Dine for a Paw Naples 2019

For millions of households in the US, pets rule. They bring love and comfort. And they teach children about responsibility as well as how to care and feel compassion for another living creature. Unfortunately, about six and a half million cats and dogs end up in shelters across the country each year. To help care for these furry friends, three local Aielli Group restaurants offer up Dine for a Paw Naples 2019, with a portion of all sales being donated to our local humane society.

Bring your precious pooch out to eat at Barbatella, Dorona or Sea Salt with you on August 26th for Dine for a Paw Naples 2019. 10% of sales benefit Humane Society Naples.

Dine for a Paw Naples 2019

Barbatella, Dorona & Sea Salt

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaTo celebrate National Dog Day, Aielli Group restaurants invite dog owners and their pets to dine “al fresco” for lunch or dinner at one of their three local Naples restaurants: Barbatella, Dorona, and Sea Salt. Ten percent of all sales from every lunch and dinner served on Monday, August 26th, will be donated to Humane Society Naples. Doors open from 11:30 am to 9 pm. Pets may dine with their people out on the patio at any time. However, interior dining remains for humans only. Reservations aren’t required but you can always give the restaurant of your choice a call beforehand.

The owners of the Aielli Group restaurants enjoy giving back to the community. In addition to the Dine for a Paw event, they also support the Naples Children and Education Foundation with their Celebrity StarTender series at Dorona. On August 28th, NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara and NCEF Trustee Bob Edwards with Edwards Asset Management play celebrity bartenders (aka “StarTenders”) from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Half of the bar sales and all of the StarTender tips directly benefit NCEF. You must reserve your spot in order to participate by sending in your RSVP via email.

Humane Society Naples

Humane Society Naples is a “no-kill” shelter. As such, they never know how long they’ll be hosting animals before they find them homes. They rely on the generous donations of folks such as yourselves to feed, shelter, and care for these precious creatures. Last year alone, they managed to find homes for almost 2900 dogs and cats. All you have to do to help is to dine at one of the Aielli Group restaurants next Monday, August 26th. They’ll take care of the rest. Thank you in advance.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Dogs in the Garden at Naples Botanical Garden

Dogs provide companionship and a sense of calm for many people. They become members of the family, albeit a bit more harry than most. We enjoy taking them as many places with us as possible, just like we would our children. Right now, you can visit the Naples Botanical Garden with your favorite pooch two days a week for their Dogs in the Garden days.

If you love the gardens but can't bear the thought of leaving your precious pup at home, bring them with you during Dogs in the Garden days at the Naples Botanical Garden (every Sunday & Tuesday from now until the end of September 2019).

What: Dogs in the Garden
Where: Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore Dr)
When: Every Sunday & Tuesday from now through September 29th, 8 am to 11 am
Admission: $19.95 for human non-members, $14.95 per canine, members and their dogs get in for free
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275/(877) 433-1874 or via email

Dogs in the Garden at Naples Botanical Garden

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaIt’s a truly wondrous time to visit the Naples Botanical Garden right now. Blooming flowers present a beautiful landscape everywhere you look. Guided tours are available every day the garden is open. W.O.N.D.E.R. allows families to learn and play together in the garden with a different theme each month. And Mally Khorasantchi’s artwork is on display in Kapnick Hall through September 2nd. But every Sunday and Tuesday from 8 am to 11 am, the garden allows our extra-furry family members (ie, dogs) to explore the gardens with us. And for members of the garden, your pooches get in absolutely free as well. But, please, for your peace of mind as well as that of others on the garden’s grounds, please keep your dogs leashed at all times.

Tickets for the Botanical Garden

Tickets are always available at the on-site box office. However, if you like to plan ahead, purchase your tickets online via the Naples Botanical Garden website here. Adults (ages 15+) must pay $19.95 per person to enter. Kids ages 4-14 cost $9.95 while children under 4 get in absolutely free of charge. On Sundays and Tuesday through September 29th, non-members pay $14.95 per pup. However, all members get in absolutely free of charge as do their dogs. If you’d like to become a member, individual and family memberships are available on an annual basis. Visit the garden’s website here for more information.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Naples Jazz Society Free Summer Concert Series 2019

Charlie Parker. John Coltrane. Billie Holiday. Ella Fitzgerald. Dizzy Gillespie. Louis Armstrong. Miles Davis. What do these fine musicians have in common? Jazz. With its roots in blues and ragtime, this music continues to influence musicians across all genres today. Now, if you love jazz music, you probably went to last month’s SummerJazz on the Gulf event at Naples Beach Hotel. Missed it? There’s another one scheduled for August 17th. But if once a month just isn’t enough, get yourself out to the Naples Jazz Society Free Summer Concert Series 2019 going on now.

Every Saturday from 1 pm to 3 pm from now until Sept 28th, enjoy a fabulous live performance by several talented local musicians at the Naples Jazz Society Free Summer Concert Series at Naples' Norris Community Center.

What: Naples Jazz Society Free Summer Concert Series 2019
Where: Norris Community Center (755 8th Ave)
When: Every Saturday 1 pm to 3 pm, now through September 28th
Admission: FREE (donations greatly appreciated)
Contact: Dr. Jim Gover, Naples Jazz Society (239) 263-1113 or via email

Naples Jazz Society Free Summer Concert Series 2019

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Every Saturday between now and the end of September brings us a fresh new free summer concert performed by the Naples Jazz Society. This group of incredibly talented musicians showcase music from all of the greats mentioned above…and then some. And it’s all provided absolutely free of charge to the public. However, any donations you see fit to offer are always greatly appreciated. They help keep projects like these going.

Naples Jazz Society

The Naples Jazz Society began back in 1995 as a way for musicians to promote this American music in Southwest Florida. They concentrate on the music specifically from the early, early days of jazz in the US (1890s) all the way up to the music created and performed in the 1940s. The Naples Jazzmasters perform free summer concerts every year at the Norris Community Center. They rely on donations from audience members as well as fundraisers and private donations given to the Naples Jazz Society to continue their efforts. So, please give what you can when you watch their summer concert series.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

How to Avoid Contractor Scams on Your Home Renovation/Remodel

In the past, I discussed garage improvement projects that increase your home’s value, driveway improvements that increase your curb appeal, and other home projects that require a professional. When you hire a professional contractor to get the job done. you need to be careful. Otherwise, you could lose a nice chunk of change. Learn how to avoid contractor scams on your home renovation/remodel.

Avoid being a victim of unscrupulous contractors by watching out for these common contractor scams when performing any home improvement work on your Naples home.

Common Contractor Scams and How to Avoid Them

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I know. I know. You’re probably saying “but, Michelle. I’m too smart to get scammed. I can spot a fraud a mile away.” That’s not necessarily the case. Good people get scammed every single day. Here’s what you should look out for so you don’t become another statistic.

Door-to-Door Salesmen

Such a cliche. I know. But, still, beware of solicitors offering their services at your door. Sometimes, they say that they’re doing work on a neighbor’s house and noticed that you might need their services as well. Since they find themselves with “leftover” materials, they offer to perform these tasks at a discount.

Instead of signing on the dotted line then and there, ask for a business card and do your homework. Check their license online. If they can’t provide a contractor’s license number, don’t hire them.

Exorbitant Money Upfront Requirements

Yes, most contractors require money upfront. However, you should see a bright red flag if they ask for more than 30% in advance. In Florida, the law has not set a limit on how much a contractor can request as a downpayment (ie, “upfront money”). But you should still beware if they ask for more than 30%. If possible, try to negotiate it down to 10%. That shows both parties good faith in performing/paying for the work in question. Besides, asking for a huge percentage upfront could be indicative that they fell behind on another project and need your money to complete it. Again, a red flag warning. Will they do the same thing with your project?

Pressure to Sign Now

If you attend a home show, chances are good that contractors offer special discounts for signing up while you’re there. Most of the time, these contractors only request an appointment to assess the situation…not perform work. While most of these offers are from legitimate contractors, some might be contractor scams in waiting.

Before you ever sign a contract for work with anyone at any time, do some research into the company and contractor first. Never feel pressured to sign right away no matter what kind of discount they dangle in front of you. A good contractor will be willing to wait.

Lowball Bids and Unclear Terms

Another red flag that screams “contractor scam” is a super low bid followed by a contract with hazy or vague terminology. We all want a good deal. But extremely low bids could signify work performed by an unscrupulous or unlicensed contractor.

Always make sure your contract clearly states exactly what work will be performed, when you expect it to be completed, and the total cost for said work. Once work begins, it will be hard to go after the contractor for soddy work if the scope of work hasn’t been specifically outlined in your contract.

Pulling Permits

Never pull your own permits for work on your Southwest Florida home. Whoever pulls the permits must answer for every aspect of the project. This includes insurance, payment to workers, workers’ comp, and any issues that may arise from inspections or failed work completion. If you pull the permits, that means you must register as an employer with the state, making you responsible for the workers’ taxes, too. A licensed, responsible contractor never asks the homeowner to pull their own permits.

Using Someone Else’s Contractor’s License

Yet another one of the contractor scams we see all too often is when a contractor works under another contractor’s license. Another scam is for a contractor to use an expired license number. Always ask for the contractor’s license number upfront. Then, visit the Florida DBPR website to search that license number. Make sure the name of the contractor and the license number match as well that it’s current (not expired).

More Money, More Money, More Money

Finally, beware if a contractor asks for more money than initially contracted midway through the project. While it’s common for homeowners to request changes in the middle of a project that may warrant more money, a contractor should request an official change order not actual cash in the middle of the project. If they do ask for money before they’ve finished the job, it could imply that they haven’t handled their money very well with this job (or others). Change orders are due in full upon completion of the project. Make sure you put this “change order” provision into your initial contract to cover you in case that happens.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?