Experience the splendor and wonders of LUZIA, a waking dream of Mexico!

Cirque du Soleil is coming to Atlanta with its delightfully-imaginative and visually-stunning production LUZIA, a waking dream of Mexico. From September 14 – October 15, 2017, audiences are invited to a redesigned white-and-gold Big Top at Atlantic Station to escape to an imaginary Mexico – a sumptuous world suspended somewhere between dreams and reality.

Through a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA takes audiences on a surrealistic journey filled with wonders, playfulness and striking artistry. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.

“Full of wow feats and gorgeous stage pictures.”
The Toronto Star

“Remarkably human in scale.”
The San Francisco Chronicle

“Dazzle[s] the eye with luminous spectacle and gasp-worthy, derring-do.”
Bay Area News Group


With mesmerizing and refreshing acrobatic performances, LUZIA brings traditional and contemporary circus disciplines to a whole new artistic and acrobatic level. Cyr Wheel artists perform the unprecedented feat of rolling and spinning under the rain, while an aerialist suspended from a Trapeze flies and twirls through pouring showers. Hoop Diving is taken onto gigantic treadmills, expanding exponentially the speed and amount of daring leaps executed. Jaw-dropping highlights include a Guinness World Record holder juggling seven pins at breakneck speeds, a male contortionist skillfully twisting his body in the world’s most unimaginable positions, a powerful Aerial Straps specialist defying the laws of gravity at the center of a cenote (natural sinkhole), and two fύtbol (soccer) freestylers deftly mixing street dance with mind-blowing ball manipulations.

Tickets for LUZIA are available online exlusively to Cirque Club members starting today. Cirque Club membership is free and benefits includes access to advance tickets, special offers and exclusive behind-the-scenes information. To join, visit http://www.cirqueclub.com. Public tickets for Atlanta performances of LUZIA will be available beginning April 21, 2017 at www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia. Tickets start at $35.

LUZIA – A waking dream of Mexico
Written and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, in association with Brigitte Poupart, LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul.

Freely inspired by Mexico, LUZIA is a poetic and acrobatic ode to the rich, vibrant culture of a country whose wealth stems from an extraordinary mix of influences and creative collisions – a land that inspires awe with its breathtaking landscapes and architectural wonders, buoyed by the indomitable spirit of its people.

The tableaux of LUZIA weave an intricate, contemporary mosaic that awakens your senses and transports you to a place suspended between dreams and reality. Featuring a cast of 44 performers from diverse artistic backgrounds, LUZIA surprises with acrobatic performances breaking down the barriers, such as incorporating water into contemporary circus disciplines.

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When In Nashville

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Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post.  This was a trip that we took and paid for on our own.  All opinions presented are 100% mine and were not influenced by anyone.  Images are made up of ones we took on our trip and official images from the respective business’s Facebook or website.

Nashville has an iconic way of life. It has a distinct culture of music, cuisine, and easy-going people who define the South. Some of the best food and live music can be found throughout this beautiful city.  It is perfect for not only families, but also couples and friends.  Recently my husband and I spent our Spring Break in Nashville, Tennessee.  This was a first for us.  We had always dreamed of heading to the big city known as Nashville, and we got our chance this past week.

We chose to stay at the Radisson hotel near Nashville’s International Airport.  This was a perfect location.  It is conveniently located near everything.  Although it is not within walking distance, it is within a short driving distance to just about everything you want to see in Nashville.  It was easy to get on and off the interstate as well.

The Radisson is currently undergoing renovations.  From what we were able to see and stay in, we were quite pleased.  Even on Trip Advisor it has four stars, which is always a plus in my book.  If I am going to spend the money, then I want to know it is worth it.

One cool thing about this hotel is that you could see the airplanes coming in for landing.  What made it even more cool is that we did not hear them–AT ALL! Seriously, we looked out our window and could see the planes coming in but NEVER heard them.  The only thing missing from this hotel was a free continental breakfast.  But no worries friends, we found some great places you can go to get your day started off right.

Biscuit Love

Featured in each of these publications (Garden & Gun – The Year in Southern Restaurants: Biscuit LoveSouthern LivingThe South’s Best Breakfast Spots, Garden & Gun – The Art of the Beaten Biscuit), the Biscuit Love was truly AH-MAZING!  Located in The Gulch, we knew we were in for treat when we saw the line gathering outside just to get in the door!  I do not know about you but usually this is a GOOD sign of the things to come!  We just had no idea just how good it was until we took our first bites. By the way, don’t let that line thing deter you.  It moves relatively quick.

I chose to have the EGG PLATE- 2 eggs scrambled well with cheese, biscuit, cheese grits (that were to die for IMO), jam, and bacon.  My husband had the Biscuit and Gravy which was a    buttermilk biscuit, local sausage gravy, and dressed kale.  It was seriously so stinking good that you almost wished you had never had it–cause now I know what others aren’t giving me!

Two of their popular items are the EAST NASTY-biscuit, fried boneless chicken thigh, aged cheddar and their BONUTS, delicious sugary delights of fried biscuit dough.  We had every intention of going back to this place to try these things for ourselves, yes-it was/is that good, but did not make it.  It will be one of my first stops next time for sure!

What is great about this location is that there are two iconic Instagram photo opps in or near this place in The Gulch.  First, inside the Biscuit Love is this cool Nashville sign that you may have seen from time to time floating out there on social media.  Of course, I did not really post mine out there because I could not get a good angle on it.  Nonetheless, it is in this restaurant that is only open from 7am to 3pm daily.

The next photo opp that you WILL NOT WANT TO MISS is the famous angel wings that everyone takes a picture with “When in Nashville!”  Even my hubby got in on it. #WhatLiftsYou is located around the corner from Biscuit Love, and it is a MUST STOP!

 

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

My husband learned about this place from the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, the host of a show called Bizarre Foods.   Although Hattie B’s is not bizarre at all, just a little hot, my husband just had to make a stop here.  With a variety of Southern staples like mac n cheese and turnips, this is one good ole eatery!  My husband chose to get his chicken medium, meaning a touch of the burn.  Boy did he feel it!  They have a Damn Hot if you dare!

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

For the past couple of months I have been seeing this ice cream on social media.  I was tempted to order some to be sent to me.  Yes, you read that right.  Have ice cream delivered through the mail to my door.  Thankfully, I did not have to experience that….yet!  While cruising through the downtown area of Nashville, we came across this ice cream shop and I had to stop!  It is absolutely heavenly and delightful.  Worth the wait.  I will be purchasing some from a local store that I just learned sells it by the pint.  I am dying to try the Super Moon flavor.  It is supposed to taste like cereal marshmallows.  Now I do not know about you but I LOVE pulling out all the marshmallows in my favorite little leprechaun box.

Five Daughters Bakery

Located in East Nashville, we came across this cute bakery with fantastic doughnuts.  This vanilla cream doughnut was to die for!  Big and fluffy, this mouth watering doughnut did not just have that lovely ring of vanilla cream on the outside as you see in the picture below, but also, nestled in the middle was another layer of vanilla.  DELISH!  They have some other staples such as the King Kong, a maple and bacon doughnut I know my boys would have loved!  They even have Paleo and Vegan doughnuts.

Loveless Cafe 

This was one of our last food stops that was a must.  Loveless Cafe began back in 1951 when Lon and Annie started serving fried chicken and biscuits “out the front door of their home to travelers who passed by on US Highway 100, the then primary route between Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee.  Weary travelers found comfort and refuge at the cozy home and in the food the owners served to them while seated at picnic tables in the front yard. As the tiny house became a planned stop for treks along the Trace, Lon and Annie Loveless expanded their private home into the Loveless Motel and Cafe. Lon Loveless built and ran the property’s motel and was responsible for smoking the meats while Annie whipped up batches of her homemade preserves and scratch-made-biscuits – a secret recipe that remains unchanged to this day.”

With a history like that, we just had to stop and catch a glimpse into this Southern Living magazine must.  Let’s just say, it was well worth the 19 mile drive to the west.

 

 

Of course, our trip was not just about food….it was about going to some locations that make Nashville, well Nashville!  If you are ever in the area, be sure to go to Broadway in downtown Nashville.  Here,  along will many other connecting streets, you will find an assortment of eateries, bars, and museums.  Plus, you can gain access to the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.  Our black and white picture above was taken from that bridge.  Make sure you also find time to stop at the Goo Goo Cluster store. “In 1912, in a copper kettle at the Standard Candy Company at Clark & First Avenue in Nashville, TN, the world’s first ever combination candy bar was invented. A roundish mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and real milk chocolate.”  We had to buy ourselves a box of these sinfully delicious candy bars.  Let’s just say they did not last long either.

There is so much to do in downtown Nashville that I can confidently say that you can’t do all of Nashville in one visit.  You gotta go back a few times before you can get it in.  There are so many more musts in the downtown area alone.  Signing up for the trolley tours is probably one of the best  ways to get in as much as you can from someone who really knows their stuff.  This is on our list for the next visit.

Of course, you will want to head to some other must see places when you are in Nashville.  The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is beautiful and ENORMOUS and has to be added to your list to see in person!  My husband and I ended up going back here at night so we could see what it was like then.  Filled with gardens and shops and eateries, this is a place you could literally spend hours at and it is free to walk around in!   You can even park at the Opry Mill Mall, and it is not a bad walk to do this either.   When inside, you are going to be blown away at the gardens within the walls of this building and the enormous glass ceiling.  They even have a cool river that you can pay  to ride on (short ride).  You will want to come back at night to see the water fountain show and stroll through the gardens.

Grand Ole Opry

Of course a trip to Nashville would not be complete without a trip to the iconic Grand Ole Opry. My husband and I recall many times as youngsters being wowed by the crazy antics of Minnie Pearl and others on the Hee Haw show.  After a little research I learned a lot more than I ever knew about country music’s most famous stage.  It originally began as a radio broadcast at the National Life and Accident Insurance Building in Nashville.   Since then it has been housed in  four different buildings across Nashville until it finally got its own permanent location in 1974.  Located near the Opry Mill Mall and the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, this iconic American stage still holds concerts and allows guests to take a backstage tour.

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

One of our final stops on this trip was to Cheekwood Eastate & Gardens.  “Once the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, this extraordinary 1930s estate, with its Georgian mansion and 55 acres of cultivated gardens and expansive vistas, today serves the public as a botanic garden, woodland sculpture trail, and art museum.”  This place is gorgeous, and if you are lucky enough to visit in late March or early April, you will see thousands of tulips in full bloom.  One of our favorites from our trip was the railroad tracks.  Such a fun thing to see! Check out our video below to see just how lovely it is.

Be sure to drive through Belle Meade which is located just up the road from Cheekwood.  Here you will the homes of some of the richest people living in Nashville.  Be sure to stop at Belle Meade Mansion.  We did not get a chance to do it on this trip, but we will be back.

Where we will go next time we are in Nashville……

The Pharmacy Nashville

Treehouse Restaurant

I Dream of Weenie Food Truck

Have you ever been to Nashville, Tennessee?  Are there any must visits on your list that we missed?  

32nd Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival

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Every weekend and Memorial Day, April 15 thru June 4, 2017 The 32nd Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival is a family-friendly event, and a different kind of theme park. Inside this 32-acre recreation of a 16th Century English Village you’ll find hundreds of costumed characters, the Queen and her Court, endless circus-style entertainment on 10 stages, shopping in over 130 artisan shoppes, food fit for Royalty, games and rides for kids of all ages, and the spectacular Jousting Knights on horseback. Patrons are invited to wear costumes and join in the fun too. It’s a whole lotta’ fun, and a little bit of History, every weekend and Memorial Day, April 15 thru June 4, 2017.

Homeschool/Student Day at the Georgia Renaissance Festival
May 9, 2017!
Don’t just read about History – See it come to life!
The Georgia Renaissance Festival is set in a re-creation of a 16th Century English Village, complete with artisans, food, entertainers and music of the time. Students will meet and interact with unique characters and historical figures from the Renaissance period, participate in fun and educational workshops, see artisan demonstrations, and learn what life was like during the 1500s.
This special day for students has been designed to directly support your curriculum, in the areas of History, Math, Science, Language, Theatre and Art.
You will receive our comprehensive Curriculum Guide with your paid reservation. This valuable resource is full of information and ideas for your class before and after your visit.
RESERVE YOUR FIELD TRIP EARLY!
Find more information and book your field trip at http://www.garenfest.com/student-day-information
or call Norma Pope at 770-964-8575 x103.

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I love going to the Georgia Renaissance Festival each year.  Once I step through those gates I feel like I have been transported to a magical place and time that I can only read about in books.  From the costumes to the authentic buildings, the Renaissance Festival whisks visitors back to a magical time in history full of knights, lords, and ladies.

There is so much to see and do at the Renaissance Festival.  You will find a variety of shops to buy everything medieval you can think of!

Guests will be entertained with the shows that are available to watch.

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You can even sit down and eat at a small tea room.

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Not to forget….there are a variety of activities that you can engage in at the Renaissance Festival.

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Have a little fun throwing tomatoes at Vegetable Justice!

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A little ax throwing anyone?  This was not as easy as it looked!

Or how about throwing stars!

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One of my favorite activities is just checking out all the cool costumes people wear to the festival.

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There is really do much to see and do at the Renaissance Festival!  It is a must see for anyone.  Just be sure to put on the sunscreen when you do go.  Our Georgia weather can be quite hot!

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Take some time to visit with Mother Goose and she entertains you with stories and animals.

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Check out the many artisans at the festival.  These beautiful teapots wind chimes were absolutely beautiful.

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Georgia Renaissance Festival Discounts! Get 25% off General Admission Adult (Age 13+) and 30% off General Admission Child (6-12) tickets by using promo code “castle” when purchasing discount tickets on our secure website at www.garenfest.com. Tickets good any day of the 2017 Season (Weekends and Memorial Day Apr 15-June 4). Online discount only. Not good with any other offers. These tickets and discount are not accepted on Student Day, May 9th.

Purchase tickets HERE

Expires: Jun. 4th, 2017

knightgirlladysquare

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions presented are 100% mine and were not influenced by the sponsors.

Atlanta Baby and Child Expo

 

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Parents say the annual Atlanta Baby and Child Expo “…is a treat for new parents,  grandparents and family. Everything from new inventions to necessities to things that make Mom feel like Mom again. A yearly must-do for parents of babies and toddlers!”
Back for its seventh year, the Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is considered THE premier event for expecting and new parents in the Southeast.  The event brings in the ultimate in parenting and baby products and professionals.  It’s an elite experience, intimate in setting and not overwhelming, a bit like a party for expectants, new parents, grandparents and their family and friends.
This year’s event is hosted at the Sheraton Atlanta Downtown (165 Courtland Street NE) on April 29th from 11am-2:30pm.  You can get tickets at www.atlantababyandchildexpo.com .
This event features experts leading up sessions on everything from “Stimulating Learning Activities for Baby” to “Secrets to a Happy Marriage after the Baby”, along with giveaways galore, from baby strollers to car seats.
Living a Full Life is please to be able to giveaway TWO tickets to this event.
Giveaway closes April 19.  

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Gifted Movie Helps Teach Valuable Life Lessons

 

Families come in all different forms.  They are not just the people who live within the walls of what you call home, they are those that you surround yourself with.  Those that you love dearly and consider family, whether biological or not.  I was blessed to be able to raise not just my own two biological children, but also several other children from my niece and nephew to several other extended family members.  That bond that I have with those individuals in undeniably real and unbreakable.  They KNOW, without a doubt, they I call them my own.  That I love them unconditionally and will do anything in the world for them.

Mckenna Grace as “Mary Adler” and Chris Evans as “Frank Adler” in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

As a teacher, I see this as well.  I see the day-to-day struggles that families have in “real life,” and I can sympathize with them.  I think that is what makes me unique as a teacher.  I truly get it.  I can’t tell you how many times I sit in conferences with parents, holding back the tears or crying with others as they share their struggles in raising their children or the children of others.  Life is messy! It is hard to do this alone especially when you have a child that is often misunderstood or gifted.
That is why I love this new movie coming out called Gifted.  I am a teacher of all types of learners, and I do my best to create personal learning plans for each child in my room regardless of a label or not.  I want to meet them where they are and taken them to that next level.  Over the years I have been blessed to teach all kinds of students; even students like Mckenna in the new movie Gifted.  Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida.  Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.  Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend.  Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

This beautiful movie is coming to select theatres April 7, and I hope that you will find time to go and see it.  Take a journey through the lens of a child prodigy and her guardian as they set out to discover what life is really about.

Social Media Connections

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We have got some fun promotional items to share with our readers.  We will pick four different winners from our Instagram picture and notify them via DM to let you know you won.  Giveaway ends April 30.  Items will be sent to you by us through direct mail.

Disclaimer:   This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network; however, all opinions presented are 100% mine and were not influenced.

 

Night Out on the Town Just Got Easier with Horizon Theatre Company

This post is sponsored by Horizon Theatre; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own

Atlanta is a bustling city with entertainment choices galore.  If you are looking for that perfect date night or just a fun night out on the town with friends, you have got plenty to choose from.  Museums to intimate theaters, if you are looking to spend some time with your sweet one or just out with guys and gals, you will find a wide variety to choose from in our beloved city of Atlanta.  Nestled just south of Little Five Points in Inman Park sits an old school building that is a quaint and intimate theatre that you will want to make sure to add to your musts, and  what better way than to get familiar with Horizon Theatre than to go and check out their newest show, Nobody Loves You!

 

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Now everyone has a story to tell about dating.  From the horror stories of a date gone bad to the stories of that couple that just makes you want to vomit because they are just so darn perfect, Nobody Loves You is a hilarious musical following the lives of some attractive singles as they get paired up in a reality type game show. So move over The Bachelorette and Survivor.  You got nothing on this behind the scenes adventure musical comedy that millions of viewers tune in for each week! 

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Jeff, a graduate student, suddenly finds himself alone after his girlfriend decides to try out for her favorite reality show, Nobody Loves You.  As a devastated reject, Jeff decides that he wants to win her back by trying out to be on the show.  However, there are suddenly other motives when he realizes that his former girlfriend is nowhere to be found.  Determined to expose just how fake reality television is, Jeff reluctantly decides to stay and be part of the show.   As he sets out to expose the reality game show, Jeff finds himself unexpectedly falling in love with the like minded Jenny who is employed by the game show.  The show will keep you in stitches as your hear confessions from contestants and find out who is next to be booted.  Will Jeff win the heart of Jenny or will he just become another reject on Nobody Loves You? 

 

 

 

 

Whether you have a love or hate relationship with reality television, you will LOVE this musical.  It is funny and witty, and the singing is spectacular.  I was simply blown away at the talented actors and actresses on that stage. Byron, the hosts, sucks you right into the show with his smooth voice and moves.  You will leave there feeling like you need to apply to be the next sucker, uh-I mean, contestant on Nobody Loves You!

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Nobody Loves You, the off-Broadway hit being staged in Atlanta for the very first time, runs through April 30 at the Horizon Theatre in Inman Park. Tickets start as low as $25 (plus sales tax) and are on sale now.

Less Waste Challenge with Tom’s of Maine

Earth Day is coming April 22.  What are your plans to celebrate this year?  Are you going to head to the movie theater to catch Disney’s Born in China?  Are you going to celebrate locally with your town?  You do not have to wait until April 22 to do something spectacular for our Earth.  Check out what Tom’s of Maine is doing.  This is a great way for you to give back in an easy way.

Every parent knows the frustration of a broken toy – if a car loses a wheel or a board game loses a piece, more often than not that toy ends up in the trash. With the toy industry now generating more than $26 billion dollars in U.S. sales each year,1 the amount of broken toys is a challenge families will continue to face. Beginning today, natural personal care leader Tom’s of Maine is partnering with the recycling experts at TerraCycle to offer the #LessWasteChallenge toy recycling program. Families can visit http://www.tomsofmaine.com/lesswaste to download a free shipping label that they can use to mail in broken toys for recycling and do their part to reduce the amount of toys that end up in landfills each year.

“Knowing what to do with broken toys is a challenge because as parents we don’t want to be wasteful and throw them away. We want to show our kids there are better solutions,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “The act of recycling a toy together can be a way for parents to start a conversation with their kids about what we can all do to take care of the planet for generations.”

Families can send in their broken toys directly to TerraCycle by following four simple steps:
Visit http://www.tomsofmaine.com/lesswaste
Enter contact information to receive a free UPS shipping label via email that can be printed at home
Fill an old box with up to ten pounds of broken toys
Attach the free shipping label to the box and drop it off at UPS

“Toys are a waste stream people don’t think about that often, but the amount of broken toys sent to landfills is significant and there hasn’t been a way to dispose of them,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “Parents can now feel good knowing that broken toys can be 100% recycled or reused, which helps planet Earth.”

Beyond toys, another way families can help the earth is the #LessWasteChallenge pledge, which asks families to reduce their household waste by one pound per week. To date, consumers have pledged to keep more than 200,000 pounds out of landfills since 2016. In addition to taking the pledge and downloading their free shipping label, visitors will also be able to find fun DIY projects that get the entire family involved in reducing waste.

Tom’s of Maine is taking its own #LessWasteChallenge by having a goal of zero waste to landfills by 2020 at its manufacturing facility in Maine. The company has also partnered with TerraCycle to create the Natural Care Recycling Program, which now has 8,590 participating locations. The program collects personal care packaging from any brand, helping to keep 700,000 pieces of packaging out of landfills since the program began in 2012.

Tom’s of Maine has spent more than 45 years developing natural personal care products with a focus on natural, responsible and sustainable practices, while giving 10% of its profits back to helping people and the planet. You can learn more about Tom’s of Maine and how the company makes its products by visiting http://www.TomsofMaine.com and http://www.Facebook.com/TomsofMaine.