Author: Bec Dent

Funny Fish Sandwich – Creative Projects the Kids will Love

These funny fish sandwiches are creative, tasty, and not too difficult to make. They turn a common meal into art! 

What You Need

2 pieces of bread

1 orange


1 kiwi fruit

1 banana

Cheese, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

1 chocolate button


Put two slices of cheese on one slice of bread and place two pieces of sliced tomato over them. Alternatively, there can be as much cheese and tomato as you like!

Grill the sandwiches for 3 – 5 minutes or until bread reaches the desired toasty-ness. If you don’t have a grill then you can toast the sandwiches in the oven at 200°C. The best way to do this is by placing both slices on a tray separately, one with the cheese and tomato on it. Leave them in the oven for up to 10 minutes or until toasted enough.

While the sandwich is being grilled, slice the kiwi fruit according to the picture and lay it out on the bottom of the plate. Slice similar shapes out of the orange for the fish’s tail and fins, using our image as your reference.

Place the grilled sandwich in the centre of the plate. Slice off a piece of banana for the eye and put it on the sandwich at the ‘head’ end of the fish. Slice off another piece but cut it into a crescent shape for the fish’s smile. Finish the eye by placing a chocolate button on it.

Lastly, place the Cheerios on the plate, starting at the fish’s ‘mouth’. These are bubbles. Enjoy your funny fish sandwiches!


You can find more crafts HERE and food/recipe blogs HERE. 





Building Beautiful Memories with Dad

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to get Dad for Father’s Day. Even though socks and jocks are practical… it probably doesn’t scream ‘from the heart’.

Here’s a great handmade gift that will mean the world to him, because it’s the gift of time and shared experiences with the people he treasures most…YOU!

‘Building memories with Dad’ is a simple idea. You can take an old jar (or get one of these cool ones) and fill it with building blocks that all have an activity written on each block. You will need a fine permanent marker to write the activities on the blocks. Got no blocks? You can get some here. 

What kinds of activities? – Well the kind that are the kid’s favourites to do with their Dad of course. Or it could be a list of things/ projects they’ve wanted to do together. The options could include: watching a movie, going bowling, having a water gun fight, playing some backyard cricket, fishing, camping, playing Lego, building a cubby house…etc.

The idea is that once a week, Dad and the kids set aside a time to pull a block out of the jar and do the activity together. You could do this blindfolded, that way you never know what block will be next, so the surprise is a fun element to add in. Depending on what items you already have at home, you may want to gift Dad some other items you have included in the jar for Father’s Day. For example a movie pass, some water guns, a cricket set or a couple of hand lines to go fishing.

Life gets busy and the things that are the most important, often get forgotten.

This, is a special way to make sure that Dad and the kids don’t miss out on that precious quality time together, making it and each other a priority. Imagine the lasting effect of doing this over a couple of months will have on the connections and closeness within your family dynamic.

We hope you have fun filling the jar and filling your lives with happy memories together. I guarantee you will make your Dad’s day this Father’s Day.

Ask Uncle Jay 

I want to do something nice for my Dad for Father’s Day, do you have any ideas?’

Sometimes money isn’t easy to come by. So, if you want to do something nice for your dad with little to no money, here are some ideas! Obviously, dad would love for you to make him some sort of breakfast. Toast, Eggs & bacon are a winner. If he’s into sport or recreational activities, clean and organise his gear for him. Offer to wash his car or mow the lawn. If you did some jobs for dad and let him relax on his special day, he would love that. If you have a small amount of money – socks and jocks are the normal things to get dad. But, what about a hand-crafted pen from the Troppo markets, or a hat in his favourite football team colours? All of these things you can get from local markets in Mackay, Sarina and Airlie Beach. All Dads are different, just look for something that he really loves and find something connected to that. Then he will be the happiest dad on Father’s Day!

Tune into Jay & Dave 5.00am – 9.00am Weekdays on Triple M Mackay & The Whitsundays 92.3

If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask ‘Uncle Jay’ email


You can find more gift ideas and Father’s Day content HERE. 






Anyone can be an Inventor!

“Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife.” – Jonathan Schattke, scientist

Multiple Intelligences Theory creator Dr. Howard Gardner, defines intelligence as “the capacity to solve problems or make things that are valued by a culture.” AKA … Invention! And the process of inventing, according to world-recognized childhood education expert, Ellen Booth Church, “invites your child to use both critical thinking and two kinds of creative thinking — fluent and flexible.”

Ellen defines critical thinking as ‘the ability to mentally break an idea or problem into parts. Fluent thinking is the ability to brainstorm ideas’. And, ‘flexible thinking is the ability to see many possibilities, or view objects or situations in different ways.’

Children have naturally inventive brains and can make great inventors, because they have a key ingredient that adults tend to lack in comparison – unchained imagination and creativity. They take their own ideas, thoughts, interests, and do what they want to get to their ideal end product, or result. Think back to kindergarten or primary school and the crazy arts and crafts or science projects that would be made. Throughout school and growing up in general, we are taught to memorise formulas and take common approaches to problems, all in the same way. Children don’t have as much experience with this process. Instead, they simply follow their own ideas and intuition to solve a problem.

Our job as parents is to help encourage and support their inventive spirit. But how?

Encourage your child to build, create, and work on solutions that they believe in – instead of following the usual mould. Provide plenty of engaging materials, your attention, good open-ended questions and positive feedback on their efforts. Examples of great open-ended questions include: “What should we try next?”, “How else could you use this?”, “Is there a way we can make this even better?” Don’t forget you are their role-model. So, ‘narrating’ or talking through your approach to solving your own problems out loud will help model inventive thinking to your child.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is an understanding of their limitless potential. We can support this belief is by helping them become great critical and creative thinkers. In turn, this will help them to find solutions to problems they will encounter throughout their lives. In fact, the process of invention helps children develop skills that will help them work through difficulties in everyday life. Who knows…you might even raise your very own little inventor who could make a huge difference in the world! We can always use new, better methods, ideas and products.

Learn about awesome Aussie inventions HERE. 


My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook by Andrew Rae and Lisa Regan – From $18.24 

Genius Lego Inventions with Bricks You Already Have Book by Sarah Dees – From $25.05 

Tom Swift Inventors’ Academy Starter Pack (first four books in series) – from $43.25 

Engino Inventor 30 in 1 Models Motorised Set – $79.95. Get 15% off this price (and storewide) with code PakMag15 at

Engino Inventor 4 in 1 Models Cars – $19.9. Get 15% off this price (and storewide) with code PakMag15 at







Cairns Local Family Dining Guide 2020

Looking for a great, local place to enjoy a meal with the family? Look no further! Here are some of the best places for dining together in Cairns. 

Cazalys Cairns

Family dining at Cazalys is enjoyable, easy and entertaining. It’s the place to be for your family! Cazalys offers daily meal deals, social activities in the kids club and fun, educational activity packs for the little ones to engage in. Barassis café and restaurant is open 9 am- 10 pm, 7 days a week. Book in for their special Father’s Day breakfast September 6th. During COVID-19, Patron limits apply. It is recommended to book, to avoid disappointment.

A 344 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt Cairns

P 4045 1464

Fb Cazalys Cairns 

Coco’s Kitchen + Bar, Pullman Cairns International

Coco’s Kitchen + Bar offers one of the best, most exciting foodie outings in Cairns, with a fresh and local menu inspired by the sea. The menu is full of variety which is bound to please even the fussiest diner, big or small. Whether you’re looking for great breakfast, lunch or dinner dining options, they have everyone’s tastebuds covered. Coco’s is also the place to go for a unique and tasty high tea experience.

A 17 Abbott St, Cairns

P 4050 2112

Fb Pullman Cairns International 

Paradise Palms

Find all your family entertainment needs in one place at Paradise Palms. Enjoy mini golf, swimming, an adventure playground and affordable family dining for a great outing. Whether you’re visiting to relax, dine or play, it’s all a possibility at Paradise Palms. Open Friday to Sunday from 10am. During September enjoy FRIDAY FREEBIES at Paradise Palms with FREE Mini Golf, FREE admission to the Adventure Playground and FREE use of the swimming pool, with any purchase from the restaurant.

A Paradise Palms Dr, Kewarra Beach

P 4059 9915

Fb Paradise Palms Cairns 

South Cairns Sports Club

The perfect place to relax, eat and be entertained on the south side. With so many options there is something for everybody. Enjoy the kids club house, coffee shop and great meal variety in the restaurant – even for diners with dietary concerns. Your next meal at Souths could win you a brand new car! Simply spend $20.00 to be entered and the winner will be drawn on Friday 9 October. T&Cs apply.

A 57 – 59 Robert Rd, Bentley Park

P 4045 2107

Fb South Cairns Sports Club 

Trinity Beach Sports Club

Trinity Beach Sports Club offers great food, friendly service and a local feel. This is the perfect place for a relaxing dining experience with the family. Enjoy tasty value meals, kids fun and live music during the week. Why not treat your dad to a special lunch at Trinity Beach Sports Club where he can choose between a Chef’s Special or Carvery along with a chocolate mud cake –for just $22.00! Dads will receive a complimentary beer as well as a special gift. Plus, all Dad’s dining will have a chance to win a wheelbarrow of goodies! The Father’s Day lunch starts at 12.00pm and ends at 3.00pm.

A 1 Nautilus St, Trinity Beach

P 4057 6478

Fb Trinity Beach Sports Club 

Colonial Club

Become a CLUB COLONIAL Member and enjoy exclusive benefits including a FREE nights accommodation, a $50 Dining Voucher on your birthday, year round use of the Cairns Colonial Club main lagoon pool and playground PLUS 20% off all food & drinks at Thirsty Flamingo!

*Mention this deal at hotel reception desk to purchase a Club Colonial Membership for just $149 per year. Valid until 31/12/2021. Conditions apply

A 18 – 26 Cannon St, Cairns

P 4053 8800



Find more things to do HERE. 






Raising Your Child with Faith and Values

Regardless of an individual’s or family’s religious beliefs, we all want to raise our children with a strong moral foundation. Parenting is a tough job. You can trust it’s going to be a little ‘trial and error’. There’s also a whole lot of ‘leading by example’ to help your child learn to become a responsible, caring, resilient and happy adult.

We know children are sponges and soak in everything they are exposed to; whether positive or negative. Helping children identify the difference between the positive and negative influences they encounter in the media, online, at school, from friends etc, will enable them to choose people and experiences that will benefit them and their future selves.

Developing a moral compass takes time. It’s the result of the outcome or consequences of the choices made every single day, no matter how small those decisions may seem. Each small act, is part of the larger picture and becomes part of their moral fibre. Reinforcing how important making the right decision is – is so important, because each of them, will ultimately determine the person they will become.This is where faith and values can help. 

How does teaching my child about faith and values help?

In a recent McCrindle survey, “99% of Australians believe it is important to teach values to Australian school students’”. Additionally, more than four in five (84%) believe that Christian heritage has been influential in shaping the values that we teach children. 

I was born into a religious family, so I knelt in personal prayer morning and night. We prayed at the dinner table and we went to church on Sunday. I also attended scripture study classes daily and attended conferences, camps and events with the church community I was part of. Even though I’m no longer active in the practice of my faith, I would still consider myself a spiritual person. I am very grateful for the lessons I learned, the faith and values I was raised with, and the friends and examples I had throughout my childhood and adolescence.

After being assigned numerous talks in Sunday meetings, I learned public speaking. I also learned it through reading the scriptures aloud in a group setting, becoming a Sunday school teacher and preparing lessons for my class.

There was also a camping program I participated in and could ace ‘Survivor’ with the skills I picked up. On top of this, I participated in a personal development program in my youth which centred around the values of faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works and integrity. Undertaking service projects and activities to develop these qualities in myself has shaped who I am today.

I remember one ANZAC Day, as a teenager, I was serving a returned serviceman during a diggers breakfast. He said he wanted to meet my parents, “because they must be pretty special considering how I turned out. They did a good job of raising you”. This meant the world to me. There is no better feeling than knowing ‘you are doing life right’. It was also a reminder that my actions were a reflection not just of ourselves, but our families.

What is spirituality and what are the benefits of Faith?

Regardless of whether you practice religion or not, we can all be ‘people of love’, ‘people of faith’ and ‘people of values’.  Your children may ask why their friends attend church and you don’t? Be open in your response, you could explain that ‘churches, synagogues and mosques are places where people are able to worship formally. It’s a place to do this with a community of other people who believe the same things they do. Some people feel you can find ‘God’ anywhere – in nature or even in your bedroom! That’s what prayers are for.’ But it’s also important to remind our children that every family is different. Remind them that is okay and all choices are equally valid.

Associate professor of psychology Lisa Miller states; “when it comes to spirituality, we parents are just our kids’ ambassadors. We can show them around, but we don’t need to know everything.”

In her research she found that children who develop a sense of a “loving higher power or a guiding force – whether they call it God, the creator, Allah or simply ‘universe’ – are 50 percent less likely to suffer from substance abuse as teens and 80 percent less likely to suffer major depression. Another study found that children who are ‘spiritual’, tend to be happier individuals overall.  Having a sense of something greater than themselves, enhanced their personal sense of meaning and purpose. It also reinforced their connections to other people and their community.

What is a Value?

Values are both what you hold dear and what you think it’s important to be. Family, education, democracy and equal rights are examples of things you may ‘hold dear’. Compassion, honesty, hard-working and kind are all important qualities ‘to be.’ Overall, parents are the primary source for children’s values. So, if you haven’t thought about what your values are, it may be time to identify them for yourself and also for your family.

Teaching Children Values

Every day presents opportunities to teach children about values. When you notice a desirable value in action – point it out. Do this whether your child is the person doing it, or someone you are observing. The funny thing about having a quality is – you also learn how to recognise it in others. Helping children discern the kinds of people they want to have in their lives. The most important lesson though is being the kind of person that you would want to spend time with.

Start young

Values are present in even the fairy tales/ stories you read with your children. Ask your child what they ‘learned’ in the book. It could be that the good guy won, but only after a few hardships or failures. Or the principle of ‘reaping what you sow’- or in other words, ‘getting what you give.’ Another valuable lesson and running theme is that of the need for love in a person’s life (giving and receiving.)

Psychologist, Sherrie Campbell identified seven values to raising exceptional children. You may like to take these on as your values, or add a few of your own. Her list included teamwork, self-care, seeing possibilities where others see problems, motivation, time management, accepting responsibility and kindness.

Helping children believe in something ‘bigger than themselves’, and live up to – helps them ‘think big’ for themselves and become the best version of who they are.

It also helps them believe there is something ‘very powerful’ in their corner. This in turn gives them greater faith in their own abilities, and power when they feel vulnerable. Leaning into that in times of crisis has indeed, helped many people overcome great hardships, myself included. Yes. our values and beliefs may change throughout our lives, but the foundation for who we will become starts when we are born, and with you.

Story By Bec Dent 

Read more parenting blogs here. 





Give Your Hands a Little Help

Has hand washing and sanitising during the pandemic done a number on your hands too? Are your hands dry, irritated or cracking?

We’ve been trying to keep COVID-19 at bay with thorough handwashing and sanitising, but our hands are needing some extra TLC to cope with the effects. As much as sanitising is a necessary action, I’m feeling lizard-like with dry, suffering hands as all the good stuff is stripped away with the bad (germs) – and I know I am not alone. I moisturise, but it just isn’t enough to put back in- what I’ve scrubbed out. So, what can we do?

As we’ve upped our use of hand sanitisers…we need to up our moisturising game.

Our delicate skin barrier is so important. But, did you know over-using harsh soaps & alcohol sanitisers can cause damage to this barrier, making it even more vulnerable to bacteria? So, we need to make sure we are moisturising effectively too. A step… I often forget #mybad. This practice is a good one to adopt, not just for now (during the pandemic), but for always.

I’ve stumbled across a great Aussie Made Product called ‘Herbs + Heart’ – After Sanitiser Overnight Hand Mask which I have absolutely fallen in love with. Not just because of the magic performed on my hands, but because they use 100% Australian grown, natural ingredients… so you can feel even better about how good your hands feel after using it.

How does it work?

Massage a pea sized amount onto clean hands before sleeping, For deeper moisturising effects pop on a pair of their pure cotton gloves. While you’re sleeping, it will nourish, restore and hydrate your skin with its rich formula of soothing butters and powerful skin repairing plant oils. Think of it as your ‘Sanitiser Ally’… the two literally go ‘hand in hand’ to help you stay safe and germ-free, but Herbs +  Heart will keep your skin soft, hydrated and healthy too.  In the morning simply take off the gloves and rinse your hands in warm water and voila! Just like that you have reversed the damage you did the day before.

According to the Herbs + Heart website,  it’s 10 times richer than any hand lotion. And after one use, I was a believer. My hands felt 10 times more hydrated. Don’t just take my word for it… check out these before and after photos (with no filter), taken on my mobile.

The only difference between these picture is the lighting (natural, just at different times of the day).

There are more benefits than just providing moisture too. I don’t want to freak you out, but hands give away your age more than any other body part. I don’t even want to ask you how old you thought I was just from my hands in the ‘before photos’.  Experts recommend keeping your hands moisturised with thick creams – particularly overnight. And you are never too young/ too old to start. Most people don’t take action on aging until the visible signs appear. Except damage has already happened. I’m not going to tell you what to do with your life, but starting the healthy routine of moisturising daily to help your hands stay younger and healthier can only work in your favour right?  

You can purchase Herbs + Heart AFTER-SANITISER OVERNIGHT HAND MASK here. It retails for $24.00. The gloves are just $5.00.

Use code PAKMAG15 at checkout to receive 15% off and give the Overnight Hand Mask a go – offer valid till the end of August. 

That healthy hand feeling… totally worth it. Oh and don’t forget to moisturise with a hand cream during the day too. The more moisture- the merrier!

During this difficult time, don’t forget to take care of you and your hands 😊