Unique Vessels: Mustard Bucket

Last week I bought some French mustard that came in the cutest bucket. So of course, a flower arrangement in the bucket was a must. I picked some flowers and greens that I had available in the garden and made a sweet little French-inspired centerpiece. If you have a can, jar, or a bucket, you can always use it with some garden flowers to decorate a corner of your home (I used it for my breakfast room). Better yet, bring it to a friend! This is a super simple DIY that you can do in about 5 minutes. Give it a try!

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

This jar of mustard was inside this bucket. Cute, right?! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Flowers: Huechera (coral bells), zinnia, basil, and a pink one whose name I can't remember (sorry)! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Begin with the basil and coral bells Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Add the zinnia Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

And finally, add the pink flower whose name I can't remember (or figure out for the life of me). Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood

Unique Vessels: Spice Jars

If you are familiar with Persian cuisine, you know that many aromatic spices are used in preparing the various dishes. One in particular is saffron, which I use all of the time. As a result, I have tons of empty jars that were just too cute to throw away. I was recently fortunate enough to be able to travel to Italy and France, and was inspired by the simple Provençal beauty - from a single flower in a milk jar, to buckets of lavender at the market and backyards filled with wild flowers and herb boxes. These images became my inspiration for this project.

For this DIY I simply stripped the labels from the jars, borrowed one of my children's gold Sharpies and hand-decorated the jars, and placed some simple flowers in them. These clusters can really be used for any occasion - a brunch, dinner for two, cocktails with friends, or even a tea party - the possibilities are endless.

I brought these colorful soaps back from the town of Grasse (the "perfume capital of the world") - they smell amazing! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

The originals Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

And after label removal and decoration Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

You can use any flowers that your heart desires - I used: freesia, scabiosa, geranium, lavender, and button feverfew (for a little touch of yellow with all the purple) Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood

European Flower Markets

I recently returned from a lovely holiday. While it was a relatively short trip, the kids stayed home with grandparents, and we drove a little Fiat 500 on a mini European road tour through Italy and France. We were able to return to some places that we love, and also visit some new ones (that we now love). I'm already ready to go back. Florence is one of my absolute favorite cities. It is alive, beautiful, magical, and abundant with art and a rich history. Most of all, it feels like home to me as I spent a great amount of time there when I lived in Italy. That, and the shopping is out of this world (better than Milan in my book).

If you are in Florence on a Thursday morning, there is a lovely mercato di fiori (flower market) at one corner of the Piazza della Repubblica. Since I barely slept a wink during my stay, I was there bright and early waiting for the flowers to be displayed. While waiting I got a chance to sit in the piazza and watch it wake up without any crowds surrounding me (quite a treat in the summertime). It truly was a memorable day and I can't imagine having spent it any other way.

An appropriate place for me to pose for a picture! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

The geraniums were so bright and beautiful and perfectly unblemished! If only I could bring it all back with me. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

And of course there were the ever-amazing dahlias! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Can you smell the lavender?! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

A few days later, we drove to the South of France and stayed in the most beautiful village of Valbonne. On a Sunday morning, we took a day trip to Cannes and discovered the lovely (and large) Marché Forville where they had wonderful produce, fish, and flowers. Walking through this market made me want to shop for food and go back and cook, and if I lived there that is exactly what I would have done. Instead, I took a whole bunch of pictures of the flowers.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

I really enjoyed the way that the flowers were displayed - especially the signs. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

It is very hard to find peonies right now in California. No problem in Cannes. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Here you can get a sense of the size of the market. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

All photography by N. Underwood