Friday, 21 December 2007


I recently had my hair braided after more than 2 years and to keep it moist, I came up with this recipe which gives me instant relief from an itchy scalp.

**click image to read/print**

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


Even after more than 2 years of retailing this oil, I still get very excited when I receive my package.  As you can imagine, I was like a kid in a candy shop when I arrived home yesterday after a hectic day at the "cottage" to find a box waiting on my doorstep.

As it was solid due to the cold weather, I could not really indulge.  My kids however do when they use the bath oil using monoi with a touch of petitgrain and French lavender as part of the Cioccolatina handmade natural toiletries' range.  You can still smell the monoi on your skin even 10 hours later.

You could also indulge in our monoi soap

or just pure MONOÏ de TAHITI in your hair and on your body.  It is just heavenlïï


Wednesday, 5 December 2007


Dear Adam Crozier/David Smith

As a small business, I rely on the services of Royal Mail/ParcelForce in sending packages to my customers all over the world. I do not have much choice in selecting alternative "couriers" as you have a monopoly over the postage of small packages.

It has been a rather stressful year for my business for lack of due diligence on your part.

#1: Package sent to Germany on 14th February 2007 did not arrive at it's destination till 23rd July 2007!!!! A replacement package was sent in the interim

"I opened the parcel and was absolutely shocked because I found a terrible mess! Every single butter-box, even the big ones with Cocoa and Kokum are broken. The butters mixed up all over the place, the floor of the parcel a little wet as well as your voucher. The Sheabutter has got a strange colour (I don't know, maybe it's ok: between grey and green?) and doesn't smell as good as the one you sent me in the second parcel. To make a long story short: Unbelievable!"

#2: Package booked for 24 hour delivery to The Netherlands arrived 48 hours later. Why charge for this amount if you can't fulfil? Documents sent for compensation have gone missing!!!

#3: Package sent to an address in London on 5th November was returned to me without notifying my customer of attempted delivery!!!

#4: Customer was not notified of attempted delivery on package sent to an address in Glasgow!!!

#5: Package sent to Scotland on a first class service was delivered 4 days later. I can't even view the EOD although it has been a week since the package was delivered:

"was delivered from our ****** Delivery Office on 30/11/07. Thank you for using this service. Sorry, an electronic proof of delivery is not available for this item."

#6: Package sent to London on the 8th of November was delivered on 30th November??? using first class service:


"Your item with reference DW*********GB was delivered from our ILFORD Delivery Office on 30/11/07.

Thank you for using this service. Sorry, an electronic proof of delivery is not available for this item"

The replacement package sent on 21st November using the same service was delivered on 27th November


#7: Package sent to Norway on 22nd November can not be tracked???

This is just a selection of case studies.

What is the point in paying that bit extra for your tracking system if most of the packages can not even be tracked??

I have received packages which were supposed to be signed for but have been left on my door step.

I would appreciate that you look into all these flaws and implement a better service including your customer service. Better service does not warrant price increases - you need to re-write your code of ethics.

Your frustrated customer

Akua Wood


Monday, 3 December 2007


Apologies to all of you who have tried unsuccessfully since 29th November 2007 to access our SheabutterCottage websites (Cioccolatina and AkuaWood). It has been a very stressful time to say the least. Due to a security lapse by our web host, these sites have had to be "taken down" till the issue is resolved. I have been pulling the little strands of my hair in frustration as this is a very busy time for Sheabutter Cottage - aarrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhh.


On a different note, I managed to survive a trip to London over the weekend. It was a very hairy trip weaving through all the traffic and getting sandwiched between a bus and a coach - luckily, I was not driving. We finally made it to the British Museum after a 95 minute journey from Reading where we were ushered in onto the disabled parking space which you have to book in advance.

Although we did not see China's terracotta army, we saw an impressive collection of artefacts from all over the world including my beloved country - Ghana. It was great seeing this huge piece of the colourful kente cloth which is very symbolic of the Ashanti tribe to which I proudly belong.

The museum is great for families as there are places to sit and unwind and you do not necessarily have to purchase your sandwich from the cafe.


These are few pictures taken by one of my rascals.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007


It is getting rather cold and damp. This type of weather causes mischief to the skin especially if you are bald. Don't neglect the patch as it dries up in the winter - slap on some whipped shea. Don't forget to apply some soothing lavender lip balm - great especially if you cycle during winter.

If you fancy whipping the shea, then take advantage of the special offer on 150g of pure unadulterated creamy unrefined shea butter

Monday, 12 November 2007


Gosh, it was really freezing today. Woke up to a -6°C down here in Berkshire. The windscreen was all frosted up and it was very hard work trying to decant 8kgs of pure unrefined shea butter. Due to the natural occurring stearic in shea, the butter hardens up in cold temperatures. At least, all the pots are on their way to good warm homes.

Shelves are stacked with mince pies and tinsels. I hate to say it but the countdown has already begun to the festive season. Why not treat yourself or loved ones to some gorgeous handmade natural products by yours truly:

Buon compleanno Giuseppe - spero che stia bene. Tanti auguri x

Friday, 9 November 2007


It has been very busy down here at the "cottage" amidst no power/heating. Anyway, my power was eventually back on the other day as the electricians tried to save my skin from freezing.
Am I the lucky girl in town? Why? Well, because I have a new water heater which was installed at the "cottage". After 2 years of no hot water (apart from boiling water in the kettle) to use, Mark and Phillip managed to install one for me. No more excuses.
Today is exactly 5 weeks since I had my surgery and can report that things are looking good. The scar is healing so it is obviously itching at the moment and I have to resist scratching it. My friend in Scotland has made me a blend of helichyrsum with some organic rosehip oil which I hope to add to some creamy unrefined shea butter with a touch of camellia kissi oil.

Friday, 26 October 2007


Well, I went to work on Wednesday ready to tackle the orders that had been piling up only to realise that there was a power outage. I was so down as most oils need to be melted before decanted. I only managed few orders. Same thing happened on Thursday. I actually had to keep my jacket on as it was very very cold. I managed to last a mere 75 minutes at the office. Luck was on my side today - albeit a bit late as I was just about to leave for home. Philip the mechanic managed to get the power back on after "rooting out" the problem which was from the distributor board next door. I can hopefully work in the warmth over this weekend. Ah - the joys of Autumn!

Sunday, 21 October 2007


Today is exactly 2 weeks since I was discharged from the hospital after undergoing surgery (total thyroidectomy). The clear plaster is off but my neck is slightly sore. The road to recovery starts here - but I can't travel too far and have to take things slowly. I have noticed that I do not get as tired as I used to so that is one good sign.

Saturday, 13 October 2007


Just decided to post some pictures as I am a football "widow" today.
I believe people from my racial background end up with a keloid scar. Will post more observations later.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


It has been almost a week since I had the surgery. I am taking things very easy at the moment. I seem to have lost few inches off my neck as I can't sit up straight. The healing process will take some time. At least the anaesthetic is wearing off. I had these huge dry cracks on my lips which have now disappeared after applying some of my handmade natural lip balm.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


I heard my nephew ask me this afternoon. Well, I am worried stiff.
After another trek through Royal Berks today for yet another blood test, I noticed that my details were not correct on the form. The request for the test was meant for me but the form was in another patient's name. Oh dear! I just hope that my hospital notes are not swapped with any other patient.

Today has been a rather hectic day. Early start to Gatwick airport, hospital, office to pack the few remaining orders and then the post office. The first post office was shut (half day), the second had a long queue and the third one - well, no customers - just a friendly post mistress!!.

I am huffing and puffing and really need to calm down. Can someone please send me a glass of "double" Baileys® with lots and lots of ice.

Monday, 1 October 2007


Well, for almost an hour today, I was not able to drink nor eat anything. Had a vocal cord check today. Yuck came to mind when that nasal spray trickled down my throat. My first thought was "where is that chocolate bar?".

Friday, 28 September 2007


....this is what I can hear in my heart. The post man just arrived with a brown envelope and blood is rushing to my head. I could not wait to open it and low and behold, it is a letter from the Royal Berkshire Hospital with few highlighted dates.
The highlight is in yellow but I am seeing red - arrgh.
I have been booked in for an operation on 5th October with a vocal cord check on Monday (01), pre-admission check on Tuesday (02), admission on Thursday (04).
Well, it has taken me over a year to get to this point and I am keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well. I can hopefully look forward to forgoing the scarves!!!!