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Romantic Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day at Home

Happy Valentine’s Day! We know it might be difficult to plan a romantic date after celebrating Mardi Gras all weekend, so we’ve rounded up a few at-home date options you can use for inspiration this February 14th. 

Your 1st Lake home is the perfect setting for a relaxing and intimate Valentine’s Day date. In fact, you can shower your loved one with mini-dates all day long without having to leave the house. Starting with…

Breakfast in Bed

Start off your day of love with breakfast in your cozy 1st Lake bedroom.

Start your Valentine’s Day with a sunrise meal in bed.

They’ll love waking up to a tray of homemade pancakes, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. Cooking your loved one’s breakfast is a meaningful and thoughtful beginning to a warm and affectionate day! 

Candle-lit Day Spa Indulgence

Line your 1st Lake bathroom’s spacious soaking tub with flickering battery-powered faux candles, then fill it with an essential oil-scented bubble bath.

An at-home day spa is a great way to show your loved one how much you care about easing their minds.

We like lavender for its calming and relaxing capabilities. A moody, candle-lit bubble bath will make your loved one feel royally loved. 

May I Have This Dance?

To get the evening started, clear your 1st Lake living room and turn it into a dance floor for two.

Set that coffee table to the side, it’s dancing time!

It might seem silly, but there’s something tender about dancing to the songs that have shaped your time together. It’s a great reminder of all of the memories you’ve made with your loved one. 

Dinner Under the Night Sky

Many of our 1st Lake communities have beautiful gazebos and outdoor spaces you can use to host a twilight dinner. Our newest development in Covington, Artesia, has a spacious poolside grilling area that’s perfect for cooking an open-air Valentine’s Day dinner.

Prepare and cook your Valentine’s Day dinner like a pro!

After you’re done with dinner, share a toast to the lovely day you shared in the home you made together!

Let the love shine while you watch the sunset.

Feeling Inspired?

Your 1st Lake home is a great place to make memories without having to go far or spend a lot of money (maybe a little on some chocolates). The best part? No reservations. How are you going to spend Valentine’s Day this year? Share the love with us on our Facebook page!

 


A Guide to the Remaining Parades of Mardi Gras 2018

The first big weekend of Mardi Gras has officially come and gone, but there are more parades to come! Your First Lake home is probably already filled with beads, toys, and dubloons, but we think you should add a shoe or purse to your Carnival collection. There are plenty of parades left on the schedule, so take a look at this day-by-day line-up, and prepare yourself for the last few days of Mardi Gras 2018!

Wednesday, February 7

Uptown New Orleans

Krewe of Druids [6:00 p.m.] 
The Krewe of Druids doesn’t host a coronation ball or post-parade celebration, and their riders’ identities are never revealed to the public. This 200-person parade-only Krewe starts rolling from the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Magazine Street. They ride the traditional Uptown route, heading down St. Charles Avenue towards Canal Street downtown. Their final turn happens on the corner of Canal Street and South Peters Street.

Krewe of Nyx [7:30 p.m.]
The Krewe of Nyx parade will start immediately after Druids’ last float rolls. This all-female Krewe has grown in popularity since its founding in 2012. During the off-season, members spend their time hand-decorating the coveted Nyx Purse, which parade-goers vie for with comical signs and good old-fashioned pleading. Expect ornate floats, high-energy marching bands, and sequined handbags.

Thursday, February 8

Uptown New Orleans

The Knights of Babylon [5:30 p.m.]
The Knights of Babylon were established in 1939, and they’ve dedicated their parade to the preservation of traditional float design. The parade is lit by flambeauxs and their King’s float is still pulled by mules. The Knights of Babylon is the first parade of the night, and it starts on the corner of Magazine Street and Napoleon Avenue. It will follow the traditional St. Charles Avenue route to Canal Street downtown, where it will conclude.

The Knights of Chaos [6:15 p.m.]
Immediately following the Knights of Babylon are the Knights of Chaos. Much like Druids, the Knights of Chaos never reveal their riders’ identities, and their theme is only revealed once they start rolling.

Krewe of Muses [6:30 p.m.]
Established in 2000, the all-female Krewe of Muses is Thursday’s most-anticipated parade. The reason? Hand-decorated high heels! The Muses Shoe is considered a collector’s item to many Mardi Gras fans. The local, social, political commentary of this parade has become a major crowd pleaser, and their new signature float – a string of larger-than-life yellow rubber duckies – is a can’t-miss sight. If you want to get a Muses Shoe, a clever sign will help!

Who’s behind the mask? You’ll never find out!

Friday, February 9

Uptown New Orleans

Krewe of Hermes [6:00 p.m.]
Hermes was founded during the Great Depression to help ease the suffering of New Orleans’ most vulnerable. Named after the “winged courier of the gods,” Hermes is led down St. Charles Avenue by its costumed Captain.

Krewe d’Etat [6:30 p.m.]
The most satirical parade of the night belongs to the mysterious Krewe d’Etat. Their traditional floats are covered with sarcastic captions, outrageous props, and mildly inappropriate depictions of current events. Their Captains ride on horseback, their riders dress as skeletons, and their signature throw is a blinking skull bead.

Krewe of Morpheus [7:00 p.m.]
The final parade of Friday night, Morpheus, was established in 2000 as an inclusive Krewe that welcomes all interested riders to join. They aim to provide paradegoers with a traditional Mardi Gras experience. Morpheus starts on the corner of Jefferson and Magazine Street before heading up Napoleon and continuing down St. Charles Avenue.

Saturday, February 10

Uptown New Orleans

Krewe of Iris [11:00 a.m.]
The Krewe of Iris was formed in 1917, making it one of the oldest Krewes of Mardi Gras. The all-female parade boasts over 1500 members, and they uphold the traditional mystique of Mardi Gras by hiding their faces and wearing clean, white gloves. Isis’ route is a little different from its predecessors. It begins on Napoleon Avenue above St. Charles Avenue and turns left onto St. Charles instead of coming up from Magazine.

Krewe of Tucks [12:00 p.m.]
The Krewe of Tucks is the brainchild of a group of college students. Two Loyola New Orleans wanted to reignite the legacy of a defunct Uptown bar – named Tucks – as a new Mardi Gras Krewe. This wild and raucous daytime parade has a few handy signature throws  – Tucks-printed toilet paper and hand-decorated plungers. Paradegoers can expect rolls to fly over the oak tree branches on St. Charles Avenue resulting in a teepee’d stretch of New Orleans most iconic street.

Mid-City New Orleans

Krewe of Endymion [4:15 p.m.]
The culmination of Saturday’s parade line-up is the Krewe of Endymion. Considered one of Mardi Gras’ “Super Krewes,” the Krewe of Endymion pulls out all of the stops for their nighttime parade. Not only do they host an array of celebrity guests, their floats are some of the most spectacular creations to roll each year. Their signature float is also Mardi Gras’ largest creation. The extravagant and wildly popular Pontchartrain Beach float has nine sections and holds 300 of their 3,000 riders. This mega-parade starts on Orleans Avenue in Mid-City, turns down Carrollton, then heads downtown on Canal Street before pulling into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the Endymion Extravagana.

Sunday, February 11

Uptown New Orleans

Krewe of Okeanos [11:00 a.m.]
Be on the lookout for Okeanos’ Captain and King. Their intricate costumes are one of the parade’s many highlights! Catch the first parade of the day on St. Charles Avenue or anywhere downtown.

Krewe of Mid-City [11:45 a.m.]
This day parade is a delight to paradegoers young and old. Mid-City dedicates its parade to childlike wonder and joy, and every year they invite a boy and girl from the local Ronald McDonald House to serve as King and Queen of their parade. See this enchanting parade roll right after Okeanos.

Marching bands always get the crowd going!

Krewe of Thoth [12:oo p.m.]
The Krewe of Thoth is one of the longest parades of Mardi Gras. With over 1600 riders and a float count around 50 annually, Thoth is also one the largest. Thoth’s route begins near Audubon Park on Tchoupitoulas Street before snaking its way up Henry Clay Avenue to Magazine Street and then to Napoleon Ave.

Krewe of Bacchus [5:15 p.m.]
Super Krewe number two, Krewe of Bacchus, and its 1,000-member group are the last to roll on Sunday. The nighttime parade is a tribute to the god of wine, and it is one of Carnival’s most outrageous parades. The massive floats of Bacchus include two very famous primates, King and Queen Kong, and paradegoers are often seen slinging their beads back at the two rolling statues.

Monday, February 12 (Lundi Gras)

Uptown New Orleans

Krewe of Proteus [5:15 p.m.]
The Krewe of Proteus is the second-oldest Mardi Gras Krewe still in operation. Named after Poseidon’s son, Proteus is best known for its nautical-themed throws and its signature seashell float.

Krewe of Orpheus [6:00 p.m.]
Founded in 1993 by members that included legendary New Orleans musicians, Harry Connick and his son, Harry Connick Jr., this Lundi Gras Super Krewe lights up St. Charles Avenue with its bouquet-like floats. Orpheus is best known for its massive floral decor and signature float, The Smoky Mary – a high-tech locomotive-themed float complete with steaming action. Orpheus takes a slightly different route once it arrives downtown, though. Instead of stopping just after turning onto South Peters Street, Orpheus continues through the business district and into the convention center.

Tuesday, February 13 (Mardi Gras Day)

Uptown New Orleans

Krewe of Zulu [8:00 a.m.]
Coconuts! Get your Zulu Coconuts! The early morning Krewe of Zulu parade kicks off Fat Tuesday’s festivities in Central City. The parade works its way down Jackson Avenue to St. Charles Avenue where it turns and heads downtown. Upon reaching Canal Street, the parade takes a left turn up Canal and towards Basin Street. From there, Zulu winds its way up Basin to Orleans Avenue until it reaches its headquarters, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

Try to get your hands on a Zulu Coconut, which is hand-painted by their members.

Krewe of Rex [10:00 a.m.]
The grandfather to some of Mardi Gras’ oldest-held traditions, the Krewe of Rex is the last major parade to roll on Mardi Gras Day. This Krewe is responsible for the establishment of Mardi Gras’ signature colors and the creation of the coveted Mardi Gras doubloon. Every year, Rex throws collectible float beads with pendants that represent each float’s theme. Please note: Rex actually rolls on the opposite side of St. Charles Avenue, which houses the mansion they toast from each year.


Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Events & Parades in Jefferson Parish

Happy Mardi Gras! It’s an early one, y’all! If you’re headed to the parades, take a peek below to see what’s rolling – and happening – in Jefferson Parish this Carnival season!

 

corps de napoleon

The Corps de Napoleon parade. (Photo via Corps de Napoleon)

Jefferson Parish Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

Sunday, Jan. 28

Krewe of Little Rascals, 12:00 p.m. — America’s longest-running Children’s Mardi Gras Krewe will start at the corner of Eldorado Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Metairie.

Friday & Saturday, Feb. 2-3

Family Gras – This free Mardi Gras festival takes place on the neutral ground of Veterans Boulevard near the Lakeside Shopping Center. This year, attendees can see performances by Deacon John, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, and Cyndi Lauper. Get more info here.

Friday, Feb. 2

Krewe of Excalibur, 7 p.m. – Excalibur will begin at the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and Eldorado Street.

The best seat on the route!

 

Saturday, Feb. 3

Krewe of Adonis, 11:45 a.m. – This Westbank Krewe starts rolling from Kabel and Gen de Gaulle.

Krewe of Caesar, 6 p.m. – Founded in 1979, the 800-member Krewe of Caesar is best known for its signature float, Hydra.

Friday, Feb. 9

Krewe of Centurions, 7 p.m. – Named after a group of Roman warriors, Centurions’ members are businessmen from across the Jefferson Parish Area.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Krewe of Isis, 6 p.m. – This all-female Krewe is comprised of 250 members and 21 floats. Catch it on Veterans Boulevard that night!

High school marching bands from across the parish will be competing for the top prize of $3,000. The music will be amazing this year!

Sunday, Feb. 11

Corps de Napoleon, 4:30 p.m. — Honor our French heritage at this fun-filled afternoon parade.

Krewe of Athena, 5:30 p.m. — Athena is one of Jefferson Parish’s newest all-female crews, formally established in 2014.

Krewe of Pandora, 6:30 p.m. — In just its third year, Pandora’s night-time parade is sure to excite!

Tuesday, Feb. 13 (Mardi Gras)

Krewe of Argus, 10 a.m. — This morning Mardi Gras parade has a Krewe of 540 men, women, and child riders.

Krewe of Elks Trucks, follows — The Krewe of Elks is sponsored by the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, a worldwide fraternal society dedicated to charitable deeds.

Krewe of Jefferson Trucks, follows — Celebrate the end of Carnival at the last truck parade of the season!

 

 


Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Metairie & Kenner

Candy canes and silver lanes are aglow in South Louisiana. Last week, snow fell in Baton Rouge and on the Northshore. Even Jefferson Parish experienced a few winter flurries! The spirit of the season is here, and the Greater New Orleans Area has a host of spectacular events you can check out to celebrate the holidays in true Louisiana fashion.

Holiday Events in Metairie & Kenner

Metairie and Kenner certainly get merry and bright for the holidays, which is why we love having apartment communities in those areas. You’re just a quick drive away from extravagant lighting displays, Santa visits, and remarkable holiday performances.

Christmas in Lafreniere Park [Now until December 31, 2017]

Lafreniere Park’s annual light display keeps getting better and better. This year they’ll have a 60-foot lighted Sea Serpent in the park’s lagoon, a giant gingerbread man, and a sparkling magical castle. Saints fans can see a towering Lombardi Trophy, and kids can enjoy an illuminated spin on the Children’s Carousel. Entry is $5 per vehicle. Carousel rides are $1 per child.

Light-up candy canes lead the way at Christmas in Lafreniere Park. (Photo via Lafreniere Park’s Facebook Page)

Kenner Christmas Village [Now until December 30, 2017]

Kenner Christmas Village is a great idea for a family outing this holiday season. The Christmas Village is filled with things to do and see the whole family will love. There’s ice skating, nightly performances, and Santa’s workshop. Parents can enjoy the spirit of the Biergarten and take care of some shopping, as well. On December 15, let your kids put on their favorite pajamas for “Jammin’ with Santa,” for Santa photo opportunities, pizza, cookie decorating, arts and crafts, story time with Mrs. Claus, and more! Entry is free, but the Village’s special events are an additional charge.

Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center’s Holiday Shows [December 22 & December 28]

The talented actors from the Actor’s Theatre of New Orleans will perform the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, on Friday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. This is a one-time showing of the family-friendly tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation into a kindhearted man. Get more information here.

On December 28, “America’s Got Talent” semi-finalists and New Orleans natives, Lightwire Theater, will bring their electroluminescent artistry to the JPAC. Their holiday show, “A Very Electric Christmas,” follows the story of a young bird and his family as they journey south for winter. When the young bird loses his way and ends up at the North Pole, the excitement begins! Get your tickets to this magical performance here.

Lightwire Theater’s holiday performance at the JPAC will brighten your spirits! (Photo via Lightwire Theater’s Instagram)

Santa Photos at Lakeside Shopping Center & Esplanade Mall

Kenner’s Esplanade Mall will have Santa photo opportunities daily until December 24 at 8:00 p.m. Check out Santa’s photo hours on the Esplanade Mall’s event page. Lakeside Shopping Center also has Santa photo shoots from now until December 24 at 6:00 p.m., with a special Santa and Mr. Bingle photo opp happening now until December 13.

Bring your kids to meet Santa at Lakeside or Esplanade Mall and don’t forget their lists! (Photo via Lakeside Shopping Center’s Facebook Page)

The best part of this great list? You can keep your kids busy during the holiday break, keep your visitors entertained while they’re here, and keep the spirit of the season alive all December-long. Maybe Santa will bring you a new sofa for your 1st Lake home this year!


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.