Pergola at Paddington Central: A West London Adventure

When I decided to move to the UK, I made myself a promise that I would take advantage of living in a foreign country by going on adventures when I had the chance. It’s so easy to fall into a rhythm and go to the same places and do the same things. And it’s also so easy to make excuses, something I am very very good at when it comes to whether or not I should leave the flat.

Luckily enough, one of my best friends lives in London and is always open to trying new things. So the boyfriend and I met up with her and her husband out in West London to try the Pergola at Paddington Central – which essentially is a very cutely decorated street food cafeteria type place where, conveniently enough, you can get drunk. We had reservations but as all four of us were late, we lost our table in the actual pergola area downstairs. We got a table near the bar by the entrance which wasn’t nearly as loud and much more convenient for getting drinks.

We were lucky enough to have a gorgeous night outside with a beautiful sunset and very comfortable temperatures. Although, we did notice that it was a very young crowd of people who attended this place. Which in all honesty is probably because it’s mainly been promoted through Instagram and other social media.

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We decided to have one more bottle before we ended the night but were told that the bar was closed. If I remember correctly, this was around 11:30pm, so unfortunately this isn’t a place you can really stay all night for. But M was very familiar with the area as she got her MBA nearby so we went for what was supposed to be a 5 minute walk – which turned into about a 20 minute walk – looking for shisha. (For my American friends, shisha is what they call hookah over here.) We finally found a place, and I could never tell you what the name of it was. But I would never suggest anyone go there anyway as the people who worked there were pretty rude.. But nevertheless, we got a couple of shishas, had some more drinks, and stayed out until around 2am when we all decided it was probably time to go home. We all had a brilliant time. Lots of drinks, lots of laughter, lots of fun!

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If you’re ever in the West London area, I would definitely suggest trying one of the Pergola locations. There’s the one in Paddington Central that we went to, and there’s another called Pergola on the Roof in White City which is even further west. The food can be a bit pricey for street food, so if you’re just in the mood for some drinks on a nice night, it’s a perfect place for it. Otherwise, if you are willing to splash out on the food, I would highly suggest Patty & Bun. The burgers were very tasty, and it was actually the first burger joint in the UK to ask me how I liked my burger cooked so I was able to get a medium-cooked burger versus the general well-done every other place just assumes. (That was a serious triumph for me, let me tell ya!)

Have any of you been to either of the Pergola locations? What did you think of it? If not, let me know if you do go! I’d love to hear what your favorite part was!


Much Love


Word of the Week Wednesday: Taradiddle

Been a couple of weeks since the first Word of the Week Wednesday, so I apologize for that. I had good reasons, I promise.

So this week’s Word is going to be “taradiddle” and the definition is as follows:

Definition 1: a fib

Definition 2: pretentious nonsense

-According to Merriam-Webster


So the next time you listen to a politician speak, you know that pretty much every word coming out of his or her mouth is taradiddle.

The more you know!


Much Love


The Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour

The very last night of my trip to the UK was spent at the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour, which honestly couldn’t have been planned any better. We watched a couple of the movies the night before, and played Hedwig’s Theme on the way to the studio to get ourselves in the proper mood. It worked really well. I was like a little kid at Disney World.

It was amazing but I don’t want to give too much away because I would rather you all go see it for yourself, and be surprised like I was. I felt like I was in heaven. They show you the Great Hall, the costumes the actors wore, even the wigs. You get to see a lot of the props and the sets.

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For 2017, they added the Forbidden Forest to the tour, which I particularly loved for reasons I cannot share. Let’s just say someone in my group was scared of all the spiders……

Halfway through you get to stop off at the cafe to eat some food or drink butterbeer, which obviously I did. I love butterbeer. I’ve had it in Orlando at Harry Potter World, but that was years ago. It’s almost £4 for this tiny cup, but so worth it.

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Then you get to see the Knight Bus, the house on Privet Drive, and the Potter house. You go through many more areas and somehow end up at Hogwarts at the end. I had no idea it was next. My boyfriend let me be very surprised – thanks babes! He walked through first and turned around to see my face. It lit up and my mouth dropped open. Ah! It was insane. I think I spent a half hour staring at the castle and trying to take selfies with it (which doesn’t work because of the lighting unfortunately).

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The tour then ends into the gift shop and my boyfriend and I walked around for 20 minutes. I bought £75 worth of candy and a Hufflepuff sweatshirt because I have no shame. I am very proud to be a Hufflepuff, even if everyone thinks it’s okay to bully us.

The tour was magical. I kept thinking about how all of these amazing actors had been in the same place that I currently was standing. A little part of me was hoping one of them would have randomly shown up, but I wasn’t that lucky. Anyway, if you’re in England and a Harry Potter fan, you must go. It’d be a very big mistake if you don’t.

Tip: Remember to purchase your tickets well in advance. They sell out very quickly.

Have you been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour? What was your favorite part? Comment below!


Much Love


The Knackered Book Club: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

*This post has adult language. And this is your warning if, for whatever reason, that offends you.*

I have chosen The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson to be the first book of the Knackered Book Club.

Why, you may ask, did I choose this book? Well, I had heard of Mark Manson before. So when I saw this book on Amazon, and saw the engaging title, I thought I’d give it a try. After I had gotten through the first chapter, I figured it was a perfect place to start the book club blog series. As for a Self-Help/Motivating book, this is not one that will coddle you, if that’s what you’re used to. This is one that will smack you in the face telling you exactly what you’re doing wrong and tell you exactly how simple it is to fix it.

Below I have summarized the chapters, but let me reassure you that there is no way you can understand the brevity of this book by reading this post. I would highly advise on picking this up on Amazon here and reading it for yourself. You don’t need to abide by every single rule Mark suggests if you don’t agree with him, but you should use this book as a way to open up your world and views on life. It forces you to truly think about your values and if you’re really doing what’s best for you. It’s changed my thinking about my own life and future in a lot of ways and has forced to me to reevaluate many of my values. Read below to understand why.

Chapter 1: Don’t Try

The book begins with a chapter called “Don’t Try.” It can be summarized by the quote that Mark writes in the book by Albert Camus: “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

And this quote resonated with me. As a young 25 year old, I feel that part of my every day existence is to be in the search of the meaning of life.

There is no meaning to life. And people spend their entire lives searching for something they will never really get the answer to. There is just existence. But what’s important is that you get to decide on what you do with that existence. You get to choose.

Chapter 2: Happiness is a Problem

This was one of the most profound chapters in the book, in my opinion. Mark states that “Problems are a constant in life.” As soon as you solve one problem, more problems arise. It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, life will never be perfect. The trick is to find the problems that truly matter. For instance, Mark writes, “…the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.”

The people who can’t cope do this in two ways: either by denial that no issues even exist in the first place, or by playing the victim. They believe that the world is at fault for their problems and whine and complain about it.

His point is that we need to become aware that no matter what, we will have problems. But the only way to achieve true happiness is to choose the problems we are willing to fight for and accept them for what they are.

Chapter 3: You Are Not Special

I loved this chapter. Because it was about entitlement. And I wish everyone on this earth would read this chapter this instant. It is an epidemic in society these days. And it needs to be addressed.

No one is special. More than likely someone else on this earth has lived your problems before. As Mark writes, “…you and your problems are actually not privileged in their severity or pain.” And it is so true. Everyone these days are trying to play victim to every minor injustice they see.

“The easier and more problem-free our lives become, the more we seem to feel entitled for them to get even better.”

How many times have I fallen victim to narcissism and thought that my issues were so incredibly important? Countless times. I would let something so small ruin my day, or govern my life. I get worked up over things I can’t control and a future that hasn’t even come yet, and for what? Because I am acting entitled to my own issues in my own life.

“The ticket to emotional health, like that to physical health, comes from eating your veggies – that is, accepting the bland and mundane truths of life: truths such as ‘Your actions actually don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things’ and ‘The vast majority of your life will be boring and not noteworthy, and that’s okay.'”

Chapter 4: The Value of Suffering

This chapter is about understanding that we will suffer. Life is full of suffering. But just like you need to choose your problems, you also need to choose how you suffer. You need to understand what values are the truly important ones, and which ones are worth it. Mark defines the four shitty values as Pleasure, Material Success, Always Being Right, and Staying Positive.

I could write a whole lengthy post about this chapter itself, and maybe one day I will. For now, the point is that we need to learn what the good values are versus the bad. And make sure that every day we’re not spending our time giving our fucks about the bad. Because that brings the opposite of happiness. It brings misery.

This one was hard to swallow as I know I am very guilty of this. And it came at the most important time of my life. Now I won’t get too into my personal life, just yet. But right now I have been so wrapped up trying to understand and plan every bit of my immediate future and thinking about money and material items so much that I needed to take a step back and realize that that literally means nothing. Life isn’t about how much money you make or how many items you can fit in your closet. For me, it’s about waking up every day doing something I love with the people I love and finding passion in all that I do. I value love, I like makeup. There’s a big difference. This one struck me hard.

Chapter 5: You Are Always Choosing

Mark introduces the term, Victimhood Chic, which essentially means that playing the victim in society has become the most popular way to gain attention or feel good about ourselves. So now we’re always complaining. Starbucks decorating their cups in a way I can’t get on board with? Nope – I’m telling Facebook. That book is allowed in the school library?? But it’s against my beliefs. No, my kid cannot read that! Ban it!

“The writer and commentator Ryan Holiday refers to this as ‘outrage porn:’ rather than report on real stories and real issues, the media finds it much easier (and more profitable) to find something mildly offensive, broadcast it to a wide audience, generate outrage, and then broadcast that outrage back across the population in a way that outrages yet another part of the population. This triggers a kind of echo of bullshit pinging back and forth between two imaginary sides, meanwhile distracting everyone from real societal problems. It’s no wonder we’re more politically polarized than ever before.”

People are actually getting addicted to being offended all of the time. “But part of living in a democracy and a free society is that we all have to deal with views and people we don’t necessarily like. That’s simply the price we pay – you could even say it’s the whole point of the system.”

Chapter 6: You’re Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)

Chapter 6 teaches us to question yourself and your decisions. Just because you feel something may not necessarily mean you are right in that emotion. I feel that this is most important in relationships. And quite honestly, I believe we’re all guilty of doing this. We let other people determine how we feel, and then consequently blame them for it. But what if we are wrong? What if we begin to question ourselves?

The moment you begin to question your feelings and emotions is the moment you learn about yourself. Why are you mad at your parents? Why did it bother me that my girlfriend texted a male friend of mine? As soon as you learn the answers to those questions you can begin to understand if they’re valid or not. And then you have two choices. Do you continue on your path of anger or resentment? Or do you choose to change your path, work on yourself, and stop projecting your problems onto other people?

Chapter 7: Failure Is the Way Forward

This lesson is a constant principle in our lives. Ever heard of the quote, “The only way to go is up?” once you’ve failed more times than you can count?

Mark gives an example about how he started his blog. He had just graduated, had no money, no prospects. And he decided to start his own company. He was already at a very low point, living on friend’s couches, and borrowing money from family. What was the difference between trying to begin a business now versus doing it in 5 years?

And I can apply this same principle to my life and it’s something I have struggled with for a long time. There is too much pressure on being “successful” right away and “making a decent living” that people are forgetting that what is more important is that you’re happy. Do you really want to wake up every day and go to a job you can’t stand because you get paid well? If you haven’t experienced that yet, I’ll tell you right now, it is not fulfilling. And quite honestly, it’s an idiotic principle. Just scroll up. I don’t value money more than I value enjoying my life and my passions, like this blog. And life really is way too short to waste your time doing something you hate, or not being with the ones you love. What really matters here?

Chapter 8: The Importance of Saying No

Rejections and boundaries. This was, more or less, the relationship chapter. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions, your emotions, and your problems. It’s about trust, and rebuilding trust lost. And also about commitment.

Mark really opened up about this life in this chapter. As a reader, you learn that he used to be a bit of luster of sex anywhere and everywhere. At this point he has settled down in one place, with one profession, and with his wife. This chapter was about Mark’s emotional growth.

I hadn’t really pulled anything personal from this one as I feel that I am actually quite healthy in this area. Communication is my strong suit and I am very willing to admit when I do something wrong and focus on correcting the issue in every relationship I have. But it was very interesting to hear Mark’s stories and his version of how he overcame a lot of the struggles in his life.

Chapter 9: …And Then You Die

The book wraps up with some really deep insight that puts every point made thus far into perspective.

“Therefore, we should not avoid this realization [death], but rather come to terms with it as best we can. Because once we become comfortable with the fact of our own death – the root terror, the underlying anxiety motivating all of life’s frivolous ambitions – we can then choose our values more freely, unrestrained by the illogical quest for immortality, and freed from dogmatic views.”


As this was the first book and first post for the Knackered Book Club, I know that I may not have a giant group of people reading this. And as this post was probably the longest one I’ve written yet, I understand there are even a smaller amount of people still reading. But for those of you who are, thank you. Please listen to me when I say that this book needs to be read. It’s not very expensive, and the ideas are so profound.

On the back cover of the book, Steve Kamb writes, “Only read if you’re willing to set aside all excuses and take an active role in living a f*cking better life.” So if you’re not in that mindset or you’re not ready for that yet, then buy the book and wait for the moment you are. Trust me.


For those of you who have read this book, what were your strongest takeaways from this? What resonated with you most? If you didn’t like it or agree with this, why do you think that is? Comment below, I’d really love to get some conversation going on this!


Much Love



Word of the Week Wednesday: Knackered


I’ve decided to do a new series of blog posts called “Word of the Week Wednesday” or WOWW. This, essentially, will be where I get to geek out over the American English or British English language. GRAMMAR. I love grammar. I have called myself a Grammar Nazi for years. I will correct you. You will not get away with mistakes!!

These posts will be short, unless I decide to write the love story between me and the English language. Which probably won’t happen, because I realize how weird that is.


The very first word of the series isssssss……..


I chose this as the first in the blog series, because I realize some of you may not know what this means, as it’s actually British English.

Knackered = exhausted

But it is so much more fun to say. I’ve heard multiple people from England say it and fell in love with the word. They tend to have a lot of funny and different words over there and this is my all-time favorite.

So now you know the name of my blog truly means “Exhausted by Chaos” in American English. And I am. Life is chaotic. My life is chaotic. And I’m exhausted, or knackered!

Fun fact: I JUST found out that “knackered” is actually a bit like using the word “crap” in America. You wouldn’t let your small kids say it, and you’d be careful about using it in front of teachers in school if you were young. I was made aware of this after I had already named my blog…… but oh well. I still love the word and I’m pleading ignorance on this one!


Much Love


Break Out!

There’s a new cultural phenomenon, if you have yet to take notice. And that is called Escape Rooms. It is where people sign up and pay to get themselves locked in a room and given an hour to get out by finding clues in said room.

Sounds fun, eh?

I’ve seen a lot of these on the interweb and they always seemed relatively interesting. My parents decided to book a room for my entire family and I finally felt like I was getting my chance to prove myself. There were about 12 of us to enter a room together.

They have you hang out in a staging area where everyone has to read a piece of very nicely laminated paper to understand the story line. Then you have to sign a waiver, in case one of your own turn on you? I don’t know. Once it is confirmed that your entire party is there, they play you the video that gets you in the right mindset and tells you what you need to find to get out of the room. They take you to the room, lock you in, and the time on the clock begins to count down.

Now I don’t want to give too much away because I hate when those people ruin it for the others who like to be surprised. But essentially you all have to work together. The entire room is informative in one way or another. It takes awhile to get the hang of it, but once you do, it seems to flow through rather quickly. The staff had set up cameras throughout the room so they can watch you unravel the clues. That’s also a comfort if there is an emergency, you know they could open the door if needed.

We were able to break out with 1 minute and 23 seconds left, which apparently is the average time. Only 8% of the groups do manage to break out, so we were very proud of ourselves.

Afterwards, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to drink beer and eat some wings. Not sure if you can get any more American than that – LOL.

It was a lot of fun. I would suggest you try it if you’re interested. It’s not scary nor does it leave you feeling claustrophobic, because in all honesty, they can open the door if absolutely necessary. My cousin was pregnant during this and they even told us they’d open the door if she had to go to the bathroom.

One tip I would give to someone trying this for the first time is to make sure you come ready to think. These aren’t the easiest clues. You do have to think, and it’s best if you can work together. Make sure you are committing everything to memory. And do not get a drink before the escape, just afterwards. To celebrate.

Good luck!!

Have you tried an escape room? Were you able to escape? With how many minutes left? Comment below or write me on Twitter -@knackeredchaos!


Much Love


Introducing the Knackered Book Club Blog Series

I have always loved reading. When I was two years old, I asked my mom to teach me how to read as I just loved the idea of books. My love for reading has never faded, just grown and flourished. I always wanted new books. I loved going to the library. I loved going to the book store. It was one of those things your parents could never say “no” to. Deny your children to read a book?? Never! Even as a teenager you’d think I would have “grown out of it” or “find cooler things” to do or worry about. But nope, not me! I read. English and Spelling were always my favorite subjects – that’s where I would excel – and reading is a large part of that.

What always made me sad was how much my peers hated reading. And I always attributed that to the fact that either 1) they just weren’t book people and/or 2) schools made kids read some truly boring crap. I always tried to convince my friends who claimed they hated it that they try reading something that sounded interesting! But getting a kid to read more than they “have” to is not an easy feat. I get it.

Now, more than ever, I find reading so incredibly important. It is detrimental to your knowledge and growth as a human being. But I understand that some people don’t have the time or patience to sit down to read an entire novel. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t still read! Read articles on the internet, read scientific studies, read news stories, read your favorite fantasy series multiple times, read about love lost and love found, read to your children, read self-help books, read my blog. I don’t really care. But read. Educate yourself.

I don’t ever want to stop reading. I want to make it a point to always be learning something new. Therefore, I’ve decided to create a book club blog series! Not only will this keep me accountable to read at least one book a month, but it could also become an amazing way to connect with you guys. I want to know what you’re reading. I want to know what you’ve read and loved in the past. Send me your suggestions and let me know how actively you want to participate in this. I am so open to what this could bring and become.

Emma Roberts just started her own book club, Belletrist, on Instagram. And Emma Watson recently shared her Goodreads page, Our Shared Shelf. I’d love to take ideas from both of those groups but build something that’s a little more intimate and personal.

I’ve already begun the first book that I have chosen for the series, and I will be announcing that shortly so you can read along with me before the next post is published. But I need your input.

Please reach out to me and let me know what you want to come out of this, or if you have suggestions for literature. You can comment below, tweet me, utilize my contact page, or email me at for a more personal conversation. I’d love to hear from you and am so excited for this!! Hopefully you are too!


Much love