Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Simply Stated: Clever Kitchen Tools

contemporary kitchen tools

In today’s HWTM post over at Real Simple, check out 7 Cute & Contemporary Kitchen Tools – from ladybug mixing bowls to “angelic” colanders … great gift ideas for yourself or someone else! (Added bonus: they’re all super affordable!)

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REAL PARTIES: “Love Birds” Theme

Love Birds party theme ideas

Today’s adorable Real Party – created by Lindsey Mintrone of Bella Grace Party Designs – was originally designed as a Valentine’s Day celebration, but it would also serve as great inspiration for the always-popular “Love Birds” bridal shower theme!

From clever lollipop flower arrangements (so cute!) to a homemade “Love Birds Tree” centerpiece and adorable owl & birdie graphics, this get-together is full of charming details and great DIY project ideas…

Love Birds party theme ideas

Read on for lots more pics and all the sweet party details as told by Lindsey(more…)

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Real Parties: Alice in Wonderland Birthday

Alice in Wonderland Party Ideas

I stumbled upon this absolutely AMAZING Alice in Wonderland-inspired party on photographer Jessica Claire’s blog a while back, and even though it’s been almost 3 years since the party actually took place, it still remains as one of the most adorable kids parties I’ve ever seen…

Alice in Wonderland Party Ideas

It also feels especially timely to feature this theme right now with Disney’s new Alice in Wonderland movie by Tim Burton opening in theaters today… which I personally can’t wait to go see in IMAX 3D!

Something tells me there are going to be a LOT of “Wonderland” themed celebrations popping up this year… and hopefully for all ages –  I love the idea of tailoring the Wonderland theme to adult parties too – like milestone birthdays, bridal showers, and whimsical engagement parties!

Alice in Wonderland Party Ideas

This colorful tea party was actually a combined celebration for 3 different birthday girls, and each guest of honor received her own fabulously decked-out birthday girl chair: (more…)

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Twilight Inspired Wedding Part 2: Cake, Drinks, Bridal Bouquet & More

Twilight wedding party ideas

In continuing with the lovely Twilight Wedding Tablescape posted earlier today, here are some additional – and equally inspiring! – details from this creative & romantic theme by Lina and Heather

Twilight wedding party ideas

Twilight wedding party ideas

(more…)

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Twilight Inspired Wedding Part 1: Tablescape

Twilight Inspired Wedding Tablescape

Today’s wedding feature is incredibly romantic and chic!

When Lina of A Stunning Affair and Heather of Events by Heather Ham first sent this over, I was immediately intrigued by the unique sound of the event… a “Twilight Themed Wedding“, and whether you’re a fan of the popular book series or not, chances are good that you’ll be visually inspired by all of this gorgeous eye candy!

Twilight Inspired Wedding Tablescape

Twilight Inspired Wedding Tablescape

Read on for TONS of beautiful images {shot by photographer Meg Perotti}, and all the creative details, as told by Lina.

(P.S. As an added bonus, there’s also a “Luxe  for Less” example that shows how to achieve the same look on a tighter budget!) (more…)

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Oscars Party Ideas: Manzanita Centerpieces

gold manzanita branch centerpieces

Continuing with the Oscars party ideas today, here’s some inspiration for glamorous red & gold centerpieces… starting with the gorgeous crystal adorned tree pictured above, which was created by Tic-Tock Couture Florals and is also from our “Old Hollywood Glam” themed Hip Hostess event in LA.

The key word here is INSPIRATION… I’m pretty sure that most of us won’t be creating something of this exact scale for our home parties!

However, the great news is that you can dramatically scale this idea down for your own get togethers – and it’s surprisingly doable. Promise! This exact project was actually part of the party decor demo I did at the event.

gold manzanita branch centerpieces

There are a few different ways to approach smaller versions of this look.

You can use a tall glass or ceramic vase filled with loose, decorated branches or fill a planter-style vase with floral foam to stand and secure 1-2 decorated branches in the center, then cover the floral foam around the branches with a pretty filler like moss, gold stones, red acrylic ice, or a tight “bed” of fresh roses.

Detailed DIY info below… (more…)

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Oscars Party Ideas: Photo Cylinders

oscars party ideas academy awards

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards are coming up this weekend (Sunday, March 7), and regardless of how into the actual ceremonies you are, the Oscars are always a fun excuse to have people over! You can chat with friends over casual cocktails & appetizers while the red carpet fashions and award presentations are going on, or create a more formal affair, complete with a fancy dinner party and Oscar Ballots for your guests.

So… for the next few days I’ll be featuring some different types of Oscars party inspiration for both casual & formal affairs, starting right now with one of my favorite (EASY!) decor ideas: Photo-Wrapped Cylinders.

oscars party ideas academy awards

This concept is simple, but there are so many great things you can do with it! All you need are inexpensive glass cylinder vases (widely available in craft/home stores and online) and images of movie stars or movie scenes/posters.

You can opt for current-day stars and films (maybe even some of the current Oscar contenders) or go for an “Old Hollywood” vibe as demonstrated in the examples shown here (which are from an event I did in LA last year). (more…)

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REAL PARTY: Vintage Circus Baby Shower

vintage circus baby shower party theme

This new Real Party feature is so much fun! It’s a Vintage Circus” baby shower theme that’s chic, sophisticated, and even a little bit GLAM… how’s that for a fresh take on the baby shower concept? =)

vintage circus baby shower party theme

The party was created by Sharon Taylor and features cool details like feather-topped cupcakes, kelly green paper pinwheels, and a vintage toy animal “circus train”.

Read on for lots of inspiring images and all the details, as told by Sharon(more…)

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Ultra-Creative, Suspended Cupcake Tower

modern suspended cupcake tower

When HWTM reader Laura recently sent over some info about a “Suspended Cupcake Tower” that her friends Vicki and Ray created, I just about died when I saw the pics! Seriously – how cool is this?!

FLOATING cupcakes… now that’s some creative genius!

modern suspended cupcake tower

Co-creator Vicki Anderson was kind enough to share some more details on this project – as well as contact info in case you’re interested in ordering one for your own wedding or party.

Read on for more gorgeous images (courtesy of photographer Ali Broach) all the details, as told by Vicki… (more…)

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Twisted Ice Pop Molds + 11 Fabulous Homemade Popsicle Recipes

orka twisted popsicle molds

From the POP-y colors to the cool twisted design of the popsicles and futuristic look of the holder, I’m loving everything about these Orka Ice Pop Molds! ($12.95/set at Wrapables)

Looking for a cool gift idea? Try pairing one of these sets with a copy of POPS!: Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella, which is loaded with some seriously tasty & creative-looking recipes:

homemade popsicle recipes

Pictured above: a few recipes from POPS!, all of which can be found online right here at icypops.com: Banana Split (yes, please!), Pomegranate Apple, and Honeydew Melon.

OR, try filling up your ice pop molds with one of these other yummy-looking homemade popsicle recipes from ’round the web… from Mojito and Mango-Orange flavors to Rocky Road Fudge (yes… Rocky Road!):

homemade popsicle recipes

Lemon Frozen Yogurt with Raspberries
from Dessert First

(more…)

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Real Parties: Lila’s Dol Celebration

contemporary Dol - traditional Korean first birthday party

Today’s Real Party feature is full of so much great DIY inspiration… not to mention the fabulous color palette and wonderfully contemporary vibe! It’s a colorful “Dol” (traditional Korean first birthday celebration) that Angie Bae created for her adorable daughter Lila.

There are so many meaningful & handcrafted details in this party… from the creative cookie invitations and fabulous paper globe centerpieces (representative of family members) to handmade candy pillars (see below), a shimmery cake inspired by Lila’s hanbok, and more!

contemporary Dol - traditional Korean first birthday party

Read on for lots more images and all the party details, as told by Angela… (more…)

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Edible Centerpiece: The Veggie Bouquet

edible vegetable bouquet

Most of you have probably seen an edible bouquet before – usually of the fruit or cookie variety – but this particular design is definitely a stand-out!

The edible veggie bouquet pictured above is from Marley Majcher‘s 40th Birthday Party (more details coming soon) and serves as great inspiration for a super-stylish take on this idea… from the choice and arrangement of the veggies to the chic display in a simple glass cylinder vase filled with black lentils.

This would be an impressive addition to the appetizer buffet for everything from parties & showers to Mother’s Day brunch! Here’s another design that features skewered veggies spraying from a melon “basket” garnished with thyme: (more…)

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Floral Inspiration: 3 Fresh Palettes for Spring

spring summer wedding flowers

Need some inspiration for upcoming parties, weddings, or Easter celebrations? Here’s some floral eye candy for you in 3 fresh palettes for spring

1. FRESH GREEN & YELLOW

Sculptural bouquet featuring green flowers, seed pods, lily grass, and other unique foliage (details here)
Daffodils and fern displayed in a wooden window box-style planter (details here)
Green magnolia wreath topped with yellow roses – Aalsmeer gold, flair spray, and garden varieties (details here)
Green Goddess calla lilies + lily grass looped inside a clear vase (details here).

spring summer wedding flowers

2. CHIC GREEN & WHITE (more…)

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Jungle Baby Shower Theme {Chic & Stylish}

jungle themed baby shower ideas

*****

I received the following question from a reader recently:

Q: “I would like to see a jungle theme party on your site unless you already have one that I couldn’t find. I’m throwing a jungle themed baby shower for my sister in June and I came to your site first to look for one. I didn’t see one so I thought I would make the suggestion.”

A: My initial thought was to direct Linda to the Wild Thing Baby Shower Theme that I created for Parents.com a while back, but since it’s been over a year since that piece was first published, I thought it would be fun to update and expand on it a bit today…

jungle themed baby shower ideas

Sooo… here’s a brand new inspiration board for a “Chic & Stylish” Jungle Themed Baby Shower (kind of a more “grown up” take on this popular baby shower theme!).

jungle themed baby shower ideas

***** (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Wedding Invitations from MagnetStreet Weddings

pocket wedding invitations giveaway - magnet street weddings

Today’s Surprise Giveaway should be especially appealing to all the brides-to-be out there – and to any friends & family members looking to help them out (and score some major points!) with a generous, budget-boosting gift…

To help celebrate their recent launch of several brand-new invitation lines, MagnetStreet Weddings is offering up a fantastic wedding invitation giveaway at HWTM this week: 100 Pocket-Style Wedding Invitations & Coordinating RSVP Cards… an amazing $425 value!!

While MagnetStreet offers several different types of invitation styles – from square to layered, tri-fold, gate-fold, and beyond – the Pocket-Style Invitation featured in this week’s giveaway has been particularly popular with brides, and there are over 150 available designs to choose from!

pocket wedding invitations giveaway - magnet street weddings

MagnetStreet Weddings also offers personalized save the date cards and magnets, mailing labels, thank you cards, and more… and everything is completely customizable using their online design studio.

A few personal favorites from the Pocket-Style Invitations collection are pictured above and below, along with details on how to enter the giveaway…  (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Fairy Sweet Birthday Party

fairy birthday party ideas

Today’s Real Party feature looks like every little girl’s dream! This adorable “Fairy Sweet” theme was created by Erin Volante for her (equally adorable!) daughter Amelia’s birthday celebration.

The colorful party features a fabulous combination of magical fairies and dazzling sweet treats like pixie stix, a pink & purple toadstool cake, pink marshmallows, and more… what’s not to love?!

fairy birthday party ideas

Read on for all the details, as told by Erin, and TONS of beautiful images from photographer Sarah Maxey, who caught all of the magic on camera… (more…)

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Real Parties: Birds & Branches Shower

bird themed baby shower ideas

Today’s Real Party feature was created by Jessica of Pen n’ Paper Flowers.  It’s a stylish and adorable Birds & Branches themed baby shower that was thoughtfully inspired by the guest of honor’s nursery decor!

Added bonus: This theme could also be adapted for a “Love Birds” bridal shower or a baby shower for boys or girls hosted at any time of year swapping out some of the colors and winter accents. The centerpiece would be super cute for an Easter table as well!

bird themed baby shower ideas

Read on for lots of pics and all the fun details, as told by Jessica(more…)

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Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

hostess

I know that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, but I couldn’t resist posting some last-minute inspiration from ’round the web… especially since pretty much all of these ideas can be re-purposed for other occasions too!

Starting from the top: Adorable Valentine-themed cupcakes from Jeanne Benedict
*I’m especially loving the top version for any sort of “pretty in pink” party for your favorite fashionista friend or princess-loving girl. It would even be cute to use lots of different patterns, colors, and “buckle” styles & create an entire “runway” of cupcakes!

Next up: Tired of heart-shaped chocolates and candy? Try whipping up a batch of Homemade Coffee Marshmallows for your sweetie instead. Find the step-by-step DIY tutorial here, courtesy of Prudent Baby.

hostess

And while presentation might not be everything, it certainly accounts for a LOT! For example… (more…)

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Fab Find: Tablevogue – Design + Utility

tablevogue table covers

Do you have one of those utilitarian banquet or card tables sitting in your garage… the ones that you break out when you need extra surface space for entertaining, usually doing your best to pretty it up with a rented or store-bought tablecloth that doesn’t quite reach the ground?

Enter Tablevogue: a smart new product that instantly transforms those “drab” all purpose tables into fabulous dining, buffet, bar, or gift tables for all sorts of parties & occasions!

tablevogue table covers

tablevogue table covers

These full-length covers provide a snug, tailored fit for standard 6″ utility and 34″ folding card tables, complete with box pleats at each corner (no more table skirts, clipping or pinning!) and are made from 100% pure polyester from textile industry leader Milliken & Company. They won’t fade or shrink after laundering, and you can use the dryer as your “iron” to smooth out wrinkles before using… which is especially great for people like me that would rather do pretty much anything than iron!

Added bonus: if you’re a nesting newbie that’s decorating on a budget, you can even use Tablevogue to turn inexpensive utilitarian tables into stylish, everyday home decor. Check out how great these makeshift home bar and accent tables look: (more…)

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Adorable DIY: Meringue Message Cones

meringue cookie ice cream cones

Is is just me, or is this one of the cutest ideas ever?!!

These “Secret Message Cones” from BHG are inspired by fortune cookies and featured as a creative homemade Valentine idea, but they would ALSO be a fabulous addition to birthday parties, bridal showers, and baby showers (especially a “Cravings” or “Pickles & Ice Cream” theme!)

You’ll need sugar cones, meringue cookies, and chocolate chips for the ice cream cone portion. (All can be store-bought.) For the homemade valentine, you’ll also need paper for the “message” and colorful nonpareils.

To modify this idea as a party favor, you can either tailor the inside message to your particular occasion OR fill the cone with something different like  jelly bellies, pink m&ms, or a flavored lip gloss, essentially using the ice cream cone as your “favor packaging”. Sweet!

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Flirty “Love, Sweet Love” Bridal Shower

lingerie bridal shower theme ideas

In keeping with the Valentine’s Day theme going on this week, I thought it would be fun to feature some ideas for a flirty red & white lingerie bridal shower (or bachelorette party!).

The image above is a “Love, Sweet Love” theme idea from Simple Stunning Wedding Showers by Karen Bussen and serves as great overall inspiration for a contemporary lingerie theme… a buffet of decadent chocolate desserts, red & white table accessories, sexy bedroom slippers, and red martinis… looks like fun, right?!

Here are a few more ideas to help play up this theme:

lingerie bridal shower theme ideas

Let’s do dessert!
Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Mini Raspberry & White Chocolate Whoopie Pies, Chocolate Raspberry Fondue, Cherry Pistachio Creams, and Cherry Walnut Balls.

Signature Drink Ideas: (more…)

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Romantic Decor: Red, Black & Lace {Part 2}

romantic valentine's day centerpiece ideas

In continuing with Part 1 of Romantic Decor: Red, Black, & Lace, here’s another (surprisingly quick!) centerpiece idea for a special Valentine’s Day dinner…

romantic valentine's day centerpiece ideas

Find all the DIY Details Below: (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Kimora’s Sweet Shoppe

pink sweet shoppe birthday party

Today’s Real Party feature is full of such sweet, creative, and surprisingly budget-friendly details! It’s a charming Sweet Shoppe theme that Aisha Holly of Dooby Design Group created for her adorable daughter Kimora‘s 4th birthday party.

pink sweet shoppe birthday party

From tissue poms and strawberry parfaits to a cool DIY table and mini cupcakes (made by dad!), read on for all the perfectly pink, kid-friendly details, as told by Aisha herself(more…)

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Romantic Red, Black & Lace {Part 1}

romantic valentine's day centerpiece ideas

Looking for an easy way to add romance to your Valentine’s day table? Just add ribbon & lace!

Here are a few examples I mocked up recently to demonstrate how just a little lace & ribbon can give a simple vase, pillar candle, or tablecloth a romantic vibe that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day (or a sexy lingerie-themed wedding shower!).

There are 3 kinds of lace pictured in these examples – a wide black style with a scalloped edge, a fun red style with rhinestone detailing, and a narrower black velvet style. All of them were purchased at Joann Fabric & Crafts. (Lace styles will vary based on what’s available at your local fabric stores.)

romantic valentine's day centerpiece ideas

Example #1

In the example at the very top, a band of black lace is wrapped around a white ceramic vase filled with pretty red ranunculus, which have a soft, feminine look to them. The flower arrangement is displayed on a square white tray lined with black velvet scrapbook paper and decorated with red satin ribbon & velvet lace.

For the finishing touch, these cool red acrylic tea light holders from Social Couture were placed in each corner of the tray and embellished with adhesive-backed red craft rhinestones (which are super easy to add/remove).

*****

This next arrangement is one of my favorites: (more…)

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Vase Corset: Oh-La-La Centerpiece!

valentines day bachelorette party centerpiece

I’m in love with this new “Vase Corset” from Social Couture… what a fabulous way to add some romance to your Valentine’s Day table – or some “oh la la!” to that sexy bachelorette party or lingerie-themed bridal shower!

The black velvet vase corset ($15 ea) is available in 3 different ribbon colors: red, black, or hot pink. Here’s a peek at the chic black-on-black version: (more…)

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Lovely Valentine’s Day Dessert Buffet

valentine's day dessert buffet

Need some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day party dessert table? Check out this latest dessert bar creation by Amy Atlas… which can only be described as absolutely pink-a-licious!

Goodies included: a macaron tower (so cute!), ruffled buttercream cake and cupcakes, pink favor boxes tied up with pretty satin ribbon, and lots of pink candy! For a nostalgic feel, Amy also included strawberry milk in “Be Mine” glasses.

valentine's day dessert buffet

The lovely bubblegum pink, light pink, & pale gray table (which was created for a segment on Better TV) featured a “Key to My Heart” theme, which was played up through the adorable key-topped cupcakes and “Love is the key to my Heart” candy bar wrappers. (more…)

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“Oh How Tweet” Baby Shower {Part 2}

bird themed baby shower - oh how tweet

Lots more beautiful images & details to share with you from the “Oh How Tweet” baby shower today…

…from amazing rhinestone-studded invitations to a mouth-watering menu (served by dad-to-be & other family members acting as “waiters”!) and “sweet tweets” like mini chocolate bundt cakes topped with spun sugar nests!

bird themed baby shower - oh how tweet

Read on for a ton of pretty images and a continuation of Suzanne’s favorite party details (see Part 1 here), as described by the guest of honor herself… (more…)

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“Oh How Tweet” Baby Shower {Part 1}

bird themed baby shower - oh how tweet

So… I don’t think it’s possible to create a party that gets much more beautiful than this gorgeous “Oh How Tweet!” baby shower hosted in honor of Suzanne Johnson and her new baby twins, do you?!

This party looks like it stepped right off the pages of an Anthropologie catalog… such a fresh, chic vibe that’s overflowing with creative details. I’m thinking there’s also some fabulous inspiration for Easter parties and spring weddings or bridal showers to be discovered here too!

bird themed baby shower - oh how tweet

bird themed baby shower - oh how tweet

Because there are soooo many details and images to share, I’m going to break this feature into 2 parts. Tabletop & decor elements are featured here in Part 1, and Part 2 will cover everything else (invitations, menu, favors, and more).

Read on for LOTS of pretty pics and party details, as told by Suzanne… (more…)

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Easy & Impressive: Chocolate Abstracts

chocolate abstracts candy recipe

In case you’re on the lookout for a new way to impress in the kitchen this Valentine’s Dayor aiming to wow a whole group of guests for any special occasion really – here’s one of my favorite “sweet tips” from Simple Stunning Parties, a fabulous book by entertaining expert Karen Bussen.

These cool “Chocolate Abstracts” will instantly dress up any sort of dessert – from ice cream to fancy cakes & custards… and despite their artistic, gourmet look, they’re actually surprisingly easy to make! All you need is chocolate chips (4 oz or more), a squeeze bottle, wax paper, and a microwave.

chocolate abstracts candy recipe

Here’s the detailed info: (more…)

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REAL PARTY: Mod Menagerie Baby Shower

modern jungle menagerie baby shower

Today’s Real Party baby shower feature is especially near & dear… it was actually my own!

The shower was hosted earlier this month by 4 of my close friends – Leslie, Sarah, Mimi, and Jen… and they did such a great job – I was totally blown away! It was so odd to be on the receiving end this time… and I sincerely hope that the people I host showers for feel as special & loved as they made me feel at this one – thanks again girls! =)

modern jungle menagerie baby shower

Knowing my love for tropical flowers/foliage and all things giraffe, the girls created a “Modern Menagerie” (a.k.a. “modern jungle”) theme for the baby shower, which also coordinated with the nursery and felt especially thoughtful. I about died when I saw the huge giraffe-print paper lanterns!

The color palette was a fabulous bright pink, brown, and kelly green (no baby pastels!). The pink hue coordinated with the color of the gorgeous protea featured in the centerpieces (along with papyrus, china mums, & ti leaves)… and I absolutely adored the little toy animal figurines that were spray-painted copper and even glued to some of the vases! (more…)

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