a peek inside the fishbowl

Archive for the ‘sanity saving parent tips’ Category

I’ve written a lot about screen time, here on the Fishbowl and over on the MediaSmarts blog. I think I can summarize my feelings thusly: I’m not against TV, video games, iDevices etc. I do however, worry about the effect these things are having on our brains and attention spans and I believe there should be […]

I’ve had cause to think a lot about Our Central Tenets of Parenting lately. I should have a list of Central Tenets written down somewhere, but since I don’t, I will mention two for now: 1) We encourage our children to try new things. 2) We encourage our children to explore their options. Number one is […]

This is where my brain has been these past couple of weeks: This is where my brain has been as I walked and up down Westboro and West Wellington/Hintonburg (two of my favourite shopping districts in Ottawa!), and this is where my brain was as I spent untold minutes idling in abysmal Merivale Road traffic yesterday. […]

As some of may already know, I’m a bit obsessed as it pertains to collecting PC Plus points. (Read my original post if you’re looking for tips and tricks on how to maximize your points and save money.) Last year I did a big shop on December 23 and the points that I had saved up […]

27 Nov, 2014

In defence of school photos

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Misc. life|sanity saving parent tips

As someone who snaps an awful lot of photos of my kids, you might be surprised to learn that I secretly love school photos. And despite the fact that a part of me is annoyed at forking money over every fall, I keep doing it. Every year. There is one main reason for this: the posed […]

It happens practically every night here at Casa Fishbowl. One of the girls turns to us and asks, “So what are we doing tonight?” This, of course, does not include the usual things that happen after dinner, such as kitchen cleaning and dog walking. My reaction to this question depends upon a lot of variables, […]


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.

All hail the mighty Twitter