Life: A look back as well as looking forward

12/30/2011 11:15:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

2012...I see that you are just a day away. I commend you for your sneaking prowess. I did not see you coming.

This year has been full of a lot of things, but I can't help but find myself thinking about everything that will be happening in 2012. But before I get to what's going on with the new year, how about a quick recap of 2011?

My year started with me finding my first gray hair. Something so small...yet it rocked my world. Silly I know.

Winter hit with a vengeance, we found ourselves having to have our pipes defrosted. Which lead to much stupidity and having to have a dish rack in our guest bedroom. This was followed by a large ice storm that moved through the midwest and caused a lot of damage. In fact the worst night left us watching limbs fall dangerously close to power lines and our windows.

All of that ice was followed by a fire that ravaged the strip mall right by our house. It was insane to be able to walk right down our street and stand yards away from a roaring fire.

A spring started to...well...spring we saw a Valentine wine tasting party and a St. Patties Day party

Around that same time I really started falling off of the blogging bandwagon. I was burnt out and didn't have a lot I wanted to talk about.

When summer hit Nate and I finally saw ourselves taking a vacation to the Sandals at Antigua. We were not impressed with our stay at all and look forward to taking another tropical vacation at another time.

Blogging still wasn't happening. But I was trying.

As summer came to a close I threw a baby shower and put together a "baby shower in a box" for my friend Cassie.

Throughout the year I had been trying to get into running, which saw a lot of ups and downs. But I found my stride and can say that I don't hate running as much as I once did.

Fall saw my lack luster birthday, a few more gatherings and getting ready for the holidays.

All of that brings us pretty much to now. I am definitely ready for this new year to start, even though the first quarter of it is going to be crazy for us.

Pretty much as soon as the new year hits, we'll be kicking it into high gear to get ready for our next PCS (fancy military acronym for a move). Yes...after almost a year and a half here in Ohio, we will be moving again. It will be bittersweet, as we have many friends here whom we love and enjoy spending time with and we have truly enjoyed all that we have found in Ohio (I wish we would have explored more). Yet at the same time Nate will finally get to do what he's been dreaming of since I have met him, which is teach.

From January thru April our lives will be hectic. We'll be prepping for a move, making sure that Nate's thesis is done, have him defend said thesis, graduate, move and then settle into our old house.

It's crazy to think so much will be happening, but such is the case with life. It doesn't stop even for a new year.

I hope that your year has been wonderful and that your new year is even better. Hopefully I'll see more of you as well!

1 comments :

Life: All I want for Christmas

12/17/2011 11:50:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

There are a few things I actually have my eye on this holiday season, which is odd for me. In fact this year there is something I really want, but am not asking for. What I really want is the glassware that I grew up with. For as long as I can remember I drank almost everything out of Iittala's Ultima Thule cups. I have very vivid memories of coming into my mom's room in the morning and seeing one sitting on her night stand, filled with her morning Diet Coke.

Sadly, after moving out of the house, I no longer got to use those beautiful cups. What's worse is I didn't know who made them and never could find them when I did searches for them. Apparently "bubble bottom glass" and "dripping bottom glass" weren't winners in the search engine. Then a few months back I gave the search another go...and I found them! Once I found the name I was able to find tons of places that sold them. Not only can you still buy them new, but I have found a plethora of then in vintage condition.

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So I found them, but why am I not buying them you ask? Well, we're moving in 3 months and the thought of these glasses having to be shipped twice, with hopes of them not breaking, is just too much for me. Don't get me wrong, I want them. I have to fight pushing the buy button every time I look at them. What keeps me from doing it is knowing that one day I will own a set of my own and I can start creating my own memories with them.

1 comments :

Crafts: Winter wreath

12/06/2011 11:58:00 AM Ashley 0 Comments

Just a new wreath that I was able to throw together in under 30 minutes (would have been faster if I hadn't had to paint the wreath form).


Hope everyone's holiday season is off to a wonderful start!

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Decor: Christmas tree...now with more colors!

11/20/2011 09:08:00 PM Ashley 18 Comments

Probably over a year ago I stumbled across this photo:

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Of course I lost track of the photo, because Pinterest didn't exist and I didn't think it would be that hard to re-find. I mean it's a ROGBIV white tree. Wrong...I couldn't find it. Then a few weeks back I remembered this dream tree and I went to work on finding it. Low and behold...there it was and BAM I pinned it.

Why did I go to all of this trouble you ask? Well because I wanted to recreate it. For someone who's always had a fresh cut tree (up until two years ago), this was an out of left field desire. I wanted...no I needed to have this tree in my house.

So late last night the husband and I made a trip to the store so I could get my white tree. Getting me one step closer to to my dream. Then today I put it together. I just couldn't wait until after Thanksgiving.

Wow. I am so in LOVE with the tree. It's better than I expected it to be. In fact I can't stop looking at it.





It's exactly what I wanted and totally puts me in the mood for the holidays.

Now to just get the other holiday decorations out.

18 comments :

Beauty: Rainbow Connection

11/03/2011 09:01:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

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I seriously can't stop staring at my nails. They are amazing and it's all thanks to OPI putting out a line for the new Muppets movie. This is Rainbow Connection. It's full of multi color small round, medium hex and large hex glitter. It took three heavier coats to fill it out, but it's totally worth it. Just look at it! Indoors the silver glitter really pops, while in natural light the blue/green glitter stands out. It is a rainbow in a bottle.

Seriously...go get this if you can. It's flying off shelves and it's easy to see why!

2 comments :

Review: Canvas4Life

10/25/2011 08:52:00 AM Ashley 2 Comments

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Canvas4Life asking if I'd be interested in reviewing a canvas print from them. I, of course, jumped on the chance because Nate and I have been wanting to put some of our engagement and wedding photos on to canvas. Then life got ahead of us, as always, so it never happened.

Doing this meant that we had to find the perfect picture to use. That's no simple task when you have 200+ engagement photos and 600+ wedding photos. Lets just say it took awhile to narrow down. Once we figured out our top choices it was beyond simple to upload the photo(s) onto Canvas4Life's site. On their front page they direct you to get started by choosing a photo off of your computer. While it's uploading they also check the quality of the photos. I was using our very large original files and it took less than a minute for it to upload.

Once you get to the next page, the fun starts! It's where you get to decide on the size of canvas that you want. We went with a 16" x 20" canvas, which is a great size. I really like that they have a "mock" living room with a sofa...so you can get a visual idea of how large the photo will actually be. Us visual people really like that! After you pick your size you then move onto choosing between color, black and white or sepia. Granted if you're doing a black and white photo then this step really doesn't matter. Then it's onto canvas finishes...canvas depth...edge bleeding...and then BAM you're done (minus the whole paying part).

Oh and bonus...shipping is FREE if you choose Supersaver!

So now that we all know that the process is super simple and wonderful let's move on to the photo itself. We ended up choosing a photo from our engagement session. I wanted to do a color photo as a test, because let's face it... sometimes color photos lose their brilliance when printed.


This has always been one of our favorite photos, but it never made it to print. Probably because all of our engagement photos are our favorite! It's adorable... plus I'd say it fits the criteria of bright colors.

My order was processed on October 5 and the next day (Oct 6) I got a shipping notice. Yep that's right...in a matter of one day I went from a placed order to a shipped order. Holy wow! And if that's not great...within a week I had my new canvas print in my hot little hands!

The canvas was shipped in a flat box and protected by bubble wrap, which was far more than I expected! Once we got rid of the packaging there was a beautiful canvas starring back at Nate and I. We are both very impressed with the quality. And the color... oh the color. No issues there at all. Our beautiful, bright photo was perfectly conveyed onto canvas!

My only complaint is that we got our photo uncoated, which is totally OUR fault. The uncoated canvas really does not do well with the oils on your hands...which I learned quickly after I tried to wipe a bit of dust off of it. But, again, it was our choice to get it uncoated and if we had to do it again, we'd get the coating. So by no means is that the fault of the company.

Okay...enough talking...here's some photos of our new canvas painting!

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Canvas on our wall

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The bleeding of the photo around the edges

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Back of the canvas

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Reinforced corners

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Angled to show the matte-ness of the uncoated canvas


Beautiful huh!?

Here's the specs on our canvas:

~16" x 20"
~0.75" depth
~Bleed on edges
~Uncoated (we'd go with the matte coating next time)
~PhotoPerfect (allows them to make sure that the photo is perfectly placed on canvas)

I can easily see us getting more canvases done from Canvas4Life. We have a handful of photos that we want on canvas and with their prices I wouldn't feel awful getting more than one!

And because Canvas4Life is so wonderful they are offering you... my totally awesome readers a 10% discount! Yep...you read that right! If you're anything like me you have a photo (or twelve) that you want to be made into a canvas. So go go make one and get 10% off. Just type in thingaboutdaisies into the promo code section.

Go...do it...you'll be happy you did!


FTC Disclaimer: I was sent this photo canvas by Canvas4Life for review. My review is my personal and honest opinion about the product and I am not being compensated to write it.

2 comments :

Life: Falling for fall

10/11/2011 01:28:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

Fall is here...100%!

The colors are amazing. I must say that living in the midwest is wonderful, especially for a fall lover like me. Nate and I have been enjoying the weather like crazy. We're making the most of it by going out and exploring, which we did a lot of when our friend was in town.

I'll just let some photos do the talking.

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Hay ride through a local corn maze.

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Pumpkins straight from the patch.

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Our haul.

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The beautiful old cobble stone sidewalks in the German district in Columbus, OH.

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Piles of pumpkins, gords and squash!

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Fall trees.


Fall skies...one of my many favorite things about the season!


I hope everyone is enjoying their fall so far. We're getting every last drop out of it here, as it will be our last one before we move. Granted the falls where we are going aren't bad either...just different.

Happy Fall y'all!

0 comments :

Life: Baby shower in a box

9/21/2011 12:48:00 PM Ashley 4 Comments

A few weeks ago I finally sent out my "baby shower" in a box to my friend Cassie over at Understated. We live nowhere near each other and there is no way I could have been a part of her baby shower, but I wanted to do something for her and her family.

I had been working on the idea about the same time as the other baby shower I threw, if not longer. Everywhere I went I was on the look out for all things baby and nautical (Cassie is doing an adorable nautical/maps theme). As I slowly gathered stuff I tired to figure out a way to send the items. I wanted it to be cute and something that could be used if she had the desire to. That's when I came up with an old suitcase. One of my local thrift stores always had great vintage cases and I knew that I would be able to find one...or three. Yep I went through two other suitcases before I found the perfect one.

After I gathered clothing, toys and the suitcase I started making things as well as painting the suitcase. Once I was done I wrapped everything in map tissue paper and sent it off!

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What was in it:

~Hand painted/stamped vintage suitcase
~Boppy and boppy cover (firm believer of getting at lease one thing off of the registry)
~A small dipper bag w/attached changing pad
~A Sophie the Giraffe Classic Teether
~Striped blanket with giraffe appliqué
~Cream blanket (that I almost kept for myself)
~Melted crayon art in baby room colors
~Letter R painted in gray chalk board paint
~Letter R with map (the map is of where they live)
~Outlet covers (it's the simple things that are often forgotten)
~Nautical onesies
~Map note cards (can be used as thank you's)
~Awesome little button down shirt and khakis
~Blue Hat, Green Hat book picked out by Nate (Found him giggling while reading this)
~"Hello Baby" banner


I am so happy with how it turned out and that I was able to do this for Cassie and her husband. It was so much fun putting it together, I love hunting for gifts for friends. There is something so wonderful about having such a genuinely great friend and getting to do something special for them even though many states separate us.

I know Cassie is so very close to welcoming their little one into the world and I wish them nothing but happiness and smiles on their upcoming day.

4 comments :

Life: A very un-merry birthday

9/09/2011 09:26:00 AM Ashley 2 Comments

28

That's how old I am as of yesterday. This age doesn't bother me at all. Even knowing that my foot is already in the door to 30, I am not freaking out. At most I wonder where time has gone, because...uh wasn't I just 21!?

Over the years I have started enjoying my birthday less and less. Be it because of the lack of festivities or because bad juju just seems to pop up on or around the day, I find myself wanting to celebrate it less and less. It's almost easier to not do anything for it.

Which sucks, because I absolutely love September. It is my all time favorite month. I love that we're on the cusp of seasons. I love cold weather and everything that goes with it and September is the gateway month for it all. But every year September and I have a rocky start as my birthday inches closer.

This year was no different.

I don't want to not celebrate my birthday, but sometimes I wonder if that's the best idea. Maybe down the road I will change my tune and my birthday and I will get along better. Maybe I'll look forward to it. Who knows. But at least for now my birthday is over.

Even though it was just another day in my books, I was able to spend it with my wonderful husband. So wonderful in fact, that he made me Merry Unbirthday cupcakes to celebrate that today was, in fact, not my birthday.

I'm going to go have another cupcake and bask in all of this wonderful merry unbirthday-ness. That sounds like a great plan as September and I get back on track.

2 comments :

Crafts: Meltable art

8/29/2011 09:27:00 AM Ashley 6 Comments

As stated a few weeks ago, Nate and I started a craft project together. That project was the very popular melted crayon art. It was something that I found on Pinterest and when I showed it to Nate we somehow magically ended up with boxes of crayons and canvas. Nate's always looking for something crafty that he can do, because sometimes he feels that being an awesome baker isn't enough.

I set to work, gluing on the crayons.

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A lot of the DIYs I found were using hot glue...and while I do LOVE me some hot glue, I decided to go with super glue. It didn't seem logical to use a glue that melts with heat on a project that gets melted with...heat.

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I lined up all of the crayons with the logo up in my best attempt at ROYGBIV.

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We then headed outside with my blowdryer.

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Nate was super excited...


Especially when it started working.

We worked on the crayons for awhile, but while a hairdryer gets hot, it doesn't get hot enough to make the melting process happen quickly. We also didn't like that the force of the air was pushing around the wax. It was making for a splatter-y look that nether of us liked. Nate kept saying that a heat gun would be perfect for this job and that's when the light bulb went off in my head. I went and grabbed my embossing gun.

It was perfect. A little too perfect. Lets just say that if you let the embossing gun stay in one spot for too long...the paper wrappers would start smoking. Once we figured out the prime distance and sweeping motion we were golden. We were really able to start get the look we were looking for. Melted, layered wax.

After we had a good look going on, we decided that we didn't love all of the white space left at the bottom of the canvas. We didn't want to lose the layered look we had going, so we decided to add crayons to the other side of the canvas.

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Seeing as I had glued the other row with the label up, I had no idea what colors what the colors were and I wanted to line them up the same on both sides. So I set to work laying the fresh crayons on top of the melted.

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Again, I glued them down with super glue. I glued this row with the color name up, so you can see which color is which. At this point I totally took over. Nate had his fun and it was my turn!

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Watching the wax melt, drip and pool was beyond entertaining. I kind of want to do 20 more just so I can play with the wax. Though with as anal as I am...I did melt and remelt the wax a lot. I like finding perfection in chaos.

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I must say, it was an easy craft...unless you are me. I did, after all, say that I like things to be perfect (or what is perfect to me) and it was easy for me to get carried away. I wanted to add my personal touch, which was the super layered look. We also love that we can hang the art a few different ways. Though having it sideways so that the crayon drips look like they are fighting gravity is our favorite way to hang it.

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Anyone who knows me, knows I am a sucker for texture. And once I figured out that you could layer the wax...I went to town. Hello texture!

Honestly, this was one of the easiest crafts I have done recently. It's even easier if you aren't crazy anal like I am. I mean if I weren't so crazed I probably could have had this done in hours instead of 4 days of messing around. What can I say...I find ways to make simple things harder than they should be!

Edit: I forgot to mention some things...

...Use Crayola Crayons because the cheap ones just won't cut it (we didn't test this, but we have seen self admitted fails from other people that used brands like Roseart). Also, while the canvas was good it wasn't perfect. With the canvas having an open back the wax had a tendency to crack or pop off if disturbed too much. You can fix this by placing something solid (like cardboard) in the opening. Or you could just attach the crayons to foam board and then place the foam board in a frame. It's really personal preference. And last thing, seal your wax with a clear coat. It should help lock the wax in place and hopefully keep it from melting (not that our house would ever get that hot).


So what do you think!?

6 comments :

Decor: The baby shower in detail

8/24/2011 12:09:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

The baby shower I threw came together because of a lot of ideas I found on Pinterest and through out the internet. I found my decor ideas, the shower invites, gift ideas, food and games and was then able to keep them in one spot (Pinterest). It was a great source, especially for me wanting to DIY so much stuff.

I wanted the colors to be a little more gender neutral, even though we all knew the sex of the baby. After I settled on the color combo or melon and gray with hints of peach and light airy green I knew the I had to peg down the invites. I had thrown around the idea of making them myself but then I found the perfect print your own invite from Fresh Chick Design Studio.


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The color and overall look was perfect, because I had wanted an elephant and was trying to figure out a way to incorporate a book theme (the guest of honor is a book lover). I also worked with the seller to make me "wishes for baby" cards and book plate stickers. The stickers were included with the invitation and asked for everyone to bring their favorite childhood book instead of a card. That way we could start a library for the baby and guests could write something inside, making the book a permanent card.

After settling on the invite I was off to Pinterest to look for ideas. I knew that we'd end up doing a dessert bar for the party because it was being held after dinner. This also meant that Nate would be stepping in as baker extraordinaire (so lucky and fat from having an amazing baker husband)! This of course meant I knew the cake that HAD to be made...the Campfire Delight from the amazing Sweetapolita!


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My husband's beautiful take on the cake.

Seriously...this cake is AMAZING. I have dreams of it and how could you not when one of the layers is toasted marshmallow!? He's made this cake about 5 times and this was easily the best one he ever made! We also made Vanilla Chai Cupcakes for the non chocolate lovers and while I love that Campfire Delight I also love the chai cupcakes. They are moist and taste like you are biting into a chai latte.


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Our take on the vanilla chai cupcakes.

We decided to make them mini cupcakes...because really how fun are mini cupcake. Plus I need to use all of the little cupcake toppers that I made (at first we were going to make the campfire delight cake into cupcakes). Along with all of the cake I also had fresh fruit, just so you could feel better about the cake that was just devoured.

For drinks I had the basic water, but I also wanted to have a fun drink/cocktail. With peach/melon being the colors I knew that a Peach Bellini was perfect. Again Nate's handy work came to play when we used his homemade canned peaches and peach juice. I made two Bellini's, one with sparkling wine and one with sparkling grape juice (this was a baby shower after all).

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Homemade Peach Bellini's

I set up all of the food and drinks on our dinning table, which was pushed against the back wall to make more room for people to gather. I wanted to hang something above and quickly knew that it had to be poms, poofs, balloons and lanterns.


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My take on poof, pom, lanterns and balloons.

I decided to once again try to tackle the Martha Stewart poofs, even after my last very failed attempt. Amazingly this time they came out perfectly. I also got to discover that gray tissue paper and lanterns was a no go...silver is what you get. So while I used silver tissue for the poof, I took the white paper lanterns and paint them with water color. Instant gray lanterns!

I also found the idea to cut paint swatch samples into letters. When I saw it I knew instantly that I had to find a way to use them, which I did with the "Hello Baby".


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Gift table.

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"Take Me" table (gifts for guests).

Along with the "Hello Baby" banner I also made "Take Me", "Eat", "Drink" and "Gift" banners. All of which I hand cut from coordinating paint swatch samples.

Around the house I decorated with my milk glass collection, succulents and Maison jars with with floating candles.


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Maison jars sitting on our coffee table.

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Small Maison jars sitting on candle holders.

I placed small peach colored marbles in the bottom of the of the jars and instead of using raffia around the top, I used the white/gray bakers twine.

Games...at baby showers. Yeah I hate them. I don't want to guess what chocolate is melted in a dipper and I don't want to pin the sperm on the egg. But I know games are expected. So I went with something I found online. A game that tied together the book theme by making the guests figure out what the book titles are based on a give alternative title.


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"Wishes For Baby" and Alternative Name game.

Along with the book naming game I also had a "Wishes For Baby" card made that everyone filled out for the baby. I then collected them and put them in a book.

The last major part of the baby shower was the gift for the guests. I thought about it long and hard and my new found love of succulents won out.


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Thank you gifts for the guest.

I collected glass votive candle holders to use as the pot and then hit up my local Home Depot. They sell tiny little succulents for $2 which is a great price, so great that I had to get a gaggle of my own. I also made little tags that said "Watch me grow while the parents watch their baby grow" (I did use the actually parents and baby's name on the tags).

There were a few other ideas that I used, like painting pots to hold the silverware. I also came up with the brilliant idea to used bed sheets for table cloths. I was a lucky happenstance that I had peach sheets, which meant not having to buy a table cloth. Score!

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Everything came together and looked great. My favorite parts were probably the color combo, the invites and the succulents. But really I loved it all and how well it came out. Plus I loved that so much of it was hand made by Nate and I. It was also a lot of fun to get back into crafting again.

So there is the baby shower I threw. Maybe you will get a few ideas for any parties you might be planning. As for me...I'm taking a break from planning/decorating for parties because I have a tenancy to get a little too involved. Such is the life of a crafter.

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