Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Business Feature: Pacific Coast Soap Works

My introduction to Pacific Coast Soap Works came through a friend. She was having some issues with her dogs coat being flakey and itchy after bathing, so when she came across the Pacific Coast booth at a farmers market in her area she decided to give their pet soap a try. She used it, loved it and so did her more flaking and itching.  When her dog came and stayed with me for a short while I was able to use (and consequently love) it too. I immediately ordered two bars for my own dogs and I have been very happy with it as a nice mild cleanser for them. It has a wonderful citronella scent and the essential oil blend used works well to fight against fleas and ticks,  an excellent bonus..we don't want our pets to have pets! 

As those of you who follow this blog know I am always looking for cleaner, less toxic options in my day to day life so when the pet soap worked so well I decided to order some of the soap for my family as well.

I'm really happy with the soaps I ordered. First off they last forever. I find that most store bought soap rinses away in the shower very quickly and ends up down the drain...not so with the Pacific Coast soap. They also smell amazing, I wish you could have been here when I opened the box...clean, fresh and natural..not perfume like. I was very pleasantly surprised with how well it lathers, I was wondering if a natural soap could give me the same sudsing ability as a store bought soap and it more than compares. But the best part of all are the ingredients....100% pure virgin olive oil, palm oil and coconut oil, food grade essential oils and herbs and spices. My skin feels great, no itchy tightness and  no adverse reactions...and I tend to be sensitive!

One of my favourite scents so far is Mandarin Spice, it's warm, a bit exotic and deliciously spicy. Of course I don't have a picture of that one because it's the first one I used. ;)

The Anise Luffa is a close second as far as favourite scent and the soap has been formed around the luffa which means it's fabulous for exfoliating...such a great idea.

The Pink Clay Complexion bar is their mud mask in a bar and is like getting an at home mud treatment for your entire body.

These soaps are so nice and so reasonably priced that I'm sure you'll love them. Nancy and Astrid who own the company are offering readers a little bonus to try them out. If you order five soaps then you get a sixth for free, just mention this blog post when you order.

Be sure to "like" the Pacific Coast Soap Works page on Facebook and if you haven't already feel free to give The Pulse page a like too.

It's getting close to the end of the month so I hope you have finished up July's Book of the Month club read: 

And are ready to start Augusts book!

Head on over to Facebook next week to discuss The Fault in our Stars, I would love to know what you thought.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A DIY special

I'm thrilled to present a DIY guest post today courtesy of two of my sisters. We are always trying to find ways to cut the junk/chemicals out of our lives and one of the best ways to do that is to make your own products. You know exactly what goes into each one and can feel better knowing that what you are using in your home or putting on your body isn't causing undue stress on your immune system.

My sister Amanda is a regular DIY'er and very crafty. She and her husband Miguel have a home business called Huckleberry Hill Home Furnishings where they refinish old furniture pieces and give them a funky vintage vibe. They also make beautiful wooden boxes, signs for your home and dog beds! Please feel free to stop by their Facebook page and give them a like!

Here is Amanda's guest post:

So I decided to complete a couple DIY projects today seeing as it was supposed to be raining and I just can't help but be productive on a Saturday in the summer. I started by making my own blush. 

Here's the recipe:

1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1-3 teaspoons hibiscus powder
a container for your new lovely blush
Optional: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Hibiscus powder is hard to come by, I'm told Amazon is a good place to find it buuuuuut I'm not all that patient and wanted to try this out today so I bought hibiscus tea hoping I could grind it down.

There were a lot of leaves in the tea bags other than hibiscus so the strainer kind of/sort of worked to separate them

I don't have a mortar and pestle.....

Ok that's as much grinding as I care to do, lets add this to the cornstarch and see what we get

This is what we get... a big mess. It didn't mix well at all and the cinnamon couldn't save it. Epic fail, you win some you lose some right? 

Not easily deterred I went onto the next project: Toothpaste. 

6 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons baking soda
25 drops essential oils, I used eucalyptus
1 teaspoon stevia

Mix, mix, mix

Pour into container, it'll be really rather liquid as coconut oil is when whipped into a frenzy

So I put it into the fridge to hurry up its solidifying process. 

Initially putting it in your mouth it tastes like baking soda... bleck... but when you start scrubbing that particular ingredient subsides and all the other flavours come together. My teeth feel fresh and clean (:

Then on to making my own dishwashing detergent. Funny to see that crystal light in there, but you need it for the ascorbic acid - hard to find on its own. 

2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
8 packets sugar free crystal lite

Mix all together..

Grab glass out of dishwasher before it's entirely done to check how it works - nice and clean!

And lastly: Solid Perfume. 

You will need:

equal parts beeswax and oil, I used coconut.
Your favorite essential oils

And because double boiling wax takes approximately 1000 years...

Take a break with a cup of tea and the chocolate/raspberry cupcakes you made yesterday ;)

Get a few extra containers ready in case you unknowingly make too much

Then run around like a maniac trying to find a much bigger jar before your wax very quickly hardens because you have waaaaaay too much.

And presto! Lavender and peppermint solid perfume....could easily just be used as a lip balm though :)

 Thank you so much Amanda, I love these ideas!

If you use as much dry shampoo as I do then you'll love this DIY from my sister Chantal.

Super simple DIY dry shampoo!
This recipe is one part corn starch and one part cocoa powder.  

DIY Dry Shampoo (skip the cocoa powder if you're a blondie) 

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • An old makeup brush to apply 

What to do:
 Mix the cocoa powder and cornstarch. Store in a small jar or old powder container and apply with the make-up brush. Comb through hair and style as usual.

**** TIP: Don't skimp on the cocoa powder... even if you're a light brown like I am.  The first time I tried it my hair looked slightly "powdered". **** 

The cornstarch actually gives you a bit of volume too which is always nice on hair that hasn't been washed in a day or two. 

Enjoy!  I hope you have as much success with this as I have.

 Thank you Chantal, I'm definitely going to try this one.

If you have a great DIY recipe that you'd like to share please let me know in the comments below, I'm always looking, and I'm sure other readers would like to see them as well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book club, fruit salad and weighing in on the Birkenstock trend

I have to admit, I just love the idea of a book club and I blasted through July's read (The Fault in Our Stars).  I'm looking forward to chatting about it at the end of the month and hearing what you thought of it.

The August book will be Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I've been wanting to read this one for awhile and several of you agreed with me so it seemed like the perfect choice. I picked my copy up on the weekend as I happened to be near a bookstore and am resisting reading it until August. Make sure and pick up your copy so you are ready to read a long!

In the summer, and especially with the recent heatwave we've had here I like to keep our meals light and refreshing. The fruit salad pictured below was perfect. All you need is about half a small watermelon, one cup of blackberries, one cup of blueberries, the juice of one lime and a handful of chopped mint (mine was fresh from my herb garden!). Gently mix it all together and enjoy.

So what do you think of the whole Birkenstock trend? Are you yay or nay on this one? I have to admit I was pretty nay, but there have been a lot of great looks coming up in my Pinterest feed that have made me change my mind. What do you think?

My mother is a diehard Birkenstock wearer, she loves how they fit her feet and says they are so comfy. From the few times I have slipped them on to run outside while at her house I would have to agree, much comfier than flip flops and with my recent back issues it's probably smart of me to look at some foot supporting options. I kind of dig the Mayari style:

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


What a busy week this has been and on top of it all I put my back out badly...that puts a bit of a damper on summer adventures but I'm doing a little better now and dying to get out and play in the sun!

First off I would like to share the winners of the Botani Glass giveaway. Huge congratulations to Amanda Ludwig and Nell Divinagracia! Please email me your mailing addresses so I can get them in the mail to you (

One thing about your back being out is there is lots of time for reading. I am about halfway through The Fault in Our Stars which is the July book of the month club read, how are you coming along with yours? Any suggestions as to what August should be?

The Weight of Blood looks good. Thoughts?

Have you heard this cover of Sea of Love by Lily and Madeleine? I'm really digging it.

I love beets (minus the prep mess), and they are now being hailed as a superfood (yay!)..... check out this article from the Chalkboard Mag.

 I am loving my Pacific Coast Soap Works soap, stay tuned for an upcoming blog post (and a great deal for readers of The Pulse!).

Some good words to get you through your hump day Wednesday.

Thank you so much for all the Pinterest love (1800+ followers!). If you want to join in you can follow me here.

And you can follow along on Instagram here. :)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Physician's Formula Organic Wear Mascara and CC Cream Review

I'm always looking for more natural, less toxic choices in my make up and when I came across Physician's Formula Organic Wear line I was very excited to try it. 

The mascara rated just three on the "dirty" scale using the Think Dirty app on my phone, which was great as all my other mascara's are ten. Physician's Formula is pretty expensive for a drugstore brand, in fact it's pretty close to high end price but the reviews sounded good and I really wanted to find a clean mascara for everyday use. I'm not a huge fan of the packaging, it's pretty light and cheap feeling but it's completely recyclable so it has that going for it.

Overall this is a decent everyday mascara, it will darken your lashes, it doesn't feel heavy or crunchy and is easy to remove. You can put on several coats without clumping too. If you want big lashes give this one a pass though. Even with multiple coats it doesn't build up much and my biggest pet peeve, it smudges by the end of the day.

This mascara is ok, but my search continues.

I also tried the CC Cream. This rated a little higher on the think dirty app at a mid range six. I'm trying to keep things three and under but prefer a liquid over a powder and there just aren't many options.

This formula is lightweight when applied but felt a bit heavy afterwards. It's best applied with your fingers as it looks weird when applied with a brush, a bit streaky and heavy. I also used my damp Beauty Blender and had good results.
The CC in the name means colour corrector so I was very hopeful as I always have a red flush to my face, like I got a bit too much sun. This cream did quite a good job evening out my complexion and my very favourite scent. It's not a full coverage foundation so won't cover everything but it's nice for summer (no SPF however).
I really wish they had a concealer to go along with the CC Cream as it would be nice to have a little more coverage under the eyes, and around the nose etc..

I like both products and will continue to use them, but I'm still keeping my eyes out for something better. If you have any suggestions for me I would love to hear about them in the comments section below.