a peek inside the fishbowl

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

I don’t think we’ve expressly stated this, but we’ve somehow made it a mission to visit a new campground at an Ontario Provincial Parks site every summer. These are the ones we’ve been to so far: Algonquin Park (Achray) Presqu’ile Provincial Park Grundy Lake Silent Lake (in a yurt! In March!) Lake St. Peter Bon […]

I really like bees. I don’t know where it comes from, but I think bees are pretty cool and deserve a little bit of love. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at beekeeping but, sadly, that’s not going to happen here in Westboro. We CAN, however, do the next best thing: 1) Plant bee-friendly […]

Movies on the Beach (a.k.a. Friday Night Flicks) has turned into a great Ottawa summer tradition. And it’s free! We’ve had great fun in past years. Check out the lineup! There’s probably a movie playing near you at some point this summer: July 22 at Westboro Beach: Zootopia August 5 at Heritage Orleans Park: Minions August 19 […]

We were in Toronto this past weekend to support our youngest daughter at a cheer competition at Canada’s Wonderland. I haven’t written much about her foray into the world of competitive cheerleading because that’s her own story to share. I will say this: I was quite surprised when she first tried out for cheer. I […]

13 May, 2016

Tulip Festival 2016

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

If you were to ask me what my favourite season is here in Ottawa, I’d say: SPRING: because of the tulips and the explosion of green and happy people everywhere. SUMMER: because there is so much to see and do: festivals, music, beaches, patios! FALL: because of the fall foliage and excellent hiking. WINTER: because […]



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  • James Hale: Long time, no speak. Jo and I love Terra20. Looking forward to your writing there. Speaking of diets, we've been doing keto since October, feeling gre
  • 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

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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