a peek inside the fishbowl


Reader's Digest articleFirst: the fancypants description written in third person.

Andrea is a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and the former editor of the Kitchissippi Times, a community newspaper in Ottawa.

Andrea’s work has appeared in a range of print publications, both local and national, and her presence on the web has taken on a life of its own. Andrea has made multiple appearances on CTV and on CBC radio, and her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, has been recognized by notable publications such as Reader’s Digest International (English and Spanish-language editions), the Globe and Mail, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Marketing Magazine, Canadian Family Magazine (“18 mom bloggers we love“) the Toronto Star, and the Ottawa Citizen. She’s also been featured in SavvyMom (“35 Mom Blogs we Love“), SweetMama (where she was also listed among Canada’s Top Mommy Bloggers), SweetLife (“Top 5: local blogs”), OttawaStart (#2 in their list of “26 essential Ottawa blogs”), Ottawa at Home, and Costco Connection Magazine.

2010 Canadian Weblog AwardsIn 2010, the Fishbowl received second place in the Lifetime Achievement category of the Canadian Weblog Awards, a juried competition of many great Canadian blogs.

The Fishbowl is not an ordinary mom blog, and she’s not your typical Ottawa momblogger. (She also prefers the term “parenting blogger” or just “Ottawa blogger” instead of “mommyblogger” thankyouverymuch!) She’s been keeping a blog since 1999 and is a veteran of the Canadian blogging scene.

Some of her past media and speaking engagements include:


Click image to enlarge © Jessica Deeks for Ottawa Magazine

You can contact Andrea via email at andrea@quietfish.com or follow her at http://twitter.com/missfish.

Read more about her work on LinkedIn.

Next, the real scoop:

My name is Andrea, and this is a journal I keep… mostly for myself and for family and friends, but anyone is welcome to eavesdrop.

I was born in Toronto, grew up in nearby suburban Bramalea and attended Dorset Drive PS, William G. Davis middle school and then high school at J.A. Turner SS.

I studied Journalism and English lit at Carleton University in Ottawa (Canada!). I am married to a wonderful fellow named Mark, and we have two daughters named Emma and Sarah.

I used to work as a web developer at a marketing and graphic design firm. I’ve spent many years as a freelance writer and community newspaper editor. When I can’t find the words, I just take a photo.

Exploring Ottawa is one of my favourite things to do but I also love food, travel, and pretty things. Sometimes this blog is a soapbox, but not always.

Sometimes I think I’m approaching a pre mid-life crisis and I find myself wondering about who I am. What defines me? Who am I, other than a mother and a wife and a daughter? Perhaps that’s the reason behind this bio page… a need to see it all written down. And perhaps, that’s the deeper reason behind this blog.

Our identities are made up of much more than places and dates. We are made up of a million little stories, a personal collection of experiences that combine to alter us and ultimately make up this thing we call life.

Girl in a big brown chair

These are my little stories.

Here is a selection of things I have done (in no particular order). Each is worth relating in greater detail, but I’ll save that for some other time…

  • skied down an Olympic run and not killed myself
  • traveled to the far north and snowmobiled on frozen tundra
  • hitchhiked
  • lied about my age and identity
  • gone dancing until the wee hours of the morning
  • not worn a coat in the winter because it was “uncool”
  • drank so much I threw up
  • written bad poetry
  • written good letters
  • swam across a lake
  • co-produced an award-winning documentary film in my student days
  • touched a human skull
  • tried to make my own beer, and failed
  • walked barefoot in a fountain
  • burnt my hair
  • sang in public at the top of my lungs
  • went skinny dipping while smoking a cigar
  • wrote a weekly newspaper column when I was a teenager
  • developed my own film and printed my own photographs
  • ran away from the police
  • failed grade twelve math
  • tried to cut my own hair
  • seen a bear in its natural habitat
  • gone horseback riding
  • walked on a glacier
  • explored a cave (ok, a small one)
  • tried to contact the dead
  • had my heart crushed by a significant other
  • pretended to not understand English
  • had my palm read
  • married someone I met over the Internet
  • wore white sneakers under the wedding dress
  • held a firefly in my hands
  • made stars out of pretty paper

It’s all too short, isn’t it? I wish I believed in reincarnation. So let’s try to make the most of what we have, shall we?

p.s. Want to drop me a line? I am: andrea at quietfish dot com, or just use this form.



Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

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  • Jennifer Jilks: I don't have a bucket list. I sorta live day to day!
  • Aj: Each peach, Everybody puts two feet in, king counter will say the following rhyme as they count around the circle: "Each peach pear plum out goes
  • Jenn Jilks: That is really exciting! Break a leg!
  • fun88: I was excited to discover this page. I want to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every part of it and i also
  • Gretchen Humphrey: I had a beautiful bee& birdbath filled with a solar fountain and dozens of antique marbles that were suddenly disappearing. At first I thought my
  • Jinjer: I am sobbing reading this post. And you're right, companion is not enough. Little furry treasured gifts that they are. Thanks for sharing cutie-pi
  • Karen: Dear Andrea, Mark and your daughters I am so very sad for your family xxx Piper was/is my favourite Instagram post. You shared with us so intimately

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. 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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Still calling it Twitter