamiest mashed potatoes or make homemade bread using the dough hook attachment.

Modern silverware. Upgrading your silverware to something hefty and sleek can instantly change the feel of a weeknight dinner. Crate + Barrel has several modern options like the Aero flatware, featuring matte black, aerodynamic handles.

For Homebodies

Who needs a vacation when your apartment is as sumptuous as any hotel? Here are a few upgrades you can make with tax refund dollars.

A cashmere throw. Cashmere isn’t just for winter. Because it’s a natural fiber, it’s moisture-wicking and provides the softest, lightweight warmth any time of year (even in summer when the cranked-up A/C gives you a chill!).

A bold art print. Head to Society6 for a variety of affordable art prints that add a major impact to bare walls. Browse framed options – you’ll pay a little extra but the gallery-quality look is gorgeous and sleek.

Bamboo sheets and towels. Bamboo is an ultra-soft natural fabric that transforms showers into a spa-like experience. Bamboo sheets make it easy to fall asleep comfortably and quickly via a smooth and soft feel against your skin.