Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye, 2015. Hello, 2016!

Is it normal to have close to zero memories of an entire year? 2015 has come and (almost) gone, and I can't seem to remember anything. The year has been a blur, and not in a good way.
But traditions are traditions. So here I am today, on New Year's Eve, 2015, racking my brain to assess how my year went: the good, the bad, and the silver lining.

My Best Memories

1) My Room + My Roommate = Perfect

Geeks, you might have seen photos of my apartment bedroom on Instagram. Thanks to my lovely, artistic roommate, walking into our bedroom always puts a smile on my face. Sea-green curtains, a neat little bookshelf, glow-in-the-dark stars, fairy lights along the mirror, beautiful wall stickers... for a kid who never had a decorated room in her entire life, this bedroom is everything to me.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Best Books I Read This Year // 2015


It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. 
That's probably a good way to tell you how 2015 went. As far as life goes, it was... difficult and confusing and downright depressing. But as far as books go? It was brilliant and heartbreaking and so, so rewarding.

According to Goodreads, I've read a total of 67 books this year. Those 67 books spanned a variety of authors, genres and ratings. Some were books I'd read and loved before. Some were books I couldn't even finish. And some were books that will stand the test of time - books that I'm sure I will read again and again in the years to come. 

This is a list of those books.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

'Anything For You (Blue Heron #5)' by Kristan Higgins: A Book Review


Before you get down on bended knee…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.
When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.
But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…

Sunday, 20 December 2015

How to Avoid Death During Holiday Travels (Or Something Less Dramatic)

The chilly breeze, the snugness of wool, the warmth of December sunlight... The holidays are upon us, Geeks! And like most of you, I'll be packing my bags and heading home soon.


But whether you're going home or taking a trip with your loved ones, the one thing that could put a damper on your travels is your health.
Let's face it: travelling can take a toll on you, and if you have a sucky immune system as it is (I know I do, since I'm ill without having left my house at all), it's best to be safe rather than sorry.

So behold my five tips to avoid death and despair and have yourself a Merry little Christmas - I mean, holiday. Whatever you celebrate. Or don't. It's all cool.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Yelow Travel Kit + Website Review


Travelling is bliss. It's a way to lose yourself, to find yourself, to know yourself. Travelling is something that helps make us who we are, and reminds us to live a life of happiness.
But you know what's not bliss? Travelling without a toothbrush. Or conditioner. Or... *gasp* a shaving razor!


Because not all those who wander can survive long train journeys or road trips with bad breath and hairy legs.

And that's where Yelow comes in! Yelow is a startup based in Mumbai that calls itself your 'personal care concierge'. You can buy the hygiene and beauty products you need without fear of running out, thanks to their tracking and reminding system (more on that later). They've recently come up with a handy dandy travel kit for both men and women.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

'When Our Worlds Collide' by Aniesha Brahma: A Book Review


Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life. Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up. She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines. He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’.
They meet each other quite by chance. And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives: for Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'. For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her…
When their worlds collide, it is not what either of them expected it to be. Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him.
What happens when these two become friends? The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak? What happens when two completely different people collide? Do they become friends? Or is their friendship doomed from the start?
'When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty-three-year olds who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world. A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances, marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after!


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

'Soul Warrior: The Age of Kali' by Falguni Kothari: A Book Review


Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?
In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.

Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.


Friday, 4 December 2015

How to Choose the Right College (Ft. CollegeDunia)

 
They say that life is the greatest teacher. After all, what are tests and projects in comparison to experience, hardship and turmoil?
That being said, we can't live off experience and the wise words of our own mind. Learning and education ought to go hand in hand, and a great place for that to happen is college.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' Spoiler Discussion


As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

Welcome to the second spoiler discussion on Geekie Chic! Today we're going to discuss Mockingjay Part 2, starting with my favourite and not-so-favourite scenes, why I'm mad at the Indian Censor board, what I thought of the surprising kiss towards the end, to what I think about the bomb fiasco.

Please proceed only if you have seen the movie, read the books, or done both. Hopefully, it's both.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' Movie Review (Spoiler-Free)


As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

What's On My Playlist (November 2015)

Sometimes I come across a band or an artist and fall in love with one of their songs without feeling anything for the rest of the album. And then there are times when I listen to one lyric of one song, and I fall in love with the band itself.

This is one of those times.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

'Goosebumps' Movie Review

Upset about moving from the big city to a small town, young Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets his beautiful neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush). The teen is surprised to learn that Hannah's mysterious father is R.L. Stine (Jack Black), the famous author of the best-selling "Goosebumps" series. When Zach accidentally unleashes the monsters from the fantastic tales, it's up to Stine, his daughter and Cooper to return the beasts back to the books where they belong.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

'How to Be Brave' by E. Katherine Kottaras: A Book Review

An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.
Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

What's On My Playlist (October 2015)

I didn't listen to a lot of new music last month, which is why there was no playlist for September. However, October has been full of new discoveries, so stay tuned to find out which songs I am crushing on lately!

Friday, 30 October 2015

'The Curse of Brahma (Krishna Trilogy #1)' by Jagmohan Bhanver: A Book Review


The man who became a Brahmarishi...
The curse that banished him to the hell of hells...
And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds...

When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swarglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma's unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in Tamastamah Prabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in Pataal Lok, who swears to destroy Brahma.

The power of the Dark Lord soon begins to make its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.
Only one person threatens the Dark Lord's well-laid plans - Devki, the beautiful princess of Madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.
Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna - the person who has been prophesied to destroy him - to be born?

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

'How One Attempts to Chase Gravity (Gem City #2)' by Nicole Campbell

Ethan Fisher is kind of a badass -- just ask him. The fact that he plays guitar and sings in a band only serves as fuel to the fire of his flirtatious nature. That is until he meets Courtney Ross, a sort of anxious, pixie-like cheerleader with a vocabulary much larger than his. Things would be perfect if she didn’t live eighteen hundred miles away. She shifts his perspective and steals his heart, but how long can she keep it? Find out what was behind all of those sexy smirks in What Comes of Eating Doughnuts With a Boy Who Plays Guitar, and what really went down the night of that fateful phone call.
College bound, Ethan knows he will run into Courtney eventually, and he is determined to have another chance to be the man she thought he was. If it is even possible for her to speak to him without throwing her coffee in his face. He’s willing to take his chances in hopes that the infatuation of their summer love can hold up in the real world. In a novel that is part insightful overlap, part delicious sequel, learn how this winding tale of love and heartbreak ends.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Silver Linings // Just a Random Update #8

Last time I spoke to you about my life, I wasn't doing too well. What with college and moving in and work and making new friends... life was really hectic. Things haven't changed that much, but I think I have.

I know a lot more people in my class now, even though I don't talk to them at all, but I've actually made two really good friends. And you Geeks know that to me, two is the perfect number.  My new friends are a lot like me - introverted and sarcastic and awesome - and we eat each other's lunches every day.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What I Wore Recently // OOTD #9

The past two weeks have been so busy that I barely had time to take photos of my outfits. Hopefully, that won't happen this week. I like being productive, but if I don't even have time to pose in front of the mirror, I'm doing something wrong.

Anyway, from college to work to home, here's what I wore recently.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Philosophical Ramblings #4: What Matters More, Courage or Kindness?


So I was recently reading Divergent, and a thought popped into my mind: which of the five traits is the most important? Selflessness, bravery, kindness, intelligence or honesty?
Well, selflessness and bravery go hand-in-hand, and intelligence and honesty, while important, are logical responses, not emotional ones. So that left me with courage and kindness.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

'If You Only Knew' by Kristan Higgins: A Book Review


Wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate understands the happily-ever-after business, yet somehow she's still involved in her ex-husband's life. In fact, Owen's new wife may—inexplicably—be Jenny's new best friend. Sensing this, well, relationship isn't helping her move on, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll be able to bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and hopefully make one of her own.

Her timing couldn't be more perfect, since Rachel will need her younger sister. Her idyllic marriage has just fallen to pieces in spectacular fashion after she discovers her husband sexting with one of his colleagues. Second chances aren't in Rachel's nature, but the desire for an intact family has her rethinking her stance on adultery, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' "perfect" marriage as a shining example, but to protect her sister Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a secret about their family she's been keeping since childhood.

During this summer of secrets and lies, temptation and revelation, Jenny and Rachel will rely on each other to find the humor in their personal catastrophes, the joy in their triumphs…and the strength to keep hanging on.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

'Déjà Karma' by Vish Dhamija: A Book Review

Jay Singh is the best defence lawyer in New Delhi that money can buy. But Jay Singh is a closet alcoholic; he has a dark and ominous past. His mother has been accused and convicted of killing his father.. .something he doesn't accept even after twenty years.
Flamboyant, wicked, lethal, Jay Singh never loses a case, though his methods might not always be within the law. If the law is after you - guilty or not - there is only one man who can save you. If Jay Singh takes your case, witnesses for the prosecution disappear or turn hostile, evidence evaporates, technology and science fail to provide any cogent support. What's more - Jay Singh can even provide you with an ironclad alibi.
And then he gets a case that can completely destroy him.
If he loses the high-profile case, he can kiss his career goodbye; if he wins the case he better keep his obituary ready. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

What I Wore Last Week // OOTD #8

I couldn't do this post last Sunday because I had exams, so sorry about that.
However, I do feel like these posts are getting a tad repetitive - I'm not very fond of fashion, after all - so from now on, you can take a look at What I Wore every other week.

1) Hoops and Roses
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


I like the way my hair looks in this one - I ought to try this look more often, eh? Anyway, the floral crop top is from Koovs, I think, the jeans are Forever 21, and the lovely orange-green hoop earrings are an impulse purchase from an airport Accessorize store.

2) To Infinity and Beyond
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


So much colour! I don't usually wear scarves, but this trendy pink infinity scarf from Forever 21 is a beauty. I paired it with my deep pink Jockey tank top. I should buy more of these. They go well with everything. 

3) Fifty Shades of Blue
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


Pink might be the colour I wear most often, but blue is closest to my heart. Blue is calm. Blue is honest. Blue is beautiful.
The jeans are from Esprit, my tank top is Jockey, and the lovely sparkly scarf was my sister's when she was in college. Oh, how time flies.

4) Bow to the Crochet


This white lace bow from Claire's is easily my favourite headband of all time. Look how pretty! I styled it with my pink crochet shirt from Stalk Buy Love - and a positive attitude, of course!

5) Bonjour, Mes Geeks
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


Okay, this is a fairly recent outfit. My sister gifted this adorable pink Bonjour top to me - I love my arms in this one - and I wore it to college a few days ago along with my Esprit jeans.
Wait, is that a spoon on the floor next to the beanbag?
___________________________________________________________________________

What did you wear to college or anywhere out this week? Which of these outfits would you wear? Which ones are completely different from your style? Let me know in the comments below.
For daily outfit updates, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

Bye! :)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

It's Not About Time, It's About Priority


The most commonly used excuse for getting away with not accomplishing your goals is: "I just don't have time for it." You say it to skip that workout, to put off your homework until the deadline, or because you genuinely have other commitments.

But it's not true in the end, is it? After all, everyone gets 24 hours a day to go about their lives, and yet I'm sure you know at least one person who's always on top of their to-do list without cutting down on sleep and relaxation.

And that brings me to the topic of today's blog post.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

'The Thing About Jellyfish' by Ali Benjamin: A Book Review

A stunning debut about how grief can open the world in magical ways.
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.


Friday, 11 September 2015

Things I Love #1: The Nibble Box

I'm a geek fangirl, so by that definition, there are thousands of things I'm obsessed with... and somehow, the list keeps growing bigger and bigger.
Here's a new series I'm starting on the blog, so you can fall in love with these things too!

Today, let's talk about The Nibble Box.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

What's On My Playlist (August 2015)

My August playlist has been long overdue, I know. But better late than never, so here I am with my ten favourite songs of the month. Many of these are songs I have known and loved for years, and some are ones I've discovered only recently.

1) It's On Again | Alicia Keys ft. Kendrick Lamar


This song is a perfect metaphor for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but it's also very apt for life in general. When tough times take over, all you need to say is, "It's on again!" and keep marching. That is how you win at life, Geeks - superhero or not.

Favourite lyric:
// I am a lonely hero, tryin' to fight my battles
Life likes to blow the cold wind, sometimes it freezes my shadow
In the midst of all this darkness, I sacrifice my ego
There ain't no room for selfish, we do it for the people //

2) I Will Let You Go | Daniel Ahearn


This heartbreaking song about letting go and moving on is from the No Strings Attached movie, which I haven't seen. I first heard it on an episode of Pretty Little Liars - season two, I think? - and I loved it almost immediately. I especially love the piano in the background and the female vocals that pop up towards the end.

Favourite lyric:
// I’m standing in water with the
Light on my shoulder
The weight of the doubt
Turned me to glass
I’m through living in question
Dreaming the answers //

3) You Sound Good to Me | Lucy Hale


I'm not a major country music fan - not counting my girl, Taylor Swift - but Lucy's catchy, romantic song is the perfect song to sing as I'm making eggs in the morning. How can your day go bad when it starts with fun melodies, after all?

Favourite lyric:
// The full moon
Is shining like a spotlight
I could just sit and listen to you talkin' all night
When you whisper
Yeah, baby, when you lean in
I get a crazy, crazy good kind of feelin' //

4) If It Isn't Love | 2AM Club


2AM Club is a band I was introduced to by Pretty Little Liars - they were the band playing at Homecoming, season one - and now I really like a lot of their songs. This one is actually a cover of the 1988 song by New Edition. I love the Audrey Hepburn quote at the beginning!

Favourite lyric:
// If it isn't love
Why do I feel this way
Why does she stay on my mind
If it isn't love
Why does it hurt so bad
Make me feel so sad inside
If it isn't love //

5) Love | Matt White


Matt White's songs are always so simple. No frills or fancy music, no, sir. This song is from one of my favourite movies, Little Manhattan, and it's all about the silly, goofy things that you do when you're in love. The video is adorable, too: a writer on a bus creating a love story.

Favourite lyric:
// And love...
Such a silly game we play,
Like a summer's day in May.
What is love, what is love?
I just want it to be love //

6) Masterpiece | Jessie J


This song was recommended to me by my lovely sister, who knows my taste in music a little too well. Masterpiece is all about owning your flaws and learning from failure. As Jessie rightly says, we're all perfectly incomplete. And that's okay. This song is great for days when you need a pick-me-up or a self-esteem boost.

Favourite lyric:
// Uphill battle
I look good when I climb
I'm ferocious, precocious
I get braggadocios
I'm not gonna stop
I like the view from the top //

7) Simple Song | The Shins


I've been re-watching all HIMYM scenes involving the Mother, because she's obviously the greatest character on the show (yes, even better than Barney), and this 'simple song' played during the last scene of Season 8 when the Mother was finally revealed! I still remember where I was when I first saw that episode: on a flight from London to home. I doubt I'll ever forget that moment.
When did you first watch the Mother's reveal? Comment down below!

Favourite lyric:
// I know that things can really get rough when you go it alone
Don’t go thinking you gotta be tough, to play like a stone
Could be there’s nothing else in our lives so critical
As this little home //

8) Downtown Train | Everything But the Girl


This song played during the iconic Farhamptom train station scene when Ted finally meets the Mother - how could I not fall in love with it? It's a beautiful song about two lovers meeting on a train. So fitting for the HIMYM finale.

Favourite lyric:
// Will I see you tonight on a downtown train
Where every night, it's just the same,
you leave me lonely
Will I see you tonight on a downtown train
All of my tears just fall like rain, all upon the downtown train //

9) Yellow | Coldplay


Coldplay is one of my favourite bands, but I haven't heard all their songs. I first heard this one during the movie Boyhood, and I don't know how, but it popped into my head recently. A few minutes later, I almost broke the YouTube replay button.
I'm not too sure what 'yellow' signifies - but to me, yellow is one of the happiest and brightest colours... so yes, I would love for everything to be yellow.

Favourite lyric:
// Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into
Something beautiful,
Do you know,
You know I love you so,
You know I love you so //

10) Beating Heart | Ellie Goulding


Although I didn't particularly enjoy the first Divergent movie, Beating Heart makes for a good song when you're thinking of dramatic plot twists for your next book or having a cardio workout session.

Favourite lyric:
// And the canyon underneath the trees
Behind the dark sky, you looked at me
I fell for you like autumn leaves
And never faded, evergreen //
__________________________________________________________________________
Which songs are you in love with lately? Got any recommendations for me? List 'em down below.
I'll see you next month, Geeks!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

What I Wore These Days // OOTD #7

This has been a good week. Busy, I'll give you that, but productive too. I've also been having a lot of great hair days. Does being sleep-deprived in spite of frequent naps make my hair shine? Hmm.

Friday, 4 September 2015

'The Power of Positive Thinking' by Norman Vincent Peale: A Book Review

The phenomenal and inspiring bestseller by the father of positive thinking. THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING is a practical, direct-action application of spiritual techniques to overcome defeat and win confidence, success and joy. Norman Vincent Peale, the father of positive thinking and one of the most widely read inspirational writers of all time, shares his famous formula of faith and optimism which millions of people have taken as their own simple and effective philosophy of living. His gentle guidance helps to eliminate defeatist attitudes, to know the power you possess and to make the best of your life.

I am obsessed with the non-fiction and self-help genre. When I walk into a bookstore, that's the first shelf I'll hit. And since I'm on a journey of self-discovery and positivity, I knew I had to give this one a try. After all, it's one of the most well-known books on positive thinking.

Well, I've learnt my lesson now. Never judge a book by its popularity.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

'The Bollywood Bride' by Sonali Dev: A Book Review

Ria Parkar is Bollywood's favorite Ice Princess--beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof--until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin's wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar.
Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria's exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love--until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it's taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she's been guarding for everyone else's benefit--and a chance to stop acting and start living.
Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.


Sunday, 30 August 2015

What I Wore Lately // OOTD #6

Howdy, Geeks.
It's hard to believe that this is the sixth post in my fashion series. It's been six weeks already. How is that even possible?!

Anyway, I was in a very professional mood most of this week, and I think that's reflected in my outfits. Let's take a look.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Why You Should Stop Whining and Start Doing

I don't know why people are so obsessed with complaining. No matter where you go or what you do, there's always something worth grumbling about, right?

The size of your butt or the limpness of your hair or the demands of your sadistic boss or the way time won’t stop running out on you...


Wrong.

Newsflash: whining about your problems is going to get you nowhere. In fact, it's only going to make things worse. If you want to make your life better and achieve your goals, you need to change your attitude.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

'What Comes of Eating Doughnuts With a Boy Who Plays Guitar' by Nicole Campbell: A Book Review

Courtney Ross has lived her whole life doing everything by the book. She’s a top student, the captain of the cheer squad at her Scottsdale high school, and a nervous wreck most of the time. For summer vacation before senior year, she finally has her chance just to relax. She will be spending it with her best friend, Vanessa, in her tiny hometown of Gem City, Ohio. Courtney’s hoping for a chance to breathe, and maybe even for some of Vanessa’s carefree nature to rub off on her. What she doesn’t expect is Ethan Fisher. Courtney knows she’s in trouble the minute she sees him holding a guitar at her “Welcome Back” party. Her instincts prove to be correct as she gets to know him, and she finds her head spinning. What will this mean for the girl who always plays by the rules?

Sunday, 23 August 2015

What I Wore This Week // OOTD #5

This has been a very good week, outfit-wise. Probably because I brought tons of new clothes from home when I had gone to visit last Sunday, so I've been very enthusiastic about dressing up for college. Here's what I wore this week, Geeks!

1) Be the Rainbow
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


I was so homesick on Monday that I could barely summon the energy to get out of bed. And that's why I went with this brightly coloured, optimistic kurti from Global Desi, pairing it with my Nuon leopard-print leggings. My pink dangling earrings are from Accessorize. I'm not a fan of long earrings, to be honest, but I thought a change was needed to pull me out of my sorrow.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Things That Annoy Me #1: The Extrovert Ideal


They say people are social animals that cannot survive without human interaction, probably because this was essential for survival during the Stone Age. How else could we have dominated the earth and become the superpower race we are today?

That being said, times are different now. People need each other, yes, but not to the same extent. Actually, for some of us, it's not even close.

I've written about introversion on my blog before, mostly so people in my friends circle would understand that it's not about being shy or antisocial, it's about where we derive our energy from and how much stimulation we need.

But no matter how popular this topic is today, no matter how many speeches are made to spread awareness, no matter how many introverts are speaking up every single day, the Extrovert Ideal is nowhere near to being finished. I can say this from personal experience, and I'm sure my introverted Geeks would agree.


Thursday, 20 August 2015

'Mansfield Park' by Jane Austen: A Book Review

'We have all been more or less to blame ...
every one of us, excepting Fanny.'
Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen's most profound works.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My Fitness Journey, Then and Now.

Most people don't understand why I work out because I've always been on the skinnier side, and a lot of people correlate fitness with being skinny.
And I'm here to tell you that they're so wrong.


Growing up - and even today - I've been prey to the skinny-shaming phenomenon. I've had people comment on my completely normal eating habits or my skinny wrists. People have treated me as weak and frail. People have asked me to "go eat a sandwich" because they thought I looked anorexic.
And of course it had a devastating effect on my self-esteem. 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

What I Wore Outside My House // OOTD #4

I'm still home with my family, and I'm proud to say that I haven't ventured into the great unknown the entire weekend. That means sitting in my pajamas for hours on end. Now, if that isn't heaven, what is?

I also repeated outfits a few times this week, so there will only be four OOTDs today. However, my suitcase is packed with dozens of new clothes, so I will have brought my A-game by next Sunday.

1) Cool Blue
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


One of the best things about having a sister is that your wardrobe doubles in size. This cute blue hand-me-down is by Max, and my jeans are Forever 21. Seriously, though. They are literally forever Forever 21. I need to buy more jeans.

2) Flowy, Floral and Hippie
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


Go, flower power! I borrowed this flowy kimono from my roomie and paired it with another flowy floral top from Westside, a bright red cami from Forever New, and a pink headband and grey jeans from Forever 21.

3) Pride & Print


I'm very proud of this custom-made P&P shirt from 99 T-Shirts. The front says, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune..." and the back finishes the quote: "... must be in want of a wife." I know. How hot is that?
I added my funky printed jacket from Westside and some jeans from Forever 21. Come on. You saw that coming.

4) Bow to Me
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


I don't even need an excuse to wear this big lace bow that I got from Claire's. My floral top with a gorgeous lace insert is from Pantaloons, I think. And the jeans: you already know, don't you?
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I know that I don't show what I'm wearing on my feet, but that's because I only own three pairs of shoes. Funky blue ballet flats, black strappy sandals, and my darling white and purple Adidas. I usually wear my sneakers to college irrespective of what clothes I'm wearing. Comfort comes first.

Anyway, what outfit was your favourite? I can't wait to wear that flowy floral look again. Do you have a fashion blog? Show me what your fashion sense looks like.
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Wattpad. I recently posted my second novel here, so you don't want to miss out on any updates.

See you next Sunday!

Friday, 14 August 2015

'Days of Awe' by Lauren Fox: A Book Review

Only a year ago Isabel Moore was married, the object of adoration of her ten-year-old daughter, and thought she knew everything about her wild, extravagant, beloved best friend, Josie. But in that one short year: her husband moved out and rented his own apartment; her daughter grew into a moody insomniac; and Josie -- impulsive, funny, secretive Josie -- was killed behind the wheel in a single-car accident. As Isabel tries to make sense of this shattering loss and unravel the months leading up to Josie's death, she comes to understand the shifts, large and small, that can upend a friendship and an entire life. Heartbreaking and wryly funny, Days of Awe is a masterly exploration of marriage, motherhood, and the often surprising shape of new love.

Note: I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of those stories that don't really have a beginning or an ending. This is one of those books that aren't very plot-driven; it's highly character-driven. But that's a risky approach for any writer, because fleshing out characters that can keep the reader captivated is difficult.

Somehow, Lauren Fox does it.


Days of Awe is not your average women's fiction book. It is by no means a chick lit (thankfully). Days of Awe is about the tragedy of life, death, love, and family. And somehow it is also about the normalcy of all of the above.

The book follows the life of Izzie, a middle-aged woman, a woman who lives in her thoughts. The story is told from varying perspectives of past and present, which seems rather confusing at first but then gives the reader a chance to see the bigger picture.

Her best friend Josie was bold, witty, energetic, funny, and also... slightly deranged.
Izzie spends most of her time telling us about Josie and her crazy antics, and how maybe it wasn't the car that killed Josie, it was everyone around her.

Izzie herself is a very... entertaining protagonist, even with all the numbness that surrounds her life. She is sarcastic to a T, somehow a pushover and a go-getter at the same time; and it's so interesting to look at the intricacies of her thoughts and wonder how she's going to get over those bad feelings by the end of the story.

I am absolutely in love with the way this book is written. The words feel like a punch to your gut, because they're so... raw.


This was what I loved about being a teacher, back then, when I loved it: that every child was some family's most precious gem, the joy of their hearts, and I could see that, even sometimes when their own parents probably couldn't; I could see that spark of perfection in every kid, in whatever form it took, a devious sense of humor or a disheveled sweetness, and I loved them all for it. They were grubby and loud and chaotic, and occasionally mean-spirited and dim-witted, sometimes feral and once in a while borderline psychotic. But they had beauty in them. 


You can't preserve anything; every happy moment is already on its way to becoming nostalgia. That's the problem.


My stomach dropped a little, and my heart thudded. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference between thrill and panic.

Love was foolish and inevitable. We were just waiting to be shattered by it. The days were finite, full of awe.


Now moving on to the things I didn't like about this book.
Well, there wasn't much of a plot. And as much as I love slow-paced, thoughtful books, I did get frustrated a few times, wondering what the point was to this story. What is the author trying to tell me?

The ending, too, is rather abrupt. Izzie doesn't get the closure she deserves. Many subplot points are just left like that, hanging in thin air. Was that the author's aim? To show us that not every story gets a polished ending?

I'm going to go with 4 stars out of 5 for this one.
Days of Awe is unconventionally funny and brutally honest, and i
t definitely served as a much-needed break from all the angsty young adult novels I've been writing/reading lately. For all you tragic readers out there, this one's for you.

This book was released on August 4th, 2015. Do grab a copy for yourself and tell me what you think. Already read it? What were your thoughts on the ending?

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Bye!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Pretty Little Liars 6x10 (Game Over, Charles): A Recap

Who killed Toby’s mother? Who hit Alison in the head with the rock the night she went missing? Who is Red Coat? Who killed Bethany? Who is the Black Widow? Why has ‘A’ been targeting the PLLs all this time? After years of torture, Alison, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer finally come face-to-face with their tormentor and learn the story of how and why Charles became ‘A.’

What. The. Hell.
Let me just find my inner peace.
Okay, that's better. Now, a warning: if you have not watched the season finale of Pretty Little Liars, or if you aren't comfortable with some serious ranting, leave this blog right now.
Okay. Are you ready for the most disappointing Charles reveal of all time?

Great. Let's begin.

Recap

With the help of Mona, who was dressed in a red cloak, the Liars find a way out of the party and into Carissimi group, from where Charles is running his master plan. The boys, along with Clark, have asked the girls to stay put, but Sara says she'll call Detective Tanner and let the police know that they're on Charles' trail.

Using Sara's help - apparently Charles gave her a cookie every year on September 7th - the girls crack the code of some secure room in the Carissimi building and walk right into Charles' brain. And there, right in front of their eyes, is the live feed into everything that Charles and Alison are up to at Radley.

But just as the girls beckon Sara to join them, she shakes her head and the door closes, locking them in. Oops. Well, they might as well watch what's happening.

Looks like Charles has paralysed Jason and Mr. DiLaurentis. They can hear and see what's going on, but there's nothing they can do about it. Anyway, Alison is screaming at him for everything that he's done, and then - hold your breath - he turns.

Aaaaaaand it isn't a 'he' after all. It's CeCe Drake.


Indeed. Apparently, Charles loved dressing up, wearing makeup and playing with dolls as a child, and that was the last straw for Mr. DiLaurentis, who didn't want a mentally unstable transgender for a child. So they put him in Radley, although Mrs. D continued to visit him.

When Charles turned twelve, the dresses, each one a copy of Alison's, began pouring in. Around that time, he made a new friend there: Bethany Young, who was just as insane as he was. She pushed Toby's mother off the roof and blamed it on Charles. Who would trust a boy in a dress over a pretty blonde girl? So Bethany got off scot-free and Charles spent the next seven years in a drug-induced haze.

On the bright side, though, Charles was finally let out for a funeral: his own. Charles became Charlotte and a metaphorical grave was dug up.
Charlotte, smart as she was, soon got permission to go take classes at UPenn instead of being locked up in her room.

And that's how one day, after she called in a bomb threat so she could skip school, she met Jason DiLaurentis. Her brother. She introduced herself as CeCe Drake. C.D. And then she became his girlfriend!


Mrs. D was aghast when she found out, though not because of the semi-incestuous relationship. She was angry because it was too dangerous for Charlotte, as CeCe, to go with the DiLaurentis family to Cape May. But their father didn't recognise her, and the trip happened. And, Charlotte proudly reminds Alison in real time, it was one of the best times of their lives.

Back at the cuckoo hospital, Bethany Young found out that Mrs. D was having an affair with her dad. So she took on Charlotte's appearance and decided to go get her revenge, Charlotte hot on her trail. Char watched Bethany walk towards the DiLaurentis house and stopped her by hitting her in the head with a rock. Except it wasn't Bethany after all - it was Ali. That's why Mrs. D buried her own daughter alive: to keep the other one safe.

Now Mona admits that she was the one who killed Bethany, thinking that she was killing Alison. Lord, give me strength.


After that, Mrs. D paid off Wilden, the only cop who was aware of this abnormal situation, and sent Charlotte back to Radley.
It was only a short time before Charlotte made a new friend: Mona. Mona, who was almost comatose because of all the medication, filled Charlotte in on all the happenings in Rosewood. That's how CeCe got all the information she needed to steal the game from the original 'A'. That's how she found out that the Liars were relieved that Ali was dead, and that's why she tortured them.

Remember the fire at the lodge? Charlotte started it to lure the girls there because she saw Alison, as Red Coat, following the girls around town. Alison made an appearance at the fire to save the girls, but when Shana gatecrashed, Charlotte and the fake Red Coat's plans were foiled.
But at least now Charlotte knew that her sister was alive.

Meanwhile, Red Coat - who turns out to be Sara Harvey - is prepping Radley Sanitarium so Charlotte can blow the place up after the 'game' is over.


Charlotte even tried going overseas for a while, but the game was too addictive. She had to come back. She had to play. She couldn't stop.

When she came back and decided to visit her mother, she found Mrs. D dead in the backyard. It is not revealed who killed her.
Wilden found out about Alison being alive, so Charlotte had to kill him. Sara Harvey, dressed as the Black Widow, went to the funeral to make sure that his body was in the coffin.

The girls know they have to get into Radley before the place is blown up. They find an escape route and make their way to Charlotte and Alison's meeting point, but get intercepted by Red Coat Sara, who's setting up the bomb.

Charlotte presses the button, but nothing happens. The Liars have Sara trapped and Spencer has already defused the bomb. Sara tries to tell Emily that she was trying to keep her safe - yeah, right! - and Emily punches her. Good for you, Em.

And then Alison races towards the girls in horror. Charlotte is making her way to the roof. So the girls follow her there and convince her to get down. By this point, the building is surrounded by police vans.
"We understand your story," the girls say. "You can be with your family now. We'll protect you. Don't do this to your sister!"
Wow. Not sure Charlotte's twisted soul deserves any redemption. I'd push her off the roof, personally.

But it's only when Alison screams her name that Charlotte comes down, her face streaked with tears. "Game over," she says.

Fast-forward to Labour Day weekend. The girls are all leaving for college - all except Ali, who has decided to stay in Rosewood. Some emotional moments, some jokes here and there, blah blah.


Fast-forward to five years in the future. Rosewood High School. Alison is writing her name on the blackboard: Mrs. Rollins. The Liars burst inside the classroom, shouting: "He's here and we can't stop him!"

The episode ends.

Thoughts

Really? The transgender theory? Really?
So if 'Charlotte' identifies as a female, why did she dress up as a boy for Prom in the dollhouse? Why did Charles have brown hair then? How did CeCe carry out all the 'A' tasks that require Herculean strength? And why was Wren, the ideal Charles suspect, sketching pictures of Mrs. DiLaurentis on the Campbell farm?

This is bullshit. Even the 'Ezra-was-writing-a-novel' storyline was better than this. And who killed Mrs. D? And what's up with the 'he' five years later? Is CeCe gender-fluid now? Is this Uber A? Is it just a PLL fan seeking revenge for this terrible finale?

CeCe? Really?

Wren as 'A' made so much more sense. How did CeCe get the medical prowess to insert a note inside Hanna's tooth? Where did she get all the hospital equipment from? Will they ever reveal that?
Probably not.
And how did CeCe acquire Carissimi group? Just because of Mrs. D's influence?

And what happened to the Drunk Moms? Are they still locked in the basement, five years later?

Ugh.
Season 6B comes out this winter, probably early 2016. Here's the promo.


Whatever. I was wrong about season 6 being a game-changer. This show is going to the dogs.
Buuuut I'll still be tuning into episode 6x11, so be sure to tune in next year for more recaps. What did you think of this reveAl? Were you as disappointed as I am? Are you going to boycott the show, like many fans are planning to? What was your Charles theory?

Bye, PLL Geeks!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

What I Wore To College // OOTD #3

The past week has been hectic and lazy at the same time. Is that even possible? Anyway, except for one visit to the movie theatre, the only place I've been outside of my home is college. Since I can't go there wearing my PJs (although I sort of did the day I was feeling blue), keep reading to find out what my style quotient looked like this week.

1) Laidback Love


I wear outfits that are either extremely put-together or completely lazy. This shirt from Max was at the far end of my closet, all rumpled and wrinkled. I did not iron it, as you can see. My grey jeans from Forever 21 gave the finishing touch to this faded, Abnegation-esque look.

2) Fairy Fashion
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on


This is probably my favourite look out of all the outfits I've ever worn. A tiara headband from Forever New, this paisley cap-sleeved Dorothy Perkins top and my trusted grey jeans? Comfortable, feminine and trendy, all at the same time.
The top is still in stock on Jabong. You can get it here.

3) Badger Pride


I'm a proud Hufflepuff, as you can tell by the badge on the sidebar. I got this lovely sleeveless top from WB Studios, London. I paired it with my orange/yellow headband from Forever 21, along with... the grey jeans. You guessed it.

4) Prints All The Way


It was Wednesday, but I wasn't feeling particularly pink, so I thought I'd mix it up a little with some florals from StalkBuyLove, stripes from Forever New, and that cute bow headband from Claire's. My plain blue jeans are from Esprit.

5) No Phonies Allowed


I've only read Catcher in the Rye once, but I loved it. I think I saw this caption during a John Green video, and I knew I needed a custom shirt declaring my love for the book. With some help from 99 T-Shirts, I designed this full-sleeved top and decided to go with my blue Forever 21 jeans (although the filter makes them look grey). My polka-dot blue headband from Claire's also made an appearance.
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Well, that's it for this week. I might be going out for a cheat day meal tonight (barbeque French fries and green tea, perhaps?), so you can find out what I wear next Sunday.

What fashion were you wearing this week? If you're a fashion blogger, leave a link for me in the comments and tell me what trend you love rocking best. For me, it's definitely florals. I cannot live without flower power.
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Wattpad, and please do share my content with your friends and family if you enjoy my work.

See you next Sunday, Chic Geeks!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Why It's Okay to be Sad

I am, quite possibly, one of the most positive people I know. I maintain a gratitude journal. I practise the law of attraction. I'm the person you come to when you need a self-esteem boost. And I have this poster on my wall:

And I have to admit that I hadn't really had any 'bad days' since January, when I started my journey of positivity. By 'bad days', I mean days when you feel like your depression might be coming back for no reason whatsoever. And if you've ever been depressed, you probably understand how terrifying it can be to feel that way again.

At least, I hadn't had any 'bad days' up until this week, when I woke up feeling like my life had no purpose. I cried for hours without even knowing why I was crying. I'd have loved to think that it was just the after-effects of watching TFIOS for the hundredth time, but I knew that wasn't the case. I had been overworked and lonely and exhausted for weeks, and this was just my body's way of telling me to stop pretending like my life was full of rainbows and sunshine and unicorns.

I'm all for being happy and finding silver linings, but as it turns out, that's not how life works. Scientists say there are six major emotions in the human mind: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. So why are people hell-bent on trying to be only one emotion, all the time? Why am I so desperate to only be happy and not be anything else?

Have you seen Disney Pixar's latest movie, Inside Out? No spoilers, but the movie isn't just a kiddie entertainment flick talking about the voices inside your head. Inside Out teaches you an important lesson: all your emotions matter. Joy isn't the only thing you should feel. Sadness is just as important.

And that's what I've realised now, Geeks. If you're happy all the time, if you strive to find the silver lining even when the grey clouds are raining down on you, then aren't you simply ignoring your problems? Aren't you letting yourself get swept up in the thunderstorm?

Sometimes your sadness helps you understand that you need to change the way you're living your life. It tells you that you need to talk about what you're doing wrong instead of just pretending to be that optimistic, happy-go-lucky fool. Sometimes sadness becomes your path to happiness.


Like with me, a few days ago. I spend the first half of the day moping about in tears until I finally opened up to a friend about everything that had been bothering me. I didn't look on the bright side or count my blessings. I was just honest about the many ways in which life had disappointed me. And that helped. It helped so much.

Today, I'm not sad. I still know I have problems, and I still know that I'm not living my life the way I want to. But those feelings are out of my system. Instead of pushing them away, I let them take over for a short time, because all emotions - whether negative or positive - are a part of us. And we shouldn't deny them that right.

So the next time you're miserable, Geeks, stop searching for the silver lining and start looking inside yourself. Let your sorrow tell you what's wrong. Take a few days to explore your emotions. Let joy take the back seat for now, and just be sad.

And then, when you've found the courage to express your sadness, your positive attitude will come back. And it'll be stronger than ever.


When was the last time you let yourself be sad without feeling guilty or disappointed? When was the last time you faced your fears head-on instead of hiding behind the curtain of optimism? And when was the last time you saw Inside Out? Because if you haven't, I suggest you do immediately.

Always be true to your feelings, Geeks, whether they're good or bad. I'll see you next time. :)