DIY Left Over Station

You may never know why your cousin never brings more than his appetite to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. You do know that he will leave with his fair share of aluminum foil covered styrofoam plates. If you can’t beat them join them!

This left over station isn’t just for what I like to call the “plate makers” it’s for you as a host as well.After dinner everyone is searching for grocery bags, paper plates, and foil. This to-go station places everything in a central location so people can pack up with ease at the end of the night.

The supplies you will need:

Plastic food containers

Disposable cutlery


Disposable cups of your choice

Grocery bags or bag of your choice


Keep in mind that my station is staged. I wanted it to photograph well but you can use what ever you have one hand to create this station. Also think outside the box when it comes to food storage. I love the idea of purchasing plastic food storage containers in lieu of allowing people to leave with paper plates. You may already have some containers you don’t need. Check restaurant supplies who will have large quantities of food storage options at great prices.

This will be a great resource and will keep you out of the kitchen at the end of the night. Your guest can help themselves while you enjoy the rest of your evening.

Use what you already have in your house to make the station festive. You  can repurpose baskets and vases to display seasonal decor. I designed sign and printed it to fit 4 X 7 frame. I added fun messages to plain brown paper gift bags from the dollar store.




For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  Follow me on Periscope for “On Wednesday’s We Periscope” @ohwize1 and give me direct feedback. You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter @ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

How to Have a Stress Free Thanksgiving


Are you stressed out just thinking about preparing your house for the biggest meal of the year. Thanksgiving is the Olympics of entertaining. Preparing for guest, cooking a feast, and maintaining your sanity is a full-contact sport.


If you are hosting the holiday this year you probably feel like you just won the lottery and your prize is feeding the distant relatives you dodge all year. Never fear the  Wize One is here!

I’ve hosted and attended Thanksgiving and I finally have a good flow of enjoying the holidays. I reached out to my Facebook friends and asked if they had any Thanksgiving Woes. Surprisingly I am not the only one who experiences extended family social anxiety

Running Through Thanksgiving with Your Woes! 

Q: I hate being single with no kids and a small family that rarely celebrates the holidays together. It makes me into some sort of charity case for all of my friends. I know they mean well but, I am ok, with having an off day. How do I let them know without being mean?

A: The hostess in me wants to invite you over just to show off my Martha level entertaining skills. If these are just invitations to tag along and be a plate maker then your friends need to understand that if they don’t like dealing with their own family on a holiday, then why would you?

The best defense for the unsolicited invitations is to make your plans sound intentional and fun. “Thanks for the invite girl, but I ordered Thanksgiving from Whole Foods. I plan on eating it and binge-watching Sex and the City.” I am jealous at the thought of you vegging out while I overwork myself in the kitchen.

Q: How do you deal with the same adults who never contribute anything to the meal? They eat everything and make plates to-go before dessert is even served.

A: Nothing stops crass guests like formality. Set up an address book and encourage everyone to sign it. (You know for the memories!!) Next year send out invitations to Thanksgiving and encourage your guest to bring a dessert or covered dish.That way you have made your expectations clear.

As far as this year goes…

If it is at all possible don’t serve dinner on paper plates and keep your aluminum foil out of sight. Set up a to-go station with inexpensive plastic food storage container (bonus portion control!) People will be less inclined to leave with several plastic containers.

It may cost a little more but just think about the cost of paper plates and aluminum foil. Every sheet of aluminum foil is .40 cents and every paper plate is .50, cents. Just imagine yourself handing everyone .90 cents as they leave your house. It also sends a message to the “plate makers” just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean I’m the soup kitchen.  If your hosting with a group family members you all can split the cost of the to-go station or bring containers they don’t mind giving away.

Q: How do you handle being around relatives that are never around because they have made out well for themselves? They have traveled the world and have their dream job now they questions everyone about their accomplishments and make the rest of the family uncomfortable. 

A: Try approaching them first by asking them about themselves and then quickly redirect your attention to somewhere else like the kitchen. At dinner sit them at the kids table and then they can ask the kids what they aspire to be, it’s less offensive.

Q: What do you do when your family is spread out across the country and everyone can’t be together during the holidays?

A: It’s hard not being together during the holidays. Sending everyone the same holiday card can be generic. Add some fun spice in your holiday wishes by doing a card exchange. Send a card and a photo by mail to a family member and give instructions on who to send a card to next. You could also include a small paper gift in the card as well. Sending warm wishes during this season will really be a wonderful surprise in the mail in the midst of a pile of bills.

Q: How do you split time between families? There is just not enough time in one day.

A: Stat early and be realistic. Call everyone to let them know if you will be in attendance for the meal or just coming by for a quick visit. Just try not to skip them on the next holiday.

Q: How can I get my home together so It feels welcoming? Especially since I can’t do as much as I normally do this year.

A: Thanksgiving is not just about the food. If you can’t give a lot in the kitchen remember to fill your home with the smell and the sounds of the holiday. Boil some mulling spices or bake some pre-made cookie dough to fill your house with warm smell.  Lay a few throw blankets on the couch to encourage snuggling. Use what you have on hand to set the table. Even frozen pizza serves well on a well set table.

Q: What is a good way to deal with family shade/tension?

A: Break the ice in a fun way and a play game that everyone can participate in. Don’t be afraid to serve a signature cocktail you may need a drink. If you don’t feel comfortable drinking in front of your older relatives serve a mixed drink in a pitcher and keep the bottles out of sight. Keep the pitcher in the kitchen and share the love with those who would be interested in a cocktail. 

Q: How can I stop being teased about bringing pumpkin pie? I know I’m black and I’m supposed to bring sweet potato but I like it!

A:  Bring an awesome topping to go with the pie. Spike your Cool Whip with a few teaspoons of spiced rum! No one will deny whip cream with a kick!

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button. You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter @ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

If You Read One Article About Marilyn Monroe Vs Dorothy Dandridge Read this One


This post should be called let me tell you how tired I am of seeing this meme! I have tried to ignore this meme, but I feel it was poking at me every time it’s shared. It’s rubbing me the wrong way, and it’s not even directed at me. As a woman of color, I feel like my identity is always being questioned.

If I chose to straighten my hair, then I don’t accept my natural beauty. If I decide to wear a lighter hair color, then I’m trying to be white., If I like Marilyn Monroe, I don’t know any historically pivotal black actresses.

 I am not just wearing a Marilyn t-shirt I’m  representing the fact that How To Marry a Millionaire, Some Like it Hot, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes are some of my favorite films.  Just because I like these films does not mean that I have not seen or enjoyed Carmen Jones, Foxy Brown,  or Anna Lucasta.

I had to calm down to realize the meme wasn’t even directed at me.  I decided to investigate my anger and breakdown the concept of  Marilyn vs. Dorothy. I have a fond appreciation for “Old Hollywood Glamour” and I just assumed anyone rocking a Marilyn t-shirt had the same affinity for vintage reprints. It dawned on me that maybe there are women of all races just mindlessly purchasing Marilyn Monroe memorabilia.  Women that may simply find her image appealing and aren’t necessarily fans of her work or the era.

I want to defend the consumers of color who are just buying because they saw a face they liked. Since when did being a woman of color rob you of your right to be mindless. Mindlessness is just that; it’s the space you allow yourself not to over to analyze why you like whatever is you prefer. In all honestly, you may identify with the image of Marilyn Monroe beyond the fact that she’s white.

The question of why are black women not wearing Dorothy Dandridge on their shirt kept being asked. My only reply was where do I find one? Marilyn shirts are everywhere from Target to rag bins all around the country. I can honestly say I have never walked into a store and seen a shirt with an image of Dorothy on it. I don’t think black women have a real choice when they are shopping. For that, I am saddened that we don’t have the opportunity to choose between the two.

I put out a challenge on Facebook for someone to find me a t-shirt and one of my friends directed me to an Etsy shop. I was excited to purchase the shirt but in my mind, I thought this isn’t the same. As someone who is into all things vintage, I have to search for most of the things I like. I’m also a plus size girl I have to search for clothes that fit period. Although a Dorothy shirt is in existence, it still felt unavailable. It didn’t feel as accessible as Marilyn. For consumers who are mindlessly purchasing Marilyn for what she is and less of who she is what would provoke them to search for Dorothy? (other than this meme that I am not fond of) Maybe the shaming is necessary because outlets like Vintage Black Glamour aren’t viral.

I see a lot of black men posting this Marilyn vs. Dorothy meme. I think that may have ignited my initial anger. We never culturally question black men’s  pop culture interest.  A man can be a Star Wars fanatic,  idolize Scarface, or quote The Godfather, and their loyalty to their racial identity is never questioned.  As far as I am concerned if you are a Black man concerned with the available images of beautiful black women for purchase, start a company. Sell the shirts and I will buy them from you directly. I would love to see more vintage memorabilia.

The reality is we are African Americans despite the racial inequality unless you were raised on a commune there is a great chance you were exposed to or influenced by  American culture. If you so much as ate potato salad on the Fourth of July you are participating in American culture. It’s impossible to say you don’t enjoy anything.

As a Black woman, I am just trying to be! It’s hard enough being young and having diverse interest especially the ones that don’t reflect the interest, my peers. How do you know the awareness level of a Black woman you pass by wearing a Marilyn shirt? Unless you know them, personally you don’t know. I’m all about awareness and educating each other, but our social culture has a way of educating by shame.

I am inspired by women and not just the ones who look like me. From what I know and have researched about Marilyn she was a woman in search of being seen beyond her surface. She aspired to be taken seriously and viewed as a real talent, not unlike Dorothy Dandridge. I realized that to be a champion of all women I have to cheer for all women.  I plan to cheer even if it causes others to question where I stand. I don’t need a soapbox to prove I am proud of my culture because I am both a woman and black,

I choose to wear the images of three women Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Dandridge, and Frieda Kahlo.  I love all three of them for different reasons. Women of color are bold, exciting, sexy, smart and funny. We are diverse in quality, and all deserve equal face time on a t-shirt that is available for people to mindfully or mindlessly enjoy!

My heart aches not just for the little black girls who don’t know or can’t find Dorothy. My heart aches for all the women who can’t find images of women who look like them in the media. 

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“I am beyond your peripheral vision. You might want to turn you head”- Ani Di Franco

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  Follow me on Periscope for “On Wednesday’s We Periscope” @ohwize1 and give me direct feedback. You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter @ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!