Fresh Squeezed – Using An At Home Baby/Toddler Food Pouch Kit 

We have had several types of these pouch kits on our Amazon wish list since I was pregnant (my toddler is now 14 months old). For some reason we kept pushing off purchasing one. Recently, we have seen how often we hand our daughter pretzels, crackers or other easy to clean up snacks when on the go. Mostly, because she is a normal kid and loves to make messes and we want to avoid her being sticky or filthy when we are not home. Like most parents we want her to be consuming more nutritious food when we are out and about (we love to take a lot of mini road trips). She already eats well at home for the most part. So this idea came backup to help when on the go.

Our daughter was left to do baby led weaning. She wanted to eat earlier than what we had researched was a good time to start solids but our concerns were put to rest by two doctors we consulted who were familiar with and in support of BLW. So she ate with us for the most part. To this day we rarely make her separate food and just watch our food choices so she can eat with us. The only difference is now we often give her her own plate/bowl and utensils instead of always allowing her to eat straight from our plates. She’s never had any issues and if she doesn’t like something she simply doesn’t eat it. She also continues to breastfeed on demand so she has that nutrition as well. 

I have wanted to try the pouch foods for half her life but my husband and I had decided not to feed her store bought baby food other than some crackers and dried treats we tried out. So no jars of food, formula or any other pre-made baby food other than crackers and yogurt drops. Though, I don’t judge anyone who uses those things. A happy and healthy fed baby is all I really care about. You do you. I also feel like I’m a little late in introducing my toddler to these squeeze pouches but better late then never. A squeeze pouch full of vegetable purée is better than a handful of popcorn. 

It’s pay day so we are low of veggies until we can purchase more food. I did have some carrots, rhubarb and sugar snap peas so I chopped those up and lightly steamed them. 

Then I put them in a blender with a dash of homemade coconut milk kefir for the probiotics. 

Afterwards I used this super simple machine to fill a pouch for her to try out the goodies. 

Verdict? Not mess less. Just less messy. She spit out her first mouthful then started working on it more a little unsure. She might enjoy a cold fruit pouch better. 
This kit also comes with a handy reminder to let you know how long food can be kept. These pouches are disposable (we researched reusable but I was not comfortable with the issue of keeping them properly sealed and more importantly cleaned after use without bad bacteria building up) and can be written on just like milk storage bags. 

Making your own baby food is easy and cheap. If you can get a little kit like this one I highly recommend it. And no, I am in no way endorsed by this company to promote their product. 


Today’s Project: Crocheted Bar Soap Bag

When I lived in San Diego we had an abundance of large year round Farmer’s Markets. One of my favorite things to buy other than fresh food was cold process soap. It has been far too many years to recall when my addiction to cold process soap began but it has been a while and I still love it as much as I always have. Living in NW Washington state our Farmer’s Markets locally are a fraction of the size back home. They also only run part of the year probably due to the rain and cold. So unfortunately, I had run out of my soap a few months back and looking online wasn’t the same as being able to smell the soap in person and interact with the person who made it. My commercial body washes didn’t make me feel as good either. So when I found locally made (technically it’s a few hours from where I live but I bought it when I was visiting closer to the farm where it is produced) at a co-op I was super excited and it was hard to choose which one I wanted. I knew the market season here was about to start so one was enough. I chose honey and lemon goats milk soap. 

When I found the soap I knew I wanted to finally crochet a soap bag for it. I had been waiting to try and make one until I had a bar I could use as a guideline for sizing. I am a newer crocheter and horrible at following written patterns so I make most things by winging it. This bag in the pictures you will see scattered about I made from 100% cotton yarn started along the same way I made a tarot bag recently for my mom. Then I tried something else and it started to look like a wonky net. Works for me! Something I hope will look better the next time around. 

Someday, I hope to make my own cold process soap. I have made various types of hot process soap over the years but it is never quite the same. I have researched making my own cold process but it is simply not cost effective if I want a variety. Nor do I have the space for a good set up. I also plan on using milk from goats I have raised so waiting on a few life changes to make the soap happen. Which I am perfectly content with. I can wait! For now supporting local handcrafters is the way to go for me. 

HHH: Wights, Gods and Ancestors

I wrote the original article for “Huginn’s Heathen Hof.” You can find that post here:


When people are curious about my religion , they often ask me about “who” or “what” I worship. I tell them that I HONOR the wights, gods and ancestors with my actions, and that I also give offerings when I feel it is appropriate. This is usually follow by questions like: “The what? Whites?” The wights, or vaettir, are the spirits of the land and other places such as the home. These can be best explained as various clans of spiritual beings native to Miðgarð, other than humanity. This tends to spark more questions or just a confused smile and a nod. I quite honestly prefer the later most days so I don’t spend hours trying to cover what different heathens believe. There is not any true set rule on the way practices should be done in most cases. Trying to explain anything properly without dropping a few crates of books on someone is hard to do. Just try listening to any Heathen podcasts out there. One basic question can lead to over an hour of discussion that still doesn’t fully answer the topic. It’s even worse with heathens in person when you don’t have a time constraint keeping you on topic.


For me I spend most of my time in the home with my family. We have certain goals that we work towards in our home, so we tend to focus on select relationships with local vaettir. It’s important to note that our way of interacting with the wights/gods/ancestors may not look like how other Heathens work. Currently, we are not part of a tribe or kindred so our practices are entirely our own. All the work we do is together with our family. Joining a community is a wonderful thing and to be encouraged but at our current point in our lives this is working for us. So we keep going and keep working with the other beings around us.


In our practice the wights are what we work with the most often. This sets us apart from most heathens we meet, who almost exclusively speak of the gods and their personal relationships with them. We work with the wights for household problems and to encourage a peaceful cohabitation. Their presence is very prominent in the forests here and I often feel them close to my home, seeing as I live a few steps from a wooded area. It’s almost as if they curiously explore the edge of the trees when the mood suits any one of them. Most of our offerings go to them because they are always there and they can have a good understanding of things when you treat them well. A little offering can go a long way. We especially seek their support as we are working on becoming small scale farmers in the future. My husband thinks the term “homesteader” and homesteading” are hipster terms, but I don’t see it that way. I often speak of incorporating the wights into my homesteading ventures. I believe that any place we live we will have to work with them to be successful. Which works for me. I am happy to do so. They are more apt at aiding you where you stand instead of petitioning the gods as I see it.


So why do we focus so much more on the wights than the gods? Well, grew up I longed for religion. My mother was secretly a pagan (that worked out great for me later!) and my dad from what I know of him now was a Christian (depending on if he could find a good church that wasn’t openly corrupt) when he was sober and had amazingly deep mystical leanings that were scientifically based but with a sheer, spiritual curtain draped over it. My mom encouraged us to find our own faith, so I went through many. Even when I became a Pagan I still studied everything I could get texts on. The idea of God, when I was studying Abrahamic religions, was something that was difficult for me to grasp. I knew there was something but the ideas I was given to work with led to many awkward attempts at being religious. Even while Pagan I had a general God/Goddess but never had a set two I was never any I was specifically devoted to. So I went off to practice folk magic, and essentially ignored other aspects of what my community was doing. Even as a Heathen who finally found her gods, I see them as something to honor and respect instead of having over for afternoon tea. I see them as ancestors in a sense…but as the greatest of the ancestors. With great knowledge and wisdom. I give offerings to them for the big things in my life and as a general thank you at times. We don’t ask them for much, unless it’s a huge problem or something that needs more than the wight that lives under the counter can do for us. We honor them at various holy days we celebrate as well. If you need help around the house you don’t call the president to come help you tidy up. That is just silly. Saying that, those that do claim they have quite the relationship with the gods still have a valid stance. Their Heathenry is not my Heathenry but it is still perfectly valid.  Part of the Homesteading lifestyle is trying to live truly and as independently as we can. Although we may ask for their help on occasion we try to be self-reliant and honor the gods by using their stories and presence as our strength to obtain knowledge, gain wisdom, learn from our mistakes, act in a way that is good and true and live a Heathen life. I have found this pleases them the most.


Then there are the ancestors. This one is hard for me and I sometimes feel I am a “bad Heathen” because they don’t have a huge place in our lives currently. My husband and I have familial lines we can trace back so far the blood we share with that person probably barely fills a pinky toe. Then we have the lost histories, either due to adoption or purposeful elimination of the past, which leaves us with the nameless ones. We both have problems with various parts of our families that have hindered our relationships with parts of them. Many Heathens will say that if these relationships cannot be repaired, the ties should still be honored. Which, for anyone with a dysfunctional family knows, is hard to do. It has been my top priority recently to develop my relationships with my ancestors and to ask for their guidance. To bring them more into my life. This opened the lines of communication in a way for me. I have also been working on developing skills (most people just see them as crafts) that can draw out various ancestors who have worked similarly in their time. Now that I have a child I feel the relationships with the ancestors I had a hard time with is more important than ever. I have always been interested in my genealogy and luckily the same love runs in my family and I can map out the familial lines thanks to their work (my husband also has some snack hungry detailed records. The Dutch don’t mess around apparently). I recently found a picture thanks to my aunt of my 4 times great grandmother sitting at her spinning wheel. I had a profound experience seeing that image and knowing her name. Eleanore. I have recently begun to spin and oddly had always had a fondness for the type of wheel she worked on. Even her name had been one I considered for my own child since I was young. Could she have been with me my entire life and I ignored her? Influencing me in ways I did not realize she could? Yes, in my opinion even if you don’t work with them. So again yes, she was quite possibly always there. I am at a point in my life where the voices of my ancestors and their guidance would be most helpful. I will be one of them someday so my work now for my children and line is important to me and hopefully them as well. Be aware they can both help and hurt so just like any being…don’t be a jerk. There is a reason they say not to speak ill of the dead. Do you really want to find out why?


Heathens are fueled by their religion. These beings are a part of the every day life and practices for a Heathen. If not I truly believe they should be. I already have admitted I have some faults of my own in living alongside these beings in the best way I can. It’s not easy but there is always room for improvement.

Crocheted Kitchen Cloths Project 

So I might have a problem with not finishing projects. Not by choice though! I am one of those people who get obsessive about a project and all I want to do is finish it. I even dream about my crafts. When I first started learning how to crochet I was crocheting in my dreams. When I was finally ready to start cross stitching (a craft that has been on my list to learn “forever”) I dreamt about it every night until I couldn’t take it anymore and had to go buy supplies without even knowing what I was doing and not really sure what I needed. Then of course after I started I still dreamt of it. Because that’s what my brain does to me. 


A lot of the time when I don’t finish a project it is because someone wants something. So I stop what I am working on to make what that person asked for. Other instances include running out of supplies (and either not having the funds to complete it at that time or not having time to go to into town to buy supplies), getting supplies in for another new craft I am excited about (why do I do this to myself? Oh yeah…because I love crafting!) or I am simply generally busy.  

This project is something I have slowly been working on since I learned to crochet last year. My neighbor-friend Michelle inspired me to go paperless. She doesn’t use paper products for cleaning (other than for tushies) and it seemed nice when I went to her house to always have an abundance of towels and rags to clean up a mess (usually from my daughter who thinks she’s Marvel’s Thor and throws food and drink down forcefully. “ANOTHER!”). I also saw her making beautiful knit dish cloths that were a major upgrade from paper towels. Both in looking great and being cost effective…oh and of course less wasteful! She made two for me and I use them for a lot of pictures with food for this blog because they are so pretty. Its one of the reasons I can’t wait to find time to ask her to help me learn to knit. Her cloths are deliciously floppy and easy to work with! She already started to teach me her ways but my daughter wanted to be in my lap or nurse every time we started working. So it has been a few months since I could get back into it. 

Eventually, I just started crocheting some super basic 100% cotton cloths. Square and simple. I wanted to build a stash to start using as sponges, dish drying cloths, for wiping down counters, etc. The problem was I kept giving them away! I love making things for people! I even have a package that includes a few of my crocheted cotton cloths upstairs for my mother in law that I still need to send. I also promised another friend some so I started working like crazy to make a pile of all the same size so she could choose what colors she liked. After an initial collection I would start working on different stitches. Other projects got in the way however.

I finished a crocheted beanie for my husband yesterday so I decided last night to get back to work making more cloths so I could start using them more. I wanted to make a ton before I started using them with everything (I have one I use but the rest are new). I see now though that waiting is pretty silly. So my husband picked a drawer to clean out for our kitchen cloths collection. Both for my handmade cloths and some store bought towels for covering bread dough, etc.

 I was never a fan of much color except jewel tones until I moved to the Pacific Northwest. Now, I am super into all these bright colors! Perfect for a tiny pick me up considering we have less than half a year of sunny days here. I love the rain but I am still adjusting after moving from Sunny San Diego last Summer. A place where I spent most of my life. 

I also made some half sized cloths that I intended for small messes but I discovered today that they make super cute and simple coasters! I’m not great with explaining crochet but for the mini cloths I chained 15 then did a single weave out of the front loop until the size looked even. I chained 30 for the larger pieces and they fit great in our drawers. I am going to make a bunch of 45’s at some point as well. So I hope that is helpful if you were curious! I also made a few for face cloths in our bathrooms so they can be used for many different things! 

I am so excited to make more changes slowly but surely to waste less and save us money by handcrafting our things. 

Coconut Milk Kefir – Part Two of Two 

Part Two of my Coconut Milk Kefir blog! The first post can be found here: Coconut Milk Kefir – Part One of Two | The Heathen Homesteader

As you can see here only a few minutes after I added the water kefir grains to the coconut milk it started to go to work. I made this in the afternoon and the kitchen was warm (for here) still from cooking lunch. 

This was early the next morning:

The morning after that: 

It was here that I used a bowl and a strainer to empty out the contents from my brewing bottle.

Some of the grains had escaped the bag so I set the whole bunch aside to drain a bit more before packing it up for later use. 

I then poured the contents into a different bottle to refrigerate. The agave from the recipe adjusted the color. 

It got thicker in the fridge as it waited to chill. 

The next day my husband was finally home to test it. This sat for about 36 hours with the grains then about 12 alone cooking so I expected it to be super sour. He enjoyed it though but said he prefers his kefir to have more bold flavor as he was used to flavored store bought kefir. Such as strawberry or blueberry dairy kefir. 
So he decided to use it as his base for his protein shakes instead of soy milk. He loved it! Next time I am going to try fermenting it with the coconut meat and adding natural extracts after it is complete. Yay for experimentation! 

Drying and Storing A Sourdough Starter

I had been wondering how to save some of a special sourdough starter gifted to me by my friend Michelle for a while now. It’s s 300+ year old Bavarian sourdough starter she acquired through a collector. It came dried and in crumbles. I kept telling myself to find out how it was done but repeatedly forgot to search for instructions. Then this link: was repinned on Pinterest by another friend. When I saw it in my newsfeed I was so excited! I could finally save some of my starter to give to family and store in general.

I didn’t plan on writing a blog about it until I was already starting on it. So therefore I didn’t take pictures of my entire process. You can find those in the blog post I shared above if you’d like! 

I started by feeding my starter. I usually keep mine in the fridge in between baking as I currently am only using it once a week if that. I took it out the day before I decided to use some so it would be at room temperature. Then I mixed a cup of warm (not hot) water and a cup of unbleached all purpose flour together into my starter. After it started bubbling I covered a cookie sheet with parchment paper and poured some of my starter on.

Then I tried to smooth it out as thinly as possible.

After I was done I added another piece of parchment paper to the top and gently pushed it down.

Then I let it dry at room temperature. After 24 hours I noticed the edges were all dry so I removed the top layer of parchment paper. 

Instead of waiting longer I crumbled off the completely dry bits to save in a mason jar. 

I waited another day to crumble the rest. Some small pieces were still not quite ready so I left those and put the rest in my jar to save. I live in a wet climate but my kitchen is usually pretty warm so I think that helped it dry up quicker than anticipated. 

To use again you just need to add a bit to a mixture of half warm water and half flour. I wouldn’t use flours like rye or buckwheat. I did that with my original starter I made from scratch and it took far too long to break down and begin bubbling. 

So simple and such an easy way to store your starter and/or dry some to gift others!

Coconut Milk Kefir – Part One of Two 

This is Part One of Two! Part Two can be found here: (I will add the link after I write and post it tomorrow)

Long before I met him my husband has been drinking kefir. I am not a fan of yogurt or pretty much anything fermented so I never liked it. I tried adding tiny bits into my drinks for health reasons but couldn’t “handle” it. It is amazing in baking though. I have never had such moist and delicious cakes and such until I started using dairy based kefir in place of milk, water, etc. I have yet to try a vegan kefir and my husband has had containers to create his own for most of our partnership. So we finally did it! Made kefir that is. 

My husband purchased the water kefir grains from two different suppliers so we could test them against each other in time. There are dairy grains/yeasts but my husband wanted to get a vegan base so we can work with more variety. Or whatever his plan is. We used the grains in homemade coconut milk as he has heard it is the best nut milk based kefir.

I used a fresh coconut to make my milk and added the water (juice?) from inside the coconut. You can make your own using fresh or dried or try it with store bought. I had my husband open the coconut with this method from my childhood:

First he poked holes through these openings.


I have used anything from nails to a screwdriver in the past. He chose a screwdriver. He punctured the three flat spaces then we drain the coconut liquid out.


Then because he is how he is he basically tore the thing apart with the screwdriver.
I took it into the kitchen and removed the meat from the shell with a spoon and butter knife. 

Then I cleaned the meat a bit more. 

At this time my toddler wanted to play under my feet so I moved and strained any coconut hair, etc out of the juice we collected. 
After that I washed the meat off and set it in a blender with the strained juice and added 4 cups of filtered water.

 Then followed my recipe here:

To make the kefir I used:

*4 cups plain coconut milk

*The contents of one package of water kefir grains (you really need just 2-3 tbs)

*1 tbs sweetener of your choice

– This helps feed the grains. Not so much for sweetening. I just organic raw agave but honey, raw sugar or another natural sweetener may work. 

I mixed the raw agave with the milk fully before putting it in the jar. 
Then I put the water kefir grains in this nifty tea strainer thingy that it came with. They didn’t really fit and it led me to think I added too many. The instructions were not exactly clear on what to do. 


I pushed the sucker into the bottle slowly as juices seeped out.

Then I covered it with Saran Wrap seeing as my toddler decided to hide the lid. 
Then I left in the warmest part of our kitchen to do its magic. It has to sit at least 12 hours and I had heard it recommended to stop at 36 but other says 48 hours is fine. The next blog will show the fermentation process and the final result. 

Looking For Land – The Search Continues 

Listening to your gut feeling (some would say responding to a nudge from the gods/ancestors) is a great thing. I resist at times thinking I’m just being indecisive. So glad I listened recently with a recent glimpse into our future and didn’t get my hopes up about property we explored online. We are not ready to move. We have a bit of debt to still pay off so we can start fresh instead of adding more to the pile. We also want to expand our family in the next year or two and starting on a bigger homestead with a toddler and a pregnant lady/newborn is kind of silly. Not saying it can’t be done but that for us as a military family it would be extra stress we don’t need. Slow and steady wins the race. Waiting gives us time to prepare and adjust to living in the PNW. 

The land we were considering was something that wasn’t going to be placed on the market for quite a few years. That was great for us so we could get to know the area in the meantime and prepare for the transition. Knowing what we were getting in the long run seemed like an impossibly true dream. Like knowing the future and just having to wait for it to come to be. Well, it was impossible. Which was actually more than fine for me. 

My husband and I share many of the same dreams for our life and future. It makes many things easier for us. One thing we differ on is people. He grew up on a chunk of land in a small town. I grew up in the city where you have a neighbor within spitting distance. I fear living too remotely. He craves it. We have made some compromises in trying to come to a conclusion that will suit us both. The plans make sense considering we want to farm and own animals. So having neighbors too close wouldn’t be great for us. Being able to be heard if I scream is basically the distance we decided on. I’ll be buying a megaphone to be sure they can hear me if I need help. Sort of joking there but not entirely. My main concern is having medical care nearby. Living on a small farm with eventually multiple people is bound to end up with someone needing a couple stitches or cast at some point. We can hope that won’t happen but better safe than sorry. I would also prefer not to give birth on the road to the hospital like I have heard of so often of before when living in more remote areas. Home birth isn’t something we personally after my first birth. 

This property was too far for me from neighbors, hospitals and stores if any of my (future) kids were sick or needed something ASAP (though we would plan to be prepared for this instead of needing to o into town). It wasn’t nearly as far as other farming areas we looked at but still too far for this part of our lives. It was perfect in many ways for our homesteading plans. We even drove out to it to take a peek and talked to the owner about visiting when the land was a bit more dry. It looked great in the back (from looking online) but the house itself wasn’t our style and too hidden in the forest. Not enough bodies of water for us either from what we saw. It’s something we feel our best near. It was the best option we had found since moving here though. Just not quite right. Our idea of a perfect home may change once my husband retires from the military or other things change but for now a more urban homestead may be our best option for the area. 

Plans change. People change. 

Lavender Infused Oil -Natural Skin Care

More than a few years ago I was dealing with what seemed to be rosecea. My skin is naturally very pink but I started noticing more redness, occasional odd dry patches with flakey skin and bumps in different weather, etc. I never got it diagnosed but I took steps to take care of it naturally. I’m not against modern medicine but I tried lavender first as it wasn’t serious. It worked great! I started by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to my fragrance and oil free face moisturizer. I use a 2% dilution in everything going on my skin with the rare exception of ritual oils on occasion. I don’t care how pure the oil claims it is. 2%!

I have also been known to put it in body lotion, hair products, face cleaner, solid bar soaps, etc. More because I love it rather than my entire body “needed” it. Essential oils can be expensive and even diluted can cause reactions so always do a test patch! To help with the cost I started making herbal oils from the plant like you can find in this blog of mine: Cold Infused Herbal Ritual/Perfume Oil | The Heathen Homesteader 
Making lavender infused oil for your skin is the way I really suggest anyone go. Especially, if you’re using it frequently. I don’t have an exact recipe but you really just need to put some of the flower buds into a container with a tight fitting lid then cover it with oil. I used Jojoba here but Pure Sweet Almond oil works beautifully. After a few weeks I strain and refresh the the buds before waiting another few weeks. As I wait for it to brew I am using essential oil diluted in oil to moisturize my skin. 

The Winter is so harsh on my face with the cold and winds. My face started getting redder than ever! I began using the oil in skin care products and it has been helping a lot. You can also make your skin care products from scratch which I have done as well! Lavender is great for redness, acne, rosacea, damaged skin, dryness, etc. Be careful in the sun when using any essential oils or oils in general. 

Gardens of our Past – A Look Back 


This image showed up in my Timehop (an app that shows you pictures and posts on that particular day from years before) today. It makes me so happy to see it. It’s also a reminder that we make it work wherever we live. 


We were lucky when we lived in this horribly run down apartment in San Diego. The landlady told us we could use the garden bed. I don’t think she expected us to go as far as we did! My husband tore out all the giant half dead succulents that were probably older than us and over time we amended the soil and had a wonderful herb garden that was so out of place there. French Lavender, English Lavender, Spanish Lavender, Spearmint, Peppermint, Chocolate Mint, Lemon Verbena, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, Mugwort, Kitchen Sage, Geranium leftover from before, Mexican Sage for aesthetic purposes (and because I like it and it attracts bees and butterflies) and a few herbs I can’t remember anymore. An elderly German woman would often come from the farthest apartment away just to look at it. We were pretty proud of it. 

Living where we do now our home is literally three times the size of the cardboard box we lived in before. An upgrade from our first apartment my husband and I (and eventually our baby) shared. I miss its garden and how much less I had to clean but beyond that I am much happier in our home here in NW Washington. The downfall here is the lack of gardening space. We live on a military base and apparently the landscapers are known to toss your garden if you don’t take special care in placing it somewhere they won’t mind. In our case our backyard is a forest. So we plan on growing things outside of our back window since I have only seen the landscapers back there twice since we moved here almost 9 months ago. 

Our garden may be temporarily much smaller than before but it’s a step. It will also help us to understand the environment and seasons here better. Less than half the year has sunny days and we have high winds and lots of rain. Back home was almost always sunny and hot with little rain. It’s a big change! And quite the learning experience. Great for us before we find our perfect homestead to buy and live on.