Tips For A Great Staycation

Tips For A Great Staycation

For those who love getting out there and enjoying what the world has to offer, being grounded can feel like a serious punishment. Even for those who are not used to traveling, taking a break from the daily grind is probably something that sounds quite enticing right about now. With fewer options for long-distance travel on the table, creating a unique Staycation experience is the next best thing. Even if you can travel but you want to think economically, a staycation is the ultimate budget choice.

In addition to saving money, staycations are eco-friendly, time-saving, and ultimately more flexible than hopping on a flight overseas or even completing a drive across the country. If you are interested in making the most of your time at home but are at a loss about how to do it, we have some creative suggestions. With our tips, you can experience a vacation here at home that you will never forget.

#1 Plan Your Staycation In Advance

The point of a staycation is to enjoy time away from the daily grind it may seem unusual to spend time planning. Just like you would plan a vacation away from home, you will need to plan your staycation at home. If you don’t create a structure for your getaway without getting away, it will be the same routine that you routinely follow at the end of the workweek. Planning out your staycation will give you a range of new activities to try, or simply a collection of things to do that you previously never had time to complete.

#2 Set A Theme

Think about your travel style, is it relaxed and laid back, or healthy and active? Are you an indulgent traveler who lives in the moment or do you make calculated choices? Whatever your style you can adopt the same methods to your staycation. Knowing your style will help you chose a theme and schedule for your time at home. For example, if you like to explore when you travel consider taking in the marvels of your town through the eyes of a tourist. Explore new places that you may have overlooked or even join a professional tour of your city. If your area is recognized for its culinary delights, consider turning your staycation into a gastronomic getaway. Visit the premier restaurants in your area and try new dishes that are out of your comfort zone. You can even go camping if you have local mountains and trails in your area. Naturally, nothing beats getting away from home while staying in. There are plenty of Airbnb in just about every city so you can discover a new place to explore the city for a change of scenery.

#3 Turn Your Home Into A Hotel

For those who will be staying at home, take the time to transform your house into a private getaway. Consider hiring a maid service if that is within your budget so you can enjoy all of your time instead of splitting it between cleaning and vacationing. You can also decorate your home with fresh flowers and plants to give it a different vibe than your usual daily setup. Skip your usual breakfast items and invest in fancy coffees, teas, and treats that you would usually find on a trip away. There are even many food delivery services that you can arrange in advance to provide freshly cooked meals for however many days you plan to vacation in. If you plan to vacation locally at a BnB or hotel, choose one that offers the atmosphere you desire for your days off.

#4 Create A Budget

Staying at home will be much more affordable than traveling somewhere far away. As a result, you can probably afford to do much more than you would otherwise have been able to if you had to worry about hotels and travel expenses. That being said, it is still critical to set a budget that is also reasonable. Aim for about a third or even half of the amount you would have spent on an external vacation. This will give you enough leeway to enjoy good food, quality cleaning services, and some entertainment without breaking the bank.

#5 Treat Your Staycation Like A Vacation

When you go away on a real vacation, your work and stress stay at home. The same thing should be true when you vacation at home. One of the best ways to do this is by not telling your officemates or your friends and family that you will be taking your time off and spending it at home. If you do, chances are people will still try to draw you in to do extra work or even stop by to infringe upon your staycation time.

#5 Unplug From The Internet & Plug Into Your Partner/Family

The most important way to make the most of your staycation is to be present and aware in each and every moment. Log off of social media, stay away from the news & television, and make an active decision to unwind. Talk with your partner and your family if they are staycationing with you. Explore activities together and use this time to reconnect without distractions. This is a great way to relearn everything there is to know about your partner or your kids while having fun at the same time.

#6 Pick Up Some Mementos

One of the best parts of traveling is picking up some meaningful goodies to take home that will remind you of your time away. Even though you are staying locally, you can still grab some momentos to remind you of your time off. Consider stopping by some local boutiques for off-the-wall items that you may have never seen until now. You can also take pictures at IG-worthy locations or during your upscale meals to mark the date. Anything that calls out to you during your staycation is a promising candidate for a souvenir.

Bringing You Relaxation Ideas With Your Budget In Mind

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Exotic Foods You Should Try

Exotic Foods You Should Try

There are so many cultures and customs all over the world and when it comes to cuisines, the variations are just as diverse. Plenty of dishes may seem strange to the uninitiated, however, they are considered delicacies not to be missed in their lands of origin. If you are interested in exploring different cultures, one of the best ways to do it is through their culinary delights. We have curated a list of some of the best exotic foods around that you shouldn’t miss.

Kobe Beef from Shin Kobe, Japan


When you think of good beef chances are your mind, goes to good ol’ local Angus. While this is not wrong, one of the best exotic dishes on our list happens to be high-quality Kobe beef from Shin Kobe in Japan. This dish is not only specially prepared, it comes from a cow raised in a special diet. The meat is so tender and juicy that it is never cooked past medium-rare. The fat marbling is so intense that even a little bit too much heat can cause that delicious fat to liquefy. Although you can find some versions of Kobe beef stateside, the best on the planet is found at the source n Shin Kobe.

Poke from Hawaii, USA


For those who love fish, this dish is a great way to step out of your comfort zone. Poke originates from Hawaii and is known as one of the best exotics foods in the world. The Ahi or Yellowfin Tuna is locally caught fresh and then cut into raw cubes. They are then liberally coated with sea salt, soy sauce, sweet onions, chili pepper, sesame oil, and limu seaweed. While it may seem like this dish would have a mushy texture, fresh Ahi has a texture that resembles ripe papaya. The poke is kept chilled and served with steamed rice. When the chilled poke and hot rice are consumed in equal proportions, the result is a diving explosion of flavor that you will never forget.

Nasi Lemak from Malaysia


The next time you are in Malaysia make time to stop and sample the Nasi Lemak. This dish is traditionally served on a freshly cut banana leaf which adds both flavor and aroma to the whole dish. The local rice is cooked in coconut milk and then topped with a sliced boiled egg. Atop that is a generous serving of sambal squid, chili sambal anchovies, fresh cucumbers, chopped peanuts, and a single piece of deep-fried chicken. Your tastebuds will never be the same once you taste this local delicacy served with love and devotion to every guest.

Turkish Meze


What better way to share meals with friends than by trying something new. Turkish Meze is a delight of flavors intended to be enjoyed among loved ones or close friends. They are in essence a selection of amuse bouche that is prepared and served prior to the main dish. These smaller servings usually come in as many as 20 different varieties. This is a social way for guests to enjoy a myriad of flavors without filling up their bellies over a long, pleasurable evening. From pickled vegetables to grilled seafood and cured meats, there is a little bit of something for everyone.

Khao Soi Curry Noodle Dish from Thailand


Thailand has a lot to offer, sunny beaches, a rich culture, and culinary delights that will tease the senses. In terms of exotic foods, this dish may seem tame, but we guarantee you have never encountered a broth quite like this one. Khao Soi is made up of hand-stretched yellow egg noodles that are extremely tender. They are then bathed in a flavor-rich broth and topped with more egg noodles, but this time deep-fried until they are crispy. What makes the broth so special is that it is made up of meat curry and a coconut milk base. The curry base can be made with beef, pork, or chicken, and depending on which area you visit, you will find each one available in abundance. Many locals enjoy Khao Soi with a variety of pickled vegetables as an accompaniment.

Gujarati Thali from Gujarat, India


There are a lot of Indian food joints around but authentic Indian food deep from the state of Gujarat is much more exotic than the tame options you find in most commercial locations. This rich dish is served on a large circular plate and depending on where you dine, as many as 10 flavorful servings of various curries. From buttery lentils, tender sambars, and spicy seasonal vegetables to salad, yogurt, and other vegetarian options. On top of the savory items, the Thali comes with a regular accompaniment of hot basmati rice and hand-rolled Durham rotis. We would be remiss not to mention the dessert served with each Thali which is either a jalebi, pudding, or other sweet.

Tagine from Morocco

Everything that is served in clay just tastes better, once you try Tagine, you will feel the same way. This mouthwatering exotic dish is named after the type of conical clay pot it is served in. An omelet is steamed, not fried that is then covered in a veritable smorgasbord of toppings. The dish will usually contain sesame, prunes, beef, or chicken in addition to seasonal vegetables. All of the ingredients are simmered together with a rich selection of spices all within the clay dish. Not only is this exotic dish full of flavor, but it also has a rich Moroccan history that comes along with it.

Fried Tarantulas from Cambodia

Most of the exotic foods on our list have been rather tame, if not adventurous in flavor profiles. We felt it only right to add at least one item to this list that would really challenge a true foodie. The next time you are in Cambodia, consider dining on a local favorite, fried Tarantulas. While this may seem like a crazy joke, this dish came about for quite terrible reasons. There was a time where the Cambodian people were so impoverished, specifically during the rule of the “bloody Khmer Rouge”, they had little choice but to live off the land. Aside from that, about a quarter of the world’s population includes spiders in their regular diets. This arachnid is first seasoned with salt and garlic and then deep-fried to perfection. You can eat it with dipping sauce or spear it with a stick to take it on the go. They are packed with protein, iron, and other nutrients that will keep you energized all day long.

Expanding Your Horizons With Food From Around The World

Here at The Narrative Matters, we are dedicated to speaking about topics that matter to you and to the culture. We pride ourselves in partnering with Content Publishers to bring topics and areas of interest that impact our readers to the forefront. If you are interested in growing your audience with content that matters, you can find out more here. We cover a range of genres from pop culture, lifestyle, and emerging trends to health, politics, education, and more.

10 Things to Do This Summer Now That You’re Vaccinated

10 Things to Do This Summer Now That You’re Vaccinated

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With vaccinations rolling out of clinics around the country, we can all start to resume our normal summertime activities. Since not everyone has been vaccinated, you may not want to go too crazy.

As you take your first steps into the sun without a mask or just hang out at home, you may be wondering what you should do. Well, here are 10 things you can do this summer now that you’re vaccinated.

1.Go hiking

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Especially since hiking won’t put you in contact with too many people, this is a great way to ease yourself back into being a part of the big open world. Local, national, or state parks provide great opportunities to see the outdoors without worrying about anyone sneezing on your collar.

2. Tour your city

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Whether you live in a small town or a big city, there are a ton of attractions that you may have never explored. Live like a vacationer in your own town and go see some sites.

3. Go farming

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Many people don’t realize that orchards and farms offer paid or free visits for you to come and collect produce. Health food lovers should love taking advantage of the herbs, nuts, and fruit that you can find.

4. Take a dip

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The water provides ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors without getting too close to other humans. If you have a kayak or canoe or just a swimsuit for the beach, you have tons of opportunities to have a good time. If you bring a picnic and romantic partner, you get extra credit.

5. Museum learning

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Museums are both out in the world and sparsely crowded so they’re an ideal return-to-normalcy trip. Many of them, including art galleries and memorials, are free to visit on certain days.

6. Dust off your bike

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Bike trails in major cities and towns provide ample opportunities to reacquaint yourself with the great outdoors. You can shed those pesky quarantine pounds at the same time.

7. Movie night

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Movie nights can take many forms. You can invite everyone over into your pillow fort, project one onto a sheet on your lawn, or find a small arthouse theater to hang out in.

8. Camping

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Camping can be great fun, even if it’s just in your backyard. It’s an ideal summer pastime, especially if you know places where fishing and fire pits are a possibility.

9. Read, read, read

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Reading is a great summer hobby. It’s even better outdoors in a park or hammock. Find a local book reading and relax with fellow lit lovers.

10. D&D time

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Dungeons & Dragons is a fantastic roleplaying experience when you have the right group of friends. But you actually need to be in the same room! If your guild is dusty or if you haven’t started one yet, now may be the time to get back in the adventure.

The Takeaway

Vaccinations reopen the possibilities of having a fun summertime in the great outdoors. But just because you’ve been vaccinated doesn’t mean you have to do anything crazy! From hiking trails to D&D quests, we just wanted to give you some of the options worth considering for your newfound freedom, whether you want to spend it in the sun or the shade.

Each month we curate and present subjects and topics that matter to you. We work with Content Publishers in each of the major areas that impact our readers. Find out more about how you as a content publisher can benefit and grow your audience with curated content.

From Lifestyle to Entertainment to Business and Politics, The Narrative Matters showcases the content from the top minds and authors in their generation.

What are some simple tips to improve your health?

What are some simple tips to improve your health?

Mental health is an investment like physical health. Your daily activities affect your overall self-care. In the case of your mental health, this care determines how you view your life and what you take from it. For physical health, your care helps you face daily challenges and live a long life free of pain, excess weight, and stress.

These simple tips can help you improve your mental and physical health so that you can live as long and as happily as possible.

Get off the junk food

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Overprocessed food is a major culprit of health issues in the Western world. Don’t rely on refined grains, added sugars, fast food, frozen meals, and other sources of nutrient-deficient food. Instead, shop fresh as much as you can (it’s often cheaper!), snack on healthy foods like nuts and fruits, and don’t let yourself go hungry. Instead, get full on healthy snacks.

Don’t drink sugar

This may be the best diet tip we can give you. Americans drink sugar in their soda, coffee, and tea and drive themselves down the road to obesity and diabetes quicker this way than any other. Even fruit juices that contains artificial sugars are as bad as soda

… but get your coffee in

Having said that, coffee is great for you! Coffee lowers your risk for long-term diseases and contains antioxidants. Go easy on the sugar and caffeine content but don’t be afraid to get your daily coffee in.

Sleep well and often

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The right sleep schedule can help you regulate insulin, appetite, and mental performance as much as any diet can. Poor sleep, defined as fewer than 7 or more than 9 hours a day, can mess up your rhythms and lead to issues. Healthy sleep can set everything right.

Talk about your emotions

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Many people (especially men) believe that they have to keep everything bottled up. However, not talking about your feelings when you feel troubled can lead to stress, muscle tension, weight gain, poor sleep, and all kinds of issues. Give your loved ones time to vent their feelings. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, consider visiting a counselor regularly to get things off your chest.

Take probiotics

Probiotics are the bacteria that live in your gut and control most of your immune system and digestive function. When your gut bacteria are out of whack, you become susceptible to problems ranging from obesity to autoimmune disorders. Eat yogurt, kefir, bone broth, and other sources of probiotics (especially if you’ve recently been on antibiotics) to get your processes flowing again.

Drink enough water

Water helps you regulate your metabolism, get nutrients to muscles, burn calories, and even reduce stress. Drinking water before meals has been proven to increase weight loss. Aim for half your body weight in ounces per day.

Move, move, move

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Exercise can seem intimidating but for most of us, all our bodies need is a little movement. A half-hour of walking per day can do wonders for your circulation, insulin resistance, and weight control. If you sit for a living, get up and stretch every hour.

The Takeaway

These simple tips can help you keep your mental and physical health in shape for the week, the year, and your whole future. The important thing is to keep a steady routine of good habits. In other words, you don’t have to give up junk food forever. You just have to make your long-term habits the healthy ones.

Each month we curate and present subjects and topics that matter to you by working with Content Publishers in the major areas that impact our readers. Find out more about how you as a content publisher can benefit and grow your audience with curated content.

From Lifestyle to Entertainment to Business and Politics, Narrative Matters showcases the content from the top minds and authors in their generations.

9 Black-Owned Fashion Brands You Should Know About

9 Black-Owned Fashion Brands You Should Know About

There are a lot of ways you can go about expressing your personal style, but what can be more fun than showing off your fashion sense? With a wide assortment of designers and brands to choose from it can be hard to set yourself apart in the crowd with so many big names following the same trends. Thankfully, there are some great black-owned brands and black designers that offer a range of styles that will fit your aesthetic and your lifestyle.

From high fashion gowns you can wear to your next corporate event all the way to vintage streetwear that showcases POC creativity, these black-owned brands have their fingers on the pulse. We cover clothes, accessory labels, and many others. Many of these black-owned brands have flown under the radar while others have been spotted on the likes of Beyonce and more.

Nicole Shante

For your next party or upscale event, Nicole Shante is the brand to choose. From passionate prints to bold pantsuits, all eyes will be on you when you enter the room. The focus of this brand is high-quality fabrics, rich colors, and detailed tailoring that create a timeless look for any body type. The brand never compromises on fashion and makes sure to cater to a diverse crowd for complete inclusively.

Tove Studio

Are you looking for a carefree outfit that accentuates your curves? If so, then Tove Studio is just the brand for you. This black-owned brand features romantic styles and carefree outfits that will take you back to the summers of your childhood. Breezy skirts and dreamy dresses will make you feel ultra-feminine and bring out your natural beauty. Pair their outfits with simple heals and some boho arm candy to bring the whole look together.


This black-owned fashion label started off in LA and is currently one of the most well-known high-end labels in the industry. The collections offered are the opposite of fast fashion, instead, focusing on timeless beauty that will last for decades. Most of the pieces are a mix of classic silhouettes created in a way that is completely androgynous. From printed backless tops to simple vests and printed T-shirts, you are sure to find something that sparks your stylistic desire from this brand.


Move over Kim Kardashian, and make room for Liberté. This black-owned brand is all about making beautiful lingerie from high-end French fabrics for women of all sizes. Their lacy designs will make you feel sexy at any size, and they even have extended cup sizes that were created with POC bodies in mind. They offer sexy sets and also those intended for regular use. No matter what your taste, size, or body shape, Liberté has something from their brand to make you feel sexy.


When it comes to styling, it is often the little things that will bring a whole look together. This black-owned brand creates delicate jewelry from real gold. The chains are crafted with style in mind but are also strong enough for daily wear. They offer a range of premade messages on their chains or you can customize your jewelry to make it all your own. Many people noticed Michelle Obama’s “vote” necklace ahead of the last election, and it may surprise you to know that she ordered her necklace from this amazing black-owned brand!

LaQuan Smith

In the world of women’s wear, it can be hard to become one of the brands that dress the elite. However, LaQuan Smith, who is a native of Queens in New York, has done more than break into fashion. He has created an elite brand that has been seen on many stars such as Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Lizzo, J-Lo, and many others. The brand shares its name and his collection is known for not only enhancing the female form but also celebrating it in all of its iterations. Although he is a favorite of A-list celebrities, his well-tailored clothing is available to all on his website.


Every year there is a trendy item that captures the attention and the imaginations of the fashion-forward. This past year, that happened to be the colorful and creative satin bags made by the black-owned brand Roop. These colorful bags are both elegant and playful at the same time making them a perfect complement to any spring or summer outfit. All of the fabrics used to make these bags are leftovers that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill. This is not only good for the environment, but it also means that each and every creation is one of a kind.

Le Beau Monde

For those who love to follow fashion trends but prefer to keep a moderate budget, La Beau Monde is the place to be. This black-owned brand is always on top of trends and even makes them from time to time while still keeping their products affordable. You can pick up a hot halter dress for a night out on the town for less than $30, or you can even dress yourself in a summer delight for about the same price. No matter what you desire there is something trendy and affordable available that will meet your needs and your style.


In recent years this brand has been making waves at the street level and on the catwalk. Virgil Abloh has created a brand that is dedicated to unique streetwear that speaks to fashion-forward artists of all ages. With more than 10 million Instagram followers, this label has set the catwalk on fire with its statement pieces and other seasonal items that are always created in limited quantities. Aside from clothing, you can add their bags, trainers, and belts to your wardrobe for an instantly recognizable outfit that is worthy of the gram.

Keeping You Connected With The Fashion Pulse

Here at The Narrative Matters, we are dedicated to speaking about topics that matter to you and to the culture. We pride ourselves in partnering with Content Publishers to bring topics and areas of interest that impact our readers to the forefront. If you are interested in growing your audience with content that matters, you can find out more here. We cover a range of genres from pop culture, lifestyle, and emerging trends to health, politics, education, and more. 


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Father’s Day Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Father’s Day Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Father’s Day is just around the corner and time for shopping is growing perilously short. Depending on the Dad, finding a perfect gift can be much harder than you think which is why you should start looking now. Of course, you can always ask the special man in your life directly what he wants, but when you curate a gift on his behalf, it will be more heartfelt. Instead of sticking to the played-out options of ties, pens, and golf clubs, consider choosing a unique gift from one of the Black-owned brands in our round-up.

When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, the best ones are both sentimental and practical. Think about your dad’s hobbies, habits, and secret desires. Will he love a personalized art print or perhaps is he in need of something to help him relax on the weekends? Perhaps he has been looking for a way to overhaul his wardrobe, whatever you choose, these POC businesses are sure to help you make Father’s Day 2021 one to remember.


This website is the brainchild of twin brothers, both of which are innovative Black men with a vision. There are a plethora of sustainable options to choose from for Dad’s or other meaningful men in your life this Father’s Day. Pick up some brightly colored Hammam Dot Towel sets to brighten up their bathroom or treat them to some self-care gifts from the bath and body section. No matter what you choose, the products are guaranteed to be thoughtful, high quality, and smile-inducing for the man you love.

Uncommon Goods

For the man in your life that loves customized creations, Uncommon Goods has a lot to offer. From specialty sugar cubes to create beer cocktails and “mine” liquor flask to luxury grilling utensils and beer-infused barbecue rubs, you are certain to find a gift that makes him smile. All of the products are made and sold by independent proprietors so you can pick and choose where to spend your money responsibly this Father’s Day.


Nothing says I love you more than food. Most dads are the ones manning the grill on the holidays or bringing in the bacon for the family to enjoy. This year why not treat the food-loving father figure in your life to a truly unique gift. You can order meal kits, fully cooked meals, classes, or even a meal delivery subscription for the man in your life who loves to eat. The founder, Joe Ariel understands the connection that comfort food has with emotions and makes sure that a little bit of heart and soul goes into every delivery.

Golde Superfoods

Everyone wants their day to be as healthy as possible to enjoy everything life has to offer. One way to keep your dad healthy is with delicious superfoods. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be tasteless, and with delights from Golde, you can keep him fit and full this Father’s Day. This brand was created by a woman of color who wanted to find healthier options in the urban environment. You can set your dad up with Matcha mixes to boost his energy or blueberry-flavored drinks to help reduce his stress levels. In addition to superfoods to improve his internal health, they also offer a range of skincare items that will help turn back the hands of time and give him a natural glow.

Golden Grooming Co.

For men of color, skincare and grooming is often just an afterthought. If you want to give your dad a thoughtful gift that he can use all year long, consider picking up one of the bundles. There are beard oils, body washes, moisturizers, and more that are crafted from 100% all-natural products. The items are geared towards men of color though anyone can use them with equally superior performance. If you want to make him laugh, pick up The Grown Ass Man Box which offers a mix of everything the brand has to offer. To top it off, a percentage of their profit to students at HBCUs and other programs that support entrepreneurship for Black youths in underserved communities.

Gift Ideas From The Heart 

Here at The Narrative Matters, we are dedicated to speaking about topics that matter to you and to the culture. We pride ourselves in partnering with Content Publishers to bring topics and areas of interest that impact our readers to the forefront. If you are interested in growing your audience with content that matters, you can find out more here. We cover a range of genres from pop culture, lifestyle, and emerging trends to health, politics, education, and more. 

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