Tag: what a lazy idiot

8 Lies People Tell You About Losing Weight

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You know what’s both rewarding and a huge pain in the ass? Weight loss. One day, you’re so proud of yourself and are Instagramming every meal and workout so that it counts. The next day, you’re shoveling donuts into your mouth, crying over your keyboard, and avoiding social media like the black plague so nobody will be onto you.

I think a lot of the frustration comes from this misconception that it’s easy as long as you stick to your plan and try these little “tricks” people have convinced you totally work. Sure. Let’s look at all the lies.

1. Brushing your teeth helps reduce cravings. No it doesn’t. I have had many a mint-flavored chocolate chip cookie.

2. Water makes you feel full. LIES. Everyone should drink more water (currently drinking Dr. Pepper), but it does not make you feel full.

3. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. A lot of things taste as good as skinny feels. Donuts. Pie. French fries. Pizza. Cheeseburgers.

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4. Exercise is fun as long as you find the right one. Unless by exercise, you mean seeing how many leg lifts you can do while holding a bottle glass of wine, that’s a lie.

5. Telling others keeps you accountable. All telling others does is make them judge you for everything you put in your mouth, no pun intended. Do you really want to enjoy your one tiny piece of chocolate for the week while hiding in the work bathroom because you don’t want to hear 10 people ask “Are you sure you want to eat that?!”

6. Get a workout partner. I want to be able to pant heavily and walk with my mouth wide open because I’m so tired breathing through my nose is no longer an option. So, pass.

7. Cauliflower tastes like mashed potatoes. STOP. I will admit, mashed cauliflower with a shitload of butter is delicious. But let me tell you a secret: IT DOES NOT TASTE LIKE MASHED POTATOES. It tastes like mashed cauliflower with butter.

8. Moment on the lips, forever on the hips. If this is true, my hips are nothing but french fries and energy drinks.

Tips From a Real Human Who Has Lost Weight

I have all the secrets to losing weight. The normal, healthy way. Are you ready for it?

Eat less. Eat better. Drink water. Exercise more. Take your vitamins. Keep drinking water. Stop posting about your “diet” on Facebook. Don’t Instagram everything you eat. Drink more water.

That’s it. Lesson over.

Common Misconceptions About Working from Home

I love working from home about 99% of the time, so this post isn’t so much biased, as it is completely hypocritical. But I won’t deny that there are moments when I think.. well, that didn’t go quite how I thought it would. In fact, most of the dreams and fantasies I had about working from home full time (full time as in 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week), are completely false.

I have always been someone who wanted nothing more than to work from home, though writing really wasn’t what I thought I would be doing. There were a lot of reasons, but mostly because I’m lazy and the thought of getting up to go to work every day sounded like hell, and it was. Plus, I’m an introvert, so being a freelance writer is literally the best thing that could have happened to someone like me.

Now that I have been doing it for over 3 years (as of 2014), I consider myself an expert at pointing out all the exaggerated visions of working in your pajamas, sleeping until noon, and getting to make your own schedule.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about working from home:

You can make your own hours. This was one of the biggest perks for me, as I envisioned staying up until 2 or 3 am and enjoying the days for running errands, walking my dogs, sleeping late, and lounging around the house. Yeah, not so much. You work when you have work. So while some days, you have the work ahead of time and can technically do it when you want, the majority of freelance writing has very specific deadlines and it is assigned during random times throughout the day. That means being available almost 24/7 to accept it.

You can work in your pajamas. Technically this is true, but there are multiple drawbacks. First of all, it takes forever to throw on a bra and look somewhat decent when someone rings your doorbell at 10 am. Second, it is really hard motivating yourself to “work” when you don’t at least change out of what you wore to bed. Now yoga pants, you definitely wear.

You get to sleep in. Again, maybe you do get to sleep in, but it didn’t work out that way for me. After years of waking up at 5-6 am every morning for work, my body got used to this schedule, as did my dogs. I still wake up by 6 every single morning, whether I want to or not. If I don’t, my dogs jump on my face until I give up this fantasy of sleeping in until noon.

You will have more free time. Will you? Do you think the only reason you never seem to have time is because you work outside your home? Nope. I have less free time now than I ever did with my out-of-house job. When you work from home, your home becomes your office. Which means every time you are at home, you feel the need to be working. It’s unavoidable.

It will be easier to diet. LOL. This might be just me. I used to think eating a healthy diet would be easier at home, because I have access to my kitchen and don’t need to worry about bringing something to work that I can put in the microwave. I may not be tempted by vending machines, but I eat just as shitty as I did when I was a diamond grader.

You can work anywhere. Because I am a freelance writer (and not a customer service rep relying on being near a phone or other office equipment), I can technically bring a laptop to wok anywhere I want. When you are working around 12-14 hours a day, sitting on your bed or couch starts to get physically painful. You WILL end up working at a desk just like a normal office job just to save yourself from severe physical pain. I learned this the hard way.

With that being said, I am thankful every day for the opportunity to earn a living from the comfort of my house. But it definitely has its challenges, so consider them before you quit your job and just go for it.

JennSig

Zoe Turns 5 // 5 Facts About My Chi-Poo

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This little fuzzy monster is five years old today! (This post is from 2015)

We got Zoe from my mom after she rescued a dog who turned out to be pregnant. She had three puppies: Panda, Missy, and Zoe.

When they were about a month old, I went over to my mom’s house and picked out Zoe. I knew they were keeping Panda (the brown and white one), so it was between Missy and Zoe. I walked up to the crate, and Zoe walked right up to me. “I WANT THIS ONE.”

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Her mom was a white toy poodle, but she is clearly not. The vet thinks she is a chi-poo: a cross between a toy poodle and chihuahua.

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She is quirky, fiesty, and basically the best dog ever. Don’t tell Moogie.

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In celebration of her birthday, here are five facts about Zoe, my chi-poo:

1. She hates Christmas. I think the Grinch had a dog and it was Zoe’s great-great-great-great-grandmother.

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2. She is a toy stealer. Moogie (our chihuahua) tries to play toys with her, but her game is to take all the toys and bring them to her shrine, which she guards with her life.

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3. She is deathly afraid of the park. THE PARK. Here she is clinging to me for dear life.

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4. She is part gremlin. Or just really not photogenic.

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5. She is a super cute scary monster. This is my all-time favorite picture of Zoe. This girl!

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Anxiety Diaries: My First Real Panic Attack

Thank you, artist, for this cartoon.

 

 

I wish I had some elaborate story where my first real panic attack was just after saving a box of kittens from drowning, and even though I suffered the debilitating panic attack, I managed to come out of it a heroine. Like Superwoman. Or Wonder Woman. Or another female superhero I don’t know the name of.

But no. Because this is me. My first real panic attack was walking across a crosswalk. That’s it. Just a random crosswalk.

Without a car, I do a lot of walking. When I had my first panic attack, I was walking across the street after hitting up Starbucks, just like I had done dozens of times before. The panic came when I was about halfway across, and I suddenly couldn’t move. I froze right there in the middle of the crosswalk at a super busy intersection. This wasn’t a little casual side street, it is a major street with a shit load of cars all waiting to pass. So there are about 20 cars on either side watching me as I stand without moving in the middle of a crosswalk, clutching my heart thinking I am having a heart attack, and not being able to breathe.

There were no warning signs, it just came out of nowhere. Completely random. I always thought a real panic attack would be triggered by something, or I would feel my normal anxiety first. But nope. One minute I’m fine, the next my feet feel like they’re made of concrete, I can’t breathe, my throat is dry, it feels like it’s about a million degrees, and my heart palpitations are so bad I just keep waiting for death to take me.

Luckily, I was able to move my concrete feet enough to stumble across and not die, but it sucked. I still felt like I couldn’t breathe and that my heart would stop beating any second, so I clutched my latte and ran for it. I don’t run, so you know this is serious. Like, if a serial killer was chasing me with an axe in his hand, I would try really hard to do a fast-ish walk.

It was about a week later when I realized I was traumatized by my first panic attack, and could no longer walk across that damn street. Since then, I have had all kinds of panic parties. When I’m riding in the car, while walking my dogs, just before falling asleep when the heart palpitations start, when I’m watching cartoons normal shows that adults watch.

I’m an introvert with social anxiety that now has her worse panic attacks when going outside; it’s a miracle I ever leave the house.

What about you? Have you ever suffered a similar experience? Tell me about so I don’t feel like a crazy weirdo.

JennSig

Omelets.

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To answer the question you didn’t ask me: yes, that is the best title I can come up with. This is actually a post that has been sitting in my drafts folder since January when I got back from dogsitting at my mom’s. But I’m lazy and it has taken me a solid 3 months to get around to it.

I’m lazy, so when I was looking for something to make for breakfast while staying at my mom’s and found this little gem under her stove, I knew I had to try it out. I can’t find the actual brand I used, but this one is similar.

Truth time: I have never actually made an edible omelet. I don’t really get how you keep it from turning into scrambled eggs or sticking to the pan. Not really a fan of the kitchen, nor should I be allowed to make anything complicated. But I was curious, and will now be buying one for myself so I can pretend I have skills.

Shit that intro was long. Okay, here we go!

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Get all your omelette-y things together. My palate is extremely boring and plain, so all I wanted was cheese, but you can pick vegetables and meat if you’re super fancy.

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Use the egg head clicky thing to open the pan and grease it. It is nonstick but I didn’t want it sticking, so I fattened it up. You can use spray or nothing if you’re feeling adventurous.

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Crack, whisk and add your eggs. I’m lazy and didn’t feel like whisking in a separate bowl, so I did it right in the pan.

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Add your toppings. Again, I just put cheese in mine.

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Clock and lock the egg head and place it on the stove. The directions that came with the pan say to leave it for 3 minutes on on each side. I did this exactly.

After 3 minutes, flip it over and cook an additional 3 minutes.

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Remove the pan, open it and voila! Perfect omelette!

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The pan actually says you can fit 3-4 eggs in there, but I don’t recommend it. I only used 2 large eggs and I can’t see how any more would fit in there, especially if you add vegetables or meat.

Affiliate links are mentioned in this post. Not a sponsored post. My opinions are my own.

JennSig

The Anxiety Diaries: Heart Palpitations

 

How cute is this heart plush? I want it.

At the very beginning of my new life with anxiety and crippling panic attacks, heart palpitations were my worst enemy. Nowadays, I don’t get them as often, but when I do, it ultimately leads to a panic attack lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to four hours or so. They are by far one of the worst things I experience, since I can literally feel my heart beating. Everyone has different situations that cause them to go into ultimate panic mode: for me, my biggest fears are not being able to breathe, choking, or that my heart will suddenly stop beating. Enter heart palpitations. Every time I can feel my heart beating so severely, I am just waiting for it to stop. It doesn’t make me feel better knowing it is still beating, it only gets me more anxious. So that leads to more anxiety and restlessness, which then makes the heart palpitations even worse.

It’s a vicious cycle with seemingly no end in sight. Have I mentioned how stupid panic attacks are?

Some nights, it is so terrible that I pass out as I am listening to the heavy, frightening beats, and wake up the next morning not sure how I managed to fall asleep. Other times, though, it takes me hours to relax.

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Here are some helpful ways I have found that help me put a stop to the heart palpitations:

Distract yourself. It is by far the best way to start slowing them down. They won’t go away immediately, but if you can find something else to occupy your mind, they gradually calm. Personally, I have to get up and watch TV, read a book, or even write a blog post. The moving around helps as well as the mental distractions.

Get exercise. If you’re getting heart palpitations during daylight, you can go for a walk outside. In reality, any type of movement is helpful. I have found by moving around, I don’t notice the heart palpitations. once I think they’re gone, my heartbeats actually calm, really making them go away. It’s just a little trick I have learned.

Drink cold water. While you’re up, get a glass of cold water. For some reason, cold water slows down your heart rate and helps about 50% of the time for me. Mine get pretty bad, so I won’t lie and say this is a magical cure. Others swear by cold showers, but.. pass.

Perform breathing exercises. Anyone struggling with anxiety disorder or panic attacks should know proper breathing techniques. I’ll be honest here: they don’t work for me all that often, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work for you. Completely worth a try.

Things you shouldn’t do if you get heart palpitations frequently:

Drink excessive amounts of alcohol

Drink caffeine before bedtime

Take certain medications

Stay off Google. You WILL somehow end up on a page telling you palpitations mean an impending heart attack. Just don’t.

JennSig

My Top 6 Accomplishments as a Freelance Writer (So Far)

This post is from 2014. I think.

After about four years of freelance writing and ghostwriting, I have managed to get mediocre success and gain some accomplishments I am quite proud of. Here are the top six.

1. Finding Private Clients

From what I can tell, a lot of freelance writers start the same way I did; with content mills. While they are great for getting your feet wet, learning proper grammar and sentence structure, and building your portfolio, it wasn’t the end goal for me. In the beginning, I just wanted to earn a living writing from home. Before too long, though, I wanted more for what I put into it. I consider my private clients a big accomplishment because they chose me out of others they considered to handle their writing projects, and I was able to escape the content mill tornado of chaos.

2. Finishing NaNoWriMo. Twice.

This is more for the inner creative writer in me. My “novels” were terrible, but I finished, and that’s the point. They call it literary abandon for a reason. NaNoWriMo is a challenge that happens every November for 30 days, where you attempt to write a 50,000-word novel, story or novella. “Winning” Nano means you finished your 50,000 words in 30 days. To some, this seems incredibly difficult, and to others, incredibly easy. If you’re like me and write a good 10,000 words daily for your job, it doesn’t seem that hard. However when it comes down to it, it takes a lot of dedication to find the time and energy to write this month when you’re still trying to live your life.

I have attempted Nano for the last 3 years: the first year I failed miserably, the second year I finished in only 14 days and this past year I finished with only about 2 days to spare.

3. Being Referred by Other Clients and Writers

All creative types want validation, and this is why I love being referred. Not only have these fellow writers or clients paid me to work for them, but they referred me to others. About half the clients I have right now are from other clients who happened to know someone that needed a writer. Networking works!

4. Making a Full-Time Income

That is the goal, right? When I first started writing a few years ago, I may have had dreams of doing it full time, but realistically, didn’t think it was plausible. When it did become a reality, I was ecstatic. This was actually my job. My real job. I could actually call myself a “writer” though I rarely do. Even on days when I just want a break or a paid day off or to not sit in front of a computer 12 hours a day, I try to remember that this is the dream. This is what I wanted to be doing.

5. Calling Myself a Writer

Speaking of using that 6-letter word, I still struggle with it. If someone asks me what I do for a living, I say I write, but I don’t say I’m a writer. Why? No clue. It’s one of those words that feels strange coming out of my mouth. But it’s still an accomplishment, because I can say I’m a writer, that’s what I do. I may not be a novelist, but I get paid for putting words together.

6. My First Article on Yahoo! Shine

It’s easy to be published by Yahoo! Contributor Network (No Longer Around, FYI), but when you get into the special areas of the site, it’s a whole different ballgame. At one point a few years ago, the site was asking for requests for their different sections. I submitted this article and it was approved. At the time, it felt like a big deal since I made it off the contributor floor and onto the actual official Yahoo! floor. It’s a little embarrassing going back and reading my writing from those days, but still something I’m proud of.

Looking forward, there is a lot more I want to do, but it’s nice reflecting on the successes you have already had. Happy writing!

JennSig

How I Got Started as a Freelance Writer

When I’m not attempting to take mediocre pictures of whatever makes me happy during the day, or spending hours on Bloglovin’ and Pinterest, I write. Like for a living. People pay me for it. And since I get dozens of questions about it from dozens of people, I thought I would start with how I got started in the first place.

Learning to Write

I am not college educated, nor did I take special classes for writing. I simply taught myself, read a lot, and followed tips from other writers. I started at the bottom and worked my way up, learning as I went along. And I still have a lot more to learn.

Writing as a Hobby

I began, like so many other online writers do, on Yahoo! Contributor Network. I would link to it, but it’s long gone, dead, buried, and probably rotting by now. At the time, I was working full time as a diamond grader and simply wrote little articles in my spare time. I just wanted to add to the money I was making at my day job, and absolutely did not expect to be doing it full time. Plus to be honest, I was just curious if I could do it.

I recommend starting out with your own blog, then beginning to submit work for a site that lets you submit anything you want, instead of having assignments. It’s been years since I have worked for content sites, so unfortunately I don’t even know good ones that are around. I still think going with a blog is best, since you have published posts you can use as samples for potential clients.

Writing More, Working Less

Near the end of 2010, I found myself becoming highly involved in writing and not caring much about my diamond grading job anymore. There were a lot of changes at the company I worked for, causing me to lose interest. This was after about six months of writing articles, after which I began looking for other places to write. I then was researching “upfront pay” jobs, where you get a set amount for each article or blog post, as opposed to being paid by views, which is how Yahoo! worked for most of what you submit.

This is how I stumbled upon another content site that is also rotting underground.. Demand Media Studios (DMS). They were a “content mill” that paid writers per piece that was approved. You basically select from a pool of articles, research and write based on the title of the article, submit and wait for it to be approved. I liked the pay rate, I liked the easy topics, and I loved that they paid twice a week. At the time, I had no idea it would only be around for another few months, but it was one of the main reasons I quit my job.

Quitting My Job and Moving On

Now looking back, almost 7 years later, I realize this was a mistake. Not so much that I made the decision, but because I did it on a whim. I have a tendency to act on impulse, usually without common sense, and I literally went in one day and said “I Quit. Bye.” At the time, I was making more per article than I was in an hourly wage at my job. So I thought it made sense.

The first few months were good, but then DMS went to shit and I found myself without a job. The next year was rough, I won’t lie. But it all came around and I am still doing the same thing, with a lot more stability.

From Content Mills to Private Clients

Every writer wants to have private clients. Content mills are fine in the beginning, but most of us move on because of the restrictions, the inconsistent editing tactics, and the low pay.

Since you’re not here to read a novel on my entire writing career, I will tell you this: freelance writing is hard work. It takes a lot of dedication, motivation, and a LOT of hours in front of a computer. I would say I spend at least 12-16 hours at my desk. Every day. 7 days a week. Weekends, holidays, birthdays. I don’t get sick days and I don’t get vacations. In return, I get to work my own hours (sort of) and am able to work from home, which is something I have always wanted to do.

This post is from 2013/14, and I now no longer work for private clients, but for myself instead 🙂 Check the newer posts on this blog for what I do now.

JennSig

Welcome to the Anxiety Diaries

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Preface: I love this cartoon. I wish I was the first person to think of Anxiety Girl, as this would absolutely be the name of this series. But like many things, I only admire great ideas other people come up with first, so Anxiety Diaries it is.

I need someone to make me a cartoon.

In all seriousness: I am officially (by a real doctor not run by Google) diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic attack disorder, social anxiety, and a little clinical depression thrown in too.

About GAD: With GAD, you have an overwhelming feeling of stress and worry and anxiety.  Usually, it is not about having panic attacks all the time, but you just have this sense of doom almost always. Sometimes you feel perfectly fine, then all of a sudden you get this feeling of panic, usually having no idea where it came from. It is not the same thing as regular stress. It is often debilitating and keeps you from doing normal things that normal people do.

I originally visited my doctor due to being tired all the time. It turned out extreme fatigue is a big symptom of GAD. Any time I get into a particularly stressful situation, an overwhelming feeling of fatigue comes over me. I can be completely energetic and well rested, then all of a sudden I can barely keep my eyes open. Like any psychological condition, it is different for everyone.

My GAD looks like this:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea/stomach cramping/vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Body shakes
  • Heart palpitations

About Panic Attack Disorder: First of all, not everyone with GAD will have panic attacks, and not everyone who has an occasional panic attack has a disorder or an anxiety problem. That’s just a fun thing I have. Life really enjoys being a bitch and throwing me these fun adventures.

When you have a panic disorder, you have panic attacks frequently and without warning. They usually last several minutes and are an irrational reaction to something you fear. Some people with panic disorder have triggers that set it off, while others have absolutely no warnings.

I am somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, I am perfectly fine then all of a sudden I swear I am having a heart attack. At other times, I know it is coming before it has arrived because of a trigger. This is actually me having anxiety about possibly having a panic attack, which then causes my anxiety to spike and gives me a panic attack.

Sound ridiculous? It is. This is literally the stupidest disorder to suffer from. Most of it is in your head. I am insistent that the bigger imagination you have, the worse it is going to be for you.

And this is how my panic attacks go:

  • Heart pounding, heart palpitations, which makes me feel like I am going to die.
  • Hands sweating.
  • Dry throat, can’t swallow, afraid to swallow.
  • Confusion/disorientation.
  • Irrational fear of doom.
  • Physically shaking from head to toe.
  • My mind working in overdrive: it tries to convince me it’s nothing while also convincing me my heart will stop beating any second.

The fact that I not only have general anxiety basically all the time, but moderate to severe panic disorder (I have at least one attack a day, usually), it’s a miracle I can function as a human and that I ever leave the house.

Welcome to The Anxiety Diaries. It’s a party you were invited to but won’t attend because you’re too afraid to leave your house.

JennSig

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

This is from Christmas 2014-ish.

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My mom wins Christmas. Not only does she have the best decorations, but she always goes overboard all out. She has not one, not two, not three, but four Christmas trees this year. For the past few years, she has asked her daughters to help her decorate a tree. I have had the blue & white tree for a couple years in a row. It’s the best one. She would say her Victorian tree is, but clearly my tree is flawless. (Just kidding, Mom)

If you think decorating a tree involves putting ornaments on it wherever you feel like, you don’t understand how it works. I’m a lazy decorator (obviously) and would love nothing more than to throw them on and shout, “Done!” But with mom, Christmas is serious business. So here is the laziest possible way to decorate trees that look like they took longer than 10 minutes.

Procrastinate by looking at other decorations first. This helps you get into the Christmas spirit.

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Spend a minute or two admiring your new Christmas socks. Great choice, Jenn. Your feet look amazing.

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Fight with the hooks to try to unravel them. Throw them down in disgust. Don’t take a picture of that part.

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Take ornaments out of the bins one-by-one, making sure to organize them. If you just start grabbing from the box at random, your tree will look terrible.

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Choose your biggest and longest ornaments first. Forget to take pictures of the biggest ornaments, and go to the icicles next.

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Find any empty space you can to stand. Admire socks again.

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Hang just as many ornaments in the back of the tree, as the front. Otherwise you will have a tree tipping situation on your hands, and nobody wants to deal with that. Take a picture sideways and forget to rotate it so it makes no sense.

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Always use all of one type of ornament first, then go to the next. This keeps the placement more versatile, and keeps your mom from correcting your many mistakes in disgust. There is nothing worse than two of the exact same decorations next to each other. Tacky.

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Fill in the empty spaces with your balls and smaller ornaments. Make sure you don’t take pictures of that part so this entire tutorial is pointless.

Done!

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Just kidding, your sister left early so you have to return to finish hers.

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Organize her ornaments since she clearly ignored rule # 4.

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Shout “DONE!”

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