One Ingredient Ice Cream

Disclosure: This article may include affiliate links, upon which I will earn a commission.

School is officially out, so that means one thing…summer!

And with summer comes ice cream. But the more I get in tune with my body, the more I know that dairy does not agree with me, not to mention its inflammatory nature. And don’t forget the sugar in traditional ice creams. This got me looking for an ice cream recipe that I could make with almond milk, and led me to The Kitchn’s article on making ice cream with bananas.

Can you really make ice cream with just bananas? YES!

 

One Ingredient Ice Cream


One Ingredient Ice Cream - Prepping Bananas

Start with ripe bananas. I used 3 bananas, which resulted In 2 adult bowls and 2 kid-size bowls. First, cut bananas into smaller sections (~1/2 inch). Place into a small baggy and freeze for at least 2 hours.

You may remember the Yonanas machine that was all the rage a few years ago, but no special machine is required. Just use your blender or food processor. I used our Vitamix.

One Ingredient Ice Cream

Once frozen, place your bananas into the blender and start pulsing. Break up the chunks of banana in short bursts of power. You will need to help move the mixture around a lot as it is very thick. It will look crumbly at first. With continued pulsing and blending, the bananas will start to cream together. Be careful not to overblend, as the heat of the blender will start to melt the ice cream. Serve immediately.

My family’s favorite part was the toppings! We used fresh berries, mini chocolate chips, and walnuts. You can also blend peanut butter, avocado, or honey directly into the ice cream for different flavor variations. Wait until the bananas are creamy before adding any flavors.

One Ingredient Ice Cream Pin

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Zak! Designs Water Bottle & Stainless Steel Tumbler Giveaway – Ends 5/13

Welcome to the Zak Designs Healthier You & Healthier Planet Giveaway!

2 Winners

This giveaway is part of our Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Stop by to see all the giveaways and great products. Remember to check out the books for easy help in your life.

Host is Deliciously Savvy

Michigan Saving and More

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This giveaway’s Sponsor is:

WEBSITE ~ FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ INSTAGRAM

Available on Amazon

Perfect For Ensuring A Healthier You & A Healthier Planet! 2 Lucky Winners Will Win a Zak Designs 32oz Genesis Durable Tritan Water Bottle & a Zak Designs Genesis 24oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler (TRV $68!)!

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I have several Zak! cups and they are so cute and colorful! See a full review from our host HERE.

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This giveaway/sweepstakes is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This Giveaway is valid to continental United States residents only, Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 5/13/20. The winner will have 48 hours to email their information back to mcushing7 at hotmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The giveaway is not valid where prohibited! By entering you are authorizing us to collect the information on the form below, this information is used only to contact the winner! No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited by law, and the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners are chosen randomly by the Giveaway Tools program. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Melissa Cushing at mcushing7 (at)hotmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Sponsors interested in joining our gift guides can see the information HERE.

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Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher Giveaway – Ends 5/10

Drink Cleaner Water Today Giveaway

Welcome to the Drink Cleaner Water Today Giveaway!

1 Winner

This giveaway is part of our Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Stop by to see all the giveaways and great products. Drink Cleaner Water With Clearly Filtered.

Host is Michigan Saving and More

 

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This giveaway’s Sponsor is:

Designed to remove up to 99.99% of all contaminants, the Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher is the most advanced tap water filter in the world. All filters are replaceable and tested to the highest industry standards. All of their American-built filters are tested and certified to exceed NSF/ANSI Standards. See how this will help you drink cleaner water today!

Are you drinking at least 8 cups of water a day? Filter all your water for the day and reset overnight. Great tracking towards completion!

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THE GIVEAWAY

This giveaway/sweepstakes is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This Giveaway is valid to continental United States residents only, Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 5/10/20. The winner will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The giveaway is not valid where prohibited! By entering you are authorizing us to collect the information on the form below, this information is used only to contact the winner! No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited by law, and the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners are chosen randomly by the Giveaway Tools program. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Sponsors interested in joining our gift guides can see the information HERE.

 

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Play Games With Mom Giveaway – Ends 5/8

Play Games With Mom Giveaway

Welcome to the Play Games With Mom Giveaway!

1 Winner

This giveaway is part of our Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Stop by to see all the giveaways and great products. Mother’s Day is a great day to play games with Mom!

Host is Michigan Saving and More

 

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This giveaway’s Sponsor is:

WEBSITE ~ FACEBOOK ~ YOU TUBE ~ TWITTER ~ INSTAGRAM

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Be ready for Mother’s Day, summer vacation, and these last few days (hopefully) of e-learning.

Play Games with Mom by winning the below games!

FLINCH

$10.95 ARV total

Available on Amazon

See the review HERE.

HUSKER DU?

$12.95 ARV total

Available on Amazon

See the review HERE.

NO STRESS CHESS

$18.95 ARV total

Available on Amazon

Pass the Pig – Big Pigs

$18.95 ARV total

Available on Amazon

See the review HERE.

RISK EUROPE

$40.95 ARV total

Available on Amazon

See the review HERE.

SCATTERGORIES

$40.95 ARV total

Available on Amazon

See the review HERE.

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THE GIVEAWAY

This giveaway/sweepstakes is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This Giveaway is valid to continental United States residents only, Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 5/8/20. The winner will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The giveaway is not valid where prohibited! By entering you are authorizing us to collect the information on the form below, this information is used only to contact the winner! No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited by law, and the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners are chosen randomly by the Giveaway Tools program. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Sponsors interested in joining our gift guides can see the information HERE.

 

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Don’t Let Your Easter Ham Go to Waste – 9 Unique Uses for Ham

Easter 2020 will be one to remember. Unable to celebrate in person with extended family or church friends, families have had to find new ways to celebrate. I was given the opportunity to perform a mystery shop at the Honey Baked Ham store. Included in the shop was reimbursement for a 7-8lb ham (which is designed to feed 11-12 people). I have a family of 4, with 2 little ones who don’t eat much meat. That means we had SO much ham to eat. That began my research of recipes and uses for ham. Here’s my compilation of the best and most unique uses for ham. Click any picture for the full recipe.

9 Uses for Ham

Sandwiches

I’ll start with the obvious, but sandwiches are fun and can be easy to elevate. Start with some homemade or specialty bread. We love Hawaiian bread in our house! You can even use leftover rolls or make biscuits or cornbread. Add different cheeses, veggies, and sauces for endless combinations.

Southern Ham and Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches
Southern Ham and Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches / The Spruce Eats

 

Monte Cristo
Monte Cristo / She Wears Many Hats

 

Croque Monsieur
Croque Monsieur / Tastes Better From Scratch

Eggs

Omelets and egg scrambles are a perfect fit for leftover ham. Dice it up and add with your favorite cheese and veggies.

Ham and Vegetable Omelet
Ham and Vegetable Omelet / Ready Set Eat

Casseroles

Casseroles are great because you can usually prep it and forget it or even freeze for later.

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole
Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole / The Spruce Eats

 

Ham Casserole with Broccoli and Rice
Ham Casserole with Broccoli and Rice / The Cozy Cook

 

Soups

Potato and Ham Soup with Cheese
Potato and Ham Soup with Cheese / The Spruce Eats

 

Simple Navy Bean Soup with Ham
Simple Navy Bean Soup with Ham / The Spruce Eats

 

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup
Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup / The Cozy Cook

Potatoes

So many options to go with potatoes, including hashes, scalloped and au gratin varieties, and even baked potatoes with diced ham.

 

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes / Love Grows Wild

 

Easy Ham and Potato Hash
Easy Ham and Potato Hash / The Spruce Eats

 

Pasta

Creamy Pasta with Ham and Asparagus
Creamy Pasta with Ham and Asparagus / The Spruce Eats

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta / The Spruce Eats

 

Ham and Cheese Manicotti

Ham and Cheese Manicotti / Recipe Girl

Creamy Parmesan Noodles with Ham
Creamy Parmesan Noodles with Ham / Recipe Girl

 

Ham and Cheese Baked Gnocchi
Ham and Cheese Baked Gnocchi / Recipe Girl

 

Mac and Cheese with Ham
Mac and Cheese with Ham / Spicy Southern Kitchen

Pizza

Homemade pizza can’t be beat! Go with a traditional ham and pineapple or any combination of flavors.

Homemade Ham and Pineapple Pizza
Homemade Ham and Pineapple Pizza / Foodlets

Quiche

These muffin tin quiche are great because you can cook a big batch, freeze them, then warm up a few for a quick breakfast.

Muffin Cup Ham and Cheddar Quiche
Muffin Cup Ham and Cheddar Quiche / The Spruce Eats

 

Muffins

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins / She Wears Many Hats
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Thinkster Review – Online Math Tutoring

Thinkster Math is a K-12 online math tutoring program available on desktops, laptops (Chrome & Safari) and iPad apps designed to boost performance in math. They use AI technology in their online worksheets to understand each child’s learning process.

Based on the plan enrolled in, your student has access to 100,000+ worksheets and videos and a specified number of one on one tutoring sessions held through Zoom.

Thinkster Plans with Pricing
Try Thinkster Math Today with a 7-Day Free Trial!

The tutoring sessions include a special whiteboard program where both the tutor and your student have access to write on the screen. You can even take a photo of your student’s actual homework from school, for them to work on together.

The Silver plan includes use of the worksheets, videos and assessments. The Gold plan includes the worksheets, videos and assessments, along with a 15 minute session each week with tutor. The Platinum plan bumps up to a 30 minute session each week. Additional sessions can be added on for an additional cost.

The tutor I spoke with recommended completing 7-10 worksheets each week. Each worksheet specifies a target time to complete. The ones we received averaged 7-11 minutes each. After submitting the worksheet, the tutor then has access to view the results, including what notes were added by the student in completing the worksheet, how long the student took on each problem and which problems the child missed or got right on the second try.

Thinkster Math offers a 7 day preview to try the system, complete some worksheets, watch some videos, and meet with a tutor. Read on for our Thinkster review.

What happens during a 7 day preview

Day 1

Registration was very easy, asking a few questions about your student, including the purpose for tutoring. You could select from multiple options, including Needing Help, Wanting to Get Ahead, and Looking for Supplementation.

The next step was for my son to complete the Assessment. The Assessment was 20 questions, each from a separate topic, with a suggested time to complete of 20 minutes. Once the Assessment was completed, one example worksheet was made available based on his grade level.

You are also encouraged to watch a webinar or hop on a call with the company at this point to learn more. When clicking to sign up for a webinar, they were only available for the next few hours.

Day 2

Worksheets were populated based on the Assessment results. Three worksheets were available at any one time, with several others visible with a lock image. As you complete worksheets, another one is unlocked to replace it.

Thinkster worksheets
Thinkster worksheets

When completing the worksheets, one problem is shown at a time, with immediate feedback if the answer is correct or not. Your student can write directly on the screen (so a tablet or touch screen works best) to help solve the problem, which is visible to your tutor for later feedback.

Day 3

Contacted by tutor to arrange first session by email and text. When using her link, there were no times available for the next month, but communicating through text, we were able to arrange a time the next day.

Day 4

Met with tutor online to demonstrate white board and let my son try it out. She went over the online system, and no tutoring took place. It was solely a walk through and scheduled the first official tutoring session.

Days 5-6

Continued completing worksheets and watching videos. Videos were a mixture of Youtube videos and Thinkster branded videos.

Thinkster videos
Thinkster Video Library

Day 7

Thinkster sent an email warning that if the trial wasn’t canceled, I would be charged for the Gold plan annual rate. Canceling was very easily done within the app. No phone calls or emails required. I did receive a subsequent email from customer service asking for my opinion and a text from the tutor. I did find all the communication from Thinkster and the tutor helpful and informative and not like they were trying to hide anything.

 

My Thinkster Review

The tutor we were paired with seemed very knowledgeable and friendly. She connected with my son right away, but was also very at ease speaking to me as well. I like how texting is utilized to send reminders and keep in communication. As we didn’t go through an actual live tutoring session, I can’t say for sure, but it seems it would be very personalized to what your student needs to work on. The worksheets, on the other hand, were more limited. They were based on the Assessment, which had just 1 question per topic. Therefore, your student may have inadvertently missed the problem, but it’s not really an issue. Or on the other side, guessed on a question and got it right, but has not developed a full understanding of the topic. I’m sure if you committed long term, these would adapt to your student’s needs. The videos on the other hand, were all available and you could choose the topics to focus on. It’s definitely worth checking out for 7 days to see if it’s right for your student.

 

Try Thinkster Math Today with a 7-Day Free Trial!

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How To Pack School Lunches That Your Kids Will Actually Eat

school lunch

Packing school lunches is a great option when your child isn’t too fond of what the school has to offer or you want a little more control over what your child is eating. In our household, we pack lunches to avoid the nearly daily gluten in the school lunches (sandwiches, pasta, pizza, breaded chicken).

Of course if your child has dietary restrictions or food allergies, packing lunches is a must. Frankly, packing a lunch allows you to include healthy foods your child will actually eat and it doesn’t have to cost any more than what you would be paying for lunch at school.

Of course packing a lunch every day doesn’t do any good if your child doesn’t eat it or ends up trading most of it away for junk food. The key then is to find things that your child loves and enjoys eating.

The best place to start is to get your child involved. Depending on the age of your kids, you could even put them in charge of making their own lunches. Not only do you know that they’ll pack something they will eat, being in charge of packing lunch will teach them responsibility.

Start by talking to your kids about what they want in their lunch box. Make a list of options and then head to the store so you have everything you need for the week. Getting the kids as involved as possible will make sure that they end up with lunches they will eat. For older kids that may mean making their own lunches (under your supervision of course).

Younger children can help. Even your kindergartener can wash grapes and put them into a container, or pick a snack for his lunch box. Get in the habit of making lunches together the night before. Over time you can give the kids more and more responsibility for their lunches. This alone will help make sure they eat what they’ve packed. After all, it’s the lunch they made. Along the way you’re teaching them independence and important life skills.

Of course you want to encourage your kids to pack and eat healthy foods. Insisting on all healthy, organic food options all the time may not be your best strategy though. Strike a balance and make compromises. If your kids pack and eat a healthy wrap or salad for example, let them have some cookies for dessert. Teach them to make good choices, but don’t freak out if they decide to pack some Cheetos or a pack of Oreo cookies. Your goal is to get them to eat fairly healthy and make smart food choices, not restrict all access to junk food, causing them to trade with friends for forbidden Twinkies.

how to pack school lunches

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EveryPlate – A New Meal Kit Review

Disclaimer: I was not paid to review EveryPlate or any other meal kit, but this post does include referral links which will credit me if you choose to sign up. 

EveryPlate bills itself as the “Affordable Meal Kit for Everyone” with kits starting at $4.99/serving. I’ve been a long time proponent for meal delivery service kits, starting with Hello Fresh and am currently using Sun Basket and Blue Apron. You can see my review of these services here. I’d been seeing EveryPlate advertised online and received a 40% discount for my first 3 weeks.

Each week, you can select 3 recipes from  9 different options. Some options (like steak) are an extra charge per serving. It is also easy to skip weeks if you won’t be home or don’t like the menu options. I’ve been ordering the 2 serving meal kits for my family of 4 (kids aged 7 & 3) and it provides us a nice reasonable sized meal. My 3 year old hardly eats anything, so I would consider it really 3 servings. I’ve also found that pasta dishes are much larger servings than other meals and many times we have leftovers.

Every recipe indicates that it can be cooked in 30 minutes, but I’ve found that so far I’m usually done quicker. EveryPlate also relies on your home “staples” more than other meal kits I’ve tried. They assume that you will have milk, flour, oil, and butter on hand. Oil is the only one of these ingredients that I regularly have, so I have to be prepared and stock up in advance.

Like other meal kits, the food is shipped to you on ice, within a bag designed to stay cold. The box is smaller than the other meal kits I’ve used, so a little friendlier on the environment. Within the box, you’ll find each recipe on its own recipe card, the meat in the lowest section right next to the ice, and the remaining ingredients in a nice little cardboard crate that fits nicely in the fridge. The ingredients are delivered in their purest form, so some prep is required.

EveryPlate is a great option if you want to save money and like simple options for your family that are quick to cook.

EveryPlate finished product
The finished product

 

Meal Kit Comparison

 

EveryPlateSun BasketBlue ApronHello Fresh
Weekly Menu Options9 recipes18 recipes11 recipes20
Starting Price / serving$4.99$10.99$7.49$7.49
Key DifferentiatorsPriceOrganic produce; Lots of weekly options; Plans for multiple diets (paleo, gluten-free, etc.)Good middle of the road optionGreat entry to the space; Long history in the industry

For a comprehensive look at even more meal delivery kits, check out ConsumersAdvocate.org. They studied different meal delivery options and analyzed their costs, the freshness of their ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and their variety to find the best option for everyone.

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New Trends at the Old Gym – Landmine

landmine

Next up in my series on new trends that you’ll find at your local gym is Landmine!

Landmine – What Is It?

The landmine is a piece of equipment that allows one end of a barbell to be affixed to the ground with full rotation of the other end. Just like a traditional barbell, the open end can be loaded with plates for added weight resistance.

How Do You Use?

Single-Leg Deadlift

Start with feet together, holding the head of the barbell in your right hand. Hinge forward at hips, lifting right foot off the floor and extending it behind you as barbell lowers toward the ground. Lower torso until parallel with the ground or until you feel a stretch in your left hamstring. Squeeze through glute to return to starting position for 1 rep. Repeat on the opposite side.

Half-Kneeling Shoulder Press

Kneel with right foot on the floor, knee bent at 90 degrees, holding the head of the barbell in your right hand with torso upright. Press barbell straight up. Hold for 2 seconds, return to starting position for 1 rep. Repeat on opposite side.

Chess Press

Lie on the ground with feet flat, head of the barbell in your right hand with elbow next to your ribcage. Press barbell upward above your head. Slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

Landmine Row

Start in a lunge position with back flat, holding the head of the barbell in your right hand. Row barbell up toward ribcage, keeping movement close to your body. Lower back to starting position for 1 rep. Repeat on the opposite side.

Get Your Own

To include your own landmine in your home gym, you’ll want to make sure you have a space large enough for the length of the barbell plus room to work.

Grab my current workout utilizing the Battle Ropes!

New Trends at the Old Gym

 

Check out all the posts in the New Trends at the Old Gym Series!

Battle Ropes

TRX

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New Trends at the Old Gym – TRX

TRX

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, upon which I may earn a commission if you purchase anything.

Next up in my series on new trends that you’ll find at your local gym is TRX!

TRX – What Is It?

TRX is a suspension based training system. Using just your body weight and gravity, the TRX system can support up to 350 pounds and provide up to 900 pounds of resistance. The system is attached to a door or other fixed point. The further you lean forward or backward, the stronger the resistance to overcome. You can easily change your resistance by changing the angle of your body to the floor. trx

 

How Do You Use?

There are 100s of exercises you can complete on the TRX system, but they are all variants of Push, Pull, Plank, Hinge, Lunge, Squat and Rotate.

PUSH

Chest Press – Hold handles in front of you.  Brace your core and lean your weight into the handles, making sure your hips, shoulders, knees, and ankles are aligned. Push back to start.

PULL

Row – Lean back holding handles.  Brace your core forming a strong plank with your shoulders pulled down and back.  Maintaining your plank, pull your chest up to your hands. Lower yourself down in one slow, controlled movement.

trx

PLANK

Inserting your feet into the TRX straps, plank up into a pushup position keeping your hands directly under your shoulders. Brace your core and make sure your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are aligned. Lower your knees to the ground.

HINGE

Extend arms, pressing down on handles, knees bent. Bend forward from the hips, maintain a lengthened spine, extend the knees. Press on handles, extend at hips to an upright position.

LUNGE

With one leg through both foot cradles on the TRX, ground yourself through your working leg. Push your hips down and back, and lunge down until your front knee is bent to 90 degrees. Keep your core braced and your chest up the entire time. Drive through your front foot using your glutes and hamstring to bring you back up.

SQUAT

Stack your elbows under shoulders, with feet hip-width apart.  Lower hips down and back, weight in heels.  Drive through heels, squeeze your glutes, and lift your chest.

ROTATE

Place arms in a “T”, body in a half-kneeling position. Maintain lengthened spine, shift hips forward, rotate torso away from your rear leg, side bend away. Shift hips back to return hip to neutral, arms down.

Get Your Own

TRX Suspension Trainers are available at the official TRX Training site. Prices range from $100 – $200 for at-home use versions.

Grab my current workout utilizing TRX!

New Trends at the Old Gym

 

Check out all the posts in the New Trends at the Old Gym Series!

Battle Ropes

Landmine

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