Cool Product Alert: Table Top Zen Garden

New week, new inspiration

Last week I took off from blogging to celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary, you can see a few of the places we travelled to right here. I feel proud that we’ve weathered the last decade together and still like each, still want to be together. I can’t fully comprehend how 10 years has passed as quickly as it has, the speed of time is something I contemplate often with no greater understanding to show for it! It has also been extremely hot here and with the kids at home we’ve stayed indoors and found ways to entertain one another which has been a big distraction from blogging as well.

A new week is about to begin and with it new goals. The kids might be in my hair right now but I want to get a leg up on the week by getting things together now. Honestly it’s also because I woke up at 4:30 am sneezing and with an itchy throat so I might as well do something with these early morning hours.

This beautiful image has all the ingredients I’m into right now like natural fibers, woven textiles, long draping fabrics, geometry and a little of light. Styled by the wonderful Tina Hellberg for Elle Decoration.

friday finds.

Acapulco chairs and potted plants. / sfgirlbybay

i love a short work week, don’t you? hopefully, you were able to enjoy a long fourth of the july holiday, but if not — hurrah, the weekend is here again! i spent the long weekend playing in my backyard garden, planting succulents like some kind of crazy cat woman but with plants. if we’re not careful, it’ll turn into an official  jungleland around here. anyway, here’s some tropical pink & green inspiration for you if you’re game to really go wild. have a wonderful weekend, everyone. xo, victoria

  1. i love the look of the hoxton hotel, based in amsterdam — always top on my list of places to visit captured beautifully by @onahazymorning.
  2. this looks like a slice of pink paradise, doesn’t it? i’m not sure i’d be brave enough to paint patio walls pink, but they sure look good with palms.
  3. it looks as though marrakech’s Riad Jardin Secret had the guts to paint patio walls pink as captured by designer carley page and it looks boho fabulous!
  4. another shot from carley — the beautiful outdoor terrace at Riad Jardin Secret. i love the built-in bench and striped seat cushion.
  5. i have a huge cactus plant at the top of my hill, and i kind of fancy hanging some of it like the Bar Masseria Cimino has done — taken by carla coulson it looks so graphic and cool!
  6. more proof positive from the botanical that green plants and cactus love living against a pale pink wall.
  7. i can’t decide which i love best — bouganvillea, succulents or cactus, but the citizenry has me leaning towards the pink bounganvillea — and green shutters!
  8. and lastly, naturally it’s charissa fay’s photo of lisbon proving the pink wall point — that city was full of mesmorizing pink pastels.

pink patio walls. / sfgirlbybay

pink patio walls with cacti. / sfgirlbybay

pink patio walls with moroccan pillows and cushions. / sfgirlbybay

peachy pink walls and cacti. / sfgirlbybay

brick building with green shutters. / sfgirlbybay

pale pink building exterior walls. / sfgirlbybay


Double Bedroom L-Shaped Home Design: 2 Examples With Floor Plans

The layout of a home can have a significant impact on how the design takes shape. The different nooks and crannies that are created by a layout determine where best to put the sofa, how to arrange a dining room and even what colors will look best. The two homes featured here both have the distinction of being L-shaped. The two-bedroom homes utilize this somewhat unique layout well, making sure that light penetrates different portions of the home, that there are not too many dark colors that could serve to shrink the space, and that the flow of foot traffic makes sense. Take a look at these two homes and see how they use this layout similarly — and what’s different.

Visualizer: Dervish Group  

Immediately we can see how the first home uses its main living area as a simple, open gather spot. The living room features a unique mustard-colored sofa as well as a selection from the many unique floor lamps that are available.

While there is not a tremendous amount of natural light coming in, by using plenty of white near the windows, that light is able to reflect into the rest of the living area.

An open floor plan works best when there is still separation, like this partial wall. We can also see the Eames Bird replica positioned on the bookcase, which is not the only midcentury nod in this home.

The accent colors used in this home have a rich, earthy feel to them, giving the space a soothing tone.

Greenery is always welcome in a well-designed home, and if you can display it on unique plant stands like this one, it really captures the attention.

The lighting in the home is fairly simple, but very effective. The use of dining room pendants is popular but practical, while hidden lighting along the ceiling casts a lovely glow.

The master bedroom uses beautiful natural wood accents for the headboard and shelving, while the same cool colors keep the space calming and zen.

A white stone bathroom finishes this tour.

Visualizer: Lugerin Igor  

This next L-shaped home is strikingly similar, starting with a statement sectional sofa in the open living room.

This home also clearly features midcentury inspiration, including this long and low entertainment center that’s mysteriously hovering against an exposed brick wall.

There is a bit more light flowing in here, which again plays nicely with the choice of white walls.

In the cozy dining area, touches like a light wood table and classic fruit bowl are nice.

Black dining chairs and light fixtures against natural wood furniture and cabinetry has a distinctly modern look.

For a bit of fragrant greenery, this space decides on indoor herb planters.

The master bedroom is incredibly simple and soothing, with light blue, white, and gray creating an ethereal feel.

Minimalist bedrooms like this one can help with relaxation at the end of the day. Who wants to go to sleep in a cluttered, loud room?

Simple glass vases like this one are an easy way to liven up a space, and add a burst of seasonal color every now and then.

In the child’s bedroom we have a bit more color in addition to stylish kids’ night lights.

The kids wall decor complete with butterflies and dragonflies is subtle but whimsical.

A simple white bathroom with black tiles is practical and timeless.

Recommended Reading:
50 Two Bedroom Floor Plans
40 More Two Bedroom Home Plans

Related Posts:


How to Choose Natural Stone That’s Right for Your Home


I get asked so often about my favorite materials to use for countertops. I love using natural stone whenever possible! It’s so great to have something one of a kind and unique in the way only mother nature can produce!

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I know it can be overwhelming to show up to a slab yard and have no idea what you REALLY want. Stone is an investment, yes, but it’s one that can last a lifetime so it’s a great idea to make a classic choice. I find myself drawn to using a few natural stone favorites over and over again, so I thought I’d share with you the stones I love the most and how to best care for your natural stone!


I partnered with on this post and their site has been a HUGE source of information for me over the years as I’ve branched out and selected new types of stone for projects in my own home and in client’s homes. Their articles and the information they share about the pros and cons of each type of stone have helped me feel confident in my purchases and recommendations!

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(we used a gray soapstone in this client’s cabin kitchen)

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Here are my top four favorite specific stones to use and some great ways to use them. If you’re thinking of a stone not listed here though, check out this AWESOME chart from that gives a highlight reel of all the pros and cons of every countertop material out there!


Quartzite, which is different than Quartz composite (a man-made material), is definitely having a moment. It looks more like a marble and acts like a granite. It doesn’t stain, etch or scratch the way marble can and you can place hot items directly on the surface of the stone! It’s a great marriage of practical and pretty, though it is on the pricier side compared to some of the marble and granite options.





Just like other stones, there are MANY variations of quartzite. The ones I use most often have a light gray background (quartzite doesn’t really come in a pure, bright white) and veining in other tones of grays, golds and greens. Calacatta Quartzite has the most marble-like veining.


Macaubus and Sea Pearl quartzite can have more jagged veining that almost looks like a chevron pattern sometimes, but these slabs are usually a little less expensive.


We found a really pretty Macaubus quartzite for my parents’ kitchen that had softer veins and a lighter gray background that looks so pretty against the white cabinets.

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LGN Quartzite 5

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Next up –


Remember the kitchen from the Something’s Gotta Give movie set? The kitchen had soapstone counters and everyone has been talking about soapstone since. And for good reason! Soapstone is warm and chalky and beautiful! It can’t scorch or etch, but because it’s a little softer, it can scratch. Though the scratches can be buffed out using 0000 steel wool without a problem, and just like with marble, some of the appeal of soapstone is that it will wear and soften and have a sort of lived in, antiqued look. I love the softness of worn down marbles and soapstones!! Allllll the heart eyes!!


Soapstone comes in green, gray and black and if you use a mineral oil on the stone the color will sharpen and darken. The dark black with soft white veining is probably my favorite!

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LGN Soaptone Cabin

LGN Gray Soapstone Cabin

Because soapstone only has a bit of veining, it plays really well with other stones like marble and quartzite. I love this combo here in this (unfinished!) client’s kitchen.

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Up next is –


Granite is INCREDIBLY durable and hard-wearing! It won’t easily etch or scratch and it won’t scorch. Also it is generally the most affordable of the natural stone counter top options. And while most granites are not anywhere near my first choice, I have to admit that honed black granite is quickly becoming one of my go-to stone selections! It is super affordable and the satin or leathered slabs like quite a bit like soapstone for about 1/3 the price!!




This photo here shows what a HUGE difference there is in the way the exact same stone looks in a polished finish vs a honed finish. I always choose honed, satin or leathered over polished if at all possible. It makes no difference in the durability of a stone, but makes a very big impact on the overall look and feel of a space.


We used satin absolute black granite in this client’s kitchen and wouldn’t you guess it was soapstone? I LOVE IT.

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LGN Black Granite

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And last, but DEFINITELY not least! –


Marble will always and forever be my favorite natural stone. It’s just SO BEAUTIFUL. I love the bright white color and the striking, organic pattern of the veining. It’s just such a classic choice! I know it’s not for every homeowner, though I maintain that everyone should be fine with marble for bathroom counters (if not in the kitchen!). Marble is more porous than granite, but it gets a bad reputation for being hard to keep up. I disagree! Marble is very hard-wearing and durable! (PS if you’re looking for a GREAT etch remover, try this!)






Again, I strongly prefer a honed finish in any stone, but especially with marble, and I think the honed finish helps any scratches that will happen over the years to be less noticeable. If you choose to go with marble in your home, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of wiping up spills and stains as they happen (here is a great product for cleaning up set-in oil stains). If you don’t let you spills sit for hours and hours on end, and you use a cleaner with a built-in sealer, there won’t be issues with stains or bad etching.

I would honestly be happy with most any type of white marble, but the ones I’m usually drawn to are pictured here. If a client has a big budget, I always pitch Calacatta Gold or a Borghese marble. But if a client would like to keep the budget down, I usually recommend Mountain White or  Montclair or sometimes an extra honed Cararra (those swing more gray though). Some of the white marbles are as cheap as black granite!




There’s just NOTHING like the beautiful veining of a great white marble! I found a piece of polished Mountain White in a fabricators remnant yard for a really great price and had it made into a sink I designed. They sanded the stone down to a honed finish and now the stone has that fuzzy, warm glow that only honed stones have!

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Marble is my favorite stone to use in bathrooms!
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I usually use darker marbles on fireplace surrounds (which I love!), but we’re working on a bathroom project using black marble right now too that I’m super excited about!




I’d LOVE to hear all about your favorite stones to use for your counter tops! What have you used and loved? Are you a marble person? And if so, what are you favorite ways to care for your stone?

This post was in partnership with Don’t forget to check out all the resources on if you’re in the market for any project using stone!


The post How to Choose Natural Stone That’s Right for Your Home appeared first on Little Green Notebook.


Light up with a whimsy Cloud Ceiling Light

Light up with a whimsy Cloud Ceiling Light

Here is my new project for a new cotton cloud ceiling light:

This is what you need:

  • 6x LYSBOJ Ceiling lamp
  • 6x LED light bulbs
  • 2x KRUSNING Pendant lamp shade, 17″
  • thin steel wire
  • white cables for the wiring



Steps for Cloud Ceiling Light:

1. First mount LYSBOJ lamps without the shades on the ceiling and wire them together in a row with the white cable.

Mount LYSBOJ lights

2. Screw the bulbs in.

3. Then crumple the sheets of the KRUSNING lamp shades like you would crumble a paper and tie on pieces of thin steel wire in the length of at least 50cm on several positions of the sheets.

Crumple KRUSNING lamp shade

4. After this tie the wire ends to the plastic parts of the LYSBOJ lamps and arrange the LYSBOJ sheets all over that the light bulbs and the wiring can’t be seen from the outside and it all looks like a cloud on the ceiling. You can use staples or glue to fix the lamp shades all together. Cut the wire ends which are too long.

Light up with a whimsy Cloud Ceiling Light

Important: Make sure that there is enough free space between the lamp shades and the light bulbs.

Light up with a whimsy Cloud Ceiling Light

~ by Vendela

Like clouds? Then you’ll love these cloud ceiling lights and more.

Make a cloud pendant light from the Varmluft lampshade and fake snow. Love how cotton candy soft it actually looks.

IKEA Cloud pendant light

Nimbus Luminous, the moody cloud ceiling light. For full effect, turn this on when a storm is gathering.

A cute cloud night light housed in a RIBBA picture frame.

A woolly cloud under your feet

Another as a welcome mat

The post Light up with a whimsy Cloud Ceiling Light appeared first on IKEA Hackers.


Why You Should Monitor the Humidity Levels in Your Home

Keep the air in your home fresh and healthy. Image: StudioMcGee

Maintaining good air quality in your home is important for the health of your entire family. Either too much or too little humidity can lead to the rise of unhealthy airborne particulates. The EPA recommends keeping relative humidity inside between 30% and 50%. You can check the levels in your home with a digital humidity meter, or hygrometer, which you can find at most hardware stores.

Use exhaust fans in the kitchen when cooking. Image: Decozilla

What happens if you have too much indoor humidity?

You can tell if your indoor air is too humid if you notice:

  • Condensation on windows
  • Water stains on your fabrics or hardwood floors
  • Stale or musty smells in the furniture or carpet
  • Mold in the bathrooms, basement or under the sink

Molds produce allergens, irritants and sometimes potentially toxic substances. Mildew and dust also thrive in humidity.

Open windows whenever you’re cooking or running the dishwasher to alleviate high levels of humidity. Exhaust fans in your kitchen or bathroom can also help. The easiest way to combat high humidity levels is to turn on your central air conditioner. If that’s still not enough, you might need to invest in a dehumidifier to dry the air.

Don’t let your laundry room house extra moisture. Image: DecorPad

Explore the types of dehumidifiers

A dehumidifier’s drying capacity is measured by how many pints of water it can remove from the air within 24 hours. You may only need a small dehumidifier to control the moisture in one room or a small apartment. These are relatively inexpensive.

Most portable, single-room dehumidifiers are self-draining and come with a drain-hose connection. You’ll need to place it in an area where the hose can empty water, such as a laundry room sink. Dehumidifiers with large tubs or drip pans can hold more and will need to be emptied less often. Some dehumidifiers use evaporation technology, so a drain hose isn’t required.

Another option is installing a whole-home dehumidifier. These connect to your existing ductwork and must be professionally installed.

Moisture from the shower can linger in your bathroom. Image: DecorPad

Design tips to reduce humidity in your home

Investing in a dehumidifier is one option, but there are also simple design tricks you can use to help reduce your home’s humidity levels. If you’re in the process of redesigning or redecorating your bathroom, consider using mildew-resistant paint and primer. Even if you only use this paint for the lower parts of the walls, it can cover old mildew stains and prevent new spots from developing. You can also swap bathroom rugs for tile floors to prevent mold and mildew from building up.

Plants help decrease the humidity in the home. Image: Rahult

Add indoor plants to decrease indoor humidity and make your home feel inviting. A peace lily can absorb humidity and toxins through its leaves. Peace lilies only need indirect sunlight to grow, making them ideal house plants. If you’re looking for a plant that can be hung, the English ivy might be the perfect fit. When they’re hung up high, they absorb the humidity rising in the air, and you don’t have to worry about knocking them over.

Keep plants out of reach so they don’t get knocked over by kids or pets. Image: StyleCurator

A few simple updates can make a big difference when it comes to the quality of your indoor air. Which tips will work best in your home?

The post Why You Should Monitor the Humidity Levels in Your Home appeared first on


wear this there: fiori.

inside fiori in portugal. / sfgirlbybay

did someone say ice cream? we could go for a frosty treat right about now — even more so one that takes us all the way to lisbon, which you’ve been hearing a lot about from sfgirlbybay lately, and it deserves the raving reviews it gets. this city has a lot of swoon-worthy corners, and cafés, but fiori kind of takes the [ice-cream] cake. this Portuguese dream is a candy-colored Gelateria along the tagus river -— does it get any better than that? wear your best whites (extra napkins please) and go overboard with flavors — you only live once. pair your sweet tooth with the perfect rosé colored accessories, and the new hilarious novel one day we’ll all be dead and none of this will matter.

~ michaela d’artois, vérité published.

fiori in lisbon. / sfgirlbybay

wear this there: fiori in lisbon. / sfgirlbybay

wear this there: pixie market bianca linen button cinched-waist jacket; free people dazzle dazzle heel; zara high-waisted shorts; anthropologie Constrast Stripes Choker Necklace; odeme maharani nail polish; the reformation solo dune cuff; le specs air heart sunglasses; matt and nat abiko clutch; read this there one day we’ll all be dead and none of this will matter by scaachi koul.

fiori gelateria in lisbon. / sfgirlbybay black and pink and white interior of fiori Gelateria. / sfgirlbybay arched windows in fiori Gelateria. / sfgirlbybay inspiring black and pink decor inside fiori. / sfgirlbybay inspiring interior of fiori Gelateria. / sfgirlbybay inspiring interior and exterior of fiori Gelateria. / sfgirlbybay

• photography via milk decoration


it’s okay to be a basket case.

woven hat and basket tote via a piece apart. / sfgirlbybay


i’ll admit it — i’m a total basket case. i love tote baskets of all shapes and sizes and have a collection of them already, but i’m always finding room for just one more. i use them for the farmer’s market and the flea, grocery shopping and for sure poolside and a day at the beach. not only do they have a kind of cool european, vintage vibe while you’re carrying them, they look pretty hanging out in plain site, too. i have a couple of french market totes hanging in my kitchen at the ready for my next shopping excursion. i went on the hunt for some nouveau tote bags and found quite a few favorites as well as some inspiration for toting one along — the perfect summer accessory, but oh-so practical, too.

woven basket tote bags. / sfgirlbybay

clockwise, l to r: couture splash; Bougainvillea via @life_simplified; anthropologie’s Ruffled Raffia Tote Bag; beach day; Pink Straw Tote Bag from anthropologie; palm shadow; free people Half Moon Straw Tote; hand woven totes from multi-colored, recycled plastic fibers from palorosa project via honestly wtf.

woven beach hat and bag via @satinyroses / sfgirlbybay

beach days via @satinyroses (above) and @pansyco (below).

woven beach tote via @pansyco on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

woven bags, totes and baskets for summer. / sfgirlbybay

clockwise, l to r: saint signora french market basket; dandelion by Beatrice Oettinger; lace straw basket from the general store; skater via lacasa clothing; samuji ocra circle bag from bona drag; palm shadows; filt french market bag from the general store; j’adore trop.

woven straw hat. / sfgirlbybay

atelier doré (above) and emerson merrick (below).

woven beach hat and basket tote via emerson merrick. / sfgirlbybay

woven summer beach tote inspiration. / sfgirlbybay

clockwise from left to right: Hermès paris; handmade Oaxacan Net Bag from the general store; Nannacay Joana Tote with Black pompoms from need supply; friut basket via Knotably Studio; Abacá Kahun Basket from need supply; beach umbrellas via anna gillar.

straw hat inspiration.  / sfgirlbybay

beach day by @sincerelyjules.

stylish woven women's bags. / sfgirlbybay

clockwise from left to right: ice, via lacasa clothing; Blush-Striped Straw Bag from anthropologie; pompom tote inspiration from style and fashion; handmade Oaxacan Net Bag from the general store; tote inspiration from style and fashion; samuji straw roll bag; dried flowers; Hula Straw Clutch from free people; the niger bend skirt basket from lost and found shop.


How To Design Industrial Style Bachelor Pads: 4 Examples

Industrial style design has never been more popular. With many young professionals preferring to live in dense, urban areas, the loft apartment that has been converted from warehouse space is increasingly in demand. To make this kind of design work, there are a few common elements that can be useful, including exposed brick, clever use of industrial pipes, and pendant lighting. The four bachelor pads featured here all utilize different design elements and furnishings to create four very different spaces that still manage to have a lot in common. Whether you are a bachelor looking to redo your loft or just want to bring a bit of the city style into your own home, these inspirational lofts are sure to help.

Visualizer: Yuliia Sokolova  

The main living area in this first bachelor pad features unique floor lamps that take inspiration from old Hollywood. Industrial-inspired copper pipe shelving much like the ones framing the television are available on Amazon.

While the design of the home is certainly not minimalist, but focal points like a luxurious leather sofa and a wooden trunk coffee table are spread apart enough that the eye can go from one to another without getting lost.

In the kitchen and home office area, industrial style lighting dangles from the ceiling, adding an artistic twist and warming up the space.

The entryway brings back the idea of pipe shelving in the form of a lovely coat rack and shoe storage area.

Designer: Halina Arabskaya  

The next apartment continues the industrial style, but takes the design into a bit of a different direction, with the designer having been specifically inspired by design of the 1970s and 1980s.

Industrial living rooms like this one often use similar elements like reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and unique lighting.

The living room is not particularly spacious, but a good design will leave room for unique coffee tables like this reclaimed wood version that rolls on casters.

Exposed brick is another frequent entry in industrial style design and its used to great effect in this apartment.

Artsy elements like this custom neon Party Time sign show how the design has pulled from the 1980s.

The front door uses an up-cycled storage container, which is both unique and stylish.

Stainless steel cabinetry in the kitchen is definitely an industrial element that also looks quite sleek and modern.

The kitchen bar stools carry the same stainless steel motif in a popular design style.

The stainless steel and wood cabinetry contrasts with white lacquered walls, another decidedly 1980s reference.

In the bedroom, this design incorporates chainlink elements, adding texture to the walls.

Exposed brick carries through into the bedroom as well, but it is painted white for a cleaner look.

By elevating the bed, the bedroom immediately becomes more spacious because there are now separated areas.

Riveted metal plating above the bed is both industrial and even pretty.

Industrial design does not always leave a lot of room for traditional storage. In this bedroom, black pipes create a hanging storage space for clothes with more space for storage below.

Visualizer: Oleksii Komarov  

The third bachelor pad we see uses industrial design elements like brick and concrete, but the overall effect is much darker than the previous examples.

A concrete ceiling and dark wood floor use contrasting textures for interest while staying in the same dark, masculine mood.

The brick in this home are much darker than the traditional red or white we have seen previously. The dark brick is moody and sophisticated while still giving off the industrial vibe.

Black caged doors are quite industrial and would look just as comfortable in a warehouse as in this house.

We can see just a tiny pop of color shine through in the unique bicycle storage area, which feels like a wink and a smile from the designer.

In the bedroom, more dark brick and wood serve to create a dark cave for some serious relaxing.

Low, clean lines make this space feel harmonious and elegant.

The bathroom uses stainless steel and black tile for a serious and sophisticated look.

Visualizer: Maxim Lipovtsev  

The final apartment in this inspirational post is considerably brighter. When a design uses unique ceiling fans, it is easy to tell that both style and practicality were taken into consideration.

The visualizer has even described this particular look as a “warm” loft.

The chosen elements, such as a pretty patterned rug and plush gray sofa are welcoming and soft while still keeping with industrial credibility.

The wooden wall decor used as an accent in the main living area can be purchasedhere.

Hanging industrial lights over the bar bring a bit of color with their bright red cords.

In the dining area, dining room pendants encased in glass are exceptionally stylish.

The custom wood slat design looks almost undone, bringing attention to the original brick that lines the walls.

The entryway uses black and white tiles to separate the space from the rest of the apartment, making it easy to greet guests and get ready for a day at the office.

Finally, the use of copper piping for overhead lighting is a fun and stylish way to incorporate that popular industrial design element into this warm and lovely home.

Recommended Reading:
50 Industrial Style Furniture & Home Decor Accessories
30 Industrial Style Lighting Fixtures
Industrial Style Dining Room Designs

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