10.30.2013

Stripes & Dingle Balls

Betties N Brimstone: Outfit of the Day
dress - target / shirt - Macy's / leggings - Torrid / scarf - Betseyville (via JCPenney) / glasses - Coastal.com / boots - MooShoes
Betties N Brimstone: Outfit of the Day

So this whole outfit comes from the fact that I bought a Betseyville scarf on clearance via JCPenney.com, and I thought it was amazing because it has dingle balls.  It happens to be a color that I do not have a lot of, so I decided that a more neutral black/white/gray palette would be a good way to pair it up.

Betties N Brimstone: Outfit of the Day

I have been playing around with mixing patterns lately, so I thought I might as well go for it with this outfit - I have two different kinds of stripes, the lace pattern of the dress, and the daisy pattern of the scarf.  I think it turned out pretty good!  My measure of success is whether or not I feel weird during the day... you know those days when you walk out the door, thinking "hmm I don't feel 100% about my look today but I think it's ok?" but then all day you just feel like you want to go home and change (your outfit/hair/shoes/whatever) because you're just uncomfortable with it?  Well, this was NOT one of those times, so that's how I decided that this was a successful combination.

I really hope that my train of thought makes sense to at least someone who reads this.  Sometimes type, and then I read my narrative back to myself and I just think "my god this is kind of weird..."

Betties N Brimstone: Outfit of the Day

Now that the weather is chilly I like to wear my glasses sometimes.  I really like my glasses, but if it's humid or kind of warm or I might get sweaty, then forget it - no glasses.  I can't stand when the bridge of the glasses gets sweaty and gross on my nose.  Another glasses indicator is sunny-ness.  If it's too sunny and bright out, then I want to wear my sunglasses, so it's a no-go.

So, the advantage of overcast chilly days = glasses.  At least there's something good about those days, right?  My glasses are from Coastal.com, where they have one of those "first pair free" offers.  That wasn't the case for me though, because my lenses are SO THICK that I had to have the thing done to them that makes them thinner (but in the end they're still pretty gosh darn thick) and I ended up paying around $100 for these.  Still a steal.  And I get compliments on them all of the time.

Betties N Brimstone: Outfit of the Day

Here are some outfit detail close-ups.  I love my combat boots, especially now with my new insoles!

Rock on,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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10.28.2013

Nightmare on Chicago Street 2013

Nightmare on Chicago Street
Todd was an awesome helper at Nightmare on Chicago Street!


On Saturday, I had a tent at Nightmare on Chicago Street in Elgin.  It was a super-cool Halloween outdoor event with a zombie/steampunk theme.  Streets in the downtown Elgin area were completely closed off, and zombie actors roamed the area.  There were two stages (one at each end of the streets), and Svengoolie and Mitch O'Connell were both present to meet and greet fans.

Nightmare on Chicago Street

It was from six to eleven PM, so this was the first time that I had to plan for lights/electricity at an event.  Todd was a huge help - he bought a travel LED light stand for our tent, and I added some star string lights to the top of the tent.  The only thing missing was a space heater - it was SO cold out!

The best part of the event was how much I ended up selling - I know that it was close to Halloween and that helped a whole bunch, but it's been sort of difficult to find my audience for selling Hell Razor stuff.  I applied to a couple of shows this winter, but I was rejected, and that kind of hurts my motivation when it comes to making stuff.  But this event was good.  I'd love to come back next year!

Nightmare on Chicago Street

I stole the above pictures from my friend Lisa's instagram feed, since I didn't get out from behind the tent too much (except for that time I waited in a ridiculously long port-a-potty line amongst way too many drunk folks).  There was so much good people-watching due to the costumes!  Lisa was girl Beetlejuice.  And she wore a Hell Razor flower to help advertise for me.  Yayy!

Nightmare on Chicago Street

I even closed my Etsy shop for the weekend as a precaution, so I'd have enough stock - and I'm glad that I did!  Even though I made a whole bunch of new flowers (see above), I sold a LOT of what I had on hand.  Right now I'm in the process of photographing and listing the pieces that I have left, so expect to see a few new items in the Etsy shop real soon!

Nightmare on Chicago Street

Above are my new $1 picture frame signs from IKEA.  I'm currently using them to help advertise credit card availability, but I think I'll turn a couple of them into "menu"-style price signs.  I bought a half-dozen of these, and I'm keeping a couple of them for displays at school - I think they'll work well in the display/trophy cases to help advertise student work, too.

Rock on,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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10.25.2013

New Vintage Housewares at Calamity Layne

Hey guys!
I had a great time at Vintage Garage last weekend! It was freezing, but I had a blast! So much cool stuff and the other vendors were super nice! I'm excited to check it out again next year. I plan to attend 2 more shows next month, so I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, Check out these new vintage housewares at Calamity Layne!

TEMPORAMA CANONSBERG ATOMIC TEACUP SET
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I found these awesome Canonsberg Temporama teacups and plates in a few different spots, but they're in GREAT condition. I also have a few bowls for sale as well. I will be posting these soon!

AQUA ATOMIC ASHTRAY
 photo Ashtray_zpsd5271d84.jpg
I love this thing! If I smoked, I'd keep it! ;) It would also make a really cute ring holder or a (what I like to call a "front door caddy" / holder for your spare change when you come home.

COPPER SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
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For those of you who like a LOT of salt and pepper, these guys are perfect for you!

KITSCHY CALIFORNIA JUICE GLASS
 photo Californiaglass_zpsda5a611c.jpg
This vintage souvenir juice glass...would make a sweet juice glass...OR you could use it for your makeup brushes or pencils!

CHALKWARE DANCERS
 photo Chalkware_zps7f5a615d.jpg
I love these. They're super funky chalkware from the late 50's and the rock. Someone awesome needs these. ;)

Stay tuned for more vintage awesomeness!!!
Steph @ Calamity Layne
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10.23.2013

OOTD: Moto Jacket + Lace

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone
dress - Torrid / tank - JCPenney / tights - We Love Colors / jacket - Target.com / shoes - Shoe Carnival?

I bought myself this black motorcycle-style jacket from Target.com after spotting it on Pinterest.  It kind of bugs me that Target has these internet-only exclusive items, because I have a Target right by me, and I'd love to be able to try stuff on, instead of buying it online and crossing my fingers, hoping for the best.  Also, Target had some amazing halloween dinnerware and by the time I found it online ($95?! You've gotta be kidding me, jerks!), it was already sold out/no longer available.  Boooo.  And not in the halloween sense.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone

The arms on this jacket are a little tight, but I wouldn't want to go up an entire size just because of that. Plus, I like to push my sleeves up, and I don't think this is the kind of jacket that's meant to do that.

This dress is from Torrid last spring... I bought it on clearance when I was shopping for other stuff, so I was like, "$40?  Okay!" and purchased it on a whim.  It's cute, I like the gray/silver sparkly motif, but it's a little bit long on me.  I'd like to take it up just an inch or two, but I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle.  I almost gave it away at a clothing swap a few weeks ago, but then I was all, "oh I haven't taken any photos in this," so I decided to wait.  And then like two different people told me that they liked my dress this day.  It's always weird when that happens because I was sure that I was pretty much done with it, but then you think differently, like maybe other people see something you don't.  Argh.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone

Close up of gray/silvery sparkly lace.  Below, details of my jacket.  I love the quilting on the collar (it's also on the arms, by the cuffs.

I'm a sucker for asymmetrical balance, so a motorcycle jacket like this is perfect for me because it zips up across the body on one side, as opposed to a typical jacket with a center zipper.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone

I think the blue tights make an otherwise drab color palette a little bit happier.

Rock on,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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10.21.2013

Influenster: Dr. Scholl's® For Her Active Series® Insoles

 Betties N Brimstone: Dr Scholls Review 
Please note: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

I was pretty stoked to be sent a pair of Dr. Scholl's Active Series insoles from Influenster, because they're marketed especially for conditions like plantar fasciitis, which I still suffer from occasionally since I was pregnant almost two years ago.  Sheesh.

So, you can imagine I was pretty excited to try these out to see if they help out at all.  I'd been using other insoles (specifically, Superfeet, which are about $40/pair), and I do like them... but I don't like the price so much.  Dr. Scholls are about half the price of my former brand, so if they work, why not go for it?

The other part that's kind of humorous about my story is that these insoles are designed for ATHLETES - you know, people that are all into exercise and crap like that.  Huh.  Not so much me.  I wish I liked exercise, I really do.  But I haven't had it happen yet.  Not that I don't ever do any kind of activity - I love skating at derby class - but I'm not one of those people that "like" to run.  In fact, when people gush about how much they love running, I roll my eyes and sigh.  I just truly don't get it.

So now you're thinking "well, why would you need insoles then if you're not going to try them out for being all active?" But I have a really good situation that would definitely give insoles a vigorous trial run: a rock concert.  Specifically, the kind of rock concert where you'd stand around for hours even before the show starts, and then stand all through the crappy opening band(s) and wait time in-between, just so you could be close enough to the action.

Wait, is she talking about a NIN concert?!

Yep.

So, the night before, I put my spiffy new insoles into my combat boots (steel toe, to prevent jerks).

Here's how to use them:
  • Pull out the insole that came in your shoe (in my case, my old Superfeet).
  • Place it on top of Active Series® insole with the heels lined up and both topcloths facing up.
  • Trace along the toe area of your original insole onto Active Series™ insole.
  • Trim the toe area along the line (in my case, the old insoles lined up right at the "9" marker, so I just went with that).
  • Slip Active Series® insole into your shoe with fabric facing up.
  • Replace every 6 months or at first signs of wear.

 Betties N Brimstone: Dr Scholls Review  Betties N Brimstone: Dr Scholls Review

You don't even need to cut them all pretty in order for them to work.  Even a trained art teacher still cuts them a little jaggedy.  It's okay.

 Betties N Brimstone: Dr Scholls Review

Ta-da!  My new pink insoles in my well-worn and well-loved combat boots.  Interested? They're Para-Boots from Vegetarian Shoes.  Here's some more info on Dr. Scholl's Active Series from their website:
  • Reduces shock by 40%
  • Designed with Triple Zone Protection for your ball of foot, arch, and heel
  • Helps relieve and prevent pain from shin splints, runner's knee and plantar fasciitis
  • Helps reduce foot odor with SweatMax™ technology
  • Designed to support your foot while in motion
  • Resilient cushioning responds to your level of impact

Engineered with Triple Zone Protection:
Zone 1: Thick ball of foot helps distribute pressure throughout push-off
Zone 2: Unique arch design improves transition of weight from landing to push-off
Zone 3: Deep heel cup helps stabilize the heel while absorbing impact with every step

 Betties N Brimstone: Dr Scholls Review

So, here's how it went: I first put them on, and I noticed the cushiness of the new insoles, which was nice.  It's the foot equivalent of crawling into bed with new clean sheets.  I had my boots on all night, and stood for about 7-8 hours total.

At the end of the night, my feet were definitely aching, which is normal, but I didn't feel crippled in pain, which would have been the case sans insoles.  I seemed to recover from the evening fairly quickly, and I didn't notice any difference between these $20 insoles and my previous $40 ones, so I would most definitely recommend trying them out, and I would buy them in the future for my other shoes too!

If you do decide to buy yourself a pair, be sure to visit the website first, where there's a $4 off coupon!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor

10.18.2013

Scarecrow Fest & Vintage Garage

 photo Gram_zps51dfe3ac.jpg
We had SUCH a fun time at the Scarecrow Fest last weekend! It was three days of fun, vintage, and mayhem! The first day it was just Dave and I selling Calamity Layne stuff and then Jen joined us on Saturday and Sunday where we sold as Betties N' Brimstone! We were part of the Vintage Garage set up where a few other vintage vendors ventured out for a 3 day outside event. Unfortunately, it rained on Saturday (hence the ugly blue tarp in the picture below) BUT we still managed to have a good time!
 photo Rain_zps8f9acc06.jpg  We had the pleasure of setting up shop next to Richard's Fabulous Finds (all men's vintage, folks! Check him out! He's got some GREAT stuff) and Gypsy Mouse Vintage (SWEET household items and some awesome furniture!).
 photo Day1_zpsa4830546.jpg
It was an all in all successful 3 day venture for Bettie's N' Brimstone, but it was A LOT of work! There was a slight learning curve on tent mechanics and wind protection, but we nailed it after the second day! We're going to keep our eyes peeled for more events throughout the area as well so stay tuned!
 photo Tables_zps7678121a.jpg Which reminds me, if you are out and about Chicago this weekend, Calamity Layne will be at the Vintage Garage Season Finale this Sunday (October 20th) form 9am - 5pm. It should be a blast!!! Oh, and Danielle from American Pickers & 4 Miles 2 Memphis will be there too! Come out for a fun time and support your local businesses!
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Steph @ Calamity Layne
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10.16.2013

Re-Style What You Own!

BnB: Re-Style Your Wardrobe!

In the past two weeks, you've seen a couple of outfits I like to call "remixes," where I take a dress that I've already featured, and re-style it in a different way - sometimes because I was unhappy with aspects of the first version, but other times just because I like to keep dressing up each day feel new and different.

BnB: Re-Style Your Wardrobe!

Re-styling outfits is something I've been doing for a long time, without really thinking about.  In fact, if you look back through the blog posts tagged "outfit," you'll begin to see some patterns (which is exactly what I did below!).

Maybe it's the art teacher training in me and how I can explain in excruciating detail about why shades of blue are awesome with orangey-yellow tones (hint: it has to do with the location of the two colors on the color wheel), and why certain items just "go" with most anything else, but it usually boils down to one thing: balance.

  • Mix a tighter top with a looser bottom, and vice-versa.
  • Break up areas of pattern with accessories, like a belt, a scarf, or colorful tights.
  • Add interest to a monochromatic outfit with pops of color.

BnB: Re-Style Your Wardrobe!

The key to this dress has always been to break up the stripes, because there's a lot of them...

So far, I've worn this stripey dress on the blog three different times.  I'm actually wearing it today as I type this post, but today isn't an "outfit photo post" day.  So you don't know that I'm just copying the middle look right now.  But then again, I just told you that I was, so now you do... well, what'cha gonna do about it?!

P.S. Don't you think it's weird that I shot the stripey dress photo in almost the exact same pose each time?  Yeah me too...

BnB: Re-Style Your Wardrobe!

Above is a black lace dress, worn on the blog three different times in three different ways.  Gotta love the $20-$25 Target dress finds...

The "trick" to having a versatile wardrobe is to collect secondary pieces that you can swap around and layer with your main items.  For most of these items, you'll want to own a several in a variety of colors and/or prints commonly found throughout your wardrobe.  These pieces include:
  • scarves
  • cardigans
  • tights (my fave is We Love Colors!)
  • leggings
  • belts
  • jackets: denim, faux leather, blazer, military style, motorcycle...

I didn't even picture my denim jacket here, because I probably would've had like 10 photos of me wearing it.  It's kind of my go-to item.  A denim jacket is one of those neutral items you can wear over pretty much ANYTHING.  So if you don't have one, go get one!

I LOVE fall weather because I love to layer.  It is easy to swap pieces around and get very different looks, often incorporating bold pops of color.  Below, an example of my gray studded cardigan, worn two different ways:

BnB: Re-Style Your Wardrobe!

In the photo on the left, I added color through my red tights, and the rest of the outfit is pretty neutral in tone: meaning that they are black, white, gray, or brown.  Are you thinking "leopard is neutral?!"  But in this case, yes it is, because of the color palette.  In the photo on the right, the color comes from the floral dress.  The sweater, boots, and leggings are all neutral.  This is why it works.

As a general rule, I would say: don't be afraid to add pops of color, especially in small doses like a scarf or tights to begin with, if you are timid.  Worst case scenario: you hate it, and you change clothes!

BnB: Re-Style Your Wardrobe!

Once you start feeling more adventurous, mix your patterns up!  I felt very fun the day I mixed stripes with a hot pink leopard scarf!  On the right, I took the same pink scarf, only I mixed it with a bold patterned dress.  Did you notice that on both occasions, the main palette was black, white, and blue?  The pink was added as an accent color on the top layer.  (In this case, leopard print is not a neutral, due to the hot pink-ness...)

Does this start to make sense?  I hope so.

BnB: Re-Style Your Wardrobe!

Here are three of my most-used scarves: a gray leopard print, a solid black, and my hot pink leopard print.  They can be mixed and matched with most of the things that I own.  Although I have grown to love colorful accents in my outfits, I still tend to stick with certain basic colors when I shop for clothing:

  • Black
  • White 
  • Gray
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Blue

And in smaller doses, red and yellow... This is just my personal preference, what I'm naturally drawn to, but because I tend to stay in this range, it also means that most of my clothes will mix and match more automatically.  I've tried adding in brown, but I just can't seem to "make" myself like it.  Once I start buying brown clothes, I then (in my mind) must have brown shoes, and very quickly then, it just all spirals downhill...

See?  We all have our "thing."  And mine is the color brown.

Wanna try re-styling your own wardrobe items?  Not sure where to start?  Try these tips:
  1. Try a cardigan in a DIFFERENT color than you're used to over a favorite dress.
  2. Wear a brightly colored tights under a dress - but try a color that is NOT present in the color of the dress at all!
  3. Put a sweater over a dress, and then add a belt over the top of both: dress and sweater together.
  4. Pair two completely different patterns together, just to see what it looks like.
  5. Buy a patterned scarf, and see how many different items already in your closet you can pair it with.
  6. If you don't want to wear something OVER your dress, try UNDER: a long sleeved (or 3/4 sleeve) shirt looks really good under a lot of sleeveless items, and can stretch your wardrobe from summer/fall into the winter season.  Try several colors/patterns.
Got any tips of your own?  Please share!


Rock on,
Jen @ Hell Razor

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10.14.2013

OOTD: Glasses Dress, Take Two

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Glasses Dress Remixed
dress - Forever 21+ / tights - We Love Colors / boots - Target / cardigan - Forever 21+ / scarf - Torrid / earrings - Betsey Johnson / watch - Target


My eyeglasses print dress is probably one my my most favorite pieces in my closet right now.  I'd wear it all the time, but I start to worry about people being all, "hey there's that dress again..."

So today I tried to mix it up in a slightly different way.  I've got my eye out for a chunky reddish-orange cardigan to wear with this, but in the meantime, I paired my hot pink sweater and pink leopard-print scarf with the dress.  Mixing two prints like this could be risky and look weird, but I think it turned out pretty well!

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Glasses Dress Remixed

I love these short boots from Target, so I put on some plain black tights and kept everything neutral on the bottom half, you know, since there's a lot going on up top.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Glasses Dress Remixed

Here, you can see my two versions of this outfit (so far - expect to see it again!).  Right now, looking at these photos, I think I prefer version one, but the weather was much chillier in this second version.  In that case, function kind of factors in a lot, too.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Glasses Dress Remixed

I think this dress mixes well with warm colors (the mustard yellow, hot pink, or even oranges) as an accent.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Glasses Dress Remixed

Today I wore some older Betsey Johnson heart earrings I've had stashed in my jewelry box, unworn for quite some time.  Every time I wear some older jewelry lately I think, "ooh I love this piece!" so I really need to keep digging around and re-wearing my older items.  And it's something that feels new, but is FREE.  So yayy!

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Skulls Remixed

I don't think I've shown you my Target watch.  I bought it over the summer, right before school started back up.  I'd been admiring it for a while, and I almost bought it once earlier, but then held off.  I'm glad that I finally pulled the trigger, because I really love it.  I don't wear watches (or jewelry on my hands/wrists) very often, as I have to wash my hands and use the sinks at school a lot.  But sometimes I feel like putting up with the hassle.

Because, you know, fashion.

Rock on,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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10.09.2013

OOTD: Yellow Floral (+ new boots!)

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Yellow Floral
dress - Forever 21+ / cardigan - Forever 21+ / boots - Torrid / leggings - Torrid / necklace - Cristina Beller

I don't think I've ever done an outfit post with this dress...? And I've owned it for a long time, in terms of dress lives.  I bought it right after Iggy was born, and I've washed it a bunch, and I'm pretty sure it's shrunken a bit, too.  But it still fits, and I spotted it in the closet, and I was all, "hey I don't think I've ever done pictures in this dress!"

Then I also forgot about this awesome gray sweater.  My favorite part about it is the length - a little longer than normal, which is perfect for dresses.  Then, the next best thing = studs.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Yellow Floral

I can remember that I picked out this dress (about a year and a half ago!) because it reminded me of a Betsey Johnson rose print.  Otherwise, I'm not typically a floral-y kind of girl.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Yellow Floral

Mixing a very feminine print with more industrial, hard-edged items (as in: grey, metal, old-timey) seems to make the whole outfit feel more like ME.  This necklace is a Cristina Beller creation; I bought it a long time ago, when she had jewelry for sale at Horrorbles, one of my favorite shops in Berwyn.

One day, I'd love to interview Cristina for the blog, since she's an awesome local (Chicago-area) handmade artist whose work I really enjoy!

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Yellow Floral

Even my boots are grey and low-heeled, as opposed to a feminine, high-heel type of shoe.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Yellow Floral

I love these boots.  First of all, because they're gray, and I've been trying to find non-black boots that fit (along with black boots that fit) for a few years now.  I will live in boots this winter, and I enjoy having a few options, you know?

These boots have a tall PURPLE zipper up the back!  Yayy Torrid, you knocked it out of the park with these beauties!  I love how tall these boots are, too.  I'd been striking out the last few seasons, so it was amazing to find a pair of boots like these!

Rock on,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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10.07.2013

Skulls, Re-mixed: an OOTD.

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Skulls Remixed
dress - Torrid / boots - Torrid / tights - We Love Colors / sweater - JCPenney / belt - Target? / necklace - handmade from Todd / black tank (under dress) - Kohls
Last time I wore this dress, I was really critical of myself/kind of unhappy with the result, so instead of getting all down and sad and mopey, I decided to go for a round two and challenge myself: how could I style this dress in a way that I'd want to wear it again?

I think I did a pretty darn good job!

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Skulls Remixed

I took my own advice and decided to put a belt on over this dress.  It's very white, which is out of my comfort-zone, and the print just needed to be broken up a bit.  I also prefer the slightly longer length of this blue sweater to the shorter, boxier cut of my denim jacket over this dress.

Ooh you might also notice that I have NEW BOOTS on, too, but then I mixed up the order of my blog posts, so I'll show and tell you more about them in my next blog post.  Below, you can compare the two versions of this dress for yourself:

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Skulls Remixed

And below, DETAILS:

OOTD @ Betties N Brimstone: Skulls Remixed

I'm wearing my heavy metal monogram necklace from Todd again.  And you can see the gray color of my tights against the blue sweater and black/white print of the skulls dress.  Also, my belt, which is quite old and I can't seem to remember where it is from... it's starting to fall apart.  Fake leather is separating into layers.  Meh.

Any tips on where to find a cool new belt?  Let me know!

Rock on,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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