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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Rachelle Hruska

Maybe you used to frequent exclusive Fashion Week parties and red carpet premieres. Maybe you always preferred ogling from afar. One thing’s for sure, there’s hardly any reason to go now – not when Guest of a Guest serves up all the best parts (read: fabulous outfits, not: queues for a cocktail) on a daily basis.

Omaha native Rachelle Hruska’s site began with a fly-on-the-wall approach to the NYC 20-somethings nightlife scene and it makes sense: at the time she was still working in finance. In 6 short years – grown to become the site of record for the young-and-photographed crowd from Downtown LA to the District – with an emphasis on her stomping grounds: NYC and Montauk and a healthy heaping of fashion-driven stories to round out those party pics.

While this fizzy, champagne-fueled lifestyle seems to follow Rachelle (her husband Sean McPherson happens to own the city’s chicest boutique hotels & boites), she seldom partakes. Rachelle, Sean and their two boys, Maxwell (2.5) and Dash (10 months), spend weeks in their rustic, bohemian West Village townhouse and weekends in Montauk.

Read on – Rachelle tells us about her secret hobby, baby must-haves, and “doodoo heads” (we’ll let her explain).

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Pregnancy Style

Don’t compromise, just have fun with it! I tried new styles that I normally wouldn’t pull off like long tunic dresses by James Perse. The only maternity items I bought were J. Brand jeans and nursing bras.

The Best Advice

I can’t even remember who told me this, but it’s the best advice: let your children become whoever they want to be and to strive to be the best version of yourself – your children will follow your lead. If all else fails I do what I’ve always done: call my big sister, a mother of four boys, who always knows what to do.

Rah Rah Rah!

I’m really good at getting excited! I’m a “YES” person. It’s so easy to be cynical, much harder to be enthusiastic about things – but it’s crucial to humanity’s progress. When someone tells me their new idea or concept, I’m usually the first to cheer them on. I think if you have an idea you are excited about, you should run with it because that excitement is most likely your soul urging you to march forward.

The Hardest Part

I am painfully sentimental, so one of the most challenging things about being a parent for me is how fast time seems to fly. It’s beautiful but heartbreaking to watch your babies grow up and become their own little beings. It’s hard to let go.

3 Baby Must-Haves

1. The BabyBjorn bouncer was a morning lifesaver: I would sit them in it so they could be at the breakfast table with us. (Note: this is not a recommended use, so don’t try at home!) 2. The Beaba Babycook makes it super easy to pop in whatever we are eating and make instant baby food. 3. Nature Baby and Makie for clothes.

Sleeping In

My business revolves around going to events and covering who was there, but ironically, I don’t really go out much! We have loads of writers that are much better at it than I am! I’m also lucky because my kids are late risers – it’s rare that they are awake before 8am. We tend to let them stay up a little later too.

The Name Game

Maxwell came out of “Maxine” – the name we had chosen for the girl we were certain we were having. We didn’t find out, and my husband was convinced it was a girl and his assuredness wore off on me. We also could only agree on girl names so it was really the only circumstance we planned ahead for. Dashiell was inspired by the writer Dashiell Hammett.

Special Moments

Almost every night, around 7pm after both boys have eaten, we all hang out in our big bed. I literally run home from work because I can’t wait for this hour of giggles, airplane rides, singing, and dancing. We have also been known to build human sandwiches and perfect our Monty Python-style “silly walks.” It is one of the only hours in my weekday that I put my phone in the other room and focus on being present. It’s my version of meditation.

Kids Will Be Kids

Everything and everyone is a “doodoo head” right now according to Maxwell.

3 Hours Alone

My only complaint about parenting is the lack of reading time. I used to read so much more before kids, so if I had 3 hours alone, you’d find me engrossed in a book on my couch. I’m currently reading The Patrick Melrose Diaries and am riveted by it! I have a growing list of books to read: Meditations, Men Without Women, In Search of Lost Time, The Kid Stays In The Picture, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Can’t Get Enough

Uber rides, orange juice from Kava in the West Village, and children’s books. I recently just purchased all of the Berenstein Bears books. I loved them as a kid, and it’s fun to reread them with Maxwell.

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10 Blog Posts
Every Mom Swears By

Before motherhood, we groused about baby pictures and viral parenting posts flooding Facebook (so boring!). But as soon as our own offspring came along, we posted Huffington Post essays with the best of them (so cathartic!). A form of social media-stoked Stockholm syndrome? Maybe. But we prefer to think of laughing, crying, and finding validation in parenting think-pieces as a ritual induction into the motherhood club. Below, 10 classic posts and articles you ignored pre-baby that you’ll totally get once you’re on the other side.

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The Post: I Read All the Baby Sleep Books
The Author: Ava Neyer
The Gist: No, you’re not crazy: Sleep experts give wildly conflicting advice.
Read it When: You’re starting to suspect sleep training’s a racket.

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The Post: Babyproof Your Marriage: 10 Things New Dads Need to Know About New Moms
The Author: Marie McKinney-Oates
The Gist: Moms and dads experience the early days of infancy in completely different ways; this spells it out for him.
Read it When: Everything still feels so new. (Make him read it, too.)

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The Post: What I Do All Day When I am Home with the Baby
The Author: Raquel D’Apice
The Gist: A hilariously accurate description of what it’s like to go toe to toe with an infant.
Read it When: All the visitors have gone, paternity leave is over, and you’re flying solo.

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The Post: The Mom Stays in the Picture
The Author: Allison Tate
The Gist: Motherhood isn’t always pretty, but your kids think you look like Gisele. So when capturing family memories, fight your urge to stay behind the scenes.
Read it When: You’ve got spit-up on your “going out” sweatpants.

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The Post: The Hardest Two Weeks of My Life
The Author: Joanna Goddard
The Gist: The beloved blogger trades her usually upbeat tone for an honest, accurate description of delayed postpartum depression.
Read it When: You’re feeling lost.

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The Post: You’re a Stay at Home Mom? What do You Do All Day?
The Author: Matt Walsh
The Gist: A dad blasts society and judgy moms for questioning whether parenting is really a full-time job.
Read it When: You’re staying home and your mom friends are finishing maternity leave.

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The Article: Why Women Can’t Have it All
The Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter
The Gist: A former director of policy planning at the State Department explains why American workplace culture and policies made it impossible to juggle high-level government work with parenting two boys.
Read it When: You’re back to work, still sleep-deprived, and mad at the world.

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The Post: There is Only Now
The Author: Liz Gumbinner
The Gist: Squash your working mom guilt and remember that, for kids, what matters is the mom you are in the moment.
Read it When: You’ve got your mojo back.

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The Post: The Day I Stopped Saying, “Hurry Up”
The Author: Rachel Macy Stafford
The Gist:Toddlers move at the pace of molasses. But it’s actually pretty wonderful.
Read it When: You’ve had a particularly manic day.

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The Article: New Parenting Study Released
The Author: Sarah Miller
The Gist: All this navel-gazing about parenthood is really getting out of hand.
Read it When: You’ve OD’d on the above.

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What’s For Dinner?

A printable guide!

Parent conundrum #582:
What to feed your toddler once purees are passe.
1) It should be healthy
2) But he has to want to eat it
3) It needs to be fast – like less-than-10-minutes-to-prep fast.
We’ve got answers – Check, check, and check!

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Breakfast

frozen mini whole wheat pancakes: Top with fruit and microwave for 30 seconds
frozen mini waffles: microwave 30 seconds, top with Barney Butter of your choice and sliced banana
parfait: greek yogurt + seasonal fruit + agave + flax meal (they won’t know it’s in there) + granola
oatmeal: cook big batch of steel cut oats + dried fruit (dates, figs, raisins, cranberries) + cinnamon. repeat other mornings, just add a little milk and reheat in the microwave for 30 secs.
mini whole wheat bagel: toast, spread with Barney Butter or cream cheese, top with banana or avocado slices
scrambled eggs: mix 2 eggs with a splash of milk, scramble, add cheese and veggies for variety

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Lunch / Dinner

spaghetti squash pasta: cut squash in half and roast, scrape squash into strings, add crushed tomatoes (or skip and just add butter), sprinkle lots of parmesan cheese on top.
mac-n-cheese: start with a box of Annie’s. while pasta is boiling, scramble an egg, then add cheese sauce and fresh spinach to egg, mix and add to pasta when done.
quinoa cakes: mix cooked quinoa, veggies, 2 eggs, bread crumbs; form into cakes and bake for 15 minutes at 350. make a big batch and freeze for easy meals. mix and match grains (brown rice, lentils, polenta) and veggies for variety.
bowtie pasta: boil pasta, add store-bought shredded rotisserie chicken with store-bought pesto
modern pb&j: nut butter (peanut, almond or sunflower) + banana slices wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla
omelette: 2 eggs + seasonal or frozen veggies + cheese (mix up cheese and veggies for variety)
broccoli cheese nuggets: mix 1 head of broccoli (or bag of frozen), chopped and drained + 1 cup breadcrumbs + 1.5 cups grated cheese + 3 eggs + herbs or seasoning if you like, form into nugget or other shapes, place on oiled baking sheet, bake 20 minutes at 375 (flip after 10 mins). freeze extras.
quesadillas: two whole wheat tortillas + cheese + rotisserie chicken + veggies cooked in nonstick pan for 4 minutes a side (lightly butter each side before cooking or use cooking spray)
bagel pizzas: mini whole wheat bagels + crushed tomatoes (or pesto) + mozzarella cheese, bake on cookie sheet at 425 for 10 minutes

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Special Treats / Snacks

ice lollies: blend a green shake (kale/spinach/apple/etc) and freeze in popsicle molds
banana: microwave banana in a bowl for 45 seconds, it will caramelize and taste like heaven
smoothies: frozen fruit (such as mixed berries) + juice, milk, almond milk, or yogurt, blend
dipping delights: cut fruit spears (peaches, pears, apples) and dip into vanilla yogurt
kale chips: remove stems and tear leaves into pieces, drizzle with olive oil, spread on cookie sheets, bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
figgy toast: toast whole grain bread, top with ricotta and sliced figs, drizzle with honey
avocado toast: toast whole grain bread, mash up avocado and squeeze lemon and add salt, spread on toast

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A La Carte

This is what we call mix and match meals. Just pick 3 or 4 from the various categories, and, voila! – lunch or dinner is served.

Protein

meatballs (Earth’s Best beef, Fresh Direct turkey, Coleman chicken)
hot dogs (Applegate beef, chicken, turkey)
hummus (Sabra or Trader Joe’s)
chicken nuggets (Earth’s Best, Applegate Farms)
veggie nuggets (Dr. Praegers, Earth’s Best)
rotisserie chicken (store bought – who has time to roast a chicken?!)

Dairy

yogurt (Stonyfield YoBaby, Fage)
cheese (mini Babybel, Horizon cheese sticks)
cottage cheese (Organic Valley) (mix in jam for added flavor)

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Fruit (whatever’s in season, cut up)

grapes strawberries blueberries pear kiwi banana plum watermelon apple

Veggies

Fresh or frozen. (That whole “frozen veggies don’t have as many nutrients” is bologna.) Steam in a pot with about an inch of water until they’re soft – softer than you’d make for yourself and add butter or a pinch of salt! broccoli florets, cauliflower, carrots, edamame, peas or corn!

Carbs

chickpeas (Goya): open can, rinse, serve
lentils (Trader Joe’s pre-cooked): heat up or don’t
sweet potato: steam, add butter
pasta (Jolie Ravioli, Barilla White Fiber): boil and add butter and parmesean (tomato sauce or pesto for variety)

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