STYLE } Late Winter Survival Kit

The sun is setting later. I hear the birds chirping with anticipation. Spring is just around the corner. Really, I swear. But we're stuck in the late winter doldrums, when the air is still brutally dry, trees have yet to bud and I grumble every time I put on my heaviest coat.

I'm seeking solace and encouragement in these final winter days in the following:

1. Sydney Hale Co.'s Bergamot and Black Tea Candle 
The fresh scent from the Arlington, Va. candle creator is warm and earthy while subtly conjuring up summer's promise of tall glasses of iced tea and seaside relaxation. I need all the summer visuals I can get right now. $28 at Salt & Sundry

2. Flowering branches
What's more cheerful than forcing a little bit of spring indoors with flowering quince and cherry blossom branches? Blue Iris at Union Market has gorgeous branches, available on the weekend.

3. Combat-Ready Balm
Regulars at Salt & Sundry will know this locally crafted balm from Skincando is a favorite of mine. It's currently on the front lines of my battle against sandpaper hands with its rich apricot kernel oil, coconut oil, beeswax and black tea. $27 at Salt & Sundry

4. Ramen
Nothing tastes better on a cold night than hot noodle soup. Nothing. I've been eagerly awaiting chef Katsuya Fukushima's return to the kitchen, and the bowls of steaming ramen at Chinatown's new Daikaya are just the start. (The upstairs izakaya opens soon.)

5. Morris Kitchen Rhubarb Syrup
Rhubarb is one of my favorite harbingers of spring. Until the bright red veg actually starts showing up at the markets, bide the time with this tart small-batch syrup made with apple cider vinegar, hibiscus, sugar and rhubarb. A teaspoon or two in a glass of prosecco should brighten remaining cold nights. $13 at Salt & Sundry