11.23.2014

5 Days of Outfits from My Ten-Item Wardrobe



Last week I filmed myself every morning so you could see 5 days of outfits: Monday through Friday. This is so you can get a real world sense for how my ten-item wardrobe works and to encourage you about how many possibilities you can have and how exciting it can be!

Many people are under the misconception that they will become bored with their ten-item wardrobe. That is simply not the case. You have your ten core items and you have the extras (like tee shirts, cardigans, shoes and accessories) that pull it all together and make the combinations limitless. It truly makes getting ready in the morning fun and challenges you to put your best self forward every day.

For links to the pieces shown, please check out the original ten-item wardrobe post here.

Here are screenshots from this week's video:


Monday

Monday morning shows minimal makeup, a bad hair day fix, my Trouve black silk blouse, Ann Taylor Loft fluid ankle pants and London Sole Henrietta black suede ballet flats.


Tuesday

Tuesday shows my denim Talbots dress, a better hair day and London Sole pirouette leopard with red trim ballet flats.



Wednesday

Wednesday is more casual with my old J Brand jeans, Brass Plum white tee shirt, Bloomingdale's beige cashmere wrap and London Sole leopard with red trim ballet flats.


Thursday

Thursday is dressier with my Ann Taylor Loft emerald green dress, BCBG black cardigan, J Crew opaque tights, London Sole Henrietta black suede ballet flats and bauble bar bib necklace.


Friday

Friday reuses my Ann Taylor Loft fluid ankle pants, Loft leopard print tee, Bauble Bar bib necklace and black ballet flats.

The handbag I used all week was my Jewel navy handbag.

The nail polish I wore all week was the Formula X in Marvelous, a sheer nude porcelain color.

The L'Oreal lipstick is Infallible in mulberry

For more on London Sole click here.

Check out this week's video for a detailed explanation on my stylistic thought process. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur.


Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
This week take record of every outfit you wear. Record it and at the end of the week assess whether or not you are happy with how you dress and present yourself. Note what you love and note what you'd like to change. If you are not yet living with the ten-item wardrobe, consider trying it this month and be encouraged by how many options you actually have when dressing.

Comment of the Week

On this past Thursday's Louise Labé giveaway, Summer writes:

I have been cultivating my mind by trying to be more mindful of others, how I act and how I treat the space/people I live in. That means a lot of books on this subject as well as interacting with others. ;) I can, if I choose to be a very solitary person, so being out and about with others in mamas groups, etc. is a challenge for me to be there, be present and enjoy it. I also joined a book club at my local library. Reading books I would not pick and learning to not give up on them, but consider why someone wanted to read that specific book. Which is really great to gain perspective.

Summer, I love your efforts to to cultivate your mind even if it means going out of your comfort zone!


This week I would love to know... where are you in the process of curating your capsule wardrobe? Are you trying the ten-item wardrobe? Are you encouraged by how many variations there are on daily outfits? Where are you in the quest to look presentable always? Let me know in the comment section or on social media and you could be picked as the comment of the week!

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11.19.2014

Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies Giveaway



Cultivate your mind: one of my favorite lessons I learned while living in Paris. There are so many ways to do this but in our modern society of reality television and lowbrow entertainment, we have to make an extra effort to not let our intellectual and artistic passions go by the wayside. Reading poetry, especially if it's not something you have an appreciation for, can help break the cycle, which is why I'm so excited about this week's featured book, Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies .

Louise Labé was the first recognized female French poet from the Renaissance period. The mere fact that she was a woman poet was very unusual for the time, but that she also wrote about romance, passion and desire was even more unique. New York Review Books, who has been reissuing classic books since 1999, has sent me Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies and is kindly offering to giveaway a copy of this magnificent book of poetry to one lucky reader of The Daily Connoisseur.

In this book, with the French version on the left and the English translation on the right, Louise Labé's poems contain an agony, an ecstasy and a depth that any poetry lover will delight in.

Here is a sample of her work, Sonnet 11:

I live, I die: I flare up & I drown.
The colder I feel the hotter I burn:
Life is too hard & too soft in turn.
To every joy sorrow circles round:

All of a sudden I laugh & I weep,
Taking pleasure in each twinge of pain:
The moment I flower, I fade away:
The treasure I lose, a treasure I keep.

Inconstant Love is my most constant guide:
Whenever the pain grows beyond belief,
to my surprise, I feel nothing inside.

Then, convinced my bliss cannot be denied
And I'm about to climb joy's highest peak,
He reminds me of all my former grief.


Translated by Richard Sieburth

Here is the description of the book from New York Review Books:

Louise Labé, one of the most original poets of the French Renaissance, published her complete Works around the age of thirty and then disappeared from history. Rediscovered in the nineteenth century, her incandescent love sonnets were later translated into German by Rilke and appear here in a revelatory new English version by the award-winning translator Richard Sieburth.


Here are some reviews of Labé's work:

“The deeply learned Louise Labé knew well the love poetry of Sappho, Propertius, Ovid, and Petrarch, but she herself joined the ranks of these great Western tossers and turners by breaking with convention. Across five centuries, thanks to Richard Sieburth’s beautiful translations, her urgent voice, her embodied images, and her rapid, somehow breathless, lines come to us as if they were spoken yesterday.” --Susan Stewart

“Richard Sieburth has captured the vigor, intensity, and vernacular tang of Louise Labé’s startling poems. He has turned the ‘rhymed cordage as twined and tensile as rope’ of the fabled Belle Cordière, daughter of a ropemaker, into spirited poems in English.” --Rosanna Warren

"[Labé] laments for one alone, but the whole of nature unites with them: it is the lament for one who is eternal." — Rainer Maria Rilke

“A great poet, perhaps one of the greatest of all time.” —The Polar Bear, a character in Samuel Beckett’s Dream of Fair to middling Women



New York Review books are kindly offering to give away one copy of Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies to a reader of The Daily Connoisseur. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (terms set by publisher). Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced one week from today on the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This week I would love to know... Are you familiar with Louise Labé's work? Who is your favorite poet of all time? How have you been cultivating your mind lately?

See you on Sunday for a special #TenItemWardrobe post on 5 Days of Outfits.

For more on New York Review Books, visit them on Facebook and Twitter

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11.16.2014

Clear that CLUTTER



Ah, the clearing of clutter. One of my favorite things to write about and incidentally read about. Why? Because when I write about it or read a good book on the subject, I get a new rush of inspiration and tackle projects that I had given up on long ago.

Many people share that they have experienced this after reading At Home With Madame Chic. I love reading testimonials from people who have donated bags upon bags of belongings and to find a new love for their space again.



In At Home With Madame Chic, I present two places in the home that tend to carry clutter: hot spots and stagnant spaces.

Hot spots are the high-traffic areas in your home that tend to be dumping grounds for the family's miscellany. For us, this is the dining room table and the entryway table. For you it might be different.

Stagnant spaces are the out-of-the-way areas in your home where you tend to "store" things temporarily but then temporary turns into forever, and soon as you know it, clutter is festering in these areas. Common stagnant spaces are on top of book shelves, under vanities and behind chairs.

If you commit to keeping these two types of places clear on a daily basis, you will really start to see a difference in the way your home looks as well as the way you live.

If you are looking for even more inspiration, I have a few books to recommend to you:



The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. If Amelie were Japanese and wrote a book on clutter, this would be it! This is a fun, motivating and whimsical book that will definitely get you to clear your space. Ms. Kondo's book is a big bestseller in Japan and it's very well-deserved. I don't agree with every principle presented in the book (such as Ms. Kondo's advice not to store seasonal clothes) but that's OK! The point of the book is how it makes you feel. Are you motivated to clear your clutter after reading it? Yes! That makes it very worth the read.



Be An Angel- Clear that Clutter by Jacky Newcomb. This fun book is like sitting down with a girlfriend over a glass of wine and talking clutter and strategies!



Small Space Organizing by Kathryn Bechen. Kathryn has been a long-time supporter of The Daily Connoisseur and she, herself has written a fabulous book for people with small spaces.

Watch this week's video for my own candid discussion on clutter and to hear my expanded thoughts on the above-mentioned books. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News
Check out my article for MariaShriver.com called 3 Ways to Make Life Happier at Home.

TeriGigi has made a wonderful video review of both Madame Chic books. Check out her video called My Parisian Journey 5 that talks extensively about Madame Chic journey and a Parisian anecdote of her own. And while you're there, be sure to subscribe to her great YouTube channel. Thank you Teri!

At Home With Madame Chic is also mentioned on:
A Domestic Goddess in the Making and Chez Bliss

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
A changed mind is a very powerful thing indeed. If you struggle with clutter or an unorganized space, commit to changing your mind about how you approach your home. Read some inspiring books, watch inspiring shows and break out the garbage bags. Now is the time to free yourself from the tyranny of clutter in your home.


Comment of the Week
Regarding my video, My Number One Eating Tip, on YouTube, Marie writes:

Yes! Couldn't agree more. How I conduct myself when I am alone really affects my public life. I was struggling with a slouching problem and realised it was most likely because I allowed myself to slouch when alone at home. How you behave at home reflects your self-respect. That is why I keep a cleaning schedule and read books like yours to be able to improve and become a better version of myself! Thank you again for these weekly videos, I always look forward to them. - Marie

Very well said Marie. How you act when you are alone is an indicator of your true self.



This week I would love to know... how is your clutter-clearing coming along? Have you had any breakthroughs? Do you have any success stories to share? What about questions? Please leave your comments and yours might be picked as the comment or question of the week.

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11.09.2014

Fall Makeup Finds and Everyday Fall Makeup Look



I promised to speak more in depth about some of my recent fall beauty finds. This week's video shares these finds with you as well as shows a two part tutorial: my everyday fall le no makeup look and an amplified version.



Fall makeup finds:

CHANEL Perfection Lumiere Velvet- for me, this is matte makeup perfection. I love this foundation and relied on it when I gave my TEDx talk (I did not want to look shiny on stage with all of those bright lights on me) and it performed! You must shake it side to side before applying. Then put a small amount on your fingers and apply with your fingertips. This foundation is not to be applied any other way. You would not use a beautyblender, brush or makeup sponge to apply this foundation. I love a good matte foundation for fall/ winter and this one is my favorite so far! I know it's pricey so if you have any drugstore or less expensive matte foundation recommendations, please leave them for us in the comment section below.

YSL Volume Effet Faux Clis mascara in burgundy
Yes you read that correctly: burgundy mascara. I know! It is not something I would have ever considered but I've heard from many people that burgundy mascara is very natural-looking and flattering and can bring out the intensity of green or hazel eyes. It's all true! I love this beauty find and think it's perfect for fall.

Hourglass ambient blush in mood exposure. You can use any plumy or deep rose blush and it would look perfect for fall. This is the one I am using today.

L'Oreal Paris Infallable Never Fail Lip Color in mulberry. This is a marvelous drugstore find. If you've had bad experiences in the past with lip stains that fade in the middle, dry your lips and don't last you will not be disappointed with this lipstick. I happened upon it at the drugstore and thought I'd give it a try. It's a two part system. Apply the gloss to clean, dry lips and let it sit for two minutes. Then restore moisture and seal in the color with the lip balm attached. A great lipstick that literally lasts 8 to 12 hours through meals, drinks and everything.

These are some of my favorite fall makeup finds. Do you have any to share with us? If you have any "dupes" or drugstore versions of the higher-end products, please let us know in the comment section below.

To see me talk about all of the above and watch two versions of a fall no makeup look, check out the video above. If you are unable to see the video, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News

At Home With Madame Chic is number 5 on the New York Times best seller list under fashion, manners and customs.

Enchanting the Day lists At Home With Madame Chic among 5 books to love.

Real Mom Reviews writes about book one and two in an article called, Living Chic.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Focus on one feature you'd like to highlight this week, such as your eyes or your lips, and develop a no makeup look to support that. Frame your pretty eyes with a natural mascara or break out that plummy lipstick you rarely use and switch up your makeup routine. Embrace your femininity and celebrate your beauty in a way that's fun and true to your style.

Comment of the Week
The comment of the week comes from Bronwyn, who writes regarding last week's post, Eat Lunch With No Distractions:

After years of getting crumbs at my work keyboard, to now being a stay at home wife and picking at food from 11-2pm, today I had a Madame Chic lunch.

I knew I would enjoy savouring my food, but I was also surprised to re-learn the lesson "How you do anything is how you do everything". This morning I hadn't bothered to dress nicely (slaps wrist), wearing comfortable clothes suited to the dreary day here.. and if I am totally honest look a little like pajamas, at least when worn together.

As I was eating my nicely prepared and dressed lunch I just felt uncomfortable wearing such slouchy clothes, and ended up changing into another pair of trousers that I'm much more comfortable answering the door in!! Suddenly I feel much more motivated to get my tasks done.


Bronwyn, I love your testimonial! You have motivated us to live better at home with your story. Thank you!


I love reading your comments, observations, musings and testimonials. Even though I am unable to reply to each one, I read them all. Also, you never know, your comment might be picked as comment of the week!

See you soon x


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11.06.2014

Bittersweet Book Giveaway



Today's featured book is Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough. Bittersweet is Ms. McCullough's first romantic saga since The Thorn Birds and it has readers swooning.

Here is what the critics are saying:

"Filled with humor, insight and captivating historical detail, McCullough's latest is a wise and warm tribute to family, female empowerment and her native land." (People)

“Just as epic as her ultra-romantic classic, The Thorn Birds.” (Marie Claire)

"Readers of historical family dramas will be excited to find a new, satisfying book to enjoy while longtime fans of The Thorn Birds will be over the moon, welcoming back a dear old friend. Take it to the beach, on the plane, or the couch, this book will be the best traveling companion of the summer." (Library Journal, starred review)

"McCullough's richly drawn characters grab control of the heartstrings from the beginning...and prove that, even when choices are not in wide supply, happiness is attainable--even if, at times, it is bittersweet." (Publishers Weekly)

"A fascinating exploration of the bonds between sisters and a fine historical novel." (Booklist)

Here is the description from Simon & Schuster:

In her first epic romantic novel since The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough weaves a sweeping story of two sets of twins—all trained as nurses, but each with her own ambitions—stepping into womanhood in 1920s and 30s Australia.

Because they are two sets of twins, the four Latimer sisters are as close as can be. Yet these vivacious young women each have their own dreams for themselves: Edda wants to be a doctor, Tufts wants to organize everything, Grace won’t be told what to do, and Kitty wishes to be known for something other than her beauty. They are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit, and ambition, but as they step into womanhood, they are not enthusiastic about the limited prospects life holds for them.

Together they decide to enroll in a training program for nurses—a new option for women of their time, who have previously been largely limited to the role of wives, and preferably mothers. As the Latimer sisters become immersed in hospital life and the demands of their training, they meet people and encounter challenges that spark new maturity and independence. They meet men from all walks of life—local farmers, their professional colleagues, and even men with national roles and reputations—and each sister must make weighty decisions about what she values most. The results are sometimes happy, sometimes heartbreaking, but always . . . bittersweet.

Rendered with McCullough’s trademark historical accuracy, this dramatic coming of age tale is wise in the ways of the human heart, one that will transport readers to a time in history that feels at once exotic and yet not so very distant from our own.


Simon & Schuster are kindly offering to give away 3 copies. Please enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (terms set by the publisher). The winners will be announced on the widget and contacted by email one week from today. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more information on Coleen McCullough, visit her here.

Follow Simon & Schuster on Twitter @SimonBooks


News
At Home With Madame Chic is number 5 on the New York Times best seller list under fashion, manners and customs.

and is also featured on the following blogs this week:

This Mom Loves

Momzinga

I Wish I Lived in a Library


Signing at Laguna Beach Books

Thank you to everyone who attended my recent book signings. I loved chatting with all of you and getting to know you better.

See you next time on The Daily Connoisseur...

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11.02.2014

Eat Lunch With No Distractions



I'm not trying to be dramatic here, but today I do have a small piece of advice that can change your life. It's to do with how you eat lunch.

Technology, in particular the internet, has changed our lives in the most amazing ways. In other ways it has also been a detriment. It's changed everything from the way we communicate to the way we eat. This change can be judged as good or bad. I think it depends on how you use the internet. I'm clearly a big fan of the internet because it is how I reach you with my blog and YouTube channel. I love being able to publish these blogs every week and to share my ideas with people around the world.

But when you become addicted to the internet, it can become bad thing.

So what does this have to do with eating lunch? While we tend to eat breakfast and dinner with other people, lunchtime is often taken solo. You are either by yourself at home, or perhaps you take lunch at your desk at work. Many times when we eat alone we figure we don't have anyone to talk to so we get out our phone and start browsing while we eat. Or we stay at our computer and click away at news articles, blog posts and status updates.

Meanwhile what is happening while we are doing this? We've eaten our lunch, although you never would have known it. We pay little attention to the food we are eating or how it's going down or how full we are or how nourished we feel. After lunch we jump right back into our hectic day.

I refer to lunchtime in At Home With Madame Chic as the intermission of the play that is our day. Like an intermission, eating lunch is truly a break- a chance for our bodies to recharge. When you attend the ballet you will often have one or more intermissions. This is not only for the dancers to rest in between acts, but for the audience to take a break as well. We need the break that lunchtime provides so it's important to take full advantage of this time off.

My number one eating tip in At Home With Madame Chic is to have lunch with no distractions. Turn the ringer off on the cell phone, shut down the computer, don't even look at a magazine. Sit at a nicely set table (or as best as you can do, especially if you are eating at your desk) and either listen to soothing music or listen to the silence and focus on what you are eating.

You will notice an intense resistance to this. You will want to read the news. You will want to peruse Pinterest. You will want to checkout the trending topics on twitter. You will want to watch a YouTube video. Don't do it. Hold out. Notice the resistance and be amused by it.

It is especially important for you to practice this on days when you are feeling rushed or overwhelmed with your work load. It is days like these when you need this respite the most. After you eat lunch this way, you feel as though you were just on a mini-vacation. It is truly liberating.

For more on this topic, check out this week's video. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News

This week I am officially a New York Times bestselling author! This is a dream realized for me. Thank you to all of the readers who made this happen.

My TEDx talk on the Ten-Item Wardrobe is featured on LifeHacker allowing this liberating concept to reach an entirely new audience of people all around the world.

At Home With Madame Chic is featured on many publications this week, including:

Laura Denno

Houzz.com

Chic Mummy

ByBeeBooks

One Can't Get Over the Habit blog

Chick Lit Club

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Notice any addictive behaviors you have with regard to the internet. Are you addicted to checking your smartphone? Does this affect your life in any negative ways? Pay attention to this and vow to be more in the moment.

Comment of the Week
On Facebook, Rose M. writes:
"I am thoroughly enjoying dipping into your book each day and savouring it. Thank you so much for the In a Time Lapse - Ludovico Einaudi recommendation in the music lists, I am head over heels in love with this music and have picked up two more of his albums -- Islands and Nightbook."

Rose: In a Time Lapse is one of my favorite albums! It is truly beautiful music. I hope that more people fall in love with it as we have.



This week I would love to know... how do you eat your lunch? Are you guilty dining with your phone as a companion? Would you like to make any changes to the way you eat your meals? I love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and perhaps yours will be picked as the comment of the week!


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10.30.2014

Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography Book Giveaway



What a truly wonderful book we are featuring on the blog today: Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography by Meryle Secrest.

Here's the description from Knopf:

Her name was Elsa Schiaparelli. She was known as the Queen of Fashion; a headline attraction in the international glitter-glamour show of the late twenties and thirties, feted in Rome (where she was born), Paris, New York, London, Moscow, Hollywood . . .

Her style was a social revolution through clothing—luxurious, eccentric, ironic, sexy. Her fashions, inspired, from the whimsical to the most practical—from a Venetian cape of the commedia dell’arte to the Soviet parachute. She collaborated with some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century: on jewelry designs with Jean Schlumberger; on clothes with Salvador Dalí (his lobster dress for her, a lobster garnished with parsley painted on the skirt of an organdy dress, was instantly bought by Wallis Simpson for her honeymoon with the Duke of Windsor); with Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti, Christian Bérard, photographers Baron Adolph de Meyer, Horst, Cecil Beaton, and the young Richard Avedon.

She was the first designer to use rayon and latex, thick velvets, transparent and waterproof, and cellophane. Her perfume—Shocking!—was a bottle in the shape of a bust sculpted by Léonor Fini, inspired by the body of Mae West. Her boutique at an eighteenth-century palace at 21 Place Vendôme opened into a cage designed by Jean-Michel Frank. American Vogue, in 1927, presented her entire collection as Works of Art. A decade later, she was the first European to win the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award.
Here is the never-before-told story of this most extraordinary fashion designer, perhaps the most extraordinary fashion designer of the twentieth century, in her day more famous than Chanel. Meryle Secrest, acclaimed biographer, who has captured the lives of many of the twentieth century’s most iconic cultural figures, among them: Frank Lloyd Wright, Bernard Berenson, and Modigliani, gives us the first full life of the grand couturier—surrealist and embattled figure–-whose medium was apparel.

“Dare to be different,” Schiaparelli advised women, and she lived it to the height; a rebel against convention—social as well as fashion. She designed an otter-fur bathing suit and a hat inspired by a lamb chop. (“I like to amuse myself,” she said. “If I didn’t, I would die.”) Chanel, her arch rival, called her, “that Italian woman who makes dresses.”

Here is the story of Schiaparelli’s rise to fame (as brazen and unique as any of the artistic creations that emerged from her Paris workrooms before World War II); her emotionally starved upbringing in Rome (her mother was part Scottish, part Neapolitan; her father, a prominent medieval scholar specializing in Islamic manuscripts, dean of the faculty of Rome; her uncle, an astronomer famous for his description in 1877 of “canals” on Mars); her years overshadowed by a prettier sister; her elopement with a Swiss-born man who claimed to be a count, disciple of mysticism and the occult—who managed to get himself and his young bride deported from Britain . . . her struggle to care for her polio-stricken daughter, Gogo, as a single and financially destitute mother living in Greenwich Village.

Secrest writes of Schiaparelli’s keen instincts—an astute businesswoman, she launched herself into hats, hose, soaps, shoes, handbags, in the space of a few years. By 1930, her company was grossing millions of francs a year.

Secrest chronicles her exploits during World War II (she managed to escape from Europe to the United States) and, using FBI files, shows that during Schiaparelli’s stay in New York, her whereabouts were documented almost week by week; she was never explicitly charged, but the cloud of collaboration lingered long after her return to Paris.

As Secrest traces the unfolding of this dazzling career, she reveals the spirit that gave shape to this large and extravagant life, a woman—a force—whose artistic vision forever changed the face of fashion and redefined the boundaries of art.


Knopf are kindly offering to give away one copy of Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography. Please enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (terms set by the publisher). The winner will be announced on the widget and contacted by email one week from today. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more on Meryle Secrest, visit her website here.


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