Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Pages: 487
Source and Format: Library; Hardcover

Summary (From Goodreads)
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Thoughts on Divergent
Hi, my name is Lesley Anne and Divergent gave me JOMCS (Just One More Chapter Syndrome). I could not stop reading this book! I originally approached Divergent with skepticism due to the assumed similarities to The Hunger Games, since nothing could possibly measure up to THG when it came to dystopian fiction. (P.S. Have y'all seen the new movie posters for Catching Fire?! OMG! November can't get here soon enough!). 

But I was pleased to find myself loving Divergent just as much as The Hunger Games, just in a different way. Veronica Roth's dystopian world is so unique and intriguing, one that seems picture perfect on the surface, but secretly you know it could crack at any moment. This was not a world where there was an obvious evil, which made Divergent even more compelling in my opinion.

At first I thought I might have a hard time connecting with the characters in this book, but I was wrong about that as well. Tris was just so much fun to read about! She's a heroine with definite flaws and still has a lot to learn about herself, but she also doesn't let people push her around. She's one tough cookie. And Four. Le sigh. I could go on and on about how much I love Four, but that would take away the fun of reading the book for yourself (if you're one of the few who hasn't). ;)  

I was also surprised by the number of complex issues addressed in Divergent. Things like the impossibility of fitting people into a predetermined box, the depravity of man and how good intentions can quickly go awry, how the media can be used to manipulate opinion rather than expose truth, etc. were constant themes throughout the novel. I feel that if I were part of a book club discussing this book, there would be a lot of good conversations...over some good wine, of course!

Thankfully I got an email from the library today saying my copy of Insurgent is ready for pick up, the next installment in the trilogy. But the real question is, how on earth am I going to wait until October 22 for the Book 3 release? It's going to be a long seven months!

Memorable Quotes  
"I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different."

"Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Life Through a New Lens

There's a new little addition in the Fenton family. :) 

Yep, it's my first prime lens! I bought the Canon 50mm f/1.8 back in December and I couldn't be more thrilled with the photos I've taken with it so far. The bokeh is AMAZING.

These are a few images from my first photoshoot using the 50mm. This photoshoot was for my sister's niece's first birthday session, and I thought today would be an appropriate day to share them since it's actually her birthday! Congratulations on turning one, sweet girl! 


Friday, February 22, 2013

A Southern Dinner Party

Last weekend Ashley and Alan hosted our family at their house for a different kind of farm-to-table dinner party--a quail fry. The quail came from a hunting trip my dad, brother, and Kyle took back in January over MLK weekend. You could tell the boys were particularly proud to be frying up the fruits of their labor. ;)

We served the quail with collard greens, cornbread cooked in a cast iron skillet, macaroni and cheese, and a platter of deviled eggs. And you can't forget the banana pudding for dessert! It was a decidedly Southern evening with my family that felt a little bit like Thanksgiving in February. Here are just a few of the photos I captured from our night together.

And as you might've noticed, I chopped my hair off! I always get so impatient while growing my hair out, and this time I made it almost a year before it was time for a change. Though my stylist cut it a little bit shorter than I originally planned, I really love my new bob now!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, Doc Doc!

Our big goof is two years old today!

 Since we love taking pictures of our fur-kiddo, I thought I would share some of our favorite memories with Doc over the past year:

 Finding my bachelorette stuff and dressing Doc up in it. Poor thing!

 4th of July fireworks over the Savannah River.

Labor Day Weekend at Kyle's parents' house.

It's been a fun-filled year with our big ol' buddy! And just to keep it real, this is how Doc really felt about wearing his birthday hat. Not thrilled.

 Speaking of not being thrilled, while I was going through pictures for this post, I found this one of Doc getting his first bath at 7 weeks old. 

Isn't he pitiful?! Looking at this may or may not have given me puppy fever. We'll see what this next year holds...! ;) In the meantime, Happy Birthday Doc Doc!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Congrats, Jenny + Zach!

Now that it's Facebook official, we can finally share the exciting news! There's going to be another Fenton wedding, y'all! Kyle's sister, Jenny, got engaged back in January and we could not be more happy for her and Zach. There's always so much excitement surrounding weddings, but it's even more fun when it's someone in your immediate family getting married. It looks like they are planning an outdoor wedding for sometime next spring, and with these two being the marine biologists that they are, I'm thinking a beach wedding is in our future! Just a wild guess. ;)

{One of my favorite pictures of these two! On our way to Foxy's beach bbq in Jost Van Dyke.}

Congrats again, Jenny and Zach! We are SO happy for y'all!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Words, Vol. 2: J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

You might have noticed I started a new series called Words. The idea is to share a favorite quote from a book I'm currently reading or have read in the past. I was inspired to post today's quote after hearing it on the Harry Potter audiobook I've been listening to during my commute. It's one of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter, actually, and I forgot Dumbledore said it in the very first book. It's been such a joy to rediscover Harry Potter through listening to the audiobooks, and I have a feeling there will be many more quotes from J.K. Rowling to come in this series. 

Have a Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

California, Here We Come!

We FINALLY made a decision on our Graduation Trip destination! Plane tickets are booked, and it looks like we're headed to San Francisco, CA later this year! I know you've been waiting with bated breath to find out where we're going ever since this post, and this news may be somewhat of a letdown after I started talking about fabulous Europe. But we are actually really excited about this trip. Like SUPER EXCITED. We've never been to California, and we've never seen the Pacific Ocean, so this trip holds a lot of fun firsts for us. And experiencing things for the first time together with your husband = the best.

Once we finally nailed down where we wanted to go, I started researching and planning things for us to do like a maniac. Here are the things on our list so far:

For those of you who have been out to the Bay Area, are we missing anything? Anything on our list we should skip? More importantly, where should we EAT?! We are all ears for some restaurant/things to do/places to see recommendations!

Friday, February 1, 2013


I knew it would be trouble when I found out my office was only minutes away from IKEA. Talk about after work shopping sprees! This was never possible when we lived in Augusta, but now, it's a whole different ball game--one that my wallet isn't always excited about. I've made trips out there for several different things now, most recently for the bookshelf I'll be talking about in this post.

We've had a little bit of a bookshelf problem ever since Kyle started Physical Therapy school. Unlike in undergrad, Kyle has kept pretty much every textbook he's needed for class. Not surprisingly, those books have slowly but surely taken over the two tiny bookshelves we own. Case in point: 

YUCK. Since I can't put those books anywhere else until Kyle starts working, it was obvious we were in need of a new bookshelf solution. Thanks to my Christmas money, we are now the owners of an IKEA EXPEDIT shelf, and we are in love!

I don't know why I took pictures of us putting it together, I guess I was just so excited we finally had a bookshelf big enough to fit all our books so I thought it was worth documenting. If anything, if you are thinking about getting an EXPEDIT yourself, you can see how easy it is to put together. :)

Doc even came in to hang out with us and help us put it together. He couldn't contain his excitement. :)

Ta da! Even at night in an orangey wood-paneled room, isn't she a beauty?

Here it is with our books on it arranged by color. I already had the three brown baskets from Wal-Mart, hopefully I can go back and get one more to complete that row. I also picked up the white magazine files when I got the shelf since our magazines were getting a little out of control too. I'll be the first to confess I'm a magazine hoarder. :)

The verdict? We L-O-V-E it. We are even talking about getting another one and maybe doing something like this one day. So many possibilities! 

Hopefully I'll have Part II of my Reading List up tomorrow. Have a great weekend, y'all!


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