Greetings, or perhaps I should say, "Cheers!"

I recently got acquainted with a couple of very talented and clever Alamo women, Cindy Ennis and Cynthia Montgomery, who are co-CEOs and founders of a new game, "Mommy Tonic," which is taking the East Bay and beyond by storm. This "bubbly conversation card game" gives women the opportunity to gather together to share parenting tips, vent about life in a lighthearted way and, most importantly, laugh! Each set of "game cards" comes in a flat tin that is very reminiscent of Margarita salt. Hmm, no coincidence there!

It just so happens that these friends also co-authored the book "What Great Parents Have in Common," which demonstrates to parents everywhere how to use typical and "imperfect" everyday situations to raise kids who are honorable, empowered, happy, successful and loved. It was during the 10-year process of interviewing hundreds of parents, through one-on-one sessions and workshops, that Cindy and Cynthia realized there was a desire for moms to gather together to share ideas and even mishaps, and they came up with a product that offers "the sole purpose of talking and exchanging ideas."

Thus Mommy Tonic was born, and the pair feel like the game couldn't have made its debut at a better time, which is evidenced on the back of each game tin by the label that reads "Book club and Bunco are so five minutes ago. Get your rouge on and host a Mommy Tonic! A refreshing party game for moms ... Share hot tips, vent, swap remedies, uncover your girlfriends' pet peeves and tons more. Play for just a bit or into the wee hours!"

When I met up with Cindy and Cynthia, we giggled over a glass of wine as they shared their Mommy Tonic game. Of course any beverage will do, from lemonade, coffee, ice tea, to Long Island ice tea; the point is that when friends meet up, "You wouldn't dream of hosting a get-together without serving beverages, and every good hostess provides refreshments to suit their guests' tastes," states the spunky website, www.mommytonic.com.

There are four games to choose from, Every Mom, Working Mom, New Mom and Empty Nester, and the games are available at Amazon.com, Whole Foods stores across Northern California and various wineries in Napa Valley, Livermore and wineries across the nation.

However, you can just scamper down to Alamo Plaza, since Sweet Celebrations also carries the games! Their book mentioned above is also available on Amazon and in addition, workshop home videos on parenting. Visit their website for prices and more details. Friends for nearly 15 years, the dynamic duo naturally gravitated toward one another.

Cynthia said it was actually her 4-year-old daughter at the time who spotted Cindy's daughter about the same age across a room and tugged on her mom's dress and said, "Mom, I want to play with that girl!" Cynthia did what any good mom would do and introduced themselves to the mother and daughter, and soon a play date ensued and, eventually, a lifelong friendship along with a parenting book, workshops and now Mommy Tonic.

"As soon as you have a baby, life is about everyone else. Mommy Tonic brings it back to being about you," said Cindy. "Talking is a woman's tonic. It makes us feel better," added Cynthia.

When Cindy, Cynthia and I parted ways, I pondered my own situation raising kids and the need to connect with other moms. To this day I cherish the friendships I've made in bunco and the book club, and I am certain that "Mommy Tonic" will be another wonderful way for women to have a great time, sharing, connecting and laughing together. So, to that I say, "Cheers!"

Contact Caterina Mellinger at around- alamo@hotmail.com.