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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stroller resurrection

Your stroller is a means of transportation (just like a bike or car) and it can get all gunked up and slow you down if you don’t take care of it. A random squeak, a sticky brake, or a folding issue is likely from build-up of dirt, sand, salt, hair, raisins, and Cheddar Bunnies.

Thankfully, Sam Osborne from Uppababy happens to be a stroller mechanic of sorts (on top of her day job as a marketing exec), and in most cases, she says stroller woes can be fixed with a good DIY tune-up.

Here are her instructions for solving the most common ailments.

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The Problem:

Baby vommed all over
the stroller.

What You Need:

To start, a strong stomach and plenty of patience. BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat Cleaner or laundry detergent.

What To Do:

Remove fabric from stroller seat (check that manual and pre-treat with BuggyLove or laundry detergent, soak completely. Wash in machine on delicate (as long as you have a front loader machine – if not, handwash) and hang dry immediately.

Pro Tip:

Make sure the fabric dries thoroughly before putting back on stroller, otherwise you run the risk of mold developing.

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The Problem:

A squeaky wheel is driving
you batshit!

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller Lubricant, Vaseline, or White Lithium Grease (any hardware store will have)

What To Do:

Remove wheels and wipe clean of any dirt, grit, or salt (the worst culprit). Place a dose of Buggylove Wheel Love, Vaseline, or White Lithium Grease on the wheel shaft and reinsert into stroller.

Pro Tip:

Fixes it almost every time.

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The Problem:

Urine has seeped into the seat and it smells
like you’re pushing a fire hydrant.

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat cleaner or laundry detergent and Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost

What To Do:

Wash thoroughly either by hand or on delicate in a front loader machine. Nature’s Miracle works, well, miracles on urine smells and stains.

Pro Tip:

The smells hang around only when fabric is not completely dried, so be sure it dries thoroughly.

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The Problem:

All of a sudden, it feels like you’re pushing uphill even
on flat surfaces.

What You Need:

Elbow grease.

What To Do:

1. Remove all the wheels and make sure there’s no obstruction (refer to your manual on how to remove the wheels). Balloon strings are often the culprit here. 2. Brake mechanisms get filled with gunk. It’s usually a pin that comes out of a tiny hole to stop the wheel. When that hole is filled, you’ve got trouble, so clean it out. 3. Does your stroller have air filled tires? You may just need a quick inflate using a bike pump or the air pump at a gas station to get the job done.

Pro Tip:

One of these 3 things fixes the problem 95% of the time. If you do all 3 and are still having issues, call the manufacturer.

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The Problem:

The brakes are not so trusty. Safety is at risk!

What You Need:

wd-40 or forced air at the gas station (for chemical-free cleaning)

What To Do:

Most brake issues are due to build-up of dirt, sand, and other elements. Remove the back wheels (refer to your manual). Spray the brake housing (in tune-up speak, that’s the metal shaft where the wheel slides into the base) liberally with wd-40 (or forced air) and let it clean out the area. Hit the brake several times while the wheels are off. Place your back wheels back on, and brake should be good as new.

Pro Tip:

It’s a good idea to do this twice a year as a preventative measure.

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The Problem:

There are sunscreen stains all over the canopy.

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat Cleaner or Dawn Liquid soap

What To Do:

If you opt for BuggyLove, shake the bottle well and squirt right on the stain, for Dawn pre-treat the spot then soak the whole canopy.

Pro Tip:

Mold is the enemy, so make sure it dries completely.

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The Problem:

The locking clip that holds the collapsed stroller together is broken!

What You Need:

bungee cord, carabiner, or zip tie

What To Do:

In a pinch hold it all together with any of the above until you can get a replacement locking clip from the manufacturer.

Pro Tip:

Ideally this is a short-term solution.

If DIY is not your thing, stroller tune-up businesses are launching left and right. Here are some of our favorites.

Stroller Spa

Clean Bee Baby

Baby Bubbles

Clean My Buggy Boo

Sudsy Buggy

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Beauty tips

As a new mom, the only thing more challenging than quieting a screaming newborn is looking bright eyed on little to no sleep. And while we can’t help with how tired you feel, we can offer our real-life bag of beauty tricks – from our inner circle of moms – that will have you looking cute in almost no time. And as for that screaming baby, get yourself a swing stat!

Flyaways

Anastasia brow gel works magic on hideous re-growth wispies around the hairline, without looking the slightest bit greasy or crusty.

Dark Circles

You haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep in months? Slap on Amazing Cosmetics concealer, and no one will be the wiser.

Hair Tutorial

Few things in life get easier after having a baby, but this Birchbox hair tutorial is sheer brilliance – and lets you say goodbye to blowdryers, straight irons, and curling mechanisms.

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No Shower, No Problem

Who needs a shower when you have BlowPro, the most brilliant dry shampoo that instantly de-greases and adds oomph to limp locks.

The Glow

Miracles do happen… if you use the EMK Placental anti-aging mask. Directions say put it on for 10 minutes, but we sleep in it, and the next morning we look fresh and dewy with noticeably fewer lines.

Gisele Locks

Stay on prenatal vitamins. Who wouldn’t want to have thick, magical pregnancy hair at all times?!

Clear Skin

A Russian facialist told us to use Witch Hazel as a toner when acne struck during pregnancy. It worked wonders, and we’re here to say 2 years on the flipside, we are religious about it and our skin has never looked better.

Pick Your One Thing

Pick just one item of makeup that you feel confident putting on and running out of the house with. For us, that’s Kevyn Aucoin mascara but some of our friends swear by a red lip or a pink cheek.

No Bad Hair Days

Have one tried and true method for pulling your hair back in a bun in 3 seconds to feel polished and put together.

Quick Wash

Turns out, washing your face before bed is just too much to ask after a long day. Which is why we keep Somme Transport Pads by the bed. Just one legitimately rids your face of the day’s gunk and leaves it fresh and clean.

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Saturdays With Dannielle Kyrillos

saturdays Dannielle Kyrillos
Lives: The West Village in NYC
Family:
Husband, JP Kyrillos, President of The Daily Meal; son Caspian (Cappy), 2.5
You might know: A little reality show called Top Chef: Just Desserts where Dannielle was a judge. Or her latest project, What’s New With You?
Secret obsession: I have to tell the truth: I adore the Athens, GA-based groovy band Widespread Panic. I’ve seen them play around the world and will do anything to get to a show. Southern fried rock that makes you dance your face off!

danielle

7am:

Is anything better than waking up to someone’s tiny, scraggly toes tickling your ear while the owner of the toes cackles to himself? Caspian seems to mysteriously end up in our bed at some point in the middle of almost every Friday night, and then we all wake up together, relieved it’s the weekend!

7:45am:

Ok, when I said “all wake up together,” that was technically true, but my saint of a husband always, always gets up with the boy and lets me snooze a little longer. But then I hear how much fun they’re having downstairs, so I get up and we have coffee and a little snack (“Breakfast #1″). Cappy builds something with his Magna-Tiles (best, best, most creativity-inducing invention ever), usually a parking garage.

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9am:

We love to go on a “breakfast date” at an easy little diner-y spot down the street called the PATH cafe (quaintly located right next to the entrance to the PATH train). We sit at the counter and visit with Bruce, the straight-out-of-central-casting, wonderful curmudgeon with a heart of gold who works there. We have smoothies and egg wraps and Caspian flirts with fellow diners.

9:45am:

If there is a farmers’ market within a thousand miles, my husband will sniff it out and take us there, so every Saturday we visit the awesome one at Abingdon Square. We buy eggs from Farmer Ben (his wife just had their 13th baby!), veggies from these nice New Jersey farmers, and fish from the fishermen. Caspian holds up the line asking them about their boat, and is recently obsessed with crabs (“Those crabs have a car they drive to the beach. They love that car. It is pink.”)

10:15am:

The market is right next to Bleecker Street Playground, one of Caspian’s most favorite places in the world, so we always stop and play for awhile. It’s really crowded on the weekends so we try to go early before the chaos. It’s impossible not to run into someone, so it’s nice to have more coffee (usually from Upright Brewhouse or The Elk) with the grown-ups while the smaller people play in the sand.

11:30am:

Naps on weekends are so hard these days. This is when we try to wind down the boy and walk him in his stroller (we live on a cobblestone alley so for me the only way to go is the Bob Revolution! What a treat to be able to steer carefully with one hand and enjoy a coffee with the other) until he falls asleep so we don’t have a crazy person on our hands later. I’d say we’re successful 70% of the time. Luckily we live right across the street from the Hudson River so the walking is really scenic.

1pm:

Caspian usually wakes up around this time and we make a little lunch with the farmers’ market goods at home. Grilled vegetables, yummy fish, very easy.

1:45pm:

Sometimes, especially if Cappy wouldn’t go down for a nap because he was too busy acting as one of his alter-egos, Jerry the Kittycat or Blueberry the Dog (“Blueberry” has been known to poop outside on the patio “because dogs poop outside and then their owners pick up the poop”), I beg Saint JP to let me sneak in a nap or a SoulCycle class while they do fun father-son stuff.

2:30pm:

On nice Saturdays we like to take advantage of every minute, so it’s off on “an adventure.” We’ll meet up with friends at a park or someone’s house, we’ll rent bikes and ride along the river, we’ll take our soccer ball and orange plastic cone collection (if your little person likes soccer and has seen them, they are the best, weirdest thing $10 can buy–also good for construction sites), and just run around enjoying the city. Oh, often this involves reviewing real construction sites because Caspian is obsessed and visits “the builders” throughout the week.

5:30pm:

Around this time we get really excited if Caspian says, “How about dinner at Barbuto?” because it’s the greatest luxury in the world after a long day to show up right when it opens for dinner. They are so utterly accommodating to families, and we can all feel like civilized people again. Caspian asks for olives and breadsticks to start, and loves their kale salad because it’s really just a vessel for cheese. The grown-ups drink Pio Cesare barbera, Cappy watches the world go by through the garage doors, and we all feel lucky to live in New York City.

7:30pm:

Bedtime, and not always just for Caspian. We all unwind with books (“Little Blue Truck” and “The Bear’s Sea Escape” are current favorites) and then it’s zzzzzzzzz.

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