A Mother’s Story – by Bailey Morgan

A Mother’s Story – by Bailey Morgan

Mother’s day, for many of us, is a time to celebrate that one strong person who we could never imagine our lives without. A wonderful idea that I believe should not be limited to one day of the year. I want to take a moment to touch on a subject that is many people’s reality, including my own. That is, having Mother’s Day come around when your mom is no longer with you, or maybe never has been.

I lost my mom two months before my 17th birthday, an age where angry teenage hormones are raging and your parents are the main obstacle while you try to spend every waking moment with your friends. My mom was vibrant and healthy, she was a grade 6/7 teacher with a Masters of Education, a laugh that made strangers smile and an undeniable dedication to being an amazing mother.

She was 51 when an undetected hole in her heart from birth triggered a massive heart attack. She suffered an aortic dissection and needed two ventricular assist devices to pump her heart for her, while she awaited a heart transplant. My Mom spent 3 months in the cardiac unit of St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, 2 of those months in the CSICU. In those 3 months we were told many times that her being alive was nothing short of a miracle, she overcame many of the odds against her and was able to tell me she loved me before falling into a final coma.

While she was on life support, my brother who was 12 at the time, had the idea to paint on her hospital room walls. The nurses allowed this to happen, and all her family, friends and doctors who came to say goodbye were asked to write a special message or draw a picture for my mom. It became known as The Wall, a beautiful tribute for the strongest woman I know.

As we celebrate the Moms who are with us this Mother’s Day, let’s also celebrate the Moms who have passed and the people who step in and care for us lovingly in their place. A Mother is someone who is a nurturing role model and that can look like a Dad who steps in, or an Aunt, a Grandma, a friend. A “Mother” isn’t always a woman who bears her own children, because maybe she is not able to, a Mother to me, is someone who embodies the qualities my Mom had; kindness, strength, selflessness and compassion.

For the month of May, in honour of Bailey and her mom, we’re donating all proceeds from the sales of our Tropical Vanilla Day Cream to the Canadian Transplant Association.

Happy Mother’s Day – with love from Bailey & Tao Day Spa

10 Simple Ways To Help Save Water

10 Simple Ways To Help Save Water

Never in the history of Metro Vancouver have we been in a situation where our weather was so extreme. With the minimal snow fall and rainfall this past year, our water supply has reduced tremendously.

Stage 3 water restrictions have been in effect for a while now, and we can all do our part to help minimize the amount of water we use everyday.

Here are some helpful tips from the staff of Tao to help conserve water:

1. Our new favourite hair product is Dry Shampoo (blog post coming soon!). Let’s face it, showering and washing your hair takes a lot of water. Using organic natural dry shampoo not only minimizes your time in the washroom, but reduces water usage. From washing my hair every one to two days, I only have to wash it once a week.

2. You can collect water for your garden during a quick shower.

3. Hand wash your dishes instead of using the dish washer. Fill the sink or large mixing bowl to wash dishes and rinse all at once.

4. Wash your veggies over a bowl to collect the water and use it to water your plants.

5. Eminence has the new Rice Milk 3 in 1 Cleanser, where you don’t need extra water to cleanse your face.

Eminence 3 in 1 Milk Cleanser

6. Organic Hand Cleansers are a great way to clean your hands so you don’t have to wash them as often.  Eminence Tea Tree Hand Cleanser is organic and is antibacterial and anti-viral.

7. Don’t leave your water tap running while you are brushing your teeth. Fill a cup of water to brush and rinse.

8. Always wait until you have a full load of laundry before using the washing machine.

9. Take shorter showers.

10. Wash your car less often.

What kind of ideas do you have? The five best ideas posted to our Facebook page will receive a complimentary all natural dry shampoo made in house. (Shampoo must be picked up from the spa.) Winners will be notified on Facebook.

Surviving Tough Mudder

Surviving Tough Mudder

Last weekend I was faced with one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced. Tough Mudder Whistler. The hype of this crazy obstacle race became a reality and there was no turning back, no more regretting about how much I should have trained running and strengthening my body. As we waited to start the race, the motivational speaker did a great job encouraging us to preserver and not give up in the race.

Things that helped me survive the Tough Mudder
1. Gripped gloves
2. Swimming goggles (People laughed at me but I’m not a strong swimmer and I’m afraid of deep water)
3. Long pants prevented my knees from scrapes & bruises
4. Long sleeve dry fit shirt
5. Hearty breakfast with loads of soaked chia seeds 2hrs before the race
6. Eminence sun powder SPF 30 (waterproofed by spraying Stone Crop Toner) protected me from all the tear gas, sun and mud!
7. Team mates who supported me to get through crazy obstacles like jumping off a wooden plank 20 feet high into a pond of muddy water

Things I wish I brought with me:
1. Pocket size waterproof camera
(Lots of people lost their Go pros in the water)
2. Change of clothing! (I didn’t realize how freezing cold we would get, you can drop off your bag at the check in and there are changing rooms)
3. An extra toothbrush or scrub to get the nasty dirt out of your nails and feet
4. Ziplock bags didn’t protect my ID cards, I wish I purchased the waterproof bags at London Drugs
5. Proper footwear to run through the rocky trails

Would I do it again?… You bet! Not at the time though, but after the race and after a hot shower we realized what we did was crazy but it made us feel a sense of fulfilment and fun.

Tough Mudder

Besides, doesn’t living life to the fullest include doing crazy things you would never do? The Tough Mudder wasn’t about running a muddy obstacle course with a bunch of other seemingly crazy people. It was about pushing yourself, helping each other persevere and overcoming any obstacle that gets in your way.

Henna, Exotic Wedding Nails, and the Beauty of Malaysia

Henna, Exotic Wedding Nails, and the Beauty of Malaysia

On a recent trip to Asia, I had the pleasure of experiencing the multicultural mosaic that is Malaysia. Specifically, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang. Each place had its own special charm. Kuala Lumpur – the urban business, finance and commercial heart of Malaysia. Langkawi – an island oasis with exotic wildlife, enchanting mangroves and beautiful beaches. And finally Penang – a city with a deep and culturally rich history, unforgettable food and a captivating urban art scene.

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

What made Malaysia even more beautiful was how all the different ethnic groups within the country were able to live in harmony with one another. The cultural diversity could be seen in the way people dressed, the religions they practiced and the fusion of foods from Chinese, Indian, Thai, and a variety of others.

Henna Hand Painting Malaysia

In tourist areas, henna was very popular and while on our way to visit the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur, I came across a young henna artist. I had to experience the art of henna first hand. It was such a treat to have a skillful henna artist create an elegant floral design on my hand and wrist.

Malaysian Girl - Wedding Nails

As we journeyed through the country, I took notice of the Malaysian women and their hands. I noticed some women had henna stained on their fingernails. Being the curious foreigner, I asked a few of the locals why their nails were stained with henna. They told me that many Malaysian muslim women perform wudu, an Islamic procedure of washing parts of the body with water before prayer or other formal religious ceremonies such as weddings. All nail polish must be removed but henna, being a natural plant based dye, is permitted. Brides will often use henna to create exotic patterns and designs on the hands and feet for wedding ceremonies and engagements. Truly exotic and beautiful!

With all of its natural beauty, exotic food, and amazing people, Malaysia is definitely a country worth visiting. I can’t wait to go back! ☺

Kids On Bike - Penang - Malaysia

The Festival of Trees at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston Village

The Festival of Trees at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston Village

The Festival of Trees is back on at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery November 30 – December 31, 2014. This festive event features beautifully lit Christmas trees decorated by local Steveston merchants and organizations.

Explore a piece of Steveston’s rich history and come see the interactive exhibits, films, and guided tours. Dress warm and don’t forget to pay a visit to the gift shop.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston Village

This year we’ve decorated our tree with ornaments made from recycled Eminence, Footlogix and Couleur Caramel product packages and containers.

Remember to vote for your favorite tree! Donations and 20% of admissions for each vote will be donated to the Richmond Christmas Fund.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Open daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
(Closed Dec. 24, 25, 26 and Jan. 1)
12138 Fourth Avenue
Steveston Village – Richmond, British Columbia.

Health & Beauty Survival Tips For Your Next Tropical Vacation

Health & Beauty Survival Tips For Your Next Tropical Vacation

This past September, my husband Dan and I spent just over two weeks in the beautiful islands of the Philippines, visiting some of my husbands family and enjoying a beautiful wedding of a friend who was getting married in Cebu. We spent our days sightseeing, visiting family, and exploring a few of the almost endless number of shopping malls in Cebu and Metro Manila.

Palawan Resort

We also ventured out to the bat filled caves of the underground river in Palawan and paid a visit to Moalboal in Southern Cebu. We enjoyed lazy days on the beach and snorkelling in crystal clear waters with an amazing variety of fish and coral. It was an unforgettable experience and we were lucky to have mostly beautiful sunny days during the rainy season in the Philippines. The sun was strong with temperatures as high as 35 degrees celsius and this extreme weather definitely played havoc on our skin.

Cebu Jeepneys

In heavily populated cities like Manila, we had to deal with smog that followed us everywhere from the exhaust of the never ending traffic. Air conditioning was the only way to survive the heat, but hopping in and out of the hot and cold caused uncomfortable fluctuations of body temperature for me, especially combined with my irritating hot flashes.

My skincare regime at home in Vancouver (being an Esthetician and skin care enthusiast), I had a variety of skincare products to choose from, but while travelling, I was limited to whatever I could bring through customs.

Moalboal Beach

Travelling to countries like the Philippines can be such an amazing cultural experience, but it can also be a challenge for the skin. For those of you looking to spend time in similarly hot climates, I’ve put together a few Health & Beauty Survival Tips that might help:

Health Tips:

Tea tree and Lavender oil

tao In Moalboal, I don’t know why, but I was a beacon for mosquito attacks! Thank goodness I took my shots and I had the tea tree and lavender oils with me. Both are great to treat insect bites. The tea tree is great to disinfect mold, especially when there is air conditioning everywhere, there is a high risk of mold that comes out of the vents. Lavender is also an antiseptic, but if you suffer from insomnia or jet lag it’s a great way to help you relax or sleep better. Take a lavender bath or put a drop on your fingers and massage it into your temples.

Antiseptic Wipes

tao For those that don’t already know, I’m a bit of a clean freak. I usually like to put a bunch of antiseptic wipes in a zip lock bag so I can wipe down the door knobs, toilets, and faucets in hotels and restaurants. (We like to bring extra zip lock bags and Dan came up with a great idea of putting the remote in a zip lock bag so we don’t have to contaminate ourselves with other peoples’ germs when watching TV or turning on the AC.) Keeping your hands clean helps to prevent the spread of disease and reduces your chances of getting sick.

Vitamin C – Ester Coated

tao The sun in tropical areas can be intense. Taking vitamin C prior to venturing out, can help make the effects of the sun less severe. It makes sure your body is internally strong enough to fight the free radicals you come across.

Probiotics

tao Food in the Philipines is definitely great for your taste buds, the fusion of Asian and Spanish inspired dishes are everywhere, but digesting it may be a bit of a problem. Taking probiotics will help your digestive tract break down the food easier, and also prevent breakouts.

Now the following are a few Beauty Products I couldn’t live without while I was there:

Beauty and Skincare Tips:

Cleansing the Skin

tao A two in one cleanser that both exfoliates the skin and cleanses, provides more convenience and eliminates all the dirt and grime from the pollution I came across in and out of the cities. The Eminence Red Currant Cleanser binds to the dirt and provides deep pore cleansing.

Protecting the Skin’s PH

tao Restoring your skin’s ph in a hot climate with a toner prevents dehydration. I love using the Eminence Stone Crop Toner, it helps hydrate, make my mineral powder water proof and refreshes the skin during my hot and sweaty days.

tao So glad I bought this one with me…Eminence Strawberry Hyaluronic Serum! Hyaluronic is essential for the skin’s moisture, keeps the skin nice and plump, especially if you sweat a lot! Also contains vitamin C to help fight free radicals as well.

tao Applying facial oil helps retain the water in your skin, but I chose the Eminence Yarrow Oil, incase I get any allergic skin reactions, especially to insect bites or food allergies that appear on the skin (which I did).

tao Applying a dewy moisturizer lingers on the skin longer, creates a better barrier (I personally love the Eminence Rich Black Perlette Moisturizer), but I like to top it off by brushing my skin with the Eminence mineral SPF 30 powder. The mineral powder is a great way to create an additional buffer from the sun’s UVA and UVB, and other environmental factors, as well as provide a bit of coverage. Especially with all the dust and pollution, having a good buffer prevents clogged pores.

Frizzy Hair?

tao I can’t stand it when my hair gets frizzy. The days I can’t blow dry my hair, I simply wear a baseball cap or tie my hair up, but I have to say Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Straightening Conditioner is fabulous. Throughout my trip it kept my hair frizz-free :)

I admit, I’m a bit of a travelling diva, and a city slicker. But by being cautious and keeping my skin and body healthy during my holiday, it made my trip more pleasant and enjoyable. I wasn’t afraid to venture into the jungle or water of the Philippines! Such a memorable trip!

-Winnie Cheung-Pozo

Best of Richmond for 6 Years!! Thank You Richmond! :)

Tao Day Spa - Best of Richmond 2014

I can’t believe it’s been almost 8 years since we opened our doors at Tao Day Spa.  It’s been a journey that’s been so rewarding for me and my staff.  I initially went into the Esthetics industry because I was savvy about the skin and wanted to preserve the beauty of it in a natural and holistic way.  My passion grew more when I was able to branch into other areas of body massages and medical pedicures.

Tao Day Spa - Best of Richmond 2014

It was very important to me to have a business where we could bring awareness of health and safety.  It’s such a privilege to be able to help on a deeper level than just esthetics. Above all, I’ve had the privilege of meeting such amazing people along the way. Our testimonials from the Richmond Review were more valuable to us than any award we could receive.

From the bottom of our hearts… we thank you! We hope to continue to serve the community for many years to come!

Richmond Review - Bestimonials

Here’s what readers of the Richmond Review had to say about Tao Day Spa!

 

“Its a green business!”

 

“They do an outstanding job on senior pedicures. Especially for people with diabetes. They are specially trained.”

 

“I love going to Tao Day Spa as the ambiance is so inviting, everyone is so warm, courteous and friendly. The massages are fantastic. It’s such a relaxing and zen place and I highly recommend it to everyone. Just fabulous!”

 

“Relaxing atmosphere, excellent customer service both over the phone and in person, great use of space, and BEST facials!”

 

“Winnie and her staff are very welcoming and they give outstanding facials, manicures and pedicures.”

 

“The owner is fantastic and I can’t think of a better place to spend a day away from the kids.”

 

“Help client feet to be healthy.”

 

“They’re awesome!”

 

“Winnie and the personnel under her supervision provide outstanding, relevant, and customized services. These days, when profit tends to be more important than people, quality and professional pride, it is a privilege to be the client of a service provider with such remarkable standards, as Tao Day Spa has.”

 

“Best neighborhood spa and quality services with highly skilled technicians.”

 

“Amazing service. Quality and friendly.”

 

“Winnie and her group of ladies working at the Spa are always welcoming and warm with a smile and the service is unbelievable. Going to Tao completely relaxes and restores me from a very busy life.”

 

“The staff are very friendly, professional and knowledgeable in both their products and services. The facility is clean, well managed and has an atmosphere and decor of a peaceful and relaxing spa setting. Excellent manicures and pedicures with a far-reaching variety of services and colours. I would not hesitate to recommend this business to anyone.”

 

“They are all so wonderful! Amanda Kansky is the absolute best massage therapist ever; Joy is the very best receptionist. All the employees are so friendly. Winnie really knows how to run a spa.”

 

“Excellent service, professional and friendly staff with many products to offer.”

 

“Because they have the Best Customer Service, the Best Oxygen Facials and the Best Green Business!”

 

“The staff are friendly, fun and provide superior service.”

 

“Best Facials ever! Uses the best all natural skin care line – Eminence Organics. Very knowledgeable staff & great customer service.”

 

“The staff is very friendly and the atmosphere is so calming and peaceful. This is truly a small heaven for me to go and relax for an afternoon.”

 

“I was born and raised in Vancouver and live in California now. Every time I come home to visit I always make an appointment at Tao Day Spa. The environment exudes relaxation and is always clean and organized. I always visit Winnie, the owner, and she is the best at massages. She makes me feel comfortable and uses the right amount of pressure on my trouble spots. I mostly enjoy the little touches (relaxation oils with great scents, and when I finish my massage, a cup of water with a calming book, fountain and a small chocolate treat). I highly recommend this place.”

 

“No other spa in Richmond like it!”

 

“Using organic products.”

 

“Helping client to have healthy feet and toes.”

 

“They provide the best spa services, best customer service & best facials!”

 

“Every time you go there the staff are friendly and accommodating. The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxing.”

 

“Their customer service is the best and management is always upholding high standards.”

 

“I absolutely feel relaxed after a visit here. I can be money conscious when it comes to spa treatments and pedicures but I would definitely spend my money here. I had a great first experience after being gifted a pedicure here. It was exceptional service and truly a refreshing experience from start to finish.”

 

“The whole ambience of the place is tranquil and the owner Winnie and her staff are such professional and caring people. The pedicure that I receive at this spa is the best I have ever experienced!”

 

“Helping people to take care of their feet.”

 

“The decor is very nice and neat! Friendly environment and I love it!”

 

“Great customer service, the people are friendly.”

 

“They have excellent customer service. The girls are always so kind. I love this place.”

 

“It’s not just a relaxing spa, they have helped me with my skin condition and alleviate problems with my ingrown nails.”

 

“They are very friendly and take their business seriously. There is an attention and passion in the spa and the employees that makes everyone feel welcome.”

 

“The service is exceptional and the products they use are organic. Winnie gives the best facial I have ever had.”

 

“Completely professional. Winnie and her staff are well trained and caring. I am very fortunate to have found them!”

 

“The staff make you feel special. Peacful environment. Great organic products.”

 

“Great to go walk along the water with a coffee and get a relaxing manicure, massage or pick up some products for home. Best I’ve been to!!”

 

“The best massage ever at Tao Spa by ‘Amanda’.”

 

“Clean / calm / quiet atmosphere. Best facials.”

 

“She has become a good friend and looks after my needs with knowledge, care & a smile. Listens to my concerns and ramblings from day today life with genuine interest. Makes all her clients feel comfortable.”

Making a Difference, One Foot at a Time.

Making a Difference, One Foot at a Time.

Podologists from all across Canada and the United States came together last month to not only complete a bachelor’s program with the North Americian School of Podology, but to also utilize their skills and experiences to help those in need. The Caribbean island of St.Kitts has a population of about 40,000 people and an ever increasing diabetes problem. It was the perfect location for setting up a program to help the local residents treat their various foot ailments.

Katherine Von Gavel, founder of North American School of Podology and Footlogix created a program for graduates of the NASP program to go beyond their comfort zone and help those in need of foot care. The NASP program was carefully designed to assist and mentor the students with a team that consisted of a doctor from Germany, a passionate Pedorothist, experienced team leaders, as well as Katherine the NASP founder.

NASP Class of 2014

Foot Basins Ready to Go - St Kitts

Shoes for the Locals in St Kitts

Our first day in St.Kitts, was full of excitement and anticipation to get started. We were debriefed with what was expected and protocols we had to follow during the servicing of each patient. This is NASP’s fifth year in St.Kitts, and their efforts have gained much respect from the local government and medical practitioners on the island. The local television network and radio stations were present at the event and helped spread the word to the community. The school rented a hall in the city, and eager patients lined up out the door each day for four straight days.

Many of the locals in St. Kitts love walking barefoot or with minimal foot wear wherever they go. With this lifestyle and problems with diabetes, many people suffer from various problems that may be detrimental to their health. Part of our mission on the island was to bring awareness to people and educate them with preventative measures that could save them from amputation (which was becoming very common there), blindness, and possibly death.

The Line Up - NASP - St Kitts

The Church in St Kitts

Pedicure in St Kitts

Winnie with a client in St Kitts

Our experiences with the locals were filled with so much empathy and warmth. Many of us cried, laughed and most of all we were filled with a sense of reward and satisfaction for being able to help so many people. At the end of the fourth day, our group of 35 Podologists was able to help 874 Kittitians with their feet.

The locals were very kind and grateful for the work we did. We received recognition from the St. Kitts Rotary Club and local doctors as our group had helped achieve part of their goals in minimizing amputations from diabetes.

Coming back to Vancouver, I felt like I left my heart there, and I needed to do more with the knowledge and experiences I have gained. We are so fortunate to live in a country, with great opportunities and easy access to medical care.

Thank you to everyone involved in the NASP program and especially to the people of St Kitts for allowing us to share in the beauty of such an amazing place.

Winnie.

Children of  St Kitts

Black Rock St Kitts