January 29, 2014

Shop Back-To-School Essentials Without Breaking The Bank

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions, however, are my own. 

You all know by now that I'm obsessed with stationery and organization. Like I get anxiety when people don't organize their email inboxes, or delete emails after reading them instead of filing them. Why do people DO that though?! Like just drag it into a folder. Ughhh.. I guess you can say I'm a little bit Type-A, but it happens to the best of us, right?! 

So imagine how excited I was when I was contacted and asked to review my shopping experience at an Office Depot store near me - well yeah, I'd do it. Give me a reason to go stationery shopping and I'm in! 
Side note: Before going shopping, I went through my desk and re-organized my stationery to evaluate what I needed to buy, so I didn't waste valuable money, ya know?, and I actually realized I have way too many pens, and I actually have a problem. Did that stop me? Nope. 

So off I went to Office Depot - and of course I made a day out of it, hitting Nordstrom, Forever 21 and Target with my big on the way home. What can I say - I can shop.. 
I fully expected the $100 gift card to take me nowhere fast. I mean, I can blow $100 at any other stationery store in 2.5 seconds (seriously, time me..) so I figured this would be the same. I picked up everything I needed and more, just buying things cause they were cute, cause Caroline logic.

The thing is, even though it's still sophomore year, I love starting fresh every semester and I loved that Office Depot was still pretty stocked even though it was January and not August and prime back-to-school shopping time. Starting a new semester's almost as big of a deal as starting a new year. You need new notebooks, new pens and pencils, some post-its and crafting supplies, and printer paper and everything. Let me tell ya, money runs away from me in stationery stores. 

I even filmed my little shopping adventure for you to look at how adorable I am.

Funny thing is: even with all of this, my bill only came up to $65. WHAAAAT?! Turns out, Office Depot's pretty freakin affordable and I can buy a million things for $100.. no lie. I grabbed some more necessities and some things I just had to have, like an expensive iPad pen cause yolo? and I went to check out - and even then it was still under $100! Are they TRYING to fuel my stationery addiction?!? After some convincing from my Big, I spent the extra couple bucks on some cute Valentine's Day cards for friends and my roommates and her - yes, she convinced me, and we booked it out of there before I could buy anything else. 

The Office Depot I went to was pretty small, and didn't have the See Jane Work collection - I'd heard a lot about this collection. It's basically organization made cute for girls like you and me, who still care what our magazine files look like.. I'm so tempted to order everything online now. brb. shopping. 

In the end, this is what I got shopping and I'm so happy. It was really much-needed, and ugh perfection.

But, you know I'm not one to not share the goods, so I have an exclusive deal for you.
If you shop through any of the links in this post, you'll get $10 off every $50 you spend. 
Love me yet? You better!
Happy back-to-school spring semester shopping!! 
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January 28, 2014

A New Chapter

So, I'm late as usual.. nothing new there. But I'm here to explain what's going on in my life.
Noticed anything different on the bloggy blog this week? If no, please have your eyes checked.. because The Caro Diaries has gone through a complete blog transformation!

Not only have I redesigned, I've moved over to Blogger! You remember how much trouble I was having with self-hosted Wordpress and it just really wasn't worth the money for me, so I decided to switch over - something I should have done since this summer, instead of buying my own hosting. But hey, ya live and ya learn. 

Now of course, none of this would have been possible without the fabulous Sarah, who not only designed this entire thing, but moved me from Wordpress to Blogger and answered all my dumb questions. There were (and still are) many dumb questions.

Plus, cause I'm new to Blogger and all, I'm new to GFC, and I really don't know that shindig so do me a favor and follow me cause I look lame with like negative ten followers.

I'm super excited about this new chapter for The Caro Diaries (i didn't even plan that… chapter, diaries, LOL), and to share this new adventure with you all, I'm offering a major discount on my sidebar ads. I'm talking like 50% off major. 

So take 50% off with the code redesign, and support me on my new adventures. I'd love to see your pretty faces on my sidebar, and I promise to be really really annoying with tweeting you 24/7.

Love me? 
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January 27, 2014

Giveaway: The Sorority Planner

Okay, so there's something different here, right? Yep.. right. I'll talk about that tomorrow so check back tomorrow to see why things are a-changing on the blog.
What I'm here today to discuss is my obsessive organization, and by that I mean my obsession with planners. So when I discovered The Sorority Planner by Cat and Erica, I died. I mean, I DIED. Really.

Did you see my Instagram from last week? If not, here it is:
Isn't it perfect?! Yeah.. it really is. I love it! Like really really love it.. The planner has six different sections, separated by big pretty colorful tabs, with quotes for that added touch! What are the 6 sections you ask?

CALENDAR: a 12-month calendar with each month spread out across two pages, so you can actually write in the blocks. PLUS, my favorite part is that it has all 26 National Panhellenic Founder's Days, so you can wish your Panhel sisters a happy founders day!
CHAPTER: there are 36 chapter meeting pages to write your report, announcements, discussions from chapter and to prep for the following week. Much-needed!
MEETINGS: there are also 20 additional meeting pages to help you stay organized, and you can use them for a committee, panhellenic or group meetings.
EVENT PLANNING: ten pages to plan and prepare for big events, or small functions - these are ideal for recruitment and philanthropy events!
GOALS: we're sorority girls, and we have big plans for ourselves - and Cat and Erica give us 6 pages to write all of our goals for the year, and space to plan how we're gonna make them happen too!
NOTES: and then there are 10 extra pages to doodle, jot notes or reminders and just enjoy for whatever else you need!

PLUS, there are a ton of different designs. There are tribal planners, there are black and white planners, there are dotted planners and there are striped planners. There are even fraternity planners. (yes, they went there.. ugh perfection).
I got the mint striped planner, and ugh.. I'm obsessed with mine - wanna see it?

AND I've teamed up with the girls to give YOU one! So enter here and you can be a winner!

The giveaway runs til Sunday 2nd at midnight! Good luck ladies! 
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January 23, 2014

Dorm Room Workouts

So, school was supposed to start on Tuesday, and then this little snowstorm showed up and ruined our plans (yeah, rightttt.. like I wanted to go to school) but I'm a busy college student who still wants to work out, but I don't have time slash it's too damn cold outside for me to walk to the gym, so I asked my friend Kristen to help me out with some dorm room workouts for every college student.

Working out nowadays can sometimes be a challenge if you live in a small space such as a dorm or small apartment. It's important for people to get at least 30 min of exercise a day. Here are a few things you could do to stay on track.

Cardio/strength training for small spaces:

Planks: Great for abs, back and core. Challenge yourself to hold a plank each day and watch your time go up. Building your core will help you other moves and workouts.

Squats: Targets your thighs and butt, but also works the hamstrings and lower back. You can find different variations of squat challenges online to hold yourself accountable.

Push ups: Helps build chest, shoulders, arms and back muscles.

Chair dips: All you need is a chair and it is great for the triceps.

Lunges: Either static or walking are great for legs.

Jogging either in place or even better if you live in an apartment/dorm with several floors, running up and down stairs.

Weights are great to have. You can pick up some cheap ones at Target or use soup cans if you don't have them. Any weight will do, but don't be afraid to get heavier ones if you are up for a challenge. Bicep curls, overhead presses, etc are great workouts to do! Aim to do 3 sets of 10 reps for each move.  They are great at building muscle and giving you strength in your arms.

Resistance bands are also great for workouts - Greatist.com just had an article recently on the different workouts you can do! greatist.com/fitness/resistance-band-exercises

Yoga: This is a great way to either start your day or unwind after class or a long day at work.  Basic moves and classes can be found online and a lot of classes are free!

If you are looking for more of a program or accountability, then a workout DVD might be better for you. You can get some great ones at Target that are reasonably priced. Or you can do workouts such as Brazil Butt Lift (Legs and Butt), Insanity (Pure Cardio), or Les Mills Combat (mixed martial arts). These don't require much space, but if there are moves that may be limited, due to space, the key is to modify. As long as you are getting at least 30 min a day, you'll be seeing results and feeling great.

I do set up accountability groups from time to time to offer support for those that easily fall off track with some of the programs and more mentioned above. Feel free to contact me at fitwithkris@gmail.com with any questions!
Thanks Kristen! Stay fit, girls!


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January 21, 2014

Where Does All the Money Go?!

This is a sponsored post however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

We all know this one too well. We have money in our bank accounts - it's payday after all, and then next thing you know it's over and you're back to your original bank balance (and sometimes even lower..scary!).

These days, it's so ridiculously easy to spend money. Have to order a set of pens off amazon? Say goodbye to your paycheck cause I never checkout just one item. If I spend $20 more I'll get free shipping. I have to. yes because the shipping would have cost you $6 anyways but go right ahead and spend $20 more. So I started evaluating where my money goes as a college student.

It goes to booze. and entry to every bar, club and shindig we find ourselves at. Let's be real, I'm in college.
It goes to my sorority. hey, dues don't pay themselves!
It goes to Netflix. because who has time for TV anymore?
It goes to Amazon. because when you online shop as much as I do, getting Amazon Prime is like your best friend.
It goes to Nordstrom, Macy's and Bloomingdales. because Sheaffer told me to.
It goes to TJ Maxx. because I feel like I'm getting the biggest sales ever when I'm still spending money. Ughh they get me every time.
It's spent on boots, coats and new sweaters. because brrrrr it's cold in here. (Bring It On reference. Judge me.)
But without a doubt, it's spent on books. I'm in college after all - I'm here to learn.

Luckily, I discovered Campus Book Rentals. Their books are 40-90% off bookstore prices and have free shipping both ways. In one minute I managed to rent a textbook for $40 that would have cost me $200 to buy USED! It's simple. You rent it for however long your semester or term is, and when you're done you put it back in the box and send it back. Done and done.

I rent almost every textbook that I know I won't need again. All my Journalism books I tend to buy new or used because hey that's my major, but when I'm taking random classes I'll never use again like intro to basket-weaving. (jk is that even a class?) then I'm surely not spend $100+ on a textbook. That's valuable shopping money.

The really cool thing about Campus Book Rentals is that every book you rent donates money to Operation Smile, and you can treat the book like you would if you owned it - highlighting and writing in it too. Plus if you wanna make some extra money, they have this program called Rent Back which allows you to rent the books you currently own to other college students, and you make up to 4 times more money than buy back options. (My bookstore offered me $20 for my $150 never touched book. Yes. Wish I was joking.)

So if you wanna save money and use it for other things like shopping and boozing and carefree spending, check out Campus Book Rentals. You can thank me later.

xo. Image Map

January 17, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday, y'all..

It's been a long time coming :) But it's finally the weekend - and a long one for some of us!

{one} remember my hangover advice? yea, i probably should have listened to myself.. i went out last night for a final hoorah with my best friends and yeah..

{two} today's actually my last day home! crazy huh.. five weeks flew by, but I'm ready to go back to school and get my life in order and get back to the books. I'm not looking forward to the anxiety, but hey it's my new year's resolution not to! I'm also not looking forward to the weather - I can't leave my nice sunshiny country for winter.. ughhh.

{three} i have a lot of really exciting things coming up on the blog - different sponsors, giveaways and posts for you - and i really really hope i'm not too stressed or overwhelmed with school to keep updated with the blog. I promise I'm gonna make an effort this semester to keep up to date.

{four} My ABD giveaway has a winner! She's been contacted and has 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. So cross your fingers she doesn't respond so you can get it ;)

{five} Have they invented a suitcase that packs for you yet? or a magical teleporter? I hate traveling, I hate packing and I hate having to wake up at 5 am for a flight.. someone get on that fast!

Happy Weekend y'all.. for those who have MLK Day off (like meeee).. enjoy it!! Image Map

January 16, 2014

Hangover Cures That EVERYONE Should Know

We all know from experience - there's nothing worse than a hangover. Literally, the world sucks when you're hungover and you regret every sip and every single shot you took the night before. But why?

I grew up in the Caribbean, so I am no stranger to alcohol, and especially hangovers. Personally, I'm a champagne girl. Give me an option between champagne and wine and I'll go straight for the champagne. Don't even try to get me to drink red wine cause that's just not gonna happen - no matter how healthy it is for me. I'm a woman of my ways - don't try to change me. But let's be real, I'm a college student - I can't afford champagne on a regular basis (or at all), but luckily, there are some really good, affordable rosé available. Rosé is generally cheaper than champagne, and it comes in a delightful pink color.

According to the Huffington Post, the color of rosé wines can range from a pale coral to a bright raspberry hue. This color is traditionally achieved by letting red wine grapes stay in contact with their skins so they take on a light pink blush, although wine makers have experimented with other methods. Marks and Spencer creates their sparkling rosé wine by mixing the Prosecco grape with some Raboso, while a more controversial way that involves mixing white wine with a dash of red has sparked debates in the European Union.

Since the production of rosé isn’t as exclusive as that of champagne, rosé usually sells for a fraction of the latter’s price. It’s the ideal drink for people who want the elegance of champagne without the champagne price tag. So just in case you ever drink a little too much champagne or wine, or let's be honest, hard liquor or beer, or if you just took one too many shots, this post is for you.

Hangovers have no judgement. They affect every type of person from every race, culture, belief and age. They affect males, they affect females, they even affect animals - don't waste your alcohol on dogs. Hangovers love to rear their ugly head, and rain on your parade, and it sucks.. big time. So what can we do to cure them?

1) drink water: it's an oldie, but it's a goodie. it's true - we're hungover because of a lack of water - the alcohol dehydrates us and makes us feel like crap. People suggest that for every drink you have, you drink a glass of water. It's supposedly the holy grail of preventing hangovers but I always forget to try - so if you do, let me know if that works!

2) greasy food: sorry to those who are on a diet, but your kale salad won't help you now. Head to the nearest McDonalds and get yourself the biggest burger you can find and a large fries cause for some reason or the other, the greasy food helps your hangover.

3) ginger ale: there's no proven fact that this works, but ginger ale is said to cure upset stomachs, so to help you keep down what should stay down, drink some schweppes and thank me later.

4) sleep it off: that's right - sleep. but by no means should you sleep if you're at work - that's just asking to get fired! But as soon as you can, climb into your bed and take a nap and when you wake up you may realize you're more refreshed than you imagined.

5) drink some more: the only way to not be stale drunk is to keep drinking.. i don't recommend this one though.

6) exercise: i'm not saying to go run a marathon, but go for a walk around the block or do some yoga - the exercise actually helps you get over your hangover. just make sure you're keeping hydrated while doing it.

7) toast: you know when you're sick and the only thing you can keep down is toast.. yeah the same goes for hangovers and it actually really helps. it's supposed to bring your blood sugar level back up and have you feeling better.

Happy Hangovers, y'all! Hope you don't drink too much.

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January 10, 2014

Friday Five

Oh well lookie here.. I'm late as usual. I haven't done one of these in a while, but hold on tight kids cause this ain't my first rodeo.

Looks like it's time for:
{one}So as you know by my New Year's Resolutions, I'm applying for internships. I've applied to three already and I haven't heard a thing yet and IT'S KILLING ME. Okay so maybe it's only been like a week but DOES ANYONE EMAIL BACK RIGHT AWAY!? I AM DYING HERE. Need evidence?

So anyone wanna help a sista out? Yes? No? EMPLOY ME!

{two}I've been a really bad mother to my loving credit card, and abused him this week. When I say abused, I mean abused. There were Lilly sales, some Macy's and Nordstrom sales and then just some fun shopping for the hell of it. I have a ton of packages waiting for me at my door already.

I'm so excited to go back to school.. you don't understand!

So I've been going through approving and making changes to the new layout for my blog, but I'm hoping in a few weeks that everything will be finalized and that The Caro Diaries will be rebranded! I'm super excited about that and I really hope you are too! 

I haven't really done much all week, but I stopped off at Rituals (our local "Starbucks") for some coffee after a run this week, and had some fun doing work with my cousin J and my Erin Condren planner. Obsessed?   

You may not have noticed Adam Block Design on my sidebar, but this month we've partnered up to giveaway not one, but three Greek shirts for you to share with your friends. ABD is the number one source for Greek apparel and let's be real, as a sorority girl I'm obsessed with his designs. So enter here. Giveaway runs til next Thursday at 11:59pm. Good luck friends!

abd giveaway

I apologize for how late this is and for how disorganized it is. Once again I've been a bad blogger and wrote this on my phone. I should win an award for the worst blogger! #notjoking.

Happy Weekending, y'all!

xo caro Image Map

January 09, 2014

80 Resolutions for 2014

I read this post originally from Stephanie over at Diary of a Debutante, and it inspired me to make my own list of 100 resolutions for the year.

I know, I know. It's been a little bit more than a week of 2014 already, but hey! at least I'm making resolutions! So in order to become the best me in 2014, I'm breaking down six different sections of my life that I want to improve and resolving to do so. I'm gonna start with the disclaimer that there's a high possibility that I won't be able to do half of these in the next year, but I'm going to try and that's the most I can do. Plus, I figure if I make it public then I feel bad to break them now. So, for the next 365 (minus a week) days..
For My Health: 

1. Exercise at least 3 times a week. This one can be really difficult at times and I know there may be some weeks where I'm swamped and physically cannot workout, so I'm allowing myself to make up for the days I've skipped the following week. But at least three times a week every single week.
2. Drink 8 glasses of water a day. 
3. Try a new gym class every month. I live on campus and have our campus gym - although small and usually packed - available for free, with a ton of fun classes for me to try, so once a month I'm promising to try a new one.
4. Go a full week without a cheat meal. Sometimes if I'm cutting out carbs and I'm really craving, I'll allow myself one meal with it. I want to go one full week a month without cheating at all. Hopefully the week turns into a month and then eventually a lifestyle choice.
5. Cut out soda/diet soda from my diet. I'm not a huge soda drinker, but diet coke gets me every time. I hate drinking coffee so my caffeine fix comes from diet coke or coke zero, and I really need to cut it out of my diet and flush my system
6. Try to be in bed before 1 on weekdays. Most people are in bed before midnight on weekdays, but I have a really hard time sleeping when I'm at school and I find myself just doing random things until 3 am until I'm so exhausted I could pass out. This year, I want to regulate my sleep schedule again.
7. Prepare more meals at home. I'm lucky enough to have a kitchen in my suite on campus, and I really don't take advantage of it enough. This year I want to cook more food and stop relying on the campus cafeterias.
8. Take medication when I'm sick - something I never do!
9. Give myself a rest day when I need one.
10. Keep a journal filled with only positive thoughts. Positive energy brings positive things. 

For The Blog:

11. Try to do OOTD/fashion posts at least once a month.
12. Comment and discover a few new blogs every week.
13. Rebrand my blog and officially move across to Blogger.
14. Grow my Bloglovin' and Facebook followings by another 1,000.
15. Sponsor a new blog every month. This month, it's The Rachael Way!
16. Take more photos. I want to actually use my expensive DSLR, and not just my iPhone anymore!
17. Get more personal on the blog. I really haven't opened up much on the blog except for a few posts here and there, and I really admire bloggers who are able to do so. So this year I want to try that, although it's gonna take a while for me to get there!
18. Better my design and Photoshop skills. Hey, I'm taking a Graphic Design class this semester anyways!
19. Participate in linkups at least once a month!
20. Post and participate in my Facebook blogging groups at least once a week.

For My Education and Campus Life: 
I combined both of them, so this one's a double whammy - big money! 

21. Get the 4.0 this semester. It's possible - I know it is. 
22. Spend at least 10 hours a week extra just revising my work. That's outside of studying for tests, doing homework and going to class. (gotta get the 4.0!) 
23.Get up by 9 am everyday. My earliest class this semester is at noon, and I got really lucky but I want to make sure I'm up early enough every day to still be productive.
24. Work on assignments the day they're assigned.
25. Go to my professors' office hours.
26. Actually utilize my dean. I mean, she works in the field and she knows what she's doing.
27. Limit my panic attacks to once a week max. This one is hard to admit but my panic attacks come so frequently that once a week is an improvement.
28. Figure out my minor. I still have no clue what I want to minor in. I really want Marketing but I'm required to take a math class that I know I won't be able to pass. So this year I need to figure that out.
29. Land myself an awesome internship for the summer. I've got my eyes on NYC and Boston like every other journalism major so let's hope I actually land one of them. If you have any connections, hit me up!
30. Respond to emails as soon as I can.
31. Respond to texts when I get them. I'm a horrible texter.
32. Actually read the required readings when they're assigned.
33. Go to the learning centre if I don't understand something instead of trying to figure it out myself.
34. Get to work five minutes early instead of one minute late.
35. Get work done on Fridays. this semester I'm lucky enough to have no class on Fridays, so I wanna actually be productive.
36. Hold a leadership position in my sorority. I already hold a chair position but I wanna grow more.
37. Attend another journalism/media conference.
38. Have my entire week planned out on a Sunday.
39. Reorganize my dorm room at least once a month.
40. Spend less time at the library. Yep, you read that correctly. Less. I currently live in the library at school so I want to balance a little more.

For My Bucket List:
41. Visit London and Lebanon.
42. Live in a big city for the summer.
43. Head to New York whenever I can. I'm literally an hour and a half away from my favorite city and I don't go nearly as much as I should.
44. Go to another concert. This year I saw John Mayer and Fall Out Boy, and B.o.B and a country first at school but those don't count.
45. Visit my brother for Thanksgiving.
46. Go skydiving. And not tell my mother until after.
47. Go to Six Flags and ride the biggest rollercoaster.
48. Go on a ski trip with my friends.
49. Apply to Study Abroad.
50. Go to an EDM festival.
For Everyday Life:
51. Be happier.
52. Complain less.
53. Learn to say no sometimes.
54. Learn to say yes sometimes. or at least take some chances.
55. Cut down on my online shopping addiction. No thanks to Sheaffer
56. Keep binge Netflixing to a minimum. In September I watched the entire season of GREEK in one week. No bueno.
57. Redecorate my room.
58. Collect experiences rather than items.
59. Read at least one book for fun a month during the school year. I read so much in vacation but I never pick up a book during the school year.
60. Read 50 books in 2014. Three down, 47 to go!
61. Skype my family more often.
62. Try something new every month.
63. Become fluent in Arabic.
64. Say thank you every day.
65. Learn to say thank you in as many languages as possible.
66. Go one full day without touching my phone or laptop.
67. Write handwritten thank you cards and mail them.
68. Craft a little more. It's good for the soul.
69. Track my finances - don't just spend for spending's sake.
70. Surprise someone. I already know what I want to do for this one, it's just to make it happen now.

For The Soul:
71. Pray more.
72. Read a bible verse at least once a week.
73. Continue going to church every week.
74. Count my blessings. I have many!
75. Let people in sometimes. I have a habit of not letting people into my life or pushing them away.
76. Do as many random acts of kindness as I can a week.
77. Forgive and let go of the past. It's a really hard one.
78. Open my heart a little more.
79. Smile.
80. Genuinely be happy for others. Remove all jealousy from my life.

So there's my list. It was supposed to be 100 but I couldn't think of twenty more. They'll come to me over the year.
Oh and I wrote this entire post on an iPad so apologizes if it looks like crap.


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January 06, 2014


Well what's new? It's 2014, and I'm being the worst blogger again.
But this time I have an excuse. You all know I live in Trinidad, and for the last five days, I spent some time in our beautiful sister isle, Tobago, for some R&R and to celebrate my cousin's destination wedding. It was a phenomenal week, and an even better wedding, and I'm still nursing that hangover. I even caught the bouquet.. that was fun!

I spent three days relaxing with the bluest waters, and with some of my fave family and friends. I tanned, I frolicked in the sun, and I even went banana boating and fell off many times, embarrassingly. All for some good stories, right?

You have my permission to be jealous. I'm so upset I'm not there anymore. But if you're in the cold, or suffering from the blizzard that's seem to hit everywhere except me, of course, here's some winter inspiration for Pinterest for ya. Or as I like to call it, Wintspiration.
So here are some of my favorite looks so you can look hot while staying warm ~ aka, while freezing your butt off. I'm dreading going back to this weather, so I'll be poolside soaking up the sun with a strawberry daiquiri as per usual. SEE YA.







Stay warm, y'all! Hope it's not that bad when I return in a few weeks. Until then, you can find me getting a tan. Toooodss.
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