October 2021 Recap - Cindi Parker

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October 2021 Recap

This month I decided to start a monthly series to recap goals and updates in my personal life soo we’re catching up with each other.

As I started writing, I shared little tips about what’s working or not working too. I’ve found that for me, it’s helpful to see what obstacles other people come across when learning or trying something new and what tweaks they’ve made to improve — or what tweaks they made that didn’t help at all. Sometimes it’s those tiny tweaks that make the biggest difference!

It’ll be cool to see how things have changed from month to month and the recap at the end of the year.

Hope you enjoy catching up with me!

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below or send me an email at cindi@cindiparker.com.

Started Bullet Journaling – here’s the progress!

Last month I started getting really frustrated with getting things done because I’m doing soo many different things, and even though I have an organization system, it just didn’t seem to be working for me anymore. I was writing down things in too many different places (different notebooks, a physical planner, my Google calendar, Google docs, ClickUp) and even though those are all great organization systems, my day to day tasks were getting lost in the mix. 

I’m trying to keep track of a ton of different things, from projects around the house, work schedules, tracking habits (like walking, reading the Bible, drinking water, practicing Spanish), new creative projects (I’ll never run out of ideas), and new things I want to try out.

I mentioned this to a friend of mine and she told me she started bullet journaling and she loves it because everything goes in one notebook and there’s a complete system to follow.

I was super curious so I tried it out and I have to say, I LOVE IT! I still love my digital stuff for different reasons, but for my everyday tasks to keep track of, I love having everything in a notebook right in front of me.

Once you set up the system and start getting the hang of it, it becomes easier to follow. 

I am constantly getting new ideas or thinking of all the things on my to do list and it’s soo nice to have a place to write it down soo I can get it out of my head and actually focus. That mental freedom is priceless! It’s helping me get so much more done and feel much more accomplished. 

If you want to read up on the whole method, you can find the Bullet Journal Method book here.

 

New bible and absolutely LOVE it!

One habit I’ve really wanted to pick up is actually reading the Bible. I grew up Catholic and for the last few years have loved nondenominational churches that give me teachings from the Bible that I can apply to everyday life and problems. I read once in a Joyce Meyer book “I got into the word of God so the word of God could get into me” and I’ve found that statement to be so true: the more I read the word of God, the more I recall it at just the time when I need it – which ends up bringing me more peace. 

In the past I struggled to read the Bible and understand what the heck I was reading, so I really wanted to find a Bible that would help me understand what was written. You can see in the photo below how at the bottom of the page, it explains the deeper message in the passage. I love this because it challenges or reminds me about my behavior, the way I’m seeing a situation or how I can choose to treat others in certain situations — things I can apply in everyday life to be a better version of myself.

My sweet friend Callie recommended this life application study Bible and I absolutely love it! Highly recommend! 

If you want one for yourself, you can find the Life Application Study Bible NIV with the pretty floral cover here.

 

My friend Kristen came to visit!

This will become its own blog post but my beautiful friend Kristen from Pennsylvania came to visit! During the week she was here we spent a day at Daytona Beach (which was cool because I’ve never been to the beach there before), explored downtown Saint Augustine, went to one of my favorite rooftop bars in Jacksonville, and screamed on roller coasters at Universal Studios. We also took some pretty cool portraits, I’ll be sharing more with you soon but here’s a sneak peek of one!

Coworking – it’s a life changer if you work from home or are an entrepreneur

Back in August, my friend and fellow photographer Bailey started coworking together. Even though I love working from home, especially as a photographer, I do miss being around my favorite coworkers in an office environment. Also, when you’re working alongside someone and you tell them, “these are the things I’m working on and want to get done today”, there’s something about it that holds you a bit more accountable than if you were alone. 

After the first week of coworking together, both Bailey and I said we felt so much more productive and got so much more done! It’s really nice to be able to bounce ideas off of someone else and get feedback, especially from someone who works in the same industry and understands what you’re talking about. 

If you’ve been thinking about coworking with a friend, highly recommend it!

 

Learning Spanish

Because I’m basically trying to teach myself, I really don’t know what milestones I should be creating for myself so bear with me. I know that the best way for me to see improvement is to practice everyday, so that’s my main goal: 30 minutes per day 5-6 days per week. I want so badly to be fluent! I’ve purchased a lot of tools to help me get there (like flashcards, books, and a Spanish-English dictionary) and all of them are helping but the one I have seen the fastest progress with is Duolingo. 

Quite a few people have recommended this app for learning another language and when I first tried it, I couldn’t understand the hype. It seemed too easy for me and I wanted something more challenging. It wasn’t until I did the upgraded free trial for two weeks that I finally understood what parts of the app to use to see faster progress. 

Before I started using Duolingo pro (now I have the paid version which is only about $75 for a year), I was only reading books on my own. The problem with that was I was trying to sound out words but I had no idea if I was actually pronouncing them correctly, so with Duolingo, I get to hear the right way to pronounce the words.

The audio section is basically where I live inside this app. I *love* this section because I’m hearing specific phrases, why certain words or phrases are used, hearing how it’s pronounced, and repeating phrases back. 

I just listened to an entire podcast series on The Great Argentine Heist in half English, half Spanish (which is the biggest bank robbery Argentina ever saw!) that was absolutely incredible. The mastermind and planning that went into this robbery was insane! It was so cool to be able to understand at least half of what was said in Spanish (the English parts give you an overview so you’re not missing out on the story). Listening to stories in another language is a phenomenal way to learn because you’re excited to hear what happens next and you can try to guess what some of the words mean even if you haven’t heard them before. I think it helps you retain the information better too.

Even though it feels like my progress is slow, when I think back to a month ago, I can see how many more words I’ve learned, retained, and more easily recognized. That makes me so happy!

 

Photography

There is sooo much I could update you on here so I’ll try to keep this short! When I sat down to set goals and looked at everything that’s going on in my life, I decided to take on a minimum of 5 weddings and maximum of 15 each year. This allows me to serve my brides and grooms with the world class experience I’ve designed for them while still being present in other areas of my life and not burning out. 

As of right now, there are officially two CP brides for 2022! *woot woot* It’s an honor to be by their side for their most special day and we’re going to have so much fun together! One of my brides, Alivia, lives in Colorado and is having her wedding in Saint Augustine at The White Room so she can be close to her family, which is so special. My other bride, Snehal, is having her wedding with family and friends in her backyard near Jacksonville, which is so sweet! More to share about these two beautiful women in the coming months!

In October, I went to an I said Yes! FL networking event with several other amazing wedding vendors, and while I was there I won a booth to their bridal show in January! AHHH it was SOO COOL! I *never* win anything! 

I said yes FL is passionate about connecting brides and grooms with premier wedding vendors. Georgia and Jeremy are the masterminds behind it and they are so sweet. 

Although I’ve been a vendor at craft fairs before (if you’ve been following me a while, you know I used to crochet super cute hats and scarves and sell them at local craft fairs), this will be my first time as a wedding photographer at a bridal show, so I’m very excited! Come out to visit me in Daytona on January 16 at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort!

I’m also officially a featured wedding vendor on Zola!

If you are a 2022 or 2023 bride (or know someone who is) and you haven’t booked your wedding photographer yet, get in touch! Fall is when a lot of wedding spots get booked up. Between that and the bridal show in January, my remaining wedding spots are likely to fill up fast and I’d love for one of them to be yours!

Here’s some recent blog posts you might’ve missed:

 

That’s it for October 2021! See you next month with another recap! 😊

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