Category: Holidays

Happy Easter And What Is To Come

Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.” – Janine di Giovanni

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I know it’s been a while, I felt called to reach out and a say that I hope all of you had a lovely Easter. I do believe that Easter is the perfect time for hope, renewal and change. However it is that you celebrate this day or whatever it means to you, take some time tonight to reflect on what has been and look forward at all that this season represents.

The last 30 days have been an adjustment for my family and I. Today, being away from my family was hard. I miss my family, friends and my community however I know that we are where we are meant to be! So with that in mind, I welcome this season and the change that it brings. Let today be the first day of your new life, keep moving forward and smile as you welcome what is to come.

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International Women’s Day 2018

Phenomenal Woman

By: Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

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Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn

Every year, one of our favorite things to do is go to the Festival of Light at the Mission Inn in Riverside. This year we got a sneak preview (just by chance) of the gorgeous Mission Inn in all it’s glory.

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This year marks the 25th year of the Festival of Lights. The beautiful Mission Inn is decorated with 200 animated figures including angels, elves and Dickens carolers, freshly fallen snow, a gorgeous Christmas Tree and tons of lights!

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Don’t miss appearances by Santa Claus and our the chance to stand under the world’s largest man-made mistletoe.

The theme for 2017 is “Sweet 25”.  The fun and exciting candy-theme celebration will begin with their very special “Lights On ” ceremony on Friday, November 24th, at 4:30pm.

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The theme is carried throughout the exterior of the hotel and include the new Candy Stroll, Sweet Dreams suite, Kelly’s Spa specials, weekly delectable specials featured in our award-winning restaurants, and delicious candy-themed Casey’s Cupcakes.

ProjectrefinedLife.com
ProjectrefinedLife.com
  • The Festival of Lights runs from Friday, November 24, 2017 through Saturday, January 6, 2018.

  • The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is located at 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

  • The event is free, parking fees vary.

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ENC’s Fall Faire

Join the fun at the ENC’s annual Fall Faire and Pumpkin Patch! Look forward to Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes,  native plant sale, delicious food and drinks from local vendors, crafts and games for the kids. The Fall Faire has been an ENC tradition since 1977.

Buy a re-usable ENC canvas bag for $5 to participate in the Craft Crawl. Walk along the trails at ENC as the kids go station to station making awesome eco-friendly & nature-inspired crafts!

Francisco the Bug Guy and the Orange County Bird of Prey Center will be on hand with their live hawks and owls. Take a ride on a friendly pony or visit a variety of barnyard animals in our petting zoo! Bring the kids and play super fun games, winners can enter to win prizes in our children’s auction. There’s something for everyone!

The Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch takes place at the Environmental Nature Center, on Sunday,  October 15, 2017 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

ENC is located at 1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663

images courtesy of www.facebook.com/pages/Environmental-Nature-Center

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Books for Treats


I love Halloween, it’s fun, it’s playful, kids wait all year to dress up and collect candy door to door or attend their favorite Harvest Festival. For some kids in the hospital, this day must take on a different method of getting in on the fun. This is where Ethan’s “Book for Treats” comes in!

Ethan, creator of Ethan and Choco’s Book Club, knows first hand what it’s like to be in the hospital on Halloween. This brave young man has a goal and you can help me reach it while providing a treat to some kids within our community. Ethan is looking to collect 300 Halloween-themed books for kids who are inpatient at CHOC Children’s Hospital during Halloween!

There are several ways to donate to this cause. You can visit our local children’s book store Once Upon a Storybook and purchase a book, then just leave it in the “Ethan & Choco’s Book Club Basket” (they have an awesome Halloween display as well) and/or you can take a look at Ethan’s Halloween Wish Book list that is available on Amazon http://a.co/1o8eo3B  – any books purchased through Amazon will be sent directly to ECBC.

This is a great way to give back and bring a smile to a kids face. Happy Halloween!

Troop #3152 & Ethan
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Magic & Mayhem

My family and I go to Roger’s Garden every year for their Halloween Boutique and I can tell you this place never disappoints! This year the Halloween Boutique’s theme is: Magic & Mayhem.

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If you love Halloween as much as I do, you simply can’t miss this. Rogers Garden is a Garden Center like no other garden center I’ve ever been to.

Halloween Boutique 2017 – ProjectRefinedLife.com

The Halloween Boutique is made up of several rooms all decorated differently within an overall theme. It’s hard to focus on all the details in the room (at least for me) because there is so much to look at. You can browse around for hours and still find things you missed.

Halloween Boutique 2017 – ProjectRefinedLife.com

My family and I look forward to this as a way to welcome in the fall every year and get ready for Halloween.

Halloween Boutique 2017 – ProjectRefinedLife.com

Here’s the details for this years boutique:

WALK THROUGH FOUR DIFFERENT CURATED STORES:

The Owl Post | General Store – Are you expecting a package?  Come and check to see if one of our Owl’s has delivered it.  And while you are here, we are a full service convenience store, offering all of your décor supplies.  Truly a one stop shop in the land of Magic & Mayhem.

Weezer’s Joke Emporium – Apprentice mischief-makers stop here!  Filled to the brim with hilarious jokes, tricks and candy we are waiting to fill your basket with surprises. A prankster’s paradise!

Wykeham’s Wizarding Supplies – Lurking in the shadows, a world of magic beckons.  Shop for the perfect wand, brows our selection of spell books or get lost in the gaze of a crystal ball.

Morgan & Murkes Apothecary – Phrenology, palmistry or a simple potion; pick your poison, it’s all here.  Loaded with skeletons and skulls the apothecary is ready to fix what ails you.

  • When: September 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017

  • Where: Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd. Corona del Mar, CA 92625

  • Cost: FREE but bring your becuase there’s tons of neat stuff!

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Earth Day

Image courtesy of challenge.gov

I am the Earth

And the Earth is me.

Each blade of grass,

Each honey tree,

Each bit of mud,

And stick and stone

Is blood and muscle,

Skin and bone.

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Great Park Spooktacular

OC-Great_halloween_ballon

It’s time to register for The Great Park’s Spooktacular Fun Days!  Get your costume’s ready and enjoy fall activities for the kids of all ages. This FREE event not only provides your family a day of fun but also helps support our Orange County Food Banks.

Donate to scare away hunger by simply bringing a bag of canned goods or non-perishable food and each child 12 and younger will gain access to the Pumpkin Patch or Trick or Treat Town (while supplies last).

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Enjoy traditional family-friendly fall activities including: kids crafts, petting zoo, carnival games, Harvest Walk, entertainment, gourmet food trucks and much more.

In order to take part in this spooktacular day of fun you must sign up. Registration is required for each child (12 & under); space is limited. Free admission and parking.

Activities are for children 12 & under, therefore accompanying adult ticket registration is not required.  Event date options include:

  • Saturday, October 15, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 16, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 22, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 23, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Registration for Spooktacular Fun Days begins September 14, 2016 at noon.

The Great Park is located at Marine Way and Sand Canyon Irvine, CA 92618

Please note: Special event entrance for the Orange County Great Park is located off I-5 or I-405 at Sand Canyon on Trabuco Road/Great Park Boulevard in Irvine.

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Roger’s Gardens Halloween Boutique

GrimmTales Halloween Boutique??? Yep, it’s time! For me the sure sign that Fall is on it’s way is visiting Rodger’s Gardens Halloween Boutique. This year the theme is “Grimm Tales”  and it opens today, Friday, September 2, 2016.

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My family and I have made a tradition of visiting this spectacular showcase. Each year, we look forward to the new theme and new chilling features each room holds.

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I love gathering inspiration for our home with the works of artists like: Joyce Stahl,  Vergie Lightfoot and Nicol Sayer. These decorations go way beyond Pumpkins and gourds. These are pieces of art and are simply amazing.

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The Grimm Tales theme takes you through forested rooms that display a completely new spin on classics like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Hansel & Gretel.

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While your visiting Roger’s Gardens be sure to stop by the brand new restaurant Farmhouse Cafe  Who wouldn’t want to eat here? The garden is beautiful and the restaurant supports an open feeling with all the charm that exists within the garden.

FarmhouseCafe

Halloween Boutique Date/Time

  • When: Open daily from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Where: Roger’s Gardens 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, CA 92625
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Be Safe this Weekend!

Please help keep families together and safe this weekend by designating a driver or call Uber for a ride. Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend.

Annette – ProjectRefinedLife

Michael

 

As the 4th of July  weekend approaches, the media will be entirely too busy reporting on drunk driving fatalities. This is one of the deadliest weekends throughout the year for alcohol-related crashes. During the four-day holiday in 2014, 164 people were killed in drunk driving crashes – a 50% increase over an average day.

MADD refuses to accept this as normal. And, this week, we are proud to announce an enhanced partnership we believe will save lives – begining this weekend!

MADD introduced the phrase designated driver to the American lexicon 30 years ago in 1986. This week, I am pleased to say that Uber has evolved the definition of “designated driver.” So, that in addition to your non-drinking driver or public transportation, Uber is standing by as well as MADD’s official designated driving app.

For almost a decade, MADD has put technology at the forefront of our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.  Two years ago, this July 4th, we announced a partnership with Uber to keep drunk drivers off the road. As a team, we have spent the last two years raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving by coordinating events with local and national leaders, participating in public service campaigns, and encouraging both riders and drivers to leave the keys at home and keep their communities safe.

Uber, like MADD,  cares about our cause of getting drunk drivers off the road. They care about rider and driver safety, and they are dedicated to research that helps reduce drunk driving.

This holiday weekend, like all weekends, we want Americas roads to be safe and rid them of drunk drivers. Please join our mission to end drunk driving by donating today. Uber will DOUBLE your donation.

Together, we will make a difference. Have a safe July 4th weekend. Thank you and God Bless America!

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Spring Flings & Easter Egg Hunts – 2016

PRL-SpringFling_Easter_hunts

Looking for a an Easter Egg hunt this weekend? Here are some of this years Easter Egg Hunts and/or Spring Celebration going on this weekend. Happy Easter!


Celebration Church Easter Egg-Stravaganza  Brea – This is known as the biggest Easter egg hunt in Brea! Join in on Saturday, March 26th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Brea Jr. High Park. This is a FREE community event. (Bring a few dollars if you would like food.) Over 20,000 Easter eggs, 40 Game and Activity Booths, Relay Races, Arts & Crafts, Pictures with the Easter Bunny, Face Painting, Golden Egg and Bigger Prizes, and More! Click on the registration link to learn more and to register!

Easter Eggs

Tom’s Farms Annual Easter Egg Hunt Corona – Enjoy live music at Tom’s Farms Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday March 27, 2106. Enjoy additional attractions such as the train ride,  the carousel, tractor driving, petting zoo and more.

Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day Huntington Beach – Stop by and hunt for candy, take a picture with the Easter Bunny, play a game at the many game booths, enjoy the live band and visit booths from various community services. Saturday, March 26, 2016.

Egg Scramble – Irvine – Mariners Church will have face painting, food, games and other family friendly activities! Saturday, March 26th at 2:45 and 6:45 pm

Etnies Egg Hunt and Festival of Colors Lake Forest – Etnies Skate Park in Lake Forest will celebrate on Saturday with Eggs hidden throughout the Skatepark that will have small prizes in each one. Please bring your own basket as they will have limited supplies for the event. The egg hunt starts at 11:15 am sharp. The Festival of Colors will begin at 12:00 pm. Each event has a fee of $5.00 per person, per event fee. Please be sure to arrive early.

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Big Bunny’s Spring Fling Los Angeles – Hop Over to the LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens to meet “Big Bunny”. On March 25th, 26th & 27th – have the kids pet some real bunnies, there will be face painting, musical entertainment, bunny-ear crafts, and costumed characters.

 Living Desert Zoo’s Easter Eggstrvaganza, Palm Desert – Join the Easter Bunny and his strolling friends for two days of fun activities. Start the day in Gecko Gulch for an Easter Egg and enjoy crafts, face painting, bounce houses, a parade, games and prizes and more! March 26th  & 27th.

Egg Hunt at Kidspace Pasadena – On Saturday & Sunday, March 26th & 27th there will be hundreds of candy-filled eggs will be hidden throughout at the Kidspace Gardens just waiting to be found! Families can also create spring art, learn the bunny hop, pet real bunnies with Bunny World Foundation, and more!

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Egg Bowl Pasadena – The FREE egg hunt is held inside the Rose Bowl Stadium on Saturday March 26th. This FREE event provides fun for the whole family with games and activities for children and teens. This is Pasadena’s largest egg hunt with over 60,000 eggs. Nominal fees apply for major attractions and food. For a fee, there is also an optional VIP Bunny Brunch. Please check the website complete details.

Spring EGGstravaganza La Jolla – Birch Aquarium celebrates the arrival of spring and the changes it brings by joining them for an Eggstravaganza on Easter Sunday, March 27th! Explore animal eggs, discover changes in the sea by making your own plankton, create a shark egg craft, and participate in an “underwater egg hunt” – no baskets needed, Activities are included in regular admission.

Image Courtesy of City of Tustin Parks & Recreation Facebook page
Image Courtesy of City of Tustin Parks & Recreation Facebook page

Easter Egg Hunt Tustin – The City of Tustin’s 47th annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place on March 26th. Events begin bright & early 8:30 am at Tustin Sports Park. Enjoy an Egg Hunt, Jumpers, Magician, Wild Animal Show, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Games Booths and Pictures with the Easter Bunny.

Image courtesy of Saddleback Church Facebook page
Image courtesy of Saddleback Church Facebook page

Easter at Saddleback Chruch  in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Corona, Irvine North, Irvine South, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Angeles, Newport Mesa, Rancho Capistrano, San Clemente & South Bay will all have Easter events for kids of all ages. Please check individual locations for egg hunts and times.

Egg Drop at Crosspointe Church, Yorba Linda – Celebrate Easter with an amazing 30,000 egg drop from a helicopter. Enjoy an encouraging message, great music, food trucks and more. The event is being held at Yorba Linda High School on Sunday March 27th and begins at 10:30 am.

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Free Day at Battleship Iowa

image from Pacific Battleship Center - Battleship USS Iowa facebook page
image from Pacific Battleship Center – Battleship USS Iowa facebook page

Bring the entire family to experience President’s Day aboard the “Battleship of Presidents.” There will be presidential impersonators and famous military reenactors, vintage vehicles. food trucks, and more.

At 10:30 am there will be a special ceremony honoring President’s Day and the 73rd birthday of our ship. at 11:00 am we will serve birthday cake and pastries while they last.

Don’t forget to tour the battleship, enjoy the new Interactive Tour and Vicky scavenger hunt.

  • When: Monday, February 15, 2015 from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Where: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd. San Pedro, CA 90731
  • Cost: The event is Free, Parking fees apply
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President’s Day Celebrations

nixon library

The Richard Nixon Foundation is hosting their annual Presidents Day Celebration on Monday, February 15, 2016 with FREE admission all day!

Get there early and you’ll have the chance to meet Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at the front entrance of the Nixon Library starting at 10:00 am (okay so of course it’s not really them but they look like them).

 A fascinating talk with the three presidents will follow in the magnificent White House East Room at 11:30 AM.

If you are among one of the first 250 visitors, you can enjoy a free slice of cherry pie compliments of Polly’s Pies. Click here for .

  • When: Monday, February 15, 2016 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Where: The Richard Nixon Library & Museum – 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard Yorba Linda, CA 92886
  • Cost: FREE

During this time the museum galleries are currently undergoing a major renovation and are not open to the public. However, visitors will be able to tour Richard Nixon’s original birthplace, the final resting places of President and Mrs. Nixon, the presidential helicopter, the First Lady’s gardens, and the full-scale replica of the White House East Room.


 

Image from reagan.utexas.edu
Image from reagan.utexas.edu

Come mingle with our Founding Fathers during the 23rd Annual Presidents Day Celebration at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Presidents Day, Monday, February 15, 2016

This celebration includes fun for the whole family, including crafts, musical entertainment, storytelling, and presidential and first lady lookalikes. Hot dogs, pie, and other all-American food will be available for purchase.

  • When: Monday, February 15, 2016 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum, 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93065
  • Cost: Presidents Day activities are FREE and open to the public. Regular Museum admission rates apply to view the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and the spectacular Air Force One Pavilion. 
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Feliz Dia de los Reyes Magos

diadelosreyesmagos

Feliz Dia de los Reyes Magos or Happy Three Kings Day or Epiphany, whichever you choose to celebrate, this is a tradition my daughters look forward every year. They are always excited the day we have our “Baby Bread”. I mark it as the official end of the Christmas season.

Image from French's Bakery Facebook page
Image from French’s Bakery Facebook page

If you haven’t picked up your Rosca, get to your local panderia (mexican bakery) such as La Poblana Bakery in Old Town Orange or one of the many hispanic markets that offer “Rosca De Reyes”.

This year I’ll be giving the Rosca from French’s Bakery of Costa Mesa a try. I called early this morning and they said they have plenty of both their Pineapple with cream cheese and Apple Rosca’s available. They have locations in Costa Mesa, Irvine, Mission Viejo & Orange and are celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Image Courtesy of Portos Bakery Facebook page
Image Courtesy of Portos Bakery Facebook page

If you’re in the Los Angeles area you might want to try a Rosca from the very yummy Porto’s Bakery, located in Burbak, Glendale & Downey. In addition to the traditional Rosca, they also have Galette Des Rios.

Image courtesy of Chocalate Ibarra facebook page
Image courtesy of Ibarra Chocloate facebook page

Ohhhh don’t forget your Ibarra Chocolate to go along with your Rosca, Happy Day of the Kings!

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Happy New Year

new-year-eve-imageI would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. Along with my wishes for you to have a wonderful new year’s eve celebration with your family and friends comes my plead and prayer for everyone to be safe. Remember how precious life is and how it can change in the blink of an eye. If you’re attending a party of an event, please designate a non- drinking driver of call tipsy tow.

The Automobile Club of Southern California is offering its free Tipsy Tow service during the New Year’s Eve holiday for the 20th year.  The community service, which over two decades has taken thousands of drinking drivers off the road on New Year’s Eve, is available from 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, to 6 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1, to help remove drinking drivers from the road.  Tipsy Tow is available in the 13 Southern California counties served by the Auto Club.

AAA-tipsy-tow-facebookIn Orange County, The Orange County Transportation Authority is offering free rides from 6:00 p.m. on Thursday to 2:30 a.m. on Friday.


 If you’re in the Los Angeles area Metro is your designated driver for New Year’s Eve. To help you ring in the New Year safely, Metro will operate 24-hour, overnight service on Metro Rail, plus Orange and Silver Lines. Free rides will be offered for all bus and rail service from 9pm on December 31, 2015, until 2am on the morning of January 1, 2016.

All Metro Rail Line Stations with latched gates will be unlatched during this time. Regular fares are in effect at 2am on New Year’s Day.

A One-way fare is $1.75 and includes transfers to other Metro lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip. A $7 Day Pass covers unlimited travel starting on date of purchase until 3am the next morning.

Note: All Metro Rail lines and the Metro Orange Line will operate all night every 20 minutes on New Year’s Eve. The Metro Silver Line will operate every 60 minutes during this time.

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Remember, you could safe someone’s life by calling UBER or using one of the services to help you get home safely. AAA estimates a first time misdemeanor DUI conviction can cost about $15,688.

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