One Word for 2015

One Word 2015 BannerLast year’s big thing around the new year was everyone’s “one word”. Mine happened to be “simplify“. I’d say I did an okay job. I simplified a lot of things: my make up routine, my computer, my organization systems, etc. The whole “one word” concept was something that really resonated with me, so when the new year rolled around, I knew it was something I wanted to continue.

But that begged the question, “What on earth would my word be?” I loved “simplify”, but that was last year’s word. I obviously had to pick something else.So I thought about it and came up with one I like… drumroll please…

My one word for 2015 is…

fresh

2014 definitely ended in a way that shook things up for me. If there’s one thing I learned from it all, it’s that I need a fresh start – a fresh outlook on everything whether it be relationships, my work, or where I’m going in life. There’s nothing like getting a swift kick that forces you to realize you’ve been on auto-pilot for far too long heading in a direction you don’t want to go, and that’s where I’ve found myself.

I’m also hoping to apply fresh to other areas of my life. I want to be more open to fresh ideas and not so set in my ways. Going in a completely different direction, I also want to incorporate more fresh meals into my life. Living alone for these past couple months has definitely led me down a path of prepared foods and things that come out of a box, and I’d like to change that.

So here’s what I’m focusing on big-picture-wise for 2015:

  • I’m committed to becoming debt free as soon as possible. I’m blessed to not have any student loans or a car payment, but the $40/mo I pay in interest alone on my credit cards, in addition to the payments I’m making, would be much nicer in the bank. Based on my current payment plan, I should be debt free (minus the mortgage) by summer of 2016, just in time for my 26th birthday.
  • I absolutely need to figure out where my career is going. If I choose to stick with my current path, I need to reassess how to make it work for me. If I choose another path, I need to figure out what that path is.
  • I want to grow as a person. I cannot be on autopilot anymore, and that means doing things for me and finding out about myself.

Habit-wise, I’ve got a few things on the table too:

  • Journal daily – I’ve been trying to use Day One more, starting primarily as a gratitude journal where I record 3 things I’m grateful for each night before bed.
  • Drink more water – I am pretty sure I’ve been in a perpetual state of dehdryation for about 2 weeks now, and that absolutely needs to change. I’m aiming to drink half my bodyweight in ounces each day.
  • The last is more of a collection of habits related to health including taking the recommended number of steps per day (which I fail at pretty regularly), taking breaks from sitting in front of a computer all day, etc. I jumped on the quantified self bandwagon as soon as fitness trackers came out, yet I’ve never done much with them, and I hope to change that this year.

Well there you have it folks, my one word for 2015, and what I’m focusing on this year.

Here’s to a great 2015.

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May 2014 Recap + June Goals

Wow! May flew by faster than ever. So let’s see how I did in terms of goals.

  • Get back on track for my goal to read 52 books in 2014. – I’m now only 5 books behind now, so I’m making progress which is good enough for me.
  • Continue working on my room remodel. – Floors have been picked out. I attempted to hang curtains and decided I better leave that for another day because I majorly screwed them up.
  • Continue running and meeting my daily step goal at least. – I’ve run a few days more than usual but not as much as I’d prefer
  • Get one of the three tattoos on my wish list. – Done. As cliché of a tattoo as it looks, I think got a few double-takes at the tattoo shop when I explained it was for suicide awareness in memory of my dad. Brave Andrea also got her inner conch on both ears pierced. Now I can’t wait to count down the days until the piercings are healed and I can swap the BCRs out for simple studs. Until then it’s wearing my hair down at work for a bit so they aren’t too obvious.

And onto June’s Goals

  • I want to get the flooring put in my room for sure.
  • Run at least once a week in addition to my {now habitual} usual morning workouts.
  • Go out and have some fun. This past weekend was full of cookouts and road trips {much more than usual for hermit Andrea ^_^} and I’m actually pretty pleased with everything. And this view…spending an afternoon on the deck outside this restaurant… it doesn’t get any better than that.IMG_3125

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April 2014 Recap + May Goals

Hi everyone!

After a record month of rain here, we’re finally experiencing some Spring weather.

Recapping Aprils goals:

  • Stay on top of keeping my room clean. – Ehh my room is reasonably clean and getting vacuumed on a daily basis thanks (I plan to do a post on this later because obviously lazy me is not vacuuming daily.)
  • Go out and have fun – I managed to take a few days off go on a fun little trip to Atlantic City. I was sick for the first few days, but I did get to enjoy at least looking at the beach and a few chilly walks on the boardwalk. Right now the only thing holding me back from going out more is the fact that my car is making some concerning noise. It also has a leak so I avoided driving it in the rain too much. It goes into the dealer this week though. *fingers crossed it doesn’t have anything majorly wrong.
  • Stay on top of my classes. – Oh boy I failed at this. I had a first draft of my term paper due in April. Thanks to my mini vacation followed by a nasty cold, my paper on the importance of self-motivation in e-learning courses was turned in only hours before it was due. I couldn’t help but smile at the irony that I was scrambling to turn in a paper for my online course about motivation in e-learning courses at the last minute. Maybe I need to improve my own motivation.
  • Get back into running. – I actually did manage to run a few times this month.

So what are my goals for May?

  • Get back on track for my goal to read 52 books in 2014.
  • Continue working on my room remodel. Hot items for the month are getting my curtains hung, getting floors installed, and getting a new desk chair.
  • Continue running and meeting my daily step goal at least. I absolutely need to run a 5K this year, preferably by September.
  • Get one of the three tattoos on my wish list. I’m leaning towards the smallest one, a small heart on my left wrist for suicide awareness, but I may get a quote on my ribs instead because I’m really wanting it. I’m also considering getting my inner conch pierced on both my ears. {As a supervisor, I’m trying to continue getting piercings and tattoos without looking unprofessional. I’m convinced it can be done tastefully.}

Seeing the progress of my room {pics coming soon, I promise} and this gorgeous weather, I’m super excited to see where this month takes me.

Here’s to a great month. Happy May!

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2014 Goals

Last year, I wrote out a ton of goals and lost them. Somehow I managed to do a pretty good job at completing most of them though.

This year, I went with a different approach.

For 2014, I decided to have 1 main focus and a few goals.

2014’s focus will be to

simplify

how I do things.

what I buy.

what I already have.

You get the idea.

Goal wise, the plan is to do the following:

  • Read 52 books
  • Identify {and do} 3 tasks each day
  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Drink 56 oz. of water a day
  • Run a 5K
  • Purchase my bedroom furniture
  • Connect with people and actually go out and live a little
  • and last but not least, not neglect this blog as I have been doing.

Happy New Year! Thank you all for reading! Here’s to making 2014 even better than the last!

Update: Apparently the trend this year is having one word to focus on for this year. I had no idea when I wrote this post, but apparently I’m going along with the trend.

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A Look Back at 2013

I’ve never been one to have goals, but there’s a first time for everything right?

I started 2013 with a plan. I had a list of overall goals for my life. I also made a list of specific goals for 2013. I even broke that list down so that I had specific things to focus on for each month {inspired by The College Prepster}. Plan-wise 2013, should have been my year.

At least until I lost my goals…

Word of advice to anyone: If you type up ANYTHING, and especially something as important as goals, don’t save them as an untitled.txt and leave them on your desktop.

I guess even the most OCD, organized computer user has bad habits. In my case, my two habits of not saving files with proper names and always wanting a clean desktop created a recipe for disaster, and my goals were deleted.

Or so I thought…

Today while searching my computer for that wonderful yearly goal planner broken down by month {from Philofaxy}, I found two files:

  • A word document called Overall Goals
  • and a text file called GoalsandProjects

I quickly opened them up, and it was like looking at a time capsule.

My goals for 2013

  • I will read 13 books – Check. In fact, I’ve read a total of 64 as of today.
  • I will paint my bedroom and bathroom. – Check. {Well… I paid someone to paint them.}
  • I will organize my bathroom. – Sort of, but not in the sense I was going for, so I’ll say no.
  • I will participate in at least 1 photo challenge per month. – Massive fail. I couldn’t even make it through one month. On the other hand, I did try to be the one to bring my camera to events {even if I didn’t remember to take pictures… baby steps right?}
  • I will use one, and only one, planner. – You only have to read this blog to know I failed miserably at this one too.
  • I will remember birthdays. – Sort of? Facebook reminded me of most…
  • I will drink more water and less caffeine. – This is definitely a work in progress. I’m back to coffee in the mornings, and I treat myself to ONE energy drink to get me through Friday afternoons/nights, but I’m also drinking much more water.
  • I will exercise at least once a week. – I think it’s safe to say this one’s a success. In fact, I’m probably working out 3 times a week or more excluding my morning mini workouts.
  • I will create a blog. – Well this one’s a no brainer… here it is!

Overall, considering, I pretty much lost these goals and didn’t pay attention to them midway into January, I’m pretty surprised at how well I did. I mean, 6 out of 10, without even thinking about it… That’s shocking.

The Goals and Projects file was a bit more of a brain dump, but it was fun looking back at what I was planning to do like making detailed cleaning schedules to force me to clean {like that’d ever work…}, organizing the house one room at a time, creating a study plan {Ha! Who was I kidding?}.

The most detailed section was work by far, and I have to say, it’s truly amazing to see how far we’ve come. Working in customer support, it’s really easy to get caught up in the day to day routine. Meetings become monotonous, and you really don’t notice all that your accomplishing until you look back at a list and realize that thing you take for granted today was just an idea in your mind a year ago.

Finding 2013’s goals was a great way to look back at the year. 2013 might not have gone as expected, and it was definitely a hard year for me in every way possible, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve changed so much in such a short amount of time, and I’ve grown in more ways than I could imagine. Now it’s back to the drawing board to work for 2014’s goals, and this time, hopefully I won’t lose them.

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November 2013 Goals

Hello lovelies!

I’m still in shock that it’s already November! Where did the rest of the year go? Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of goals post, so today I’m back with my goals for November.

#1 – I’m participating in Monica’s (from Run Eat Repeat) 2013 Pile on the Miles Challenge. My goal is to run/walk a total of 118 miles this month. Now that I have a treadmill, I really have no excuse to get myself in shape to be able to run a full 5K. For those of you who do run, you’re probably laughing that my goal is a 5K, but this girl has never even run a full mile in her life. {True story: In middle school, I was the one to discover that I could walk a mile not run and still qualify for the President’s Physical Fitness Award. P.E. class was never the same again.}

#2 – Now that I have an actual bill for this treadmill, reality has sunk in that I really want to pay off my credit cards and also pay off this treadmill well before they start charging me interest. That means I need to stop buying everything under the sun. Wishlists are not “BUY ALL THE THINGS NOW” lists, but that’s how I’ve been living.

#3 – I will wake up every morning and complete my Bootycall. For those of you who don’t follow Tone It Up, it’s not what you think. It’s basically waking up and getting your body moving first thing. For me, the most I’ve been successful with is 10 minutes of HIIT, but hey, it’s something, and I feel great. On the weekends, I’ve been typically swapping it out for a run.

That’s it for November. Three goals this month. {I’m trying to set myself up for success.} There’s also a bit of a fitness theme for this month which has been a huge part of my life lately.

Good luck to everyone in completing your goals, and happy November!

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May 2013 Goals

MayGoals

April was pretty hectic for me so I’m going to make May’s focus on getting my life back on track.

  • I want to start using my planner more. To be totally honest, I didn’t really use my Filofax in April. It was probably pretty apparent to any of you who read my {My Week} posts or look for me in Philofaxy’s Web Finds. I have some big changes coming up which I’ll discuss in some later posts.
  • Along those same lines, I’m continuing my time management improvements. Instead of reading 9 books a month, I need to start paying attention to and whittling down this media overload that I have right now. Total count as of the first week of May is 61 articles in Pocket, 114 videos to “Watch Later” on Youtube, 4 books to finish, and of course the usual Netflix, Blockbuster, and DVR queues to work through. (I am going to cancel Blockbuster though so that will be a few less movies to watch.)
  • Eating healthier. It’s no secret that I’ve become an avid Tone It Up follower. My mom has been saying she wants to lose weight, but Tone It Up workouts are totally out of the question for her since she’s recovering from shoulder surgery and has bad knees. The next logical solution, eat better.I had considered buying the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan but that price tag is pretty steep. (If anyone’s tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!) The next best solution was actually free. Our library has a free subscription to the online version of Clean Eating magazine. What do they put in there? Meal plans and shopping lists. Our fridge is now stocked with tons of fresh fruits and veggies rather than microwaveable burritos, and I after only a few days, I already feel better, hopefully she will get more on board too.
  • Working out more. I’ve noticed a pretty significant correlation to how I feel and working out. No workout = no energy for me, and that’s just not okay. In keeping with the Bikini Series, I’m going to try it as closely as possible. My motivation is having a rocking bod to show off on vacation next month.
  • The room. I absolutely need to get my room painted this month. No excuses. My room is in shambles right now. There’s a step-ladder in the middle of the room, paint buckets on the floor, rinsed out paint trays in my shower, and a gigantic cat tower sitting in the middle of my room that I have to climb around every day. Oh, and my cats love bopping me in the head as I walk past them too…
  • The blog. Last but not least, I have neglected this blog tremendously. My stats have reflected it, and I just feel like I’ve let not only readers down, but myself as well. I promise to get back on track and remember why on earth I love this blog so much.

What about you? Do you have any goals or big projects coming up this month?

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April 2013 Goal Recap

april-goals

April was basically hell for me thanks to the pollen, but I made it through thanks to some Allegra, an air purifier, and sadly staying cooped up inside. April’s focus was Work so how did I do?

  • Compiling a list of Skillsoft Courses – Nope. It’s still on the to do list.
  • The semester ends in May, and I’d like to provide our student employees with performance evaluations and maybe raises before they leave, so I need to figure out the budget which I’ve never had to do, iron out the processes I want to use, and schedule to meet with all of them before they get all stressed out with Finals.  – I got these done in a record 3 days. Meeting with 12-14 students in 3 days was a daunting task especially when you’ve never done it before. I didn’t have any formal managerial training, and I’ve never had to plan out a budget for a company before in my life. I know I’ve been in my office the longest, and I’ve been worked in every single position in the office so I suppose I am qualified to judge performance, but it still felt very new to me, but at the end of the month, raises were approved and evaluations were given before finals week.
  • Lastly, our department is trying to focus on an online support knowledge base of sorts to help continue to provide answers to our customers while also being able to focus on improving things for the future. Tidying up this space has been on my radar for a while, and I hope that with the help of my colleagues we can get some Spring cleaning done. – I’m going to say this was both a hit and a miss. Some of the pages got tidied up and revamped because I was asked to, but that wasn’t really the clean up I had intended. I’d love to be able to just sit down with the other people involved and figure out a plan of action, but they don’t seem to be so interested in change.
  • Evaluating my current wardrobe to see what I need to add or replace for warmer weather.After spending a whopping $476 dollars at Forever21, I’m going to call this a success. I now have a plethora of new tops to pick from and some workout gear as well. I actually hit a limit on Forever21’s site that told me I had too many items in my cart. When a website tells you to stop shopping, I guess you should listen. Now the only things I need are a few new pairs of shoes and pants from American Eagle.
  • I’d like to tackle painting at least my ceiling in my bedroom. – It’s partially painted… that’s a start.
  • I’m also going to work on managing my time better. – This was something I struggled with. I spent the majority of my time reading rather than doing what I was supposed to. Blog posts, workouts, and school, all somehow took a backseat.
  • I’m also working on something I’ve sort of informally dubbed “Project Andrea.” – This is sort of an ongoing thing. I can say it’s taking shape though.
  • Also, this month’s photo challenge is Filofax themed so I’m excited. – I’ve officially decided I’m done with photo challenges. Oddly enough, that decision made me snap more random photos here and there.

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April 2013 Goals

april-goals

I absolutely love April. It means gorgeous weather is ahead. That means I can start having lunch by the pond again and not have to worry about freezing my butt off as I walk to work.

A recap on March’s projects and goals:

My focus in March was on my budget. I have to say I was a bit optimistic with my savings goals, but I didn’t do so bad overall. I’m really happy with how things turned out.

  • I’ve used Smartypig as my main savings account for a while now. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. It automatically takes money out of my paycheck and deposits it into various savings goals I have. It’s got a fantastic interest rate as well. You can redeem your savings goals as gift cards and they will actually give you a bonus percentage for certain retailers or you can have it put back in your regular bank.The downside is that it does take a little bit of time to get your money. In some ways this is great, because I really do have to evaluate my purchases, but should an emergency come up, I’d likely need to put the expense on my credit card temporarily and pay for it once the money gets back to my checking account a week later.
  • At the beginning of March, I was planning to save around $315 from every pay check just to save it, around $60 dollars for things on my wishlist, and another $25 for my Christmas fund. I managed to keep to my wishlist and Christmas goals, but I did have to reduce the amount of money I was setting aside to around $200. I give nearly half of my income to my mom every month so that she can pay bills, so usually one paycheck a month just goes straight to her so I had to rethink my spending habits and decided it makes more sense to save less right now than putting things all on my credit card because I was saving too much.
  • March means time to submit taxes and I managed to get mine submitted. I even used a promo code and saved on filing them. I used my refund to pay back the majority of my one remaining balance on my credit cards, and now I’m using a total of 11% of my credit which feels fantastic. I’m really trying to cut back on my use of my credit cards so that I can be able to pay them off completely at the end of the month, so I took my credit cards out of my main wallet and out of my password manager. No easy access to auto-fill the info means I have to think before I buy.
  • Reading – I’m working on reading both Blogging for Dummies and Blog. – Since graduating from college, reading has become an unexpected hobby of mine, so much so I actually went and purchased a Kindle Paperwhite on March 22. I not only read the two books I planned to read, but I read a total of 4 others. The number would have probably been higher but I lent my Kindle to my mom to read a book I had checked out. In any event, 6 books in one month is just beyond ridiculous for me, and seeing that, I upped my reading challenge from 20 books to 30 for the year.
  • Making progress on my room renovations – This is such a big project, and I’m so overwhelmed with it. I managed to get almost through patching with a few spots I need to go over once more. The next step is to start painting which I’m really dreading, BUT before pictures have been taken so I can start letting you all see the progress which is exciting.
  • Completing FMS’s March Photo Challenge. – I really need to find a fun and exciting photo challenge because these FMS photo challenges are just not working for me. I managed to get 16 photos done, but I played catch up for most of the month snapping pictures in bursts rather than daily.

At the beginning of the year, I typed up a document with what I would focus on each month, but stupidly I saved it as “Untitled” in a rush and deleted it. I didn’t realize it until it was removed off my backup drive, so now I’m making this up as I go along, and I’m declaring April’s focus:

Work

Nice weather means I’m going to wish I could still lounge around outside after class or take the dogs out to the local Starbucks for an adventure, so it’s a bit depressing knowing that I’m a grown up now and I can’t because I have to sit behind a desk. Focusing on work will make sure I have a few things to stay focused on:

  • Compiling a list of Skillsoft Courses – My job provides me with courses for various things from computer certifications to stress relief, and I have been meaning to compile a list of them that I think I’d be interested in or would be of use to myself or the students in the office. They may not be able to take the courses, but I can certainly pass on some knowledge to them.
  • The semester ends in May, and I’d like to provide our student employees with performance evaluations and maybe raises before they leave, so I need to figure out the budget which I’ve never had to do, iron out the processes I want to use, and schedule to meet with all of them before they get all stressed out with Finals.
  • Lastly, our department is trying to focus on an online support knowledge base of sorts to help continue to provide answers to our customers while also being able to focus on improving things for the future. Tidying up this space has been on my radar for a while, and I hope that with the help of my colleagues we can get some Spring cleaning done.

Other April projects include:

  • Evaluating my current wardrobe to see what I need to add or replace for warmer weather. I know for a fact I need to replace the basic tanks I wear under some of my more transparent shirts, but I also want to get some new things in bright spring colors. I’m quite tired of my go to winter look of skinny pants, boots, a shirt and sweater over top.
  • I’d like to tackle painting at least my ceiling in my bedroom. Once that’s done, the painting will go quickly because I can do smaller bits at a time.
  • I’m also going to work on managing my time better. That means sticking to my usual routine to get things done, workouts, blog posts, and school work included.
  • I’m also working on something I’ve sort of informally dubbed “Project Andrea.” It’s my fairly extensive plan to revamp my life, and I’m pretty excited to start. I’ll post more about what my goals for this project are in a later post.
  • Also, this month’s photo challenge is Filofax themed so I’m excited. I’ve been revamping my Filofax here and there so I’m excited to share the little updates I’m making.

I’m really thrilled that it’s April. I’m already excited, and we’re only 6 days in!

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March 2013 Goals

marchgoals

Can you believe it’s March already?! I know I can’t. February flew by. So how did I do on my goals and what are my goals for March? Keep reading to find out.

A recap on February’s projects and goals:

  • I want to finish reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Finished. Great book. I highly recommend it to anyone feeling bit lost in an extroverted world. If you don’t feel like reading the book, Susan Cain sums up the book quite well in her Ted Talk.
  • Another goal is to finish patching the walls in my bedroom and bathroom – I didn’t do so well on this one. Most of the holes are patched in my bedroom, but I still have sanding to do. I also have to take a few things (light fixtures, shelves, etc.) and patch those holes.
  • I’m participating in FMS’s February photo challenge as part of my resolution to take more picture -This was a total bust, but you can see my February recap here.
  • I’m going to work on remembering how grateful I am to have such an incredible boyfriend. – This was also a total bust given that we broke up 4 days into the month. In the past month, I’ve learned a lot though. Mainly that our relationship was not at all as strong as I thought it was.
  • I’m going to work on hopefully repairing some friendships that I royally messed up. – I tried, I really did, but some people are unwilling to forgive people. I went out and bought cute little gifts and included apology letters, but when I went to deliver them, the response was a wonderful, “You really thought that was a good idea?”
  • and I have some cute little projects for Valentine’s Day that I’d like to complete. – Another bust, Valentine’s day just wasn’t my day this year.

So 1/6… Ouch. Let’s hope March is better.

Now for March’s goals and projects.

My focus this month will be paying attention to my budgetI’m blessed to not have any sort of college debt thanks to my mother working for the University I attended for my undergraduate degree. Now that I work there, they’re paying for my graduate degree as well.  I have a well-paying job with awesome perks (like the brand new MacBook Pro they gave me to replace my old dying one.) It’s really allowed me to do some great things like help out my mother financially. However, I’m not immune to unnecessary purchases, and I always feel like I could do better even if I’m not doing badly.

  • I already save $315 dollars from every pay check. I also have around $60 dollars that I put aside every paycheck for a few things on my wish list.
  • New this month is that I’m also setting aside $25 dollars from every paycheck so that I have Christmas money. I worked it out and it should add up to about $500 dollars by November plus interest. {Thank you Smartypig. You have been amazing in terms of helping me save.}
  • I have a few credit cards for various stores that I pay off immediately after buying something. I also have a main card that usually carries a balance, so this month is dedicated to paying that off and keeping it paid off like the other cards.
  • I’m actively trying to ask myself, “Is this something I really need?” Sometimes it works. Other times, like when I decide to get a few items from Sephora that turns into “Well let’s try this just once, and maybe this too,” and before I know it I have a $160 dollar order. I’ve been tracking my spending more closely with Mint so hopefully I’m on to the right track with that.

Other projects for March

  • Reading – I’m working on reading both Blogging for Dummies and Blog Inc.
  • Making progress on my room renovations – I really need to get the painting tackled in my room. March 9th is a Bring your Friends and Family event at IKEA so hopefully I can pick up a few things to get the ball rolling and get my inspiration sparked again.
  • Completing FMS’s March Photo Challenge.

What are your plans for March? Did you set goals for February? Hopefully you did better than my 1 for 6 tally. Here’s to a great month!

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