I’m so honored to be sharing the cover of my hometown magazine “Hamptons” with one of my best friends, the beautiful Beth Ostrosky Stern. We had a great time interviewing each other, and an even better time during our photo shoot with Beth’s husband, Howard. Check out the interviews and our pics!
Katie Lee kicked off a busy summer by adding novelist to her expansive résumé and becoming a year-round Hamptons resident. Moments like these are much easier with a little help from your friends, like best buddy Beth Ostrosky Stern. Read Ostrosky Stern’s interview with her friend below.
I will never forget the evening I met Katie Lee at The American Hotel eight years ago, during a double date with our then boyfriends. Her beauty astounded me, but it was her sweetness, kindness and loveliness that made me an immediate fan. That evening I knew we would be friends for life. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished so far, but it is her spirit and her huge heart that make it an honor to call her one of my best friends.
BETH OSTROSKY STERN: You now live in the Hamptons full time. What is a typical day for you out here?
KATIE LEE: I am so happy to be a full-time Hamptons resident. I love New York, although I am not much of a city girl—I guess that makes sense considering I grew up in such a small town. Here I get the best of both worlds, with such easy access to the city. I am an early riser, and my typical day starts off with coffee—I cannot function without it—and answering e-mails. I like to take a walk on the beach and pick up litter; it amazes me that people do not pick up their trash. If the waves are good, I will go surfing, then work out at SoulCycle or Core Fusion, or do yoga at home with my instructor, Jessica Bellofatto from KamaDeva Yoga. I spend a couple of hours in the afternoon writing, then I will head to The Green Thumb and the grocery to get stuff for dinner. I cook and watch television at night. If I go out to dinner, I hit my favorite spots like Dave’s Grill, Suki Zuki or La Parmigiana. I love having friends over for lunch or dinner on the weekends. I have a really simple life, and I like it that way.
BOS: You love to surf—that’s why your body is so ripped! What do you like most about it?
KL: I don’t know how ripped I am, considering how much I like to eat, but I will take the compliment, thanks! I completely fell in love with surfing. I was always scared of the ocean, never getting in past my knees, and I thought the water was way too cold. When I was getting divorced, I needed to do something to get out of my own head, something completely out of character, so I decided on a whim to buy a wet suit and take a lesson. I have great instructors at Flying Point Surf School; if they can teach me, they can teach anybody. I have never been good at any kind of sport—I am not coordinated or athletic at all, so I am still shocked every time I get a wave. It is the ultimate rush. I need to get you and Howard out there with me this summer!
BOS: Did surfing inspire you to write Groundswell? I had so much fun reading it. Are the characters based on people in your life? I was worried about that blonde best friend; she is a nightmare. Promise me that I was not an inspiration!
KL: Yes, surfing definitely inspired Groundswell. I had been trying to write a novel for years and just could never get the right story. One day I was on the beach in Sagaponack and it hit me; I went home and started writing. Like any writer, I have taken inspiration from my own life and my friends’ lives, but it is fiction. I have been a part of situations, some glitzy and glamorous, that you just cannot make up, so some of that is in there. And the only similarity you have to Lily is your beautiful blonde hair.
BOS: I am so impressed that you do your own hair and makeup for red carpet events, and now you have a new Stila makeup palette. How did you pick those colors?
KL: When I do my own hair and makeup for events, it is not because I am good at it, it is because I am too fidgety to sit in a chair for that long. The makeup travel palette I created with Stila is called “Stunning in Sayulita,” and it is inspired by Groundswell, which is partially set in Sayulita [in Mexico]. The colors are all beachy and fresh, perfect for summer. In fact, all the makeup I wore in this photo shoot is from that small palette.
BOS: Did you like shooting with Howard? He is the cutest.
KL: Truthfully, I thought I would be nervous, since it feels funny to pose for a picture in front of a friend, but it was the most fun I have ever had on a photo shoot. He has become such a good photographer, and I love the way the photos turned out. I cannot wait to frame them. Howard has a way of making people feel comfortable, which is probably why he has the best interviews—I know I certainly revealed more to him when we went on the show than I ever have before. Just like he does every day on the radio, he puts his photograph subjects at ease, and he gets great shots.
BOS: I watch you cook on The Early Show. What is a great, easy Hamptons dinner for last-minute guests?
KL: Take-out! Just kidding. Keep it simple and run out to the farm stand. The veggies are so fresh right now that you do not need to do much to them. I am really into grilling pizza, and you can pick up ready-made dough at the pizza parlor. Just put it on the grill and top with your favorites, and serve it with a big salad and a local rosé.
BOS: I know the answer to this, but people ask me all the time about your love life, so I will let you answer: Are you dating?
KL: Yes, I am dating. There has been some life imitating art, and let’s just say that some stereotypes are true—surfers really are hot.
BOS: Are you happy?
KL: Life is good. I am a happy person in general, and even when times are tough, I try to keep a smile on my face and find some kind of good or meaning in the situation.
BOS: What is your guilty pleasure?
KL: We share it—bad television! Right now I am all wrapped up in The Bachelorette. I remember your wedding vows to Howard, you guys vowed to watch your bad television together. I am adding that to my must-have qualities in my potential mate.
BOS: We have so much in common: We love the Hamptons, our dogs and shopping. What are your favorite stores out here?
KL: I love Calypso [St. Barth], Scoop [Beach], James Perse, London Jewelers for a splurge and my old standby, Gap. I also find myself at Kmart way too often.
BOS: What is something I do not know about you?
KL: That is a toughie, considering when Howard interviewed us on his show we revealed just about everything, including how many times a day we go to the bathroom—that is one that fell under TMI. The only thing I can think of is dorky: I love audio books. I check them out of the library and listen to them in the car on my way in and out of the city. It makes the drive go so much faster.
BOS: That does not count! I already know you are listening to Rob Lowe’s new book.
KL: I cannot be in the vicinity of Cool Ranch Doritos without eating the entire bag. The last time I broke down and bought them, I had to throw them away to stop. And not just throw out the bag, because I might have gone into the trash and gotten the bag out. I had to completely dump the bag out and make sure there was trash on top.
BOS: Where do you see yourself in five years?
KL: I have never been the type to make plans for the future. Life has taken me on such an unexpected path, so I kind of go with the flow. I hope that I am in a loving relationship and I would like to write another novel, but I am sure wherever I am in five years will be exactly where I am supposed to be at that moment.
The Stunning Beth Ostrosky Stern
Beth Ostrosky Stern’s longtime friend and Hamptons neighbor Katie Lee inquires about the tireless philanthropist and best-selling author’s new career, her guilty pleasures and her greatest loves, including Howard Stern, who shot these breathtaking photos exclusively for Hamptons.
It was 2003, and I had just moved to the Hamptons. As someone who felt like an outsider looking in, I can tell you that it is not exactly an easy place to make friends. I was intimidated on a daily basis, to say the least. One afternoon, my then-boyfriend (and now ex-husband) told me we were having dinner that night with Howard Stern and his girlfriend, Beth Ostrosky. I raised my eyebrows and gave him a look expressing my apprehension. He said, “No, Howard is really a nice guy, you will see. And you are going to love Beth.”
Okay, I thought, if you say so. Beth is beautiful with long, gorgeous blonde hair; she is tall with a great body. In short, she is the kind of girl who seems like she would be all too easy to dislike. I was nervous about our double date. What do you talk about with Howard Stern and his supermodel girlfriend? Would he talk about sex? Would I seem like an uncool country bumpkin? I could hear my mom saying, “You had dinner with whom? Oh, Katie.”
Within five minutes of meeting Howard and Beth, I knew the night was not going to end at a topless pool party. These were my kind of people, and Beth was the kind of girl I wanted to be friends with. Lucky for me, Beth wanted to be friends with me, too. Over the past eight years, we have been through it all together—two marriages, one divorce, career ups and downs, new additions to our families (pets; no babies, yet)—and we continue to bond over our shared love of the Hamptons.
KATIE LEE: You and Howard are the most affectionate couple I know. What is the best thing about being married to him?
BETH OSTROSKY STERN: You always say that! Actually, you are not the first person to tell us that. We really do have fun together, day in and day out, and we do well when we are together 24/7. After almost 12 years, I still cannot get enough of him. We love to say that we are so lucky that we get to have a slumber party together every night. What is our secret? We appreciate each other, and he really listens to everything I say. I think he is quite a catch—the perfect husband.
KL: The two of you spend most of your downtime here in the Hamptons. What are your favorite things to do?
BOS: Anything that Howard and I are doing together makes me happy. We love to run or ride our bikes together; take beach walks with Bianca, our nine-and-a-half-year-old bulldog; walk into town and shop at the local stores; dine at the incredible restaurants out here; and just hang with friends. My favorite times are having you over for dinner with us. Remember New Year’s Eve last year here in the Hamptons? How much fun did we have? We spend time here year-round. The winters in the Hamptons are magical.
KL: Describe your typical Hamptons day.
BOS: We always wake up together around 5 AM, feed the cats and Bianca and have our breakfast, then we meditate together. We practice transcendental meditation; Howard has been doing it for more than 20 years, and I started three summers ago, two times a day, every day. Howard and I usually run three to five miles every day or take a beach walk and then plan our dinner. By 9 PM we are in bed. We are such the grandma-grandpa couple, going to bed early and planning our meals.
KL: Since you know the area so well, do you have any secret spots or activities that most people do not know about?
BOS: You and I seem to have discovered Exhale Bridgehampton’s Core Fusion class. I do not know if people will love me or hate me for telling them to try it, [but] it really is such a great workout. I am hosting a class there on August 6 at 6 PM; all the proceeds will go to my favorite organization outhere, the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons. I signed you up already. It should be fun—exercise then cocktails, my two favorite things.
KL: Howard has become quite the photographer, and lucky for him, he has you as his muse. How does it feel to be in front of his lens? Does it make you nervous or more comfortable?
BOS: Howard loves his newest hobby, and it is taking over our lives! No one in the house is safe—click, click, click, every second. But, seriously, he is really good and I love being his muse. He has taken pictures of me and our pets that I will cherish forever. I think he captures a look from me in his photos that no one else can achieve. I suppose it is the “look of love.” He is so cute when he is taking pictures; he melts my heart.
KL: I am always so impressed by the work you do for animals—you are a spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America, and you are involved with the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons.
BOS: I love the work I do for NSALA, spreading the word of its lifesaving mission—almost 1 million animals adopted to date. Also, I cannot say enough about the work NSALA does at the Wildlife Rescue Center, right here in the Hamptons. The magnificent animals in our backyards get hurt all the time, and it is up to us to help them. I beg everyone to call the center if they see an injured or sick animal; put the number in your phone. I love going to the center in Hampton Bays and visiting the animals. Swans, ducks, deer, turtles, foxes, eagles, squirrels, bunnies—Howard actually just spent the day there photographing the animals. I am cochairing the annual summer event on August 20 at the home of Leslie Alexander and Liz Brown. You are coming to that, too, by the way.
KL: Last summer you debuted your book, Oh My Dog: How to Choose, Train, Groom, Nurture, Feed, and Care for Your New Best Friend, which became a New York Times best seller. Summer seems to be the time of year when our pooches get in trouble. What are your top safety tips for our furry friends?
BOS: I was shopping at Rumrunner Home in Wainscott the other day, and in the lot there was a parked car with a Siberian husky, in 90-degree weather and not in the shade. I went ballistic. You already know this, but let us remind people to not leave their pets in the car while shopping—this can be fatal! Ticks are also out in full force here. People should ask their vet what kind of prevention method he or she recommends. Also, cold water should be accessible to pets at all times. I like to put ice cubes in Bianca’s water dishes all summer long.
KL: You and Howard made some additions to your family recently. What does Bianca think about her new brother and sister?
BOS: Over the past year and a half, Howard and I have adopted two adult cats from North Shore Animal League, Apple and Walter. Cats are such easy, fun pets. Bianca is so kind to them, but she always has to have our undivided attention, of course! They are being photographed by their dad every second as well. They seem bored by the picture-taking already.
KL: You have a beautiful home, and now you are taking your décor expertise to television. Tell me aboutMom Caves and the Hamptonsinspired show you just did.
BOS: I was so lucky to be able to shop for it at some of my favorite Hamptons stores. Homenature is a great place to go to for Hamptons-esque accessories—baskets, picture frames, trays, pillows and more. And Rumrunner Home is a great store to find fun, beachy artwork and furniture. On Mom Caves [airing at the end of the summer], we create a Hamptons-inspired family room for this special New Jersey schoolteacher. Her favorite place to visit is the Hamptons, so we brought a little of it to New Jersey.
KL: I know a little guilty pleasure you and I both share—and Howard, too. I’ll let you guess…
BOS: Reality television! How many texts do we send each other on a daily basis about The Bachelorette? I am so lucky that my husband is obsessed as well. Sometimes he presses pause when a show is on and I talk over the TV, then he waits for me to finish before he unpauses. Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Celebrity Rehab—we are obsessed.
KL: You have a storybook love and have created quite a diverse and successful career for yourself. Out of all my friends, I look at you and think you are just about as close to “having it all” as anyone I know. Where do you see life taking you in five years?
BOS: I will hopefully be as happy and as fulfilled as I am at this very moment, surrounded by the love of my husband and my animals and friends like you. I would love to open a shelter of my own one day. If I can make that happen, all of my dreams will have come true.