As an actress, singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, Christina Milian is a multi-hyphenate whose work across the entertainment industry has given us classic hits from music, to movies, and in television. With her 11-year-old daughter Violet, her one-year-old son Isaiah, and a baby on the way, the all-around creative mommy on the go recently spoke with Madame Noire about her latest venture. Inspired by the Barbie Dream Gap Project — which aims to empower girls everywhere — Milian is now partnering with Betty Crocker in the BettyLab to help parents teach their kids the joys of science and math through baking and using the brand’s delicious recipes.
Madame Noire: What are some of the values of the BettyLab that you’ve tried to instill in your home and teach your daughter Violet?
Christina Milian: I’ve been living as an entrepreneur and as a dreamer of all things entertainment — but also as a family woman. Having children, I always try to find ways to create imaginative and fun things that they can do and we can do together. Especially with my beautiful 11-year-old daughter, it’s important that she’s actually learning but also having a really good time as we do projects together.
I partnered up with the BettyLab so that we could influence parents and help them engage in time with their children. It’s not only about making these cute and adorable cakes, but also teaching kids that there are mathematics and a science to baking. It’s something fun for parents so that they’re able to come together with their children and have a good time while introducing them to something that could actually build their confidence. My daughter is a very creative kid but she’s into science too, so I like to find things that are engaging for her. She’s into like, ‘Hey, today let’s make slime!’ or ‘Today let’s make a cake’ — you know, things like that. And obviously, if you don’t do the correct measurements — there’s always something that’s going to go wrong if you don’t stick to the plan [laughs]. It’s about having fun and experimenting but also introducing her to the fact that there’s a science to all.
What were some of the most exciting aspects of working on the partnership?
First off, I had a blast making the most adorable Betty Dream Cakes in the BettyLab, so I’m glad we can share those videos and families can gather and make them together.
I’m happy we launched the online hub because it’s great. Parents can go on there watch the videos then do the baking and activities with their kids. I love that they did this together with the Barbie Dream Gap Project to really influence girls to build their confidence not only in the kitchen but as young people who need to know that they can do anything.
What are your skills like in the kitchen and when it comes to baking? Were you a big Easy Bake Oven and Barbie type of girl growing up?
Yes! [laughs] I had about 50 Barbies before, so that’s a yes. My sister got the Easy Bake Oven and the second we made brownies and burned them my dad threw away the whole thing. Since we no longer had it, we took ourselves to the kitchen because my mom was a great chef — a great cook at home. She taught us how to cook early on and she has all these great pictures of us in the kitchen still to this day — even with my daughter now. Violet puts on little aprons and she bakes with grandma — so I’m happy my mom taught us that early on.
We spend all our time in the kitchen — we have our conversations about life, or about each other [laughs] — all in the kitchen. It’s most of our life — I mean you come downstairs for breakfast and then for the rest of the day everybody kind of just maintains their time and space in there. Most families spend their time in the kitchen that way. Even for homework time, you know? We have a separate table so that my daughter can do hers’ and it’s by the kitchen. You meet in there for everything and the kitchen is really the hub when it comes to families.
Fans have been able to get a more candid look at your life during quarantine — from the YouTube channel you started to the Facebook Watch series you did called “What Happens At Home.” What has it been like to open up your life for them in that way?
It’s good because I feel like I’m a very candid person — I’m like an open book. It kept us busy and we had a lot of fun. Violet and I did projects in the kitchen — cooking and all types of stuff. We would find kitchen hacks or different hacks that you could do with items in your household. I had a lot of fun doing that and it’s really why working with BettyLab makes a lot of sense for me. This is stuff that I do with my own daughter — so it’s about building confidence, learning about STEM, and at the same time, being creative and having fun in the kitchen as a family.