About me

Hi! I’m DaniGirl, typing madly in Manotick, Canada. That’s just a wee bit south of Ottawa, the nation’s capital. I’ve been blogging about raising a family in Ottawa since 2005. I’m inspired by my three (not so) little boys named Lucas, Simon and Tristan, and my Beloved, who after all these years is still just a little bit mystified by my compulsion to share our lives with the interwebs.

I’m also a freelance photographer. You can see some of my best pictures on my photography site, Mothership Photography. I particularly love candid portraiture and “storytelling” portraits of families and kids, so please do get in touch if you’re looking for a photographer with a playful streak and an overdeveloped sense of the delightful.

More than 850 of my best photographs are also available for license on Getty Images, where they’ve been used as book covers, in magazines like Good Housekeeping and Macleans, by brands like WalMart, Dell Computers, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Sainsbury’s Bank, FedEx, Cosmopolitan, Lonely Planet, Business Week, Microsoft, and the Wall Street Journal, and even on the cover of our local Yellow Pages directory. You can see some of the other ways they’ve been used in my commercial gallery.

In 2009 – 2010, I took one photo each day for an entire year, called it Project 365 and blogged the whole thing. That was so much fun I did it again in 2011. And 2012. And I still try to take or post a new picture every day.

365:365 Fini!

I also have a day job: I manage the social media programs for a big Canadian government department. I’ve been working in government communications for more than a decade, and specializing in social media for a good portion of that time. This is probably where I should include the standard disclaimer: all four million, three hundred thousand and eighty two of these opinions, insecurities and peccadilloes are mine, and do not reflect those of my employer.

I love to teach, to talk and to connect with people. (Actually, I just love a captive audience!) Here are some of the conferences, panels and webinars where I’ve discussed social media from both personal and professional perspectives:

  • Social Media Practitioners Summit (moderated a panel discussion with members from Treasury Board Secretariat and the Privy Council Office on the direction of social media in the Government of Canada, April 2014)
  • Tips for parenting in an online world: An introduction to Internet safety for kids (a presentation to parents of Centennial Public School via their school council, June 2013)
  • Social Capital Conference 2013 (on Copyright in Canada and how to use images on the Web without getting sued)
  • Government 2.0 Reaching Canadians Online (one of four government social media panelist in a webinar hosted by CPRS and Cision)
  • Social Media in Government Ottawa 2012 (Allied Learning Institute)
  • Social Capital Conference 2011 (on choosing the right social media tools for your business)
  • Social Media in Government Vancouver 2011 (Allied Learning Institute)
  • Social Media in Government Ottawa 2010 (Allied Learning Institute)
  • Blog Out Loud Ottawa in 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Third Tuesday Ottawa 2007 (on marketing to “mommy bloggers”)
  • Association for Research on Motherings’s Motherlode Conference 2006 (“Mama’s Got a Brand New Blog: The Rise of the Weblog and its Impact on Mothering”)

Here’s a few of the appearances, accolades and awards that the blog and I have garnered:

The blog was shortlisted as one of the top five blogs (among more than a hundred nominations) in both the Best Family and Parenting Blog and Best Blog about Life categories of the 2014 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Capital Parent Newspaper featured Postcards from the Mothership in the column “Parent Blogs We Love” in May 2014. They said, “If you want to be inspired and entertained, there’s no better place on the web to be than Postcards from the Mothership.”

OttawaStart.com, a great source of info for all things Ottawa, listed this in its biennial list of Ottawa’s “essential” blogs in 2009, 2011, and again in 2013.

I was invited to contribute an article and photos for the Summer 2013 Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine feature entitled “Why I blog.

In the fall of 2012, Ottawa Family Living magazine commissioned an article and some photographs, and my article about living in Manotick appeared in the December 2012 edition.

The blog earned a 3rd place finish in the Art and Photography category of the 2012 Ninjamatics Canadian Weblog Awards.

In January 2012, CBC radio’s The Sunday Edition aired a 27-minute documentary by Ira Basen called Monetizing Mommyhood, where I was interviewed along with some bloggers I truly admire. The documentary examined some of the issues around social media, sponsorship and authenticity that I’ve often discussed here on the blog through the years.

In September 2011, Canadian Living magazine named Postcards from the Mothership as blog of the month. They said,

Danielle Donders is a photographer, mother of three, and blogger extraordinaire. Read about her funny adventures in motherhood on Postcards from the Mothership, where she posts almost daily from her home in Manotick, Ontario. Moms in the national capital region will find the blog to be a great resource for local family events.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, I was one a few bloggers from throughout Canada blogging for Fisher-Price Canada through their Fisher Price Ambassador promotion with Mom Central Canada.

In January 2011, Postcards from the Mothership won third place in the Humour category of the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards. It was also nominated in the Best Family Blog and Best Written Blog categories.

In December 2010, SweetMama.ca listed Postcards from the Mothership as one of Ottawa’s five best family blogs.

In May of 2010, Canadian Family Magazine included Postcards from the Mothership as one of their Top 49 Mommy Blogs. (Back in April of 2009, I was a guest blogger for their Family Jewels blog, and was invited to return as a repeating guest blogger in July of 2010.)

On July 22, 2009 I was interviewed by Adrian Harewood on CBC Radio Ottawa’s afternoon show, All in a Day, about Project 365, my one-photo-every-day-for-a-year project. They asked me back again when I completed the project in January 2010!

In February 2009, I was one of ten finalists in Mabel’s Labels “Send a Blogger to BlogHer” contest

Smuggler’s Notch resort in Vermont was so satisfied with my blog postsof a trip they sponsored in the summer of 2007 that they commissioned an article — my first print publishing credit! — based on my review for their Explore magazine.

The blog and I were featured in “Moms Who Blog,” an article from
Canadian Family Magazine, June 2007

“In vitro we trust” was an article that featured our convoluted (in)fertility history and the state of reproductive technologies in Canada, from Chatelaine magazine, May 2007. (I blogged about it here.)

“Blogging for Dollar$” was an article that referenced my blog and decision whether or not to take advertising, from the Ottawa Citizen, October 2006

In June of 2006, we took a three-day vacation in Quebec City, and my recap of the trip was cited in the National Geographic Traveler Magazine special feature on Quebec City.

The blog earned a Silver 2nd place finish in the Family Blogs category of the 2006 , 2007 and 2009 Canadian Blog Awards.

In January of 2006, Andrea from a peek inside the fishbowl invited me and two other bloggers to be a part of a feature on the CJOH News at Noon about blogging. That was so much fun that two months later in March of 2006 the host, Leanne Cusack, invited Andrea and Kristina and I back to the CJOH studio to do a call-in panel about blogging for the News at Noon.

Postcards from the Mothership earned a Weblog Award nomination for Best Parenting Blog in both 2005 and in 2007.

I was very proud to be awarded 3rd place in the Best New Blog category (Rick Mercer won it!) and nomination for Best Personal Blog in the 2005 Canadian Blog Awards.

Way, way back, after I had been blogging but a single month, the Ottawa Citizen ran a Saturday article called “New Kid on the Blog,” featuring snippets from 28 mommy and parenting blogs for the 28 days of February – including my first-ever blog entry. (Imagine my delight!) The article has long since disappeared, but I kept a copy for my own personal archives.

(How lucky am I?)

46:365 Me

15 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Dani,

    You probably don’t need any more praise, but I have to tell you I just discovered your blog and I can’t stop reading… I have just moved back to Ottawa after 14 years away leaving some dear friends and my sister on the west coast. Anyway I came across the blogging article in Canadian Family about this great “mommy blogger from Ottawa- mommeh”. So after 2 blue days in Ottawa, it is past midnight, i am still on west coast time, I have been reading your posts and they are making me feel a whole lot better about my move. The vibe I get is that Ottawa is a great place for kids, for moms who are thinkers, for family and fun.

    Oh, and your Rideau Centre post, too funny. Your Cannamore post, i think we will go this week… it goes on

    I will keep reading. Not blogging just yet, my computer is still in storage.


  2. Thanks, Maggie!! For one thing, if you keep reading you’ll see that I ALWAYS need more praise – so feel free to keep it coming! *grin*

    Second, welcome to Ottawa, it IS a great place for kids, and for moms, too.

    Other great mom-bloggers here in Ottawa include:


    Also, check out the Ottawa Start kids guide at http://ottawastart.com/kids.php for some good family resources.

    Thanks again for your comment. It made my day!

  3. You are real… thanks for the quick response. As I said I would be reading. My daughter is sleeping and my new secret thing to do instead of dishes, laundry, my resume, unpacking etc. is to read your blog. But, now that I am getting into this I have a question for you about blogging, how do you customize a blog. I did a blog with Blogger last year with my grade 3 class, but I just used a template, it wasn’t really me. Now i am thinking that I want to start my own mom-blog. In fact, I brain stormed about 25 topics to write about, but I am not sure where to begin. Any advice. Oh, and thanks for the other Ottawa mom blog links.


  4. Your 2006 comments on kid snacks (especially about those objectionable juice boxes) are spot on. Thanks.

    Larry Skarin
    Rochester, New York, USA

  5. Hi Dani!

    Nice to meet you. I found your blog from a friend, Guillermo Ziegler and foud it great for me as a mom of 1 year old, and new resident of Gatineau next july.

    Count on me as one more reader,

    Nice day!

  6. Hey Dani!

    I just discovered your blog. I was looking for info on ttv photography and your “how to” popped up. I must say that it was an ingenious idea for the wine holder. Out of curiosity, which LCBO did you get the extra large wine bottle carrier from? My local one doesn’t have it and I don’t want to drive all around Ottawa looking for it.

    I have spent all afternoon reading various posts when I should have been working. *shhh don’t tell my bosses* You have made me laugh so loud with your “ass over teakettle” comment about riding your bicycle to work that I was afraid I would have been caught.

    You have a new reader.

  7. Hey Dani!

    I finally got around to making my TtV contraption, although I had to make on minor modification I had to use two wine bottle holders. I have only one lens and just the one bottle holder doesn’t allow for enough room to focus. I have two shots that I have up on my blog (it isn’t very good). My first “successful” attempt and a few more later.

  8. Hi Dani!

    Thanks for the tweet on Calypso! It sure looks like a blast.. It is pricey but since I am native of Ottawa will be staying for free at the grandparents figure we can splurge on the fun stuff!

    Love your articles as well! Ottawa is for sure my home away from home!


  9. Just wanted to say hello from another Ottawa mom-blogger! I love your blog, especially the birthday party post. I have two boys, one born a week before Christmas, one a week after. I struggle each year to come up with something for them that allows their birthday to stand out from Christmas. Your post was great. We love the XBox party idea….didn’t even know that existed!

    Thanks again,

  10. Hey there Danielle! Stumbled on your site from the Canadian Web Blog awards and just wanted to say it’s great. Looking forward to catching up on more of your entries in my ‘spare time’ (which right now is non-existent).

  11. Hi! I just found you. I’ve been blogging since 2006 and I live in Ottawa West (near Andy Haydon Park). I blog every day but mostly for writing practice and not monetary gain (but I wouldn’t say no…).

    Anyway, I just wanted to out myself. I now have a shiny new subscription to your blog and I’m looking forward to reading more.

    Just a sidenote, my husband Scott is from Manotick. I don’t know how many magical mystery tours we go on through town: “this is where I had my first car accident”, “this is where I kissed my dentist’s daughter”, this is where I sank the boat…” Sigh.

  12. Hi Dani and all other Ottawa bloggers (and everyone in fact),

    Just wanted to say hello and thanks for the inspiration. I’m also a writer. For the past five years, I’ve been doing mostly erotic short stories. Recently however, I branched off to do some (what I’d call) relationship satire. Think of it as Cosmo’s version of a mommy blog – with cats. Kinda weird, but that’s just me.

    I live in Ottawa South right near the Walmart. I occasionally get out to Manotick but it’s usually in the dead of night to pick up my teenage daughter from a party or something. Gotta get there sometime to do something productive, like shopping LOL.

    Anyway Dani, I love your stories. You put a smile on my face. And I love the photography too. Keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep reading. 🙂

  13. Hi Dani! I accidentally found your blog this morning, and must admit that it’s an easy read, and well written articles. Put my blog to shame. 😉
    Keep up the good work!
    Orleans Blogger and owner of Bibmababy.com

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