Zanna_Roberts_Rassi

After two years of struggling to get and stay pregnant, Zanna Roberts Rassi’s doctor said to her, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant. Not just a little pregnant, but like really pregnant.” And for anyone who’s been there, you know what that means: Twins.

“I told my husband [Milk Studios founder Mazdack] Rassi and he just burst out laughing and said, brilliant.”

And just like that, two new projects were added to the Rassi portfolio. The fashion polymath is already an editor at Marie Claire, a stylist (clients include True Religion and Pantene), a correspondent for E! News and a Project Runway regular.

She’s also funny, British and adorable, like a woodland sprite who chose Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, as her habitat and a style that’s more sleek with a hint of rock-n-roll than ethereal bohemian (though we’re sure she could pull that off, too). Next week we’ll share Zanna’s fertility trials and tribulations – there were plenty. But first: A peek into life as a professional city mom with 4-month-old twins.

What She Does All Day

Fashion editor, TV fashion correspondent and stylist. One day I’m on a campaign shoot for a fashion client the next interviewing celebs or designers for E! News the next on the Today show talking fashion tips then to a brainstorming meeting at Marie Claire. Never the same day twice.

The Beginning

My parents were in NY when the twins were born. They waved us off to the hospital at 5am for the planned C-section. We floated around on cloud nine for the three weeks afterwards.

Double Vision… Twice!

We are fortunate enough to have a place out of the city – a very old cottage and garden in New Jersey that reminds me of where I was born: Manchester, UK. But this means we had to buy four of everything. Four cribs, four bouncy chairs, two double strollers and you get the picture! Finding bargains is essential – like the $100 cribs from Ikea!

I’ve Got This Figured Out

With twins, you have to have systems and schedules. Demand feeding would be a disaster. We would never sleep or eat. Its about always having the next step lined up. The swaddle flat and ready to go when they are ready to go down, the milk warm for straight after the bath so they don’t scream the house down, the diaper bag set at all times, bedding and laundry done once a day so nothing piles up. A place for everything and everything in its place. You can’t drop a beat. And when they’re sleeping, you have to prep for the next thing!

On Names

Rumi, after the Persian poet, my husband is of Persian descent. Juno is ancient Greek goddess. The mother of all gods. Wow, they have some lofty names to live up to!

Mini Workouts

The only way I can help from falling asleep some afternoons is by lifting Rumi over my head. She weighs nearly 10lbs – I figure twenty of those along with daily carrying means I should get some bicep situation happening!

Best Buy

The amazing double stroller the Bugaboo Donkey with an Andy Warhol floral print. It’s fashionable and functional.

Dressing The Bump

I began pregnancy with a personal challenge of not wearing leggings and T-shirts every day. I began #stylethebump on Instagram, this being the way I would stop myself from being lazy! My key is to still dress like yourself. (You dont have to look like a giant baby just because you’re having one!) For me that was a little rock’n’roll in the mix. Leather J Brand leggings were my lifesaver. Invest in one key piece.

Magic Ingredient

We have full time help, Karen. She’s been there since day 4. Our sweet, smart saviour! Since I went back to work a few weeks later, she has been imperative. I respect stay at home mums (like my mother was) more than you can imagine – it’s harder in a different way than working all day. And hands-off Karen anyone reading this!

Travel Necessity

I keep a very organized diaper bag. But it’s not a diaper bag, it’s a fabulous Tumi backpack with a thousand pockets.

The Perfect Moment

It’s Sunday at 8am in our house in New Jersey. The four of us lay in bed. Rassi is snoozing and Juno is sleeping on his chest. I’m nursing Rumi. My mum and dad are cooking up breakfast downstairs whilst “baby symphony” plays in the background. It was magic. I cried!

On Nursing

I couldn’t produce enough for two, so I supplemented with formula from the beginning. I think of breast milk as medicine. I pumped four times a day. Initially, nursing two babies at once, I got the hang of it, it’s like holding two footballs. I don’t know how anyone does it when they’re bigger!

On Pumping

I’ve pumped on set, in the back of an RV, in public toilets. One special day I was in the bathroom at Milk Studios shooting whilst on a conference call, texting my nanny, and looked in the mirror and burst out laughing. Multitasking at its finest.

* A Tip! *

If they won’t latch, wet the bottom of their nose with milk, and they’ll tip they their head up and then you can pop the nipple in!

#Momfail

I missed a doctor’s appointment and I felt so, so guilty.

On Future Rassis

We have a few on ice because we did IVF. That’s the most miraculous thing. They’re breathing, eating, smiling beings after three months on ice! I can’t get my head around that. Such a miracle.

3 Hours To Yourself

I’d catch up with family on the phone, and go sit in a park and drink rose with girlfriends!

A Night With Your Man

It’s our 5-year wedding anniversary, and I’m surprising him with a trip uptown to stay at the Carlyle. I plan to drink champagne, chat like adults with no agenda, and sleep. For us, not getting on a plane is such a luxury!

Can’t Buy Enough

For the girls, Earth Mama Angel Baby oil and Nununu stars and stripes collection. For me, Blueprint green juice is amazing when you don’t have time to do something good for yourself. And Lansinoh nipple cream. My friend Mariana brought it to the hospital for me – life saver.

New Obsession

Rather than trawling boutiques for the coolest little-people things, I hop on Mini Style and find the most unique clothes, accessories, and toys. Its a one-stop shop for buying gifts. Crushing right now on the new Mini X Thief & Bandit collaboration.

On Becoming Her Mother

She’s creeping in. I hear her voice in mine. Morals, manners, family values… I hear it when I talk to Rassi about the girls.

Bethany

Bethenny Frankel started our phone conversation by announcing that she’d just smacked her head on the cabinet. Ah, celebrities, they’re just like us! But then it turned out she’d done it out of excitement from learning her new book, I Suck At Relationships So You Don’t Have To, hit the NYT Best Sellers’ list (her 5th book to make the list). Okay, so, not exactly like us.

That’s Bethenny’s specialty — well, that, and making us LOL with her #nofilter one-liners — she’s relatable in a way that few Housewives (or any sort of media figures, really) could ever be. And she’s managed to spin that wish-she-was-your-BFF charm into an unapologetically hustle-powered empire: multiple TV shows (including a current star turn on RHONY), the SkinnyGirl product line (everything from booze to hummus to blenders), 8 (!!) books, and a very active blog.

What has us most in awe of Bethenny, though, is how she’s wearing the pants and taking the high road while going through a very public – and extremely ugly – divorce. It’s all because she’s focused on her number one priority: 5-year-old daughter Bryn. She spoke to us about finding balance, what hurts her feelings, and why she took a month off from exercise.

The one and only Bethenny Frankel.

Writing Her Latest Book Taught Her…

I learned things that I already knew intellectually but not emotionally. Ultimately the biggest lesson in the book is that, as women, we have great intuition, but we don’t always use it. Ellen DeGeneres said it best: “If you don’t learn your lesson you’ll keep making the same mistakes.”

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On The Possibility Of A Parenting Book

I don’t think so — a business book, maybe, a break-up book, sure, but I think motherhood is hard enough without people giving unsolicited advice about how to be a mother.

What Hurts

Hurting somebody else hurts my feelings. It’s important to take responsibility for people around you.

Her Work Ethic

If you’re going to do something, do it right, otherwise don’t do it! I’ve always had that mentality, and I don’t really know where I got it because I never had anyone tell me I had to finish anything or do anything. When I was young, I quit gymnastics – I didn’t have a lot of discipline. My father was a horse trainer and had an incredible work ethic, so maybe it’s genetic? I don’t know.

Here, Here

I love being a mom, it’s a beautiful adventure and the greatest thing ever. Everyone wants to prioritize and motherhood is a prioritizer. You know where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing, which is great. It takes out all the guess work in our lives. Your job is to do what you want to do – if you have a kid, that’s number one.

Juggling It All

People don’t think I do, but I have a work life balance. When I’m working, I’m really working. And if I can’t be with my child then I’ll work, exercise, or do charity work. But when I’m with Bryn, we’re having fun or doing an activity – I’m not sitting on my phone. That’s my balance: being exactly where I’m supposed to be at all times. There are moms who are with their kids every single day, but they’re on their phones or online shopping, not present. I make it a point that our time together is quality time.

Prioritization In Action

I was on a book tour for a month, and I was home in between events, but I didn’t exercise for that month because I chose motherhood — and sleep, though there wasn’t a lot of that!

Speaking Of Exercise…

I do yoga DVDs – I have my own or I go to Yogaworks. People say I don’t have time to work out or I can’t get to the gym, and workout DVDs don’t occur to them. They are great because if you get interrupted in the middle, you can just hit pause, and get back to it when you’re ready.

Getting Past The Hard Stuff

Don’t focus on the minutia and remember, this too shall pass. It is absolutely brutal, but it is all about perspective. I try to make it into something positive – I write things down so I get to tell other women about the experience. You have to find your “yes” in it. If you can’t be with your children all the time, then when you’re with them, you’re with them alone — you make it into something good. It’s hard, but I know that when you get through something difficult, it feels good, better than just coasting. And you have to know that later on, you’re going to find out why it happened and you’ll be able to make sense of it.

Staying Positive

I’m not into whining about whatever my situation is. I just do the best that I can.

What Makes Her LOL

The housewives make me laugh a lot – that’s part of the reason I went back. I’m really enjoying this. I mean, you can’t write this stuff. It’s hysterical, the things that happen! These girls are really funny, and they don’t even know how funny they are.

On Being A Housewife As A Mom

My priorities are different – I can’t go to all the things I used to. It’s part of the storyline this season. It annoys people, but I have to make my choice. I’m a mom now, that’s my number one, and it is what it is. You can’t do what you can’t do.

Dream Casting Opportunity

Empire, Real Housewives of Atlanta, or Modern Family.

On That Whole Wearing Her Daughter’s PJ’s Photo

It was just some dumb thing that happened. Honestly, it was much ado about nothing. There are certain things that are very polarizing – topics like weight just get people incensed.

The Great Uniter

There’s one thing that every mom agrees on: It all goes so quickly!

cleaning

Kids are cute. But man, are they messy. Industriously messy, really. Who else would think to use yogurt as a hair mask? (And face mask. And floor mask. Thanks, guys.) To clean it all up, 7 of the most effective, safest (as in high scores from the Environmental Working Group) products for your most common ew-situations.

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Ring Around the Bathtub

The culprit: A grimy residue that’s one part baby shampoo and two parts dried remnants from today’s lunch.
The fix: Seventh Generation Natural Tub & Tile Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir Cleaner
Cricket’s tip: Spray the tub right after each use and then rinse out – that way you won’t ever get to bath time and think “ugh”.
Environmental Working Group
Rating:
A

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Clean Hands, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

The culprit: We’re not afraid of germs: Science has shown exposure to the buggers is actually healthy. We’re talking about drippy popsicle hands, melty chocolate fingers, and some digging in the dirt.
The fix: CleanWell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes
Cricket’s tip: They also come in individual to-go packs – perfect for stashing in our diaper bag for on-the-go messes.
EWG Rating: 1

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Urine Luck

The culprit: Pee happens. Most of the time you’re hoping it happens in a diaper or a toilet. But you know where else it happens? In bed.
The fix: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover
Cricket’s tip: It’s not billed as a fix for soaked mattresses, but we’ve found that an aggressive attack of OxiClean and blotting really works. (Note: do not use on wool.)
EWG Rating: B

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Stain Alive

The culprit: Mealtime, enough said.
The fix: Babyganics Stain Eraser
Cricket’s tip: Try to apply to the offending mark as soon as possible – which is why we keep a 2 oz. travel size in our diaper bag.
EWG rating: A

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Players Gonna Play

The culprit: For some reason, toddlers deem gumming their toys to be a necessary part of the playtime ritual.
The fix: Lysol Power and Free Multi-Purpose Wipes
Cricket’s tip: Use this in a 2-step process: Lysol wipe then rinse with water, so all of the not-so-good-stuff is washed away before the kiddos gnaw on the items again.
EWG rating: B

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If These Walls Could Talk

The culprit: There’s just something about nice, clean walls begging for littles to muck them up – with their dirty fingerprints, crayons, ramming trucks into them.
The fix: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Duo
Cricket’s tip: Go easy – it sometimes takes the sheen off of paint, but it really is magical in its ability to rid unwanted scuffs and marks.
EWG rating: B

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We’re Floored

The culprit: Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.
The fix: Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate, Fragrance Free
Cricket’s tip: Since having kids, we’ve become those people, enforcing a “no shoes” policy.
EWG rating: A

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Fit to Print

The culprit: Curious little hands leave fingerprints everywhere.
The fix: Attitude Window & Mirror Cleaner
Cricket’s tip: You can either run around with a spray bottle and cloth all day long or in the immortal words of Elsa, Queen of Arendelle, “Let it go.” Or at least try to let it go.
EWG rating: A

17 Real Moms On Inducing Labor

You’ve heard about sex to induce labor, but what about twerking that baby out or attending a community acupuncture session? Or, um, peanut butter cups? (Not like you’re eating them anyway, right?) We polled our inner circle of moms for the most memorable and EFFECTIVE (like, within-the-hour) ways they hurried things along. And remember: No matter how much it feels like it, you will not be pregnant forever.

“I started eating spicy food at 36 weeks. Like really, really spicy. Around 38 weeks, I started doing 50 squats every time I brushed my teeth. At 41 weeks, with a looming induction on the calendar, I sucked it up and had as aerobic sex as I could (considering I felt like a whale at Sea World and moved like one, too). Guess what? It did the trick. I was in labor within the hour.”

-Sarah

At 40 weeks and 5 days with a looming induction, I hit the interweb and read that putting pressure in the pelvic area could get things going. I cranked up the Juicy J and started twerking (thankfully in the privacy of my own home – it could have scarred small children). My womb was on fire and that baby was born 12 hours later.

-Eve

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“My husband made a famous labor-inducing eggplant parmigiana from a restaurant in Atlanta (they even have an eggplant baby gallery on their website). I was one day past due, not dilated at all, and my OB told me to prepare for another week. I ate the eggplant (delicious, by the way) at 8pm and woke up in labor at 2am.”

-Brooke

“A cervical sweep and Indian food is a magical combo. The cervical sweep is not pleasant and makes you feel like a violated pregnant farm animal, but it is very effective.”

-Vanessa

“I read somewhere that nipple stimulation would do the trick. After my husband tired of playing with them (about the closest he got to my giant boobs all pregnancy), I broke out the breast pump – yes, it was incredibly awkward, but 2 hours later, we were headed to the hospital!”

-Jane

“I walked for miles and miles, listening to hippie-dippie hypnobirthing visualization tapes. I also rubbed primrose oil on my nether regions, sat in a crowded room under a garbage bag-esque blanket for community acupuncture, and did strange hip contortions/yoga poses every night. Did any of it work? Who knows. Will I repeat the crazy next time just in case? You bet.”

-Jasmine

“I wasn’t trying to induce labor – in fact, I was one month early – but my husband and I had sex, and RIGHT afterward I started having contractions.”

-Irene

“I used it as an excuse to eat the best spicy cuisine in my neighborhood. There was a spicy eggplant (win-win!) thing at Pok Pok, and I made my husband wait in line in the baking sun while I rested in the shade until it was our turn multiple times.”

-Sophie

“I made super-fun plans for 4 days before my due date. I knew if I scheduled a party, the baby would arrive early and I’d have to cancel. Worked like a charm.”

-Meredith

“I was induced but the first three pills they gave me to ripen my cervix didn’t work. After 20 hours, the nurse came in and said the next option was to inflate a balloon into my uterus (!!), which could stay in for… 24 hours. 24 HOURS!! My body said no way, and I went from 1 to 8 centimeters in 10 minutes.”

-Charlotte

“I was 38 weeks pregnant in August in Miami and danced my face off at a Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z concert in 93 degree-heat, then walked a mile back to the car (not by choice). I was in labor a mere 5 hours later. “

-Chelsea

“Red raspberry leaf tea, acupuncture, and sex. The acupuncture for real. I went to a guy feeling nothing at all, had a session… and by the time he took the pins out I was in active labor and NINE MOTHERF*&KING CENTIMETERS dilated within three hours.”

-Kora

“I wish I’d had time to induce labor. I’d hardly finished moving apartments before my baby popped out a week early. I guess the excitement of trying to haul couches through doors which were clearly too small and madly running around the neighborhood picking up anything and everything I could find on a listserve (who ever used a bottle warmer anyway?!) probably did the trick subconsciously.”

-Venetia

“I googled it and found some random source that said Reese’s peanut butter cups would induce labor. Did it work? Well, the baby was eventually born. I’d advise against it unless you’re looking to gain another couple pounds of, um, ‘baby’ weight.”

-Amy

“A dark chocolate brownie the size of my face and a prenatal massage on my due date all combined to send me into labor – I started feeling the contractions while naked and humming on the massage table, so if you can arrange that for yourself, I highly recommend it.”

-Ester

“My baby was breech until 37 weeks when I had to have a doctor MANUALLY flip him over. Before that I tried everything to encourage him to flip: moxabustion (Chinese medicine therapy), strange poses with my butt in the air, only letting my husband talk to him through my vagina… oh and I even emailed my medium in Bali to ask her to communicate with him and ask him to pleeeeeeease turn over.”

-Jen

“Reflexology. Stupid. I thought I was getting a massage, but ended up paying a fortune for this lady to press on my left foot (yup, just my left foot) for an hour, telling me all the while how she believes that flower petals can cure all ailments. I kept waiting for the real massage to begin – like on my aching back and tired shoulders – but I was too timid to ask. It was really awkward and disappointing. And unless foot reflexology has a two-week effectiveness lag time, it did NOT work.”

-Emily