The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Circle G Ranch July 25, 2013

We took my parents to Circle G Ranch for the first time a few months ago and sadly I have been so busy I haven’t been able to blog about it yet. This place is starting to get pretty poplar to the locals and I think this is mainly due to it always being on Groupon for 50% off. We went on a pretty weekend day, and so did everyone else. There were a lot of people there thus meant all the animals were not that hungry and many didn’t even come up to your car. Some did near the middle and the end  of the drive and of course the stupid Emu that I can’t stand was hungry. It wasn’t good as it has been for me in the past but I’ll have to go again soon.

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Tennessee Aquarium Weekend Adventure July 21, 2013


As you can see from the pictures above, this weekend getaway was a present from a secret friend. I am part of a gift exchange program via Reddit and someone just happens to get my name and was also from TN. This was a extremely enjoyable gift and it gave us a much needed break from all the stress we are going though right now. So, we awoke on Saturday morning and jumped into the car and headed down to Chattanooga, TN for the day.

They have added on to the Aquarium since we last had been there 6 or so years ago. They now have another building full of saltwater fish and animals plus they still have the fresh water river building close by. It was a packed Saturday and there were several children running around like they had no sense about them but thankfully the children grow tired of the fish by the time we got to the second building and many were sleeping. It was loud, a bit smelly, and packed but it was to be expected on a scorching weekend day.

After the tour of the two building we grabbed a snack at Bluewater Grill and waited for our IMAX  3D movie to start at 7:00 pm. As my Reddit friend suggested, we choose to see Flight of the Butterflies. Wow, this is a must see film. We really enjoyed it and all the children in the theater were amazed by it and keep quiet the whole time, about an hour. We had a coupon for a free chips and cheese at Big River Brewery co. so we headed there for a great dinner. We didn’t arrive home until close to midnight but it was worth it. Felt good to get away.

If you are ever in the Chattanooga area I would check out the Tennessee Aquarium and for $6 more add on the IMAX. We had a great time and I think you will too.

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Project 365: Weeks 10 and 11 March 19, 2013

Filed under: Project 365 — Sheena @ 11:32 am
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Cajun Dinner Week


Had a light dusting early one morning


Um, no


Reddit Gift Exchange Scarfs: Homemade Harry Potter! I love it


My birthday present ❤


Finally, finished.


Making my mom’s tablecloth and Mr. Mal is trying to help out


Crazy husky had a cat up the tree


Been wanting this for year finally broke down and got it


My fish sleeps on the filter. Scares me all the time


Waiting at the airport


Went into the husky’s cage and my husband locked him in. Sad puppy


Trying to sell our snake. I am not a fan


Red Beans and rice, yummy


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


Horseback Riding in the Smoky Mountains February 19, 2013

Back in August of last year, I purchased a few vouchers off the website Half off Depot when they were having a great sale going on. You could get 50% off the already marked-down price, came out to be 75% off most of the deals. In the deals I purchased was an 1 hour, 5 mile, horseback riding for 2 in the mountains complements of Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge, TN. Being hectic around the holidays we did not have a chance to put them to good use but since they were going to expire on 2/25 of this month we decided to brace the cold weather and give it a go.

On Sunday, we layered up in our long underwear putting all our cold weather gear into good use and drove to the mountains. The high in Knoxville that day was 41 degrees and normally in the mountains it is about 10 degrees below that but the sun was shining and it made for a gorgeous day. We arrived about 30 minutes early because we were excepting traffic but there wasn’t any. Our group was to take off at 2:00 so we checked out the stables at 1:30 and walked around the place for 30 minutes until our group was called to meet up at the stables. I was pleased to see that the stables were newer and well kept. All the horses were in good health condition matter-of-fact many could cut back on the sugar cubes.


There were 8 of us total in the riding group and everyone had little to none when it came to riding experience. I was the most knowledgeable of the group and that was frightening because I have not been on a horse since high-school and then I was bucked off and could not walk for days. Thankfully, experience was not required because the horses knew the trail well and all you had to do was hold on their reins and they lead the way. Everyone got their horse handpicked to meet their needs by our trail guy. My horse was named Max and he was a black gelding male that was tame and eager to hit the trial. My husband rode old Josephine. She was slow and wide horse but very tame and super sweet. They were the the caboose of the 8 horse line and I rode just in front of them.

I am sure I was smiling the whole time because I really enjoyed myself. It was so serene and tranquil being outdoors in the mountains horseback. I did not even mind the cold weather. For my birthday my husband and I are planning to go horseback riding in Cades Cove. They have a nice horseback riding trails in the loop but sadly they do not open until March 10th, so I will have to wait a few more weeks.

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If anyone is interested about this trail and would like to try it you can find more information at


Rubbing Elbows with the Stars January 25, 2013

For my friend Maria’s Birthday we decided to hit the town starting in the mountains.  First stop was food. We needed fuel for the night and that fuel was seafood at Joe’s Crab Shack.


Next, we were off to the Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge to rub elbows with the stars. For $18 ($15 if you purchase your tickets online and 24 hours prior to visiting) you get to tour the two-story museum and get close and personal with your favorite celebrities. I’ve never been to a wax museum before so I was not sure what to expect but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Now, if you are prude someone who does not like taking goofy pictures then you may not have as much fun as we did. The place is not crowded so you can go at your own pace and do not forget to bring your camera because there are numerous photo opportunities. I will say that some of the celebrities are hit or miss but for the most part I was able to identify 95% of the wax figures. I mean how often do you get to marry George Clooney, kick butt with Charlie’s Angels or chill with Hugh Heifers in his famous round red velvet bed?

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This is an ideal place to go in the cold winter months or rainy. You can also tour their Maze of Mirrors and the 5D ride at the Castle of Chaos at a discounted price when you purchase your museum tickets. We added on the Castle of Chaos ride. This is combines a ride, video game, and a 3D film all-in- one. You buckle your seat belt and grab your gun to get ready to kill some zombies. You are playing against everyone in the room, close to 20 people. The ride spins you around the room while a 3D film is playing along the walls. There is air that puffs on you your feet and your gun will vibrate if you hit your target. I thought my gun was broken at first because I kept aiming at the zombies but they did not die. It turns out that my index figure was covering up the laser, duh. Of course, at the end of the game my husband had the highest score and Maria came in second. It was an entertaining ride but I wish it lasted longer.

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Our third stop was to Barley’s Taproom to have some drinks and shoot some pool. I had an enjoyable time and hope Maria did as well. On the other hand I forget to bring her gift a long but that just means she gets to expand her birthday celebration a few more days.

Happy Birthday Maria!

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Thunder Snow in the South January 24, 2013

It went from 70 degrees and sunny to low 30’s and snowing in the matter of a few days, really. I live in South Knoxville and I have renamed it the Bermuda Triangle because once bad weather hits East Tennessee it destroys South Knoxville. On 1/13/13 I got stuck 4 times on the way home from work. I am not one to drive in the snow but I can and I do well in it but I just DO NOT like it. When I left work, I called my husband, who works is West Knoxville, wondering why he hasn’t called to check my safety and he said it wasn’t even snowing there, crazy. By this time we already had 3 inches of snow and it was still coming down hard. I told him to head home ASAP but it was already too late. Traffic was starting to back up and the interstate was not moving. It took him 3 hours to drive home, should have been 30 minutes on a normal day.

There really wasn’t a hurry home because we had lost power at 5:00 pm and did not get in back on until late the next night. It was freezing in the house, well not technically it was 47 when we awoke the next morning. We passed the time by playing some board games and trying  to stay warm. We had to pull out the ski gear to stay warm. I slept in my long underwear and a coat, it was a long night. The worse part of the past few days was that the saltwater tank got too cold and the 2 clown fish and some corals did not make it. I thought our star fish was also a goner but he defrosted once the tanks was up and running again. He however did lose one leg but it will grow back in time. The dogs did enjoy playing the snow and it was nice to see everything covered in white but I only like it if the power stays on.

They are calling for more snow and ice tonight, joy.

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