Articles Tagged "Holidays"

Maria Zuniga-lott Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.

rss logo RSS Feed
Community Guides | 67 Posts
Home Tips | 9 Posts

National Christmas Movie Marathon Day: How to Prepare Your Home for a Watch Party

Baton Rouge Movie Marathon

One of the best things about this season is all of the holiday movies. So many of them have this warming, comforting appeal that makes you want to curl up in your pajamas and snack on sugar cookies. Did you know there's actually a holiday dedicated to watching Christmas movies? National Christmas Movie Marathon Day is December 23rd, 2022. This is the perfect opportunity to host a watch party for your friends and family members. Our Realtors® have some tips to help you plan.  

  • Explore Your Streaming Service
    Almost every streaming service offers holiday movies this time of year. So, there is no need to pay for a movie or sign up for an additional streaming service if you're on a budget. Before your party, explore the movies that your streaming services are offering. Make a short list of options – just three or four. When your guests arrive, you can discuss these options and pick one together that you want to watch. Narrowing down the options prior to your party will simplify the movie selection process.

  • Make Snacks
    What would a movie party be without snacks? Some homemade holiday snacks are sure to make guests smile. Consider dipping some pretzels in melted chocolate and then decorating them with red and green sprinkles. Or, pop some popcorn and drizzle some melted white chocolate – tinted with red or green food coloring – over it. Of course, there's nothing wrong with making and serving a variety of sugar cookies, either.

  • Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar
    Sipping hot chocolate will make your movie-viewing experience warm and cozy. A hot chocolate bar gives your guests an opportunity to make their own warm drinks. Some great ingredients to include on your hot chocolate bar include crushed candy canes, mini marshmallows, red and green sprinkles, whipped cream, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.

  • Decorate With Characters
    Look for decorations that feature characters from your favorite holiday movies. Perhaps you want Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer characters on your wall, or perhaps characters from Elf make your heart light up. You don't have to use characters from the same movie as the one you'll be watching at your party, although you certainly can.

  • Send Ticket Invitations
    Handmade invitations will make guests smile before the party even starts. Why not make your party invitations look like movie tickets? Start with some cardstock, cut into long, ticket-shaped rectangles. Write "Admit One" at the top. You can also include the title of the movie if you have selected one. Then, add some holiday-themed stamps or stickers to make the invitation feel festive. Don't forget to also write down the date and time!

  • Ask Guests to Bring Blankets
    Cuddling under a blanket makes watching holiday movies feel cozier, but chances are, you don't have enough holiday-themed blankets for all of your guests. So, ask them to bring their own. Just write "bring your own snuggly blanket!" on the invitations. Some guests might forget, so if you have extra blankets, get them out in preparation.

  • Craft Signature Cocktails
    Think up a cocktail that goes along with the movie you've chosen. For instance, if you're watching Elf, you could make a World's Best Cup of Coffee Martini. Mix up a round halfway through the film.

Ready to start your search for a new home where you can host all your holiday gatherings? If you're still looking for a home for the holidays, contact us. Our agents will help you find the best Baton Rouge homes for sale and Baton Rouge open houses to attend.


Pet Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Lafayette Pet Tips

When looking at Lafayette homes for sale, it's important to remember that they won't just be your home. It has to be safe and comfortable for your pets, too. In particular, as you start preparing your new home for the holidays, there are some pitfalls that can cause problems for your pets. Follow these pet safety tips this holiday season.

  • Trees and Decorations
    Every pet owner knows Christmas trees pose a challenge. They can climb the tree, destroy ornaments and other decorations, and even knock them over. To mitigate this, make sure the base is heavy and sturdy enough to keep the tree upright. Additionally, if you have fragile or breakable ornaments, keep them towards the top of the tree, where they're harder to reach. Put your sturdier ornaments on the bottom, such as wood or metal. Likewise, place any tinsel, holly, and mistletoe out of your pet's reach. If accidentally ingested, they can cause serious health problems.

  • Food
    It's tempting to share your holiday leftovers with your pets, but be careful not to share the wrong ones. Keep anything chocolate away from them, along with alcoholic beverages, foods with salt, or any candy sweetened with Xylitol. Also, avoid giving them anything with raisins or nuts, which are often staples of holiday treats. Foods with seeds or pits, such as cherries, apricots, and especially citrus fruits, should also be kept out of reach. If you're having turkey or other poultry, completely remove any bones and gristle before giving it to your pets. Finally, many pets are drawn to unbaked bread dough. Don't let them have any. The yeasted dough can rise in their stomachs, rupturing internal organs and even causing seizures.

  • Guests
    If you're having people over to your new home, make sure both your guests and your pets are OK with one another first. Clearly tell your guests what kind of pets you have and how many, in case anyone has allergies or other aversions. It can also be overwhelming for pets to meet strangers, especially many of them, at once. Is your pet typically friendly toward other people? Do they get nervous? Do they show aggression? If you're unsure, maybe start with one or two guests to see how they react before throwing a big party. And be sure to have a room for them that's off limits to guests and outfitted with things like blankets and their favorite toys, where your pet can retreat for some peace if the guests become too overwhelming.

  • Noise
    The holidays can get loud. Especially on New Year's Eve, there are often fireworks, noisemakers, shouting, and other sounds that may distress your pet. Even if you're not having people over, the noise around the neighborhood can cause anxiety attacks. Their first instinct will often be to run away, so keep them in a secure place. And in case they do get loose, make sure they have a collar with ID on it: name, address, and phone number, so they can be returned to you safely.

When looking at Lafayette open houses, it's important to keep your pets' needs in mind, as well as your own. Our Realtors® can help you find the perfect place for your needs, where both you and your pet can spend many happy holidays to come. Contact us to learn more!


Where to Ring in 2023 Around New Orleans

2023 NOLA

No city does celebrations quite like New Orleans, and with New Year's Eve around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning for the big night. Whether you're looking for a fun, early activity with the kids, a gourmet meal with pairings to match, or a celebration that will still be going well after the clock strikes midnight, you won't have to travel far from New Orleans homes for sale to find it. Our Realtors® have all of the exciting details on some of the best New Year's Eve events in New Orleans this year.

  • Big Night New Orleans NYE Gala – 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl., New Orleans, LA 70130
    With world-class food, an open bar, multiple party areas, live performances on multiple stages, and even a silent disco, the Big Night New Orleans New Year's Eve Gala offers everything you need to welcome 2023 in one convenient, festive location. Reservations are suggested, and guests for this event must be 21 or older.

  • Zoo Year's Eve – 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70118
    The youngest members of the family will love ringing in 2023 with the Zoo Year's Eve celebration at the Audubon Zoo, and parents will love that this celebration happens at noon, leaving plenty of time for other activities. There will be music, games, and prizes for the kids throughout the morning, followed by the big New Year's countdown at noon.

  • Allstate Sugar Bowl NYE Parade – Marigny/Bywater & French Quarter, New Orleans, LA 70130
    If you're a college football fan counting down the seconds until the Sugar Bowl, why not start the day by celebrating with the Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year's Eve Parade? This Mardi Gras-themed parade winds its way through some of your favorite New Orleans neighborhoods before wrapping up on Canal Street. The parade lasts from 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM, and it's well worth finding your spot along the route early to enjoy the best views.

  • NYE Gala on the Riverboat City of New Orleans – 400 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    What could be better than spending New Year's Eve on the Mississippi River, with fireworks and starlight in the sky above? You can look forward to that stunning scenery and so much more with the New Year's Eve Gala on the Riverboat City of New Orleans. Get ready for a night of dinner, dancing, delicious drinks, and unforgettable views.

  • NYE at the Riverview Room – 600 Decatur St., 4th Floor of Jax Brewery, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Billed as the "Times Square of the South" celebration, New Year's Eve at the Riverview Room offers a full evening of fun capped off with incredible views of the NYE midnight ball drop and the fantastic fireworks over the river. This is a black-tie event, perfect for an elegant New Year's Eve.

  • New Year's Eve @ BB's Stage Door Canteen – 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    If live music is a must for your New Year's Eve celebration, then you're sure to love spending the evening at the New Year's Eve @ BB's Stage Door Canteen event, which includes lively performances from the Victory Swing Orchestra and a decadent midnight chocolate buffet. Enjoy a 4-course dinner, then dance the night away while you wait for midnight.

Searching for a new home in 2023? Our team is here to help with New Orleans open houses for you to explore and so much more. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the New Orleans, LA area.


Holiday Foods to Try in NOLA

New Orleans Holiday

'Tis the season for excellent holiday foods! As maybe the top culinary destination in the country, New Orleans has memorable food in every season. Restaurants actually step up their game during the holidays, when our Realtors® look forward to sampling these delightful treats in between New Orleans open houses.

  • Compère Lapin - 535 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Compère Lapin
    is a mischievous rabbit who is the main character in several Caribbean and Creole folktales. It's also the name of an acclaimed restaurant owned by Nina Compton, winner of multiple James Beard awards. Chef Compton has elevated the simple buttermilk biscuit, a Southern classic, to a new level. These tasty treats are served with honey butter and bacon butter for a sweet and savory combo. Hours are 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily except Saturday when closing is 11 p.m.

  • Jack Rose - 2031 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130
    Find out why Emery Whalen and Brian Landry, founders of Jack Rose, were recently named Restauranteurs of the Year by the Louisiana Restaurant Association. A wonderful mix of seasonal and Cajun flavors is showcased in their popular royal red shrimp and fusilli, which is also a staple of their holiday menu. While the dish is perfect for sharing, no one will judge if you keep it all for yourself. Jack Rose is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Brunch is served 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekends.

  • Bar Marilou - 544 Carondelet St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    New Orleans proudly displays elements of its French heritage. It's only fitting that Bar Marilou, a colorful spot tucked inside a former library, was designed by Paris-based Quixotic Projects for their first venture in the U.S. The star of the Continental-style small plates menu is the signature, Pommes Marilou. These crispy potatoes are topped with an elegant dollop of crème fraîche and bowfin caviar. Hours are 4 p.m. - midnight Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. - 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

  • Tujague's Restaurant - 429 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    NOLA history is alive and well at Tujague's Restaurant, celebrating its 160th birthday in 2018. One of their traditions back in the earlier days was the lavish Butcher's Breakfast, which was the seed that grew into the brunch of today. During the holidays, Tujague's serves a traditional four-course réveillon menu. Customers keep coming back for the pan-roasted Maple Leaf duck, which is a delicious seasonal alternative to beef, chicken, and seafood. Tujague's is open daily from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., with extended hours until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Brunch is served on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

  • Antoine's Restaurant - 713 Saint Louis St., New Orleans, LO 70130
    What would holidays in New Orleans be without the creative libations the city is known for? Café Brûlot Diabolique, as served at iconic Antoine's Restaurant, is part drink, part theater. The mixture of chicory coffee, cinnamon, Triple Sec, and brandy is set aflame tableside, usually with the lights dimmed to boost the dramatic effect. Although Café Brûlot Diabolique is served year-round, it's particularly appropriate during the holidays, when the festive atmosphere adds to the enjoyment. 

No matter what time of year, we have our fingers on the pulse of the market for New Orleans homes for sale. Whether you're buying or selling, contact us at Latter & Blum to get started.


Plan Ahead for Jingle on the Boulevard

Nola Holiday Parade

Our Realtors® know that choosing a home isn't just about the property. New Orleans homes for sale are beautiful, but the community you are becoming a part of is just as important. New Orleans is truly unique, and the holiday season gives you even more opportunities to see why it's so special.

If you're in town for New Orleans open houses, why not stay and sample one of the most beloved local events of the year? It may not be as famous as Mardi Gras, but families look forward to the annual Jingle on the Boulevard Parade every bit as much. 

It's a parade like no other, and there's still time to get ready!

Jingle on the Boulevard is Back on December 17 in New Orleans East

Jingle on the Boulevard is a huge holiday parade that attracts visitors from across the state. It's not just big, it's "New Orleans big." And this year, it's back and better than ever. With a route passing through historic Crowder Boulevard, Hayne Boulevard, and Read Boulevard, it is a sight to behold!

You don't have to go to New York City for a one-of-a-kind Christmas: It's right here in New Orleans.

Although this is only the fifth year for Jingle on the Boulevard, it has already become an annual tradition supported by nonprofits and neighbors all over New Orleans.

What Can You Expect to See at Jingle on the Boulevard?

Above all, Jingle on the Boulevard is an event for the kids. Not just the ones who will be watching but those who get to participate. Dance teams and marching bands from all over the city practice all year to be a part of this positive and uplifting event. They are truly the stars of the show!

Participants who arrive early on the parade route will be in the best position for a classic souvenir throw, where they can catch beads and other trinkets. These will be thrown by the bands, the celebrity guests, and no doubt by Old St. Nick himself when he makes an appearance at the end of the parade.

The parade starts at noon, so there's plenty of time to get situated somewhere with a terrific view. In addition to Santa Claus himself, other holiday characters like Santa's elves and reindeer will pay a visit. Holiday hits will be played throughout the parade.

The parade's roster is completely full this year, including dance teams, marching bands, and vehicle sign-ups. You don't have to do anything special to participate as a spectator: Just bring your loved ones and be prepared for fun surprises. You never know who else might turn up!

Jingle on the Boulevard is a community-driven effort led by volunteers. Fees paid by the organizations that participate go in part to benefit The Marine Foundation Toys for Tots. Although applications have closed, you can still bring a toy for charitable drop-off on the day of the parade.

This is just another example of the "can't miss" events you'll only find here in New Orleans. Civic spirit and community pride are alive and well in The Crescent City, and folks here are always ready to welcome a new neighbor. It could be you!

Contact us at Latter & Blum to find out more about New Orleans real estate opportunities.


Alexandria Holiday Shopping Guide

Alexandria Holiday Shopping

Alexandria's merchants have something for everyone on your shopping list. Whether you prefer to shop online or in person, use this guide from our Realtors® to find all the holiday gifts you need from small businesses right here in town.

  • Alexandria House of Flowers - 2203 Rapides Ave., Alexandria, LA 71301
    The gift of flowers never goes out of style, and with some help from Alexandria House of Flowers, your gift is sure to be a hit! Shop their selection of seasonal favorites, or check out their bouquets and arrangements specifically made for the holidays. Another option is to sign up your loved one for their floral subscription service, which allows you to give the gift of local flowers for months to come! Choose how many months you'd like these flowers to be delivered, and the florists will send a unique arrangement.

  • Addie's Boutique - 4002 Jackson St. Unit A, Alexandria, LA, 71303
    Whether you want to gift clothing and accessories this holiday season or are shopping for yourself and looking for a new outfit to impress at holiday festivities, Addie's Boutique has you covered. This boutique offers personal styling tips along with your shopping experience that helps ensure you'll love what you get from this local store. Browse their selection of clothing, shoes, accessories, and gifts online or at their Jackson Street location. 

  • Toy Zone - 3437 Masonic Dr., Alexandria, LA 71301
    There's something extra special about a toy store during the holiday season! Shop for the kids on your list when you stop by the Toy Zone. This store has two locations in Louisiana, with the Alexandria location housed in the Alexandria Mall. Stop in to browse their full selection or order from their convenient website. Stock up on toys for everyone you need to shop for and enjoy free shipping when your order is over $50.

  • Day's Southern Pecan Company - 727 MacArthur Dr., Alexandria, LA 71303
    Few things please a crowd like candy! And Day's Southern Pecan Company has a huge selection to choose from. Their online shop offers treats like pecan brittle, mini pecan pies, and chocolate-dipped pecans. Or opt for their plain pecans and let your giftee decide how they'd like to use this delicious ingredient. Gift tins are also available so you can give a selection of favorites for the holiday season!

  • River Oaks Square Arts Center - 1330 2nd St., Alexandria, LA 71301
    Give truly one-of-a-kind gifts this holiday season when you stop by the Gift Shop at River Oaks. Located in downtown Alexandria, River Oaks Square Arts Center features a gift shop with unique finds sourced from resident, local, regional and national artists. Their selection is always changing! Other gift ideas that support this center include gifting a membership or attending their 2022 Porch Sale.

Alexandria's small businesses are already thriving, and with support from people like you, they'll continue to grow and expand. Why not get closer to the action? Contact us today, and let us show you a few of the beautiful Alexandria homes for sale that we have available in the area. Or stop by our Alexandria open houses. We know we'll find you a place you'll fall in love with. 


5 Lake Charles Holiday Events

Lake Charles Holiday

From sparkling lights to sugary cookies, the holiday season is a time of fun and festivities. You might be looking forward to a big dinner with family or a quiet evening of wrapping gifts. If you're looking for a community-oriented way to get into the holiday spirit, Lake Charles has a lot to offer. Here are some of the top holiday events our Realtors® recommend checking out. 

  1. The Nutcracker: 4205 Ryan St., Lake Charles, LA 70605
    Attend the Lake Area Ballet Theater's performance of The Nutcracker, presented at Tritico Theater at McNeese State University. There will be two public performances this year, one on Friday, December 9th, and another on Saturday, December 10th. 

    The Nutcracker is one of the best-known classic ballets set to the music of Tchaikovsky. It tells the story of a girl named Clara whose nutcracker comes alive during the holidays. Appropriate for all ages, this ballet is sure to put you in a festive mood. 

  2. Elf The Musical: 1 Reid St., Lake Charles, LA 70601
    If you love Elf, the movie here is your chance to see it in a whole new way. Elf The Musical is being performed at the ACTS Theater with recurring performances every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from December 2nd - December 18th. 

    Elf tells the story of Buddy, an oversized elf who learns he is a human with human parents. He sets off from the North Pole to New York City, where he meets his real father and learns a lot about family and the magic of Christmas. This musical is sure to make you laugh and cry.

  3. Santa's Hot Chocolate Run: 800 Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Are you looking for a more active way to celebrate the holidays? Santa's Hot Chocolate Run is a 5-mile race open to runners and walkers of all abilities. There is also a 1-mile fun run for kids. The race begins at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Lakeshore Drive.

    There is a $35 advanced registration fee. Or, you can register on the day of the race for $40. All participants will get a free t-shirt and post-race hot chocolate.

  4. Snow Village and Christmas Card Workshop: 1001 Ryan St., Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Visit the Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center between December 2nd and 21st, and you'll discover a stunning little village at the Snow Village and Christmas Card Workshop. Admire more than 700 lighted houses, skate on a skating rink, and make some crafty cards.

    This event will take place Tuesdays - Saturdays from 10 am - 6 pm. Stop by once, or come back again and again. All ages are welcome, and there is no fee to attend.

  5. A Very Merry Holiday Symphony: 900 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Take a break from looking at Lake Charles homes for sale, and enjoy a performance by the Lake Charles Symphony. This holiday-themed performance will feature all of the classics. As the performance ends, Santa will fly in to take family photos.

    A Very Merry Holiday Symphony is scheduled for 6:30 pm on December 10th, 2022. It will be held in the Buccaneer Room of the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Lake Charles is a lovely place to live around the holidays, thanks to community events like these. If you're thinking of moving to the area, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll help you find the best Lake Charles open houses and navigate the local real estate market with ease.


2022 Holiday Home Tours in New Orleans

Nola Holiday Homes

NOLA's stunning architecture becomes even more impressive during the holidays. Our real estate agents eagerly anticipate the visual delights on display at these holiday home tours taking place around New Orleans homes for sale.

  • PRC Annual Holiday Home Tour - The Rink Shopping Center, 2727 Prytania St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    Since 1974, the Preservation Resource Center has been dedicated to the promotion and preservation of NOLA's historic architecture. After a two-year hiatus, the PRC Annual Holiday Home Tour is back for its 47th year. View six private homes and one bonus property in the iconic Garden District done up in their holiday finery. Live musical performances, along with book signings and design talks, add to the festivities. Be sure to visit the holiday boutique, featuring handmade art, clothing, and other gift items. Tours run from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11. Tickets are $45.

  • Patio Planters Holiday Home Tour - The Cabildo, 701 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130 
    There's always something happening in the French Quarter, and the holidays are no exception. Patio Planters Holiday Home Tour offers a delightful glimpse into stunning homes in this historic district. As a volunteer organization focused on the promotion and beautification of the French Quarter, Patio Planters sponsors this self-guided tour. Explore the various architectural and decorating styles found in the featured homes. Proceeds from the tour support the popular Caroling in Jackson Square event that takes place later that evening. Tours run from noon - 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 18. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the event. 

  • Holiday Traditions and Christmas Tree Lighting - New Orleans Spring Fiesta Headquarters, 826 Saint Ann St., New Orleans, LA 70116
    New Orleans is a true melting pot of various cultures. Learn about their fascinating stories during a courtyard tour of homes with Holiday Traditions and Christmas Tree Lighting. Since food is a beloved part of every holiday, there will also be a tasting of Creole and Cajun dishes. The event is sponsored by the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association, which, despite the name, promotes NOLA's cultural heritage year-round. Holiday Traditions is scheduled for the weekends of December 3-4, and 9-10 from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Admission is $30, with an additional $20 fee for the optional food tasting.

  • 19th-Century Christmas - Gallier House, 1132 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70116
    Examining traditions of the past often adds a valuable perspective to the present. Take a trip back in time to a 19th-Century Christmas at Gallier House. Once home to architect James Gallier, Jr. and his family, Gallier House incorporates classic NOLA architecture along with features that were ahead of their time in the 19th century. The centerpiece of the tour is a 19th-century Creole-style Christmas tree. Topics include holiday meals and decorating during the time period. Hermann-Grima House at 820 St. Louis St., the sister museum to Hallier House, will also be spotlighting historic holiday traditions. 19th-Century Christmas is open 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. daily from November 30 - January 9. Admission is $16 for adults and $13 for ages 8-18. 

New Orleans open houses are a great way to find your own perfect home. Contact us at Latter & Blum to learn more.


7 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Holiday Home Selling Tips

With the winter months quickly approaching, you may wonder if it's possible to sell your home during the holiday season. Selling a home during the holidays is possible and even has a few advantages over selling at other times of the year, including less competition from other properties and homebuyers that tend to be more serious about buying a home. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips when selling your home this holiday season. 

  1. Price Your Home Competitively
    Pricing your home appropriately is one of the most effective strategies for selling your home quickly around the holiday season. Instead of pricing your home high to "test the waters" and then having to reduce the price, start with a more competitive price. 
  1. Create a Video Tour of Your Home
    A busy calendar and less free time may mean that homebuyers are less likely to venture out and explore Lafayette homes for sale. Make sure that you take the time to create a thorough video tour of your home. This allows potential buyers to explore your home's spaces and features when it's convenient for their schedule.
  1. Embrace the Coziness of the Holiday Season
    See that your home feels like a cheery, inviting haven for homebuyers. Consider lighting a fire, playing soft music, and using staging to fashion spaces that appear intimate and homey on a brisk winter day. 
  1. Focus on Curb Appeal
    Maximize your home's curb appeal so that it creates a favorable first impression with homebuyers. If buyers are deciding whether to make time for exploring Lafayette open houses, a home that looks appealing from the exterior is more likely to attract their interest. Touch up any cracked or damaged paint, clean your gutters, remove dead vegetation, and rake up your leaves. Add a doormat, wreath, and potted plant to your entryway so that it looks welcoming. 
  1. Decorate with Classic Holiday Decor
    It's fine, and even encouraged, to decorate for the holidays, but you want your decor to appeal to as many homebuyers as possible. You also want to see that your decorations enhance your home's features. If you have a gorgeous arch or lovely fireplace mantle, garland is a terrific way to highlight these features. Setting up a Christmas tree is a fast, simple way to add holiday cheer to your home's living room. Stick with classic white lights and coordinating ornaments; keep overly personal decorations in storage, as they can make it difficult for prospective buyers to envision themselves in your home. 
  1. Have a Plan for Keeping Your Home Looking Its Best
    During the busy holiday season, keeping your home ready for impromptu showings can be a little tricky. This makes it essential to have a plan for quickly tidying up your home. Consider having a plastic storage container where you can stow personal items, like shoes, coats, homework, and personal electronics so that they're out of sight. Make it a point to vacuum and sweep your home daily so you aren't trying to squeeze in a marathon cleaning session before the showing. 
  1. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
    An experienced real estate agent understands the nuances of selling a home during the holidays. They'll assist you with marketing your home so that you're more likely to attract serious homebuyers who are ready to find a property. 

Following a few simple tips will make it easier and less stressful to sell your home during the holidays. Ready to list your home? Contact us to get started!


    Baton Rouge's Festival of Lights

    Baton Rouge Lights

    This December, our real estate agents are excited to welcome back Baton Rouge's oldest holiday tradition, the Festival of Lights! There's simply no better way to kick off the holiday season. 

    If you're in the area checking out Baton Rouge open houses, you'll definitely want to make time to experience all the festivities. Read on to learn more about this year's Festival of Lights celebration!

    Festival of Lights 2022

    Every year, the Festival of Lights transforms the night sky above baton rouge into a sparkly winter wonderland. The 2022 Festival of Lights takes place on Friday, December 2nd, beginning at 4 pm. The event is open to the public free of charge, and all are welcome to attend. 

    The festivities take place at North Boulevard Town Square. This spectacular green space lies between North Boulevard and River Road in the heart of Baton Rouge and is a year-round setting for events and festivals just minutes from many Baton Rouge homes for sale

    What to Expect

    The Festival of Lights is a little different every year, but each occurrence marks the official start of the holiday season in Baton Rouge. There's always a good time to be had! Here's what you can look forward to: 

    • Tree Lighting and Fireworks - Mayor Broome will begin counting down to the lighting of the Baton Rouge Christmas Tree at 6:20 pm! Every year, the lighting of the 25-foot tree with 250,000 sparkling lights is a true highlight of the evening. The tree lighting will be followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the Mississippi River, so be sure to pick a spot with a view!

    • Santa Makes an Appearance - None other than Santa Claus himself will assist Mayor Broome with the lighting of the Christmas tree. Afterward, guests will be invited to take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Old State Capitol from 6:30 to 8:30, followed by a Christmas film in the old House Chamber. 

    • Snow Village and Ice Skating - Yes, you read that right! Ice skating in Baton Rouge! 10 tons of real snow will be brought to Repentance Park (located between the Old State Capitol and River Center), where kids aged 5 to 15 will be able to go snow tubing starting at 5 pm. An ice skating rink will be located on the first floor of the River Center Plaza and will be open to kids 5 to 10 years old, starting at 4 pm. 

    • Artist Village - The Festival of Lights also brings an opportunity to do a little shopping! Numerous local vendors will be on hand at the Artist Village with a wide variety of arts, crafts, and handmade goods of all kinds. There will also be a bake sale, food vendors, and more than enough hot chocolate to go around! 

    Contact us today to learn more about celebrating the holidays in Louisiana. If you're looking for your dream home, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find it in the Baton Rouge area!


    Réveillon Tradition: Holiday Dining in NOLA

    NOLA Dining

    Are you and your family looking for a new holiday tradition to share? Our Realtors® will be skipping the cooking and gathering around the table at these amazing restaurants around New Orleans homes for sale.

    What Is Réveillon Dining?

    During the 19th century, Europeans celebrated Christmas with a huge holiday feast to mark the end of a day-long fast. Creole families brought this tradition, known as "Réveillon" after the French word for "awakening," along to New Orleans for their post-midnight mass dinner. 

    Traditional dishes on the réveillon table included chicken and oyster gumbo, game pies, and elaborate desserts. The custom faded out by the 1940s, but interest was sparked again during the 1990s. In a nod to contemporary dining preferences, réveillon is now served at upscale restaurants during more conventional hours.

    Where to Find Holiday Réveillon Dinners

    Holiday réveillon menus include four to eight courses. Traditional réveillon features ingredients that would have been available to Creole families during the 1800s, while contemporary réveillon incorporates molecular gastronomy, small plates, and other modern culinary techniques.

    Traditional Réveillon

    • Tujague's - 429 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70130
      It's appropriate that Tujague's, the second-oldest restaurant in NOLA, is offering a traditional réveillon menu. Dine on classic dishes such as gumbo, double-cut pork chops with oyster dressing, and pan-roasted Maple Leaf duck with Louisiana citrus dry cherry demi-glace. Price is $64 for four courses. Dinner is served 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, with extended hours until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Réveillon is available on Christmas Eve.

    • Court of Two Sisters - 613 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130
      Dine at the French Quarter's largest outdoor courtyard at Court of Two Sisters. Their réveillon menu starts with classic turtle soup and concludes with the spectacular tableside presentation of bananas Foster. Réveillon is served nightly, including Christmas Eve, from 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Price is $50 for the four-course meal.

    Contemporary Réveillon

    • Commander's Palace - 1403 Washington Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130
      Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse are two of the iconic chefs who made their name at Commander's Palace. While the restaurant has been a NOLA landmark since 1893, they're serving an updated réveillon menu with elegant touches such as whipped duck liver beignets and crispy Gulf oysters with Worcestershire and horseradish demi-glace. The six-course meal is $135. Visit the website for hours.

    • Seaworthy - 630 Carondelet St., New Orleans, LA 70130
      As the name implies, seafood plays a major role in the contemporary réveillon menu at Seaworthy. The four-course meal, priced at $65, begins with their popular oyster shooters, and the entrée offers a choice of mussels & fideos, stuffed clams, and a whole branzino for two. Réveillon is served nightly, including Christmas Eve, starting at 4 p.m.

    • The Bower - 1320 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130
      When you combine modern farm-to-table cuisine with traditional réveillon dining, the result is the holiday menu at The Bower. Dishes such as cabbage and potato waffle, rabbit confit arancini, and mushroom bruschetta are inspired by seasonal ingredients from local farmers and suppliers. Price is $75 for five courses. Hours are 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    New Orleans open houses are especially festive this time of year. Contact us at Latter & Blum for more information.


    Holiday Events and Markets Near Lafayette

    Lafayette Holidays

    Are you ready for a helping of holiday cheer? Once again, Lafayette is pulling out all the stops for a bright and festive season. Mark your calendar for these special events and markets that are recommended by our Realtors®.

    • Christmas at Couret Holiday Market - Couret Farms, 300 Flores Ct., Lafayette, LA 70507
      Take in the rich historical ambiance around Lafayette homes for sale when you attend the Christmas at Couret Holiday Market. The stunning grounds of Couret Farms make a beautiful backdrop as you shop for gifts from more than 60 vendors on hand. Products for sale range from clothing and jewelry to delicious baked goods. Bring the kids to have their picture taken with Santa. When you're ready for a break, enjoy lunch from one of the area's popular food trucks as you listen to live music. Hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 26, and admission is free.

    • Dolly's Lemonade Holiday Market - RustiQue Rose Event Centre, 200 Midway St., Lafayette, LA 70506
      While it's not quite as seasonal as hot chocolate, Dolly's Lemonade Holiday Market is as festive as it gets. Dolly makes the best old-fashioned lemonade around, but she'll be sharing center stage with numerous local vendors selling adult and children's clothing, jewelry, bath products, and personal items that make great gifts. Bring your appetite and get your fill of all the tasty food and beverages that will be available as well. The market takes place on Sunday, December 4, from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., and admission is free.

    • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical - Heyman Center, 1373 S. College Rd., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Dr. Seuss's beloved holiday classic was turned into an animated TV special and a live-action movie. Now you can experience the magic of Whoville firsthand with How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. The show played to record-setting audiences on Broadway, and now it's taking the stage at the Heyman Center. Showtimes are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 12. Tickets are $36-$75.

    • A Merry and Bright Holiday Series - Parc International, 200 Garfield St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Brightly-lit trees, caroling, and parades: all the traditional holiday elements are part of A Merry and Bright Holiday Series. Since 2019, Parc International in downtown Lafayette has hosted this series of family-friendly events designed to share the holiday spirit. Festivities kick off at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, with the Lighting of the Tree Concert. The Christmas Carnival, featuring Santa's parade, takes place the next day at 2 p.m. Candlelight Christmas sing-along is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, while a screening of The Polar Express is scheduled for Saturday, December 10 at 3:30 p.m.

    • Fa-La-Lla-Ma Family Day - Painting with a Twist, 107 Energy Pkwy., Suite B, Lafayette, LA 70508
      Don't feel up to fighting the Black Friday crowds? Spend a relaxing and creative afternoon at Fa-La-Lla-Ma Family Day. You and the kids can each put your own spin on a whimsical portrait of a llama wearing a Santa hat and surrounded by holiday lights. The event takes place on Friday, November 25, from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Admission is $29 per person.

    Lafayette open houses are always in season. Contact us at Latter & Blum for more information.


    Halloween Decorating Trends for 2022

    Halloween Decor

    Halloween is just around the corner, so it's time to get your home ready for those ghosts and goblins who will be knocking at your door. With Halloween decorating trends from our Realtors®, you can create an atmosphere where yummy treats and spooky creatures come together for a fun-filled night.

    Whether you're planning a Halloween party, a night of scary movies, or just passing out candy, you can make your night more festive with decorations. Take a look at some Halloween decorating ideas that are sure to add an extra layer of spooky fun.

    Create a Spooky Yard

    Whether you're into fright night or something a little less spooky, start by creating a Halloween atmosphere. It's easy to find a variety of Halloween decorations that you can add to your yard:

    • Paper ghosts

    • Woden bats

    • Fuzzy black spiders

    • Plastic skeletons and skulls

    • Halloween lanterns and string lights

    To create an eerie atmosphere, place some foam tombstones in the yard and hook up a fog machine, but be careful not to cause any tripping hazards that can injure little trick-or-treaters.

    Invite Goblins to Your Door

    To set the stage, hang a Halloween wreath on the front door and black paper bats from the porch ceiling, then place different-sized pumpkins and gourds on the porch, steps, and railings. To dim the light, replace your porch light with a black bulb, then scatter jack-o-lanterns filled with candles around the porch and along the front walkway. For extra fright, buy a life-size skeleton and put him in a rocking chair on the porch, then add a spooky black cat and some scary sound effects.

    Make Special Treats

    Halloween is meant for kids, so why not give them some special treats with Halloween decorations to take home? You can decorate a special treat bag filled with Halloween candy, favors, toys, and surprises they will love. Along with safely packaged candy, you can add Halloween stickers, fuzzy bats and spiders, finger puppets, and small coloring books to treat bags. If you're creative, you can include a hand-painted burlap trick-or-treat bag they can use next Halloween.

    Throw a Spooktacular Party

    If you're hosting a Halloween party, get your house ready with decorations that set the mood. First, pick a color palette that works with your home's interior. Choose limited colors like black and white, black and orange, or black and gold, so it's easier to decorate with pumpkins, flowers, candles, plates and napkins, and special Halloween effects.

    If your party extends to the backyard, add some comfortable seating, Halloween lanterns, spooky string lights, and spider webs in the bushes. If the weather permits, consider some outdoor games like pumpkin tic-tac-toe, jack-o-lantern can toss, and a candy corn pinata that's sure to top off the night.

    Decorate a Halloween Tree

    Although it may be a little unconventional, decorating a Halloween tree at home can be a lot of fun. If you have an artificial tree or even a large floor plant, you can create a Halloween tradition this year.

    You can decorate the tree with orange lights, black and white ribbons, straw brooms, paper pumpkins, skeletons, spiders, bats, candy, or whatever else you choose to celebrate the season. If you have kids, this is a great way to kick off Halloween with age-appropriate decorations and activities.

    If you're thinking about a new home in the Lafayette area, contact us to explore Lafayette homes for sale and Lafayette open houses that fit your schedule.


    Baton Rouge Restaurants for Holiday Dining

    Baton Rouge Holiday

    A delicious meal is a key part of the holiday celebration for most people. But what if you're not in the mood to cook? Perhaps you just moved and your kitchen still isn't unpacked. Whatever the reason, it's okay to skip cooking for the holidays. Baton Rouge has lots of lovely restaurants you can order from instead. Here are a few our real estate agents recommend for a special holiday meal.

    • The Little Village: 14241 Airline Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
      The Little Village is an Italian restaurant that first opened in 1945. A staple of the Baton Rouge area, they take great pride in their ingredients and their creations. This would be a great place to visit with a family on the holidays as the menu truly offers something for everyone.

      Anyone in the mood for pasta will love the baked lasagna, linguine, and clams, or pasta Pomodoro. The Little Village also makes a wonderful chicken piccata and a selection of veal dishes including veal piccata, veal Sorrentino, and veal osso bucco.

    • Tallulah Crafted Food and Wine Bar: 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
      Nothing says holiday dining like a perfectly paired glass of wine. At least, that's the spirit at Tallulah Crafted Food and Wine Bar. This upscale, yet approachable restaurant is located inside the Rennaissance Baton Rouge Hotel and would be the perfect choice if you're meeting some out-of-town guests for a holiday dinner.

      Tallulah usually releases a dedicated holiday menu closer to the occasion. But some of the top choices on their ordinary menu are the pecan wood smoked chicken and the shrimp pasta. 

    • Acme Oyster House: 3535 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
      If you're in the mood for some classic Cajun and Creole cuisine, then Acme Oyster House is the place to go. Their Baton Rouge location is open on Christmas Eve.

      Some favorites here include the char-grilled oysters, craw puppies, and seafood etouffee. Guests also love the New Orleans Medley, which comes with gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, and smoked sausage.

    • Mason's Grill: 13556 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
      Another great choice for families, Mason's Grill is known for its American cuisine with a southern twist. They offer plenty of local beers on tap and have won numerous awards for their tasty cuisine.

      The Cajun ribeye is a must-have at Mason's Grill. You can order it with a side of crawfish etouffee or Cajun shrimp if desired. Guests also enjoy the chicken and waffles, the seafood platter, and the grilled ahi tuna platter. There's even a kids' menu with options like fried shrimp with fries, and ham and cheese sandwiches.

    • Hunan Chinese Restaurant: 4215 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
      If you love Chinese cuisine, then Hunan Chinese Restaurant is a great place to dine for the holidays. They were recognized by The Advocate and are widely acclaimed for their incredible dishes.

      A favorite at Hunan Chinese Restaurant is the hot and sour pork. It's tender and bursting with flavor. They also serve Peking Duck, a feast befitting of a holiday celebration. 

    Baton Rouge's restaurant scene is always a fantastic option! If you're still looking for Baton Rouge homes for sale, feel free to contact us. We can tell you more about our professional real estate services.


    5 Things You'll Love About Baton Rouge During the Holidays

    Baton Rouge Holidays

    Baton Rouge is a vibrant area with plenty to do all year long! This is especially true during the holiday season when so many traditions fill up the calendar. Opportunities abound to explore the neighborhood, feel festive, and maybe even meet new people. Here are five things you'll love about Baton Rouge during the holidays.

    1. Meet Santa - Santa Rocks the Rowe - 10000 Perkins Rowe, Baton Rouge LA 70810
      Santa Rocks the Rowe has taken this holiday tradition and turned it into an event with something for everyone. On Saturday, December 11th, starting at 5 pm, Santa will be at Perkins Rowe shopping mall for photo opportunities. Plus, there will also be live music, face painting, letters to Santa, games, and more. It's a fun, fantastic, free event that the whole family can enjoy near Baton Rouge homes for sale.

    2. Catch a Christmas Parade - 2021 Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade - Downtown Baton Rouge
      The Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade is an annual Baton Rouge tradition. Sadly, it had to be put on hold last year, but this year it's back, in all of its holiday glory! The event starts on December 11th with a Battle of the Bands at 4 pm, featuring local marching bands displaying their talents. Then comes the parade itself, where beautifully designed floats represent some of the local businesses and organizations in the area. The parade will be broadcast on TV throughout the season, but it's much better live - and a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

    3. Perfect Your Holiday Baking - Leisure Classes at Louisiana Culinary Institute - 10550 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
      One of the best parts of the holiday season is all the fantastic food! Book a leisure class at Louisiana Culinary Institute and take your holiday menu to the next level. Current class offerings include Warm Winter Breads, Cider-Braised Chicken Dinner + Dessert, and Holiday Buche de Noel. Find a class that works for your schedule or gift a cooking class for friends and family to partake in the fun.  

    4. Festive Local Shows - The Nutcracker - A Tale from the Bayou - 275 South River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
      Baton Rouge offers many chances to enjoy a live theater performance. Add some holiday fun to your calendar when you check out this performance from the Baton Rouge Ballet! This Christmas tradition from the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre brings Louisiana style and flavor to the beloved holiday classic. The Nutcracker - A Tale from the Bayouperforms on December 18th and 19th at the River Center Ballroom. This dynamic, multimedia performance is a must-see for any ballet lover.

    5. Shop Local - Holiday Mini Market - 1509 Government St, Baton RougeLA 70802
      We love to shop local whenever possible and the Baton Rouge area is home to many talented makers and crafters. Each Saturday leading up to Christmas the Holiday Mini Market will be offering one-of-a-kind finds made right here in Louisiana. Be sure to stop by, support local businesses, and score memorable gifts for everyone on your list. 

    This is just a taste of what Baton Rouge has to offer during the holidays. Our real estate agents can help you get familiar with the area and show you where some of the other fun events are this season. Contact us if you're ready to make Baton Rouge your new home, and let us help you find your dream house in time for the holidays.


    Holiday Light Displays Near Lake Charles

    Holiday Lights Lake Charles

    We don't expect snow here in Louisiana for the holidays, but that won't dampen our festive spirit one bit! In fact, you might notice that folks in Louisiana take their holiday lights and decorations to the next level. 

    We have some of the best holiday light shows around Lake Charles and the surrounding areas, and our real estate agents are ready to celebrate. If you're looking for a display of holiday lights, you have a lot of great options in Southwest Louisiana. 

    • Lake Charles Civic Center - 900 N Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601
      Every year, the Lake Charles Civic Center hosts one of the most spectacular light shows in Louisiana. Located a stone's throw from many Lake Charles homes for sale, the Civic Center is nestled on 64 acres overlooking the lake and hosts the annual Light up the Lake Christmas Celebration. This year's event kicks off at 6:30 pm on December 4th, with a street parade through Downtown Lake Charles followed by a lighting ceremony on the Civic Center front lawn. After that, there's a boat parade and spectacular fireworks show over the lake.

    • Cruze's Christmas Light Show - 2193 W Armand St, Moss Bluff, LA 70611
      The annual display of lights at Cruze's Swings & Things in Moss Bluff, LA has become a beloved tradition in the local community. The folks at Cruze's string up around 15,000 lights every year, purely for the enjoyment of anyone who passes by. The light show usually starts around dusk every day and is accompanied by Christmas music played by 88.1 FM. You definitely need to swing by and check out Cruze's Christmas Light Show this year!

    • Prien Lake Park - 3700 W Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70605
      If you're driving around the Lake Charles area looking at all the amazing light displays, be sure to include Prien Lake Park on your route. This beautiful area on the eastern shore of Prien Lake will be decked out in holiday lights this season, just as it has in years past. The decorations typically last from the end of November through New Year's and include everything from Santa and his elves to a nativity scene and towering illuminated Christmas tree. 

    • Christmas on the Hill - 2151 Lynn Trahan Rd, Sulphur, LA 70663
      A family tradition in the community of Sulphur since 2006, the Christmas on the Hill light display just gets better every year. It's an incredible, ever-evolving display of string lights, giant candy canes, illuminated arches, video, and animation. The entire display is set to music, which you can listen to as you watch by tuning your car radio to 100.1 FM. The entire display takes weeks to create and can be seen on any night in December. 

    • Shell Beach Drive Christmas Lights - Shell Beach Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601
      The lovely historic homes along Shell Beach Drive in Lake Charles are known for creating some of the most festive, eye-catching holiday light displays in town. It's a striking waterfront neighborhood in any season, but Shell Beach Drive really comes to life during the holidays. You can stroll down the street and experience the lights any time you want. 

    Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana. It's a great place to enjoy a warm, festive holiday season, and our real estate agents can't wait to help you find your dream home in Lake Charles and the surrounding areas!


    Cajun & Creole Holiday Events 2021

    Holiday Events

    Lafayette is known for its Cajun and Creole influences. In the winter months, these traditions really come alive with many festive celebrations. In fact, there are several Cajun and Creole holiday events that are well worth attending if you're in the area looking at Lafayette homes for sale.

    • Merry & Bright: Downtown Lafayette
      Merry & Bright is a collection of Christmas and holiday activities taking place in downtown Lafayette throughout the month of December. There will be more than 500 trees decorated for the public to view, and many of them will feature Creole-inspired decorations. Decorated wreaths will also be hung throughout the downtown area.

      Stroll along the sidewalk, admiring the decorations as you go, and don't forget to snap a few photos.

    • Carencro Country Christmas: 5115 N. University Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70506
      This Christmas festival is organized by the Carencro Business Association and is scheduled for December 4th, 2021. It will last from 9 am - 3 pm, featuring various holiday crafts for sale, tasty treats, and performances by local choirs. There's sure to be some Cajun and Creole-inspired music performed.

      This is a great low-key event to attend if you have older loved ones in your family, or if you just want to listen to some holiday music in a quiet atmosphere.

    • Christmas in the Park: 2913 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70506
      Christmas in the Park is an annual Christmas festival held in Moncus Park. This year, it is scheduled for December 16th - 29th. Activities will take place daily between 5:00 and 10:00 pm.

      At Christmas in the Park, you can see live reindeer, enjoy a visit with Santa, and shop at an artisan's market featuring local vendors. There are also a few specialty events scheduled throughout the festival. A Teddy Bear Tea is scheduled for December 18th, and there are several kids' fun runs that take place with characters like Rudolph and Buddy the Elf.

    • Deck the Halls: 412 Travis St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Deck the Halls - A Christmas Home Tour is a magnificent performance by the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra & Conservatory of Music. It's scheduled for Sunday, December 5th between 5:00 and 8:00 pm this year. Tickets are available for $45 per adult and $10 per child. Proceeds go to benefit the Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra.

      At Deck the Halls, you get to see some of Lafayette's most stunning Cajun architecture, all lit up for the holidays. You'll join a group and stroll from home to home, listening to symphony performances along the way. There will be treats and snacks at some of the homes and fun kids' activities at others. 

    Lafayette really comes alive during the holiday season. Each of these local events has something wonderful and unique to offer. If you're thinking of moving to Lafayette or the surrounding areas, contact us soon. Our real estate agents can help you find the perfect home.


    Holiday Light Displays to Visit

    Photo Courtsey of Paul Broussard

    Holiday light displays are a tradition that we look forward to all year round. Each twinkling bulb warms the heart and brings about a sense of awe and wonder no matter how old you are. And if there ever was a year when we could use a little inspiration, kindness, and a reminder of how good life is, it's this year. So, grab your coats and warm up the cocoa, it's Holiday light season again!

    New Orleans

    The Crescent City loves each holiday, and this time of year is certainly no different.

      • Celebration in the Oaks  |  City Park  |  November 26th – January 3rd (closed December 24th and 31st)
      • Supernova on the Greenway  |  Lafitte Greenway | December 9 - 20th 5 - 9pm Wed-Sun


      Baton Rouge

      Just like Mike the Tiger, this season is still roaring with lights.


      The Northshore shines just as bright as its big city neighbor during the holidays.

      • 18th Annual Holiday of Lights  |  21490 Koop Drive, Mandeville  |  December 6 – 14
      • Christmas Under the Stars  |  Griffith Park – Slidell  |  December 6 – 14
      • Bayou Christmas  |  Heritage Park – Slidell   |   December 18 – 23

      Mississippi Gulf Coast

      These gorgeous beaches are lit up with the gift of lights all month!

      • Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival  |  Jones Park – Gulfport  |  November 29 – December 31
      • Christmastime at Beauvoir  |  Beauvoir  |  December 20 – 23
      • Christmas on the Water Boat Parade  |  Biloxi  |  December 7

      Cathy Cusimano - Million in a Month December 2019


      Holiday Gifts for First-Time Homebuyers

      Gifts for Homebuyers

      With the holidays around the corner, it's a good time to start making a list and checking it twice. Our REALTORS® know all about Baton Rouge homes for sale and gift ideas for those who recently purchased them! Get gift inspiration for the first-time homebuyer in your life with our list of top holiday gifts below. 

      1. Tool Box
        If there's one thing a first-time homeowner will appreciate, it's a well-stocked toolkit. Owning a home means taking responsibility for ongoing maintenance and everyday DIY projects. And while we certainly hope your new home doesn't need repairs any time soon, it's always good to be prepared. Choose a toolbox that comes with all the essentials, like pliers, socket wrenches, a hammer, tape measure, drill, and assorted drill bits. 

      2. House Plants
        Nothing brightens up a new home like a few splashes of green. House plants don't just look great. They also improve air quality inside your house. Plus, if you know someone who is buying a house in winter, they'll probably be grateful for some extra greenery. 

      3. Coffee Supplies
        Upgrading from an apartment to a house usually comes with some major kitchen upgrades, so it's also an excellent opportunity to up your coffee game. For the coffee lover on your list, spring for some new and improved coffee-making gear, like a French press or pour-over kit, along with some freshly roasted beans. 

      4. Garden Tools
        For the new homeowner with a green thumb, a fresh set of garden tools offers an opportunity to turn that brand new yard into a dream garden. Even if you know someone who is moving into a second-story condo, some simple tools and pots allow them to create a lovely container garden on the balcony or patio. 

      5. Art
        Nobody likes staring at bare walls. Moving into a new house often means a lot more room, and most new homeowners find themselves desperately looking for fresh artwork to liven up the space. If you know an artist, now is a great time to commission them for a painting. 

      6. Grilling Gear
        Chances are if you know someone who is buying their first home, they're probably eager to host their first backyard barbecue. Help them out with the gift of a new barbecue grill and maybe some grilling tools. Whether it's a small hibachi grill for balcony barbecuing, or a full-sized charcoal or gas grill for the back patio, they'll surely be grateful. Chances are you'll be repaid with an invitation and some great food. 

      7. Gift Cards
        Usually, a gift card is an excellent way of saying, "I give up - pick your gift!" But for the new homeowner on your list, a gift card can be a lifesaver. Owning a home comes with a lot of needs and expenses they may not have even thought of yet, and a gift card to their favorite hardware or home and garden store will allow them to get what they need to make their new house a home. 

      Thinking about becoming a homeowner this holiday season? Contact us to learn more, and talk to one of our REALTORS® about finding your dream home.


      Where to Celebrate the New Year in Baton Rouge

      New Years in Baton Rouge2019 was a fantastic year around Baton Rouge. Whether you are celebrating a new job, new family member, or still searching for the best of the best Baton Rouge homes for sale to settle into, there are plenty of reasons to party. 

      1. New Year's Eve Under the Stars - Tsunami Sushi - 100 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA 7080
        What's better than a tsunami of sushi and champagne at midnight? We can't think of anything, and this New Year's Party is the perfect opportunity to fill up and let off steam at Tsunami Sushi. The evening will feature a 5-course meal, champagne, and one of the best buffets and cash bars in the city. VIP table reservations are recommended, but you are still guaranteed to have a great time with a general admission ticket to this talk of the town terrace party.

      2. 4th Annual Ryan Foret Tradition New Year's Eve Party - Lamar Dixon Expo Center, 9039 Saint Landry Rd, Gonzales, LA 70737  
        Grab the kids and get ready to have some fun at the 4th Annual Ryan Foret Tradition New Years' Eve Party. This family-friendly event will start at 8 pm and go into the early morning hours. There will be plenty of soda, jambalaya, and fun to be had as the live band sets the beat for an evening everyone will enjoy. Those who wish are invited to BYOB as there will not be a cash bar on-site.

      3. Pants Party - L'Auberge Casino & Hotel - 777 L'Auberge Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70820
        Those who get the most out of life are those who live it by the seat of their pants. If you want to be a part of the hottest party in Baton Rouge, then don't wait to get tickets to the Pants Party at L'Auberge Casino. This year's soirée will feature multiple bands that will have your toes tapping 'till dawn. There will be a stunning light show that organizers guarantee will leave you in awe. At $40 a ticket, it is the hottest ticket on the bayou. 

      4. Roaring 20's New Year's Party- Lyceum Ballroom, 124 3rd St, Baton Rouge, 70801
        One of the best things about New Year's Eve is taking a look back at where we've been. It is a great way to see where we're going. You can do just that at the Roaring 20's New Year's Party on January 1st, 2020. It has been 100 years since the roaring 20's swept across America. Much has happened in the century since. However, one thing remains the same; folks still look back to the 1920s when they want to know how to plan the wildest party in town. Space is limited, so get your tickets for this much-anticipated event before the sequins dry on your flapper dress.      

      Our REALTORS® encourage you to contact us for more information about the many sights, attractions, and events you can enjoy around Baton Rouge. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help you discover the many reasons residents celebrate living in this jewel of the South.  


      Shop Small Saturday: Where to Shop in Baton Rouge

      Shop Local Baton Rouge

      Living in Baton Rouge means you're never far from some excellent shopping. Local small businesses are a big part of what makes the city such a popular place to call home. With Shop Small Saturday around the corner, this is the perfect time to get out and explore all the Baton Rouge small businesses in the area. We've got the details on some great Baton Rouge businesses to visit on Shop Small Saturday!

      1. Bella Bella – 3064 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
        Baton Rouge homes for sale
        allow you to visit so many unique local businesses, like the Bella Bella women's clothing shop. Bella Bella stocks all of the latest styles, allowing you to keep up with the latest trends and find the perfect gift for anyone on your list who loves fashion. There's a huge selection of shoes, along with excellent looks for both formal occasions and everyday wear.

      2. The Market at Circa 1857 – 1857 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
        Searching for one-of-a-kind art and amazing antiques? Visit The Market at Circa 1857 to shop for home décor and so much more. Part art gallery, part antique shop, this unique local destination is a fantastic place to grab items for your own home or someone else.

      3. Little Cajun Village – 6490 Hwy 22, Sorrento, LA 70778
        Interested in exploring history and culture as you shop for unique items? The Little Cajun Village will take you back to another era, with great shopping and plenty of fun surprises. This little village features restored Acadian homes, each with a shop inside. You can pick up crafts, spices, artwork, hand-made decorations, and so much more. There's also a delicious little dining spot located on-site.

      4. Mid City Craft Wine and Brew – 711 Jefferson Hwy, Suite 1C, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
        Whether you're stocking up for holiday parties or shopping for the perfect gift, Mid City Craft Wine and Brew has precisely what you need. This local bottle shop stocks a massive selection of craft beer, both local and national, as well as craft wine. Stop by for a weekly tasting, and experience what Mid City has to offer. If you're looking for flavors you won't find anywhere else, this is the place to be.

      5. Red Stick Spice Co. – 660 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
        Preparing to cook your own holiday meals, or looking for the perfect gift for the amateur chef on your list? Red Stick Spice Co. has you covered. This shop stocks nearly every spice under the sun, along with a selection of teas from around the world.

      6. Cottonwood Books – 3054 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
        If you love books both new and old, then Cottonwood Books is more than worth a visit on Small Business Saturday. Cottonwood Books may be a small business, but it has an unmatched selection of books from across eras. There are more than 40,000 books in stock, including many rare finds. The team is also happy to help you order any books.

      Shop Small Saturday is a great chance to visit the many local small businesses that make Baton Rouge such a unique place to call home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


      4th of July in New Orleans

      New Orleans July

      Our real estate agents are looking forward to July 4th.  Are you?

      When you explore New Orleans homes for sale, you get an unexpected perk: A front row seat to some of the best Independence Day festivities anywhere in the United States.

      NOLA locals know how to throw a party, and July 4th is one of the biggest there is. You can expect food, fun, and ... of course ... spectacular fireworks.

      Check out these amazing things to do on July 4th weekend in New Orleans:

      1. Essence Festival – 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA 70112
        On the 25th anniversary of the Essence Festival, you'll have the chance to enjoy some of the hottest musical acts around, all right from the comfort of the legendary Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New acts hit the main stage each day of July 4th weekend, including Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, and Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly. It will be truly unforgettable!
      2. Happy 3rd of July at City Park – 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124
        Sprawling out on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn is the Happy 3rd of July, the warm-up act for July 4th. This free event will wow you with the Marine Corps Band New Orleans playing the 1812 Overture, America the Beautiful, and many more. There'll be concessions available and plenty of fun giveaways. It all starts at 7 p.m., with fireworks kicking off at 9.
      3. Firework Photography Workshop – 4514 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
        Have you ever wondered how photographers manage to take the most beautiful night shots of exploding fireworks? Firework Photography Workshop will teach you all the insider tips and tricks. Not only will you learn exactly how to photograph fireworks, but you'll also practice your skills in a VIP viewing area from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4th.
      4. Go Fourth on the River – 1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
        The premier annual 4th of July fireworks display in and around NOLA is Go Fourth on the River. Fireworks will be shining in the night sky from 9 p.m. on both sides of the majestic Mississippi River. There's no fee to view all the action from anywhere throughout the riverside. A medley of patriotic songs will be playing, aided by the event's custom smartphone app.
      5. 4th of July Celebration Cruise – The Mississippi River
        If you want to make your 4th of July truly unique, consider joining the 4th of July Celebration Cruise aboard the paddle-wheeler Creole Queen! There's no better seat in the house for the famed "dueling barges" fireworks show than right out on the water. As a guest, you'll enjoy a buffet, live entertainment, and an open call bar. The views simply cannot be beaten.

      You'll have plenty to celebrate when you make your big move to New Orleans. Our team will simplify the process thanks to our years of New Orleans real estate expertise and responsive customer service. By next July 4th, you could be celebrating in style from the Big Easy.

      It all starts with a single call or click.

      Contact us to find out more. We look forward to helping you soon.


      Celebrating Easter in New Orleans

      Easter in NOLA

      New Orleanians celebrate Easter Sunday much the same way we do everything else--in a big way and with style.

      Easter in New Orleans is a special time in our city.  For many families, the day begins with traditional church services. Then, the day's celebrations move on to food, fun, and, of course, Parades.

      Our REALTORS® are here with highlights about where to attend Easter mass, enjoy brunch, hunt Easter eggs, and watch parades when you buy one of our New Orleans homes for sale.

      • Easter Sunday Mass at St. Louis Cathedral, 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans 70116-3291
        Do you want to step into colonial Catholic history and observe Easter Sunday the traditional way? At St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, Roman Catholic Easter celebrations last for nine whole days. Attend Mass in this historic church any day during Holy Week, which kicks off with the Blessing of Palms at 5 PM on April 13 and culminates with the Mass of the Risen Christ at 9 AM, 11 AM, and 12:30 PM on April 21.

      • Easter Brunches
        Dining out for Easter brunch is a common tradition across the country, but our restaurants in the Big Easy elevate it to new heights.  New Orleans restaurants showcase choices ranging from waffles in a whiskey sauce to omelets overflowing with shrimp--or even crawfish.  Check out this insider's guide for the best places in the city to make a reservation.

      • Bunnyfest 2019, Lafreniere Park 3000 Downs Blvd. Metairie 70003
        The Rotary Club of Metairie Sunrise hosts its spring festival for families and children.  It is sure to be jam-packed with food, fun, and bunny rabbits!  Come to Lafreniere Park, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana on Friday, April 19th from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm and Saturday, April 20th from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm for egg hunts, balloon art, a bunny hop sack race, face painting, games and more.

      • Easter Parades
        Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, New Orleans
        From Antoine's Restaurant (713 St. Louis St) to St. Louis Cathedral (615 Pere Antoine Alley)

        Around 11:00 am on Easter Sunday, costumed revelers start their parade down the famous French Quarter. This annual event includes mule-drawn carriages, old convertibles, and marching bands. Stick around at 1:00 pm to see festive floats full of Krewes and local businesses.

        Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade
        From the corner of St. Louis and Royal to St. Louis and Royal Street at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
        Entertainer Chris Owens slips into the role of Grand Duchess and leads Easter paraders through the historic French Quarter. The festivities begin at 11:00 am at Omni Royal Orleans Hotel Ballroom with a Hat Contest, Silent Auction, and Entertainment. In true New Orleans tradition, the parade comes complete with colorful floats, brass bands, bead throws, and Easter trinkets.

        The Gay Easter Parade, 828 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70116
        Organized by the city's LGBT community, The Gay Easter Parade is an annual New Orleans tradition where all are invited to attend raising money for Food for Friends.  The parade begins at 4:30 pm on Easter Sunday as horse-drawn carriages, floats, and revelers in everything from seersucker suits and Easter bonnets to colorful costumes and leather parade through the French Quarter during the evening. 

      Relocating to New Orleans? At Latter & Blum, our real estate agents know how important it is to find a home you'll love. Contact us to turn your egg hunt with a house hunt.


      A Taste of New Orleans at Nonna Randazzo's Bakery

      Nonna Randazzo
      Mardi Gras season means one thing — King Cake!

      For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this magical Mardi Gras treat, you should first know that the King Cake is one New Orleans tradition that you'll look forward to year after year. To get a sense of this tasty slice of culture, picture an oval-shaped baked good that looks like a cross between a traditional French pastry and a coffee cake. Now decorate it with green, gold and purple colors and voila — you have yourself a King Cake.

      This traditional treat has been part of New Orleans history since the late 1800s. Every year, families and friends gather together to celebrate Mardi Gras Day by sharing a King Cake. Within each cake is a small prize, usually a small plastic baby or coin. If your piece of cake contains the prize is dubbed the "King" for the day. They are now bound by tradition to host the following year's Mardi Gras Day party and supply the King Cake.

      The King Cake is a delicious treat, and King Cakes from Nonna Randazzo's Bakery are hard to beat. As many New Orleans locals can tell you, there are a number of Randazzo bakeries throughout our nearby communities.  And for a good reason--Randazzo bakeries are steeped in a long line of family history as well as baking traditions..

      King Cakes Are a Randazzo Family Specialty

      Nonna Randazzo's Bakery only uses the finest quality products in all of their bread, pastries and, of course, King Cakes.  Nonna Randazzo's Bakery is owned and operated by Felix and Joel Randazzo Forjet. Joel is the daughter of Lawrence Randazzo, who in 1965 with his brothers, Manuel and Anthony, and their father, Sam, started the Randazzo's Hi Lan Bakery in St. Bernard Parish. Since then, their family has provided New Orleans residents and visitors with renowned King Cakes every year.

      Whether the New Orleans property you buy is one of our Ponchatoula homes for sale or a residence in a nearby neighborhood, a Randazzo family bakery may be around the corner.

      Share Randazzo's King Cakes With Friends New & Old

      Our real estate agents are fans of just about everything having to do with New Orleans, and Nonna Randazzo's Bakery is no exception.  When you move to our fair city, we're sure you will love Nonna Randazzo's Bakery too! The good news is Nonna's has four fantastic locations throughout New Orleans which means you're never far from their traditional King Cakes.

      Next time you're searching for Mandeville homes for sale make an appointment with one of our REALTORS® to view these fabulous properties. Perhaps we can meet for a sweet treat at Nonna Randazzo's Mandeville location at 22022 Marshall Road.

      If you'd like to expand your search and check out other great homes in Covington, Chalmette or Ponchatoula, or any other New Orleans homes for sale, you won't go wrong with fresh pastries at one of Nonna Randazzo's nearby locations:

      • 2033 US-190 F, Covington, LA
      • 925 E Judge Perez Dr, Chalmette, LA
      • 1625 Ste A, US-51 BUS, Ponchatoula, LA
      • 22022 Marshall Rd, Mandeville, LA

      The hardworking team at Latter & Blum Inc./REALTORS® will help you find the perfect Covington, Ponchatoula or Chalmette homes. Whether you're new to town or are looking for the next place where your family can grow, our real estate agents are ready to make your dream home a reality. Contact us today to learn more about buying or selling your New Orleans area home. 


      New Orleans Living: Mardi Gras 2019

      Mardi Gras 2019While Christmas lovers around the world lament the end of the holiday season, residents of New Orleans eagerly await our favorite time of the year — Mardi Gras! Though this European Carnival celebration dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, no place on Earth has a Mardi Gras party quite like The Big Easy!

      Our real estate agents at Latter & Blum don't want you to miss a minute of Mardi Gras action. That's why we've created this helpful guide to answer all of your questions and point you in the direction of unforgettable fun!

      New Orleans Locals Mardi Gras

      What is Mardi Gras?

      If you've heard of Mardi Gras but aren't sure what it is, here's the short of it: Mardi Gras is an annual celebration signifying the start of Lent on the Christian calendar. Since the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, begins a long period of fasting until Easter Sunday, the Tuesday prior was traditionally spent loading up on fatty food in preparation for this abstinence. Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French.

      When is Mardi Gras 2019?

      This year's Mardi Gras falls on March 5.

      Why is Mardi Gras in New Orleans different from the rest of the world?

      Aside from the fact that everything in New Orleans is quite different, Mardi Gras in this city is a very special time. Instead of celebrating just as a single day, we celebrate an entire season! From January 6th until March 5th, the streets come alive with parades and parties. Our city has been participating in this month-long celebration since the 1730s so believe us when we say New Orleans knows a thing or two about amazing Mardi Gras festivities.

      New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade

      When is the Mardi Gras Parade?

      One of the best reasons to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans is that there's no single holiday parade. In fact, we host so many exciting parades that you won't be able to see them all! Each parade is organized, designed and conducted by a "krewe." Here are a few of our favorites that we believe you should consider on Mardi Gras Day itself:

      • Krewe of Rex: The King of the Carnival, the Rex Organization, has helped define Mardi Gras as New Orleans knows it since 1872. The parade begins at the corner of Napoleon Ave. and S. Claiborne Ave. in Uptown at 10 a.m. The Krewe of Rex should definitely be at the top of your list!
      • Krewe of Lyra: Those celebrating in the Covington area should head to North Columbia St. and Jefferson St. for the 10 a.m. Krewe of Lyra parade. This newer krewe is less than ten years old, and their coed parade raises awareness for their allies in the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
      • Krewe of Argus: If you find yourself at the intersection of Veterans Blvd and Houma Blvd in Metairie at 10 a.m., you should definitely find a comfortable spot to observe the Krewe of Argus parade. Join over a million people as you watch this family-friendly krewe of nearly 500 make their way through Jefferson Parish.

      What else can I do during Mardi Gras?

      What can't you do is a better question! New Orleans comes alive in exciting ways throughout the season, and there is an infinite number of ways to enjoy it. Whether you're looking for great food, lively bars or family-friendly hangouts, contact us and let us help you plan your Mardi Gras celebration. For help searching for New Orleans homes for sale or to sell your current property, trust Latter & Blum for all of your real estate needs! 


      Biloxi New Year's Celebrations: Watch the Oyster Ball Drop

      Biloxi New Year

      New York has nothing on Biloxi when you are looking for New Year's Eve revelry. Biloxi has the Oyster Ball, a nearly three-foot bundle of (you guessed it) oyster shells that travels down a cable and into a waiting oyster basket. Surround it with fireworks, food, fun, and families, and you have one great way to ring in the New Year.  Our REALTORS® are here to share some of our favorite ways to ring in the new year in Biloxi.


      New Year's Eve can be many things to many people. Biloxi's busy casinos hardly need an excuse to throw a party, but our real estate agents know that all the friendly folks along the Gulf Coast love to celebrate, well, just about anything. So if you have resolved to find the fun this December 31, here is where, when and how you can have a good time on your terms.

      That Oyster!

      The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum is the proud possessor of the unique Oyster Ball, which it drops from the top of the museum promptly at midnight. You can camp out on the lawn to watch, or for a modest $50 per person (21 and over), enjoy dancing, heavy hors-d'oeuvres, cocktails, and party favors inside the museum. At midnight, you'll hear the factory whistle in homage to the oyster works that provided Biloxi's booming economy, and then enjoy fireworks afterward. Nobody has to rush off, either; you get donuts and coffee up until 12:30 a.m. January 1. This year's music is provided by Blackwater Brass Band. Call 228 435-6320 for tickets. 


      You are zipping around the Gulf Coast looking for Biloxi homes for sale. You get so carried away by the beautiful homes and superb values; you forget to make New Year's Eve plans. Fear not! For something a little different, try "A Night in Wakanda." 

      This New Year's Eve party will take place at the Event Centre at CLIMB CDC (1316 30th Avenue in Gulfport). Rep. Sonya Williams Barnes is hosting, with music courtesy of DJ Mixx Maestro. Throw on your favorite African-inspired duds and join Chama Gulf Coast's inaugural event. Cocktail attire and African attire is not required but is encouraged.

      You can put together a 10-ticket reserved table for $750/table. You can also opt for the $50 general admission ticket, first come, first served for seating. With both, you get the dinner buffet, complimentary midnight toast, and souvenir photo booth photo.


      Noon?!? Hey, many a younger reveler wants to experience New Year's Eve, but has a 9 o'clock bedtime! Gulfport's Lynn Meadows Discovery Center provides the smaller folk in your life with the same party atmosphere, just 12 hours early. Clever parents, take in the early experience, exhaust the junior set, and have the evening to yourselves.

      Starting at 10 a.m., the celebration includes a DJ, music, a New Year's craft, snacks, falling confetti, and the required ball drop at noon. The kids' party is included with museum admission. The Museum is at 246 Dolan Avenue in Gulfport. 


      New Year's Eve celebrations are in every Gulf Coast casino, from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's $50 per-person party at 777 Beach Boulevard in Biloxi to the Breeze Bar at Beau Rivage (875 Beach Boulevard in Biloxi). At Island View Casino Resort (3300 West Beach Boulevard, Gulfport) you can enjoy six hours of free nonstop music at the Beach Casino stage. 

      If you have a New Year's resolution to sell or buy a Biloxi home, contact us at Latter & Blum Inc./REALTORS® to get started. 


      7 Reveillon Dinners in New Orleans to Celebrate the Holidays

      Reveillon Dinners
      One of the first things you need to know about living in New Orleans is that dining and cuisine have been raised to an art form. And perhaps never seen more poignantly than during the Christmas season at our community's traditional Réveillon dinners (you say it as re -ve -on). We may be far departed from the 19th-century origins of this feast, but even if you never celebrate Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, you can still enjoy these expansive, delicious dinners. Our real estate agents are here to share seven Réveillon dinners to whet your appetite and, perhaps, help you resolve to buy a permanent home in New Orleans. 

      1. Antoine's Restaurant, 713-717 Rue Saint Louis, New Orleans, LA 70130
        Still in the same family after 170+ years, this regal establishment offers a four-course Creole Réveillon dinner. Be tempted by alligator bisque, Noel salad, Creole soft shell crab, and eggnog bread pudding. Antoine's Réveillon menu is available for lunch or dinner. Dress code; reservations a must.

      2. Brigtsen's Restaurant, 723 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118
        New Orleans native Frank Brigtsen, chef and owner, interprets Creole/Acadian food in a fresh way. Brigtsen's provides a soul-soothing four-course structure with lots of choices. Start with smoked salmon canapes and continue with one of four second-course choices and three main course options (roast duck, stuffed flounder, or smoked pork chop).

      3. Café Amelie, 912 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
        If you want to take a holiday from making decisions, head over to Café Amelie for a straightforward Réveillon three-course dinner menu: salad, blackened redfish, cheesecake. Top it with a Réveillon cocktail ($12; Amaro Nonino, Tattersall sour cherry, Maraschino Luxardo, topped with bubbles). Reservations recommended.

      4. Criollo Restaurant, 214 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
        Five courses. Too much, we know! Tuna Carpaccio, three appetizers, a warming roasted acorn squash soup, salad, perhaps a roast goose for the main course, and two dessert choices. At Criollo, everything is fresh, local, and phenomenally good. Reservations an absolute must.

      5. Muriel's Jackson Square, 801 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
        A prominent part of Jackson Square, Muriel's is a great place to go for a four-course Réveillon dinner, complete with delicacies like fried oyster chowder and braised lamb shank. Before departing, preview the New Year's Eve menu (it's outstanding!). Reservations suggested.

      6. Seaworthy, 630 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
        For a hip, updated take on Réveillon dinner, go to Seaworthy and enjoy the bounty of the oceans. Oysters to start, Diver Scallops, Panéed Monkfish, and a finish with white chocolate mousse rice pudding. Make reservations through Open Table or at Seaworthy's website.

      7. Upperline, 1413 Upperline Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
        Yes, Upperline offers four Réveillon courses, but what courses! For the second course alone, choose from nine different temptations, including Fried Green Tomato with Shrimp Rémoulade. Main course? Nine choices. Dessert? Eight sweet, savory, or alcohol-imbued finishes. You'll need reservations at this 2017 Restaurant of the Year. 

      Whether you have a New Orleans home to buy or to sell, please let our real estate agents help you. The stunning Réveillon dinner is only one reason to make New Orleans your home. If you are ready to move in, contact us, and we can show you great neighborhoods with excellent values. If you want yours to be one of the many beautiful New Orleans homes for sale, contact us


      NOLA ChristmasFest Kicks Off December 20

      NOLA ChristmasThe good people of New Orleans love a reason to celebrate a festive occasion. From Mardi Gras to less-than-somber funerals to the bright lights and thrilling rides of NOLA ChristmasFest, this city enjoys a party. Even when searching for beautiful homes or readying yours to go on the hot New Orleans real estate market, we can all take a moment to get into the holiday mood.  Our REALTORS® are here with information about NOLA ChristmasFest 2018.

      NOLA ChristmasFest Returns

      NOLA ChristmasFest 2018 expands with an additional 35,000 square feet of indoor fun and frolic. The festival opens at 11 a.m. on Thursday, December 20 in Hall H at the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center.

      At more than 325,000 square feet now, the festival, in its sixth year, adds Breakfast with Santa. Other new attractions are Bouncy, "the World's Tallest Snowman," and Snowzilla, Jr., a slide ride of some 90 feet of joy.

      Included among the carousel, crafts and ice skating is synthetic curling. What, you ask, is synthetic curling? Curling is a familiar sport for our Canadian friends, but New Orleans, for reasons unknown, has trouble keeping ice solid. Something to do with the temperatures, but we're no scientists. Synthetic curling dispenses with the ice entirely, so you can enjoy the fun of carefully gliding heavy stones down a bowling-alley-like lane all year long. At NOLA ChristmasFest 2018, all ages are invited to come out and pick up a broom.  

      Local Artists

      The festival is infused with local talent, from artists crafting exquisite gingerbread houses (reminiscent of the beautiful Victorian New Orleans homes for sale throughout the city) to vendors with their holiday concoctions, crafts, and cookies. 

      Of course, the raw and exuberant young talent of New Orleans' children is a major part of the event, with great opportunities for children to try their creative hand at crafts tables or athletic prowess at the rock wall, polar golf, or basketball. 

      Memorable Event

      Like all NOLA ChristmasFests, this one will be memorable. Children have a way of growing up fast, so you will want to mark the moment with plenty of pictures. Fortunately, professional photographers will be on hand, or you can pose in the Selfie Snowglobe. 

      NOLA ChristmasFest 2018 is only $20 per person, but that price is halved on Fridays for military personnel and First Responders. If you are active or retired U.S. military, National Guard, reservists, fire, police or paramedic, show official ID at the Convention Center box office for the discount. 

      Kids and Christmas

      For kids and kids at heart, NOLA ChristmasFest gets you into the holiday spirit. Bring your children and join in their happiness. Never ice skated? At least give it a try! Think you can't curl? Give it a whirl! Build great memories, and then consider what wonderful, warm times you could have in a New Orleans home of your own. 

      Your New Orleans Real Estate Professionals

      Whether you are hoping to sell your French Quarter historic home or feel like flipping a Faubourg Tremé find, our New Orleans real estate professionals at Latter & Blum Inc./REALTORS® are ready to help. Contact us to start your real estate adventure in The Big Easy.

      Login to My Homefinder

      Login to My Homefinder