• A Plant Based Memorial Day and Remembering a Friend
  • Aquafabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free
  • Meatless Monday: Chili con Not-Carne. Plus #BloggyBootCamp!
  • How to Pack for Blogfest
  • Perfect Pasta Salad for #MeatlessMonday
  • 8 Tips for Running Downhill. Plus it’s National Running Day!
  • 6 Non-Essential WordPress Plugins that I Love
  • Running Wednesday: My Favorite Pure Speed Workout
  • 10 Blogkeeping Tasks that Anyone Can Do
  • Meatless Monday: Quesadilla with Gardein Beefless Ground

Banana Walnut Bread Gluten Free and Vegan

I hope that you all had a fabulous 4th of July! We kept it quiet here, staying at home after three weekends in a row out of town (and the next two). We had a little firework fun on our own, had a vegan “traditional” dinner, and were at home to soothe our dogs when the fireworks started to go off.

Vegan hot dog dinner with potato salad and cornCheck out the recipe for this vegan potato salad!

On Saturday I was excited to see that I was featured on the SITS Girls Saturday Sharefest! Of course, being Independence Day, apparently potential blog readers had other things to do, so I did not have a million pageviews as a result. Oh well, #bloggerproblems.

On Sunday, we skipped the run, instead taking the dogs on an extra long walk (it’s a little too hot for them to run, even early in the morning). We saw our third movie in as many weeks, Spy, with Melissa McCarthy. Very funny.

Vegan and gluten free banana walnut bread

Banana Walnut Bread Gluten Free and Vegan

I also spent some time making vegan Banana Walnut Bread! It’s gluten free too, and the final version is slightly lower in sugar and oil. Oh, it’s pretty delicious.

I used aquafaba again as the egg replacer. It’s so easy, basically three tablespoons equals one egg. In case you missed last week’s post, aquafaba is simply bean brine. You know, that juice you usually drain off and throw away. This weekend was the first time ever that I opened a can of beans just to get the juice (I did save the beans, though, I’ll probably toss them on a salad or something.). I used chickpeas again for my aquafaba, though you really can use the brine from any type of bean, canned or freshly made.

By the way, last week’s post was Aquafabulous Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just sayin’.

Vegan and gluten free Banana Walnut Bread.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Banana Walnut Bread: Gluten Free and Vegan
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup walnuts or other nuts, chopped (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons aquafaba
  • ½ cup sunflower seed oil
  • ½ cup vanilla vegan yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and walnuts in a bowl. Stir gently until well blended
  3. In another bowl, combine aquafaba, oil, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until blended.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and blend.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour mixture.
  6. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  7. Bake until golden brown and check that a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about an hour).
  8. Allow to sit in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
Notes
I skipped the salt in this recipe because there was salt in the beans. If you use salt free bean brine you can add a ½ teaspoon sea salt if you'd like.

Banana Walnut Bread. Vegan, gluten free, made with aquafaba.I made my first batch on Saturday. I followed an old recipe I used to make in my pre-vegan days, just changing up the ingredients as needed. I used rice flour to make it gluten free, the aquafaba to replace the eggs, and almond milk instead of the real thing. Other than that I followed the original recipe. It tasted really good, maybe a little too sweet, but it took a long time to bake, about an hour and a half, and was still quite dense and almost gooey (if that’s the right word).

Vegan and gluten free banana walnut bread made with aquafaba.For the second batch, I needed to buy more flour, so I picked up some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour (basically because that’s what they had at the grocery store). It is a blend of white and brown rice flour, potato starch, and a few other ingredients, designed to replace regular flour one to one.

I also cut the sugar in half, replaced some of the oil and the almond milk with Silk vanilla soy yogurt (you can always use coconut yogurt if you prefer soy-free), and I used walnuts (I skipped any nuts in the first version). And as I mentioned in the notes, I didn’t use any salt because the bean brine did have salt. If you use salt-free beans, you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

This time it only took an hour to cook and the texture was much better. It was still plenty sweet.

Banana Walnut Bread vegan and gluten freeI’m linking up with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday, and with Annmarie, for another Meatless Monday! Hop on over to their blogs to check out all the delicious meat-free food they’re sharing.

So on the way to the movies on Sunday, Alan and I played cloud pictures. We’re both quite good at finding shapes in the clouds, and we usually see what the other person points out. Kind of like a fluffy Rorschach test.

CloudsI see an alligator about to eat a fox. How about you?

Clouds 2I see Snoopy riding a pig. How about you?

So, how was your holiday weekend? I hope you had lot’s of fun with family, races, and other adventures that I hope you’ll share. And what do you see in the clouds?

This post contains affiliate links.

A Squat-a-liscious Tabata Workout, Brick Betty, and the Lucky Streak

So somehow, even though I’m not working at my “real” job this summer, I am staying really busy. I’ve been able to run most mornings, though it’s been so hot and humid even really early that I’m not getting a whole lot of miles. I’m also working hard this summer to build up the blog, and, as other bloggers know, that can take hours a day. Add in some weekends away, projects around the house, and I don’t seem to have a spare minute. Good, that will make the time go fast, so before I know it, summer will be over. (Sorry I’m not sorry for those of you who love summer. Try it in 115 degrees.)

A Squat-a-liscious Tabata Workout

Squataliscious – def – 1. involving many squats. 2. exercises that make the butt look delicious.

Alan and I also just made a re-commitment to the gym (again). So aside from being really sore this week, it has me thinking about faster, quicker workouts, especially those that can be done at home. I plan to introduce him to the TRX (though the only decent place to anchor it is outside, so hot/humid again). I’m also thinking about this Tabata workout. There’s is nothing like a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout to get your workout done quickly and leave you in a sweaty pile on the floor. I really like this one because it requires no equipment, so you can do it at home, in the gym, or, if you’re a bit of an exhibitionist, on the trails.

Squataliscious Tabata is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that will get you fit fast. No equipment needed.(Gee, look who’s working out on the trails.)

Brick Betty Ambassador

I’m really excited that I was asked to be a Brick Betty Ambassador. I love representing this beautiful line of fitness wear, designed for people who appreciate the best fabrics, bright colors, and high quality products, all of which are made in America. They are truly the Rolls Royce of fitness clothing. I’ll tell you more soon.

Brick Betty beautiful and colorful fitness wear for people who appreciate high quality, comfortable fitness fashion, made in America.

The Lucky Streak Continues

You may remember a few months ago I wrote about my lucky streak. Over the course of a couple months I won several prizes on blog giveaways, including my Blendtec Designer 725 blender, a $100 Lululemon gift card (both from Fitfluential), socks and a pair of Croc shoes (the cute ones!) from Katie, a Sparkly Soul Headband, an Unplugged t-shirt, a package of NuNaturals from Jody, not to mention that I received a Magic Bullet blender from Influenster (we’re doing really well in the smoothie department around here!).

Well, I seemed to cool off for a while (missing out on winning a tablet computer that would have been very cool), but it looks like things are heating up again! Last week I found out that I won a $75 Synergy Organic Clothing gift card from Lora Hogan, and biggest of all, the entire Schoen by Yu denim collection from Popsugar Select’s first ever giveaway. And finally, I won a prize package from Fit Approach! It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m sure it will be filled with all kinds of Sweat Pink goodies!

Catch me at Blogfest (at the IDEAWorld Urban Party) in this pretty dress from Synergy Organic ClothingThis is the dress I ordered from Synergy Organic Clothing. Just in time to pack for Blogfest!

I’m thinking I better get myself to Vegas as soon as possible before this lucky streak wears off!

Have a great Independence Weekend everybody! We’re hanging around home this year in spite of the heat. What about you? Any fun plans or adventures planned for the 4th?

 

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party. Oh! I can’t forget Jill for Fitness Friday! I hope you’ll check out off of these amazing blogs!

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

6 Tips for Managing Your Social Media (when you have no time)

I originally wrote this post for my other blog, Media Fitness Coach, targeted at busy business owners and fitness professionals who were trying to use social media marketing to improve their business. I thought that it was worthwhile information for a wider audience though, because for many of us, blogging is a business, social media marketing is a necessary part of increasing both your readership and your income, and, well, we’re all busy. Here’s my original article with a few notations directed specifically at bloggers.

Here are 6 tips for managing your social media, even when you're busy.

When I publish articles about the importance of social media and why it is necessary for your business, one of the things that I hear the most is, “where do I find the time?” Many small business owners realize that social media marketing is vital, but, they say, “I’m busy managing my company!” (Or training my clients, teaching my classes, working my “real” job, taking care of my kids, writing my blog. You get the idea.)

It’s true that social media can take up a lot of time, especially if you’re taking the time to engage with your followers, respond to questions, and follow up on complaints. How, then, to find that time, without taking away from your other responsibilities? Here are a few tips that can help.

6 Tips for Managing Your Social Media (when you have no time)

6 Tips for Managing your Social Media when you have no time.

1. Focus on Your Goals. Before you plan what you want to say, have a good idea of what your goal is. Are you trying to get more traffic to your website or blog? Do you have a sale or product you want to promote? Do you want actual foot traffic for your business? An important goal that should be in your mind everyday is to just raise awareness of your brand. Goals can change from week to week, and even daily, so know exactly what you want to accomplish before you even step foot online.

For Bloggers: You may want to get more pageviews, sell your services, increase your advertising revenue, or all three. Knowing what you want will help you achieve your goals. Brand awareness applies to blogs too. You are your brand.

2. Have a Plan. Based on your goals, have an idea what you are going to post for each day. Using a planner or an editorial calendar to plan ahead can keep you organized. When you’re browsing, save links that you would like to share with your followers. Jot down interesting ideas when they come to you. Then, write down a schedule and the posts you want to send out. Spend an hour or two, once a week, making an outline of your plans for the upcoming week. This can be adapted as the week goes on, but it helps you know where you’re going.

For Bloggers: Your social media schedule should align with your blog posting schedule. Spread out your content through the day and week, so that it isn’t overwhelming. Intersperse your own promotions with other bloggers’ content.

3. Don’t Get Caught Up. Social media can be a time sucker (one word..Pinterest). While engagement is necessary, it is easy to get carried away on any of the social media channels. Keep your own posting and replying focused, using your precious time for what amounts to networking. Don’t waste time discussing the weather, engage in deeper, more relative conversations.

For Bloggers: A little discussion of the weather is fine, but do try to keep it relative. Remember, you are networking, so treat your online interactions as you would other opportunities to get to know other bloggers and brands.

4. Use Dead Time. Use time that would otherwise be wasted, like waiting for a plane or an appointment, or while commuting on public transportation. Using your smartphone to check in on social media while you’re waiting is an excellent use of dead time. Everyone has gaps of time during their day that can be put to good use.

For Bloggers: Dead time is also a good time to respond to comments on your blog.

5. Schedule (some) Posts. Use the scheduling function of social media apps like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Tweetdeck, or  smartphone apps like Tweetcaster (both for iPhone and Android), to schedule a few posts for the day (or even for the week). It is now possible to schedule posts on Facebook, both on the web and through the smartphone app. Be careful though. In order to engage with your followers, you need to check in and respond to their comments and questions, so don’t just schedule a few posts and forget about it.

For Bloggers: Schedule a few newer posts, pull out a few of your older posts that you’d like to reintroduce, and remember to share other bloggers’ posts. I’m not an expert on Pinterest, but the time has come for me to look into one of the Pinterest schedulers too. I’m deciding between Board Booster and Tailwind.

6. Get Help. If you just can’t manage to find the time to follow through on your social media plans (and to do it well), there are some other options. Can you delegate it to another staff member? If you do, make sure that it is someone who is not only social media savvy, but is responsible enough to handle any issues or complaints that may come up. Another option is to hire someone to do it for you. If your company is small it may not be financially feasible to hire a new employee strictly to manage your social media. There are freelance social media managers that can do the job for you on a per-job or monthly basis, who are trained to make the best use of social media marketing and can take the weight off your shoulders.

For Bloggers: This is probably not an option unless you have a very big blog or a very accommodating spouse.

Most of all, relax. Social media should be fun, engaging, not rigid and forced. If you are new to social media marketing, start small, with one or two accounts, and post once or twice a day. Get the feel for your medium, learn what people are talking about, and don’t try just simply to sell. It is possible to manage your social media in a minimum amount of time by focusing on your goals, planning, and appropriate time management.

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party.

How do you make the most of your social media time? Do you use any scheduling apps? Which ones are your favorites?

Aquafabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free

I am not a baker. I don’t pretend to be. So it may seem a little odd that I’m going to share a cookie recipe with you. So let me tell you how this all came about.

These Aquafabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies are vegan and gluten free. They are made using aquafaba as an egg replacement.

A couple weeks ago, Lindsay shared a cookie recipe on her blog. They were gluten free, dairy free, Maple Chocolate Chip cookies. They sounded delicious, and I commented saying so, and shared them on Twitter. They did contain eggs, and Lindsay knows that I’m vegan, so when she replied to my tweet…well, just read it yourself:

That led to a conversation between Lindsay, Beth Miller (@millerbeT) and myself about what on earth chickpeas had to do with vegan cookies. And that led to my learning about aquafaba.

Cookies2

What is aquafaba? Well, simply put, it is bean juice. Seriously, you know that liquid that you usually pour out when you open a can of beans? It turns out that it makes an amazing egg replacement. How amazing? Well, you can actually make meringue, whipped “cream,” waffles, macarons, mousse, cookies, cakes, and more. It even has its own Facebook page where people share their meringue recipes.

The best part (well aside from it being virtually free), is how simple it is to use as an egg substitute. One egg = Three tablespoons aquafaba. That’s so easy even I could do it.

Aquafabulous6

To keep it extra simple, I decided to use an old standard cookie recipe and see if I could make it vegan using aquafaba. I decided on veganizing Toll House Cookies, because that recipe is easy to find, pretty basic, and definitely not vegan. I decided to also make the cookies gluten free, in honor of Lindsay who inspired them.

Aquafabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free

Vegan and gluten free chocolate chip cookies with aquafaba, the leftover juice from garbanzo beans!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Aquafab-ulous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 2-3 doz
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup non-dairy butter (I used Melt which is made from coconut oil)
  • ½ cup safflower oil
  • 6 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 1 package (10 or 12 ounces) non-dairy chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Beat non-dairy butter, sunflower oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, aquafaba, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

These cookies don’t make any pretense to being anything but delicious. Yes, they may have too much sugar and oils to be considered healthy, but they’re cookies. Enjoy a couple, share a lot. And while most people use the brine from garbanzo or white northern beans, black or other beans can be used too. And yes, you can make your own when you cook beans.

Aquafabulous5

I’m linking with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday. Hop on over to their blogs and find some more fabulous recipes.

Have you heard of aquafaba? Are you as excited as I am? Just think of the possibilities!

How to Pack for Blogfest

With Blogfest just a few weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about what to bring. I always tend to over-pack, and since I’m driving to Los Angeles, that’s not too big of a deal. However, if you’re flying in you will want to make sure to pack as lightly as possible, yet still bring everything that you need.

Packing for Blogfest

Blogfest is different than any other blogging conference, even those designed for healthy living bloggers. In addition to two days of blogging education, Blogfest also includes registration for the last two days of IDEA World Fitness Convention, which is the largest fitness convention in the world. So what does that mean?

1. At four days (five if you arrive on Wednesday to attend the free Zumba instructor training course), Blogfest is twice as long as most blogging events.

2. While healthy living blogging events include a variety of exercise classes, IDEA World kicks that up a notch with even more classes and workshops, including the opportunity to workout with Beto Perez and Jillian Michaels, plus other celebrity fitness pros, not to mention Blogfest Keynote speaker Gabrielle Reece, who will lead her HighX class. That’s a lot of sweating, which requires a little planning so that you don’t end up sweaty and stinky at your next session.

3. Blogfest also includes an invitation to the IDEA World opening party. The theme is Urban Party, and you’ll want to dress to impress.

4. If you choose, you can participate in one or more of the LA Adventures: The Hollywood Walking Workout Adventure on Wednesday, the Hollywood Hills hike on Saturday, or the Legendary Beverly Hills Bike Tour on Sunday (all adventures are available for an extra fee).

5. Your registration includes access to the IDEA World Fitness Expo, where you will not only have an opportunity to meet and network with a variety of vendors, you will probably load yourself up with freebies, great deals, and other fitness purchases, all of which take up luggage space on the way home.

These are just a few reasons why packing for Blogfest takes a little extra planning and consideration. To help you out, I’m sharing my suggestions for what to pack when you head to Los Angeles on July 16.

How to Pack for Blogfest

Clothing

Face it. It’s a fitness bloggers conference, so you will mostly be wearing fitness clothing.  Four or five days of fitness classes mean that you’d better bring a lot of fitness clothes (think yoga, Zumba, circuit training, and possibly running and walking). Unless you have access to a laundry, that’s a lot of clothing. In addition, fitness clothing is the norm for attending both Blogfest and IDEAWorld sessions too. I like to change into fresh clothes after a workout, but that’s entirely up to you. Fortunately, fitness wear doesn’t take up a whole lot of room in your suitcase. While you’re at it, throw in a couple gym towels too.

After hours, in addition to the Urban Party, you’ll probably head out for dinner or cocktails with your new friends, plus you’ll want to attend the Blogfest networking party. Pack according to your tastes, a pretty dress, jeans, or more yoga pants!

Oh, and if you’re sharing a room like I am, you’ll probably want to pack pajamas, a robe, or at least a big t-shirt. Your roommates will thank you.

How to pack for Blogfest

What does take up a lot of room is shoes. You’ll need comfortable shoes for the sessions and walking around the expo, a good pair of cross training shoes for most of the workouts, running shoes if you plan to go for a run, and if you’re going to spiff up for the evening, appropriate shoes for the Urban Party. And, of course, a pair or two of flip flops or sandals. You are in California after all.

And even though you’re in California, the evenings and mornings can be cool, not to mention the air conditioning inside the convention center. Bring a sweater or sweatshirt. Or two!

All your regular accessories: Hair care, makeup, underwear, etc.

Since you will be going straight from exercise classes to sessions, I recommend a fitness specific body wipe like Shower Pill. They come individually wrapped, they’re large and thick, plus they’re anti-bacterial.

For the Sessions

Bring something to write on and with. Paper, pens, pencils, computer, tablet. One of the best purchases I made a couple years ago was a keyboard for my iPad. It makes it so easy to take notes plus I can toggle back and forth between notes, Twitter and Instagram.

Power! You’ll be active on social media during Blogfest and taking a lot of pictures so don’t forget your charging cables and  an extra battery if you have that option. If you want to make a lot of friends, bring a power strip. These were provided last year at Blogfest, but you’ll find plenty of people at IDEAWorld who would be extremely happy to share your power.

You’ll be taking a lot of pictures, so if you have one, bring your “real” camera. And a Selfie Stick, because let’s face it, you’re going to want to take pictures with all the bloggers that you’re meeting.

How to pack for Blogfest.

Business cards! Blogging conferences are all about networking so bring plenty of business cards with you. Don’t have cards yet? Order now and you’ll get them in plenty of time. I love Moo.com. They’re very customizable and can be printed on both sides. And you’ll get 10% off your first order if you use this link.

A reusable water bottle and snacks. You’ll need to stay hydrated and refueled with all that working out going on! I also like to bring along some Sunwarrior protein powder and a shaker cup. Because I’m vegan I can’t always count on having plant based food available, so at least I can know that I’ll be able to start my morning off right.

A roomy but light bag or briefcase to carry all of the above around at the conference. A messenger-style bag works well.

For the Expo

If you’re a shopper, you’ll probably want to save room in your suitcase or bring an extra bag to carry it all home. Plus you’ll be getting some great swag at Blogfest, so remember that when you’re packing.

How to pack for Blogfest.I’m sure I forgot something, so if you think of something not on the list, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it.

I had an amazing time at BlogFest 2014. I know that BlogFest 2015 will be even bigger and better (maybe because you will be there?!). I am an IDEA Inspired Advisor, so I will be there (with bells on). I hope you will be there too!

There is still time to register! Use my code at checkout to save $100: BLOG100.

Blogfest Register 2015

Can’t get enough of Blogfest? Here are my other posts:

Meet My Blogfest Buddies!
The Scoop: Blogfest and IDEAWorld, Gabby, Jillian, Beto and More!
5 Reasons You Need to Go to Blogfest 2015
Blogfest: It Starts with the People
(From 2014) 6 Women (and 1 Man) I Can’t Wait to Meet at Blogfest

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

6 Non-Essential WordPress Plugins that I Love

I’ve said it before. I’m a bit of a plugin junkie. I know that having too many slows down a website. I’ve tried to cut down (and I have!). But, in addition to the essential tools that are on most bloggers’ plugin list, I have some non-essential WordPress plugins that I love, find very useful, and can’t seem to do without.

6 Non Essential (but useful) WordPress Plugins that I love.

Anti-Spam

I know that Akismet is the standard for spam control, and yes, I use it. That being said, last year I had many issues of spam comments getting through and thousands of comments in my spam folder. I don’t like to delete them all until I make sure that a good comment wasn’t accidentally directed there, but I certainly don’t have the time to go through all that junk to fish out one comment. Thank goodness for Anti-Spam. I added it, in addition to Akismet, at the suggestion of another blogger, and now I’m in comment heaven. It is very rare that a spam comment gets through, but the best part is I never see them. They’re just gone. It does catch an occasional good comment, but that is so easy to fix now.

Click to Tweet

Co-Schedule‘s free social media plugin Click to Tweet has become almost an essential for sharing your posts to Twitter. I love it because I can personalize my tweets for others to share, instead of just a post title as most sharing plugins do. I can also add hashtags, tag other Twitter accounts, and sprinkle several tweets throughout my blog post.

SumoMe

I have the free version of SumoMe, and it is essentially seven (of which I use three) plugins in one. I use Listbuilder, which is a customized popup for email subscriptions (which integrates with MailChimp and many other newsletter services). Smartbar does essentially the same thing. It is a floating bar that can be placed at the top or bottom of your page and collects email subscriptions. And my new favorite is Image Sharer, which makes it simple for anyone to share your pictures, not only to Pinterest, but to Twitter, Facebook, and Yummly. Just hover your mouse over the picture below and the Image Sharer will appear in the top right corner (you can place it where you want on your picture). You can also set it to use the post title or alternate text when someone shares, another useful feature.

SumoMe is essentially 7 plugins in one.

The downside of SumoMe is the little blue banner that sits in the lower right corner (I assume you can see it too). It can be minimized by clicking on the X but the only way to get rid of it completely is to pay for the full version. If that is something that bothers you, you probably would be better off with different listbuilding and sharing plugins.

Better Delete Revision

Did you know that every time you save a post (which I do frequently because I have a phobia about losing all of my work) WordPress saves a copy? Eventually that can add up to a lot of extra junk in your database. Better Delete Revision clears out all of those old revisions without touching your most current published, draft, or scheduled posts.

Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker monitors your posts, comments, pages, blogroll, and other custom fields for broken links, images, and redirects, and notifies you when it finds them. This is useful for older posts, when old websites have disappeared, or when pages that you may have linked to have changed. It’s much easier than going back through hundreds of old posts to check for bad links. You can fix the problem directly within Broken Link Checker too, so you don’t have to edit a post or delete a comment.

Add Signature

I can’t help it. I love that little signature at the end of each of my posts. Add Signature lets you choose the font, color, and what you want to say to close out each post.
 photo Signature_zps65e035a8.png

Plus a (Paid) Bonus for Genesis Users

I should have said a bonus for Genesis users who like to play around with their own theme settings. Genesis Design Palette Pro is not free. In fact, at $49 it’s the most I’ve paid for a plugin (I actually got a deal and saved 30% by purchasing through StudioPress when it first came out), but if you’re like me and enjoy doing your own thing with the look of your blog, but are clueless about HTML and CSS, this plugin is perfect for you.

As they say on their website, “Quickly and easily modify the look of each area of your site, including header, navigation, content area, sidebars, and footers by changing colors, fonts, images, backgrounds, margins and padding– And do it without writing a single line of code.”

That’s my list of favorite plugins. They’re not essential, but they’re important. They make Coach Debbie Runs run more smoothly, and make it easier for me to share my posts and maintain my blog.

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party.

What are your favorite non-essential plugins? I probably shouldn’t ask because I already have more than enough, but I really need want to know.