When I found out I was pregnant, I started going through my closet packing all the things I knew would not work for my growing belly, and hanging up all the things that would work. I was pleasantly surprised that 90% of the cute things I could wear were dresses and tops I got at my favorite local shop, Strut Boutique. Strut Boutique is owned by the fabulous Ashley Scanlin-Pignone. She's a mom, business owner, and one of my dearest friends. I told Ashley about how excited I was about being able to wear my Strut clothes during the pregnancy, and it gave me an idea... a maternity fashion shoot to share how cute, comfy, and stylish you can be rocking a baby bump, or like the title of this post " Strutting what your baby gave you!"
Before we dive into the photos from the shoot, I wanted to take a minute to share a little bit about Ashley and her mom advice!
What inspired you to open Strut Boutique?
Ashley: A passion for fashion is what inspired me to open STRUT. As a kid I'd go to Michael's and it started with me making clothes for my Barbie dolls then I took fashion/merchandizing in school and loved designing my own clothes. I've always liked wearing outfits out of the norm or when I did buy things I altered them to look different.Since I was a teenager it's been my dream to open my own boutique! Dreams do come true!
What has life been like being a Boss mom ?
Ashley: Being a Boss momma is hard work but very rewarding! I definitely have had to learn to balance every day Life better. I am thankful I get to bring my child to work with me everyday and I think I have it down to a science now. Some days are hectic, answering phone calls and emails with a 1 year old crawling all over you or having a temper tantrum is my norm now.. I can multitask like no other.. He may be climbing up my leg while I am cashing out a customer or trying to run into the dressing room ,But most times he is content being our entertainment and greets ever lady with a smile! I'd have it no other way.I work hard so I can give my child the best life I can!
What styles do you recommend for expecting mom’s?
Ashley: I recommend wearing whatever you feel comfortable in .You don't necessarily need to buy maternity clothing.I didn't buy one piece.Most the time a pair of leggings and a oversized shirt is the answer for a casual look.Most of my dresses became tops, add a belt to dress it up. Soft knit fabrics and breathable material are a must..those hot flashes get real serious. Maxi dresses or a fitted dress with a pattern can be super cute to accent that cute baby bump..Show it off!! Don't be afraid to take fashion risks, have fun with it!!
Can you give me your favorite mom styling tips?
Ashley: I can honestly say my style has changed a little bit as a mom..No more long dangling earrings, no more big statement necklaces, no more heels, not as much time spent on my hair and makeup. I keep it classy by adding a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan with jeans, leather pants or a dress!Lots of graphic tees and dark colors are my go to. Comfy shoes are a must.I keep it simple, but still stylish. Don't get it twisted though..when it's a mommy's night out I go all out!
"Strut What Your Baby Gave You" Photo Shoot
I set up the lighting and camera and had help from my hubby & Ashley to take these photos
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Located at 308 State St. Watertown, NY 13601
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Hair & Makeup in Ashley's Photos by Angela at Elements Day Spa & Salon
I think I got hit by the reality train in week 29. It might have been the visit to the doctor saying ... "You're in the third trimester of our pregnancy" or maybe someone telling me.. you're dancing and lip syncing on stage in your third trimester.. don't have the baby on stage (more on this topic later).
INSPIRATION-> BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
"BORN IN THE U.S.A"
Week 28's photo required not one, but three helpers, and a flag. The flag in the photo belongs to my husband's parents, and it has a pretty SWEET story!
The flag was found when they were helping with some clean up and rehab on an old building. It was on the floor in a balcony area. It's a 48 star flag that was made before 1959 when Alaska and Hawaii became states. It's approximately 5'x8' and have individually sewn stripes. The stars are applique and are sewn on. Although it is in very good condition, other than some minor stains, and moth holes, the cotton material is too fragile to allow it to be used for display.
WOW.. what a story right! So when it came time for the photo, I borrowed the flag but did not want to clap or pin it to anything to get the shot. I took the flag back to his parents house and had them hold up the flag in the living room while my Ken, the hubs aka photo assistant, took the photo. He was happy to take this photo. At the end, you will see him with his mug that was very fitting for a cup of coffee after he took this photo.
INSPIRATION-> DAVID BOWIE
This one was funnnn! It took me 25 minutes to do my makeup. My leg was going numb standing in one spot for so long. If I dance and move around I'm fine. Dance... like I did the past 2 weeks! ...
MOM'S INSANE is a title Ken came up with. Here's the reasoning...
So the last two weeks, I have participated in a Lip Sync Competition hosted by the radio station, Tunes 92.5. I also work at Tunes, and came up with this fun idea. I also like participating in the event. And even though yes! I'm in my third trimester... I couldn't pass a chance to participate!
Week 28-- I performed, "I'm Pregnant & I Know it" and "Uptown Funk" with my friends were all judges in the competition. Ashley Scanlin-Pignone from Strut Boutique, Olivia Grant from ABC 50, and Singer, Songwriter, Eddie Cito. Week 29-- I performed Queen "We Will Rock You" and Ken came up for the Guitar Solo.. which he was really playing because he really took the time to learn it! My second song that night was a mix I made.. "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette, " Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton, and "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Peppa. I finished the song on "you so crazy.. I think I wanna have your baby".. and dropped the mic. I always wanted to do that!
--- If you read my mini novel, I love your face! Here's a few behind the scenes photos from both photo sessions. Stay tuned for week 30... !