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 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 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 44: Parenting through Tragedy: Thoughts on Nice, Alton Sterling, Phillandro Castille, & the Dallas PD

On this Mama Bear Mini, Tesi and Leslie reign in the mighty-Mama-Bear-poised-for-action that resides in each of them and attempt to have a disciplined, yet passionate, conversation about the world at large. Leslie just returned from a three-week vacation that involved time in Nice, so the sisters can't help but once again tackle the headlines. The women talk a bit about Leslie’s vacation and a bit about Nice, but the bulk of the conversation is a discussion of how we engage our mama bear to fight for justice in the world and how to raise our kids to be compassionate and loving when it feels like the world is the opposite. Tesi and Leslie do their best to talk through two basic questions in the midst of very challenging times: How do we remain compassionate and nonjudgmental during these times? And how do we raise our kids to do the same?

Links mentioned in the show:

Episode 39 and Episode 40 on the Mama Bear Dares Podcast tackle white privilege

CEO/President of MOPS, Mandy Arioto, talks about empowering kids on Episode 41.

Tesi's Facebook page to check out her viral post!

LINKS FOR FURTHER READING

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

What does it mean to be long for so long? Reflections on Black Reality & White Delusion

Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a five-part series for the The New York Times, When Whites Just Don't Get it


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 39: The Eye-Opening Power of Travel

It has been a really intense week here in America. From Alton Sterling and Philando Castle to the five police officers in Dallas, this week has been seemingly consumed with death. If there has been one thing that is shared among Americans, it's grief.

On Episode 39 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie welcome another sister-in-law, Kait Klipsch, to the conversation. Because of Kait's unique outlook on life and their shared interests, the women talked for more than 2 hours. In Part 1, the women deep dive into Kait's extensive experience in living and working in other countries. The women talk about how traveling to new worlds—whether it be across the world to Sri Lanka or across the city to the south side of Chicago—opens eyes to new realities and are so often worlds away from Kait's own experience as a white, upper-middle class woman.

OTHER IDEAS DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST:

  • What does it mean to work in an area that has virtually no privileges and then go home to your safe, warm, well fed house? How do you live in that tension?
  • How do we as Mama Bears allow our kids to learn these lessons of privilege while also watching them struggle with the reality? How do we watch them walk through it without trying to step in and save them from it? What value is there in our kids knowing the experiences of other races, cultures and countries?
  • Immigration. The false narrative that people immigrating to America would choose America over their own communities if there was enough work. Kait's experience in Mexico opened her eyes to the reality.
  • The idea of identity and how, in America, we are forced to create a singular identity. But when you travel in another country the people don't know your story and so you are free to just be who you are in that moment.
  • Communication. How even when we don't speak a common language, much can be communicated. The shared business of being human.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, FOLLOW THE LINKS ALSO DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST:

The organization Kait worked for in Chicago was Heartland Alliance.

The organization Kait worked for in Mexico was La Fundacion Comunitaria.

The organization Kait worked for in Sri Lanka was Professional Psychological Counseling Center of Batticaloa.

Episode 23: On Immigration, Compassion, and Complexity with Cynthia Vanderpool Garcia


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!