Holiday Pillow Tutorial

03 December 2018

I know, I know. How dare I disappear all November!  I'll have to do a catch up post on my whereabouts because November was by far the busiest month of 2018 for me.  From my bachelorette party, to mine and Martin's new home, to fixing up the house, to continuing the wedding process to Thanksgiving...I mean there was just no time for anything else!  Things have chilled out a bit and I woke up this morning with the intention of taking time today to do something that didn't feel like a chore.  Obviously that would involve my sewing machine or some kind of craft, so a trip to Jo-Ann's and twenty minutes later, and voila I created a new holiday pillow.  You guys know I love to post my DIY's on here so let's talk about how I made this so you guys can make one too!

Breakfast at Tiffany's Costume

22 October 2018

It's honestly no joke Holly Golightly is a movie icon and one of my favorite fictional characters EVER.  A few years ago, I created Holly's iconic sleeping mask in a DIY post and figured I'd put a whole costume together for my Halloween series!  I've seriously had this mask hanging by my bed this entire time and never thought about putting together a costume until this year - better late than never!  

Easy Bourbon Apple Cider Recipe

18 October 2018

 Did someone say bourbon?  One second let me take a sip.  With the weather cooling down and scary movies dominating my TV, I'm constantly in the mood to cozy up to a fall drink.  So, when Heritage Distilling Co. sent me two bottles of their Brown Sugar Bourbon, I immediately knew exactly what I wanted to make - Bourbon Apple Cider.  Can I get a HELL YES!?  This recipe is extremely easy to make and tastes so yummy.  I've had a ton of bourbon in my life, but this bottle is one of my top favorites for how sweet and versatile it is.  It's honestly no joke that BSB is an award winning bottle so please do yourselves a favor and try it.  Do you have to only use BSB to make this recipe?  No, but I do highly recommend it due to how rich the flavor is.  Trust, even my sister who only likes wine loved this stuff.  Alright, let's get into how to make this three step fall favorite drink.

Pretty Woman Costume

08 October 2018

This is Halloween, this is Halloween!  I can't even believe I'm writing this because it doesn't even seem real that we're THIS into the year.  Super excited though because I have a lot to look forward to from now until the end of the year and into the next year.  Anyway, I received a ton of requests and questions on whether I was going to come back with another Halloween costume tutorial series and here I am, bringing it back for a second year woohoo!  So let's get into my first costume of this series, Ms. Vivian Ward of Pretty Woman.  Here's what you need and how to make this COMPLETELY with just scissors and a glue gun - you're welcome non-sewers!

Our Family Trip to Big Bear

07 October 2018

Hey hey! Last month, Martin and I took our boy, Nacho, on his first family trip to Big Bear, CA. This place is so special to Martin and I because it was the place where we got engaged just last November. For his birthday this year, he said he wanted to take a mini trip out there but had one request - we had to take the dog. Obviously that's not a problem to me at all because Martin and I love Nacho more than we love each other (lol), the only issue was actually having to browse dog-friendly places in Big Bear! A quick search was all we needed to pull this off but actually being there helped a lot, so, I figured I'd put together a list of where we stayed, where we walked and where we dined in Big Bear as a family of three. K let's do this!

My Fall Fashion Preview

05 September 2018

Told you guys I'd be back soon enough!  Can we just talk about how excited I am for fall!? It's my favorite season and just everything that comes along with it is so fun.  There are a few things I'm especially excited about this next season but the one thing I'm the most excited about is to bring back my DIY Halloween Costume Series.  I've already started brewing up some ideas and I'm super stoked to see what I come up with! Aside from this, I'm excited to bring out my neutral tones and dress up in fall colors, even if it'll probably be a solid 80 degrees until the end of the year haha.

What I've Been Up To

03 September 2018

Outfit by Morning Lavender
Shop it Here

Hi again!  So it's been like two months since I've actually written a post here and about three months since I've actually sat down to plan out content.  All summer long, I was out and about planning mine and Martin's wedding and making life moves that I just felt like I couldn't do it all - you know what I mean?  I still kept in touch via Instagram, but there's nothing like giving this blog my all, so I had to take a quick break to then come back to it.  Honestly, I'm excited to be writing again and planning out content for the rest of the year! I couldn't have come back during a more special time, which is the beginning of the holiday season.  To be completely transparent, I was really dreading September 1st because I knew this would only speed up the wedding process, but now I'm not fearful at all!  So, in this post, I wanted to play catch up and update you all on what I've been up to, where I've been and what I'm looking forward to the most next!  Alright, let's get to the nitty gritty. 

Three Must-Have Summer Items

05 July 2018

Hey guys!  Boy, is it summer or is it summer?  We're experiencing a rad heat wave this week and I'm definitely feelin' it.  I tried to curl my hair this morning and it all just fell flat, so basically, I'll be rocking beach hair all summer!  Aside from just heat this new season brings, I look forward to longer nights, a change in wardrobe and the yearn to participate in fun activities.  For example, every summer I feel like I say I want to get out to the beach more and then kind of fail, so this summer will be the one for change!  Along with cool activities I want to take part in, I've come to cultivate a list of three must-haves that coincidentally directly tie into my favorite summer plans haha.  In honor of that, in this post I'm sharing my three must-have items that you might want/need as well!  Okay, let's count them down.

Radish Toast Recipe

20 June 2018

Shop these Caskata plates here
Hey there!  I'm back with an easy, summer recipe that I highly recommend.  We've seen eggs on toast, avocado on toast, bacon and tomato on toast and just about everything else, but is it just me or have I been hiding under a rock somewhere that I haven't tried radish on toast yet??  If you're on my same boat listen up!  I saw this recipe in a book a long time ago and never gave it a try until this week.  Let's get real, I never really cared about radishes so I'm actually shocked I enjoyed this haha.  The recipe to make this doesn't require a ton, just:

Floral Wreath Tutorial

19 June 2018

Hey guys!  I have another fun tutorial for you all.  Floral wreath's have been my muse as of late and absolutely love them as home decor or I know lately I've seen them at tons of events.  With wedding planning coming along, I've definitely been in the trenches of finding inspiration for cool decorations and when I came about a Pinterest photo of a bunch of wreath's all lined up together, I just fell in love for a hot second.  Not sure if I'll actually use any, but it was still fun to put a wreath together to share with any other brides out there who would like to make their own.  The cool thing about these wreath's are they don't only have to be used for weddings or event purposes, they can totally be rocked as home decor.  In these photos, I hung the wreath right over my niece's crib and thought it looked too cute.  Anyway, let's go over what you need and how to make something like this!

How to Make Frosé This Summer

11 June 2018

Hey there! Summer is DAYS away and it finally feels more like it here in Orange County.  It's been about 80 degrees since Friday and I'm loving it.  With all this heat, it's so nice to enjoy a refreshing cocktail or drink of your choice and for some reason, all I wanted on Sunday was frosé.  If you're not familiar with this drink yet, it's frozen rosé that you won't regret haha.  Trust me on this one, friends - you have to try it!  Anyway, because I wanted it so bad, I made my own and really liked it.  The recipe is super simple so go ahead and start thanking me now.  Here's how to make it:

My Target Style

30 May 2018

Hey friends!  So it's no joke there is a huge Target obsession that took over out of no where.  I can't even remember when the "went to Target for soap, left with a thousand things" meme started but it is so true and I am not even mad about it.  One thing I do remember though was associating Target clothing to "not good enough" when I was in middle school because a girl younger than me wore Massimo jeans and I'm not even sure who said it, I overheard it, but some other chick said something mean about this girl because she wore Target brand jeans.  Ew some girls are so awful!  Well, joke is on whoever said that because Target is EVERYTHING.  So much so that my entire outfit in this post is from Target!

How To Make a Bow Hair Tie

28 May 2018

Hey guys!  Just wanted to pop in and give written instructions on how to make this easy bow hair tie. I've seen them all over the place and think they're so cute for the beach, pool or just to step your hair game up.  If you don't know how to sew or have a sewing (I used a serger) machine, don't worry!  You can still make this with no sew fabric glue - like this one.  Let's go over how to make this super hair tie!

Vegan Mole Enchiladas Recipe

21 May 2018

Hey hey!  A goal I have for myself is to eat meatless at least two times a week.  In a perfect world of mine, I'd be on a plant based diet, but I really do love some dairy products so it's all about baby steps for me.  In the kitchen, I love to experiment with recipes I find on Pinterest or shared by other bloggers.  This weekend, I saw a yummy enchilada recipe and decided to give it a try.  The dish came out DELICIOUS so I wanted to share it with you guys!  Enchilada's are my jam and finding a version of it that doesn't contain cheese, and that I'm okay with, was hard.  If you're just like me and not willing to give up the cheese on your enchilada's, this post is for you!  It was weird to not miss it or even care that it wasn't part of the recipe.  Ready to try them for yourselves?  Let's go over the details.

Clique Media Group Summer Gifting Suite Event

19 May 2018

Hey guys!  With summer just around the corner, there's so much to look forward to.  Obviously longer days, pool and beach outings are on the horizon for me, but in my personal blog life, it means summer activations.  Last week, I was so lucky to head down to Clique Media Group's Summer Gifting Suite event and you guys, the sponsors were amazing.  To say I have enough sponsors to produce summer content is an understatement haha.  From Urban Outfitters to J. Crew to Coach, I'm so excited to be geared up to produce fun posts for you guys!  The reason why I wanted to chat about this event is because I'm often asked what it's like to attend blogger events.  Beyond just Instagram stories and photos, there's a lot of fun that happens when a bunch of bloggers and influencers meet up, so let's recap this event!  

Bridesmaid Bouquet Under $10 | A Tutorial for The DIY Bride

25 April 2018

Hey hey!  With wedding planning coming along, one thing Martin and I are taking time with are flowers.  We have an idea of what we want our venue to look like and florist options, it's just the bouquets that are up in the air right now.  From the get-go, I knew I would be the, "I can do that, why do I have to pay someone to do this for me?" kind of bride.  I am a creator and crafter, so naturally, I need/want to be creatively in charge of everything lol.  I know, get over it, Melissa!  But do I have to?  Since day one, I've been so against paying someone to put bridal bouquets together for my party.  Why?  Because I can make them myself.  The most common feedback has been, "You won't have time before your wedding." and although that may be true, I just simply feel like I can make time to make six bouquets.  This idea was only fueled even more when I actually tried to make a bouquet and once I completed it in 15 minutes, it was game over.  I just knew I HAD to make my own.

My Favorite Place in Orange County with sixthreezero Bike Co.

19 April 2018

Hey hey! With Earth Week going strong this week, taking time to participate in eco-friendly activities is definitely something that should be on everyone's to-do list.  From walking to work, to bike riding to turning lights off and using less water, there is so much you can do to contribute to this holiday.  In honor of Mother Nature, I partnered up with my friends at sixthreezero Bike Co. to talk all about my favorite place EVER to take an afternoon ride in.  If you haven't become familiar with sixthreezero, they are a premier beach bicycle brand based out of LA that specialize in comfort, style, customized bikes and my favorite, bikes with an easy assembly process.  Seriously though, these bikes come 80% built and if it wasn't for my adorable dad that loves to build things in seconds, I would've so done this myself.  Living near beach cities always required some kind of bike, especially a beach cruiser.  When I saw their colorful bikes, I nearly dropped to the floor over how ADORABLE they were.  Can you even use adorable and bike in the same sentence?  I'm sure sixthreezero wouldn't mind because their bikes are so gram-worthy!  Anyway, I got to take one of their cruisers down to my favorite place and purposefully wore a dress and sneakers to snap all the fun pictures in!  Can you blame a girl!?  Anyway, let's get into the nitty gritty!

How to Confidently Choose Your Wedding Dress

21 March 2018

Hey guys!  As promised via Instagram, I wanted to start sharing super fun wedding content that touches all the subjects I love!  From decorations to DIY tutorials, to styling wedding events, I want this process to be fun for everyone.   I was so against this in the beginning because I didn't want to oversaturate my feed with wedding content and be that girl that doesn't shut up about her wedding - lol.  Along the way, I realized I needed as much help as I could to figure this all out and I mean if I needed a little guidance, I'm sure someone else will need it too.  There's first of all so much to cover when it comes to weddings, like finding the perfect dress.  My wedding dress story was truly a moment that was meant to be.  That dress was hanging on a rack waiting for me to find it out of the blue and that's exactly what happened haha.  Here's how it happened:

How I Curl My Hair + What I Use

13 March 2018

Shop Leyla Milani Products 

Hey guys! This is a fun post I've been itching to write because it's literally been life changing.  Here's the backstory: I, for the life of me, could never curl my hair growing up.  In high school, I used to wake up super early to attempt to curl my hair, and even then, I'm not sure what hair style I actually left with.  It wasn't until I learned how to flip my hair out with a hair straightener that curled hair finally became a thing in my life!  The issue here is I never learned how to curl my hair with an actual curling iron and up until a few months ago, I was still super clueless haha.  In between, I experimented with curling wands and that definitely helped, but as my hair grew, I soon realized I needed a larger size wand for a fuller look and tools to boost my hair. 

We All Grow Summit Recap

10 March 2018

Hey guys!  I don't even know where to begin with this one.  Let's take this back a few weeks ago when I became part of Neutrogena's new campaign, "Never Better".  Yeah, you read that right.  I'm so lucky to announce that I will be partnering up with Neutrogena for an entire year to spread the good news about what makes me feel Never Better and encourage my readers and followers to live out what makes you guys feel Never Better!  It's such an exciting time in my blog life that I never thought could even happen.  With my new sponsorship came the beauty of attending the most amazing summit dedicated to Latina bloggers, We All Grow Summit thrown by We All Grow Latina. I had previously attended this summit, but this time, it was so much more impactful than when I first attended.  It's easier if I highlight every day in chronological order, so let's do this!

Wedding Diet Breakfast

19 February 2018

Shop Maker Oats Products Here

Hello!  With mine and Martin's big day coming up next year, getting fit for the wedding has become no joke.  What is it about wanting to look good for all the festivities and why is this such a thing!?  I've always generally thought about my health and been conscious of what I've ate, but this time it feels like such a challenge.  My current wedding diet isn't anything crazy, it just consists of eating meals at certain times of the day.  Getting used to this schedule is difficult considering my days are really busy and I love to forget to eat breakfast haha.  In the past, I've been successful with overnight oats as my breakfast, so I decided to give this another try.  First of all, oats are very good for you and super easy to whip up - literally just requires a container, milk and oats.  Overnight oats are such an awesome option for me because it's literally on-the-go breakfast and for a busy girl like myself, I need something hearty and available when I need it haha.

Overnight oats brand, Maker Oats, released three super delicious flavors that I got to try out and I'm already hooked.  Not only am I hooked on it's taste, but hooked on how easy it is to replenish and prepare.  I received two jars with two different flavors and a box of five bags to try out and honestly, the fact that this overnight oat brand provides jars is the raddest thing.  So far, I really like the Apple and Coconut mix because it's the perfect combination of guilt-free sweetness!  I hope to start adding fun toppings to my oats every morning, but for now, I'm just trying to get myself used to promptly eating at certain times.  I'm sure as this wedding diet progresses, I'll come up with other on-the-go options, but for now, overnight oats it is!  Chat with you guys super soon.

Melissa Victoria

My Current Skincare Routine

07 February 2018

Hello again!  Yesterday I posted a quick celebratory update on achieving a skincare regimen that works for me, and as promised, here it is.  First of all, skincare has always been a sore subject because at the age of 20, I experienced my first crazy outbreak.  I think I realized that my skin was finally changing and a quick wash wasn't going to do it anymore.  I tried several products, but nothing really worked for me and either caused outbreaks in new areas or gave me these awesome acne scars we all love.  Everything was simply too harsh for my skin and I grew very afraid of trying and testing new products out.  I knew to get my skin used to a routine meant having to try a product out over and over again, but I simply did not have the patience for that haha.  Along the way, I did find products that I knew FOR SURE made me break out and quickly eliminated those from the puzzle.

Defeated, I wrote down where I broke out the most, what I felt was different when I did break out (i.e. stress) and how long pimples would remain on my face.  In one last effort to resolve this myself, before heading to a dermatologist, I took another stroll down the skincare aisle at my local Target, and decided to try three Neutrogena products.  I picked up Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover, Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Scrub and Neutrogena's oil free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner.  One to leave makeup on the entire day, I began removing my makeup as soon as I got home.  Skin needs to breathe and I didn't realize how much I was clogging my skin with makeup -yikes!  Anyway, my skincare regimen began like this:

1.  I removed my makeup with the Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover. This felt extremely smooth on my skin and I really did see the difference when I washed my face off.
2. Next, I scrubbed my face with the Acne Foaming Scrub, and per the label, it is clinically proven acne medicine that treats and helps prevent breakouts.  I've read this tons of times before, but maybe I just scrubbed extra hard to get all up in there!
3. I poured a decent amount of the Triple-Action Toner over a cotton ball and rubbed it along my face until the cotton ball came back clear.  I think this was the game changer for me.  Even though I thought my face was clean after the cleanser, it still needed extra cleansing.
4. Not pictured is an Aveeno moisturizer that I use and love!  You can shop that here.

So after a few days of repeating this day and night, I really started to see a major difference.  I swear it felt like I had a new pimple somewhere on my face every single week.  I went a whole month without breaking out until I realized that it had to have been these new products.  It was actually kind of funny because one of my best friends made a comment about my skin, and that's when I realized I hadn't even broken out.  Nothing has changed since I began this regimen other than adding water to my cycle.  I know drinking water and staying hydrated is another huge piece to achieving perfect skin, so I started to be way more mindful of my H2O intake.  Anyway, my lesson here is to be patient.  I can't tell you guys how many products I went through to finally feel like I have control of my skin.  I'm not afraid to try new makeup out or add fun oils to my face either because I feel confident in my little skincare weapons.  I know everyone's skin is different, but if you are struggling to find products that could help your skin out, give these a try!  You never know, they might be what you were looking for.  Happy cleansing, loves.

Melissa Victoria

What I Love About My Current Life

06 February 2018

Hey there!  The last few weeks have been beyond amazing and more than what I could have ever wanted.  You guys should know that I am a God fearing woman and every single night I pray for everyone and everything before myself.  A fellow blogger friend of mine just recently brought something to my attention that really got me thinking.  Her question was, "If I asked you to list everything you loved the most, how long would it take to name yourself?"  I had to seriously stop and think about how when I'm asked this question (more than often than you'd think) I realized I have never said myself haha.  Not that I don't love or value myself, because TRUST me...this girl loves herself, but it's hard to not come off like a show off or vain, you know?  

With February here and it being the month of love, I figured this would be such an awesome opportunity to celebrate love in all forms, in my current life.  What I would love more than anything, is to come back to this blog years from now and read what I was so happy about - even if it's super silly!  Also, there is no shame in celebrating the many gifts life brings, am I right?  Okay, here's my list:

1. Health

As a professional hypochondriac, I'm happy that I am in good health and that those around me are as well.  I have a book called 'How Not To Die' and I read it a lot because I'm obsessed with not coming down with any crazy diseases, as I'm sure many of you are out there, too!  Working for a fast food chain is so hard because there's food everywhere, whenever I want it.  Let's be real for a moment, I am human and I will always want junk food.  However, I do have examples of how not to live, what not to eat and I'm very fortunate to have means of basically eating farm to table style.  Health will always be a priority to me and for now, I'm just so happy everyone around me is stable and in doing well.

2. Career

Last year taught me a lot about my career that has followed me into this new year.  Patience was and is always a virtue, especially in my work life.  I can't tell you guys how much I think about my career and how sometimes, I need to remind myself that things take time.  I did all that I could to advance myself and prepare for the future, and now that I'm basically all geared up, this whole 'gain as much experience as you can' game is what drives me bonkers.  I'm living out the prime years of my career and first of all, I'm extremely lucky to work for the company I work for and to have an abundant amount of opportunity.  In this new year, I want more and I want to push myself to reach things I was so scared of even touching or never thought could be mine.  You know that Aerosmith lyric, "dream on until your dreams come true"?  That is something I repeat to myself about ten times a day.  Nothing you do for your career is meaningless if you're learning along the way!

3. Love and Be Loved

We all need love.  Whether it's to love a pet, your parent, your sibling, a hobby, etc. we just need it.  I'm fortunate to love so many people and things, and to also be loved right back.  I say 'I love this' or 'I love that' a thousand times a day and I really feel it makes me such a passionate person haha.  Loving is so essential to even your character and the warmth of your soul, you know what I mean?  It feels good to know how much you're loved or appreciated and to be honest, I feel sad for anyone who doesn't know love or has ever experienced being loved *insert cry face here*.  Anyway, I've always been loved and I'm so grateful for that.  This last year was no exception with Martin showing me crazy love by wanting me to be his wife.  That, my friends is love because I can't imagine anyone wanting to wife this up.  In my wildest dreams, the person to lock me up would be a strong, resilient man and that is exactly what I got - so hell to yes, Martin, I'm glad life chose you for me!

4. Family, Friends and Support

My circle is gnarly and I cannot live without them.  My immediate family is small, I have many friends that are all valuable to me and on top of that, I have so many fun digital friends that follow me around on Instagram.  This last year was awesome because I hit 10K followers on Instagram and honestly, it was overwhelming.  I couldn't believe there were ten thousand people out there that didn't know me, but hit that follow button to see who and what I was about.  My plans for this weren't to grow into some kind of influencer status, and it's still not part of my plan, but Brocade Closet just continues to grow and I mean, I'm not stoppin' it!  My family is amazing because they support everything I do and are always there to guide me through life.  We do everything together and in this very moment, we're going through important changes that we wouldn't be able to handle without each other.  

Sigh.  I just feel a ton of gratitude that I can't express with words.  Everything I pray about is coming true and I can't believe this is the life I get to call mine!  I almost feel guilty for being this happy, but honestly, I'm just living in the moment and soaking it all in.  After writing this post, I feel even more gracious and think I should write myself a positive note every month.  It might be a good idea to reflect on all the positives to lift me up and remain in good spirits.  If you feel like doing the same, tag me in your posts! I'd love to celebrate YOU.

Melissa Victoria

How to Wear a Romper This Winter

26 January 2018

Hey friends!  This January has seen chilly evenings, which isn't fun since that's when my date nights usually take place - boo.  Usually, I don't change my wardrobe too often since Southern California weather feels more like a year-round spring.  Of course I add sweaters and new shoes to the mix, but when it comes to evening wear, I can positively say I have to get creative.  For example, I love love love rompers of all shapes and sizes. They are so comfortable, easy to style and a clothing item you can always wear.  Sure, some rompers aren't suitable for different types of weather, but there's always a way around it.  I have the most adorable and sassy (check out that neck line!) romper I wore to my sister's bachelorette party last year that I never wore again, and have been thinking a lot about lately.  I thought, "Gosh, if only I could wear this for Valentine's Day or a nice date I would be happy."  So, I dug through my closet for options and ultimately paired it up with thick tights, booties, a simple lariat and clutch.  In the end, it felt like a no brainer to use tights, but even those no brainer moments often feel like the overall vision might not make sense haha.  All smiles over here, though!  I loved how this looked and am so excited to wear this outfit at night soon.  How many of you are reaching for your summer rompers now?  Let me know how you like to style your rompers this season!  Talk to you guys soon.

Melissa Victoria

Ready to Pour Cocktails

10 January 2018

Hey guys!  How on-brand is it for my first post,  since my break and of 2018, to be one about cocktails lol.  I have never met anyone that doesn't enjoy a good cocktail and now isn't the time to introduce them to me either #bye.  Anyway, my first drink coming into the new year was of course one full of tequila, but the best part is I didn't even have to put it together - it was already made.  I tried a Bergamot Orange Margarita by Austin Cocktails and I loved every drop of it.  Their ready to pour cocktails selection is pure gold.  Trust me, I couldn't choose between the five bottles because all of them sounded amazing.  I'm definitely a vodka and tequila kind of girl, so when given the option, I went with what I loved and was not disappointed.  What really intrigued me about this brand wasn't even that it was alcohol related, but that it's a brand focused on drinking better.  Austin Cocktails uses natural herbs and organic agave nectar to make the overall drink naturally low in calories and simply a healthier option.  Something I've really learned to adopt in my last few years of life is the mentality of being able to eat and drink anything I want, so as long as it's prepared with the right ingredients.  The options Austin Cocktails provides just fit in with this lifestyle and I'm so ready to try every bottle!  Plus, ready to pour cocktails are extremely convenient, especially for us party planners that have or attend get togethers more than often.  It just totally cuts out the part where you have to think about mixed drinks and all the ingredients you have to buy, ya know?  Anyway, if you're interested, you can read all about this brand, their cocktail ingredients and where to buy them here.  Until next time, cheers!

Melissa Victoria

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