Tamzin Lena

beauty | mental health | food | travel

Baking Tanya Burr's Chocolate Cookies - Vegan Style

Many moons ago, I did a blog post named "Baking Tanya Burr's Chocolate Cookies" which was one and is still one of my most popular posts ever.

It was so fun to do, and very tasty of course, so I thought I would recreate it, but using Vegan alternatives.

I am not Vegan, and it is not something I will dedicate myself to long term, but I am trying to eat more plant based, and less meat. This is just a personal choice, I want to be healthier, and consider what I am eating more. I want to eat more vegetables etc, and I love exploring alternative diets and I think this is a good way to motivate myself to eat cleaner. Like I said, I am not committing to it.

These cookies, originally, are amazing. And the Vegan ones were just as good, and I am not just saying that. You couldn't tell a difference. If you want to, you can follow the original recipe here.

You will need:

75g of cocoa powder (make sure it's pure cocoa powder and not drinking chocolate, the latter contains milk powder)
A dash or two of Soya milk (or any other plant based milk), depending of how dry your mixture seems to be
300g of caster sugar
275g of self raising flour (I used plain and some baking powder but it doesn't matter!)
220g of vitalite (dairy free butter)
A large bar of dark chocolate


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cream together your vitalite and sugar in a large mixing bowl. You then want to stir in all your dry ingredients. At this point you want to add your Soya milk if the dough is looking dry. After this, you want to break all your chocolate up into the squares and chuck it in. (And eat a piece or two - of course!) Start using your hands to form a dough, and when it is all combined, you can put in on a surface and separate it into rather large balls, ready for baking. You should make around 10 balls. These cookies come out huge so you could make 20 smaller ones if you desire. Place the balls onto a greased or lined baking tray and bake them in the oven for 11 minutes - ish. Tanya says this is the perfect baking time, however, this time I did mine for around 15 minutes and they were still gooey but held together slightly better. 

 My mum took the above picture for my blog - she wanted me to include it ha ha and I think it's a good one!

I hope you enjoyed this, and let me know if you decide to bake them for yourselves. I took some for my friends to try and they both loved them so much. One asked if I can make some for her birthday, which then made the other chirp up and ask if I can make some for him too. Of course I agreed to both, because then I have the excuse to make some for myself too. :)

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

It's FINALLY Spring! | Feeling productive, and pro-active

Wasn't that the longest Winter of our lives?

I can't believe it is finally Spring.

It's actually crazy that it is already the 20th March and we have had no glimmer of Spring. 2 years ago, I posted a blog post, named Spring Things, and by the time it was published on March 27th, it had already been Easter, Flowers had sprouted and the Weather had picked up. This year, we've had snow blizzard after snow blizzard, I can't remember what the sun looks like and I am desperate for those longer and brighter days.

One thing that is making my dull mornings a little cheerer is breakfast.

I have to say, it's an expensive habit to have, but eating breakfast out a few times a week has done wonders for my pre-work morning mood!

Finding great breakfast spots and eating (of course) sets me up for the day perfectly. First of all, I am excited to leave the house, the WiFi is often great (and free) and I get the energy out of it. Oh, and I can take cute photos like the one above.

I often have time to kill in the mornings so this is a great way to pass it. I find myself being productive most of the time too, whether that be by editing a video or pictures, writing blog posts or organizing content. Often in these kind of cafes, a lot of people are there for the same reason too, so the atmosphere is perfect! Some days I watch YouTube videos, but that doesn't matter...

Finding your muse is key to getting productive, and I think my early breakfasts and an initial boost of work energy is mine. I never thought I was a morning person - but recently, it is where all my energy is at. I crash as soon as I get home in an evening - but in a morning prior to work I am all go.

Have you ever considered waking up earlier to do something like this? Find a favored spot and get your creative juices flowing? It has definitely made a difference in regards to me getting out a rut. You could work, chill, read a book, and overall feel more ready for the day ahead!

I am going to leave this here before I ramble too much - but I am so excited to get back into blogging and sharing some super fun content with you all! April is going to be a crazy (but very exciting) month and I have so much planned, which I will definitely share over here, so stay tuned!

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx


Amsterdam! | My top recommendations

I went to Amsterdam a year ago yesterday and had a wonderful time. I thought I would share with you some of my top things to do there, as well as the best things to eat and the greatest things to see.

I look so different. Ha ha.

I actually vlogged whilst I was there, you can watch that here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGtxVUMWRRs&t=350s

I also filmed a haul on my return which you can watch here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8Ms3MDy_-E&t=34s

I am not going to go into too much detail about what we did, as you can see that in the videos. Instead, I am just going to share the top 12 things I think you should do/eat/see whilst you are there, and course share a few (or a lot) pictures along the way. Most of these are from my instagram/snapchat, so if you want to keep up to date in the future, you can. My username for both is @tamzinlena

I thought I would also mention that we actually got such a good deal on this trip.

We booked it via Wowcher, and paid £100 each which included both the flight and the hotel for 2 nights. We flew with Easy Jet. Not spon, just thought I'd tell you. The hotel we stayed in was Botel, which was interesting and different! It's essentially a floating boat hotel, and it was fun to stay in! It was actually quite far from central, we had to get a boat across everyday, but we actually all enjoyed this aspect! The boat transfers were free and not too much of a hassle.

1. Not really a recombination, but a point. Avoid the bicycles. Do not get in their path. You will get run over and probably die. Seriously though, those bikes stop for nothing. Be careful! And, don't ride them if you're not confident. Like I said, they don't stop for nothing, they are very fast paced and INTENSE.

2. Eat New York Pizza. All around Amsterdam, there are pizza shops that sell these huge slices of pizza, and let me tell you, they are amazing! If you find a shop, be sure to drop in. It's not that expensive and they offer lots of toppings!

3. If you want something slightly healthier, you NEED to try the falafel place in Dam square. It's called Maoz (vegetarian) and it is amazing, just see the pic below. Do I need to say more?

4. Eat all the desserts. I know this is all food related so far, but trust me, Amsterdam has ALL the offerings.

There are millions of places for Crepes, I went to Yo Tella.

5. Visit the Anne Frank museum. I couldn't recommend this enough. Before I went, I heard very mixed reviews, but I thought it was amazing! So insightful and interesting, and of course emotional, but very worth it.

6. Go shopping! Amsterdam has a great mix of smaller boutique style shops and European chains. You can see exactly what I bought and the places I went in my haul video.

7. Take a stroll to the Fault in our stars bench! If you are a fan of the book or the movie, this is a great thing to do, and of course, a great photo opportunity!

8. Ride a river boat! We did do this but I have no photos. It's so much fun and a great way to see the city, floating down the canals is very dutch!

9. Go to the Hard Rock cafe, but be sure to book. It gets very busy and the wait time can be very long if you don't book in advance. However, it is very nice, expensive, but nice, and an experience.

10. See the AMSTERDAM sign! The lettering is so cool. I wish I had gotten a better photo but it rained so much whilst we were there it was difficult.

11. There is also the Van Gogh museum near by which is a great place to visit too. We went into the shop and picked up a few bits!

12.  Enjoy the little things Amsterdam has to offer. One of which for me was the little cafes and bakeries that were dotted about. This one near our hotel was lovely and overlooked the harbor. It's actually where the below photo was taken that I have posted before.

I really enjoyed putting together this little travel guide. If you would like me to do more in the future, let me know! I would love to go back to Amsterdam, maybe when it won't be raining. Below, I have included a list of other popular things to do in Amsterdam that we didn't do, but may be of interest to you! Oh, and be sure to go to a cheese shop and buy ALL the cheese. You won't regret it. I went and oh my god, it was heaven

- Sex museum 
- Tulip fields! 
- Ice bar 
- Efteling (theme park)
- Madame Tussauds 

There are so many others things to do to, you can always have a gander on Trip Advisor to see if anything appeals! Also, leave your suggestions below so others can use this as a (hopefully helpful) resource! 

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

Why stepping away is important

Do you ever just feel foggy? Like you can't see properly? Like there's this huge fog in front of you that you are trying your hardest to push through, but it won't budge? Like there are so many things on your mind, and in order for you to see clearly, you need to get rid of some?

That's how I have been feeling recently. Foggy. I can't tell you how frustrating it is. How overwhelming it is. The voice in the back of my head exclaiming "you need a fucking break" whilst I am scrambling for air in a seemingly oxygen free world.

I just wanted to switch off. I wanted to turn off my phone, curl up in my bed and listen to slow, comforting songs and only come out for food.

This is unrealistic because I work a full time job, a part time job, study, manage a YouTube channel, blog and socials, do freelance content creating, and try to lead some sort of life.

I just wanted to sleep in all honesty. I have been exhausted.

Let's take the plate analogy. It's overused but even my analogy loving brain can't think of a better one right now.

Imagine having a plate (or a bowl, side dish etc, no discriminating, whatever is your preference) that is full. I love having a full plate in the literal sense, I mean give me all the food. But imagine being given this plate when you're full. You love food, so you should be happy with it, but you.are.stuffed. You can't take any more. That's how I felt.

Whether it be stress, friends or love that was driving me insane, I needed to eradicate something from my plate because I couldn't stomach it all.

So last week, I got rid of social media, in an attempt to clear my head, stop myself from getting caught up in things, and be more present and less foggy.

I went to work, went home and did no more work. I listened to music, I walked the dog, watched things I really wanted to watch and slept earlier.

I stopped trying to chase after things that are a bit too far away at the moment. Things I want that may not happen soon. I am not giving up on them, I am just realizing that now may not be the right time. As you know, I am a big believer in fate and I think if things want to work out, they will. I just need to allow things to happen in their own time instead of rushing everything, always. I am much of a go person and sometimes I need to go slow and steady.

It's always important to remember that you don't owe anyone anything. Your time is precious. Don't waste it on people that wouldn't do the same for you. 

I can see clearer now.

I know you were thinking it.

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

GIVEAWAY! (and the T&C's)

To win this package from Kiss Cosmetics and Alex Silver PR, go and check out this tweet - https://twitter.com/tamzinlena/status/967361271745138690

All you need to do is retweet that and follow me on twitter.

Terms and conditions:

- you must be following me on twitter
- you must have retweeted the above tweet
- winner will be chosen on the 3/3 RANDOMLY
- this competition is open to people in MAINLAND UK only due to shipping retsraints



Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

23 random questions

As you know, I have recently enjoyed doing more personal posts and things that I typically wouldn't talk about. I thought that today, I would answer 23 random questions, completely honestly, so you could maybe discover something that you didn't already know about me. Feel free to pick a question and answer it in the comments, or if you have you own blog you could answer these yourself! I am going to do a part 2 to this post, but those questions are going to be "deep", where as these are more lighthearted!

1) 3 turn offs

- selfishness
- smoking
- people who take them selves too seriously.

2) 3 turn ons

- people who aren't afraid to say how they feel
- smiley people
- laughter

3) phobia

mice & rats

4) celebrity crush

sam clafflin

5) do you smoke/drink?

i don't smoke, never have, but i have consumed alcohol.. numerous times

6) favourite movie

wild child

7) name

tamzin lena snelling

8) fave band

scouting for girls / coldplay

9) fave music artist

florence and the machine + so many others

10) embarrassing memory

when i thought i had already put my shorts on for PE in primary school, but i hadn't, so i walked into the hall in a top and pants

11) last thing i ate

cadbury's creme egg pot of joy thing (they are insane!!)

12) last text received

"it does my box in"

13) 4 things you hate

- hypocrites
- ear wax
- pins and needles
- mixed signals

14) 4 things you love

- laughing
- bonding with people
- food
- finding a song that reflects your current emotion

15) random fact

i have never broken a bone

16) 3 people you miss

- my old best friend
- my internet best friend
- a close friend i met through YouTube who lives in the US

17) tattoo you want

there's a few, but the ones i want first include a taurus symbol on my finger, a wave on my arm, some song lyrics on my shoulder, and some forget me not flowers, also on my arm

18) a regret

wasting too much time on the wrong people

19) an 11:11 wish


20) craziest thing i've ever done

i guess i'm not that crazy

21) your fave colour


22) nickname

looby / looby lena by my mum

23) fave author

jennifer niven

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

What I am listening to recently

I thought it would be fun to do a post all about the music I am enjoying recently. Typically, I don't have a set genre that I like, I kind of listen to anything. However, if I had to pick one genre, it would be indie pop rock. If that is even a thing. Think Florence and The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Of Monsters and Men, Kate Nash, Lilly Allen, Coldplay... Here are 5 or so (I had to keep it down) tunes that I have loved jammin' to in the past few weeks.

Speaking of Coldplay, my most listened to song of the past few weeks has to be Yellow.

I have loved this song for years but for some reason I have just wanted to listen to it over and over again recently. I love it so much. It actually came out in June 2000, just 2 months after I was born which I find crazy.

I love that this song is both sad and happy. It is filled with so much emotion and the way it is portrayed is beautiful. My favourite lyrics? The opening lines - Look at the stars, look how they shine for you. My other favourite Coldplay songs include The Scientist and Christmas Lights (which yes, is a Christmas song. I haven't been listening to it recently, don't worry.)

I have also been OBSESSED with the Greatest Showman soundtrack. I have listened to it all most days, sometimes twice. It is incredible.

My favourite songs from it are This is me and Come Alive, but honestly I love every single song. If I had to pick one it would be This is me, and my favourite lyric is I know that I deserve your love. 'Cause there is nothing that I am not worthy of. 

A song that never fails to make me cry is Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. For some reason, when they start singing after the intro, it just hits me.

I think I have just developed an attachment to the song and its lyrics. Speaking of lyrics, my faves are Though the truth may vary, This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore. 

A current chart hit which I like at the moment is Dua Lipa's IDGAF

I think it is such a bop and a real feel good, girl boss kinda song. My favourite lyric is So I cut you off,
I don't need your love. 

Another older song that I have been loving recently is Paolo Nutini's Last Request

As you can probably tell, I have been listening to rather emotional songs these past few weeks, which I think accurately represents my recent mood. I listen to sad songs when I'm sad and happy songs when I am happy. That's just what I do ha ha. None of these songs are particularly sad, they are just more mellow and slow, which I do prefer typically. My favourite lyric is Oh, and I realize all about your lies
But I'm no wiser than the fool I was before. 

I am going to leave this post here for now, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, I will do more music themed posts soon. 

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx



Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I wanted to do a post to remind you that it is okay if you are single or without a beau. I am asked more often than not if I am with someone, (I don't why this is such a general assumption) mainly in real life but on the internet too, and the answer to that is no. I don't have a boyfriend. I have seen people recently but nothing concrete, and that's okay. (Ish, I am not going to pretend that I don't cry about it on a weekly basis)

Valentine's Day is a weird one. I love any kind of occasion, so I am not bitter or petty towards anyone in that way, but it is hard not to feel kind of down when everyone around you is so loved up, and you might not be so lucky. Whether this be because you have just gotten out of unhealthy relationship or you are struggling with your feelings for someone, Valentine's Day can trigger a lot of issues within someone who is currently feeling that kind of heart ache. Also, even if someone does have a partner, but they can't be with them for whatever reason (long distance relationship, family disapproval or they work away for example) this can also be difficult for them. 

It is so hard to write this post because I am trying not to get it caught up in my present feelings. I guess the whole point of this was to, just remind you that if you are single, it is fine, and Valentine's Day can still be fun and enjoyable, it doesn't have to be tinged with bad memories or bad people. Go out and enjoy yourself, or stay in and watch your favourite film, or just have a good cry (trust me, it helps!) Check out my post I did on The Growing Up Guide, all about things you can do if you are single on Valentine's Day

You may be physically alone, but you are never alone! If you do happen to feel that extra pang of loneliness on the lead up or on actual Valentine's Day, speak to someone! Whether that me a friend or family member, find someone that you think will understand and have a good chat. It is always nice to have an outpour of feelings. And if you can't do that, buy some Ben and Jerry's. I ain't judging. I may join you. 

Additionally, if you have feelings for someone, tell them! Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to do so. You might just get the response you wanted. (insert how much of a hypocrite I am here because there is no way I am declaring my love for anyone tomorrow) 

I hope you liked this post. To be honest, it was more for me. I do enjoy writing more personal posts as it gives me a kind of outlet for any feelings that I am currently, ya know, feeling. I try not to give too much away but it still feels good to put some of it out on a page. - 

I'll tell you on thing though, I do often feel "Unloveable". This jumper was pretty fitting. 

I am going to share a tip with you, and it is something I have done before. It's not Valentine's specific, but it may come in handy around this time. Write a letter. Write a letter to the person you wish you could pour your heart out to but can't for whatever reason. Seal it, and don't give it to them. Hide it, burn it, trash it, it doesn't matter. The fact you have written down on a page everything that you feel, can really help you reflect upon the situation. I mean - you can give it to them if you want, but I ain't that confident. I just keep it to myself, and I still feel as if I have said everything I want to say without causing a stir. 

Bye for now, 
Tamzin xxx


Choconchoc Love Notes | Something different for Valentine's Day

Even though I am single AF, I really enjoy any kind of holiday/celebration/occasion, and this includes Valentine's Day! Even if you are not with anyone, it can be such a fun time! You can check out a post I did on the Growing Up Guide here, all about things you can do on Valentine's Day if you are single.

For this post, I thought I would share with you a Valentine's gift that could be used for your significant other, best friend or family. This is such a cute idea that can be used for literally anyone!

These Love Notes from Choconchoc are a lovely concept.

Everything is edible. The ink from the pen and the paper that lies on the chocolate are designed to be consumed, meaning you can leave a sweet message for someone in a totally new way. The actual chocolate is so yummy too, I couldn't resist having a bite or two when shooting these products...

If you are looking for something unique this Valentine's Day, I would highly recommend checking out Choconchoc and all of their other lovely products. They do presents for Mother's Day, Easter and many more, so whatever type of chocolate you are searching for, I am sure you will find something on there.

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

*this product was sent to me free of charge. In no way does that shape or form my opinion! :)


Dressing against the norm — what does it say about you? | Guest Post | AD

From eccentric socks to dressing against our gendered expectations, many people push the limits of social norms when it comes to fashion. Research has shown that non-conformists can be viewed as being of a higher status and more competent than those who follow the rules of fashion. We take a look at what different clothing says about the wearer…

Against gendered expectations

The line is becoming increasingly blurred between male and female clothing. Many people are speaking up, opposing the ideas that men and women should be dressed according to their sex. But, are you presenting yourself in a different way when you dress against the gendered expectations?
Although fashionistas are saying that they don’t agree with gender rules, some research suggests that we’re still stuck in our old ways. Psychologists in New Jersey found that attitudes towards gender stereotypes hadn’t changed much between 1983 and 2014.
There is an argument that shows that it’s favourable for women to cross the gender barrier but perhaps not men. Back in 1990, it was found that — despite the sex of the applicant – if the clothing that they wore was more masculine, they were more likely to be hired. When men dressed in pink however (a colour commonly associated with females), they were seen as less intelligent than women who were wearing the same colour.

Eccentric wear

Another way of going against the grain when it comes to style it through eccentric clothing. When we think of outrageous outfits we may think of people with brightly coloured hair, patterned clothing and over the top jewellery. But, there are other ways to express freedom through dress.
For example, people who wear unconventional socks are viewed as being rebellious and expressive. One of these people is Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada, who shows off his fun side by wearing funky socks with a traditional suit. You can make your own subtle ‘eccentric’ changes through patterned socks by CT shirts, online retailers of men’s formal shirts and accessories. Or make yourself stand out from the crowd through bright scarves and other extras.
By dressing against the norms, studies have shown that you build a brand of being ‘gutsy’. And in fact, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful. One study, published in 2014, found that those who go against conformity can be viewed as of a higher status than those who don’t. They were also considered to be more competent — potentially influencing the impression that they give off in the workplace.
Not only does it affect people’s perceptions of you but it can also affect the way you think, feel and act — this is through ‘embodied cognition’. Since eccentric dress gives you greater potential to express your individuality, it’s possible that it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in different situations. This could then go on to improve your performance at work or in challenges where you want to push yourself.

Against the dress code

In some situations, for a job interview perhaps, it can be argued that dressing in accordance with expectations is the best thing to do.
Under some circumstances, we think that people with extraordinary appearances are more successful.
Men who wear smart, fitted suits as they are often expected to wear in a formal situation, were perceived as being more confident, successful and thought to be earning a higher wage. This was compared to men who weren’t dressed as smartly — in a loosely fitted suit.
In one study that looked at the effects of clothing, it was found that senior managers were rated less favourably if they were dressed more ‘provocative’. This was a skirt slightly above the knee and one button on the blouse undone. It’s clear to see that it is important to consider our dress style carefully as people can make many assumptions without any evidence.
In some environments, wearing your set uniform can improve your productivity. Research found that in a lab, those who were wearing lab coats felt smarter and went on to perform better!
As we can see, dressing against societies expectations can have many effects on the opinion of others and your own performance. Although it’s important to express yourself through dress, you don’t want to hinder your work or your impression on others in formal situations. Wear a pair of crazy socks underneath your day-to-day outfit instead…  


I need your help

Something I wanted to do this year was be more charitable, whether that's agree to donate 1 pound when buying something like I did earlier for world cancer day or take on larger projects that can help in a different way.

So, today, I have released some tshirts to sell for charity. You can get one here - https://www.mercht.com/c/tamzinlena

You could watch the video for the campaign here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQD4DzNWG0s

I'd really appreciate it if you could buy one or share it with someone who could. All profits will go to help send Amy to Africa where she will be helping to get young people into education.

Thanks so much

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

Movies you need to see! #1 | What I watched this month

This month I have watched 2 films at the Cinemas (kind of, we'll get to that) and one at home, so I thought I would share them as they are all must sees! I am going to try and do this most months as I want to go to the Cinemas more!

Number 1 - Coco

I saw Coco when I was invited to a private screening of it at the Walt Disney offices in London. I jumped at the chance to go, even thought I hadn't heard that much about the film previously. I knew that it was a Disney Pixar production, so it would be amazing anyhow, and it was certainly that! The colours are so bright and wonderful and the plot was fantastic. It was so gripping and had twists and turns throughout. I was shocked at how clever and interesting the story line was, to say that the assumed target demographic was young children. I would say leave any preconceptions at the door and go watch it, I'm pretty certain that you won't be disappointed.

Number 2 - The Greatest Showman

I watched The Greatest Showman just last night and was blown away by it to be honest. I knew it had to have been good, with the amount of people talking about it. Plus, my brother's girlfriend who I went with, had watched it 7 times before our visit, making our trip her 8th. I hadn't seen it prior to last night and was so desperate to go! The soundtrack first of all is phenomenal, we listened to it in the car in the way home AND I listened to it all on my commute this morning. I love it! It's so feel good! There is a good plot, I often find with musicals you can get caught up in the music and the plot is just an addition, however with this film, it was the perfect balance. I loved the main story and the music was just a bonus. I loved the underlying love story throughout too (I won't spoil it) and that was probably my favourite thing about the whole production.

Number 3 - Me before You

I had seen this film at least once or twice before I watched it again this month. I know it isn't a new release, it came out in 2016. However, I thought it would be interesting to share other films that I have watched over the past four weeks, in case you are looking for any Netflix/DVD recommendations. I watched this on Netflix, as I saw it was on there. I love this film. Me before You is your classic love story. Rom-Com. Chick flick. Whatever you want to call it. It's based on the novel by Jojo Moyes, and the story is so captivating and emotional. I cried buckets throughout, it's not one of those that just leaves the sad parts until the end (the end is very sad too, but). The whole film had me sobbing one minute and laughing the next. It has my ultimate celebrity crush in, Sam Claflin, so a little bit of eye candy didn't go unnoticed either. He is in my other favourite romantic comedy, Love Rosie, so the cast was definitely a hit for me as always. (Side note, I have watched Love Rosie at least 10 times and could watch it everyday, but I'll save that for another post) If you like a good bawl, check it out.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was a little different! I am thinking of doing a "What I watched this month" YouTube edition, and a "What I watched this month" Netflix edition. Let me know if you'd like that!

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx
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