Wednesday, 27 February 2013

#HPMLFW Playful Promises

Playful Promises Lingerie, Clothing, Swimwear
Playful Promises is a brand I had not heard of until I was introduced to them by Handpicked Media as one of the Blogger Suite Sponsors.

A specialist in vintage style Lingerie, Clothing and Swimwear, Playful Promises have some gorgeously girlie collections using a range of retro styles, colours and fabrics, all with a cheeky twist.

Playing on the idea of innocence and sin, the collections are very unique to the Lingerie market and will no doubt be very popular.

Playful Promises is London Based but does have an online store, price points range from £15 for a pair of briefs to £75 for a corset.

The Swimwear collections are stunning with bold colours and flashes of tropical and geometric prints. Bikini pieces range from £15-£30 and Swimsuits £50-£75. These pieces will look incredible on the beach for your summer hols and just think there hopefully won't be anyone wearing the same! (Although I cannot guarantee that considering how gorgeous they are - they will most likely be snapped up!)

If you are looking for some new undies or swimwear then definitely check out Playful Promises you will not regret it!
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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review: HenStuff.co.uk


Another weekend.. another hen party!

The gang over at HenStuff.co.uk contacted me after seeing how many hen parties I have been on and have coming up and offered me the chance to review some of their products!

This weekend's hen do was hosted at Highfield Manor and Spa based near Loughborough, there were 23 of us and it was the perfect opportunity to get some silly and suggestive bits and bobs for the Bride!

The products arrived in super quick time and the site has such a wide range of goodies- I was really very impressed! Whilst we had some slightly ruder things, they sell everything from L-Plates to costumes, shot glasses and t-shirts, so really anything and everything you need to give your bride to be the perfect 'last night of freedom!'

The games were hilarious and as you can imagine everything was put to good use!

General consensus from the girls was that they would rather not be pictured with the various rude items on a public website/blog which is why there are no action shots on here. I hope you understand..

If you are currently planning a hen party then definitely check out Hen Stuff!
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Monday, 25 February 2013

SweetieSal's 1st Birthday!


Last Thursday night (21st February) was my Blog's 1st Birthday!

What started off as a hobby has very much become a part of me and my weekly routine and I am still very humbled and appreciative of the fact that people take the time to read my work. I am always so touched by your emails, comments and tweets - I read all of them and feel so lucky!

I have enjoyed some amazing events, treats and opportunities over the past year and I really hope to build on that in the next 12 months, including making my way on to YouTube at some point! I *probably* need to learn how to edit videos first of all though as otherwise they will be full of bloopers...

Sunday was my actual Birthday and I spent the day fairly quietly after a weekend away for my friend's Hen Party.. yep I was on ANOTHER one!

I was treated to my favourite dinner made by my lovely Mum - beef wellington incase you were wondering, and then opened my pressies :o)

I celebrated my Birthday with my pals on Thursday night and was so shocked to receive the above cake! It was red velvet and made by the extremely talented Jelly Tots and Dolly Mixtures who are based in Sale, Manchester.

So here's to another 12 months of SweetieSal!
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Weekday Wishlist #20

Kaftan - Monsoon // Wedge Sandals - Miss KG // Anklet - Accessorize // Sunglasses - Topshop // Leopard Sandals - Topshop // Lace Kaftan - M&S // Coral Kaftan - Accessorize
Hello!

I have a few posts in the pipeline so apologies for being a bit MIA.. had another Hen Do over the weekend and my Birthday so have been busy busy busy!

Today's Weekday Wishlist Post is Holiday themed as over the weekend I have been discussing hen do destinations with one of my pals who gets married in August and it looks like we will be heading to Marbs in July!

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited this makes me.. this rubbish weather means I am desperate for some sunshine and Marbs is a fantastically fun location for hen party shenanigans so the planning commences now!

Obviously I can't go into too much detail as to what will be planned as there must be some surprises for the bride - but I couldn't resist having a little web window shop and have seen the above beauties I would love to be in my holiday wardrobe...

Our weekend in Marbs will no doubt include some visits to beach clubs where I will need to have a fabulous kaftan to wear whilst posing by the pool and sipping on a cocktail.. I've also included a lovely floral anklet, sandals, wedges and sunnies to ensure I am accessorising my pool side glam style appropriately!

Do you have any holidays booked? What are your summer plans? :o)
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

#HPMFLW Superdry Make Up


The Handpicked Media London Fashion Week event spanned two days and whilst I could only attend on one of the days, some fantastic brands exhibited their products on the Friday when I wasn't able to make it.

Introducing.... Superdry Make Up! The collection includes tools as well as makeup treats, all designed in true Superdry style with flashes of neon and clean lines.

There are brights and the more classic shades available and Superdry fans can add nail polish, lip glazes, lipstick, eyeshadows, blush, bronzers, eyeliners and mascara to their make up kits along with tweezers, brushes, mirrors and nail tools - so there is really something for everyone!

The collection will be in stores from February 2013 (that means you can get your mitts on it now!) and the price points range from £2 - £20. Bargain.

I for one can't wait to have a play with the range - I rather like the look of the neon pink kabuki brush and the lip glazes! Will you be stocking up on some Superdry bits and bobs?
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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

My Favourite Things to do in London..

Spitalfields Market // Brick Lane Market // Covent Garden
Another day, another post dedicated to the city du jour.. London.

My love affair for London goes way back to when my parents had an apartment there and my sister lived there for 5 years which meant trips to London were quite frequent and gave me a homely sense of the City.

It really now does feel like a second home and whilst I never manage to get round and see all the things I want to see and walk through and experience, I have some very distinct favourites that I have to do almost each time I visit!

The ultimate London thing for me is Spitalfields Market on a Sunday, it pretty much always starts with a breakfast at Giraffe before a wander round the stalls and shops in this fit for purpose location. I absolutely love it at Spitalfields - I love markets in general and not always to even buy from, but Spitalfields always has a little treasure waiting for me! This time it was a gorgeous dark red slouchy jumper (not pictured) with ruby swarovski hearts on it. I have it in mind to wear this weekend for a hen party I am attending!

Something I have always wanted to visit is Brick Lane Market and this weekend I finally got there! Slightly more eclectic than Spitalfields but a fantastically buzzing atmosphere all the same. There is an abundance of food stalls so bear in mind if you go when hungry you will no doubt be spoiled for choice! I got some gorgeous Chanel style earrings that I am in love with, along with a Cartier style bracelet and the most divine red velvet cupcake I have had in a long time!

I haven't been to Covent Garden for a long time and was thrilled to have an excuse to go due to it's close proximity to One Aldwych where the #HPMLFW event was held! I wandered to the David and Goliath shop to have a little look at the Pug PJs which were very cute but ridiculously expensive, I also stumbled across a Laduree Shop where I *almost* caved and bought some Macaroons but remembered I have two bridesmaid dresses to try on this week. Finally I saw the love lock installation much like the bridge in Paris!

Finally last place I always go in London is Balans Restaurant in Soho. It is my favourite restaurant ever (I even went to the one in Miami!) as it has a fantastic atmosphere, yummy food and cocktails all at very reasonable prices!
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Monday, 18 February 2013

#LFW: A Weekend at London Fashion Week



In my second London Fashion Week post, I thought I would bring you some of the scenes from Somerset House which upon seeing it for the first time this weekend is literally THE perfect backdrop for an event like this.

Gorgeous architecture and fantastically British, Somerset House was like a fashion mecca for the thousands of people who attend during fashion week. Even though I wasn't attending any shows I really wanted to go down and soak up the atmosphere, take some photos and see what all the fuss was about! The area is truly buzzing and I would highly recommend going for the people watching opportunities - it is amazing how creative people are with their fashion!

The only 'famous' person I saw was Arg from TOWIE who was suited and booted rather nicely but rocking a tan that was incredibly bright against the pale stones of Somerset House! Seeing as I had travelled alone and had no pals to take a photo of me in front of *that* Manolo Blahnik wall, here is a pic of my outfit taken in the hotel room mirror.

My skirt looks like it is a really odd length but that is just the angle, it was actually really quite short! My lace collar top is from M&S, Skater Skirt from Primark, Skull Belt also Primark, Lace Trim Socks - Topshop and Boots from Zara.

It was borderline Wednesday Adams chic but I figured this outfit was comfortable and Black never goes out of fashion!

I absolutely loved everything about being in London over Fashion Week and I will most certainly be coming back for SS13!

Next mission is to get into a show!
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Sunday, 17 February 2013

#HPMLFW Handpicked Media Blogger Suite


Gooood evening!

I am still high from a fashionista weekend in the capital for London Fashion Week. It was everything I hoped it would be and more, I was also able to catch up with a uni friend I have not seen for a couple of years so good times were had all round!

I was lucky enough to be granted access to the Handpicked Media Blogger Suite held at One Aldwych Hotel who played host to Bloggers who were around for London Fashion Week. Situated literally a stone's throw away from the main event at Somerset House, One Aldwych was like a blissful haven away from the madness where we were able to refresh, catch up, be spoilt and hear about upcoming new products from a few brands including Freya Lingerie, Bourjois and Seascape. We were fed and watered with Coconut Water - which incidentally I had not tried before and GOOD LORD it is so nice! And also pop chips were available for us to munch on.. yum!

I was greeted into the Suite by the lovely people from Handpicked Media and immediately felt relaxed and happy to mingle with everyone. I headed to the girls from Seascape for a relaxing hand and arm massage using their gorgeous products. Seascape's products are all natural and use such amazing fragrances, I am quite particular about what smells I do and don't like - for example, me and floral just don't get on. The hand and nail cream has a lemongrass and lavender scent which is beautiful, really fresh and clean but not overpowering! I was also very kindly treated to some Seascape products to try that I am pretty excited to crack open!

I then ventured into the main suite where I was delighted to see some Bloggers who I recognised it was so nice to get chatting and realise that despite them being the 'bigger' names in blogging, at the end of the day we are all girls with the same interests and the common talking point is clothes and makeup.. Bourjois provided us with makeovers using their newest products and we were all like kids in a sweet shop cooing over their gorgeous pastels and up and coming foundations, mascaras and eyeliners making their way to Bourjois counters in the coming months!

I have used Bourjois products for as long as I have been wearing makeup, and smelling some of their products took me right back to my 14 year old self who gleefully purchased most of the lipglosses and eyeshadows with their distinctive fruity scent. My makeup was topped up to show one of the looks of the shows from London Fashion Week which was the use of pastels on the eye. I absolutely LOVED my makeup and it was a really nice experience being pampered - so a big thank you from me to the lovely ladies from Bourjois!

Next up was a talk through the newest collections from Freya Lingerie who I was personally really excited to speak to as an undies company who cater for the larger bust! Their new collections are stunning, so girlie with fresh colours and detail, along with their swimwear range that I was so impressed with! I can't wait to peruse through the brochure I was given and give Freya a try - I think it may start an obsession with lingerie though!

All in all I had such a lovely time meeting everyone at the event and I was so grateful for the very kind invitation from Handpicked Media, along with the generosity of the brands! It was superbly organised and I hope to come along to many other Handpicked Media events!
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Thursday, 14 February 2013

London Fashion Week(end) Essentials

Across Body Bag: Topshop // La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume // Essie Butler Please // Clinique Chubby Stick //Ray Ban Aviators // Camera // Moo.com Business Cards // Moleskine Notebook // Viva La Juicy Purse Fragrance // Muji iPhone Gloves // iPhone // Travel Card/Oyster Holder // iPad Mini
Greetings!

So those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I am pretty damn excited to be going to London this weekend for some London Fashion Week activities!

I sadly couldn't attend the show I was invited to (it's on Monday and I have work) but I decided to go down to London anyway as I have also been granted access to the Handpicked Media Blogger Suite!

**Cue some serious excitement from me as I realised I could meet some of my FAVE bloggers!**

I am pairing it with a chance to see one of my very dear friends from Uni who I have not seen for a couple of years so I am delighted to be making this trip happen!

My plans include heading down to Somerset House to take some snaps of the fash-pack, attending the #HPMLFW Blogger Suite, having dinner at my all-time favourite restaurant, Balans in Soho and having a lazy Sunday wandering around Spitalfields and Brick Lane Market.. bliss.

I would love to meet any Bloggers who will also be attending the Blogger Suite - please send me an email if you are going so I know when people are heading in (if you want to of course!) and I can hoepfully meet some of you guys!

So anyways.. here are some of my anticipated essentials for #LFW..

  • Across Body Bag: Just so I can have my hands free to accept goodies/take pics etc I LOVE this gorgeous studded number from Topshop!
  • La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume C5: This stuff is truly awesome. Dry lips, randomly bushy misbehaving eyebrow, dry cuticles, dry skin on the face.. etc etc etc this is a one cream treats all job and I love chucking it in my handbag just in case.
  • Essie Butler Please: I adore the shade of this polish, it's striking, luxurious and a nice pop of colour. A little too bright for my workplace but if I can't rock it for #LFW then when can I?!
  • Clinique Chubby Stick: I have the Tomato Shade and the Strawberry.. these are fab for applying on the go and are a way of injecting some colour into your makeup.
  • Ray Ban Aviator: ANY opportunity to wear these and I will take it. I am hoping that it is bright enough to wear them even if it's a bit chilly.
  • Camera: I got this super cute Red Camera for Christmas and I am really enjoying being able to take snaps that are better quality than my iPhone!
  • Business Cards: I want to share the SweetieSal name and get my blog out there so I have got some Moo.com Business Cards to hand out! Moo.com are really fantastic quality and whilst they are slightly more expensive they are very much worth it!
  • Moleskine Notebook: Just incase I need to write anything down, I have a dedicated Blog Book of ideas/contacts etc so this will definitely be coming with me.
  • Viva La Juicy: This is my fragrance du jour at the moment and I am loving it's gorgeous vanilla scent!
  • iPhone Gloves: It's a wee bit nippy out there and these gloves ensure I can keep texting without having to have one freezing hand..
  • iPhone: I am a complete Apple aficionado and totally love my iPhone - this will help me keep in touch on the go and take part in Twitter excitement and get my Instagram on!
  • Travel Card Holder: I plan to be a bit here there and everywhere this weekend so to house my Oyster Card in a glam surroundings I have this cute holder from Cath Kidston.
  • iPad Mini: For blogging on the go, catching up on Magazines and relieving my boredom on any journeys the iPad Mini will be coming out and about with me!
If you are heading to #LFW what are your essentials?
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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Every Girl Needs: The Perfect Neutral Polish

Models Own Utopia // Essie Fiji // OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons // Essie Muchi Muchi // Models Own Nude Beige // Essie Chinchilly
There's something so lovely and classic about a perfectly manicured nude/neutral nail and it is one of my favourite looks to wear from day to day.

The quest for the perfect nude has drawn me to the above 6 polishes that I love for different reasons. Ranging from a more noticeable nude to the modest nude the above collection are my go-to shades when I want a fail safe nail colour that goes with pretty much everything in my wardrobe and also provide the perfect base if I want to apply a sparkly top coat to jazz things up for weekend.

I am currently wearing Essie Muchi Muchi and I absolutely love it. It is the most gorgeous shade and compliments my currently untanned hands rather nicely! I have posted a pic on my Instagram Account if you want to see it in the flesh!

Utopia is quite pinky/purpley when on the nails and is a beautiful colour. Fiji is quite a bright polish with a more white hue. Don't Pretzel My Buttons is the perfect coffee colour that looks amazing with a feature bling accent nail. Nude Beige is a fraction darker than the OPI colour which means it looks great in winter contrasted against jewel colours. Essie Chinchilly is more grey on than it looks pictured in the bottle and is a great way to wear a darker nail without it feeling too harsh.

So here are my ultimate faves.. have any of you tried these shades? What are your go-to nail colours and combos?
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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Be a Bombshell this Valentine's Day!


It's awards season, which means I end up bulk buying the Magazines to peruse the good, the bad and the downright ugly in formal dresswear and dream about being able to sashay around in a similarly fabulous frock.

With Valentine's Day coming up and various parties, events, and potential proposals(!) I thought I would re-introduce Girl Meets Dress to my lovely readers to get you kitted out in something incredible for any upcoming parties.

Girl Meets Dress is a simple concept, you have the run of a huggggge virtual wardrobe literally packed with the most dreamy dresses you can imagine, and you pay a rental fee for a 2 night or 7 night hire of the dress.

So if you have drooled over a little number that costs not such a little number you can still make the dream a reality by hiring the dress. I mean let's face it some of these designer frocks are so expensive to buy and realistically you probably wouldn't ever be able to whittle the cost per wear down to something reasonable so why not treat yourself to an affordable way of wearing something a little more special than normal?

Here are some of my favourite dresses from the site;

So go forth and get your amazing dress and knock your sweetheart dead.. and if there is no sweetheart then don't let that stop you... get out there and show your foxy self off!! :o)



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Monday, 11 February 2013

Got it in the Bag... #MCRFW13


Every fashionista enjoys the crisp and luxurious feel of a quality shopping bag and those of us involved in Manchester Fashion Week are no exception!

Manchester Fashion Week recently ran a competition with the lovely ladies attending Whalley Range High School for Girls to design the VIP Goodie Bags for show week.

Some truly outstanding designs were submitted and it was with great pleasure I can announce that student- Ocean Williams has won the opportunity to have her design transformed into the real deal by Manchester firm Duo Plastics.

Ocean's design featuring sleek colours and a Manchester City skyline will be hanging off the hands of VIPs during the event at the National Football Museum in April 2013.

Ocean Williams and her winning design pictured with Headmistress of Whalley Range High School for Girls and Kirsty Attwood, Head of Fashion for Manchester Fashion Week
Image Courtesy of MCRFW Official Photographer, Leemo Rante
The entries were whittled down and a panel of judges including Manchester Fashion Designer, Nadine Merabi and Duo Plastic's Commercial Director Anthony Brimelow, selected Ocean's design to win the competition.


Duo Plastics are one of Manchester Fashion Week's major sponsors and count Boohoo.com, JD Williams and ASOS as some of their customers.

The event is also sponsored by www.boohoo.com, it's great to have such fantastic companies on board with Manchester Fashion Week!

Now I don't know about any of you who are attending Manchester Fashion Week, but I hope I can get my hands on one of Ocean's Bags!

MCRFW 2013 takes place during 22nd to 26th April 2013 at the National Football Museum.


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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Review: Cosmetics4Less


Hello!

Today's post is dedicated to a Make Up Website that brings you complete BARGAINS!

Cosmetics4Less features some well known brands alongside lesser well known brands, and they recently contacted me to review some of their wares.. as a makeup aficonado I jumped at the chance and was sent a dupe of Benefit's Benetint and a dupe of the Benefit 50/50 Box Powder.

Let's face it, high end makeup is not cheap and I can imagine that some of you probably read beauty blogs and are like well I'm glad you love that product but I just don't have the pennies to waste on it.. which is fair enough! I am delighted to be able to bring you cheaper options that actually are very close to the quality of the originals!

Let's start with the Benetint dupe.. Cheektint by Technic is an incredible £2.25 for a rose tinted fluid that gives a lovely pinky glow to the cheeks and lips. I have used Benetint in the past and I can confirm this is pretty much identical. Perhaps not as pink on first application but you can build this up as much as you like.

The Double Act Blusher/Bronzer by W7 is a mere £2.99 which is really very cheap when you see this product. The powders mix together to give a really lovely shimmery colour and I was genuinely very impressed with this product!

The pictures I took of the products on my face don't really do them justice as I just don't have good enough lighting.. #bloggerproblems so I will see if I can get any better over the weekend when I have day light!

I would definitely urge you to give them a try though as they are great products with a very little price tag!
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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Chicks Hit Liverpool...


Apologies for the quiet couple of days.. for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter you may not know that I was on my BFF's Hen Do this weekend in lovely Liverpool! This is going to be a bit of a long'un but bear with me!

I wanted to dedicate a blog post to our trip as we had such an incredible time and there are a few people I think should get a shout out for making Lauren's dream weekend possible.

We enlisted the help of Stag and Hen Liverpool to help us create the perfect plans for our group and boy did they deliver! Mike over at Stag and Hen Liverpool is great, super informative and nothing was too much trouble. We had changes to numbers, activities and all sorts and Mike just dealt with it quickly and effectively and completely took the stress out of liaising with numerous suppliers.

Mike prepared a proposal for us and we opted for 2 nights stay in serviced apartments, with the first night being a pamper party, a glam lunch on the Saturday and a big night out on the Saturday night. We paid up, selected our treatments and cue some very excited hens...

The beauty of using Stag and Hen Liverpool was that they were happy to help but put absolutely no pressure on us to use them to book other things through them which I really really liked. In trying to decide where to go on the Saturday night, I asked Mike what he thought of a few clubs and he was happy to help me with information which I thought was really nice.

We arrived last Friday to the Posh Pads at the Casartelli and the excitement built as we discovered how ruddy gorgeous it looked and that was before we even got into the apartments! We checked in and the lovely Natalie greeted us and informed us that one apartment was nicer than the other (for the bride) and as I clocked the word 'penthouse' at the top of the check in form I was gleeful! We went into the other apartment first and were very shocked at how lovely that one was aswell!

We had a hot pink apartment that was so beautiful (I unfortunately can't find it on their website) and the penthouse was New York themed. I will be honest when we walked into both we all screamed and ran round them checking them out. I couldn't WAIT until the other hens arrived and saw the amazing surroundings we would be spending our weekend in!

The Spa people arrived and gave us treatments in the comfort of our apartments, we all tried to get a fairly early night as our Saturday would be rather busy! The apartments were literally in the most perfect location, within Liverpool one and a 5 minute walk to the Albert Docks. We got glam and headed to our lunch at Gusto on the Albert Docks which again was so lovely!

The next stop on our tour of Liverpool was to So Coco Rouge, a perfectly formed Make Up and Hair and Beauty Parlour ran by the amazing Sian and Robyn. This place is adorable.. if So Coco Rouge was nearer to home I can imagine that I would need to just set up a monthly retainer for their services as I literally cannot sing their praises enough!

7 of us booked in for curly blow dries with the lovely Kelly.. it was a night in Liverpool after all! And as soon as the bride got her makeup done another 4 of us got makeup envy and were made over by Sian and Robyn. I have to say I think our trip to So Coco Rouge really made the day special and got us excited for our night out. I had Sian do my makeup and it was literally everything I could hope for and more, it was very 'me' if that makes sense and I was delighted with the results, as were the other girls.

We headed back to our apartments to slip into our LBDs (LWD for Lauren!) and awaited the arrival of Fabio.. our special stripping guest! We had drinks and lotion applications on Fabio, raucous laughter, have you ever I have never, strip videos and general merriment before heading out to Circo where we had booked a booth!

I booked the booth direct with Circo and it was £300 minimum spend for up to 15 people in a booth area which was perfect. As far as booths go I felt this was good value for what we got and again we received great service from really friendly staff. The night's memories get a little hazy but I can genuinely say we earned our hangovers the next day! :o)

To sum up I just have to say what a superb weekend we had and I know that is because of the fantastic service we received from the people involved and the lovely bunch of hens we were there with.

There are memories (and videos!!) which I will never forget and I *hope* that we gave Lauren the very best hen do.. I am positive that we did! If you are thinking of holding a Liverpool Hen Do I would 100% urge you to do so as it was an incredible weekend!
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