My Favorite Summer Wines

Happy Saturday!

A glass of wine in the late afternoon light is what summer dreams are made of. My father’s side of the family is Italian, and I grew up spending summers in the town my grandmother grew up in. This little town called Filetto is southeast of Rome up in the mountains near the coast. What you can find in this quaint little town is old world charm, a culture of community and a strict adherence to the afternoon siesta schedule. You’ll also find acres and acres of grape vines.

I grew up with a love and appreciation of wine, how it’s made, and how it’s best enjoyed. My grandfather has been growing his own grapes and making his own wine his whole life. Even after moving to the states, he has kept the tradition alive. While wine is something my family believes can be consumed year round, I am especially found of the light summer whites and rosés that cool you down on a hot day.

Now, growing up surrounded by some of the best wines, I can be a bit particular in my choices; however, I’m firm in my belief that good wine can be found in any region and at any price point. I’m also a gal on a budget, so the wines I’ll be sharing today are all budget friendly, and of course, delicious!

Ruby Red Blood Orange Rosé

I found this slightly sweet rosé at my local liquor store, but you can check it out here. I like that its light, fruity, and refreshing. I’ve also tried the grapefruit version as well, which I also love. The flavor of both is unique and I almost feel like would go great in a sangria or homemade cocktail concoction!

Voga Italia Pinot Grigio

I love a good pinot (Grigio and noir) and as soon as summer rolls around it quickly becomes my drink of choice. This one is another local liquor store find that has quickly become a staple. I love how light it is, it’s really no wonder it’s award winning!

Strawberry & Raspberry Rossini

This wine tastes like a Bellini in a bottle. It’s prefect all day long, from brunch to dinner, just pick up a bottle at your local Trader Joe’s. It is very sweet, so if that’s not your thing then maybe stick to the plain Prosecco. I, however, have a wicked sweet tooth and can’t get enough of this fruity drink.

The Delicious Monster

Another great Trader Joe’s find, this wine is from South Africa. I’m not going to lie, I base most of my wine trying decisions based off the label. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but before you taste that first sip, I find it’s pretty hard to go by much else. I love the palm print of this wine, but honestly I love the wine itself even more! Even better, it’s under $10, it’s a wine-win-win!

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Anything from Chloe Wines

Unfortunately, I was fresh out of my favorite wine brand for this shoot – I literally cannot seem to keep a bottle in my house for a week without it disappearing – but here’s a fun throwback from last summer when Luca was a bitty baby pup. Some of my favorites are the Pinot Grigio, Rosé, and Prosecco. They’re all amazing and can be found at your local liquor store for under $15!

If you guys try any of these let me know what you think! I’m also always looking for new ones to try, so comment your favorites below!

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My Favorite Summer Jumpsuits

It’s not easy to strike a balance between looking good and feeling comfortable when choosing an outfit. That’s why simple pieces that do both are a staple in my closet. This is especially true in the summer when warm, lazy days call for even less effort.

Luckily, there’s no need to sacrifice style when you’re looking for something easy and breezy to slip on for a day exploring or a night out, because today I’m sharing some of my favorite summer jumpsuits! Even better, they’re all under $100! I love jumpsuits because one piece and you have an outfit. They look put together and stylish and no one even has to know just how comfortable you are!

My Jumpsuit | Abercrombie

Forever 21

Gap

Revolve

Lulus

If you guys like them, please let me know! I’m always trying to learn from you to figure out what content to share going forward!

Decorating My New Apartment

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It sometimes feels like I’m in a constant state of packing and unpacking, moving and settling in. I’ve been moving in and out of student housing since I was fifteen, and after finally moving back home for a year, it’s time to move once again. As most of you know, I will be moving to North Carolina in August to start law school at Duke! As many times as I’ve moved, this time feels unique in a couple of ways. First, it’s a much bigger move. Before, I had roommates who would bring things, so I usually only had to furnish my own bedroom. Now I’m going in with a clean slate and will have to furnish an entire apartment. Second, the distance is a lot further this time. I was always under 2 hours away, so moving was just a matter of taking a few car trips. Now I have a twelve hour drive, which feels a bit more daunting. There a few other difference as well, like the fact that my brother is my roommate instead of a group of girls, or that i now have to also think of my pup, Luca, and how he fits into the mix. I’m getting a little dizzy just thinking of all this now, but mostly I’m just really excited to begin this new adventure!

The thing about moving so far is that the cost of getting my furniture all packed up and moved is about as much as it costs to buy new stuff (at least that seems to be the case for me and my Salvation Army bed frame). I’m not too upset though, because I get to decorate all over again! Since before I even signed the lease, I’ve been on the hunt for cute pieces to make my new home feel, well like a home. I’ve found some amazing pieces to fill my space (without breaking my budget), so today I wanted to share them with you!

Bedroom

My decor style is pretty simple, I like light white pieces and gold accents. My style for my bedroom would best be described as feminine, modern, and glam. I like clean lines. Lots of white and gold accents. Here are some of what I’ve bought for my bedroom so far:

 

White Queen Sleigh Bed

Bed: I love this sleigh bed. I was debating getting an upholstered bed, but i really likes the simple, feminine style of this one. I also like that its wood, so I can always repaint or strip it down and stain it if I need to.

 

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Nightstands: Something that I was so insistent on was having two nightstands. I’ve always only had one, but I love the symmetry of having two. I absolutely feel in love with these when I say them and couldn’t be happier with my choice. The drawers are a pretty decent size as well, so I plan to use them for extra storage.

 

Gold Etagere Bookshelf

Bookshelf: As much as I love white furniture, I wanted to make sure that I had a little more golden glam in the mix. I really like the way I’ve seen gold etagere bookshelves styled, so I got this one to put my favorite pictures and little treasures on display.

 

Gold Makeup Organizer

Golden Makeup Organizer: I got these organizers to use in my room and my bathroom. I love how they fit so perfectly with the theme. They’ll perfect for my makeup and jewelry too! I ordered mine from Wayfair, but they don’t appear to be available anymore. The ones linked are identical ones from Amazon.

Blue Ginger Jar Lamps

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Pink Lamps

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Lamps: I’ve been seeing ginger jars all over some of my favorite decor spaces. I wanted to add some more color into the space and these lamps are perfect. I still haven’t decided which to get but these are my top choices:

Area Rug

Rug: My apartment is all hard flooring, so an area rug was a must for my room. I debated getting something with more color, but I like that this one is so versatile and will be able to work in any space.

 

Living Room

If it was just me, my living room would be filled with a lot more white and gold; however, my brother doesn’t share my same love of gold bar carts and pops of pink. Instead, I went with a coastal farmhouse vibe for our shared space, and I actually love how well everything seems to be coming together so far.

Couch

Couch: I was dead set on getting a white couch, but the maintenance to keep it freshly white would be a nightmare. I decided to save the couch of my dreams for when I’m fully on my own and instead got this lovely light sand colored one. It’s a little more gray than beige but the color matches perfectly with all of the other upholstery we got.

Blue Area Rug

Ranck Sky Blue/Light Gray Area Rug

Blue Beige Area Rug

Kalil Blue/Beige Area Rug

Rug: I’m actually using the rug I bought two years ago in the living room. I got it at Homegoods, but will link some similar ones I also love.

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Ottoman: I also bought this at Homegoods, I love the weather wood look and it matches the couch perfectly.

TV Stand

TV Stand: I like how this tv console warms up the space with a wooden tone. The sliding doors are perfect for storage and really add to the farmhouse feel.

 

Kitchen

Table: I looked all over for a table and ultimately just bought one for $20 at salvation army. I was originally hoping for a more beachwood look, but the one we got is a darker color. I actually think it will help add some contrast to the space, so I’ll keep you guys posted on that.

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Chairs: We went with these classic looking chairs for the space I think they’ll look really cool never to the darker table

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Settee: A challenge with furnishing a lived in space is finding the balance between aesthetic and function. I want our living space to be somewhere we can hangout and entertain, but there really want room for more than just a couch in the space so we had to get creative. I chose this settee for the dining area because it will double as additional seating in the living room if we need. The two spaces are open and connected, so it works out really well.

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Bar stools: I saw these stools and though they were the perfect way to tie everything together, The bluish gray stripes on the upholstery tie in nicely with the pillows we picked out for the living room. I also love the light wood.

 

I still have a few things here and there that I need to get, but this is the bulk of it. I’m so excited to see how it all comes together when we finally get to move in!

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I’m Going to Law School!

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It’s been a minute hasn’t it? Well, if you missed me don’t fret – you’re about to get the full scoop on what I’ve been up to while I’ve been MIA around here. When I first started Bay State Blonde it was so I could share all my favorite things, the things that bring me all the joy this crazy world has to offer. I feel in some ways I’ve succeeded in that and in others, I have come up short. I really hope that in this next chapter of my life (that you’ll hear about shortly!) I will be able to stay true to that mission and help BSB really grow into what it was always meant to be. So what’s been going on? What on earth has made me so busy that I’ve neglected one of my biggest passions? 

Well…after graduating nearly a year ago, I have started a full time job in Boston, adopted the cutest pup in the world, oh and got into law school.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but it’s been all I ever saw myself doing since I was in grade school. Law school was one of those dreams I woke up with each morning and went to bed with each night. This dream and I grew to be so intertwined that there came a point where I couldn’t even tell who I was if not an aspiring lawyer. Well, as it goes with most dreams, this one came with its share of trying times and seemingly endless challenges. Firstly, I knew very little people who had applied to law school before and I was the first in my family to ever even entertain the idea of grad school. Next, there was the biggest roadblock at all – the voice in my head telling me all the things I couldn’t do instead of all the amazing things I could. I could (and probably will) write an entire post about that voice and how I’ve learned to quiet it. But for the sake of saving you guys from having to read a novel today, I’ll just say that this voice proved to be my most tenacious rival throughout this process. Now let me tell you something you probably already know, applying to school is hard work. It’s a full time job on top of your full time job. I had to make sacrifices – this blog was unfortunately one of them – but… it paid off!

I spent most of last summer studying for the LSAT and all of fall working on my applications. I sent my applications to a few schools in early December very unsure of what to expect. I was hoping for good news to come as an early Christmas present. But given the fact that schools take anywhere from weeks to months to get back to you, I knew it was a long shot. Nevertheless, I found myself checking my email so often it became a mindless habit.

Christmas came and went and I left for Florida to spend New Year’s with my boyfriend and his family. While away I did my best not to think about it and to just enjoy my time, but the curiosity, nervousness, and excitement permeated my every thought. I’ve always had high hopes of big things happening in 2019 and I was dizzy with the thought of what this next year could bring. After returning from all the New Year’s Eve celebrations, I have this distinct memory of looking at myself in the mirror and seeing something different I couldn’t quite explain. Blame it on the champagne, but in that moment I said, “this year I’m finally going to live my dream.” Well, God wasted no time. On the evening of January 1st, I opened my email to find a message with the subject “Welcome to Duke Law.”

That moment is one I already know I’ll remember forever. I couldn’t believe that my dream was finally a reality. At the time I didn’t know what school I would choose, but it’s not surprising that I ended up choosing the school that made me feel so special right off the bat.

Despite all the excitement I was afraid to really consider what this news meant. I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life, aside from the four years I spent just an hour away in Providence. I know that moving away is a normal part of life and something that people do every day, but to me it seemed like the most daunting thought in the world. Over the next few months I waited as more schools got back to me, but with each new acceptance I couldn’t help but compare it to Duke.

In late March, I went down to visit Duke’s campus. At first I felt like I was in a foreign world. Where were the old colonial houses I grew so used to back home? Why was the city so quiet? After grabbing dinner, my mom and I took a drive to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on campus and that’s all it took. I think it took a good minute or two for me to pick my jaw up off the ground after seeing the awe inspiring beauty of this place. The sun had just started to slip below the tallest tree line and specks of golden light were splattered along the rows of flowers. In that moment this place that once seemed too foreign and far, felt entirely like home. If you ever have the chance to visit, please do. It really is quite a beautiful piece of our little world.

For the first time in weeks, I went to sleep that night with more excitement than fear about this new chapter of my life. The following day was filled with the kindest faces that made Duke feel even more like home. By the end of the day I was itching to get to the bookstore to start building my collection of apparel. When it was time to go, all I wanted to do was stay. The flight home felt far quicker than it had been on the way down. Everything truly began to fall into place and to add to an already happy ending, my little brother decided to move down with me and be my roommate. Such a beautiful surprise that I never would have expected, instantly settled any last worries I had about being alone. As it turns out, my new home will be filled with family and tons and tons of love. We will be heading down in August together and at last, I feel as though I understand when people say “if it’s meant to be it will be.” A year ago I could only dream that someday I’d be writing this post. I cannot wait to see what other beautiful surprises lie ahead.

Thanks for letting me share this slice of my life with you, but now it’s my turn to read! Have you guys ever moved far away from home? Have you ever gone to law school or grad school? I’d love to share in your experiences as well, so comment below or feel free to reach out to me!

If there’s anything else that I didn’t get to share that you’d like to know more about let me know!

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Cozy Fall Home Decor

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Happy Fall Y’all!

If you’ve been reading my posts lately, then you know how much I love all things fall! This season I really worked to clean up my space a little better in my living room. I reorganized how and where I store things and it just feels so much less cluttered now. Hopefully next season I’ll get to my closet (ha!).

Today’s post is all about how I decorated for fall this year. Cooler weather outside calls for making it feel as cozy and warm inside as possible. I always love making spaces my own. For me, nothing compares to the feeling of coming home after a long day and I really strive to create a space that feels welcoming and homey. I never grow tired of the familiar smells as I walk through the door or the sight of a cozy couch asking to be curled up on while I unwind. The biggest decor lesson I have learned is to make whatever space you’re working with feel like it’s yours. Sometimes I find myself scrolling through Pinterest for hours loving images of beautiful spaces, but when I try and recreate the look I realize it doesn’t really fit with my space or my style.

Fall decor is a perfect example of this. My decor style is all about light spaces, lots of whites, and cooler tones. Traditional fall decor focused more on deeper, warmer hues. While I love the look of a cozy autumn cottage in the mountains, or a warm rustic farm house, those looks would just look out of place in my space. The challenge for myself this season was to find a way to incorporate all the things I love about fall in my space, while balancing them with my style. Follow along to see how I tackled fall seasonal decor.

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When I think of traditional fall colors I think of warmer hues and a lot of orange. I was nervous that too much of this would feel out of place in my living room, especially since my rug is white and blue. Searching through Pinterest, I found a lot of inspiration for shaking up traditional fall decor by mixing up the traditional color scheme. I focused on working with my cooler tones but still incorporating warm colors as well. The blankets I used on my couch and chair are actually scarves but they were perfect as decorative accents so I just ran with it.

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I love pumpkins, especially small little ones (though I think they’re technically gourds). I used them to add little touches of fall to the space. I found the gold ‘thankful’ embroidered pillow at HomeGoods and loved how it fit. For other decorative accents, I found some festive little wooden signs in the Target dollar section which went nicely with the mantle. I also found these fabric pumpkins at target. They were a great way to stay true to the fall theme while still tying the space together.

I really love how my space turned out, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t switched a few things around. I’m always changing things up because this is all so new to me. I have learned a lot so far and feel even more prepared to tackle holiday decorations in a month or so! For now though, I think I’ll just sit back with my pups and relaxin my cozy fall home.

How do you decorate your home for fall? Comment below!

Love Ashley

Cozy Christmas Morning Essentials

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Mug: Pottery Barn | Antlers: Amazon | Pajama Top: Nordstrom |Pajama Bottoms: Victoria’s Secret (Similar here)|Bedding: Homegoods (Similar here) | Headboard: Target | Lamp: Ralph Lauren | Curtains: Nicole Miller |

Christmas morning is the one day where I have no trouble waking up early. In my family celebrations begin the night before with the feast of the seven fishes at my relatives house. It’s a Christmas Eve tradition for us where we get dressed in our Christmas best. Once we get home we get to open one gift specially designated for Christmas Eve. It’s always a new pair of pajamas that we wear to bed and on Christmas morning. This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas because who doesn’t love to be cozy!

On chilly mornings, I love to warm up with a cup of tea or coffee, so naturally I am pretty big on Christmas mugs. The one above is from Pottery Barn and I think it’s so cute. This year, I decided to share this post with all my cozy Christmas essentials. Everything is a little better with some holiday cheer added! What are some of your favorite parts of Christmas?

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Pajamas: | White Reindeer: Nordstrom | White Tartan: Victoria’s Secret | Red Reindeer: Nordstrom| Gingerbread: Nordstrom| White Trees: Victoria’s Secret|Red Tartan: Ralph Lauren |

Mugs: | Reindeer: Pottery Barn | Red: Hallmark | Tartan A: Pottery Barn | Joy: Hallmark | Joyeux Noel: Wayfair | Let’s Build a Snowman: Wayfair | Snowman: Pottery Barn |

 

A Dreamlike Dinner Cruise around Boston Harbor

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Dress: Primp (wearing size S) | Shoes: also from Primp (but they’re not online. Similar ones here & here) | Bag: Tory Burch (old, similar here) | Necklace: J.Crew Factory | Bracelet: old (similar here) |

Happy Friday!

While in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week, I stumbled upon the cutest shop called Primp. It was filled with the cutest clothes including this dress! As soon as I put it on I knew it was coming back to Massachusetts with me!

Its simple but elegant, plus it is so unbelievably comfortable. Unfortunately Primp Boutiques are only located in the Midwest, but you can shop their website here! I plan on wearing this dress a lot because it can be style so many ways. Look out for another post coming soon on all the different ways you can wear a dress like this!

This past Wednesday, I got my first chance to wear it when I went on a dinner cruise with my family to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We boarded the Odyssey Boston just behind the Boston Harbor Hotel.

As soon as we were on board, we placed out orders and headed up to the deck to take in all the views. It was still light out and there was so much to see from a cool new angle. There was the city on one side and Logan airport next to it. We watched planes take off and boats go by as the afternoon poured into evening.

Soon it was time for dinner, we each ordered something different and everything was amazing. To start I had a light lobster bisque it was so good I had to remember to pace myself because I knew there was so much more food coming!

For dinner I had crab cakes. I don’t eat meat (apart from seafood) so I’m never a good judge of most entrées, but being on the coat, I know I can never go wrong with a freshly caught meal from the Atlantic. My mom got the salmon and let me try a little. It was amazing! I eat a lot of salmon, it’s my go-to, so I can be pretty picky about it. This salmon was so light and flavorful. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and flaky and pink on the inside.

 

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We had a little while between dinner and dessert so we headed back up to the top deck to soak in all the beauty of golden hour on the Boston Harbor. The lower the sun sank, the richer the color. By the end of the evening the sunk was s deep hot pink that stretched across the horizon.

Shortly after the sun went down, it was time for dessert. I had a summery raspberry and lemon sorbet, and it was so yummy! I also got to taste my sister’s salted caramel chocolate ganache and my mom’s vanilla bean cake with ice cream they were both so good too! I am the biggest dessert fanatic, so I was in heaven.

By the end of the night our bellies were full and my mom had a smile on her face that melted my heart. She kept saying what a great day it was and I was so happy to share in her special day. When I made it back home I fell asleep thinking about my newest memory made in my beautiful Bay State.

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Shop Your Color: Pink

Shop Your Color: Pink

Pool Float: BigMouth | Sandals: Jack Rogers | Dress: Eliza J | Sneakers: Converse | Shorts: Draper James | Candle: Target | Two Piece Set: J.O.A (Top & Bottoms) | Book: Kate Spade | Pullover: Lilly Pulitzer |

Happy Friday!

Today I’ll be sharing the next of my Shop Your Color Guides. Today is Pretty in Pink! I’ve had a rocky relationship with the color pink for most of my life but I have to say it’s really grown on me in recent years.

To start off this guide is the cutest summer accessory of all – a pretty pink pool float! This is so cute and I feel like I could live out my dream of being a mermaid on it. Plus, think of all the instagrams you could post with it…sorry I’m shameless with the basic ‘grams.

I bought my first pair of Jack Rogers a few years back and they instantly became my go to sandals. I now own them in almost every color out there. These ones are super cute. I love the color pink they use and the gold whipstitch. I also really like that it has a slight wedge to it. It dresses the shoe up a bit (plus when you’re on the shorter side like me any extra height is appreciated).

This dress is so perfect for a summer wedding or party. My favorite part has to be the scallops at the bottom. It’s crazy how sometimes little details can add so much to a dress. The scallops give this dress an even more feminine look. It would probably pair perfectly with the Jacks next to it too!

Converse have been a staple since forever. Everyone knows the iconic sneakers. These ones though are awesome because while the typical pairs can be a bit chunky, these are much daintier. The light pink color is also perfect for pairing with so many looks, especially other great go-tos like jeans and a t-shirt.

I recently discovered Draper James, Reese Witherspoon’s line, and have fallen completely in love. Each one of her pieces perfectly captures her preppy style and Southern background. These shorts are perfect for summer. The seersucker is a classic print and the white detailing on the side sets the look apart from so many others. I would pair these with a dressier white tank top (my go-to is a white cowl neck tank) and a simple pair of pearls. Casual yet elegant, just like Reese herself!

Every time I go to Target (or any store with home furnishings) I always seem to find myself in the candle isle. Candles are the best. I love them so much that I’ve spent years trying to hide them from my RAs in college (sorry!). This Peony Petals candle is one that I’ve had for years. I’m so glad Target still sells it. Its such a pretty smell. Plus its design just begs to be put on display. The gold top makes it a nice accent piece, so your home can look and smell better!

Two of my favorite styles are two piece sets and midi skirts and dresses, so you can probably guess I was a little beyond excited to find this set for sale at Nordstrom! It just makes me think of a picnic in a beautiful park. The gingham pattern and light weight material are just made for summer!

Kate Spade is one of the best brands out there. The way they’re able to capture a lifestyle in each of their pieces is pretty inspiring. This book captures exactly that. A sort of guide for modern women, it contains tidbits of advice filled with both wit and wisdom. I know they say to never judge a book by its cover, but this cover is not only pretty and fun, but also does a great job of capturing the book’s message. I just love the circular wine stain (it’s very me).

Finally, I picked this Lilly Pulitzer pullover. I love Lilly and all the fun prints, but sometimes it can be hard to incorporate them into a daily look. I find that I don’t get much use out of each of my outfits. This piece however is much more versatile and understated, while still having the charming look of her other pieces. It is a great top to have to throw on at night time when the air gets a little cooler.

You guys can shop all my picks via the links up top and in each paragraph. I hope you enjoyed Pretty and Pink and I can’t wait to share the next Shop Your Color guide soon!

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