The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

World Record Holder – ME! August 28, 2013

Last year I was a part of a worldwide Secret Santa gift exchange via the website Reddit. For those who are not aware of event, it is where people from mostly the United States, but also many around the world, are secretly matched up with someone in order to buy them a Christmas present. The person can provide as much or as little information about themselves as they want. They do not know who their giftie is. They will be matched up with a different person to send a gift to, thus being totally anonymous.

The person I got randomly matched up only gave me this information; “I love anything that has to do with the American Flag and/or cats. I love unusual/unique t shirts (size medium). I also like anything reddit/meme/rage comic related.” This was going to be a hard one to buy for. I had to get creative, I got him a cat shirt, I wish I had a picture of it, some Reddit sticker and a cat toy. The goal is to spend a minimum of $20, but you may go as high as you please. I ended up spending around $30 plus the cost of shipping.

Once the person receives their item, they post pictures or write a little about what they received. My person unfortunately did not post any pictures but did write this little note; “The cat t shirt was great, in fact I’m wearing it right now. The reddit sticker is awesome and the little cat toy is great too. Couldn’t have asked for anything better from a secret santa.” It makes you feel good that they got and liked their gift.

Not everyone match is completed. Some people never receive their gift due to many reasons but the main one is their gifter did not send it. If you are feeling in the holiday spirit then you can sign up to be rematched with someone. You will not receive a gift but it makes you feel good about yourself to give to someone who sent their gift but never received one in return. I was one of those people but I was lucky enough to get rematched. My rematcher sent me this sweet note “Hello there. Don’t worry I got this” and he/she did.  A few days later a received my gift in the mail!



My giftie stood me up and someone was nice enough to rematch and send me an awesome gift so I signed up and did the same. This time my new match was just as hard as the other to buy for. The only information he gave was “Hi, my name is Gavin and I am a recent college graduate. I love technology and i am a little bit of an audiophile. I am a redditor, but I am a lurker because I feel like I do not have anything interesting to contribute.” What did I get this guy? Well, I sent him some Star Trek Slippers that made tribble sounds when you walked in them from 🙂 I thought it was a great idea but he never posted anything about them until about a month later I received this message “hey, shoulda sent this a while ago but thanks for the awesome gift! I was ACTUALLY thinking of buying some slippers because hardwood floor during the winter is.. ew. I come home after a day of work to find a package with slippers. =D Totally made my day. I hope your SS gave you something awesome. If not, at least you have made my Christmas pretty awesome.Take care!!”


Reddit was trying to beat to their own world record from last year and we did!  For secret santa 2012, we now hold a new Guinness World Record for 44,805 participants successfully completing the largest online secret santa game! Just think about that for a minute: 44,805 internet strangers from 130 countries put their faith in one another and exchanged gifts. It is a big deal and I was part of that. Below is a sample of the reward I can receive in the mail but unfortunately it is $25 plus another $13 to ship so I am going to pass on ordering it since we have the little one on the way and money is tight right now.

Here is my Guinness World Record Award for 2012!

World Record Holder


Project 365:Week 8 & 9 March 10, 2013


Ice Bears Hockey Game


Won Tickets to Side Splitters on my Birthday


Birthday present: Galaxy leggings


Got a little bit of snow on Sunday 3/3


Got a hoop to get in shape for summer time


Trip to Coral Fish fish store. This is their “pet”, he is a puffer fish


It has been super cold in Tennessee. Here are the cats snuggling. I felt bad to make them move where I could make the bed.


Wearing my new socks


Trying a new recipe


Strawberry shortcake


Got a new table. I didn’t notice until now that the cat is also checking it out


Received my socks from the Reddit Gift Exchange


Our boarding pass to the Tennessee Riverboat


Trying out my new Harry Potter socks


Project 365: Week 3 January 22, 2013


Yummy Harry Potter Frog


Snow starting to fall


Power was out, so what else was there to do


Woke up to this, 47 degrees in the house not cool


Yeah, we have heat!


Power is back on so I made some cookies


Happy Birthday Maria!



Project 365: Week 22 June 3, 2012


I watch them way too much


Went to the Farmers Market In Market Square on Wednesday


Rode my new bike to Walgreens and rented this movie from the RedBox. Great movie by the way.


My anniversary idea


Stormy day


Got my wish. Blog WIP


Double Date night


Project 365 – Week 2 January 28, 2012

Filed under: Project 365 — Sheena @ 7:38 pm
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Cleaned up my great-great grandmothers owl cookie jar. Love it ❤

Maya having a lazy rainy day

Watching the game

Nagini – Taking her daily stretch

Found my new favorite type of Wine, Moscato

Miss Heidi Cat – 9 years old

I noticed that my baby wash (which I use for the dogs) has a Harry Potter Bear on it 🙂


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!


My Battle With Post-Potter Depression November 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 5:02 pm
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I think I may be suffering from Post-Potter Depression. Friday, 11/11/11, was the last big event for Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows part 2 on DVD. Of course there will be a complete series box set or a new collector’s edition but nothing new to add to the Potter story.

To remember the last 10 years of waiting in lines, waiting/reading all the books, and watching every movie. So, finally I decided to get a tattoo to remember the HP experience. I know what you are thinking, this women is crazy nut and out of her mind; but Harry Potter means a lot more to me than just being so called “children books.”

I in no way enjoyed reading, I actually despised it, but once Harry Potter came out I thought I would give it another try since people were going mad about it. This was the first “real” book that I read that wasn’t required by school and was more than 200 pages long. Most of the time, if I was required to read a book, I would just research it online and find out enough about it just to pass the test. Reading just took too long and I had better things to do. Harry Potter was different, lit a fire underneath me for reading. I have read numerous books since I picked up my first Potter and especially enjoy reading now. I read on my breaks and lunches at work and when I have a dreadful day I read to relax me. Reading has opened countless windows for me, and one of them was writing. Thus, as you can see while reading this blog, I have a passion for writing, even though I am not that good at it. This also was another chore I disliked in school and now I try to write at least 2-3 times a week. Writing, like reading, relaxes me. Plus having this blog helps me keep a record of my life.

Anyways, back on the topic, so I decided to get a tattoo. I have always wanted one but never knew what to get or where to get it. I knew I wanted to be able to hide it and show it when I wanted and it had to mean something very special to me. After thinking on it for a few months I decided I wanted something that included my love of reading and adventure along with my passion for the outdoors. I finally decided on an owl sitting on books, and the books just happen to be Harry Potter books. On the top book I have HP written on the top and side to represent the first book in the series and the bottom book represents the last book and has the Deathly Hallows symbol on its side. The owl represents my love for outdoors and wildlife. The owl is an Eastern Screech Owl, which is the smallest species of owls and happens to be my favorite and is native to Tennessee. Now that I decided what I wanted, I had to settle on where I wanted it. I truly wanted it to look like a piece of art work; however to make it look realistic it had to be fairly large. So, I decided I wanted on my back on my left shoulder. Perfect! Now I had to find a person that could do it! This was the hard part. If you get the wrong person then you will have bad art work on your body for the rest of your life and that is the last thing I wanted.

I searched online for local artists and after looking at some profiles I found most specialized in color and in cartoon-like images. After looking for weeks for an artist who had at least 10 years tattooing experience and that specialized in black and grey along with realism; I finally found John Goard from Born This Way. After looking at some of his work, I knew he was the right person for me.

The day was November 3 when I decided to make my appointment. I picked up my friend Maria and went to Born This Way.  I was nervous because I didn’t know what to except. I knew it was going to be uncomfortable but wasn’t sure how uncomfortable. The tattoo artist described it best, by saying it felt like someone starching a bad sun burn, and it did. I was thinking it would take about 2 hours however it ending up taking almost 5 hours. By the time the 4th hour rolled around I was done but I had to tough it out until the end. I am so glad I finally bit the bullet and got it. Now it has finally healed, took about 10 days, and looks great. Below are the pictures as I was getting it done, step by step.

Hopefully this will help with my Post Potter Depression.