How to Make Your Home a Haven

What makes your home a haven? What makes it cozy, relaxed, or enjoyable to come home to? In a Pinterest-perfect world, you come home to a clean house, with little to no chores needing done or errands that need run, and your fridge is fully-stocked with exactly what you need to make your family a delicious + healthy meal? EH. Wrong answer, at least in my house. Ever since finding out that I’m pregnant, I have been struggling to keep up with my to-do-list, and the short list of things that actually do get accomplished, I can usually thank my husband for helping out with. I just don’t have the energy I did, and I am going to bed earlier, making the amount of time to get things done in the evenings shorter.

A “haven” can mean different things to different people. To me, it’s the overall vibe in the household. Is it peaceful? Is it happy? It is relaxing? Is it chaotic?

I’m learning that things that aren’t all that important can wait and that some things still have to get done in order to make my home run smoother. And there are some things I like to do to make my home feel more inviting and “homey.”

 Around the house, I like to keep it festive + fresh! You guys, when I have my house decorated for the seasons or a holiday, I feel like I’ve got my stuff 100% together. I’ll admit: I’m pretty festive! I love to decorate, celebrate, and plan parties. My husband recently re-did our old, red brick fireplace/mantle with stone, tile, and barnwood. I’ve had so much fun learning how to decorate it. I also love to switch out decorative pillows & throws with the seasons… it gives a little ‘oomph’ when you walk in the door. He is always (and I mean ALWAYS) working on some kind of renovation project at our house, so I just work around it.

  I also never go grocery shopping without a list! 9 times out of 10, I’ve got a fairly well-planned out list in hand when I walk into the store. I’ve tried doing it the other way– just buying random ingredients and hoping for the best when it comes to meal time and it just does not work for me. I ended up never having what I needed and making an excessive amount of grocery store trips per week. So now, I pick out a few recipes online, and make my list based on that. I don’t always stick to it completely, but it at least gives me something to go off of. It also makes evenings go smoother  for me and leaves the question of “what’s for dinner?” already answered!

Little things like lighting candles, keeping up with laundry, framing some photos and hanging them, and buying fresh flowers can easily spruce things up, set the tone, or make me feel more refreshed!

At the end of a long work day, I just want to be home…  And while I do like a clean house, it really doesn’t matter if there are dishes from this morning in the sink. Life isn’t perfect and despite the to-do’s and chores, I’m just thankful to come to my husband every day, mess, projects, and all!

What do you do to make your own home more “homey?” Comment below! Amanda and I would love to hear it!

Styling a Gathering | Preparation is Key

Inspiration board summer gathering

Marrissa and I like to give our readers an idea of what to expect when they attend a Wild Revival Gathering. Hosting is fun, but can be a real downer if no one comes out for your event. Sharing our inspiration board with our potential guest helps build up excitement,  lets them know what to expect out of the evening and helps us prepare. It’s time well spent!

Our first gathering of the summer will be a simple evening of succulent planting with lemonade + cupcakes. We will gather around picnic tables by the lake, paint plant pots and fill them with our succulents. We will provide the potting soil, paints, brushes, snacks + drinks for the evening. We ask that guests bring their own succulents (you can buy them at Lowe’s or Home Depot)) along with small terracotta pots of your choice. This gathering is a way for us to get back around the table with you and we’re looking forward to it! If you would like to attend, please register here!

Inspiration board

 

Our inspiration for the night was boho summer. The evening is going full of boho touches, with bright colors and simple decor. Nothing over the top! We aim to keep the nights decor achievable, the goal is to provide the ladies who attend inspiration to hold their own gatherings. Marrissa and I both have busy lives with little time or money to invest in decor for every style gathering we host. We have a few staple pieces you will see us use at each gathering.

Gathering your friends and join us for a fun evening on May 21st! Follow this link to register. 

To see more of our gatherings and style visit our Pinterest Board.

It’s in the Details

Its in the details

When I’m uncomfortable I talk… too much.  Sharing personal life details with complete strangers in a desperate reach to fill that awkward silence.  There is nothing more tortuous than walking away from a conversation knowing I did it again. Being a good listener is on my 2016 goals list. It’s something that’s very important to me. I’m great with people I know; I can handle the silence, but a stranger’s silence leaves me feeling like I don’t know where they stand. So I fill it to the brim with noise, leaving my brain no time to wonder what they think.

I’m telling you all of this because I experienced a lot of it over the weekend. I went to the Wild and Free Launch weekend in Charleston, SC.  It was a wonderful and fun weekend, filled to the brim with activity and exploring the most beautiful city. My husband and son + Brittany and her family, from Brittany Anderson Photography joined me. I would leave the crew to attend book launch events solo. Let me tell you: walking into a room with 20+ ladies is nothing short of intimidating. But, this is my summer of YES! So to hell with the anxiety. I’ve been jumping in with both feet and have no intention of stopping.

I had an expectation for how the weekend would go and what my Wild and Free moment from the weekend would look like. In my experience, we have such high expectations for events like this. Let me tell you, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be….

There was no pivotal conversation or great big moment full of life change. I made new acquaintances, but no life long connections at the events.  In fact, I’m sure at one point, I left a sweet girl from the area wanting to run, as I was once again filling the silence with too much one-sided conversion (( I give myself grace))

On the ride home, replaying the weekend, I found that though I didn’t have a big moment on the trip that Jesus’s hand was so overwhelming present, that it hit me in the face he was gracefully and softly there. “He is more in control than we could ever perceive, and he is wildly in love with you and concerned with the details of your life,” Wild and Free By Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly.

He took this weekend and tore down walls of anxiety, provided amazing motherhood memories, built bridges in my marriage and graced me with the chance to build a friendship with a wonderful family from my hometown.

My Wild and Free moment happened on the drive home. It happened writing this post, realizing I can trust him with the details. I can trust that he is a Good Father and though my ideas of the details can be far different from what he allows to unfold, they are no less as great and magical as I imagined.

 

Announcing Summer Gatherings!

Summer gatherings

We are so excited to announce our summer gatherings! The whole purpose of The Wild Revival is to offer ladies a space where they can get creative, form connections, and draw inspiration from one another.

Get ready!! We’ve got some fun things in store for our tribe this summer! We will be hosting the following events: a 4-week book club, an evening of DIY crafting + succulent planting; our 2nd annual flower crown gathering, and (fingers crossed) a larger event hosting the authors of  Wild and Free. This summer is going to be so full of community and we can’t wait to share it with you ladies! Keep reading to find out more information about each upcoming gathering…

Succulent

Our first gathering of the summer will be a simple evening of succulent planting with lemonade + cupcakes. We will gather around picnic tables by the lake, paint plant pots and fill them with our succulents. We will provide the potting soil, paints, brushes, snacks + drinks for the evening. We ask that guests bring their own succulents (you can buy them at Lowe’s or Home Depot)) along with small terracotta pots of your choice. This gathering is a way for us to get back around the table with you and we’re looking forward to it! If you would like to attend, please register here!

Book Club

Next up is the book club. We will be hosting a small group of ladies over four weeks in June, as we read and discuss Wild and Free. We currently have 10 books available at $10.00 each. We will be giving 2 or 3 of the 10 books away at random to some of the lucky of ladies who register! We are so excited to walk through this book with a small group of women– unpacking important truths about how you are already who you are called to be! Being part of the book’s launch team gives us the opportunity to offer our book club members fun exclusives that you won’t get reading alone! We will be creating a private Facebook group for members to connect while we read outside of our meetings. If you’re interested in participating, click here to register.

Flower Crown Gathering

Our 2nd annual flower crown gathering is next on our list! This event is close to our hearts; last year was our very first time hosting ladies in the setting we had been dreaming up for years. This year’s flower crown event will be a celebration of finishing our first year as The Wild Revival. To see photos from our flower crown gathering last year, click here!

Cost for this event will be $45 to cover your flower crown supplies, food + drink, and entertainment. If you register before July 1st, you will received a discounted price of $40. We encourage you to invite your friends and register early! We will be closing registration on July 29th to ensure we have all supplies needed for the gathering. We can promise you that this is one gathering you won’t want to miss! Calling all creatives– would you like to collaborate with us for the gathering? Reach out to us; we would love to work with you!  To register for the flower crown gathering, please click here.

We are working hard to pull together a visit from Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan, authors of Wild and Free. We hope to host the  Wild and Free book tour in Morgantown, WV  this summer. The event would be campfire commission style  ————> encouragement, praise + worship and fellowship led by these ladies. We have a committed host for the event and have been working with the ladies to host them. It would be a big help if you would pre-order or order a copy of the book. You can do that here! As soon as we have details we will be sharing them with you ladies!

We will be doing our best to bring you simple evenings with friends in a styled + fun environment! Bring your girlfriends & join the tribe. We would love to have you!

Real life. Unedited. Unstaged.

Real life. Unedited. Unstaged.

I unplugged last weekend.  Didn’t post, open my laptop or do anything for the blog. This was the first weekend since Christmas that no prep work went into The Wild Revival.  It was amazing,  time seemed to expand over those few days. I pulled out my “real” camera. Painted an outdoor table. My husband and I installed our first garden and filled the yard with all of our son’s toys for the summer months. It’s something I think I will be doing more of in the future.

I love our little spot on the internet. It’s my thing, between all of my must dos, I truly enjoy giving time to it and working with my friend. But, there are weeks that call for grace and this was one of them.

So, for the first time since we started last August, we don’t have a fresh new post for you ladies. I hope you are giving us a high-five from wherever you are, for choosing what matters most this past weekend. Please check back in next week!

Influence Conference | You are qualified

Photo: @laurenkaczmarski

You know that moment when someone you know as an acquaintance shifts to a friend? That moment you or her just lay all your stuff out on the table? Like… “Here I am: my life is messy and over-complicated, but I just can’t have you ask me “how are you doing today?” one more time and not tell you the truth.

Well, I’m that girl. The girl that is tired of pretense or just had a hard day, and the over-sharing spills out like a broken dam. I’m always left with self-talk, saying “Wow, Amanda, you hold nothing back! and they’ve got to be feeling like you’re too much.” Okay, let’s just go ahead and call that self-talk what it is: insecurity, fear and anxiety that this person will bolt now that I’ve shown them my true self.

But when I’m the one witnessing a woman laying her true self, her joys, fears and frustrations out there, I don’t have those thoughts. It’s everything, I love when people get real. I see myself in her struggle. I care deeply for her in that moment.  I see and love her in that moment. I want to rally her on, celebrate or cry with her.

That’s what the Influence Conference was for me. Wave after wave of seeing and knowing these women. These days, we “know” so many people from the squares of Instagram or from across the park. We interpret the bits and pieces they share with us, not knowing the whole, real story. We create a separation between ourselves and the women we see in passing or online. The separation is the lie that these women are past the struggle & livin’ the dream.

Influence Conference
Each time a woman I thought I knew would walk on stage at the conference, she would tear down the walls of separation I had created in my mind. Each speaker would share her story, revealing that her relationship with Jesus was still evolving, that following her calling felt hopeless at times, that she stumbles, doubts and continues to fight desires of the ego, just like me.

They proved that not one of the ladies in the audience needed to have it all together to be qualified to share their faith or gifts and that they could have faith in the promise of our God, while still sorting out what it means to be a daughter of God. Within their stories, we found our stories.

Jess Connolly kicked the morning off by sharing what The Influence Network stood for. She left us with questions that broke past the pleasantries and forced attendees to get boldly honest about their influence and how they felt about their influence.

Jess asked:

 How have I discounted the way He made me?

How have I discounted the place He put me?

Who has God given you favor with?

Who wants to hear from you?

Who has He given you burden for?

What way have you been hurt that you hide?

What ways do you hurt? What is your daily sin?

What are your “Joseph” dreams?

I’ve been sitting with these for days. I have quick answers to these questions, long answers and complete silence for them. They are something I will continue to ask myself as life evolves and I take on new roles of influence.

In her opening talk, she also asked us why we were there.  I didn’t know or think about it until she asked the question. My ticket was a gift; an event like this is not something I feel super comfortable attending alone. Marrissa wasn’t able to come with me on this trip so I was completely solo.

When she asked, I immediately thought… “I was there to hear that God did not put the desire in my heart to create a business that supports women to torture me…”

Jess closed her opening talk with Luke 10: In my real sin, He is made strong.” Looking back, I feel that was the theme of the day. These amazing ladies shared their struggle with all different kinds of sin, and displayed God’s strength in every inch of their stories.

Ashley Book _ Influence conference

A big bonus from attending was meeting some amazing ladies. I got to go to lunch with a few women and had the chance to get to know them better. You can check out Kimberly Keith’s recap here and Alicia Cardwell’s here. It was so neat to be sitting at a table with women who were sure of their faith and could speak openly about seeking wisdom from Him.

It’s not something I’m entrenched in in my day-to-day life, and have just recently become more open (on-line) about how I seek out + struggle with finding a relationship with The Lord. So, to be with so many women in the thick of their own walk was refreshing.

I had to leave a bit early to help a very pregnant friend, prepare for a sweet baby boy.  As I was walking out, I had a twinge of disappointment that I didn’t get to meet Jess and Hayley while at the event.

As you know, Marrissa and I are on the Wild and Free launch team. I was hoping for the opportunity to talk them into coming to visit us in WV, even though we are far from the 100 attendee requirement…

So with disappointment in hand, I jumped in the car and paused for a quick IG post before hitting the road.  As I was pulling out Jess commented on the photo I had just posted that she wanted to meet with us! (wait, WHAT?!)

Influence Conference

Well, that wall of separation came right up when I saw her message. I was pulling out of the parking lot, having an internal struggle and telling myself, “Oh they don’t want to meet, just keep driving.”  And I figured I would be a crazy groupie if I turned around and went back to meet these ladies whom I admire so much.

Well, right before I hit the interstate, I said what the heck, I’ll message her back… So I pulled off and messaged her I was leaving and told her they could meet in the parking lot. I hit send and told myself I’d give her a few minutes to respond. Well, within seconds she replied to me that they were coming outside.

Influence Conference

I went back and met Hayley and Jess and told them how important  we felt it was for women in our area to see women being successful business owners, wives, moms, chasing Jesus and telling people about it. They were so kind and supportive of our hopes to have an event in West Virginia and could not have been any more normal during my complete awkwardness. 😉

So after this long-winded post, I hope you will let go of the walls you’ve built, find God’s Glory in your sin and lay it all out there– because life is to short to wait till you feel qualified to stand in your influence.

If I’m Honest…

Surrender

Having a plan always works out, right?! Ummm, not so much. One lesson that seems to always keep showing up is learning to be peaceful and to keep pressing forward despite the challenges of each season.

Staying positive, no matter the circumstances, is very hard for me to do.  I was very good at this in the past, but somewhere along the way I lost this skill.  I am very much a product of my surroundings these days. I feel crazy when my house is out of order or a plan I’ve had for weeks doesn’t follow the course I thought it would. It’s just how I operate. My desire for planning and order increased with motherhood, which is hilarious because that;s probably the worst possible time to crave order and plans.

As I shared with you a few weeks ago in “A New Perspective,”  about a week before the new year I knew it was time to hand it over. I could no longer be lukewarm about my relationship with Jesus. It had regressed back to the “I’ve got this, but having You on the side is nice” kind of thing. My faith and relationship with Christ was my saving grace during my struggle with postpartum, but once I got to the other side after a long 18 months, it was back to status quo, rushing through life not standing still long enough to connect with any consistency.

With many false starts in the past two years, I was throwing my hands up. The weeks that followed were amazing. I was in The Word, I felt light. Then life started to feel like it was unraveling. My grandmother (who is my heart) got diagnosed with Lymphoma, big scary career changes came to light and some serious stress + anxiety set in around making hard calls. The first thing to go was my Bible time. I stuck to prayer, but felt beat up. My written goals to put The Lord first, to work out and make time for my husband were collecting dust.

Surrender

So, I’m calling myself out. I’m not perfect, I fall off track with my goals daily and feel awful about my lack of follow-through on living the life I want to live.

But, He calls us higher. I know this, surrendering to the Lord is not surrendering to the circumstance of life. Surrendering might mean leaning into him more vs. giving up. Surrendering might mean fighting for your surrender. It’s kind of funny that prior to my declaration of surrender things were going pretty well. There were no big waves in life. My circumstances made surrendering easy, the happenings of the past few months are not conducive to meeting a goal of surrendering, if I hold on to the expectation of order and planning.

To surrender in times that are full of uncertainty is a greater accomplishment than to surrender in times of ease. The Lord calls us to master the fruits of the spirit and I will press on toward that goal, fail and try again.

Please don’t be discouraged if you have yet to set a goal, live out the meaning of your 2016 word or take action on any of the things you hoped 2016 would hold for you.

My father gave me some perspective just the other day. He said, “Lay a strip of masking tape down and number it from 1 to 365. Keep laying strips for the next 80+ years.  Each day go and stand on the day it is and realize, you have many days ahead of you.” I’m here to tell you the same thing, you have many more days sister, many more years…”

Let us surrender our hearts, our plans and our circumstance to the Lord. Let us have peace in the understanding that all things work for the good of those who love Him!

Are you wild & free?

Wild and Free Book

We’ve got some big plans! Stick with us till the end of the post to find out what they are. We shared last week that we were two of the lucky ladies picked to be on the Wild and Free Book launch team. We are over the moon to have the opportunity to support + work with the lovely ladies, Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan. They do so much to share The Word with women all over the world, encouraging and equipping them to have influence right where they are. To say we look up to these ladies would be an understatement.

The Wild Revival Instagram

Wild and Free is more than a book, it’s an anthem for our generation. This book was written for  women who feel like too much, and not enough. Women who are holding back, who have forgotten they were born Wild and Free in Christ. You can check out the book trailer here!

Wild and Free Book
We are only a few chapters in, but wanted to share a few of the words that are leaving us saying YES!

“You love and accept Christ, but you aren’t sure exactly  who you’re supposed to be as a daughter of God and what your part is in the Kingdom.”

“Our eyes dart from habitat to habitat, wondering what is wrong with us and looking for ways we can become more like the perfect woman, whoever she is.”

“He is the one who calls us to be wild- walking in who God created us to be. And he is the one who calls us to be free- resting in what Jesus has done for us.”

“His authoritative mission in our lives has never been to break our spirits; it’s geared to set them free to give Him as much glory as possible.”

“I see women waiting on others to intercede and teach them the Word rather than seeking first the kingdom themselves.”

“We’ve misplaced the truth that He loves us more than the lilies, which He clothes in splendor. His love and presence is no longer what spices our life and makes our world sweet. So we gather, we buy, we collect, we curate, we wish-list and we make Pinterest boards.”

So much truth in these first few pages. More to come as we dive in over the coming days and weeks! Make sure to follow our Instagram leading up to the May 3rd book release for more of our favorite quotes from Wild and Free.

Wild and Free Book

So, for our BIG plans! The coolest part about being on the Wild and Free launch team is that we get to bring some really great opportunities to you ladies! We have a few questions below to gauge interest and would love to hear your feedback.

First, the BIG question! If Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan would bring the Wild and Free book tour to North Central, WV would you attend the event? Campfire Commission Style ————> encouragement, praise + worship and fellowship led by these ladies. We must have 100 commitments + a venue to make this to happen.

What an amazing way to kick off our summer gatherings! We would love to bring something like this to our state, please participate in this survey. Make sure you share with friends, churches, small groups and anyone you feel would want to come! They don’t need to live in WV to attend. We will do our best to keep the cost to a minimum.  Let’s put WV on the list ladies!

 

Book Tour_ Wild and Free

 

Second- if we would hold a book club, sharing a few FREE copies of Wild and Free, would you join in on the fun? We can host the book club via periscope, locally in person or both! Either way we would give out a few free books to the first ladies to register.

 

Pre-order gifts

 

If you are interested in participating in the pre-launch, Jess + Haley have put together some really wonderful launch deals. Check them out here and let us know if you pre-order a copy in the comments below!

We are really excited and hope you join us on this Wild and Free ride! Don’t forget to take our Wild and Free survey. 

Building Lasting Friendships | Callie Burgard: Kómma Designs

building forever friendships

Alright, I am going to start out brutal- but stick with me. Evaluate your current circle of friends. Do you feel genuinely loved? Supported? Do you feel like your friends are like-minded? Do you feel like they push you harder to obtain your goals? The moment I surrounded myself with like-minded friends, my world changed. For me, being a creative warrior who works a full-time career and owns a small business, finding friends who understood that Friday nights were late night blog writing, timeline creation and steaming linens for clients was difficult.  As awful as this may sound, surrounding yourself with people who are in line with your goals, your lifestyle and your career, will help you find common ground and support. Friendships are so much more than random texts and the occasional coffee date. Lasting friendships are genuine, loving, supportive and something worth celebrating.

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Meeting new friends can seem difficult, scary and just sometimes impossible. Never be afraid to reach out to other like-minded individuals, people you admire or people you want to be friends with. You would be surprised how supportive people are when you just reach out. Also, never be afraid to talk to strangers- yeah, I know. The world has told you your whole life that talking to strangers is a bad thing. Don’t hang out with me if you don’t want to talk to strangers. I am wildly known for approaching anyone for just about anything. Ok, obviously use your best judgment, I am not asking you to walk up to danger- but you should know the different between someone you admire, someone who you love their style or someone with great hair vs. someone dangerous looking.

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Listening is one of the most incredible qualities a human can have. People love to be heard, but in reality, we spend so much time wanting to just talk about ourselves. Take time to genuinely get to know people. Ask them small details about their life. Ask them how their day and week are going. Remember what they said to you, and always remember to follow up. If your friend mentions they are having a rough time, in a few days, don’t hesitate to reach out and check in.

Celebrating is so underrated. I believe in celebrating every aspect of life. Some of our favorite accomplishments are the littlest. Take the time to recognize these little victories in your friends. Did your friend recently get a new job? Finish a class they struggled with? Make an awesome root beer float? Get an award? Celebrate with them. Send them a card, take them balloons, invite them over. Celebrate things that are basically random. Celebrate the change in season, time change, their vacation- just sending them a reminder about how awesome it is going to impact their life. Little victories are still steps towards a greater goal, and deserve reward. Make it seem like a big deal, believe me, people are taken back by this, and love it. I know this all sounds crazy- and extreme, but I promise you, you will change the lives of your friends around you. When they flip through their mail, open their text, are embraced by a hug- their world will change a little bit for the better.

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Always be available to help your friends. As humans, we struggle. Help can come in so many different forms. In my industry, sometimes help is just a cup of coffee while I am working on a wedding layout, sometimes help is setting floral at a wedding, sometimes help is just advice on which photo to post on Instagram. Take the time to serve your friends. Helping them grow can be such an empowering, incredible feeling. It is a selfless task that can change their life, show your support and remind them how proud of them you are.

The simplest things can go so far. Wishing each of your friends a happy day via text can change their entire morning. Reaching out to your friends throughout the day to let them know your thinking about them. Also, in your own busy life, schedule time for friends. Stop turning down breakfast dates, dinner and late nights under the stars. No matter how busy you are, focus time on the friendships, it is good for both your soul and theirs.

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I know I am a little crazier than the rest of the world, but I take time to celebrate friendships and build relationships with my friends because at the end of the day, they are the ones who support me, love me, celebrate with me. They make me laugh, they build memories with me, they travel with me. They create with me. They help my career, the least I can do is remind them daily how much I love them, how proud I am, how happy I am to have them in my life.

Photo Credit:

Abigail Wellinghurst

Collaboration | Callie Burgard: Kómma Designs

Kómma Designs

Hi! Happy Friday. I will be guest posting for The Wild Revival ladies next Wednesday, so I thought it would be fun to jump on and introduce myself. Some people call me crazy, but I prefer the term passionate. My name is Callie Burgard. I am a 24 year old, events and wedding stylist and coordinating warrior.  I currently reside in Reno, Nevada working as a full time People Person (Community Relations and Event Manager) for a Home Owners Association. I also am owner and creator of Kómma Designs, a wedding and event coordination and styling company.  I am lucky enough to have parents that have become my best friends. I am completely addicted to coffee, brunch and my cat, Winston. Don’t be shocked if you hear me singing completely off key to the wrong lyrics. I believe in supporting each other as humans; we are all in this together. I adore meeting new people, laughing and closet-eating cookies when I am “trying to lose weight”. Come visit next week for a look into why I feel building relationships are so important! You can follow my everyday @Callie.Kommadesigns on Instagram.

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