31 July 2014

How much does it cost to become a Beachbody coach?

Since I signed up to be a Beachbody coach, I've been letting people know about it. By far, the number one question I get is: How much does it cost to be a Beachbody coach? A reasonable question. Here’s my answer:


$39.99 and then $15.95 a month and that’s it!


You have two options when you sign up, which impact the cost:

Signing up as a coach for the 25% discount for yourself and your friends/family
Signing up as a coach to be a coach/build a business (and get the 25% discount too!)

Signing up to be a Beachbody coach costs $39.99. If you or your spouse are active military, the fee is waived!

The fee is also waived if you buy a challenge pack (which is a bundle of a full workout program, club access, and Shakeology).

After your first month as a coach, there is a monthly fee of $15.95 to maintain the websites Beachbody creates for you.

These are the sites:


If you’re signing up to be a coach for that great 25% discount, these are your only fees. If you’re on a home delivery plan of Shakeology or something, your savings will negate the cost and then some.

If you’re signing up to be a coach so you can build your own business, whether just for some extra cash, or if you’re like me and want to make it your full-time income eventually, there is a bit more to consider, cost-wise.

Just like above you pay the $39.99 to register, the monthly $15.95 for your four websites. You could stop there and just sell programs and shakeology to customers and earn your 25% commission check each week.


You can be what’s called an ACTIVE coach and be able to earn much more than just the 25%.

To be an Active Coach you must sell or purchase $55 worth of product each month. (Example: I am on home delivery of Shakeology so I am automatically always going to be active)

It’s hard for me to consider that a “cost” of being a coach, because it’s a product I’ll be using daily either way.

Further, for coaches who want to build their business up into something lucrative:

After you have reached Emerald status (meaning you have 2 active coaches under you) there is a $39.95 fee (per quarter) to be eligible for the Customer Lead Program where Beachbody GIVES you customers that have signed up online or through their millions of infomercials.

I hope that was clear. If not, feel free to ask me any questions.

If you’re interested in joining the Beachbody community, CLICK HERE for your free account and to have me as your coach!

If you want to join me as a Beachbody coach, CLICK HERE to apply.

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19 July 2014

There's something your sweetener isn't telling you

Below is an excerpt from an article by NP Marcelle Pick. The full article can be found here. It is informative and terrifying - definitely worth a read. Maybe one Splenda every few months won't do any harm but chances are, if you're reading this, you consume WAY more. After I learned about some of the side effects, including anxiety, I vowed not to have it knowingly again. The sweet stuff is a slippery slope, see below for more eye opening information.

Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms.

While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt — and most pesticides are chlorocarbons. The premise offered next is that just because something contains chlorine doesn’t guarantee that it’s toxic. And that is also true, but you and your family may prefer not to serve as test subjects for the latest post-market artificial sweetener experiment — however “unique".

I'm going to try to relearn what tea, coffee and yogurt tastes like without sweetener. They are not supposed to be sweet and actually taste better, creamier and richer in their natural state. If I am craving sweets, I'll have an apple or a banana. I'm going to try to stop taking food that is not meant to be sweet and try to transform it into something that isn't. The damage to your taste buds is reversible, but they may still never forgive you

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Original article posted here. Copyright 2014.

18 July 2014

Leading Teams

Leading teams. These two words that have the power to excite or evoke fear in someone's heart.

Let's look at the word "lead." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the various definitions include "to guide on a way especially by going in advance" or "to direct on a course or in a direction." Based on this, if we are business owners, we ARE leaders. It is our responsibility to guide and direct our team. The problem is that many aren't sure exactly how to lead a team, and it becomes a "trial and error" effort. This is counter-productive when we want to be focused on building a strong business. Becoming an effective leader of a team takes time, so lets explore 3 big keys that can be immediately implemented.

Be a Role Model. Your team is only going to move as fast as you do. It's up to you to set the pace and articulate the expectations. You never want to ask your team to do something that you aren't willing to do yourself.

Stay focused on the growth of your business and allow others to watch how you accomplish it. However I must say that you should never insist that someone runs his or her own business in a certain manner. While it's your job to be a role model, it's your team's job to decide whether or not your method is a good fit for them...and it may not be. Do NOT be offended if that's the case as we are all individuals.

As a role model, it's also important that you don't freely give away all of your knowledge acquired by your continued learning. Your knowledge is very valuable, but it's important that your team members put "skin in the game" if they are going to be successful in their own right.

Set boundaries.  Oh boy...I could write a book on this one area alone and fill it with mistakes that I've personally made and lessons that I've learned. Remember as you lead your team, you are also teaching them how to potentially lead theirs. Don't take this lightly. You have the ability to pass along great habits or habits that will leave them feeling as though they're in bondage. It is entirely possible to have a successful business and a successful life, but only if you set boundaries along with work hours.

You cannot and should not make yourself available to your team 24/7...regardless of what others teach. It's a sure-fire way to lead to burnout. Repeat after me: One-to-many. One-to-Many. ONE-TO-MANY! What does this model mean? It means that you no longer communicate with individuals via text or private email. It means that you no longer have an open-door policy for receiving phone calls.

So if you are accustomed to the one-to-one model, how do you transition away from it? It's actually rather simple. When you need to communicate with your team, you do it in a Facebook group. When someone has a question and emails you, you graciously tell them to post it in your Facebook group so everyone can benefit from the answer. When you have something that you need to talk about, utilize a video or have a group call that you record. If people aren't used to this method, they may not be happy at first, but I promise that they will adapt if you are consistent with your boundaries.

Be careful not to manage.  There is a difference between leading and managing. To lead is to have followers. To manage means that you have subordinates who do what they are told and you check up on them. You want to groom powerful leaders who can help change peoples lives, all while building their business and ultimately yours! Telling people what to do is not inspirational and creates dependency. I consider it the adult equivalent to breast-feeding. Instead give them the tools and point them to the resources, but allow people to be individuals and make their own decisions. Allow them to make mistakes and figure things out. A great book on this very subject is Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell. I definitely recommend it.

In short, by holding yourself to your own standards and expectations of others, you will become a great leader. By being a role model, setting boundaries, and not managing others, you'll find freedom in leading. Ultimately your leadership will result in others going on to lead as well. Trust me when I say, there is nothing more satisfying than birthing a leader and watching that person go on to birth their own.

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Article originally posted here. Copyright 2014.

17 July 2014

Flex your self-control Muscles

A Gallup poll found 51% of adults want to lose weight. Less than half that number, only 25%, are actively and seriously working toward that goal. One weight-loss coach wrote on the Huffington Post, "One of the many excuses I hear for why people don't lose weight is 'It's too expensive.'"

Do you have a weight loss goal? There is a pretty high probability that either you or someone you are very close to has a "goal" weight. Even if you don't, I want you to keep reading with me because this advice applies to every addiction or bad habit you might be trying to work on eliminating from your life.

The reality is, if you keep doing what you've always done, you will get the same result you've always had. You and I live in a culture of excess, and if you keep living in excess you will keep having to go up a notch on your belt, friend.

What I want you to understand is that your cravings are a muscle. When you feed your food cravings, shopping addiction, porn addiction or any other craving, you're flexing that muscle. The more you feed and exercise that muscle, the stronger those cravings will be. Some of you have had decades of working out that craving muscle.

In the same way, self-control is a muscle. If you flex and work on that muscle, it will grow stronger and your cravings will grow weaker.

So here's the thing I want you to think about. Identify your food habit, or whatever it is you are trying to cut back on. Track how often you eat out, grab a snack, make a Starbucks run or have a midnight dessert. Instead of trying to cut out 100% overnight, try to cut out just one of those indulgences.

In other words, just cut out those midnight trips to the freezer. After a week or two of that, try to cut out the Starbucks run on top of that. Just work on cutting back your food or calorie intake by 5% or 10% at a time.

When you try to go cold turkey you are setting yourself up for failure. That decade of poor eating habits is not going to change overnight. Those cravings are at their peak, the strongest they have ever been. And when you almost inevitably fail, you feel helpless or like it will never work.

Reaching your personal goals is about two major things:

1. Knowing yourself. Know your body, your habits and your spending habits. When you know your greatest weaknesses and strengths, you can help steer yourself away from those sore spots!

2. Giving yourself grace. You will fail! Just work on getting a little better slowly and flexing that self-control muscle.

I hope this quick message encouraged you today. When you are working on a weakness or trying to improve a habit, it takes time, support and accountability. If you aren't willing to be held accountable, you don't really want to change.

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Article originally posted here. Copyright 2014.

13 June 2014

I was going through my favourites on my Etsy account, and I'm finding that I have returned to loving the rustic, neutrals that I loved once upon a time! Here are some recent favourites:

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11 June 2014

7 Ways to Save on Groceries without using Coupons

7 Ways To Save On Groceries Without Using Coupons

1. Take inventory.

Take inventory of what you already have at home. Often times we start writing up a grocery list without checking what we have first. If you see that you have spaghetti sauce, simply add pasta to your list for an easy meal. Just make sure you figure out what you already have and build your meals around it. My mentor, Dani Johnson, suggests that you empty your entire pantry before going to the grocery store. It's a sure way to clean out your pantry and eat the food that might soon go bad!

2. Make a meal plan.

This is a must if you want to save money on groceries. Make sure you take the time to write up a meal plan based on your current inventory and store sales. Once you know what you’ll be making throughout the week, you can easily create your shopping list. I know that anytime I make a “quick” stop at the grocery store without a list, I wind up spending way more than I wanted to. So planning is key if you want to see significant savings.

3. Use the same ingredients for different meals.

When I create my meal plan, I make sure that I plan meals that use the same ingredients to maximize my savings. For example; if I buy a large pack of chicken breasts, I’ll use it to make chicken quesadillas, rice with chicken and chicken alfredo. This also helps me save time since I’ll precook all of the chicken and freeze it to have it readily available for meals.

4. Eat meatless meals.

We all know how expensive meats can be even when purchased on sale. One way I reduce my grocery bill is by planning meals that don’t require any meat. Here are some examples of meatless meals: baked mac n cheese, vegetarian chili, broccoli cheddar soup, quesadillas and my favorite, breakfast for dinner. Get creative and include a meal or two that doesn’t require any meat to help keep your grocery costs down.

5. Stop being a brand snob.

I’m a huge Costco fan. Is not the only place I buy my groceries, but I do purchase a lot of my food items there. When I have mentioned this to others, I hear that they could never shop there because they don’t carry “XYZ” brand. I agree that cheaper is not always better. However, sticking to one particular brand is not going to help you save any money. I purchase my items based on what’s on sale for the week or I stick with store brands since they tend to be the cheapest.

6. Stock up.

If I find that an item we frequently use is on sale for a great price, I stock up. I know I’ll be using it eventually, so I’ll spend some extra money knowing that it will yield savings in the long run. Budget some of your grocery money for items that will be on sale so that you can purchase extra and stock up. Make sure you check out your local ads before you head to the grocery store to plan accordingly.

7. Know your grocery sale cycles.

Have you ever tried purchasing a ham in the summer? It’s probably going to cost you triple (or more) of what it would cost around Easter or Christmas time. Grocery stores have what’s called a sale cycle. Basically what this means is that certain items will go on sale during specific seasons or months of the year. This is a great way to know what to stock up on and when. Living Richly On A Budget has a great guide that you can print out for reference. Click here to check it out.

10 June 2014

How to Become More Productive

Ever feel like you’re just not getting enough done?
Do you know how many days a week you’re actually productive?

About three.

People work an average of 45 hours a week; they consider about 17 of those hours to be unproductive (U.S.: 45 hours a week; 16 hours are considered unproductive).

We could all be accomplishing a lot more — but then again, none of us wants to be a workaholic, either.

It’d be great to get tons done and have work-life balance. But how do we do that? I decided to get some answers.
Below are six tips offered by Tim Ferriss, author of the international bestseller The 4-Hour Work Week. (Tim's blog)
Below are six tips Tim offered, the science behind why they work, and insights from the most productive people around.
1. Manage Your Mood
Most productivity systems act like we’re robots – they forget the enormous power of feelings.

If you start the day calm it’s easy to get the right things done and focus.

But when we wake up and the fray is already upon us — phone ringing, emails coming in, fire alarms going off — you spend the whole day reacting.

This means you’re not in the driver’s seat working on your priorities; you’re responding to what gets thrown at you, important or not.

Here’s Tim:

I try to have the first 80 to 90 minutes of my day vary as little as possible. I think that a routine is necessary to feel in control and nonreactive, which reduces anxiety. It therefore makes you more productive.

Research shows how you start the day has an enormous effect on productivity, and you procrastinate more when you’re in a bad mood.

Studies demonstrate happiness increases productivity and makes you more successful.

As Shawn Achor describes in his book The Happiness Advantage:

Doctors put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis show almost three times more intelligence and creativity than doctors in a neutral state, and they make accurate diagnoses 19% faster. Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56%. Students primed to feel happy before taking math achievement tests far outperform their neutral peers. It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.

So think a little less about managing the work and a little more about managing your moods.

So what’s the first step to managing your mood after you wake up?
2. Don’t Check Email In The Morning

To some people this is utter heresy. Many can’t imagine not waking up and immediately checking email or social-media feeds.

Why is checking email in the morning a cardinal sin? You’re setting yourself up to react.

An email comes in and suddenly you’re giving your best hours to someone else’s goals, not yours.

You’re not planning your day and prioritizing; you’re letting your objectives be hijacked by whoever randomly decides to enter your inbox.

Here’s Tim:

Whenever possible, do not check email for the first hour or two of the day. It’s difficult for some people to imagine. “How can I do that? I need to check email to get the information I need to work on my most important one or two to-dos?”

You would be surprised how often that is not the case. You might need to get into your email to finish 100% of your most important to-dos. But can you get 90% done before you go into Gmail and have your rat brain explode with freak-out, dopamine excitement and cortisol panic? Yes.

Research shows email:
1.Stresses you out.
2.Can turn you into a jerk.
3.Can be more addictive than alcohol and tobacco.
4.And checking email frequently is the equivalent of dropping your IQ 10 points.

Is this really how you want to start your day?

Great, so you know what not to do. But a bigger question looms: What should you be doing?
3. Before You Try To Do It Faster, Ask Whether It Should Be Done At All

Everyone asks, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?” But the answer is stunningly easy:

You’re doing too many things.

Want to be more productive? Don’t ask how to make something more efficient until after you’ve asked “Do I need to do this at all?”

Here’s Tim:

Doing something well does not make it important. I think this is one of the most common problems with a lot of time-management or productivity advice; they focus on how to do things quickly. The vast majority of things that people do quickly should not be done at all.

It’s funny that we complain we have so little time and then we prioritize like time is endless. Instead, do what is important … and not much else.

But is this true in the real world?

Research shows CEOs don’t get more done by blindly working more hours, they get more done when they follow careful plans:

Preliminary analysis from CEOs in India found that a firm’s sales increased as the CEO worked more hours. But more intriguingly, the correlation between CEO time use and output was driven entirely by hours spent in planned activities. Planning doesn’t have to mean that the hours are spent in meetings, though meetings with employees were correlated with higher sales; it’s just that CEO time is a limited and valuable resource, and planning how it should be allocated increases the chances that it’s spent in productive ways.

OK, you’ve cleared the decks. Your head is serene, you’ve gotten the email monkey off your back and you know what you need to do.

Now we have to face one of the biggest problems of the modern era: How do you sit still and focus?
4. Focus Is Nothing More Than Eliminating Distractions

Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and bestselling author of Driven to Distraction, says we have “culturally generated ADD.”

Has modern life permanently damaged our attention spans?

No. What you do have is more tantalizing, easily accessible, shiny things available to you 24/7 than any human being has ever had.

The answer is to lock yourself somewhere to make all the flashing, buzzing distractions go away.

Here’s Tim:

Focus is a function, first and foremost, of limiting the number of options you give yourself for procrastinating… I think that focus is thought of as this magical ability. It’s not a magical ability. It’s put yourself in a padded room, with the problem that you need to work on, and shut the door. That’s it. The degree to which you can replicate that, and systematize it, is the extent to which you will have focus.

What’s the best way to sum up the research? How about this: Distractions make you stupid.

And a flood of studies shows that the easiest and most powerful way to change your behavior is to change your environment.

Top CEOs are interrupted every 20 minutes. How do they get anything done?

By working from home in the morning for 90 minutes where no one can bother them:

They found that not one of the twelve executives was ever able to work uninterruptedly more than twenty minutes at a time—at least not in the office. Only at home was there some chance of concentration. And the only one of the twelve who did not make important, long-range decisions “off the cuff,” and sandwiched in between unimportant but long telephone calls and “crisis” problems, was the executive who worked at home every morning for an hour and a half before coming to the office.

I know what some of you are thinking: I have other responsibilities. Meetings. My boss needs me. My spouse calls. I can’t just hide.

This is why you need a system.
5. Have A Personal System

I’ve spoken to a few insanely productive people. You know what none of them said?

“I don’t know how I get stuff done. I just wing it and hope for the best.”

Not one. Your routines can be formal and scientific or personal and idiosyncratic — but either way, productive people have a routine.

Here’s Tim:

Defining routines and systems is more effective than relying on self-discipline. I think self-discipline is overrated.

Allowing yourself the option to do what you have not decided to do is disempowering and asking for failure. I encourage people to develop routines so that their decision-making is only applied to the most creative aspects of their work, or wherever their unique talent happens to lie.

Great systems work because they make things automatic, and don’t tax your very limited supply of willpower.

What do we see when we systematically study the great geniuses of all time? Almost all had personal routines that worked for them.

(“Give and Take” author Adam Grant consistently writes in the mornings while Tim always writes at night.)

How do you start to develop your own personal system? Apply some 80-20 thinking:
1.What handful of activities are responsible for the disproportionate number of your successes?
2.What handful of activities absolutely crater your productivity?
3.Rearrange your schedule to do more of No. 1 and to eliminate No. 2 as much as possible.

So you’re all set to wake up tomorrow with a system and not be reactive. How do you make sure you follow through on this tomorrow? It’s simple.
6. Define Your Goals The Night Before
Wake up knowing what is important before the day’s pseudo-emergencies come barging into your life and your inbox screams new commands.

Here’s Tim:

Define your one or two most important to-dos before dinner, the day before.

Best-selling author Dan Pink gives similar advice:

Establish a closing ritual. Know when to stop working. Try to end each workday the same way, too. Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow.

Research says you’re more likely to follow through if you’re specific and if you write your goals down.

Studies show this has a secondary benefit: writing down what you need to do tomorrow relieves anxiety and helps you enjoy your evening.

So how does this all come together?
Summing Up

Here are Tim’s 6 tips:
1.Manage Your Mood
2.Don’t Check Email in The Morning
3.Before You Try To Do It Faster, Ask Whether It Should Be Done At All
4.Focus Is Nothing More Than Eliminating Distractions
5.Have A Personal System
6.Define Your Goals The Night Before
The word “productivity” sounds like we’re talking about machines. But the funny thing is that much of being truly good with time is about feelings.

How should you strive to feel when working? Busy, but not rushed. Research shows this is when people are happiest.
Once you are more productive, you’ll have a lot more hours to fill. So why not use them to make others and yourself happier?
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This article originally appeared hereCopyright 2014

06 June 2014

Staying at home

I've made the "official" announcement on my Facebook status, but I'll also share with you here, in case some of you aren't my friends on Facebook.
I have submitted my resignation to my boss. My last day of work will be June 13, 2014.
This was a very difficult decision, since I absolutely love working at SB Partners. It is a fantastic accounting firm - the partners and managers treat each and every one of their staff with respect and honour. There is no drama or emotional trampling by anyone. It's a great place to work, and it is a highly sought after accounting firm to partner with for all things accounting.
However, for the last six months or so, I've been feeling like I need to be at home with my kids. Alexander just turned six, and Isabel is three. Already they are growing up so fast. And in only a short while, they will be pre-teens and chances are they won't want to have anything to their boring ol' mom. And right now, they long for me to be with them all the time. So why would I not be with them, if that's what they want?
I can always go back to work later, when they don't need me around so much. Yes, Jeff is back on 100% commission with his work, but we've done it before and God has never let us go without what we need. We are totally trusting that God will sustain us.
I'm excited about this new chapter in our lives (I'll finally be able to properly clean my house more than once a week! - you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to do that when you only have two days off a week).
I'll still be popping by the office every once in a while with Jeff's triple layer bars - they are SO GOOD ... and my boss's favourite treat.
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02 January 2014

10 things successful people do to reach their dreams

Dreams do not have to be just dreams. They can be reality. There are things each person can do to reach their dreams, and successful people act differently to reach their dreams. Not everyone follows their dreams, but why is that? If you have a dream, go for it!

Here are 10 things that successful people do differently to reach their dreams.

1. They don't make excuses. When most people think about their dreams, they might come up with excuses for why their dreams are not possible. Successful people who reach their dreams don’t make as many excuses. Instead, they are proactive and try to overcome any and all obstacles. Those who are not successful with reaching their dreams most likely create many excuses for why their dreams are not possible for them.

2. They work hard. Successful people work hard to reach their dreams. They do what it takes to reach their dream, even if it takes a long while and all of their time. Working hard is important when it comes to reaching your dream. You might have to work two jobs at one time. You might even have to work three jobs. You might have to attend school at the same time, raise a family, take care of a loved one, and so on.

3. They stay healthy. Successful people make sure that they stay healthy. If you get sick, that will just make it take a little longer for you to reach your dreams, so staying healthy in important.

4. They hold to their principles. Holding on to your own principles is important when you are trying to reach your dreams. You have to know who you are and why you are doing certain things. You can’t just forget who you are.

5. They never quit. Successful people never quit. Even when times get tough, they try to not stop what they are doing. They try to think of their end goal and what they can do to get there. If you quit, then reaching your dream will be nearly impossible.

6. They are willing to take risks. Those who reach their dreams are willing to take risks. Many dreams require risks to be taken. You don’t know what may happen if you take the risk, but sometimes it comes down to taking the risk and reaching your dream, or not taking the risk and possibly never reaching your dream. You will never know unless you take some risks in order to reach your dream.

7. They set realistic goals. Setting goals is important for reaching your dreams. Successful people set goals and reach them one by one. Setting smaller goals can also help you reach your dreams because you know exactly what you have to accomplish to finally reach your dream.

8. They are positive. Successful people who reach their dreams are positive. They do not think negatively most of the time and instead think about how their dreams are actually possible. If you are negative, it can be much  harder to reach your dream since you do not have faith in yourself. Instead, think positively about what you can do to reach your dream.

9. They know how to multitask. Most dreams are made by someone multitasking. You may have to do many things at once in order to reach your dream. You don’t let how busy your life is stop you.

10. They make sacrifices. Successful people make sacrifices in order to reach their dream. You might have to work for low pay in order to reach your dream; however, if you have faith in yourself and set realistic goals, then your sacrifices may pay off.

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01 January 2014

Ready to get your hands dirty?

I know I certainly am willing to get my hands dirty! I foresee great things happening in 2014, and that is only because I plan to making each opportunity count. I am going to be creating habits in my life that will set me up for success. I have so much I would like to accomplish this year, and I'm sure you do too!

If you want to take your accomplishments to the next level, come and talk to me, and I'll hook you up with what I'm doing to succeed - it's for everyone!

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