The Ladybug on the joy of knitting

When I was a kid we used to spend part of our summer holidays at the countryside, at my mum’s home village. I particularly loved those weeks spent in the nature for many reasons: I could spend a lot of time in the country with my dad eating fruits from the trees or drinking pure water from a lemon leaf; I could pick fruits, play with dogs and cats, ride my bike, wear my granny’s clothes and…learn a lot works. I used to spend a couple of hours per day with an old lady of the village who thought me to crochet, to embroider, to tat and my granny also thought me how to knit (she was so good that sometimes when we had no needles she did it with my colored pencils!).

When I grew older I slowly stopped loving my holidays at the countryside as I preferred to spend time at the beach with my friends and with time I lost all of the good things that I learned in the village.

I feel so bad if I think about it now: you cannot imagine how much I wanted to restart at least crocheting and knitting but I thought that it was too late and I was too old to get back at it. Well, I was wrong.

During a very intense moment at work, I understood that I needed some side activity to relax. Knitting was the first idea that came to my mind: I desperately looked for knitting classes in Milan but I couldn’t find what I was looking for, until I saw an ad on Instagram. It was from We are knitters. They promised to make you learn with their tutorials and that you could start from beginners’ pieces to practice your skills. I wasn’t convinced that it could be that easy! I asked them if I really could start from scratch, telling them that I have never knitted in my life. They answered: Sure, no problem!

It’s only when I had an impartial review from a friend of mine that I decided to give it a try: not only it was true but I loved it!! I spent all my afternoons watching tutorials and quickly learning the basic stitches and in a couple of weeks I finished my first paired cinnamon snood and headband (those that I am wearing in these pictures). I then made another headband for my mum and a maxi mustard scarf. Now I want to start also crocheting!

The benefits are multiple: not only I can make myself clothes (which I find extremely sustainable and satisfying!) and make them for the people I love, I can also relax and leave all my problems and stress outside when I start knitting. The fact is that you must be so focused that you automatically stop thinking of other business. Isn’t it amazing? You also have the gratifying feeling of learning something and of creating a piece from your own hands, which is really amazing!

While I keep practicing my knitting skills and starting my crocheting ones, let me show you how I paired my creations for a Sunday at the vintage market with my friends: a wonderful navy vintage coat from Je m’en fous vintage, a pair of old Zara brown trousers, a pair of vintage cowboy boots from the French brand Sartore found on Vestiaire Collective, a vintage cross-body bag from Live in Vintage and my vintage and handmade rings!

As a detail for my snood, I added a beautiful handmade butterfly brooch, a present from Giorgia, owner of Je m’en fous vintage, created from vintage Japanese fabrics. Isn’t too cute on the snood?

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The Ladybug tips for 2015 Summer Sales!

Sales Milan 1

Like every year, a new sale season has started and like every year I plan a post on the subject that I have never published so far for many different reasons! It seems that this year I have the occasion to say something about sales, so let’s start with a few but important rules:

  1. “Just get what you need”: I know that we don’t really need anything as our closets are full of clothes but when I say “need” I mean it in a girly way. How many times did we say: “I need a pair of black shoes to go with my trousers” or “I need a camel bag because I only have black bags”? that’s the “need” that I mean! Most of the times when we are lost into a shop during the sales we are tempted to buy all the nice things that we see even if we don’t really need them and we end up buying things that we won’t use when we can just save that money to buy things that we really “need to buy”. So, make a list of what we “need” and add things during the non-sale times whenever you use the “I need…” phrase: when the sales arrive you will know already what you “need”!
  2. “Make a limited use of high street shops”: high street is for regular use, as most of the times they sell things that we can more or less afford during the year. But how many things did we see that were out of our budget? Well, sales are the right time to buy that specific piece that you coveted during the year but that you couldn’t buy. Now that it is on sale you may be lucky enough to still find it in your size and at a price that you can afford. For this, don’t forget to save money during the year though!
  3. “You can survive only one huge sales session with limited but targeted shops list, not more”: as you may know, going around during the sales may be very depressing; women lose their cool at this time of the year and most of the times the long queueing outside the fitting rooms can be exhausting. This is why you cannot survive more shopping sessions during the sales; so pick up a day (first or second day of sales are better), prepare a list of the shops to visit and go for it all day. Once you are done, don’t repeat one week later! Ok, if you want you can repeat in case of further reductions but in that case you won’t probably be as lucky as during the first days and you won’t find almost anything left.
  4. “Go vintage”: Vintage shops do sales too! So, make sure that they are on top of your list of shops that you need to visit so if you don’t find your “perfect match” there, you can try somewhere else!


Sales Milan 2

These are my top four rules during sales, but if we want to go more in detail about summer sales 2015 here are a couple of pieces that you can buy now and that you shouldn’t miss:

  1. The circle skirt: it has been a trend of this summer fashion and be sure that you will use it again and again for a long time, so if you didn’t get one before it’s time to do it!
  2. The white sneakers: if like me you hesitated and resisted so far, I think that we must surrender and accept that they won! From Adidas Stan Smith, to Nike or Pinko the white sneakers are the winners and you need a pair too (I have an original vintage Adidas and I just decided that I’m wearing them again!)
  3. The 50’s inspired bikini: one of the pieces that must be in every summer sales list is a swimsuit; most of the times you can buy one just before going on holiday and for a reduced price, so why buying one before? If you can go for an original vintage piece it would be amazing as their shapes and materials are just top but if you can’t find anything just go for a retro inspired 50’s piece: your body and your neighbors at the beach will thank you for that!
  4. The culottes: essential. Period!
  5. The palazzo pants: this year they were everywhere, the colored palazzo pants are the undisputed princes of the summer and the 70’s vibe that goes with them will make them a piece to buy for further use!
  6. The pointy heeled shoes: a classic! Just change colors at every sales until you feel that you have enough!
  7. Shoes: always! Use without moderation!

For my summer sales session in Milan I wore: Cos black shirt, thrifted striped pants from Epiphany Vintage in Frankfurt, Lolita Milano flats, Michael Kors bucket bag, Valentino sunglasses and lovely handmade necklace from Le Cosine di Pape!

(Jantzen pictures are taken from the blog Envisioning the American Dream)

Sales Milan 3


The Ladybug Bids You, “Namasté” from the Yoga Festival in Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles - Yoga Festival 01

I’ve been telling you about how this year I’ve managed to recoup some of the events I missed from the year before, one of those was the Yoga Festival.

I have always been a fan of yoga: I tried both yoga and meditation some years ago and even posed for the cover of a magazine promoting health and fitness, but for the lack of good yoga centers where I lived- I never continued the practice. Still; I’ve been intrigued and curious, which is why, when I moved to Milan and realized there was a lovely yoga center just a few steps from my door: I decided to give it a try.



I fell in love with the practice of dynamic yoga and relaxation and now, for me, it is the best moment of the week! After working hard and working out during the week, I take an hour and a half just for myself to regenerate and feel well in my body and mind.

Milan offers a lot of centers, free events and even an international festival where you can buy, learn, try all the things around yoga. You can gain an introduction to the centers, know more about different activities from meditation to self-medicine, you can try almost every type of yoga, attend classes, make new experiences and understand more about your body’s intolerances.  You can even buy your yoga material (for example at Re Yoga, where you can find recycled mats and cushions- it’s where I bought my first beautiful yoga mat!): the Yoga Festival offers many different free events every hour for the whole weekend and you will definitely find something interesting for yourself.

The Ladybug Chronicles - Yoga Festival 02


This year I visited my yoga center and took advantage of attending four classes including meditation (which I’d love to start soon) and an amazing class of dynamic yoga that I adored. After four hours I was fully regenerated, but I would have spent even more time in such a beautiful place!

I was surprised by the number of people at the Festival. It felt good and made me happy happy to participate in the success of this fantastic discipline. I started as a wonderer, but now… I am nearly an addict!

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The Ladybug on Why Running is More Vintage than Aerobics or Roller Skating: My 1st 5K (Energizer Run)

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 02

(Scroll down for Italian text – Testo in Italiano alla fine della pagina)

It all started on a Milanese tram: I was going to work with a colleague and I was complaining about the fact that, although I was working hard to lose weight- it seemed almost impossible. I’d swim, go to the gym, eat properly, but nothing I committed myself to help me get slimmer.

He, a serious marathon runner, candidly said: “you should start running!”

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 03I exploded in laughter, because the idea of these two entities, “myself” and “running,” together was really hilarious. I then started the usual list of excuses of non-runners: “I don’t need it,” “I already go to the gym,” “it is boring,” “I could never run for more than three minutes.”

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 04He didn’t care about my excuses and proposed a challenge: he told me that he could get me to run 5K by the end of the month and that I could ready to participate in the Energizer Run (a 5K run) that was going to happen mid-June. It was beginning of May. I accepted the challenge, more for pride than personal belief, but I strictly followed his tableau de bord for a month.

I went from dying after 5 minutes of slow running to enjoying the ride a bit more every day. I had set milestones and it was so refreshing and satisfying to reach them.  I gained a lot of motivation and self-esteem and I started losing weight.  Needless to say, running quickly became “my thing.”

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 05I know I am a vintage gal and I should have gone for ’80s aerobics or roller skating (which I adore! Roller skating, not aerobics… even if I love the trashy aerobics outfits!); still, in the end what is more vintage than the first movement ever that a man could do?! Of course, I try to make it the most vintage as I can: for example I listen to Rock’n’Roll and ’70s/’80s disco to boost my run. I also wear vintage t-shirts and ’80s shorts and the incredible terrycloth wrist and head bands (Nike has them in many flashy quirky colors and patterns!).

The Ladybug Chronicles - 5K Energizer Run 01One of my milestones was the famous Energizer Run, a charity night run in Milan that donates the participants’ fees to the Unicef: it was a good cause and a good occasion.  After being postponed due to bad weather, I finally participated in the run: I was very scared at the beginning as it was my first one, but when I realized that I was going to run with more than 7000 people- I immediately felt better. And I was very proud of my results: 5K in 30 minutes, a lot of fun, new friends and a new passion… RUNNING!

Go baby, GO RUN!!!


Tutto ebbe inizio su un tram milanese:  mentre andavo al lavoro con un collega, mi lamentavo del fatto che nonostante tutti i miei sforzi per perdere peso l’obiettivo sembrasse praticamente impossibile. Nuoto, palestra, dieta sana, niente di tutto ciò sembrava funzionare.

Il mio collega, un maratoneta di un certo livello, mi ha risposto candidamente: dovresti iniziare a correre!

La prima reazione è stata una fragorosa risata: il solo pensiero di mettere insieme queste due entità, me e la corsa, mi sembrava terribilmente divertente! Solo dopo ho iniziato a snocciolare tutte le tipiche scuse di chi non corre: “Non ne ho bisogno”, “E poi vado già in palestra”, “Correre è noioso” “ E poi non potrei mai correre per più si tre minuti consecutivi”!

Come se non avesse sentito una sola parola mi ha lanciato una sfida:  “Se segui i miei consigli, entro la fine del mese potrai correre per 5 km e partecipare alla Energizer Run che si terrà a metà giugno. Era inizio maggio. Ho accettato la sfida, più per orgoglio che per reale convinzione, ma ho seguito scupolosamente i suoi allenamenti per un mese.  Così sono passata dal “sono senza fiato” dopo appena 5 minuti di corsa lenta al godermi una bella corsa di qualche km dopo pochi giorni. Risultato: più autostima e motivazione e …attenzione attenzione…meno peso! Naturalmente da quel momento ho iniziato a correre.

Lo so che sono una ragazza vintage e avrei dovuto preferire l’aerobica anni 80 o i pattini a rotelle (che adoro…i pattini, non l’aerobica…anche se amavo tanto quei completini colorati supertrash!) ma alla fine mi sono detta: cosa c’è di più vintage del correre….la prima cosa che impariamo dopo camminare? Assolutamente niente!  Certo, ci metto del mio per rendere la mia corsa un po’ vintage: ad esempio ascolto solo musica rock’n’roll anni 50 o disco degli anni 70 e 80 per caricarmi durante la corsa, oppure mi piace indossare t-shirts vintage e pantaloncini anni 80 o quelle orribili fasce da polso o da testa (persino Nike le ha riproposte in colori fluo e disegni improbabili).

Tornando al mio obiettivo, la famosa Energizer Run, si tratta di una corsa non competitiva il cui ricavato viene donato in beneficenza all’Unicef che si tiene ogni anno a Milano. Per me era una buona causa e una buona occasione al tempo stesso. Dopo un primo rinvio causa pioggia, finalmente è arrivato il giorno della gara: ammetto di essere stata molto nervosa all’inizio ma quando mi sono accorta che avrei corso insieme ad altre 7000 persone mi sono sentita subito meglio! E sono stata molto fiera del mio risultato: 5km in 30 minuti, tanto divertimento, nuovi amici e soprattutto una nuova passione:  CORRERE!

Go baby, go run!

Soul Sunday with KNAGUI: Vintage is the New Black

KNAGUI-Fossil2C’mere; let me whisper three little words in your ear…Black – Is – Beautiful.
And this is exactly what I’ve come to learn about vintage.

If you’ve ever taken a look at my bio here on TLC, you’d know that I dug “vintage” long before the Ladybug taught me what it was.  The craftsmanship, love, attention to detail and quality of materials is undeniable.  It’s no wonder how much accessorizing with or wearing a vintage piece enhances your look- or how hard our heads turn when we see a classic/antique car on the street or how far an emotional trip your soul takes when you hear a heartfelt old school record.

KNAGUI-UrbanFox (vintage)

Vintage makes you smile and want more because, in this financial climate, it’s affordable (for the most part) and gives you an opportunity to be a bit more expressive than the average Joe/Joanne.  It’s like they say, “the Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice.”  At least that’s what the smart designers, marketers and retailers are hoping you understand.

Everywhere you look these days, you’re seeing more and more vintage and vintage inspired things- on the racks, on the road, in music, magazines and even in advertising. I was in a bottom of the barrel big box store, Wal-Mart, not too long ago and even they had gotten into the “vintage game,” advertising frames in their optical department.


Hints of this “trend” are everywhere… all over the world, and I’ll tell you why: because “Black Don’t Crack!!!”  There’s something to say about things that lasts for years, takes a break and comes back again- relevant, powerful, impressive and engaging just as it had when it was introduced.


Think of what’s trending in fashion… color blocking, natural materials… bangs… all of these things are taking us to the memories of bygone eras.  Just go to the cinema or turn on the television and you’ll see what I mean.


When I first noticed this production of remaking old movies and TV series, it really irritated me because I thought creativity and imagination had gone out the window, but then I realized what was going on.  The industry isn’t being unimaginative (half cocked belief), they are only trying to evoke nostalgia and reignite the feeling of strength and security from a rich and fruitful past.


Remake TV like Hawaii Five-O and Dallas (which I can still make audiences chuckle with a single phrase from the stage) or retro-inspired shows like the short lived Pan-Am, Playboy Club or sensational Mad Men and all of the sequels and prequels based on highly successful films are all examples of how we’re not only being given classic escape routes, but are also being lead to places that make us feel better by reminding as where we’ve been and give hope for where we’re headed.


Vintage can be life changing, inspiring, connecting, enlightening… I’m all about it these days.  I see it everywhere and in everything without even looking for it.  So I challenge you… introduce someone you know to this lifestyle because vintage is the new black – and you know what they say about black…
“Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back!”


Happy Black History Month

See you “next Sunday.”

The Ladybug is a Healthy Bee: My Interpretation of a Vintage Lifestyle


Last week I was asked a very challenging question: as a vintage blogger, what for you is it to have a vintage lifestyle?

I must confess that I had to think about it and as you can see I needed to write down my ideas on it to make it clearer also to myself!

My idea of vintage goes far behind the fact of wearing vintage clothes and accessories almost every day, or going to vintage inspired parties or shops, it also goes far behind my natural interest and preference to what is older and has “history” (furniture, movies, art etc.).

I realized that my idea of vintage lifestyle is very much so related to my idea of what is healthy and genuine: yes, for as strange as it may seem this is my vision!

There are things that I do every day (outside of dressing up in vintage clothes!) like eating properly, or paying attention to recycling and consuming, or working out that I consider as my own vintage lifestyle.

food poster2

Since I moved to Milan, I discovered a new passion for eating properly: this means trying to eat everything of good quality but in punctilious portions! I stopped eating junk food- leaving space to healthier foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes or whole carbs, which helped me not only lose weight but also made me feel happier and healthier after only a few weeks of my new eating habits! I also try to eat as many organic things as I can: I found a monthly market in Milan where only organic genuine foods are sold and I try to shop there as much as I can. I now avoid canned goods and industrially produced “things.”  I also try to buy my weekly food at shops where you can choose to purchase the quantity you need. These shops are popping up around Milan and you can easily find them almost in every area. The idea is amazing, especially if you consider that it reduces costs and waste of food. Being a single girl I know what it means to have to throw away food that you couldn’t eat before expiration.

Recycling and using materials in a befitting way as well as avoiding to waste or pollute the atmosphere, for me, gives life to my concept of a vintage lifestyle. Some days I just say to myself: isn’t it what my grandma used to do? And I’m not only talking about the correct use of plastic and paper, but also about wearing and reselling (or giving) what we use, buying second hand clothes or only wearing vintage fur!

Last but not least, there’s nothing more “vintage lifestyle” than a good work out! Whatever you decide to do (gym, running, swimming, playing sports, etc…) taking care of your body is not only the most exciting and self-flattering thing to do but also, for me, the most creativity-sparking act of my day! “Mens sana in corpore sano” is one of the most famous Latin quotes, right?

We will talk more about my new work-out and diet challenges in the near future; for now I just hope that I answered the question and that you may find here some interesting, healthy, vintage ideas!