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. I went way back on this blog, to see when diy announced where 2013 BC was going to be, and the location was announced on Oct 24, 2012. So I wonder what is taking so long.

    vicki_in_Utah on November 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm
    • On the DH blog, there's a special note from Mary and an introduction to the new blog coordinator, Liz.

      DeerSpring on November 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm
  2. Congratulations!

    American National on November 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm
    • Thank you!

      Macusina on November 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm
  3. Hi all! Boy aren't we all antsy…

    This week I've had a raging debate going on with friends, family and clients. People are really divided on the subject! Maybe you'll sound off on the subject?

    I'm fascinated with how people are using their formal dining room spaces today. Not every home has one, but those that do – do you keep it as a dining room? Could it be an office? a playroom? Could you be blogging about Blog Cabin from your dining room table right now??

    We've been debating it in a heated way on the FB page, in person, and I'd love to hear your comments on the post – how do YOU use yours?? Formal Dining or Bonus Room??


    Laurie_March on November 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    • Laurie, it is so funny that you bring this up. When my parents bought their current house, it had a tiny little room off of the kitchen that the real estate agent called a "dining room". The problem was that it was very small. The whole reason they bought the house is so that there would be room for all of the children and grandchildren over the holidays. They decided to make the existing dining room into a breakfast nook, the living room became the formal dining room, and the family room became the living room. Liking the way the spaces were so much more usable, my sister did the same thing at her house. Of course, when not serving guests, the room becomes a place to do projects and the favored location for the laptops. However, since it's the first room anyone sees when they come in the front door, it doesn't become a messy catch-all. The big question is, will they convert the rooms back to their original purposes when it comes time to sell. I wonder what potential buyers would prefer.

      TwoCorgis on November 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm
    • Hi Laurie, the one time I had a formal dining room (for 3 1/2 years 25-28 years ago) , I used it as such. I could count on three hands the # of times. Otherwise, for parties, it became the buffet & poker room. We used the table to play cards. I used the 3rd bedroom as an office.
      The home we now have has a 'great' room that has the living, dining and kitchen all in one. For us, it's much better, even if a much smaller footprint. If I still had that other house I would keep the formal dining room because the breakfast area was too small for extended-family meals.
      I remember back in the early '70's at my best friend's house, I never saw the formal dining room. I guess it had furniture in it. Ha!

      Wind Chime Girl on November 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm
  4. Dear Mari: I have to comment one more time. :-) It was so nice to see you at the Palacios' for the birthday celebrations. I am so very happy for you, Ken and the rest of your family. I sincerely wish you a happy retirement and that you may enjoy your new home in good health for many decades to come. You are most deserving. Felicidades amiga!

    Julia Trusty on November 15, 2013 at 10:37 pm
    • Julia,
      (a grand name, my grandmother's as well)
      You are a friend of Mari and Ken? If so, how sweet of you to come here and comment. Us bloggers love that.

      Wind Chime Girl on November 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm
    • Awww Julia, that is so sweet of you! It warms my heart to hear such nice words. Hoping that you and Earl will make your way to NC sometime in the future and stay with us a while, would love to have you visit…the Palacios are coming, maybe you can make the trip together :) Abrazo, Mari.

      Macusina on November 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm
  5. jchristie24 Hi Daytona FL; I'm over on the west coast by Tampa FL

    Holidaygal on November 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm
  6. love the show and how the house is reformed into something beautiful and new. good luck and see ya on the show

    suzette shanle on November 19, 2013 at 10:50 am
    • Thank you! Have a blessed holiday season!

      Macusina on November 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm
  7. Welcome to the "tarheel state"! We North Carolinian's love new neighbors! Much success on your good fortune!

    Sheryl on November 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    • Thank you Sheryl! We are most excited about the North Carolina coast and its people! Mari.

      Macusina on November 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm
  8. That is so wonderful! I know you will enjoy your new home!

    Kristie on November 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm
    • Many thanks Kristie!

      Macusina on November 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm
  9. Happy Thanksgiving All it is snowing here today in Greenville,SC and I believe it will be snowing at BC 2013 today. Wish I could see the snow at our beloved 2013 BC cabin

    Straybird on November 27, 2013 at 11:40 am
    • Hey Straybird! I'm at work downtown Greenville…It didn't snow long, did it?? I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!:)

      Debbie on November 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    • Happy Thanksgiving Debbie. .yay a Blog neighbor! It snowed for about three hours in Fountain inn in fact it stayed on the deck for awhile until the sun came out.

      Straybird on November 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm
  10. hi macusina…..hope all is well there at blog cabin……

    twoterriers on November 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    • Hi Two…I 'm still not there. I think you saw my others posts. Have a great holiday season!

      Macusina on December 10, 2013 at 12:04 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 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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