Current Obsessions: September 15, 2015



Skincare products with gold.  My love for all things shiny and sparkly dictates that I must use these items packed with golden goodness.  Two of my favorites:  Peter Thomas Roth’s 24K Mask and Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil.  The PTR mask not only helps smooth  the appearance of skin, but it also has a diuretic effect and reduces puffiness and sagging.  The Tatcha Gold Camellia oil works wonders on my skin.  When I apply it before bed, the squalane and camellia extracts ensure I wake up with moisturized, glowing skin.

20150915_151312 Peter Thomas Roth Labs, LLC

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist

Def Leppard t-shirts.  I seriously have about ten of these.  Def Leppard is probably my all-time favorite band.  They never fail to put me into a good mood.  Sadly, this is one of the bands I have never had the opportunity to see in concert 🙁


Chili’s, particularly Chili’s in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  When I was in graduate school, we learned the importance of corporate social responsibility.  When a business is socially responsible (i.e. donates to charity, is active within the community, etc.), it is mutually beneficial to the business and to society.   As they were the only place open late, we used to eat at Chili’s at least three, four, sometimes five times a week.   Strangely enough, we never really got tired of it.  They were always adding new items to the menu, and get this- the employees actually knew the menu (and still do), because they always do food tastings whenever there are new items.

Now that we have different things going on in our lives, we are rarely able to get anywhere in town.  But, the Natchitoches Chili’s still remains one of our favorite corporate restaurants.   Therefore, when we learned there would be a charitable event, we made sure to head to over there for dinner last night.


Although Chili’s is not locally owned, the company still contributes to the local area.  Any non-profit organization can apply to host a “Give Back” event, where Chili’s donates a portion of profits to the organization.  They have also participated in food-related events and contests at the local level, as well as other causes.  For example, when a veterans’ memorial was dedicated, Chili’s was there contributing.

Perhaps the biggest charitable act Chili’s is known for is its contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  St. Jude provides care to children with diseases, such as cancer, regardless of ability to pay.  No family pays a single cent to St. Jude; the hospital relies solely on donations.  Even though there are families who can afford to pay for care, since St. Jude is a research hospital, they offer treatments that cannot be obtained elsewhere.  Chili’s has raised so much money for the hospital that there is even a Chili’s wing.


The St. Jude fundraising event at Chili’s lasts for several weeks each year, with employees participating in contests to make things a bit more exciting.  There is also one night where Chili’s donates 100% of their profits to St. Jude.  As it has long been one of our favorite charities (we have also participated in Warrior Dash, etc. to raise money for St. Jude), we have never missed a St. Jude night since the restaurant opened.  It was even more important this year that we go, because we know someone personally who has needed the services of St. Jude.  A friend, Heather M., has a daughter who was diagnosed with childhood cancer.  It warms our hearts to know there are people who care enough to help this sweet, beautiful family get the care they need for their daughter.

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One of the best things about the Natchitoches Chili’s is the energy level and sense of pride the employees have.   They are genuinely excited about the St. Jude fundraiser, and many of them even donate their tips.  We have noticed over the years, that despite employee turnover from people graduating, moving, etc., that the energy level and pride stay the same.  General Manager, Lane D., has done a stellar job of maintaining quality and consistency through the years.  I even saw a video where he willingly took a pie in the face after his team beat a goal- that’s dedication!

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When we got there after 9 pm for dinner last night, the atmosphere was still filled with excitement.  Manager James L, and bartender Aamir J., were still all smiles, despite the long day they’d had.  While I’m sure they were all exhausted, the servers and other staff members were still in high spirits as they waited on their last tables of the night, and worked on their end of shift duties.


Although we missed her last night, we caught a glimpse of Hope Captain Ashley E. the night before, wearing her St. Jude t-shirt.

It did not surprise me at all when I heard today that this location ranked number three in the entire company for St. Jude fundraising.  It’s easy to see why past employees still patronize Chili’s and reminisce about their times there on social media.   People who care about others will always be one of my greatest “obsessions.”