dear legs

dear legs, I'd really like it if you didn't hurt after water aerobics....

dear time, you're going too slow. It needs to be closer to move in day. I need the change.

dear future classmates, I'll admit, I'm a crybaby, don't make fun of that fact please...

dear brooke, you probably won't see this, but honestly, if we're this close without even living together yet, I can't wait until move in day, we're gonna have a blast

dear Amy, I'm sorry move in day is on your birthday, I really wish it wasn't.

Dear kid I'm going to nanny for, please don't make my life hard these next few weeks

dear fingernails, you looked a lot better a week ago.

dear bearkat camp kids, I hope we have a blast. Oh, and that I don't get a sunburn. I'm still recovering from the last one.

dear book, go edit yourself. I don't want to.

Dear fictional character I have a crush on, why can't you be real?

dear Texas, you tortured us last summer, can't we have a year off?

dear thyroid, you were doing so good! Don't jump off the deep end yet!

dear AP central, please send Sam my AP scores so I can be closer to being a sophomore.

Dear blog readers, thank you for the sweet comments from yesterday's post. By the time I finished reading them all, I was crying like a baby. They mean so much to me.

To read the inspiration for the structure of this post, read this previous post. 


walking away

I'll never understand how someone can walk away so easily, like it's no big deal. To turn your back from someone permanently, with no guarantee there'll be another conversation between you two.

Maybe I suffer from abandonment issues from early on, which is ridiculous to say since my mom never dropped me off at a fire station (which is legal in Texas) as a kid, but I still think they're there.

I don't trust easily, but when I finally trust people, I feel like the majority of the time I get burned because of it.

I've lost a lot of important people in my life in the past year and a half. Two of my (former) best friends, in fact I lost one multiple times. I watched my grandma waste away for four months to die ten days before my eighteen birthday.

I've realized in the past year and a half that I never trust people easily because I never know what we'll happen between us. I'm always afraid that my feelings are going to get trampled on, so I shove them down and keep them there until I snap.

And then they leave. It's hard, especially after my depression, to convince myself sometimes that people care. And I'm not talking about my writing friends or blogging friends, I know they care...

I'm talking about the people I see everyday. My family, my co-workers, my friends I see at church once a week. I just don't feel like a critical part in anything.

Maybe it goes with the need to move. The last time I moved was when I was five, over thirteen years ago. Maybe I'm ready to find people who are willing to take my feelings into consideration.

Now, I know I'm important to the people in my life now....

But, I'm just ready for change.

Maybe it's time for me to just walk away.


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And we’d love for you to join us!

♥ new wallet ♥ shopping with my best friend ♥ working for the first time in a while ♥ blog designs ♥ OS X mountain Lion ♥ bed, bath and beyond ♥ dorm room stuff ♥ my soon-to-be roommate, Brooke ♥ Pass It On at church ♥ singing at church ♥ taking a chance to make things right again, regardless of if they do work out ♥ the amazing growth I've seen this blog have in the past month or two ♥ editing ♥ a new book ♥ writing scenes for a book in The Assassin series ♥ redesigning the look of my room 


coming out girly

(Note: this is a long post, but I didn't feel like it was long enough to break into a series.) 

The past year has kind of been a defining year for me. I don't want to link it to my break-up, but I kind of have to, since that kind of became the catalyst for all of this... well....

girly stuff.

You see, the majority of my life has been spent in t-shirts and jeans or shorts. It wasn't until junior year that I wore make-up on a regular basis. And even now, two years later, I only wear eyeliner on a regular basis.

But, it was only this past year in school I really embraced my girly side. You see, before senior year, nice shirts and blouses were off-limits for me. Not because anyone said I couldn't wear them, but because I felt like everyone stared at me. Look at Laura, she's attempting to look cute. 

It was a real war with my self-conscious to put effort into the way I looked for fear of being mocked or laughed at.

Then one day this past year, I said to hell with it and put on a nice blouse and some really big, flashy earrings. No one said anything, a couple guys looked at me, maybe trying to figure out what was different about me.

Then I made it to the class I had with my best friend at the time and she looked at me and told me "Laura, did your boobs get bigger?"

Fail! I hadn't even thought about that. The shirt I'd worn was designed specifically for that and I hadn't even realized it.

But at that point, it was too late.

Slowly, I started wearing more cute stuff, making do with the few blouses I had that didn't look like something my mom picked out. (Which was most of my shirts that weren't t-shirts). Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, but I don't want to dress like her yet.

And if the blouses and the earrings weren't enough, I soon discovered I had a secret love of dresses.

Of course, in a family that was born basically wearing t-shirts and shorts, it's hard to be a girly girl, especially when I'd never acted like it.

Even now, after months of slowly incorporating being a girly girl into my family, I still get occasional "You look weird!" comments from my siblings.

The downhill slope continued back in April when I was prom dress shopping with my best friend. We were in a huge mall in Dallas, so, we were far away from anyone we knew.

Then she did it. My best friend dared me to go into Victoria's Secret and walk out with something.

You have to understand, I'd never been there. I was the girl who scoffed at their commercials. I was the girl who would never wear stuff like that. My friends and I were the ones who giggled and laughed like immature teenagers when we would pass it at the mall.

So, in attempt to take the blow off of myself, I dared her to do the same thing.

We both walked out with a bra and a bunch of underwear. It was the beginning of the end. And if you've ever worn anything from there, you understand what I mean!

I don't want to say it was the bra or the underwear, but it was. Maybe it was the fact I had a bra on that actually fit correctly, but I when I put something Victoria's Secret on, I just feel this boost of confidence.

I mentioned it to my friend the other day when we went there again and she said she felt the same way. Both of us aren't stick thin, so having that extra boost of confidence is always pretty nice. It's kind of nice to be 18 and admit there are times I feel sexy.

Granted, they aren't often, but they're here more than they used to be.

I've been a bit bolder in my choice of clothes lately too. I took an old pair of jeans and made cut-off jeans with them. And as crazy at it sounds, those cut-off jeans are the shortest pair of pants I own. But I love them.

My sense of style has also blossomed. I'm matching colors based on color groups I've seen online, like in blogs and I'm picking out clothes and looking at them going "OOH! BLOG COLORS!"

I guess the point of this post is to say, I've become a girly girl, more or less and I'm not ashamed.


cover reveal - bad example

Two years after she was arrested for the murder of her mother, Nicole “Nikki” Robinson has been acquitted of the murder, much to the dismay of the public.

Freedom comes with a price. She’s thrown out into the world with no home. People are sending her death threats across the country. The media and the public wrote her off as “guilty” long before the trial. Everywhere she goes, she’s met by hatred and disgust.

Nikki realizes the only way anyone will ever leave her alone is to finally put the doubt to rest and find out who killed her mother that night. It’s a dangerous decision; she soon discovers when she’s the target of multiple assassination attempts.

Against the protests of the public, she’s soon under protective watch to save her life and keep her from digging into the past, but she refuses to let it go until she finds the killer.  With the help from her lawyer’s son, Chas, she must find out who the killer is because now it’s obvious her life is in danger whether she investigates the murder or not.

So, anyways, you might have remembered me talking about this book? It's the one inspired by the Casey Anthony trial. Given the recent media attention to the Aurora shootings (my heart goes out to all of the victims and their families. So heart-breaking), I had a sudden re-interest in this book, and I think it's going to be good. 

And poor Nikki, this is the third name she's had. I really liked Brooke, but next month when I move, Brooke is my roommate's name, so that'll just be too weird.

Before any of you ask, I am still editing The Assassin, I just need something to work on at the same time since I've been working on TA for a year and a half straight. 

First chapter should be up sometime this week on wattpad and figment. 

So let me know what you think! 


staying inspired

part of being creative, wether it's in the form of writing or designing a blog or creating a notebook or anything else, part of being creative is staying inspired.

I've been struggling with this lately, I spend all day at home, my friends are either busy or out of town. I sit in front of a computer screen, reading blogs, playing on twitter, attempting to finish my next design or editing my book while jamming to Hannah Montana (that's another post).

I spend more time drooling over things I wish I had the money to afford cute clothes like so many other bloggers have. Most of my closet is t-shirts since I spent most of my life hating anything but them.

I wanna get out of town, move, decorate a place to call my own for eight months. I want to meet new people; I'm frustrated with some of the people in my life now.

Life has just become a rut.

And we all know ruts aren't fun.

This summer has been fun at points, but those are just points. Most of the time it's just a long boring day after day. And when I go to work, I grumble about all the work I could be doing at home.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in the middle of a midlife crisis, even though I'm only eighteen. There's moments I look at a box and that's all it is... a box.

And one of my biggest secret loves in life are boxes. You can do so many things with them.

It's hard to stay inspired in a rut. I feel like music has become my biggest inspiration. I'm listening more to the lyrics. The connection to some songs are new, songs I'd never thought I'd be inspired with.

Oh, my other inspiration? pinterest. The other night, I spent twenty minutes just pinning clothes I wish I had.

Oh jeez, I'm loving the clothes and the inspiration of thinking "If I get up off my lazy butt, work out and lose those few extra pounds, I'd look really good in that outfit."

Then I remember I'm a broke college kid.

Staying inspired is remembering to dream for me.

Staying inspired is like a lifeline for me.

What do you do to stay inspired?


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And we’d love for you to join us!

♥ discipleship award at DCYC   fun day at the waterpark   cleaning out my room  hannah montana for when I edit   The Tudors on netflix   having a floor in my room   opening up a society6 shop   having the house to myself (well, almost) for two and a half days    talking to my cousins, even if it was just three text messages  having more money added to my scholarship  St. Timothy Award (which I learned is a nationally recognized award)  quoting the monologue in The Tudors word for word   working on a new blog design   recovering quickly from my sunburn  peace and quiet   


a bad blogger

call me a bad blogger, but I'm on the road going home today after going to a water park yesterday. I'm as red as a tomato, I hurt all over and I'm kind of cranky.

I've got two chapters to edit before I go home and take my room apart to do a massive clean while my family is out camping.

Blogging is taking the sidelines today.

And until I can move my arms again without pain....



Me, Myself & I

Linking up today with the new link party, Me, Myself & I. Excited to do it too! So here we go!

1. What is your biggest phobia? 
Okay, only one? Um....oh....thunderstorms... I mean, it's not so much a phobia during the day. It's more at night when I wonder "what happens if there's a tornado and I can't save everyone fast enough?" 
Hopefully I will fix that problem when I move. 
2. If you could relive any day of your life, what would it be and why? 

February 8th. The day I actually met my best friend in Kansas. Sure, I froze to death, but that will always be such a special place for me.  
3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

Oh jeez, I'm not sure. I'm still at that age where being older is a good thing. I wouldn't want to be younger because I hate being portrayed as naive. 
4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? 

HA! I wish. No one. 
5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

"A Little Bit Stronger" - Sara Evans
(people are gonna be like, what??? on this one, but...) "You Always Find Your Way Back Home" - Hannah Montana
"When I said I Would" - Whitney Duncan
"Not Ready to Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks
"Baggage Claim" - Miranda Lambert
"Nobody's Fool" - Miranda Lambert
"Same Ole You" - Miranda Lambert
"Crazy Women" - LeAnn Rimes
(seeing a pattern here?)


a religious girl's weekend

If you've read my blog for a long time, you know that I'm pretty profoundly Catholic. While I don't talk about my faith all that much on here, it's a major part of my life.

Every year for the past seven years, I've gone to a conference, DCYC or Diocesean Catholic Youth Conference. This past weekend was my last year to go as a student since I'll be in college now.

(Quick Catholic lesson: A diocese is a group of churches grouped together. Thing of a Diocese as a school district for Church!)

Friday night, they gave out the high school discipleship award. It's a nice little piece of paper that comes with the pendant. In our church, our youth minister gives it out to all the seniors who are leaving.

(Ignore the mess and the chipped nails).

Okay, big whoop, right? I mean, yay, I graduated high school just like everyone else. I got the middle school version of the award back in the summer after eighth grade.

So, that was Friday night. Saturday night while we were watching a movie, I began outlining TA2 and I got twenty chapters in. I'm pretty excited to share with y'all, if I ever get to write it. Since I have to finish TA first.

The real fun was yesterday morning. The director of youth ministries for the whole diocese came up and gave out a bunch of diocese-wise awards for adults.

After that, he moved on to these awards called the St. Timothy Award. It's awarded to high school seniors or juniors (usually graduated seniors) who have really stood up to the call to be good Christians and Catholics.

He named off five people and everyone clapped. The people went up and shook the director's hand and got their award - a framed certificate and a little plaque thing with a bible verse.

Well, then, much to everyone's surprise, he turned around and went "I can't believe I forgot two people!"

He read off one name and then.....

He proceeded to butcher my last name!

Yeah, I was one of seven people to win the award. There was over 1700 adults and youth there.

And I got one.

Plus, when I went up there, the director told me that my youth director had said awesome things about me and I needed to keep it up.


Confession time: I do a lot in my church, but while some people make sit there and go "How do you do it?" I don't even think of it at all.

Which is why I had to ask my mom, "I don't understand what I did to get the award. I mean, what did I do that was so special?"

I'm pretty sure she wanted to smack me with a pillow. She explained to me that I did a lot of stuff, but because I'd been doing it all so long, I didn't even think of it anymore.

So, I mean, valid point, I think the fact that I don't think all the stuff I do is a big deal just made it that much more cool to win.

So, now, here are some pictures of me and my massively big, framed certificate.

(Insert "oohs" and "Ahhs" now, okay?)

Oh, sorry, apparently my sister can not take a picture at all!

I took this last one.

It reads:
With deep gratitude, Laura Toeniskoetter is presented this award for giving active witness to his/her Catholic faith modeling moral behavior and integrity, Gospel values through service to others, and exercising Christian leadership.

Okay, bragging moment is over. I promise.


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And we’d love for you to join us!
 ♥ sleepover with one of my bestfriends ♥ working a good party ♥ first notebook being added to the shop ♥ sprinkles cupcakes ♥ babysitting ♥ photoshoot in dallas ♥ a new book in a favorite series ♥ closer to move in day ♥ getting my AP scores in (officially making me a sophomore in January!) ♥ editing the first chapter ♥ a bright, new orange planner ♥ setting up for my business ♥ dancing in a rainstorm ♥ 


believe, the blue notebook

First actual product in the store! I've got two sitting next to me right now. If you want to know more information about the notebook, visit it at the store. 


a new page

so, if you couldn't already tell, there's a new design. I love this, partly because of the header. I love that I incorporated the picture and used the color from the photo to make it.

On top of that, I joined revolutionizeher and I love it. It's like, better blogger network's sister. Pretty awesome stuff.

In case you haven't noticed, I finally updated my buttons, look over there -------> and down the aisle. But, I've got some more exciting news. They look like this:

The store is expanding! If you noticed, there's a label up there for "store" and "designs." The store may take a break for the beginning of August as I move in some new products. And these aren't graphic design products, well, some of them may be, but these will be products that you can hold in your hand! I hope to make the first one tomorrow and have it up in the shop by Friday when I go to my conference for the weekend.

sponsoring has also taken a break for a bit while I re-organize it. It'll be back at the end of the month, you know, if any of you cared.

It's a new page for the blog and store. The blog has grown so much in the past couple months, it's pretty crazy. In fact, yesterday, the facebook page for the blog and the store hit 100 likes. and then kept going. Oh, and I'm like, 3 followers away from 300 on twitter. That means all those people get spammed (lovingly of course) with my blog posts. :) It's kind of nice to see some growth, I will not lie. I hope all of you are here to stay and I hope I get to know a lot of you!

So, in celebrating the new, here's the new opening line of The Assassin:
Only thirty seconds longer and the man I needed would walk into his bachelor pad of an apartment. In typical, rich New York fashion, he’d keyed up to his apartment to turn the lights on before he arrived, a dead giveaway for a soon to be dead man.  


braids, sunglasses, and cupcakes


Well, according to my mac, that's not even a real word - "reprioritizing" - but you know what? I don't care.

I've kind of given up on the whole grammar nazi thing, except when it comes to annoying my sister (love you, Amy.) I mean, if people can't spell, I'm not going to be the one who teaches them too. That ain't my job.

in fact, in my efforts of figuring out my life, I've decided I'm changing my major. You may remember when I said I was going to major in history.

Not any more.

I've changed my mind. I realized that I don't want to spend the rest of my life in a classroom. I'd rather be writing a book, or working on a design.

So, I changed my major.

But I don't know what I'm majoring in. Maybe something communications related. Which is pretty funny since all the communications jobs that I can think of involve talking to lots of people.

And the past couple of years, I've really crawled back into my shell. I don't go out and party, I don't have that many friends. Most of my friends are blogging friends or writing friends. I have, like, five friends that are in my life on a constant basis.

Call me nuts, but I kind of like being behind the sides in life.

But, I feel the need to get back up and do something bold and daring.

So, I gotta add that to my list of priorities.

Reprioritizing is hard, I will not lie, but I'm gonna figure it out.

I hope.


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And we’d love for you to join us!

♥ for the man from autozone who helped us with our blown out tire on the way home from the lake   new hair style  Lindale, Texas, home of Miranda Lambert, packing for the trip   not being totally sunburned   a week away from the fast-paced life I have  boating    my best friend coming home from Canada   finishing another design for the shop   barbecue ribs from the smoker   having a tan line across my rib cage (gotta be a first for everything)   spending time with two really good friends while we were on the lake   the man from autozone who helped us with our blown out tire on the way home from the lake  

Previous TIGF posts


You Know You're a Texan....

Hey yall! I'm Amanda and I blog over at Princess of the Panhandle ; confessions of a ranch wife. I was excited when Laura asked for a guest poster because I have been wanting to do one for awhile. I really enjoy reading her blog, especially because she is a fellow Texas blogger. On Tuesdays I host a link up called 'Texas Tuesday" so I thought I would share my post from last week with yall.
Laura's Note: I'm an Aggie, I do not approve of the above picture. But I'll let her keep it. 
 San Antonio is one of my top favorite places to take a weekend away in Texas. It's so pretty, has the best food and margaritas, plus great attractions.  

If you're not Texan you should get here as soon as you can!



There's really nothing better than writing a blog post out in the back yard on a nice, breezy summer day! The thing is, I've had a lot of summertime this year.

Hi, my name's Mariella Hunt and I've barely been home for a week. I have spent most of 2012 in Peru, a beautiful country in the southern hemisphere where (compared to my hometown of Boise) it's never really cold. I mean, it's humid in the winter (we left a fishbowl environment where you could see the clouds of humidity floating in the air) but I really didn't need a coat to go outside, though if I'd worn one I probably wouldn't have gotten such a bad cough. Anyway, here are 3 Things You Have To Try When You Go To Peru, experienced by yours truly and proven to be worth the dare.

You could also call it The 3 Best Things I've Ever Done. Less of a mouthful and more accurate. I learned that travel brings with it adventure, a strong sense of living, which is why I plan to be a traveler someday. Get lost a few times, come home with stories you wouldn't have learned otherwise.
  1. Walk into the Pacific Ocean.
    I'm sure a lot of you have already done that, right? Walked into an ocean, anyway. Well, try doing it fully-dressed because you had no plans of actually swimming that day. My favorite sundress got soaked but I felt a new sort of alive, when I was trying not to be dragged under by the seaweed and playing with children who thought I looked weird, dancing around in the waves while dressed for a party. Spontaneous, unplanned things are often the ones you'll remember most vividly, and someday when I'm old, this is one of the stories I'll be telling my grandchildren over and over again. Don't plan too much, it's pointless--what you'll remember in the end, is what your heart wanted to do.
  2. Watch a condor strike a pose.
    So we went to the zoo and I really wanted to see a condor. I'd been to Peru 4 times and never seen a condor, for crying out loud! It was absolutely ridiculous! So we walked through the ridiculously huge Parque de las Leyendas, met a few lions and a bear who was sitting nice and photogenic for autographs, and I saw a baby tiger I wanted to keep. Finally we get to the cage where there's supposedly condors and I couldn't find the stinking condor. I looked and looked. Suddenly I see some movement and the bird, who had been chilling in the middle of the cage somehow in plain sight, opens his wings. And he stands there motionless for a moment as if saying, "Come. Take a picture of me. Love me." Some humble bird he was.
  3. Cross the street.
    "If you can drive in Peru, you can drive anywhere." That's how the ole' saying goes--and it's true. But I just feel the need to add that if you can cross the street in Peru without turning into a sticker on the road (people there do not stop to let you cross!) you can cross the street anywhere. Once I tripped on the hem of my jeans and a bus was coming at me. The dude wouldn't slow down. I didn't even have time to crawl, I missed getting hit by the blasted thing by like, an inch.
    When I finally got back home to Boise this year, I was crossing the street to get to Target. A car was coming and I got into CROSSING STREET DEFENSE MODE but the guy in the car gave me a weird look and motioned for me to just pass. It was so weird! 
The oldest church on the coast.
Memorable things happen in Peru, and among mine, these are my favorite (or at least most memorable, nearly getting hit by a bus isn't that fun.)

I dream of travel. I just want to grab a bag with a notebook and go. Because when you visit another place, you will have an adventure! Don't stay at home, people--all the fun is outside your comfort zone. It can be the southern hemisphere or another state. Just grab a bag and go.


New York City

Laura's Note: First off, can I just say I am way, way jealous that she's going to New York? If you've read any of The Assassin, you know that's where Cassie lives. I wanna go!

Hi guys, I'm Eve!
I blog over at Love Always, Eve.
Also, you can find me on Instagram...a fast-growing addiction of mine.  
I'm guest posting for Laura while she's away on vacation for a short trip
I figured I'd blog about my own upcoming vacation to New York City this August. 

Five reasons why I'm so excited: 

1. I don't know about you guys, but I love airplanes. 
They are the essence of fun and adventure. 
They just mean I'm going some place! 

2. Central Park. 
A little bit of nature in a whole lotta city. 
I can't wait to run around the park with my buddies. 

3. Times Square.
It's literally the hub of the world. 
And this time I go to New York, I get to stay in the middle of it. 
In a swanky hotel room.
It'll be beyond awesome-ness! 

4. It's the place that never sleeps. 
I think every time I go, there will always be something to do. 
And I don't think I can ever do it all...which makes it super exciting! 

5.  Just about everything about NYC makes me excited. 
The skyline, the people, the food, the subway, the museums, etc. 
I'm most excited about the fact that I'm going again. 
It'll be my third time around and I never thought I'd make it there once. 

Hope you guys enjoyed my list of reasons why I'm so excited!
Summer is all about getting out there and having an adventure!
I plan to adventure-it-up in New York! 
(Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...)

Love Always, 
E :-) 



I'll be the first to admit, ever since I finished writing this draft of The Assassin last Tuesday, I've pretty much shoved it aside to let it sit in the corner of shame.

It's not intentional, life just caught up. I mean, I took a few days off to recover from the intense writing spree I had Tuesday.

But, now, I've fallen out of that "I WANNA DO THIS!" mentality and I spend all day doing other things.

I've been to water aerobics. I spent the majority of my weekend at my friend's softball tournament with her boyfriend (don't worry, I was friends with both of them before they began dating. It's not awkward, I promise!)

I'm cleaning my room out this afternoon.

My arms are on fire from my allergy shots I got about fifteen minutes ago as I type away.

Oh, and tomorrow I'm going on a trip to a lake house with my friends from this weekend.

Which means not only have I neglected my book, but for a few days I'll be neglecting my email (apparently service is iffy there - and I have sprint so I know I won't have any), I'll be neglecting my twitter and facebook.

and I'll be neglecting the blog.

But, don't worry! I've left y'all in some great hands! I promise. You'll like what we've got going on, I promise!

So, for everyone, have a happy fourth of July and stay safe! I'll see y'all Friday!

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