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Is It Time for a Change of Scenery?

February 23, 2021

While I do have a couple of true travel posts here at Dressed for My Day, my emphasis is clearly on fashion and beauty. So yeah, I guess I usually focus on appearance. But even that focus has a greater goal. My aim has always been to help us older ladies show up for our days beautifully so that we can graciously impact those around us.

I also know the strong connection between our appearance and what’s inside. And for me, that means that to look my best and be my best I occasionally need a reset. Like many of you, I’m longing for a true vacation right now. What I wouldn’t give to jump on a plane to Oregon to visit my favorite beach. But I don’t minimize the impact of a simple change of scenery either. So today I thought we’d talk about how we might safely take even the smallest trip or enjoy a staycation…because we all could use a change of scenery from time to time.

is it time for a change of scenery_

Now I know that some of my readers are already traveling a good bit. And if you feel safe, then I’m all for it. But I do have a number of readers who are older than myself and have chosen to stick close to home during this pandemic. I also know that many of my readers are caregivers for someone with a compromised immune system, and they, too, have chosen not to take vacations during this past year.

While James and I had originally planned to join my parents for a week at their Florida condo this month, we opted not to because we didn’t want to “pick up something” as we journeyed there and then spread that to my mom and dad. So I know we’re all making individual decisions that work the best for us and our loved ones. I want to be sensitive to that range of comfort levels, and I’d like to request that my readers be sensitive in the comment section, too. Of course you will. I have the best blog community.

Change of Scenery
skinny jeans (more economical option) // zip up top (more economical option) // my sneakers (my more economical recommendation) // earrings not available // similar mask // backpack (more economical option)

I have a lot of new readers here, so some of you may not know that my husband and I moved cross-country from Arizona to Ohio less than two years ago. We have been enjoying getting to know our new home by taking monthly day trips or even overnight getaways to places in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. And while we have definitely changed things up a bit during the pandemic, we have not stopped getting out to explore. It’s been important for our marriage, our personal mental health, our adjustment to our new home and physical well-being.

Option 1 – A Staycation

Recently we even took what we called a “working staycation.” I needed to take photos for the blog, but we had a lot of snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing…in the daytime! So I checked out local hotels to find one with nice indoor spaces, good bathrooms (for my recent L’Oreal skincare and makeup posts), comfortable accommodations and good rates. I got a great deal through, which is always my preferred way to book vacations.

skinny jeans (more economical option) // zip up top (more economical option) // my sneakers (my more economical recommendation) // earrings not available // similar mask // backpack (more economical option)

In fact, did you know that offers more than great deals on hotels? They also provide booking opportunities with apartments, bed and breakfasts, condos and, of course, resorts. James and I have booked our vacations exclusively through for years so that, over time, we can accumulate enough stays to earn a free night. We’ve earned dozens of free nights over the years.

To sign up for the rewards program you only have to provide an email and first and last name. For every 10 nights booked with you’ll earn a free night’s stay at the hotel of your choice worth the average cost of those 10 other bookings. Just by signing up you also unlock “secret prices,” providing you with better savings. That’s how we scored a weekend night at a 4-star hotel for 50% of the normal rate.

skinny jeans (more economical option) // zip up top (more economical option) // my sneakers (my more economical recommendation) // earrings not available // similar mask // backpack (more economical option)

Actually, I think hotels, bed and breakfasts and resorts have really been hurting during the pandemic. So they’re really lowering their prices right now to bring in guests. And every hotel we’ve stayed at during the pandemic has gone to extreme measures to ensure our safety and follow CDC protocol.

pink whale pocket tee // I Heart Whales lounge pants // similar UGG slippers (more economical option) // earrings // Fitbit // Fitbit band (See the original post.)

Pro Tip: Do be aware that pandemic safety protocol is different in various states and municipalities. So check the safety standards in the area you’re considering visiting ahead of time. You’ll find that information for each state HERE.

Whether you plan a working staycation like we did or a more relaxed night in a nearby hotel, I suggest checking out if they have a fitness center, pool, dining options and business center, and, most importantly, how those areas are functioning during the pandemic. I simply called our hotel directly to ask these questions.

Moving More
leggings // top // sneakers (more economical alternative) // Fitbit // earrings (See the original post.)

We stayed at the Summit Hotel. This particular hotel had one of its restaurants open as well as its morning coffee bar. They also had their rather spacious workout facility open. And I could tell that they were being hypervigilant about cleaning equipment, social distancing, providing ample hand sanitizer and enforcing mask compliance. (In Cincinnati you have to wear a mask in public places right now.)

Blazer and sneakers
shirt // blazer // Kendra Scott Tima studs // jeans // Tumi bag // sneakers (my more economical recommendation)

James and I simply took advantage of our staycation here in Cincinnati to go to some local restaurants that we don’t normally get to. If you’re ever in Cincy, I can heartily recommend the cheeseburgers at Quatman Cafe, which has been in business since 1966. It has a very blue collar feel, friendly service and quite yummy food.

Pro Tip: The beauty of a staycation is that it doesn’t require much travel. So you’re less likely to expose yourself to the virus since you won’t be around other travelers in an airport or stopping at public restrooms.

Option 2 – Stay in a Cabin or Cottage

On another trip, earlier in the fall, we visited Augusta, Kentucky, just on the other side of the Ohio River. That time we stayed in a cabin that was situated behind the Parkview Country Inn. The nice thing about that trip, pandemic-wise, was that we were by ourselves in a cabin and had very little contact with other people.

Simple Fall Outfit with Wool Blend Ruana
See the original post. Photo taken in Cincinnati on the way home from our getaway.

According to the CDC, the Corona virus is primarily spread through person to person contact. So if you can limit the amount of people you are around while traveling and during your visit, the safer you will be. You can also use the website to book cabins and cottages, as well as condos and homes.

Pro Tip: If you’re staying in a cottage, cabin or other single family occupancy dwelling, you can comfortably take along more comforts of home, such as blankets, pillows, even towels or dishes, if you wish.

Black Straight Jeans

I think escaping to a nearby cottage or cabin sounds wonderful. Choose a destination with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and you’ll be able to keep a safe distance from others. You also might want to consider visiting such a destination during the “off season.”

Option 3 – Visit an Off Season Destination

That’s exactly what we did when we visited Port Clinton, Ohio, just after Christmas. We felt like we had that darling lakeside town all to ourselves. But as we looked around at the number of summer cottages and trailers, we knew that this town on the shore of Lake Erie undoubtedly is usually swarming with people in the warmer months.

Bernardo Packable EcoPlume Hooded Coat (other colors at full price) // fleece lined pants // sweater // Blondo Rachelle Waterproof Booties // Katahdin Hiker Socks // sunglasses // earrings

James used to book three nights at the Island House Hotel. This large historic hotel in downtown Port Clinton has 39 guestrooms, and the proprietor told us it is crawling with people during the summer. But during two of the three nights we were there in late December, we were the only guests in the inn. Island House Hotel closed for the winter right after we left, but I know you can find other similar situations in places that have “on” and “off” seasons.

Snow Day Outfit
The Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

Pro Tip: If you’re headed to an “off season” location, check ahead of time to find out what is and is not open. Be prepared to be creative. You may even want to carry along a deck of cards, games, DVDs and books.

See the original post for more detail about our trip to Port Clinton.

What do you do in a place during “off season?” Ha! You do have to get a little creative. We did a lot of walking, just getting in some good exercise while exploring the quaint downtown. We also drove out to a couple of nature preserves and walked some more. But being outdoors is a great option during this current pandemic. And that leads to my final option for getting a change of scenery.

Option 4 – Take a Day Excursion

While James and I have indeed taken three overnight trips during the pandemic, most of our monthly outings have been daytrips. And really I enjoy these just as much as the overnight stays because they require less planning and packing.

Ready for Anything Daytrip Outfit
See the original post.

Most of our daytrips have included a stop at a locally owned coffee shop (or two!), lupper (or a late lunch) at a locals’ favorite diner or cafe, a walk through a state park and a stroll through a downtown. Yep. That’s pretty much our formula for a good day. You might have your own formula. Maybe you’d prefer to hunt for antiques, visit a winery or vineyard, bike along a trail, paddle boat on a lake, kayak on a river or take your dog along for company.

Daytrip Outfit
See the original post.

Everywhere we’ve gone we carry and wear our facial masks, keep our distance, wash our hands frequently and look for the safest places to stop. In fact, on one excursion that we took with our daughter right after Christmas, we went to a more touristy spot and stayed only a fraction of the time we had budgeted to be there. The attraction was just too crowded for our comfort, and many people didn’t seem to be keeping a distance or wearing masks. So we left.

Autumn Day Trip Outfit
See the original post.

My husband and I are far from paranoid about this virus, but, as a pastor of a church, he especially has a job where he needs to be available and healthy. So we try to be cautious and conscientious about keeping appropriate protocol, not so much for ourselves, but for other people. So while I’m encouraging you to consider getting out for a daytrip or even an overnight stay, I’m also encouraging you to do what is best for you and the people you love and care about. I think we have to be vigilant and wise, but I also think it’s good for the soul and the spirit to occasionally work in a change of scenery.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. Are you getting an occasional change of scenery these days? How are you going about it? But I also ask that we stay away from politics and that we be gracious to one another. These are difficult times enough as it is; we want to keep this blog community a safe and gracious place for us all.

FYI – Affiliate Links

Don’t forget, if you’re planning an overnight getaway, you might want to book through This link, as well as the fashion links in this post, are affiliate links. That means if you book or buy through them I do earn a commission, but at no additional cost to you. Just think of me as your personal concierge! And thank you for conducting business through my links. This blog and YouTube channel are my fulltime employment, and this is how I contribute to our household budget.

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Blessed for My Day

I hit a rough bump in the road recently when I suddenly found myself in conflict with someone who I highly esteemed. This person misunderstood my actions and misconstrued my motives. It hurt to be misunderstood. And it was frustrating, too. Things felt all knotted up inside. I wanted to fix it; but I couldn’t.

That reminded me of how I frequently used to get my necklaces in a tangle when I was a teenager. I’d try and try to untangle the delicate strand of gold. But I’d only make the tangle worse. Finally I’d take the knotted chain to my Daddy and he would carefully and slowly put right that which I’d made crooked.

So instead of pushing things further and making an even bigger mess of an already complicated situation, I chose to do the only thing I really could do. I ran to my Heavenly Father with my messy relationship problem. I eventually ran to my husband, too. But first I took my problem to God. I meditated on Psalm 25 in His presence and sought His assurance. And slowly but surely He calmed my knotted heart and untangled my emotions. God is good to unravel our tangles if we’ll just take them to Him. (And He’s also been good to give me a wise and understanding husband who is also a master at untangling knots.)

Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
    Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
    for I wait for you. ~ Psalm 25:20-21

Spread the love
xoxo, Kay
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72 thoughts on “Is It Time for a Change of Scenery?

  1. Thank you for sharing the wisdom you’ve gained by living according to God’s Word! Your posts are a blessing to me!
    Congratulations on finding your new home, too!

    1. Good Morning! Thanks for the posts! As your Loveland neighbor, I found these ideas especially useful for me and my husband. We are also relatively new to the area so we are always looking for new ideas. We just booked a weekend at Hawking Hills.

  2. I have a question about going thru the links on your blog. I often order thru Talbot’s at various times of the year… especially Red Hanger! I was wondering if you could get “credit for my purchases” if if was something besides what you have featured in your blog? Could I just go to the Talbot’s website thru one of your links but then once I’m in, go to the item I’ve specifically picked for myself…. and will you get your commission? Just thought I’d ask— if I’m buying anyway, why not show my appreciation for all your hard work by letting you get the perk of referral!! Thanks!! I really am enjoying your blog!!

    1. Hi Katheryn. Thanks so much for asking. I appreciate your care. Yes, you can buy other things and I still get credit. However, Talbots has recently been dropped from one of my affiliate programs temporarily because of financial risk (I sure hope they weather the storm and get repositioned because I definitely don’t want them to close!!) so only my links with the other affiliate program are generating revenue right now. I’m fixing the link on my sidebar right now and suggest that you shop through it or my most recent posts. Thanks so much for asking.

  3. Great advice. We have been living in our mountain house during the pandemic rather than in Atlanta. We have enjoyed many day trips in the N GA mountains. Be safe and thank you for your blog

  4. I am really enjoying your blog. It has been a bright spot in my inbox during this gloomy season. It has encouraged me to spruce up my wardrobe which in turn pucks up my spirits. Today I just read your devotional about the twisted necklaces—what a great visual to keep tucked away and so true. Most times we have no idea how they got twisted and tangled. Anyways thank you.
    Have a blessed day!

    1. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!! And a new home for a birthday present, how exciting!!

      A small travel tip: in October we helped some dear friends move from Michigan to Oregon. We discovered that if we went really early to the free breakfast at the hotels, it ensured us that we were not eating with alot of other hotel guests.
      Enjoy your day!

      1. Thanks Judy for adding that tip. The places we have stayed have had their breakfasts closed and just gave us a sack breakfast instead. So I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Happy Birthday Kay! Hope it a wonderful day. My husband and I are planning a trip to Atlantic City NJ in March. We rented a condo in a beach area. I also invited my brother and sister in law. They are in our “bubble” of people we see regularly. We will be masked and sanitized as we have been for the past year. It is our first rip in over a year. Just being in a different place will do wonders for our psyche.

  6. Happy Birthday Kay! Enjoy your special day. I enjoy your blog , in fact it’s the only one I read and subscribe to now. I look forward to your posts and am slowly finding my way to picking the right pieces for my wardrobe. But the main reason I enjoy your posts is because you come across as human with regular problems and not perfect. So many blogs the influencer has the perfect , home , life , kids , husband and it seems so unobtainable to me and I feel like my life is lacking in some way. Thank you for your words of wisdom , fashion sense , and most of all for just being you

  7. Happy Tuesday Kay…..
    Really enjoyed this post on vacation, whether it be close to home or just for a weekend. These type of get always really do help the mind and soul, especially during these pandemic times as you said. Your just the cutest Kay and I love getting your blog post each morning❤️. Sometimes it is fun to veer off from fashion and talk about the other fun things in our lives, I enjoy that.

    Again, I am so happy for you and James on your new house!

    Blessed for my Day hit home to me and I’m trying to fix it?.


  8. Happy Birthday Blessings Kay!
    I’m new to your blog. I think finding it was a God thing. I was looking at a YouTube video last evening and I noticed your video about older women dressing for today.
    I moved from Ohio 5 years ago. My husband retired as a assistant Pastor. We now live in Denton Texas!
    I lived in Akron all my life.
    I remember Port Clinton well.
    At times I miss my Ohio family and friends…It’s a great state❤️
    I love your heart to share and care about others.

                1. I’ve been wondering how we can connect since I don’t want to list personal info either. I worked at a private school prior to retirement. Hi is a nickname.

  9. Happy Birthday Kay! Thank you for the recommendations. A change of scenery would be good right now — I’m inspired to finally book something!

  10. Happy Birthday Kay! Not sure what it is, maybe your hairstyle but you’re looking younger! Thank you for encouraging others to get out in some form or fashion and enjoy life. You’re a blessing!!!

    1. Birthday blessings, sweet Kay! Love the idea of a change of scenery. I’m also praying about a “tangled” relationship, so really appreciate your encouragement.

  11. Happy Birthday, Kay! Today is my son’s birthday as well!
    We live in Cleveland, OH so greetings from upstate!
    My husband and I hope to get to New Orleans in April after we receive both shots of the vaccine. We have a grandson to meet who was born Jan 12.
    Hope you have a wonderful day?

  12. Great post and happy birthday! Question: have you found socks you can wear with tennis that don’t show, or minimally, and don’t roll down from your heel?

  13. Happy birthday.!!!! Loved this post, I have been using ABNB it’s zero people contact!, I have stayed in some wonderful historic homes at great rates with wonderful online communication from the owners. They feel like friends and the end of the transaction! Enjoy your day?

  14. Happy Birthday! I’m new to your blog and I’m enjoying your post. Thank you for the inspiration!
    Congratulations on your new home!

  15. I’m heading out tomorrow morning on a “girls trip” with my three cousins and our 88-year-old aunt. We are traveling from Georgia to visit another cousin who lives in Tennessee, and will follow the recommended safety protocols to stay safe and healthy. We will be staying with my cousin, whose family has already recovered from COVID, and eating at her house as much as possible. My aunt has had both vaccine shots already and is so eager to travel!

    Kay, love your fashion and love your wisdom! Your messages and Bible verses always resonate with me.

  16. As a wise person said “we may all be on the same journey, but we’re not all in the same boat. “ Thank you for your gracious and non judgmental reminder to be kind and respectful of each other’s boundaries during this trying time.
    Happy birthday, Kay! Hope you have a truly terrific day!

  17. Happy Birthday Kay. Your messages are so inspirational. Thank you for the wonderful travel tips and scenery. Enjoy seeing your email in my box everyday. ?

  18. Happy Happy Birthday! Hope you get to d something special!
    I so enjoy your blog & appreciate the BFMD as well.
    If you ever want to travel farther, come to Michigan! Northern Michigan is lovely, esp the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Of course you need to visit Mackinac Island on the way there. A real treasure!

  19. Happy birthday Kay! Great post today. I’m so tired of being at home for the past year. As it warms up in the next couple weeks, I’m hoping to get out. Yesterday we reached 75 degrees. Last Monday was 11 degrees. What a difference a week makes! Texas is looking up and looking forward to spring!

  20. Happy Birthday, Kay and what could be a nicer gift than a new house.
    So happy for you and James. I want to get out and about soon and get a
    change of scenery myself. Loved the BFMD. You are a blessing to me.

  21. Happy Birthday and congratulations on your new house! A beach condo was a great, safe spot for vacation last summer! We had one more like a townhouse where you didn’t have to get on an elevator. My daughter and I have really enjoyed taking hikes at nearby state parks and walks around our city too.

  22. Happy Birthday Kay! Enjoy your emails and especially encouraging devotional at the end. Those are water for a thirsty soul these days of lock down/remote work/waiting for vaccine days we are having. Congrats on your new home too! It’s beautiful.

  23. Happy Birthday! First, I’ve heard talc powder will untangle a necklace. I think what I miss most is the hugging we use to do. A hug just says I care like nothing else.
    Any one of these outfits would just be right up my alley. This is the look I always strive for. Casual yet still chic.
    I didn’t travel much before the pandemic and I regret that. I heard of a Japanese tradition called forest bathing. They take walks in a forest and soak up the outdoors. That would be a safe and healthy thing to do. Here in the south we just call them the woods.?

  24. Happy Birthday!!! You share your day with my mom who is turning 78 today and is a cancer survivor. She is my rock! Thank you for the content you provide us. I always look forward to seeing you blog.

  25. Happy Birthday Kay! Hope you have a fabulous day! Congrats also on your new home – how exciting! I loved this blog post – I got right up and went outside for a walk – it’s in the 70’s today and it’s definitely a “change of scenery” from the rain we’ve had lately.

  26. I enjoyed this post as well as all your others. I am new and enjoy your suggestions on updating my wardrobe.

  27. Happy Birthday, Kay from a fellow Cincinnatian! I will have to check out the local trips you have taken. Have you heard of the steps of Cincinnati? There are hundreds of sets of steps all over the city that were used before automobiles were common for residents to get around the city’s hills and valleys. There is a book called “Walking the Steps of Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City’s Scenic and Historic Secrets” by Mary Anna Dusablon that tells where the steps are and walking tours around the city. The book also tells the distance of the walking tours and difficulty. The book is available for sale or you can get it from the library. I found the tours very interesting. You and your husband may enjoy seeing the city in a different way.
    Congrats on the new house!

  28. Happy Birthday…hope your day and year is filled with wonderful blessings. Thanks for this very informative post. I enjoy your daily blog and weekly YouTube videos. I appreciate all the hard work that goes into creating both.

  29. Happy Birthday, Kay! I have just recently discovered you, and your posts have really been a blessing. I retired 1/31/2020 just in time to be relatively housebound due to the pandemic. I felt like my brain had turned to mush and any style I had went out the window. This last week I have practiced “dressing for my day” – getting ready to show up mentally if not physically. Sunday afternoon I went to my church book club meeting and they commented on my outfit. I was able to share what I’ve been learning from you and how energizing it was. On Monday I got texts from two of the ladies , one of whom had elevated her work outfit and both of whom were wearing their freshwater pearls. Thank you so much for your style and grace – and for sharing!

  30. I just recently joined your blog and am really enjoying it! After I get my second vaccine shot this week, I’m ready to head out – day trip, overnight, I don’t care what or where – just out! We’ve enjoyed our visits to Port Clinton and would love to get back. If you go again, be sure to visit the Bistro 163, a pay it forward, non- profit restaurant – a unique idea for uniting people and helping the community.

  31. Happy Birthday, Kay! We’re patiently waiting for warmer weather so we can take our RV out. We usually just go to family property in Adams county in southern Ohio. East of Cincinnati about an hour. This year we hope to camp further out.

  32. Happy Birthday Kay! I hope you’re having a blessed day. I read that you were in Lake Erie. I grew up in Pittsburgh and that was my “ocean” when i was a kid. I married a guy from New Jersey and moved there 40 years ago and stayed . Two years ago I went on a youth mission trip with my church to Lorraine Ohio. Lake Erie was so beautiful. The water color was aqua and I was so amazed because it wasn’t like that when I was a young. I hope you get back there in the summer and see how beautiful it is.
    Enjoy your birthday ,
    Vicki Waciega

  33. Happy Birthday, Kay. I hope you had a lovely, blessed day. I went to visit my granddaughter who turned 6 today. It was fun!
    Thank you for sharing your faith with us.

  34. Happy Birthday Kay! Hope you had a good day and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!
    Also congratulations to you and James on your new house!

  35. A late Happy Birthday Kay from the UK! We are so looking forward to going away when we can in the UK as we still have travel restrictions here.

  36. I suppose things like Covid restrictions are very different in different parts of the world, but was genuinely shocked to read this piece about – taking trips, even small ones during a pandemic!! Here in Scotland, I am so glad to say, we have much tighter restrictions in order to save lifes and save pressure on our National Health Service. We are only permitted to travel a distance of up to 5 miles in this lockdown phase, for essential supplies, which include purchasing food or medications from pharmacies, or to go to medical appointments. We are not at present allowed to meet up with friends or family, indoors or outdoors, except with the household you already live with – i.e to go for a walk together or walk a dog. Hotels, holiday apartments and places of worship and all other shops and restaurants, bars etc are firmly closed for lockdown. All this is having the effect of keeping the virus under control and saving as many lives as possible. Like many European countries, our Scottish government is supporting people financially if they have to keep their business closed or have lost jobs due to the pandemic. Schools are all closed, as children do their lessons at home over the internet, any one who can work from home, is encouraged to do so, instead of going in to the office, that is the law. These Covid lockdown restrictions have vast support and the public feel that collectively we are all doing our bit to keep the virus at low levels until we are all vaccinated. Foreign travel is banned at the moment too, but then it would be over the 5 mile travel restrictions, even to get to the airport!A bit of a wartime spirit is enduring, we are all keeping safe at home as much as possible. Reading about travel plans in other parts of the world feel really surreal as you can imagine, but I do feel much safer for staying at home, as does everyone I know. Please stay safe wherever in the world you are and think about not spreading the virus to anyone else as far as possible too, until we are all safe. As the World Health Organisation have said, no one is safe, until we are all safe.

  37. I’m a newer subscriber having heard about your from The Daily Connoisseur YT membership. Our family has taken several trips this past year where we can be outdoors. I agree: renting a condo or cabin is nice because you are naturally distanced from others. This is what we’ve done twice going to the beach and once to the mountains to hike. We drove rather than flying. Being outdoors has been wonderful for our souls. The beach and mountains weren’t crowded and it was easy to be distanced. Thanks for your blog posts! And….I’m sad about your Talbot’s affiliate situation. I just got their spring catalog and loved the colors!! I sure hope that they make it.

    1. Hi Karen. Yeah I hope Talbots makes it too. I imagine they will. They probably just need to reorganize like so many other retailers have had to do recently. They’re still with my other affiliate programs, just not the one. Thanks for sharing. And I’m so glad we met through Jennifer. She’s wonderful!