Tag: kids


Hand washing – we’re all taught from a young age that it’s important. It’s hard getting kids into the habit of it, and the daily before-meals hand washing struggle can become quite an ordeal.

Let’s get back to basics and understand how hand washing came to be.

Surprisingly, the link between handwashing and health was made less than two centuries ago! In 1846, Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that rates of death within the hospital he worked at fell dramatically when handwashing was introduced to medical staff on maternity wards.

Despite this, the handwashing habit was not widely adopted until 1980, when a string of infections led to the United States Centers for Disease Control identifying hand hygiene as an important and cost-effective way to keep viruses and ailments at bay. Other parts of the world soon followed, with handwashing now being a normal part of life.

Taking some time to thoroughly wash your hands can save you a trip to the doctor in the future, and is a proven way to prevent kids from getting sick. No matter how crazy life gets, don’t underestimate the importance of hand washing!

Source: www.globalhandwashing.org



This eyeball pasta is a nutritious meal awesome for the spooky season. Tuck into this meal as it stares back at you, if you dare…

Serves 4


320g dried spinach spaghetti
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tomato
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
4 olives


1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add the crushed garlic clove and gently fry for one minute.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and basil and bring to the boil.

3. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for five minutes. Stir occasionally.

4. Boil spinach pasta according to package directions.

5. When cooked, drain pasta and add to plate with a generous amount of your tomato sauce on top in a round shape.

6. Turn your yummy plate of pasta into a monster by adding slices of fresh mozzarella to create an eyeball and teeth, sliced tomato to create the iris of the eye, and sliced olive to create the pupil and eyelashes. Dig in… if you dare!

PakMag Tip: Can’t find spinach spaghetti? Alternatively, cook your pasta to package instructions, add to a plate and mix in a teaspoon of fresh pesto to create that spooky green colour.



How has another term already flown by?! Time flies, and chances are you’re at a loss for what to do these school holidays to keep the kids busy. We’ve compiled a handy list of 15 cheap and free things to do these school holidays.

1. Plant a veggie garden

Fun and educational, planting a veggie garden and looking after it is a rewarding experience for young and old.

2. Camp out in the yard

Pitch a tent and sleep in the backyard! Don’t forget to bring your torch, pillows, and scary stories.

3. Have a movie night

Collect some family-friendly movies, grab the blankets and popcorn and cuddle up together on the couch for a cosy night of family entertainment.

4. Play with water

Summer is right on our doorstep. Cool off by giving the kids some water pistols and let them run wild.

5. Dig for treasure

Bury a few cheap toys in the yard (or sandpit for little ones), and let your children look for the buried treasure. You can even bury dinosaur toys and let the kids search for “fossils.”

6. Get artsy

Lay down a tarp, acquire some paint, dress the kids in old clothes and let their imagination spill onto the canvas!

7. Sleepover party

Allow your child to invite a few friends, lay out some board games, organise some movies and they’re in for a fantastic night of fun.

8. Spa day

Have your own spa day at home! Serve up delightful finger-food, drink lemonade, have manicure/pedicures, face masks, and massages.

9. Build a blanket fort

All you’ll need is a big bedsheet and some imagination. blanket forts can be built under dining tables, around chairs, behind a couch, over a bed, or really almost anywhere you can think of. Decorate the blanket fort with fairy lights and comfy pillows to make for a fantastic reading nook.

10. Get them to clean their bedrooms

Just kidding. We all know that’s not gonna happen, but you can try!

11. Build with Play-Doh

Sit down with the kids and create all sorts of creatures out of Play-Doh. The kids will love spending this time with you.

12. Make art with potato stamps

Use cookie cutters on thick slices of raw potatoes to create your stamps. Simply dip them into craft paint and stamp away.

13. Balloon characters

Plain and simple, blow up a few colourful balloons and let the kids bring them to life using markets to give them a nose, mouth, eyes, hair, and more.

14. Obstacle course

Build an obstacle course in the backyard with whatever you can find around the house and the yard. This one is sure to burn off some of that energy.

15. Read, read, and read some more

Take a trip to your local library and explore the variety of books on display.

How do you keep the kids busy over the school holidays? Be sure to let us know!



Dear Reader, For a lot of families a verbal agreement is fine and will work if you are reasonably amicable, able to communicate, and trust each other.

What goes wrong with verbal agreements though is uncertainty, and misunderstanding as to what really was agreed. The biggest problem is that if it all goes pearshaped, a verbal agreement is not legally binding or enforceable.

A consent order is binding on parties and it can be enforced if necessary. It provides certainty for children. The Family Court has a very helpful ‘kit’ that you can look at if you want to have a go filing it yourself. Go to www.familycourt.gov.au – application for consent orders.

I recommend you get some legal advice about your agreement before you file it. There are some orders the court just won’t make. Also, make sure you have covered off on all the issues that might arise.

If you have any questions or concerns through this difficult time, get into contact with the team at Collier Lawyers today.



Mackay is a town surrounded by vibrant rainforest and bright beaches, meaning there are plenty of activities ideal for families. But just in case you’re at a loss of what to do, we’ve compiled a selection of free things to do in Mackay that might just make it onto your must-see list.

1. Bluewater Lagoon

This is a fantastic place for you and the kids during the hot summer months. With lifeguards on duty every day of the week and a shallow area at one end of the lagoon, it’s an enclosed space (with no jellyfish!) for your family to enjoy. And don’t forget to check out the water playground with a drop bucket! It even has shade sails to keep your kiddies sun safe.

2. Artspace

This local art gallery is the centre of culture for Mackay. It has pottery, prints and canvas works. Add that to the bonus air conditioning and gluten and dairy free options at the Foodspace café, and you just might be inspiring your family into doing some creating!

3. Jubilee Park

If what you’re looking for is a nice shady space to run around on, Jubilee Park has your back. The fig trees and well-kept landscape would make this an enjoyable stop for your lunch, before you head over to the city library nearby.

4. Dudley Denny City Library

Open every day, the city library is a good location for relaxation! The children’s section is bright and features an elevated reading pod, which is sure to get your little one hooked into the books. And if that’s not your style, there’s plenty of other cosy nooks and comfy couches to take advantage of.

5. Mackay Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are a great location if you want to go out and let off some steam. With a café, pathways circling grassy areas, and butterflies and birds flapping around plants, there’s something here for everyone.

6. Mackay’s Northern Beaches

About 20 minutes from the CBD, parts of the Mackay coast like Blacks Beach, Eimeo Beach and Bucasia Beach are great locations for an afternoon stroll. The sunny weather, soft sand and beautiful views are sure to excite your family. It might be best to keep your little ones out of the water though, as jellyfish could be floating around.

7. Iluka Park

Known as Town Beach to the locals, this cheery spot is fantastic for a picnic. It has shelters through the grounds, and an all-abilities playground. A sure-fire way to let your kids have fun while you relax within viewing distance!

8. Cape Hillsborough – the Diversity Boardwalk

If you’re looking for something a little more involved, this boardwalk would be the ideal location. It’s shady and has an even surface suitable for everyone to walk along. It shows the diversity of nature and has pram-friendly paths for the first 300 metres of the 1.2km stroll.

9. Queens Park

Queens Park is another perfect spot which may take your fancy. It boasts a newly renovated playground with swings, a skywalk, slides and a mouse house. There’s plenty of grass to run around in as well, meaning you’re guaranteed to have worn out kids by the end of your day.

10. Platypus watching

If you’re looking for a full day activity, then Eungella National Park might be a good place for you. It’s known as the best spot in Australia to see a platypus, and is sure to keep your little ones involved. The hour-long drive may be a stretch, but the gorgeous rainforest and walking tracks make this trip well worth it.

Feature image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland. Photographer: Mark Clinton.



Myth Buster: Talking about my ex on social media will not affect my separation.

When you’re going through a separation, it can be tempting to vent about your ex partner on social media. However, it is important that you are mindful of what you say online.

Anything you post online is public and has the potential to affect your family law matter. It doesn’t matter how impressive your security settings are, the Court considers posts on social media to occur in a public forum. Not to mention, if you have even one mutual friend with the other party, anything you post could get back to them. This can affect any future relationship you may wish to have with your former partner, even as friends, particularly if you have children.

Your social media posts, comments, and even memes you share could be used as evidence by the other party. If you are involved in a parenting matter, what you share online could be used to demonstrate your attitude towards parenting, or your willingness (or unwillingness) to facilitate a relationship between the child/ren and the other parent, either of which could be detrimental to your case. The Court is seeing an increasing number of Facebook posts annexed to affidavits; you don’t want yours to be one of them!

Here are some tips for navigating social media during your family law proceedings:


1. Be mindful of what you are posting about your child.

Any posts about your child are directly relevant to your approach to parenting.

2. Consider what you include in your financial disclosure.

If you have stated that you are struggling to make ends meet, you shouldn’t be posting pictures of your brand new sports car or luxury holiday destination (though you should be disclosing it!).

3. Before you make any post, especially in anger, give yourself some time to cool off.

Come back and review what you said later, and only hit the post button if you would be happy for the Judge to see it in Court.


1. Don’t post about your Court proceedings while they are ongoing.

Or even when they are finished. You may inadvertently share something you shouldn’t. You especially want to avoid posts that include identifying information of any other parties to the case. It is an offence under the Family Law Act for a person to publish any account of family law proceedings that identifies a party to the proceedings, or any other person involved.

2. Don’t disparage your ex partner or their family.

This will reflect poorly on you in court, and may influence the outcome of your matter. This has happened in cases, including a case where social media communications were used to demonstrate conflict and a lack of respect between the parents, which resulted in one parent receiving less time with the child.

In parenting matters, you should also consider the impact that any posts of this nature could have on your child, especially if they are old enough to have social media accounts and see the posts themselves.

3. Don’t make posts when you are feeling angry or spiteful.

You don’t want the other party providing to the Court your comments that you are using the court system to get back at them.