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. Mary, hope everythink is ok there at HG and all!

    AlmaC on November 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm
  2. From Blog Cabin to Carleton Villa to a more Urban note: we should expect the winner of the Urban Oasis to be surprised any day now, since the sweeps rules said on or about November 4th. Possibly as early as Sunday the 3rd, I'd guess, so keep your hopes up as the HGTV folks search high and low for the next unsuspecting winner!

    For my part, I'll promise any HGTV visitors a wildly excited and friendly welcome (from Terri too) along with an irresistible treat to beautiful weather — sunny and warm — shorts advised, with temps in the low 80's, a grand view of the San Jacinto mountains (even a touch of snow if they choose to experience the breathtaking tram ride up to the peak) a wide choice of dining and shopping venues, tennis, golf or just lounging by the pool, and maybe the clincher, plenty of chocolate Halloween treats, pumpkin pie and ice cream… and naturally, your choice of liquid refreshment after a long video surprise session….

    (Hey, you have to do what you can to increase your chances of winning, right?)

    DBCoop on November 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm
    • :) :) keeping the hope up here, even though both the NY property and kentucky look like excellent locations and projects for hgtv……would love to know at least the history on the carleton ny property, fascinating not inhabited for 70 years….my, my…winters are probably bru

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    • In case you missed a link I recently posted, twoterriers, check out these amazing photos and a bit of history on the Carleton Island Villa (scroll down the linked page):

      DBCoop on November 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    • It is so sad that this home, so wonderful in the beginning, has gone to such disrepair. It was one magnificent building, serving many, many people, but now it is just about gone. Right now, it is a big money pit. It would be much cheaper to build a similar replica, all new, for what it would cost to even start to repair this home. Just like a lot of our older public buildings, officials always try to restore them, spending truck loads of money, only to have it done again 20 years later, because the internal structure was so baldy deteriorated. All this, for historical history, at the taxpayers expense. I would much sooner have something brand new, and functional, rather that something that is still old, even if it is made to look new.

      I hope everyone had a great weekend. Our children are still hyper from all that Halloween candy.:|

      Builder on November 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm
    • Thanks for sharing this home and its history with us!

      DeerSpring on November 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm
    • winters on carleton island are probably brutal, but a good spot for someone's new dream home of a manageable size….

      twoTERRIERs on November 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    • Thanks DB……very intriguing….

      I think you are bound to win UO with your invitation to HGTV:):)

      twoTERRIERs on November 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    • Last night's rain took the crunch out of the piles of leaves. What was a perfect Autumn has turned into a sloppy mess that has to be dealt with.

      If I was HGTV; your invitation sounds like the place I'd want to be. If I could surprise the winner in my location or yours, I'd take yours.

      Eugenia27 on November 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm
    • Taniya can wear a pretty pair of rain boots to ambush you.

      StormyWV on November 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm
    • I like the way you think. I can't offer her 80* weather, but she couldn't show off her stylish rain boots in Palm Springs. ;)

      Eugenia27 on November 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm
    • LOL!

      DeerSpring on November 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm
    • Thanks Coop, I will be here waiting.

      StormyWV on November 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    • Sunday Nov.3, Could today be the day. Good Luck Coop

      StormyWV on November 3, 2013 at 11:14 am
    • Thanks, StormyWV, and happy Urban wishes to you as well, along with fellow bloggers and hopeful dreamers everywhere.

      DBCoop on November 3, 2013 at 11:59 am
    • Yes Stormy. Today could be the day. Are you ready?!

      Lessie on November 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm
    • Forget the HGTV visitors Coop. I'd come for that treatment!!!

      Lessie on November 3, 2013 at 9:08 pm
  3. Next Guess for Blog Cabin 2014… on GRUNDERVILLE Road in Warren PA? come on…it is November 2nd already ;-)
    Checking temperature: 46 degrees in Warren PA and a balmy 65 at the Crystal Coast NC and a lovely 72 by me here in FL!

    Holidaygal on November 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm
    • HolidayGal, where are you in FL? I am in Daytona! <3

      jchristie24 on November 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm
  4. Anyone have anything to report? Perhaps a phone call or strange vehicle going by your house. Someone taking photos of your house. anything.

    StormyWV on November 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm
    • No news yet…

      Macusina on November 3, 2013 at 2:27 am
    • Wow could you imagine. Two in a row. You would be a very lucky duck.

      StormyWV on November 3, 2013 at 4:57 am
    • That would be amazing indeed…LOL

      Macusina on November 4, 2013 at 3:04 am
  5. So Sad :'(

    StormyWV on November 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    • I miss the Hgtv Blogs.:'(

      StormyWV on November 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    • this is getting a little scarey…

      twoTERRIERs on November 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm
    • Very confusing. I just hope they decide to tell us something soon. Hanging on by a tread here

      StormyWV on November 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm
    • We still have each other as long as the Blog Cabin blog holds strong. I feel like we're all hunkered down in a bunker.

      TwoCorgis on November 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm
    • The Blog Cabin Bunker is a very nice place to hunker down. I just wish Mary would give us the first clue on where the next BC will be.
      I had hoped with HGTV blogs being down, Mary would at least give the BC site more to talk about.

      Eugenia27 on November 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    • I am with you Stormy.

      albbora on November 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm
    • Why? The HGTV blogs will be up and running soon. If necessary, I'm sure they'd post the winner on the DIY site. But there's no need, the winner will be posted on the UO site. Check the site tomorrow. If I'm wrong, I'll buy you lunch at the Virtual Cafe near your home. :)

      Lessie on November 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm
  6. Wow this is where everyone is, I should have known better, I thought it's my computer I can't take this, the last days of the sweeps. are the most fun and the blog is down I did not want to miss out, the wait is to exciting but now I know where to check for updates and hopefully we will have the blogs running again soon. I am dying to find out who won.

    albbora on November 2, 2013 at 8:05 pm
    • hi nice to see you again….been lost for days right?

      twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 9:43 pm
    • I know, thanks it's nice to see you too, I don't like this, I love the blogers they're so much fun and you are right I was lost!!!!

      albbora on November 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm
    • It is amazing how much these blogs mean to a lot of us. I'm glad you found out where we are hanging out, waiting for Intense Debate to fix the problem.

      Eugenia27 on November 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm
    • Ditto! I too thought it must be my computer or just me doing something wrong! Then, I must admit, my mind went to conspiracy theories. Although I don't post often. I do check in often and surprised myself as to how I missed the conversations and comments especially as the winner announcement nears. So glad for some reason I checked in here. I do think HGTV could have posted something about the blogs being down but then again…just maybe it's part of a bigger plan! Hahaha!

      Beachdreamer51 on November 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm
    • I agree so much with you I did not know how much I enjoyed reading the comments, I am not as active as some of the great blogers here but I am glad there is a place to express our opinions when we want to or just share our thoughts and ideas!!!!

      albbora on November 3, 2013 at 1:14 am
  7. Been thinking here….you know we have some beautiful places in the continental us……another place that really is quite a place is an area called Utopia, TX, which is also near Nirvana, TX and within 85 miles of San Antionio…….i beat there some potential blog cabin deals there as well; even though i am partial to other areas………

    twoterriers on November 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm
    • With names like Utopia and Nirvana who wouldn't want to live there. I wonder how many other states have towns with those names.

      Eugenia27 on November 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm
  8. Congrats When is the party…lol enjoy!

    Debbie on November 3, 2013 at 12:00 am
    • Thank you! Party to be announced,,,;)

      Macusina on November 3, 2013 at 2:25 am
    • I look forward to the virtual bloggers party while you have the real thing.

      Eugenia27 on November 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm
  9. Wanted to remind everyone to Fall Back. The Dream Home Blog is not working so hope you guys don't mind Soney and me being a bit silly. Wanted to tell Mari congratulations. You and your husband are beautiful and deserve this very special Blog Cabin.

    alicesoneysmom on November 3, 2013 at 12:03 am
    • Thanks for the reminder I would have forgot

      StormyWV on November 3, 2013 at 12:37 am
    • Thanks, I completely forgot!!!

      albbora on November 3, 2013 at 1:17 am
    • Thank you on both counts! Good night! :)

      Macusina on November 3, 2013 at 2:24 am
  10. I have figured out the mystery of the three blogs.

    StormyWV on November 3, 2013 at 12:39 am
    • what is the mystery…

      twoterriers on November 3, 2013 at 1:09 am
    • could it be as simple as time change…..????

      twoterriers on November 3, 2013 at 1:10 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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