Author Archives: Victoria Suzanne

Roomspiration: My Princess Bed Canopy

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 photo by Darwin Chan

It’s clearly nesting season for me – I spend way too much time looking at decor ideas and coming up with more ways to bring sweet pastel style into my space. Making my bed the perfect centerpiece has been a long obsession – finding the right bedding and sheets, and adding just the right knick-knacks to the headboard. All of the decor pictured a flowing jellyfish-like netting – check out some of my favorite examples!

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I ordered this canopy off Amazon, and I had another much flimsier one I had ordered a while back off eBay. Layering the two together gave me extra volume and movement in the netting.

I knew I would need to decorate it to give it more of that princess flavor I wanted. A big bow was the answer, so I dug through my collection of bits and bobs. After nearly nine years (!!!) of dressing in lolita I’ve collected random appendages of brand – stationary, stickers, key chains and giveaways. In this case I found an old pair of waist-ties that no longer match a dress, trimmed with Angelic Pretty lace. I used some washi tape pink crochet lace to add some definition and made it into a bow with a little hand-stitching. I’m still thinking of adding some white fairy lights or faux roses to add more fairy-tale style. Here’s another picture of the canopy at night, with the lamp in the center on.

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If you don’t want to purchase a canopy, you can try making your own with one of these tutorials. I found it was just easier to purchase one and then start decorating, but the handier among you may prefer to go DIY. Try experimenting with different shapes, pinnings, fabric and dowels or cord.

I’m also slowly adding to my wall gallery – besides the usual Angelic Pretty magazine pages, I’ve included a few of my Instagrams as Polaroids (loved this tutorial from Wonder Forest!) and two of my vision boards. I’ll be talking more about that as my gallery grows! What sort of lolita decor have you been working on lately?

P.S. – Wearing: Everything Liz Lisa!

5 Best Books for Chronic Cuties

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After my last few discussions on chronic illness, I decided to compile a list of my top five reads for those dealing with chronic illness or other invisible conditions. Whether you’re going through a tough time and need an emotional foothold or struggling with physical challenges or even just need some inspiration, these books have lifted me up time and again.

The Art of Healing by Bernie S. Siegal, M.D.

Bernie Siegal is a medical doctor unique in the respect that he believes in a lot more mind-body connection than most typical doctors can stomach. In this book, he discusses how positive thinking, art therapy and visualization can help heal and diagnose patients. At first I was pretty skeptical about some of his positivity ideas, but I’d rather give them a shot than not and found them to be quite helpful in coping with medical procedures.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Not only do I love the bright pictures – a common theme for me – but I enjoyed reading more about her ideas of positivity and how they contrast with Dr. Siegal’s. This book may not be for everyone – definitely a little New Age – but worth a try if you’re handling chronic illness.

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Succulent Wild Woman by Sark

This book is probably my favorite of all of these listed. It’s hand-drawn and doodled through out with tiny faces and illustrations and encourages you to do the same. Distinctly feminist and self-loving, this book is great for both the physically ill and just those who need a self-esteem boost. I would not be who I am today without these crazy life lessons. She also encourages lots of journaling, which I am a big advocate of.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

More down-to-earth and based in my stomping grounds of New York, the author takes on a year’s project to discover how to simply be happier. While it’s an entertaining read, it’s also got plenty of tips and tricks to try to be happier and less stressed in your own life, and how to appreciate the small beauties of daily living.

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The Dance of Connection by Harriet Lerner

While the other books in this list are about being happier with your body and yourself, this book is about communicating better with your friends, family and partner. Chronic illness and invisible illness both can take a toll on your personal relationships and how you relate in the midst of sickness, pain, and all the trials that come with it. This book has been great for reevaluating how to speak with people and work on the situations you care about. In illness especially, you need your support system working, and this book can be the oil on its joints.

For other chronic cuties out there, do you have a favorite book that has helped you with learning to cope with your chronic or invisible illness, or just the ups and downs of life in general?

 

 

Etsy Spotlight: Deedee’s Adorable Smartphone Cases

headermelodycaseDecoden, the art of decorating cellphone cases (decorate + denwa, the word for phone, gives us the portmanteau word ‘decoden’) has grown and evolved since a few years ago. Clam shell style phones have given way to the flat glass of smart phones, and seen its share of trends from slim and streamlined to bulky status symbols. While I prefer a slim and sturdy style of phone case for every day use – currently I favor a hard back Angelic Pretty case with a Daydream Carnival motif! – there are some decoden that I’d make an exception for. The phone case started out as functional, but it’s now a full-fledged fashion accessory.

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This Etsy shop, Deedeegoods, is kawaii on a whole other level. Update from basic to alpha with these cases – perfect for showing off at conventions or big meetups. Full diorama scenes and sculptures decorate your cell in a way reminiscent of the scenes displayed in Marie Antoinette’s hair! Choose from Hello Kitty, My Melody, or any other custom character of your choice – she makes all of her designs by hand in Malaysia.

If you’re finding these creations a little pricey, she also makes custom phone charms for a more affordable price. Cookies and ice cream are paired with soft puffs of fur and dangling crystals.

I’d love to snap up one of these masterpieces to dress up my phone for special events, or add one of her dust plug charms to a simpler case for every day princess style. Who’s your favorite character for decoden and phone accessories? Do you think you could coordinate one of these extravagant designs?

 

Late Winter Lazy Chic

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Fashion is stagnating hard for me at this time of year. The joys of winter style we cherished in November and December, like deeply textured sweaters and white fur have grown a little stale. The cold has hardened and my favorite coats have had to be traded in for shit-hit-the-fan minus five wind chill down jackets. The department stores are pushing spring break bikinis and Easter dresses that I can only buy and stare at in my closet while another six inches of snow piles up outside. The urge to dress cute is there, but muffled under too-worn thermals and the same three sweaters I’ve been inhabiting for weeks.

The best way I’ve found to get out of this fashion doldrums between February and April is to have a mini refresher course. I’ve found these items – still soft, loose and slouchy, but fresh and ready for spring transitional months – to be paired with your every day leggings and thick tights to make three cute and lazy princess outfits, perfect for at home or errands out. I’ve also included a few of my pinspirations – I’ve been in a pin-frenzy stuck inside!

lazyspring1via Liz Lisa and Mermaidens

Here I liked the boxy coats in various soft, nubbly textures. They reminds me of Novala Takemoto’s poem ‘As For Young Ladies Early Spring Coats’, and maintains the casual style of winter’s overstayed welcome.

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Here, dusty pinks and mink colored accessories play with fluffy sweaters and scarves. Wearing scarves as accessories when you’re indoors feels like hiding out in bed. Treat it like a large woven necklace to compliment your coordinate. (Just make sure to skip the denim shorts – it’s definitely not weather for that yet!)

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Cherry sweater ☆ Nutella Milk sweater ☆ Strawberry tee

Here’s three soft-and-slouchy styles with cute appeal. Layer these with some camis or UNIQLO Heattech, a kind of undershirt guaranteed to keep you warm. I survived many New York City below-freezing days by adding these soft tees underneath my lolita blouses and dresses and casual princess clothing instead of bulking up.

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 My Melody Women’s Knit Hat ☆ On Wednesdays We Wear Pink Knit Hat ☆ TOKYO American Apparel Hat

These cute beanies top off a staticky hairdo and complete your lazy-cute ensemble whether you’re on the streets or hanging around inside. I find hats also make great toppers for wigs – big or unnatural hair seems more believable when paired with an accessory. (Wigs will keep you a little warmer, too, as well as hide winter roots or dry fly aways.)

Winter may seem like it will drag on forever – the new year feels like always winter and never Christmas – but these soft and cozy clothes and a few pairs of trusty leggings can carry you cute into the spring. Wrap up in these scarves and beanies and sweaters while you can – you’ll be out of this cocoon soon enough ♥

 

 

 

How to Be Alone on Valentine’s Day

valentine'sheaderI have no plans this Valentine’s Day. Zip. Still in recovery, single, and unwilling to pick out a bargain basement date from the pools of online dating, I did a little online research about what to do as a single girl on Valentine’s Day. Most of the ideas summed up as ‘get drunk with your other female friends, decrying the evils of the Hallmark companies and throw yourself an anti-Valentine’s Day party’. Singles’ Awareness Day, as it was dubbed, seemed to be growing bitterly stronger than even the designer dark chocolate rack.

But here’s the thing – I don’t want to hate you, Valentine’s Day. For me, Valentine’s Day is glitter and pink and school-age mass-produced Disney cards, doilies and cupcakes with heart-shaped sprinkles. It is cheesy stuffed animals and conversation hearts and the appreciating the friends and family you already have who love you. By trial and error, what I’ve learned is that if you want to enjoy your Valentine’s Day, don’t expect anyone else to magically read your mind. Design your own day, or plan something you can do for others. You do not need any girlfriends’ parties, sort-of balding dudes at sticky bars, or questionable blind dates. Here are ten ways to spend Valentine’s Day alone, just you. ♥

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1. Eat heart-shaped food. Food is always better heart-shaped. Even if you’re cooking for one, celebrate the day with heart-shaped avocado, carrots, eggs and more. Search Pinterest for tons more ideas on foods that you can shape like hearts. Cute food is a great pick-me-up any time of year! This guy has made a beautiful Valentine from something more unusual – meatloaf and creamy mashed potatoes. 

2. Playlist a series of Valentine’s-themed episodes of your favorite TV series. Last night I went with Orange is the New Black’s ‘And You Also Have a Pizza‘. Because in love, at the end of the day, you should at least have pizza. (And yes I ate leftover pizza topped with avocado while I watched it. There’s nothing like dedication to a theme.)

3. Host your own pajama party. Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, so buy yourself some fancy and fluffy pajamas the day before and spend the day in them snuggled up in soft covers. This pairs well with idea #2 and for us New Englanders at least, the impending snowstorm. Check Forever21 for some adorable pajama selections right now!

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4. Make Valentine’s cards. Whether they’re for your gals or just people you’d like to appreciate right now, everybody likes getting mail. I used some pink twine and washi tape to string mine across the mantle piece. If you prefer, you can also spend V-Day posting dozens of artfully curated digital Valentine’s on your friends’ Facebook walls, too. Galentine’s Today (today!) is another great choice for showering your friends in social media love notes about how they are more beautiful than Cinderella, they smell like pine needles and their face is like sunshine.

5. Buy a box of classic little-kids’ branded Valentines like Disney or Barbie. Write encouraging notes or positive sentiments on them and hide them around your work, campus or daily life for other people to find. Consider them the hot-pink fortune cookies of Valentine’s Day. What stranger wouldn’t want a sweet note tucked into the seat of a bus or in the napkin holder at a restaurant?

6. Treat yo self. This is pretty obvious – buy yourself something off your Amazon wishlist or some other small token. Roses are lovely choice, or a small potted plant. I also like to pick up anything fluffy, like socks or a throw blanket, when I’m in need of a cuddle.

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7. If you’re going to eat chocolate, eat CHOCOLATE. No Hershey’s or Nestle for you this year. Indulge in some real designer, high cocoa content goodness. I like Vosge’s chocolates particularly, or a local favorite, Fascia’s Chocolates, but there’s plenty others to shop. Spending a little more on a smaller selection of chocolates (that you don’t have to share, perk!) with bits of pink sea salt and unicorn tears ups the occasion from ‘sad girl eating chocolate’ to ‘sassy girl celebrates holiday’. On the same note, pairing with an exceptionally nice wine or cheese sounds like a scrumptious idea as well.

8. Take yourself to dinner. This one can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not used to it, an idea I got from reading the SARK Succulent Wild Woman books. Get all dressed up and take yourself on a “me-date”. The two things you can be sure of in this scenario is you won’t get stood up and someone else will most likely prepare you a brownie sundae. What could go wrong?

9. Bring goodies into your work or school. Wherever you go every day with people, bring in some surprise brownies or cupcakes. Whether you choose to make them your famous chocolate-chip-amaze cookies or just swing by the corner Dunkin’ for a box of gooey pink and red donuts, you’ll perk up the day and give others a little joy.

10. Get a Valentine’s Day manicure or fresh hair cut. There’s nothing like a little spa day to perk up your routine. A fresh manicure or pedicure, hair cut or color, or even just picking up a new Lush bath bomb or body wash is perfect.

You don’t need to break out the mourning veil and spread stormy rain clouds even if you’re not part of a couple this Valentine’s Day! Even if you’re alone on Valentine’s Day, there are small joys you can find to celebrate this all-about-love holiday. What are your Valentine’s Day plans?

 

Tamagotchi P

tamagotchipSince I’ve been bedridden and lacking on impulse control from sleepless nights and a little painkiller, a perfect storm combined to get me into a new handheld fandom – Tamagotchi. As a child, I had some kind of knock-off tamagotchi – a plastic egg keychain that had a very tiny, black and white pixel critter inside. This new style, revamped from the new kawaii masterminds in Japan, is a far cry from the childhood fad I grew up with. While still small and vaguely egg-shaped – ‘tamago’ means egg in Japanese ever after – the chunky relic has been upgraded to a sleek faceplate in an array of pastel colors set with iridescent gems. Thinking they’d make a cute accessory more than anything, I did a little research and fell in love.

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My Tamagotchi P is a tiny digital video game, completely in colorful pixel art. While it’s still operated by just three buttons, the game is pretty expansive. You still raise your baby tama into an adult, but with a much wide world. Your tama can enjoy the park, the arcade, an adorable cafe and Asian restaurant, a department store and school. As an adult, your tama can get a part time job to keep the money flowing into buying accessories, never-ending snacks (their stomachs are bottomless, I swear) and toys to play with. If you have a friend with a Tamagotchi P, you can also interface your P’s together through the infrared reader.

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tamagotchi guide from the 13thgeek

Note also that the Tamagotchi P is entirely in Japanese. It’s written in simple hiragana and katakana for children, so it’s about right at my reading level for a fun way to practice! If you don’t read any Japanese, worry not – there are guides that translate the game’s scripts, and reading is minimal in this case anyway. There is a current project going on to alter the P’s to use English!

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When you’ve exhausted your current collection of items and decorations, you can buy a Deco Pierce for your game. This little crowning gem acts as an expansion pack, unlocking various games, new characters to raise, items and wallpapers. Besides a number of themes like royalty, fairies and desserts, several big names have also done Deco Pierce collaborations like Disney and Sanrio. I just received my first Deco Pierce, which is called Dream to Change or Yumemiru. The big bow is super girly, and the matching lanyard makes it easy to wear my tamagotchi like a fashion accessory or a bag charm.

I’m definitely not a serious videogame player, and this device is just the right fit for me – cute, mobile (since a lot of my downtime is during travel or doctor’s visits) and low commitment. While it may chirp for attention or food occasionally, it’s fairly easy on the commitment scale. If you’re busy, there’s a hack to put it to sleep or to simply pop out the batteries.

There are several forums where Tamagotchi fans around the world discuss tips, gameplay and fan art. There’s also an anime and a world of branded products to collect for the fandom to cut their teeth on.

Tamagotchi Zone ☆ Tama Talk ☆ Tamagotchi Home Forums

You can buy Tamagotchi P’s on eBay or Amazon, and the same for the Deco Pierce expansion sets.

5 Things Chronic Cuties Wish You’d Say

5thingstochronicI spent the past week in the hospital having surgery for my kidney condition, and it’s no secret that the past year has been particularly hard on my body. I’ll spare you the gory details, but anyone close to me has probably observed some of my pains as I’ve struggled to keep up my daily lolita life. I’m so grateful for my friends who have stuck by me, and this post is dedicated to them. ❤  There’s lots of posts on the Internet about what not to say to the chronically ill or disabled, but not enough posts about the good things people do say! This listicle is also for supporting your friends with mental illness, like depression, or chronic pain conditions. If you have chronically ill friends and aren’t sure what to say, here’s my list of favorite things to pop out of my friends’ mouths.

1. Can I come over?

My top favorite thing to hear! If I don’t have a meetup or doctor’s appointment, I spend a great deal of my time shut up in my home with my dog or my parents. I would love to get out more, but sometime’s my body is just too weak or too tired. A lot of chronic cuties would love to get more socialization time but just aren’t up to a cafe visit or movie showing. Volunteering to visit is the best – you mean we can have fun and I don’t have to get out of my pajamas?! Feel free to bring snacks or hobbies or a cult classic film. Then there’s no pressure on your friend to entertain. I love making tea or treats for my friends, but sometimes it’s easier to just veg. Even something solo, like knitting separate projects together, can be great. Just come sit next to Grandma, dear.

2. How can I help?

I know that when your friend is chronically sick, you’ll have a wave of sudden emotions. Oh no, you’re sick? For how long? What am I going to do, this person I care about is in trouble! A common problem is just not knowing how to help. You might want to do something for your sick friend – “Let me know if you need anything!” but end up dancing around the subject. The problem can feel so big, even when you want to be a good friend, that you both end up floundering awkwardly. The best way to know how to help is to ask! “How can I help?” opens a great conversation door for the disabled person to think about concrete, specific ways you can help that make both friends feel better. Some classic hits are: “Please come help motivate me to clean my bedroom, because I’m depressed to do it alone”; or “Would you bring me some takeout? I’m too tired to cook or get it myself” or even something simpler like “Your funny texts keep me company when I’m at the doctor’s office.” Just calling up to vent can be a lifesaver. This week, my family friend came by to walk my dog while I was at the hospital, and even went above and beyond by doing the dishes and sorting the mail when she came. Little things to you can be big things to the chronically ill.

3. You’ve got mail!

Many of my friends sadly don’t live within drop-in range. It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll find them organizing my mail when they live two or three hours away. Even if you’re not in close contact, keeping in touch is important. An old-fashioned card, a text message, or a phone call goes a long way. Try to remember your friend’s big medical appointments, or feel free to check in to see how they’re doing that day. I love receiving mail and care packages as well. Surprises in the post, from stickers to flowers or post cards, can really brighten an otherwise sickly day.

4. Keeping it silly!

Not everything needs to be about your friend’s condition. While it’s important to make sure your friend’s condition doesn’t feel ignored or pushed under the rug, it doesn’t have to be the only topic of conversation. Lightening the mood, joking, or just sending memes are great ways to support your friend. Send gifs or pictures of pizza. Be a little ray of sunshine for your friend, whether that’s in person or over the Internet. Thinking of you doesn’t always have to be an emotion-laden tearful event. Snapchat pictures of your cat’s butt or creeper pix of that weird dude you always see on the subway. They go a lot farther than you think!

5. It’s okay to flake out!

One of the worst parts of being chronically ill is being at the whims of your body’s latest self-destructive tendencies. I can be very excited for plans or a date – even so much as ready to walk out the door in heels – when suddenly my body falls apart on me. I’m overwhelmed with guilt at all the times I am have flaked out on friends, sometimes a day or an hour before. It’s not that I don’t want to go, and I know that my friends are counting on me! – but sometimes I hit that invisible disease wall. Letting your sick friend know you understand and that they need to pace themselves is the greatest gift. “I’d love for you to come, but it’s okay if you’re not feeling up to it”, or “I understand that you already did a lot this week! We can make plans for another time” make all the difference in the world.

Whether you have yourself or have a friend with invisible illness, chronic pain, or mental illness, know that there’s lots of people also filling your shoes too.  Having a friend with chronic illness isn’t without its own set of hurdles, but can be just as fulfilling as able-bodied friendships. Chronic illness and pain isn’t something that needs to isolate you! I personally like the Tumblr Chronic Illness Support right now for self-care ideas and just having other chronic cuties to relate to. I’m going to try to write more about my ways of coping with chronic illness and keeping a positive outlook (though fashion is always on the menu, of course!)

Angel Wings

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As Halloween approaches, masquerade balls and other costumed events become more popular. Themed meetups and themed coordinates invite lolitas to become more fanciful with their wardrobes, transforming their dresses from standard wear to something more fantastical. In the past I’ve used my lolita closet to put together black cats and unicorns, mermaids and princesses. I’ve even made a list – over 100 ideas of lolita Halloween coordinates!

This year, I decided to spotlight some fashion inspiration – here’s four cute looks put together with the addition of only one prop – a pair of white feather angel wings that you could buy at any party store.  If you have something more custom in mind, you could try this DIY tutorial. Pair them with something you already own – a onepiece, or maybe a vintage peignoir? – a pearly makeup look, and some celestial accessories to create a sweet angel style.

 

Top 10 Casual Kawaii Items for Every Day

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I love getting all dressed up in miles of chiffon ruffles and lace when I go out to tea and special events with my friends – hence this blog – but sadly I just can’t handle being decked out like this every time that I need to hit up the drugstore or a simple lunch out. But I still enjoy being cute, so I try to make my every day casual style a mix of my favorite lolita and princess fashion elements while not forgoing comfort. I’ve rounded ten of my top cute-and-comfy items up for you – enough to put together a week’s worth of casual kawaii outfits.

For this collection, I went with a theme of light fabrics, soft textures and pastels to give an airy angelic or mermaid concept. All of these pieces can be mixed-and-matched with each other for various layered outfits, or incorporated into more concrete lolita coordinates for a dash of whimsy. The soft  silver-brown wig is perfect for when you want a simple, sweet style instead of a heavy and complicated wig with added extensions.

You can find all of these items and more casual kawaii style at Himi Store. Get 5% off your total order when you use the code “parfaitdoll”!

 

The Drawing Room

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After the late-night high glamor of New York Fashion Week and a very lazy day in my slippers, I rallied to attend a low-key Connecticut lolita meetup the following weekend. One of our local lolitas had made reservations at the cute art gallery/teahouse The Drawing Room in Greenwich – a sweet shabby chic sanctuary on an otherwise rainy afternoon.

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The Drawing Room seated us at a long table to ourselves among the artwork, with mismatched armchairs and ottomans that felt like a chintzy Alice in Wonderland set. Specials included grilled cheese paninis with truffle sauce, coconut milk Mulligatawny soup and full-size cucumber sandwiches. I also enjoyed a very good hot chocolate with bitter shavings, though their tea menu is comfortably large.

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Though it was just us five, it was nice to have a quiet meetup after the onslaught of lolitas earlier in the week. Allison and I both chose a sweet chocolate theme for our coordinates – I’m in Sweet Cream House by Angelic Pretty, and she’s in Melty Chocolate. Mori girl, sweet gingham, and embroidered aprons added a country vibe.

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drawingroom3We tried some group shots using my swag-gifted smartphone camera remote from New York Fashion Week ! I propped up my Iphone on the table and used the button in my hand to get us all in the shot. Not a bad first try! The remote is definitely in my go-to mobile blogging arsenal for outfit shots and bigger group shots. You can buy a similar one here!

 

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