How to Wake up The FIRST Time Your Alarm Goes Off

Welcome back, ya beauties!

I’m writing to you today because I found the ultimate solution to waking up the FIRST time your alarm goes off! Yes, this is a big enough deal that it requires its own post. I always feel more refreshed and ready to take on a busy day when I have time to drink my coffee on my balcony, and enjoy some “me-time” before the work day takes over. If you’ve never taken advantage of a morning self-care routine, it’ll change your life — this, I promise you. SO, let’s get into how to get ‘er done, so you can get more shit done.

But first…

A little back story:

Growing up I was a competitive rhythmic gymnast. I trained 6 days per week, coached up to 4 nights per week, and competed every other weekend, all while managing a full course load, travelling all over the world, and getting good grades. I mean, I had to pull quite a few all-nighters to ensure I got those good grades, and then live on zero hours of sleep while practicing, studying, and coaching, but I did it! Looking back I often wonder how…

The Problem

I’ve been thinking a lot about that discipline lately and comparing it to my current self. It quickly became obvious that there’s no real comparison when it comes to my morning discipline… You guys, I just can’t 👏🏼 wake 👏🏼 up 👏🏼!
Sometimes I snooze my alarm for TWO HOURS STRAIGHT. It started when I figured out the side button on my iPhone was also a snooze button. Now I can snooze without even looking at it — it’s an issue.

The Solution 

Hold onto your night ‘caps,’ because this might be THE solution you’ve been looking for. You’ll just need two things:

1. An alarm (I personally use my Google Home.)
2. A coffee maker with an auto timer (if you don’t have one you can get one from Canadian Tire for around $30.)


Here’s what you need to do (I’ll use my own wake up times as an example):

Put your alarm in a room close to the kitchen. Set up your coffee maker to start brewing at 7:00 a.m. Then set your alarm for 7:05. Turn that bi*ch up loud! When the alarm goes off, you’ll need to get out of bed to stop it. When you get to the kitchen, the aroma of coffee will start waking up your senses. You won’t want to miss out on a fresh cup, so BOOM, you’ll stay awake!

It’s not rocket science, but it worked for me. And if it can work for me, it can for you. Give it a try, my sleepy sheep, and let me know if it helps!



KJ Social – The Greener Grasses of Social Media

Test, test, is this thing on?

It’s been a hot minute since I was here last, but I’m back to announce the start of something new! Before I do that, though…

Let’s Look Back Real Quick
In case you’re just jumping in here for the first time, Sincerely, Kristi started as a project for a public relations class a few years ago. At the time, I needed a way to keep myself accountable to my fitness since I was doing a four-year course condensed into two, and barely had enough time to sleep let alone keep my body in the shape I was used to.

So here I am, a girl with a new plan! Transforming what was once a fitness blog into something else I need to keep myself accountable to — my first business. 

Introducing KJ Social

After years of really interesting contract and permanent positions at multiple companies, Kristi (hi, that’s me) becomes the KJ of KJ Social — a new Winnipeg brand dedicated to showing companies the greener grasses of social media management.

Now, I’m fully aware of the predictability that I, a millennial, am going into the social media business. But I didn’t need a random guy in a local shawarma shop calling me a ‘cliche’ to know that! (Yes, that happened…)

The truth is, social media is so much more than you give it credit for!

You’re not going to love everything you come across on there, that much is forsure, but the posts you do end up validating with a double tap often have three things in common:

  1. Effective copywriting,
  2. A well-shot photo or video, and
  3. Value factor (meaning you experienced some kind of emotion after seeing it)

I’ve wanted to be a writer since the first grade, when I chose to write short stories during ‘choice time’ instead of playing with the other kids. I’ve been a photographer since I won my first photoshoot session in a silent auction basket in 2011 (I was more drawn to the technical side of it than the modelling obviously.) I’ve been involved in the social media world since I rebelled for the first time in my life to get a Facebook profile behind my mom’s back in 2007. Then I went to school to study all of it. All together. I understand how it works, and I know (for the most part) what kinds of posts you’ll find value in too.

Without even planning for it, I grew up sharpening the skills that ended up carving out my business. So now I’m building it. Piece by piece, client by client, scary meeting after scary meeting, and I’m thrilled you’ll be here to read all about it as it starts to bloom into a real, living thing.

Want to Help Me With Something?

Next time you like a post in social media, take notice of its persuasive traits. Was it funny? Did it make you think about life differently? Did an unlikely cat and cow friendship capture your heart? Then tag me (@KristiNikkel)! I want to see all the things that move you, because believe it or not, they help me provide more value in the posts I create.



Getting Fire Under Your Butt for the Holidays

I know it’s been a while, and I’m terribly sorry. BUT, this is an important time to post so you guys can get some motivation to workout for the holidays!

During the winter it’s always hard to find that fire that usually gets your butt to the gym. It’s cold outside, so we tend to use that as an excuse. There are a lot of gatherings, whether with friends or family, which makes it hard to find the time as well.

Not to worry though, Kristi has a solution for you! This 20-minute (not even) muscle busting and burning yoga video!

This is one of the best short workouts I’ve done yet. It’s only 17 minutes guys, and you can do it in any room of your house, so you have no excuses!

I know a lot of you are probably saying “in 17 minutes you can’t do a real work out…” well, to those people I say do this video. You feel it working after the first exercise, and when you’re done you feel like you’ve done wall sit for 5 minutes and completed 300 crunches.

I’m challenging each of you to do this, and you should let me know if you do! I believe everyone has 17 minutes to spare this holiday season, so grab a friend or do it alone. Also, subscribe to sadienardini‘s page! I’m sure she has other great videos to follow if you’re feeling up to more before the New Year!

Happy Holidays and please have a safe and happy New Year.



3 Little Words

3 little words. They can really change a person. They can build you up and make you better.

It was May 31 when my boyfriend and me were sitting on the couch and he looked over at me and said “give me $20.”

Naturally, I asked what for. He said we should bet who can exercise the most during the first week of June. “Whoever wins gets the money, and if we tie, we take the money and go for lunch together,” he said.

For anyone who knows me, you’d know I love being challenged by a man. Nothing makes me more motivated than being able to kick a guy’s butt in something. So I thought, well hell, it’s a win-win for me, because I’m either going to win (I wouldn’t allow myself not to) or I’d get to have lunch with my guy.

So…we both put down a $20 bill.

We are nearing the end of week one and I’m in the lead! And all it took was three days of working out in a row to get me hooked. Once you start feeling your muscles tightening up, or you overcome being sore and just work out anyways, you’ll feel amazing about yourself.

I used to do a hard work out and then used that as an excuse not to do anything physically active the next day. But this bet brought me back to the consistency of training in sport, and I realized how important it is to continuously workout so your muscles can build memory and then give you the results you want!

So I challenge you….Find a partner and put some money on the table. Even if it’s just $5. You might surprise yourself with how active and consistent you can be, AND you might end up just a little bit richer if you don’t give up. It’s only a week, let’s see what you can do!




So…What Now?

I’ve officially come to the end of my first year of Creative Communications! Not even competitive international rhythmic gymnastics has taken me through as many emotional ups and downs as this program. But I have to say I’m pretty effin’ proud I did it…not everyone can.

So what now?!

Summer has a few exciting things in store. In May I’ll be travelling to Chicago with a large group of school peops to tour some big studios. I’ll be working with the Red River Ex doing their social media in June. I have two weddings booked for my photography business and I’ll be helping my ever-handsome boyfriend out in his Marketing company Exchange Digital PR, too!

Overall I’m excited for the next few months. Being able to be outside and relax a bit. Mostly though, I’m extremely excited to A) make some money and B) HIT THE GYM! Though I’ve been mostly doing home workouts in the past little bit, I’m going to make an honest effort to get to the gym I pay for, so I can lift some weights and get my tone on.

I made a deal with one other girl in my program that we will go to the gym everyday until Chicago (May 2). So…get ready for some new posts about some new exercises I try!

I went today and decided to warm up by skipping instead of going on the treadmill or Elliptical. I used to skip back when I was a gymnast and I really missed it! It takes coordination, fast-twitch muscles and a lot of stamina, but it works completely different muscles, which is always a plus!

If you know how to skip, try this warm up and let me know what you think! It’s tough, so if you haven’t skipped since elementary school’s Jump Rope for The Heart days, you might need to work up to this one:

60 feet together skips

30 side to side skips (feet together)

60 normal skips (switching feet in between)

30 high knee skips (bring you knees up as high as you can!) – This one feels amazing!

10 doubles (rope goes around you twice while you’re in the air) – if you can’t do this one just do big tuck jumps  10 times 🙂

60 side to side skips (yes… again)

50 backward skips

40 normal skips

30 feet together skips

20 doubles or tuck jumps

10 slow normal skips.

DONE! Now you can continue onto your workout. But if you’re used to more cardio, feel free to repeat it.





When You Want to Give Up at the Gym, Try This Simple Trick

The other day I was at the gym and felt like giving up. It had been a long week and I  wanted to take a nap more than anything else.

But before going to the gym, I told myself I absolutely had to make it through legs and abs before leaving, no matter what. Now, I’m not the type of person to only do certain muscle groups on certain days…I do everything all the time otherwise I feel like I’ve wasted a workout. This particular day I just knew I wouldn’t make it through everything, and when you’re that tired, it’s not always safe to be pushing your muscles to their max.

So I started with a really good leg and butt work out—those are my favourites because those areas are where I want to see change.

I did a couple sets of frog jumps across the room, weighted squats, dead lifts and lunges (front and side) for a total butt and legs workout of 25 minutes. Needless to say I was even more exhausted after that. My legs were shaking with each step I took and my butt adopted a constant twitch that made it uncomfortable to sit or stand. I was ready for home time.

But then—and this is where the trick comes in—I told myself, “do 50 crunches before you go or else you’re complete failure.” After all, 50 crunches only takes about a minute to do…so I did it.

But once I got to 50 I thought it would be worthless to stop and NOT make the most of the burn I was feeling in my stomach. So I started doing bicycles, Russian twists and some leg raises as well.

I ultimately tricked my body into doing 10 more minutes of physical activity just by telling myself to do it. You’re like your own personal coach. If you’re hard on yourself, you’ll do the work. Just make sure you’re convincing enough that you believe in yourself like a coach would!

So the next time your bed calls your name just a little louder than the gym, tell yourself to do 50 crunches or 50 squats, or 50 push ups, and I promise your body will be ready for more once you do!



TV Advertising: Where it is, where it should go

Why Advertising?

Next year I plan on majoring in advertising, but that didn’t start off as an easy decision. I went back and forth between advertising and media production for a while because not only do I love the creative writing aspect in the back end of ad, but I love the end product of a well-shot commercial.

Ultimately what helped me decide was the knowledge that advertising is always changing and the possibility of it adapting enough that I’d be able to do both.

What I’ve Heard

I’ve heard many people say ads are getting more annoying—more interruptive. We see ads constantly in sidebars on Facebook and sponsored messages popping up on Intagram. They play on YouTube before you can watch a video, and they interrupt TV shows and music on the radio…that is, for anyone still choosing TV over Netflix and radio over Spotify.

But there is one time of year we like ads and actually look forward to watching them—the Super Bowl. Why?

What I Think

Because they’re well done! They’re videos, so they don’t make us read or think deeply about anything, and above all, they are entertaining. Eventually, I think all commercial ads will move away from the informative approach that many 30 second spots take, and attempt to sell ideas or products through pure entertainment

Take the Wrigley’s Extra gum commercial called “The Story of Sarah and Juan” for example. It makes me tear up every time I watch it because it has an emotional plot that takes its viewers up and down along with its storyline.  I can easily say I think of Extra every time I buy gum now…mission accomplished Wrigley’s.

You can watch it here. Be prepared to cry:

Now this commercial is about 1.5 minutes longer than normal, BUT if all commercials were 2-3 minute mini movies like this, and each of those mini movies connected people to and made them care about a product, then A) commercials wouldn’t have to appear as often to stick in people’s minds, and B) people would be more likely to buy the products being advertised.

That’s all. It’s a simple thought, but I think this could help minimize the bad feeling everyone has when they hear the words, “…after the break.”