April 29 15

In October of 2010, my dad had a heart attack. My siblings and I spent many, many hours sitting on the floor in hospital rooms and on chairs in waiting rooms. We waited and worried, and worried and waited. We listened to big words we didn’t understand, and we sat through procedures that would make him better, live longer. Defibrillator, pacemaker, insulin—the good doctors at St. Joseph’s basically made my father part-bionic.

And during all of the waiting, we discovered a little app called Angry Birds. It was an excellent distraction, trying to take out all of those silly pigs.


In April of 2015, my dad had a stroke. My siblings and I are back to spending time in waiting rooms, listening to big words, hoping for answers, and discussing possible procedures. We are hopeful that he’s going to be okay, but he has a long road ahead of him with visits to neurologists and cardiologists and many other capable ologists.


And we likely have a long road of sitting in only mildly comfortable couches in waiting rooms with floral wallpaper. Since Angry Birds is kind of no longer relevant, and since I gave up Candy Crush cold turkey (I did! I really did!), my sister and I have taken it up a notch and turned to online shopping.

{Sorry, husband}

{Not sorry}

One thing we needed right away, in addition to the two pairs of shoes, was a Staples hospital waiting room emergency kit — all of the things we were going to need to sit tight and hurry up and wait. For me, this includes charging accessories, Tic Tacs, coffee, hand sanitizer, notebooks, and (my favourite!) Sharpie pens. All of the essentials.


And, of course, a selfie stick for family selfie shenanigans.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.19.57 AM

The thing about online shopping – which I love, of course, because I can buy things without having to put any pants or makeup on – is that when it’s not super easy, I’m *that* person who fills an online shopping cart with amazing things and then leaves it to collect proverbial dust, until I start getting emails from {insert store name here} saying, “You have a shopping cart full of stuff, are you going to pull the trigger and spend your money already?” and I just want to shout back, “YES! Once you put the EASY back into it! I have enough things to worry about these days.”

Luckily, I don’t have to shout too much at my screen, because Visa Checkout has come to my rescue. No really.

VISA CheckOut Button_4

Visa Checkout provides a single account sign-in that can be used across all your devices. And it’s literally just an easy peasy three-step process, of which I am a huge fan: 1. Create a username and password. 2. Enter your payment and shipping information (and you only have to do this once) 3. Look for the Visa Checkout button when you’re shopping and order away! {Sorry again, husband}

See? Look how easy it was for me to order my book club book for next month:


Today you can use Visa Checkout at many of your favourite Canadian online stores, including Staples, Indigo, Gap, Banana Republic, Kobo, Cineplex, Lululemon, with many more joining each month. For a full list, visit https://checkout.visa.com/shopping.

And from now through May 12, 2015, if you use Visa Checkout on Staples.ca you will receive $20 off when you spend $100!

In addition, Visa and I want to give you a $100 Visa gift card so you can buy yourself the goods for a hospital waiting room emergency kit, or summertime emergency kit, or really any kind of kit that you can imagine. All you have to do is leave a comment below. Or if you are slightly more daring, you can tweet this: Hey @alimartell, I wish I could buy {fill in your dream online purchase} with #visacheckout

For an example, my daughter Emily’s tweet — if she could enter this contest — would be: Hey @alimartell, I wish I could buy a date with Ed Sheeran and a dinner with Taylor Swift with #visacheckout

(Note: She can’t enter, though, because the contest is only open to Canadian residents over 18 years old.) Contest ends at 9pm on Wednesday, May 6th. Winner chosen randomly.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Visa, but I can assure you, all of these opinions are my own. {Although probably not my husband’s}

  1. Sorry about your dad hope he will recover well.
    My dad had a stroke exactly one year ago. He was 88. He was in rehabilitation for 2 months (after 3 wks in hospital) and learned to walk again, well enough to walk the campus at my nephews graduation last June. Hang in there, it’s a long road and there’s things that don’t come back .. but so much will.

    Comment by Sarah on April 30, 2015
  2. I hope your dad heals quickly. I’m not sure what I’d buy
    but I really think you should think about gift wrapping at least one item! Imagine how much fun you would have opening the “gift” even if you did know what you were getting. ????

    Comment by Jpm on April 30, 2015
  3. Urgh waiting at the hospital is the absolute worse. Stewing in worry in the least distracting place is awful. I have your family in my thoughts. Thank goodness for online shopping 🙂

    Comment by Jules on May 4, 2015
  4. I can relate. Been spending too much time in the hospital lately too. Hope he has a quick recovery.

    Comment by Adalia on May 4, 2015

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