Thrifty Hippy Mama

{November 24, 2009}   More fabulously FREE items!

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Normally I have my blog updated earlier in the day but today was an off day. Regardless, I was dead set on updating. Better late then never as they say right? Make sure to hop on these deals right away. Nothing worse then being a date late (or a dollar short for that matter). Enjoy!

Free Rachael Ray “Nourish” dog food sample

Free Huggies potty training DVD

Free subscription to Successful living magazine

Free Jiffy mix recipe book

Free subscription to Baby talk magazine

Free subscription to American Baby magazine

Free christmas stocking (there is 1 pop up after you click submit. Just close it. Has nothing to do with the offer.

Free sample of Greenie for your pet

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Who says you can’t have the wedding of your dreams? Your wallet, that’s who. Well, until
now that is. Everyday men and women across the world are united in beautiful wedding
ceremonies. Sadly, most of these couples drop thousands and thousands of dollars in order
to have the wedding of their dreams…but why?

Yes, your wedding should be special, and beautiful, but NOT a debt incurring occasion. Society has blown things way out of proportion. It’s no longer about the couple, it’s about keeping up with the Jones’. That’s really ashame. Some of the best weddings I have been to, were the ones where the couple used imagination and creativity.

If you’ve started browsing around, you already know how expensive a bridal veil can be. These go upwards of HUNDREDS of dollars..and for what? A little fabric that is pretty inexpensive? That’s one expensive that you can REALLY save on.


Let’s move onto unique wedding favors. As cliche as it sounds, your imagination truely is the limit. The following are just a few ideas that you may be interested in.

How about gel candles, that match your wedding colors? You can put one of these at each person’s place setting. They’re beautiful and your guests can take them home. For added flair, you can affix labels on each one with your married name and the date of your wedding. That is of course optional though. Check out the “how to” tutorial RIGHT HERE.

These WRAPPED IN LACE favors are gorgeous and oh so inexpensive (and easy) to make. You can scatter these across the table for a little extra oomph. Love them!

Some additional ideas are:

Chocolate dipped spoons: You can purchase baking chocolate at any food store for a
reasonable price and it goes a long way. Follow the melt instructions on the package and
simply dip the spoon in the chocolate and let it cool. These are great as is, but even better when used in coffee or hot chocolate.

Fragrant Sachets: Lavender is the most obvious choice here. You can buy dried lavender buds from most craft stores and it is simply a case of placing them in a little sachet (which you could make your self from linen, cotton or Hessian) & sewing up the top. Alternatively you could look for dried flowers, herbs, potpourri and fragrant essential oils.

Flower Seeds: Want your wedding to be filled with unique touches? Consider flower seeds as an eco friendly favor. This is a gift that keeps on giving while also honoring “a new beginning”, as in the new beginning you will share with one another. All you need is wax paper (either clear or in a color that matches your theme), some 2 sidered tape or glue, flower seeds, ribbon, and a scrap of paper with your sentimental words written. The process is pretty self explanatory, but will keep your guests talking.

Table Decor: Before doing your centerpieces, please keep in mind what season it will be when your wedding takes place. The blow example is one that you’d want to use for a fall

These are so simple to make. You can pick up flowers, twigs and leaves at any craft store or walmart. The vases can be found at any thrift store or at most yardsales and they don’t even have to match. I would recommend them all being the same height though. These take seconds to make as the only step involved is placing the artifical arragements your purchased, into the vases themselves. If you want some added color, you can place marble or buttons inside the bottom on the vases. Regardless, these centerpieces are sure to catch the eye.

Place card holders: There are so many options out there but one of my favorites is made by recycling wine bottle corks. With a sharp knife, cut a small amount off of what will be the bottom. This ensures that it stands properly. Next, make a slit across the top so you have a place to slide the place card into. That’s it. Yep, it’s REALLY that simple! For an added bonus, instead of a boring old “card”, you can place flower seeds in a small homemade envelope and put each guests name on the front. Slide that small envelope into the cork place card holders and voila! A place card setting that also doubles as a party favor!

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Strapped for cash this holiday season? I’ve got you covered! I have scowered the internet to find the best and easiest, homemade holiday gifts. These are simple yet thoughtful ideas that even the kiddos can make (with supervision of course). The best part is that anyone can do this!

Handmade tie blanket from

Vintage Tea Cup Candle from

Adorable sock dog from

Beautiful No-Sew Sachets from

Homemade Lip Gloss from

Fizzy Bath Bombs from

Luxurious Bath Salts from

Custom Marble Magnets from

Sugared Jelly Candies from

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Who has the time (or money) to go running to a spa? With the lives we lead these days, most of us have to do without. Well, not anymore! I’ve compiled a list of treatments that you can easily and inexpensively do at home. Now you can feel like a million bucks, for only a few dollars!

Homemade Facial Scrub Instead of Soap

For a facial scrub, moisten oatmeal to a “goo”, use it to scrub your face (not around your eyes). Wash off with cool water.You may also make a paste of the oatmeal and allow it to dry..remove with cool water.You may also beat an egg white, put it on your face and let it dry, rinse with cool water. Sliced fresh cucumber placed on your closed eyes will reduce bagginess and dark circles.

Lemon Tomato Mask

1 over-ripe tomato; inside scooped and mashed
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp instant oatmeal

Puree all ingredients in a blender. Apply to freshly cleaned face and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat dry.


Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
clean cloth cotton strips
wooden stick or spreader

Dust the area to be waxed, with cornstarch. Combine the first three ingredients in a clean glass bowl, and microwave for two minutes. Stop and stir your sugar mixture every 20-30 seconds. Let it cool to a comfortable warmth, and, using a wooden stick, spread a very thin layer onto your clean skin. Immediately cover the mixture with a strip of cotton fabric. Briskly stroke the strip several times in the direction of the hair growth, and then, pull the skin taut, and quickly rip away the cotton strip, against the direction of hair growth. As you proceed, you may need to reheat your sugar mixture in the microwave to keep it warm. Do not boil it or overheat as you could easily burn your skin.


through a fine sieve to remove all the fruit pieces. Stir again and set aside to cool completely. When cool, transfer into a small portable plastic container or tin. Apply a small amount onto your lips and remember to smile!

Beer Hair Rinse

1 oz distilled or clean catch rain water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
7 drops lemon essential oil
1 ounce beer (stale works fine)
5 drops rosemary essential oil (do not use if pregnant)
5 drops calendula essential oil (optional, but recommended for blondes)

Mix all ingredients together. Use as a final rinse, rinse well. Beer adds protein to make hair shiny and make it feel thicker.


This nourishing conditioner blends two ingredients from nature — honey for shine and olive oil for moisture — and is enhanced with essential oil of rosemary to stimulate hair growth.

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup warmed olive oil (2 tablespoons for normal to oily hair)
4 drops essential oil of rosemary
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum (available in health food stores)

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour into a clean plastic bottle with a snug-fitting cap.

To use, apply a small amount to your slightly dampened hair. Massage your scalp and work the conditioner through your hair until it is completely and evenly distributed. Next, cover your hair with a warm towel (your microwave or dryer can heat it up) or shower cap; leave the conditioner in place on to nourish and condition for 30 minutes. Remove the towel or shower cap; shampoo lightly and rinse with cool water. Dry as normal and enjoy shinier, softer and healthier hair the natural way.

Overnight Foot Masque
1/4 cup Almonds
1/4 cup Dry Oatmeal
3 tablespoons food grade Cocoa Butter
2 tablespoons Honey

Process almonds in a blender or coffee grinder until finely ground. Set aside. In the same blender, pulse your oatmeal until of the same consistency. In a bowl, combine ground oatmeal, cocoa butter, honey and ground almonds. Rub into your clean feet, step into cotton socks, and leave on overnight. The next morning, remove the socks and rinse feet in cool water. Pat dry. We recommend you not remove the socks until you’re standing in the tub!

Blackhead removal

1 T Knox unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 T milk

Mix two ingredients and microwave for 10 seconds to slightly warm. Using a clean cosmetic brush, apply to nose and chin area. Avoid delicate eye area. Rinse brush immediately. Allow mixture on nose and chin to dry for 10-15 minutes. Mixture will dry quite stiff and form a “stiff film.” Peel off the film and stare at all the little porcupine quills that used to be in your nose pores (one of the chief entertainment factors with B’Strips!).

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Well lookie here! MORE great freebies from the Thrifty Hippy Mama! I’ve scowered the internet and found some of the best freebies out there right now. As always, these are legitimate freebies from reputable companies that so NOT require you to complete special offers. These are tried and rue free gifts and/or samples.

ORIENTAL TRADING is giving away a FREE 2010 calendar. These are great for jotting down appointments. I keep mine next to the phone so I can write thing down as soon as possible.

Get a beautiful herbal christmas candle from BEAUTY HERBAL SPA.

BUTTERICK is offering some AWESOME craft project patterns (like xmas stocks, vintage tie bags, wreaths and more).

Get a FREE bible from SPIRIT ONE. King James or American Standard Version.

While it’s still a tad early, I thout I would bring this offer to your attention anyway. It’s a FREE download of Christmas music (MP3 format) from the NORTHERN LIGHT ORCHESTRA.

In the spirit of the holidays which are fast approaching, I have also found free Chanukah coloring pages, from SHEMA YISRAEL and TORAH TOTS.

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It’s easy to go green without having to break the bank. Yes, solar lighting is a great thing and believe me, if I could afford to make those kind of changes, I would. Truth be told, there aren’t many of us out there who can drop that kind of money, no matter how much we want to.

There are so many simple and inexpensive (or FREE) ways to help the environment. We’re going to focus on just one of those way for right now, by talking aboutFREECYCLE.

FREECYCLE is a website where you can get (or give) items for free. Most often these are second hand items such as clothing, furniture, toys, bikes, and more. No money EVER exchanges hands and it’s completely free to join.

Here’s how it works…

You GO TO THE FREECYCLE WEBSITE and search for your local branch. Upon clicking “join” you will be taken to the local freecycle yahoo group for your area. On the top right of that screen you will see a button that says “join this group”. Click that and request to be a member.

Once approved (which is usually pretty quickly) you will have access to a world of thriftiness. Most freecycle groups require you to post an offer before you post a want ad. This just means that you need to give something away before you can REQUEST anything imparticular.

Say you have a dog crate (just an example) that you no longer want or need. You would post it on your local group and offer it to one of their members. Your post would look something like this.

Subject – “Offer: Medium Size dog crate”

Your post – I have a medium sized dog crate that can use a new home. Pick up in “your city or neighborhood name here).

And that’s it. Once you’ve made your first post you can start asking for things. For instance..if you need a bookcase you would write “Wanted: Bookcase”. It’s really that simple.

Now, you don’t have to post an offer to receive items. Just to request something officially on the website. After you become a member you will be able to see all offers and wants. If someone offers something that you can use, you are allowed to reply to that person and ask for said item. If you are the one they choose, they will tell you where and when you can get that item.

Same thing goes for want ads. If someone posts a want ad and you have the item they are looking for and are willing to give it away, email them. They will be more then happy to come on by and take it off of your hands.

So in the end, we all end up saving money by being thrifty, but also help the environment by keeping usable items out of our landfills. It’s a win/win! Heck, there have been severeal times i’ve gotten things BRAND NEW! You never know what you’ll find on FREECYCLE.

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Below you will find a list of freebies and samples that may be of interest to you. As always, these are LEGITIMATE freebies. No nonsense with credit cards or having to complete offers. These are reputable companies giving away special offers. I will never post anything that I know to fradulent.

Keep checking back as I will be adding more through out the day. Just wanted to make sure that I got these up asap before the deals expired.

FREE POTTY TRAINING KIT from Pampers. This is a “Go Diego GO” kit which includes, stickers, coloring pages, a progress chart and training trophy. You’ll also get high value coupons with your kit.

STARBUCKS SAMPLE PACK! This is a 3 pack of starbucks ready to brew coffee. A special thanks goes out to this company for not only the freebie, but also for their support towards those in a same sex relationship!

FREE PREGNANCY TESTS AND OPK’S (ovulation prediction tests). 10 per household.

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Swagbucks is a LEGITIMATE search engine where you earn virtual money just for searching the web. You use it just like you would use google, yahoo or ask, only with swagbucks, you actually earn prizes (ipod, ps3, autographed items and sooo much more)! Even better is that there is no catch and you NEVER have to give personal info such as credit card info, ssn, or anything else that should be kept hush hush.

To join, CLICK HERE. In doing so, you will not only be on your way to FREE PRIZES, but you’ll also be helping me earn a few bucks too.

Upon joining, your account is automatically credited with 3 swagbucks to help you get started. You’ll find that within your first search or two, you should win a swagbuck (or two or three). Those bucks are then added to your account and overtime, they will build. For some this is a matter of days, and for others it may take months. It all depends on YOu! Which brings me to my next tidbit..

Ways to quickly earn swagbucks.
1. Do legitimate searches on the swagbuck website. Say you want to look up a recipe for cheesecake (just an example). Use swagbucks to search and you may be rewarded with swagbucks. I highly advise against over searching as the website will think you are a bot and blacklist you.

2. Download the swagbucks toolbar. It is completely safe and does not contain any adware or viruses. Once installed, you will see a button that says “From TSG”. Whenever TSG (the swag buy) is giving out codes in the toolbar, that’s where it will be. You’ll want to check your toolbar often and as always, enter the code into your account asap as they do expire.

3. Add swagbucks to your facebook and twitter accounts. They post a lot of codes in those 2 places.

4. Install the swidget on your facebook page. You’ll have fast access to check for special codes that are only given to swidget users. Again, codes have an expiration so enter them as soon as you find them.

5. REFFERALS! I can’t stress that enough! Referrals are the FASTEST way to get swagbucks rolling in. You will get 1 sawgbuck for every swagbuck your friend(s) for the 100 they earn. That does NOT include codes. You only earn the bucks from them if they earned it by searching them web. After your friend(s) has reached 100 from searching, you will no longer receive swagbucks from said friend. That’s why it’s important to have as many referrals as possible. Trust me, it adds up fast. I already have 1012 as of this post.

6. When you purchase something from the swag store with your swagbucks, take a video of yourself opening the package. You earn swagbucks just for doing that as it shows the naysayers how real they are. Also, take a photo of you holding your new swag. Again, you will get swagbucks for doing so.

7. Read their blog often. You’d be surprised how many codes get posted there.

8. Submit a poll and if yours is chosen, you will be credited with 10 swagbucks!

9. To be honest, there are so many ways to earn swagbucks, I would be here all day just telling you about it. Just try it out for yourself and you’ll see how easy and addictive it is. There’s nothing to lose by trying it. Since you don’t need to give out any personal info, what’s the harm right?

So if you’re ready to earn FREE prizes, CLICK HERE AND JOIN NOW

Just so you can see what it looks like when you win, I went ahead and took a screen cap to show you. This is one of the MANY that I have won. If you look closely at the top right, you will see that I now have 1016 swagbucks.

Proof that you really do win swagbucks.

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UPDATE! These bags are going FAST! There are limited patterns available! Get them before they’re all gone!

Vera Bradley is having a HUGE sale on their “Hannah” handbag. This beautiful bag comes in NUMEROUS colors and at this price (only $12), they’re sure to be gone soon. To make it an ever better deal, you can save even more by using coupon code 10offsale which will make it $10.80. Shipping starts at only $8! NOW is the time to stock up for xmas. How impressed will the women on your list be, when they get a brand new authentic vera bradley handbag? They’ll think you spent a fortune (sshh I won’t tell) and the best par is, at this price, you can afford to get one for every female you know. Hec, you can even stock up and keep them on hand for last minute gift giving (teachers, kids birthday parties, mothers day etc). Get them while they last!

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{November 18, 2009}   How to work the CVS deals!

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This is a post a had written a WHILE back. Glad I saved it. I am a serious CVS shopper and anyone who knows me, will tell you just how much I come home with, without spending more then a few pennies.. TOPS!

If you’re looking to get started with CVS, please read the following. This should help get you started.

For those non believers out there, here are some photos of my cvs “hauls”. I’ll be sure to list my OOP total and copy of my receipt from now on. These are just to give you an idea of how great shopping at CVS can be!

ALL FREE! baby wipes, baby shampoo, shaving cream, laundry detergent, ALL, baby lotionFREE niquil, playskool diapers and wipes, pull ups, candy, puffs tissues, colgate toothpaste, razors, water, and more FREE huggies diapers, glad spray, right guard deodorant, crest toothpaste, colgate toothpaste, vaseline lotion, arm and hammer detergent, pepsi, etc My favorite CVS haul of all time. This was from Christmas last year. Clearly I can't list everything in this photo, but oyu can see for yourself just how great shopping at CVS can be!  I spent more on this one then normal an even then it was less then $6. Yes, you read that right.. $6 !

    Step 1

is to signup for an extra care card. This is a discount card used at cvs. Without it you will NOT get the sales prices listed and you will NOT earn rewards!! You can signup in the store and instantly get your card, or you can signup online at CVS and wait about 2 weeks for your card to arrive.


OOP= Out of pocket
MIR = Mail in rebate
ECB = Extra care buck(s)
HBA = Health and beauty aids
Bogo or B1G1 = Buy 1 get 1 free
YMMV = Your mileage may vary
FAR = Free after rebate
MFR = Manufacturer

The above are commonly used abbreviations when posting about CVS.

    What is an ECB exactly?

An ECB is a reward that you earn. There are weekly ECB deals and monthly ECB deals. The weekly deals are found in your sunday paper (the CVS sales ad) and the monthly deals are found at your local CVS (usually at the front of the store). Another GREAT place to find the deals in ADVANCE is by going to I HEART CVS.

In order to earn ECB’s, you must complete the necessary requirements for the qualifying purchase(s). Let’s say one of the deals this week is for Dawn dishsoap (this is just an example). For every 2 bottles of dawn that you buy, you earn $1 in ECB’s, but there’s a limit of 5. That means you can ear $1, 5 times. So, if you want all $5 in ECB’s you would have to purchase 10 bottles of dawn.

I’m sure you’re thinking “but that would cost me way more then I would earn. What’s the point”? Well, here’s how you play the game…

It says in the cvs ad that dawn is $1 a bottle. You’d have to spend $2 to earn $1 in ECB’s. Well, you now look through your coupons (save EVERY COUPON…even ones you would NEVER think to use). Wait, you just found $1 one bottle of dawn.. even better, you have 2 coupons for $1 off!! Not only will you get both bottles of dawn for FREE, but you’ll earn $1 in ECB’s!

ECB’s print at the bottom of your receipt as SOON as you earn them. You do NOT have to buy all qualifying items at one time to earn the ECB’s. As long as you fulfill the requirements within the time frame (a week if it’s a weekly ECB deal or a month if it’s a monthly ECB deal) then you will be rewarded with ECB’s. They will print as soon as you complete the requirements.

Don’t have coupons to go along with the sale? No problem. You can do a google search for “dawn dishsoap coupon”. You may (or may not) find printable coupons. Most printable coupon websites only allow oyu to print the coupon 2x. So if you want to buy coupons in bulk I recommend EBAY!

Again the above product deal was just an example. This was a deal they ran a couple weeks ago. Each week there are different ECB deals..and each month there are additional ECB deals.

    What can I do with my ECB’s I earn?

This is the best part. You can use them on ANYTHING in the store except prescriptions, tobacco and alcohol.

    How soon can I use my ECB’s?

You can spend them the SECOND you earn them. ECB’s DO expire though. You have 30 days to use them from the date you earn them. There will be an expiration date printed on them for your convenience.

    How can I keep getting things without using all my ECB’s?

This is what we CVS’ers call “rolling”. In order to “roll” your ECB’s, you want to use them towards other deal’s that earn you ECB’s. here’s an example.

Let’s say that this week CVS has revlon blush for $9.99 and you earn $9.99 in ECB’s for that purchase. Now let’s say you have a $10.00 ECB. You would pay for your revlon blush with the $10 ECB. You would now have your blush AND $9.99 in ECB’s.

So to break it down, you get FREE makeup AND you ECB’s. Since your $9.99 ECB just printed, you now have another 30 days before it expires. You just “rolled” your ECB to last longer.

    What about tax?

You will be required to pay sales tax on your purchases. Each state has a different % that they tax but it’s never more then pocket change.

    CVS’s coupon policy

You are allowed to use one manufacturers (mfr) coupon per item. If you have 20 items, you can use 20 coupons. Simple!

To make it even sweeter though, you can also use your ECB’s too. So let’s say your total after coupons is $4. You have a $3 ECb and a $5 ECB. What do you do? Well that’s really up to you. You can pay with the $3 ECB and then pay the difference OOP (out of pocket), or you can give them the $5 ECB and pay nothing out of pocket.


If you decide to use the $5 ECB, it is in your best interest to ad an item to your order that is worth about a dollar. The reason for this is that you do NOT get refunded the difference. So if your total is $4 and you pay with a $5 ECB, you’re gonna lose out on $1. So your best bet is to find something in the store worth about a dollar.

    Are there any other ways to save even MORE money?

ABSOLUTELY! If you signup at CVS and link your email to your account, you will occasionally get coupons sent to you from cvs. These are WONDERFUL!

The most commonly emailed coupon is $4/$20. This means you get $4 off your total if you spend $20. As with ANY coupon, this means you have to spend $20 BEFORE coupons, NOT AFTER coupons.


You have 10 coupons for $1 off of 1 johnson and johnsons buddies bar soap. These are a dollar or less. So your total so far is about $10 BEFORE coupons. You need to add another $10 worth or stuff before you can use the coupon.

You decide You wanna get some cereal. But wait! They cereal is b1g1 AND you have coupons for $2 off per box!! That’s great since the cereal is normally $4.29 each! Even sweeter deal! Turns out the cereal earned you $2 in ECB’s if you spent $10 on it!

Now let’s calculate this. You already have $10 worth of stuff in your cart. You need to spend atleast $10 more. You would need to buy 3 boxes of that cereal (and get 3 free). Lucky for you, you have 6 of those $2 off coupons (yes, you CAN use a coupon on a free item).

So here’s your total so far..

10 bars of buddies soaps = $10
6 boxes of cereal (b1g1) = $12.87 (plus you’ll earn $2 in ECB’s)


After the cashier rings up your items, hand them your $4/$20 FIRST!!!!!!!!! Then hand them your other coupons. Here’s what will happen..

$22.97 minus $4/$20 coupon = $18.97
$18.97 minus 10 coupons for $1 off buddies = $8.97
$8.97 minus 6 coupons for $2 off cereal = -$3.03

I bet you’re thinking “but that’s a NEGATIVE balance”. yes it is. So what do you do about it??? Remember, we talked about this earlier… You add items to your cart to fill in that balance.. Yep, MORE free stuff!! Go ahead, pick up ANYTHING you want that will fill that balance. How about a 12 pack of coke? Or a tub of baby wipes? Whatever your choice is, just keep it around the $3 mark.

All you’ll be left paying is sales tax AND YOU LEAVE WITH $2 in ECB’s!! You just made a profit and got 10 bars of soap, 6 boxes of cereal, and whatever item(s) you added to your cart to fill out the negative balance!

    I have a BOGO coupon and CVS is having a BOGO sale. Can I use the coupon?

ABSOLUTELY! These are the best! You pay NOTHING out of pocket and get twice the amount of product. If you’re wondering how this works, it’s simple. The manufacturer pays YOUR portion of CVS’s BOGO sale. So you pay nothing but tax and get 2 items (for each BOGO coupon you have).

I think this is pretty much all for basic CVSing. If there are any questions or maybe things I forgot, just let me know!


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et cetera