a peek inside the fishbowl

Archive for the ‘Easy ways to make kids happy’ Category

… share it with the whole world, of course. :) I wrote about family social media accounts awhile back on MediaSmarts.ca and I wanted to post an update on what has become a truly enjoyable project: our dog’s Instagram account. Each family member was invited to manage Piper’s Instagram account. At the outset we all […]

If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling squirrely and eagerly anticipating the annual Opening Of the Garden Centre. To combat this rather grey state of mind I started some chive seeds in egg shells awhile back (in fact, the project was in the April edition of Capital Parent Newspaper) and I’ve been happily tending them ever since. […]

This giveaway is over. Thanks to everyone who entered! Saturday April 11th is International Tabletop Day, and if there’s one local business who knows how to celebrate, it’s Fishbowl patron Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s. Tabletop is an extremely popular web show*, in which host Wil Wheaton and special guest friends play a board game and invite viewers to follow […]

Hello Fishies! I’m doing something new at the Fishbowl this week. I’ve asked each of my amazing Fishbowl patrons to write a post on a topic that is important to the parenting community. This one is by Mark Saunders, Director of Fun at Saunders Farm.  – What is the number one thing parents want in life? A) More Money B) More […]

Hello Fishies, I’m doing something a little different on the blog this week and I’m really excited about it. I’ve asked six individuals – all blog patrons – to write a post on a topic that is important to the parenting community. First up, Derek Rhodenizer, Assistant Head of Joan of Arc Academy is kindly sharing […]

23 Feb, 2015

A rare ski day

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa

Mark and I have learned two things about winter during our parenting careers: 1) Unless we get out there and find a way to enjoy it, this six month season of sub zero torture will seem EVEN LONGER THAN IT IS. 2) By dressing appropriately and reframing our idea of “cold,” we are better equipped […]


NAC Nutcracker

Fall fun at Saunders Farm!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Joan of Arc Academy in Ottawa

OMS Ottawa Montessori schools

terra20 Ottawa

Bugs at the Canadian Museum of Nature Ottawa

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Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

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  • Heather: Thank you for the reminder. Having the REDBLACKS in the Grey Cup this year took over in the brain.
  • andrea tomkins: Claudette, I do love those mom and pop shops! We have lots in this area too. Binki, to answer your question, yes, I'm representing Ottawa, even th
  • binki: I don't get this. You are representing Ottawa? Just you...for the whole city?
  • Claudette: We live in a neighbourhood south of Lakeshore (along Lake Ontario) and all along Lakeshore there are many bustling little businesses, not chains, most
  • andrea tomkins: Brenda ... I haven't! I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!
  • Tricia: Oooh, I love this stuff!
  • Caroline: Zaatar pita chips crumbled instead of croutons. I just had the chips with homemade hummus and tabbouleh for lunch. Yum!

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 (16) and Sarah (14). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times, 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 – 1000 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.


On the nightstand

... check out past nightstand reads right here.

On this date in the archives

All hail the mighty Twitter