a peek inside the fishbowl

Archive for the ‘Home/reno’ Category

02 Feb, 2016

Brewing cappuccinos like a BOSS

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Home/reno|Oh! Things!

Our espresso machine was given to us as a gift from my inlaws and for many years, it was truly the gift that kept on giving. Sadly, it was beginning to show its age and was dying a slow death. It was time for a replacement unit so we started to research a new one. […]

11 Nov, 2015

About that new couch

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Home/reno|Oh! Things!

This is the timeline of our family couch history, in a nutshell: 1995 or ’96: Mark’s Swedish “park bench style” bachelor couch was traded in for one we bought together at The Bay. April 2005: our family won a huge contest hosted by the Ottawa Citizen. The prize: a complete overhaul of our living room. Our couch was taken away, reshaped […]

02 Nov, 2015

The annual Raking of the Forest

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Home/reno

It happened this weekend, and I am very sore today.   Over the years we’ve developed a system. It’s basically this: rake leaves onto huge tarp, drag tarp to giant leaf compost, dump leaves, repeat 100x. Thankfully it goes quicker now that the girls are older, but I still wish an elf with a giant […]

30 Oct, 2015

A walk around the garden

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Home/reno

Suffice it to say, I am overwhelmed by the state of our back yard at the moment. It’s a beautiful mess back there. I was secretly hoping that the recent windy weather would blow the leaves to Timbuktu, but half of them haven’t all fallen off the trees yet. The other half just piled up in the least convenient […]

20 Apr, 2015

The true sign of spring

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Home/reno|Misc. life

I’ve written about composting before but here I am again. I love it so much I just can’t stop. The idea that our old banana peels and coffee grounds makes this rich garden soil is so amazing (and so is the price tag: FREE). I use this compost to fill up all of our containers of […]


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  • Liz Dick: Just came across this forum now. Funny after all these years I've never seen it. Rummoli has been a family favourite of ours for four generations.
  • Molly: A great read, Andrea! I have been to a few estate sales - they can be fascinating. I am far from a minimalist but I am always trimming the amount
  • Lynn: Perhaps this could inspire a series of posts about Special Things - the history and what makes them precious. Going to give this some thought! Thanks
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive The stories of our stuff - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] we commissioned Dave Allston, a local historian, to compile for us awhile back. (I wrote about it here, if you’re curious.) I was fair
  • andrea tomkins: I try not to look! ;) New nightstands would help the problem, for sure. They're just not in the cards right now. Unfortunately, everything I really li
  • Marianne: The bed not being centred would definitely bother me. I'd solve it by opting for nightstands on legs, or installing floating shelves. But Id probabl
  • andrea tomkins: We actually won it in a blog giveaway a few years ago. It's made by Phillips. I really like it! It has a few different alarm sounds too, all are gentl

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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