The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

You + Me = Us Through The Years November 21, 2012

This Thanksgiving will be #9 for the hubby and I. It is strange how time flies by and gets away from you in a blink of an eye. It seems like yesterday we were going on our first date and being all bubbly eyed at each other. I was organizing my photos and thought it would be nice to put together a time-line of the “us.” A lot of has happened and changed since it all began in 2004. Hairstyles and colors gone bad along with different clothing styles. I giggles a bit at some of them. Well, here is a walk down memory lane.


Our first date after talking for 2 months 🙂 This was taken in the parking garage in West Town Mall. We went to see a movie but I couldn’t tell you what it was.


We both love the outdoors and here we are camping in the Smoky Mountains


After 2 years of dating we decided to get our own place together. This is us in downtown Knoxville watching Boomsday.


We were cruising to Mexico and the Cayman Island this year. This was my first time out of the country and my first cruise.


We had so much fun, we were off to Mexico, again! This was the year we purchased our first home together.


Here is my brother-in-law and us enjoying our “new” boat


Never skied before or been on a plane. I had a mild nervous break down on the plane and found out that I am not that coordinated to ski but we still had a great time.


7 years down the road we finally say “I do!”


Still happily together as we were in 2004


Wedding Traditions and Customs History April 9, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 2:10 am
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When I started looking for some of the things needed for a wedding I  started asking why do I have to have this and that. Why do we still have some of the wedding traditions like the garter toss? Below is what I found:

  • Best Man:

As marriages were historically accomplished by capture (the groom would kidnap the woman), a warrior friend was often employed. This Best Man would help the groom fight off other men who wanted the captured woman, and would also help in preventing the woman’s family from finding the couple.

  • Bridal Party:

The bridal party has many origins, not the least of which are the Anglo-Saxon days. When the groom was about to abduct his bride, he needed the help of many friends, the “bridesmen” or “brideknights.” The “gentlemen” would make sure the bride got to the ceremony on time and to the groom’s house afterwards. The bride also had women to help her. These were known as the “bridesmaids” or “brideswomen.”

  • Bridal Showers:

The Bridal Shower originated with the intent to strengthen friendships between the bride and her friends. In this gathering, the bride’s friends would give her moral support and help her prepare for her marriage. The idea to give gifts is fairly new; originating circa the 1890’s. At one shower, the bride’s friend placed small gifts inside a parasol and opened it over the bride’s head so that the presents would “shower” over her. When word of this hit the fashion pages, people were so taken with the idea that they decided to do the same at their showers.

  • Bride on the left, Groom on the right:

When the groom fought off warriors who also wanted his bride, he would hold onto her with his left hand, while fighting them off with his sword in his right hand (we suppose there were no Southpaws in those days of yore), which is why the bride stands on the left, and the groom on the right.

  • Diamond Engagement Rings:

These lavish gifts were given by medieval Italians in the belief that the diamond was created in the Flames of Love.

  • Garter Toss/Bouquet Toss:

In the 14th century, it was customary for the bride to toss her garter to the men, but sometimes the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to take the garter off her ahead of time. (Eventually the groom got into the act and saved his bride from the unruly mob…we hope). All the same, it got to less trouble for her to toss her bridal bouquet instead.

  • Honeymoon:

Following the abduction, the groom would put himself and his bride into hiding – the Honeymoon – so that by the time the bride’s family found them, the bride would already be pregnant.

  • Shoes on the Bumper:

Tying shoes to the bumper of the car represents the symbolism and power of shoes in ancient times. Egyptians would exchange sandals when they exchanged goods, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the groom, he would also give the bride’s sandals to show that she now belonged to the groom. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride’s shoe to show his authority over her. In later times, people would throw shoes at the couple. Now, thankfully, folks just tie shoes to the new couple’s car.

  • Something Blue:

In continuing with the discussion of the white wedding dress, it should be noted that – in Biblical days – blue represented purity. Thus the bride and groom would wear a blue band around the bottom of their wedding attire, hence something blue.

  • Stag Parties:Ancient Spartan soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would feast with his male friends on the night before his wedding. In this event he would say good-bye to the carefree days of bachelorhood and swear continued allegiance to his comrades.
  • Tie the Knot:

This wonderful expression originated from Roman times when the bride wore a girdle that were tied in knots which the groom had the fun of untying. As a side note, this phrase can also refer to the tying of the knot in Handfasting Ceremonies, which were often performed without the benefit of a clergy.

  • Veil:

Along with these kidnappings and bartering, there were also arranged marriages. In these, the groom’s family informed him that he was to marry…but they very rarely let him see the bride. After all, if the groom didn’t like the bride’s looks, he might not agree to the marriage. With this in mind, the father of the bride gave the bride away to the groom who then lifted the veil to see his wife of all eternity for the first time. (I have to wonder how many of these grooms voiced their reactions aloud.)

  • Wedding:

Although the aforementioned events were common, marriage by purchase was preferred. Quite often the bride was exchanged for land, political alliance, social status and/or currency. Indeed, the Anglo-Saxon word “wedd” meant the groom would vow to marry the woman – and that the bartered goods and/or currency would go directly to the bride’s father. (Side note: the very word “wedding” comes from the root term meaning “gamble” or “wager”.) In short, a wedding seemed little more than the purchase of a bride for breeding purposes. Not a particularly liberated point of view.

  • Wedding Bands:

It is unknown when wedding bands were first worn. They were probably made of a strong metal such as iron. (One can easily guess the portent of an omen if a wedding band broke.) As far back as the ancient Romans, there was a belief that the vein in the third finger ran directly to the heart, so the wearing of rings on that finger joined the couple’s hearts and destinies.

  • Wedding Cake:

Like most any other ritual handed down from the ages, a wedding wouldn’t be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride’s head as a symbol of her fertility. (Whether this meant cracking the cake above the bride’s head or actually bonking her on the noggin with it is rather unclear. We’re not sure we want to know…) Over time, it became traditional to stack several cakes atop one another, as tall as possible. The bride and groom would then be charged to kiss over this tower without knocking it over. If they were successful, a lifetime of good fortune was certain for the new couple. Finally, during the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary for cake to be a palatable palace iced with sugar.

  • White Wedding Dress:

Anne of Brittany made the white wedding dress popular in 1499. Before that, a woman Just wore her best dress. It should be noted that a white wedding dress is in no way indicative of The “purity” of the bride-to-be. Indeed, white is not accorded as a symbol of chastity, but of joy.


Wedding Update April 8, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 7:34 pm
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I have been a busy little bee here lately. The wedding is only 57 days away! There is so much to do, so many people to meet, so much of everything. It becomes somewhat stressful. On a good note, we have officially book Famous Dave’s as our caterer! It feels good to finally have that booked. We also have The Dancing Bear Lodge for our rehearsal dinner. We are starting to get excited! We have almost booked all the major things for the wedding; however, we still need to find a cake, figure out what Phil and his groomsmen are wearing and pick out wedding rings


On top of the wedding stuff, Phil is graduating from UT next month (May 11)!  I have been fixing up his invitations and trying to get them ready to be put in the mail this week. I am so proud of him.


With all the concentration on the wedding I haven’t paid a lot of attention to myself. This week I have started my Wedding Preparation Plan (WPP): I purchased new tanning bed bulbs for my tanning bed and started getting my tan on. My legs are so white I think they would light up under a black light. I have been doing to whole facial mask and moisturizers and using my Crest WhiteStripes. I have begun eating healthy meals and running at least a mile in the mornings. My biggest alteration is that I have started wearing high heels. I am learning to walk in heels, were I’ll be able to walk in my wedding shoes without falling. Being a bride is a lot of work


Wedding Planning: Right on Target March 28, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 7:17 pm
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On Sunday, Phil and I went to Target to begin our wedding registry because we were starting to get the question “where are you two registered at” and didn’t have an answer. Since this past weekend was a wash out, due to the rain, we decided to run around town to do some shopping and get a start on our wedding registry. First we did a little personal shopping, starting at Borders. I had a 40% off coupon and wanted a new book to read. Of course, once I starting looking around I find 20 books I needed but I was good and only purchased the one I went there for. Afterward, we had a hunger hibachi and sushi so we went to lunch at Kampi of Tokyo, one of Phil’s much loved restaurants.  Following lunch, we had a few other stops: Bath & Body Works for a few hand sanitizer and soaps given that I have developed a small case of germophia since I started working in an office, Victoria Secret for their big sale and finally off to Target for the wedding registry.

We didn’t think this trip would take too long since we already have a house and it didn’t feel too empty. Boy were we wrong, once we started the journey up and down the aisles with that scanner, we ended up needing/wanting a lot more than expected. Presently, everything in our home is either hand-me-downs or discount items, from the mix-matched towels to the furniture. We don’t have themes or colors scheme, we just live with what we have, even if our sofa and love seat are purple with rips in the pillows 🙂 We thought it was would be nice, for a change, to have things in our home that matched one another so we picked out colors scheme: green, brown, and teal.

We started our journey out in the home goods department. One of the first things we looked at was curtains. Currently, we don’t have curtains or binds but in one room of the house and we need them in every room. We didn’t comprehend all the items involved in putting up window treatments and by the time we were done scanning rods, hooks, white curtains, decorative curtains, and curtain ties we were worn out.  We scanned a few other things like sheets and rugs that we liked but Phil’s feet were starting to hurt and I was mentally exhausted from trying to make everything match and flow in my head, so we called it a day. We still have at least one more round at Target, because we didn’t get too in depth in the kitchen section and wanted to scan a few more things we desired. Overall, we had a good time. It was really nice be able to pick out nice things for our home and imaging how our house will look if we got some of those things we put on our list.

When planning a wedding, you get so wrapped up in all of it you forget that there is actually a wedding. Our wedding is no more than 68 days away and I’m starting to get that I’M GETTING MARRIED feeling. We are getting so excited and can’t wait to share our special day with our friends and family!  We still have a few more things to figure out before June 4th but we are moving in the right direction. I am so happy it is finally coming together!



Wedding Update March 11, 2011

Wedding update: I haven’t posted in awhile about the wedding and its growth lately. Today’s post is to enlighten everyone what we have accomplished in the past few weeks. Each week we are getting closer to the BIG DAY and I can start to feel the butterflies starting to build up in my stomach. Last week, we booked 2 photographers from Waldorf photography. We were starting to get concerned since a lot of the good ones were already booked for June 4. To Phil and me, photography was one of the most significant parts of our wedding because once the wedding is over and all the guests have left all you have is your memories and pictures. I was so happy to be able to place a check mark next to that box. We plan on doing the engagement photos sometime in the beginning of April once everything starts to bloom.

Next check mark went to music. We now have booked our DJ for the reception and booked Erick Baker for the wedding ceremony! This is my favorite local singer! This honestly made our wedding my dream wedding.

Now we are still working on getting the invitations and tasting a few more places for the catering. We have decided on BBQ but have one more place to try before we book Famous Dave’s. I also need to find a good baker for the cake. I have found one but haven’t done the tasting yet. Still a lot of work to do but now it is starting to feel real. Less than 3 months to go!


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**


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.