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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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1,802 Comments

  1. soooooooooooo VERY HAPPY for you & your lovely Family :D Such GREAT Timing tooo now that you've retired! ENJOY LIFE & God has greatly BLESSED YOU!

    georgeanne411 on October 16, 2013 at 8:37 am
    • Dear George and Anne, I feel that there is some kind of plan is unfolding before my eyes. I was not planning to retire as I couldn't afford yet it but it was inevitable so I went along and prayed. Now this happened and it is a God sent. His plans are His own and I am just trying to follow along….God bless you! Mari.

      Macusina on October 16, 2013 at 11:45 am
  2. Mari,

    I am so surprised to see such bad comments from some people about your winning this beautiful home. I am sorry you've had to experience that, but I hope you know the vast majority of us are so very happy for you and your family.

    Sometimes it seems that some people think things are 'owed' to them because of some negative thing in their life. If they'd spend more time trying to turn things around they would probably fare much better. I do hope you know those comments are certainly not the norm of the feelings. Again, best wishes and many happy years in your new N.C. coastal home!!!

    nanwes on October 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    • Thank you for your well wishes and nice note. No worries about the negative comments I do not dwell on them.as I know it is the place where those people are now that makes them speak so. Besides, most of the people here have been more than kind and generous and have so much love in them that not only neutralizes the bad feelings but they lift me up. Again, many thanks for your comments. Blessings, Mari.

      Macusina on October 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm
  3. Congratulations Mari to you and your family enjoy this beautiful home. You have encourage me to continue to enter because you never know it could be me the next time. HAVE FUN AND ENJOY!!!!

    Sophia on October 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    • Thank you very much Sophia!

      Macusina on October 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm
  4. Great

    Lester on October 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm
  5. Hope that Dylan wasn't fibbing when he said see you next year on his sign. Roby Inc. does cover a large area so it could be in that general vicinity give or take a few hundred miles. :*:*<3 Go forth and seek!

    MaryPA on October 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm
    • ;)

      540sam on October 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm
  6. Congratulations Mari and family. Hope you builds many good memories in our (the bloggers) home. We turn it over to you with much love knowing that you appreciate and love it as much as we do. I, like everyone else was praying it was my time to win even knowing the odds. But when my family and friends kept telling me I would not win, my answer was: If I don't enter, I can't win. And Gods knows when you need help the most. I am from Chesapeake, VA, just up the coast from Atlantic, NC. I now live in Georgia, but am looking forward to the day I retire and can move back home. Again, God Bless you and your family.

    Millie on October 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm
    • Thank you Millie. I kept urging all my family and friends to enter and told them 'someone' would win….LOL. Wish you much luck, I know that the universe has something in store for you also. Take care, Mari.

      Macusina on October 16, 2013 at 11:47 pm
    • Millie,
      My husband always tells me I'm silly and won't win. I know one thing, if I don't enter I certainly won't win. So, be like me and don't let anyone make you believe you can't dream. Keep on dreaming, I'm 63 and refuse to stop dreaming!!!!!:) Much happiness!!! Nancy

      nanwes on October 17, 2013 at 11:35 am
    • Nancy, everyone has a chance to win and if it is for you it will happen. I never stopped dreaming but I also entered every chance I got. So, never give up your dreams, it is a God-given right. Be well and happy. Mari

      Macusina on October 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm
  7. Good Work, Mari, your efforts over the years have indeed paid off handsomely! Congrats to A Very Lucky Blog Cabin enthusiast from California.

    Now to focus on winning the Urban Oasis in Boston for this California blogger! Two Golden State winners would be awesome, especially if that Golden Stater is D B Coop!

    Enjoy your beautiful new Atlantic, NC retreat, Mari.

    DBCoop on October 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm
    • Thank you very much! Now it is time to move to the next sweepstakes! Good Luck! Mari.

      Macusina on October 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm
  8. Congratulations Mari, I hope you and your family will have many happy and healthy days living in your new home <3

    naomi on October 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm
    • Thank you Naomi. Your wishes are very heartwarming. :)

      Macusina on October 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm
  9. Hi Mari, "Congratulations"..Sigh…..just kidding…LOL .If I couldn't be the lucky Winner, I am so Happy that You Won. You sound like a Wonderful and Caring person and so deserving of this beautiful Beach Cottage.. Also I'm glad a "Blogger" finally won. It just seems right that a "Blogger" should win the "Blog Cabin" !!!
    I hope You and Your family will enjoy this Lovely little Cottage for many years to come! ^_^ Great Memories to be had by all..
    I also joined the Blog Cabin in 2007..I was a 'silent' blogger for some time, shy I guess and then I really got hooked when we had a chance to make changes on the back deck that really needed changing…Do you remember that?? It was so interesting and I became glued to my Computer daily after that ..LOL
    All of the BC's have been Beautiful in their on way, but this "Beach Cottage" has it all and is my favorite<3<3. Love the landscapes and all the outdoor areas to lounge and enjoy the Beautiful breathtaking views of the Sunrise and Sunsets over the water, outdoor cooking, fishing from the dock, walking the beach in search of great shells, playing games or just sitting under the Pergola and relaxing with a book and a glass of wine or ice tea….Of course with family and friends, entertainment in all areas of the landscape is a big plus ..I hope you decide to make Atlantic, NC. your primary Home and wish You and Your family much Joy and Happiness on this little 'Piece Of Heaven'….. Be Happy!!^_^B)<3
    I would love to hear what you have to say about the Cottage after you have taken your very first "Tour" :)

    Jennie/Florida on October 17, 2013 at 3:35 am
    • Welcome back Jennie, I've missed you and am so happy you are back. I couldn't help but be worried as I knew you would be among the first to post congratulations to Mari and her family. Our weather here in AR has finally cooled down and we've had some much needed rain. I probably won't be posting as often myself for awhile as with cooler temps I can finally get outside and do some much needed work in the garden. Autumn here in the AR mountains is really beautiful!:D

      SID on October 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    • Thank you Dear Sid, did you read my post to Sam about My brother having 3 heart attacks last week? I have been traveling back and forth to Central Florida to the Hospital and taking care of his Home and his finances..I have my hands full with all the traveling and having to take care of my home too..I pray He doesn't have any major complications after he leaves the Hospital..It will be a slow recovery, he is 82 yrs old and very fragile at the moment, just praying he will recover and get his strength back so he can go and piddle in his garage that he loves so much..He is a wonderful Artist, carpenter and wood worker, he makes his own picture frames..He has sold many of his Oil paintings over the years..He and my Sister-in-law owned a Art Gallery out in Arizona and did Shows, She also was an wonderful artist…She developed the Shingles and it turned into Leukemia and she passed away in 1999..So much talent from both^_^<3

      Well Sid, Our Cottage has a new Owner and We no longer can claim it, sad but I am truly Happy for Mari and her family and feel they will take 'good care' of Her…What a beauty She is and I'm so anxious to see how Diy and Mr. Eastman can top this Cottage, Land and Location…I wish they wouldn't drag everything out (seems that way to me) LOL and just tell us where We are going next..Ready to start dreaming again .LOL :) ^_^:pB)<3
      I would LOVE to see Your Autumn Leaves in the ARK Mountains..Fall is my favorite time of the year ^_^B)<3

      Jennie/Florida on October 18, 2013 at 1:05 am
    • Oh Dear Jennie, I'm so sorry to hear about your brothers heart attacks. He must be very strong to have survived three of them in one week. No wonder you haven't been able to post often recently! I will be praying for his complete recovery.<3<3<3
      Yes, we will both miss those breakfasts on the dock and "our" little cottage!:| Just like you I feel certain Marni and Ken will take good care of it, and I hope they are able to keep it and enjoy that view every day!
      I can hardly wait for the announcement of the next cabin location – hope they decide to bring the live camera back again next year. Time to move on to a new wonderful dream!B)<3<3<3

      SID on October 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm
    • Jennie you & your brother will be in my thoughts and prayers<3

      I thought perhaps you were in the Apple–lachin mountains of NC, enjoying your yearly trip. Like Sandy I missed you on the blog. I'm not surprised even under such difficult times that you would come here and congratulate the winner. Godspeed friend, and hoping the best for your family.

      Mel on October 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    • Jennie–still stopping in every once in a while; so sorry to read about your brother–thoughts and prayers for you all. Do take care of yourself the best you can with all the driving back and forth. <3 <3 <3

      LLColeman on October 23, 2013 at 2:12 am
    • Jennie, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Please know that we all care about you and yours. Keep us posted on your brother's condition. Hope things will calm down for you and everyone there.^_^

      amberPA on October 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm
    • Hello Jenny, Nice to meet you…what a nice note you wrote! I have been fantasizing about doing all those things but I think that it won't 'feel, real until I can actually go there. In the meantime, I am enjoying the new friends on the blog. Read about what happened to your brother and will pray for his recovery. God bless you and yours. Mari

      Macusina on October 18, 2013 at 1:40 am
    • What is going on with your beaches there? first a sea monster, now a saber tooth whale. None of that at the blog cabin.:D

      540sam on October 18, 2013 at 3:06 am
    • Fukushima maybe…?

      Macusina on October 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm
    • Wow, I guess you had better get to the Blog Cabin before Godzila shows up.:o

      540sam on October 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    • Lol!!! xD :)

      jchristie24 on October 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    • ROFL…You're right Sam, I better get on over there…
      Yeah, yeah, yeah
      We got to get on this train
      It's coming around again
      Well, I said it before and I'll say it again
      We got to get on this train
      We're gonna go all the way
      Well, what more can I say?
      Right on track, it's not going back
      We got to get on this train….yeah, yeah yeah… :) :DB)

      Macusina on October 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm
    • So glad to hear from you Jeanie I was beginning to wonder where you were. I think I have blogged more this year then any of the other BC's, maybe because I really like this cabin. I was almost tempted to enter this year. But happy for Mari. I have been gone for a few days, it is getting colder here so we went and winterized our cabin. Deer and Elk hunters all over the place. Monday all the kids are out of school for the deer hunt.
      when we moved here from the LA area we just thought everyone got into Halloween, But they were wearing orange for the hunt…silly me.

      vicki_in_Utah on October 20, 2013 at 11:15 pm
  10. Hi Mari, I am so happy that you and your family won this beautiful home and I hope you are able to spend many lovely times there. Our best from our family to yours. Congratulatio

    Inga on October 17, 2013 at 6:22 am
    • Thank you Inga!

      Macusina on October 18, 2013 at 1:27 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 from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house 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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