Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I hope you all got what you wanted for Christmas this year. And if you didn't...re-gift it to someone in need, or donate it to a charity.

"The joy of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence" - anonymous

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's coming...Christmas

I love this idea for re-useable valcro 'paper' chain, and can imagine baby boy wanting to spend time putting it together all by himself.  Will I make it in time for this Christmas though??
 (Picture from 'nap time crafts'). 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So much rain

It has been one of the wettest spings in decades here, and summer has started off promising the same.  So in search of making my home feel drier I have decided to try out this solution.

Using regular chalk to keep mildew out of the closets and draws (I have started putting a few sticks in a few of our shoes as well).  I first heard this idea on a radio program with Shannon Lush, and have now found it again on Martha Stewart.  I am not sure my chalk bundles will look this stylish, but I will give it a try.

At this rate of rainfall I will be hanging them on the Christmas tree as decorations.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I apologise for not using you...public transport

I have not caught a bus for a very long time (like it could be 5+ years).  After years of catching the bus to uni and a few short trips to a course a year after I graduated I have avoided public transport like the plague.  Basically, these days I like things to go by 'my' time, I don't want to be scheduled to 'leaving right now', and I don't like the thought of being stuck on a bus in the middle of traffic...anyways all my dumb reasons aside this week I needed to catch a bus into the city and back in peak hour for three days (as I did a course  for work).  And...I was pleasently suprised ,and here is the amazing thing, I think I might catch the bus again, just because I want to.  

In the city I live in we have this fantastic thing called the 'busway' and it is basically an extra set of separated lanes that runs the entire length of the freeway to the city (basically guaranteeing you won't have to sit through peak hour mayhem).  This has been around for years, but this week I appreciated that it is easier to use, more frequent and quicker than I ever remembered it to be.

So, even though I am glad I don't have to catch it every day (as I am lucky enough to live 5 minutes from my work), I am glad I gave it another go...and was pleasently suprised.

Or I could just be still on a high from enjoying full buffet lunches from a fancy pants hotel for the last 3 days ;0)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Green decorating

With Christmas literally round the corner, and me coming off my recent Halloween binge I though I would post about some ideas for 'green' decorating.  It really isn't too hard to think of some reusable and green decorations which also have the bonus of saving money too.
So here are my top 5 green decorating ideas:  ( I don't think I have made a list on my blog before...this could be a first ;0)

1. Use e-invitations or make your own from stuff at home.  
I love making handmade invitations and who doesn't love getting real mail, but if you are going to send in the mail, try and use paper and craft products from around the home.  I also always end up with leftover Christmas cards every year and it was only recently that I realised I can use them the next year...because even though they won't all match, none of the recipients will be comparing there cards so they won't know that they don't match...I have a bit of a matching fetish.
When I do go down the e-invite/card route my absolute first stop is pingg.   This site has such cute invites and is so easy to use.  You set up your event and all the invites, reminders and thankyou cards will be sent out automatically for you...and it's free!
2. Use classic plain coloured table pieces that will suit all themes. 
Examples of this includes, glass jars, white platters and cake stands.  I have a few plain classic pieces and with a few ribbons and handmade labels I can colour code these to suit a birthday, baby shower or Christmas.  

3. Choose a colour or theme.  
It is so much easier to decorate with a colour theme, and it means that simple household items can then be pulled in to be 'pseudo' decorations.  For example, for a recent going away shower I used a red theme and was able to decorate with red flowers, apples, table runners, ribbons and lollies that I had in my house at the time. I pulled it all together with some cute handmade labels and it looked like I was decorating all day...but literally took me 15 minutes.  I love this site for party decorating themes...although I don't have anything like the talent you will see on this site.

4.  Try to use washable table wear insted of throw away.  
Now I must admit I do struggle with this one...but it does depend on the size of the party as well.  If it is a small gathering I try to wash and reuse, as the alternative is just so wasteful and should only be used when necessary...or when I just can't cope with more dishes.  If you really have the budget for it you can get some great biodegradable throw aways.  I think I might look into these further for Christmas.

5.  Don't buy useless one-use cheap items.  
In the spirit of using less stuff, I have really tried to cut down on a lot of 'made in china' type decorations that are designed for one-off use and don't serve a real purpose..this includes glow sticks, party poppers,  streamers, balloons and literally anything else that you usually throw away at the end of the event. (sorry, I have a hatred of glow sticks).  I now only buy decorations that I value enough to store away to use the next year, and will suit multiple occasions if possible.  It also helps if you have a designated decorations box that you can always find easily each time you need to use it.

So there's my first list...now I need to start thinking about Christmas and how I can practice 'green' decorating this year...Has anyone seen a solar powered Christmas tree (My brother will love that one ;0)

And what about fairtrade Christmas gifts, now there is another topic altogether..

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Smelling Sweet

I entered a blog giveaway here at "Make it Perfect" and won a sweet smelling candle from here: at Salt City Candle Australia !

I am sure my new vanilla cinnamon candle will help me get in the mood for Christmas...but as man of the house said " mmm, and I was just thinking the other day we don't have enough smelly candles in the house"

You are exactly right hubby ;0)  (I will ignore your sarcasm and bask in my winning glory).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Table Runner

I am having serious Halloween envy this year and wish that I could do all my shopping here.  But unfortuantely shipping costs aren't too friendly at the moment so I decided to try and make my own "Halloween/Fall" themed table runner to try and get in the spirit of things this year.  I am a sucker for beautiful table runners but have never attempted to sew one myself.  It was pretty easy and I managed to finish this one in an evening, once baby boy finally went to sleep.

I tried to keep the runner fairly basic so I can use it for other times of the year, but am tempted to add some applique bats or pumpkins.  The material is really bright, and hopefully keeping in my theme of a 'fun' Halloween, not scary.  I basically just sewed three material panels together of 21 inches x 15 inches, did the same for the back (so it can be double sided) and turned up all the sides to make the border. 

Now to get ready for our Halloween party on the weekend!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Should we just all learn to share?

I came across this interesting article today and been thinking about it ever since.

It is basically talking about how we could reduce our consumption of products by simply sharing more.  And the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.  When was the last time we simply borrowed somthing instaed of going out and buying it?  And whilst I do a lot of 'sharing' with my parents I do very little of sharing with others or an even scarier thought...my neighbours.  
For example, I have a lot of books and dvds...and now baby products that I have only used once and would be more than happy to share with those around me.  I have also found that lately I would rather borrow from the library than own a book, and have sworn off buying DVDs since the purchase of our HD recorder.  

So here is to sharing...I am trying to teach baby boy about it...and now I need to put it in to practice myself.

Anyone need to borrow something?


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sensory Boxes

One of the Mother's at my playgroup had a great idea to each create a sensory box which could rotate between all the kids once a fortnight.  She came up with a whole heap of ideas and we all picked one to make and share.  

We chose 'Space' and had fun putting togther some sensory activties themed (very loosely) 
 around space.

I made some space themed flash cards (from postcards picked up on our visit to NASA), a box of moon rocks (from Grandpa's garden), space textures (a slinky and pom poms from the $2 store), a box of star stickers, space stencils, and an anti-gravity game (moving cotton wool balls from one bowl to another with small tongs- this is based loosely on a Montesorri activity).

I was pretty proud with how it turned out, and all the other boxes were great too!  We have the beach themed box for the next fortnight and baby boy has already learn to say "coral" and loves sneaking the blue rice (food clouring dyed) into his mouth when I am not looking ;0) 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wish List: The Sun Jar

I think this would make a cute night light for baby boys's room...

Added to my wish list...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Washing Day

I love it when the weather gets warmer and this week is the first week of Spring.  And it promised us good things to come.  The sun was shining and the washing on my line was drying quickly.  

I have been using Cloth (modern coth naappies) since baby boy was about 6 weeks old and have really been suprised by how easy they are to use.  I will admit that I am not as good as some and generally only use them 2-3 days a week, not at night and not when we are on holidays, and I usually don't use them if it is raining heaps.  Ok, that sounds like a long list....but when I do use them I feel good!  ( I know it sounds dumb, but if we have been a little over budget for the week or  I really want to buy something I break out the cloth nappies).  They a little like my own version of food storage.

And in summer when baby boy wears a cloth nappy and singlet he looks soo cute.

There are so many brands of (MCN) Modern Cloth Nappies out there now and so many websites to order them from; however, my one recommendation would be to use something that has a component of bamboo in it.  They soak up so much more, and last a lot longer. 

I have also found that the Sun is the best bleach I have ever used.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I love those days where you just decide "We are going to play today", you forget about the housework, work and all your other responsibilities and just go with the flow to do what ever entertains baby boy. 

We had one of those beautiful winter days a few weeks ago and decided to go crazy with bubbles!  Baby had a blast, and so did I...blowing bubbles around the yard for as long as we felt like.  And we learnt something new.  Chickens do not like bubbles!  It was so funny watching them freak out and run away whenever we blew bubbles their way.  

So imagine if we didn't designate that day as 'play day', I would never have known about bubbles and chickens ;0)

And even better, Dad joined in when he got home from work!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Man of the house showed me this blog the other day and I just love it...I am also impressed with her sleepy baby that allows mum to do this!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

One finished...

 OK..so I finally got around to decorating one of baby boy's formula tins (it really is hard to find time to do crafts when your baby doesn't nap for long).  And here is the finished product.  I basically covered the tin in scrapbook paper, added a ribbon boarder top and bottom and then stamped the label with my new favourite stamp set from this gorgeous girl.  I also made one for my Niece's first birthday, but didn't get a chance to make a photo of it.  I will definately be doing this again...although now I just have to think of things that I can store that fit in a formula tin??

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Baby fomula tin crafts?

I am on the hunt to find something crafty and useful to do with the formula tins that are now starting to build up around my kitchen...so watch this space.  Here are some ideas I have found so far...

-Planter boxes
-Halloween decorations and storage solutions

On a different note, I have finally found a free photo editing software that is quick and easy to use.  I found the link of one of my favoutite blogs Homemade by Jill and am now having fun testing out all its features. 

Picnik is the name of the software, so go try it out for yourself!

Have a great week!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Got Milk?

Baby boy is now 17months old, and I have decided to bring the breatfeeding phase of our relationship to a close.  I say 'I' have decided because I think if it was up to him we would be going for a long..long time.  When I first had a baby I was aiming for 6 months exclusive breastfeeding, but once we got started I was really reluctant to stop.  I have loved breastfeeding my baby, and am actually a little sad that it is coming to an end (but a little excited as well).  Whilst pregnant I joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association , which was a fantastic investment and has definately helped me to see long term breastfeeding (past 12 months) as a norm and not an unusual sight.

 I have been constantly amazed as I have learnt how intelligent and devine our bodies are at providing nutrients and food to meet every stage of our growing child.   So here is my little tribute to something that has been an amazing and wonderful experience for me.  

And how could I forget...breastfeeding  is one of the 'greenest' ways to feed your baby!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I love bamboo..

I have recently discovered a love of bamboo!  Did you know that bamboo can grow up to 3 to 4 foot per day, produces heaps of oxygen and makes a really soft, fast drying fabric.  I bought a bamboo fabric t-shirt off the internet for work and it is so soft.  I also now own bamboo teatowels, a bamboo face washer and...a bamboo toothbrush!  (that one I bought at the Logan Eco Action Festival).  My bamboo toothbrush is biodegradable and great for the environment.  I am not sure how long this love affair will last (partly because most bamboo products have to be imported from overseas, which I am not a fan of, and these days there always seems to be some hidden downside when products are mass-produced), but I am going to enjoy it while I can!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I am recycling by re-reading...

Do you re-read books?  I must admit I don't do it very often, even though I do have the terrible habit of forgetting the ending of books (Even though man of the house can remember them years...and years later.  I realised this when I started reading King Solomon's Mine when we were first married.  He had read it when he was 12...ten years later he told me the whole plot and could name all the characters.  I have trouble remembering what happened in the Harry Potter book I read last week).

Anyway, at the moment I am re-reading one of my favourite books (well of the non-fiction genre anyway)...
Peter Walsh is the guru of home organisation and using (hence needing) less stuff.  I think it is one of those books I will have to re-read many times in my life.  I love his advice about space in your home.  I always think I need a bigger house, but he basically says that you just have to  limit what you own/buy to the space you have.  (But he obviously says it in a better way than that).  Does this quest for a clean, uncluttered,  organised home ever end??? 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Does your cupboard look like this?

Watch: sunrise segment on deadly household chemicals

This segment was on sunrise this morning, and whilst I like the segment I didn't think that it gave specific information on how to actually eliminate chemicals from your home.

Using less chemicals is something that I am passionate about!  And thats why I Use and Sell Enjo. (sorry, it is a shameless plug)

If you would like to know more about how the Enjo Microfibre cleaning system works,  just contact me or leave a comment.

Or if you have your tips on reducing chemicals add a comment for us to all learn from.
 (that's right..I can clean the shower whilst my son is standing in it)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not your 1960's washing machine...

 Did you know that it is 2010...and along with all the great advances we have had in medicine and technology we also have great washing machines.  No, not the fancy pants ones that wash, dry and fold your clothes, but the regular ones that we all use.  Apparently our washing machines are so efficient these days that most of the work is done in the way it spins and swishes and not in the ammount of washing powder you use.  

Choice magazine conducted some tests and found that you can get just as good (sometimes better) washing results by using a 1/4 of the washing powder reccomended on the box.  So apparently we are all using too much washing powder/liquid! 

And if you use more than the recommended dose (just cause you are feeling generous that day) it will actually make your washing machine work inefficiently.

So do something for the environment and your wallet and try using a 1/4 of the powder/liquid that you would normally use in the wash.  

You can be even more brave and use no washing powder at all...its called a strip wash and I will test it myself and let you know how I go.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nature and Nurture...

We were all struck down by a horrible virus last week, and in attempt to get some fresh air we headed to our favourite local park.  It is always fun to go to the park, but is now so much more fun that baby boy is big enough to actually 'play' at the park.  He played on the slide, with the music area and on the swing.  

I was listening to a radio program last week that talked about how our kids are really in danger of never having a relationship with nature.  The speaker said that because of a lack of green spaces that our kids can own and explore they will lose the chance to really feel comfortable with nature and all the gifts that that brings to a child.  I know how much baby boy just loves to go outside to play and I am so glad that we live in a country with weather that allows him to do that most of the time

My goal is to try and regularly take baby boy into nature so he can develop that 'relationship' with God's beautiful creations.  Does that mean camping?  I hope so! (hint...hint to man of the house)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My little blue cow

This is a very bad photo of my little blue cow 'delft' handpainted milk jug.  He looks a lot better in real life!  He was purchased in a cute little antique/shabby Chic store on Mount Tamborine.  I love antique stores in little villages.  

I love the idea of owning something that is really old and has not been mass produced.  One day, when we renovate our kitchen, I will have white benchtops and cute white shelves to display my antique finds.  But until then I have my little cow (which after searching the internet I found is not very old...and may not be very authentic) to remind me of sunny white kitchens where the dishes are always done and there is always time for afternoon tea.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lights out and fairtrade chocolate

OK, So I know it was a few weeks ago now, but I haven't got to the blog in a while so I thought that I would fill you in on my spearmint green activites this month. 

The first was participating in Earth Hour on 27th March.  It started out great with me doing two Enjo Demo's during the day and encouraging everyone that I saw to turn out their lights that night at 8:30pm.  I really like Earth Hour because it is so simple to do and really reminds us that we don't have to be so reliant on electricity.  (Not that I am going to move to a power free home any time soon!).  When it came to me actually carrying out on my Earth Hour plan it was a little harder than I thought.  One reason was because it was just me and baby home by ourselves (and who wants to sit in the dark by themself), and the second reason was that I had a slight headache....which wan't helped by using the scented candles to light the room I was in.  I made it to about 45minutes and decided that having one small light on (so I could blowout the smelly candles) wouldn't be so bad ;0)  In my defence I am pretty power consciece anyway e.g. turning off standby appliances at the wall and making sure the minimum ammount of lights are on.  I mainly do this to reduce our electricity costs...which seem to be spiralling higher with each bill.  So that was Earth Hour.

The next event was Easter and me signing up to a facebook group which promised to only buy Fairtrade chocolate for Easter. (I probably should have reminded myself that joining a facebook group is not a binding legal contract).  Well it really wasn't easy to find fairtrade easter eggs...so most of my family received blocks of plain chocolate...and very little at that.  Man of the house and I also baked Easter Cookies which were a lot cuter than chocolate also.  I really agree with fairtrade principles, but am stuck by the fact that most fairtrade products aren't made in Australia...so it is a bit of a balancing act when trying to decide what brand to purchase.

So those were my two little greener projects this month.  It feels good to find a cause you identify with and try to contribute to it in even a very small way...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Last week I did something I have never done before.  I took two pair of trousers that don't fit me to a seamstress and had them tailored to fit.  After I had baby I lost a bit of weight and my body shape changed, which has resulted in none of the trousers in my wardrobe fitting me.  This has been so frustrating over the last six months as I have attempted to use belts or find new trousers with not much success.  So in the spirit of using less stuff (see previous post), I had my trousers tailored and they now fit like a dream, better than they ever did!  The whole process cost much less that buying 1 new pair of paints, and they wouldn't have fit this good anyway.  So tick one off the list of using less stuff...see a seamstress, I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The story of stuff

I caught the end of an interview with Annie Leonard and thought I would check out her short movie "The story of stuff".  It was 20 minutes well spent (which I convinced man of the house to watch with me)!  I am really interested in the whole lifecyle of products and consumption, and often pick up products (like halloween glowsticks) and wonder if the world would be any different if we didn't make some poor kid in china make this so I can use it for 30 seconds at my once a year halloween party?  

I would love to be better at using less stuff and finding a better hobby than shopping and watching tv.  Watch the movie and let me know what you think...I am inspired...now what do I do?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sunday morning's

February has come and gone already and I am trying to remember where it went?  But this month I did use my very quiet Sunday mornings to make baby boy a cute shirt to where to church.  There are a lot of tutorial's on the web for tie onsies, but since he is now one I used a shirt instead of a onsie and one of his Dad's unused hancherchiefs as the tie (which I think worked out great).

Plus it made a really cute photo!

I ironed the tie on with fusable interfacing (I think that's what it is called), and I hand stitched around the edges, which was a lot quiter than pulling out the sewing machine (and waking up sleeping baby).

Finished product: one cute baby boy in a white shirt and tie!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ms Austen


It is not always easy to get through a book with a baby at home, but I have finally finished a Biography of Jane Austen titled 'Becoming Jane Austen'.  I started reading the novel after seeing the movie 'Jane Austen Regrets' and wanted to see how much of the movie is based on fact.  Well, with the novel read all I can say is "Thank goodness for the 20th Century".  I am so glad to be a woman born in 1981 instead of 1775.  Although it seems relaxing and romantic to live in country England and write novels all day, I don't think it was really all that fantastic.

 Not only was Jane never married, she spent a lot of her life worrying about money, having a permanent home to live in and the welfare of her brothers.  She finally died of Addison's disease having never reaped the rewards of her gifted writing. 

In addition, the only picture we have of this great writer is a rather ugly looking sketch that her sister Cassandra drew of her.  Now that would not promote 'sisterly affection'.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Smarter than your average...chicken

We have now had our three chickens for nearly six months, (Let the record show that I have not yet killed them.)  and I was suprised the  other day when I went out into the backyard and they came running towards me!  Apparently I am some kind of Mother Hen to them and they can't get enough of me.  Now this does get really annoying when I am trying to clean out the coop, but is kinda cute when I think about it.  I am also constantly suprised at how smart they are...there is planning and scheming going on in those little chicken heads.  My blog does not have room for me to document the many escape's these girls have had!

Henny Penny, Hermione and Roast now give us three eggs a day and only cost us about $5 a month to feed and house, so it is definately working out to be 'Sustainable'.  Plus I really like having extra eggs to give away to friends and family.

If you are interested in Chickens check out these girls.  We got a lot of info off their site before we chose our chooks.  And who knows, they could be my longest living pets yet (if you ignore my resurecting goldfish).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Handmade this month

I thought that I would try and post something that I have made in the first week of each month, as I am really enjoying having the time to make my own.   This month I was busy  getting ready for baby's 1st birthday parties (one for family and one for playgroup).  I found some cute robot scrapbooking paper that I used for the invitations and also some really cute robot material which I used to make singlets for all the playgroup kids as their party favours.


This is the singlet I made for one of the little girls in our playgroup.

I used the scrapbook paper to make invitations and bunting for the party decorations.

The parties were fun, but I realised you really don't get to enjoy a party unless someone else throws it.  One day I would love to have a party as good as these !  And as baby is only one, I am sure I have many years of practice ahead.
I am also getting excited as February is here and that means that The Handmade Expo is on again.  I had great fun at the last expo in November so I can't wait to go again!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

so...I am kind of nearly maybe convinced...

I don't usually like to jump on the bandwagon with too many environmental/health claims as I do think that we believe a lot of "greenwash" without looking for evidence.  But one claim that is getting harder to ignore is the problem of plastic baby bottles containing BPA.  Partcularly information that heating liquids (eg. pouring boiling water into or heating to very hot in the mircrowave)  releases a chemical that "could have dangerous effects on the development of the brain and the prostate gland in foetuses and newborn babies. BPA is said to interfere with oestrogen, the hormone which plays a key role in foetal and childhood development."

Many baby bottle brands now have BPA free alternatives (I have bought the new AVENT BPA free bottles), and I think that it is definately something to think about if you are buying any baby bottles in the future.  Plus there is also that whole thing about not heating anything for baby in the microwave...but I am not hitting that mark just yet ;0)

Oh, and if you want to know more about Greenwash...here you go.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My tribute to Ms Montessori

Ok, so I am not one of those parents that thinks our kids should run around naked in the bush to explore the world, but I do think that we (I) could let our kids explore a bit more than we do.  I have been thinking about this over the past 12 months and really enjoyed the book "How to raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way" by Tim Seldon.  What I really like about the Montessori method is trying to make play a learning experience without all the commercialisation that is around now.  For example, just having a child size cup and jug, or a small table they can sit at allows them to play like a 'grown up' and learn skills at the same time.  I also like the use of more simple 'earthy' toys like wooden blocks etc, and trying to keep all the 'characters' out of their vocabulary at least for a little while.

Well, this week I was going to buy baby a play tent and as I was about to pick up the plastic tent and purchase it I thought that maybe I should put in some effort and put my 'slightly montessori' parenting to the test.    So I trawled the internet, which usually takes up way to much time, but came out in the end with a great pattern for a teepee on Sew, Mama, Sew!  I made it with a single bed cover and broom stick handles and had it all completed in a day (with help from the man of the house).

It felt good to have made somthing that I know we will enjoy together for years to come.  We already have had heaps of fun playing and reading inside our little teepee.  Happy Birthday Baby!

Monday, January 11, 2010

To the book depository!

I really love being a member of the library.  I love the fact that I can borrow out any book I want, and if two pages into the book I think I would rather be doing something else and never want to pick up that book again I don't have to feel guilty...cause I can just take it back and get something else. 

A few weeks a go I picked up a book that I did want to read

 and I really enjoyed it.  It gave me heaps of great tips and ideas on being a green parent without being all preachy and fanatical.   ( So I am recommending it here.  Go and borrow it from the library).

I also love My library because they have CDs, DVDs, magazines, heaps of kids books and no late fees...ever! 

Monday, January 4, 2010

an easy thing

This year I am going to try to buy less bottled water.  I read a magazine article about it a few months ago and realised what a waste of money and resources it really is.  Especially when I live in a country with perfectly safe tap water.  So for Christmas this year I bought myself and baby Sigg water bottles and my husband a camelbak bottle as it is large and easy to drink out of when he is driving. 

If you are interested here is some more info.
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