Peter Pan 1st Birthday Party

DSC_0238DSC_0244DSC_0290DSC_0194Peter Pan.
Peter Pan was a dream party theme of mine. One I’ve been planning for a long long time. What, you don’t plan your children’s birthday parties while they are in utero? Or sometimes before they are even conceived? Oh that’s just crazy me, huh?
This was the kind of plan you secretly and quietly put together little by little in the back of your mind all the while questioning whether you could ever pull off that super magnificent kind of magic–we are talking pixie dust here! Flying children! Pirates! Mermaids! But the idea of it is altogether too delicious and so one night you gather the courage and reverently whisper to your husband, “wouldn’t it be so cool if we could turn our backyard into Neverland?” Luckily he’s the kind of guy who loves big ideas (& big eyed girls) so we jumped right into planning & I have to tell you…we had so much fun. So so much fun. We were humming “You Can Fly” for months as we plotted how to deliver Neverland and one heck of a 1st birthday party for our little Huck.
P.S. Doesn’t it seem like just a minute ago we were celebrating this?

I have to give complete invitation credit to Bry-Man as he took just a few pointers and ideas I’d been thinking of and then completely ran with it. Barley (or Pero) soaked sheets of his own design featured a map of Neverland on one side and the party details on the other.
“Whether Pirate, Mermaid, or Fairy ye be, whether Indian, Lost Child, or Croc…come in your best Never-Wear, on past the stars to Skull Rock”
Invites were folded & tied with gold bakers twine & fastened with a glittery gold wax seal. Oh we’re Fancy Huh. Our hope was that our smallest guests would get a little taste of Never-magic in an envelope & start to get excited about playing along right away.
We borrowed Grandma’s back yard…a pretty perfect Neverland canvas to begin playing with, and set up Mermaid Lagoon, The Indian Village, Hangman’s Tree (Lost Boy’s Hideout), Pixie Hollow, & Skull Rock.
DSC_0251DSC_0205DSC_0229DSC_0231DSC_0278It really wouldn’t have been complete without this sign & one of my very favorite parts of the party to boot. Thank you to my talented amazing brother & sister-in-law (Mine For The Making) for executing it so perfectly.
DSC_0236DSC_0237love. love. love.

The grown up hang out area was more classically Peter Pan themed. We used his signature colors of green & red with touches of shimmery gold and red feathers…magic baby. Speaking of babies…the party area was also completely “Huck-ified”. A first year banner with a picture for each sweet little month, A 1st birthday chalkboard poster featuring all of his stats & faves (a little hope designs), a picture of him dressed like “Michael” during the Indian Village Celebration scene in the Disney movie, and a big fat chocolate cupcake with his special number on top.
DSC_0218That awesome green & gold tassel garland is from Silverlake Sisters. Loved it.

DSC_0227DSC_0225DSC_0194Enough with the decorating and on to the festivities, yeah?

We asked guests to use the side entrance…where they were met by this:
DSC_0286World’s best uncle. 
I mean, he put on green tights for us…right?
He stood ready with his little burlap pouch of fairy dust (gold glitter) to sprinkle on the costume clad kids and asked them what their happy thoughts were, at which point they got to enter/fly through our “starry sky” (a tunnel Bry made from PVC pipes, black tarp & gold stars-no picture! Oops!) wiiiith the music from the movie playing (think of a wonderful thiiiiing…) and ended up in our little Neverland. Magic. Magic. Magic.

First stop? Indian Village.
DSC_0216Another special thank you to a pretty incredible niece who personified “Tiger Lilly” for some fun Indian games at the end of which, each little brave received a warrior title (my favorite? Adilyn’s ‘Little Red’) complete with a feather in their hair.
DSC_0215The feather bunting below was from Lynn’s Mix and we rather liked it on our teepee.DSC_0206Next the boys & girls were divided for more Neverland adventures. The boys were whisked away to Hangman’s Tree where they made their own swords (paint sticks cut & glued together, colored with markers) and had pirate fighting lessons.
The girls journeyed to Mermaid Lagoon where they got to meet a real mermaid (squeal!), get their faces painted, & made little Mermaid dolls.
When the little Mermaids were nearly done, and the lost boys had just finished their pirate fighting lessons, a real pirate appeared Arrgh! (Thanks Grandpa!) The lost boys & girls fought bravely and in the end when they had that codfish pirate by his throat, he gave up the location of the first clue to a pirate treasure hunt…the first clue was behind his pirate flag at Skull Rock!
All of our Never-kids excitedly raced around the yard reading clues & hunting for treasure!
DSC_0277The clues…DSC_0331“I provide water, skinny and long, find a clue here & you can’t go wrong”

The final clue led them to a treasure chest full of gold or errr gold candy that is.
DSC_0298DSC_0296DSC_0295Again, magic I tell you.

About this time, we sang Happy Birthday to the guest of honor, watched him stuff his face with cake (SO cute-really he devoured it. Without any help. Way to go Champ!) & settled in for our feature film. Guests filled their plates with yummy sandwiches, fruit, & cake and then set up “picnic” areas while Bry had some quick help putting up the movie screen (a white shower curtain really does the job quite perfectly).
DSC_0293 DSC_0292

DSC_0204Kids grabbed sack dinners (juice box, cheese stick, clementine orange, & a defrosting uncrustable to keep it all cool) and made their own little front row up close to the screen.
Watching my little Wendy, Tinkerbell & their sweet little cousins fly around with their arms outstretched right along with the movie? You guessed it…maaaagic.
DSC_0199(popcorn & red vines…movie staples)

Oh! And because I didn’t know where to fit it in up top…we had a few fun things for the grown ups while the kid festivities were going on…
DSC_0220Plenty of snacks & drinks.
And a little Peter Pan/Huck trivia quiz, winners of which received Peter Pan Peanut Butter.

My top 3 “Happy Thoughts” from this magical day?
3. My very awesome, very in character helpers. Mary was THE coolest Mermaid I have ever seen-so talented! She does parties you guys! Among other things she is a pretty darn awesome Anna (Frozen)! Check out her FB page HERE. Thank you Michael for donning tights on your last free day before boot camp! And thank you Tori for sharing your 18th birthday with Huckleman! Thanks for being a grumpy pirate grumpy grandpa! You guys were incredible!
2. All of you wonderful friends & family we got to share the magic with!
DSC_0284DSC_0303DSC_0283Tinkerbell costume from Zibdi

DSC_0266DSC_0193DSC_0198Including this goober…aka “little red”
DSC_0264aaaand my number one favorite part was the special little man we celebrated. Love you Huck-a-roo! Happy 1st Birthday!
DSC_0289Huck’s Peter Pan costume is from Lucinda Fabrics.
Stay tuned for a post highlighting party details & sponsors!

Witchs’ Brew Soup, a halloween recipe

witchs' brewHang on to your black pointy hats! This yummy little brew will please big witches and little witches alike! We had a magical time making it–and you will too! To make this work you have to be a little bewitching…gather any odd shaped glass bottles/jars and fill them up with the ingredients below. After I set the set the stage, I invited my excited little witches in, tea-aged piece of paper (ancient recipe) in hand, and we started spelling. They were tickled by the ghoulish ingredients and by the rhymes I kept making up before each step as I “read” from the recipe:
“black cats, mummies, & zombie stitch, the next ingredient must be added by the littlest witch”
“In the sky is a great full moon, now we each stir the soup with a big wooden spoon”
“when we’re done with this soup we’ll all share, bat wings must be added by the witch with dark hair”
Oh they gobbled it up! And the soup too :) We cozied up and watched Hocus Pocus while we filled our bellies!

Witchs’ Brew Soup Recipe:
Mouse Bones
Spooky Pumpkin
Frog Bellies
Crushed Spiders & Spiderwebs
Bat Wings
Mummy Juice
Crushed Bugs
Blood & Guts
Zombie Eyeballs

Or you know….

Witchs’ Brew Soup Recipe:
Mouse Bones (1/2 onion diced+4 cloves garlic minced)
Spooky Pumpkin (1-2 carrot sticks diced)
Frog Bellies (1 can kidney beans-drained)
Crushed Spiderwebs & Spiders (Salt & Pepper)
Bat Wings (1 box Farfalle “bow tie” pasta)
Mummy Juice (6 cups chicken broth)
Crushed Bugs (1 tsp dried oregano & 2 tsps dried basil)
Blood & Guts (1-28oz + 1-14oz cans diced tomatoes–AKA 1 BIG+1 LITTLE)
Zombie Eyeballs (1 bag frozen cocktail meatballs)
2 tbsps Olive Oil
*Parmesan Cheese for topping

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions & carrots and saute until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften-about 5 minutes. Add garlic, dried seasonings, salt, pepper, and cook 3 more minutes. Add the chicken broth & diced tomatoes then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the bow tie pasta & kidney beans. Continue to simmer until pasta & vegetables are soft. Serve & top with Parmesan cheese (I like tons! And a little garlic knot on the side too!)
soup picDSC_0311

Woodland Theme Origami Owl party

Autumn is definitely one of my favorite times of the year, with the weather finally starting to turn, the crisp morning air, richly colored leaves, everything pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin… am I right?

So when my friend told me she was hosting an origami owl party, I jumped at the opportunity to light some cozy cottage candles and decorate with some cozy fall decorations. =)


Look at these most adorable felt acorns! They got lots of attention, tiny, soft and cute, something about this combo makes women swoon. ;)  Courtesy of Iva with TheDwartRam


After I decided on a place to hang them, I sewed through the original hanging yarn to make them into a garland. They slid easily along the yarn and hung perfectly with our cozy decor.


You have to take a look at her holiday pieces. I’m in love with the Halloween spider and glittery Christmas acorns!



Who? RianCityRusticMetals, that’s who! ;)

Handcrafted metal art, like this cute owl candle holder, was the perfect touch for our little party, mixing Autumn & Owls into one. I love so many of their phenomenal pieces, like the shimmery fall leaf and cute lil’ bat!

I love how this candle holder can be used either way, the one side is a bit more rustic and the other has a touch of glam, with a silver shimmer that catches the light.





Birch straws are my favorite… the contrasted white & black wood is just so inviting! My mom couldn’t believe that they were made of paper until she felt it herself, exclaiming, “But they look like real wood!” I concur. ;) GildedBirch provided them–a fitting name for these little beauties. Definitely saunter over for a look at what else she has to offer.



Take a peek at our Pinterest page for some delicious food & drink ideas. Like tiny pancakes, chai tea & meringue mushrooms!


Asian Themed Bridal Shower

Our eccentric bride-to-be, who loves the vibrant and stylish Asian culture, has visited both China and Japan in the past couple of years and is excited to incorporate some of its eclectic charm  into her new home.

Encouraged to come dressed up, the MOB also provided additional silken clothing pieces and brightly colored hair accessories for a truly cultural experience.


Phenomenal Pompoms hung fashionably from the ceiling. With glittery gold and shimmery champagne, it added an extra special touch of class to our party.

Haven-Shower (25 of 72)IMG_2485





The party would not have been complete without a burst of Origami cranes, don’t you agree? The perfect backdrop for photos of friends. The bride-to-be sat in front of it for our “how-well-does-the-couple-know-each-other” interview too.   =)





Party favors were chopsticks along with these precious, tiny wishing stars, each containing a special message inside. We also included instructions on how to refold the stars once our guests have read the message, strung on with thread to a ribbon for each guest to take home.


Extra special 15% discount off of any of the items in this store! Just enter the word “2ENTERTAIN” during checkout & enjoy this offer till the end of 2014.



Classy cranes attached to ribbons lit up our cocktail bar, where we provided a light variety of cold & sparkling sake with written instructions for fruity cocktails & mixed drinks.

IMG_2466Haven-Shower (72 of 72)



We wanted our Origami crane decals to be mobile, so the BTB could take them with her to their new apartment and eventual future home… So we applied the decals to the back of the glass photo frame and cut scrapbook paper to fill in some color. We just loved how they turned out!

Haven-Shower (9 of 72)Haven-Shower (10 of 72)




Dinner is served! We pulled together quite the collection of Asian-inspired dishes to serve a delicious spread of sunumono, mochi, sushi rolls, edamame, barley tea and the like.

Haven-Shower (2 of 72) Haven-Shower (1 of 72)



Fun and Games!


I’m not sure what to call this lively game; the MOB has kept it alive at several showers throughout the years.

Here’s how to play:

The guests sit in a circle. In the center of the circle are a few wedding attire accessories along with a dull pair of small scissors and  a small “gift” that is wrapped and tied with yarn a couple dozen times.

A box, with two alphabet blocks inside, is passed rapidly around the circle like Hot Potato. Each guest rolls the two “dice” one time, keeping the “dice” inside the box.  The goal is to quickly roll a matching pair of letters that was previously selected (we chose the letter H). The box keeps getting passed until someone rolls the correct double letters.

When the double letters are rolled, the guest runs to the middle of the circle, puts on the wedding attire as fast as they can, and begins to cut through the string, unwrapping the gift–but only one layer at a time. In the meantime the box is still being passed around circle and the “dice” rolled. As different guests each roll doubles, they get to run up and take the bridal attire off of the person in the center and put in on themselves, and then take the scissors and begin cutting though the yarn revealing a new layer of the gift…until the next person rolls doubles!

This continues until the last layer has been unwrapped and the prize is revealed. We had a pebble wrapped inside to trick the winner–who then received a lucky bamboo plant as their real prize.

Haven-Shower (49 of 72)  Haven-Shower (43 of 72)



Pass the Edamame:

We  gave everybody chopsticks and had them line up in three teams. At one end of each line there was a small bowl with three edamame beans inside. There were three empty bowls on the opposite end of each line. The teams had to pass the bean from one end of the line to the other using only their chopsticks. Easier said than done, especially when you have other teams haggling you ;). The winning team is the one who gets the three beans into the empty bowl first.

Haven-Shower (57 of 72) Haven-Shower (66 of 72)Haven-Shower (70 of 72)




With the beautiful fall weather approaching, there comes one catch… the mosquitoes. I decided to try out a new mosquito repellant this year, Gold Canyon Candles, it’s by far the most enjoyable way to ward off the little buggers!
I bought two Citronella candles for my front porch this past month, because even though the the weather has begun to cool down and it is now tolerable to step outside,  I would make a mad dash from the door to the car due to the many mosquitos waiting for me on my front porch!
These Citronella candles are beautiful, they are filled to a slightly lower level than the original candles so they won’t be blown out by the wind. And although I’m not opposed to the smell of Citronella these are much more beautifully scented.  I used them when I had a yard sale this past weekend, and it added a nice touch to help me relax and wind down after a hectic weekend of cleaning house. =)

Puppy Party Recipes

Recipes and tips from our Puppy Party Lunch!


The Original Rice Krispies Treats

Serves 12.


3 tablespoons Butter
1 package (10 oz) Marshmallows

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat.
Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted (don’t leave them!)
Remove from heat, and pour over Rice Krispies
Stir until well coated.
Using buttered spatula (I just dipped a large spoon in coconut oil) evenly press mixture into large pan coated with cooking spray (I used a rimmed backing sheet, lined with wax paper)

We added cute little candies and used our awesome cookie cutters!





Chex Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow ;)

Serves 18.

9 cups Chex cereal
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Peanut butter
1/4 cup butter (I used more peanut butter, I think they weren’t as soft as if I’d used butter but they were still delicious)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In large bowl  measure cereal. Set aside.
In 1 quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter, for 1 min. Stir. Microwave 30sec longer or until smooth.
Stir in Vanilla.
Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
Pour into 2 gallon Ziplock bag (or smaller groups into smaller bags, but this step is a must, and fun for the kids;)
Add powdered sugar, seal, and shake until well coated.





The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies:

Serves 24 (Make sure to adjust the serving size, it’s auto set to serve 60!)


1/2 cup & 1 tablespoon & 2 teaspoons Butter, softened
3/4 cup & 2 teaspoons white sugar
1-1/2 eggs (I used 1 large egg)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour (although wheat tastes delicious, it is sticky and does not roll out)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
Beat in egg & vanilla.
Stir in the flour, baking powder & slat.

Cover & chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out dough on well floured surface (I like to rub flour on top of the dough and on my rolling pin too)
1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
Cut into shapes and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
Bake 6-8 min (I did 6)
Cool completely







Grilled Panini

Simple, cheap & super delicious!


Favorite toppings. We like: Jalapeños, sun-dried tomato, pickled artichokes and a splash of dressing (like Caesar or Italian)
Meat & Cheese


Butter the outside of two pieces of bread
Add ingredients

That’s it!

I provided a small cutting board and knife to chop up the toppings and a hot skillet for grilling (could also use a Forman grill or toaster oven)




Check out our Puppy Party here =)

Puppy Party Contributors!

I just want to start by saying thank you to all of our contributors! Party planning is my hobby, and I couldn’t do it without all of the support and enthusiasm of every single one of the wonderful people behind each of our parties.

So with out further adieu… A Puppy Party :)


The adorable invitations were hand crafted cards, designed with card stock and a puppy paw punch, and were blank inside. I simply printed out the party information and used double sided tape. Voila!


The Adopt Invitations are handmade by Lindsey, at MimsAndRanon. 50% of the proceeds from her adoption cards go to her local shelter, where she previously adopted her own fuzzy friend.
Lindsey would like to offer our readers a first-time purchase discount code of 15%. Just enter WELCOMEFRIEND at checkout. This code is good for one time use only, and for any item. But don’t worry, she has a discount code for return customers as well, so you can have a discount any time you make a purchase!


The Balloon was courtesy of Tassels & Tails. Oh my word, I love these things! The giant balloon trailed a lively rainbow of color, beckoning guests in and bringing a smile to everyone’s faces even before reaching the door =)

We had a strangely windy day, so my husband and I did our best to secure the balloon from blowing into our trees! I think it turned out beautifully, don’t you?
Coming to you all the way from Scotland,  tasselsandtails creator Angie provided us with this gorgeous custom balloon & tail to match our color theme. Not only that, but she also provided us with a  green and gold tassel garland, which my daughter absolutely loved to run her hands through.


Be sure to hurry over and take advantage of her 25% off Autumn Sale going on now!


The Dog Bone Chalkboard Labels were a huge hit! I love how ecstatic the little ones were about having their very own cup. These labels stuck perfectly, and stayed on after washing. These chalkboard labels can be written on with a “chalkboard marker” and wiped off to use again and again!


Sookiedog‘s owner Jenny opened the shop in order to work from home and make a humble profit so that her time and funds would be freed up to spend more time with her dog and two cats, and donate or volunteer with her local dog & cat rescue. “As they say, you can’t save all the dogs, but you can save one… we together can make a difference”


These Photograph Cards are amazing. How can you help but melt over these adorable little faces? I love framing cards, getting to see something so adorable everyday, and when the right occasion arrises, with words of love, gifting one of these beauties to another to enjoy. It’s just perfect.


A special little gift for the birthday girl, a puppy party card in the truest sense of the word ;)

MCopen‘s founder Michele is an UCLA graduate who was a photo director, graphic designer and photographer for many years before going freelance. She has designed and published two books capturing the true personality and quirky ways of the French Bulldog breed. You can visit her website here:



These dachshund notes are oh so cute! I used these little thank you cards to send home the adoption certificate with each child, along with a personal note thanking them for joining us, and adopting a puppy.


She also provided these adorable gift tags! Puppies, puppies everywhere =)

With her architectural attention to detail, southern charm and her cute little dachshund “Lux” by her side, Meghan opened her graphics and paper goods shop in 2010. Be sure to visit byMMcC today!



The White Picket Fence was a crowning item of the party. “Re-cycle, re-purpose, remarkable.” We used this quaint little creation to stage our adoption center, the perfect piece to tie in the puppies with a vision of the perfect home.

IMG_2202 DSC_0068

One crafty lady, Barbara, creates and sells unique, vintage, and shabby home goods in her shop BarbaraAnnsCreations. She has extended a coupon code, EATCAKE ,for 20% off any order over $5.00 to our readers!
(Expires Jan 31,2015, not applied to shipping)


Cookie cutters, precious poodles, and puppy dog bones. Dessert made easy! Who says you have to make a giant cake, or crumbly cupcakes? I say “let them eat cookies!”


And rice crispy treats =) My daughter would say “hoohoo” (her “bark” for a dog) with every bite and pick the little candy bones out of the treats. These little candies added an extra splash of color to the dessert table.

Cookie cutters for everything! My awesome sister cut out some watermelon bones too. It was a big hit with the kids.


Rhonda’s chocolate supplies provides a wide variety of essential and decorative items for cooking and creating your own delicious treats. Visit her shop and check out everything from cookie cutters and chocolate molds, to flavored candy oils and edible designed pieces.


And last, but not least, the white picket fence! Being the first thing guests saw as they walked in the door, it got a lot of “wow, how cool is that!” comments. Such a beautiful wall decal. Unfortunately we don’t have smooth walls and although it was a bit more of a challenge to put up, my sister and I tackled it and were very pleased with our efforts.


SissyLittle offers an exciting array of wall decals, which are a fabulous way to decorate any room! Easily transferable and with a luxurious sheen, I just wish I had more walls to display them on ;) visit their shop and enjoy browsing the variety.




Updated coupon code!

Although they weren’t able to contribute at this time, I’d like to include a neat shop based all the way over in Australia. lightandco has been so generous and is offering a 10% discount on all products throughout the month of October, so make sure to check them out soon! Use the code ROCKTOBER.


Check out our Recipe Post!


A Puppy Party for a 2nd Birthday

It’s a Paw-ty!

I had so much fun planning this precious Puppy Party for my daughter’s second birthday! I tried to keep it small this year in comparison to her first birthday party. Although it was difficult for me to narrow it down, at the end of the day we had a sweet little party with several of her playful pals.

Ballon & garland: tasselsandtails

I fell in love with the idea of a white picket fence surrounded with pink flowers, green grass and blue skies… I couldn’t find a stock puppy party theme like that online, and couldn’t remember where I had gotten the idea in the first place. Then it hit me – the Ikea piece of art that was sitting in my daughter’s room! A friend had gifted it to us only a month or so before, and I hadn’t gotten around to hanging it yet. Now was my chance! I started looking for white picket fences to go with my vision.

Wall Decal SissyLittle

Adopt a puppy! Not only a wonderful real life idea but the perfect theme for a toddlers birthday, the kids loved picking out their very own puppy to keep (complete with a leash and collar which I modified to fit such tiny little toys).

Adopt card MimsAndRanon

(Puppies doubled as party favors, and all for under $20, win!)


I set up “adoption center”, where I asked each of the children to pick a name for the puppy and sign a certificate of adoption. It was hilarious to hear the names they picked when put on the spot. We had a couple “Doggies,” a “There,” and one little boy named his baby brother’s puppy after himself ;)

White fence BarbaraAnnsCreations

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I sent each adoption certificate home with each child, tucked away in a personal note thanking them for joining us at the party and adopting a puppy. A great time saving tip for all you busy mamas out there!

Gift tags & Thank you notes byMMcC

It was oh so adorable to see her little friends bearing gifts, each excited as she was to open them and see what was inside.

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Moving into the kitchen, we had a delicious spread for lunch of bone-shaped watermelon pieces, PB&J, and juice in their very own personalized sippy cups (spill proof for mama!).


Chalkboard labels sookiedog



The adults enjoyed a Panini bar with a variety of all my favorite toppings – lightly buttered and grilled ’til the cheese melts on the skillet – mmmm!


After lunch and a brief play break…

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We called the little ones over to sing happy birthday and break out the puppy treats: poodle sugar cookies, bone rice crispys and puppy chow.


Cookie cutters chocolatesupplies


Framed photo cards MCopen

Recipe post to follow, so stay tuned!


All in all it was a wonderful September afternoon spent with pleasant company & playful friends.


Take a look at our fabulous Contributors to begin planning your own paw-ty!




The birthday girl eating breakfast and waiting for her party to start =)





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