Beauty · fitness

February Finds: Valentine’s Gift Guide

February, one of the most loved and loathed month depending on who you talk to. Loved because it’s the shortest month of the year & one last hurdle to sweet springtime. Loathed because the biggest Hallmark Holiday if the year Renee place. Don’t fall victim to the last minute candy and overpriced flowers trap. Check out this gift guide and get your shopping completed early.

Gift Ideas for Her:

Adidas Gold Trefoil T

This. Is. Everything. The gold trefoil adds a little sparkle and flare to the classic symbol. Literally obsessed.

Deborah Lipmann Nail Polish Set

Shades of dirty pastels, this is the perfect color set for spring. Polishes are free of toxic chemicals and known for there extra glossy appearance. Long-lasting and gives the appearance of a gel manicure, it will keep nails healthy and beautiful. $36.

Kate Spade Multi Stipes iPhone Case

Kate Spade does it again with this phone case. Beautiful shades of blue with jewels, perfect combo. $45 for the regular iPhone and $50 for the plus.

Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody

Get ready for spring with this beautiful leather bag. Long enough to wear as a crossbody, but offers a top handle as well. The details are gorgeous on this Bag.

Layered Necklace

One of the hottest trends in jewelry right now. From baublebar you can actually design your own layered look for only $48. They have so many options available that you can’t go wrong. Plus if you signup for email you can receive 15% off.

Adia Kubr Beaded Bracelet

Beautiful beaded bracelet with tassels and flowers. Elegant and simple in shades of pink and rose gold. $70.

Pura Vida Bracelets

Not only are these bracelets beautiful, but the story behind the company is as well. Each bracelet is hand-crafted by artists around the world, offering them a better chance at life. Single bracelets are priced as low as $6 and packs can go as high as $60. With that range, styles are available at every price point. Look fashionable and support an amazing cause.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

The. Best. Perfume. Ever. Seriously, ask for it and trust me. A variety of flowers blended perfectly with vanilla, it’s simply the best. It comes in many sizes so can range from $50 upward. I chose the gift set, because you will receive the most product for this price point.

Gift Ideas for Him:

Adidas Hoodie

Adidas is making a strong comeback in my opinion. I’m currently obsessed with all their latest styles and this hoodie fits the bill. A classic throwback and perfect for loungewear or with jeans.

Adidas Shoes

A twist on the classic adidas superstar shoes, these are perfect for the man in your life. They look great with jeans or workout gear. Keep his feet stylish this year with some new shoes.

Topgolf

Topgolf is busy building entertainment locations everywhere. If you’re lucky enough to have one near you, go! They’re providing a fun evening out where you can golf, sip on beer (or fine beverages, and grab a bite to eat. A unique driving range experience with bays that are outdoors. Classes and lessons are available, plus you can reserve a bay online.

Chrome

Cologne, enough said. Yes, completely stereotypical BUT one whiff of this cologne and you won’t be disappointed. Chrome is the perfect musky blend mixed with citrus. Your man will absolutely love this masculine scent. $65-$100 depending on the amount purchased.

Cuisinart Grill Set

For the grill master in your life, check out this grilling tool kit. Loaded with all the essentials and a reasonable price point, this gift is worthy of a prime rib. $20.99 from Target!

Dapper Wallet

A wallet designed for men! Sleek and stylish, yet sturdy and rugged. This wallet is designed to carry cards and cash, but eliminate the bulkiness of a traditional wallet. The slim design won’t take up excess room in pockets, which is a win when looking for men’s wallets.

Hook Leather Bracelet

For the fisherman in your life. These leather bracelets have the perfect masculine touch with a nice detail. Coming in several styles, they can range in price from $68-$70. Available at Nordstrom.

MVMT Watch

Seriously, OBSESSED with so many of these watches. They come in a variety of styles and colors. I love so many of them. Bonus: they come in women’s styles as well. Prices range from $95-$160. Most fall within the $120 range.

Yeti Roadie Cooler

The ultimate cooler, especially if you have an outdoorsman in your life. The one-piece cooler is known to keep items colder than the average cooler and is durable enough to last a lifetime.

Gender Neutral Gifts:

Beartwo Earbuds

Wireless earbuds that are perfect for working out. These earbuds are noise-canceling, sweat-proof, tiny and hold a major charge. Available on Amazon for $43.

Apple Watch

Available in many stores, stay connected with an Apple Watch. Have your messages readily available while easily tracking your daily fitness goal. Shop around because prices and deals vary depending where you purchase it.

WiFi Digital Picture Frame

The ultimate picture frame, never be stuck staring at a single picture again. Connect the frame to your WiFi and upload photos from your phone or computer. Adjustable settings and a slideshow mode, this is a favorite at my parents house. Only $99.

Massages

You can never go wrong with a trip to the spa. Plan a couples massage or a facial treatment. Men and women alike will both enjoy the pampering and leave feeling refreshed. Check local spas or locations like massage luxe for their deals.

What’s something you’re hoping to snag this Valentine’s Day?? Drop a comment below, love seeing new items and hearing about products. Happy Shopping!

Beauty · Uncategorized

Monday Must-Haves

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a MAJOR shopping addiction. I just love how clothes look, fit, and can make me feel more confident on any given day. Here’s a few of my current favorites! Just ordered some of these for myself and cannot wait to strut my stuff.

Tiered Bell Sleeve Dress

From Nordstrom by B.P. I’m totally obsessed and it’s only $49!

Lush Tunic Top

I’ve literally been obsessed with the Lush tunics forever. I wore one on my bachelorette party weekend back in 2013 and they haven’t failed me yet. Loving this springtime colors available. Currently $28 from Nordstrom.

Embroidered Flower Detail Sweatshirt

How cute are the sleeves?!? Loving this feminine touch on the sweatshirt. Perfect for jeans and weekends in my opinion. $35!

Striped Peplum Bell Sleeve Top

Another great top that can be worn to work or with jeans. Love the details on the sleeves and the mixed fabrics. Another steal at only $59.

Lucky Brand Stella Skinny

Light-washed Lucky jeans, perfect for springtime. They have a frayed hemline and ripped detailing though the legs. Verrry cute. Plus, lucky jeans currently has a special where you buy a pair and purchase a pair for 50% off.

Let me know if you’ve found anything that you’re just in love with too. Like I said, I can NEVER get enough of clothes. Happy Shopping!

P.S. If you haven’t yet:

Beauty

Everybody get your roll on…..

Your facial roll on that is.

Jade, Rose Quartz, Microneedling (Dermaroller)….. Following me so far? If not, it’s okay just sit tight for a minute.

Facial rollers have been all the craze for a while now.  Facial rollers are believed to increase circulation which allows skincare products to absorb deeper in the skin. Currently there are many types of at-home rollers on the shelves that are said to rejuvenate the skin’s surface and enhance product absorption.  Do they really though?  I put these beauty items to the test and here is what I have learned.

Jade Rollers

Jade rollers are made from, you guessed it, jade.  Most rollers offer one or two jade stones on the device.  Typically a larger end and a smaller piece for tight spaces such as around the eyes.  According to Chinese Medicine, Jade is known to enhance the Qi. Qi is the body’s natural and vital energy. Jade is a stone that is believed to provide healing and balance when used.  Translation- jade is believed to pull negative properties out of the body. Now, you may not believe in Chinese medicine and that’s okay.  Jade alone is a stone that is naturally cold to the touch, which is why when it is used on your face you can see benefits.

Jade rollers can decrease puffiness on the face. Additionally, they are believed to increase circulation which opens up your skin so facial products can be absorbed deeper in the epidermis. These rollers are readily available in many price points from $10-$50. Here is one available from Amazon.

Rose Quartz Rollers

Rose Quartz rollers are similar to jade, but they’re made from rose quartz. Rose is known as an “emotional healer”. It’s believed that if you use a rose quartz aids in stimulating the heart, because it is known as a love stone. When used, it is reportedly known to reduce stress. Additionally, true rose quartz can be used to reduce signs of scarring.

Similar to jade rollers, the quartz roller aids in product absorption. Additionally, it awakens the skin and provides healing powers for areas targeted with the crystals beliefs. Quartz rollers can be a little more expensive than jade rollers ranging from $15, $30, all the way to $50. I did find from reviews that you get what you pay for and the more expensive rollers may be worth the investment. Here is one I liked online.

Derma Roller

This roller is a little different than the other two because it contains tiny NEEDLES that you roll across your face. At-home needles range from .25mm to 1.5m. You gently roll this roller and all it’s prickliness across your face. In doing this, you are opening up your skin. Derma rollers also open up the skins s surface which allows for better product absorption. It is reported that it can increase product absorption by 200-500%, depending on the needle sized selected. Additionally, it assists with boosting collagen production.

Each needle size selected is geared to aid your face in a different way. For example, smaller needle sizes are geared for production penetration. Larger needles, may make your skin slightly bleed, but are great for wrinkles and collagen production. Depending on the needle-size selected, your recovery time between usage will vary. Smaller needles may be okay to used every other day or even daily (depending how tough you are). Larger rollers may need longer rest days between, 4+ days in some cases. Pay close attention to the directions you receive with the roller you purchase, it will be very detailed in how often it may be used. This is the first one I purchased.

Verdict:

I personally own a jade and derma roller. I’ve used them each for a few months now and here’s what I’ve found.

Jade Roller:

  • Feels amazing first thing in the morning.
  • Naturally cold on skin
  • Used every morning
  • Helps with eye puffiness, but a spoon in the fridge works just as well.
  • The rolling is smoothing and therapeutic.
  • Skin turns a little pink when I use it, I have sensitive skin though.

Derma Roller

  • Prickly feeling across my face.
  • Used every other night.
  • Must use a serum or lotion within a minute of using it.
  • My skin turns red, so I only use this at night.
  • Must clean with alcohol after every use to keep it clean.

I personally love the derma roller. Perhaps it’s the prickly feeling and how red my skin turns, but I am convinces it’s making a difference. While I like the jade roller and use it daily, for me it is more of a wake-up tool than a deep skincare enhancer. However, like I stated it could be because I like actually feeling the needles. After using the jade roller, I decided not to keep the rose quartz roller. I found that it was going to be similar to the jade roller, which is available at a much lower price point. You may prefer the rose quartz, but for me the jade roller worked just fine. I didn’t find it necessary to own both.

I absolutely love both rollers and use them differently. I use the jade roller every morning, followed by my daily skincare and makeup routines. At night, I use the derma roller. If you’re on the fence, you can find both under $15 on Amazon. Then, if you want to invest more in another roller after using it for a while you can. I for one can’t wait to receive my derma roller with larger needles. As they say, beauty is pain.

Beauty

Back to Brows

No, you’re not experiencing deja vu there really is a second post all about eyebrows. Why? Well, as I mentioned yesterday they are a focal point on your face so they deserve lots of time and attention. The previous post was all about achieving the perfect shape and the best way to maintain them. Today, it’s all about enhancing your brow line to look fierce.

Eyebrow makeup- one of the hottest trends going right now. Filling in your brows with powder, gel, pencil, or a liquid stick is basically a must these days. By doing this you’re enhancing your natural brows, all while drawing attention to them. Filling your brows give a more cohesive, defined, and complete look. Literally, so jealous that this just now became a thing. So many awful high school yearbook pictures could have been better if I knew then to take care of them. Now that I see the importance of it, this is another must-do in my daily makeup routine. After a few hiccups I have finally found the BEST brow makeup.

This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but my favorite eyebrow makeup comes from ((insert drumroll here)) European Wax Center. Thinking about it, this makes total sense that they provide quality makeup to backup their services. They specialize in hair removal and hair care and their product line enhances what they do in house.

At European Wax Center, they offer many different products including makeup as well as lotions and serums. However, I absolutely cannot live without the eyebrow powder and highlighting stick.

Calling their line of eyebrow products, Eyebrowfection, they’ve got it right because it is absolute perfection. The eyebrow powder duo is available in three different shades and a consultant will match you with the shade you need by your skin tone. Upon opening the case, you see two shades split down the center (this is why they call it the browfection duo). You’re given two shades so you can blend to create the desired color. I find the powder can be subtle or dramatic to achieve a day or nighttime look. It provides a natural fill, without looking clumpy or too powdery on your brows. This powder lasts FOREVER. I purchased my powder almost two years ago and still have plenty left. Honestly, you can hardly tell it’s been used and I used it daily. I apply this with a small angular brush, outlining my natural brow line and filling in the entire hairline. The cost for this amazing brow powder is, $22. By adding this to your makeup kit, you’re investing in a quality product that will outlast the initial investment. Here is a picture of my personal powder, since I purchased this they have updated the packaging to the previous picture above.

If you’re unsure about using a powder, they do offer a pencil, crayon, and tinted gel. These are all great products, but in my opinion the powder is where it’s at. The pencil didn’t provide the look I was trying to achieve and I went through it quickly. Whereas the tint, well that’s just not for me. I don’t enjoy the feeling of gel on my eyebrows. I never tried the crayon because at that point, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” and I stuck with the powder.

Another product you won’t be disappointed in, EWC’s Oh My Highlighting Brow Highlighter. A highlighter on one side with a blending sponge on the other. This cute little tool is perfect for highlighting so close to your eyes. You can easily apply it beneath the brow bone and in the inner tear duct of your eye. With this you are able to slightly enhance and give that extra sparkle, drawing extra attention to your eyes. Similar to the powder, it lasts quite a while. I purchase it once, maybe twice a year for $18. Sometimes I use more because I blend it onto my actual eyelid in-lieu of eyeshadow, especially during the summertime. It provides a subtle shimmer on your eyelids if you use it there.

If you’re in the market for new eyebrow makeup, look into EWC’s products. I assure you they provide quality products that go the extra mile for you. After all, you want to put your best brow forward every day.

Beauty

All About Those Brows

Eyebrows…..Ugh. Between the tweezing, waxing, threading & filling- these bad boys take a lot of work to maintain. Although it does make sense, I mean they are one of the key features on your face that people see EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So let me give you some advice, invest some of your time to your eyebrows.

Over the years, eyebrow trends have transformed quite a bit.  When I was younger, it was all about thin eyebrows with a decent arch.  Nowadays thick, full eyebrows are a staple for any IT girl ((or guy)). Looking back at pictures, I wish this was a trend that would have taken over eons ago because it is a better look for everyone in my opinion.  I also wish I knew to fill in my brows years ago because it gives the face a more defined look.

I always found tweezing my eyebrows to be so difficult.  I would spend a decent amount of time in the mirror, only to go outside and realized I missed many hairs.  In college, my best friend and I began to tweeze while sitting in a parked car.  Silly, but the lighting was better and you could really get up close with the console mirrors in the car. After years of tweezing, I finally threw in the towel and started to get my eyebrows waxed at various salons.  Just happy not to be tweezing all the time, it worked for me and my life simpler.  Then, one bad waxing experience and I was traumatized.  By bad I mean, lost half my eyebrow in one quick swipe. Back to tweezing for a while until I discovered a place that specialized in hair removal and waxing.

Let me introduce you to, European Wax Center (EWC).  EWC is a company that specializes in waxing, in fact its the only type of services available at all.  Everything from eyebrow to full body waxing- this place covers all the bases.  I went once and quickly fell in love and purchased a wax-pass.  A wax-pass can cover many different services at different price points, depending on your waxing needs.  I purchased the buy 9, get 3 free pass where I could get my eyebrows waxed once a month.

How it Works: Great news, on your first visit you receive a FREE waxing (you can choose from eyebrow, bikini line, nose/ear, or underarm wax).  Once you’re hooked you can either purchase a package or pay for the services individually each time.  Great news, when you purchase a package you can now split the payments up so you are not putting a huge chunk of money out there at once.  You can either walk-in or schedule an appointment. I HIGHLY recommend scheduling an appointment, for many reasons.  One- it ensures you will receive you wax with a preferred waxer.  More importantly I prefer the appointments because you earn points for scheduling and keeping an appointment.   These points accumulate and turn into cash to be spent at the center.  You can apply the cash value to waxing services or their custom line of products (we’ll get to that in a minute).

Atmosphere: When walking in, each location has a similar setup.  You have the check-in desk, with frosted glass doors that lead to the back, the product shelves, and comfortable seating while you wait.  Upon entering, it looks like a nice salon.  Once you check-in the receptionist pages the waxer and they will come up front to greet you and bring you to your room.  Each room is equipped with a waxing station: client table, coat hook/stool, and waxing station. Rooms are extremely clean and the atmosphere is relaxed and inviting.

About the wax: Once in the room, the waxer will go over the service you selected with you.  For example, if you chose to have your eyebrows waxed they will go over the shape of your brows with you and discuss a plan for the wax.  Following that they wipe your skin to cleanse the area and apply powder (which helps the wax adhere to hairs).  The wax itself is purple, and made from natural ingredients. It hardens, and is pulled off skin meaning NO more white strips because this wax works its magic all on its own.  After waxing, a few lingering hairs may be tweezed and depending on the service chosen a trim may occur.  Prior to leaving, you are shown your results and if you are not completely satisfied, they will work their magic to ensure that you are.  Depending on your skin type, they may apply their EWC serum over the waxed area to reduce redness and promote healthy hair growth.  P.S. this stuff smells absolutely AMAZING!

So, if you haven’t been yet- GO! We all have unwanted hair and this place provides top-notch services to help you get rid of them! My eyebrows have never looked better thanks to these ladies that specialize in waxing.

P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow because I will be talking about EWC and the amazing products they sell in the store!

Beauty

IPSY, Did It Again

Two years ago I signed up for the IPSY Glam Bag. IPSY is a subscription based company that sends travel-sized (& occasionally full-sized) makeup products to your door once a month. The cost is $10, which is minimal in my opinion for everything you are receiving. (Below you see my January 2018 glam bag).

When you signup you fill out a survey/account profile. The profile starts by asking the basics: hair/eye color, skin tone, skin type, etc. Then you’re asked questions about your makeup preferences: favorite products, brands preferred, comfort level with using makeup, etc. Once every section has been completed, your profile has been made and saved. However, you can edit this information at any time during your subscription which I highly recommend. My skin changes throughout the year and I love being able to change the settings because my products will reflect the changes I have made.

After the profile is saved, you are in line to receive your goodies. Each month you receive FIVE samples that have been customized based off your needs. The bag may include mascara, eyeliner, brushes, perfume, hair care, face masks, etc. There are endless possibilities with what you may receive, which is where your profile comes into play. For example, if you find you’re receiving too many bronzers, go change your preferences. We all know how much I love eye makeup so each month mine is filled with at least two types of makeup for the eyes. I love doing this because most of the time I get a free full-sized eyeliner which is wonderful.  Plus, I love the miniature mascaras that they send because: 1) You are only supposed to keep mascara for 3 months or so. 2) The smaller tubes allow you told hold them better and get really close to your lashes. 3) They fit everywhere! Hence, why I always have mascara somewhere with me.

I LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE this glam bag because you are exposed to some high-end makeup brands.  If you are not a makeup junkie (which is totally okay) you may not have heard of some of the brands, BUT you will fall in love.  Brands like Tarte, Charlotte Tilbury, Lancome, Bare Minerals, Smashbox, etc. have partnered with IPSY to bring you quality makeup right to your front door.

Now, I am sure you are thinking why is this worth signing up for in the first place? Well my friends I have many reasons why……

  1. You are exposed to a wide variety of brands.  Subscribing to this gives you the opportunity to test it out prior to purchasing the items.  I find this especially useful with the high-end makeup samples I receive.  I may not go purchase a $30 eyeshadow , BUT if I know it wears well and holds up I will be more likely to purchase the full-sized.
  2. It gives you the chance to take risks with your makeup.  You can choose various color palettes in your profile ranging from neutrals to adventurous.  Doing this gives you the chance to play around and maybe go for something different than you may have done if you went to the store to purchase makeup.
  3. The variety is phenomenal.  Receiving samples of hair care, makeup, lotions, and perfumes for the cost of $10 each month seems like a steal to me.
  4. TUTORIALS! After you receive the bag, if you check bag with the website and watch videos on how to use your new products.  This is great if you are unsure how to use the variety OR you are new to the makeup scene.
  5. Online Shopping: You can actually purchase items directly from the website.  So, if you really enjoyed an item you can order the full-size without having to leave your house. However, the website is not limited to only the products you received they have over 20,000 products you can purchase.  Most of the products are offered at discount prices as well.
  6. Reviews: You can go online and review the products you received and read reviews on products you haven’t received but may be interested in. When you review items, you earn points that you can use to purchase items on the website too.
  7. The ADORABLE makeup case you receive every month! Each month your items come in a trendy little makeup case.  The design is always unique and trendy, which is a plus.  Additionally, they fit perfectly in your purse or gym bag! Here’s a picture of just a few of the bags I have received.

SO, if you haven’t yet consider subscribing to IPSY.  Click the here and check it out.  I also attached my referral code, because why not help a friend out if you decide to give it a go. 😉

P.S. I can send FIVE free bags, so if you’d like me to do that comment below with your email address and I will contact you.

Beauty

Shine Bright, Highlight!

Ever wonder how/why your favorite celebrity has the BEST glow? One word my friends: highlighter.  Highlighting your skin is a way to reflect light off your face and give you that healthy looking glow.  Highlighters come in so many types that it can be overwhelming though.  Below you will find a breakdown on how to incorporate highlighting into your daily routine and the various products available.

How to use:  Highlighters help reflect light, which essentially draws attention away from any imperfections you have.  Additionally, it brings a brightness to your face that makes it shimmer and shine both in person and in pictures. Think about highlighter as a way to add that glorious summer shimmer we all love during the warmer months. However, it should NOT be used all over your face because no one needs to look like a disco ball.  Too much of a good thing, can actually be a bad thing.  So the key places to use highlighter are places where your skin naturally reflects light when outside.  Placing highlighter under your brow bone, inner corner of your eyes (tear duct area), down the center of your nose, and on your cheek bones are the perfect places to add highlighter.  Choose one or choose them all to create desired shine. I recommend using a brush for the powders and a brush or beauty blender with the liquids as well. Play around with it, take selfies, go outside and see what works for YOU.

Types of highlighters:  For starters, highlighters come in three main forms: powder, stick, and liquid.  Essentially each one does the same thing, so your personal preference is key in choosing what highlighter works best for you.  For example, I personally prefer the powder  and stick form because I feel like it is the easiest to start small and build up as needed especially for a daytime look.  However, if I want a more dramatic full-face look I turn to my liquid highlighter.  In my personal opinion, stick highlighters work well around the eyes and eyebrows. So in the end, I own them all (don’t judge me because you probably will too, lol).

Choosing the best highlighter: Not only do highlighters come in different types, but they also come in different colors.  Highlighters come in a shimmery pink/pearly shade or copper/bronze.  Warmer skin tones may prefer the bronze shades and lighter skin tones will gravitate towards the pinks.  Personally LOVE the warmer pinks and irridescent shades that are available and I think they can look great on any skin tone.

Okay, now what?: Now that you have an idea on what they are, it is time to try it out!  If you are unsure on where to start, I highly recommend this product from Sephora!  I received this for Christmas and it has been aaaammmmaaaazzzzziiing.  Not only do you get so many to try out, but the price is wonderful for how many products you are actually receiving. Additionally, it includes all three types of highlighter which allows you to play around and figure out which one (or two) you prefer the best.  If you don’t want all that product because you are unsure, go to your closest beauty store and test them out.  The ladies at Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom are so helpful and can answer any of your questions when you’re there.

Sephora’s Beauty Glow Kit $40 (a steal in my opinion)- I opened up the package so you can actually see what you are getting in the box *brushes are not included*.  I think this is a great variety for a bargain price. An individual highlighter price can range anywhere from $12 to well over $40.  In this box you are receiving 7, and one is actually full-size.

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Below, I placed all the highlighters on my hand/arm so you could see what they look like on. The powders are on my hand, and essentially look the same in the picture.  However, in person the Tarte has more of a golden hue, Becca has a peachy-golden hue, and the Bobbi Brown you can customize depending on where you stroke the brush.  I am obsessing over the Nudestix stick because it is perfect for tear ducts and below the eyebrow arch.  The Milk stick is a bit thicker, but works phenomenally on the cheeks and if you use a smaller brush it works well around the eyes too.  I typically gravitate towards the pink shades myself, but I am obsessing over the Color FX drops, it has hints of bronze and copper but looks beautiful on the skin. The High Beam has the pink hue that I am used to and has a brush similar to nail polish built-in.  It blends well and provides a dewy highlighter look and feel.

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Get your glow on and shine bright this winter!