a peek inside the fishbowl

Archive for the ‘- Thrifty is nifty’ Category

06 Jul, 2008

Saturday thrifting

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: - Thrifty is nifty|Oh! Things!

I went in looking for a glass goldfish bowl to make a second terrarium but didn’t find one.  Law of Thrift Shopping no. 1 states: if you’re looking for something specific, you won’t ever find it. But I did find some good stuff (photos to come!) including a black rain coat, formerly from Old Navy. It is […]

17 Apr, 2008

A new kind of shopping challenge

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: - Thrifty is nifty|Oh! Things!

It’s SPRING. And it’s garbage day. As I walked the girls to school I couldn’t help seeing what people were all throwing out. It seems a lot of us get the spring cleanout bug. I have caught it myself. I brought a stuffed garbage bag, a smaller bag and a box full of family castoffs to the […]

I picked up this book for about a quarter at a local thrift shop. If I had stopped at the cover I would have given it a pass. It’s called “My Clock Book” and the cover illustration is an uninspired 1970′s sketch of children gathered around a pile of clocks. “Originally entititled WHAT TIME IS […]


06 Jan, 2006

bought and kept

Posted by: andrea In: - Thrifty is nifty|Oh! Things!

Last week Mark helped his friend Grant lug an almost-new mattress to a local Salvation Army store. It was actually one I hadn’t been to, but as soon as Mark returned and I heard the words “Pyrex” and “books” I was chomping to go. A couple days later I nonchalantly gathered a bag of old […]

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29 Oct, 2005

Fishing for info

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: - Thrifty is nifty|Oh! Things!

I’m busy busy… working on two articles, one of which is for our local paper that is essentially satisfying my love for second-hand goods. :) Below is one of the items I want to write about. I bought it for 50 cents. It’s 4 or 5 inches in diameter. There is a hole in the […]

21 Oct, 2005

Off season shopping. Again.

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: - Thrifty is nifty|Oh! Things!|Photography

I had the best of intentions. Really and truly I did. I was shopping for clothes at ValVill to wear *now* .. instead I found a couple of skirts for next summer and could NOT leave them there. Why does that always happen? Check it out … fyi those flowers are teeny sequins. :) :) […]


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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  • 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

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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