RunningManda's Blog

This week is really my week! I’m feeling great from eating better and getting my runs back in. (Yes, I ran last night! Leg still hurt after about 10 minutes of running, so I alternated running/walking and altogether ran 35 minutes and walked 10 – not shabbs!)

Anyhow, my head is clear, I’m feeling great and have been able to spend time with the kids, get my work done, send in quality papers on homework nights AND clip my coupons/read the sale circulars. I have not been able to do all of those things regularly, or with quality, in forever. Feels great!
To top that little cupcake with a cherry, I was cleaning my email which is set up specifically for my couponing emails andddddd…. ran across this new efficient tool:

For any of you who coupon shop, or compare prices (or are interested in doing so!) will know that it can be difficult to go through multiple different store inserts or scan blogs for information on sales that are currently going on. Especially when some stores have sales from Mon-Sat and others are more like Thur-Wed. That can get confusing!!!! Well…. I have yet to really use it for my weekly shopping, but have played around with it since I discovered it and it looks amazing!!!! It has the sales listed for 7 of the stores that I normally spend time looking through ads – only all in one spot! Here’s a link to the short video that explains, if anyone is interested:

And, NO, I was not paid to advertise that, nor given any incentive to do so! I just love saving money and want to help others to do the same! I wish I had discovered coupons and how using those against sale prices could really save a TON of money! And, YES, I am still running and will continue to blog about that, but this blog is really all about ME! If I find a good site or something fun I will post it as well as updates with not only running, but things that are going on in my life.

PS If anyone out there has Sirius/XM – give the indie channel (35) XM U a shot. I have fallen in love with so many songs that I had no idea existed!! I love listening to Cosmo Radio’s “Wake Up with Taylor” in the mornings, but find myself switching over every commercial break and as soon as the show is over. This type of music speaks to me. I love all different genre’s and have so many different faves that range from rock to rap to grunge to southern rock – but this indie stuff is ME. Give it a listen!

PSS If you don’t have Sirius/XM but want to try out some new tunes and see what the heck I’m talking about, see if you can find any of the following:
Coming Down – Dum Dum Girls
The Suburbs – Mr Little Jeans (Also by Arcade Fire, but I really love this cover)
Vomit – Girls
It’s Real – Real Estate
Gay Human Bones – Harlem
Hurdy Gurdy Man – Butthole Surfers
Here Comes Your Man – Pixies
Stinking Cloud – Thee Oh Sees
Keep You – Class Actress
Mr Driver – Black Lips

Happy Hump Day. Til later, ta ta for now.


So, I am now:

a) fully rested and haven’t talked with my good friend Vodka or her sister Moscato or any of their cousins in the alcohol garden in over a week and feeling good about that! (Also, hand in hand with drinking was my smoking. Since I haven’t drank, I haven’t smoked, either, nor have I wanted to!) I do love to drink and have a good time, but I also love to feel good and take breaks from it here and there. I have a feeling this is going to be an extended break …for a while. I really need to detox from the toxins associated with drinking and smoking cigarettes while drinking. It feels good to do it, too. Waking up on Saturday and Sunday fully rested and feeling great was phenomenal. I really missed how that felt! I got up and was practically bouncing around the house. I bet my kids didn’t know what to think about me being so chipper and up so early on the weekend! That made me smile. BIG. to be more full of energy than my boys on an early weekend morning. 🙂 They deserve me like this more times than not. I deserve to feel good more times than not. Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean I have to drink! I’ve decided I will go back to just drinking here and there. On occasion, not just because it’s Friday, or Saturday, or whatever my usual thought process is. Back to the basics of when I started this blog. I’m not going to be the alcohol patrol, but I know my addictive behavior and I’m going to keep it under lock and have it be the exception, rather than the norm, on the weekends or special occasions.

b) back on track with healthy (or healthier) eating for over a week now. (I’m not on a diet! I will NEVER do a “diet”, ever! I follow Weight Watcher philosophies and track what I eat. BUT, I eat what I want and just try to make choices, or change portion sizes to stay with a certain calorie/point limit within a day. Restrictions on any type of food does not work for me! I want what I can’t have, so nothing is “off-limits”. I just try to eat lots of fruits and veggies and always track my food to be aware of what I’m consuming. Sometimes I talk about my “diet”, but what I’m referring to is what I eat and that it won’t contain fast food or concession stand junk since baseball ended and we don’t have any travelling or events planned for at least a few weeks

c) RUNNING AGAIN! Not quite back on C25K, as I feel I’ve graduated it. I would recommend that program to ANYONE and everyone. It’s amazing. If it weren’t for C25K I would never have gotten to where I’m at now.

And, woo hoo, I’m feeling great tonight! Sitting here watching  Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and realized I should update everyone on my first day back into running as TODAY was the day to go back to the gym! So, while I didn’t quite run 60 minutes straight like I did when I stopped running, I did do pretty good. I ran for 15 minutes and the back of my left knee started to throb. I realized I didn’t do my stretches, so I took a few minutes to walk, then tried to do a few stretches, but it was too late. I’m not hurt, but decided to take it easy on my first day back.

So, altogether I ran 25 minutes and walked 20. I’m okay with that! 🙂

Alright, just realized I have not paid any attention to the show I’m watching. I really want to see this! I feel for Krista. SO much. I love these types of shows. They are so motivating. Could not have come at a better time then when I’m at my highest weight in forever and deciding to get back into changing my life, back to “HEALTH”, too. Come on Krista and come on Manda! And, come on to all of you out there!

PS I haven’t quite gotten back into twitter, yet, but that will come. We decided to remodel our kitchen with the spare time we have since baseball ended and football/soccer hasn’t started. I will get back on there more often. PROMISE! I’m proud of myself for this blog entry as a start! So, don’t give up on me, yet. 🙂

Okay, so maybe I should say where did I go?!? I’ve been here, there and everywhere …and have been very “bad”, too. Just haven’t had much time to devote into being healthy and I didn’t make the sacrifice to choose health over indulgence during these hectic weeks of baseball and barbeques. It’s SUMMER, people!

I’ve enjoyed my “non-errand” (work/school/running kids to games and practices/clipping coupons/sale watching) time by indulging in cookouts and parties and wine tasting and lots of fun with friends and family. Also, throw in a week of being “kid-free” when baseball ended and my parents had the kids for vacation = LOTS of indulgences and NO working out.

BUT, all good things must come to an end. I’ve enjoyed the past several weeks, thoroughly, but I’m ready to get back to “normal”. I’ve gained 15 pounds over the past six weeks or so and I DO feel miserable. I decided to ease back into being healthy again and getting my fitness back up to par.

This week I am focused on getting my diet back in line. Biggest “rule” I’ve placed on myself over the next couple of weeks: NO DRINKING!!! Drinking is not only empty calories, but I’ve gotten back out of hand where I indulge too much, get the “drunk munchies” and have been having cigarettes when drinking again. BOO!!! I know. L At least it was only when I was drinking, but I’m going back to what I did when I first started this blog. I’m going cold turkey and cutting out ALL alcohol for at least a couple of weeks. When I do introduce alcohol again it will be in small doses and I will measure my shots instead of doing the whole pour, pour, pour AND I will not be around smokers for a while.

Also, this week I focused on getting the crap out of my diet and eating my fruits and vegetables and smaller portions like I was used to before my summer splurge. Your stomach really does adjust to when you eat more/less and it takes some time to realize you can fill up by eating less, but is getting better. The only “bad” thing I had this week was a HUGE piece of cake on Wednesday …and Thursday – but it was my son’s 11th birthday and I HAD to have some of the birthday cake with him! … having it again Thursday was just for good measure. J I never have sweets in the house, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Otherwise, I’m being pretty good!

This weekend we are going to take the kids to my company’s private park to swim, cookout and listen to some bands because there’s a musical festival all day. The park does not allow alcohol or cigarettes on the premises, so it’s a perfect way to spend some time with the kids and not be tempted to drink or anything. Plus, they have grills all over the park, so we can bring in our own food and grill out, so I can be “good” on my diet, too and bring my boca burgers, etc…

Next week I should be back on “plan” with eating good and will focus on getting back to the gym and start my running back up. Last time I ran, which was a WHILE ago!, I was able to run for 60 minutes straight!!! J Hopefully I won’t be too badly out of shape when I start back up again. Monday is the day I’m shooting for to go back and get into it.

I promise to keep everyone updated and get this blog back in order. Thanks to any of you who have been checking in and just seeing that there are those of you who subscribe and send me comments and follow me on twitter really helps to keep the motivation going!

Have a great weekend and talk to you soon!

I could scream because I am so pumped from my wheeling and dealing this week. After trying out small shopping trips through the week and feeling comfortable with using manufacturer and store coupons in conjunction with sale prices and “reward” incentives, I am still a novice, but felt prepared for my regular weekend shopping trip today. I printed and snipped coupons from various webpages and links, snipped coupons from multiple magazines and newspaper ads and scanned grocery circulars and websites which post good deals.

The result was not quite extreme couponing as I did not get thousands of dollars of items for under $10, however, I think I did amazing, especially for my first big fill in trip. I spent around $150 between different stores and got enough of most items to last over a month! It was seriously like the best high ever. The best transaction of the bunch was when I went to Kroger and saw the bill reach a little over $28. After scanning my savers card and coupons the total bill was $2.56. $2.56!!!!!!!

So, the total spent today was $140.95. Here’s what I got:

3 – Pepsi Maxx 2liters
1 – Diet Sierra Mist 2liter
1 – Gallon Skim Milk
2 – Diet Mt Dew 24pks
1 – Gallon Water
1 – Colgate MaxFresh Toothpaste
7 – rolls Scott Toilet Paper
7 – rolls Scott Paper Towels
2 – bags SunChips
2 – 12/pkg eggs
10 – pkgs Ronzoni pasta (6 spaghetti, 4 linguine)
2 – 16/pkg Kraft 2% milk chs slices
33 – Prairie Farms assorted yogurts
20 – Weight Watcher frozen meals
5 – Healthy Choice frozen meals
12 – Hungry Man frozen meals
10 – 10/pkg Quaker Granola bars
2 – 4pk Chs Sticks snacks
2 – 4pk Pudding cups
2 – 8pk Chs cracker snacks
1 – 1lb Ham slices
1 – Grape Jelly
1 – Folgers coffee
2 – Moist & Meaty Purina dog food
2 – Cans Spaghetti sauce
8 – Old Spice body wash (Full size)
2 – Healthy Choice loaves bread
2 – Great Value loaves bread
1 – Great Value Jumbo hamburger buns
1 – $5 Target gift card for next purchase
1 – $2.77 CVS “gift card” for next purchase

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I WILL NEVER AGAIN, EVER, SPEND$300 on a weekly grocery trip …unless I’m stocking up on enough things to last months! I can’t believe I use to spend $300 easily on things that lasted ONE WEEK! ONE WEEK!

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been inspired to nix the excessive grocery shopping I’ve habitually indulged in over the past several years. I have a family of 4 and easily spend use to spend about $250 a week on my wkend grocery/pantry refill/restock trip. Some weeks were closer to $300, some around $175, but NEVER under $150. I thought myself a “bargain shopper” and just never understood how quickly our weekly “must have” added up so quickly.

A friend of mine started posting pics on fbook with receipts showing “low price checkout, yet lotsa stuff in the cart” trips to the store. I happened to see the Extreme Couponing show and decided that if my friend and others can do, so can I! Why throw my money away if I don’t have to? So… after asking my friend a TON of questions and doing some research, I clipped my coupons and scanned the local sales.

Here is my first trial run at getting fill in items and having made it through the week on UNDER $150 and actually ending up with stuff for the next couple wks, too (hello, stockpile!). Drum roll please:

For just $125 I got:

1 – $20 giftcard to Target
10 – WW Smart Ones lunch meals
1 – Healthy Choice lunch meal
1 – Marie Callendar lunch meal
2 – Frozen pizza’s
2 – 10pkg drink boxes (kids lunches)
1 – Cantaloupe
1 – 4pkg chs sticks snacks
1 – 8pkgs cracker sandwich snacks
3 – 10pkg Granola Bars
2 – 4pkg pudding snacks
1 – 1 lb sliced ham
2 – 8oz pkgs Mozzerella chs
2 – loaves HL Bread (my MUST have low cal bread)
8 – Toilet paper rolls
8 – Paper towel Select A Sheet rolls (another must have)
1 – 300 pkg sandwich bags
3 – 24pks Pepsi Maxx
1 – 24pk Diet Mt Dew
2 – 2liter Pepsi Maxx
2 – 2liter Diet Mt Dew
2 – 750 ml bottles Tequila
2 – gallons water
2 – bags Sunchips
4 – cans green beans
2 – cans carrots
2 – cans sweet peas
2 – cans corn
1 – 50 count Potty Pads (training a puppy!)
1 – 3pk Gum

Whatcha think?? Not shabby!

Wow, I am sorry I’ve been MIA for so long. I got tired of constantly saying “sorry I’m so late getting back to you; I’ve been so busy” and “whaat a crazy week” and “I know its been a couple days, but I’m not ignoring you, I promise…” so I guess I just avoided everything until I could dedicate more time than the 5 minutes it takes to log in and get up to speed before not being able to respond and feeling bad.

Everyone is busy; we are all involved in this lovely (and, at times, crazy) thing called “life”, so I hate to make it seem like my hectic is any crazier than anyone else’s because I’m sure its not. I just have been focusing on getting things wrapped up and not had enough quality time to blog or post …or even tweet! I’ve never neglected my social networking this badly before and I think Facebook is considering my temporary seperation as being more serious than it is. I’m trying to make more time now that the big priority items are starting to get either “checked completed” or “under control”!

In all seriousness, nothing big. Just baseball is amped up for both kids with multiple practices and tournaments and games every week/wkend. I’m still doing the school thing, so homework and papers a few nights a wk and I am considering posting for a position within my company which would move us from Illinois to Florida, so lots of decisions and conversations, etc… But, I do have some good news to report:

I FINISHED WEEK 5 of C25K last night!! Yup, I ran 20 minutes straight! After I finished the wkout I was so pumped that I ran some more, too. Looks like my last update was with my ankle beginning to feel better and me starting over the program with the kids, too. Well, that lasted a week and baseball really AMPED. It was too much for them to join me and I liked getting runs in during some of their practices, so we put a pause on the kids. BUT, as for mamacita (me), I went back to Week 4 after I finished week 1 and decided I would see how I felt. FELT FINE! So, I continued where I left off and will now begin week 6, or phase 6 as I prefer to call it when I do more than one “week/phase” within a “physical week”. Yay!

I’ll definitely try to get on here more, now especially since I’ve finally got on to update and that’s now “checked complete”. 🙂

PS I decided to try out this whole only shopping sales and/or with coupons thing and I’m totally addicted. I’m not like the extreme couponers with getting thousands for a pennies, but I will NEVER again spend $300 on my wkly grocery trip again. Doing this really made me realize how much crap I bought to just fill the cupboards and throw away once expired. I’ll do another post later to show what I spent on my first trial run at it. I think I did good!

Happy late Cinco de Mayo and early la Mamacita Day!

P.S. 47 days and counting with OUT cigarettes in my life. Not even one puff during this time. 🙂


Well, yesterday was amazing. Had a great time with the family at the ballpark for our first game of this season. Jeremy’s boss has awesome season tickets. We were 5 rows away from the field, specifically by First base. The tix are called Dugout Box seasts, I guess? I’m clueless. All I know is they were the best seats I’ve ever had to any game, including amateur leagues, and we had a great time.

We were determined to be healthy and save $ this trip since it wasn’t planned and the tix were free. Usually when we plan a trip to STL we’ll go all out & go for an extended wkend w/ a hotel and check out other places like the City Museum, Arch, Zoo, Union Station, etc… However, the tix were given to us last minute and were GIVEN so we thought we’d take advantage of a cheap day trip and head down and back, same day.

We packed a cooler of drinks and waters (packed some drink mixes for even more variety other than pop & plain water) made some sandwiches for lunch & brought a bunch of different portion-ziploc snacks to choose from. 3 diff types of pretzels, crackers, granola bars, etc… I was SO proud! There was enough variety to satisfy everyone for the trip down, during the game and even extra for the ride home.

The kids were so good. This was our first event doing something like this. Usually we do the food/drinks on the way through either a fast food, restaurant, vendor at the event or gas station. We spoil ourselves. But, being extra healthy recently made me look at this venture differently! The kids were so good about not complaining about the missing nacho trays, overpriced sandwiches/drinks or anything they were used to getting that we splurged a lil on the way home and went to a buffet. So, I splurged a little, too. Oh well, I had not used any of my extra WW Points for the week, so I indulged some myself. I’m over it. Not even mad at myself because I’m back on track today. 🙂

Speaking of which, I’m actually really glad I got hurt. Everything does happen for a reason!!! I decided to ice my foot after getting home last night from walking all day and it was a LOT better after that and some advil! Even this morning it felt so much better that I decided that I should just start over on C25K to slowly work the running back in along with my injury slowly healing. AND I got the idea to see if my kids wanted to join – its easy enough to do, they are healthy and active and it would only help them be better athletes and we can bond a little doing it together.

They did want to join! So, after they were done going through the eggs and getting their Easter presents (at the crack of dawn of course) we all went outdoors and did Day 1 of C25K together.

My ankle held up just fine, feels great compared to how its felt the past several days and the boys and I really enjoyed the running/walking and chit chatting.

I am in love with this weekend. What a great outcome and wonderful way to enjoy every bit of this wkend. Hubbs is grilling out and we’re decorating Easter eggs. Can I just hit the pause, or slow motion button to make this moment last longer?

Happy Easter!

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What @RunningManda is tweeting!

  • So, bear w/me while I try to figure it out. I'm thinking this acct will have to go and I'll just link all things running to @dancewithmandi 6 years ago
  • 'ello! I'm back... w/3 accts! Cleanup time! ;/ Love running, but I'm now a zumba instructor @dancewithmandi plus my personal @amandabrookers 6 years ago
  • RT @amandabrookers: If your profile picture is a vehicle, I'm feeling it's safe to assume your cover is blown...everyone now knows you a ... 6 years ago
  • “@EatThisNotThat BEST BREAKFAST @ Jack in the Box: Breakfast Pita Pocket + Fruit Cup = 491 calories & 23 g fat!” <-Best?!?! Not in my book!! 6 years ago
  • @WakeUp_Taylor so, has the #fkfc explored Zumba? It's amazing! I'm becoming a certified instructor next month! Maybe I come & teach Tay&K :) 6 years ago

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