Strange & Charmed: Issue 2

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Welcome back for the second installment of Strange & Charmed Magazine! This is our Holiday 2012 Issue filled with all the things you need to make your holiday season a little brighter! Enjoy!




    Nov/Dec 2012

    Strange& Charmed

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  • 3Welcome to our second issue of

    Strange & Charmed!

  • {In Every Issue}Letter to the Editor

    page 6


    page 26

    Horoscope Survival Guidepage 43

    Whats in my bag

    page 32

    Advice & Etiquette

    page 56

    Digital vs. Analog

    page 34


    page 58

    Staff picks: Holiday Sweaters

    page 10

    A&E: Book Review

    page 24

    Table of Contents

  • {Features}Staff Wish Listpage 7

    Gift Guide:Hipsterspage 18

    Obsession: Journaling

    page 28

    Gift Guide:Stocking Stufferspage 20


    page 40

    Gift Guide:Techies

    page 22


    Travel Apps

    page 46

    Gift Guide: Fashion Mavens

    page 14

    Gift Guide: Guys

    page 16

  • 6H e l l o S t r a n g e & C h a r m e d R e a d e r s ! I a m s o e x c i t e d to say that now because I know that since the launch of the inaugural issue of S&C we do have a readership and we could not be more thrilled! Originally, when I started this magazine I wasnt sure what the response would be from people who read the first issue, but so far the response has been positive and for that I could not be anymore grate-ful!

    Gratefulness is going to be some-thing of a little theme in this issue, aptly titled the Holiday 2012 Issue! Tis the season as they say and since we are covering numerous festive and gift giving holidays I think there is no better time to discuss the issue

    of gratefulness and thankfulness in our lives. I know the world isnt a per-fect place and that for many around the country, times are tough, but we can avoid so much negativity in our lives by staying focused on the posi-tive things we have. I will cover this more in my Mantra section at the end of the magazine where I write about starting a gratitude journal.

    You will find that journaling is also going to make its mark a few times in this issue as it is the topic of Kates Obsession! Kate has been a hard core journal enthusiast and writer for many many years and I hope her energy and perspective helps intro-duce you to the hobby and perhaps motivate you to give it a try!

    Now as I mentioned earlier, this is a gift giving season, so dont you worry, we have compiled a Holiday Gift Guide, Strange & Charmed style of course! We designed it to cover some of the hardest people (in our experience) to buy for on your list and even give you some ideas for one of the most overlooked gifts; stocking stuffers.

    So take a flip through the pages we have so gratefully prepared for you and get yourself into the holiday spirit, because, as its sung, its the most wonderful time of the year!

    Letter from the Editor:by: Alexis Giostra

  • 7Gift Wish List: Alexisby: Alexis Giostra, Editor in Chief

    From top left, to bottom right: Macbook Air / Crosley Turntable / Gizmon Camera Case for iPhone4 / Rebecca Minkoff Cupid Black with Silver Hardware

  • 8Gift Wish List: Kateby: Kate Marshall, Executive Editor

    From top left, to bottom right: Kindle Paperwhite / Metropol Personal Organizer / Classic Moleskine Folio / Jeremy Irons phone number (No, she isnt kidding!)

  • 9Gift Wish List: Michaelby: Mike Cousineau, Layout Editor

    From top left, to bottom right: iPad Mini / Star Trek - Starfleet Academy key chain / SupaBoy - Handheld SNES system / NY Giants - Victor Cruz Name & Number t-shirt

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    Staff Picks: Not Your Usual Holiday Sweatersby: Alexis Giostra

    Liz Claiborne Diamond Pattern Sweater $27 JC Penny

    Ditsy Scottish Terrier Cardigan $22.80 Forever 21

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    Harley of Scotland Fair Isle Sweater $225 JCrew

    Jacquard-Knit Cardigan $49.95 H&M

    Dotted Wooly Sweater $88 Anthropologie

    Tommy Hilfiger Bow Sweater Macys $43.99

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    HolidayGift Guides

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    Gift Guide: Fashion Mavensby: Alexis Giostra


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    1. Fashionary Journal2. Betsy Johnson Rose Gold Watch3. LittleBlackBag Subscription4. Kate Spade iPhone case5. Tory Burch Belt6. Nikon J1 Digital Camera

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  • Gift Guide: Guysby: Alexis Giostra

    1. Event Tickets2. Personalized Decanter3. Knomo Toyko Briefcase4. Hard Graft iPhone Wallet5. Art of Shaving Kit6. MYO Beer Kit by Mr Beer




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    1. Event Tickets2. Personalized Decanter3. Knomo Toyko Briefcase4. Hard Graft iPhone Wallet5. Art of Shaving Kit6. MYO Beer Kit by Mr Beer




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    Gift Guide: Hipstersby: Alexis Giostra

    1. Griffin Mustache Folio for iPad2. Dandy Mustache Headphone wrap



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    3. Bodum Chambord French Press4. Holga 135 35mm Film Camera5. Crosley Cruiser Portable Turntable6. Moleskine Rollerball Pen

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    Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffersby: Alexis Giostra

    1. Carmex2. Retro iPhone cases3. Earphone plug4. Touch Screen gloves5. Green Inspired Notebook multipacks6. Quirky candy




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    Gift Guide: Techiesby: Alexis Giostra

    1. Grid It Organizer by Cocoon2. ChicBuds Crystal Fauvette Bird Speaker3. iPhone 54. Apple tv5. Callpod_chargepod6/ Wacom bamboo stylus



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    1. Grid It Organizer by Cocoon2. ChicBuds Crystal Fauvette Bird Speaker3. iPhone 54. Apple tv5. Callpod_chargepod6/ Wacom bamboo stylus





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    Book review: Lets Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

    W e all have those moments w e d l i k e t o f o r g e t awkward, sad, or just plain annoying parts of life that make us think, Man, I could go for some retro-grade temporary amnesia right now. For instance, while writing this review, I took a bite of a sandwich wrap and got Caesar dressing or something all over my jeans and I cant even tell where its coming from because theres no dressing in the wrap. Were through the looking glass now, people. Now you know why I can never go back to the Bryn and Danes in Horsham.

    So: once upon a time there was a woman named Jenny Lawson, in Texas. She had a blog and called herself The Bloggess: Like Mother Theresa, only better. She wrote about her pets, family, and ordering taxidermied animals through the mail and then forgetting shed ordered them until the UPS man dropped them off at her front door. She blogged about taking a trip to Japan for her satirical sex column, getting stabbed in the finger by a frozen chicken wing, and

    her struggles with anxiety, depres-sion, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and rheumatoid arthritis. Now she has a book but its more than just a repackaging of popular blog entries or a straight-up memoir. Lets Pretend this Never Happened is a love letter to celebrating your weirdness and plowing through the bad days even when theyre horrible beyond thought such as when Lawson details her struggles with infertility (she warns readers that the chapter is about dead babies[c]alling them fetuses makes it feel more clinical and less sad, but Im pretty sure I get to call them whatever I want, because theyre my dead babies).

    A New York Times bestseller for several months now, Lets Pretend this Never Happened opens with hilarious-yet-touching-and-horrifying stories about growing up in a tiny Texas town, the daughter of an eccentric taxi-dermist/champion armadillo racer (there are pictures) who routinely brought home live raccoons for pets, dead squirrels as hand puppets, and

    by: Kate Marshall

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    maladjusted turkeys named Jenkins. From there, Lawson details her foray into the world of Human Resources (turns out, HR professionals really do have to ask employees about their porn habits a lot), artificially inseminating a cow as part of a high school field trip, and how her cat accidentally tried to kill her by sitting on her face one night and clawing her chin apart.

    Already a fan of Lawsons blog and columns (which include parenting columns at TheStir and The Houston Chronicle) and her satirical parenting column is the only good thing about The Stir), I was practically counting down the days between Lawsons book being made available for pre-order, and the day it downloaded to my Kindle. Ive since read Lets Pretend It Never Happened about three or four different times since then, always finding something new to laugh or cry over. Lawsons life-long struggles with a severe anxiety disorder made me feel better about my own problems with freaking out whenever I have to leave the house, meet new people, or talk on the goddamn phone. Lawson writes, [b]y age seven I realized that there was something wrong with me, and that most children didnt hyperventilate and throw up when asked to leave the house. My mother called me quirky. My teachers whispered neurotic. But deep down I knew there was a better word for what I was. Doomed (37). Coming from a family of such neurotics, it was like a giant book of You are totally not alone had fallen into my lap.

    Lawsons book celebrates t he weird, the awkward, the mundane, and the just plain nuttiness that is life. Sometimes youre swanning about a Texas cemetery in a red dress as a form of empowerment and other days, youre off on a wine-trip weekend with five other female bloggers, wondering how youre supposed to make friends with these normal adults. But as Lawsons book shows, normal is such a relative term that everyone is abnormal and everyone is normal. We all have our demons and random bits of craziness in our lives. One persons free-spirited taxidermist father is another persons feminist-grandmother-who-supported-contraception-but-also-told-off-Margaret-Sanger-because-the-latter-told-her-she-should-have-stopped-at-one-baby. Weve already detailed my quirks did you also know that I accidentally insulted a whole bunch of Iowa residents dur-ing a semester abroad in Australia and now Im probably not allowed within a 50-mile radius of the midwest? Were all a little (or a lot) weird. And as Lawsons memoir shows, the only way to get through it is to just celebrate your weirdness.

    And stock up on zombie-fighting tools. Seriously, those guys dont mess around.

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    Foodie: Roasted Root Vegetables The Ultimate Winter Side Dish

    by: Alexis Giostra

    W hat: Roasted Root Veg-etables, the name says it all but then again it leaves much to the imagination. There are a variety of root vegetables out there in the world, and if you wanted to you could create variations on this recipe to include each and every one. For simplicity sake, I compiled this recipe using the most readily available and crowd pleasing veg-gies possible, after preparing this dish over and over again the last few years. In my humble opinion, this is one of the best side dishes to bring to a holiday feast or winter gathering because it gives you the most bang for your buck. First off, it is a healthier option than some other au gratin or mashed varieties of side dishes which means people will appreciate it and feel little to no guilt in indulging. Second, it is easily prepared a head of time and can be reheated in an oven or microwave if needed. Third and lastly, it is hearty and filling and filled with the scents and flavors of the season. What more could you ask for?

    Servings: 4-6

    Ingredients: 2 Large Turnips2 Large Parsnips 2 Medium Onions2 Large Yams or Sweet Potatoes1.5 lbs of red roasting potatoes 2 Tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil2 cloves of GarlicPam Spray

    Seasonings: 1 Tbs Salt1 Tbs Ground Black Pepper1 Tbs Ginger1 Tbs Parsley 1 tsp Sage1 tsp Rosemary1 tsp Tyme1 tsp Dill1 tsp Paprika

    Prep Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and make sure a rack is placed into the center of the oven. P e e l a n d d i c e t u r n i p s , p a r s n i p s , onions, and yams into 1 inch cubes. Wash and dice potatoes (peel if you wish, but I leave the skin on). Place

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    all veggies into a large roasting pan with deep sides. Stir vegetables together until they are well mixed. Drizzle olive oil on top of veggies and continue to stir them around the pan. Once the veggies are well coated, dice the garlic cloves and add them to the veggies. Continue stirring until the garlic is well dis-tributed. Add seasonings and stir the vegetables once more to make sure seasoning is well distributed. At this p oint you can cover t he

    vegetables with foil and set them in the refrigerator for about a day before roasting or you can cook immediately.

    Cooking Instructions: Spray the top of the vegetables with Pam. Put veggies uncovered into the center of the heated oven. Roast vegetables in oven for 45 minutes, stirring the veggies every 15 minutes and reap-plying Pam to top of veggies before reentering the oven each time.

  • I t makes a certain amount of sense that if one is obsessed with pens and paper as much as I am, then Id also be obsessed with notebooks and/or journaling. Ding ding ding on all counts then. I dont know when the need for pens (espe-cially fancy ones) started but I know I began keeping a journal/diary/paper weblog at about age nine, in January 1993. My 20th anniversary of regular journal-keeping is rapidly approaching.

    Dear God. Whats even sadder (I guess) is that my initial inspiration for keep-ing a regular diary/journal came from The Babysitters Club series of novels, by Ann M. Martin (it was the 1990s, okay? It was a different time, and Im easily suggestible).

    Thats why my first two journals were partially-used marbled composition books requisitioned from the fam-ily supply closet, that I hid under my mattress, and that I specifically

    Obsession: Journalingby: Kate Marshall

    All My Journals 2012My collection of completed journals to date.

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    referred to them as my journals. Damn it, Mallory.

    What is a journal? Is it different from a diary? What about a scrapbook? And just who the heck decided these things anyway? Who died and made them King of Personal Record-Keeping Terms, decreeing that this is a journal but that is a diary and if you mix the two up, a Crack will form in the Universe and the Silence will fall? (Its probably the same misguided fools who let Yahoo!Radio into existence).

    Our favorite redhead, Mallory Pike, describes helpfully breaks down the difference between a diary and a journal in The Babysitters Club #29: Mallory and the Mystery Diary:

    You have to write in a diary every day and only get a few lines per day and you have to write about boring stuff with no reflection or introspection

    A journal is much more deep and sensitive and you can write as much or as little as you want Whatever, Pike. Lets see what those eggheads at Merriam-Websters have to say:

    Journal a record of current trans-actions, especially a book of original entries in double-entry bookkeeping; an account of day-to-day events; a record of experiences, ideas, or reflec-tions kept regularly for private use.

    D i a r y a r e c o r d o f e v e n t s , transactions, or observations kept daily or at frequent intervals; daily record of personal reflection, actions, or feelings.

    So basically a diary is a journal is a diary is a blog (as all things eventually are). There is no wrong or right way

    to keep a journal or diary. There is no wrong or right way to keep a journal or diary. Even if you kept it all in your head, you wouldnt be doing anything wrong. Heck, you dont even have to keep a journal if you dont want to.

    Lately, Ive noticed my own jour-naling habits changing especially as I dabble with electronic (private) journals like DayOne and MacJournal, writing websites like 750...