Updated! Baby Must Haves At BUYBUYBABY.

Since my last post, we have now been through SO many baby items with Xavier and I wanted to go into detail on what we like and WHY. Do you need everything? No, but these items have made our lives much easier and these are what Xavier loved. **This post IS a sponsored post by BUYBUYBABY, ALL thoughts and opinions are MY OWN. We have gotten these items from our registry or we have BOUGHT them ourselves! We have put these items to work the last 6 months! Also, a lot of y’all have asked for this post so I’m HAPPY to share our thoughts! Any questions, leave a comment on the blog post and I’ll respond!

**Also, thank you for always shopping thru my links! It’s linked back to my blog which helps me do more fun projects like this.

*** These are the items we loved, every baby or parent is different and that’s totally ok. Just sharing what worked for us!

Just a few of features you get with registering with buybuy BABY:

15% off your remaining registry items. (Anything that is still left on your registry you will get 15% off of if you purchase.)

Balance your registry with items at a variety of prices, so friends, family – even coworkers – can find you the perfect gift.

Invite friends and family to suggest products they know you’ll love with our registry recs tool. (No one knows you better than they do).

Whether it’s your first or your third, buybuy BABY is the best place to create your registry. With their price match guarantee, why would you register anywhere else?!

If you’re looking to start your own registry you can here: https://www.buybuybaby.com/store/page/BabyRegistry

Stroller & Accessories

Bugaboo Donkey 2. To purchase click HERE.

Our thoughts: We got this stroller because we will be having more babies and it’s built to hold two. We were planning ahead with this one because of the price tag. It rides SO smoothly but it’s definitely a little bulkier, but again it fits two so that’s expected.

Since this comes with a bassinet – we got the bassinet stand which then we put together and kept downstairs so when the baby needed a nap (from when he was born until he turned 3 months) this is where he took his naps in the living room. This was amazing simply for the fact that it kept him near us and we didn’t put him in a crib until 3 months. I work from home so this was something we used every single day until he turned 3 months. This is also a great item for traveling.

Bugaboo Stand. To purchase click HERE.

We started doing our family walks again! Since it’s not warm out just yet, Carl saw this Bugaboo Footmuff (think sleeping bag for babies)and it’s SO warm & COZY. We actually used this yesterday and Xavier was kept warm (it was 50 degrees out)

BugoBoo Footmuff. To purchase click HERE.

We added some accessories for the stroller which are self explanatory so I will link them all here:

We also picked up a smaller stroller. Something I could personally handle MYSELF when Carl isn’t around and I can also put this together and collapse it with one hand. WINNER.

UppaBaby Minu Stroller. To Purchase click HERE.

Car Seat

CYBEX Platinum Cloud Q SensorSafe™ Infant Car Seat in Black.

To purchase / view, click HERE.

Out of all the carseats this is the one we personally liked the best. The one feature we liked a lot is it reclines when out of the car. SO when we attached this to our stroller we could recline it when he was sleeping (aka when we were on walks or at a store.) It also has side impact protection. Again, everyone likes what they like and this was ours! Maybe our next child it will be different!

Bassinet & Bedding

Halo Bassinet- We used this next to our bed for the first two months. Obviously you can use it longer. We loved the swivel feature and the heartbeat sound machine built in. Has a few other ones you can choose from as well. Highly recommend this brand. To purchase / view click HERE.

Halo Bassinet Mattress cover pads – We bought 3 of these so we could change them after spit up and etc. A must have. To purchase / view click HERE.

HALO® DreamNest™ 3-in-1 Open Air Portable Crib with Breathable Mesh Mattress – we keep this in our basement for when we want to watch movies, hang out or especially when traveling. It comes in super handy. I know some people keep this in their living room! We recently took this to VA Beach with us and used it in the hotel. To purchase / view click HERE.

Waterproof Organic Cotton Crib Mattress Pad Covers– We purchased a TWO pack cribs water proof mattress covers. I found that having two was best simply because if he ever had any issues one would be in the wash and we have another on hand. This has happened only a few times but we’ve been glad we had two. To purchase / view, click HERE.

Baby Sheets – We have a few other sheets but this one is super soft and definitely recommend it! To purchase / view, click HERE.

Swaddles – Velcro for the WIN

Here is the page with the brand we love: click HERE.

Tip: * we use “receiving” blankets as burp rags. We never wanted to swaddle him the old fashion way. Call me lazy, but whatever! Too hard in the middle of the night when he’s a baby. Below are the ones WE LOVE and had about 7-8 on hand at all times!

Tip ** Buy gender neutral ones if you plan on having more babies and you can easily reuse, or reuse anyways, they will never know. LOL

Bath & Potty

Bath tub– We tried a different tub at first and didn’t like it. I won’t link that one, the one we do like (and heard everyone else loves too) is only $24! Xavier doesn’t slip in it, it’s comfortable and easy to store. It’s linked HERE.

A bath thermometer is needed. (We keep his bath temp at 99.5-100) We grabbed this cute duck one for $12.99. To purchase or view click HERE.

Bath Knee Pad – this to me is a must. Giving baths isn’t easy and I need to be comfy, lol. Best $34.99 spent. To purchase or view click HERE.

Hooded bath towel – We have two of these and he loves to be wrapped up in this after his baths. I linked a few options below. Click the photos to shop.

Nursing / Bottle

Medela® Sonata® Smart Hospital Performance Breast Pump – again, personally this is the pump I chose and loved it. Super light weight and could walk around with it. Used mine for 8 weeks! Also check with your insurance company to see if they will cover it. To purchase / view click HERE.

Medela Pump Bra – I purchased three of these and they were my favorite out of all the ones I tried. To purchase / view click HERE.

Haakaa– Whats that? Something you’ll need if you’re going to breastfeed. I didn’t know that when the baby is eating from one breast, the other breast will start leaking breast milk. You don’t think youre loosing a lot until you place a haakaa on it and you collect 3-4 oz. Save that! I had 2-3 of them cleaned and ready to go. To purchase / view click HERE.

Boppy Nursing Pillow – We used this nonstop. Highly recommend it. Its also something you’ll use for them for tummy time once they get stronger. Can use this for multiple reasons. To purchase / view click HERE.

Baby Bottles – we legit tried them all. Personally Xavier spit up and had a lot of gas with every bottle we tried until we tried Playtex VentAir. Kandi our baby specialist/Nanny recommended these and he’s had no issues since. I recommend buying ONE bottle to try then see how it goes.

Here are the 6 oz (you’ll use these until he/she eats more) Shop HERE.

Here are the 9 oz we currently use. Shop HERE.

Medela Quick Clean™ Bottle Brush in Yellow – this is the best brush I’ve found so far. My friends also love this one! To purchase / view click HERE.

Baby Brezza® One-Step Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer – If you’ll be using bottles at all you will want this. I didn’t want this at first but then once I realized how much of a pain drying bottles or making sure they were PERFECTLY clean was, we bought this. I hand wash my bottled then place into the baby breeza. It has 3 different timers on drying levels. MAKE sure to use DISTILLED water in this! I feel comfortable knowing the bottles are washed, sterilized and dried each time. Peace of mind is everything. To purchase / view click HERE.

Formula Maker- If you’ll be using formula, I also recommend the Baby Brezza baby formula maker. Making sure you have the right water to formula is VERY important. After measuring his formula incorrectly once, I googled issues that it may cause, and cried. So after that mixup Carl went to the store and purchased this. Life has been easy since, lol. To purchase / view click HERE.

Health & Baby Care

Baby Detergent – We personally love Dreft. I love the smell of it and baby X loves it too. This is the only detergent we use for him. To Purchase / view click HERE.

Ear Thermometer- We chose Braun & have used it the past 6 months without any issues, easy to use. To purchase / view click HERE.

Baby Basic Kit- THIS IS A MUST HAVE. It comes with a booger sucker, yep I said booger sucker…an instrument to help them pass gas if needed, nail clippers and a scalp scrubber. You will 100% need this kit. To purchase / view click HERE. Frida Baby makes INCREDIBLE products!!

Grooming Kit – Loved this kit, had everything we needed. We keep one in his room and then a kit with us in our diaper bags. To purchase / view click HERE.

Pacifier– Xavier doesn’t use Pacis at all now but when he was a baby he did for a few weeks. We loved the ones connected to the animals. You can remove the stuffed animal for bedtime and only use the Paci. We let him have the animal on it while we watched him. Comes in different animals too. To purchase or view click HERE.

Random Items:

High Chair – We got the 4moms & love it. Easy set up and easy to clean. Xavier took a few times to get used to it but now he loves to sit there and play! To purchase / view click HERE.

PlayMat – Xavier LOVED this, we used this when he was around 2 months old up until 5 months. You can easily still use but we ended up getting him another one to switch it up. You can remove the keyboard when they are older and sitting up. It’s a great transition toy! To purchase / view click HERE.

Dockatot – We loved using this! We would keep it next to us while we watched tv or had dinner. It was a way for Xavier to nap next to us while we spent time together. **we did NOT let him sleep in this over night** To purchase or view click HERE.

Explore Jumper – Xavier LOVES this. Carl couldn’t wait until X could jump in this thing. We put him in this around 4 months. He was big enough and had control of his neck. He jumps ALL day long in this. The highest score. is 1600 so far, haha. It’s the cutest thing to watch. Highly recommend! To purchase / view click HERE.

White Noise Machine – We love HATCH! It has an app you can control everything from your phone. There are 5 different settings you can set up to be programed. We do 2 lullabys and 3 white noice sounds. We use this for all his naps and bedtime! To purchase / view click HERE.

Cart & High Chair Cover – We chose the boppy one. We haven’t used this yet only because flu season is high and I don’t need to take him to the grocery store or out for dinner yet. I’ve heard great reviews on this from friends. To purchase / view click HERE.

Storage Caddy: We used this for downstairs & for our bedroom! At all times we kept this stocked with diapers, wipes, baby lotion, and other items which Ill list below as well. We also used when we traveled which kept it easy! We purchased two and was happy we did! Now that he uses his crib for all naps and sleeping (since 3 months old) we no longer keep it stocked in our bedroom. To purchase / view click HERE. $23.99

I tried to remember everything! Hope this helps you find something you’re looking for. Any questions, let me know below 🙂

xx, Tonya Michelle

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8 Things Couples Should Discuss Before Baby Arrives

You’re already starting to argue with your spouse about certain things before the baby arrives. It’s being made clear that you need to sit down together and have a discussion about pre-baby things.

The last thing you want to do is be caught at each other’s throats while adjusting to life with a newborn, right? That will make an already stressful life even more stressful.

Keep reading because I am going to share a full list of things couples should discuss before baby arrives!


First and foremost, it needs to be made clear what each other’s responsibilities will be upon the baby’s arrival. Don’t assume that your spouse just knows what to do –  you need to tell them!

How will you be splitting up household chores?

While you may already have a solid routine in place, having a baby really changes things. Suddenly grocery shopping, scrubbing toilets, and taking care of a sink full of dishes get more difficult to do.

Will your partner handle all the chores while you care for the baby? Will you take on the easy stuff while baby naps? Make sure you get on the same page.

What will you need help with in the first few weeks?

Everyone automatically jumps to wanting to help with the baby in the first few weeks, but consider what other responsibilities you’ll need help with at first. Will you need someone else to run errands? Hold the baby while you sleep? 

Who will do what in the middle of the night?

I can tell you this now – being the sole person responsible when baby wakes up at 2am and 4am will get very exhausting very quickly. You will need to spit up some of the responsibility!

Who will get the baby when he cries? Will you need help with pumping? With bottles? Who will change the diaper in the middle of the night? Do you need some other help when you’re groggy and exhausted?

Religious beliefs

One of the most important things to talk about is your religious beliefs. Many couples never discuss this until after the baby has arrived and can end up in a very heated argument over it.

What religion (if any) will you practice?

First and foremost, ask your partner what religion they identify with. If you each have a different religion that you practice, you will need to come to a compromise. Or maybe you decide not to practice anything and let your child choose their own. 

These are must discuss topics that need to happen before the baby’s arrival!

Will you follow any rituals upon baby’s arrival?

If you choose to practice a religion, will you be following any rituals or traditions once the baby has arrived? Will you baptize the baby and announce their arrival? Consider what you will do once the baby is here and make sure it’s something you both want to do.

Parenting decisions

The important one – parenting decisions. This can turn into a serious problem very quickly if not addressed right away. I could easily make this section its own post, but I’ll try to keep it simple for you.

What parenting practices will you choose?

Discuss with your partner your ideas around parenting and why you feel the way you do. Consider what parenting style you best identify with first and then consider what practices around that you believe in.

You’ll want to discuss things like style of discipline, if you want to breastfeed, your stance on vaccinations, if you want to circumcise a boy, what type of diapers you want to use, what sleeping arrangements will look like, and so much more.

This might even be a good time to start researching certain topics together and see how you feel about certain topics without the input of outsiders.

Are there any non-negotiables for you?

Once you’ve discussed the types of parenting styles and practices you believe in, what are the non-negotiables? What do you feel very strongly on and are not willing to compromise on?

For example, do you feel very strongly not to utilize the CIO method or spanking? Are you a bit more flexible on the type of diapers you wish to use?

Who will be responsible for these choices?

Some families are primarily ran by mom making all the choices and dad trusts her to do what’s best. But some dads want to be more involved in the decision making process.

Figure out if one or both of you will be responsible for making the choices around certain parenting practices.

Career choices + finances

Career choices are important to each of us and should be discussed prior to birth.

Do you want to go back to work?

If you want to go back to work, consider how soon you will return to your job. Will you take some extensive time off before returning? Do you want to go back right away? Will you be working towards a promotion?

Or if you don’t want to go back, will you be a stay at home mom indefinitely? Do you want to start your own side hustle so you can still financially contribute?

If needed, make sure to discuss childcare options. Will they be enrolled into daycare? Will you hire a nanny? Or will they spend the day with their grandparents?

What will your finances look like?

Once you know who is going back to work and staying home, consider your finances. What can you afford? What will you need to cut back on? How will you budget when the new baby comes?

Spousal support

Relationships and marriages can fall apart upon the arrival of a new baby. If there are already problems, they can become amplified as well.

When will you need some me time?

Everyone will need time away from the baby once in a while and it’s healthy to know what this looks like. Will you take a bath every evening while dad gets the baby down for bed? Will you go to the gym in the morning for a workout? Or do you need a girls day a few times a month?

Think of dad too! Will he want some alone time of his own? Night out with the boys once a week? What does he need for some me time?

What do you need from your spouse?

Adjusting to life with a newborn is very hard as a new parent. Discuss what you need from each other to feel the best supported. Be sure to keep having this conversation, too. Things can change as you go along!

How will you nurture your relationship?

Don’t let your relationship take a back seat, continue to nurture it! Consider how often you will go on date nights? Will you take a vacation together and leave baby behind? What will you do to continue to work together?

Mental health

Mental health is a very neglected topic but very important to talk about. Many women will experience some PPD and PPA in the first year. The more you can plan for this, the better.

What will you do if your mental health starts to struggle?

If your mental health starts to struggle, what is your personal gameplan? Will you reach out to loved ones for help? Contact a professional? Spend more time on self care? 

What do you need your spouse to do if you need help?

How can your spouse help you during this process? What do you need them to do or say to help you through a difficult time? Make sure you set the expectation of what you need if you start to slip and are having a very difficult time adjusting.

Also discuss what it will look like if they are having a hard time as well. You won’t be the only one trying to adjust!

Birth choices

Birthing a baby is a beautiful and very important experience to the mother. Couples should discuss exactly what this process will look like if you haven’t already.

How will you birth your baby?

With the rise in home birth rates in recent years, you might want to consider exactly how you want to birth. Will you hire a midwife or doula to join you at the hospital? Will you decide to birth comfortably at home? Or will you find a really nice birthing center for a happy medium?

What forms of intervention are you comfortable with?

Maybe you’re comfortable with hospital staff taking complete control, but it’s important to discuss what you are comfortable with and how you want things to go.

Do you want to get an epi or birth naturally? Will you delay the first bath or wash them off right away? Will you delay cord clamping or cut it immediately? How much intervention do you want at your birth? 

What are you very strongly against?

Now that you’ve discussed what intervention you’re comfortable with, what are you very strongly against? Make sure to discuss these things with your partner so they can help advocate for you if you birth in a hospital.

Will you want one of  you with baby at all times? Do you believe in circumcision? Will you be declining cervical checks?


Will you allow anyone in the room while you birth?

Many families want grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more in the room while they birth the precious new arrival. Others want to be left alone and DO NOT want anyone in the room.

It’s important to make your partner aware of what you are and are not comfortable with so they can set boundaries at the time of birth.

How soon and how often will you accept visitors?

If you choose to birth more privately, when will you start accepting visitors? Do you want to wait a few days before anyone can come see the baby? Will you allow visitors immediately?

Once you do start accepting visitors, how often will they be allowed over? Do they need to contact you before showing up?

Who will you trust to watch the baby?

Eventually, you will want a date out with your spouse and some time away from your bundle of joy. But the ultimate question becomes: who will you trust to watch the baby? Are you going to be more selective or do you trust anyone in the family who is available?

Consider who you trust, why you trust them, and who you will ask for help when needed.


Phew! That was a lot of things couples should discuss before baby arrives, wasn’t it? The best thing you can do is to set aside time to talk about all of this across the next few months.

Being on the same page with responsibilities, religion, parenting choices, career choices, finances, spousal support, mental health concerns, birth choices, and how to handle relatives, will all be a huge help when the time comes to deal with each of these issues.

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How to throw a Pinterest Worthy Baby Shower!

I knew when the day came I would have my Pinterest board ready and I would want to throw a BASH of a party to celebrate our bundle of joy. It’s one of those moments that only happen once and honestly, it seemed perfect in our eyes. I truly wanted everyone who attended to feel the excitement we have for Baby X – I also needed to find the best event planner to help me because my mom brain is in full effect!

Photos: Carling Zhou Photography


I could talk about Carling all day long. I’ve been blessed to find her over 3 years ago and have worked with her on my blog photos, event photos, engagement party photos, bridal shower photos, bachelorette party photos, OUR WEDDING and now our baby shower. I love her and she’s incredible.

Event Planner: Jessica Ashley

I was blessed to have Jessica from Jessica Ashley Events as my event planner for this shower. I admittedly was a little nervous at first because I have never used an event planner before nor did I know what to expect. Well, I wish I had her for my wedding. She took my ideas, my Pinterest board and made it happen. Not only did she run the show from top to bottom, but she also kept me on top of the things I needed to complete, she sketched out the entire venue and brought together all of the vendors I needed. Jessica handled EVERYTHING, she helped to lift such a huge weight off my shoulders, especially being 8 months pregnant and running my own business.

Jessica does weddings and events! I highly recommend her if you’re looking for someone to throw you an amazing event.

Check out her social media accounts to see what she has put together:


I have a LIST of amazing vendors that we hired to complete each needed idea for this baby shower, below you’ll find their info and photos!

Venue: ChefScape

The reason we loved this venue is that it’s truly an open book. You can make the space whatever you want. A fresh, clean, blank canvas you can turn into any idea you have, whether it’s a work event, baby shower or birthday party. They also do fun cooking classes if you ever want to host one, along with other kinds of events for the community. I also loved the location – Leesburg, close to us and easy to get to.


Balloons: Luxy Balloons

Took my small idea and ran with it…. honestly I was in awe. NEVER skip out on balloons, it changed the entire room!


FloralsLoudoun County Farms

Loudoun County Farms handled the floral arrangements on the dessert table, hanging palms and on the tables! It came out beautiful.


Cake & Desserts – Cakes by Marium

We did a funfetti cake, chocolate-covered strawberries, mini cupcakes, macaroons and rice krispie treats! They went FAST, haha. I wanted finger-foods to make everything easy to snack on.


Cookies – Cookies By Carrie

I’ve had Carrie design every cookie I’ve ever needed the past two years and she’s incredible. I legit love her cookies, not only cause they are GORGEOUS but they taste incredible as well. I always book her WAY in advance because she’s very limited on how many custom orders she does, so I would highly recommend dropping my name when trying to order, lol. I’m not kidding!


DJ, Photo Booth and Drapes: Romin, owner of Zandi Entertainment

Romin is someone who always gets the party started. He is the hype man in all the right ways. He’s always smiling, making everyone have a great time and also SO business savvy. Carl and I had him at our wedding and we still hear about how our wedding reception was the best one our guests have ever been too. If you’re looking for a DJ, he’s the guy.

A Photo Booth is ALWAYS a good idea.


Linens: Capital Party Rentals

Beverages: AhSo Restaurant (Mimosas + Sweet Tea)

Signage: J and M Designs


The AMAZING youtube video – by Josh Nesmith


Josh was a part of FilmsByJ team for our wedding. A well-done, professional video is something I knew I wanted to have simply because a day like this goes by so fast and it will be so nice to have this video to someday show Baby X how loved he was before he even arrived.

My makeup was done by the one and only Makeup by Shirin. I met Shirin over a year ago and our businesses have both brought us together and now I have an amazing friend in my life.


Shirin is also someone who books way in advance. She did my makeup for my maternity photos as well.


The men had to chug beer out of a baby bottle. This was hilarious, highly recommend doing this if you have a co-ed shower.

“Find the Guest” Purchased on Etsy, click HERE.

“Guess how big mom’s belly is” Sign HERE.

Baby Predictions and Advice cards HERE.

I loved how we did a onesie decorating station. It was a hit!

We also had a diaper raffle and instead of asking for a card, we had our friends and family bring a book and sign that! It was the perfect way to start Baby X’s library, highly recommend doing this.

All of the items I purchased online for the shower:

This was our DREAM baby shower! Thank you to everyone who was part of this day. It’s a day I’ll never forget and I wish I could go back and relive it all over again. We can’t wait for Baby X to arrive.

xx, Tonya Michelle

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Setting up our registry with buybuy BABY!

Carl and I have been waiting for this moment for what seems to be forever. We have always looked around at baby items and hoped and prayed for our day to come soon. Being able to finally set up our registry was a dream come true and honestly, we truly enjoyed it, then we realized how much stuff we had to decide on, haha!

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I love. All opinions here are my own.

We decided to go with buybuy BABY for our registry needs because you can easily make an appointment and meet with one of their registry experts who takes you around the store and gives you detailed information on products you may need and why. Creating a registry can be daunting, and with our first, we didn’t know where to begin. Luckily, buybuy BABY offers many different services and ways to help you get started! Carl and I went into buybuy BABY the first time and utilized their “quick picks” where lists are expertly curated to help you begin building your registry!

The second time we went to buybuy BABY, we met with one of their registry consultants, Jessica, and without her, I think we would have been a little lost on which product to choose over another! Her knowledge and experience truly helped us understand one product over another.

Let’s be honest, It can be overwhelming if it’s your first time and Jessica made us feel at ease and comfortable during the process!

We conquered buybuy BABY in a little over an hour. Everything from pacifiers, teethers, diaper bag (I still need to pick mine out, Carl is already got his, haha) highchairs, strollers (we are going with the Bugaboo Donkey 2), car seats, books and MORE.

It’s easy to follow along with the registry guide, I still have mine to check off items we get and what we will still need in the future!

Easy to follow Registry Guide.

It also really helps to know a friend or two who have made a registry before. Not only can you “copy” items from their registry that they loved, but they can provide you with a referral credit of $25 off an in-store purchase of $100 or more!

Bugaboo Donkey 2 Stroller

buybuy BABY makes creating a registry not only easy but fun too! Carl and I had a great time picking out items we need for our first baby and love how user-friendly the app is to use. We can easily add or remove items to the registry right from our phones! It also tracks who has bought what with the Thank You list tool so you don’t have to try and remember which gifts came from whom!

Warmies Cozy Plush Animals

Some other amazing features you get with registering with buybuy BABY:

  • 15% off your remaining registry items. (Anything that is still left on your registry you will get 15% off of if you purchase.)
  • Balance your registry with items at a variety of prices, so friends, family – even coworkers – can find you the perfect gift.
  • Invite friends and family to suggest products they know you’ll love with our registry recs tool. (No one knows you better than they do).

Whether it’s your first or your third, buybuy BABY is the best place to create your registry. With their price match guarantee, why would you register anywhere else?!

Feel free to check out our registry HERE!

I will be sharing in July which big items we went with, stay tuned! (Stroller is above! Car seat, pack ‘n play, bassinet and more)

If you’re a mom, let me know below what you would recommend as a must have for me! I would appreciate any help and feedback. 🙂

xx, Tonya Michelle

Photography by: Carling Zhou

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