Bethenny Frankel Opens Up About 'Family' Life With Boyfriend Paul Bernon (Exclusive)

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It's been just over a month since it was announced that Bethenny Frankel would be leaving the Real Housewives of New York City, but the 48-year-old businesswoman is certainly keeping busy. 

In fact, she and her boyfriend, Paul Bernon, are even considering getting out of the city for good. 

"I spend a lot of time in Boston. I consider myself lucky to have a home in both [New York City and Boston], and we both are back and forth, with the kids, go back and forth," Frankel tells ET. "The city's been amazing to me, the city does never sleep, but I like to sleep a little more."

Bernon and Frankel have been dating since late 2018, and he's already a core member of her family. 

"Biggy and Smallz are also our family. And they love my boyfriend -- my dogs love Paul, Bryn loves Paul," Frankel says of her pups and her 9-year-old daughter with ex-husband Jason Hoppy. "We all are a family unit, and there's a lot of love. We're very simple. We don't go out a lot. We're homebodies. You know, we like the activities, whether it's apple-picking or cooking at home, or now we'll be bathing the dog."

In her life away from the Bravo cameras, Frankel is a big advocate for pet adoption. The former reality star has noticed a shift in how people view adoption and rescue these days. That's why she's teamed up with Moose Toys to celebrate the launch of Scruff-a-Luvs Real Rescue plush toy. The toy helps simulate a real pet adoption experience as the electronic creature arrives matted and whimpering. The new "owner" then has the opportunity to take the pet from "scruffy to fluff" with a bath after which they become their loyal pet for life. For every adoption, Moose Toys will donate part of the proceeds to the ASPCA. 

Bethenny Frankel
Moose Toys

"Everybody's become so aware. When I was growing up, I didn't even realize that, how amazing the dogs could be through adoption," she says. "I think you just went through a mall, you saw a puppy store and you were just ignorant about those puppy mills and all the terrible things that happen. So, it would not even be in my language -- it would be like smoking a cigarette, to go to a pet store. It's, like, not gonna happen. It's disgusting to me. So, the beauty is through campaigns like this, you create more awareness and you think, 'Oh wow. You know, Biggy and Smallz, these cute dogs Bethenny adores. They're rescues and perfect.'" 

Of course, someone else in her life that she's very connected with is her daughter, Bryn. And though she lets Bryn know just how loved she is, Frankel does make an effort to keep some parts of her past away from her daughter for now. 

"She's very innocent and I like that," Frankel says of her daughter's understanding of her own childhood. "I haven't really been specific about my life. I've just said, 'I haven't had the same sort of childhood that you have had, and a lot of other kids don't have what you have, so I want you to be appreciative and I want you to know how loved you are.'"

In her time away from RHONY, Frankel has had the opportunity to help those less fortunate than herself in relief efforts with her organization, BStrong. 

"I've been to Guatemala, North Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, we've been in the California fires, we've helped the Amazon... I spent a lot of time in Puerto Rico, and now the Bahamas is sort of that same level of crisis," she reveals. "In the beginning, you're sort of scared and you don't know what you're getting into and it's really intense to do this kind of work because you're sort of going kinda rogue, it's like a pop-up startup. There's so many elements, from no water to people needing generators, to people actually dying. It's life and death. We've definitely saved thousands of people's lives."

For more exclusive content from Frankel, watch the clip below: 

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