Blog Cabin

Feb 12

Blog Cabin 2013 Winners Swing by HGTV Headquarters

A note from Kayla: I’d like to introduce you to managing editor Virginia Moon who will be your guide on all things DIY Network Blog Cabin 2014. If you’ve found yourself flipping through the (beautiful!) home improvement photo galleries on and lost in projects on DIY Network’s Made + Remade blog, then you’re likely already familiar with Virginia’s top-notch writing and editing. Please join me in welcoming Virginia to the blog!

blog cabin 2013 winners

Hi all -

I’m excited to be on board as your new guide for all things Blog Cabin! I recently had the pleasure of meeting the winners of Blog Cabin 2013 as they passed through town a few weeks ago. Mari Cabrera-Hickerson, along with her husband Ken, son Alex, and dog Kokaei came by the HGTV headquarters to pick up the keys to their new home in North Carolina!

The family’s cross-country road trip started in Culver City, Calif., they stopped in Albuquerque, NM to visit family, and  pulled into Knoxville, Tenn. on a snowy Tuesday morning. They were going to hit the road to Atlantic, NC after picking up their keys, but plans changed when they were snowed in for the night. The next morning the Blog Cabin winners packed up and headed out, making it safely to their new home.

I was able to catch up with the family during the visit about their plans for the house.  While Mari loves everything about the home, she says “I plan on adding pictures of my grandchildren to personalize it.” The couple would also like to build a garage with a loft  for the grand kids.

Aside from minor changes, Mari wants to celebrate with a family reunion this summer. What a perfect way to share her big win!

Thanks again, Mari, for stopping by. We wish you and your family many wonderful memories in your new home!

Read More About the Blog Cabin 2013 Winner >> 

  • Posted at 9:20 pm on February 2, 2014
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  1. Welcome to the East coast. Enjoy your new home.

    Jay Michajluk on February 13, 2014 at 11:04 am
    • Thanks for the warm welcome Jay!

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm
  2. So glad the Cabrera-Hickerson's have competed their trans-continental trek. How much fun and some wonderful sights along the way I'm sure.

    Now to shovel snow, turn on the water and keep it running 24/7 while the temps are close to or below freezing and get the heating working in their new home, light that fire put their feet up and relax. :) Welcome home. xD

    Clive on February 13, 2014 at 11:06 am
    • Hi Clive, I'm thinking she'll hit that lovely spa bathroom. I know I would lucky lucky lucky !xD

      MaryPA on February 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    • There should be no need to run the water with marginally freezing temperatures. If it ever gets below zero that may be a consideration but that's far from likely.

      Ralebird on February 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    • Maybe true but, as someone who lived in the Charlotte area for many years, I know it takes just a few degrees of freeze for a few days to cause a lot of pipe problems. The well head is above ground so are the pipes into the house and through the crawl space. For someone like Mari from S. California who has never lived anywhere that gets even just below freezing there are a number of things they may wish to know sooner rater than later. Better safe than sorry. :)

      Sally on February 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm
    • The house was just built so it should be according to current code which should eliminate any freezing problems in an area that should never get sustained cold well below freezing.

      Ralebird on February 14, 2014 at 2:38 am
    • The trek was a real adventure! The snow melted right away and so we didn't have to shovel :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm
  3. Thank you Kayla for all Your kindness and input, We will miss You..OOOXXX
    So glad Mari and Ken have finally arrived at "Our little Cottage" OOPS, their little Cottage on the Outer Banks. Sorry, it was and is so hard to turn loose of the beautiful Cottage in NC…Sigh…We had so much fun everyday blogging and enjoyed having breakfast or brunches on the weekends on that great Dock….Soooo much fun and I miss it…Sigh….
    Would love to know what Mari's first thoughts were as they entered the first time!!! What a wonderful gift for a Great Couple…
    Mari if you're reading our Blogs, maybe when you get settled in and take a deeep breath, You would share your thoughts with us Bloggies' who loved the BC Cottage so much.
    I wish You and Your Family many, many happy years as you share this wonderful Cozy Little Cottage on the Beach in paradise..Enjoy!!!!
    Welcome Virginia Moon, Happy You have joined us Bloggers for this next Adventure to Winter Haven, Florida.
    The area is Beautiful, the Views are Spectacular and the 5 acres where the Bungalow is nestled on is simply a piece of Heaven…Ready for this Journey to begin :p;)^_^:pB)<3<3

    Jennie/Florida on February 13, 2014 at 11:29 am
    • Hi Jennie, perfectly said!<3<3<3

      SID on February 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm
    • Thanks Jennie Ditto what you said.

      vicki_in_Utah on February 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm
    • Jennie, Mari said "wonderfull area and people" I'm sure that last part will be a welcome change of southern hospitality compared to big city attitude.:)

      540sam on February 14, 2014 at 5:32 am
    • Yes Sam that is correct. We were overcome with the wonderful hospitality of the people there, they came knocking at the door bearing gifts of jams, jellies and syrups to welcome us. I was blown away by all the warmth. It is certainly a very welcomed change. :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm
    • Don't forget to share with all of us the note in the bottle.:)B)

      540sam on February 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm
    • It was really hard to get to that bottle…but we did get to it and took pics…

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm
    • I couldn't have said it any better, Jennie.
      Congtat Mari & Ken.
      Welcome to our Blog Cabin, Virginia.

      NancyBee on February 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm
    • Dear Jennie,
      My first thoughts were going everywhere but it was more about feelings than thoughts. Feelings of JOY and of knowing that I am truly blessed.

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm
  4. Mari and Ken, I can just imagine how wonderful it must feel to finally arrive at your new home. We wish you a blessed life with many happy memories. After you have had time to settle in please let us know what it feels like to be the recipient of such a wonderful gift! Virginia welcome to the blog cabin 2014, we are happy to have you join us.:)

    Slps60 on February 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm
    • It was indeed a wonderful feeling! :) Thank you!

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm
  5. Welcome Virginia ! Glad to have you with us. Thank you for the information on Our Blog Cabin 2013 and meeting Mari and her family. Sending best wishes to them. May the be blessed with health and happiness in their home. Lokking forward to hearing mor from you, Virginia. My very best to all as we continue with our choices in the weeks to come for Blog Cabin 2014. Dreaming of going to TN and picking up the key for this lovely place to call home. must dream, Nan ;) <3 ;) <3

    Nan on February 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm
    • Thank you Nan! :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm
  6. P. S. Kayla, a special "Thank you," for all you have done for us. I did not know that the winners actually came and picked up the keys. It was nice to see the map and their route. Wish Mari and her family the best in their new home. Again , Welcome to you, Virginia. How fortunate we are to have such capable people to guide and show us all about the cabins. Another beauty is on the way.Anxious to see the final home for the winner of the 2014 Blog Cabin. Florida and warmth is looking better. my best to all ,Nan <3 <3 <3 <3

    Nan on February 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm
    • What a delight!

      COOLSMILEY on February 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm
  7. Just last night I was wondering about Mari and Ken's status with their new home! Great news that they made it in spite of all the bad weather. I hope we hear from them soon. ; )
    Thanks Kayla and welcome Virginia!

    Wind Chime Girl on February 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm
    • Mornin' WCG. I hope you did not get any damage from the ice storm that dipped so far into the south this week! We were completely spared here except for the cold- brrrrrrrrr! it's been the coldest winter in AR in 20 years, but can't really complain after all the rest of the country has been going through. Hope you're enjoying a warm up now my friend!<3B)<3

      SID on February 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm
    • Hey, Darlin' !!
      No big ice thing for us this time, all melted off in two days. The one that hit us a couple of months ago really hurt. What the drought didn't kill before, I'm afraid the 8' weather did. And the falling slabs of ice (4" to 6 " thick) sliding off the roofs finished everything else off in my front gardens. ; (
      But it's spring for us, at least for now. We go from 80 to 20 and back in no time. So crazy.
      Our coldest winter, too. What weather! I hate what the east coast is suffering, and people there don't seem to know NOT to drive in it. How odd. Then, they blame the weather & road conditions on the authorities. How very odd.
      I'm in soap-making mode for our spring markets. I'd love to send you some if we could figure out how to connect.
      Early spring, my friend!

      Wind Chime Girl on February 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm
    • Dear WCG, Thank you for your concern. We made it! Glad you're OK too. BTW, about the soapmaking, I am toying with the idea to start doing that so I may hit you for some pointers. :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm
    • Hey Mari, any time I can help, let me know. I made 3 batches and all turned out nicely. Whew!
      Keep us updated, let us know how y'all are doing in your new digs! My internet service is extremely sporadic these days, seems I've over-used and am being punished. I'll try to keep up.

      Wind Chime Girl on February 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm
  8. That was so sweet! The weather has been a treat. Yep we were spoiled, now its payback all in all when the snow stops will have an additional foot making for two feet. The dog won't go out until we shovel an area going to do that now. Brrrrrr When spring arrives it's going to FLOOD again!
    I can't wait to see those copper counter tops they are very unique! <3;)xD

    MaryPA on February 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    • Mary I hope you don't have flooding again this spring!:'( I'm sure you're anxious for warm weather, but maybe the melt will be slow enough that you don't flood this spring?:S

      SID on February 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    • I agree, Mary. Hope there is no flooding this year and that things warm up slowly. Last I heard the Allegheny River was frozen solid and may cause flooding when it melts.

      NancyBee on February 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm
  9. Welcome Virginia. I am sure the 2014 blog cabin will be as beautiful as all the others. I would love to retire to a location with milder winters but have a question, will the cabin have a fence separating the lake from the yard as the nextdoor neighbor or will the winner have to hire someone to put it in? I have small grandchildren and they have pets.

    RitaANewYorker on February 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm
    • I think most people will prefer an unobstructed view of the lake.

      Ralebird on February 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm
    • Oh, do not worry about the pets and grand kids. I am sure your are a great grandmother. And that it why Lake Hamilton has a few resident alligators, to watch the kids for you! They love pets too. Back in the day we used to swim in the lake. Disney and a few unfortunate persons have all but shut down most of the inner lakes in central Florida for swimming but amazingly, they (Disney) still allow water-skiing and some water activities. Not as bad as people think. Marketing also has a factor in this avoidance of lake swimming, paying for the water parks!

      kmh on February 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm
  10. Assuming I am the winner :D

    RitaANewYorker on February 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm
    • Well, I think we all assume that each of us will be the winner. Why not you? LOL! As a former New Yorker, I can certainly understand why you are keeping warm thoughts of winning this Florida home. My mom (who lives just south of Albany) had to dig out from 2 feet of snow this morning to make her drive to work. I hope you are taking shelter from the storm.

      TwoCorgis on February 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    • positive thinking is always good :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:52 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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