Tag Archives: Revolucion Coffee + Juice

And we have a sign!

20 Apr

Happy Friday my friends!  Construction at the new coffee shop has been going great but it’s pretty much a full time job now.  Meeting contractors, buying supplies, evaluating work, managing when city inspections take place, etc…  If all goes as planned, we should be done in a few weeks and open for business!

And the best thing to happen lately is that our sign was completed.  Looks official now!  I love what the sign company came up with. They really gave our logo life by making it dimensional.  I also really like how they had the idea of raising the sign above the roof of the building.  It stands out and really draws attention.  What do you think?



DIY Demolition!!

27 Mar

I haven’t blogged much about our woes trying to obtain the renovation permit for our coffee shop. I didn’t because I felt talking about it wouldn’t be positive and would just make things worse.   By things worse, I mean my attitude and faith.  To make a long story short, all we wanted to do was open a small coffee shop but it’s been a long painful journey.  (We actually started the process for our coffee shop dream in October 2011.)  It’s taken months and months working with city officials…and it’s also cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

For a tiny coffee shop with a small coffee bar, the city required us to hire architects and engineers.  We even had install things we’ll probably never use like a grease trap.  The trials have been exhausting both mentally and financially.

But I can talk about it now because it’s all in the past!

I finally have good news to report….we received our renovation permit!!!  WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!

We received our permit at 4pm last Thursday.  I immediately called our contractors but because of the last minute notice, none of them could come until the following week.

So instead of sitting still and waiting for contractors, my 66 year old dad and I decided to demo the place ourselves!!  My dad may be 66, but he’s the strongest toughest man I know.  He didn’t hesitate at all when I said I had hoped to start some demolition work.

So at 7am Friday, my dad and I started the demolition process!

(Half the left wall removed)

There was a wall that separated the store space that needed to be completely removed and a wall to the bathroom had to be removed so that the bathroom could be expanded.

 (Bathroom wall coming down)

It might seem like a fun job…knocking down walls.  But it was HARD work.  My right bicep still hurts like hell from swinging sledgehammers and even an axe at times.

(Starting on the other half of the big wall)

By the way, if you are considering tearing a wall and have never done it before…it’s VERY important to make sure the wall is not “load bearing“.  Load bearing means that part of the structure (usually the ceiling) is depending on it.  If a load bearing wall is removed, the structure above could collapse.  So please verify structure integrity before tearing down walls.  The walls we removed were not load bearing which is why we felt comfortable doing the project ourselves without professionals.

(Main wall almost completely down)

My dad and I completely demo’d out all the walls on Friday. Thanks to our demo work, the contractors were able to start working on carpentry, plumbing and electrical work today!!

(Demolition Complete!)

I’ll take pictures and start showing the entire transformation…which hopefully will be fully completed in a few weeks!

Viva La Revolucion!



What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Dave’s Steamed Mussels!

14 Mar

This last week I was in Los Angeles for coffee training and to visit the coffee roasters we are going to use in our new coffee shop. It was a nice change because for once in a long time, we actually got to feel like things were progressing for the coffee shop.  The last few months in San Antonio, things have been at a standstill dealing with the city trying obtain permits needed for construction.  We still have not been able to start any construction work at the new retail location and it sometimes feels like it will never happen –which is quite depressing and stressful since we have a lot of money and time invested in this endeavor.  I am sorry I have not been blogging much. Life has seemed so gloomy and with all the coffee shop stress and it’s been hard to find time to blog about decorating inspiration.  :(   I know things will get better — I just hope it happens soon.

Los Angeles was a much needed get away and a very positive experience.  I got to spend quite a bit of time with my best friend there, Dave Young, who own’s Dave’s Catering.  Dave’s Catering is an innovative catering company in Hollywood that puts on spectacular events including celebrity dinners, parties and weddings.  Dave started Dave’s Catering 4 years ago when I first met him and it’s inspiring to see how much it’s grown since inception. Even since I last moved from Los Angeles 7 months ago, Dave’s Catering has progressed exponentially including having more than 30 events during December!! 30 parties in one month is insane!! I am so happy for Dave because he’s a risk taker and a hard worker and Dave deserves all the success he’s achieved! Hopefully all our hard work in the coffee shop will start to see positive results soon as well.

While I was staying with Dave in LA, Dave gave me some great cooking tips and we even cooked a few meals together.  I took lots of pictures and notes and will be sharing all with you! :)

One of my favorite meals were Dave’s mussels.  I had always wanted to cook mussels at home but was hesitant.  Even though it only takes a few minutes, cooking seafood hidden in shells seemed risky.   I am glad Dave showed me how because it was easy!  And it’s also a relatively cheap meal to make which is a plus. The mussels for the batch we made cost $6. And since Dave already had the remaining ingredients in his pantry and fridge, there were not any additional costs.


  • 1 Pound of Mussels
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups of wine or champagne (Dave usually uses champagne but we used leftover white wine for this time)
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1/8 cup olive oil

How To

Step one: CLEAN, ClEAN and CLEAN!  The only small hassle with cooking mussels at home is cleaning them.  The exterior of the shells have hair and dirt and must be cleaned thoroughly since the shells are cooked in the broth that will be consumed.  Clean the mussels with a brush or abrasive sponge removing as much dirt and hair as possible.  Then soak for 15 minutes.  Repeat this process 1-2 times until as clean as possible. Remember to leave the shells closed since they will pop open when cooking.  Also be careful because the sides of the mussels are sharp.  Dave actually cut himself making these. It was just a small paper sized cut but regardless…be careful.

While the mussels are soaking, prep the veggies by chopping the garlic, shallot and tomato.

Melt butter with olive oil on medium heat in medium to large pan on stovetop.  One of Dave’s tips to avoid burning is to always add a dash of olive oil whenever using butter.  Dave says the olive oil helps reduce the volatility in butter.

Once melted, add the garlic, shallot and tomato.  Continue cooking on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the wine or champagne.

Cook for one minute and then add cream.

Cook for 2-3 more minutes.  (Optional addition at this point: salt and pepper.  Taste and see if it is necessary or in line with your taste buds.  We added just a dash of salt and pepper.)

Add mussels.

The next step is important…COVER POT WITH LID!!!  Covering with lid creates a steam which cooks the mussels thoroughly.

Keep pan covered with lid but check every minute on progress.

Immediately some mussels should start opening up.

Within about 5 minutes, all mussels should open up.  Once they are all opened, this is an indicator they are cooked completely and ready to eat.

Eat and enjoy!

One of the things I enjoy most about mussels is dipping bread in the sauce!  And Dave made homemade bread because he is of course AMAZING!

Doesn’t that look unreal!?  What until you try to make these mussels yourself.!  So easy.  And the best part is most of the ingredients can be substituted.  The beauty of making mussels is that the sauce is very forgiving and flexible.  Feel free to use whatever leftovers you have.  We used white wine but champagne or even red wine could be used.  Also we used shallots for this version but onions certainly could have been utilized.  And lastly, tomatoes could have been substituted for something else or omitted completely.

I can’t wait to share all the other recipes Dave taught me with you.  Just to tease you a little here are some of Dave’s recipes I’ll share with you the next few weeks…

Homemade bread, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Onion Soup Pot Roast, Brown Onion Gravy, Roasted Eggplant Chips, Homemade Mozzarella and Caprese Salad and Coconut Pudding.

If you are in the Los Angeles area or just want to know more about Dave, check out his blog here.




DIY Coffee Shop Chair Redos

21 Feb

Commercial restaurant chairs are very expensive.  We couldn’t find any restaurant quality chairs for our new coffee shop that cost under $100.  On one of my estate sale crusades, I happened to come across a warehouse that was being liquidated.  It was there I found these used restaurant chairs priced at $25 each.  Because we bought 18, they let us have them discounted at $15 each. Score!

The chairs were a great style that fit into the decor we were striving for.  They were well made with solid iron and wood yet lightweight and the perfect size to fit under the coffee shop tables we were going to use.

BUT as with most DIY great deals… they needed quite a bit of work.

The seat covers were in horrible condition and the fabric was damaged.

And the wood had seen a lot of wear and tear and was chipped all over.

Nothing a little fabric, sanding, stain and elbow grease can’t solve!

Thankfully my mother-in-law moved to San Antonio because she was my refinishing buddy on these chairs. Being that there were 18 of them, I needed all the help I could get.

First, the chairs were scrubbed clean.  Then the seat covers were unscrewed and removed.

Once the seat covers were removed, more problems were identified.

More scratches…

as well as discoloration and lots of dirt!

Which involved more and more cleaning.

Then we sanded away.  The chairs only needed a light sanding in most places but more extensive sanding in the chipped areas.  We sanded everywhere including the sides and even the parts of the chairs that weren’t damaged so that the stain would adhere.

Next, it was time to stain.  The chairs came in 3 colors and we wanted to maintain that variety and keep them the same color. I tried my best to find stain colors that matched the current colors and the colors that seemed to be best suited were Minwax’s Natural, Red Oak and Ebony.

The stain made a large difference.  The chairs actually looked new again.

Here are the red ones before…

and then after…

Looks new doesn’t it!?

After all the chairs were stained and the excess wiped off, Howard Feed N Wax sealer was applied.

Next it was time to work on the chair seats.  I don’t have pictures of this in process but it was very easy.  The old fabric was removed and new fabric was adhered by stapling underneath.  We used duck cloth which is one of my favorite fabrics to work with.  Duck cloth is relatively inexpensive and it’s strong enough to be used for upholstery fabric. It’s a thick canvas like material that’s very durable.  Duck cloth comes in lots of solid colors and is usually always available at most fabric stores.

Since the wood on the chairs came in a variety of colors, we decided to also use a little variation with the seat covers by using two different fabric colors: blue and grey.

Here are our assembly lines of our work in process.  All 18 seat covers were replaced and sprayed with 3 layers of Scotch Guard. Since they will receive lots of traffic, the Scotch Guard will help protect against spills and dirt.

The blonde and red colored chairs still have sealer drying on them but the black chairs are dry and completed.

All the black chairs are completely finished and have their new seat covers reattached.  I am really impressed with the difference.  Even though it was quite a bit of work, it was a large savings and the results are better than any of the “new” chairs available for purchase.

Here is another before and after comparison!

Such a transformation, don’t you agree?  I’m very excited about how well they are turning out. I’ll post pictures of all of them including the blonde and red ones after they are all completed this week.

- Angie

Monday Inspiration

30 Jan

Carrie’s inspiration:


Bright, vibrant color.

For my outfits and my home. Little pops of color as we roll into spring.

I love this from J. Crew Spring 2012:


Annie Sloan’s has a gorgeous red chalk paint, Emperor’s Silk, which is the most beautiful red paint. The perfect mix of red with blue and orange. I’d love a red piece like this:


Loving these orange bar stools:

This painting is stunning:

Source: brabournefarm.blogspot.com via Carrie@2friends2cities on Pinterest

And this bright graphic print to start the week positive:


Angie’s inspriration this week:

My inspiration this week all comes from the amazing Donna Rullo.  My meeting with Donna last week was so insightful.  I can’t wait to share and show you all the things we are going to make for the coffee shop.

I don’t have many pictures because these decor and furniture items haven’t been created yet so you’ll have to use your imagination with me to envision what will be!

There are so many ideas Donna shared with me it was overwhelming. I’ll start sharing two with you here now. Then I’ll be working like mad over the next two months trying to complete them so that we can get our coffee shop up and running in April.  And of course, I’ll share all these projects with you along the way.

1) First and foremost, Donna is going to help us merge all our styles in the coffee shop together.  Before we met Donna, we had already been buying things we liked and wanted to install in our coffee shop.  The problem is the styles aren’t currently cohesive with each other.  We’ve bought furniture and decor from three different design styles: industrial, mid-century and classical antiques.

I wish I had pictures to show you of a table we purchased but the lighting was dark in our coffee shop so I’ll have to post one later (the city has not turned on the electricity yet!) .   Most of the furniture we are putting in the coffee shop will be small but we want at least one large table to serve as a community area for people to share which will also allow a large party to sit together. The table we found is beautiful and big – approximately 3’8″ by 7′.    The table is ornate on the bottom having two large engraved legs – one on each side.  The table is all wood and a medium dark shade of brown. I want to use the new chalk paint Carry bought me to paint the legs.

I thought bright paint would emphasize the beautiful legs and the blue color would help integrate the other mid-century colored furniture that will be in the coffee shop.  But…Donna had another idea to really make the table fuse with our three styles.   Donna suggested we install industrial metal on top.  The metal top will be more durable and easier to clean as opposed to leaving the top wood.  And now the table will contain three of the styles we are going for: a) the table was already classic antique b) painting the legs will make it cohesive with the other furnitures’ mid-century colors and c) the metal top will go with the other industrial things also. Genius.

2) I had never met with a designer before so I wasn’t sure what to bring to the meeting.  And the coffee shop is basically an empty space right now so there isn’t much to work with.  So I did what I could to prepare for the meeting by saving pictures of things I found and liked from the internet and also took pictures of things I already owned (that’s currently stuffed like sausage in our home garage!).  Donna is so talented she immediately made something out of nothing. What I really loved was she used things we had to create new things.  She looked at the pictures of  things we already owned and created new ideas for them.  One of which was this pallet.

I originally had plans of using pallet wood to help create an industrial decor by using the pallets as shelving or wall covering.  Donna had a better idea. Donna wants to take this pallet and make it a large light chandelier. It will hang over the large community table with chains and look something like this.

That’s just a little teaser. There are so many  more ideas from Donna! I’d better get to work!

By the way, if you read my post the other day about Donna, please check it out again. I added at least 10 more pictures of Donna’s amazing design creations..most of which Donna made herself including huge faux yarn balls and a large bird cage attached to the wall stuffed with vintage book pages.

What are you inspired by this week?

Friday’s Happy Things

20 Jan

Happy Friday everyone!  I am so ready for this weekend.  It’s been a long crazy week!

Carrie and I have been working on adding new content and recurring themes to TwoFriendsTwoCities and are eager to share our new blogging schedule with you:

  • Every Monday, we’ll post interior design ideas that inspire us
  • Tuesdays will feature DIY projects
  • Wednesday will still be our What’s For Dinner Wednesday series where recipes are featured.  It’s hard to believe but we’ve had this food series since November 2010!  Since the series is weekly, that’s at least 60 recipes we’ve shared with you.  What an we say…we Texas girls love food and testing out new recipes.  Lately we’ve been becoming more aware of what’s hidden inside packaged foods and it’s quite shocking.  Eating healthier and eliminating artificial ingredients in our diets is big on our personal agendas for 2012, so you’ll start seeing more of these type of healthy recipes and discoveries on What’s For Dinner Wednesday.
  • Thursday will be personal blogging about whatever is going on in the world: the news, our lives, whatever floats our boat (or your boat!).  So if you want to hear about anything particular or have always wanted to know something about us, now’s your chance! Just let us know and we’ll do our best to fit it in.
  • Friday will simply feature things that make us happy.  There’s always been small things or subjects we wanted to share with you…just little things we come across like a funny statement or a new find on Pinterest.  However we’ve been hesitant and not shared them because the subject matter didn’t seem worthy enough for an entire blog post.  Well, that’s where our new Happy Friday Things comes into play.  Now we can cram all these little random things in one post for a fun Friday read.

We started our new schedule this week and so you might recall some of these themes already.

So now for Friday’s Happy Things…

The main thing that makes me happy this week is that I was able to hang out with Carrie last night!!!! Carrie and I talk on the phone, blog and text with each other every day but it’s been almost 3 months since we were able to spend time face to face. The last time we were together was at the Round Top antique fair in October. Carrie arrived in San Antonio yesterday to work on a project and we were able to sneak in a little time together.  After she finished working, we headed to Paloma Blanca for some mojitos!  It was so nice hanging out with her and I can’t wait to do more of it this weekend.  After Carrie finishes working today, we have plans that involve Mexican food and margaritas at Soluna (a delicious Mexican restaurant next door to our future coffee shop!) and then Saturday we are headed to some estate sales!  There’s nothing like antique shopping with my TwoFriendsTwoCities and Lizzie + Luckett partner!!

Other things that make me happy at this moment are the great finds I scored estate sales last weekend.

With estate sales, you never know what you will get.  Some have crazy good bargains with just the type of décor you love and others are horrid expensive let downs.   What I love about San Antonio estate sales are that they are real estate sales.  In Los Angeles, it was always a big trick.  They would classify a sale as an estate sale in the paper but when I showed up, it was nothing more than a junky garage sale.  I love a good garage sale but there is a a big disappointed in expecting antique furniture and instead seeing someone’s old clothes and unwanted refrigerator parts. I had quite a bit of good luck at estate sales the first few months I moved to San Antonio but the last few months haven’t been so hot.  Perhaps people weren’t having as many estate sales due to the holidays?  I am not sure why there was a slump but I think my good luck is back because I scored such a good deal last weekend, I can still hardly believe it.

All of this glassware: one cake cloche, one wine decanter, one crystal bowl and five large heavy red wine glasses…

and this 8 piece set of gold rimmed porcelain…

….all for a whopping! $23!!! I had been shopping for cake cloche stands for our future coffee shop, and found most to be priced from $40-100 plus shipping.   The fact that I got 16 pieces of glassware (including the vintage cake cloche) and porcelain for $23 is unbelievable isn’t it?  I bought the decanter to serve juice at our new coffee shop and the crystal bowl was also for the coffee shop and will be used to serve mints, biscotti, etc…

I ended up paying quite a bit for these electrical insulators but I justified it since they are for resale on Lizzie + Luckett.  They are so beautiful I catch myself constantly staring at them.

I love how the light reflects through them.  They are currently for sale on Lizzie + Luckett but if they don’t sell in the next few days, I am seriously considering pulling them off Lizzie + Luckett and keeping them for myself.  I have lots or orange and teal in my home décor and these fit right in.

If you had not heard of electrical insulators before, they were originally made to keep telegraph and telephone wires electrically insulated from wooden telephone poles (especially important in the rain). With the additional needs of rural electrification, there was a big insulator boom in the early 20th century, peaking from the 1920s through the 1940s.  Insulators are now highly collectable and the three I found are made by Hemingray.  They are at least 70-90 years old and were a superb find because they are like new without a single crack or chip.

Since most of the things I bought at the estate sale were for Revolucion Coffee or Lizzie + Luckett, I decided I needed a little retail therapy myself.  I bought this messenger bag at Tumi.  I feel like such a cool hipster when I wear it!

That’s what made me happy this week!  How about you?


My journey from an accountant to a barista

19 Jan

I have some exciting news to announce:  my husband and I are opening a coffee shop!!







It’s been dream of ours for many years.  The dream developed roots back in 2006 in Austin, Texas.  My husband and I were living downtown on 13th street and this out of the world little coffee shop popped up two blocks away.  The coffee shop was named Caffé Medici and they served “real” coffee.  High quality coffee and handmade espressos.  Caffé Medici’s coffee was an artistic and a culinary experience.  It blew our minds and taste buds away.

We weren’t aware that coffee could taste so good.  We had previously had spent our coffee years away drinking frappuccinos and sugar laden lattes made with inferior coffee from the big national chain not knowing there were other options.   After experiencing Caffé Medici, we dove deep into an intense coffee education.  For those of you that don’t know, there’s a whole other coffee world that is as complicated and diverse as wine. We quickly learned that coffee wasn’t just a caffeine injection, it was a culinary treat.  We bought a home roaster and played with roasting and grinding our own coffee.  We sampled coffee from all over the world and made coffee and espresso in ways we never imagined.

For years, terms like single origin, country and farm origin, tasting notes and micro-roasters filled our dialogue.  After we moved from Austin to Mexico, our coffee exposure increased exponentially.








In Mexico, we were located close to good Mexican coffee farms like those in Chiapas.  Another thing in Mexico we experienced was the art form of making espresso.  As in Italy, most places in Mexico make coffee and espressos the old fashioned way…handmade.  They still use espresso machines but the barista plays a big part – they are almost 99% responsible for how the espresso shot comes out.  Baristas have to control by hand the water pressure and the quality and amount of the coffee grinds.  You might see baristas at the big chains in the United States frothing some milk but what you don’t see behind the scenes is that they usually push one button that automatically grinds the beans and spits out poor quality espresso shots.

When we moved from Mexico to Los Angeles, there were more decadent coffee experiences.   The five years we spent in Los Angeles consisted of indulging in local indy coffee shops experiencing new surprises and ingredients like soy, almond milk and green matcha lattes.











When we moved to San Antonio in August, our coffee consumption came to a screeching halt.  We live in what is considered one of the most innovative and progressive areas of San Antonio and there wasn’t one single local independent coffee shop in sight.  And there were only a few of the famous coffee chains…and even they weren’t located close by either.    Two months into living in San Antonio, we decided that the fact that there weren’t any coffee shops must be a sign that we had to finally start our own dream coffee shop.  In October we found the perfect retail location.  For the next month, we filled out application forms and created a business plan.  Luckily both our application and business plan were approved by the landlord and lease contract negotiations started.  Negotiating the lease took 3 months!! Everything from what specific items we intended to sale, hours of operation to construction remodeling details had to be outlined and signed off on.  This week, we finally received our signed lease contract.  Now everything is legal and we can start the next phase of renovating the retail space.

I never imagined when I quit my job last April what a whirlwind of happiness would be bestowed upon me.  I was terrified to quit my career in accounting and give it all up for the unknown.  Thank goodness I finally took that leap of faith because now I’m able to enjoy all my passions in life.  In June, two months after quitting my job, I started Malibu Dog, an online dog supply store.

If you have followed our blog for a while, you know our two Havenese dogs (Oscar & Arnold) are our children.  When they were first introduced into our lives, my husband and I had a hard time finding well-made, safe pet products.  I started Malibu Dog to offer other pet owners the best products we had found in our own pursuits and make them available for their pets.  Malibu Dog is still in its infancy stage but it’s slowly growing and has been quite an education in creating an online business. Quitting my job also allowed me to dive deeper into the blogging and the design world with Carrie, building more on TwoFriendsTwoCities and also starting our new vintage store Lizzie + Luckett.





Like Malibu Dog, Lizzie + Luckett is in it’s infancy form – (it’s actually only a few weeks old!) but we have huge plans for it in 2012.  Some things we are planning are expanding our offerings, working with other vendors, making our own online store in addition to our Etsy store and participating in some antique trade shows.

And now on top of all that…I’ll soon have a coffee shop!

The coffee shop isn’t going to be a walk in the park.  We have lots of hard work ahead of us.  There are complicated city permits, construction work that needs to be managed and planning out all the intricate details like menu, supplies, equipment and labor. But we hope our dream of having an Italian-caliber coffee shop will be success and a labor of love.











We decided on the Revolución Coffee + Juice. Here’s our logo!

As much as we love coffee, we feel selling juice is an important healthy concept and will help expand our product offerings.  And we also really love juice.  We chose the name Revolución because it signifies a new way of doing things.  We are going to have a new concept in coffee offerings and provide healthy eating options.  We also chose to spell the word Revolución the Spanish way with a “C’ as a special homage to the incredible time we spent time living in Mexico.  The Spanish spelling also fits because many of our coffee, juice and food items will be influenced by things we experienced living in Mexico including using cajeta and condensed milk in some specialty drinks and playing with fruit juice combinations.

I am sure many people might think I’m working too hard and all over the place with my business pursuits.  Dog products, Interior Design, Blogging, Coffee + Juice….  But I was always immersed in these subjects before so might as well work in them.  They already consume my life, each in their very own ways.  Back in my accounting career days, I constantly read business strategy books.  I remember an excerpt from one of Donald Trump’s books that stuck with me.  Donald was commenting on the fact that he gets lots of criticism from working too hard and he basically stated that he loved what he did so he never thought of it as work.  That’s how I feel now.  I worked like a dog with my accounting career – long hours and days full of stress. Now, I am working and doing more than I ever did as an accountant but it doesn’t feel like work at all.  I am excited and loving all I do.

The coffee shop is not going to take time away from blogging with TwoFriendsTwoCities and I hope you will follow me on my journey with it.  Since my husband and I are on a tight budget with the coffee shop and because we love designing things, we are going to be doing most of the interior and construction design ourselves.  That means making our own tables, creating art, decorating and painting and a slew of other DIY projects.  And food.  I have lots of recipes to test and share with you.  Scones, granola, juice and smoothie experimenting.  I can’t wait to share all these things with you!

Viva La Revolución!


And in the words of Steve Jobs:

(All the pictures in this post are property of TwoFriendsTwoCities, all inspiration quotes courtesy of Pinterest)

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