First: the fancypants description written in third person.
Andrea is the 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”), and Ottawa at Home.
In 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 rare veteran of the Canadian blogging scene.
Some of her past media and speaking engagements include:
Click image to enlarge © Jessica Deeks for Ottawa Magazine
- Panelist at the BConnected Conference (May 2015)
- The Art of the Pitch, a 90-minute workshop for freelance writers delivered in partnership with the Westboro Brainery. (May 2014)
- Ottawa Magazine’s Neighbourhood edition (Spring 2014)
- March Break ideas for families, CTV News at Noon (March 2014)
- Panelist on Talk Ottawa with Mark Sutcliffe (April 2014)
- Panelist at Blissdom Canada (October 2013)
- Best Advice: Parenting in 5 with Andrea Tomkins, Canadian Family Magazine (September 2013)
- Portrait of an e-family: How they’re making their hyper-digital lives work, Globe and Mail (August 22, 2013)
- Tweeting #DailyLunches: A Healthier Alternative, Healthwise Ottawa (Winter 2012/13)
- Rethinking Blogger Outreach, Marketing Magazine (November 2012)
- Panelist at the IABC Canada Business Communicators Summit (November 2012)
- Speaker at the She’s Connected Conference in Toronto (October 2012)
- Steering committee member and roundtable host at the Social Capital Conference (July 2012)
- Skipping songs and our playground culture, All in a Day, CBC Radio (June 2012)
- Blogging for dollars: How four women turned their blogging hobby into successful careers, Best Health Magazine(Online and print editions)(March/April 2012)
- Canada’s Best Place to Live 2012, MoneySense Magazine (Online and print editions) (March 2012)
- The Writer’s Room, a fundraising event at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama
- The Sugar Fast, Ottawa Morning, CBC Radio (February 3, 2012)
- Speaker/moderator at Blissdom Canada (October 2011)
- Big brands are lining up to harness the clout of online moms, Toronto Star and ParentCentral.ca (October 13, 2011)
- Panelist at the She’s Connected Conference (October 2011)
- Organizer, panelist and roundtable host at the Social Capital Conference (July 2011)
- Speaker at PodCamp Toronto, Blog monetization (February 26, 2011)
- The Online Guideline show, /A\ Morning Ottawa, (January 28, 2011)
- Blogging the Shopping Embargo/Frugal living, /A\ Morning Ottawa (January 21, 2011)
- Featured speaker at MomCafe Ottawa event,“Content Counts: Media Mamas Spreading the Word” (November 2010)
- The Trust Experiment, Definitely Not the Opera, CBC Radio (May 1, 2010)
- Mum’s the word at Vegas blogging convention, Canada.com (October 19, 2009)
- Quiet fish, loud splash: Andrea Tomkins is Ottawa’s most celebrated parent blogger. Even Canadian Tire values her advice, Ottawa Citizen/CanWest Publishing, October 10, 2009 (Posted as “From mommy blogging to mainstream” on Canada.com)
- Bloggers and Freebies, Ottawa Morning, CBC Radio, (September 30, 2009)
- March Break Activities for Kids, All in a Day, CBC Radio, (March 16, 2009)
- Local Bloggers, Ottawa Morning, CBC Radio (August 6, 2008)
- Portable DVD Players and the Family Road Trip, All in a Day, CBC Radio (May 21, 2007)
- The Trust Experiment, All in a Day, CBC Radio (March 30, 2007)
- Size Matters: Childhood Obesity, All in a Day, CBC Radio (April 6, 2006)
- Mommybloggers and blogging, CTV News at Noon (March 22, 2006)
- Proposed Demolition of La Maison Jeanne D’Arc, Ottawa Morning, CBC Radio (October 11, 2006)
You can contact Andrea via email at email@example.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. Today I work at home as a freelance writer. When I can’t find the words, I just take a photo.
This blog started out small. Now it is slightly bigger. Exploring Ottawa with my family is one of my favourite things to do and I love helping parents and kids discover the hidden treasures Ottawa has to offer.
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.
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
- 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.