I Don’t Want to be a Better Version of Myself

Belief in abundance, belief that we are made to do great things, belief in our purpose, being a better version of ourselves. These ideals and hopes move humans to change the world.  Sometimes, they get me out of bed in the morning.  But I’m realizing something.  They can have me with my feet on the edge of a very faint line in the sand.  If the wind blows a little stronger or the waves crash a little harder,  I end up clinging to MY dreams, MY hopes, MY purpose.  What can I get done today, what’s on my list, what’s MY why?

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I’m in love with the hustle.  I love working hard, I love challenges, and I believe we were meant, each and every one of us, to change the world.   But I’m not about becoming a better version of myself.  I’m not about my why.  At least, I try not to be.  You see, it sounds so good.  It sounds right.  But if you listen, it’s missing something.  Or rather, it has too much of something.  It has too much of YOU.  It has too much of ME and MY and MINE.

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Let’s stop trying to be a better version of ourselves and let’s collectively get over ourselves.  One good deed at a time.

Let’s stop trying to be a better version of ourselves and let’s collectively get over ourselves. One good deed at a time.

When I was in high school, I went through a season of sadness. During that time, my mom sat me down and encouraged me to, each day, do three simple and kind things for someone else.   I would wake up each morning, not focused on how I felt, but on how I could make others feel.  Over time, I was able to climb out of the darkness I was in.  Please understand, I’m not talking about depression.  That’s very different.  But what I learned during this time was something I’ve carried with me into my adult life.

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I’m not sure that the fact we feel good when do good has anything at all to do with happenstance.  There’s a push and pull in the rhythm of this Earth.  Rain nourishes the soil, not because rain is really good at raining, but because of what happens after the rain.  The sun comes up each and every day, not thinking about how much brighter it could shine if it worked harder.   It comes up because of what happens to everyone else when it does.   And I think we exist to serve.  To take all the good that’s in us, and pour it out, like the sun and water, for others.  The sun isn’t concerned if there will enough sun left for tomorrow.  It doesn’t hold anything back.  And the rain isn’t concerned if the water is going exactly where it needs to be.  It just rains.

The sun isn’t concerned if there will be enough sun left for tomorrow.

Doing good feels good because it’s what we are supposed to do.

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If you are interested in joining our movement to get over ourselves, click here to watch a video.

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#thegive (2)

How to Pick Outfits for Family Pictures

The leaves are crisp, the pumpkins are everywhere, and Christmas card season is right around the corner. We all know what this means. Family pictures are upon us.

That time of the year where everyone immediately forgets how to smile, let alone look, at the camera. That time of the year where you all of a sudden have “nothing to wear.” Wait, that’s pretty much every morning. We all see those amazingly curated little squares as we scroll the Instagram at 10:30pm instead of “talking” to our husbands or actually sleeping. All of the information and comparison can be overwhelming; and I like to turn overwhelming things into processes. I believe there’s almost always a method to the madness, and here’s mine.

My Family Picture Process

First, you’re going to want to pick your vibe. What kind of style do you usually lean towards? In family pictures, I think people usually lean towards one of three categories. Glam, classy, or boho. How do you know which one you are? Women that like the glam vibe tend to get excited about long dresses and flowy hair. The classy vibe fans want to wear structured outfits and simple prints. The boho vibe is all about the beanies and layers.

Once you’ve picked the vibe, pick your color scheme. It’s fall, so we probably aren’t going to go with coral or mint or anything neon. I think it works to have one color and some complimentary neutrals.

Now, you pick YOUR outfit. With any design project, I start with one muse, one standalone piece. Family pictures are your design project and you, my friend, are the muse. Because when you look good, you feel good, and you are able to corral and delegate and throw kids in the air or whatever cute thing the photographer asks you to do all while smiling.

You’ve got your vibe, your color scheme, and your outfit. Now, we complete the picture (literally). You can find your missing puzzle pieces with accessories, layers, and hairstyles.

I’ve gathered together three different family picture outfit ideas to hopefully give you some inspiration and visual

 

Glam Vibe

Classy Vibe

Boho Vibe

Featured

Weekend Project: Declutter

We have too much stuff.  Does anyone else feel like they spend all their time picking up after all of the humans who live under their roof? I feel this low grade stress all the time that there is so much clutter everywhere. 

Clutter is robbing me of the time I want to be spending doing things of purpose.  I wouldn’t say I am a hoarder, but I definitely like to shop.  I love finding little things, great deals, and collecting some of this and that.  We have papers and toys and shoes and so so many things.

After a morning of trying to get the kids out the door with too many stressful interactions of trying to find the right things and tripping over the legos and digging through clean and some yelling I decided to take inventory of my heart. This was not the mom I wanted to be.

All of the keeping up with the things, putting away, storing, organizing, cleaning, prepping, is making me exhausted. I am striving to keep up and I have it in my mind that if I just drink enough coffee and work faster and harder, I can get it all done.  I am lying to myself and creating an ugly wake for those around me.

Now, the reality is, I can’t give up on the responsibilities. (Man!) BUT, I am beginning to realize that I can transfer my wealth of resources.

You see, I was rich in materials, but poor in time.  If I could find some things to give away or get rid of or stop buying, then I might be richer in time. 

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I made it my goal to declutter in one weekend.  I am NOT rolling around in extra time, and I am guessing you’re not either, but I do want some restoration of order.  I am not talking any deep cleaning and I still have oh so many things to sort and giveaway.  My goal was to regain some control over my life and get back some of the time I want to spend being purposeful with people, not things.

This can be stretched as long as you’d like it or if you drink enough coffee can be done quicker!  Please take it at your own pace.  Here was what I did.  Obviously tweak it to what works best for you!

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Identify Areas

Pick 3 areas that take most of your resource of time and identify what stresses you out about them. Mine are clutter, clothes and toys.

Gather

I went around to all the surfaces in my main areas and bedrooms and dumped everything into a laundry basket to be sorted later.  Tables, side tables, counters, shelves, coffee tables.  Pay attention especially to bins and if you have extra time, drawers. (drawers to me were another project). Mine ended up being a lot more than 1 laundry basket.

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Clothes: I am infamous for keeping something for too long.  If I hadn’t worn it all season, it’s gone.  I also have way too many gray shirts and jackets.  No one needs all of these shoes.  I once loved them all, but they have served their purpose and I am thankful for what they were.  Now someone else can enjoy them.  My laundry baskets are always way too full and there are never enough hangers, and that tells me I have a problem.  My clothes alone take enough of my time, not to mention adding 4 other humans to the mix.  So, I went through all the closets and tried to pair down to what we actually wear.  (if you haven’t at at least skimmed  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up go get it right now).  Confession: I often keep things of value to sell or take to a consignment shop, but in this case that defeated my purpose so if you’re lucky enough to run into any of my old leather jackets or fun purses at our local thrift store, I hope you enjoy!

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Toys: I looked for pieces that I haven’t seen played with in a while.  I have a lot of mom guilt getting rid of toys and you know as soon as you donate it they will ask for it the next day, even though they haven’t played with that puzzle in a year.  So I tried to filter each items by asking: do they play with it? Does it add value to their lives? Or is it taking away from both of our lives as I ask them to put it away for the 80th time.  I am a big believer in creative play (but that’s another post for another time.). In the end I didn’t feel like I actually got rid of that many toys, but somehow by pulling out all of the broken playdoh sets and small figures and unused costumes and that extra bat cave, I was able to find more than enough room for all of the things to go.

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Sort

I made 3 piles, keep, donate and throw away.  If it didn’t add value to my life at this time (ie takes away from my goal of being purposeful with my time) it is gone.  I know this sounds ruthless.  I am very sentimental but I also love order. I have a box under my bed for the meaningful drawings from my kids and the pictures and cards from friends.  The rest is usually something I can do without. 

Designate

My mom, the queen of organization as I like to say, is always in my head saying “if it doesn’t have a special place, it will end up never being put away.” It has been true for me so far.  If I have a drawer or a basket for it, it is easier to put it away.

We started a new Monday and I can tell you that low grade stress has gone down.  I still have lunches to make and homework papers to keep track of, iPads need to be charged and my laundry is never ending, but their is this unsaid peacefulness to choosing purpose over stuff.  I will always have to keep my clutter in check, but I am thankful for the resources I have gained through a little more time to play outside, to read a book and to just be.

Happy Decluttering!

-Erin

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Easy Laundry (Room) Makeover

The family and I staycationed last week, in order to tackle building a new fence.  We figured the kids would benefit from a place where I could contain them or send them when they are a little too chaotic.  My husband headed up the fence building, recruited his buddies to help and I did my part of cheering him on from the back porch with my glass of wine.

my husband loves when I have an idea for a house projectA week at home with Pinterest and coffee usually turns into me starting a house project.  Husband was off limits and I was only working with the little ones nap time and after bed so I had to dream small. When I saw my husbands, kind but concerned look after I told him I was contemplating repainting the kitchen cabinets, I decided maybe I should bite off a smaller task. 

Small House Project Decision: Laundry Closet

Our Laundry “Room” is actually more like a closet, but it is attached to our main living room and usually the first thing people see when they walk into my house.  It’s NEVER closed, because when does laundry actually ever come to a complete stop? I decided that I could maybe perk up this space so that as my bra is hanging to dry for the world to see, it would at least have a cute backdrop.

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I started with an oops paint can I had grabbed from Lowes.  I did NOT like how the first pink turned out—it was definitely pepto bismol and my husband said it made our whole living room glow pink.  I happened to luck out again with a much more perfect peach/pink and love how it turned out.  But it needed a little more character. 

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I considered tiling but ended when I realized it involved a tile saw.  Then I stumbled upon these peel and stick subway tiles.  I was skeptical but considering the price decided it was worth the risk.   When they came in the mail I was pleased with how they looked and their 3-D structure make them look more realistic.  They were super easy to apply.

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Here’s how to apply them:

Use an exacto knife to cut a straight edge

Peel and apply to the wall at one corner

Peel the next tile and place over the “overlap” here space.

Trace and cut around outlets and then peel

A few tips: Use a level and if you misplace a tile you can quickly pull off (will take off dry wall if stuck too long).

 

my overall impression: I can tell that it’s not real tile when I get close to it, but I figured it would work for the mean time and my wallet was happy.  I probably wouldn’t put it in my kitchen but I liked that it would add a little something to this laundry room. 

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I threw a towel rack on the inside of the wall for drying things and I spray painted the door handles with some gold paint and VOILA! The whole thing took two afternoons and less than $50.  A brand new place for laundry do-ing.  I love it and it makes this mom life a little more fun!  (and I didn’t steal my husband from building the new fence.)

 

-Erin

Pool Bag Essentials

Summer is here, and I’m not going to lie, I basically live my life for it.  Give me all the hot days in the sunshine over snow and freezing cold any day. That probably comes from the many, many hours I lived in a pool growing up.   

5FC2B8BC-5A56-4F5A-A1EB-835A049CBA3FWhen I was little I was all about swim team and the thrill of being a part of the competition and the long meet days of braiding friendship bracelets while waiting for my race.  I also loved the middle school days of fun dips, tanning oil and boy crushes shared between friends on the plasticy lounge chairs.  High school summers I would spend lifeguarding, where I learned to love sitting in the sun for hours on end and just being present.  Even to this day, the smell of chlorine is one of my favorites because it brings with it a flood of memories: fitness, personal growth, chill time, friend time, and freedom of the structure of life to just practice being present.  It’s my oasis. 

We all have pool memories, and with the heat of this season we head to the pool for a little relief and hopefully a good time.  This summer I hope to make some new “pool” memories with my kids, with friends and maybe even just a little time by myself. 

Here are my beach/pool bag essentials this summer:

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Sunglasses – I’m into the Cat Eye frames trend right now. These UV protecting darling lenses were a Target find.  I like the gray tortoise shell coloring.  They bring an easy style upgrade to my pool-hair-don’t-care look.

towel

Round towel – Everyone needs a pool/beach towel, why not have a little fun with it and make it a round one?  This tropical one is fun but still simple.  This one is microfiber and will absorb water more quickly.  I really like the tassel fringe edges.

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Headphones – I don’t always get to pool time by myself, but when I do I’m all about the podcasts or a good spotify playlist.  

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Book – My summer reading list is growing quickly, which may be a little too zealous.  This “Where’d You Go Bernadette” one has been on my list since this spring.  I hear it is being made into a movie starring Cate Blanchette.   

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Water Bottle – A year ago I got hooked on this water bottle that my sister recommended to me.  I have since bought another. Let’s be honest, I don’t drink near as much water as my mama told me, but this helps.  I love having a straw, for some reason I’m more likely to drink more water if it feels like a to-go cup.  The best part about this water bottle is when  you remove the straw it seals shut, so I can throw it in my purse without any leakage.  It is a must have for me.

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La Croix – These have become my go-to drink.  I am usually a fan of the coconut flavor, but this Kiwi Watermelon makes me feel like I’m summer vibe-ing.  And it goes great in my fancy water bottle.

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Sunscreen – I’m working on being a more responsible individual, and with that comes things like taking care of yourself and avoiding sun damage.  I like that it’s not super oily and I can apply it under my makeup.  Lavender makes me happy.

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Instax Poloroid Camera – My husband gave this to me as a Christmas gift and I have loved taking it for little keepsake photos to hang on the fridge or keep in my wallet.  It makes that little moment with friends or my kids that much more special and memorable.  We like to always take two pics: one to keep and one to give.

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Turban – I wasn’t kidding about my pool hair.  I resemble something somewhere between a wet rat and a drippy mop.  This turban not only covers the hot mess that I am, its super cute and I always get compliments on it. We make these here in our shop and have them in all the colors and many fun, bright prints.  My summer go to is this bright coral twist turban, especially for its full coverage.

I hope your summer pool time is calling.  Grab your favorite goodies and bring on the slower and memorable days of summer!

-Erin

herecomesthe sun

New Year, New Items!!

With the new year comes new beginnings and fresh starts, which I happen to be a sucker for in all honesty.

We are so excited for what this year has in store.  We have big plans and new items we can’t wait to show you.  To start off the year, we wanted to brighten your wardrobe with some new colors of our popular items.

Our boho tassel necklace now comes in champagne pink.  We couldn’t love this shimmery and classy color more.  It’s a subtle rose gold-like hue and oh so perfect in time for Valentine’s.

These tassel hoop earrings have been a hit! We love the statement they add and how easy they wear with your everyday looks.  We now carry them in coral and navy.  More to come too, (wink wink.)

In the baby accessories we wanted to offer more neutral leather bow colors.  These are such a little lady hair piece.  We now have four new leather bow colors.  Bronze, pale blush, champagne and a fun design in wicker.  All of the leather bows come in either a nylon headband or clip style.  Perfectly versatile.

We look forward to all 2018 holds.  Happy New Year all!!

Erin

15 Things We’ve (Each) Learned from Our Mamas

In honor of Mother’s Day, Racheal & I dedicate this post to our mamas and all of the mamas out there who have taught how to grow, learn, reach, inspire & love. Here are just a FEW of the treasures we have gained from our Moms.  Happy Mother’s Day Carol & Robin. 

Erin: 

Erin's Mom (Carol) & Erin
Erin’s Mom (Carol) & Erin
  1. Do all things with excellence.  This is her strongest and most enviable trait.  When my mom commits to something (big or small) she does it well.  She is careful and thoughtful and pays the utmost attention to detail.  It is not done until it is done well.
  2. Stand up straight.  Posture and poise are important.   
  3. Order can make life less stressful.  I gave my mom many a hard times growing up, for all of the labels and boxes and bins and drawers that were organized in our home.  Her planner was color coded and our medicine cabinet even had drawers for all of the medicine things.  This is such a strength of hers.  I have such a long way to go, but I have found that if everything has a special place, it can cut down on the chaos that life tends to throw at me, and might allow me to not miss out on an fleeting opportunity.  
  4. It will pass.  From bruised knees, the loss of pets, boyfriend breakups, term papers, wedding planning, late night feedings, piles of messes and laundry… all the things that seem too hard to get through or endure, she has always reminded me that it too shall pass and the sun will shine again.  
  5. Be resourceful. My mom decided to stay home full-time when I was 3 and with a growing family she had to be creative in the ways that we lived.  She would make plans for picnics, research free outings, paint old furniture (before it was trendy), weave leftover chicken into other weeknight meals, build her own projects from nothing, sew us curtains and pretty dresses and there were no thrift or discount stores that she did not know by heart.  We were content to make all situations work.  
  6. Gardening. I blame my plant obsession on my mama.  I used to follow her around in the yard and she would tell me the names all of the flowers and bushes and trees. She has some mad landscaping skills for sure.  Me, I’m still working on it. 
  7. Where there’s a will there’s a way.  Mom has a few stories she keeps in her pocket that she likes to whip out and tell occasionally.  One in particular involves her great-great grandfather being told his daughter wouldn’t survive an appendectomy and how he would NOT take “No” for an answer, so he took a train with his sick child over night to a city hospital to get another opinion.  The daughter lived and none of us would be here if it weren’t for her dad’s will to save his daughter’s life.  She has stood on this principle as she has grown a non-profit Women’s Clinic into a successful organization.  Saving lives is in her DNA, so is her strong will to fight for it. 
  8. Listen. Mom is the best listener.  I feel like our convos are always so one sided as I dump all of my current thoughts and problems in her lap.  She heals through her lending ear.

  9. We might not feel equipped for our calling but God always provides.  Mom’s faith is the most sure & solid part about her.  She has faced so many trials and troubles in her life, but through the storms and chaos, nothing seems to shake the core of her.  She has this assuredness that God will be in it with her and will provide exactly what she needs to get through.  

  10. Love color. Being married to my dad, an architect, mom has an affinity for design and style.  She LOVES her some color palettes and the skill of coordinating & complimenting color to create a beautiful environment. She has a well trained eye for style and it plays out in her home, her yard, her style, etc…  When I was in kindergarten, I told my teacher that my favorite color was seafoam green, and got quite the surprised look.  Thanks mom

  11. Take some time to care for yourself as a mom. Everyone will be the better for it!

  12. Seek him daily.  I will forever have images in my mind of my mom & her journal at our dining table every morning.  Seeking Him first in her life.  Laying out her troubles to Him and letting truth seep in.  

  13. Always stop for a good deal. Many Friday mornings of my childhood were spent with doughnuts and garage sale hunting.  She would always say, “you have to get through a lot of junk to find that one good treasure.”—funny how that seems to ring true in so many other areas of life.

  14. Seek sunshine.  We love the outside and warm and summer and its crazy how the sun shining can always make things better.

  15. Believe that unimaginable great things can happen.  When my mom followed her dream of opening a Women’s Clinic 17 years ago, I don’t think she had any clue the imprint that her life would leave in so many, many other people’s lives.  She put one foot in front of the other and believed that God would show up to make it work.  She says that you just wait and wait and wait and then He blows you away with the things He can do.

Left to Right: Erin's Grandma Nancy, Erin & Erin's mom CaroL
Left to Right: Erin’s Grandma Nancy, Erin & Erin’s mom CaroL

“Nonni” & Erin’s oldest Everett.
My mom, Isla & me hitting it big at a plant sale. 
My mom, Isla & me hitting it big at a plant sale. 

Racheal:

1. ain’t nobody but jesus perfect

2. there’s no time to be sad, just time to be purposeful – of course, there’s time for mourning, and there’s time for grief.  i was definitely taught that.  but when i would get sad about something that i could change, my mom would tell me this: recognize the sadness, recognize the problem, and confront it.

3. you can take whatever you have in the fridge and come up with a perfect meal. just takes a little creativity.

4. don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, worry about yourself – this one is so valuable to me and i probably think about it everyday.  “comparison is the thief of joy”.  my mom doesn’t compare. she really doesn’t. she puts her head down and does her work, whether it’s being a mother, a wife, a daughter, or her 9-5. i have found so much freedom in this.

5. classiness is next to godliness – i never made mom more mad than when i forgot to write my thank you notes, or wear a slip under my skirt.

6. pretty much every outing, whether big or small, needs some sort of drink. sonic drink, coffee, or a coke icee.

7. turn regular everyday things into something beautiful – my mom has a cute coffee bar in her house. it even has a name… we call it “bird’s beans”.  she always has it stocked with various flavored coffees and chai, some fun syrups, cream, and a milk frother. and of course some baileys from time to time.  i love how she thinks through the little things and turns them into events.  mint juleps with fresh mint from her patio, or if we were having tacos, go get some queso from our favorite mexican place.  she knows how to turn something regular into an event. she’s intentional.

Left to right: Racheal, Dad (Wayne), Mom (Robin), Sister (Sara Beth)
Left to right: Racheal, Dad (Wayne), Mom (Robin), Sister (Sara Beth)

8. use what you have – spray paint and rearranging go a long way

Racheal's mom Robin & son Eli
Racheal’s mom Robin & son Eli

9. make time for yourself – read a book, workout, garden. i watched her try and make time for these things. it wasn’t easy, i know. i remember watching her have quiet time reading or praying in the mornings as i was getting ready for school. 

Nora & “Bird” playing makeup.

10. get married if you want, but don’t depend on a man for everything – she taught me that self-sufficiency is huge. get a degree or get a job, preferably both. 

11. work hard and reward yourself – work your tail off, and then spend $30 on a pedicure or a pair of shoes. sometimes giving yourself some positive reinforcement is just what you need to keep going.

12. always, always look for a coupon before going to the restaurant.

13. dream big – seriously, my mom is the main reason i am even in this business.  she has no shortage of faith in me.  but honestly, her belief in herself and her efforts is probably what’s most inspiring. she always found a way to make things work. for us and for herself.  she set big goals and achieved them. she never let doubt get in the way. doubt isn’t an option.

14. do your job and stay away from drama

15. put some lipstick on

Nora (Racheal's daughter) & mom Robin
Nora (Racheal’s daughter) & mom Robin

 

Jewelry Necklaces Tassel Necklaces brown tassel necklace brown necklaces tassel necklaces brown necklace brown tassels tassel necklace necklace brown necklaces brown brown minimalist minimalist brown mocha boho tassel

boho meets minimalist

We couldn’t be more thrilled about this new boho minimalist leather tassel necklace.  I love a standard go to “flare” piece. This necklace is a subtly stated upgrade to any outfit.

Jewelry Necklaces Tassel Necklaces brown tassel necklace brown necklaces tassel necklaces brown necklace brown tassels tassel necklace necklace brown necklaces brown brown minimalist minimalist brown mocha boho tassel
mocha brown boho minimalist tassel necklace

We like the mocha paired with a loose underlayer and long sweeper or sweater.  Neutrals on neutrals on neutrals.

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Check out our latest fall collection colors.

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