Check-In Before 30, Brilliant Birthday Weekend, & A Map of Salt & Stars

Plant With Purpose Updates

Plant With Purpose Patches [1].JPG
Plant With Purpose Patches [2].JPG

Usually when things at Plant With Purpose get really, really busy, they also get really, really fun.

Right now is one of those times!

First of all, Earth Week was a hit. Our campaign raised over $65,000 which is all going to go towards environmental restoration efforts in the places where that is badly needed.

Second, our international directors are coming to San Diego. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know our partners from Haiti, Thailand, Tanzania, and other spots, and I always learn so much from my international colleagues. I’ll be hosting a Q&A panel with them at Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe a week from Thursday.

And there’s one other big announcement that I’ll be making next month. It’s something I’ve been working on especially hard the past few weeks and I can’t wait to share. I’ll probably need help getting the word out once it’s out there. Safe to say, it’s been one of my favorite work projects, and I’ve had a lot of fun ones.


Loose Leaf.JPG
The April Sessions [2].JPG
The April Sessions [4].JPG
The April Sessions [5].JPG
Early April Already [4].JPG
Early April Already [2].JPG

This past month has been brought to you by:

🐕 Dog friendly parks in the new neighborhood
👯‍♀️ Watching an ABBA tribute band only knowing three of their songs. (Also, discovering that emoji is totally ABBA)
🍚 Obsessing over the aesthetics of a rice sack and a very busy street corner, just because you’re so visually inclined 🇪🇹 Ethiopian food
🌮 More tacos
💛 The color yellow

It’s been a really wild month but here are some of the moments in between that stitch them together.


Colombiana [1].JPG

Announcement: there is way too much sugar in this drink! That’s not what I’m actually going to announce, but it’s true. I very rarely drink soda but I bought this one for the rad can design and to help me make my real announcement.

Real Announcement: In a couple weeks, I get to embark on my next international adventure. To Colombia!

Colombia’s been on my list for a long time! And those Insta-worthy shots of Cartagena make it look even more enticing, though that’s not where I’ll be. I’ll mostly be on the outskirts of Bogota.

I won’t be there very long, either. But I will be learning about how today’s coffee and cacao growers are using restorative farming to heal the wounds caused by yesterday’s wars. I’ll be meeting soldiers-turned-farmers and I can’t wait to hear their stories.

I’m already excited and I’m planning on capturing as many stories as possible during the short time I’m there.


Liberty Tree [4].JPG
Liberty Tree [2].JPG
Liberty Tree [1].JPG
Botanical Building [2].JPG
Botanical Building [4].JPG

Tonight I got to talk on a panel at UCSD, sharing about life at a nonprofit with International Studies students and answering questions.

I’ve gotten quite a few opportunities like this lately and most of the time I’m like, how did I end up here?

It seriously feels like I was so recently a student still trying to figure out how I could combine all my scattered interests to help people by working at a nonprofit. I remember going to a bunch of panels and meet and greets and lectures.

It also often feels like Iron Man 2 just came out and like all my favorite athletes aren’t actually now old retired dudes.

I have a lot of fun doing what I do day-to-day, and I do feel like I’ve picked up a few things over the years that could be helpful to share, but the main thing that feels worth sharing right now is to enjoy the ride at whatever part of it you happen to be at today.

Arriving isn’t really a thing. Enjoy where you’re at. Don’t overlook how much fun the present moment can be.


All the Way to the Bay [1].JPG
All the Way to the Bay [2].JPG
All the Way to the Bay [3].JPG

Last year, I made a list of everything I wanted to do before entering my thirties. And since I turn 2️⃣9️⃣ this weekend, it felt like a fitting time to revisit that checklist!

⚪️ I still haven’t been to all 50 states, but I did get to check off West Virginia last month. Only Wyoming and Alaska remain!

🔘 I did get to go to a music festival, hooray High Water!

⚪️ I still haven’t gotten a tattoo. I somehow managed to buy a house, which wasn’t on that list. But still no tat.

🔘 I did start boxing classes. I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

🔘 Student loans are so last year. Those are paid off!

⚪️ I listed 16 books I wanted to read. I read four of them.

⚪️ I bought plants. Most died during our move, so this item kinda got unchecked.

⚪️ I haven’t been to 45 countries, but Colombia this month will be my 44th!

⚪️ Still working on building a community around San Diego, but I think I did a much better job being present.

🔘 The last and most important item on the list was to simply be thankful. That’s a resounding CHECK!


A Map of Salt & Stars.JPG

The most important places on a map are the places we haven't been yet.

Can we just talk about how much I loved this novel? I think I can easily mark it as my favorite read so far this year. It was one of the most creative ways I’ve seen someone tell the story of Syria’s heartbreak in a way that still captures its beauty, traditions, and strength.

The book switches tracks between two stories. A young girl who moved back to Syria from New York after her dad died, and the hero of a story he used to tell her. In that story, a girl disguised herself to accompany a mapmaker on a journey from the Middle East across Northern Africa.

Of all the nuggets of beauty in these pages, here’s one I’m especially fond of: “Safety is not about never having bad things happen to you. It's about knowing that the bad things can't separate us from each other.”


Brilliant Birthday Weekend [1].JPG
Brilliant Birthday Weekend [3].JPG
Brilliant Birthday Weekend [4].JPG
Brilliant Birthday Weekend [6].JPG
Brilliant Birthday Weekend [7].JPG
Brilliant Birthday Weekend [5].JPG
Brilliant Birthday Weekend [8].JPG

Bandit is such a personality in those shades.

So my birthday just started but I’ve kind of been celebrating for a week straight thanks to a steady stream of visitors. Here’s an odd confession: I love my birthday and hate planning it.

Deep down I’m a people person and I love having the excuse to round up people and to do something fun.

But also, it feels weird to ask people to celebrate myself. And I tend to do a lot of activity planning in my daily life. And I’m at a point in life where it takes moving heaven and earth to get three people’s schedules to line up.

So the best treat for me is getting to celebrate but being totally hands off and in the dark about what’s going to happen.

Deanna has been doing a phenomenal job of pulling together a bunch of great people and planning fun stuff. And I don’t even know what she has thought up for today! She’s amazing at helping me feel appreciated.

Philippe Lazaro