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About Life, Fun Stuff

Those Su-hu-mmer Ni-hiiiights!

As we reach the second half of the summer, finding cool, indoor activities to do while we nurse our sunburns and dry our swimsuits begins to sound very appealing. What better, more affordable way to kill some time on a long afternoon than to watch some favorite summer classic movies you’d all but forgotten about? Beyond a Disney marathon, here are a few timeless gems you may have forgotten you love:

For Families:
The Goonies
Cool Runnings
Jumanji
The Neverending Story
The Princess Bride
Polyanna
The Parent Trap
The Labyrinth
Bend It Like Beckham
The Three Amingos!
She’s The Man
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Camp Nowhere
Ella Enchanted
The Newsies
E.T.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Napoleon Dynamite
Hook
The Wizard of Oz
Pirates of the Carribbean
Ghostbusters
Pink Panther (Old or new)
Galaxy Quest
The Odd Couple

For Teens & Adults:
The Breakfast Club
16 Candles
Jurassic Park
Clueless
Rocky, Rocky II, III, IV, V, & Rocky Balboa
You’ve Got Mail
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Ferris Bueller’s Day off
The Blues Brothers
Grease
Airplane!
Mrs. Doubtfire

So grab some popcorn and a popsicle, and enjoy a cool blast from the past- you may discover a new all-time favorite!


About Life, Events & News, Giving Blood

Check Out Our New Hispanic TV Campaign

The Hispanic community is growing and quickly become the majority population throughout the state of Texas. In order to better target this growing demographic, get ready for a campaign targeted specifically to the Hispanic community! Check out our new Spanish commercials on our YouTube channel.

In addition to launching our new Hispanic campaign, Univision is hosting a blood drive this weekend at Town East Mall in Mesquite, TX.  Choose a time below to schedule an appointment or visit our donor portal to search for other community blood drives or donor centers in your area.

Drive times:

7/18:      12:00pm-6:00pm
7/19:      10:00am-6:00pm
7/20:      12:00pm-6:00pm


Giving Blood, Great.info

Common Myths about Blood Donation: Pt 2

This week we’re continuing our review of common myths about blood donation and addressing a few more interesting questions we’ve come across.

 

Myth: Donation takes a long time; I need to set aside half my day to donate blood

Fact: The actual donation portion of a whole blood donation only takes 5 to 10 minutes. Overall, a whole blood donation takes under an hour from start to finish. While platelet, plasma and double red blood cell donations take longer than a whole blood donation, the whole process only takes about 2 hours. Keep the process swift by setting an appointment ahead of time to ensure there is a minimal wait.

 

Myth: I can’t donate if I’ve just been to the dentist

Fact: It is perfectly acceptable to donate blood after seeing the dentist as long as you only underwent a standard procedure such as a cleaning. If an infection was present, wait until you complete your antibiotics before you donate again. Call your local Carter BloodCare donation center to learn the most up-to-date eligibility requirements regarding oral surgeries.

 

Myth: Blood donation will cause me to gain weight

Fact: Blood donation does not cause weight gain. In fact, the process your body undergoes to replace the blood or plasma that you donate actually burns additional calories. While this calorie burn is not significant or frequent enough to actually cause weight loss, it certainly does not cause any weight gain, either.

 

Myth: I am not eligible to donate blood if I am taking birth control or fertility treatments.

Fact: You are eligible to donate if you are taking birth control or fertility pills. However, if you are pregnant or recently gave birth, you must wait until 6 weeks after the “Birthday” to donate blood. If you still want to do your part in your community during that time, consider becoming a volunteer at one of our mobile drives or donor centers.

 

For any other blood donation myth inquires, please call Carter BloodCare at 1-888-480-8200 or Metro 817-412-5603.


Fun Stuff, Great.info

Top 10 Ways to Enhance Your S’more Experience

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Independence day is coming fast, and you know what that means! People all over the state will be firing up their grills and settling into their lawn chairs to watch those commemorative fireworks. So as long as you’re out barbecuing those burgers, brats and veggies, why not put a little extra pizzazz in that summer classic, the S’More? Here are ten easy ways to make your barbecue the best on the block:

  1. Assemble the whole S’Mores without roasting your mallow, then wrap them in foil wrap and place them on the grill or even in the coals like a baked potato for about 4-6 minutes. Pull them out with tongs and unwrap with care- the chocolate will be melted and the marshmallow will roast evenly- even the crackers will be toasted!
  2. Add some texture- instead of a plain chocolate bar, try different types of candy bars with puffed rice in them for extra fun crunch
  3. Gourmet chocolates- now you can get all kinds of flavored chocolates at your local grocery stores, so dress up this blue-collar dessert with some classy cabernet chocolate, or cinnamon spiced chocolate.
  4. Add fruit- what goes better with chocolate, caramel and graham crackers than bananas? Simply slice them thin and put them between the chocolate and the marshmallow.
  5. Add peanut butter- really any nut spread will take this dessert to the next level!
  6. Double up- when possible, use 2 skewers or a 2-pronged skewer to keep your mallow from falling off
  7. Hot day? If your chocolate bars melt, snip off the corner and squeeze it onto your cracker like toothpaste
  8. Canned frosting- spread it on the cracker beneath or instead of the chocolate bar. Experiment with flavors! Ever had a strawberry s’more?
  9. Bacon- grill off strips of crispy bacon to sandwich into the rest of your s’more
  10.  Salty sweet- If you like salted caramel, layer a few plain potato chips into your S’More- or if that’s too adventurous for you, just sprinkle a touch of salt onto the chocolate before you add your marshmallows.

And if you don’t have a grill, no problem! Simply line the bottom crackers, chocolate and marshmallows on a cookie sheet and place them in an oven set to 350° on BROIL for 3-5 minutes, or until the mallow is as dark as you like it. Then carefully place the tops on and enjoy your indoor S’Mores!


Fun Stuff

Carter BloodCare’s Boredom Busters

Summer is upon us, and for many people that means vacation. But more and more people are staying local for their days off, and that can mean a lot of down time. So what is there to do in Texas when you have a few hours to kill?

First, there are so many places to visit. Love arts and culture? Many museums offer massive discounts for admission, especially on Tuesday mornings. Even some area museums, such as the African American Museum located in Fair Park or the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection, always offer free admission. Search for discounts to other hot locations, such as the Fort Worth Zoo or the Dallas Arboretum too!

Dallas is always busy, so there’s never a shortage of fun activities to discover! Whether it’s swimming at a public pool, participating in Peace, Love, Run 5K, visiting your favorite outdoor festival or seeing The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, Dallas is brimming with fun-filled activities for you and your family. Consider visiting the Waco Mammoth Museum or the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose for even more family fun!

Mix it up- you may have more routine things still on your list, but you can even take those honey-dos from the mundane to the exciting if you broaden your scope a little. Need to find produce that inspires a change in your usual meal schedule? Visit the Tyler Farmer’s Market and start there. Feel like eating out instead? Check out some Texas-favorite restaurants for a change in pace. You may just find a treasure hidden between a nail salon and a dry cleaner!

And of course, the best way to spend a little spare time is helping others. You can volunteer at a local shelter or food pantry or, better yet, donate your time to your nearest Carter BloodCare donor center and save a few lives with part of your afternoon.


Great.info, Testimonials & Stories

A Donor’s Review: The True Story of Blood Donation

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Written by: Susanna Thomas – Platelet Donor

As soon as I walked into the door of my local Carter BloodCare location, I was greeted by a friendly staff member behind the desk, who asked me for my driver’s license. After checking me in, she handed me a brightly colored informational booklet. It’s a riveting read, really − an epic tale of global maladies and medical restrictions. Next, I was led into a cozy little room with a friendly young woman who stuck a thermometer in my mouth and a blood pressure cuff on my arm in a single motion. It was remarkable.

After declaring me healthy (so far anyway), she left me alone to take a survey of my afflictions and behaviors. I was guided, one yes or no question at a time, through a tour of my own life-choices including travels, tattoos, and medical experiences. I must confess taking this test was one of my favorite parts of donating blood, because it made me feel pretty healthy to know all the illnesses and treatments I haven’t had. Following the third degree, I notified my overseer and she came in to administer the final test: the dreaded finger prick. I was nervous, because I’d gotten this far before and been turned away for having low hemoglobin levels, but I’d been scarfing spinach and steaks for three days in preparation for this, and soon I was on my way to the big time!

Before I was seated, I was asked if I wanted to watch a movie on a portable DVD player. Did I? What luxury! Alas, I had not come prepared for this, though, and with dismay I told my phlebotomist I had not brought a movie to watch. He opened a drawer, and lo and behold, a veritable cornucopia of DVDs. I hesitated a moment, torn between Friends season 4 and Cool Runnings, but my decision was made for me when I saw Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde.

I quickly slid into a recliner- now, allow me a moment if you will to talk about these chairs. These recliners are so comfortable, I don’t know how it’s classified as medical equipment. It wouldn’t surprise me if I was told I could buy one at a cushy electronics store in the mall! Anyway, I sank into this ergonomic cloud with my DVD player and headphones as my phlebotomist prepared my arm. By the time the needle even made an appearance, I was so engrossed in Elle Woods’s hijinks that it was over before I could flinch. I was giving platelets, so I had time to finish my whole movie, and then I got a choice, green or blue sticky wrap- of course I went with blue.

After a brief instructional, “Did you know you get points you can trade in for prizes and raffle entries? Isn’t that cool?”, I made my way over to the heroes’ circle, where I selected from a variety of complementary juices, crackers, cookies and granola bars. Carter BloodCare does not cut corners, either. The options were varied and no generic off-brands in sight; the classiest of offerings.  I kicked back to enjoy my well-earned snack and caught up on the latest scandals in Hollywood.

Donating at Carter BloodCare is the only way I know to get some “me” time: relaxing with a movie totally guilt-free, all while saving lives!


Events & News, Great.info, Health

Product Review: Keeping you Quenched

ID-10050881It is getting HOT out there, Texas! And because your best health is our business, we decided to do a product comparison to help you find the best drinks to stay hydrated in that 100°+ heat.

“Basic” Water:The best thing about this is that it is less expensive in most cases than any alternative, and the most available. Disadvantages are that it is flavorless. If you re-fill a water bottle, be sure to wash it out often to avoid mildew and bacteria growth.

“Smart” water – What’s the difference?  Other than the price, bottled brands that advertise some kind of improvement over regular water are usually referring to “enhancing” the water through a process of adding electrolytes and/or other nutrients. This is advertised to provide all the hydrating advantages of a sports drink without the sugar and flavors.

Sports Drinks – Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade were initially formulated to encourage efficient hydration for athletes. They have been enhanced with electrolytes and vitamins, and flavored, made sweet with sugar and colored to be more appealing. The advantage of the sugary flavoring is that it may make it easier for you to drink more of the sports drink than “boring”, flavorless water.

Sugar-Free Sports Drinks – The advantage of the sugar-free sports drinks is that you are provided all the advantages of sugary sports drinks without the calories. The disadvantage is that there are ongoing studies about the potential side effects of drinking a lot of those sugar alternatives such as sucralose (Splenda) and Aspartame, such as headaches. Also, there is often an aftertaste of those sugar alternatives. Still, certain flavors have much less aftertaste than others. An acidic flavor such as lemon seems to minimize the aftertaste of sucralose, so if you are sensitive to that aftertaste, you may want to try the Lemon options.

Coconut Water – This is one drink that is relatively new on the market, and is particularly popular in the earth-friendly, organic foods markets. It is the water from inside a coconut packaged to drink, and naturally contains high levels of potassium and electrolytes, which are excellent for hydration. There is a small amount of natural sugar, but still less than in most sports drinks or sodas. It tastes slightly sweet and kind of nutty, but this drink is pretty pricey, so you’re definitely paying for the benefits, and it still does have some calories to it, so keep that in mind.

Lemonade/fruit punch – These drinks are often appealing and refreshing on a hot day. This is likely because studies have been shown that some acidity in a beverage causes our palates to feel quenched; this is one reason they add phosphoric acid to so many popular drinks. These drinks usually contain high levels of sugar, however, and are not fortified with many of the nutrients and electrolytes that sports drinks offer, so they are no more hydrating than plain water even though they may taste more refreshing.

Sodas – Most of the advantages and disadvantages of Lemonade and Fruit Punch can be said for sodas. They are high in sugar or sugar alternative, but refreshing all the same. What you want to watch out for is caffeine content- caffeine can actually cause you to become dehydrated more quickly, so when it is in a beverage, it is cancelling out any hydrating benefits you might get from the drink. So if you are really craving sweet, carbonated goodness on a hot day, at least try to choose one of the caffeine- free sodas.