A compilations of A Return To Loveliness posts from A Delight Life.

A Return to Loveliness No. 24

Filled with Joy

Reflecting on Victoria’s Return
I'd love you to share a cup of tea with me
and some Bread Pudding.
this is a darling gift my husband gave me for Christmas. He noticed
me 'ohhing and ahhing' over it at a local antique store - of which I plan to
share with you soon.
I was looking at my December Victorias and read the
Letter from Phyllis Hoffman in the first issue of the
revived Victoria.

I was so surprised and excited to see these among my Christmas
and birthday gifts! My daughter acted as Santa's little helper for my
husband. She gave to me the tea and coffee mug as well as the sugar bowl.
The coffee cannister and water jug were from my husband.
She expressed similar sentiments over the impact
Victoria in women’s lives over the years and
the personal sense of loss we all experienced.

I love the detail in this old plant terrarium
“As a young wife and mother, I discovered another dream when Victoria came into my life. I held my breath as I opened the cover. Every page enriched my soul, inspired my thoughts, and took me on a visual vacation. I was captivated. 
I love every curve and every line
When she went away, I mourned, reread issue after issue, and dreamed of her return. …So special, her name is whispered as if she is a breathtaking, refined woman making an entrance at an elegant event.
I am not sure exactly where this will find a home, but I look forward to
decorating with it!
So special, she takes your breath away as you turn page after page revealing photos that take you to places of tranquility and loveliness.”
Phyllis Hoffman, Victoria 
These are so wonderful in their creaminess and laciness! I have
a mug for tea and one for coffee! How Delightsome!
I am so thankful to find the kindred spirit in Phyllis and in so many others. I am thankful for her presence in my life to remind me and to encourage me in the fine art of being a gracious woman.

the antique store had several of these - wonder if I could dare to hope for another!
My daughter crocheted these darling flowers
for a bouquet for me.
It reminds me of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Each one of us touches so many lives and we can never comprehend the impact our life has on others.

I love the lacy detail in this cannister
 I believe Victoria encouraged us to be kind, gentle and gracious women – that is why I love to celebrate Victoria each week with you at A Return to Loveliness.

My heart is filled with joy and thankfulness this wintry morning.
I look forward to the sharing of blessings in the days and weeks to come.
I am enthralled with this extra large Cloche and
Apothecary Jar! So many wonderful things I can do with them!
Rejoicing once more today. I received the latest Victoria Magazine
and a belated Christmas gift of Romantic Touches - a book
published through Victoria Magazine!
Time for one more cup of tea!

A Return to Loveliness No. 23

Christmas Tea

“What is the Christmas spirit?
it is the spirit which brings a smile to
the lips and tenderness to the heart;

it is the spirit  which warms one into
friendship with all the world,
which impels one to hold out the

hand of fellowship to every
man and woman”

“Of all the traditional holiday foods,
Gingerbread is among the most delightful. 

Stories like Hansel & Gretel
and The Gingerbread Man lend a
whimsical touch to the easy-to-make
cookie and ornate gingerbread houses
give it an air of elegance.

Gingerbread has a long history.
Its origin goes all the way back to the
eleventh century, when Crusaders
returning from the Middle East
came back with a new spice called Ginger”.
Emilie Barnes
The Twelve Teas of Christmas

“We have Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, to
thank for the delightful tradition of a proper

afternoon tea—tea served with miniature
sandwiches, small cakes, and other such
delicacies. In her day, the English people

typically at a large breakfast and a late
dinner, without much in between. By the

middle of the afternoon, the Duchess always
experienced a ‘sinking feeling’, which she
staved off by dining on tea, cakes, tarts, and

biscuits at four o’clock in the afternoon. Thus
was born the custom of taking afternoon tea.”
Emilie Barnes
Twelve Teas of Christmas

“If teacups could talk

And teapots could sing,
Especially at Christmas,
They would tell us some things...

Of family and friends,
Carolers and trees,
Sahring the warmth of the season
With twelve special teas.”
Sandy Lynam Clough

Twelve Teas of Christmas - Emilie Barnes

Victoria Magazine 1991, 1993, 1994

Gingerbread Cake Recipe
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup  (1 stick)  butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
1 cup boiling water
Whipped cream, Cool Whip, or Glaze (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 inch square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, Stir together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
In a separate, large bowl, beat softened butter, brown sugar, and molasses.
Mix egg into the wet mixture.
Add the dry mixture, alternating with boiling water, to the wet mixture, stirring until well-blended.
Pour into the greased pan.
Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.  or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let sit on wire rack (still in pan) about 10 minutes.
Invert cake onto wire rack and cool completely.
Serve with whipped cream or lemon glaze (both are optional.)

Optional Lemon Glaze:
1 Cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (colored part of rind)
Stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
Add lemon zest.
Drizzle over cooled cake and let set before serving.

Another Optional Glaze:
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Flour
1 1/2 Cups Hot Water
3 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons Vanilla
¼ teaspoon Salt
On the stove, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, and hot water until butter is melted and all ingredients are mixed well.
Allow glaze to cool a bit and then add the egg yolks.
Cook until mixture is a semi-thick liquid.
Remove from heat and slowly add the vanilla and salt.
Drizzle over cooled cake and let set before serving.

Note that adding just a touch more butter to the gingerbread cake recipe can actually make the cake softer and richer, though you certainly don’t want to add too much of this ingredient.
Some believe that mixing by hand with a wooden spoon rather than using an electric mixer actually makes the cake “taste” better after cooking.
A gingerbread cake recipe isn’t complete without a topping. It can be as simple as Cool Whip or whipped cream, but for an added touch, try on eof these gingerbread glazes. A gingerbread glaze will make a world of difference in your gingerbread cake recipe.
note: my husband and I agreed - next time we would increase the amount of the spices

A Return to Loveliness - Christmas With Victoria!

Christmas With Victoria 


This is a special edition of 

A Return to Loveliness

a weekly celebration of the inspiration of 

Victoria Magazine 

and of our endeavors to bring a sense of loveliness

into our lives and homes.

Following my post is a list of the participants.

The list is also on my sidebar! 

I hope you take a moment, sit with a cup of tea, cocoa

or coffee and treat yourself to enjoying the 

marvelous expressions of Christmas joy prepared for you!

Wishing you a very Delightsome, Christ-filled day,


Glory to God in the Highest
 and on earth peace,
good will toward men
Luke 2:14

The magi, as you know, were wise men - wonderfuly wise men who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents.
O. Henry

From home to home,
and heart to heart,
from one place to another.
The warmth and joy of Christmas,
brings us closer to each other.

~ Emily Matthews

During this Christmas season,
May you be blessed
With the spirit of the season,
    which is peace,
The gladness of the season,
    which is hope,
And the heart of the season,
    which is love

It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, "God Bless Us, Every One!
- Charles Dickens

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." -- Calvin Coolidge

Peace on earth will come to stay,
When we live Christmas every day.

~ Helen Steiner Rice

Let us keep Christmas,
holding it close to our hearts...
for its meaning never ends
and its spirit is the warmth and joy
of remembering friends...
Merry Christmas
Every happiness in the New Year

Christmas began in the heart of God.  It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.

Blessed is the season
which engages the whole world
in a conspiracy of love!

There is no name so sweet on earth,
no name so sweet in heaven,
The name, before His wondrous birth,
to Christ the Savior given.
--George W. Bethune

The greatest Christmas gift of all
Was never placed beneath a tree,
But lay within a manger
Beneath a star, for all to see.

Remembrance, like a candle, burns brightest at Christmastime.
--Charles Dickens

A joy that is shared is a joy made double.
--John Roy

There's more, much more, to Christmas Than candlelight and cheer; It's the spirit of sweet friendship That brightens all year. It's thoughtfulness and kindness, It's hope reborn again, For peace, for understanding, And for goodwill to men!
- Christian quote by Anon

Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King,
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconcile.
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim,
'Christ is born in Bethlehem'
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.
Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail, the incarnate deity,
pleased as Man with to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that man no more may die,
born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.

The Participants


Wreath, boxed holly and holly images courtesy of