My Top 10 Progressive House/Dream Trance Picks of 2011

I have a love for dreamy balearic music along the lines of progressive house and dream trance.  I’m not so much into the hardcore techno stuff, unless I’m at a night club…which I haven’t been to for a very long time, because it’s not something I could relax to.

Dream trance is what it sounds like.  Dreamy and mind altering.  Some of my favorites are those with soothing vocals and lyrics that take me to far away worlds and all things far from reality.  It’s fun once in awhile to create a world of ones own imagination to escape to.  A lot of these songs have areas of fading in and out of slow and fast parts.  Some songs are extremely lengthy and repetitive but I think that’s what makes this kind of music unique.

I mostly listen to dream trance (and the likes) when I am working on digital scrapping, digital art, editing photos, writing, etc.  It puts me at my best.

Here are my top 10 this year.  All these videos were found on YouTube.


1.Feels Like Heaven” (Downtempo Version) by Roger Shah & Sunlounger feat. Zara Taylor.  I could listen to this song straight through + repeat.


2.Disarm Yourself” by Dash Berlin feat. Emma Hewett.  This is a very beautiful song and Emma’s voice is beyond soothing.


3.Ong Namo” (Live Intro Edit Version) by Bryan Kearney and Snatam Kaur.  Soothing and epic intro.


4.Opposing Worlds” (Original Mix Edit) by Dimension & Long Island feat. Anthya.  I love the fade in and out of this song.


5.See Me Here” (Acoustic Mix) by Orion.  Slow, relaxing, and the vocals are dreamy.


6.Beautiful Night” (Downtempo Version) by Roger Shah feat. Antonia Lucas.  Great song but I think the best part is the music starting at 4:40.


Music Only

7.Sunshine” by Ryan Farish.  This song is on his Legacy (Greatest Hits 2000-2010) album but I still listen to it quite often and sometimes on repeat.


8.White” by Smith & Pledger.  At 2:20 it slows down to a beautiful tune, and then picks up, taking that tune with it.


9.One Day” by Soundlift.  Starting at about 2:35, it slows down, and gives a whole new feel to the song then picks up again around 4:30.


10.You Left” (Alexei Zakharov Ambient Mix) by Pedro Del Mar & Blue Tente.  This version is slow with a touch of melancholy.

I hope you enjoyed them!

The Rest…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I sure did.  I know I’ve fallen behind with posting my girls’ 24-day-of-Christmas gifts.  Here are the things they received starting from day 4.  To see anything before day 4, just scroll through the blog.

The girls enjoyed the gifts that required putting together like the cards and angels.  They want to do more crafty things.  They also liked their dresses.

In The Clouds


It is not unusual to see haze in my neighborhood.  It is one of the best things about this area and one husband and I found by surprise after we moved here a couple of years ago. I’ve captured some beautiful shots earlier in the year of a frosty haze.  Over the summer, we had a few hazy mornings and I wish I had captured them, but there is always next year.

Yesterday we had a thick haze for most the morning and afternoon.  It was thicker in some areas than others.  In my neighborhood, it was pretty thick.  I think haze is one of the most beautiful and mysterious thing to see.  It brings on a kind of peace and calm.

While we were out and about my kids were curious about the haze and asked questions.  I made it simple and told them that we were in the clouds.  My older one knew it was haze but my younger one didn’t.  I think being “in the clouds” made more since to her than haze would have.

Here is a comparison of haze and no haze from the master bedroom.

The latter photo was taken this morning.

Other Stuff

Kids say very interestng things.  I think as parents this is the one thing that keeps us going.  For me, it puts a huge smile on my face and reminds me why I have them in my life.

Late last week Kida and I had a conversation about parents while I was driving us somewhere.  She brought it up and I’m not sure why but maybe she wanted to make sense of it.  She told me there were two kinds of parents.  The first kind she called, teenager parents, and the second kind she called, real parents.  In her words, “The teenager parents are the kind that talk a lot on the phone and say, “OMG” all the time, just like a teenager.  They also act like they are teenagers.” The conversation continued like this:

ME: What does a teenager parent act like?

HER: Like they are young.

ME: So teenager parents act like they are younger than they really are?

HER: Yeah.

ME: So what is a real parent?

HER: A real parent is responsible.

ME: And, how do they act?

HER: They act like their age.

ME: Is that good?

HER: Yeah!

ME: So, am I a real parent or a teenager parent?

HER: You’re a real parent.

ME: Do you prefer a real parent or a teenager parent?

HER: A real parent.

I smiled.  It didn’t matter whether I was a real parent or a teenager parent.  What mattered was, I = what she preferred.

Then with Kylie, while driving home from a Christmas party over the weekend, she and I had a conversation about waiting and at one point she said, “Mom…you have to wait 16 hours.”  Husband was listening and whispered to me, “Ask her to count to 20.  She always skips 16.”  So, I said, “Kylie, can you count to 20?”  She didn’t hesitate and began counting, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…”  She does great as usual.  Then, “….12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20!”  Husband and I started laughing then she said, “I messed up didn’t I.”  We told her she skipped 16 and she started laughing (she had no idea why we were really laughing).  It’s funny how she knows a number 16 exists, yet not when she’s counting.

Holiday Decorations And Earlier In the Weeks

The house was decorated since the first week of December but I just didn’t have the time to post any photos.  The snow on the Christmas tree was an idea I saw at the mall when husband and I took the girls to see Santa.  We bought our tree (it’s real) from Costco and when we brought it home, out came quite a few spiders!  I’m not scared of spiders if I see them once in while but this was a little different.  These spiders were small and they kind of flew out every which way.  We also found a ladybug in there, in which, Kylie decided to care for by building it a little home out of things we had on our coffee table.  She eventually took it outside giving it one of her teddy bear children’s vitamin to keep it from going hungry.

Here’s what’s been going on since Dec 6 (just within the last two week!):

Kida had her first orchestra concert at her school.  I was almost in tears watching her play her violin to Dreydl, Seminole Chant, Good King Wenceslas, and Jingle Bells.  Here’s a video husband took with his cell phone of Dreydl.  It’s very bad quality but it’s a glimpse at the concert.  I think the kids did great given less than 3 months to learn their instruments and four songs.


Kida performed in The Nutcracker, a play through her dance school.  She auditioned in September and landed a role as one of the tiny mice.  She went to rehearsal every weekend up until the show.   She was thrilled to see her 4th grade teacher, her 3rd grade teacher (whom promised over the summer when she missed Kida’s recital that she’d make it to the next show and she did!), and her two aunties at the performance.  The video is a clip of her performance during rehearsal.  She is third on the left to the back.  It was a great show.


Kylie performed at her pre-school’s Christmas show.  I thought she was fantastic!  She had been practicing her verse at school and at home too, with me.  I had no idea that she was also learning songs and such.  She never talks about them (when I ask) and the only song she sings at home is “Deck the Halls” (she sings ‘Deck‘ with an i) instead of the ones she learned at school.  Here are a couple of videos of her during the Christmas show.  In the first video, she is near the end (letter, X) in the purple dress.


The girls finished ballet/dance classes for the year.  They performed for the parents and also gave out presents to their teachers and treats to their classmates.  Husband and I missed Kida’s dances (because I forgot) but we attended Kylie’s.


Kida is done with school until the new year!  How time flies!  I was asked to be the photographer again to take some class pictures.  Kida gets so excited when I’m there.  She just loves showing me everything and wants me to see her goof around with her friends.

Kida performed at the Hmong Catholic Christmas party.  She danced to the choir’s, “Oh Holy Night”.  The dance was choreographed by her and her auntie (my sister).  She didn’t seem to have practiced much but it still turned out great!

(updated 12/19…with my sister’s much better recording of the performance)

We donated a little money at Kylie’s preschool to help the less fortunate during this Holiday season.  Kylie also picked out an angel card off a Christmas tree to give a gift to a less fortunate child.  Originally, I was supposed to take the girls shopping for the gift but husband and I ended up doing the shopping because of the limited time we had to buy and wrap the gift.  Both girls got to drop the gift off with me though.

We celebrated husband’s and my birthday at my parent’s home and then we gave each other cakes and a card at our home.  We also went to dinner without the girls.  We had wanted to go to our favorite sushi place, Makuni, but it was closed.  Out of business.  The Cheese Cake Factory was nearby so we went there instead.

Christmas cards were made, printed, and sent to friends and family.  Btw, I ran out of cards and had to do a quick print at Walgreens!  This means some will receive one a little late (I’m sorry if you are one of them).  This year, I decided to do something new by including a 2011 In Review Newsletter for friends and family who don’t follow me on this blog or Facebook.  The newsletter is basically the same things I blog about but less detailed.

And, finally, I have been keeping up with the 24-days-of-Christmas gift giving to my girls.  I’ve taken photos of every one of their gifts but as you can see, it’s been a busy couple of weeks and I haven’t had time to post (but I will!).   Most of the gifts are fun toys and candy.  The girls really love this idea except they’ve gotten bored of some of the things I’ve given them.  Hopefully next year, I’ll be better prepared with not jut random things but more meaningful things.

Also, if you’ve been following my digital scrapbook blog, you’ll know that I’ve been spotlighted on Inside the Creative Studio on Creations by Tinamarie’s blog.  The spotlight includes a free quick page download I made using the Christmas Morning kit by Creations by Tinamarie (in collaboration with Valorie Wibbens Designs).  I hope you stop by Tina’s blog to read about me and to grab this freebie!

Day 3

Quickpage by paislee press.

This morning the girls woke up asking, “When do we get our gifts?”  Yesterday, Kida said, “Mom, are you going to do this every year?”

“Maybe.” I said.

“Why didn’t you do it last year?”

“Because I just thought of it this year but if you don’t like it, I won’t do it next year.”

“No!  I like it!  I like it!”  She screamed in glee.

After opening their gifts, they wanted to share funny faces.

I wanted to take some photos of their gifts outside in the snow so I went out and Kylie followed.  After I uploaded the photos, I asked Kylie to tell me the story behind the photos.  This is her story:


(Santa speaks first)

The End. 🙂

Title and story by Kylie.

Day 2

Look at how excited they were!!

Kylie said, “Is it from Santa?”  I said, “Yep!”  No point in arguing with her.

After Kida opened hers, she helped her sister.  They were super excited, except I accidentally gave Kylie the gift with the red M&M instead of green.  I knew she liked only the green one and thought I made sure I gave the girls the right one but I didn’t so Kylie was bummed.  She wanted the green one really REALLY bad.  Luckily, the outside didn’t matter to Kida so she exchanged with Kylie and everything worked out.

The time it took from opening the gifts to eating it all: 2 minutes.  Not really, but it sure felt like it because I didn’t see them eat it.  It was as if they swallowed the candy in one gulp.

Before they ate their candy, they wanted to show me some tricks.

Kida showed me how fast she could twirl her ponytail.

Kylie showed me how fast she could twirl her arm.  She said, “I don’t have a ponytail but I can spin my arm.  It’s like a helicopter.”

‘Tis December

What better way to bring us into December than with snow!  Yes, it’s snowing!  That is real snow on the fake tree decor photo above.  Below is the view from the front porch.

This month, for the first time, I’m attempting a 24 day of Christmas gifting for my two girls.  Before Kida headed out to school I surprised them with their first gift.  They were both very excited, except Kylie kept thinking the gifts were from Santa.  Kida even told her that it was from Mom and Dad but Kylie told her, “NO!  It’s from Santa!”

They got their first collectible ornaments.  I hope to make it a tradition.  My husband’s parents used to do this for him and his sister when they were kids.  We’ve been using husband’s collectibles on our trees every year and I love the feeling of knowing that they were thoughtful gifts given to be cherished forever.

Anyway, here are the girl’s ornaments brought to life.

Credits on the the “brought to life” photos: music string from Greymouse Manor kit by Lorie Davison and sparkles from Tom Thumb kit by Irene Alexeeva.

Happy December!