Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am so very thankful for being able to do this blog and for all of you who take time out each day to follow along. In celebration today I have already finished the traditional 10K Turkey Trot with my sister and now am off to an afternoon of family fun down at the river. I can't wait to see what goofiness we get into this year! I also made some cute Thanksgiving goodies for everyone and can't wait to share them with you on Monday! I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating with your own families!

And for those of you who are venturing out to conquer the Black Friday (Thursday) sales here are some great tips to keep in mind:
1. Make a Plan.
Go through all the ads to figure out the logistics for your shopping adventure. Make a list of the gift items you are planning on buying, from where and at what time each store is opening. Just keep in mind that not every store advertises their sales so don't leave them off your list!
2. Bring Food. 
Since Black Friday shopping now starts as early at 6pm on Thursday and can go until noon on Friday make sure you bring a snack (or two) as well as something to drink. That is what all those Thanksgiving leftovers are for right?
3. Dress Comfortably (and stay warm!).
If you are on the east coast it is going to be a little colder than normal this year on Black Friday (it's going to be in the upper 20's in Virginia!) so make sure you layer up if you are going out. Layers are also perfect on Black Friday so that when you get into the store to shop you can take off your jacket (or two) and not over heat.
4. Bring Your Friends!
Black Friday shopping can only get better if you bring along a friend or two. See who can get the best deals and when you all are done shopping and need to warm up, everyone can head out for a nice late night or early morning breakfast.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and be safe if you venture out to take on those Black Friday (or Thursday) sales!

xoxo
Megan

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Yes I am totally excited about Thanksgiving tomorrow and getting to celebrate with my family, but one of my favorite parts of the day is looking through the Black Friday ads. I know its silly but I actually get a thrill out of finding great deals and making a shopping plan of attack. So with shopping on my mind it got me thinking about wedding registries. This is one of those topics that can leave a lot of bride and groom-to-be's with lots of questions as it is not something that one adds to their wedding inspiration board on Pinterest or is normally covered in wedding magazines. So to help those who are recently engaged and soon to be married I have some great tips that will help you create the perfect wedding registry. (Just please promise me you will not go out and try to register on Black Friday!)

When to Register?
As soon as possible! Guests will look to this registry for gift ides for engagement parties, showers and the wedding so the sooner you register the better. 

Where to Register?
When choosing where to register try and stick with just 2-3 stores. Just make sure at least one store is a national chain which will allow all your guest access to the registry, both in person and online. Below are some of the most popular places for couples to register. If you can click on the different store logos you will go directly to their wedding registry websites.
How Do I Register?
While some stores will host registry nights for engaged couples most will let you register directly online. If you are more of a visual person you can also ask someone at the customer service desk how to go about creating a registry at their store. Those with online registries are great as you can keep track of everything online and you can avoid the store crowds.

Who Should Register?
While it might be fun to bring all your girls along when you go dress shopping, when it comes to registering for wedding gifts this is best done by just the bride and groom-to-be. You two are the only ones that know what you will need in your new home so plan a date night and have fun shopping for items that each of you want in your new home.

How Do We Let People Know Where We Are Registered?
While proper etiquette dictates that you are not to include where you register on your invitations you can include your wedding website which is where you can post where you have created registries. Word of mouth is also the best way to let your guests know so as soon as you are done registering let your wedding party and immediate family members know so that they can spread the word.

What Things Should I Register For?
There is no specific list of what couples should and should not register for. It all depends on what the couple currently has and what they want. Think both short-term and long-term when registering. Some popular items to register for are china, flatware, stemware and kitchen appliances. This is also the perfect time to get some nicer linens and towels with your new monogram on them!
So congrats on your engagement and have fun registering! Do you have any other helpful tips for those who need to create a wedding registry?

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and good luck to those who are heading out tomorrow to brave the Black Friday sales!

xoxo
Megan

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I would have to say that for the most part I am a holiday traditionalist. I am not one to start celebrating Christmas as soon as the decorations come out (in August) but after last year when we had 5 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas I have felt the need to start getting into the holiday spirit a little earlier this year. So as yesterday marked the 30 day countdown to Christmas I figured that it was finally time to start integrating a little Christmas into my life. 

So to help get you (and me!) into the Christmas spirit I have asked my friend Taylor, who knows more about music and loves everything about it more than anyone I know, to put together a fun playlist to kickoff the holiday season. Here are his top ten songs that you can't miss listening to this season... (Thanks Taylor!)

1. Grave Robber - "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
2. Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!
3. The Almost - Little Drummer Boy
4. MxPx - Auld Lang Syne
5. August Burns Red - Frosty the Snowman
6. Relient K - I'm Gettin' Nuttin' For Christmas
7. Bad Religion - Angels We Have Heard on High
8. Dustin Kensrue - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
9. mewithoutYou - a Stick, a Carrot, a String
10. Weezer - The First Noel
Let the Christmas Countdown Begin! Only 29 more days till Christmas! For more holiday playlist cheer check out my holiday playlist that I put together last year.

What is your favorite way to get into the holiday spirit? Also if you have any topics you would like to see me post about this holiday season leave those ideas in the comments section below!

xoxo
Megan

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Last year on Christmas morning my sister decided she wanted to make some festive reindeer pancakes for the family to enjoy. (You can check out our Christmas pancakes here.) We all loved our reindeer pancakes and may have to become a tradition on Christmas morning now. So now that you have a little background into my family's holiday pancake test run you will better understand why I am slightly obsessed with today's post. A week or two ago I ran across a pin on Pinterest of these turkey pancakes from blogger Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons. As soon as I saw them I remembered how much fun we had making our reindeer pancakes at Christmas and immediately sent the picture to my sister seeing if she wanted to try making these for Thanksgiving. We will have to see if we actually get around to making them after our Turkey Trot run, but my fingers are crossed that we do!  Here is how you can make your own Turkey day pancakes...

Ingredients for 1 Turkey Pancake
  • Pancake Mix
  • 1 Strawberry
  • 1 Clementine
  • 2 Eggs Scrambled
  • 1 Mini Marshmallow
  • 2 Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Cookie Cutters, a Knife or Kitchen Sheers

Directions
  1. Mix your pancake batter according to your recipe. 
  2. Once you have your batter ready pour 1 large pancake for the body, 1 medium pancake for the head and two smaller pancakes for the wings. They don't have to be perfectly sized as you can trim them later.
  3. Once your pancakes are done place them on a plate and trim. You can use round cookie cutters for the body and head and a heart shaped cookie cutter for the wings. If you don't have cookie cutters you can use a sharp knife or kitchen sheers to create your turkey body.
  4. After you have created your turkey body its time to scramble the eggs and prepare your fruit. 
  5. When your eggs are ready and your fruit is peeled and cut arrange your strawberry, clementine and eggs to form the feathers. Take 3 clementine halves to form the feet and beak and a sliver of a strawberry to form the wattle.
  6. For the final touch take the mini marshmallow, cut it in half and stick one mini chocolate chip on each piece to create the eyes.

You now have a festive holiday breakfast treat to enjoy before you start digging into your Thanksgiving Day feast! I will make sure to post a picture if we end up making these next Thursday.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving day treat you like to make? Let me know if you end up making these and post a link to your picture in the comments section below. I would love to see how your turkey pancakes come out! Have a great weekend!!

xoxo
Megan

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Thanksgiving is just 1 week away so it is time to kick it into high gear so that you still have time to get that pumpkin pie made for Thanksgiving day! Before the food goes into the oven and the guest start knocking at your door, it's time to work on your Thanksgiving crafting skills. Here are three great Thanksgiving craft ideas that will not only have your home ready for a day of Thanks but also give your guests something cute to take with them. (You can start worrying about the menu tomorrow.) 

Gobble Gobble Treat Boxes
These sparkly treat boxes are the perfect table accessories. You could add each guest's name to the opposite side of the box to act as a place card and then they can take them home to enjoy after they have indulged in your delicious pumpkin pie. You can put your own decorative spin on these Thanksgiving pillow boxes or decorate them exactly how this glitter enthusiast did by following the directions by blogger Artsy-Fartsy Mama
"Give Thanks" Vinyl Decals
To say that I am obsessed with vinyl stickers might be an understatement. They make monogramming and decorating easy as 1-2-3 and allow you to personalize just about anything! Which is why they are great to use when decorating for the holidays. You can do one large cutout like this one from WeSpeakVinyl (one of my favorite Etsy shops!) or get individual vinyl letters for glasses, bottles or candles. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to decorating with vinyl! 
"Give Thanks" Burlap Pillow
And how adorable would this be in your living room where your guests will be lounge while they are munching on appetizers. I found this "Give Thanks" pillow DIY on Tattered to Taylored a few weeks ago and am currently on a mission to make my own. This is such a simple craft project as it doesn't require any advanced sewing skills (which is perfect for me!) and is easy to customize with any saying. 
Which Thanksgiving craft are you going to make for this year's celebrations? Share your favorite or another great Thanksgiving crafting idea in the comments section below!

xoxo
Megan

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The first thing many girls want to do as soon as they get engaged is to go try on wedding dresses. As excited as you may on your engagement and wanting to find that perfect dress, take a few minutes and read these dress shopping tips that I have put together for you from The Knot. I promise you will be better prepared and ready for finding the dress of your dreams after you read through these tip!

1. Set (and Stick to) Your Budget
Before you take your first step into a bridal salon talk over your wedding and dress budget with who will be paying the bill. Tell your consultant upfront what your budget is and make sure to also factor in the cost of alterations and any accessories that you may need to purchase. 

2. Shop Early
The length of the engagement is entirely up to the bride and groom to-be but ideally you should start shopping for a wedding dress 8-10 months before your wedding day. Most gowns are made to order so you need to factor in about 2-3 months for the dress to be made and another 2-3 months for alterations. If you are working within a shorter time frame you might have to pay additional fees for a rush order or have to go with a dress directly off the rack.

3. Figure Out the Dress Code
Take into consideration the time of your ceremony, the reception venue and where your ceremony will be taking place when you are looking for a dress. You might have always dreamed of wearing a ballgown when you got married, but if you are having a casual outdoor wedding the ballgown might look a little out of place. Also, some religions and church have attire guidelines that you might need to take into consideration.

Great tips to read before you start wedding dress shopping #PreppyPlanner
4. Know Your Style
Preppy, glamorous, classic, modern, traditional, or country? Every bride has their own style and knowing what they want on their wedding day will help them, as well as their dress consultant, on finding that perfect dress. You know what looks best on you so trust your instincts if it doesn't look or feel just right.

5. Call Ahead
A bridal salon will carry a wide variety of wedding dress designers but not every dress that designer makes could be in stock. If you come across a dress that you want to try on make sure to call ahead and see if that salon currently it in stock. If they don't have it in their store they might be able to order a sample or find it at another store for you.

6. Book An Appointment
Weekends and evenings can be the busy times for a bridal salon. No matter when you plan on going to look at dresses it is important to call ahead and schedule an appointment. This guarantees that you will have a consultant to help you out and a dressing room to try on some dresses! *If you can the best times to visit a bridal salon is in the mornings during the week. So if you are able to, take a day off to go.


This is a must read for every bride-to-be before they go dress shopping #PreppyPlanner
7. Be Open to Other Ideas
Yes, bridal consultants are looking to make a sale with every bride-to-be that they meet, but it is also important to listen to them as they have helped hundred of girls try on almost every dress they have in their store. Your consultant will have some great input on styles and designers that you might not have considered. Give their suggestions a try, you might find your perfect dress this way! 

8. Keep Your Shopping Party Small
Two heads are better than one, but too many can lead to conflicting ideas and a bride not knowing what to do. When planning a trip to the bridal salon try and stick with just one or two other people to accompany you like your mom and MOH. If you want your entire bridal party to go with you just be prepared to listen to each of their ideas and input.


9. Buy A Dress That Fit NOW
At the start of the engagement every bride has it in their head that they are going to "get in shape" by their wedding day. Even though this is a wonderful motivation technique, don't buy a dress that does not currently fit you. It is better (and less expensive) to need the dress taken in closer to your wedding day than to have to add fabric to it. 

10. And Before You Order...
Make sure to read over your dress contract (yes everything to do with a wedding comes with a contract!) so you know exactly what you are paying for and that the correct style, color and size dress is being ordered for you. The contract will let you see what the deposit will be, when the dress will be delivered, and if alterations are included or an extra cost. This way if anything goes wrong it will be the responsibility of the store, not you.
Now you should be fully prepared to take your first step into a bridal salon and find your perfect wedding dress! 

For those of you who have already had their wedding or found their perfect dress what other tips do you have to share for those new engaged?

xoxo
Megan

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Another college football season has come and gone. Even though there is still one more game left in the season this past weekend was our last home game so I said goodbye to JMU's Bridgeforth Stadium until next year this past weekend. So with the close of another season I have put together a photo diary of all the gameday and tailgating fun I took part in this past season. 

From the first game to the last my tailgate BFF and I made it through together,
I always made sure to have one of my preppy glasses on hand for proper tailgating,
As well as a few of my favorite tailgating decorations,
Can you really have a tailgate without your football season garden knome?
Catching up with friends is always a perk of going to football games,
Seeing the family isn't too bad either, (Thanks Uncle Rusty for taking the picture!)
And I could not wait to see the Dukes enter Bridgeforth Stadium ready to play each weekend!
The only upside to the season ending is that now I have 9 months to find some great new tailgating crafts, recipes and outfits. What has been your favorite gameday experience from this past season?

xoxo
Megan

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Each year during the holidays my sister, who is a 3rd grade teacher, comes up with the cutest activities for her kids to complete. Last year for Thanksgiving she found these adorable Thanksgiving turkey cookies for her class to make before they left on break and they all loved it! 
My sister said the hardest part was not having the kids eat all their Froot Loops before they got them on their turkeys. But what can you do, they are only 3rd grades! So for those who are looking for something for you or your kids to make this year for Thanksgiving, they could make cute additions to your Thanksgiving table setting, here is how you can make your own Turkey Cookie Treats:

Ingredients
  • Keebler® Fudge Stripes™ Cookies 
  • Keebler® Fudge Sticks 
  • Keebler® Grasshopper® Cookies 
  • Chocolate Frosting 
  • Candy Corn 
  • Gumdrops 
  • Kellogg’s® Froot Loops® 
  • Chocolate and Butterscotch Chips 

Directions
1. First, you need to create the turkey’s body. Start by spreading some frosting on top of your Grasshopper cookie. The frosting acts like a glue and helps all the other cookies and candies stick. Next, place your Fudge Stripe cookie facing out like the turkey’s feathers on top of the frosted Grasshopper cookie.
2. To make the turkey's head and neck you can either break a Fudge Stick cookie in half and place it in front of the Fudge Stripe cookie or use a gumdrop. 
3. For the feet and beak take the candy corn and attach them to the cookies with frosting. 
4. For the final touch cut or bite some Froot Loops in half and attache them to the top of the fudge stripe cookie. 

And for more turkey cookie ideas (we all have our favorite types of cookies!) here are two more that you could try out! 


Do you have a cute Thanksgiving turkey recipe that you like to make?

xoxo
Megan

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Thanksgiving is a time when the majority of us will gather with immediate and extended family for a day of quality family time. However, this is also a time to give thanks for all of your friends. Someone once said:

" Friends are the most important ingredient in the recipe of life."

And what better way to celebrate and give thanks than with a Friendsgiving celebration! One year, back when I was an undergrad, the girl's I was living with along with a few other of my sorority sisters hosted a fun Thanksgiving themed potluck right before we all went home for Thanksgiving break. One of the girls I lived with love cooking so she decided to handle the turkey while the rest of us picked our favorite sides to prepare. Since college I still love getting together with friends around the thanksgiving holiday to celebrate and enjoy some great foods. Here are some great tips on how you can host your own Friendsgiving celebration this year...
1. Go a Little Non-Traditional. 
Thanksgiving with your family will probably always have the traditional food and activities so turn your Friendsgiving into a fun evening for everyone to enjoy. Create some fun place cards for each guest or lay a large piece of butcher paper down instead of a tablecloth that will allow all your friends to draw or write what they are thankful for. 
2. Make it a Potluck.
When your family gets together whomever is hosting is probably cooking everything minus like 1 pie or side dish. For Friendsgiving have the host fix the turkey and have each guest bring a side. Encourage your guests to get creative with their thanksgiving favorites and try out some new recipes. They will get to have their mom's homemade pumpkin pie so trying out a new Friendsgiving recipe won't leave you missing your tradition favorites. Just make sure that you keep track of what people are bringing so you don't end up with 3 side dishes of green beans and 4 pumpkin pies. (They did make shareable Google docs for a reason!) And don't forget to have each guest bring a bottle of wine too!
3. Include a Fun Game or Activity.
Organize a fun game of touch football, a marathon of all your favorite Thanksgiving shows or a board game that everyone could play together. Just be careful that you don't have guests that will get too competitive! 
4. Play to Your Guests Strengths.
No matter what kind of group of friends you pull together, each one of them has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to participating in an event like Friendsgiving. Play to your friend's strengths when you are putting all the details together. You are bound to have a friend that loves music, one who is great at organizing activities, a few who are amazing cooks and the one friend with the perfect home to host the get together. Your friends will love that you thought of them and you will have a wonderful meal to enjoy!

And last, but not least...

5. Have Fun!
There is nothing traditional or mandatory about Friendsgiving. Invite people who you will have fun with no matter what.

What other tips do you have for someone planning to host a Friendsgiving? (Just make sure to not tell your mom if you have more fun at this Thanksgiving that at your family one.)

xoxo
Megan

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Happy Monday! It has been a while since I last shared my first Pinterest Recipe post with you. So I figured there is no time like the present to share with you what I have been cooking in the kitchen this fall. Since my apple picking adventure in September I have been browsing Pinterest for some great recipes that will use up the apples as well as other fall favorite recipes. Here are the recipes that I have tried out from Pinterest, deemed successes, and have already made their way into my recipe box! Enjoy!

Fall Pinterest Recipes: Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Almond and Brown Sugar Topping #PreppyPlanner
Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Almond and Brown Sugar Topping recipe from ShopGirl
Ingredients
  • 3 small apples (or 2 large ones)
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup plus 4 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 plain yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 sliced almonds

Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
2. Next, prepare your apples. Peel, core and dice them into small chunks (about 1/4 inch chunks). Set them aside and preheat your oven to 400F.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine the brown sugar, vegetable oil, honey, yogurt and the two eggs. Whisk until you have a brown-ish mixture, then fold it into the flour mixture and add the apples.
4. Now prepare your muffin topping in a small bowl. Mix 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 4 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
5. Line your muffin pan with paper cups, pour batter into each cup equally and then sprinkle with the topping. Bake for 20 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are golden brown!


Fall Pinterest Recipes: Apple Salad #PreppyPlanner
Apple Salad
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 apples
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp light mayo (enough to cover all apples)

Directions
1. Prepare your apples by removing the core and cutting them into small, bite-sized pieces (about 3/4-1 inch chunks).
2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, raisins and mayo and fold together with a spatula until combined.
3. Grab a fork and enjoy!

Picture
Mini Pumpkin Muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 can of Libby's Pumpkin
  • 1 box of Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 bag of mini chocolate chips

Directions (and this really can't get any easier!)
1. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Spoon mixture into a mini muffin pan.
3. Bake at 350F for 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of the muffins) until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Make sure to enjoy one (or two) before you put them out for guests as these will be consumed by anyone you serve them to.

Fall Pinterest Recipes: Crockpot Baked Apples #PreppyPlanner
Crockpot Baked Apples recipe from The Harris Sisters
Ingredients
  • 5 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp butter, cubed

Directions
1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
2. Add apples, sugars, water, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to crockpot, stirring to incorporate.
3. Place butter on top of apples
4. Cook on high for 1 1/2 hours or on low for 4-5 hours. Stir mixture halfway through cooking.


Fall Pinterest Recipes: Paleo Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Honey #PreppyPlanner
Paleo Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Honey 
recipe adapted from Our Full Plate
Ingredients
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 ½ lbs)
  • 2 small apples or 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup of chicken broth
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  • salt to taste

Directions
1. Prepare your apples by coring them and cutting them into wedges. 
2. Add half of your cut apples to the bottom of the crockpot.
3. Prepare your pork tenderloin by cutting slits into the top of the meat and insert 1 apple wedge into each slice. 
4. Add the pork tenderloin and the rest of the apples to the crockpot.
5. Pour in the chicken broth and the sprinkle the spices and honey on top.
6. Set your crockpot on low and cook for 8-10 hours.
7. Serve over rice, pasta or potatoes for a delicious meal!


Fall Pinterest Recipes: Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli #PreppyPlanner
Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli recipe from Kaitlin in the Kitchen
Ingredients
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 3/4 cup Chicken Broth
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cheddar Cheese Soup
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
8 oz Sour Cream
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 cups Broccoli Florets, steamed (I used the steamer bag  which also gave me 8 cups of broccoli)
Cooked Rice or Pasta, to serve it over 

Directions
1. Wash & trim your chicken of any excess fat. 
2. Add your soups, chicken broth and seasonings to your crockpot and mix until everything is combined. 
3. Place the chicken in the mixture and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. 
4. When the cooking time is over and the chicken is cooked through, take two forks and shred it into bite sized pieces. 
5. Stir in the broccoli and sour cream. 
6. Serve over rice or pasta and sprinkle with shredded cheese. 
**This recipe said it makes 4-6 servings but just to be forewarned they are very generous servings!


The reason for all the crockpot recipes is that I have recently stumbled upon how easy it is to fix a delicious meal using them. Now I don't have to wait after I get home from the gym, the meal is ready to go! (It only took 3 years before I discovered how amazing this kitchen appliance is!) 

Have you tried out a new recipe from Pinterest lately? Share your favorite Pinterest recipe in the comments section below!

xoxo
Megan

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