This winter has just gone on and on, hasn’t it? It’s been unusually cold here in Madrid, and some parts of the country have seen quantities of snow to rival what I grew up with. It feels like I’ve been wearing the same sweaters for about six months!

Because it’s also Sale! season, the temptation is to go spend a load of cash on something, anything, to break up the monotony. This is not a good reason to shop for anything more expensive than a lip-balm, in my opinion, so what’s a bored Rubi to do?

I’ve had fun shopping in my closet, looking for new ways to wear the pieces I’ve already got. That’s how I discovered that I do in fact like wearing button-front blouses, provided they’re under a v-neck sweater, á la Lisa. I tried wearing a big pile of necklaces, as Tish suggested, but they don’t really work with my bosomy self. But I do like wearing a big pile of bracelets, and a scarf plus necklace looks very chic. And Pseu has helped me add a new scarf tie to the mix. So things are looking up in the sartorial department.

I’m mixing it up in other ways, too. In the last couple of weeks I’ve:

  • Moved my work “space” to the dining room table (temporarily). Sitting up straight helps concentration, apparently.
  • Joined a group called Internations to meet new people and go to events I wouldn’t otherwise.
  • Pushed my bedtime back a bit, which means I can get up earlier and get more work done before lunch.

These are little bits of novelty that feel good.

Of course, one can also find oneself in a cooking rut. I think it’s even easier for this to happen when cooking for a single person — it’s often hard to summon the enthusiasm. But I’ve had a recent breakthrough here, too.

I always keep a few staples in the freezer so I can throw a quick meal together — pisto Manchego with a fried egg, empanadillas, and the vegies that are used for a revuelto de trigueros y ajitos. (That’s scrambled eggs with asper-grass and green garlic shoots. Plus little shrimp. Very delicious.) The other day, it occurred to me that they’d be mighty tasty with pasta. So I boiled up some high-fiber penne, added the frozen vegies and shrimp and heated them thoroughly, then tossed the lot with pesto. It. Was. GOOD. If I do say so myself.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

What are you doing to keep life interesting without breaking the bank? Please share in the comments.