Surprise!

Yes, it’s me…the Internet did not in fact swallow me up. It did almost chew me up and spit me out, though.  It’s been about three weeks since I’ve posted anything on the blog, and even though I pretty much Dave Chappelle-ed everybody, I am officially back! There have been a lot of changes going on in my life, and on the blog. Blog changes will be discussed now, life changes will be discussed later!

About three weeks ago I decided that I needed to upgrade my wordpress blog from a “.com” to a “.org” site, mainly because I wanted more creative control, etc.  Even though I researched and followed everything step by step, while exporting my old blog and importing the information to my new blog, I thought for a moment I had lost everything.

Cue overly dramatic, self-loathing Christine.  As you’ll soon find out I didn’t lose everything {the people at Bluehost ROCK}, and I’ll explain everything else that’s been going on later this week.

I have made the creative decision to improve the blog in a variety of ways, first by improving the name from just “Skinny Fingers”, to “The Skinny Finger Chronicles”.  I tried to take the opportunity to adjust the name while changing the blog from a wordpress.com to wordpress.org site. In terms of what’s on the new blog, every thing is identical, you wouldn’t even know that I had changed anything except for some cosmetic stuff if I wasn’t bringing this up.  My final step before getting things back to normal revolves around me moving my subscribers.  If you’ve subscribed via email I have transffered you to the new blog, but if for any reason you don’t get the new posts, sign up for the new blog at “www.theskinnyfingerchronicles.com”.  Now, if you’re a follower via bloglovin’, the wonderful people at bloglovin’ will be moving you today, and again, you will now be able to find me at “www.theskinnyfingerchronicles.com”.

In the next few days I’ll be redirecting this site to my new one, so there won’t be any confusion. But like I said everything that’s on this blog can also be found on the new one, so no worries there. 🙂

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday, I can’t guarantee a new post every day this week, but I do promise that I’m back and won’t disappear like that again. 🙂

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Tone It Up Sunday // Make Ahead Meals // Home Improvement

With yesterday being my only day off this weekend, it was quite a busy one.  After spending the first part of my morning posting #FiveThings and watching copious amounts of Jimmy Kimmel, “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” videos, I headed out to brunch with my brother, roommate Andrew, and some other friends.  Have you ever seen any of those Jimmy Kimmel videos?  If you haven’t, YouTube it right now.  I was crying laughing.  The NBA video’s and the most recent one {#8} are by far my favorite.

After running a few errands, I came home and FINALLY stained the headboard that Ali brought down over Halloween weekend.  Now just waiting for that puppy to dry so I can set it up and take more creative pictures to show you guys.

There’s a little sneak peek…

In terms of exercise, I was hoping to fit in a nice, long, and leisurely outdoor run, but the weather had other plans.  It rained, nay…poured…all dang day.  So I squeezed in a quick two mile treadmill run, and completed this KettleToning workout from Tone It Up.  I love those beach babes, Karena and Katrina.  It’s also nice to pretend like you’re working out with them on the beach in sunny CA, where most of their workout videos take place.

Earlier in the day, I also prepared some of their Pumpkin Crockpot Soup, to have for dinner last night and a few meals this week.  I also sauteed some brussels sprouts, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and chicken sausage to have on the side.  It was quite tasty.

Notice the fall decor…also, I have no pretty bowls, so for the sake of the picture, let’s use a cool mug.

On top of the original recipe, I also included 3 Bay Leaves to enhance the flavor!  I think you can see one peeking out of the soup there.

Rounded out the night by catching up on The Walking Dead and making a batch of egg muffins that I’ll eat for breakfast throughout the week.  This was my first time making egg muffins, and I followed The Primal Palate’s recipe, here.

These things a perfect to chow down on while I’m running out of the door in the morning {they even taste good cold…yes, it’s true!}.

Finally got a second to post this baby on my lunch break, so now it’s back to work for me!

How was your Sunday?  Prepare any make-ahead meals or get stuff done around your home?

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#FiveThings {Oct 26}

The weekend has finally coming to a close.  Got a lot of things done, but also spent a lot of time taking my time.  After being so busy these past couple of weeks/weekends, I can’t complain…ready and refreshed for another week!  Let’s jump in to the week’s #FiveThings…

The Skimm

I understand that I’m a little late jumping on this train…but I’m officially obsessed with The Skimm.  It’s perfect for those on the go, with honest and funny {honestly, it’s funny} recaps of what’s going on in today’s world.  Their tagline?  “We read.  You Skimm”

Source

I read it on breaks at work, and it catches me up on need to know info.  Even election/midterm news, which is extremely important if you’re living in NC…Tillis/Hagan…Hagan/Tillis…things are heatin’ up down in North Cakalacky.

Work Salad

If I said I eat this 4 out of the 5 days of the work week, I’d be telling the truth.  The cafe at my job has a variety of amazingly delicious food {and it’s subsidized…work perk}.  However, since I sit all dang day, I try to be as healthy as I can.  This curried kale salad has been my saving grace…

It’s full to the brim {the salad line people hook me up}.  The ingredients?:  Baby kale, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, real bacon bits, beets, mandarin oranges, blueberries, chopped blackened chicken, almonds and cashews, topped with curried dressing {they still won’t tell me the ‘secret’ ingredients in the dressing}.

After 5+ months, I haven’t gotten tired of it, I’m a creature of habit, what can I say?  If anyone knows any good curry dressing recipes, let me know. 🙂

Nick Jonas

I’m a sucker for bad music.

But really, where did Nick Jonas come from?  Left field, that’s where.  {Almost} completely shaking his Jo-Bro sound, I can’t get enough of his new music.  I love listening to it when I workout.  My current favorite?  “Chains”…

Split Jumps/Jumping Lunges

Call them what you want, but split jumps are in my top five of workout moves…ever.  I’m not sure exactly what it is about them, but I always find myself completing three sets of twenty of these babies before my workout is done, most days of the week.

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My New Cooz

Last weekend, when I went to Miami, my brother went home to Durham to participate in the Bull City Racefest.  After the race there were, as always, a variety of vendors and sponsors where you could pick up some free SWAG {or as Michael Scott would say, “Stuff We All Get”}.  Ryan decided to be a nice sibling and bring me back a themed Durham/Running coozie.

Classic.  And extremely fitting for a place like Durham, if you’re not from there you probably won’t understand.  Stay weird, Durham.

So there ya have it, what are your #FiveThings for the week?

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If You Liked it then You Shoulda put an Egg on It

Channeling some Beyonce play on words to make it through this Monday morning.  Monday, Schmonday.  Let’s try to pick up the Monday morning slump by talking about some creative breakfast ideas.  When it comes to breakfast, my go-to move is the fried egg.  Create a medley of whatever I want, and top it off with a gooey, dippy, runny egg. 

It first started with my love for this breakfast hash over a year ago, now it’s become a morning staple.

Top it off with some guac and this breakfast burger.

Or if I’m feeling green, I’ll often steam some kale and spinach in veggie broth to top with a fried egg.

You can’t really tell what’s under this one, but if I’m in a little “huevos rancheros” type of mood then I’ll chop up some Jalapeno Chicken Sausage and saute peppers, onions, and tomatoes.  {Click the link for another tasty chicken sausage breakfast recipe}.

The fried egg, while versatile, is also extremely delicious and nutritious.  Since I’m currently free in the mornings, my cooking creativity is channeled mostly for breakfast.  So, I like to do what I can to try to come up with as many breakfast options as possible!

What do you guys like to have for breakfast?  Like the fried egg as much as I do? 

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I Like My Chicken Sausage Scrambled

The other night I was having drinks with a friend and we got on to the topic of health foods…a common theme, I’m finding, when drinks and talking are involved {could be worse…but hey, I’m not complaining}.  I love any opportunity I can get to learn new things about food and health!  Sharing similar belief’s and grocery lists, she rocked my world by telling me about something I had no idea existed…and it lives at Trader Joes.  I might be way behind on this, but that’s what I get for not living within a 100 mile radius of the beloved grocery store for 6+ years.

Chicken Sausage

But not just any chicken sausage, the variety of styles and flavors that are at Trader Joes are what gets me.  Then of course like everything else there, the reasonable price tag that’s attached.  What is chicken sausage?  Chicken…in the shape of a sausage.  Tastes pretty much like sausage, but it’s chicken.  Kind of like ground turkey v. ground beef.  I try to not eat soooo much red meat.  I’m more of a fish, turkey, chicken kind of girl, so this is a great substitute- because let’s be honest, sausages and red meats can be pretty great, just not in excess.

I picked up two “basic” flavors to try…notice the already opened packaging and absent sausages.  Needless to say, I’m going back for more, and I’m especially excited to try some new flavors.  I haven’t gotten too adventerous with them yet, mostly adding them to my breakfast {since cooking dinner and work don’t really “work” together these days}.  My favorite way to eat them so far?  Scramble ’em!

The following, basic b-fast recipe includes the following ingredients (of course you can sub any veggies that you want)

3 eggs (1 whole, 2 egg whites)
1 Chicken Sausage link of your choice (I used Jalapeno)
5 asparagus spears, chopped
1 cup organic spinach
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp of coconut oil (for cooking)
S&P and Garlic Powder to taste

***I pretty much always add a side of 1/2 avacado {w/ hot sauce} to my breakfast…do the same if you wish***

Directions:

1.  Start by heating the coconut oil over medium heat, once melted add the veggies and chicken sausage.  Cook until the spinach has wilted and the onions begin to become translucent.

Steam always makes my “stove top action shots” so blurry…anyone have a remedy for that?

2.  Scramble the eggs in a separate bowl, add a splash of almond milk to make them more fluffy if desired.

3.  Add eggs and seasoning to the skillet and scramble around until cooked through {I’m drawing a blank, but you know how to cook scrambled eggs}

Ta-Da!!  Like I said I always like to have avacado on deck, as well as a side of fresh fruit.  This week the melons and nectarines were lookin’ mighty fine at TJ’s, so I decided to add them to my shopping cart.

Oh yea, and coffee.

So, I realize that I might be way behind on the whole chicken sausage discovery…what else can I do with these babies?  Sharing is caring ! 🙂

Ever used chicken sausage before?  In what ways do you like to cook with it?

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The Cardio Blues

This morning I awoke fairly easily…a lot more willing than usual.  Unfortunately my desire to workout was not up to par.  Up and moving by 7, and getting myself ready to go to the gym, the last thing I wanted to do was anything cardio related.  Knowing that I needed to do it made it that much less appealing.  Pretty soon I plan on picking my distance running back up {I have a few races in mind}, that being said I’ve been trying to incorporate cardio into my workouts in any way that I can so that I’m not entirely starting from square one. I put on my gym clothes, walked around my apt, took a few swigs of pre-workout, all in the hopes of igniting my cardio flame.  I was having no such luck.  All I kept thinking was….

caaaarrrrdddiiiooooo?

EW!

{If you’re not on board, watch the Jimmy Fallon “Ew” video(s) here}

I’ve been great mentally cranking out cardio recently, but today I was in a slump.  Sprinting on and off on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes sounded like the last thing I wanted to do.  So I improvised.  I decided to spend 15 minutes on three different pieces of cardio equipment.  First, 15 minutes of the 5X8 Workout, 15 minutes alternating resistance on the elliptical, and 15 minutes on the stairmaster…viola! 45 minutes of cardio completed.  I then did a bunch of upper body stuff that I’ll share later on. 

Speaking of cardio, I’ve been wanting to sign up for another half marathon soon.  I might do the MU Half again, there is one coming up in Durham…and I haven’t looked yet, but I’m sure there are a few around Charlotte.  In the mean time I’ll be doing some research and a better job at motivating myself to willingly run around.

What do you guys do when you’re having the cardio blues?  Any tips?

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High Five Friday {Aug 22}

Another week, another time to be positive.  Let’s go, what are some things you’re vibin’ with this week?  Below are my five:

Tony Chachere’s

Tony Chachere’s (n.)- Christine’s default spice.  I love to cook, but honestly if I’m feeling uninspired, or I’m short on time and my brain short circuits and doesn’t know what to make, I always reach for this stuff.  It goes on everything, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

Paleo Blueberry Muffins

From the cookbook that I ordered the other week, OMG That’s Paleo? I’ve been planning on trying a variety of her recipes, as soon as I have the time.  One thing I’ve made once a week since I got the cookbook are these Blueberry Muffins…O..M..G.  I’m officially convinced that Paleo muffin batter tastes better than any other type of muffin batter {yes, I ate some, yes there were raw eggs in it, I live on the wild side}.  So the muffin batter is awesome, but the muffins are dilectible.  So perfect, so healthy, {essentially} guilt free.

Cupcake liner cred:  Lori Wenz.  Jimmy’s mom is so sweet.

Taylor Swift’s New Song

Yes, I said it and I don’t care what anyone thinks.  One thing I can’t deny is that while I love all music, I have a weak spot for fun/catchy/poppy music from time to time.  Specifically Taylor Swift.  Like her new song, “Shake it Off”…I just can’t help it.  I was legit awake for an additional hour in bed last night because I couldn’t get it out of my head.  One of Ryan’s friend’s girlfriends said it best when they visited last weekend, “Taylor Swift is my spirit animal”.  Say what you want about her, but I’ll always have love for T. Swiz.

Source

Speaking of Happiness

Following up with the TED Talk post about Happiness, I encountered two things the next day that reminded me to keep it all in perspective.  The first, believe it or not, came from Instagram.  I noticed a picture that a friend of a friend of a friend posted {pretty sure that’s how that went, you know when you fall through the blackhole that is Instagram}.  I screenshotted it and cropped it the other day as a quick reminder and I thought I’d share it with you all.

Source

Not even kidding, a few minutes after I saw this I ran into a coworker in the break area at work.  We’ve met a few times but we work in different areas of the building so we don’t really “know” each other.  You know, when you know a person enough to smile and say hello, maybe make small talk but nothing much past that.  After exchanging niceties, she stopped and looked at me and said, “Do you ever have one of those moments when you talk to someone and you think ‘Wow, I don’t really have it as bad as I think I do’.  You know, you think YOU’RE having a rough day and then someone comes along that’s actually having a rough day and it puts everything into perspective for you?  I just had a moment like that.  It’s crazy how caught up in everything you can get.  I don’t know, I just had to say that to somebody.”  And then she went back to work and was gone.

But she’s right, and I find myself in situations like this as well.  Life can get stressful and overwhelming, not discounting that, but oftentimes we can lose perspective on things when we’re in these stressful and overwhelming situations, and being able to maintain that perspective can keep us grounded.  No matter what happens, there is always someone out there who is having a harder time than you.  I always try to remember this.  Not in an “I’m better than someone” kind of way, but just in a way of seeing things realistically.  Yes, maybe something sucks for a moment, or for a day, {or for a few days}, but when it all comes down to it, is it REALLY worth it to let it negatively affect you?  Learn from it, grow from it, move on.  Life is too short, be thankful for what you have.

This Yoga Video

I love yoga, and I’ll admit I took all the free yoga classes that were at the Marshall Rec Center for granted.  I don’t think I realized how unbelievably convenient it was to have free yoga throughout the day.  Now, I haven’t been able to find a class that fits my new schedule {and it costs dough- who woulda thunk}.  So when I want to scratch my yoga itch, for now I always do this POPSUGAR 30 min yoga video.

 

Source

It’s an excellent all around basic yoga vid for “avid” beginners like myself.

So what about you guys?  What are your five things for the week?  Find it in everything.

See y’all later on!

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The Beep is Back

Today was my day off, so on top of running some other errands I finally got signed up with a gym membership!!  Wahoo!!  I’m so excited I can barely contain myself.  Like I mentioned on Friday, both Jimmy and I were able to join our local Gold’s Gym through his work.  I’ve literally been chomping at the bit ever since I found out that joining was an option.

My info packet and “Golden Ticket” keytag.

Things that I’m excited about?  Besides the fact that it’s a gym with full amentites, they also have a whole mess of Les Mills classes that are free to members {RPM, Bodypump, Body Attack, Body Flow, Body Combat}, in addition to other classes.  I’ve never taken any Les Mills classes, but I’ve only heard great things.  I like working out on my own most of the time, but sometimes those classes are just what you need when you’re feeling unmotivated or “too tired”.  Who knows, maybe these classes will change my stance {except for spinning, I’ve always loved spinning}.

After signing up, I just wanted to spin my wheels a bit and I did a quick bike and ab workout {to share later} and headed home to pre-make a few meals {also sharing later}.  I already had plans to meet up with my brother, Ryan, to run with the NODA Run Club later that day so I didn’t want to leave it all at the gym.

Which is another reason why I’m loving having Wednesdays off.  Since moving to Charlotte, my brother and I always meet up to go running in NODA {a “hip” district in Charlotte that’s located on North Davidson street…get it?}.  Every Wednesday at 6:30pm a group of 100-200 people, maybe more, meet up at the NODA Brewing Co. and run together on either a one mile, three mile, or five mile loop.  Ryan consistently runs the five, and today I chose to run the three since it’s so hot, and I honestly haven’t been running outside recently.  The routes take you through some cute parts of NODA, which reminds me a lot of the historic district of downtown Durham.  At the end of the run, you’re greeted with a nice view of Uptown’s skyline….{I’m still new here, and I still don’t know why downtown Charlotte is called “Uptown”}.

Can you tell how hot and muggy it is in the evenings?  Headache status.

It felt amazing to get back into the swing of things….a little eye opening because I was MAYBE going at 60% of what I’m used to, but still great.  I’ve got a lot of work to do to get my butt back into gear, so let’s get started.

See y’all later on.

What do you like about Wednesday’s? 

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High Five Friday {July 18}

High five for this being the first High Five Friday!!  What is a High Five Friday, you ask?  Well, to be honest, I’m only partly sure.  I’ve decided that I want to make Friday’s a type of positive and reflective day, a look back on the week and a peek ahead at what’s in store.  Let’s call it a friendly reminder to look at the positives once a week.  I’m excited to see what this day will grow into, I’m not sold on the name just yet {I honestly don’t even dish out high fives, it’s more of a figure of speak than an action}, so it may change…but for now, Skinny Fingers: High Five Friday Edition works for me!

So basically, what I want to do is select five things each week that I am either thankful for, looking forward to, think are funny, etc…anything positive, big or small!  So this week, here are my five things:

Going to Chicago

By far one of my most favorite cities in the country.  This weekend I’m super duper excited because as you can guess, I’m going to Chicago to visit with some of my best of friends!  (I’m actually on the plane now…first air blog, woop!)  My friend and old roommate, Liz, lives there now and our other friend Abby (who is already there) is visiting too!!  Only downside is that our fourth compadre, Jess was unable to make it :(….we’ll miss you Hessica, you’ll be there in spirit…in memoriam of last year’s Chicago trip, here’s a clip of the four of us last year…

Getting out of Training

On the 16th of this month, I officially completed my first full month at my new job.  Today marked our last day of training, and it definitely feels like I’ve reached a milestone.  I am an Inside Sales Rep for a company in Charlotte, and while it is similar to other things I’ve done in the past, in a lot of ways it is very different.  At multiple times in this past month, the job itself became very challenging and I had to power through a lot personally so that I could learn, grow, and become a better sales rep.  Being able to learn a new task and consistently progress (haven’t quite mastered it yet) is a very rewarding experience {tip taken from The Happiness Project}.  However, it was also kind of sad because I will miss my training buddies dearly.  We will all still be within the same sales field, but on Monday we will get divided into preexisting teams and most of us will no longer be working right next to each other.  We all became very comfortable in our “newbie niche” and it was nice to have each other to lean on…but so it goes, at least this will be another opportunity to meet more people in the company!

Gym Membership on the Horizon

Yes, it’s finally here!  Next week I will FINALLY have a gym membership back.  I’ve been chomping at the bit ever since I found out that Jimmy and I could get a discounted membership at the Gold’s Gym up the street through his job.  We kept going back and forth on what we wanted to do and where we wanted to join, then we were in and out of town or extremely busy most weekends, and to be quite honest, time got away from us.  So I ran, and ran, and ran (and did a few inhouse circuits) and ran some more.  Then I stopped running as much the past few weeks with work (honestly), and I’m in need of something to kick me back into gear.  I’m thinking this is going to be just the ticket.

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Jams of the Week 7/16

Thanks to my friend, Molly, a big group of my friends and I have an almost bi-weekly thing going on that we call “Jams of the Week {insert month/day here}”.  When the time is right, Molly sends out a mass text- JAMS OF THE WEEK..GO!  And everyone recommends one or two songs that they really like, can’t stop listening to, consider a classic, etc.  By the end of the day we all have this awesome playlist on Spotify that we can follow and listen to whenever we want.  Earlier this week was another session of JOTW and the playlist was awesome!  I love being able to have JOTW’s because as we’re all getting older and living lives in different cities, it’s hard to constantly stay in touch.  Albeit it’s a different way to stay in touch sometimes, but it’s so funny to listen to what people come up with.  It’s like your friends are all right there listening with you.

Visiting With Family

This past weekend Jimmy’s dad and brother, Pat,  came to visit, and while I miss my own family very much, it’s always nice to visit with his.  Although it was a quick trip is was nice to hang out with Jimmy, his dad and brother, and my own brother, Ryan, all at once  Definitely a special treat that doesn’t get to happen very often.  Pat and Big Jim are hilarious people, and I was laughing pretty much the entire weekend. There’s nothing that’s better than a little family time for the soul.  Hopefully now that I have my official work schedule I’ll be able to find some time to go to Durham soon.

Alllllllrightie then, well, off to Chicago I go {eeeeeeeeekkkkk!!}

See y’all later on!

High Five, it’s Friday!  What things are you grateful for this week?

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Sans Gym {+} YouTube Workout Favorites

Lil late night post here…

Since moving to Charlotte, I have been without a gym membership…it’s been grueling.  All I have to say is, thank goodness I enjoy running.

Okay, it really hasn’t been THAT bad, but after working in (and working out in) Marshall’s state of the art Recreation Center, being without great facilities feels a little like the rug has been pulled out from under me.  Now that I’ve gotten a big girl job, setting up a gym membership will be one of the first things on my to-do list once I start getting paid again.  Needless to say, this past month has been full of running, YouTube Workouts {Fitsugar has been my saving grace- Hallelujer!}, and a pinch of creativity.

Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite and effective in-house circuits that I’ve been completing since moving here.  I really works up a sweat, and it keeps everything in check during a transition period without a gym.  This is the same circuit I talked about on Monday…you know, the one right before FROLFin’ it up.

Nothing too complicated, but a perfect thing to always have in your back pocket.  I normally like to do this either in the morning when I wake up, or I’ll cycle through it 2-3 times after a run.

Even though my roommates and I are all busy and still in some of the “moving in” stages, and we currently have a lot of space due to a lack of furniture, you don’t need a lot of square footage to get this thing done.  At 5’11”, I completed this at my apartment very easily.

YouTube Workout Favorites

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve recently become a fan of Fitsugar and YouTube vids, the entire site is awesome, but here are a few of my favorites-

Fitsugar Yoga Workout For The Ultimate Bikini Body with Mindy Ingber

Fitsugar 40 Minute Bikini Body Workout

**I like to do these next three back to back…to back (aka 30-35 minute workout)

Fitsugar 10 Minute Cardio Workout

Victoria’s Secret Model Workout: 10-Minute Fat Blasting Circuit

10-Minute Flat Abs Workout

I’ve really grown to like these workouts, and I honestly might keep up with some of them every now and then, even when I finally get that beloved gym membership back.

But then again, who knows…I really love a good gym.

What are some of your favorite YouTube workout videos?

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