Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Petite Lemon- A Review and Giveaway

 
    My boy now wears shoes, lets us brush his teeth, and wriggles in our arms to get down and run around the grocery store. He is growing way to fast for my taste and I am pretty sure that my parents must have felt the same way about me. When I was growing up my parents marked off my height on the molding around one of the doors to the garage. I remember being so proud of all of the little pen marks and dates especially the ones that placed me taller than my Mother. It was special as a child to have a visual of how I was growing and I am excited about providing Weston the same thing.


   We currently rent our home in Louisiana so when I began to look for ways to immortalize Weston's growth I knew it would need to be something a bit less permanent and more portable than a marked up doorway. I was excited when I found Petite Lemon, a company that produces brightly printed, personalized, quality, growth charts that would be able to be transported with me if and when my family moves. These growth charts are not the cheesy paper variety. These charts are printed on premium pure cotton canvas and the ink is high quality and eco-friendly. The results of using such fine quality supplies is a growth chart that can be considered a true keepsake for years to come.


    The growth charts can be hung using the aluminum grommets in all four corners. The holes at the center of the grommets are rather large, this caused me to pause when I considered how I would go about hanging them. While they can be hung using traditional hammer and nail I wondered if there was a better way, especially for a renter such as myself. I emailed the company and then kindly sent me a link to some great examples of other hanging options. One of the options they recommended using 3M Command Hooks. I am not really sure why I didn't think of this myself especially since I have written in a previous post about how I used 3M products to adhere Weston's abacus over the changing table. Once I decided on my game plan and set out to Target to buy the Command Hooks wouldn't you know that they didn't have the ones I wanted? I decided that I would compromise and just use 3M Command Strips and forgo the use of the grommets altogether. While this route might not be quite as aesthetically pleasing as using the little hooks it allowed me to hang the chart quickly, easily, with very little measurement (other than the required 24 inches to the floor), and with NO wall damage.


   Petite Lemon makes growth charts in a variety of colors and patterns for both boys and girls. I can almost guarantee there will be one that suites your tastes. Whether your child's style is plain and simple or more fun and kid oriented, Petite Lemon sells a growth chart for you. They even have growth charts that can be personalized with your families photos.


   Petite Lemon also creates adorable personalized t-shirts, alphabet charts, custom posters and stationary. Their products ship with a few adorable note cards and envelopes for you to use if you are going to give the items as a gift. This is definitely a company worth checking out if you value quality personalized products for the little ones in your life.


 If you would like to enter to win a $50.00 giftcard toward any purchase on the Petite Lemon website. Please enter the rafflecopter below.

Update: This giveaway is over congrats to Mindy! 

   Disclosure: I received a product or products to review. I was  not required to write a positive review. All opinions are %100 my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations. 


Monday, January 28, 2013

Do you Need Help Searching For New Mom Friends?

We can all admit that when your looking for new friends, even Mom friends, it isn't always easy. Head on over the New Orleans Moms Blog today to check out my tips for making new friends.



Friday, January 25, 2013

A Prayer For All Mothers- By Tina Fey


This was written by Tina Fey for her daughter. The hilarity is just a cover for much truth. Although it was written for her daughter I have many of the same hopes, dreams, and worries regarding my son.

 For now I am just trying to let go of all of the thoughts of what is to come as he grows. I am striving to  live in these sweet innocent moments.  Hope you enjoy this...

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Popular Styles For Men's Wedding Rings


Popular Styles For Men’s Wedding Rings



When shopping for wedding ring sets, many couples want their rings to complement each other – not only to look good together, but to symbolize their love and hope for a lifelong union. Wedding rings embody the many traits that marriage is meant to be: beautiful, timeless, strong, precious, and cherished. When it comes to shopping for rings, the groom should put as much time and care into his selection as the bride’s. After all, it’s a symbol that you hope to carry with you for a lifetime.

A huge selection of elegant men’s wedding rings can be found just by doing an internet search for the most popular styles today. You’re sure to find the perfect ring to fit your personal style. Here are a few ideas:

The Traditional Ring

Nothing says classic like the traditional gold band: simple, masculine, and priceless. There’s a reason the gold band is probably the most popular and timeless of all wedding rings for men, and will continue to be near the top of the list for decades to come.

Other Precious Metals

Silver and white gold are also becoming popular for grooms’ wedding rings, as the modern man is more stylish and fashion-conscious. Blended metals, such as silver on gold, are eye-catching and attractive without looking feminine. Another type of metal that’s gaining in popularity is titanium: It’s sleek, ultra-modern, and stunning.

Another option for rings of blended or alternative metals is designing them with engraving or custom designs. Laser-cut etching makes it possible to design patterns that have never before been imagined for rings.

Precious Jewels

Who says having a diamond ring is only meant for the bride’s engagement and wedding bands? Many of today’s styles of wedding rings for men include these and other precious gems, which can be set into the ring for an elegant yet masculine look. Rather than showcasing one large stone in the middle of the ring, as with women’s engagement rings, a popular men’s style is a row of smaller stones around the band – or a few gems that are arranged around an engraved design. Even geometric designs or blocks with jewels of varying sizes look attractive on wedding rings for men.

Custom Designs

Here is where you can let your imagination loose. Especially if you want a matching set with a unique look that showcases your individuality and personal taste, having your ring or set custom designed is a fun and creative option. You can also find a variety of rings online that have been custom-made by designers and are ready to sell. Inscribing your true love’s name or a meaningful personal message into the band of your ring is also a memorable way to customize it and make it special.

There are so many different designs and materials to choose from with wedding rings that it can almost seem overwhelming at first. Keep in mind your own personal style, which type of metal you prefer, whether you want a plain, unadorned look or something more ornate, and whether you want your ring to match your mate’s – and you’ll soon be able to narrow your list down and find the perfect ring to symbolize your union.

                                                                       Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Ology Line- By Walgreens

   
    Did you know that Walgreens recently came out with a new line of personal and household products targeted at those in search of wellness and chemical free living? Their new brand, which debuted this past November, is called Ology. The line is endorsed by Healthy Child Healthy World, one of the nation’s leading independent, non-profit, organizations dedicated to the empowerment of consumers and the protection of children from harmful chemicals. To be quite honest I had never heard of Ology (except bi-ology or sci-ent-ology) until this past week when I headed over to Walgreens to check it out. I set out on a mission to scout out what  products from this line were available, and actually had a really good time with it.



   Weston and I trolled the aisles looking for the distinctive pink, "Ology" labels. The packaging really makes these products stand out. We saw laundry detergent, fabric softener, shampoo, all purpose cleaners, and toilet paper. We smelled all of the personal care products to check to see if we liked the fragrances and were very pleased. We ended up purchasing the toilet paper, the baby shampoo and body wash, as well as the adult conditioner. 

   As far as price goes these products are perhaps a little more expensive than other generic store brands, but the expense is balanced by their quality, chemical free, green products. The toilet paper is made of sugar cane and bamboo husk (the word "suga-butt" may have been tossed around a few times in this house) instead of trees which is pretty cool if you ask me! The hair care products are paraben and sulfate free and did I mention they seriously smell delicious? 



   For the sake of full disclosure you should know that I attempted to buy a shampoo and conditioner (for adults) from the Ology line. I was surprised to find that there was no shampoo on the shelf but the tag was there. I asked the associates if perhaps they had some in the back, but was told that they had all been pulled from the shelves. I contacted the company and was told that the shampoo is in the "...process of being redistributed in order to ensure it meets our high-quality standards and provides the best product available to our customers." I love a company that will admit when something is not perfect, remove it from the shelves, take the loss, and improve the product for the consumer. I think Walgreens and Ology should be applauded for their continued striving for improvement. The smell and quality of the conditioner and baby shampoo are awesome and I am really looking forward to trying the adult shampoo when it is back on the shelf!


  If green, clean, well, living is important to you make sure you check out the Ology line next time you hit up Walgreens. 

 Disclosure I was sent a Walgreen’s gift card for the purposes of obtaining Ology products to review. No other compensation was offered or received. No suggestions or requests to select specific products within the Ology line were offered. I was in no way obligated to write a positive review and all opinions are mine and mine alone. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations. 


Monday, January 21, 2013

EIO CUP- A Review

    

   Ill be the first to admit, we have a sippy cup graveyard. Pictured above are just some of the many cups and spouts that have occupied our home at some point. You would think after trying so many we would have found the perfect one right? Sadly we really haven't succeeded in being 100% happy with any one cup which is why I jumped at the chance to try the EIO cup

EIOKidscup.com


The EIO cup was developed by a Mom who was sick of having a sippy cup graveyard. She was done with the leaking, mismatched tops, and endless parts. She thought of a way to use a regular glass mason jar protected by a silicone sleeve with a simple lid as a training cup. Born was the EIO kids cup. 



This cup is marketed for the age group 18 months and up. Weston is only about 14 months now but I really love that we are able to use this cup as practice. Keep in mind that this cup does not promise, "spill free." There are no gimmicks and no valves. This is a cup for those children who are ready to train to use a regular cup. The great thing about the EIO kids cup is that once your child is ready you can remove the lid and use this as a regular cup. 

Reasons you should buy this cup:

You are ready to help your child to prepare to drink from a regular cup.

This cup is glass and free of BPA/PVC/Phthalates

No cleaning of small parts

No small parts to loose. 

This cup is reusable as your child grows.

Some things to Consider When Deciding If The EIO Cup Is For You:

This cup is not leak proof.

 I like that this cup is glass and chemical free, however, Weston does like to throw things which concerns me. Obviously if we are sitting on the floor together and practicing drinking it is not such a big deal. The idea that he could chuck this cup from the highchair across the room is something I am slightly leary of.  As Weston gets older I think this will be less and less of an issue. 

Update: Giveaway is complete! Congrats to Nicole S. 

Disclosure: I received a product or product(s) to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jack and Lily Shoes- A GIveaway

 
    It can be hard to find seriously cute shoes for baby boys so when I came across Jack and Lily I was really excited. I dare you to check out their website and NOT find a pair that fits your style. Today I am excited to bring you a simple giveaway, no review, just some baby shoe giveaway goodness. Enjoy!



Just eating lunch in my new shoes. 

Update: This giveaway is over Congrats to Brooke T! 

Disclosure: I received a product or product(s) to review for free. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. 

Zoe's Kitchen- A New Restaurant In Elmwood #NOLA

   

      Through my participation over on the New Orleans Moms Blog I was given the opportunity to try out the newly opened Zoe's Kitchen in the Elmwood shopping plaza. I regularly (or as often as I can) attend the gym on that side of town so I am very happy to hear that another establishment that sells healthy food is open!  It is so easy when you are exhausted, lugging a kid, and don't feel like cooking to turn to McDonald's or Wendy's. Zoe's Kitchen gives me another great go to option when I need a quick healthy meal.



  Evan, Weston, and I headed over last Sunday to try the place out. The first thing I noticed was the slogan on the awning. Simple, tasty, fresh! These adjectives really set the tone for our experience. This restaurant is an order at the counter type of establishment. The food is Mediterranean inspired which I love. I ordered the orzo tabouli salad with grilled shrimp on top and we shared a side of hummus and pita. Evan had the chicken roll-up and we chose the kids baked chicken fingers for Weston. The food was light but filling, delicious, and full of flavor. 

Other Unique Positives About Zoe's Kitchen in Elmwood:

They sell very large plastic drink containers and have fountain Diet Coke AND Diet Dr. Pepper (Yay!)


The high chairs are on wheels! Do you know how nice it is to be able to just roll a high chair over to your table instead of holding it in the air?! Then when Weston got fussy we made a game out of sliding the high chair back and forth. He really enjoyed that.


    You can also order dinners for four, they recommend that you order these in advance. These affordable dinners come packaged with rice pilaf, greek salad, and pita bread. They dinners for four range in price from $26.99 to $34.99. I am definitely going to be taking advantage of this deal next time I just can't bring myself to cook. 

If you haven't had the pleasure of checking out Zoe's kitchen yet you should head on over!

1208 S. Clearview Parkway Suite D
Harahan LA 70123


Disclosure: The meal in this post was complimentary, however, all opinions remain 100% my own.  I am disclosing this is accordance with FTC regulations. 



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Great Valentines Gift Ideas From Red Envelope

 

    I am a planner. As you may I have read in my "About Me" tab I really thrive on planning the stuffing out of a trip or a major purchase. It really gives me an inner satisfaction to cross things off my to do list and plan ahead. That being said, I hate it when I leave gift purchases to the last minute. It takes all the fun out of gift buying for me If I am forced to make a game time decision and/or pay the dreaded expedited shipping rates ($29.99? I could buy another whole gift with that!). With Valentines Day on the horizon I have already begun (and finished, yay, happy dance) my plot to find a  gift for my husband. Red Envelope has always been one of my favorite websites for unique gifts so I was uber excited to head back there and check it out.

Here are some of my favorites:

hidden message collar stays
The Hidden Message Collar Stays $39.95

brown natural wooden watch
The Brown Natural Wood Watch $119.95

personalized family rules wall art
The Personalized Family Rules Wall Art $79.95
Although I would totally love this way more than my husband. 

double old-fashioned glasses
Double Old Fashioned Glasses $49.95

I carefully unwrapped and wrapped one glass to give you a sneak peak!

   I really had a tough time deciding between all the awesome products that Red Envelope has available. I toyed with the idea of a more romantic meaningful gift (the collar stays with personal messages), a more practical gift (the watch), or a gift more representative of our family (the artwork).  In the end I chose these personalized Double Old Fashioned Glasses for $49.95. I know my husband will love the heft of the thick glass bottom. You can laugh, but I married a man that really has a great appreciation for good glassware. I know these will make him feel special when he has his occasional glass of scotch.  I made sure to include the gift wrap and card (for an additional $4.95) and was able to even choose specifically what day my present would arrive. I really appreciate being able to know when to expect a package (especially so I can hide it before the husband gets nosy and starts trying to guess what it is). Voila! Mission accomplished. A customized, personal present, wrapped and ready to go!




  If you, like me, really love to have Valentines Day (or any holiday for that matter) all "wrapped up" in advance head on over and give Red Envelope a look! I don't think you will be disappointed! 

   If you would like some help stretching your dollar this Valentines Red Envelope often has some great coupon codes. I would check them out if I were you! 


            Disclosure: I was given the chance to review a complimentary product from Redenvelope.com. I was not required to write a positive review of my               
     experience or the product. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations. 
  



 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snug as a Bug- A Baby and Toddler Giveaway Hop




Thanks for stopping by the Snug as a Bug Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. With the cooler weather upon us, I’ve decided to join with over 30 other bloggers to bring you great products to keep your baby snug (and happy) as a bug!


Each blogger participating has a great Baby/Toddler Prize Package for you to win, worth at least $25, so after you enter mine, make sure to continue on your way hopping around to all the others!  Don’t forget to enter to win the GRAND PRIZE as well!



So lets get down to business....Mrs. Mommy Product Blogger is giving away not one but two prizes to one lucky winner!



The winner will win a copy of The Survival Guide For Rookie Moms AND a Melissa and Doug Rumble Rattle Push Toy. This is a total prize package valued at $84.14.



The Survival Guide for Rookie Moms is a great read for any new Mom. A little technical, a touch of fun, a ton of honesty, and a lot of knowledge it is certainly not to be missed! You can read more about The Survival Guide For Rookie Moms in my review.







The Melissa and Doug Rumble Rattle Push Toy scored a triple A plus with my boy. He ran with it, he turned it over, he climbed it, and he even tested the wheels. It rumbles, it rattles, it rolls. What's not to love? It is also made of beautiful durable wood and is a toy to be passed on to generations to come (I expect nothing less of Melissa and Doug)!


Please enter the rafflecopter below to win both of the above listed fabulous prizes!



UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Alicia O. 


Disclosure: I received a product or product(s) to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.  Additionally, According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, and the Snug as a Bug participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.




Monday, January 14, 2013

My Introduction....On Another Blog!

    Hey all, I know I mentioned before that I was doing a little guest contributing over on The New Orleans Moms Blog. You may (or may not) have checked out my post on how to save money on baby products. I am excited to announce that after that post I was asked to join them on a more permanent basis. I am now going to be a regular Contributor! Woohoooo. This group of ladies have really blown me out of the water with their candor, intelligence, and ability to connect to their readers. I must admit that for a while now they have had me crying reading their posts at least once a week. I am honored to join them (and hopeful I can keep up the with their high standards).

You can head on over there today to see my official introduction.


New Orleans Moms Blog



HAPPY MONDAY TO ALL!





Coffee and Tea Revue- Bettasnax Review



Welcome to the Coffee & Tea Revue Giveaway Hop hosted by A Year of Jubilee Reviews!!
The cool mornings and dark nights of January call for some nice warm drinks! There are so many wonderful coffee and tea companies accessible to us online, that we decided to put together a hop using some of our favorites. Each of these blogs are offering a giveaway valued at least $20 of coffee and/or Tea products!! Yay for two weeks of coffee and tea fun! This giveaway is running from Jan 14-28, so there is lots of time to check out all of the giveaways.

I am super excited to be a part of this unique giveaway hop! My sponsor for this giveaway hop is Bettasnax.  As a Mom who has to chase a budding toddler around I have grown to need my coffee in the morning. I came across Bettasnax and have really enjoyed having a slightly sweet, all natural treat, to enjoy in the mornings with my iced coffee. 


Bettasnax is a company that started as a  Floridian family baking up some seriously delish snacks. Now they are a major business that creates these high quality bite size almond biscotti. Made of only premium ingredients such as real egg whites, unbleached flour, and whole California Almonds these are quite the tasty treats. And Moms you don't have to worry, Bettasnax are free of preservatives, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and have no added fat. 


Although I love my Bettasnax with coffee some other ways to enjoy are as a snack on the run, with gelato, or even with some fun cheeses. I imagine these would be out of this world with some goat cheese and wine!

If you would like to purchase Bettasnax you can find them at a variety of specialty stores or on Amazon.com 

To win 5 bags of Bettasnax please enter the rafflecopter below. 



UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Nicole W. 

Disclosure: I received a product or product(s) to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  adisclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. 


Friday, January 11, 2013

Mahalia Jackson Theater- A Different Kind Of New Orleans Date Night

    Since we arrived in New Orleans our date nights have been few and far between. In fact, I am pretty sure I can count them on one hand. When Evan and I have had the chance to make it out for a little adult time it seems that we automatically gravitate towards all the food, drinks, festivals, and friends that this city has to offer us. While there is nothing wrong with the aforementioned things I have been getting antsy about adding some more, "culture" into our date nights.




  I recently discovered that we have a theater of the preforming arts here in New Orleans, that offers a variety of major productions throughout the year. In fact there is an entire series of Broadway shows going on right now that are being sponsored by East Jefferson General Hospital.  I was really salivating when I found out that the 2006 Tony Award winning musical, JERSEY BOYS is playing. If you haven't heard of JERSEY BOYS it's the story of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons. It has been described as, "...the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history." The music is supposed to be incredible!! 


   This is quite simply not a low budget or novice show. It is just the opposite actually! It is Directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Des McAnuff, JERSEY BOYS won the 2006 Tony® Award for Best Musical, the 2006 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia), and continues to break box office records on Broadway and across North America. JERSEY BOYS worldwide has been seen by approximately 14 million people (as of January, 2012). JERSEY BOYS is written by Academy Award®-winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

If you would like to see a few highlights from the show you can check it out here:

If you would like to see JERSEY BOYS as much as I, make it a priority in your life. Pick a day, schedule a sitter, and buy your tickets. Tickets start at Tickets prices start at $34.75 and are available at the Mahalia Jackson Theater Box Office, BroadwayInNewOrleans.com, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 1.800.982.2787 (ARTS). VIP ticket packages are also available for all performances. For groups of 10 or more, please call 504.287.0372. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to chance without notice. For more information, please visit JerseyBoysTour.com or BroadwayInNewOrleans.com.

The dates this show is available are as follows:

Saturday, January 12, 2013:         2:00PM, 8:00PM
Sunday, January 13, 2013:            2:00PM, 7:30PM
Tuesday, January 15, 2013:          8:00PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2013:   8:00PM
Thursday, January 17, 2013:         8:00PM
Friday, January 18, 2013:               8:00PM
Saturday, January 19, 2013:         2:00PM, 8:00PM
Sunday, January 20, 2013:            2:00PM, 7:30PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2013:          8:00PM
Wednesday, January 23, 2013:   8:00PM
Thursday, January 24, 2013:         2:00PM, 8:00PM
Friday, January 25, 2013:               8:00PM
Saturday, January 26, 2013:         2:00PM, 8:00PM
Sunday, January 27, 2013:            2:00PM


   Other shows coming to the Mahalia Jackson Theater (in 2013) that I am really looking forward to include :
Flashdance February 26-March 3, 2013

Million Dollar Quartet April 16-21, 2013

Wicked May 8-June 2, 2013

  

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