Blog Cabin

Oct 11

Meet the Blog Cabin 2013 Giveaway Winner

Blog Cabin 2013 Giveaway Winner

Mari Cabrera-Hickerson of Culver City, Calif., is the proud winner of the Blog Cabin 2013 Giveaway, a grand-prize package valued at almost $500,000.

Mari’s name was randomly drawn from more than 18 million entries. The Blog Cabin enthusiast, who has entered every year since 2007, admits that entering twice online per day, almost every day, became part of her routine. “That was the first thing I did in the morning with my coffee,” she says, “And then I’d take a look at what was going on at the home and what the crew did that day. I followed every part of the remodeling process.”

Mari, a former UCLA Medical Center administrative specialist, retired in July 2013 to devote her time to her husband, Ken, as well as her children and four grandchildren. Mari also finds fulfillment in travel and hobbies, including hiking, watersports, cooking and yarn arts.

Although Mari is a fan of eclectic interior design, the North Carolina cottage drew her attention for its waterfront location and coastal-chic cottage style. “I love the beach,” says our winner, who was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, before emigrating with her family to California in 1966. “My mom would come home from work and take us to the beach every day when I was a kid. The beach is part of my soul, I guess.”

As one would expect from a die-hard Blog Cabin fan, Mari is quick to list her favorite room in the home (the spa-style master bathroom) and her favorite furnishing (the reclaimed wood dining table). And she’s most excited to see the compass floor medallion, which proved her top pick during the People’s Choice portion of the Blog Cabin 2013 project.

When Mari and her family arrive at Blog Cabin 2013 for their first visit, the water’s edge will certainly prove an irresistible draw. What does Mari plan to do first? “That’s kind of hard to say,” she admits. “I think I am just going to go room by room and check everything out. And sit on that porch in that rocking chair and look out onto that beautiful water scene. That view is just so gorgeous.”

Mari is still shocked about her stroke of good fortune and looks forward to sharing her prize with friends and family. “I just want to say thank you. This is just a wonderful gift that I never thought in my lifetime that I would receive,” she says. “It’s an amazing opportunity to have someplace where my family can go and be together, relax , have fun and just enjoy.”

  • Posted at 8:50 am on October 10, 2013
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  1. Wow Mari, I see they caught a sea monster off of Catalina not far from you. That would make me stay out of the ocean there.

    540sam on October 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm
    • Hi Sam. What is a sea monster? Jill

      jchristie24 on October 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    • An 18 foot long serpent-like sea creature…

      Macusina on October 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    • Yea, what Mari said looks like an eel on steroids, article says they can get over 50 feet long. UGLY:S

      540sam on October 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm
    • Saw that 18 foot oarfish they caught off the Catalina coast…it's monstrous!

      Macusina on October 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm
    • Did they release it back into the ocean?

      Eugenia27 on October 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm
    • It was dead when they found it on the shore.

      540sam on October 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    • Thats about the only time they come to the surface, is when they are going to die.

      vicki_in_Utah on October 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm
  2. Chris Grundy just posted the following to his Facebook page: "Well, the search is on.. Time to find the next Blog Cabin!! Where would you like it to be??" The accompanying photo is of Chris looking through binoculars against a mountainous backdrop. A lot of people are posting ideas. Several suggested NC since the last one was such a success. Maybe Mari and Ken will have new neighbors next year! LOL!

    TwoCorgis on October 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm
    • Maybe one of you will be my neighbor next year?! Fabulous!!!

      Macusina on October 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    • That would be so much fun! We could explore the area together! I love this dream! :D

      TwoCorgis on October 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm
    • Wouldn't that be fabulous! :D

      Macusina on October 18, 2013 at 1:09 am
    • I'm pretty sure the location is a done deal, let the guessing games begin.

      540sam on October 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm
    • Sam does that look like any possible spot in the VA mountains?
      I know where our two states ( NC & VA) meet the land is gorgeous. I know that isn't a picture of Fancy Gap, VA, but man that is some beautiful land with its gorgeous meadows and rolling hills.
      Perhaps the Blog Cabin has finally gone west…any guesses out there, based on this pic?

      Mel on October 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm
    • Sure, looking at mountains is like looking at the ocean, you can imagine it to be where ever you want. But I really wouldn't draw any conclusions on that photo yet.

      540sam on October 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm
    • I was thinking the same thing – mountains are in the eye of the beholder (or something like that). I thought maybe West Virginia, but who knows. It may just have been the only picture he had of him holding binoculars as if seeking the new location. He could be looking at desert, ocean, lake, river, forest, island or cave!

      TwoCorgis on October 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm
    • Thanks Two!! My Facebook isn't working, so I checked out Twitter and saw the picture.
      If that's our first BC 2014 clue, then
      YES, SIR-ree Doggie, we are going to the Mountains!! Yee Haw
      I don't know if that's a picture of the NC mountains, but if it is, my best guess with that much protruding rock is that's up around Mt. Mitchell in Yancey County, near Craggy Gardens, possibly Black Mountain or Burnsville, NC.
      If the next picture is of a big ole mountain trout I'd stick with this guess and say the cabin might be close to the South Toe River.
      What's interesting is if Andrew Roby, Inc is back as the general contractor for BC 2014, this area is only a bit more than an hour from them in Banner Elk. I would LOVE to see what Dylan & Robbie could do with a mountain home, after seeing what they did with a coastal one.

      Mel on October 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm
    • Well, Chris, if you're reading this, I hope you've seen all the comments suggesting locations in the North Woods. We're talking about WI, MN or MI. Cabin could be on Lake Superior or Lake Michigan or even an interior lake. Or if you want more altitude, how about the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan.

      ChicagoBirder on October 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm
  3. Just as I suspect someone already with alot of money wins and not someone that would have been a blessing to.

    Kim on October 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm
    • How do you know she has a lot of money? Why does it matter? How much money a person has had nothing to do with the sweepstakes. God chooses who wins too. We can't judge, only God is judge.

      AndreaMP on October 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm
    • It's by the grace of God that any of us receive a blessing, none of us are worthy because of our own merit.
      I believe the right person won Blog Cabin, and I couldn't be happier for her & her family.
      I wish you the best Kim, and blessings for the next one. Blog Cabin 2014 will be here before you know it and since the winner is chosen randomly, as long as you enter it could be yours.
      Please be sure and go to the main page of this website and enter the $100,000 Don't Hate, Renovate Sweepstakes, anyone can win any of these sweepstakes.

      Mel on October 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm
    • Gosh Kim I'll bet the clerk at your local lottery retailer hates to see you come in every week.

      540sam on October 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm
    • 540sam,
      I agree, she probably complains every Wednesday and Saturday night, when she does not win the Powerball, either. I also agree with AndreaMP. this is simply a RANDOM drawing, and we have no control whatsoever, and whether a person has lots of money is not even a talking point. Best wishes to Ken and Mari with their magnificent home. Let's hope the next one is just as wonderful.

      Builder on October 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm
    • C'mon, no need to get nasty in reply, it's like you're doing the same thing. Just love. Only love.

      AndreaMP on October 16, 2013 at 4:31 am
    • No more hate comments. As my Mother (God rest her soul) would always say to us kids, "Don't keep it going." Be kind.

      AndreaMP on October 16, 2013 at 4:32 am
    • Or as I was always taught 'If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.'

      Kim, this is a random drawing as is any Sweeptstakes, please spend time thinking positively, it could help your outcomes in life. God Bless!i

      nanwes on October 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm
  4. I haven't gotten a chance to congratulate you on you win! Many blessings to you & your family on your new home. (I have to tell you all this is definitely my all time favorite Blog Cabin.)

    Enjoy many, many years of happiness!!!!

    JanetNY on October 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm
    • Thank you so much Janet. It is also my all-time favorite BC. My family and I feel very blessed with this gift. Blessings. Mari.

      Macusina on October 15, 2013 at 9:52 pm
  5. Thanks twocorgis, two terriers here…….i will definitely look at the facebook page…

    twoTERRIERs on October 15, 2013 at 7:25 pm
  6. Enjoy that great place! Congratulations and much happiness for you and your family. It sure looks like a winner! Hope it is everything you wished for and more.

    SunnyDoc on October 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm
    • Hi Sunny, The house is everything that I wished for and more! Thank you for your note and God bless! Mari.

      Macusina on October 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm
  7. Mari –

    My name is Laurie March and I had the distinct pleasure of hosting so many fun videos in your new home! I've been thrilled to be a part of Blog Cabin 2013 – it really is a magical place. Not sure if you've been there yet, but the front porch is *magical* in the early am and the early evening.

    The seashelling on your beach is fantastic! Found several crab shells and so many whole shells – not like out here in Cali. Did I mention I'm right up the street in Hollywood? ;)

    There are so many special corners, nooks, accents, and places to drink your coffee and let your eyes wander.

    The wicker chair in the corner near the fireplace is the perfect spot for a nap – be sure to tell your hubby!! Between takes on our videos I aimed for that spot :)

    So proud of this home. Dylan and every single person who set foot on your new property knew the treasure they'd be handing off to you – and took it seriously every second.

    You're very kind to share your experiences with this community. They're a fabulous bunch! Hopefully you feel the lift of thousands of folks feeling happy for you and yours. I hope you have time to poke through all the fun videos and posts and enjoy this windfall.

    All the BEST!


    ps. Dylan and I and our film crew spent time in your beach retreat through a tropical storm and she weathered it like a dream!!!… I took in all the pillows, chairs, and decor on your upstairs porch like a good neighbor would. ;)

    pps. Folks… next year's location will make you smile too :D

    Laurie_March on October 15, 2013 at 8:29 pm
    • Dear Laurie,
      Thank you for your nice note! So good to hear from you. I am so grateful to all the folks who made this cottage the beauty that it is. I must confess I have not been to the cabin yet. I believe that it won't be possible until all the transaction is finished but I've watched all the videos and episodes and all the excitement that they built were culminated by the most unlikely thing I ever thought would happen to me.
      All my kids and nieces and nephews are very excited and waiting for the time they can visit and we can have family reunions. I have to tell you, my mother who is 88 and sacrificed all to bring my sister and I here to California back in 1966 was elated to hear the news.
      Very interesting you're almost my neighbor, just think we may have even bumped into each other at a mall or in the street at some time (I am very distracted so I sometimes don't realize I am sitting next to people I know…LOL)
      Anyhow, I have to say it again: THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
      Much love to you, the crew and all my new friends on this blog.
      Mari. :
      PS. You were very kind taking the pillows and decor inside during the storm! :)

      Macusina on October 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm
    • Laurie, you are the best! Your note to Mari made me smile SO BIG!!! :D

      TwoCorgis on October 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm
    • Laurie you are teasing us! As to where the 2014 BC is going to be. So if you know, then does that mean you will be helping? I hope so you did such a great job. And we loved blogging with you. Thanks so very much.

      vicki_in_Utah on October 16, 2013 at 8:45 am
    • Stay tuned ;)


      Laurie_March on October 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm
    • Let the guessing begin.:)

      540sam on October 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm
    • Most likely still back East or down south.

      vicki_in_Utah on October 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm
    • I would guess east of the Missippi river, as most of the US population lives there.

      540sam on October 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    • I am sure you are right Sam. I wish it would be a little more West.

      vicki_in_Utah on October 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm
  8. Congratulations Mari!

    Wendy on October 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm
    • Thank you Wendy!

      Macusina on October 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm
  9. when the last time a black person won?

    eric b. on October 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm
    • Eric B.
      In reply to your question as to when was the last time a black person won a home from Scripps Network stations:
      1) 2012: The Urban Oasis 2012 was won buy a black family from Houston Texas
      2) 2010 the Winner of the 2010 HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes (aka Scripps Network also owns DIYnetworks.) was Myra Lewis of New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a black person. Myra Lewis won the $2-million-plus grand prize in this year's HGTV Dream Home Giveaway, including a contemporary Southwest-style home in Sandia Park, N.M., an all-new GMC® Terrain and $500,000.

      I truly do not believe that one can tell by the entries the race of the person. Chin up and better luck next time. :D

      Holidaygal on October 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm
    • Amen, Holidaygal. When I saw the question, all I could think, here we go again. But better you than me; great answer.

      havanera on October 16, 2013 at 12:10 am
    • So there is such thing as a stupid question.

      AndreaMP on October 19, 2013 at 10:56 am
  10. Congratulations Mari! Hope you Enjoy your beautiful new Oceanfront Property!! Sure wish I could ever win something, I tried to win just a couple dollars on a scratch off lottery ticket yesterday and lost, I always lose.

    bigdreamer61 on October 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm
    • Never give up… I never won anything prior to this and thought I never would…now I know it can happen to anyone…you can't win unless you enter, so keep a positive attitude and continue to enter every chance you get…Good luck! Mari.

      Macusina on October 16, 2013 at 12:48 am

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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