Monday, November 30, 2009

Crayon Cookie Craft













Children love crayons. New crayons are so appealing when standing tall and bright like soldiers ready to draw. If you walk into any preschool or look at a child's crayon supply they are probably a mixture of broken pieces (with wrappers off-kids love to peel them). If you have a lot of "old" crayons, I have a wonderful idea from "Beach Vintage" on how to recycle them into something new and fabulous!! They will also become more usable for younger kids because they will be able to pick up the crayons more easily.

Note: Please do not eat, for drawing only!
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Grab some old pieces of crayons
  2. Break them up into small pieces and color code them how you like in a non stick silicone/rubber mini cake tray.

  3. Heat oven to 150-200 degrees.

  4. Place tray inside and monitor. You want the crayons to melt but not become too runny or too hot (they will smoke). This usually takes about 5-6 minutes.
    Take out tray and allow your tray to cool completely (note: don't move the pan because it will not dry with a smooth bottom-and be careful it is HOT)

  5. Pop out your little crayon cakes and start drawing.
    For gifts, wrap them with ribbon. This is a wonderful and quick idea.

My daughter had so much fun drawing with these and I hope you have making something old into something fabulous!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Pros of Probiotics


What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in our digestive tract. Probiotics are the good or "friendly" bacteria. We have both good and bad bacteria in our bodies. The key is keeping a balance so that the bad bacteria does not outweigh the good. The good bacteria helps with digestion. Probiotics can be found in food and supplements. Yogurt contains naturally occurring good bacteria. The shelves in your grocery store are usually filled with various types of yogurt from Activa and Dannon to Stonyfield.

Which one to choose?

Look for "live active cultures." I prefer a cultured dairy drink that is called kefir. If you don't consume dairy products it is also found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kim chee, and my husband's favorite, natto. You can also take supplements. I have also recently tried Attune chocolate bars. They are low in sugar and calories and high in calcium and probiotics. They are sold in many grocery stores and are a convenient way of getting more of the good stuff in your body!

Do you need it?

If you are having any digestive issues or are taking antibiotics, it might be a good idea to discuss taking a probiotic supplement with your doctor. Whether you add some yogurt, kim chee, Attune bars, or supplements to your diet, you are probably giving your digestive system a boost, while making you feel a lot better.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tryptophan and Forgetfulness...


Oops..I almost forgot today was Aloha Friday...my day to post about what healthy activities we are all doing. Speaking of forgetting, I also forgot the cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving! It must be all of that tryptophan from the turkey!
My healthy activity is reflecting on all of the beauty, splendor, and loved ones that God has surrounded me with. I am very thankful!
Please share your ideas below and be featured next week!

PlanetBox Eco Lunch Box




Looking for an Eco and easy way to pack healthy lunches for your kids? PlanetBox is the safe, non-toxic alternative to plastic. Not your old fashioned metal lunch box, PlanetBox delivers lunch transportation for the green generation.
PlanetBox is an innovative stainless steel lunch box system that eliminates waste and is free of chemicals that is typically found in plastic. It has lots of individual compartments to fill, such as a bento box. It is very easy to clean without the stress of having to find containers and lids to pack all of your little one's snacks. I love the cool magnets to choose from, so that kids can design their own to fit their interests.




Giveaway: Zehn Natural Tee


I am wearing my super soft tee from Zehn Naturals. Yes, I have to say it's the softest tee-shirt I have ever worn. It also fits great (not the traditional men's square cut tee). Zehn Naturals is an employee based company that makes carbon conscious clothing. Their clothing manufacturer is dedicated to using renewable energy sources.

It can be stylish and very comfy to be Eco-fashionable with Zehn Naturals , an earth friendly company that grows organic cotton naturally. They make tee-shirts for women, men, children, and onesies for babies. I like that their shirts are uniquely designed by artists who also have a passion for going green! Check out the cute saying like "O emissions" and "it's cool to be green" for kids.

They sell 100% Certified Organic Cotton Clothes, T-Shirts, Tote Bags, Eco-Friendly Gifts, and Original Eco Art. Also, Zehn plants a tree each time you buy their Women’s Organic Cotton T Shirts, Men’s Organic Cotton T Shirts and Children’s Organic T Shirts and they give 10% to Non-profit Organizations.
Mom's Best Bets' readers can use coupon code: blog25 to receive 25% off

GIVEAWAY: Zehn Naturals Tee-Shirt

To Win visit Zehn Naturals and tell me which t-shirt is your favorite. Zehn Naturals is generously giveaway away one of Mom's Best Bets readers their favorite choice of any tee. (between $24 to $28)

1 Extra Entry- Follow Me with Google friend connect (the right hand side of the page)
1 Extra Entry subscribe to Mom's Best Bets
1 Extra Entry subscribe by email
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on
Facebook
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway
1 Extra Entry - Enter another giveaway running on Mom's Best Bets
3 Extra Entries if you put my button up on your blog.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to me
1 Extra Entry Follow @ZehnNaturals on Twitter
1 Extra Entry Become a Fan of the
ZehnNaturals Facebook
10 Extra Entries is you make a purchase during this giveaway
*Giveaway ends December 18

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday Specials



Chic Monkey Baby Boutique Black Friday Sale!
Want to win an apron from Chic Monkey Baby?




Azuri Black Friday Silk Scarf $1 Sale

Black Friday sale : Sophisticated Silk Chiffon Square Scarves for $1. Expertly crafted from the finest silk, this Silk Chiffon Square Scarf is incredibly versatile and can be worn for any occasion. 100% Silk. 22" length x 22" width. Sale Ends Tuesday Dec. 1, 2009.

Miessence Natural Body Wash


I first heard about Miessence when I was on the Skin Deep's website hunting for safer makeup. I had never heard of this company but their good rating caught my eye. When I found their website I was surprised how comprehensive their line was.
They have Organic Cosmetics, Organic Skin Care, Organic Body Care, Organic Health Care, Organic Hair Care, Organic Baby Care, and Organic Environmental Care. I want to try so many of their products like the Probiotic Household Cleaner (I take probiotics, but was unaware they could be used to clean with) beautiful Lip Creme, and Foundation.
I was able to try their sunflower body wash, full of vitamin-rich, cold-pressed organic safflower oil. It contains invigorating orange peel, lemon peel and lime peel oils with no yucky chemicals. It has more of a fresh orange smell than a sunflower scent, but I really enjoyed using this natural and moisturising wash (my little one gives it a thumbs up too). Okay, so maybe the others will be stocking stuffers:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

GIVEAWAY: Happy Green Bee Dress!

My Little Green Bee

I am a big fan of Happy Green Bee. This company makes organic fair trade children's clothing. Their philosophy is: "comfortable, colorful, playful and ecologically responsible."
They make hats, dresses, sports wear, and tops for boys and girls.
Happy Green Bee creations are unique with handmade quality, and feel organically soft. I really like their color stripe patterns that come in variations such as watermelon, chocolate, butterscotch, and pumpkin. I love their sweet handmade hats and tights for this winter season too. However, in Hawaii and other warmer climates, they carry active wear and the sweetest A-line dresses (pictured above).
My little buzzing bee loves their super soft dresses and of course the brilliant color designs that are quintessentially Happy Green Bee.


There are so many styles for babies and kids


Why buy organic? "Cotton clothing retains harmful toxic residues, often causing rashes and eczema on sensitive skin. Clothing made with organically grown cotton does not retain toxic residues; it is a pure, natural, and breathable fiber." I just found on The Happy Green Bee's website that, "Cotton occupies only 3% of the world's farmland, but uses 25% of the world's chemical pesticides. Worldwide, 25 to 75 million agricultural workers suffer from acute pesticide poisoning." Wow! The Happy Green Bee also uses non-toxic dyes and their products are made in fair-trade-certified factories that are monitored for worker health and safety. Way to go!

The trademark Happy Green Bee stripes gets so much attention. So many people stopped me to ask where I got this dress. I actually had to write it down for one woman who wanted to buy it for Christmas presents. It is unique, Eco-friendly, soft, and one of Mom's Best Bets!



The Happy Green Bee is generously giving one of you an A-line Happy Green Bee dress in the color and size of your choice (valued at $32.00)!
GIVEAWAY: Happy Green Bee Dress
How to enter: (mandatory)Visit Happy Green Bee and tell me what you like.
Extra Entries: (please leave a separate comment for each entry)
1 Extra Entry- Follow me with Google connect
1Extra Entry subscribe to Mom's Best Bets
1 Extra Entry subscribe by email
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Facebook
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway
1 Extra Entry - Enter another giveaway running on Mom's Best Bets
3 Extra Entries if you put my button up on your blog.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to me
10 Extra Entries is you make a purchase during this giveaway
*Giveaway ends December 14

Saturday, November 21, 2009

GIVEAWAY: Blush Topless Undershirts

What is the Blush topless undershirt? It looks like a tube top but worn around your waist. What a great idea to add a layered look without adding bulk. You can add length to your tops or get a little more coverage over low-rise jeans. It is an essential for a maternity wardrobe! Expecting moms can use this when pregnant but also blush can help with post-partum transitioning clothing.
The product was designed by women who had trouble with getting their shirts to fit just right. What a great idea and they come in all different colors and patterns. Unlike a tank top or long shirt, it does not have straps which can cause your undershirt to ride up.
I am happy to announce that one Mom's Best Bets' readers will win a Blush topless undershirt! You can also use the couponcode: welovebloggers to get 20% off 2 undershirts or more!

GIVEAWAY

How to enter: Comment telling me you want to win and follow this blog :)


Extra Entries: (please leave a separate comment for each entry)

1Extra Entry subscribe to Mom's Best Bets

1 Extra Entry subscribe by email

1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Facebook
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway
1 Extra Entry - Enter another giveaway running on Mom's Best Bets

3 Extra Entries if you put my button up on your blog.

3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to me

10 Extra Entries is you make a purchase during this giveaway

*Giveaway ends December 14

Kiss My Face Kids

Kiss My Face has a new kids collection that includes products free of artificial colors, fragrances, parabens and SLS. They contain natural ingredients such as aloe vera, organic green tea extract (helps protect against sun damage), nettle extract (stimulates hair growth and improves scalp condition) and tea tree oil (kills germs).
Some of their new products are: Self-Foaming Hand Wash, Toothpaste (with and without fluoride), 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner, Bubble Wash, Self-Foaming Shampoo & Body Wash, Detangler, Lip Balms and Soap. These products are available in a different scents. I tried the Orange U Smart and liked the fresh citrus scent. I also like that they are made with essential oils instead of chemical fragrances.
My daughter loves their bright orange Self-Foaming Hand Wash and cute characters on them. I have also used their Self-Foaming Shampoo & Body Wash that works well with the same orange sherbet scent. I have found Kiss My Face Kids products at great prices at Target Stores and Whole Foods Market.

Friday, November 20, 2009

GIVEAWAY:The Homestead Co.

Another fabulous organic healthy giveaway is coming your way. The Homestead Company is a natural products online store that sells baby products, spa essentials, skin care, and gift sets. Each product from body butter to scrubs are all natural, made with oils such as coconut, jojoba, and emu. There is nothing artificial about these products. Each batch is purposely made in small numbers to ensure precision and quality in every bottle.

I just tried this scrub on my hands and feet and it was very nourishing. I particularly liked the kukui nut oil and the subtle scent.
Skip the baby powder scented lotions loaded with too many chemicals to count and opt for something more natural. Most babies don't need to much lotion anyway. The Homestead Co. makes a nice baby butter that contains lavender and chamomile which will relax and soothe your baby. The ingredients are: Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Avocado butter, Emu oil, Kukui nut oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Mango Butter, Vitamin E, Lavender essential oil, chamomile essential oil. Their spa sets look lovely! Want to try this companies wonderful, safe, and tranquil products?
The Homestead Co. is graciously giving away a $35.00 gift certificate to one of Mom's Best Bets' marvelous readers!

GIVEAWAY: The Homestead Co. $35.00

How to enter: Visit The Homestead Co. and tell me what you would buy.

Extra Entries: (please leave a separate comment for each entry)
1 Extra Entry- Follow me with Google connect
1Extra Entry subscribe to Mom's Best Bets
1 Extra Entry subscribe by email
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Facebook
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway
1 Extra Entry - Enter another giveaway running on Mom's Best Bets
3 Extra Entries if you put my button up on your blog.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to me
10 Extra Entries is you make a purchase during this giveaway
*Giveaway ends December 14

More Winners!


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aloha Friday! Thinking Postive


Happy Aloha Friday! It's that time to share what healthy things we did or are going to do this weekend!

Think Positive


The "healthy idea" that I want to share with you is having a healthy attitude. Sometimes we focus on eating right, finding safe products, where to shop, and how to afford " the safer options." It can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive to live a healthy lifestyle. Society has made it much cheaper and easier to do the opposite, but don't fret! We often forget to have a healthy and positive perspective. You can eat 100% organic and live in a toxin free home, but if your mind is full of stress, fear, and other negative emotions, your overall health will be less than optimal.

Researchers from the Women’s Health Initiative studied 100,000 women age 50 and older and found that women who have an optimistic outlook lived healthier, longer lives than pessimistic women. Another study in April 2008, by researchers at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, showed that just anticipating a laugh can raise levels of depression fighting and immune boosting hormones, and lowering stress hormones.
The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. New research shows that how you think affects your health, and that toxic emotions can make you sick. Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of "Who switched Off My Brain?" discusses how to control toxic thoughts and emotions. If you need to detox, remember to just do what you can to make positive steps, then take a deep breath, and give the rest to God.
Now it's your turn to share your healthy ideas and plans for the week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free Natural Lipstick at Beautorium!




I am always carrying lipstick in my purse, car, upstairs, and downstairs...lipstick is great but the chemicals that soak into your skin or that get swallowed are dangerous. If you read the label grab on a lipstick that you have, the ingredients will probably list a bunch of chemicals that you might have a hard time pronouncing. When buying lipstick look for ingrediants that are natural and that you know. The shorter the list the better, and always paraben free.

I recently tried Marina Cosmetics Beach Berry Lipstick. Marina's lipstick contains organic sea minerals, Vitamins A, C, E, antioxidants and hydrating oils. Marina Lipstick was developed to bring natural, anti-aging, hydrating care to the lips. It feels soft, smooth, and moisturizing on your lips. I also like that it was long lasting. Their cosmetics are dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, and paraben-free.

You can find this company and many other great products at Beautorium, an online resource for natural products. They are very selective about the products they carry, which makes me feel good. Right now they are running a special where you can "Get this Marina Cosmetics Beach Berry Lipstick FREE (a $20 Value) when you buy a Marina Cosmetics Lip gloss..!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Raw Apple Pie for Thanksgiving!


I wrote about a company called Living Tree Community Foods a while ago because I was impressed with their nut butter. I have recently spent more time on their website and have decided they need to move to Hawaii! Their website is full of fabulous products and lots of great information and articles. I am in the process of trying to get more of their awesome raw and "alive" foods in more stores by me. If you can't find them at a store near you just check out their website. They make organic raw alive cashew butter that is superior in taste and quality. However, it is my daughter's favorite so we don't get much of it. She eats it as a dip on cucumbers, carrots, and sandwiches (see her happy face recipe).
Another
Living Tree Community Foods that I like is Pistachio Pesto. It is raw pistachios, sun dried black olives, sun dried tomatoes, herbs, spices and alive unheated, unpressed, unfiltered olive oil. I have to admit, I liked it so much that I ate the whole jar in a matter of days... with a spoon.
My new favorite is Organic Coconut Mango Persimmon Butter. It contains organic mango, persimmon, pineapple, coconut, mango, raw cacao, sesame, sun dried raisins, agave nectar, organic carob and a dash of Royal Himalayan pink crystal salt. It is VERY delicious, raw, and a super food.

Jesse Schwartz, Ph.d., President of Living Tree Community Foods, believes "that vibrant good health is a combination of many subtle elements including alive food, fasting, vigorous exercise, restful sleep, organic gardening, fulfilling creative activity and loving relationships based on appreciation and respect."
For more of their raw and unprocessed products visit their website.

This is one of their raw recipes (I'm going to try it out for Thanksgiving!):

Apple Pie Recipe
Crust:
1 cup almonds, soaked 12-48 hours and blanched
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 6-8 hours
1/2 cup mission figs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Process all ingredients in a food processor using the "s" blade until dough forms into a ball. Press dough into a 9''pie plate.

Filling:
4-6 apples
1-3 tablespoon psyllium
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Process apples, psyllium, vanilla, and cinnamon in a blender. Add more psyllium to adjust the consistency of the filling. Pour into crust and refrigerate until serving. Decorate top of pie with a few slices of thinly sliced apples in the form of a wheel. Add a few sprigs of mint to decorate.

With our society eating so much packaged, processed, dead food; it's refreshing to find delicious raw alive alternatives to boost your health and well being!

Monday, November 16, 2009

GIVEAWAY: Andean Collection Acai Necklace



The Acai Giveaway Necklace


Acai Wrap Bracelet

Pambil Braclet

I'm so excited about bringing all of you such an Eco-fabulous green giveaway. The Andean collection, created by Amanda Judge, has the most beautiful and socially conscious jewelry. Before I tell you more about the giveaway, you will love Amanda's story.
The Story:

While researching rural women’s survival strategies in the face of extreme poverty for her master thesis in Ecuador, Amanda discovered the amazing natural materials that were used in native jewelry making. She wanted to help the community make long lasting living improvements by finding a market for jewelry made out of the natural seeds. Amanda extended her stay to start The Andean Collection. She found and trained artisans who wanted a better life for themselves and their families. Artisans handcraft their designs from "natural seeds that have been sustainably harvested from the rainforests and lowlands of South America. The commercialization of these seeds helps to ensure the survival of the world’s rainforests by providing an alternative income for its inhabitants rather than logging or selling their land to destructive industries. Through a very manual process, seeds are transformed into beads with gorgeous natural irregularities, both in color and form, which truly makes each piece one of a kind." The artisans are paid fair wages and share in the profits of the company as partial owners of The Andean Collection. Check out their blog to learn more.
I love their natural materials in contrast to the synthetic beads you find everywhere. The Açaí seed is a small, round, blackish-purple fruit that grows in dense clusters. Many of you know it as the popular Acai drink. We consume a lot of Acai juice in my family. It's a powerful antioxidant that tastes good too. Some of their Acai seeds are hand-dyed or left their natural color. They are very unique and eye catching.

The Andean Collection is graciously giving away an Acai necklace handmade by olga lucia moran to one of Mom's Best Bets' marvelous readers!. This cascade of acai seeds is hand dyed with vibrant colors- perfect for day or evening wear (valued at $55.00).

GIVEAWAY: Acai Necklace

How to enter:
(mandatory)Visit The Andean Collection and sign up on their email list (and comment that you did)
Extra Entries: (please leave a separate comment for each entry)
1 Extra Entry- Follow me with Google connect
1Extra Entry subscribe to Mom's Best Bets
1 Extra Entry subscribe by email
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Facebook
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway
1 Extra Entry - Enter another giveaway running on Mom's Best Bets
3 Extra Entries if you put my button up on your blog.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to me
10 Extra Entries is you make a purchase during this giveaway
*Giveaway ends December 14

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Eat Amazing Grass!


We hear over an over that eating more fruits and vegetables equals health benefits. Eating a rainbow a day is a balanced way to get the nutrients we need, but do you have the time to get your daily quota? Most people fall short and when it comes to the color green....well... let's just say it's harder for some to acquire a taste for spinach, kale, and wheat grass. I have found that by adding a green supplement to my diet I can enough enough and my energy and immune system is given a boost!
Amazing Grass is a company who specializes in quality organic alkalizing green supplements loaded with phytonutrients. They carry green bars, meal replacements, chocolate greens, wheat grass, and much more.
What's my favorite? Their chocolate green powder. I buy this for my family and even add a little bit to my daughter's shakes. It has a dark cocoa hemp-like taste that completely masks the green flavor. You can mix with water, milk, almond milk, or hemp milk (my favorite).



It contains green super foods; cereal grasses, alfalfa and micro-algae.
  • Polyphenols in cacao promote healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Contains no Soy Lecithin fillers
  • Naturally balanced powerhouse of Anti-oxidants, B-Vitamins, Beta Carotene, Bioflavonoids, Lycopene, Folic Acid, Dietary Fiber, Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), and Omega 3, 6 & 9 Essential Fatty Acids.
  • Complete “Live Food” with beneficial enzymes, carotenoids and phytonutrients (plant pigments) that help fight free-radical damage, aging and tumor causing mutations.
  • Contains probiotics- microorganisms that promote healthier digestion
  • Contains prebiotics- promotes the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria.
  • Alkaline green plant foods help balance acidic pH levels.
  • Naturally detoxifies and boosts your immune

What I like about Amazing Grass is that they sell not only full size containers but small sample packages of all of their products as well. Next time you are in Whole Foods or any natural foods store, pick one up for only a few dollars.

So, alkalize and energize your day with some Amazing Grass!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aloha Friday ~ Let's Recycle!



Aloha Friday everyone! It's that time to share what healthy things we did or are going to do this weekend!

Last week Sara A Broers shared,

"We will be cheering on the Iowa
Hawkeyes, as they continue through an
undefeated season! 60 degrees forecast
here, in Iowa, so a little time
outdoors would also be in the works! A stroll
down to the little stream that
runs by our house would also be nice."
Thanks Sara and hope you had a great time outdoors.
My healthy activity is recycling this old bookshelf into a custom shelf for my daughter's playroom. We did this together-and pretty quickly. She wanted the
Hawaiian honu, palm tree, and Hibiscus flower. However, you can buy
stencils for a more professional look.
Jen, at The Thrifty Home has a Penny Pinching Party that features great penny pinching ideas. Visit her and share your idea Have a great weekend and also share your healthy ideas or activities below and you might be featured next ALOHA FRIDAY!

Bebe au Lait Review


We all know how beneficial breastfeeding is for babies, but it can pose some difficulties for busy moms. For all of the new moms and moms-to-be, I have a great "best bet" for you- Bebe au Lait nursing covers!


Claire Ekelund, a proud nursing mom, realized that nursing in public can be challenging. She searched for a way to cover baby and mother with ease and style, giving mom the freedom to breastfeed. This concept led to Claire creating her own nursing cover. Her rigid neckline which allowed privacy, small-item storage and clean-up pocket, and the softest terry cloth feel, made her product stand out. The fabrics used are hand-selected and expertly designed with chic moms in mind.
Most recently made is "Simple" by Bebe au Lait, a range of 100% certified organic fabrics in savvy solid colors, and Monaco by Bebe au Lait, a silk line of nursing covers that fold up into coordinating black clutches. They have such beautiful designs and packaging, which makes them great gifts.
The ruffle design

All of these, and more, can be found in Bebe au Lait's online shop and in upscale maternity and baby boutiques worldwide. They are also bloggers! Check them out:bebeaulait.blogspot.com.


cute pockets!

Bebe au Lait is also committed to Eco friendly practices such as using recycled and recyclable materials, recycling all cardboard and paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans and even riding bikes to work! They have more than nursing covers such as lovely hooded towels, burp cloths, and even jewelry.
Here's to nursing in style!
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