Tuesday Brewsday: Grayton Beer Company - Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Breakfast in Destin - Sunset Bay Cafe

Product Review: Origins Original Skin™ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay
Adventures of Gus and Kim: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park - Tallahassee, Florida

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park - Tallahassee, Florida


Earlier this year, Gus and I visited the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, Florida. The park is beautiful and offers something for everyone. They have a recreation area that includes a playground, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, picnicking, hiking and biking. But that's not why we were there.

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park - if you're looking for a must-do activity in Tallahassee, you can't go wrong with Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. It's especially beautiful January - March when everything is blooming!

We were there to see the beautiful Maclay Gardens and the Maclay House.

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park - if you're looking for a must-do activity in Tallahassee, you can't go wrong with Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. It's especially beautiful January - March when everything is blooming!

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

Just a little background info about Alfred B. Maclay (I didn't know anything about him prior to our visit.) Maclay was a very wealthy banker from New York who was married to Louise Fleischmann (of the wealthy Fleischmann (margarine and yeast) family). They visited Tallahassee in 1923 and fell in love with the area. He loved gardening and decided this would be a perfect place for his gardens. There was a 1906 hunting lodge on the property, so the Maclays did extensive renovations from 1923-1925, naming it Killearn (in honor of the Scottish town) and making it their winter home.

Azaleas at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

Camellia at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

Both Maclays loved camellias and azaleas, so they make up the foundation of the gardens. The garden grew and grew, adding dogwoods, oriental magnolias, tulips, irises, banana shrubs, honeysuckle, silverbell trees, and pansies.

Beautiful gardens at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

Alfred died in 1944 at the age of 46, so Louise continued their dream. In 1953, she and their children donated more than 300 acres of land to Florida - including the house and gardens. Land has been added since then, so that the park now covers almost 1200 acres.

Beautiful gardens at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

Beautiful gardens at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

I have one piece of advice for you. When you plan your visit, be sure to go between January and March when the gardens are blooming. We were there in mid-March and everything was in bloom. It was stunning.

Azaleas at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

There is an added fee when you visit between January and March, but it's worth it. The trees and flowers are just amazingly beautiful, and the entire garden area is so peaceful and calm.

Beautiful trees at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!

I fell in love with the house. Even the interior. It just looks like a home you'd find in Key West. Minimal rooms, but oh-so-charming.

Main house at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!
Main house at Killearn (now Maclay Gardens)

Living room in main house at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!
Living room at Killearn (now Maclay Gardens)

There is another building behind the main house which we were told was the childrens' residence. There was only one bedroom in the main house, so Louise had the childrens' quarters built. I like the way she thinks!

Childrens' residence behind main house at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee!
Childrens' residence at Killearn (now Maclay Gardens)

The weather was wonderful the day we were there and we really enjoyed the time we spent in the gardens. It's definitely a must-do in Tallahassee!

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park - if you're looking for a must-do activity in Tallahassee, you can't go wrong with Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. It's especially beautiful January - March when everything is blooming!

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park - if you're looking for a must-do activity in Tallahassee, you can't go wrong with Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. It's especially beautiful January - March when everything is blooming!

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
3540 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, Florida  32309
(850) 487-4556

Hours:
Park and gardens 8am - sunset, daily
Maclay House January - April, 9am - 5pm daily

Cost:
$6 per vehicle (does not include Gardens entry, January - April)
$6 Gardens entry, adults January - April
$3 Gardens entry, children (2-12) January - April
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Kim A.
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You CAN Whiten Your Teeth Without Sensitivity!

You CAN Whiten Your Teeth Without Sensitivity!


(This post is sponsored by Carbon Coco. All opinions and experiences are my own. disclosure policy.)

Do you have sensitive teeth? I do, and it's incredibly annoying. Especially when I would like to whiten my teeth.

Have you heard of using charcoal powder for whitening teeth? Charcoal is in everything these days - cleanser, shampoo, facial masks, toothbrushes - the list goes on! Why is charcoal in everything?

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You CAN Whiten Your Teeth Without Sensitivity! I've had more success with Carbon Coco activated charcoal products than I ever did with whitening strips, toothpaste, or gel. And no sensitivity!

Activated charcoal is carbon that has been heated to make it expand, making it more porous and able to trap toxins. It chemically binds other substances to it's surface, but is not absorbed by the body. You've no doubt heard of it being used to treat certain types of poisoning. It is said that when charcoal is used in beauty products, it draws out impurities and oil. The same process applies to tooth care products, like Carbon Coco - the charcoal is supposed to bind with stains and help whiten teeth. Without causing sensitivity.

Carbon Coco Activated Charcoal Tooth Polish works well without sensitivity!

Now you're probably saying, That's great - but does it work? - I had the same question. First, let's address some of the reasons why someone's teeth may not be as white as they would like. Receiving certain antibiotics as a child, taking certain medications, certain illnesses, or genetics are all things that can not only cause teeth to be not be "white", but can also prevent whitening products from working well. I've always had problems whitening my teeth to blinding white (and I admit to having some envious feelings when I see someone with a whiter-than-white smile). I did have a lot of antibiotics as a child and I have also taken antihistamines daily for years. I don't drink coffee, but I do drink iced tea. I always use a straw, so the tea doesn't really come in contact with the surface of my teeth.

I've used whitening toothpaste and mouth rinse for years, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I've tried several types of whitening strips, but I have to be careful because of sensitivity. I use Sensodyne toothpaste, but the strips still make me miserable. I've tried a couple of whitening gels, but they didn't work either.

Carbon Coco Activated Charcoal Tooth Polish works well without sensitivity!

Charcoal powder seemed like a good option for me, and I was more than willing to give it a go. Carbon Coco Activated Charcoal Tooth Polish is made of finely milled organic coconut shell activated charcoal with a bit of bentonite clay and lemon myrtle.

A little powder goes a long way - you dampen your toothbrush, dip in the in charcoal, then brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes. I never noticed any taste or smell to the powder. Tip: Keep your mouth closed as much as possible, or you will find little spots of charcoal everywhere! I recommend having a damp paper towel nearby. No matter how careful I am when I rinse, I always make a mess!

Carbon Coco Activated Charcoal Toothpaste!

Next, you brush as usual with the Activated Charcoal Toothpaste. It's black, but once you start brushing, it lightens to a light grey. Or maybe it's white and the residual charcoal in your mouth turns it grey. Either way - it looks grey when you spit it out! The toothpaste is spearmint-flavored and does not contain fluoride. Both the polish and toothpaste are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.

Carbon Coco Activated Charcoal Toothpaste!

The Carbon Coco website says that using the product nightly usually shows results in 7-14 days.


I have been using the charcoal polish and toothpaste (with the Carbon Coco Bamboo Charcoal toothbrush) nightly, and my regular Sensodyne Extra Whitening toothpaste in the morning for about 4-6 weeks. And guess what? I have definitely seen an improvement - without tooth sensitivity!


Are my teeth as white as I would like? No. I don't think they ever will be unless I get veneers - but they are visibly whiter than they ever were using whitening toothpaste, strips, or gel. Will I keep using charcoal? I actually think I will. I'm not using it nightly now, just 3-4 times per week, which seems to be a good maintenance schedule. It's easy to do, and definitely works better for me than whitening strips or gel - plus the added benefit of no increased sensitivity.

You CAN Whiten Your Teeth Without Sensitivity! I've had more success with Carbon Coco activated charcoal products than I ever did with whitening strips, toothpaste, or gel. And no sensitivity!

If you're interested in trying Carbon Coco, they're having a sale right now and they have free international shipping AND also a "love it or leave it" guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don't see results within 14 days.

You CAN Whiten Your Teeth Without Sensitivity! I've had more success with Carbon Coco activated charcoal products than I ever did with whitening strips, toothpaste, or gel. And no sensitivity!

You can find Carbon Coco on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Have you ever tried activated charcoal for whitening your teeth? How did it go? I'm curious to see if others had results! Leave a comment here, on Instagram, or Snapchat!


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Kim A.
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Tuesday Brewsday: Proof Brewing Company - Tallahassee, Florida

Tuesday Brewsday: Proof Brewing Company - Tallahassee, Florida


It's always nice when a family can find an activity that everyone enjoys. For our family, one of those activities is visiting breweries. If you've been around the blog for awhile, then you know that not only do we visit our local breweries, but we also try to find breweries whenever we travel.

One of my favorite breweries is Proof Brewing in Tallahassee. Why? Because sour ales, Berliner Weisses, Goses, and stouts are always a good portion of their selections, and those are some of my favorite types of beer!

If you're in the Tallahassee area, be sure to stop by Proof Brewing Company! Awesome taproom with lots of great beer!

We've been to Proof a few times and always enjoy the brews and atmosphere. They're located in Railroad Square Art Park at 644 McConnell, but they are in the process of moving to a larger facility at 1320 South Monroe - which is less than a mile away and will put them within walking distance of Cascades Park and near downtown. It's my understanding that the current facility will remain open until the new location is ready. The last I read, they're estimating the opening to be no later than January 2019.

Current Proof Brewing Company site in Tallahassee, Florida - they're moving to a new location later in 2018!

They have a great set-up right now, with one of the best outdoor areas I've seen: a good-sized beer garden, games, and a place for live music. The indoor area is nice, but it can get a bit cramped, so it will be nice to have more room. I can't wait to see what they do with the new building - and it occupies an entire city block!

Current Proof Brewing Company outdoor area in Tallahassee, Florida - they're moving to a new location later in 2018!

They don't serve food at the current location, but you can bring in your own. They plan to have a kitchen at the new location.

Current Proof Brewing Company outdoor area in Tallahassee, Florida - they're moving to a new location later in 2018!

As I mentioned, they do amazing sour ales/Berliners/Goses. I've tried to figure out the name "coding" - I thought if "Evil Kiss" was in the name, it was a sour ale/Berliner Weisse, and if it was just "Kiss", it was a sour ale/Gose. But apparently that's not correct, because Passion Fruit Kiss is a Berliner. I guess you can say that is there is "Kiss" in the name it's a Berliner Weisse or a Gose! Their Creatures in the Dark chocolate sweet stout is one of my absolute favorite stouts.

Current Proof Brewing Company beer menu!

Flight of beer at Proof Brewing Company!
(pictured above, left to right: Passionfruit Evil Kiss, Raspberry Kissing Giants, Strawberry Lemonade Evil Kiss, 
and Tea Time Evil Kiss)

You'll notice in the list of "favorites" below, that Buddy and I have several, while Gus only has one. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1) Gus is really bad at checking in on Untappd, and if he doesn't check in, he won't remember what he had when I ask for a blog post.
2) He's not a fan of sour ale, Berliner Weisse, or Gose. And he only likes a few stouts.

My favorites*:
  • Peach Mango Evil Kiss (Sour/Berliner Weisse)
  • Creatures in the Dark (Chocolate Sweet Stout)
  • Tea Time Evil Kiss (Sour/Berliner Weisse)
  • Dragonfruit Evil Kiss (Sour/Berliner Weisse)
  • Passion Fruit Kiss (Berliner Weisse)
  • Raspberry Kissing Giants (Sour/Gose)
  • Mango Wit (Belgian witbier)
Gus' favorites*:
  • Hefeweizen
Buddy's favorites*:
  • Mango Wit Nitro (Belgian witbier)
  • Peach Mango Evil Kiss (Sour/Berliner Weisse)
  • Creatures in the Dark (Chocolate Sweet Stout)
  • Win-Win (New England IPA)
  • S'Mores Glass Emperor - Bourbon Barrel (Imperial/Double Stout)
If you're in the Tallahassee area, be sure to stop by Proof Brewing Company! Awesome taproom with lots of great beer!

So if you enjoy kicking back with a beer (or two...) you're going to want to stop by Proof when you're in the Tallahassee area!

Here's where/when you can find them:
Proof Brewing Company
presently at 644 McConnell Street
relocating to 1320 South Monroe late 2018/early 2019
Tallahassee, FL  32310

Hours:
Tuesday - Thursday 4pm - 12am
Friday - Sunday 12pm - 12am
(will have expanded hours at the new location)

Happy Hour:
Tuesday - Thursday 4pm - 6pm
Friday 12pm - 6pm

Tours:
Saturday 1pm and 2:30pm

Facebook - Twitter - Instagram ~ Untppd

What's your favorite brewery? We're always looking for new ones to try! If you're interested in our drinking adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat because that's where you'll see the most pictures/info!

*A note about our beer preferences:
Me: witbier, Hefeweizen, fruit beer, Berliner Weisse, Gose, blonde ale, white ale, non-coffee-flavored stouts, Kentucky common ale, ginger beer, some saisons, and some Scotch ales
Gus: witbier, Hefeweizen, blonde ale, red ale, Belgian tripel, Kentucky common ale
Buddy: IPA, fruit beer, Berliner Weisse, Gose, blonde ale, red ale, stouts (especially coffee-flavored), porter, Belgian tripel, Belgian quad, saison


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Kim A.
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Organic Fragrance-free Cleansers from Acure Organics!

Organic Fragrance-free Cleansers from Acure Organics!


Do you have sensitive skin? Do you prefer to use organic products? Do you want products that are cruelty-free? Sulfate, fragrance, and/or paraben-free? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then Acure Organics might be just what you need!

If you read the blog regularly, then you know that I was recently diagnosed with rosacea. Even prior to that, I had skin that was sensitive to added fragrance. If you've ever looked for fragrance-free cleansers/body wash, then you know it's not easy to find good ones.

If you have sensitive skin or just prefer to use organic and/or fragrance-free products, I recommend the sensitive skin cleansers by Acure Organics!

(This post may contain affiliate links which were added to make it easier for you to find the items. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). You are free to use the links or not - if you do, I thank you!)

I discovered Acure in one of the Target Beauty Boxes, and I've been using their products for a little over a year now. I've mentioned the cleanser in My Favorite Facial Cleansers for Mature Skin post, but I wanted to go into a little more detail about both the facial cleanser and body wash.

I do want to mention that they have recently repackaged their products. I have photos of the products I purchased in 2017, so they have the older packaging.

Sensitive Facial Cleanser by Acure Organics!

The Sensitive Facial Cleanser was originally packaged in a white tube with teal graphics. It is now called Seriously Soothing™ Cleansing Cream and comes in a white tube with pink graphics. Same product - different packaging, different name.

Fragrance-free Sensitive Skin Body Wash by Acure Organics!

The Sensitive Skin Body Wash was originally packaged in an eight ounce teal tube with white graphics. It is now called Simply Unscented™ Body Wash and comes in a 12 ounce white bottle with light blue graphics. Same product - different packaging, different name. More product.

Both of these products are vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, mineral oil free, petrolatum-free, silicone-free and cruelty-free.

If you have sensitive skin or just prefer to use organic and/or fragrance-free products, I recommend the sensitive skin cleansers by Acure Organics!

Even though they don't have any added fragrance, there is a slight scent that comes from the ingredients. It's pretty neutral and doesn't bother me at all. Of course, sometimes, I would rather have something that smells delicious, but not if it's going to irritate my skin. Right?

Cleanser ingredients: water, aloe vera leaf juice*, acai fruit extract*, blackberry fruit extract*, rosehips fruit extract*, pomegranate fruit extract*, calendula flower extract*, chamomile flower extract*, rooibos leaf extract*, sodium cocoyl isethionate, decyl glucoside, sodium lauroyl lactylate, glyceryl stearate SE, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, coconut oil, stearyl didydroxypropyldimonium oligosaccharides, glyceryl oleate, glycerin, phenethyl alcohol, hydrolyzed jojoba esters, glyceryl caprylate, sclerotiom gum, gycerophosphoinositol, sunflower amino acids, argan kernel oil*, argan culture extract, peony cell culture extract. *organic ingredient

Body wash ingredients: water, aloe vera leaf juice*, acai fruit extract*, blackberry fruit extract*, rosehips fruit extract*, pomegranate fruit extract*, calendula flower extract*, chamomile flower extract*, rooibos leaf extract*, sodium cocoyl isethionate, decyl glucoside, sodium lauroyl lactylate, glyceryl stearate SE, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, coconut oil, stearyl didydroxypropyldimonium oligosaccharides, glyceryl oleate, glycerin, phenethyl alcohol, hydrolyzed jojoba esters, glyceryl caprylate, sclerotiom gum, glycerophosphoinositol, sunflower amino acids, argan kernel oil*, argan sprout cell extract, ubiquinone. *organic ingredient

If you look closely, you can see that the ingredient lists are identical except that the cleanser contains peony cell culture extract, and the body wash has ubiquinone (CoQ10). The consistencies are a little different, too - at least in the original. The body wash has a thicker consistency. But the major difference is that the facial cleanser is only four ounces and the body wash is 12 ounces. For the same price. You see where I'm going with this? I think I would definitely consider using the body wash on my face!

Comparison of consistency of the sensitive skin facial cleanser and body wash by Acure Organics!

I like both of these products, and they haven't irritated or dried my skin at all - not even my face which has been so sensitive since the rosacea diagnosis. That's very important to me. I also appreciate that the consistency allows a little to go a long way - especially if you're using a konjac sponge and/or a shower pouf.

If you have sensitive skin, rosacea, or just prefer to use fragrance-free or organic products, I recommend both of these cleansers. Acure has some other great products as well.

Do you have a favorite fragrance-free or organic cleanser? I'd like to add one or two as backups to my regular cleansers, so let me know in the comments here, on Instagram, or Snapchat!



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Kim A.
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Adventures of Gus and Kim: Lunch in Live Oak, Florida - All Decked Out Cafe

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Lunch in Live Oak, Florida - All Decked Out Cafe


Don't you love finding great little local places to eat? So do we! Not only does the food always seem taste better, but it supports the local economy.

I don't know if you've ever driven I-10 in Florida from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, but it's the oddest stretch of highway. We didn't see any restaurants. Not even fast food (yuck). I'm sure there must've been something somewhere, but if so, it was so far off the highway that you couldn't see it. Let me tell you a little story...

For whatever reason, Gus decided that he wanted to get out of Jacksonville before we stopped to eat. You know, the large city of Jacksonville that has a lot of restaurants? He insisted there would be a place to eat along I-10. I'm sure there was, but since it wasn't right next to the highway, he just kept driving. And driving. At this point, we've passed the halfway point to Tallahassee, and I was getting hangry. Keep in mind that I had also been awake for over 24 hours, and I hadn't eaten since dinner the night before because we had to be at the airport at 4am. So I used my phone to start looking for restaurants anywhere. I saw that there was a place in Live Oak that had good reviews, but it was about a 10 minute drive off I-10.

Of course, the story doesn't end here. If you remember my post about The Best BBQ in Alabama, I talked about how when we're traveling, Gus never wants to go out of the way to do anything. He doesn't trust GPS and he likes to stay on the main roads. I'm a more adventurous soul. Sometimes, in a case like the present, I have to get creative and be willing to listen to a lot of grumbling. I told him there was a restaurant with good reviews that was "just a little bit" off the main road. We took exit 439, and after about 2 miles, the complaining (I was ready for it) started. "Where is this place", "I thought you said it was nearby", "We're out in the middle of nowhere". It's like it's scripted, y'all, because I know exactly what he's going to say.

If you're ever traveling down I-10 between Jacksonville and Tallahassee and decide you're hungry, check out the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak. You'll be glad you did!

Less than 10 minutes later, we arrived at All Decked Out Cafe. What a cute little place! It sits right at the corner of Duval and Lee streets in Live Oak, and has a small parking lot. (Gus was still grumbling at this point, but I was ignoring him.)

Entrance to the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak, FL.

We saw a little outdoor seating area as we approached the entrance. It was soooo cute! I want to hang out there and drink!

Outdoor seating at the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak, FL.

Inside, it's just so charming. It's small, but very clean, and I loved the beachy decor. We seated ourselves and someone came over right away to give us menus and take our drink order.

Inside the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak, FL.

Inside the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak, FL.

Gus ordered a cheeseburger with a side of rice pilaf (remember from the Millhouse Steak House post how much he likes rice?)...

Cheeseburger and rice pilaf from the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak, FL.

 and I ordered a gyro with hush puppies...

Gyro and hush puppies from the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak, FL.

Oh my gosh, y'all. Everything was delicious! The gyro was almost as good as the one from my favorite Greek restaurant. And the hush puppies? Perfection. Seriously. I would go back just for the hush puppies. So light on the inside, the perfect amount of golden crunch on the outside, and they weren't greasy at all. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Dessert menu from the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak, FL.

They had some decadent-sounding desserts, and I wanted to try something, but I was so full after eating that I didn't have room. Just another reason to come back again.

If you're ever traveling down I-10 between Jacksonville and Tallahassee and decide you're huungry, check out the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak. You'll be glad you did!

If you're wondering if Gus got over his grumpiness, I'll just say that as soon as we left, he said things like, "that was really good", "that was a cool place", "I guess it wasn't that far off the highway". Yes, that's the way we roll, and it's worked for 30 years. He gets grumpy, I ignore him and find fun places, he gets over it, I roll my eyes. I do love that man.

If you're ever traveling down I-10 between Jacksonville and Tallahassee and decide you're hungry, check out the All Decked Out Cafe in Live Oak. You'll be glad you did!


We will definitely be coming back here again when we're in the area. So if  you're ever traveling I-10 between Jacksonville and Tallahassee, be sure to stop by the All Decked Out Cafe. You'll be glad you did.

All Decked Out Cafe
1040 Duval Street NE
Live Oak, Florida  32064
386-362-7752

Hours:
Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 9pm
(they close from 3-4pm to prepare for dinner)
Closed Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday

Do you have a favorite restaurant that isn't well-known? I'd love to hear about it - we're always looking for new places to try! Let me know in the comments, on Instagram, or on Snapchat!

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Kim A.
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