Spotlight Awards 2013: Reader’s Picks

Hello everyone!  I still cannot believe that 2013 is almost over.  I couldn’t let 2013 slip away without awarding a round of Spotlight Awards.  Because I’ve been a fair-weather blogger this year, I haven’t spent much time on WordPress. When I did hop on, I mostly visited blog I already followed. Therefore, I turned over the nomination process to my audience.

I want to thank all of you who took time to send me a cool blog to check out. The blogs featured in this round of Spotlight Awards have very unique themes. I’m not sure if I would have come across these blogs on my own.

For those of you new to the party, the Spotlight Award is merely a way to get cool blogs in front of other readers.

I’ve created a page on my blog that contains the award logo and purpose of the award.

Below are the guidelines about the award.

1.  If I pass on the Spotlight Award to you, congratulations!  It means I thought your blog was awesome enough to mention on my blog complete with a short description to my readers about why your blog is awesome.

2. Unlike other blog awards floating around the internet, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO ACCEPT THE AWARD.

3. If you want to paste the logo on your blog and let your readers know you’ve been spotlighted, that’s cool. If you think my award is bunk and you don’t want to mention it to anyone, well that is your choice.  But just know that you have been recognized and you don’t need to do anything else besides bask in the glory of your victory.

Before I head into a new list of awards, don’t forget to visit the blogs of past winners

Here we go…

1. Clowie’s Corner

Nominated by: Ideflex at Across the Bored

Tagline: A Pyrenean Mountain Dog’s Perspective

Blog Summary: The tagline is perhaps the best way to describe the blog. Clowie’s Corner is a blog written from the perspective of Clowie, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. Regular features on the blog include interviews with other pets as well as Clowie’s adventures.  If you’ve ever wondered what the day in the life of a mountain dog is like, Clowie’s Corner can fill you in.  There are also tips on training dogs like Clowie. Be sure to check out the FBQ section – that is the Frequently Barked Questions section – for more information about taming dogs like Clowie and other types of pups!


I was five months old and we still lived in England, when I enjoyed my first Halloween. My bipeds started talking about it a couple of weeks beforehand. They said that it had become quite popular with the children in our village and we should be prepared, so that we could make it a positive part of my socialisation.

My bipeds talked to a few of the village children about it, when we were out on our walks. I heard them say that I was in charge of the treats this year, so I was really looking forward to it! They also said that there mustn’t be any tricks at all. That puzzled me because I often did tricks for treats, but I wasn’t worried as they’d said the treats would be special this year.

 The day arrived and my bipeds put some of my favourite treats together in a bowl. They also put sweets and small cakes in another bowl. They had my attention! In the early evening the doorbell rang and I went to the door. I enjoyed answering the door with my bipeds. One of my bipeds clipped my lead to my collar – I was already sitting nicely. The other biped opened the door a little and spoke quietly to whoever was there.

Then they opened the door wider, so that I could see. I was a little surprised, I don’t mind admitting, it isn’t every day that Count Dracula and Frankenstein pay a call accompanied by a witch with a very large black cat walking on two legs!

Count Dracula said, “Hello Clowie!” and held out a piece of my favourite liver cake!

He hadn’t really fooled me for a moment – I knew he was one of the children from across the road. Frankenstein then spoke to me and offered me a treat, followed by the witch and then the cat. They all made a big fuss of me and I wagged my tail. My bipeds thanked them for visiting us early and gave them some sweets and cakes. They left to go and make more visits and we closed the door.

One More Thing: A fellow blogger created a video and instrumental theme for Clowie’s Corner.  Be sure to click on the Music link at the top of Clowie’s blog.

2. The Very Best Top 10

Nominated by: Tom at Techno Team Blog

Tagline: The Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

Blog Summary: Blogger Russell creates a daily Top 10 list of varied topics based on his opinion.  Recent Top 10 lists include:

-The World’s Top 10 Most Amazing Nerd Inspired Candles

– The World’s Top 10 Images of Dogs Saying Thank You

– The World’s Top 10 Best Foods Made with Mulled Wine

– The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Cats in Elf Costumes

Excerpt: The best way to experience this blog is to just pick a Top 10 list and scroll on down.  You can view all of his Top 10 lists from this past year on the index page.

One More Thing: Just click on over. I guarantee you’ll find yourself smiling within 30 seconds of perusing the blog.

3. art. college. life.

Nominated by: Elaine (self-nomination)

Tagline: None. Title of blog says it all.

Blog Summary: The blog is intended as a resource for both the college bound as well as parents of college bound men and women thinking of a career in the arts.  Elaine is a textile designer with college kids of her own so she definitely has expertise in navigating through art and design programs.

Although the focus is on art programs, many of the topics and advice found on the blog are helpful to anyone muddling through college applications and assimilating to college life.


Let’s be honest; when it comes to the list of things that will influence your college selection the professors on campus probably won’t be near the top. You’ll consider which programs are taught, cost, location, the prestige of the college, and the comfortable feeling you get on campus. And you should. Maybe, somewhere near the bottom of the list might be – “how good is the faculty?”

I’m here to suggest you move them higher up your list. Why? Your college professors have a lot to do with your future. They’ll probably become the most influential people in your artistic college life. 

…online searches should begin with each college’s website. Whether illustration or fashion design is your passion, research the faculty members. Google them. Look at their bios. Do any have experience in an area of interest to you? Check out their work. Other resources to consider include Rate My Professors and College Prowler. The former does just what its name implies, with the ratings and comments coming from current and former students. College Prowler offers even more detailed information.

My favorite suggestion for finding out about a specific college applies here as well; visit campus. In addition to all the other benefits you’ll gain, you can make an appointment to meet with a professor or sit in on a class to see how they really operate.

Sad but true, when it comes to professors, there will always be the good, the bad, and those who should have retired already. But, by spending time researching the faculty members at your choice colleges, you’ll gain a better overall understanding of each institution, and you’ll have a better chance of finding your best college fit.

One More Thing: Elaine features information about several colleges on her website.  Thinking of touring a college? Check out the blog to see if Elaine has featured it. You might pick up a few tips about the place before you go in person.

4. Digging History

Nominated by: Me! This award is long overdue. Had I kept up with monthly Spotlights in 2013, Digging History would have already been featured.

Tagline: Metal Detecting, History, Wildlife, Fylde Coast, River Ribble, Conservation and more….

Blog Summary: Blogger James loves to enjoy nature by literally “digging history”. James shares the sights of his trips around the Flyde Coast in Northwest England in which he uses a metal detector to find artifacts that have been left behind for years. Partly bound by the Irish Sea, the Flyde Coast contains many pieces of European history.  Items found by James have included 19th century coins and tokens as well as old musket balls and bullets.

James also includes blog posts on the history of the area. If you are a fan of history, you will definitely enjoy this blog.


I decided to pay another visit to a spot on the river near my home, it’s about 30 miles downstream from Sawley. I began at a pebble beach location I’ve detected before without much success, I think I only found one modern 2 pence coin and some trash the last time, joyous! Lets hope I’ve more success today!

I’d hoped to find a few musket balls as it was here in 1648, that Cromwell met the Royalist’s in battle – no such luck today though! As one digs down under the top layer of loose pebbles one finds an increasingly compact layer of sediment and stones, the older finds work their way down through the loose stuff and into this layer. In times of heavy flood there is the possibility that some of these finds may be moved, brought nearer to the surface or actually deposited on top!

Where the pebble beach joins the steep(ish) river bank is a favourite spot and so I started there, working a little way up the bank and back down onto the pebbles, last time I concentrated my detecting nearer the water. First find of the day was a sim card from the O2 mobile phone network – nothing to call home about eh! As one would expect, the find was very near the surface!

As always, there was a lot of signals from trash but with more iron targets in the mix than usual! Digging an iron signal in the past, I found a wheel from an old wheel-barrow, it was made of wood with a flat-iron collar fitted around the outside edge, protecting the wood from wear and tear. Examples of this can also be seen on old wagon or carriage wheels, an interesting find and one I wouldn’t have normally made!

One More Thing:  James provides very useful guidelines about how one can enjoy metal detecting while minimizing any disturbance to nature.  If you are curious about metal detecting,do check out his Code of Ethics page.

7 thoughts on “Spotlight Awards 2013: Reader’s Picks

  1. Thank you so, so much for nominating me for this award, most people dismiss them as nothing but not me, I really appreciate them and understand that anyone can say your blog is cool, but when someone who already has a cool blog says it, that makes it extra special. So thanks and I will follow the rules and add it to my site as soon as I can.

    • Hi Russell!

      Glad you are enjoying the Spotlight Award. Just to re-iterate, there are no rules! I created this award myself to highlight and discover other unique WordPress blogs. I wanted to pass along something that would not impose on the recipient. You can choose to do nothing or you can share the news on your blog. That is it!

      I look forward to reading more of your Top 10 lists in 2014. 🙂

  2. Hi there Nicole, thank you very much for this special award. I an honoured to accept and I will treasure this always.
    Thank you for saying such nice things about me, your an angel and you’ve made me very happy.
    Best wishes and Happy New Year! James 🙂

  3. Pingback: Last Minute Thoughts Before the New Year | NMNPHX

  4. Thank you very much for featuring me! I have been away on holiday, I will add the award to my awards page soon.
    I love the idea of this award and I can see I will enjoy exploring the other blogs.
    Thank you again.


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