Why? Garage Creative Studios!

Last week, I had the chance to chat about writing, blogging balance, and Ohio wines with the super cool team at Garage Creative Studios.

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They are a local company that does everything from creative design to production to sound. Their studios have all the modern technology they need, but still feels homey and fun. Plus, they have this sweet patio where we got to do our interview.

You can watch us chat about the creative process, plus my favorite Ohio red, white, and rosé wines here…

The wines are Laurentia Vineyard and Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Ferrante Winery Golden Bunches Dry Riesling, and M Cellars Winery Brut Rosé.

Thanks to the team at Garage Creative Studios for inviting me! Enjoy the interview!

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Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend filled with yoga and family time, so pretty much a perfect one for me!

Balance and Brews

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Anne for Balance & Brews at Saucy Brew Works. Balance & Brews is a one-hour, all-levels vinyasa class held at various breweries around town. After your class, you can stay and enjoy a beer (one beer included with your class) and mingle with your fellow yogis.

I always enjoy these classes, not only because I get a beer after, but because of the opportunity to practice in very different environments. At Saucy, we were right out on the brewery floor, with lots of noises, smells, and activity happening around us. It’s a great way to practice being focused and staying in the moment.

And your reward for all that focus is pretty great too!

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I tried the Don’t Stop Wit It Wit It, a Belgian Wit that is light, crisp, and perfect for summer sipping!

Check out Balance & Brews upcoming schedule, with classes at Masthead, Terrestrial, Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, CLE Urban Winery, and Market Garden.

Mother’s Day

The rest of the weekend was spent in various phases of Mother’s Day celebrating…

At school, Jeffrey made a Mother’s Day gift, themed on “Where the Wild Things Are.” Not only is it something I’ll treasure, but the pride he had in giving it to me was so sweet to see.

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Matthew and Jeffrey made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and I even got a little treat from my “furry kids” too…

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Matthew found these adorable chocolate dogs at the Urban Farmer charity bake sale!

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Speaking of chocolate, he and Jeffrey also created a box of homemade treats for me: chocolate-covered strawberries and grapes! How sweet!

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We capped off our Mother’s Day celebrations with dinner at my parents’ house, complete with fabulous wine and some ridiculous triple crème brie.

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It was lovely and relaxed and a perfect weekend of feeling truly appreciated and loved!

How was your weekend?

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Why? Spice Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals!

Last night, Mom and I celebrated an early Mother’s Day with the best gift we can give each other: time together.

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We attended the Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals, with food and expertly-paired wine from Spice Kitchen and Bar. The setting was perfect, with Borrow’s eclectic, vintage decor fitting in perfectly with Spice’s seasonal, farm-driven cuisine.

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We were welcomed with Prosecco (the only way I like to be welcomed) and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

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Our first course was 3-Way Dandelion Kombucha Soup, with radish, snow peas, and dandelion greens, paired with Corvidae Riesling.

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I was so skeptical about this course and I just loved it. The soup was tangy and spicy, with just enough sweetness from the snow peas to balance it out.

The second course was Guinea Fowl “Caesar” Salad, with romaine, ramp croutons, Styx mountain cheese, and Lake Erie Caesar dressing, paired with The Curator White Blend.

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One of my favorite things about Spice is how hyper-local and seasonal their food always is. Ramps are a sure sign of spring in Ohio!

Our third course was Venison Sausage Pasta, with spring green pea pesto, whipped ricotta, Spice Acres mushrooms, and foraged nuts, paired with Farnese Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo Fantini.

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Rich, delicious, and creatively presented, this dish was a winner!

We ended our spring dining with Angel Food Cake, with Chantilly cream and rhubarb jam, paired with Marenco Moscato d’Asti.

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What a lovely evening of creative food in a creative atmosphere, shared with the lady who taught me to love both!

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Why? Grapes and Ale Giveaway!

Who’s ready to think about summer BBQ’s? I know I am! Our Lady of the Wayside is again hosting their fabulous and fun BBQ fundraiser at Grapes and Ale on Friday, June 14, now in it’s 20th anniversary year.

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Progressive Field once again hosts this fabulous evening. You’ll get to sample BBQ bites from some of Cleveland’s sauciest restaurants, including Berea Depot, Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute, Melt Bar and Grilled, and Smokin’ Rock and Roll.

There will be over 300 international wines to sample included with your admission, as well as craft beer samples available for purchase at The Corner.

You can also groove to live music from local bands The Sunrise Jones and Moshuro.

General admission tickets to Grapes and Ale are $60 and include unlimited wine and food samples, access to The Corner to purchase craft beer samples, a souvenir glass, live entertainment, and access to take your chance to win fabulous auction prizes.

You can also upgrade to VIP tickets, which are $125 and include all of the above plus access to a private Majic VIP area with featured wines, beers, and Tito’s Vodka cocktails, plus special hors d’oeuvres and desserts from 700 Beta and Cupcake Cravings.

You can purchase tickets online now. Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here letting me know if you’re most excited for BBQ, wine, or beer at Grapes and Ale.

2. Visit Our Lady of the Wayside and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hop on over to @whycle on Instagram and follow the instructions with the Grapes and Ale picture.

4. Follow @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend @OurLadyWayside #GrapesandAle thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/05/09/why-grapes-and-ale-giveaway-7 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, May 14 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Grapes and Ale. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary VIP tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

 

Why? Roses and Rosé at Heinen’s!

It’s rosé season! Personally, I don’t think it ever stopped being rosé season, but this light, fruity wine certainly reaches it’s peak consumption during the spring and summer months.

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It’s perfect for patio drinking, day-drinking, and pairing with the lighter foods you’re cooking this season.

Last night, Heinen’s celebrated both rosé wine and roses, with an event that included a rosé and cheese pairing, as well as a flower arranging tutorial.

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When we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of Bacio della Luna Pinot Brut Rosé. This sparkling wine was vibrant, crisp, and one of my favorites of the evening.

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It was paired with a Caseificio Truf 3 Latti, a cow, goat, and sheep milk cheese with truffles. Creamy, dreamy, earthy yumminess!

We then sampled six non-sparkling rosés, each paired with cheese and all available at your neighborhood Heinen’s:

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  • 2018 The Palm by Whispering Angel, paired with Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper
  • 2018 Confidencial Rosé, paired with Mayfield Road Creamery Plain Havarti-Holstein
  • 2018 Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir, paired with Saint Angel Triple Crème Brie
  • 2018 Alexander Vineyards Rosé of Sangiovese, paired with Ubriaco Prosecco Cheese (it’s bathed in prosecco, not unlike myself)
  • 2018 Viallet Rosé, paired with Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet
  • 2018 Diving into Hampton Waters Rosé (from Jon Bon Jovi’s winery), paired with Mackenize Creamery Chevre with Herbs de Provence

Of these wines, the Rodney Strong and Confidencial were my favorites. So, I learned I really like rosé of Pinot Noir! I also learned that rosé can be made from any red wine grape and that the trend as consumers is toward lighter-colored rosés, which does not necessarily mean better quality.

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I love that Heinen’s incoporated local cheese from Mayfield Road Creamery and Mackenzie Creamery into the tastings. The store does a wonderful job at stocking wines and cheese that range from hyper-local to around-the-world.

For our floral arranging demonstration, we learned to always keep your flowers in cold water, cut them once you bring them home from the store, and create your arrangements by looking at them from the side perspective, which is what your dinner guests will see when they are on your table.

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Of course, Heinen’s offers a lovely selection of fresh flowers to help you create the perfect centerpiece for your own Roses and Rosé party!

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Alicia is super excited about the wine and cheese

Spring has sprung, so if you need me, I’ll either be in the Heinen’s wine aisle or sitting on my porch sipping my rosé! Cheers!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Roses and Rosé event at Heinen’s with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party Giveaway!

It’s an anniversary year for the hottest food celebration in town! The Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party turns 25 this year, which means it’s going to be an even bigger and better celebration of the Cleveland food scene.

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The party takes place on Wednesday, May 15 from 6-9pm at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown, which means that you can take in some gorgeous city views in between bites from Cleveland’s best restaurants.

Every year I say this, but that’s because it remains the truth: This party is a marathon, not a sprint, of eating!

Photo courtesy of CLE Weekly/Orville McEachron Photography

Participating restaurants include Banter Beer and Wine, Bull & Bird Steakhouse, Fat Cats Restaurant, Il Rione Pizzeria, Luca Italian Cuisine, Marble Room, Pacific East Coventry, Pier W, Taki’s Greek Kitchen, and many more.

Silver Spoon Awards Party is a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation Ohio, which means that ticket proceeds go to a great cause! There are also raffles to help raise money, for which you can purchase tickets in advance.

Tickets for the Silver Spoon Awards Party are currently on sale for $100 for general admission and $150 for VIP admission. General admission includes food, wine, and craft beer tastings; access to the auctions and raffles; and a one-year subscription to Cleveland Magazine. VIP admission includes all of that, plus access to the VIP Lounge, with additional tastings, craft cocktails, a Chopped-style cocktail challenge, and more fun surprises.

Photo courtesy of CLE Weekly/Orville McEachron Photography

You can purchase tickets online for both the party and the raffles. Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets to the Silver Spoon Awards Party right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me which participating restaurant you’re most looking forward to sampling.

2. Visit Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hop over to @whycle on Instagram for an additional chance to win.

4. Follow @SilverSpoonCLE and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend @SilverSpoonCLE thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/04/23/why-silver-spoon-awards-party-giveaway-6/

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Monday, April 29 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary VIP tickets for myself and 2 complimentary general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was another fun weekend, with checking out some small local businesses and catching some theater too…

Junie B. Jones

On Saturday, we had the last show in this season of Playhouse Square’s Children’s Theater Series.

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The show was “Junie B. Jones,” a musical version of the book series. The show followed the adventures of Junie B., an inquisitive first grader. The songs were fun and accessible for kids and the story was light-hearted with a lesson.

We love attending the Children’s Theater Series shows and are excited for next season!

Elegant Ice Creations

Saturday afternoon, we had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Elegant Ice Creations workshop and handiwork.

Started by Aaron Costic, who began carving ice 25 years ago, the company has grown to an 8000 square foot studio that produces custom ice creations for special events, sports teams, business, and more.

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Aaron even won a gold medal for ice carving at the Turino Winter Olympics in 2006!

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Jeff Meyer, who gave us our tour, showed us some of the custom pieces waiting to be delivered…

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…as well as some of the custom ice cubes created there to make your cocktail just perfect.

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We also saw how the large blocks of ice are made…

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…and checked out a demonstration of the ice carving tools.

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What a cool (haha) local business!

Junker Fitness

On Sunday morning, I met up with a grade school classmate, Cindy, who invited me to check out a yoga class at Junker Fitness.

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Located in The Shoreway apartment building in Battery Park, Junker Fitness’s studio offers HIIT, yoga, and beach burn classes. They have a rooftop deck that overlooks Edgewater Park that is the perfect spot for summer yoga.

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Unfortunately, the weather kept our class inside on Sunday, but we still enjoyed a great flow, with lots of active stretching as well as vinyasa.

Junker Fitness also offers personal training that meets you where you are, both in terms of ability and location. Junker Fitness staff will travel to the gym close to you and work with you to build a program that suits your needs.

Plus, I had the opportunity to chat with the owners, Jack and his wife Stephanie, who are super personable, down-to-earth, and committed to becoming an active part of the community where the studio is located.

I can’t wait to head back to check out a rooftop yoga class…and I have some free class passes, so if you’re interested, hit me up in the comments!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a class at Junker Fitness. I received a complimentary class and class passes for a return visit. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Astoria

After our yoga class, I headed to brunch with the Junker Fitness team. We went to nearby Astoria, which was on my must-try list for awhile!

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While waiting for a table, we perused the market and wine shop and sipped mimosas, which is the best way to wait for a table ever!

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I had the seafood frittata, with a poached egg, potato and onion frittata, scallops, crab, and Hollandaise. Such a delicious brunch creation!

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I definitely want to go back and do a deeper dive into Astoria’s wine and charcuterie, too!

What a fun weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Taste of the Tee!

Last night, Matthew and I attend the Taste of the Tee event to benefit The First Tee of Cleveland.

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While strolling food and wine events are common, this one had two unique aspects that made it stand out: the chefs for the evening and partnership with other non-profits.

First, our chefs for the evening were students in The First Tee of Cleveland’s Fit to a Tee program, which teaches children healthy eating habits, cooking skills, and life skills.

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Obviously, Cleveland’s weather is not conducive to a golf-based program year-round. So, Fit to a Tee allows The First Tee of Cleveland to offer impactful programming, even when it’s too cold to be on the course.

The Fit to a Tee students paired with students from Tri-C’s Culinary Arts – Hospitality Management program to prepare delicious dishes on an event scale.

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We enjoyed avocado fries, grilled shrimp…

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Japanese vegetable pancakes, bison meatballs, veggie skewers, Asian lettuce wraps and two kinds of tacos (mahi mahi and cauliflower and chickpea).

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For dessert, there were banana cupcakes and chocolate avocado mousse, served in a meringue shell (to everyone who didn’t get any, I’m sorry I ate so many of those).

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How often can you go to a strolling food and wine event and actually feel like you made healthy eating choices?! Even Dr. Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic, who specializes in functional medicine, addressed the attendees and praised the healthy cooking skills taught by The First Tee of Cleveland.

The food was expertly paired with wines selected by Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute and Brandon Chrostowski.

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There was also a delicious charcuterie and cheese table from Edwins, as well as a raffle for a personal cheese and wine tasting at the restaurant.

The whole evening was set to beautiful music by students from The Music Settlement.

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Taste of the Tee harnessed the power of four non-profits to come together to make an amazing event. But more than that, it illustrated the impact the programs at The First Tee of Cleveland have. Our young chefs not only made delicious, healthy food, but they showed poise and politeness throughout the entire evening.

If The First Tee of Cleveland’s programs and philosophy sound like a great fit for your child, there will be an open house tomorrow, Saturday, April 6 from 10am-12pm at all four of the First Tee of Cleveland locations. You will learn more about the programs, meet staff and coaches, play fun golf games, and enjoy refreshments. Check it out!

***Disclosure: I was asked by The First Tee of Cleveland to help promote their upcoming events. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to Taste of the Tee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Flight Cleveland!

I’m just going on out lately on crossing things of my 2019 Blog Bucket List! This week, I met up with my friend Beth for drinks and nibbles at Flight Cleveland.

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Located in what used to be Latitude 41N, Flight has completely re-imagined the space. It is bright, airy, and comfortable. The bar area has funky vintage chairs and couches for lounging and the room off the wine shop has tables.

The wine shop is huge too, perfect for perusing the sips you fall in love with while at Flight.

Flight offers pre-made flights with every style from white to red to bubbly, as well as wines by the taste or glass. Beth and I each started with the Smooth and Easy flight.

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This is one box of wine I definitely liked! I tried some new wines and really enjoyed all the selections in the flight.

We also shared the “I Like Meat” and “I Like Cheese” boards because, well, we like both those things.

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The choices were interesting and tasty! Oh, and get an extra order of the “Try My Nuts.” The perfect salty/sweet snack!

Flight offers snacks, rather than full meal options, but we had plenty to nibble to keep us happy.

After my flight, I had to get a class of the M Cellars Brut Rose, which is a must-order for me anytime I see it.

Flight is not only a cute setting for drinks, but it offers an awesome and diverse wine selection, whether you’re getting a flight, a glass, or a bottle to take home.

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Why? Market at the Food Bank!

As spring event season heats up, I’m getting excited for a great evening of food and fun with Market at the Food Bank. Happening on Sunday, April 28 at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank warehouse, this event is not only a wonderful chance to contribute to the Harvest for Hunger campaign, but also a unique way to see firsthand where the proceeds from the event go.

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The Greater Cleveland Food Bank warehouse is truly an impressive space that will let you see the well-oiled machine that is the Food Bank, but it will also give you an up-close view at the scope of the need in our community.

Market at the Food Bank is a strolling food and beverage event that features small bites from amazing local restaurants including Landmark, EDWINS, Melt Bar and Grilled, Strip Steak House, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, TownHall, and many more. You’ll also enjoy beverages from CLE Urban Winery, Private Reserve Fine Wines, Beverage Distributors, and more.

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There is also a fabulous silent auction and live raffle with great prizes up for bid, all to raise even more money for Harvest for Hunger.

 

 

Tickets are currently on sale for Market at the Food Bank. General admission tickets are $127 and include unlimited food and beverage samples, a souvenir wine glass, and valet parking. VIP tickets are $202 and include all the general admission benefits, plus early admittance to the event and access to the VIP lounge. You can purchase tickets online.

I hope to see you at Market at the Food Bank, as we fight hunger in our community and experience some of the best of Cleveland food and beverage!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help promote Market at the Food Bank. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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