a peek inside the fishbowl

Archive for the ‘Oh! Things!’ Category

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 […]

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 […]


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.

All hail the mighty Twitter