Friday, December 30, 2011

It's My Birthday...

...and I'll cry if I want to... {just kidding!}

Celebrating my birthday from the islands as I have for the last several years...

So happy birthday to me!!

Photo by me!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Island Time = Bain of my Existence

St. Thomas is technically part of the United States, but when it comes down to things like mail, it might as well be a 3rd world country in the middle of nowhere.  I thought I was being so smooth ordering a bunch of toiletries from on Dec. 10th in anticipation of my Dec. 19th arrival, thinking they would be here ahead of my arrival, shipped 2 day shipping via FedEx...'s now December 24th, and my lovely package of toothpaste, face wash, etc. still has not arrived.  In fact, it's now in Puerto Rico {arrived on Dec. 22nd}, and it's estimated delivery date is January 9th. TWO DAYS AFTER I LEAVE, AND 31 DAYS AFTER I PLACED MY ORDER.


What's the point?

Friday, December 23, 2011

St. Thomas for the Holidays!

I've been relaxing the last few days in sunny St. Thomas...the vacation started with an amazing facial at Esthetica care of Linda, who gives the most amazing facials I've ever had.  I highly recommend her if anyone is planning a trip to St. Thomas.

The last few days I've been trying to relax, get some reading for pleasure done before my winter semester started for school, which was today.  But that's off to a good start - I got all the required reading done, and completed today's assignment, which was pretty doable.  We have a little respite though New Years when the course takes off, full swing.  But until then, I have a few days to relax!

Enjoying the day at Magen's Bay...what a pristine day!

The view from my parent's house.

Hitchcock enjoying the fabulous view!

Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY Christmas Wreaths

I have a kind of old, beat-up Christmas wreath hanging on my front door right now, so I've been poking around the interwebs to find some DIY ideas to brighten up my decor.  There are a few I found that seem pretty fabulous, so I may be attempting some of these in the future.

Martha Stewart has a corn husk wreath on her website.  It's kinda fabulous, and not "traditional," but I love it anyway.

Another favorite, and this is the one I think I'll actually make is this multi-colored ornament covered wreath. I'll buy all the multi-colored ornaments in after-Christmas sales to cut down on cost as well {always a bonus!} But seriously, how cute is this wreath??

Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart and Matt & Becky

For the Manhattan Lover

This is a great gift for the NYC lover!  It's a great little map {or not so little, measuring 18" x 24"} for someone who's crazy about their city, or someone who just moved near or far from the city.  They're made by These Are Things and are for sale for $59 on their site.  They also have tons of other cities, including LA, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Washington DC, Boston, etc.

Photo courtesy of These Are Things via Design*Sponge

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Got a Job!

It's finally happened...

It may have taken 5 months, but I finally found an RN job.  To make it even better, I found my dream job!  I will be working in the Emergency Department at a major hospital in an urban area of New Jersey.  I'll be working 11 am - 11 pm, which is the perfect shift for me.  I know that 11-11 is going to be a crazy shift, busy from start to finish, but I won't be getting up at 5 am, so despite being exhausted, I won't feel like death all the time, getting up and going to be in the dark.

I'm starting on January 9th, so I will still have a little mini-vacation in St. Thomas over Christmas.  It'll probably be the last Christmas that I'll be heading to the Caribbean for a while, so I best enjoy it while I can.

I've decided to switch to part-time for school; still progressing with my nurse practitioner, just at a slower pace.  At this rate, I'll be graduating in May 2014.  I'll be taking a course over the Winterum semester, so a 13-week course condensed into 3 weeks.  It'll be intense, but I'll get through it, it will just require me to take a text book to the beach.

The background check is done, physical, drug test and pharmacology exam next week...

Photo courtesy of Destination Hollywood

Now That's a Diamond!

One word...dizam!!

It's 33.19 carats, and it belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, but now it's up for auction at Christie's.  I saw it this afternoon - and can I just say, it's even more incredible in person than it is in this photo.

Richard Burton bought it in May 1968 at Sotheby's for $305,000, and Christie's has it estimated to sell for between $3,500,000 and $5,500,000.  Talk about appreciation!!

It was gorgeous!! Even better than Kim Kardashian's {former} huge rock...

And another view, for scale...

Photo courtesy of Famous Diamonds and

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Invites

How great are these Thanksgiving invitations?

I'm hosting Thanksgiving again this year, and had I been inviting more people, I would definitely be ordering these invitations, which can be personalized.  I'm kind of loving them!

{Photo courtesy of Lindsay Ward of bbinvitations}

NYC Marathon

Yesterday was the annual New York City marathon.  I had a couple of friends running {can I just say how proud I am of them!?} this year.  I am always in awe of the people who can go out there and run 26.2 miles! It just seems so far, and when I go out for "a run" 5 miles feels like an eternity, and takes me about an hour and a half to complete, so I simply cannot imagine running 26.2 miles...I'd be there for days!

But I came across this video that Alec Baldwin made in anticipation of yesterday's marathon, and it was pretty moving, so I thought I'd share it with all of you out there.

NYC Marathon Alex Baldwin prorez from Marc Beroza on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Yesterday I bought my first juicer {this is the one I got}.

I also stopped at the book store, and picked up The Juicing Bible, which is AMAZING!!  It not only provides you with amazing juicing recipes, but the beginning of the book lists various "illnesses" {like insomnia, influenza, gout, hangovers, etc} and then directs you to recipes in the book that will help with those conditions.

As I've mentioned, I've been sick lately, so yesterday I made myself the "influenza" juice, and this morning I made a delicious Carrot Apple concoction.  They were both delicious!!

I think this afternoon, I'll be making the Apple Pear juice, which surprisingly includes a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, which will give the juice a nice little kick!  My apple pair is below...and it's super yummy!  Also, I found yesterday that after drinking my juice, I didn't even get hungry for lunch...I had a snack around 5, and then DELICIOUS pumpkin soup for dinner around 7:45. All in all, yesterday was a vegetable-filled day and it was FABULOUS! xo, Courtney

{Juicing book courtesy of, Juice photo by *me*}

Monday, October 24, 2011

Merci Beaucoup

I received this thank you note from a very good friend of mine late last week, and it was one of the nicest cards I had received in a while.  Most of that was concerning was was written inside, but it was a fabulously adorable card as well...and I wanted to share!

{Photo by Courtney, card by Sygamore Street Press}

Two girls, one room

I am absolutely in love with this idea for a shared room.  Two siblings, two separate identities, one room.  It's prefect - elegant and girly, without screaming PINK at you either!

{Photo from IKEA via Joanna Goddard}

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Four Words

Mine words were: passionate, outspoken, thoughtful and lovely...not too shabby!

What are your words?

{via My Strong Medicine via}

Weekend Health Roundup

This morning's, or I suppose the weekend edition of the NY Times has gotten me all riled up!!

The United States Preventative Services Task Force is now recommending that women only have pap smears to screen for cervical cancer every 3 years, AND they're recommending that women under age 21 not be screened at all, and they have the backing of the American Cancer Society...seriously?!  You can read the whole story here.  Just an aside, my cousin almost died of cervical cancer at 19.  A pap smear saved her life...just sayin'

And appropriately...VD is on the rise in women...they better get pap smears!

Three doctors in Brazil have been convicted for killing four patients by removing their organs for black market procurement.

Researchers in Denmark have concluded that there is no link between cell phone usage and brain tumors.

The Institute of Medicine has called for a new "star" rating system for grocery products, as an offensive to decrease the rate of obesity in this county.

The Obama Administration is backpedaling on aspects of healthcare reform that would allow hospitals to fill physician shortages with nurse practitioners and physician assistants (yay-maybe I will be able to find a job when I finish my FNP!!).

Nurses in Thailand are curing cervical cancer with vinegar.

Any other interesting stores you'd like to share?  Send them my way!! courtney (dot) onedayatatime (at) gmail (dot) com.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Have I ever mentioned before how much I hate getting sick??

This recent bout with illness has proven frustrating though.  Today is day 4 of feeling like crap, but I can't quite place what is wrong with me.  Every day my symptoms change.  It started with right ear pain, and right throat pain, which then progressed into swollen lymph nodes and neck pain, which then migrated back up into my throat, and today has caused itchy eyes, a runny nose, and a cough.

8 weeks into my first semester of my family nurse practitioner, and I'm unable to draw a conclusion as to what I have - BECAUSE MY BODY CAN'T MAKE UP ITS MIND!!

...and therefore, I can't figure out how to treat it.  Sooo...I'm not.  I'm taking Aleve every 12 hours for the various moving pain, and hoping for the best.

Only problem is that a friend of mine is getting married tomorrow, and I want to be able to dance around and drink and have fun, when in reality, I was in bed at 7:15 tonight, and I wish I could just sleep through the whole weekend.  The 5 hours I spent in the car battling traffic on I95 didn't help either...but at least I made it to the greater Boston area in one piece

Well, off to bed now, hoping that tomorrow brings less annoying symptoms/relief (hopefully!!)...ah that king size bed is calling my name!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What Happens on a Night Shift

A blog that I follow recently posted this graphic regarding what happens in a typical hospital during the night shift.  Being a new graduate RN, I'm sure that my first job in a hospital will be a night shift position. Since I'm a morning person, I already have a feeling that this is going to be a hard thing for me, but after reading this little graphic, I'm sort of terrified!! One problem at a time though -- I guess I have to find a job first!

Courtesy of RN Central

Monday, October 3, 2011

DNP vs. MD

An interesting article appeared in yesterday's New York Times debating the issue of nurses completing their doctorate, and labeling themselves as "doctors."

I find this issue particularly interesting because, as I've mentioned before, I'm currently in a Family Nurse Practitioner program. With the federal mandate that in 2015 all NP programs be eliminated and transitioned to DNP (doctorate of nursing practice) programs, I know that eventually I will be going back to school for my doctorate, and then I'm in the same position as the nurses in the aforementioned article.

It's a really interesting topic, and I'm sure with all the changes that are coming in healthcare, it will be something we see debated for a long time to come.

What are your opinions?  Do you think that DNPs are going to "steal the market" from physicians?  Do you think it's fair for doctors to pass legislation preventing doctorally prepared nurses from advertising themselves as "doctors?"

Photo courtesy of Josh Anderson for The New York Times 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Today concluded day two of my pediatric advanced life support (PALS) course.  It was short and sweet, just the way I like it, and I managed to get out of there a couple hours earlier, provider card in hand!

I feel like I've gotten a lot done, and it's only Wednesday!!

Image via Safety Store

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Donate Blood!

One donation of blood can save three lives!! If that's not reason enough to help, I don't know what is!

Here are some additional facts about blood donation, courtesy of the American Red Cross:

  • The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they "want to help others."
  • Two most common reasons cited by people who don't give blood are: "Never thought about it" and "I don't like needles."
  • One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
  • If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!
  • Half of Red Cross donors male, and half are female.
  • The American Red Cross accepts blood donations only from volunteer donors.
  • Among Red Cross donors in a given year, 19 percent donate occasionally, 31 percent are first-time donors, and 50 percent are regular, loyal donors.
  • Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
  • Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient's blood type is known and with newborns who need blood.
  • Forty-five percent of people in the U.S. have Type O (positive or negative) blood. This percentage is higher among Hispanics – 57 percent, and among African Americans – 51 percent.
  • Only 3 percent of people in the U.S. have AB-positive blood type. AB-positive type blood donors are universal donors of plasma, which is often used in emergencies, for newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusions.

So check out their website, find a blood drive near you, and schedule an appointment to donate today!

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where Have I Been?

That's a good question!  I'm sorry I haven't posted in a long time, it's just that there hasn't been much to post about lately.

I've been working my butt off every day filling out job applications, to no avail.  I have my RN license in hand, and I keep applying places, but there just don't seem to be a lot of jobs out there for new graduate RNs, at least not in my area.  It's quite frustrating!

I thought for a while I was going to strike gold, had an interview for an ER position set up and everything, but the nurse manager's wife went into labor the night before my interview, and he hasn't returned to work yet, so that interview is postponed until further notice.

With grad school's start date looming right around the corner (Sept. 1), it's looking more and more like I'll be a full-time student, at least for the first semester.  I'm going to keep applying for jobs every day, and hope that someone will bite, at some point!

Fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grad School Orientation

Yesterday was orientation for the Family Nurse Practitioner program that I am starting in September.

My cohort is rather small, only 19 people.  I'm not sure if I'm surprised by that number or not.  I actually knew one of my fellow students, as she was also in the second-degree BSN program with me that I just completed.  It was nice to see a familiar face, and certainly took the edge off the day.

Orientation was pretty informative.  I still haven't decided if I will be taking a full or part-time course load.  Everything is contingent upon if I am able to find a job or not.  I registered for a full-time schedule, taking advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, theoretical foundations, and human diversity and social issues.  If I can find a job, I will switch to part-status, and will only be taking advanced pathophysiology and theoretical foundations.

Full-time studies allow me to finish my FNP in 15 months, whereas, if I am part-time throughout the degree, it will most likely take me about 28 months to complete.  This isn't the end of the world, as I'd like to be working while going to school, but if it's not in the cards, at least I'll have someplace to focus my energy!

I have a phone interview with a really great hospital today, so I'm hoping that that will lead to an in-person interview, and eventually a job offer!! But, we'll see!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's Official...I am an RN!

After 48 hours of anticipation, I received my results and I passed NCLEX.  Now the job search can commence!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

NCLEX is Tomorrow!!

So let me just start of with a big AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Ok, well now that that's out of my system...

Tomorrow I am taking the NCLEX-RN exam.  It's sort of a big deal.  For those of you who are not nurses, the NCLEX exam determines competency for all new graduate nurses; if you pass, you are granted a license.  If you fail, you have to wait 45 days (in NJ) to retest.

Since I'll be starting my nurse practitioner in the fall, I really need to pass, so I can actually attend the classes that I will be enrolling in...more on that in another post.

Anyway, I've been a bit stressed out, so I woke up this morning and decided that the best way to prepare for tomorrow would be to go to a nice, relaxing yoga class this morning.  So that's exactly what I did, but now it's 2 p.m., and I haven't opened a book yet...

So on that note, let me get back to the books, and WISH ME LUCK TOMORROW!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Motherhood & Mortality

Heather Armstrong of has been one of my favorite bloggers for a long time.  She recently returned from Bangladesh to a flurry of nasty things being said about her, both in the Guardian and by certain choice members on twitter (I'm sure there are plenty more, I just stopped looking).  I think what's being said about her is pretty atrocious; she's just trying to raise some awareness about issues in other countries that need our attention, and all she is guilty of is using her HUGE following to do exactly that: RAISE AWARENESS!!

OK, now that I'm off the soapbox on that one...

What she, along with Christy Turlington, did bring my attention to (I sort of already knew this from nursing school, but it's not hammered home enough) is that the United States has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates (particularly among women of color) IN THE WORLD!  And we're a first world country, people!!

Amnesty International created this graphic to raise awareness and I'm going to repost it because I think it should be plastered everywhere.  This is something that needs attention, and we need to work to correct it.  Mothers in the country should not be dying from pregnancy and the things that follow it.  It's simply not good enough.  We need better care.

You can read all about it in this article here.

Graphic courtesy of Amnesty International

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Party with a Purpose

It's official...I've lost my mind!

I just signed up to run my first 5K, AND I'm doing it the day AFTER NCLEX and the day before my IV Certification's insane...

BUT...I figure if I don't just sign up and DO IT, then I'm never going to do it.

The timing may not be the best, but the Party with a Purpose race benefits all local children's charities, and my friend Julia (who runs marathons, talk about intense!) is going to run with me to pace me.

Not gonna lie, I'm kinda excited!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Printed Pillow Cases

I'm always looking for an inexpensive way to add some flavor to my apartment, and I think I just found a way to spruce up a tired set of bed linens (courtesy of a post on Design*Sponge).  Enter Kin Ship Press!

These pillow cases are just so cute...I think I must have them.

Photos courtesy of Kin Ship Press

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Honey Badger Don't Care...

Am I the last one to hear about this video??

While surfing my Google Reader tonight, I came across this post from Door Sixteen, followed by this post on Elephantine, which caused me to say out loud: "What is all this craziness about the honey badger, and why haven't I heard of it before?"

So I immediately watched the video, then visited Jen Ray's etsy shop, and immediately purchased this "Honey Badger Don't Care" mug...because it's simply fabulous, despite it's $25 price tag!

Photo by Jen Ray

Bathroom Dreams

I read tons of design blogs and websites on a daily basis, and despite how much I love my current condo and the way I've decorated it, I always am lusting after other types of decor.  And when I read this post on Apartment Therapy today, which linked to this photo, I had another item to add to my lust list.

I love the simplicity of the black and white decor with the added pop of hot pink!  If I could redecorate, this is definitely a look I would want to capture!

Photo by House Beautiful

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Vacation: Turks & Caicos

I haven't posted in a few days.  I'm definitely behind on my goal to blog things every day, but alas...there's not really much going on when you're on a beach retreat in the Caribbean; Turks and Caicos to be exact!

As I mentioned right when I started this blog, I've been trying to take a healthier approach to life, including both my job prospectus and how I care for my body, both what I put in my mouth, and my exercise program.

This "face lift" included trying to eat "clean."  I've been reading Tosca Reno's books, and I've been learning a lot, but as anyone who has tried to amend their eating habits knows, that it's not only difficult in the beginning, but it's SUPER difficult in the beginning when you're on vacation.

I've been doing my best; I've been ordering fish "dry" in restaurants, I brought a lot of my own foods, particularly breakfast ones, so I can start my day off right (that way I'm more likely to stick to my Clean plan), and I've been working out.  Hopefully when I get back and see my trainer, he won't be too disappointed in my, maybe he'll even be proud of me...who knows!

Photo by Style Blueprint 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Clean Raspberry Muffins

Today was my first true day of "cooking clean."

I made these red pepper shrimp for dinner (sans the grits), the recipe can be found here, and some rockin' raspberry muffins for dessert/breakfast.  I attempted to make them clean by reading various things on the internet for hits as to how much honey/agave to substitute for sugar, and how much applesauce you can substitute for butter, etc.  It wasn't the easiest thing to figure out, but I managed somehow, and here's the final product.

Lookin' good, right?

So here's the recipe, including both the original, and my substituted version, so you can try either one and still have DELICIOUS muffins.  Enjoy!

Raspberry Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins

2 cups flour whole wheat pastry flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar 2/3 cup agave
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 stick butter 1/4 stick butter, melted + 1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat the oven to 400 350 degrees.  Grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar agave, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, butter + applesauce, egg, and vanilla until blended.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add milk mixture to just combine.  Add frozen raspberries and stir into batter with a few quick strokes.

Spoon batter into muffin cups.  Bake 20-25 minutes (keep checking as a lower fat recipe will cook faster) until a cake tester inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Remove muffins and cool for 5 minutes before removing from cups.

So this was my first attempt at baking clean, and it went well, except for one thing.  When I was doing my research online, I read that you should substitute 1 cup of white flour for 7/8 a cup of whole wheat pastry flour.  When I did this, my batter was completely liquid, SO I just kept adding more whole wheat pastry flour by the spoonful until it thickened up.  I ended up adding 3-4 more spoonfuls, which I would equate to just over 2 full cups of whole wheat pastry flour.  So if you end up trying this, and it's just a bit too soupy, just add a bit more flour!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Avocado Toast!

After tonight's Clean dinner of grilled salmon with sauteed broccoli and garlic, I was still a bit peckish, so I tried out Tiffany's Clean avocado toast.  It's not  something that I've ever had before, but it's definitely something that I'll be having over again and again...completely delicious!!

Day Two

So today I tried something new!  I attended the first of a two-day advanced cardiac life support class, or ACLS.

It was actually quite exciting!  Yesterday I completed a adult cardiac rhythm identifican online class to help me recognize the various cardiac arrhythmias, and today I learned how to treat them.  The class is taught by paramedics, who I admire immensely, as I've worked with them in my EMT days, and their skill levels are off the charts!  It helped that one of them was seriously attractive too...but that's another issue altogether.

Anyway, it was a really great day, and I feel like I learned a lot.  It also felt like I was learning real skills.  It's hard to describe, but it felt completely different from when I learned things in nursing school.  Perhaps that's because my fellow classmates are, for the most part, already nurses, some who have been RNs for the past 20+ years.  I can't exactly put my finger on it, but it felt good.  Oh, and I learned to intubate today too! It's a lot harder than it looks, those vocal cords are tricky little suckers!

Now, I must get back to my ACLS book so I can pass the more thing to add to my resume.  God I hope I find a job soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lighthouse Carafe

So as I was reading my Real Simple while on vacation, I came across this fabulous little lighthouse carafe. I think I'm in love!  I may just have to purchase this and give it to my aunt at her annual fourth of July just screams summer at the shore, no?

Day One

I don't know if I should start out labeling, or numbering, my activities for each day, because I know there's now way that I'll be able to maintain this sort of thing, at least not after I find an RN job (sending good Karmic waves out there!), but why not attempt to start out right, right?

So today was my first trip back from a truly wonderful vacation.  As a graduation present, my family went on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise, followed by 11 days touring Spain.  It was really a wonderful experience, but a tad bit on the long side.  Not that I'm ungrateful, or want anyone to think I'm complaining, but 24 days is a LONG time to be gone, especially when you're sharing rooms with your parents at the age of 26. 

So today was my first full day back to my normal life.  I woke up at 4 am (thank you jet lag!) and created this blog.  I figured I'd get a jump start on this new step in my life.

I also began researching "Clean Eating."  I think this is exactly what I need -- especially after approximately 24 days of "binge eating" all the fabulous foods I came across while in Europe, including a chocolate croissant every morning for breakfast...but that's another store all together. 

So this evening, I spent about an hour strolling through the local Whole Foods picking out fresh produce and reading nutrition labels.  I've learned a lot by reading Tiffany's site, The Gracious Pantry, and think that others who are interested in Clean Eating could benefit by reading some of her stuff. 

Oh, and today was also my first day back to the gym; coupled with my first session with my personal trainer in close to a month.  All I can say is that I am going to HURT tomorrow!!  But I know it'll be worth it.  I have to lose the pound I gained on vacation, plus about another 10-15, and I know that working out and eating clean will not only help me feel better, but they will also help me accomplish my goals. Carpe Diem, right?

A New Beginning

So how else to start my "new life" as a nurse than by starting a blog to document all the changes that are happening in my life.

So, a little background, I suppose is required...

I've had a couple of blogs in my day; one was supposed to be strictly nursing-related, documenting my journey through nursing school, the highs and lows, etc., and I found myself feeling guilty if I wanted to post something that wasn't nursing-related.  I felt limited, so I removed that blog and created one on Posterous.  I used the same blog name, but found that it was too niche-d, and I felt like I should still be posting about nursing, when all I really wanted to do was post a photo of some random street mime covered in blue I think I'm going to abandon that as well. 

This site will encompass all aspects of my life, from the random photos I snap, to revelations in my daily relationships, to my search for a job, and hopefully some of my more amusing (but completely HIPPA-proof) "war-stories."

I'm glad you've stopped by...enjoy the ride!
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