Showing posts from March, 2015

Mandi's CandI Corner - Spring Branches!

Get this Cuff on my boutique today and join the #DiversAbleMovement!

Sneak Peek Saturday - Spring Branches!

This week's sneak peak is this gorgeous Coral Branch Cuff! It also comes in gold. I'll be sharing more about this piece on Monday in Mandi's CandI Corner. Proceeds from ordering this cuff on my boutique will go towards sponsoring DiversAble Models!!

Order this and more at

Coming up this week:

Monday - Mandi's CandI Corner - We'll be talking about this awesome cuff!
Tuesday - We'll be looking into life as a parent with Diverse Abilities on Tuesday Truth
Wednesday - Stay tuned for a special musical treat this Worship Wednesday
Thursday - You already know I have thanks to give out to another DiversAble Ally on Thankful Thursday
Friday - I'll be introducing you to a brand new DiversAble Model on Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday - Courtney Beth (Walcott)

I have been looking forward to this post since I started The DiversAble Model Project! Have you ever heard someone say they've known someone forever? We usually think this person is exaggerating, just trying to express knowing someone for a long time. In this case, I'm just barely exaggerating. I've known this week's DiversAble Model since we were a year old!! She is my very best friend and sister from another mother. I proudly present the stunningly gorgeous COURTNEY BETH!

I could go on gushing about this humble woman forever, but I'll let her share in her own words:

"When I was born, I was diagnosed with Phocomelia and Femoral Focal Proximal Distal Deficiencies. I am missing my upper limbs, and stand at about 4'. I've lived most of my life in The Bronx, but attended a school in Long Island for people with disabilities. When I first began college,I felt extremely unprepared and unsure of myself, so graduating with my B.S. in Psychology and Commun…

Thankful Thursday - Joanne Sims

Welcome to another edition of Thankful Thursday! Do you recognize the beautiful woman pictured above? This is my good friend Joanne Sims :-)

Joanne has known me since I was a baby at Saint Mary's Hospital for Children, where she was my favorite volunteer. This is one of the most kind-hearted women you will ever meet. She began volunteering at the Henry Viscardi School and supported me and my friends throughout elementary school and well into my secondary education. Joanne has always been there for me for all the important happenings of my life.

A few weeks ago, I posted a Facebook status asking for a DiversAble Ally to help sponsor a DiversAble Model. I gave a brief description of the trying situation this Model was facing and I soon received a message from Joanne. She knew who I was talking about and was excited to sponsor her! I'll be revealing the gorgeous model she sponsored tomorrow.

Joanne, I'm so grateful for you and your love and support throughout the years. You …

Worship Wednesday - SPECIAL EDITION Part II

As I sat in the photo studio today with my three friends, I held back tears of joy. People like me dream of making big impacts on the world. I have been blessed with countless opportunities to share the Gospel with children and their families. Today, I realized that those children and families will soon be able to see a tangible blessing that God has honored my faithfulness to Him with!
Courtney, Tiffany, and Jessica, you have truly inspired, encouraged, and empowered me today because you took a leap of faith and supported this project, and me, from the start. I'll be forever grateful <3 To all the DiversAble Models and Allies, I honestly thank God for each of you!
A special shout out must go to the #BestTeamEver, Val's #candigals! Thank you all for seeing me through this every step of the way and for having confidence in me when I doubted myself.
Chloe + Isabel, in particular Chantel Waterbury, you are truly changing lives. There are so many young DiversAble women who will…

Worship Wednesday - SPECIAL EDITION

It's Wednesday and so many amazing things are going on today! I'm interrupting our regular Wednesday programming to bring to you 2 important notices. The first is that today is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day! You will learn more about CP in a future Fashion Friday post, but I came across this video and HAD to share it. Please click the link and scroll down to watch. You should read it too.

The second important notice is that today myself, Jessica Lopez, Tiffany Hall, and Courtney Beth are heading down to Chloe + Isabel headquarters for our photo shoot!! Everyone who has shared posts, commented, liked, and/or ordered has made this possible. I want to thank you so very much. You can't imagine the lives you are changing and the people you are empowering!

Stay tuned for EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & PICTURES in a second post after my trip tonight ;-)

Get in on the …

Tuesday Truth - Parenting a Child with Diverse Abilities

Do you remember the Baby Born doll? When this doll first came out, I was desperate to have it. It was meant to give little girls a chance to play mommy with a "baby" that ate, needed diaper changes, drank from a bottle, and used the potty. It was awesome!

However, this doll didn't prepare anyone for parenting a child with diverse abilities. Today, I want to introduce you to a real life mom of a beautiful little girl with diverse abilities. Meet Ericka Hostler and her daughter, Coco Loq-Yan Hostler!

Here is a little piece of Ericka's story with Coco in her own words:
"Coco Loq-Yan Hostler is 17 months old. She has Down Syndrome and Hirschprungs Disease (bowel disease). I did not know Coco had any health issues until she was born. She had low oxygen saturation and was immediately taken to the nursery to be put on oxygen. As I put her first outfit on, I turned to the doctors and asked them if they could check to see if she had Down Syndrome because she looked …

Mandi's CandI Corner - HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT

Click on the video for a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Get the Mandi CandI Flavor of the Week and support The DiversAble Model Project today! Go to or message me!

Sneak Peek Saturday - A Look for All Occasions

I won't say too much about this week's upcoming Flavor of the Week on Mandi's CandI Corner, but you are sure to LOVE the versatility in these pieces!

Check out my Facebook page today to find out how you can get an amazing deal on these today and be the first to represent these pieces from Mandi's CandI Corner.
Order today:

Coming up this week:

Monday - Mandi's CandI Corner takes you behind the scenes on these beautiful CandI pieces.
Tuesday - Be sure to check out this week's Tuesday Truth where we'll be discussing Parenting Children with Diverse Abilities with a surprise guest.
Wednesday - I promise you don't want to miss this Wednesday. I have an exclusive surprise event this week and I'll be sharing it all here!
Thursday - Show love to another DiversAble Ally
Friday - Be here to read the profile of a DiversAble Model who is very near and dear to my heart!

Fashion Friday - Tiffany Hall

It's time to reveal Mandi's second CandI DiversAble Model!!! I went to school with this beautiful woman and we grew really close during a youth exchange trip to Ireland. When you've traveled that far with someone, time nor distance can break that bond. I'm so excited to introduce Tiffany Hall (Jackson was her maiden name).

Read Tiffany's story in her own words:
"My name is Tiffany S. Hall and I live in Brooklyn, New York. My diverse ability is called Bilateral Femoral Dysgenesis Syndrome. I was born on January 18, 1984 at Woodhull Hospital. I'm the youngest of three daughters and the only one to have a disability. Though there isn't a lot of information on B.F.D.S., it's basically a fancy way of saying my bones didn't form properly. Needless to say, I've been living in a world made for "normal" people. Being 3'7 and on the plush side of the scale, I've had to find my way around height and fashion boundaries. I've …

Thankful Thursday - Val Laramee

The woman pictured on your left is not only an amazing mother, wife, nurse, friend, and Divisional Merchandiser Manager with Chloe + Isabel, but she is also a DiversAble Ally! This real life Wonder Woman is Val Laramee!!

I first came to know Val when we had a phone conversation back in October about my vision for my CandI business. Before she even knew about my own diverse abilities, Val was encouraging me to open myself up to my network and to reach beyond my imagination. When CandI announced that they'd be hitting NYC for the Flock Tour (CandI training and convention), I knew I wanted to go and that the time had come to reveal my diverse abilities. I called her up and explained the special accommodations I needed and, to my surprise, Val's response was so nonchalant. It was as if she knew all along and it was no biggie! Her support of my business and her friendship has really inspired me and moved me to go forward with this project.

Val chose to go above and beyond and spons…

Worship Wednesday!

Hey guys!  Visiting some more people with disabilities and how they relate to Christ in the Gospels.  Also, discovering how supposed "followers" of Christ interacted with these people, and how their shameful types of behavior live on today, and how Christ treated these people with dignity and respect.  Who will you emulate?  Share your stories, either about how someone in the Church marginalized or ostracized you or someone you know due to a disability, or how someone in the Church represented a God that values his children.  We want to foster a community here, of both DiversAble individuals and Allies, where we can be real and genuine with each other.  Don't forget to share this post on your social media, and like the videos and posts as much as you can.  The higher you rate this stuff, the more attention it will get!

God bless!

Tuesday Truth: Invisible Disabilities

Hey guys! This is Curtis. We had someone else lined up to do tonight's Tuesday Truth, but they couldn't make the deadline, so you've got me. What do I know about Invisible Disabilities? Well, as someone who's lived with dysthymia, or low-grade depression, since I was a teenager, and has experienced multiple major depressive episodes since then, I know quite a bit. So let us begin:

1. How do you define "Invisible Disabilities?"

I would define Invisible Disabilities as anything that can affect a person's lifestyle and isn't readily apparent to those around him/her. Any kind of intellectual disability or personality disorder, even some sensory disabilities like deafness or hardness of hearing, can qualify. High functioning autism or asperger's, bipolar disorder, clinical depression or anxiety, these can all qualify.
2. How has your life been impacted by living with an invisible disability?
I would call it a mixed blessing. Some personality di…

Mandi's CandI Corner!

Hey guys! It's time for another Flavor of the Week!  This week's premiere set is the Celestial Frost collection, one of the more elegant CandI Collections!  It dresses up even the most casual outfits, and can fit in at even the most elegant evening parties.  Inspired by Winter Lights, from the Aurora Borealis to the most spectacular Christmas light show on the block.  Mostly iridescent, with predominant hints of pink, these pieces go perfectly with black or white outfits, with pink accents, or royal purple.  If any of you have any pictures of outfits featuring Celestial Frost, send it to us and we'll feature it in the next CandI Corner.  We'll shout you out and share your picture!  Also, if anyone has any suggestions for future Flavors of the Week, then let us know.  Take a look through Mandi's online catalog to get ideas, find collections you'd like to see featured, and let us know! Go to
See you next week at Mandi's CandI Corn…

Saturday Sneak Peeks!

Check out that preview of the Flavor of the Week!  Get a better look at it in Mandi`s CandI Corner on Monday.  Our Tuesday Truth is gonna look at Invisible Disabilities, and for Worship Wednesday, we might be visiting a man that made quite an impression on both Jesus and his followers, but not the same one! Also stay tuned for this week's featured Ally and Model!

Fashion Friday - Jessica Lopez

The moment we've all been waiting for is FINALLY here!! I proudly present our first 2015 Mandi CandI DiversAble Model *insert drum roll*........... JESSICA LOPEZ!!!

I met Jessica at the Henry Viscardi School, where we were both students. As soon as she heard about this project she was excited and really wanted to participate. This is Jessica's story in her own words:

"My name is Jessica Lopez, I was born on December 2,1992. I was born and raised in Queens, New York with Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 3, which basically means that my bones are fragile. O.I often affects a person's hearing. I started losing my hearing in 8th grade. Although I just have a mild hearing loss, this has been one of the toughest things I've had to accept about my disability. It was embarrassing for me to think about wearing hearing aids. I tried to deal with my hearing problem for awhile before accepting it and actually getting help. Once I finally decided to take that step and get …

Thankful Thursday - Edwin Camacho

For today's edition of Thankful Thursday we are giving thanks and recognizing one of our first DiversAble Allies, Edwin Camacho! I first met Edwin at LifeHouse Christian Church, where he was an usher, always welcoming people and helping them find their seats. He was kind, quiet, and a bit shy. After officially being introduced to each other by a mutual friend, Edwin and I quickly learned that we share a love of movies and humor. A great friendship began!

Edwin is also a man of many talents. Not only does he carry himself with the utmost sense of fashion and style, but he creates his unique look for himself and others. There are many direct sales companies geared towards the wants/needs of women (because we have so many,) but Edwin specifically focuses on the modern, stylish man.  He hand crafts ties and scarves of all lengths, colors, and styles. His pieces are ridiculously affordable to your "average Joe." Don't worry ladies! He does include many unisex garments as…

Worship Wednesday - The Man with Paralysis

Take a look at what it means to be a DiversAble Ally!

Tuesday Truth Postponed

Unfortunately, I caught a stomach virus and needed to take the day off. I will be discussing Invisible Disabilities and sharing an interview from a woman who has Invisible Disabilities next Tuesday.

Be sure to check  in tomorrow for Worship Wednesday!

Mandi's CandI Corner Week 1

Shop my boutique here
Shop Christine's LulaRoe here

Please comment below.  We would love feedback on any styles or color schemes you might be interested in Mandi covering!

Saturday Sneak Peeks - Things to Look forward To

Sabbath Sunday: We spend every Sunday intentionally focusing on God, and spending time with our loved ones. We encourage you to do the same!

Mandi's CandI Corner: Join Mandi this Monday as she reveals her CandI flavor of the week!

TuesdayTruth:  This Tuesday we'll be discussing Invisible Disabilities! Check in to read an inspiring and informative interview on the subject.

Worship Wednesday: Tune in on Wednesday for a short video that will help you develop a Christ-like view of people with diverse abilities!

Thankful Thursday: This project couldn't have happened without all the advocates, caregivers, and supporters of people with diverse abilities. Be sure to read about just one of the DiversAble Allies this Thursday!

Fashion Friday: Let's get to know our 2015 Mandi's CandI DiversAble Models a little better! Her profile will be posted this Friday.

**Special Feature**
DiversAbility (a separate, but closely related movement) is hosting its launch event on Thursday, April 16,…


This is Amanda, my beautiful wife and the brilliant originator of the DiversAble Model Project!  This blog is an attempt to clarify some things, as well as provide an outlet for a coherent presentation of the DMP.  This is the place we will be showcasing both the models participating, as well as those allies that have stepped up and chosen to help empower these strong, fashionable women.

The first model, and ally, whose profile we will be showcasing is the beautiful woman above and to the left!  As I've mentioned before, this is Amanda, and she has put in so much of herself into this project, you all deserve to get to know her better.  She's had a roller coaster ride of a life, full of ups and downs, but she's never backed down, she's never given up, she's never surrendered!

Amanda was born in 1987, at a hospital that was then known as Our Lady of Mercy, one month overdue.  It wasn't until she was born that they figured out why.  Her disability made it really…

Coming Soon!

Come join us for the launch of our DMP blog, tomorrow, Friday March 6th, at 6 PM!  

Friday - Fashion Friday Come and see our very first model profile,  and the kickstart of our blog! Saturday - Saturday Sneak Peak A more in depth preview of what's to come! Monday - Mandi's CandI Corner Come and watch Mandi discuss her flavor of the week!