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Pause & Be Grateful

The last few months I have been researching gratitude and prayer journals because I knew my life had been:

Go Go GO

… and I wanted to slow it down. I’ll be the first to say I know I have a blessed life, so stopping and being grateful for the goodness around me is something I wanted to make a priority. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just a few pages where I could visit each day and jot down what I was most grateful for. The other thing I wanted to be more intentional about, was my relationship with God & taking a few moments each day to write out what I was praying for, focus on a verse that stood out to me and lastly, write out what I’d like God to help me learn/work on in my life.

Guys- I found the jackpot!!!!

These journals serve as both my person gratitude check and check in with God… & um, they’re GORG!!!! 😻

They’re perfect! I plan on using them both starting tomorrow morning as a way I want to start my day. Beginning each morning with a grateful heart and open conversation with God is something I know will start my day off on the right, positive note. If you’re looking to increase the happiness in your life, you can start by looking at all the blessings you already have!!

The Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal & My Prayer Journal are two great (and inexpensive!) ways to begin your daily gratitude journey! Do you already practice doing daily gratitude? If you don’t and you’ve been thinking about it, here’s a nice way to get started:

I think it’s so easy to fall into negative patterns and lead a life that feels pessimistic and like there’s a rain cloud constantly over your head. Sometimes I find myself going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of negativity, self doubt and gossip. I believe that when you have a grateful heart, put God first and are open about your struggles/needs/imperfections, you can truly begin to see a change in yourself. This is my hope anyway, since this is going to be a practice I start today in search of that!

Don’t have a relationship with God (or any higher power)? That’s okay– if it’s for the simple fact that you don’t know where to start, I’d say this journal is a great beginning mark. I also downloaded This Bible App, because it’s free, offers daily verses and inspiration and sends you daily notifications to remind you it’s time to get your God Time in! ☑️ Honestly, it’s great.

I know we’re all on a journey to better ourselves (I’m sure that’s how you made your way to my page), so gratitude is where I want to focus next. It’s all a part of my wanting to Live Intentionally and form a life of gratitude, reflection, growth and living my best life.

I’d love to hear if you use a gratitude journal or practice gratitude in your own way in the comments! I’ll be sure to write a follow up on how the journaling is going…

To being grateful for (and aware of!) life’s blessings,

Aurora ✨

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Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Housekeeping · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Me… 10 Years Ago Vs Now #10YearChallenge

Happy Sunday friends! I went along with the other couple million on social media and completed the #10YearChallenge a few days ago. If you have been hiding under a rock don’t know what I’m talking about- the concept is simple: you find a photo of yourself from 10 years ago and one that is current, and you post the side by side views.

WOW

The intention of this challenge was to show how different we all look after 10 years. At 31 however, I found myself looking at the girl on the left, and thinking: “WOW, if I could talk to this girl, the things I would tell her about her life to come.”

So I posted this photo on My Instagram (Click to follow) and I wrote the caption:

What would I tell Aurora Boo 10 years ago if future me had a chance to speak to her? YOU LOOK AMAZING, STOP THINKING YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH AND THAT YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. Oh, and THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE IS ON HIS WAY, HANG TIGHT GIRLFRIEND❤️ {& keep your signature picture pose- it’s gonna be a hit later down the road}! I can’t believe the #10YearChallenge just inspired my next blog post! See you all on Sunday! 😘

So here we are…

THINK about this, where were you 10 years ago and what did you think of yourself? Were you in school? Were you in a relationship? Did things feel awful? Did things feel perfect? Now I ask… how different does it look than you thought it would?

Did you think you’d be married? Did you think you’d have kids? No kids? Did you think you’d be advanced in your career? Or are you in a career you never thought you’d be in? Did you think you’d be retired already? My friends….

This is called, LIFE!… & growing up/ growing old

BUT!…. I have to laugh when I think back to myself at 21. Didn’t we all think we’d have kids in a few years and consider our 30’s being OLD? I certainly did. Never did I think that at 31 years old, I wouldn’t have at least 2-3 kids. Why did I think that? Because my parents had me and my siblings when my mom was in her 20’s… and we’re supposed to be following the footsteps of our parents, right? Man, I’m literally sitting her smirking thinking about what I thought life would be like and how it is.

I truly, wholeheartedly, love my life. Every aspect of it: the people in it, my marriage, my relationship with God, my career, my accomplishments, the life lessons (difficult and positive), and where my life is headed. It just looks so different than how the girl on the left thought it would look.

So, what would I tell the girl on the left at 21, that I know now at 31?

I would pat her on the back and tell her she’s doing a great job, even though sometimes she doesn’t feel good enough or that she’s on the right track. I would tell her that it’s okay to challenge people you love, even though you worry it’ll be perceived as disrespectful and that growing up comes with forming your own beliefs, non-negotiables and boundaries… but that kindness is imperative. I’d tell her that one day the people she’s challenging will actually appreciate her for that, and thank her for helping teach them a thing or two along the way. I’d tell her that it’s okay if you’re not 100% confident that your current relationship is the forever relationship, and that what you’re feeling in the relationship is valid, and should be heard. I’d tell her she can have more than one deep love in life and that her soul mate is out there. I’d also tell her that she’ll find him soon and to go with her gut. Lastly, I’d tell her it’s okay to say NO sometimes.

Things I would want to tell her, but I wouldn’t, because they gave her the best life experience and growth: Don’t take out more student loans than you need- future Aurora will thank you. Drop the friends that make you feel bad about yourself, or cause too much drama in your life- they’re using you for your energy, and this will eventually burn you out.

It’s amazing how this fun internet challenge really inspired me to think a little more inward. What I gained by looking back is something I will take with me looking forward: Things that are paining me now, or keep me up at night, will all iron themselves out over time, and stressing about them now, and feeling negative about them, won’t make them go away- they’ll just continue giving me stress and worry. So, looking into my next 10 years, I will try harder to shake the things that worry me, and instead focus on and LOVE the heck out of the things/people in my life that bring me joy.

Did you complete the 10 Year Challenge? If so, what would you tell yourself 10 years ago if you knew what you knew now? Would love to hear it in the comments!

Love,

Aurora ✨✨

Cleaning · Community Giving · Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Housekeeping · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Sunday’s Are Hard…

Maybe if we all sit extremely still Monday won’t be able to see us.”

HAS. ANYONE. ELSE. SEEN. THIS. AND. THOUGHT. OMG. THIS. IS. ME?!?! Ugh! 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

I have this thing that I call Sunday night before we getting into Monday… want to know what it’s called?

Yes… The Smonday feeling is real over here! But here are some things I do to try and not let my last bit of weekend end in the negative…

1️⃣ Prep your week! What’s coming up? Do you need to food shop/food prep/pack clothes. Do it!

2️⃣ Do something you enjoy today! Sunday is still the weekend and you deserve spending (even if only a little) part enjoying it! (Wash the car, go window shopping, order something off AMAZON or TARGET!

3️⃣ Take a breather. Watch your favorite movie, clean if you like cleaning, do some laundry- just make sure it’s something you can relax doing and breathe.

4️⃣ Have a moment of gratitude. Sometimes when I’m feeling down or negative, I think about the things that I’m grateful for giving thanks for them. Unhappy times doesn’t have to mean an unhappy life.

5️⃣ Lay your clothes out for tomorrow. I don’t do this half as much as I should, but when I don’t have to pick an outfit in the morning, it makes my morning start off a little easier.

Happy Smonday my friends! It’s officially 7:52pm here in Pennsylvania, so the Monday blues could be settling in… but instead, I’m gonna relax with the husb and watch our new favorite show on Netflix.

To realizing that Sunday’s aren’t so hard..

✨✨Aurora

Community Giving · Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Happy News in the Media

Every once in awhile, I come across some really amazing and heartwarming stories on the internet. Below are a bunch I’ve posted on The Weekly Sparkle Facebook Page that have touched a lot of my followers. If you need a pick me up today, here is your dose of Positivity and human to human kindness going on around us ✨✨

Truck Drivers Save a Suicidal Man’s Life

Two Men From Different Walks of Life Enjoy an Impromptu Basketball Game

Lehigh Valley Couple Creates Give Back Tournament to Help Local Non-Profits Each Year- 2018 Benefactor Announced

Women Can Hear For The First Time And Gets Proposed To

Man Gets a Surprise Thank You From Children He Saved During the Holocaust

Will Smith Talks About Who You Surround Yourself With- Who is Fanning Your Flames?

Please send more videos my way in the comments if I should add them to a future post!!

✨✨- Aurora

Community Giving · Friendship · Goals · Military · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized

10,000 Sparkles.

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So amazing. When I started TheWeeklySparkle.com I never thought it would reach as many people as it has! With a little over a year of posting inspiration and trying to add sparkle in others lives, today, the site has reached over 10,000 views worldwide!!!!!! CRAZY!!!!!

My dream of this site was to inspire others to look inward as well as to spread positivity and to pay kind acts forward… And we’re doing it!!!
Every week I’m receiving messages about how some of my posts have inspired individuals, helped them make a change or feel connected when they needed it most. This is the exact idea of what I wanted from the site, and I couldn’t be any happier to see the outcome!

To celebrate 10,000 I’ve committed
to completing the #100HappyDays Challenge! This world wide project challenges individuals to recognize 100 consecutive things that make them happy! We all have something that makes us feel good everyday, why not take a second to identify and appreciate it!? Sign up and get more info in my last post! You won’t regret it! I’ve begun the challenge 5 days ago and already have been feeling even happier than before!

It amazing what happiness you find in your life when you’re actually identifying it!

While I have no end result or goal with this site, I can tell you that it will continue to build, grow and change as it needs to over time. Please continue to check back and share the site with anyone you think could use a burst of positivity!

THANK YOU for the incredible support! I look forward to the next 10,000 views and hope to continue delivering a positive experience each time you’re here!

✨ Aurora Beani

Community Giving · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized

It’s Not About You

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It’s Not About You

Wow. These four words, while small, are extremely powerful. I had the opportunity of standing among some of the most motivated and inspiring people in the Lehigh Valley last night, and some of their words really stuck with me. At the annual Lehigh Valley Suits Awards, one award recipient started her acceptance speech with these four words. I’ve read them before from the book The Purpose Driven Life and was reminded that these are the very first words in the entire book.

This is what giving is all about. It’s not you. It’s not for you to get something from it, it’s not for personal gain, it’s not for praise or awards. You give and do good things, for others, for them. I love this. This honoree continued by stating that giving and helping others is about the reward and not the award. We do things to benefit others, and then see the amazing impact that was made and how others, communities, etc are changed. You propel the change by your good acts, and then the ripple affect begins! It really is amazing to think about.

How can you give now and immediately? The easiest everyday example of giving would be to smile at everyone you see. Think about it. What if each person you walked by, made eye contact with, passed in the office, etc. you consciously made the effort to smile or say hello to. It’s a small gesture, but I can personally attest to the power of a smile when feeling down or in a bad mood. The easiest thing to give, a smile. Simple concept, great reward.

The other speakers last night were nothing short of inspiration and their impact in our Lehigh Valley community is remarkable. I am proud to have been able to stand among them, and am honored to have received the Emerging Leader Award sponsored by the United Way.

The award ceremony last night made me appreciate the efforts of those right here in our community who are make positive changes and leaving their mark every day. My challenge for you is to see where you can make a difference, and go for it. The first step to volunteering and making a difference is to actually get up and go.

Find your passion, light the spark and make it happen.

And remember, it’s not about you.

Pay it forward ✨
-Aurora

Community Giving · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized

How To Live Well

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“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Wait, what do you mean the purpose of our existence isn’t to be happy?! Don’t we all strive to reach a place of happiness and contentment? I. Love. This. Quote. It makes so much sense! It’s not telling us not to be happy, it’s telling us to think more.

The appropriate question to ask ourselves is how we define ‘happiness’ and where we get it from. Is happiness feeling good about ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually? Is happiness money? Watching your kids play? Getting good grades in school? Having a powerful position in the work place? What is your happiness? If it could be a picture what would it look like? Are the places we get out happiness from healthy? Do we selfishly gain our happiness?

The reason I ask all these questions is because whether we know it or not, much of what we do/ say/ feel stems from our own happiness and how we arrive to it. I firmly believe that. we learn from a young age that it’s important to be happy, but Emerson implies in this quote that happiness is not what life is all about. Life, and living well should be defined in our impact on the world around us. Are you leaving your mark and are you honorable in your pursuits?

I have to say this is the thing in our society that drives me crazy the most… When people don’t do the right thing. You know, that feeling in your gut when you’re making a wrong decision or doing something unjust? If you get that feeling, good for you. I’ve seen a lot of people lack those feelings or ignore them all together.

When we wrong people who don’t deserve it, or do the wrong thing, even to a complete stranger, you’re not contributing positivity to the world around you— you’re proving that the world still has a lot of changing to do.

This is what I love about the “Random Acts of Kindness” campaigns that have swept the nation over the last year… It feels good for a lot of people to see random good acts within our communities.

At the end of it all, the end of our roads, no matter where we personally believe they lead… I can guarantee the question we ask ourselves or that is asked of us, isn’t “How happy did you make yourself in your lifetime?” You’ll think back and be most proud of the times where you showed compassion, love, made good decisions, made the best decisions, had honor and respect and lastly, you’ll think about the people YOU MADE happy and the impact you made in their lives. That, to me, is living well, and leaving your mark.

As I’ve stated on this site in “About The Sparkle,” and time and time again, I’m here solely to leave my mark. I encourage you to think about how you’ll leave yours. ✨

Xo Aurora Beani

Community Giving · Goals · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Thanksgiving. The Meaning Behind Thanks and Giving.

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Thanksgiving.

Each year, the Thanksgiving tradition in my family is that we begin our meal by going around the room and sharing what we’re thankful for. As I listened to my family go one by one the meaning of Thanksgiving was so apparent to me. The meaning of Thanksgiving is to step back and reflect on all of the things in your life that you’re blessed with. My family, as incredible as they are, each said something that provoked a tear or two, and made you think. In the moments that my family reflected, I thought of all the trying times over the last year, as well as amazing moments that changed my life, or simply made me smile.

Its so important to give thanks and be appreciative in our every day lives. You need to live a gracious life to truly appreciate the things around you.

Thanksgiving is a reminder of this. We need days like today to reflect on the bigger picture. While daily blessings should be recognized and appreciated, it’s time like this with loved ones and family that adds the warmth and creates memories of a lifetime.

Take some time today, and every day, to hug and kiss the ones you love and appreciate the things that make you a better person. Approach each day with the idea that you’re going to be grateful for at least one blessing in your life, and pay that gratitude forward.

Happy Thanksgiving friends, I’m thankful for each of you.

-Aurora Beani

Community Giving · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

Holiday Hope Chests- Your Opportunity For Holiday Giving!

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12/10 final update!! WOW what an amazing, feel good opportunity the Holiday Hope Chests provided for over 100 of us who put together, wrapped and GAVE an amazing box of presents to children in need here in the Lehigh Valley. To say I’m in awe is an understatement. Each and everyone one of you, near and far, who donated is making a difference in the life of a child. How incredible is that? In the end, 70 Hope Chests were donated in the name of TheWeeklySparkle.com and our initiative to adding a little sparkle into other peoples lives.

The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley was so excited to receive our boxes and sent their thanks to our amazing group of givers! Total, they received over 4,000 Hope Chests!!!! Can you believe it? It’s hard to understand how 4,000 children in our community would go without getting a present this holiday season, but I’m grateful and humbled to know that because of you, and what we’re doing, that they’ll have a piece of Holiday cheer, just as we all love this time of year.

Please refer to my recent post for pics!! Thank you again! Xx

Aurora🌟

12/2 Update!!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know I added another drop off day for the boxes right before the deadline 🙂 It will be this Thursday 12/5, from 6:30-8pm at the Panera on Airport Rd! Please try and drop your boxes off then. Affordable Pet Center will also be accepting boxes anytime between now and then at their business! It’s in Northampton on Main St by the Roxy!

Thanks again for giving!!

★Aurora

11/27/13 UPDATE!! Wow! Thank you all 65+ people involved in making all of Holiday Hope Chests!!! Together, we’re going to make the holiday spirit brighter for 65 children in need! Truly amazing.

Many of you have reached out to me about when you can drop off your Hope Chests and what would be convienant with your busy holiday schedules. Based on many conversations I’ve had, I think having two separate drop off points would be the most helpful!

That being said, this coming Sunday and Monday I will be setting up shop at Panera on Airport Rd in Allentown (across from Target, next to Logan’s Steakhouse) where you can drop off your Hope Chests when it works best for you!

I will be there Sunday 12/1 from 7pm-8:00pm and Monday 12/2 5:45pm-7pm. I am also going to be at the Panera in Whitehall Tuesday 12/3 12:30pm-1:30pm! If these times do not work for you please feel free to reach out to me and we can work something else out!! Thanks everyone! ✨🌟

Hey everyone,

Happy Holidays! While I know it feels far away, the Giving Season is upon us, and now is the prime time to start thinking about whose holiday you’d like to make sparkle. ✨

The Weekly Sparkle is dedicated to the sole idea of giving back and paying it forward. Why not do something really cool this holiday that you know is sure to make the season bright for another? I know of the perfect organization right here in the Lehigh Valley that provides presents/ little care packages for children in need right here in our community.

Holiday Hope Chests have been created and given to children in the Lehigh Valley over the years from caring individuals, businesses, families, groups and community partners trying to make a difference. The concept is simple: all you need is a shoe box, a little creativity and giving heart to make an amazing memory for a underprivileged child over the holidays. Help make the Holiday Hope Chest Project 2013 the most successful it’s ever been! The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley provides the delivery of these items to children associated with non-profit organizations around the holidays!

Here is where YOU and the fun come in. Simply message me here, or shoot me an email in my contact information page to tell me you want to get involved. You need a shoe box, (which I’d be happy to provide), and to fill it with age specific items from a list that I will provide for you once we get a final donor count on Friday Nov. 22nd. . With a larger number of donors, each of us can have our own individual child to benefit this holiday season. Example gifts range from socks, nerf balls, gloves, stickers, shampoo, combs, dolls, flash cards, water bottles, picture frames etc.

All Holiday Hope Chests have to be delivered to the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley drop off site by Dec 6th. That being said, I will have two different dates where I can meet anyone at Panera in Whitehall or off of Airport Rd (by Target), with flexibility to meet and pick up boxes up until Tuesday Dec 3rd.

We can do this!!!!.. And it’s going to be amazing to see all of the glowing smiles we create simply by giving a little of ourselves this holiday season. Get your kids, friends, families and co-workers involved! The more the merrier.

It’s the season to Sparkle, let’s do it together : )

-Aurora Beani 🌟

Thank you to our current committed donors!!::

–Joe Brunovsky (+10 Merck Co-workers!)
-Aurora Beani (4 chests)
Rosi and Fran Bauer (2 chests)
-Dan Yarros (2 chests)
-Steven and Kathy Beani (2 chests)
-Deborah Ledbetter- Estock
-Jess and Billy Ford (2 chests)
-Timmy Huertas (2 chests)
-Illona and Dan Golden (2 chests)
-Meghan (2 chests)
-Isbabel Szoke (2 chests)
-Kathleen McNeill (2 chests)
Janelle Margolis (2 chests)
-Ellen and John Herman (2 chests)
-Jeffrey Bilheimer
-Jessica McDermott (2 chests)
-Jessica Scott
-Katie Nemeth (2 chests)
-Ken Wickiser (chests)
-Mary Ann Sofronie (2 chests)
-Michael Ford (2 chests)
-Mimi Ochrank (3 chests)
-Kristie Smith (2 chests)
-Adam Beani
-Michael Ford
-Kathleen McKitosh (2 chests)
-Nicole Nemeth (2 chests)
-Linda and Dan Gunkle (2 chests)
-Karen Bouche
-Krissy Erat and Cole Shimer (2 chests)
-Megan Yaich (2 chests)
-Karen Clark and family
-Rochelle Metzger (2 chests)
-The Mudri Family
-Monica George
-Rochelle Metzger (2 chests)
-Mary Ellen Ford

Below is a list of suggested items for the children as well as a list of things to not gift for safety reasons.
Suggested Listing

Have a large group that you know will want to form a sponsorship together?
Click here

Check out the other volunteer and giving opportunities in the Lehigh Valley here!

Community Giving · Friendship · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Becoming the CFF Lehigh Valley Top Fundraiser of The Finest Under Forty

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this case is no different. What this billboard signifies for Cystic Fibrosis and how I feel personally about our 2013 success is indescribable. I’m pictured on this billboard because I was originally identified as one of the top fundraisers here in the Lehigh Valley among the Finest Under Forty Honorees for CFF. As of Oct 18, at our awards gala, I was named Top Fundraiser, raising $13,920!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE! My fellow honorees and the Northeast Chapter within the Valley raised a whopping $75,000 for the cure.

Simply inspirational.

The journey over the last few months has been educational, rewarding and a ton of fun! Over my three big events- Guest Bartending at Vision Bar (Sands Event Center), The Cystic Fibrosis Luau and lastly my Softball Tournament, over 200 different people supported these events, gained insight as to what this disease is, and contributed toward the cure to save lives.

To say I’m blown away by the support and participation everyone has offered the last few months is an understatement. My family and friends coming from New York multiple times; numerous donations to help with events from friends, family, local businesses; discounts on product or shirts simply to make our expenses a little less; encouraging words and motivation randomly sent to me on Facebook, Twitter, in letters, passing etc– ALL of this has made the journey fun, inspirational, moving and worthwhile. To know the support I’ve had the last few months has contributed to our tremendous success for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation feels amazing.

All of you are amazing. And I’m so thankful to have each and everyone one of you in my life. YOU helped create and drive the momentum that has made such a huge impact for those living with CF.

Before my award speech, I found out that my amazing friends and community partners at Target helped aid CFF in getting a 5,000 grant in my name… Yes, $5,000!!!!!! I was and STILL AM blown away by this!!! Support, support, support. This helped pave the way for the rest of my speech, and it was so apparent to me that the people in my corner are unlike no other, and truly have hearts for giving and paying it forward. In being surrounded by over 40 of my closest friends, family and co-workers I can truly tell you that this was one of the most amazing nights of my life. The love in the room was undeniable and I feel so completely blessed to have had the opportunity to be a Finest Under Forty Honoree for CFF.

You yourself have the power to move mountains if you make goals and set your limits beyond the skies. When you have an army of support beside you, there is no telling what you can do, but I can guarantee it’s bound to be amazing.

Thank you for creating the Sparkle with me the last few months, it’s been an incredible ride.

Love, Aurora Beani

{CFF Gala Pictures Below!}

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