If you don't have any handweights at home and still want to strength train, I would encourage you to buy a set of resistance bands. Resistance bands are a great way to strength train and they're affordable too. If you're not sure where to start, join SERGEANTMAJORs resistance band team. he's got a bunch of beginner to expert workouts posted that you could do at home. www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_individ
If you do decide to buy some handweights, I'd suggest buying some 8s, 10s and 12s. That might seem like a lot, but it's not. Some muscles are stronger than others. So, you might find five pound weights challenging for some shoulder exercises, but they will not be challenging if you were to try a chest press.
Women are stronger than they think. I can assure you that you will not look like a body builder if you pick up a weight that's heavier than 10 pounds. Don't be afraid to challenge your body.
Also, I would recommend getting this book from the library. Bill Philips Body for Life is an excellent beginner strength training book. You could probably find it at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. it's been around for years.