a peek inside the fishbowl

28 Jul, 2010

An Extra Helping, just for you

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Giveaways and product reviews|technical stuff

A few of you are already in on the secret but it’s time to come clean. I’ve been working on some special blog-related content which will be available to readers who sign up for it.

SOME people might call what I’m doing an e-newsletter, or heaven forbid … <COMMENCE JARGON> an e-blast. </END JARGON>

I’m calling this little venture an Extra Helping, because that’s what it is. Extra stuff! Fortified with freshness! This content will not be archived here on the site or anywhere else online.

Many of you currently receive Fishbowl posts by email. This is not that.

I’m still ironing out the kinks figuring out how to use the mail program, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sign up RIGHT NOW. You might get a little something if you do!

The kind folks at Ten Thousand Villages are giving a $50.00 gift certificate to one lucky subscriber. (!)

Please note: the gift certificate is only valid in Canadian stores. This means that the giveaway part is only open to Canadians. Non-Canadians, however, are welcome to subscribe to the newsletter regardless. :)

Here’s what you need to do:

1) Leave a comment below, telling me: (a) what kind of content you’d like to see in the not-a-newsletter and (b) what you’d spend your money on if you won the gift certificate. Ten Thousand Villages HQ has an online store at www.tenthousandvillages.ca. Only about 20% of their inventory is online but it will give you a good idea about what’s there. There is a TON more stuff in stores. The Richmond Road location in Ottawa is the one closest to me, and it is chock full of really beautiful and interesting things, all of which are handmade by artisans across the world and support the principals of fair trade. This is the foundation upon which Ten Thousand Villages is built. They are good people.

Do good; feel good… that’s what I say!

There is a full listing of the stores in Canada (in case you want to check to see if there is a store near you) and many of the local stores are on Facebook and Twitter as well. It’s a great way of keeping up with what’s new.

2) Sign up for the Extra Helping!

You need to leave a comment and sign up for the Extra Helping to qualify for this giveaway. That’s it!

I will do a draw using Random.org at noon (EST) on August 11, 2010. The winner will be contacted by email and will need to provide their mailing address. Please make sure you provide a valid email address so I can contact you quickly!

If the winner is not from Canada I’ll have to do another draw. (This has happened, which is why I am mentioning it.)

Anyway, over to you! Good luck!

47 Responses to "An Extra Helping, just for you"

1 | Jay

July 28th, 2010 at 6:57 am


I already signed up:)

I have no doubt whatever you provide will be useful! I love your posts about things to do with the kids. My kids still talk about the 25 days of Christmas which was so easy to do and they loved it. So more stuff like that!

And I would spend the entire amount on coffee….mmmm coffee.

2 | Rebecca

July 28th, 2010 at 7:14 am


Jay, that’s too funny because I am in complete agreement – their coffee is the best! we’d buy that :)

Looking forward to this Andrea! I’d like to see anything you see as interesting or useful ;)

3 | Maranda

July 28th, 2010 at 7:37 am


I wouldn’t spend the entire amount on coffee… they also have chocolate! :)

4 | andrea

July 28th, 2010 at 7:56 am


Omg – yes, chocolate and coffee! They also have lovely rings and necklaces, and home/table decorations too.

5 | Brenda (@ottawamom)

July 28th, 2010 at 8:12 am


Signed up and can’t wait to start receiving the Extra Helping :)

Just like those above, would probably spend the gc on coffee and chocolate – two of my favourite things!

6 | Cleo

July 28th, 2010 at 8:18 am


This is exciting!

I would love insider scoops (which you already provide) to great happenings and deals etc, but maybe with a coupon???

As for Ten Thousand Villages… so many things, but what I have had my eye on in there for a few months is a stunningly beautiful book about olive oil. I am such a food nerd!

7 | Judy

July 28th, 2010 at 8:23 am


Count me out for the giveaway, but next planned purchase is this one:


Or maybe a tablecloth

Or maybe some new earrings

As for the newsletter, I would love to hear some personal stories about people who inspire. And recipes. One day I will conquer dinner… maybe I should get a cookbook as my next purchase instead :)

8 | Tammy

July 28th, 2010 at 8:24 am


Looks like Ten Thousand Villages has some pretty jewellery… that’s what I would buy!

Love your posts on things to do with kids, especially in the Ottawa area. Also love meal and snack ideas/recipes. Looking forward to your newsletter!

9 | Carla

July 28th, 2010 at 9:18 am


I’ve signed up and look forward to it! I would love to see more thought provoking content, you’ve had a number of posts that have made me rethink my ways. And, scoops on kid events are great, would love to see more for kids under 6.

As for Ten Thousand Villages, I love all things pretty for the kitchen and they have beautiful handmade ceramic mugs. I like to have interesting one of a kind mugs. Or oh the olive wood round chopping board is so beautiful!

10 | Lynn

July 28th, 2010 at 9:30 am


I’m in the market right now for prizes to give away at my sister’s shower. I’m eyeing their little boxes (I like the goldfish one) and their notebooks with the floral design and curved corners. I also really love their cotton napkins with the gingham – I’d keep those for myself though. I see they have a chess set, too…hm. So much!

I’m already on your Extra Helping list. Looking forward to it!

11 | Binki

July 28th, 2010 at 9:36 am


Short witty (or serious) thoughts, local events, great deals, meal suggestions, how-to-make-the-world-better, etc. I want to hear about it.
I’d buy a tablecloth or a few of their amazing baskets.

12 | Alina

July 28th, 2010 at 9:36 am


I just signed up. I am looking forward to receiving the newsletter!
I would like to buy one of their beautiful vases.

13 | Lisa

July 28th, 2010 at 9:39 am


I love 10K Villages! I’d save it for xmas. It’s a great place for gifts and decorations that are in keeping with the xmas spirit.

I would love an extra helping of posts about kids, food, and the neighborhood.

14 | andrea

July 28th, 2010 at 9:53 am


Thank you all for your support!

I should have mentioned in my original post that I hope that the Extra Helping will also become a new/different way to reward loyal and longtime readers. This is only the beginning! MWAH!

15 | Lara

July 28th, 2010 at 11:01 am


I think I’d have to go for some jewellery.

And I have no idea what I’d want in it, but I trust it’ll be interesting no matter what you come up with ;)

16 | Carrie C

July 28th, 2010 at 11:14 am


That is a great store for one of a kind gifts. I love the displays they put up during the holiday season.

I like your parenting approach, and how you share what the girls do with their spare time – reading, exploring, camping etc. It’s a refreshing change!

17 | Betsy Mae

July 28th, 2010 at 11:17 am


If I won I’d buy…hmmm I can’t narrow it down. If I spent it all on myself I think the teak mortar and pestle would be useful as I don’t have one and this one is pretty, and the Jute shoulder bag (what a steal!). The bamboo bowl is gorgeous too. LOTS of items.

Oh right, the not a newsletter….ferrrr sure I would/am going to sign up right now.

18 | Lee

July 28th, 2010 at 12:45 pm


I’ve signed up!

I’d be happy to spend someone else’s money on chocolate and /or the beautiful notebooks and cards!

My two favourite things that you publish are recipes and craft ideas, so I’d be happy if you could tuck a few of those into your Extra Helpings!

19 | SJM

July 28th, 2010 at 2:13 pm


Coffee and chocolate…yum!

20 | Robyn

July 28th, 2010 at 2:40 pm


I have already signed up and am looking forward to your thoughts on health, meals, community events, books, parenting — I always enjoy the discussions.

I would look at table ware — Ten Thousand Villages has beautiful pottery.

21 | Kaitlin

July 28th, 2010 at 2:48 pm


Signed up!

I’d either replace the clay frog dish that I broke two years ago, or find myself a lovely new necklace.

A nice little pick me up :) Thanks, Andrea!

22 | Mrsgryphon

July 28th, 2010 at 3:12 pm


I love your ideas for making simple things more fun with the kids and your tips for including them in the process. Your summer planning ideas poster from a couple of years ago has always stuck with me (we’ll try that next year when we’re not stuck at home every day with an afternoon napper!).

You often have such thoughtful discussions and points of view, I’m sure that anything you come up with will be awesome!

I signed up right away :)

23 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

July 28th, 2010 at 3:58 pm


I signed up! I will be back, after all, and don’t want to be left out of the loop while I’m gone! :)

24 | Nora

July 28th, 2010 at 4:11 pm


Looking forward to the extra emails – thanks! I’d love to know (even) more about family things to do in Ottawa plus your ideas about recipes, books, crafts, local restaurants etc.

As for shopping……jewellery, table linens and coffee would be at the top of my wish list. ; )

25 | Laura

July 28th, 2010 at 4:42 pm


Please do count me in for the giveaway and the newsletter… I really like the idea Judy mentioned above to have stories of people who inspire if possible.

My first thought is to buy the Beehive Birdhouse from the artisans at Comité Artisanal Haitien, but there are so many other things there that I love… winning this gift certificate will mean I have a lot of hard choices to make, but I think I can handle it! ;)

26 | Cat

July 28th, 2010 at 5:44 pm


I love your Ottawa-local stories, so I’m looking forward to more city events and insights, being relatively new here. :)

As per the gift certificate, I’ll probably go for some more home decor stuff, to go with the placemats I got from there a while ago. :)

27 | Alison in Ottawa

July 28th, 2010 at 6:04 pm


I like best the recommendations of things you have done with your girls, it’s very relevant as my daughters are a little younger than yours (5 and 7) and we live in Ottawa.
Your camping list (things to bring/not to forget) was very helpful.

A new necklace would be fun.

28 | Sherri

July 28th, 2010 at 7:40 pm


Not sure what I would buy with the gift certificate but I do want to say how happy I am about the newsletter! I love your recipes and ideas for great products and things to do with the kids. I drove all the way to Kanata from Orleans to buy a Djeco art set based on your recommendation!

29 | Edumama

July 28th, 2010 at 8:40 pm


Love the local flavour and tips for kids- also the food for thought you often leave me with. I would buy something for the home- love Ten Thousand Villages!

30 | julie

July 29th, 2010 at 8:45 am


I’ve just signed up for the newsletter, and things I’d lie would be…links to other Ottawa momma bloggers, crafty ideas for multiple aged children; something a 7 or 4 or 2 or 38 year old would all enjoy, or maybe even just a ‘here’s what we did this month’ chatty type newsletter to give me ideas for my family too.

A GC for 10000 villages- another Fair trade cookbook, their musical instruments for my kids, or maybe some artwork for my mother, or maybe save it for the awesome stars they bring out around Christmas.

31 | Melissa

July 29th, 2010 at 6:40 pm


I signed up! :) I’d have to say that quick and easy no-cook or low-cook recipes and info about stuff happening around the local area would be my pick for content!

As fot the GC, I’d probably put it towards the Tree, Bird and Elephant wall hanging (http://www.tenthousandvillages.ca/cgi-bin/category.cgi?type=store&item=6807880) — our big blank bedroom wall is crying out for something light and bright just like that!

32 | Friday puppy portrait >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 30th, 2010 at 7:20 am


[…] If you’re so inclined, there’s still time to enter the Extra Helping giveaway […]

33 | Joy

August 1st, 2010 at 6:33 am


i have signed up for an Extra Helping :)

34 | Extending the signup & giveaway >> a peek inside the fishbowl

August 3rd, 2010 at 2:04 pm


[…] this to say, I’ve extended the Extra Helping signup and giveaway to Wednesday August 11! […]

35 | Shannon

August 3rd, 2010 at 2:51 pm


Sounds great! I love the ideas you have for older kids, I’d love to see more!!

36 | Stephanie

August 3rd, 2010 at 2:56 pm


I’d love to see a regular “unknown Ottawa” type of feature, where you explore off the beaten path (which you already do a lot of, I know :)

If I won the gift certificate, I’d put it toward some wooden bowls and the mortar and pestle set, I think!

37 | Heather

August 3rd, 2010 at 3:07 pm


I’d like to see what to do in Ottawa with your significant other on a dime – recipes – holiday ideas.

There are so many things to get I might have to get – too many to pick from!

38 | Jen

August 3rd, 2010 at 3:34 pm


Would love to see more organic/eco non toxic living posts – insider tips within Ottawa.

Thanks for entering me!

39 | hillary

August 3rd, 2010 at 5:24 pm


Yay! I’ve signed up! I love love love Ten Thousand Villages! Just bought a bunch of books for my classroom there. “Tooth on the roof” is a favourite – tales from all over the world of what kids do with their teeth when they fall out!

40 | Tracey Flattes

August 3rd, 2010 at 8:51 pm


I love the childrens’ books and toys they have there – that’s what I would buy if I won! Oh, and maybe the cds, too!

41 | angela

August 7th, 2010 at 6:45 am


what i would like to see…what i need to see is easy meal stuff,lol. what i would like to see is new shopping stuff;)

i would spend the 50$ with my daughter and use the chance to explain the whole idea of ten thousand villages to her:)

42 | Karen at Virtually There

August 11th, 2010 at 7:34 am


I’d like to see even more ideas on family outings in Ottawa and also home design ideas. (I love your style.). As for ten thousand villages, I’d like the dove necklace made in Cambodia.

43 | DA

August 11th, 2010 at 8:23 am


At the moment, reviews of family outings are most useful to us. You’ve uncovered some options around Ottawa that we’d never heard of and we are both born and raised here.

I have no illusions that will get to pick what is bought at 10000villages – that would go directly to the wife.

44 | Extra Helping draw is today! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

August 11th, 2010 at 8:47 am


[…] you haven’t seen the details of this new venture and giveaway, check it out over here. The draw is happening at noon today. Thank […]

45 | Kim

August 11th, 2010 at 9:43 am


Hello, as for what I’d like to see for this “extra helping,” I guess observations, recipes / meal ideas, “ways to make kids happy” ideas (including but not limited to Ottawa area stuff…), and if you find cool websites & pretty things (blend creations jewllery is beautiful! thanks for that tip!) / cool products / books etc. I think we all have faith in your sense of what would be great.

As for what I’d buy at 10 k villages, good question. I really love their stuff, so it could be textiles, basket(s), jewellery, etc. I’d have to go in and see what seized me. Thanks so much! :)

46 | Kiki

August 11th, 2010 at 10:15 am


I’d love to see more money saving articles and tips and would be an added bonus if they were also envrio friendly.

I’m signing up for the newsletter!

I’d spend the GC on a nice beaded necklace (so hopfully the baby would stop pulling my hair) and a pretty dragonfly mug I saw :)

47 | andrea

August 11th, 2010 at 12:09 pm


Commenter #28 – Sherri – is the winner of the giveaway! Congratulations! I’m sending you an email to let you know. :)

Thanks all for your support and enthusiasm. I’ll be hosting more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned.

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