Building a blog with top posts

I’m building a blog and I want to be able to mark 3 of the articles as top posts so that I can put them prominently above/between the other posts. Now my problem is twofold:

  1. is there an easy way to put 3 fields in the blog blueprint that list all child articles as a selection field?
  2. how do I remove those 3 articles from the article loop in an elegant way?

I’m thankful for any tips, directions and solutions

Regarding 1) you could either use a multi select field (plugin) or a structure field.

As regards question 2), you can exclude pages using the not() method.