A Better Today Media · A.M. Ream Poetry · Article · Poetry

6 Powerful Things Every Child Needs to Hear

Let’s face it. Children in this day and age face a lot of negativity. They are bombarded with impossible expectations about how they should look, act, and even post on social media. Sometimes many of their worst moments are shared and documented on a regular basis. It is our responsibility as parents and mentors to think of ways to empower our children. Here are several examples of powerful statements we can make to the most important people in our lives.

“I am so grateful to have you in my life.”

Try to think back when you were growing up and had almost no control over your life. You were dependent on the adults around you for everything and were often given no say even over the littlest things. It is important to let your child know just how vital he/she is to you and to everyone in his/her life. Find examples on a regular basis that emphasize this fact. For example, is your child often considerate of others? Thank him/her for helping you find your keys, for assisting with younger siblings, or even just for learning how to put others first.

“What a wonderful job!”

It’s very easy as parents to be critical of our children. Often it takes less time and energy to correct their mistakes than to find something encouraging to praise. Children need compliments just as much as we do. In fact, they need them even more. These are their formidable years, and they will carry their failures with them along with their successes.

“I love you.”

Of course, this is an obvious example. However, if you did not grow up in an affectionate home, this is something you lacked as a child. We all hope that our loved ones cherish us, and there are so many ways to demonstrate this. A quick hug, a reassuring hand on the shoulder, and even a warm smile from across the room are simple ways to show just how much love you have for your child.

“This reminded me of you.”

It’s almost silly how little it takes to entertain us. Among my immediate family, my husband and our teenage children, we often send funny pictures, videos, and memes that we know will entertain the other person. Let him/her know that you pay attention to his/her likes and dislikes, and more importantly, that you think of him/her during the busyness of your day.

“I miss you.”

This ties in with the previous example, yet these three words are just as important as “I love you.” Knowing someone is thinking of us and is looking forward to seeing us can often be the highlight of our day. As previously mentioned, do you ever see or hear something that reminds you of your child? Then take the five seconds to send them a message, or let your child know that he/she was missed earlier, providing an example if possible.

“You are very important to me.”

Oh, how we all desire to be wanted, loved, and appreciated. Looking back on all the times this was expressed to me verbally or symbolically, it was never some extravagant gift or special event. Sometimes all it takes is a few moments of holding your child close or simply spending quality one-on-one time with him/her to convey just how important your child is to you.

I encourage you to take the next six days and to use at least one of these examples daily to strengthen the spirit of your child and to cement your relationship with him/her. It is so very true how uplifting it can be to focus on making others happy. You will find it will help you become more positive in your attitude towards life, and it will aid you in finding that these statements are also true about yourself.


Read the article by Araceli M. Ream on A Better Today Media.

A Better Today Media · A.M. Ream Poetry · Article

6 Important Life Lessons for Improving the Quality of Your Life


Sometimes looking back at the past can teach you how much you have learned.

By accident, I discovered dozens of quotes I had written over 5 years ago and found these six lessons that are important to living a quality life.

Be patient in life, especially when it comes to love. You may be ready, but the other person may need time.

It’s true. Timing is everything. If you are at a different season in life than another person, it might just be the wrong time.

Without hardship, you would never know just how strong of a person you truly are.

Despite the pain and hurt that go along with some experiences, these are sometimes the ones that strengthen you the most.

Do not give up. The beginning is always the hardest.

It’s all about taking that first step. Take a deep breath, then take the plunge. You can do it!

It’s amazing how taking one negative person out of your life can make it so much better.

Negative people can be like weeds when it comes to your personal growth. Sometimes it becomes necessary to remove them from your life.

Some relationships are toxic. They do nothing but suck the life out of you. Sever those ties once you realize they have that effect on you.

Just as budding plants need sunlight and oxygen, you need the right environment to grow. Toxic relationships do nothing but impede improvement.

You can search high and low, but you’ll never find what you’re looking for until you find yourself first.

The desire for love is something that is instilled in everyone. You will never know if someone is right for you until you discover who you really are.


There are many good things in life just waiting for you to discover. Take the risk, and make the decision to take whatever actions necessary to make these opportunities possible.


Read the original article by Araceli M. Ream on A Better Today Media.

A Better Today Media · A.M. Ream Poetry · Article

Can’t Get Over a Breakup? These 5 Songs Have Your Back

Love can sometimes be about loss. And heartache from a breakup is inevitable.

Just as love songs can fuel your passion for a budding relationship, an appropriate selection of music can help heal the pain of a breakup. The following songs are tracks I have personally found to be uplifting anytime I’ve been down, especially after experiencing heartbreak.

“Better in Time” by Leona Lewis

After the success of “Bleeding Love,” this song emerged onto the international music scene with generally positive feedback. It also reinforces the old adage that time heals all wounds.

YouTube Spotify

“Dear No One” by Tori Kelly

Released in 2013, this was my introduction to her music. The lyrics encourage waiting for the right one, and the musical content provides a lovely background to the positive message.

YouTube Spotify

“Irreplaceable” by Beyonce

Probably one of her most memorable singles, it is one of the few breakup songs that actually has a catchy beat. Music lovers of all ages have a fondness for this song whether or not they have experienced the painful loss of a breakup.

YouTube Spotify

“Someone Like You” by Adele

The second single from her second album, this track deals with the struggle most face after losing a lover: replacing someone you thought was your soul mate. It allows a broken soul the cathartic experience sometimes needed before being able to move on.

YouTube Spotify

“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Although originally released (and written) almost two decades earlier by Dolly Parton, this powerful ballad accompanied the film “The Bodyguard.” The lyrics have one central theme that many find personally true for them:

Sometimes love continues long after goodbye.

YouTube Spotify


–Araceli M. Ream

You can view the original article on A Better Today Media.

A Better Today Media · A.M. Ream Poetry · Article

Motivational Music: 20 Songs to Get You Moving


We can all use a little motivation in our lives, and music is one of the most enjoyable ways to kick up the inspiration to accomplish any tasks that arise in April. Whether you need songs to help you through a workout, a soundtrack while studying, or background music while working outdoors, here are some great examples for music to get you moving!

“Best Day Of My Life” by American Authors:  YouTubeSpotify

“Chandelier (Four Tet Remix)” by Sia: YouTubeSpotify

“Dance With Me Tonight” by Olly Murs: YouTubeSpotify

“Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris: YouTubeSpotify

“I’m Amazed” by My Morning Jacket: YouTubeSpotify

“Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities: YouTubeSpotify

“Umbrella (feat. JAY-Z)” by Rihanna: YouTubeSpotify

“Jump Around” by House of Pain: YouTubeSpotify

“Runaway” by Kanye West: YouTubeSpotify

“Take on Me” by a-ha: YouTubeSpotify

“Dani California” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers: YouTubeSpotify

“Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj: YouTubeSpotify

“Stereo Hearts (feat. Adam Levine)” by Gym Class Heroes: SpotifySpotify

“Fruit Machine” by The Ting Tings: YouTubeSpotify

“Bust A Move” by Young MC: YouTubeSpotify

“Beverly Hills” by Weezer: YouTubeSpotify

“Neon Lights” by Demi Lovato: YouTubeSpotify

“Epic” by Faith No More: YouTubeSpotify


Read the article by Araceli M. Ream on A Better Today Media.


A Better Today Media · A.M. Ream Poetry · Article

Time Travel to the 90’s – 20 Songs For Your Mix Tape


“The 1990’s was one of the most musically diverse decades in history. Pop and heavy metal decreased in popularity, while alternative or grunge rock emerged onto the scene.

This era also marked some of the most formidable years in my life. I graduated from high school and college, got married and had my first baby, and started my first teaching job. The following songs will always take me right back to the memories made during that time period.”  – Araceli

 “More Than Words” by Extreme (1990)

Memorable lyrics: Just reach out your hands and touch me. Hold me close; don’t ever let me go.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana (1991)

Memorable lyrics: “When the light’s out, it’s less dangerous. Here we are now. Entertain us.”


“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston (1992)

Memorable lyrics: I hope life treats you kind, and I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of. And I wish you joy and happiness, but above all, I wish you love.


“Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa (1993)

Memorable lyrics: Wicked, wicked, had to kick it. I’m not shy, so I asked for the digits.


“I Swear” by All 4 One (1994)

Memorable lyrics:  I swear, by the moon and the stars, I’ll be there.


“Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morrisette (1995)

Memorable lyrics: What it all comes down to is that everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine. ‘Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is giving a high five.


“Change the World” by Eric Clapton (1996)

Memorable lyrics: I can change the world. I could be the sunlight in your universe.


“How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes (1997)  

Memorable lyrics: Without you, there’d be no sun in my sky. There would be no love in my life. There’d be no world left for me.


“Ghetto Superstar” by Pras (1998)

Run away with me to another place. We can rely on each other, from one corner to another.


“Amazed” by Lonestar (1999)

Every little thing that you do… Baby, I’m amazed by you.



“These songs take me to my sisters bedroom in the 90’s. Her room was decorated with magazine cut outs of Calvin Klein ads, a huge Kurt Cobain poster, a lava lamp and the teenage essence of leave me alone. Shout out to Angela for always letting her little sister hang with her, and making me feel super cool.  – Stephanie


“Everlong” by Foo Fighters 1997


Memorable lyrics: Breathe out so I can breathe you in. Hold you in.


“Better Man” by Pearl Jam 1994

Memorable lyrics: She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man…


“Shine” by Collective Soul 1993

Memorable lyrics: Whoa, heaven let your light shine down


1979“ by The Smashing Pumpkins 1995

Memorable lyrics: And we don’t know / Just where our bones will rest / To dust I guess


“Something in the Way” by Nirvana 1991

Memorable lyrics: Something in the way, mmm


“The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe

Memorable lyrics: For the life of me I can not remember What made us think that we were wise and we’d never compromise.


“No Rain” by Blind Melon

Memorable lyrics: I just want some one to say to me, “I’ll always be there when you wake.”


“Lighting Crashes” by Live 1994

Memorable lyrics: oh now feel it comin’ back again like a rollin’ thunder chasing the wind forces pullin’ from the center of the earth again I can feel it.



“Santeria” by Sublime 1995

Memorable lyrics: What I really wanna know, mah baby, mmmm… What I really wanna say I can’t define. Well, it’s love, that I need. Oh…



“Brick” by Ben Folds Five 1997

Memorable lyrics: She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly Off the coast and I’m headed nowhere She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly

Read the article by Araceli M. Ream and Stephanie on A Better Today Media

A Better Today Media · A.M. Ream Poetry · Article

8 Albums to Enjoy from Start to Finish

Over the years, I have broadened my knowledge of music and have enlarged the size of my music library. After listening to many albums repeatedly, and through some suggestions from my sixteen-year-old son, I have compiled a list of ten albums that contain a perfect collection of songs.

Thankfully, through the advancement of technology, we have websites such as YouTube and Spotify where it is easy to access almost any music that comes to mind. You will find links to enjoy the albums that I highly recommend, each example listed in chronological order according to release date.

“Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac 


This album was released in 1977 with a total of eleven songs. You can find them on YouTubeSpotify has a Super Deluxe version of the album as well.

“The Little Mermaid: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack  

The Little Mermaid

When the film was released in 1989, the songs soon captured my heart. The original soundtrack contained twenty tracks, exactly half of them songs. Although the full album is not available on Spotify, many of the songs can be found on the site. YouTube has a later version of the soundtrack available.

“Songs about Jane” by Maroon 5  

Songs About Jane

In 2002, Maroon 5 made their music debut with an album containing twelve Selections. Their YouTube Vevo channel has a playlist of the music videos corresponding to each track. Their YouTube Vevo channel has a playlist of the music videos corresponding to each track.

You can find the 10th Anniversary edition on Spotify.

“Dreaming Out Loud” by OneRepublic  

Dreaming Out Loud

OneRepublic came onto the music scene in 2007. Their debut album is also a favorite of mine. It contained thirteen tracks in total. A playlist of each song’s music video is available on YouTube.

Spotify has the full album as well.

“Let Love In” by Goo Goo Dolls  

Let Love In

Goo Goo Dolls released eleven songs on their eighth album in 2006. Their typically rock tracks resounded with my fondness for alternative rock in this period of my life. You can watch the music videos for this album on YouTube. You can find the same songs from the album on Spotify.

“Waking Up” by OneRepublic 

Waking Up

The album to follow up the success of OneRepublic’s debut solidified my love for their music. There was eleven tracks on this release. Another playlist on YouTube contains a compilation of music videos. There are sixteen songs on the Deluxe version on Spotify.

“Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” 

Guardians of the Galaxy

Months before the film debuted in theaters, I had the privilege of being exposed to the classic tracks included in this album. Although released in 2014, all of the twelve songs were previously listed in the 1960’s and 1970’s. You can listen to the complete album on YouTube.

“Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording) 


This soundtrack was released when the musical was first performed in 2015. Another album brought to my attention, I couldn’t stop listening to it for months. Listen to the complete album on YouTube. It is on Spotify as well.

I’m sure there are dozens of phenomenal albums I have yet to recall or to discover, but the eight listed above are a great example of music if you need some new recommendations.

8 word story

Article by Araceli M. Ream on A Better Today Media.

A.M. Ream Poetry · Article · Poetry

Feature by Instahaikugram


For those of you unfamiliar with @aracelimream it’s a real honor to introduce her this morning as our Featured Writer. An Army wife who started writing again when she met her husband-to-be almost 3 years ago, she adds this insight: “I had written a lot of poetry, prose, and songs during my childhood and through college. I write because I have words and feelings inside of me that want to be shared. And I love the poetry community on Instagram.” Ariceli also has 3 kids, 2 step kids, an English bulldog, and a cat. She continues, “My hobbies include reading, running, and listening to music.” You owe it to yourself to visit her page!


In part 2 of our continuing Featured Writer Series with @aracelimream the conversation continued: “I studied music education in college (piano and voice), play the drums as well, and taught elementary music for over 4 years. I used to write for ‘A Better Today Media,’ an online magazine, when they were still active. And I have a poem published in ‘Love Poetry’: ‘An International Anthology of Poems on Love, Romance, and Relationships.'” A great example of what a writer can accomplish through hard work and dedication, Araceli is an inspiration to us all. We are honored to feature you! Thanks again for sharing with us at #instahaikugram 👌

(Be sure to check out more features on Instahaikugram.)