Showing posts from April, 2015

Worship Wednesday - God & Fashion

Fashion is about esteem, confidence, and sometimes, in ideal situations, artistic expression.  When God made Adam and Eve, they were created naked, and they remained naked, until they fell out of perfect relationship.  Then they built clothes out of leaves, what they had available.  Not because they were uncomfortable physically, but because they now needed masks.  That's what clothing, and fashion, is all about, mostly.  Create an image you want people to see you by, often create an image that manipulates people into acting a certain way towards you, which can affect how you live in public. 

Sometimes, very rarely, we use our clothes and our accessories to show the world parts of who we really are.  That's artistic expression.  Mostly, though, we show the world who we want to be, who we want others to see us as.  It helps us believe some of those things about ourselves when we can't do it in our own power.  This sounds sad, and it is a result of our living in a Fallen Wo…

Tuesday Truth - #CutTheBull

Hey guys!

It's me, Curtis, and I wanted to talk with you guys about something that I think needs more limelight:  bullying.

First and second grades were the worst years of my academic career.  Schoolwork was never an issue for me, it was socialization.  I had always gotten on really well with adults, growing up.  It was the other children that were hard for me.  In first grade, I had found a small group of boys that I was fitting in with reasonably well.  I even pretended to really like the Power Rangers to fit in.  By the end of the year, and into the next one, something had gone horribly wrong. One of the boys was Guillermo and he was the ring-leader. His older sister was friends with my older sister.  There must have been some kind of falling out between the two, for Guillermo to wake up one day and say to himself, "I'm going to make Curtis' life a living nightmare!"  To be honest, I'm not one hundred percent sure what did happen, but I do know things beca…

Mandi's CandI Corner - Mandi CandI Stylebox

Do you know what I saw on the news the other day? It was a segment on the latest thing trending, particularly for women. It's the Surprise Stylebox! That's right, it is the thing to shop for this year.

As your personal Merchandiser and stylist, I've decided to help you get in on this latest trend. Beginning May 1st, I will be offering all of you a subscription to a Mandi CandI Surprise Stylebox!!+ This is a perfect way for you to stay in fashion + support The DiversAble Model Project*. Every box you receive will include at least one piece from our latest collection. If you live locally, or are willing to pick up your boxes, I may include extra goodies ;-)

Check out the image in this post to see all the great budget options I'm offering. Once you select your style, budget**, and frequency, or if you would like to discuss other Stylebox options, comment here, message me on Facebook, or email me at and I'll get you set up.

+This offer is EXCL…

Fashion Friday - Alicea Pratt Saldana

On August 2, 1992 a three year old little girl played near her tenth floor window in Brooklyn. Dad was out for breakfast, while mom awaited comfortably in her pajamas. Within seconds, the unthinkable happened. The window guard was loose and the little girl fell down ten stories! I am blessed to present the survivor of this horrific accident, Alicea Pratt Saldana:

She spent two years recovering from her fall and is paralyzed from the waist down. However, as you can see in the picture above, Alicea is no stranger to a good time! She will be 26 years old on May 20th and says her greatest accomplishment is the ability to live her life the way she's always wanted to. Alicea now lives in Freeport, Long Island and is very enthusiastic about The DiversAble Model Project. She joined the project because she believes it gives women with Diverse Abilities a chance to be seen as equals. The project allows women with Diverse Abilities to be just as fashionable as the next person!

Alicea, your j…

Thankful Thursday - Angelica Tineo

Hey Everyone!

This is Angelica.  She's one of our son's Godmothers.  She and her husband Franklyn, they've been lifesavers for Amanda and I.  We've known them for a few years, but really, it feels like we've known them forever.  I thank God, often (probably like every week or so, give or take ;-), for these two, especially Angie.

As a lot of you may have read in my post on Tuesday, life can get a little hairy around here.  Since Little Bear was born, there are very few people that we've trust to take care of him, until more recently.  Angie is on that very short list.  She has done so much to support us in our everyday lives, that's almost enough to warrant calling her a DiversAble Ally with just that.  But there's more!

Even before Amanda started pursuing the DiversAble Model project, Angie has supported her jewelry business.  She has hosted parties, she has helped Amanda set up her displays, run events.  Now that Amanda's added the DiversAble dim…

Tuesday Truth - Spouse/CareGiver

"Oh, you're such a great guy!"  "She's just so lucky."  "She must love you very much."  "You did her makeup?"  "You did her hair?"  "You could work at a salon!" 

These are things people say when they get the five minute version of both how my wife and I met, or a general rundown of our lives.  I must be some kind of saint, right, to voluntarily take on the burden of a wife with a Diverse Ability, volunteering to take on the physical responsibilities of two parents in our family?  Wrong.  I'm kind of part husband, part home health aide, and whatever problems you can imagine occurring with either station, we've had them. 

What are some possible issues you could imagine having with a husband, all you wives out there?  Neglectful or forgetful behavior?  Not spending enough time with you, or not interested in what goes on in your life?  Too focused on his own stuff to want to focus on your stuff, too?  Spending …

Fashion Friday - Jessica Tambor

For this week's Fashion Friday, I'm excited to introduce you to my friend Jessica Tambor! Jessica and I went to school together and she was one of the top students in our class. She continues to be very active and has accomplished so much already. Here is her story in her own words:

"My name is Jessica Tambor. I live in Queens, NY and I have a Spinal Cord Injury. I have a trach to breathe and I use a power wheelchair to get around, but that doesn’t stop me. I am very active. I go out with my friends, volunteer, have a part time job, and have my teaching license in elementary education and special education.  
My greatest accomplishments so far are graduating with a Master’s Degree, dorming at college when I was going for my Undergraduate degree, and having a part-time job at the 'Y'. 
This project is important to me because people with Diverse Abilities are under-represented in media. Also, a lot of times able bodied actors play disabled characters on TV and in movie…

Thankful Thursday (a day late) - Jessica Ford

See the woman pictured on the left?? I've never met her in person. She hardly knows me at all. In fact, we've only ever chatted online. So you can imagine my surprise when she messaged me to sponsor one of my DiversAble Models!

Jessica Ford is a fellow Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser and major supporter of The DiversAble Model Project. In the last few weeks, I've been blessed with the opportunity to chat with her on Facebook and get to know her a little better. She is proudly expecting another child, yet still finds time to run her business and make room to support her team. Jessica has truly inspired me to press forward with this project through her support and willingness to give.

Thanks so much girl, for being amazing! I look forward to our friendship growing and to meeting you face-to-face in the near future. You are changing lives by following our CandI motto, "Be confident. Be creative. Be you."

Step out of your daily routine and become a DiversAble Ally, like …

Worship Wednesday - Where Do Diverse Abilities Come From?

Hi #DiversAbleFriends! On this Worship Wednesday, my hubby takes a very brief look at a great man of the Bible. From him, you should learn to not be afraid to go forth when God calls you because He will do wonders through you!! Enjoy

Be an "Aaron" for a DiversAble Model today by placing an order on my boutique at

Tuesday Truth - I Don't Want To Be Inspiring

I often get asked questions like, "How do you type?", or "Can you travel alone?" People seem to be amazed at the basic things I do, especially when it goes against their idea of what it means to be "disabled."

When you look at our public assistance and welfare services, you will see that our government perpetuates the idea that "disabled people" are unable to be productive contributors to society. In fact, we are penalized by the rules whenever we behave "normally." When I was ready to begin college, I was told by my home care agency that my Home Attendant could not accompany me because I obviously didn't require services if I could go to school. I guess I was supposed to starve and not use the bathroom for the day until I got home. I am blessed in that my mom was a very strong advocate for me. My Medicaid health insurance was recently turned off (though they pay for my home care) because "I made too much money."

As a per…

Mandi's CandI Corner - When Mandi CandI Met Mandicure

Please watch this whole video (not that long)

As promised, I have a brand new opportunity for you to get involved in The DiversAble Model Project!
Here are the links you'll need to GET INVOLVED:

Sneak Peek Saturday - Charming

It's been yet another long, yet amazing week! This project has so much happening behind the scenes. Once some details are confirmed, I'll be sure to share the wonderful things about to take place. For now, enjoy this Sneak Peek Saturday (ok, early Sunday morning) post!

Coming Up This Week:

Monday - I'll be introducing you to this "charming" piece on my Mandi's CandI Corner video + I'll be telling you about a new opportunity I have for you to get involved in supporting The DiversAble Model Project!
Tuesday - On this week's Tuesday Truth, our topic will be, "I Don't Want to Be an Inspiration!"
Wednesday - We'll be talking about a man with a possible speech impediment in the Bible on Worship Wednesday.
Thursday - You know what it is...Thankful Thursday! We'll shine the spotlight on a new DiversAble Ally.
Friday - It's all about Fashion Friday on this blog. I have a DiversAble Model you don't want to miss ;-)


Fashion Friday - Monica de la Cruz Mendoza

Today's DiversAble Model comes from sunny Orlando, Florida! We met in New York at a camp, where we spent many of our our summers. She has grown into a beautiful woman and mom. She has become a strong supporter of this project and boldly reached out to me asking for a DiversAble Ally. Here is her story in her own words:

"My name is Monica de la Cruz Mendoza. I am from Orlando Florida and I have Cerebral Palsy. I went to Children's Bible Fellowship for many years and that's where I met Amanda. She is an amazing friend and an inspiration to me!
One of my greatest accomplishments was becoming a mother because there were a lot of obstacles that I had to overcome for that miracle to happen. My other greatest accomplishment was moving to another state with my child and supporting my family on my own. Another accomplishment I am proud is having become a part of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City. This organization has taught me a lot about my own Diverse Ability and introdu…

Thankful Thursday - Anonymous Allies

Do you normally sit through the credits at the end of a movie? Do you read the acknowledgment page in a book? I have to confess that I didn't used to (except in Marvel films when you know there's a little clip at the end!) I know that the reason I didn't watch the credits or pay much attention to the acknowledgments is because it took too long and I didn't feel personally connected to any of the people.

I started Thankful Thursday because I didn't just want to focus on people with visible Diverse Abilities. I want this project to unite people from around the world! I wanted to take the time to share the stories and faces of those who support the inclusion of people like me in society. This project has many DiversAble Allies and some have asked to remain anonymous.

I want you each to know that this project wouldn't exist without you! We appreciate the time you take to think of people who may be struggling because of their Diverse Abilities. I  personally apprec…

Worship Wednesday - You're Invited

The honor of your presence is requested  at the union of my Father, Jesus Christ & YOU!

This is an open invitation and, unlike most wedding invitations, this guest list has no limit. Throughout the Bible, Christ refers to the church as His Bride. This is so significant because the family unit, the basic building block of society, began with a groom and his bride.
Prior to The Fall described in Genesis, the relationship Adam and Eve had with God is the perfect image of His desired relationship with us! God walked and talked with His creation on a daily basis. Adam and Eve lived in the beautiful Garden of Eden, where they unashamedly walked around naked, physically and spiritually. 

The intimacy this couple experienced with God and with each other illustrates the deep connection that we are vowing to work towards when we come believers and when we get married. This level of love was tainted when Satan tempted Eve and sin was brought into the world. It is our sin nature that causes us to …

Tuesday Truth - DiversAble Models in the Workplace

Let's face it, finding a job these days is quite a feat for everyone! Try adding a very visible, physical Diverse Ability and you've got a mountain to climb.

I want to run today's Tuesday Truth as a real Q & A session, so I will answer ALL your questions regarding my experience as a person with Diverse Abilities in the workplace until 11:59pm tonight!! No question is stupid and if you're thinking it, there are at least 100 other people wondering the same thing... If you are unable to post your question directly on the blog, then please post it in the comments on Facebook or email me at! I'll be re-posting your questions and my replies here for everyone to see!!

Every person who asks a question will be entered into a raffle to be drawn at Midnight!! The prize is unbeatable ;-)


Mandi's CandI Corner - Heritage Blossom

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend! I highly enjoyed my Easter, remembering what Jesus did for me and you all those years ago. It's amazing to know He loved me, even then!

Due to the holiday, I didn't get around to posting a Sneak Peek on Saturday, but check out my CandI Corner video for a live look at some Spring Must-Haves ;-) Did I mention a special offer?? Yeah, you want to watch this one:

This project is getting ready to do some BIG things that I'll be sharing soon!! Join the movement now by ordering these pieces and much more at

Fashion Friday - Kate Weglikowski

Happy Good Friday Everyone! 
We are back for another Fashion Friday. Today I'm revealing a DiversAble Model who I've known for many years. We went to school together and she was always a smart woman. She is very involved in supporting the inclusion of people with Diverse Abilities. Here is Kate Weglikowski and her story:

"My name is Kate Weglikowski. I am a 28 year old woman from Long Island, with Cerebral Palsy. At age six, I was diagnosed with a binaural hearing loss. In 2009, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hofstra University, with a BA in Public Relations. Currently, I am employed for the Town Board of the Town of Hempstead and I volunteer  for North Shore Hospital and The Games for the Physically Challenged. In 2014, I received a citation from Nassau County Executive, Ed Mangano,  for my fundraising efforts for the Games. By volunteering for the Games, I am able to give back to an organization that means so much to me and help keep the Games going for f…

Thankful Thursday - Leah Wimpfheimer

Today we are thanking my good friend, Leah Wimpfheimer! I met this super sweet woman when she was a counselor at a camp I worked at. She was very quiet and reserved, but I remember feeling like there was something special about her.

Over the years, my friendship with Leah has blossomed. I have gotten to witness her great sense of humor, prayed with her through trials, and celebrated successes. Every step of the way, Leah's compassion and love for other's always shined through!

Leah was one of our first DiversAble Allies. Even when she didn't have funds to spare, she managed to sponsor a DiversAble Model she doesn't even know yet! This woman is beautiful inside and out.

Thank you Leah for being such a loyal and true friend. Your good deeds don't go unnoticed. We appreciate you and are excited to have you be involved with this project. It may not always feel like it and it may not always look like it, but you are impacting and changing people's lives everyday!


Worship Wednesday - Blessings

A little late, but here is our Wednesday Worship post! I really love the song Blessings by Laura Story. As I thought about a song to present, I felt this song most closely relates to what this project stands for. I only sang the first verse and chorus as my Little Bear is fast asleep. Please note that this was done on my rinky dink laptop with the laptop's mic and speakers Lol. I strongly encourage you to listen to the full song here: Thanks!

Be sure to continue supporting this project by placing an order on my boutique at

Tuesday Truth (delayed) - Being a Parent with Diverse Abilities

Sorry for not getting to this yesterday guys, but it was "End of the Month Madness" around here. Luckily, I hit my March goal and you'll be getting 2 posts from me today!

Last week, we were blessed to read a bit of Ericka Hostler's story about raising a child with Diverse Abilities. Today I want to take you to the other side: Being a Parent with Diverse Abilities. There is so much that can be addressed around this topic, but I want to briefly share my personal experience.

I knew from an early age, like many girls, that I wanted to have a family. I didn't know, like many girls, what that truly entailed. I got married at a young age (3 weeks before my 21st birthday) and I knew I wasn't ready to have children then, but I began my research. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of information on my Diverse Ability, and even less on parenting with a Diverse Ability. I searched hard for parenting prep classes that would specifically address some of the issues people…