Meals + Mobs

December 9, 2012


I’ve been switching up all kinds of breakfasts lately – and having lots of fun! Oatmeal still has my <3, but my palate has just been craving all kinds of things to start the day. (Still no salsa or crunchy veggies getting involved though…)


Today I had sunbutter toast, orange and greek yogurt with pumpkin butter, chia seeds and coconut.




Munch crunch!


Maze and I had a casual morning – breakfast, nursing, napping, and LOTS of cleaning (it seems my craving to nest has not yet subsided…how did sticky gunk get all over the hall door!?)

For lunch we walked to McGuffy Park to meet Matt for a picnic!


The weather was incredibly warm!


He brought soup + sandwiches from the bakery. Dakota bread with ham, pimento cheese, chutney and “extra veggies” for me


Plus some Rev Soup – Three Bean


And an apple that got tucked away for later


I’m trying my hardest to cut back on the sweets – they are just everywhere in my life right now! Matt didn’t want to bring me a whole cookie, but he did want me to taste test our new gingerbread cookies which are FAB. Thick and the perfect texture.


Mazen had a blast with a full tummy of milk!


Our next stop was Main Street Market for a Cash Mob Extravaganza! Cash Mob is an organization that helps to support local businesses by encouraging the community to “mob” shopping centers with their dollars. They came to McIntire Plaza earlier this summer and we were thankful, so we wanted to pay it forward at Main Street Market.


We were greeted by chestnuts roasting on an open…burner…by Matt of Carpe Donut! I had never had a chestnut but they were amazing! Kind of like a sweet potato inside. Sweet potato meets pecan.


We were very excited to discover that the first 75 people to show up received a $25 gift card to spend from sponsor the UPS store!! Matt and I put it to good use inside –

Our friend Dave is the manager of Feast!


Our favorite meat shop – The Organic Butcher


Hedge Fine Blooms (and snoozing baby!)

Foodblog-0582 Foodblog-0587

Albemarle Baking Company, informally known as ABC! We picked up some focaccia for dinner!


And finally The Spice Diva where I bought some lemony salts! {Ms. Spice and I are friends too!}


‘Twas a fun day! We had to run home to feed M and I took a 10 minute nap before we geared up for outing #2. Karen wanted to hang with M, so she offered to babysit while we went out.


Since she’s not quite ready to give bottles, we kept our outing short and sweet and walked to Cville’s newest brewery, Champion!


We met some of our friends there and it turned into a party!


I was impressed with the beers – I really liked the Belgian Pale Ale and the Porter. We were really hoping the Christmas Belgian Dubbel was going to be tapped, but we were a little too early. I have a feeling I’m going to love that one!


Back at home we made dinner with Karen


Leftover lasagna from Jen’s fun dinner


A big spinach salad with goat cheese, cucumber and pepper


And the ABC focaccia, which was salted and rosemary good.


I am perfectly happy with a Saturday night in bed by 9pm. Because Sunday comes next!

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay December 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

Our Sunday has already ended here in S. Korea, but cheers to the start of yours! I love how lively your town is, how packed with fresh ingredients and beautiful stores, it truly motivated me to go out sauntering again this week;) Thank you for that! It has snowed here, so we were feeling a bit drawn down by it, but there is always magic to be found somewhere! And I LOVE that “happily ever after” towel in the 1st photo! CUTE!


2 Tina December 9, 2012 at 8:28 am

Karen cant give M a bottle? What’s up with that?


3 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

She’s just not comfortable yet.


4 Angelica December 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

Yeah, that got my attention, too. Weird…? Maybe best left out of the post.


5 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Just clarifying why our outing was brief.


6 jane December 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm

lol i dont think it needs to be left out of the post…but I am wondering, why isn’t she comfortable? Based on my babysitting of very little babies it’s pretty easy!


7 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Because in his early days getting him to drink a bottle was a bit of a challenge.


8 jane December 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

gotcha. being a grandmother is all about having fun and spoiling the baby, so if she doesn’t want to give him a bottle, then so be it :)


9 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

:) He slept in her arms the whole time


10 Anna W. December 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Just chiming in as a support to say – getting a baby (or some babies) to take a bottle can be horribly stressful. I know bc I have a baby (now 16 month old toddler) who REFUSED any and every bottle from every and anyone for his entire first year, even from my family members AND from me. He was exclusively BF and offered BMilk (pumped) in many bottles from many people (myself and husband included) in many areas in our home at many times…outside our home, with friends, in the dark, in the light…and no matter what – all he did was scream. One day when we left him with my grandmother and a bottle it was the worst. He screamed for her for hours and refused it even though he loves her and was comfortable and happy with her. And BF’ed happily as soon as I was home. My pediatrician said if we were willing to stop the direct BF and just do pumped milk exclusively that we could make him “hold out” until he eventually gave in to take a bottle but apparently that can last as long as 24+ hours of a baby refusing. My husband was, apparently, just like this as a baby. I never needed to take it to that level bc I am stay at home, so I had the benefit of always being able to BF directly. Anyway, I support you Karen! One day he’ll either take milk from a bottle, or a sippy cup or maybe it will be ice cream from a cone with you and regardless, it will be a fun moment. Until then, parents and grandparents know their babies (!) and I think you’re smart for trusting your gut(s). In addition, Kath, I appreciate your honesty as many people can learn from what babies (or other babies/some babies) are like and how we need to adapt our lives (and pre-conceptions) to make our families work and grow.


11 Jen December 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Love Anne W’s last sentence. Some babies fit our preconceptions, and some don’t. It can be hard to get this till you’ve had one of the latter and had to adjust your expectations (and life). We’re all so much better served when we can accept that most parents know their babies and do their best and reserve our judgment.

12 Melissa December 9, 2012 at 8:36 am

When do you find time to pump? I have a 12 week old and struggle to find a good time to pump for the possibility of a bottle. Do you have a single or double pump?

Mazen is adorable! He has great clothes too!!


13 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

I haven’t been pumping. Once I got a freezer stash, I didn’t see the need. We also stopped the bottles at night when he started sleeping 4ish hours. We only use bottles for babysitting now. I found it to be a pain…esp cleaning everything. But it is still great to have the option.


14 mamawass December 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

thanks! a stash would be great. i’m not able to pump more than about 3oz at a time (20 minutes!) which is a total time sucker. so i never want to do it. but would love to be able to get a babysitter some time so me and the hubs could go out!


15 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

I was the same way – 3 oz or mayyyybe 4 if I was doing it in place of a feeding (only did at night a few times). Your output seems pretty typical from what I’ve heard from other moms. And I heard it takes 2 pumpings to get 1 feeding bottle. It’s a pain, but something I suppose we just gotta do from time to time.


16 Chrissy December 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Our pediatrician advised us to give a bottle everyday or at least every other day. She said they might easily take them in the first few months, but they could start refusing later if you don’t keep it up. This happened to my friend. Her baby took a bottle really well and she didn’t give him a bottle for about 6 weeks (around age 4 months) and then he never took one again!


17 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I am worried about this!! Every day is a lot though…but it makes sense. I have a friend who that happened to. Guess we need to do it more!


18 Ginna December 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

My LO is almost 8 months and goes weeks without a bottle. Some babies do not need a bottle evey day just because. Babies will not starve themselves so don’t worry! My husband gives a bottle if I’m out without the baby for an extended period (every week or two) and then I add a pumping session for that mussed bottle. I only get 3-4 oz max from both in a 20 minute session too. Pumping is a learned art and output is not indicative of your supply!


19 Carrie December 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I had to pump so much with my twins I just can’t be bothered this time around. We recently took a 1350 mile road trip (2700 round trip) so I had to pump and feed some in the car. I was worried he might not take the bottle since he hadn’t had one since he was 4 weeks and is now 3 months but he was a champ and took it no problem. I think it definitely depends on the baby.


20 ds December 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm

How was a singleton after twins? :) Hoping to be in that same place soon!


21 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

You’re looking great Kath! It’s not easy to resist the sweets this time of year. I’m having a difficult time myself!


22 lisa fine December 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

I live changing up my breakfasts, and need to make bread soon to curb my French toast cravings. The only thing I never crave at breakfast is dairy. I could eat a breakfast burrito with eggs, beans, and salsa, but cheese makes me too congested first thing in the morning.


23 [email protected] December 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

What a beautiful day. It’s nice to still be able to enjoy lunch at the park in December! This past week I roasted chestnuts for the first time at home in my oven! It was super easy and they turned out just as good as the ones I had from street vendors in England. I’ll be posting about the process soon!


24 Kelsey @ SoMuchLifeToLive December 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

Kath, you make me want to move to Cville! It looks so charming:)

I agree – Sunday is a wonderful day. Enjoy!


25 Averie @ Averie Cooks December 9, 2012 at 10:21 am

Those gingerbread cookies look divine. That’s my perfect cookie – thick, chewy, soft, mmmm I wouldn’t have been able to resist my fair share of those :)

Glad you guys had a nice evening!


26 Rosie @ rosalicious December 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

We stayed long enough to get some of the Christmas Belgian Dubbel! I had a few sips of it and liked it…Kev said it was “too light bodied,” which is probably why I liked it :)


27 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

Oh man!! We just missed it! Too light is not good for me – I was hoping for thick + rich!


28 Sara @ fitcupcaker December 9, 2012 at 11:10 am

I dont even have a baby and Im in bed by 9 usually ! Ha. Where can I get pumpkin butter? That sounds amazing.


29 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

TJ’s has one. Mine is from Parkesdale Market in Fl and is great because it’s really low in sugar.


30 Jane December 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

Loving the photo’s and meals! It looks like you had a great time. I guess i’m a bit more of a rebel, I like to stay up till 10. BTW Champion looks like a great place to eat.


31 JoJo December 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I love the table you photographed your breakfast on!!
Yumm.. pumpkin butter..


32 Stefanie @ Thin Vegetarian December 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I love roasted chesnuts too! They melt in your mouth and are slightly sweet!


33 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles December 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I bet the leftover lasagna tasted even better warmed up. Looks yummy! :)


34 Kasey December 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Hi Kath!! I’m so excited to have found your blog! I, like you, am a new mom in my late thirties, and have been hoping to find a healthy food blog to follow! Those gingerbread cookies look delicious : )


35 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm



36 Angela @ Beauty in Strength December 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

What a perfect day filled with your beautiful family and delicious eats! Glad you are enjoying every precious moment with your little one. :)


37 Verenique B December 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

mmmm facocia! i love fococia! and rosemary is amazing! :)


38 mary @ minutes per mile December 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Your photos are so pretty! And your baby is so cute. The weather’s been great here in DC, too — glad to get outside!


39 [email protected] December 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I want your breakfast plate! Just ordered another two jars of SunButter….I have a problem! Chestnuts are amazing, you should use some with your brussel sprouts on Christmas day if you’re having any or make a chestnut stuffing!


40 Holly A. December 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Amazing Saturday! Your little one is so adorable! Your eats look amazing, too. I love how active you are, too. I dream of my life being this way when we have a little one of our own.


41 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper December 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Focaccia bread. Mmm. Kind of forgot that existed until I just saw it on here, and now I’ll probably be craving it for a month! 😛


42 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Your meals always look so good! Especially that orange – YUM!


43 gillian December 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm

This question is unrelated to the post (except for the beer part :)…my brother is getting in to homebrewing and I wanted to know if Matt had recommendations for any particular books on the subject? Looking for Christmas presents!


44 Matt December 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

The first brewing book anyone should own is How To Brew by John Palmer. The next is Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. I also like Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels, and Yeast by Jamil Zainasheff, but these last two are pretty advanced.

Double check that he doesn’t already have How To Brew – it’s the bible, and many people buy it first thing. I was re-reading parts of it just today!


45 gillian December 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Thanks for the speedy answer, Matt!


46 Erin December 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

Thank you for the advanced suggestions! My dad is an avid home-brewer who’s a science geek at heart. I don’t think he has Designing Great Beers or Yeast, so one of those is DEFINITELY making it into his Christmas gift :) Thanks again!


47 the 3volution of j3nn December 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

With all that you can pack into a day, a 9:00 pm bedtime is more than acceptable!


48 Katie @ SkinnyMinnieMoves December 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Your sandwiches always look so good! Even though I’m a veggie I want to eat this through the screen!


49 Kim December 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Hi Kath :) New mommy here! I LOVE your blog and wanted to know if you could do a post on how you keep up/clean the house, do laundry, dishes, etc now that you have a newborn. It is an area that I am really struggling with. Seems that you have everything going smoothly…I would love to hear some tips!


50 KathEats December 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Hey Kim, I’ll have to think about this. I chip at things all day long and then use Sundays to stock up on laundry and bigger cleaning tasks (wait till tomorrow’s post!) because Matt is home to help out. We’ve also gotten some great naps in lately, so that has helped SO much with getting things done. The first 3 months prior were much tougher.


51 Carolyn December 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

Hi Kath, I’m with Kim. How do you do it all? I have two kids in school for 7hrs a day and a cleaning service once a week and I still can’t seem to hold it together like you do!!! I know we are all ‘wired’ differently (I don’t have a modicum of ‘I love to clean out closets!’ in my body) but I think if someone were to show me how they do it, then I could follow the instructions. I have been through your Home Neat Home pages and they are super helpful. I have also seen your YouTube stuff on google cal and tasks but I want more DETAILS on how to make and manage a reasonable to do list. I still remember when you got your license (registration?) renewed before you had the baby because it ‘was on the list’. Like,…..WHAT!?!?!? Where the heck is this list and where do I get one?!?!? I’m kidding, but seriously, where do you keep it, how do you organize it and what else is on it that should be on mine?! I started reading your blog for the food part (the Mazen part is just a bonus!) but what I have become more interested in is how the rest of your life is pulled together so that you have time at the end if the night to think of breakfast for the next day, or where to fit in excercise time, or where to fit in all this food shopping to always have a healthy meal at hand. I’m sure others would like to hear about this as well. No one really talks about this stuff. You are so honest and clear and thorough, I think you would do a great job of explaining how to make this necessary, albeit mundane, part of our lives easier.

Btw, it must be hard to have everyone anonymously comment on how you live your life. I love it when you just brush off The Haters and just ‘do you’. Knowing what you want and having the confidence to stand behind it is a terrific skill to have as a Mother, especially as the kids get older. So if I can weigh in: I think you’re doing a great job as a new Mom and Mazen is a beautiful baby!

Much Love from a long time reader, first time commenter.


52 KathEats December 10, 2012 at 9:31 am

:) I’m trying to think about my best tip for life organization and I guess I try to simplify my life as much as possible. All of our bills are autodrafted. I “set it and forget” everything in my calendar to remind me when it’s time so I’ll get an email when estimated taxes or renewals are due. I do have some help on the cleaning front, but I try to spot clean as much as possible and deep clean on occasional Sundays. And having my house organized and clutter free from the start helps a lot.

It’s hard to give advice because we are all so different. You have two kids who I am sure contribute to the items in your household! But as much as you can get on top of things and STAY on top of things with a great calender system and clutter containment, you’ll be off to a good start figuring out what works for your family


53 Sheila December 10, 2012 at 9:51 am

House-cleaning is such a huge time-consuming set of chores. I’m always so far behind what needs to be done. How much cleaning help do you have?


54 Sarah December 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Shelia – I recently started having a 2-hour “priority clean” every other week, and it’s really helped me stay on top of things that often go neglected such as cleaning the stove top (we have a gas stove) and mopping the kitchen floor. They will basically only do what they have time for within the 2 hours, and I have a list of what is most crucial each time. It’s within my budget and worth it to give me enough time to tackle other cleaning and organization projects around the house without feeling like I’m neglecting regular cleaning items. Every family/house is different, so I recommend finding a cleaning service in your area that can help you evaluate your needs based on the size of your family and the size of your house.


55 GrandPeePaw December 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

I’ll weigh in on this a little: Kath has great energy and stamina. Also organizational skills, a perfectionist streak and a little impatience, all partially inherited from her father. With that said, all of these traits can be both a blessing and a curse, both in interpersonal relationships and in living one’s life, as I have found through living my life.

Remember that the blog offers a filtered view of Kath’s & Kanz’s (& Mazen’s) life. While I think what’s shown accurately portrays the life that they live, it’s also somewhat like watching TV, where only what is germane to the show is presented. We’re not going to see Kath bang the table and yell because the computer ate her post, a video of M crying for 5 minutes straight, or Kanz exclaiming that his latest homebrew sucks. (That last one has never happened :) )


56 ds December 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Love this! :)


57 Amelia December 11, 2012 at 2:04 am

Me too…wise words from G-Pa :)


58 Kelly December 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Carolyn, have you checked out any blogs that are specifically on organizing? You might find some tips there as well. I know recently I’ve really gotten into She has a ton of different projects for the home as well as printables for specific things. She also tends to have a lot of reader submitted projects so I think there is a good range of stuff and her projects tend to be really realistic. (Read: You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to stay organized.)

And that said, I also think it helps for people to be realistic about what we can and cannot do especially when our priorities increase. I think sometimes we get caught up in thinking our lives should look like Real Simple and that’s just not realistic for everyone.


59 KathEats December 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I love that blog too!


60 Carolyn December 13, 2012 at 9:32 am

I love the encouraging words, especially from GrandPeePaw! I have come to understand that I just don’t have that energized/organizational/perfectionist gene that makes me want to get up from the dinner table and scrub a pot until it shines. I do however live a fun, spontaneous, adventurous life! I am up for anything with passport in hand and will happily leave a pile of laundry for a trip to the park with my kids to blow dandelions until it gets dark. If I could figure out how to come home from the park and have dinner already cooking in the crockpot – that would be a success!
I think all of us, especially those of us on the opposite ends of the spectrum, wish for a little more balance sometimes. I need to plan in my productive time while others have to plan in their down time. With my ‘blog-glasses’ on, I think you have a good balance, Kath. You seem happy and satisfied overall, and that’s all that counts. Is it easier to be a Perfectionist trying to be Spontaneous or a Spontaneous person trying to be a Perfectionist? I’m not sure. But I do know that you have it WAY more figured out than I do! If you don’t expand more on this topic, it’s ok. I will keep reading and picking up snipits of your awesome cleaning and organizational tips here and there. Thanks for the inspiration…..I’m off to look at the wall behind my garbage can!!! :)


61 KathEats December 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

Love this comment Carolyn : )


62 Kerry @ Totes My Oats December 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm

What a great day! Now I’m craving Gingerbread cookies. Haven’t had any yet this holiday season!


63 Elise @ Expeditions of Elise December 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm

So much yummy-looking food in this post! That beautiful orange, the gingerbread and the focaccia! I wish I had some of each of those right now.


64 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! December 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

OMG I LOVE CHESTNUTS!!! Such a seasonal favorite! And you’re right they are incredibly sweet and delicious like a sweet potato!


65 jenna k December 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm

i’ve never really known what a chestnut was! i guess i always assumed it was similar to a pecan- never knew about the sweet potato-y part.
your dinner looks especially great. and that bread!


66 Steph @ Steph Stays Slim December 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Hmm…I never tried chestnuts before. I wouldn’t even know where to start!


67 KathEats December 10, 2012 at 3:04 am

Apparently You just toast on a fire or skillet until charred and then crack open to eat


68 Elizabeth December 10, 2012 at 1:28 am

Hi Kath, I’m a new mom too. Did you notice that Mazen was more fussy than usual last night? I had gingerbread twice last week (one cookie and one cupcake) and my typically-sweet five month old girl turned into a little baby hurricane each night. We could only pinpoint the gingerbread as the change in my diet. A friend (who owns a cupcake bakery…the best kind of friend there is) confirmed that the spices in gingerbread can throw a breastfed baby into the realm of crazy. The same happened to her with her little one. Hope it didn’t happen to you, but wanted to give a heads up!


69 KathEats December 10, 2012 at 3:02 am

So interesting! I don’t think he was any different. If there was a change it was short lived because I can’t remember anything dramatic. I’ll definitely have to pay attention next time


70 Mel December 10, 2012 at 4:00 am

I want to go on a picnic now! A good picnic is not be underestimated…also that soup looks delicious! I’ve been on a big soup kick lately since it’s gotten colder!


71 [email protected] December 10, 2012 at 8:17 am

I am so impressed by all that you fit into a day. My daughter is the same age as Maze and we’re still quite home-bound as we help her ease into a napping schedule.


72 Molly @ RDexposed December 10, 2012 at 8:37 am

Christmas Belgian Dubbel? I want a pint of that, too! Just not in a pint glass…


73 [email protected] December 10, 2012 at 8:39 am

I am so impressed at all that you fit into a day. My daughter is 3m old and we’re still quite house-bound as we work to settle her into a nap schedule.


74 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance December 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Roasted chestnuts…yum! Looks like such a fun day!


75 Cait December 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Looks like such a perfect day – love the picture of you and Matt holding hands :)


76 Karen December 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Lest I sound like a moron, I need to set the record straight about why I’m not comfortable giving Maze a bottle. The last time M and K went out, I tried to give Maze a bottle which he wouldn’t take. Pretty unnerving to see him so frustrated and hungry…………


77 Jen December 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I don’t think you sound like a moron at all, Karen. In fact I think you sound like a very loving grandmother.


78 Ray December 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Oh Karen no one thinks you are a moron! It’s not that you are uncomfortable feeding a baby, it’s that the baby is uncomfortable being fed from a bottle. Totally typical baby behavior. And I’ve no doubt it is unnerving, when all you want to do is keep him safe and happy. K and M are so blessed to have you close by.


79 K. December 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

No one would EVER think you are a moron, Karen! You are a great supportive mom… I love my own mom but if she were you, I would certainly not complain!


80 Amy December 12, 2012 at 12:58 am

karen no worries- I figured it was something of the sort- Getting a breastfed baby to take a bottle is not always easy! You raised 2 boys so I’m sure you are quite capable of caring for basic baby needs- Thanks for setting the record straight!


81 Irina December 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Bottles with babies are hard, there is no need to ever feel bad or explain!!! You are a wonderful, loving and super helpful grandmother! We live far away from any grandparents, and we see them once/twice a year for a few days, so sadly we do not get the benefit of a loving grandparent taking care of our baby. I know that any help is always appreciated and welcomed, and bottles is a bonus, but not a requirement.


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