Bipolar Weatherman

Howdy there! How are you today? I decided that I’m going to add a “Critters” section on certain days to my daily log along with my daily eats and mental health – the animals are just so damn important to me, so I’m going to do daily pics and updates of them too. Here we go ~

The Critters

Mr. Drogo was out warming himself under his heat lamp, and he was too precious not to share! He’s getting so big and slow, ha! Speaking of slithery friends, the Tri-State Reptile Expo is coming up soon, and we’re definitely going – that’s where we bought Drogo last September, and although we don’t have the funds to buy him a pricey little friend at this point, we love looking and dreaming!

Calliope was warming herself on Drogo’s cage this morning …

Persephone was lounging on the couch …

And Caprica was working out some frustrations on the scratching post! Work it out, work it out, meow, meow!

Breakfast

I wasn’t very hungry this morning after my two cups of Joe. I knew that I needed to eat regardless, so I crappily hard-boiled two eggs – they turned out more soft-boiled than anything, but that’s okay – and served them with S+P and French’s Spicy Mustard. I also enjoyed some strawberries sprinkled with sugar … this breakfast is a reprise of what I had yesterday, I realize, but it’s a great protein-filled little breakfast for someone who’s not too hungry. Green Tea to drink! (I’m holding off on the Green Vibrance until I get some OJ to drink with that shit, it nasty in plain water.)

Lunch

I roasted some broccoli, carrots, red onion, a bite of tomato, and green bell pepper with S+P and Fajita Seasoning, my usual seasoning mix, and served them with hummus, light Fiesta ranch, and Pace salsa (no shit, Mandy) for dipping. For the protein-portion of my lunch, I had a Fage Total Strawberry Yogurt with a bite of fresh mango … we have a ton of fresh fruit that I’m trying to eat up! Vanilla Chai Tea to drink.

Dinner

I baked a chicken breast using that Healthy Baked Cheddar Ranch Chicken again (we had leftovers, and I try to use everything up before going shopping again) and served half of it up with some BBQ sauce (the other half went into Luke’s dinner container). I also sauteed up some kale, spinach, squash, and zucchini in a bit of butter and EVOO with garlic salt and pepper. Such a simple dinner, y’all, I couldn’t ask for much easier.

Exercise and Mental Health

My weather-sensitive body was right – it rained and rained last night, and according to my Misfit Ray, I got 11 hours of sleep … I woke up at 9 instead of my usual 7, humph. Why need a weatherman when you can just have bipolar disorder, damn it! I AM THE BIPOLAR WEATHERMAN, Y’ALL! (That’s my new title of many, such as The Teller of Tall-Tales, The Pissy Cleaning Lady, the Covered-in-Hair Crazy Cat Lady, and the Ultimate Bitch Lunch Lady.)

I woke up feeling jittery and a wee bit manic, wondering about the point of it all – I cleaned the entire apartment as Luke slept – and then a heavy depression set in over the early afternoon. I didn’t even want to go lift weights and started crying for no reason at all. Lucky for me, Luke doesn’t take “no” for an answer easily when it comes to lifting weights, and he encouraged me to go anyway. We went for about 45 minutes and did arms. I felt better after lifting, but I was noticeably very tired afterwards.

I’ve noticed that I keep a running dialogue with myself over my size – I have to tell myself over and over “You’re NOT fat, Mandy, you’re not fat,” “you’re NOT hungry and don’t need to binge, Mandy,” and “you don’t have to throw up your lunch, Mandy.” It’s still a battle, but I’m winning. It’s strange, it doesn’t *feel* like I’m doing anything monumental here, but I guess I am. I had this same internal dialogue when I stopped drinking, and it worked, so here’s hoping!

In blog news, I hope to buy that domain name in a few weeks. We just had a massive hit with car repairs (both cars, damn it – Luke’s 1990 4-Runner needed a complete tune-up, and my little Kia Optima needed a new windshield and tires and inspection), so our finances are wee bit tight right now. That’s okay though … it all needed to be done, and I’ll get my domain name sooner than later!

Now I’m off to rest, relax, drink a cup of coffee and watch Expedition Unknown! Have a nice evening, my friends!

 

Daily Rituals

Howdy y’all! I’m going to try something different and allow my readers a chance to get to know me on a more personal level, so here we go ~

Do you have any daily rituals that just make your soul sing? I have a few to share with you:

  • I love to clean the apartment daily. Lemon Pine Sol is my spirit animal. I use it on everything, from the cat box to the counters (not at the same time, ha!). Nothin’ like a nice clean rag to dirty up and some Pine Sol, I say!
  • As you might be able to tell from this blog, I adore my morning coffee. I am a creamer connoisseur and am hoping to try making my own flavored creamer sometime soon … for now, store-bought works (despite being laden with unhealthy ingredients).
  • I take a relaxing hot bath every night and shave my legs. Something about a hot bath is just so soothing, and I have a hangup about feeling clean when I slide into my bed sheets.
  • I paint my nails in the morning. I’m trying to grow out healthy and strong nails after years and years of biting them out of nervous energy, and painting them each day reminds me of how strong they’re getting (and not to take a chomp!).
  • Obviously, I enjoy my daily workout(s), and I can’t imagine my life without them. They keep my bipolar disorder on the defensive, and I love me a good sweat session to work out my anxiety … that’s primarily why I workout, y’all, to keep my demons at bay. It really works!
  • I cook dinner for my Luke every day that he’s working. I feel like it’s a special way for me to give him a part of myself … cooking is like a wonderful song that I sing well, and I get so much pleasure if he says that my food is tasty and nourishing.
  • I do my makeup and hair everyday, and I’m a bit of makeup junkie. My hair sometimes goes two days without a wash (hello, dry shampoo!), but I feel incredibly un-put together despite curling it. Perhaps I need to study up on braids for those days! I also wear sunscreen daily and do clay masks (mixed with coconut oil) to draw out impurities … my skin has taken a beating due to years of eating disordered behavior, and I’m trying to help it out.
  • Of course, how could I neglect to mention how much joy my kitties bring me each day?! I try to love on all three of them in the morning when they’re most receptive to attention. Caprica is often the first thing I see when I wake up, and Calliope comes up onto the bed every night without fail as I’m trying to fall asleep and cries her insistent little “ow, ow” for butt scratches. Ah, my dear kitties!

Alrighty, that’s a little bit more about moi! I hope to keep sharing bits and pieces of my identity on here. πŸ™‚

Breakfast

I had two hard boiled eggs with S+P and a squirt of French’s Spicy Mustard (not pictured because I promptly forgot it!) along with some strawberries and sugar. I wasn’t terribly hungry this morning, but I needed a bite to fuel my workout. I also had some Green Vibrance to drink … it tastes the way alfalfa smells, so I hope it’s worth the health benefits, ha! I should try taking it with OJ or something else that might cut the taste.

Lunch

I enjoyed half about half of a cup of cottage cheese on a bed of spinach and half a tomato with roasted carrots, broccoli, and green bell pepper (baked with my usual EVOO, S+P, and Fajita Seasoning). Hummus, ranch, and Pace salsa on the side for dipping (a teeny bit, y’all … I’m trying to cut back). Hot Matcha tea with stevia to drink.

Dinner

Tonight I made my recipe of deer tenderloin and onions (I might get a hair up my ass and post that recipe one day) … I had some deer and some skillet-roasted broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and kale with butter, EVOO, S+P, and garlic. BBQ sauce on the side. Easy peasy. Coffee to drink.

Exercise and Mental Health

For my first workout, I did cardio – I “elliptical-ed” for 50 minutes and walked for 10 minutes. πŸ™‚ I also did about 120 sit ups … gotta keep my core coming along, right? For my second workout, well … Luke and I got to the gym, and his intestines started hurting in a bad way. We did two machines and called it quits, so today will count as our rest day instead of tomorrow. Poor Luke had to call in sick to work since his cramping was so terrible. 😦

Mood-wise, I was fine this morning, but then I had a low spell in the afternoon which carried into the evening. It might have to do with the weather suddenly turning a little rainy and very overcast. I’m sensitive to changes in the barometric pressure and such, so this is not a far stretch. I feel exhausted and very drained as I type this post … here’s hoping that this isn’t a tread, but at this point, that’s up in the air since I’ve felt so stinkin’ low lately.

That’s my spiel for today … I’m going to take a hot bath and see if that doesn’t help out my mood. Good night, all!

Monday Fun-Day

Howdy y’all! How are you doing today?

It’s Monday-Fun-Day once again, and my husband was off work. Hooray! (We ran errands most of the day.) As you can tell, he was THRILLED to have a day off …

… and I was thrilled to be have a Persephone-cat in my midst!

Breakfast

This morning I enjoyed a Chobani vanilla yogurt topped with a banana, some honey, a sprinkling of Quaker Oats, and almonds. Coffee to drink … I’ve been replacing my creamer with milk and stevia, and it’s mighty tasty!

I sipped on my mug of Cranberry Pomegranate Green Tea with stevia throughout the morning … I’m trying to cut back on my cups of coffee, and green tea is the perfect replacement! It’s also very beneficial for weight lifters to drink.

Lunch

I had two oranges for lunch – I just wasn’t very hungry! Ho hum …

Dinner

I tried a new recipe from Pinterest, Healthy Baked Cheddar Ranch Chicken. It turned out wonderfully … very crunchy crust! I also made some Italian-style veggies as the side; I sauteed broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms with EVOO, butter, S+P, Italian Seasoning, and half a can of diced tomatoes (the kind with basil and such). BBQ on the side!

Exercise and Mental Health

This morning I did some yoga and sit ups … I’m starting to notice definition in my lower tummy, which is where I need it (I had a hysterectomy in 2011, and it has left my lower belly very pudgy and weak).

Luke and I went to the gym and did leg day for 50 minutes … we were both wiggly and wobbly when we finished up, ha!

Mentally, I’ve been so-so … not amazing, not terrible. I’ve been struggling to keep an upbeat mood throughout the day, and I wonder why. I’ve been sleeping well, and nothing bad is going to happen. Perhaps this is just a usual phase of my bipolar – I tend to go through phases – and I’m glad that I’m not in a deep depression, but my moods have been rather ho-hum, so I’m hoping I’ll perk up soon.

I’m watching Bizarre Foods and chilling tonight with my tankard o’ tea …

Have a nice night, y’all! πŸ™‚

Juggling My Moods

I’m dealing with being a touch low today, my friends. I’m finding that it’s harder to write on here when I’m juggling my moods, but I’m going to soldier on today and just simply write!

The kitties were out sunning themselves in the morning light – I snapped pictures of Caprica and Persephone, but little chubby-chub Calliope was nowhere to be found.

Breakfast

This morning I took my pills with some Starbucks Caramel Coffee + stevia + milk + a small bit of coconut oil (I need them fatty acids, damn it!). I also tried something new – Tropicana Essentials Probiotics in Pineapple Mango. This drink was a delightful way to start off the morning. It absolutely tastes like pineapples and mango, and I think it would be a great addition to a smoothie. It’s full of probiotics, so that’s a huge bonus as I need probiotics to heal my poor ravaged gut (seriously, my gut has issues, and I may need to see a GI doctor before this is all over).

I enjoyed a nice hot bowl of banana oatmeal for breakfast – my concoction was 1/2 C of Quaker oats, 1 banana, 1 C of 2% milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla. I topped my oats with a spoonful of maple almond butter, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkling of Honey Roasted Granola by Honey Bunches of Oats.

I think I ate too much at breakfast. I’m going to try eating a little less tomorrow as this meal was just so BIG for my sensitive tummy and left me with a crummy stomachache. I think I’ll settle for a piece of fruit, an egg or two, or some yogurt for breakfast from now on.

Lunch

Today I had a simple lunch before I went to get my tattoos touched up – Luke wanted a protein smoothie, and I decided that I needed one too. I tossed a banana, 2 scoops of protein powder, a cup and a half of milk, a goodly splash of Tropicana Pineapple Mango, some large strawberries, and tons of ice into the blender … yum! My only regret is that I didn’t add the spinach I just bought into the smoothie, but I can next time! I also enjoyed a Pacific Rose apple with a touch of almond butter and cinnamon (and my Laxobolic pill).

Dinner

Tonight I had four eggs scrambled with S+P, spinach, and cheddar cheese, topped with three pieces of bacon and Sriracha … a mandarin orange on the side! Easy peasy.

Exercise and Mental Health

As I said earlier, I had some depression today, you guys. It was very crummy. My brain just had “low and drained” on default today, I suppose, and that’s how I felt most of the day. I managed to shower and get dressed without a problem and had an appointment at 1 with Lynsey, my kickass tattoo artist. I needed touch-ups done on my wrist tattoos which I got about a year ago, and she does her touch-ups for free! She didn’t even want to accept the tip I offered her as she “stands by her work.” Such a sweetheart. Here are my three tats:I was able to go to the gym with Luke and do arm weights despite my mood. We did mostly free weights today, and I had the biggest pump going! I’d like to do free weights more often (the free weight area gets crowded at the gym, and Luke and I both prefer space when working out). I didn’t make my cardio session today due to the depression, but I’m hoping to remedy that very soon. πŸ˜‰

Luke and I stopped at Total Nutrition to see his friend Sam, who works there, and to purchase more of our precious Pump N Grow:

I LOVE ME SOME PUMP N GROW, Y’ALL! It’s stimulant-free, so it’s wonderful for this bipolar girl on medications. If I take a pre-workout, I get jittery and dizzy and ultimately very sick feeling in my head and stomach. No bueno. However, I have absolutely NO reaction to Pump N Grow whatsoever except for getting a nice warmΒ  feeling in my veins and muscles when I lift. It also tastes great … the flavors you can get are Plain (which reminds me of a light Gatorade) and Fruit Pump (tastes like a fruit snack). I highly recommend it! Nope, this isn’t an ad lol – I just really like Pump N Grow!

Here’s hoping for a brighter and depression-free tomorrow, my friends!

5th Wedding Anniversary

Howdy y’all! How’re you doing? πŸ™‚ I had a wonderful day!

Today was my 5th wedding anniversary to my sweetheart husband! We met 10 years ago in March, and we’ve been together ever since. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful, strong, warrior man in my life. He puts up with my bipolar shenanigans like a saint too, which is an amazing trait to find in a partner.

The kitties were out sunning themselves this morning … I snapped pics of Calliope and Persephone, but Caprica was too interested in pets to get a non-blurry pic! I’ve come to realize that my best pictures are snaps of animals, particularly the cats and my sister’s horses. Something about animals is just so stinkin’ fun to photograph!

Breakfast

I downed two cups of coffee in break-neck speed along with my laxobolic, epigrow, and my gabapentin, buspar, calcium supplement, and my probiotic. Coffee is my blood, y’all … if I ever need a transfusion, they might as well just inject that shit into my veins!

I kept breakfast simple today as we were going out to dinner to celebrate! I hard-boiled two eggs, topped them with S+P, and ate them with three pieces of bacon and two toasted and buttered pieces of Newman’s Own Honey Wheat toast (it’s not the *healthiest* bread out there, and I aim to buy something better next time, but hey, it still makes for a tasty toast). My breakfast was later in the day as I didn’t wake up terribly hungry and settled for a few more cups of Joe to fuel my earlier hours.

Lunch

Smoothie and an apple for lunch! I had an Ambrosia apple with cinnamon and nutmeg and split a protein smoothie with Luke – a scoop of Protein One vanilla, milk, a large banana, ice, and some cinnamon. I really loved the addition of cinnamon to the smoothie, next time I will also add a dash of vanilla. Yummy.

Luke and I took my car in for a new windshield and new tires (boo, but it’s good to get it all fixed up so the damn thing will pass inspection this month) after we had lunch, and while it was being worked on, we worked on ourselves at the gym! Afterwards we got Drogo a mouse to munch on.

Dinner

Dinner was a trip to Outback Steakhouse! Hooray! Happy Anniversary to us! πŸ™‚We ordered iced teas (no booze for us!) and a Bloomin’ Onion with extra dipping sauce which was very spicy and delicious tonight. I ate about 1/3 of it while Luke at 1/2 … I was already getting very full after our appetizer and half of a loaf of delicious brown bread with butter, but I soldiered on …

… and then we received our entrees! We both ordered a GIANT rib-eye steak, rare, with mushrooms, steakhouse mac n’ cheese, and a loaded baked potato. I ordered a house salad with ranch with mine and promptly ate a good portion of it before touching the rest of my meal … gotta keep those veggies going in, right? The steak was a little salty for my taste, but it was delicious nonetheless. The steakhouse mac n’ cheese was dynamite, and the loaded baked potato was very flavorful too.

Obviously we had TONS of leftovers afterwards … I can probably make two more meals out of mine, and Luke has about one good meal out of his. No dessert for us, we were too full! Overall we were happy with our experience at Outback, as we usually are!

Exercise and Mental Health

Today I tried something new with my eating – I’m going to up my protein game, and I’ve decided to cut back on all of the other things (read: hummus, ranch dressing, salsa … yes, that’s a tall order for me since I love dipping my veggies, but it’ll be worth it). I hope to implement this into my routine.

I also decided to try savoring my food instead of inhaling it like a wolf. I’m bad at stuffing my face quickly, and I need to slow down and enjoy the taste! Surely that’ll help me feel fuller for longer, right? I think so! It worked tonight with Outback. I’m trying something new with my coffee tomorrow too – instead of creamer, I’m going to try Stevia and a hearty pour of 2% milk to see if that doesn’t “healthify” my morning cuppa with some good calcium and a touch of protein.

My weight today was 127.8 lbs … I’m getting to my goal of 130 lbs, slowly but surely! Our meal at Outback will probably bump me up closer for a while, ha!

Luke and I went to the gym for about 45 minutes today and did our chests and some arm exercises. I must admit that chest day is NOT my favorite day as it’s the hardest for me to do, but that just means I need to do it MORE! πŸ™‚ I took a break from cardio today.

Mentally, I’m doing SO STINKIN’ WELL, y’all. My bipolar and anxiety are 100% under control, so hurray!

All in all, this was a WONDERFUL day for me! Have a lovely night, y’all! xoxo

The Way the Snake Slithers

Hi there y’all! How are you today?

Persephone was meowing her timid little meow at me over the entire morning. I don’t understand that cat – she was acting like she wanted pets, but then she skittered away every time my hand reached for her bottom to scratch. Then she looked at me for a while from the couch, staring balefully … again, I don’t understand that silly kitty cat!

Breakfast

I had my breakfast in two sessions this morning which is different for me, but I needed something about 30 minutes after I woke up, and Brown Cow yogurt sounded delicious. I picked apricot mango out of the fridge, topped with a small banana and a drizzle of honey, and ate it up with a cup of Starbucks vanilla coffee with Silk vanilla creamer to start my day off with a bang!

Second breakfast was two eggs with S+P, cheddar cheese, corn, and black beans Pace salsa and sriracha with a side of avocado and deep red heirloom tomato with salt. More coffee, please! Breakfast is definitely my heartiest meal of the day, but I need fuel for my morning workout! πŸ˜‰

Lunch

Once again, I had tuna on cucumbers and broccoli with my typical dips of hummus, salsa, ranch dressing. I tend to eat similar things throughout the week, so just a word of warning here … we try to hit up the store just a few times a week if not once, and we eat up what we have in an effort to not waste much! I also had a nice big glass of V8 juice, yummy.

Overall, this was a tasty lunch, one that I really enjoyed after my first workout. Now, I know people aren’t supposed to eat canned tuna more than once a week because of the mercury, but I’m living dangerously and had it two days in a row … I’ll make an effort to switch it up tomorrow.

Snack

My lunch was a little light, so around 2:00 I was feeling snacky in a major way, and I had a nice juicy orange with a MOO-Brown Cow strawberry yogurt … that hit the spot!

Dinner

Tonight I had a strawberry banana protein smoothie made with 1 small banana, 6 large strawberries, 1 scoop of vanilla Protein One, about a cup of milk, and plenty of ice cubes. This made two cups of smoothie, and I drank both! YUM!

I ate a little more than usual today, but that’s okay – I’ve hit my goal weight of 130 pounds and am feeling so good about myself, y’all! I’ll have to think about whether I want to bump it up to 135 … it’s a process for me. It’s taken me a LONG time to want to get to 130 lbs, and it might take me a while to decide I want to go higher. I’m trying to not encourage eating disordered thinking though, and I ultimately think my weight will tell me where it needs to be if I just eat healthily and exercise. πŸ™‚

Exercise and Mental Health

This morning I went for my usual hour gym session – I did 30 minutes of the elliptical and 30 minutes of walking. Huzzah! I didn’t want to go crazy on the elliptical as it was LEG DAY with my hubs, and I didn’t want to have exhausted legs.

I have to admit that I was in a so-so mood after my first workout from about 11 until 3. My brave-hearted Luke went to shoot .260 Remington’s today with my father, and I became worked up over Luke seeing Dad after that awful little “text chat” on Sunday. I distracted myself well enough, however, and made dinner while Luke was away (he ended up having a good time, anything where guns are involved seems to be right up his ally).

I also played with Drogo and had Luke take a picture of us when he got back.Poor Drogo needs a mouse to munch on – we hope to pick him up one tomorrow, but he’s still the perfect gentleman, even when he’s hungry (we’ve had some bite-y snakes over the years who were very unhappy around feeding time). I love his little head peeking out from behind my hand, so sweet.

Needless to say, my second workout with Luke perked me up – we lifted heavy-ass weights for about 50 minutes – and left me feeling tired and happy. My mood was so much better after that, and I’m glad I got out of my slump.

Calliope was resting on the bed ALL DAY TODAY … how I wish I were a kitty cat sometimes!

Time to watch Expedition Unknown and chill out with a cup of coffee! Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, so I’m hoping to do a restaurant review for kicks. Wishing you sweet dreams and deep sleep! xoxo

Double Workout Day!

Howdy y’all!

I had a double workout day today and felt compelled to share my adventures and good eats on here.

Breakfast

I was craving a savory and sweet breakfast, so I made avocado-egg toast and a yogurt parfait! My bread was Newman’s Own honey wheat, toasted and topped with half of a baby avocado, a fried egg with S+P and a little bit of cheddar, and Pace salsa. The yogurt was Brown Cow coffee-flavored with a small banana and a teeny drizzle of honey. Starbucks vanilla coffee and silk creamer on the side! A delicious and filling breakfast for sure.

Lunch

Tuna and veggies! I roasted some red onion, a big ol’ carrot, the other half of my baby avocado, some broccoli, and some cauliflower with S+P, garlic powder, and a dash of EVOO. YUM! I had salsa-ranch dressing, Pace salsa, and hummus on the side for dipping (I’m ADDICTED to dipping my veggies, y’all). I also enjoyed a packet of Starkist Thai Chili Style tuna with some cucumber rounds serving as little crackers.

Dinner

Tonight I had Enchilada Chicken – it’s half of a chicken breast covered in red enchilada sauce, some corn, some black beans, S+P, garlic powder, and a bit of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Alongside my chick-chick, I roasted some mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, red heirloom tomato, and zucchini in butter and olive oil with S+P, Italian Seasoning, and garlic powder and added my usual Pace salsa, ranch dressing, and pine nut hummus alongside for dipping.

Exercise and Mental Health

To burn off some bad juju from Sunday night, I went to the gym for an hour this morning – I did the elliptical for 50 minutes (I was proud of myself as I didn’t stop to pee!) and walked at an arm-swinging pace for 10 minutes. Talk about a mood booster! I felt great after my first sweat-session. Luke and I went back to lift weights in the afternoon and stayed for about 45 minutes – it was ARM DAY, after all, one of my favorite days (okay, you got me, any day that I workout is one of my favorite days, but there’s something about arm day that makes me feel powerful)!

When we got home, I had Luke snap a quick pic of me … I’m pleased with my progress and hope to do a before and after pic eventually. I can see a remarkable different in my shoulders, arms, and legs. I don’t look SUUUPER skinny and unhealthy anymore, and I’m here to say that if a girl who struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 17 long years can do this, YOU CAN TOO. I’m so serious.

What’s my next goal? To GAIN 5 pounds of muscle, y’all! I’m still stuck around 125-128 lbs, and I want to get to 130 … that seems so strange of me to write as I’ve *always* been obsessed with getting my weight lower, not higher.

Mentally, I’m stable after Sunday night’s shenanigans. I feel empowered and have pushed past my PTSD and anxiety through eating well, not drinking alcohol, and exercise. Hooray! πŸ™‚

I also managed to snap an adorable picture of Luke and Persephone before he went to work. She looks so put-out with him, ha!

Now I’m off to watch Bizarre Foods (I love Andrew Zimmern to pieces!) and chillax with some blueberry acai green tea.

Have a GREAT night, my friends!