Challenges | Prep for 2015

One thing I wish I had done for 2014, which I will be doing for 2015, is get myself a couple of challenges.  These are different from goals or resolutions (which I don’t really make) because they have concrete steps built into them.  My challenge for 2013 was to graduate from college.

This doesn't have much to do with the post, but that's my planner for next year.

This doesn’t have much to do with the post, but that’s my planner for next year.


Decide on an area of your life where you want a challenge, first.  Do you want a fitness challenge?  A travel challenge?  A career change challenge?  Maybe you’re struggling to fit your hobbies in with your job and school and family.  A hobby challenge (maybe photo a day?) will help you keep them in your life.  Maybe you’ve moved to a new city and haven’t seen much of it yet.  With a little searching you can easily find a list of the best sites to see, and make that into a challenge, or maybe there’s already a challenge for your city!

For 2015, I will be participating in the Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge.  (You can find the Pop Sugar post here, and I will be uploading a video about it too!)  This amounts to 50 books (or 52 depending on how you interpret the trilogy point) to read during 2015, but it’s more limited than that.  This challenge presents 50 specific types of books, including a graphic novel, a book by a female author, and a book more than 100 years old.  For a different reading challenge you could choose the Rory Gilmore reading list, but that is 335 books long so you may want to choose one season or an arbitrary number of books from Rory’s list.  If you’re not into being restricted in your reading, you could try a GoodReads 50 book challenge.  You can actually personalize that to any number of books that works for you, so if 50 seems too high or too low, you can change it up.  (This year I said 40, but I didn’t take it very seriously, and I didn’t reach it).

A fellow Creampuff on Tumblr, Juli, made this incredible 2015 TV & Movie Challenge, if that’s more your speed.  Much like the 2015 Reading Challenge above, this has different categories, and requirements for completion.  (Sidenote, don’t know what a creampuff is?  You need to watch Carmilla).


If you’d prefer a fitness related challenge, you could try Couch to 5k.  Or doing a certain number of 30 Day Shred cycles.  If you’re into swimming set a concrete time goal and write out the steps.


Writing an entire novel is a great challenge, if it’s something you’re into.  Nanowrimo and the Office of Letters and Light could get you started.  Rachel Hawkins (author of one of my favorite series) and Victoria Schwab (author of the incredible Near Witch) have a system involving stickers and a calendar which you could adopt.


I recently adopted Rosianna Halse Rojas’ 100 Jobs Challenge from 2012 but have since given up because I got a job (actually, since I wrote the draft of this post, I got two!  more info to come).  I’ll probably pick that back up when my seasonal job ends, though.  If you’re in need of a career change, or just a career in general, this would be a great one.  For a career change, though, I’d recommend getting some clear steps in mind before you attack applications.  For more about career searching, keep your eyes open for Job Interview Week next month.  January is all about that Job Search for many of us.


I’d recommend picking a couple of challenges to keep yourself motivated.  I’ll probably pick a fitness challenge as well, but I haven’t decided what yet.  If you want something more long term, create a 25 By 25 style list of goals.  I recently-ish revised mine to reflect my current priorities.

Maybe I just prefer challenges to resolutions because I’m competitive.  I am both a Leo and a younger sister, after all.



Happy Birthday Jeanni Out of the Bottle | 1 Year of Blogging

This blog is officially one year old. (Its birthday was actually yesterday, but between my first day at my internship and working on a research paper, I didn’t get around to writing this post).

Taken at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, in the African history department. Relevant to today’s post.

I am incredibly excited to start year 2  of Jeanni (Out of the Bottle). This year has been a roller coaster and a little bit of a battle.
When I started this blog, I was knee-deep in my senior thesis.  And a year later I’m knee-deep in a research paper about copyright.  My entire paper topic stems from blogging and vlogging.
A year later, I’m back with my family, I’m still unemployed but I’m in grad school. I perpetually change what I want to “do with my life” and probably will even when I’m 55. I’m terrified of turning 30, and pretty uncomfortable with how close 25 is.
I’m really starting to get annoyed by my blog design. I want to redesign but I don’t want too much but I want enough that it’s a noticeable change but I still want to keep the color in the background because I think blogs with white backgrounds are visually boring.
I’ve discovered more blogs than I’d read before, and deleted boring ones from my bloglovin feed.  I still think about incorporating the Weekly Dose of Weird I did in my old blog but I need to make sure it’s something I can keep up.
I know my blog will never be “big” because I don’t hit the big topics. I’m okay with that. You’re not going to see fashion posts but some lifestyle ones for sure, and whenever I make something good and new, you’ll probably see a new Satiated Saturday. I do have 80 followers on WordPress though. So that’s pretty big to me.

Missouri History Museum
This has been a crazy week on the blog (with all the Teen Read Week posts), and it’s also been a crazy week in my life.  Friday before last I received an email inviting me in to the Missouri History Museum to talk about interning this fall in the institutional advancement office.  Monday I set the date for Wednesday, Tuesday I got my substitute teaching certificate, Wednesday I had my interview/chat, Friday I had intern orientation, and yesterday (Monday as well) I started my first day of the internship!  Plus, Sunday I shared my first piece of fiction on this blog.

What’s next? I don’t know yet, but I’ll definitely keep you along for the ride. (For some possibilities see my Future of JOotB post).

Revised 25 By 25

Last month, I was looking at my 25 By 25 list and trying to figure out why I avoided looking at it so much.  Then, it dawned on me.  Duh!  Because it no longer fit with my goals and felt daunting and impossible, rather than like a challenge I was excited to win.  So I revised it.  The current list much more fits my goals and my life as it is now, and I have no trouble looking at it.

25 By 25

1. Move into my own apartment.  (Roommates are cool).

2. Get a tattoo. (I’m thinking something like this on my left ankle).

3. Run a 5k.

4. Attend a group meditation.

5. Visit 2 new U.S. cities.  (Next spring my mom & I are planning to go to Indianapolis!)

6. Visit Europe.

7. Finish writing a novel.

8. Buy a subscription to Evernote Prime.

9. Buy a subscription to Spotify Premium.  (Student price is only $5/month!)

10. Adopt an animal.

11. Attend a Phi Sigma Pi conference.

12. Try out a notebook planner.  (Did it March 2014, not a fan).

13. Complete my master’s degree.

14. Visit Canada.

15. Buy stock.

16. Learn basic French.

17. Build my own website.

18. Learn basic Spanish.

19. Get a driver’s license.  (Did it June 2013!)

20. Give thank you cards to my AU professors in my last semester.  (Did it!)

21. Start sharing short stories on my blog.

22. Share poetry on my YouTube channel.

23. Purchase a DSLR camera.  (I’m a big photography nerd, I handled my first film SLR at 11, but haven’t been able to buy a DSLR yet.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are calling my name!)

24. Instead of birthday gifts ask for donations to charity.

25. TBA

I haven’t figured out a 25th goal, but I’m sure I will.  I kept the ones I’d already completed, as a pat on the back for actually meeting those goals.  I made it into a cute graphic, which I’m going to print and hang on my wall, though I might print it with a white background since we’re low on color ink.  For a simple template version of this, click here.  It can be edited in any simple editing software, or printed to hand write.

25 By 25

Thanks for visiting, and if you’ve created a 25 By 25, or a 101 in 1001, or any other goals list, please share in the comments!  I love to read about other people’s goals.  But remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Preparing For 2014

I don’t usually like to give advice to people, but planning is something at which I am very good. But I’m still celebrating the holidays with my family, so it’s mostly going to be a big list of links and suggestions.

 Create a personal mission statement.

Create a list of goals for the coming year. (I’ll share mine soon).

Create a vision board for 2014.

Get yourself a planner.

Get yourself a notebook (or two) to carry with you everywhere.

Make a gratitude jar (or something like it).

Remember that finding your passion is never simple. It’s a windy path.

Find a motto for 2014.  (I recommend the quotes section of Pinterest).

Find an anthem for 2014.  (Mine for 2013 was This Year by The Mountain Goats).

Create a self vision board on Pinterest to identify who you are.

Keep your friends and family close, even if they’re physically distant.

P.S. This is my main goal for 2014.

Quick One

Just a quick post today.  I’m elbows deep in thesis revision, thank you cards for professors, and packing up to move out.  I didn’t make it to the National Archives Tweetup (#heartbroken) because I had a rescheduled final exam.  I’ve applied for officially a dozen jobs.  I got an A in my American Sign Language class this semester, which turned out to be my favorite class.

Instead of anything really worth reading, here’s a video you should watch:

Also, here’s a printable blank version of the 25 By 25 list I made earlier this year.  It’s totally blank, you can print it and handwrite your list, or you can edit it in photoshop (or GIMP, whatever) and add a neat typed list (that’s what I did).

25 By 25

P.S. I’m one step closer, since I’m officially an alumna of Phi Sigma Pi.  I only cried for twenty minutes.
claudia crying