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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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1,806 Comments

  1. Mari, I am sorry it seems that we have taken the spotlight off of you winning the Blog Cabin. I hope you are doing well. Sorry again. We are hoping to feel the excitement you felt when you won.

    StormyWV on November 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm
    • Hey Stormy, not at all…I am enjoying to hear (read) all the comments. In the past, I would post a comments here or there, but always enjoyed the back and forth of the bloggers…you guys rock! :)

      Macusina on November 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm
    • wow me too mari……however, this is bringing alot of us back together in one space….maybe it is a "sign" that hgtv needs to consider simplfying the blog and having only one blog space for all the houses…simple is often better….

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm
    • I LIKE it ;)

      Macusina on November 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm
  2. Swinging from one extreme to the other… from a modest renovation to a monstrous reconstruction….

    If the DIY Crashers team is looking for a really monumental challenge, this is it: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Lot-1-Carleton-

    Considering the condition of the place, I'd say a low-ball offer starting around $215,000 would suffice… just for the sake of the nearly 7 acres of land the island property sits on. It's right off Lake Ontario near the southern shore of the St Lawrence Seaway, and just a hop across the border into Canada — a unique position from which to watch cargo ships and tankers cruise by.

    Realistically, there's not much chance of this ruin ever being given a new lease on life, though if it were, it would certainly be one of a kind.

    The square footage of the old mansion is about 15,000, as shown in the Zillow listing. With eleven or twelve bedrooms, this behemoth might mean a two or three year project even for the "Crashers!"

    Now, back to the real world of the Blog Cabin location reveal watch.

    DBCoop on November 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm
    • wow looks like a place for hearst………….my…could be a gem for sure…

      twoterriers on November 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm
    • 70 years is a long time to be vacant. I wonder why. I wish I could have seen it in it's prime. Did you see the size of the planks that made up the subfloor?
      Mike Holmes could make it right (given SEVERAL million dollars)

      Eugenia27 on November 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm
    • it is a sad picture now, but would have loved to see in its heyday….can you imagine…

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm
    • Until the next Blog Cabin adventure is revealed to us, here's a link to that wish of yours, Eugenia — amazing photos of the Carleton Island Villa in its prime: http://www.thecarletonislandvilla.com/history.htm

      Scroll down the linked page for a stroll back into the genteel times past of the Wyckoff family's summer home — along with their two yachts.

      DBCoop on November 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    • Thanks DB, Those gas lamps in the home were fantastic. I would have thought that the fireplace mantel would have been more ornate but I guess if that is just your "Summer home" …..

      Eugenia27 on November 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    • I wonder what Nicole Curtis would make of that!

      TwoCorgis on November 2, 2013 at 11:45 am
    • Now that's a thought! Though I think they'd need all the HGTV talent and DIY Crasher crews and a boatload of money to bring the Carleton Island Villa back to life.

      DBCoop on November 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    • That castle is beyond repair. Best to totally rip it down and build new. That house is beyond any remodeling, way worse that Blog Cabin 2013. Looks like a big backhoe, or dynamite would be the best for this monster of a house.

      Even Nicole Curtis would run away from this mess. Mike Holmes would have a tough time remodeling this structure, after investing tons of money into it. $200,000 would not even put a dent in this place. More like Millions to make it livable.

      Builder on November 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm
    • agreed, but nice location and the history on the property is really interesting.

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm
    • The #1 Most Haunted House in America. Very interesting story and so very sad. How he earned some of his money was the Remington Typewriter. Thank you DBCoop. We sure miss the other Blogs and so Soney and I thought we would stop by and say Hi to our friends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1zhuGT3cOQ

      alicesoneysmom on November 2, 2013 at 9:30 pm
  3. yeah I found everyone:D

    LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm
    • Glad you make it.

      Eugenia27 on November 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm
  4. Grunderville, was that a hint? What does that word even mean lol

    LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm
    • I think although she said if she could give us a small hint she would, she actually did, but what does it mean..hmmmmm

      LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm
    • LibbyGirl, there is a place in Pennsylvania named Grunddrville and it is by a river!! Maybe that is the next location of the Blog Cabin!

      jchristie24 on November 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm
    • hmmm, order the winner is from Pa near a river

      LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    • or not order lol

      LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    • which river is near it?

      LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm
    • The Allegheny River and the road's name is Grunderville Rd

      jchristie24 on November 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm
    • that must be a hint, since that word has no other meaning.hmmmmm

      LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 8:23 pm
    • good thinking…

      twoterriers on November 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    • isn't that in PA..i thought mary was in pa

      twoterriers on November 1, 2013 at 7:49 pm
    • is she?

      LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm
    • i thought someone mentioned that way back…..

      twoterriers on November 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm
  5. i read on the sweeps page that the urban oasis winner will be announced in an upcoming urban oasis special…is this a new post?….i rarely look at that page…

    twoterriers on November 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm
    • Hi! twoterries!! the post was there since the the UO sweeps started, GoodLuck ^_^

      AlmaC on November 2, 2013 at 11:57 am
    • ah…thank you alma…

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm
    • Sorry, twoterries I did a mistake , Mary wrote it when she thanks the UO entries, now! we need to wait when the upcoming special event will be :)

      AlmaC on November 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm
    • i guess so…will be nice to know when that is…..

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 12:39 pm
  6. is Laurie's comment gone, I cant find it now

    LibbyGirl200 on November 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm
    • Funny how comments can seem to disappear when there's so much going on, but if you go to page 13 (using the standard DATE order sorting) then look at the 4th comment from the top by Eugenia27 (with dozens of replies to it) which starts out "Hello, Mary or who ever…" and, within the replies, count down to the 19th or so, you'll find Laurie March's lovely avatar and her following comment.

      Tell her we're all still waiting for a location hint, even though we know she's sworn to secrecy!

      DBCoop on November 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm
    • thanks Coop, found it, my eyes must have been tired :)

      LibbyGirl200 on November 2, 2013 at 8:23 am
  7. Congratulating Mari!

    Dreamaahh on November 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm
    • Thank you Dream!

      Macusina on November 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm
  8. The Grunderville comment is driving me nuts, lol, WHAT does it mean…….It must mean something

    LibbyGirl200 on November 2, 2013 at 8:24 am
    • Maybe that is where the UO winner is from

      StormyWV on November 2, 2013 at 8:51 am
    • maybe

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 9:34 am
    • I think that would be to straight forward, I think it may be a read between the lines kinda thing, would love to hear everyone's thoughts on it, we know the Allegheny river runs near it and its a town in PA….

      LibbyGirl200 on November 2, 2013 at 9:40 am
    • Just thinking that it is a clue to where the next Blog Cabin will be!! <3

      jchristie24 on November 2, 2013 at 10:09 am
    • I was thinking Chris Grundy is from Chicago, Chicago???(ville)

      COOLSMILEY on November 2, 2013 at 11:07 am
    • Cool, I do believe Grundy is from Chicago!! Maybe a possibility since he would be very close to home there! :p

      jchristie24 on November 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm
    • Chicago is such a large area it could be anywhere. BCs have always had land and not urban. Where do you think the Chicago BC would be? I am not familiar with the area (other than the airport).

      Eugenia27 on November 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    • Well not sure about where in Chicago, I do know Lake Superior is on the border there, maybe a spot on the lake outside the city????

      jchristie24 on November 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm
    • I've been begging for a Blog cabin on Lake Michigan or Lake Superior. Just spent the weekend in Northern WI. Revisited lots of lighthouses and roamed the beaches. Some areas were still at peak color. Also saw immature whooping cranes (there are only 600 whooping cranes remaining in the U.S. so a reare sight. For you birders, also saw canvas backs, buffalohead, lesser scup, sandhill cranes, american avecet, greebs, swans, geese and hawks. Either lake would be ideal for Blog Cabin. Do you know there are 6,000 shipwrecks in the five Great Lakes?

      ChicagoBirder on November 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm
    • I thought Laurie was referring to Grundy's renovation projects as "Grunderville"???

      DeerSpring on November 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm
    • That makes the most sense

      Eugenia27 on November 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm
  9. Funny story about Halloween-

    I remember my Dad always telling the story about the outhouse. When he was young, it seemed like the neighbor kids would always sneak around on Halloween, in the dark of night, and tip over the outhouses on farms, which were used every day. Well, to teach them a really good lesson, he moved the outhouse off the hole one day, and one of those mischievous kids fell directly into the hole on Halloween night. After that, they left things alone. Experience was a good teacher for those kids. It must not have been a full moon that night, and they did not bring a flashlight. Too bad he did not have a tracking dog, or the dog could surely follow that nasty scent.

    Builder on November 2, 2013 at 10:12 am
    • Eww, but certainly effective!

      COOLSMILEY on November 2, 2013 at 11:09 am
    • That will teach them and obviously did.

      Eugenia27 on November 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    • Seems many of us have heard tales of this nature; because the practice locally was to tip the outhouse on it's door after someone had entered, the owner moved it forward and caught two miscreants in the pit.

      DGustaf on November 2, 2013 at 11:11 pm
    • Thank you Builder, brings back memories. My Mom told me the same story but I think she was one of the neighbor kids. She lived in farm country Montana.

      alicesoneysmom on November 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm
    • Great story! I have a great coffee table book on outhouses, it's very charming. LoL :)

      AndreaMP on November 3, 2013 at 9:08 am
    • Love Love, this story. Lesson learned the hard and stinky way

      StormyWV on November 3, 2013 at 9:49 am
  10. So still NO NEWS on UO WINNER????

    COOLSMILEY on November 2, 2013 at 11:09 am
    • they say it will be announced in an urban oasis special

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    • where does it say that? I can't find it…. feeling lost :)

      nmriley on November 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm
    • Where does it say that? I checked out the OU home page but didn't see it there.

      Eugenia27 on November 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm
    • When you find out Eugenia, let me know. Thanks! :)

      Lessie on November 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm

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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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