WORD OF THE WEEK: CURIOSITY

This week’s word is C U R I O S I T Y. Curiosity is a strong desire to know or learn something – interest, spirit of inquiry or inquisitiveness. Or, it can be a strange or unusual object or fact.

Curiosity can drive us into new realms or to new discoveries. It allows us to explore, question, develop new ideas and thoughts... 

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately CURIOUS"~ Albert Einstein"

"Ideas come from CURIOSITY" ~ Walt Disney

"Reawaken your sense of CURIOSITY."

Michelle Larson - My curious nature keeps me traveling to exotic destinations around the world. What most fascinates me is the people. I am so curious about how we are different and how we are the same. I want to delve into the unknown with wild abandon and come out changed. This photo is of a Swami who I met in Rishikesh, India. He offered me tea and said… “this is not tea, this is my love.” 

Michelle Larson - My curious nature keeps me traveling to exotic destinations around the world. What most fascinates me is the people. I am so curious about how we are different and how we are the same. I want to delve into the unknown with wild abandon and come out changed. This photo is of a Swami who I met in Rishikesh, India. He offered me tea and said… “this is not tea, this is my love.” 

Julie Cimpko -  I was full of CURIOSITY the moment I landed in Varanasi, India’s holiest city. The sites, smells, colors, rituals are truly like no other place in the world…certainly not for the faint-hearted. Michelle took this photo of me as I was stepping down from the boat to give an offering to the Ganges amidst hundreds of people and the puja fire ceremony behind me. It felt as if I were transported to another time.

Julie Cimpko -  I was full of CURIOSITY the moment I landed in Varanasi, India’s holiest city. The sites, smells, colors, rituals are truly like no other place in the world…certainly not for the faint-hearted. Michelle took this photo of me as I was stepping down from the boat to give an offering to the Ganges amidst hundreds of people and the puja fire ceremony behind me. It felt as if I were transported to another time.

Alicia Wiley- A passion, a desire, a need to know more, a wish to find purpose, an urge to explore igniting ambition and sense of wonder within, to be curious is curiously how curiosity begins…

Alicia Wiley-
A passion, a desire, a need to know more,
a wish to find purpose, an urge to explore
igniting ambition and sense of wonder within,
to be curious is curiously how curiosity begins…

Chelsea Briganti - Well, it hasn’t killed these two yet…

Chelsea Briganti - Well, it hasn’t killed these two yet…

WORD OF THE WEEK: DREAM

This week’s word is D R E A M. Dreams are hopeful, motivational, aspirational, beautiful thoughts that direct us towards that which is makes us most happy. They are also a series of images, sensations and prolific journeys that our mind takes us on while sleeping. These dreams can be so abstract, surreal, scary and sometimes completely nonsensical. 

Whether we are awake or in an unconscious state, our dreaming imaginations can offer us profound and deep meaning if we remember them, contemplate them and allow them to guide us to the possibility of what may come next. 

May all of your dreams come true…
 

Alicia Wiley - A dream is a way for me to escape and travel to places only my mind can create. Practicing lucid dreaming has opened up a whole new world for me. One where I can soar above cloudy skies, breathe underwater, and explore sparkling beaches filled with magical sounds and sights. The scenes from my dreams are vivid, full of color, sometimes bizarre and always fascinating.  

Alicia Wiley - A dream is a way for me to escape and travel to places only my mind can create. Practicing lucid dreaming has opened up a whole new world for me. One where I can soar above cloudy skies, breathe underwater, and explore sparkling beaches filled with magical sounds and sights. The scenes from my dreams are vivid, full of color, sometimes bizarre and always fascinating.  

Chelsea Briganti - I made these dream catchers as part of our wedding. They now live in our home and are a constant reminder of that magical day. It was a dream come true. 

Chelsea Briganti - I made these dream catchers as part of our wedding. They now live in our home and are a constant reminder of that magical day. It was a dream come true. 

Erik Larson - A piece of art I made that was inspired by a job I was doing at work. It is a dream come true that I can make art for a living and be happy everyday.

Erik Larson - A piece of art I made that was inspired by a job I was doing at work. It is a dream come true that I can make art for a living and be happy everyday.

Melinda Gordon - Dream…a wish when asleep.

Melinda Gordon - Dream…a wish when asleep.

Michelle Larson - I dream of traveling to mysterious and magical places that transcend my normal; leaving me expanded and enlightened.  (This photo was taken of me in the catacombs beneath a sacred basilica in Mexico)

Michelle Larson - I dream of traveling to mysterious and magical places that transcend my normal; leaving me expanded and enlightened.  (This photo was taken of me in the catacombs beneath a sacred basilica in Mexico)

Julie Cimpko - Ahh…this felt like a peaceful dream…floating through the clouds as we flew into my favorite town, Luang Prabang, Laos. 

WORD OF THE WEEK: INSPIRE

This week's word is I N S P I R E... so appropriate for this time year. A time to hit the refresh button, to evaluate and determine what's working in our lives and what isn't. It's the perfect time to clear out the old and allow ourselves to be INSPIRED by the possibilities right in front us. With all of this purging, releasing and renewing... who knows?... we may just be INSPIRING others as well.

1. to make someone want to do something : to give someone an idea about what to do or create2. to cause something to happen or be created. 3. to cause someone to have a feeling or emotion.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change." ~Barbara Januszkiewicz

"Aspire to inspire before you expire."

Michelle Larson - We created a Wall of Work in our office. It's great to see what we've done...feeling inspired for all that is ahead for us in 2016.

Michelle Larson - We created a Wall of Work in our office. It's great to see what we've done...feeling inspired for all that is ahead for us in 2016.

Julie Cimpko - I'm so inspired to travel to distant lands this year...Laos and Vietnam.

Julie Cimpko - I'm so inspired to travel to distant lands this year...Laos and Vietnam.

Chelsea Hipley - Inspiration, for me, comes in all ways, shapes and forms. But my biggest source of inspiration comes from my Mom. She never ceases to amaze me with what she continues to accomplish in her own life. She has taught me countless life lessons and I am the person I am today because of her love and guidance.

Chelsea Hipley - Inspiration, for me, comes in all ways, shapes and forms. But my biggest source of inspiration comes from my Mom. She never ceases to amaze me with what she continues to accomplish in her own life. She has taught me countless life lessons and I am the person I am today because of her love and guidance.

Erik Larson - I'm inspired to complete a long-time project...my civil war themed playing cards.

Erik Larson - I'm inspired to complete a long-time project...my civil war themed playing cards.

Emily Weathers - These two really inspire me to be the best person I can be. My niece and nephew have inspired many aspects in my life, including my move to California. This is a rare photo of them sitting still for the camera!

Emily Weathers - These two really inspire me to be the best person I can be. My niece and nephew have inspired many aspects in my life, including my move to California. This is a rare photo of them sitting still for the camera!

WORD OF THE WEEK: TEXTURE

This week's word is T E X T U R E...

1. the visual and especially tactile quality of a surface.

2. the characteristic structure of the interwoven or intertwined threads,strands, or the like, that make up a textile fabric.

3. the characteristic physical structure given to a material, an object,etc., by the size, shape, arrangement, and proportions of its parts.

"Texture is the most enduring and ubiquitous underpinning of form... certainly a calming, meditative and appealing world for both the eye and mind." ~ Lynda Lehmann

Michelle Larson – On the island of Santorini, the wind has carved the sand hillsides into textured walls. Nature’s art fascinates me. 

Michelle Larson – On the island of Santorini, the wind has carved the sand hillsides into textured walls. Nature’s art fascinates me. 

Julie Cimpko - It’s amazing what textures and subtleties are right in front of us. We just have to open our eyes and look.

Julie Cimpko - It’s amazing what textures and subtleties are right in front of us. We just have to open our eyes and look.

Chelsea Hipley - I was in New York for the holidays and couldn’t get enough of all the textures and tiles in the subways. Some of the old stations were so beautiful and rich with history. Made me wonder what it would have been like to see them when they were new.

Chelsea Hipley - I was in New York for the holidays and couldn’t get enough of all the textures and tiles in the subways. Some of the old stations were so beautiful and rich with history. Made me wonder what it would have been like to see them when they were new.

Erik Larson - I love to overlay textures and patterns on to my illustrations.  I experiment and am always really happy with how it turns out. Let that creativity fly. 

Erik Larson - I love to overlay textures and patterns on to my illustrations.  I experiment and am always really happy with how it turns out. Let that creativity fly. 

Liberty Edman - One of my favorite iPhone photos from a few years back. Portland in the fall. The color and texture of the trees makes me feel so cozy. Mother Nature's Finest! 

Liberty Edman - One of my favorite iPhone photos from a few years back. Portland in the fall. The color and texture of the trees makes me feel so cozy. Mother Nature's Finest! 

Emily Weathers - This is a picture I took while hiking the Grand Canyon in May - absolutely stunning! The texture in each layer of rocks is pretty incredible. :)

Emily Weathers - This is a picture I took while hiking the Grand Canyon in May - absolutely stunning! The texture in each layer of rocks is pretty incredible. :)

WORD OF THE WEEK: MERRY

This week's word is M E R R Y...

1. full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit.

2. laughingly happy; mirthful; festively joyous; hilarious.

3. Archaic. causing happiness; pleasant; delightful.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! May this new year bring you peace, joy and laughter. To be happy is the greatest wish in life!

From our family to yours,  The Larson Group

Michelle Larson – Merry Christmas to all… and Blissful Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2016! XO

Michelle Larson – Merry Christmas to all… and Blissful Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2016! XO

Julie Cimpko - Looking forward to a very merry...

Julie Cimpko - Looking forward to a very merry...

Liberty Edman - It was a white Christmas on a family holiday in Mammoth.. Something about fluffy, white snow always makes things feel so magical and merry!

Liberty Edman - It was a white Christmas on a family holiday in Mammoth.. Something about fluffy, white snow always makes things feel so magical and merry!

Chelsea Hipley - Merry is: having a sleepover at grandmas house like you did when you were a kid; its flying to NJ to see my brothers "new" house and getting my hands dirty to help make his house a home; its shopping and  walking around NYC with my family during Christmas; it doesn't matter the time of year or where we are, merry is just being together when we live so many miles apart.

Chelsea Hipley - Merry is: having a sleepover at grandmas house like you did when you were a kid; its flying to NJ to see my brothers "new" house and getting my hands dirty to help make his house a home; its shopping and  walking around NYC with my family during Christmas; it doesn't matter the time of year or where we are, merry is just being together when we live so many miles apart.

Erik Larson - Hoping for another white, merry Christmas.

Erik Larson - Hoping for another white, merry Christmas.

WORD OF THE WEEK: SPARKLE

This week's word is S P A R K L E...

1. shine brightly with flashes of light.

2. be vivacious and witty.

3. a glittering flash of light. a sparkling appearance, luster, or play of light.

"Leave a little sparkle wherever you go." 

"The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.." ~ James Gates Percival

"Everybody loves things that sparkle." ~ Philip Treacy

Michelle Larson - A December night in San Francisco… all is festive, sparkly and bright. The lights from the Bay Bridge reflect and dance on the water below… feeling romantic as we walk hand-in-hand to enjoy dinner with a view.  

Michelle Larson - A December night in San Francisco… all is festive, sparkly and bright. The lights from the Bay Bridge reflect and dance on the water below… feeling romantic as we walk hand-in-hand to enjoy dinner with a view.  

Julie Cimpko - A little sparkle and shine for the holidays…

Julie Cimpko - A little sparkle and shine for the holidays…

Chelsea Hipley - ’Tis the season to sparkle!

Chelsea Hipley - ’Tis the season to sparkle!

Liberty Edman - A solo sunset beach hike in my hometown, Encinitas, CA. The wet sand reflected the gorgeous sunset; pastel and sparkly! 

Liberty Edman - A solo sunset beach hike in my hometown, Encinitas, CA. The wet sand reflected the gorgeous sunset; pastel and sparkly! 

Erik Larson - I wish this was more sparkly but Seattle is just to0 dark and cold.

Erik Larson - I wish this was more sparkly but Seattle is just to0 dark and cold.


Word of the Week: Harmony

This week's word is H A R M O N Y...

1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations.

2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.

3. Music...the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

"Elegance is usually confused with superficiality, fashion, lack of depth. This is a serious mistake: human beings need to have elegance in their actions and in their posture because this word is synonymous with good taste, amiability, equilibrium and harmony." ~ Paulo Coelho

"No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for  WE are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives." ~ Louise L. Hay

Michelle Larson - I find harmony in my life when I stay in the gray area, where nothing is black or white, but somewhere in the middle where I am open the mystery unfolding as it may. This is where the magic happens.

Michelle Larson - I find harmony in my life when I stay in the gray area, where nothing is black or white, but somewhere in the middle where I am open the mystery unfolding as it may. This is where the magic happens.

Julie Cimpko - Hoping to create some Harmony with this new guitar : )

Julie Cimpko - Hoping to create some Harmony with this new guitar : )

Chelsea Hipley - Peace. Love. Harmony.

Chelsea Hipley - Peace. Love. Harmony.

Susan Shepardson - Harmony: a pleasing arrangement of parts.

Susan Shepardson - Harmony: a pleasing arrangement of parts.

Word of the Week: Blue

B L U E :  The color of ocean and sky, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. As the collective color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming. However, not all blues are serene and sedate. Electric or brilliant blues become dynamic and dramatic — an engaging color that expresses exhilaration. 

Whenever I gaze up at the moon, I feel like I'm on a time machine. I am back to that precious pinpoint of time, standing on the foreboding - yet beautiful - Sea of Tranquility. I could see our shining blue planet Earth poised in the darkness of space. ~ Buzz Aldrin

Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore. ~ Lord Byron

There is no blue without yellow and without orange.~ Vincent Van Gogh

Michelle Larson - I had so much fun with Susan Shepardson experimenting with indigo blue dye using the shibori technique. These are the results... : )

Michelle Larson - I had so much fun with Susan Shepardson experimenting with indigo blue dye using the shibori technique. These are the results... : )

Julie Cimpko - The color blue always takes me away to another place...somewhere far away. I immediately think of stillness and serenity.

Julie Cimpko - The color blue always takes me away to another place...somewhere far away. I immediately think of stillness and serenity.

Chelsea Hipley - The current blue situation on my living room floor.

Chelsea Hipley - The current blue situation on my living room floor.

Karen Mateer - As I walk in and out of my bathroom many times during the day, I see my oil painting I did last year in a palette knife class. It may have been inspired by Van Gogh's words "I never get tired of the blue sky." Or it may just have happened by chance that I painted the different blues in the sky because they simply were beautiful. In any case, I'm grateful for the many wonderful 'blue' moments and smiles it produces each day.

Karen Mateer - As I walk in and out of my bathroom many times during the day, I see my oil painting I did last year in a palette knife class. It may have been inspired by Van Gogh's words "I never get tired of the blue sky." Or it may just have happened by chance that I painted the different blues in the sky because they simply were beautiful. In any case, I'm grateful for the many wonderful 'blue' moments and smiles it produces each day.

Madeline Lovejoy - So many luscious shades of blue: midnight, indigo, cobalt, indigo, royal, sky, periwinkle.  My favorite shade of blue is indigo, it is the color of the sixth chakra, seat of the third eye, intuition and enlightenment.  

Madeline Lovejoy - So many luscious shades of blue: midnight, indigo, cobalt, indigo, royal, sky, periwinkle.  My favorite shade of blue is indigo, it is the color of the sixth chakra, seat of the third eye, intuition and enlightenment.  

Susan Shepardson - Recently I learned about shibori - a Japanese dying technique that dates back to the 8th century. The main dye used in shibori is indigo which happens to be my favorite color so naturally I wanted to try it. I gathered all of the necessary materials and asked my friend Michelle to join me. We had so much fun creating napkins, tea towels and tank tops. The process is real open ended and produces unexpected and beautiful patterns. It's fun and easy to do; now my head is swimming with shibori ideas.

Susan Shepardson - Recently I learned about shibori - a Japanese dying technique that dates back to the 8th century. The main dye used in shibori is indigo which happens to be my favorite color so naturally I wanted to try it. I gathered all of the necessary materials and asked my friend Michelle to join me. We had so much fun creating napkins, tea towels and tank tops. The process is real open ended and produces unexpected and beautiful patterns. It's fun and easy to do; now my head is swimming with shibori ideas.

Word of the Week: Simplicity

S I M P L I C I T Y  is the state or quality of being simple. Something which is easy to understand or explain; uncomplicated.  Freedom from complexity, intricacy, absence of luxury, pretentiousness or ornamentation.

"A designer knows she has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." ~ Antoine del Saint-Exupery  

"Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest." ~ Leo Babauta

"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." ~ Coco Chanel

Michelle Larson - My favorite color is white. I love the simplicity, the feeling of clean and serene. It's calming, divine nothingness.

Michelle Larson - My favorite color is white. I love the simplicity, the feeling of clean and serene. It's calming, divine nothingness.

Julie Cimpko - Three simple words that make all the difference.

Julie Cimpko - Three simple words that make all the difference.

Chelsea Hipley - Simplicity: Nothing fancy.

Chelsea Hipley - Simplicity: Nothing fancy.

Susan Shepardson - I'm really into watercoloring right now. I love the simplicity of soft abstract paintings. Here is a sample of my work...

Susan Shepardson - I'm really into watercoloring right now. I love the simplicity of soft abstract paintings. Here is a sample of my work...

Madeline Lovejoy - Simplicity:  line, color, structure, shape, intricate in its form and beauty.

Madeline Lovejoy - Simplicity:  line, color, structure, shape, intricate in its form and beauty.

Word of the Week: Heart

This week's word is H E A R T... doesn't the word alone bring sensations of sweet warmth? Our hearts are amazing! Resilient, yet fragile. Broken, then whole again. Full to the brink of overflowing, then in an instant a sense that it has been ripped out of our chest. And yet, it keeps on beating... the sustainer of all that it means to be alive. 

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~ Confucius

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. ~ Steve Jobs

So, here we are... sharing ours with you...

Michelle Larson - When I am away on a journey or just taking a hike or walk along the beach, I find a heart shaped rock. I bring it home and give it to my husband as a token of my love. I have been doing this for years and we now have a big bowl of these precious stones in our home. Showing love in small ways can make a big impact.

Michelle Larson - When I am away on a journey or just taking a hike or walk along the beach, I find a heart shaped rock. I bring it home and give it to my husband as a token of my love. I have been doing this for years and we now have a big bowl of these precious stones in our home. Showing love in small ways can make a big impact.

Julie Cimpko - The heart can be very powerful. This is a heart stone that Michelle gave me after visiting the Chopra Center. It is made of Agate and brings soothing, relaxing energy. It can calm emotions and protects.

Julie Cimpko - The heart can be very powerful. This is a heart stone that Michelle gave me after visiting the Chopra Center. It is made of Agate and brings soothing, relaxing energy. It can calm emotions and protects.

Chelsea Hipley - This weekend was filled with friends and family, flowers and a baby shower, volunteering and being reminded of how lucky I am to live the life I do. My heart is full.

Chelsea Hipley - This weekend was filled with friends and family, flowers and a baby shower, volunteering and being reminded of how lucky I am to live the life I do. My heart is full.

Madeline Lovejoy - The tender, resilient, loving spot at your core...xoxo

Madeline Lovejoy - The tender, resilient, loving spot at your core...xoxo

Word of the Week: Serene

S E R E N E... a state that we all want to incorporate a little more of in our lives. We strive to capture and hold onto glimpses of it. When all is right with the world. Worries have dissipated and nothing but peace remains. Sometimes it just comes unexpectedly; and sometimes we need to create the circumstance and be in a particular environment with chosen people to invite it in. However is happens, we wish you all a bit of this allusive stuff that causes you to exhale, close your eyes and softly smile.

"The more I expect, the more unhappy I am going to be. The more I accept, the more serene I am." ~ Michael J. Fox

"I feel beautiful when I'm at peace with myself. When I'm serene; when I'm a good person; when I've been considerate of others." ~ Elle Macpherson

Michelle Larson - Awe... this photo was taken by Julie. I had my hand outside the boat to touch the cool breeze and the drops of rain that were beginning to fall... feeling so SERENE and blessed to be in the moment on the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos. 

Michelle Larson - Awe... this photo was taken by Julie. I had my hand outside the boat to touch the cool breeze and the drops of rain that were beginning to fall... feeling so SERENE and blessed to be in the moment on the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos. 

Julie Cimpko - A serene moment – a buddhist offering at dusk on the very top of Mount Phousi in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Julie Cimpko - A serene moment – a buddhist offering at dusk on the very top of Mount Phousi in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Chelsea Hipley - The night felt peaceful and serene with the beautiful moonlight coming through the clouds. A great ending to another great weekend.

Chelsea Hipley - The night felt peaceful and serene with the beautiful moonlight coming through the clouds. A great ending to another great weekend.

Madeline Lovejoy - SERENE...The peaceful feeling I get when I realize all is right with the world, everything is okay, and will be okay, especially amidst uncertainty and chaos.

Madeline Lovejoy - SERENE...The peaceful feeling I get when I realize all is right with the world, everything is okay, and will be okay, especially amidst uncertainty and chaos.

Word of the Week: Exotic

Julie and Michelle are currently on a photography journey in Luang Prabang, Laos in Southeast Asia. This week's word was chosen in honor of their exotic travel destination. 

E X O T I C : Originating or characteristic of a distant foreign country. Mysteriously different or unusual. Uniquely new or experimental in nature.

"The two impulses in travel are to get away from home and to pursue something - a landscape, people, an exotic place. Certainly discovering something usual is a sustaining thing in travel." - Paul Theroux

"He was comparing you to the butterflies that you both adore and cherish, and he said you were special for the same reasons... you were rare, exotic and entirely you." - Cecilia Ahem, One Hundred Names

Michelle Larson - A photo I took of Julie at Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos. The epitome of exotic and mysterious, with its jade green milky water that flows down flat rock terraces creating tranquil pools that beg to play, float and dream in.

Julie Cimpko -  An offering in the Pak Ou Caves in Laos, north of Luang Prabang. The caves are a sacred site holding thousands of Buddha statues.

Julie Cimpko -  An offering in the Pak Ou Caves in Laos, north of Luang Prabang. The caves are a sacred site holding thousands of Buddha statues.

Madeline Lovejoy - I imagine faraway lands rich with colors, textures, sounds, aromas, flavors so unusual and out of the ordinary!

Madeline Lovejoy - I imagine faraway lands rich with colors, textures, sounds, aromas, flavors so unusual and out of the ordinary!

Word of the Week: Gratitude

G R A T I T U D E :  The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Something one can never have too much of, or express too often. 

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. - Melody Beattie

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. - Zig Ziglar

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. - John Milton

Michelle Larson - Last week I had an unexpected set back in regards to my health and had to have surgery to remove my appendix. Feeling weak, fragile and limited is something very unfamiliar to me. This experience has made me reflect on how I have taken my good health for granted. My new mantra: I am grateful for my good health and all I can do with this amazing body of mine. I move freely, with strength and grace. 

Michelle Larson - Last week I had an unexpected set back in regards to my health and had to have surgery to remove my appendix. Feeling weak, fragile and limited is something very unfamiliar to me. This experience has made me reflect on how I have taken my good health for granted. My new mantra: I am grateful for my good health and all I can do with this amazing body of mine. I move freely, with strength and grace. 

Julie Cimpko - I am so incredibly grateful that I get to do what I love every single day…CREATE and with such a great group of talented women. 

Julie CimpkoI am so incredibly grateful that I get to do what I love every single day…CREATE and with such a great group of talented women. 

Chelsea Hipley - I am in the process of moving out of this little back house in Laguna Beach, where I lived for nearly 4 and a half years. Among the many emotions surrounding this transition, gratitude is towards the top. This was the first place I lived without roommates. I discovered a lot about myself during my time here. I am grateful for these experiences in my life that leave me forever changed, in the best way possible. 

Chelsea HipleyI am in the process of moving out of this little back house in Laguna Beach, where I lived for nearly 4 and a half years. Among the many emotions surrounding this transition, gratitude is towards the top. This was the first place I lived without roommates. I discovered a lot about myself during my time here. I am grateful for these experiences in my life that leave me forever changed, in the best way possible. 

Madeline Lovejoy - Soul-deep gratitude for the cosmic kick in the pants I got a few years ago, cracked my world right open. Grateful to all the positive and supportive people I've met since, the fun adventures I've had, and finding the light along the way.

Madeline Lovejoy - Soul-deep gratitude for the cosmic kick in the pants I got a few years ago, cracked my world right open. Grateful to all the positive and supportive people I've met since, the fun adventures I've had, and finding the light along the way.

Word of the Week: Wild

W I L D...Living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated. Uncontrolled or unrestrained, especially in pursuit of pleasure.

“It has always been my understanding that truth and freedom can only exist in wild places.” - Daniel J. Rice.

“The wild begins where you least expect it, one step off your normal course” - Bernard Malamud

Michelle Larson - This was a poem shared by a dear friend, Dora James. I thought it was perfect for this week's Word of the Week.

Michelle Larson - This was a poem shared by a dear friend, Dora James. I thought it was perfect for this week's Word of the Week.

Julie Cimpko - "All Good Things are Wild and Free"....well said.

Julie Cimpko - "All Good Things are Wild and Free"....well said.

Chelsea Hipley - I am wild at heart. I love unplanned adventures and discovering new things. I like going places I’ve never been. I want to see this wild world, in all her beauty.

Chelsea Hipley - I am wild at heart. I love unplanned adventures and discovering new things. I like going places I’ve never been. I want to see this wild world, in all her beauty.

Susan Shepardson - "Cherish sunsets, wild creatures and wild places. Have a love affair with the wonder and beauty of the earth." -Stewart Udall  

Susan Shepardson - "Cherish sunsets, wild creatures and wild places. Have a love affair with the wonder and beauty of the earth." -Stewart Udall
 

word of the week: discover

D I S C O V E R... the act of finding or learning something for the first time. The ability to discover new experiences, places, ways of thinking, depths of being... is what makes this life continuously exciting and worthwhile. What will you discover today? 

“The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants and discovers, along the way, what he needs.” - Wally Lamb

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust

Michelle Larson - We really discover who we are when we make mistakes. A mistake reroutes us to where we are meant to go. It may feel like a roadblock, but ultimately it is a bridge that takes us to where lessons are learned and applied... where life is perfectly imperfect. 

Michelle Larson - We really discover who we are when we make mistakes. A mistake reroutes us to where we are meant to go. It may feel like a roadblock, but ultimately it is a bridge that takes us to where lessons are learned and applied... where life is perfectly imperfect. 

Julie Cimpko - It is when we look closely at the details that we discover its true beauty.

Julie CimpkoIt is when we look closely at the details that we discover its true beauty.

Chelsea Hipley - See new places. Meet new faces. Go discover.

Chelsea Hipley - See new places. Meet new faces. Go discover.

Madeline Lovejoy -  DISCOVER a world of wishes under your toes the light of infinite stars above your head the crunch of leaves beneath your feet the warmth of the sun on the nape of your neck   the sound of a delicate melody the taste of tender ripe fruit the thunder of rousing applause the sweet memory of a soft kiss   the vibrant colors of a sunset the chill of a brisk breeze the ominous rumble of a train the rustle of the wind through the trees   the friendly gaze of an admirer the soothing coo of a baby laughing the melancholy stare of a stranger the reflection of hope and possibility

Madeline Lovejoy -  DISCOVER

a world of wishes under your toes

the light of infinite stars above your head

the crunch of leaves beneath your feet

the warmth of the sun on the nape of your neck

 

the sound of a delicate melody

the taste of tender ripe fruit

the thunder of rousing applause

the sweet memory of a soft kiss

 

the vibrant colors of a sunset

the chill of a brisk breeze

the ominous rumble of a train

the rustle of the wind through the trees

 

the friendly gaze of an admirer

the soothing coo of a baby laughing

the melancholy stare of a stranger

the reflection of hope and possibility

Word of the Week: Bloom

This week's word is B L O O M... defined as; the flower of a plant in a state of having the buds opened. A flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty or artistry.

Just a few shorts days ago we celebrated the first of Spring. What a wonderful time of year! The trees are bursting with new leaves, and gardens are coming back to life with all of their colorful glory, making everything feel bright and fresh. People just seem happier... which probably has something to do with ending the work day with some daylight still lingering. When we walk down the street in the evening the mouthwatering aroma of bbq teases us. What's not to love about Spring?!

We all had a fun time with this word B L O O M.... take a look : )

Michelle Larson - A little whimsy from my playful side. After visiting the flower fields in Carlsbad, California this past weekend, I used the sherbet colored ranunculus and other foliage finds from around my neighborhood to create BLOSSOM. That's her name. Isn't she pretty?! What fun!! 

Michelle Larson - A little whimsy from my playful side. After visiting the flower fields in Carlsbad, California this past weekend, I used the sherbet colored ranunculus and other foliage finds from around my neighborhood to create BLOSSOM. That's her name. Isn't she pretty?! What fun!! 

Julie Cimpko - Some of the most beautiful things are blooming right in front of us.

Julie Cimpko - Some of the most beautiful things are blooming right in front of us.

Chelsea Hipley - Fresh flowers always bring a smile to my face. Spring is my favorite time of the year and now that it is upon us, nature will soon be in full bloom. It is a time of new growth and new life.

Chelsea Hipley - Fresh flowers always bring a smile to my face. Spring is my favorite time of the year and now that it is upon us, nature will soon be in full bloom. It is a time of new growth and new life.

Madeline Lovejoy - To open yourself up to possibility, to becoming. My favorite sea bloom.

Madeline Lovejoy - To open yourself up to possibility, to becoming. My favorite sea bloom.

Susan Shepardson - I spy a late bloomer Susan Shepardson - I spy a late bloomer. Yes, that's me. This is a self portrait of a blooming woman. I have to thank other late bloomers who inspire me: Grandma Moses and Mary Delany started art careers in their 70's, Carmen Herrera sold her first piece of art at the age of 89. Harriet Doerr published her first novel at 74 and Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her 60's when she started writing the Little House on the Prairie series. Here's to the unfolding process!

Susan Shepardson - I spy a late bloomer Susan Shepardson - I spy a late bloomer. Yes, that's me. This is a self portrait of a blooming woman. I have to thank other late bloomers who inspire me: Grandma Moses and Mary Delany started art careers in their 70's, Carmen Herrera sold her first piece of art at the age of 89. Harriet Doerr published her first novel at 74 and Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her 60's when she started writing the Little House on the Prairie series. Here's to the unfolding process!

word of the week: silence

Silence - the absence of sound, being still... so still that even the mind quiets, the endless chatter softens and settles. It's something most of us long for more of. We all want, as our parents used to say, "Peace and quiet." Ah, now we get it. When we find that moment of silence we can pay attention to things like breathing. Are we really filling our lungs, or is our breath shallow and intermittent? Are we on the path we really desire? Is this truly what we want from life, or is there more to enjoy and experience? Silence offers us the space to dream and drift into another realm outside of our reality. 

“I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” - Chaim Potok

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” - Ansel Adams

“Silence is a source of Great Strength.” - Lao Tzu
 

Michelle Larson - Two things that remind me to quiet my mind and envelop myself in silence... The Ocean - sitting at the beach early in the morning or later in the day when most people have gone home. I allow myself to breathe with the pace of the waves as I release all my stress, tension and worries. My Meditation Room - I have a small room in my home dedicated to silence and contemplation. It reminds me each day to let go of heaviness and breathe in light and love. 

Michelle Larson - Two things that remind me to quiet my mind and envelop myself in silence... The Ocean - sitting at the beach early in the morning or later in the day when most people have gone home. I allow myself to breathe with the pace of the waves as I release all my stress, tension and worries. My Meditation Room - I have a small room in my home dedicated to silence and contemplation. It reminds me each day to let go of heaviness and breathe in light and love. 

Julie Cimpko - For me, silence is sacred but very rare : ) A moment without any noise, without any distraction, to feel at peace. It reminds me of the feeling of being under water…quiet, slowly drifting with the sunlight beaming onto your back. 

Julie Cimpko - For me, silence is sacred but very rare : ) A moment without any noise, without any distraction, to feel at peace. It reminds me of the feeling of being under water…quiet, slowly drifting with the sunlight beaming onto your back. 

Chelsea Hipley - We live in such a fast paced world, silence seems to be forgotten. Always thinking about “what’s next” takes away from being in the moment. For me, taking time to be alone with my thoughts and being surrounded by nature is a cleansing. Really letting your thoughts just rest and be still. Silence is a wonderful thing to embrace. 

Chelsea Hipley - We live in such a fast paced world, silence seems to be forgotten. Always thinking about “what’s next” takes away from being in the moment. For me, taking time to be alone with my thoughts and being surrounded by nature is a cleansing. Really letting your thoughts just rest and be still. Silence is a wonderful thing to embrace. 

Madeline Lovejoy - Silence is the space inbetween:  it is the pause, the peace, the quiet, the stillness, a moment in between; it is the crushing deafness when someone dies, it is the pressure when someone holds their tongue instead of speak their mind; it is the undeniable relief when torment or suffering ends; it is the void of the cacophony of uttered words; it is the moment of anticipation.

Madeline Lovejoy - Silence is the space inbetween:  it is the pause, the peace, the quiet, the stillness, a moment in between; it is the crushing deafness when someone dies, it is the pressure when someone holds their tongue instead of speak their mind; it is the undeniable relief when torment or suffering ends; it is the void of the cacophony of uttered words; it is the moment of anticipation.

Susan Shepardson - I'm trying to tame my monkey mind by meditating more often. I love this quote by Caroline Myss, "The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”

Susan Shepardson - I'm trying to tame my monkey mind by meditating more often. I love this quote by Caroline Myss, "The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”

Wendy Hay - To be still. To be stopped in movement. To see behavior in your thought. To feel the simplicity around you. Silence. 

Wendy Hay - To be still. To be stopped in movement. To see behavior in your thought. To feel the simplicity around you. Silence. 

Word of the Week: COLOR

This week's word is COLOR. So interesting the meaning that colors can hold, the feelings one can feel when they are surrounded by a particular color. There is even a science to choosing color for the walls in a restaurant, ones that apparently make you feel more hungry; or in a spa, that bring a sense of calm. At The Larson Group we pay particular attention to the use of color... how it can bring everything together, or make a mess of things. There is a fine balance, but when you get it right, you know it.

Here are a few famous quotes about color...

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”  Oscar Wilde

“Love was a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.”  Paulo Coelho

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”  Pablo Picasso

Michelle Larson - In my work, my home, my wardrobe, even my garden... I have a tendency to stay away from a lot of color. If an ad we design has color, it will usually be monochromatic and elegant. This project was fun because it got me out of my color rut and had me embracing color, every color; mixed all together. It feels so full of energy and excitement!

Michelle Larson - In my work, my home, my wardrobe, even my garden... I have a tendency to stay away from a lot of color. If an ad we design has color, it will usually be monochromatic and elegant. This project was fun because it got me out of my color rut and had me embracing color, every color; mixed all together. It feels so full of energy and excitement!

Julie Cimpko - Growing up on the east coast, my relationship with color had always leaned towards neutrals/grays/blacks/muted tones…I’m sure influenced by my surroundings. Since I’ve lived on the west coast, I have found a renewed inspiration for color. I appreciate how fearless Californians are with color in their art, fashion, design, homes – they are not afraid of bright, warm, fiery, fresh. I love it.

Julie Cimpko - Growing up on the east coast, my relationship with color had always leaned towards neutrals/grays/blacks/muted tones…I’m sure influenced by my surroundings. Since I’ve lived on the west coast, I have found a renewed inspiration for color. I appreciate how fearless Californians are with color in their art, fashion, design, homes – they are not afraid of bright, warm, fiery, fresh. I love it.

Chelsea Hipley - I have always been drawn to color. It's so interesting how different colors evoke different emotions for different people. That is the fascinating thing about it. From neutrals to jewel tones to neons; there's always seems to be a color that speaks to someone. I haven't found a color that doesn't speak to me yet!

Chelsea Hipley - I have always been drawn to color. It's so interesting how different colors evoke different emotions for different people. That is the fascinating thing about it. From neutrals to jewel tones to neons; there's always seems to be a color that speaks to someone. I haven't found a color that doesn't speak to me yet!

Susan Shepardson - I love the color of turquoise. According to Indian Arts and Culture turquoise stands for water and for sky, for bountiful harvests, health and protection. Blue-green symbolizes creation and the hope for security and beauty.

Susan Shepardson - I love the color of turquoise. According to Indian Arts and Culture turquoise stands for water and for sky, for bountiful harvests, health and protection. Blue-green symbolizes creation and the hope for security and beauty.

Madeline Lovejoy - COLOR is perspective and expression; it can symbolize emotion, trigger memories, evoke sympathies. Painting was and is one if my favorite activities!  My re-creation of Kandinsky's Color Study Squares with Concentric Circles.

Madeline Lovejoy - COLOR is perspective and expression; it can symbolize emotion, trigger memories, evoke sympathies. Painting was and is one if my favorite activities!  My re-creation of Kandinsky's Color Study Squares with Concentric Circles.

WORD OF THE WEEK: WANDER

The word WANDER is one that, with eyes closed, can take you away from it all. Whether you imagine wandering through a lush forest, a warm sandy beach, or to an ancient city on the other side of the world; the word alone can send a magical wave of dreamy drifting right through you.

Wherever you WANDER, may all of your experiences take you to the places that bring you a sense of awe and amazement.

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost."  J.R.R. Tolkien

Michelle Larson - It's no secret that I love to travel. It's where I find the most value in the exchange of energy of what I earn and how I choose to spend.  I decided to write a poem that expresses my passion for WANDERing... which reminds me - I need to plan a trip : )

Michelle Larson - It's no secret that I love to travel. It's where I find the most value in the exchange of energy of what I earn and how I choose to spend.  I decided to write a poem that expresses my passion for WANDERing... which reminds me - I need to plan a trip : )

Julie Cimpko - I feel a deep desire to wander, to travel, to see and experience different things. It changes me in some way each and every time I'm away. It somehow makes me a better designer, artist, friend, sister...person. (Photo taken at Wanderlust Festival, North Shore, Oahu)

Julie Cimpko - I feel a deep desire to wander, to travel, to see and experience different things. It changes me in some way each and every time I'm away. It somehow makes me a better designer, artist, friend, sister...person. (Photo taken at Wanderlust Festival, North Shore, Oahu)

Chelsea Hipley - Don’t be afraid to wander with your heart wide open.

Chelsea Hipley - Don’t be afraid to wander with your heart wide open.

Susan Shepardson - Whether it's local or abroad, I love to wander. This is a note to self: wander more!  I definitely need to plan some travel and make more time to stroll the local beaches and hiking trails. Getting lost in an adventure is what I crave.

Susan Shepardson - Whether it's local or abroad, I love to wander. This is a note to self: wander more!  I definitely need to plan some travel and make more time to stroll the local beaches and hiking trails. Getting lost in an adventure is what I crave.