The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Boarding the Titanic February 27, 2011

As a late Valentines day present Phil took me to the Titanic Museum in  Pigeon Forge, TN. This is a new attraction that just opened in 4/8/2010. It is a two-story museum shaped like the RMS Titanic and is built half-scale to the original ship. We have been wanting to go for sometime but never could justify the $25 dollar ticket per person, but it made a great Valentines day gift.

image When you enter, you receive a boarding pass with a name of a crew member or passenger and at the end of the tour, in the Titanic Memorial Room, you find out if you survived or perished.

imageThis who Phil was: Colonel Gracie (1 st class) on a trip without his wife and daughters. He had an interesting  survival story. He was in the water once the Titanic sank and got sucked in one of the smoke stacks that had fallen. However, once the whirlwind started in the ocean due to the suction of the boat, Colonel Gracie was shot out of the smoke stack and landed next to an over-turned life boat. He was the last person to be saved from the Titanic but due to his injuries  he received, he would die a week later.


I was  Augusta Goodwin: Mother of 6 and traveling 3rd class to America to find a new job for my husband who was an electrical engineer.  I thought it was ironic since Phil is also an EE. Mrs Augusta Goodwin, 43,boarded the Titanic with her husband, Frederick, 40 and six children, Lillian, 16; Charles, 14; William, 11; Jessie, 10; Harold, 9; and baby Sidney. The entire family was lost in the sinking. It was odd since most women and children survived and most men perished.

You are not allowed to take pictures inside due to copyright laws but I did find some online.


The grand staircase was designed to be used only by first-class passengers; if you were second or third class you were not allowed in this area. We were told a funny story about this grand staircase. The builder of the Titanic wanted the passengers in the first class to only have the best of the best and when they entered the Titanic he wanted them to be amazed. The grand staircase flooring was going to be marble however the builder sent it back because there was a new material that just came out and was more expensive than tile or marble. When passengers entered they would even bend down to touch it because they had never seen this great materiel before. The mystery flooring was linoleum. lol too funny 🙂 This room was built from the blueprints of  the one on the Titanic.

This was the first class smoking room. This was a male only room no women were allowed. If you notice, this is also the room that Leonardo Dicaprio did his famous  stretch of nude Rose. Also built to scale.

This is a picture of the Third class cabin. Beside this display was the story of me, The Goodwin family, They stated that this was our cabin and we fit 8 people in this small room. Also there was only 2 bath tubs for the third class passengers.

The picture with the girl climbing show the different slopes of the ship while it was sinking. Between the first and the second one is only 15 mins and just a few more mins between the second and the third, the third is a 45 degree angle. I tried to climb it a hold on, it wasn’t easy.

Als0, there was an Ice burg room; there you could touch an ice burg. This room was also were you could feel the temperature of the air and the water the night the ship sank. The air was 32 degree but the saltwater was a blistering 28 degrees. They told us to dip our hands into the water and move our figures around to get a real feel for it. I couldn’t honestly keep my hand in there longer than 20 seconds and once I removed them they hurt.  I couldn’t imagine having my whole body submerged. They said no one drown in the water they froze to death. You could only live in the water for 10 to 15 mins.


Malachi’s 8th Birthday February 24, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 3:54 am
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No, I didn’t have a doggie birthday party, which isn’t a bad idea, but my little boy did turn 8! I sound like a mom but it seems like yesterday he was 2. We have had a long journey in life starting back in 2005. Our first day: I was looking for a dog back in December and came across an ad in the paper for a Yorkshire Terrier that was 2 years old. Prefect, small and adult dog just what I was looking for. I called the number in the ad  and they stated wanted $275 for him due to him just going to the vet and getting all the shots done. It was around Christmas time and what would be a better gift than a dog. So, I ask Phil if he could be my present, and he agreed!

I was doing a lot of research on the breed before I went to pick him up. I was finding out things like what they “should” be like. Google states that the ideal Yorkshire terrier character or “personality” is described with a “carriage very upright” and “conveying an important air”. Though small, the Yorkshire terrier is active, loves attention, very overprotective and should not show the soft temperament seen in lap dogs. I was in for a surprise when I first met this little guy.

I leave work and head to Knoxville to get my new pet. I was super excited! I had to met them off Clinton Hwy at a streak house restaurant and my car couldn’t get me there fast enough. Finally I made it, there was the an older couple in a SUV waiting on me. First question I asked was what his name was. Simple normal question right?  Wrong, the poor thing didn’t even have a name. How can you have a dog 2 years and not name him. They stated he was a stud dog and they were retiring him. WOW, I was stunned and didn’t know what to do. I really didn’t want a stud dog I wanted a cute little pet but I couldn’t let him go back to the no name owners. Then they got him out of the SUV, I was sold after I first glance. He didn’t look like the Yorkies I had seen online, he really didn’t even look like a Yorkie. He had short hair, a tail, and floppy ears. They handed me his AKC papers, I handed them the check, and they were on their merry way.

I was still happy that I got the little guy but I still had to come up with a name. I was looking at his papers and it had his name listed as Malachi The Little Dream Maker. That was way too long and cheesy. I just shorten it and today he goes by Mal Mal. Next, my goal was to make the raggedy dog look true to his breed. I let his hair grow out and got him groomed every 2 weeks.Results below. Second picture is him with his old friend Doodle the poodle

Today, he is truly my best friend. Even though his hair has changed and his eyes are turning blue, he still acts the same as the day I received him. Everywhere I go there he is, literally . He has been by my side since day 1. It hurts more and more every year around this time because I know his is getting older and soon he will no longer be with me, but until that day comes I want to enjoy each day we have!

Happy Birthday to my little man!


Turning of a Page February 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 12:15 pm
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There a few things I love in life, and one that is above most is Harry Potter. I have been a fan since the first book in 1997. As Harry grew, as did I. Some of my funnest past times, is waiting in line for the next book or waiting to buy tickets for the upcoming movie. All the books now have been published and just 1 more movie to premiere. With all good things, they  must end.

I feel like my childhood is coming to an end on July 15.  This will be my last time standing in line 7 hours before a movie starts (loving every minute of it) but my first time dressing “all out” for the event.

Who else would I be than the lovely Luna Lovegood. My friends picked her out for me. They thought I would be a perfect fit for her. Gee thanks

I will be dressing head to toe of everything Luna. My friend, Nick, was so nice to present me with the one of a kind Luna beaded radish ears and her lovely cork necklace. He is also making me her wand. I, on the other hand, will be trying to sew her cape from a Halloween sewing pattern. Problem is,  I haven’t sewn since Home EC in high school.

I will not be the only one in my “Potter” group dressed head to toe in all thing HP. Phil  will be there at midnight fully dressed as someone (we haven’t decided whom he will represent yet). My best friend, Maria, is guaranteed to be decked out as the great Hermione Granger and of course Nick, whom looks like Harry already, will be in his finest.


Put a Ring on it February 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 6:40 am
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Over the weekend, Phil and I went shopping for our wedding bands! I’m looking for a full set, a new engagement ring and a wedding band together. The engagement ring I  currently own is a green amethyst, and I love it however, it isn’t hard enough to be worn everyday and was starting to get starched.

We started shopping around jewelry stores in Knoxville. Or search landed us at the mall, there we had a few stores to choose from and didn’t have to drive all around town just to browse. The first few we went to didn’t have anything out of the normal and the staff was rude. The last store we went to was Marks and Morgans. The sales lady, April,  was really nice and helpful. She showed us different options with different rings and showed us the different types of diamonds available. Of course, we feel in love with the LEO diamond however it cost a lot more than the normal diamond. It was about $6,000 for 1 carat, but you can tell the difference, it is visibly brighter.  That was out of our price range. We agreed to get a ring that would be able to take a LEO diamond once we could afford it.


Phil is looking for an odd ring as well. His ring needs to be brushed metal with black diamonds. His idea ring is the one pictured below but remove the 3 white diamonds with the black.

We still haven’t found the right rings for us yet, however I did learn a lot over the weekend. I narrowed it down some, I originally wanted a gemstone ring with diamonds on the sides but now I know gemstones are too soft to be worn everyday. I also figured out that I like the round cut diamond vs all the other cuts best due to it being the most brilliant. Finally I know I  want my ring band to be made out of white gold.

I feel like we are too picky and will never find the perfect rings. We have been looking for about 6 months now and still nothing. Hopefully we figure it out soon. ** fingers crossed**


Love Your Mother! February 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 6:25 am
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As many people know I tend to be a “tree hugger” and I wanted to share some of my environmentally friendly tips and tricks on cleaning my house. Did you know, most cleaner are loaded with strong, artificial colors and fragrances and harsh cleansing agents like bleach, ammonia and acids. These chemicals can produce indoor air pollution by off-gassing toxic fumes that can irritate eyes and lungs. (Children and pets are most at risk.) Many cleaners also contain unnecessary antibacterial agents (pesticides, technically), that can actually make bacteria stronger, and more resistant to antibacterial drugs. This is just my way of giving back to my Mother Earth.

I make all my own cleaning supplies. Not only does this save time it also saves money. Most of the ingredients are found in you cupboard at home. Here are a few of the cleaners I make, using household ingredients.

To Clean Tile:

Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease.
Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. It’s easy!

To clean my Kitchen Counters I use:

Baking Soda and Water: Reclaim counters by sprinkling with baking soda, then scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge. If you have stains, knead the baking soda and water into a paste and let set for a while before you remove. This method also works great for stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, containers, refrigerators, oven tops and more.
Kosher Salt and Water: If you need a tougher abrasive sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
Natural Disinfectant: To knock out germs without strong products, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces.


To clean Windows or your Mirrors:

White Vinegar, Water and Newspaper: Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
If you’re out of vinegar or don’t like its smell, you can substitute undiluted lemon juice or club soda.

To clean Carpet or your Rugs: (Great for Pet Owners)

Spot Cleaner: Make your own by mixing: 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender, with 1/3 cup water. Mix until foamy. Spray on, then rinse with vinegar.
To Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet or rug, using about 1 cup per medium-sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.

To Clean Wood Floors:

Vinegar: Whip up a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a recycled spray bottle, then spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Then mop your floors, scrubbing away any grime.

The best for last, my recipe for laundry detergent:

This is what you will need:

*Box of Borax Natural Laundry Boost (this can be found in the laundry soap aisle, I got mine at Kroger)
*Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (also found at Kroger)
*1 bar soap (ANY bar of soap like Ivory, Dove, et. will work)

*Scented oil of your choice (optional)
*Five gallon bucket
*Empty laundry detergent bottles or milk jugs

Instructions for 5-gallons of liquid detergent:

1. Grate your bar of soap with a cheese grater.

2. Put the grated soap in a sauce pan with 6 cups water. Heat soap and water until the soap melts.

3. Add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup Borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

4. Pour 1 gallon hot water into your 5-gallon bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir well. Add about 3 1/2 more gallons of hot water to the bucket and stir again. Add your scented oil now if you choose to.  Just add enough until it smells good to you.

5. Pour the liquid mixture into your empty bottles (you might want to try a funnel). Or, leave it in the 5-gallon bucket–it will just be a little more difficult to use. Let the mixture sit for about 24 hours. It will thicken almost to a gel.

6. Shake your bottle well before each use. Use 1/2 cup of detergent for large loads.

The Arm & Hammer Washing Soda was about $3 to $4, and the Borax about the same price. The Fels-Naptha bar ran us about $1.25. You will get about four 5-gallon buckets of laundry detergent from one box of each. With tax, we figure that works out to be about $2.50 for 5 gallons. Sweet! That could cover about 160 loads of wash! You can’t get a better deal than that.


Wine-O Week February 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 7:21 am

This week could be named “Wine Week” for me. I’m not sure why, but I have drank more wine this week than I normally do in months. This got me thinking, is drinking wine a good thing? During my Google search I came across an article that stated you SHOULD drink wine daily and the benefits of doing so. I thought it was worth sharing.

Five of the benefits that you get from drinking wine are outlined below.

1. Good heart health. Wine is good for the heart because it helps to thin our blood which allows the heart to work a little less. Additionally, studies have shown that people who consume wine in moderate amounts have lower occurrences of heart disease and other heart problems then people who do not drink wine.

2. Lowers risk for diabetes. Studies have shown that drinking wine helps to reduce the risk for developing diabetes. The make up of the wine and its alcohol base help to extend the function of the pancreas and sweep glucose from the body, allowing a person to avoid diabetes onset later in life.

3. Lowers risk for stroke. Just as wine helps with heart disease it helps prevent stroke. The thinning of the blood helps to prevent clots that lead to stroke.

4. Lowers risk for cataracts. Studies have shown that wine helps to prevent cataracts. More studies are needed to determine why, but it has been shown in study after study that people who drink wine regularly have a lower occurrence for cataracts.

5. Lengthens life. Wine has been shown to help lengthen your life. With all of the health benefits it is no wonder that drinking wine will help you to live longer. Wine has been shown to help slow down the aging of the brain and therefore allow better brain function longer.

Wine lovers will rejoice when all these studies are completed and finally prove that wine is good for you. The one thing, though, that should be noted about the benefits of wine is that these benefits have only been shown to outweigh the negative effects of alcohol consumption when wine is drank in moderation.

Excessive use of wine can lead to problems with the liver and other health issues associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Usually a glass of wine a day is enough to reap the benefits and avoid the problems.


I’m Ready to Put on My Boogie Shoes February 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 9:43 am
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I went shopping after work with my Maid of Honor, Maria (I do also have a Matron of Honor, Lindsey, but she didn’t go with us) to find the bridesmaids shoes. They decided they wanted to wear heels in the wedding and not flats. Once they saw my shoes, they want to wear them, just in a different color (my shoes are the same as shoe 1 but they are Peacock Blue).
We went last night to try on the shoes and get a feel for the look of them on. I wanted the shoes to be something they could wear somewhere else other than just my wedding. Shoe #1 was the first pair she tired on. They looked good but they were a bit shiny. Then, we noticed a different pair of shoes (shoe # 2) in the same color, had to try them on also.  Shoe # 2 won!

I hope it matches their clover green dresses well. I picked the tan color because the groomsmen slacks are the same color and it is very important for me to have everything matching.

Next step, is finding the right jewelry for them to wear.