{Xmas Giveaway} Essential Living

by Kortney Campbell on December 6, 2012

So, we recently had the chance of working with Andrea Butje, author of Essential Living: Aroma Therapy Recipes for Health & Home and founder of The Aromahead Institute, School of Essential Oil Studies. Before discovering this gem of a St. Petersburg local, in my mind, aromatherapy was lighting a lavender candle while taking a bath and hoping for relaxation. Andrea has officially opened my eyes to a whole new world of excitement!

From salt scrubs, moisturizers and deodorant to household cleaners, decongestant inhalers and bug repellent, this book seriously has it all! All of her recipes are 100% natural, environmentally (and animal) friendly and safe for the whole family. If you’re on my Christmas list, get ready for some homemade DIY lovin’ in mason jars!

Since we loved Andrea’s book so much, we asked her if she’d be willing to share an autographed copy with one of you! She said yes!

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  1. Like Andrea’s school, The Aromahead Institute, School of Essential Oil Studies, on facebook
  2. Head over to the Aromahead blog and pick out your favorite recipe. (We’re pretty obsessed with the linen spray and scroll down for a few of Andrea’s favorites)
  3. Come back here & leave a comment with a link to the recipe you chose and whether the book is for you or a friend.
  4. For an extra entry, share this post on YOUR Facebook and leave a second comment letting us know you did!

**All entries must be in by Saturday at midnight and the winner will be shared on Sunday morning.

If you’re as interested in Andrea’s story as we were, you’re in luck! She gave us a little interview and an inside peek at her adventures (scroll over each photo for the what/where/when):

Q:  How & when did you realize that aromatherapy was your passion?  

A:  1994 was our first year of owning and running the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca, NY. That’s when my interest in essential oils and massage oil really grew. The students needed massage oil, and I felt strongly that it should be organic and nourishing for their skin. I did some research, found some great unrefined, organic vegetable oils and made a blend for the students. We kept it unscented, as people have such different aromatics preferences.

One morning, I was sitting at my desk sorting through the mail, and this catalog with a Buddha on the front jumped out at me. It was from a small essential oils company in California. I already loved essential oils, although my knowledge was limited to the aromas I liked and a few basic therapeutic properties I had read about. At that time, we did not have a bookstore at the school, and we weren’t set up to sell essential oils, but when I mentioned them to the students I got a very enthusiastic response.

I ordered some essential oils and they all sold the first day. That was the beginning, and the rest is history. I went to Aromatherapy school in England, and traveled in France to visit some essential oils distillers. I knew right away that I wanted to dedicate my life to working with essential oils distillers, and open my own Aromatherapy school.

Q:  How do you apply aromatherapy to your life daily?

A: It is really very simple. I use them for cleaning our house, and to make my own body care products like soap, deodorant, natural perfume and body butters. I also use them instead of over-the-counter drugs for the occasional headache or muscle pain. I make a lot of blends for friends.

Q:  What’s one of your favorite or most frequently used recipes?

A:  The cleaning products have always been my favorites. We removed all the toxic cleaning products from our home about 20 years ago, and have never looked back. I love the Disinfecting Surface Cleaner, the Deodorizing Trash Spray and the Grout Scrub. Hard to limit my favorites to one recipe!

Q:  How has aromatherapy affected your life outside of your home?

A:  It has been an incredible journey! I visit organic essential oil distillers all over the world, helping them build their businesses and connecting them to larger American companies. What that really means, is I get to hang out with farmers in their fields of flowers all in countries around the world!

Q:  Can you tell us a little bit about the book writing experience?

A:  I received a lot of help. The first recipe in the book is called “Recipe for Essential Living”. It credits the people who made writing this book possible. I had all the information pouring out of me but no clue how to organize, edit and design the book. I had the extraordinary help of two editors, Maria Mora and Annette Scott. I also worked with two incredible designers Laura Irmis and Andrea Graham. Like anything else, now that I have gone through the process of self-publishing, the next book will be much easier.

Q:  We hear that you teach as well! Can you tell us a little bit about that? Can we take classes?

A: I own an Aromatherapy school called Aromahead Institute, where I teach in-person and online classes. I am proud to say that Aromahead Institute is considered a premier international resource for aromatherapy information and education. I teach all my in-person essential oil classes in Ithaca, NY from May—September (yup, we are snow birds). The rest of the year, I’m writing and working with Aromahead’s online students. You can take all of the Aromahead classes through our innovative online school.

If you want to take aromatherapy classes in St. Pete, there is another excellent school called Essential Elements. Terry and Minta did their training at Aromahead Institute and have created several exciting one and two-day classes, as well as a 235-hour Aromatherapy Certification Program. They also sell essential oils and body care products in their beautiful store and online.

Q:  Outside of aromatherapy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

A: I love to work at home in my PJ’s. I have 2 black cats, who I adore, and I consider myself very fortunate to be in a 20-year relationship, one where we still laugh together every day!

Q:  What’s one fun fact that most people may not know about you?

A: I love panda bears.

Now you can see why we’re so smitten with Andrea! She inspires us to get out and do what we love! She and Brittany Trubridge should probably meet, huh?

Don’t forget, the giveaway ends this Saturday at midnight and the winner will be announced Sunday! Be sure to include your email address when you comment so we know how to reach you!

About Kortney Campbell

I'm Kortney; a wife, natural mama and vegan in love with life, food and all things vintage! I've been vegan since December 2007, but have loved to cook & create pretty things since before I can remember. I started Vegan Housewives because I don't think you have to give up the joys of food when going vegan! I have a fondness for re-creating non-vegan recipes (especially my grandma's), making a healthier & animal friendly version so be sure to send me your favorite concoctions by clicking our "share a recipe" button - I would LOVE to veg-i-fy them!

  • { 18 comments… read them below or add one }

    radioactivegan December 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I really like the linen sprays, too, though I think “Need more sleep?” ( looks best!
    I have to say the book is for me .. but I’d share all the great stuff I make with everyone else :)


    Sara Houze December 7, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Obviously I chose the recipe for the Digestive Issues! My family has a history of Crohn’s disease so I am always looking for ways to settle my stomach and all of the discomfort that comes with it.

    I am surely going to keep this book for myself! :)


    Dee December 7, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Okay Vegan Housewives I posted this on my FB page. I am very excited about the possibility of winning this book.


    Jimmy from Bushnell December 7, 2012 at 12:46 am

    I like the homemade cough and throat syrup because it’ll make me sing better at karaoke


    Dee December 7, 2012 at 12:54 am

    I like them all but I am going to post the Washer/Dyer scented softner. this sounds very simple and natural and I love that you can choose your own scent.


    Linda December 7, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I haven’t worn perfume because of all the chemicals. Doesn’t the sandalwood and grapefruit uplifting perfume sound like it would be wonderful!?! I would love her book to make my own cleaners, body products, etc. Having a house full of pets and being chemical sensitive myself, it would be a huge blessing to have her book.


    Linda December 7, 2012 at 1:11 am

    shared the post on my FB.


    Liz Fulcher December 7, 2012 at 8:07 am

    What a fabulous article! Love your blog – love Andrea Butje! She is, indeed, an amazing aromatherapist, teacher and woman. I have studied under Andrea for a few years and she was the inspiration for my own aromatherapy school, Aromatic Wisdom Institute, in Pennsylvania.

    I’d love to win her book!
    1. I “liked” her fanpage ages ago!
    2. It’s not easy picking one favorite recipe, but I do love the “I Want to Sleep Blend”
    3. The book is for a friend.
    4. I’m going to share this post on my Facebook wall and be back for a second comment!

    Liz Fulcher


    Lisa Ziegenfuss December 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

    What a beautiful idea! This would have been perfect this week. A lot of my friends had a rough week this week and what a beautiful alternative to baking them cookies :)


    bethany December 7, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Absolutely love this:

    Essential oils are my lifesavers!!


    Tara December 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I think thus far I would say the essential oil inhalers for allergies would be my pick.
    This year has been pretty rough with all the allergens in the air. I can only hope for a cold Florida winter to kill some of it off.

    This book would be for me, but I would certainly share my knowledge and the book of course.

    Signing off for a Healthy and Happy New Year.


    Mandi December 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    My favorite recipe so far is the trash deodorizing spray. ( I would love to see more of the recipes to make products for myself, friends, & family! So the book would be for me…but for my friends & family, too! ;)


    Mandi December 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    …and I shared the link on my facebook page!


    Keira December 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I love this!!! You always have the greatest stuff on your blog, but this is super cool! I want to make so many of her recipes!! Right now i think i’d be most interested in her Emotional Balance recipes… it’s been a little wild around here lately and they just sound…. calming :)
    I have to admit, i’d want the book for myself :) selfishhhh.. but i would make presents!!!!! and recommend it!!! :)


    Keira December 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    And…. i shared it on Facebook :)


    Sarah December 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I am soo making my own solid deoderant with citrus! going with orange flower scented :D


    Justine Merrifield December 11, 2012 at 9:25 am
    Jackie H December 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Not really a ‘recipe’, per se, but I love the idea of using the rhassoul clay to wash your face – love the idea of mixing it with hydrosol and some eo’s! :)


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