Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Is it just me, or is this just the most confusing, out of sorts week ever? I love me a long weekend, but our Monday off felt so much like a Sunday, and I cannot believe it is already Wednesday. Adding to that, even though the weather the past few days has said otherwise, since Memorial Day has come and gone I have been thinking it is June this week, when today is in fact the last day of May. So, with the last Wednesday of the month comes a recap and 'What's Up Wednesday!'

What We're eating
Now that summer is here, I am officially trying to kick our family eating habits into a healthier gear. So, lots of grilled chicken and burgers, steamed veggies, and my all time favorite roasted brussel sprouts. It is also officially watermelon season, so I plan to have that stocked in the refrigerator nonstop.

And, let's be real..pizza. Pizza always has a place in our dietary rotation ;-)

What I'm reminiscing about
I really haven't been reminiscing too much lately. Lincoln's birthday has come and gone, and we are more so looking forward to all of the things we get to do this summer with our boys!

What I'm loving..
I am loving the new trees in our yard! We just got a willow tree for back by the pond, and a vanilla strawberry hydrangea tree for our front yard! We seriously did ZERO yard work before moving last summer, so it is so much fun to finally start feeling like we have a yard!

What we've been up to
This summer we spent with my in-laws playing yard games, eating outside, and getting our first real taste of summer for the year. Aside from that, a lot of time has been spent in the yard, going for runs outside with Lincoln in tow, and we have graduated from Toy Story and are being forced to watch Despicable Me on the daily ;-)

What I'm dreading
Not much-I mean it is finally summer! However, with summer comes ticks and mosquitoes..definitely dreading seeing those around.

What I'm working on
I am still slowly but surely working on decorating our house. I just got some new things for our mantle to put a 'summer theme' to it.
I am also doing a lot of work with my Instagram lately (come check me out @stangandco) that I am having a lot of fun with. I have learned SO much about social media strategy in the last 1-2 months, and am really seeing a difference and some fun opportunities arising as a result!

What I'm excited about
I am excited for it to be warm enough this weekend to hopefully pull out the pool for the boys and spend as much time in the sunshine as possible! I also have my future sister-in-law's bachelorette party in two weeks, and their wedding next month. So much coming up on our calendars!!

What I'm watching/reading
Confession: I picked up a book months ago, and only got a few chapters in. I am just not in a stage of life where reading is something I can do! Whenever I try, I end up dozing off..woops!
We have been watching Prison Break, there are only a few episodes left and I can't wait to see how this season ends! I am trying to watch The Bachelorette, but honestly after Nick last season, I think he did some damage to that show. Is it just me, or do people seem pretty darn uninterested? Swapping out Luke for Nick was a HUGE mistake!
We also just started watching Bloodline on Netflix. We are only two episodes in, but so far I am REALLY liking it!

What I'm listening to
I started busting out a bunch of my old burnt CD's in my car the past few weeks, and am loving them! A lot of them are labeled by season and year, and they seriously just take me back to that time. One of them has a bunch of songs that bring me back to the summer I met Mike, which to this day I think would go down as my best summer ever, and not just because I met my future husband! It was filled with time in the sun, lots of bonfires, parties, and time with great friends. I love how music can take you back to a time and a memory!

What I'm wearing
 Tank // Jeans // Glass (similar)
Tee (very similar here) // Shorts // Sandals
 
What I'm doing this weekend
We don't really have anything on the books! I believe we have plans to order a truckload of black dirt to start working on the lawn. Exciting stuff, let me tell you ;-)

What I'm looking forward to next month
I am excited for my sister-in-law's bachelorette party and her bridal showers! I just love those types of events :-) And, I cannot wait to spend as much time as possible outdoors with my little guys!

What else is new?
Lincoln is on the move! He is still plenty wobbly, but is most definitely walking and taking steps and it is about the most precious thing I have ever seen :-)

I am so excited for the coming month, bring on the summer!

Linking up with Mel, Shay, and Shaeffer today!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Weekend

Prepare yourself for a Memorial Day recap with just about zero red, white, and blue in it ;-) We had a low-key weekend around the house, but it was perfect and so nice to have some extra time together as a family.
On Friday, I worked from home as there was pretty much no one in the office (which kind of defeats the purpose of driving into the office). I don't know if I would like doing it every day, but man it was nice to drop the boys off at daycare without having to get ready and dressed! In fact, I even had time before starting work to squeeze in a run, and it was amazing! I have missed running so much, but now that the weather finally allows me to get outside, I am going to try doing it as much as possible!
Once I wrapped up working for the day, Mike and I ran with my mother in law to a local nursery. Our Christmas gift before we even had our new house was to pick out some new trees once we had our new yard. Mike has been talking about a willow tree overlooking the pond since we bought our land, so while we looked at all of the options, when it was time to make a decision I told him, the willow tree has been your dream, and we are doing the willow tree! And so now we have a teeny willow tree in our backyard and it makes my heart so darn happy! We also looked at some of the blooming trees, and I saw the vanilla strawberry hydrangea tree (yes, that is a real thing!) and had to have it! We put it in our front yard so you can see it out of all of our windows, and when it blooms in late July it turns white, pink, and red. Our yard feels so much more like a yard now!
Once we picked up the boys, my nephew came to spend the night. We had pizza, watched cartoons, and had a lazy night.
Lately, Jackson's first request on mornings at home is 'Mickey Pancakes'. Daddy usually is the master of breakfast in our house, but I love that this is his request that he makes with mommy :-)
The boys did a ton of yard work on Saturday, and while they worked, I ran to Target and Hobby Lobby with Lincoln. I needed to stock up on florals for my mantle to get going with a summer theme!
Of course, what is a Saturday morning errand run without coffee ;-)
 Precious Lincoln was just wiped out after our morning, and I about died laughing over how he fell asleep in his carseat. There is tired, and then there is this. Sweet boy was definitely ready for a nap!
 We stuck around the house the rest of the day. It was one of those long, lazy Saturdays and I honestly cannot even remember what we had for dinner! We capped off the night with Jackson watching Wallykazam from up on the stairs. This has become his new little hiding spot to watch us from up above, and it is so darn cute!
 The boys got the cutest new rash guards from Swim Zip this weekend! Lincoln is very fair, so we know we are going to really have to watch him in the sun, so I love how protected he is in this! I mean, look at him, I could just eat him up!
We spent all day Sunday over at my in-laws house doing a Memorial Day get together (a day early). Jackson literally ran and played outside all day long, with his minions in tow, of course ;-) We had burgers and brats for lunch, and my brother-in-law made a brisket for dinner. Watermelon, strawberry rhubarb crisp, and yard games rounded out our evening. It was the perfect day to kickstart summer! 
 We both had Monday off for Memorial Day, and it was the laziest day we have had in ages. We all stayed in our pajamas, both boys took two naps, and we started watching Bloodlines on Netflix.
During Lincoln's afternoon nap, I did venture off to the grocery store and brought Jackson with me. He looks so darn big in the cart! But I love little dates where I get one on one time with my boys, even if it is just running errands.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Weekend, and thank you to all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation we are lucky enough to call home.

Linking up with Biana today!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites: Memorial Weekend

Oh my goodness, you guys! Happy Friday! It is Memorial Weekend, and that means it is officially the kickoff of summer! Of course between work and daycare, our day to day really doesn't change much. But, there is something so magical about those long days of sunlight, evenings spent grilling, and playing outside until bedtime. This will be our first summer with two kiddos who are big enough to really spend a good amount of time outside, and I simply cannot wait! Before we enjoy a long weekend, hopefully including a bonfire and smores, I am coming at you with this week's favorites!

1. A Walker!
Without a doubt, my absolute favorite thing this week was Lincoln taking his first real steps! He has been taking 1-2 steps from the couch to the ottoman, but for the first time on Tuesday, he came at me and took a solid 6 or so steps into my arms! I was so excited, and as a result he was so happy and precious and sweet. Since then, he has been getting more and more brave taking steps more frequently. I am so excited to watch him; I don't know if there is anything in this world more precious than a brand new walker.
2. Great Sales
If you didn't already know, holiday weekends are always the best sales, and Nordstrom is having their half yearly sale right now! Read my post for a round up of my favorites, with the number one being this rhinestone ring! And, over at Urban Outfitters my absolute favorite deep v tees are on sale right now, which doesn't happen very often. If you are in the market for the perfect long, soft tee, this is it! I usually wouldn't advocate for a t-shirt over $20, but I have searched and searched, and this one cannot be beat.
3. DIY Garland
Earlier this year, I shared how I made my DIY Felt Garland for our mantel. Well, at the time, I made a Valentine's garland, a solid white garland, and a red, white, and blue garland. Now that Memorial Weekend is here, I fully intend to leave this strung up throughout the summer. Now I just need to figure out switching out the florals in our planter box to make it a bit more festive and appropriate for the season!
A few inspiration ideas for how to fill that planter box!
4. Banana Boat Chicken
One of our favorite recipes in Minneapolis is Chino Latino, and their banana boat chicken is seriously amazing. We were able to find a very close recipe online, and while we made it once in the past, it was years ago. I tried it out again this week, and you guys, it is so good. It is a little bit more labor intensive, but trust me when I say it is totally worth it. It is so delicious!
5. Lily Jade
I was so excited to receive the most amazing diaper bag this past week! Lily Jade diaper bags are gorgeous on the outside, but come with a removable insert full of pockets perfect for organizing all of your baby items. I have the Madeline in Brandy Jade, and am obsessed. I have, without shame, been using it as my purse, and don't intend on stopping. That is the beauty of these bags-they are so versatile and so pretty!

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend. I will see you all back here next Tuesday!

Five on Friday // Friday Favorites // Friday Favorites // High Five For Friday
Be sure to swing by the High 5 For Friday linkup today, I am the featured blogger! :-)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ticking Into Spring with Jord

Is it just me, or does it seem absolutely crazy that we are already into the second half of May? This spring has absolutely flown by. We are finally in the midst of fresh blooms, perfect temperatures, and early evenings spent outside. If there is anything I love as much as the weather in the springtime and early summer, it is the fashion that comes with it.

You can shop my exact watch here
Nothing pulls together an outfit more than a stylish, fun watch. I absolutely love the 'boyfriend style' of watches that everyone has been rocking over the past few years. What I don't always like, though, is the hot, sticky feeling of metal on my skin, especially as temperatures get up there in the boiling range. That is not an issue with Jord, though! These watches are hand crafted and are made of wood. One of the most surprising things when taking it out of the box is just how lightweight and airy it truly is. It is perfect for wearing on those hot days when you want to accessorize but don't want anything uncomfortable. Of course, this piece is so stylish and comfortable, I fully anticipate wearing it year round! It is such a unique watch, and I always get compliments and questions when I wear it!

 
Jord (pronounced YODE) watches are truly top notch in terms of quality and presentation. They arrive in a hand crafted wooden box, which is truly as beautiful as the watch itself. You are able to submit your wrist measurements prior to purchase, so that it arrives in your exact size, ready to wear. This part can be a little bit scary out of fear you do it wrong, but after having two Jord watches in our home, both arrived fitting absolutely perfect! And, it arrives with extra links, should you ever need them.

I am thrilled to team up with Jord to offer a giveaway to my readers! If you would like to enter to win a $100 credit towards your very own Jord watch, you can enter here! Giveaway is open through June 18th!


Luxury Wooden Watch
*I received this watch in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Stang&Co.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale

Let's be real, Nordstrom always runs great sales that happen all of the time. I don't think I have EVER seen my favorite tunics listed at full price ;-) But that doesn't mean they don't put on a killer sale! In anticipation of their early access sale in July where they release all of their brand new fall inventory at sale prices, today they launched their spring and summer sale! I gathered up some of my favorites below, these are some amazing items at great prices. And with summer just beginning, now is the perfect time to scoop them up!
For my fellow moms, because we all know it is true ;-)



Tops
I don't think the off the shoulder trend is going anywhere soon, and I love this one.  And close behind the off the shoulder trend is one shoulder, and this striped option is adorable. Floral and drawstrings make this top the perfect spring piece. The cross front trend is huge right now, and I love this pretty mauve color. And, for those warmer days this summer (or for now for my friends in the south) this pretty crochet tank is perfect! If you are looking for white, off the shoulder, and eyelet, this is your shirt. And for a date night, this look is so delicate and feminine, I am in love!

Bottoms
I have heard so many rave reviews about the zella leggings, and these are at a great price and high waisted. By now you should know I am ALL about the high waist ;-) If you are in the market for a pair of blush skinnies, look no further (blush and high waisted. DONE!) And if you are in the market for a new pair of jeans, these ripped ankle jeans are great!
 
Dresses
This midi lace dress is absolutely stunning. It would be perfect to wear to a summer wedding. I love the cold shoulder detailing and color of this one, it would work in both summer and the cooler months. One of my absolute favorite dresses I wore last year sold out, but this similar option is available in the prettiest sunshine yellow color! This cute swing tank dress looks so lightweight and perfect for a casual day. We all need a basic maxi dress, and this option fits the bill! This pretty lace dress is at a total steal right now, definitely a great wedding guest outfit. It is officially the season of whites, and this dress is so simple yet elegant. And finally, this gorgeous bell sleeve dress is so professional feeling, but the bell sleeves give it the most fun little twist!


Accessories
First things first; my all time favorite rhinestone cross ring is once again on sale for only $7! This crossbody bag is so darling, and I love the laser cutouts. My favorite stud earrings are in a two pack and at a great price. This layered necklace in rose quartz is just beautiful, because I can't stop won't stop wearing blush! These sunnies are so fun and trendy. I love a good backpack purse, and at under $30, this one is a steal! My favorite pendant necklace is on sale, it is such a pretty necklace at an amazing price! And to match, how fun are these rose colored drop earrings?!
And to spruce up any outfit, this combination necklace is so cute and would be great with a simple tee to bring your outfit up a notch!


Happy shopping friends, and happy hump day!


Linking up with Jenn and Jessi, and The Pleated Poppy today!

Monday, May 22, 2017

What I Wore: The Perfect Spring Jacket

Well, I would love to share our weekend with you, but there truly is just not much at all to divulge. It literally rained all day Saturday with temps in the 40s, and most of the day Sunday was rainy, too. There was no time that lent itself to being spent outside, so we had some lazy time in comfy clothing. We did manage to squeeze out a dinner sans kiddos Saturday night, which is always a big deal ;-)
So, instead of recapping an uneventful weekend, I figured I would instead share one of my absolute favorite new pieces this spring.







This blush jacket hits the mark in every single category. It fits true to size, is the prettiest color, and has the most interesting details that make it a standout piece. Beneath a drawstring waist, there is a layer of ivory tulle. It is so incredibly pretty in person, and I fell in love the second I put it on. It can be worn as a jacket, but is so cute and stylish it also works well for being kept on throughout the day. I paired it with my favorite white jeans, but it would look great with a pair of distressed denim and some wedges, too!
I hope you all have a wonderful week. Our weather is finally on the upswing, and we are counting down to a long Memorial Day weekend. Is anyone else in absolute disbelief that it is already summer!? I can't wait to start enjoying all of our favorite summer festivities!

Linking up with Trendy and Tidy today!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Favorites-Middle of May

It's Friday! Unfortunately, after what was possible the most perfect spring weekend of all time last week, we are looking at temps in the 40s and lots of rain, to build on our week of nonstop rain we have already been having. So, I am already brainstorming some indoor activities to keep the kids happy over the weekend. Any ideas on how to spend a rainy day with two toddlers are more than welcome! Before diving into the weekend though, I am sharing my favorite things from this week!

1. One Shoulder Dress
Earlier this week, Old Navy was offering 40% off everything, and I had been eyeing up this dress for ages. Not only was I able to apply the discount, but it was already 50% off. I snagged it for ten dollars. You better believe I clicked 'add to cart' and purchased the second I saw this. It is so cute, and perfect for all of the summer events we have going on between bridal showers and wedding stuff for my brother!
 
2. Fresh Denim
I shared in my post yesterday about the new jeans I snagged up this week. I have seen these quite a bit lately, with all of the distressing. When I purchased my tomgirl shorts earlier this week, I saw that these were marked down to $19.99. And so, snag them up I did! I did a really good job last month of buying NO clothing, and I have been so lacking for jeans lately, I thought it was time to invest in a few new pairs. I have been loving these jeggings too!
3. Toddler Talk
Jackson has been quite the character lately. He is definitely in the throes of his terrible twos, but he also says things every day that absolutely melt me. This week, he has been coming down the stairs every morning and will announce 'daddy at work'. Mike leaves SUPER early every morning, so he is always gone before the rest of us wake up. After announcing this, Jackson has been telling me what daddy is doing. One day, it was 'Daddy go to store to find a minion'. The next day, he declared 'Daddy at work. Daddy getting pizza!' Note that most of the time, he thinks daddy is off buying him his favorite things ;-) I just love watching the little wheels in his head turn as he figures out the world!



4. Daycare Success
This week, Lincoln started daycare. My mother cared for Jackson until he turned two, and with Lincoln, we made the decision that after his first birthday would be a good time to start. Age two was harder than I ever anticipated for starting; Jackson cried at both dropoff and pickup for months. He thrived while I was away, but it was always so hard to leave him crying, or having him burst into tears the second he saw my car pull up at the end of the day. While Lincoln certainly has some adjusting to do, he really seems to be so happy at daycare! When we arrive in the morning, I am able to set him down and he takes right off climbing up the stairs. His biggest issue is not being held all day long, or being confined to a playpen ;-) I am so glad it is going as well as it is, though!
Sweet boy has been totally wiped out at the end of the day!
5. Summer Throw Blankets
I always have at least one throw blanket on our couch. In the past, my husband would usually pull out old blankets, whether it be ninja turtle quilts, or my obnoxious tie blankets from high school. While these may be cozy, they aren't exactly aesthetically pleasing. So, once we moved into our new house, I made it a point to have a few cozy, but pretty, blankets on our couch. And we use them like crazy! The two we currently have are faux fur, and while I love them, I am thinking I would like to swap out to some that are a bit more seasonal and lightweight. I saw this one at Target and love it. I also love this yarn dyed option. I have so much fun swapping out d├ęcor pieces throughout the year-it really helps to freshen things up while requiring very little change! Add in a set of pretty throw pillows and you are good to go!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone. I hope it is filled with sunshine and pool time!

Five on Friday // Oh Hey Friday! // Friday Favorites // Friday Favorites // High Five For Friday

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thoughts For Thursday: Coffee Talk

It has been awhile since I did a good old fashioned brain dump. So grab your coffee, sit down, and let's chat!
Over coffee I would tell you...
 
I am so incredibly in love with spring this year. I have always liked the season, but for some reason it all just feels magical this year. Maybe it is because I finally have my own yard? Or because I am watching my children experience new things. Regardless, I just love spring.
 
I just cannot seem to get on the healthy eating train. For the past month, I have felt like every week I do well, and then my weekends cancel out any progress I made throughout the week. I should probably cut out the wine!
 
This week, I had a moment with my blog and social media that was just kind of one of those 'whoa' moments. I had an opportunity presented to me that I remember seeing other bloggers get when I first started, and wondered how they ever got to that place. It has been a lot of hard work, but it really was one of those moments that made me so proud of what has come of my little space.
 
Speaking of this space..I feel like my blog needs a facelift. Something a bit more clean and fresh. Simple. I would love to know who you have all used for your templates and design.
 
I finally went ahead and purchased these shorts that I have been eyeing for what literally feels like a year. And then I got roped into the amazing prices and scooped up these jeans, too. I have been running on approximately 2 pairs of jeans lately, so I am so excited to expand my options, especially for summer!
 
I have totally had writers block lately. I have plenty of ideas and things to write about, but I have just been struggling to sit down and put my fingers to the keyboard. I am wondering if creating a schedule to help me map things out may help.
 
Jackson is in the throes of the terrible twos. He is so sweet, but when he decides to act up, he is terrible. Kicking, hitting, screaming, upsetting his brother on purpose, and bedtime has once again become a nightmare. I am at a loss for what to do, but I am hoping it passes sooner rather than later.
 
Lincoln's hair has become curly, what seems like overnight. What is funny is at this age, Jackson's hair was almost exactly the same, except dark! I honestly never thought Lincoln would have the curls that he does, but I am dying over them and hope they stay forever!
 
What has been happening with you all lately!?
 
Linking up with Annie today.
 
 
 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Giveaway Winner!

Hello Friends! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I am quickly popping in to share with you the winner of the PinkBlush gift card.


Dagmar M!

Congratulations! You should be receiving your prize through e-mail shortly!

Thank you to all who entered-have a fabulous week!

Smart Techology: A Safer Home

It is no secret that in this day and age, we live by technology. We are almost constantly 'plugged in' in some way; whether it be on the computer at work, checking into the news on our cell phone, and always being a quick phone call away when checking in on our loved ones. One area of technology that I haven't had too much experience, though, is being able to check in within our own home. That is, until being exposed to Nucleus.
This home intercom system is a step above the traditional intercom system of years past. With a touch screen and tabletop or wall mount options, these can go in as many rooms of your house as you need. I am sure many of us remember back during our childhood, when mom would need something and would have to yell upstairs or downstairs to get our attention. In all honesty, while I am sure it was just as frustrating for my mom, it drove me crazy when she would yell for me up in my bedroom from the kitchen, and I would usually say 'what' at least three times before finally conceding and heading downstairs so I could actually hear what she needed to say.
Nucleus allows you to sync the rooms in your house, and specify where you would like to call. We set ours up as a general 'downstairs' and 'upstairs' for now. We have a loft up by the boy's bedrooms, and Jackson has started spending time up there alone occasionally. While for the most part we can trust him, it is nice to be able to check in on him. When you call another Nucleus device within your home, it automatically connects and does not need to be answered. This is so great for moms! I can check in on my boys without expecting them to pick up or press a button. Of course, if for whatever reason you don't want to be disturbed, you can set it to Privacy mode, requiring a person to answer, or 'Do not disburb', meaning no incoming calls can be made or received.
Jackson was pretty excited to 'talk to the computer'.
 
While being able to check in is great, I also anticipate wanting to see, but not necessarily wanting to be heard on one end or the other. Every Nucleus device comes with the ability to mute as well as control volume. There is also a privacy shutter that blocks the camera. I am considering putting one of these in Lincoln's room in lieu of a baby monitor, but by blocking out our device and silencing the line, we will be able to see and hear him, with nothing on our end, ensuring we won't wake him up!
You can see here that I was able to mute my line. That is Jackson's teeny head poking on from the couch upstairs. He was watching Despicable Me while I got some work done downstairs!
 
Another amazing feature with Nucleus is the ability to connect phone lines through their app. Of course, many phones have video features, but Nucleus is incredibly user friendly. We can have the app on our phone, and if we would ever want to reach home, we can call the Nucleus, and it is truly so easy to use (a simple tap of the button on the screen) and any child can answer it! Our first use in trying it out was with my brother and sister-in-law. They live in Iowa, and our phones are not compatible with one another for video chatting. Thanks to Nucleus, we were able to video chat and let my brother see the boys live for the first time! It was so much fun, and really easy to use.  
Jackson was showing off his minion. If you can't tell, Despicable Me is popular in our house this week!
Checking in with my brother! It is pretty exciting to finally have an easy option to video chat with him.
 
As a final means of staying connected, if you know another household that has Nucleus, you can connect directly to their devices as well! This means if you have loved ones across the country, or for families with an older adult who may need assistance or checking in, you can easily connect as if you are right there with them.
Setup was very easy and once you power on your device, it really walks you right through it. Every room and phone that is connected shows up on the main screen, and has an image you are able to snap to show which space it is, as well. This is great for families with kiddos that may recognize images, but do not yet know how to read.
One other great feature of Nucleus is being compatible with Amazon Alexa. While we do not currently have this technology in our home, I love the idea of being able to hook up to music and use it through our Nucleus if we would ever wish to do so.
Nucleus is available for $249 per unit, or $199 per unit if you purchase two or more. You can find it directly on their website, Lowes, Amazon, and B8ta. Nucleus is generously offering my readers $50 off any purchase that includes two or more units. You guys, this really is such a great feature to have in your home, and to help keep you connected when you aren't!
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*This post is written in collaboration with Nucleus. As always, all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
 
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