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Inexpensive Homemade Holiday Gifts That Will Surely Delight!

Whether you’re hosting your loved ones in your 1st Lake residence or traveling to celebrate the holiday, there’s no better way to show them how much you care than with a thoughtfully crafted homemade gift. Homemade gifts can mean more to your loved ones, too. You put a lot of effort into creating the perfect gift exclusively for them! Nothing is more loving than that.

Even with a short amount of time left, there are still plenty of quick and affordable homemade gift options you can create without worrying. Some of our favorite homemaking websites offer a plethora of choices and instructions for these gifts, but we’re going to highlight a few of our favorites to get you started on your crafts.

For the Coffee Connoisseur

Dip into some sweet DIY ideas for your favorite coffee drinker. (Photo via Good Housekeeping)

Good Housekeeping caught our DIY-eye with this easy, thoughtful, and tasty gift idea for the coffee drinker on your list. “Coffee Mug Mixers” are created from vintage silver spoons and baking goods. Head to an area thrift or antique store, or hunt down a garage sale, and find some intricately designed antique spoons for cheap. Then, head down to the grocery store to pick up an assortment of baking sweets, like chocolate, crushed nuts, and candy. Melt your mixed sweets onto the spoons, let them dry, and wrap them in clear packages. Your coffee-loving visitor might just dip one into his or her mug immediately after opening this delightful and thoughtful treat!

 

For the Farmhouse Design Fan

Transform plain wood home items into fun, wood-burned gifts. (Photo via Country Living)

If they are big fans of rustic-themed home makeover shows and decorate with reclaimed wood and metal accent items, shower them with a homemade wood gift. Both The Nest and Country Living Magazine have a great collection of homemade wood gift ideas to show them how much you notice their personal interests. We love the idea of wood-burned labels on cutting boards and cooking utensils. You can add your personal signature to these items with a wood burner from your local craft store. That way every time they use these items, they’ll be reminded of you.

 

For the First-Time Family

Gift them with a sweet hand-sewn mobile. (Photo via Craftiness is Not Optional)

This homemade gift option might require a little more effort, but for the loved ones on your list with a newborn, it will mean the world. Your local craft store will have everything you need to create this precious hot air balloon-themed mobile for their baby’s bedroom. Craftiness is Not Optional provides a great step-by-step visual guide to building this homemade gift with ease. If this seems too difficult, Craftiness is Not Optional has other easier new parent gifts.

 

For the Home Spa Fan

Three perfect ways to make your spa-lover’s day! (Photo via PopSugar)

We all know someone who spends their free time soaking in hot bubble baths and pampering themselves with sugar scrubs, pedicures, and moisture-rich lotions. Show them you care with your own self-care creations! There are do-it-yourself soap recipes, easy sweet or floral-scented sugar scrub formulas, and nurturing lotion how-to’s across the Internet! One of our favorites comes from PopSugar. Their DIY Spa Kit Trio features a scrub, a body butter, and a foot soak. We are not going to lie, this one you might want to keep for yourself!

From the Heart

These are just a few of the countless ways to make the holidays mean more this year. Do you have go-to homemade gifts you’ve perfected for the big day? Share your tips with our social communities and help your fellow 1st Lake residents make the ideal gift to go under the tree.

 


Why You Should Consider Moving to Elmwood Right Now

It’s no secret Jefferson Parish’s Elmwood neighborhood is a shopping destination for residents across the Greater New Orleans Area. Its large shopping center has a great selection of big-box stores, its movie theater boasts 20 screens, and its area attractions include an indoor trampoline park and laser tag venue. In addition to an abundance of amenities, Elmwood is an ideal place for those looking for a quiet and affordable alternative to downtown New Orleans living.

You Can Shop ‘til You Drop

Living in Elmwood makes shopping a breeze. Elmwood Shopping Center is a one-stop shop for all of the items on your shopping list. In one trip, you can find new shoes at DSW, find a new dining table at World Market, find a television at Best Buy, and more! Instead of having to drive all over town to get the items you need, you can make one trip to one central location and then head right on home! It will save you gas, time, and a lot of patience.

Park your car and find everything you need in one place!

The Great Outdoors are Just Out Your Doors

Elmwood’s little corner of the Mississippi River is a quaint residential area with quick access to paved bike paths, public parks, and recreational spaces. La Salle Park is a well-kept multi-purpose recreational space for sports and nature explorations. Its nature boardwalk winds through native cypress trees, making it a scenic and calming spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

La Salle Park is a great escape from city life right in the heart of Elmwood. (Photo via Visit Jefferson Parish)

If you’re looking for some two-wheeled fun, the paved levee bike path is a great way to enjoy the action on the river while you get some exercise in. Pack a blanket and some snacks for a riverside picnic, or wind your way over to Oak Street on the outskirts of New Orleans for some good local eats and live music.

The Living’s Easy in Elmwood

Elmwood might be a shopping haven, but it’s also a secluded treasure. Many of our 1st Lake properties sit tucked away on peaceful, open green areas which provide a feeling of escape and relaxation.

Bella Ridge is a blissful haven for easy living in Elmwood.

You can unwind poolside at Bella Ridge without the distracting sounds of blaring car horns, screeching sirens, or chatty tourists. You can share a casual and fun afternoon with your dog and your neighbors’ dogs in Clearwater Creek Premier’s gated pet park. You can go for an easy evening stroll alongside the flowing streams of Palmetto Creek. Every one of our Elmwood locations is designed to make you feel like you’re living in a remote luxury retreat.

If you’re considering a move, consider Elmwood as your new neighborhood. With great shopping, great outdoor spaces, and great living communities, you’ll find it easy to settle in and make yourself at home in Elmwood.


How To Move Into Your New Apartment in Three Days

Move? In just three days?! With the right amount of pre-planning, it is absolutely possible to move in just three short days. It will take a lot of thought and strategy, but you will feel much better having a plan of action over just tossing your belongings into garbage bags and hoping for the best. With these organizational ideas, moving will be stress-free. Here are our tips for a better packing and moving experience.

Lists, Lists, Lists!

Before you do anything, write down everything that needs to be done. If you’re planning on using movers, start with some research! Make a list of local and regional moving companies and use review sites to help determine if they’re a good fit for your needs. If you’re looking at a local moving company, Realtor.com suggests visiting their business in person, which allows you to get a true feel for their standards and capabilities.

Your next list? Packing items. It’s absolutely worth having more boxes, bubble wrap, and rolls of tape than you need. Even if you don’t use movers, they’re a great resource for moving supplies. You can get boxes from personal storage facilities, as well. It’s also worth asking your friends and family if they have boxes and bins they’d be willing to part ways with for your move. Take to Facebook and see who will lend you some goods. That will save you money and probably free up some space for them, too!

So, what goes where? You already know what the movers are going to take, but where are they going to put everything? It’s best to hash out what furniture goes where before they come to collect, otherwise you’ll spend a few more days moving a few things yourself. Mapping it out also helps you visualize where your smaller items might live as well.

Pack Smarter

Don’t empty those dresser drawers! You’ll just have to refill them again once you’re moved in. Take the items you will need during your unpacking days and fill in the empty spaces with items you can temporarily part with. If you’re looking to save on cushioned packing materials, we suggest using blankets, towels, scarves and other soft fabric materials to wrap fragile items. It’s a “two birds with one stone” way to pack a lot of your possessions at once.

Designate a room in your current space for packing. Bring all of your empty cardboard boxes, plastic bins, tape and markers into one room. It will help you stay organized and allow you to keep track of everything you have left to pack with. Instead of scrambling around your space in search of that marker you put somewhere, having them stored in one room will ease the packing process. Use that marker to clearly label your boxes and bins on each side and make sure you’re explicit about breakable materials. It’ll keep hired movers from carelessly destroying your fragile items.

Ask for Help

This might be the hardest part of your move. A lot of people dread asking their loved ones to help them move. It’s a lot of tough work, and it takes a long time. We suggest thanking them with a hearty post-move meal and a meaningful note of gratitude.

Nothing says “moving day” quite like delivery pizza and soda!

They’ll appreciate your immediate appreciation for their help. Plus, the move will be a lot easier for everyone if you follow the steps above!


What To Do with Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

So, it’s the day after Thanksgiving and you have a fridge full of leftovers. Don’t throw it out! Luckily, a lot of cooking magazines and lifestyle websites have taken action against pitching Thanksgiving’s tastiest dishes. They’ve come up with a multitude of clever and delicious recipes for your leftovers, so you can finish off your whole feast, pocket some spending money, and save from wasting perfectly good food.

Here are some of our favorite ways to reuse your Thanksgiving meal leftovers.

Neighborhood Food’s Waffled Cranberry Cream Cheese Turkey Sandwiches

Even Neighbor Food’s photo has us drooling over this dish! (Photo via Neighbor Food)

It’s savory. It’s sweet. It uses everything from Thanksgiving and then some! Turkey sandwiches are a post-Thanksgiving given, but slapping a couple turkey slices onto a piece of sandwich bread can feel boring. Instead, slap those turkey slices on a waffled bed of cranberry sauce, cream cheese, and crispy greens. There is nothing boring about this turkey sandwich!

Bon Appetit’s Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

Reinvent your turkey with this rich risotto recipe from Bon Appetit. (Photo via Bon Appetit)

Do you still have a lot of turkey left even after making waffle sandwiches? Shred it and use it in Bon Appetit’s Turkey and Mushroom Risotto recipe. The dish’s gravy is filled with the delicious flavors of mushrooms, onions, parmesan cheese, and parsley. It’s a warming winner for a cold weather dinner.

Country Living’s Sweet Potato Spoon Breads

Leftover sweet potatoes? Turn them into spoon breads! (Photo via Country Living)

It might even be worth cooking more sweet potatoes than needed if it means making this sweet single-serve dish after the big day is over. Country Living’s Sweet Potato Spoon Bread with Caramel-Pecan Topping is our favorite way to treat yourself after hosting the holiday at your 1st Lake home. You deserve to celebrate a successful Thanksgiving Day with the help of cinnamon, sugar, caramel, and pecans. Trust us.

Food Network’s Turkey Waldorf Salad

A healthy option for those Thanksgiving leftovers. (Photo via Food Network)

We had to toss in one healthy option, and this one is nothing short of delicious! The Food Network’s Turkey Waldorf Salad is a flavorful and refreshing way to reinvite your Thanksgiving leftovers. We all know Thanksgiving meals can make you feel stuffed (literally), so instead of carb-heavy sandwiches, try making a chopped salad instead. Crispy and crunchy celery, grapes, and apples? Sweet and wholesome roasted pecans and honey? Savory shredded turkey? Sign us up!

Have your own favorite way of using Thanksgiving leftovers? Tell us on social! Share your favorite recipes and quick meal tips on our Facebook page. You might inspire another 1st Lake resident with your ideas!

 


See Clearwater Creek Premier’s New, Modern Apartments!

One of the most exciting things for us here at 1st Lake Properties is expanding our apartment communities to include new, state-of-the-art spaces. We recently finished adding new, modern apartments at our Clearwater Creek community in Elmwood featuring contemporary details and plenty of sought-after amenities. Keep reading to learn more about these sleek, spacious apartments, and contact us today if you’re interested in calling this community your home!

CWC2 Ext1

Clearwater Creek Premier is an energy-efficient property.

Premier Perks at Clearwater Creek Premier

The name says it all. Clearwater Creek Premier offers unparalleled perks for residents. Here are just a few you’ll enjoy!

Fitness Center — Stay healthy from the convenience of home at our on-site fitness center, a clean, sleek facility to burn calories and rev up your heart rate.

Pool and BBQ Pit — Clearwater features a resort-style swimming pool with semi-private cabanas and an outdoor kitchen and BBQ pit. Elegant, poolside parties right this way!

Puppy Park — Your furry friends are family. That’s why we’ve included a spacious, secure dog park on the premises.

Energy-Efficient Units — In addition to efficient appliances and equipment, Clearwater’s contemporary approach features best practices in construction for the most energy-efficient units possible. This translates to a more positive impact on the earth — and lower utility bills for you!

Chef-Inspired Kitchens — Two words: double ovens. Whip up dishes like a pro with our chef-inspired kitchens, featuring shaker panel cabinets, granite countertops, hidden control panel dishwashers, and those double convection ovens.

Elegant Bathrooms — Free-standing showers and garden tubs add a contemporary vibe that keeps classic design in mind.

Photo Gallery

See for yourself why Clearwater Creek Premier’s contemporary living is so alluring!

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Clearwater Creek Premier features contemporary, upscale bathrooms.

clearwater-creek-kitchen

The kitchen at Clearwater Creek Premier.

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A close-up of the kitchen.

CWC DogPark2

Dogs will love the on-site Puppy Park!

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Relax by the resort-style pool.

CWC Fitness 2016

The fitness center features high ceilings and plenty of natural light.

Clearwater Creek FAQs

How many units are in this new community?

The Clearwater Creek Premier Apartments feature 108 units, offering a smaller, more intimate community than Bella Ridge. Currently, Clearwater Creek has 192 units, meaning the combined total will be 300 distinct units.

What are some of this community’s amenities?

Clearwater Creek Premier boasts brand-new units and plenty of perks for residents, including a fitness center, a pet park, a resort-style swimming pool with three semi-private cabanas, and an outdoor kitchen. Units feature shaker panel cabinets, wood style flooring, granite counter tops, freestanding showers and garden tubs, and crown molding. The kitchens feature hidden control panel dishwashers and double convection ovens.

Tell me more about that pool! 

Grills with granite countertops, Wi-Fi hot spots, cabanas with timed fans, and stylish lounge chairs: you’ll find them all at our resort-style pool. Come see for yourself — it’s already open!

Why should I choose Elmwood as my home?

Elmwood is a vibrant, growing community conveniently located within the larger New Orleans metro area. Proximity to downtown New Orleans and Metairie make Elmwood a perfect location to live, work, and play—not to mention the top-notch shopping and dining spots continually moving into the neighborhood!