a peek inside the fishbowl

20 Sep, 2014

Weekend reading: September 20 edition

By andrea tomkins in Weekend reading

Further to yesterday’s post about writing

The other day I downloaded an app called Healthier. I’ve had it running on my desktop computer at home, and I think it’s pretty cool so far.

Basically, it runs quietly in the background and forces me to take a break and complete a desk-friendly exercise at regular intervals. Here’s the one I just completed:

Healthier desk productivity app

After I was done I had a few minutes left, so I spent the rest of the time marching around my house, focusing on my posture and my breathing. When the timer went off I sat down and started working again.

I’m sure there are a million other productivity apps out there, but this happens to be the one I’m trying out right now. I still need to spend a bit more time with it. If you have a good productivity app, I’d love to hear about it!

Related: This is a really good article about productivity. New research shows exactly how much down time we should be taking. (And no, we shouldn’t be using it to surf Facebook.)

16 Sep, 2014

My writerly needs

By andrea tomkins in Publishing/writing/career stuff

It is Deadline City around here this past week and I’ve had my head down, writing. And when I haven’t been writing I am thinking about writing, and reading other people’s writing, and dreaming about writing. Since I’ve been doing that for awhile now, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally figured out what works for me.

  • My best time for writing is in the morning.
  • I must be sufficiently caffeinated.
  • I usually sit at my desk, on my desktop computer, although I have been known to use my Chromebook in the family room.
  • I use MS-Word. The font of choice is always Cambria 16.

I also don’t like to be disturbed while I’m writing, so when the family is home I shut the office door to keep the hubbub out. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work. There’s always someone who wants to come in, interrupt, and hang out. Like this dood:

Let me in

Sigh.

What are your writerly needs? I’d love to hear what you need to do in order to get some writing done!

15 Sep, 2014

I hope your Monday is a good one…

By andrea tomkins in Misc. life

…and that it doesn’t go sideways on you. ;)

Porta potty disaster

Patronatus

NAC Ottawa family events


Summertime fun at Saunders Farm!


Creatures of Light Nature's Bioluminescence at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa


Ottawa Gymnastics Centre - Westboro


Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa


Litterless lunch solutions at terra20


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  • Javamom: I have an European friend who is also my on again off again business partner. the prime way we communicate is via facebook. but once you're in fb it's
  • Rebecca: Morning for me is best, absolutely. And I need silence. SILENCE. When the kids are gone to school I don't turn on anything, there's only the sound of
  • Lynn: Damn, surfing Facebook is my primary "down time" activity right now :). I heard an interesting documentary on the CBC a while ago about some resear
  • A helpful tool for writers >> a peek inside the fishbowl: […] Further to yesterday’s post about writing… […]
  • andrea tomkins: But here's the thing that freaks me out. I think all of these needs are in my head. I've basically told myself that I must have all of these things in
  • Javamom: Mornings. Coffee. At home on laptop. If the words don't come I can read, and/or make notes elsewhere (like a coffee shop). An empty house is a mus
  • Misty Pratt: I seem to do my best writing while I'm out walking, cycling or running. I've considered buying a little voice recorder so that I can dictate some stuf

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (15) and Sarah (13). I am the editor of the Kitchissippi Times, Capital Parent Newspaper, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!

 


My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

The #dailylunches project – 805 lunches and counting!

Every day I eat lunch and take a picture. Here's the latest:

Created with flickr badge.

Click the photo for details: what it is, where I ate it (if it's worth a mention!) and how to cook it (if there happens to be a recipe). You can also read more about this project right here.

Sideblog

  • I'm sharing some of my favourite lunch-related items over on the terra20 blog today. Whether you're packing a lunch for work, for your kids, or just eating at your desk at home, I bet there is something there for you. Check it out!

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  • I have a new post up at the MediaSmarts blog this week. It's my response to a question that I'm asked quite often: What’s the best age to give a kid an iPod touch?

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  • My latest post at the MediaSmarts website is about passwords. Is this something you've talked about with your kids? Given the proliferation of devices in households (often one per person now) it might be an important topic for discussion. How have you handled passwords in your household?

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On the nightstand

... check out past nightstand reads right here.

On this date in the archives

Got kids in Ottawa? These posts might be worth a click too:

All hail the mighty Twitter