Summer Staycation Tips

Tara Payne Vallin, CEO Add-a-HandleYou don’t need to travel too far from home to have a great time. There are many terrific places right in your neighborhood – or within an hour’s drive or less.

When I’m trying to find a great daycation with my daughter, who is 4, I check out my local newspaper, community Facebook pages or Google info about a variety of family-friendly, fun events that include carnivals, historic re-enactments, street fairs, museums, local artist exhibitions, garden or home tours and tastes of the region.

I’ve found it helps to plan out a few doable activities, leaving time to go off course and find random places to photograph or explore. To maximize your experience (and your daycation budget) pre-pack a soft cooler with a few snacks, drinks, fruit, trail mix, forks and baby wipes! And if you’re bringing your kids along, pack a small bag with age appropriate goodies, like coloring books, crayons, music you all can agree on, sunscreen, hair ties or a baseball cap. Always keep a beach bag ready too, with towels, a small blanket and bathing suits, as your daycation may lead you to an unexpected place to take a dip!

Researching area eateries, including gastro pubs and coffee bars beforehand, using Yelp or another food app is helpful especially if you have picky eaters!

If you come across an extra special place please share it, I keep a list in my phone of cool, unusual or fun destinations to hit during my travels all over the world. I am sure others will appreciate it as well.

And if you see a place that you think would be a great opportunity for Add-a-Handle to be seen or sold, please let me know!

We also welcome your feedback and ideas on how you hook, carry or hold your Add-a-Handle!! As my 4 year old always says “Caring is Sharing.”


Hudson Valley Summer Fun!

The Hermitage Front ViewThe Hudson Valley area has a rich history and some of the most beautiful natural vistas in the country. We put together a range of fun activities for singles, families and couples alike – all doable in an easy day trip. So check out the following events, and discover (or re-discover) the charm and fun of the Hudson Valley Region!

Bergen County, NJ

July 23, 11 am – 6 pm, at The Hermitage, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

It’s Food Truck Day at The Hermitage, a house museum with ties to Hamilton, the Broadway musical! Bring a blanket & chairs to picnic on the grounds, tour this “Hamilton-worthy” site (George Washington camped here and Aaron Burr was married here), enjoy delectable gourmet food from 11 different popular vendors + live music from rotating bands. Admission $5 per car, plus cost of any purchased food, beer, soda, snacks, etc. For more info, click here..

July 30, 10:30AM-3PM, Free Butterfly Day at DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst, NJ

Enjoy butterfly walks and talks throughout the day at the 7th Annual Butterfly Day at the Meadowlands. Experts will be onsite to help identify the various types of butterflies, including Monarchs, Crescents, and Skippers. Kids can take part in numerous free activities such as face painting, crafts, and a butterfly costume contest. DeKorte Park, once destined to be a landfill, is now a beautiful nature preserve and one of the most accessible parks in the area, boasting wide, hard packed trails that allow wheelchairs to pass through. For more information about DeKorte Park and the Free Butterfly Day, click here!

August 13, 11AM-3PM, Bark in the Park @ Overpeck, Ridgefield Park, NJ

Calling all dog lovers! Overpeck County Park wants to celebrate the love of dogs with food, music, and activities all day – especially designed for your pooch! Think your pup is top dog? Enter him in one of the various dog contests and be prepared to win great swag with giveaways! Families and fur babies are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit back and soak up the beauty of this 811 acre park and the canine companions being honored at this special event. Get directions and more info here

August 13, 12PM-9PM, Montclair Jazz Festival @ Nishuane Park, Montclair, NJ

If you’re not a dog person, or you’re looking for a nice way to wind down your dog day, you cannot miss the Montclair Jazz Festival. This is the event of the year in Montclair, drawing a crowd of over 5,000 people to the 17 acre park. Complete with beer garden and discovery zone, this event caters to all ages. Listen to the smooth, melodic sounds of jazz music and get lost in the talent of some of the world’s best known artists (and the local youth, too!). Admission is FREE! For more information, click here.

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Orange County Museum National American Cowboy DayOrange County, NY

July 23, 10AM-4PM, National Day of the American Cowboy @ Orange County Farmers Museum, Montgomery, NY

Visit the Orange County Farmers Museum and join the New York State Horse Council and friends in a day of honoring the American Cowboy. Witness a beautiful opening ceremony honoring our armed forces and then cheer for your favorite horse as they maneuver through an obstacle course competition. Discover the life of the American Cowboy in a way you’ve never done before! Admission is free and the kids are sure to love this one-of-a-kind event. For more information, click here!

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Rockland County, NY

July 16, 11AM-4PM, 237th Anniversary of the Storming of Stony Point, Stony Point, NY

Celebrate the Storming of Stony Point with reenactors hailing from the American, Loyalist, and British Units. Meet with the soldiers and officers who once fought on that very land, and learn about their roles in the event and life during the revolution. Spend the day observing an 18th century encampment, military drills and artillery demonstrations, including muskets, rifles, and cannons. Admission and parking are both FREE! Learn more here.

Family summer funAugust 20, 10AM-12PM, guided Walk at Tallman Mountain State Park, Sparkill, NY

Tallman Mountain State Park lies on the easterly slope of the Palisades uplands and overlooks the Hudson marsh, providing the perfect setting for bird watching and coastal species identification. Join trail guide Jack bloom for a 3 mile guided walk through the park, and connect with the natural landscape that is the Hudson Valley. The walk is an easy-moderate difficulty, so it is recommended small children have a stroller or pack to ride in. Access to the park is $6 per vehicle, but the tour itself is free of charge. To get directions, please follow the link here!

September 15-18, time varies, Italian Feast @ Rockland Lodge 2176, Blauvelt, NY

This may be the Hudson Valley, but at the Italian Feast it will feel more like Italy than New York. The feast is a cross between county fair, food festival, and live concert, serving some of the best Italian dishes on the East Coast and showcasing local Italian talent. The event is so enticing, celebrities have been known to make cameos, just to feel that Italian authenticity that the hosts, the Blauvelt Sons of Italy, pour into the event. No outside food or beverages are permitted, but we promise you won’t miss them. Admission is only $3, and beer and wine are available for purchase. For more details, please click here.

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Westchester County, NY

July 17, 12PM-7PM, Hispanic Heritage Festival, Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla, NY

New York and the Hudson Valley area are a melting pot of diversity. The Hudson River opens its mouth up to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, beacons of liberty for immigrants from all nations. Experience the beauty of this diversity at the Hispanic Heritage Festival in Valhalla, NY. Learn about the Hispanic culture and the history of the Hudson Valley’s Hispanic communities through music, dancing, art, and our favorite, the food! Admission to the event is FREE. For more information follow this link!

July 29, 7:30PM-10:30PM, Big Band on the Boardwalk @ Playland Park, Rye, NY

Playland Park is an obvious choice for the kids, but what about the adults? Milt Gerver and his Big Band Orchestra is here to solve that problem! After an afternoon of theme park fun, spend the evening winding down and dancing to some of the biggest hits from the ‘30s and ‘40s (and even some modern pieces). Don’t forget to bring a chair or blanket and make your way down to the beach for the 9:15 fireworks show! Admission to the event is included in the admission to the park. For further details, click here! 

September 16-18, 10AM-5PM, Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst, Lyndhurst Estate, Tarrytown, NY

Are you tired of seeing the same clothes and trinkets at every store? Banish your boredom at Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst. Set against a backdrop of the beautiful Hudson River, the Lyndhurst Estate once again hosts this semiannual shopping event featuring over 250 modern American artists, designers, and craftspeople. Nearly every piece of merchandise is one-of-a-kind or limited edition and infused with a distinctive personality all its own. The event is also host to culinary creations just as unique and exquisite as the clothes, furniture, jewelry, and crafts being offered. Don’t miss out on opportunities to express your own contemporary creativity! The show boasts a number of tutorials, demonstrations, and interactive exhibits. Admission is $12 for adults, $4 for children 6-16. Find out more by clicking here.

September –Oct 2, 4PM-11PM, Fall Carnival, Mount Vernon, NY

If you’re looking to get an authentic local experience, look no further than Sts Peter & Paul – St. Ursula Church in Fleetwood, NY as they host their 5th Annual Fall Carnival. Experience all the traditional fun of rides, games, and delicious local food with a Hudson charm. Browse the wares offered by local merchants, and maybe even win a prize from the carnival games! Spend quality time with the family while supporting a community pillar. For more information, click here!

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Fairfield County, CT

July 30-31, 10AM-5PM, Stamford Art Festival @ Harbor Point, Stamford, CT

Feed your family’s creative side at Harbor Point this summer. View stunning original pieces from artists across the country ranging from traditional paintings to metalwork sculptures to wearable and decorative fiber. Dine on international cuisine and enjoy live music performances throughout the weekend! If you’re feeling inspired, jump in and participate in one of many hands-on projects offered to patrons. Attend a demonstration and learn about the artists’ creative processes, and don’t forget to stock up on plenty of complimentary art supplies! Parking and admission are FREE! Find out more!

August 13, 12PM-2PM, Shakespeare On the Green and Green Expo, Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT

Come celebrate Shakespeare’s silent hero, Dennis, from his play As You Like It. Dennis has one line in the entire play, “so please you”, that has been turned into its own satirical show produced and performed by The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Come over to the playhouse at noon for food, drinks, and fun, and watch the show beginning at 2PM! Tickets are FREE, but it is recommended that you call and reserve them in advance. For more information and to reserve your tickets, click here!

September 11, 10AM-4PM, 38th Annual Trumbull Arts Festival, Trumbull Town Hall Green, CT

Soak in the arts at the 38th Annual Trumbull Arts Festival in Trumbull, CT! Browse pieces such as sea glass, pearl jewelry, pottery, and accessories from over 70 artists, crafters, and authors from the tristate area. The Festival will also feature a Children’s Creative Center boasting a number of crafts, exhibits, and hands-on activities to keep the kids engaged. Learn about local community groups, their missions, and their impact on the town as you stroll the brick walk. Don’t forget to bring an empty stomach! The Trumbull Arts Festival is host to numerous food vendors offering everything from pizza to crepes and more, and admission is FREE! For more information, click this link!

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This list is just a sample of the cool events happening in and around the Hudson Valley area this summer and early fall. Don’t miss out – start planning your food, cultural, historical, carnival, music and arts adventures now!

A Tool That Stays With You Throughout Life: Add-a-Handle® Launch of Kickstarter Campaign Announced

Chestnut Ridge, New York – We Have it Handled Corp., a leader in lightweight and multi-use carrying aids, announces the launch of their Add-a-Handle® Kickstarter campaign. The campaign aims to raise $70,000 for production runs, to lower Add a Handle cost per piece, branding, SEO, website maintenance, social media management, and keep production in the United States.

With your help, the company will make Add a Handle® affordable to everyone. Add a Handle® is a strong, lightweight plastic handle, ergonomically designed with two removable, adjustable Velcrobuckle straps with easy-pull tabs, and a utility magnet on top. With Velcro® straps available in two lengths – 9 and 19 inches – the product can hold a variety of objects weighing up to 30lbs. In addition, the magnet on the Add a Handle® allows the user to easily attach metal objects.  Plus, the inserts allow the handle to be even lighter, and provides space for companies to add their logo or information to the product.

“This all started when my father needed something to hold his painting materials for a house project.  He had problems holding things due to cramping in his hands caused by Raynaud’s Syndrome,” stated Tara Vallin, CEO.  “From his tinkering with the rudimentary design, this went from a passion project to a sensation faster than we ever imagined. After much hard work, we are excited to get this into the hands of consumers who we know can benefit from using it.”

– See more at:

How To Carry Skis

The easiest means to bring skis for any kind of distance, is to put the skis on your shoulder and hold them with one hand. To do this, the very first point you should do is place the skis with each other.

With the skis standing vertically, hold each ski by the toe housing on the binding. With one ski slightly above the other, placed the skis base to base, and glide the higher ski down along the various other ski until the brakes lock with each other. Having the skis similar to this stops them from splitting up so easily, and makes them a great deal much easier to carry.

When you do this the the ski that was greater when placing the skis with each other, needs to be the bottom ski that rests on your shoulder. To hold the skis in placement, press down gently to the ski tips with the hand on the exact same side as the shoulder the skis are relaxing on.

When carrying skis similar to this kindly beware not to hit any person or anything with the skis. Do not turn the skis around while you walk, as well as know the back of the skis when you walk around corners. With the included problem of strolling in ski boots, as well as through snow, additional treatment should be taken while carrying skis.

Thoroughly take the skis off of your shoulder without hitting anyone or anything, and stand them vertically next to you, holding them with one hand around the area just over the bindings. When you move forwards, just choose the skis up and put them back down with the one hand as if the skis were a big strolling stick.

You could also pick the skis up and bring them while they are upright by holding the toe real estate on the ski that is beneath when you glide the skis together.

How To Function On Crutches

If you suddenly find yourself on a pair of crutches for the first time, you need to do 2 things. The first thing is to learn how you’re going to get around on them, get to know them a bit. The second thing, which could arguably be the first thing, is to come up with some crazy story related to how you got injured in the first place. Come up with something that is so far from the truth because that story of how you tripped over a garbage can and broke your leg isn’t going to score you any points in the cool department. Besides you’re the one that has to tell this story the next few weeks of your life.

Crutches post2Now that we have those two things covered, let’s talk about things you won’t be able to do any time soon. You won’t be able to get things from the attic. You won’t get to go to the gym. You certainly have to be careful cleaning. You most definitely won’t be able to do anyone any favors. (Is it me or does a few weeks on crutches sound like a nice vacation from reality?)

Ok let’s be serious. Crutches are going to get in the way of some of your day to day routines, that’s a give in. One of the things we learned first hand after landing on crutches for a month is that for the majority of the time you’re going to be at home. So some of the simplest things you take for granted when you’ve got two working legs are going to really surprise you. Think about this situation for a second. You’re home watching TV and you suddenly get thirsty. You get up, grab those crutches and hobble on over to the kitchen. You pour yourself a nice big glass of lemonade. All of a sudden you realize that carrying your drink and walking on crutches at the same time in order to get back on the couch just became the hardest thing you’ll have to do today. It was this very instance that we discovered the use for Add-a-Handle with crutches. It’s a pretty simple concept and it certainly doesn’t need instructions. Just take a look the the image above and the next time you find yourself on crutches, remember this advice.

Add-a-Handle® Takes Home Retailers’ Choice Award at 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas

It was May 4th, 2015 and thousands of products made their way through the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center, preparing to showcase their products to a new world of possibilities. Among these thousands of products, were a select few that would earn the right to be called one of the most innovative items displayed at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

Convention QuoteThese products would earn what is called the Retailers’ Choice Award which is a set of awards given out by Hardware Retailing for more than 35 years. Unlike many other product awards, the thing that makes this particular award unique is that the awards are not given by an editorial panel, they are instead selected by a panel of retailers who have real-world experience in identifying unique merchandise that holds the potential for retail sales.

Add-a-Handle® is among the list of winners who took home the Retailers’ Choice Award. Add-a-Handle® is a light-weight and sturdy plastic handle designed with two adjustable Velcro® buckle straps which securely hold desired objects in place. Each strap is equipped with easy to find pull-tabs. Add-a-Handle® has the ability to hold up to 30lbs. This is a product that will prove to be a helping hand for some, and a convenience or necessity for others.

There were a total of 30 products chosen at this years show and each of them had a unique quality about them, making the credibility of this award that much more clear. The way it works is that judges are asked to walk the floor as they usually would and choose products they feel are unique and hold sales potential for their own stores. These judges are not paid, they simply volunteer their time for these awards. Each of the winners of this years awards will be featured in a special Retailers’ Choice section in the July 2015 issue of Hardware Retailing.

  • Add-a-Handle® on Indiegogo: We’re Live!

Add-a-Handle® on Indiegogo: We’re Live!

We’re Live!

Add-a-Handle® is now on Indiegogo.

The time has finally come and we are so excited to be live on Indiegogo right now! If you haven’t yet visited our campaign, click here now!

We want to thank you all for liking our Facebook page, we truly love feedback so please share your ideas and thoughts with us! We are at the beginning of our Indiegogo campaign and are going to need all the support we can get. Please re-post and share our campaign to help get the word out, it’s all about networking!
We also want to say thank you to those of you who already have supported our campaign and believe in this product, it is greatly appreciated!

“Why in the world would ‘I’ need an Add-a-Handle®?” you ask!

Do you carry, hold or hang anything? Well you are in luck Add-a-Handle® can help you then! It is one of those products that everyone should have, like a pocket knife. But someone with Arthritis or hand limitations can actually use Add-a-Handle®, unlike the pocket knife! It is so versatile that it can be used to carry, hook or hold almost any object up to 30lbs, be it to hold a quart size paint can, carry/pour a wine bottle or hold cords while it is attached on an extension ladder!

Take a look at our Uses Page right here to see a ton of pictures of different uses we’ve imagined along the way with the help of some very creative people. We wouldn’t be surprised if come up with some of your own. Please share your ideas with us below!

Check out our Indiegogo Campaign Video below!


Indiegogo Campaign Video


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