Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Mookid loves strawberries ('stro-bry' was one of his first words waaaaaaay before Mehmee). He could eat them at any time of the day, and his breakfast would usually involve strawberries with either cake, yoghurt, cereal or muffins. I don't personally care for strawberries, but since the kiddo loves it, I could never resist a punnet or two in my basket every time I go grocery shopping.

There were the huge, red California strawberries, and the smaller, sweeter Korean ones a few months ago, while they were in season. Lately, perhaps with Spring ending, all I ever found at the supermarkets were these punnets of sad looking strawberries. They were either pale and greenish red, or dark red and rotten. The kid always grabs some when we go grocery shopping, and 3 days ago, despite my telling him that the strawberries aren't great, I have no idea how I ended up with 2 punnets of it when I opened the bags at home.

As expected, he made a face and didn't want to have any more after tasting one. It took all of my will power not to tell him: "See... Mehmee knows best. I told you so!" (smug face). Maybe when he's older.

Those strawberries languished in my fridge for awhile, and did nothing but irritate me every time I got something out or put stuff in, but I couldn't bring myself to throw them away. So I did the next best thing. I used them in a cake. They were too sour to be eaten on their own, and too disfigured to be used as cake accents. 

I chopped them up, cooked them, and had a wonderful filling which gave a tart sweetness to an otherwise ordinary pound cake.

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Adapted from Half Baked

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves: 10 - 12

This cake is very dense and not for those who prefer light, fluffy cakes. It's a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.

Pound Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3 cups caster sugar
  • 1 pack (250g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Strawberry Filling
  • 6 - 8 fresh strawberries, finely diced.
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbs cornstarch


1. Start off by making the strawberry filling. Finely dice strawberries and cook it over medium heat along with the sugar, cornstarch and water until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Grease and flour a bundt pan. If you are using a 9" loaf pan, half the ingredients required.

Beat butter and cream cheese till well combined. Gradually add sugar, and beat on high speed till it turns light and fluffy, about 5 minutes or more. Don't be in a rush and do a cursory mix - since this recipe doesn't use baking powder or soda, the cake needs the extra 'air' achieved through mixing in order to rise.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix till well blended. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the flour until it has all been combined. Add the vanilla extract and salt, mixing on low speed until incorporated.

4. Pour about 2/3 of the cake batter into the pan, and top with the strawberry filling. Use a skewer or a chopstick to swirl filling.

5. Pour the remaining batter atop the strawberry, and smooth the top with a spatula.

6 Bake for about 1¼ to 1½ hours, or until a skewer inserted in cake comes off clean. Cool completely before dusting the top of cake with icing sugar.

Needless to say, the boy devoured a huge, fat slice and declared his love for strawberries - again.


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When is it ever 'enough'?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.
For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
- M. Scott Peck

Anne Frank once said that "we all live with the objective of being happy - our lives are different, and yet the same."

What is the true measure of happiness, really? Can it simply be measured by how one feels at a certain point in time? By what one has? Or by the promise of hope? Can it be said that when we eventually obtain what we yearn and long for... we will truly be happy?

Is there ever a point or a limit as to what we perceive as 'enough to make us happy'? Will we ever be able to feel contentment simply by having what we think may bring us happiness?

Happiness is elusive, perhaps - especially when your personality deems you to be someone who succumbs to sloth, temptation, and sometimes even the basic needs for survival. It's never enough for most of us... for example, when we have $50, perhaps there is that niggling voice in the back of our minds that we can in actual fact have $500 or $5000. Or maybe we are not happy with our present earnings, we think to ourselves that living hand to mouth and stretching that dollar till the next payday will not be what we have to subject ourselves to should we be earning more.

Then again, what makes us think that we will not spend as much as we earn? Triple or quadruple your earnings now... perhaps we may still be waiting for the next payday in our designer togs and Manolo Blahnik clad feet.

You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.

At the end of the day, what determines happiness is not our material wealth, but how we choose to perceive every single thing that we are subjected to, in life. It may sometimes be hard to be happy when one is faced with an insurmountable task or feel a sadness so heavy that we may not think we are able to smile from the heart again, but for every thing in life... I do believe that we tend to appreciate happiness more if we were to know and understand how sadness feels. Sometimes joy can be the source of your smile - but at other times, your smile can be the source of your joy.

What do you think?

RedMart: Grocery shopping made easy!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

I love supermarkets. There's just something comforting about the rows and rows of fresh, frozen and canned foods. I never liked window shopping, but I can walk around at a supermarket, just browsing, without a shopping list in hand, and consider it retail therapy. 

That was then. Before I had a kid, and I could afford the luxury of time to shop for groceries, make price comparisons, and marvel at the sheer plethora of brands available for one single product. 

Now I'll be lucky if I can make a dash into a supermarket during weekends for the bare necessities. For you mums out there - I'm sure you have also mastered the art of locating an item on the shelf with one eye, while the other keeps an eagle eye on the kids (trust me, the last thing you want, or need - is to have to find them in crowded aisles!). If your kids are happy sitting in the trolley while you shop, I envy you. Truly. 

So I got all excited when I realized that I could purchase the majority of my household needs online! With RedMart, I need not worry about lugging heavy and bulky items home, nor do I have to waste precious time (when the boy is asleep) to shop for household items and groceries! I  can then run other errands, and my supermarket time is reduced to just purchasing fresh or frozen produce.

Furthermore, there is also less tendency for me to impulse shop when I do the shopping online. I zoom in on the item which I need, enter the quantity, and place in cart with the rest of my shopping. I choose a preferred delivery time and date, make payment - and that's it! 

Click. Click. Done!

RedMart's web interface already makes me happy looking at it. The products are sorted out, and items are clearly labelled, along with size, price and in certain cases, the percentage discount and amount saved when there is a promotion ongoing. Furthermore, there is a search tab for you to simply enter in a product or brand, which will direct you to the page without the hassle of you having to search through pages!

I got the boy's favourite drink. The travel pack is great for morning commutes to school, when he has his breakfast in the car. I don't like to keep juices or flavoured drinks in a water bottle as the stains are hard to clean and they get so dirty after awhile. The Ribena Fruit Drink is priced at $1.15, down from its usual price of $1.25

...and because I'm a (self professed and darn proud of it!) auntie, I compared the price at one of the leading competitor's online site, too.

Yay!! I got a bargain!

Just in case you're wondering - it's also $1.15 for the Ribena Strawberry Drink. The Mookid prefers the original Ribena.
Just to convince myself (and you, of course), I made a few other comparisons, too.

Kitchen towels are a must for me. I like to keep counters as dry as possible, even when I'm cooking or baking!
I usually use Canola oil for stir fries, and Corn oil for deep frying.

I noticed, too, that the product images at RedMart are larger, sharper, and you can actually zoom in any part to enlarge it, unlike the other online stores which has me squinting and scrutinising products so as to ensure that I have the right quantity or weight.

Zoom Zoom Zoom!
I then added a few other (bulky) things, and proceeded to check out. I placed the order on Monday, 15 July 2013 at around 1.00am, and the 'earliest delivery option' is stated on Tuesday, 16 July at noon. RedMart offers free delivery for purchases of $75.00 and above, so it's best to stock up and order all at one go. There are occasions when they lower the minimum purchase required for free delivery, so do look out for their promotions via Facebook or emails when you are a registered user.

I literally 'window' shopped for the next hour or so after I checked out my purchases, and was thankful that this could be done while the boys have a snoring match next to me!

The next day, the goods were delivery promptly at 1.00pm, which is my requested time. I wasn't home to receive the items, but my Mum's helper was extremely impressed by how well packed the items were!

The Loot. Thanks, RedMart!
Shopping for household items has become so easy at RedMart. Furthermore, with an iPhone app recently launched, we can now shop on-the-go! Get the RedMart iPhone app here.

Don't worry, it works on a black iPhone, too!

I'm a RedMartie. Come, join me!


RedMart has kindly invited you to experience online grocery shopping with them. Enter code: rm mummoo to enjoy a 10% discount off your purchases.

Disclaimer: I have been compensated for this post and shopping credits provided so as to provide an accurate user experience account. All information is correct and true at time and date of review. All opinions are my personal views.

Sometimes conception needs a little help

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Not a day goes by when I look at the boy and think how blessed I am to be given such a precious gift. Even though the hubs and I got married at a relatively late age, I have to admit that having a child soon after marriage was never on the cards for us. The Mookid came to be despite all odds, and ever since he was born, he has made me realise that for all the wrongs that I've done in my life, I must have done something right to deserve him.

On hindsight, I don't know what was it that made me think that conception can be done with a flick of a switch. We were planning to get a place of our own and 'settle down' comfortably before we even thought of starting a family. I did not take account my age, and that there are many other factors which could have made conception difficult for us. I did not think that when we were finally 'ready', the chance would have passed us by, or assuming that there are problems with either of our systems, it may have been too late to seek treatment.

Fertility issues, especially in Asian societies, have been practically seen as 'taboo'. It is just not done to talk about problems conceiving, or to even admit that external help is needed. In a society whereby children are often seen as a measure of one's success, be it socially, financially and physically, the inability to produce offspring will indicate failure on so many sensitive levels.

Image source
One of the most challenging issues facing couples who are trying to start a family with little success is the fact that it can be extremely disheartening to realise that many other couples seem to face no difficulty whatsoever in trying to conceive. As it is, when disappointment looms on a monthly basis, it adds on additional pressure when there are so many people around who are either celebrating the news of an impending arrival, or are welcoming their newborns. Unfortunately, many couples are loath to seek professional help even after a year of trying unsuccessfully, because perhaps the stigma is there, or there could be a strong case of self denial.

What many people do not realise that human beings are considered to be the least fertile of all mammals. The chances of conception during a given month (even during ovulation) is merely 20%, and in women above 40, there is only a 5% chance of conceiving.

There will come a time after a period of trying to conceive - that a couple will realise things are not 'happening' as expected. Being able to communicate openly with our partners is the first essential step in overcoming fertility concerns. Keep an open mind, and it will help tremendously if a couple recognises that it is a combined effort, and not merely a problem which can be attributed to just one party.

Myths about (In)fertility

The woman is at fault.

Even though quality of eggs varies from one woman to the next, approximately 25% - 30% of fertility issues is attributed to the male. This can range from low sperm count, low sperm quality, or a myriad of other factors.

Regardless of how uncomfortable it may be to discuss this issue, it is important to note that ultimately, it is a joint decision. Just as deciding to have a child is a mutual one.

I have been given a clean bill of health, I do not smoke or drink, and I exercise regularly. I should have no problem conceiving as and when I'm ready.

Unfortunately, even though being healthy prior to starting a family helps, it does not ensure successful conception in many women, especially when they are of advanced age. It is a (sad) fact that the chance of a woman conceiving naturally decreases as they get older.

The chance of conception starts decreasing rapidly from age 35 onwards. A woman is born with about 400,000 eggs to last her lifetime, with one egg ripening monthly. As she advances in age, many eggs become inactive, resulting in them becoming of poor quality. This affects the chances of conception and carrying a healthy baby to full term.

That said, there are of course exceptions to this rule - and there have been documented cases whereby an older woman manages to conceive naturally and give birth to healthy babies, whereas her younger counterpart may not be as lucky. (source)
Image source

Elevating the hips so that the sperm does not 'leak out' after intercourse will increase the chance of conceiving.

There are no documented evidence that positions affect conception. In fact, studies have shown that sperm travels up the cervix and into the uterus within a few minutes after ejaculation. Given the millions of sperm present in ejaculate (only one is needed to fertilise an egg), a little leakage will not affect the reproductive chance.

"Frequent intercourse (every 1 to 2 days) yields the highest pregnancy rates, but results achieved with less frequent intercourse (two to three times per week) are nearly equivalent." -source

If a man has low sperm count, he should 'save up' his sperm and not have intercourse as often to increase the amount.

Abstinence, in many cases, actually leads to poor quality sperm. The window of 'abstinence' is thought to be between 3 - 5 days, but there is no evidence that this method actually helps because there are men with low sperm count who yields good quality ones even with daily intercourse.

We have had a child, so we should not have problems having a second one.

Secondary infertility (SI) is defined by doctors as the inability to conceive or carry to term a second or subsequent child. This happens for a number of reasons, such as age, health, or even polycystic ovarian syndrome (the first child was perhaps a one-off).

Given this day and age, all fertility problems can be overcome.

While fertility issues have been addressed successfully and many people have overcome infertility with the help of modern technology. there are many factors which also determine the success rate of assisted conception. There are instances whereby eggs and sperm are of poor quality, the uterus is simply unable to support pregnancy till full term, or the woman may have health issues in which conception is not recommended.

So many infertile couples choose to suffer in silence because infertility is not something that people are comfortable sharing about. In fact, it not only is a trying time for the couple involved, but when family members or close friends get to know about issues which a couple face - it can be extremely awkward for everyone. 

Infertility is commonplace, and couples need to know that there are many avenues which they can explore to assist them in the journey towards starting a family. Fertility Week Asia this year starts on the 25th of August, and it aims to correct common misconceptions regarding fertility, offer options to those who suspect they may have problems conceiving, and provide support to those who are already undergoing fertility treatments.

In the quest to complete a family, many couples often face barriers which may be tough to handle, and fertility problems may just be one of many. It can take its toll on a couple emotionally, physically as well as financially, and it can put a huge strain on even the strongest relationships.

Be Sensitive!

Be very careful about posing 'well-intentioned' questions to friends, family or acquaintances. When a couple have been married for quite some time and there are no children in the picture, do refrain from asking obvious questions such as 'Are you planning to have kids?' or 'When are you going to start a family?'

While these questions are said without ill intention, it can put a couple in an awkward position when the answers may be private or something that they are struggling with. Furthermore, the last thing that couples dealing with fertility issues need - is a reminder of their problem.

Whether you are facing issues with fertility or know of people who are - it is important to note that fertility is not a disease, and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. A strong community spirit and show of support will be the first step towards learning to cope and living with infertility. 

When the society is more aware of the misconceptions and myths surrounding this (taboo) subject, more people will understand that there are available options open to those who have been trying for a child without success.

For more information regarding Fertility Week Asia, the issues surrounding infertility and the available options, please visit:


Disclaimer: This is a community awareness message brought to you by Merck Serono in collaboration with MummyMoo. While I was compensated for this post, all opinions and sentiments are completely my own.

Port of Lost Wonder: BBQ Under the Stars!

Monday, 26 August 2013

We have always loved Port of Lost Wonder (POLW) at Sentosa since our first visit there. The Mookid loves ships, slides and wading pools, and this is his favourite water park because it has all those and more!

BBQ under the Stars at the POLW was initially only slated for the weekends during the school holidays, but the Pirates at the Port have decided to make it a once a month affair due to popular demand. Held on the first Saturday of every month, it promises to be a destination where you can enjoy a sunset BBQ while the kids have a splashing good time!

We arrived at about 5.30pm in glorious weather. The sun was setting and there was a cool breeze to combat the humidity. The BBQ starts at 6.30pm, and the pirate ship closes at 6.00pm for the general public. This means that from then on, the ship is reserved exclusively for those who are there specifically for the BBQ!

The Mookid was all excited, and all smiles as he waited for Daddy to change.

Thereafter, the two boys disappeared to the bowels of the ship, while I walked around to see what the BBQ has to offer.

I totally love the 'resort' feel of the place. The ticket price includes a buffet spread (appetizers, local dishes, and dessert) and a barbecued main course of your choice.

Main Course


Sausage Platter with Beer Sauce (Pork, Veal or Chicken sausages)
Marinated Beef Rump with Mushroom Sauce
Boneless Chicken Thigh with Mushroom Sauce
Sambal Dory


Mini Burger Patty
Junior Sausage Platter

Complimentary Drinks

Red or White Wine
Apple or Orange Juice
Soft Drinks

I decided on the slider for the boy, while the hubs wanted the Sausage Platter. Just for variation, I decided to go for the Beef Rump although I admit I am such a snob when it comes to steak. I always have my beef blue, and there aren't very many places who can serve it perfectly so without the beef being either too underdone (bloody, metallic taste) or overcooked (leather slipper, anyone?).

I requested for the mains to be served half an hour later because I doubt that the kid will be too happy to be dragged out to have dinner just as he was getting started!

The buffet spread was pretty enticing too, especially since I spied some of my favourite dishes on the line.

Salad Bar
Curry Station
Mee Siam
Dessert Selection (The bread and butter pudding was YUMMY!!)
Meanwhile, the BBQ chefs were working on some of the orders for the early diners. The aroma interspersed with the sea breeze was absolutely delightful. Makes me feel like I was in some beach resort! 

It was getting pretty chilly by then, and off I went to find the boys. The crowd had thinned out, and as dusk settled in, the place took on an almost magical, surreal hue.

The kid refused to come out, even though when I asked him to, he answered: "! Mah...mee!" through chattering teeth.

I told him 5 more minutes, and no negotiations will be entertained. Word of note for those with young children - it gets VERY cold when the sun goes down, especially with the water sprays and the sea breeze! The kid was in long sleeved rash guards, and he normally is totally cool with cold weather.

Our food orders came promptly at the requested time, and all that water play gave the boy quite an appetite! He not only ate his burger, but also half of Daddy's sausages.

The boy isn't much of a burger fan, but he finished this one. Maybe it was something in the air?
The sausages were well cooked, and met with the boys' approval. They didn't care for the regular hot dog sausage, though.
As for my beef rump, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was perfectly blue as I requested. Kudos to the chef for being able to get it right, especially on a barbie!

It doesn't look promising, but it tastes great!
I had a salad platter to start, while the hubs had two helpings of chicken curry. 

As night descended, the place transformed into quite a magical sight. It was easy to forget we didn't actually fly out of the country!

After a hearty dinner, we headed to the decks where they were screening Despicable Me on a projector screen. The boy, even having seen the movie many many times before, sat transfixed throughout. I am convinced it was really something in the air :)

It was a perfect ending to a wonderful evening, thanks to the Pirates at the Port and the Wonder Crew!

BBQ Under the Stars at The Port of Lost Wonder

Date: Every first Saturday of the month
Time: 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Price: $35 Adults, $30 Child (with one alcoholic / non-alcoholic beverage)
(POLW Members enjoy $5 off!)

Email <> to book a table!


Palawan Beach (near Beach Car Park)
From Beach Station, take a short 5-minute walk towards Palawan Beach. Alternatively, you may take the Palawan-Tanjong Beach Tram and alight at the first stop outside POLW.

Tel: 1800-SENTOSA (736 8672)

Opening Hours:
10am to 6.30pm daily, except on BBQ nights.

Bacoroni Pie, made from Real Fresh Milk!

Friday, 23 August 2013

I have been thinking of transitioning Caden from Formula milk to fresh milk now that he's 30 months old. The kid loves his milk, but he is very particular to its taste as well. I have tried to introduce several brands of fresh milk to him, but he has so far rejected all.

Recently, I received special milk delivery from Greenfields.

I have seen the brand at supermarkets and used at a popular coffee chain, but I have not tried it because the husband and I are not really fond of milk. I welcomed the opportunity to try this range of milk namely for a few reasons.

Greenfields integrated dairy farm is built on the slopes of Gunung Kawi, a mountain in East Java, Indonesia, located approximately 1,200m above sea level. Fresh milk can be delivered in the shortest time possible from the farm to Asian countries. The farm is also designed to accommodate more than 6,000 cows, and boasts a fully automated system so as to ensure that there is minimal risk of contamination via handling.

Image source
Greenfields take pride in only providing pure 'honest' fresh milk, without any additives, hormones, antibiotics, permeates or flavouring. So what you get is simply milk from source! In addition to that, Greenfields milk is single pasteurised. Pasteurisation is the process of eliminating harmful bacteria in milk so that it can be kept fresh longer, however, this results in most beneficial bacteria and enzymes present to be eliminated as well. Due to the geographical proximity of Greenfields' dairy farm, there is no necessity to double pasteurise the milk, which is what many imported fresh milk to Singapore is subjected to.

Most of us are wary of milk from China, but 'fresh' milk from far off countries like Australia and New Zealand is subject to such long shipping durations that a second pasteurization is necessary to eliminate any bacteria which may have formed during the journey here. Bacterial contamination can also happen when milk is transported from milking centres to processing plants, but at Greenfields, this risk is greatly minimised because the milking, processing and packing centres are located within one integrated dairy.

The 'Happy Cows' at Greenfields' dairy farm feed on a specially formulated diet which consists of, among other things - king grass available in abundant supply locally, as well as specialised corn.

I find that Greenfields' fresh milk doesn't have the 'artificial taste' which a lot of other 'fresh' milk have, perhaps because there is nothing added into the milk. I have never really taken note of the contents stated in fresh milk packets, but I was pleased to see that Greenfields has only just that - Fresh Milk.

The hubs loves the chocolate malt milk, and mentioned that it doesn't have that cloyingly sweet chocolate taste many chocolate flavoured fresh milk has. True to form, it is labelled as Chocolate Malt 'Milk Beverage' because although its base is fresh milk, other components have been added into it. The Mookid drank a small glass by himself, too - which is the first time he's ever drunk any other milk (as it is) apart from formula without any complaints!

With so many products now coming from dubious origins, understanding how and where exactly Greenfields milk is derived is a welcome relief, especially for us parents. Additives and substances present in products, even in minute quantities can have long term effects. Fresh milk is not only good for health, but it can also be used in cooking and baking.

Greenfields fresh milk is also free of flavouring, and makes it a perfect choice for dishes which calls for milk as an ingredient. It doesn't interfere with the taste which can render the final product too 'milky'.

I used the fresh milk to make a bacon and macaroni pie, and even my Mum, who doesn't like milk - gave it a thumbs up!

MummyMoo's Bacoroni Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time:  1 h 10 minutes
Yields: 1 x 9 inch square or round pan


  • 300 gr streaky bacon, sliced
  • 300 gr elbow macaroni
  • 350 g spam / luncheon meat (1 can), diced
  • 1 block / 500g of cheddar cheese, diced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 800 ml / 3 cups of Greenfields fresh milk
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Prepare ingredients. You can do this beforehand and keep in the fridge so as to save time. Cook elbow macaroni for about 15 - 20 min, or until it turns soft.

2. Whisk eggs, milk, nutmeg, flour, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Line a 9 inch square pan (or a round tin) with parchment paper.

4. Put ingredients alternately in layers, and cover completely with the milk mixture.

5. Do this until the pan is filled to the brim, and scatter breadcrumbs atop the pie.

6. Bake in a preheated oven at 140 deg C for 1 h and 10 min.

There you have it... a Bacoroni pie, made with all the goodness of fresh, honest milk!

Greenfields milk is available at leading supermarkets and 7-11 convenient stores. Fresh Milk, High Calcium Low Fat, High Calcium Skimmed milk and Chocolate Malt comes in 1 litre packs (S$3.25) and Fresh milk 200ml and Chocolate Malt 200ml-only in 7-11 convenient store (S$1.50). Fresh Milk , High Calcium Low Fat also comes in 2 litres bottle (S$5.95), and 1 litre packs, and High Calcium Skimmed Milk only comes in 1 litre packs.

Buy any 2 x 2-litre Bottles or 3 x 1-litre Packs to get your free limited edition double walled cup. Promotion is valid from 12 August, while stocks last and available at major supermarkets and hypermarkets nationwide. Limited to four cups in a single receipt.

Disclaimer: This is an advertorial for Greenfields Singapore. While I was compensated and milk products provided for a first hand user experience, all opinions (and recipe!) is 100% my own.


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