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Bring On The Spring Cleaning!

February 21st, 2018 by royallepagepremier

As February flies by, Spring is quickly approaching. And spring means spring cleaning.  After months of winter have forced us to keep all the doors and windows closed, spring is the time for fresh air and a fresh start!

 

Now not everyone loves spring cleaning, but most people enjoy having their place clean, so….  time to get to work.  It’s SO worth it.  It can be a daunting task though, especially after months of being cooped up indoors.  Projects, items from the holidays, and plain old stuff can pile up.  Here are a few simple ways to tackle the whole house, and make it less of a chore.

 

Make A Prioritized List: Write out a list of the things that need to be done around the house.  Then prioritize them from most to least important, and if possible, break the projects down into even smaller tasks.  This way you will feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment by being able to cross things off your list, and the smaller tasks mean you can at least get one or two things done in a shorter period of time.

 

Delegate The Workload: If you share a home, you share the mess too, and another set of hands can come in handy!  After you make your list, ask your spouse if they’d like to add anything, and which items they’d prefer to do on the list.  Most of us have a couple chores we don’t mind so much, and at least one we really hate.  If you are lucky, you and your significant other’s lists of loved/hated chores will be different from one another’s, and you can make a plan.  If not, rock paper scissors is a great deciding tool as well.   Kids can pitch in too!  There are tons of lists online of age appropriate chores for the kiddos.  Even toddlers can put a toy in a bin, and the older they get, the more they can help.  There may be some whining involved, and a small bribe isn’t the worst play in the parenting playbook, and the kids will benefit from a tidy house and the feeling of satisfaction earned from a job well done.

 

Make It Fun: Who says you can’t crank up the music and dance around while you clean?  Playing your favourite tunes can make the time/work pass quickly, and mopping floors to a rhythm (or so I’ve heard) can help leave a streak-free shine to hardwood floors.  Just be conscious of where your windows are located, and if you care or not if the neighbours see you.  Maybe you’ll be discovered for your wicked dance moves … or scare away any unwanted solicitors.  Either way, sounds like a win-win.

 

Brighten Up Your Home: One way to make organizing easier to deal with is to have a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.  Even better if your storage place is decorative and fun.  Be creative.  You can always stash things away in hidden places like closets or under the bed, but sometimes it’s nice to use decorative boxes and baskets.  You could do an up-cycle project, then it can be cheaper or even free!  Go vertical.  Shelving can be a wonderful space saver, and allows for display of your favourite things too.  Have a boring laundry room or storage spot under the stairs?  Not very welcoming, is it?  Dress it up with a splash of paint.  Bright feature walls aren’t just for bedrooms or living areas.  It would be a lot more fun to do laundry in a space that offered a bit of colour and personality.  Most of us even have paint left over from other projects, brighten up the back of a closet.  It’ll tie the room together, and is just an easy way to add a bit of pop.

 

Declutter:  Most of us have so many things in our home we don’t need.  Maybe it’s because our Aunt Linda makes us an afghan every year for Christmas for the last 20 years and we don’t have the heart to tell her we have enough.  Maybe it’s a deep-seated aversion to throwing “perfectly good” items away?  It’s hard to choose which masterpiece your kid made in Gr 2 should stay, and which should go.  This may be easier said than done as all the artwork that gets sent home from school will make you consider buying stocks in art supplies, but consider saving 1 item per month, and shipping the rest of that stuff off to the grandparents.  Some of us keep ill-fitting clothing around that we can only pray to fit back into one day.  Others hoard supplies for projects that we will never get around to doing.  Take a look around your whole house (and garage, shed, crawlspace, attic, or anywhere else that collects things) and be honest with yourself.  “Do I need this?”, “Will I use this?”, and “Will my world crumble if I don’t have this thing in my possession?”.  These are all good questions to ask.  Consider thinning it out.  Recycle, up-cycle, hand down, or donate.  There are lots of options without putting stuff in the garbage.  You will feel better after.  Lighter.  Less cluttered, and things will look more put together and simplified with purpose.  Bring on the Spring cleaning!

 

Reasons To Use A Real Estate Agent To Buy Or Sell Your Home

January 29th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

 

For most of us, a home purchase will be the single most expensive and important purchase we make in our lifetimes.  Therefore, it is so important to make sure we are well informed, and make the best choice possible for our family, location, and budget.  There is so much to do, and to know about the home buying and selling process and using a licensed Real Estate Agent can take out the guesswork and help us to navigate this very important decision.  Here are some ways how:

 

Realtors keep up with the current market trends.  An Agent will have the experience and information needed to help their clients know when to buy/sell.  Timing can make all the difference, and an Agent can advise on the best time to list, or buy, to help clients get the deal done in a timely manner.  Buying a home is very exciting and clients may want to make a deal ASAP but having an Agent can help temper some of the excitement with some down-to-earth advice.  There are so many steps when signing a real estate deal, and making sure things are done correctly, and in the right order will save time and money in the long run.  It may be tempting to list and begin showing the home right away, but an Agent will help you to know what needs to be done first to ensure success.  They know about market trends and timing, and what to fix before listing vs what things to be done are better left as part of the deal.

 

Realtors have tons of local knowledge and have a wealth of information at their fingertips that you may not.  We all know how to use Google, but Agents have access to industry specific searches, and can access information that may not be available to the public.  They can conduct research, look for properties with specific features, or in certain neighbourhoods, as well as having plenty of knowledge about things like builders, taxes in the area, proposed construction, crime rates, and tons of other statistics that most of us wouldn’t even think of including in our searches.

 

Agents get to know their clients.  Let’s say Mr. and Mrs. Smith are in their early 60s and looking for a nice home to retire in.  They may be wanting to downsize or be closer to family.  Not only will a Realtor know what kind of properties can appeal to the Smith’s budget and demographics but may have some suggestions that the couple hadn’t thought about.  Since the couple plan to spend many years in their next home, can it be renovated to accommodate seniors who may be facing mobility issues in the future?  Does the home have a large yard, or lots of landscaping that will need to be tended to year-round?  Maybe the property has appliances or an HVAC system that is nearing the end of its life, are the clients able/willing to replace these fixtures?  When buying a home in the summer, it’s easy to forget about out harsh winters.  Does the home have a garage, or an outdoor spot with power to plug in a vehicle, or is it close to a public transit route so the Smith’s don’t have to walk 5 blocks to get to their bus stop?  These are just a few possible points an Agent can help their clients keep in mind when looking at a new home, and the types of things that many of us wouldn’t necessarily think about until it was too late.

Realtors can provide referrals to trusted industry professionals such as mortgage brokers. lawyers, and home inspectors.  Again, because of how complicated buying/selling a home can be, it is most definitely advised to use the experts in these fields.  Navigating all this without professional help can lead to some very serious and expensive oversights.  Your Agent will have names of professionals that you can trust, saving you time and money, as well as providing you peace of mind.

These are just a few of the many reasons to have an Agent help you with buying/selling a home.  Let a licensed professional help you navigate this exciting phase in your life.

Congratulations to our Top 5 Producers of 2017!!!

January 23rd, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

January 11th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

It’s that time of year again. When many people set some new goals and resolutions. January brings feelings of starting over and doing better, but this can be a big let down if your goals aren’t achievable (or realistic).  So here are some tips to setting the right goals, and actually being able to reach them.

 

Eating Right – It’s easy for us to say that we will swear off junk food, and only eat Kale and drink smoothies from now on, but fast-forward a week and that diet will get pretty old, pretty quickly.  Not to mention, it’s just not good for your body.  Moderation is the name of the game here.  Anything you outright deny yourself is likely to come back as a nasty craving.  Find your biggest food weaknesses, and see if there is a way you can satisfy the craving with a recipe that is a bit healthier.  There are so many resources online, and it may take a bit of trial and error, but you’ll be sure to find something that can work.  And if you can’t, well that’s what cheat days are for.  Eating healthier throughout the week will be a bit easier if you know there is a cheat day at the end of the tunnel.  Hang in there for 6 days, and sit back and enjoy your favs on the 7th.  Moderation.  Well that, and portion control, meal planning, and eating regularly throughout the day, but first and foremost, moderation!

Excercise – It’s no surprise to anyone that the majority of gym passes are purchased in January.  It’s even less of a surprise that these gyms drastically see their numbers decrease as they head into February and beyond.  It’s all too easy to say “I’m going to eat well and exercise often this year!” but a little harder to put into action.  So come up with a plan.  We all have some form of exercise that we hate, and others we like.  Work with that.  If you are self-motivated, good for you!  Make an exercise plan and give it a shot.  If you are not as motivated, perhaps a work-out buddy would help.  You would have company as well as another person to help hold you accountable.  This can go hand in hand with eating right as well.  Start slow.  You aren’t going to be running like an Olympic Athlete, and lifting hundreds of pounds after a week of working out.  Take your time, get to know your work out, and then set small, realistic goals to increase it.  Personal trainers can be worth their weight in gold to help get you set up with a workout that is not only realistic for your goals, but to help you learn how to exercise properly to avoid injury and maximize results.  Just remember to be patient, you likely won’t be ripped in a month, but if you keep up with your goals, you WILL notice your body looking and feeling better.

Drink More Water – Now this is a relatively easy resolution.  Our bodies need water. And while other liquids do count, plain old water is important also.  And frankly, there are many people who have no problem putting away 3+ cups of coffee or tea (or wine), so a bit of water isn’t gonna kill us.  Keeping a water bottle handy, and keeping track of consumption are the 2 easiest ways.  And like diet and exercise, the longer you keep up the good habits, the easier they will get.  And if you really, really, really hate drinking water, there are still tons of options for you.  Fancy up that plain cup of H2O by adding some lemon or cucumber, a but of fruit juice, or even flavour crystals or drops.  As long as it’s not soda or alcohol, you’re probably headed for better hydration.

Save Some Money –  Never a bad idea, but all the worry around debt and retirement can make the idea of saving a bit intimidating.  Like every other goal, start small.  Have an in-depth and honest look at your finances.  Make sure you have a real idea of where your money goes.  It can be surprising hoe much money we can spend on little things that add up over the month or year.  Maybe it’s a daily coffee habit, eating out, bank fees, or things of that nature?  If you cut back on one of your fancy coffees a week, that’s an extra $20 to save.  Again, it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a good start.  Contact your service providers.  Many companies have retention departments that are willing to do what they can to keep their customers, and most are willing to strike a deal.  Shaving a few dollars of the cable bill can be a good start to a little vacation fund.  The laws around cell service providers are changing.  This means companies are even more desperate to keep your business, so give them a call (yes you may get stuck on hold for a while) and see what they are willing to do to keep you.  Keep an eye on fees as well.  Banking fees can really add up, and they are the type of thing that many of us don’t notice.  Perhaps your bank has a better account option for you?  One that could save a few dollars a month, but still provide all the services you need.  ATM charges are another one.  Most of us carry a limited amount of cash these days.  Why not help your budget two-fold by taking out the amount of cash you’ll need once a month from your bank.  This way you won’t get charged that ATM fee (sometimes $3 or more!) and it gives you a visible and tangible idea of how much cash you’ve got on hand.  Put away those credit cards and see if you can save the money for what you want before you buy it.  This keeps us from mindlessly swiping that card, and saves us from the interest charges if it doesn’t get paid off right away either.

 

These are just a few of the most common New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m sure almost all of us has had at least one of these goals in mind at some point, and they all follow the same theme.  Start small, be realistic, plan ahead, be mindful, and everything in moderation.  Good luck with all your goals, and here’s hoping 2018 is a fantastic year for us all!

Things To Do Over The Holidays In The Greater Edmonton Area

December 21st, 2017 by royallepagepremier

Got some time off over the holidays and looking for something to do?  Here are a few great ideas of ways to get out and about in the Edmonton Area in the next few weeks.

 

Edmonton has some great attractions that are open year round.  Many of us have been to most of these awesome places at some point in the year, but have you been in December?  Check out these cool holiday exhibits going on right here in the city.

  • Edmonton Valley Zoo – Zoominescence, A Festival of Light – Located at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, this is a Holiday Fundraiser for the Valley Zoo Development Society with lots of cool things to see.  The exhibit is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 5-9 pm, and has been held over to also be open from Dec 26-28.  This event has lights and activities for the whole family and tickets range from $5-7.50 so it’s quite affordable too!
  • Telus World of Science – Dark Matters – If you are looking for something unique to get out and do as a couple, this may be the event for you.  Dark Matters is an 18+ exhibit, so come visit the science centre (and get to leave the kids at home for once).  There will be a DJ, food and drink service from the Purple Pear, and even some grown-up science experiments!  Tickets range from $18-26 depending on if you have a membership, and if you buy in advance.
  • Muttart Conservatory – Want a chance to re-connect with nature but hate the cold?  Why not head down to the conservatory and get a chance to view the stars and some gorgeous greenery from their temperate pyramid.  Open every Thursday in December from 6-9 pm.  Regular admission rates.
  • Fort Edmonton Park – Sleeping Beauty – Come see Fort Edmonton Park’s spin on the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.  Showing in the afternoon and evenings, come see a British Pantomime style performance from Dec 14-31!  Check online for tickets.

 

Winter is such a great time to see a movie.  With the growing success of sites like Netflix and other online streaming sites, movie theatres are feeling the pinch.  And there is no viewing experience quite like the theatre, with the smell of popcorn, and the giant screen and sound system, for some movies, a theatre viewing is the ONLY way to go.  Check out your local listings to see what’s playing in your area.

 

Winter is also a fabulous time to go other types of theatre.  There are many performances happening over the holiday season that would make for a fabulous night out.  The Citadel, Festival Place in Sherwook Park, and  the Jubilee Auditorium are all wonderful places to take in a performance!  Check online for tickets and schedules.

 

If you haven’t already, come check out an Oilers game!  Now playing at Edmonton’s brand new Rogers Place, the Oilers bring the ice to life.  Come cheer them on at home as they battle the Blues on Dec 21, Montreal on the 23, or Chicago on Dec 29!  There are more tickets available for January games as well.  If hockey isn’t your thing, Rogers Arena also hosts many world-class concerts, comedians, and so much more!

Don’t forget about New Year’s Eve celebrations!  If you haven’t made plans or got tickets already, better hurry, events are selling out fast!  Here are a few ways you can ring in the new year:

  • Sir Winston Churchill Square will be filled with festivities for New Year’s Eve.  They will have fireworks at 8:30 so kids can enjoy without having to stay up so late, and of course, a big firework show for the countdown at midnight.  There will be lots to do for the kiddos inside, performances and food vendors outiside, and there will even be free skating on the Square and free skate rentals!
  • St Albert will also be hosting an early, family friendly fireworks show at 8:30 on Mission Hill.  Get there early to grab a good spot!
  • Many bars and restaurants will be selling tickets to their New Years events, or if you prefer, come take a stroll down Whyte Ave, play it by ear, and see where the night takes you!
  • West Edmonton Mall always has something unique.  This year, the WEM World Waterpark is having a New Year’s Eve Beach Ball, complete with snow and indoor fireworks!  Call for tickets.

 

And if New Year’s Eve isn’t your idea of fun, why not come to Goverment House at the Alberta Legislature and take part in the New Year’s Day Levee.  This is a tradition that dates back to the 1600’s, where in Europe, subjects would come visit the monarch.  Nowadays the event is a bit more relaxed and offers tours and refreshments.

 

Whatever you chose to do over the holiday season, please remember to be responsible.  If you want to enjoy some spirits, please make sure you make arrangements for a ride.  Have a safe and happy holiday season everyone!

 

 

 

 

Relaxing Over The Holidays

December 7th, 2017 by royallepagepremier

With the holidays coming up fast, it may seem like there is a never-ending to do list. Between wish lists and grocery lists, the shopping may seem like it’s never finished. Baking, decorating, hosting family, running errands, and all the many things we try to cram into the holiday season can leave us feeling overwhelmed and spent, physically, emotionally, and financially! That’s not really the point now is it? So lets try to remember to take some time to breathe, not only for ourselves, but for our families.  After all, that’s what this season is really all about.

 

Planning ahead is a great way to lessen the workload come Christmas time.  Meal planning and prepping can make life so much easier.  There are so many “make ahead” meal recipes online.  Take an afternoon before all the holiday hustle and bustle begins and prep a bunch of meals to go in the freezer.  Even better, ones that can be put frozen into the slow-cooker in the morning, and are hot and delicious when everyone gets home for dinner.  Many treats and baked goods can also be frozen for later.  Always a good idea to have some cookies or bread stashed away to pull out when last minute company arrives.

 

Keeping a stocked pantry can make a world of difference.  Buying in bulk or multiples when things go on sale can help lessen the cost over the season, and can be done plenty in advance for non-perishables.  This just leaves the fresh foods to grab quickly at the store when needed.  If you are organized enough to meal plan for the week, and buy all the groceries you’ll need in one shot, it will be well worth the time taken to plan, I promise!  Also, having a few extra bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates, or anything else that everyone loves can be a life saver if you need a last minute gift.  Forgot a birthday, or that dinner party until the morning of?  No worry if you just keep a few things on hand (as long as you can keep out of the goody stash that is).

 

Plan a few winter activities for the family to do together.  It’s a given that we spend time for gift giving, or the big dinner, but what about the rest of the time?  Most of us will have some time off in December/January, so get a few ideas together of things that the whole family would enjoy.  It doesn’t have to be a trip away, or cost a lot of money, even just a few hours spent with the kids baking cookies, sledding, or taking the grandparents out to look at Christmas lights can be a really nice, stress-free way for the family to connect and enjoy each others company.  Don’t forget to make an effort to turn OFF the screens.  Most of us use more screen time than we should.  Between the phones, tablets, T.V.s and computers, it can take up a huge portion of the day.  Put the tech down, have a conversation with a person in the same room, even enjoy a bit of silence, it’s good for everyone.

 

Make sure to take time for yourself.  A lot of us take on a bunch of extra stuff during the holidays.  Gift buying, baking and cooking, hosting dinners/family/parties, volunteering, the list goes on.  For some of us, just keeping up with the snow shovelling can be it’s own full time job.  Take a time out.  It doesn’t have to be for long, but a few minutes, a few times a day to do something just for yourself.  It could be a hot bath, catch up on some reading, a date night, whatever activity you enjoy that can grant you a few moments of peace.  Taking a bit of time to breathe can help us calm down a bit, and enjoy our time more.  Like the rest of the year has, the holidays will fly by as well, let’s make the most of them!

Easy DIY Chirstmas Decorations For A Big Impact

November 30th, 2017 by royallepagepremier

Want to decorate your house for the holidays without all the hassle?  Here area few ideas to help decorate, while saving time and money, but still making your home pop!

 

  • PROJECTION LIGHTS – Projection lights have become very popular lately, and for good reason.  Instead of getting out the ladder, and braving the heights and icy conditions to hang strings of lights on the house, a projection light can bathe your home in festive lights in just minutes.  They come in almost any colour, and can rotate and come with designs such as candy canes or snowflakes that can be made to dance across any vertical object.  Set up is a breeze, the lights are usually mounted on a stake, just find the best spot, put your light in the ground, plug in and enjoy all the lights and colours.

  • HOLIDAY WREATH – A wreath is a great way to decorate the front door for Christmas.  Some people have door wreaths year round and just change them for the seasons, but the Christmas wreath is by far the most popular.  Wreaths can be as simple or as complicated as you like, and can even be made from free or foraged materials such as pine boughs, Mountain Ash berries, pruned sticks and twigs and pinecones, or other items most of us have around the home.  Tie them on a wire base, maybe throw in a bit of tinsel or ribbon and you’re all done!

  • WRAP WHAT’S ALREADY IN YOUR HOME – An easy way to add some holiday pop is by giving your existing decorations or fixtures a bit of holiday flair.  Wrap a canvas art piece in wrapping paper, add bows, tinsel, or sparkly picks into your houseplants, or wrap your kitchen cupboards with ribbon.  Again, you likely have these supplies already handy for wrapping gifts, just use your imagination to see what else could use a touch of sparkle.  Kitchen cupboards with a strip of ribbon are a great place to clip on and display greeting cards as well!

  • UP-CYCLE UNUSED ITEMS IN YOUR HOME – We all have items at home that can no longer be used for their intended use, but can still have value with a bit of work!  Paint old mason jar lids and use as Christmas tree decorations.  Add a bit of paint and cellophane to some leftover paper plates from that summer picnic, and Voila, you have cute peppermint candy decorations that can even be used outside.  Have an old, stained or ripped sweater lying around?  Cut it to size and wrap around a cardboard cone, or a triangle made from scrap wood or cereal boxes and you have a rustic Christmas tree decoration that no one will believe didn’t come from a store.  Pintrest is an amazing source of ideas!  Get the kids involved, these projects are the best of both worlds, FUN and FREE!

 

  • OPT FOR A “NON TRADITIONAL” CHRISTMAS TREE – Many of us love having a Christmas Tree to put our gifts under and gather around on Christmas morning, but a “traditional tree” is not our only option.  Whether it be because of small children, pets, a lack of space, or various other reasons, a cut or artificial tree in the house just may not work.  There are ways around this though.  A quick look online can give loads of ideas for “non-traditional” trees.  There are upside-down, out-of-reach trees which would be great if your have kids or animals that just won’t leave the tree alone.  There are also trees made out of Christmas ball ornaments hing on fishing line, made to dangle in the shape of a tree in a minimalist, but still eye-catching style.  Some people put tree boughs or branches hung staggered on the wall in a pyramid shape, others use paper or felt for a 2-dimensional tree that is nice and out of the way.  No matter what you chose to decorate (or decorate with) a little holiday spirit can go a long way, and the sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities.  Happy decorating!

Morinville Light Up The Night 2017

November 23rd, 2017 by royallepagepremier

Thinking About a Career in Real Estate?

November 21st, 2017 by royallepagepremier

Are you thinking about a career change? Maybe it’s time for something new?

Join us for an info-session about the exciting and rewarding industry of Real Estate, it may be just what you’re looking for!  Come for some great coffee and information at the Beaumont Starbucks on Thursday, November 30 from 6:30-7:30pm at 6306 50th Street, Gallerie Beaumont 102.  Hope to see you there!

We will be offering information on:

  • The benefits of a career in Real Estate
  • How to get your Real Estate License
  • Start up and monthly costs
  • Income potential
  • Training and coaching
  • Tools, resources, and support

Please RSVP by Friday, November 24 to Jade Lamaitre at Royal LePage Gateway Realty at 780-986-8407 or at gateweayleduc@royallepage.ca to book your spot!

 

Best Christmas Light Displays To Visit This Season

November 20th, 2017 by royallepagepremier

There are many lights displays in the Edmonton area to get everyone in the holiday spirit, and a great way to get out and enjoy some time with the family!  Here are some displays to check out:

  • Candy Cane Lane – 148th Street between 92nd and 100th Ave and goes Dec 8-31.  This is a Christmas tradition for many Edmontonians since it began in the 1960’s!  This is a park and walk event, and is free, but a donation to the Food Bank is welcomed.
  • Snowflake Festival Light up – Perron District in St Albert on Friday Nov 24 from 6:30-9pm.  This evening light-up is free, and will have other things to check out as well like ice sculptures and live reindeer!
  • Christmas at Bob’s – Take some time to walk around this property and check out all the light displays.  Located in South Edmonton at 7421 108th Street NW.  Begins the first week of December.  Bob is always taking light and decoration donations to help keep this display free.
  • Leduc Country Christmas Lights – Keep an eye out on the weekends, you may even get a chance to visit with Santa!    Located at 25574 Township Road 492, there are 5 acres of lights to see!
  • The Magic of Lights – Castrol Raceway has a drive through tour of lights!  Cost is $25/car, so pack everyone in the minivan and enjoy a leisurely drive in the warmth of your vehicle.
  • Celebrate The Season – Light up is turned on by the Premier every year!  This year, festivities run Dec 7-23, and there will be skating rinks, hot cocoa, choir performances, and more.
  • Edmonton’s best attractions will also be having their own light displays to come visit as well.  The Edmonton Valley Zoo, the U of A Botanical Garden, and the Muttart Conservatory are just a few of the city’s places to put on  your list!

 

 

 

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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