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. I have another questions. How does the cabin cam work? I pull it up and I only see one picture. How do you move it around to see what all has been going on? Also, I noticed a house when I did the panoramic view. Does anyone know how close it is to the blog cabin? Having neighbors Is going to be nice. Anyway, back to my question. If anyone can help me and explain to me how it works, I would really appreciate it. Thanks everyone. Have a great fun and warm weekend.

    CheleRS3 on February 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm
    • There are arrows to move right, left, up or down on the lower left of the screen. The center takes you back to the original picture. The center bottom controls show you the weather on the left button and zoom in or out on the right button. Hover your mouse over them and they tell you what they do.

      NancyBee on February 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    • A couple of other things. After you have the frame you want. (Say watching workers or some wildlife) Just tap your mouse in the center of the frame. This will refresh the frame and not move it. You can adjust the frame by tapping a little to the left or right of center, or a little above or below center to move up or down just a tad. When you first log onto the camera and move it left or right you can zoom in on an object by holding down you mouse and drag it down to the right to make a small box. This little box will become your new frame when the camera refreshes. If you go past the capabilities of the camers it will tell you. The only area that you can not zoom in is directly at the house across the way. The fence line to the left towards the lake is the left limit and 180 degrees to the right limit is the same fence toward the road where you can see the little red pump house though the pines. If the refresh rates seem longer sometimes, someone else is also viewing the camera. Enjoy the camera it is a great tool for us bloggers.

      Jay Michajluk on February 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm
    • Thank you. I am going to keep trying until I get the hang of it. I appreciate all your help.

      CheleRS3 on February 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm
  2. Happy Valentine's Day to all on the blog. <3

    NancyBee on February 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm
    • Hi NancyBee– and belated Happy Valentine's Day to you also….good to see your name here <3 <3 I do not get on the blog too often myself, but I try to check in every few weeks to see how things are going.

      LLColeman on February 16, 2014 at 4:26 am
  3. Hmmm! If the blocks truly outline the lakeside of the house and this end nearest the cam. I'll guess that the entire kitchen end foundation has yet to be built. There's turn back towards the road but no return bump to the lake as shown in the plans.

    This will mean the house will gain some 14ft towards the far neighbor and 25 ft. depth (350 sq ft) of first floor area. Effectively it will add nearly 1/3 more area to the ground floor than the original house. :D xD^_^

    Couple that with my guess they increased the top floor by about 200 sq. ft. and we're looking at a Blog Cabin of around 2500 – 2600 sq. ft. when finished. Just guessing but I believe I'm close. ;)

    Clive on February 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm
    • Sorry meant to say adding nearly 1/4 more area. :$

      Clive on February 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm
    • good news clive..

      twoTERRIERs on February 14, 2014 at 5:43 pm
    • I think it's actually bigger. Using the "bathtub ruler" for five feet, I see the extension as about 20' x 28'. I hope it is.

      Ralebird on February 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm
    • WooHoo! That will be a wonderful amount of square footage added to the footprint of this house. Thanks, Clive!

      SID on February 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm
  4. I love how the pink of the sky is reflected on the lake. What a beautiful early evening view from our Blog Cabin 2014!

    TwoCorgis on February 14, 2014 at 7:01 pm
  5. Hi Mari and Ken,
    Here' s barrier island birding information you may enjoy, especially with spring migration around the corner.

    ChicagoBirder on February 14, 2014 at 8:25 pm
    • ChicagoBirder, that's a pretty good list, but I would have to add Currituck Heritage Park. This is an area of unsurpassed scenic beauty, with multiple piers and gazebos with bench seating for bird watching out on the Currituck Sound. The birds put on quite a show fishing in the sound, and undoubtedly this is where I get the majority of my best photographs of waterfowl, including osprey nesting out on the sound, every time we visit.
      Not officially at the Outer Banks, but about a 2 1/2 hour boat ride (west) across the Pamilco Sound from Mari & Ken's is Lake Mattamuskeet. A birders paradise, beautifully remote and tranquil, it's thrilling seeing the large numbers of Tundra Swans, Canada & Snow Geese, Pintails, Black and Mallard Ducks that make Lake Mattamuskeet their winter home. A lot of folks, even ones that live in NC don't know about Lake Mattamuskeet, so for this birding suggestion I'm attaching a youtube video

      Mel on February 16, 2014 at 8:57 am
    • Thanks again for all the info Mel! :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm
    • Hi Mel, what ae your favorite birding months.

      ChicagoBirder on February 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm
    • Thank you, we've seen quite a few birds in the area and can't wait to visit the museum at Harker's island to hear more about the wild life there. :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm
    • Off subject, but I have been learning a lot about wild life on this site which has peaked my interest. Yesterday in the shower, I pulled on a spring rod curtain and it fell down. To my delight, I saw the most beautiful bird in the palm tree just outside the window. I was hoping one of my bird watching blogger buddies would help me identify. I could only find a Goldfinch that resembled it, but I was confused by a few things. A Goldfinch seems to be a true yellow and this little one was what I would describe as golden rod or mustard in color. When its wings were together on its back, there was a very defined, progressive small to larger white and black chevron design. In all the images I have found, the design on the wings is the right coloring but seems more random. I don't remember its face being so distinctly black like the images, but I'm not as confident about this as I am about the other features. I have only seen one other yellow bird in the Ft. Lauderdale area in the past, although it seems the Goldfinch does travel through in the winter months. Hopefully you or one of the other "birdies" here will shed some light on this. Thanks

      LAUDGIRL on February 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm
  6. Welcome Virginia to the blog cabin blog. Can't wait to hear what is in store for us in the coming months. ??

    Kat1551 on February 15, 2014 at 10:08 am
  7. More of the cabin being built, rain may send them home if it get heavier. Looks like the fire place or steps footing being worked on. They put more support walls up earlier.

    Denise_D._ on February 15, 2014 at 10:23 am
  8. Welcome Virginia!:>)
    Yes, good bye Kayla good luck and thank you:>)
    Virginia you will find us to be an eclectic crowd but we are harmless:>)LOL! I look forward to talking and discussing this new/old build.
    I am happy to hear that the new family in the BC 2013 are keeping it. That gives me hope-always seems like the talk goes to having to give it up because of taxes, whatever?:<(
    Everyone on the BC builds seems so nice and I look forward to meeting everyone when I win!LOL! I do hope I win:>) Good luck;)<3o.0

    ruffybc on February 15, 2014 at 10:27 am
    • Hi ruffy…popping in again….how have you been surviving the big storms and snow heaps ? What do you think of the copper counter top in the kitchen vote ? I think it would be cool, but I would want to keep it clean with a lemon wedge to sanitize it and do the old school copper maintenance of salt & lemon juice.

      LLColeman on February 16, 2014 at 4:37 am
    • LL!:>)
      I have been thinking of you all week! HOW are you doing? Haven't there been terrible rains by you? I hope you and your family are doing well? I know you have had a rough winter, year.
      Yes, I am trying to keep ahead of the snow:<( I am sick of winter. I have to say this is the first year I feel tired of winter:<( Not so much the snow but the extreme cold and the winds have been something else this year. We are better off than New England though-they got hit again and we certainly are not as bad as the south. I really feel bad for those people as they do not have the equipment to handle what they are being dished this year. I feel so bad when I see those pile ups on the highways from ice. But, I also wish people would slow down! Better to get there a little late and in one piece and not hurt than speeding as if you can drive the same speeds as when the roads are not covered in ice-slow down! There are people here too that do the same thing, usually when we get that first snow-lots of accidents:<( Then people start realizing-hey I can't drive the same way in the snow and ice??-DUH! When you have extreme weather you need to prepare and change your ways appropriately. My sermon is over-LOL!
      Hope you are doing well and you are safe. Glad to see you are back:>) Have you checked out the cam?
      Oh, almost forgot with my sermon-the counter top! I really like the copper (for looks) not so sure about how practical it is and maintenance? I really like to have things clean esp. around food:>) I guess if I had my choice I would have rather they used that top up in the bar area? Rather than the main food prep area. But, I am voting for it, over the butcher block. I really wish we had another choice-oh well:>)
      Notice I can write more this year-either they did something or something is different with my computer-I could not do this before??:<( Watch out!:>);)<3o.0

      ruffybc on February 16, 2014 at 8:54 am
    • Yay for you not being edited for paragraph "length"…. I live near San Francisco but not in a flood prone area. We have had too mild a winter and only a couple of cold snaps that did not last long…feel a bit guilty when I see what everyone else has been going through. I have cousins near Indiana and they have gotten snowed in and hate to venture on the roads for the same reasons you stated. My cousin in Morristown NJ had her front door iced shut and had to wait til a snow plow driver chopped off the ice so she could open her door.
      I notice that copper can be used in sinks, bathtubs and bar tops but not often seen as a kitchen counter top. The photo looks like a hammered surface, so the dimpled surface might need to be cleaned, but not more than a grouted tile counter, I am guessing. Maybe the number of choices depends on the number of sponsors for each project, but yes I wish there had been a third option.

      LLColeman on February 17, 2014 at 12:59 am
    • I listen to weather a lot and I did know you were around SF. It sounds like on the news that all of Cal. is either on fire, flooding or falling off into the ocean:<(! Anyway, it sounded like you would have been effected by something? So glad you are safe.
      Yes, when I first heard about copper in the kitchen it was for a sink and that is when I also heard about it's anti-bacterial qualities:>) I would have liked if they had a sink or a tub in copper or the counter maybe in the bar area :>) I really have never understood tile counters:<( either in a bathroom or a kitchen- they really seem like dirt catchers-not good. So? I guess it is, what it is? Just have to be careful with it. I am ready to vote for something else:>) Stay safe-it is below zero here this morning-UGH!:<(

      ruffybc on February 17, 2014 at 8:50 am
    • Ruffy,
      One needs to plan for paying the income taxes (the wins are treated as income) so start planning now.

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 5:11 pm
    • For sure!:>) I am planning!

      ruffybc on February 19, 2014 at 8:20 am
  9. Love the graphic used to show the route the blessed family took when settling down in their new NC HOME! Congrats! Awesome that you could stop and see Scripps where these homes come from.

    Love the idea of the garage with the additional loft for family to stay in….As many have said, "We can DIY later on to truly make it ours."

    Wishing you safe travel. Hope you missed all the icy patches getting there.

    Trish on February 15, 2014 at 11:43 am
    • The graphic design reminds me of a kids book I used with students when they went on trips. Parents would tell me that they'd be gone and would be collecting homework. I would send a copy of the Amelia Hits the Road book with them. The students loved being able to create their own on their trips. The parents said they learned so much! I had to agree with them.

      Mari, it reminds me of this. :) Only what's been left out are the special items found on your journey to your new home.

      Trish on February 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    • Thanks Trish. We were very fortunate to find very kind souls during our trip who helped us through the 'rough' patches and made it home just fine. :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  10. Just wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners of the 2013 Blog Cabin. You have a beautiful home and I am very happy for you and your entire family. God Bless you and enjoy!!! You all deserve it.

    CheleRS3 on February 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm
    • Thank you Chele, that's very sweet of you. Love and blessing to you and your family! :)

      Macusina on February 18, 2014 at 5:13 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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