Thursday, November 20, 2014

Where I'm At

Hey guys. I know it's been a while, my posts have definitely been far and few between. Every time I try to get back at it, I just fall off the wagon again. I've just been in a weird.... place lately. Now that we're done or practically done with the house, I've been trying to figure out where to go or what to do next. And it's kind of scary. I've been so focused and devoted to finishing the house for over a year and a half now, to be done..... it makes me feel kind of lost and off-track.

So this is where I'm at. 

I'm trying to pick up my business again. I've been really reevaluating everything, taking out products that aren't doing well or that aren't quite right and making a really solid product line so that I can figure out how to make this thing work. I've been taking it slow, I really want to make sure everything is just right. But again, it's kind of scary. The tiny home project seemed like such a big task but in the end, we didn't need anyone else's approval to succeed or get it done. But it's so different with my business. I completely rely on other people to be successful. I rely on my customers, wholesalers, and consigners for my business to be doing well and that pressure is really getting to me. I suppose the lesson here is that I shouldn't concentrate on other people's opinions and just worry about how I feel about my business, what I think is the right choice. But it's a lot easier said than done. I mean, other people matter too right? So how do I make sure I'm satisfying everyone else while staying true to myself? 

That and I've been having a few ups and downs lately. With life in general. Just trying to find a balance with everything and feel like I actually have my shit together. 

I'm trying to move forward and get excited about making things again but there's a lot of fear that I still need to work through. I guess it's just a lot of uncertainty and I don't know... lack of faith in myself? Instead of being excited about this new beginning like I usually would be, I'm just scared and overwhelmed. It's new to me, this fear, this apprehension and doubt, and to be completely honest, it's kind of freaking me out. 

Today has been a rough day though. I'm sleep deprived, under carbed, and my best friend just moved to New York (like literally today) and it's been kind of hard for me. 

Hopefully the next week will be better though. I'm excited for a big market coming up that's getting my butt into gear with making things and all. I think it will bring a lot of good things for me, emotionally and physically, including a little Christmas $$ so I can start thinking about gifts! I'm just now realizing how soon that's going to be coming around and my brain is gearing up with all sorts of ideas on things to make! 

Gosh, I didn't intend for this post to drag on for so long! But I just wanted to get that out. I feel like I've had a lot on my plate and blogging just hasn't been a priority. I need some time to go out and make things happen for myself I guess. I can't make any promises on when I'll be back to blogging but I don't think this is an end of any kind. I love blogging too much to let it go for too long. 


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Uncommon Goods: Upcycled Sari Robe

Today I'm here to share my collaboration with Uncommon Goods. They contacted me about a month ago and after doing a
little research, I was really excited for the opportunity to work with them!
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 For those that haven’t heard of Uncommon Goods, here’s a little info:

-First off, their collection of handcrafted goods is absolutely incredible. Half of what they sell is made by hand, mostly in the U.S., and about 1/3 incorporates recycled or upcycled materials! We all know I love handmade and upcycled products so that got me pretty giddy. 

-But putting their products aside, they’re also just an amazing company in general. They are a B Corporation (super cool), which means they strive to make the world a better place not only by running their business in harmony with the environment but also by contributing to issues such as wage levels, giving back to the community, and supporting non-profit organizations. You can read more about Uncommon Goods here, their mission on sustainability here and the charities they give back to here.


They sent me this amazing Upcycled Sari Robe to review and I swear, it is like wearing a cloud!
Not to mention, it was handmade in India from recycled Saris. LOVE.
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Incoming! 
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You can check out the Upcycled Sari Robe (or get one of your own!) here. They also have a wide range of products to check out such as the gifts for women which you can see here, gifts for men here, and gifts for children here. Seriously worth a looksy, it took me sooo long to go through everything, I just wanted to buy it all! 

Hope you all have a fabulous hump day, I'm off to go nurse Eliza back to health! This whole going to school with a bunch of other kids thing is really messing with her immune system. Also, I don't think the Halloween candy helped. 

Ta ta! 

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*this is a sponsored post

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Seattle: Part 2

Before I lose complete motivation to post these, part 2 of our Seattle trip. 
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For the bachelorette party, the whole bridal party went to a local nail salon and got manicures and pedicures. Now, I'm not usually the salon going kind of gal but it was really nice. Being pampered and all. 
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And since Eliza was the flower girl, she got to come along as well. Of course, she loved it. 
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One of the things I loved the most about Seattle, was the plant life. I've never seen baby's breathe growing in the wild. It's even more beautiful in nature than in a bouquet. 
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Halfway through our trip, we visited a little town nearby called Poulsbo. Such a cute little village. 
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There was an art market....
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And even some live music! 
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Mankind at it's finest ^^
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I just had to snap a picture of this most adorable house. Seriously. 
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When we returned, my brother attempted to do some diving in this..... muddy little bank. I don't think it was very successful. 
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Eliza didn't have much hope for him either. 
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And some more rock throwing and shell collecting. Gah, it was so beautiful. 
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Going (Almost) Raw: My Eating Routine

Today I'm here to share more about my Raw Till 4 lifestyle, specifically what I eat on the daily. But first, a few facts about eating raw that I found interesting: 
 Can we get enough protein if we eat vegetables, fruits and nuts? 

Yes, because every plant cell has protein as a basic constituent in its cytoplasm. Did you know that vegetables contain protein? Seeds and nuts obviously also contain proteins. Then you have seaweeds and algae, which are very rich sources also. In reality, your body doesn't use whole proteins because it must break these down into amino acids. Plant proteins generally break down for assimilation quicker than animal proteins and are sometimes found in the form of amino acids. 

Do I have to be 100% raw to get the raw food benefits? 

Of course not, you can transition by increasing the percentage of cooked to raw food according to your needs and desire. All you have to do is increase the amount of raw food you eat now. You will decide what your body needs best. Besides during cold winter months, cooked foods, such as soups or stews can be comforting and warm. 

Is it true that all vegetables lose their nutrients when they are cooked? 

Actually there are a few that do not. Some methods of cooking are safe and even beneficial in terms of reducing anti-nutrients and enhancing the availability of nutrients from certain foods, such as carrots, onions, sweet corn, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. 


Here is what I eat in a typical day, I'm still not quite up to 2500-3000 calories yet but I'm working my way up! And I do have off days where my diet looks nothing like this but it's a work in progress. I've learned to be gentle on myself and I always make it back to eating this way because I don't feel better eating any other way. Anyways, here's what my days look like: 

>In the morning, I'll drink a glass of water first thing (sometimes with a few drops of lemon oil or slim and sassy oil to get the metabolism going). 

Breakfast: 

> Smoothie: 
10 dates 
cup of spinach 
2 cups of water/oj/coconut water 
1 pint blueberries 
handful of some other fruit 
a few scoops of green superfood 
sometimes a bit of coconut sugar 

or 

>1/2 to 3/4 of a watermelon, I like to blend it up, it's easier to consume. This has been my obsession lately, especially when I feel like I need to cleanse. Watermelon just cleans me out! 

or

>6-8 bananas 

Lunch: 

>6-8 bananas (that's about all I can put down in one meal)

or 

>1 pineapple (must be eaten with something else though or it will burn your tongue!)

or 

> a datorade 

or 

>1/2 to 3/4 of a watermelon 

Dinner: 

Low fat, high carb vegan meal. Some of my favorites: 

>Cilantro & Lime Rice 
2 cups rice 
1 bunch cilantro 
juice of 1-2 limes
>Enchilada Spaghetti (minus the animal products)
>Quick Veggie Enchiladas (minus the cheese since I'm vegan now and oil to make it low fat)
Sometimes I'll make an avocado sauce for Brandon, something like this.
> Easy Taco Soup (minus cheese and oil)

Lately, I have been getting adventurous and trying out new recipes. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy to convert any meal into a low fat, high carb, and vegan dish! So when I search for recipes, I start off by searching for vegan meals. And then, to convert it to high carb/low fat, I usually just omit any cooking oil (mostly used in recipes for sauteing, I just use water) and only use a little bit of salt to flavor it. Also, the less processed ingredients you use, the better! So I try to make things that involve a lot of fresh ingredients and make everything from scratch! 

I'll have to share some more of my dinner recipes. They're usually pretty simple and straight forward, I like to keep it easy and stress free! 

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Essential Oils: LICE

A long time ago, back in January, we went to Disney World. It was grand and we had a fabulous time. The only downside? We came home to find that we had picked up some lice while we were in town. It was dramatic and gross but we handled it like pros (I mean... I think we did?). So I'm writing our findings all out in case any poor soul out there runs into the same sort of trouble we did and doesn't want to go the conventional, pour-pesticides-all-over-you-or-your-child's-head route. So here we go! Let's start with a little research: 

"It is not necessary to spray surfaces and carpets for lice. Instead, focus your energy on lice and nit reduction on the kids and make sure their parents are doing their part on the weekends and in the evenings.

Nits are laid on the hair and glued to one side of the hair shaft. They are usually laid on single strands of hair, close to the scalp, but not on it. Nits are not round, but oval. They are light-colored when first laid (yellowish or gray), but darken to a tan or coffee color as the embryo develops. Once the egg hatches, the spent shell remains attached to the hair shaft, but it is white. As the hair grows, the nit grows with it and is farther from the scalp. 

It is not likely that lice will end up on car seats and upholstery, but it is possible. Surface sprays are not recommended because most of the insecticidal sprays marketed for treating lice can cause allergic reactions for people who have allergies or respiratory problems. Instead, we recommend vacuuming the backs of the seats after transporting kids. A hot car will kill head lice pretty fast so you may not need to worry about this in the summertime."

Some other helpful sources, 1 & 2

I thought all of this was interesting because it is opposite of popular belief and saves a lot of time and stress. So you can focus on the real problem, the bugs in hair one. 

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So instead of pouring pesticides all over our hair, we decided to opt for a more natural solutions. And as always, we turned to our essential oils to help rid ourselves of these awful lice. I did a little a lot of research on my favorite online resource, eeoils.me and found an entire page dedicated to lice. Here are a few things I found-


For a mild case, it suggests: 
2-5 drops Melaleuca
2-5 drops Lemon
5-10 drops carrier oil

Mix and apply to scalp. Let stand for at least 1/2 hour. Shampoo with good quality shampoo with 2-5 drops of Melaleuca added to a teaspoon of shampoo. Follow with the Melaleuca shampoos daily for the following week.

For a severe case it suggests: 
• 10 drops Eucalyptus
• 5 drops Geranium
• 5 drops Lavender
• 5 drops Melaleuca

Comb with a lice comb then cover with a shower cap for the night. Be careful to protect the eyes from any oils. Follow the next morning with a good quality shampoo with 2-5 drops of Melaleuca added to a teaspoon of shampoo 


Here is another protocol
1-2 tbs VCO (organic), melted
10 drops Eucalyptus
5 drops Lavender
5 drops Melaleuca
5 drops Geranium

And we didn't really write it down but our recipe was something like this: 
2-4 tbs virgin coconut oil (melted) 
5 drops Roman Chamomile 
10 drops Bergamot 
10 drops Melaleuca 
15 drops Lemon 
15 drops Purify
with possibly 5 drops of lavender, rosermary, eucalyptus, or geranium. 

We kind of just desperately threw in all of the oils we could think of and that we had read about in each batch which were all probably a little bit different. We would brush it onto our hair like a hair lady does with dye. Then we'd wrap our hair up in some shower caps and leave it on overnight for the first few days and then do 30 minute treatments 1-2 a day for the week following that. After it had soaked long enouhg, we would wash our hair really well to get all the coconut oil out. 

And finally, we would rinse with a mixture like this: 
1 ounce apple cider vinegar
4 drops of Eucalyptus
4 drops of Lavender
4 drops of Melaleuca
8 oz of water

A few other things we did to keep us, our house, everyone else lice free was: 
Spray down bed area (4 oz water + 20 drops purify). 
Wash bedding every day (with hot water).
We didn't have carpet so we just vacuumed a lot. 
And just to be on the safe side, we bagged up Eliza's toys in some black trash bags for a week or two.  These things were probably not completely necessary and we didn't do them too religiously but you know, when you have bugs in your hair, you tend to get a little paranoid and overcautious.  

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After a few days, we had completely gotten rid of all our lice! A week later and we were officially confirmed- lice & nit free! And despite some serious doubts, we were able to stay natural and toxic chemical free! Woop woop! 

Oh also, side benefits! Can we pleeeease talk about the side benefits? So of course dousing your hair in all of these gorgeous oils does amazing things for your hair and scalp. My hair felt incredible the entire time! So soft and so smooth! Also, Eliza had (ever since she was little) had this rough, scaly psoriasis/eczema like patch on her head. I mean, it had been there for years and nothing we did seemed to make it go away. But after this whole lice episode, it COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED. And has yet to come back! So cool. 

I always make a point to tell people about how essential oils have side benefits instead of side effects like most if not all of the conventional medicines and drugs out there. And this is an excellent example! Instead of dumping dangerous, toxic, and deadly chemicals onto our head and body, we chose to use essential oils and not only did it solve our problem but it went on to solve other problems as well! 

Nature- 2 
Lice- 0


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tiny Home: Timeline

For those interested in the time span in which we completed our house, I've been keeping this timeline to track our progress. It's so funny to go back to those posts in the very beginning, how eager and excited we were. Now it's all done, which is kind of hard to believe and yet it feels so.... perfect. And now here we are, 60 weeks later on the dot. 
IMG_9962 Gathering Supplies and Trailer:
June 15/July 8-  Bought Windows 
July 3- Started Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BrandonAndSamsTinyAbode
July 9- Got trailer
July 13- Got some free wood from Fabian's boss
July 14- More free wood from Craigslist
July 14- Posted about our trailer- http://mylatestobsession3.blogspot.com/2013/07/tiny-home-our-trailer.html
July 20- Got wood for floor frame, Got plywood from Craigslist

Building: 

Week 1 (August 18th-August 24th): 
-Started building and prepping, sketchup of interior http://mylatestobsession3.blogspot.com/2013/07/tiny-home-sketch-up.html
 -Our friend, Jordan, comes to help. We finish floor frame and start adding flashing.

Week 2 (August 25th-August 31st):
-Completely finished floor frame and flashing, flipped over and starting bolting together pieces of floor frame to each other and to the trailer. 
-Jackson and Pat (Brandon's dad) come to help build, finished attaching floor frame together and secure to trailer frame. Added in the insulation and put plywood on top. Started cutting wood for walls. You can see our floor building specs here.
-We throw our Tiny Home Benefit.

Week 3 (September 1st-September 7th): 
-Start on wall frame, framed and sheathed two sections of wall (both sides of living room area) 

Week 4 (September 8th- September 14th): 
-Put loft above living room area, built half of top walls (the loft walls) and started on living room side wall, also leveled trailer temporarily.

Week 5 (September 15th-September 22nd): 
-Built second half of top (loft) walls, finished and stood up living room side wall.
-Moved trailer to permanent position. 
-Bought the rest of wood for framing. 
-Sheathed half of living room side wall. 
-Built and stood up back, middle wall. 

Week 6 (September 23rd-September 29th): 
-Started and stood up front, middle wall. 
-Started on two small loft walls (on Eliza's side of the house)

Week 7 (September 30th-October 6th): 
-Finished two smaller loft walls, put up loft beams, and finished top portion of walls. 
-Also cut most of wood for last side wall (bathroom wall). 

Week 8 (October 7th/8th/9th) : 
-Finished the last wall! 
-Put in most of all the wall braces and started cutting roof rafters
-Hosted The Ridiculous Hour

Week 9 (October 14th-20th): 
-Sheathed the roof and most of the walls.
-Finished cutting roof rafters. 
-Bought ties/straps and secured roof rafters in.  
-Started cutting out window and door holes. 

Week 10 (October 21st-October 27th): 
-Finished sheathing walls 
-Power-wash walls and roof. 

Week 11 (October 28th-November 3rd): 
-Start putting up blocking and frieze boards. 
-Spray walls and ceiling with borate. 
-Squared up the roof

Week 12 (November 4th-November 10th):
-Finish putting up frieze boards. 
-Caulk roof holes, apply felt, and nailing boards on rafters. 
-Apply drip edges and roofing, almost finished roof.

Week 13 (November 11th-November 17th):
-Finished up trimming and cementing roof.
-Sprayed outside of house. 
-Started attaching ties. 
-See roof specs here.

Week 14 (November 18th-November 24th): 
-Finish spraying house (second coat of borate). 
-95% done with ties, started taping and sealing off gaps on the outside. 
-Felted the bottom of the outside of the house. 
-Also cut out 3 more window holes, only two left!!

Week 15 (November 25th- December 1st): 
-Thanksgiving weekend, not much work done except put up one row of felt (very difficult). 
-And started trimming foam and sealing up frieze boards. 

Week 16 (December 2nd-December 8th):
-Finished trimming foam and sealing frieze boards. 
-Put up third layer of felt. 
-Cut out last two windows and finished ties, only have corner posts to do. 
-Also put in our first window!!! 

Week 17 (December 9th- December 15th): 
-Worked on the loft. Caulked and foamed all seams inside, started putting insulation in walls. 
-Put in another window. 
-Also did fourth later of felt. 
-Bought our very first door knob!!! 
-Put in loft window and door

Week 18 (December 16th- December 22nd): 
-First night in the tiny home! 
-Hosted Ridiculous Hour again

Week 19 (December 23rd- December 29th): 
-Made mattress. 
-Put up work station and Christmas tree. 
-Fixed up bed area, and put in clothes rack. 
-Got heating blanket! Woooooo!

Week 20 (December 30th- January 5th): 
-Family time and DISNEYWORLDDDD

Week 21 (January 6th- January 12th): 
-DISNEYWORLDDD: Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom

Week 22 (January 13th- January 19th): 
-Got siding off craigslist

Week 23 (January 20th- January 26th): 
-Set up living room and fruit basket. 
-Had a freeze.

Week 24 (January 27th- February 2nd): 
-Put in the half circle window and worked on felt at the top between the rafters. 
-Put in other large kitchen window and Eliza's window. Built thing for tub, put in another counter and organized. 

Week 25 (February 3rd- February 9th): 
-Finished sealing up windows and got started on siding. 
-Cut furring strips out of spare wood. 

Week 26 (February 10th- February 16th): 
-Started on siding

Week 27 (February 17th-February 13th): 
-Worked on siding 

Week 28 (February 14th-March 2nd): 
-Worked on siding, on back. 

Week 29 (March 3rd-March 9th): 
-Too cold and rainy to work

Week 30 (March 10th-March 16th):
-Our friend, Joe, came over to help and we worked on the siding on the front (finished) and one of the small sides. 

Week 31 (March 17th-March 23rd):
-Worked on the siding more, finished small side on Eliza's side and half of the back side. 

Week 32 (March 24th-March 30th):
-Sprained ankle and took break.

Week 33 (March 31st-April 6th): 
-Still on break.

Week 34 (April 7th-April 13th): 
-Worked on boarding up the living room wall on inside. 
-Installed more insulation. 
-Started on electrical. 

Week 35 (April 14th-April 20th):
-More electrical. 
-Finished indoor living room siding. 

Week 36 (April 21st-April 27th): 
-Finished electrical. 
-Started plumbing. 
-Built cabinet. 
-Got sink. 
-Birthday week!

Week 37 (April 28th- May 4th): 
-Birthday weekend and a bunch of shows so no home building this week! 

Week 38 (May 5th- May 11th): 
-Put up drywall in bedroom. 

Week 39 (May 12th- May 18th): 
-Brick in living room, 
-Louisiana trip.  

Week 40 (May 19th-May 25th): 
-Interior siding in closet

Week 41 (May 26th- June 1st): 
-Worked on Eliza's loft

Week 42 (June 2nd- June 8th): 
-Break for summer fun

Week 43 (June 9th- June 15th): 
-Started putting up the cement board in bathroom above tub

Week 44-50 (June 16- July 28th):
-Put up more drywall. 
-Worked on Eliza's bedroom. 
-Put in wood flooring. 
-Started paneling the ceiling and floating the living room wall. 
-Got A/C! 
-Worked on insulation (the ceiling in particular).

Week 51 (August 4th-August 10th):
-Finished installing drywall. 
-Primed and painted living room and put up shelves. 
-Finished living room trim, sealing it all up and installed window sill. 

Week 52 (August 11th-August 17th):
-Finished paneling the ceiling in master loft.

Week 53 (August 18th- August 24th):
-SEATTLE

Week 54 (August 25th-August 31st):
-WITCHITA 
-FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL for Eliza
-Finished covering ceiling. 
-Video Tour. 

Week 55 (September 1st- September 6th): 
-Floated, textured, and painted one kitchen wall. 
-Floated and textured bedroom. 

Week 56 (September 7th-September 13th):
-Built Eliza's ladder and shelving underneath. 
-Floated next kitchen wall, textured and painted. 
-Installed a shelf above the sink side of kitchen. 

Week 57 (September 14th-September 20th): 
- Installed concrete counters, tile back splash, cabinet doors, and window sill. 

Week 58 (September 21st- 27th): 
-Set up kitchen organization. 
-Brought in all of our kitchen stuff. 
-Put in sink. 
-Organized 

Week 59 (September 28th-October 4th): 
-Start on bathroom tiling. 
-Finish organizing and moving things around for optimum efficiency. 

Week 60 (October 5th- October 11th): 
-Finished up bathroom and other loose ends! 
-And Done!
Week 61 (October 12th-18th): 
-Finally getting a chance to decorate 


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Life Lately According to Instagram

A few pictures of what I've been up to lately since it's been a bit quiet over here. 
wes and lukekitty
I became an aunty! My oldest sister, finally popped out my little nephew, Lucas. I also became a cat owner. Who woulda thought. 
austinsoup
We made a mini trip to Austin to see my best friend in a musical. And then we got sick. I never thought I was a soup person but man, an outrageously painful sore throat will change a person! 
first showerboyz
We finished our bathroom aaaaaand I took my first shower in the tiny home! It's the small things. Also, one of our best friends from Cali came in town. We don't get to see him often, it was nice. 
school kittynecklace
Still struggling on this whole waking up early to get Eliza off to school thing. But bringing kitty along makes the wait for the bus so much more entertaining. Also, now that we're done with the building, I've had more time to be creative and... make things!   
star mirrortable
I'm trying not to overdecorate, I want to keep things simple, you know? But I've been having fun sprucing up 
little things here and there, making this tiny home really ours (: 

You can follow me on Instagram here
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