Jan 312017
 
 January 31, 2017  family, food, natural parenting No Responses »

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

Now that the school year is halfway over, it is easy to get in a rut with lunches for the kids. Want something fun to pack for them that you can feel good about? Here are some great healthy and fun lunchbox ideas for you!

I received complimentary samples of HONCHOS Organic Tortilla Chips; however, all opinions are my own.

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas

Put new life into your kids’ school lunches with these healthy & fun lunchbox ideas!

From All Done Monkey: Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

From Maple & Marigold: Spicy & Savoury Chickpea Flour Pancakes

From Mama Smiles: Make It Easy for Your Kids to Pack Healthy Lunches

From Danya Banya: Cheese Monsters

From Kidz Activities: Tuna Sushi & Minion Sandwich

From Kidgredients: Cinnamon Honey Roasted Chickpeas & Date and Banana Muffins, No Added Sugar

From Eats Amazing: Cheese & Tomato Omelette Muffins & Roasted Carrot Hummus

From Mooshu Jenne: Peanut Butter Rolls

Related Post: Healthy Desserts for Kids

As the links above show, “healthy” doesn’t have to mean boring or even complicated to make. There are also a lot of healthy, ready made snack options these days. One recent discovery is Deep River Snacks’ HONCHO Organic Tortilla Chips, which come in fun flavors like Nacho Cheese, Ranch, and (my favorite) Peach Habanero. These tasty chips are gluten-free and use 100% organic ingredients – no GMOs allowed!

I also love supporting businesses that are passionate about giving back to the community, which is why I was so happy to discover that Deep River Snacks helps raise awareness by featuring charities on their snacks, giving in-kind donations, and donating 10% of their net profits to charity.

But enough about why love them – the real test for the lunchbox is what the kids think! Let me just say this was a difficult photo shoot because, well, we could hardly stop eating long enough to get pictures! We got to try all three varieties, and none of them lasted long in our pantry.

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

When it’s so good you just want to eat your hand

I asked the boys which was their favorite flavor, and they really couldn’t decide. Try doing a taste test with your kids and see if they have any easier time making up their minds! They are all so flavorful, your kids won’t miss the junk food they could be eating instead!

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

 

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

All that was left by the time I got a picture

Mar 212016
 

DIY Easter Basket for Baby | Alldonemonkey.com

There are many things that a baby uses intensely during its first year, then never again.  Think of all those adorable onesies that your baby uses in abundance, then quickly outgrows.  Another such item is the receiving blanket.  They are perfect for young babies – soft and snuggly and just the right size – until they are suddenly too small, and you are left with a stack of blankets you can no longer use.

Until now!  Here is an idea to use an old receiving blanket to upcycle a basket into a cute DIY Easter basket for baby.  I’ve also collected fantastic basket filler ideas, plus other creative uses for old baby blankets.

Disclosure: This article was inspired by a complimentary gift basket I received from Gifts.com.

DIY Easter Basket for Baby

DIY Easter Basket for Baby | Alldonemonkey.com

I started with this amazing gift basket from Gifts.com.  They have a great selection, including the one above, which was full of yummy, organic fruit!

After we had devoured the fruit, I was left with a basket that was just the perfect size for an Easter basket!  Since we are all about natural parenting and green living, what better way to make an DIY Easter basket than to upcycle materials we already had on hand?

It couldn’t have been easier!  All you need is an old receiving blanket, a basket, and a hot glue gun.

Receiving blankets are perfect for upcycling because of their even, regular shape; their soft material; and their adorable patterns.  Plus you have a bunch sitting around the house already!  And after Easter, it is great for storage in the nursery or as part of a baby shower gift.  (Thanks to a reader for that last suggestion!)

I used this “faux sew” method, in which you basically just drape the material over the basket and hot glue it in place.  I love the fullness of the draped material, plus it neatly sidesteps the need to make a hem!  (If you do want to make a hem, you can either cut, fold, and hot glue one; or you can use hem tape).  This no-sew tutorial is a bit more precise, plus I borrowed its idea of how to tuck the extra material under at the ends.  If you want a liner that fits more snugly against the basket, here is a tutorial that includes how to measure material for a round basket.

DIY Easter Basket for Baby | Alldonemonkey.com

So pretty and so easy!  Now what do you put in that cute basket?  Here are some ideas:

Easter Gifts for Baby

And now that I’ve got you excited about repurposing your old receiving blankets, here are more creative uses for them:

Creative Ways to Repurpose Receiving Blankets

Be sure to check out these other great spring ideas:

Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Wind Chimes for Kids to Make

Mom Inspired Life: Planting Flowers Alphabet Activity

Inspired by Familia: Fruit Flower Pot Snack for Kids

Jan 202016
 
 January 20, 2016  natural parenting, recipes 6 Responses »

A collection of our favorite healthy desserts that my kids love

Cooking with kids is such a fun family activity, plus it’s a great way to teach healthy eating habits!  We love sweets in our house, so when possible I try to choose healthy desserts and have my kids to help me make them.  They are always surprised to see how healthy ingredients can make such sweet treats!

Disclosure: I received a Personalized Creations cookie jar for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

When we finish, into the cookie jar they go (at least what we haven’t eaten already!)  And what fun when that cookie jar is personalized with their names!  I love our Heart Full of Love cookie jar from Personalized Creations.  The design is gorgeous, and the jar itself is high quality: beautiful and very durable, a winning combination for a mom with three kids!

Heart Full of Love Cookie Jar

Heart Full of Love Cookie Jar from PersonalCreations.com

Looking to fill your cookie jar?  Here are some wonderful recipes for healthy desserts that you and your kids will love!

Healthy Desserts for Kids

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Mama Smiles

Healthy Mixed Berry Cookies from Artsy Craftsy Mom

Chicka Coconut Banana Booms from Growing Book by Book

Grapefruit, Chia, and Poppyseed Cookies from Kidgredients

Banana Raisin Cookies from Craftulate

Chocolate Chip Craisin Oatmeal Cookies from Kitchen Floor Crafts

Anzac Biscuits from Go Science Girls

Chocolate Bread from Danya Banya

Chocolate Cranberry Cheerio Bars from Makeovers and Motherhood

Apple and Coconut Macaroons from Snotty Noses

Healthy AND Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Soccer Mom

Chocolate Avocado Pumpkin Cookies with Salted Caramel Chips from The Soccer Mom

Cowboy Cookies from Little Sprouts Learning

Banana Oat Cookies from Snotty Noses

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from Everyday Savvy

Winnie the Pooh Honey Snacks from Kelly’s Classroom

Biscotti from Snotty Noses

Groovy Granola Bars from Little Sprouts Learning

Aug 052015
 

All-Natural Orange Pudding {Atol de Naranja} | Alldonemonkey.com

Living in California, we are lucky enough to have orange trees in our backyard, and recently my husband and Little Monkey gathered up a huge bag of juicy oranges for us to enjoy.  We had to many, I decided it would be a good time to try my sister-in-law’s recipe for Costa Rican orange pudding, or atol de naranja.  It is delicious!  Little Monkey and I ate big bowls of it before I remembered that I really should save some for the others!

Atol can be translated different ways.  Often it means a thick, sweet drink, as in atol de avena, the vanilla oatmeal steamer I adore.  In this case, it is more like a pudding, though depending on how you like it, you can also make it even thicker, to the consistency like jello. It is easy to make and will turn out well even if (as in my case) you don’t really know what you are doing!  It is a fun recipe to experiment with, by either changing up the spices or adding more or less cornstarch to vary the consistency.  However you decide to do it, you’ll have a delicious, all-natural treat to share with your family!

All-Natural Orange Pudding

Ingredients

3 cups orange juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 cup water

1/4 cup maizena (cornstarch)

sugar/honey to taste (I used 1/4 cup of honey)

Warm orange juice and cinnamon stick on the stove.  While it simmers, mix the cornstarch into the water until it dissolves.  When the juice begins to boil, add the water-cornstarch mixture, taking care to stir constantly.  Add sugar or honey.  When it begins to thicken, remove from heat.  Cool in refrigerator until thickens completely.

All-Natural Orange Pudding {Atol de Naranja} | Alldonemonkey.com

Nov 142014
 
 November 14, 2014  food, natural parenting Comments Off on An Easy Way to Go Organic {Farm Fresh to You}

An Easy Way to Go Organic {Farm Fresh to You} | Alldonemonkey.com

Thank you to Farm Fresh to You for sponsoring this post!  All opinions are my own.

We all know the benefits of eating organic foods, especially for vulnerable groups like children.  There are also many benefits to eating locally grown foods.  And while more supermarkets are offering these options, often they are not as fresh and the offering not as varied as what we might like.

And if you have small children, the idea of spending time thoughtfully selecting your produce at the store will likely seem a bit far-fetched!

Enter Farm Fresh to You, an easy way to go organic!  This wonderful service brings local organic produce right to your doorstep.  You set up your deliveries on their easy to use website, picking and choosing exactly what you want in your box.

An Easy Way to Go Organic {Farm Fresh to You} | Alldonemonkey.com

It is so easy – and fun! – to use.  I love that it is so easy to customize your service and modify it as your needs change.  You choose not only the frequency of your delivery, but also the type of box.  For example, we chose a small box of fruits and vegetables.  I love the option of a “snack” box filled with ready to eat produce, designed for offices!  (Wouldn’t you love to work somewhere that had organic fruit delivered for you to munch on??)  If you are the more adventurous type, you can choose the traditional CSA box, with the best seasonal local produce – including some you probably wouldn’t find in your grocery store!

I have seen other services that say you can customize your box, but really just within limits.  (You can remove the carrots, but not the kohlrabi!)  But Farm Fresh for You really lets you pick and choose exactly which items you want to include – and you can change your mind up to just a few days before your next delivery!

An Easy Way to Go Organic {Farm Fresh to You} | Alldonemonkey.com

Monkey had a blast helping me customize our order.  I think it was like a computer game for him, except with organic fruits and veggies – score!  It was a fun way to get him involved in the process, which of course meant he was much more likely to actually try the food when they actually arrived!  Thanks to Farm Fresh for You, my picky eater tried pomegranate for the first time – and loved it!

I must say the quality of the food we received was exceptional.  The taste of the apples, for example, was out of this world!  This is even compared to the organic apples we purchase from our local grocery store.  Much of the fruit we ate right away, while the kale I used to make muffins and the pumpkin was made into pie!

Does organic produce delivered to your doorstep sound like something your family would enjoy?  Now is a great time to try it out!  My readers can use the code LEAN4714 to get $10 off your first box!

An Easy Way to Go Organic {Farm Fresh to You} | Alldonemonkey.com

To sign up, simply visit Farm Fresh to You or call 800.796.6009.

What is your favorite way to enjoy organic produce?

Nov 102014
 
 November 10, 2014  Christmas, natural parenting 2 Responses »

Green Gifts for Crunchy Mamas | Alldonemonkey.com

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  Thank you for your support!

The holiday season is a great time to splurge on those that you love and to show them that you know what is important to them.  So if you have a “crunchy mama” in your life – that is, someone who appreciates sustainable gift giving and wants to indulge the planet at the same time as she indulges herself – then this is the gift guide for you!

These days there are thankfully many options for environmentally friendly gifts – here are some of my favorites!

Green Gifts for Crunchy Mamas

You don’t have to sacrifice quality to be environmentally friendly!  Here are some of my favorite gifts for the special “green” mama in your life:

Organic clothing and goods

I love Tender Sapling for so many reasons – especially their focus on encouraging kids about virtues, world citizenship, and environmental sustainability.  They have wonderful organic products for all members of the family.  Treat your mama friends with a beautiful T-shirt (including maternity!), or a sampling of their cards, made from recycled paper.

One company that I have just discovered is Indigenous, dedicated to organic, fair trade fashion.  Who wouldn’t want to wear this beautiful Women’s Luxury Organic Tank or elegant Women’s Turtleneck Top?  And be sure to check out their collection of “Treasures that Make a Difference” – now on sale!

All natural pregnancy care products

All natural care products designed especially for pregnancy are a perfect way to indulge expecting moms.  Products like Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
soothe stretching skin, and this gift set from Earth Mama Angel Baby even includes wellness tea!

For the kitchen

In the kitchen I’m especially conscious of the products I use, as I know they will can a direct impact on the health of my family.  That’s why I love to find all natural products like these beautiful Bambu Kids In The Kitchen Utensil.  And what better way to start your little one off on his eating journey than with this Bambu Baby Feeding Starter Set?

And if don’t want to feed your family junk – but want to make food they will actually eat – then you must check out the Weelicious cookbooks!  I adore all of her recipes, which are both practical but also stretch your ideas about what your kids will try.  She has two cookbooks – one with a range of family recipes, and her new one that focuses on kid lunches!  Both highly recommended.

On the go

Busy moms are always on the go, so don’t forget to give them some reusable food storage items they take with them!  I always forget to drink enough water, so I would love a reusable water bottle like this U Konserve Glass Bottle with Silicone Sleeve. U Konserve also has great lunch bags, like this Insulated Lunch Sack or this kids’ version, Kids Konserve Sky Insulated Lunch Sack.  And check out the kids’ lunch boxes from PlanetBox.  My sons would love this Shuttle Lunchbox with blue aliens!

Organic and fair trade tea

As seen in last year’s gift guide, I love tea!  Fair trade teas like Punjana Fair Trade Tea are not only good for communities but ultimately for the environment.  Numi Organic Tea is one of my favorite brands, especially since they have fair trade tea, like this Numi Organic Tea Fair Trade Breakfast Blend. Or you could indulge with this Numi Organic Tea Organic World of Tea Collection, which lets you “travel the world with each sip.”  Sign me up!

Fair Trade and organic chocolate

Ah chocolate – the ultimate indulgence!  Give her a treat she can feel good about eating, like this organic, direct trade Taza Chocolate Oaxacan Sampler.  Protect animals with a gift like the Endangered Species Wolf, Natural Dark Squares with Cranberries & Almonds.  Another organic chocolate company is Alter Eco.  I am very intrigued by their Dark Quinoa Organic Chocolate!  Seems like a fun, healthy spin on a puffed rice chocolate bar.  But my real weakness is hot chocolate – what better way to treat yourself than with Dagoba Organic Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate or Green & Black’s Organic Hot Chocolate Mix?

Homemade gifts

Of course, gifts made from the heart are the best kind of sustainable giving!  Check out these great ideas for gifts you and your kids can make!

For ideas, be sure to check out these post on sustainable gift giving from Multicultural Kid Blogs!  And don’t miss these gifts and stocking stuffers to pamper busy moms!

Festive Family Holiday hop

I’ve partnered with 30+ fabulous bloggers to bring you a special holiday series packed with crafts, activities, and festive family traditions. We’ve put together a phenomenal giveaway to help knock out your holiday shopping. From 11/3–11/17, you will have the opportunity to win 1 of 4 prize bundles for men, women, kids, and babies! The 4 prize bundles, valued at over $1,800, include gift certificates, toys, jewelry, and more!

For more details on these amazing two week holiday series, be sure to visit the main page on Bare Feet on the Dashboard, the creator and host.

Today’s posts are about Gifts for the Season:

 Festive Family Holiday Gift Guide Favorites ~ Gifts for Everyone on Your List

DIY Toddler Play Activity Gift Box from Adventures of Adam

Ten Things from Germany as Christmas Presents from La Cite’ des Vents

Ten Things from France as Christmas Presents from La Cite’ des Vents

Easy Gifts Kids Can Make from Hand Made Kids Art

Stocking Stuffer Ideas from Crystal’s Tiny Treasures

100 Non-Toy Gifts from Lemon Lime Adventures

Green Gifts for Crunchy Mamas from All Done Monkey

Gift Guide for Montessori Homeschoolers from Living Montessori Now

Gift Guide – Birth to 18 Months from ALLterNATIVElearning

The Ultimate Yoga for Kids Gift Guide from Kids Yoga Stories

Gift Guide from Peace But Not Quiet

Gift Guide for Promoting Healthy Development from The Inspired Treehouse

Tips for Sustainable Gift Giving from Multicultural Kid Blogs

ALEX Toys Holiday Gift Guide from Still Playing School

Best Gifts for a One-Year-Old from Adventure in a Box

Gifts that Help Kids with Independence from Sugar Aunts

Grandparent Gifts Kids Can Make from The Chaos and the Clutter

25 Heartwarming Christmas Books from Fireflies and Mudpies

Heirloom Advent Calendars from Are We There Yet?

And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 232014
 

Spirit Bear: Teaching Children About Endangered Animals

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary review copy of Spirit Bear; however, all opinions are my own.

When introducing young children to any serious subject, such as endangered animals, it is hard to overemphasize the influence that endearing storybook or animated characters can have.  After all, many of us first began to think about the importance of protecting the natural world because of a love of a particular fictional character.

What will Bambi and Thumper do when their forest home is destroyed?  Who will speak for the trees if not the Lorax?

The new children’s book Spirit Bear by Jennifer Harrington fits squarely into this tradition.  It is the story of Annuk, a white bear cub (a “spirit bear”), who one fateful day is swept away in the river and must make his way back home through the rainforest to his mother.  In his journey, he must face the dangers of the forest, with help from an unexpected new friend – Kaya, a sea wolf pup.

It is a story of perseverance and bravery, of friendship and trust.  Moreover, the beautiful wildlife illustrations introduce children to 22 animals from the Great Bear Rainforest in Western Canada, many of whom are endangered.  Of course, Monkey’s favorite picture was the last one, when Annuk is back home with his mama and siblings!

This gorgeous picture book is recommended for children ages 5-8 years old.  And this week you can win a copy of Spirit Bear in our giveaway – along with a FREE Teachers’ Package, an additional $9.95 value!  The Teachers’ Package is filled with learning resources, including an animated version of the book and a short educational film that shows children real spirit bears and other animals from the Canadian wilderness.

You can find out more about Spirit Bear on Eco Books 4 Kids, a new “green” Canadian publishing company dedicated to creating fun picture books to engage and educate children about the nature world.  Spirit Bear, the company’s first publication, is printed in Canada with vegetable inks on 100% recycled paper with an FSC cover for a reduced eco-footprint.  Eco Books 4 Kids is the latest endeavor of children’s author Jennifer Harrington.  Born and raised in British Columbia, she is passionate about educating children about the natural world and inspiring in them a desire to protect it.  Illustrator Michael Arnott, of mixed European and Ojibway descent, shares this deep love for Canada’s natural environment, having grown up in the rugged wilderness of Northern Ontario.

Enter our giveaway below to share Spirit Bear with a child in your life!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 182014
 

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

As a busy mom to two active young kids, I spend most of my day on my feet – cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, wiping noses, or running around the park.  It is easy to get burned out this way, so I try to remember an important lesson I learned from my own mother and take some time for myself to recharge and regroup.  I often tend to just go go go and sometimes need a reminder to take time to just sit and relax.  This is good not just for me but also for my kids, who get to have a happy, refreshed mom to play with!  It’s also crucial for them to learn by example that everyone needs time to rest and take care of themselves – even Mom!

As fall approaches, my favorite way to do this is to curl up with a mug of this yummy vanilla oatmeal steamer, a family recipe from Costa Rica.  Known as atol, it is also a favorite kids’ drink.  It is nutritious, with all the benefits of milk and oatmeal, with just a touch of sweetness.

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer (Costa Rican Atol)

Ingredients

Milk (whole milk is best for real creaminess) – approx 1 1/2 cups per serving

Oatmeal (either instant or rolled, depending on desired consistency)

Sugar

Dash of vanilla

Whole cloves

Cinnamon sticks (or can use powdered)

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

The exact amounts of each ingredient depends on your preference.  For example, I like a lot of oatmeal, while others like just enough to thicken the milk.  As seen above, powdered cinnamon can be used, though it will give the drink a light brown color.

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and hit on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickens.  Remove cloves and cinnamon.  Serve warm!  Best enjoyed with your feet up and eyes half closed :)

Be sure to check out more Mom wisdom and great ideas for enjoying milk!

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jun 092014
 
 June 9, 2014  babywearing, breastfeeding, family Comments Off on Connecting with an Older Child While Nursing Your Newborn {Post on the piri-piri lexicon}

Connecting with an Older Child While Nursing Your Newborn - All Done Monkey on the piri-piri lexicon

Tending to an older child while caring for a newborn can be tricky.  It requires a great deal of patience and creativity on your part, but with a few simple tricks, you can create an environment that works for everyone.  A good friend of mine from the fantastic blog the piri-piri lexicon just had her second child, and she has asked me to share some tips about how to connect with an older child while nursing your newborn.

Connecting with an Older Child While Nursing Your Newborn {Post on the piri-piri lexicon}

This really is one of my favorite blogs, so take a look around while you’re there!  And be sure to leave some comments as well – I’d love to hear your tips, too!

May 142014
 
 May 14, 2014  cloth diapers 4 Responses »

Cloth Diapering: Tips & Resources to Get Started - Alldonemonkey.com

Cloth diapering is not as hard as it may seem!

I have spoken with many expecting parents who want to do cloth diapering but don’t know where to begin.  Moreover, they are worried it will be too much work, but once you have your system down, it is really quite easy!

Here are some resources to get you started and feeling comfortable with cloth:

Cloth Diapering Overview: Post from Mama Smiles

For general information about cloth diapering, check out this great overview from Mama Smiles.

Considering Cloth Diapering? What You Should Know - Alldonemonkey.com

If you are not sure whether you’d like to give cloth a try, here are factors to consider.

Getting Started with Cloth Diapers: What You WIll Need - Alldonemonkey.com

Once you have decided to diaper your little one in cloth, here is a list of what you will need.

Cloth Diapers: The Diaper Change - Alldonemonkey.com

Now for the nitty-gritty – how do you change a cloth diaper?

Finally, here are some that I have compiled on cloth diapering, as well as other aspects of natural parenting.

Be sure to follow my Natural Parenting board on Pinterest!


I am so excited to be a part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year. This amazing ten day event represents a massive effort from over 40 bloggers to provide the best advice on celebrating all of those firsts of a baby’s first year. Today we are talking about Taking Care of New Babies.

For more great tips, visit our group Pinterest board: Follow Dayna :: Lemon Lime Adventures’s board Everything Baby on Pinterest.

As an additional surprise for you, The Colic Solution by a Mom, for a Mom is 70% off for the duration of this event. Click here to apply the code:ULTIMATEBABY. Here are all the great topics being covered today: Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of Baby ~ Lemon Lime Adventures

Diapering

 Unexpected benefits of cloth nappies ~ Winegums & Watermelons Cloth Diapering How To ~ All Done Monkey All I’ve Learned about Cloth Diapers {After Three Years} ~ Bare Feet on the Dashboard

Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies to Help your Baby ~ Powerful Mothering

How osteopathy helped my kids  ~ La Cité des Vents

Vaccinations/Well Visits

 What to Expect at Well Baby Visits ~ Still Playing School

Sleeping

Getting Your Newborn to Sleep: Tips & Tricks~ Let The Journey Begin Encouraging Infant Sleep Patterns ~ Trust Me, I’m a Mom

Babywearing

DIY Baby Carrier ~ Kids Activities Blog Remembering babywearing with my son ~ Wildflower Ramblings

Bedtime

Bedtime Routines – How Dads Can Get Involved (and give mom a break)~ The Jenny Evolution

Finally, enter the giveaways! We have eight – yes, eight! – giveaways going on this week, so don’t miss out on your chance to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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