Mama Bear Dares

The Mama Bear Dares podcast explores the intersection of the Mother Self and the Other Self and, in doing so, encourages listeners to discover their inner Mama Bear and unlock her power in the pursuit of a life of love and compassion.
RSS Feed
Mama Bear Dares



All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Aug 14, 2017

On Episode 124 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi find themselves recording on Sunday evening (just hours before the episode drops), processing the violence and hatred on display in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. The two sisters offer a raw reaction to America in 2017 and try to find a way forward. As Leslie and Tesi rehash the raw emotion and extreme sadness of the weekend, they implore listeners to make the connection between overt racism and the systematic encounters that people of color face every single day in America and to amp up their outrage and pour it into social action. They offer resources and make suggestions on how to respond, listing everything from using JOY as resistance to SHOWING UP at peace rallies to DONATING to the Charlottesville NAACP or Meals on Wheels program. One thing they know for sure: They will not be silent and will not allow hate to grow. Full Show Notes are available on the MBD website.

Aug 7, 2017

Lisa Norman has always known that she is a writer and has always followed her passion — even when others discouraged her. Today she owns her own independent publishing company and on episode 123 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast she talks to Tesi and Leslie about the constantly changing book business, listening to your gut, and creating the life you were meant to live. She a shepherd of books, and on this episode, she's a shepherd of ideas and wisdom as well! For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares Podcast website HERE!

Jul 24, 2017

On Episode 122 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie sits down with the lovely, talented, and wise Molly Ades, a mom, designer, and woman hungry to share wisdom and a sense of community with new moms everywhere through her video series, Mothering in Style. Her cute and functional clothing line makes it possible for new moms to feel stylish and confident while nursing their child and her conversation is rich in observation and insight. Listeners will love learning about Molly and her complex views on fashion, motherhood, and living a full, beautiful life. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares Podcast website!

Jul 17, 2017

On Episode 121 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie take a moment during the heart of summer to connect and catch up on a few topics that have been grabbing their attention. They answer a listener question about personal growth through podcasting and share the origin story of Mama Bear Dares, discuss an article about the importance of the language we use when talking to our sons, and discuss what's cooking from each of their homes. Listen in to this Mama Bear mini and let join the conversation online! Check out complete Show Notes on the Mama Bear Dares podcast website.

Jul 10, 2017

On Episode 120 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi & Leslie sit down with their long-last soul sister Natalie Stanfield whose incredible Mama Bear spirit prompted her to start Families for Families. Her mission is to equip and encourage parents to create an environment within their homes that communicates the values of thinking globally, caring for others, and loving out loud. The three women discuss resilience, counter-cultural parenting philosophies, and why they believe that life lived in service of others is the best way to live. Listeners will love hearing from Natalie and will step away from the episode feeling inspired to unleash their Mama Bear! For more links and complete Show Notes, visit

Jul 3, 2017

On the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, we refuse to let kindness die. We also recognize our responsibility as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that this virtue outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend Episode 118 discussing what we can do to instill this value in our kids. 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. The podcast finishes with lighter fare and the co-hosts bring back the OBSESH SESH. Current obsessions range from freedom fighters to techie tools, to socks. You don't want to miss it! For links and complete Show Notes, head to the Mama Bear Dares website.

Jun 26, 2017

On Episode 118 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with Calvalyn Day, an incredible woman with a wide-range of experience in supporting families in and around schools and elsewhere. She's a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a business and family coach, and an author who uses her Mama Bear to educate and care for those around her.  Calvalyn and Tesi discuss personal growth, counter-cultural parenting philosophies, and the best ways to show up and support yourself and others in your life. Listeners will love learning from Calvalyn and will step away from the episode feeling hopeful and helped. For complete Show Notes, please visit

Jun 19, 2017

"You have a bikini, you have a body. You have a bikini body." Can we get an amen? On Episode 117, Leslie and Tesi respond to a listener question about summertime, feeling comfortable in our bathing suits, and enjoying life in the bodies we were born in. The co-hosts discuss modesty, priorities, the culture we live in, and how it impacts the voice within our heads. They ask listeners to think about priorities and peel back the layers to bathing suit insecurities. What begins as a simple listener questions unfolds into a conversation about the culture we live in and a trained, thoughtful Mama Bear's response. Listen in and join the conversation online!

Jun 12, 2017

On Episode 116 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Kara Hoag, the founder of Grace Unbound, a resource for those seeking a comprehensive sexuality education that includes the integration of sexuality and theology and aims to wipe clean feelings of shame. The women acknowledge that God created sexual intimacy and celebrate the idea that the human body is beautiful and to be celebrated and enjoyed, and discuss the most effective ways to teach the next generation to engage in healthy and meaningful sexual activity. Through their playful and deeply honest conversation, the women discuss pleasure and the ways in which we can embrace our spiritual self and our sexual self in order to be the full, complete women we were created to be. For complete Show Notes, visit

Jun 5, 2017

What makes a human being lay down her life for another? How do we respond to acts of terror? How do we raise our children to lean into love? On Episode 115, Leslie and Tesi discuss the Portland stabbings and contemplate how Mama Bears across the world might turn their anger and confusion into action in their homes and beyond. The sisters talk about what we can learn from the everyday heroes who stood up to terrorism and how we might endeavor to not only be everyday heroes ourselves, but to raise our children to love one another and the world. It's a complex topic in a complex time. The sisters don't pretend to have anything figured out, but hope to learn from the dialogue and their community of Mama Bears. For complete Show Notes, visit

May 29, 2017

On Episode 114 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi sits down with Sara Bellin for an intense conversation on terror, survival, and finding hope in an uncertain world. When Sara woke up on the morning of March 22, 2016, her life changed forever—she discovered that her husband had been a victim of a terrorist attack at the Brussels airport that occurred while she and their two daughters slept in Michigan. A mother and former expat, Sara has helped her husband recover and faced life with incredible grace and optimism despite having lived through the terrifying event. She and Tesi consider all angles of this harrowing experience: parenting, grief, terror, the human body...even how a delicious meal just might save your life. Listen in as Sara recalls the event that shook her family and shares the meaning she made from it. For complete Show Notes, visit

May 22, 2017

Are you guys feeling tired? Do you find yourself pumping your first in the air and yelling "RESIST" at your radio or news feed while making dinner? One Episode 113, Leslie and Tesi discuss the act of resistance, what it means, and how Mama Bears across the world might turn their anger and confusion into action. How do we resist policies and politics that don't align with our values? How do we resist the metaphorical death of kindness? How do we resist alienating others who disagree with us? The co-hosts break down their feelings of discontent and concern and encourage one another to action through tangible steps. The conversation is passionate, but the ultimate aim is to understand the incredibly complex range of human emotions (from anger to apathy) felt in the current climate of American in 2017, to harness those feelings to action, and to inspire the Mama Bear community to do the same. Listen in and join the conversation online! Full full Show Notes, visit

May 15, 2017

On Episode 112 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with Ashanti Johnson, the incredible force behind 360 Mind Body Soul. A wife, mother, and successful business owner and leader in the mindfulness movement, Ashanti dives deep into a conversation with Tesi and Leslie about the layers upon layers of a healthy, full life. The women speak candidly about health not just in terms of weight, but with a nod toward spirituality and personal growth. The conversation is honest, thoughtful, and will inspire listeners to be grateful for all they've been given and motivated to live their best life — mind, body, and soul. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website.

May 8, 2017

On this Mama Bear Mini podcast episode, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie grab the mic, pour some coffee (Leslie) and tea (Tesi), and settle in for some sisterly banter. They share a listener story of a woman who was changed profoundly by motherhood and celebrate her transformation, discuss the tragic murder of Jordan Edwards, and encourage one another to push the boundaries of their Mama Bear to cover the vulnerable—no matter what they look or where they come from. Their discussion of what's happening in America, the militarization of our police, and how our Mama Bear might respond is vulnerable, honest, and trusting of the safe space they've carved out in the Mama Bear community. They end the podcast with a discussion of Leslie's new favorite book: I Know How She Does It. Leslie shares excitement over the book, her impressions, as well as some takeaways from author Laura Vanderkam's research and reflection that may be applicable to all of us. Join the conversation online and check out complete Show Notes HERE.

May 1, 2017

On Episode 110 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with Michele Cushatt, a wife, mother, and successful author, speaker, and woman unafraid to dig deep in order to uncover life's treasures. Michele's new book, I AM: A 60-day Journey to Knowing You Are Because of Who He Is, explores the soul-deep journey that individuals might embark upon when seeking to discover their true self and encourages women to uncover and embrace the beautiful and unique way that they were made and then cling to the discovery of their real, true self during moments of insecurity. Michele and Tesi speak candidly about the ways in which grave illness prompts big questions as Michele shares how a brutal bout with cancer changed her life and listeners will be inspired by a conversation filled with hard-earned wisdom and an abundance of hope.

Apr 24, 2017

On this Mama Bear Mini episode, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie talk about Ava DuVernay's powerful 2016 documentary 13TH. The two believe everyone should view this thought-provoking, truth-telling, shocking and important film and do their best to encourage listeners to acknowledge its premise: that mass incarceration is modern-day American slavery. Leslie and Tesi discuss highlights of the documentary and emphatically debrief with one another about what they learned. The episode begins with bringing the listener up to speed on the 13th amendment and the moments throughout history (recent history included) that have led to where we land today, in a country that holds 5 percent of the world's population and one-quarter of the world's prisoners, the majority of whom are men of color. The sisters then list a few takeaways that they hope will stick with them (and with listeners) in the coming weeks and months so as not to forget the scope of the problem of mass incarceration and the privatization of prisons that society faces. They end the podcast with a series of suggested responses, encouraging listeners to not only watch the documentary themselves but then be brave in their response. Complete Show Notes are available on the Mama Bear Dares website. Listen in and join the conversation online!

Apr 17, 2017

On Episode 108 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Leslie sits down with Lisa Leonard, a wife, mother, and successful career woman battling Stage 3 breast cancer. Lisa is beyond generous as she shares the story of her diagnosis, the battle for her health, and the state of her relationships in the midst of sickness. She shares her story with the hope that listeners will will benefit from her truth—that they'll make themselves a priority, that they'll be religious about doing a monthly self-check breast exam, and that they'll keep their girlfriends close. Through their conversation, Lisa will inspire listeners with her upbeat spirit, her hope, and the wisdom she's gained from the battle she's fighting. For complete Show Notes, visit Mama Bear Dares online.

Apr 10, 2017

On this Mama Bear Mini episode, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie talk about health, specifically, strokes in women. When Leslie was 26, she suffered a small stroke that changed the trajectory of her life and Tesi and Leslie discuss the incident with the hope of encouraging women to learn the signs of a stroke and to pay attention to their bodies. The two also answer a listener question about the essence of the Mama Bear and how she might emerge while doing the important (and frankly exhausting) work of raising young children. The episode ends with a few laughs and a few truth bombs in the segment Things We Should Probably Feel Guilty About, But Don't. Listen in and join the conversation online! For full Show Notes, please visit the Mama Bear Dares Podcast website.

Apr 3, 2017

On Episode 105 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi grabs the mic and sits down with the fabulous Shannan Martin, former Flower Patch Farm Girl and current mom, writer, and advocate for those on the fringes. Shannan recently released a book called Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted and the two women discuss the book's major themes, which include rethinking the American Dream, giving up the comforts of a solidly middle class life and moving to an under-resourced area, committing to relationships with those to whom you are connect by proximity, and being an advocate for the voiceless when opportunities arise. Through their conversation, Shannan and Tesi will inspire listeners to reflect on their social position in America and the ways in which they interact with their community and the world around them. View complete Show Notes at


Mar 27, 2017

On this Mama Bear Mini episode, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie grab the mic and talk through several ideas and concerns, namely, The Orgasm Gap. The sisters knew that women were paid less in the workplace, but the rewards differ in bedroom as well? This required some conversation. In a lively We Read It, We Loved It, Let's Discuss, the women talk about the article entitled Straight Women Are Having Fewer Orgasms Than Everyone Else and endeavor to figure out why this is so and encourage plentiful orgasms for all. The sisters also spend time pointing out the goodness and hope in the world with one of their favorite segments, WE SEE YOU! They share observations of what they've seen in their own lives and celebrate small acts of bravery and love. The episode ends with an OBSESH SESH in which Tesi and Leslie mention what they're currently loving and leave listeners with a dare for braver, more joyful living. Head to the Mama Bear Dares website for complete Show Notes!

Mar 20, 2017

Tesi and Leslie were delighted to talk with Heather Avis, a mother, author, and advocate, on Episode 104 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast. Heather's debut book, The Lucky Few, comes out this month and the three women found instant rapport as they discussed writing, travel, everyday miracles, and raising children. Heather is a mom to three kids, two of whom have Down Syndrome, and in addition to her role of meal-maker and child-rearer, she is a writer, speaker, and passionate advocate for her children—and all children—with special needs. The women bond over broken hearts for those living in the margins and share an impassioned Mama Bear belief in stepping up for the underdog. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website!

Mar 13, 2017

On Episode 103 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Becky Straw, co-founder and CEO of The Adventure Project (TAP), shares the empowering work of her organization in the battle towards worldwide justice and equality. Becky, who has been a major player in international aid for over a decade, talks about what her nonprofit is doing to ensure clean water to those who go without and shows us how she has engaged her Mama Bear in battle. Tesi and Leslie listen as Becky shares the origin story of TAP, tells inspiring stories from the field, provides research and observations on global needs and reality, and reveals the importance of the people who tend to be most supportive to the work of TAP. Can you guess who that might be? MOMS and Millennials, of course! Listen in to this Mama Bear Dares episode to be inspired by Becky's heart for social justice and consider joining her this World Water Day! Read complete Show Notes on the Mama Bear Dares website.

Mar 6, 2017

One Episode 102 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Carmen Sognonvi, founder and publisher of the beautiful and information-rich online destination for luxury family travel, Top Flight Family, shares her belief in traveling with kids. Carmen joins Tesi and Leslie in a discussion of the eye-opening power of traveling with children (whether abroad or in your own state or country), the sense of adventure and curiosity travel nurtures, and the value of time spent together outside your everyday environment. The women discuss the beauty of exploring different places, people, and culture with kids in tow, discuss the practical tips for making it happen, and dive into the layers of race, gender, economic privilege, and family make-up in the travel sphere. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares website!

Feb 27, 2017

It's an all-out celebration! Tesi and Leslie take a moment to look back over their first 101 (!) episodes and appreciate all the incredible women who have shared wisdom, knowledge, perspective, and laughs at the microphone over the last year. What an amazing group of women!! The hosts marvel over their good fortune, reminisce about starting the podcast nearly one year ago, look forward to future episodes and growth, and end with a few fun segments, one that Tesi lovingly refers to as "Dreamweaver" and, finally, an "Ask Us Anything" with a question from a reader that has the hosts diving deep for wisdom. Sign up for the Mama Bear Newsletter and read complete Show Notes at the Mama Bear Dares website!

Feb 20, 2017

On the 100th (!) episode of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk to Esther Emery, author of the beautiful memoir What Falls From the Sky, about motherhood, womanhood, and engaging the Mama Bear in summoning the courage to do what is right for us as individuals. The women discuss what life is like without digital distraction, where personal validation comes from, and recognizing and overcoming the obstacles that keep us from being our very best selves. Leslie and Tesi adore the book and the conversation and think listeners will be fascinated by Esther's story and her wisdom. Listen in as the women unpack What Falls From the Sky and revel in a fantastic episode 100! For full Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear website!

1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »