Big Tractors with Casey and Friends (Books and Toy Giveaway)

May 22nd, 2015

My husband is a country boy at heart, trapped in a city boy’s life. He spent his summers as a boy traveling from California to Iowa to spend time with his grandparents. During this time, he started collecting toy tractors and a lifelong hobby was born. We’ve always watched from the edges of farm life; taking Spencer to the World Ag Expo in Tularie, California, visiting a family member’s working farm in Northern California, and encouraging a love of farm toys of all sort.

I was absolutely delighted when I was offered the new series, Casey & Friends to review. We received Big Tractors (with Casey & Friends) book and a Case Magnum 370 CVT model by ERTL. When we opened the box, Spencer was super excited. Actually that’s a huge understatement. He was only minimally understanding about my need to take photos before ripping the package open.


Spencer reads at a 1st/2nd grade level and he could read it pretty well; stumbling over a few words like precision. He decided to read it himself while I was opening the Case tractor toy and made it most of the way through on his own. A preschooler and up would definitely be interested in having the book read to them.


From the publisher:

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends shows how the biggest, most powerful tractors handle the demanding jobs of pulling and powering on the farm. Find out how Big Red and Sammy – the biggest tractors on the farm – use their powerful muscles to work in the field with the rest of the team. Learn about the science of farming and discover how advanced technology makes Big Red and Sammy special.

Other titles in the series include: A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends (available now), Combines with Casey & Friends (coming in June 2015) and Planters and Cultivators with Casey & Friends (coming in Sept 2015).  We will be adding more titles to our collection for sure.


I asked Spencer what he liked best about the book set and he answered the toy tractor. I should have been more specific. I asked him again but this time was smart enough to ask what he liked best about the book itself (literal child is literal) and he said he liked the facts and that it wasn’t just a story and that it used real photos of tractors instead of only drawings and he thought it was super cool that the tractor was red. When he finished reading it the first time he said “I liked this book. I’ll put it on the shelf with the bug book.” That is just about the highest praise Spencer can give. I really like that they highlighted the words in the glossary yellow where they appeared in the text. Well, I also like that there was a glossary.


The toy tractor is super cool too. We had to take it out of the packaging when my husband wasn’t looking because he’s a new-in-the-box sort of guy. Both kids enjoy playing with it. The labeling clearly states 3+, but it is hard to keep Truman away from toys with wheels. It’s sturdy and fun to roll around. There was even some pretend lego farming the other day.


Would you like to own your very Casey & Friends book + toy set? Just leave a comment on this post. If you need inspiration for your comment, tell me your very favorite farm animal.



Giveaway open to US mailing addresses only, one comment per person. Winner will be selected randomly by me on 5/31. Prize will be shipped by providing company.

Disclosure: I was provided the book and toy to review, no other compensation was received.


Tiny Lumberjack Truman

May 19th, 2015


Turkey Breakfast Sausage (Paleo and Whole30 compliant)

May 15th, 2015

I am doing some diet experimentation.  And trying to cut out sugar and up my protien. My biggest hurdle is breakfast. Today for a treat I made myself some breakfast sausage. I have found that whole3o and paleo recipes are great resources even if you don’t follow the plan. My original inspiration is from Primal Palate but I couldn’t find ground pork and I failed to follow the recipe, so I am presenting mine here.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage #whole30 #paleo

It’s pretty good (for turkey sausage). The smoked paprika helps is feel a little more savory and gives it a little extra heft, makes it a little porkier.


Turkey Breakfast Sausage
Makes 10 patties so serves 3-5 ish

1 pound ground turkey (not turkey breast only or extra lean)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning (or any combination of dried oregano, basil and parsley)
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (or salt if you don’t have smoked)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil for pan frying)

  1. Combine ground turkey with herbs and spices, I use the spoon then hand method like with meatloaf)
  2. Separate in to 10 equal amounts (8 for larger patties) and form in to patties.
  3. I’m not the best at patty making, I expect it comes with practice. I did make a ball, flatten a little then squish between clean hands. Your mileage may vary.
  4. Heat cooking oil in large saute pan over med-high to medium heat.
  5. Cook the patties in two batches about 6 -7 minutes depending on thickness, flipping once. I covered the pan for the second half of cooking.
  6. Check for doneness, turkey should be cooked through to at least 165 degrees F.
  7. Remove from pan and enjoy. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Whole30 Turkey Sausage


May 12th, 2015

Last week we had our usual freak May snow storm, tiny bit of snow here, lots up in the mountains. Normally, it happens once a year, but I just checked the weather and it might happen again the end of this week. I am assuming it is all because I just put the coats away…



We had some actual snow mixed with rain. Truman loved being outside in it, even if he looks a little skeptical here.




After the rain, exploring.

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