oh HEY!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an intro! Thought I’d give it a spin!

Hey! I’m Kalissa. I’m so excited to meet you.

I’m a self proclaimed self help junkie, registered nurse turned graphic designer, Taylor Swift’s biggest fan, recovering workaholic, and small town mama dreaming of working from home by trying my hand for the millionth time at solo-preneurship.

When I’m not working as an ICU/ER nurse, my hobbies include creative writing, cooking, making a fool of myself in my instagram stories, mountain biking, listening to podcasts, roller skating, and hanging out with my family (and there’s a lot of family to hang out with!)

I’m the youngest of 5 kids, auntie Sa-Sa to 7 nieces and nephews, and my mom is my bestie. We live just across town from each other. Since my Dad passed away from lung cancer in 2019, we see each other at least every day. You may know my mom as Jo from Jo’s Country Junction – that’s right, I’m a second generation blogger. If I’m half as cool as my mom is some day, I think that would be my definition of success.

My co-habitants include my two boys Carver (4) and Gannon (2), a naughty beagle named Betsy, and a husband, Craig who’s probably at the farm or in a tractor.

While The Pink Shoelaces started out as a nursing blog, it has morphed into everything and anything that comes to mind including Friedman Fam happenings, dealing with the loss of my father, new recipes, my struggles with mental health and body image, my favorite products and recommendations and our life in Northeast Iowa!

You can follow me on instagram @kalissageorgia and @thepinkshoelaces.

You can check back here and I post whenever I get to it, about 3-4 times/week.

I’m most active on my Facebook page, here’s a link:

If you’re new here or an ol’ faithful, drop a comment and let me know something fun about you.

Check out my latest posts:

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NEW RECIPE: Korean Beef Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

I HATE when I’m trying a new recipe and the blogger takes FOR-EV-ER to get to the recipe so without further ado, here is the recipe and I’ll chat about it farther down in the blog post – please keep in mind I’m just like my mother in that I have NO idea how much of anything I actually use – so just use about enough ๐Ÿ˜‰ This should/could be pretty healthy, low carb, whole food if you’re into that. More than that, it’s just plain delish!

Korean Beef Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

  • Ginger
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Coconut aminos (or just soy sauce would work)
  • Fish sauce (I didn’t have this so I didn’t use it)
  • Green onions
  • Avacado
  • Cauliflower rice (or just plain rice)
  • Yum yum sauce OR just mix mayo and siracha sauce for a drizzle

Fry the hamburger, when it’s mostly done add Ginger, Toasted sesame oil, Red pepper flakes, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Coconut aminos, and Fish sauce. Stir all that together, top with some chopped green onions. I had some cabbage to use up so I threw that in to good down with the meat.

Cook your rice however you please, I usually steam the cauliflower rice, and then heat it on the stove with some butter, garlic salt, and pepper until it’s fluffy and not so moist. I cracked an egg in there too to give it a fried rice feel.

MIX IT ALL UP – don’t forget your avocado and yum yum sauce!


So a few things this recipe taught me:

I’ve never used toasted sesame oil, but it is the flavor/ingredient I’ve been missing in my life. I love it and I use it on everything now.

Coconut aminos is a quick, easy, cheap and healthy alternative to soy sauce if you haven’t made the switch yet!

I’m really bad at relaying recipes in blog posts so I rarely do but this one was worth mentioning!

I think avocado goes good with everything.

The original recipe came from realsimplegood.com if you need better instructions than I gave!

I hope you guys like it and try it out! Are you more of a “throw it all together/that looks about right” or someone who needs EXACT MEASUREMENTS to curate your recipes?

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Health Journey Update: MONTH 5!

I wanted to give an update on my health journey!

As you may know, I’ve not been “dieting” but changing my lifestyle, mindset and diet since September. I’ve always struggled with my weight and this is the first time I feel like I’m putting in the work, seeing results, and heading in the right direction. I’ve got a few nuggets I’d like to share with you all for today’s blog post!

  1. Investing in a personal trainer was the best decision for me. Even Craig agrees, when we were looking at our budget and where we could cut, the personal trainer (I pay around $30/session) was not negotiable. I feel strong, I feel confident, I feel fit, I feel my body changing. I have more energy. We only meet once a week but what a difference maker that is!
  2. I’ve really cut out sugar. I feel better when I don’t eat sugar. I have SO much energy, more than I’ve ever had in my life by living on the JERF diet – JUST EAT REAL FOOD! That’s it! Real food, not processed food, only naturally occurring sugars. At first, it was hard because I was so used to grabbing a handful of M&Ms or a bowl of ice cream or a a kit kat out of mom’s candy drawer. It just wasn’t worth it. If I’m going to eat sugar, I want it to taste GOOD not just a drive by handful of crap. Once I realized how sugar made me FEEL, I sincerely have no interest in it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still have pancakes with syrup! ORGANIC and REAL and LOCALLY SOURCED maple syrup. I eat whole grain protein pancakes! It tastes so much better, I feel so much better about my food choices too.
  3. My boys eat healthier too! We had roasted broccoli for supper, plant based mac and cheese, Carver asks for one of my smoothies often, they eat the 2G GOOD Yogurt (only 2 grams of sugar for the whole container!) Our fruit counter that once only held bananas now has apples and pears and dates and oranges! Craig ate broccoli for the first time in years the other day – he said it was pretty good! Slowly but surely, our pantry and refrigerator is converting to more healthy whole foods all the time.
  4. The scale is a liar. So I did weigh myself finally, I hadn’t for a LONG time and I’m down 23 lbs since September. I still have a love/hate relationship with the scale and for the most part, it’s a liar. I feel SO good about my body the past week. My clothes are looser, my muscles seem more toned, I feel great, I’ve had others tell me I look great, I feel like I’ve lost more weight! The scale says: I gained 3 lbs. LIAR. I don’t believe you scale, and you don’t determine my success.
  5. No two days look the same: some day I fast, some days I drink detox smoothies, some days I have a burger and fries, some days I exercise, some days I don’t. There are a few mantras my favorite mindset coach Elizabeth Benton says that keep me on track: What is one good choice I can make this meal? What does 1% better than yesterday look like? What is one way I can improve my health today? What would the super healthy version of myself choose?
  6. I am the creator of my mood and my motivation and my mindset. This is what sets every other diet apart from this go: I cannot wait for motivation, I can manufacture it. I did NOT want to get out of bed and go to the gym the other day, I was NOT motivated – but I did it. And guess what? I felt MOTIVATED to make another good choice once I got home. When I’m feeling angry or frustrated or irritable, I remember I create my own mood – no one else does. When I’m feeling negative about my body or the choices I made that day, I am the only one that can create positive thoughts.

So those are a few things that are helping me out as I navigate my way into a healthier lifestyle! Do you have a go to mantra to change your mood or your mindset? Do any of these tips resonate with you? Thanks for reading friends!

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GANNON UPDATE: The GENETIC RESULTS ARE IN!

FOR 4 MONTHS we’ve been waiting on a final diagnosis for Gannon, we’ve been patiently awaiting his genetic testing results and a full month later than expected, Craig and I got the phone call while we were on our date on Wednesday. The moment you’ve been waiting for:

Gannon has nothing.

No connective tissue disorder, no Ehlers Danlos, zip, zilch, nada.

Which is good. It’s confusing and a little frustrating but it’s good. It would be so nice to put a bow on all of his symptoms and say “this is why he is the way he is” but Gannon is totally normal. Which is good. However, this doesn’t explain the:

Extreme constipation, PFO, anal achalasia, talus hindfoot valgus, undescended testicles, bloating, fibro lipoma of his spinal cord, dairy sensitivities, inguinal hernias, dilated pulmonary artery and aortic root, speech delay, occasional wheezing, gross motor delay, eczema, his velvety stretchy skin and his joints that literally fold in half to the point where we can’t get a normal shoe on his foot.

But, all those are manageable. Gannon lives a pretty normal life. Gannon isn’t in pain. Gannon is growing well. Gannon should by all means continue to live a fairly normal life.

When we first started investigating Gannon’s symptoms more seriously, at about this time last year we were waiting to get into Milwaukee, he was still vomiting daily, couldn’t poop without screaming, and choking on graham crackers. He was missing milestones and had undiagnosed significant hearing loss. He hadn’t gone for any of his 6 procedures/surgeries yet that he has had in the past year.

A year ago, we did not have the answers we have now. And even though this feels like a NOT answer, it’s still an answer, one that thousands of parents all over the country pray and pray for. So today, I’m celebrating Gannon’s NEGATIVE genetic testing results. I’m also patting myself on the damn back looking back on how far we’ve come in the past year.

I’ll never stop fighting for you Gan <3

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Back to the ol’ grind…

Well folks, tomorrow I’ll wake up, hit the gym, take Gannon to speech, send Carver to school, and kiss Craig on his way out the door because I won’t see him until I’m headed out the door to work tomorrow night – the Friedmans are back in action.

This time off has been so wonderful. At first, I thought I’d go crazy, honestly it’s the longest we’ve spent together with nothing to do and no where to go. (If you’re just tuning in, we all came down with COVID and had to quarantine together read more on that here: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/covid-takes-over-friedman-fam/)

But I fell in love with afternoon baths and nap time snuggles. Craig and I are in such a good place, we just so enjoyed each other’s company. No stress, no pressure, just time to recover and rest. It was amazing.

I appreciated the time I had to deep clean, restore, and reorganize our home, or “let the rooms breathe” as they say. This is by far the most well rested I’ve felt in my life.

I need more of the last two weeks.

While I’m ready to go back to work, my priorities and goals have shifted tremendously. How can I spend more time at home? How can I invest in my relationships more? How fast can we get out of debt so work isn’t mandatory? What can I do at home to make an income?

I fell for little moments like this:

So that’s what my 2021 looks like: building wealth by paying off debt, building my online platform to sustain an income, and a few other things so I’m able to work towards my goal of working when I want to, not because I have to.

In some ways, I think this mysterious case of COVID (still not sure where we ALL got it from) came into our lives at this time for a reason: a spark has been ignited inside of me, I think I finally see a glimpse of my purpose and I think that purpose is at home.

Thanks for listening to me ramble friends, have a great day!

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ALMOST FREE!

How odd is it that I feel like I have MORE time to blog when I’m busy and working and juggling the kids? I’ve had the past 10 days OFF and completely free, open, and available and I’ve only blogged 2-3 times!

I’ve been BUSY! Still deep cleaning, still working on content, but just loving being home with the boys! Honestly, at first, the boys were driving me a little crazy but I could definitely get used to be a stay at home mom!

We are on day 9 of 10 for quarantine – our last day! We are FREE Wednesday (I’m not back to work until Thursday) but Carver doesn’t have preschool until Thursday.

We are all pretty much back to normal, I get winded easier and still can’t really taste or smell but I’m sure it will all come.

Craig was home early yesterday and went out with Carver. We are working on getting heat in our detached garage so they were digging to make room for a cement pad. Carver was so pooped from working so hard, he fell asleep as soon as he came back inside.

He’s been camera shy lately, I’m not sure why but he did let me snap this picture on the way out the door to go work with dad. Here they are celebrating their hard work with a mug cake.

I’ve been cleaning a lot of random stuff! I’ve yet to find many things that can’t be cleaned/saved with a good oxy clean soak! Here’s my purse:

And I soaked our couch cushion covers – THEY WERE DISGUSTING and our couch feels brand new again! We bought our furniture set right before Carver was born and I was afraid we were going to have to buy a new couch again already but man – the oxy clean was wonderful – I did two separate soaks and then through the wash.

Look at all this stuff I’m pitching too! I sold a ton of it on Facebook, probably made $200 or so bucks in an afternoon just listing stuff!

Anyway, that’s about all I know. We can’t wait to be free back in the world here soon. Taste and smell still aren’t back but I feel like I’m getting there. Craig can taste and smell everything. When you go to bed tonight, I want you to include gratitude for your taste and smell in your nightly prayers. We so take it for granted. Thanks for reading friends.

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