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#335 California Adventure

01 December 2018 // Anaheim, California

First time at California Adventures this weekend. It was like Chill Disneyland, and with some surprisingly pretty good food.


#336 The Pool House

02 December 2018 // Villa Park, California

I’m Philippe and I like a LOT of things. It doesn’t take much to spark my curiosity or to make something seem fun to me. Last week, I did jury duty and kept on imagining my life if I pursued a career as a lawyer.

Early on, though, I realized there were three things I knew I really wanted to have play big roles in my life: I wanted to go international pretty frequently and to learn from different cultures. I wanted to do work that helped people, confronted injustice, and looked for solutions. I also wanted to put my creativity and storytelling to good use. Most of what I post comes from the crossroads of these three things. 

I wanted to find a way to dive deep into these interests every day. A career that merged these things was my dream, but I was always willing to do something else to pay the bills if it enabled me to pursue these things in some other way. Thankfully, two years ago I found a spot on the @plantwpurpose team as Creative Director. The role was perfectly in the center of these three big passions. Plus it allowed me further opportunities to explore them in different ways. I think I’ve done so much learning recently as a designer, storyteller, nonprofit practitioner, and conscious traveler.

If you have a bunch of interests but connecting the dots seems hard, don’t give up on them. The things you put your heart into keep coming back around.


#337 Waiting for Tacos

03 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Next year, I’m making a mega bracket to see who has the best tacos in San Diego, and doing all the taste tests myself.


#338 Downtown Trolleys

04 December 2018 // San Diego, California

I get to take the trolley downtown every day this week. It’s everything I’ve always dreamed of for my daily commute. Please expand this service, San Diego!


#339 Jury Service

05 December 2018 // San Diego, California

I spent almost all of last week serving on a jury. I think people typically think of jury duty as a big bummer- and having to be away from work for a week or more is inconvenient more often than not- but in all honesty I had a lot of fun!

I learned a TON. Here are a few things I’m more aware of now than I was a week ago:

• San Diego is so much prettier when it rains.

• The extent that people will go to get themselves excused during jury selection is oftentimes hilarious.

• Being able to use public transport as my daily commute really is a dream.

• Our justice system has a TON of room for improvement and some glaring areas of inequality. But the most direct way to making things better is with everybody playing their role as best as possible public defenders and jurors and witnesses and judges and prosecutors.

Back to the day job this week. It’ll probably be a little while but I’ll actually be kind of excited the next time a jury summons shows up in the mail.


#340 Finest City

06 December 2018 // San Diego, California

This block of downtown has all the good food. I’m into it.


#341 This is a Sanctuary

07 December 2018 // San Diego, California

So much admiration for people working to make life better for those who have been forced to leave their homes.


#342 RCTID

08 December 2018 // San Diego, California

This weekend is truly a fantastic one for my inner futbol fanatic. My Timbers in the MLS Cup right this minute and my Boca Juniors in the rescheduled, relocated Madrid Superclasico tomorrow.

Honestly, Atlanta Utd. is a really good and exciting team and I’m impressed with how great of a fan base that city has turned out to be in only a few short years.

Having said that, when I root, I root for the Timbers. Let’s get this MLS Cup. Should be a good one.

POSTGAME: Bummer. Never want to lose, but ATL was a worthy opponent to lose to. Great soccer city. Congrats! Now come on Boca and help me finish this weekend 1-1 as a fan.

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#343 Christmas Party week

09 December 2018 // San Diego, California

I think we just might have a party of some sort lined up for every night of this week. Gotta love Christmastime.

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#344 An American Marriage

10 December 2018 // San Diego, California

“But home isn't where you land; home is where you launch. You can't pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land.”

–Tayari Jones

What a read. I can see why An American Marriage is popping up on so many Best of 2018 lists. There were quite a few moments where I just had to stop and admire the way a paragraph was written or how a sentence was phrased.

This novel itself had a straightforward story- one that’s pretty hard to take in, even with good prose. A wrongful conviction, years in prison, and a marriage that gets interrupted all lead you to feel for each character, even when they’re in conflict.

Thankful for good writing and all it adds to our world.

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#345 Imperfect Produce

11 December 2018 // San Diego, California

One of the best decisions we made this year was signing up for Imperfect Produce. One thing that always pains me is food waste. I do everything I can to keep the food at home that doesn’t get used to a bare minimum. Still, lots of supermarkets toss out plenty of good food just because it won’t look “attractive” on a shelf.

Imperfect Produce buys those rejects and we get a delivery of them every two weeks. We can choose desired fruits and veggies, and our shipment gives us just about all the produce we need. It’s only about $17 for two weeks, which ends up being less than what we’d pay for veggies over two weeks.

Just off two deliveries, we’ve been able to make a roast, some gumbo, mashed potatoes- and we’ve been feasting on pears and pomegranates for dessert. I’m a fan.

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#346 Fast Food

12 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Some nights things in the kitchen don’t go as planned. For those nights, there’s always In N Out.

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#347 Dino’s Taverna

13 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Staff Christmas party tonight. Love this team.

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#348 Wine Table

14 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Really impressed by this wine table at the church’s deacon party.

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#349 Posada Sin Fronteras

15 December 2018 // San Diego, California

The Posada is an advent reflection on the journey that Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem, and the rejection they received from innkeepers and homeowners. For 25 years, different faith communities have gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border to worship from both sides.

Worshipping across a border is a reminder that our identity as people of God is much bigger than our national identity. It’s also a visual reminder that many people today are in a similar position to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph– forced to flee their homes to find safety and security. It’s a reminder of the duty of Christians to care for immigrants as if they were our own family.

I got to join a number of clergy members and worshippers at Friendship Park. A larger group gathered on the Mexico side. We sung, worshipped, and exchanged blessings in English and Spanish. We stopped to listen to the names of migrants killed during their journey this year being read.

We also performed the Posada song- a call-and-response song where one part sings the lines of Joseph seeking for shelter, and another sings the part of the innkeeper. The gathering in Mexico did the former, while the U.S.’ side responded as the innkeeper. Singing lines like “I cannot open, you may be bad people” while facing south was bitter, and a reminder that when we deny the most vulnerable, we are denying Christ.

The day ended on a lighter note- bubbles being blown across the border. (Usually there would be candy and tamales passed across, but they were a little stricter this year.) I’m so thankful I got to be part of this ceremony, hopefully for the first of many times.

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#350 National Parks Checklist

16 December 2018 // San Diego, California

One of my key goals for next year is to get outside more often. Here’s to some things that keep me dreaming.

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#351 Dream Dinners

17 December 2018 // Encinitas, California

Got the chance to try a free sample of Dream Dinners. That was different.

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#352 Pizza Port Meetup

18 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Started our new group with a Pizza Port hangout.

#353 Lit Dog

19 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Merry Christmas, from our filthy animal to yours.

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#354 Cookie Boss

20 December 2018 // San Diego, California

My boss in cookie form.

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#355 The Wonder

21 December 2018 // San Diego, California

“Your body - every body is a marvel. A wonder of creation. [...] The day you first opened your eyes, Anna, God asked just one thing: that you live.” 

–Emma Donoghue

I absolutely devoured this book. I think I read right through it in just two or three sittings. And it was quite the read.

For about the whole first half of the book- I was pretty confused by where the plot was going. The story centered on a young Irish girl who claimed to no longer need food in order to live because she was being sustained by God. Hoping to claim the event as a miracle, her parents hire a nurse to observe her round the clock to make sure she isn’t eating. The nurse is initially baffled by how the girl really is holding together without food, but then a bunch of plot twists kick in all at once, setting up the dramatic second half.

Emma Donoghue is probably best known for writing Room, and this book is set in quite a different place and time, but there are still a lot of similarities in how the story is told. I really liked it.

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#356 Downtown La Mesa

22 December 2018 // La Mesa, California

Trying to spend some more time in neighborhoods where we don’t hang out often enough. Here’s to La Mesa.

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#357 Legit Giraffe

23 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Last year’s Christmas gift just keeps on giving. Lovely little date night at the zoo.

#358 Christmas Eve at PLCPC

24 December 2018 // San Diego, California

This whole month has been a pretty steady stream of Christmas parties and mixers and ridiculousness. They’ve been fun, but I also feel like I’ve just been coasting- letting myself be picked up by the ride and dropped off at January’s doorstep. Every now and then, though, I’ve been surprised by small moments that help me feel a bit more grounded. A good talk at work. La Posada Sin Fronteras. And tonight.

I was so cozy snacking away at my family’s nochebuena that I almost forgot about our church’s Christmas Eve stuff. We were driving home when I remembered it was starting right now. We made it only five minutes behind the start. A team of so many people got creative with candles and projectors and stage lights to craft a beautiful homily on hope, and we ended it outside the church, singing on the street corners.

Tonight I’m reminded of two things:

If you and your spouse/significant other are working together, you two will have a clear advantage over singles in a white elephant exchange.

With time, simpler things get more and more beautiful.

#359 Christmas 18

25 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Sweet, simple Christmas.

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#360 An’s Gelato

26 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Awesome ramen double date with Miguel & Priscilla ends in the perfect spot.

#361 Pond Break

27 December 2018 // San Diego, California

I love that weird week in between Christmas and New Year when nobody seems to know what to do.

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#362 Paid Off

28 December 2018 // San Diego, California

This month two years ago, I finished up grad school at Oregon.

This week I got to finish paying for that experience. 🙌🏾

One of our big goals was to get our student loans paid off as quickly as possible, and for some months that meant throwing almost a third of a paycheck at it. That strategy paid off- we paid very little interest and are now free to save for other dreams.

Of all the things I’m leaving behind in 2018, I’m glad student debt can be one of them.

#363 Coffee on Adams

29 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Coffee shops while she studies and I get a head start on all those books I want to read next year.

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#364 Trails With Beignet

30 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Oh hey 2019. You look good as a big, wide-open trail.

After everything last year taught me, I believe more strongly than ever that hope isn’t optimism. They’re both good things, but if you’ve got to choose one, choose hope. It has little to do with the way you feel and everything to do with the decision to keep going. To keep trusting.

Compared to previous years, I have very few set plans for the next 52 weeks. I’m relearning how to be open, how to hold things loosely and how to receive the unexpected. Thanks for hangin’!

#365 Mt. Soledad Workout

31 December 2018 // San Diego, California

Ended my year by getting up for a 6:30 AM workout with The November Project over at the Mount Soledad Memorial.

Philippe Lazaro