Episode 60: Old Wives in the Big City

On Episode 60 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi tackle a question submitted by a a curious listener, discuss their weekend spent interviewing podcast guests in the nation's third largest city, and laugh over their embrace of weird and their acceptance of new behaviors in the Old Wives Corner. This episode will make you smile, make you think, and make you want to run to the library. Enjoy!

ASK US ANYTHING

A listener sent the following question for Leslie and Tesi to answer and they tackle it in their first segment:

“What are you currently reading?

— Marguerite, Mama Bear Listener

Do you have a question for the Mama Bear Dares podcast? Email mamabeardares@gmail.com or hit up the MBD social media channels and ask away!

Links to books discussed: Leslie's Pick | Tesi's Pick | Also Discussed

A Weekend of Women:

Tesi and Leslie spent a weekend in Chicago interviewing women for the podcast. As they reflect on the experience they bring up a few important points:

  1. We each respond differently when we're given a mic and a platform.
  2. We are for one another.

Stay tuned for interviews with four fabulous women that you've likely not heard of! Thank you so much to GitMom for hosting us!!

OLD WIVES CORNER:

The hosts discuss the things they do (and don't do) as 30-somethings that their 23-year-old selves might question. Help us add to the list! Are you an old wife? What's on your list?


Mama Bears, what are your thoughts on this fraught topic? We'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 59: Show Me Your Story with Lauri Levenfeld

Photo by Jessica Epstein

Photo by Jessica Epstein

On Episode 59 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie interview Lauri Levenfeld, a visionary, photographer, mother, wife, friend, and the soul behind the Project for Women, a forum showcasing inspiring women in fashion, technology, philanthropy, and business. Lauri was born a storyteller and during the podcast the three women dive deep in a conversation about gratitude, giving back, projected perfectionism, and authenticity. The hosts delight in the story of Lauri's profound (and very sweet) encounter with Nelson Mandela and are moved by her deep appreciation for the importance of connection, communication, history, and hard work. Never mind that Lauri has photographed Mark Zuckerberg and Hillary Clinton (just to name a few!), the three women peel back the layers of being a woman, wife, and mother, and enjoy a dialogue about the sweetness, silliness, and profundity of life.

Also discussed on the podcast:

  • The ways in which motherhood shifts a woman's career and art and how the motherhood, womanhood, and art can merge together to make a rich and meaningful life
  • Raising young girls (specifically tweens and teens) within the uncharted landscape of social media
  • The importance of quiet time, "in-between" minutes, meditation, and striving to be in the moment
  • The importance and beauty of connection when story-telling, regardless of the means of delivery

OBSESS SESH:

Lauri is obsessed with Hedi Slimane, anything Saint Laurent, and her star shoes...

LINKS

Project for Women

Project for Girls...Coming Soon!

If you want a little rock-and-roll, Lauri says that Jene Park is your gal! She dresses all the A-listers! Find her HERE and HERE

Lauri loves cooking with her daughter and loves Catherine McCord of Weelicious! Learn more HERE.

If you are a dog lover like Lauri (she says her pup is her second child and her long-lost son!), you gotta look up the pet bling by Carrie Cramer. (Featured on Project for Women HERE.)

Lauri's new fave show, Bravo’s original script Odd Mom Out with Jill Kargman, is raw, real and brilliant!

We all know and love Becky Straw of The Adventure Project!

Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 58: Creating Community After A Move

On Episode 58 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, co-hosts and sisters-in-law Leslie and Tesi jump into a reader question regarding the realities of Mama Bear. Put simply, they discuss what to do when Mama Bear is just too tired for action and believes a hot shower to be the only nonessential thing she's capable of at the moment. Can you relate? Listen in as the hosts respond with candor and encouragement. Leslie and Tesi also dive into the topic of building a community of friends after a move. Loneliness can be devastating, so the hosts first declare "me too" and then dive into solutions and suggestions. They end the episode by exploring their Other Self as a check-in to one another and listeners about the way they engage in the ever-important act of self care.

ASK US ANYTHING

A listener sent the following question for Leslie and Tesi to answer and they tackle it in their first segment:

I love the podcast and I know I SHOULD want to do better and engage my Mama Bear in all the ways discussed, but I just don’t feel like I have the energy to do it. Why and how can I move my Mama Bear to care about more than just surviving every day?
— Jenny, Mama Bear Listener

Do you have a question for the Mama Bear Dares podcast? Email mamabeardares@gmail.com or hit up the MBD social media channels and ask away!

Finding Community after a move:

It's so hard! Both hosts have been the new girl in town and offer the following to listeners who might be experiencing the same:

  • Get out of your comfort zone. Start a book club! Strike up a conversation in a coffee shop! It might feel awkward, but you just might uncover a friend.
  • Strike up a conversation and revel in the hope it brings. You may not have just made your new best friend, but you'll prove to yourself that people are out there and relationships are possible again.
  • Be bold! You may not have ever thought about joining an organized group (moms' group, small group, book group), but now is the time to give one a shot!
  • Start or join an online community. These relationships can be beautiful and fulfilling!
  • Rest in the understanding that it takes time to build a tribe. You'll get there, Mama Bear!

OTHER SELF:

The hosts check in on what they're doing for their "Other Self" in order to keep their whole self healthy.

LINKS:

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Miracle, Vegetable

Tesi's BLOG POST about moving and loneliness.

Find a MOPS International group near you! | Mandy Arioto's Episode 41 was terrific!


Mama Bears, what are your thoughts on this fraught topic? We'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 57: Finding (and using!) Your Voice

Your perspective, your experience, your blessings and gifts, and your unique place in this world give you an incredible platform from which to stand and sing the song that only you can. There is no one in the world like you! Leslie and Tesi believe this to be true ... and so does Natalie Grant, a four-time Grammy-nominated recording artist, author, creator of the fashion and jewlery line NG by Natalie Grant, and the co-founder of the nonprofit Hope for Justice. On Episode 57 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, the three women discuss the power each of us hold within and encourage listeners to discover their strength and use it for ultimate good. While celebrating the publication of Natalie's new book, Finding Your Voice: What Every Woman Needs to Live Her God-Given Passions Outloud, the three women explore the ways we each are uniquely created to summon ultimate love to pour onto others. Though there are times that you feel small and powerless, the women have a strong message for you: Not only do you matter, but you are a crucial piece in the puzzle of life.

Other topics discussed:

  • The world needs YOUR unique voice. So many living and breathing souls today do not have a voice. They are marginalized and we must lend them ours.
  • Being vulnerable both requires and breeds courage.
  • The things you DO are not the things that define you. Who you are is more than the activity or output of your day. Sometimes we need to silence the unhealthy lies that we get wrapped up in and call out the truth of who we are as individuals.
  • The beauty of being used in the everyday and hearing God's call, even in the most mundane moments.

LINKS:

Order Natalie's new book, Finding Your Voice, HERE.

Natalie is online! Learn more about her, her mission, and her music here:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Check out Natalie's jewelry line (and other fashion) HERE.

Interested in learning more about Natalie's work with Hope for Justice? Check out HERE.


Mama Bears, we'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 55: Motherhood Abroad with Tarin Tesfaye

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to parent in a developing nation? Do you ever like to peer through the window of other worlds and observe how parenting plays out? On Episode 55, co-host Leslie grabs the mic in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and sits down with Tarin Tesfaye, an American woman living and mothering in a culture very different from the one we experience here in the United States. Listen in as she shares what it’s like to live in a mud hut on her in-law's family compound, the challenges and joys she finds in her everyday life with her husband and son, and her pulse on the world refugee crisis as an employee of ZOA, an NGO that focuses on helping internally displaced people, host populations, returnees, and a large population of refugees who fled a lethal combination of violence and drought in Somalia, conflict in South Sudan, and human rights violations in Eritrea.

Other points discussed:

  • Practicalities of mothering in a developing country (ex. laundry!)
  • Slowed-down lifestyle: Frazzled nature of American culture vs. life in Ethiopia
  • Refugee care (South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea)
  • Encouraging the Other Self

LINKS:

Want to learn more about the refugee experience? Tarin recommends the following links:

Read Refugee Stories HERE | Stories from Eritrea and Somalia can be found HERE

Tarin works here: ZOA Ethiopia

Check out these books that focus on motherhood abroad or in worlds different than your own. Leslie has read and enjoyed them all:

Bringing up Bebe | The Battle Hymn of A Tiger Mom | Primates of Park Avenue | How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between)

Heading to Ethiopia? We highly recommend the Well Spring Guesthouse!

Mama Bears, we'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 51: Give Your Child the World with Jamie C. Martin

On this episode of Mama Bear Dares, Tesi and Leslie talk to Jamie C. Martin, a mother, an avid reader, a homeschooler, a world traveler, and a witness to the terrible tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Jamie has written a book that the sister-hosts absolutely love and think you will, too! The women discuss Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time and the ways in which we can help our children develop empathy and compassion through literature and story. After a conversation that covers topics ranging from the gift of public libraries to dealing with tragedy alongside children to the dynamic appeal of list-making to the beauty of our enormous world, the women leave listeners with a DARE that encourages listeners to think about their own story and the stories of others, using the collective narratives to give children the gift of uplifting, beautiful, redemptive tales as a shield from the world's cynicism and a springboard to a life of love and compassion.

Other points discussed:

  • Our shared love of books!
  • Homeschooling and intentional education
  • The power of STORY
  • Parenting through tragedy
  • How/Why to emphasize global-mindedness in your American household today

LINKS:

Leslie is reading a re-telling of Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, the author of The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency  | Tesi is reading Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives. Our kids are reading the new Harry Potter book (of course!), Anna Habiscus, James Harriott, and Sports Illustrated for Kids.

Episode 34 is a conversation about the power and joys of traveling with kids. Find it HERE.

Jamie C. Martin can be found at Simplehomeschool.net and on Facebook.

Buy the book, Give Your Child the World, HERE!

Honey for the Child's Heart

Check out these blog posts penned by Jamie:

How to Homeschool | Newtown | Steady Days Shine Your Light

Special thanks to Wunderkind for the music! Keep bringing it!

Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.


Mama Bear Dares is online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! Please take the time to rate and review us so that we can reach more ears. Thanks!

Episode 50: Love & More Love (Leslie Wrote A Book!)

You guys! Our very own co-host wrote a book! It's called Mama Bear's Manifesto and it's available for pre-order on Amazon! Leslie and Tesi spend the podcast talking about the basic idea of the Mama Bear lurking inside each of us and celebrate the arrival of Leslie's book in the world. Their excitement is real! After all, the Manifesto shares the message of this podcast: We are powerful. We are ferocious. We are perfectly positioned to wreak havoc on this world! You're going to love seeing this spelled out on the page!

Within their celebration, the co-hosts discuss the power of female friendship and the way Mama Bear's Manifesto aims to encourage women to use their relationships and their incredible capacity to love in big and bold ways, all the while encouraging listeners to identify the strength of their own Mama Bear and make the decision to use her power for good. They discuss Leslie's writing process and get real about the making of the book. In both big and small ways we are meant to live authentic, LOVE-filled lives. It's a bonus when you uncover your Mama Bear and begin training her for a better world. As the book and the podcast both enthusiastically declare, it's the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 47: Contentment is a Unicorn

Interview Template.jpg

On Episode 48 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie talk to Melanie Dale about her new book It's Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn't Choose. The three women discuss coping mechanisms (both healthy and harmful), bearing hope during difficult periods, and the healing power of laughter when all you want to do is cry. As they explore the themes of loss and hardship, the women also discuss the ways in which we can be good friends to those who are suffering around us and how we might better express ourselves in times of personal darkness. The conversation is honest, uplifting, and filled with lighthearted moments. Tune in to learn more about Melanie and learn from her unique wisdom encouraging women to move through difficult times with courage and steadfast faith.

MORE of MELANIE:

Find Melanie's new book, It's Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn't Choose, HERE.

Melanie's first book, Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends, can be purchased HERE.

Find Melanie's blog, Unexpected, HERE. | You'll find her podcast HERE.

Read Melanie's popular post "Dating for Moms".

We mention Grace Bearer Beth Johnson in the podcast. She was interviewed on Episode 7: The Flow of Generosity of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 41: A Swirly Mess of Beautiful with Mandy Arioto

On Episode 41, Tesi and Leslie interview Mandy Arioto, the president and CEO of MOPS (Mothers of Preschool) International, who will release her debut book Starry-Eyed: Seeing Grace in the Unfolding Constellation of Life and Motherhood in August.

Tesi and Leslie absolutely love the book and were delighted by their conversation with Mandy, a woman who is smart, sweet, vulnerable, and full of inspiration. Mandy believes in intentionally showing up in relationships (even when it's hard or uncomfortable) and leaning on one another in times of celebration and strife. And, much like Leslie and Tesi, she goes BIG to cultivate joy! The women discuss the ins and outs of motherhood (both the inherent joy and pain), the challenges of finding time to embrace the Other Self, and the amazing opportunity women have to influence the next generation of humans. Ultimately, all three women believe somethings fundamental: Moms are world changers!

Other ideas discussed on the podcast:

  • Women are idea makers! How wonderful to be so fully and constantly alive in this world ... walking around with astoundingly creative brains! Tesi, Leslie, and Mandy discuss the ways in which big ideas play out in their lives and how it impacts partnership, parenthood, and the general dynamic of a household.
  • The “Me-Too” factor—it's essential to motherhood and to healthy community! Whatever you’re going through, the hosts and guests of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast want you to know that they've been there, too. You'll hear these women loud and clear, listeners. “ME. TOO.”
  • Mandy revealed great tips for combating mommy guilt, and the women discuss their disbelief in a perfectly balanced life. This portion of the conversation will encourage listeners to recognize and accept seasons of life rather than live in constant expectation of a "perfect balance."
  • The women challenge the cultural assumption that if things are HARD, it means that we're doing them WRONG. Rather, they postulate that life can be difficult and that wading through the hurt and sadness is necessary in order to once again experience joy. The women explore embracing personal pain and teaching kids how to embrace hurt in the hopes of growth and maturity.

Here's where you can find Mandy:

Order Mandy's fabulous new book, Starry-Eyed, Seeing Grace in the Unfolding Constellation of Life and Motherhood, HERE. It's so good!

Check out Mandy's website for more of her!

MOPS is a great organization. If you're mom seeking friendship and community, it's a great resource!

Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun podcasting and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

Thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 35: Nothing of Value Separates Us

On Episode 35 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie interview Tara Livesay, a native Minnesotan who has spent the last 10 years living with her family in Haiti. Tara is a mother (by birth and adoption), Certified Professional Midwife, blogger, and advocate for sustainable change throughout the developing world. She and the team at Heartline Ministries spend their days empowering, educating, and encouraging women in Haiti through relational midwifery and a focus on keeping first families together.

Tesi and Leslie loved the time spent with Tara and were blown away by her vulnerability, bravery, and extraordinarily good humor. Listeners will enjoy hearing Tara's fascinating tales of worth, wisdom, and a life well-lived (in Haiti!)... and may even be inspired to think about social change and the ways that they can make waves in their own small corner of the world.

Also discussed on the podcast:

  • A discussion of self worth: What stories do we tell ourselves about what we are and are not capable of? How do guilt and shame inform what's possible in the future?
  • The road to healing — counseling, speaking your truth, being in control of your own narrative
  • The complexity of adoption and its root in loss
  • What does it take to move a family to a developing nation? A discussion of language, community, and living through the unexpected (not to mention an earthquake!)
  • The act of writing as therapy, the responsibility of sharing the story of others, and the privilege of first-person reporting
  • The work of Heartline Ministries and the emphasis on orphan prevention and keeping first-families in tact through empowerment and education
  • The role of deep and trusting relationships during labor and delivery to promote safe birth. (Stayed tuned for Heartline expansion of relational midwifery!)
  • Orphanage tourism and the complex nature of compassion. Who benefits? Who is harmed?

Links:

Tara's Blog | Heartline Ministries | Donate to Heartline

Listen to meditation coach Angie Sands in (Episode 31) .

Empower Tanzania

Momastery + Together Rising + Tara on Momastery

Christian Missionary Alliance

Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun podcasting and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

Thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!