Category Archives: Community

Opportunities to spread the love, wherever you are!

MUST ATTEND this fall: Art Night East

6th October 2014

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! EAST is almost here!

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! EAST is almost here!

Hello art lovers! Art Educator, Catherine here… 

Welcome to my inaugural post for Happy Handful! Whether you are an art veteran or an art rookie, I hope you will enjoy exploring the Austin art scene with me and maybe even learn a thing or two!

Fall is upon us (finally!), and the city is buzzing with one of the most anticipated art events of the year: EAST (East Austin Studio Tour). Mark your calendars for November 15-16 and 22-23. This two weekend-long art extravaganza is a dizzying array of openings, talks, tours and demonstrations. Even if you dedicate every waking moment of these four days, it will be impossible to see everything packed into this magnificent celebration of local artists. Already overwhelmed? Don’t worry, I’ll give you tips on how to expertly navigate your way through EAST in a later post. BUT, if I’ve wet your appetite you can learn more here.

So, why even bring up EAST? Well, tickets just went on sale for its kickoff party, Art Night EAST, and it is well worth the $55 price tag. Happy Handful is all about getting the most out of life when you are pulled in 100 different directions. If this is you, then this party is right up your alley, next to the bushes you’ve been meaning to trim. The best part–our friends over at Art Alliance Austin have done all the hard work for us! They picked out the hot spots to visit like Big Medium, MASS Gallery, GrayDUCK, and Co-Lab Projects; they invited Austin’s gourmet geniuses Launderette, Sa-Ten, Eden East, Hillside Farmacy and Mettle; AND there will be booze to keep the festive vibe at a maximum and the stuffy art talk at a minimum. To top it off, they will do the driving! Chartered buses will take you from place to place. All for $55!?!? Seem too good to be true? It will be if you don’t buy your tickets soon. I predict this event will sell out, and I predict it will happen fast!

That’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned for more on EAST and other not-to-miss happenings this fall! In the meantime, leave a comment letting me know what your favorite art events are and what inspires you about them. I’d love to hear about it! 

The Peacock and the Goat

23rd September 2014

In Austin, the weather has been gradually improving from extremely hot and dry to moderately warm and humid so the first overcast day we had free, we headed to the Austin Zoo.

Where peacocks and goats get together and chat.

Where peacocks and goats get together and chat.

If you’ve never been there, please go and if you can become a member, do. It’s actually a wildlife sanctuary, which I’m all for because all of the animals are rescued and rehabilitated, some, from horrific circumstances. Like the three-legged wolf who was found chained to a trailer and had to have his leg removed because of the extensive infection and damage from the chain. Really… this stuff happens ALL. THE. TIME. Thankfully, the good people of the Austin Zoo work from a true calling to help animals and more importantly, to educate people about wildlife so you can feel great about your time there. (Bonus tip for parents of small children: They have a large collection of strollers that you can just pick up and borrow for free while you’re there so you don’t have to bring your own.)

Liam's favorite, the tortoises.

Liam’s favorite, the tortoises.

It’s not a huge place so a couple of hours is about all it takes to get through the whole thing. Must sees are, of course, the lions, tigers, bears, wolves and goats. I really love goats. Is that weird? For a long time, Liam was nervous about feeding them but this time he went for it and loved it! My work is complete.

These two became fast friends.

These two became fast friends.


There you have it! If you live in or are visiting Austin, this makes a great half-day trip. As an animal lover, this is a special and important place where I get to teach my kids about  our responsibility to respect and protect wildlife and have fun doing it.


Share your Austin Zoo favorites with us!

Why Happy Handful?

21st September 2014

Back in 2012 when my handful was all Liam.

Back in 2012 when my handful was all Liam.

The idea for this blog began as a bit of an accident.  Like so many parents out there, I often find myself going through a store with my arms full of more items than any one person should ever have to carry.  Picture a car seat (with baby), overflowing diaper bag, caffeinated beverage, the hand of a little boy and perhaps a grocery bag or two.  I assure the check-out clerk that I don’t need help out to my car and waddle myself out the door.  Inevitably, someone will step out of the way to let me through or  observe me passing by and call out some version of “Wow! You’ve got your hands full!”  Maybe I bump into someone I haven’t seen in a while and they’ll look at me and say “Well, I don’t have to ask what you’ve been up to. You have quite a handful!”  It’s a frequent occurrence and mostly I don’t think much of it.  I know plenty of people who juggle way more.

One day, however, a lady remarked on my “handful” with a particularly pitying look on her face and in the most organic and unexpected way, I smiled at her and replied, “Yes, it’s a happy handful.”  She was very surprised at my reaction and it seemed to change her perspective, at least in that brief moment.  I began to think about my little handful and how, at times, I am not connected to that feeling of happiness that they represent.  I spend my share of time complaining about the challenges of raising two little boys and keeping the house in decent shape, spending time with my husband, friends and myself, which usually comes last.  I find myself thinking ahead to less stressful times when the kids are in school and I have more time for everything I don’t have time for now and even wishing away the more dependent phases of their development. This is usually followed by guilt and some reminding of how wonderful and amazing everyone in my life is. Deep breaths… and I move on.

I decided to do something a little different.  What if I spent some time sharing things that inspire me to enjoy life with others?  What if I could stop waiting for that “less busy” time and find more happiness in the life I live TODAY?  What if I could create a community that sparked creativity, motivated people and provided solutions for common challenges?  A place where you go to lighten your load while you enjoy your morning coffee or a glass of wine after a long day.  Thus, Happy Handful was created.  Everything in it is designed to do just that.  It’s for everyone and anyone who has a lot on their plate and wants to enjoy it a little more and wish it away a little less.  A small idea growing and evolving out of a desire to connect people.

Happy Handful. The perfect companion for your morning (or afternoon) jo.

Happy Handful. The perfect companion for your morning (or anytime) joe.

So, come often, leave comments, and share it with your friends and family.  Let’s bring the village back one happy handful at a time.


10th September 2014

typewriterLooks like you’ve arrived at the party a little early!

Happy Handful will begin publishing lots of marvelous content on Sunday, September 21.
In the meantime, take a look at my About page and feel free to contact me with any input or advice on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!