February 24, 2018

On Book Leave


By Julie Samrick I wanted to let you know I’ll be taking a short leave from writing articles for Kid Focused while I work on a clean, kid friendly, novel. I’ve always wanted to tackle a book and have finally found my inspiration. I may still post for Kid Focused but wanted you to know… Read more

The Fault in our Stars is a modern Romeo and Juliet

fault in our stars movie

Rated PG-13, 2 hours 6 minutes Julie Samrick Hazel is a 17-year-old with terminal cancer who starts going to support group to deal with her depression. She meets fellow teen Augustus Waters, whose vivacious personality soon rubs off on Hazel. Everything is wonderful except for the one fault in their stars- a nod to a… Read more

Rio 2 is a colorful sequel with one flaw

Rio 2

Julie Samrick At the start of Rio 2 domesticated blue macaw Blu, his wife Jewel and three kids leave their computers, iPods and busy city life in Rio de Janeiro to get back to basics and research their heritage in the Amazon rainforest. Thinking they’re the only blue macaws left in the world, they find… Read more

Lego Movie: glittery surface, lackluster plot

The Lego Movie

“Everything is awesome” for Lego Movie’s leading character Emmet, where in his Lego-constructed world all citizens abide by the rules and optimism abounds. Chosen by a prophecy to be an imaginative “master builder,” and save the world from Kragl (a misspelling of Krazy Glue, which symbolizes no imagination or thinking outside structured, strict manual-led lives)… Read more

Wacky Free Birds

Free Birds

By Julie Samrick Reggie (Owen Wilson) doesn’t fit in with the other turkeys. Though ignorance to their fate may keep them in a state of bliss, Reggie knows just what will happen to all of them come Thanksgiving. If only they’ listen!   When the President’s daughter chooses Reggie to be pardoned, and takes him… Read more

Smurfs 2 is a sloppy sequel

Smurfs 2

Why are Smurfs blue?  And why is Smurfette the lone girl in a community of males? These questions are at the heart of Smurfs 2, the sequel to the hit 2011 Smurfs movie. Thinking he has a chance to rule the world, evil wizard Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette to extract her blue essence.  But might Smurfette… Read more

‘Iron Man 3′ Isn’t So Steely After All

Iron Man 3

By Julie Samrick It’s hard to keep movie spinoffs fresh, and so is the case with Iron Man 3.   Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark, defense contractor turned Iron Man in the third installment of the popular comic book series.  In the first Iron Man we see his bumpy transformation into… Read more

Meal Planning: Why It’s Worth It

meal planning

By Julie Samrick Very recently I’ve begun meal planning because until now I’ve always had the same annoying thing happen.  I’d go to the store, stock up, look at my full shelves and refrigerator and then, undoubtedly, I’d still think by the next day, What should I make for dinner?  Or worse, there’d still be… Read more

“Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2″ Out in DVD


By Julie Samrick Did you miss Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in the theater, or wonder whether your kids can watch it now that it’s out on DVD?  Take a look at the Kid Focused review to know what to expect and who should or shouldn’t be seeing it…   Beauty, danger, supernatural forces and, yes,… Read more

Valentine’s Day at School is Here to Stay

Valentine's Day

By Julie Samrick “Whoa! That’s a lot of Valentines… Are you a teacher?”  A man asked as he stared at my cart incredulously while my kids and I checked out of the Dollar Store last weekend.  Toting 100 paper Valentines plus a piece of candy to attach to each one, I was genuinely happy to… Read more