Dream Big, Princess!

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Have you ever had the thought, “If I were a princess, I would…”? It isn’t just something little girls think about. The idea of making an impact as a person of royalty sticks with us as we grow, but we don’t always see how that dream could ever come to fruition. That is where imagination comes in! We may not all become a princess or a prince someday, but we can all DREAM BIG.

A young girl looking up to Cinderella and Prince Charming at Walt Disney World

What is “Dream Big, Princess?”

“In 2016, Disney launched the “Dream Big, Princess” campaign, encouraging kids everywhere to live their dreams by highlighting inspiring moments from Disney Princess stories that showcase inspirational qualities like Merida’s bravery and Tiana’s perseverance. These moments have been paired together with stories of real life young role models, showing kids what is possible when they follow their own big dreams.” (Disney Parks Blog)

The Disney “Dream Big, Princess” campaign has not only brought a new dimension to the 12 Disney princesses, it has inspired girls and women everywhere to dream, and DREAM BIG.

The Princess In You

Have you ever wondered which Disney Princess you relate to most? Check out this Quiz: Which Disney Princess are You?  to find out. I took a similar quiz in Disney’s California Adventure that asked a series of questions to tell me which Disney character my personality most closely resembled. Later, I had the opportunity to participate in Disney Creator Days and I received a gift I will treasure forever. It was a sweet letter telling me that I reminded the Disney Creators team of a Disney princess! Guess which princess it was? TIANA! This is what it said:

“Each Disney Princess has empowering and admirable qualities, such as Ariel’s never-ending curiosity and sense of wonder, Tiana’s strong work ethic and visionary outlook, and Cinderella’s kindness and courage in the face of even the biggest bullies. And while all of the princesses are smart, strong, and confident, each has her own unique characteristics that make her special.

Tiana – Ambitious, Passionate, Determined

Echo, you remind us of Tiana! You make everyone’s day a little sweeter by sharing the most delicious dishes, and you’re a hardworking visionary who’s always reading to cook up something new – inside and outside the kitchen. You are an inspiration to your children, showing that chasing after your dreams can truly have the greatest impact.”

Tiana from The Princess and the Frog with a list of her admirable qualities

Wow! Was I ever flattered by this comparison! Since receiving the letter, I’ve paid closer attention to the Disney Princesses and the qualities they individually possess. I have noticed these “empowering and admirable qualities” in my sisters, my mother, my daughters, my nieces, and my friends. My daughter Alexa, like Ariel, is curious and adventurous. My daughter, Kelsey, has devoured books from the time she was three or four. Like Belle, she has discovered the power a book has to take her to far off places. We all have qualities that make us special and that empower us to make the world a better place. What are the qualities you see in the girls and the women in your life? What are the qualities you see in yourself?

Empowering and Admirable Qualities of the Disney Princesses

The qualities of Cinderella, Aurora, and Ariel
The qualities of Disney Princesses Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Merida
The qualities of Disney Princesses Snow White, Tiana, and Moana
The qualities of Disney Princesses Belle, Rapunzel, and Mulan

Once Upon A Time

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared a story that highlights an integral part of the idea that life is filled with so many adventures, and it usually starts with a familiar phrase.

“Over the years I have been exposed to many beautiful languages—each of them is fascinating and remarkable; each has its particular charm. But as different as these languages can be, they often have things in common. For example, in most languages there exists a phrase as magical and full of promise as perhaps any in the world. That phrase is ‘Once upon a time.’”

He goes on to say that “Once upon a time” promises a life filled with adventure and romance, with stories of courage, hope and love. Good overcomes evil in most of these stories and the literary journey is wrapped up on the final page with the equally familiar phrase, “And they lived happily ever after.”

What makes a true hero or heroine?

It’s a great description of what we all desire; to be the heroes and heroines of our own story and to ultimately overcome hardships and live happily ever after. But, as Uchtdorf continues, each prince or princess had to overcome some kind of adversity before the narrator can utter that final, sweet line. (Your Happily Ever After, Deiter F. Uchtdorf)

The Disney Princesses, just like all of us, had obstacles to overcome to make their dream come true. In our own stories, it can be discouraging when those obstacles cloud our dreams. That is why I love the Dream Big, Princess campaign. It is a reminder to keep dreaming, keep imagining, and never, ever give up.

Our “Dream Big Princess” Story

I was inspired by the beautiful letter I received at the Disney Creator Days to share a little of the dream we’ve had with Favorite Family Recipes with our daughters, and with all of you. Tiana loved her father and wanted to bring the joy his delicious recipes inspired to everyone by opening her own restaurant. She, of course, faced a lot of adversity along the way, but she moved forward with determination and she never gave up hope. Not to spoil the ending, but her dream finally came true!

Piper with Tiana in Tiana's place on the Disney Magic Cruise

Like Tiana, we watched the joy our mother’s cooking brought to our family, our extended family, and friends as we were growing up. I don’t think any of us realized at the time the dream her example would inspire in us when we got older. When we all eventually got married and started cooking for our own families there were four daughters and a son looking for Mom’s recipes, but there was only one recipe box, and it was in my Mom’s kitchen cupboard. This resulted in many phone calls home asking Mom how to make our favorites. When the internet came along, Emily and Erica had the brilliant idea to preserve our favorite recipes online. It wasn’t just the recipes we wanted to preserve, it was the memories we wanted to create with our own families around the kitchen table.

Dreams do come true!

To our surprise and sheer delight, we discovered it wasn’t just family members coming to our blog to find recipes and create delicious meals, there were people we didn’t know visiting our blog and commenting on our recipes. This is where our dream of creating memories with our own families evolved into the dream that maybe we had something that could help other families create meals at home; a way to help others make their own family memories.

Edwards Family Picture

It has taken a great deal of time and hard work. I would be lying if I said there haven’t been obstacles and moments of frustration, but it has also been a lot of fun and it has been very rewarding. A family recipe blog turned into a recipe website that gets millions of visits a year. It has blessed our lives and our families in countless ways. We have the opportunity to work and travel with each other and with our families. We have the opportunity to work from home and be involved in the lives of our children. And, something we’ve really loved is having the opportunity to meet influencers from all over the world that have inspired us with their dreams and their stories.

Our ‘Happily Ever After’

Our ‘Happily Ever After’ comes in many ways, including…

  • Sitting around the kitchen table enjoying a homemade meal while we talk, laugh, and share our experiences of the day.
  • Watching our children dream their own dreams and work hard to achieve them.
  • Receiving a comment from someone who has made one of our recipes and is excited to tell us that their family loved the dish, and it’s going on their monthly recipe rotation.
  • Hearing that one of our recipes reminded them of something their grandmother, or father, or great aunt used to make.
Emily, Echo, Erica, Jared, Andie, Gracie in front of Cinderella's castle at Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World

This was truly a magical morning! We were able to be in Magic Kingdom Park just as the sun was rising and shining on Cinderella’s castle.

Front row: Gracie and Andie (Erica’s daughters)

Back row: Emily, Echo, Jared (Erica’s husband), and Erica

If nothing else, I hope the dream we envisioned and then worked hard to create will be an inspiration to our daughters and sons, and to our readers. It really all starts with having a dream and being willing to work hard to achieve it. As Tiana said, I remember Daddy told me, fairy tales can come true. You got to make them happen, it all depends on you!”

Do you have a dream? We would love to know your dream, your inspiration, and what you are doing to make it come true. Please leave a comment and tell us about it. You never know how your dream and determination to follow it will inspire those around you.

Learn more about the Disney Princesses and Dream Big Princess at princess.disney.com.

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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