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All Set for Retirement? Here’s How to Decorate Your Home

October 31, 2014 at 11:17 am

seniorhousepaintFinally, you have reached the age of retirement. All those years of hard work have paid off.You spent eight hours in your cubicle every single business day, dreaming of this. Now here it is – and you can rejoice at last!

It’s not unheard of for some seniors to want to downsize to a smaller space, such as a condominium. After all, a big suburban house may seem lonely if you’re alone. Some may want (or need) to move to retirement homes. There are several reasons why seniors feel the need to move and some of these reasons are elaborated in this article. It may be scary to depart from a place you’ve been familiar with most of your adult life. But the prospect of redecorating a home may be enough to induce excitement to any retiree.


Here are some tips that can help you as you decorate your home in celebration of your retirement:


1. Note which items to keep

Moving into a new house can be like meeting with a strange new friend. You will be more comfortable the more similar your new place is to your previous home. You can bring some of your favorite items with you. Though huge furniture, like a dresser, may not be practical to keep, others like your favorite cushion or seat, will be a great addition to your new home. Change doesn’t have to be drastic.


2.Plan and measure

A trip to the new home will help you know how to decorate the whole space. This decoration will not be like when you bought a house when you were younger – there is now the consideration of your age and physical strength. Measure the space properly so you know the sizes of the items you can put in the house.


3.List down which you should buy

Just because you moved to a more compact space doesn’t mean you can’t buy more furniture. It’s just the opposite – since you need those smaller in size, you have to get new ones. Note which items are already in the home and those that you do not need to buy again. This page offers sound advice on what kind of furniture are best fit for seniors.


4. Select a theme

It doesn’t matter how lovely every single piece of furniture is; if they don’t all match together, it will not look pleasing to the eyes. Follow a unifying theme. You can even have different ones for each room if you like.

You can work with a single color palette or have a single centerpiece to work around. Just remember that it’s your taste that prevails – if you don’t like the item (even though it matches the theme), then don’t buy it.


5. Give it your own personal touch

Your retirement home may be the last place you’ll live at, so do your best. Get new curtains to brighten up the place and dust the rooms to make it clean. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas you haven’t done before! Simple changes can make the best difference. You’ll be proud when you see all your hard work reflect the true design that you wanted in the first place.


Change doesn’t always have to be difficult. Turning a house into a home is always fun. What would make it more enjoyable is if you do it with your friends! Call them using any of the free cell phones for seniors you can get here. Consult your friends and relatives about decisions to make in the house and ask the decorations you’d like to put.

How to Ensure Your Safety in an Open Home Design

October 22, 2014 at 11:14 pm

openplanOpen home design, or better known as open floor plan, started becoming popular in the 1980’s and have become even more widely-used in contemporary houses. While individual rooms and compartmentalized areas are still common in many houses, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for open floor plans in order to better integrate with their busy lifestyle as well as foster more interaction and conversation between family members. This page provides background innformation on how open home design started and its early advocates.

Admittedly, there are both pros and cons when it comes to adopting an open home design. The main advantage is the maximization of available space. You can more easily rearrange and repurpose your available spaces and furniture because there are less walls or compartments to restrict ease of access. Your living room can double as an additional dining area with more tables and chairs when you host a dinner party. Or if you are watching a big football game and hosting a viewing party, you can temporarily remove the dining table set-up and opt for more couches and chairs around the big screen TV.

As for the drawbacks, noise management is more of a necessity if you have an open floor plan. Because there are less walls, noise from one area of the home can easily travel to the other areas. This may not be as big of an issue if you live alone or you are just a couple, but for families with children this would require additional planning.

Getting an open home design to work takes careful planning. It is not for everyone, but if you’re one of those homeowners who want to try this non-traditional design, here are some safety reminders for homes with open floor plan:


  • Secure entrances and windows. An open home design refers only to the spaces in the exterior and should not mean a home that is available for anyone to just trespass into. Make sure your doors and windows have the necessary safety features to keep intruders away. Alarms and electronic home security systems must also be considered. Always check overhead door parts and ensure that they are in optimum condition. Here’s an overhead door parts guide that you can refer to should you need help in doing a regular inspection of these parts.
  • Art work and décor should be appropriate for the space. Because there is more open space, you have more flexibility in choosing what art and sculpture pieces to hang or display, but you should also consider safety and ease of movement. For instance, décor should not be in walkways or other common areas where they can be obstacles or cause accidents.
  • Maximize natural lighting without sacrificing privacy. One benefit of an open floor plan is the increased flexibility as far as allowing natural light into every space. Window fixtures and treatments can be selected to allow as much sunlight and even air into the interiors. However, the drawback is that if you are not careful, anyone from the street might be able to peer into the home and see your activities. Privacy should be foremost when you select curtains, blinds, or other window fixtures. This site features the best options for light filtering shades that you can use for privacy.
  • Use rugs and carpets. Area rugs and carpets can be utilized not only for differentiating certain areas in your open home design, but also for safety reasons. Wooden or tiled floors can be slippery and cause accidents if not maintained properly. Rugs and carpets positioned properly can reduce the risk of accidents especially if you have younger children running around all the time. They also help with insulation as well as noise control, such as around your home entertainment system or in entrances.


Prepping Yourself Up For Thanksgiving

October 8, 2014 at 10:41 pm

thanksgiving_dayThe big Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner. Many Americans celebrate during this holiday with big roasted turkeys and sumptuous bowls of sweet potatoes, but only a few actually know how it came to be such a big part of American culture. Click here to read an article about the religious and cultural origin of Thanksgiving Day. Aside from being one of the busiest travel times of the year, Thanksgiving (along with the other big yearend holidays) will test your resolve to maintain your weight and keep the extra pounds away. Lavish dinners and parties are hard to resist especially when you have family or friends visiting whom you have not seen in a while. It is useless to fight that urge to have your portion of the roasted turkey when everybody else is having theirs. There is a general feeling of celebration and excitement that makes good food so irresistible, even food choices that you know will not help with your weight goals. If you are curious as to how turkey came to be the main part the Thanksgiving menu, here is a good write-up for you.

You don’t have to dread Thanksgiving or become the sorry non-participant when the feasting begins. If you make some preparations ahead of time, you will still be able to enjoy the holiday and allow yourself a little bit of indulgence without feeling guilty or bloated. Little choices and steps that you start now will help to maintain your weight even through the coming holiday parties. Check out some of these tips:


  • Ramp up your exercise. Increase your fitness routine in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. The goal is to create a calorie shortage that will offset any additional calories you will inevitably consume over the holiday. Add an extra day to your workout schedule during the week. If you run or jog, adding a few miles gradually will burn more calories and prepare your body. On average, people gain 1-2 pounds over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Make it your goal to lose a few pounds before the big holiday so any added weight then will not set you back on your goals.


  • Don’t stop moving. If you are going out of town or staying with family or friends during the holiday, make arrangements to still be able to get some exercise. Even a jog or a walk around the neighborhood early in the morning would help your body burn the calories. National fitness center chains allow you to use your membership at any of their locations, and there might be one close to where you are going for Thanksgiving.


  • Breakfast helps. A healthy, satisfying breakfast will keep you energized throughout the day, but will also help you take more control over your appetite and eat less. A good breakfast would include servings of fruit, whole wheat bread or whole grain cereal, and other high-fiber food for good digestion. Don’t starve yourself in the morning in preparation for the big feast later in th day. Chances are, you will end up eating way more and having an overactive appetite that will induce more eating.


  • Eat a little bit before the big dinner. An hour or so before you head to the Thanksgiving get-together, fix yourself a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, a cup of fruits, or a couple slices of whole wheat bread. This will curb your appetite and allow you to gain more control over your cravings. Also, this will jumpstart the digestion and get your system more ready to burn what you are about to eat. A glass of your favorite smoothie with dairy free protein powder, as shown here, will also fill you up, give you energy, and reduce your appetite.


  • Eat wisely. Before filling up your plate, look at the choices and pick out your favorite food items that you wouldn’t normally eat a lot of during the year. Why stuff yourself with food that you usually eat anyway? If you are going to indulge this time of year, just pick out the special items and don’t waste your calorie intake on foods you consume regularly.

The Perfect Christmas Gifts for Girls of All Ages

September 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

giftsgirls1Who doesn’t love Christmas gift exchanges? Sure you have to spend a couple of bucks at the end of the year to prove that you care, add that with the pressure to get the perfect gift to prove that you know what they like, then you have to hunt several stores to get that precise gift, to prove that they’re worth the effort. How fun, right?

Kidding aside, gift exchanges are fun when you’re on the receiving end, but may prove to be quite a challenge when you have to give someone who might not even be sure what she wants. If you find yourself at a loss for possible gift ideas, here are some classic gifts that all girls ages 3-93 will appreciate:


1. Clothes and Shoes
These are gifts that would be perfect if you know the woman you’re giving them to. Chosen right, the receiver would be appreciative and would remember you every time she wears it. As an added bonus, if it’s a great gift, when someone compliments her outfit, she’ll surely point you as the gift giver, announcing your good taste to the world. However if you give her the wrong apparel, such as the iffy color or the incorrect size, it will end up at the back of the cabinet, never to be brought up again.

2. Jewelry
Almost all females love jewelry; it’s just a matter of finding the right one that suits their taste. Shiny objects never lose their appeal to the feminine gender. Headbands with glittered ribbons, as well as age appropriate necklaces and bracelets make very cute gifts for your little girl. For your woman, jewelry with the right bling is the right way to go.

3. Gadgets
What could be trendier than giving your loved one a stylish gadget? Laptops are all-purpose devices she can use for school or work stuff. You can choose among hundreds of available tablets for women who need something portable. If your girl loves her tunes, a music-player is the best way to keep her groove on. A smartphone is also a great present whatever age your girl is. She can use this for telecommunication and she can do all sorts of activities in the apps available.

4. Food
They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the same apply to some women as well. It may be not be the typical roast that she can cook for you, but there are available cakes and sweets with adorable designs that can be enjoyed by females young and old alike.

5. Arts and Crafts
Some women like arts and crafts, so creative materials will make them happy. Picture frames, scrapbooks, and small decors will be great presents. If you have time, the best present for artsy women is a personalized item that you did yourself. She will surely treasure any gift that you made especially for her.

6. Coupons
So what if you know what category of item to give her, but don’t know which exactly to get? Simple – give her coupons. Buy from her favorite store or brand and let her have a shopping spree as your treat. There are a lot of coupons available for women and girls, such as the discount coupons from the American Girl Coupons page which you can get online for a great deal. This way, you can let them pick their own gift, and acknowledge it as something that came from you.

Of course the best way to actually give a gift is to observe how your loved one spends most of her time, and listen to what she likes to talk about. Not everything on the list is something that she’ll appreciate, but with a little research, you’ll end up with a great gift she’ll love.

Saving Money In Style

September 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Aren’t coupons just one of the greatest inventions in the world? These little pieces of papers come as good as cash, and you can get them almost anywhere. Whether it’s from magazines distributed by the stores, or websites that give them for free, all you have to do is show them to the store and get great prices for your purchases.

Though women may be known to appreciate the finer things in life, nothing beats the feeling of a getting a good deal. Whether you’re a girl in your early twenties, living the single life, or a woman in her late fifties caring for your kids, coupons are a great way to get value for your money.

Though it may seem unfit to give coupons to your significant other, it can be a good gift to special friends. These practical gifts can help them save a lot of money. Here are some of gift ideas are sure to make someone happy:

Woman buying groceries using couponsGroceries

It’s not surprising that this is where coupons are used most. After all, it’s here that we can buy the essentials of life: food. Some people actually use coupons to pay for all their purchases. How fun is it to not bring money to the grocery and still get what you need for the week?


Office Supplies

They are a necessity in the house, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend much for them. Whether it’s for your kids’ school kit or for your home office, coupons for office supplies can come in very handy.


Women in  a yoga class stretchingFitness Classes

Recently, the focus on fitness and health has been on an all-time high. Classes, especially for women, have popped up everywhere. Some classes are free, but some more specialized fitness classes come at a price. Giving your friend a reason to work out for free? You’ll earn best friend of the year award.


These items in the kitchen are important for all women who cook, and all who don’t. Cooking and eating utensils are gadgets worth spending for, since they are used a lot and should be kept at pristine condition to last longer. But why spend more if you can use coupons to get high quality wares for a lesser price?

Home Improvement

When women feel stressed at work or the outside world, a way to relax is by cleaning the house, or rearranging the furniture in it. It’s always fun to look at Home Depot or any similar stores and imagine how you can improve your house. Having coupons to get your supplies for a cheaper price just makes it much better.

Woman using coupons to get a discount on car servicingVehicle Servicing

To get around, we need to have our main mode of transportation maintained in good condition. Tires Plus offers a range of tires plus coupons here, that are suited for various car needs. They not only sell tires, but they offer car maintenance, vehicle inspection, oil change and any service you might need. A trip to Tires Plus at least once a year, using your coupons of course, can save you from returning to car shops all year round.


6 Ways to add Flare to Your Home

September 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

When was the last time you had a home makeover? Perhaps it has been a while because you are too busy, or you have a limited budget and other expenses to prioritize at the moment. You are probably hesitating to start a home redesign or redecoration project because of the costs, especially if your furniture items need updating, or if there are renovations that need to be done. Also, there will be costs related to hiring a professional interior designer or construction team.

But a home update does not need to cost you an arm and a leg. If you do not have the resources for a full-blown home redesign at this time, do not be discouraged or think that you will just have to do with the bland, boring state your home interior might be in at the moment. Using your creativity and resourcefulness, there are some simple, easy-to-do and cost-effective updates you can look into applying to your home.

Dining room walls painted Red for a pop!Repaint

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your home interior. Paint is also realtively affordable and readily accessible. What items or parts of your home could use a fresh paint job? You can freshen up the interior by repainting the walls with a bright pastel color. Or perhaps your wooden counters or furniture items can be repainted a different hue. You don’t even have to hire professional labor for this, as paint jobs can be easily accomplished by you and your family.


Organization of stairs, closets and entry ways in your home.Reorganize

Think of some simple ways you can reorganize areas in your home to free up space or for greater efficiency. There may be unnecessary furniture you can move from your living room to your outdoor patio where they will have actual use. Or you can position couches so they foster better conversations rather than using the TV as the focal point  You will be surprised at how a reorganization can bring about other changes.


Quirky Lamp Shade IdeasExperiment

If most of your current décor leans towards modern or minimalist, add in some quirky or seemingly unrelated décor for variety. Hit up local antique stores and look for inexpensive but flashy décor and items such as retro lampshades, picture frams, or sculpture. These out-of-place items, when displayed correctly, can instantly change the focal point of a room, adding variety to the space.

Re-use Clear bottles

For your bathroom, consider buying inexpensive but elegant-looking bottles and dispensers for your bathroom and personal products such as hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and others. When you transfer these products to the clear bottles, you will immediately see how the bathroom looks less cluttered and busy. Also, when you have guests over, they will not have to see the labels and products you use (some of us are bothered by this).\

Light Up for Less

Consider switching to LED light fixtures if you haven’t done so yet. LED lights are brighter and also more energy efficient. You can also look at affordable but decorative light fixtures and lamps for your indoor space. They can add character and personality while also contributing light to the rooms.

Brand new window treatments installed in the living room.Window treatments 

New curtains, shades, drapes, and other window treatments are relatively affordable, easy to install, and dramatically change the indoor space. You can select window dressings that either add more light and air to the room, or more privacy and less light if that is what you prefer. Aside from the usual colors, experiment with less common shades and hues and see how they blend with the character of the room.

There are many television programs you can also check out to get valuable and cost-effective design insights. For Charter subscribers, you can contact Charter and ask for assistance on what channels cater specifically to home and lifestyle programming. You can also directly access the lifestyle networks from your Charter menu (ask charter cable customer service here, if you are not sure how to operate this). If you are still experiencing issues with your service, make sure you have reported the issue with charter cableso they can address the problem.

DIY Interior Design: An Intro to the Architectural Elements

August 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm

As long as I have been fascinated and in love with design, I have kept a humble opinion that there should be no disconnect between the elements of Architecture and that of Interior Design. I recognize the need of each discipline to maintain exclusivity which somehow has something to do with professional pride. I understand that architecture deals mainly with the outside structure while interior design, as the name implies, deals only with the inside space. However, I see designing as a holistic act. Although architecture is a separate discipline from interior design, one cannot exist without the other, or must I say, at the least a design goal cannot be realized without one of these two disciplines.

As an interior designer, I deal with designing the inside of a structure, may it be a condo unit, an apartment, a hotel suite, an office or a one-storey house. Like every other work project, I have to start at something, and the start point for interior designers is the interior of structure and for sure, they come with architectural elements. An interior designer is expected to dress these elements according to the design he envisions. That is why it is important for those who intend to try their hands on interior designing to get acquainted with some of the usual architectural elements that they will encounter.


BASEBOARDS are a defining feature of a house or a room. It refers to the narrow wooden board running along the base of an interior wall which connects the wall and the floor. You can repaint these baseboards or even replace them. Instead of baseboards, other people who are under budget constraint, create an imaginary baseboard by painting the bottom part of the wall with a much darker or any color that contrast their primary color and is referred to as the shadow line.


CROWN MOLDING is just the opposite of baseboards when it comes to their location. Crown molding is placed on the top of the interior wall where the wall meets the ceiling. This is a great way to add visual interest to any room.



BeFunky_chair rail.jpg
CHAIR RAIL is also known as Dado Rail. As the name implies, this rail was originally used to protect the wall from contact with furniture such as chairs by giving an allowance between the wall and the furniture. Now the purpose of using the Chair rail is leaning more towards aesthetics as it can add lines and colors to a room.


HARDWOOD FLOOR is what ultimately provides a room with the feeling of warm elegance. Hardwood floors are generally expensive so some people opt for the alternatives which can be wood laminate, bamboo or recycled-leather flooring.

BeFunky_hardwood floor.jpg

LIGHT COVES are usually utilized for aesthetic purpose as this adds mood and a tint of intimacy in a room. The lighting fixtures are usually built into recesses, valences and ledges, providing an indirect light to a room.



These are the architectural elements that you would surely encounter in almost any room, and your decision on what to do with them can make or break your design project. It makes sense to remember that in this modern age, the use of the architectural elements like the ones included in this article should not be limited to their traditional definition. An antique door can be used as a top of a beautiful dining table. As a designer, you have the freedom and the right to dictate the functionality of any element. So don’t hesitate that right as you might end up with something ingenious and start a new trend in interior designing.



Interior Fit Out: A Smart Use of Colors in a Limited Space

August 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

As people flock into urban areas seeking better fortune, we find the cities getting too crowded. City developers, faced with the problem of land scarcity, are coming up with ingenious ways to provide shelter to all its inhabitants. One of the solutions which is actively being utilized now by almost all urban areas is what is referred to now as Vertical Housing. More and more mid-rise and high-rise buildings, after being constructed, are horizontally and vertically subdivided into units.

Originally marketed to young and single professionals who don’t expect to need much space, condominium units are usually only as large as 30 to 70 square meters. The target customers have now expanded to included middle class families. Because of the very limited space, the buyers of these condo units resort to using interior designing to make the space look larger and be able to utilize every inch of the unit area. Condo owners either makes use of their own amateur designing skills or hire professional interior designers to make such a small space seems spacious, comfortable and even elegant.
BeFunky_condo.jpg By putting in use excellent interior designing skills, a small room can seem to be as big as any ultra-luxurious suites. The choice of furniture, the lighting levels and the choice of colors are all critical in interior designing and making sure your design goals are met. But of these three elements, choosing which colors to use is the most critical one when it comes to designing a small condo unit.

BeFunky_condo_interior.jpgThere are some general guidelines when it comes to using colors in designing a small interior space. Colors have different shades, it may go darker or lighter upon our choice. But for small spaces, it is mostly advised to use lighter colors. Lighter colors create the illusion to make rooms a lot bigger than it actually is. But one color is not enough; we may add linings or shadow lines that could add up to the ambiance of the room. Here enters the dilemma of choosing and mixing colors. When choosing paint colors, think of the furniture, textiles and lights which you intend to bring into the room. By doing this, you can maintain a sense of cohesiveness.

Vibrant colors are not usually recommended for small and closed spaces for this have a tendency to make the room look small and gives a suffocating feeling. However, the use of strong colors seems to be a polarizing issue. Some professional designers prefer to use dark or bright colors for small spaces, claiming that this adds life, vibrance and warmth to a small room. In this age when what is beautiful is continuously being redefined and when functionality has become relative, it’s no surprise that more people welcome the idea of using strong paint colors for their small condo unit.

Whether you choose light colors or opt for the strong ones, the factor that will save you from ending up with an interior design disaster is to make use of color flow. If you are fond of a certain a color, you may use its lighter shade as the primary color of the room, and its darker shade can be used as a shadow line. We may also make use of the natural combinations that are found in nature like the combination of green and brown.


Picasso once said, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions.” He is perfectly right in saying this because at the end of the day, the choice of colors all boils down to your personal preference. Condo units, although meant for middle class families, are still relatively expensive. It is safe to say that condo owners are expected to live most of their lives within the 4 walls of their unit. So the best advice to give condo unit owners is to follow their own preference when it comes to choosing the paint colors for their unit. Beauty is subjective and so are colors.

Digging For the Roots: Interior Design Through the Ages

August 28, 2014 at 7:57 am

Interior Design as most people see it now is something fancy and something that is verging on superficial. Most people would not think of it as something of a necessity and people who are building or renovating their houses or unit and are on a tight budget won’t even bother about it. The prevailing attitude about interior design, as mistaken as they are, are not surprising though. Probably, the images of polished home interiors printed in the glossy pages of magazines coupled with television shows featuring professional interior designers dressed as stylishly posh as possible are what started this misconception that interior designing makes sense only if used on high-end structures.


Interior designing is all about turning an interior space into an effective setting for the intended range of human activities. There is no other definition of interior design as perfectly defining as this. The purpose of interior designing is not fully dictated by aesthetics. Its ultimate purpose is functionality above anything else. Form follows Function. Interior designers’ biggest responsibility is to make sure that an interior space meet the needs of its intended function all the while making sure that the aesthetic appeal is not lost.

BeFunky_history_caveart.jpgInterior Design is not simply something that was just invented by modern humans. Like anything else, it was invented out of necessity, and this necessity has existed since the early ages of human existence. Prehistoric humans used caves to shelter them from extreme weather and protect them from predators. Eventually, they started to settle and build small communities. These early humans left us with caves full of basic drawings which would suggest that they felt the need to design their dwellings according to their idea of beauty. They progressed to using wood, animal skin and other materials found in nature as tools to improve their dwellings.

BeFunky_egyptianempire.jpgThe Egyptian, Roman and Greek empires might not have known yet of interior design as a discipline or a profession, but looking at the huge and awe-inspiring architectural structures they left us, they already practice interior designing, with most of the design elements being influenced by religion.






During the 18th and 19th centuries, the strong influence of religion became clearer as seen in the designs of the interior of the huge cathedrals and other massive pillared buildings with carvings and murals. This was followed by the Baroque style with its extravagant ornamentation, exaggerated curves and dramatic grandeur.

It was during the 1900s when Art Deco or Style Modern was born and it completely rejects the extremely elaborate designs of the past movements. It favors strong colors, clean lines and simple functions that exudes elegance and sophistication. Art Deco has still retained a shade of its influence on the current style trends.

BeFunky_Chromatic_1.jpgAs most part of the world was welcoming the age of industrialization, modernism came and introduce simple. clean and functional design. Not long after modernism took hold of the trend, postmodernism was born. Interior designers, from being a part of the backstage crew, started getting on the design stage and becoming important personalities as the time of Modernism and Postmodernism came. The postmodernism movement revolves around the mindset that “less is more”.  It leans toward minimalism and uses new and challenging materials for furniture. Since free movement is so much valued in this day and age, postmodernism poses a challenge to interior designers to inject the element of fluidity and portability when it comes to functionality.


Interior Design will, no doubt, undergo many more transformation. Its focus will endlessly shift from one thing to another. However, it is important to be acquainted with its roots and its history so that the purpose of its existence is not lost.

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June 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

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