The Blimey Cow podcasts while I watercolor!
It's great if you're like me and are an avid watcher on YouTube, and don't have any new videos to watch!
And not to mention it's hilarious and seriously entertaining *laughing emojis*
Warning: You may get weird stares from your family as they watch you laugh and they don't understand why.

Listening to....
So many new bands! I have thoroughly enjoyed finding new music.
My most recent band-finds are:
i. The Dust of Men. (Easily on my top four favorite bands list. That good.)
ii. We Are Messengers. This guy has such an amazing story which makes his lyrics even better.
iv. Judah & the Lion (currently loving First Fruits)

Laughing at...
Donald Trump saying, "two Corinthians"
I literally laughed so hard.
I heard my parents talking about it and then seen that Blimey Cow was talking about it in their podcast, and I was just laughing so hard. Their commentary was really funny too. *millions of laughing emojis*

Season five of Downton Abbey! I finally got almost completely caught up!
I'm so proud of myself.
And I have also been loving these documentaries:
i. Secrets of Highclere (the castle DA was filmed in)
ii. Secrets of Chatsworth (the Pemberley estate in the 2005 version of P&P)

Pride and Prejudice! It's my goal to finish it this month and hopefully by the time I finish this post I have.
*update 3/21/16: I finished it last night.*

Sunglasses! I usually don't wear sunglasses, but I can't resist wearing them when I see my small collection of round and cat-eyed sunnies :)

Over how hard C#M is. Satan had to have made barre chords.

Fangirling over...
Switchfoot's album #10 BTS video. Who else is over the moon excited?!?
And this NEEDTOBREATHE tour video. Not only is that video completely hilarious, but it gave us a sneak peak (even if it was the tiniest sneak peak ever) of a new song from the new album at the end and I 'bout fell in the floor fangirlin'. >>truth. like, actual truth.
Two of my favorite bands are coming out with albums this year and I couldn't be more excited.

Herbal tea :) It's so soothing at night and the brand I have put quotes on every teabag tag. (tag..? maybe that's what you call it? snd hlp plz)

VSCO cam. Can't get it on my computer and it's making me really sad. :''''''( NOTHING COMPARES TO VSCO CAM! Probably the hardest thing about being on a break from my phone, no lie *laughing emojis*

Birthday stuff! My birthday is the 23rd of April and I'm trying to decide like, what.. to.. do.. hmmm.
A watercolor-paint-party/tea/maybe brunch! Friends: it's time to get pumped. Blog friends: make a cross-country trip to 'ole KY because you are totally welcome. I'll make waffles for you. Because I know some people who would love that. *cough cough ABBIEEEE cough cough*

Starbucks iced caramel macchiato. I can't seem to copycat it and it's making me super despresso.

Jackets still, praise God. I will be seriously so sad when it's May and 90 degrees and my beloved baby jackets have to stay on the pegs on the back of my door until cool weather returns. There's two things I cannot stand about summer: a) can't wear jackets and b) the heat that's hot enough to melt people like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Multiplied by NEEDTOBREATHE. I am learning the picking pattern, and even though my poor fingertips are screaming, I am really happy I am finally getting it!

I am even more productive this month, my plans work out, and I'm happy :)


If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
  And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
  And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
  Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
  Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
  If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
  And which is more: you'll be a Man, my son!


Today marks the first #growingtolive weekly segment!
My idea has been up for a week tomorrow, and I am so happy to see so many people interested in it and even sharing about it!
(if you haven't seen my post on this movement click here!)

Hopefully, I'll think of a really clever name to call this, but who knows. I have never pretended to be good with names. I MEAN COME ON, My mom was the one who gave me the idea for my blog name. Don't ever count on me to be creative with names/titles anything. Okay? Okay.

I decided that with each segment I will include a quote for that week. There were a lot of quotes I wanted to include in my last post, but there just wasn't a place to put them where it wouldn't be awkward, and I am always finding awesome, inspiring quotes that I just want to plaster everywhere. (And sometimes I do.)

So this week's quote is:

Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.

(click on photos to enlarge)

// blog // IG post //


decided to participate in @growinginhisimage 's challenge she posted on her blog: the #GrowingtoLive challenge. Every time you do something creative that you love, post it with the hashtag #GrowingtoLive . #bagel #egg #mushroom #fork #food #thatsdarling#breakfastphoto #GrowingtoLive

// blog // IG post //


Psalm 46:5 #growingtolive


When your photo looks staged and it wasn't, you know you've been creative.

 If you'd like to be featured in the weekly segment please email me at growinginhisimage@yahoo.com and include the image you would like to use and an optional caption!


It's that time of the week again! Music Monday, y'all.

I have decided that I am just going be posting a Spotify playlist every so often. Definitely once-a-month.
Because I have a really hard time just picking one song to share every Monday! #musicalfanaticprobs

So without further ado, here's my Spotify playlist for March 2016!
It's made up of songs I've found myself humming all month long :)



Happy Resurrection Sunday to you!

Is anyone else obsessed with The Bible: The Epic Mini-Series???

I don't have time before church to write a lengthy, heartfelt post giving praise to my Lord, but I did make a playlist full of my favorite songs I love to listen to at any time, but especially today!

Because he rose, we have life.
// click here to listen //


// credits to ava //

I have an idea... Something I've been thinking about for awhile.
Something to inspire us. And something to record the inspiration.
This post is going to be all over the place, and I'm going to be mentioning several different things that I want the "idea" to represent. Hopefully, you'll be able to make it out!
Bear with me!

 I talk a lot on this blog about living. Living to the full.
And lately, that has been one of my main goals.
Live in the moment, invest in my hobbies, and try new things.
I really love this quote by Oscar Wilde that says,
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

I don't want to be just another run-of-the-mill teenager who the only thing she is passionate about is her cell phone. Now I love having a phone, and I really enjoy sharing pictures on Instagram, but I don't want to be consumed.

Lately, I have been doing something creative every day. It's my goal, and so far I haven't missed a day.
I've seen vast improvement by consistently working on my hobbies.

Everyone will have a different interpretation of living. And that's awesome!
For some it may be reading 'til your eyes grow sore, or talking a walk, painting, taking pictures, slamming on your instruments, anything!
Everyone has a different way to show their creativity.

If you haven't already realized, I am passionate about this!
I want to do this more, and I want other people to be inspired and do it with me!
Let's live not just exist.
Let's carpe that diem.
Let's do everything we thought we'd never do.

I want to start a movement of sorts.
It may not go anywhere, but that's okay.
This is not to bring attention back to my blog or to myself. I purely just want people to learn to live with me!
So I'm making a hashtag. This way we can record how we all live and we can keep each other inspired!

So whenever you are doing something that makes your heart sing and your creative juices are flowing like a flood:
i. Take a picture of it
ii. Use the hashtag I'm giving below
iii. Then share to any social media site (your blog totally counts!)

I've been thinking for a good while about what to call the hashtag, and I finally decided on:


Not only does this include part of my blog name, but it describes me and probably the rest of you too!
I am growing to live. I haven't reached it yet. I'm still learning how!

I plan on making an Instagram account for this eventually, and I'll repost pictures and share my own.
Until then you can just email me your pictures with the caption you want and I'll share a weekly segment.
(email in social/contact page)

So with everything being said I leave you with this:

let's live, shall we?

"To live will be an awfully big adventure."
Peter Pan

*I want to thank the people in my last post who encouraged me in my last post to push aside my fears and POST THIS THANG. Thanks, you guys :)*


Hey, y'all! I just realized I never talked about the new design!

You may have noticed a slight (okay, big) change to GIHI!
Ava from Quiet Land and I have been discussing and working out design ideas for a little while now and it's finished now!
I loved my old design but I felt like there was way too much going on.
Now there is easy navigation!

And can we just take a second to scream over the fact that sHE LITERALLY DREW ME. Yes. Yes, we can.
LIKE CAN U NOT. It's so beautiful :)

It's cute, minimal, and functional, and I'm very happy.
Thank you again, Ava!


i. I have joined the team at Argonaut Nation! We are in the works of discussing my first post, and I am so excited to contribute to this awesome network. Go give them a follow!

ii. I am brewing up an announcement about an idea I've had for quite some time. Hopefully, I'll still post it and not let my fears of it being dumb or not working out overcome me.

iii. I want to know what you want to see! If you have any posts or topics you would like for me to do/write about, just leave that in the comments below!

That's all for today, folks!
Have an awesome day:)

aaliyah xx


// via //
I had a scare yesterday that got me thinking really hard. It's one of those things that you just imagined what you would do in the situation but hope it never happens. Luckily it was just a scare, but it could have been very real.

It was just a normal Saturday.
We went to the mall to walk around and maybe (hopefully) find Easter clothes.
We went into Belks and my friend, Veronica, and I were looking around with my family close by.
We casually looked at all the dresses and said, "THAT IS LIKE SO CUTE" way too many times.
We gradually headed over to the shoes, and we looked, and then Veronica and I drifted to the purses and "oohed and ahhed" over them all......... Until we seen the prices...... Michael Kor's ain't cheap, guys.

We were just looking around, having a good time, and laughing together.

Then we heard a huge explosion right in front of us. Huge. I can't even put enough emphasis on how loud it was.
My first thought's were: That was a gunshot.
My heart was racing so fast, and all I could think was that I needed to get out.
I looked around and saw that I was luckily really close to the door and was about to pull Veronica's hand and say, "Come on! We need to get out!"
But just as I did I heard someone say, "It was the sign! The light exploded."

What everyone thought was a bomb (apparently I'm the only one who thought it was a gunshot) was just one of the light-up signs on the makeup counter. A lady bumped it with her cart, the sign fell onto the floor, and the lights inside exploded.

I was still shaking for quite a long time afterwards. It shook everyone in that store up.
It's the kind of thing that you hear about on the news but you never think it will happen to you, ya know?

But besides the fact that it scared me, shook me up, and made me paranoid, after I left the store I was thinking about it and there were other things that scared me too.

When I heard that "gunshot" I didn't see anyone else but Veronica. We were together, yes, but my family was beside me the whole time and I didn't even notice. I didn't notice anyone else in the store. What if that was real and I could have grabbed one of my smaller siblings hands and helped them out too, but I was in such panic that I didn't?

And I had no clue that would happen. I was just walking through that store with no care in the world.
It really showed me that your life can end in the blink of an eye.
We were laughing at the price of the purses and then two seconds later my whole life (if I still had one) would have changed.
That situation showed me how fleeting life is and how quick it can be over.
It showed me how much more I want to live in the now, and most importantly, living for Jesus every second of my existence.
It really, truly, scared me.

When it was all cleared up and I realized that I was okay, we joined my family and told them how scared we were and my mom said, "Girls, you all need to realize that that is a very real reality."
And she's right. It's a frightening thought, but she's right.

So just remember that at any moment your life could be flipped upside down and to never, ever waste any second to live.

aaliyah xx


(can we talk about how cool this ampersand is?! It's a guitar!)
First things first: HAPPY SAINT PATRICKS DAY!!
Or, in Irish, Naomh Sasta La Padraig!
I have a crazy love for this holiday.
Maybe it's because I actually am Irish, I dunno, but I love it! So I'm all decked out in green today :) And if you aren't, I am virtually pinching you :)

Hey, guys!
It's that time of the week where I get to tell you my most awkward moments, and also my most awesome moments.
Here we go!


i. Meeting one of your dads clients who is from India, and he starts asking you questions about homeschooling. 
"Why you no go to public school? Your dad not trust you?"
"After you graduate you go to college?"
and the best one:
"So when you get older and want to get married, do you have to marry a homeschooler? I know the Amish do that... Are you Amish??"

ii. This goes with #1 but getting asked if you're Amish or any religion in general. This actually happens all the time.
"Are you Pentecostal?"
"Hehe, nope."
"Apostolic? You've got to be Apostolic."
"No, I'm not Apostolic either,"
"THEN WHAT ARE YOU?!?!?!?!?!"
"I'm just a Christian..."
"Yeah, but like, what denomination are you?"
*insert straight face emoji here*

iii. Not hearing someone after the third time and you finally just shake your head and say, "Yeah." and just pray to God that it was a yes or no question. This happens to everybody, but it's such a major struggle guys.

iv. Going to Steak and Shake after Sunday night service and finding about 25 members of the church that you're visiting there too, then them inviting you to sit with them, then awkwardly agreeing, and then half-way through your meal realizing for the first time that because your cousin married a girl from that church that you are related to the majority of the people at the table.

v. Reliving your most awkward situations that have ever happened in your life at any moment in the day. Ugh, I hate this. *the shame*

vi. When you come out of a store with more pairs of sunglasses at one time than you've owned in your entire life.

vii. Going through roughly six packs of saltine crackers for my soup because every.single.one. I opened, they were stale. *straight-faced emoji*


i. When you find out the day after you bought your sunglasses (#6 above), one of them is a sold-out pair of Quay's. I'm not even kidding these are $50 dollar sunglasses and I paid $1. What.The.Even. So yeah, I 
now wear the same sunnies as Vanessa Hudgens so...... I laughed for a good 30 minutes over this.

ii. My fingertips being so sore from playing ukulele all day that it kinda pained me to play my stringed instruments. Pain is never awesome, but it makes me strangely happy to look down and see my sore, calloused fingertips. It's proof that I can see of accomplishment and creativity. Is that weird..? Probably. I'm okay with that. :)

iii. The sunset being your favorite shade of blue. I oftentimes cry looking at sunsets. The beauty is too much for my heart to handle, and I love it!

iv. Finding brownies (that you honestly forgot you made) in the oven and they taste better than they did fresh.

v. Finally making a good, not watered down, nor too sweet cup of iced coffee.

vi. My unicorn mug. Yes. Yes. Yes.

vii. Perfect spring days.

viii. Finding a new brand of a black pen I love.

ix. Mid-day. Usually my mom lies down with Shalom at this time and it's quiet and I get blog things done :)

x. When your mom makes a banana and Nutella wrap and she says: "Hey, do you want this? I only wanted one-half." UM YEAH, SURE I GUESS I CAN TAKE THAT BEAUTY OFF YOUR HANDS.

xi. My Instax Mini 8. 'Nough said.

aaliyah xx


I am groaning like, the entire time I'm typing this. Just sayin.

So you may or may not know, but Blogger has officially decided.
They are removing any possible way to follow unless you ae using Google Friend Connect via your Google account.
Only Lady Mary can fully describe this situation.
If you are following with Yahoo, Orkut, or OpenId (anonymous), you will need to follow my blog using your Google account instead.
that was such a dark and scary time for us bloggers. *tear drop*

So anyways, that was really simple, but I was advised to tell my dear followers, and so I did!

this is so random (my randomness is too real. I'm the princess of randomosity) but I just saw a commercial of these ladies comparing Windows 10 to their Mac and they are like: ohmygoodness my Mac doesn't do that. I'm so jealous.
And I'm just sitting here shaking my head NO.
If you haven't updated your computer to Windows 10, take my advice and don't do it okay?
As Abbiee so wonderfully said, "The aesthetics don't make up for the lousiness."

Okay, that's all for today.
Love you guys.
You all deserve ice-cream.

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Here's some random snapchats that I luckily had saved to our family computer from summer 2014!
So many memories from that year :)

We stayed at a hotel in Tennesee that was a replica of the Gone with the Wind house, and I literally fangirled so hard. Like, no kidding, I bout died.
My sister, Amber, sent me this and it's a favorite :) Shalom was so tiny! How is she two already?!
#tb to when Amber visited us for two weeks :) Man, we make so many memories every time we get together.
My foster cousin, Christine, and I. We were together roughly five days a week that summer. We seriously need to hang out. I MISSSSS YOUUU RUUUDYYYYY!!!!!! #MaxIsStillBetterThanRudySorryManItsTrue
ohmy. this picture, though. wowza.
and lol I told you we were together a lot *laughing emojis*

-A xx


tonight I went through old photos
for the millionth time over
but this time, the nostalgia was stronger.
I didn't expect to sit and bawl,
but I did.
too many memories that I can't have back,
too many people I never see anymore.
so many friendships that ended for a reason, 
but I still want back.
I miss last year.
summer had such a beautiful feeling to it.
my heart ached as my teardrops then fell on a picture
that captured the most cosmic hug.
I ask myself,
"where did time go?!"
"can't I just relive it once?!"
not sure why I asked the latter,
for I know the answer.

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\\ Ava did a fab job at this image once again :) \\
I was tagged for another award/tag! I love 'em :)) 
Thank you so much for tagging me Ava!

i. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
ii. List eleven facts about yourself.
iii. Answer the eleven questions given to you.
iv. Tag eleven bloggers and give them eleven new questions to answer.

(this may very well be totally boring)

i. When I listen to music in the car it makes me feel like I'm in a movie. I can't be the only one.
ii. I am currently wearing seven bracelets on my wrists. Five of which were given to me, one I bought for me and a friend to match, and the other is my waterpark "hospital style" bracelet from when I went to Wilderness at the Smokies a month ago. I literally never took it off.. lol
iii. I want to be the person who watches the sunrise while drinking coffee, but... THE NIGHT OWL IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE!
iv. I have never broken a bone, never sprained anything, or never even had a cavity.
v. My biggest dream all growing up (and even now lol) was to have a window in my room. 14 years later my dad is finally building me a room upstairs, with a window. OH, GLORIOUS DAY!
vi. My favorite outfits are black tent dresses/tunics with jeans, and depending on the season, boots and flats/TOMS/Converses.
vii. The only popular fandom I am a part of is Downton Abbey. But is there a popular fandom for the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice? Because if so, I'm like probably the biggest fan, ohmygoodness.
viii. I have a certain grey jacket that I am in the habit of wearing every single day of my existence. No lie, it's become a part of my routine to grab my jacket as I head upstairs.
ix. I have a strong obsession with jackets if you haven't already figured that out by #8.
x. I have so many dream jobs, I honestly don't know how I could pick what to go to college for if I do end up going.
xi. I am currently building up my music collection. (what better collection is there anyways?!) Everything from vinyl, to cd's, to mp3. I WANT ALLLL THE MUSIC!!!!

(and whoever wants to do it because I don't know who else to nominate that I didn't already nominate before!)

i. What is your favorite place to chill?
My bedroom! I love my bedroom.

ii. Do you remember your dreams often? Do you have a favorite dream you wish you could experience again?
Yes, I do! 99% of my dreams are not pleasant, though. People are always trying to kill me! And I can't think of one...

iii. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
Nothing exotic. Fatal Attraction has scarred me for life, I'm afraid. I'll take one pegasus, please!

iv. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? If so, describe them.
No, I didn't.. My friends and I made one up as a joke about two years ago though. Does that count?? Hehe. Her name is Betsy. LOL, I know if my friends are reading this they are 3000% done.

v. What is something you miss about being a kid?
Imagination.... Everyone has it to some extent, but there's nothing like a kid's imagination.

vi. If you weren't going to be {blank}, what would you be?
If I weren't going to be Rey from Star Wars I'd be Jo from Little Women.

vii. What is an activity you would like to do, but too scared to actually take part in?
I would love to not cry and literally be terrified for my life while riding rollercoasters. Or anything risky at all, actually. Guys, I even cried go-carting. I mean, it was a pretty tricky track, but still.

viii. Do you have any allergies?
No! Praise.God.

ix. What band/album/song have you been enjoying (obsessing) over currently?
Toottttalllllyyyyyy obsessing over The Dust of Men. They have the perfect blend of alternative rock with folk in the background, and the lyrics are totally amazing. Gotta love it when you find Christian bands in your favorite genre ;)

x. Describe your feel-better routine.
I don't really have one.. But when I'm sick I love to relax and watch British television while drinking hot, herbal tea :)

xi. What is a song/movie/book that you love purely because of the memory attached to it?
This is my favorite question :) NEEDTOBREATHE's Rivers in the Wasteland album takes me back to late summer. The Book Thief (movie) takes me back to two years ago when my cousin was at my house usually four days a week during the summer and we watched it every single night.
I love that feeling of hearing/watching/reading something and it being attached to a certain time period in your life. :)

i. What do you want to name your first son and daughter?
ii. Coffee or tea?
iii. Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Why?
iv. What is your favorite subject in school? (If you have one, hehe)
v. If you could pick any talent to be instantly proficient in, what would it be?
vi. Can you have phone conversations easily unlike me? hehe
vii. What is your favorite form of social media?
viii. If you could invent a name for a crayon, what would you name it?
ix. Do you enjoy documentaries?
x. Favorite genre of music?
xi. When naming your blog, what other names were you considering?

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via |
   It came to him in rainbow dreams,
Blent with the wisdom of the sages,
Of spirit and of passion born;
In words as lucent as the morn
He prisioned it, and now it gleams
A jewel shining through the ages.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

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It's just my nature to be really sentimental about things that some people would consider very weird to be sad over. But if you've followed my blog for awhile, you probably already know this :)

On the last day of any month of the year (but especially December 31st. Goodness, talk about a flood of emotions for me. I already know I'm weird. No need in telling me *laughing emojis*), I always sit on my floor that night during my "introvert time", and think about that month: things I loved and want to relive, and also the not-so-good days, and things I want to do differently the next month. I try not to ponder on things I'd like to change because I can't change them. Leave the past right where it's at.

I get kinda down when I think about the fact that most days I don't do everything I wanted too, and I don't practice the things I wanted to practice, or regretting chances I didn't take. I'm getting a lot better at the latter, though. ;)

Life is such a crazy adventure.
The adventure can sometimes feel like an easy hike in beautiful mountains overlooking rolling hills, or it can also feel like walking through a rocky path with thorn bushes at your feet.

I am grateful for the precious gift of life, nonetheless.

Through every song that fills my heart and makes me so glad I laugh,
every sun ray that touches my skin.
Each sporadic snowball fight, outing, or coffee date.
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry,
or that first dip in the pool when summer finally comes.
Each time the wind blows and messes my hair up,
or when I look up at night and just stare at the constellations for awhile.
Whenever I feel God so close to me it sends chills through me, 
or even when I see my favorite shade of blue,
I am more grateful every day for life and the simplistic beauties it brings.

I wish I was more productive, and I wish I spent more time doing the things I love, and I wish I put more effort into seeing the many friends I never see anymore, but best not to wish one's life away.
Life is such a mess, but it's such a beautiful one.
 It comes with its share of heartache and struggle, but I wouldn't trade my ability to live and breathe for anything. It's something a lot of people don't even get the chance to have.

So I'm making a vow to myself, and maybe (hehe, hopefully) you'll be inspired and do the same.
I want to do more with my life this month.
So right here, I'm making a list of things I want to do more of this month.

i. Practice, at least, two of my instruments every day.
ii. Watercolor. I'm new at it, but I'm already seeing improvement, and I love it so much :)
iii. Look into volunteering at my public library.
iv. Work on planning the parties and sleepovers I've wanted to have for ages now.
v. Do a creative photo-shoot.
vi. Get on the ball about learning my Greek and Hebrew.
vii. Finish Pride and Prejudice.

Well, there's seven goals for March 2016.
Let's see if I stick to them :)

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