Google+ Haband: 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Haband Holiday Party

Some more fun times from the home office... We had our annual Holiday Party last Wednesday night to celebrate another successful year and to reward everyone's hard work.

We had a semi-formal dinner at Macaluso's in Hawthorne, NJ, and if you ever get the opportunity to attend a function there, I would strongly recommend attending. The food was outstanding and the variety of things to choose was very impressive as well! While I'm not the most adventurous person when it comes to eating, those colleagues of mine who are said everything was superb!

Once the tables were cleared, the dance floor came alive. Like dancing at most parties, two women started things off (ahem, Bonnie L. & Mildred R.). They had the floor to themselves for about a minute before others started joining. But as soon as two joined, 4 more followed and before you know it, the floor was packed! The DJ kept the music playing throughout the night and a good GREAT time was had by all.

Please enjoy some pictures from that night and let us know how you're celebrating the holidays this year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby, it's (not so) cold outside (anymore)

More good things happening at Haband this Holiday Season - in November, we participated in the 15th Annual Jersey Cares Coat Drive. We put collection bins near our cafeteria with a request to our associates to contribute any new or "gently used" coats for local residents in need.

Throughout the month, I monitored the progress of our collections each day and was, at first, surprised how slowly it seemed to be going. I questioned the people in charge of the effort and quickly learned that they were emptying the bins sometimes twice a day as they were filling up so fast!

In the end, the turn out was overwhelming! We collected nearly 400 coats - and considering that there are a little more than 100 people in the office, I'd say it was a huge success!

Jersey Cares has been collecting coats for the past 14 years for at-risk men, women, & children. They have collected and distributed over 50,000 coats throughout these years and have had numerous companies, churches, schools and other organizations helping out with both collections and distribution. Fore more information about their worthy cause, click here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Want to Improve Your Memory? Read on!

We installed a new feature to this week and couldn't wait to tell everyone about it! We've been working with a very talented group of game designers in nearby Ramsey, NJ called All Things Media. We've signed with them to produce 3 games for us for as a starter, but hope to do many more!

The first game we have finished is a classic memory game, like Concentration®. We've designed it to look like Duke's desk with images of some of our great products, some free gifts, and an old-time pocket watch that will keep your time. See snapshot below...

We have several of our top-selling brand logos on flipped-over cards. To play, you have to flip the cards over one-by-one and remember where the matches are. You are competing against the clock and you want to improve your time through each level. The further you go in the game, the better the prizes get. And we are giving away some pretty cool free items (with purchase of course), but you have to play the game to find out exactly what.

Click over to and give it a try - it's very addicting so don't blame me if you lose track of time. Drop a note on our blog here and let us know how what you think about it and what your best time was.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Treats

This Summer, we had our annual company picnic and, in addition to some great BBQ, we hosted several contests. One of which was a bake-off where several participants brought in their finest desserts. There were four categories: Cookies, Pie, Cupcakes, & Cake. I'm going to share with you the winning recipe for the Cupcake category in hopes that you'll try it and enjoy as much as we did!

This recipe comes from Lisa B., our non-apparel re-buyer who's been with us for a little over a year.

Red Velvet Cupcakes Stuffed With Chocolate Mouse,
Dipped In Chocolate Ganache.

Red Velvet Cake

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and food coloring. Add the paste to the shortening mixture. Sift the flour and salt together over parchment. Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions. Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the baking soda and vinegar. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes from the pans.

Chocolate Mousse

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup milk chocolate

Chop chocolate and place in small mixing bowl. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. (A double boiler is a small pot of water on the stove, place to small mixing bowl into the pot so it is in the water but not touching the bottom of the pot.) Heat and stir until completely melted. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar until semi - stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate gently until all is combined.

  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • ½ cup milk chocolate
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Chop chocolate and place in large mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream to just before a boil. Pour heavy cream over chocolate, let sit for 2 minutes and whisk together to form a thick smooth chocolate sauce.

Putting it all together

After your cupcakes are cooled off, place the chocolate mousses in a zip lock bag and cut off the tip. Create a small hole in the top of your cupcake and fill with mousse. Make your chocolate ganche and dip the cupcakes in the ganche after they are filled. You can decorate the top with sprinkles or anything you would like.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving = Giving Back

For most of my time here at Haband, on the last Wednesday of November, we've been greeted at the door on our way home with a hearty handshake and a fresh turkey for our Thanksgiving supper. But last year, the suggestion was made to give everyone Black Friday off instead, so that they could get a head start on their holiday shopping if they wanted, or just spend the extra day with family. Thing was, on Monday when we all returned to the office, everyone seemed to be a little sad to have seen the end of an 80-year old tradition.

So this year, we're mixing things up again. In addition to getting Black Friday off, we're also bringing back the turkey! Just not for us! I'll explain...

We had a food drive where all the departments put together baskets for the local food banks. We collected canned corn, bags of potatoes, stuffing, pie fillings, and all the good things that make up a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing that we did not have to supply was a turkey. So Haband chipped in and put a nice, large, fresh turkey with every basket collected!

Our strongman and Jack-of-all-trades, George, hand delivered all the food and baskets of goodness to the local food bank, Center for Food Action, where he reported, that dozens of locals had come out to help sort, store and ultimately distribute the bounty to anyone in need this holiday season. He commented that it was very organized and quite a large operation.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say that Haband was Thankful for not only getting to enjoy a day off but also for the opportunity to help provide a Happy Thanksgiving to those in the community that could use one the most. This holiday season, I'd ask that everyone give thanks for the good things in their life, but take any opportunity you can to help those who need more.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Comfort Food

I have been soliciting ideas from fellow Haband'ers for our blog and have been getting some great content. The first of which I'd like to share comes from Cate, our intrepid copy writer and Haband employee for 20 years! She tells the tale of some great home cooking that she grew up with and wanted to share her mom's recipe with all of you -- hope you enjoy!


Well, here in the Northeast, the autumn leaves have almost completely fallen, it turned really cool over the weekend, and the frost is definitely on the pumpkin! Time for a fire in the wood stove and some nice, home-cooked comfort food!

What constitutes comfort food? It's something that tastes really yummy, of course, something that reminds you of your childhood, and something makes the house smell fantastic!

Next question: What to make? The first recipe that came to mind was a wonderful scalloped potato and pork casserole that my Mom used to make when I was a kid.

We lived in a rural area with lots of woods and neighbors who owned horses. In the fall and winter, we'd play in the woods, go horseback riding, or sledding, and really work up an appetite! After hours outdoors, (no TV or video games for us) our cheeks would be all rosy and we'd be chilled to the bone. Then we'd come into our house and be greeted by the amazing aroma of Mom's casserole! Such a welcome, comforting smell. And the taste was even better!

I've taken Mom's recipe and lightened it up a bit. It still has all the delicious flavor of her original, but a fraction of the fat and calories. It’s also fairly easy to make.

I suggest you make this recipe for someone special, and guaranteed, they'll feel loved and comforted indeed!

Potato and Pork Chop Casserole
  • 4-6 lean pork chops (boneless or with bone in), trimmed of fat
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 cups potatoes, with skins on, thinly sliced
  • 1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 375ยบ F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.
  2. Trim fat from chops and season with salt and pepper and brown lightly in oil in skillet.
  3. Place chops in the bottom of baking pan. Layer with onions and then potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine soup with water, mixing well. Pour over top.
  5. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, continue baking for 15 minutes more.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Servings: 4-6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

They don't make 'em like this anymore

Here's a classic! I found this beauty parked at Pennings Orchard in Warwick on my way to work this morning. I couldn't drive by without stopping for some pictures. It's decked out with a nice Fall display from their recent apple harvest season, but will soon be covered in garland and Christmas trees. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Office Pranks

One of the best parts of working at Haband are the lighthearted pranks people play on each other around here. I recently changed the layout of my office by removing a big, un-used file cabinet and brought in a table and chairs: my own version of a mini-conference table.

To my surprise, when I returned from an extended weekend, I found my new table arranged for a party of three complete with 6-piece settings (including salad forks), placemats made from continuous-feed dot-matrix printer paper, and a center piece made from leftover parts we used in an old photo shoot! Tea is at four, one lump or two?

Just remember what they say about paybacks ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Haband's 2nd Annual Halloween Costume Party

Halloween is always a fun time around Haband's Oakland headquarters. Naturally, we held our annual contest competition (congratulations Mike L., your headless man costume was definitely a cut above the rest - hardy har har!).

But this year, we decided to shake things up a bit and added a bowling competition to the mix - in costume of course! John M. and Shenay G. were our best bowlers, but the worst were recognized for their "achievement" as well. However, I wouldn't dream of embarrassing them by giving their names. *cough* Stacy L. & Ross H. *cough*

We even had a baking contest, and you can see a small portion of the entries in the pictures below. (The nice thing about a baking contest is, EVERYONE wins because we all get to enjoy the sweets and treats!) A spooky, sugary, silly time was had by all! Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Halloween Story

A man is walking home alone late one foggy Halloween night, when behind him he hears:




Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.




Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him.







He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him. However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping.




on his heels, as the terrified man runs...

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, he locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door!

Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams --AAAAH-- and reaches for something, anything, but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup!

Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket...


(hopefully you're ready for this!!!)

The COFFIN stops!

Hope you like our little story and you and your families have a Very Happy Halloween!