XO-LP // Laura Palmer


Love Letters to a New Year.

February's Favorites

I've often said I'm not a big fan of February. I love Valentine's Day, yes, but this short month always feels like it's the longest. Something about the extended winter and the slow business. But then here we are, in Iowa, with 60+ degree days and a pile of new XO-LP projects. February has felt might fine (and fleeting). 

Here's what I was loving in February:


MUJI Notebooks

MUJI is a Japanese brand known for minimal design and "no-brand" products. A bit like Ikea, MUJI offers affordable household goods, stationery, apparel and food stuffs. I first found MUJI (which means "no-brand quality goods" in Japanese) initially through my mom (always on the cutting edge, Mar). After a few trips to NYC and visits to the MUJI store(s): I quickly became hooked on their lil unlined notebooks. Blank covers leave room for me to customize my sketchbook and the small, thin books fit in all sizes of my handbags, from clutch to backpack. 

Not-so-official Holidays

National Margarita Day inspired a whole stack of illustrated limes and tequilas while Pizza Day produced a celebration of hand drawn pizza balloons. Then there's Mondays- they seem to produce some good work in the sketchbook as well. 


In addition to running her own kid clothing brand, Lot 801, Lindsay Isakson White offers up real life advice for makers and creative entrepreneurs. She's sharing her success as an online retailer with her readers and let me tell you- it's helpful. A few of my favorite finds from Lindsay's treasure troves of information: (1) Just why your email list is so important. And that your customers WANT to hear from you. (2) Remember Pitchfest? This post from Lindsay on a great pitch is a welcome addition to the pitch perfect advice. 

Missing Richard Simmons

I mean, Richard Simmons. How can you not be interested? The sassy, sequined fitness guru who got you sweatin' to the oldies was beloved by many middle Americans, like my sister Jen. So when "Missing Richard Simmons" popped up as a New and Noteworthy podcast, I had to check it out. And now, I am obsessed. I had no idea Richard Simmons was still teaching fitness classes up until 2014- when he basically fell off the face of the Earth. Dan, our Richard mission leader and host (as well as a friend of Richard's), is taking me on a captivating journey to find that curly-haired dazzling man. 

The Dip by Seth Godin

A little book packed with big questions, The Dip made for a great afternoon read and a bit of introspective thinking. Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do, sometimes sticking it out to be the very best is the only way to do it. "The Dip" according to Mr. Godin (who really writes some of my favorite words, like these 13,) is that spot to have to trudge through to go from mediocre to bad ass... you know that place where people who don't want to put in the work (the incredibly hard work) to be the very best drop out of the race. For anyone #goingsolo or just striving to be the very best in your field- I highly recommend this one. There's a "The Dip Manifesto" if you want the cliff notes version.  


I love a perfect glass of wine at the end of the day (and by "perfect" I currently mean it's red, in my house and tasty- I'm not too fussy.) But without my girl Abbe to guide me, I end up grabbing the same Pinot from the shelf or risking it and trying something new, just to realize that while I'll probably still sip on it, that risky wine choice is certainly not my favorite vino. I heard about Winc through one of the many podcasts I have on rotation and thought I'd check it out. Wine delivery- total plus. Free shipping on my first order- sign me up. Handy little quiz about what you like to eat to help select "recommended" wines- I'm all in. This month I particularly liked this not too fruity Red Blend and this Super Tuscan (with a comic book label!)

Little Barn Apothecary Coconut + Mint Cooling Mineral Body Mist

At 2:30pm, on the daily, I hit a slump. I'm worn out, sleepy and ready to binge watch Olivia Pope (I'm rewatching Scandal from the beginning. Seems oddly comforting during this crazy new presidency.) A spritz of the Coconut + Mint Cooling Mineral Body Mist wakes me up annnnd makes my tired skin smell great. Bonus: Kevin loves it too and we can get it at one of favorite local spots: Eden

What were your favorite finds in February?