Category: Home

The Alphanista @Home Series

By Aminah Hanan

Welcome to a new feature here at Alphanista.

The Alphanista at Home series is meant to inspire the most discerning Alphanistas as we embark upon a quest to take control of our environment and create our own uniquely beautiful worlds. This feature will focus on our homes, entertaining, food, arts and crafts, DIY, and because we could all use a gentle reminder sometimes – good old etiquette.

If you have been silencing your inner domestic diva and are yearning to set her free Alphanista is here to help. Maybe you find yourself at a loss for words in awkward situations (What exactly do you say to your fiancés’ beloved mother when she tells you flat out there is no way in hell her son is marrying you?) Alphanista’s Guide to Etiquette has got you covered. Too busy to catch up with B. Smith or Martha Stewart? No worries. Alphanista at Home will help put you up on find the flyest most practical crafts to add to your artistic repertoire.

It does not matter if you are a professional working outside of the home, a stay at home mom, married or single there will be something for everyone.

So what do you need to do to help make the Alphanista at Home series a success? Simply email me with your concerns, questions, or suggestions. If you are an alpha female that has successfully channeled her inner domestic diva and wants to be featured in the At Home With An Alphanista spotlight?  I want to hear from you.

So let’s get it in Alphanistas. Spring has sprung and there is no better time to commit to making our houses homes. Remember there is nothing sexier than an alpha female who creates her own world!

Aminah Hanan is an alpha female, blogger, book lover, blog conference Program Director, crafter, Health Care Professional, and writer who lives in Chicago with her family. Email her at home@alphanista.com

Craft Crack: T-Shirt Necklace

This series is inspired by the domestic diva inside of us…and dedicated to our favorite alpha and craft lover Wendy Williams.

by Aminah Hanan

This is one of my favorite spring and summer crafts. It’s easy and worry free. I’ve had the misfortune of losing expensive jewelry at the beach but no worries with this necklace. If you misplace it you’re only out of a couple of bucks.
Supplies you’ll need:
●    Soft 100% cotton T-shirt
●    Ruler
●    Scissors or rotary cutter

 

1.    Lay the t-shirt on a flat surface. I like to iron my t-shirt to make sure it lays flat. Cut off the hem and discard. Cut the body of the shirt horizontally into strips approximately 3/4 of an inch long. (They will actually be loops.)

2.    One at a time, pull the loops open and stretch until the fabric starts to curl. Stack the loops on top of one another so that all the T-shirt side seams are in the same spot.

 

3.    Once you have the thickness you desire, wrap the seams with a scrap piece of fabric (about 6 inches long) from the same shirt. Tuck the end of the scrap under itself.

This is a quick and easy crafty creation that with a little experimentation can be funked up in so many different ways…

 

This necklace looks great with bathing suits, bikinis, and maxi dresses.

Hat tip to Cucumbersome.com and MarthaStewart.com

Aminah Hanan is an alpha female, blogger, book lover, blog conference Program Director, crafter, Health Care Professional, and writer who lives in Chicago with her family. Email her at home@alphanista.com.

Get Him To Take Care Of Needs, Not Wants

by Aminah Hanan

Dare I utter the words “kept woman” in the 21st century?

I know we are all independent women with fabulous careers who love swaying our hips to latest Hip Hop ode to the girls who can lend their men money and all of that. But every now and then one of us meets and settles down with an old fashioned, old school gentleman that believes that it is his duty to take care of his woman. He’s the kind of man that finds your career in biomedical research fascinating and would never dream of asking you to give it up. However, he is comfortable enough financially that your check book can go on hiatus when it comes to the household expenses.

Despite what some women may think being “kept” does not imply that a woman is slothful, a courtesan, or an anti-feminist 50’s throwback. There is an art and a skill to being a kept woman. Rule number one keep the intimate details of your relationship between you and your man. Nothing spoils domestic bliss like the sour tongued unwanted advice of a meddling family member or girlfriend.

Remember he’s taking care of all your needs. Your wants are your responsibility now. Don’t pressure him to make costly purchases. If you must rock only red bottomed shoes or alphabet leather bags buy them yourself. Taking care of you doesn’t mean he should go into debt.

Don’t give up your career. It fascinates him. It’s one of the reasons he fell in love with you. It makes him look good. He loves bragging to his colleagues and friends about the work you do. He snagged a smart woman therefore he must be a smart man.

Take care of home. Keep it clean, comfortable, organized, and well stocked. Hire a cleaning crew to keep your home so clean you could eat off the floors. No time to cook? Hire a personal chef to cook 3 to 4 times a week. Keep a well stocked pantry and frig. He should never be without his favorite energy drink or midnight snack.

Put in work to be the same chic he fell in love with. Have a standing weekly spa appointment to keep things soft, supple, and hair free – if that’s his preference. Make time to learn to do things he’ll love. From perfecting a pole dance to a cooking class with his mother to learn to make his favorite dish, he’ll appreciate your desire to please him and it’ll inspire him to work harder.

DO IT BIG! It doesn’t matter if it’s his birthday, your anniversary, Father’s Day, or you’re celebrating his latest accomplishment, buy him that vintage pocket watch he’d never buy for himself or spring for that luxurious getaway to Abruzzo.

Send him surprise thank you gifts. He works hard to take care of you. It’s OK to say thank you. If he’s a closet sommelier, he may enjoy a membership to a wine club. A new accessory from his favorite designer or a couple’s massage are also nice ways to say thank you.

Save for a rainy day. Emergencies arise and circumstances change. Be smart, consult a professional and learn how to save and invest your money wisely. There’s nothing sexier than a woman who can say to her man during a time of distress, “I got this. I got us.”

Remember you’re a smart woman that’s why he fell in love with you.

Aminah Hanan is an alpha female, blogger, book lover, blog conference Program Director, crafter, Health Care Professional, and writer who lives in Chicago with her family. Email her at home@alphanista.com.

Craft Crack: Stylish Bin

 

So, for the last year or so I have been wanting to craft.

Or do some crafting?  However you say it!  I just don’t know what to choose.  I just feel like my hands are craving to work.  I started with knitting, and didn’t quite keep up the practice and stopped.  It was getting too frustrating keeping my panel straight.  My knitting jobs would always look like an “S”.  Then I started scrapbooking.  I really enjoyed that and found it calming and therapeutic.  But I stopped that too.  There just wasn’t enough pictures to keep me busy enough.  I figured I’d just wait for the right thing.

I haven’t chosen any specific project yet.  I’m still experimenting with ideas and learning.  What I think is most impressive about anyone is a talent.  I already know I have one.  What are you really good at?  What have you done that 95% of percent of people can’t do or haven’t accomplished.  As an Alphanista, it is your dutyt to be talented in something. Think about it. You may be surprised.  On the other hand, if you don’t have any talents, learn something new now.

I love the look of the project below.  The older I get, the more I enjoy the vintage, craftsman style looks of homes, furniture and little trinkets.  I’ve always loved books in the house and their smell.  Get some old books and try this at home.

This is actually on sale at Etsy for $100!

 

Perfect for storage!

 

Materials:

  • Glue
  • Bin or old wooden box
  • Book spines

 

1) Find some old books with the spines falling off around the house or at the flea market

2) Tear off the spines and glue them to the back of a bin

3) Done!

 

Enjoy!

Read more in this series

The Alpha’s Guide to Hiring Help

by Aminah Hanan

DISHES, LAUNDRY, WINDOWS, BATHROOM TILES …

Who has time for all that cleaning? But it must be done. Spring is here and along with shopping for must have sandals it’s also a great time to hire some good help to sweep out the cobwebs and dust that has collected in corners. If a picture perfect home, that is always ready and welcoming to guests is what you desire, let the Alpha’s Guide to Hiring Help put you on the path to finding your own domestic fairy godmother.

Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for hiring help. No matter how big or small your home or how much money you make, a clean, organized, and peaceful home is priceless. Hiring a housekeeper will make your life easier and give you free time to do more of the things you love.

Decide how often you’ll need your home cleaned and on what days; 2 times a week, weekly, bi-weekly, every season for deep cleanings, or for special occasions. Depending on your needs you may be able to secure special pricing or discounts.

Have a to do list. What rooms do you want cleaned and how often? Will the housekeeper be required to do windows, clean out the fridge, wipe down the walls, clean the oven, do laundry? Know exactly what you want and need before you start looking for help.

Have a don’t list. Is your bedroom off limits? Is handling or polishing your China or crystal a no-no? Put it in writing and let your housekeeper know up front in the initial interview.

Referrals are usually a sure fire way to secure a good housekeeper. If you know someone who has a housekeeper or uses a cleaning service ask questions about the staff’s reliability, punctuality, quality of work, and price. Someone you know personally may be the best source for candid, unbiased, free references.

Use a reputable company. Ask all the questions you would of a referring friend. The great thing about cleaning companies is that they usually do background checks. So the chance of your great grandmother’s heirloom pearls coming up missing are slim to none. However, agencies can be more expensive than hiring an independent worker.

Find out your potential housekeeper’s don’ts immediately. Some may refuse to do windows, wipe down walls, or do laundry. It’s important to find out what they’re not willing to do to make sure they’re a good fit for you. Inviting someone into your home to clean is very intimate and should be taken seriously. If you don’t have a good rapport with your help in the beginning it can be disastrous later.

Don’t be a Marie Antoinette. Your housekeeper is providing a service. They are not your servant or worse, your slave. Be considerate and never condescending. Unless special preparations are made in advance, don’t ask them to work holidays. If their scheduled work day falls on a holiday give them the day off with pay. Keep bottled water or juice in your frig along with snacks. Let them know they’re welcome to them and can help themselves.

It’s OK to give birthday and end of year bonuses. A crisp $50 or $100 bill inside a card is always a warm gesture.

Practice discretion. Don’t toss that soiled pair of panties (you know the ones I’m talking about) in the hamper with the rest. This also goes for whatever unconventional or clandestine things you may be in to. The housekeeper should not have to clean up or put away used prophylactics or other contraband.

Have a cleaning closet. If you have a housekeeper who works weekly dedicate a cleaning or linen closet for their use. They will in turn let you know what supplies they need replenished and implements they need.

Know the law. If you have regular help consult your accountant or tax professional about the tax laws and social security. This is important because you would never consider hiring help that isn’t eligible to work in the U.S. Right?

Stay out of the way. Don’t look over their shoulders when they’re working. Go out and do something. Remember one of the reasons you hired help is so you could have more time to do the things you love.

Remember you hired help to make your life easier. If they’re making it harder you’re wasting your money. If you have to let them go make sure it’s for a specific reason.  For example, they continue to sweep trash under the area rug and you’ve brought this to their attention on numerous occasions. Be firm.

Aminah Hanan is an alpha female, blogger, book lover, blog conference Program Director, crafter, Health Care Professional, and writer who lives in Chicago with her family. Email her at home@alphanista.com.