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:
- Like Andrea’s school, The Aromahead Institute, School of Essential Oil Studies, on facebook
- 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)
- Come back here & leave a comment with a link to the recipe you chose and whether the book is for you or a friend.
- 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!