My Fall To-Do List


For many, fall is their favorite season. Unlike others, I've always been enamored with summer, but this year, things are a little bit different! Though fall is slowly approaching in Austin, I'm trying to embrace every minute of it. So this year, I've created a to-do list for the season - a bucket list of sorts. Here's what I plan on doing:

1. Host an apple cider party in my dorm room.

2. Go paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake very early in the morning on a school day.

3. Eat a cinnamon roll pancake at the original Kerbey Lane Cafe.

4. Attend a tailgate and stay the entire football game.

5.  Have an old movie marathon with friends.

6. Hike and hammock in St. Edwards Park.

7. Make and gift some homemade bread and pumpkin butter with my little sister.

8. Arrange some fall florals for my windowsill.

9. Cook up this amazing butternut squash chicken pan-roast for my family.

10. Cozy up and read a novel that's not a textbook. (I'm currently flipping through this one.)


What a week it's been, y'all. I submitted three homeworks today, and after my last full day of classes, I think I deserve just a little bit of a break. Tonight I'm super excited to be attending a pre-ACL party at The Domain Austin with one of my close girlfriends, so be sure you're following along my Instagram story @sarah_thebella for a peek! I would love to know - what's on your fall to-do list?



Bright Pink for Fall

Happy Tuesday, friends! How's your week going? Today I am so excited to introduce a new series under the Style section of the blog called "Trends to Try". This series aims to cover trends of the season that I'll work to make wearable and suitable for the everyday girl with lots of options at different price points. Personally, I feel most comfortable owning classic pieces, so this new series on the blog is a learning experience for both you and me! If you're looking to try new things, be more experimental with your wardrobe, or maybe even learn a little something new from the fashion industry, I'm super excited to have you embark on this new adventure with me. Starting out with this bright, electric pink coat...

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

Bright Pink for Fall | The Bella Insider

COAT oversize pink coat (similar linked, more options below) | DRESS black and white stripe dress c/o TOBI | SHOES pink lace up flats (similar linked, just $18) | PURSE nude clutch (old, similar linked) | LIPSTICK wet n wild cherry picking (under $5)

Y'all know how I feel about the color pink from this post, but once again...I locked eyes on this oversize coat from Zara, quickly tried it on in the store, and couldn't seem to part ways with it. Muted blush tones have been very popular as of late, but on the opposite side of the pink spectrum, this daring electric fuchsia pink shade has seen its time on the runway at Public SchoolLacoste, Adeline André, and lots more for the fall season.

Bright pink is usually reserved for warmer days, but one thing I love about this specific color is how it can instantly liven up a dreary fall or winter day. While many pieces in the electric fuchsia pink hue came in futuristic and bold architectural pieces during fashion weeks, this coat is super wearable, chic, and put-together atop this black and white stripe dress with coordinating pink lace up flats. (I warned y'all that the dress would quickly make another appearance!) Unfortunately, my oversize coat purchase was made during the summer and has since sold out, but there are tons of ways to try the hot color this fall. Scroll and shop below for some options:



I'm all about classic pieces in bold colors, and lots of these pieces are sure to make a statement without being too wild. If you're afraid of instantly going full-on bright pink, there are lots of easy and wearable ways to incorporate the color into your everyday wardrobe, such as trying small pink accessories, brushing on pink nail polish, or even incorporating it into your athletic/athleisure wear. Are you willing to try a bright pink this fall season? Let me know down below! And tell me what you think of this new series. Thanks for tuning in, and I'll see y'all on Thursday.



Photography by Chottie Lee of www.charltonlee.com

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My Easy Fall Transition Outfit

I've always been a summer gal at heart. One of my favorite holidays is the 4th of July, my birthday is during the summer, and some of my dearest memories are from those few precious months of sand, sea, and sun. But when a season ends, another exciting time of year starts. So, what does one wear during this transitional period from summer to fall? My answer: a classic black and white stripe dress, topped with a fleece vest, and paired with neutral sandals and accessories. 

My Easy Fall Transition Outfit | The Bella Insider

My Easy Fall Transition Outfit | The Bella Insider

My Easy Fall Transition Outfit | The Bella Insider

My Easy Fall Transition Outfit | The Bella Insider

My Easy Fall Transition Outfit | The Bella Insider

My Easy Fall Transition Outfit | The Bella Insider

My Easy Fall Transition Outfit | The Bella Insider

DRESS black and white stripe dress c/o TOBI | VEST green monogrammed vest (now available in black, white, grey, and navy) | SHOES honey dezzie sandal (on sale for $22!) | PURSE nude clutch (old, similar linked) | EARRINGS mini bow studs (vintage, similar linked 50% off) | LIPSTICK nyx antwerp

When I think of fall transition outfits, the key words that come to mind are classic, functional, and most of all, comfortable. This particular outfit just does it for me! With a perfect length for my petite frame, super comfortable, and stretchy material, and classic tee dress shape, this black and white stripe dress is the best base for any fall transition outfit, because it works with jeweled sandals for hot, late summer days as well as it does with riding boots for the fall. Y'all, I'm not kidding, this dress has become an absolute staple in my closet, and I reach for it all. the. time. (You'll see what I'm talkin' about next week.)

Next, the monogrammed vest. Fleece is a highly insulating material, but with arms free of fabric from the dress and the vest, I still feel super comfortable. Moving into fall, the vest is also perfect atop a long sleeve shirt paired with a blanket scarf for extra warmth. Plus, the rich forest green color is in this fall, and I couldn't be more excited! Unfortunately, the vest now only comes in four other colors (*crying*), but rest-assured, they're all classic colors that are sure to get plenty of wear for coming years. 

What are you looking forward to wearing this fall season? As one trying to embrace this coming time of the year unlike years past, I'm all ears to hear any of your favorite pieces. A big, huge thanks for stopping by today on the blog. I am so grateful, and I want to hug each and every one of you for your readership and love for this site. I hope you have a fabulous weekend, and I'll see you back here next Tuesday!



Photography by Chottie Lee of www.charltonlee.com

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Dorm Room Reveal

Hey, y'all! Welcome to my college dorm room! This little space of mine has been months in planning, and I'm so excited to finally have the chance to show you around the 12' x 8.5' room that I lovingly call my "home" away from home. As a third-year student at The University of Texas at Austin, the idea of moving back into a dorm was comforting. I absolutely loved living in one during my last two years of college, and I just couldn't bear the thought of leaving just yet. So, here I am giving you a little dorm room tour! The thing that's changed this year? I'm in a single room - party of one!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

With a slight change of the room layout this year, I was thrilled to start decorating. When I first entered college, I looked up lots of ideas for DIY projects and dorm decorating on my College Dorm Room Pinterest board, but I have since learned that the "less is more" approach really goes a long way in such a small space. The goal was to make the room feel bright, open, and inviting. After long days of engineering classes, study groups with friends, blogging, and student org meetings, I wanted my room to be a place I could escape to strictly unwind and relax.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Let's step outside for just a sec! On the door of my room, I kept the foam flower my sweet RA made for all the girls on the hall and stuck a little name sign that I made with a scrap piece of cardboard paper I found at the bottom of my craft drawer. It's little projects like this that make me really excited to have scrap pieces of cardboard laying around!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

As you probably will see throughout my room, I'm a sucker for tassels. I made this little hanging door pom with leftover tassels from the tassel garland that hangs from my ceiling.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Upon entering the room, this is the view of the left side. As always, I have to have my bed raised up with sturdy bed risers, because this girl over here has lots of stuff she needs to store and can't live without under-bed storage with these clear stackable drawers from The Container Store! I love these bed risers from a local company in Austin called Breed & Co, because they're made out of sturdy PVC pipe and they've lasted me a good while. Unlike previous years, I knew I wanted my bed to have the clean and crisp look of white sheets, so I picked up the IKEA SÖMNIG sheet set and this Target bed skirt to achieve just that. 

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

For fun pops of color, I brought my favorite pool blue PB Teen monogrammed pom pom pillow and hung up my homemade tassel garland. My brass floor lamp from Target is within easy reach from my bed and makes for a perfect reading light at night.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

I love me as many pom poms as I can get, so this pink herringbone pom pom throw was such a fun addition to the bed. It's been my favorite blanket to curl up in for those afternoon cat naps and snuggling up in bed on weekend mornings! I also had been eyeing on a colorful printed rug. Once I saw this NULOOM vibrant floral Persian pink rug online, I had my heart set on purchasing it. It was exactly what I'd been looking for and it only exceeded my expectations once it arrived in person. 

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Behind my regular pillows, I also keep a pool blue body pillow from H-E-B that I love using to sit up straight. Can you tell I have a thing for pool blue/turquoise yet?

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

I can't forget about my beloved DIY donut hat! This little thing has been with me since my senior year of high school, and I can't seem to part ways with it just yet. It's a fun accessory to wear (also a great conversation starter), but it also makes a fun wall decor piece!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

One of the best things in my little space is the warm and bright light that shines through the window every afternoon. A bright space really makes me feel so happy and at home! I hung up these IKEA TERESIA sheer curtains on a gold tension rod for a tad more privacy without compromising the beautiful afternoon light and decorated the window sill with some colorful goblets from Oh Joy! for Target's Garden Party Collection that I plan on filling with wildflowers throughout the year! And of course, I can't forget about the garden string lights (that I definitely plan on using in a future backyard) with these trusty and removable clear ceiling hooks from H-E-B. The string lights not only add extra light to the room at night, but they also make the space feel so charming and cozy! The tasseled balloons are a temporary addition to the room left over from the Teen Vogue Back-to-School Party, and I found a perfect little corner for them close to my closets!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Coming around to the opposite corner of the room is my sink area! I can't even begin to tell you how convenient it is to have a sink in my room. I love that I can get ready in the morning and at night on my own time. Again with the accents of pool blue, I picked up these turquoise hand towels from H-E-B and hung up a DIY painting I made of Texas with a heart in my hometown of Houston, TX.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

On the opposite side of the hand towels, I have a handy wall of shelves to keep my daily essentials, including my skincare routine products and my favorite $8 Anthropologie monogrammed mug. Can you say #shelfie? 

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

My desk area is right at the foot of my bed, and I absolutely love having a space to work that also doubles as a vanity. I typically don't do much homework in my room, but I do love working on other things like blogging or reading. I wanted to make the area looked as clean and aesthetically-pleasing as possible, so I could feel extra productive. First, I swapped out the dorm chair they gave me with a deep teal colored seat from Target. I next covered the oak-colored desk in removable grey marble contact paper (my big secret!) to maintain the light theme and make the space feel larger. I keep my handy large acrylic makeup organizer and acrylic stacking drawers from The Container Store to organize my favorite makeup products and tools. On the shelves, I keep pictures of my sweet friends and family, a jewelry tree branch organizer (similar linked), and battery-operated flickering candles, since the dorm doesn't allow real ones!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

I still can't get over this garland, y'all. How stinking cute is it?! Big thanks to Oh Happy Day Booth for the sweet gift!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

These little details make the room feel so much more special. I love this umbrella ring dish and chalkboard spice jar (unfortunately both sold out!) that some sweet friends bought as birthday gifts. Adding a touch of greenery on the shelves is super easy and pretty with this darling $3 white pot from IKEA. 

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Anddd...to the important area: the fridge! Apologies for the slight mess on top, y'all, but I actually live here. This dorm fridge has served me well for the last two years, and I highly recommend it to any college student - especially one who loves ice cream, because the freezer section is cold. Also, I don't know what I was doing with my life before getting a Brita filter water pitcher. It's so convenient, and it's saved me so many trips to get water, because I can do it straight from my sink! Below is a picture of the room without the balloons and with a chair in its place. I like placing my shower caddy on top of a tile sample I picked up at Home Depot, so it doesn't ruin the carpet!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Well, friends! That's it! My space is small, but I feel really fortunate to have a cozy space to call "home" while I'm away in college. Be sure to stay tuned with the Dorm Decor Series here on The Bella Insider! If you have any requests on what topics you'd like me to cover under this series (or college in general), I'm all ears! I'd be more than happy to give my two cents and share my thoughts. Drop a comment down below, DM me @sarah_thebella, or shoot me an email at sarah(at)thebellainsider.com!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

As always, you can conveniently shop my entire dorm room under the My Dorm Room tab in the navigation bar or down below:



Finally, for you ladies who are possibly attending The University of Texas at Austin, shoot me an email if you have any questions about dorm living! I so appreciate you stopping by the blog today. Have a wonderful day, and I'll see all of you very soon.





Thank you to H-E-B for sponsoring the second installment of this year's college dorm series! To check out dorm organization tips from the H-E-B dorm series, click here

The Coziest Pink Sweater

Fun fact: I used to hate pink. It's true. As a kid, I tried as best as I could to swear it off. Dresses, lunch boxes, blankets, even strawberry ice cream. Oh...how times have changed, Sarah! Look at ya now. My younger self would have hated me for loving this cozy pink knit sweater, but hey. Tomboys can change, right? 

The Coziest Pink Sweater | The Bella Insider

The Coziest Pink Sweater | The Bella Insider

The Coziest Pink Sweater | The Bella Insider

The Coziest Pink Sweater | The Bella Insider

The Coziest Pink Sweater | The Bella Insider

The Coziest Pink Sweater | The Bella Insider

The Coziest Pink Sweater | The Bella Insider

SWEATER oversized pink knit sweater c/o | JEANS white skinny jeans | SHOES pink booties (old Chinese Laundry, similar linked) | NECKLACE gemstone cluster necklace (old J. Crew, similar linked) | EARRINGS mini bow studs (vintage, similar linked 50% off) PURSE nude clutch (old, similar linked)

Pink, cozy, and oversized. Need I say more?! When I first saw this cozy pink knit sweater online, I knew I had to have it in my wardrobe for the upcoming fall season. With a pair of crisp white jeans, some coordinating pink booties, and a gemstone statement necklace, this little ensemble is perfect for those upcoming fall and winter coffee/hot chocolate dates and chilly dinner nights with friends.

But let's be honest. Fall time is a long ways off here in Texas, and this pink sweater has been sitting in my closet patiently, but eagerly waiting for me to wear it. So, even though it's still blazing hot here in Austin, school libraries and my favorite study spots blast AC like there's no tomorrow. You bet I have this sweater on with leggings and fuzzy socks for study sessions, too! A sweater for all my needs? Yes, please!

It's been a long few weeks of constant on-the-move go go go and late night homework sessions with my study group, but we're scheduling in some time very soon to watch one of my favorite romantic comedies ever: She's The Man. Can you believe it came out 10 years ago?! I'm only a junior in college, but boy, that makes me feel just a bit "old"! I hope you're having a great Wednesday. The weekend can't come sooner!




Photography by Chottie Lee of www.charltonlee.com

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