Since opening our new storefront location this time last year, we have been dying to have a Holiday party in our store! With an amazing children’s clothing boutique right next door and tons of friends in the event business, we knew we could pull it off in style! Besides, what child doesn’t love cookies and an excuse to party? That was the inspiration behind our Cookies and Cocoa Holiday party.
With a crisp, white party area, making the decision to go with a woodland snow theme was easy! We brought in lots of greenery, pine cones, berries and our favorite part were the tree logs we used on the dessert table for display as well as seating for the children. The dessert table featured a Hot Cocoa menu, cookies, two tiered cake and cake pops for the kids to enjoy! We used old closet doors behind the table to add some texture to the plain walls and to provide support for the chalkboard sign and other decorative items. A simple Christmas garland was attached to the front of the table using safety pins to create an outdoors feel. Another way we brought the outdoors inside, was by creating the star shaped snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. TIP-Because we didn’t have favors at this party (their presents were the favor) we opted instead to put the favor tags on the paper cups they used for hot cocoa.
The mantle above the fireplace was decorated with greenery and battery operated fairy lights. We used small wooden place card holders to display Christmas cards and spray painted a paper mache deer head, gold, to go in the center. Because our fireplace is non-working, we chose to illuminate it by placing tree logs inside and covering them with battery operated candles in various shapes and sizes. We then put frosted wooden trees, pinecones and berries on each side.
Once the children arrived, they exchanged gifts with one another, sang Christmas songs, sipped on hot cocoa, ate lots of cookies and yummy desserts and then we let them write thank you notes to one another before they even left the party! Writing thank you notes was a party activity and the girls loved it! Boys, eh, not so much! lol! We probably should have let them decorate cookies, but with the fancy attire, we were nervous!
Photography- Christine Hamrick Photography- http://www.christinehamrickphotography.com
Event Styling, Paper Goods and Party Decor- Teacups and Trucks, LLC- http://www.teacupsandtrucks.com
Invitation, thank you cards, favor tags- Tiny Prints- https://www.tinyprints.com/shop/picture-christmas-cards.htm
Desserts- Cake My Day- http://www.cakemydaycharleston.com
Chalkboard Sign- Charleston Chalk Chick- http://www.facebook.com/CharlestonChalkChick/
Clothing- Ragamuffin Children’s Boutique-http://www.ragamuffinchildrensboutique.com/
This past Memorial Day weekend marked the 2 year anniversary of the weekend that forever changed my life. It was the weekend I decided to leave a 12 year relationship and move my son out of the only home he has ever known with his daddy. As the weekend approached, I was actually feeling pretty optimistic. I only had one party booked, the weather was going to be beautiful and my son and I could have the entire weekend to do anything that we wanted to. As the weekend grew closer, my feelings began to change. I began to notice that almost everyone I knew had some sort of plan. Whether it was a vacation, family coming into town, cookout, and the posts on Facebook made it even more apparent. I didn’t have any plans and I didn’t have anyone to do anything with. Feelings of guilt started to creep in as I thought about my son and how he would spend the entire weekend with his momma “only”. I began to brainstorm on fun things to do, but knew that it wouldn’t be as fun as what “other people” were doing.
When Saturday arrived, I woke up early to host a birthday party and returned home shortly thereafter to my son who was very content playing video games. I sat down on the couch and before too long I had fallen asleep. Maybe an hour went by and my son woke me up to ask, “Mom, what are we going to do today?” I popped up, briskly, and told him I was going to jump in the shower and that we would make a plan. While in the shower, I can’t even explain what came over me. I began to sob hysterically. I think it was a combination of what the weekend represented and the anxiety I was feeling that we didn’t have a “family” to spend the weekend with. We didn’t even have any friends who asked us to do anything. I remember standing in the shower and flashes of images that I had just seen on Facebook played over and over in my mind. “Why not me?” I began to ask myself. “Why don’t I have a husband posing with me on the beach with, #blessed? Why am I not on a boat with my friends and their children laughing and having a good time? Why am I alone?” I was having an ultimate pity party!!! It was so crazy. I know it didn’t last very long because as soon as I recognized what I was doing, I said to myself (out loud), “I know exactly WHY you are where you are in life!” It was as if God jerked me up by the arm and said, “Are you kidding me?”
Although in my mind, I don’t feel a day over 28, I’m reminded constantly that it’s just not the case. I’ve never been one to care much about getting older or admitting my age, but I tell ya, this year sure has been a doozy! Here are my top 10 reasons for hating 40!
1. That I have to get my hair colored every 2.5 weeks to cover gray hair.
2. That I have to say 40, when someone asks how old I am.
3. When I try on clothes and the salesperson says, “You can totally pull that off for your age.”
4. When I start singing songs that I hear on the radio and nobody else has a clue what the song is.
5. When I told someone I had a “bra” for my car when I was 16 and they thought I was talking about lingerie.
6. When you think you’re cool and hanging out with younger people and then someone says, “You’re only 5 years younger than my mom”.
7. When the comments that “you don’t look your age” start to become few and far between.
8. When you are out to eat with a group of friends and you are the ONLY one to get carded! What!?
9. When I get down on the floor to play with my son and I literally can’t stand back up without assistance.
10. When my son asked me who was older, me or Johnny Appleseed?
It’s been almost a year and a half since I became single. Stepping into this world was scary and very unpredictable. I had no idea what to expect, what obstacles I would face or challenges that would come my way! I really didn’t think too much about myself and all of my concerns were about my son. Over the last few weeks, I have begun to shift my focus on myself. I am realizing how much time I have spent trying to “pick up the pieces” of situations in my relationships that have been full of lies, deceit and unappreciation. I have focused so much on rebuilding, reshaping and repairing everyone else that somewhere along the way I gave up on ME. I wasn’t worthy. I didn’t deserve a good guy. I began to settle.
What happened to my self worth? I have always been a confident and very independent woman. I came from a home in which I watched my parents love and respect one another. I was always the girl who told friends who were with guys who treated them unkind to, “leave” and that, “they could do so much better.” Why, then, was I compromising? Why was I always the one to make all the sacrifices? It’s like I have stumbled out of a fog and now I can see everything clearly! I understand that I am wounded. I understand that my heart has been repeatedly crushed. I understand that I am a work in progress. I DO NOT understand how I am 40 and DATING. 🙂
Yes, I am now in the dating world. I think since entering into this new and uncharted territory I have been forced to deal with my issues with men. This time around it’s not just about getting into a relationship for me, but it’s also about my son. I can’t afford to get into another unhealthy relationship that will lead to nowhere, now that my son is part of the equation. It is imperative that I find a GOOD man! This new truth catapulted my desire to look at myself and to try and unmask the hurt and uncover the pain. It’s something that I know will take time, but at least I am open to the process and aware of my shortcomings.
With all of that said, God HELP the men that come into my life from here on out! Not only do I have no idea “how to date”, but I am pretty sure it will be like barreling through a brick wall to gain any amount of trust with me. If you’re a woman in my shoes, you understand. I’m much like Elsa in that my heart is FROZEN and I’m singing very loudly, “Let it Go, Let it Go!” 🙂
Wow! Did we just have a summer break? That went by so insanely fast! It seems like yesterday that I was packing for vacation and looking forward to time off with my son. That was yesterday, right?
Teacups and Trucks had a very busy summer too! Our summer themed day camp was a huge success and it definitely kept us on our toes. No time for days at the beach or pool when you have 25 kids waiting for you each day. I have been an active participant in day camps my entire life. From a camper to a counselor to a director and then on to overseeing the staff that lead the camps, I’ve always had my hand in the pot, so to speak. Camp is fun for me! It is a challenge to come up with new and exciting activities to keep the children engaged and eager to attend each day. There is nothing worse than sending your child somewhere for the entire summer that is boring and monotonous. Summer break is supposed to be fun and full of excitement and our camps are exactly that!
We have also been very busy coming up with new, customizable party packages to offer to our customers. These new packages allow you to build your own party and pay for the things that YOU need. For instance, if you are the kind of person who enjoys pinterest projects and decorating, but you hate entertaining children, there is a package that allows you to have us come and entertain the children only. On the flip side, if you absolutely hate decorating, but enjoy coming up with fun games and activities for the children to do at the birthday party, we can do that too! We are very excited about this new format and hope that we will still be able to serve our diverse market.
And as if we don’t have our hands full enough with all these new changes, we also introduced our new wedding service for children called, WE DO! We had the pleasure of working 2 weddings over the summer and even more excited at the GREAT reviews we received. Here is one that really knocked our socks off:
“I cannot count the number of overwhelmingly positive compliments that my guests gave me at my wedding and the weeks following regarding the services of Teacups & Trucks. The level of professionalism and creativity that was provided was above and beyond. The decorations and supplies beautifully complemented my wedding décor and the children did not want to leave the wedding at the end as they were enjoying the crafts, games, facepainting and friendly staff who became their new friends. This wedding nanny service provided a wonderful service to our adult friends so they could enjoy socializing at the wedding at the same time being able to peek in on their children at any time and see how much fun they were having. I cannot convey how special it was to have so many beautiful children smiling included in our wedding photos. My husband and I will cherish the framed collage that was made for us by the 22 children at our wedding and can honestly say that it was the best vendor hire that we made for our special day.”
Please watch this video to learn what all the hype is about in the Charleston wedding market!
We are really looking forward to this new school year! I just hope it doesn’t go by as quickly as the summer did. I love camp, but I also love having the 9 month break in between!
Born in 1973, I was a child growing up in the 80’s video game era! I remember when ATARI first came out with games such as Pac-Man and Combat and then eventually Nintendo with Super Mario Brothers. I loved playing video games! My sister and I became obsessed with advancing to the next level and our quest to rescue the Queen was borderline insanity! That crazy dragon was impossible to pass! I hated him so!
Now, don’t get me wrong, we definitely didn’t sit in the house all day playing video games. We loved to play outside! Most days my mom would make us go outside and we weren’t allowed back in the house until she said so. Could you imagine that in today’s world? We have become so dependent on our digital devices for everything that we have lost touch with everyday pass times. Whatever happened to neighborhood games of hide and go seek, long car rides playing alphabet or spot that license plate? I’ll tell you what happened, video games, Ipods, Iphones, Ipads and the list goes on and on!
I think it is very important for parents to monitor the amount of time that children spend on these devices. Stop relying on these to keep your children entertained! Play with your children and allow them to have “down time” where they have to use their imagination to find things to do. Less time in front of a video game or phone is more time that your children will interact with you asking questions, talking about their dreams, laughing. These are all moments that you can never get back! It may mean that your children are a little less quiet, more rowdy and on your last nerve, but it’s so vital to their connection to family.
This year, my son purchased with his birthday money, a PlayStation 4. It wasn’t something I necessarily wanted him to have, but I also understand that he is a normal child and who doesn’t love video games at his age? Before we even opened the box, we discussed the rules and time limits for daily use and he had to agree to them or else lose his time all together. His initial reaction to this was, “But so and so gets to play their video games as much as they want to.” My answer, “I am very happy to return this system and you not have any video games at all.” Yeah, that was all it took and he smiled and said, “No, that’s ok.”
Unplug from the digital world and go outside and play! Or, at the very least, create a balance between the two. Paint pictures, ride bikes, fly a kite, walk on the beach, build a fort, play in a sprinkler, open a lemonade stand, go on a nature hunt and ENJOY your limited time with your children! They’ll thank you for it one day!
Imagine having 3 kids. After you’ve wrapped your head around the idea that you have 3 energetic, wild, and hyperactive kids, imagine that you have been invited to a wedding. Immediately your mind starts to go a million place.s What areyou going to wear, what gift are you going to buy the bride and groom, which store are you going to buy your shoes from? Suddenly, you remember…….the kids.
If buying brand new outfits for your 3 little darlings, packing the car, and getting to the wedding ON TIME wasn’t enough, now you have to make sure they remain calm. Telling them to “sit down” every five minutes, or “shushing” them while the bride and groom say their vows.
“Would it have been easier to leave them at home?…” you think to yourself. But going through the hassle of finding a babysitter my have been just as hard.
Teacups and Trucks is happy to announce a brand new service, “WE DO” Child Friendly Weddings! With this new service, children are finally able to be apart of the celebration!
With our new service, we can provide a designated area that is designed according to theme and colors, while also providing hostesses to entertain with games, crafts, activities and more!
•A unique experience for both children and parents
•Matching theme and colors
•Chairs, Tables, Decor, Supplies
•Wedding Favors and take-home pictures
•Entertainment, Activities, Crafts, Games
•Hostesses: CPR Certified, 3 + years experience
•Peace of Mind for the Bride
•Supervision of children and an Uninterrupted event
•Budget friendly solution for friends, family, and guests
For more information:
Visit our “We Do” Page
As a mother and children’s party planner, I am ultra sensitive to parents not submitting their RSVP for parties. It is the #1 pet peeve given by parents on planning their child’s party, so why oh why do we still have so many not doing it?
As a parent, we already know the nightmare it causes on our end when we have no idea who will be coming to our child’s party. Not only do we not know how much food to buy or favors to purchase, but if your party is being hosted outside of your home or by a party planner, you are being charged for the headcount you give them BEFORE THE PARTY!! Think about it, you can’t show up to Chuck E Cheese with 30 people and expect them to have an area ready and waiting on you! You can’t do that with a party planner either. We plan our parties weeks in advance! We have to purchase supplies that are bought online that require several days to ship, we make most of our decorations, props and costumes, we have to prepare for staff and many other things that require more than a day’s notice! Nothing is more irritating than to be told the party will have a maximum of 12 and then a few days before the party, the number magically goes up to 25!!! Really!! Please help parents out by submitting your RSVP on time (at least a week prior) and if you don’t RSVP, here are 3 simple rules to follow:
RSVP no, no #1- If you don’t RSVP to the party, don’t show up! If you remember that you didn’t RSVP the night before the party and you planned on going, politely contact the host and explain your forgetfulness and ask if it would be okay to come. 9 times out of 10 it will be perfectly fine, but it’s always nice to give a heads up. Do you really want to be the one that the host is indiscreetly referencing, “They are the ones that didn’t RSVP?”
RSVP no, no #2- Taking a party favor! If you didn’t RSVP, chances are a favor wasn’t made for your child. You may want to refrain from taking one until you know enough were prepared. It isn’t fair for your child to get one and a child who did RSVP, doesn’t. If there happens to be a shortage of favors, this usually will result in a meltdown of your child because they didn’t get one. Again, another reason to please RSVP!!!
Last, but not least, on the RSVP no, no list- Don’t bring siblings if they weren’t invited! I know this is hard when you have more than 1 child and nobody to watch the others, but if you can’t arrange it, don’t come. This mostly pertains to younger children who don’t understand that they are not part of the party. It only makes things awkward for the host who will inevitably let them participate, but when children who WERE invited show up and don’t have a place to sit, they feel guilty for not being able to accommodate everyone! It happens ALL THE TIME!!
Every morning while taking my son to school I have been faithfully listening to a radio station that has been airing a story about a woman who is contemplating calling off her engagement because she “thinks” she may want to pursue a relationship with, what she calls, her “soul mate”. Over the last few weeks as I’ve heard more and more about this story I can’t help but to get really irritated!
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people think like this woman. I’ve heard excuse after excuse from husbands and wives. “We just drifted apart”, “We don’t have anything in common anymore”, “I found someone else who makes me happy”. The latter one was even used by my first husband when explaining why he was leaving me. What is it with people? I mean, love really isn’t that complicated. We love our children, right? We love our pets? Heck, we even love sports teams! I’m pretty sure we don’t just wake up one day and decide we don’t love our children anymore. We don’t abandon our team just because they didn’t win in the playoffs. So why then do we fall out of love with our spouse? Didn’t we, when taking vows, or even if not married, promise to love and cherish? Didn’t we choose this one person to love unconditionally despite flaws, weird habits and different interests? When we fall in love, we KNOW (or at least we should) the person with whom we are falling for. If there are things you don’t like when you initially start dating, STOP DATING! Either that or don’t complain once you’ve been in a relationship for 5 years and then say, “You don’t like the same things that I do.” What a crock of crap!! I don’t like the same things you do either, but I still love you. My son makes me want to pull my hair out frequently, but I promise there isn’t anyone or anything that will come between us! What is it with people? Love is love, plain and simple. Either you love someone with your whole heart or you don’t really love them to begin with. I get so sick and tired of people taking love for granted. It is sad.
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are tons of women and men out there who try their best to stay in their marriage or relationship, but simply can’t because there is no reciprocation on the other end. Believe me, I’ve been there! I, too, know how it feels to wonder how someone can just fall out of love. It’s baffling. Love is not easy. Not in the slightest bit and definitely not with another adult who you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. Love is hard work. It takes constant attention and reflection. It takes patience and understanding. It takes forgiveness and LOVE. How strange! The very thing you are trying to preserve is what it takes to make it thrive!!
I’ve often been told that the way I think is very unconventional. I’ve even been told, “I feel sorry for you” or “I wish I could think like you do about love”. Well, I promise you don’t need to feel sorry for me and you definitely don’t need to worry about me “giving up” on true love. I believe in it! The problem lies with finding someone else who believes in it too! My one constant reminder and belief in love is my parents. They are so in love with one another that sometimes it almost doesn’t seem real. I’ve grown up with my dad telling me over and over how a man should treat a woman when he is truly in love. I promise I always listened and aspired to have a man like him one day. I guess that’s why I take it so hard when I have managed to come this far in life and still don’t have it.
To those of you out there who are like this woman on the radio, just leave already. You obviously don’t love your fiancé or you wouldn’t even entertain the idea of someone else. If you are in a marriage that is lifeless or full of despair, don’t give up. Remember what attracted you to one another in the first place. Remember the good times. Focus on that and do whatever it takes to get it back. It’s there, I promise! For those of you who have tried your best and given it your all and it still isn’t working, it’s okay. You can and WILL make it through and find love again one day. What’s love got to do with it, you ask? EVERYTHING!!!!
When deciding to start a blog for my business, I was sure that I wanted to use it not only to grow my business, but also to inspire, uplift and motivate others. In doing this, I knew that sharing my personal stories and life journey would be a crucial part of this mission.
Over the weekend, I attended a show that Teacups and Trucks had the pleasure to sponsor, “Listen to Your Mother”, that consisted of a Charleston cast all telling their personal stories about motherhood. It was so moving to me to listen to them and it inspired me to reflect upon my own journey as a mother.
Last year(almost exactly 1 year to be exact), I decided to leave my son’s father after an 11 year relationship. I put in a long and VERY hard fight to save my family, but in the end, I was powerless against unwavering disrespect. It was, without a doubt, the HARDEST decision I have ever made in my life. Not only was I leaving a man that I thought I would be with for the rest of my life and that I loved dearly, but I was taking our son away from his father and the only home he has ever known.
I still remember the day I sat my son down to tell him the news. I didn’t have it planned and I most definitely didn’t think it would be done without his dad present. But, I truly believe that my son knew something was going on and that God meant for him to find out from me that day, alone. I don’t remember what exactly I said, but immediately tears started streaming from my son’s face as he tried desperately to refrain from crying. I cuddled him in my arms and assured him it was okay and we spent the next hour on the couch crying together, uncontrollably. It was the saddest moment in my life and I will never forget that day, ever. It actually reminded me of another very tragic moment in my life when my dad cuddled me in his arms when I discovered my first husband was leaving me for another woman. I knew how my son felt. Helpless. Afraid. Heartbroken. I instantly knew how my dad felt that day too, unable to relieve my pain. As I laid there holding my son, everything in me wanted to grab him, tell him it was okay and that we were going home. I wanted to stop his pain.
Days, weeks and now months have gone by since that life changing day and I must say that not a day goes by that I don’t think about how my son is feeling. How is he doing? Is he keeping things inside? Does he understand? My entire life I have envisioned being a mother and a wife and having a wonderful, stable life like the one I had as a child. I desperately longed for it and definitely wanted that for my own children. Being a mother is such a privilege and I certainly want to do the very best job I can to make sure my son has the very best life he can. I always say that we get one shot at raising our children and instilling in them good values, beliefs, and morals. I just don’t want to fail my son. I don’t want to ever look back and think I could have done something differently.
My son and I have become very close in the year that we have been living alone. We try every chance we get to talk about our feelings and we also rely a lot on prayer. My son has, undoubtedly, strengthened his relationship with God through this whole process and that makes me very happy. He may not have both parents in his home, but he does have two parents that love and adore him and that is something to be thankful for. He is just the best thing that has ever happened to me and I hope he knows that his mommy will do anything to keep him happy.
Happy Mother’s Day! Hug your babies tight, do the best you can and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way! After all, it’s gonna happen anyway.
A day that comes only once a year to recognize one of the most important people in every family’s life. To the person that has been there when you needed them the most. To the first person you call when you have good, and not so good news. To the person that loves you unconditionally no matter how many times you screw up, or succeed.
Having only one day to express to this person how you have truly appreciated and loved them for 365 days is something not even words can fully describe. This year, make your mom feel as special as she is. Show her you care with a gift that she will cherish for a lifetime.
We have compiled a list of our Top 7 Favorite Pinterest Pins for Mother’s Day Gift Ideas. Each idea incorporates either pictures or a personal touch which can be created as simple or elaborate as your heart desires.
There is no better gift than one that comes from the heart.
This past weekend I was reminded of just how important it is to be spontaneous…
It is rare that I am ever off on a weekend. I knew this was going to be my life when I decided to open my business almost 5 years ago. I do have the luxury of scheduling my events and blocking off days on the weekends for just me, but for some reason, I NEVER do! Last Saturday we had a last minute cancellation of our second party for the day and I was bound and determined to do something relaxing and fun for a change.
Faith and I had just finished wrapping up a Spy party that morning and I informed her that I was heading to Folly Beach soon after (it was literally a mile from our party site). I told her that I needed her to come with me and hang out for the day. She was not as eager as I was and was complaining that she didn’t have her bathing suit, hadn’t shaved her legs, blah, blah, blah… Lol! After convincing her that it didn’t matter and that we never get days like this, she happily jumped on the Folly Beach bandwagon. We jumped in her car together and immediately put the windows down and cranked up the tunes! We were off to the beach!
There is just something about wind, sun, music and a good friend that just puts you in a good frame of mind. Once we arrived at the beach we parked the car and headed to Rita’s for a quick bite to eat. Over lunch we talked about life, people passing on the street and laughed about how we didn’t even have beach chairs or towels to go sit on the beach. We were truly “winging” it! That’s when Faith mentioned that we should do something crazy and rent bicycles and cruise the beach. I was all for it! We walked 2 blocks up the street to grab our bicycles, but it was closed. We were bummed! But, we immediately spotted a shop that rented golf carts and we headed over. $15 an hour. We gave him $20 and promised to be back within at least 2. We drove off the lot and immediately looked at each other and began to laugh! What in the world were we doing? Where were we going? We didn’t know and didn’t care. Before we could make it to the first stop sign we realized we were missing something on our little golf cart, MUSIC! We started to brainstorm on how to do this and headed to a gas station to find a speaker. Low and behold as we were about to leave, disappointed that we couldn’t find one, there sat a tiny speaker Bomb keychain, the very last one! As we laughed again and gave each other a high five, we grabbed the Bomb and placed it on the counter for purchase. Two people in line behind us, along with the cashier, explained to us that it wasn’t worth buying because of the sound quality, but all we needed was an hour of it’s time and $5.99 was well worth it to us.
After loading back onto our golf cart, we unpacked our Bomb,plugged it into my phone and music blared from the tiny speaker! We busted out laughing! We were in business! We pulled out of the gas station and headed down the beach, blaring our old 90’s tunes and singing all the way! We picked up some beach goers and took them to their car, drove by the beach house where we spent my 40th birthday (almost shed tears) and spent the remainder of the time driving around talking to random people that we bumped into along our way. Near the end of our afternoon, we dropped by Jack of Cups to visit with one of Faith’s friends and I remembered that Kentucky was playing in the Final Four (I’m a huge fan) in a few hours and I didn’t have any of my UK gear with me. I ran to a nearby beach shop and purchased a blue bandana and giant blue and white earrings and posed for a ridiculous picture (next to a blue and white umbrella) that perfectly depicts how I felt about this day. Carefree!!
When leaving to return our golf cart for the afternoon, the song, “Today Was a Good Day”, by Ice Cube, came blaring through our tiny speaker, and Faith and I knew right then that would be our motto and theme song for the day! Sometimes you just need a day like this to reenergize and regain your youth! Now…. back to life, back to reality! (Soul II Soul) 🙂
One of the easiest ways to decorate for parties is with balloons! They’re simple, cost effective, and can easily decorate a room in no time. We have picked out some of our favorite Pinterest Pins to showcase just what a little helium and latex can really do!
You can find all these pictures and more on Pinterest! The key to inspiration.
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