a peek inside the fishbowl

07 May, 2010

Mother’s Day is here once again

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!|Publishing/writing/career stuff

I had a fun little article published in last month’s issue of Ottawa Magazine.

A few months ago the editor asked me to go shopping with a specific question in mind: what would an Ottawa mommyblogger want to receive for Mother’s Day?  (HELL-O. I love these kinds of assignments. If you know me at all you probably know how much I love great design and pretty things.)

I wanted to focus on some local businesses for this piece so I set my sights on Westboro and West Wellington, grabbed a coffee and went on my merry way. By foot. (Ow.)

I shopped. And dropped. And brought everything home. The editor took it away to be photographed. I wrote the blurbs and was photographed too (more on that later. Maybe). And that’s pretty much all there was to it.

Here’s the online version of the spread. I tried to cover some different price points. (Although I harbour a deep desire for a Vespa, a fancy bicycle, a Disney cruise, and a train trip in the Rockies I tried to keep myself in check.) Everything pictured is something I’d be happy to receive as a gift from a loved one. Or a perfect stranger for that matter.

The painting by Ottawa artist Andrew King is my hands-down favourite. Sadly (for me) it sold long ago. The title is #4 Barrhaven. HA. DOUBLE HA. Just look at those little people! And that teeeny OC-Transpo bus so far away on the snowy horizon! You know the driver just had a 10 minute coffee break right? And that it’s -20? And that the bus is probably full and is going to drive right by without stopping? My god it cracks me up. WELCOME TO OTTAWA.

There are a few items missing from the final piece, either because they were things I wanted and weren’t in stock or they didn’t fit into the layout:

  • A pair of VERY pretty earrings and necklace from Ottawa jewelry designer Brenda Wong that I picked up at Wall Space Gallery. I wish I had a photo. They featured my birthstone, a peridot, and had just the right amount of sparkled and dangle. LOVE.
  • A red Le Creuset dutch oven from Kitchenalia – an amazing store for those who like to bake/cook/entertain.
  • A stack of salty caramels from The Candy Store.

I also want to mention that the necklace I’m wearing in the photo is one I received from Blend Creations! (Not Westboro, but woot!)

What would you like to receive for Mother’s Day?

I know I just listed off a whole bunch of material goods, but do you know what I really want for Mother’s Day? A sparkling clean house! Scratch that. I would love for someone to whisk our family away for a wonderful holiday and THEN I would like to come home to a house that has been scrubbed within an inch of its life.


Dare to dream, right?

Speaking of Mother’s Day, don’t forget to check out the sweet Mother’s Day giveaway I have going right now. It’s not too late to enter! ETA: we have a winner!

Have a great weekend everyone!


9 Responses to "Mother’s Day is here once again"

1 | Lara

May 7th, 2010 at 5:35 am


I want a day all to myself. A weekday. To get a pedicure and shop and meet my friends for lunch. And appreciate my children without them hanging off me for awhile :)

In the past I’ve often gotten some really nice jewellery from Workshop Boutique though, and I highly recommend checking them out for fun and different stuff.

2 | Judy

May 7th, 2010 at 8:58 am


I would love another piece of art from Andrew King, we have two, but there is always room for more.

Sadly I haven’t been out poking around much lately but there are many, many things in my own store I want, like a silver pair of drop earrings with a pearl and an amazing new photography book on Fair Trade from Eric St-Pierre.

However, after the other night I would love for someone to buy me a shop my closet day from The Refinery! That would be my #1. I would love to see how I can get more from what I have.

3 | Shannon

May 7th, 2010 at 9:33 am


I, like Lara, would really just like some time to myself. I mean, I love my kids and all…but would love even 2 hours to myself…being with them 24/7 for the past 8 months gets kinda old, you know? Does that make me a bad mom? :) Ideally, I’d love dinner and a movie…but missy won’t take a bottle…maybe one day. :)

4 | CarrieLou

May 7th, 2010 at 11:10 am


I share Andrea’s wish for a CLEAN house. And included in that wish would be for it to stay clean for at least 3 days straight. Ha!
For Mother’s Day (slash anniversary gift since it’s our 11th this Saturday), my husband is giving me a “day off”. I’m a SAHM, and he is taking this coming Tuesday off work so I can go do whatever I want to do. I have a gift certificate to the Spa leftover from my birthday (from last September!) so I’ll put that to use, then I’ll probably go lurk around a bookstore somewhere, grab a coffee, and who knows what else. He’s informed me that I am to do *no* house cleaning/dishes/cooking, etc, and he’ll get our 6yr old ready for school, then entertain the 4yr old for the day. I can’t wait!!! I’m a lucky girl, yes indeed. :)

5 | Betsy Mae

May 7th, 2010 at 11:39 am


Normally I like a day ‘off’ for Mother’s day too which includes a sleep in, coffee when I wake up, jammies and relaxation all day, and sushi take out for dinner!

This year however, we ARE going away!!!! I am really looking forward to that.

Of course my ultimate favourite gifts are the extra special treasures that my sweet babes will make for me. I LOVE how excited they are to give them to me, and I love displaying them in the house for good. I know how meaningful it is to the kids and that is what makes them so special to me.

6 | Erica at KitchissippiKids

May 7th, 2010 at 2:33 pm


I just finished telling my husband last night that I don’t want him to get me anything for Mother’s Day – I’m not being selfless, I just can’t figure out how to give him time to go shopping! We’re in the midst of renovating our house, we just moved our family of 5 into a 2-bedroom apartment and we’ve been plagued by the stomach flu and ear infections for the last 2 weeks.

What I do want is to have a really nice day with my family. I want to get to choose what we do and I want no arguing or complaining from the older two boys. I want my husband to be the one to handle squabbles, crying and dirty diapers. And I want to go somewhere interesting – not the local park. So I’ve chosen Chinatown Remixed (which actually kicks off on Saturday). I haven’t been able to properly browse around a neighbourhood in years, the boys are old enough (except for the littlest who’s young enough not to care) and it’s about as close to art, culture and travel as I’m going to get right now!

7 | Ginger

May 7th, 2010 at 6:37 pm


I received my present a week early. Nathan bought me a treadmill which I really wanted. But…I also really want this necklace.


I love it so much!

8 | Miss Vicky

May 7th, 2010 at 8:02 pm


I’d like

a day I don’t have to plan

a clean house

a pedicure

some quality family time with no whining (a gal can dream, right?)

an adult dinner that I can take some time eating. With wine, of course

someone tell the Webgeek, k?

9 | Vivian

May 8th, 2010 at 8:35 am


Thanks for the mention Andrea. The pendant looks good on you! The article was a great little selection of gifts and the painting made me laugh too.

You know what else is cool? We know the person who makes the hula hoops :)

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  • andrea tomkins: Lisa, I just LOVE the idea of cheeseburgers for breakfast. Sounds like the perfect hot meal, especially for growing kids!
  • andrea tomkins: The amount of sugar in grocery store products is positively astounding. Caesar salad dressing! Pita crisps! Ketchup! Battered fish! I wish I had a bet
  • Amy: I've recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it's made me take a lot harder look at all the sugar in my diet. Even though I was trying to
  • Lisa from Iroqouis: I have no problem with ribs for breakfast. I love leftovers in the morning. No fuss no muss. Isn't that what leftover Chinese food and pizza is for
  • andrea tomkins: Food traditions are so interesting! I could continue to eat like this, but meat is my stumbling block. I would prefer to eat less of it, not more. I c
  • Claudette: I also prefer veg to fruit in the morning. The other day I was watching an episode of a cattle farmer and they don't eat anything until 10:30 am s
  • Misty Pratt: I read that NYT article (the one about reducing your sugar?) and went to check a few things in our cupboards. I was happy to see the Farm Boy pita cra

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 (18) and Sarah (16). 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.

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!


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