1st Lake Blog

Where to Get Snowballs in Metairie, Harahan, Elmwood, and More


There’s no season like snow season in Greater New Orleans. Snowballs are that perfect combination of finely shaved ice and decadent cane syrup that come together as a cooling treat in as many flavors as you could possibly imagine.

New Orleans proper certainly has its fair share of snowballs – Hansen’s for inventive flavors like ginger-cayenne and Plum Street for the cutest packaging – but the suburbs have a snowball game that is equally strong.

Check out our list for some of the best snowballs in the Lakeview, Metairie, Elmwood, and Harahan areas. They’re close to several 1st Lake Properties like Bella Ridge, Millstream, and more. Get one to go and enjoy it at the lake or at home on the balcony – each icy spoonful is a taste of summer!


nola snow

A fruity option from NOLA Snow on Harrison Avenue in Lakeview. (Photo courtesy

With a convenient location on Harrison Avenue in Lakeview, NOLA Snow is a great place to grab a snowball then head to the lakefront. Kids go crazy for flavors like cotton candy and bubblegum, but mellower flavors like NOLA nectar and wedding cake please more grown-up palates. The ice is particularly soft and fluffy, but if you prefer something denser, any snowball flavor can be served as a milkshake or malt instead. Soft serves, floats, and stuffed snowballs are also available – definitely bring your sweet tooth.

Casey’s Snoballs

Says one Yelp reviewer, “The ice doesn’t clump, they don’t skimp on the syrup, and the flavor choices are vast and unique.” Could you ask for anything more in a snowball stand? Casey’s Snoballs in Metairie is located on Esplanade Avenue, so it’s another option for a to-go snowball you can enjoy at the lake. We’re partial to nutty flavors like almond cream and exotic choices like orchid vanilla, but you’ll find plenty of classics like nectar, lemon, and wild cherry.

Sal’s Sno-Ball Stand

Sal's snowballs

The flavors at Sal’s. (Photo courtesy Sal’s Sno-Balls on Facebook)

Tree stump seating sets this Old Metairie snowball stand apart. Enjoy your snowball on site, and you’ll get the feeling of camping when you were a kid – except instead of s’mores, it’s snowballs. Sal’s stays open late, so if you get a snowball craving at 10 p.m. (and really, who could blame you?) you can still get your fix. Fun flavor names like Robin (ice cream and nectar), Pink Squirrel (nectar, almond, and cream), and Joker (grape, blackberry, and raspberry) will delight youngsters and adults alike. Sugar-free options are available for those looking to save calories, but you’ll probably want those hard-to-resist toppings like condensed milk – again, who could blame you?

Ro-bear’s Snowballs and Soft Serve

This Harahan location serves up decadent snowballs like strawberry cheesecake with condensed milk – also known as heaven in a cup. Robear’s velvety smooth, melt-in-your-mouth ice is never crunchy: think freshly powdered snow and confectioner’s sugar. Flavors like Creole cream cheese and king cake are worth a try, as are the butterscotch, chocolate, and cantaloupe varieties. Actually, you should probably just try them all!

Ike’s Snowballs

Ike’s is located in Mid-City, but it’s just a quick drive from Metairie Road on City Park Avenue. We love Ike’s because of their doggie snowballs – while a chicken snowball doesn’t sound particularly appetizing to us, but we know our furry friends will love them. Don’t have a pet? Trust us, you’ll still want to go to Ike’s. First of all, it’s open year-round, and second, juicy flavors like watermelon, strawberry, and pineapple are sure to satisfy. Plenty of outdoor seating here, although another option is to order your snowball to-go and enjoy at City Park.



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.

April 2015 Featured Properties at 1st Lake

Springtime is one for new beginnings. With that in mind, our April specials offer the possibility of a new apartment home in one of many of our communities. Take a closer look at our featured properties for April. Interested in taking a tour? Contact us today to arrange an in-depth visit!

villas at laketown

The Villas at Laketown is one of the selected featured properties available this month.

Crossroads Apartments

When your home features a light-filled sunroom made for relaxing, an in-apartment washer and dryer, and plush carpeting, you’ll find it hard to leave. Crossroads Apartments in Metairie is one of our most conveniently located apartments, set just three blocks south of Veterans Boulevard. That translates to quick and easy access to the best shopping and dining of Metairie – or take a ten-minute drive and find yourself in the heart of New Orleans. Call to find out more about special rates on select units.

But – back to the units themselves. Choose from studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments to meet your needs: select apartments feature cathedral ceilings while all are outfitted with oversized closets and set within a beautifully landscaped community that features bubbling creeks and winding paths tucked safely behind a censored access gate. We said it before, and we’ll say it again: you’ll find it hard to leave!

Sawmill Creek Apartments

This River Ridge community offers proximity to New Orleans at a decidedly quieter pace. Find yourself in a peaceful atmosphere peppered with pines and local flora and fauna. You won’t just enjoy the green space and your walk to and from your apartment – on-site amenities like sparkling pools, private patios and balconies, and dedicated grilling stations allow you to experience the beauty of the outdoors each and every day.

Sawmill Creek offers a variety of floor plans to meet your needs. Choose a one-bedroom townhouse, a two-bedroom traditional style, or something in between. What’s more, you can choose from bathrooms, too – anywhere from one to 2.5 bathrooms are available. Corporate apartments are available to truly make this lushly appointed community your home away from home.


Bella Ridge Apartments

Brand-new apartment homes. Need we say more? We just completed our latest property, Bella Ridge, and its modern touches shine through. From granite countertops to crown molding to separate oversized tubs and showers, Bella Ridge feels like a luxury retreat – one that you get to live in year-round! Other savvy details include a covered parking garage (no more dashing through a rainy day) and an on-site dog park. A sparkling pool with built-in tanning ledges will give you a bronzed, summery, just-back-from vacation look – without the cost of an actual vacation! For April, you could receive up to $175 off your move-in costs plus up to $100 off monthly rent. 

The Villas at Laketown Apartments

Size definitely matters when it comes to your apartment. The Villas at Laketown offer vast square footage and contemporary designs – architectural details like arched doorways, for example, are a regal touch. You’ll feel entirely at home as soon as you walk in and experience these apartments. From personal intrusion alarms at the door to wood-burning fireplaces, these townhomes offer all the convenience of a stand-alone home (attached garages included) and then some. These apartments rarely have availability, so we’re pleased to offer openings in addition to reduced rates on select units.

Millstream Apartments

Millstream apartments in Metairie are that rare blend of convenience, space, style. Amenities include meticulously landscaped greenspace (plus a pool) and secure access gates. You’ll live amongst thoughtful interior details like natural brick accent walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and built-in bookcases and vanities. But it’s hard to keep a home beautiful when it’s not organized – that’s why Millstream features spacious closets with organized shelving. Call us to find out more about special, reduced rents on select units.

NOLA Goes to the Dogs: Dog Parks in New Orleans

As the city experiences beautiful weather, it’s easier than ever to get outside and go for a walk with your dog. Greater New Orleans is home to several awesome dog parks – including our own Bella Ridge property, which features an on-site place for dogs to roam safely. Check out some of the best dog parks in NOLA!

city bark

NOLA City Bark in City Park is a popular spot for pups. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Infrogmation of New Orleans)

NOLA City Bark

Located in City Park, this dog park spans nearly 5 acres and is a pup’s dream. Lush green spaces, dog activities, and a communal water fountain (in the form of a bright, red fire hydrant) make City Bark a fun destination for dogs and owners alike. The property is located in City Park behind Popp Fountain, bounded by Zachary Taylor Drive, Diagonal Drive, and Magnolia Drive.

The Dog Levee

Uptown dogs love the Dog Levee, near the corner of Leake Avenue and Magazine Street. The levee features a paved walking path that leads to a swimming hole (be sure to bring a towel for cleanup!). Be wary if your dog is a flight risk – this park is an open space free of fencing.

Wisner Dog Park

Another dog park in Uptown New Orleans, Wisner Dog Park is located at 4876 Laurel St. Water fountains for dogs and people are available, but be aware there aren’t any public restrooms for the humans!

Bella Bark

Bella Bark is the on-site dog park at our Bella Ridge property in Elmwood. Fido might not appreciate the beautiful landscaping, but owners sure do! The convenience of having an on-site, safe space for your pup to play right outside your door is an added bonus of the many luxuries you’ll experience at Bella Ridge.

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.