I’m a big birthday person. I tend not to just celebrate the day (it’s not even actually until tomorrow, July 28) but rather an entire birthday week. Last year, it was actually more like 10 days.

On Saturday, my mom made me a delicious cookout meal: burgers, bratwurst, this macaroni and cheese recipe and fruit.

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Meat with a side of meat? Why not — it’s my birthday!

The real star of the birthday cookout (besides me) was the hamburger cake my mom made.

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The “burger” is actually brownies, and the “bun” is yellow cake. The “lettuce” is kiwis and “tomatoes” are strawberries. The “cheese” and “ketchup” are icing. Besides being cute, it’s just so fun!

On Sunday, I had lunch with Liza.

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Liza and I posed for a photo with Brinkley, my mother’s dog, with whom I enjoyed a walk later that evening.  That’s my sister’s Wii guitar in the background.


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We may look like two classy broads, but we ate at the home of the world’s largest hamburger (or at least, it was at one time.) Last time I checked, it was 15 pounds; now, as you can see, it’s up to 25 pounds — “the beefanator”! A little too much burger, even for me.

When I saw that they had added elk burger to the menu, I had to try it, especially after my buffalo burger experience earlier this year.

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It was a really lean meat, very similar to the buffalo burger. Liza called it my “beast burger.” Those were the first fries (other than baked sweet potato fries) I’ve had in a long time. They were good, but nothing’s ever as good as you think it’ll be, right?

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The indulgence continued with a trip to Dairy Queen, where Liza bought me a pink ice cream cake cupcake.

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It was so delicious, but I was uncomfortably full for hours afterward, until I took Brinkley on a long walk. I ran Sunday morning and this morning, and I’m planning to run Tuesday morning (and take body sculpting!) before my week gets too crazy and I have a few off days. (I took Monday and Tuesday as vacation days from work — I told you I’m a big birthday person!)

Before I headed for home, I had one last plate of indulgence this afternoon.

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Leftover hamburger birthday cake, ice cream and Doritos. Doritos, you see, used to be my all-time favorite snack food. The ones on the plate are sweet spicy chili-flavored (they have come up with about 10975454 varieties since I stopped eating them) and they were OK, but they really didn’t even taste that good anymore.