Many of you know that I'm a big proponent of formulaic dressing, and especially while on vacation! A hat for keeping the face shaded + a breezy dress/cover-up + comfy neutral sandals was my daily uniform. My second keeper from Swell was this cream ruffle dress. I love the sultriness of an off-the-shoulder style but without the fuss and struggle of keeping the sleeves up. This has thin top straps and also an elasticized bust, so the fit is secure and the off-shoulder sleeve things are decorative. Please note that although there's two layers, bright swimsuits or garments underneath does show through, so if you want to wear this alone as a dress be sure to wear nude-colored undergarments. A size S fit well for me as-shown and can easily be worn through maternity days...heheh.
Also as you may be able to tell, I've really been liking Accessory Concierge pieces lately. The costume jewelry quality in my experience so far has been weighty and durable, plus the company is run by two moms which I admire and am happy to support! Along with this necklace, I did request this scarf, just to be able to test out the quality as a suggested dupe for my ASOS one and report back. It's big and cozy and the print is on-point (see on me), but be warned something about this material was statick-y for me and caused wild lion hair. They have another navy/green plaid similar to my LOFT one on sale, which I thought was adorable on Fran and didn't look as frizz-generating against her hair. While playing around, I came up with a new favorite way to tie an oversized square scarf and will post a step-by-step soon.
I wanted to bring another versatile cover-up with sleeves and thought this Lush dress (see it styled 2 other ways) was perfect for the occasion. As much as I appreciate silks and other finer materials, this type of polyester travels very eaisly, dries quickly, and takes up minimal luggage space and weight when rolled up. I balled up each of these dresses and used them to stuff underwire bikinis and keep them "shaped" in my suitcase.
I've mentioned this before, but since the Lush dress has an elasticized waist, you can adjust the length of the skirt just by tucking more or less material under the elastic. Also if you find the crossover neckline to be a little too revealing, I typically wear this dress with the bust safety pinned an inch up for more coverage.
We had a tough time choosing a resort out of the myriad of options in Punta Cana so decided to stay at a few! I'm glad we did as each was so very different and really gave us a flavor of the range of options. These photos were taken at the Level Melia Caribe which was the most spread-out property we stayed at. The resort had expansive lush gardens, spanish-inspired architecture, and exotic-looking birds galore roaming free. At one point Nick and I had found what we thought was a secluded patch of ground to take photos on, before noticing a pack of peacocks encircling us and zoning in with sharp beaks and beady eyes...I don't think I've ever heard such a high-pitched shriek from my future husband and seen him scurry so fast ; ). The beach was approximately a 10 min walk from the rooms (unless you stayed at the closer adults-only section) so most people opted to get around via little train shuttles or call for golf carts. It wasn't the most convenient so we personally preferred other resorts that were more concentrated.
The "Level" is just a subset of the overall Melia Caribe resort with extra access to a designated restaurant, pool, and beach area in addition to the general amenities. The lodging was the most spacious out of all the places we stayed, and Nick especially enjoyed his Presidente beer in a bubbly hot tub that opened into the bedroom (and most importantly, ESPN on TV). Unfortunately one thing consistent at all the resorts we stayed at was mediocre food at best, and you do have to be careful if you have a weaker tummy.
Leaving you guys with this snapshot of our breakfast by the Gabi pool - it was my first time trying passion fruit which is a tart little thing. Wish I knew some of your expert serving suggestions from Instagram (mixing with sprite, sugar, and other desserts, etc.) in advance!