a peek inside the fishbowl

28 Sep, 2007

A little tour of the things I love: first stop

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Oh! Things!

These past days I’ve been researching a pre-Christmas piece for Ottawa Magazine. It’s basically a gift guide, and my task was to tra la la around Westboro and West Wellington and find cool gift ideas for kids. I had a great time with this assignment. What a lucky lucky gal I am.

I had the pleasure of talking to many many extremely friendly shop owners and managers along the way. The message I interpreted from them was ultimately this: (a) we should surround ourselves with beautiful things (b) beautiful things don’t have to cost a lot of money and (c) our children’s toys can be beautiful too.

I’m not going to tell you what it is that I picked out for the magazine spread. You’ll have to wait until the issue comes out and see for yourself, but I will say that our stretch of Richmond Rd and Wellington is home to many sweet little shops that deserve our time and attention. Hmmm. I should supply you guys with names and addresses, shouldn’t I? I could do that later if you’re keen.

This whole thing got me thinking about our home, and our things, and especially the things that I love around our house that give me a special little thrill. And if you happen to be visiting my house, stopped in front of any of these things and told me you liked them, well, I’d like you a little more just for noticing.

I have a few things I wanted to share with you, but I will start with this jar full of (mostly) vintage game pieces and old dice:

 jar of random game pieces

This is an ongoing collection. I picked these up at various yard sales etc.  I really like wooden monopoly pieces. They feel warm to me, like they’ve retained Friendly Ghosts of Past Gameplay inside them. Am I sentimental fool or what? :)

Although I started collecting these for myself, I’ve since discovered is that the contents of this jar comes in very handy when the girls are playing games that come as a magazine pull-out, or if they’re concocting their own board games with a pencil and a pad of paper.

These pieces are pretty when they’re all together, but because they’re not rare, breakable, or valuable I never worry about the girls losing them. That way, they’re enjoying Friendly Ghosts too.

1 Response to "A little tour of the things I love: first stop"

1 | debra

September 29th, 2007 at 8:27 pm


These remind me of things from the I Spy books.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. 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.

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