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7 Offbeat Wedding Ideas for Your Big Day

7 Offbeat Wedding Ideas for Your Big Day

There are certain wedding traditions that everyone assumes they have to adhere to. But what if you were willing to embrace the idea that almost none of them are an absolute requirement? The truth is that there is very little that you’re legally required to do, but social expectations may make you consider having a wedding day that is just like everyone else’s. To avoid this, add in at least a few offbeat touches that allow you and your future spouse to showcase your unique personalities.

1. Alternatives to a Wedding Cake

The average cost of a wedding cake is rapidly approaching $500. Aside from the cost factor, many people admit later on that they weren’t even all that impressed with their cake. Therefore, why should you have one? This is one wedding tradition that is practically begging to be skipped, and there are so many fun alternatives. Doughnuts are becoming increasingly popular, and you could also have a dessert bar instead. Or think even further outside the box by utilizing your favorite sweet treat.

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2. Reexamine Wedding Favors

Many of your guests will not remember to take their wedding favors home, especially if they are of the traditional variety. You can skip the favors altogether if you put something else together to entertain your guests. If you wish to provide a favor or two, though, make it something memorable that people will truly want to keep. Customized slippers are an unusual but thoughtful wedding idea that will make it easier for people to have fun dancing. Add a photo booth or some S’mores to the mix and your guests are certain to love your wedding favors!

3. Skip the Fancy Dinner

Are you and your fiancée fancy dinner type of people? If the answer is no, it makes no sense to serve a black tie event type meal that contains food most people can’t even pronounce. Instead of spending up to $73 per guest for catering, opt for a buffet that has some of your favorites. Pizza buffets are a nice touch for a wedding with a more casual vibe or you could have a barbecue to keep things fun. Your guests would also enjoy a buffet that’s full of everyone’s favorite comfort food such as mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and macaroni and cheese. This will save you money, and it will also provide a meal that people will look back on fondly.

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4. Pick a Personal Theme

Weddings are often over-the-top and are not even a good representation of the couple getting married. Keep your budget in line by avoiding pretty but unnecessary décor that has nothing to do with who the two of you actually are. Instead, select a theme that includes a mutual favorite such as Halloween, football or Star Wars. From there, you can choose appropriate and fun décor that is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. Don’t forget to include the theme in every aspect of your wedding. For example, if you choose Star Wars, you can use music from the movies during your ceremony. Don’t be afraid to mix two themes if this lets the two of you express yourselves more fully.

5. Encourage Conversations with a Quiet Area

Sitting inside a reception venue is usually noisy and not very conducive to actual conversations. To help people have the best of both worlds, have a DJ or band keep the party going indoors and set up a quiet area outside. If you have chosen a reception venue that has the appropriate space outside, you can build a bonfire. If there is nowhere for people to go outside that is safe and appropriate, consider setting aside a room indoors for people who want to take a breather from the reception hall.

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6. Create Something Artistic Together

Exchanging rings is a tradition you will most likely keep, but there are many other things you can add to your ceremony. A prime example for people who are even the slightest bit artistic is to sketch, draw or paint something together after you say your vows. This doesn’t have to be something big that will take a long time. Instead, choose something you can do together in 5 minutes or less. It may not be a masterpiece, but it will be something worth hanging on your wall. And if you want it to be more detailed, the two of you can finish it later.

7. Hide Your Favorite Color under Your Dress

If you decide not to eschew tradition altogether by getting an alternative wedding dress, you can still spice things up by adding a splash of color beneath the dress. This is easily accomplished with a petticoat or a crinoline, and it’s also a good way to add one of your wedding colors to your outfit. Red looks amazing next to a white or ivory dress, as will many other colors.

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Ultimately, your wedding day is all about you and your future spouse. Therefore, it’s wise to put aside any traditions that you aren’t comfortable with. Incorporate your personalities and the history of your relationship as much as possible to make the day truly special. By making some careful choices, you can have an offbeat wedding that is fun and affordable.

Featured photo credit: lindico via pixabay.com

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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