- A box of brownie mix
- Raw cookie dough (chocolate chip or peanut butter)
- 12 Snickers Peanut Butter Squares, unwrapped and whole
- A 9x13 baking pan or Pyrex baking dish
My Quest to Create 25% More "Me" Time Was a Success
As you may recall, I was recently sent on a quest by Snickers to incorporate 25% more “me” time into my life. “Me” time –- or, as I like to call it, “Princess Chicken Time” –- is something that we all need and something we all deserve; don't let that nagging voice in your head tell you any differently.
I reflected on why I had been neglecting Princess Chicken Time, decided that it was mainly due to my dumb Type-A brain, and made a list of three different "me me me"activities I was going to try and incorporate into my life.
Let's see how it went.
1. 25% More Banjo Playing
According to math, 0x0.25=0. Since I was playing the banjo zero hours a week before, and am still playing zero hours a week, I have technically accomplished this. But let’s be honest; this banjo thing wasn't going to happen anytime soon because lessons costs money and all of my money is going into moving. What’s that? Watch YouTube videos? I can’t. I hate videos and I hate not being to ask a my teacher a million questions.
2. Become 25% more proficient at using my DSLR
I am doing this, but it is not relaxing and is actually just part of my job. That was me trying to be a sneaky A-type person. So though I am actually getting better at using my camera, it’s work and it feels like work.
3. 25% More Baked Goods, But ONLY FOR ME
I DID THIS. I baked some things and they were all mine. At first it was hard, because I was all “If I bake Snickers Peanut Butter Squares brownies and don’t post a picture on Instagram, are they still delicious?” and then I was like “Claire, you need to spend less time on the Internet and eat these brownies.” [Note: Recipe (but no pictures) for these insane brownies can be found below.]
They were delicious. But more than that, because I wasn't worried about how pretty they would be or how many "likes" they would get, I was able to just relax and enjoy the process of baking.
And just like that, baking was relaxing again.
But it's not entirely practical to bake every day, and I am an anxious human who needs to chill for a bit every day. In addition to the baking, I have started incorporating a few smaller “me” time activities every day. Though I thought this would make me inner “you’re not worthy of all this Princess Chicken Time” voice flair up in rage, I actually found that taking 25% more time for myself during the workday made me happier, calmer and more productive.
These smaller, but just-as-important activities included:
1. Small, quick workouts I can squeeze in at any time
Though I am loath to admit it, exercising does wonders for most, if not all, of the daily stress I may be experiencing. There are a ton of “7 minute workout” apps available for download on my smartphone, and most of them require no equipment -- meaning I don’t even have to leave the house or put clothes on. (Well some exercises require a chair, but I’m sure you have a chair.)
2. Allowing myself a little “vanity time”
Being raised by a tomboy means that you grow up viewing certain activities (nail painting, face masks, hair styles that require more than a comb) as “frivolous.” Why paint your nails if they’re just going to get messed up anyway?
But having pretty nails, skin, and hair is something that increases my confidence and puts me in a better mood, and anything that puts you in a better mood is worth doing.
3. Get out
I have been riding my bike more and it is the best. Not only is it fun and cheap; it’s sneaky physical activity. It gets me out of my house and out of my head, reconnecting me with my physical surroundings and reminding me that even if someone was mean to me on the Internet, the world continues to spin and there are still squirrels and pretty trees and stuff.
So those are my little tips for increasing your “me” time by 25%, something that I wholeheartedly recommend. And if you do want to try baking as a form of stress relief, try out these ridiculous Snickers Peanut Butter Squares Crazy Brownies, guaranteed to be 25% more decadent and delicious than all other brownies.
Snickers Peanut Butter Squares Crazy Brownies
You will need:
Preheat your oven to 350F. Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan to creating an even layer. Place your Peanut Butter Snickers squares on top of the dough, creating a layer of delicious peanut butter insanity. Prepare your brownie batter per the instructions on the box and pour it all over the first two layers. Bake for 30 minutes, let cool for as long as you can stand it, and devour.
Sorry I don’t have pictures of the brownies, but that would defeat the entire point of this whole thing; you’ll just have to make a batch to find out what they look like.