The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

My Views on a Happy Life July 17, 2012

I have started this blog out 5 different ways now and they all tend to go into a different direction every time. So plain and simple I want to talk about life. How short it is and why you shouldn’t waste it. When you step back and look at how small you are in this universe, it is crazy. Our lives are small and fleeting in the scheme of things, and yet we get caught up in our events and forget the world around us. I am one not to waste anything espically time and I want to talk about what is important in life and my views on how to have a happy life.

Hobbies: You have to have something you are passionate about. I have so many they are hard to list but my favorite hobby is writing. I love to write and tell my story. Other than the writing, I like to garden, read, bike,camp, hike, boating, astronomy, crafts,bake, and many other things.


Love You: The key to happy life is loving who you are. Loving who you are as a person inside and out. Yes I said on the outside too but if you are really unhappy about something, do what you can to improve it! Be inspired by your life, do thing that seem unachievable, be a great person. Learn to let go of hatefulness and bitterness and love people for who they are.

Friends: You can never have too many great friends. You need people to share your life with. People you can always count on to be there for you when you need them. Life is lonely when you are alone. There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.

Family: Learn to be grateful for your family.

Love Your Job: I know this is hard but it makes a world of difference in your life. If you don’t love what you do then you can’t truly be happy. I know this first hand. I worked hard in business school and landed a job in big corporation. Hated it. Went to another job and worked 60 hours a week at a desk. Couldn’t take it anymore so I went back to the job I had while working my way though college, Vet Tech, and I love it.

Never Stop Exploring: Question everything in life. Learn new things everyday. Go to places that you have never been. Say yes more than no. There is so much to see and learn in such little time. Go explore!

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
-Charles Darwin


Erick Baker – Bijou Theater February 18, 2012

The first time I saw Erick Baker perform it was at Barley’s in the Old City about 6 years ago. A friend of ours happens to be friends with Erick and wanted us to go check him out and have a few drinks. Once I heard him perform, I was captivated. This guy truly knows the meaning of music. His songs are low-key and restrained and maintain a dark, candlelit mood, romantic and emotional feeling, he can make any girls heart melt and I just love hearing him sing, plus he is very easy on the eyes 😉 What better person to get to sing at your wedding right? Well, as many of my readers all ready know, I indeed made that happen. This is how much I adore this guy, so when I heard he was playing again at the grand Bijou Theater on February 17, I had to get tickets.

After a small mix up in dates; someone, me, thought it was last weekend and as we walked up to the Bijou I noticed the sign on the side of the building stating said “Erick Baker 2/17  SOLD OUT” it just happen to be 2/10… Oops Oh well, we made it last night (on the correct day) and it was a tremendous show! There, we saw friends we haven’t seen for a while and even Bill Haslam of Governor was present. After the concert was over we met up at Latitude 35 in Market Square and then walked to the Old City for a few drinks at none other place than Barley’s, where it all began.  What a great night! I honestly couldn’t have had a better one.

(Bill Haslam on the first balcony in grey, I honestly didn’t know until now he was in this picture. I was just trying to show the beautiful  balcony’s inside)

If Erick is every in your town, since he is on tour, then I highly recommend you go see him. You won’t regret it!


Wedding Bliss June 9, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 1:09 am
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I know I haven’t posted in a few weeks, but I have been a busy little bee.

Our wedding was a blast! We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We had so much fun and were so glad that we could share our special day with all our family and friends.

Before Wedding:

The wedding stress started when I checked the weather forecast and noticed that in East Tennessee we were getting record high temps all week! We had planned on getting married on June 4th because it has never been over 90 degrees in the Smokie Mountains on that day and the normal temp is in the low 80’s. That day sounded like the perfect spring day to get married in a lily garden. Well… on our wedding day it was 95 degrees. I just knew I would die wearing a long white wedding dress. All I could think about was Phil soaking his suit in sweat and being absolutely miserable. I didn’t think any of our guests were going to show due to the heat. I just knew it was going to a nightmare.
The day before the wedding the bridesmaids and I went to Twisted Scissors to get feathers put into our hair (the wedding had peacock feather accents) and got our medi/pedi before we had to be at the rehearsal dinner. After all our primping we arrived at the Dancing Bear Lodge around 5:45. We were running behind due to a miss commutation on the wedding rehearsal time.  The dinner we had was astonishing! I had the steak and Phil the fish. The desserts were to die for. There was a whiskey cake and a chocolate gnash cake. Even my extremely picky dad enjoyed most of everything. Our photographer was there taking pictures of everyone and some casual pictures of Phil and me since we never got around to taking our engagement photos. He was the nicest guy.

After the dinner was over we went outside on the deck to have some drinks and make some s’mores over the camp fire. I love this place because of the laid back atmosphere. The lodge was a very charming place tucked back in the woods off the main road. It had very unique hand craved doors and mantel pieces. There were cabins you could rent or there were rooms within the lodge you could stay at. However there were none big enough for our wedding party.

Once we finished at the Lodge we (Phil and I, plus our little old Yorkie, along with the bridal party and their dates) went our cabin that we had rented about 10 minutes down the road from everyone else. This cabin was huge. It was 3 stories and slept 12. It had 4 rooms and 3 baths along with a hot tub, pool table and had swimming pool nearby.   We all stayed there the night before the wedding and the night of the wedding

The big day finally arrived! We started the day with breakfast at the Apple Valley Restaurant. We had the wedding rehearsal at 1:30 at the Lilly Barn and wanted something to eat to recover from the night before. The rehearsal was short and sweet because we had to start getting ready because the photographers had already arrived and to take photos of us getting ready. I haven’t even showered at this point. I had to run back to the cabin shower and return within 30 minutes.
All the bridesmaids and I returned to get our hair and makeup done at the Lily Barn’s barn. It was a nice, air conditioned, 100 year old place. There was met with 3 ladies from Garde Bien Salon.  2 of them where doing hair do’s and the other was the makeup lady. After about an hour the hair and makeup was finished and the photographer wanted photos of me and my bridesmaids before the wedding started. We took pictures for about 30 minutes in the garden and then I had about 30 minutes to relax before the ceremony.

I was getting extremely nervous. I felt like I was going too passed out. I don’t know if it was the heat or the stress. All I knew was that I didn’t want everyone looking at me; I had high heels on that I don’t normally walk in, and a dress with a long train. I just knew this was a recipe for a “fall on my face in front of everyone” disaster. I was also getting excited because I wanted to see Phil. Not because I missed him, which I did, but because he stated that “since he couldn’t see what I was wearing before the wedding, that I couldn’t know what we was wearing.” I couldn’t wait to see what he looked like!

It was time! All the girls jumped in the Element and drove over to the area where the wedding was being performed. I had to hide in the back with my head down “just in case” I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. I walked up to meet my dad. When I started walking all I could think was “thank goodness I had my father to hold on to!” I made it down the aisle perfectly fine. I didn’t even notice people looking at me or my dress or anything else all I could think about was Phil.

The music, Stay Awhile, was performed by Erick Baker, was prefect!  We decided we want a short and sweet ceremony. We didn’t want a lot of mushy vows and sayings that took a lot of time mainly because we didn’t want our guest baking in the sun longer than they need be. We were going to mix 2 different sand colors in one vase as a symbol of our love that couldn’t be easily separated but someone forgot to set it out, so we passed that part. Once the ceremony was over we had to take the formal pictures with both families; this took about 40 minutes, then we were off to the reception hall.

Finally we were Mr. and Mrs. Zarb!

We were greeted with bubbles, lots of bubbles, some smelling of beer. I guess a few guests were enjoying the receptions open bar. Once we arrived into the crowd of family and friends, we danced our first dance as husband and wife. Erick Baker sang one of my favorite song, My Two Left Feet! The reception hall was so beautifully. The place was cabin like. It was open on 2 sides and had a prefect view of all the flowers that were blooming in the garden. The other 2 were solid wooden walls were the food and bathrooms were placed.  My mother and mother-in-law had decorated beautifully. The tables had brown table clothes with burlaps overlays. Every other table had tall center pieces filled with rocks and flowers and the other tables had smaller centerpieces fill with the same flowers. Phil managed to rock our table a little too hard tipping ours just enough to break the base. Water poured out all over the table, my friend’s boyfriend, Joey, managed to catch the vase before it tumbled over. No one really got wet just the table, which dried very fast. Before we started the dinner, BBQ from Famous Daves, we decided to do the mixing of the sanding and then say the blessing.


Everyone enjoyed the food; I swear it was better than the food they serve at their restaurants.

There was one more official dance to be done, the Father Daughter dance along with Mother Son dance. We decided to combine both dances into one. The song we choose was “I Hope You Dance.”  My father and I started the dance and Phil and his mother join in a few moments later. Next, was the cutting of the cake. Everyone was of course telling us to smash the cake into each other’s faces; however Phil knew better. The cake was red velvet on the bottom with white almond for the middle and top. It honestly was the best cake I have ever eaten. The last official thing we had to do was throw the bouquet, which my bridesmaid Ashley caught, and the garter.

Now it was time to dance the day awhile. Which almost everyone did! We had picked out a lot of current songs because I love to dance! That wedding dress didn’t slow me down a bit. I can’t wait until pictures are ready. All the pictures above were from a family friend. She did a great job.

That was the best day of our lives. We couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful day. I don’t even know how to show our families how much we appreciated all they did to make our day so special. Words can’t even explain.

On June 4, 2011 I truly married my best friend, Philip Zarb


Life is good, kind of March 9, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 6:29 am
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I’m sitting here watching the rain pour down outside the window of my work and started to think about something one of my friends stated earlier this week. She said that she “was happy where she was in life.”  This made me reflect, am I happy with my current position? I had this life plan; I was going to go to college and get a great job, make lots of money and live happily ever after. The dream crashed when the economy did.

I did get to go to the school I wanted to, University of Tennessee, and studied the subject I loved, logistics; however, once I graduated college I couldn’t find a job. I was still working the job that helped me pay for school in the first place. I was a vet tech with a business degree. I was feeling horrible about myself. I searched for jobs high and low for about 1 year until I found my current job at Whirlpool. Sounds good to say, “I went to UT and now I work for Whirlpool”, right? No, I currently work as a temp for Whirlpool and make 1 dollar more an hour than I did before college. Sometimes, I wish I never went to school then I wouldn’t be in all this debt from student loans and credit cards but then realize that that is my greatest accomplishment in life so far. Yes, I haven’t found my ideal job yet but I am still glad I did what I did. I still am searching and will not give up until I find what I am looking for, but until then I have to budget my money and save every penny I errand. College was not all bad the best thing I got from the experience was. If I never had gone to school I would have never met him. Phil will graduate this May with an electrical engineering degree and I pray that he doesn’t end up the same boat as me.

Other than my career, I am very happy where I am in life. I have a great soon-to-be husband and a pleasant home to live in. I have family and friends that love and care about me. Life is good. I may not be the business women I intended to be but I am hoping this is just part of my life plan and that everything will work its way out in the end. Until then, fingers crossed.


V – Day gifts February 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 3:34 pm
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Here is a peek on what I just finished preparing for Phil. In the bag are Double Stuffed Oreos, his favortie food ever. The Love Jar is full of his favorite candies. I normally always make my cookies from strach however I saw these and fell in love with them. And finally the lucky lotto tickets, maybe he will get lucky 😉 l


VALENTINE’S DAY January 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 5:12 pm
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I have been pondering on what to do for Valentines day for 2 weeks now and I can’t come up with anything 😦  We are short on money due to our up coming wedding and along with being short on money we are also short on time.  I was thinking maybe a trip  to the mountains and rent a cabin. However, we have so many meeting with caterers and bakers etc, we don’t have time to get a way. I want to do  something special but I am short on  ideas.

I was thinking maybe I could make something for him. This way I could save money and it would be a little more personal. I was thinking about this:

I hope I can figure this out soon it is a little over 2 weeks away!