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Things To Do in New Orleans This Summer

A city known for letting the good times roll, New Orleans also knows how to take it easy — especially during the summer. Time seems to slow down in the balmy, summer months. With a little more sunlight and a lot more free time, summer offers lots of ways for you to enjoy the Crescent City. We’ve got a few ideas below!

Lounge by one of our many 1st Lake Properties pools.

Find What Floats Your Boat

With proximity to Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou St. John, City Park’s Big Lake, and the Mississippi River, Greater New Orleans just beckons for you to don your best nautical gear and hit the water. Whether you learn to sail on Lake Pontchartrain, rent a kayak for a tranquil afternoon along Bayou St. John, canoe in City Park (or maybe take a gondola ride), or traverse the Mississippi on the New Orleans Ferry or Steamboat Natchez, you’ll enjoy picturesque views and sea breezes.

See What’s SUP

Standup paddle boarding is a great workout, and it also offers some fantastic views when you rent through NOLA Paddleboards right on Bayou St. John. Paddle sessions are $35 (reservations required) and includes a short, complimentary lesson to help get you started.

Pack a Picnic Lunch

Summertime and picnics just go hand in hand. And in Greater New Orleans, there are tons of awesome spots for a picnic. Try City Park, Lafreniere Park, or Kenner City Park, as well as quiet spots along Bayou St. John or Lakeshore Drive on Lake Pontchartrain. Need ideas on what foods to pack? Take a look at our recipe archives here. These easy, no-bake recipes are also great contenders since they can be served at room temperature.

Take a Staycation

Sometimes, a quick road trip is all you need to feel like you “got away.” We have a detailed list of nearby places that will have you back to sleep in your own bed! Take a look and get planning here.

Fest

It’s just not summertime without some hot New Orleans festivals. Check out ESSENCE Fest over 4th of July weekend; San Fermin en Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls) happening July 7-9; Bastille Day Fete on July 14; Satchmo Summerfest Aug. 3-6; White Linen Night on Aug. 5; and Dirty Linen Night and Red Dress Run on August 13.

Rest

As the song goes, it’s “summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” Take time out to relax and unwind.  Sit by the pool. Read a great book. Add those extra little touches to your apartment to make it feel like home.


Top Workplace, Again!

For the third year in a row, 1st Lake Properties received recognition as one of the top midsize places to work in New Orleans!

Since the inception of Nola.com’s “Top Workplaces,” 1st Lake consistently ranked in the top three workplaces. With a 1st place victory in 2015 and a 2nd place victory each year following, our  team members continually prove their momentum and passion.

In addition to this achievement, 1st Lake also received the 2017 award for “the employer who encourages their team members to innovate new ideas.” Each quarter, team members submit company suggestions. Then at our company-wide quarterly meetings, we announce the top submissions, which become part of our business practices.

They say it takes a village to raise a family, and at 1st Lake we believe it takes a family to raise a company. Our 1st Lake family continues to grow, and we want you to be a part of what we’re doing.

If you want to join our team, visit our careers page!

Our 1st Lake team at the 2017 TopWorkplace Awards.

 


How to Prepare Your Apartment for Summer

Our very best tips to stay cool in summer involve one of our sparkling pools and a snowball from your favorite local stand, but sometimes it’s tempting to simply run the A/C at full capacity, open the freezer, and stand in front of it to cool down.

thermostat

Keep your thermostat at about 78 degrees for energy efficiency. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Philip Shoffner)

While we certainly don’t blame you (the Gulf South gets hot!), we do think it’s important to conserve energy. Using the following energy-saving tips for apartment dwellers is important not only for your monthly utility bill, but also the environment in general.

Air Conditioning

Don’t turn your A/C off during the day.

Your A/C unit will actually have to work harder to cool down your apartment if you only turn it on when you’re at home. Instead, keep the A/C running while you’re gone at a higher temperature… read more below!

Keep your thermostat at 79 for optimal energy use.

Did you know that for every degree below 79 degrees you set your thermostat, your bill will increase by as much as 3 percent? When you’re not at home, keep your thermostat at 79 for optimal energy use.

Replace your air filters monthly.

Keeping air filters clean is one of the easiest ways to not only save energy but also improve air quality at home. For best results, replace fiberglass filters monthly. The air filter keeps debris and pollutants out of your home’s air system, which improves overall HVAC performance and can even help mitigate allergy symptoms.

Invest in a fan.

You probably spend long periods of time in a certain part of your apartment, whether it’s at your desk on the computer or on the sofa watching television. For these stretches, it’s great to have a small, portable fan you can take with you to keep you cool. Rather than waste energy (and money) cooling down the entire apartment, point a fan your way to stay cool and comfortable economically.

Check your ceiling fans.

Like a portable fan, ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool. However, you’ll want to check to make sure that your bedroom fans are rotating counter-clockwise for maximum cool-down potential.

Lighting

Use CFL lightbulbs.

Most modern CFL lightbulbs no longer have that annoying buzz or hum, and they use about 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs, so there’s no excuse not to use them! Make sure that the CFLs you use are compatible with your lighting controls though, as most motion sensors and electric timers are not designed to work with CFL bulbs. Be sure to also only use bulbs labeled as dimmable on dimmer switches.

Opt for 1 large lightbulb instead of many smaller ones.

Use your lights in a smarter way. For more light, it’s better to use one large bulb rather than several smaller ones. For example, according to Entergy, one 100-watt bulb uses the same amount of energy as four 25-watt bulbs, yet it produces 50 percent more light.

Dust and clean bulbs and lampshades regularly.

In addition to our collection of cleaning tips, this one is simple: dust and clean bulbs and lampshades every so often – you’ll be surprised at the difference! You can get up to one-third more light from the same amount of money simply by keeping bulbs and shades clean.

Try blackout curtains.

If you like to sleep in, blackout curtains are a must. But they’re also great for keeping out the heat during the summer months. Pick up a cheap pair at Target, or line your existing curtains with blackout fabric available at retailers like JoAnn’s.

Kitchen

Optimize your refrigerator and freezer for efficiency.

Ideally, your refrigerator temperature should be between 37 and 42 degrees; the freezer should hover between zero and five degrees. Leaving town for a summer vacation? Use up the foods that will spoil, then turn your refrigerator up two or three settings (but keep the freezer’s temperature steady at all times).

Don’t overcrowd your fridge, as it can interfere with air flow and efficiency. The opposite is true for your freezer, however; freezers are typically most efficient when fully stocked.

Opt for the oven whenever possible.

Use the oven rather than the stovetop whenever you can, especially during the heat of summer. Insulated ovens retain heat much better and use less energy than stovetop counterparts, but be sure to use a timer, as opening the oven door lets up to 20% of the heat escape.

If you need a little culinary inspiration, BuzzFeed has you covered with one-tray oven dishes.

Did You Know?

Entergy offers a service called Level Billing to help you take control of your monthly utility bill. You can sign up for Level Billing on their website so your bill will be about the same price month after month.

 

 


Create Your Own Indoor Herb Garden

If there’s one thing that adds instant depth to homemade recipes, it’s fresh herbs. Basil on top of Caprese salad, rosemary with grilled chicken, dill with pan-seared salmon, minty lemonade — herbs are more than just garnishes. And while you could use the powdered versions, you’ll get so much more flavor with the real deal. Take advantage of a windowsill or countertop and create your own indoor herb garden with these tips.

basil-coffee-mug

Coffee mugs are a creative way to house fresh basil.

DIY Indoor Herb Garden

Pick your vessel — Mason jars, vintage tea cups, mugs, traditional pots… they’re all fair game when planting herbs. Create drainage holes using a jewelry drill, or look for pre-made, attractive pots at places like Home Depot.

Consider sunlight — Make sure your herb garden gets about 5-8 hours of sunlight per day. Choose a south-facing window if possible to help ensure they receive enough light! If this isn’t an option, consider herbs that don’t require as much light — that means you’ll probably want to stay away from cilantro and parsley!

Watch how much you water — Thyme likes dry soil while basil needs a little more water. Once you pick your plants (side note: Trader Joe’s, Target, and Home Depot are great places to look for herbs), read up on how to best care of them.

One-pot wonder — Hearty herbs like sage and rosemary can coexist together happily in one pot. This is a great solution if you’re short on counter space or can’t devote much time to indoor gardening. All they need is a little water and as much sunlight as possible. Check out the tutorial on Apartment Therapy. Other great one-pot combinations are:

  • Parsley and basil
  • Oregano and thyme
  • Chives and nasturtium (bonus points — these produce flowers!)

Kickstart with a kit — If you’re less inclined for a DIY project, you can buy an herb garden kit on Amazon. These kits can get pretty high-tech: some are self-watering, and others include a light that replicates natural sunlight.


What Millennials Want in an Apartment

Millennials know what they want. This is the on-demand generation where everything is available at the touch of a button. Need a ride? There’s an app for that. Need food, quick? There’s an app for that, too. But when it comes to finding the right home, it’s not as simple as downloading an app. Fortunately, we know what millennials want — and you can find it all at Bella Ridge.

The Perfect Apartments at Bella Ridge

The cozy club room at Bella Ridge.

Concierge Services

While we don’t have an app for dry cleaning, we do offer concierge services for a variety of services (like dry cleaning!). Think of us as your personal assistant — we’re here to help keep your home life running smoothly.

Resident Rewards

Beyond perks like granite countertops, large spaces, separate tubs and showers, and more, we also offer a different kind of resident rewards. Our resident rewards program is free to join and gives you discounts on local shopping, dining, and lifestyle services.

Green Property

Sustainability is important for the earth, and we’re pleased with our Green Globe Certification. This national certification demonstrates excellence in water conservation and energy efficiency.

Free Bike Rentals

Sustainability doesn’t stop at building codes. We offer free bike rentals at Bella Ridge — it’s a great way to burn some calories and help the environment simultaneously.

Dog Park

Four-legged friends are welcome at Bella Ridge. We even have our own designated dog park! Just remember to review our dog park etiquette.

Free Poolside Covered Cabanas

Our stunning pool is the perfect place to get away from it all without ever leaving home. In addition to free covered cabanas, our pool also features tanning ledges and a grilling area so you can make a day of it.

Free Resident Events

Meet other Bella residents and enjoy perks like wine nights and holiday parties at our resident events.

24-Hour Fitness Center

Are you one of those people who likes to exercise late at night? We totally aren’t. But we feel you! That’s why our fitness center is open 24 hours.

DVD Rentals

Millennials love a good #tb. Enter DVD rentals. You might be tempted to queue up your Netflix account, but check our selection first! It’s old-school fun for an awesome night in.