Venice Travel Guide

Venice Travel Guide

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If you followed along on my recent trip to Europe, after we left Paris (read my guide here!) we landed in Venice. But, before I get into all the juicy details on our 3-day stay let’s talk about what I talk about best: outfits. How gorgeous is this taupe maxi/midi skirt from Chicwish? I was a little hesitant when I had it sent to me (shorts girls and maxi lengths don’t always mix) but I completely fell in love! I knew right away that this skirt had to come with me to Europe. I even planned in advance what city I was going to where it in and I’m so glad I picked Venice. The entire look contrasted so well with the aged buildings and romantic canals. Plus, the weather was perfect for this outfit. A little hot, but not hot enough that the skirt would stick to me.

I kept the look simple and went with my go-to white cami and threw on some sandals. I definitely think this skirt would look so cute with heels (and they would give me some much needed height), but heels were not going to cut it in a city full of stairs and bridges.  To top the look off I wore some dainty gold coin necklaces that I’ve been loving lately.

But enough about my outfit, let’s get into all you need to know if you’re planning to visit Venice!

Warning: this was my first time in Venice, so this guide is also aimed at people who have never been before. If you’ve already been to Venice then this might not be the guide for you.

What You Need to Know Before Arriving

Venice is an island and the airport isn’t on it… So, once you arrive you’re going to have to figure out the best way to get from the airport to the island. And depending on where your hotel is, you might now be going to the main island. Luckily, there are people down by the docks who can help you figure out the best way to travel. The most affordable option is a public water taxi. We did this but be warned: it takes forever. We were on it for over an hour and half (use the bathroom beforehand!). A more convenient/more expensive option is a private water taxi. They move a lot faster but will cost a lot more.

Another thing you need to know: Venice is an expensive city. Comparing the prices in Venice to Florence, we spent a lot more. Just keep that in mind when visiting! The good thing is that it isn’t a very big city so you don’t need to spend a lot of time there. You could definitely do everything in two days.

Where to Stay

Like in Paris, we stayed in a nicer hotel than I would’ve picked if I was traveling without them. We stayed at the JW Marriott which was 1. a beautiful hotel and 2. on its own island! We had to take a ferry each morning into Venice and then at night to get back to our hotel. If you want a luxury experience while visiting Venice this hotel is a must.

Obviously I can’t recommend any other hotels because I’ve only stayed at the one, but there were quite a few in Venice itself and they opened up onto canals which would be so pretty!

Main Attractions

Venice is a pretty small city (about 3 miles long), but there are still some sites you need to see:

  • St. Mark’s Square (let the pigeons land on your arms. It’s such a weird experience but something I’ll never forget)
  • St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Doge’s palace
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Gondola ride (pricey but worth it in my opinion)
  • Rooftop view of Venice at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store (book in advance, we didn’t know you had to and ended up not doing this)
  • Gallerie dell’Accademia (I didn’t actually see this, but I’ve heard it’s a great art museum)

Island Hopping

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Like I said before, Venice is incredibly small so you definitely have enough time to do some island hopping! When we came in on our morning ferry from the hotel, a man who works for the city council of Venice was handing out free tickets to tour the glass-making factory on Murano. My parents wanted to see the blown glass so we were sold! We took a little shuttle over to Murano and toured the factory and showroom. Aside from that though, there’s not much else to see on this island, but the factory taxied us over to another island, Burano.

Burano is GORGEOUS! As you can see from the pictures above, the entire island is full of colorful little houses along canals. It felt like something out of a movie. And, the island is known for its lace-making. I bought a beautiful white, cotton, lace dress (check it out on Instagram) that I adore. They also make other items like table cloths, and the most adorable baby clothes!

In total, we spent about half a day on both islands and then went back to Venice for an afternoon drink and then dinner.

Where to Eat

In complete transparency, Venice didn’t have the greatest food. But, I still have a few recommendations. Something Venice is known for is cicchetti. Around 6pm Venetians like to start bar-hopping and ordering different cicchetti which are little appetizers. Usually they have their cicchetti with a small glass of white wine. If there’s one place I recommend it’s Do Spade, a bar that’s really close to the Rialto Bridge and has great cicchetti! We started at a different one and ended up here, apparently it’s popular with Venetian locals too. I definitely recommend coming early though if you want a seat!

Another recommendation, solely for the experience, is Caffe Florian. It’s extremely pricey for a breakfast spot, but it’s the most famous coffee spot in Venice. I will say, we ate outside and were charged an extra €6 per person for the music… Maybe we should’ve ate inside?

Otherwise, I would definitely recommend looking for less touristy spots to eat. Not only do I think the food will be better, but you’ll probably be paying a lot less. Oh, and I wanted to try Baci & Pasta for lunch, but we never made. I’ve heard great things and a meal should only cost around €7-10!

 

So, that’s all I have for my Venice travel guide. If you have any other recommendations, please let me know in the comments below!

xo,

Carey

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019: Everything You Need to Know

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019: Everything You Need to Know

So it’s almost that time of year again—the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! I somewhat covered this last year, but I’m hoping to be more comprehensive this year so that everyone can get more bang for their buck. With that being said, here’s everything you need to know before the sale starts.

What is it?

if you’ve never even heard of the anniversary sale before, you’re probably wondering why I’m even dedicating a blog post to sale that hasn’t started. Well, the anniversary sale is probably Nordstrom’s biggest sale of the year and it’s unlike other sales out there. Instead of having items come out and then marking them down later, Nordstrom brings out all of their fall items at a discounted price. After the sale ends, the prices go back up to normal prices. So, it’s basically a sale to shop for fall pieces before summer even ends.

Who can shop it and when?

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is available to everyone, but at different dates. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder then you can start shopping the sale on July 12th at 12:30pm ET. Then, on July 19th the sale opens up to everyone else until it ends on August 4th. The next day, the prices go up.

If you’re not already a cardholder, don’t worry! You can still sign up for a card here. Honestly, if you’re interested in actually shopping the sale then a card is a must. I’ve tried to shop the sale in the past without one and practically everything was gone. But, that doesn’t mean you still can’t find pieces even without a Nordstrom card (so no pressure!).

My Tips

  • Have a plan: if there are certain pieces or brands that you know you love and want to stock up on for the fall, then start there. Items go fast so check out your favorites first.
  • Order online: personally, I love shopping in stores sooooo much more than online, but for this sale shopping online is 10x easier. You get to see the full range of products that your local store might not have and you can apply specific filters to help you find what you’re looking for fast.
  • Double points day: if you’re a cardholder then this is the time to use your double points! Enough said.
  • Maximize your savings: if there’s a specific piece you want that’s a little pricier, now is the time to buy it. Last year I fell in love with a pair of boots that were a little outside my price range, but during the sale were $100 cheaper. Definitely worth it and I wore them all fall and winter!
  • Don’t stress: a lot of people (re: bloggers) hype of this sale to the point that it’s completely stressful. If you want to shop it, use my tips. If you don’t, don’t! It’s really that easy and doesn’t need to cause unnecessary stress.

So there you have it: my guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. If you have anymore questions feel free to reach out! Oh, and let me know what you want me to cover once the sale starts in the comments below!

xo,

Carey

Paris Travel Guide

Paris Travel Guide

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If you know me, then you know how much I love Paris. From the food, the fashion, the culture—I’m obsessed with it all! Because it’s one of my favorite cities, I’m so excited to be sharing my travel guide with you today. I’m obviously not an expert (I’ve only been three times), but if you’re planning a trip I would definitely give this guide a read!

But before I jump into my Paris travel guide, let’s talk outfit. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this sequin dress from Chicwish! It’s so feminine and delicate and I felt so pretty wearing it. I love that the sequins make out little starfish—it’s the perfect print for summer without going over-the-top beachy. It’s also perfect for summer because even though it has long sleeves, the fabric is sheer and lightweight! Side note: the dress is a bit more low cut than I like so I pinned it to keep it closed!

If you read my previous post (dressing like a French it-girl), then you know that kitten heels are a must in Paris. Of course, I had to buy some and pair them with this dress. I love kitten heels because they are so easy to walk in, but still add a glamorous touch!

Anyway, now that the outfit is out of the way, let’s get into the guide. Just a warning, this is going to be a looooong post.

What You Need to Know Before Arriving

If you’re flying into Charles de Gaulle airport, which I assume you would, you should know that you won’t be right in the middle of Paris. You’re going to need transportation into the city and it’ll take about an hour.

There are a few different options for you to take but here are my suggestions: either call an Uber or take Le Bus Direct. Depending on how many people you’re traveling with might make the decision for your price wise. It costs about €20 per person to take Le Bus Direct and you’ll make quite a few stops along the way (increasing your travel time). Plus, once you get to your stop you still need to navigate to your hotel.

My parents and I decided to take an Uber which cost a little under €60, which would have been the price for all three of us to take Le Bus Direct. I liked taking an Uber because we didn’t have to worry about stops and we went straight to the hotel.

You could also call a taxi and there are other buses that are less expensive, but more time consuming. Regardless, just know that it’s going to take a little bit of time to get to your hotel.

 

Where to Stay

Because I went with my parents on this last trip, we stayed at a nicer hotel than I would have if I was on my own. We stayed at the Westin Paris in the 1st arrondissement. It was a beautiful hotel, very close to the Jardin des Tuileries, but also in one of the wealthiest areas of Paris. Location wise it also wasn’t that close to other attractions we wanted to see. But, don’t let that stop you because Paris is easy to navigate!

When I was in Paris almost two years ago with just my mom for the weekend, we stayed at an Airbnb which we loved. I would definitely check into this because it might be easier to find a place in the neighborhood you want to be in.

 

Main Attractions

Paris has quite a few tourist attractions that I definitely think are worth a see, at least on your first visit. Because there are so many, I’m not going to go into detail on each one.

  • Eiffel Tower (the most obvious one! Go as early as possible to beat the line or order a ticket ahead of time)
  • Arc de Triomphe (great view of Paris)
  • Champs-Élysées
  • Louvre (also super crowded so go early. Be warned, it’s a very overrated museum. I like the Musée D’Orsay 10x better)
  • Palais Royal
  • Trocadéro (go here for infamous pics with the Eiffel Tower behind you)

  • Moulin Rouge (I still haven’t made it for a cabaret show, but it’s on my list!)
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Jardin des Tuileries
  • Sacre Coeur Basilica
  • Catacombs (also still on my list of things to do)

Honestly, I could probably find at least 10 more attractions to add, but these are definitely the top!

 

Neighborhoods

Paris is comprised of different neighborhoods (arrondissements) that all have different things to offer. Here are just some that I think are worth seeing.

Montmartre

If you’re looking for an area of Paris that looks quintessentially French than this is it. The neighborhood is on top of steep hill so getting there can be annoying. At the bottom is the Moulin Rouge. At the very top of the hill is the Sacre Couer basilica. This area has religious ties dating back to pagan times and features a beautiful view of the city.

You can also find the famous Le Consultat restaurant, plus quite a bit of shopping. If you’re into art than this is also the place to go! There are so many street artists and little shops featuring beautiful paintings of Paris, especially the Montmartre area.

Latin Quarter

When I first went to Paris on a high school trip when I was 15, this is the area we stayed in. It’s the same neighborhood that houses the famous Sorbonne University, so it’s definitely a younger area. It’s also home to the famous Shakespeare and Co. book store! If you’re a book lover like me then this store is a dream come true. I honestly could have spent hours in there!

Besides books, this area also has a lot of cool cafes and a very hip vibe. I would definitely stay in this neighborhood again, especially since it feels so central to other parts of Paris.

Le Marais

This is one of the oldest parts of Paris because it features one of the only areas that Napoleon didn’t try to revitalize in the 19th century. It was once an area where the Parisian aristocracy congregated, but later became an area full of poor, bohemian artists. It is most recently known for being the city’s Jewish quarter.

If you like to shop than Le Marais is definitely the place to do so! My mom and I spent pretty much the whole day shopping while my dad sipped on wine at a cafe. But there is more to Le Marais than just shopping; there are a ton of art galleries, plus a few attractions to see. First is the Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in the city. You could also check on Victor Hugo’s mansion which has since been turned into a museum (unfortunately it was closed when I went so I still haven’t seen it).

Where to Eat

I’ll be perfectly honest, a lot of our meals were hit or miss in Paris. There are cafes and brasseries on practically every street, so you will never be without an option. Every morning we started our day with a coffee and croissant and let me just say, there is no better breakfast. Any cafe you go to will serve this and serve it well! Just be slightly more picky when it comes to lunch/dinner.

Personally, I pay more attention to dessert and sweets, so here are some of my recommendations:

  • Angelina is a must. It’s known for the infamous hot chocolate that is out of this world. If you don’t like chocolate don’t even bother getting it. It is so rich it tastes like you’re drinking melted chocolate—obviously I loved it! But definitely go here for a nicer brunch regardless.
  • Ladurée. Probably the most well known macaron store around the world. You can go here to pick up pastries or have a sit down meal. I will say, Ladurée was my absolute favorite place to go for macarons, but now I have a new favorite. Which leads me to…
  • Pierre Hermé. If you want the fluffiest, most magical macarons you will ever taste in your life then this is the place to go. I still dream about these macarons and I know none will ever taste as good.

 

Day/Weekend Trips

If you’re going to be in Paris for awhile, I also suggest taking day or weekend trips. If you can, definitely go to Versailles. The palace alone is worth seeing, plus the beautiful gardens. There is also a gigantic open air market and the pace is a lot slower than Paris. We took a train there for €7.50 round trip and spent about half a day there.

If you have a little longer, I would definitely go to Provence. The French countryside is so different from Paris and both are equally enchanting. If you like a slower pace than Provence is a great area. And who doesn’t want to see the amazing lavender fields?

 

So, there you have it! My complete guide to Paris. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and leave some comments below!

xo,

Carey

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Paris Fashion Inspiration: Dressing Like a French It-Girl

Paris Fashion Inspiration: Dressing Like a French It-Girl

If ever I feel like I’m in a fashion rut, traveling is sure to change it. With that being said, nothing truly inspires me like traveling to Europe. Every time I go to a new city, my creative side is sparked—great for my Instagram, not so much for my bank account!

As one of the fashion capitals of the world—if not the capital—Paris embodies a cool, sophisticated vibe that’s matched in the fashion. Beautiful white architecture corresponds with understated white blouses, the natural elements of the city are reflected in simple hair and makeup. There are so many ways I’m feeling inspired after my short visit to Paris, and I want to share them all!

Denim

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Muse mafia ⚡️ via @lau.delaa

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If you’re going to dress like a Parisian, investing in high quality denim is a must. A good pair of jeans is truly a staple for chic French girls. The style I saw on repeat (and decided to finally partake in myself!) is straight cut cropped jeans. Obviously, this isn’t only a trend in Paris, but pretty much everyone there is on board. I just ordered these Levi’s (I saw them at Shopbop first, but got them almost $20 cheaper on Amazon!), but here are a few other options I’m loving:

Trench Coats

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Sister sister

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I already talked about this on Instagram, but when in Paris a trench coat is a must. Everyone has one and they’re perfect for chilly spring weather: they fight off the cold and keep you dry when it rains (just make sure to bring an umbrella too!).

Feminine Dresses

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In love with this little dress 💛 @pia_mbd

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From slip dresses to wrap styles, anything that screams feminine from the 90s is a yes. Bonus points if it has puffy capped sleeves! If you’re looking for a dress that truly screams Parisian it-girl, Reformation is the way to go. It’s a little pricier, but it’s a French brand that embodies the spirit of the feminine dress. Here are some dresses I’m loving from Reformation and other brands!

Kitten Heels

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Dream shoes @musierparis

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The last outfit tip I’m taking from the French girls is kitten heels. Like I mentioned before with the denim, this is by know means a new style but it just fits in so well with other aspects of the Parisian wardrobe. I’m already imagining an outfit with my new straight leg jeans, a billowy blouse and the kitten heels I had to buy! As a petite girl, I love any shoe that gives me an extra boost so I’m all about this trend; it lends some height without making you uncomfortable. Here are some kitten heels to check out:

Just writing this post has me wanting to shop ’til I drop! I hope this inspires you as much as it inspired. Before I go, I want to share some of the stores I love to help with my French it-girl inspiration:

Do you have any other stores I should add to this list? Also, how will you incorporate this French trends? Let me know in the comments below!

xo,

Carey

The Cutest Graduation Gift Idea

The Cutest Graduation Gift Idea

cutest graduation gift ideas 2cutest graduation gift ideas 5cutest graduation gift ideas 9cutest graduation gift ideas 7cutest graduation gift ideas 3cutest graduation gift ideas 6Obviously graduation is on my mind since that seems to be the theme this week! Whether you or someone who know is graduation (college or high school) or you have another reason to buy a personalized gift, I found the perfect item.

When it comes to jewelry, by now you all probably know that I like pieces that are delicate and dainty, and if they’re gold? Even better. I recently found this online jewelry company, Sincerely Silver, that is the ultimate destination for personalized pieces! I can’t think of anything better than jewelry that is personalized. From name and initial necklaces to handwriting bracelets, there are so many options.

As a little graduation gift to myself, I picked out a GPS coordinates bracelet. In a sentimental mood, I added the GPS coordinates for Elon University. Obviously, I went with gold, but I like that the company offers silver and rose gold options as well—everyone has a metal preference! And the best part is that you can choose your size. I hardly ever wear bracelets because my wrists are so small and they just fall off. But I went with the smallest size and could I adjust it to fit my wrist (I probably could have even gone with the next size up). In my opinion, there is nothing more perfect than personalized jewelry.

Of course, before I go, I have to get into my outfit details as well. I bought this Storets skirt in the summer and it’s still one of my favorites. This exact skirt is gone now, but there is an almost identical version online. I wanted this look to be feminine and flirty to highlight the delicate bracelet, so I added a puff sleeve top and my favorite wedges.

That’s all for today, I hope you liked it! And who else understands my obsession with personalized jewelry? I have so many initial necklaces it’s ridiculous! P.S. You can get 15% off your purchase from Sincerely Silver with code SINCERELY15.

xo,

Carey

Outfit Details
Top c/o | Skirt | Wedges | Bracelet c/o | Watch | Lipstick in “Somewhere in Spain”

New Orleans Travel Guide + The Perfect Travel Outfit

New Orleans Travel Guide + The Perfect Travel Outfit

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I can’t believe spring break is over and I’m back at school *sigh*. But while I’m no longer living it up in New Orleans, I thought I could pretend I’m there a little longer with this travel guide. But before I get into the nitty gritty about what to do, where to stay, etc. I wanted to share this look I wore to the airport on my flight back.

I woke up at 4:45 am to get to the airport in time, so comfort was key that morning. And I don’t know about you, but I’m always so cold on flights. So, with that being said, of course I packed the comfiest joggers I have ever worn. My mom actually found these and liked them so much she went back to buy herself another pair and pick up a pair for me. They literally feel like pajamas. I kept the look simple and neutral with a white bralette and cami. I paired it off with my denim jacket (again I get cold) and the shoes you’re all probably tired of seeing me wear—I really need to find something as comfortable and versatile as these.

All around, it was the perfect outfit to travel: comfy, cute, and versatile. And now that the outfit is out of the way, let’s get into my travel guide!

Where to Stay

I went with my roommate, her mom, and her mom’s friend and we stayed at the Homewood Suites on Rampart Street. We all really liked this location because it was close enough to everything in the French Quarter without being in the middle (i.e. no noise!).

If you’re looking for something fancier, Hotel Monteleone seems like a great choice. We went in to see the carousel bar and stayed to walk around and look at the opulent decor. It’s right in the French Quarter and literary greats like Truman Capote, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway have all patronized the hotel. There’s even some rumor of some hauntings if you’re interested in that!

Another cool hotel we saw was the Cornstalk Fence Hotel. It’s a boutique, luxury hotel, and while we didn’t actually go inside like we did with Hotel Monteleone, it’s gorgeous from the outside. Like Hotel Monteleone, it has some famous guests as well as haunting rumors.

Where to Eat

Dinner—we really only had a “real” dinner twice (we filled up during the day on lunch/snacks!), but we did enjoy two restaurants.

  • Nola Cantina: they had fantastic tacos and margaritas
  • Emeril’s NOLA: we all enjoyed our dinner, but the service was subpar

Brunch—we went to brunch twice at the same place (different locations though) because we loved it soooo much. If you’re in the French Quarter or uptown NOLA definitely check out Toast.

Sweets—with all the walking we did, we justified our sweet tooth. Definitely check out these two places!

  • Cafe du Monde: I don’t think you can say you went to New Orleans if you don’t go here. All I can say is beignets are amazing. 
  • Sucre: if you like macarons the ones at Sucre are so good! They also have gelato, desserts, plus a restaurant for dinner or brunch.

What to Do

  • Tours: my roommate and I booked both a ghost and a vampire tour through Haunted History Tours and we LOVED them! Next time I go to New Orleans, I want to check out the company’s cemetery tour and the haunted pub crawl. The tour guides obviously love what they do, and if you’re interested in history and the macabre like I am, they’re so knowledgeable. Definitely my favorite part of the trip. We also went on a city tour throughout all of New Orleans which is a good idea if you want to get a bigger picture of the city aside from the French Quarter.
  • Ferry ride: although we ended up not going on the jazz cruise, we took the Algiers Point Ferry on a sunny day and walked around Algiers Point. It’s a cute neighborhood that’s fun for looking at houses. Plus the ferry was only $2 each!
  • Walk around: honestly, one of the best things to do is grab a drink (you can walk around with them!) and stroll through the French Quarter. We ended up finding the cutest mask shop on Royal Street, plus a vampire boutique that resulted in us getting invited to a vampire speakeasy! Such a fun experience.
  • Shop on Magazine Street: if you’re a shopper—and if you’re reading this blog I’m guessing you are—Magazine Street is the place to be. There are so many cute boutiques and when you get tired of shopping you can stop at Sucre’s other location on this street.
  • Visit the Garden District: while shopping on Magazine Street, definitely make time to go sight-seeing in the Garden District. The houses are absolutely gorgeous and you might even spot a celebrity!
  • Listen to live jazz on Frenchmen Street: my roommate and I went to Frenchmen Street our last night to get dinner and listen to live jazz. The band that was playing was so talented and the vibe was just really fun. We didn’t make it to a jazz club, but I hear they’re great too!
  • Jazz concert at Preservation Hall: Jenna (my roommate) and I are so upset that we didn’t make it to a jazz concert. The one we were planning to go to was cancelled and we couldn’t make the later one because we had a tour booked. But the reviews say this is possibly the most fun part of anyone’s trip to NOLA, so I am planning to go in the future.
  • City Park: if you want to get away from the French Quarter/city life, check out City Park! It has everything—mini golf, an amusement park, bike riding, boating, restaurants, an art museum, a botanical garden, and more! We went mini golfing and then had lunch in the museum’s cafe where we had the best salad I think I’ve ever had. You could spend multiple days at City Park alone.

So there you have it, my complete New Orleans travel guide. If you liked this post, let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out my London travel guide here.

xo,

Carey

Cami | Joggers | Similar Jacket | Shoes | Watch | Similar Bag | Lipstick in “Satin Ribbon”