Sunday, September 16, 2012

Voyashop Take 2

I should have posted this a long time ago but I have been so busy it totally slipped out my mind.

The following post will contain mostly pictures and not much bla bla, since there isn't much to say! Everything I have to say has already been said in this post.

A while ago I ordered a Matt&Nat purse from Voyashop. They were having a sale on their new arrivals : 20-30% off most Matt&Nat products. I had been shopping for a purse for quite a while but couldn't find anything I liked at a decent price so I was quite happy when I saw their promotion.

I'm quite difficult when it comes to shopping. Since I can't afford having a dozen bags and purses (like my sisters do) I try to stick to a maximum of three to choose from that I can wear with almost everything. I didn't want one of those purses you have to stick under your armpit, or those that are too small, or those that are too big, or those that have weird colors, or look cheap, or have a glossy finish ...

But I found something I liked thanks to Voyashop. Actually, there were many I wanted but I had to make a choice. They don't have it anymore, but I chose Shane in white.

Still in the bag. Oh the smell of new!

Side view!

Front view, out of the bag. Just like on the website.

Usually 105$, it was reduced at 58$. I paid an extra 5 bucks for express shipping.

I really liked it (and still do). I like how rectangular purses go well with everything I wear (whether I fancy up or go casual).

Open up!

The inside! Two compartments, with a small pocket in the front one,
another pocket in the back one, and a third pocket in the middle! Amen.

Of course compartments are very important for me. I can't just throw everything in like that, all mixed up. I like to have my lady stuffs at a certain place, my bus pass in another, my wallet elsewhere, and so on.

Looong strap!

The long strap can be shortened (a bit) so the purse doesn't hang too low. Though it only has a flap and doesn't close with a zipper, well, at least it closes! I don't understand girls that buy those bags that don't close ... are they trying to attract thieves or something? In my case it's actually a good thing it doesn't close with a zipper. I realized my wallet was a little bit too big (the dimensions were given but I didn't think about comparing them to my wallet). Thanks to the flap it can fit in, but it wouldn't if it was a zipper.

So that's it for today! Please shop at Voyashop.com, I swear it's worth it. Plus, I can't stop recommending them to my friends :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I lost my camera in New York

The title says it all. Not only have I been to NYC lately, but I also lost my camera.

I left on Friday the 31st at 4:30am with seven other friends. Booked a deal with Sinorama (located in Chinatown) for 140$ per person. The hotel was in Parsipanny, NJ, but it was fine since transportation was offered. May I say we had a lot of fun for the little money we spent. We came back on Monday the 3rd around 8pm.

I won't name everything we did, for we mostly walked and wandered around, looking and fooling around. Of course we went to Times Square, passed by Rockefeller Plaza, window shopped on 5th Avenue, got lost in Central Park, walked through Wall Street, etc. As for the attractions (hear, the activities we paid for) we visited the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum. We also experienced taking the subway and the train (NJ Transit).

And that's how I lost my camera.

On Friday evening we parted from the group of travelers we were with and told the guy responsible for us we'd come back to the hotel on our own. We took the train at 10:51pm from New York to Morris Plains. Everyone was tired and some of us dozed off during the ride. When we got to our stop, we stood up fast to get off. No one realized I left my Nintendo Store bag that also contained a Hershey store bag ... and my camera. When I realized what happened, everyone felt bad for me. But honestly I think I felt less bad for myself than they did. First of all, I should have kept my camera in my backpack rather than in a paper souvenir bag. Second, we were eight kids traveling together. Someone HAD to lose something (valuable or not).

That loss made me realize I am a lot less materialistic than I was before. Two or three years ago I would have had the same incident and would have had a panic attack. Okay maybe not. I would have been really pissed and would have probably cried. But on the moment I thought "Well, I'll fill out a lost-and-found form and see what happens. Worst case scenario I lost a crappy 150$ camera. At least I still have my passport and my liver." And seeing how things are going, I don't expect to get my camera back. Seriously. It's been almost a week now.

But hey, my friends took a lot of pictures too. Too bad I'm the one who recorded a video of them badly singing Hedley's Kiss You Inside Out.

Before coming back to Montreal we stopped at the Woodbury outlets. We didn't spend as much money as expected (everyone had their list) and were a little bit disappointed ... maybe because we got there knowing what we wanted and not buying everything that was simply on sale.

I'm going to end this post abruptly (yeah, I still have to work on a way to end my posts properly) with pictures of my purchases (that I have taken with my cellphone).




Paper bag from the Nintento store. We came back the day after because some of us needed/wanted something from there. We were surprised to see how things were actually cheap compared to other places. You could get nice gifts for 10$ or less and t-shirts were 18$. I remember the nice things at the M&M store were at least 15$.


I got a cap (10$) and a keychain (4$) for my brother. I don't even think he's going to use them, but eh, at least I got him something from New York.


A Legend of Zelda mug (9$) for myself and a Super Nintendo controller belt buckle (10$) for my sister. I didn't feel like getting an I <3 NY mug as a souvenir and the Guggenheim mugs were really pricey (now I kinda regret not spending that extra money though).


A shirt from Aeropostale in Woodbury. I've been wanting to get a girly lumberjack shirt for a while and could have gotten it at Urban Planet for the same price ... but it would have been Urban Planet quality (which is quite meh). I paid 18$ instead of 45$, which is quite a good deal.


Got some running shoes from the Adidas store. Usually 65$, they were reduced at 50$ and since my friend and I bought for more than 100$ we had a 20$ discount. So basically they cost 40$. But I didn't buy them for running, more for walking long distances for a long time (aka when I travel or go on the field for schoolwork). They're light, comfortable and look quite cool on me.


Books from Urban Outfitters. I know they're available in Montreal but they're a few bucks cheaper in the US so why not buy there while I was there? I haven't started reading them yet, but they seem quite entertaining and will start them as soon as I am done with Tolstoi's Anna Karénine.

So that's it for today! May that be a lesson for everyone : keep your eyes open when you travel.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Cosique Experience

I don't like complaining and bashing, though I do it a lot. I usually try to excuse others for their mistakes and make things appear better than they are. For example, if a friend is late, I tell myself maybe they were stuck in trafic. If the waiter doesn't come to our table fast enough, it may be because they're really busy in the back or another customer took a long time ordering and asking questions. If a package arrives later than expected, it may be because it was held for a while at the customs. You know, so I don't get bitchy and angry at everyone and everything for no reason.

But this, there is just nothing that can excuse any of what happened in that situation. I think I have to talk about it so people don't fall into the same trap as I did.

A few months ago, TeamBuy had this crazy promotion : 15$ for 5 OPI nails colors with toe separator and storage box (value of 61$). The company that offered this deal is Cosique, a canadian beauty supplier. On the deal FAQ the contact said it was 15 mL bottles, that it takes up to three weeks to receive the orders, that you'd have to pay for the shipping, etc. All questions were answered and everything seemed legit. I didn't think about making my own research on Cosique because I thought if they're making a deal with TeamBuy, then it's got to be real. And I never had any trouble whatsoever with TeamBuy before.

But it was all a lie.

I bought the deal on May 7th and placed my order on the Cosique website on May 11th. I paid 12$ for the Express FedEx shipping (I think the other option was 7$ for Regular FedEx) but I didn't mind because it was stated in the deal and even if I paid 27$ in total, it's still half of what I would have paid if I bought the same nail polish at Walmart.

After placing my order I was quite eager to receive my kit and so I contacted the company because I had forgotten I'd have to allow them three weeks to ship my purchase.

On May 16th, I sent them the following message :



To which they have answered :


So I decided to be patient and wait the whole three weeks.

After what seemed to be an eternity I sent them another message. On June 15th.




I waited the usual 24-48 hours delay. No answer. Waited a few days. Still no answer. That's when I started getting pissed.

I thought maybe they didn't get my message because I sent it directly with my email address. Still it wouldn't make sense since this is what I did the first time. So I sent them another message, on June 26th, through their website. I didn't keep a copy of the message but it was saying almost the same as what I wrote on June 15th.

Still no sign of life from them.

I decided to contact TeamBuy. I thought maybe they knew what was going on, maybe the persons in charge at Cosique are on vacation (but really, who does that?) or whatever reason there could be. I sent them a message through their website at the beginning of July and received the following answer on July 5th :




The message at the top is their reply to my message at the bottom.

Translation :

My message : Hi. I have bought an offer from Cosique Beauty Cosmetique : 15$ for 5 OPI Summer Daze Nail Colours with Crystal File, Finger/Toe Separator and Storage Case (61$ Value). I have placed my order on the company website on May 11th and still haven't received my articles. I have contacted the company many times. They answered the first time but haven't replied to my messages after. According to the deal, the shipping delay was of maximum three weeks. Could you contact the company for me and tell me what's going on? Thank you.

Their reply : Hi Sarah, We are sorry for the inconvenience. We have two options, we can either reimburse you for this purchase or contact Cosique if you tell me the 4 digit order number they gave you after buying this offer. Thank you and have a nice day.

I started feeling relieved. Maybe I wasn't going to lose my money afterall.

I answered TeamBuy with this message :




Translation : Hi, If you can contact Cosique in the first place, it would be greatly appreciated. My order number is 6205. Let me know if you receive any news on your side. Thanks a lot for your help.

And so I waited. But didn't hear from them. So I sent them another message through their website. They replied a few minutes later.


Again, their message at the top, mine at the bottom.

Translation :

My message : Hi, I have contacted you about a week ago concerning an order I have placed with Cosique (order no 6205) for which I have never received my articles. I have asked you to contact the company but have not received any feedback from you about this topic. If Cosique isn't answering your messages, I would like to be reimbursed. Case #00048456. Thank you.

Their reply : Hi, We are sorry for the inconvenience. We have two options for Cosique. We can either contact them or reimburse you. Thank you for letting me know how you would like to proceed. Thank you and have a nice day. Audrey.

I think my message was clear enough but anyways. This is what I asked of them :



Translation :
Hi, You have asked me before if I wanted you to contact Cosique or if I wanted to be reimbursed. To this I replied that I wanted you to contact the company in the first place. But since this doesn't seem to have been done, I am asking for my money back. Thank you.

It didn't take long for Audrey to message me back :




Translation :
Hi, I am sorry for the inconvenience. I have contacted Cosique but didn't receive any answer. I have now reimbursed you. Thank you and have a nice day. Audrey.

So it was it. Cosique was the bad guy after all. I felt bad for TeamBuy and decided I'd leave them a I-am-not-mad-at-you kind of message.




Translation :
Thank you for your help, I greatly appreciate the efforts you make to satisfy your customers and will keep making business with you despite what happened with the Cosique company.

So afterall, what happened? Never received my nail polish and lost 12$ in useless FedEx shipping. Oh, and yes, when I log into my Cosique account, my order is marked as being processed. Seriously. 15$ from TeamBuy was credited to my credit card, which is a good thing because it proves me I can trust them.

So here's what I have to say :
Would I still make business with TeamBuy? Yes.
Would I still make business with Cosique? FUCK. NO.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tasso Bar à Mezze

The other day I had a taste of Greece. I had a Groupon that entitled me for 66$ worth of food and drinks at Tasso Bar à Mezze, on St-Denis, in Montreal. Since my coupon was expiring on the 16th, I decided to go with my friend Makara last Friday.

The menu cover made with cork. Cool right?

When we got in we instantly fell in love with the decor. The wall were white and seemed raw and shaped in a way that made the restaurant look like the inside of a traditional white greek house. The windows in the ceiling also permitted to get a lot of natural lighting, which seemed to be a better choice than artificial lighting.

My view on the restaurant from where I was sitting.

A view on the kitchen behind me.

Open up the menu. Too. Many. Choices. The waiter told us they didn't have scallops that day so it helped us narrow down our choices a little bit ... but not that much. Everything looked tempting, intriguing, interesting, delicious ... They have a lunch special at 18$ that includes a choice of mezze, a main dish and a dessert. We decided to choose four mezze so we could try many different things. Prices for the mezze were ranging from 9$ to 20$.

After we took a decision the waiter told us he'd bring the fish first, then the meat. We thought it was a good idea. He brought an empty plate for each, as well as olive oil and braised bread.


For the fish courses we had grilled octopus and fish ravioli. The grilled octopus we had doesn't seem to appear on the website's menu (it's far from being complete) so I can't tell what it was named. It was a braised octopus tentacle sitting on an artichoke and pine nuts salad, topped with a mix of fresh greens and served with a lemon sauce.


It was amazing. From experience, we remember octopus as a slightly rubbery seafood. This one was actually so tender, it felt like we were cutting into a piece of roasted chicken. The flavors and textures complimented well each other. You had the tenderness and vinegary taste of the artichoke against the crunch and smokey taste of the pine nuts as well as the grilled octopus complimented by the freshness of the greens. The lemon sauce added a little zing to the dish. The fact that it wasn't served on top of the food allowed us to control the amount of sauce we wanted with each bite.

The fish ravioli is named ravioles me psari me salada kounoupidi kai avgolemono on the menu. The ravioli were made of white fish (from taste I think it was haddock) and topped with lemon sauce (avgolemono sauce). They came with steamed cauliflower topped with white sauce.


Again, an amazing game and marriage of flavors and textures. The crushed nuts added some crunch to a dish that was overall tender. The fact that the cauliflower and the ravioli had different sauces helped the different flavors stand out even more because you didn't have the same lemon sauce in every bite. Though the lemon sauce is very flavorful, we were still able to taste really well the fish that was definitively very fresh. The addition of raisins and capers to the cauliflower balanced the dish that would have been missing sweetness and saltiness otherwise.

After we were done with the seafood, our lovely waiter brought the meat dishes. We had chosen the lamb moussaka and the grilled pork.


The lamb moussaka, or moussaka apo arni stifado, is made with braised Québec lamb. It was shaped like a flan and came with small potatoes, sitting in some sauce and topped with fresh greens.


The game of textures and flavors wasn't as intense as it was with the previous dishes but everything seemed to have been chosen in a way to balance out everything. The freshness of the greens prevented the potatoes from seeming dull. The lamb was very tender and the moussaka overall was "melting" in our mouths. The sauce wasn't too strong so we were able to taste the actual ingredients used to make our dishes.

The second dish of meat, gourounopoulo me fricassé, was grilled pork sitting on a pork and bean stew, topped with fresh greens.


This dish was also delicious but a bit less interesting than the others. The pork was seasoned in a simple way and was really tender but I have to admit I sorta grew tired of the beans at the some point. Perhaps I wasn't hungry anymore. I honestly don't really know since it was our 4th dish and we really took our time. Maybe I would have enjoyed the last dish a bit more ... if it wasn't the last one.

Of course we weren't done, though we thought we were. Our waiter decided to bring us small desserts.


I don't remember what the waiter told us they were. The one on the left looked like a small brownie and the one on the right like a small white cake with melon on top.

The chocolate dessert was the perfect compromise between brownie and fudge. It melted in our mouths and the taste stayed there for a few minutes. It wasn't dense at all but it didn't have the texture of regular fudge. Thinking about it makes me want to have some so bad. The salt it came with made the chocolate flavor stand out even more.

The other dessert was very light and airy. It was like a small piece of white cake with a bit of fruit jam (I don't remember what it was) and a refreshing piece of melon. The different textures made that dessert very interesting and I would be very pleased to try the full size version of it.

After we were done (for real ... sorta) Makara and I stayed a bit and talked a lot about nothing and everything. The waiter didn't seem to mind us staying (actually he didn't even ask us if we wanted the bill right away). After we paid the difference and tipped him we stepped outside in the deadly warmth of a hot summer day.

Overall I was really happy to try that restaurant. I would be glad to come back and have a taste of the other items on the menu. I really liked the ambiance, the service, the fact that you could see the cooks getting busy in the kitchen, everything about that restaurant. I think this place is perfect for a date or to grab lunch with a friend, but I wouldn't come with a group because it would ruin the peace and beauty of the place.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Restaurant Cielo Tapas

A while back I bought a voucher entitling me to 65$ worth of food for the price of 30$ at Restaurant Cielo Tapas, in Montreal. My mother having had a promotion a month ago, I decided to take her out for lunch.

First thing that caught our eyes was the decoration. The walls, the lights, every little object was chosen on purpose. What I really liked about it is how they managed to match different styles together and ended up with something that looks like a lounge but has a classy touch to it. I only took one picture of the restaurant because I felt kinda weird taking my camera out on a date with my mother.





They have better pictures on their website.



They have lunch specials, which is nice if you don't feel like spending too much money or gubbling on something too heavy. Unfortunately the voucher didn't work on lunch specials, but I honestly didn't care much.

The waiter asked us if we wanted anything to drink. My mother had a glass of red wine (8$) while I asked for a Rickard's Red (5$). Unfortunately their choice of beer was quite limited : Corona, Heineken, Coors Light.

We started with a fish and seafood soup (8$).





The broth was clear yet full of flavor. It really tasted and smelled like fresh fish. The seafood were not big but it was varied : clams, scallops, squid and shrimp. The bowl was quite big and with the bread it could have made a nice lunch. I wished their bread was warm though. There's nothing more frustrating for me than trying to smear butter on cold bread.

Then we got some tapas : coconut shrimps (9$).





They came with some kind of salsa we couldn't figure out what it was made of. The shrimps were huge (I would have been disappointed otherwise). The fact that it was covered in coconut shavings then fried made them very fatty, but they were really good (especially with the salsa).

Then came the main dishes.

My mother had the Angus filet mignon (27$) while I had the Marsala veal scaloppini (22$).





My mother said her dish was really good. She asked for her steak to be medium and that's what she got. Though the piece of meat may look small (that's the camera's fault) it was satisfying. The vegetables were either steamed or roasted, but in both cases they used butter. Butter is the best thing when it comes to vegetables. Of course it's not a balanced meal, as you can see, there is as much meat as there is green.





My scaloppini were delicious. Fork tender (I didn't need a knife) and flavorful. You can tell from the look of the sauce that it was full fat (the reason why it was so good). I had exactly the same vegetables as my mother.

The one thing we have to say about our dishes is we think the cook may have had a slightly heavy hand on the salt. We barely use salt at home, but because we thought it was salty doesn't mean it wasn't right. Most probably that's the way it's supposed to be and we're just not used to it.

We didn't have anything else, because honestly, it was a lot already.

The service was perfect. Well I don't know if they're always like that or if it was because I had a notebook and a camera, but we truly appreciated the attention. For every dish that was brought, the waiter would come back a few minutes later to ask us if things were to our taste. Also asked each time if we wanted pepper. When we left, he thanked us even though he was busy at the counter, far from us. My mother left with a smile, which doesn't happen often!

This is the kind of place I would totally recommend for a date. Unfortunately, it's also the kind of place that digs a hole in your wallet. But was it worth it? Yes, totally.

Monday, April 2, 2012

M:brgr

They had a promotion lately : 30$ for 60$ worth of food. So I went with my friend Timothy. It was a nice excuse to do some catch up.

First, finding the place itself wasn't a very easy task, which is a good thing actually. That way it's not overcrowded by people passing by while doing their shopping. We went during lunch time so there was mostly people on their lunch break (thank God it wasn't full).

Then we get in. I liked the fact that they had tables outside. They were on the sidewalk but you know, when you want to stay in the sun (or if you're a smoker) you don't really mind. The decor was kind of a mix of rustic and modern, just like BurgerBar Crescent. The waitresses were also very nice and quite relaxed. And very pretty.

So we sat down and took a look at the menu. They have some lunch specials, which is nice if you're on a budget but still want to give their burgers a try. I was very tempted by the Kobe beef burger, but my friend said I'd rather have a real Kobe beef steak instead. So I had an AAA beef burger wrapped in lettuce, garnished with a slice of tomato, caramelized onions, grilled asparagus, Monterrey jack, and bacon. Timothy had three sliders, each garnished with caramelized onions, bacon, and I don't remember what else ... Really LOL. His sliders came with some deep fried onions and mango relish.

The picture doesn't look quite appealing, but trust me, it was good!

Don't they look cute?

We, of course, ordered sides as well. He chose sweet potato fries while I went for something fancier : truffled French fries.

Yes, we started eating before I snapped this picture.
The fries were perfect.

Without our coupon, this would have cost us 80$ (taxes and tips included). So go there if you're on a date and want to impress your darling with your cash ... Though the food was good quality, it was also quite overpriced. But eh, if you want to go to a fancy burger place, you'll have to pay for it. I was very satisfied, wasn't too full (perhaps because my burger was wrapped in lettuce).

I'd like to come back though and try their hundred dollar burger ... but I'm not rich enough for that haha.

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Voyashop Experience

I've had the same wallet for five years. My old black Billabong wallet was worning out and it was time for me to let it go. The fabric was tearing out and my cards were falling out of it. It had been good to me for a long time but it was getting old. I also didn't like it anymore.

I've been wanting to get myself a Matt & Nat wallet for quite a while now. Problem is their sales always happen when I am broke. No, a credit card does not count as money for me. So I started looking online for a website on which I could buy Matt & Nat products on sale whenever I wanted.

And I stumbled upon Voyashop.com. I was mad happy. Most products are 50% off the regular price and the shipping is free (or you can pay a little extra for express shipping, which is what I did).

I wanted to buy an orange wallet to fit with my orange laptop and orange water bottle. I like having orange accessories because it's such a bold color. Too bold to be worn though. I do not remember the name of the model I bought, but here are some pictures!



The box in which it came. You can see my old worn out wallet in the back.

Inside the box. Matt & Nat products are not only well made and pretty,
they are also eco-friendly!

Look at this beauty :D

And the inside. Very important for me because I need lots of
card slots and many pockets to sort my money and my receipts.

So how was my experience overall? First, shopping is made easy thanks to the filters on the left panel. When you click on a product details, they show you a picture of the outside and a picture of the inside (for most cases, not all of them unfortunately). That's why I chose this model because I'm a very organized person who doesn't like mixing things together and it was just perfect for me.

At the checkout, you are given three different options for shipping. Next to the two express options is written the day you will receive your package. It's not an estimation. It's the actual date! I was supposed to receive mine on the 20th and that's what happened.

The product came in very good condition and in its original box.

Overall, I was very happy with my experience and may buy again from Voyashop :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Le Cabaret du Roy

About two weeks ago I received a special offer in my mailbox : 25$ for 50$ or 40$ for 80$ at Le Cabaret du Roy, Old Port. Rio, Sophie and I gave it a try.

And we were far from being disappointed! As soon as we entered, the waitress greeted us with a sweet old fashioned accent. There was this man, dressed like a pirate, singing songs, playing the guitar and making friends with the customers. We were also very impressed by the decoration and the effort put in every little detail.

It's like sitting in a pirate ship!


Then we ordered. Everything on the menu looked good, but we had to make two choices. They both came with entrées.

First starter was a plate of artisan meat that consisted of sweet and salty jerky with deer paté. It came with onion confit and traditional mustard.

Left : jerky. Right : deer paté.

The other starter was a plate of salmon. And what happens when you have three fans of salmon at the same table? They will judge it hard. Guess what. We loved it. We loved it so much we were trying to guess how they made it ... but we couldn't :(

Left : maple glazed smoked salmon. Right : physalis salmon tartare.

Of course the starters came with bread and butter. But not just any kind of bread. Old fashioned multigrain and wild berries bread.


Then we got our entrées. The first one, the Wendake salad, consisted of warm vegetables topped with sunflower seeds and corn. The second entrée, an Amerindian soup, was made with deer meat, salmon, corn and vegetables.

Wendake salad.

Sagamité des Hurons. And my friend's hand ruining the picture lol.

The Wendake salad was sweet and refreshing. The starters were also sweet and salty so it wasn't like a shock of flavors. The soup was really good too. Nice big chunks of meat in it!

When we saw our main dishes arriving, we started getting all excited like little kids. They looked darn delicious and sexy.

The first one was a duet of pork and deer ribs. The meat was sweet and fork tender. I almost licked my fingers. The mashed sweet potato and vegetables complimented well the meat.

Duet of apple pork and Antilles flavours deer ribs.

The second dish, a plate of salmon, was just too good. The cheddar sauce wasn't too strong so we could taste well the salmon. I think it's a fish that has such great flavor just as it is. The mashed potato and vegetables also complimented well the fish.

Grilled salmon with cheddar sauce.

The dessert was a soft white cake cooked in a maple sauce. I unfortunately don't have a picture of it because they turned the lights off for a show given by a story teller. We couldn't stay and actually felt bad for leaving in the middle of a story because the lady was so nice and funny.

Overall we really appreciated our experience there. The ambiance and the people were nice and made us want to come back. The prices are a little bit high, but for everything and all the attention you get, it's really worth it.

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