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.

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evamurri

You may recognize her distinctive beauty from Saved!, Californication, Undateable, or Robert Mapplethorpe’s portrait of her as a child (which hangs in the permanent collection at, oh you know, The Guggenheim!), but Eva Amurri Martino is about to be your new girl crush.

The actress and daughter to none other than Susan Sarandon has a lot of mom stuff going on — and not just the run-of-the-mill sleep training and diaper changing. She just wrapped a Lifetime miniseries playing the early years-version of Marilyn Monroe’s mother (in excellent casting, her own mother plays her in later years.), and her next project, Mother’s Day, features an all-star ensemble cast, including Sharon Stone and Sarandon (again!), playing a dozen mother-daughter sets over the course of a single Mother’s Day. Oh, and she was 9 months pregnant during filming and looked ahhhmazing.

Off-screen, Eva (Italian pronunciation: “Eh-va”) has a 7-month-old daughter, Marlowe (quite possibly the cutest baby EVER), with her soccer star-turned-NBC broadcaster husband, Kyle Martino, and she’s as passionate about her stand against mom shaming (preach!) as she is about styling Marlowe’s “luxurious mullet.” (Want proof? Check out her Instagram, but be prepared to lose an hour to precious pigtails and bedhead.)

We caught up with the new mom to talk bath time (the best), sleep schedules (so rough), and getting your groove back post-baby (all about it). She’s wise, hilarious, and incredibly grounded… take it away, Eva!

Pregnancy Style

I never went mumu or loose-fitting style; I actually wore way tighter clothes than I do normally. I got wider right away, so they held it all in – form-fitting maxi dresses were my thing! I was the biggest during the summer, which was so brutal. I found loooong tanks that I loved at A Pea In The Pod and I wore them with ASOS maternity jeans and denim shorts.

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Post Pregnancy Style

I’ve never been very practical when it comes to clothes, and I kind of got real after I had Marlowe. I went thru my wardrobe and purged, so now I only have things in my closet that I feel great in – there’s no time for the rest. When I was pregnant, I discovered Nike wedge sneakers, and I still love them: They’re so comfy and make your legs look great.

New Baby Must-Haves

For me, the must haves those first few months were Summer Infant’s SwaddleMe, Alaffia baby balm, and the BabyBjorn bouncer saved our lives – we put her in it way before you were supposed to and stuffed blankets in it. She would sit in it so happily forever.

Best Advice

I find that a lot of people have a lot of advice. You have to do what works for you, whether that’s co-sleeping or getting on a schedule, it has to work for your family. Otherwise, what’s the point?! And make sure that you check in with yourself and your partner along the way: Does whatever you’re doing feel right and is it sustainable? Our baby nurse got us on a schedule that was stressing me out, so we got rid of it!

Surprise Yourself

I am much more patient than I expected. I am good at waiting those few extra minutes to let her settle herself.

The Hardest Part

It’s so hard to find time for yourself, for your relationship, and as a family. We fell into the trap of handing off the baby, so we could each get things done, but we weren’t spending time all together. A baby is such a huge change for everyone, so acknowledge that. It’s hard and you don’t have to be great at everything right away. You know what’s not awesome – being inside all day with a baby with reflux screaming her brains out. Being real about that was so freeing. You have to get out of the house, go to the gym, and respect that you’ve been through a lot. It’s okay to have a lot of feelings that aren’t all positive.

Downtime

My husband and I love watching TV together – Veep, Game of Thrones, I’ve even gotten him into The Bachelor. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I go get a mani and read a dumb magazine. Those things you didn’t think twice about pre-kids, I enjoy those things much more now.

Losing The Baby Weight

Honestly, it sounds so annoying, but breastfeeding helped a lot at first. I was eating really healthy because it helped produce more milk: A Korean friend’s mom made me seaweed soup that was delicious, and I ate lots of salad and fruit. At 3 months postpartum, I had 7 pounds that weren’t coming off, so I hit the gym and ran, did yoga, and pilates. Now I dress accordingly to hide the things I don’t like – it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors and certainly not what it used to be!

Relationship Saver

We have a built-in date night every Wednesday. We see a movie, try a new wine bar, go for dinner, go for a walk. Whatever it is, we get dressed up and get our groove back a little.

Why? Why? Why?

Mom shaming drives me crazy. Why does every mom need other moms to do things their way. New motherhood is such a vulnerable and powerful time, but it’s also really hard. Do not judge other moms on how they raise their children. We have so much power in numbers, and it’s just too bad so many women fall victim to this.

Secret Talent

Right now, my secret obsession is doing Marlowe’s hair. She has a really luxurious mullet, and I love to style it. I do pigtails, 3 pigtails, braids – it’s so fun! I went down a rabbit hole and have some fun hair accessories on the way from Wild Juniper, Mini Scoops, and Our Little Charmed Life

Perfect Family Moment

Marlowe loves the bath – she is so goofy and kicks and laughs. It’s such a sweet time as a family. One child is so manageable, and it’s amazing to just put our full attention on her.

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On Our Radar: April 23, 2014

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FEED + The Honest Company Collaboration
WHO: Moms in need of a diaper bag.
WHAT: Two of our favorite brands have joined forces and created an adorable diaper bag – for every bag purchased, one mother and child will receive essential micronutrients for a year.
WHEN: They’re limited-edition, so get one while you can.
WHERE: feedprojects.com and honest.com

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Oeuf Fawn Crib & Bassinet System
WHO: Parents expecting a baby.
WHAT: A smart 3-in1 from Oeuf – starts out as a bassinet on wheels, turns into a standard crib, then turns into a toddler bed.
WHEN: Order now for mid-May delivery.
WHERE: giggle.com

Moby Aria Wrap
WHO: Parents with newborns.
WHAT: Moby’s new carrier has it all – 3 positions (front, back, hip), integrated infant insert, 3 seat positions as child grows, and 2 shoulder strap options (straight or crossed) for maximum comfort and options.
WHEN: You’re ready to stroll.
WHERE: mobywrap.com

Nanana Bibs
WHO: Parents with a penchant for beautiful French designs.
WHAT: These sweet terry bibs have chic collars that baby will surely drool and spit up on.
WHEN: Makes a great shower gift.
WHERE: perfectlysmitten.com

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baby name

One of the most difficult things about pregnancy is agreeing on a baby name with your, ahem, opinionated partner. (Seriously, what’s wrong with Coco Lilypie Firchau?!) Before you find yourself settling on a moniker you’re lukewarm on just to get the hell out of the hospital, give these a try.

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BabyNameGame is a 99-cent app that randomly serves up names for you to swipe right (love it!) or left (NOPE!), Tinder-style. If you and your partner use it separately, it will let you know which ones are mutual winners.

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Put names you like through the blind date test. Imagine your baby is all grown up and being set up on a blind date – “hey, want to go out with my friend _____?” When you picture that person, do you want to meet them? (We owe Joanna Goddard for this trick!)

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Another mental check: the Supreme Court Justice test. How does your potential name sound after “Chief Justice”? (If the answer is “bizarre”, but you still love the name, consider it for potential middle names. You know, if you care.)

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Hit your favorite well-stocked newsstand and run through the mastheads of interesting magazines. If the name “Serena Van der Woodsen” makes you swoon, pick up every international edition of Vogue. More of a Blair Waldorf? Town & Country.

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If you want to honor, say, your Great Aunt Bertha and your partner’s grandfather Herbert, without giving your kid a scarring-for-life name, this crazy site will spit out anagrams of up to three names, giving you more elegant — but still commemorative — options like Heather or Barrett.

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Go to a museum and note artist names on placards. (Go big or go home, people.)

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Narrow your search with Awesome Baby Name: It takes your last name into account and suggests names based on available URLs. (At this time, ArloSmith.com is not taken.)

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The Baby Names by Nametrix app allows you to search by the most common names for each profession. As in “Hannah”s for playwrights and “Vernon”s for plumbers. And yes, there’s even data on how likely one is to be a stripper name.

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Know the first letter you want to use but wary of diving into the abyss of a general name site? (Maaike, Maalik, Mab, Mabel… not helpful.) Try Amazon’s alphabetized list of biography subjects and you’ll get a more succinct (and inspirational) list — think Marc (Chagall), Marianne (Faithfull), Morgan (Freeman).

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If you like the idea of a family name but aren’t crazy about the ones you know about, use Ancestry.com to dig in and unearth further-back relatives… and their (awesome) names.

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Scroll through photos in the #1weekold feed on Instagram to see what babies around the world are being named in real time. (Potential dealbreaker/maker for this one: You’ll also find some #1weekold puppies and chicks here.)

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