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Posts Tagged ‘Weddings’

I was contacted by Dakota’s Personalized Gifts asking if I would be willing to do a product review for their company. Once I visited their website I was thrilled to have the opportunity. The hardest decision was what product I wanted to review! They have a large selection of items for men, women, babies, weddings, graduations, memorials…. There are a pile of options to choose from.

I chose the Personalized Rhinestone Ladies Baby Tee Shirt and the Personalized Rhinestone Ladies Cotton Shorts from their Birthday Gifts For Her area. Soon after, I was sent the outfit.


The first thing I noticed when the package arrived was how soft the shirt and shorts were. They were soft like my favorite t-shirt. They weren’t stiff like some brands. The seams of the outfit were sewn straight and the rhinestone decals were placed nicely. I chose the letter R for my name. I love the outfit! It’s so comfortable!!

About Dakota’s Personalized Gifts:

We started in a spare bedroom about 5 years ago more as a part time hobby than a business with The Anniversary Rose making roses for the traditional anniversary gifts (i.e. 1st year paper, 2nd year cotton, 5th year wood etc) cutting rose petals by hand with scissors. It quickly grew from a part time hobby to a full time business, adding help and equipment to keep up. Then, we started expanding into personalized anniversary gifts. We started getting many requests from our customers for personalized wedding, Mother’s & Father’s Day and Christmas gifts etc. That’s when we started Dakota’s Personalized Gifts. Soon the business took over a second bedroom and the garage, the following year it occupying two bedrooms, the garage & a full basement. With no room left to expand we were forced to move into a commercial location in 2009. We continue to expand with new products and updated equipment all the time which allows us to produce most of the personalized items in house.

Buy It: The Personalized Rhinestone Ladies Baby Tee Shirt retails for $28.95 and the Personalized Rhinestone Ladies Cotton Shorts retail for $28.95 as well.
You may use the following coupon codes when you order:

10OFF50 for $10 off when you spend $50
15OFF75 for $15 off when you spend $75
GRD-OCT31
for free ground shipping when you spend $35

Win It: Dakota’s Personalized Gifts has been kind enough to offer one lucky Dozenroses13 reader a choice between a $50 gift certificate and free US shipping OR a T-Shirt and Shorts set as shown above.

If you’d like to enter to win this prize, please follow this link to my new and improved blog site to enter.  I am planning to migrate all further posts over there.

Good Luck!

**I received no monetary compensation for this post. Dakota’s Personalized Gifts provided me with sample products for my review. The opinions expressed herein are my own.**
Images from: Michael T. Henry Photography & Dakota’s Personalized Gifts

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While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know.  The best way I could come up with was an interview series.

This week’s interviews all have a military connection.  Meet my friend SaraSara and I met on MySpace through our friend KimSara is an army wife.  She got to know my good friend Lisa who was featured in yesterday’s blog when she moved from Yakima, WA to Ft. Hood, TX.

Sara and her hubby Mark

Name: Sara Caraway Kowalski

Blog link: http://armywife1208.wordpress.com/

Age: 34…almost old enough to be offended by giving out my real age! lol

Location: Fort Hood, Texas

Sara & Mark ~ December 27, 2008

Relationship Status: Married since December 27, 2008

Occupation: Mother and Army Wife Extraordinaire

Caitlin, Celsie and Cyler

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Dealing with children who rarely listen and putting up with the frustrations that come along with the Army life. I’m a married single mom, that is the easiest way to put it!

Last picture saying goodbye to Mark


You’re new to the Army Wife world. What are the biggest difference between being a civilian wife and an Army Wife?

Well first and foremost the Army comes first and everything else comes second. It is something that I am still trying to get used to. As a civilian you only spend time away from your spouse because one of you needs or wants time away with the Army separations are part of the job description. I find that I have distanced myself more from friends and family back home because they don’t understand exactly what I’m going through. Unless you actually are a military spouse you will never truly understand what one is going through.

What is the best part of being a military spouse?
Friends who become family very quickly. I feel closer to my friends that I have made here than some of those who I have been friends with for years. The extreme pride I feel for my husband when he puts on his uniform each morning.

The kids saying goodbye to Mark

Your husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and he’s been gone for about a month.  How are you coping?
Mark has been gone for a little over a month, although it feels a lot longer. I was a wreck when he first left but I am starting to get a routine down which make things a little better. I seem to have thrown myself into my kids and working on the house more than I have since we have been here. I don’t want my kids to feel like their mother can’t cope just because their dad/step-dad isn’t around.

How are your children handling it?
They really seemed to struggle at first. They were asking on a daily basis when he was coming home and now that he has been gone for a bit they have eased up on that. Although my 6-year-old still tells everyone she meets that her daddy is in Afghanistan killing the bad guys. It isn’t exactly what I want her telling people but she knows her daddy and his friends are making it possible for her to go bed at night and sleep safely.

What are the toughest times not having your husband home?
I think it is hardest when something needs done around the house that he would normally take care of. The front porch light burnt out two days after he left and I just cried. It sounds silly because it’s just a light but it caused my first mini-breakdown. The nights are hard too because we normally hangout watching movies and things after the kids go to bed and now there is just me here. I also hate sleeping alone and even when one of my kids crawl in bed with me it just isn’t the same.

Do you find yourself glued to the news stations?
Actually I promised Mark that I wouldn’t do this just for my own sanity. I watched CNN for a few hours one day and found that I could learn more accurate info by just talking to my hubby.

The family

Do you have a huge homecoming planned for him?
I don’t have anything set in stone for his homecoming. I know that I am hiring the photographer who took our family pictures to photograph the homecoming but that’s all I have for now. I would rather do something small and simple with just us and the kids rather than something huge.

I think this picture is soooo cute!!

What advice do you have for a new military spouse?
Don’t get mad at your spouse for things they can’t control. Your plans will always get screwed up by CQ, Staff Duty, or late nights for no reason. Learn to be laid back and to go with the flow, you will be much less stressed. Nothing in the Army makes sense, they sooner you accept this the better off you will be. Febreze does NOT cover up the Army smell…you will eventually learn to like it, you’ll even miss it when/if your spouse deploys.

What got you interested in blogging?
I accidentally clicked on the most popular blogs on Myspace one day a few years ago and one of them caught my eye. I read it and I was hooked on reading them. I eventually started my own just to get things of my chest. I did it mainly for my friends and family. I started to get more and more readers that I didn’t know which made want to write more for some reason. I quit for a while because of getting married and moving, I’m slowly making some sort of comeback.

Do you feel that there are perks to having so many years between your youngest and oldest child?
It has it positives and it’s negatives. They aren’t very close because of the 10 year difference but since they are so spread out I can enjoy different things with each of them. I can play with my son, watch cartoons, and just be silly and with my oldest I have someone to hangout with or someone to go do things with. I can take her shopping or to the movies and not have to seem something rated “G”. Also with the huge gap I always have a sitter if I need it! lol

Sara & Lisa

Lisa & Sara ~ I just thought this was such a cute picture!!

Tell me when you’re going to come visit NY with Lisa….
Oh I wish we could. I have never been to New York and would love to at least say I have been there. Sadly the Army doesn’t pay too well so I just can’t afford it right now. So when are you coming to Texas to visit us? You only have a limited time ya know, she is moving soon!:(

You got to have a video conference with your husband this week. What was it like? How did it go?
Do you feel like seeing him helped you miss him less? What were your feelings after?
It was amazing and depressing at the same time. We only were allowed five minutes each because there were so many soldiers who signed up. It went well and I didn’t cry like I thought I would…well at least were he saw (I waited until we were done). I think it made me miss him more because I was wanted to feel him so bad and yet I couldn’t.

You lived at Ft. Hood during the shootings here earlier this year. What was it like that day? What were you doing when you heard about it? How have things there changed since then??
I was working that day and got a text message from my husband saying there was a shooting and the next thing I knew he was texting me saying all of Fort Hood was on lock down. All I could do was watch CNN to see what was going on because all of the phone lines were busy. I finally made it home to an empty house because my girls were locked in their schools, the neighbor had my son and they were locked in the school as well. I sat on my couch glued to the tv and basically just answered phone call after phone call from people back home making sure we were all ok.  All of my family was separated in different locations around post, which was the worst feeling because when something major is going on you want your family with you.  When the finally opened Hood back up it was close to 9pm at night, my poor babies had been at school all day. I had a lot of questions to answer from my kids and had to deal with the fears that something or someone would come hurt them. My husband’s company had 11 wounded and 4 killed that day. So there is a constant reminder of that day when I’m at the company. My husband was actually supposed to be at the SRP building that day and was fortunate enough to need some medical and dental work done before they could stamp him as deployable.  I never though that a bad back and a cavity could be such a blessing.

Happily Ever After....

Do you have any questions for Sara?
Ask away, she’s got lots of time while she waits for her hero Mark to come home….

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Jeremy in Antarctica

While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know.  The best way I could come up with was an interview series.

This week’s interviews are all going to have a military connection.  Meet my friend JeremyJeremy gets deployed to Antarctica on a regular basis.  He is married to Mandy who was featured in yesterday’s blog.

Name: Jeremy Westervelt

Age: 35 (Today is Jeremy’s BIRTHDAY! Wish him a Happy Birthday!!)

Location: Scotia, NY

Relationship Status: Married

Occupation: Aerospace Propulsion Craftsman / 109’th Airlift Wing / NY Air National Guard

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Being held accountable in our every day work, after all its the little things that matter the most it seems.

What’s it like being away from your wife so often while you’re deployed?
Alot of memories of past times come to mind and of course being away for a long period of time brings on the loneliness from Mandy and everyone else.


Penguins in Antarctica

Do you think that penguins are cute or annoying?
Definitely very cute and harmless to people, but they are very curious creatures and often hang out around the Ice-Field at times. But touching or feeding one could cost you $15,000 per instance if caught by the right person.

Mandy & Jeremy ~ October 17, 2009

You just got married this past October. What was the most challenging part of planning your wedding?
Trying to pick who was coming to the wedding.

You’re a new homeowner, do you have any big house project planned for the coming year?
Yep, all new windows, taking down a tree in the backyard, and getting rid of the mold in the attic.

I know you love cars. Other than the cars you already own, what is your dream car?
It would have to be the early 1990’s Nissan Skyline R32 GTR (only sold in Japan of course)

What is your favorite destination for a long ride in your Honda S2000?
Probably would have to be going to Inlet, NY in the Adirondacks. (definitely driving the S2000, not the truck)

How many pets do you have and what are they?
2 cats and several freshwater fish that I can’t keep track of since guppies constantly reproduce and Mandy insists on keeping them.

You briefly worked in a pet store. What should people consider before becoming pet owners that most do not?
Probably would be time and budget. Cats are a tad bit pricey, but not as much as dogs can be. And fish are expensive starting out if you need the tank and other parts. Same applies to small critters, lizards, birds, etc…

I know you love video gaming. What’s your favorite game? Are you more of an old school gamer or do you love the new stuff?
I’m a fan of both. Old school gaming is always fun to get back to and see how hard those games really were. But new games are very exciting as well and I really look forward to seeing what comes out on the horizon.

What is my favorite video game franchise?
Gran Turismo, hands down. But the Ridge Racer series comes second to me, then Halo.

Mandy & Jeremy

Don’t forget, it’s Jeremy’s birthday! So give him a shout out!!

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Mandy and her husband Jeremy ~ October 17, 2009 Photo credit - Michael T. Henry Photography

While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know.  The best way I could come up with was an interview series.

This week’s interviews are all going to have a military connection.  Meet my friend Mandy.  Mandy’s military connection is through her husband Jeremy who gets deployed to Antarctica on a regular basis.   We’re going to hear a bit more about Jeremy in tomorrow’s blog.  So stay tuned for that 🙂

Name: Mandy Westervelt

Age: 30

Location: Upstate, NY

Relationship Status: Married

Occupation: SEFCU Member Specialist

What made you leave retail full-time to go into banking? I wanted to spend more time with my now husband.  Banking hours are not as good as they used to be, but better than working in a mall.

Why don’t you subscribe to social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter? I don’t want to be part of the cult.  I just don’t have the time to update and check the sites all the time.  Those sites also seem a bit like stalking…if someone wants to invite me anywhere  or ask me how I am, they can contact me in real life.

What’s it like being married to someone in the military that gets deployed on a regular basis? It sucks!  Unfortunately, it comes with loving the man.  He is a wonderful man with a great job even though it causes me to be alone 3 months every year.

You work in a shoe store, just how crazy are women about their shoes? Most are not, they just appreciate shoes.  The worst is the people who do not appreciate shoes and return shoes after wearing them.  That is wrong-read the return policy!

What about men? Most men are clueless about shoes and they will bring me their pants and I pick out their shoes for them.  A few can pick out their own shoes, and most the time, they are gay.

What’s your favorite video game? All time would be the classic Tetris.  Lately, it has been Pet Vet for the Wii.  I didn’t think I would get into it at first, but the game is addicting.

You just got married this past October.  What was the most challenging part of planning your wedding? Dealing with my reception hall.  They had a wedding planner when I booked the place, and she left a year before my wedding and I had to make all the contacts after that point.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? I’m a sucker, not a licker.  🙂

Do you have any questions for Mandy?

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