Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Walk In Faith

"They said I couldn't have it, but God said it's mine. They said I couldn't make it, but God said He'll open doors..." (Carr, They Said, but God Said)

It was difficult to find support and encouragement in my creative pursuits. Yet, once I put my faith completely into my Father’s hands, doors began to open in a way I never would have imagined. My dreams are beginning to take flight into reality. Last month my schedule was consumed with creative assignments.  Here I share with you some of the projects I was working on including, a chest dresser and two small nightstands; each piece of furniture was hand-painted with acrylic paints. Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Also, I apologize in advance for the poor image resolution, but you can thank Apple for that; I used my iphone 4 to take the pictures.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sticky Note It

We are women. We bend. We don't break. 
We know this. 
Yet, sometimes we need a reminder, 
so here it is; 
your sticky note for the week, your reminder of just how strong you are. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

I'm Back

Please excuse me for my absence, but my spirit needed renewal. Now, I am back and I am better than ever. Thank you all for your support and a special thank you to my prayer warriors - Prayer Request

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Prayer Request

I ask all of my women of faith to keep me in their prayers. I am going through a powerful storm and I need the support of my sisters. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Extra Mustard Please

I hope all of you have been enjoying your summer. We're more than half way through, so if you haven't already: take a trip to the crowded public pool around the corner, blast that classic Summer Summer Summertime music with your car windows down, wear your shortest shorts and your highest high-heel sandals, eat a hot dog, go to a festival,  build a sand castle, host a barbecue, smell the lilies - they're in full bloom now, and most importantly soak in the sun.  

Image Source: 1

Friday, July 12, 2013

Waiting on Success?

"I couldn't wait for success
so I went ahead without it."

- Jonathan Winters

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Built This Body To Relax In

 My Weight Loss Journey:
My New Lifestyle
“No one wakes up in the morning and says, 'I want to gain 150 pounds and I will start right now!’” (Cunningham) It sneaks up on you – the pounds – and before you know it your scale suddenly must be broken. When I was 184 pounds (seen below) I knew my scale was not broken; although I wish it was. Truthfully, I knew the only thing that was broken was my spirit. Once, I muscled up enough courage to stop feeling sorry for myself and take action, my journey began. It was not easy.

The pounds slowly crept on and off. Today, almost five years later and over 50 pounds lighter, I am still on my journey. When I tell people how much I use to weigh they’re usually in disbelief and they tend to ask “What did you do,” so I figured I would share my story.

The day it all started, the day I decided to go to the gym was the same day I declared a change. I did not wait. I did not say tomorrow, or next week, or next month; as soon as I was ready for a change, that same day, I walked myself straight into the gym. I stayed on one machine, the elliptical machine, barely 30 minutes before grabbing my empty water bottle and leaving the gym in a hot sweat. I told myself that night that, “If I am going to this thing, I am going to do it right.” I mentally prepared myself for the challenge that I knew was ahead of me. Those 30 minutes were difficult, but eventually – with time – 30 minutes turned into 40, which turned into 50. The process was demanding. However, over the course of time my body became conditioned, and my minutes spent at the gym extended well over an hour.

Gradually, I incorporated healthier eating habits. When stopping for a quick bite to eat at McDonalds I no longer order cheeseburgers, fries, and sodas; instead, I opt for salads and water. I noticed that the healthier I ate, the longer my stride, the faster my pace and the more energy I had for running – an activity I always relished in before the weight gain. Shortly thereafter, I hired a trainer – P90X. Although, P90X is an exercise program, it felt more like a trainer yelling "bring it" than a set of dvd’s with strategic workout routines.

Today, my goals have shifted. Weight is no longer the focal point. Now, I am concentrating on simply maintaining my health and toning my body. I eat foods I enjoy in moderation and track my calories. Yes, I am a calorie counter. Counting my calories has helped me maintain my figure while keeping me accountable for my actions. When logging my calories I consider how well or poor my eating habits have been; if I notice that there were one too many calories, especially due to sweets or fried foods I make sure not to skip a workout or I tend to stay an extra 30 minutes in the gym.

Click here, to learn more about calories!

 Moreover, I constantly research and familiarize myself with significant developments in fitness and health to assist me with my fitness goals.   

Additionally, I have immersed myself in numerous activities. As mentioned in, Work it Out, I have found it to be extremely refreshing and exciting to engage in different exercises and activities like: African dance, Brazilian dance, bellydance, running, swimming, yoga, Zumba, spin, etc. 

I believe the key to loosing weight and staying healthy is: courage, determination, support, and health/fitness awareness. Without courage I would not have been able to take the first step towards my journey and without determination I would have stopped a long time ago. Furthermore, the fitness awareness I have acquired along with the support of others has been critical in the maintenance of my health.   

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strangled By These Laces

(by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

I was seven years old, when I got my first pair
And I stepped outside
And I was like, "Momma, this air bubble right here,
  it's gonna make me fly"
I hit back-court and when I jumped, I jumped, I swear I got so high
I touched the net, "Mom, I touched the net," this is the best day of my life

Air Max's were next,
That air bubble, that mesh
The box, the smell, the stuffin', the tread,
In school
I was so cool
I knew that I couldn't crease 'em
My friends couldn't afford 'em
Four stripes on their Adidas
On the court I wasn't the best, but my kicks were like the pros
Yo, I stick out my tongue so everyone could see that logo
Nike Air Flight, but bad was so dope
And then my friend Carlos' brother got murdered for his Fours*, whoa

See he just wanted a jump shot, but they wanted to start a cult though
Didn't wanna get caught, from Genesee Park to Othello
You could clown for those Pro Wings, with the Velcro
Those were not tight
I was trying to fly without leaving the ground,
Cause I wanted to be like Mike, right
Wanted to be him,
I wanted to be that guy, I wanted to touch the rim
I wanted to be cool, and I wanted to fit in,
I wanted what he had, America, it begins

I want to fly
Can you take me far away?
Give me a star to reach for
Tell me what it takes
And I'll go so high
I'll go so high
My feet won't touch the ground
I stitch my wings
And pull the strings
I bought these dreams
That all fall down

We want what we can't have, commodity makes us want it
So expensive, damn, I just got to flaunt it
Got to show 'em, so exclusive, this that new shit
A hundred dollars for a pair of shoes I would never hoop in
Look at me, look at me, I'm a cool kid
I'm an individual, yeah, but I'm part of a movement
My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it
They told me to just do it, I listened to what that swoosh said
Look at what that swoosh did
See it consumed my thoughts
Are you stupid, don't crease 'em, just leave 'em in that box
Strangled by these laces, laces I can barely talk
That's my air bubble and I'm lost if it pops
We are what we wear, we wear what we are
But see I look inside the mirror and think Phil Knight tricked us all
Will I stand for change or stay in my box
These Nikes help me define me, 
but I'm trying to take mine, off

I want to fly
Can you take me far away?
Give me a star to reach for
Tell me what it takes
And I'll go so high
I'll go so high
My feet won't touch the ground
I stitch my wings
And pull the strings
I bought these dreams
That all fall down

It started out with what I wear to school
That first day, like these are what make you cool
And this pair, this would be my parachute
So much more than just a pair of shoes
Nah, this is what I am
What I wore, this is the source of my youth
This dream that they sold to you
For a hundred dollars and some change
Consumption is in the veins
And now I see it's just another pair of shoes

Click here, to hear it and for
 a better comprehension!

Sources: 1, 2

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cigarettes And Whiskey


Cigarettes And Whisky 
And Wild, Wild Women

Perhaps I was born kneeling,
born coughing on the long winter,
born expecting the kiss of mercy,
born with a passion for quickness
and yet, as things progressed,
I learned early about the stockade
or taken out, the fume of the enema.
By two or three I learned not to kneel,
not to expect, to plant my fires underground
where none but the dolls, perfect and awful,
could be whispered to or laid down to die.

Now that I have written many words,
and let out so many loves, for so many,
and been altogether what I always was—
a woman of excess, of zeal and greed,
I find the effort useless.
Do I not look in the mirror,
these days,
and see a drunken rat avert her eyes?
Do I not feel the hunger so acutely
that I would rather die than look
into its face?
I kneel once more,
in case mercy should come
in the nick of time.

(Anne Sexton, Cigarettes And Whisky 
And Wild, Wild Women)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Planning A Party

Home Party Decor Ideas
As many of you may already know, I am a jewelry designer – I design and create jewelry for Pure Love (click here to learn more).  Next month, Saturday, June 1, 2013, I will be hosting an exclusive event for Pure Love at my home. The process has been demanding.  I have been busy stocking my inventory, revamping my brand, promoting/ marketing my jewelry line, creating new strategic services, and developing effective packaging; now, my time has been consumed with decorating my home – indoor and outdoor space – on a budget. Here I share with you a few images that have inspired my d├ęcor for the event. Tell me what you think! 

click here for DIY!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Work It Out

What's your work-out looking like?
Hopefully, your work-out's are constantly changing; they should be fresh and exciting. "Finding an exercise routine that you like doing and are able to do may take a lot of time and dedication, and you may think this routine will help you get rid of all your excess weight. In the beginning, you may notice that you're shedding pounds and the exercise routine pays off. However, after a few months, you may start to stagnate at the same weight, even if you do the same amount of exercise and you stick to your dietary restrictions. The reason for this is simple: with the repetition of the same type of workout, your body will get used to the exercise routine and will consume less energy.

If you change up the exercise routine, your body will be continually challenged and it will burn more calories, resulting in a more successful weight loss...[Furthermore,] some experts believe that it can be helpful to change up your workout routine on a daily basis and perform a different type of workout each day. However, even if you change your routine once every two or four weeks, you may see better results than if you maintain your regular routine unaltered. Your body will have to work harder and you will also avoid repetitiveness." (Fit Day

Yet, you should never stop doing a work-out that you enjoy. Personally, I have found Bellydance and West African Dance to be enjoyable, spiritually uplifting, and a great work-out; however, after months of participating in these dance classes I noticed that I was not using as much energy. My body was getting use to the various dance moves. Instead of completely altering my work-out routine to something more challenging I simply added other fresh and exciting exercise routines: sometimes I practice Kenpo, other times I run, swim, and do Yoga. Also, I tend to find myself taking other high energy dance classes like Zumba, Brazillian Dance, and Hip Hop Dance.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Eggshell Planters
I found this environmentally friendly gardening idea off of Coastal Environmental Partnership's (CEP) blog, here. It's simple! Just "use empty eggshells for sprouting seedlings, then compost the whole set-up when you're done." (CEP)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Taylor's Liberation

The Art of Nathan Jalani Taylor
Nathan Jalani Taylor is a successful visual artist, painter, graphic designer and art director from Rockford, Illinois. His work is powerful and expressive with semi-abstract figures, vibrant colors, and bold marks. While, Taylor’s use of colors and lines are striking, his underlining theme of liberation is more compelling – at least to me. Here I share with you some of my favorite Nathan Jalani Taylor illustrations.

Soul Growth

Destiny City

Nectar of Life


Elephas Maximus

The Universe Within

Lady of the Vine

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Following Your Dreams

"Simply following your dreams is not enough. 
You must stalk them, grab them
hold them captive and run alongside them.
 Kidnap them if you must. 
You'll thank yourself later." 

- SadeCru

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pass The Kool-Aid

The Beauty Department always equips us with helpful beauty tips; they first assisted us with learning The Fishatil Braid technique and now their helping us achieve a fabulous yet tasty lip stain for the summer...with Kool-Aid. Yes, Kool-Aid! According to The Beauty Department Kool-Aid was meant to stain lips; they claim it really works and it lasts. Try it! Here's how:

1. Pick Your Flavor 
You can pick your flavor using the guide below or mix a couple to find your perfect hue:
Cherry = Orange Red
Tropical Punch = Bright Red
Peach Mango = Peach
Pink Lemonade = Barbie Pink
Strawberry Kiwi = Light Red
Grape = Purple
Then pour it into a little bowl or simply use the packet as your container.

2. Dampen Your Finger 
After, you have dampen your finger with very little water or a simple lick, press your finger in the powder to pick up one coat.

3. Rub Your Finger 
Rub the Kool-Aid all over your lips.Try not to eat it immediately ;)

4. Dampen a Q-tip 
Dampen a Q-tip to go back over it and smooth out any clumps or uneven edges. And that's it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Over the Odor

Vaginal Odor
Let’s be frank with another; shall we? I know that many of you think, want, and even wish that your vagina emitted smells of an enchanted garden or some type of sweet treat out of a candy shop, but it never will happen – at least not naturally.  

Vaginas naturally have a smell and it’s not flowery nor is it fruity. “Don't believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals when it's supposed to smell like pussy,” says Eva Ensler, award-winning author of the Vagina Monologues.  They’re simply trying to clean it up. “That's what they're doing -- trying to clean it up, make it smell like bathroom spray or a garden. All those douche sprays -- floral, berry, rain. I don't want my pussy to smell like rain.” (Eva Ensler)

Most doctors agree that your vaginal odor depends largely on your daily activities and your diet. Jennifer Wider, MD in Cosmopolitan’s 6 Vaginal Odors to Put on Your Radar reveals parallel findings to Lissa Rankin, MD in Blogher’s How Are Vaginas Supposed To Smell. Apparently a healthy vagina can smell musky, bleachy, tinny, or sweet while, an unhealthy vagina can smell fishy or yeasty. To elaborate:

A healthy vagina can smell musky from the surrounding sweat glands, especially after intense workouts like an exhausting spin class or a marathon; this is normal.

Jennifer Wider, MD tells Cosmopolitan that, “If your vagina gives off a strong, foul odor, it may be the sign of an infection. For example, bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria and upsets the delicate PH balance of the vagina, causing an increase in discharge and a strong fishy odor that increases after you've had sex. A foul odor with green discharge typically indicates trichomoniasis, an STD. So, if you just don't smell right, trust your instinct and see your doctor.”

A healthy vagina may smell like bleach or “chlorine-like” after sexual intercourse; this may be a result of the lubricants you use during intercourse, and whether or not you used a condom.   

While it is normal for us women to have small amounts of yeast in our vagina, yeast infections occur when there's an overgrowth. Lissa Rankin, MD tells Blogher readers that “When yeast overgrows in the vagina, you may smell like freshly baked-bread or a good malt beer.”

If you are menstruating or pregnant you may notice that your vagina smells like blood or flinty-iron. Jennifer Wider, MD says that “When you have your period, the blood can mix with the natural state of a healthy vagina and give off a different—but normal—smell.” Furthermore,  the “American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) reports that around 9 out of every 10 women experience an unusual vaginal odor during pregnancy. The reason, is normally harmless, and caused solely by the immense amount of hormone secretions and overworking sebaceous sweat glands in the vaginal area that are stimulated into a frenzy during pregnancy.” (Natty, 2013)

Lastly, but not least your vagina may smell sweet – not like a sweet treat from a candy shop, but more ambrosial; this is largely due to the types of food you eat. While, citrus fruits like oranges, pineapple, and grapefruit have been known to sweeten the smell and taste of vaginal fluids, onions, garlic, broccoli, and asparagus have been known to cause "unpleasant" odors and tastes. Hence, nutrition is important to combating unpleasant vaginal odors.  

Probiotic Pineapple Popsicle
Dr. Lisa Masterson of the award-winning talk show The Doctors along with her "V-Team" suggests eating a probiotic pineapple popsicle for fragrant vaginal health.

Here's what you'll need (seen above, clockwise): plain non-fat yogurt, strawberries, pineapples, and bananas. The directions are quite simple: you cut up the fruit to your liking (preferably small to medium size); next, you mix the fruit into a bowl of plain non-fat yogurt; then you place the mix into popsicle molds; lastly, freeze, eat , and enjoy. (**NOTE: You can use as much or as little of each ingrediant as you like, just be sure to use more yogurt than fruit.)
See here for more details. 

Other things you can do to minimize vaginal odor are:
– Wear clean underwear made of cotton, so that your vagina can breathe. It is also recommended, at least by my doctor, to sometimes sleep without underwear, so that your vagina can breathe more. 
– Avoid tight clothing.
– Bathe regularly using warm water and mild soap to clean the vaginal area. Make sure to avoid scented female products and douches to clean the vagina.
– Change pads and tampons regularly when menstruating.
– Use barrier methods of birth control if semen causes you a problem.
– Always wipe front to back after bowel movements.
– Avoid spicy and starchy foods as well as alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
– As discussed, you should be sure to include fresh fruits as well as leafy vegetables into your diet; make it a habit.
– Eat yogurt daily. Yogurt is full of live and active cultures which can balance the delicate flora (good bacteria) of your vagina.
– Urinate and wash immediately after sex to flush bacteria from the vaginal area.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 Color of the Year

Trend Alert: Emerald Green 
“Each year Pantone, the color guru’s of America for the past 50 years, alongside style experts and fashion influencers decide what color should be trending across the globe. This collection of psycho-sociological color musings from the experts will literally determine what color Tom Ford gown Beyonce wears to the Oscars. Last year it was Tangerine Tango, the year before that…Honeysuckle, and before that it was Turquoise. This year, Pantone’s color of the year for 2013 is Emerald.” (Alexander, December 12, 2012)

I couldn’t be any happier. Green –  known to be the color of growth, harmony, and balance –  is my favorite color. As you can see in the image above I love green so much so that my bedroom walls are painted in a bold shade of it. While, I do not tend to follow the trends, I will be following this one. What about you?  

Are you rocking this trend? 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papam

History In The Making  
Today, after a fast conclave, the Catholic church has elected a new sheperd - the 266th pontiff - following the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.  The Roman Catholic cardinals elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio (seen above) of Buenos Aires, Argentina as Pope Francis I to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. While, I am not Catholic, I share in their joy and hope for the future. Congratulations and Deus benedixerim!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Calories Are...

"It's math not magic! 17 gummy bears (which can be eaten in 20 seconds – we scientifically tested this last night) = 140 calories! By definition a calorie is 'the energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.' The important word to take away from this definition is ENERGY. Calories are ENERGY that fuel our bodies; much like gasoline fuels our cars. It takes an excess of 3500 calories to gain 1 lb. of fat. To lose weight you need to use/burn more calories then you consume.

How many calories do I need to maintain my weight? For sedentary people: Weight x 14 = estimated cal/day. For people who are moderately active: Weight x 17 = estimated cal/day. For active people: Weight x 20 = estimated cal/day. To achieve a weight loss of 1 pound per week, you need to take the above number that you arrived at and subtract 500. Now, put down the gummy bears, pull out the calculator and find your number. Knowledge is power!" (HBWG)

Saturday, March 2, 2013


“In this world there is no force equal to
 the strength of a woman determined to rise” 

-W.E.B. Dubois

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tip Yourself

Workout Tip Jar
If you need a little motivation or an extra push to workout here's a great idea that may help you. Create a Workout Tip Jar! After each workout, tip yourself one dollar. After 100 workouts, treat yourself with something calorie-free. Another option is to tip yourself a dollar each time you workout with a goal weight in mind. Once you have reached your goal weight you could treat yourself to something truly special. There's a number of ways to make this idea work for you. Try it!

Source: 1

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Yourself

These Are the Ways to Love Yourself 
"Forgive yourself the nights you climb into bed full-face of makeup, too tired to take it off. forgive yourself the days when one latte is not enough, when the two major food groups are coffee and sugar. forgive yourself that one night when at two a.m. you woke to use the bathroom and inhaled an entire chocolate bar instead. forgive the time spent with a man you now have not one nice thing to say about. and forgive just how long it took to get over him. he was not good and not kind and he is not your fault. 

keep some secrets closer. forgive yourself for actually loving the gentle curve of your hips. and to hell with a society which suggests you might not or should not. they herald your womanhood, the man you marry will lose himself in them, they will hoist groceries and children. they are sturdy--anchoring you firmly to this earth. 

forgive the nights you cannot sleep--sadness or some unnamed force pressing heavy on your chest. forgive the mistakes of the last several years. so you made them. okay. enough. move on. the mistakes and the fault-lines, they are the foundation. forgive yourself that you did not choose an easier path. and forgive yourself the sadness you caused those around you. the broken-promises and cutting words and the things left unsaid. fear was large and biting. forgive the anger you feel. feel it and then look again with kinder eyes. forgive yourself for not handling it all better, for feeling like you let others down. the path is not done, the road is not finished, why are you trying so hard to rush the whole thing? celebrate the fact that your story has some major departures.

go ahead and use that expensive serum that promises to diminish those fine lines. protect and preserve your skin. but when the day does come when forehead creases no longer fade into the background, give thanks. humanity made visible! you will be loved all the more for this. you will love yourself all the more for this. 

and please, for the love of all that is good and holy forgive yourself for loving a man who cannot love you back. love him anyway. send that love into the world and let it fill you up. the only way to know the story is to go out and and write it. live your way into it. ferociously. begin to live and work and fight and love with an unparalleled ferocity. let fear dictate nothing. unfurl your chest, you have all the armor you'll ever need. see with wide eyes and don't forget to laugh." (These Are the Ways to Love Yourself. (to Forgive)., Meg Fee)

Self love is one of the most important love's to have, so weather you have a man or not remember that the best Valentine's Day gift you could receive today is from yourself.  

Art by Rhonda Gray

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Quirky Details

Pom Poms
There's something quirky about pom poms. I don't know what it is exactly, but when attached to clothing/ jewelry pom poms seem to exude quirkiness. Although, I tend to like odd details in my closet, I have never liked the oddness of pom poms. I would much rather incorporate classic tassels into my wardrobe than balls of fluff. However, I may be singing to a new tune this spring. Click here to see why! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Betty & Coretta

"Behind Every Great Man is an 
Even Greater Woman" 
The phenomenal women behind two great men – Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, and Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – finally get their true stories told in “Betty & Coretta,” a Lifetime movie set to premier today, February 2, 2013 at 8/7:00 c. According to Lifetime, “When Betty and Coretta’s husbands were tragically assassinated, these two women not only inherited the mantle of the civil rights movement in America, each also found herself to be a single mother who had to find a way to raise and support their children with no husband or father, which resulted in a friendship like no other that spanned more than three decades.”

Their story arrives at the most appropriate time. Black History Month has just begun and I couldn't think of a better way to start than with a movie focused on the lives of two strong black women. Will you be watching? 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Design Trends 2013

According to Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Decor, there are five hot trends that will define the year ahead including: brass accents, the color green, embellished walls, lace details, and the color beige. Here I share with Boodro's design predictions for 2013.

1. Brass Accents 
(and lots of it)
"With its rich gleam and sculptural weight, this metal is experiencing a resurgence. With so many designers looking to the '70s, it's inevitable that brass and bronze will show up more—from accessories by Carl Aubock to cocktail tables by Gabriella Crespi to virtually entire rooms by Kelly Wearstler, brass is the metal of the moment."
2. Green
(in various shades)
"Pantone named Emerald the Color of the Year for 2013, but we're seeing all shades of greens and expect more in the future, from bright spring greens to olives, and especially lots of different blue-greens and teal."

3. Embellished Walls
"[Boodro] expects this trend, already strong, to continue at full strength. The options now are limitless, from simple grass cloths to hand-painted papers to coverings embellished with glass beads and crystals.

4. Lace Details 
"...Already big on the runways, lace is showing up in the home collections of Zara and H&M, so you know it's ready for its close-up. Count on seeing lots more see-through in the months ahead."

5. Beige
"A surprise, but it's showing up more often, and in quieter room settings. The danger here is going corporate bland, but very talented designers are using a variety of shades of cream, off-white, and yes, beige in a variety of textures to create serene settings." 
 Click here, to see more!
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