Orange County

Review: Xtend Barre on Lake Mission Viejo

by Lindy

Outside the Xtend Barre Mission Viejo studio

There are so many options for working out, including what you can do at home or in the great outdoors. Personally, I like to cross train with a variety of workouts geared towards strength, core, flexibility and cardio. Lately, I’ve been a big fan of Pilates, core fusion, body pump, jogging, biking and barre. I’ve discovered that nothing sculpts your physique quite like barre!

It seems many people are confused what barre is and entails. Is it ballet? Is it working just your legs? Do you have to be a dancer? I can tell you from experience that it isn’t ballet, you don’t have to be super coordinated like a dancer and it works your whole body. I highly recommend it! Barre combines cardio and strength training exercises so you’re burning fat and building muscle simultaneously. Most barre classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates.

People in barre class typically wear yoga pants, tank top and grip socks (not a leotard and tutu). They give you a yoga mat, hand weights and a resistance band. The ballet barre is there for the balance and leg exercises. There is a lot of repetition and movement variation for all the muscle groups (especially your glutes) so you really experience the burn. Just when you think relief is in sight, the instructor will begin a new, equally painful rigorous routine.

Xtend Barre Studio Mission Viejo

I was fortunate to be introduced to the Xtend Barre Studio on Lake Mission Viejo recently and it’s now my fave place to go. The location is serene with the view of the lake from the studio windows. The instructors are enthusiastic and personable, greeting everyone warmly at the start of the class. They observe your posture and provide gentle corrections (important for shy/insecure newbies). They play great music to motivate you throughout. Even though by the midway point, my legs were wobbly and I felt I might collapse, ultimately I survived the 60 minutes and looked forward to doing it again.

Wanna try it too? They offer a variety of classes daily (not just Xtend Barre), at all times of the day. Sounds like you can plan a girls night out at the studio too! (Think of doing a killer barre class, then stopping by Hacienda on the Lake for margaritas!)
Xtend Barre Mission Viejo currently has a new client special of two weeks unlimited classes for $39. Other pricing options include:

Xtend VIX
Unlimited Classes
$129 per month
Exclusive Perks
Best Value

Xtend Elite
8 Classes per Month
$109 per month

Xtend Essential
4 Classes per Month
$59 per month

Single Class

5 Pack

10 Pack

Xtend Barre Mission Viejo
27772 Vista Del Lago Ste B19
Mission Viejo, California

Time to tone up for summer! See you there?


The Greatest Country Music 5k Ever Created; But the Worst Email

by Lindy

Who else likes to proofread marketing emails at 6:00 a.m. just for fun? When trying to awake this morning, I scanned my email and stumbled on this gem – the ‘Greatest Country Music 5k Ever Created’. Of course I had to open it. And then, I was assaulted by spelling/punctuation/consistency/formatting issues.

Here is the email in question and my subsequent response to them. How many errors can you find?

“The Greatest Country Music 5k Ever Created!”
A new, unique 5k like nothing you’ve seen before! The event starts off with a new and exciting western themed 5k course. Then, the event turns into a big festival like atmosphere with great Country music, awesome games and activities like cornhole, line dancing, and our crazy cowboy hat contest! Of course we’ll have amazing country BBQ and ice cold beer to.

Like Our Facebook Page and Receive 20% Off
Use Promo Code “facebook” to receive a “early bird”
special of 20% off registration
This Event Will Sell Out!

Country Festival and 5k!

The Great Country Run So Cal! We have a deal for you! For a limited time registration is 20% off!  Don’t miss this offer!, here is a chance to capitalize on the ultimate “Ealry Bird” Special! You will not get a better deal than this! Like our Facebook page, Tell your family, friends, neighbors this deal will not last.  Promo code “Facebook” will get you 20% off registration! Promo Code Expires October 12th 2014.

The Great Country Run March 14th. 2015

The Great Country Run is for all ages. The course is 3.2 miles + western action (full 5K course), Celebrate at the The Great Country Run festival with family, friends, music, & beer where you can dance, listen to live music, enjoy BBQ, play games, and win contests!

Great Country Run video
The Great Country Run video

The Great Country Run | TheGreatCountryRun.Com

Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved.

My email response:

There are several spelling errors in this email.
I can proofread it for you:

  • Country doesn’t need to be capitalized mid sentence (country music)
  • Too, not to. (Ice cold beer too)
  • Early, not ealry
  • March 15, 2015 (comma, not period)
  • Is the promo code facebook or Facebook? You have two versions listed; capitalized or lowercase?
  • No exclamation point before a comma
  • Comma after October 12 (not October 12 2014)
  • Copyright 20XX should be 2014

I like the concept of the race and I’m interested. Can I get a bigger discount for proofreading? 😉 I know you are trying to appeal to country lovers, but spelling and punctuation, attention to detail is still important.


Would you run the Greatest Country Music 5k Ever Created? Would you run in cowboy boots? Of course I would; country costumes, beer, music, dancing…cornhole! Maybe there will even be moonshine! I can guarantee there won’t be any spelling bees, however, which is a shame, because you know I would totally win.

UPDATE: I received a response from the race promoter (after they sent out the same email again and I replied): “I am so sorry, we have been on the road for events. I know that’s not an excuse, but we will fix it before the next one, I promise!” Needless to say, I asked again for a race entry for compensation for my proofreading. I’m intrigued by this race!

Lindy’s Nautical 40th Birthday Party Mix Tape

by Lindy

“Lindy’s Nautical 40th” birthday party is just two months away and planning is well under way! Invitations have been designed and sent out. Shout out to Courtney Mansell Design (former maiden name Van Laar) for her most awesome graphic design skills. We work closely together on projects all the time, and I’m always in debt to her for the magical way she pulls concepts together.

Lindy's Nautical 40th Invitation

Lindy’s Nautical 40th Invitation | #LindysNautical40th #TikiBoatNB #Newport Beach

We are going to be taking a three hour tour on the Newport Beach Harbor Tiki Boat by Fun Zone Boats. They feature charter and party boat trips in Newport Beach, California. The photos of their booze cruises look epic! Of course, I have a comprehensive list of my own ideas to make it even more memorable and fun. Battle Shots, anyone? Nautical costumes and regalia? There will be a taco bar, regular bar, DJ and a Gilligan’s Island vibe. Photo ops galore!

Newport Beach Tiki Boat –

Newport Beach Tiki Boat –

Next steps are my music curation for the DJ and the party mix tape. I created a Google Docs online form to help gather all the best music requests for the party ‘mix tape’. Aside from the obvious dance hits of more recent times, here are some of my classic song faves from the last four decades (in no particular order.) If you haven’t heard these before, you’re missing out. Go to your nearest online radio platform now to check them out.

  • Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
  • Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J
  • Push It – Salt n Pepa
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
  • Baby Got Back – Sir Mix A Lot
  • It Takes Two – Rob Base
  • Eminem
  • Raise Your Glass – P!nk
  • Summer Lovin’ – Grease
  • Children’s Story – Slick Rick
  • Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
  • Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
  • Little Red Corvette – Prince
  • I Want Your Sex – George Michael
  • I Need You Tonight – INXS
  • Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil
  • Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
  • Barbie Girl
  • Boom I Got Your Boyfriend – MC Luscious
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC DC
  • Girls – Beastie Boys
  • Pearl Jam!

What are your all time faves to dance to? Don’t be shy – put your song request in a comment. I’ll consider it for my mix tape!

Entertaining the Masses with Toastmasters

by Lindy

It is now the end of January and I’ve published no new blog posts or podcasts. This is evidence that resolutions don’t work and that I am not disciplined enough. Or that I’m just way too busy to stick to a writing/podcasting plan. I’ll blame the latter.

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International – Based in Orange County, CA

What is new to my creative communications tool belt, however, is my involvement with a local Toastmasters group at my work. Toastmasters International helps people become better public speakers – which I could definitely benefit from. We’ve been meeting every two weeks to practice our speeches and then we are timed and evaluated by our peers. Sounds fun, right?

My overarching goal with Toastmasters is to treat it like stand up comedy and practice making people laugh. My nerdy, shy, business version of clown school. So far, I’ve gotten a solid number of laughs and positive feedback. Even though I rely heavily on my notes during my speech, I love my written words so much, I don’t want to veer too far from them.

My first speech was about me being a passionate communications professional who doesn’t prefer public speaking.  Today we met for our second official speech where we spoke for 3-5 minutes on a topic of our choice. My topic was ‘Ways to Enjoy Reading for the Chronically Busy’. I wrote this little beauty up in less than an hour right before the meeting, in true procrastinator fashion.

For the record, it was under the five minute time constraint. Some feedback I received was:

  • Very creative
  • Informative
  • I came across very relaxed
  • Loved the specifics
  • Great job tying it all together
  • Good writer
  • Got everyone’s attention with something they can all relate to
  • Humorous
  • Outlines within outlines (ways to get a book)
  • Nice ad hoc comments to other speaker topics
  • Negative: more than 20 ‘umms’ and too much reading of notes. (GUILTY)

For your reading pleasure, here is my speech. Forgive the funky numbering/bullets formatting issue.

Ways to Enjoy Reading for the Chronically Busy


I’m sure there are a lot of people here who love to read books, but claim they don’t have time to sit down and read.

I’m going to explain some ways you can find the time to read – and you don’t even have to sit down to do it.

If you have a library card and access to technology and some creative ingenuity, you can enjoy books while you’re on the go.


  1. I’m a busy mom of three young children as well as juggling a full time job. So I understand how difficult it is to read a book in the traditional sense.
    1. I have very limited time to myself.
    2. With my already limited time, I recently co-founded a book club with some other moms we called “Lit Chicks Anonymous”. Anonymous because there is some drinking involved, and we all often read in secret.
    3. I’ve been able to read four books in the last few month for Lit Chicks Anonymous with various technology: The Boys in the Boat, Bossy Pants and Labor Day.
  1. Books I’ve read had different tech methods:
    1. Labor Day is the most recent book I read in less than two days over the weekend. It’s written by Joyce Maynard and is coming out as a movie this month.

i.    Our book club is going to see it together next month.

ii.    This book I read on my phone using the Kindle App.

iii.    I read it at the dinner table, at the gym, during homework, bathtime, in the car (as a passenger). I couldn’t put it down.

iv.    A little anti-social/bad parenting but necessary.

  1. Boys in the Boat was an audio book I got free from a free trial membership on
    1. I finished it in less than two weeks playing it at 1.5x regular speed.
    2. Bossy Pants I got at the OC Public Library as an audio book.
      1. It was narrated by the author/comedian Tina Feye and it was really good.
      2. Listening to the comedic points in her own voice wouldn’t have been captured in a physical book.
      3. But it was missing the fun visual references of the actual book.
      4. Secret Garden for my eight year old daughter who is having trouble in third grade.
        1. I downloaded it as an audio book from the public library for my iPad
        2. Played it for my girls at bedtime
        3. She loved the beautiful language and the British accent
        4. They continue to quote lines from the book
        5. My process for getting and reading books is:
          1. Check the OC Public Library and the Mission Viejo public library to see if it’s available as an audio book.
          2. If not available, I check for eBook options at the library.
          3. If not available, I check for the actual book I can check out.
          4. If not available, I go to to see the cost for an audio book on (partner) or Kindle version.
          5. I compare and contrast the various options and decide which is the best one based on

i.    Price (free is always best)

ii.    Method (audio is preferred)

  1. The Benefits of my non-traditional reading methods are:
    1. Significant cost savings
    2. Low commitment to ownership
    3. Less household/bedside clutter
    4. Avoid accidental book injury when falling asleep with a book


In conclusion, it is my fervent belief that everyone here can go back to enjoying reading again, even if it’s not the method you prefer. I encourage you to get a library card, download the Overdrive Media App on your phone, tablet or PC and start searching for books. Maybe I’ll even let you join my book club. Shhh…

I know I have room for improvement in the speech writing/stand up comedy industry; I’m just glad my heart palpitations went away! Until next time…

Kreative FM Podcast Episode 7 – Thankfulness

by Lindy
Daddy Wagon with O Tannenbaum from Peltzer Pines

Daddy Wagon with O Tannenbaum from Peltzer Pines | #NeubauerHaus #PartyofFive #OTannenbaum #PeltzerPines

Show notes:

We’ll aim to have a new episode up in two weeks!

Shout out to our sponsors!

Santa Cruz Chili and Spice Company – makers of tasty chili paste and salsas for over 70 years.

Good Times 2 oz red party cups – perfect for sipping or shooting!

2 oz red party cups

Sponsored Link. | 2 oz red party cup.
Perfect for sipping or shooting!

2 oz red party cup

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Perfect for sipping or shooting!

– Lindy and Jonathan

Ode to Rain: ‘The Pleasant Rain Hath Come!’

by Lindy
View from my window

View from my window on a rainy day.

Finally, we are blessed with rainy weather in Southern California! It’s such a nice change from the sunshine and heat. Not only is it pretty to look at an overcast, cloudy sky, but the air feels and smells more fresh too.

What is also great about rainy days in Southern California is that you get to see people genuinely upset by the rain. Desperately clinging to their umbrellas at the hint of a sprinkle. Turning on their windshield wipers to maximum speed. Bundled up in rarely-worn winter wear. Saying things like, “we PAY to live where it’s sunny” or “oh, this terrible weather” or “it’s so gloomy.”

Even our Saint Bernard, Buttercup, has become a weakling version of what a hearty mountain dog should be. She panics when it rains and tries to bury herself under the boat trailer in the garage when it’s stormy. Now she’s on a hunger strike; refusing to eat her gourmet boiled chicken/kibble blend – what a high maintenance California girl!

Today, I chose to eat my lunch on the office balcony to enjoy the crisp, fresh air (mind you it’s only 62°) and a colleague peeked their head outside saying, “Only a girl with Norwegian blood would sit outside on a day like this.” Another coworker complimented me on my puffy wool sweater/cardigan, “It looks like a professional woman’s Snuggie”. Funny people.

When I visit family and friends in Washington, I would be scorned if I complained about the weather. Or overly-relied on an umbrella. It’s not good form for a rugged outdoors-woman. So I will continue to welcome and praise the rain. It will be gone all too soon.

Here is a poem by American poet James William Miller about the awesomeness of rain – “To a Shower”. Thank you Google Books!

Final verse:

As a blessing sinks in a grateful heart,
That knoweth all its need,
So came the good of the pleasant rain,
O’er hill and verdant mead.
It will breathe this truth on the human ear,
In hall and cotter’s home,
That to bring the gift of a bounteous Heaven,
The pleasant rain hath come.

James William Miller - "To a Shower" Poem

James William Miller | “To a Shower” Poem
The Poets and Poetry of America | Published 1842 |
Courtesy of Google Books

Ugly Christmas Sweater T-Shirt

Ugly Christmas Sweater T-Shirt | Inappropriate Moose
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