Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

“Barbie-licious” PINK Drinks (Barbie’s Birthday Party Recap – Part 2)

Barbie Party Pink Cocktails

Just realized that I forgot to post these pink drink recipes earlier from Barbie’s 50th Birthday Party – sorry about that!

Recipes for all 4 (aptly named!) signature drinks from the Colin Cowie-designed bash are below. Cheers!

***

Barbie Doll-icious!
1.5 oz Knob Creek
1 oz Cranberry
.75 oz Pineapple Juice
.75 oz fresh OJ
.75 oz fresh Lemon Juice
Ginger Ale

Combine all the ingredients except ginger ale in a shaker.
Shake well and pour.
Top with a splash of ginger ale.

*** (more…)

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Jonathan Adler: New Melamine for Spring!

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This new melamine dinnerware from Jonathan Adler makes me happy just looking at it!

The spring & summer-friendly patterns – “Acapulco” and “Stripes” (my personal fav!) – are both available in 2 colorways featuring vibrant shades of green, yellow, and blue.

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Prices for bowls, plates, salad plates, and trays range from $10 – $28 at jonathanadler.com. Happy dining!

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P.S. For more Jonathan Adler eye candy – check out these pics from Barbie’s Lifesize Malibu Dream House that he designed for her 50th birthday last month!

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Color Splash: Orange & Yellow

orange and yellow wedding or party

I’m absolutely in love with this beach-inspired orange and yellow color palette from Pacific Weddings… doesn’t it just have “Summer party!” written all over it?

orange and yellow wedding or party

With or without the waves crashing in the background, this look is fabulous inspiration for all sorts of summer celebrations – from weddings and bridal showers to swanky birthday parties & more…

Details, Details:

Menus, tags & place cards are given a colorful, contemporary design.

The party favors are perfectly tailored to the theme: miniature hourglasses filled with orange sand & embellished with a bright yellow message tag.

Clear vases are filled with orange, yellow and white sand to create a playful & artistic “wave” pattern.

orange and yellow wedding or party (more…)

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DIY: Chick & Bunny Treat Holders

Easter treat holders

This one’s for the kiddies… a fun little craft project + “friendly” holders for all those Easter Bunny treats!

(Full instructions for both versions after the jump…) (more…)

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Simply Stated: 5 Great Brunch Cocktails

brunch cocktail recipes

Easter brunch, Mother’s Day brunch, wedding brunches… they’re even better with a cocktail, right?!

Check out today’s post over at Simply Stated for 5 great brunch cocktail recipes. Have a favorite daytime drink that’s not on the list? Share it!

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DIY: Chipboard & Flower Field Centerpiece

spring & Easter DIY centerpiece idea

These fun, DIY centerpieces can be customized with your own favorite flowers, shapes, and papers to create a look that’s uniquely yours… and tailored to any occasion!

The example pictured above is for our Easter table this year, but this look would also be cute for a baby shower or “love birds” bridal shower…

spring & Easter DIY centerpiece idea

YOU’LL NEED:
Small Bedding plants (English Daisies pictured here)
Shallow rectangular vase
Die-cut Chipboard Shapes (pictured here: Maya Road’s Song Bird Coasters)
Decorative Papers (pictured here: Craft Fair by American Crafts)
Lollipop sticks
Glue stick or spray craft glue , Hot Glue Gun, Scissors
Faux flower or other embellishment for the vase (optional)

(more…)

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Host a Twilight Theme Party at Home

twilight party ideas

This past Friday I invited my local Twilight-loving friends over to watch the new DVD that just came out… and I’ve gotta say it was a fun excuse for a party! Although my husband wasn’t really surprised that I was decorating for this get-together, he still asked, “Why all the fuss to watch a DVD?“.

The answer is simple of course: for fun! The way I see it is this: I can sit on my couch in my regular living room and watch a movie any ol’ Friday night, so when the movie lends itself to a fantasy-type theme that’s the perfect excuse for breaking out the twinkle lights and red martini’s, why the heck not? Life is too short not to mix things up when you can… and there’s no reason why we should save all the fun for just birthdays and holidays!

twilight party ideas

The main elements of this particular Twilight party were:

mood lighting created with white twinkle lights & candles
red (blood-themed) cocktails, favors, & drinks
apples & Italian food
framed quotes from the book & movie (pictured at top & below), which I dressed up a bit in photoshop, then printed out & framed. (The framed quote above is a line from the movie that Edward says when he catches an apple in a manner that mimics the book cover.)

Want to use these movie quote designs for your party? Download all of them right here: 8×10 quotes (3.1 M pdf) / 5×7 quotes (6.3 M pdf). *If you have trouble opening the files once downloaded, please see the “Download Tips” note at the bottom of this post.

 

twilight party ideas

I designed these downloadable blood-themed drink labels a couple weeks ago and mocked them up digitally in an earlier post, but they look way better in person when wrapped around bottles of red sodas,  juices, and cocktail mixers! (more…)

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Stuffed & Deviled Eggs 4 Ways

deviled eggs

Serving egg-based appetizers for Easter is pretty common, but there are so many different ways to get creative with them, including pumping up the color! Here are 4 yummy ideas from ’round the web {clockwise from top left}:

1. French Style Stuffed Eggs {via Cooking Light mag}

2. “Pink” Deviled Eggs, colored with beet juice (via HWTM Facebook Fan Chantal Sokora and her lovely Pink Party) Learn more: Pink Deviled Eggs Recipe.

3. Chipotle Deviled Eggs {via Epicurious.com}

4. Rachael Ray’s Deviled Egg Recipe {via Rachael Ray mag}

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Mini Egg Tarts for Easter Brunch {recipe}

egg tart recipe

These Egg Tarts from Sunset Magazine are perfect for Easter brunch.  Egg yolks, sugar, and milk in a light filo crust; prep time + cooking = 30 minutes. (Full recipe after the jump.) (more…)

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HWTM in Pregnancy Magazine: Owl-Themed Baby Shower

owl themed baby shower

Have a baby shower in the works? If you’re looking for a fun concept, here’s an owl-themed baby shower that I created for this month’s issue (April 2009) of Pregnancy magazine, featuring super-cute plush owls, colorful feathers, woodsy elements, and more!

owl themed baby shower

{view the article at a larger size}

P.S. This could also be a fun theme for a kids birthday party… just change the title to something like “Look Hoo’s Turning ONE!”

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DIY: Paper Bunny Garland / Runner

Easter bunny garland

Here’s another easy Easter project for you: Paper Bunny Garlands!

The best part about this craft is that you can tailor it to any colors & patterns you want… and there are SO many great papers available. I used the new Craft Fair papers from American Crafts™ for this one (and also for the Terra Cotta Easter Baskets featured earlier this week).

I’m actually going to use this as a table runner for Easter. The bunnies are connected with ribbon and can easily be slid apart & adjusted to make room for a centerpiece in the middle.

(Full instructions & downloadable template after the jump.) (more…)

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Simply Stated: Dining Meets Mod Art

modern dinnerware and tabletop

Today over at Simply Stated: check out some clever & unique “Dining Meets Mod Art”  product finds from A+R. (Yes – those are PANTONE MUGS!!)

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The Little Things We Do…

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Question for you: What are your favorite “little things” to do for the ones you love?

I think we all have certain “little things” that we do for others.  Some are conscious efforts – like cooking a special meal or treating a friend to lunch, and some are almost second-nature… like making sure the fridge is stocked with your SO’s favorite drinks, or relinquishing some of the blankets (without being asked) when you wake up at 2 a.m. and realize you’ve unconsciously stolen them all.

Personally, I’ve always loved the element of surprise, so the “little things”  that I like to do have always been somehow intertwined with surprises. However, as I was thinking about this today, I also realized something that seems unfortunate: I was way more creative – and frequent – with these “little things” back in high school and college than I am today! Sure, I’ve hosted my fair share of “big things” like baby showers and bachelorette parties over the past decade… but the last time I sent a simple “hello!” or “love you” card out of the blue? I’m drawing a blank. Shoot.

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Back in the day, I used to send little care packages or leave “surprise cards” for different friends on a regular basis – usually placed somewhere unexpected like a car windshield or doorstep. And of course the cards were always delivered in colorfully decorated envelopes and usually accompanied by something fun like gerbera daisies, candy, or a certain CD or lip gloss the recipient had been eyeing. These days, the closest I’ve gotten to surprising friends with “just because” treats is sending virtual Easter Peeps or throwing a sheep at them on Facebook. (If you’re not a Facebook user that probably sounds ridiculous, but trust me –  in that world it makes perfect sense!) (more…)

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Easter Pails + Window Gels

easy Easter centerpieces

In my quest to come up with easy & budget-friendly Easter decorations this year, here’s another idea that fit the bill and only took a few minutes to whip together: mini pails +  window gels + flowers = super cute Easter Centerpieces!

Shopping Resources:
Mini pails: $1 bins at Target
Window gels: Target ($1.99/pack of 2 bunnies + 2 carrots)
English Daisies – Home Depot ($3.49/plant)
Gerbera Daisies – grocery store ($5/bunch)

Use your own favorite flowers or bedding plants for these arrangements – tulips or marigolds would be lovely options for Easter too. For the window gels – just shop, peel and stick…can’t get much easier than that!

easy Easter centerpieces

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Easter Pops from Bakerella

Bakerella Easter Pops

Well, the Queen of baking cuteness has done it again! Check out these adorable new Easter-themed cake pop designs from Bakerella….starting with my personal favorite – the Spring Chickens! I just love these little cuties – both the “chicks on sticks” version (above) and the stick-free version (below).  This design would be really fun for baby showers and kids parties too!

Bakerella Easter Pops

Next up.. Easter Egg and Bunny Cake Pops, of course! Confetti sprinkles and colorful sanding sugar give the egg pops a fun, contemporary look…

Bakerella Easter Pops

I’m thinking this image needs to be my new screen saver…. (more…)

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DIY: Terra Cotta “Easter Baskets”

easy Easter craft & centerpiece idea

If you’re looking for a quick & easy Easter craft/centerpiece idea, these Terra Cotta “Easter Baskets” only take a few minutes and will look super cute on your Easter table! Added bonus: they’re really inexpensive! All you need are small terra cotta pots in various sizes, scrapbook paper, “grass” filler, and any embellishments you want to add (optional).

Get step-by-step details after the jump…

easy Easter craft & centerpiece idea

(more…)

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Chalkboard Mustache Napkin Rings

chalkboard mustache napkin rings

Even your most refined dinner guests will have a hard time resisting these clever Mustache Napkin Rings! Each laser-cut, clear acrylic ring is fused with a chalkboard mustache that doubles as a placecard. Love it! ($24/set of 4 at Modern Dose)

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Simply Stated: Darling Felt Toy Favors

felt toy party favors

No matter which critter you’re looking at, these colorful, felt toy party favors are pretty much the cuteness! Find out more about them over at Simply Stated today! (more…)

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Adorable & Creative “Egg Creatures”

Easter egg creatures

When it comes to decorating Easter eggs, I usually opt for the easy route, but these Egg Creatures from Martha Stewart are so ridiculously cute, I’m thinking they might be worth the extra effort! Especially the momma and baby pig design… how adorable is that?! (Cute decorating ideas for baby showers & kids parties too!)

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Flirty “French Candy” Party Theme

french candy party theme

This Black, White, and Pink wedding theme from brides.com is also fabulous inspiration for a flirty, “French Candy” themed birthday party or bridal shower (especially a lingerie-themed shower!).

Party Decor: Flower arrangements (roses, carnations, hydrangeas, peonies), party favors, and candy treats are all pretty in pink, and black stripes & polka dots add some fun, Parisian-cafe-inspired flair…

french candy party theme

What to sip? Flirty Pink Martinis and french-inspired drinks like Chambord and Champagne, of course!

Be My Guest: Here are a few invitation ideas to help set the tone for a fun, flirty get-together: (more…)

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“Sparkling” Sip & See Baby Shower

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How many of you have ever been to a “Sip and See”? A Sip and See is basically a casual type of baby shower that’s held AFTER baby arrives instead of before. Friends and family are invited to drop by “open house style” within a certain time frame to meet the baby (see) and enjoy light food & drinks (sip) .

When Tara from StrollerTraffic asked me to contribute some ideas for a Sip and See theme, I thought it would be fun to add a little twist on this concept and make it a “Sparkling Sip & See“, complete with lots of bubbly drinks, a pretty champagne-inspired color palette, and more sparkling ideas. Click here for full details!

{Image zoom: view the inspiration board at a larger size.}

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Hey Twilight Lovers… Drink Up! (Printable Vampire Bottle Labels)

Twilight & vampire party ideas

In honor of my shiny new Twilight DVD, I have a little vampire-themed viewing party in the works, which should be FUN!

We’ll definitely be having “Blood-Rimmed Martinis“, and I made these Vampire Drink Labels to print out and slide over bottles of RED drinks like Pomegranate IZZE, Boylan’s Black Cherry Soda, and whatever other red concoctions the store shelves have to offer that can pass for Type A and B! (Update 4/12: Too see actual photos of these labels in use, click here!)

Twilight party - drink labels

If you’re planning to host a Twilight/Edward Cullen-viewing party of your own and want to use these drink labels too, you can download them right here in Adobe pdf format. (more…)

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Stylish & Modern Easter Centerpieces

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Looking for some inspiration for your Easter table? Here are a few of my favorite ideas from BHG.com that are not only chic and contemporary, but also approachable (a.k.a. not overly time consuming – hooray!).

Pictured above: Who would’ve predicted that Eggs and Carnations would make for such a hip & modern centerpiece? (And I’m loving the white & bright yellow palette!); super easy Candle Holder Egg Tree; instead of bunnies – go for the butterfly look with this Flight of Fancy Easter basket; and lovely Floral Nests (peonies with mini eggs tucked inside, displayed in footed dishes).

Pictured below: This gorgeous White-on-White Easter table design is so very inviting…

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The Egg & Tulip centerpieces are so playful & modern, and I also love the Egg Flower Cup and Egg Placecard ideas!

(I’m also filing this post under “baby showers” because some of these designs would work great for a Modern Nesting or Momma Bird baby shower theme too!)

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Spring & Summer Party Inspiration

spring summer wedding centerpiece

Well, today is officially the first day of Spring! I thought it would be fun to celebrate the imminent arrival of warmer weather with some spring-and-summer-appropriate decorating inspiration from one of my favorite entertaining books: The Perfect Wedding Details by Maria McBride.

Regardless of whether or not you actually have a wedding to plan – wedding books are always great places to draw creative inspiration for all sorts of occasions! For example, don’t you think the birdcage garden centerpiece pictured above would be gorgeous for an Easter table or Mother’s Day brunch?!

And this adorable strawberry & wheatgrass topiary below would be lovely for a bridal shower or strawberry shortcake themed baby shower…

spring summer wedding centerpiece

Cocktails are great for any time of year, of course… but there’s something about warm weather and a sunny outdoor party that really makes me want to punch up the color! The Perfect Wedding Details has some great ideas for fun garnishes too…

colorful cocktails

Want to put a unique spin on your bridal bouquet? Go green with a funky, chic arrangement of button mums & tropical leaves… (more…)

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Creative & Gracious Gifts for Guests

wedding guest gift baskets - midnight snack

If you’re looking for a creative way to say thank you to your wedding guests – especially those that have traveled far and wide to help celebrate your big day – try surprising them with a “Welcome!” treat in their hotel room or a parting gift as they head home from reception.

Jo Gartin’s Weddings has an entire chapter devoted to clever & thoughtful ways to say thank you… just a few of which are pictured here. I absolutely adore the “Midnight Snack” idea pictured above – which features mini bottles of milk and individually wrapped donuts in a takeout box personalized with a custom label. (Boxes and labels available at myownlabels.com).

I actually think this same concept would work well as a party favor for all sorts of occasions – from birthday parties to coroporate events – and just imagine all the different possibilities for the treat combo it holds: bagels & cream cheese with mini bottles of o.j. or chilled Starbucks Frappuccinos, cookies & milk, energy drinks & trail mix or energy bars… the list goes on!

wedding guest welcome baskets

More ideas: Greet guests with a gift basket of old-fashioned treats like kettle chips, lemonade, and cherry sours (above)…or with a goodie-filled “welcome pouch” that hangs from the hotel room door or bedpost (below). (more…)

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Absolutely Amazing DIY Birthday Cakes!

amazing DIY birthday cakes

Parenting.com has a fabulous birthday cake gallery/tutorial that is nothing short of AMAZING! Each of the 31 cakes in this gallery comes with step-by-step instructions on how you can recreate it at home. There’s some serious creativity & resourcefulness going on here!

Pictured at top: Castle cake – featuring ice cream cone turrets…SWEET!

Pictured below: Pirate Ship and Soccer Ball cakes. (The use of Oreo Crisps for the soccer ball is GENIUS!)

amazing DIY birthday cakes

This Lion cake design is adorable too… especially the chow-mein noodle “mane”!

amazing DIY birthday cakes

More favorites pictured below: Purse Cake with Giant Tootsie Roll handle, Train Birthday Cake – Engine (also check out the entire train cake) ,Ladybug cupcakes, Snake cupcakes, Dump Truck cake, ridiculously clever French Fries cake (toasted pound cake slices with red frosting dip!), Shark cake, and Monkey cake.

(more…)

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Best of the Web: St. Patrick’s Day Chic

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

When you think of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I’m guessing the word “chic” isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind, but these smart & stylish ideas from ’round the web prove there’s another side to St. Patty’s Day festivities that’s sans the all-you-can-drink green beer and rowdy pub crowds!

1. Chic St. Patty’s Day DECOR:
BHG.com’s Irish-Inspired St. Patrick’s Day Decor gallery is loaded with lovely green ideas. A few favorites pictured above:
Irish Napkin Decor – simple & rustic… with a shamrock embellishment!
Green Glass Vases – dressed up with copper wire & white flowers
Bells of Ireland – modern & chic when displayed in a simple white vase
Green Floral Bouquet – a fabulous mix of chartreuse flowers, Bells of Ireland, mums, hydrangea, and hypericum.

(Also check out the Bells of Ireland Topiary tutorial.)

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2. Chic St. Patty’s Day COCKTAILS:

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

Raise a glass with one of these tasty, Irish-themed cocktails: (more…)

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Beer Floats(!) with Shamrock Swizzles

st. patrick's day dessert cocktail

The perfect St. Patty’s Day treat for adults… vanilla ice cream topped with Irish Stout! And LUCKY for us, the directions couldn’t get any easier: 1. Scoop vanilla ice cream into a chilled pint glass. 2. Top with beer. 3. Enjoy!

Leave it to Martha to come up with the perfect themed “garnish” for our beer floats, too… click here for the shamrock swizzle stick “how to”.

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Simply Stated: Orla Kiely for Target

orla kiely for target

Today over at Simply Stated – get the details on the new (fabulous + affordable!) Orla Kiely for Target line, plus a few ideas for an party/shower theme inspired by this collection!

orla kiely for target

And while we’re on the subject of the Orla Kiely brand… how fabulous are these bags from her Spring/Summer 2009 collection?! These aren’t even in the same time zone as far as my personal budget goes (sigh…), but here’s to dreaming that Target will team up with Kiely on personal accessories next!

orla kiely hand bags

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Barbie’s Birthday Party Recap (Part 1) + Tips from Event Planner Colin Cowie

Barbie's 50th Birthday Party

In honor of Barbie’s 50th Birthday/Anniversary – Mattel went all out with a very cool, VERY PINK birthday bash at the “Real” Life-Size Barbie Dream House in Malibu, CA.

Barbie's 50th Birthday Party

Jonathan Adler was tapped to do the interior design of the “Dream House”, and celebrity event planner Colin Cowie (who also hosts’s Lifetime’s Get Married show) brought the ridiculously cool party to life with an overwhelming amount of Barbie-themed decor, sparkly pink things, and clever details.

Barbie's 50th Birthday Party

As someone who loves both interior design and event planning – and can appreciate a good dose of “girlie girl” now and then – I definitely felt like a kid in a candy store at this party! Everywhere you turned there was something “happy” to look at – from Barbie’s luxe pink bedroom (which included a shoe closet filled with 50 pairs of Barbie® pink peep-toe Christian Louboutin heels)…

Barbie's 50th Birthday Party

…to a fireplace flanked by pink plastic poodles… to cocktail serving trays filled with acrylic pink ice! (The toilets even had huge pink satin bows tied around the seat covers… talk about attention to detail!)

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Since HWTM is all about party planning – we asked Cowie – the brains behind the bash – to share some of his favorite party details with us… as well as a few tips that we can use at home. Here goes:

Barbie's 50th Birthday Party

HWTM: “Barbie Malibu Dream House” sounds like such a fun party theme! Can you give us some insight into your overall vision for this event?
CC:
I WANTED TO CREATE AN EVENT THAT WAS COMPLETELY PERSONALIZED TO BARBIE. AS ALWAYS, I START WITH A THEME (POP ART), AND A COLOR PALETTE (BLACK WHITE AND PINK), AND GO FROM THERE.  I WANTED ALL OF THE ELEMENTS TO BE VERY VIBRANT AND TO HAVE AN IMPACT BY USING A LOT OF REPETITON. (more…)

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