Friday, 28 February 2014

THE BIG SPLASH with Peppa Pig and Life’s Little Treasure’s Foundation {Peppa Pig Giveaway}





Pictured; Life’s Little Treasure’s Foundation
Ambassador, Brooke Hanson


Peppa Pig is collaborating with Life's Little Treasures Foundation for their new campaign The Big Splash, a charity campaign to raise money for premature and sick babies.
From March 1 to April 30 people are encouraged to sponsor children to 'Splash like Peppa' and participate in fundraising by holding splash parties at the beach, their homes or by attending a Big Splash event held by their local pool, creating as much splash as possible in five minutes.
I was lucky enough to take my little tribe to the first BIG SPLASH a couple of weeks ago in Sydney and gosh we had some fun! Such a wonderful cause to support so go get out their and organise a party and splash like peppa!

Parents can register their children at thebigsplash.org.au and get splashing just like Peppa any time in March and April!



To kick things off; Life's Little Treasures wants to give our readers the opportunity to win a fabulous peeppa pig clothing pack for their little peppa pig obsessed kidlets...

Peppa Pig Clothing Pack includes:

1 x Peppa Pig PJ Set (size 4) RRP: $29.99
1 x Peppa Pig vest/ brief set (size 4-6) RRP: $12
1 x Peppa Pig girls top (size 4) RRP: $20
1 x Peppa Pig 4 pack girls brief (size 4-6) RRP: $10
BONUS Peppa Pig “The Big Splash” Silicone Cap by Zoggs (pink)

Total: $71.99

All you have to do is leave a comment below with 25 words or less; telling me how or why your child is Peppa Pig's biggest fan! 
The winner will be announced on wednesday night at 8.30pm to our facebook page so keep posted. 
Good Luck!



8/52 (playing catch ups)




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Action...

Little P: So enthralled in meeting the "real" peppa pig... Splashing in the muddy puddles at The Big Splash for little treasures. 

Sunshine: Determined!

Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Please excuse me; I've been busy...

Last week I attended a mothers talk run by the church; it's a quarterly morning tea, the big kids go to Playgroup and the mums get the chance to drink a cuppa in peace and listen to a fellow mum share her inspiring story... It's a really nice morning to attend. 
Last week; a wonderful mum shared her story of how she struggled with motherhood in the early days but overcame wanting "more" and recognised her most important job of all and that was to be a mum. She shared with us how fast time flys, children grow up and it's not a good way to live; to be wishing the time away as she had once done... This resonated so deeply with me. My mind is never still; I am always looking for something new, something different, I'm always answering an email, on a phone call or checking Facebook... This is not being a mum, this is hanging around my children while I work. It really made me look into what I am really doing and recognise that for the past year, I have not been doing my full time job properly of being a mum. There are days that I have wished would go faster so the years could go quicker for my babies to be big kids and just learn how to put their shoes on themselves or get themselves their own snack or fold their own washing... But these moments, these days, I'm not showing my babies how much I love them and I am not being a good example of how a mother should be and when these moments have passed my babies won't be asking for cuddles and won't be needing their mummy anymore. These moments will be over.

I look at all the hard work I have done and the amazing opportunities that have and are being thrown at me and it makes me so appreciative of the life we have, it does. I really don't look at this as work and it was never meant to be; it's a passion for me to share with all of you, I get such a buzz out of it and I do what I do so that I can be with my kids... So when I am with them why am I not truly there for them??? Why, as mothers, do we want "more" when the most important thing for us to be working on is starring us right in the face, looking up at us telling us that they love us?? We are our children's only mums and know one can take that job away from us! 

This past week has been a week full of mother soul searching, lots of cuddles, kisses and conversations with my little ones, so please excuse me for being far away for the blog but I have been away working on being a mum, after all, it is the best job in the world!

Make sure you give your kids a big kids and a cuddle tonight and tell them that you love them!!!!

Cass x x

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The gift of a meal...

Last tuesday I was having one of those days when you high five yourself that you even made it out of the house but then you get out and realise you haven't had a shower for a couple of days *. It's not that I like being dirty, gosh no! The baby is so needy for his mummy, the toddler asks a thousand questions, the day gets busier and then bushka; it's night time and I'm so tired I roll into bed without even thinking, for the next days cycle to begin...

So on this particular, one of those days; I finally got out of the house and made it to playgroup (only 1 and a half hours late)... Coming to the end of playgroup closing time, I couldn't help thinking about how I was going to face the piles of washing when I got home, the dirty bathroom, etc, etc, etc, and then feed the children, you get the idea... My brain was a mess and my body was pooped, when out of the blue, a fellow mum passed me a nourishing home made meal. It was a meal all packaged up ready for dinner that night to feed my little tribe, no reason, just a "why not?" type of meal. I could of kissed her feet, given her a big hug and slapped a big sloppy one on her cheek.  It was a game changer; it wasn't just about the food, it was the motivation to move onto the next motion of the day and for every ounce of that meal I am ever so grateful!

The next day, another meal landed on my doorstep (WOW!) by another great friend. Out of the blue, just because. 2 nights my little family had been fed and I hadn't had to battle the winging, the questions, and the juggle between a hot pot and holding a wriggling baby by myself with Mr A away with work. It was AMAZING!

So it got me thinking, if a simple gift of meal can make such a difference for me, why not share the love around... Overflowing with turkey shortcuts, I made 2 huge stock pots full of turkey bolognaise and went door delivering. I still have a few more doors to stop off at but this delivery girl feels good and the gift of giving is so great!

So this week, if you have some left overs, why not take them over to a fellow mums house and make their load a little lighter for that day? It may just save their sanity for the week ahead!

Love!
Cass xo

* yes, disgusting! Please tell me I'm not the only one that happens too. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Let's Talk Turkey! {KID FRIENDLY RECIPE INCLUDED}


Oh turkey, turkey, turkey how I love thee... Seriously, although I am a late comer to the whole turkey thing... Christmas lunch = yes! But not as an every week type thing...
About 2 years ago; when I was cleansing and losing the baby weight after having my little P P, I was introduced to turkey by my amazing naturopath. "You got to get into eating turkey Cass", I distinctly remember our conversation. She rattled off all the fantastic benefits of this super food and I was instantly sold... A meat that is high is protein, low in saturated fat, and makes you happy? How couldn't I love it!

So then I had another baby, got into fish (well, not really, it was more carbs I got into) and lost the plot a bit (ALOT) and Turkey and me lost paths for a while. That was until I attended the latest Bloggers BBQ a couple of weeks ago and there they were;  little Steggles Turkey Balls saying; "Eat me. Eat me!" So I now have a fridge full of turkey and its back on the dinner menu, the perfect food for sending us all to sleep...

Why's Turkey so good?
  • Turkey is a fantastic source of protein.
  • Its an easy meal for the entire family, as easy as cooking chicken!
  • Turkey is a fabulous source of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic acid, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorous, Omega 3, Zinc and Vitamin B12.
  • Its low-GI
  • It contains the amino acid tryptophan; this produces serotonin which is the hormone that makes us happy and also helps to boost the immune system.
  • Turkey contains selenium which helps to straighten out a wacky thyroid hormone metabolism.
Here's a yummy turkey ball recipe by Steggles that I changed a little; its the perfect finger food for your kiddies and a great snack for school or on the run. ENJOY!

RECIPE: Herbed Turkey Balls

Makes: 20
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total cooking time: about 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1 small onion, finely chopped
500g turkey mince
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tblsp finely chopped mint
2 Tblsp chopped parsley
1 Tblsp chopped coriander
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 x Zucchini (grated)
2 x Carrots (grated)
1 x free range organic egg
Avocado or fresh humous to serve

METHOD
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until combined.
2. Shape tablespoonfuls of turkey mixture into balls, refrigerate 20 minutes.
3. Heat a large, lightly greased fry pan over medium heat. Cook turkey balls in batches for about 5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with slices of avocado or fresh humous.

What your favourite turkey recipe?


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Jump Up! GIVEAWAY : WIN A 10FT TRAMPOLINE PACKAGE VALUED AT $799 (now closed)

{GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED}
CONGRATULATIONS TO LYNETTE HAMILL! 
HOPE THIS GETS YOUR BOUNCING FOR JOY!


Get excited peeps! For fun and fitness; we have a bouncing giveaway for you this week! Did you know 10 minutes of jumping on a trampoline is equal to running for half an hour??? Yes, this prize is not just for your children!!!! 


WHAT YOU GET:

1 x 10 FT VULY BACKYARD CLASSIC TRAMPOLINE
1 x TRAMPOLINE TENT
1 x TRAMPOLINE LADDER
DELIVERY

TOTALY VALUE: $799

Please note: YOU MUST LIKE ALL FACEBOOK PAGES LISTED BELOW TO GAIN ENTRY plus ANSWER THE SKILLS BASED QUESTION! 

THIS IS A GAME OF SKILL! GET CREATIVE! I LOVE FUN ANSWERS!

This giveaway is open to Australian residents only (excluding ACT. sorry!!!)
See full terms and conditions on rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



10FT
 - TRAMPOLINE SPECIFICATIONS: 
  • All age jumpers and normal yards
  • Diameter3.05m
  • Jump Mat Diameter2.5m
  • Max weight150kg
  • Ground clearance0.76m
  • Safety net height1.54m
  • Total height2.45m
  • Spring count64


Saturday, 15 February 2014

7/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Dance edition...

It's Winter Olympics time and our great friend Torah is taking on 3 disciplines! The country has been getting behind her by dancing, so it has been a big fun, week of shaking it!!! Woo!

Little P: The most enthusiastic dancer of them all! 

Sunshine: Wahoo! Throwing his little hands up to his daddy and sis at the beach. 

Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A letter to a teacher who wants to reward kids with JUNK... (DONT MESS WITH ME!)



Last week, we went to our first swimming lesson of the year. It was a new swim school, a great swim school, but when when my little purist of a 3 year old came out of the water with what looked like a bit of junk in her mouth I didn't know whether to explode or cry! Yes, I am an over protective, health conscious parent... But I am also proud that at 3 years old, my child has never laid her lips on a lolly. We just don't feed our kids that stuff, we don't introduce it so there is no pressure, no fuss! I work so hard to bring our family up on such a natural and healthy diet that its hard not to be upset when you get thrown a curve ball! I didn't cry and I didn't loose the plot... I just asked my dear little daughter what she had in her mouth, explained to her why we don't eat junk and replaced it with a healthy homemade treat (WHICH SHE LOVED!). I was then a bit lost... Was I to make an issue of it, chat to the teacher or just let it go and just come to terms with how other people work. Was I overreacting? After a chat to my husband (who may of been even more p'd off than me), and a couple of friends I decided to write an email, nothing harsh, just a wake up call... WHY ARE YOU GIVING ANY CHILD ANY TYPE OF FOOD WITHOUT ASKING THEIR PARENT FIRST????? With so many allergies out there, aren't they at all worried about an anaphylactic reaction??? So heres what I wrote, just a short note, to the point... DONT MESS WITH ME!!!


Hi there, 

Just a quick email to let you know our little P had an absolute ball this morning at her first lesson and I will be transferring payment over shortly. 

My only concern is at the end of the lesson when Pia came out of the pool with a lolly in her mouth??? ... We have ALOT of intolerances and allergies in our family and we choose a very healthy lifestyle for our children. It has really upset me that you would give any type of food to any child without asking their parents first.
Pia has never been given any food like this as her diet DOES NOT include treats of this type. I would of mentioned it in previous correspondence but I DID NOT expect for you to reward children with junk food at the end of such a healthy sport lesson like swimming

P really loved her first lesson and I could see her improve in just that half hour and I'm really excited for the improvement over the coming year learning from you. I would just love it if you could always ask the parents and confirm with me that you will definitely NOT give my little P any type of food without asking me first. 

Thanks so much for understanding, I'm just a very health conscious parent. 

Looking forward to hearing back from you!

Cass*

If your new to this blog, you may think its only one lolly, who cares? You may think I'm overreacting, you may think I'm a little crazy... And yeh I am, I'm crazy about bringing my kids up with healthy, disease fighting insides and a kick arse strong immune system!


Anyone else found it hard to be healthy?

Cass xo

* GUESS WHAT!!! They replied letting me know that I brought up a good point and they wont be using lollies as a reward anymore! That makes me feel so good! It just shows how a small note can make a huge difference to the health of a great group of children! Don't ever be shy about sharing concerns for the health and wellbeing of your children! xo

Monday, 10 February 2014

Choosing a school with confidence

SPONSORED POST BY ASG

source


A little over 9 months ago, I was 37 weeks pregnant, tired, over it and huge (REALLY HUGE!) ... I was siting in the living room when I received a call from my sister in law, all excited she asked; "So have you thought about what school you are going to send your baby to?" ... I really didnt know how to take it.. REALLY? Was she serious? I am siting here, perched up like a beach whale in the sweltering heat of my retro house and you are asking me what school I am going to send my unborn child too in 12 years time??? I really didn't know whether to laugh or cry... I then took a deep breathe and we kept on discussing... Because, the truth is, some schools you need to apply for before your baby is even born to have a hope of getting a place. 

This ignighted a lot of conversation in the house and some frantic research and what is important for us in choosing schools for our children. We looked into what we do like in a school and what we don't like, what is important to us, the locality, where we may be living, costs/affordability, values and attitudes... After the "wake up" call and long discussions with hubby, we decided to apply for 1 school for each of our children when they were born. We don't want to miss the boat but we don't want to spend a lot of money on applying for schools that we may not even be attending as we get to know our children's needs better. Each school we believe are all rounded schools that do cover a lot of bases... But we came to the decider that no real decision can be made until closer to the attendance date. Why? Because we don't know our children well enough yet and no one school is for everyone. What happens if we want our child to go to a sport orientated school but he/she is more musically orientated? We just can't know until they grow into the little people who they are going to be. 

For us, Its not about the best school, the results and reputation, its about choosing the right schools for our children.

Until the day that we send our children to school, we will still be researching, talking to other parents, chatting to teachers and really growing the confidence we need to make the right choice for our children.

I wanted to share this great checklist and things to think about with you from ASG that will help us lost Mama's and Dada's along the way to give us the best confidence in choosing a school for your little ones.


  • Assess your child’s personal qualities – write a list
  • Determine your education preferences and values – write a list
  • Research schools to match your child’s qualities and your preferences and values
  • List your education goals for your child
  • Match your child and your preferences to the school
  • Look for ‘right’ schools not ‘best’ or perfect schools
  • Enrol into more than one school. A backup plan is never a bad idea.
  • School location – is the school close to your home? 
  • Zoning – are you living within the school zone?
  • Philosophical or religious focus of the school – does this match your preferences?
  • The education curriculum offered and the subject focus of the school
  • Academic courses offered 
  • Elective courses offered 
  • School affordability – is it within your budget?
  • School affordability – does it offer value? How will you evaluate the school’s value?
  • Welcoming and open attitude?
  • Size of the school 
  • Before and after school care programs 
  • School holiday programs
  • Clear and open school performance reports
  • Assess the facilities and environment
  • Class size and structure – number of students in each class
  • Does the school place students in classes ranked by academic performance?
  • Computer facilities and resources
  • Reputation
  • Education performance
  • School’s relationship with its community
  • Approach to student welfare and wellbeing – what support and programs are offered?
  • Handling of health issues How does the school engage its students? 
  • Diversity or conformity Individuality or student body
  • Representation of student body Disciplinary or liberal 
  • Homework policy Cultural development
  • Sporting achievement Student support systems 
  • Computer and technology policy 
  • Bullying policy Parent concerns resolution

What about you? How did you make the school decision? 

Cass xo



Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) is a not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider.  ASG has supported over 509,000 children and their families to offset the cost of education.  But now ASG is moving towards offering more than just education funds. They’re creating an ever-expanding suite of resources, online tools and guides - like the ‘How to motivate your child to learn’ e-guide - to support parents and nurture children in their educational journey so they can reach their full potential. Visitwww.asg.com.au to discover member benefits or call 1800 648 945.

More articles regarding education issues, development, family members and parenting available on www.asg.com.au/resources

“Win a week-long, luxury, family excursion” here>>> http://www.asg.com.au/excursion

Sunday, 9 February 2014

6/52




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

More park fun...

Little P: So proud at what a little ripper you are! 

Sunshine: You cheeky thing you are, pretty clever... and you know it!





Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

GET SURFING GIVEAWAY!!!


YEWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! Have you ever dreamt of paddling out in the water and cruising onto some waves in the heat of the sunshine? Ever wanted to give surfing a go for the very first time? Or are you a keen surfer that would love a go on an awesome bright tropical holiday inspired surfboard? Whether you are a great surfer or never touched a surfboard in your life; this giveaway is for you... It is filled with everything you need to get you inspired and out in the water! I have teamed up with some AMAZING businesses to bring you this and I am super excited to share this giveaway with you!

WHAT YOU GET:

1 x MINI MALABU SURFBOARD
These boards feature unique fabric inlays on the decks and full wrap rail sprays. There are 3 designs to choose from and all three display high resolution “tropical holiday” inspired fabric inlay designs. Unlike most generic mini mals this board is dedicated to progressive surfing while also being perfect for learning.
1 x Traction Pad
1 x Leg Rope
1 x Surfboard Cover
and Surfboard Wax.

Please note: YOU MUST LIKE ALL FACEBOOK PAGES LISTED BELOW TO GAIN ENTRY plus ANSWER THE SKILLS BASED QUESTION! 

THIS IS A GAME OF SKILL! GET CREATIVE! I LOVE FUN ANSWERS!

This giveaway is open to Australian residents only (excluding ACT. sorry!!!)
See full terms and conditions on rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

BABY FOOD : Mixed Fruit Rice Cerial


It's definitely that time in mummyhood that I constantly feel like all I'm doing is either preparing food or feeding a child... Another meal, another snack, maybe a nap and then more food. Having food ready and in hand for baby can be a constant battle but with some good preparation, it gets easier and easier! 

Most of you know by now that the little packages of baby rice cereal you can get in the supermarket aren't really my go, I know they can be easy but cooking big batches in advance is also super easy and your baby is getting a less "processed" food using organic wholegrains that is much better for them. 
My kids are eaters, so when brekky time hits in our house; I usually have a screaming baby and a demanding toddler screeching at me for their breakfast. It is the worst mixture and I'm sure breakfast takes 10 times longer to get on the table with the craziness. Yes cooking wholegrains takes longer to prepare than rice cereal but to avoid the craziness; as soon as I wake up, I throw some quinoa or brown brown rice or oats on the stove to get cooking. It only takes 10 mins to cook so by the time the kids have realised that they are awake their breakfast is ready! 

Heres my latest go to brekky for the babes; it's super easy and I pop the left overs in little containers for Sunny to have as snacks or freeze down for when we are stuck for time and we need brekky on the run. 

MIXED FRUIT RICE CEREAL

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice or Quinoa grains
1 cup of mixed fruit (I use whatever's around; apple banana, blueberries, peaches, etc are all great options)
Filtered water for cooking

Method 
Place grains and filtered water in a pot and cook as directed on the packet. 
After 5 minutes, add in your fruit and keep simmering. You may need to add more water at this step. 
Once grains and fruit are cooked to desired taste, mix well. Break down any big pieces of fruit. 
You can leave chunky or purée in the blender depending on what your baby prefers. 
Then serve with some natural goats yogurt! 
YUMMO! 


Try it! Baby will love you for it! 


Cass x x


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Valentines has come early Ladies with WHITE APPLE DESIGNS (GIVEAWAY closed!)









Valentines day may of come early at my house when today I opened a gorgeous little box with a precious gift inside of personalised jewellery by Apple White Designs. These beautiful pieces of silver make my heart melt and knowing that I can wear my true love and little loves around my neck all day long is something very special! All pieces by White Apple Designs are very reasonably priced and carefully hand stamped by a local Northern Beaches Mum; Rachel Applewhite who has just launched this business of love... 

I'll let Rachel tell you her story;....

I started my business in July last year. I was going a bit stir crazy at home with my then 7 month old and I was looking for something creative to do that I could make a little bit of money from at the same time. 
I always loved the personalised jewellery that was out there but I found that most of it was either out of my price range or not great quality, so I decided to try my hand at making some myself. I did a bit of research and ordered the tools, practiced on bits of copper (I have since moved on to cutlery I buy from Vinnies) and made my first pendant which, not surprisingly, has my son Ben's name on it. I have worn that pendant every day since.

My hand stamped, personalised pendants come in .925 sterling silver and 316 stainless steel, with ion plating for the gold and rose gold tones. I only have a few lines running but as my business grows I look forward to introducing many more. 

The "Life Lines" (sterling silver) pendants are $50 + post for one pendant and $25 for additional pendants. The "Life Circles" (Stainless Steel) come in a set with one medium and one large circle for $90 but other configurations can be arranged.
I also have the Sterling Silver wine glass charms. There are literally hundreds of charms to choose from. Those are $15 each charm or a set of four is $50, or 6 for $75.

You can find White Apple Designs @
http://instagram.com/whiteappledesigns#
And send all your emails inquiries to; whiteapplejewellery@gmail.com

Rachel has said she CAN get your orders out for you if you would like something for valentines day but you will need to get in quick! 

And for something even more fun; Rachel would like to give our lovely LIVE IT. DO IT readers the chance to WIN 1 piece of her amazing jewellery just in time for Valentines day!  This winner will have the option between the Life Lines (with up to three pendants) or the set of two Life Circles in their choice of silver or gold tone, or two tone.

Go ahead and enter below, I know you want to! There are lots of ways to gain more entries too!

THE WINNER IS Bettina Rae!
Congratulations!!!! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


WEARING: Partying in Pink


HELLO!!!! Happy Tuesday!
I hope you all have had a fabulous weekend and a great start to the week! 
Things have been slow here. Saturday night was a friends birthday so she called me that morning to remind me that I HAD to come "out" with her... My reply was "REALLY?... Like out, out? Why don't we just do it next year instead?" HAH, yeh, I wasn't too motivated to hit the town. I dont think I have been out to a bar since before I was pregnant with Sunny, its been a long time between drinks but I love going out, I love dancing it up! So I pulled out a Sahara Fleur newbie from the wardrobe, threw on some wedges and off we went. We were silly, we danced all night, we woke up with terrible headaches and we may still be in recovery... BUT sometimes thats just what you got to do, to remind ourselves that we are not only mums, we are us too!

Wearing:

Shirt Dress c|o Sahara Fleur
Black wedge heels | Oldies but goodies I picked up at DFO years ago.

Cass xo

Monday, 3 February 2014

Our Summer Garden










WOW! How much fun we are having in the garden lately, there are so many amazing little newbies popping up everywhere and its so much fun pottering around everywhere in the afternoons. I wont take all the credit, well, I wont take any of the credit... I am not the green thumb of the family. Mr Live it, Do it spends hours and hours and HOURRRRSSSSS in our garden. He loves it and I know its his form of "me time" and stress relief that we get unbelievable goodness from... 
Lately, I have been spending a bit of time in the greenery while he has been at work and it is so amazing to see what is going on so closely, so many baby fruits and veggies popping up and so great to show our children where food really comes from and how we have grown it ourselves. It is inspiring just to be in it.

So with a bit more land around us this summer, our garden consists of;
Pumpkins
Cucumber
Watermelon
Chilli's (SOOOO MANY CHILLI PANTS! hes obsessed!)
Mint
Chocolate mint
Basil
Thyme
Rosemary
Corn
Sunflowers (Absolutely love admiring these beauties every day!!!)
Climbing spinach
Silverbeet
english spinach
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Capsicums
Limes

It doesn't matter how much land you have, you can always grow something to eat and it is so rewarding to watch it all grow!

What do you have in your garden???

Cass xo
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