How to: keep a New Year's resolution

Have you ever watched a TED talk? I got hooked last summer when I needed some motivation and I've found that there is pretty much a TED talk for any subject I am interested in. If you haven't seen a TED talk before, they are monologues given by experts in their given fields on a subject they are passionate about.

If you are about to start a New Year's Resolution and you need some serious motivation, here are 12 TED talks that should inspire and motivate you!

Let's do this!

happy video: and the baby dances in the rain

A a non-native of Seattle I tend to complain about the rain. Not a great quality, I know. This morning I discovered this video of Kayden, a toddler thrilled by the feeling of the wet stuff falling from the sky. The next time I start complaining about the rain, I'm watching this.

It's all about perspective, isn't it?!

happy video: marcel the shell part III

If you haven't seen Marcel the Shell, it's kind of the sweetest, quirkiest video you've seen in a long time.

There's no way to describe it so just watch. I hope this makes you happy on this Monday.

If you're the kind of person who likes to watch videos sequentially, here are Marcel the Shell Part I and Marcel the Shell Part II.

Moment 2:32 just slays me. All the way through 3:15 ("Oh. God. I can smell his face.") Whenever I'm feeling less than happy I watch Marcel Part II. "Guess why I smile a lot? Because it's worth it." So simple. And brilliant.

what will make you happy in september

There is something about September. The sun seems more golden on late afternoons in Indian Summer. Morning skies are bluer and the crisp air calls for sweater days that feel like a J Crew photo shoot at an apple orchard. The smell of Coppertone is exchanged for the warm, homey scent of cider and nothing beats a pumpkin latte.

If you're just not ready to exchange those flip-flops for riding boots yet, here are some moments about to come in September that you can get excited about.

Can't wait for your favorite TV series to premiere? Check out this premiere calendar from

September 2nd, Maroon 5's new album "V" drops. Take a listen here.

September 7th is Grandparent's Day. If you still have your grandparents with you, take them out to an early dinner. If they're no longer with you, say a prayer or lift a glass to these family members.

"Stand up to Cancer" airs on September 5th. If you know someone who has been affected by cancer, do something positive. Donate to a good cause in their names, send them a glassybaby to let them know you're thinking of them or tune in and get motivated to act.

September 13th is National Peanut Day so make yourself that peanut butter and banana on whole wheat bread and proudly bring it to lunch. Who cares what your sushi eating friends will say?

September 14th is the Miss America Pageant. Invite your friends over, make some popcorn, curl up together on the couch and share your answer to the question "If you were president for the day, you would ___________."

September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day. Go out for burgers or try this perfect burger recipe from Bobby Flay.

September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Up your game from just "Ahoy, Matey" with this index of pirate phrases.

"This is Where I Leave You" opens on September 19th. If you're already thinking about Thanksgiving with your weird and wonderful little family, catch this film starring Jason Bateman, Tiny Fey, Jane Fonda and Adam Driver.

"Hector and the Search for Happiness" also opens on September 19th. What makes us happy? Who is this world is the happiest of them all. This film based on a novel takes a comedic/dramatic stab at answering this question.

September 20th is National Eat an Apple Day. Stop by a farm stand or an apple orchard and eat an apple you've never tried before. If you're in New England, try the Macoun. It's what a fall day tastes like. Also to try: Angry Orchard cider. What a fall day tastes like for grown-ups.

If you like "Scandal" you might also like Tea Leoni's new drama "Madam Secretary" which premieres on September 21st on CBS. See the trailer here.

September 24th is Rosh Hashanah. Gather the family and pray for a year of life, health and prosperity.  “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim." (May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.)

Prince's albums "Art Official Age" and "Plectrumelectrum" releases on September 30th. Preview both on iTunes here and here