Here’s a small world story for your Thursday. A couple of weeks ago I was meeting my friend Julie at Dinosaur Coffee in Silverlake. Upon arriving, I was drawn to a very beautiful wall hanging / neon display they had in the back. I took a seat next to it and admired the installation – I really loved the textures in the piece. Julie arrived a minute or two later so my mind was refocused on catching up and I forgot to take photos of it before I left. I had been planning on decorating a cake later that day just-for-fun, so once I was back home with those beautiful textures still on my mind I let that slightly guide me. I wasn’t attempting to recreate it in any way and definitely wasn’t trying to decorate a wall hanging / macrame cake. I posted the cake on my Instagram and minutes later the talented ladies of Hello Gem Events commented that it reminded them of their “Beast installation” at Dinosaur Coffee. How crazy is that?! Of course the Hello Gem girls made that beautiful wall installation I had seen earlier that day…they also designed and produced THIS amazing wedding I did desserts for last year. Those ladies make such amazing work! Anywho, thought I would share photos of the cake and of that beautiful installation since they’re both easy on the eyes!





I’ve always found inspiration in colorful prints and patterns, especially when it comes to botanical, nature, or worldly patterns. There’s times I’ve been so inspired that I’ve even turned that print into cake-form, like when I made my Martinique Wallpaper cake or my Otomi Embroidery cake. Even if the result isn’t a baked or crafted good, the inspiration that comes from the particular pattern is always a nice mental experience…meditative-like, if that makes any sense.

While I used to keep things pretty minimal in terms of home decor, I’ve found myself including pops of bold and colorful patterns into our new home, which has certainly brightened things up…and has created a more personalized space. When it comes to unique decor items, UncommonGoods is an amazing site that offers a myriad of one-of-a-kind, beautiful items for you, your home, or a perfect gift for literally anyone in your life (there really is something for everyone!). And speaking of beautiful patterns and prints, there are so many gorgeous items to choose from – like THIS eco-friendly palm throw, THESE gorgeous agate coasters, or THIS colorful mosaic wallet that was inspired by zellige, the lavish tilework that adorns Moroccan mosques. What I really like about UncommonGoods is that many of the items are made by small-business artisans or artisans working collaboratively in a low income country. Smart, eco-friendly shopping – something we all need to get behind! Here are just a handful of items I’ve admired from the site.

uncommon goods gift picks

1. Pineapple Tumbler // 2. Fringe Indigo Kimono // 3. Tropical Palm Throw // 4. Fez Mosaic Embroidered Wallet // 5. Agate Coasters // 6. Fern Pillow // 7. Peacock Pillow // 8. Stained Glass Feathers // 9. Kantha Blanket

*Thank you to UncommonGoods for sponsoring this blog post! You can see some of their great gifts and gift guides HERE.




Avery Tote

I recently had the urge to make a customizable tote bag that would work as a cute grocery tote for me, and could also serve as a fun wedding welcome or gift bag for a desert wedding for someone planning their desert wedding. Since the popular desert wedding season hits in September, I thought that now would be a good time to post the tutorial for those who are currently planning their nuptials.

I made this tote using Avery fabric transfers, and honestly – it couldn’t have been any easier! For the particular canvas tote I was using (which I got from Jo-Ann’s for $6.99), Avery’s dark fabric transfers provided the best transfer results. I experimented with the light fabric transfers initially, but found the dark fabric ones worked much better for this type of bag.

While I went with a tote bag, these cacti would also look pretty darn cute on a tea towel, pillowcase, any clothing item, gardening bag, etc…and whichever item you choose for your transfer, the process below will be the same. If you want to further customize the designs I made (add your wedding date, a personalized saying/message, or name), you can do that too! Endless possibilities, people!

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas tote bag (available at most craft stores)
  • Downloaded design (found HERE)
  • Avery Dark Fabric Transfer Sheets (#3279)
  • Scissors
  • Iron


Step #1: If you’d like to customize my design (change the colors, resize, add text, etc.) OR if you want to keep it as is, just download the file HERE. To open the .avery file  provided go to avery.com/print, open the saved file (select “Open a Saved Project from: Your Computer”), and the design will automatically open in Avery Design & Print Online. You’ll be able to customize and personalize the design to make it best for you. You can change the colors, the pattern, or even add personalized text. If you have the Avery fabric transfer sheets already and are already setup to print, you can download the PDF HERE.

Note: As I mentioned above, I chose to use the dark fabric transfer images because they worked best for my tote bag. The following directions below are provided for the dark transfer sheets. If using other Avery sheets,  follow along with the instructions provided in that specific pack, as they do differ.

Step #2: Print the image onto one of the dark fabric transfer sheets. Unlike light fabric transfer images, you do not need to flip the image to print. Once you’ve printed the sheet, remove the backing of the transfer sheet and cut out the image(s).

Tote 2

Step #3: On a hard, heat-resistant surface (not an ironing board), iron your tote bag on high to get rid of any wrinkles. Once the bag is cool, place your images onto the bag facing up. Cover the transfer images with the tissue paper provided, and iron atop the tissue paper in sections using firm pressure. For my images, each required about 20 seconds of ironing.

Step #4: Allow the transfers to cool for 2-3 minutes. Once cool, peel away the tissue in a smooth, even motion. And there you have it – a colorful and fun cacti printed tote!

For more help with the transfers, you can find instructions from Avery located HERE.

Tote 1

I love the customization that is possible with Avery products, which is why I was thrilled when they asked me to partner with them for a handful of posts this year. You can see some of my previous Avery-related posts over HERE.



AlanaJonesMann Terrarium Cake

This post is a Part 2 to the Terrarium Cake Tutorial that can be found in the Summer 2016 issue of Betty Magazine. The following tutorial details how to make the buttercream succulents. If you’ve followed the first part of the tutorial in the magazine and need additional help with the buttercream cacti, check out my Potted Cactus Cake or House Plant Cupcakes tutorials. For the buttercream succulent DIY continue on below. I’ll be updating the post with some additional tips next week, so make sure to come back for those! Terrarium DIYButtercreamSucculent



Patriotic Cake 1

Since most of you will probably be heading offline and into your 4-day weekend a little early, I wanted to share some holiday favorites for those looking for last-minute ideas for the 4th. First off, here’s a peek at a patriotic cake I just finished. How pretty is this Ceres Platter from Anthropologie! It is definitely one of my new favorite serving pieces for all types of food – especially cake!

For those of you looking for some ideas for the holiday weekend, below are a few favorites. Many more can be found HERE.

Patriotic CakeCupPatriotic Cake Cups

FlagCake2 copyFlag Cake

Patriotic-Cake-PlatesStars and Stripes Cake (and Cheese) Plates

Patriotic Dog TeeDIY Patriotic Shirts (for dogs AND humans!)

Patriotic-Ice-Cream-Sandwich1Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich


Pineapple CakeIf you’re looking to add some summer flair to your next cake, it doesn’t get easier than this pineapple cake. Recently, Sugarfina sent me some of their beautiful candies to try and I quickly became obsessed with their “Parisian Pineapple” candies (you can buy them HERE).  These adorable little candies are made with fresh pineapple purée, which gives them the most delicious (and natural!) pineapple flavor. They even smell like freshly cut pineapple!

For the topper I cut off the top of a fresh pineapple, stuck a skewer into the bottom and positioned the skewer into the center of the cake. Easy as pi-neapple!

Sugarfina PineapplesPineappleCake

Pigment Shop

Sunday was the first day I had off in a couple of weeks after some big cake orders so I had planned to take the day off and truly relax, but due to a brush fire that was too close to us for comfort and 106 (106!) degrees temperatures, there was no relaxation to be found. Unfortunately we don’t have ac in our new place yet and as evening hit it was still unbearable in our home. The pups seemed fairly uncomfortable so I impulsively decided to pack up the pups and drive down to San Diego to my mom’s air conditioning, which ended up being a great decision. Since I didn’t have to be back to LA until today, I took yesterday off and explored around North Park. I found myself filled with inspiration, something that I’ve been feeling a little starved of lately. First I headed to the North Park Library and checked out my aunt‘s amazing art show that is currently on display at the library. Thought I’d share just a peek on here since I know how you all feel about desert plants. Clearly, I’m not the only Jones’ family member who finds inspiration in succulents. How incredible are these paintings?! They’re all for sale too btw.

North Park LibrarySucculent Paintings

After the library I wandered around a bit and (per usual) ended up stopping into the very Instagram-worthy Pigment shop on 30th.

Pigment North ParkPigment

I finished the inspiring afternoon off with a delicious dinner at El Comal. If you’re looking for a great mexican dinner in North Park, go to El Comal! While you’re there make sure to order a cucumber margarita…the perfect cocktail for a hot day! Here’s a few more snaps from the afternoon…just simple things that I found to be so darn beautiful.

AgaveLuckysBirds on WiresNorth Park Curb AppealCactus Bouigainvillea

Now it’s time to get back to work, but I certainly am feeling refreshed which is a very good thing. I’m also really looking forward to heading back to SD this Sunday for a belated Father’s Day dinner with my Dad and a visit to the Del Mar Fair!


Since today marks the official start of summer, I wanted to share some of my favorite summer DIY projects to date. Click on the photo or caption below to be taken to the tutorial. Happy Summer 2016 friends!

Fringe Umbrella DIYRetro Fringe Umbrella

BBQ Macs2Summer BBQ Macarons

Tiki Tumbler DIYTiki Bar Cocktail Tumblers + Umbrellas

Pineapple Slushies Pineapple Juice Slushies (I couldn’t stop drinking these last summer)

Fruit Yogurt Popsicles 1Fruit + Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles

Watermelon Ice Cream PopsWatermelon Ice Cream Pops

Philodendron Beach Blanket DIY 2Philodendron Waterproof Beach Blanket


Alana Jones Mann RK PopsiclesRice Krispie Treat Popsicles

Blueberry Buttercream Cake

For my boyfriend’s birthday a couple of weeks ago we had a barbecue at our place and invited some friends over. And as you might have guessed, I made some cakes for the occasion. I went with a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream, as well as a chocolate cake covered in my delicious blueberry buttercream. It had been a while since I made the blueberry buttercream and I was instantly reminded why I used to make it so much. It is just SO dang good. And friends, this is a perfect buttercream for the summer – I strongly urge you all to try it for yourself to see! You can find my recipe for the BEST blueberry buttercream HERE. In the photos below you’ll also see a small gluten free chocolate torte – that was actually not made by me, I just piped on some buttercream to the top. I had forgotten just how many of our friends were GF and I didn’t have enough time to whip-up another cake, so I ran to Whole Foods right before the party started to pick one up because EVERYONE at a birthday party should be able to eat birthday cake!

Blueberry ButtercreamBlueberry Buttercream Cakes 2


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My friends at Food Network had asked me to contribute a fun patriotic cake for their site recently. I had been wanting to try out some surprise-inside techniques, so I went with this star-inside cake. With July 4th around the corner, I thought I’d share a look at the cake on here as well for those of you looking for some fun patriotic dessert ideas. If you’re interested in making the cake, head on over to Food Network HERE to get the recipe and tutorial!

Lead Image-3

Check out more of my patriotic desserts HERE