Thursday, March 20, 2014

On traveling for work (a Pros and Cons list)

Hi there,

It's been a while since I last posted. I'm finally back at home in Los Angeles after traveling for work for the past 5 weeks. I spent the last few days getting settled back into my apartment and working mostly from home, it's been nice because I've had some time to be in my own head and my own space, but it's almost odd, because I'm still getting used to the idea that this is my space. I had moved into this apartment back in August but had spent 3 months between then and now traveling for work. The apartment is still a mess :(.
But it's not all bad, and for whoever is reading, I wanted to share my 2 cents on the pros and cons of traveling for work (in my opinion):

Pros -
 - Seeing different cities and trying different food. It's very interesting to see the change in what people like to eat, and how they dress. It's fun exploring a new city, and some of the places I've been to really makes me appreciate living in Los Angles
- There's always a gym in your building. Most hotel gyms are open 24/7, and have all the basic machines/weights etc. Not that I go to the gym all that often when I travel...but it's a good thing to have!
- Points, points, points. You get your airline mileage, your hotel rewards, your rental car points. It all pays off (upgrades, giftcards, priority boarding etc.).
- Shopping. Hotels are usually next to malls, or at the city center. And you really hit the jackpot when you visit a city with no sales tax (#Portland)
- Room Service. I love eggs for breakfast, but I love having it first thing in the morning and not having to clean up after myself even more.

Cons -
- Being away from the ones you love. It's tough on everyone you're close to because you are not physically there to support each other. It also puts your communication skills to a test. Communication is so important!
- Feeling alone. Most nights I eat dinner on my own, and it can be lonely, even if i bring a book, and my phone. There's also very little use making friends in the new city since I spend most of my time working and once I leave I'm not back for a long time.
- Not having your usual "spots". My coffee place, my breakfast place, my drycleaning place etc. Sometimes it's a good thing and forces me to go explore, but sometimes it's frustrating.
- Feeling out of place when you're back in your own home. I was talking to a girl on the plane, who also travels for work. She said that one night she went into a hotel room and couldn't find an outlet behind the bedside table (where they always are in hotel rooms) and thought to herself "who designed this hotel? So inconvenient!" Only realizing that she's back in her own apartment. I have yet to have that experience, but if that happens, I'll probably take it as a sign to make some changes in my work life.
- Getting sick on Room Service. Depends on the hotel, but sometimes room service gets dull. I recommend the Davenport Hotel in Spokane Washington (as if you'll ever travel there for fun), probably the best tasting room service menu I have experienced. but you know, it comes at a price. A pot of hot water is $14.

Well there you have it, kind of a heavy subject. Hopefully my posts will lighten up since now I'm back in LA and soaking up the sun!

Kiko Z.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vday Weekend Journal


I've been doing some traveling for work, and Valentine's day happened to fall on the Friday after I have been away for a whole week. We had planned this weekend way in advance and it was more perfect than we had planned. Starting with him picking me up from the airport, and after a quick change out of my work clothes, we headed to Church and State downtown, where we have always had a great time. Then Saturday morning he got up when I was sleeping and bought the ingredients to make breakfast for me. Almost everything you see in the picture was his creation, can you believe it? 

Some details on the outfit, the peplum top was purchased from one of the bargain online stores (I can't remember which one), I bought it because of the cute keyhole in the back. In my opinion, it's harder to make something black to cheap, so if I wore to shop bargain and lower quality materials I usually go for black or another dark color, but try to avoid white/ivory. The necklace was a Christmas present from him, my first piece of jewelry from Tiffany's. Was it the best fit for the outfit? Maybe not, but it was the best fit for the occasion. The skirt is a soft knit skirt from Rachel Pally. It's incredibly comfortable and I adore the print, but the downside is that it stretches but doesn't bounce all the way back. I'm afraid the skirt will become loose very quickly....still thinking about a solution for that.

The shoes are my favorite. Special occasion shoes, because I won't bare the pain for any normal day. They are Ferragmos and they usually sit on my dressing table as a decor. I love things with bows on them and Ferragamo does it in such a tasteful way, I had to have them. 

Well that's it for last weekend, this weekend is coming tomorrow! Can't wait to go home!


Kiko Z.

P.S. I have another review in the works, should be up on Monday :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Motion Picture Monday (this time on a Thursday...)


Maybe this is just the aftermath of having a business degree but I was thinking that just like any other form of media channel, I should segment my blog to appeal to my key demographic.

I have followed a number of blogs over the years and it seems that many bloggers segment their posts by weekdays: Keiko Lynn does a great Makeup Monday and Fridays are used by Nom Nom Paleo and Cupcakes and Cashmere as a way to sum up their week. I thought about some of my passions in life: movies, television (I consider this a great American art form, right behind Jazz), music and food, and decided that Mondays should be devoted to performance or visual art (movies, television, music) and Fridays could be devoted for food (FOOD Friday). Although I came up with this all on a here it is.

Motion Picture Monday #1

I wish the Lego movie came out in October, or early November, because then it would definitely make the shortlist for the Oscar Best Animated Film category. This movie came from the filmmakers who rebooted 21 Jump Street and made it an unexpected box office hit, and now it's doing that and more for the Lego movie. 

Something you should know about me, is that I worked for Mattel, and loved it. If I had to choose, I would be a definite supporter of Barbie dolls, and hot wheel cars, and (inset plug---) the new Mattel Intellectual Property Max Steel, but definitely not the yellow clunky blocks that is Lego. But after watching this movie, I have to say I have gain a new perspective on Legos.

Lego to me, has always been a boy's toy, and lacked originality. Not surprisingly, the main characters in the Lego movies are males and the theme of the movie is about the battle between creativity vs. conformity. For most animated pictures, the production companies usually make the theme about some kind of love and consider it a home run, but not the Lego movie. The movie talks about the pressure to conform and being told how to act and feel, and teaches children and adults alike to realize their self-worth. 

The story also incorporates how different generations view creativity and self worth: the Will Ferrell character doesn't value creativity and takes pleasure in gluing all his legos together and following the rules on the boxes, while his son wanted to create, before destroying his own creations with no hesitation just to recreate: that to me is the kind of courage only children have. If I build something with my own hands, it would never cross my mind to take it apart so I could build something better, that's just too risky. I think this explains why adults stay in jobs they make not enjoy, or relationships they may not enjoy, because the notion of building something new and possibly better, is taking a huge leap of faith. Now I'm off topic. 

Going back to the theme of the movie, it talks about that you can each be creative and unique, and still be able to all work in the same team. The end of the movie was quite similar to the Ocean Eleven franchise, where each team member users their own unique skills to work together and reach the end goal. Except this time instead of 11 (or 12, or 13) grown men, it's a group of adorable animated toys, and batman. 

I hope I've said enough without spoiling the movie for you! Please go watch it, no matter how old you are! It is a greatly entertaining and surprisingly though-provoking movie and will keep you engaged from the start to the very end. Although there is no bonus scene after credits, just FYI :). 


Kiko Z. 

P.S. This is my first ever commentary writing, I promise it'll get better as I keep going!

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Year's Resolution

(Leather Jacket: All Saints, Jeans: 7 by All MannKind, Top: St. Elsewhere, Necklace: Jewelmint)


It's been over a year since I was last here, and so much has changed. I graduated from college, started what I thought was a great first job, moved into a lovely new apartment in Silverlake, and sort of hit a quarter-life-crisis. With the exception of finding someone who I love (and vice versa), I have been a little directionless. Fortunately, I still had my camera (which I gifted to Nik, my lovely boyfriend), I still loved eating out and exploring new things when I'm not sitting in a puddle of misery over my job, and I still had a closet full of clothes. So I turned to my blog - a creative outlet, something I have been missing and desperately needing for the past year.

Here I don't need to follow the rules of "business writing" or "dress appropriately". Here I can have opinions, and loves and hates. I'm not sure that I've mentioned this before, but the name "Aurora Seagull" is a straight translation from my Chinese name. A name I rarely use anymore, although I should have because my parents had hidden in there the meaning of me. And it's coincidentally fitting, for me to have named this blog by this name a few years back, because maybe here is where I will find my wings.

exited and optimistic,

Kiko Z.

A little bit about the photos, they were taken on Chinese New Year when Nik and I ventured to Chinatown to get some culture. I hadn't spent CNY with my family for almost a decade and it felt good to be around all the red with someone I love again. The cone in my hand was one of those party firecrackers (but instead of fire, it blew out confetti tissue papers)

Sunday, April 8, 2012



I'm testing out my Coachella outfits!
I happened to be parking on top of a parking lot in Little Tokyo this past weekend and I happened to have my camera in my car. The lighting was so great so I took some self-timer photos.

I kept standing off-center lol.

Just styled another shoot for POSE and I dropped my camera when I was taking some production photos :(. Luckily, the camera itself it fine, but the lens is a bit messed up and can't focus when I zoom all the way out.

Will buy a new lens this Summer!

Just soooooo excited for Coachella this weekend!!!1



Monday, March 19, 2012

The Closet Edition

My clothing rack in the living room. I bought this mainly because my clothes didn't all fit into my closet....but it has become a great way to pick out key pieces for the season so I could put outfits together quickly when I'm on the run.

Hand Crafted Jewelry Box from my Auntie. This gorgeous box has a bottom layer which I use to store chunkier necklaces and hair pieces.

The lamp-shade-turned-earring-holder was purchased from Urban Outfitters on clearance. I think it would actually work great as both an earring holder and a lamp shade at the same time. Maybe I will attach a light bulb to it when I move to my new place this summer.
The hand painted shell of my Jewelry box.

This is my actual walk in! It's hard to get a shot at the whole thing but you get the idea.

The side of my walk-in where I hang most of my dresses and dressier tops. The dresses towards the left are mostly for interviews and business occasions.


Yay I finally got a Flickr account and now I can put high-resolution pictures on here for you :).
A few weeks back I took some pictures of my closet. Of course the way I organize my closet changes pretty often, especially now with the seasons changing, but I focused on the structure of my closet here.

I take a LONG time getting dressed in the morning. So I try to put my outfit together the night before and hang them up so I won't be rushing in the mornings. The clothing rack also comes in handy for when I forget to organize my outfit the night before: I hang my go-to piece here so I could pull together a simple look on my way out.

I'm planning a move in August, before the start of next semester. So I will do a house tour then like they do on Apartment Therapy :).



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Brights

(Top, LAMade; Skirt, BB Dakota; Scarf, Antrhopologie; Necklace, store in Little Tokyo)


I just got my tripod in the mail! I'm still playing around with it so most of the pictures didn't come out great, but here are a couple of them that came out ok.

Took these on one of the sunnier days this past week. Even though it's spring time, Los Angeles is still a bit chilly. I wore this outfit till around 4pm and had to add a thick jacket once the sun went down.

There are a lot of talk about adding spring brights, most notably with the multi-colored Equipment blouses. In my opinion, spending over $200 on a bring color blouse aren't the best use of my money, especially with a vibrant and memorable color (they are not the most versatile because they stand out so much). I'd much rather spend my money on a bright accessory: a scarf (like the one here, fresh off the racks from Anthropologie), a purse or some bright shoes that can dress up any outfit and won't go out of style quickly.