Thoughts on Burlesque

As you N&Kers know, both K&I are taking burlesque classes through Vancouver Burlesque Company. In fact, 2 each this term!
So, this will be K’s 2nd & 3rd performances. And my 3rd & 4th performances.

Instagramming our way through chair burlesque

When I first started burlesque, I was shy about telling people.

I thought I would be judged for the type of dance, or that I would dare to do it because I don’t have a dancer’s body. And culturally speaking, I was taught to be modest. Prancing around in your undergarments is not modest. I’m also too old to take on something like burlesque! And lastly, there are only a handful of visible minorities in burlesque. I definitely felt out-of-place. This translated into me being shy about talking about it.

Holy batman! All these internal battles!

Rectifying internal battles

Type of dance: I try to educate people on the burly history. It’s not just about shaking your tail feathers. This is another way to express how you’re processing society’s zeitgeist. Don’t believe me? Then look at all the sub-genres: nerdlesque, contemporary, chair, etc.

Dancer’s body: Burlesque initially came out because poor folks poked fun at the richie-rich operas/shows. With burlesque, essentially, anything goes. Different bodies, shapes, colours, abilities… it is about you telling your story. How are you interacting with the audience?

Too old: Yes, I’m older than my instructors and classmates. But, the only person who has made me feel ‘too old’ is me. Last showcase, there was a 60+-year-old woman who did a saucy chair solo. She was fantastic!

Modesty: This term means to act demure, and can include dressing in a non-sexually aggressive manner. Is it a vehicle of oppression? Perhaps it is to be deliciously explored in future burlesque?

When you are on stage, you are taking on a persona that’s bigger-than.

Maybe you’re klutzy? Super comedic? Have the ability to sensually slither along the stage? Have long legs? Expressive face? Love performing in drag?

Now…

… I talk about being in burlesque all the time. I’m excited that I can be part of it! I’ve got access with Vancouver Burlesque Company. (Screaming Chicken, K&I are coming for you, soon!) It’s affordable both financially and timewise.

The benefits

I’m engaging in self-care. I’m getting fitter and honing in on different fitness goals. I get to dress up, make costumes, have fun, learn to move, meet new people, dance with Kells, listen to music, feel inspired, feel empowered, feel confident, have a creative outlet and be around positivity.

I’ve learned that I’m not as klutzy as I thought I was. I’ve got a bit of rhythm. I’ve learned that I can jellybean, plank off of a chair, go from a standing position to the floor then do an inchworm push up in heels… all in rhythm to music!

Stage Presence

Performing on stage isn’t for everyone. With VBC, you can actually just take the class without doing the final show. And, last Fall when I took my first class, I didn’t plan on performing. But by the end, I thought: why the frig not?

Being on stage is simply exhilarating. Hearing the audience cheer and whistle. Feeling those positive vibes. Performers excited and buzzing with adrenaline. It is a fabulous feeling!

So, if you are remotely interested in this genre, K&I encourage you to take a class with VBC (or SC). Or in the very least, come and check us out. Tickets available online here.

Self-Care & The Oxford Comma

We keep hearing about the virtues of self-care. But what exactly is it?

Self-care has various definitions depending on which lens you look through Psych Central, Wiki, Mirriam-Webster, Urban Dic.

Psych Central most most aligns with N&K’s definition: something you do merely for yourself in a healthy manner, deliberate, and with personal meaning*. You may be relieved after finishing your to-do list, but this wasn’t done merely for yourself. You are happy you did the laundry that’s been piling up for weeks, but did you do it just for the personal joy?

Why self care?

We’d counter this with ‘why not?’ We spend all day running around, multi tasking, doing what’s expected or asked of us.

Why shouldn’t we do something that’s just for ourselves?

Self care helps relax and de-stress. (Refer to Livescience article and NIMH article.)

How often do I need to do this?

We believe self care should be done daily.

Self care doesn’t have to be complicated or drawn out.

It could be taking 5 minutes to enjoy the unexpected afternoon sun. Doing a facemask with your kid. Having an espresso and cookie (or nookie) with your partner. Practicing your burlesque moves. Singing in the shower. Making your colleagues laugh with a silly joke. Complimenting a stranger**. Taking your pups out for a long hike.

Nals likes to get up early so she has time to enjoy her coffee in the quiet of the morning. Kells likes to take naps on her days off. We like to catch up when we’re both working in the same part of town.

Yeah but isn’t self care selfish?

Absolutely not! As long as it is healthy, done with awareness and has personal meaning. Our old pal Mirriam Webster’s definition. Sure, self care is focused on oneself.

But self care’s focus is not on self-advantage and not with disregard for others.

What’s the Oxford Comma Got to do with it?*

Nothing directly. But self care and The Oxford Comma elicits similar reactions: debates, strong opinions, and misperceptions.

If you do use either or both, do it consistently and with honest intention.

Comment below with how you do self care. Please keep comments PG-13, respectful and on-topic.

Footies
*yep here’s your Oxford comma, folks. Self care consists of 3 separate points: healthy, deliberate and meaningful. Without that last comma, ‘healthy manner’ means that choking down veggies is self care because it is deliberate and meaningful. Add the comma, and you can see that though eating veg is healthy, it may not be with deliberation or personal meaning. Oxford comma, broken down here https://www.grammarly.com/blog/what-is-the-oxford-comma-and-why-do-people-care-so-much-about-it/
** Avoid creepiness.

Review of: Mozart’s Steakhouse (Leavenworth)

Kells, Cutie T & I went on a fun little girls weekend to Leavenworth in February.

Our first night in, we ate at Mozart’s Steakhouse.

Click to read our other Leavenworth reviews on: Doghaus Brewery and Leavenworth Village Inn.

Make reservations

It was hella busy in February due to skiing. So we had to wait for over an hour for a table. Either make reservations or be prepared to be placed on the wait list. Mozart will text you when your table is ready.

The ambience and service

Despite the fact that it is quite a large space, it felt quiet, rustic and cozy*. Service was good**. Note that you have to walk up steep-ish stairs. If there are folks with mobility issues, inquire ahead about alternative entry routes.

The menu

Varied meats and European fare. Some veggie options. Drinks menu contains typical beers, wines and mixers as well as other surprises.

Our food and drinks

Cutie T & I ordered flights (of beer), which were mostly delicious. For dinners, Kells ordered her usual spaetzle and schnitzel. Cutie T & I couldn’t decide. So, we ordered the Platter for Two. The meals were fantastically delicious with large American portions. The 3 of us were starving. We also have large appetites. And, we couldn’t finish our meals.

N&K Recommendation

Yes you must definitely go! K has been here a few times and each time it has been wonderful.

If you need to kill time before your table is ready, take a boo at the varied boutique shops along Front Street.

Footnotes
* “Cozy” is partially due to dim lighting. So, our photos aren’t crisp and fabulous.

**American and Canadian restaurant service is different. Canadians are a bit more doting. (Not annoyingly so.) However this was also the end of a busy day, near-ish to closing. Everyone must’ve been tired. We waited a bit long for our drinks and asked our server a couple times about it. Our meals also seemed to take a while. But definitely worth the wait!

N&K Update

Heya N&Kers – Kells & I are going to do the Shoppers 5KM Run For Women tomorrow morning. We haven’t prepared as hard as last year because life’s been a little crazy lately.

Have you checked out our latest giveaway, courtesy of Bruncheria Cafe? If not, click here.

We joined burlesque. Kells has already started 2 classes! I will be starting my 2nd class on Sunday.

Kells is interviewing contractors for home renos, hopefully to start soon. I’m trying to get fitter for an upcoming family wedding plus the burlesque show in July.

Kells isn’t feeling well this week. And I’ve been struggling with insomnia.

There’s lots of other stuff going on so it’s been challenging to do self-care and keep our regular routine.

Forgive us N&Kers if this week’s first post is a bit boring. Sometimes that’s how life is.

But stay tuned on N&K blog & IG. We’ll be posting pix from our Run , burlesque class & mother’s day.

Review of Bruncheria Cafe (New Westminster)

Nals and the Mr felt like a spot of brunch one weekend. And, we happened upon Bruncheria Cafe … so in we went. And we were not disappointed.

Hey guess what?! N&K has a new contest starting later today. For more details on the “Win a $50 Bruncheria Cafe Meal” Contest Rules, just click here.

Atmosphere

Casual seating, some areas have wooden benches with comfy cushions. It’s a large airy warmly lit space. Kitchen area is blocked off by a waist-high counter but you can watch the cooks prepare your meal. The service is easy going and friendly. Their inspiration is to have a family-style brunch atmosphere with a European twist.

Menu

The menu has changed since we were last there. Besides the usual delicious fare like Bacon & Eggs and Berry Cream Pancakes, they offer a Yo-conut Yogurt Fruit parfait, Sweet Toast Trio and Pulled Pork Pancakes. The Sweet and Spicy sounds fascinating.

Bruncheria Menu has delightfully unusual items and combinations. And the menu itself is laid out well: pictures with clear descriptions

They have a bevy of beverages: made-to-order espresso drinks, teas and cold drinks.

Our Food

We both ordered Bacon & Sausage Omelette with a side Greek Salad.

Food was delicious. Plates were well seasoned with fresh ingredients. They were simple but complimentary flavours. I loved their Chimichurri Toast – mmm garlic green goodness on crispy toast!

On our next visit, I’ll order one of the following: Probably The Best Brunch Sandwich Ever, Brunch Bowl with Hollandaise and the Build Your Own Brunch.

Best brunch sandwich ever – photo credit: Bruncheria Cafe

Location & Parking

Located on Columbia with paid street parking and easy access to transit.

Online ordering

They offer online ordering and even have their own Bruncheria app. 20% off for pick up orders.

Recommendation

Yassss you should eat here!

Contacts

Click for their: website, online ordering and Instagram.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary!

Bruncheria Cafe just finished their first year in business. To celebrate, they’ll be posting an IG contest, with a delicious prize.

N&K Tip

After brunch, go window shopping along Columbia, explore the Quay then take a stroll along the water. Or, just head down to the casino for a bit of blackjack.

A very special thank you to Dan and his team at Bruncheria for collaborating with us! He provided us with these beautiful pictures, and the Giveaway opportunity. Click here for entry details later today.

Review of: Leavenworth Village Inn

As we approach this extra long Easter weekend, we wanted to suggest visiting Leavenworth, Washington for a quick trip away. This place is great for everyone: friends, couples, families and all ages.

General Impression

Leavenworth Village Inn is nestled in Leavenworth town, with the same quaint Bavarian as all other buildings. Suite was clean, spacious and luxurious. Note that there is no elevator.

The story goes… Kells & I jetted off with Cutie T for a Girls Weekend in February. We decided to say at Leavenworth Village Inn.

We’ve now stayed in the King Spa Suite twice. We went about 3 years ago with our buds DJ Cocoa*.

Doghaus Brewery, Leavenworth

In-Room Amenities

Sofa bed wasn’t comfy for lil Cutie T. So, we all 3 spent a lot of time watching TV on the king bed. King bed was super roomy & comfy AF! Kells is tall & I’m a big gal but we had lots of room… enough for Cutie T & then some!

Bathroom was huge with a wardrobe, and no tub. That’s cuz the bedroom had a huge jacuzzi.

Kitchenette had microwave, cupboards, sink, mini fridge, dishware°.

Main area also contained a little dining table with chairs, Cutie T’s sofa bed**, TV & mmm toasty fireplace.

There was lots of lighting and windows. There’s free wifi.

Drawbacks

TV doesn’t connect to bluetooth so you won’t be able to listen to your music or watch your Netflix. Counterspace & tabletop space is sparse.

Bookings & Cancellation

LVI is easy to book online. They have a reasonable cancellation policy. We would recommend looking into bookings early… in case there is an event going on.

Recommendation

N&K would most certainly recommend Leavenworth Village Inn. It’s centrally located with lots of parking.

Footnotes
*We can’t forget this trip! DJ was glued to CNN during the Trump v. Clinton thing.
° You’ll need to contact the front desk for cutlery.
**DJ Cocoa took the sofa bed last time. And this time, Cutie took the sofa bed. Unfortunately it had a part that dug into her tiny back. Though they advertised that the sofa bed was use-able, they seemed surprised when we told them it was being used. So, we would suggest you ask them to check the sofa bed BEFORE you arrive. As it was a busy time of year, we had no option to change rooms or hotels.

VBC 1-2-3 Doe Ray Me





VBC 1-2-3 Doe Ray Me

Well N&Kers, Miss Kells☆ popped her burlesque cherry last week. She & I performed at the Rio Theatre for the Vancouver Burlesque Company’s (VBC) Student Showcase starring Jett Adore (aka: the Prince of Burlesque, The No Pantser Romancer).

People think of burlesque just as “sexy”. And yes it certainly can be with the stocking peels, gyratin’ and inch worming. But it’s so much more than that! It’s BoPo, sexuality & gender welcoming, theatrical, political, comical, satirical, glamourous, vulnerable… It’s fluid and changes with time.

Burlesque isn’t just one thing, which is why it is captivating.

So, c’mon out and check out the next show. Vancouver International Burlesque Festival is April 3-6, 2019.

Footnotes

☆Nals popped her b-cherry last year with VBC’s first Student Showcase at Rio Theatre.

It hurts so boob

So I mentioned that I had back surgery and I had to advocate for myself.

This motivated me to start dealing with the health issues I had been ignoring for years. The first one was my tonsils. They were large and in charge. Basically, I had swollen tonsils all day every day. I made an appt with my doctor, showed her that even though I’m not currently sick, they are swollen and asked to see a specialist. I went to see them, again not sick, and they told me that I should have had my tonsils removed years ago. Which I knew already. So I had them removed (had some complications but survived & trust me you don’t want to hear these bloody details). BUT this also meant I needed to follow up with my breasts.

Zoinks!

Yuppers, I have breast issues. Mainly, they often hurt.

So here’s what they tell you when you are under 40 and you have breast pain: Don’t worry, it’s not cancer, Cancer doesn’t hurt.

Oh good. So you are under 40. You are in pain. And you don’t need to worry.

That’s it?

NO! So I went to see a specialist. And I was told I have fibrocystic breasts. Oh and if it gets worse come back. But there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try prim rose oil, but I have done researched it and discovered there is no evidence that prim rose oil helps. Some people say it does, some say it doesn’t. But I tried it. Can’t say it’s helped.

Sooo, it got worse. The pain expanded in strength and size. So I tell my doctor, who contacts the specialist that told me to come back if it gets worse. AND…denied. The specialist says no because there’s nothing they can do. Then why did you say come back! Arg.

So since I’m under 40, no other specialist will see me, as I’m too young to have cancer.

Here’s what I experience: consistent breast pain throughout the month. Then the pain increases to extremely sharp jabs of pain once or twice a month. On the one side, it radiates down into my arm pit, sometimes even extends further.

My doctor send me for ultra sounds and a mammogram. Let me tell you, having painful breast tissue squished is not a pleasant feeling. I was also sent for an ultra sound of the uterus and ovaries. Which, did nothing to help me. I was told I don’t have ovarian cysts.

You may be wondering what can be done? My doctor says: Nothing.

Yup, that’s right. There’s no pain management. No cure. And no help for fibrocystic breast pain. You are told either rub prim rose oil on it or deal with it. I actually told my doctor that this was not a good option. Women* are too often told to just deal with it. And I feel like I’m looked at as over reacting. As if radiating breast pain is nothing. It’s not cancer, so suck it up. The Mayo clinic says that severe pain or large painful cysts may warrant treatment. MAY being the key word. Let me tell you, when I compare my symptoms, I fall under the severe pain…and yet, I have been told there is no treatment.

According to one article, fibrocystic breasts aren’t cancer, but they can mean you have an increased risk of getting cancer.

The Mayo clinic says that 1 out of every 2 women can get this. The website Healthline.com says that there’s no treatment, but that advil or Tylenol will help. OR putting a hot or cold compress on your breast can help. Let me tell you, in my opinion, those options don’t work.

Soooo…that’s it. Half of women* are dealing with this breast pain on a daily basis and there is no treatment. WOW. Really? Nothing?

Here’s what I don’t get. According to Advil and Tylenol, you aren’t supposed to take more than so many pills a day and if you exceed that amount you should see a doctor. That doctor says take them anyways, since that’s your only option. Oh by the way, for me, taking this form of pain management doesn’t work.

Here’s my rant: Why does something that effects ½ of the breasts out there not have any treatment? Is it because it’s female*? Is it because it’s a female* issue? Makes you wonder, if this were testicle pain would there be treatment?

So what does this mean for me? Well, I need to get back to my doctor. And do a little more advocating!

Update: Went back to my doctor…I have more to say on this issue…stay tuned!

XO Kells

N&K Announcement

Attention: To All N&Kers

Why hello there you exquisite creatures! Kells & I are keeping the post short for this week as we are heading into our Girl’s Weekend Getaway.

Tonight, we’ll be heading to the Justin Timberlake concert. He was supposed to croon for us a few months ago. But the poor dear had vocal cord issues. We told him “Hey J – Just go home, take it easy. Take care of yo fine self. And come back in February.” And here we are…

After that, K&I are heading to Leavenworth with our friend, Cutie T. We plan on engaging in R&R and stuffing ourselves with chocolate, bratwurst & schnizel! And of course, we’ll be taking a whole truckload of pictures. K&I have lots of new photoshoot ideas, & we’ll have Cutie T as our photographer.

So, stay tuned for Leavenworth posts… and check our IG for BID posts.

Be mine: hot choco

So here in the great YVR a few hot spots got together for the Hot Chocolate Festival.We think end of Jan and into Feb is a great time to warm us up.
Today marks the final day of the Hot Chocolate Festival (boo). But we did get out there and try a few (even though our intentions were to try as many as we could).
We loved some and didn’t love others.
We have a tie for our favourite! They were both so different but both so good. So in first and 1st place is a) the Vegan hot chocolate from Cadeaux Bakery and b) the Bees knees squeeze from Chez Christophe
Let’s talk about a) first. We both love some coconut so to have that hint of coconut with the rich chocolate was a win in our books. Then b) this was delightful sweet treat with honey and lemon notes.
Second place has to go to strawberry fields forever, a dark chocolate and strawberry delight also from Chez Christophe.
Third place is the hot chocolate in a cone from Mink. The cone was a yummy addition. Just wish the drink was warmer (however we get having a super hot drink in a cone doesn’t bode well).
The middle 2 are from Baggio. They weren’t cheap and was underwhelming. They were barely warm and did not have much flavour despite the amazing descriptions. We tried the Almond Joy and Tiramisu for 2.
And sorry to sayEast Van Roasters, you make a mean salted cookie, but your fragrant hot chocolate was just not our thing. We are sure others loved it. But we didn’t get the flavour fusion of the Umami Experience.
We have to say, the Hot Chocolate fest was a great way to get us out and about. And we love that they support women and children. Yummy in a cup plus a good cause. Now that we can get behind!