Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Nominated for Emmy Award

Daniel Tiger

The Motherhood is thrilled to congratulate Angela Santomero and the talented teams who work on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood for their Daytime Emmy Award nomination! The program has been nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program.

Daniel Tiger TV




Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood has always been a winner in moms’ eyes, and it’s wonderful to see this amazing show also receiving recognition within the television industry.

This prestigious nomination follows the recent announcement that The Fred Rogers Company was named the 2014 Pittsburgher of the Year for their use of new media technologies, reinvigoration of a beloved legacy and passionate advocacy for children.

The Motherhood has partnered with The Fred Rogers Company on several award-winning programs that celebrate the much-loved Daniel Tiger and the legacy of Mister Rogers. We are honored to have them as a partner, neighbor and friend and are thrilled to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!

Our Favorite Spring-Inspired Passover & Easter Recipes

Easter Truffles

At The Motherhood, quite a few of us have a passion for cooking, trying new recipes and coming up with some of our own. When a holiday approaches, we’re all quick to share and exchange recipes we love. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite spring-inspired dishes (and a dessert!) to share with you.

Read on for some of our favorite Easter recipes and Passover dishes, and feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments below!


Italian Easter Pie

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Italian Catholics make it a tradition to enjoy this savory pie to mark the end of the Lenten season. The week of Easter, Brittney visits her local Italian market to pick up some basket cheese (the name comes from the basket in which it’s formed). Some years she makes the crust from scratch, while other years she goes the pre-made route, but this dish is always on her family’s table!

Italian Easter Pie Recipe

Italian Easter Pie

Photo Credit: Brown Eyed Baker

Approx. 10-12 servings


For the Pie Dough:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

13 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼-inch cubes

7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold, cut into pieces

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the Pie Filling:

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage

1 small sweet onion, finely chopped

4 ounces pepperoni, chopped

4 ounces hard salami, chopped

4 ounces prosciutto, chopped

1 pound fresh basket cheese, drained and cut into bite-size pieces

1 pound ricotta cheese, drained

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork

Freshly grated black pepper

For the Egg Wash:

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy cream


Visit Brown Eyed Baked for the complete recipe, including recipe directions.


Springtime Asparagus & Mushroom Lemon-Parmesan Pasta

Source: Brittnee Hammonds

Brittnee’s husband’s family has a strong Italian heritage, so he’s never been one to get overly excited about her family’s traditional Easter spread of ham, potatoes and various side dishes. So, when it was their turn to host Easter, she asked him what would get him excited about dinner and his (not surprising response) was, “Pasta!” This light, spring-inspired pasta dish was born from that request.

Springtime Asparagus & Mushroom Lemon-Parmesan Pasta Recipe

Approx. 6-8 servings


Olive Oil

1 pound fresh asparagus

16 ounce fresh mushrooms

Salt, pepper, garlic salt

1.5 pounds spaghetti noodles

2 lemons (both juice and zest)

1 large orange (both juice and zest)

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Asiago or preferred cheese to shave over top of pasta


  1. Put water on to boil 1.5 lb spaghetti noodles. Add salt generously to water and cut half of your lemon (juice it and set aside for later), and toss lemon into boiling water to flavor water.
  2. Clean and cut (into bite size pieces) asparagus and mushrooms. Heat splash of olive oil in large pan. Toss asparagus and mushrooms in pan, seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste. Sauté until cooked to your preferred doneness. Set aside.
  3. Put noodles on to boil; cook until al dente.
  4. Juice and zest the rest of your lemons into a bowl (using the juice you set aside earlier, as well), in addition to your large orange.  Add olive oil (approx. ½ cup), as well as salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste.
  5. Drain pasta, and add cooked veggies, citrus and olive oil mix you previously made and grated parmesan cheese. Toss until noodles are coated. Add additional olive oil as needed.
  6. Season with additional salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste. Shave Asiago (or cheese of choice) over top of pasta dish and serve warm.


Cuban Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls

Source: The Cuban Reuben

Erin’s family is not Jewish; however, a number of her close friends from college are, and she learned a bit about the holidays and culture from them. During her senior year in college, a group of both Jewish and non-Jewish friends combined efforts to cook traditional dishes and host a Seder dinner for Passover, including one of her favorites, matzoh ball soup. This recipe is an interesting twist on the standard matzoh ball soup.

Cuban Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls Recipe

seder dinner, passover

Erin, of The Motherhood, and friends from college enjoying Seder dinner for Passover. Photo Credit: Erin Olson, The Motherhood

Approx. 8-10 servings


For the matzoh balls

1 cup of matzoh meal

½ cup club soda

4 eggs with yolks

⅓ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of salt

dash of pepper

dash of nutmeg

For the soup:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

15 whole allspice berry

3 bay leaves

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 medium malangas*, peeled and coarsely diced

2 quarts of low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon of bijol powder (optional)*

6 culantro leaves*

½ Kabocha squash, peeled and coarsely diced

Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper

4 baby bok choy, cut into quarters, lengthwise

2 zucchinis, sliced into ½” slices

1 lime, sliced


Visit The Cuban Reuben for the complete recipe, including recipe directions.


Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles

Source: Wine and Glue/Taste of Home

Serena was looking for a cute, spring-themed dessert recipe for her family’s Easter brunch that both the kids and adults would enjoy. She’s been intimidated by chocolate-dipped recipes before, but as Lisa of Wine and Glue said, these truffles “stay together perfectly, and they dip beautifully.”

Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles Recipe

Cookie Dough Truffles

Photo Credit: Wine and Glue


1/2 cup of butter, softened

3/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

pink, blue, purple, and white candy melts


Visit Wine and Glue for the complete recipe, including recipe directions.

Will you be trying any of these recipes? If so, let us know which one!

Case Study: Engaging Bloggers to Create Ad Content

At The Motherhood, we organize and manage creative campaigns with bloggers, typically in partnership with PR agencies or brand marketing managers. On a fairly regular basis, though, advertisers ask us for help in creating authentic content for print ads, as well as shining a social media spotlight on those ads.

Here’s an example:

Media company Hearst, which publishes dozens of women’s magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, ELLE and O, the Oprah Magazine, asked The Motherhood to create a campaign that would engage bloggers to expand the reach of one of their advertisers, a national ice cream brand.

Planned for the July issue of dozens of Hearst’s women’s magazines, the ice cream brand had purchased a one-page advertisement to share tips on guilt-free summer indulgences, which aligned with the messaging of their newly launched, no-sugar-added ice cream products.

Beginning in February, with enough lead time to provide content for the magazine ads, The Motherhood brought in 15 high-impact food and lifestyle bloggers to participate in the campaign. The two most influential bloggers were asked to provide several tips for summer indulgences that eventually appeared in the print magazine advertisement. Additionally, all 15 bloggers sampled the new ice cream products and published review blog posts (with photos) on July 1, the day the ad hit newsstands, to extend the messaging of the new no-sugar-added ice cream products and other summer indulgences to the blogosphere.

The campaign resulted in beautiful blog coverage and social media extensions garnering five million impressions for the brand in one day, and it brought their advertising messaging online to live indefinitely on the digital bookshelf.

If you’re an advertiser interested in a similar program, please email us for a customized campaign recommendation at contact@themotherhood.com.

Industry News Round Up: Facebook and Instagram Updates


It’s been a busy week for Facebook and Instagram. In case you haven’t had a chance to delve into the latest news, here’s a quick summary:

Three upcoming changes for Facebook 

  1. We may start to see news content hosted inside of Facebook, instead of links that direct users to another media site. This will make consuming content on Facebook more seamless, especially for those accessing it on mobile devices. Some initial media partners will include The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic. 
  2. And while we’re all familiar with Facebook’s autoplay videos, the company is looking to take autoplay to the next level. This new feature will automatically play another related video when the one you’re watching is done — similar to how Netflix automatically plays the next episode of a series you’re watching.
  3. Furthermore, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the F8 Developer Conference on Wednesday that the company will be turning its Facebook Messenger into a platform. When it launches, more than 40 third-party apps will be available to download directly from Facebook Messenger, allowing users to send one another not just texts, but GIFs, music, videos and more.

Through a new feature called Messenger Business, Facebook will also aim to replace work-related emails with Messenger. This means email addresses won’t be needed for common online business interactions such as sending direct messages, making reservations and checking business order statuses. Launch dates for these new features have not yet been confirmed, but look for them in the next couple of months!

Facebook Learn How

Photo source: Facebook

Facebook introduces educational resource for marketers

Do you advertise your brand on Facebook? If so, you might want to check out Blueprint: a new educational resource for advertising on Facebook. Released this Wednesday, Blueprint offers more than 35 online courses and includes in-person training and certification. This resource lets advertisers explore Facebook’s campaign optimization offerings, video ad options and effective ad measurement tools at their own pace. Anyone with a Facebook account can access Blueprint via desktop or mobile device.

If you’re a small business owner, Facebook created Learn How with you in mind. This new online learning center helps small businesses do more with their Facebook Pages and Ads. Facebook built the Learn How page to be flexible, saying marketers can “use it to cover a topic in-depth, or as a reference library to cover questions as they come up.” Like Blueprint, this resource is also available on desktop and mobile. To stay on top of Facebook marketing changes, follow the updated Facebook Business website.

With more than two million businesses advertising on the social media network, it appears Facebook saw the opportunity to improve their experience by creating a hub of information and answers for online marketers of both large and small businesses. Smart move!

Instagram rolls out new collage app 

On Tuesday, Instagram rolled out a new app, Layout from Instagram, a feature that allows users to create collages of their photos. We love how incredibly simple it is to use this app! Unlike other photo collage apps, however, there are no filter, text or border color options.

While most third-party collage apps require users to choose the collage format before selecting the pictures, Layout does the opposite. Users simply click photos from their library (up to nine) that they wish to include in a collage, then choose the format from a variety of options.

Here’s an example of what it looks like:

Instagram Layout Instagram Layout

After creating a collage, users can easily share their creations to their social media platforms.

Easy, right? First Lady Michelle Obama has already used the app, as have brands such as Sephora and Victoria’s Secret.

You can currently download this app for free in iTunes, and Layout will be available to Android users in the coming months.

Upcoming March Twitter Chats!


Spring has finally sprung, and what better way to celebrate than with these exciting spring-themed Twitter chats? Here are all the details you’ll need to know to join us. We hope to see you there!


Wednesday, March 25 @ 1p.m. EST

Graduation season is right around the corner! After all the hard work, time and money spent earning their degrees, it’s a well-deserved moment of celebration for students and their families.

The Motherhood is celebrating this halllmark occasion during the #EarnItFrameIt Twitter chat! We’ll be talking about great gift ideas, and the professional framing company, Church Hill Classics, and how their custom framing options can help graduates preserve and showcase those hard-earned diplomas!

We will be giving away five prizes to randomly-selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only and include:

• Two (2) $100 diplomaframe.com gift card grand prizes

• One (1) varsity letter frame (valued at $94)

• One (1) graduation autograph frame (valued at $80)

• One (1) “class of” themed photo frame (valued at $28)


Tuesday, March 31 @ 1p.m. EST

Who doesn’t love a new recipe to add to their collection? That’s why we’re excited to be joining SPLENDA® for a #SweetSwaps Twitter chat where we’ll be sharing spring-inspired recipes from the SPLENDA® SWEET SWAPS™ page along with tips to help you make balanced lifestyle decisions! Simple changes like substituting one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener can save you more than 600 calories without losing the sweetness you know and love!

Prizes! We will be giving away five prizes to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Each prize includes a $50 Visa gift card, an assortment of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products and a SPLENDA® branded apron and bag. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only. Official rules here.

TM Book Club: “The Beauty of Grace” Inspires

photo 2 (4)

No matter who you are or what your situation, every one of us has moments when we need to hear, “You are loved,” “There is a plan,” and most of all, “You are enough.”

The Beauty of Grace,” written by a longtime friend of The Motherhood, Dawn Camp, is an amazing reminder of these very things and so much more. With a compilation of stories that speak to purpose, perspective, surrendering and worship, this book is like a modern day devotional, made up of honest stories from everyday men and women.

Beauty of Grace Book Review

Dawn’s photography pairs beautifully with the inspirational stories she’s compiled. For example:

Arianne Segerman candidly speaks to a feeling many of us struggle with — inadequacy. From Pinterest-perfect homes to Facebook-induced feelings of competition, she reminds us that for each of us there is a different plan. Instead of trying to keep up, work to refine your edges, those very edges that allow you to forget how truly blessed you are. And most importantly, remember your blessings don’t have to look like others’.

Shannon Lowe shares her Sunday morning with us, and her strategy for getting through the week — from a heartbroken kid or the mess in the bedroom to a friend struggling with divorce or the dog that throws up on the carpet — she anchors herself in His grace because she knows “…in Him all things hold together.”

Rachel Anne Ridge reminds us that when we’ve come to a personal “stop sign” on our path, it’s just that — a moment to pause and assess what’s ahead. It doesn’t mean you stop and stay, or turn around or quit. Rather, stop long enough to “gather wisdom, get the lay of the land, look around and move forward slowly.” The road ahead may present you with unexpected curves, but that’s why stopping to assess your situation can help you to stay on track throughout your journey.

Beauty of Grace Book Review

Photo Credit: http://myhomesweethomeonline.net/

Positioned as an invitation to “slow down, take a deep breath and know that you are loved,” this book will inspire, enlighten and comfort anyone who picks it up.

The Motherhood was provided with a copy of “The Beauty of Grace” for review. All opinions expressed are our own. 

4 Tips for Spring Cleaning to Feel Refreshed


After the year of record-breaking snow and bitter cold many parts of the country experienced, it’s safe to say that we’ve been counting down to March 20 — the first official day of spring! Several months after many people made (and perhaps dropped) their New Year’s resolutions, the spring season brings a welcome sense of energy and desire to refresh many areas of our lives.

Here are four of our favorite ways to feel renewed as we usher in spring:

1. Do a Closet Clean Out

Take inventory of our closets and weed out unused clothing. Organization experts suggest eliminating wardrobe items that don’t meet the following criteria:

  • It currently fits
  • You have worn it in the past 12 months
  • You’re likely to wear it again
  • It’s in good condition (or you are willing to get it repaired)
  • It accurately represents your personal style
  • It makes you feel confident

If you can’t check those boxes for it, that item doesn’t make the cut! Make piles for items to keep, items to sell and items to donate to streamline your clean-out process.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user Emily May.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user Emily May.

Another fun option for pieces that are still in good condition is to host a clothing swap! Gather a few friends and ask them to bring a suggested minimum number of items. Create a festive party atmosphere with fun food and drinks (check out www.sweetswaps.com for some great ideas), and let the swapping begin! To make sure everyone gets a turn to shop, draw numbers and take turns picking one item from the selections. After a few rounds, you can open it up to a “free for all” so every item can find a new home.

2. Tackle Digital Clutter

Now is a great time to delete unneeded content and back up important files that are on your mobile devices. Not only will you feel more organized, but you’ll have the security of knowing your digital memories, such as special photos and videos, aren’t in danger of being lost forever. There are several simple ways to back up your files, and a quick search of some of these methods will yield some easy-to-follow instructions:

  • Import files to your desktop
  • Store your photos in the cloud using Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Upload your images to Flickr

3. Revamp Your Recipe Repertoire

A pantry clean-out is a great spring cleaning idea, but another way to refresh your kitchen this spring is to add some new recipes to your rotation! We love the idea of making simple lifestyle changes, such as swapping full sugar for SPLENDA® Sweetener Products in recipes, to find balance and enjoy the sweet life.

Through the SWEET SWAPS™ Initiative, the SPLENDA® Brand is dishing out creative ways to swap full sugar for SPLENDA® Sweetener Products in order to save calories. SweetSwaps.com is a treasure trove of creative and delicious ways to use SPLENDA® Sweetener Products no matter what type of dish you’re preparing!

To celebrate spring and enjoy the sweet life without all the calories of added sugar, we’re loving the citrus flavor of freshly made lemon chiffon pie that swaps full sugar for SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener!

Sweet Swaps

4. Develop a “Spot Clean” Strategy

Every house has a “hot spot” or two — places that always tend to accumulate clutter. Common areas include your dining room table, kitchen island or entryway. To stop tripping over backpacks or feeling overwhelmed by piles of paper, take charge of these hot spots and develop a cleaning and organizing system that works for your family. By installing a mailbox organizer with a labeled slot for each family member, or placing a coat rack and bench with individual cubbies or even some canvas storage cubes just inside your front door, you can help stop clutter in its tracks.

We’d love to hear your ideas for simplifying your life this spring! Leave us a comment with your favorite tips.

This post is part of the SPLENDA® Brand Sweet Life blogger program by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. All opinions are our own. 

The featured image at the top of this post is courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user Tristan Martin.

Keep Kids’ Minds Active This Summer with Brain Chase

Brain Chase

Every year, kids nationwide look forward to that final bell indicating that school’s out for the summer.

As parents, we’re usually less pleased when our kids begin their mid-year months of “freedom,” because we’ve seen the research showing that kids lose ground academically over the summer (according to a 2011 RAND study).

Help has arrived: Brain Chase, a five-week, summer learning challenge disguised as a virtual treasure hunt to keep your kids interested and motivated to learn, as they search the globe for a real treasure in the form of a $10,000 college scholarship fund.

The first-ever Brain Chase Summer Learning Challenge occurred last year. See how it turned out for the 2014 winners:

You can sign your kids up now for a summer of educational fun! The treasure hunt begins on June 22. Get early-bird pricing until April 15, and use this code to take an extra 15 percent off: MOTHERHOOD15

Brain Chase requires kids to complete weekly structured math and reading challenges on sites like Khan Academy and myON, along with writing exercises that receive feedback from credentialed teachers, in order to unlock original, animated webisodes with a story line featuring a team of kid treasure hunters. Each webisode contains clues to help kids find the location of a real buried treasure (and $10,000 scholarship fund).

Parents get weekly progress reports on kids’ work throughout the five-week challenge, and in addition to the normal assignments, Brain Chase sends three “bonus challenges” through the regular mail. Last year’s challenges required kids to work with a decoder ring, compass and “magic” seeds to solve additional clues.

Based on a survey of last year’s participants, 93 percent of parents say that Brain Chase helped their children stay sharp over the summer, and 83 percent say it was more effective than other summer learning options they were aware of.

You can see the sneak preview for the 2015 Brain Chase Summer Learning Challenge here:

Let the “adventure learning” begin for your kids this year, and share your progress with us along the way! You can sign your kids up here, and don’t forget to use the discount code MOTHERHOOD15.

Disclosure: The Motherhood is working with Brain Chase, along with a team of fantastic bloggers and their intrepid, treasure-hunting kids, on a blog campaign between March and June. Opinions are our own.

SXSW Interactive 2015 Highlights


As SXSW Interactive comes to a close today, here’s a glimpse at some interesting highlights from this year’s event:

  • Dubbed “the most-talked about app at SXSW,” Meerkat is a live-streaming, location-based app that lets users capture video from their iOS device and, through Twitter, allows followers to stream it. On Friday, things came to a head when Twitter blocked the app’s access to its social graph. What does that entail, exactly? According to Fast Company: “While Meerkat users can still post videos on Twitter and log in using their Twitter credentials, the Meerkat app will no longer be able to automatically push notifications that announce the live event to all of a Meerkater’s Twitter followers. In other words, Meerkat will need to ask people to build their own social networks from scratch inside the app instead of using the network that its users already built on Twitter.”
  • Another breakout star at this year’s event is FireChat: a free text message app that doesn’t require cellular data or the Internet (though it does work with it). As Tom’s Guide explains: “The app’s big selling point is its Bluetooth functionality. While Twitter relies on an Internet connection and texting relies on a cell network, FireChat is not beholden to either one. If the Internet is available, FireChat will connect that way. If not, it will reach out to all other Bluetooth devices within about 200 feet and create an ad-hoc network, allowing users in proximity to communicate with one another.”
  • Last week, we touched on the evolving dynamics between the presence of startups and big brands at SXSW. While past sponsors such as Doritos, Subway and Chevrolet were absent, major companies such as Dell, Samsung Electronics and newcomers, McDonald’s, Visa and Mazda, were all active during this year’s event. Of the shift, Hugh Forrest, director of the SXSW Interactive Festival said: “We used to struggle to get mainstream brands…I guess this is an acknowledgment of the influence we have in jump-starting their message to the cool crowd. It’s exciting, but a little scary at the same time.”
  • It also turns out that not everyone was eager to interact with robots at SXSW. A small group of anti-robot protesters encouraged event-goers to be cautious of uncontrolled growth of robots and artificial intelligence. With media outlets such as TechCrunch and USA Today covering the protest, we’ll be interested to see how the debate continues.

Follow along with the conversation using #SXSW2015 or #SXSW for more updates coming out of the event!

Featured image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user Katie Haugland

What’s in a Name? Why “Mommy Bloggers” Don’t Label Themselves

Over the past 10 years, while working with both brands and bloggers, The Motherhood has noticed an interesting trend: Marketers, almost universally, use the term “mommy bloggers” in referring to our network, while bloggers themselves don’t always seem to love that label.

Mommy blogger tweet 2

Last month, The Motherhood worked with Smith Brothers Agency in Pittsburgh to develop and distribute a survey to bloggers nationwide. Our goal: To gain a better understanding of how bloggers currently work with brands, and how they might prefer to partner in the future. (Our complete findings will be released later this year.)

So what did we uncover?

To start, it helps to know how to address your audience.

On the strength of more than 400 responses, we found that the majority of bloggers either dislike the “mommy blogger” label (41 percent) or feel neutral about it (50 percent). Fewer than 10 percent of respondents said they like it and think it’s a good description of who they are and what they do.

Mommy blogger tweet 1

When asked what they hear marketers call them regularly, more than two-thirds of respondents identified “mommy blogger” as the prevalent term. But, significantly, when asked what they prefer marketers call them as a group, only 3 percent chose “mommy bloggers.”

Obviously, there’s a disconnect between how these women would like to be known as a group, and how they are labeled by brands who truly value their influence online.

The majority of respondents (38 percent) said they would like to be known as “mom influencers,” and more than 1 in 5 bloggers would prefer to cut “mom” out of the term entirely. A few of the preferred alternatives included:

  • Blogger
  • Digital influencer
  • Social media influencer
  • Social media strategist

One respondent summed up much of the feedback when she said, “I feel like I am more than just a mom, so I don’t pigeon-hole myself with any term.”

Mommy blogger tweet 3

On the use of “mommy blogger,” another respondent noted, “It doesn’t sound professional. It’s hard to take it seriously.” Others agreed, sharing that “mommy” is a childish adjective that only their kids should use, and “mommy blogger” can have negative connotations — among them, that blogging is a hobby rather than a business.

We know the bloggers in our network are true professionals and take their work on behalf of brands seriously. Tell us how you feel about these labels!

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