Tag Archives: food

Slimfast New Advanced Vitality Range & #SlimFastBreakfastClub Twitter Chat!

Posted on September 26, 2017

Hi Guys!

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m a big fan of SlimFast – as someone that struggles with my weight I’ve found their products to be incredibly helpful when I decide to start shifting the pounds.

SlimFast have recently sent over some of their new products to try from their Advanced Vegan Vitality Range, which now includes Strawberry Kick flavour, as well as new Vegan options, Strawberry & Blueberry Burst and Intense Mint Chocolate. If you’re not familiar with the new Advanced Vegan Vitality range, it’s basically a brand new, enhanced and updated version of their classic powder meal replacement shakes…

Discover a holistic way to lose weight helping you to feel great on the inside and out. Our unique SlimFast Advanced Vitality shake recipe is made with selected ingredients to support your metabolism and reduce tiredness and fatigue – essential when losing weight and keeping it off. With no added sugar, high in protein and fibre and with 23 vitamins and minerals in every serving, it’s perfect whether you are on a diet or looking for a balanced meal alternative.

A few more things you should know about the Advanced Vegan Vitality range – firstly, you don’t add milk like you would with SlimFast’s original powder shakes, you just add cold water, making them even easier to make up when you’re out and about. You’d think this might deter from the flavour, but surprisingly it really doesn’t! (There are also have 4 other flavours that can be enjoyed with milk too). Also, they contain less calories than the original shakes, at only 220 calories per serving – net bad hey!

I’ve been trying out the Strawberry & Blueberry Burst flavour, as well as more recently the Intense Mint Chocolate flavour too. Both of these are vegan, and they both contain the same vitamins and benefits as the non-vegan options which is fantastic.

I’ve personally found the Strawberry & Blueberry Burst flavour to be my favourite – it’s very similar to the traditional Strawberry SlimFast but just feels a little extra. I love that the new Vitality range includes a load of added extras in terms of vitamins and minerals to give you more energy, and the texture also gets a thumbs up as it contains little chunks of dried fruit, which makes it more of a ‘meal’ than just a smooth milkshake.

On that note, of course you can always pimp your shakes by adding almost anything you like, to tailor make them to your taste. SlimFast recommend adding a handful of cacao nibs or frozen berries for an added boost, which adds less than 100 calories to your shake.

I’ll be co-hosting the SlimFast 3.2.1 Breakfast Club Twitter party from 9am to 9.30am on Wednesday 27th September where we’ll be chatting all things SlimFast including discussing their  new products, tips and general chat, and there will also be a prize for one lucky participant. Everyone is welcome, just follow the hashtag #SlimFastBreakfastClub from 9am and join in the fun!

SlimFast Advanced Vegan Vitality products are £14.99 per pack and available now at Tesco, and the rest of the range is available at Boots (currently buy one get one half price)

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post is sponsored by SlimFast

Food & Drink: Adding A Twist To Classic Cocktails With Thebar.com

Posted on August 15, 2017

Hi Guys!

thebar.com recently got in touch and asked me to share my favourite classic cocktail recipe from their site, but with an added personal twist – and hopefully this will inspire you to make your own cocktails at home this summer!

I’m a big fan of cocktails, and love anything that’s particularly sweet in flavour. On the odd occasion where I do get to try a cocktail, I would usually go for a vodka or gin base, with sweet, fruity juices and flavourings. After looking at all the cocktail recipes on thebar.com, I actually found it quite hard to whittle it down to just one to try out! It was a close call between the classic Pimms and Lemonade, and the gin based English Garden cocktail. In the end, English Garden just won by a hair as I thought this was the one I’d be able to have the most fun experimenting with.

The English Garden cocktail, in case you’re not familiar with it, of course contains gin as I’ve just mentioned, as well as sweet juices, sugar syrup, mint and cucumber, combined together to make the perfect summer patio drink. I’ve been thinking how I can add my own twist to this – after trying out the original cocktail (which I love) it was quite hard to think how I could make it any better! After racking my brains thinking what I could possibly add to this that would ‘go’ with the current ingredients and also (hopefully) taste nice. I came up with a few ideas –

  • Elderflower
  • Blood orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Blackberries
  • Lemon
  • Pineapple juice
  • Edible flowers (for decoration)

So armed with my list, I took to the shops to pick up all the ingredients – I couldn’t wait to start experimenting! First of all, I couldn’t find any blood oranges, so I had to cross this off. I could have gone with normal oranges instead but I didn’t feel they were quite fancy enough so I decided to just pick up the other ingredients.

Next up was grapefruit – I’m not the biggest fan of grapefruit on it’s own, but I have had it in both cocktails and soft drinks and I’ve really enjoyed it in the past. Now this is my second fail, where you’ll be able to tell that I’m really not used to making cocktails – so I bought an actual grapefruit. Not grapefruit juice, a whole massive grapefruit. I’m not sure what was going through my head when I was in the supermarket, but I just saw it, though ‘ah I need grapefruit’ and off I went on my merry way. Once I was home and realised my error, I thought I might as well use it, so I tried mushing it up. Well as you can imagine this didn’t work out, and let’s just say the whole thing was a disaster!

So, on to the rest of the ingredients… after adding pineapple juice to the cocktail (nope this just wasn’t right) and then a splash of lemon juice (this wasn’t too bad, but just felt neither here nor there really) it just seemed like nothing was really working so far – until I tried the elderflower…

I love Elderflower cordial any way, and it just seemed like the right type of flavour to go with a gin cocktail – plus at this point I was really running low on options – so luckily, after trying a few different combinations, the obvious winner was Elderflower. I used about 20ml of my other half’s extremely tasty handmade elderflower cordial that he made a few months ago (you can pick this up cheaply at most supermarkets too) I know this isn’t the most ‘out there’ twist I could have gone with for this cocktail, but it really did taste great so I was more than happy with the outcome. I also added a sprinkle of flowers from the garden, including jasmine and daisies to really make the drink look special!

I had so much fun experimenting this weekend! If you’re a fan of cocktails yourself, definitely check out the large selection of recipes available at thebar.com for some fab summer cocktail inspiration. I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post is sponsored by thebar.com

Food: Easter Unicorn No Bake Rainbow Cheesecake!

Posted on April 14, 2017

Hi Guys!

I’ve had a lovely couple of weeks off for Easter with my son Freddy, and I know I don’t really do food on the blog, but I REALLY wanted to make a unicorn cheesecake and thought it’d be fun to share it with you guys. Moving forward I really want to include a bigger variety of posts sharing more of the things that I’m interested in, so I decided to give this a go – I think it came out pretty well!

Also – I’m not the best cook, so I love that this is super simple to do. So even if you’re not that great in the kitchen, there’s not much that can go wrong here! This is what you’ll need –

Ingredients:

  • 2x 280g tubs of Philadelphia or other brand soft cheese
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 100g Sugar (I used half granulated and half soft brown sugar)
  • 200g Digestive Biscuits
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • Vanilla Essence
  • Your Choice of Food Colouring

To Decorate:

  • Sprinkes
  • Mini Eggs
  • Anything else you like – e.g. mini marshmallows, sweets etc

First of all you need to make the cheesecake base. The easiest way to do this is to put your biscuits in a sealable plastic bag, and smash them up with a rolling pin. While you’re doing this, put the butter in the microwave to melt it (or do it in a pan on the hob if you prefer) then just mix the butter in a bowl with the biscuit crumbs until they’re well blended together.

I then grabbed my new Traditional Round Master (£24.99 from Delicake) which is basically a clear perspex ‘cake tin’ for making no-bake cakes and desserts. You just need to press the biscuit / butter mix into the base and try to make it as even as possible. You can always use a traditional cake tin for this too. Then just pop it in the fridge while you make the filling.

For the actual cheesecake, get a large bowl and add your soft cheese, sugar, and a couple of drops of Vanilla Essence and blend until it’s thoroughly mixed. Then pour in the cream and mix until it’s quite stiff nd stands up in peaks when you’re stirring.

Then you need to divide your mixture into smaller bows, and stir in your desired amount of food colouring into each bowl. I’d recommend starting with a couple of drops as a little goes a long way. You can always add more if you want a more intense colour.

Grab your base from the fridge and splodge in each colour randomly until you’ve used all the mixture up. Then grab a knife and spread it around, mixing the colours slightly whilst flattening it down against the sides and filling in any gaps.

Then you just need to add your sprinkles and toppings – I went for some cute edible iced flowers and of course mini eggs because Easter! In case you were wondering, I thought I’d include an exact list of the sprinkles and food colourings I used too. I got pretty much everything from eBay as I wanted specific colours that I couldn’t find in my local shops –

Then leave in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours to set, and voila! It was SO much fun making this, Fred had a great time and so did I, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It looked so awesome and also tasted amazing too!

I’d love to hear what you think of this, and if you’d like to see a bigger variety of posts on TSNC moving forward? Let me know!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

My New York Diary: #30PlusNYC

Posted on September 7, 2016

Hi Guys!

It’s been a good week since I got back from my whirlwind of a New York trip, so I thought I’d put together a little diary of highlights for you and share a few snaps too!

In case you didn’t know, I jetted off to NYC with some lovely bloggers from the 30 Plus Bloggers group on the press trip of a lifetime! We went for the launch of Michael Buble’s new fragrance, By Invitation – and of course made the most of it while we were there by doing a spot of sightseeing and shopping. So let’s start from the top…

Sunday – Ok so I was super nervous about the whole thing. I’d never done anything like this before, let alone spend pretty much a week with people I didn’t really know. I had thoughts of ‘what if they don’t like me’, ‘what if something goes wrong’ racing round and round my head – but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. We met at Heathrow – and by we I mean Hayley, Paula and Briony – and Debs met us at JFK in NYC – and we gone on amazingly well!

The flight really was fantastic too. Now I must admit I’m not a frequent flyer, so just getting on a plane was a pretty exciting experience for me! We flew Virgin Premuim Economy, and if I think I ever go long haul anywhere in the future, I’ll definitely try to fly premium economy again. The seats were spacious, the food was ‘premium’ – plus there were unlimited treats at the ‘Wonder Wall’ at the head of the plane, you could just rock up and help yourself to sweets and drinks – nice!

new-york-times-square

After about 7.5 hours of flying we arrived in a very humid NYC. We then took a taxi journey to the Eddison Hotel where we were staying, right in the centre of Times Square.

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And WOW Times square really is amazing. Yes it is just like the films, it’s a complete feast for the senses. Bright lights, noise, colour, hustle and bustle – I loved it!

new-york-juniors-breakfast

Monday was all about exploring the city – I was so excited! We started off by heading to Juniors for breakfast – as recommended by Hayley who’d been there before. I thought I’d go for something all American, so I went for the pancakes – and they were AMAZING!

new-york-times-square-2

After brekkie we headed off to explore and have a look around the shops. We strolled down 5th Avenue, had a look in Saks at all the gorgeous expensive things, popped in Furla where Hayley and Debs treated themselves to a couple of gorgeous bags, and we couldn’t resist stopping by the Kate Spade store too 🙂

new-york-times-square-sephora

I may have popped in Sephora for an hour or two also – this was my first ever Sephora experience (except popping in a small one in Belgium about 10 years ago, but that doesn’t count!) I was literally in heaven, and spent a bit to much – oops! Look out for my haul post coming up soon!

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We also had a lovely stroll round Central Park, which was beautiful – and unlike the films, I didn’t actually see anyone jogging! 😀

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To top off the day we stopped by the cupcake ATM! Oh my gosh, this literally made my day! You should have seen us, five grown women giggling and screaming at the cupcake appearing in the box in the wall – we actually gathered a crowd! It was so worth it though, only $4.50 for the tastiest cupcake I think I’ve ever had.

new-york-times-square-3

Tuesday was a bit of a mad rush all day really. We got off to a slow start by getting stuck in traffic on our way to our morning fragrance workshop. When we finally arrived we sat down with the fabulous perfumers who developed the fragrance with Michael Buble, to hear all about the process, the fragrance notes, and the work that went into making By Invitation.

coney-island-boardwalk

After the workshop, we hopped on the subway and took a 45min journey to Coney Island, which was easily another highlight of the trip. We then ended the day in a bit of a rush by being locked out of our rooms (long story) then dashing off for dinner at a lovely Italian.

I have SO much to tell you about the fragrance workshop and launch, as well as Coney Island – I’m going to put together separate posts for each of these over the next few days – so keep your eyes peeled!

new-york-times-square-5

Wednesday – after a crazy few days where we literally didnt stop except to eat and sleep, I decided to take Wednesday as a chill out day, I wanted to rest, relax, and prepare in good time for the Michael Buble Fragrance Launch in the evening.

A couple of the group decided to check out Brooklyn Bridge, whereas myself and Debs had a mooch around Times Square, where I picked up some classy souvenirs in the form of key rings, and a neon pink I Love NY mug (for myself) oh and not forgetting a hunky fireman magnet for my mum to put on her fridge 😀

We then stopped at the nearest Hard Rock Cafe and met up with Paula for the biggest lunch I’ve ever seen. Hard Rock was loud, cheesy, touristy and I loved it!

Then by mid afternoon we headed back to the hotel to preen and beautify in preparation for the evening event. I went with one of my fabulous HotHair wigs, a pretty blue lace and satin dress from ASOS, and some comfy shoes.

When we were all ready, we then headed next door to the Eddison Ballroom where the event was taking place. The Ballroom was beautiful, and Michael Buble was just dreamy… I was a bit gutted that I didn’t get to meet him but I still had a fantastic time! And we ended the evening at the Buble after party at a lovely rooftop bar. (Again further details and pictures to come!)

Thursday was our last day in NYC. The week had flown by and we thought we’d take this day to visit the beautiful West Village. For those not in the know (I had no idea before we got there) the West Village is where alllll the films and TV shows are filmed – and I could easily tell why, it was so pretty!

new-york-carries-apartment

For those of you that know what this is, you’ll know! And for those that don’t, this is Carrie from Sex and the City’s stoop! (Thanks for posing Deb!)

new-york-west-village-streets

The buildings and streets in the west village were just so pretty – if I was to live in NYC, this would definitely be my home.

new-york-french-toast

And breakfast! I quicky came to realise that breakfast was my favourite meal of the day whilst in the US, and this French toast at a sweet little cafe in the West Village was simply awesome. Going back to bran flakes when I got home was incredibly disappointing!!

So the week was basically a fantastic whirlwind of sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking, and of course Buble! It was so much fun though, and I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Hayley and the team for inviting me along for this once in a lifetime opportunity 🙂

Keep an eye out for a few more posts coming up, including one on my Sephora haul, one on Coney Island and of course one on the beautiful Michael Buble By Invitation Fragrance.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

Five Things I Love About Christmas

Posted on December 22, 2015

Hi Guys!

I’m one of those annoying people that start getting excited about christmas really early, like in August – but on the other hand I’m also pretty disorganised when it comes to presents, and often seem to end up buying them in a panic right before the day, which is exactly what’s happened again this year… clever me!

I’ve always been a fan of Christmas, but it seems that as you get older, people say it’s not as special or exciting as it once was – and I completely disagree. Now we have Freddy, Christmas really is just the best thing ever! He’s four and a half now, and he’s SO excited. This is the first year that he really understands what’s going on, and every day for the last couple of weeks he’s been asking ‘Mummy is it Christmas yet?’, ‘Is it Christmas yet’, ‘MUMMY IS IT CHRISTMAS?’ He has been driving me slightly potty, bless him.

I always intend to write a ‘my favourite things about Winter/Christmas post’ but never seem to get around to it, so that’s exactly what I’ve done today…

freddy-christms-tree

1. Putting the tree and decorations up. Now I’m not one of those people that are particular about what the tree looks like – though I must admit I have a sweet little gold glittery table top tree, which is the ‘fancy’ one. But for our main tree, we have no theme or colour code, and we let Freddy choose the decs this year and decorate the tree himself. He did a fantastic job and our multi-colour tree looks amazing, I love it! (And yes that is my duvet cover drying in the background – we don’t have a tumble dryer ok!)

2. Winter walks. There’s nothing like a nice walk on a chilly winters’ afternoon to blow out the cobwebs – which is often necessary after the mass of food and drink consumption. I was intending to put a nice little photo in here but my camera is playing up (again) so I’ll have to add this at a later date. I often find it difficult to find or allow myself the time to take walks normally, as I’ve been so busy, so I’m really looking forward to getting out and about over the festive season with my family.

3. Catching up with friends and family. It seems the older we get, the harder it is to get together with friends and family. With friends all starting their own families and work shifts and life, there’s always something that gets in the way. It’s hard getting people together and arranging everyone. I love that everyone has even a bit of time off over Christmas though, and I’m really looking forward to catching up with my friends for a drink and a goss.

4. Festive food and drink. Christmas really is about the food and drink to me. I love it! This year we’re actually going out for Christmas dinner, which we’ve never done before so I’m pretty excited! I love the idea of a nice relaxing day, with no prep, no cooking, and most importantly, no washing up! 🙂

custom-cookie-co-tin

I’ve been stocking up on Christmas treats too, and as I do have a bit of a sweet tooth,this Ho Ho Cookie Gift Tin is just Christmas in a tin for me! This gorgeous selection of hand decorated cookies are just stunning to look at, as well as being tasty (I’ve tried a couple, just to make sure they’re ok, you know?) You can also have one of them personalised and include a special message on the gift tag if you wish. I can’t wait to see Freddy’s face when I show him these!

godiva-chocolates

And I may have been snacking on these gorgeous Godiva Chocolates already too… this carefully selected white, milk and dark assortment of Belgian chocolates, including signature chocolates and the new winter varieties; fruity dark chocolate and raspberry, and a rich milk chocolate ‘Vanuatu’ ganache, are just SO GOOD. I’ve officially been converted to Godiva!

Christmas Cookbook

And while we’re on the subject of food, I’ve also been reading this Oh Come All Ye Tasteful book (again, apologies for the stock photo, I’ll update this with my own asap!) which comprises of a mixture of hilarious commentary and recipes to help you celebrate the festive period like a King! With recipes like truffled turkey, brussels sprout petit fours and reindeer nibbles this guide to the festive period is perfect for the foodie in your life. I’m going to try to make at least one of the recipes over Christmas.

5. Christmas Eve. Christmas eve is actually my favourite day of the whole holiday. I love the anticipation and the build up, which reaches it’s peak on Christmas eve. On previous years I’d usually be wrapping presents in the day time and spending the evening in the local pub with friends, these days though things are a little different. My friends and I are all a bit older with families of our own, so I’ll be staying at home playing with Fred, watching Christmassy things on TV and eating treats – and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

I’d love to hear what you love most about Christmas?

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

New Personalised Gifting Site: I Just Love It

Posted on October 1, 2015

i-just-love-it-personalised-gifts

Hi Guys!

This post has been a bit of a long time coming – I had one of those #bloggerfail moments when I thought I’d deleted my photos before uploading them to my post, and by then the products had already been used. Luckily I found them lurking in a folder they had no business being in, so finally here’s my post!

I Just Love It is a brand new gifting site that specialises in personalised gifts. They kindly offered to send over some lovely gifts for my husband’s birthday. What a lucky guy!

The other half is basically into some very manly hobbies, such as eating, drinking and metal detecting. (Yes I did just say metal detecting) So I thought I could cover the first two bases very well with some lovely gifts from I Just Love It!

Personalised-Whisky-Tasting-Set---Large

My lovely husband does enjoy a fancy whisky – he also brews his own beer and makes his own wine. So I thought this Personalised Whisky Tasting Set (£38.99) would be a perfect gift for him.

Exclusive to I Just Love It, this Whisky Gift Set contains single malts from four of Scotland’s most famous whisky regions, with a limited release single malt from Wales’ award winning Penderyn distillery. Whiskies in the set include an Isle of Arran 10 year old, ‘Waves’ from Bruichladdich’s Islay distillery in the Southern Hebrides, Glen Garioch from the Scottish Highlands, Glen Moray from Speyside and Penderyn 41, the Welsh distillery’s international release.

I’m no expert, and I’m not sure what all this means, but apparently these are some pretty decent whiskies! They’re also presented in a beautiful hand-finished gift box with a personalised sleeve. Information & tasting cards in a hand-made envelopes, accompany each 30ml whisky, and a ‘how to taste whisky’ guide along with a tasting mat featuring a Scottish landscape provide the perfect way to enjoy the whiskies and record tasting notes.

Personalised-D-A-D-Set-Three-Pack-Craft-Beer

On the theme of alcohol, I thought this craft beer set would make a lovely gift from Freddy for his Daddy – Personalised D-A-D Set Three Pack Craft Beer (19.99)

The set contains three multi-award-winning pale ales. Not only are these crisp pale ales packed with American hops and citrus aromas, the labels can be personalised with a name and a message too if you wish. Mary Jane is an intensely refreshing pale ale created by Ilkley Brewery in Yorkshire. The beautifully balanced beer has good body for such a low abv and is the unique craft brewery’s best-seller by a country mile!

Personalised-Happy-Birthday-Chocolate-Bar-for-Him

And of course you can’t have a birthday without chocolate! I thought this Personalised Happy Birthday Chocolate Bar for Him (£5.99) would be fun!

We have one of those relationships where we constantly take the mick and mock each other. I thought ‘Happy Birthday Old Git’ would be a lovely gesture to include on this chocolate bar. You can have any message you like printed in it though.

Personalised-Inferno-Hot-Sauce

And lastly, the Personalised Inferno Hot Sauce (£12.99)

What is it with men and hot and spicy things? My lovely other half likes to drown 90% of his meals with some form of pain inducing chilli sauce, so I thought he’d love this one. The skull in flames on the front sold it for me.

This smoky chilli sauce contains the Naga Bhut Jolokia chilli pepper (commonly known as the ghost pepper) – this is the hottest in the world!

All these awesome gifts as well as many more are available now from I Just Love It. Definitely check them out if friends and family have birhdays coming up!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Check out The Little Beauty Guide for fantastic beauty posts and reviews.

Tasty New Products From SlimFast!

Posted on September 16, 2015

slim-fast-new-products

Hi Guys!

If you’re a regular reader you may remember when I took part in the SlimFast Blogger Challenge a while ago. To be completely honest, it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, and this is completely my own fault as I didn’t sticking to the plan as I should have done. However I did lose three pounds, which I think was a really good start considering!

I actually loved the range of products I was trialling, they were all tasty, filling and definitely suited my lifestyle whilst pleasing my sweet tooth. My only criticism was that SlimFast didn’t offer any savoury main meal options. They had savoury snacks in the form of Cheddar Bites, Sour Cream & Chive Pretzels and Barbecue Tortilla Chips, but nothing savoury for a main meal. I did mention this in my original post and I’m guessing others had thought the same thing as now lo and behold, SlimFast have now come up with some fantastic Noodle Box packs!

Firstly, I love that SlimFast have listened to what their customers want, and secondly I’m just beyond impressed with these new noodle boxes. They come in three flavours – Chicken Tikka Masala, Spaghetti Bolognese and Spicy Thai. You just microwave them for a few minutes and Bob’s your uncle! The packs have less than 100 calories in each, which is amazing, and due to the low calorie content you can choose to have your noodles as a quick hot snack, or with veggies or something else as part of a main meal.

As well as their fab new Noodle Boxes, SlimFast have also kindly sent over one of their new 7 Day Starter Packs to kick off my routine. The pack includes everything you need to follow their 3-2-1 plan for the first week. It’s a great way to try out their range of products if you’re thinking about giving the plan a go. I’ve only been doing it for four days and I’ve already lost four pounds so far, so I’m over the moon!

If you’re interested in hearing more about SlimFast’s new products, meal ideas, tips for staying motivated and more, I’ll be hosting a Twitter chat with SlimFast and a couple of other lovely bloggers tonight at 8pm. The hashtag is #SlimFastWorksForMe and everyone is welcome! SlimFast will be also giving away FIVE starter packs like the one I mentioned above during the chat, so it’ll definitely be worth stopping by!

I hope you enjoyed my post, and please do join me in the chat tonight if you can!

This post contains press samples

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