a peek inside the fishbowl

Posts Tagged ‘money

30 Dec, 2013

About that Shopping Embargo…

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Challenge me, challenge you

Since Christmas 2006 our family has participated in a self-imposed annual “Shopping Embargo.” This basically meant that we stopped buying unnecessary stuff and paid greater attention to the things we did buy. There was a list of rules, but basically, from December 26 until February 28 we restricted our purchases to the basic necessities: groceries, fuel, […]

A bit about the PC Plus loyalty program, and some tips and tricks for anyone who’d like to shave some money off their grocery bill.

This is the continuation of yesterday’s post on the topic of movies. I am determined to make this The Summer of Film here at Casa Fishbowl! We went to a special screening of Despicable Me 2 the other day and we had a good time. Although it had some very funny moments I’m not convinced […]

20 Jun, 2013

I finally figured out how to store cilantro properly!

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Recipes and Food

How to store cilantro. Save a few pennies in the kitchen by storing your cilantro with this easy technique and it will last longer and stay fresher.

28 Feb, 2013

It’s about soap, but not really

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

A bit about a delicious bar of soap I bought, but it’s more than just about the suds.

27 Dec, 2012

Shopping Embargo 2012-2013

Posted by: andrea tomkins In: Shopping Embargo

Our family has been participating in a post-Boxing Day Shopping Embargo since 2006. I can hardly believe it’s been that long, but it has. It’s become The Routine in our family, and I think that’s a good thing. This year’s Embargo is more important than ever. We have just surfaced from a major home renovation […]


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

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • 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