ASK MBB: Workouts and Crock-Pots (and Everything Else)

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To


Got a question about makeup, relationships, careers, cats or anything else? If you do, ask MBB! I’ll try to help, for what it’s worth. I’m not an expert in anything, but sometimes it just helps to have another opinion. Hopefully someone else reading might have some insight, too.

Here’s a question Kellie asked in the comments a few days ago


“What time of the day do you squeeze in workouts Karen? Still trying to figure that one out for myself! And that soup looks bomb! Would you mind sharing the recipe? 😺”

Hey, Kellie!

I just started working out again regularly after a looong hiatus (my doc didn’t want me doing more anything more strenuous than brisk walking when I got pregnant with Connor), and to be completely honest…getting back in the saddle has been a struggle, but here are a few things that have helped.

1. What time of day do you have the most energy?

For me, it’s mornings. Not right when I roll out of bed, but after I’ve been awake for an hour or two.

I’ve actually tried working out immediately after getting out of bed, and my body straight refuses to do it, LOL!

2. Schedule your workouts on your calendar

Hook or crook, I need to be sweating for one hour at least 3-4 times per week, and for that to happen in the mornings, I have to get up early enough to have breakfast, tend to Connor, and write like a maniac for at two hours (because I also feel better when it comes to writing in the morning) before my workout.

That’s why I schedule my workouts on my calendar, because it’s like etching them in stone, and it forces me to act accordingly and efficiently.

Because if I’m not strict about it, something always seems to come up, and I end up putting off my workout ’til the afternoon, but by then I’m usually exhausted.

3. Join a class of some kind

Seriously, I think it’s the easiest way to commit to an exercise regimen, because then you have a block of time that’s sort of out of your hands, and you can’t push the deadline even if you want to. The class is going to happen with or without you, and I think it’s also much easier to exercise with other people.

If joining a class isn’t an option, try something where you have to follow along with someone else, like in a workout DVD or a Youtube video.

4. Establish a reward system

Let’s get real — if I don’t bribe myself to exercise, I’m just not gonna do it. 🙂 That’s why reward systems work me.

I use a small desk calendar and cute stickers. Whenever I finish a workout, I put a new sticker on the calendar, and after I fill a page with stickers, I can reward myself with a small treat, like a lipstick or earrings.

It’s simple and old-school, but it works for me!

As for your soup question… 🙂 I used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, but I tweaked it a little by adding a can of drained corn.

It turned out great! — but next time I think I’ll add another can of beans, because I like A LOT of beans in my soup.

OK, Kellie, I hope there was something in there that was helpful.

Does anyone else have any questions for me? I’ll do my best to help.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 15 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. lizziefs says:

    I second EVERYTHING Karen said! I’ve always been active and I have 2 kids that are now 14 and 16 and even now I still have to schedule my workouts in my day. I make that time for ME because it makes me feel good to feel fit and my motto “Happy Mom makes for a happy family” I also do Pure Barre and other types of classes because I know when I’m in there I’m accountable to my teacher and I feed off of the energy in the room. I always tell myself “I’m loving every horrible wonderful minute of it?” Sure sometimes its hard to find the energy. I find that after that initial warm up and my blood is flowing that I feel better. Oh and I definitely find a way to reward my hard work and efforts. With a new pair of leggings or sports bra each month. Cause girl when your a sweaty hot mess it sure makes you feel better to look good while working out. For those who say there is no time. There is time even if you just do push ups or sit ups during the commercial breaks while watching tv it adds up. Oh and get a fit bit. Doesn’t have to be fancy they help keep you accountable!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lissiefs,

      I’ve always wanted to try Pure Barre! We have similar classes up here but I’m too terrified to try them at the moment because I have absolutely NO core strength. How long have you been taking classes there?

      Oh, and great idea to reward yourself with leggings or a sports bra every month. I might have to borrow that idea. 🙂 You know who makes great leggings? Zella! You can find them at Nordstrom. They’re thick so they don’t show any skin when you bend over, hold up well in the wash and they last for years. I love my Zellas!

      • lizziefs says:

        Hi Karen. I actually was introduced to the brand Zella through your blog! I’ve followed you for long time now and you are so right about Zella. I have a closet full of active wear from high end to more affordable. I work from home so I am in active wear all the time. Zella quality is amazing and comfortable equal to lululemon’s luon pieces and its not surprising considering the fact that one of the lead designers of Zella worked for lululemon.
        As far as Pure Barre or any barre type classes for that matter I say go for it. You will do just fine. Truth be told I hated my first few classes of Pure Barre. It moves super fast and yes, you will work your core the entire class but you have to give it at least a week to decide. Its very technique driven. I’ve been going for a year and a half and I have over 300 classes under my belt. I like it because I’m 41 and high impact sports like running or kickboxing which I used to do regularly are hard on my knees so I go to barre. I also lift and will do high intensity interval training mixed in. Best thing you can do is find something you like. I don’t have the strongest core in the world but Pure Barre definitely has strengthened it.

    • Efrain says:

      I need to find a class like those here in Mexico, right I’m doinv pilates at uni and swimming; I like both but however I miss something more active but my hip will kill so I better reserve the dance moves for parties.

  2. Tatiana says:

    I like your reward system idea. Maybe it’s because of where I live and the type of people who do exercise classes in this area, but I hate exercising with others. The only person I like to exercise with is Dear Husband and we usually only start out together and then go our separate ways after the warm up.
    The only exercise I’ve gotten in a group situation is riding my horse and only because she’s so smart she made me look like a superstar when I wasn’t.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tatiana,

      I’m not usually a group exercise class person either, but lately I haven’t been enjoying runs on the treadmill, sigh. I think it’s a phase. Thankfully the place where I take HIIT classes is super cool. Everyone’s nice and they all push each other in a good way. If you lived closer I’d invite you to go work out with me! I think you’d enjoy it.

    • lizziefs says:

      I used to be the kind of person that hated working out in groups too. I always tell myself when I go to any new type of exercise class to go into my own personal bubble and worry only about myself. I set up in the back and focus on challenging myself. I think we all think that everyone is watching us and judging us but I think for the most part we are just being hard on ourselves and the truth is if they are judging me then so what. I don’t need to impress anyone but myself and be proud of my own accomplishment. Once I went to a class and I worked out so hard that I was sweating like a crazy person running from the law. I sweated so much that it looked like I peed my pants. I’m sure people around me probably were thinking “whoa wardrobe malfunction” or geeze sweaty betty but meh….who cares. I sweat because I work hard. It was only when I was able to only care about me that I learned to really enjoy group classes and get more motivated off of the energy of the group. Like Karen mentioned I think for the most part everyone pushes each other in an encouraging way. Oh and I am sure you are a superstar Tatiana and if your horse could speak she would tell you as much!

  3. Chris25 says:

    I try to work out before work. I have more energy then and it makes me feel invigorated.

    Once I lose 20 pounds I am buying myself a LK Bennett dress. That is my reward. 🙂
    Chris25 recently posted … Tuesday Talk: Self Care Sessions Vol. 13

  4. Efrain says:

    It’s late here but well I think it’s never to late for a (some) question(s):

    I want to apply for an internship of Marketing at L’Oréal in London, because I think it’s an awesome opportunity but the main problem is my lack of experience in the area, so while I’m searching places to gain experience for the CV, I’m also thinking of how to make a CV which looks awesome enough even when I lack of experience. Any idea?

    Also I’m thinking about becoming a student representative in the faculty council but I’m not sure if it is the adequate timing because in about a year and a half I’ll finish University and I have plans of leaving the country. I really like the idea of working in the faculty council but at the same time politics even in Uni, can have a really dark side.

    Finally, my last big doubt is about future; I don’t know if it has to do with the idea of graduating soon but I’m not sure about what to do after it. My main interest is social investigation but for that you need an scholarship and I can’t know when it would happen, then I like to work in advocacy but I know it can be a bittersweet experience and I’m not sure about it and lastly I like Marketing and PR, they aren’t my fave but I think they’re the easiest way to start. What do you think?

    I know we like talking about beauty but it’s late and I’m overthinking about everything on my head, so any advice would be great.

  5. I schedule my workouts as well, and I try to get them in in the mornings, because I just can´t do them in the evenings, I am way too exhausted then. Sadly, with going back to a desk job in the near future, that will no longer be an option, so I try and make it a habit to work out in the afternoons with the kids right now. not very successful at the moment, especially I am on my own with both of them for the whole week. But hey, I know I will feel better if I worked out, and I might try the bribing system to see if it works for me as well.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Face Mist – If it is fit for a queen…

  6. Chryztyners says:

    I have a question, Karen. Do you ever recommend wearing makeup when working out? I usually don’t wear anything, because when you’re sweating, everything melts and it’s not pretty! I see some girls do the full eye makeup look while having Zumba classes though.
    Chryztyners recently posted … Keeping up with Kylie’s Liquid Matte Lipsticks in Dolce K and Koko K

  7. Kim says:

    I think you’re on the money with your energy comment. I prefer to work out at night but I think that’s because of so many years of school athletics. That was a LONG time ago but the body sort of stays in that rhythm. I’m terrible first thing in the AM. It makes me sick to my stomach (and I need at least an hour between eating something and exercising). I like your reward system but I’m more Stick than Carrot. My inner monologue can be unkind. HAHA! And for people who can’t do a class, I think it also helps to have one friend to work out with you. Then you’re at least accountable to each other. 🙂

  8. Kellie says:

    Wow, thanks Karen! I just saw you answered my question in an entire post! 🙂 THANK YOU SO MUCH! 🙂 I do agree about what time of the day you have the most energy- I have always tried to make myself a morning workout person, but it never works. I am not a morning person and can barley function for the first hour or so I wake up. For me, I do the best anywhere from mid day up until about 9pm at night, which seems to be the cutoff for me. And I am so going to try to make that soup!!! 🙂 Thanks again Karen!

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