Sunday 5 May 2019

A Celebration of Kay's Blogging Journey - Part 1.

Hello everyone. I mentioned in the last post I wrote here, that I was considering writing a post highlighting some of what I consider to be Kinga's best posts on this blog - and I am going to start doing that today. I envisage this being a job for more than one post - there's three years worth of content here after all. I was here from the start of this blog - we talked about this often, and I read every post before or as they came out.

I think when remembering someone, it is easy to to do so by looking exclusively through our own lens at how we saw them - to tell their story as we saw it through our eyes. It is natural to do so, in a way - we tell the world about how we saw them, because they have lost the ability to show the world who they are for themselves. Kinga, however, was a blogger - she has given herself a voice that will last long beyond her death. It is my duty to highlight this voice to as many people as are willing to listen.

I'm lucky in the regard that this blog exists - a lasting testament to who Kinga was. It shows off all of her central traits - her intelligence, beauty, creativity and passion. Further to that, it occasionally reveals her vulnerability, and her deeply veiled strength. These are the cornerstones of how I saw her -  I have to wonder if the rest of the world sees her that way too.

Anyone, here are the first round of posts I would like to highlight. This isn't a list in a traditional sense - there is no order to it, or anything like that - the ones featured in this post are generally no more or less than those I will feature in other posts These are just my opinions - which come with added context from my perspective.

'The £1 face!'

Let's start off with a pretty amusing one... This was a collaboration she agreed to with a cheap Poundland type makeup brand. One of the products they sent her arrived empty! But, Kinga being Kinga she reviewed the products anyway - hiding nothing at all. The brand were not pleased at all, and they asked her very abruptly to 'remove this part of the review immediately' (or something like that - it was very authoritative!). Kinga was very much about honesty in collaborations - she would never agree to ones that demanded a positive review, went against her interests (she was forever turning down fashion collaborations especially) and she would never hide the truth from her readers. This obviously meant that she did relatively few of these. In addition to this anecdote, this is a pretty amusing and original concept for a post, and highlights her values and personality well.

'What I got in Morocco + update about our trip!'

We went to Morocco for our 7 year anniversary, back in 2016. We both loved travelling - and wanted to travel so much more than we could ever afford to do. She alludes to it in the post - but this was a difficult holiday for us. We got lost over and over again in Marrakesh, and she was sexually harassed so many times (it is a cultural thing that really, really sucks). We were sworn at - even had stones thrown at us by some kids at one point. Her feet were also absolutely shredded by the end of the trip due to inappropriate footwear (every step was agony for her by the end). But she still found the enjoyment in it (especially when we went into the mountains - that was a truly amazing experience), and still reflected on it well. It is also notable as being the holiday where she decided to start Instagram properly - partly due to the picture above... And where she vowed to never go to another country like it (Sadly, Istanbul went off of our list of potential destinations after this).

Why I Lost Interest In Blogging & How To Get It Back

This is a post that I think can be useful to just about anyone who hits a wall with anything they do that is a labour of love. She may refer specifically to blogging - but her advice translates to so many different things. In all, this post shows Kinga's determination and grit with blogging - how she managed to keep going when she lost motivation. I personally find it - and her - inspiring. She always supported me with anything I wanted to do, especially career wise... I might refer back to this post when I eventually try to put my life back together again.

Forced Positivity In Blogging & Why It's Okay To Be Sad

Her honesty and bluntness shine in this post. She shows a willingness to break one of the chief conventions of this space. I think this might be the closest post she has to representing the Kinga I knew - someone who was an intelligent deep thinker, who stood on her own pedestal - even if she thought nobody would stand with her. She was constantly trying to improve her lot in life - to achieve something. This post highlights the struggle so many of us have - trying to gain relevance, and being deeply unhappy when we realise how small we are in reality... She words it better than I ever could.

The Algarve Diaries! Ocean, Beaches And Dolphin Watching!

Another travel post (this was our 8 year anniversary), but this one is special. Kinga adored Alvor, in Algarve. She was absolutely in her element here - she loved the ocean, beaches, cocktails - the lot. I've never seen her as happy with a place as she was here. If we were scattering her ashes instead of burying them, I would scatter them here. I love this post as she describes this so much - it is a post of pure joy... To the extent where she often talked about moving here as a dream.

Korean beauty haul!

I am kind of obsessed with the few videos that Kinga did. They were a lot of work, and didn't hit anything like the numbers that her posts  did - so she stopped. This... This is my favourite - even though it was a skincare video (it was a running joke between us that talking about skincare would always lull me to sleep - indeed, whenever I struggled to fall asleep she would often start talking about it!). This video showcases so much of her personality. It literally oozes with it. I love it, so much. It isn't just the words - it is how she says them, and her movements. They are all her mannerisms. And it is genuine. This one is special to me.

Decorating My Home with PosterLounge prints! Honest Review

Not much to say with this one - it was one of her best collaborations... And I still have these prints hanging in the living room of my new flat. I wouldn't have picked these (except the fox - she totally did pick that one for me), and they remind me of her every day.

Get ready with me - Autumn night out makeup

This is an old one. Kinga struggled with body image all of her life (you would never believe it to look at her - she was, as anyone can tell you, stunning), and she was insanely nervous about doing this one. But she did it - she was forever pushing herself out of her comfort zone. I won't pretend to understand all the makeup talk - but I can certainly appreciate how many times she put her beautiful face in this post - especially knowing her struggles.

I love tea! Current favourites =)

Another old one. She really did love tea. I still have a cupboard full of stuff that I will never drink (I never liked the stuff!), and a tonne of quirky/cute mugs she had. Just highlights some of the most random ideas she would have for posts, and one of her more quirky passions.

Any of her Perfume posts...

See here, here, here and here for some notable ones.

Anyone who read this blog, or who knew Kinga, knew that she was an authority on perfumery. Indeed, she collected an immense amount of them - even after she started selling a few, she still had about 170 bottles at the time of her death (her mother has put them all in a glass cabinet now - it is quite a sight to behold).

I think that these posts - and there are so, so many - highlight her biggest passion. Indeed, prior to Shoes and Glitter, she started a blog called 'Aromantics' - initially to talk about just perfume, and she posted a whole host of perfume reviews on the site Fragrantica - you can see her profile here, which includes an outdated list of her perfumes and some of her reviews. At the time of her death, she had started putting together ideas for a book on perfumery - noting that she disagreed with a lot of current perfume literature. It was her dream to have her own fragrance one day - and I have no doubt that it would have been amazing if she had done so. If there was something she didn't know about fragrances - it wasn't worth knowing. All of that knowledge is gone now, though... It is hard to truly understand how that can be.

In conclusion...

There are so, so many more posts I wish to highlight, but this list is already really long. I have enough material on this blog to do three or four of these - but this will do for now.

Thank you all for continuing to read this blog. It means the world to me that Kinga has some form of legacy after her senseless and utterly pointless end. On the 29th of May it is our 10 year anniversary - we had booked to go to Cyprus... I am struggling on an immense level  that I cannot even begin to describe right now - coming to terms with facing that huge milestone alone. I will probably write something around that time... But for now - thank you all for keeping the ripples of her life going, and please, never, ever forget her.
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