The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Christmas in January January 10, 2013

I know I haven’t been writing much in the last month but we have had a lot going on in the family and doing too much traveling to stop and type out a blog. Anyway, enough with my excuses, I wanted to let you all in on how our Christmas went. Just like every year, we traveled to Nashville to visit my mother-in-law and stay a few days. It was a little sad this year due to the fact Phil’s sweet grandfather passed away a few days before Christmas but we made the best of a sad situation. I know our fur babies made it an interesting trip. My husband grilled a awesome turkey and we had a great Christmas dinner. It was nice to get away from home for a bit.

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Stop # 2. Off to my parents house in Loudon to celebrate. My mom cooked us lunch and as always she cooked too much so we were stuffed. No pups with us this time just their little dog Gizmo and my brothers dog. I feel like I never get to spend enough time here on Christmas because we still have one more stop to go.

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Stop # 3. Off to my father-in-laws house in Farragut, TN. Here we have Christmas dinner with my father-in-law and his wife along with a couple of their close friends, my brother-in-law and grandmother. As always, great food good times.

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Stop # 4. Home sweet home. We always get home pass midnight and I always have to work first thing in the morning, but it is worth it.

I hope everyone had a happy holidays this last year!


Project 365: Week 52 January 2, 2013

This is it! The finally week, 52, of 2012. I did it! I took 366 pictures everyday of 2012. It was hard at first and I didn’t think I was going to make it but in the end I really enjoyed it so I think I will continue it into 2013.

cookie 2012

This is very fitting for me



Mr. Z grilling the bird



Mr Mal enjoying Christmas time



Christmas at my parents house. So happy to finally have a sewing machine!



On our way to Michigan. I guess they ran out of road.

DSC_0194Catching a hockey game with the family


New Year’s Eve


Project 365: Week 49 December 9, 2012

You know me, late again with posting my pictures from last week for project 365. Oh well, better late than never!


After buying 2 comforters and spending them back I am finally happy with this one from Anthropologie. I still need to get the euro shams but that can wait.


The center piece on my tree


This was my grandmothers owl ornament


Last tree picture I promise. My new 2012 ornament.

imageMy early morning saver


Party Bus!


My hubbys idea of photo of the day


Project 365: Week 48 December 3, 2012

Filed under: Project 365 — Sheena @ 9:54 pm
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Putting up the Christmas tree. I know you can’t see it very well but it has became an owl tree.



Putting up the holiday decor



I had to take a picture of this sweet little guy.



Dear Santa I have been good this year 😉



Downtown Knoxville’s Christmas tree

phil's deer

Mr Z’s kill of the week


Project 365: Week 51 January 2, 2012

I know I am super late but I have been out of town since before Christmas and just arrived home today. Here are the pictures from week 51.


I made this gift for my friend and couldn’t post it until I gave it to her. I love it!


Saw this recipe and I so want to try it out!


My warm drink at Calhoun’s Brewery – Liquid Snickers yummy


Mr. Mal took the wheel on the way to Nashville and let me have a break.


Mr. Z and Miss Sis


Christmas at Grandma Zarb’s House

imageSuper cute!


Happy X-Mas December 29, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 4:57 pm
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Sometimes you should be careful what you wish for. If you read my last blog I was complaining about how my Christmas Day is always so hectic and how I wished it would change. Well, this year it did, big time. I was planning for my normal Christmas hustle when news hit that my grandfather had passed away. This was a massive blow to my family. Don’t get me wrong, we all knew it was coming sooner or later, the man was 95 years old but we didn’t think that soon. I was never very close to my grandfather matter-of-fact he loved my brother more than me because he will carry on the Bolt name; however I never think he will have children, thus our family name dies. Anyway, I was super close to my grandmother, Pauline, and she has been gone for 5 years now. Following her passing, my grandfather started to turn into a bitter man that I really didn’t want to be around. The last time I saw him was about 2 years before he passed. This was around the time he disowned me because I lived with Phil and we weren’t married. I was so called “shacked up.” No worries, I understood the way he was raised and why he believed and acted the way he did. Still he passing really saddens me. I remember the times as a child playing with him at his house on the river with me and my brother. How whenever I was sick he would always pick me up from school. I miss the good ol days, the simple days.

The night after the funeral we had to go to my Father-in-laws house for annual Christmas dinner with the nieces. My step mother-in-law cooks a big dinner and the children open presents. We normally don’t attend this since we usually go to Nashville but they decided to have it a day earlier and we were able to attend. While the girls were opening presents Phil’s Mother called and left a voicemail to call her ASAP.

Sadly, we found out that Phil’s much loved aunt had also passed that day. All of our holiday plans got flipped. His mother was on her way to Michigan, where his aunt lived, and so no trip to Nashville. Phil and his younger brother were packing to leave on Christmas day, so we had to change our plans and do Christmas on Christmas Eve. No big deal for my parents. They easily changed their plans to accommodate ours. Phil’s family had already had plans and wouldn’t be back until 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve. We arrived at my parent’s house in Loudon around 2:00 pm. The plan was to eat and gifts then head out to get a few things for our ski trip, that didn’t happen. Needless to say, Phil got a bottle of Wild Turkey and him, his brother, my brother, and my dad finished that off plus some. I guess it help take the edge off :). We had a great time there, honestly one of our best Christmas’s. I guess death does bring a family together. By the time I looked at the clock it was 10:15 pm and we had to run off to his parents. The guys had a few more drinks and unwrapped so more gifts. We left there around 12:30 am. The guys left the next day (Christmas) around 11:00 am for their 8-9 drive to Michigan. I spent our first married Christmas without my husband. I guess I was complaining before when it wasn’t that bad.




Most Wonderful Time of the Year December 20, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 12:31 pm
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This is a demanding time of the year for everyone and I am being fully affected by it. I am working 10 hour days since we are closed on Friday and Monday and then trying to get ready for the Holidays in my “free time”. December is always a stressful month for me. I have to get all my Christmas shopping done for my family and my husband’s while staying my small budget. Needless to say, I have to groom a few dogs and sell things on eBay but every year I always make it without charging anything on the credit cards! With the holidays emptying my pockets, I also the Zarb annual family ski trip to Colorado and there is nothing cheap about skiing. We are leaving on New Year’s Eve and will be gone for 7 days 🙂 but I have to get everything packed and ready to go, more stress. SO MUCH TO DO! Starting to feel that Holiday stress, like normal.

You would think after 8 years I would have gotten a handle on managing mine and his families but not yet. This Thursday, I have to pack us and all the dogs to our annual Christmas trip to Nashville to visit Phil’s mother, Linda. We stay there until Christmas day, and then we wake up very early and pack up the car and start our Christmas adventure.

The day goes like this: Car: drive to Knoxville – 3 hours with dogs. Home: drop off dogs, unpack enough to make room for new gifts, grab gifts for both families – place in car, back in car, drive 1 hour. My parent’s house: Christmas dinner, gifts, back in car, drive 30 minutes. Phil’s parents: Dinner again, gifts, drinks, back in car, drive 45 minutes. Home! (Around 1:00 am): Too tired to care about gift exchange, hand Phil his present and go to bed.

Every year we say we are going to have to modify something but each year we do the identical schedule. It is so hard to make everyone content. People get mad because we don’t spend enough time here or there, but there are only so many hours in the day. It is kind of hurtful when you bust your butt to get from one place to another and sacrifice your time and happiness and you get there they have started dinner without you. At times, I honestly think we will have to have children before we can enjoy a simple Christmas together, sadly. Just thought I would spread my holiday cheer!