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. Virginia is the best! Can't wait for you all to get to know her.

    And YAY Mari and family! So exciting :)


    Laurie_March on February 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm
    • Thanks Laurie! Maybe some Laurie March exclusive posts are in order?!? We'd love to hear what you're up to. Oh and happy birthday, again!!

      Virginia Moon on February 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm
    • Virginia, Welcome to the blog. I know you will have a lot of fun here.:D

      Boo on February 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm
    • Hi Laurie! Glad that you are still checking in with us. Have you been up to Baltimore lately, HON? Bet you miss those steamed crabs and crab cakes. I hope that my memory serves me right and that you are, indeed, from that neck of the woods. Please keep blogging with us.

      Boo on February 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm
    • Yeah, I'm with Virginia; Happy Birthday, Laurie.

      Back to Virginia again: I think she's off to a fine start already. Took the job handover with feet on the ground and eyes focused on the road ahead. Ah, but the real challenge? Those devious location clues. We'll have to see if the tradition continues, and if so, just what kind of a rousing wild goose chase Virginia can manage to put us through.

      Both sides will be vying for the prize. Will it be truth or will it be consequences? Who will ultimately claim the thrill of victory and who will suffer the agony of da feet? (After all, Mary's past location clues had us running from one corner of the States to the other and back again — leading us to constantly ask ourselves, "round and around, will we ever get to where we're going?")

      Only after we were completely exhausted and totally confused would Mary, with an understated calmness of pseudo-surrender, gently post the next dream location.

      DBCoop on February 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm
  2. Welcome to the Blog Cabin Blog Virginia!!!!! Also, thanks for the update. And, glad to hear that the winners of last years Blog Cabin have made it safely to their new home. Congratulations!!!

    Summer on February 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm
  3. Glad the to see the BC was still covered with it's tarps this morning as we had heavy winds and rain last night. Many people in Polk County had wind damages from last nights storms. Can't wait to see end results.

    cyndibear on February 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm
  4. welcome again Virginia, nice to see you here and thank you for updating us on Mari and Ken….. i love the new BC…

    twoTERRIERs on February 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm
    • :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    • nice to see your smiley face; hope you are loving it…

      twoTERRIERs on February 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm
    • Hi Two,
      It is lovely in the Crystal Coast…enjoying and feeling blessed.
      Mari <3

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 5:40 pm
    • hugs

      twoTERRIERs on February 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm
    • Hi Mari, I am glad to see you and Ken made it to your wonderful home. Take time to enjoy your home and make many wonderful memories. Love and blessings to you both!!!<3

      Sheri McNamara on March 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm
    • Thank you Sheri. Love and blessings to you. <3

      Macusina on March 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  5. Welcome Virginia to blog cabin central and it will be great blogging(and occasional whining) with you. I know you will our compassion towards blog cabins, Dylan and everyone in that amazing Scripps Network. Welcome with open arms.<3:D

    Sheri McNamara on February 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm
  6. So happy that Mari and her family are making the wonderful blog cabin their home. Virginia has so much to offer. Congratulations and best wishes Mari, Ken, Alex, and your family. Enjoy!<3

    bythebaydreamer on February 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm
    • Thank you so much Dreamer! <3

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm
  7. I thought I would come over the this Blog to warm up a bit from all the snow and ice and winter weather and low and behold……… Awsome!!!! They are really going to live in the Blog Cabin!!!!!! That is so kool!!! Enjoy your retirement! This does not happen too often that the winners actually take possession, relocate all the way across the nation and live in the house. Wishing you all the best for a wonderful (and warm) retirement!!!

    Thrilled for ya! Any chance of a follow up visit in a year to see how you've adapted. Would make for a great show!!!!!

    Kayla very sorry to see you move on-I hope to bigger and better? It has truly been a pleasure blogging with you. Virgina it will be a wild ride and you might have to play referee between some of us trouble makers here on the blog (who me???) I for one am looking forward to some more great writing/editing and of course those ever maddening location CLUES . Virginia Welcome aboard- Ready to put on my Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap,polish up my magnifying glass, and light up my pipe. Get over to the UO blog and throw out some of those location clues to keep us occupied during these cold winter doldrums.

    Ashtabulannie on February 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm
    • Ashtabulannie – It was so fun hanging out with you all over the past few months. You can still find me over at :)

      Kayla@HGTV on February 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm
    • Wondering if you also will be with John Gidding at the Dulles Expo Center this month? In Virginia. Love to get a photo with you and John and old Hokiemom. OOOPPSS better not. I've been known to break cameras. Medusa factor? Regards! Best of luck on future endeavors. Will check out your blog. Thanks.

      Ashtabulannie on February 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm
    • Love your blog will visit often for ideas for cheer! Thanks for being with us Kayla and for getting some of us back on the blog.

      minitoni on February 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm
    • Hokiemom–you have a pipe ? LOLOL…. I stay away from the blog for a while and return to find you have taken up pipe smoking, Ashtabulsherlock….you have gotten quite a bit of snow where you are, too. A most insane winter. With a trend to have some spots in Alaska warmer than some spots in the lower 48, there may be a Blog Cabin or Dream Home up in Palinland one of these years…an Urban Oasis up there ? Not so much, since the cities are relatively small. I would love to see a BC up in Washington State or Oregon. ;)

      LLColeman on February 16, 2014 at 4:47 am
    • Hey LL long time no see!!! Good to hear from you!! Well technically…. I "play" them rather than "smoke" them. Pipes that is. Yep getting tired of shoveling. Suspect that a HGTV build in Alaska might not be attractive to builders. Too much pressure to work fast. But Hawaii would be delightful!!! Agree love Oregon!!! Portland-downtown=heavenly. What does Debra G have to say about that??? Understand she is back on the blog! Welcome back!

      Ashtabulannie on February 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    • Thank you very much Ash! The BC is the perfect place for retirement. :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    • I am hoping that you and your family experience nothing but peace, tranquility, and happiness for the duration. Thank you for your very kind response. No need to respond. Really!!! Just want you to know that I appreciated your very kind response. Take back your privacy. You have gone beyond what most others would have responded to. Just enjoy the heck out of your new home and have fun!!Sent from my iPhone

      Ashtabulannie on February 19, 2014 at 11:17 pm
  8. Kayla, thank you so much for all you did for us, and best of luck to you with all your future plans. We will miss you. Welcome Virginia, we're looking forward to everything at the BC this year, and will try not to make you too crazy with our enthusiasm for all things BC! Mari, I'm so happy to hear you've made it safely through your winter travels to the east coast. May you, Ken and your entire family make many wonderful, healthy, happy memories living in your beautiful new waterside home.<3

    SID on February 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm
    • It was wonderful "meeting" you, SID. You can still find me over at :)

      Kayla@HGTV on February 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm
    • Hey Sid, Thank you for the good wishes!!! :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm
  9. The winners of 2013 BC, what took so long to get the keys? But I think we wish you a safe trip and a happy future. I.'m sure a lot of us still wish they have won, but now they have this new one to start wishing for. The 2014 cabin is now being demo from the inside and in a few months will start to show what the final will be like.

    Denise_D._ on February 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm
    • Mari and Ken had much to do after winning the cabin first the drawing was just prior to the holidays that they had already planned for, then the decision to uproot and move from coast to coast etc they really had much to do.

      540sam on February 14, 2014 at 5:40 am
    • I didn't read that they up rooted. There is nothing in the posted blog that they were uproot. But this is also liable a vacation home.

      Denise_D._ on February 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm
    • Labeled a vacation home.

      Denise_D._ on February 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm
    • Right, nothing in the current blog says that, but they have moved there.

      540sam on February 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm
    • It kinda says they drove from their 'old' home in Culver City, So Cal, to their 'new home' in Atlantic. in the intro above. ;) That they plan to build a garage & loft for grandkids and personalize the house indicates they are moving to the house. Something Mari blogged about many times after her win.

      Sally on February 14, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    • Denise,
      The BC could have been labeled 'vacation' home but are very excited making it our retirement residence. :)
      Mari and Ken

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm
  10. And, especially thank you Kayla……

    twoTERRIERs on February 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

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