Monthly Archives: June 2012

This Kid is Alright

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Morning everyone Smile

Thanks so much for being awesomely supportive on my last post! It was wonderful to wake up to all those comments.

I woke up the next morning surprisingly determined to make Thursday a better day. Not forcing things, but just trying to relax and stay happy.

Guess what…it worked!

After reading your sweet comments, dancing to some Maroon 5 jamsss, eating a bunch of fruit, and drinking lots of H20, I felt a million times better.

I headed to work at The Corp—this time at our campus’ mini grocery/convenience store instead of the coffee shop—and the three hours flew by. I chatted with the other girls at the register, was invited to a Bible Study, and tried not to dissolve in laughter when a girl shouted to her friend, “The tampons are over hereeeeeeeeeee!”

Glorious.

I also went to the coffee shop later to grab a cool beverage and meet another co-worker for some marketing talk. The meeting went well, and I came up with an awesome new beverage! Plus, the store was still in one piece. If I messed things up terribly, nobody said anything. Open-mouthed smile

Anyways, I have pictures of FOOD and other awesomeness for you, but first, I need to tackle today.

  • Putting the finishing touches on a Small Kitchen College post.
  • Working at the coffee shop from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Quick lunch break
  • Marketing work from 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Printing sign-age for a few things at work
  • Filling out my time sheet (my foodie habits are expensive!)
  • Going to Trader Joe’s with B
  • Cooking dinner with B & E
  • Who knows?!

See ya soon!

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The Hardest Part About Being A Blogger

For me, the hardest thing about being a blogger is not taking photos, coming up with recipes, or writing quirky content.

It’s not hard for me to be happy and dorky and a little bit comical. But it’s really, really hard for me to talk about days like these–bad days where everything that was supposed to go right just happened to go wrong.

I appreciate it though when other bloggers share their struggles, admitting to the flaws that make each of us imperfectly perfect.

Flaws? Yes, of coure, I have plenty of those too. I am not Albert Einstein, and abstract or geometric concepts don’t come very easily to me. When I’m upset, I turn my negative emotions inwards, rather than outwardly dealing with them as I should. I overanalyze. I allow a miniscule mishap to overshadow a merry day. I don’t always fit in with the typical crowd.  I am not perfect.

To say that in my head is easy. But to say that to you–to the world–on a public blog is hard.

Where is this all coming from? Today was just a little bit of a roller coaster.

I overslept and had to rush to get ready in the morning, forgetting important details in the process. H wasn’t feeling well, so I was trying to stay upbeat. Inside though, I could already feel myself wrestling with the day.

Once I arrived at work (thankfully on time), I couldn’t help but focus a little bit on the negative. Though I certainly don’t dislike my internship, I don’t exactly find myself passionate about it or stimulated with what I’m doing. On one hand, it’s a good thing because it helps me to realize what I don’t want to do with the rest of my life. On the other hand though, I can’t help but notice how much happier I am when I’m working at my minimum wage coffee shop job. It poses an interesting question about the future in my mind, and to be quite honest, it scares me to think that this is an indicator of something greater.

Anyways, after work, I took a nap but couldn’t fall asleep. So instead, I closed my eyes and tried to soothe my mile-a-minute thoughts. After an hour, I gave up and found myself slightly more frustrated and tired than I began. A few minutes later, I realized that I was supposed to be a potluck in 30 minutes.

A potluck for which I had nothing to bring and no kitchen to make something on the fly.

Life was not playing in my favor. Miraculously though, I whipped up an amazing cookie dough dessert in about 15 minutes, leaving me just enough time to get to the potluck only slightly late. This dessert, however, required that I use the ingredients that I needed for a Small Kitchen College post due today. It also meant no time to eat a real dinner. Even so, I put on a happy face, quickly changed, and headed out the door.

Right as I did so, I received a call from my boss at the coffee shop. There was a slight miscommunication about the night’s graveyard shift, and I was supposed to be there already.

Great.

So there I was, with my just-completed potluck dish, dressed, and ready for the occasion. Only to find out that I would be working well past 10 p.m., which would be too late to attend the potluck and too late to head back home off campus. I knew it was my fault for not knowing the night shift was mine, so I quickly changed again and then ate a whole lot of impromptu cookie dough dessert. For dinner.

I didn’t mind working the shift at all. In fact, enjoying a glass of iced tea and some laid-back music was a welcome way to unwind. By 10 p.m., I began to make preparations for closing. I had watched and helped other co-workers close before, but I had never done it myself.  That quickly revealed itself to be a problem. From cleaning the shop to depositing the profits, I couldn’t help but worry that I was doing everything wrong. I felt frustrated, uncertain, upset with myself, and worst of all–incompetent. Eventually, I relented and called my boss, asking a few questions. His tone was understanding, and his answers were helpful.

But I hung up that phone feeling like I had totally and completely let him down.

Still though, I kept my chin up and finished the job. Finally, I turned off the lights and prepared to lock the door.

Except it wouldn’t lock. I felt like screaming, crying, and dropping to my knees all at once. I fiddled with it for 20 minutes, before again admitting that I needed to call my boss. Again, he helped me fix the problem. And again, I felt like a veritable screw up.

I devoured a few leftover croissants for dinner part 2 mainly out of emotion, causing only further distress. A few friends cheered me up after the whole episode,  but even as I type this, I can’t shake the feelings of the night.

I was prepared for a fantastic day, and it just didn’t happen.

And that, to me, is the hardest part about being a blogger.

You can prepare your content, edit your photos, schedule your posts, create fantastic recipes and witty banter. But you can’t prepare for the days when life throws you a curveball.

For when you ignore your body and feed your emotions instead. For when nothing seems right and everything seems wrong. For when you feel totally and completely inadequate.

But you can blog about it. It’s hard, but you can blog about it and hope with every shred of faith in life that tomorrow will be a better day.

Because guess what? You can blog about that too. And that, to me, is the best part about being a blogger.

Here’s to a better today :)

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WIAW: Quick Summer Meals in D.C.

Oh hey, Wednesday! What’s up?

What I’ve Been Doing

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Winning DC Whole Foods Trivia with B

When the prize is a $50 gift card to Whole Foods, I’ll take it. Woop!

Working/Interning for the Director of Finance at the Georgetown Business School

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Trying Deviled Eggs for the First Time

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[derp]

Seeing Greg Laswell in Concert

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Mind. Blown. He stole our hearts.

Trips to the Waterfront with B & H

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Doing Dean & Deluca for the first time

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Strolling Around D.C.’s Biggest Farmers’ Market

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What I’ve Been Eating

Breakfast

On the Ball Oats

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It takes five minutes. And no stovetop is needed! Recipe forthcoming Open-mouthed smile

Kashi Heart to Heart: Warm Cinnamon with Organic 1% MilkIMG_1872

The house has been stocked with 1% Organic Stonyfield Milk. I stopped drinking regular cow’s milk on a daily basis quite a few years ago, but intrigued, I gave this carton a try.

It was amazing! I still love almond and soy milk, but I’m actually glad to have this in the rotation.

With a side of J. Crew window shopping, of course. Prep-are yourselves.

Jar Full of Latte Love

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Working at a coffee shop has its perks. As a grinder (not barista! Those are for Starbucks..), I get one free drink per shift. More often than not, I’ll get either an iced soy latte or iced mango-vanilla soy tea. Unlike the Stonyfield I mentioned above, our cow’s milk is nothing special.

Toasted Everything Bagel

The coffee shop where I work just switched to a new bagel vendor—What’s A Bagel in D.C. I just tried there new everything bagel yesterday! Superb. Not better than I <3 Bagels, but then again, nothing really is.

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Snack

Peachy Keen

With summer temperatures hitting 100 degrees F, I’ve been all about fruit.

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Peaches, apples, and berries top the list.

Melon Mania

And FINALLY today, I broke down and bought a watermelon.

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It had to happen. Melon is marvelous.

Lunch

Since coming to D.C., I’ve been spending my time between Georgetown and Mt. Pleasant. H & I live in Mt. Pleasant but both work in Georgetown. Hence the commute. Though I have access to a kitchen at the latter, my kitchen use is a bit more restricted at Georgetown.

Enter the salad. And lots of them.

With the arrival of farmers’ markets in my life, I’m on a sudden kale kick.

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Dressed simply with balsamic+maple syrup. Yum.

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Plus, the best lunch I have made in a loooooong time.

Recipe to come Smile

H & I have also made a point of making meals together a few nights a week instead of eating out. My eyes love eating out….and my wallet hates it.

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So far, we’ve made Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese (I had never tried it!), albacore-tuna salads with honey mustard, and pesto grilled cheese.

L, who is H’s stepmom, has also been leaving us goodies in the fridge. Gazpacho, greens, and lentils..oh my!

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Dinner

Because of my constant commuting between two places, dinner has been either free form or sit down. I’ve been to Sushi Ko with B, Ethiopic with H,  my favorite restaurant in D.C.—Founding Farmers—with B & E, and Surfside with M & H.

Sushi Ko Blue Crab Sushi Roll & Salmon Roll

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Seared Salmon with Mushrooms + Pureed Sweet Potato

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Ethiopic: Vegetarian Sampler Platter for 2

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Founding Farmers: Vegetarian “Bacon Burger” (made with beets + a combo of grains and topped with smoked tofu) and  Lemony Arugula Salad

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Surfside Tex Mex Salad

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Dessert

I’ve been relaxing a lot more when it comes to food lately, and it feels good. It feels good to simply throw something green together on the fly for lunch. But it also feels good to eat dessert during a girls night out. To me, happiness is a huge part of health, and I’m totally fine with eating dessert on occasion for that reason alone. It’s still a hard balance for me to strike, but it makes me happy to know I’m finding some sort of middle ground.

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Ice Cream from TSweet’s in Georgetown—Cake Batter & Cookie Monster

The cake batter was good but not in the same ballpark as Lula’s during my NYC trip.

Ice cream, brownies, and cookie dough x1 million eaten with hands on a couch.

[Unpictured].

Because sometimes, the best moments in life aren’t documented Smile For Corp girls night. Which I enjoyed quite thoroughly. It involved silly games and lots of dumb jokes. And like dessert, it was a wonderful treat.

I have tons of details/recipes to post, so I’ll see ya SOON!

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Introducing the Characters: Emily

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Emily – E

Peanut butter pal. If she’s Blair, I’m Serena. Artfully Italian. Fellow guilty perfectionist. Dessert expert. Leo’s protesters. Philly chillin’. Words are her weapon of choice. So don’t mess.

When I met my randomly-assigned, temporary roommate for Georgetown’s Leadership & Beyond pre-orientation in August of 2011, I never expected she would become one of my best friends. But almost immediately, we clicked. The fact that we were both vegetarians, English aficionados, and Type A planners only scratched the surface of our friendship. Late night roommate discussions sealed the deal.Gossip Girl marathons, adventures in her Philadelphia hometown, and radio sing-a-longs + dessert runs only further proved that we share a brain.

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Five Awesome Things About Monday

1)Breakfast in a Jar -When I was deciding what to have for breakfast this morning, I realized that I didn’t have a single bowl to use. Enter my beloved mason jar. Within minutes, I had a layered oatmeal parfait (oatmeal, cinnamon, caramelized bananas, melty peanut butter) ready to go. So good! Remember my obsession with banana oats? Plan to see this recreated again soon.

2) On the Ball – I woke up at 6:30 (yes..a.m.) to go to work at Uncommon Grounds, a student-run coffee shop at Georgetown.  Despite the fact that I’m not generally a morning person, I love opening shifts. For whatever reason, they always seem to get my day started on the right foot. Why I can’t wake up for an 8 a.m. class, on the other hand, is beyond me. At the end of my shift, I made a soy latte…to-go!..in my trusty jar.

3) Surfside - Mexican food on the East Coast isn’t quite the same as California, but Surfside does a pretty good Tex Mex variation. This was dinner last night with H & her boyfriend, M. “Surfside greens” (romaine and others), grilled corn, grilled mushrooms, black beans, chickpeas, queso fresco, and goat cheese with green goddess and raspberry dressing. Plus water with a twist of lime. Amazing! I heart salads with roasted and grilled thangsss.

4) Dean & Deluca – Can you believe I’ve never been to D&D?? Despite being a major foodie, I had yet to set foot into the gourmet grocery store. Probably for good reason…that shiz is expensive! H got a fruit smoothie that looked (and tasted) amazing, while I sipped some water after a (free!) yoga class. We went to Lululemon’s free Sunday class in Georgetown, thanks to a little tip from Anne.

5) Greg Laswell – Have you looked up Greg Laswell yet? I went to the D.C. concert with H the other night. And IT.WAS.AMAZING. He’s married to Ingrid Michaelson, and he’s all sorts of awesome.

Happy Monday!

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Introducing the Characters: Helen

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Helen – H

Roommate soulmate. Loves weddings, goat cheese, honey bunches of oats, and cute babies. Feels emotions, like whoa. Blues for world domination. My Maine squeeze. Will start cracking up with me at any given moment. Notorious for her catch line, “That really bakes my noodle.” Gets stuck in elevators. Can’t stand wrinkly clothes.

During CHARMS (the Georgetown roommate matching program), I met a girl so crazy similar to myself that we began calling ourselves “roommate soulmates.” A few days later, she popped the roommate question, noting our “key similarities and important differences.” I said yes. We’re both pescatarians who share an insane love of oatmeal and sweet potatoes, Greg Laswell & The Civil Wars, and videos of laughing babies. She’s my part time yuppie and full-time best friend on the planet. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Introducing the Characters: Bethany

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Bethany – B

One of my first friends at Georgetown. Type A GOLD—figuratively and literally. Lover of Italian food and culture. Can’t stand peanut butter (more for me). Hilltop senior, writer, foodie, and blogger. Triplet with E & me. Mentor and best friend. My surrogate older sister.

I met B when I applied for Leadership & Beyond, a freshman pre-orientation program at Georgetown. Upon learning that I am an avid foodie and blogger, she e-mailed me to introduce herself. We immediately started talking, and the rest became history. She tolerates my moodiness, embraces my love of carbs, and still e-mails me like there’s no tomorrow.

And speaking of which…I’m off to see B now!

At-home mani/pedi’s? Don’t mind if I do Smile

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Introducing the Characters

Afternoon Erry’one!

So in my brief vacation absence, I’ve been thinking thinking a lot about this blog.

Whether it is a food blog or a life blog in general.

If daily eats should be posted or not.

What my goal is my for this baby.

Yes, this is the Type A in me speaking. Regardless of the direction though, I’ve realized one thing for sure—I’ve never introduced ya’ll to the characters in this story. At this point, I’m just hoping you don’t think I have imaginary friends. Winking smile

So because a story must have characters, allow me to introduce you to the main players. From California to Georgetown. From family to friends. From crazy to casual.

Let’s start with the obvious.

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Lexi – L

Licensed dreamer. Dances with words. Has a thing for sunshine. In pursuit of the active life. Food tinkerer. Knack for the unconventional. Pursuit of the extraordinary. Forever flirting with life. Usually getting lost. Forever finding herself.

Born and raised in Southern California, I spent much of my life balancing a love for the Golden State and an ambivalence about Orange County’s character. After singing the athlete, editor-in-chief, and valedictorian tune in high school, I made a decision of the major variety. I chose to attend Georgetown University for college. I fell in love with Washington D.C. and am now spending most of my days learning, sipping and selling iced coffee, and exploring the city and youth with friends.

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Greg Laswell. In Concert.

I had this amazing dream last night that I went to a Greg Laswell concert.

Except it wasn’t a dream.

It was just completely and totally amazing.

More on that later! Happy Friday :)

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WIAW: The Best of New York

[[Oops, I totally thought I published this but forgot! Excuse the out-of-order craziness!]]

Hi friends! Smile

Has it really been a week? Wowza, I miss my little bloggie.

It’s been a big last few weeks. East Coast, West Coast, Los Angeles, New York, and so much more.

Care for the summary? Here’s what happened:

Home, Sweet California: I finished my freshman year at Georgetown University and came home to California! It was a busy last two weeks at Georgetown, and I really needed to go home for a little while to sort it out.

Reconnected with Home: I hung out with family, saw best friends, went to the beach, and lived the California life.

College Cooking, Minus the Dorm: I told you about chillin’ and grillin’, as well as cornbread (in a bowl!!!!)

Say Hello to Los Angeles: I went to LA…not once, but twice!

Counted My Blessings: Reader appreciation all around! (Courtesy of Haley Smile)

Sunsets I Won’t Forget: I celebrated one final weekend in California.

Thanks for the Memories: I visited someone very special to me and gave you a recipe to match!

All Things Golden State: I spent a final day in California and threw a WIAW party in its honor

Musings on Home: I thought. A lot. About this summer and home…and everything in between. I gave you the run down for this summer–

  1. 3 weeks home in California
  2. 1 week in New York on family vacation
  3. Rest of the summer in Washington D.C., working/interning/living a summer with my best friends!

Whew, I told you a lot happened! So what’s been happening lately?

NEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW YORK!!!

But New York didn’t just happen. I sufficiently ate my way through it too!

I have so so so so so many pictures of New York eats, but I don’t want to be responsible for death by pixels. Let’s go with a random mishmash of what I ate, did, saw, etc., shall we? And because you know how much I love lists, let’s throw some numbers in the mix too.

Feast your eyes, my friends, because this WIAW post is about to get cray.

NEW YORK, June 2012: IN PICTURES

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WIAW for…My Belated Birthday in New York

  1. Double Rainbow..whoa! : The moment we arrived in LaGuardia Airport, it was raining and had been for awhile. We managed to make it to the Hertz rental lot semi-dry, and soon enough, the rain stopped. While Mum and Dad took care of getting the car inside, Blake and I sat on a bench outside and talked. Then, we saw a pretty fantastic rainbow. And not just any rainbow…a double rainbow!
  2. Birthday Dinner: My birthday is April 30—a perfect time in Spring that I absolutely love. Except for the fact that it signifies the beginning of AP tests in high school and finals in college. POOP. My family has kindly offered to celebrate my birthday in a belated fashion instead for the past few years. And this year, we decided to celebrate while in New York City! The dinner pick: Josie’s East Side. I would have probably tried Candle Café were I alone, but I don’t think Blake and Dad would have been too excited about all vegetarian options.
  3. The Birthday Order: Forever on the hunt for the world’s best veggie burger, I ordered the multigrain veggie burger (quinoa, barley, and one other?) with soy cheddar cheese. The burger patty itself was decent, but I wasn’t a big fan of the soy cheese. Typically, I love soy cheese, but this variety had a super strange after taste. Still, the patty was good! I got a side of pumpkin soup as well.
  4. OMG OMG OMG DESSERT: Seriously, even if you skim over the rest of the post, read this. Post-dinner, we set out for dessert. A friend raved about Magnolia Bakery, but I had my eye on Lula’s Apothecary earlier. Because I have a hugh jass sweet tooth but am also terribly indecisive, I somehow persuaded my parents to go on a crusade for both desserts. We picked up a gigantic slice of coconut cake from Magnolia Bakery, before making our way to Greenwich Village for a vegan confection from Lula’s. At Lula’s, Blake and I split a two-scoop cup of cookies ‘n cream ice cream and a cup of cake batter soft serve. The frozen desserts from Lula’s were AMAZING!!!!! Absolutely delicious—vegan or otherwise. The Magnolia cake was mediocre, especially in comparison to the Lula’s desserts. If you are in NYC, please go try Lula’s ASAP.

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What I Decided…New York, I Love You

  1. These Lights Will Inspire You: Walking out of Grand Central Station, I couldn’t stop smiling. I love New York City. As a person who never stops moving, NYC suits me in ways I can’t explain. It makes me feel so incredibly alive, as if the bustle and life of the city infuses into my own soul. I don’t know that I could live there my entire life, but I know for sure that I could live there for a bit of time.
  2. Late and Looking Good: Because I try to pack so much into one day, I’m often late going and coming places. My family and friends always tease me about it, so when I saw this sign, I was practically dancing with glee. (Maybe that was the sugar high?). Okay okay, so maybe I “interpreted” this sign a little bit, but hey, let’s just call that creative license.

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What I Saw…Mohonk Mountain House

  1. White Cedars: After dinner in NYC, we drove an hour north and then spent the night in a hotel on the way to our final destination. The next morning, we arrived at one of my favorite places on Earth—Mohonk Mountain House. This place is special beyond words, and being that it’s our third visit, our White Cedars cottage feels like home.
  2. A Thousand Sparkling Diamonds:Mohonk sits on a lake that is absolutely breathtaking. Nestled in the mountains, it is the most perfect retreat from the worries of life. There’s gazeboes all around the lake that allow for optimal sitting and soaking in of the beauty. In the sunlight, the lake’s sparkling is more than can be illustrated in photograph.
  3. Plants and Paths: Surrounded by tons of hiking trails, Mohonk has more than enough to keep me busy between the week. I’ve taken to hiking up the mountain most mornings to start off my day. It’s the time I take to simply contemplate and think to myself.

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever been to New York?
City slicker or country kid?

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