How Are A Cold, The Flu And Covid Different? – And Other Cool Winter Thoughts

By Cheryl Ryan

Honestly, Covid Covid Covid that’s all we ever hear. But I got so sick during the holidays and it wasn’t Covid. Yet, my Christmas still got canceled. When my daughter started asking me about my symptoms she said “Oh that’s a cold”. I am telling you, whatever I had seemed like anything but a common cold. I was really miserable. But she may have been right. I didn’t have a really high fever and it took a few days to ramp up – I wasn’t even entirely sure I was sick for the first few days. Whereas apparently, the flu comes on fast and often has a higher fever and body aches.  

I’m better now but it got me thinking about the symptom differences between a cold, the flu and Covid. Many of you reading this probably already know the differences but I really didn’t. For many years I thought the flu involved throwing up but, in reality, it’s far more nuanced. So I thought I would share cold symptoms, flu symptoms, and now we have to add Covid symptoms into the mix because it has its own unique symptoms.

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Thank You For Being Here!

By Cheryl Ryan

We hope that your holidays have been joyful, peaceful and that you got to share it with family and friends, either in person or via technology. Nobody can deny that it’s been a wild ride these last couple of years. I think many of us have come to realize just how important our community is. As we close out the year, we’d like to thank all of you for joining and participating in the growth of our community here at Zest & Aplomb.

If there’s anything that we’ve learned from the past year, it’s to expect the unexpected. It seems the days of predictability have been put on pause. This is exactly why we are gearing up to meet 2022 head-on, starting with New Year’s Eve.

As we continue to navigate ways to celebrate and congregate as safely and joyously as possible here are a few New Year’s tips.

If you are choosing a quiet evening here are the best new movie releases of 2021.

And whether you choose to stay home or join a party, here are some on-trend cocktails to ring in the new year. I’ve been noticing the white russian cocktail making a splashy comeback! Remember those?

We’re already hard at work on some fascinating profiles, health, lifestyle and travel stories for 2022. We are ready for whatever the year is planning and look forward to sharing it with all of you.

Cheers to a good one.


Some Of Our Bests From 2021

By Cheryl Ryan

We’ve so appreciated your viewership in 2021! We’ve put together a small list of some viewer favorites, in case you missed them.

Profile Favs

Beatrice Legrand, A Professional Photo Organizer.

Jessica Bandy, Prioritizing Emotional and Spiritual Health

Anne Hubbard, Teaching Our Children Well

Pam Shalhoob – Relishing Good Vibes and Strong Relationships


After all the training Gwen Dawkins made it to the top of Mt. Whitney!

From Palm Springs to Joshua Tree

Planning a trip to Mexico?  Don’t miss Flora Farms


What’s Your Type? Learning About Enneagram Types

Music Soothes the Soul

Selecting the Perfect Wedding Venue Is Worth the Effort – Just Ask my Daughter

Local Business

Art For Everyone at Studio 24 in Los Gatos

Gali Vineyards Tasting Room in Los Gatos


Holiday Cookies and Some Bests from Zest & Aplomb 2021

By Cheryl Ryan

I won’t be baking a ton this year but I have to do a little something so I’m looking for the best and easiest holiday cookie recipes. In addition I’ll be making these because they are so tasty and ridiculously simple!

And if you need to take a break from cooking, cleaning and wrapping here are a few popular posts from Zest & Aplomb during this past year.

Commentary Favs:

Do you have a pet peeve?

My husband tried to save a life.

I’m glad to be back in coffee shops.

Sleep – We All Want It. Some Get It. Many Don’t.

Are you keeping up with technology?

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2021 Holiday Gift Ideas

By Cheryl Ryan

Now that Thanksgiving is well behind us, I’m sure many of you are already moving towards this holiday’s gift-giving season.  This post is likely late for many of you organized types, especially given all the supply and delivery chain talk. But for those of you like myself that no matter the shopping urgency are always a little behind I’ve got a few ideas for you.

For my so cal girls, or anybody traveling to a sunny location,  I’m getting this Lindsay Albanese hex hat clip. I tried it during my last San Diego trip and it worked like a charm.

For those of you with grandkids I’m loving these footie pajama basics and this grapefruit pajama from Milkbarn. I really want to get Gus a hopper ball but I think he needs a bit more time to master walking before he starts hopping around the house. But for older kids how fun would these be. And while searching for pajamas I stumbled upon Mabo and I’m really loving this bubble romper and these sailor pants.

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Ergonomic Evangelist, Lori Romero-Ellingson, Advocates For Our Comfort and Posture

By Gwen Dawkins

Workspace ergonomics involves a lot more than sitting up straight and keeping your shoulders back. Passionate about the ‘human’ side of work efficiency, Ergonomist Lori Romero-Ellingson, analyzes, educates and advocates for ideal workspace setups to protect people’s posture, comfort and long-term health.

What’s the big deal with ergonomics?

It’s like anything that has to do with taking care of your body, just like eating right and exercising. Most of us are working eight or more hours a day. And, for many, that means hovering over a computer. If you move incorrectly, repetitively, or over a long period, you’re eventually going to get hurt. 

If you have an ergonomic workstation at your job, is it still essential to have one at home?

Yes. Since Covid, we’re all working from home now anyway, so it’s vital to set up a proper workstation. But as people begin to go back into the office, it’s still a consideration. In an office, you’re supplied with a desk and chair –– and a whole lot of distractions. People tend to take more breaks at work than they do at home offices. For example, you get called into meetings, walk and talk with coworkers, and maybe work out in the corporate gym. However, at home, people tend to work for longer stretches with fewer breaks or opportunities to break up prolonged computer work. 

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Cheers To A Wonderful Thanksgiving!

By Cheryl Ryan

Some of my favorite holiday memories were gathering up the kids before guests arrived and heading out on a neighborhood treasure hunt for natural wonders to use for our table setting. Even simply nestling a sprig of rosemary into the folds of a napkin can bring such a sensory thrill of color, texture and smell. This year I’m planning to start this tradition with our grandson, Gus. He already loves to be outside, picks up everything he sees and puts it directly into his mouth which makes for a perfect time to show him how it’s done.

The Sides

Let’s face it the best thing about Thanksgiving dinner are the sides. So here are a few for you to check out. I’ve been making this salad for weeks and it’s so good and perfect for Thanksgiving because it’s actually better the next day if you need to do some pre-prep. 

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Are You A Milleboomer?

By Cheryl Ryan

You haven’t heard of it? That’s because I made it up. My definition is a boomer trying to, and occasionally succeeding, in keeping up with the tech skills of millennials. They were raised on tech. They learned computer skills at the same time they were learning to ride a bike. And if you’ve ever taken up a sport later in life next to someone that learned when they were younger you know the advantage they have. There really is something to be said about those neural pathways forming early rather than later.

I remember when my kids first used Myspace. They were using abbreviations for a parent present (I still don’t know what it is) or LMAO. With a push of a button they could bring up an entirely different screen so that we couldn’t see who they were talking to. Maybe this didn’t happen at your house but it sure did in mine. 

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