about me the babes

The Ember Grey Tell-All, Vol. 3

February 26, 2015


What is your favorite drink at Starbucks?

I’d be forced to say Skinny Vanilla Latte (with soy) but only because I’m too afraid to order much else. While I do love the SVL, I never know how to say any of the other orders. Regular Starbucks goers tend to be very serious about their ordering. That place gives me anxiety for that reason alone, haha πŸ˜‰ (I think living in Chicago for 8+ years wrecked me on that one. Chicagoan Starbucks drinkers are straight up CRAZY.)

How did your pets come to you? How did you come up with their names?

Oooj was my first pet that was ‘mine.’ All through high school I’d told my parents that after college I wanted to get a small dog and name him Oooju Booju, because that’s what you say when you see really small, cute things (right??!) The summer after my junior year of college, I went to a family party where my aunt’s sister had just adopted a puppy. He was, hands down, the CUTEST puppy I’d ever seen in my life. I spent most of that party playing with him in the grass and instantly fell in love with his ‘puppy eyes.’ A week after the party, my aunt’s sister found out she was pregnant and feared that a puppy and a new baby would be too much at once, so she asked me if I’d like to have him. Um, YES?!?! It was earlier than I’d planned, but I finally had my Oooju Booju – who I call ‘Oooj’ because c’mon, I don’t want to embarrass the guy when we’re out in public. His puppy eyes still melt me to this day. (Something he is well aware of and abuses at every chance he gets.)

Cleopatra, aka “The Queen”: Cleo was a rescue. My mom’s bff heard meowing in the walls of her horse barn only to discover two tiny kittens (and the mama who had passed away). My mom ended up taking both of the kittens and was trying to get me to take one. I kept telling her I really couldn’t take on another animal but as I went out to the porch to see them, the tiniest one came right over to me and crawled into my lap. My mom said to me, “Em. That’s the one that hasn’t been coming out for anyone. She came straight to you! It’s meant to be!” (Do you see how she guilted me into this?!) πŸ˜‰ And that was the start to my sweet friendship with this Cleo girl. When she was a kitten, the black markings on her face looked just like eyeliner – much like Cleopatra – so that’s how she got her name. Coincidentally, she really has lived up to her name and my husband and I eventually added “The Queen” to the end of it.

What are 3 things you would save from your home if you had to leave immediately?

Obviously my husband, Oooj, and Cleo would be the first 3 things I would grab πŸ˜‰ But if we’re talking about materialistic things, it would be a box that holds all of the letters given to me from Christian. I would also grab my great-grandmother’s engagement ring, and a plaque that holds my Grandpa’s badge, whistle, and name plate from when he was a police officer.

What was your favorite childhood book?

My all time favorite was My Goodnight Book. I can vividly remember sitting on my dad’s lap while he read this book to me – literally every night when I was young. There was a part in the book where the little girl is sitting on her dad’s lap and there is a bowl of jelly beans sitting next to them. My dad and I would always pretend to take jelly beans from the page of the book and then eat them together, giggling πŸ™‚ That’s one of my favorite childhood memories.

Which actress would be the star in your life’s movie?

I’ve already shared with you my (unfortunately given) doppelgΓ€ngers, but if I could personally choose an actress to star in my life’s movie it would be Jennifer Lawrence. Not only is she my nighttime makeup style celebrity inspiration, but I feel like if anyone (besides myself, of course) could accurately portray me and my personality it would be her. (Runner up would be Kaley Cuoco.)

In what order do you read blog posts?

I use Bloglovin to organize the blogs I follow, especially since there are SO many awesome bloggers out there and I’d never remember them all if I didn’t have them saved somewhere. I do have my favorite blogs and will usually start there first, but I’ve been known to spend a Sunday afternoon searching for new blogs too, especially in Home Decor πŸ˜‰


What do you miss most about Chicago, besides friends, family, or the fact that you never met Meagan from All the Joys in person?

I am sad that I never got to meet Meagan in person, dang it. (One day!) Besides missing friends and family, I miss having coffee shops and restaurants within walking distance. All of these things are now a good 10-20 minute drive from where we live now but when we lived in Chicago, it was nothing for us to walk across the street for brunch on a weekend, or to our favorite Mexican restaurant for margaritas, or for an impromptu date for our favorite dairy-free milkshakes. We also had a Chipotle that was literally in our backyard – both glorious and dangerous.


You asked, I answered! The final installment (for now, at least) of the EG Tell-All will be in a few weeks, where I’ll be answering questions like how it felt to quit my corporate job to go into writing full time. If you have any other questions for me, leave them in the comments section below or shoot me an email!

EG signature
Need to catch up? Check out Vol. One &Β Vol. Two.

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  • Brittany Olson

    Starbucks=anxiety for sure. I tried a hot (meaning coffee) beverage once which strayed from my usual vanilla bean Frappuccino (which is technically called the vanilla bean CREAM Frappuccino ) and it was like a skinny caramel something or other and that was exactly how I said it. Drive up attendant was not impressed so I had to find my bookmark on my phone. Still couldn't tell you what it really was.

  • Ooooooh, those pet names are perfect!! And if you're ever in the market for a new drink at Sbx you should do the Cinnamon Dolce (like "Dolce" & Gabbana) latte! (I think you can get that "skinny", too!)

  • Aww, love you stories of how you adopted and named your furbabies! They are so cute! I always order the same thing at Starbucks but I'm still pretty sure I'm saying it wrong.

  • I am the exact same way about Starbucks!!! It gives me anxiety to order. Usually I look at their menu before hand so I can seem like I know what I'm talking about when in reality I don't.

  • I love hearing about how you named your pets! What creative names they have!

  • Liz

    I love this! Love the story of your dog "adoption", and I love the story about you reading the book with your dad and pretending to eat the jelly-beans. My dad read with my sisters and I every. single. night., and I loved it! He did such a great job animating the story. I don't drink coffee, so never really go to Starbucks, but it sound delicious. Great post!! xo <3

  • My Starbucks go-to drink is (are you ready for this) – Grande Toffee Nut White Mocha with soy, split the pumps, at 130-degrees. Yep. I'm that coffee drinker. In other news…I once had a cat named cleo-CAT-ra. πŸ˜‰

  • haha I giggle at your dog's name. I love it! So perfect!! And the story of little Cleo is cute! It was definitely meant to be πŸ˜‰

  • I'm loving that this is a multi part series!! I'm missing the convenience of city life too a little. I don't think I'd trade the house/yard/lovely neighbors but the ease of running downstairs to grab a coffee, lunch, something from the pharmacy or bodega, that I miss. It takes planning for a 20 min break at least to get out to the shop now!
    Oh also I love how your mom got you to take cleo lol! She's savvy!!

  • I love that both Ooj and Cleo were meant to be. They pretty much decided your fate. How nice. I love love Kaley Cuoco, uh Big Bang Theory!! Love it. I could totally see her or jlaw playing you. I'd go see that movie!

  • chall1018

    Haha! My husband will never order at Starbucks because he
    doesn’t know how to order there! When we go he says, tell them what I want.
    Because he really doesn’t know. And surprisingly, I’ve never had a Skinny
    Vanilla Latte. I’m so glad someone asked
    you about your pet names because I’ve been curious too. And I absolutely adore how their names came
    about. They sure are precious babies!!

  • I love your pets' names!

    I've been on a sort of Starbucks mission and started trying out their secret menu items. My favorite so far is the "Captain Crunch Frappucino." I'm also thinking about the new "Ariana Grande." haha

  • So much fun! I love getting to know you more. I really love that you and your babes were just meant to be. Even if your mom guilted you into Cleo. lol. I have the same anxiety about Starbucks! Every time I say I'm going to try something new, I panic when I get to the register and I always get my standard. (warm weather: java chip frap. cold weather: white chocolate peppermint mocha).

  • These Q & A's are so fun! Your fur babies are the absolute cutest things ever! And those eyes… melt πŸ™‚

  • When I lived in Chicago, I used to live across the street from a fantastic Mexican place and just down from a custard shop. I walked everywhere! That's probably why I didn't gain weight from eating takeout every Friday. πŸ™‚

  • Jae

    I feel the same way about Starbucks. There's a Starbucks just five minutes away from our house, but I've never been comfortable stopping by to get a drink for the same reason as yours. I feel alienated when I'm at any Starbucks branch, really.

  • Love it!!! Starbucks is a little overwhelming for me also! I basically stick to the same thing! and I can't imagine being able to walk to restaurants!! sounds awesome!

  • Katherine Lacabe

    I usually stick to one drink from Starbucks as well, but today I went with some new friends and she said she loved the very berry hibiscus drink… and OMG! It's delicious PLUS a Venti has only 100 calories! Love it!

  • Starbucks….seriously stressful! I always have to plan in my head how I'm going to order because I'm afraid of how stupid I feel if I order something incorrectly! Haha…San Diego is full of coffee snobs!

  • hahaha! Brittany- I am dying laughing over here! You and I wouldn't know what to do with ourselves if we visited Starbucks together! πŸ˜‰

  • Ooooh! Thanks, Audrey! That drink sounds AMAZING!!

  • I'm so relieved to hear I'm not the only one who is Starbucks-challenged! πŸ˜‰

  • Thank you!! πŸ™‚ I'm so thankful to have them!

  • 1. – It has been a long process. First they noticed I never drink it right away and one day they asked. I told them, "I'm a baby and I can't drink it hot so I just wait about 15-20 minutes." and they told me, "You know we can steam it to a lower temp for you." Umm…NO I didn't know that! So then they started making it at 130-degrees. Then I went in one day and said, "I don't know what I want" and the girl said to me, "You strike me as a Toffee Nut White Mocha kind of girl. Want to try it?" I said sure! At 130-degrees (because I remembered that they could steam it cooler. πŸ˜‰ The next time I went in she said, "Do you want to try the Toffee Nut again?" and I said no because it was too sweet to which she replied, "Well, we can split the pumps so you get the Toffee Nut and the White Mocha but you only get 2 pumps of each instead of 4 each. I agreed. It was awesome! I do the soy just because.

    2 – Both. We just moved a few months ago but we walked into Starbucks on Friday night and the asst manager, as soon as she saw us, said, "Hey guys! How are you??" and started making our drinks w/o needing to order. Then we stood at the counter chatting for about a half hour. They know us well in there. LOL.

  • πŸ™‚ I love that you had time like that with your dad too! So special. And dads always seem to know how to animate the stories PERFECTLY.

  • aw! πŸ™‚ Thanks, lady. Love those babes!

  • There are so many times I want to try something new but there's always a long line behind me and I get nervous when I start to order, so my "usual" order ends up coming out of my mouth. ha!

  • haha!!! I'm seriously impressed. 1. How did you know that's what you wanted?! Is there a school for this kind of thing?! and 2. You just have it memorized now or are you known as a Regular? πŸ˜‰

  • It takes major planning for sure! (Although I think I'm eating less this way, haha!) And yes… my mom is very savvy when it comes to pawning off all of her rescues on people! πŸ˜‰

  • I love the home decor blogs! πŸ™‚ I think mostly because I love so many different styles – not all of them can be done in my house, ha! So I just live vicariously through everyone else πŸ˜‰

  • hahaha! That's cute that you order for him πŸ˜‰ I love the Skinny Vanilla Latte! If you try it, you'll have to let me know what you think πŸ™‚

  • πŸ™‚ My mom is hilarious and I'm so thankful she "guilted" me into taking Cleo (she really didn't have to twist my arm, especially as Cleo crawled into my lap.) My mom's fave is the Java Chip! πŸ™‚

  • Right?! πŸ™‚ His eyes kill me every time!!

  • We WILL!!! πŸ™‚

  • Um- are you serious?!?! Captain Crunch Frapp?! What is up with this secret menu thing- do I just go up and ask for these things?!

  • ha! Yeah my dad agreed on Kaley, said he thinks she'd do the best job πŸ˜‰

  • aw! Well the great news is that when you get to CA, there will be lots of other little coffee shops for you to try, Jae!! πŸ™‚

  • It was awesome and reeeeally dangerous πŸ˜‰ Christian and I are now going thru eating-out withdrawals and I'm having to learn how to cook. (Also really dangerous.)

  • That's true, actually. Living in the city forces you to walk everywhere! Which Mexican place did you live across the street from?! I think I've been to every Mexican restaurant in Chicago… I may have a problem πŸ˜‰

  • I found the drinks at starbuckssecretmenu.net!!

    You start out by ordering something on the standard menu and add on the extra stuff. You have to list the ingredients for them. It's a little more work for coffee but it's worth it!

  • Oh! I will have to give the berry drink a try! That does sound really good!

  • YES! I know! Well… the beautiful sunsets and ocean views make up for the snobbery πŸ˜‰

  • hahaha! This response from you is HILARIOUS. And just READING about your Starbucks adventures gives me anxiety haha!

  • Your pets are adorable. I know what you mean about those puppy eyes!

  • Thanks, Llinos πŸ˜‰ Pets are the best!!

  • oh, i really like posts like this and getting to know the blogger better:-) and i used to have a cat called cleopatra as well! x

  • Thanks, Laura! These are always fun to answer too πŸ™‚ Was your Cleopatra a calico too?!

  • so they are:-) and she wasn't. i find it funny though, how everyone seems to think cleopatra is a common name for cats, and yet yours is the first one i've come across in addition to mine, haha! xx

  • It's crazy, I've heard from two other bloggers who each had a cat named Cleopatra – both of them calicos! Up until then, my Cleo was the only one I knew of πŸ™‚

  • I am so darn behind on blog reading and just finally found this one!! I love this so much…with every post I read I just adore your personality more. The fact that you would grab Christian's letters is so romantic and the story of you & your dad pretending to have a jelly bean…cutest thing ever! You are a gem and I am so glad I found you in this blog world. Oh…and if it makes you feel better about not knowing what to order at SB…I'm the same and have now resorted to black coffee with a 1/2 pump of cinnamon dolce….just so I don't look so plain!

  • I'm behind as well, Shelly – no worries! πŸ™‚ I'm SO taking your SB order next time I'm there! ha!

  • mmmmm after reading these three volumes, I officially have a blog crush on you. You and your tiny farm is wonderful and I love it.