Let’s Pretend This Never Happened | Book Review + Outfit

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I was first aware of Jenny Lawson when the Fug Girls included a link to the hilarious tweets she started getting in reply to her own moment of embarrassment. I’d kind of heard of The Bloggess here and there, but had never clicked over to her blog before then.

And it’s a little weird to me to be reviewing the book of a fellow blogger (if I can even include myself in the same category as an award-winning blog and New York Times’ bestseller author which, let’s be honest, I can’t) because that puts her in a more attainable and relatable position than, say, ever meeting Stephen King or getting his attention in any way. I was a little afraid I might not like the book and then it would just be awkward. In my head, anyway.


But, thankfully, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened was hilarious. It’s a (mostly true) memoir, which I barely ever reach for as I’m more of a fiction/fantasy/romance kind of girl, and I never would have read it if it hadn’t been for Sara Lily sending me a box of books including this one, and then I had to read it. Because she sent me a box of books. Side note: how awesome is that? Bloggers are awesome.

I don’t exactly know how to go about this review. Usually, I include a synopsis and then proceed to talk about the plot, but how do you create a synopsis for a memoir? And then review the plot of someone’s life? You don’t… really.

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But, in the interest of coherency, I’ll quote the back of the book:

“When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father, and a morbidly eccentric childhood. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame-spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.

In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprisingly discovery that the most terribly human moments — the ones we want to pretend never happened — are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.

For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.”


Let me just start with… this book was exactly what I needed to read right now. Feeling postpartum depression rise up as it does, reading the hilarious, morbid, dramatic, and witty recounting of several almost unbelievable moments in Jenny’s life was perfection. I will note that for those of you who don’t appreciate curse words, this is probably not an appropriate book for you. I personally don’t swear, and mostly think lives could do without it but it really didn’t bother me much. It’s humor, and Jenny never slanders someone with the colorful vocabulary she chooses.

I only wish I could write the way Lawson does — with some drama, matter-of-fact wit, and with a logic that is basically insane, but somehow brings you around to her side. As she tells the stories of her childhood, her father’s taxidermy and obsession with wild animals, the tub full of raccoons, the magic squirrels, the blithely innocent persona of her grandmother — who let them do whatever they wanted as long as they didn’t tell their parents — and the hilariously relatable arguments between herself and her husband Victor, she walks a fine line between “this woman is insane” and “I can totally relate.” I don’t know how she does it, but somehow I found myself nodding my head in agreement with a woman who claims to have been stabbed in the face by a serial killer.

Who was, in fact, their very fat cat and she was just dreaming.

I mean… she did get a bloody face, and it was the cat, but she was dreaming about the serial killer part. Not that her cat actually stabbed her… you know, you should just read the book.

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I feel like reviewing this book will really do it no justice, so I will just leave it up to you to read it. But not if you are easily offended by swearing, or the mention of certain genitals (for humor!), or by over-dramatic retellings of situations that were already pretty dramatic in and of themselves. It was funny, sad, and real all at once, and I’m so glad Sara Lily made me read it.

Although, it would have been a little difficult to explain to my husband why I was laughing when the title of the chapter is something so innocent as “Married on the Fourth of July” yet it includes rattlesnakes, the middle of the night, and locking one’s husband out with a murderous animal.

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As for the outfit, I went with mimicking the colors of the cover, and unintentionally copied Jenny’s picture on  the back of the book in part with a few big victory rolls. Since her father was a taxidermist and there are quite a few stories about cats and other weird animals (cats are weird, don’t argue) in the  book, I thought the hedgehog brooch and Chesire Cat shirt were both very appropriate.


Shirt (old) c/o Choies| skirt, shoes, brooch, belt, and scarf, thrifted | book, Sara Lily

To close it up, I can only say… I’m glad Jenny put her experiences into a book, Furiously Happy is now on my reading list this year, and I am definitely a new reader of The Bloggess. For life. When you find fellow misfits on the internet, you have to band together. Or at least stalk them on social media.

Happy Wednesday!


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A Modern Housewife

A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com

Hello! Since I’ll be posting on Shaped by Style tomorrow, I thought I’d share what I’ll be wearing for Thanksgiving today. I’ve been struggling a bit emotionally these last few days with some lingering postpartum depression, so I haven’t felt like getting dressed or posting anything. It’s not an intense struggle, just that hollow feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you don’t feel quite right, or the occasional ache of your heart when you’re feeling a bit blue. But, the sun came out today, I made Evie laugh several times, and I’m excited to spend time with family (and especially excited to make and eat pie), so I’m feeling better today.

Besides which, this dress never fails to make me a little happier! I found it at Goodwill during the great Halloween Haul (they put out the best stuff during Halloween, I think) for $7. It’s a 1950’s frock that fits absolutely perfectly, it buttons so I can nurse in it, and it’s such a beautiful silky-feeling fabric! Plus, the colors are just gorgeous.

A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com

I found these shoes on the same trip, and while they’re not quite the exact same color as in the dress, I think they go well enough to pair up.

I wanted to try to dress a bit thematically this year, so I picked an acorn brooch to accent the dress. It’s just enough of an ode to Fall and Thanksgiving without being over-the-top. I love seeing other bloggers dress with a theme, but I don’t think it’s quite my taste to, say, wear a donut dress to a donut shop. Although I am making a Star Wars skirt to wear to the newest Star Wars movie when it comes out, and I made my husband a tie to match. So… I only dress overtly in a theme when it’s nerdy. 😉

  A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family, if you’re in the US, and if you’re not… I hope your Thursday is wonderful! I am making this post quick because I have to start a Paleo pumpkin pie that I’ve never attempted before (I’m sort of doing it on the fly and just modifying regular recipes), a regular pumpkin pie, I might try to make some sort of pumpkin-cheesecake bites, and I have to make mashed sweet potatoes which I’m going to bake with maple-glazed spicy walnuts on top.

A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com

Vintage dress, flats, vintage brooch, and vintage scarf, thrifted | belt, belonged to another dress from Target

Have a happy, happy Thanksgiving!

And by the way, I’m having a sale in my Etsy shop until November 30th, so if you use the code THANKS15 you’ll get 15% off anything! And I just added a party dresses section, so you definitely need one of those. 😉


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Librarian Style

Librarian Style | www.eccentricowl.com  Librarian Style | www.eccentricowl.com

Every once in a while when modeling items for my shop, I put on a garment and realize I can’t bear to part with it. That’s the danger of having items that fit you when you mean to sell them. But when I put on this vintage dress — which I didn’t try on when I found it (I generally try things to see how they look on, even if they’re too small or too large) — I decided that it was going to become a permanent part of my wardrobe. The color is gorgeous, the sleeves are so unique, and it buttons which means I can wear it while breastfeeding!

Plus, I mean, it matches my brooch perfectly so obviously I have to keep it.

Librarian Style | www.eccentricowl.com Librarian Style | www.eccentricowl.com

And it’s funny that I would have chosen to keep this one when I also have a polka dot + stripe circle skirt pocketed dress that is in the 80’s does 50’s style. With my love of twirly skirts and polka dots, I would have thought I’d keep that one instead. And in fact, when I pulled that one off the rack and bought it prior to trying it on, I thought I would keep it, too. But it’s got a wide sailor-esque collar that, while gorgeous, isn’t quite my thing. Plus, my husband gave it a major side-eye.

Perhaps I also really love this dress because it makes me feel like a retro librarian, and I’ve always had an extremely romanticized idea of what being a librarian is like, with my love for books and sorting.

Librarian Style | www.eccentricowl.com

Dress and brooch, vintage/thrifted | heels, thrifted | glasses, c/o Firmoo

I think behind it all, the reason I keep most clothes is the story they tell. I’m realizing that’s a very large part of why I love certain garments even if they don’t match my style (though this dress is a perfect match for those five words I mentioned earlier)

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week! Keep an eye on my Etsy shop – I am hoping to do a shop update here on the blog soon, but in the meantime I’ve been adding some really amazing vintage pieces, and one has already sold. I can’t wait to get the ten dresses I found listed! They are truly great!

Happy Wednesday!


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Nailing It + The Leibster Award

Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com

Girls, prepare yourselves for a photo-heavy post (for me) because there are three things that are going to make this a longer post than the norm:

  1. I am wearing a 1940’s crushed velvet cape. That right there is reason enough to post like 100 pictures.
  2. I want to look like this (sans cape) forever and always every day. There is something about this outfit that is just 100% ME — the mix of patterns, the polka dots, the perfect retro shoes, the fact that it is nearly entirely thrifted/vintage, the casual feel even though it’s a skirt and heels… and the fact that it just makes me feel like a bombshell while I can still interact with the toddler and not fear that dirt will require special care (aka, I can throw it all in the washer.) I don’t often do this, but today I looked in the mirror and I thought “DANG, you are killing it today!” So, suffice it to say… I really love this outfit. And did I mention the cape?
  3. Sara Lily tagged me in the Liebster Award post she just wrote!

Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com

If you aren’t sure what a Liebster award is, it’s a fun way to share more about yourself and — if people partake — learning more about your favorite bloggers. I haven’t done a Liebster in YEARS — all sorts of blog awards passed around before I ever started fashion blogging and I partook in quite a few. But then I started running out of interesting things to say and while I have been tagged for several in the past two or so years, I kind of let them slide. Because I can only think of so many random facts about myself, you guys.

But the rules are: list 11 random facts about yourself, answer 11 questions put forth in the post, and tag 11 bloggers whom you admire and would like to know more about. So here goes!

 Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. Like Sara, I used to write novels all the time. It’s actually what this blog started from — I posted my stories online, and then decided I wanted a place to write about my random thoughts, which then morphed into posting daily outfits when I started wanting to feel more beautiful… and it grew from there. I  no longer have the time to write, although I ache to create beautiful love stories again (yes, I am your somewhat stereotypical romance novelist… kind of…) but for now I’m accepting the fact that this blog is my writing outlet, and I only pen the occasional poem or idea.
  2. I am the youngest child and I have three older brothers and no sisters. I never wanted a sister, I was glad my parents didn’t have more girls, and to this day I think it’s hilarious when people feel sorry for me that I had to grow up with three brothers. But guys, I had protection. And also it meant I got my own room always. And also, never had to share clothes or toys, so…
  3. Because I had brothers and no sisters, I never wanted a daughter until I got pregnant with Asa and my husband admitted HE wanted a girl. It didn’t take me too long to warm up to the idea, though, and while I wasn’t disappointed at all that Asa is a boy — because I wanted a boy first anyway — I might have been a little disappointed if Evie had also been a boy. Because by that time, I realized girls are fun, too!
  4. I am an artist, though I haven’t picked up a pencil to draw in a long time. And if I can say so myself, I am pretty good. I took art lessons for about 6 months and sorely wish I could have taken them longer to learn more techniques than I already know! My favorite thing to draw (and paint, and photograph too) has always been faces. I’m particularly fond of this one:Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com
  5. I also play the piano — and have since I was four — sing, and occasionally write songs. At one point I started to write a rock-opera/musical, (side note, old video, bad quality, lots of errors) but I don’t think I’ll ever finish that. I never write down my music (the lyrics, yes, the notes, no) so I nearly always have to record myself playing so that I can listen to things later and make sure I don’t forget my compositions.Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com
  6. Aside from loving Owls, I am also a cat lover, and it is proof how much I love my husband that I gave up my cat of 9 years for our marriage. Mostly because our rentals can’t have cats, and my mom is allergic so she couldn’t keep my cat, so we gave her to a family that loves her (I hope.)
  7. Unlike many Paleo-enthusiasts, I eat mostly Paleo (or try to) because I have to. Wheat gives me heartburn, makes me stuffy/groggy in the morning and inhibits my sleep at night, dairy gives me headaches/indigestion/gas/sometimes bloody stool (TMI? Sorry) if I go too far, and legumes give me terrible stomach aches. All of my mysterious aches and pains completely disappear when I clean up my diet. And I’m not a perfect eater, by any means, but it’s habitual now to avoid dairy, grains, and legumes. But I still really love Mexican food and cake, so… it’s a hard life. 😉
  8. I have trypophobia, which is not strictly a fear so much as an extreme discomfort over images, surfaces, or other things that form multiple small holes in a surface — like these images. (DO NOT click if you’re trypophobic, you will die) Personally, perfect holes don’t bother me but if the edges of the holes are uneven and jagged, I just can’t. The worst for me in real life are empty barnacles all gathered together, lava rock, certain types of coral, and those frogs that carry eggs on their backs. I literately cannot make myself look directly at those things.
  9. I used to hate cleaning of any sort, and was the worst housewife when I first got married, but after Asa started to become mobile and I was forced to clean more, I have started to like it. Getting the kitchen clean is one of the most satisfying things ever, and I rarely go to bed without doing the dishes any more.
  10. I was not allowed to watch many of the Disney Princess movies growing up — Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid — so when you say Disney I usually think Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, or Fox and the Hound. Also, I asked my parents if I could watch PG-13 movies probably until I was 16, aaand I don’t think I saw my first R rated movie until I was… I don’t even know how old. But I’m okay with all that. It just means I have really selective and good movie taste now.
  11. I can type somewhere over 110 words per minute, and I’m pretty sure it’s due to my constant practice typing when I was little. Before I could even spell, I would mimic my mom typing — and at the time I thought she was the fastest typist ever. Now, I think I’m faster than her.

Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com

And now, the Q&A portion!

1. What inspired you to start a blog?
Like I said above, I used to write novels, and then I wanted to have a place to write random thoughts. Fashion blogging came about after I discovered What I Wore and Selective Potential, and challenged myself to wear skirts every day for a week. I later started posting my own fashion photos… and the rest is history!

2. Who is your favorite style icon?
My grandma — my dad’s mom. I didn’t really have a single icon until I discovered pictures of her when she was my age, and OH MY GOODNESS. We’re not blood related (my dad is adopted) but I want to be like her. She was so fashionable in her day:

Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com

(She’s on the left in the left picture, and the right in the right picture. THAT SKIRT. THAT COAT. AH.) Otherwise, my style inspiration is always my fellow bloggers, who are gorgeous and insanely stylish!

3. Can you name two of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
It fluctuates so much, but right now I absolutely adore Kara of The Dressed Aesthetic and Lauren of Paper Mothball Vintage. Kara is a marine biologist with a special love for sharks and vintage dresses, and she has THE most amazing wardrobe I have ever seen. Her blog posts are always interesting, whether they be thoughtful, funny, or retrospective, and I just love the fact that she is an incredibly smart woman who dresses in the most feminine way possible! Lauren was a model, and now works on the other side of the lens as well as showing off her fashion and creating many of the things that she wears, and she has always inspired me with her gorgeous and on-point vintage looks from every different era, her photography, her framing, and her attention to detail. Her blog is like looking at the most beautiful magazine!

4. What’s one wardrobe essential you can’t live without?
Right now, as a breastfeeding mama, tee shirts with stretchy necks or crop tops I can wear with high waisted skirts! I’m not much for button-up tops, and prefer the casual look of a good tee shirt. So, if I can pull down the neck, that’s the best, but crops also work well because they’re FAR easier to move out of the way to nurse Evie, and also way easier to tuck back into a skirt.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?
I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while. I suppose… a bit storyteller, a bit rambling, focused on sharing casual and thrifty vintage looks that are still beautiful while being practical for every day. And narrating life as it is at the moment, whatever that moment might be.

6. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
Is it lame to say making it through two births unmedicated? I mean… because I am the person who HATES pain. I am afraid of getting shocked by arbitrary things like static from the carpet, for goodness sake, yet I had Asa and Evie with no pain medication whatsoever. I went through three days of intense false labor with Asa, and Evie’s labor was so painful I threw up. And also, pushing a baby out in five minutes. I am impressed by myself with that one. So that’s a pretty big achievement.

7. What was the last book you read?
Can I list the book I’m currently reading? Because it would be Tell The Wolves I’m Home, which I bought at Goodwill based solely on the cover (I do that a lot…) and so far it’s really sad and interesting and I can’t wait to see where it goes!

Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.comNailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
It’s a very close call between Ireland and New Zealand. Ireland, my heart has been yearning for since I was little for no particular reason really, but the more I read about it the more I want to go. And New Zealand, well. I’m a nerd, and let’s just say I REALLY need to visit Hobbiton.

9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I will probably have at least one more kid and maybe be pregnant again (yeah, we want five or more), and I will hopefully have finally finished and published Sweet Ireland Air, which I have often said is the novel I would publish first.

10. What was the first movie or book that made an impact on your life?
I think Jane Eyre has always had the biggest influence on me and my writing and my life. I want to craft love stories like that, and realized a few years ago that many of my stories are based around a moody man with a secret, probably because my first love was totally Edward Rochester. It’s been my favorite book since I was about seven or eight, and I can read that novel over and over again and still see new things. And oh, Edward Rochester, love of my fantasy life… my husband knows full well that Rochester is a lifelong crush of mine. I even have Edward on the list of names I would give one of my sons… or at least I did, until Twilight came along. Sigh. #RochesterOverDarcyAnyDay

11. What advice would you give someone who just started blogging?
Learn from those you admire the most, don’t quit just because you see someone better, and always do what YOU love instead of copying someone else! I still haunt my favorite blogs for inspiration and to just learn — anything from blog design to photography to outfits to how to do my hair, I learn from the bloggers around me.  But while i take inspiration and lots of lessons from bloggers I admire, I always make sure to put my own spin on whatever inspiration I’m posting, because over everything else, authenticity and hard work is the key. Nobody wants to see a copycat or a halfhearted post! But that doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by those around you, or post something silly just because it makes you laugh.

Nailing It + The Leibster Award | www.eccentricowl.com

Top, Target | vintage skirt, belt, and heels, thrifted | 1940’s crushed velvet cape, gift
(shop similar items to this look here)

And I would love to have these lovely women participate:

Hannah of The Outfit Repeater
Skye of My Kingdom for a Hat
Lyndsey of Dressed in Mascara
Emily of Bread and Roses Vintage
Rebecca of Three Things Great
Elana of Room 334
Nicole of Writes Like a Girl
Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey
Katie of Butterfly Loves Snapdragons
Heather of The Arbitrary Fox
Jamie of Petite Panoply

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Happy Friday!


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Painting the Roses Red

Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com

With it being October, I have costumes on my mind. Growing up, we didn’t celebrate Halloween at all; when the 31st came around ours was the dark house with nobody that answered and occasionally brothers who wanted to hide under piles of leaves outside and scare anyone who walked past. We have really only lived in a neighborhood twice as it is — once in a small town when I was between the ages of 9-13, and once right after Mr. Owl and I started dating. So to have the non-treat house wasn’t as big of a deal most of the time, and most of my own disappointment with Halloween was the fact that I, as a girl who loved costumes, could not get all dressed up as Belle or a Victorian lady and run around with my friends pretending to be someone we were not. I didn’t even care about the candy, I just wanted the costumes!

But after I got married, having grown up not celebrating (other than the occasional Harvest Festival at various churches), my husband pointed out that he didn’t think he wanted to strictly forbid Halloween for our kids.

Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com

Mainly because many of Asa’s cousins go trick-or-treating, and for us it really is nothing more than a fun event for our kids to get together with their cousins and have some innocent fun. It’s bonding time, time to let them express creativity through coming up with a costume, and time to get candy that otherwise they probably don’t get that often. Or for us, time for Asa to use his cute cheeks to score us a bucket of goodies. HA! (Okay, this year he’s old enough to have some of that candy.) And for my husband and I, it’s probably the only time we ever get to dress up in costume and go out, something we both love doing.

So when I was thrifting on Monday, my primary goal was finding pieces I can add to my closet that also work for costumes. And when I saw this skirt, I immediately thought of Alice in Wonderland, and the song where the cards are painting the roses red.

I knew I needed it as soon as I saw it, of course, but add to the fact that it has pockets and an elastic waistline AND it’s nearly a circle skirt and I was 100% sold. Plus, I can add it to my list of Halloween costumes I will be creating from my closet (whether I’ll do a different incarnation of the Red Queen — here’s last year’s — or I’ll be a rosebush, I don’t know yet) this year for blog posts. I can’t wait!Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com
Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com

And now I want to switch gears for a minute and talk about jewelry! More specifically, Rocksbox. Quite a few fantastic bloggers have been sharing their experiences with this company, and I’m excited to join ranks. Rocksbox is a super fun subscription service wherein for $19 a month, you get three pieces of jewelry at a time that you can “borrow” for as long or short as you like (with unlimited swapping of boxes in each month). You start out by taking a style quiz and adding pieces of jewelry to your wishlist. Then, a personal stylist makes those wishes come true, usually choosing an item from your list to style two other pieces or jewelry around for you. If you adore the pieces, you can buy them for a good discount; if you didn’t like something, you can let your stylist know. And when you’re done borrowing the jewelry, you send it back in its box and a new one is sent to you!

The bracelet I’m wearing here is one of the three pieces that was in my first box. (I have two more posts coming with the other pieces!) I am not much of a bracelet wearer, since most bracelets are far too large for my wrist, and sadly this one turned out too big too, even with its adjustable feature. But it was far too pretty not to wear anyway! The delicate silver band has tiny little diamonds embedded in it for just the right amount of sparkle, and I loved how it was easy to wear with an everyday outfit but could have also been styled with something fancier.

Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com

I am really excited to share the other pieces and also to return them and try out a few new pieces of jewelry! It really is my kind of subscription box — who doesn’t love getting shiny things in the mail every month?

If you want to try Rocksbox (and I highly recommend you do!) you can have a first month entirely free! Just sign up, and enter the code eccentricowlblogxoxo and try it out! And don’t worry, it’s super easy to cancel if you decide getting swappable jewelry is just not your thing. (But WHY would it not be?)

Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com

shirt, c/o Choies | skirt and heels, thrifted | bracelet, c/o Rocksbox | glasses c/o Firmoo
Shop similar items here.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far!

Happy Wednesday!


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Painting the Roses Red | www.eccentricowl.com

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