a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Apr, 2015

Things that grow (including myself)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Publishing/writing/career stuff

If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling squirrely and eagerly anticipating the annual Opening Of the Garden Centre. To combat this rather grey state of mind I started some chive seeds in egg shells awhile back (in fact, the project was in the April edition of Capital Parent Newspaper) and I’ve been happily tending them ever since. Watching things grow is very satisfying, isn’t it?

This project is perfect for those of us who don’t have a lot of space to start seeds indoors. Egg cups don’t take up a lot of real estate on a window sill, and all you need is egg shells, a bit of dirt, and some seeds. That’s it! Here’s what our eggshell planters look like now. They provide some pretty spots of green and I am already looking forward to our first harvest. :)

Our chives are growing!

I suppose this segues nicely into a bit of Capital Parent news. The publication has been sold and I’m no longer editor. I was looking over two years of covers (they’re all listed here) today and feeling a tiny bit wistful. Contracts come and go, and as a contractor I totally accept that, but this was a very fun run. I was writing about topics I am passionate about (Ottawa! Kids! Crafts! Food! Parenting!) and working with some really great people. One of my favourite things about this job was the opportunity to bring new talent into the fray, and I think I did that at Capital Parent, not only with new writers and photographers but also with a regular feature that shone a spotlight on Ottawa bloggers.

There are few dream jobs that come along in life and this was definitely one of those. It was fun, and challenging, and it gave me exactly what I needed at the right point in time. If anything, I’ve very glad it lasted as long as it did. I am thrilled and honoured that I was trusted to give this publication a fresh voice. And with the help of a great team of people, I think we definitely created something special.

All that being said, I’m not feeling too shattered about this new development. I think this is largely because I’ve been working freelance for so long that I am better equipped to accept the highs and lows, the feasts and famines, that goes hand in hand with this line of work. ANYWAY. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to reveal publicly and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen with the publication in the future. In my own head I’ve probably assumed too much already. I am however, still gainfully employed with the parent company, and my other gig with our local paper is still intact.

It is exciting to wonder what the future will bring. I also would like to thank all the Fishies who supported me during this part of my journey, whether it was with a retweet, a recommendation, or a listening ear. THANK YOU! xo


10 Responses to "Things that grow (including myself)"

1 | Lorrie Douthwright

April 6th, 2015 at 2:30 pm


whew…is that all!? I thought you were pregnant. :)

Congratulations on a job well done. I look forward to hearing about your new adventures.

2 | andrea tomkins

April 6th, 2015 at 2:35 pm


OMG. Lorrie! The thought never entered my mind!>!>!!>

I am dying of laughter over here. Thank you. :)

3 | Amanda Jette Knox

April 6th, 2015 at 3:10 pm


You were so damn good at running Capital Parent, and I’m sorry you’re no longer a part of it. But as a fellow freelancer, I have to believe that something even better is waiting right around the corner for you, and that your experience running that publication is going to make you a shoe-in for it. That’s always been my experience, anyway. :) Keep on growing and shining, Andrea!

4 | Kate S

April 6th, 2015 at 5:11 pm


It was a pleasure to work with you on CP, and you can give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.]. I’m nostalgic too – going to go and browse all those covers :)
Onward and upward!

5 | Lynn

April 7th, 2015 at 7:00 am


Me too – you did such an amazing job of bringing a new voice and personal touch to CP. Thanks so much for letting me be a part of it – it’s meant so much to me these past two years. I know there’s only greatness to come for you!

6 | Misty Pratt

April 7th, 2015 at 9:20 am


Ah – I was wondering what was going on!! Although I only worked with you very briefly, I really enjoyed reading Capital Parent and thought you were doing an amazing job. All the best in whatever new pursuits come your way!

7 | Gwen

April 7th, 2015 at 9:40 am


The life of a freelancer, right? :)

You were (are!) an amazing editor, Andrea. You really did bring Capital Parent to a whole new level. It was always a pleasure to work with you on CP and I know the next stop for you is going to be even better. Excited to hear what that is when it happens!

8 | andrea tomkins

April 8th, 2015 at 8:34 am


Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all of your kind words. I am confident something else awaits around the corner. It’s just a matter of time. :)

9 | Rebecca

April 8th, 2015 at 9:48 am


You were such a fantastic editor at CP! I loved everything you did but have no doubt something else fabulous will come your way!

10 | Tudor

April 8th, 2015 at 10:01 am


If you ever start something up on your own, let me know. I’ve often thought there’s scope for a certain kind of magazine / paper / website but I never wanted to go it alone. I’m sure there are enough like-minded (or just-different-minded-enough-to-keep-it-interesting!) writers around that we could make something together …

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. 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.

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