Welcome to Aloha Geoffrey and Happy Kamehameha Day!

Happy Kamehameha Day!  Today is in honor of King Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great. He united the Hawaiian Islands into a royal kingdom in 1810.  Read more about King Kamehameha Day.  It’s no coincidence the official launch date for Aloha Geoffrey is a Hawaiian holiday.

E komo mai (that means “Welcome, come in” in Hawaiian”) and thank-you for visiting Aloha Geoffrey – my new personal site.  Aloha Geoffrey officially launches today.  There may still be some changes as I figure out what works best. 

My name is Geoffrey and I’m passionate about all things Hawaiʻi.  I have a website where I share web development-related topics, but this is my place to share everything else.  Some of the things you’ll see here include:

  • Hawaiʻi-related topics.
  • Recipes.
  • Productivity and organization tips.
  • Activities and projects.

For more on what you can expect, please take a look at the Start Here page.

Have any questions or comments about anything you see on Aloha Geoffrey or suggestions on what you would like to see?  Let me know!  Even if I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to find it for you. Now it’s on to the exciting stuff.

Aloha a hui hou (until we meet again)!

#100DaysOfCode: My Challenge to Become a Developer

I tried the #100DaysOfCode challenge before, but stopped at day 54.  I was getting the coding done, but wasn’t learning very much – which was the whole point of doing the challenge.  This time around I’m doing things a little different.  I’m focusing more on learning development (especially JavaScript) than what challenges I’m getting done.  I’d much rather spend a week on a single challenge if I understand it when I’m done.

My Why

The whole reason for doing the #100DaysOfCode challenge is to learn.  Although I got off to a slow start, my goal this year is to learn the basics of JavaScript.  I’ve already made a lot of progress, but I also have a long way to go. I love coding, but when it comes down to it, it’s still just a hobby for me. For this reason, it’s harder for me to fit it into my schedule than some other things.  Doing the challenge will help me set priorities and cut back on unnecessary things.

I taught myself HTML and CSS in the mid-late 1990’s when we got our first computer. There was still a printed directory of websites at that time (think phone book for the Internet).  I’ve made various websites off and on since then, including plenty of dabbling in code/customization. Now it’s time to really dig in.

My Rules

You can view the official rules on #100DaysOfCode.com.  I’ll be following the main rules for the challenge, but adding to them.  More specifically, for the next 100 days I will:

  • Code a minimum of one hour every day.
    • If I don’t reach a full hour of code, that day will not count.  An extra day will be added on to the end of the challenge.
  • Tweet my progress every day using the #100DaysOfCode hashtag.
  • Encourage and support at least two people each day in the #100DaysOfCode challenge on Twitter.
  • Push my work to GitHub, when applicable.
  • Log my progress on GitHub, to include projects completed.
    • This is one place I am making a change from last time.  My log will be for the previous day’s work.  For example, I will be logging my day 1 accomplishments on the morning of day 2.

      This is going to help me be more consistent in updating the log.  I only missed two days of coding during the entire month of May, but only logged about half that.  I’m a morning person and wake up several hours before work.  That’s when I do most of my coding. 

      The last time I tried this, I didn’t want to do my log that early in the morning in case I worked on it any more during the day.  My evenings are generally reserved for family time.  That means when the evenings came around and we were doing something, the log was not a priority. Finishing the log the following morning works better with my schedule.
    • I’ll also be doing the condensed version of the log instead of the normal one.  I want to keep track of what I’m doing, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time on that.  The more time I spend on the log, the less time I spend coding.

My Plan

I’m a big fans of lists.  I find it’s helpful to plan out what I intend to do for the challenge. This will help me stay focused on what I want to do and learn. Creating this list at the beginning will prevent me from wasting time thinking about what comes next.


  • Complete freeCodeCamp’s Responsive Web Design Certification and start working on JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification.
    • I had worked my way through quite a bit of the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures while these were still beta versions. The certifications are no longer beta and I’m going to go ahead and do them again in the official curriculum.
    • Each certificate calls for 300 hours of time, but there will be a lot of review for me. I don’t expect the first part to take anywhere near that.
    • My freeCodeCamp profile: geoffreyshilling
  • Learn JavaScript.
    • This is a more general foundation.  I’m pretty good at figuring things out using reference material.  I want to continue improving my knowledge so I need to look up fewer and fewer things.
  • Learn Gutenberg.
  • Gutenberg is replacing the WordPress editor. The larger goal is to expand that to entire websites. I’ve been using Gutenberg for months on my sites and I love it.  I want to learn more about developing for it.


There are a number of projects I want to work on during this challenge.  Although I likely won’t complete them all, this will give me plenty to work on over the next 100 days.


  • I plan to spend at least five hours a week working on freeCodeCamp’s  challenges.

WordPress Plugins

The plugins I want to work on include:

  • Mug Monday. 
    URL:  http://orangeriverdev.com/plugins/mug-monday/
    A Gutenberg-compatible custom post type so I can share a picture of a different coffee mug each week.  Note:  I have made good progress on this plugin already. 
  • PRT Tracker. 
    URL:  http://orangeriverdev.com/plugins/prt-tracker/
    A practical way for me to track my fitness workouts in order to improve my Physical Readiness Test (PRT) score in the Navy Reserve.  Workouts will include running, push-ups and curl-ups.
  • Coffee Tracker.  A fun way for me to track how much coffee I drink.  It will let me enter how much coffee, the brand, location, roast, and more.  Reports will be added so it will show my most popular coffee, total coffee for the year, average coffee per hour, and more.

My Notes

  • My #100DaysOfCode starts today, June 11, 2018 – also known as King Kamehameha Day.
  • I will miss some days.  I don’t want to, but it’ll happen.  As much as I love coding, it’s still a hobby.  My other priorities that come first include family, being a volunteer firefighter and our department’s treasurer, and the Navy Reserve.  Sometimes all of these converge at once and there is no time left.
  • The focus is on learning, not seeing how much I can get done.
    • The goal is to still make as much progress as I can, but I’m not going to move on until I understand what I’m doing.  If it takes me a week to understand something, that’s how long I’ll spend on it before I move on.
  • I intend to keep track of “lessons learned,” as far as what worked for me, what didn’t, any issues I ran into, or recommendations I have.

Join Me?

Are you already participating in the #100DaysOfCode challenge or want to get started?  I’d love for you to leave a comment or find me on Twitter and let me know what you’re working on!  Best of luck to all of us!

Other Resources:

Month in Review: May 2018

Learning Development


I continued working on the beta version of freeCodeCamp until they made some changes and it was no longer beta.  There was no option to update/add my email address to the account I was using with my old username, so I had to email them.  We’ll see what they say.

LinkedIn Learning

I worked on a couple HTML and JavaScript courses, but didn’t get them completed.

Projects I Worked On

Island of Aloha

URL:  http://orangeriverdev.com/

Purpose:  This is a new personal site for all things non-development, with a focus on Hawai’i and recipes.

Progress:  The site went live this month and I’ve moved about half the recipes over from the old site.

Mug Monday

URL:  http://orangeriverdev.com/plugins/mug-monday/
GitHub:  https://github.com/geoffreyshilling/mug-monday

Purpose:  A WordPress plugin that will allow me to easily share a new coffee mug every Monday.

Progress:  The initial “Mug Monday” custom post type has been created.  There are only a couple more adjustments to make and I’ll be able to start using the plugin.

Project Goals for The Month

  • Island of Aloha [Website].
    URL: http://orangeriverdev.com/
    • Finish transferring remaining posts from my Household Discoveries website to Island of Aloha.
    • The site officially launches on King Kamehameha Day, June 11.
  • Mug Monday [Plugin].
    URL: http://orangeriverdev.com/plugins/mug-monday/
    • The plugin is almost working.  It’s adding a “Mug Monday” category and “Coffee” tag to all posts, regardless of whether it is a Mug Monday post type.
    • I have a few other minor tweaks and this should be finished up.
  • PRT Tracker [Plugin].
    URL: http://orangeriverdev.com/plugins/prt-tracker/
    • The plugin will allow me to track my workouts that will help improve my Physical Readiness Test (PRT) score in the Navy Reserve.


  • Blogging. My initial goal is to start with one post every 2nd Tuesday of the month and see how that goes. Once I get a couple months out, I may bump that up to two posts per month.
  • WordPress.org Support Forums. I haven’t been able to spend much time providing support lately, but I hope to get back into that. I miss it. My goal is to spend at least 30 minutes each day in the forums.
  • freeCodeCamp. I had to email freeCodeCamp as I was unable to get my email address added/updated for the account I was using when I working on beta.freecodecamp.org. Hopefully it won’t take too long to get figured out (and I won’t have to start completely from scratch).  Once that gets sorted out, I’ll start working on freeCodeCamp again.
  • #100DaysOfCode. They say the best way to learn something is by doing. I had previously started the challenge – and did it most of May – but it wasn’t working out with my schedule. I’m going to make some adjustments so it works for me.
    I’m just about done with a separate post on this and I will be sharing it on Monday, June 4.

1-Ingredient Slow Cooker Caramel Recipe

1-Ingredient Slow Cooker Caramel Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Cook Time Maximum 8 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes


  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Place unopened can on dish in crockpot to prevent rust stains from getting on the bottom of your crockpot; I used a glass bread pan.
  2. Put enough water in the crockpot to cover the can.
  3. Turn the crockpot on low; cover. Let cook for 3-8 hours in the crockpot. I let ours go closer to the 8 hour mark.

Recipe Notes

As you can see in the last picture, the can definitely left a rust ring on the glass, and even that took some scrubbing to get off. Make sure you put the can on something so it won’t stain your crockpot. I tried two different brands of sweetened condensed milk, just to see if there was a difference. The consistency of Nestle Carnation was very smooth, just like what I was expecting. I also tried Eagle Brand and it was more the consistency of sour cream, but the taste itself was similar.

Zucchini Casserole Recipe

Zucchini Casserole

Course Main Course
Cuisine Slow Cooker
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 12 cups zucchini steamed and diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 2/3 sleeve approximately 27 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Dice the zucchini into quarter- to nickel-sized pieces; spread in a 9″x13″ pan.
  3. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion; drain off any excess fat.
  4. Add soup and stir well. Spread mixture evenly over the zucchini; sprinkle with crackers and cheese.
  5. Bake approximately 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Slow Cooker Tuna Casserole Recipe

Slow Cooker Tuna Casserole Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Slow Cooker
Prep Time 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 can 10 3/4 ounce condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can 4 ounces tuna, with liquid


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and saute vegetables and garlic until they are slightly tender.
  3. Stir in soup, milk, cheese and pepper. Cook over Medium heat until cheese is melted, stirring frequently.
  4. Add pasta and stir until evenly coated.
  5. Mix in tuna; cook until heated through.
  6. Top with additional mozzarella cheese if desired.

Recipe Notes

Original recipe: Chicken of the Sea’s Tuna Twist Casserole.

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole Recipe

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Casserole
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • Tater tots enough to line a 9×13″ casserole dish
  • 1 16 ounce package sausage
  • 8 pieces bacon
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Brown the sausage over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, place a layer of tater tots in a greased casserole dish, completely covering the bottom.
  4. Spread the sausage evenly over the tater tots.
  5. Cook the bacon until crisp.
  6. Cook the eggs, scrambling them as they cook.
  7. Spread the eggs evenly over the sausage.
  8. Break the bacon into small pieces; sprinkle over the eggs.
  9. Pour milk over the eggs.
  10. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.
  11. Bake 45 minutes; remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Sprite Lasagna Recipe

Sprite Lasagna Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Casserole, Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
  • 1-3/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon basil leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper divided
  • 2 cans 28 ounces tomatoes
  • 1 can 15 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup Sprite
  • 1 pound cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cups parsley
  • 18 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 8 tablespoons parmesean cheese
  • 1 box 1 pound lasagna noodles
  • 1 can 4 ounces mushrooms


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the meat; cook until browned.
  4. Sitr in oregano, basil, bay leaf, half the salt, and pepper.
  5. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and Sprite.
  6. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 60 minutes, stirring occassionaly.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese, eggs, remaining salt, and pepper; beat until smooth.
  8. Stir in the parsley, 12 ounces of mozzarella cheese, and 4 tablespoons parmesean cheese; set aside.
  9. Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the package.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Grease two 7×12-inch baking dishes.
  12. Remove the bay leaf from the meat sauce.
  13. Spread a little meat sauce in the bottom of each pan.
  14. Layer noodles, cheese mixture, and meat sauce in the pans, ending with sauce.
  15. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesean cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  16. Bake 45-60 minutes.
  17. Let set 5 minutes before serving.

Copycat KFC Famous Bowls Casserole Recipe

Copycat KFC Famous Bowls Casserole Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Casserole, Copycat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 lbs. Popcorn Chicken
  • 12 Servings Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • 2 Cans 15.25 oz. Whole Kernel Corn, Drained
  • 1 Jar 18 oz. Brown Gravy (I used Heinz Home Style)
  • 3 Cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare mashed potatoes per directions on the package; spread evenly in a 9×13″ cake pan.
  3. Spread corn evenly on top of mashed potatoes.
  4. Bake popcorn chicken for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place a layer on top of corn.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top of the chicken. Drizzle gravy over the entire dish.

Recipe Notes

This is a very easy recipe that you can change the ingredient proportions to make it just the way you like. You can also make these in oven-safe bowls, but the casserole was more convenient for us.

Doughnut Burgers Recipe

Doughnut Burgers

I saw these on Facebook what seems like forever ago, but forgot all about it. Then one of my friends posted a picture of him eating one at the fair over the summer and I remembered that I really wanted to try one. But who sells doughnut burgers? Nobody around here, that’s for sure! Then, there were a couple booths at our fair that were offering them. I tried one. Then another. They are delicious! After that, we bought a baker’s dozen of doughnuts (that’s 13) and made some for ourselves. If you are a picky eater, this probably sounds pretty weird, but you should at least give it a try!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fair Food
Servings 1 serving


  • 1 glazed doughnut
  • 1 hamburger we used Bubba Burgers for these
  • 1 cheese slice
  • Lettuce optional
  • Tomato optional
  • Bacon optional
  • Onion optional


  1. Place the doughnut on its edge; cut in half.
  2. Fry the hamburger; drain grease.
  3. Place hamburger patty on one half of the doughnut.
  4. Top with condiments such as cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and onion.
  5. Place the other half of the doughnut on top.