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If you find yourself here and disappointed Chicktime doesn’t have volunteer activities you are in a good place to explore the idea of building a team and re-launching the chapter! The children miss our workshops and we feel the call to find a new leadership team to continue the legacy started there. The children have faced many hardships and Chicktime workshops offer them hope and encouragement and of course lots of love and laughter.    

If you have a heart for children and/or  if you have supported Chicktime from the sidelines and want to do more….now is the time to act! We will give you all the training you need and help you transition into the leadership role.  

Please contact, Lori Rhodes, Chicktime Founder, at info@chicktime.com for more information. Feel free to look up chicktime.com and find out more about being a leader Chicktime leader. 

Come be blessed by being a blessing!

The Chicktime San Diego Leadership Team dropped off supplies for Rootbeer Floats, 4th of July bingo and prizes too!

Loving from a distance…


May/June Update:

We can’t have face to face workshops right now….

But who says we can’t love our girls at Casa De Amparo from a distance!!

Chicktime San Diego showing love despite the pandemic!


February Update:

The girls Loved each moment of this workshop.

Who doesn’t love something sweet. It was something special to bring our hearts to our girls and engage with them in making sugar cookies, v-day popcorn bags, chocolate dipped strawberries, and raspberry and chocolate mouse cups.

There is nothing better than these special moments at our events really bringing joy to our girls. Please come and join us celebrate next month for a green themed St. Patty’s celebration.

January Update:

We welcomed the new year at Casa De Amparo with dream boards.

Inspiring the girls to set their intentions, hopes and goals, through planning and the art of collage delivered them to dream without fear.

We pray that these girls have no imagining everything that God has put in their hearts to desire and fulfilling that with purpose and action.

December Update:

We had an amazing Christmas celebration! Sharing traditions with our girls brightened their day and started off their Christmas season with joy and cheer. Decorating hot coco ornaments, playing a rendition of Christmas gift exchange, a raffle and inspiring gifts for the girls tangibly blessed the girls but their spirits were lifted up through connecting and sharing our love and joy. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

We are looking forward to the New year with our Vision board workshop in January.

November Update:

God is so good. This was such an amazing. Event with the girls full of connection, laughter and fun. There is nothing like sharing something that brings you joy with another.

We taught one of the girls how to play Spoons, the card game. At first she had to get pass the learning curve, but after that we kept playing round after round. The same joy that it brought me, blossomed in her. This is what Chicktime is all about. Come share something that brings you JOY .

Even through a small card game you can bring a memory of Joy for a teen who is need of these kind of memories <3

October Update:

Sharing Dias de Los Muerts with the girls was amazing!

oct pic 2

Remembering our lost loved ones on the alter and celebrating the day with a piñata, nachos, face painting, and a super cool lantern craft provided connection with our girls  and a whole lot of fun for everyone.

Please come out and join us for the next month.

We will be sharing the love of Thanksgiving through playing games and sharing some delicious dessert. 

September Update:

What an event! Thank you Jen for sharing your passion for health with us.

We are God’s masterpiece. He created us to do good things he planned for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Without a healthy mind or body we would be unable to fulfill our destiny. Its our duty to take care of our bodies and minds so we can not only flourish in our own life, but show the next generation how to live a vibrant, valued existence. Growing up without guidance, or a misguidance as the youth we work with, have negative ramifications on their well being. It was Chicktime’s privilege to share with the girls some nutritious healthy treats and wisdom that can help them maintain good health.

Please come join us for our October event! We will be sharing the love and celebration for Halloween.

August Update:

Splashing our way in summer fun! Our event was a good time under the August sun.

As hot as it was, we were blessed with a strong breeze, water balloons, squirt guns, and refreshing Italian ice!

Sharing our love for keeping cool and having a blast in the summer heat was the best. This is what the season is all about. We hope you can come enjoy us serving the girls next month while we focus on health with a game of health jeopardy.

July Update:

We had an amazing time sharing our passion of giving back with the girls at Casa de Amparo through making blankets for Project Linus.

Serving others produces abundant joy and purposeful lives that lets us live outside ourselves; our issues, and circumstances. It transports our hearts, minds and souls into a state of peace, gratitude and joy.

This is what we do every second Saturday of the month. Please come join us in giving back at our August Event! We will be sharing our love for summer fun.

June Update:

What is better than Tacos and Succulents? Melissa Fuentes did an amazing job sharing her love of plants with the girls.

They loved decorating their pots and planting their succulents and of course enjoying tacos provided by Cafe Coyote where San Diego goes to Howl!

Chicktime San Diego is so blessed to have such an amazing group of ladies that have generosity and love for these girls. Every time we show up, serve a helping of food or drink, or share a kind word or wisdom with these girls at Casa de Amparo, a difference is made.

Come make a difference with us next month! we will be making fleece tie blankets for Project Linus in the aim to share our passion of giving back.

May Update:

What is more beautiful than flowers? Janet provided a gorgeous selection for the girls to arrange into stunning bouquets.

The girls not only left with a beautiful arrangement, but a connection. It was such a special thing to witness the love flowing through our own passions of creating beauty and showing the girls how to assemble their flowers.

Happiness and joy radiated in the room and left with the girls.

It is what Chicktime San Diego aims to do; provide the experience of connection, love, joy, grace and peace through sharing our passions.

Please come join us next month for succulent plant decorations. We would love to have you there!

April Update:

Our April workshop was such an amazing event.

Making tissue paper flowers brightened up our days and opened our souls to the beauty around us and that is inside of us.. They came out absolutely beautiful and were so therapeutic for the girls to make. No matter what you are going through there is always room to blossom out of a bad situation or feeling.

We can transfer our unfavorable circumstances into choices of making the beauty out of ashes through renewing our minds in the word to align with God’s truth of truly who he made you to be and the life he has for you to live.

Please come join us next month for the art of flower arrangement and share your love with the girls at Casa de Amparo.

We can’t wait to see you then!

March update:

This was one groovy event!

We threw up our deuces and tuned into love for this far out Chicktime.

While Shirley lead us in some boss button bracelet making and other fab love promoting crafts, we jammed to some stellar tunes man and had a gas, celebrating the passion of peace and love with the girls at Casa.

We jammed to some stellar tunes man and had a gas, celebrating the passion of peace and love with the girls at Casa.

Don’t be square and come and join us next event in April!

February Update:

We were all about positive affirmations, beautiful flowers, sweet treats, and delicious crepes this event! It was a time of reflection for loving yourself and others how God loves us all. There is no comparison to how much God loves us, but to strive to liberate from our brokenness and love like he does was what we shared with the girls at Casa.

As mother Theresa said, …Let know one ever come to you leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, and kindness in your warm greeting.” This is how we aim to serve to show these girls the love from God. I know we all fall short of this at times of anger, frustration, and pain. These girls know this place oh too well, but I pray for their freedom in Christ and for all of us to bring our burdens, sins, and past hurts, so we can be healed to forgive, love fully, and brake the generational curses that linger in our lineages.

Checking our hearts regularly allows us to be the light God calls us to be. <3 We welcome any ladies who want to come share their light next month at our next Groovy event in March!

January Update:

Welcoming the new year with a Bang!

So much love our Chicktime chapter shares each month…

And there is always room for more!

Our dreamboard workshop was a blast and a wonderful way to start 2019!

Come join the fun!

December Update:

December is just what they say it is…



Our workshop was perfect. Lots of good people, good food and good fun!

Merry Christmas All!

November Update:

Chicktime San Diego is just plain grateful!


Grateful for the opportunity to serve together~

Grateful for friendships~

Grateful for laughter~

Grateful for Casa de Amparo!!


October Update:

Our October workshop was perfect.

Halloween Fun at it’s best.

Spooky snacks!

Costume fun….

and Dia De Los Muertos crafts!!


Our Chicktime volunteers had fun getting together for our annual brunch and planned out the next few events! Glad our calendar for 2019 is filled! ????

September Update:

Chocolate has replaced diamonds as a girls best friend!

What a Yummy good time!

And how fun to share such wisdom with the girls  that life is like a box of chocolates! We included the print out in our pictures for you incase you need the reminder!

Be blessed and we will see you next month!

August Update:

Thank you to everyone who came out to play at Chicktime this month!

Our Bash is going to have lots of water activities….water balloons, water hockey and such!

It’s going to be a WET and WILD time! So dress appropriately!

July Update:

Our July workshop was a dream come true!

Volunteers and more volunteers came out~

And glue guns and ribbon and flowers  were out in true fashion!

And personal dream catchers were made!

Lots of fun and laughs made for a beautiful time together!

And our bond with the girls continues to grow…

And what’s a workshop without food…

We hope you will join us next month.

The girls need US!

June Update:

This month the girls enjoyed a Mexican fiesta and creating and decorating paper flowers!

Of course the volunteers joined in on the fun!

May Update:

Our day in Paris was spectacular!!

We had Parisian delicacies….


We also had Eiffel Tower building contest and fashion glasses…

We had an amazing time sharing the culture of Paris with the girls at Casa de Amparo!

Everything was ouh-la la!!

April Update:

Chicktime April Workshop was uplifting and the reason why we come back every month!

We decorated rocks with positive messages in hopes that the messages would be resonate in the hearts of the girls we serve.

We had a lovely meal together that gives us the opportunity to listen and to encourage.

People from all over the world sent notes of inspiration and kindness to our girls at Casa.

Humbling and amazing.

Join us next month! We’ll be here!

March Update:

We had a fun event filling up on donuts and playing some trivia and enjoying chili on a one of kind rainy day in San Diego. It was a perfect Chicktime filled with laughter, love and connection. We are looking forward to rock painting with the girls in April.

February Update:

 Chicktime San Diego February workshop was LOVEly!!

We celebrated love and friendship with sweets, games and decorating cookies.

We know we are changing lives by using our passions to share with the girls at Casa de Amparo!

We would love to have you join us in our mission!

January Update:

Chicktime this month was full of celebrations and dreams!

On the one hand, we celebrated the upcoming arrival of our new “chick”…Baby Jade with great food and fellowship!

And on the other hand, we got crafty to build our “Dream Boards”!

It’s such an honor to share and celebrate life with these sweet girls and to help them Dream BIG! It’s the whole reason we keep coming back every month….

To make sure they know we are all in this together and to let them know that no dream is to big !

Join us next month. We would love you to be part of making a difference in the world…one child at a time!

December Update:

Merry Christmas from Chicktime San Diego!

What a joy it is to come together once a month to hang out with such awesome girls that live at Casa De Amparo!

It is our desire in 2018 to continue our legacy here and we hope you will join us! If the girls can feel love and hope through our workshops then we will keep coming back!

November Update:

This group of fabulous “Chicks” showed up to our November workshop to serve, encourage, and love the girls at

Casa de Amparo!

They showed those three things by setting a beautiful dinner table, decorating a delectable dessert and beverage

 table, and preparing a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal to share……

…And by setting an environment for sweet conversation and laughter.

Chicktime San Diego would love for you to join us next month as we celebrate Christmas together!!


2017 Nov Invite - Volunteers_3

Think of the person you love the most. You would do anything for them. They may hurt your feelings at times, but they’re worth it. I love my niece and nephew to the deepest levels (without having kids of my own), where there just doesn’t seem to be the right words to describe it. Their giggles and innocence and learning eyes make my heart melt. I completely enjoy spending time with them and watching them grow. I am proud when they learn something new and have that “aha” moment. The other day my nephew received an award at school for being kind, hardworking and helpful to others. He is in kindergarten! My heart swells and my eyes get teary when I think of how proud I am of him and my sister (his mother). I may be biased but let me tell you, I know he is on the path to greatness. Those kids may make mistakes, but I will love them and help them through it all. It’s like my niece who is learning to walk- she may fall but she will keep getting back up to try again!

Just like that love, you are loved.

You truly are.

Think of how far you have come- how many times you may have fallen, just to get back up again. You are inevitably meant to be here. God loves you, whether you believe in Him or not. And he will always love you and be there for you. Sometimes He sends angels down to do his work. I suppose sometimes they are in the form of aunties. J Or friends. Or teachers. Who have you been blessed by?

I hope you see where I am going with this. The girls at Casa also need little angels sometimes. Chicktime is a way to be their angel. Come join us in November to have a Thanksgiving feast and help the girls feel special and loved. They may be going through a hard time or phase in life but just like you, they are loved too. Join us to give thanks for all the blessings we have and give our time and love to the Casa girls on 11/11 at 11:15am.

October 2017 Invite - Volunteers_2

Halloween will be here in no time this year! But how did the Halloween holiday get its roots?

Halloween started as an ancient festival where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to keep roaming ghosts away. Later, November 1 (the day after Halloween) was declared “All Saints Day,” where people would honor saints and martyrs. All Hallows Eve was the day before, and eventually it became known as Halloween. Today, the holiday is a community event for kids to trick-or-treat and enjoy activities in costume!

I personally stopped celebrating this holiday when I was an older kid and it wasn’t appropriate to trick or treat anymore. In college, my peers wanted to party and wear costumes but I was never interested in joining them. In fact, in college I didn’t spend much time with kids or doing kid-things at all. When I moved home after college, I still didn’t have many kids in my life. However when my sister got pregnant with her first child, I decided I wanted to be a part of their life. I didn’t know how to relate to kids anymore, I seemed to have lost touch with them. That’s when I started volunteering to get used to interacting with kids and start being a kid again. When Halloween came around, my nephew was too scared to go alone. I dressed up with him and held his hand so he would gain confidence (and not trip!) going house to house with his bucket. It’s now one of my favorite holidays, to go trick or treating with him and dress up to compliment the costume he picks out. Last year we were superheros, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with this year. The last I heard he was thinking of being pizza!

The girls at Casa are also kids. They are at that in-between stage where they are probably too old to go trick or treating, but we can still play games and celebrate and be kids with them! Won’t you join us to give the girls something to smile about this holiday? We will be doing face painting and enjoying some spooky Halloween food! The event is 10/14, please contact Andrea at magm1684@gmail.com by 10/7 to RSVP.



September 2017 Invite - Volunteers_2

Friends can be in your lifetime for a short time, a season, or a lifetime. Sometimes friends surprise you and stay in your life longer than you anticipated. Take that friend you met in grade school and you still keep in touch. That wasn’t supposed to happen, but isn’t it wonderful that it did? Or that friend that moved away and you keep in touch that long-distance way, where you talk a few times a year and barely see each other but when you do, it’s like no time has been lost. Aren’t friends great?

I’ve had some great friends really be supportive of me lately. They tend to do that even when you don’t know you need them to. They may ask to go to dinner or simply go for a walk somewhere. You talk about things that aren’t too important, vent about things that you are making more important than they need to be, and go through all the fun of life together. When I go home after having a relaxing meal or stroll with a friend, I always walk a little lighter and feel a lot better. I know it can be a lot of work to have friends; you have to schedule it, set aside time and be there for them when you are sometimes busy yourself. But when you think back in life you think of all the memories you have made. Usually the memories you treasure most are made with friends.

I have found some great friends through Chicktime. Being around like-minded people who volunteer with kids and genuinely want to make the world a better place has helped me focus on what is important. Their energy and passion is contagious! We would love to see you again at Chicktime, or if you’ve never been, we have room in our hearts and our group for new friends too. I hope to see you at the next event on September 9 where we will have a Mexican fiesta and get crafty!

Your friend,


July 2017 event- volunteers_2

This month I am showcasing Phoenix’s beautiful story of her journey through Chicktime. I hope you are just as moved by her experiences and thoughts as I am!

Phoenix’s Story: The Arena

Chicktime’s 2013 annual retreat was held on a humid summer weekend at the Purple Sage Ranch in San Antonio Texas. It was my first retreat and the same year Chicktime San Diego was established. As a new founding leader, nervousness was trickling through me, but I knew on this weekend my life was never going to be the same.

Our god fearing, gracious, beautiful, amazing founder Lori Rhodes has a presence that calms you when she walks into the room. Warmth and love radiate to those around her, which is why we had 50 leaders from across the Unites States sitting in the conference room to learn to lead the way she leads. What we were about to hear would transcend us to parts of ourselves that we keep hidden. It’s where shame, rejection, and fear reside. The topic up front was “vulnerability”. For the entire weekend we learned through Brene Brown’s painful deep dive into her own imperfections, how to embrace them, and live authentically.  Boy was I in trouble!

Through all the sharing of stories, fears and imperfections I sat in a corner of pride, unable to move in the search of my worthiness. In the past I would dilute the pain by escaping through numbing agents to sooth the blistering self-doubt emanating from shame of not being enough. The funny thing about numbing the negative emotions, is that you also sedate the positive ones. Right then and there, the areas where I needed to step up and become a better person, the ones I rather not face, were alive, activated and present. At the end of our last workshop we had an opportunity to dance. As I sat there with my hands in my lap, fixated gaze on the openness around me, I stuck to my chair, glued by my stubbornness of not allowing myself to be authentically imperfect.

A couple years passed and our 2015 August Event was about sharing the passion of music, dancing and singing. It was an amazing event with DJ GraiiKJ spinning and karaoke wailing out by the girls and volunteers. Little did I know that same feeling of fear, shame, insecurity and rejection would visit me at this event. I had a decision to make- I could continue to be trapped inside a shell of fear, or I could finally be brave and vulnerable and step up to be seen in a purpose of showing these girls the beauty of self-expression. That day I chose courage.

We all have imperfections. Hiding them may be our first inclination, but I encourage you to share them with others.  This is what the Chicktime experience provides; a chance for you to serve a next generation of girls and women who desperately need to know the truth about embracing their imperfections and letting go of shame to live an authentic life filled of love, worthiness and value.

Be that compassionate woman to show them their value through knowing yours.

Join The Chicktime Movement. Find belonging, purpose and vulnerability through a chapter near you, or start your own. You never know what will happen if you step up in the arena.

(The biggest thing I have taken away from this is that God shows us our arenas of where we need to step up through experiences, people and wisdom. No matter what those hindering imperfections are that stops us from feeling worthy of growing, he gives us grace to help us see our identities through him, so we can be renewed with a different perception of love and compassion for ourselves and others. The human condition is to be flawed. In the end what matters is just being honest with who you are.)


Change the world
Quote by Steve Jobs
July 2017 Invite - Volunteers_2

Do you ever look at the world we’re living in and think about its impact on our children? With reality shows that teach children lessons they shouldn’t be learning, role models who glorify unrealistic futures, school cultures where children strive to fit and are willing to sacrifice everything to do it. It paints a grim picture. I don’t know about you, but my heart breaks for these children, especially the ones who’ve been betrayed or neglected by the ones who should love them most.

I’ve always believed in giving back, and serving others. It’s how I find purpose and meaning in life.  I found ways to do that in my church.  But after a while it wasn’t enough for me.  I started to feel a little lost – like I was just going through motions – that I was supposed to be somewhere else. My heart kept crying for the needs out there – the needs of the children that aren’t being reached – who have nobody. I was being called, I just didn’t know where. Then somebody told me about Chicktime.

It only took one event for me to fall in love with the Chicktime movement – the idea of connecting the gifts and passions of women with the children who need them most.  It’s hard to explain, but from the very first event I could feel the energy and the spirit of people who were truly determined to change the next generation through small simple acts of service.

What I love about Chicktime is that it’s not complicated. You can step right in and help. These children don’t need fancy, they just need you. To sit with them. Listen to them. Play with them. To help them find purpose and belonging again. To show them that there will be people who will love them.  The children in these group homes need to know that there are women who will love them without being paid for it.

I thought I went into Chicktime to serve, but it was kind of the opposite. Being with those children has changed my life. I have found purpose and meaning – in the eyes of a shy child’s smile of joy because I simply offered to read her a book.

I still worry about the future for our children. That hasn’t changed. But now….I’m doing something about it. If you think bringing hope to just one child doesn’t mean much – then let me show you somebody who doesn’t have any.

If you feel that same urgent need to do something. If you feel that tug on your heart that you need something more.  Or if you know exactly what it feels like to have nobody to love you. Then maybe it’s time you join the Chicktime movement. Because you may be the only hope that child sees.

Please email Joann at joann.vanort@gmail.com if you would like to join us and share your gifts with the ones who need it most. I promise, it will change your life.

All my love,



June 2017 Invite - Volunteers_3


Welcome to the beginning of Summer! This is a great time of year for San Diego. People who live in other parts of the country (or world) save their money all year to vacation here. We are so spoiled because we get to live here year round! I feel so blessed when I think of that. Summertime in San Diego also means beach and swimsuit season. With that, people are thinking of ways to shed that “winter weight” (remember that yummy comfort food from rainy days). You may be in a similar place, wanting to lose weight or just increase your energy level. Whatever the case, be intentional about doing it healthfully; learn your body, exercise and reduce your stress level.

A few years ago I tried a cleanse for the first time where I eliminated dairy, wheat, processed sugars and caffeine for one full week. It was really hard- the first three days I was irritable and hungry with cravings almost all day. After the third day everything seemed to shift; my natural energy level increased, I didn’t feel bloated and the cravings were going away. By the end of the week I felt so much better, and I didn’t even want to eat some of the unhealthy foods I used to enjoy daily, like my Starbucks habit. I reintroduced each of the eliminated food groups one per day. The day I re-introduced dairy I felt something like a rock in my stomach; I never realized it had always been there, but when it came back I realized it is because of that food! I have never been tested for lactose intolerance but I am now a firm believer that most people have at least a mild intolerance to dairy. I did some research with this new knowledge and learned our bodies aren’t designed to have milk and cheese and yogurt as adults, but our society loves dairy so it is in almost everything. I’m not perfect and I definitely love pizza and ice cream every once in a while. BUT if I have a big day ahead I know not to start my day with a big bowl of cereal with milk and a yogurt. Learn your body!

Another key to losing weight is exercise, of course. I enjoy exercise to a slightly crazy level but that doesn’t mean I am exercising effectively. Last month at Chicktime one of the other volunteers reminded me of something critical; you can’t just run at a constant pace for a long time, it makes you hungry and tired but doesn’t necessarily burn calories. Instead, you have to really push yourself by increasing your heart rate and trying to get better or faster. It was a great reminder for me because I often give myself credit just for “showing up” to the gym and going through the motions. That may be good if you are just getting into the gym to start healthy habits, but if you have goals you need to push it! If you are lifting weights try heavier, if you enjoy classes try new ones, or if you are in a rut try a new kind of exercise! There are so many options where you can work different kinds of muscle groups. The whole point of exercise is to try your best and work your muscles effectively.

The last way I’ll mention to get ready for summer is to reduce your stress level. You may need to sleep more. Do you wake up exhausted? Make it a priority to give yourself the rest you need! Do you get stressed out in traffic or at work? How can you change your attitude or eliminate some of that stress? Try podcasts or happy music or finding an alternative route home from work. You can also plan to have “me” time on the weekends to regroup and mentally prepare for whatever is next. Focus your energy on the right things and you’ll be ready to calmly work through whatever comes your way. Reducing your stress level can also increase your energy level, reduce your weight and improve your overall health.

Once your energy level is back in check and your stress is low, summertime is sure to be a blast as it’s meant to be! Another way to enjoy your summer is to join us at Chicktime! In June we will be taking photographs of (or with) the girls at Casa, and decorating picture frames to accompany them. We will also have lunch, as usual. Please RSVP to Lisa at lisa_mcspadden@premierinc.com by 6/3 if you are going to join. It should be a great event!



May 2017 Invite - Volunteers_2

In order to be the best version of yourself, you need to be purposeful of who you choose to surround yourself with. Be conscientious of your spouse, friends and co-workers. You see them all the time and they have a huge impact on you and how you see the world.

Your spouse will be the most impactful single person in your life. Ruben Navarrette had a great quote in a commencement speech in 2013 (when I graduated college). He said

“For those of you who choose, or are able, to get married — and hopefully, one day, all of you will be — who you decide to marry will go a long way toward determining your success. It’s more important than degrees from fancy schools. People can either lift you up, or bring you down. Choose well.”

This is not to say your spouse needs to be the person to make you happy- you are the only person that can truly make you happy. You have to be happy on your own. But your spouse should make you happiER, or at least comfortable in your happiness. If they drag you down, don’t think it will go away if you try to bring them up. You don’t want that constant pushing up while they are pulling down. The pushing and pulling is a balance and you take turns. You should get at least a little bit interested in the activities your spouse likes. You “lift them up” in your activities, and they will “lift you up” in theirs. For example, I really value helping others and volunteering with kids, and my partner can only handle so much. But when he joins me, he knows he made an impact during his time even though it took a lot of effort. He also feels happy knowing that he made me happy. Conversely, my partner really likes gardening and eating healthy, natural fruits and vegetables. Although I see it as work and would rather simply buy organic and be done with it, I know he values the time spent weeding and planting in his garden, so I make it a priority in my life as well.

Your friends will shape your world as you go through puberty and help you become the person you are. As an adult, your friends continue to impact you and help you think of the world through different lenses. Find friends that help you see things differently, but still in a positive way. Your differences will help you try new activities, or foods, you may not otherwise think twice about. My girlfriend got married in Baltimore last year. She is a really close friend, so I couldn’t imagine not being a part of her special day. I really had no interest in visiting Baltimore, but I decided to save the money and make the trip for her. I was (jokingly) told that I wouldn’t be allowed back on the plane home if I didn’t try crab cakes while in the city. They were incredible! My mouth starts watering just thinking about the fresh crab and old bay seasoning. Now when I go to restaurants I actually order crab cakes! Now I understand and appreciate when people say east coast crab cakes are better. I would have no idea to try these things without the influence of my friends!

Your co-workers are definitely another area where you need to know the best version of yourself. Sometimes co-workers challenge you and your ways of thinking. This isn’t always a bad thing. You need to frame your mindset to understand you are both trying to do what you think is best for the company. One co-worker of mine comes off a little rough around the edges. He always questions my decisions and makes me explain my rationale. He may have another opinion, he may play devils’ advocate, but if I want someone to agree with me he is definitely not the person I turn to. However, his argumentative stance helps me really think through my ideas, which helps build a stronger case. He also shows me different perspectives so I can take that into account. If I have to work an idea and get his approval, I am very thoughtful and thorough with my work. Now even when I am not working with him, I know how to use a more thoughtful and thorough approach when needed.

There are also co-workers that turn into friends. Sometimes it’s refreshing to vent and complain and get something off your chest. That is a healthy way of dealing with stress from a work environment- but don’t complain too much in a negative way. Understand that work is stressful, and stress can be a motivator to get things done. I completely understand, sometimes it’s nice to just get that complaining out and then you just feel refreshed and ready to tackle another day! Just don’t dwell on the negative.

Even as an adult you should consider the people you surround yourself with if you want to be the best version of yourself. Your spouse, friends, and co-workers should all be somewhat scrutinized to make sure you keep a positive mindset. There is a saying I heard a long time ago- “if you stand around garbage long enough, you’re bound to step in it.” I’m sure you can think of someone who has negative people around that get dragged down and become negative like them. Don’t be that person. Surround yourself with people that stretch you and make you want to be just a little bit better. You have long life ahead of you, and if you are a little better every day, think of the person you will be and the impact you have made on others after all of those little things. At some point, all the little things add up and you’ll find they are actually the big things.

One “little” way to start is to surround yourself with positive people and join Chicktime this month! We will be painting small totes to hold beach items for the summer. We’ll have a BBQ lunch the afternoon of 5/6. I hope to see you there!



April 2017 Invite - Volunteers_2

A few months ago I decided to expand my volunteering activity at Casa and help as a “Fairy Godmother.” This is where a group of ladies host a baby shower for one of the pregnant teens at the home. They really put on quite a production- they have adorable decorations, gifts for the mama-to-be and delicious food based on what the mom likes. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew some of the girls from volunteering through Chicktime, but had never attended one of these events. I hadn’t volunteered at these types of events in the past for a few reasons. They are in the evening after work and that is quite inconvenient to my normal routine. Also, it is a different volunteer group, so I wouldn’t be with my Chicktime ladies who I’m comfortable with. I’m not a big fan of attending baby showers even for my close friends and family. Lastly, I don’t have a lot of money to spend to help with bringing decorations, gifts or food. But at some point, I rationalized I had to at least try it out- I’ve seen how the Casa girls really appreciate when we come in, and maybe I could learn something at these events that could help us with Chicktime events. Also, I was throwing a baby shower for my sister the following month so I thought I would get some ideas.

The baby shower was such a beautiful and touching experience, it taught me things about these girls, the women that volunteer, and myself, which I continue to appreciate and truly feel blessed in my heart.

The decorations were astounding. The ladies really have a knack for artistic and creative ways to throw a party. The food was delicious- similar to the Chicktime events, I try to tell myself to take it easy on the food but it is so yummy and has that heartfelt homemade aspect I just can’t resist. When I think of that day, I still feel in my heart the future mom’s gratitude for all we did. As with many of the girls in the home, they don’t have someone to throw them this special party. She was so appreciative with every detail of the party- the games, the food, each individual gift she received. A few of her family members attended the event- I believe it was her aunt and grandmother. Other members of her family did not appreciate or approve of her decisions. So we volunteers were her family and friends for that time in her life. She was moving forward with decisions she had made and needed just a little help, a few smiles, and a lot of love. I am proud to say I was part of filling those needs for her that day.

On my drive home I started to reflect on the blessings in my life and couldn’t help but get emotional. I called my sister and had to tell her how blessed we are to have a close relationship and that we come from such a loving, nurturing family. I had previously been stressed about throwing her shower, but on that drive home I realized the most important part of having a baby shower is starting to create that “village to raise a child,” complete with love, support, friends and family. The Fairy Godmothers helped provide that to one future mom, and Chicktime helps provide the sustaining nurturing to that new family. Together, we make the community better.

I’m not sure if the mom-to-be got more out of that event or me. It really touched me, and helped in my continual journey to be a better person. Volunteering benefits more than just those being helped. When you volunteer, the “feel-good” part of your brain is triggered. It raises your self-esteem. You make friends with like-minded people. You create a sense of purpose and community, which reduces loneliness and isolation. It gives you perspective on your own situation. And who knows, your act of kindness may leave an impression on someone else to follow your lead and also give back. Let’s try to start that chain reaction; it’s certainly one way to make our world a better place.

How can you get involved?

If baby showers are more your style, you can contact Micaelea at micaelea@gmail.com to get in touch with the Fairy Godmothers and learn about their upcoming events.

Or please join us at the next Chicktime event on 4/8! We will have members of Wounded Warriors join us with Next Steps service dogs to share their inspirational stories. We will help the girls, help the wounded warriors by giving treats to their dogs, and help ourselves just by volunteering. Please RSVP to Joann at joann.vanort@gmail.com by 4/1. I hope to see you there!

March 2017 Invite- Volunteers

One of our goals as volunteers at Casa is to help the girls feel loved and cared for by the community. In order to help others feel good, you have to feel good yourself – mentally, spiritually, and physically. What have you done to help yourself feel good?

Feel good mentally.

Springtime is coming, and a lot of people will “spring-clean” their homes, to purge some of the junk they have sitting around that isn’t being used. That can help lower stress and generally make you feel better- less “stuff” gives peace of mind. Think about all the things you want to clean out, and try to tackle one thing per week. Don’t do it all at once, but instead, set aside an hour over the weekend to sort out your bathroom medicine cabinet, a certain section of your closet, or that junk drawer in the kitchen. If you do one of these things each weekend in March, they will all be done and it won’t be overwhelming! I like to start with my desk where I work and make it as clean as it was my first day on the job- with less distractions in every corner, I can really focus on the task at hand! What do YOU do to feel good mentally?

Feel good spiritually.

A relationship with God (or whatever you believe in) has peaks and valleys. When things in life are going really well, do you pray a lot? Do you lean on your higher power more when you are in a low point? If you keep your spiritual connection strong consistently, the blessings that accompany spirituality will also be consistent. I have found that I incorporate prayer into a routine in my life- when I wake up so I start the day off in the right mindset, and before bed so I can recap all I am thankful for that day and sleep well through the night. I have found this consistency helps me keep things in perspective as I go through the day and maintain a more positive attitude. The day inevitably gets rushed and chaotic, but starting and ending on the right track can keep you on the right path. Do you have any tricks to feel good spiritually?

Feel good physically.

As I’ve written in previous blog posts- I like to run, which is what I do to get relief from a physical standpoint. Unfortunately, sometimes I overdo it and get aches or pains and have to take it easy on the running. Then I turn to yoga, which helps stretch out those muscles and it just feels… so… good. There is more than exercise to feel good physically- like a nice warm bath with some scented scrubs or bath scents. Can you just imagine a welcoming bath right now- doesn’t that sound great? What do you do to feel good physically?

This month Chicktime is going to help the girls at Casa de Amparo with that last one- feeling good physically! We’ll be making bath scrubs for the girls. We want to promote healthy lifestyles which can be different for every person! What do you want to look like? Is there a celebrity or someone that you strive to be like? Is that really a good model for you, knowing everyone is different? How do you want to feel? We are going to talk about these things and more while making the body scrubs at the March 11 event- I hope to see you there!

Be good to yourself,


Feb 2017 Invite_Volunteers

About a year ago I read a book called “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Believe it or not, I read this book for work and to be a better manager. The idea behind the book is that people are motivated differently and everybody has a “tank” they need to have filled to feel satisfied. The author explains there are five general “languages” to have your tank filled. Most people need a little of each of the 5 love languages, but there can be a dominant one. Usually people read this book to better understand their spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend’s perspective, which I certainly can appreciate why that is helpful in stressful times and circumstances. Imagine if you were in an uncomfortable situation and you knew all you had to do to make the other person calm down is to gently touch their shoulder? Or maybe that would do nothing, and instead you should give a word of encouragement. It would be helpful to know how to fulfill someone you care about and what triggers them. You can also use these ideas at work or in the community, to understand what drives and motivates someone with whom you are working on a project, in a group activity, or just working side by side every day.

The first love language is gift giving. Some people love a thing, anything, to represent that they are being thought of. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to be a physical item. For example, if you went on a hike, you could bring back a pretty rock you saw along the way to show them you thought of them on the journey and you wanted to share the beauty.

Another love language is quality time. A meaningful act for someone with this dominant love language would be to engage in conversation, put the cell phone and other distractions away, and be present. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but when you do make an effort to give your full attention it is very special to that person.

The next is words of affirmation. Being told they are strong, courageous, smart, or kind can really make someone with this dominant language feel uplifted. It needs to be sincere, but any words that can help build you up take this person to the next level and they truly appreciate it.

The fourth language is physical touch. Having a pat on the shoulder with a job well done could be really impactful for someone. In a new relationship, holding hands may be critical. In a long-term relationship, holding hands is still important; or maybe just sitting close enough on the couch to lightly touch will be enough. To be fair, this language is hard to put into play in the workplace, so maybe go to their second dominant love language.

The last love language is acts of service. Giving a helping hand can make this person feel like they are really doing their part. Having someone offer to bring in the groceries, or do a little extra on a team project can really make a significant impact on this person. If you do something kind for them, they may do something kind back because you helped fill their “tank.”

I think a lot of volunteers at Chicktime have a dominant “Acts of Service” love language. I can see it based on the time they give to serve the community and the girls at Casa. I can see it by the time they put into events, getting to know one another and helping each other. I think they fill each other up with kindness by helping each other and the Casa community, and in turn they get filled themselves. I know that’s how it is for me.

What is your love language? No matter what your love language is, we could use your gift to help the girls at Casa, who each have love languages of their own and ways to have their tanks filled. We need to help these girls by filling their tanks the ways we also need to be filled; with kind words, with focused attention, and with small gifts. All of the love languages play a part when we help at Casa.

This month we will be making valentines and sugar cookies when we combine the cottages. There will also be a chocolate fountain with dipping sauces! We may talk about these love languages, or we may focus on the quote of making yourself happy instead of depending on someone else for happiness. There are so many ways to love these girls, and we can always use more help. Please email joann.vanort@gmail.com if you plan to attend, I hope to see you there!

Love love love,




Happy New Year! 2017 seems weird to say and write- it came so quickly. It seems like every year the time passes faster. The New Year is a time of reflection, and to set goals for the next year. I would like to do a little of that in this month’s update.

2016 had a lot of fun times with the Casa girls and Chicktime volunteers. I joined in February and was able to attend many events which showcased different skills we all have! I personally got to make greeting cards, play laser tag and paint a masterpiece.

I saw some of the girls at Casa learn and grow in their time at the home- they have some real artistic skills with the craft activities. When they participate in the group activities you can tell they are really living in the moment with us. They made Halloween headbands, enjoyed a Mexican fiesta and created a giant slip and slide which ended in a silly water balloon fight!

The volunteers are so kind, loving and generous. They love those girls in the ways they know how- through their many talents, praises, and time. Many volunteers have stepped into leadership roles to help our founder, Phoenix, manage her time and schedule better. These ladies have blessed me and helped me see the world through a different lens- I see so much kindness, generosity and helpfulness in our community now. It was always there, but their positivity and dependability gives me faith that we all can truly make this world a better place. One person at a time. I’ve seen it- through the Chicktime volunteers.

2017 is now here- it will have ups and downs, just like the other years. But if we go into it with a positive attitude, things will continue to get better. I think now more than ever we have to have empathy for others. So many people want to voice their discontent, and they may feel very differently about certain issues. It can be frustrating for everyone! But we must practice empathy- put yourself in their shoes. Can you try to understand their life experiences, where they are coming from, and why they have such a different opinion than you? Just step back and see the big picture, don’t be the person causing any frustration or hardship for others.

If you want change, don’t just wish and hope for it, but BE the change. Be kind to others. Make time for other people. Say yes to adventures. Put time and effort in becoming better at that skill or talent that you’ve wanted to develop. Be the example for others. When the day comes and they ask you how you’ve gotten so far, you’ll tell them “it was nothing.” It’s not true of course, it takes work to make the world better. But we can do it, one person at a time. I’ve seen it.


You can start by joining Chicktime this month! We are starting 30 minutes early because we don’t want to eat brunch food in the afternoon! We will have brunch and be creating inspirational dreamboards. These boards will help the girls think about what they want to do or accomplish in the next year, and it will be a reminder to them all year of the path they are on and what they can accomplish. I hope you can make it to this fun event!

Dream on,



It is officially in the midst of holiday time! For some, this is the best time of year. For others, this can be a very difficult time of year. What does it mean for you? Maybe a little of both?

One of the other Chicktime volunteers shared this beautiful quote with me and I love it for this time of year. This time of year can be sensitive for some people, including me- I am thinking of what has happened (or not) in the last year, and all that I hope to accomplish in the next year. Some of these things are in my control, like how much I volunteer and how much time I spend at work. Some of these things I start to reflect on are not in my control and I just have to keep hoping for the best. This reminder to focus on the present with a thankful heart is just what I needed, so I hope it helps you too.

No amount of regret changes the past. It can be so easy to dwell on difficult or painful things, and it is easy to be overcome by them. If there is something you wish you could change in your past- think about what you learned from it, how it made you stronger, and don’t make the same mistake twice.

No amount of anxiety changes the future. There is a saying that worry is like a rocking chair- it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere. Know that if you do what is right, and you do your best, you will get to where you need to go. Stay productive, and keep moving forward!

Any amount of grateful joy changes the present. Focus on what is in front of you- that is what you have influence over. Staying present with today’s resources (internet, television, video games) is really tough. But if you actively make an effort to BE PRESENT, the people around you will feel more understood and appreciated. And if you are present with a grateful heart, it will give a positive spin to any situation and it can make all the difference.

What does this quote mean to you? Is there anything you need to change your perspective on to change your present?

One way to incorporate grateful joy in your present is to get out and do something positive. What can you do? What have you been putting off? If you’ve wanted to give back to your community, please join Chicktime at Casa de Amparo for our December event. This will be a comfy event- a pajama party! We would love if volunteers bring cookies to share in a cookie exchange with the girls, and we will have a light lunch. The girls actually gave us suggestions- they asked to make their own stockings, which we are happy to set up for them! We also plan to build gingerbread houses and enjoy the holiday time together. Please RSVP to Joann at joann.vanort@gmail.com by 12/3 if you would like to join. I would love to see you there.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,



We are back to the month November; the month where we have a holiday to be thankful. Thanksgiving is a symbol of the European Colonists and the original American Indians sharing a feast together at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. It became an annual tradition for many years, and in 1863 during the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national holiday of Thanksgiving. Today, we celebrate with parades, food drives and charity events, football games and giving thanks around the dinner table.

Why do we only think of our blessings and give thanks in November? Doesn’t it make you feel good when you realize what you have? Doesn’t it make others feel good, when you say thank you and show appreciation for what they have done? If we intentionally surround ourselves with thankfulness and positivity, those attributes will come back to us. That’s why I chose the quote for this month- we don’t want to just give thanks once a year, but we want to live in a spirit of thankfulness all year. We could have that love and kindness in our spirit all the time and November would just be a month where everyone else joins you!

But how can you live in thankfulness all year? I believe it must be intentional- you have to make a conscious choice to count your blessings. Here are some suggestions that have worked for me:

  • Say a structured daily prayer to focus the small things. Be grateful for waking up in the morning, having friends or family to spend time with, being able to walk and read and speak. We don’t realize how important and critical these simple things are until we lose them. If you don’t pray- try meditation!
  • Appreciate others. See the small things they do right, and let them know! It is much easier to be critical than positive, and it takes many more compliments to outweigh a criticism. If you must criticize- do so constructively in an effort to help them.
  • Stay humble. You aren’t perfect, and neither is anyone else. People will open up more if they feel like they can relate to you, and it is hard to relate to someone who thinks they are better than everyone.
  • Choose your friends wisely. Your friends (and partner) go a long way to affect your attitude. People will either lift you up, or bring you down. Choose well.
  • For many people who are going through a rough time, they only want one thing from you; your time. They may want you to listen, or help, or just be there. If you are present and showing you care, it can change their rough time to manageable. Or better. Treat our fellow human beings with kindness and respect, and the world will be sure that is what will be returned to you.

Thankfulness can come in many ways; it is certainly not words alone. Make it part of your lifestyle, your attitude, your community. You will likely end up with even more to be thankful for, and it will spill into others’ lives.

You can start by joining us for the next Chicktime event at Casa! We are having a gratitude workshop and Thanksgiving feast. The very talented Kristel will be joining us again to paint beautiful works of art on canvas; come and let your creativity out! Please RSVP to Joann at joann.vanort@gmail.com if you will be able to join. I sincerely hope to see you there- tell me how you live intentionally, and what you are grateful for! I can’t wait.

Stay thankful,





The grass is always greener. How many times have you heard that expression before? We are truly some of the luckiest people in the world, living in America during this time (political jokes aside). Even when it seems like our problems are more challenging then everyone we know in our network, if we only step back and see the big picture we see how we take so many things for granted.

780 million people in the world don’t have clean water to drink.

795 million people go to bed hungry because they can’t afford enough food to eat.

It is easy to get caught up in our own self-involved world and get frustrated when it seems things aren’t going our way. It happens to everyone, even the people who seem they have it all.

I was recently on a flight coming home from recruiting at a career fair in Virginia. The man in the seat next to me explained he had two kids and he always wanted to be home with them. I was jealous of him because he seemed to have it “all;” a wife, a few kids, and likely a very lovely place to call home. He asked about my traveling, and any recent vacations I had. I explained a trip I was able to take with some friends overseas and he kept asking me for more details. You can imagine my surprise when he enthusiastically told me that I “seemed to have it all because I could go on adventures on a whim.” It’s true; I have a lot of free time because my love life is stalled and I have a great job. However; I would give anything to have something to go home to at the end of a trip (or come with me during a trip). But sitting next to someone who has exactly that, I see that he wants just what I have. How interesting.

The moral is to live in the moment and be happy with whatever you have. Everyone has their own circumstances that include highs and lows. EVERYONE is going through something. Maybe they are having a great month, where everything seems to be great. Life isn’t always like that, and trust me, there will also be lows. How you deal with these highs and lows build your character and if you do it right, make you better.

One way to try and have more highs than lows is to help others. Help others you know, and help even those you do not know. When others are down, lift them up! When they are doing well, celebrate with them! Being a part of someone else’s life helps you experience your own life through a different lens. Maybe you’ll better appreciate the blessings in your own life. Maybe you’ll be able to celebrate good times with just one more person. That’s part of why I love Chicktime so much- we get to be a part of our community that we would never otherwise interact with. There are great kids at Casa who are getting their feet off the ground and going through their own highs and lows. And there are amazing volunteers who also have a story, if only you ask.

As you can see, we had a BLAST playing laser tag with the kids this week through Equinox. What a great organization and what a fun time with the kids and volunteers. The food was excellent, the kids were so excited to participate and the volunteers really made an impact. I already can’t wait for next week- it’s October, so we’ll have a Halloween party! Hope to see you there.

Count your blessings, always.





Inspire People

2016-09-10 Equinox Laser Tag Invite_3


What do you do to clear your mind and find balance when you are stressed out? Do you watch TV? Listen to music? Talk with a friend? Everyone unwinds in a different way and it is part of what makes us unique. Stress leads to many health problems, including heart disease, weight gain, depression, and much more. There are so many ways to take it a step further if you feel like that one deep breath (or counting to 10) didn’t do the trick. As for me, I like to run.

When I was in school, I never joined the track team. I could have, but I watched when my older sister joined the swim team. She soon started to detest her favorite sport because it became a chore instead of fun. So I always kept running to myself. I can run through almost any problem; the monotonous pounding of my shoes on the asphalt are white noise to help me sift through my thoughts. In high school, I was able to get away from confusion and frustration with my family, friends and classwork. In college in Illinois I ran around a boring track in the winters and was able to think through the complex theory they were teaching in lecture halls. At the workplace I have been able to skirt away at lunch time and feel like my workday is split into two pieces; a morning and afternoon, which makes long days much easier to get through. It’s something I’ve been able to turn to throughout my life to make sense of this sometimes crazy and chaotic world.

Running is a piece of me, and I could talk about it for a long time. I’ve run in short and long races, learned about the immense benefits of insoles, perfected a technique that suits me if I get a cramp. I’ve made great friends and we take turns telling and listening to long rambling stories because we have so much time to kill on the road.

It’s important to find an activity that suits you to help you de-stress and make sense of everything because the world is so fast paced. If you don’t already have a healthy habit that makes you happy, think of something!! Give it a try.

Next week we will be playing laser tag with the kids at Casa de Amparo- hopefully to help all of us get away for a bit to de-stress from our crazy and busy lives. I hope you can join us!



If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.

Ice Cream Social (1)


Hello! As Phoenix mentioned in last month’s post, my name is Melissa and I am so excited to be helping in a leadership role with the Chicktime San Diego chapter. I’d like to use my first post here as an opportunity to tell you a little about myself. I had been looking for ways to get more involved in the community and have found a real blessing through Chicktime and Casa de Amparo. You may be wondering why did I (or why would you) want to volunteer? And why Chicktime?

Let me start at the beginning. When I graduated college in 2008 I became fascinated with the subject of happiness. I found that I remembered being happiest when I accomplished something; when I passed a class, when I completed a project, when I graduated. You needed something to celebrate, what I started calling a “win,” even if it was something like a birthday. I remember thinking that if I could only get to the next big win, I would finally be happy… and hopefully permanently. I kept trying to accomplish big wins and when I started a full time job I realized it’s not practical to have the same kind of big wins in the real world that you have in college. So how could I get big wins to reach the destination of happiness? I talked about this with many people, and finally became convinced of something I heard but could not quite appreciate yet; happiness is in the journey, not the destination. You can find happiness in the small things in your life, like a soft rug between your toes when you step out of the shower. You can find happiness in a laugh with your closest friend; or your new friend. You can find happiness as you go through the walk of the life if only you can stop long enough to appreciate it.

One surefire way to have a constant inflow of “wins” is to build a sense of community in the area you live. If you have even a small network, you will find wins all the time. If you can celebrate someone else’s win with them, not only do they benefit but you do too. I started to realize this and wanted to engage even more than with casual friendships, but by giving back in some way. I was thinking of how others in our San Diego community are in different places in their walk of life and maybe they need to celebrate some wins. Then I found Chicktime.

Chicktime does just that. I was anxious at the first event but realized I had to give something out of my comfort zone a try. I found Chicktime is an organization revolved around building up others and celebrating wins. The San Diego chapter builds a sense of community with the boys and girls at Casa de Amparo, and there is also a sense of community within the Chicktime volunteers themselves. The volunteers at each event truly want to celebrate the big and small wins with the kids and with each other. I always leave the events with a smile-I feel proud for helping with the kids and I feel cheerfulness from being around the positive spirited volunteers. And because of this, as I drive away I can’t help but think of all we accomplished and celebrated that day and feel incredibly…  happy!!


What ever you do, work at it with ALL your heart as working for the Lord, not for man. (1)



I have been leading this chapter for this past three years with my amazing friend, and coleader Joann Van Ort. It has been such a journey living out these events with the kids at Casa and the lovely women who have chosen to partake in our mission of making the next generation a better one. Over this time we have documented the creativity, fun and passion of these events and created the invites and positive words of encouragement to keep us going. With that said I have some exciting news of a new coleader! Melissa Horning is joining our leadership for San Diego’s Chapter. We are so excited to have her on board. From now on she will be creating the beauty you see on our chapter’s page. I just wanted to leave you with a few last thoughts about Chicktime; what it means to me and how it has brought so much light into my life.

What Chicktime has taught me about leadership is that we are all in this together. Every opinion matters and it takes an entire village to make a difference. To be able to bring women together for the purpose of making the next generation better, facilitated by Chicktime, has given me peace and fulfillment in my life like nothing ever has before. I have made the most significant friendships and deepest connections with women who aspire to lift themselves up through sharing their passions, talents, wisdom, and love with these kidos. Through leading this chapter I found there is nothing more important than to give of yourself in order to make a difference in our communities. Whether it’s through a job, vocation, family, or church; your soul matters and exists to perpetuate love, kindness and worth to those around you.

As for the kids. There is nothing like an event that will shed perspective on your yearning to help and the reason why you are there to begin with. Sometimes a Chicktime Saturday came along, and I felt the pressures of life and its problems weighing me down to the point of not wanting to get out of bed. Magically, my commitment of making the kids at Casa a priority, for just three hours, once a month brought me out of my self and allowed me to understand that my issues were myopic compared to the pain and hurt out there. My commitment to inspire the women to give these kids all our love and attention conquers the trials of life that intimidate me to hide in my own pain and misery. It has given me the freedom to step out of that pain and share the beauty and passion emanating from my energy and presence in hope to see a smile of hope and laughter from our Casa kids. You couldn’t ask for anything else more rewarding to know that you are making a huge impact in their lives just by showing up.

From this point forward, I am reaffirming my commitment to lead with presence, value, warmth, and kindness.  With Joann and Melissa, we will propel the women in our chapter to fuse together, persevering any challenge that blocks our mission of changing the lives of the kids at Casa de Amparo one event at a time. These events would not be possible without you and we welcome you with open arms to be a part of the San Diego Chicktime community.

With Much Love,

Phoenix Valdez




-Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.-I Peter 4-8 (1)

June 2016 artbeativite

Isn’t it inspiring when a certain idea keeps coming up through different sources in a short period of time? That’s when I feel compelled to listen to the wisdom and apply it to my life.  Recently the idea of one foot in front of the other gets you the farthest has been a message I keep seeing everywhere. You can sum this up in one word; Process. Its definition: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. How many times have you felt caught up in the goal instead of enjoying the process of the moments leading up to the achievement of that goal? One of the places I found this message was in SPIN Selling. Neil Rackham offers his best advice to close business. His researched methods and statistical measurements provide  the reader instructions on how to close deals through identifying a potential customer’s problems and showing them how the solutions of their companies product/service will mitigate the pains of those problems. He dedicated a chapter in the end of his book on how to apply the first 6 chapters of theory into a skill set. How difficult it is, to do so if you decide to conquer every step involved at once. You must become a master of the first step without judgment of quality, and with persistence and appropriate places. Otherwise overwhelming anxiety will deplete your energy in creating a foundation for your knowledge to be transcended into tangible action.

I have been the worst critique of myself when it comes to reaching a goal. Constantly I need to remind my self to be kind in my efforts of living in the moment to accomplish what I set forth. Through repetition, hard work, and focusing on the first step at hand, instead of being overwhelmed by the frustration of not having it perfect the first time, you surrender your need for perfection. This will give you freedom to make mistakes, which ultimately delivers you success.  Everything builds on top of what you have placed on the bottom, so make sure humility and perseverance is at the basis of what you do. Know that you can achieve what ever you put your mind and action into doing.

This was yet another amazing, fun event for the kids. Thank you for persevering through the challenges that we face to keep giving Casa Kids consistent love through showing up. Its something they are not use to. Until next time, live with courage, beauty and love. <3





Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.- Lao Tzu


May 2016 Event




Love- Why are we on this planet if it isn’t to exchange most desired currency called love. It’s a powerful energy that invigorates the weakest parts of ourselves to strengthen and delivers the most satisfaction infusing our spirits to rise. To embody love and share that energy with every person you come in presence with, is a reflection of the love and respect you have for yourself. In this lovely life, remember your output of love is directly correlated to your input of love. Through having a steadfast love of yourself you can live a life of love for others.


Invite- I can be surprised walking down the street here in sunny San Diego.  Very seldom do I see people acknowledging others with a warm smile or hello. They are with their heads down on their cell phone, or purposefully looking away so they do not have to connect. This lack of invitation can be explained by the lack of confidence and vulnerability we exhibit. Rather than taking a risk of being rejected they lay in the fear of not being validated, leaving them idle in putting themselves out there. We are supposed to invite people, and opportunities in our lives to truly make a difference in this world and be in communion with others. So make it a point today to lift your head up high, with your shoulders straight and a big smile to embrace a stranger. In turn, see how showing up in your life with an open invitation to others feels.


Value- It’s easy to take what we have for granted. We may not have the most ideal career, family, or body, but you should value what you have no matter what isn’t in place. Thanks to our cultural views and media’s influences I struggled to value myself. Cemented in a web of lies that I was not good enough and didn’t measure up to the facade of airbrushed models and flashy lifestyles, in our egocentric marketing consuming world made me live a phony life. Always chasing something that is unreal will not lead you to live authentically. Living a life of value has nothing to do with what our world tells that is of value, but really based in our character and affect it has on the lives we make a difference in.


Expand- Going outside your comfort zone can be the most terrifying exercise that has the most impact, delivering you the life you always dreamed of living and the person you believed yourself to being. The risk of engaging in your fear stopping you to expand past the point of safety builds your tenacity and infuses grit to accomplishing your wildest dreams. Go and explore outside yourself and into the unknown.


Ladies thank you for a wonderful April Event. It came together nicely despite the weather. Love you all and hope to see you at the next event!



spring sale


Spring is in Bloom.pages


Spring is in Bloom! Have you pulled out the weeds covering your garden for new buds to open and thrive in?  All of us have certain people, frame of thoughts, and habits that discourage us from cultivating a beautiful garden free of stifle and digression. The uprooting of those limiting negative emotions, and thoughts is an earnest, strenuous exercise accompanied by pain and discomfort that redirects you to living the life you always desired. It’s uncomfortable to say good bye to the routine ideology, activity and people that have always been there, but the pain is worth it. How do you accomplish shedding off the old for the new? Starts with honesty, knowing your worth, trusting in the uncertainty and having the courage to break free from familiarity.


Honesty– You can go on with your life and pretend that what you are doing isn’t effecting you negatively. Making all kinds of rational arguments supporting your inaction of pulling the weeds out of the garden. Reaching enlightenment of truth transcends you past those reasons into solutions in fixing the root of the problems that are symptomatic of the small doses of poisonous lies contributing to your anxiety against change. In order to be transparent and walk the line you draw out you have to admit shameful and heart racing honest feelings to yourself and those around you who help you in your personal growth for accountability and guidance. Delivering yourself from the bondage of lies that were once helpful mechanisms guarding your heart in the past will let you shed light on your darkness and free you to grow up into the light.


Worth– So many of us can relate to a sense of shame and hurt from our past, which keep us in a circle of actions limiting the expressions of how we feel about ourselves. It’s easier to relive the redundant pain than examine that pain and draw out a new sense of worth unconfined by the limitations of an old mindset.  You want to accomplish the things in life driven by our purpose and passion, and become the person you are meant to be from experiencing a life with reverence of love and respect for yourself. Heartbreak is inevitable in redefining your value. As tight as you are holding on, letting go builds character, presetting you to rise to your true worth and not settle for what you were conditioned to be or tolerated before. Lori Rhodes wrote, “You can only do something of value, if you feel of value.” We have to set our standard higher than ever before and know that your worth is determined by your own definition and exemplified by what you allow into your garden.


Trust– Sheesh uncertainty is fluxed in times of self-growth. Tendency of doubt creeps in asking did I really do the right thing, do I have what it takes etc.  In times of experiencing a lack of faith you just have to initiate a strong sense of trust that your intuition of moving forward and your capabilities of doing so are intended to be put in fruition. No matter what your fears are. They are dismissed in the present time of taking action to do what aligns with your heart and spirit.


Courage– Knowing that this world is difficult to navigate, but having the tenacity to go after what you want regardless of the pain is where you find the courage to make change and persevere through the struggles of landscaping your garden into a haven of beauty and peace.  Having the bravery of getting to your destination, no matter the circumstances, you will do whatever it takes to get there. It’s not knowing the how, but having the strength to go through any obstacle that stands in your way to living a life that you truly deserve.

Thank you ladies for an awesome event. It was a blast expressing the importance of internal beauty to the Casa girls!


-The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment- You create a good future by creating a good present.-Eckhart Tolle


made in italy


The pricks of the fake grass blades ran a scratchy sensation under my legs as I sat down. It triggered my racing thoughts into submission, transcending me into the present of just being. So much of the time life can be a race to getting to the next best thing. Never stopping to realize what we are experiencing and have in the moment is just as important as what we are working for in the future. Those challenging moments and uncomfortable trials that we wish to be delivered from is the foundation of which we build our dreams on. If we fully enjoy those moments and put them into perspective; they are the catalyst to everything that we will achieve, maybe we can enjoy life just that much more.


I can sometimes get ahead of myself. Thinking so much in the future of the worldly desires I want to achieve. Driving a black IS250 Lexus, being a successful content creator, and having the financial freedom to serve people and travel with all my time can keep my imagination active for hours. Putting me on auto pilot throughout the day it can cause me to lose purpose and meaning in what I am doing in that moment. The people we engage with, the moments of love we have to share with one another isn’t that what life is about? Even if your time spent in the day takes your focus onto a computer screen answering emails and corresponding over a telephone with others do you have the drive to be in the present and enjoy the task at hand? Or are you thinking about the end result? Being attached to an outcome we fixate on can be harmful when we are not mindful in the steps of creating that vision. There’s nothing wrong with setting a plan, its best that you do, but don’t forget the means to the end are the most meaningful. For me I remember when my plans don’t happen as I worked them to be I can always focus on God for acceptance and peace because he is always constant and brings me up in where I fall short. I discovered he is found in the present moment.


Ladies thank you for the love and presence that you served the girls at Casa with at this event.  It means so much to me that you have gracious hearts. You make such a huge impact on these girls who need it the most.

See the light in others and treat them as if that is all you see.


Card Making


We had an amazing January Event. A big thank you to Vicki Murphy who came and enlightened the girls and women about the power of putting thoughts into images and words to enfold our wildest desires in our lives. There are many times in life where hopelessness ingrains itself in the patterns of your thoughts, defeating your every move to making your life everything you imagine it to be.  I have had my fair share of depressing thoughts of not becoming the woman I want to be and achieve the accomplishments I desire through perpetuating old habits, processing negative feelings, and disbelieving the magnitude of what God can do in my life.  Even through those debilitating forces, to believe in yourself and your aptitude to create your ideal life transcends you to taking action to mold your visions into reality. Fear from circumstances, failure, or unworthiness can be broken through by your faith. Everything is meant to make you stronger, build you up to that vision of life that you will create for yourself.

To see the girls flip through the pages and of magazines and cut out images and words that empowered them to feel strong and aspire to become what they put on the boards was moving and a great representation of what we do at Chicktime. Show the girls that they are valuable! They are cared for and loved. Lifting them up and providing them the experiences and tools to achieve their best self. It is not easy to find that value and for them to create boundaries to protect their worth. I pray for every girl to know how special she is and to know the significance of her importance in this world. I know this because I struggle with upholding my value in a culture that says you are only as good how you look or how much money you make.  We all have our vices, we are human, but the most important thing we have is one another, community, and the gift of service we give each other.

Thank you ladies for sharing these few hours of heartfelt service. You are all amazing and wonderful women. I love you all. See you at the next event!



When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.



Create Your Feature (2)


We all need connection. It’s why women come to Chicktime and people join anything to begin with. Everything is based in a foundation of relationship. As women, I think Many of us can agree upon the importance of relation and connection to others in our lives. Leading this Chapter so far, has bestowed me the most beautiful connections with wonderful women and amazing girls with so much potential for a full, vibrant, life. It takes a community to help the girls achieve that. I pray that everyone who is a part of Chicktime knows that they have a place in making a difference in them achieving their best selves through all of your unique talents, interests, passions, love, dreams, and generosity. Who you are and what you choose to give is so valuable for a Chicktime Chapter’s sustainability. Without this we would not be able to continue to touch the hearts and souls of these girls facilitating the next generation to have a better life.


The passion inside me for connection in pursuit of building others up and lifting them to their success in life has created so much prosperity and peace in my life. I hope it has done the same in yours. Coming into 2016 I come with so much gratitude for you ladies. My Goal this year to build a larger community so the impact grows for these girls and other girls who do not know Chicktime yet. As the sun rises in winter’s early morning lets be the light of hope and courage, and faith to conquer the unfairness of their circumstances and ARISE to become the women that God intends them to be. Let’s lead each Chicktime with presence, style, gratitude, and grace so we can be the women who gather and unite in peace, faith, love, compassion to keep making difference in our communities.


Ladies you are Lovely and I could not do this without you. Thank you for everything you do. Excited for 2016.  I Love you all.


-To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.--Joseph Chilton Pearce




Community is one of the most important things that we can cultivate in our lives. The web of people that we are originally connected to though can be sometimes the farthest people away from us. For me, I always felt broken from disconnection in my familial ties. Now much time has passed, and grace has healed me and my family, but I still can feel the scars from the the deep agony of being a teenage girl without the love and connection she needed to be centered in peace and security of stability. God has his plan though. He uses the broken to show his love through fulfilling his promises. My mom asked me over Thanksgiving, “Why would God want your anxiety and worries?”  I answered, “Because through him we are shown what it truly is to love, and we can’t follow through with that expression if we carry all the burden of sin on our shoulders. Through him and submission to him, by putting aside our idolizations, we are free to love as we were intended to. ” I know some of you don’t know God, some have turned away, and some have committed your life to him for years. Wherever you are, I just want you to know how much you are loved. That is exactly what community provides; a sense of love, and belonging. We are here on this earth to uplift each other, because who we invest in not only reaps rewards from our guidance, and our acknowledgment of their significance in this world, but giving of ourselves only brings us to a higher understanding of love and meaning in our own life. Chicktime represents this exactly and promotes building strong families, communities, and cities so that we can connect, collaborate, celebrate and create a better future for women around the world. I know it starts with an event held on a Saturday a month in about 32 cities, but I have faith that our impact is much greater than you can imagine.
Ladies this Thanksgiving Event was absolutely heartfelt and touching. As we set around the table reflecting on all the things we were thankful for, I was moved by the sentiment and love around the table. I am so grateful for you and your giving hearts holding the desire to uplift these girls through our community. I love you all. Thank you. See you next month!


Let 'sCelebrateDiwali!


November invite 2015

My heart has been aching lately. Up until going to service Sunday night I thought that I was going to drown in the depths of loneliness and confusion. In moments such as this, I try not to lean on my own understanding for it sinks me lower in desperation of braking free from the weighted human limitations of making sense of voids meant only for God to fill. I do my best to entrust my life with him and do what makes my heart beat. Yet, with so much undecided things I cling to know the answers to, I seem to walk away from that will and force outcomes that are suited to satisfy my own self. When really we are on this earth to serve, love, and show mercy and grace as it was done for us. This is why I choose to keep faithful because a life of servitude is where I find purpose and meaning.
I look back at that teenage girl I once was. I never thought I would become the woman I am today. I made a lot of stupid decisions and some really great ones, but I believe the whole time I believed in a better life than the one that was modeled for me. With that and shedding the victim mentality, I became unstuck on myself, my perception of myself grew more defined and clear. My life gained momentum toward purpose and making a difference in this world. I have come to see that the more of myself I give, the more I am built up. I am not talking about burning out and not fulfilling  your basic physical, mental and emotional needs at the expense of helping others, but to choose every day to serve people that you live with, work with and are in community with a smile and kindness may be just enough.
Chicks of Chicktime thank you for being the great givers you are. Your spirits and love for our girls uplifts me and motivates me to keep leading this chapter. I know sometimes it can be discouraging if things do not exceed or meet our expectations of our service. But that is the wrong focus perhaps to have. Of course we are all touched by the events and connections we build with the girls, but maybe the right focus is how are we building God’s Kingdom through our giving? I know I can get stuck on myself and my anticipation of an event going a particular way. Let’s be free in our serving and just love and give what we can. I love you all and could not be more grateful for all of you in my life. See you at the next event.

Your heart is the size of the ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths.-Rumi



October pub 3


What is your passion? What are your innate gifts that God has granted you with from the experiences that have grown you in the direction of what your heart yearns for? For me the passions that I have found emanates from the areas of growth that fear resides in, telling me that I am not good enough or worthy enough of delivering my purpose in this world. My past fear of being seen and heard has crippled my self-esteem so much that rising above the negative clatter in my head seems impossible of climbing into a safe zone of self-love and belief. Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Am I confident enough? Am I perceived in a good light? Does anyone care what I have to say? I remember standing in front of my eighth grade class giving a presentation about myself, where I broke down talking about how my dad was never in my life. As the pain rushed me into tears, I uncomfortably stood there unable to go on. My perception of my identity was wrecked because the father that was given to me in this world could care less about me and more about his own agenda. It was right there where my fear of public speaking ensued a curse that followed me throughout college. I think it’s those most vulnerable areas where healing needs to overlap the hurt and where forgiveness needs to push out the anger that proceeds us to fulfilling our destinies. The Lord knows those areas of weakness and he gives you this beautiful messy life to devote yourself in Trusting him and Standing in faith no matter what comes your way.
So what is stopping you from truly lifting everything up to God, and trusting that you are a woman of value and deeply loved and anointed with favor, good fortune and blessings? Once surrendered to the bringer of truth, we open our eyes to see who we truly are despite the critics of this world and what their perception colors us to be.   With a culture consumed with worldly affairs it is easy to measure ourselves according to success in merit of standards that are unbelievable and insignificant. I pray that you ladies have enough faith in living authentically instead of living a facade of what society tells you to be. It is our mission to show the girls we serve how to reach that place of love and value against everything that tries to minimize us to what we should be.  I feel so blessed to have you apart of my journey in making the world a better place for the next generation. I appreciate every woman’s individuality and unique talents and passions that they bring to our Chapter in making this dream a reality. I love you all and can not wait to see you at the next event!
A special thank you Kristel Boe from ArtBeat San Diego from the grace filled instruction and materials you provided to make this event possible. You are a sweetheart! We had an amazing time painting and were blessed by your presence. Looking to the next event you lead.


-Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is



Calling all Artists! (2)

Every year Chicktime has an annual retreat. Last year it was based around Brene Brown’s work of vulnerability. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, backed up by years of research and her own self-reflection, she dives into the shame bleeding from the perceptions of our imperfections. Enlightening the path to worthiness, love and belonging, Brown links living wholeheartedly and the ability to connect with having the courage to be imperfect, and the ability let go of what you ought to be and embrace who you are. By embracing your flaws you open up and become vulnerable, compassionate and authentic. Thus delivering joy, creativity, and worthiness into your life.

Facing this information at the retreat, I recall sitting in my corner of pride unable to move in the search of my worthiness. In the past I would dilute the pain by escaping through numbing agents to sooth the blistering self-doubt emanating from shame of not being enough. The funny thing about numbing the negative emotions, is t