Not Quite 40

When I was 19, 39 seemed ancient to me. At 19, I was a sophomore in college with not a care in the world (of course I thought my life was really tough because of papers, projects, tests, etc.). Little did I know that there would be days in my future where I would long to still be that girl in college enjoying the beautiful Santa Barbara life with friends and (relatively) easy academic life. At 19, I didn't worry about what would happen to my figure if I ate Burger King at 2am. At 19, I didn't see lines forming around my eyes...and my forehead...and around my lips. I never even wore sunscreen! At 19, when I looked in the mirror I saw youth without even knowing it! Even 10 years later, 39 still seemed really old to me. At 29, I had traveled a good portion of the world, was married for four years already, had a master's degree, had an 18-month old baby girl, was only 6 months away from the beginning of being pregnant for nearly all of the next two years - with boys born 14 months apart. By the time I was 31, I had three babies under the age of five! CRAZY!

The last 10 years have flown by - faster than a bullet train in Japan. Well, the inevitable has snuck upon me, and 39 no longer feels/seems old. On the inside I am still that 19-year-old, but when I look in the mirror I only see a small semblance of what I saw at 19. But, I also see a woman who loves her life!

I am going to live every minute of my last year in my 30s to its fullest, and when 40 comes in 12 short months, I will embrace it with all my might (I think). Life is beautiful, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

I cut these in the garden and my ever-present photographer insisted on some portrait shots Kiana Underwood / | Photography: N.R. Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N.R. Underwood

Wrought Iron and Wild-style Flowers

I turned 38 in June and my sweet in-laws gave me this lovely and unique floral vessel for my birthday. So of course, I decided I would do a little DIY using it! You may have a vessel in your home that has been sitting in your closet and gathering dust, and it is time to take it out! I chose to create a wild-style floral arrangement in them, and much to my delight and surprise, ranunculus were available at the market. It appears that this time of the year they bring them from Chile.

Kiana Underwood /

Pokeweed is really one of my favorites to get a little wild with. Flowers: pokeweed, sweet peas, and ranunculus Kiana Underwood /

Kiana Underwood /

Begin by arranging the pokeweed until you have reached the desired look and fill. Keep in mind that in vessels like these you don't need very many flowers. Kiana Underwood /

Next, add the sweet peas. Kiana Underwood /

...and finally the ranunculus Kiana Underwood /

Thank you Steve and Barbara - this looks lovely on my dining table! Kiana Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood