Who wants to come to work with me?

Heather blogSeeing as it’s now summer, lots of you are getting ready for your vacations and time away.  Maybe it’s packing up the car and going camping, to an amusement park, seeing family, or maybe something completely different!  For those of you who are staying around home but still need to ‘get away’ if even for just a moment, I’ve got a great idea: ever wondered what a day looks like as an Evine host? Let me take you to work with me for the day!

The first thing you need to know – the only thing that stays consistent is change! Our schedule is never the same day by day, week by week, and sometimes even hour by hour.

Today is a Friday and I wake up at 6 am to enjoy a much needed hot cup of coffee, then off to Pilates by 7am. After my workout I grab a quick shower and protein shake. There are a few glamorous errands that NEED to be done today such as buying cat food, cat litter, cat toys, cat nip…do you see a theme here?  I arrive at the Evine studio by 11 am and ready to start my shopping day with you, but guess what? I won’t see you on the air until 6:00pm for Before and After Beauty.

Heather cat photo

As I pass our security station, I notice we have a new guard. I spend the next 5 minutes explaining that I am, in fact, the woman whose face is on my badge. Funny how this never happens when I have makeup on!

As soon as I enter the building, I’m off to my first meeting of the day.   I swear I can hear the angels singing as I open the door to the meeting room… it’s a shopping free-for-all with the jewelry buyers! Tray after tray of beautiful jewelry are spread across the table. Together we try one and drool over the merchandise, wishing we could take it all home with us. Once we’ve had our fun, we get down to business by reviewing customer reviews and feedback to identify what you (our viewers) want to see. I tell them what questions you call in with while I’m on the air and also keep a list of your personal requests for our talented designers. Michael Valitutti’s team shares some exciting new items in the world of cameos; Chuck Clemency’s team has a hot new design in morganite; and Dallas Prince’s team…well I have been sworn to secrecy, but you just wait! Overall, a very productive meeting.

Heather cameo blog

Now it’s down to the beauty offices. This place feels like home to me. It’s a paradise of plush couches, elegant light fixtures, and more beauty products than a girl could ever dream of. Here I get to slather on new creams, and check out the hot summer lipstick colors. The biggest question I hear from all of you is, “Heather do you REALLY use that?” My answer is always “Yes!” I sample every last item in each collection I present to you. Obviously, I cannot use them all everyday or I would never leave my vanity!!

Next, it’s back to the host room. I have my cue cards and show plans strewn about. I scribble all of my notes on each card so I don’t forget to ask the questions I know you want answered. My research takes at least 2 hours for show. After visiting with each of my 4 guests for 15 minutes each, I feel prepared to take you shopping.

What I do next is one of my favorite parts of the day. It’s a trip to the pink room! This where our amazing stylist Annabelle does her magic. She transforms my messy pilates pony tail to a long silky blowout that finally has me looking like my Evine badge. It’s now 1 hour to showtime and I sit with our whole team (producer, director, visual stylist and sales manager) discussing the flow of the show… or at least how we THINK the show will go. Then we get a good laugh as we realize live TV never goes as planned.  In the few short minutes before the cameras roll, I put in my earpiece and position my microphone, the lights dim and studio goes quiet. I sit down at the vanity in studio E and get ready to say “Good Friday evening everyone and welcome into Before and After Beauty”. You all know how the rest of my night goes as you and I go shopping together through your television.

Heather B and A blog

I am back home and in my PJ’s by 10pm, already excited for my 6 am wake up call to do it all again. I love my job!

 

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Summer vacation!

Summertime for me is going on a really cool vacation!  I start planning our vacations months in advance.  I find so much joy in researching the destination that we plan on visiting. I will go online to read reviews of hotels, restaurants and museums. I even ask my friends and family their advice on what they recommend if they have been to that destination before.

For me, it is like being a child again anticipating Christmas gearing up for the trip.  I’m very lucky that my husband and I both enjoy the same things and we both have a passion for travel and experiencing new places every year.

Mel Venice blog

This year we planned our first trip to Italy to celebrate my 50th birthday.  It was a trip of a lifetime and a dream come true for me.  We landed in Venice on my 50th birthday and then traveled to the Tuscany region and toured some great wineries and had dinner with Stefano and his lovely Mel Stefanowife!  He is one of our best gold vendors and has been going on-air at EVINE for almost 20 years!

Mel Manuela

 

 

 

I also had dinner with my friend Manuela Biancospino in Rome. She is another fabulous guest and represents the Toscana Jewelry line.

 

MEl UffiziWe enjoyed going to the Uffizi museum and the Accademia Gallery to see David – just incredible.  From there we left Florence for Positano and Capri, and enjoyed the Mediterranean for a week before finishing our trip in Rome!  We had great walking tours and also were lucky enough to see Pope Francis give his blessing in St. Peter’s Square on Father’s Day.

What about you? Where would you like to go on a trip?  A vacation doesn’t need to be anywhere far off or exotic to be a dream come true, it can be down the block or around the corner!  I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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When life gives you lemons . . . make lemonade!

It’s a quote my grandmother stitched onto an embroidered piece of fabric and framed it, placing it in my bedroom – it had 2 bunnies that reminded me of Beatrix Potter bunnies – very simple crisscrosses created the words to a very complex life message.  I’ve thought of this quote many times as I’ve experienced tough times – how do I make lemonade out of this?  It means to find the silver lining to the dark cloud, or to make something positive out of something negative.

Like cancer—how can you find the positive in that? One little girl did just that.

For many, summertime is the time to drink lemonade because it’s hot. However, for my family, it’s a time to do our part and fundraise to help find a cure for cancer—one cup at a time! 

Chloe stand blog

Each summer my daughter, Chloe has held a neighborhood lemonade stand outside of our home where she sells cupcakes, cookies and brownies to raise money for Childhood Cancer Research through Alex’s Lemonade Foundation.   It’s an annual fundraising event that Alex’s parents continued on well after their 4- year old daughter Alex’s death from brain cancer.  She was an inspiration to kids across the nation for telling her mom she wanted to raise over $1 million dollar for a cure for all children who have cancer.  Alex doesn’t know it- but she has more than doubled that goal!  Chloe was just one of the kids she inspired to take action!

Chloe brownie blogDaddy is handy so he made the lemonade stand with pink and yellow strips when she was just 6-years old, soon becoming an attraction to all of the kids in the neighborhood!  Everyone wanted to come and help pour lemonade and sell cookies!  

Wendi group blogIt’s a whole weekend event and, of course, I invited all my fellow hosts – this year Sam Saboura from One World stopped by and did a live Facebook chat with me from the Lemonade stand – AND he contributed!  Laura Duffek from your favorite bedding and Tiffany Style Lighting shows also came around, as well as host Kimberly Wells, who was a big donor this year (thank you Kimberly!!) and even  easy and breezy Becky Wright from OSO Casual!  Host Kendy Kloepfer comes every year and got Chloe police blogto witness the fire truck pulling up onto the block, along with Chloe who, of course, was screaming and jumping up and down (sidenote- why are firemen always cute? Where were my single girlfriends?)  Another donor was even our own CEO Bob Rosenblatt (who is a doll by the way), Invicta Ryan . . . and the list goes on!

 

So, all-in-all, it was a huge success!

By the time Chloe was 6-years old, she had raised over $1,000. Each year since then, she has surpassed that goal, with over $8,000 donated so far!  That first year the local news station came to interview her and last year, a local company who chooses one “little fundraiser” to help raise BIG money, presented her with a $1500 check.  It’s been amazing to witness how people really come out to help, and have been moved by the big heart of a ‘little’ person.

Chloe stand 2 blogThis year Chloe’s Lemonade stand was held in honor of Cheryl,  a long-time beloved friend and nail technician to many of the female hosts at EVINE, who’s had cancer for over a year and is undergoing a major battle for her life.  Prayers for her would be wonderful . . . .

 Learning about compassion and helping others is a lesson I wanted to teach my daughter at a young age—what are you doing to touch the life of others this summer?

 

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Wally says “Happy Summer!”

If you’re a dog owner like us, summer is the best time of the year here in Minnesota. We love taking our ‘boys’ on walks around the lake, playing ‘catch’ and ‘tug-o-war’ in the back yard, and going for long rides in the car. Being outside is fun but there are a few simple precautions that we take that help protect our dogs and keep them cool in the heat.

Wally blog

Stay Hydrated. Bring extra water for your dog on any long walk. Drinking water is one of the ways dogs cool themselves. If they’re playing outside, make sure their water bowl is full.

Stay off Hot Pavement. Summer heat warms pavements just like a frying pan and, if the pavement gets too hot, it can burn your dog’s paws. You can check by pressing the back of your hand against the asphalt or concrete to see if it will be comfortable for your dog to walk on. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!  Avoid these surfaces during the hot part of the day or consider putting protective booties (good luck with that) on your dog’s paws as added protection. Wally just walks on the grass as much as possible

Prevent sunburn. My bulldog Wally is mostly white, and white dogs tend to get sunburned more easily. Additionally, the tips of ears, bridge of the nose, around the eyes and abdomen are all sensitive areas on a dog’s skin. So, if you plan to be out in hot sun for a while, get your dog a sun protector or sunscreen made for dogs and, whenever possible, rest in the shade.

Keep up on ticks and fleas protection. Being outdoors is great, but wooded areas and long grasses are home for ticks and fleas.

Let’s go swimming! We keep a pool filled just in case one of my dogs wants to take a dip and cool off.

Wally blog pool

And of course…never, ever leave your pet in the car on a hot day.

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Life’s a beach

You’ve probably never heard the song ‘Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside’ and it’s highly unlikely you’ll find it on iTunes any time soon, but it’s quintessentially British and sums up who I am when it comes to summer. I heart the beach – big time!

For me, summer is an experience for the senses. After we’ve been bundled up from the cold inside our houses and our big coats, it feels celebratory to shake it off and salute the sun, the sky and sea. I adore the feeling of warm sun and a cool breeze on my skin, the sound of the ocean, the sensation of sand between my toes as I walk through the waves. From the bleak midwinter, summer comes with a beauty so perfect it brings a sense of anticipation that anything is possible.

When I was little our annual holiday home was a tiny cottage called ‘Binsey’ in Cornwall that was owned by my Great Uncle Fred and Auntie Mae. I have the utmost respect for my amazing parents making a four hour (or was it eight hour?) journey with three small children, no air con and a constant wail of “Are we there yet?” But once we were there – what an adventure! We lived on the beach; surfing on wooden boards, eating peppery Cornish pasties and clambering on the rocks with our nets in one hand and buckets in the other looking for salty rock pools and the wondrous sea creatures they held within.

When I was five, we moved to glorious Sussex-by-the-sea. First, to historic Hastings, where my Dad would take us climbing on the cliffs and tell us stories about the great battle that took place there in 1066. We’d watch the glassblowers on the pier making colorful creations whilst eating hot donuts fresh from the pan.

Next, we moved to Elmer Sands, which couldn’t get more British seaside because we had a Butlins holiday camp in nearby Bognor Regis where hoards of Brits would flock year upon year to sit in deckchairs eating ice-creams and getting suburnt. Our house was so close to the beach I could see the sea from my bedroom window. We went to the beach every day after school and I even remember one day bringing a tray with a teapot, a jug of milk and cups for all the Mums and Dads after one of them said, they were, ‘Gagging for a cuppa’. Some days an ordinary walk on the beach could turn into an adventure when a trawler had become grounded or we found an unexploded WWII bomb that had washed in with the waves!

In 1999 I fell in love. Not with a person but with a place. It was the first time I visited the Spanish island of Ibiza. I have been lucky enough to work and travel all over the world but there is something quite magical about the island and it holds so many great memories for me from seeing the moon rise to many a sunset. In fact, in 2009, I ditched the city and moved there for the summer. A favorite memory that year was when I was steering a friend’s yacht (as you do!) and, as I looked out at the glittering ocean, I had the thought that this couldn’t be any more perfect. At that precise moment, five dolphins popped up out of the waves right by the side of the boat to say hello!

Still on my bucket (and spade?) list is the Maldives. In our host room, my screen saver/vision board is a stunning picture that appears every time I turn on my computer.

I’ve visited many places and many beaches but, wherever I am in the world, the sea brings both a sense of excitement and peace. The ocean can be as still as a mill-pond or a swirling all-consuming torrent. It is a reminder that nothing in life is constant apart from change.

Here’s just a small snapshot of snapshots from some of my seaside adventures that I’d like to share you with you:

 

Cornwall

Cornwall – the start of my love affair with the beach on one of our family holidays

 

Provence

Provence 2009 – this was a holiday with my parents and my grandmother we had a gorgeous villa up in the hills in the South of France. If I can’t be at the beach you’ll find me at a pool!

 

Capetown

Cape Town 2011 – I shot an American commercial (yes, I can do other accents!) in Cape Town, and the whole trip was magical – from flying Club Class, scaling Table Mountain and even a Hollywood celebrity sitting feet away from me on the flight home! 

 

KoChang

Ko Chang 2012 – one of my BBFs lives in Bangkok in Thailand and when I went to visit in 2012 we caught a boat to the island of Ko Chang. I love this picture as it looks like it’s from a brochure – that’s how beautiful Thailand is – no filter required!

 

Croatia

Croatia 2013 – Croatia has incredible sunsets and the Adriatic sea is like no other. A friend and I went to a festival there and it rained every day – apart from this one!

 

Ibiza

Ibiza 2013 – this is from a holiday with the girls. I procrastinated for ages about whether to pay extra for a room with a sea view but I was so glad I did. This was the view from our balcony. Pure bliss!

 

Brighton

Brighton 2015 – Brighton is very near to where I grew up in Sussex and always has a place in my heart. This is the shell of the old pier that burned down in 2003.  I took this photo last year when I working in Brighton for a few days.

I’d love to hear about your ocean adventures. If you could only go to one beach in the world for the rest of your life, where would you go and why? Which hot spots in the US would you recommend I visit? And what’s on your beach bucket list?

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Summer in Minnesota!

Ahh Summertime! The sun is out, coffee drinks turn to cold brews and people just seem to smile more. I moved back to Minnesota after getting my DREAM job at EVINE Live in the dead of winter. I will tell you that was a doozy. I was coming from what felt like one of the hottest locations on earth – sunny Dothan, Alabama!

I spent a glorious amount of time in the South when I worked as a News Anchor. It’s amazing how quickly you can get used to the temperature of a place. It seemed to never really get cold. I tossed all my long sleeved shirts and pared down my wardrobe to shorts and tanks. On blissful weekends I would hop in my car and fill my beach bag singing at the top of my lungs as I drove the short distance to the beach. I was in the very lowermost corner of Alabama, which meant in a mere two hours I could be at Panama City Beach, Florida. There I would lay in the white sand beaches and it seemed all my cares melted away.

Natasha blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying the evening at Panama City Beach, Florida!

One day as I was laying on a beach chair feeling I might just literally burn to a crisp with the hot sun beating down something crazy happened. My phone rang! Wow shocker you may be thinking! It was a Minnesota number and it was EVINE Live trying to schedule an interview! Yep, your life can really change that quickly.

Nat blog summer3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I came back home to Minnesota I decided to take a solo adventure to the beach. It was pure bliss. I spent the entire weekend enjoying my own company and reflecting on the past several years of my life. This is my view of the lovely waters of Panama City Beach at dusk.

 I said a bittersweet goodbye to the beach weekends and hot summer sun for a cold, misty day in October. It was the kind of cold that gets in your bones and shakes and rattles you. I am FROM Minnesota but have lived away from home for so many years I had forgotten how brazen that biting cold can get. For the first few months I never left my space heater and drank copious amounts of coffee for internal warmth.

Nat blog summer2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying a hot sunny day with my friends in Atlanta . . . love when sunshine and friendship comes together . . . it’s magic!

But nothing lasts for long and now it’s summer in Minnesota!  I am reminded why I love having four seasons and the warmer temperatures remind me again of times in good old Dothan, Alabama. I still have to remind myself I don’t have to grab a jacket when I head out to get in my car. Summer makes us all sing a little louder and play a bit harder. I hope you enjoy your summer and cannot wait to connect again soon!

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The lazy days of summer?

As a girl who was born in Scotland and raised in northern Minnesota, no one appreciates the beauty of summertime more than me.  However, I’ve noticed a few funny contradictions . . .

Lynne blog

I love the feeling of the warm sun on my skin and all of the benefits of Vitamin D it provides. I love the warm, beautiful, sun-kissed glow my skin will have by summer’s end and look forward to the spattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks.   But, at that summer’s end, I’ll look in the mirror and panic! I ‘ll immediately return to the serums and creams I’ve so religiously applied morning and night to eliminate the new sun damage I just created with the goal of looking like I’ve never spent a single minute in the sun.

The ‘lazy days of summer’ is a concept that my brain has never quite figured out. It implies that I’m supposed to be snoozing in a hammock, sipping ice tea, sunning by the beach, dining al fresco every night and being stress free without really not accomplishing much. While great in concept, this whole idea totally stresses me out. I am a consummate list maker and list crosser-offer. As long as I can keep doing that while sipping ice tea in a hammock on a beach somewhere, I’m good.

One of my biggest passions is gardening. In Minnesota, we really get to enjoy the fruits of our gardening labor for a short 5 months. In my excitement, I usually start way too early. Inevitably, an early frost arrives and I’m covering up my pots and window boxes with blankets and will always lose some of my beautiful new flowers to the cold. Also in my excitement, I’ll spend a small fortune on flowers for my gardens. My rationale is that summer is such a short season so I just have to spend . . .  with my husband’s rationale is being that, since summer is such a short season, I shouldn’t spend!

In the end, come Labor Day Weekend I’ll do what any good Minnesotan will do when it really kicks in just how glorious (but short) a Minnesota summer can be.   I’ll wish I had soaked up the more of the goodness of the sun, I’ll wish I had relaxed and chilled-out just a wee bit more, and I’ll wish I had designed another colorful and beautiful back-yard garden.

Cheers to making this summer the best one ever!

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Dreams come true . . .

My husband Noel and I embarked on the ‘adventure’ of rehabbing a small lake cabin several months ago.  Now, we could enjoy our free time near the water in Minnesota during the summer, but also in the spring and fall!

Kristine cabin1

Both of us being Minnesotan; we grew up in the land of 10,000 lakes (to be exact, we have 15,291!)  The state has over 90,000 miles of shoreline, which is more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.  To take advantage of this, one out of every six people in Minnesota own a recreational boat.  So, it’s no surprise that I, like my fellow statesmen, love lake life and, like many . . . my husband and I have dreamt of owning a lake cabin ‘someday’. Well, that someday became a reality this past December!

Here’s how the dream started: we bought the smallest, most neglected, outdated cabin on the lake . . . but with 50 feet of shoreline line and a sandy bottom!  My husband said the cabin had ‘good bones, but no muscles’, so the work began.  As Noel is a general contractor, he took on the project over this past winter.  He started by bringing it down to the studs.  He then put tongue and groove on the walls and the ceilings, put in a shower (there was none before), carpeting, new windows . . . and the list goes on . . .  By the way, he did a fabulous job! I offered the much needed moral support and home décor talents, but that was it; he deserves all the praise!

Kristine cabin inside2

Seven months later, our little, 600 square foot cabin feels like our home away from home.  It’s 98% done and is already such a blessing.  We’re making new friends, creating new memories, and fishing every chance we get.

Kristine cabin kitchen

So, summertime 2016 means I’ll be by the water, on the water, or in the water . . .

Kristine boat

Here’s to cabin life, and making dreams come true!

What Dreams, or ‘someday’s’, do you wish for?  Please share, I’d love to know!

 

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Summer fitness ideas!

Unleash your inner childish beast with fun summer fitness ideas! (as well as some nostalgic sing along opportunities along the way!)

As a kid, I remember the anticipation of summer break like it was yesterday! No early morning alarms, no homework, the excitement of sleepovers, summer camp and endless hours of just being outside and playing. Life was good!! But then we grew up, got jobs, family responsibilities and along the way, we kinda forgot how to play!

(Sing along) I like to ride my bicycle….

There was no greater feeling of freedom than my daddy giving me that final push as the last training wheel came off of my bike- woo-hoo! This was fantastic – I would ride around for hours, never once thinking about the ‘workout’ I was getting.  Today, it’s still so cool exploring the Twin Cities and beyond from the freedom of my bike!  I can ride just about anywhere I need to go, from the grocery store, to a Twins game, to lunch with friends and more! So, dust off that old banana seat, bell and basket and enjoy the ride!

Kimberly bicycle

(Sing along) Ohhhh I got a brand new pair of roller skates ….

Anyone fancy a good old fashioned ‘all skate’? Obsession doesn’t even begin to describe my love affair with roller skating as a kid. I even convinced my parents to give me lessons ‘cuz I was SURE it was going to be an Olympic sport and I was gonna win gold! Well, 40 years later, the yellow pom-poms may be gone and the wheels have been upgraded to blades…but I still get a thrill taking a spin on the trails. Inline skates are, to my generation, the hover boards of today.  We skate vs glide, all the while getting a great lower body workout that we don’t even think about –  and its fun! Who knew?!  Just remember to wear your knee pads and wrist guards!

Kimberly rollerblade

Brain rollerblade(Sing along)  A my name is Alice…..

And, while my boyfriends name isn’t Arthur, I can still remember being a jumping fool and begging my friends for one more spin! Yet, why is it so darned hard as an adult?  So, grab your shoes, put on the Rocky soundtrack, and go for 3, three-minute intervals of good, old-fashioned jump roping- whew!!  Your heart will get pumping, you’ll work every single major muscle group of the body and I guarantee it’ll make you smile as you think back on the good ol’ days of summer!

Kimberly jump ropeKimberly jumprope2I’d love to hear about your summer outdoor plans this year!  Keep cool, stay hydrated & have fun! After all, it’s ‘summertime and the living is easy….!’  Enjoy!!

 

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Fore!

I LOVE summer!  Living in Minnesota, what that means is trying to make the most of all (what seems to last) 15 minutes of it before winter kicks in again!

Being a bit of a hippie, my ‘normal’ (but seriously, what is ‘normal’ for this girl?) summer activities are all about hitting up as many outdoor music festivals I can, and I will for sure do that this summer.  BUT, a once in a lifetime event is coming to Hazeltine National Golf Course (my home course): THE 2016 RYDER CUP!  Okay, so if you’re not a golfer, you’re thinking, huh?  The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between the best 24 players from Europe and the United States. The competition is played every two years, with the venue alternating between courses in the USA and Europe. It will only be at Hazeltine National this one time, EVER!  Here is a picture of me and my hubby, John, with the Ryder Cup trophy:

Kathy blog2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trophy is only 17″ tall and weighs 4 lbs. but is fiercely fought over.  It’s not the traditional quiet, golf-clap kind of tournament, it’s one of the most patriotic events you’ll ever see.  In fact, you can barely hear yourself think over the “U- S- A” chants and the Europeans “Ole Ole Ole”!  The Ryder Cup tournament is actually bigger than the Super Bowl, and more like the ‘golf olympics’.  We’re expecting over 1/4 million people from all over the world right, here in my hometown!  The construction of the massive corporate villages and grandstands has already begun on the course, taking 4 months to get it all built!  As a member, I’ve been really involved in helping find private homes to rent for corporations and golf enthusiasts from all over the world.  I’ve met celebrities, corporate giants and even a cricket team with one thing in common….they LOVE golf.  I’ll keep you posted about all the happenings as we get ready to tee up for the greatest game ever played!  Fore!!

Kathy blog1

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