RDU Baton- a day in the life of!

06 Aug RDU Baton- a day in the life of!

Last week, I was SO excited to participate on the RDU Baton! The RDU Baton is a collaborative photo project where a person in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and their surrounding areas) takes over the RDU Baton Instagram account for a day. Every day, a different person holds the baton and posts about all the awesome stuff there is here in the Triangle, whether it be fun things to do or great places to eat.

I put a lot of thought into my baton post! It was so hard to narrow everything I love in the Triangle down to eight posts! I had to fit the obligatory food shots in there (of course) as well as post about my favorite people and activities. I wanted to highlight some of the lesser known places in Raleigh while telling a little bit about myself and why I love what I posted about. All boiled down, my posts are below in case you missed them! I had so much fun doing thing- it was such a great experience. There’s so much I love about Raleigh that I wanted to share with the Instagram world and I shared just a minuscule portion of some things I love.



Hey guys! I’m so excited to be holding the baton today! I’ll introduce myself ?My name is Tracy Maniaci and I’m a creative graphic designer and maker who was born and raised in Buffalo, NY (let’s go Buffalo!) Who else here is from Buffalo? I’ve lived in Raleigh about seven years now and absolutely love it! I’m a maker, a creator, a designer and a dreamer and own two creative businesses. My main business, @autumnglowdesign, specializes in creating custom wedding invitations for my couples. I love weddings and everything about them! I was married in the autumn in Asheville, NC and just love the fall time, which is how my business name was inspired. My second business @chocolate.chippy, is a retail line that offers witty & “waggish” treasures for animal lovers. If you couldn’t tell, I’m slightly obsessed with my Chocolate Lab, Chip ?So much so that I started a company inspired by him! I’m super involved in the creative community here in Raleigh. I’ve been blown away by the talent and support I’ve found here! I work from my home office here in North Raleigh and this is where I usually start my day. I can’t wait to show you around my daily life in #Raleigh! ? by @autumnglowdesign

A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

The first stop I’m going to make this morning is close to home in North Raleigh! Have any of you guys even been to Taylor’s? It’s literally a gas station…but so much more! We stop here on our way to Falls Lake a lot and grab a cup of Larry’s Beans. Larry’s Beans = best coffee EVER! AND they make this amazing blend just for Taylor’s called Taylor’s Signature Blend that you can only find here. They have this crazy wine and beer selection as well. I brought my dad and brother in law here when they were visiting from out of town to pick up some beer on the way to the lake and they were blown away that the guy at the gas station knew so much about beer! As Taylor’s says “don’t let the live bait sign fool you”??Dad was very excited to find a beer called “Raging Bitch”…? I joke, but Taylor’s really isn’t a gas station. They have gas, yes, but they are a locally owned business and when you go in there you feel like you know them! The staff is incredibly knowledgable and friendly and they sell a bunch of cool local products. You can even hang out on the rocking chairs out front and drink your coffee if you want! #larrysbeans #taylorswineshop #taylorsbp ? by @autumnglowdesign A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

Just attended another awesome Triangle Bridal Association @trianglebridal event! Randi from @sugareuphoria taught us how to decorate cupcakes and shared with us some tips and tricks that she’s learned as an experienced baker! Randi’s cakes are both delicious and beautiful and she never freezes them! ?Plus, she’s just a fun, awesome person which is always a bonus if you’re looking to work with someone on a wedding! I love attending these events because 1. Events that are put on by event professionals are always the best 2. You learn all about the wedding industry from different perspectives and 3. You meet some of the most amazing people! The event was at @thestockroomat230 which always makes for a gorgeous event! My job is tough! I’m going to go eat my cupcakes now ?? #trianglebridalnc #cakedecorating #nomnomnom ? by @autumnglowdesign

A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

Next up is a stop at the Visual Art Exchange (VAE) in downtown Raleigh. I LOVE @vaeraleigh! They are an organization comprised of some of the most supportive, arts-minded creatives around that truly care about the creative community in Raleigh. The VAE is a place that helps artists get their start, launch new ideas and advance their careers. They also have a pretty awesome gallery and shop that you should check out! I’m currently in the VAE Launch Program as @chocolate.chippy. Launch is this absolutely amazing program that helps local artists and makers launch their retail brands. The current Launch artists, @birdandbeau, @elenacaron_artist,@lalalizzzz, @sundayshift, @curtisblakeleather and Michele Yellin are all super talented! At our monthly launch meetings, we have a guest speaker come in and teach us about different important topics about running a retail brand. This month, Lisa Jeffries @iheartretail taught us all about brand management and social media! We’re all currently gearing up for #SPARKcon, a 4-day creativity, art & design festival in September. Come visit us at #bazaarspark or at the VAE gallery on First Friday to see what the VAE is all about! ? #VAERaleigh #Launch2015 #Shoplocalraleigh ? by@autumnglowdesign A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

These are my people! I’m on the board of AIGA Raleigh, the graphic design association. I seriously don’t know where I would be today without them! Finding AIGA made a huge impact on my life because being surrounded by other designers, creatives and friends has made me a much stronger person and designer and it gave me the support I needed to quit my day job and do what I truly love! We meet up about once a week to keep things flowing and catch up. We all say we drink the AIGA Koolaid because many of us feel this way! If you’re a designer or creative in the triangle, definitely check out an AIGA event. There are plans in the works for a creative business course that will teach creatives all about starting and running your own business. I wish something like this was around for me a year or so ago I started up! Stay tuned… #aiga #aigadesign #creativebusiness #aigaraleigh ? by @autumnglowdesign

A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

Do you want to learn how to sew? I know I was a hot mess when it came to trying to sew anything! Desperate times called for desperate measures and that’s how I found Nan at Pins & Needles studio. Nan is one of those people you love to be around and she truly cares about all her students. I signed up for one of her classes and I made a skirt from scratch. My mom actually laughed at me when I told her I was going to attempt to sew a skirt! ?To my surprise, the skirt came out beautiful and I wear it all the time! After you complete the 101 course, you can drop in for “after 101” and use Nan’s expertise to help you with any wild and crazy sewing projects you might have so you have a complete, professional looking product. She just helped me make some bandanas for @chocolate.chippy! #pinsandneedles #sewing ? by @autumnglowdesign A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

This is my happy place! We spend as much time on Falls Lake as we can in the summer! And on weekdays the lake is butter. We started a wakeboarding group on Facebook awhile ago (NCWakeLife) and have found such an amazing community of wakeboarders and friends in the area. It’s amazing how a hobby becomes a lifestyle. I wakesurf behind our boat. It is so much fun! The boat throws a huge wake and you can literally surf on it! Huge plus- NO SHARKS! We’re having an event on the lake this weekend called Covefest where we’ll have board demos, a best trick wakeboarding contest and a lot of fun! So if you’re out on the lake, come check it out- I’d love to meet you!?? #ncwakelife #axiswake #inlandsurfer #wakesurfing #wakeboarding ? by @autumnglowdesign

A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

Sooo I wouldn’t make the drive out to Wake Forest if it wasn’t worth it…but if you’re a chicken wing lover like me…it…is…worth it! I moved here from Buffalo, NY and seriously had given up on finding good wings here after 7 years. I used to live right across from Duff’s in Buffalo and there aren’t any wings I’ve ever had anywhere else that even compare. But let me tell you, Over the Falls comes pretty close! A little lesson for non-Buffalonians. {1} They’re chicken wings, not Buffalo wings {2} You eat wings with Blue Cheese! NOT ranch! (Oh the horrors ?) {3} Order them extra crispy while in NC. {4} Don’t mess with a good thing. Little bit of Frank’s hot sauce, little bit of butter. Let’s not overcomplicate things here?? {5} @otfalls has the best wings in the triangle! I guess that’s all for the day! Thanks for hanging out with me everyone- I had SO much fun! I’m passing the baton on to @lauras439 for more baton fun tomorrow! #wings #buffalove #otfalls #nomnomnom #layoffmeimstarving ? by @autumnglowdesign A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on


More info on the places I visited: