Tag Archives: recipes

Recipes You’ll Want to Add to Your Menu

food on tablecloth covered-table with 5 B&B association logos

Looking to add to your menu? If you want some online recipe inspiration, consider going to these five bed and breakfast association websites which feature absolutely delicious innkeeper recipes. The recipes are not just breakfast either! It includes tasty recipes for appetizers, baked goods, dinner meals, and even desserts!

 

CABBI (California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns) Recipes

CABBI welcomes you to a taste of California with our collection of bed and breakfast and boutique inn recipes. Each recipe was carefully selected to tell the story of the inn from where it is served. Some recipes are house specialties, others are family traditions. Some dishes include locally-grown ingredients from an inn’s region, while other dishes are the reason guests return time and again. The bed and breakfast inn was born of sharing food with friends. We hope that you will enjoy these CABBI favorites with your friends and loved ones, as we do with ours.”

IBBA (Indiana Bed and Breakfast Association) Recipes

“A beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inn is not complete without the tastes and smells of homemade cooking. The Bed & Breakfast Inns of Indiana have opened up their secret recipe books and would like to share the meals and deserts that you enjoyed when you were their guest. These recipes represent some of the personal favorites of the innkeepers, and we are proud to bring them to you.”

NCBBI (North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association) Recipes

“Our innkeepers love to cook. Here are some of their favorite recipes – not just for breakfast!”

TBBIA (Bed and Breakfast Association of Tennessee) Recipes

“A beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inn is not complete without the tastes and smells of homemade cooking. The Bed & Breakfast Inns of Tennessee have opened up their secret recipe books and would like to share the meals and deserts that you enjoyed when you were their guest. These recipes represent some of the personal favorites of the innkeepers, and we are proud to bring them to you.”

WBBG (The Washington Bed and Breakfast Guild) Recipes

“Enjoy making these great breakfast recipes from experienced member innkeepers and chefs of the Washington Bed and Breakfast Guild.”

Many innkeepers share their recipes on their own websites and some even have their own cookbook. Foodies especially love to taste yummy new foods.

Bed and breakfast guests appreciate having a variety of foods available to them. Most innkeepers offer complimentary snacks and beverages. Some innkeepers offer extra food to their guests in packages or picnics. Of course, inns that host events most definitely will offer refreshments to their guests.

Half of “B&B” stands for breakfast so inns may be known for their delectable “signature dishes”! With that in mind, there are plenty of resources available (including these websites) for ideas and inspiration to add to your menu. Bon appetit!

 

Food Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

The Many Benefits of B&B Association Membership

log cabin deck with table and chairs overlooking trees surrounding a lake

 

There are many benefits of B&B Association Membership.  While each bed and breakfast association has their own unique benefits, the following lists commonly offered benefits from such groups.  Innkeepers not belonging to any professional associations will learn why membership is valuable.

  • Advocacy: promoting B&B industry and traveler interests, raising the stature of the state’s hospitality industry, growing the state’s travel economy
  • Affiliations: state tourism department, state travel council, Professional Association of Innkeepers International, etc.
  • Brochures/rack cards/travel guides: distributed at member inns, welcome centers, tourist attractions, visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, and in response to visitor requests
  • Collaboration: socialize, peer support, share, network, learn, encourage, exchange lessons learned as well as recipes, and enhance the lodging experience of guests
  • Cookbooks: member inns can buy association cookbooks at wholesale and sell at retail for a profit (see some B&B association cookbooks below)
  • Credibility: association membership provides bed and breakfasts with added credibility; licensed, inspected, and approved distinction; passed high standards bed and breakfast checklists
  • Directory: profile information and pictures in online and print directories
  • Discounts: lower cost to related products and services (such as credit card processing, conferences and trade shows, floral arrangements, insurance coverage, membership to other hospitality associations, reciprocal or discount lodging with other member inns, travel deals, and web reservations)
  • Education: foster professional development of members and improve service and professionalism of their staff through annual meetings, experts, featured speakers, round tables, seminars, vendors, webinars, workshops
  • Legal representation: expert support, legal hotline, industry updates, and a better understanding of applicable laws and regulations
  • Lobbying: have a voice in legislative issues, support state’s lodging sector, work proactively with governmental agencies that regulate the B&B industry, produce favorable industry public policy, and champion for safety and security in the hospitality industry
  • Logo: members can use their association logo on their website and marketing materials
  • Marketing: collective advertising, email marketing, e-newsletter, public relations, social media
  • Gift certificate program: reimbursement for association gift certificates redeemed
  • Inspections:  regularly conducted property inspections; evaluated with high standards on specific criteria having to do with safety, comfort, and hospitality
  • Mentorship: seasoned innkeepers can mentor less experienced innkeepers, foster profitability and sustainability
  • Networking: learn from fellow innkeepers and receive their business referrals
  • Partnerships: restaurant and lodging expos; engage in charitable and community endeavors
  • Real estate listings: list of bed and breakfast member inns for sales
  • Reservations: availability calendar, reservations scheduler
  • Travel planner: list of area events, specials, and attractions near each member B&B
  • Website: many offer their members an exclusive web page with photos, contact information, inn names and descriptions, locations, amenities, and specials; links to member website, Trip Advisor and other review sites, social media, and member inn’s blog.

chairs on deck of log cabin overlooking lake with trees

 

There are many advantages to belonging to a bed and breakfast association.  Perhaps the most motivating is making connections with fellow innkeepers and having the accountability and support from your innkeeping peers as well as more marketing opportunities.

Images by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Quick and Easy Way to Market Your Bed and Breakfast

Outdoor lawn furniture around a fire pit

 

 

Looking for the quick and easy way to market your bed and breakfast? Share information from our essential bed and breakfast content checklist.  This can be shared on your website pages, in blog posts, in social media, in emails, in videos, and more.

 

 

Essential Bed and Breakfast Content Checklist:

 

  • Activities: What can people do when they stay at your inn?  This includes activities at the inn as well as activities at places and events in your local area.
  • Amenities: What amenities do your guests have access to?  Perhaps you have something as unique as a heated pool or billiards room.  The picture shows a lovely outdoor area for guests to relax and hear music.  Be sure to list every amenity your inn offers.
  • Area: Think about why people visit your local area.  Do you provide information that includes the many reasons people decide to stay at your inn?
  • Associations/Ratings: Do you belong to any B&B associations that regularly inspect your inn for quality assurance? Let your guests know what professional associations you belong to as well as any ratings of distinction such as Select Registry or Historic Hotels of America.
  • Blog: Do you have a blog? Blogs are great places to regularly share new information such as seasonal changes, local annual events, and more.
  • Decorating: Do you have any decorating tips to share? Perhaps you could feature pictures of your decor and give ideas for how guests can make their own homes more decorative.
  • Employees: No matter the size of your staff, you can share a picture of them and some fun facts about them.  Include where they are originally from and a brief background like their favorite sports team, college alma mater, favorite breakfast food, favorite thing to do in your local area, etc.  Also let guests know what roles they have at your inn.
  • Events: This includes both activities that happen at your inn as well as local activities.  Be aware of any major local activities and conferences to specifically attract those guests.
  • Food: Food is so popular that entire television channels are devoted to it! Share recipes to your most popular items and share behind-the-scenes photos of preparing for breakfast.  Feature your farm fresh produce.
  • Fun: Highlight the fun that happens at your inn.  This could feature guests (with their permission) having fun in common rooms or anywhere on your property.
  • Gardening/Landscaping: Do you have award-winning gardens? Do you have attractive fountains and outdoor sculptures? Do you have hanging outdoor lights to shine at night? What is in bloom right now at your inn?  Focus on seasonal changes and promote Fall Foliage if that is something your area is known for.
  • Guests: Think about what types of guests you attract.  If the guests tell you the reason for their visit or activities they participated in, make a note of it.  Offer recommendations to local restaurants and shops.
  • History: Do you have a historical inn? If so, consider sharing your B&B’s unique history.  If you built your inn, share pictures of its construction and your motivation for building your own B&B.
  • Holidays: Does your inn show off unique decorations with each holiday? Valentine’s Day is just one of the many holidays that bed and breakfasts can feature in blog posts and on social media. If you have any holiday-related packages, be sure to feature them during that time.
  • Promotion: Consider promoting local events and businesses. You may want to feature a contest on your website and/or social media.  Require those who enter your contest to enter by sharing their email address.  Then you can add them to your email list.
  • Publicity: Was your inn featured in a magazine or the local news?  Be sure to have links to any publicity your inn receives listed on your website and share it in social media.
  • Renovation: Did you renovate or redecorate any areas of your inn?  Share before and after photos of any indoor or outdoor transformations.  Describe the process it took to get it from the before picture to the after picture.  There are lots of people who would be interested in learning how you remodeled that space.
  • Success: Did you receive an award for something? Perhaps your won a local recipe contest.  Maybe you received an award in your local town as an elite place to stay overnight.  Be sure to include this in your content.
  • Support: Do you support any charities or host charity events? Do you sponsor any local teams or events? Any community outreach you do can be featured in your content.  Share pictures of the events.

This list is certainly not exhaustive. There may be other areas to promote, depending upon where you are located, the types of guests you host, and the unique accommodations you provide.  The key is to regularly share new content. This makes you more visible online when people go to search for specific keywords.

Not sure what keywords you should feature? Consider using the name of your city, popular tourist destinations, popular local activities, and so on.  That way if someone types in “your city name and a popular activity” they could find your content and land on your website.

Need help marketing your inn?  Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging for a free consultation.  Bed and Breakfast Blogging specializes in not only blogging, but also social media marketing, email marketing, reputation management, and more.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns Association started in 1985.  For over thirty years, they have been dedicated to serving those traveling to North Carolina.  This non-profit, statewide organization recognized the need for an association to ensure high standards in safety, housekeeping, food service, comfort, and hospitality for all member inns.  The traveling public can have confidence in their lodging.

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns is the first state association in the United States to require rigorous inspections as a condition of membership.  To maintain these standards, NCBBI re-inspects member inns every two years. 

 

The Many Benefits to B&B Membership in the NCBBI Association:

 

  • Networking, educational, and marketing opportunities
  • Remain knowledgeable and up-to-date about meeting the needs of travelers
  • Keep up with the latest requirements for state and local laws and standards
  • Show potential guests that they can expect a higher level of service
  • The prestige and credibility of passing their rigorous inspection
  • Regular blog and social media activity
  • Their printed travel planners found at welcome centers, tourism attractions, visitor bureaus & chambers of commerce throughout North Carolina
  • Quarterly newsletters and monthly emails with important industry-related news, alerts, opportunities, reminders, and updates

 

From East to West, North Carolina measures 580 miles. That is more than a day’s drive, so NCBBI encourages guests to stay in more than one region as they travel around our gorgeous state. Based on the topography of North Carolina, the association has assigned three different regions.

 

  • Coastal Region: to find the perfect B&B in the Coast, near the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful beaches, birding, water sports, boating and summer fun.
  • Piedmont Region: to find the perfect B&B in the middle Piedmont region, where you’ll find dynamic growing cities, wineries, universities, golf, lakes and rivers.
  • Mountain Region: to find the perfect B&B in the Western Mountains region, home to the beautiful Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge parkway, the Biltmore Estate, waterfalls, hiking and fall foliage.

 

The North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association features specials and packages from member inns on their website.  The specials include for military, veterans, and emergency workers (like police, fire and EMS) as well as last minute guestsInnkeepers also offer creative packages so guests can relax and enjoy their stay:

 

  • Anniversary or birthday
  • Girlfriends getaway
  • Local activities
  • Picnic lunch
  • Romance
  • Spa
  • Wedding
  • Wine and Dine

 

From their website, The North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association offer its online visitors an opportunity to purchase their NCBBI cookbook so they can sample the best of North Carolina cooking with their collection of bed and breakfast and inn recipes. In addition to the cookbook, give the gift of memories by purchasing lodging gift certificates (available in $50 increments) that may be used at any NCBBI member B&B. 

 

An NCBBI gift certificate is a thoughtful way to say “thank you” or to surprise someone special. They are also great gifts for special occasions like anniversaries, honeymoons, birthdays, and retirements.

 

The NC Bed and Breakfast Inns website lists North Carolina events (searching either by name, type of event, event date, or venue).   They also provide a way to search for local North Carolina attractions by its name, location and type of attraction, or by a specific local area (within a designated amount of miles).

 

Together you can promote all the wonderful things that your state has to offer its visitors.  You can educate potential guests about everything that comes included when they stay at a bed and breakfast.  You will also have a network of innkeepers with which to ask questions and refer each other business when your own inns are full.  Those are just some of the many reasons why it is important to belong to a bed and breakfast association.

What Should My Inn Blog About?

inn blog about

What should my inn blog about, you ask?  Since each inn is unique, your blog should give readers a better understanding of your particular bed and breakfast. Is your location a relaxed beach setting, a scenic mountain location, a rural country farm, a contemporary urban inn, or something else entirely?  Entice your website visitors to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Pictures are a very visual way to attract vacationers.

 

Why do people visit your local area?  What local leisure activities can guests participate in?  Does your area have any local tourist attractions?  Blogging about this will give you fresh content and keywords for search engine optimization.  Moreover, knowing this information helps you target different types of guests:

  • Adventurers
  • Antique lovers
  • Art and drama lovers
  • Board game players
  • Business groups
  • Business travelers
  • Class reunion attendees
  • Environmentally conscious people
  • History buffs
  • Hobby lovers
  • Honeymooners
  • Mystery lovers
  • Pet owners
  • Readers
  • Relaxation seekers
  • Shoppers and antique lovers
  • Sight seers
  • Spa lovers
  • Special occasion reasons (birthday, anniversary, family reunion)
  • Sports spectators
  • Vegetarians
  • Wedding guests
  • Wine lovers

 

Do you offer any special packages or retreats?

  • Girlfriend getaways
  • Quilting retreats
  • Romance package
  • Writers retreats
  • Yoga retreats

 

How does your inn serve breakfast?  Some B&B inns have their own restaurant.  Some bring breakfast to your room on a tray while others have a common dining area for guests.  At some bed and breakfasts, guests can choose from a menu what they would like to have while at others everyone the same delicious gourmet cooking.

Be sure to ask guests if they have special dietary needs.  Your blog can feature pictures of your breakfasts as well as recipes of guests’ favorite dishes.

 

What kind of amenities can your guests enjoy?

  • Game rooms
  • Gardens
  • Hot tubs
  • Luxurious linens
  • Pool

 

Potential guests also like to know more about the owners, innkeepers, and staff members of bed and breakfasts.  Be sure to put their pictures on your website including their name, a couple sentences about what they do, and what they recommend guests try when they visit.  You could even feature staff members that receive a lot of compliments from your guest feedback.

Be sure to tell guests what you, as an innkeeper, love the most.  Let them know that you will be attentive to their needs, but also give them the privacy they desire.  If you have a historic bed and breakfast, be sure to share your inn’s history.

Do you have any accreditations or affiliations?  Membership in a bed and breakfast association and/or having received a certain award or level of distinction will set you apart from other bed and breakfasts.

 

Do you have your own bed and breakfast shop?

  • Coffee mugs
  • Cookbooks
  • Robes
  • Soap

 

How does your inn celebrate the seasons?

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter

 

How does your inn celebrate holidays?

  • New Years
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

 

Your inn can blog about remodeled or redecorated rooms.  Improvements to your inn are worth talking about.  Previous guests may want to return based on your description of the new changes.

Do you offer any incentives for frequent stays and/or referrals?  Reward your guests for returning and recommending your B&B to friends. On the topic of frequency, be sure to have a frequently asked questions section on your website.

Let guests know how to connect with your bed and breakfast on other social media websites. Have a presence on one or more of the following websites can make a big difference in your visibility online.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Linked In
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

 

When you share your blog on social media, this lets people know more about you and your bed and breakfast inn.  Give website visitors an “inn-side” look at your B&B from behind the scenes.  Having a blog and being active on social media is a great way to draw more attention to your website.

Don’t have the time or desire to write a blog or stay active on social media?  Let Kristi Dement at Bed and Breakfast Blogging do all the hard work for you.  Her clients see results with consistently booked rooms.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Tao of Twitter (Part 4)

the tao of twitter

This is the last part of a four-blog-post series highlighting useful information from the hot #1 bestselling book on Twitter: The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer.  One of Mark’s essential keys to Twitter success involves providing meaningful content.

His suggestions include:

  • Tweet about what interests you
  • Share what you are reading online
  • Link to your blog or other blogs with rich and relevant content
  • Link to your comments on other social media platforms
  • Leverage your other online content
  • Share something human like what you are grateful for
  • Tweet something non-work related
  • Tweet news related to your business or industry
  • Tweet your opinion on something in the news or something funny
  • Tweet in the moment
  • Tweet at peak times
  • Thoughtfully schedule tweets (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Buffer can help you fan them out throughout the day)
  • Tweet regularly only if you have something of value to share
  • Sharing someone else’s tweet is a form of complimenting them and it puts you on their radar screen: put their content then via @personyouareRTing
  • Keep your tweets as short as possible to make them more shareable
  • Tweet exclusive content before it is released anywhere else
  • Build up the buzz about something before it comes
  • Link to interesting content such as blogs, podcasts, and videos

Schaeffer also discusses the value of using and making Twitter Lists:

  • Click the Me icon, then click Lists and it will show lists subscribed to and lists you are a member of
  • To create a list its name cannot exceed 25 characters
  • Name the list something that makes sense but also grabs people’s attention
  • Click gear icon drop down menu and select Add or remove from lists
  • You do not need to be a follower to a user to add that person to the list
  • You can edit and delete any list you make
  • You cannot add or remove people from your list, you must go to their profile page in order to add or remove them
  • You can follow lists without following individual users in the list
  • Share your lists on Twitter and other platforms
  • Include yourself in the lists with the help of Hootsuite (open your profile in a tweet that mentions you and click to Add to List)
  • Create lists that are helpful to your target audience

Innkeepers, what would be useful information to your target audience: guests who want to stay at your bed and breakfast inn?

  • List of travel organizations and media
  • List of groups providing recipes
  • List of attractions and resources in your particular geographic location
  • etc.

If you are looking for someone to tweet on behalf of your bed and breakfast, we are experienced in helping B&Bs gain more clients.  We invite you to contact Bed and Breakfast Blogging with Kristi Dement for a free consultation.  We provide professional blogging and social media services.

 

10 Terrific Twitter Tips for B&B’s

10 twitter tips

 

 

Did you know that there are 255 million monthly active Twitter users?  Did you know that 500 million tweets are sent each day?  Most of us know that Twitter is a popular social media website.

 

 

Here are some quick tips so you can get the best out of using Twitter to promote your bed and breakfast inn:

1) Know your audience in order to target your message to the right people.  You want to write to appeal to your specific market–not everyone.  What kind of bed and breakfast guests would you like to attract?    

  • Be pet friendly if you want guests with pets
  • Be couple friendly and require kids to be a minimum age
  • Promote being healthy by not allowing smoking on all grounds
  • Accommodate guests with allergies or restricted diets when you cook breakfasts
  • Reach out to those getting married or renewing their vows with ceremonies
  • Provide spa services to guests who like to be pampered
  • Offer extra amenities such as hot tubs or private balcony views

2) Regularly spend time listening to the needs and wants of your target market.  What would ease their pain and make their lives better?

  • Need time to get away from it all
  • Want to relax with a loved one
  • Want to visit a local relative without inconveniencing them
  • Like to visit tourist spots in your area
  • Want personal touch of a B&B versus big hotel

3) Have strategies behind who you follow.  You do not have to follow everyone. Be selective and show your audience what they like to see. 

  • Travel tips (give them useful information)
  • Scenic pictures of your area (entice them to visit)
  • Baby animals (who does not like baby animals?)
  • Recipes (you may even offer a cooking class to your guests)
  • Local activities (show them what they can do in your area)

4) Have a consistent presence online.  Tweet at least four to six times per day if possible.

5) Provide useful content based on your brands’ goals.  Selling should not be the focus.

  • Tweet powerful quotes
  • Update readers about your area events
  • Share meaningful stories

6) Tweet with images.  People are visual creatures and tweets with pictures are more than twice as likely to be retweeted.  Images can convey more than words do. 

  • Share pictures of the bedrooms in your bed and breakfast
  • Tweet pictures of your outdoor views including landscaping
  • Share pictures of your delightful breakfasts and goodies made
  • Share pictures of local community events including concerts and sports games

7) Be active on other social media channels and have a blog on your website.  Blogs provide fresh content the search engines love.  More online connections come from having a strong presence on other social media websites.

8) Use hashtags (#) so the reach of your tweets spreads to people searching for that term. Use trending hashtags (labeled “trends”) on the bottom left.  Make sure the hashtags are relevant to the tweet and two hashtags is plenty.

  • Newsworthy events
  • Celebrities
  • Holidays (including national food holidays)
  • This day in history
  • Sports
  • Trending area activities

9) Always have a call to action.  Know what you want them to do after they read your tweet.

10) Monitor your Twitter results with other websites.  Some Twitter tools are available for free or to use on a free trial basis.  Try them out to see which you prefer.

  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite
  • Social Bro
  • Tweetdeck

When you use this tips consistently, you will see a dramatic increase in your numbers:

  • More Twitter followers
  • More retweets
  • More blog subscriptions
  • More guests
  • And more income!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Breakfast Recipes

breakfast recipes

 

 

Delicious breakfast recipes are the key to making a breakfast so tasty and memorable that your guests are sure to return! These websites are full of wonderful breakfast and brunch recipes you can make for your guests.

 

All Recipes.com

Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

BnBFinder.com

Bed and Breakfast Recipes

Better Homes & Gardens: Heart Healthy Living

Breakfast Recipes

Food Network

Breakfast: Recipes and Cooking

 

Be sure to find out before your guests arrive if they have any dietary restrictions or preferences. That way you have advance notice so you can accommodate your guests during breakfast. Innkeepers can attest to the various dietary needs that guests may have: gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low cholesterol, diabetic friendly, etc.

Consider keeping track of the different food holidays. For example, on National Pancakes Day, you could offer your guests a variety of types of pancakes. You can take pictures and post them on social media with the hashtag representing that particular #FoodHoliday.

You may have a breakfast dish that your B&B is famous for, but there is always room to add another new recipe to the table.  That way you can “spice it up” a bit! Palate-pleasing breakfast recipes are the key to winning over the hearts (and tummies) of your bed and breakfast guests.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Take a Break and Hire Inn Sitters!

hire inn sitters

 

Are you running your bed and breakfast or is your B&B running you?  There are moments when you cannot close your doors because your rooms are booked yet you need a break, have an innkeeping conference to attend, or a family emergency requires you to need to leave. Hire inn sitters, or interim innkeepers, to help solve your dilemma.

You want experienced professionals who may have been innkeepers in the past themselves.  Of course you will want to check their references, rates, and services which may vary depending upon the size of your bed and breakfast and the tasks you ask them to complete.  They usually can give an approximate range of their fees before meeting in person with you.

Because every bed and breakfast is different, you will need to set aside training time so you can communicate how you run your B&B.  Good inn sitters are willing to do things the way you ask for them to be done.  If you want them to cook your recipes, allow time to instruct them.  They will need to know the “inns” and outs of how you manage your B&B.

When you hire inn sitters that are trustworthy and have the experience and references that assure you they are capable, then you can leave your bed and breakfast knowing that it is in good hands.

One capable couple, Lynda and Howard Lerner, serve as Interim Innkeepers in their business called Inn Caring. After they do a great job filling in for you, please give them a positive testimonial for their website.  They also serve as expert bed and breakfast consultants and teach informative seminar training classes.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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