Thursday, December 18, 2014

True Callings Unique Ceramics and Gifts Tart Warmer Review!

There's nothing that says the holidays are near than that of a house filled with scents of the season! Whether it be pine, cinnamon, baked goods or a yummy baked ham, there isn't a scent stemming from Thanksgiving to Christmas that I don't love to have wafting throughout my home. One of my favorite ways to achieve the permeation of said scents into every corner of my house is the burning of candles or melting of wax tarts via Warmers. There's nothing better, in my opinion, than the slow burning of a good soy candle or soy tart as you go about your daily routine or in my case settle down at the trusty old laptop and satisfy the urge to create or work through the art of writing.

So, when I was given the chance to work with True Callings Unique Ceramics and Gifts to include them in the For the Home section of our Holiday Gift Guide and review one of their beautiful, hand-crafted, Warmers I was more than a little excited.

Before I go into my review check out what Stephanie, the creative mind and ceramics master, has to say about her background and business:

"I have been working with clay for 20 years. I first started when my mother placed me in a clay class when I was 10. I think it is a neat material because there are really no limitations. The clay can take any form imaginable. Clay allows the imagination to come to life in 3-D. The creatures I create look like they could almost turn their heads and have a conversation with someone.

Each piece is one of a kind because they are all handmade. I hand build and paint/glaze all the pieces.  My husband helps me as well. He helps glaze and paint the creations. He also helps with the more technical side of the business, such as running the kiln, adding mechanical parts to various pieces and he is a wiz at the computer. We started the business almost 5 years ago.  We go all over Oklahoma doing art shows and festivals."  

I was sent one of Stephanie's Dragonfly Tart Warmers  to review. Although similar in design to the one advertised, my Dragonfly Tart warmer is multi-colored and the dragonfly design is purple, as you can see in the picture below. If you think the picture is absolute perfection then you should see this Tart Warmer in person. The blue and pink speckled design, although less vibrant in the photo than in person, is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen and perfectly suits my tastes. It also has a place of high honor on our dining room sideboard.

Measuring 6" tall, the Dragonfly Tart Warmer by True Callings is crafted using the hand slip casting method and then painted by hand. It, along with all of Stephanie's Warmers, come complete with electrical components and 25 Watt bulb. It was such a snap to put together once it arrived in the mail that I was able to set it up and start enjoying my very first Soy Tart, in this warmer, within a 30 minute time frame. The scent of Apple Cinnamon was sneaking into every corner of our home in no time flat! 

 If you're looking for a unique gift for someone this holiday season then I highly recommend heading over to True Callings Unique Ceramics and Gifts and taking a look at their lovely seasonal collection! With a wide selection of darling Creatures, Holiday Goodies and Home Decor items to choose from there's sure to be something for everyone on your list within their stock of unique, hand crafted items!

You can also connect with True Callings on Etsy|Facebook|Pinterest to make sure you never miss an update!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hollow Book Co. LOTR Book Safe and Polyjuice Potion Flask FLASH Giveaway! 12/20

Milkwasted was recently given the opportunity to work with Hollow Book Co. to review their products and feature them in our Gifts for Geeks section of our Holiday Gift Guide! I can tell you one thing for sure about this amazing company and that is that there isn't another like it anywhere. I've honestly always been a bit horrified at the way books have been treated since the release of electronic e-readers but lately have found myself rather impressed with the ways companies have found to revive old, forgotten volumes. Hollow Book Co. is one such company. Check out this little tidbit about the ins and outs of Hollow Book Co.:

Here at HollowBookCo. we've taken the printed book, which today has literally become an outdated resource for information, doomed to be obsolete, and re purposed it to meet the highest quality one could want from a hollow book. We've instilled a handmade process and re-cultivated the design of the book by mering it with our own philosophies to provide high quality usable products.

We've gone through countless amounts of early prototypes towards creating the perfect hollow book. Embodying the strength of gold plates magnets, to choosing the depth of it's walls. Together they provide amble strength and proper weight for each book. Its rounded edges utters a sense of friendliness, and elegance to our design. Our book flasks give its readers a new found place on it's book shelves. Once tucked away between or atop of the books, they now find themselves a home in it's center as our flasks come hidden within the book. Our Flasks are also designed to flutter about your life in style as each one can come laser engraved, personalized, monogrammed or draped with artwork as our vinyl wraps around its body.

Each Book Safe comes with magnetic closure, Brand New 6oz Hip Flask, Original hardcover and endpapers.

I was sent the LOTR Book Safe for review along with an awesome stainless steel Hip flask.

This particular item was perfect for me simply because my family and I have always been a fan of the LOTR series. Who couldn't love the deep sense of adventure and the battle between good and evil as told by J.R Tolkien? Funny enough, this wouldn't seem out of place in the slightest once it was placed in with the rest of our books. In fact, it fits in so well that it'll most likely blend in too well and be forgotten! If that isn't a perfect gift for a book lover then I don't know what is!

Connect with HollowBookCo. on Etsy|Facebook|Twitter|Tumblr and never miss an update!

Enjoy 10% off of your next order by using code GIFTGUIDESECRET2014. Expires 1-1-15.

Want to win a Stainless Steel Polyjuice Themed Flask for yourself or HP loving family member? Get your entries in on the Rafflecopter form below and stay tuned to see if you're chosen as our winner! 

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Ariana Victoria Rose Multi-Colored Wine Glasses review and #FLASH #giveaway! US 12/20

As many of you faithful readers know I was given the opportunity for last years Gift Guide to work closely with the loveliest shop owner by the name of Ariana who owns and creates her art out of Ariana Victoria Rose on Etsy. For those of you who don't remember and even for you more recent folks who have started to follow us here at Milkwasted here's a little refresher from Ariana herself:

"I cannot remember a time in my life where I was not drawing, painting, or sculpting any medium I could find. Many times I tried selling these unique items I had created, however I was young and not quite ready to blossom in the business world. 

Before the opening of my shop  I had focused on art school and my passion of painting. One of my mother’s co-workers took notice of my artwork and ambition. She asked me to paint her a 32”x40” sugar skull painting (that she would ultimately end up buying from me). Having that extra cash in my wallet re-ignited my yearning to make a living doing what I love. I had heard about selling on Etsy and decided to try it out. My initial inventory was four paintings and a custom-printed phone case. The case had a water color painting I had made of a skeleton couple embracing each other, printed onto the back. The phone case quickly became the most popular item I was selling, and I realized that my painting was resonating with buyers in a way I never imagined.
Wanting to expand my business, I realized I could not meet demand if I was making large paintings like in the past. A friend introduced me to using glass as a medium when she asked me to paint her wine glasses for the bridesmaids in her wedding.  Little did she know that this opened a brand new door for me to explore and expand my passion for painting. Painting glass was fun, quick, and allowed me to put my own spin on this medium, while also being able to keep up with demand for my artwork. My passion for sugar skulls, space, and octopus tentacles began to shine through as signatures of my Etsy shop, and within two months the number of orders I was receiving had tripled. Selling my art has always been a dream of mine, and with the support of my friends and family, Etsy has offered me a platform to make that dream come true."

Last year Ariana sent me a beautiful set of Stemmed Galaxy Wine Glasses for review. They were a huge hit in my home as well as with your fans, which is no surprise considering how perfect they were and how talented Ariana is. I literally had quite the argument with a family member because they wanted them so badly..these days they're kept under lock and key to ensure they don't get broken or snitched from my collection! You can check them out for yourselves below:

 So, if ya'll thought last years wine glasses were the epitome of perfection then I think you're going to love this years. Allow me to introduce the Stemless Crazy Galaxy Wineglasses!

I can honestly say that there was a similar dispute that broken out upon the arrival of these wineglasses. EVERYONE and I do mean everyone wanted them. Wanted to have them. Wanted to use them. You name it and they were wanted for it but since I had dealt with the similar situation last year it was easier to make a show of displaying them in our collection cabinet and firmly telling my family to bugger off!

Actually..what happened was this: the wine glasses arrived, I unpacked them and my older brother promptly stole one and drank from it. I tried to be firm and tell him to step off of my lovelies but as it always is and always will be when it comes to my brothers my warnings were quite useless. and I was okay with it.

Now, however they're stored in our Wine Cabinet next to their sisters and there they will stay until New Years Eve when we'll take them out and make our end of the year toasts before washing them and storing them away again. I have dubbed them the special occasion wine glasses.

Since each of these wineglasses is hand painted by Ariana they are a one of a kind set and no two wine glasses are exactly the same. They're painted with Enamel that is cured twice for longevity and although the brand she uses states the paint is dishwasher safe Ariana herself recommends gentle hand washing to help avoid chips and scratches. Also, be sure to use mild soap and lukewarm water in conjunction with a soft sponge. I know I'd be devastated if anything were to happen to them!

Wine glasses just not your thing? Don't be discouraged; Ariana has a host of different items to choose from ranging from Mugs, Purses, Pet Bowls and more! With a wide variety of hand-painted creations you're sure to find something everyone will love when you visit AVR on etsy.

Connect with Ariana on Facebook|Etsy|Instagram and never miss an update!

Want to win a set of these steller Wine Glasses for yourself? Just get your entries in on the Rafflecopter form below and stay tuned!a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mine by Design Review and Personalized #Frozen Ornament FLASH #Giveaway! US 12/20

One of my all time favorite things about this time of the year is walking into my house and smelling the delicious aroma of baked goods. Some say Tis the Season To Be Jolly but I say Tis the Season to Bake. Cookies, Cakes, Brownies, Fudge, etc. we make it all and truly enjoy it as do our sweet tooth's. It doesn't matter if we bake all day and into the night, by the time we're finished there's not much of the baked goods left after the kiddos and their Grandpa get done with them!

This year I was able to try out something a little different and all on my own which is a foreign concept to me since my Mama is very particular about who she let's into her kitchen..I was thrilled to be able to create something on my own and when I received the opportunity to review a truly unique Pie Plate from Mine By Design for the For the Home section of our Gift Guide I was thrilled. As a bonus it included a recipe for Key Lime Pie!

Check out this great little background piece on Mine By Design to help gear you up for an awesome review!

"Mine by Design Art Studio is contemporary art studio that offers paint your own pottery (PYOP), glass fusing, clay hand building, and so much more.

I began creating custom pieces for several of my customers and selling my hand made jewelry at the annual Jenkintown Festival of the Arts. This lead me to start selling my pieces on Etsy!  In January of last year, I opened MineByDesignStudio on Etsy, and have been having a blast creating unique ceramic and fused glass items!  

Using various digital and traditional techniques, I am able to create beautiful customized pieces for any occasion!  I specialize mainly in custom ceramic and fused glass items, as well as wood products!"

I have to say how impressed I was when this little gem arrived in the mail. I've always used Mom's vintage Pie Plates for my baking needs but this one was all mine and would be unique to my own experiences. Years down the road I'll be able to enjoy baking with my own children and hopefully pass it down to them when the time is right. Making memories is something I hold very dear and we've already started making memories with this piece.

I love the fact that each Pie Plate created by Laura, the artist behind Mine by Design, is completely unique to each individual customer. Once your order is placed Laura asks that you send in a recipe, of your choice, that she will hand-paint onto each pie plate. So, if you have a recipe that you absolutely love or is famous within your family Laura will make sure it's preserved for years to come! This particular piece plays host to the wonderful Key Lime recipe that I mentioned earlier and I can say honestly that the pie was delicious! The original owner of the recipe sure is lucky to have it in their recipe stash.

Another lovely item I was sent to review was this adorable Clumsy Santa Fused Glass Night Light! It measures 3"w x 4"h and is made with fusible glass. Each piece is carefully cut to create the design and once they're assembled, Laura tack fuse fires them to ensure everything stays as it should and doesn't fall apart. I was very pleased when this adorable little guy arrived and with everything I needed to set him up in our kids bathroom. They sure did get a kick out of seeing him the first time one of the littles ventured into the bathroom over night.

How stinkin' cute is he?

Connect with Mine by Design on Facebook|Twitter|Instagram and never miss an update! 

I bet you're itching to know how you can get your hands on some of Mine by Design's fabulous pieces. Well, I'm just as eager to tell you!

Not only has Laura given me a 20% discount code off of any $30 order for my readers but she's also generously donated one of her Personalized Frozen Ornaments to giveaway as well! How excited would your little one be to have one of these hanging on your Christmas tree?!

Get your entries in on the Rafflecopter form below and stay tuned!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Nebula 3D Print Queen Bedding Set! Review and Giveaway! US 12/20

I'm a self-proclaimed hermit and I've never minded who knew it; after my children were born I always felt more at ease while staying at home but my self-induced seclusion hasn't stopped me from familiarizing myself with the world around me. One thing in particular that I like to keep on top of is what's in style and the latest fads. From the latest and greatest in the Mommy world to what my fellow 20-somethings are interested in, I'd like to think I'm fairly knowledgeable about what's in and what's out. That being said I'd like to mention one thing that has been in for awhile now and that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Galaxy print.

Phone cases, wall paper, murals, lighting, apparel, etc; our stores are flooded with images and prints of our Galaxy and the products, it doesn't matter how big or small, are flying off the shelves to meet the demand. I'll admit to having my own obsession with said style and am guilty of buying my own Galaxy themed products here and there..which is why when I was given the incredible opportunity to work with an Etsy shop by the name of Tbedding, who specializes in 3-D printed Bedding and who creates Galaxy Quilt Covers, I was out of my skin with happiness!

Fang Lau, the creative mind and amazingly talented shop owner, very generously sent me one of her Queen sized Galaxy Sets to review! Isn't the Nebula print out of this world?!

Each of TBedding's Bedding Sets is made to order and comes with a Satin Quilt Cover/Duvet Cover, Satin Top Sheet and Two Satin Pillow Cases. The Queen Set measures 230cm x 230cm.

For you folks who're like me and hate to be overheated in the middle of the night these bedding sheets are great because they don't trap too much heat and they don't let in too much of the cold either. I found that sleeping under both the Duvet Cover and the Top Sheet kept me at just the right temperature even as the weather here in FL dropped to the 40's. We don't use the heat unless it's absolutely necessary so you can imagine it might have been just a bit cool in the bedroom I share with my girls. Those two are little space heaters so nothing bothers them but there comes a point, even in Florida, where heat is a must but as I said before, the Satin of this bedding kept me at the perfect temperature all night. I didn't even have to poke a leg out of the side like I do with my regular old comforter.

The only complaint I have with my findings on the set I was sent for review was that the two pillow cases that came included do run a bit small so you'll have to downsize to Standard Size Pillows but that's not a negative point in my book since I'm not really picky when it comes to what I sleep on.

All in all I highly recommend Tbedding and their products to anyone looking to upgrade their bedroom's look. Fang Lau was so easy to talk with and very friendly so communications went very smoothly. It did take a while to receive my review set but when you take into account that it was coming from China the wait wasn't unreasonable at all!

You can connect with TBedding on Etsy to make sure you never miss an update!

Want to win a Nebula Queen Bedding Set for yourself? Just hop on the Rafflecopter form below and get those entries in! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fuel Your Little Ones Imagination with Creations from BYOImagination!

Ever since my littles were small(er) there's been a air of great imagination surrounding them. They had imaginary friends much younger than I can ever remember my nieces and nephews dreaming them up and offering family members cups of pretend tea or bites of pretend "dinner" has been a normal occurrence since they hit the 6-7 month mark. We've encouraged them in such forms of play since their earliest days and it makes me happy to say that their imaginations have only continued to grow; albeit a little wildly these days but who can complain when we live in an age where outside and pretend play have been all but forgotten in favor of adapting to the technical era of Game Consoles and Tablets?

When I was given the opportunity to work with BYOImagination to review some of their stunningly realistic products and feature them in our Gifts for Kids section of the Holiday Gift Guide.

BYOImagination aka Bring Your Own Imagination is owned and operated by Megan Thompson who is the mother of two and creative mind behind the collection of lifelike toys at BYOI. What started as out as making toys to full the imaginations of her little ones turned into a full sized business for Megan. She enjoys picking the minds of her creative little ones and shaping them into pieces that are meant to be played with for generations to come!

When my goodies came in the mail I couldn't believe how generous Megan had been. My package contained A 2-Waffle with Blueberries set, 6 Wooden Celery Sticks, 8 Wooden Chocolate Covered Strawberries, 6 Wooden Chocolate Chip Cookies and 6 Cinnamon Rolls with an Icing Bowl and Baking Pan set.

I also couldn't get over the fact that each set looked just like something we'd really eat! The realism of these products is just unbelievable.

The Waffle Set comes with 2 strawberry halves and 10 blueberries. It perfectly captures what my little waffle eaters most enjoy when I'm in the  mood to whip up a batch of Belgian Waffles on Sunday mornings.

Each of the 6 Celery Sticks are made in perfect detail by Megan. They feature a combination of both Peanut Butter for the PB lovers and of Cream Cheese. They're also available in plain for the purest little ones.

Do you have a little one with a sweet tooth? The Cinnamon Bun Set is a great option for your little baker and the glaze drizzled over top looks so real it's tempting to try and take a bite although I wouldn't recommend it if you value a full set of teeth! You can also order them with or without icing depending on your preference.

If your little adores fruit half as much as mine do then the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Set  is the perfect addition to your childs play kitchen. Each of the 8 Strawberries are just too adorable for words and each is as perfect as the next.They'are just another example of how talented Megan is and how realistic each of her handmade creations are. Doesn't that chocolate drizzle look just like the ones you'd find in your favorite bakery?

Last but certainly not last, I can't forget to mention the Wooden Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are without a doubt one of my favorite pieces that I was sent. They're such adorable cookies and look just like the ones my little enjoy making with me, especially now during the holidays. All you need is a glass of milk and your little ones would swear they were the real deal!

Each one of Megan's creations is handmade using AP Certified NonToxic and Natural products so you never have to worry about the safety of your little ones while playing with each one!

I can't wait until my kids are able to open these up come Christmas morning. If I know my kids then I know they'll enjoy endless hours of playtime while making sure everyone is positively stuffed full with their new imagination inspiring goodies from BYOImagination!

Connect with BYOImagination on Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest|Instagram  and make sure you never miss an update!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I've Seen Fire and I've Seen Rings: Amy K Jewels Review and Giveaway! US 12/21

When I was given the opportunity to work with Amy K Jewels to review her products for the For Her Section of our Holiday Gift Guide I was stoked. A predominantly Opal based jewelry shop, Amy K Jewels is owned and operated by Amy Klitsner who is a master in her trade and creator of fine jewelry that leaves you, the customer, stunned with what she has to offer in her Etsy shop. I know I sure was! From Women's jewelry to selections for Men Amy has a special, one of a kind, piece for everyone who ventures into her shop. Whether you're looking for a statement piece or after a vintage steal she has you covered.

Check out what Amy has to say about her life inside and outside her studio:

"I am a Jewelry Artisan specializing in Precious Metal Clay creations in Fine Silver, Pure Bronze & Solid Copper. I live in L.A. and have a home studio. Earlier in my life I was a cinematographer for film & television. Painting with light is the key to good photography, and I still value that appreciation of the play-of-light across gemstones and Fine metals in the planning of my jewelry designs today. 

Custom work: I love how working in the medium of Metal Clay gives me endless versatility and creative freedom to make your custom Jewelry totally unique to you. To design your piece, I strive to have a FaceTime chat with you so that I can best gain an in-depth sense of who you are, sketch out a design together, & thoroughly get your input so that I can generate a truly personalized creation for you.

My favorite Gemstones: Fire Opals. Just as they constantly reveal dynamic new aspects of themselves in the ever changing light we move through, likewise, are we humans each unique individuals with a multitude of personality aspects. Over the years I have carefully gathered a large personal treasure trove of absolutely stunning one-of-a-kind Opals and other gemstones. You can choose a fine stone from this private collection to best match your spirit for your personalized Fine Jewelry Art piece."

I was sent this gorgeous Triple Opal Ring to review. Since each stone is made of genuine Black Opal and no two Opals are the same this ring is a one of a kind beauty that has earned me more compliments than I can count! What do you think, readers, weigh in: Isn't it just breathtaking?

Because I wasn't able to capture the true essence and fire that these beautiful Opals possess and the added fact that the glare of the camera was so strong, I had to borrow the picture that Amy provided prior to having the ring shipped. As gorgeous as it turned out for her I can honestly say that the picture itself doesn't even do the ring justice unless you see it in person. Nestled on my pinky finger this statement piece is an absolute gem; no pun intended.

Each piece by Amy is created using precious Silver in clay form. Amy then proceeds by using a syringe filled with liquid form clay to extrude onto the ring form to make each one into a truly unique ring. Just as no two opals are the same, no two rings from Amy K Jewels are the same either! If Silver isn't your thing then don't despair, Amy also works in 22K Gold as well as .999 fine Silver, Copper and Bronze. With options like that you just can't go wrong when deciding to make Amy K Jewels your one stop jewelry shop this holiday season!

Some fun facts about Opals are:

  • Opal is one of the most popular gemstones in the world 
  • Pure Opal is primarily colorless but impurities impart various colors ranging from yellows and reds.
  • It's recommended that you store your Opals in water to keep them hydrated. Thirsty Opals may break or at the very least lose their shine.
Did I mention that each piece from Amy comes with a lifetime guarantee? Should you break or loosen an Opal from it's setting simply send the piece back and Amy will restore it to it's former glory for a wholesale fee for the price of the main stone and a $50 labor fee to pay for her time and expertise in putting it to rights for you. This she will do for life! How awesome is that?! 

Now, I know the question that must be burning through your minds right now..Will there be a giveaway? Will one lucky reader be selected to win one of Amy's gorgeous creations for themselves? Well, the answer is YES but it gets even better. There will be two winners!

Our 1st winner will take the grand prize, this absolutely stunning Blue Opal Pendant and Earring Set. Each Blue Opal is lab cultured, measures 8mm and is set in Sterling Silver. 

Our 2nd place winner will receive these fun and stylish Boho Rainbow Glass Lampwork earrings. Each pair is handmade in Amy's Studio and feature natural Rose Quartz and Sterling Silver Granular Style beads. How adorable are these?

So, if you'd like to win one of these lovely sets for yourself of a loved one then just get your entries in on the Rafflecopter form below and stay tuned to see if you're chosen as one of our winners! 

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Brittle Box Candy Co. review and giveaway! US 12/18

Ah the holiday season! Like anything else, different folks like different aspects of this special time of year. Some like the weather, others simply love visiting family. A lot of people can't wait for the holiday gift exchanges while others start humming Christmas songs early in October. Me? Well I love love love all the special holiday goodies I allow myself once a year! I remember my gramma's busy kitchen during December. She baked and dipped and whipped up gobs of delicious candies...but my favorite day was brittle day. It was magical to me....Gramma would put sugar and a couple other ingredients in her old saucepan, cook it for a while and when a tiny bit changed to the right consistency when dropped into a glass of cold water, she'd stir in the nuts and quickly spread it onto a buttered pan to cool. I loved tapping the hardened brittle with the back of a butter knife to crack it into edible sized bits...but even more than that, I LOVED eating it!

 Recently, we were blessed with a selection of delectable brittles from Amedeos Bakery, aka The Brittle Box Candy Co. Move over Gramma! I'm sorry to say it, but, these guys have you beat!

With family roots in Tuscany and Calabria Italy, candy maker extraordinaire, Robert Roberti is a third generation Italian Baker.. He hand makes Italian Breads, Biscotti, Cookies, Gelato, and much more. He loves FOOD! Making it, baking it.... and oh yes, eating it!

 Now don't get me wrong, Gramma's peanut, cashew and almond brittles were awesome, but with luscious gourmet offerings like Blueberry White Chocolate Almond, Cranberry Edamame, Toasted Sesame and Brazil Nut Blueberry Caramel, Amedeos Bakery wins hands down!

It doesn't end with brittle, though. No Siree! There is a delightful selection of cookies, scones, barks, bundt cakes and more to be found at Amedeos Bakery. Go ahead and indulge. Put some lovely brittle or delicious truffles on your holiday table. Both your tummy and your guests will thank you!

Are you tempted to pop on over to Amedeos Bakery and order some of their delectible goodies for yourself? Want to be entered for a chance to WIN some? Well, today is your lucky day because I just so happen to have a $25 Gift Certificate up for grabs.

So, hop on the rafflecopter and get your entries in for your chance to win!

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