a peek inside the fishbowl

Archive for the ‘Oh! Things!’ Category

06 Oct, 2015

Dress for Success

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Oh! Things!|Ottawa

I have a confusing and conflicted relationship with The Act of Shopping. I am not a clothes horse, but I do love good clothes. I don’t like cheap clothing that falls apart and I don’t like fast fashion and everything that goes along with it. I will spend money where it’s warranted, on a great […]


28 Sep, 2015

Things I am loving: this butter knife

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Oh! Things!

The eldest and I decided to check out a big Etsy-sponsored craft show at the Sensplex this weekend. It was hot, busy, and the overflow parking was overflowing, but I’m glad we went. I picked up a few really cool items (which you can see over here on Facebook!) including THIS… It’s a butter knife. […]


14 Sep, 2015

One of my favourite things

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Oh! Things!

This terrarium is one of two that was given to the girls by Laura Daub, a local artist and former blog patron. Once upon a time it contained two plants, but one shrivelled and died. The other one flourished after we remembered to water it a little more. ;) I recently removed the dead plant parts […]

21 Jul, 2015

Things I am loving: MEC bike light

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Oh! Things!

This bike light from MEC has knocked my socks off. I used it for the first time in total darkness riding home along the Ottawa River after Bluesfest and was amazed at how much light this thing generated. It has a ton of good things going for it: it’s compact, it’s sturdy, it’s inexpensive, it’s […]


Part one and two are here. We have one of those big, black compost bins in the back corner of our backyard. It’s in a part of our backyard that is out of sight, and has become overgrown. There’s no semblance of a flowerbed back there, just a shady area with a lot of random […]

I am still puzzled by what I found in the garden the other day, even though I have always suspected there were Strange Things Afoot. There have been many clues. Our dog Piper, for example, seems to stare off into space when she’s back there, and sometimes she spends a lot of time carefully sniffing one spot. I’ve also […]


NAC Ottawa culture days

Saunders Farm annual passes for family fun!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Joan of Arc Academy in Ottawa

OMS Ottawa Montessori schools

terra20 Ottawa

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  • andrea tomkins: True! It could have been a knockoff, but it was pretty solid. And for $15 bucks it is still a great shoe for someone.
  • Brenda A: I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I have come across SO many high end brand name items that are complete knock-offs. The counterfeiting indust
  • andrea tomkins: We have a winner! It's commenter #5 - Joy - who wrote: we also need tires…but this is nice too – love the mat :D" Thanks Joy! Check your email
  • Claudette (@WriterOfWords91): I love this post too, I always look forward to it! :) Interesting how many times we think alike.
  • CeeB: Love the door mat, and thanks for the info on the grant!
  • georgina: cool door mats!!
  • Shannon Barlow: Gorgeous door mat. So many uses for tires, who knew?! Thanks for the chance.

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.

All hail the mighty Twitter