Episode 237: Rebalancing the Domestic Workload with Eve Rodsky

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On Episode 237, Leslie and Tesi were thrilled to sit down with Eve Rodsky, the author of Reese Witherspoon’s October book pick, FAIR PLAY: A Game-Changing Solution For When You Have Too Much To Do (And More Life to Live). The women lament the mental load that so many of us shoulder, but ultimately celebrate Eve’s revolutionary system for rebalancing the domestic workload between partners, putting an end to the imbalance of “invisible work” that women do regardless of whether they work outside the home. The conversation is candid, insightful, full of facts and information, AND leaves listeners with the tools and the hope they so desperately need to create a practical solution that will ultimately save our sanity, identity, career, and partnerships.

Find more about Eve! Reese Witherspoon’s October Book Club! Website | FB | Insta | Further Reading | Youtube

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Episode 236: Faith & Fumes (Parenting Teens & Tweens) with Demi Austin Thomas

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On Episode 236 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with “The Tween Queen,” family expert Demi Austin Thomas. A well-respected parenting coach and exceedingly loving person, Demi helps families and parents navigate their way through difficult times. The three women enjoy an authentic, truth- and wisdom-filled conversation spanning from Demi’s own struggles as a teenager, to her direct approach to communicating with teens by meeting them where they are emotionally and mentally. The women enjoy sharing stories and Tesi and Leslie appreciate Demi’s approach, which have been described as old school with a redefined approach. Listen, laugh, nod your head, and learn.

Find more Demi:

Her Work: DemiAustinThomas.com | Her Heart: BeempoweredInc.org

Her Community: ILiveExpo.com | FB | Insta

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Episode 226: The Language of Racism & Why Words Matter

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On Episode 226 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss current events, in particular, President Trump’s recent tweets at four congresswomen asking them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” They lament the president’s use of power to other and divide, and focus in on the words “go back” in an effort to highlight the history of such sentiment and the use of the phrase as a dog whistle for white supremacy. The two sisters look back at the historial context of this phrase and others, discuss their own racism and a mama bear response, acknowledge the cultural waters in which we swim, and ask listeners to jump into this national conversation armed with information. They conclude the episode with a tale of Leslie’s recent trip to Egypt and a few surprises she encountered there while traveling with a U.S. passport in 2019.

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Episode 224: In Praise of Good Enough

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On Episode 224 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate the virtue of “good enough.” Though the women value excellence and strive to be the best versions of self possible, they spend this Mama Bear Mini talking about motivation, expectations, and the virtue of imperfection. They discuss enjoying hobbies for the sake of enjoyment rather than mastery, cultural influences that impact our leisure behavior, and the joy of celebrating the “okay-ness” of others. This episode, an ode to the “good enough” mother/friend/human/Mama Bear, will inspire listeners to embrace imperfection and find her power there.

Links to work referenced in the podcast: Article 1 | Article 2

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Episode 211: Mama Bears Gone Wild

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On Episode 211 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss the college admissions scandal and the influence of wealth, privilege, race, and connection in accessing higher education in America. The two discuss the waste of the mama bear exhibited by the people involved in “Varsity Blues” … and ask themselves hard questions: If we had the wealth and influence, would we do the same? Are there ways in which our mama bear has gone wild in her own unique way? Has she been wasted? The women discuss ways that the mama bear can indeed go wild and how we can actively work on reigning her in when need be. They challenge listeners (and themselves!) to NOT be the ones to use our voices and our rage for those who are already at the top and who are already the benefactors of all the privilege the world offers, but rather use the mama bear on behalf of the truly vulnerable among us.

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Episode 208: Stop Interrupting Me

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On Episode 208 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the power dynamics of language in relation to gender. In an episode that critiques the culture in which we are raising both boys and girls, they share stories, statistics, and why it’s important to encourage one another and teach our daughters to stand up for ourselves in conversation. The sisters are vulnerable, passionate, and adamant about encouraging listeners to recognize the power of your own voice and use your Mama Bear strength to assert your words in the world.

“Stop interrupting me.” / “I just said that.” / “No explanation needed.”

You'll find the article by Soraya Chemaly HERE.

Episode 204: On Intersectionality | Episode 199: Toxic Masculinity…Again | Episode 183: Boys Will Not Be Boys

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Episode 200: Marie Kondo is a Mama Bear!

On Episode 200 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the Marie Kondo craze that has so many of us captivated and curious. In true Mama Bear fashion, they provide commentary on Kondo’s Mama Bear methods by acknowledging her sometimes counter-cultural method and her critique of gendered social norms and the excessive consumerism so often exercised in the Western world. The women praise Marie Kondo’s emphasis on gratitude and celebrate her quiet revolution of equality. With a small analysis of the “mental load” so many women share and talk of a little xenophobia thrown in for good measure, the women have a great time discussing the KonMarie method and the layers it entails.

Listen to some of our favorite Mama Bear Minis if you’re looking for cultural commentary on the teens in MAGA hats at the Indigenous Peoples March:

Make America Kind Again | Make America Kind Again, Part II | Boys Will NOT Be Boys | Cultural Appropriation

Watch Kondo work her magic here and check out some our favorite articles responding to the Marie Kondo craze:

Vice | Vice 2 | McSweeneys | NBC | The Atlantic | The Lily | The Huffington Post

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Episode 193: Food Activism & Climate Change with Helen Defossez

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On Episode 193 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Helene Defossez, an an author and activist who leads a group of Mama Bears (les mamans ours!) in her home country of France. The three women jump into a delightful and fierce conversation about food as activism and why eating more veggies and less (or no!) meat is an act of resistance in terms of climate change. The women discuss veganism and the treatment of animals, veganism as an environmental and political practice, and vegetables as a means of improved health. Also discussed is culture and relationship to food and farming practices, compassionate living, and Tesi’s discovery of the garlic press. :-)



Learn more about Helene and find her books on her website. Visit the French Mama Bears on Instagram!

Additional links mentioned in the episode: Cowspiracy | Forks Over Knives | Tesi’s Vegan Pins | The Vegan Matriarch

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Provide Clean Water!

Shop with the Mama Bears this holiday season and 100% of your purchase will go to clean water in rural Tanzania through Empower Tanzania! Shop HERE!

Episode 189: Raising Politically Active Kids (and a Midterm Election Re-Cap)

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On Episode 189, Leslie and Tesi talk about the midterm election and their quest to raise politically active kids. They celebrate the nation’s small victories, reiterate their belief that the #babiesgonnasaveus, and leave listeners with a re-cap of the Water Party, an annual event that this year raised nearly $60,000 for clean water solutions in rural Tanzania. This episode is a reminder to listeners that progress is made at a pace that is almost always slow and steady, and encourage all the Fur/Plant/People mama and papas bears out there to keep doing the hard work in the direction of love and compassion.

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Buy Water Party Jewelry HERE!

Help us reach our goal! 100% of your donation goes to a clean water solution in the village of Nadaruru. Learn more about the Mama Bear’s travels to Africa HERE and the Water Party HERE.

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Episode 186: Feminist Awakening with Libby Babbott-Klein

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On Episode 186 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Libby Babbott-Klein, a producer, author, and creative director with a focus on activist and political content. Libby ran the video department for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, and launched a feminist jewelry line (Libby B.K.), and for over a decade, she has been creating content that is rooted in social change and entertainment. The women sit and talk about feminism in 2018 and explore the idea of teaching even our youngest children about gender equality.

Follow Libby on Instagram | Buy the book Baby Feminists

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

Episode 183: Boys will NOT be boys

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On Episode 183 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss rape culture, toxic masculinity, the Brett Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, and why they, as fierce Mama Bears, MUST act as cultural disruptors in this moment in time. In other words, they discuss why and how the dangerous old adage “boys will be boys” and everything it stands for must be stopped. The women lament the current state of our culture, but ultimately offer tangible tips on how to talk to the kids in your life about sex, consent, and responsibility, and raise up a new generation that honors the humanity of all.

Links for further study: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Recommended reading: Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

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Episode 181: Make America Kind Again

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On Episode 181 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie remind listeners that they refuse to let kindness die. In fact, they audaciously believe that what America needs is more kindness! The women also recognize the responsibility we have as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that the virtue of kindness outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend Episode 181 discussing what we can do to instill this value in the kids we influence. How do we raise kind kids? It turns out, there's actually a language to kindness and it's discussed in this fun and fascinating episode!

LINKS:

A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Carol Dweck's Mindset is a must-read | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

Today's Show Sponsors: Purple Mattress & True Botanicals

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Episode 177: 10 THINGS WHITE MOMS CAN DO TO FIGHT RACISM & SPREAD LOVE

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On Episode 177 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie discuss privilege, racism, and 10 ways they believe white moms can use their privilege to fight racism and spread love. They trust that the podcast community is a safe place to express their observations, experiences, and beliefs about this topic and humbly ask readers to consider their perspective, poke holes in their theories, and promise to journey together to make a better tomorrow. Lovers of actionable steps and lists, Leslie and Tesi come up with 10 tangible ways to engage their Mama Bear in this fight. The 10 steps are listed below. For complete details and explanation, listen in!

10 Things White Moms Can Do To Fight Racism & Spread Love

  1. Acknowledge your privilege
  2. Learn about implicit bias and examine how it plays out in your life
  3. Listen and learn from those to whom the experience belongs
  4. Amplify the voices of people of color
  5. Talk to your kids, your neighbor, the mail carrier, and your mom about why Black Lives Matter movement matters
  6. Teach your kids that skin color matters
  7. Be a co-conspirator
  8. Advocate for diversity in your life
  9. Pronounce your kids’ friends name’s correctly
  10. Avoid using racially coded language at home and in conversation

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Episode 175: Parenting Teens, Part Two

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On this Mama Bear Mini, Tesi and Leslie talk about parenting teenagers in 2018. In particular, they discuss equipping kids with the language they need to navigate specific pressures of teenager-hood. They dive into ways parents can help prepare kids to say no to the pressures of drugs, alcohol, drunk driving and texting while driving, and discuss the language of kindness and how we might teach our kids to use their words in the face of relationship tension. The sisters also take on societal expectations of raising teenagers and end with an always-fun and long-overdue segment: Things I Should Probably Feel Guilty About, But Don't.

Other Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

Glennon's Original Blog Post | Episode 159: Parenting Teens (and why no one is talking about it)

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Episode 168: All Bodies Are Good Bodies with Sarah Stevens

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On Episode 168 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie are captivated by Sarah Stevens, a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and founder of The Beautifull Project, a truly extraordinary space where ordinary women are encouraged to tell the truth of their bodies, beauty, and belonging. The conversation ranges from shame to hope, from illness to health, and from obsession to freedom, and works to serve as part of a chorus of courage for women who are tired of shrinking and aim to take up space in this world. Whether in the boardroom, in relationships, or in their own unique physical being, women listening will be inspired to accept their body, claim their innate worth, and fearlessly bring their whole selves to an often hurting world.

Also discussed in this episode:

  • How do we live fully in our bodies?
  • Throwing out the scale and trusting our bodies
  • How to talk to our daughters about bodies
  • The danger of disembodiment
  • The power of our collective stories to heal us collectively

Find Sarah and The Beautifull Project on Facebook, Instagram, and on the website. Links to blogs referenced in the podcast can be found here.


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Thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 165: Summer and the War Against Manufactured Magic

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On Episode 165 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi dive into a topic near and dear to their hearts—the war against manufactured magic. It’s a Gladiator’s road to be sure, but today's episode tackles the idea that kids can make their own fun this summer and that women can release the pressure they may feel as moms to create constant joy, whimsy, and fun for them. We focus on a great article that appeared in The Huff Post in which writer and mother Bunmi Laditan says this:

“Parents do not make childhood magical. Abuse and gross neglect can mar it, of course, but for the average child, the magic is something inherent to the age. Seeing the world through innocent eyes is magical. Experiencing winter and playing in the snow as a 5-year-old is magical. Getting lost in your toys on the floor of your family room is magical. Collecting rocks and keeping them in your pockets is magical. Walking with a branch is magical. 
It is not our responsibility to manufacture contrived memories on a daily basis.”

Check out Bunmi Laditan's article, I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical. Her first book, The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting, is sure to be wise and good!

Also discussed:

  • Childhood memories that were very simple and weren’t manufactured for us!
  • Tesi recalls a thrilling childhood—and she doesn’t remember seeing her mom during the day.
  • The spectrum of "magic"
  • Embracing your own style; release the pressure of perfection!

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Thanks to Wunderkind for the fabulous beats!

Episode 152: Plan B is Beautiful with Reina Glandon

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On Episode 152 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down to talk about motherhood, overcoming challenges, and teen pregnancy with Reina Glandon. Reina generously shares her story of learning she was pregnant as a junior in high school and becoming a mom to a beautiful baby girl at the age of 16. With a supportive network of family and friends, Reina graduated high school and is in nursing school, beating the odds of teen moms. Reina is funny, matter-of-fact, highly aware of the world she wants her daughter to grow up in. The three women learn from one another and discover firsthand how unexpected challenges can become unexpected blessings when the Mama Bear is engaged.

Other topics discussed in this episode:

  • Fostering emotional intelligence in our kids
  • Teenage pregnancy in America
  • Choosing to accept help when it's offered
  • Black girl magic

MAMA BEARS, WE’RE ONLINE! HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN FIND US:

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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 fabulous beats!

Episode 147: Screen Time

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On Episode 147 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi discuss the place of screens in their lives and the lives of their children. The episode is filled with laughter, as well as some serious statistics surrounding screen time, an analysis of what works and what doesn't work in the lives of the hosts, and a plan for navigating the world of screens in our modern day American lives. The women try not to get overwhelmed by the technology facing American children and adolescents living in 2018, but instead come up with a game plan to encourage a healthy relationships ... with screens, but also with fellow humans.

Link Love: The Atlantic | Psychology Today


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

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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 fabulous beats!

Episode 143: Nothing of Value Separates Us with Tara Livesay

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On Episode 143 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie dig back into the archives for an interview with 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:

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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 fabulous beats!

Episode 141: Loud, Bold, & Joyful with Jamie Bruesehoff

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On Episode 141 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Jamie Bruesehoff, a fierce Mama Bear ally and advocate of transgender people. Jamie shares her beautiful story of raising three children, the oldest of whom is a strong and precocious transgirl. She is unabashedly honest about her journey and her advocacy and graciously educates listeners on how to be supportive to the marginalized throughout the globe. The conversation tackles many aspects of being transgender in the United States and is tender, honest, and full of hope. Tesi and Leslie hang on Jamie's every last word as she generously unpacks what it's like to mother a transgender child, explores the ways in which we all might struggle and thrive when our expectations are not met, talks about current state and national laws protecting those in the LGBTQIA community, and opens up about her Christian response our country's much-obsessed over social issues.

Also discussed on this episode:

  • Tempering our maternal expectations and letting our children lead the way
  • Bringing Mama Bear to life and turning her rage to action
  • Definition of gender and sexuality
  • Legal protection for transgender people in the United States
  • Degrees of privilege among the marginalized
  • Humility and grace in advocacy

Love Jamie and want more? Here's where you'll find her:

Website | Twitter | Insta | Facebook

HELPFUL LINKS FROM JAMIE:

BOOKS

Pictures Books:
Red: A Crayon's Story By Michael Hall
I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
It's Okay to Sparkle by Avery Jackson
When Kayla Was Kyle by Amy Fabrikant
Annie's Plaid Shirt by Stacy B. Davids

Middle Grades Fiction:
George by Alex Gino
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
The Other Boy by M. Hennessey

Young Adult:
Magnus Chase and the Gods Of Asgard by Rick Riordan
Being Jazz: by Jazz Jennings
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Some Assembly Required: The Not So Secret Life of a Transgender Teen by: Arin Andrews

Adults:
Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron
Raising Ryland: Our Journey of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached by Hillary Whittington
The Gender Creative Child by Diane Ehrensaft
The Conscious Parent's Guide to Gender Identity: A Mindful Approach to Embracing Your Child's Authentic Self by Darlene Tando
The Transgender Child or The Transgender Teen by Stephanie Brill

ORGANIZATIONS

National Center for Transgender Equality is for mama bears interested in staying in the loop advocacy-wise. Their website and social media is a great place to stay connected. They have state by state information available on their website as well. https://transequality.org/

Also, for specifically school related stuff, GLSEN is an incredible resource. They have local chapters and the national organization. They put out really helpful documents and lesson plans for educators, parents, and beyond. www.glsen.org

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

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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 fabulous beats!