Wear-to-Work

Hi friends!  Before we talk clothes, I have to apologize up front for these photos - lol.  This is one of our first attempts at using the camera's manual settings and we're learning as we go.  So yes, some of these are over / under exposed and some are a bit blurry - but I'm learning - so give a girl a break.  It didn't help that the weather this weekend was stormy and overcast one minute and blazing hot sun the next.  

Alright, with that out of the way, I've recently been trying to find more staples to add to my work attire.  Express is one of those places that always has great wear-to-work pieces that are also still fashion-forward.  I have to say, I haven't shopped at Express in quite some time, but decided to try a few items this summer.  I absolutely love their Portofino blouses.  They come in so many great colors and patterns and can be paired with everything from jeans, to dress pants, to skirts.  I found this cute blue and white polka-dot Portofino top and paired it with this gray H&M skirt I bought a couple years ago.  Don't you love pulling things out of your closet that you haven't worn in awhile and making a new favorite outfit with them?!  These shoes are a Marshall's score and the bag is from the Nordstrom and I keep talking about it because I love it so much.  Happy Monday!

Friday Favorites

It's Friday!  Kick back and enjoy this week's favorites!

Favorite Sale of the Week!

I know, I know – you are probably tired of hearing about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – especially if you follow a bunch of fashion bloggers.  But you guys – it’s a BIG sale!  Some of my purchases started to roll in this week and I am in love with this rug I picked up for the kitchen.  It’s extremely well made and is under $25! My favorite accessory purchase so far is this Sole Society Faux Leather Trapeze Tote.  Actually, I think this may not be part of the sale - but I had to have it anyways!  I love the way the Sole Society products look, but was always a little hesitant to buy because I wasn’t sure of the quality.  This bag totally changed my mind!  It’s so soft and pliable – you would never think it’s faux leather.  It’s also big enough to use as a tote bag.  It fits my laptop, planner, and all the other random items I haul around with me everyday.  The tee below is also on sale in a couple of colors and is so comfortable!

manny also likes the new rug

manny also likes the new rug

Favorite Blogger DIY Project of the Week!

So there are a couple of fellow Pittsburgh bloggers that I am always rambling about, but that’s because they are just that good at what they do!  Call them blogger crushes perhaps.  I always loved the Surznick Common Room’s DIY projects – but since buying a house (and they also recently bought a house) – I am loving them even more.  Check out these super cool geometric hanging planters they constructed for their music room!  I mean seriously. 

Favorite Way to Drink Water!

I’ve never been a big healthy eater.  Fruit – meh.  Veggies – double meh.  Cookies – yum.  Pizza – delicious.  As I’ve gotten older and realized I can’t exactly eat like I used to and still fit into my pants, I’ve tried to incorporate more healthy items into my diet.  However, I still like when I can trick myself – like broccoli on a baked potato or zucchini as pasta, so I really love the idea of infused water.  Gone are the days of drinking a 2-liter of Pepsi a day and here are the days of fresh, thirst-quenching water cocktails.  There a million different infused water combos you could come up with, but I wanted to share two that I recently made for a party that were a big hit!  The first is water infused with strawberry, lemon and basil.  The second uses lemon, oranges, cucumber and fresh mint.  Oh - and lemon, lime and cucumber are supposed to help with hydration, digestion and (yay) appetite control!  For even more ideas, check out this BuzzFeed article.

gorgeous photo and full recipe from no gojis, no glory

gorgeous photo and full recipe from no gojis, no glory

Favorite Wedding Idea of the Week!

What could be cuter than a Pittsburgh girl and an Aussie guy meeting in NYC and tying the knot in the Burgh?  When I first started helping Natalie plan her big day, we knew we wanted to incorporate the two worlds and ensure that all the Australian guests feel at home in our little city.  We’ve found a bunch of ways to do that (stay tuned for a future post) – but one of my favorite ideas are these “Pittsburghese” and “Aussie Talk” cocktail napkins we had designed and then printed through Zazzle.  Both Australia and Pittsburgh are known for some of their unique words - so we thought it would be so fun to put the words and their definitions on the cocktail napkins.  I can't think of a better conversation starter as guests are mingling and being introduced to one another.

Favorite Article of the Week!

The Everygirl website should just have a permanent place on my Friday Favorites because I am always including something from the site.  This week I read "6 Tips for Getting Your Adult Financial Life Together."  They target the article to those girls fresh out of college - but I think the tips really apply to anyone at any stage of life.  Though it's never fun, it's always a good idea to understand where your money is going and how to save for the future.

Favorite Nail Polish Colors for the Fall!

Yes, summer, in it’s usual way, is flying by and fall will soon be upon us.  While I’m not ready to trade my tanks for flannels or flip flops for boots just yet, it’s always fun to start thinking about fall fashion and beauty trends.  I was getting a manicure last weekend and as I was flipping through the myriad color options, I couldn’t help but pause longingly at the deep burgundies and grays.  I am a sucker for a dark almost black hue – Lincoln Park After Dark by O.P.I. has been my signature fall color for years…geez I hope they never stop making it!  Check out some of my other favorite fall shades that I can’t wait to wear. 

 

 

Friday Favorites - Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Happy Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Day!  The sale opens to the public today, so I decided to make Friday Favorites all about my favorite items from the sale.  The sale is the best time to start planning your fall wardrobe and stock up on those key pieces that will transition you into the next season.  Most of the items I linked below are under $50!  Act fast though, prices go up once the sale ends on August 8th.  Happy Shopping! 

The Anniversary Sale is the perfect time to score trendy Topshop pieces to start building your fall wardrobe!

Topshop Patchwork Oversize Open Cardigan / Topshop 'Sugar Baby' Check Ovesize Shirt / Topshop 'Jamie' High Rise Skinny Jeans / Topshop Colorblock Boxy Top / Topshop Faux Wrap Shirt Bodysuit / Topshop Leather Biker Jacket

A new pair of denim is a fall must!  Most pairs below are under $50!

Vigoss ‘Chelsea’ Destroyed Skinny Jeans ($44.90!) / STS Blue ‘Piper’ Skinny Jeans ($38.90!) / BP. Destroyed Skinny Jeans ($40.90) / STS Blue Flare Leg Stretch Jeans ($44.90!) / AG The Legging’ Ankle Jeans ($163.90) / Paige ‘Transcend – Verdugo’ Ankle Skinny Jeans ($99.00) / Blank NYC ‘Skinny Dipper’ Distressed Skinny Jeans ($58.90)

Not like you need another excuse to buy a new bag - but the sale has so many gorgeous styles and many are under $50!

Rebecca Minkoff 'Large Regan' Satchel / Street Level Faux Bucket Bag / Kate Space 'Spencer Court - Caren' Leather Hobo /  BP. Faux Leather Drawstring Tote / Sole Society 'Ravin' Tote / Tory Burch Pebbled Leather Tote / BP. Faux Leather Saddle Crossbody Bag  

Be ready when the weather turns cold in the cutest sweaters!

BP. Open Front Cardigan (multiple colors) / Halogen Ribbed Cahsmere Poncho / Free People 'Shadow' Oversize Hacci Open Back Top / Madison & Berkeley Side Slit Turtleneck Tunic / Love by Design Mock Neck Patch Pocket Oullover / Dreamers by Debut Cowl Neck Boxy Pullover 

There is nothing like new workout gear to get you moving!  All items are under $55!

Zella 'Live In' Crop Leggings / Zella 'Sirsasana' Sports Bra / The North Face 'Glacier' Quarter Zip Pullover / Zella 'Dharma' Hooded Jacket / Zella Wrap Hoodie / Zella 'Studio' Ankle Socks / Alo 'Haze' Long Sleeve Top 

Who says diamonds are a girl's best friend?  Give me new fall booties any day!

Halogen 'Owen' Pointy Toe Ghillie Flat / TOMS 'Lunata' Bootie / Vince Camuto 'Katleen' Peep Toe Bootie / Stuart Weitzman 'Perfection' Bootie / Sperry 'Saltwater - Quilted' Duck Boot / Steve Madden 'Eternul' Over the Knee Block Heel Boot / BCBGeneration 'Carolena' Peep toe Bootie /

All under $50!!  Everything below will fit nicely into your fall wardrobe and into your bank account!

Lush Deep-V Neck Tee / BP. Plaid Tunic Shirt / Sole Society 'Thalia' Crossbody Bag / Lush V-Neck Crepe Blouse / Madewell Plaid Wool Scarf / BP. Woven Twill Tunic / Gorjana 'Thea' Adjustable Lariat Necklace / Chelsea 28 'Victoriana' Lace Detail Tank / STS Blue 'Piper' Skinny Jeans / BP. Round Faux Leather Strap Watch / Mural Slouchy Boyfriend Blazer /

What did you snag at the sale?  Comment below - I'd love to hear about your picks!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - Home

If you follow any other fashion or style bloggers, chances are you've heard them talking about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  It's Nordstrom's biggest sale of the year and unlike your typical sale where you are rifling through racks of last season's duds, the Anniversary sale is all brand new fall merchandise and prices will actually go up after the sale ends.  Since I just bought a new house, I am smitten with all of the adorable home items in the sale.  Check out some of my faves below and check back tomorrow for my clothing picks!  

Pillows and throws are an easy way to add comfort, color, and texture to any room! The 'Bliss' throw is only $25.90 and comes in 11 colors!

Kennebunk Home 'Bliss' Plush Throw (11 colors) / Cupcakes and Cashmere 'Lace Medallion' Embroidered Pillow / Rizzy Home Cable Knit Cotton Throw / Rizzy Home 'Knots' Comforter Set / Levtex 'Hey Gorgeous' Pillow / Nordstrom at Home 'Irina' Jacquard Throw

Rugs with unique colors and patters can instantly update any space!

Dash & Albert 'Aster' Cotton Rug / Loloi 'Elmer' Rug / Loloi "Lenihan' Rug / Levtex Border Print Rug / Surya Home 'Sherpa - Lines' Wool Rug / AM Home Textiles Diamond Pattern Hand Tufted Cotton Bath Rug

Items perfect to give as wedding or housewarming gifts - or to gift yourself (you deserve it)!

10 Strawberry Street 'Moscow Mule' Copper Mug / Rosanna Art Deco Double Old Fashioned Glasses / Nordstrom at Home Stainless Steel & Copper Bar Tool Set / Thirstystone Marble & Wood Paddle Serving Board / Cathy's Concepts 'Say Cheese' Slate Serving Board / Nordstrom at Home 'Madrona' White Wine Glasses  

Right to Bare Shoulders

I'm fairly certain it was Friday five minutes ago.  It's definitely a large coffee kind of morning - dark, rainy and had way too much fun this past weekend.  I posted about the off-the-shoulder trend a few months ago and it's definitely still going strong.  I am trying not to buy too many off-the-shoulder items because as we all know - trends come and go.  It's best not to invest a ton into trendy pieces.  However, this adorable lace top from Abercrombie & Fitch was too cute to pass up.  I recently "rediscovered" A&F and have been truly pleasantly surprised with their collections.  Gone are the days of moose logos plastered all over everything.  Instead, the retailer is selling flowy dresses, on-trend tops and swimsuits that won't break the bank.  Hope you guys have a great Monday.  Stop back later this week when I'll be sharing my picks for everyone's favorite sale of the year - the Nordstrom Anniversary sale!

Shop the Look!

Top - Abercrombie & Fitch (sold out) - other great white off the shoulder tops - A&F / Nordstrom / Forever21

Sapphire & Lace Event Design

It's been awhile since I have interviewed a Pittsburgh small business and I couldn't be happier to start back up today with Sapphire and Lace Event Design.  Sapphire and Lace is a full-service design company - meaning it's a one stop shop for everything from florals to rentals to calligraphy and most things in between.  The team will take your theme and vision and help you to create a cohesive and gorgeous event.  What makes me really love Sapphire and Lace?  It's run by a super talented sister duo!  I first met Bethany many years ago when we were working for the same event planning company.  Bethany absolutely knows the business and has friends and connections all throughout the Pittsburgh event planning community.  Coupled with her sister, Julie's, creativity and eye for design - this pair is unstoppable!  I am so happy to see their business flourishing and I hope that you will check them out for your next event.  

Meet Sapphire and Lace!

Give us a brief history lesson on Sapphire and Lace.  Who are you?  What do you do?  When did you get started?  

We are two sisters who have always had a passion for weddings.  What started out as a hobby for us quickly turned into a venture when we brought together each of our skill sets and interests.  We offer floral design, specialty rentals and styling services to Pittsburgh area Brides & Grooms! We started our floral and event design company two years ago and are so excited to be entering our third wedding season full time!

I  think people understand what a florist does – but what is “event styling”?

Event styling is all about the details. We take the couples design inspirations and tie them through each element of the day. Creative signage and display of signature drink menu, a unique way to display guest seating arrangements, etc.. For brides wanting to incorporate some of their own items, we help make those items work cohesively with the rest of the design elements.

What were you doing before Sapphire and Lace?

Our lives looked so different just a few years ago!  Bethany was working at a wedding planning company as the office manager, learning more about the industry and building relationships with local vendors.  Julie had a job in banking, but was always finding creative outlets outside of work to practice her craft.  

What has been the biggest challenge of owning your own business?

Owning your own business and being your own boss is an amazing thing, but it definitely has its challenges. When you do what you love, it never truly feels like work- so it can be hard to turn off “work mode”. Trying to balance operating your business and being available whenever something comes up while also maintaining your personal life is one of the biggest challenges!! We’re so lucky to have a supportive network of family and friends behind us.

julie with a gorgeous floral crown

julie with a gorgeous floral crown

What has been the biggest reward / compliment you’ve received?

“You created the wedding of my dreams!"  Anytime a bride is brought to tears when she walks into her reception venue is the best feeling!!!  It is why we do what we do!

Now that we are in the thick of wedding season, what do you see as the big trends in styling and design?  

Loose centerpieces and bouquets, running greenery and rose gold/mixed metallics are everything! 

summer floral workshop presented by sapphire and lace event design

summer floral workshop presented by sapphire and lace event design

Do you have an absolute favorite event that you have designed?

We’re definitely biased to our own weddings! haha!  Although it was a major challenge to create our own florals and design the day before our weddings (we would never recommend it)…it was definitely worth it!  The best weddings though are the ones where the bride and groom have an inspiration or theme they want to carry throughout the day- especially one thats meaningful to them and their relationship.

What makes Pittsburgh the most unique place to get married? 

We love the 'Burgh! Pittsburgh offers venues that fit any style- from rustic barns, to chic downtown ballrooms with a city view.  Of course the most unique aspect to a Pittsburgh wedding is the cookie table!!

What’s the business goal for 2016? 

Our goal for 2016 is to book up May-Dec and to offer each of our clients a personal, boutique experience with attention to every detail!

Meet Bethany and Julie!

bethany on her wedding day - julie on left

bethany on her wedding day - julie on left

What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking the leap to owning his or her own business?  

Stay positive and get ready to grind!  Know yourself, and your brand so you have the confidence to make decisions and to know when to go outside of the box and try something new!  

Between family and running a business, I am guessing you have limited free time.  If you do have a night to yourself, what are your favorite things to do in the city?

Anything that includes good drinks, good conversation and good music!

I know you offer floral workshops – anything else coming up that you want to share? 

 We’re so excited to be offering another workshop this fall focused around floral jewelry - rings, bracelets, necklaces, hair accessories.  We will announce the date this summer so stay tuned! 

bethany teaching me the art of floral design at the sapphire and lace summer workshop

bethany teaching me the art of floral design at the sapphire and lace summer workshop

How do we find you?

Check out our website at sapphireandlacedesign.com. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram!  You can also reach us at sapphireandlacedesign@gmail.com.

Friday Favorites

Hello friends!  I'm back with Friday Favorites.  Woohoo!  I also just want to wish everyone a safe and super fun 4th of July weekend!  I went to Target today and bought my beach towel, sunscreen, and of course pool noodles.  You'd think I was going on a beach vacation...but I'll actually just be down the road at the Dormont pool.  lol.  No matter what you're doing to celebrate - do just that - take some time to just unwind and enjoy the sun!

1. Favorite Summertime Garden!

I’m such a sucker for succulents!  I love the variety and the ways I am seeing them incorporated into just about everything – even wedding bouquets.  I bought a couple succulents thinking they were just like cactus, you could basically totally disregard them and they would still look great.  However, I was wrong.  I found out succulents actually need a little TLC in order to really look their best.  Watering too much or too little will really affect your succulent.  In fact, on the website Succulents & Sunshine, there is an entire e-book titled “How to Water Succulents: An In-Depth Guide.”  Now that’s intense.  This article from theeverygirl.com will get you started down the right path to creating a gorgeous succulent garden.

2. Favorite Way to Keep My Feet Dancing!

If you checked out my previous post about our Style Social event, you know that we were able to create some awesome goodie bags for our guests thanks to some wonderful companies that generously partnered with us.   One of our partners, Foot Petals, hooked us up with a ton  of their awesome products!  If you’re not familiar with Foot Petals, they specialize in shoe inserts, pads, cushions, and other shoe care products!  Getting married this summer and want to be able to dance the night away?  Check out their Wedding Day Survival Kit!  They even make Tip Toes that fit into your summer flip flops! 

3. Favorite New Website of the Week!

If you’re a blogger, own your own business, do graphic design, or really anything creative, creativemarket.com is a great resource! I found out about the site from our graphic designers at work  and it’s really a great resource.  There’s a ton of stock photos, graphics, templates, and fonts to help design your masterpiece.  Every week they offer six new “freebies” to download and the other items start at  $2 and up.

4. Favorite News of the Week!

My exciting news of the week – Yes, Wear That! has been nominated for a Style Award in the “Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger of the Year” category!  How exciting!  Started in 2013, Style Week Pittsburgh aims to showcase and promote creative entrepreneurs and brands.  This year’s Style Week will be held from August 18th – 21st.  For the full schedule and to purchase tickets, check out styleweekpittsburgh.com.  And while you are on the site, don’t forget to click on the “Style Awards” link and vote for Yes, Wear That!

5. Favorite Upgrades to a Summer Classic!

As soon as I read the title of this PureWow article, “22 Ways to Take Smores to the Next Level,” I knew it would be part of this week’s Friday Faves.  I have a crazy lovely affair with S’mores and can’t wait to tear into some this weekend!  With the 4th of July weekend upon us, it’s the perfect time to check out this article and up your S’mores game!  Get ready to totally impress your friends at your next cookout!  I mean – S’mores Fudge Pops?  Thin Mint S’mores?  S’mores Doughnut Sandwich?  Someone give these culinary geniuses an award.

photo from the recipe critic via purewow

photo from the recipe critic via purewow

6. Favorite New Make-up that Won't Break the Bank!

Ok – what girl doesn’t love fun make at really great prices?  My friend (thanks Val) introduced me to e.l.f Cosmetics at a wedding a couple of weeks ago.  I was obsessed with the gorgeous lipstick shades she was wearing all weekend.  I was shocked when she told me she gets them at Target and they cost…wait for it…$3!!  You mean I can buy multiple lipstick shades and still have money to eat that week?  Amazing.  I also just bought their bronzer kit ($3) and foundation brush ($3).  Under $10 for everything!  Thank you Target as always!

Style Social Frick

Wine was flowing and high-heels were the topic of conversation at our 4th Style Social event held last week at the Frick Art & Historical Center.  Local style bloggers, boutique owners, and general lovers of fashion came together to view Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, the first in a three-part series of fashion exhibits to be held at the Frick.  Guests sipped wine, enjoyed some light appetizers, took "shoe selfies" in front of our gorgeous floral backdrop, and decorated high-heeled cookies baked by the culinary students from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. At every Style Social, we hold some sort of contest to get our guests involved in promoting the event via their social media outlets.  This time, we held an Instagram contest and thanks to our generous partners, Bronze Coconut TanningThe CommonerEmy Mack and Pure Barre we were able to give away two awesome prizes.  Each guest also walked away with a bag full of goodies from Foot Petals, Essence CosmeticsCatrice CosmeticsCutex and The Frick.

These Girls (Insert heart emoji)  ashley, niki, me, tori

These Girls (Insert heart emoji)  ashley, niki, me, tori

If you haven't visited the Frick grounds, I strongly encourage you to do so!  Pick a summer night and go for Fridays at the Frick perhaps?  I am now officially determined to coordinate a wedding on this terrace!  It is absolutely gorgeous and was the perfect place for guests to mingle before making their way into the exhibit.

Probably the biggest question on everyone's mind: How do you decide what to wear to a Style Social event?  Let these lovely ladies be your answer.  So many of my favorite summer trends represented here: off-the-shoulder tops, flowing florals, fun cut-outs, and pops of color!  Well done ladies!

jasmin directing me on the perfect shoe selife

jasmin directing me on the perfect shoe selife

high-heeled cookies ready for decorating

high-heeled cookies ready for decorating

anyone that knows me knows i am an absolute cookie monster - no way was mine making it home

anyone that knows me knows i am an absolute cookie monster - no way was mine making it home

our lovely first prize winner, anna - check out those winning heels!

our lovely first prize winner, anna - check out those winning heels!

anna absolutely stole the show with these shoes

anna absolutely stole the show with these shoes

jasmin congratulating our second winner, zoe

jasmin congratulating our second winner, zoe

More shots of our lovely guests!

madison, victoria, gina, tracy

madison, victoria, gina, tracy

such crushes on both of them - jessa and leslie

such crushes on both of them - jessa and leslie

emily is always such an amazing asset and i am still dying over constance's headband

emily is always such an amazing asset and i am still dying over constance's headband

the always flawless, meryl

the always flawless, meryl

tori, geena 

tori, geena 

A million thanks to Sarah from Sarah Collins Photography for the incredible photos and for being willing to work with a room full or photo-obsessed girls!  Thank you to Syd from Stems by Syd for the incredible floral arrangements!  We couldn't have asked for more!  I encourage you to check out the work of both of these women and hope you'll support our local partners - Bronze Coconut TanningThe CommonerEmy Mack and Pure Barre.  

Thank you a million times to my fellow Style Social ladies, Ashley, Tori, and Niki.  I always swear I am not going to get sappy...and then I do...deal with it!  I struggled for a long time (years and years long) with being stuck in a job that was emotionally draining and going on interview after interview for jobs that I never landed.  It took a serious toll on my self-esteem and overall mental well-being.  I cried most days and couldn't find happiness where I used to.  I'm not sure exactly when or how it happened, but at some point I realized that what I was searching for just might not come to me in the traditional sense (go on Indeed.com, apply for a million jobs, hear nothing back...ever).  And that perhaps applying to be an "event coordinator" at some corporation just wasn't meant to be.  If you keep knocking...pounding...even slamming on the same door and it's not opening, sometimes there is a reason.  And when you change your thinking, change your approach, and let go of how you thought things "were supposed to be," amazing opportunities start to reveal themselves.

I decided to start the blog - mainly because I was desperate for some sort of creative outlet.  In the short year and a half that I have been at it, my life has sincerely changed in so many ways.  Ashley, Tori, and Niki have become dear friends and now business partners.  An idea we had to meet other like-minded individuals over some Processo and cupcakes has blossomed into something none of us imagined.  I've found my voice and my self-confidence (welcome back old friend).  A couple of years ago, I would have been absolutely terrified to walk into a networking event.  Now, I am hosting one and making connections I never thought possible.   I've seen friendships develop between so many of the girls in our group and it fills my heart up so much.  The collaboration, support, and mutual admiration is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  I'm not making money from my blog, I'm not getting a million collaborations with big name companies, and I don't have 40,000 followers on Instagram and I'm ok with that.  I'm learning to enjoy the journey and allow the path to unfold before me instead of trying to knock it down with a sledgehammer.  Cheers to the next chapter of Style Social Pittsburgh!

Friday Favorites - Blogger Edition

Friday Favorites - Blogger Edition

In the spirit of Style Social and collaboration, I decided to do something a little different for this week’s Friday Favorites.  I am sharing with you several of my favorite Pittsburgh style bloggers.  Three of them are my fellow Style Social founders and the rest I met this past year through our events!  I could have made this list much longer because there is so much talent in this city, but in the confines of time, I could only share a few today.

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Desert Vibes in the Burgh

Desert Vibes in the Burgh

So life got hectic and blogging had to take a back seat for a little while.  However, I am so happy to be back at it!  To give you the short version of the past few weeks, I moved into a new house two weeks ago (first-time home owner!!) and then kicked off wedding season the following weekend with the biggest I have ever coordinated (375 people at the super chic Hotel Monaco downtown).

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